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President orders tax hike on onion imports

Sep 25 (EN) President Sirisena has ordered a 100% tax on big onion imports, as local farmers had problems selling their crops, a statement from his media office said. "President Maithripala Sirisena directed to the Finance Ministry to impose 100% levy on imported big onions," statement said. Statement seems to indicate that the President has ordered ad valorem tax of 100% to be imposed on import moving away from the earlier practice of charging a special commodity levy. more..

Ex senior DIG Jayasinghe arrested again

Sep 25 (DM) The Special Investigation Unit (SIU) of the Police headquarters today arrested former Senior DIG Lalith Jayasinghe in connection with the investigation of the murder of a UNP supporter in Kahawatta on Jan 5, 2015 during the Presidential election. Police spokesman said the SIU arrested former DIG after he was summoned this morning to record a statement over allegedly withholding evidence in favor of the suspects who were arrested over the shooting. more..

Yahapalana Corruption: Colombo Commercial Fertilizer Chairperson resigns

Sep 25 (DM) Chairman of the Colombo Commercial Fertilizer (CCF) Thusitha Halloluwa tendered his resignation letter to the Minister of Agriculture Duminda Dissanayake. Mr. Halloluwa said he tendered the resignation because of undue pressure. CCF is an entity which comes under the purview of the Ministry of Agriculture. He said that several illegal requests had been made to him to authorize a payment of Rs 1.5 million to more..

NPC urges govt not to shut out Rohingya refugees

Sep 25 (Island) The National Peace Council urged the govt to reconsider its decision to screen out Rohingya asylum seekers as Sri Lanka was duty bound to stand by those people in their time of need. "As a member country of the United Nations, Sri Lanka is a signatory to the UN Convention of 1951 pertaining to the status of refugees and has an obligation to take on global responsibilities", the NPC said. The NPC said in a statement: The flight of Rohingya people from Myanmar more..

Yoshitha allowed to travel to Italy for 2 weeks

Sep 25 (NR) Court today granted permission to the second son of Former President MP Mahinda Rajapaksa, Yoshitha Rajapaksa, to travel overseas for a period of two weeks. Accordingly, Colombo High Court Judge AAR Heyyantuduwa granted permission for Yoshitha Rajapaksa to travel to Italy from the 28th of September to the 12th of October. Yoshitha Rajapaksa was banned from travelling overseas according to a case being heard at the Kaduwela District Court. more..

GMOA threatens more trade union action

Sep 25 (DN) The GMOA will take stern trade union action against any effort made in order to introduce SAITM friendly minimum standards for medical education, GMOA Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge said. He said today that Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha De Silva's duty completed when he handed over the report on SAITM issue to the President. ‘But he is using a power that does not exist; he had called a meeting recently. more..

'Passing of PC elections bill was problematic'

Sep 25 (AD) Bar Association of SL says that the manner in which the Provincial Council Elections (Amendment) Bill was passed in parliament recently was in fact problematic. President of the association Attorney-at-Law U.R. de Silva stated that the legislature, the executive and the judiciary should act as independent institutions.  He stated that there is a due process that needs to be followed when passing a certain bill and that it has been somewhat violated. more..

SL to take action to control coconut price

Sep 25 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka will bring in a permanent price index to control the price of coconuts after several black marketeers have been caught selling coconuts at exorbitant rates. Coconut Cultivation Board (CCB) Chairman Kapila Yakandawala said the price index would be announced shortly owing to the prevailing high prices for coconuts in the retail market. He added that a coconut should be priced between rs. 70(US$ 0.45) and 75 rupees but black market vendors were selling at high prices. more..

Lankan media veterans honoured by AMIC

Sep 25 (DM) The prestigious Asian Media Information & Communication Centre (AMIC) in Manila, has selected two internationally recognised media giants, Shelton Gunaratne, Professor Emeritus of the Minnesota University, Moorhead, USA and Wijeyananda Jayaweera, former Director of Communication and International Programme for Development of Communication (IPDC) at the UNESCO, Paris. more..

A mega egg: This Hen has been fouled!

