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PM postpones ForEx Act implementation

Oct 18 (CT) The proposed implementation of the new Foreign Exchange Act, which passed in Parliament to replace the decade-old Exchange Control Act, has been postponed to 01 November this year. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, revoking his previous gazette notification through a new one issued Friday, said that the Act would come into effect on 01 November instead of 15 Oct this year. The new law decriminalizes violations and allows money held abroad to be brought back easily. more..

Nahil transfers East West shares to Wijesuriya children

Oct 18 (CT) Sri Lanka's top businessman Nahil Wijesuriya's family-owned Asia 2000 Investments Inc yesterday divested its entire 63.91% (88.3 million shares) in their related business, East West Properties PLC, to Wijesuriya's three children, Wijesuriya told Ceylon FT. According to him, the shares were divided equally among Vijitha Wijesuriya, Anika Wijesuriya and Vajira Wijesuriya, where each received approximately 29.4 million shares at Rs 12.40 per share. more..

Looters as Rulers: Additional Rs. 25.2 bn sought ministers’ travel, projects etc

Oct 18 (Island) The govt submitted a supplementary estimate to the tune of Rs. 25,200,68,452 to cover various expenses pertaining to ministers’ foreign travel, vehicles, Port City Development Project, Presidential commissions and Youth Parliament. According to the estimate submitted, Rs. 36,200,000 has been sought for the Ministry of National Policies & Economic Affairs, Rs. 364,014,040 for the Ministry of Megapolis, more..

Misappropriation of funds: Waters Edge cashier remanded

Oct 18 (Island) Kaduwela Magistrate Prasanna de Alwis recently remanded the cashier of Waters Edge Hotel till Oct 26 for allegedly embezzling funds belonging to the hotel to the tune of Rs. 4,583,646.52. The hotel is owned and operated by the UDA. Suspect Thilina Abeywickrama is a resident of  Wellampitiya. The hotel has interdicted four employees in this connection. When the case was called the Mirihana Crimes Division, which filed the case, said it would submit more..

Gazettes tabled on North Korea and nuclear weapons

Oct 18 (FT) The Govt tabled two Extraordinary Gazettes yesterday in Parliament prohibiting the use of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons in Sri Lanka and on sanctions imposed on North Korea. Gazette Extraordinary No. 2039/31 of 6 Oct 2017 lists the regulations made by the Minister of Foreign Affairs under Section 2 of the United Nations Act, No. 45 of 1968, with regard to the sanctions relating to the proliferation of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons. more..

Parliament Mafia bankrupting SL: Debt repayment to double to US$ 4.2B in 2019

Oct 18 (CT) Sri Lanka's debt repayment bill is slated to rise steeply, almost doubling from the current US$ 2.2 billion to US$ 4.2 billion in 2019, Moody's a US-based credit rating agency, in a report released on Monday (16) said. Therefore, sustained fiscal consolidation and a more flexible exchange rate will combine to reduce external borrowing requirements and preserve foreign exchange reserve levels, more..

Awareness on violence against women: Mahela and Kumar address students

Oct 18 (CT) Cricketers Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara spoke to more than 100 schoolchildren about the need to end violence against women and girls at a recent event. Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, EU Ambassador Tung-Lai Margue, and gender specialist Sriyani Perera, joined Mahela and Kumar, on stage to speak out about the continuingly high levels of violence against women and girls in everyday life. Minister Kariyawasam and Ambassador Margue introduced a video, more..

JO demands debate over no-confidence motion against Rajitha

Oct 18 (FT) The UPFA JO group in the Parliament demanded a debate prior to the Second Reading of Budget 2017 to take up the no-confidence motion submitted against the Minister Rajitha Senaratne. In response Speaker held that the motion was already listed on the Order Book of Parliament, but the allocation for a date prior to Budget Day on 9 Nov depends on the Minister Lakshman Kiriella. However, MP Dinesh Gunawardena accused Minister Kiriella of deliberately more..

Samuel says I don’t know who RK, AM, Hon PM are

Oct 18 (DM) The Bond Commission observed that the personal Assistant of Arjun Aloysius, Steve Samuel was lying before the Commission and said that in the event they found him to be doing so appropriate action would be taken against him. Justice Prasanna Jayawardena made this remark after Samuel repeatedly denied any knowledge of the contents of the text messages sent by him which referred to RK, AM, Arjun M, Ravi K, PM, more..

