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SriLankan launches services to Hyderabad

July 13 (Hindu) Sri Lankan airlines is expecting at least a 10% jump in tourists from India, especially from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh with the launch of four times a week service from Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam, respectively. Last year about 3.5 lakh tourists from India had visited the country out of a total of two million tourists followed by China, said chief commercial manager Siva Ramachandran. In fact, the airlines has been making a re-entry into the Hyderabad market more..

TN govt reiterates its stand on Katchatheevu

July 13 (Hindu) Reiterating its stand on Katchatheevu, TN govt on Tuesday strongly opposed the recent legislation passed by the SL govt, which restricts certain fishing practices, and asserted that it would retrieve the ceded islet from the neighbouring island nation. Responding to DMK MLA and former Minister K.P.P. Samy, who raised the issue during the debate on the demand for grants for the Fisheries department in the Assembly, Fisheries Minister D. Jayakumar said, more..

'New Law won’t violate Media Rights'

July 13 (CT) The new Draft Bill to establish an Independent Council for News Media Standards, to be prepared by a five- member Cabinet Sub-Committee headed by Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera, will be made available to the public in another two months, Deputy Minister of Media Karunaratne Paranawithana said. Paranawithana is also the convenor of this sub-committee which more..

5 players who can be in leadership nucleus

July 13 (SK) Sri Lankan cricket is at the crossroads after their humbling loss against Zimbabwe in the five-match ODI series. Having lost the first match of the series, Angelo Mathews-led team came back and won the following two encounters. However, the visitors turned the tables and bagged the last two matches and ran away with the series. "It's one of the lowest points in my career, and a hard one to swallow," Mathews said after the 3-2 series defeat. In the aftermath of this, more..

Cabinet okays payment of salary, perks to Human Rights Chief

July 13 (Island) Cabinet approval has been granted to pay Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission Dr Deepika Udagama the salary of a fulltime lecturer including all allowances she is entitled to as the Head of the Department of Law Faculty of Peradeniya University with effect from 30.10.2015. She will also be paid a monthly telephone allowance of Rs. 10,000 and provided with an official vehicle and 225 litres of fuel or an allowance corresponding to the current more..

Law makers or law breakers?: ACS closed to save corrupt politicos of both side: JVP

July 13 (DM) Anti-Corruption Secretariat (ACS) was to be closed down to save the Corrupted Ministers in both the present regime and the previous Govt, JVP charged. JVP MP Vijitha Herath said that there were allegations against both the UNP and SLFP Ministers. “There are allegations against the newly appointed Governor of EP Rohitha Bogollagama, against Ministers Ravi Karunanayake, Akila Viraj on some illegal appointments, more..

May go to UNCHR, says TN fishermen forum

July 13 (Hindu) National Fisherfolk Forum (NFF) will approach the UNCHR, for a probe into the recurring incidents of Tamil fishermen being killed along IMBL with Sri Lanka, if justice was not obtained from the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). M. Ilango, NFF chairman, said that over the years the killing at sea of more than 500 fishermen in the region who were fishing for their livelihood and were not involved in any criminal activities was a blatant act of human rights violation. more..

Inland Revenue Bill: SC to hear Ten petitions

July 13 (DN) Ten petitioners including Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) Secretary Amal Randeniya and MP Bandula Gunawardane are seeking a declaration that the bill shall become law only through a two-third majority in Parliament and approval at a referendum. BASL Secretary Amal Randeniya said that a bill titled Inland Revenue, a Bill to provide for the imposition of income tax for any year of assessment commencing on or after April 1, 2017 was presented to Parliament more..

Shopping bags, lunch sheets, regifoam lunch boxes: polythene banned

July 13 (DN) The Govt announced a blanket ban on shopping bags, lunch sheets and regifoam lunch boxes throughout the country from Sept 1. Accordingly, the manufacturing, sale and use of shopping bags, lunch sheets and regiform lunch boxes will be banned after. Deputy Minister Anuradha Jayaratne, terming it as a revolutionary move, requested full support of the public to successfully confront the difficulties that may more..

