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Face the Nation

Foreign Minister makes case for new Constitution

July 11 (FT) Minister Ravi Karunanayake reiterated that the main aim of the Govt was to enter a process of constitutional amendment that will form a unitary system of rule where Buddhism is fostered, protected and given its due place and honour. Minister pointed out that it was our collective duty and responsibility to safeguard and nourish Buddhism. He expressed these views to the media after participating in the 44th commemoration of the late former sports minister V.A. Sugathadasa. more..

UN/UNHRC has failed to meet its obligations

July 11 (Island) During the course of a speech to the Law Society in London on June 26, 2017 UN HC for Human Rights Zeid Al Hussein stated that Britain’s PM had "…called for human rights laws to be overturned if they were to "get in the way" in the fight against terrorism. Specifically, Theresa May said there was a need "to restrict the freedom and movement of terrorist suspects when we have enough evidence to know they are a threat, but not evidence to prosecute them in full in court." more..

Sri Lanka’s bottom trawling ban explained

July 11 (Roar) Sri Lanka has finally banned bottom trawling, becoming one of a handful of states throughout the world to do so. Ban was implemented through an amendment to Section 28 of the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Act of 1996 on July 6. According to the new amendment, fishermen who engage in bottom trawling, as well as individuals who cause a person to engage in the practice—such as owners of trawlers—face more..

Women's WC: West Indies beat Sri Lanka

July 11 (CI) Sri Lanka paid a hefty price for letting West Indies off the hook from a vulnerable position as their quest for a first win in this Women's World Cup continued. Having looked on course to restrict West Indies to well under 200, they allowed their opponents to mount a late recovery through Merissa Aguilleira, who top scored with an unbeaten 46. It meant West Indies batted out their 50 overs for the first time in this tournament and put up 229, a total that proved 47 too many for Sri Lanka more..

Sri Lankan cricket hits lowest point

July 11 (Island) Sri Lankan cricket has reached its lowest point and it could well be the point of no return as the national cricket team suffered a humiliating first ever series defeat to Zimbabwe at Suriyawewa yesterday. When Graham Ford was smoked out as Head Coach, we warned Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) that the board was changing pillows to headaches. Instead of letting Ford coach and Sanath Jayasuriya select teams, SLC bigwigs were interfering directly with the team’s affairs more..

Prez gives fresh guarantee on rice prices

July 11 (PMD) President Sirisena says Govt will take steps to provide rice at a concessionary rate to the public by importing rice from other countries, if the price of rice goes up in the local market further, as the  paddy production decreased due to the recent droughts. He made these remarks addressing a ceremony held in Polonnaruwa district, today (10). President recalled an article published in a newspaper stating that heads of govt more..

Credit cards: The slow killer

July 11 (ST) Two weeks ago, a customer received a call from a reputed Sri Lankan foreign bank. Confused at first, because it was a call that had a recorded message which could not be understood, the customer ignored it, when to his dismay it came again for the second time a few days later giving the customer another telephone number that he should call. While there was no other message of explanation as to why the customer should call this number (which should be a basic courtesy more..

Editorial: Bond scams: Let none escape

July 11 (Island) Central Bank has, after two years of dilly-dallying, taken some action against those accused of having benefited from the bond scams currently under investigation. It has relegated Perpetual Treasuries to the sin bin for six months. This measure is frustratingly lenient. One may try to overcome one’s disappointment by telling oneself that some action is better than no action at all. It takes two to tango. Unspeakable pump-and-dump operations which caused a massive loss to more..

Net foreign inflows hit new record

July 11 (FT) The year to date net foreign inflows to the Colombo stock market for 2017 yesterday reached the second all-time high, a development which Daily FT on 12 June predicted was likely. Yesterday foreign investors bought Rs. 101.1 million net worth of shares, pushing the year to date figure to Rs. 22.8 billion, thereby overtaking the previous second best full-year net inflow of Rs. 22.7 billion achieved in 2013. more..

President opens Deepa Uyana Park

July 11 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena today (10) declared open Deepa Uyana Park, built near the sacred city of Polonnaruwa for the relaxation and entertainment of the people. After the opening the President addressed the gathering and said that everybody has responsibility to maintain this park in a clean and eco-friendly manner. This park will facilitate local and foreign tourists and it will help enhance the awareness and knowledge of environment among the children. more..