Prime Minister’s Deepavali message

Oct 18 (GDI) Jain and Hindu believers celebrate Deepavali with the sacred light of truth that wins over the darkness of evil. True meaning of Deepavali is found in overcoming lies with the truth, hatred with love, evil with goodness and defeat with victory. Deepavali also signifies the re-entry of Prince Rama & Pandyan Princes from hiding into the light, triumphantly overcoming the evil ones. Jains believe that Deepavali celebrates the occasion when their teacher Mahaweera entered Moksha. more..

President’s Deepavali message

Oct 18 (GDI) I am very pleased to send this message of greetings on the occasion of the festival of Deepavali celebrated by the Hindus throughout the world, symbolizing the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair. They celebrate this with much joy and happiness by lighting lamps and illuminating their homes and places of worship, stated President Maithripala Sirisena sending a message marking Deepavali. more..

Bond Commission wraps up hearings; may recommence if needed

Oct 18 (FT) PCoI concluded its hearings yesterday, noting that additional hearings may be held if needed, and witnesses including PM Wickremesinghe called in the event further testimony is required. Making a statement at the conclusion of proceedings, Chairman of the Commission Justice K.T. Chitrasiri said that the Commission had forwarded a questionnaire to PM’s Office expecting a response in the form of an affidavit. more..

Modern High Voltage Laboratory and Testing Facility opened at Moratuwa University

Oct 18 (DN) A modern High Voltage Laboratory and Testing Facility was ceremonially opened on Tuesday under the patronage of Moratuwa University Chancellor Prof. K.K.Y.W. Perera as the Chief Guest, CEO of LTL U.D. Jayawardana as the Guest of Honour and VC, Prof. Ananda Jayawardna, Dean of the Engineering Faculty. A fully fledged modern high voltage laboratory was a long felt need for the university education and the electrical engineering industry of Sri Lanka. more..

COPE Chairman submits Independent Audit Commission draft as Private Member Bill

Oct 18 (FT) Chairman of the COPE, Sunil Handunnetti, submitted the Independent Audit Commission draft as a Private Member Bill yesterday in Parliament. On behalf of the Secretary General of Parliament, the Deputy Secretary General and Chief of Staff Neil Iddawala received the Private Member Bill for necessary action under Standing Order 48. In following Standing Order 48, a member should hand over the proposed draft bill together with copies of the advertisement more..

Treasury Bonds scandal: PCoI sends questions to PM

Oct 18 (CT) PCoI has sent a list of questions to PM Ranil Wickremesinghe seeking clarification regarding some matters that came up during a testimony. Commission Chairperson K.T. Chitrasiri said that questions had been sent to PM and that he has been asked to send in the replies in an affidavit. Upon receiving the signed affidavit, Commission will read it and, if necessary, request him to submit further clarifications more..

Politics of Padmavati, the Sinhala princess who broke records in India

Oct 18 (DM) The movie Padmavati, based on a semi-mythical Sinhala princess, who married an Indian king, has already done what once appeared to be impossible.   It got India’s most popular classical movie director, the much respected, Sanjay Leela Bhansali of Devdas fame beaten up by hooligans. It also drove movie goers to claim their favourite heroine, Deepika Padukone, not beautiful enough. As the Sinhala princess was often touted India’s most beautiful role was reportedly more..

The Myth of Lazy Jaffna Youth

Oct 18 (DM) Not long ago, soon after the war, a common refrain about the Jaffna society was how hard working, thrifty and prudent its people were. But today, one often hears people decrying Jaffna society as having become lazy and spendthrift, landing itself in debt. It is true that Jaffna society is greatly mired in debt, but what are the causes of such indebtedness? How did the narrative around Jaffna youth change so much in the last few years? Both local and international pundits more..

'Govt will increase per capita income to US $ 5000 within next three years'

Oct 18 (DM) Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva said that the Govt is well positioned to implement its economic delivery plan. He added that the UNP is ready to contest any election at any given time. Q: You have launched the policy framework Vision 2025. It is a policy document that envisages to be executed well beyond the term of the present Govt. How confident are you that the Govt will take a mandate at the next election? more..

'Galle Dialogue Colombo potential hub for trading and fighting crimes'

Oct 18 (DM) A top British official, who was in Sri Lanka in view of Galle Dialogue at the invitation of Sri Lanka Navy, speaks, about the global importance of Sri Lanka’s strategic positioning and the expansion of China’s trading activities. Judge Advocate General – UK Jeff Blackett said China’s expansion from a trade perspective should be welcomed. The First Galle Dialogue was held in 2010 under the leadership of then Navy Commander more..