Sri Lanka cuts export earnings target to USD18bn by 2020

July 13 (LBO) Sri Lanka is currently looking at a target for export earnings of 18 billion US dollars by 2020, State Minister of International Trade Sujeewa Senasinghe said. In 2015, Sri Lanka originally expected a 50 billion dollar export target by 2020 and later reduced to 20 billion dollars amid sluggish export performance in the country. “We can speak of large numbers; but we don’t want to talk about impractical things,” Senasinghe told reporters Tuesday. more..

How many MPs are fit enough to be in Parliament: Mahanama

July 13 (CT) Former SL Captain Roshan Mahanama took a swipe at a prominent politician in the country and questioned the latter's wisdom in deeming that most of the players in the current national team were unfit. Mahanama who graced the prize giving ceremony of Gateway College, in return questioned as to how many politicians were fit enough to be in the current Parliament. "I am pleased to see the organizers of this event had refrained from inviting politicians for this event," more..

CB official Kumara admits he associated with Mahendran

July 13 (Island) Interdicted Senior Assistant Director of the Central Bank Saman Kumara (42), in answer to a question by Senior Additional Solicitor General Dappula de Livera, admitted that he had associated with the then CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran. Kumara also said that in the wake of Feb. 27, 2015 Treasury bond auction, he had accompanied a group of CB officials to make representations to a minister in response more..

Sri Lanka needs a selfless Mandela

July 13 (DM) Next week on Thursday (18), we celebrate the 99th birth-anniversary of South Africa’s first coloured President and legendary freedom fighter Nelson Mandela who is widely regarded as one of the noblest leaders of modern times.   It is one of the rare events where UN celebrates the birthday of a world leader for his heroic battle for freedom, justice and democracy.   “It is easy to break down and destroy. Heroes are those who make peace & build,” UN quotes Mandela more..

Why and How MR lost in 2015!

July 13 (DM) The UNP, written off as a party of the past, till the Badulla Provincial Council election showed it’s result; Mahinda Rajapakse (MR) rejoiced ruling the majority Sinhala voters, as he pleased. They standing firmly behind him. Results showed, in predominantly Sinhala electorates with a diminutive minority vote, where extreme Sinhala activists like Cyril Matthew and K.M.P. Rajaratne held sway: UNP was ahead and gaining ground. A singular crusade – unknown – was in motion - more..

'President and I remain as close friends'

July 13 (DM) Former Defence Secretary Karunasena Hettiaratchchi, who was recently removed from his portfolio, discussed about the removal, on criticism over his actions and responsibilities associated with his new post. Q: What was the reason for you to have been relieved of the post of Defence Secretary, given to you by your bosom friend, President Sirisena?  A: This wasn’t the result of any dispute. I experienced some more..

Husband beat his Lankan love rival to death in UK

July 13 (DM) A jealous husband whose wife was planning to divorce him kept her new man captive for 12 hours and beat him to death before dumping his body outside a Co-op. Gnanachandran Balachandran, 38, is accused of recruiting Kiroraj Yogarajah, 30, Prashanth Thevarasa, 24, and a 17-year-old man, to help him snatch Suren Sivananthan, 32, from a Milton Keynes shopping centre and then beat him to death. more..

Govt not initiated studies on the ban of Asbestos

July 13 (SL) Govt has not initiated any studies on the subject Chrysotile or asbestos, an industry expert said. Fibre Cement Products Manufactures Association Coordinator Anton Edema said that if any substance is to be banned; there should be fact based evidence. Edema said that Sri Lanka is different from any other country. It produces one specific product – Cement Chrysotile Roofing sheets, a high-density product. more..

JVP urges Sri Lankan migrant workers to give policy ideas

July 13 (ST) The JVP reached out to migrant workers in Hong Kong last weekend when Sunil Handunnetti, JVP MP, invited them to engage in policy-making for the sake of their future which has been mortgaged and driven to bankruptcy by two main political parties. At an afternoon gathering organised by Sri Lankans in a community hall the past Saturday, Mr Handunnetti encouraged migrant workers who pour nearly US$8 billion into more..

Only Supreme Court can compel journalists to reveal sources: Govt

July 13 (Island) The govt said yesterday that only the Supreme Court could compel journalists to reveal their sources. Deputy Minister Karunarathna Paranawithana told a news conference in Colombo, that the Police were debarred from forcing journalists to expose the identity of those who had provided information, but under special circumstances, the Supreme Court could ask them to provide their sources. more..

