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Report on mayhem at FTZ: President’s Office opts to remain silent

Aug 20 (CT) The President's Office has opted to remain silent over a report related to the bloody mayhem at the Katunayake Free Trade Zone in May 2011 that left a worker dead and some 300 hundred others wounded when Armed Police launched an unprovoked attack on protesting factory hands, top most trade unionists said. They said the report based on findings of a one-man Commission to probe incident was handed over more..

Doha visa waiver for 80 countries: Lankan job market under threat

Aug 20 (CT) Employment prospects for Sri Lankans in Doha-Qatar have come under serious threat after a visa waiver facility to enter that country was extended to India, Indonesia and Maldives, industry warned. Doha-Qatar's decision to include India, Indonesia and The Maldives, among a list of 80 others, for visa free entry will have an effect on Lankan job hopefuls, simply because there will be a flood of workers more..

Implementation of sticker proposal on Liquor Delay costs Govt Rs 40B

Aug 20 (CT) Govt coffers have been deprived of approximately Rs 40 billion, due to procedural delays of over a year, in implementing the proposed fool-proof sticker label on each legal bottle of liquor. This was revealed when PM Ranil Wickremesinghe recently addressed a group of flood victims in Matara, where he explained why the Treasury finds it difficult to immediately release funds for relief measures. more..

CID busts racket in videos of women lured into sexual trysts

Aug 20 (ST) The CID's Cybercrime Division has launched an investigation into an alleged racket to produce videos of sexual encounters with young women, and selling them to pornographic websites. The main suspect was taken into custody after a woman complained to the CID of an individual luring her to a 5-star hotel in Colombo and recording sexual encounters, which are sold to pornographic websites. more..

50,000 brick houses for North, East

Aug 20 (ST) Govt will construct 50,000 brick and mortar type houses in the Northern and Eastern Provinces under a new project. “The prospective owners will decide the kind of housing they prefer. Tenders will be called for construction work that would accommodate local participation,” V. Sivagnanasothy, Secretary to the Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation, said. His Ministry will oversee the implementation. more..

Unity govt a failure: Justice Minister

Aug 20 (Island) Embattled Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe criticised the coalition govt yesterday saying it had failed the nation and urged Buddhists monks to lead a campaign for political change. Rajapakshe, who faces possible expulsion from the cabinet, took Minister Rajitha Senaratne head on accusing him of interfering in the affairs of the justice ministry and took thinly veiled swipes at PM too. more..

A solution to Sri Lanka’s fast bowler injuries

Aug 21 (DN) A solution to Sri Lanka’s constant injuries to their fast bowlers could be at hand if the authorities who control cricket at school and national levels take the views expressed by Senarath Alwis seriously. “The real problem originates from the under 13 and under 15 age group players,” said Alwis, a former junior coach of Bangladesh, junior cricket coach of Royal College (under 13, 15 and 17) for 12 years, a Level 4 cricket coach and ex-director Physical Education, Uni of Colombo. more..

Diminishing returns from Ministerial position

Aug 21 (Island) Since 1956 the political and social systems in SL had undergone major convolutions in governance practices. The 1956 people’s movement pushed to the forefront the entirety of the people as a wholesome entity regardless of their capacity individually and or collectively to make impartial assessments. In the euphoria of ushering a social revolution to level off combinations of equality vis-a-vis societal relationships, the major considerations of the power of knowledge, more..

Call for swift legal action against identified offenders

Aug 21 (SO) Although one of the slogans the govt carried in their election campaign was to bring criminals and offenders of the previous regime to book, with longer time periods spent on the ongoing investigations and in gathering statements from relevant persons, the fear is that even more time could be taken to initiate legal proceedings and prove the innocence or guilt of the parties. This has inspired many parties, more..

Barbaric behaviour cannot be dismissed as not quite torture

Aug 21 (ST) That new Minister of Foreign Affairs has chosen to flippantly wave aside the stupefying conduct of the IGP in grabbing an employee by the collar, threateningly raising a hand and berating him, is unfortunate to say the least. IGP’s fury had been occasioned by the failure of a hapless lift operator to participate in compulsory meditation sessions ordered by him. Judging from the video footage, it is the IGP who seems to need supervised and strictly enforced intensive meditation, more..

