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CMI and KPMG to unravel GSP Plus potential at forum

July 6 (DM) Sri Lankan business community is optimistic with Sri Lanka regaining GSP Plus. There is much expectation that this would boost the exports of Sri Lanka. As GSP Plus provides an importer in the EU zero duty benefit on importation of listed goods, Sri Lankan exporters must negotiate favourable export prices for their goods with the buyers. Almost 6200 eligible products under the GSP Plus scheme could be exported to the EU duty-free. To provide insights on how exporters more..

Combank among World’s Top 1,000 Banks for seven consecutive years

July 6 (Island) Commercial Bank of Ceylon has been ranked among the Top 1000 Banks of the World for a seventh consecutive year in 2017, and moved up 19 places in this prestigious global list compiled by The Banker magazine of the UK. Commercial Bank is the only Sri Lankan bank to be in the Top 1000 ranking for seven years running and is the only bank to record a double digit upward movement in the 2017 rankings. The Top 1000 Banks of the World are ranked on the basis of Tier I capital, more..

EPF-Perpetual Treasuries bond transaction, a pump and dump operation

July 6 (Island) Testifying before the Presidential Commission on alleged bond scams, Deputy General Manager of Treasury Division of Pan Asia Bank, Aruna Dias, revealed that his institution had acted as an intermediary between Perpetual Treasuries and EPF on the instructions of the Company's former Chairman, Nimal Perera. He said so in answer to a query raised by Commission member Justice Prasanna Jayawardena. more..

Govt withdraws controversial Bill

July 6 (CT) The Bill to ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances was not presented in Parliament for debate when Parliament met yesterday. The Bill was scheduled to be debated at its second reading yesterday but the Minister Lakshman Kiriella, informed the House that the Bill would not be taken up for debate and instead would be debated on a later date. The Prime Minister, elaborating on the matter, more..

Video: Bill to suppress media: JVP

July 6 (DM) Journalists and media institutions would have to reveal their sources in future if the new Bill on media was passed in Parliament, JVP MP Nalinda Jayatissa charged. “Govt is attempting to pass the Bill to suppress the media to prevent them from exposing the truth of the Unity Govt,” he said. Govt’s intention was to control information and to keep the people’s good impression on the Govt. The same Govt who baton charged students were targeting journalists and other media figures. more..

PM and his Cornies are blocking anti-corruption investigations

July 6 (FT) Dissatisfied with the progress made by state investigative arms to bring culprits responsible for large-scale fraud to book, President Sirisena has threatened to take over the relevant line ministries under his purview at the latest Cabinet meeting.   President expressed his strong displeasure over the lack of progress with large-scale financial fraud and insisted it should have been investigated over the last 2.5 years. more..

DG clarifies doubts on Independence Media Regulatory Body

July 6 (GDI) Floor is still open for any media organization or individual to present their suggestions on the proposed Independence Media Regulatory Body, DG of Govt Information Dr. Ranga Kalansooriya said. Still there is no a final draft on the proposed body, but only the discussion paper prepared by the Sub-Committee appointed in this regard is available. Eight media organizations had participated in basic discussions in July last year and set up the above Sub-Committee. more..

ISIS attack on US embassy: Police ordered to probe media reports: PM

July 6 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament that the Police had been directed to investigate media reports of a possible ISIS attack on the US Embassy in Colombo. Responding to a question raised by UNP MP Mujibur Rahuman, who said that there were reports that an ISIS attack on the US embassy in Colombo was imminent, PM added that the Police had been instructed to obtain information from the media institutions which reported an ISIS threat to the US embassy, more..

Shielding the Corrupt: Govt unhappy over FCID investigations

July 6 (DM) Prez, PM and the ministers have expressed disappointment over the slow progress of the investigations and the action taken against suspects by the FCID, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. He said the Cabinet had called for a report on the FCID and would decide on its fate next week. Minister said that President while expressing his disapproval on the FCID activities had said if the FCID was brought under his purview, more..

Uma Oya Debacle

July 6 (DM) Govt has started the blame game again, this time on the ill-conceived Uma Oya project which has turned into a catastrophe for the people in the Bandarawela area. Earlier it was the issues over the SAITM, the collapse of the Meethotamulla garbage dump and the hate speech against minorities, especially against the Muslims, over which the govt was blaming the previous regime.  It is true that the previous govt led by former President Rajapaksa committed blunders regarding these issues. more..

