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Govt responsible for fuel purchase & distribution: JVP

Nov 7 (NR) JVP has requested Minster Arjuna Ranatunga to reveal the names of politicians who pressurised him to accept the shipment of substandard fuel. JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake said the public should be made aware of such persons. He added the trade union of the JVP revealed information in this regard and highlighted that the IOC unloads in Trincomalee while the substandard shipment was still in Trinco. more..

CID launches probe in Jaffna: Who helped Swiss Kumar flee?

Nov 7 (CT) A team from the CID has commenced investigations in Jaffna with the aim of apprehending those responsible for aiding and abetting in the attempt by the mastermind of the gang rape and murder, of a schoolgirl in Pungudutivu, to flee. This was confirmed by Police Media Spokesman, Superintendent of Police Ruwan Gunasekara yesterday. Mahalingam Shashikumar, alias Swiss Kumar, who was the ninth suspect in the case, was subsequently convicted, along with 6 others, more..

Appeal against Gnansara Thera ruling fixed

Nov 7 (DN) An appeal petition filed by Attorney General challenging the Colombo High Court’s decision to acquit BBS General Secretary Ven. Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thera and 12 other accused of eleven charges including the attack launched to a church in Thalahena was postponed to Feb 2, by Court of Appeal, today. When the matter came up before Justice Devika Tennakoon and Justice S. Thurairajah, Attorney General sought a further date to support the application. more..

'I will never allow substandard oil to unload'

Nov 7 (LBO) Petroleum Minister Arjuna Ranatunga told Parliament that he will never allow substandard oil tanker to unload in Sri Lanka. Ranatunga said even after rejecting the shipment because of substandard oil, the IOC is still keeping their oil tanker in SL waters. “IOC ship carrying their order arrived here on 17th Oct. We rejected that shipment because two tests proved that it contained substandard oil,” he said. more..

Chinese naval ship to arrive in SL

Nov 7 (DM) The training ship Qi Jiguang (Hull 83) of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy would arrive in Sri Lanka on Friday for a four-day goodwill visit. The Ship Qi Jiguang is heading towards Sri Lanka from Italy and Sri Lanka is the third destination of the vessel’s four-nation visits. Qi Jiguang naval training ship, carrying 549 naval officers and soldiers, started its 76-day training voyage to visit Portugal, Italy, SL and Thailand in September. more..

US offers Coast Guard Cutter to SL navy

Nov 7 (DM) The US announced that it would offer a second US Coast Guard cutter to the SL Navy, pending completion of Congressional notification, as a sign of strong bilateral ties and deepening US engagement in Sri Lanka. US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas A. Shannon announced this on Monday. The Secretary Class High Endurance Cutter would allow Sri Lanka to more effectively police its coastline and Exclusive Economic Zone and to protect its sea lines of more..

LIOC issue a precursor to ETCA repercussions: JO

Nov 7 (DM) "The fuel crisis that resulted after co-opting the LIOC for fuel supply and distribution, is a sign of what will happen if Sri Lanka signs ETCA with India,” the joint opposition (JO) said today. JO MP Bandula Gunawardana said India's influence was so deep that the govt had even allowed an Indian footwear company to enter the Sri Lankan market impacting negatively on local footwear manufacturers. more..

Circular preventing fuel in bottles/cans removed

Nov 7 (NR) Minister Arjuna Ranatunga has said the circular issued this morning to prevent fuel from being filled to bottles or cans instead of vehicles has been removed. The 2017/01 circular issued this morning with the signature of Secretary to the Ministry Upali Marasinghe prevented fuel from being filled to bottles or cans instead of vehicles. Upali Marasinghe earlier said the fuel that is collected to bottles and cans are being sold at a higher price causing various discrepancies. more..

Road Accidents: CMA urges Govt to act

Nov 7 (CT) Ceylon Motorcyclists' Association (CMA) urged the Govt to take steps to reduce road accidents. They also said that the Govt should increase the road capacity or improve the public transport system. The CMA has also written to DIG Traffic, Chula de Silva asking him whether road accidents have reduced as there are lesser vehicles on the road due to the shortage of petrol. "In the last few days there have been lesser number of vehicles on the roads due to the petrol shortage. more..

