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Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Sydney celebrates Deepavali

Nov 3 (FT) Consulate General of SL in Sydney, in collaboration with SL Tamil community, conducted a special Hindu religious observance and invoked blessings at the Consulate General on 22 Oct to celebrate Deepavali, festival of lights. Rev. Priest Siva Sri Chandrasegara Appasamy Kurukkal of Sydney’s Murugan Temple and Arumugam Iyer conducted the Hindu religious observances and invoked blessings on SL Govt, Consulate General and those who were present at the occasion. more..

VAC Press Conference on Bond Issue

Much-awaited elections are here!

Nov 3 (DN) In what initially appeared to be a reversal of an earlier govt decision, the govt last week agreed to LG elections in January, after resolving some issues that had arisen over the creation of several new local govt bodies, particularly in the Nuwara Eliya district. Minister Faiszer Mustapha was due to publish the gazette notification paving the way for the eagerly awaited elections this week, after which the EC was due to announce the date of the poll. more..

400,000 new jobs created: True or false?

Nov 3 (FT) Several attractive advertisements have appeared in popular newspapers in recent times, claiming that more than 400,000 jobs have been created (presumably) during the past two years of this Govt.  In that regard, the information and data contained in the Annual Reports of the Central Bank for the years 2014, 2015 and 2016 (published after the Yahapalanaya Govt came in to power), can be examined in order to ascertain the veracity of the above claim. more..

Govt to expedite reforms for risk management

Nov 3 (FT) Govt promised to engage in a more proactive reform process to mitigate risks related to the four key areas of fiscal consolidation, trade, disaster management and accountability in order to speed up economic progress. Deputy Minister Harsha De Silva promised this while attending the launch of SL Development Update focusing on Managing Risks & creating opportunities for Sustained Growth organised by World Bank. more..

Expansive tourism promotion and Road Show held in Bahrain

Nov 3 (Island) The Sri Lanka Tourism in close coordination with the embassy of Sri Lanka in the Kingdom of Bahrain conducted a major tourism promotional event, recently, in order to lure and woo tourists and visitors from Bahrain to Sri Lanka. The mega Road-Show and event consisted of Business to Business (B2B) sessions, comprehensive presentations and workshops, pro-active interaction between Sri Lankan and Bahraini corporates, Q & A session and raffle draws followed by more..

JKH sees marginal profit dip in 2Q

Nov 3 (FT) John Keells Holdings (JKH) has witnessed a marginal dip in profit in the second quarter though the top line has seen good growth. JKH said the cumulative Profit Before Tax (PBT) for the first half of the financial year 2017/18 at Rs. 9.04 billion was an increase of 3% over the PBT of Rs. 8.75 billion recorded in the same period of the previous financial year. The Group PBT in the second quarter of the financial year 2017/18 amounted to Rs. 4.95 billion against more..

Geetha’s loss Piyasena’s gain

Nov 3 (CT) Supreme Court yesterday upheld a previous Court of Appeal ruling, which held that Geetha Kumarasinghe, who was elected to Parliament at the 2015 General Election, could not hold office as a Parliamentarian owing to her dual citizenship status. In 2015, a group of voters challenged her candidacy on the grounds that she held dual citizenship at the time, which, according to the Attorney General, she is yet to revoke. more..

Govt pharmacists threaten two day trike

Nov 3 (Island) Society of Govt Pharmacists (SGP) warned they would resort to a two day strike if the Health Ministry failed to meet several of their demands including recommencing the post graduate M.Sc. degree programme in Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics conducted by the Post Graduate Institute of Medicine (PGIM). SGP President Ajith Tillakaratne warned his union in collaboration with all other unions comprising the Professions Supplementary to Medicine (PSM) would more..

Prices of 10 essential commodities slashed

Nov 3 (NR) Lanka Sathosa has decided to reduce prices of ten essential commodities. Accordingly, a kilogram of Samba rice has been priced at 78 rupees while a kilogram of Nadu rice will be sold at 74 rupees. A kilogram of White raw rice will be sold at 65 rupees at Sathosa outlets from today. Meanwhile a kilogram of dhal will be sold 148 rupees. Issuing a statement, Ministry of Industry and Commerce said a 425 gram canned fish was reduced to a maximum price of 129 rupees. more..

