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'Public sector finance likened to a purse left on street'

Oct 4 (Island) Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe likened what he called pathetic state of public sector finance in SL to that of a purse dropped on a street. He said that for want of tougher laws, the national economy suffered heavy losses. AG said so when The Island inquired from him about the inordinate delay in implementing National Audit Bill. President’s promised to implement it during the 100 day project more..

Sri Lankan Silicon Valley tech firm looks to expand global footprint

Oct 4 (Island) Having its roots in Sri Lanka, the fast-growing boutique technology solutions firm Auxenta is currently poised for dramatic expansion to the APAC region having bagged new clients in APAC countries Singapore and Australia. Founded in 2014 in the global startup capital, Silicon Valley, Auxenta offers high value IT services complemented by innovative software products. Within a short period of just over three years since it was set up, the company is growing by leaps and bounds, more..

Fraudulent share transaction: Udaya Gammanpila, Sydney Jayasinghe indicted

Oct 4 (DN) Colombo High Court indicted MP Udaya Gammanpila and Sydney Jayasinghe who were alleged to have misappropriated Rs. 21 million following a fraudulent share transaction that took place in 2000, a short while ago. Two accused Udaya Gammanpila and Sydney Jayasinghe are currently out on bail. The Attorney General (AG) alleged that MP Udaya Gammanpila has cheated Rs. 20 million and misappropriated another Rs. 21 million along with Sydney Jayasinghe, more..

'Confidence instilled by new selectors a key to success'

Oct 4 (DN) Cricket manager Asanka Gurusinha said that the confidence instilled on the players by the new selection panel headed by former Sri Lanka speedster Graeme Labrooy has brought about an unbelievable improvement in some of the players and contributed immensely towards Sri Lanka pulling off a stunning 21-run win over Pakistan in the first Test played at Abu Dhabi on Monday. more..

Heavy losses to state coffers from grey luxury car imports

Oct 4 (ST) SL is losing millions of rupees in tax revenue owing to the imports of luxury cars made to suit cold weather conditions by classifying them as used cars taking advantage of loopholes in the Customs import duty structure, sources revealed. Customs value a used car at the manufacturer’s selling price for a basic vehicle discounted at 15%. Grey importers purchase new cars in the UK, register and deregister them there to qualify it as a used car to benefit from the discount, more..

UNFPA calls on Govt to focus on policies for elderly

Oct 4 (FT) Govt needs to focus on special policies to address the needs of its elderly, particularly older women, as the country becomes the fastest ageing nation in South Asia, UN Population Fund (UNFPA) said in a new report. In 2012 there were 2.5 million people or 12.4% of Sri Lanka’s population living above the age of 60 years, according to the latest statistics.  Sri Lankan population is ageing at a faster rate than other South Asian countries and has been increasing rapidly since the 1980s. more..

'Unitary character must remain unchanged'

Oct 4 (DM) The JHU said Sri Lanka's Unitary character should remain unchanged. General Secretary and Minister, Champika Ranawaka said their party was against the interpretation given on the State of Sri Lanka in the Constitutional Reforms Steering Committee Report. "The provincial council system has damaged the unitary character to some extent. However, we firmly believe that the article pertaining to Unitary more..

We played into Herath’s hands: Arthur

Oct 4 (Island) Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur has criticized his team’s approach against veteran spinner Rangna Herath after the hosts lost the first Test against SL. Chasing a target of 136 to take a 1-0 lead in the two match series, Pakistan collapsed to be bowled out for 114 on the final session of day five in Abu Dhabi to lose their first game at the venue after an unbeaten record for seven long years. Herath took six wickets in the second innings and completed a match bag of 11 wickets. more..

A legacy of liberalisation in Sri Lanka

Oct 4 (Hindu) Sri Lankan govt recently released its Vision 2025 manifesto, heralding a new wave of economic reforms. Its timing coincided with the 40th anniversary of the island’s embrace of deregulation, trade liberalisation, and privatisation ahead of the rest of South Asia. While the current govt seeks to revive neoliberal momentum, there is no assessment of the legacy of liberalisation even on narrow economic benchmarks. Growth in GDP has been modest. more..