30% of liquor production untaxed: PTFDP

Nov 7 (CT) The Presidential Task Force on Drug Prevention (PTFDP) says that the Department of Excise had admitted that 30% of the liquor production within the country remained untaxed. The Task Force had on 30 October summoned a meeting with all teams involved in conducting narcotics raids, including the Department of Excise, SL Ports Authority, Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB), STF, Customs & Department of Prisons. more..

Jaffna Uni. faculties to reopen next Monday

Nov 7 (AD) The faculties of the University of Jaffna, which were recently closed as a result of the class boycott carried out by students over Tamil political prisoners, will be reopened next Monday (13). Vice Chancellor Prof. Ratnam Vigneswaran stated that academic activities of the Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Science and Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce will commence on Nov 13 and that all students are requested to return to the university on that date.  more..

Speaker receives SC verdict on Geetha

Nov 7 (NR) The verdict issued by the Supreme Court determining that Geetha Kumarasinghe cannot hold a Parliamentary post due to her dual citizenship has been handed over to Speaker of House Karu Jayasuriya. The media unit of the Speaker said steps have been taken to direct the notice to the Elections Commission for further steps. Accordingly Geetha Kumarasinghe will not be allowed to enter Parliament in future under Parliament privileges. more..

Central Bank lowers growth estimate

Nov 7 (Reuters) The Central Bank on Tuesday revised down its economic growth to between 4% and 4.5% for this year after holding its key interest rates steady as it focuses on supporting a faltering economy hit by extreme weather. CB Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said the island nation would see an economic growth of between 4% and 4.5% this year, slower than the earlier target of 4.5%. more..

Levy on foreign films & teledramas increased

Nov 7 (AD) The Ministry of Finance today announced that the levy on dubbed foreign films, tele dramas and commercial programmes, imported from abroad and aired locally, has been increased from Rs 90,000 to Rs 150,000 with immediate effect. A statement issued by the ministry said that the tax was increased according to the requests made by artists and organizations affiliated to the cinema and tele drama industry in the country to Minister Mangala Samaraweera. more..

5,412 Officers receives legal discharge: Army

Nov 7 (MoD) The General Amnesty extended for Army deserters has received good response with 5412 Army absentees reporting to their respective Regimental Headquarters seeking legal discharge. As of Monday (6), 06 Officers, 06 Officer Cadets and 5400 Other Ranks of the Army, considered as Absent Without Official Leave (AWOL) have sought legal discharge during the past fortnight after the General Amnesty period came into effect on 23rd Oct, 2017. more..

Cannot blame LIOC for the shortage: PM

Nov 7 (DM) While saying that the current petrol crisis will be probed as to who caused it, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said today he could not agree with the criticism heaped on the Lanka Indian Oil Company (LIOC) for the crisis. PM was referring to a statement made by Anura Kumara Dissanayake and Dinesh Gunawardene who earlier said the petrol shortage would not have taken place if LIOC was not allowed to more..

Mangala-Sumanthiran bluff on secularism

Nov 8 (CT) Mangala Samaraweera, in supporting the report submitted by the Steering Committee on constitutional reform, called for a constitution that will help our nation put its past behind for good and move forward with renewed hope. On the face of it, this is a positive statement.  Mangala’s speech also alluded to the Sathara Brahma Viharana or the four divine abodes, metta, mudita, karuna and upekkha (oving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity).   more..

Aligned, then non-aligned, now re-aligned?

Nov 8 (CT) Post independent Ceylon, governed by UNP, comprising of western-oriented upper class, followed a foreign policy of alignment to the west, especially to its former colonial master, United Kingdom. The emerging cold war was used as the bogeyman to justify a policy of close relations with UK, US and rest of western Europe besides discourage fostering relations with socialist countries. Among other things, it prevented Ceylon from gaining UN membership till Dec 1955. more..

LG election: Women candidates to break into a male bastion

Nov 8 (SO) Women still find it difficult to enter the political structure at the provincial and local govt levels as there is no mechanism provided by the political parties to choose the right candidate, a group of women contesting at the forthcoming local govt elections said. “Lack of such a mechanism will pave the way to bring in unqualified, unsuitable people to the fore just like in the case of male politicians at present.” more..

What the UNP has done and shelter for all by 2025

Nov 8 (DN) I’m sure you don’t need me to explain the importance of homes both for physical and spiritual welfare. We all remember our own homes with fondness and, of course, they set up for life. They are the places we congregate as a family. Here we share experiences and a safe haven for us to return after busy days in the outside world. Housing is important to people and their families’ well-being and security. That is why it is our mission to ensure all Lankans have shelter by 2025 more..

