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Rains, gale force winds wreck havoc in Colombo

Nov 30 (DM) Hurricane style gale force winds accompanied by torrential rain wrecked havoc in the City of Colombo this evening ripping out trees and causing power disruptions in many areas of the City and its suburbs. Several trees were seen to have fallen on vehicles as well as public property as a result. Weather conditions started to worsen at about 9 pm today (29) and many parts of SL felt the brute force of mother nature more..

Tourism earnings down 2.3% in Sept

Nov 30 (CT) Tourism earnings during the nine months as well as September this year reflected almost the same trend as arrivals to the country. Tourism earnings in September declined 2.3%, while overall earnings during the nine months increased to 2.9%. Tourism earnings during September this year declined 2.3% to US$ 249 million from US$ 255 million in the same month last year, while the earnings during the first nine months increased 2.9% to US$ 2.59 b from US$ 2.66 b a year ago. more..

Several deals with Japan nearly finalized

Nov 30 (CT) Japanese Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Kenichi Suganuma said that under the present govt the Sri Lanka-Japanese economic relationship had gathered momentum, and that there are several Japanese investment projects on the verge of being finalized. He added that there was growing business interest towards Sri Lanka in Japan. "There were over 200 participants at a seminar organized by the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) on Sri Lanka in Tokyo rec. more..

Sri Lanka has 1.6 m disabled persons: No proposal to provide employment

Nov 30 (CT) Differently-abled persons comprise around 7.9% (1.6 million persons) of the population, Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL), in a recent report said. "The inclusion of differently-abled persons in income generating activities depending on their abilities will empower them by creating self-reliance, financial strength and dignity, while providing them an opportunity to contribute to the development process of the country," more..

Sri Lanka must grab opportunity for shipping industry to grow: Harsha

Nov 30 (FT) Addressing the outcry over the new regulations proposed in the Budget 2018 on the opening of the shipping industry to international players, Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva said that it was crucial to take such measures if the country wanted to become a shipping hub in the Indian Ocean. Taking part in Committee Stage debate on the expenditure heads coming under the Minister of Ports and Shipping, Dy Minister said that SL must be realistic in tackling this issue. more..

SLAAS to discuss engaging scientists in development

Nov 30 (Island) Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science (SLAAS) will conduct its 73rd Annual Sessions from Dec 4 to 8 in Colombo on the theme of Engagement of Scientists in the Economic Development of Sri Lanka. President Eng. V. Regunathan, invited the public to participate in the Scientific Sessions. The inauguration ceremony of annual sessions will take place on Dec 4 at the BMICH with the participation of Ministers Dr. Sarath Amunugama and Susil Premajayanth. more..

Govt helping Aloysius make beer using rice at the peril of poor consumers: JO

Nov 30 (Island) The Joint Opposition (JO) yesterday alleged that Budget 2018 had been drafted to assist companies belonging to Perpetual Capital Holdings of Arjun Aloysius. UPFA MP Bandula Gunawardena said govt was trying to aid W.M. Mendis and Company owned by Perpetual Capital Holdings of Arjun Aloysius to produce beer. "Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera issued an Extraordinary Gazette on 09 Nov. more..

Prices of essential commodities very high

Nov 30 (DN) The prices of essential commodities are very high making life difficult fort the people, said JO MP Bandula Gunawardena in Parliament. He made these observations, during the Committee Stage Debate on the budget proposal under the financial heads of Industry and Commerce Ministry, Rural Economic Affairs Ministry and Public Enterprise Development Ministry. He said that the prices of rice, onions, vegetables & coconuts had increased unprecedentedly. more..

3 SL refugees caught with fake passports

Nov 30 (TOI) Three Sri lankan refugees were arrested while they were attempting to leave for Malaysia from the Trichy Int'l Airport with fake Indian passports on Tuesday. The arrested were identified as Rollin (20), Abinesh (22) and Jacques (38). Trio was caught red-handed nearly an hour before the take-off of the Kaula Lumpur-bound airline in which they had booked to fly from Trichy at 10.30pm on Tuesday. Following the clearance of the baggage checking, 3 moved into immigration section. more..

