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Anti-SAITM group hold protest vigils country wide

Aug 31 (DM) An organisation calling itself Anti-SAITM people’s Front launched protest vigil last night demanding the immediate closure of the SAITM. The GMOA Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge said that the protest campaign was launched covering fifty cities across the country from 7 p.m. Monday to 12 p.m. yesterday. “The main demonstration was held at Punchi Borella in Colombo last night whereas two other more..

GMOA accuses certain ministers of scuttling govt. efforts to resolve SAITM crisis

Aug 31 (Island) The GMOA on Tuesday alleged that there were several parties including some prominent ministers involved in preventing the govt from announcing its position on the SAITM. GMOA Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge alleged that President’s pledge to inform the Supreme Court of the govt’s stand on SAITM through the AG had not been fulfilled due to the machinations by certain key govt ministers more..

New IR Bill paves way for political interference in tax sector: JVP

Aug 31 (Island) The new Inland Revenue bill will pave the way for increased political interference in the tax sector and it should be defeated, says the JVP. JVP trade union wing leader and Politburo member KD Lalkantha said on Tuesday: "The bill seeks to give more powers to the Finance Minister. It has provisions for enabling the Minister to decide who should be taxed and who would be exempted. Such provisions would increase more..

Internal restructuring of SriLankan: Report to PM this week

Aug 31 (DN) The Public Enterprise Development Ministry is expected to submit a report on the internal restructuring of SriLankan Airlines to PM by the end of this week. Minister Kabir Hashim said they would submit the report on Sept 1 or 2. As the Airline continues to face stormy weather, many of the potential investors seeking to partner with the govt on a public-private partnership have abandoned ship in the last two years. more..

Speaker signs Local Govt Elections Bill

Aug 31 (NR) Speaker of House Karu Jayasuriya today signed the amended Local Govt Elections Bill. The Bill was signed at the Parliament complex around 1:15 p.m. Minister Faizer Mustapha, Parliament General Secretary Dammika Dasanayake, Deputy General Secretary of Parliament Neil Iddawela and Secretary to the Ministry of Local Govt & Provincial Councils Kamal Padmasiri were present during the signing. more..

Allegations of Perjury

Aug 31 (CT) Sri Lanka's alleged new Bond King, Arjun Aloysius, whose family run company Perpetual Treasuries, a primary dealer, apparently acting in concert with the then Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran, i.e. Aloysius' father-in-law, and seemingly made illicit profits running into billions of rupees spanning a period at least beginning with the Treasury (T) Bond Auction held on 27 February 2015 and ending with the secondary market trading in T-Bonds on 4 April 2016, more..

A new path?

Aug 31 (FT) “I am addressing you today from a historic place. It is from this spot that our ancient kings addressed the people. After independence, Prime Ministers of this country have addressed the nation from this very place. It is because you, the people, reposed your confidence in me that I am standing here to address you today. May I therefore express my sincerest gratitude to the people of this country for the confidence placed in me.” This royal sounding opening is from J.R. Jayewardene, more..

කොත්මලේ ෆොක්ස් රිසෝට්

SL bank profits under pressure: Moody's

Aug 31 (EN) Moody's Investors Service has said the outlook for Sri Lanka's banking system is negative, with both asset quality and profitability under pressure. "The economy will only see a modest growth rebound as govt's fiscal constraints continue to limit public investment and private spending, despite stronger goods and services exports," says Srikanth Vadlamani, a Moody's VP and Senior Credit Officer. He said that credit growth was very high over the last two years, more..

'Soldiers will not be tried internationally'

Aug 31 (NR) Minister of Justice Thalatha Athukorala says soldiers will not be allowed to be tried before an int'l tribunal. Minister speaking to media after officially assuming duties as Justice Minister this morning said the govt will take measures to protect those who dedicated their loves for the country. Minister added govt is bound to protect the country’s sovereignty and those who serve the country. She said govt’s responsibility is to protect soldiers and not use them for personal political gain. more..

US lauds Sri Lanka’s ambitious reforms agenda and reconciliation steps

Aug 31 (PMD) US Assistant Secretary of State, Alice J. Wells praised the progress made by Sri Lanka under the leadership of President Sirisena in the democratic reforms and reconciliation process. She said that the US highly appreciates the “ambitious reforms agenda and historic steps towards reconciliation boldly under taken by President Sirisena.” She said that the US would continue to extend fullest support to more..

