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'Will correct statement on Shani Abeysekara'

Sep 11 (NR) UPFA MP Udaya Gammanpila says he will take steps to correct the statements made by him on a previous occasion pertaining to the recently appointed Director of the CID Shani Abeysekera. He noted Shani Abeysekera received his promotion as Director of the CID based on his credentials. MP noted he charged that the former SSP Shani Abeysekera received his promotion due to the manner in which he handled disabled soldiers during a protest they conducted adding that more..

Video: Fonseka has endangered over 300,000 soldiers: Gammanpila

Sep 11 (AD) MP Udaya Gammanpila stated that Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka has put the lives of over 300,000 soldiers in danger by stating that he will provide evidence against Military personnel who committed war crimes during the war. He stated that the only way to save the lives of the soldiers is to diagnose the Field Marshal as a mental patient. He made this remark in response to Field Marshal Fonseka stating that former Army Commander Jagath Jayasuriya committed war-crimes more..

Zeid notes frustration over slow pace of reforms in Sri Lanka 

Sep 11 (TG) The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein noted frustration over the slow pace of reforms in Sri Lanka and said the absence of action on accountability meant exercising universal jurisdiction was even more necessary. Speaking at the opening of the UNHRC session in Geneva, the human rights chief called on Sri Lanka to live up to commitments it had made to the international community. more..

Significance of Vision 2025 goes beyond economic development

Sep 12 (CT) Much was expected of the govt when it came to power in 2015. An immediate boost to the economic growth rate was anticipated but this has failed to materialize. The failure to attract foreign investments has been a notable disappointment. This has been attributed to the uncertain policy environment with the govt not being of one mind in creating the necessary environment for foreign investment to come in. The level of public disenchantment with the govt has been more..

Have we reached a turning point in our export performance?

Sep 12 (ST) Are we seeing the end of the gloomy trade tunnel? Does the four consecutive months of increasing export earnings mean that we have reached a turning point in our export performance? This depends on whether export earnings will continue to increase in the second half of the year. A continued surge in exports could reduce this year’s trade deficit if this increasing trend in exports gains momentum and imports do not increase much in the second half of the year. more..

‘SLFP will not quit strong, stable Govt’

Sep 12 (SO) Minister Susil Premajayantha, categorically denying media speculations that a group of SLFP Ministers in the Govt are trying to quit the Govt, said. “if the SLFP wants to continue with the Govt, they should think afresh and discuss the main issues that need to be addressed, and the issues to be prioritized, and then take a collective decision, and implement it”. Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said, “there is no big more..

Such clever chaps run our palanaya

Sep 12 (ST) Who wants education qualifications to make laws for our nation when those who have made them much of the time have done so without the paper certificates? Readers might remember that earlier this year a former chancellor of Peradeniya Uni lamented that 94 of SL’s current crop of MPs do not have the GCE O/Ls and only 25 out of the 225 MPs are graduates. Where those between such worthies have landed under our free-education system was not mentioned. more..

(Official) SLFP, devolution & constitution

Sep 12 (CT) Three cheers for the official SLFP’s written proposals for Constitutional change. They are not merely desirable; they are the only changes currently possible. The SLFP has rejected the abolition of the executive Presidency, more especially in the context of devolution. It has upheld the unitary state, rejected the amalgamation of Provinces and the abolition of the powers of the Governor and/or their transfer to the Chief Minister. SLFP has agreed with the implementation more..

The five forms of Kandyan dance

Sep 12 (Roar) Be it the Kandy Perahera, an Avurudhu celebration, or a traditional Buddhist wedding, almost every social, cultural or religious occasion in Sri Lanka highlights different forms and styles of dance that are indigenous to the country. For both ritualistic and aesthetic reasons, dance plays an important role in SL’s culture. According to W.B. Makulloluwa’s book Dances of Sri Lanka, traditions of classical dance more..

Electoral reforms, representation of women, and 20A

Sep 12 (CT) The proposed 20th Amendment is facing rough weather and it will have to be amended before getting the approval of the provincial councils. Some provincial councils have opposed it and the govt plans to amend it and seek approval from those provincial councils. There is also some uncertainty with regard to 2/3 majority in Parliament as a section of the SLFP and the TNA have already opposed this. There is no doubt that a single-day election is more democratic than staggered elections. more..