'I’m totally against selling of national assets'

July 13 (DM) The Daily Mirror  spoke to Minister Chandima Weerakkody on Technical Education and the current political situation in the country. Q: As new Minister of Skills Development & Vocational Training what’s the biggest challenge you face?  A: SL doesn’t have a severe unemployment problem as such in real sense compared to our neighbouring countries. But we don’t have suitable persons for numerous jobs more..

Ten-year US-Lanka ACSA imminent

July 13 (CT) Cabinet of Ministers approved the renewal of the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA) between the Ministry of Defence of Sri Lanka and the Department of Defence of the USA, possibly as a further 10-year period. The agreement which was initially signed on 5 March 2007 dealt with exchange of supply and services, training of staff and humanitarian aid in disaster situations. more..

Drought, floods to halve Yala 2017 rice crop

July 13 (EN) Sri Lanka is expecting paddy output during the minor Yala cropping season to fall 48% to 789,000 metric tonnes in 2017 from a year earlier amid lagging effects of last year's drought and floods in the wet zone. Sri Lanka's main Maha season paddy output has already plunged 49% to an estimated 1.478 million tonnes, down from last year's record 2.9 million tonnes, the state Department of Agriculture said. more..

'Dengue vaccines only after more research'

July 13 (DM) In-depth research needs to be carried out before introducing dengue vaccines including the newly proposed vaccine which is to be introduced in Sri Lanka by the pharmaceutical company known as Sanofi Pasteur, Dengue Eradication Unit’s Community Specialist Dr. Priscilla Samaraweera said today. She said this particular vaccine had several minor issues when it was in the process of being introduced earlier in SL. more..

Interdicted EPF officer taken to task

July 13 (DM) The Presidential Commission of Inquiry yesterday suddenly summoned CBSL Senior Assistant Director Saman Kumara as a witness while he was recording statements with the CID and the PCoI instructed him to reveal the truth without resorting to contradictions. He was summoned by the Commission soon after the Pan Asia DGM's cross-examination was adjourned. Mr. Kumara was the dealer for the EPF in more..


July 13 (CT) UNESCO began recognizing the world's historical sites by a convention which came into force in 1975. Sri Lanka wasn't a party to this Convention till the advent of J.R. Jayewardene Govt two years later in 1977. It took the Jayewardene Govt another three years to sign the Convention and then followed the recognition of heritage sites by UNESCO in the island. The first three to be recognized were the Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, and Sigiriya in 1982. more..

'GMOA shedding crocodile tears after opposing Carlo Fonseka’s appointment'

July 13 (Island) The GMOA had become a joke by pursuing a political agenda of late, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. He said that the GMOA had objected to Prof. Carlo Fonseka being appointed as Chairman of the Medical Council, stating that the tenure of the then Chairman should be extended. The very same GMOA office bearers had now shamelessly met Prof. Fonseka and handed over a memorandum requesting him not to resign as Medical Council Chairman, Senaratne said. more..

Sanath Jayasooriya

Why the 150-year party for Ceylon Tea?

July 13 (FT) The largest tea party that was staged last week to celebrate 150 years sure secured share of voice in Sri Lanka, in the backdrop of the garbage war and dengue epidemic that has hit all media in Sri Lanka and now moving to international media like BBC and CNN.  Then again the frank opinion expressed by the outspoken Chairman of Sri Lanka Tea Board the week before created a buzz in the country as to what was there to celebrate in the 150-year history of this great industry. more..

No tax on migrant workers: Thalatha

July 13 (DN) Minister Thalatha Athukorala, assured that she would be the first to oppose any move to charge a tax on migrant workers. She was participating at a function held recently to distribute self employment aids for 25 beneficiaries who have been registered with the Shramika Surekuma programme. She said that around 1.5 million Sri Lankans are currently engaged in overseas employment. But, none of these workers work happily and they have selected this path to more..

'Anti-Corruption Secretariat has not delivered results'

July 13 (DN) Anti-Corruption Secretariat has not delivered results as expected, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. Minister explaining as to why the Cabinet did not extend the Secretariat’s term which had expired on June 30. He said: “Govt spent Rs. 65 million on the secretariat, but we have not seen it achieve much”. When questioned whether the Govt decided to shut the secretariat down, he said it was only more..