Parliament Mafia: JVP slams Govt over slow progress of corruption probes

Nov 30 (FT) JVP MP Bimal Rathnayake accused Govt of slowing the process followed to file action in relation to completed investigations by Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC). “It is clear that the number of investigations conducted by CIABOC has gone down drastically. This could be due to the removal of the able Director General. She was removed to prevent action being taken against crooks. more..

Travel bloggers make Sri Lanka go viral on social media

Nov 30 (DM) Use of travel bloggers and social media influencers have been a highly effective tool for most of the destination management organisations around the world, capturing unforgettable moments and sharing them among friends (mostly unseen before) is getting increasingly popular and it has been recognised as an effective way to promote SL. Up to now, over 500 social media posts have been shared of many tourist locations in Sri Lanka. more..

State banks have made significant progress under Unity Govt: Yapa

Nov 30 (FT) Key state banks have posted significant progress during the last financial year under Unity Govt, State Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena confirmed in Parliament. Joining the 17th allotted day of the Appropriation Bill 2018 - Committee Stage Debate on the Ministry of Public Enterprise Development, State Minister listed growth at Bank of Ceylon, People’s Bank and National Savings Bank which had contributed significantly to increase State revenue by 2% during the last two years. more..

'Rajapaksa paid stiff price for not taking action against miscreants'

Nov 30 (Island) Attorney-at-law Kalyananda Tiranagama said that the previous Rajapaksa administration, too, had failed to deal with wrongdoers firmly. Had former President Mahinda Rajapaksa fulfilled his obligations, he wouldn’t have experienced a defeat at the last presidential election in January 2015, Tiranagama said so when The Island pointed out that he had conveniently forgotten grave violations perpetrated by previous govt more..

Galgamuwa tusker’s carcass found

Nov 30 (DN) The carcass of the much talked about Galgamuwa tusker has been found in the Kahalla - Pallekelle sanctuary yesterday. The Galgamuwa tusker’s carcass was found at Horowwewa area in the Kahalla - Pallekelle Sanctuary by a Special Task Force team deployed for the purpose. Search for the Galgamuwa Tusker continued for several days by a team consisting 90 officers of the Wildlife Department and 50 police officers. The carcass was found from Kahalla-Pallekelle Sanctuary. more..

Inflation eating into wages: CB

Nov 30 (CT) Inflation has eaten into wages in both the private and public sectors, signalling a build up of wage pressure and productivity deteriorations in the near future, Central Bank (CB) warned in a recent publication. When employees cannot make ends meet, they defer from coming to work, leading to a loss in productivity, because factory output suffers. CB further said that disturbed weather patterns have caused the prices of vegetables, rice and coconut to rise. more..

Kabir defends Govt decisions on Hyatt and Sri Lankan

Nov 30 (FT) Responding to allegations made by the Opposition against his ministry, State Enterprise Development Minister Kabir Hashim said the deal for the fleet of A350-900 aircraft was cancelled as the losses incurred in the deal would have been too high to mitigate. Taking part in yesterday’s committee stage debate on the expenditure heads of the Ministry of Enterprise Development, Minister Hashim said that more..

MPs phone issue to be referred to Privileges Committee

Nov 30 (FT) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya highlighted the possibility of referring the privilege issue, brought up by Minister Lakshman Kiriella in Parliament on 20 November regarding telephone records of COPE members, to the Privileges Committee. Minister Kiriella questioned the action of the CID and the Attorney General’s Department last week criticising the method used to obtain information about telephone calls of MPs without obtaining approval from the Speaker. more..

'Imported chewing gum & toffees drugging schoolchildren'

Nov 30 (FT) Confectionary items imported from different countries have ended up in Sri Lankan market sans approval from regulatory bodies, putting the younger population at risk, Restaurant Owners Association warned yesterday. Stressing the need to closely regulate and monitor imports, Restaurant Owners Association National Organiser Asela Sampath claimed that some of the confectionary items available at school canteens contained harmful ingredients that were addictive. more..

SriLankan and Hyatt scams cause Rs. 40 b loss, claims JO

Nov 30 (FT) Ministry of Public Enterprise Development has incurred a loss of Rs. 40 billion due to fraudulent deals pertaining to SriLankan Airlines and the Hyatt Hotel, Opposition alleged. UPFA MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage said that the subject minister had not authorised the cancellation of the order to acquire a fleet of A 350-900 Airbuses from the parent company and that SriLankan Airlines conducts its business more..

