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Asbestos industry decries looming ban

June 29 (FT) With precisely six months remaining until a partial ban on asbestos controlling its import and use comes into effect in the country, roofing sheet industry leaders claimed that Govt was yet to clarify what exactly such a ban would entail. “There are no instructions from the Govt so far regarding what is going to happen in 2018, nor the complete ban in 2024. But in any case, we have been practising the safe use more..

Fishing in troubled waters

June 29 (DM) This purohita, a minor partner in yahapalanaya coalition, has reportedly embarked on an exercise carrying the hallmarks of a typical game plan. A group of black-coated gents ensconced in an office run by this purohita are busy putting into shape a petition to be submitted to the famous commission in Geneva. The petition is intended to bring to the notice of the Geneva watchdogs the grievances of a community scattered across the country and while referring to the harassment more..

'SLT to invest 5% of revenue on R&D unit'

June 29 (DN) It’s very disappointing to note that SL’s so-called number one telecom service provider, Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), does not have a Research and Development Unit and this is a major flaw, said Minister Harin Fernando, at the World Trade Centre. Speaking at the launch of Customer Solutions Innovation & Integration Experience Center, one of Huawei’s further contributions to support SL’s digital economy, he said that not a single cent has being allocated by the company for R&D. more..

‘India to invest Rs 1 bn in East Container Terminal’

June 29 (DN) India has indicated an interest in investing over US$ 1 billion in the East Container Terminal (ECT) of the Colombo Port, along with other projects like the oil tank farm in Trincomalee, under a public-private partnership with the SL govt, said Minister Ravi Karunanayake. Making the opening address at the commencement of proceedings of the seminar on Emerging Issues in the Indian Ocean at a Foreign Policy Forum more..

Monk, three others complain to SC against Lakshan Dias

June 29 (DN) Four people including three Buddhist monks yesterday, filed four complaints in the Supreme Court urging that necessary legal action be taken against Attorney-at-Law Lakshan Dias for allegedly making a false statement to the media. These complaints had been filed by four people, including Ven. Hobariyawe Rathanasara Thera of the Kandaketiya Sri Dhammarama Viharaya. Filing the 4 affidavits before the CJ, petitioners stated that Lakshan Dias had claimed more..

IPS board and staff to take on the mantle of Dr. Saman Kelegama’s legacy

June 29 (Island) It is with deep sadness that we, the members of IPS’s governing board, received the news of the sudden passing of the Institute’s executive director, Dr. Saman Kelegam. But however, we are determined to carry forward the mantle of his legacy, IPS stated. "It is with deep sadness that we, the members of IPS’ governing board, received the news of the sudden passing of the Institute’s Exec Director, Dr. Saman Kelegama. He embodied IPS from its early days. more..

PRECIFAC: Boru show to fool people while continuing corruption

June 29 (FT) The anti-corruption commission appointed by the President is in the process of completing 35 final reports on large-scale corruption, fraud and misuse of power and State funds before 3 Sept. A top official said that they had received over 1,599 complaints but only 419 complaints on fraud, corruption, the misuse of State funds and abuse of power were taken into consideration under its mandate. more..

CEO Ratwatte violates aviation safety

June 29 (CT) In a mind boggling aviation first, Capt. Suren Ratwatte, the CEO of SriLankan Airlines has ordered the Crew Scheduling Department to roster a Line Check Instructor of his own choice for his first Line Check Flight scheduled on the 12th July. CEO Capt. Ratwatte had cited that he would be more comfortable and happy to have Capt. Ranga Amadoru complete his first Line Check Flight. This flight incidentally is the airline’s inaugural commercial flight scheduled to operate to more..

TVS in pact with Abans to sell three wheelers

June 29 (Hindu) TVS Motor Company has signed a pact with Abans Auto, a leading distributor in Sri Lanka. The partnership will facilitate the Chennai-based company to sell TVS King, the 200 cc passenger three-wheeler, in the island nation. The tie-up will help TVS Motor to leverage the network of Abans Auto (which comprises over 200 showrooms). TVS Motor will also appoint dealers in strategic locations around Sri Lanka. Abans Finance, a wing of the Sri Lankan firm, more..