'Sri Lanka has preserved democracy'

Oct 4 (Island) Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan yesterday said in Parliament that Sri Lanka had in the 70 years preserved democratic governance through electoral processes though not completely without blemish. "The truth must be acknowledged that electoral process alone cannot ensure democratic governance," he said. Full text of the speech: The first meeting of SL’s independent Parliament, more..

Overseas Realty to invest US$ 180 mn on largest office complex, retail mall

Oct 4 (DN) Overseas Realty (Ceylon) Ltd will invest over US$ 180 million to build one of Sri Lanka’s largest office complexes and retail and entertainment mall areas in Havelock City premises. The proposed office complex towering 50 floors will be similar to the World Trade Centre and would also cater to the same commercial market segment, said Pavir Samarasinghe, CEO, Overseas Realty Ltd. The mall would be adjoining the office tower and would have five floors. more..

Sri Lanka's street art attracts more of Chinese aficionados

Oct 4 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's popular street art, which has been on display on the streets of Colombo for decades, is now seeing a boom in sales due to enthusiastic Chinese buyers. China has in recent years emerged as one of SL's leading markets with the most number of tourist arrivals here, and while this has benefited the lucrative tourism industry of the country, it has also benefited the local art industry, with Chinese nationals showing a keen interest for Sri Lankan art. more..

JO to protest airport deal to Indian company

Oct 4 (PTI) Sri Lanka's main opposition party, mostly comprising loyalists of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, said today it will stage a protest against the proposed lease of an airport to an Indian company. Joint Opposition (JO), and several left-wing parties, said they will protest on Friday against the proposed 40-year lease to an Indian company of the Mattala Mahinda Rajapaksa Int'l Airport (MRIA), located in the Mattala more..

Regional sex experts to meet in SL congress

Oct 4 (EN) Sex experts from South Asia and colleagues from the United States of America, UK, Netherlands and Australia, will gather in Sri Lanka in November for a congress which will focus on regional issues. Third Biennial Meeting of the South Asian Society for Sexual Medicine (SASSM) will be held from Nov 19 to 21 in Colombo, on a theme of New Frontiers in Sexual medicine: Mind, Body & Science. "The biennial congress will bring together experts from all over the world more..

Public assistance sought to arrest Arambepola Rathanasara Thera

Oct 4 (NR) The Colombo Crimes Division has sought public assistance to arrest Arambepola Rathanasara Thera and Prageeth Gunathilaka, for their involvement in the unrest reported in Mount Lavinia, on the 26th of Sept. Police Headquarters noted that the CCD is currently investigating the events unfolded opposite at a safe house in Mount Lavinia. The Headquarters said the two suspects are absconding police and requested the public to contact the number 071 – 8591727 more..

British Minister here tomorrow to discuss reconciliation and other issues

Oct 4 (Island) UK Minister for Asia and the Pacific Mark Field will visit Sri Lanka tomorrow and day after to discuss reconciliation, demining and the illegal wildlife trade. The visit to Colombo and Jaffna on the 5th and 6th Oct is Mr Field’s first official visit to Sri Lanka since becoming Foreign Office Minister for Asia and the Pacific. During his 2-day visit he will meet Ministers Tilak Marapana, Mangala Samaraweera, Leader of Opposition more..

RDA green lights new aviation fuel pipeline along Colombo-Katunayake Expressway

Oct 4 (FT) The redesigned underground pipeline to transport aviation fuel from the Muthurajawela storage facility to the BIA along the Katunayake Expressway has received approval from the Road Development Authority (RDA), which had earlier opposed the project citing safety reasons. “After much negotiations and discussions we were finally able to come to an agreement. They agreed on principle after we explained that this has been done in other countries as well. more..

Interim Report of new Constitution: NFF members of CPC torch their copies

Oct 4 (CT) National Freedom Front (NFF) members of the Central Provincial Council (CPC) set fire to copies of the Interim Report of the Constitutional Assembly's Steering Committee on the new Constitution. NFF Provincial Councillors led by Nimal Premawansa burned the copies of the Interim Report handed to them during the council session yesterday, within the chambers. CPC meeting got underway headed by Deputy Chairman S.B. Ratnayake at its Pallekele office complex. more..

Three branches of govt should coexist to achieve prosperity: Prez

Oct 4 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday said that in order to achieve prosperity and development there should be no conflicts among the three main branches of governance the executive, legislature and judiciary. Addressing the House on the vote commemorating 70th anniversary of parliamentary democracy, the President said: "We should strengthen the law and order and independence of judiciary. more..

