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Clean water flows from well of goodwill

Sep 13 (ST) The farmer’s face was incandescent with happiness as he gazed up at the two-storey structure built on land he had given away so that other lives in his village might be saved, if not his own. For Lathpana Thilakaratne, 60, had not long to live. The scourge that has the world scrambling to find its cause had him in its death-grip. It takes two lives a month in his village, Damsopura, off  Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka. more..

Eran Wickramaratne’s tears for EPF

Sep 13 (CT) I still continue to have the highest regard for Eran Wickramaratne and I am glad that he now has a position which almost matches his talents and capacities. I say almost because the position he should occupy is that of Finance Minister, and I say this because amongst his capacities is absolute financial integrity. This is obviously more important in the current context, when the integrity of most of the leadership of the UNP has been shown to be non-existent. more..

Editorial:  When the Eagle cries

Sep 13 (Island) US Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Alice Wells is reported to have told a Congressional subcommittee that non-concessional Chinese loans have placed unsustainable debt burdens on Sri Lanka. They are now of concern to the Sri Lankan people in the govt, she has said. She sounds like the yahapalana leaders who used to clamour against China and Chinese loans while campaigning hard to dislodge the pro-Chinese Rajapaksa govt. more..

Arundika Fernando

Ahead of the curve: Chief Minister Wigneswaran’s visit to the Mahanayakas

Sep 13 (Island) Chief Minister Wigneswaran’s breathtakingly bold move to visit the Mahanayakas in Kandy was an unexpected piece of footage on the evening’s news on all TV channels. He was brisk as he approached the Chief Prelates and confidently direct in his communication with them and the journalists afterwards. What he said was very clear: he wanted Federalism for the North. He explained to the Prelates and the gathered Sangha that the Supreme Court had just given the decision more..

A challenging task for Gotabhaya

Sep 13 (Island) The high profile launch of Eliya (light) by wartime Defence Secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa underscored SL’s PATHETIC failure to counter unsubstantiated war crimes allegations, directed by a section of the international community, since the conclusion of the war, in May 2009. Sri Lanka paid a very heavy price for its failure and the previous govt can never absolve itself of the responsibility for the situation. Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka’s Army brought war to a successful more..

Path-breaking Judgement hailed

Sep 13 (SO) Former Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunge and former TRC Director General Anusha Pelpita were on Thursday (7) found guilty of misappropriating Rs.600 million of funds belonging to TRC in the controversial Sil Redi distribution case and were sentenced to three-years Rigorous Imprisonment by the Colombo High Court. They were ordered to pay a compensation of Rs.50 million each to TRC more..

Int'l marketing mechanism for investors

Sep 13 (NS) Inventors and the Sri Lanka Inventors Commission (SLIC) bemoaned the society’s negative attitude towards purchasing products with the Made in Sri Lanka label and lamented the lack of an international mechanism to promote locally developed innovations and inventions. With the view of promoting locally developed innovations, inventions and products globally in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation and the Asian regions, the SLIC is working with more..

Pakistan beat World XI by 20 runs

Sep 13 (CI) Babar Azam showed why he is considered the future of Pakistan batting, as his 52-ball 86 carried Pakistan to a comfortable 20-run win over the World XI in the first T20I. After Fakhar Zaman was dismissed in the first over, Babar put on a 122-run partnership with Ahmed Shahzad to set Pakistan up for a big finish. Shoaib Malik and Imad Wasim then helped Pakistan score 48 runs in the last three overs to finish with 197, their fourth-highest T20 total. more..

Sunday Leader reverts to pro-MR camp: Paper not printed for 3rd consecutive week

Sep 13 (CT) With the fall from glory in sight for the Ravi Karunanayake–Arjuna Aloysius empire, the curtain may be finally coming down regrettably, for The Sunday Leader, which had not been able to print its edition from Aug 27 to Sept 3. Sources at The Sunday Leader told Colombo Telegraph that with the removal of the portfolio from the infamous Minister, who in 2015 June took over the effective management more..

Retail industry key to economic revival: Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi

Sep 13 (FT) Thailand’s former Deputy PM Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi declared that the retail industry was key to the revival of the economy.  Speaking at the launch of the first ever Sri Lanka Retail Forum organised by SL Retail Association, he said that the retail industry was very important for Sri Lanka’s future success as the country evolves into a significant hub in South Asia. He said the retail industry was becoming more complicated as consumers got more demanding.  more..

