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Investments and our Public Service

May 18 (FT) Our governments preach untiringly the importance of foreign businesses and investments for Sri Lanka. For a capital deficient and technology poor country it is essential to attract both money and knowhow. Whether it is direct investments in projects, foreign businesses setting up office here or investments in real estate or the stock market, we want them. But try as hard as we may – promotions, road shows, various concessions to investors, constant visits to foreign countries by more..

Fair courage

May 18 (DN) Traditions can be classified as a belief, principle or a way of acting that have evolved and derived from various social, ethical, and philosophical and mainly of religious and theological background. Being a multicultural and a multi-lingual nation, Sri Lanka owns a rich culture along with a deep heritage and history. Even though slightly modified over the generations, people still follow the age old customs and traditions reverently. Many a tradition of the country is attributed to more..


Sorting bad apples: Is lustration the answer to SL’s military impunity?

May 18 (GV) Suspects with military links feature in a number of ongoing investigations into crimes and human rights violations committed in SL’s post-war period. CID’s report in Lasantha Wickramatunga’s murder investigation detailing military-run death squads, and the alleged involvement of military intelligence in the disappearance of Prageeth Eknaligoda are examples of this tendency. Meanwhile, recent allegations that 134 SL peacekeepers sexually abused children more..

Editorial: Antho jata bahi jata

May 18 (Island) It looks as if the UNP thought the SLFP had overstayed its welcome in the yahapalana govt though the originally agreed two-year cohabitation period is not yet over. The SLFP has had to endure contempt, humiliation and obloquy at the hands of the UNP and its backers. A collective of pro-UNP NGOs has recently reproached the SLFP members of the Cabinet for the govt’s failure to make good on its pre-election pledges. It has also held them responsible for the inordinate delay more..

The final hours of war

May 18 (FT) Eight years have passed since the end of the war against terrorism in SL, which took thousands of valuable lives, be it innocent civilians shot or blown to bits by a bomb, soldiers who fought to restore peace or suicide cadres who were brainwashed to blow themselves up to achieve someone else’s dream – all died in that dirty war. As a journalist who covered the last days of the war I decided I should pen down more..

Saving Jaffna’s Whistleblower and Setting an Example for the NPC

May 18 (Island) NallaiAdheenam Chief Priest wants University of Jaffna Transformed into a Hindu University while the Chief Minister calls Jesus Christ a Criminal Condemned to Death. The editor of a Tamil newspaper demands that all Christians revert to Hinduism. Whistleblowing comes from a game referee blowing the whistle to call attention to a foul. In administration, it refers to an employee calling the attention of those outside to internal wrongdoings. I am an electrical engineer. more..

Current foreign policy dilemmas of small states: The case of Sri Lanka

May 18 (Island) Sri Lanka would do well to bear these well known lessons of history in mind. If the countries concerned keep their channels of communication open with each other and work in a spirit of good will to ensure the collective well being of South Asia, as well as their legitimate individual interests, Indo-Sri Lanka ties are unlikely to run aground. The region’s number one power, India, and its smaller neighbours need to always bear their respective sensitivities in mind as more..

New Inland Revenue Act on the cards

May 18 (Roar) Sri Lanka is getting a brand new Inland Revenue Act. Though yet to be gazetted, the draft Act has already been approved by the Cabinet, subject to amendment once tabled in Parliament. The bill was presented by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake early this month, and as confirmed by the Govt Information Department, was approved by Cabinet and is expected to be taken up for vote in Parliament, sooner rather than later. more..

A youthful fun turned into a lifelong deal

May 18 (DM) A mother who came in search of the whereabouts of a youth who had given his address to her young daughter, left her to be cared by the youth and returned home. It was reported from a village in the Western Province. It was revealed that a group from a nearby town had set off on a pilgrimage and after travelling several hundred of miles from Colombo had stopped their vehicle at a wayside boutique for some quick purchases. A youth among the crowd had caught the attention more..

Sri Lanka leave for Champions Trophy today

May 18 (Island) The national cricket team will leave for England this morning to prepare for the ICC Champions Trophy. Sri Lanka will be one of the first teams to arrive in England. They will conduct an eight day training camp in Kent before playing two warm-up games against Scotland. They also have two more warm-up games arranged by the ICC against Australia and New Zealand. Sri Lanka’s campaign in Champions Trophy gets underway on 3rd June against South Africa at The Oval. more..

