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Visas for Myanmar nationals, not for Rohingya refugees: SL

Sep 19 (DM) Rejecting reports that Sri Lanka had suspended on arrival visas for Myanmar travellers, Dept of Immigration and Emigration of Sri Lanka said that it would continue to issue visas for Myanmar nationals as usual, but not for Rohingya refugees. The Myanmar Times reported that Sri Lanka has suspended issuing visas on arrival for Myanmar travellers to stop Bengali people from Rakhine State entering the country. more..

Budget is always drafted to satisfy foreign markets: Bandula

Sep 19 (AD) MP Bandula Gunawardane stated that the Budget for 2017 has to be drafted to satisfy the ambitions of the international market, regardless of the wishes of the Ministry of Finance.  MP stated that the Budget allocations for 2016 were extremely unsuccessful and that former Minister Ravi Karunanayake should accept responsibility for its failures. It was further mentioned that the Budget for the year 2016 had falsified facts and figures that had dire repercussions on the economy. more..

Students unable to pass O/Levels to be granted entry to A/Levels

Sep 19 (AD) Ministry of Education has taken steps to launch a pilot project to enable students who failed their GCE O/L Exam, to gain entry to the GCE A/L Exam that is scheduled to commence in October. This program has been launched to ensure that every child gains a holistic 13 year education within the country. Accordingly, starting this year any student who is unable to pass the O/L exam will have the opportunity of gaining entry to the A/L streams through this pilot project.  more..

Sri Lanka seeks to limit importation of busses, three-wheelers

Sep 19 (LBO) Transport Ministry is currently looking at options to limit the importation of high floor busses and three-wheelers to Sri Lanka. Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva told Parliament that the ministry is gradually planning to tight related regulations in order to reduce traffic congestion in the country. “Current bus fleet is sufficient for the country. Now we need air conditioned low floor busses with high quality,” he said. more..

Why and how of National Unity

Sep 20 (SL) The continuance of chaotic coalition Govt may have raised more questions than provide any great answers to the ongoing issues of every kind facing the SL Nation and State. The twin leadership of SLFP President and UNP PM has now come to tit-for-tat (!) sacking of ministerial colleagues from their respective parties as if such belated symbolism, if any, could get tied over the constant crisis that their combined leadership has been facing since day one. more..

NUTA clowning over Rohingya mass tragedy

Sep 20 (CT) A SL organisation called, National University Teachers Association, (NUTA) under the hand of its spokesperson, Dr Channa Jayasumana, has circulated via internet a letter they are said to have handed over to Myanmar Ambassador in Colombo. The letter is addressed to His Excellency the President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. As an exercise in self-deception, readers should read the letter and I will bring up the poverty of the NUTA brief for all to see. more..

'We will not support the 20th Amendment'

Sep 20 (CT) EPRLF Leader Suresh Premachandran said although his party is a constituent of the TNA, it will not support the 20th Amendment as it will create a mess in the provincial council system. "According to the amendment, if a particular provincial council is dissolved before the specific date of dissolution, its powers shall be exercised by Parliament until the specified date. However, we do not want direct interference more..

A dossier on corrupt deals

Sep 20 (Island) On the late afternoon of June 21, 2006, Presidential Secretary, Lalith Weeratunga, arrived at the Dharmayathanaya, situated close to the BMICH, on the invitation of its chief incumbent, Ven. Elle Gunawansa. The writer was one of the few journalists invited by Ven. Gunawansa, on that day, to report what the outspoken monk called a significant intervention made by a group of civil society activists. Staff photographer, Jude Denzil Pathiraja, accompanied the writer to more..

Rhetoric aside, Sirisena cannot shield Army Generals accused of war crimes for long

Sep 20 (CT) On 29 Aug, 2017 Al Jazeera broke the news that Brazuluan lawyers seek to expel Jagath Jayasuriya, Ambassador to Brazil, over abuses in the final phase of the war against LTTE in May, 2009. The lawsuits against Jagath Jayasuriya allege he oversaw military units that attacked hospitals and killed, abducted, disappeared and tortured thousands of civilians in the final phase of the civil war. The army is also accused of killing hundreds of LTTE cadres who surrendered to the army more..

