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Incestuous relations between power and privilege

Nov 29 (CT) Bernard Shaw was accurate about budding politicians. "He knows nothing; and he thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career." John Galsworthy is an English novelist who won the 1932 Nobel for Literature and died in 1933. In Maid in Waiting the first in his Victorian trilogy defined the game that is called politics. "Politics is the soil in which the nettle of poisonous enmity, evil suspicions, shameless lies, slander, morbid ambitions, and disrespect for more..

Amount of US$ into/out of country increased

Nov 29 (DM) The amount of foreign currency that can be brought in to the country has been increased to US$ 15,000 while the amount that can be taken out of the country has been increased to US$ 10,000 with effect from Jan 1, 2018, Customs Media Spokesman Sunil Jayaratne said. He said this was announced in an extraordinary gazette notification issued by the govt last week. "However, where a person arriving in SL intends to take back foreign currency notes exceeding US$ 10,000 more..

Ashwin, the best spinner in the world: Murali

Nov 29 (Hindu) Spin legend Muttiah Muralitharan feels India’s R. Ashwin is presently the best spinner in the world and his achievements with the ball are a testimony to his greatness. Ashwin on Monday became the fastest bowler to reach the milestone of 300 Test wickets in his 54th match, breaking Dennis Lillee’s record during India’s convincing win over SL in the second Test. Muralitharan congratulated the off-spinner more..

Hela Clothing launches pioneering augmented reality T-shirt and game for Tesco

Nov 29 (FT) Helavation, the innovation arm of leading Sri Lankan-based global apparel manufacturer, Hela Clothing, yesterday announced the launch of its first augmented reality enabled clothing for children. The collaboration between Hela and British retailer, Tesco, is due to hit stores this December. Commenting on this innovative use of technology, Hela Clothing CIO Nissanga Warnapura said: “After months of development we’re thrilled to be launching this product for Tesco F&F. more..

Central Bank should be cautious in launching inflation targeting monetary policy

Nov 29 (Island) While appreciating the Central Bank’s endevour to shift to an inflation targeting or more precisely, to a flexible inflation targeting monetary policy framework, I would like to emphasize here that it is not an easy task to effectively implement such a policy strategy in a developing country like Sri Lanka, given the fiscal imbalances, debt burden and other macroeconomic hindrances. These pitfalls were already brought to light in my previous articles more..

EU to allow Sri Lanka apparel to source fabric from ASEAN

Nov 29 (FT) SL apparel exports are likely to receive a significant boost through a European Union (EU) decision to allow the sourcing of fabric from Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia as the industry aims to hit $ 5 billion in earnings this year. SL Apparel Exporters Association Chairman Felix Fernando, speaking at the 35th AGM, which was also attended by Minister Mangala Samaraweera, noted that the industry was more..

Rajitha says he doesn’t call anyone sir except his teachers

Nov 29 (Island) Health Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne called for a change of attitude on the part of his officials. Speaking at a ceremony at the Health Ministry, Senaratne observed that most people considered it demeaning to use the title, sir in addressing others. As a member of the leftist movement he had not used it when he addressed others except his teachers and the late Dr Ranjith Atapattu. Dr. Senaratne said the outgoing Director General Health Services (DGHS) more..

Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games: Deadline beats Gymnastic team

Nov 29 (CT) Sri Lanka Gymnastic team is in trouble and will not be able to take part in the forthcoming Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018 due to their pre application work not being completed before the deadline by the Sri Lanka Gymnastic Federation (SLGF). SLGF received seven invitations for the Commonwealth Games - six for gymnastic events (three men and three women), while the other was for Rhythmic gymnastics event - but due to the irresponsible act by SLGF President more..

Batting coach Samaraweera suggests a psychiatrist

Nov 29 (DN) Batting coach Thilan Samaraweera has suggested that it would be a good idea to obtain the services of a psychiatrist to talk to the players to get their mindset right. SL team cricketers are at the moment very much short of self-confidence having suffered their worst thrashing in Test history when India beat them by an innings and 239 runs to win the 2nd Test played at Nagpur and go one-up in the 3-match Test series. more..

Political economy of bond scams and other thefts

Nov 29 (Island) The current situation relating to govt corruption and malfeasance in Sri Lanka, viewed in the light of election promises made in 2015, reminds us of a particularly keen universal truth observed by the former French President Charles de Gaulle. He is supposed to have quipped: In order to become the master, the politician poses as the servant. The observation appears to aptly describe the current SL situation. Clearly, the shameful theft of public funds and phenomenal waste more..