Sports Minister wants sports bodies to adopt a selection criteria

June 29 (DN) An order has been made to all the sports associations to adopt selection criteria when selecting sportspersons to the respective national teams, Minister of Sports Dayasiri Jayasekara said yesterday. There were no such criteria until this decision was made, Minister pointed out. “The sportsmen had no way to question as to why they were not selected to a team. They have a right to ask so. more..

SL currency notes damaged due to usage will continue to be accepted

June 29 (ST) SL currency notes that have not been wilfully mutilated, altered or defaced but damaged due to normal wear and tear will continue to be accepted at the Central Bank (CB) and commercial banks. This is the current practice and it would continue to be maintained, the CB said issuing a clarification pertaining to its recent statement over mutilated notes and its acceptance. There has been public concern after the banking regulator announced last week in advertisements that more..

Huawei vows to assist Sri Lanka's transform into digitally empowered nation

June 29 (Xinhua) Chinese multinational company Huawei vowed to strengthen Sri Lanka's digital economy and transform the island nation into a digitally empowered one. CEO of Huawei Sri Lanka, Shunli Wang, while unveiling a brand new center in capital Colombo in concurrence with the establishment of Customer Solutions Innovation and Integration Experience Center (CSIC), said Sri Lanka is a potential market as it holds a unique geographic location in Indian Ocean region more..

Central Bank Add. Director vouches for accuracy of bond data

June 29 (Island) The Additional Director of the Information Technology Department of the Central Bank Wasantha Alwis, said that he rejected the allegation made against him by the Counsel appearing for Perpetual Treasuries Nihal Fernando that the information pertaining to the details of bond transactions of Perpetual Treasuries that he (Alwis) furnished to the Commission was incorrect. more..

'Fresh laws needed to regulate NGO'

June 29 (DM) Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said that fresh legislation should be enacted to regulate the operation of NGOs in the country. He said the NGOs mostly operated in the country posing a threat to national interests and therefore their activities should be regulated. He said he would make some proposals to subject Minister Mano Ganeshan on this matter. The previous regime had made an effort to prepare legislation with a Parliamentary Select Committee headed by JVP MP Vijitha Herath more..

Govt 1Q revenue falls short

June 29 (FT) A report presented by the Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera on Govt income for the first quarter of 2017 records tax based collection of Rs. 415 billion amounting to 95% of the total income of Rs. 236 billion.  According to cabinet decision briefing notes released to the media Govt first quarter income is 22% of the total estimated target for the financial year. However the collection has only reached 94% of the target income for the first quarter.  more..

UNP-SLFP coalition hinges on bond scam probe outcome: Yapa

June 29 (Island) The future of the SLFP, UNP coalition hinged on the outcome of the ongoing Presidential Commission of Inquiry probing the Central Bank bond scams that had allegedly been perpetrated in Jan 2015 and March 2016, Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, said. Commission began its sittings in January. Saying that SLFP decision would be certainly influenced by the Commission report, State Minister said more..

Motorists beware: Trishaw drivers staging accidents to fleece you

June 29 (DM) Trishaw drivers are believed to be operating a racket targeting luxury vehicles in Colombo to claim money, sources said. They said several incidents had been reported, where trishaw drivers had claimed money from unsuspecting motorists claiming that the side mirrors of their trishaws had been damaged. It was also reported that in some of the cases when the motorists got out of their vehicles to negotiate the culprits had fled off with the wallets. more..

'More must be done to curb drug abuse in SL'

June 29 (GDI) Sri Lanka has become an international narcotics hub and more must be done to curb drugs abuse in the country, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said at a ceremony to mark International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. “Drug usage has increased in SL and has spread even to rural parts of the country. This is a menace,” PM said, accusing the media of focusing more on other issues and less on the drug scourge that has hit the country. more..

SAITM campus to stay private: Rajitha

June 29 (DN) Govt has not taken any decision to nationalise SAITM, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. Minimum standards to medical education will soon be gazetted since it has been a core factor in the SAITM issue, he added. Asked whether certain ministers are in disagreement with the decision making process regarding the SAITM, Minister assured that no Cabinet Minister voiced dissatisfaction regarding the solutions more..