No govt in the country: No country in the govt?

July 6 (DM) Mahanayaka Theras of the three Nikayas and other Sangha Sabhas, expressing their opinion on constitutional reform, have made it clear that they are opposed to moves that could generate crises. While calling for immediate electoral reform, this Sangha Council headed by the Mahanayaka Theras, that met in Kandy recently, has urged that the ratification of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances more..

'Uma Oya Project should be terminated forthwith'

July 6 (DM) JVP Uva PC Member Samantha Vidyaratne, who also spearheads the people’s movement against the controversial Uma Oya Project, spoke about the current status of the issue and the political future of his party. Q: Now, 78% of the work associated with the Uma Oya Project has been completed. How viable is it to terminate the project at this juncture?  A: We were opposed to implementation of project more..

SAITM President wants all ministers to unite

July 6 (DM) The govt faced intense heat from those protesting private medical education in the country. GMOA, backed by uni students and their parents, in main, mounted its campaign leaving the ruling side in bewilderment. Street protests, students being teargassed and baton charged and condemnation of the alleged excessive use of force by the police became the order of day, and made headlines in several media. more..

Demand Justice For Roshen Chanaka

July 6 (SL) Several unions have decided to jointly hold a protest over the govt’s failure to implement the recommendations in the Mahanama Tilakaratne Presidential Commission report on the Katunayake Free Trade Zone violence in 2011. Accordingly, the unions have written to the President requesting that the Tilakaratne report be published. The Unions claim that they had expected this report to more..

Deal in the bag, postal workers promise to work overtime

July 6 (ST) The three-day strike launched by the Postal Department workers was suspended on Thursday following a written assurance by authorities that their grievances including issues on salaries would be addressed. The union says workers will clear the backlog by labouring overtime, while officials deny there is a pile of undelivered mail. Chinthaka Bandara, co-convener of United Postal Trade Union more..

Newly introduced larva getting used to urban areas

July 6 (DM) A newly introduced larvae to control dengue has been released to the environment and they are getting used to the urban areas, Director of the Entomology and Parasitology Unit of the Medical Research Institute (MRI) Dr. Sagarika Samarasinghe said. She said, this larva called Toxorhynchites splendens was identified in 1911 and used by different countries to control the spread of dengue with different success rates. more..

ADB doubles its assistance to SL to USD1bn

July 6 (LBO) Asian Development Bank (GDI) has doubled its multi-sectoral assistance to Sri Lanka as a result of the merger of its two main windows of financing. Plans are afoot to mobilize around 800 to 1000 million US dollars annually from this year, the ministry said in a statement. Sri Widowati, Country Director of Sri Lanka Residence Mission of the ADB, has called on the Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera more..

Tax revenues up 25.6% up to April 2017

July 6 (EN) Tax revenues rose 25.6% to 554.2 billion rupees in first four months of 2017 from a year earlier, helped by value added taxes, though excise revenues fell amid sharp hikes in tobacco and alcohol levies. Taxes were short of ambitious targets set for the first four months of 576.5 billion rupees, but actual revenues were very sharply up from a year earlier on key categories, amid reforms in administration and value added tax. more..

Deadly dengue fever outbreak kills hundreds in Sri Lanka

July 6 (CNN) A deadly outbreak of dengue fever has ravaged the island nation of Sri Lanka, killing at least 227 people and infecting tens of thousands. Experts worry the death toll could yet increase, as the country's health infrastructure struggles to cope with the virus' rapid spread. "Dengue will get worse as flood waters recede further," Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. Govt has deployed 450 troops in a bid to help combat more..

Port City a vital cog in China's OBOR initiative: CHEC

July 6 (DM) The Colombo International Financial City (CIFC), formally known as the Colombo Port City, would play an instrumental role in China’s One Belt and One Road (OBOR) initiative because of Sri Lanka’s strategic location on the maritime silk route, the CHEC Port City Colombo (Pvt) Ltd said. Liang Thow Ming, the Chief Sales and Marketing Officer of the CHEC Port City Colombo (Pvt.) Ltd., told a SL media delegation more..

