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We must keep unrelenting pressure on S&R

Sep 10 (Island) No need to get hopes too high, it could still end in a flop, but there is a need to keep relentless pressure and criticism on the govt. Short of anything that helps the Joint Opposition–Rajapaksa (JO-MaRa) rotters, one must not relax vigilance of the S&R outfit. However my expectations are different from other commentators, for example Jehan Perera’s (JP) piece "More Purposeful Govt in the Making" – Colombo Telegraph and Island 28 August. more..

Akila’s workless jobs: Driver for school without vehicle, cooks without kitchen

Sep 10 (ST) Offering jobs and ensuring votes at the next elections are standard operating rules for politicians. Otherwise, they will not be able to return to Parliament. Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, is just one such politician who follows this dictum to the hilt. No harm, one would say, since job opportunities are available more in his Ministry than many others. That is in schools and even cultural projects which more..

New tax law will adversely affect public: COPE

Sep 10 (NR) Chairman of the COPE, JVP MP Sunil Handunetti says the public will be aware of the harmful nature of the Inland Revenue Act after its enactment. The final result of the Act is the oppression of the masses on international pressure. The policy is such that all living and breathing things will be taxed. He said developed countries see people willingly pay taxes, they declare their income and tax statements and they all have tax files. more..

Eight suicides a day: More counselling centres in hospitals

Sep 10 (ST) With Sri Lanka joining the world to mark Suicide Prevention Day today, the Health Ministry is to broad base its counselling services in hospitals, especially for youth. Though the annual suicide toll has been more than halved during the past two decades in Sri Lanka, still it averages eight suicides a day. At present only 25 youth friendly health centres Yovun Piyasa were functioning in hospitals islandwide. more..

SriLankan Captain claims his dismissal was an after-thought based on blatant falsehood

Sep 10 (Island) Senior flight crew member of SriLankan Airlines, Captain Sujith Jayasekera, who was found guilty at an external inquiry for "failure to extend his cooperation to a random alcohol and psychoactive substance test" on Aug 28, 2016, had to invoke the RTI Act to secure a copy of the report marked confidential and the relevant board meeting minutes as he was unaware of the final conclusions of the inquiry. more..

Kaduwela-Fort light trains from 2018

Sep 10 (DM) Fort bound Light Railway Service would be initiated from Kaduwela funded by Japanese Govt, Minister Champika Ranawaka said. Feasibility study for the project was being conducted and the Ministry was acquiring lands in the area for the purpose. Participating in an event to publicise Kaduwela Public Fair and the additional bus halt, he said the construction of the light railway service would be initiated end of 2018. more..

Rains to increase until Thursday

Sep 10 (DM) The rainy condition, especially in southwestern parts of the country, is expected to increase from tomorrow until Thursday, Meteorology Department said today. Duty Forecaster said that there was a high possibility of rains or thunder showers in Western, Southern, Sabaragamuwa, Central and Northwestern Provinces, while the other parts of the country would experience evening thunder showers. more..

Report shows SL’s jails dens of corruption

Sep 10 (ST) A notorious underworld leader killed when two prison buses were ambushed in Kalutara in February maintained a personal Facebook account while incarcerated and posted photographs of himself posing with prison officers, the report of a fact-finding committee states. The report also held that there was widespread corruption in Sri Lanka’s jails and said the Prisons Department was doing nothing to root it out. more..

Tamils seek federalism, not division: Wiggie

Sep 10 (PTI) Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran has said the Tamil minority community’s demand for a federal solution to meet their political aspirations was not aimed at dividing the country. “You [the South] think we [Tamils] are all terrorists. We do not want to divide this country. When we ask for federalism we are being accused of trying to divide the country,” Mr. Wigneswaran said. more..

Laws will be imposed to cultivate all private lands which are not cultivated: President

Sep 10 (PSL) President says a gazette notification will be issued under existing laws to give all private lands which are not cultivated to those who are willing to cultivate them. He said all govt’s lands also will be cultivated in relation to this program. He said that decision will be taken under the Vaga Sangramaya program to be launched next month to increase the food production by bringing drought affected lands to normal conditions. more..