The great Cabinet free-for-all

Aug 21 (ST) It has been a long tradition of parliamentary democracy stemming from the Westminster system that while ministers in the Cabinet can express their views freely and without fear within the Cabinet room and even take pot shots at those gathered round the cabinet table, they must hold their peace and speak in one unified voice once a Cabinet decision has been taken. The cardinal rule being that they shall not take the coarse linen of their disagreements and more..

'Students won’t give up till demands met'

Aug 21 (CT) Gaunt, he seems to be, albeit resonating with zeal, Lahiru walked into Ceylon Today office a couple of days after obtaining bail after a 47-day spell in prison. I am back in the campaign he uttered blithely. Lahiru Weerasekera, Convener of the IUSF was arrested and remanded on charges of causing damage to public property when IUSF members attempted to enter the Ministry of Health (MoH) for a discussion with more..

In search of a dishonest face

Aug 21 (SL) The story of Diogenes, the founder of Cynic philosophy, walking around Athens around 2600 years ago in daylight with a lighted lamp in search of an honest face, is well known. Diogenes, if transmuted to Colombo of Aug 2017, would probably go around the city with glaring TV lights and a camera crew not in search of an honest face but a dishonest one. Dishonest faces are so rare to come by in Colombo these days. Every one we meet is a doughty fighter of morality and honesty. more..

President and the constitution

Aug 21 (SL) Almost since the day he assumed office as President, incumbent Maithripala Sirisena has been asserting his right of sorts to invite a PM of his choice to form a Govt. He has also reiterated that General Elections will not be held any time before due, in 2020. President’s first claim especially is a travesty of democratic traditions that the Yahapalanaya Govt in particular claims to be wedded to, and possibly violation of the constitutional provisions, more..

Adaraneeya Sri Lanka: Ampara

Leaders of mobilisation should stamp authority on constitution’s content

Aug 21 (CT) Govt had no option but to throw Ravi Karunanayake under the bus. Even if one accepts the version that his wife and daughter, in cahoots with Perpetual Treasuries, were the parties to the penthouse deal and that he had no knowledge thereof, formal propriety demanded his removal. It also removes a thorn since allegations of corruption are an obstacle to enacting a new constitution. Loss of confidence in the govt on corruption and economy harms the constitutional project. more..

Editorial: Needed: A third force

Aug 21 (Island) It looks as if the UNP had already launched its presidential campaign with a propaganda blitz to boost PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s image. Not to be outdone, the SLFP has made its 66th anniversary an excuse to launch a massive image building campaign for President Maithripala Sirisena. The Joint Opposition (JO), too, will have to start grooming its presidential candidate soon. The govt is all out to avoid elections till the next presidential polls. more..

Bid to save jumbos from extinction

Aug 21 (CT) Department of Wildlife Conservation in collaboration with the Centre for Conservation and Research and Dilmah Conservation embarked on radio-collaring of elephants at the Yala National Park on 12 August on the World Elephant Day in a bid to conserve the elephant population of the country that is rapidly on the decline. Two matriarch elephants that lead two herds were radio-collared on the first day more..

Disempowerment & Alienation: A fact of life for many in Sri Lanka

Aug 21 (CT) Sociologists and other commentators often talk about social mobility, the idea that some people particularly youths in lower socio economic classes, move up the class ladder as a result of education, employment, business, politics and other opportunities. However, there us reluctance on their part to talk about how and why people get disempowered, alienated and helpless in society. Yet this process impacts the majority of people in a country like Sri Lanka. more..

Taj returns to profit after three consecutive loss-making years

Aug 21 (Island) Tal Lanka Hotels, owners of the Taj Samudra in Colombo, has returned to profit after three consecutive loss-making years in the year ended March 31, 2017, posting a profit of Rs. 103.7 million, up from a loss of Rs. 116.9 million the previous year and losses of Rs.180.8 million and Rs.530 million in the two years prior. The owning company however retains accumulated losses of Rs. 1.15 billion in its books but commands ownership of one of Colombo’s top five-star hotels more..

Pothas critical of Sri Lanka's fickle selections

Aug 21 (CI) Recent losses have prompted anger, and there remain too many cooks in the Sri Lanka set-up. These were the grouses of interim coach Nic Pothas following the nine-wicket drubbing at the hands of India, in the first ODI in Dambulla. Pothas' comments come less than two months after Graham Ford quit as head coach, also because he felt the team and coaching staff were subjected to too much undue influence. more..

