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Govt to take over estate hospitals: Rajitha

Sep 25 (CT) Estate hospitals are to be taken over by the Govt in order to develop them and provide a better health service to the estate sector workers. This was revealed by Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne at a sports festival, organized by the Govt Nursing Officers' Association. He said that certain trade unions do not focus attention on their professional problems but act according to political agendas. more..

Royal, Visakha clinch waterpolo crowns

Sep 25 (CT) Royal and Visakha emerged men's and women's champions respectively at the National Waterpolo Championships that concluded at the Sugathadasa Stadium pool. Royal beat Army SC by 12 goals to 5 in the men's final while Visakha retained the women's title when they beat Ladies College by 13 goals to 3 in the final. Royal faced little opposition and led 9-4 at the end of the third quarter as they played with good understanding and somewhat accurate shooting. more..

Spence sells Hilltop in Kandy for Rs. 740 m

Sep 25 (FT) Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings is to divest its entire holding in its fully owned subsidiary MPS Hotels Ltd for Rs. 740 million. MPS is the owning company of Hotel Hilltop in Kandy. The buyer is a company related to businessman and former MP Earl Gunasekera. Spence also manages Kandy’s five star Earl’s Regency owned by the same Group. Hotel Hilltop is a charming 73 roomed hotel situated in the lush hills, overlooking the historic city of Kandy. more..

President meets SL community in USA

Sep 25 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says Govt has gained fruitful results for its commitment in the last two and a half years to achieve prosperity and reconciliation for the motherland.    President made these remarks during a meeting held with the Sri Lankan community living in the U.S.A, yesterday (23).  During this meeting the President said that over the past two and a half years, the govt has worked with commitment more..

Japan’s resiliency in overcoming post-war challenges a living example for SL: Mangala

Sep 25 (FT) Finance and Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera on Friday said that Japan’s resilience in overcoming post-war challenges was still a living example for Sri Lanka. He made this remark at the opening of the Japanese Film Festival 2017 at the National Film Corporation. “We Sri Lankans are trying to come to terms with our own past and to rebuild a prosperous nation by achieving rapid growth and lasting peace. I must say Japan stands a close friend in our difficult journey. more..

Pethiyagoda calls for urgent need to look into social issues of plantation workers

Sep 25 (DN) The responsible authorities should pay more attention towards the day-to-day problems and living conditions of over 200,000 plantation workers in the country, considering the invaluable service rendered by them to uplift the plantation sector. SL Tea Board Chairman Dr. Rohan Pethiyagoda made these remarks at the 163rd AGM of the Planters’ Association of Ceylon. Planters Association Chairman S.S. Poholiyadda and Deputy Chairman A.L.W. Goonawardena were also present. more..

Motor Vehicle registrations down 40% in Aug

Sep 25 (CT) Brand new motor car registration overall for August declined by 4% month-over-month (MoM) and 40% YOY. Hyundai observed significant growth in the EON car and Datsun observed resurgence in growth of their Redi Go. The medium car segment share improved from 2.9% to 3.4%. Financing share for large cars dropped from 55% to 30%. Financing share for medium cars dropped from 57% to 45% more..

AFC U16 qualifiers show SL have much to do

Sep 25 (FOX) The map led exactly to where it should have been but across the road from a modern cricket stadium in the Sri Lankan city of Galle all that stood of what was supposed to be the city’s leading football ground was a patch of clumpy grass and dirt, some rusting goalposts and three faded green concrete steps that stood as the grandstand. A couple of years ago I’d traveled to Sri Lanka for a book that I’m writing on Asian football expecting to find a nation that held more..

CP Governor orders probe on longest saree incident

Sep 25 (DM) Central Province Governor Niluka Ekanayake had ordered a special probe into the incident in which 250 young schoolgirls were made to stand in hot sun to hold a 2.5 mile long bridal veil designed by a beautician in an attempt to get into a Guinness World Record as the longest sari. These students of Sarath Ekanayake Junior School in Alawathugoda had been engaged from 2.30 at dawn to afternoon on Thursday (21) in an open ceremony of a wedding, to hold bride’s veil stretching more..