President slams retired army officer for inciting violence

Sep 10 (EN) President Sirisena today accused a group of retired army officers politically linked to former defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa of causing friction between disabled soldiers and the authorities. In an unusual move, President made references to statements by retired army major general Kamal Gunaratne regarding the November clash between disabled soldiers and police outside Presidential Secretariat. more..

Baring it all seems unbearable to MPs sans Code of Conduct

Sep 11 (ST) Parliamentarians are easily irked by bad press, which is why MPs often raise privilege issues in the House to put the record right on reports that show them in bad light. This week one such issue cropped up over media reports of a large number of MPs’ failure to submit their assets and liabilities declaration forms, a charge denied by most lawmakers. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya backed the MPs saying most of the MPs had submitted their assets and liabilities declaration forms more..

Snubbing illegal orders without compromising integrity

Sep 11 (CT) As a former public officer who had learnt extremely hard way as to how to face similar situations, I thought it is nothing but right to share my experience which I believe would be useful to public servants today, provided they want to be independent without compromising their integrity. In the year 2001 I was the Head of the Customs Revenue Task Force. I was appointed to conduct a revenue fraud inquiry involving The Finance Company, Arjuna Ranatunga’s family and more..

The UNP’s 71st Anniversary: UNP safeguards not a family, but the country’s youth

Sep 11 (SO) The United National Party (UNP) survives today as one of the two major political parties in the country as its democratic attributes could keep pace with changing times. The RT Hon. D.S. Senanayake founded the party on September 6, 1946, based on democracy and reconciliation. There was Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim consensus in the party. The following is an extract of the then UNP Chairman D.S. Senanayake’s speech: more..

Tilting windmills at blathering politicians is no answer to rule of law failures

Sep 11 (ST) A former Army Commander or two jousting before the television cameras for sport, alleging war crimes against each other, is a seducing sight for public consumption. But this is not what the crisis of justice in Sri Lanka is all about. Indeed, these deeply cynical games distract attention from institutional failures that go to the heart of political and military responsibility. That fact must be properly understood for any reform process to even begin, whether in relation to more..

What the hell is going on?

Sep 11 (CT) Even in a country where corruption has become a part of its culture and where there has been, for a considerable time (at least since reign of Yankee Dick Jayewardene) a total lack of anything resembling ethics, morality or principle in political practice, what has begun to unfold during tenure of current Yahapalanaya govt is bizarre to say the least. There's no comprehending what this lot, particularly its UNP component, is doing, even if one justifies most blatant political opportunism. more..

Joint march of the 2 main parties: Gayantha

Sep 11 (CT) Q: Govt and PM seem to be favouring you? A: Why do you say so? Q: Look at the portfolios offered to you. A: I have never asked for positions, I have never done that. But as you say, I have been given many opportunities. The two leaders seem to have a lot of trust in me. Once I asked for nomination, but was not granted because former Minister Rupa Karunathilaka was my uncle, and there was a Party decision, not to give more..

Furore over increased ministerial posts

Sep 11 (CT) Parliament was told that several ministerial positions created for the purpose of a National Govt were invalid as their terms had expired. JVP leader, Anura Kumara Dissanayake, raising the issue in the House noted that following a decision by the Cabinet to increase the number of Cabinet Ministers to 45 and Deputy and State Ministers to 48, PM had informed the House at that time that the increase was made solely for the purpose of establishing a National Govt. more..

Editorial:  Election bribes

Sep 11 (Island) The Joint Opposition (JO) has suddenly remembered Lalith Weeratunga, currently in prison for allocating Rs. 600 mn out of the TRC funds for sil redi (pieces of white cloth worn by Buddhists while observing sil) distributed among people in the run-up to the last presidential election. He was the TRCSL Chairman and Secretary to President Rajapaksa at that time. Former TRCSL Director General Anusha Palpita has also been similarly sentenced for the same offence. more..

Adaraneeya Sri Lanka: Trincomalee

Alleged war crimes and command responsibility

Sep 11 (CT) Recently media reported that Human Rights groups led by the International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP), in South America have filed lawsuits in Brazil and Colombia against SL's former Ambassador in Latin America including Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Argentina and Suriname General Jagath Jayasuriya, accusing him of war crimes. Carlos Castresana Fernandez, the lawyer who is coordinating the effort, said petitions will be filed in Argentina, Chile, Peru in coming days more..

