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'Neither President nor PM is above the law'

Nov 29 (AD) Minister Arjuna Ranatunga stated that the law of the land should be exercised equally to any citizen even if it the President or the PM.  He further stated that no person irrespective of political power or class can be considered to be above the law. He stated that he is not and has not been excused from judgement just because he is a world cup winning captain. He further stated that he will not make declarations as to who should be detained for crimes but that the judiciary and more..

රුසිරිපාල තෙන්නකොන්

Private sector must help build beaten brand Sri Lanka

Nov 29 (FT) Let’s accept it, brand Sri Lanka has received a severe beating in the last three years due to the overall performance suffering from all fronts. The quality of life of a Sri Lankan household has dropped for the first time in three years. Overall consumption of the FMCG industry at a household level has declined by -3.1% in Q1 to -2.5% in Q2, and Q3 by 3.6% in 2017 as per the latest report by Nielsen. The forecast for the last quarter will not be positive as National Consumer Price Index more..

Successful Business Forum in Seoul

Nov 29 (PMD) A highly successful business forum was held in South Korean capital Seoul today with the participation of President Maithripala Sirisena. More than 100 Korean delegates and few local representatives on leading companies in the East Asian region took part in the Forum. Around 20 Sri Lankan leading business personalities also attended the event which was held at Grand Ballroom of Hyatt Grand in Seoul. Leading Korean entrepreneurs who attended the Forum included more..

SL to treat RFC, NRFC accounts equally

Nov 29 (EN) Sri Lanka will create a single personal foreign currency bank account for residents, non-residents and non-nationals from April 2018, under a liberalized foreign exchange law. Sri Lanka enacted draconian foreign exchange controls as forex shortages were created by a money printing central bank which was set up in 1951, abolishing a currency board, also ending free capital mobility. Residents of SL, more..

Sri Lanka gives concessions for China port operations, ESC to be charged

Nov 29 (EN) Sri Lanka has given a series of tax exemptions for two joint venture companies with China that will part own or manage common user facilities and commercial assets of a port in Hambantota in the South of the country. The tax breaks are given under the Strategic Development Projects Act enacted in 2008, which has wide discretionary powers and has drawn criticism as a opening the doors for corruption. The law also brought in a controversial practice of giving more..

SAARC workshop on climate change begins tomorrow

Nov 29 (GDI) Scholars, the govt representatives from the SAARC region, policy makers and military veterans from South Asian countries will meet in Colombo from 30th Nov to 1st Dec, to discuss a range of climate change effects and the regional response at an international workshop. The workshop is organized by the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Regional Project Energy security and Climate Change Asia-Pacific (RECAP) (Hong Kong), Consortium of South Asian Think Tanks more..

Lankan woman fatally stabbed in Staten Island, US

Nov 29 (CBS) Police have charged a man who they say stabbed a New York City woman to death in a random daytime attack and slashed a good Samaritan who came to her aid. Police say 27-year-old Dantey Moore stabbed 63-year-old Geetha Howie, of Staten Island, repeatedly in the face and chest during the attack Monday afternoon. Relatives say Howie was walking home from the bank when she was attacked a few minutes more..

Pak-Sri Lanka friendship delegation meets Pakistani envoy

Nov 29 (BR) A delegation of Pakistan-Sri Lanka friendship, trade and investment association met High Commissioner of Pakistan, Dr. Shahid Ahmad Hashmat at the High Commission premises in Colombo on Tuesday. According to a message received here, President of the Association, Iftikhar Aziz, briefed the High Commissioner about history and activities of the Association including various social welfare and cultural activities under the purview of the Association. more..

Sri Lankans allowed to invest US$200,000 outside country

Nov 29 (EN) SL's new forex law has allowed an individual to invest 200,000 dollars outside the country, in their lifetime, a partnership 300,000 dollars, but an unlisted company could invest US$ 500,000 a year. SL ended draconian laws against individual investments abroad, under then CB Governor Nivard Cabraal, who relaxed many controls, which are continued under a new simplified exchange control low. A listed company in the CSE could invest up to US$ 2 million a year. more..