Govt strengthened parliamentary democracy: PM

Oct 4 (NR) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe says the present govt has strengthened the parliamentary democracy through the enactment of several Acts. Addressing the house, PM said the enactment of the 19th Constitutional Amendment paved the way for the establishment independent commissions. PM said the incumbent govt established a number of independent commissions and strengthened the powers vested with the Parliament adding that additionally through steering committees, more..

I will act independently: SLMC Chairman

Oct 4 (DN) The newly appointed Chairman of the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC), Dr. Colvin Gunaratne said he would function as expected and act in accordance with the SLMC Act to independently perform his duties. “The govt has appointed me and I will do my job,” said Dr. Gunaratne as his appointment drew fury among state medical students and the GMOA yesterday. The former engaged in a protest outside the SLMC while the latter convened a media briefing more..

Mahendran stands ground

Oct 4 (FT) Former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran was yesterday quizzed on text messages sent to his son-in-law Arjun Aloysius and over 500 internal staff transfers of Central Bank officials said to have taken place on his watch, as the presidential inquiry cross examination continued into its second week. Responding to questions, Mahendran denied having any involvement with the business affairs of his son-in-law’s more..

PC elections: When will they be ever held?

Oct 4 (DM) Notwithstanding his political affiliations, former Chief Justice Sarath Silva’s fundamental rights petition challenging the enactment of the Provincial Councils Elections Amendment Act would no doubt be a landmark case. It is so, not only because it is a petition seeking the revocation of an enacted law, but also because it brings forth again the discourse on the separation of power among the organs of govt, especially between the legislature and the judiciary. more..

Dark side of politics & its play on local stage

Oct 4 (DM) Politics is scarcely pure. Its intrinsic quality of being sinister and cynical is concealed by its practitioners; without that concealment, the drama is disgustingly gross; its heroes and heroines are plain culprits of the worst kind. It has brought forth the maliciousness of its merchants and exposed the widening gap between politicians and the people whom they have sworn to serve. Instead of a service industry, politics has turned out to be a trading enterprise where the politician more..

'PC Elections Increasing of PR ratio will help for a wider representation'

Oct 4 (DM) The continuous delay in conducting Local Govt and Provincial Councils polls after the expiry of their terms of office has created quite a controversy and made political parties, the public and the election monitoring NGOs impatient. Daily Mirror  spoke to Minister Faiszer Musthapha, the political authority who is responsible for the Local Govt and PC polls and enacting of relevant legislations. more..

Two million face hunger, lack of water, and rising debts in worsening drought

Oct 4 (ST) More than two million Sri Lankans are crying out for a drink of water and food and incomes to sustain themselves in a worsening drought that continues to cause large-scale human misery in at least 20 out the 25 districts. Sate assistance is minimal in terms of food and water aid, while international organisations are pitching in. Millions are being driven into poverty and are eating less. Indebtedness is rising. more..

Officials ordered to distribute Saudi built homes

Oct 4 (SL) President Sirisena has ordered the relevant officials to distribute tsunami houses constructed in Akkaraipattu by the Saudi govt. President had last week met officials of the AG’s Department and others and instructed them to secure the release of the houses to be distributed in January to Muslim families. He had also said that he will seek the assistance of the Saudi govt to renovate the houses if required. more..

Sri Lanka to purchase 100MW of emergency power for 6 months

Oct 4 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s cabinet has approved a proposal to procure 100MW of electricity from private power producers for a period of 6 months with the option of extending it by further 6 months. The Power Ministry said cabinet approval has been obtained to purchase electricity in the short term at competitive prices through international bidding. Island’s power regulator earlier warned of serious consequences to be expected if more..

Nobody protested against Geetha’s nomination: counsel

Oct 4 (Island) President’s Counsel Romesh de Silva told the Supreme Court that Geetha Kumarasinghe had been elected to Parliament on August 17, 2015 and her nominations accepted without protests. There had been no election petition against her. She took the oaths as a MP, before the Speaker, sat and voted in Parliament. Counsel was supporting the application of appeal by Kumarasinghe against more..

Democracy strangled in Parliament: Anura

Oct 4 (Island) Parliament was the place where democracy had continuously been strangulated, JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said. Addressing parliament on the Vote of Commemorating the 70th anniversary of parliamentary democracy in SL, JVP leader said some had identified parliament as the centre of democracy, but that was wrong. "If the walls of the chamber could speak they would confirm what I say. more..