SAITM controversy stuck in a quagmire

June 29 (DM) The SAITM issue seems to have reached an impasse. The govt and the GMOA, the main contenders are intransigent and sticking to their respective stances on this matter. GMOA is demanding the closure of the private medical college, while the govt is rigidly opposed to such a demand.  If the demonstration and the storming of the Health Ministry office at Maradana by medical students last week on this matter were aimed at attracting public attention to their struggle, more..

Legitimacy of the coercive power

June 29 (DM) Protests are part and parcel of a healthy democracy. Another crucial element of a functioning democracy is the Rule of Law which includes legal protections, enforcement where necessary and recourse to the courts in the event of perceived infringement of rights. So we have the executive, legislative and judicial arms of the state to attend to these things. Where there is failure, therefore, we must first and foremost look to the faults of the system or errors of those paid more..

TN makes fresh push for Katchatheevu

June 29 (SL) Tamil Nadu is making a fresh push to retrieve Katchatheevu from SL as the Indo-Lanka fishermen dispute continues. More Indian fishermen were arrested last week while poaching in SL waters, forcing TN Chief Minister K Palaniswami to demand the Indian govt to get back Katchatheevu. Palaniswami sought the intervention of Indian PM Narendra Modi to secure the release of several Indian fishermen and over 137 boats, more..

'Laws needed to regulate NGOs'

June 29 (DM) In the wake of controversy involving human rights lawyer Lakshan Dias and allegations of extremism, Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe spoke to DM responding to  allegations against him. Q: There is controversy surrounding your statement, disputing the figure representing the attacks on Christian religious places of worship. You even vowed to act to disbar lawyer Lakshan Dias who presented the figures. What's next step? more..

Abusive operators of decrepit buses set to exact high price, again

June 29 (ST) Fares of private and state run buses will rise from July 1 although promises to improve services are yet to see the light of day. The proposed fare increase of 6.28% and the increase of the minimum fare of Rs 9 to Rs 10 as approved by the Cabinet, will come into effect next month. Bus fares were raised by 6% last year as well. A cross section of bus passengers said they fear reckless drivers and crude, abusive more..

Prasad Kariyawasam re-elected to UN Committee

June 29 (NR) Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to US, Prasad Kariyawasam, who has been a member of the UN Committee on Migrant Workers since its inception in March 2004, and the first Chair of the Committee, was re-elected for the fourth time at the election held at the UN in New York yesterday. He was re-elected at the 8th Meeting of State Parties to International Convention on Protection of Rights of All Migrant Workers more..

Govt clashing with almost everyone: GL

June 29 (Island) The UNP-SLFP coalition was acting as if its top leadership had decided to clash with every segment the society, former External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris said. He said that yahapalana leaders’s performance couldn’t be expected to improve at all. Prof. Peiris said members of the govt had been fighting with almost everyone including sports personalities and professionals. more..

'President had Hora meeting with GMOA'

June 29 (DM) Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said President Maithripala Sirisena did not meet the GMOA officially and the meeting with them was informal. He told the weekly cabinet briefing that the President had told the GMOA that no statement would be issued following the meeting. “President did not meet GMOA officially. He had agreed to meet them unofficially and told them, This is a hora meeting Ok. more..

CB reminds of obligation to report suspicious transactions

June 29 (LBO) Financial Intelligence Unit of the Central Bank requests Designated Non-finance Businesses (DNFBs) to report about suspicious transactions which is an obligatory requirement under the law. Financial Transactions Reporting Act, No. 6 of 2006 requires DNFBs among others to report any transaction where there is reasonable ground to suspect that a transaction may be related to commission of any unlawful activity or more..

Kotte Sangha Sabha writes firm letter to President

June 29 (DM) In a strongly worded lengthy letter to the President, the Kotte Sri Kalyani Samagri Sangha Sabha opposed moves by certain political leaders and extremist organizations to criticize monks without a reason in a manner never seen in the history of the country, insult institutions of the Sangha and acquire property belonging to the Sasana. The letter was handed over to President Sirisena after a delegation comprising more..