Samaraweera on touring Pakistan: My wife was told I was dead and she fainted

Sep 13 (Island) One of the guttiest batsmen to play Test cricket, Thilan Samaraweera has urged Sri Lanka Cricket to not to put any undue pressure on the players to tour Pakistan. Samaraweera was the worst affected when the Sri Lankan team bus came under a terrorist attack in 2009 as he underwent two surgeries before a two inch bullet was removed from his left leg. Pakistan has been a no go zone for international cricket teams since the incident. However, SLC Prez Thilanga Sumathipala, more..

JVP press conference: Fisheries Harbors

Dialog enters financial services sector

Sep 13 (CT) Mobile telecom giant Dialog Axiata PLC yesterday entered in to the formal financial service business by acquiring the controlling stake of the listed minor finance company Colombo Trust Finance Plc (formerly CAL finance) for over Rs 1 billion. Analysts say this is three times their book value. Dialog officials said that they bought Rs 37.3 m or 80.34% stake of the Colombo Trust Finance for Rs 28.70 per share. Seller was Cargills Bank. Cargills Bank took control of Capital Alliance more..

The rot: from where it all began

Sep 13 (DN) Sri Lanka Cricket today finds itself in a messy state of affairs today because of the events that took place on March 8, 2016 when the current administration wielded its powers to throw out the selection committee headed by former SL fast bowler Kapila Wijegunawardene and replace it with an adhoc committee to meet its own ends. The manner in which it was carried out was to say the least bordered on dictatorial lines and it took place on the eve of an important event as more..

FR case filed against slaughter of cats & dogs

Sep 13 (FT) A senior counsel who is in the vanguard in the battle against animal cruelty raised concerns in the Supreme Court that although the killing of dogs has now been prevented through the initiation of a fundamental rights petition they are still being used in Chinese soups. President’s Counsel Sanjeeva Jayawardena told the Court that residents in Kollupitiya had complained to the police about dogs continuously yelping in the vicinity of more..

Sri Lanka to consider District Law Colleges to expand legal education

Sep 13 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s Policy Development Office has proposed to set up legal education institutes at district level in order to enhance the opportunities for legal education in the country. Responding to a request made by the Bar Association of Sri Lanka, the Policy Development Office of the PMO has submitted a list of proposals including the above proposal for consideration. “Since the total number of lawyers is quite low compared to the country’s population, it is essential to enhance more..

MPs' office maintenance allowance: We are opposed but will accept it: JVP

Sep 13 (DM) JVP said it would accept the maintenance allowance to MPs though on principle it was opposed to the granting of such an allowance. JVP MP Vijitha Herath said that his party was opposed to the proposed Rs.100,000 office maintenance allowance to MPs but its MPs would accept it so that others would not get the chance to grab these funds. “If our MPs refrain from accepting this allowance, others will rob it,” he said and added that they were opposed to it because more..

Digital infrastructure is key to SL’s hubs development plan: Chinese Ambassador

Sep 13 (Island) SL's geography-linked strategy of becoming a multiple hub in shipping, aviation, logistics, services, financial, education and tourism must be preceded by a better connected SL, Yi Xianliang, Chinese Amb. pointed out. "SL, therefore, needs to give top priority to developing its digital infrastructure – a well developed network of ICT applications and broadband services - to make its hubs strategy a success" more..

Mobitel partners with Fairfirst Insurance

Sep 13 (DN) Mobile Service Provider Mobitel, has partnered with Fairfirst Insurance to offer customers an innovative micro-insurance cover that provides customers financial assistance when the insuredis confined to bed due to physical disablement or an accident. Furthermore this micro-insurance cover provides protection for loss of employment and an accidental death benefit cover as well. Mobitel customers who register for the service will be entitled to a cash grant of Rs. 8,400 per week more..

Red Bull Campus Cricket: SL claim 3rd win

Sep 13 (DN) Though they had lost their opening match, University of Sydney made a resounding surge through the back end of the Red Bull Campus Cricket World Final group stages, and have now locked down the last spot in the semi-final. This was thanks in no small part to the all-round talents of Joseph Kershaw, who hit 27 runs and took 3 for 16 in their victory against Marathwada Mitra Mandal College of Commerce (MMMC College), Pune. Three teams were in contention for more..