Hurling stone at AG’s Department

Sep 11 (Island) When bookie Mukthar was chained to the hospital bed, accused of violating foreign exchange regulations and being charged before the Criminal Justice Commission, J.R. Jayewardene made a promise to the people that he would abolish those heinous laws and create a dhamista samajayak (a righteous society). True to his word, he abolished the CJC and instead, established the Special Presidential Commission and took away the civic rights of Sirmavo Bandaranaike so that more..

The evolution of education in Sri Lanka

Sep 11 (Roar) Education is the cornerstone of civilization. Formal schools have been around since the Classical Era, but the system of education has changed significantly through the ages. In past centuries, acquiring knowledge was a luxury that the poor and lower social classes could not afford to expend time or money on. What began as an elite privilege has given way to our current system, where formal edu is compulsory more..

All-time combined India-Sri Lanka ODI XI

Sep 11 (SK) The recently-concluded India-SL series may have been a lopsided contest with the Lankan Lions rarely putting in a modicum of fight. But, there was a time when the Sri Lankan side boasted of some of the world's best cricketers and were extremely hard to beat. This tiny island, also called a tear drop of the Indian Ocean, produced its fair share of immensely talented players whose names are etched forever in golden letters in the annals of cricket history. more..

Pepper growers up in arms

Sep 11 (Island) The street protests of the pepper growers were launched due to the govt’s failure to determine a reasonable market price for their products. On an undertaking given by Minister P. Harrison, the organised protests were called off. However, there appears to be no solution coming from the minister and therefore the protests are to be resumed. The govt has imported 500 tons of pepper from Vietnam. This had been done on the pretext of using them for a distillery, more..

The fallout from SL jailing Lalith Weeratunga

Sep 11 (EN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa's top aide Lalith Weeratunga became the first high-profile official from the former regime to be convicted for corruption, but his jailing could have a political fallout for the current coalition regime too. Economynext Political Correspondent discuses consequences for President Sirisena, PM Wickremesinghe and their uneasy coalition whose tenure is virtually guaranteed by constitution. more..

Hydro-electricity generation not hit

Sep 11 (DM) Although the rainfall received by the hydro power generation reservoirs was not enough, power generation would not be affected in the coming months, Energy Ministry Spokesman Sulakshana Jayawardana said. He said despite a considerable amount of rainfall in the regions of several reservoirs during the last week, no reservoir had reached spill level. He said the Maussakele Reservoir water level had increased up to 82.7% while the Castlereagh reached 81.7%. more..

SL's Sea Life Complex, Maldives sold out

Sep 11 (DN) Sri Lanka’s first ever overseas mega apartment project, the Sea Life Complex (SLC) constructed by Coral Property Developers Colombo in the island of Hulhumale, Maldives has been entirely sold out. This has been accomplished almost year before its completion date. The Sea Life Project, which is close to the capital Male offers 3,500 apartments and are being constructed at the cost of US$ 70 million. The first 1,000 units will be completed by 2018. more..

SLC to fix the fixers

Sep 11 (Island) A report that investigated into alleged match fixing in a domestic cricket will be tabled at a high level SLC meeting tomorrow. Investigators looked into the alleged match fixing that took place in a First Class game – the Premier League Tier B contest between Kalutara Physical Culture Club and Panadura Sports Club at Surrey Village ground in Maggona. The report has recommended severe penalties for both clubs more..

Sri Lanka to charge 10% capital gains tax, unit trusts to be taxed

Sep 11 (EN) Sri Lanka will charge a 10% capital gains tax on investments other than listed securities, under a new inland revenue bill to be effective from April 2018. The principle residence of a person which has been owned for more than three years, and in which a person has lived for more than two years will be exempt. The cost of the investment would be the market value on Sept 2017. Capital gains of below 50,000 rupees per transaction and 600,000 a year would be exempt. more..

Walala A Rathnayake CC bags overall girls and mixed school titles

Sep 11 (Island) Ratnayake Central beat odds to retain the girls’ title and win the newly introduced mixed schools title and St. Benedict’s retained the boys’ title as the 3-day All Island School Relay Championship concluded in Jaffna. Ratnayake Central had been dominating the 4x1500 metres relays in these championships and the controversial scraping of the distance events from this year’s agenda was a severe blow to the athletic power house from Walala in the run up to the event. more..