Parliament road closed owing to protest by Samurdhi officers

Aug 31 (NR) Union for the protection of Samurdhi will hold a protest opposite the Parliamentary complex against alleged efforts to curb Samurdhi benefits and pensions of Samurdhi officers. Secretary of Union Western Provincial Councillor Jagath Kumara said benefits received by Samurdhi beneficiaries have been curtailed at present despite claims that benefits will not be slashed. The union will therefore stage the protest demanding Samurdhi benefits to be protected. more..

SL drives cattle off the road to tackle traffic

Aug 31 (EN) Sri Lanka today announced a crack down on cattle roaming the streets of Colombo and its suburbs in a bid to reduce traffic jams and accidents in the congested capital. Urban Development Minister Champika Ranawaka said that owners had been warned to clear cows and bulls from public thoroughfares or the animals will be seized by the local authorities. "Stray cattle cause traffic jams and we want to eliminate the inconvenience to other road users," he said. more..

'I have not committed war crimes'

Aug 31 (AD) Former Chief of Defence staff and Commander of the SL Army Jagath Jayasuriya fervently denied the war crimes allegations that were levied against him by a South American Human Rights Organization. The former Army commander stated that the declaration stating that he gave the final orders to Army units during a humanitarian operation is completely false. It has been reported that Executive Directress more..

Lankan mountaineers to reach Lahore today

Aug 31 (PT) Sri Lankan mountaineering team will arrive here today (Thursday). Punjab Sports Director General Zulfiqar Ahmed Ghumman will receive the guests at Allama Iqbal International Airport. Sri Lankan High Commissioner Gen (retd) Jayanath CP will also be present on this occasion. The 12-member Lankan team will depart from Lahore to northern areas to scale K2 and several other top peaks. All the arrangements, in this regard, have been completed. more..

Evidence hearing in Namal R.’s case in Sept

Aug 31 (NR) The Colombo High Court today ordered the evidence hearing in the case against UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa and five others under the Money Laundering Act to be heard on the 18th of Sept. The order was issued by High Court judge Piyasena Ranasinghe this morning. The second and fourth suspects in the case are currently overseas and evidence is being called to determine if the case can proceed in their absence. Meanwhile MP Namal Rajapaksa and the 4th suspect in the case more..

Mothers of the disappeared and civic responsibility

Aug 31 (Roar) After renowned journalist, actor and poet Richard De Zoysa was abducted and murdered, his mother, Dr. Manorani Saravanamuttu, famously called herself the luckiest mother in Sri Lanka, because unlike thousands of others, she was fortunate enough to see her son’s body. De Zoysa was one of approximately 65,000 people who have been forcefully disappeared during SL’s short but bloody history of insurrections more..

Video: LG elections should be held just after SLFP Anniversary: Amaraweera

Aug 31 (DM) It was better to haveLG Election after completing the SLFP 66th Anniversary, UPFA General Secretary and Minister, Mahinda Amaraweera said. While addressing the media at the SLFP weekly media briefing today he said as SLFPers they did not have an idea to postpone the elections. “It is better to have the election, even in next month as soon as finishing the SLFP anniversary. What ever happened in the country the election should be held,” he said. more..

Premier meets Vice President of Seychelles

Aug 31 (NR) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe today engaged in discussions with the Vice President of Seychelles Danny Faure today. The meeting took place at the Temple Trees this afternoon. The two party s discussed matters of mutual interest and held discussions on topics such as drug trafficking, regional security, education, tourism and law and order. Premier Wickremesinghe agreed to a request made by Vice President of Seychelles to appoint a Joint Commission in this regard. more..

Inflation accelerates to 6% in August

Aug 31 (EN) Inflation in Sri Lanka's capital accelerated to 6% in the 12-months ending August 2017 from 4.8% in July, mostly on a base effect, while prices fell absolutely during the month, data showed. During the month of July, the Colombo Consumer Price Index fell 0.5% to 118.8 points from 119.4 with food and non-alcoholic beverages falling 2.5%. The prices of fish and rice fell. Non-foods rose 0.5% during the month. more..

Nandimitra shot, fighting for his life

Aug 31 (CT) A top official of the Wildlife Conservation Department said that a tusker named Nandimitra, while roaming near the Sithulpawwa Temple at the Yala National Park has been shot and is battling for his life. The tusker had gained notoriety for having damaged several vehicles parked near the Sithulpawwa Temple in the recent past. Some alleged the tusker had damaged close to 150 such vehicles parked near the temple. A radio had been attached to the animal's ears more..

Navy rescues 4 TN fishermen from drowning

Aug 31 (SLN) Fast Attack Craft, P 494, attached to the Northern Naval Command rescued four Indian fishermen drowning in northern seas in the early hours this morning. The SLN patrol craft, while on routine patrol in the northern seas, had spotted the ill-fated Indian trawler, which was fast sinking, and the four drowning fishermen 8.5 nautical miles west of Analaitivu island. Responding swiftly, the SLN personnel had saved the Indian fishermen from drowning by taking them on board in time. more..