Appointment of Army Chief: Officers’ Seniority List overlooked

July 6 (Island) President Sirisena has promoted Maj. Gen. Mahesh Senanayake to the rank of Lt. Gen. and appointed him commander of the Army in accordance with special gazette notification issued on Aug 17, 1993, disregarding the latest Officers’ Seniority List. Senanayake, promoted to the rank of Maj. Gen in July 2009, is the senior most serving Maj. Gen whereas the Officers’ Seniority List placed him on fifth place more..

Shangri-La confirms Colombo launch date for Q4

July 6 (SB) Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts will open its second resort in Sri Lanka later this year, when it launches the Shangri-La Hotel Colombo in Q4. The 10-acre resort will have 500 guestrooms and suites, along with 41 serviced apartments. Wellness facilities at the resort will include a CHI, The Spa housing 10 treatment rooms. The spa’s treatment menu will offer Chinese and ayurvedic treatments and will also incorporate movement into its signature therapies. more..

Sarana Gunawardena pleads guilty over two corruption cases

July 6 (DN) Former Deputy Minister Sarana Gunawardena today informed Colombo Chief Magistrate that he was pleading guilty in two corruption cases filed by Bribery Commission for his failure to declare assets and liabilities for two years. CIABOC had filed two corruption cases in Colombo Chief Magistrate's Court against former Deputy Minister over non-declaration of assets and liabilities while he was serving as the Chairman of National Lotteries Board between 2006 and 2007. more..

සුන්දර බණ්ඩාරවෙළ වැනසුවේ කවුරුන්ද?

A singer, a doctor and a kingdom

July 6 (FT) On social media recently I came across the wedding photographs of a young female singer. She was radiant in the traditional wedding costume. Taken with obvious professionalism, the photograph brought out the hope and joy of the beginning of a young couple’s new life with poignancy. As a songstress, Sahali Gamage came to national attention in 2009 when she offered her rendition of the euphoric song Maha-Rajanini (Great King). We had just vanquished the LTTE, more..

Treat the causes

July 6 (CT) State controlled Daily News in its Tuesday's edition quoting Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe said that Sri Lanka would move toward an export oriented economy and would cut down on infrastructure development funded by high commercial borrowing. The occasion was the launch of The Roadmap on Investment Climate Reforms held at Temple Trees on Monday. He had also said that the country had suffered as a result of the loss of its competitive advantage. more..

Sumanthiran calls on the govt to keep its initial pledge to the people

July 6 (DN) TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran called on the Govt to keep its initial pledge to the people and complete the task of Constitutional reforms circumventing the snags it has come across. Speaking at the debate in Parliament, the MP urged the Govt to put the draft Bill on Constitution before people and seek their opinion at a referendum. “I am confident, the majority of people, if they are well informed & advised, more..

Tourist arrivals up 4.5% in June; visitors drop

July 6 (EN) Tourist arrivals rose 4.5% to 123,351 in June 2017 from a year earlier, with a drop in Chinese arrivals. In the first six months of the year arrivals were up 4.8% to 1.01 million with the a partial airport closure hurting the sector up to April. Visitors from Western Europe climbed 12.3% to 33,228 with UK arrivals up 10.8% to 10,424 and Germany up 28.6% to 7,024. Arrivals from the Netherlands rose 40% to 2,399, Spain 44% to 1,059 while visitors from France fell 8% to 3,365. more..

Video: Parliament Mafia: 18 members of governing party poised to join JO

July 6 (AD) MP Sanath Nishantha states that 18 members of the governing party were poised to join Joint Opposition (JO). MP Nishantha said that the Deputy Minister Arundika Fernando and Minister Priyankara Jayaratne had already expressed their willingness to join hands with the JO. MPs Rohitha Abeygunawardana and Piyal Nishantha also attended the media briefing. MP Piyal Nishantha, upon expressing his thoughts, stated that ministers of the SLFP and young MPs of UNP were more..

Prelates don’t know the content of the new Constitution: JVP

July 6 (DM) Mahanayake Theras of three Nikayas took the unanimous decision of discouraging the formulating of a new Constitution or bringing an amendment to the existing one without any knowledge of its contents, JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake said. He said President and PM should have educated the Mahanayake Theras on this topic. MP Ratnayake said Mahanayake Theras were influenced by facts and figures presented by more..