Govt revenue up by Rs. 1,172.4 bn in 8 months

Nov 29 (DN) Total govt revenue increased by 15.7% to Rs. 1,172.4 billion in the first eight months of 2017, compared to Rs. 1,013.4 billion in the same period of 2016. Tax revenue increased by 17.5% to Rs. 1,094.9 billion whereas non-tax revenue declined by 4.9% to Rs. 77.4 billion during the review period in 2017. Domestic consumption base tax revenue increased by 26.9% to Rs. 342.3 billion in the first eight months of 2017, compared to Rs. 269.7 billion recorded in the same period. more..

Aitken Spence wins Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Award 2017

Nov 29 (FT) Aitken Spence PLC won the coveted Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Award 2017 an annual event organised by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, the country’s premier business chamber to recognise sustainable champions of the local corporate world, while Hatton National Bank PLC and Cargills (Ceylon) PLC became the first and second runner up of the competition, respectively. more..

Vavuniya Campus closed indefinitely due to possible clash

Nov 29 (DM) Vavuniya Campus of the University of Jaffna has been indefinitely closed due to a possible clash between Sinahla and Tamil students in the university.It was reported that a group of Sinhalese students had complained to the Administration about the Tamil students celebration of LTTE leader V Prabhakaran’s death anniversary on the 26th Nov and the administration has decided to close down the university to prevent any possible clash between the two student groups. more..

Euro 19.35 million interest free soft loan from Austria

Nov 29 (GDI) Austrian Govt promotes its assistance to Sri Lanka, by providing (Euro 19.35 million) Rs.3, 546 million interest free soft loans to upgrade the Katunayaka Engineering Technology Institute and to obtain 100 Ambulances for Govt hospitals in the country. This loan facility provided through Raiffeisen Bank of Austria will set aside EUR 9.85 million to procure 100 Ambulance Cars for Govt Hospitals and another 9.5 million Euro for enhancing & upgrading of Institute of Engineering Tech more..

Mahattaya: A trusted lieutenant who turned into a mole

Nov 29 (Hindu) It is now known that the LTTE executed Mahattaya, the organisation’s deputy leader, in the mid-1990s on the charge of being an agent of Indian intelligence. A compilation of documents from the LTTE’s political wing published now says the dreaded militant group believed that it had got conclusive proof against him only after he was left out of the charge-sheet in India in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, filed in 1992. more..

‘Indian investors shouldn’t miss SL bus’

Nov 29 (Hindu) There has never been a better time for Indians to invest in SL, the Indian CEO Forum here said, even as it invited the Indian private sector to take advantage of the current business environment in the island. “There is tremendous scope for investment in many sectors, from food to apparel to electrical appliances,” said Umesh Gautam, president of the Colombo-based organisation, which has close to 60 Indian investors and corporate leaders operating in SL. more..

'TID will investigate Maaveerar Naal events'

Nov 29 (TG) State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene said the Terrorism Investigation Division would investigate and arrest those involved in organising the commemoration of Maaveerar Naal and marking the birthday of LTTE leader V Prabhakaran. Responding to questions about events, he said, “TID has launched investigations because such actions are illegal. LTTE is a banned terrorist group. TID will carry out investigations and arrest those that are involved.” more..

Mahinda takes battle against shipping liberalisation to Parliament

Nov 29 (FT) Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe yesterday took his battle against the 2018 Budget move to liberalise shipping and the freight forwarding sector to Parliament further exposing disagreement over the contentious proposal within the coalition Govt. He stated that he would not allow foreign companies to come here to make money and take all profits as a result of the Finance Minister’s proposal. more..

Global investors already in Sri Lanka shipping industry: JO

Nov 29 (DM) The budget proposal to open up the shipping industry with the objective of attracting major players to invest in Sri Lanka would not serve any purpose as global players are already engaged in business in the country, JO MP Rohitha Abeygunawardene said. “Global players in the shipping industry are already in Sri Lanka and the proposal to remove the laws which restrict the stake a foreign player could hold in a shipping agency in SL to 40% will not serve any purpose. more..