Sep 25 (CT) A chicken farmer in Andugoda, Galle, Heenatigala Vithanage Karunaratne has found that one of his hens had laid a 200 gram egg on Saturday. "This egg is twice the size of a normal egg. The difference in size is apparent when this egg is compared with normal eggs. A normal egg is about 4 inches in length and circumference is about 6 inches. However, this particular egg is 5.5 inches in length and has a circumference of about 8 inches. Weight of a normal egg is 85-95 grams more..

Prelate calls for referendum on new constitution

Sep 25 (Island) A referendum should be held on the new constitution proposed by the govt, Venerable Anunayake of Asgiriya Anamaduwe Sri Dhammadassi thera told Minister Lakshman Kiriella. Ven. Thera said so after receiving a copy of the interim report submitted by the Steering Committee appointed by the Constitutional Assembly. Thera told the minister that it was not sufficient for the draft constitution to be passed by the Parliament and it had to be approved by the people directly. more..

As anti-SAITM protests intensifies, Minister endorses new private-foreign degree

Sep 25 (CT) Even as hundreds of students and doctors took to the streets against the SAITM, Minister of Science, Technology and Research Susil Premajayanth endorsed a new biotechnology degree offered by a private university. A press release issued by Northumbria University said that Minister Susil Premajayanth speaking at the launch of the Northumbria’s BSc Honours Degree in Biotechnology at more..

Might-is-right: Yahapalana govt bypasses Supreme Court, voters’ FR

Sep 26 (ST) It is not unusual for any govt with a two-third majority in Parliament, to trespass on Constitutional provisions meant to safeguard the Fundamental Rights (FR) of the people and keep the Legislature in check. On Thursday (21), in Parliament, there was a classic example of this when the Yahapalana Govt. decided that might is right, and used its large majority in Parliament to push through an Amendment to the Provincial Councils (PC) Elections Act, more..

Will the new Inland Revenue Act enhance revenue and achieve fiscal consolidation?

Sep 26 (ST) The three main objectives of the new Inland Revenue Act are to reduce the fiscal deficit, increase revenue and move towards a more progressive system of taxation. All three of these objectives are vitally important for the economy. To what extent is the govt likely to succeed in achieving these important economic objectives? The new Inland Revenue Act’s objective of increasing govt revenue from its exceptionally low level is vital to achieve fiscal consolidation. more..

Poor medical literacy causes errors in SL

Sep 26 (SO) With five years short of achieving the Global Patient Safety challenge on Medication Safety, the World Alliance for Patient Safety is stepping up efforts to achieve its goal of reducing medication errors affecting humans by 50% by 2022. A panel of local experts spoke of the current global challenges in developing countries versus developing countries in achieving that goal, the gaps that needed to be filled, and interventions by more..

The logic of postponing local elections

Sep 26 (CT) The passage of the Provincial Council Election Amendment bill indicates that provincial council elections that were due by the end of this year will not take place any time soon. The original purpose of the amendment was to ensure that there should be at least 30% representation of women on party candidate lists. This was much acclaimed and no one publicly dissented or took the matter to courts. However, the salient feature of the new law after more amendment were made to it is to more..

Are we trailing behind the belt & road?

Sep 26 (CT) When the new government came to office in January 2015, followed by August elections, it had misgivings about the previous regime having dubious connections with some Chinese companies. On that premise, all Chinese projects, investments and loans were suspected. During the heated election campaign, there were promises given to review, halt or overturn some of the major projects; Colombo Port City and Hambantota Port being the main ones. It is also true that some sections more..

'Central expressway is corruption free'

Sep 26 (NS) Minister Lakshman Kiriella speaks on the allegations regarding the construction of Central Expressway and issues related to the matter. Q: There are so many allegations regarding the construction of the Central Expressway. Accusing finger is directed at you. Your comments? A: We called tenders for the construction of the Central Expressway. Japanese govt said that they would name 3 companies more..

Geneva Resolution: Govt commits hara kiri

Sep 26 (CT) We do not realize the Sword of Damocles we hung over our heads - not just over those in power, as the anecdote originally implies - when we co-sponsored the Geneva Resolution. Geographically we are strategically placed, rich in resources and our workforce is innovative, educated and ingenious when given the opportunity. Yet, the horse hair by which the sword is hung is getting increasingly frayed as international pressure on us is mounting to incorporate provisions more..