SL tea prices show significant gains in June

July 6 (LBO) Sri Lanka tea prices at the June 2017 auctions showed gains in high, medium and low growns. “Auction average for the month of June 2017 totalled Rs597.61 vis-ŕ-vis Rs.433.23 of June 2016 showing a  significant gain of Rs.164.38,” Forbes & Walker Tea brokers said in their June update. “When analyzing the respective elevational  averages for June 2017, High Growns of Rs.531.85 has shown a gain  of Rs.137.47 vis-ŕ-vis 394.38 of January –June 2016 more..

SL, Romania to expand bilateral cooperation

July 6 (MFA) State Minister of Foreign Affairs Vasantha Senanayake visited Romania on 29 June - 2 July, for the second session of the SL-Romania bilateral political consultations. He reaffirmed Sri Lanka’s commitment to further advance and consolidate its longstanding bilateral ties with Romania, when he met the Romanian Secretary of State for Bilateral Global Affairs Monica Gheorghita on 29 June.  This was the first official visit undertaken by the State Minister more..

Central Bank suspends activities of Perpetual Treasuries for six months

July 6 (DM) Monetary Board had suspended Perpetual Treasuries Limited (PTL) from carrying on business and other activities as a Primary Dealer for six months with effect from today, Central Bank said in a statement. It said that the Central Bank had decided to suspend the activities of the said firm acting in terms of the Regulations made under the Registered Stocks and Securities Ordinance & Local Treasury Bills Ordinance. more..

UPFA Tamil members of CPC decide to be independent

July 6 (Island) The ruling (UPFA) Tamil members of the Central Provincial Council will hereafter function as an independent group. The independent group has been named Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA). President of the alliance will be M. M. Ram. The new alliance says it will be an independent body representing the Tamil community in the plantation sector of the Central hills. The group complains that the issues of the plantation sector community remain unsolved although more..

Sri Lanka fined for slow over-rate

July 6 (ICC) Mathews has been fined 20% of his match fee, while his players have received 10% fines. Sri Lanka has been fined for maintaining a slow over-rate against Zimbabwe during the third ODI in Hambantota on Thursday. Chris Broad of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees imposed the fine after Angelo Mathews’ side was ruled to be one over short of its target when time allowances were taken into consideration. In accordance with Article 2.5.1 of the ICC Code more..

Gunathilaka, Dickwella thrash Zimbabwe

July 6 (CI) A score of over 300 used to be safe in Sri Lanka. Before Friday, chasing sides had attempted to run down scores of over 300 on 32 occasions, and failed every time. Now, in the space of a week, two such scores have been hunted down with ease - Sri Lanka today overhauling Zimbabwe's 310 for 8 with eight wickets in hand and 16 balls remaining, without ever really appearing to extend themselves. more..

No MoU for foreign employment between Sri Lanka and Canada: Thalatha

July 6 (AD) Minister of Foreign Employment, Thalatha Atukorala states that there is no MoU regarding foreign employment between Canada and Sri Lanka. The Minister stated that a female had been arrested by the investigation division of the Foreign Employment Bureau, over an alleged extortion scheme where the suspect made false promises to provide employment in Canada. The suspect had allegedly extorted Rs. 400,000 from each victim. more..

India intend to make, substantial investments in Sri Lanka; Indian HC

July 6 (HCI) It is a pleasure to be here, at the 9th Annual General Meeting of the Indo-Lanka Chamber of Commerce & Industry. IL CCI is unique - the only joint business Chamber of Sri Lanka & India in Colombo!! I was keen to be here with all of you, and I very much appreciate, the adjustment you made, in rescheduling this event.  IL CCI was built by friends of both India and Sri Lanka, under the aegis of, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, more than a decade ago. more..

Dictatorship will not be allowed again: Prez

July 6 (PMD) “Those who stole the people’s money, made unlawful profits from state property and committed fraud, corruption and crimes when they were in power, are trying to convince the people that they are coming to power again”, says President. “Those attempts which are based on the ignoble political conspiracies will never become a reality. Current govt has implemented the required program for the country for future” more..

Lankan Navy arrests 8 Indian fishermen

July 6 (PTI) Barely a week after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami sought PM Narendra Modi's personal intervention to take diplomatic measures for the release of Indian fishermen, who are in Sri Lankan custody, eight fishermen were arrested by the Lankan navy on the charges of IMBL violation. Fisheries department sources here on Thursday said that Sri Lankan Navy also seized two boats of the fishermen hailing from Pudukottai district late last night. more..