Sri Lanka emerging as transit hub for cocaine smugglers: officials

Aug 31 (Reuters) International cocaine smugglers are increasingly turning to SL as a transit hub in Asia, authorities say, after they made a series of seizures of the drug, some smuggled in containers of sugar from Brazil. SL customs have seized six shipments of high-purity South American cocaine in 14 months, including Asia’s largest-ever haul of the drug in December, at its main port. “Sri Lanka is becoming a hub for cocaine as more..

Fate of Missing Persons: Wiggy urges Int’l pressure on govt

Aug 31 (CT) It is high time the International Community exerts pressure on the Govt to investigate immediately the fate of the Missing Persons, Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran noted yesterday at a function where the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances in Jaffna was observed. He also noted in a press communiqué that the families of the victims of enforced disappearances who are resorting to protest demonstrations should be more..

Head of Australia’s Foreign and Trade Ministry to visit Sri Lanka

Aug 31 (LBO) Frances Adamson, Secretary for Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, will visit Colombo from 31 Aug to 2 Sept. The visit by Ms Adamson follows the official visit to Sri Lanka by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop in July and Minister for International Development Fierravanti-Wells in April, and the visits to Australia this year by President Sirisena, PM Wickremesinghe and others. Ms Adamson is participating in the 2nd Indian Ocean Conference, where she will discuss more..

Wijeyadasa left because he violated collective responsibility: Talatha

Aug 31 (DM) Justice and Foreign Employment Minister Talatha Atukorale today said that former minister Wijeydasa Rajapakshe had to leave because he violated collective responsibility of the cabinet and does not know whether he exerted any influence on the Attorney General's Department to delay filing charges against anyone as suggested by certain politicians, civil society and individuals. more..

SL to add 1,000MW of LNG power plants

Aug 31 (CT) The Cabinet approved the implementation of an accelerated programme to operate liquid natural gas power stations that would generate an aggregate of 1000 Megawatts of power by 2019, Co-Cabinet Spokesman Minister Gayantha Karunathilake said at the Cabinet press briefing yesterday. This was a proposal of the Cabinet Subcommittee appointed to examine the Govt's policy on using LNG in electricity generation and construction of the required infrastructure. more..

'PM asked me to go abroad for surgery'

Aug 31 (DM) Responding the query as to how and where Rs.10 million was allocated from the Presidential Fund for the surgery of Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne in Singapore, Minister Senaratne said that it was PM Ranil Wickremesinghe who ordered him to go abroad for the operation. Addressing the media on Wednesday, he said although he had wished to undergo the surgery in Sri Lanka, Premier had compelled his son to take Minister Senaratna elsewhere for the surgery. more..

'Mill owners creating artificial shortage Mafia, Retailers sabotage rice market'

Aug 31 (CT) Organizer of the All Ceylon Peasants Federation, Namal Karunaratne stated that there is no rice shortage in the country at the moment and alleged that an artificial shortage is being created by large scale rice mill owners who spearhead this mafia-styled trade sabotage in the country. He added that "even without considering the Yala harvest, Maha season yielded adequate volumes of rice to last until Jan 2018. more..

UNFPA advocates for safer public transport for women

Aug 31 (UNFPA) A 2015 survey commissioned by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) revealed that 90 per cent of women in Sri Lanka have experienced sexual harassment on public transport, while only 4% sought help from the Police. Sexual harassment violates fundamental human rights and freedoms – as protected under the Sri Lankan legal framework. Public transport, being a key function of a productive economy, is shown to be unsafe for women. more..

War crimes: Why not against Sarath Fonseka: SLPP

Aug 31 (DM) In the wake of lawsuits filed against ex-army commander and SLa's former ambassador to Brazil, Jagath Jayasuriya, the Ex-servicemen's Association affiliated to SL Podujana Peramuna today asked why similar charges had not been filed against ex-army commander and MP, Sarath Fonseka. Its convener Ajith Prasanna said Mr. Jayasuriya served under Mr. Fonseka who was the then army commander and asked whether it was because Mr. Fonseka had become a stooge more..

Tender for fourth LNG power plant to open next week: PM

Aug 31 (DM) The govt will next week call for tenders seeking a suitable investor for the fourth Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) power plant, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said today. He made this statement at the FACETS Sri Lanka 2017 gem and jewellery exhibition in Colombo. “Sri Lanka is now holding discussions with India and Japan to construct two LNG power plants and also discussing with China to have one LNG power station in Hambantota. more..