Looters as Rulers: PM’s evidence will have to be delayed

Nov 3 (Island) Chairman of the PCoL probing the bond scams, Supreme Court Justice K. T. Chitrasiri yesterday announced that commission member Justice Prasanna Jayawardena, recovering from surgery, would not be able to attend another hearing for the next two weeks to obtain a few clarification and any other evidence which may be necessary from PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. more..

Mobitel spearheads drone application developer community in Sri Lanka

Nov 3 (DM) Advancing the trend in drone application development in SL, Mobitel is partnering Bhoomi-Tech, Browns Advanced technology, Center for Research and Development – Ministry of Defence, CameraLK and renowned local drone manufactures, University of Moratuwa, and Future Drones, as Founding Members of Drone Application Developer Community. Formed to support the eco system in SL, this unique partnership was unveiled at Techno 2017, presence of all founding members. more..

Liability Management Act on the horizon to facilitate FDI

Nov 3 (Island) The govt is to introduce a new Act titled Liability Management Act to strengthen the govt policy framework to attract foreign direct investment, instead of resorting to commercial loans for govt  projects, Senior Advisor, Ministry of Finance Mano Thittawella said. "The aim of the Act is to manage govt liabilities in a more efficient and effective manner using modern technology, Thittawella said at the launch at the Taj Samudra of the World Bank report titled, more..

Bond Commission denounces conduct of ASG De Livera

Nov 3 (DM) Bond Commission Chairman Justice K.T Chithrasiri and Commissioner Prasanna Jayawardena said the conduct of Additional Solicitor General Dappula De Livera was deplorable. "I have served 37 years as a judge and I have never seen this happen after an order is made" Justice Chithrasiri told the Commission. A heated argument erupted after the Commission made an order which prevented the marking of statements given to more..

PM will go before the bond commission

Nov 3 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe will go before the Presidential Commission probing the bond issue and will answer all that is asked from him in detail. Sources from the Prime Minister’s office told the Daily Mirror that he will provide details on 16 matters pertaining to the bond issue as requested by the commission. It is likely that he will go before the commission next week, these sources said. This follows an assurance given earlier by the PM to appear before it to provide answers to more..

Sarfraz rejects Chandimal’s witchcraft claim

Nov 3 (IE) Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed has refuted Sri Lankan captain Dinesh Chandimal’s claims that the Lankan’s won the Test series in UAE due to witchcraft and blessings by a meyni (sorcerer). According to a report in PTI, Sarfraz said, “We lost the two Tests because of our poor batting and that is all. If they could win Test matches because of witchcraft or magic, then they should have also won the ODI and T20 series”. “I believe in the Holy Quran and also that more..

LG polls: JO lays down conditions for teaming up with SLFP

Nov 3 (Island) JO said it would join ranks with the SLFP to contest the next local govt polls only if the latter left the UNP-led govt. Fifty two JO MPs have written to General Secretary Minister Duminda Dissanayake, laying down seven conditions. Letter has been sent in response to Minister Dissanayake’s letter dated Oct 19 calling on the JO MPs to join forces with the SLFP to contest forthcoming election. more..

Video: New Constitution brought to repress burning issues: JO

Nov 3 (DM) The main purpose of the govt in bringing a New Constitution is to divert the mindset of the people and repress the burning issues of the country, UPFA MP Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said. Addressing a media briefing, he said that there were more significant issues to be addressed rather bringing a new Constitution and added that the govt had totally neglected the mandate given by the people in 2015. “We don’t say that the new Constitution is not topical. more..

Video: Mervyn Silva launches Deshiya Janatha Pakshaya

Nov 3 (DM) Former minister Mervyn Silva launched a new political party named Deshiya Janatha Pakshaya at his residence in Colombo. Following the launch, the former minister told a news conference that he had launched this political party in order to safeguard all religions and nationalities. While commenting on the new Constitution, he said that no one had requested for it and urged the govt that it was mandatory to develop the country than forming a new Constitution. more..

AG says very revealing communications of Aloysius to be presented

Nov 3 (DM) While reserving a date to place details with regard to communications of Arjun Aloysius and other concerned parties, ASG Yasantha Kodagoda said that the content of the extracted WhatsApp messages of Aloysius’ phone was very revealing. Using Aloysius’ mobile phone data extracted at the forensic retrieval and the details received from his mobile service provider, ASG Kodagoda will lead evidence through more..