173 charged for traffic violations

July 11 (DM) Police Media Division announced that the Police would conduct an islandwide special traffic operation in future to maintain road discipline. During a special operation conducted on Saturday in the Panadura and Kalutara Divisions, around 173 motorists had been charged with traffic violations including 59 tinted glassed vehicles. The Police Media Unit said that the operation was conducted from 8.30 a.m. to 10.30 a.m. under the guidance of Kalutara DIG Ranmal Kodithuwakku. more..

'Mannar delimitation discriminatory'

July 11 (FT) The boundary delimitation of Pradeshiya Sabhas in the Mannar District discriminated against its populace and the speedy resettlement of the district’s IDPs is the need of the hour. “I believe that the Prime Minister will be able to help the people of Mannar District to resolve this boundary issue,” said Vanni District MP and Minister Rishad Bathiudeen on 8 July in Mannar. Minister Bathiudeen, joined by PM more..

Technology focus at the SL economic forum

July 11 (EN) An economic forum to be held by Sri Lanka’s main business lobby later this month will have a session dedicated to how technology can transform manufacturing and agriculture, parts of which are lagging behind competitors. Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2017, organized by the CCC, will have a session titled Transforming the Economy through Technology, a statement said. “The speakers will focus on the areas of technological advances Sri Lankan manufacturers more..

NCE leads delegation of exporters to Northern and Eastern Provinces

July 11 (DN) The National Chamber of Exporters (NCE) led a business delegation to the Northern and Eastern Provinces (Vauniya, Kilinochchi, Jaffna and Trincomalee) from June 21-23. The Chamber carried out this visit in collaboration with the Regional Chambers in the relevant districts, the Via Village Entrepreneurs Centre in Vauniya and the Local Empowerment through Economic Development (LEED) Project of the International Labour Organization (ILO). more..

Lak Sathosa lose Rs. 8.4bn in two years, bank debt rises to Rs. 12bn

July 11 (EN) Lak Sathosa, which has a history of procurement corruption and buffer stock fraud, has lost 4.8 billion rupees in 2016 and has accumulated 12.3 billion in bank debt. According to accounts Lak Sathosa lost 4.8 billion rupees in 2016 up from 3.6 billion rupees in 2015, taking accumulated losses to 8.4 billion rupees. In the first five months of 2017 the firm is reporting interim profits of 742 million rupees, more..

'New Inland Revenue Bill: Lack of clarity marring Bill’

July 11 (Island) New Inland Revenue Bill has been drafted by IMF experts and others who have not even read the Tax Acts of Sri Lanka. Nor have they read the relevant case law and therefore I have no idea why some of the provisions were introduced into this Bill, a highly placed stock broker said. "This Bill has no clarity and it does not mention how the govt is going to levy taxes; for instance, what percentage for corporates and what percentage for individuals, this source attached to more..

Pistol, smoke grenade found in vehicle returned by Dy Minister

July 11 (Island) Minister MH Abdul Haleem said that a smoke-grenade and a pistol had been found in a vehicle used and returned by Deputy Minister Dulip Wijesekera. Deputy Minister after receiving a new vehicle for his use, had returned an SUV to the ministry, Minister Haleem said. Ministry thereafter handed over the vehicle to the Ministry of Finance, and the Finance Ministry employees on checking the vehicle had found the grenade and the pistol in the vehicle, Minister said more..

Govt to use FTZ to dump garbage?

July 11 (ST) Govt saddled with the issue of a venue to dump its garbage is considering the Katunayake Free Trade Zone (FTZ) in its quest for a probable location much to the dismay of workers, employers and authorities. Ministers Faizer Mustapha, Sudarshini Fernandopulle, Deputy Minister Lasantha Alagiyawannawa and officials had visited the Katunayake FTZ on two separate occasions last week with the intention of more..

BIA targets 10.5mn passengers in 2017

July 11 (EN) SL's main international airport is targeting 10.5 million passengers in 2017, with 9.5 million passengers passing through in 2016 despite having a designed capacity for only 6 million visitors. In the first four months of 2017 passengers handled fell marginally to 3.1 million from 3.2 million a year earlier, despite a daytime closure of the main airport in Katunanayake for repairs. A second int'l airport in Mattala in the south of the country handled 48,810 passengers in the four months to April more..

