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Arrest of Britisher over Buddha tattoo: FR reserved for judgment

Nov 6 (DN) After procedural delays, the Supreme Court has reserved its judgment on a Fundamental Rights Petition filed by a British tourist who challenged the infringement of her fundamental rights. She was arrested and detained for allegedly displaying a Buddha tattoo on her upper limb at Katunayake in 2014. In her petition, the British tourist Naomi Coleman had sought a compensation of Rs.10 million from the respondents and further sought a declaration that her detention was more..

Going for inflation targeting: Yes but free the CB from Ministry of Finance first

Nov 6 (FT) The Vision 2025 released to the public in August as well as the Economic Policy Statement delivered in Parliament in October has reiterated the Govt’s commitment to maintaining a low inflation regime in the country. This is not unusual since all govts have made the same promise to the electorate since independence in 1948. But what is important in the present case is that the Govt has elaborated on the strategy to be followed in delivering this promise to the people. more..

සරසවි සිසු නායකත්ව පුහුණුව යහපාලනයට අකැපද?

Sri Lanka supermarkets to grow; price controls, regulations a threat: Fitch

Nov 6 (EN) Sri Lanka's self-service supermarket chains are set to grow with more people using them with prices sometimes better than traditional stores, but state price controls and ad hoc regulations are a threat, a rating agency has warned. "We believe more people are now willing to shop at supermarkets and hypermarkets compared with five years ago, helped by the competitive prices offered by modern retailers, which are equal to or even below the prices of traditional retailers," more..

CIABOC focusing on schools

Nov 6 (CT) CIABOC has come forward to focus on the malpractices taking place in the schools. Director General of CIABOC Sarath Jayamanne has revealed that the CIABOC has received plenty of complaints on the malpractices taking place particularly with regard to school admissions in the form of donations. Complaints have come up not only against the leading schools in the cities around the country, even the schools in the rural areas have also been found scandalous as far as more..

Basil blown by Geetha’s judgement

Nov 6 (DN) Former strongman minister Basil Rajapaksa’s political hopes have been shattered following the Supreme Court confirming the expulsion of his star candidate Geetha Kumarasinghe from Parliament. Basil Rajapaksa who launched the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) after breaking away from the old-established SLFP was planning a comeback if Thursday’s court decision went in favour of Kumarasinghe. more..

Gamini Senarath ready to support investigations against him

Nov 6 (AD) Former President’s Chief of Defense staff Gamini Senarath informed the Supreme Court today (6) that fullest support will be given to the ongoing investigations carried out by FCID, against him. The petition filed by Gamini Senarath requesting the prevention of arrest was called for hearing today (6). Attorneys appearing on behalf of him informed the court that their client is willing to fully support the investigations carried out by the FCID. more..

Medical Faculty Students’ Parents Association commence deadly hunger strike

Nov 6 (AD) The Medical Faculty Students’ Parents Association commenced a hunger strike today demanding the govt to close down SAITM. It will be held in Colombo according to international standards, the Association stated. Meanwhile, the Convener of Inter University Students’ Federation (IUSF) Lahiru Weerasekara said that although they have not accepted solutions provided by the government regarding SATIM issue, govt had failed to provide a satisfactory response to them. more..

Labrooy defends Mendis snub

Nov 6 (CB) Sri Lanka's chairman of selectors Graeme Labrooy has defended the axing of top order batsman Kusal Mendis for the three-match Test series against India that gets underway later this month. The dropping of the 22-year-old, considered the brightest prospect in the country, hadn't gone down too well with fans. When he went through a similar loss of form early this year, then head coach Graham Ford had backed him to more..

WHO praises the price reduction of 48 medical drugs

Nov 6 (GDI) The price reduction of the 48 essential medical drugs by the SL govt in 2016 is a major achievement in safeguarding patients’ rights to access affordable medicine in Sri Lanka, says World Health Organization (WHO) in its 2016 annual report. The WHO report also praised the Health, Nutrition, and Indigenous Ministry’s decision to introduction of color code to reduce the consumption of sugar. These steps have an enormous impact on the health of the population, more..

Former Litro Gas Chairman granted bail

Nov 6 (DN) Four suspects including Litro Gas former Chairman Shalila Moonasinghe, who was arrested in connection with the alleged transferring of USD 1.1 million from Far Eastern International Bank of Taiwan to their personal account in Sri Lanka were ordered to be released on bail by the Colombo Fort Magistrate, today. Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne ordered that the suspects be released on a cash bail of Rs.50,000 with three sureties of Rs.500,000 each.  more..