Archaeological Heritage Sites: A part of history

Sep 12 (CT) Last week an emotional speech was made in Parliament by MP Udaya Gunasekera regarding the leasing out of 2148 acres, out of land belonging to the Wattegama Raja Maha Vihara granted under the Buddhist Temporalities Ordinance No.19 of 1931 as Amended, to a German Company Ethimale Plantation for planting of sugar cane. The MP claimed that this has led to the destruction of an ancient archaeological site belonging to the Kavantissa Era in the Second Century BC, more..

Face the Nation

Editorial: Dirty war: Franchise as collateral damage

Sep 12 (Island) The govt and JO have had talks on the much-delayed local govt elections, we are told. If experience is anything to go by, nothing will come of such powwows which are an utter waste of time. The govt is determined to postpone the LG polls or any other election for that matter on some pretext or the other as it is suffering from what may be called polls phobia. The JO thinks its chances of winning an electoral contest are far greater at this juncture than later. more..

Business confidence slumps in August

Sep 12 (FT) The exclusive LMD-Nielsen Business Confidence Index (BCI) declined sharply to 121 in August, reflecting a slump of 13 basis points from the prior month. Nielsen’s Managing Director Sharang Pant opines: “The upward trend over the past five months comes on the back of easing inflation and interest rates, and the granting of GSP+ but has probably been stunted by the controversy around the transparency of the Govt’s bond sale in the last few weeks.” more..

'SLC will not push anyone to go to Pakistan'

Sep 12 (Island) Sri Lanka will carefully assess the security situation in Pakistan before committing to play in the country in the upcoming bilateral series, national team’s Cricket Manger Asanka Gurusinha said. Pakistan Cricket Board released the itinerary for the bilateral series last week and accordingly the third and final T-20 International is scheduled to take place in Lahore whereas the rest of the series will be played in UAE. more..

Unjust criticism of Stafford Sri Lankan School of Doha

Sep 12 (Island) I write in my personal capacity as an individual who has been associated with the Stafford Sri Lankan School in Doha for the past over 10 years from 2007. This school is the only SL School for our people working in Qatar to educate their children. It was first established in 2001 with about 50 children and now it has over 1,200 students with a staff of over one hundred. My association with the School was the result of my visits to Doha to conduct lectures in the MBA Program more..

Sri Lanka insurance firms face higher tax bill under new law

Sep 12 (EN) Sri Lankan insurance companies are likely to face higher tax expenses under a new tax law that was passed by parliament last week, experts said. Insurance firms which till now paid tax on investment income minus expenditure, will in future be taxed their profits, said Shamila Jayasekera, Partner-Tax at KPMG. “You are also liable to pay tax on the surplus transferred to shareholders and to policy holders,” she told a forum on the new Inland Revenue Act more..

Preaching about the Economy while robbing the CB: Go for growth PM tells private sector

Sep 12 (FT) The next two years will be crucial for SL’s debt management, said PM Ranil Wickremesinghe while calling on the private sector to use technology to find new avenues for growth. Addressing the CIMA Business Leaders Summit as its Chief Guest, PM insisted the Govt’s key task was to develop a framework and create an enabling environment for business, which it is already in the middle of achieving.  more..

Sri Lanka’s new revenue law augments govt revenue: Moody’s

Sep 12 (LBO) SL’s newly revised Inland Revenue Act will augment the country’s very low level of govt revenues, Moody’s said. Vice President, Sovereign Risk Group of Moody’s Investors Service, William Foster, commenting on the new law said it replaces the existing law with a more efficient, modern and broad-based tax framework. “Through past additions of multiple tax exemptions, SL’s income tax efficiency and tax collection are weak relative to other sovereigns,” more..

New Revenue Act leaving investors confused

Sep 12 (Island) CSE investors are confused over certain provisions in the recently passed Inland Revenue Act. Therefore, local and foreign investors are awaiting greater clarity on the whole Act, market sources said. Yesterday the stock market performance was sluggish owing to the confusion in  the market due to the uncertainties in the Inland Revenue Act. The day's market turnover stood at Rs. 290.8 million and both indices went down. All Share Price Index went down by 3.62 points more..

Judiciary must deliver on time: Eran

Sep 12 (FT) Acknowledging shortcomings in delivering justice to meet public expectation, the State Minister of Finance Eran Wickramaratne yesterday provided reassurance that the Govt was still committed to establishing a rules-based society. He also claimed that the upcoming budget would seek to rectify the resource shortages currently experienced by the Judiciary which are causing delays in the legal process. more..