Tuk-tuk, school van regulation can create a bus fiasco

Sep 25 (EN) Sri Lanka’s rulers and bureaucrats are planning to poke their itchy interventionist fingers on taxis and school vans, twin services that have rapidly evolved in unexpected market-based ways, partly due to price controls, rigid regulations and corruption in the state-regulated road bus system. Higher living standards and a thirst for personalised travel are reducing demand for buses in many countries, but in Sri Lanka, more..

Chinese-funded port city project to attract 1 bln USD of investment in next stage

Sep 25 (Xinhua) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said the country will attract US$ 1 billion of investment after completion of the first site of a China-funded massive port city project. The Colombo Port City funded by China Communication Construction Company Limited (CCCC) is estimated to cost a total of 1.4 billion dollars with the first site for construction expected to be completed by the end of 2018. Once the site is ready, investments worth an estimated US$ 1 billion are expected to come more..

Sri Lanka performers, artistes to get Rs 500,000 tax free income

Sep 25 (EN) Sri Lanka's performers, artistes of all kinds will get a 500,000 tax free allowance for net earnings after deducting expenses, when treated as a sole proprietorship, the finance ministry said. Sri Lanka had a complex system of tax breaks for large and small firms as well as different professions earlier. The finance ministry said everyone will be treated equally under the new law and there will be no class or other basis, but only the earning capacity. more..

Minority parties ready to accept unitary status: PM

Sep 25 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has said that minority parties are ready to consider retention of the unitary status of the country in the proposed Constitution and privileged status to Buddhism in case the two major political parties, UNP and SLFP agree to grant maximum possible devolution, create a Senate, protect human rights protection of all communities, ensure judicial independence and resettle of those displaced more..

Legal action against parents of underage drivers

Sep 25 (DN) National Council on Road Safety Chairman Dr. Sisira Kodagoda said plans are afoot to take legal action against parents or guardians of underage drivers. Dr. Kodagoda said the parents or guardians who allow children below the age of 18 to drive should be at the receiving end of the issue and tragedy behind it. According to Dr. Kodagoda, parents and guardians should be aware of the risk and illegality of the action. “So that would be the recent we might have to look into penalizing more..

Bathiudeen refutes Rohingya refugees’ rumors

Sep 25 (NR) Minister Rishad Bathiudeen yesterday, rubbished rumors about his involvement to resettle Rohingya refugees in Sri Lanka. He filed a complaint at CID requesting to carry out an investigation into the rumors carried out on social media and certain websites and to take legal actions against the offenders. “I have not made any statement in any place of the country about Rohingya refugees. Though we usually do not bother about such social media propaganda, more..

Cricket: Sri Lanka to cooperate with corruption probe

Sep 25 (AFP) Sri Lanka's cricket board asked all national players and its employees to cooperate fully with an ICC investigation following allegations by former players of match-fixing and other forms of corruption. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said its executive committee had directed players and staff to cooperate with investigators from the anti-corruption unit of the ICC, which announced its investigation on Saturday. more..

US’s meagre budget allocation for SL comes with major conditionality Do we need it?

Sep 25 (DM) As the US government engages in the complicated process of approving its budget for Financial Year 2018, we are told that the Trump administration had requested US$ 3.4 million in foreign assistance for Sri Lanka. Readers could be forgiven if they thought it was a typo in the news reports they read. But it was confirmed in Acting Assistant Secretary of State Alice Wells’s statement to the US House Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific on Sept. 7. more..

Welikada Prison Massacre: The long wait for justice

Sep 25 (DM) With the residence of the sister of Sudesh De Silva, former inmate of Welikada Prison and a key eyewitness of the 2012 prison massacre which left 27 inmates dead, coming under attack while he was held there, eye brows are being raised as to why no concrete action has been taken yet, despite a lapse of five years, to reveal what actually transpired on those fateful days of Nov 9 and 10 of 2012 and bring perpetrators, were they in uniform, civvies or jumpsuit before the law. more..

Road to good governance: Holding fair and free elections

Sep 25 (DM) Elected representatives are supposed to represent the wishes of the citizens in a country. In this respect, holding fair and free elections is paramount. Free and fair elections does not merely include holding elections which are unbiased and uninfluenced but also include ensuring that the ideal candidate is elected and that the people are represented. Constitution explicitly states in Article 4 that sovereignty of people more..