Ford hopes for flat batting tracks in England

May 18 (CI) Sri Lanka may have often hankered for spin on foreign pitches, and the island may still the home of low-scoring one dayers, but this time around, they would love some nice, flat batting tracks at Champions Trophy, if English groundstaff don't mind. That, at least, is the view of coach Graham Ford, who, in sizing up SL's attributes, has settled on batting as team's foremost strength. SL have lost 6 of their last 7 ODIs more..

China beats India as Sri Lanka’s biggest trading partner

May 18 (FT) Amidst open and at times covert battles to dislodge each other’s influence, China has emerged as Sri Lanka’s biggest trading partner, relegating the longstanding dominant India to second place. China had eclipsed India last year by a slim yet decisive $ 57 million difference between the two in terms of total trade with SL. Combined import and export trade between China and SL last year amounted to $ 4.426 billion, as opposed to the Indo-Lanka figure of $ 4.369 billion. more..

GSP-Plus: An elixir or just palliation for Sri Lanka’s export woes?

May 18 (IPS) Sri Lankan exports, which have been flagging in recent times, gained some much needed relief with the European Union’s (EU) Foreign Affairs Council deciding to grant additional trade preferences to SL under its GSP-Plus initiative. By granting this concession, SL will now benefit from the full removal of tariffs on SL imports into the EU on 66% of tariff lines (approx 1200 SL products), covering a wide array of products including textiles, small machinery, and fisheries. more..

A platform for local tech startups to connect with the big league

May 18 (Island) ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA), nation's apex ICT Institution under Ministry of Telecom and Digital Infrastructure, has announced the launch of Disrupt Asia 2017, which will be held at Hilton Colombo on July 12. Disrupt Asia is Sri Lanka's premier startup conference and exhibition where SL tech startup entrepreneurs will have direct access to interact with established companies in their industry which could more..

We won't allow Cabinet reshuffle to derail govt: UNP

May 18 (DM) Several UNP MPs threatened to take stern action if the anticipated cabinet reshuffle puts the govt off the track. UNP MP Asoka Priyantha said that the cabinet reshuffle should not be aimed at fulfilling ulterior motives of few who had joined this govt by accepting positions even after they were defeated at the last general election. “We will not leave the govt but will see to it that our voices are heard in Parliament if the cabinet reshuffle is done to fulfill aspirations of few defeated politicians” more..

Sri Lanka settle for 33-17 victory over UAE

May 18 (Island) The winners collected their points through four tries, two conversions and three penalties while UAE managed only two tries two conversions and a penalty. SL were given a fine start by Fazil Marija who broke the deadlock just two minutes after the kick off as he went on to score near the corner flag, but full-back Thilina Wijesinghe could not make the conversion, so the scores 5-0. UAE struck back with a three-pointer when fly half Andrew Stevenson put over penalty more..

Hoax says Ravi asked Mahendran Rs 75 B?

May 18 (CT) The letter purportedly sent to the former Governor of CB Arjun Mahendran, by the Finance Minister, being presented to the Presidential Commission investigating the Treasury Bonds scandal, instead of it being submitted to COPE, has created grave suspicions , Keerthi Tennekoon, advisor to the Anti- Corruption Front stated. Tennekoon's observation came when asked for comments about this matter more..

Dengue outbreak: Transfer of medical specialists not justifiable: Vitharana

May 18 (DM) The transfer of medical specialists including the Epidemiology Unit Chief under the five-year transfer scheme was unjustifiable in the wake of the dengue outbreak, former MP Tissa Vitharana said. He said that Health Ministry’s Dengue Eradication Unit’s Coordinator Dr. Hasitha Tissera and Epidemiology Unit’s Director Dr. Paba Palihawadana have been transferred to administrative units of other hospitals. “Both of them have performed creditably in the eradication more..

Over 50 foreign firms to attend Sri Lanka Investment Conclave

May 18 (DN) Senior Executives and owners of over 50 foreign companies from more than 15 countries have already registered to take part in the upcoming Sri Lanka Investment and Business Conclave 2017 showing interest in exploring opportunities in diverse economic sectors of the country. Large to medium scale firms from Japan, Spain, Switzerland, India, Pakistan, Singapore, Qatar, South Korea, Thailand, Mongolia, Germany, China, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia along with firms from several other more..