Hilton Colombo marks milestone year; Chairman says excellent future prospects

Sep 12 (FT) Hilton Colombo has marked a milestone year in 2016 and with ongoing enhancements along with the improving profile of Sri Lanka for tourism, the Chairman of the owning company Hotel Developers (Lanka) Plc, Krishantha Cooray, has expressed confidence in excellent future prospects. Some of the highlights of the milestone year as well as insights into the future prospects were shared by Cooray during the Chairman’s Review of the 2016 Annual Report of Hotel Developers (Lanka), more..

EDB renews partnership with PUM Netherlands to assist export-oriented SMEs

Sep 12 (DM) The EDB entered into a Letter of Understanding (LoU) with the PUM Netherlands senior experts with a view to supporting particularly export-oriented Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) by obtaining services of PUM experts from mainly Europe in the areas of technology transfer, process improvement, product development, capacity building and training needs. PUM Netherlands senior experts, Head Quartered in the Netherlands is a non-profit organization more..

Withdraw due to public pressure?: Expressways will not be privatised: Kiriella

Sep 12 (Island) Minister Lakshman Kiriella said that govt was exploring the possibilities of improving the efficiency of the management of existing highways. In addition, the govt was planning to obtain Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to build new highways as well as to develop the present road network, he said. He was responding to rumours to the effect that the govt was planning to handover the Southern Highway more..

Govt. used Lalith, Anusha case to cover Bond scam

Sep 12 (DM) National Bikkhu Front (NBF) accused the govt in attempting to cover up the Bond Scam by highlighting the incident of the imprisoning of former Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunga and former Director General of the TRC, Anusha Palpita for three years. NBF General Secretary Ven. Wakamulle Uditha Thera said though the verdict added a little relief to the general public, there is an attempt to sweep the Bond scam under the carpet by highlighting the event. more..

SAITM MBBS students urge authorities to arrive at a fair and just solution

Sep 12 (CT) Graduates and students of the MBBS programme, at the SAITM, have urged authorities to provide a fair solution to the current predicament. These students have been deprived of an opportunity to complete their internship training that has halted their registrations as medical practitioners in Sri Lanka. In a statement, issued by the students, they said: "It is with great regret that we continue to face these obstacles that have paved our path by various parties with political schemes more..

Northerners desire peaceful co-existence: Asgiriya Chief Prelate

Sep 12 (DN) The people in the North desire to co-exist with other communities and lead a peaceful life by resolving their day to day problems rather than divide the country. This is what I observed during my recent visit to the North. The North Provincial Council should extend its fullest support to the central govt to enable it to attain its socio-economic development goals, said Most Ven. Warakagoda Gnaratana Mahanayake Thera. more..

SL still the lowest tax collector: Minister

Sep 12 (DN) Sri Lanka is still a tax heaven for investors and tax payers, said State Minister of Finance, Eran Wickramaratne. Speaking at the CCC hosted seminar on the newly passed Inland Revenue Act yesterday he said that the personal tax which is 24% in Sri Lanka is 30% in Bangladesh and 35% in India. “In countries like Vietnam it is 27.5%, Malaysia, 28% Mexico, 35% Thailand, 35% and South Africa 45%. It similar for the corporate tax structure as well.” more..

High praise for Ven Gunawansa from Ravi

Sep 12 (Island) Former Minister Ravi Karunayake says Ven Elle Gunawansa Thera is a real patriot who has rendered a selfless service for the country and his party will always support the latter. Karunanayake said so while addressing the media after visiting Ven Thera on Friday. He said that a problem had arisen following a statement made against the Ven Thera by Minister Sarath Fonseka recently and it was his wish that the issue would be sorted out amicably through discussion. more..

Four-year sentence for man found guilty of smuggling Tamil migrants to Canada

Sep 12 (CTV) A Sri Lankan man found guilty of smuggling Tamil migrants to Canada won't serve any more time in prison, despite being handed a four-sentence on Monday. Kunarobinson Christhurajah, who has already spent seven years behind bars awaiting trial, smiled as he stood before a British Columbia Supreme Court judge. He was convicted in May of being involved in the smuggling of 492 asylum seekers, who arrived on more..