SL’s lesbian-hating justice minister under fire

Aug 21 (EN) Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapaksha is no stranger to controversy. His May 2000 ruling as the head of the quasi legal Press Council should have been reason enough to keep him out of the current cabinet, but the PM appears to have thought otherwise. It is unclear if PM was aware of the landmark decision of Rajapaksha which could be considered a 21st century disgrace to the country. In deciding on a complaint filed by a gay rights activist against the Island newspaper, more..

SINOSURE backs first-ever private sector financing facility in Sri Lanka

Aug 21 (FT) LAUGFS Gas Plc and Standard Chartered today announced the first-ever private sector financing facility in Sri Lanka supported by China Export and Credit Insurance Corporation (SINOSURE) for the 30,000 MT LAUGFS Import and Export Terminal at Hambantota. As a principal party to this transaction, Standard Chartered acted as the coordinating bank, sole facility arranger and lender for the financing facility. LPG storage terminals by LAUGFS Terminals Ltd, more..

ඩීල් දාස වැටුණු අමාරුව: Shielding MR Crooks

7 countries to participate in an International Basketball 3x3 tournament

Aug 21 (CT) Seven countries will participate in an International Basketball 3x3 league tournament for men and women to be held in Sri Lanka from 18 to 20 Aug. SL Basketball Federation will conduct this International Basketball Federation (FIBA) 3x3 tournament at the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University Outdoor Courts at Ratmalana. Teams from Czech Republic, Netherlands, Hungary, Slovenia, Jordan, Uganda and Sri Lanka will be seen at 3X3 Nations League qualifying round more..

PCCSL expresses concern over reporting of rape cases

Aug 21 (Island) Press Complaints Commission of SL Secretariat (PCCSL) says its attention has been drawn to the publication of photographs of rape victims, identifying them and their places of residence and giving excessive details in reporting the crime and subsequent court proceedings. Complaints have been received by PCCSL objecting to what the complainants regard as insensitive coverage of these cases, particularly the Punguduthivu rape & murder of a schoolgirl. more..

Dhawan leads brutal rout of Sri Lanka

Aug 21 (CI) For half of their innings, SL really did look like a side that wanted to bat first, as their captain had said at the toss. For the rest of it, each player was lapping the other back to the pavilion. From 139 for 1 in the 25th over, they careened to 216 all out, collapsing in a heap to the considerable wiles of Kedar Jadhav. Part-timer, who has previously been brought on as a last resort, was indecipherable bowling non-turning offbreaks. more..

Nano degrees from Sri Lanka’s Nano Institute

Aug 21 (ST) SL’s path-breaking Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology Pvt Ltd has been recognized as a degree-awarding institution by the Ministry of Higher Education and Highways. According to a gazette notification, the institute can offer degree courses in Master of Philosophy in Nano and Advanced Technology leading to the MPhil (Nano and Advanced Technology) degree. Gazette said the institute has been given degree awarding status for the purpose of awarding above degrees. more..

Insurance industry cries foul over proposed IRB taxes

Aug 21 (FT) The insurance industry has become the latest sector to protest the imposition of taxes under the proposed Inland Revenue Bill (IRB), pointing out that an additional 28% tax on bonuses for policyholders will severely undermine its growth. Insurance companies contend that as they are already paying a 30% tax on monthly instalments, it would be unfair for the Govt to impose the 14% and 28% tax proposed under the new IRB.  “Although the existing Inland Revenue Act clearly more..

PIA pays back $2 mln in A330 aircraft wet lease arrears

Aug 21 (ST) Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has paid US$2 million to SriLankan Airlines recently as delayed payments and lease installments inclusive of extra flying hours of A330 aircraft wet leased to Pakistan’s national carrier in August last year, a senior official closely connected to PIA disclosed. This settlement of arrears was made, more than four months after the return to SriLankan Airlines of Airbus A-330 aircraft, more..