What the war heroes really think

Nov 3 (DM) There are no grievances specific to Tamils - Udaya Gammanpila, WPC Minister, 2014. There are no minorities now - Mahinda Rajapaksa, May 2009. Following the defeat of the LTTE in May 2009 popular understanding of the root causes of ethnic violence congealed around a single dominant narrative. This narrative consists of three premises and a conclusion. Premise I: The root cause of the ethnic conflict was the greed and power lust of Tamil elites, more..

Constitutional Conversations: need for a consensus from majority and minority

Nov 3 (DM) I was pleasantly surprised to read the very perceptive and might I say brilliantly argued piece by Dr. Dayan Jayatilleke in the Daily Mirror of Oct 11, 2017, Constitutional Conversation :What the Government and the nationalists don’t get. He has put his finger on what the Tamil Question is all about, when he says the Tamil question is about alienation. I quote “It is about the relationship between the Tamil community in Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan state.  more..

Can Article 9 save buddhism?

Nov 3 (DM) Republic of Sri Lanka shall give to Buddhism the foremost place and accordingly it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana, while assuring to all religions the rights granted by Articles 10 and 14(1)(e). [Chapter II – Buddhism; Article 9 of Constitution]   This Constitutional provision written into the first Republican Constitution of 1972 was adopted in May the same year. more..

Nilanga Dela back in the spotlight

Nov 3 (SL) Minister of Gamini Jayawickrama Perera, has ordered a report on allegations raised against the Diyawadana Nilame of the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy, Nilanga Dela Bandara. The report was sought following allegations raised that Nilanga Dela Bandara had signed deeds to sell historic land in the Kandy area. Commissioner General of Buddhist Affairs, Nimal Kotawala said that Kandy Commission of more..

Local industries accuse BOI of putting foot in the mouth

Nov 3 (ST) Local footwear companies are not pleased with the Board of Investments’s decision to allow an Indian company to set up business in Sri Lanka. But the board says it has not broken any laws and the decision was made after a meeting with President Maithripala Sirisena. The Indian company, Veekesy, is setting up a factory at Ethukala in Negombo and investing US$ 269,581 (Rs 41.39 million). more..

SLC says media misinterpreted Chandimal’s comments on witchcraft

Nov 3 (DM) Sri Lanka Cricket yesterday said that a section of media has deliberately misinterpreted a comment made by Test skipper Dinesh Chandimal on witchcraft and astrology. It was reported that Chandimal received a special blessing from a meyni, or sorcerer, ahead of the two-match series in the UAE which Sri Lanka win 2-0. “Sri Lanka Cricket wishes to draw your attention to the following transcript of more..

BASL resolves to sever links with NGO

Nov 3 (Island) Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) recently decided sever its links with a German NGO—Democracy and Reporting International (DRI). The decision was made at a meeting last Saturday. Manoharan de Silva PC, who was one of the speakers at a seminar, organised jointly by the BASL and the DRI, on Oct. 24, inquired from the Chair whether the Executive Committee and the Bar Council had permitted BASL to more..

'Use LG polls as referendum to reject govt'

Nov 3 (Island) The JVP urged the public to make the upcoming local polls as a referendum to reject the incumbent govt which, it said, was no better than the previous regime in terms of corruption, fraud, waste and embezzlement of public funds. JVP MP Vijitha Herath said: "The upcoming local govt election will be a new experience. People have a chance to look back and realise what would happen if they voted for the govt. more..

Video: SAITM decision needs clarifications, amendments: GMOA

Nov 3 (DM) While stating that the latest stand taken by the govt regarding the SAITM cannot be regarded as the final solution to the issue, GMOA said that they need further clarification on the proposed steps. The govt announced that it had decided to abolish the SAITM and convert it into a non-profit making institution coming under UGC. GMOA Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge said that there were several points to make clarifications more..

Drought prone areas: Govt to launch groundwater project

Nov 3 (CT) Govt has decided to initiate a groundwater resources development and improvement project, in drought prone areas, at a cost of Rs 890 million, in order to provide a permanent solution for people in the dry zone, who face untold difficulties during droughts. The Treasury will provide Rs 890 million to the Water Resources Board in order to initiate this project. Cabinet granted approval for this project on 31 Oct. more..