LPBOA Taking Cabinet to Court

May 18 (CT) Lanka Private Bus Owners Association (LPBOA) will take legal action against the Cabinet of Ministers for approving a Cabinet Proposal that violates National Transport Commission (NTC) Act. LPBOA President Gemunu Wijeratne said that a Cabinet Paper was submitted by Transport and Civil Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva proposing to introduce several new bus routes in order to provide new route permits. more..

NDB staff protest in support of CFO

May 18 (FT) The NDB Employees Association yesterday protested in support of Group CFO Faizan Ozman, who is facing the axe for blowing the whistle late about alleged misconduct by an ex-senior management member.  A group of NDB employees were seen carrying placards and posters outside the National Arbitration Centre in Colombo 7 where the matter has been addressed for the past two days. After lengthy sessions, the next arbitration session was fixed for 30 May.  more..

MR accepts Modi's invitation to visit India

May 18 (DM) Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa is reported to have accepted an invitation by Indian PM Narendra Modi to visit India. As such a delegation led by Mr. Rajapaksa is to undertake a visit to India in the not too distant future. During Mr. Modi's visit to Sri Lanka for the UN Vesak Day celebrations, he met Mr. Rajapaksa, his brother former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and former minster G.L. Peiris. The meeting was sought by Mr. Rajapaksa. more..

CBSL report belies debt trap claim: JO

May 18 (Island) 2016 Annual Report of the CB had contradicted much touted yahapalana claim that the country was in severe debt crisis due to massive loans obtained during the previous administration, the JO claimed. MP Bandula Gunawardena and former Minister G.L. Peiris flayed the ruling UNP-SLFP coalition of propagating lies. MP Gunawardena on the basis of key data provided by the CBSL disproved yahapalana claims more..

Green light to carry on corruption: Finance Minister Ravi says 'I won’t be removed'

May 18 (ST) Under-fire Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake told senior officials of the Finance Ministry this morning (17) that the President has assured him that he won’t be removed from the post. There has been a lot of pressure on the President to replace him owing to mismanagement and alleged corrupt deals, all of which the minister has vigorously denied in the past. “Only the corrupt persons in the cabinet will be removed and that’s not myself,” he was quoted as saying more..

While Parliament Mafia is robbing people's money, 14 districts remain below poverty line

May 18 (CT) Department of Census and Statistics reported that in April 2017, 14 districts out of the 25 in the country were below the poverty line. However, 11 districts were above it. Department outlined the national poverty line to be at Rs 4,244 for April. According to statistics Moneragala, Badulla, Anuradhapura, Kurunegala, Galle, Matara, Hambantota and Jaffna recorded 'minimum expenditure per person per month to fulfill basic needs' which was below Rs 4,100, while more..

'OMP Act should be activated soon'

May 18 (DM) In the wake of a petition submitted by the next of kin of those gone missing, MP M.A. Sumanthiran said his party would continue to urge the operation of Office on Missing Persons (OMP) Act without further delay. Addressing the next of kin, he said though the OMP Act was passed in parliament the govt had failed to set up the OMP. “The reason is because the Act needs to be brought under a ministry by the Prez as stated in Constitution” more..

Mahindananda to be arrested?

May 18 (CT) UPFA MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage claims that the FCID will shortly arrest him on orders of the PM, on fabricated charges. He noted that the accusation was connected to the controversial carom board case. He said arresting members of the Joint Opposition on bogus allegations is a ploy of the govt to prevent the former from raising key concerns pertaining to the economy. "The carrom boards were imported and distributed by Sathosa and they were in Sathosa stores. more..

3,000 University students pulled out for protest demo

May 18 (CT) The IUSF called out over 3,000 university students yesterday on a march protesting against..private medical colleges. The Student Activists Committee of the Medical Faculty collaborated in the protest demonstration despite a Court ruling against it. Convener of the IUSF Lahiru Weerasekara said the protest march against the SAITM was organized despite a Court ruling against the staging of this particular protest, and supporters were not willing to back down. more..

'Deputy Governor Samarasiri has been hogging audit reports'

May 18 (Island) Deputy Governor of the CB Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe said eight audit reports received by the CB Governor Indrajith Coomaraswamy on Jan 17, 2017 and sent to Deputy Governor P. Samarasiri to take the necessary steps had been kept in his (Samarasiri’s) custody. He said that among the documents were audit reports from 2008 to 2014 and they were audit reports in connection with direct Treasury bond issues. more..