SriLankan Airlines scared to reveal information

Sep 25 (DM) Questions have been raised as to why SriLankan Airlines is scared to reveal information sought under the Right to Information Act, by the Airline Pilots’ Guild of Sri Lanka. By letter dated June 29, 2017 the Airline Pilots’ Guild requested the Information Officer of  SriLankan Airlines to provide information pertaining to the alleged misuse of public funds and the multitude of irregular practices and the losses incurred by more..

Weather monitoring: Equipment worth Rs. 72m gone with the wind

Sep 25 (ST) Sri Lanka has abandoned an initiative to use satellite technology during natural disasters, leaving Rs 72 million worth of equipment unused for four years before finally dismantling it, the Auditor General (AG) has found. The project was initiated in 2011 and given up despite the country facing severe natural disasters in previous years, states the latest report of the AG on the Disaster Management Centre (DMC). more..

Govt to introduce new tourism promotion law: PM

Sep 25 (DM) Govt would bring in a new Tourism Promotion Law shortly in a bid to boost tourism related sectors of the economy, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. PM made this statement at the AGM of Ceylon Hotel School Graduates Association. "There will be a new Tourism Promotion Law. Tourism Authority will not alone run the industry. I have told Tourism Authority Chairman to come up with a restructuring plan,"he said. more..

A 10% salary hike solves the family conflict

Sep 25 (CT) Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya acknowledged, at the end of the continuous strike engaged in by Joint Trade Union Alliance for 7 days, accusing the management of the CEB, who are the engineers, of being corrupt, as a solution bringing an end to a family conflict. Anyhow, objections are being made from all segments against CEB for having to spent people's tax money for purpose of ending conflict in the family. more..

SLMC urges PC polls for Eastern Province

Sep 25 (DM) The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), a Govt ally ruling the Eastern Provincial Council, expressed its concern on the enactment of legislation to bring its administration under the purview of the Governor after its official period lapses, an official said yesterday. Its Secretary Nizam Kariapper said his party was against such a move because it would lose political authority in the council in such an eventuality. more..

Detaining young couples found in parks: HR activists cry foul

Sep 25 (CT) Human rights activists are raising concerns about the recent raids carried out by the Police to detain young couples who had been at public parks islandwide. The most recent incident was reported yesterday in Anuradhapura, where the Police detained 304 young men and women who were there in two public parks. Police had taken them to A'pura Police Station in two buses and released them after giving firm advice, more..

Putting off PC polls for the greater good of the country acceptable: Purawesi Balaya

Sep 25 (Island) Purawesi Balaya Co-Convenor Gamini Viyangoda welcomed controversial govt decision to put off Provincial Council polls purportedly to hold them simultaneously at a future date, even at the expense of Supreme Court ruling pertaining to the proposed 20 Amendment. Viyangoda, a member of the CTFRM (Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanism), claimed that a vast majority of more..

On average it takes 17 years for a case to clear entire judicial process

Sep 25 (Island) There is a serious delay in the administration of criminal justice in the country and the entire process took about 17 years, according to a report by the Sectoral Oversight committee on Legal Affairs (anti-corruption) and Media. The report, titled Recommendations Pertaining to the Expeditious and Efficient Administration of Criminal Justice and presented to Parliament last week by more..

Personal income tax cut for low, middle income individual from new law

Sep 25 (EN) Sri Lanka's low and middle income individuals will pay less income tax with wider brackets and lower rates, but higher income earners will pay more with the top rate moving up to 24% from 16%, researchers have said. Personal income tax is collected by filing a tax return or through pay as you earn (PAYE) deductions by an employer, in the case of salaried workers. "The new PAYE tax regime is slightly more progressive more..

It is an uphill task for the govt to attain the envisaged targets

Sep 25 (FT) In Part 1 of the article series on the Govt’s Vision 2025 published last week, it was pointed out that the present vision document was just the fourth of such visions pronounced by the Govt during the last two year period.  These documents which started from the election manifesto of the UNP presented to the electorate in August 2015 had one underlying theme. That was the new economic philosophy of the Govt which was styled as ‘Knowledge-based more..

Video: Members of the Election Commission should resign: Gammanpila

Sep 25 (AD) Govt had postponed  Local Govt Elections with the support from the election Commission alleges JHU leader Udaya Gammanpila. He made this statement at a media briefing today (25). Hence, the members of the Election Commission should resign with immediate effect, said Gammanpila. “The commission had enough chance to hold the election when the gazette notification pertaining to delimitation was announced by the President in 2015. more..