Veggie traders and middlemen sucking consumers dry

Oct 18 (ST) Nadu is selling for a little less now, but a palm-sized coconut still costs Rs 85, up by Rs 10, in the Pettah and Ratmalana markets. While the state struggles to rein in runway prices of staple food items, traders and middlemen are profiting at will. Farmers and consumers are being ripped off. Consumers are urging the Govt to rein in middlemen and the traders. In Aug, inflation jumped to 7.9% y-o-y from 4.5% last Aug, more..

Sri Lanka’s bottom trawling ban: Implemented or not?

Oct 18 (Roar) Taking progressive steps to conserve seabeds and aquatic lives, bottom trawling was banned in Sri Lanka as of 06 July 2017. The practice is an industrial mode of fishing which uses weighed-down nets to sweep across the seabed and catch everything in their way, thereby causing irreparable damage to coral and plant life. According to the amendment made to the SL Aquatic Resources Act this year, more..

'Those with knowledge, skill & integrity should do politics to prevent fraudsters..'

Oct 18 (LT) “We, of the JVP, have taken a decision to give to those who have a good understanding of our society, who could contribute to create a new political culture, who are not concerned excessively with oneself but cherish collectiveness, oppose frauds, corruption & waste and have the knowledge and will to change this society to a righteous one an opportunity to contest the forthcoming elections in addition to candidates of JVP. more..

AG promises transparent inquiry into massacre of 27 inmates at Welikada Prison

Oct 18 (FT) Attorney General assured that the investigation into the alleged killing of 27 inmates of the Welikada Prison in Dec 2012 would be conducted in a transparent manner, following which a progress report will be submitted. Senior State Counsel Madhava Tennekoon, appearing for the Attorney General, informed Court that there were inquiries conducted by teams from the STF, Army and prison officers. more..

AAG De Livera has some other questions to ask the PM

Oct 18 (DM) Acting Attorney General Dappula De Livera at the conclusion of PCoI proceedings said yesterday he would also have some other questions to ask from the PM apart from the questions put forward by the Commission. Responding to the statement made by the PCoI, AAG Dappula De Livera also expressed his observations. AAG De Livera was of the view that his team of Counsel of the AG’s Department assisted more..

Missing girls from Kolonnawa: 19-year-old and another arrested

Oct 18 (AD) The 19-year-old female from Kolonnawa, who was reported missing with two other girls and later surrendered to police, has been arrested by police along with another suspect, police spokesman said. Meanwhile the other two girls, a 14-year-old and a 15-year-old, have been sent for medical examinations, he said. Police commenced investigations into the disappearance of a young mother and two more..

JO surprised by CBSL receiving international award

Oct 18 (Island) The Joint Opposition (JO) pointed out that Central Bank Governor Dr Indrajit Coomaraswamy had been named South Asia’s best Governor of the Year at Global Capital Market Awards Ceremony in Washington DC on Oct 14, at a time the country was struggling to come to terms with massive bond scams perpetrated by Perpetual Treasuries Limited with the help of some CB officials. more..

'Delay in doctors passing out: who takes responsibility?'

Oct 18 (Island) JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake demanded to know who would take the ultimate responsibility for the delay in the passing out of doctors from the state medical faculties owing to the ongoing protest campaign by medical undergraduates against the SAITM. He said nine months had elapsed since the lecture boycott was launched by medical undergraduates numbering around 8,000 in all universities. more..

The Sinhala alt-right & Tamil question 

Oct 19 (CT) Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara asks Simply show us how the Tamils are being discriminated against and where. Answer: 1958 (read Tarzie Vittachi’s book Emergency 58) and Black July’83. The experience does not leave the collective memory of a community, easily. First massacres of Sinhala civilians at Naiaru and Kokilai, Dollar and Kent farms, and A'pura, came later, in late ’83, 1984 & 1985. Sarath Weerasekara declares the Tamil question a problem non-existent. more..

Polythene & Plastic: Use it wisely

Oct 19 (CT) Polythene is being dumped hazardously in socially and environmentally sensitive places like road sides, marshy lands, low lying areas, public places, forest and wild life areas, causing numerous negative environmental impacts such as ground and surface water pollution, air pollution and even deaths (recent Meethotamulla disaster). Waste collection and disposal play an extremely important role in a country’s cleanliness and sustainability drive, with people’s health and the conservation of more..