'Resolve SAITM crisis without delay'

Nov 6 (DM) JHU said today the crisis which has engulfed the SAITM should be resolved immediately based on the proposals submitted by the Medical Faculty Deans of the eight State universities. JHU general secretary, Minister Champika Ranawaka said that this matter would end up in disaster if opportunist politicians used it for their petty political gains. “The govt should realize the gravity of the issue and more..

Remove CBK as ONUR Chairperson: JHU

Nov 6 (NR) The JHU has requested the govt to remove Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga from the post of Chairperson of the Office for National Unity & Reconciliation. JHU leader MP Udaya Gammanpila said there are several issues over the actions of Former President Bandaranaike. He said if the govt is concerned about reconciliation, the first thing they should do is replace Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga and appoint an individual who proves to be peaceful from more..

'Poverty level down in Mullaitivu District'

Nov 6 (Island) Statistics released by the Ministry of Resettlement, Mullaitivu Secretariat showed a decrease in the poverty level from 24.5% (2016) to 12.2% (2017), said Minister Swaminathan. Participating in a livelihood distribution programme in the Mullaitivu District he said: "This is a rapid development in the district and my vision is to minimize the entire poverty line of the Northern Province in 2019. We have resettled more than 75,000 families in Mullaitivu district and more..

6 Lankan jailed for stealing Dh1.1m in Dubai

Nov 6 (KT) Six guards of a security company have been jailed for three years each for robbing Dh1.19 million from a cash transfer van. The six Sri Lankans earlier admitted in the Dubai Court of First Instance to the charge of theft of the funds that belonged to several branches of a shop in Dubai. They will be deported after serving their jail terms. Two Sri Lankan cleaners have been charged in absentia with possessing some of more..

PCCSL releases Annual Report 2016

Nov 6 (FT) Press Complaints Commission of Sri Lanka (PCCSL) released its Annual Report 2016 following the monthly meeting of the Board of Directors of the PCCSL on Wednesday (1), at its office in Colombo 5. PCCSL CEO Sukumar Rockwood presented a copy of the Annual Report 2016 to Kumar Nadesan, Chairman, Board of Directors of the PCCSL and other Board Members present. Annual Report 2016 was printed on gratis basis by Nimal Welgama, Managing Director more..

Five dead, 44 injured in bus accident at Madurankuliya

Nov 6 (AD) The death toll following a fatal collision involving a private bus and a three-wheeler at Madurankuliya on the Colombo-Puttalam road has increased to 5 people with 44 other individuals wounded and hospitalised. Police said that the incident had occurred at around 8.00am this morning and that the injured have been admitted to Puttalam, Chilaw and Mundalama hospitals. The bus, traveling from Colombo to Jaffna, had attempted to overtake a three-wheeler near more..

Could have managed fuel shortage if not for the panic: Arjuna

Nov 6 (AD) Minister Arjuna Ranatunga, says that an oil tanker with 40,000 metric tonnes of petrol is expected to reach the country on Nov 8 and that existing stocks are adequate until Nov 9.  A shortage of fuel has been reported across the country with a large number of fuel stations running out of petrol and long queues reported at others since Friday evening, after the country had rejected a substandard consignment of petrol. more..

New bribery laws soon School donations punishable

Nov 6 (CT) Donations procured by schools will be considered bribes when the new bribery laws are introduced, said Director General of the CIABOC, Sarath Jayamanne. He added that the current Bribery Act is archaic and does not legally serve the public in preventing and controlling bribery and corruption, and that the mandate of CIABOC will be expanded to include money laundering and other white collar crimes. He stated that the new laws will encapsulate provisions more..

Video: How can govt devolve power when it can’t even distribute fuel? - Rohitha

Nov 6 (AD) The Joint Opposition questions as to how the government can devolve when they fail to distribute oil. MP Rohitha Abeygunawardena made this statement while addressing a public gathering in A'pura. “The petrol requirement of the country is 2,500 metric tons per day. The govt had failed to store at least the daily requirement of petrol in a proper manner” alleged MP Rohitha Abeygunawardena. He said that there was no such shortage even during the time of war. more..