Tri-forces, police, CDF didn’t commit war crimes: Sajith

Sep 12 (Island) None of the members of tri-forces, police or civil defence force had committed any war crimes, Minister Sajith Premadasa said on Saturday. Addressing a ceremony at Dimbulagala in Polonnaruwa to hand over the Sandaresgama to people, the Minister said: "There are various versions of the Geneva Human Rights conference of this year. Some claim our war heroes committed war crimes. None of them committed any such crimes. It was the LTTE that committed war crimes. more..

Sri Lanka calls for sharing of best practices in Gulf on migrant needs

Sep 12 (IL) The SL’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha has called on Colombo Process (CP) member states to bring together consular representatives from Asian migrant sending countries in the GCC region, to share experiences and best practices in meeting the day-to-day consular support needs of migrants.  Noting that low and semi-skilled migrant workers from the CP countries in the GCC faced similar issues, and recalling the decision of more..

Govt does not trust the Tamil community: Wigneswaran

Sep 12 (Island) Northern Province Chief Minister, C.V. Wigneswaran said that govt could even double the strength of the police, currently deployed in the Northern Province, to pave the way for total withdrawal of armed forces. He judge said so in response to a query in the wake of him making representations to the Most Ven. Tibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Thera, about what he called an intimidating military presence in the North. more..

HIV cases on the rise in Jaffna Three die, three in critical condition

Sep 12 (CT) At least three persons have died of HIV AIDS and three more have been diagnosed with the disease in the Northern Province during the current year, a senior medical official said. Dr. Thanrani Gurubaran, of Venereal Diseases Prevention Unit (VDPU), at the Jaffna Teaching Hospital, said that the deaths could not have been prevented since the victims were in serious conditions. "They had been affected with the disease for over ten years and had not been treated. more..

Blood instead of urine for banned substance tests

Sep 12 (DN) National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) has decided to take blood samples instead of urine for banned substance test from beginning of next year. NADA’s President Professor Arjuna de Silva said that the banned substance test was done by taking players’ urine samples, but World Anti Doping Agency has decided to do it by taking blood samples in the future. According to the new system, the players will not have a chance of taking part if they are found guilty of using banned substances more..

Gota to be summoned by CID over crushing of 2012  prison riot

Sep 12 (Island) Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, former DIG Anura Senanayake, former Army commander Jagath Jayasuriya and several top ranking security establishment personnel would be summoned before the CID to obtain their statements with regard to the Welikada prison riot where 27 inmates were shot dead. CID had already questioned and recorded statements from several top officers more..

Weeratunga tells JO MPs: Will not seek pardon from MS

Sep 12 (CT) Former President's Secretary Lalith Weeratunga, who is currently serving a three-year prison term, after being convicted in the Sil Cloth case has reportedly told a group of JO MPs that he does not indent to seek pardon from the incumbent President. The duo, who were sentenced to three years in jail, fined Rs 2 million each and ordered to pay the TRC, compensation in Rs 50 million each, filed their appeals through their Lawyers, naming the Attorney General as respondent. more..

'Sil material verdict sets a good example'

Sep 12 (NR) Deputy Minister Ajith P Perera says the verdict of the Sil material case sets a good example for honest state officials. He said state officials should not contribute to fulfil the narrow objectives of politicians. He said even though years passed, according to the country’s judicial system, the verdict of the case was announced. Deputy Minister Perera said the case involved the former President’s Secretary adding that when the former President served as the PM, Lalith Weeratnga was more..

Aloysius to face Commission tomorrow

Sep 12 (Island) Chairman of Perpetual Treasuries Ltd Arjun Aloysius will tomorrow appear before the Presidential Commission. The Counsel appearing for Aloysius, Gamini Marapana PC vehemently objected to Commission’s decision to summon Aloysius, but Chairman Justice K.T. Chithrasiri insisted that Aloysius should appear before the Commission without fail and said that summons had been already delivered to him. more..

Black and White thinking in a gray world

Sep 12 (DM) Gone are the days when on seeking an opinion on anything – be it an idea, food, movie, clothing – one would have a wide variety of answers. The range would include – good, very good, somewhat good, not bad, tolerable, bit bad and bad. There was an assortment of middle ground opinions or nuances between the good and the bad.  Today ask a person for his or her opinion and more often than not the answer is limited to the two extremes. It’s either, awesome or rotten or fabulous or more..