Female circumcision in Sri Lanka is just a nick, not mutilation: supporters

Nov 29 (Reuters) Members of SL’s Muslim communities have strongly condemned criticism of ancient cutting rituals performed on girls, saying it should not be classed as female genital mutilation. According to the WHO, FGM includes all procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. Practice has no health benefits for girls and women, says the WHO, adding it can cause more..

100 Chinese couples to take part in mass wedding in Sri Lanka

Nov. 29 (Xinhua) One hundred Chinese couples will visit Sri Lanka next month to take part in a mass wedding celebration in the island country, Megapolis and Western Development Ministry announced. The event, which will be the first of its kind in Sri Lanka, is expected to further increase ties between Sri Lanka and China. The mass wedding will be held on Dec. 17 in capital Colombo, under the patronage of Prez Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. more..

‘Public can lodge complaints if not duly compensated’

Nov 29 (NR) Minister of Disaster Management Anura Priyadharshana Yapa claims the public can lodged complaints with respective District Secretaries, if they deem, due compensations have not been paid following a natural disaster. Speaking during the Committee Stage Debate of the 2018 Budget, he noted that the present govt has instigated a measured programme for disaster relief activities. Minister added that govt has disbursed large sums for disaster victims. more..

Thisara Perera named captain for ODI series against India

Nov 29 (CI) Thisara Perera will lead Sri Lanka's ODI team in the three-match series against India beginning December 10. It will be the 28-year old allrounder's first experience of the role in 50-over international cricket, though he was in charge of a depleted T20I side that took on Pakistan at Gaddafi stadium last month. He will retain command of the side in the shortest format in India. Thisara has played 125 ODIs since his debut more..

IFC strengthen corporate governance practices in SL family-owned businesses

Nov 29 (AD) IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, along with the Sri Lanka Institute of Directors (SLID) and Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), are collaborating on workshops that promote good corporate governance and family business practices to improve the long-term sustainability of family-owned businesses in Sri Lanka. The first in a series of workshops was held recently with the aim of helping participants understand the fundamentals of family business governance. more..

Sridharan denies funding Maaveerar statues

Nov 29 (CT) TNA MP S. Sridharan on 27 November denied releasing State or any of his personal funds towards the construction of Maaveerar statues in the Northern Province. He was reacting to media reports which alleged that the MP had released a sum of Rs 4 million from the decentralized budget towards the construction of a statue to commemorate fallen LTTE cadres in Kilinochchi. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had ordered officials to probe whether the MP in question had released more..

3-member UN elegation to visit Sri Lanka

Nov 29 (OHCHR) A 3-member delegation from the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention will carry out an official visit to Sri Lanka from 4 to 15 Dec to assess the country’s situation regarding the deprivation of liberty. José Antonio Guevara Bermúdez, Leigh Toomey and Elina Steinerte will visit a variety of places where people are held, including prisons, police stations and institutions for juveniles, migrants and people with more..

Photos: President pays respects to the Korean martyrs

Nov 29 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena paid respects to the Korean martyrs who made the supreme sacrifice during three different wars with invading forces. He visited the War Heroes Memorial Tower situated at the National Cemetery in Seoul and he was received by National Cemetery Superintendent, An Suhyun. After a solemn ceremony by military band, the President placed a wreath at the Monument and put incense powder to the eternal lamp at the Alter. more..

Police to use dogs to control crowds instead of tear gas, water cannon

Nov 29 (Island) Canines were far more effective in controlling unruly crowds than tear gas and water cannon. Two dog trainers from Scotland Yard had arrived in the country to train the police canines to adopt modern crowd control methods, police said. Kennel Division of SL Police had been praised by the two Scotland Yard officers for using canines in handling different tasks. The two foreign officers would discuss with their local counterparts ways and means of training the dog handlers. more..

Tropical depression threatens flooding across Sri Lanka

Nov 29 (AJ) The last week or so has seen torrential downpours across southern parts of the Bay of Bengal. Southern India and Sri Lanka have both been badly affected and there has been some flooding. Daily downpours look set to continue into the weekend. On Wednesday, Dept of Meteorology announced that a tropical depression had formed just to the southeast of the country. It is expected to strengthen for a time as it moves more..