SL to procure 300,000MT rice from Pakistan

July 11 (TN) Sri Lanka has shown interest in procuring about 300,000 metric tons rice from Pakistan to meet its domestic shortfall because of drought in the country. A high-level Sri Lankan delegation, led by Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry Secretary Chinthaka Lokuhetti, showed interest during a meeting with Commerce Secretary Mohammad Younus Dhaga. Sri Lankan side is looking to procure rice on govt-to-govt basis because of drought in Sri Lanka. more..

'One of the lowest points in my career'

July 11 (CI) Unexpected 2-3 home series loss to Zimbabwe is one of the lowest points of Angelo Mathews' career, and may in fact prompt the re-evaluation of his captaincy. Two days ago, Mathews hinted he may not be Sri Lanka's captain during the 2019 World Cup, but an unexpected series loss to the 11th-ranked ODI side has his leadership draw particular scrutiny. "It's one of the lowest points in my career, and a hard one to swallow," more..

Court orders DNA test on rapist

July 11 (CT) The Muttur Magistrate yesterday ordered that a DNA report of a rape suspect be submitted to Court, in a fortnight. The order was given subsequent to a request made to Court by the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA). Sources said the suspect had on 28 May, sexually abused three school girls from the same family, aged seven and eight, while they were on their way home from a tuition class in Peruveli, Mallikaitheevu, Trincomalee. more..

Building a better home for a better life in SL

July 11 (IFRC) Owning a house is all that Muniyandi thinks about these days. He dreams of having a house he could build with his own two hands, a house that he can someday pass on to his children and grandchildren. “Things are better for me. Life has been hard. We are not wealthy people and have been going through hardship. Now, owning a house means the world to me,” said Muniyandi. For over 30 years, 54-year-old father of two has been working as a labourer for Bogowana tea Plantation more..

Bond Scam: Tapes of EPF official’s conversations submitted

July 11 (Island) Tapes containing telephone conversations of the Central Bank EPF official, Saman Kumara, who handled the Treasury bond deals of Perpetual Treasuries with Pan Asia Bank, were, yesterday, handed over to Presidential Commission probing the bond scams. Deputy General Manager of the Pan Asia Bank Aruna Dias submitted the tapes in compliance with a request by the AG's Department. more..

Targeting trawling: the need for transition to deep sea fishing

July 11 (Hindu) SL’s legislative amendment to prohibit bottom trawling, a destructive fishing practice, is a welcome move despite its likely near-term consequence of deepening the fisheries conflict in the Palk Bay region. Bottom trawling in SL’s territorial waters will now attract a possible two-year prison term and a fine of SLR 50,000. The practice, which involves trawlers dragging weighted nets along the sea floor, is known to cause great depletion of fishery resources, more..

Gota signs affidavit to testify against two ex-Army officers before PRECIFAC

July 11 (DN) Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa signed an affidavit before the PRECIFAC yesterday to give evidence against two former senior Army officers, including an Army Commander another Army officer and a former high ranking state official. They are former Army Commander Lt. Gen. Daya Ratnayake, Maj. Gen.Udaya Perera, Maj. Gen. Hathurusinghe and former Additional Defence Secretary Siripala Hettiarachchi. PRECIFAC is conducting investigations into an alleged more..

Dambulla cave temple to be closed temporarily

July 11 (CT) The Archeological Advisory Council, which met yesterday, decided to temporarily close the Dambulla Cave Temple complex to local and foreign tourists, until further notice. "The Council held an in-depth discussion on the necessity to conserve the paintings and wooden statues of the Dambula Cave Temple. Council also decided to seek the assistance of local and international experts. more..

Has the govt anti-corruption drive stalled again?

July 11 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena has reportedly made an interesting statement at last week’s Cabinet meeting on his govt’s anti-corruption drive. He is reported to have told his ministers that if the Attorney General’s Department and the Police Department were brought under his purview he would, within three months, bring to book all those involved in high profile corruption, which was alleged to have taken place during the previous regime. In a country where executive presidential system more..