GMOA rejects govt stance on SAITM

Nov 6 (DM) GMOA executive committee today unanimously rejected the Govt’s final decision on the SAITM issue, which was issued on October 29. GMOA Secretary Haritha Aluthge said they would not agree to any compromise and would continue their battle until SAITM was nationalized. He said GMOA would back the fast unto death carried by the parents of the medical faculty students. Meanwhile, in a letter to Prez more..

SAITM students write to President

Nov 6 (AD) SAITM Medical Faculty Student Activists Committee have written to President Sirisena requesting for a meeting  to discuss their views on the govt solutions made over the SAITM controversy. In their letter addressed to the President, the committee said that their study period has extended due various attempts to shut down the institution. Therefore the SAITM medical faculty students have wait nine years for clinical training which is a serious injustice, they pointed out. more..

Several railway trade unions on strike from 9th Nov

Nov 6 (NR) Several railway trade unions have decided to withdraw from services as of midnight Wednesday (9). The Secretary of the Locomotive Engineering Operators’ Union Indika Dodangoda attributed the decision to the failure of officials to address salary anomalies. Dodangoda said Stations Masters, Guards, Controllers and Engine Drivers will accordingly withdraw from services. Railway trade unions early in October launched trade union action citing the recruitment of several railway more..

LIOC obtaining 15,000 tonnes of petrol from India

Nov 6 (DM) Lanka Indian Oil Company (LIOC), which accounts for 16 per cent of market share in the supply of petrol in the country, has ordered an emergency supply of 15,000 tonnes of petrol from India to meet the current shortage. LIOC Managing Director Shyam Bohra said LIOC had contacted several suppliers and had managed to purchase a stock of petrol on spot basis. "Petrol is being loaded & will reach SL on Nov 9 or 10" more..

Role of Buddhism in Sri Lankan politics

Nov 7 (CT) Sri Lanka has the longest history of Buddhism among Buddhist countries in the world. Ever since Buddhism was introduced in the 3rd century BCE, it had faced threat of survival due to overwhelming cultural and religious influence of Hinduism, internal jockeying for power between the Mahayana and Theravada schools and Colonial sponsorship of Christianity and Islam. In such periods of turbulence, Sinhala kings sought the help of two other Buddhist countries more..

Looking a gift horse in the throat

Nov 7 (ST) As children we often heard our elders using a Sinhala saying koheda yanne, malle pol. Though its meaning eluded us at the time in later years it became much more meaningful, especially as we started listening to politicians yelping at each other in argument. Reading a statement from the Foreign Ministry the other day in response to a media query regarding Lord Naseby’s revealing speech in the House of Lords last month, I was reminded of the pithy old Sinhala saying more..

Southern Expressway Fuel Station: CPC and Litro at loggerheads

Nov 7 (SO) Southern Expressway, SL’s first E-class highway was declared open in Nov 2011. While it was later extended up to Matara in 2014, it is yet again set to be further extended to Hambantota in the near future. However despite currently being over a stretch of 130 Kilometers the expressway continues to operate sans a functioning fuel station to the great detriment of motorists. Two fuel stations in fact were built over 3 yrs ago more..

Muslims & Upcountry Tamils have different problematics

Nov 7 (CT) Here is a correspondence that is worth a wider readership than the few who have accessed it so far; for obvious reasons I do not give real names. The storyline goes like this. I was involved in a rather quarrelsome exchange with a friend of Engineering Faculty days who was a leftist; let’s call him/her Ratne. The issue of dispute was anti-Rohingya genocide against Muslims in Burma’s Rakine state. I was harshly critical of Burman Buddhists, the army, and I have not spared more..

Vision 2025: From a diagnosis to removing constraints to economic growth

Nov 7 (ST) Removing a number of constraints to economic growth is imperative to achieve rapid economic growth. Vision 2025 recognises that there are numerous constraints that must be removed to achieve economic growth. These include the reduction of fiscal deficits to achieve macroeconomic stability, reforms in trade regulations, change in labour laws, improvement in the quality of public service delivery of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), removal of regulatory barriers and more..

'Ministry secretaries should be appointed on best interest of public'

Nov 7 (CT) The public sector, in Sri Lanka, is often being criticized for its inefficiency and lethargy. Recently, the National Human Resources Development Council came up with a Report on improving public sector efficiency. CT spoke to Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha who was on the team that prepared the recommendations Report. Q: National Human Resources Development Council, recently, prepared a Report on Improving more..