From the cattle shed to the supermarket

Nov 30 (DM) Tomorrow (1), we begin the Christmas season which has been commercialised to such an extent that some theologians are even suggesting that the name be changed, though the business world has already taken Christ out of Christmas and refers to it as X’mas.    Bells, balloons and bonbons, cards, cakes and crackers are quite in order for young children to enjoy this festive season. But as we grow up we need to be more mature and spiritual in our celebration of Christmas because more..

Unpacking public interest for the judiciary

Nov 30 (DM) The late Justice C.G. Weeramantry, delivering the annual Lalith Athulathmudali Memorial Lecture in 2012 chose to speak on judicial ethics. He did refer to the key institutions of the state and how and why they need to be independent of one another, but stressed that everything depends on that intangible and irreducible non-negotiable, ethics.   And this, to me, was the most important observation that he made that day: ’strong words in a constitution regarding more..

'Amateurish govt swallowed IMF advice to increase tax'

Nov 30 (DM) Former CB Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal spoke about the Govt’s Budget and its implications. Q: As the former Governor of CB how do you view the Budget which the Govt claims is futuristic and is earmarked to be implemented over a period running up to 2025? A: Budget 2018 is certainly not a futuristic Budget, but a hotch-potch budget with various conflicting strategies. It is bound to fail just like more..

Alleged threat on Anika's brother: CID investigation continues

Nov 30 (DM) The alleged death threat levelled on Anika Wijesuriya’s family after her testimony at the Bond Commission with reference to a powerful former minister and Perpetual Treasuries owner Arjun Aloysius in connection with multimillion rupee property transactions, came to the spotlight again following a fundamental rights petition filed by Shanil Nethicumara and a B report filed by the CID. more..

Rail crossing risk-takers face heavy fines

Nov 30 (ST) Alternatives are being sought to improve safety at rail crossings after more than 100 accidents in the first 10 months of this year. A Rs 25,000 fine will be implemented at first as a deterrent to drivers and riders who disregard warnings at barriers and drive through. Some reckless drivers take the risk of getting stuck when engines stall. Drivers of locomotives say jaywalking pedestrians also should be fined. more..

Power supply will be restored promptly: CEB

Nov 30 (NR) CEB says steps are underway to clear debris that may have fallen onto power lines, adding the power supply will be restored to affected areas promptly. Several trees and branches had collapsed in numerous areas across the Island last night resulting in power failures. 15 persons have been admitted to Colombo National Hospital after sustaining injuries due to heavy rains and wind. more..

MPs sink differences to bash bribery commission

Nov 30 (Island) Govt and opposition MPs complained in Parliament about delays on the part of the CIABOC.  During the oral question session in the House, JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake said CIABOC had become lethargic after the removal of the former Director General. He said the process of setting up special courts to hear corruption cases should be expedited. Govt MP Buddika Pathirana said Bribery Commission had not done anything more..

Govt will establish promised Sabaragamuwa medical faculty next year

Nov 30 (Island) Govt was planning to set up a medical faculty at the Sabaragamuwa University and it would initially have 75 students selected on the basis of this year’s GCE A/L exam results. Minister Lakshman Kiriella said the govt had decided to start the medical faculty in the Sabaragamuwa Uni and incumbent VC had been directed to discuss with relevant ministries and officials to develop a course curriculum. more..

'Light Rapid Transit system in SL: Cheaper alternatives available'

Nov 30 (CT) The bus system in Sri Lanka can be modernized, so that it is on par with the rest of the world, with a fraction of the money proposed for the light rapid transit (LRT) system for Colombo and suburbs, Professor Amal Kumarage said. "Colombo needs what we call rapid transport. For certain parts in Colombo we can use rapid transport. Light rail is one such rapid transit system, but problem is that it's an expensive system. more..

Petition against delimitation gazette withdrawn

Nov 30 (NR) The petitioners who filed a case against the gazette on delimitation pertaining to LG Election have decided to reach a settlement. Minister Faiszer Musthapha speaking in Parliament responded to a question raised by JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake over the progress on the petition filed over the delimitation gazette. Responding to the statement Minister said following talks with political party leaders and the PM more..