Faizer Musthapha

Ambassador Karunasena Hettiarachchi presents credentials to President of Germany

Sep 25 (MFA) The newly appointed SL Envoy for Germany, Karunasena Hettiarachchi presented credentials to Frank-Walter Steinmeier, President ofFederal Republic of Germany, at the Honour Court of Bellevue Castle in Berlin on 20th Sept. On the occasion, Ambassador Hettiarachchi conveyed the greetings and best wishes of the President and the PM of Sri Lanka to the German President, and reiterated the commitment of Govt of Sri Lanka to strengthen relations between two countries. more..

No one is above the law

Sep 25 (CT) Defence Secretary, Kapila Waidyaratne, categorically denying any possibility of the LTTE raising its head again, has clearly stated that Security Forces personnel accused of crimes will have to face the law of the land. The comments made by the Defence Secretary is timely, in the backdrop of UNHRC High Commissioner Zeid Al –Hussein's meeting with President Sirisena in New York on the human rights situation in Sri Lanka and the President's response to the comments more..

7 exotic items of clothing we adopted as our own

Sep 25 (Roar) Clothing, influenced by fashion trends, has been fickle in many cultures, liberally undergoing changes over time.  This is more so today than ever before. Fashion changes—although admittedly not as frenzied as today—also took place in the olden days, so much so that one can  easily discern the era a painting or a photograph belongs to by simply studying the attire of its wearers. more..

'No one can criticise new Constitution'

Sep 25 (NR) Chairman of the Public Representations Committee on Constitutional Reform Lal Wijenayake says no party can criticise the new Constitution as all parties representing Parliament are involved in the interim committee to formulate a new Constitution. He said a 21 member Steering Committee lead by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe was appointed. Lal Wijenayake said MPs Bandula Gunawardena, Dinesh Gunawardena and Prasanna Ranatunga more..

Japan pledges support to fisheries industry

Sep 25 (DN) The Japanese Govt has pledged to extend its fullest support to develop Sri Lanka's Fisheries Industry and also to strengthen Japanese market opportunities for Sri Lankan seafood exports, Fisheries Ministry sources said. This was confirmed by Japanese State Minister for Foreign Affairs Masahisa Sato during a discussion held with Fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera who is currently on an official tour to Japan. During the discussion held between more..

Billions lost through tax-unpaid liquor sold through Sri Lanka licensed outlets

Sep 25 (EN) Large volumes of tax unpaid hard liquor is sold through the licensed wine shops, losing billions in taxes, where over 200 are controlled by six players who have bought them for staggering prices, SL's top alcohol firm has said. "Cogent evidence has surfaced that some unscrupulous liquor traders are offering staggering prices to purchase retail licenses with the sole intention of channelling their non-invoiced, more..

Police nab three persons with terracotta figurines of archeological value

Sep 25 (Island) Mahavilachchiya police nabbed three persons transporting 12 female and animal terracotta figurines believed to be of archaeological importance to be sold to foreigners, on Friday. Acting on a tip-off received by Mahavilachchiya OIC Nilanga Fernando, the police set up a barricade at Maningamuwa in Vilachchiya and arrested two suspects while they were transporting the antiques on a motorcycle. After questioning them, police nabbed a third person who more..

Video: Global Sri Lankan Forum protests in front of UN office

Sep 25 (AD) The Global Sri Lankan Forum organized a protest against the UN war crimes allegations against Sri Lankan war heroes in front of the United Nations office in Geneva, Switzerland yesterday (24). Members of the Global Sri Lankan Forum from Switzerland, Italy, Australia, England, Kuwait, and Australia participated in this event. A letter was also handed over to the UN Secretary General by Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera, Dr. Nalaka Godahewa and co-chairman more..

Introduce SO's to prevent amendments contradicting original Bill: JVP

Sep 25 (DM) JVP said provisions should be included in the Standing Orders to prevent amendments contradicting the original Bill being introduced during the Committee Stage. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that they acknowledged the fact that the govt had introduced amendments, which changed the core meaning of the bills presented in Parliament recently including that of LG Elections Bill more..