Editorial: Knocking tortoises off their perch

Nov 7 (Island) Politicians are said to be like tortoises perching on fence posts. There is no way they can reach such heights on their own and those who elevate them can always bring them down. But, intriguingly, people forget that sovereignty resides in them and treat the political tortoises as demigods. It is heartening that some Sri Lankans have, at long last, told politicians where to get off. The Sainthamaruthu-Malikaikkadu Jummah Mosque in Kalmunai has declared that more..

ACJU: An orchestra of frogs in a well

Nov 7 (GV) Does the axiom have it that the more you change, the more you remain the same? With a slight twist, what may be said of All Ceylon Jammiyathul Ulama (ACJU) is that the more you try to change, the more you are dragged to same. In an uncharacteristic move the representatives of ACJU in Justice Saleem Marsoof’s committee that was appointed in 2009 to make recommendations to reform the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA) have given their response in writing more..

Face the nation

Communities and cultivators affected by Sri Lanka’s drought

Nov 7 (GV) At the time of writing, 488,277 families and 1,665,961 individuals are affected by the on-going drought in Sri Lanka. The country’s rice harvest has been halved, the worst on record in 40 years, with countless in need of food aid and life-saving support. In comparison to the coverage of the 2016 and 2017 floods, mainstream media reporting on the drought is substantively poorer. It is sporadic, and with little to no emphasis on the long-term consequences, climate change, more..

Sampath Bank tops Rs. 8.5 b mark in 9-month post-tax profit

Nov 7 (FT) Continuing its robust growth momentum, Sampath Bank said yesterday it has achieved Rs. 8.5 b in Profit After Tax (PAT) within the first three quarters of 2017, up by an impressive 26.2% from Rs. 6.7 billion recorded for the comparative period in the previous year. Profit Before Tax (PBT) too grew by31.9% YoY to reach Rs. 11.8 b for the nine months ended 30 Sept 2017, as against the Rs. 8.9 b reported for the corresponding period in the previous year.  more..

Looters as Rulers: Regime capable of robbing even the Central Bank

Nov 7 (Island) I was listening to a very professional presentation on the CB bonds robbery by the veteran banker and public activist Rusiripala Tennekoon, in which he cited a number of dates and incidents which weave an incredible story of a set of criminals scheming to rob CB and other connected institutions, and by hook or by crook through their deft actions to cover their backs, still continue brazenly to handle the affairs of the State. more..

Indian naval ships depart from Colombo harbour on completion of successful tour

Nov 7 (SLN) Indian naval ships Tir and Sujatha and the Indian Coast Guard ship Sarathi which arrived in SL on a goodwill and training visit, set sail from the Colombo harbour today (6), on completion of successful tour. SL Navy bade customary farewell to the departing ships in accordance with naval traditions. During their 5-day official visit, the ships participated in a number of training exercises with SLN ships with a view to share professional expertise and strengthen friendship. more..

Former champ questions authenticity of interview board

Nov 7 (DN) Former SL captain, national champion, national selector and coach and former president of the Table Tennis Association of Sri Lanka (TTASL) Lalith Priyantha has challenged the selection policy followed in picking a coach to accompany the national team for the 2018 Commonwealth Games to be held at Gold Coast Australia. According to Priyantha there were five applicants for the post including him namely – Lalith Priyantha, Jothipala Samaraweera, Indika Prasad, more..

New Sri Lanka development update spurs a policy dialogue

Nov 7 (WB) Launched last week, the most recent edition of the Sri Lanka Development Update (SLDU), looks at how this island nation can leverage new opportunities and deploy integrated risk management strategies to support sustained growth. Dr. Idah Pswarayi-Riddihough, World Bank’s Country Director for SL noted the purpose of the SLDU, which frames a wide range of data to offer pragmatic, evidence-based solutions. more..

Series levelled after Sri Lanka ‘A’ fail to chase down 153

Nov 7 (Island) SL ‘A’ squandered an opportunity to win the three match one-day series against West Indies when they were shot out for a paltry 107 chasing a target of 153 in the third and final one-dayer in Jamaica on Sunday. Seamers Vimuthi Perera, Lahiru Kumara and Dasun Shanaka had done a good job sharing eight wickets between them as West Indies ‘A’ were shot out for 152 inside 45 overs. Former Nalanda College cricketer Perera in particular was impressive taking four for 25. more..