Five killed in adverse weather; depression moving away

Nov 30 (DM) At least five persons were killed and one person has gone missing due to the adverse weather conditions prevailing in the country as the deep depression was moving away from Sri Lanka, authorities said today. Police said three fishermen from Ambalangoda and Dodanduwa were among the deceased and another fishermen from Dodanduwa was reportedly went missing. The other two deceased were identified as more..

Corrupt probing Corrupt: Sri Lanka to probe biggest Rajapaksa pyramid scam: PM

Nov 30 (EN) Sri Lanka will investigate the sale of over five thousand billion rupees in treasury bonds by the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said describing it as the biggest pyramid scam in the country. Making a special statement to parliament, PM said over 90% of the 5,147 billion rupees worth of bonds had been sold privately without going through a transparent tender or auction system. more..

Corruption must be eradicated at any cost

Nov 30 (CT) Corruption is easy to take place particularly in an under-developed country like ours where law enforcement is lax: Similarly, the eradication of such corruption is more complex. Eradication of something that comes naturally to us, of course, would be a crusade against nature. And every politician who pledges to drive out crime, fraud, transgressions and corruption is faced with this intrinsic problem, thus taking inordinate time to see plausible and potential solutions. more..

Consular Fees revised by Foreign Ministry

Nov 30 (GDI) The current consular fees charged under the Consular Functions Act No.04 of 1981 will be revised with effect from 01st January, 2018. The revised Consular fees are as follows: Examination Certificates issued by the Department of Examination - Rs.500.00 Any Document issued by the GoSL for a Foreign National - Rs.1, 500.00 Any Export Document - Rs. 6,000, Any Other Document - Rs. 800. The last revision of consular fees was in July, 2017. more..

අපි අපේ විදිහට ඉංග්රීසි කතා කරමු

Sri Lankan plantations press for oil palm support as profits surge

Nov 30 (EN) Sri Lanka’s plantations industry has called for more support for palm oil as profits from the crop surged, exceeding that of tea and rubber, saying it needed less effort and labour, yielding healthy margins.  The gross profits from palm oil in the four regional plantations companies (RPCs) growing the crop rose 66.6% to Rs.2.29 billion at the end of the 2016/17 financial year from a year ago, the Planters’ Association of Ceylon (PA) said in a statement. more..

President directs quick relief to victims of current weather condition

Nov 30 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena directs all relevant officers of the govt to take every required action to provide relief to the victims of the current adverse weather condition. President who is currently on three days state visit to South Korea telephoned the Minister of Disaster Management and the Secretary to the President today and directed them to deploy tri forces for relief activities to the victims. He also instructed them to quickly commence operations to help more..

Sri Lanka police rush to learn sign language amid tapping claims

Nov 30 (EN) Senior police officers were scrambling to learn sign language following disclosures that the IGP was tapping their phones and snooping on digital communications, officials said. More than 100 public servants, including a large number of police, completed an Australian-funded signing course on Monday and more were joining the next batch. Officers said the course had suddenly become attractive to even SDIGs more..

Central Bank should be cautious in launching inflation targeting

Nov 30 (FT) While appreciating the CB’s endeavour to shift to an inflation targeting or more precisely, to a flexible inflation targeting monetary policy framework, I would like to emphasise 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 constraints. These were already brought to light in my previous articles which appeared in the Daily FT more..

UK tells Sri Lanka to fully implement UNHRC resolution

Nov 30 (SL) British Govt has told Sri Lanka to fully implement the UNHRC resolution which was passed in March. British Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific Mark Field said that he had raised the issue during his visit to SL in October. “During my visit in early Oct 2017 to Colombo and Jaffna, I raised with Foreign Minister Marapana the importance of the SL Govt implementing in full its commitments under UNHRC Resolution 34/1, which rolled over the commitments made under 30/1. more..

Seoul Metropolitan Honorary Citizenship for President Sirisena

Nov 30 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena was conferred with the Honorary Citizenship of Seoul Metropolitan Govt. It was conferred by Mayor of Seoul Metropolitan Govt, Park Won-soon at a special ceremony held at the Mayor’s Office in Seoul today. The mayor said that after establishing the twin city agreement between Seoul and Colombo in 2016, he was fortunate to visit SL and called on Prez Sirisena earlier this year. more..