'AG simply cannot initiate legal action against anyone'

Sep 20 (SL) Justice Minister Thalatha Athukorale says just because a file is opened to investigate corruption, Attorney General’s Department cannot file charges. Minister said she will do her best to uphold the faith placed in her to deliver justice to all fairly. Q: You are the first female to be appointed as the Justice Minister. What are your views? A: As the leader of the party the PM rendered his utmost cooperation to increase more..

Promoting Amity, 15 years late

Sep 20 (CT) I was delighted to see last week that 'Govt is now planning to extend the Amity Schools concept, commencing from Year One. This is presented 'as another gigantic medium to a long-term move in supporting national reconciliation amongst communities' whatever that convoluted justification might mean. It is also splendidly ironic, since the concept of Amity Schools was killed by Ranil Wickremesinghe when his govt replaced Chandrika Kumaratunga's at the end of 2001. more..

153rd Birth Anniv of Anagarika Dharmapala

Sep 20 (CT) Anagarika Dharmapala, whose 153rd Birth Anniversary fell yesterday, was born on 17 September 1864 and passed away as Venerable Siri Devamitta Dharmapala on 29 April 1933 at Buddha Gaya in India at the age of 69 years. He was the greatest Sinhala Buddhist revivalist in Sri Lanka. He not only contributed to the resurgence of Sinhala Buddhist nationalism but also pioneered the revival of Buddhism in India after it had been virtually extinct there for several centuries, and more..

Karunarathna Paranawithana

LMD recognises Triad as the Most Respected Advertising Company

Sep 20 (FT) The most respected business entities are recognised and listed by Lanka Monthly Digest annually, in a bid to set a standard of excellence for the corporate sector. Triad said yesterday it is proud to be chosen as the Most Respected Advertising Company in the country with the likes of John Keells Holdings, MAS Holdings, Dialog Axiata, Commercial Bank, Hayleys, Unilever, Hemas Holdings, Sampath Bank, Brandix and Aitken Spence leading the top 10 in the Hall of Fame. more..

Capacity to pay, Ability to pay: Govt’s new rates question tax principles

Sep 20 (CT) A standard statement by tax consultant N.R. Gajendran when addressing tax seminars, used to be, that the Govt's tax policy should be based upon the principle of the taxpayer's ability to pay and the capacity to pay. In this context, the Govt's move, led by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to reduce indirect taxes from the current 80% to 60%, while doubling direct taxes from the present 20% to 40%, is a good move. The logic behind this move, as one of my bosses more..

While Parliament Mafia is buying super luxury cars with people's money, Salawa inferno Victims still wait for compensation

Sep 20 (CT) It has been over a year since the inferno from the Salawa Army Camp burnt half the village and caused damage to the adjoining Kosgama town. At the time of the crisis, there was an almost unanimous outcry on behalf of the victims, from the public and various interested parties known to thrive in crisis struck regions. However, last Wednesday (13) the roads of Hanwella more..

Editorial:  Prisoners, docs and pundits

Sep 20 (Island) Some UNP MPs have taken exception to the admission of former President’s Secretary Lalith Weeratunga to the Welikada prison hospital after being sentenced to three years RI. They claim he has received preferential treatment. A senior prison doctor has been transferred by way of punishment for allegedly favouring him. One is intrigued by their brouhaha and line of reasoning. The UNP MPs’ conclusion that Weeratunga should not be in prison hospital is based on more..

The world’s first EleFriendly bus

Sep 20 (GV) The world’s first EleFriendly bus celebrated its first birthday on Sept 9th, 2017 in the Wasgamuwa area. I was lucky to be able to attend the event.  The EleFriendly bus is an innovative project developed by the SL Wildlife Conservation Society (SLWCS) to reduce human-elephant conflict. SLWCS statistics show that human – elephant conflict has been reduced by 80% since the bus started running. In the first seven months, the number of conflicts fell from 83 to 21. more..

Harsha says trade reforms essential to integrate economy with world

Sep 20 (FT) To take Sri Lanka to the next level with structural breaks along a different growth path, Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha De Silva insisted that trade reforms were absolutely essential to integrate the economy with the rest of the world. Acknowledging that a dramatic decline in exports to GDP was the biggest issue, he highlighted significance of creating an ecosystem that would help Sri Lanka to ride on GSP more..