The many meanings of May 18, 2009

May 18 (DM) In some part of this island, perhaps in a humble home, or in a public place heavy with ideological fervour or political statement, someone will light a candle or lamp, someone will grieve. Someone will remember someone who was loved. Remove all the ideological and political makeup and two things will remain: Love and Grief. In certain places, most likely in the public sphere, there will be celebrations. And there will be mourning. In both sites there will be self-righteousness. more..

The commonalities of celebration and grief

May 18 (DM) When Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was re-elected, BBC just couldn’t get enough of the protests. Wiliam Bowles, in an article titled The nerve of these guys! quoted the BBC back then: ‘Millions of Iranians simply did not believe the result. The main demand of the protesters has been an annulment of the result and an election re-run.’ The very same BBC, Bowles noted, had ‘no wall-to-wall coverage of Afghan outrage over a stolen election’. Instead, the BBC had noted, more..

'Rajapaksas not yet finished; we have another battle ahead'

May 18 (DM) Minister Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, speaks about proposed role to be assigned to him, current status of politics and his future plans. Q: There are contrasting views on the proposed role to be assigned to you to deal with emergency situations triggered by trade union activities. What is the actual position, and how do you look forward to it?  A: If you say I am going to take action against trade union activities, it would not be correct more..

'Can't understand why I was dropped, but it helped me achieve great things'

May 18 (CB) No SL batsman perhaps put a higher premium on his wicket than Hashan Tillakaratne. Famous for his stubborn resistance, Tillakaratne was a member of SL's World Cup winning squad. His career looked over when Sri Lanka Cricket made sweeping changes following their disastrous World Cup defense in 1999. While captain Arjuna Ranatunga and deputy Aravinda de Silva were sacked and overlooked for ODIs, more..

Grazing on the rise in national parks

May 18 (SL) The previous govt oversaw unnecessary land-grabbing amounting to nearly 200,000 acres which was  one of the prime reasons for the human-elephant conflict in the country, an environmentalist said. The present govt too had failed to look into the matter despite number of planned initiatives. The baby elephant abduction racket has been another injustice that went on unabated. more..

The long journey of a forgotten people

May 18 (Hindu) Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s public rally on May 12 with Sri Lanka’s hill-country Tamils, on the second day of his two-day visit to the country, was a success, if you went by conventional markers such as the crowd he drew or the cheers that arose from it. But its real outcome is rather limited compared to the wide-ranging needs of the historically neglected community. That an estimated 35,000 people more..

'UNP fulfils election promise; investors should use GSP+'

May 18 (EN) Sri Lanka's apparel fisheries and rubber sectors will be able to make immediate use of GSP+ trade benefits to expand shipments to the EU but domestic and foreign investors should set up new factories, Deputy Foreign Minister Harsha de Silva said. He said the current administration of President Sirisena, with the UNP, SLFP and smaller parties had improved relations with all countries. more..

Anti-Filariasis campaign suffers as ISIS rumour swells on social media

May 18 (ST) The CID is yet to make any arrests regarding a complaint lodged by the Health Ministry over a recent social media canard which linked a health ministry blood test campaign to the global terrorist group ISIS. The widely shared social media posts have severely inconvenienced Health Ministry officials engaged in a campaign to eradicate elephantiasis, medically known as Lymphatic Filariasis (LF). more..

Sri Lanka recognizes SLIIT as non-state independent body

May 18 (LBO) Cabinet has approved a proposal made by President to recognize SL Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT) as a non-state independent body. Proposal has been made after considering that the loan obtained from Mahapola Trust Fund was fully settled. SLIIT was established in 1999 with a loan granted by Mahapola Trust Fund and the institute now offers both undergraduate and postgraduate courses. more..

Sri Lanka to start pilot project for public sector with flexible hours

May 18 (LBO) Govt plans to launch a pilot project introducing flexible working hours for the public sector currently serving in offices situated in Battaramulla area. Under this project public sector workers in Battaramulla area will be given the initial opportunity of working under flexible hours. Cabinet nod has been received to implement this project enabling officers to commence their work between 7.30 am to 9.15 am, and more..