Tracking your right to info:

Oct 19 (Roar) Getting the Right to Information (RTI) has been a long-awaited process for democracies, especially in a country like ours where corruption and misuse of public funds is rampant. Parliament passed the RTI Act in June 2016 as part of the govt’s 100-day work pledge, and it came into force this February. Despite the Act being passed over a year ago, many govt offices were unaware of their obligation to provide information upon more..

The purge has begun!

Oct 19 (DN) Finally, the whip has been cracked and the purge is on. After just over two years of prevaricating, negotiating and observing with watchful expectation, President Maithripala Sirisena dispensed of three key electoral organisers of the SLFP last week, signalling a sea change in his policy of accommodating and appeasing the Joint Opposition (JO) faction of the party led by his predecessor, Mahinda Rajapaksa. Dismissed from their posts as electoral organisers were more..

Reconciliation delayed, harmony denied

Oct 19 (DN) The resolution 30/1 co-sponsored by Sri Lanka in October 2015 prescribes some essential steps that the Sri Lankan govt should take for bringing about reconciliation between the two communities, the Sinhalese and the Tamil communities, and durable peace that will ensure the non – recurrence of a state of civil war. I have mentioned below some significant measures the Sri Lankan govt has already taken in the process of implementing the Resolution 30/1. more..

'Even PM should be in Prison for the frauds'

Oct 19 (CT) Kandy District UPFA MP Dilum Amunugama said the Local Govt Election should have been held a year earlier, and went on to say "We have been prepared since then. We will contest through a separate Alliance. It is this Govt that keeps postponing elections and is playing with the sovereignty of the people". Q: Minister Lakshman Kiriella says that the Colombo-Kandy Expressway is being built? more..

Shortage of Science Graduates

Oct 19 (CT) Ministry of Science, Technology & Research together with several other institutions recently organised a panel discussion to strategize policy actions regarding governance when it comes to science, technology, and innovation. The movement comes after a series of state-wise lobbying and was rather successful in bringing both the governing authorities and the academics to a singular platform to discuss the issues in the field. While not a fan of scientists-turned-politicos more..

Editorial:  Summon AG as well

Oct 19 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has expressed his willingness to give evidence before the presidential commission of inquiry probing bond scams. Having sent him some questions, the commissioners say they will consider summoning him as a witness, if necessary. This is a step in the right direction albeit belated. It is incumbent upon all politicians and officials to give evidence and help the fact-finding commission get at the truth anent the biggest ever financial fraud in the country. more..

Mahindanada Aluthgamage

CERT issues DoubleLocker ransomware warning

Oct 19 (DM) Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT|CC) warned Android mobile users to be cautious of infecting DoubleLocker ransomware when viewing suspicious websites. CERT|CC Information Security Engineer Roshan Chandragupta said the DoubleLocker ransomware could be affected by installing fake Adobe Flash Player applications. Ransomware requests the mobile user to grant access which it uses to activate the device administrator rights and more..

UN Special Rapporteur and the govt’s duty

Oct 19 (Island) UN Special Rapporteur Pablo de Greiff, currently on a two week visit to SL, announced before his visit that he intends to "review the progress made thus far, to identify obstacles and bottlenecks in the implementation of the transitional justice and reform process". Sri Lanka Foreign Ministry for its part issued a media release insisting that "Govts are not bound by the advice or recommendations of Special Rapporteurs" and that it was up to the Govt of SL to decide whether more..

Pakistan beat Sri Lanka to win ODI series

Oct 19 (CI) Albert Einstein believed doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results was the definition of insanity. As such, it seems to be insane to have organised five ODIs between Pakistan and SL. They've done this three thrice so far, and a different result is nowhere in sight. This match was the most decisive of the lot, an all-round masterclass from Pakistan helped them ease to a series win more..

In Pictures: University Of Peradeniya

Oct 19 (Roar) While the University of Ceylon was SL’s first independent degree awarding institution, the concept of higher education in the island wasn’t entirely alien. The university’s antecedent of 20 years was the Ceylon University College, a degree awarding body affiliated with the University of London. This connection was terminated when the University College merged with the Ceylon Medical College and became an independent University in its own right: the University of Ceylon. more..