This is my last attempt: Mahela

Oct 4 (DM) Soon after accepting a request to join a Cricket Advisory Committee formed by the Minister of Sports, former Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardena said this would be his last attempt to help transform the game. Jayawardena is part of the six-member committee headed by Hemaka Amarasuriya to make sweeping changes to the way Sri Lanka Cricket is administered and the game is managed. more..

PM's cronies robbing SL's wealth: Ratwatte to get Rs 10 million performance bonus

Oct 4 (CT) SriLankan Airlines is set to award its CEO Capt. Suren Ratwatte, the bother of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s senior advisor Charitha Ratwatte, a performance bonus of Rs 10 million despite the airline continuously making losses. Sources close to the Board of Directors of the national carrier told CT that they had vehemently opposed the proposal put forward by Chairman Ajith Dias, seeking a Rs 10 million bonus for more..

US 2019 Diversity Visa Lottery opens for Sri Lankans

Oct 4 (DM) The US Embassy in Colombo announced the start of the 2019 Diversity Visa Lottery Program, also known as the Green Card Lottery. The program will be open for online registration from Oct 3, 2017 to Nov 7, 2017.  The Diversity Visa Lottery allows randomly selected applicants the opportunity to interview for an immigrant visa and become legal permanent residents of the United States.  more..

PTL’s files referring to AM and RK feature in Aloysius’ text messages

Oct 4 (DM) Several text messages extracted from PTL owner Arjun Aloysius’ phone, referring to files maintained at PTL titled as to do list to AM and RK were submitted before the PCoI by Additional Solicitor General Dappula De Livera who continued to cross examine former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran. Continuing the cross-examination of former CBSL Governor Arjuna Mahendran, Livera questioned the witness more..

Raiding safe house unworthy of Buddhist monks

Oct 4 (CT) Ven. Akmeemana Dayarathana Thera was arrested by the Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) on Monday over last week's incident where a group led by monks protested opposite, and later raided, a safe house for Rohingya refugees under UNHCR protection. Meanwhile the Police are searching for Ven. Arambepola Rathanasara Thera, the General Secretary of Jathika Balamuluwa organization, who failed to appear before CCD to give a statement on the incident. more..

Constitutional expert urges public to reject proposed constitution

Oct 4 (Island) Constitutional expert and eminent lawyer Manohara de Silva urged the public to reject the proposed constitution as it would turn the country into a federal state. De Silva, addressing the media at the All Ceylon Buddhist Congress (ACBC), said people had not asked for a new Constitution but the well-funded NGOs were behind it as they wanted the country divided gradually. He asked why the term unitary state had been removed in the Tamil version of the draft. more..

ජ.වි.පෙ. 2 වන කැරැල්ල ග්රන්ථය ලියූ ධර්මන්

PM to leave for Germany tomorrow

Oct 4 (NR) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is due to leave the country on an official state visit to Finland next Monday. PM who will engage in a personal tour of Berlin, Germany from tomorrow will engage in the tour of Finland upon completing his tour of Berlin. The motive behind the state visit is to further ties in economic, trade and industrial sectors. Accordingly a 10 member delegation comprising Ministers Akila Viraj Kariyawasam and Mahinda Samarasinghe will accompany the PM. more..

Open verdict on dead Trinity rugger player

Oct 4 (Island) Samples of the body of the dead rugger player Baratha Ekanayake (17) of Trinity College, Kandy were ordered to be forwarded to the Govt Analyst for a report to ascertain the cause of his death. An open verdict was returned till then by JMO of Kandy Hospital Dr Sivasubramaniam, who issued the instructions to police investigating into the death of the student. Arrangements have been made for the burial of the player’s body at Heressagala Cemetery on today. more..

Seized cocaine to be publicly destroyed by year-end

Oct 4 (DM) Nearly 930 kilograms of cocaine seized in Sri Lanka will be destroyed in public this month, STF Commandant Senior DIG M.R. Lateef said. He said President Sirisena had directed that they be destroyed and would be done so in public on the instructions of the Attorney General. DIG said another stock of cocaine weighing more than 1,200 kilos, which were held as court productions would also be destroyed on or more..