Money printing equals 1.02% of GDP (Rs 120.4B)

Sep 11 (CT) Central Bank (CB) printed money carrying a face value of Rs 3,360.03 million on Friday to help meet the Govt's monetary commitments, data showed. As a result, CB's Face Value money printing holdings increased by 2.87% over Thursday's figures to Rs 120,360.46 million, equal to 1.02% of GDP, as per last year's GDP figures. Inflation, on a MoM basis, accelerated by 25% (1.2 points) to 6% last month, more..

Industrialists up in arms against import of polythene products

Sep 11 (Island) The Association to Protect the Rights of Industrialists in Sri Lanka yesterday said that the govt was planning to import biodegradable plastic and polythene products with tax concessions and the move could lead to the closure of a number local industries and around 200,000 would lose their jobs. A member of the association Nirukhs Nanakumar said the plastic and polythene based industries could face the same fate as the brass and pottery industries. more..

IFIP President to open Sri Lanka’s biggest ICT conference

Sep 11 (DN) Mike Hinchey, President of IFIP, the global federation of ICT professional associations, will open the combined NITC/SEARCC Conference in Sri Lanka which happens throughout a period of one week, which is from September 11 to 15, 2017. Professor Hinchey will discuss the critical role ICT professionals play in enhancing the quality of life for people around the world by developing and applying new and disruptive technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Machine Learning, more..

Woman as Excise Chief: Furious TUs warn of countrywide strikes

Sep 11 (CT) Unity of Excise Trade Unions expressed extreme displeasure at the Govt's apparent decision to appoint a woman, from an administrative background as the Commissioner General of the Excise Department and threatened countrywide strikes in the event the move comes into effect. Members of the Unions alleged that the Secretary to the Finance Ministry has allegedly pushed forward a Cabinet Memorandum to more..

Work on Sugathadasa begins Thursday

Sep 11 (CT) After much deliberation for nearly a year regarding the tender, work on re-laying the synthetic track at the Sugathadasa Stadium will finally get underway on Thursday (14). Access-Conica joint venture (JV) won the tender bid for re-laying of the track as they were the most qualified bidder having met all requirements. Conica has laid 24 Class I tracks around the world and is also the present sponsor of the world athletics governing body IAAF. more..

Bond commission needs 1-month extension

Sep 11 (Island) The presidential commission of inquiry probing the alleged treasury bond scams needs more time to complete its task, according to sources. Time allocated for the witnesses is scheduled to end at the end of this month leaving only one month for the commission members to file their report. The commission had indicated that it needed at least two months to compile its report and it would seek the Presidential permission to extend its mandate by one more month. more..

Fresh crisis at Uma Oya: Grout cement flowing into Kirindi Oya

Sep 11 (ST) A fresh environmental issue over the Uma Oya Multipurpose Project has surfaced after cement — used to prevent water leaking — was washed into canals and irrigation tanks downstream. Moneragala’s District Secretary D.S. Pathamakulasooriya said that they have taken up the issue with Central Environmental Authority (CEA), Irrigation Department and Water Board as it was affecting Ella and Wellawaya. more..

Sil Cloth verdict: can’t expect the same for bond scam: Bandula

Sep 11 (AD) UPFA MP Bandula Gunawardena says he does not think the recent sentence delivered on the Sil Cloth case will serve as a precedent in the future as a verdict is reached on the bond issuance case.   “I don’t think the same will happen. Treasury bond scam is the biggest robbery which occurred at the Central Bank in broad daylight. Attorneys have raised objections against bringing the main accused in the case to the stand.” “So you can imagine how the law is being implemented,” he said.  more..

Prez Committee on SAITM: Harsha rejects allegations

Sep 11 (DM) The allegations levelled by GMOA against the Presidential Committee on SAITM were factually incorrect, Committee Head, Deputy Minister Harsha De Silva said. He said no one could allege the committee of undermining the authority of the SLMC or reducing its power, when the committee was yet to present the final report to the President. “We would submit the report to Prez. I invite those who level such allegations not to attempt to prepare horoscopes for a baby, who is not yet born,” more..