How constitution-drafter Jayampathy tries to override SLFP

Nov 8 (Island) The curtain falls today on the Constitutional Assembly debate on the Interim Report of the Steering Committee. So what happens now? It doesn’t look good. The curious coincidence that the curtain falls roughly on the centenary of the October Revolution of 1917 in Russia should remind us, especially those Constitution makers of a left background, that what is happening on the street is quite as or even more important than what happens in the chambers. more..

'ITAK has neglected rehabilitated LTTE cadres'

Nov 8 (CT) Current leader of the newly formed political party, Rehabilitated Liberation Tamil Tigers (RLTT) and former LTTE-Intelligence Operative Leader for Trinco, Kandaswamy Inbarasa alias Anbu said that leaders of ITAK have neglected rehabilitated ex-LTTE cadres during the past eight years."Rehabilitated LTTE members don't even have a house but these ITAK politicians are living a luxury life. What is the point in electing them? more..

A Force to reckon with

Nov 8 (DN) This writer listened to the farewell speech of Admiral Travis Sinniah recently and was inspired into penning this piece of two other commanders of distinction from the past. The first Ceylonese-born soldier to command his country’s army became the commander of the Ceylon Army in 1955. When he announced his intention to retire in 1959, Prime Minister Solomon Bandaranaike asked him to stay on. He went on to serve as Ceylon’s High Commissioner in Pakistan & Australia, more..

Unpacking Pablo de Greiff’s statement on SL

Nov 8 (GV) Nov 6 marks the deadline for candidate applications for the Office of Missing Persons (OMP). The signing of the Office of Missing Persons gazette drew praise from the UN, with United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres terming it a significant milestone. Yet, locally, concerns were raised on the process of the OMP’s operationalisation. This highlighted the need for Sri Lanka’s transitional justice process to move beyond the mere promise or achievement of more..

Lakshman Kiriella

UN rewards Darusman with Myanmar mission amidst new controversy over SL

Nov 8 (Island) A brief but powerful WION exclusive with Lord Naseby (Michael Wolfgang Laurence Morris) couldn’t have been telecast at a better time for Sri Lanka.  The WION report dealt with Lord Naseby’s significant statement in the House of Lords, on Oct 12, made in respect of the Geneva Resolution 30/1, co-sponsored by SL. Lord Naseby challenged the Report of the Secretary General’s Panel of Experts (PoE) on Accountability in Sri Lanka, foundation for the Geneva Resolution. more..

Non-constitutional requirements for successful implementation of federalism

Nov 8 (Island) The intended federal structure for SL should strongly adhere to the principle of separation of powers both at the national and regional level. The creation of a regional tyranny is not a solution to the ills of a national tyranny. Authoritarianism is not acceptable either as an end in itself or as a mean to an end, no matter how laudable the end is. Thus from the point of view of the life and welfare of the ordinary citizens of this country, Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and others, more..

Embrace a bright future with inclusive cooperation in the Indian Ocean region

Nov 8 (FT) Profound and complex changes are taking place in the current world regarding geopolitical and economic circumstances, with opportunities and challenges driving ahead. During the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, Chinese President Xi Jinping called on the people of all countries to work together with other friendly countries toward a new form of international relations featuring mutual more..

German funds for the corrupt

Nov 8 (CT) A couple of months back the retiring Canadian High Commissioner introduced me to the German Ambassador, whose country has been doing much helpful work in vocational education. He seemed a nice young man, but as it turned out, he was cross with me because, in an article in this series about six months back, I had been critical of some pronouncements he had made. I had quite forgotten what I had written, and I certainly did not associate the football playing youngster with more..

Editorial: Captain Cool in hot water

Nov 8 (Island) One day, in 1996, Arjuna Ranatunga brought the country to a standstill. Roads suddenly got deserted and gantry cranes froze in the Colombo Port. Glued to the television, every Sri Lankan gleefully watched the electrifying moments of the Lions massacring the Kangaroos in Lahore with Captain Cool leading the charge from the front. 21 years on, Ranatunga has almost brought the country to a standstill again—this time around, in his capacity as the Minister of Petroleum. more..