Amending labour laws: Labour Ministry should be consulted: John

Nov 29 (CT) The alleged attempt by the Ministry of Finance to change certain labour laws received much flack in Parliament, when the Heads of Expenditure of the Ministry of Labour and Trade Union Relations were taken up for debate. Pointing out that labour laws should be amended only in consultation with his Ministry, Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne said that the Ministry of Finance had failed to do so when preparing Budget 2018. "Minister of Finance proposed in the Budget more..

Pension for migrant workers soon: Manusha Scheme to be set up next year

Nov 29 (CT) The Bill for providing a pension scheme to migrant workers has been prepared and sent to the AG's Department, Deputy Minister of Foreign Employment Manusha Nanayakkara said in Parliament on 27 Nov. He further said that the Govt hopes to introduce the pension scheme within next year. Nanayakkara was speaking at the third stage debate on the Budget 2018. He noted that the Govt has been able to reduce the number of unskilled migrant female domestic workers by 33%. more..

‘Time is opportune to formulate new constitution’

Nov 29 (DN) “SLFP and UNP have formed a consensus govt to finalise and adopt a new constitution for Sri Lanka as we do not know who would be elected as the Executive President in the future; so let's use this opportunity for the betterment of the country," Minister Mangala Samaraweera said. He was addressing the gathering at 3rd Sathyagraha campaign, 6.2 million on alert, which is carried out island-wide, more..

Waiting for the Muslim Man to soften up

Nov 30 (GV) Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA) is in need of amendment and has been under the scrutiny of a most ineffectual committee for the past nine years. For years, individuals and groups of Muslims have expressed concern at this disgraceful situation. Earlier this year, I was invited to attend a closed door conversation regarding the ongoing discussion on MMDA reform. After listening to many minutes of intellectual sounding dilemmas on how to tackle the situation of Muslim men more..

Objectionable Statements

Nov 30 (Island) I found some of the statements made by politicians and media personal this last week annoying, intriguing, stupid and thus laughable, even frightening. One statement which I found to be ironically rich and totally ludicrous was ex Sports Minister Aluthgamage, under a heavy cloud and being investigated for fraud, advising President Maithripala Sirisena to leave the UNP or cut them off the government and join the Joint Opposition blue bods. more..

Money Talks: What does the legal tender say about Sri Lanka?

Nov 30 (Roar) Money dominates the lives of most. It is earned, exchanged, enjoyed, and wasted. It is stolen, given, hidden, and forbidden. But seldom are the crumpled handful of colourful notes put under the microscope, and the intriguing iconography explored. What is the significance of the birdlife that adorns the Sri Lankan rupee notes? What stories about the island do these icons reveal? more..

Sri Lanka’s digital future to take centre stage at global voices summit

Nov 30 (GV) The international citizen media network, Global Voices, will be holding their biennial Summit in Colombo, Sri Lanka on December 2-3, 2017. The event will take place at TRACE Expert City in Maradana, and will feature debates, discussions and workshops with independent journalists, digital media experts and online activism communities from around the world. The event will open with an exploration of the future of digital conversations in Sri Lanka, more..

EU approves the herbicide Glyphosate by another 5 years

Nov 30 (CT) After deliberations that lasted almost a month, and months of preliminary review at various levels, the European Union countries have votes overwhelmingly to extend the use of the controversial herbicide Glyphosate. Monsanto and many other agro-chemical companies sell the product since the original Monsanto patent expired decades ago. It has been used in Sri Lanka in significant amounts since 2000 and banned in 2015. Various formulations of glyphosate more..

HPV vaccine programme launched: Towards eradicating cervical cancer

Nov 30 (CT) The Ministry of Health, after three years of effort, recently introduced Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine programme to the country, as part of the National Immunization Programme. The vaccine programme aims to reduce the risk of cervical cancer, which is the second most prevalent cancer among women after breast cancer. Every year, at least 800–1,000 cases of cervical cancer patients are reported in SL. more..

Bridge over troubled waters

Nov 30 (DN) In a week that was packed to the rafters with political developments, partners in the National Unity govt, UNP and SLFP had serious differences of opinion, yet remained committed to each other even though sections of the SLFP were wooing the Joint Opposition (JO). It could be argued that this was the fallout of the proceedings of the PCoI into the sale of CB bonds, where telephone conversations between parliamentarians and those at the centre of controversy were revealed. more..