Further cross examination into Gammanpila misappropriation case on Oct 10

Sep 20 (DN) The cross examination into the Udaya Gammanpila misappropriation case will be taken up again on October 10. When the case against PHU leader Udaya Gammanpila regarding the alleged misappropriation of Rs 20 million through the sale of shares of a company using a forged power of attorney was taken up for hearing in the Colombo High Court, High Court Judge R. Gurusinghe put off further cross examination by the defence for Oct 10. When the case was taken up on Monday, more..

Captains made the scapegoats for the sins of clubs

Sep 20 (DN) The much awaited verdict on the match fixing incident that took place in a Premier Tier B League cricket match between Panadura SC and Kalutara PCC early this year at the Surrey Village grounds, Magonna was reached by the Executive Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket based on the independent commission report and the recommendations of the tournament committee when they met on Saturday. But to the astonishment of everyone the real culprits, 2 clubs involved more..

President's address at the UN

Who can clean the Augean stables at SLC?

Sep 20 (Island) The hierarchy of Sri Lanka Cricket seems to be now desperately trying to right their sinking boat by simply emptying the water with a tea-cup. One need not be an expert in rocket science to realize that making efforts to recall personnel who had already left the sinking boat is not the answer in the long term. Having knowledgeable professionals and/or those who have the ability to take the right decisions for the welfare of our cricket is the answer. more..

Issues of SAITM are issues of privatisation

Sep 20 (Island) Performance record of the current govt re-establishes a number of principles about politicians promising systemic change. The first of these is the public choice theory of economics that explains political behaviour of all economic actors — politicians, voters and bureaucrats — on the basis of greed. Based on this premise, public choice rules out the potential for major changes in policy outcomes through a change of the identities of the people who hold public office. more..

Denial of US visa to Fonseka: GL responds

Sep 20 (Island) Former Minister G.L. Peiris reiterated that Sri Lanka had been unfairly treated on the basis of unverified and unsubstantiated wartime allegations propagated by interested parties. He named South African NGO operative Yasmin Sooka as one of those who had been pursuing an anti-Sri Lanka agenda. The previous govt brought the war to a successful conclusion in May 2009. more..

‘Contactless payments growing rapidly in SL’

Sep 20 (DN) Contactless payments are rapidly growing in popularity across the world and in Sri Lanka too this segment is showing growth, said Visa Group Country Manager for India and South Asia, T.R. Ramachandran. He said that in Sri Lanka, contactless payments only began rolling out in September 2016 and so far growth numbers across the first 12 months are growing rapidly. “Visa has already begun deploying contactless payment technology in Sri Lanka and expects to have more..

World Federation of Exchanges CEO visits CSE

Sep 20 (Island) Making her first visit to the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), the CEO of the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) Ms. Nandini Sukumar commended the special relationship between the two organizations and stressed on the important contribution made by the CSE to regional capital market development. Her visit aims to further strengthen the relationship between CSE and WFE and will also offer the Federation’s insight on strategic initiatives pursued by the CSE. more..

Labrooy determined to put cricket back on track

Sep 20 (Island) The new selection panel headed by former fast bowler Graeme Labrooy received their letters of appointment from Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara yesterday. Minister, who had earlier criticized the fitness levels of the national cricketers had reiterated to the selectors to stress on players’ fitness. SLC President Thilanga Sumathipala, Secretary Mohan de Silva and CEO Ashley de Silva accompanied the 5 selectors. more..

Pakistan PM meets President Sirisena, discusses mutual ties

Sep 20 (TN) Pakistan PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi met President Maithripala Sirisena on the sidelines of UNGA. The meeting began by reiterating the deep and historic relations between the two countries. It was decided to further strengthen the bonds of friendship between Pakistan and Sri Lanka. It was also agreed that both the countries would continue to cooperate at all the multilateral forums in the spirit of neighbourhood and longstanding relationships, which were rooted in history. more..

‘Sri Lanka Customs’ National Single Window will reduce red tape’

Sep 20 (DN) National Single Window and the Trade Information Portal will reduce red tape and help to improve transparency said Australian Deputy High Commissioner Tim Huggins. Speaking at an event held at the Sri Lanka Customs to spell out details of the advantage of a single window concept to stakeholders, he said that the biggest benefit in this regard would be for the SME sector. “Unlike large companies who have special departments to iron out export-related issues, more..