Dr Swami deployed to lead Sri Lanka’s historic Madrid entry

Aug 21 (DN) Sri Lanka has appointed an eminent legal personality and a time-honoured expert in Intellectual Property (IP) to lead the country’s historic accession to the international trademark system called the Madrid Protocol. And the accession is slated to be completed by August next year. “We thank you for your contribution to the development of our intellectual property” said the Minister of Industry and Commerce, Rishad Bathiudeen on August 17. more..

Sri Lanka can meet energy demand with renewables by 2050

Aug 21 (FT) Sri Lanka can meet its current and future electricity demand through the judicious use of renewable energy by 2050, according to a joint study by UNDP and ADB. The report, titled Assessment of Sri Lanka’s Power Sector - 100% Electricity Generation through Renewable Energy by 2050, notes that Sri Lanka’s demand for electricity is going to increase in the future. “Sri Lanka as one of the countries disproportionately affected by climate change has agreed to ambitious renewable more..

Comprehensive agreement on NFTH takeover to be inked soon: Rajitha

Aug 21 (Island) Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne said the govt would soon enter into a comprehensive agreement with the SAITM in respect of the take over of the Dr. Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital (NFTH). Dr. Senaratne said that the Attorney General’s Department was in the process of finalising an agreement in the wake of a tripartite agreement (letter of intent) among the govt, SAITM and more..

Anyone who violates collective Cabinet responsibility has to go: Amunugama

Aug 21 (Island) Minister of Special Assignments Dr. Sarath Amunugama yesterday took a swipe at his beleaguered Cabinet colleague Minister of Justice and Buddha Sasana Dr. Wijayadasa Rajapakshe without naming him. Any minister who was not willing to respect the principle of collective Cabinet responsibility had to give up his or her ministerial positions, Dr. Amunugama said fielding questions from journalists after attending a ceremony in Galagedera. more..

US investor confidence eroding: Survey

Aug 21 (CT) The alarming level of corruption and bureaucracy in Sri Lanka is deteriorating US investor-confidence in Sri Lanka, while posing major challenges to both businesses and to the national economy. US companies have expressed their concerns over several challenges to their businesses including corruption, bureaucracy and high cost of doing business in a recent survey conducted among long established US companies in Sri Lanka. more..

Indian fans, Sumathipala face SL fans’ ire

Aug 21 (WI) When the day started, Dambulla Int'l Stadium was a delight. A cozy venue nestled in foliage, the music, the dancing, the smell of fresh hot dogs in the air … it was perfect for Sri Lanka’s opening ODI against India on Sunday. No one could have imagined at the time that these scenes would change dramatically over the course of the next six hours. Even as the game went on, tension between four female fans from India and more..

Corruption crippling SL’s coalition govt

Aug 21 (AT) Marred by serious allegations of corruption and mismanagement, Sri Lanka’s much-hyped coalition govt appears to have very little to celebrate as it completes two years in power. The coalition appears to be slowly losing its grip as public confidence dwindles over its failure to live up to its pledges of good governance free of corruption, despite the rhetoric during the run-up to the 2015 presidential and parliamentary elections. This month alone, members of public/civil society more..

Polythene manufacturers to stage protest

Aug 21 (Island) Arrangements have been made by Polythene Manufacturers and Recyclers Association to stage a demonstration in Colombo Fort today against a govt decision to ban certain types of polythene and plastic with effect from Sept 1. President of the association Anura Withanage said that the govt had moved to ruin a 40-year-old industry within 45 days. "The move has been made on the pretext of protecting the environment, but it will actually help a project jointly launched by more..

Leaked A/L Chemistry Paper reports: Two probes launched

Aug 21 (CT) Two separate investigations have been launched based on the reports that the 2017 A/L Chemistry II paper has been leaked. Examinations Dept has commenced an investigation on a complaint they received about the matter. According to the complaint, an individual was seen distributing pamphlets following the conclusion of the Part II paper. Pamphlets allegedly contained several questions that were included more..

Concerns raised over moves to curtail Auditor General’s powers: TISL

Aug 21 (FT) Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) is concerned by reports that Cabinet of Ministers plans to curtail the proposed powers of the Auditor General, under the National Audit Bill, which would limit the AG’s ability to hold individuals personally liable for losses caused to State entities. TISL urged the Govt to retain these surcharging powers, which are in keeping with international best practices, whilst being mindful of the opportunity to further detail the surcharge more..