Editorial:  Merkel’s clouded victory

Sep 26 (Island) German Chancellor Angela Merkel has succeeded in clinching a fourth term and retaining her conservative Christian union (CDU-CSU) bloc’s dominant role in national politics but with a weakened mandate. There has been a considerable erosion of her support base. Merkel’s victory has also been eclipsed by an unexpected surge of far-right Alternative fuer Deutschland (AfD), which even missed the electoral threshold of five percent at the last election; more..

Mahinda Deshapriya

Executive Presidency or Westminster Premier

Sep 26 (CT) After an unresolved debate on unitary vs. federal lasting more than 4 decades, the Interim Report of the Steering Committee submitted to Parliament came up with an interesting proposal to qualify the ekiya (unitary) with undivided and indivisible Sri Lanka. However, the Tamil demand for united remains qualified with undivided and indivisible. In his last visit to the North, President Sirisena told the Tamil people that the word federal was not accepted in the South. more..

Rajapaksa opted for war only when repeated efforts to negotiate were rebuffed

Sep 26 (Island) Sri Lanka is a rare case where a brutal terrorist challenge to the state was comprehensively defeated, substantially through its own efforts, despite all the advice, reservations and fears publicly expressed to the contrary. Unfortunately, the elimination of terrorism has won it few plaudits internationally. Instead, the tables have been turned and the military success of the Sri Lankan state and its security forces is overshadowed by extensive accusations more..

Night opening of Zoo: Crouching Tiger, Open Zoo

Sep 26 (CT) It was a fun filled occasion for people but certainly not for the animals of the National Zoological Gardens in Dehiwala, when it was declared open to the public, a few days ago. Night time at the zoo is usually quiet as the animals are finally free to get some rest away from the prying eyes of the visitors. However, their nocturnal peace was shattered when an area of 15 acres was opened to the public. more..

Geetha’s appeal against CA judgment before five-judge SC divisional bench

Sep 26 (FT) Senior Counsel contended in the Supreme Court that former actress turned politician Geetha Kumarasinghe’s candidacy should have been objected to at the time of her nomination or by way of an election petition. President’s Counsel Romesh de Silva, with Sugath Caldera and Niran Anketell, made his submission for Kumarasinghe. The divisional bench of five judges comprised Chief Justice Priyasath Dep, B.P. Aluvihara, Sisira J. De Abrew, Anil Gooneratne and Nalin Perera. more..

32nd National Rowing Championship: Navy dominate at Diyawanna Oya

Sep 26 (ST) Rulers of the waters, Sri Lanka Navy proved their might at the 32nd Sri Lanka National Rowing Championship, clinching the overall title on the closing day of the three-day event at the Diyawanna Rowing Centre in Rajagiriya. The Navy oarsmen and oarswomen maintained an overwhelming performance through the three days and rightfully claimed what was theirs’ in front of a massive crowd. The Navy men claimed the Jerry Silva Trophy in the Open category with more..

CNN Travel gives thumbs-up for Sri Lanka

Sep 26 (FT) Post-war Sri Lanka is trending globally as a priority destination, declared popular global media outlet CNN’s Executive Editor of Travel Brekke Fletcher in Colombo. Visiting for the first time, Brekke, who is on a week-long stay to discover Sri Lanka as well as speak at Future of Tourism conference today, said that her trip to the Cultural Triangle over the weekend was breathtaking and healing. more..

IMF and corruption

Sep 26 (ST) A bitter attack on corruption at a global level by Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of IMF, drew our attention this week. Ironically, as Ms. Lagarde spoke, two women entrepreneurs told a gathering of Sunday Times Business Club that they have never paid a bribe to get things moving. “I have never paid a red cent (bribe) to anyone,” said Ramya Weerakoon, a mid-1970s businesswoman who founded Ramya Holdings and transformed it into a diversified business group. more..

Empowering university students on cyber security at FT summit

Sep 26 (FT) A host of socially responsible private sector organisations spearheaded by EZY Intellect, Nations Trust Bank and Citi among others have come forward to facilitate university students to learn about the latest cyber security challenges and solutions. The rallying of select private sector firms committed to enhance the knowledge economy and skills of the youth was done on the request of the Daily FT to sponsor deserving students who are studying computer science, IT, more..