LG polls only after Jan: PM

Sep 20 (DM) LG elections could only be held in January next year while the party leaders could decide on PC polls later, PM informed Parliament. PM, who made a statement in the House said LG elections could only be held January next year because of GCE O/L Exam, which would be held in mid-December and because of the budget. He said the Ministry of education has requested that the polls should not be held in Dec this year. more..

Remarkable time for SL as a hub, says US

Sep 20 (FT) The US has stressed that there shall be no major change in its trade policy towards Sri Lanka following the arrival of its new administration and hinted at stronger economic relations in the future based on the US-SL Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) inked in Washington in 2002. “It is tough to predict the future,” stressed the new Washington DC-based visiting Assistant US Trade Representative for South and Central Asian Affairs Mark Linscott in Colombo.  more..

Nocturnal Zone at Dehiwala Zoo Fri-Sun

Sep 20 (DM) A special nocturnal zone would be opened at the Dehiwala National Zoological Gardens for three days from 22, Sept, Minister Gamini Jayawickrama Perera said. Zoo will be opened on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 7.30 p.m. to 10.00 p.m. Entrance fee for adults is Rs. 200 and for children Rs.100. “Opening event will take place tomorrow under the patronage of Minister Mangala Samaraweera and participation of several Ministers, ambassadors, Ministry Secretaries. more..

SL secure World Cup berth after WI defeat

Sep 20 (CI) Sri Lanka have become the eighth and final team to qualify automatically for the 2019 World Cup, following West Indies' 7-wicket defeat against England in the first ODI. With Sep 30 set as the cut-off date, West Indies (78 points) now cannot move ahead of SL (86 points) in the ICC ODI rankings, irrespective of how their remaining matches against England pan out. They had gone into the 5-match series needing to win by 4-0 more..

Tharanga relief at Windies loss

Sep 20 (SS) Upul Tharanga backed his side to uphold the island's proud World Cup record after their automatic qualification for the 2019 edition in Britain was assured by West Indies' seven-wicket loss to England on Tuesday. With Sept 30 set as the cut-off date for automatic qualification for the International Cricket Council's showpiece 50-over tournament, two-time champions West Indies (78 points) now cannot move ahead of Sri Lanka (86 points) in the ODI team rankings regardless more..

Dayasiri to act on Malinga’s charges

Sep 20 (CT) Ceylon Today reliably understands that Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera has appointed a special committee to probe certain charges brought to his notice by Lasith Malinga. Malinga made these comments against certain officials of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), during the brainstorming session held recently by Ministry of Sports. Minister has appointed an Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Sports and the SLC officer attached to the ICC Anti-Corruption Unit to this committee. more..

Little Johnny and New Charley feature in conversation between Aloysius and Palisena

Sep 20 (DM) At the onset of the proceedings, DSG Milinda Gunatilleka played a new Voice recording, in which PTL CEO Kasun Palisena and Arjun Aloysius were part of. In this conversation, Palisena initially refers to some Little Johney and in the latter part they were discussing about getting the yield rate down of a particular bond maturity (2026). In this conversation, Palisena talks about an individual called New Charley. more..

PC Minister files petition challenging Wigneswaran’s power

Sep 20 (FT) An ousted Provincial Council Minister challenged Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran in the Court of Appeal, saying that he has no power to appoint or remove any provincial council minister. The Court of Appeal yesterday fixed its order for 3 October on whether to issue an interim order and notices in respect of the writ petition filed by expelled Minister B. Deniswaran. The bench comprised justices L.T.B. Dehideniya (CA President) and Shiran Gooneratne. more..

Missing telephone data: CoI directs Mahendran to provide explanation

Sep 20 (Island) ASG Yasantha Kodagoda, PC, revealed to the CoI that data pertaining to calls taken from two mobile phones used by former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran, for a period of 11 months, had gone missing. The former Governor appeared before the Bond Commission. ASG Kodagoda said that as the data in respect of the period under investigation by the CoI were missing they wanted to clarify some matters with Mahendran before proceeding with investigations. more..

Public auctions were needed to meet stunningly large requirements: Mahendran

Sep 20 (FT) Former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran said he had recommended public auctions over private placements for treasury bonds taking into account the stunningly large amounts required by the Govt for March 2015. This decision, he claimed, reflected Govt policy at the time and had been arrived at after holding discussions with the relevant Deputy Governor of CB who had agreed with his suggestion. more..