Welikada prison hospital raided after admission of Lalith Weeratunga

Sep 13 (Island) A sudden raid was conducted at the prison hospital in the Welikada Prison yesterday on the orders of Minister D.M. Swaminathan following information that various malpractices were taking place there. Surprise raid conducted from 1 pm to 3 pm helped authorities recover two mobile phones. Raid had been carried out following information that some VIP inmates and some selected convicts were receiving undue more..

Inland Revenue Act to equally net professionals

Sep 13 (DN) Sri Lankan tax structure would be simplified under the new Inland Revenue Act said Thanuja Perera consultant to Sri Lanka’s Finance Ministry. She was speaking at a seminar organized by National Chamber of Commerce SL. Perera said that under the new act professionals too would be taxed equally. Sri Lanka will tax foreign currency deposits in the future in the same manner as rupee deposits through a new income tax law that will come into effect next year, she added. more..

Cabinet rejects Malik’s proposal to increase gas prices

Sep 13 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena and the majority of the ministers in the cabinet have opposed a proposal submitted to yesterday’s cabinet meeting by Minister Malik Samarawickrama to increase gas prices. A senior cabinet Minister said that the majority of ministers were of the opinion that increasing gas prices should not be done at the present juncture. The cabinet meeting was held at the Presidential Secretariat with President Sirisena presiding. more..

Infrastructure-sharing entity to speed up broadband

Sep 13 (FT) Govt yesterday confirmed it would set up an infrastructure-sharing entity which will be brought under the purview of the Telecom and Digital Infrastructure Ministry to speed up digitisation for envisaged economic growth. Addressing the 2nd Sri Lanka Broadband Forum, Minister Harin Fernando said the Govt was in the process of setting up an infrastructure-sharing institution to tackle the challenges more..

Witness seeks CA order to probe Welikada shootings

Sep 13 (DN) The Court of Appeal yesterday re-fixed for support for October 17, a writ petition which sought an order directing the IGP and CID Director to commence an investigation into the Welikada prison riot in 2012 resulting in the death of 27 prisoners. When the petition came up before Court of Appeal (President) Justice L.T.B. Dehideniya and Justice Shiran Gunaratne, counsel who appeared on behalf of the petitioner sought a further date to support the petition. more..

President signs gazette to operationalise Office on Missing Persons

Sep 13 (FT) President Maithripala Sirisena, in his capacity as the Minister of National Integration and Reconciliation, yesterday signed a gazette notification to operationalise the Office on Missing Persons, Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation revealed. The ministry said: “The Office of the Missing Persons (establishment, administration and discharge of functions) Act No. 14 of 2016 and amended by Act No. 9 of 2017 comes into implementation and more..

Hospital bills to go up

Sep 13 (CT) Patients may find their hospital bills increasing due to the Govt more than doubling the taxes on private healthcare institutions from 12% to 28% under the new Inland Revenue Act (IRA) passed by Parliament last week. Key sectors where the rate of tax is increased from 10% or 12% to 28% are the construction and healthcare services, warehousing, agro processing, animal feed and fishing and clubs and associations, more..

Report on SAITM handed over: Dr. De Silva

Sep 13 (DM) The report completed by Presidential Committee on SAITM was handed over to President on Monday as per the schedule, Committee Head, Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha De Silva said. Thereby, he said, the allegations made by the GMOA that the Committee had failed to submit the report on Monday were false. “There is no truth in the GMOA’s claim. We, the entire committee, met the President and submitted the report on Monday. We also had lengthy discussions with Prez’s Secretary more..

PC Premaratne denies Aloysius leaving country, will appear before CoI today

Sep 13 (Island) Counsel for Arjun Aloysius assured the CoI probing alleged bond scams involving Central Bank and Perpetual Treasuries Limited (PTL) that his client, the owner of the PTL, hadn’t left the country as alleged and would appear before the CoI on Wednesday (13). The PC assured the CoI his client was in the country. PC Premaratne said so when Senior ASG Dappula de Livera said that they had received unverified report regarding Aloysius leaving the country. more..