Editorial: A glimmer of hope

Nov 30 (Island) It looks as if the govt’s determined efforts to postpone LG polls further on some pretext or the other had come a cropper at long last. The yahapalana leaders have run out of flimsy excuses and apparently realised that pent up public resentment is likely to spill over on to the streets if people’s franchise continues to be suppressed. If the Lankan democracy is lucky there will be LG polls early next year. One, however, should not be so naïve as to believe that more..

Kabir Hasheem

Story Of Seetha: Ballet gives a new twist to Ramayana

Nov 30 (NS) He is an outstanding creative rebel whose out-of-the-box thinking has revolutionized the world of SL dance. Now again dance maestro Chandana Wickramasinghe is preparing to take SL audiences by storm with his new ballet The Story of Sita, which is scheduled to go on the boards in January 2018. It recently had a very successful maiden show. Wickramasinghe gives a new twist to the timeless love story of Valmiki’s Ramayana, using only the characters of Rama, Sita, Ravana more..

The creation of a Palestinian state must be supported

Nov 30 (CT) The aspiration of the Palestinians are well known to the world. What they aspire is the liberation and establishment of a unity government. We can’t see any rationale in marking time and delaying this matter of vital importance. I sincerely hope that the People of Palestine will achieve what they are struggling for without further delay. On behalf of the govt of Sri Lanka and its people on this very special day I wish Palestinians every success in their endeavours. more..

New Police database documents violence against women and children

Nov 30 (AF) The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, a global campaign that runs through Dec 10, occurs this year against the backdrop of an unprecedented global uproar against sexual harassment and other forms of violence that women face. Across Asia, as in many countries, violence against women continues to be one of the most widespread human rights violations. more..

PPP unit unveils new formula

Nov 30 (DN) A senior govt official discouraged investors from adopting ad-hoc ways in approaching line ministries to get their public private partnerships off the ground. Finance and Mass Media Ministry’s National Agency for Public Private Partnership (PPP) Chairman Thilan Wijesinghe said the main objective was to build institutional capacity so there was no uncertainty from the point of the investor and it would provide a transparent process for the investor and line ministry to follow. more..

Man develops symptoms of pregnancy

Nov 30 (DM) A woman who came to live in a rural area in the Southern province had begun a healthcare service centre for married women who are not fortunate to have children. Those who came to her with the hope of becoming mothers have developed symptoms of pregnancy after taking the medicine she had given. After coming to know about this witch-craft doctor a wife who was worried about delayed pregnancy has gone without the knowledge of her husband to her & received medicine. more..

'Sri Lanka wants sustainable development driven as equal partners'

Nov 30 (DN) As both Chinese and Indian investors sought to woo investors at SL Economic and Investment Conclave, Minister Champika Ranawaka said that given the contemporary geopolitical environment, small nations like Sri Lanka are now in a position to deal as equal partners with major economies of the world. “What we want in this global fourth industrial revolution area is sustainable development more..

‘Sri Lanka's hotel sector facing acute skilled labour shortage’

Nov 30 (Island) Sri Lanka's tourism sector needs development in certain supporting sectors, like the hotel sector,  considering the increasing number of  tourists into  the  country. One of the major issues that needs to be addressed is  the acute shortage of  skilled labour in the sector. This would adversely affect the hotel sector which is considered to be the life blood of the industry. 'Today the tourism sector is rapidly developing in SL with the end of the three decade war, especially in East, North, South more..

Urge govt to give death penalty to the killers of iconic Galgamuwa tusker

Nov 30 (PS) Galgamuwa tusker wa s a majestic creature who used to roam between Kala wewa and Galgamuwa Sri Lanka. This iconic tusker stoop apart from the rest of his species due to the unique curvature of his tusks. Sri Lankan wildlife authorities noticed his absence for over two months and feared it to be permanent. At the same time they arrested some people with two elephant tusks that bear close resemblance to the tusks of Galagamuwa tusker. investigations revealed more..