Fewer tuk-tuks, more hardhats: Sri Lanka tackles labour crisis

Nov 3 (AFP) Asitha Udaya Priyantha has found the dream job: the 22-year-old is already his own boss, cruising Sri Lanka's streets in his autorickshaw, earning good money on his own time. But this is not what the island government wants its young people doing as one million jobs in booming sectors such as construction go unfilled, and businesses look abroad for labourers to get work done. It is a puzzling scenario for Sri Lanka, more..

Ex-Dy. Minister Shantha Premarathne sentenced to 4 years RI

Nov 3 (DM) Former Deputy Minister Shantha Premarathne, who was found guilty of accepting a bribe of Rs.50, 000 from a woman after promising to get her a government job, was sentenced to four years rigorous imprisonment and told to pay a fine of Rs.10,000 by Colombo High Court Judge Piyasena Ranasinghe yesterday. Assistant Director of the Bribery Commission Ms. Ruwani Wickramasinghe told court that more..

The military perspective on constitutional reform & human rights

Nov 4 (CT) Following the defeat of the LTTE in May 2009 popular understanding of the root causes of ethnic violence congealed around a single dominant narrative. This narrative consists of three premises and a conclusion. Premise I: The root cause of the ethnic conflict was the greed and power lust of Tamil elites who led a misguided Tamil population. Premise II: These elites were empowered by interventionist foreign states who were (i) primordially anti-Sri Lanka, more..

Sri Lanka’s plan to switch to LNG gets boost from Qatar

Nov 4 (CT) Sri Lanka's long-term plan for energy received the much needed support from the world's top liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter, Qatar. The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani agreed to invest in a natural gas power plant in Sri Lanka following a request from President Maithripala Sirisena. In addition to investing in a LNG plant, Qatar will also supply LNG on a long-term basis after an agreement is signed between the two countries later. more..

'SLFP seniors in JO splinter the party'

Nov 4 (SO) Senior SLFP Ministers, S.B. Dissanayake and Mahinda Amaraweera believe that the SLFP MPs in the Joint Opposition (JO) cannot have one leg in the SLFP and the other elsewhere. It is time for all SLFPers to get together to strengthen the party and charter the future course for a stable SLFP Govt in 2020. If the SLFP is weakened, it would loosen its grip on the voters and end up in virtual defeat at an election. more..

The interim report & Its separatist motives

Nov 4 (CT) When the Catalan regional autonomy, following the referendum that brought victory to the campaign for separation from Spain, declared unilateral independence from the latter some fortnight ago, Spain knew what to do next. The article 155, also called nuclear option of the Spanish constitution states in unambiguous terms that; “If a self-governing community does not fulfil the obligations imposed upon it by the constitution or other laws, or acts in a way that more..

Stability ensured, safety assured

Nov 4 (DN) Our govt, since Jan 08, 2015, has ensured that all citizens of Sri Lanka are secure and safe, and that stability prevails across all sectors of the society. Safety, security and stability play a pivotal role in building a stronger and sustainable economy and our efforts have received wide support from across the globe. We have taken diligent measures to ensure that the damages done in the past are redressed and all communities are a focus for the national development agenda. more..

The Internet of Things in Sri Lanka

Nov 4 (Roar) IoT or the Internet of Things is a term that most of you may have heard by now, but there is often a confusion as to what it exactly is. In human language, it’s simply is a reference to devices that connect to the internet. Most of us associate computers and phones as devices connected to the internet, but, these days everything from your car, watch, and even clothes are or can be connected to the internet. more..

SL War: Wrong assessment and attitude

Nov 4 (DN) Sir Michael Morris, known formally as Lord Naseby, has long been an ally to Sri Lanka in the West. A member of the British House of Lords, he founded the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Sri Lanka in 1975 and is currently its elected leader. He has visited the country multiple times, most recently in February 2017, and in 2005 was awarded the Sri Lanka Ratna, the highest national honour bestowed upon foreigners for exceptional and outstanding service to the nation. more..

Editorial: SLFP’s dilemma

Nov 4 (Island) Joint Opposition (JO) has sought to bargain from a position of strength with the SLFP, which has invited it to contest the next LG polls together. It has put forth some pre-conditions, the main being that the SLFP pull out of the ruling yahapalana coalition. President Sirisena is now in a dilemma. He succeeded in outwitting his bête noire Rajapaksa, in style, at the 2015 general election. He used Rajapaksa, who wanted to be the PM, to lead the polls campaign and queered more..