Two ministers appointed to NPC

June 29 (AD) Chief Minister of Northern Province C.V. Vigneswaran, provincial council members Ananthy Sasitharan and Kandiah Sarveswaran were sworn in as provincial ministers before Governor of Northern Province Reginald Cooray this morning. Vigneswaran took oaths as the Northern Province Minister of Finance and Planning, Law and Order, Lands, Energy, Housing and Construction, Tourism, more..

GMOA cannot decide on education: Govt

June 29 (NR) Govt says the GMOA does not have the power to make executive decisions pertaining to the education in the country. Deputy Minister Ajith P Perera said the govt has at this point arrived at its stance over SAITM. He said govt will establish an independent regulatory authority to oversee the quality of state and private health institutions. He said it is not the GMOA that is supervising education in this country more..

Illicit Liquor, Tobacco

June 29 (CT) Illicit liquor and tobacco sales increase the country's health bill while depriving the State of revenue with the concomitant avoidance of paying taxes on such illegal liquor and tobacco sales. The island's health bill ricochets due to illicit liquor and tobacco sales because in the manufacture of such products, the processes don't conform to minimum health standards, thereby posing a risk to the consumer. In Sri Lanka, the health services are free, but, paradoxically funded by the taxpayer, more..

Nation destroyed beyond redemption

June 29 (CT) It is beyond belief why my fellow countrymen still have faith in this absolutely failed state (both ruling party and the opposition). The biggest threat to the Nation is the hopeless attitude of the so-called intelligentsia that benefits from the failed system. It is extremely sad that they deceive constituents, inducing them to have faith in the corrupt system that made this beautiful island nation a FAILED STATE. As a responsible citizen I can say with confidence that more..

ලක්ෂ්මන් යාපා අබේවර්ධන

First replacement Air Force group leaves for UNMISS

June 29 (MoD) 56 Sri Lanka Air Force personnel left the country as the first replacement group of the SLAF Aviation Unit under the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) on Tuesday (27), states Air Force media. The group departed the country from the Bandaranaike International Airport where their family members and air force officials were present. Aviation Unit in South Sudan under the UNMISS was the SLAF's second aircraft deployment overseas. more..

One more week to pay traffic fines due to postal strike

June 29 (AD) Sri Lanka Police today announced that a concessionary time period of one week will be given to pay traffic fines due to the ongoing postal strike. SP Ruwan Gunasekara stated that a problematic situation with regard to paying traffic fines at post offices has risen due to the ongoing strike. Therefore the police department has decided to give a concessionary period of one week to the date mentioned before filing cases for finable offences, he said.  more..

US embassy warns US women on trishaw drivers

June 29 (DM) US Embassy has warned US Citizens travelling in Sri Lanka to maintain situational awareness of increasing incidents involving trishaw drivers in Colombo inappropriately touching female passengers. Embassy in a security message posted in their website informed them to be aware of the situation when in public and at home to avoid being a victim of crime. Embassy published some security tips to be followed more..

SL technical interns to be trained in Japan

June 29 (LBO) Sri Lanka is to sign a MoU with Int'l Manpower Development Organization of Japan (IM Japan) to send technical interns to Japan for further training. cabinet nod has been received to sign this agreement presented by Ministers Thalatha Athukorala, Gayantha Karunathilake, without providing details. Website of IM Japan, however, says that under their technical intern training program instituted by Govt of Japan, IM Japan has accepted many foreign technical interns more..

We never had Hora meeting with Prez: GMOA

June 29 (DM) GMOA refuted the claims made by Minister Rajitha Senaratne that President did not meet the GMOA officially and the meeting with them was informal. GMOA Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge said they never had any informal or secret discussion with any party since past and would continue to do so even in future. “Minister Senaratne should have at least understood to whom he had made these allegations. Minister should not have insulted the President in such a manner. more..

Depleted Sri Lanka offer Zimbabwe a glimmer

June 29 (CI) Normally the outcome of a Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe match is among the more straightforward to predict. Sri Lanka may not always be among the best one-day nations, but they have in the past been adept at putting away the weaker sides - star players rarely passing up the chance to buff their stats a little. This time, however, Zimbabwe may have an opportunity. Not only has the opposition ventured a green squad, more..