41 students from school in Medirigiriya found with cut marks

July 13 (DM) A group of 41 students from Grade 10 and 11 including seven girls of a school in the Medirigiriya Educational Zone were found to have caused grievous injury to themselves after supposedly consuming drugs last morning. Vice Principal of the school, having noticed a change in the behaviour of the students, had summoned them and found cuts on their hands and did not hesitate to call in the police. The female students were handed over to their parents by the police more..

Sri Lanka gives tax breaks for degradable plastic making machinery imports

July 13 (EN) Sri Lankan govt has decided to offer tax concessions for imports of machinery used in biologically degradable plastic production as part of measures to eliminate use of polythene, the disposal of which has worsened pollution problems. The Cabinet his week also approved a proposal by President Sirisena, in his capacity as the Minister of Mahaweli Development and Environment, impose a cess tax of 15% on importation of plastic raw material and goods. more..

President heads 73-member delegation to Bangladesh

July 13 (LBO) President Maithripala Sirisena, accompanied by a 73-member delegation including representatives of 40 private sector companies, is currently in Bangladesh on a 3-day visit to sign ten agreements on a variety of areas. Bangladesh officials said that the agreements relate to cooperation in coastal shipping; agriculture; education; investment; information and communication technology; and more..

Video: Will not let govt close Dambulla Viharaya: BBS

July 13 (DM) The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) said that it would not let the Govt close the Dambulla Raja Maha Vihara Complex or any other temple in the country using any international laws. Addressing the media at the BBS head quarters at Rajagiriya today, its Chief Executive Officer Dilantha Withanage said the Archeological Act was created by foreigners to not to protect our archeological sites but to ruin them. “Most of the acts were created to ruin our heritage,” he said. more..

30 dengue breeding grounds in Colombo’s top schools

July 13 (CT) Thirty potential mosquito breeding sites were discovered on the premises of five leading schools in Colombo on 11 July during a dengue eradication operation, Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) announced. The CMC in collaboration with the armed forces and the Environmental Police has launched an operation to visit State and international school premises within the city of Colombo from 11 July, to weed out any mosquito breeding sites, Minister Faiszer Musthapha said. more..

Upul Jayasuriya resigns as BOI Chairman

July 13 (DN) Hot on the heels of the Daily News expose on the super skyscraper in Colombo, BoI Chairman Upul Jayasuriya confirmed his regination from the post. Jayasuriya said his decision was personal. "It is a personal decision and with no bearing to what has taken place at the BoI," he said. He said that he has throughout his tenure acted with honesty and integrity. "I stand by all the decisions I made and have acted honestly," more..

Ban manpower agencies: ICEU

July 13 (DN) The Inter Company Employees Union (ICEU) today urged the govt to take necessary measures to ban the recruitment of workers through manpower agencies. Addressing the media today at the Centre for Society and Religion (CSR), Maradana General Secretary of the ICEU Janaka Adikari said that the Inter Company Employees Union will not hesitate to take stern trade union action and use the full power to solve this issue if the Govt does not solve it soon.  more..

Prof. Colvin Gunaratne among three nominated to head SLMC

July 13 (Island) Health MinisterRajitha Senaratne said that names of three specialist doctors had been proposed for the Sri Lanka Medical Council chairman post that fell vacant following the expiry of term of former Chairman Prof Carlo Fonseka. Among those nominated was Prof Colvin Gunaratne, Dr Senaratne said. The best of the three nominations would be selected for the post of Chairman of SLMC, he said, adding that he would make the appointment in the coming days. more..

Crucial discussion between GMOA and PM last night

July 13 (DM) GMOA said they had met PM last night where they had discussed 5 proposals put forward by them against the SAITM including the proposal to nationalize it. GMOA Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge said the meeting held at Temple Trees was attended by GMOA representatives, PM & Minister Senaratne. “During this meeting, PM has studied the 5 proposals and said that he does not see anything wrong with these proposals” more..

‘Govt has robbed more in 2 years than MR’s 10 years’

July 13 (AD) President of the Pevidi Handa Organization, Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda Thero said that the present govt had committed more corrupt acts in just two years than Mahinda Rajapaksa did across a period of ten years. Even though former President Rajapaksa committed acts of corruption, he still rendered a service to the country, Ven. Ananda Thero pointed out. Thero stated this upon attending a media briefing of the Pevidi Handa today. more..