සරත් ඒකනායකගේ මරිමෝල් ගිනස් වාර්තාව

The UN and Sri Lanka-China relations

Sep 26 (Island) The 72nd UN General Assembly which President Maithripala is currently attending has already gained notoriety around the world, because unusually, one of its member states threatened to totally destroy another. Ahead of it, on the 18th of September, President Sirisena joined other world leaders in adopting a Political Declaration for UN Reform "to initiate meaningful reform to make the UN a more effective and efficient organization." more..

SLC donates Rs. 1.6m to ACU office complex

Sep 26 (DN) Association of Cricket Umpires (ACU) realized a long felt dream of getting a headquarters office of its own after 74 years on Friday (22). The ceremonial opening took place on an auspicious note with the president of the Association of Cricket Umpires, MP Buddhika Pathirana and its 744 strong membership attending with Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) president Thilanga Sumathipla as the chief guest. A highlight was the donation of Rs.1.6 million by SLC towards the setting up of the office complex. more..

SL ready for Pakistan challenge: Pothas

Sep 26 (GT) Sri Lanka cricket isn’t in the best of shape but coach Nic Pothas was optimistic and said that the mood in the camp is high as they prepare to face Pakistan in the first Test at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Thursday. “The mood in the team is good and there is great blend of senior and junior guys. But I would not like to say senior and junior because everyone face the same ball and bowl the same ball. more..

SLC to take Pramodya files to CID

Sep 26 (ST) Sri Lanka Cricket will make an official complaint with the CID requesting an investigation into some serious allegations made by former national cricketer Pramodya Wickramasinghe against the national cricketers. Wickramasingha recently questioned former captain Angelo Mathews’ tactics during the ODI series against Zimbabwe and also the controversial decision taken by stand-in skipper Chamara Kapugedara to bat first after winning the toss during 3rd ODI against India. more..

South Asia’s first ever Social Innovation Lab takes shape in Sri Lanka

Sep 26 (FT) Providing a steppingstone towards a new era of economic development, United Nations Development Program (UNDP) entered into an agreement to set up Sri Lanka’s first Social Innovation Lab, which will also be the first in the region. The establishment of this lab is one of the main outcomes of the first national summit on Foresight and Innovation for Sustainable Human Development, which was hosted by UNDP and National Policies & Economic Affairs Ministry more..

SL Medical Association opposes insurance scheme for children

Sep 26 (ST) The Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) has urged the Govt to reconsider a proposal to introduce a health insurance scheme for all school children on the grounds that it lacks consultations with key stakeholders and impacts on the current free health service. Earlier this week, the Cabinet approved a proposal to introduce an insurance scheme for all school children between the ages of 5 and 19 years at a cost of more..

Abans success now a case study at Harvard Business School

Sep 26 (FT) Aban Pestonjee, founder chairperson of Abans, was invited to be interviewed by Prof. Geoffrey Jones, the faculty chair of Harvard Business School’s Business History Initiative, on the topic of Creating Emerging Markets. This is a singular honour not only for Mrs. Pestonjee and Abans but for Sri Lanka. The Harvard Business School is the graduate business school of Harvard University in Boston, US, and is one of the world’s most prestigious business schools more..

Committee appointed to hear Panadura, Kalutara appeal

Sep 26 (Island) Sri Lanka Cricket has appointed a three member committee to consider the appeals of the two captains, players and coaches of Panadura Sports Club and Kalutara Physical Culture Circle consequent to the recent penalties imposed on them for breaching the spirit of the game in a Premier League match 2016/2017. The committee members from SLC’s Executive Committee are Samantha Dodanwala, Oshara Panditharatne and Channa Weerakkody. Captains were suspended for more..

1.9 million affected by drought

Sep 26 (CT) The devastating drought, said to be the worst in 40 years, has resulted in over 300,000 households being food insecure, with many households limiting their food intake and some being reduced to eating just one meal a day, a UN report said. As of Tuesday, 1,927,069 people were estimated to be affected by the drought, across 17 districts, according to DMC, more than double the previous estimate of 900,000. more..

Sabaragamuwa PC’s term ends tonight

Sep 26 (Island) The term of the Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council ends at midnight today (26). Accordingly, all powers of Chief Minister of the Province Maheepala Herath will be transferred to Governor of the Province Marshal Perera, PC. Although the term of the Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council comes to an end, there will be no election as per the provisions of the Provincial Councils Elections (Amendment) bill passed in Parliament last week. The new laws had effectively blocked more..