President won’t be able suppress dissent by sacking ministers: Arundika

Sep 13 (Island) MP Arundika Fernando, a key member of an influential group of SLFP MPs critical of the UNP-led govt, who was sacked from his deputy minister’s post by President Maithripala Sirisena said that dissent couldn’t be suppressed by sacking ministers. President Sirisena sacked Deputy Minister of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs Arundika Fernando causing further turmoil in the party. more..

Some are more equal than others

Sep 13 (DM) The issue about powerful or affluent people remanded or convicted taking shelter in the prison hospital has come up again. This time it has come into the public domain after former Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunga and Anusha Palpita, the former Director General of the TRC were transferred to the prison hospital soon after their conviction in the Sil redi case. On Monday, Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake and six other civil society activists had requested more..

Clarification from Rosy & Harsha awaited

Sep 13 (DM) The alleged Treasury Bond scams under the Yahapalanaya govt are arguably one of the largest financial scams to have taken place in the post-independence history of Sri Lanka. For sheer impunity and involvement of a wide spectrum of politicians in collusion with a section of the corporate sector and regulatory authorities it is hard to beat. The muted response of the opposition exemplifies the rot in the governance of this country. This article is written in the Public Interest more..

Warm welcome for first Lankan President of Toastmasters International

Sep 13 (FT) The first-ever Sri Lankan to be appointed as the President of Toastmasters International, Arunasalam Balraj, was given a warm welcome upon his return to the country on Sunday at the BIA following the historic development. Toastmasters International (TMI) is a world leader in communication and leadership development. The organisation has a membership of 360,000 across 16,500 clubs in 142 countries more..

'If what was said was true even Fonseka won’t be spared'

Sep 13 (DM) Former Presidential Secretary K.H.J. Wijedasa during a recent interview aired his views  on issues pertaining to the allegations made against war heroes, war crimes and the response of Sarath Fonseka with regard to Jagath Jayasuriya. Q: After assuming power the present Govt declared that all charges levelled against the former govt regarding war crimes and war tribunals had ended. But what is the reason behind more..

Lotus Tower blossoming on schedule, say local and Chinese officials

Sep 13 (ST) In Colombo’s fast changing skyline, one structure that stands out from the rest is the Lotus Tower. Standing tall at 350 metres, the Tower which will primarily serve as a transmission station for television and radio is slated to open in March next year. It has taken both Sri Lankan and Chinese experts from various fields to overcome the challenges faced when constructing a massive structure like the Lotus Tower, more..

NP Chief Minister tells Mahanayake: Federalism is not separatism

Sep 13 (Island) ‘We need a united country and not a unitary one’, said the Chief Minister, Northern Provincial Council C.V. Wigneswaran after calling on the prelate of the Asgiriya-headed Supreme Council of the Sangha on Sunday (10) afternoon. Under unitary rule, the majority community had the supremacy and the minorities did not have the freedom of administration, the Chief Minister told the media. more..

Vithya murder Trial-at-Bar: DSG says strong evidence against all but 2

Sep 13 (CT) Deputy Solicitor General P. Kumarratnam yesterday told the Vithya Sivaloganathan murder Trial-at-Bar that except for the first and seventh accused, there was strong evidence that all the other accused were involved in the gruesome murder. The Trial-at- Bar resumed and the Bench comprised High Court Judges Sasi Mahendran (Chairman), Annalingam Premshankar and M.Illanchelian. more..

Committee demands justice for prisoners

Sep 13 (DN) The committee for protecting rights of prisoners staged a demonstration yesterday in front of Welikada Prison to stress the govt on protecting the rights of the prisoners and to immediately enforce the law against those involved in the Welikada prison shooting in 2012. They said that the govt has failed to implement the law for five years since the shooting at the prison which killed 27 inmates. more..

Cost of Central Highway inflated: Prof. Peiris

Sep 13 (Island) Former Minister Prof. G.L Pieris yesterday exposed the govt’s alleged fraudulent and corrupt practices relating to the Central Highway project. Speaking at the Joint Opposition (JO)’s Economic Research Unit (ERU) media briefing held in Colombo, Prof. Pieris said the central highway was initially to be financed by the Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) under the former govt. more..