Sri Lanka reinforces ties with Palestine

Nov 29 (DN) Officials from the highest levels of govt expressed their continuing support for the cause of the Palestinian state to mark the United Nations day for solidarity with Palestine. “Govt of Sri Lanka has been consistent in its policy to stand for the inalienable rights of Palestinian people,” President Maithripala Sirisena said in a written statement. In his statement, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said “Sri Lanka has always been a dear friend to the nation of Palestine, and I’ve consistently maintained more..

Making haste slowly is a tired refrain in SL

Nov 29 (HRW) Sri Lanka’s previous foreign minister liked to tell the UNHRC that his govt was, making haste slowly, in acting on the council’s October 2015 resolution calling for reforms, justice, and accountability, particularly for the victims of the country’s decades-long civil war. The phrase was meant to capture the sincerity of intent and political will, but that politics got in the way of making good on the promises. more..

SEC prunes down ex-officio members in Commission

Nov 29 (FT) The new SEC Bill has pruned down the number of ex-officio members in the Commission while when appointing the Chairman, the Minister has been provided with several factors for consideration. In the existing Act there are three ex-officio members – the Deputy Secretary to the Treasury, Registrar of Companies and President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants. However, in the new Bill, the ex-officio slot has been reduced to one and confined to Registrar of Companies. more..

Rs. 65 b EPF contributions push fund to Rs. 1.9 trillion

Nov 29 (FT) The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) has received Rs. 65,339 million in contributions during the first six months of 2017, increasing the total value of South Asia’s largest social security fund with 2.6 million members to Rs. 1,949 billion. Opening the 16th allotted day of the Appropriation Bill 2018 – Committee Stage Debate on Ministry of Labour, Minister W.D.J. Senewiratne stated that stringent law enforcement and effective collection methods led the EPF to grow. more..

Beira Lake Intervention Area Development Plan launched

Nov 29 (FT) Under the initiative of the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development and the UDA, Beira Lake Intervention Area Development Plan was inaugurated in Colombo yesterday. The ministry aims to restore the lake and turn it into the most scenic asset of Colombo by 2035. Having had a highly urbanised catchment of 448 hectares, the lake was used for a wide variety of purposes during the colonial era of more..

'Gota should be given a Presidential pardon For any alleged mistake by him'

Nov 29 (CT) A collective of retired senior military officers took to the public arena, opposing the alleged Governmental move to arrest former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Under the banner of War Heroes for the Nation, representing a collective of retired senior officers of the tri-forces, they claimed that the collective had been organized as a result of the recent reports on a Govt move to arrest Rajapaksa. This collective was led by retired Major General Kamal Gunaratne more..

Sri Lanka Investment Conclave begins

Nov 29 (DN) Investors from seven countries are participating in the first Sri Lanka Economic and Investment Conclave which opened at the Kingsbury Hotel, Colombo, yesterday. The business seminar is focusing on investment opportunities in Sri Lanka. Dr. Palitha Kohona, former Ambassador to the UN and Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, opened the event. China’s One Belt, One Road initiative, sector-specific investment opportunities, and more..

Ven. Abhayatissa decries bid to arrest GR

Nov 29 (Island) Having made representations to President Sirisena regarding an attempt to arrest wartime Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa over alleged misappropriation of funds in the construction of D.A. Rajapaksa memorial, Ven. Prof. Medagoda Abhayatissa said that the President couldn’t absolve himself of the responsibility for the pathetic situation. Thera said he had been among a delegation of Buddhist more..

The President and the National Unity Govt

Nov 29 (DM) Amid confusion, contradictory reports and chaos, the Elections Commission on Monday issued notice for nominations to 93 local councils. These are the councils where there are no multi-member wards and thereby are not covered by the interim stay order issued by the Court of Appeal. Reports say nominations may also be called this week for elections to 40 other councils where there are no legal problems. There are a total of 341 municipal councils, urban councils and more..

Why Ranil is the last hope for Good Governance?

Nov 29 (DM) That decision was a momentous one. It was a daring move only either the most stupid or the most courageous would take, whichever way one looks at it.  Scorn that was hurled at him and the vituperative verbiage that was aimed at him recognised no boundaries. Maithripala Sirisena’s decision was momentous because his decision entailed, among others, bidding adieu to a long-winded political life in the SLFP. By deserting his Party and challenging the Pseudo war-hero more..