Bangladesh to showcase progress in agriculture during Sirisena visit

July 11 (DM) Bangladesh will showcase the remarkable progress it has made in the agriculture sector when SL President Sirisena visits the country between July 13 and 15, Bangladesh HC Riaz Hamidullah said ahead of the presidential visit. “President Sirisena will be visiting one of our agricultural research institutes. When former President Kumaratunga visited Bangladesh in May, she showed great interest in innovative rice cultivation and visited our institutes” more..

Dangerous gamble: Shielding Rajapaksas from investigations

July 11 (DM) During much of his political life, ex-president Rajapaksa was a shrewd street fighter. Recently he has also proved what an accomplished puppeteer he is too. In many recent incidents, ranging from the mini-riot in Hambantota over the proposed export zone, to SAITM and the recent ill-advised intervention by the Mahanayakas, Mr Rajapaksa has had a hand in exploiting minor grievances and escalating them into crisis more..

'We can't prepare a legal draft constitution without an interrim report'

July 11 (DM) Preparing the new constitution has taken center stage during the past few days with contradictory statements being made as to the very need of a new constitution, whether there is a mandate to hold a referendum, and the current status of the constitution making process. In the light of the looming confusion Daily Mirror spoke to Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne PC to clarify the concerns raised and to untangle intricacies more..

Proposed media standards act raises concerns

July 11 (SL) A proposed Media Standards Act and the establishment of an Independent Council to monitor the implementation of that Act has raised concerns among media rights groups. Convener of the Free Media Movement (FMM) C. Dodawatta said that everyone agrees there needs to be standards for the media. However he says formulating regulations to ensure such standards are maintained need to be discussed with media more..

New Commander seeks assistance to turn the Army to a capacity-based one

July 11 (SLA) The newly-appointed Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, in his maiden formal address this morning (10) to a representative gathering of Senior Officers and Officers at the Army Headquarters after his assumption of new office, called upon all to assist him to transform the Army to be a capacity based organization rather than a threat based one, by raising the professional more..

SC holds that HRC recommendations can be challenged in Writ application

July 11 (FT) In a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court held that the recommendations of the Human Rights Commission can be challenged in a Writ application. Justice Sisira J. De Abrew with Justices Upaly Abeyrathne and Nalin Perera agreeing in his judgment upheld the appeal filed by Sri Lanka Telecom PLC. Appellant Sri Lanka Telecom appealed to the Supreme Court challenging the judgment of Court of Appeal. more..

UNP backbenchers distressed by lack of attention

July 11 (NR) Backbenchers of the UNP say they have requested the govt to provide them a platform to discuss issues encountered when engaging in public services. UNP MP Wijepala Hettiarachchi said despite requests a favourable response has not been received yet. He added the backbenchers of the party are greatly disappointed as a result. MP said as a faction that represents the govet the backbenchers fall prey to inconveniences more..

WCC: A tall tale

July 11 (AM) The activities surrounding Al- Aman group and its subsidiary, the Al- Aman World Capital Centre (WCC), the constructors of The Tallest Building in Asia in Colombo, are rife with suspicion. Al Aman signed a USD $2 billion agreement with BOI on June 30, to build the super-skyscraper in Colombo. Alarm bells sounded early; Al Aman bills itself a globally renowned chain with its operations spread across the world. more..

Charlie Austin has to be investigated: Arjuna

July 11 (AM) Former captain Minister Arjuna Ranatunga lashed out at the government for allowing unwanted people to enter into cricket administration. "Under the Rajapaksa govt, former Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage took measures to keep unwanted people away from the cricket administration. Today, under the govt I represent, some gamblers and those running bookies have become cricket administrators," more..

Importance of family planning stressed

July 11 (Island) Director General Health Services (DGHS), Dr Jayasudara Bandara, addressing the media at the Health Education Bureau (HEB) in view of The World Population Day, a said that family planning was an explosive issue but people should realise the true meaning of family planning. Identifying the benefits of family planning Dr. Bandara said that parents needed to be able to sustain their children. more..

Plastic polluter: SL victim of wrong data

July 11 (ST) Widely published information that Sri Lanka is the 5th largest polluter of seas is based on an erroneous statistic first released in a World Bank study which was then used by researchers to compile a list of worst offender countries, Sunday Times found. Domestic and int'l media continue to report that Sri Lanka falls only behind China, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam in how much plastics it dumps into the sea. more..