Sri Lanka must walk its talk to achieve hub status: Germany envoy

Nov 8 (FT) German Ambassador to SL Jorn Rohde opines that Sri Lanka is on the right path with its policy strategy, but it is high time for the nation and its leaders to walk the talk. Rohde says that the int'l community is fully supportive of Sri Lanka’s ambition to become the regional hub – and possesses every opportunity to do so – but the country must give effect to serious improvements in the sphere of governance if it were to more..

Ministry of Crab takes Black Crab to Court over trademark infringement

Nov 8 (FT) World-renowned sea food restaurant Ministry of Crab filed action against a restaurant opened under the name Black Crab in the Commercial High Court, over infringement of its trademark and unfair competition. Ministry of Crab, which was established by celebrated chef and restaurateur Darshan Munidasa, partnering with SL cricketing legends Mahela and Sangakkara, found its well-known crab logo being copied by another restaurant known as Black Crab. more..

Mixed first half for Hayleys

Nov 8 (FT) Fuelled by topline growth across all of its key business segments, Hayleys PLC has posted a 20% year-on-year increase in turnover up to Rs. 62.4billion. However its pre-tax profit was down by 44% to Rs. 1.38 billion and after tax profit declined by 56% to Rs. 718.7 million. In a statement Hayleys said the Group has continuously infused higher levels of investment into key business segments with a view to enhancing growth potential over the medium-long term. more..

Sri Lanka off to India today for 7-week tour

Nov 8 (Island) The national cricket team will fly off to Calcutta today morning for a seven week long tour in which they will play 3 Tests, 3 ODIs and 3 T-20s. It will be Sri Lanka’s first Test tour to India in eight years. Since touring India in 2009, SL were scheduled to make a visit to the neighboring country in 2015, but that series was converted into a home series after a request by SLC to come out of a financial crisis. more..

DFCC Bank reports strong 3Q

Nov 8 (Island) DFCC Bank continued to demonstrate positive momentum across business in the 3rd quarter of 2017 as a rapidly emerging full service commercial bank. DFCC Bank recorded growth across all its income segments, with a 31% increase in operating income year-on-year. Bank’s net interest income rose by 32%, to LKR 8,228 Mn buoyed by improvements to the net interest margin from 3.3% in December 2016 to 3.6% by September 2017. more..

Shortage or sabotage?: UNP

Nov 8 (FT) UNP MP Nalin Bandara yesterday called into question the circumstances under which the ongoing fuel crisis came to be. The country has a capacity to store some 90,000 MT of fuel, said Bandara, arguing that the absence of a single shipment of just 30,000 MT could not have led to a shortage. “We have capacity to store 90,000 MT. That’s about 45 to 50 days’ worth of fuel. The people want to know what the officials did until it had all run out till the last drop,” said Bandara. more..

Athletes not paid since August

Nov 8 (CT) Hollow promises by Sports Ministry left many athletes heartbroken, as the monthly allowance for the elite pool of national track and field athletes has not been paid since August. Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara promised to double the monthly grant of National Athletes when they made the country proud, winning gold and 3 silver medals at Asian Championship, but not a single penny has been paid since Aug. more..

400m runners Aruna and Pasindu to Jamaica

Nov 8 (CT) Two young 400m runners, Aruna Darshan and Pasindu Kodikara, will be sent to Jamaica for special training from Dec to April. The two athletes will be huge favourites when it comes to SL's medal prospects at three future International Junior events in 2018 - South Asian Junior, Asian Junior and IAAF World Junior Championships. Aruna Darshan from Akuramboda CC clocked an amazing 47.19 seconds at the recently concluded All Island School Games to win best athlete title. more..

Speaker warns Vasu

Nov 8 (FT) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya warned UPFA JO group MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara to behave in Parliament and take back the criticism made against the chair for being partly responsible for leasing the tank farm in Trincomalee to Lanka IOC many years ago. “It was a collective decision taken by Cabinet to lease the tank farm to Lanka IOC. I was a member of that Cabinet and Cabinet decisions are reached collectively and one person cannot be held responsible for a decision. more..

Rates steady ahead of Budget

Nov 8 (FT) Days ahead of Budget 2018, the Central Bank yesterday kept rates unchanged citing slowing credit growth, strengthened global activity and growth recovery in the second half but acknowledged that significant investment pickup had failed to materialise.  CB Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy conceded that despite credit growth slowing to 17.5% in Sept from 18% in Aug, credit flow to significant more..