'UNP, as a party, protects President'

Nov 29 (DM) UNP MP for the Puttalam district Hector Appuhamy speaks about the current status of the govt and allegations against him about the Bond scam. Q: UNP MPs take on President Maithripala Sirisena openly. How will it affect the future of the unity govt? A: We all should read the mandate given to us at the 2015 elections. We should understand why people elected President Sirisena to office and gave us a mandate subsequently at the parliamentary election. more..

'We have to be strategic enough to engineer a political explosion’

Nov 29 (DM) NFF leader MP Wimal Weerawansa talked about the current political climate in the country and the plans afoot for the Local Govt Elections. Following are excerpts of the interview done with MP Weerawansa.  Q: How are you getting ready for the LG Elections under the new political developments? A: All the parties aligned with the Joint Opposition are working out arrangements to contest as a common front. more..

I’ll never betray the nation: President

Nov 29 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena assured to the Sri Lankan community in South Korea that he would never betray the nation or the country. Addressing the SL community in Republic of Korea, he said that he came to power with the pure intention of rectifying the historical errors and to ensure that the people of Sri Lanka would live in peace, harmony and communal coexistence. Addressing the SL community in South Korea more..

Cancellation of tender by interim Govt: SLPA incurs Rs 3.5B loss

Nov 29 (CT) Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) has incurred a loss of Rs 3.5 billion because the 100-day Interim Govt put an end to a tender calling for the importation of necessary machinery for the development of the Colombo Port East Terminal. Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe revealed this at the Committee Stage Debate of the Budget 2018 in Parliament, when the Heads of Expenditure of his Ministry were taken up. more..

Millions splurged on failed 2018 Commonwealth Games bid

Nov 29 (ST) Private companies, many listed on the Stock Exchange and accountable to Shareholders, splurged millions of rupees on the previous administration’s failed bid to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Hambantota, it was disclosed in Parliament. Some of these payments–deposited into a Bank of Ceylon current account belonging to CWG Hambantota 2018 Pvt Ltd– were made in 2012-13, well after SL’s bid was more..

'Proceeds from govt asset sales for debt servicing'

Nov 29 (DN) The Govt has taken the decision to earmark all proceeds from the sale or long lease of govt assets to be used in debt servicing, CB Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy said. He explained the actions taken by Central Bank and govt to improve the investment climate for bringing potential investors into the country. USD 1.1 billion from the long lease of H'tota Port to CMPort, thus would be used for debt repayment. more..

Former NFF Organizer removed from post

Nov 29 (NR) Former National Organizer of the NFF Piyasiri Wijenayake says he has been removed from all positions. Speaking at a media briefing the former parliamentarian said the relevant letters were received by him yesterday. Wijenayake said the letter he received stated that he had been suspended as the National Organiser, a member of the political bureau and from the Central Committee. more..

IMF loan’s third tranche on 6 Dec

Nov 29 (CT) The IMF will disburse the third tranche of US$167.2 million from the total US$ 1.5 billion of Sri Lanka's Extended Fund Facility (EFF), after its executive Board meets on 6 Dec, Central Bank (CB) officials said. "It will disburse immediately after the IMF Executive Board's third review under the extended fund facility and it also might be followed by relevant requests for modification of performance criterion," more..

Sri Lanka and South Korea to strengthen economic and diplomatic cooperation

Nov 29 (PMD) President   Moon Jae- in of Republic of Korea said President Maithripala Sirisena’s current visit has resulted in the opening of a new glorious chapter of the bilateral friendship and cooperation between the two countries. The visit takes place in conjunction with the 40th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and Korea. Speaking at the Summit Talks more..

Video: Interim order issued preventing Gotabhaya’s arrest

Nov 29 (AD) Court of Appeal issued a stay order on the FCID preventing any action against former Secretary of Defence Gotabhaya Rajapaksa over public properties following court proceedings today. Former Defence Secretary filed a writ petition in the Court of Appeal seeking an interim order preventing the police from arresting him. Order was fixed for hearing today by (President) Justice L.T.B. Dehideniya & Justice Shiran Gunaratne. more..

MR’s Poll Cry

Nov 29 (CT) Delimitation in SL context is about carving new wards or electorates or seats or wards, either at Parliamentary or PC or LG, election level. With SL's increasing population, delimitation results in the addition of more electorates or seats or wards, at all these levels. Delimitation resulted in the increase of SL's parliamentary seats from 168 at the 1977 poll to 225 at the next parliamentary elections held 11 years later in 1988. This number has remained constant, despite more..