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Customs tell Court of Appeal: Investigation into Rs. 16 bn vehicle tax fraud resumed

Jun 7 (Island) Director General Customs Sarojini Charles has resumed an investigation into an alleged fraud amounting to Rs. 16 bn under the previous administration. Charles has informed the Court of Appeal of her decision through the Attorney General’s Department. DG, Customs has told the Court of Appeal that her predecessor, Chulananda Perera’s directive to impose a penalty of Rs. 100,000 each on 1,675 imported BMWs more..

The tragi-comedy of Sri Lankan politics

Jun 7 (DM) In times of a national crisis the ideal is for all parties to sit down and talk. Though it was finally the war that brought an end to the protracted war here in SL even the LTTE from time to time agreed to sit down with the SL govt. Call it premeditated still it did. It is a fact that Sri Lanka is currently going through a period of gross instability. There’s indeed a crisis both economic and political. The panic-stricken average voter is left wondering how the leaders both govt more..

Yahapalanaya: Congenital flaws and their discontents

Jun 7 (DM) The burning political question of the day appears to be who and how many MPs received money from Perpetual Treasuries for their respective election campaigns. In a political season marked by scandalous memory-loss some have claimed that they didn’t always know who was depositing money in their accounts. Meanwhile, the full list of beneficiaries is proving to be elusive; first it was said that PTL had funded the campaigns of 116 politicians, later number was upped to 166 more..

'RTI is a non-violent way of change'

Jun 7 (DM) Without information we humans, the most advanced species on Earth, would be handicapped. Information is everywhere, but whether they are credible and valid remains a question. Freedom of expression and the Right to Information (RTI) have been topics tabled for decades with no proper implementation. Both these avenues have been newer expressions of the post-war era and SL is making steady progress more..

The burning question is why ??

Jun 7 (DM) One of our young Ministers has stated that if the Govt had acted similar to Malaysian PM Dr Mahathir Mohammad, those accused of fraud and corruption would have been punished by now!!! No one has ever said a TRUER WORD!!! This column keeps asking why these decadent people have not been brought to book, but we get no answers!!! No one seems to care, neither is anyone concerned! The burning question is why? more..

'National reconciliation is our condition to any prez candidate who seeks our support'

Jun 7 (DM) Leader of EPDP and MP Douglas Devananda, speaks about the Mullivaikkal commemoration, the provincial council system and the next presidential election. Q: In the north, Mullivaikkal Remembrance Day was observed. It has given rise to speculation that the LTTE ideology is gaining ground again in the north. How do you see? A: There is no inclination among ordinary people towards such an ideology. more..

Tilted vessel makes big noise about ownership

Jun 7 (ST) SL Ports Authority came to know only recently that a vessel which tilted to a side during the recent stormy weather did not belong to the Navy but to a private company which now owes the SLPA a huge amount in anchoring fees. The vessel had initially belonged to the Navy, but two years ago, the Navy had sold it at an auction. The A 541 type vessel named Lihiniya with a capacity to carry 100 passengers was bought more..

CEB engineers warn of blackouts

Jun 7 (EN) SL's coal power plants which supply up to 50% of energy to the country would be shut down from next Tuesday unless authorities provide environment clearances for standard which the plants already meet, engineers at the state power utility has warned. Several other plants for which the power regulator has not given licenses for will also be shut down, utility's engineers union said, leading to widespread blackouts from June12 more..

PM pledges support for ICT sector

Jun 7 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe underscored the importance of the knowledge economy as one of the main spheres for the development of the country in the next decade, while pledging Govt support to make ICT a world-class industry. Addressing NCE-organised ICT Forum PM urged the stakeholders to be geared to face the stumbling blocks in achieving a $ 5 billion industry by 2025. more..

OMP clarifies that it does not have any lists of surrendees or the disappeared

Jun 7 (DN) Office on Missing Persons (OMP) Chairperson Saliya Peiris PC refutes media reports quoting him as having told protesting families at Mullaithivu that the OMP can release the name list of the disappeared during the final stages of the war or those who surrendered to the Security Forces, if a written request is submitted. The OMP Chairperson in a release says that he did not at any stage state that the OMP is more..

Minister Malik Samarawickrama visits High Tech German Engineering Company

Jun 7 (DN) Minister Malik Samarawickrama visited High Tech German Engineering Company, Kramski Sri Lanka (Pvt) Ltd at the BOI’s Katunayake Export Processing Zone. Chairman of Kramski Sri Lanka, Chairman, Wiestaw Kramski said that they are looking at projected sales revenue of Euro 14.3 million. The company was established in Sri Lanka in 1993 with a share capital of Rs. 100 million and has been engaged as more..

Facebook staff to learn Sinhala insults to curb extremist content on platform

Jun 7 (AFP) Three months after SL was rocked by deadly anti-Muslim riots fuelled by online vitriol, Facebook is training its staff to identify inflammatory content in the country’s local languages. The social network has been seeking penance in SL after authorities blocked Facebook in March as incendiary posts by Buddhist hardliners fanned religious violence that left three people dead and reduced hundreds of mosques, homes more..

Speaker clarifies rumors regarding Bond Commission reports

Jun 7 (AD) The Speaker of the Parliament Karu Jayasuriya has spoken at the Parliament today, to clarify the allegations and reports spreading within and outside of the Parliament regarding the Bond Commission reports. He says that it is regretful to mention that these allegations have tarnished the good name of the members of the Parliament, the Parliament and the country in general. more..

The PTL list is a distraction; lest we forget Mahendran

Jun 7 (CT) While the curious case of the 118 MPs and similar socially responsible individuals who have received monetary benefit from the now accused Perpetual Treasuries Pvt. Ltd and its associated companies continues to make headlines and raise the heads of quite a few, the country is seemingly forgetting the fact that one of the perpetrators of the CB scandal is still at large, evading authorities both locally and internationally. Yes, lest you have forgotten, we would like to remind you, more..

Can the President resolve the CEB-coal power issue?

Jun 7 (FT) While the curious case of the 118 MPs and similar socially responsible individuals who have received monetary benefit from the now accused Perpetual Treasuries Pvt. Ltd and its associated companies continues to make headlines and raise the heads of quite a few, the country is seemingly forgetting the fact that one of the perpetrators of the CB scandal is still at large, evading authorities both locally and internationally. Yes, lest you have forgotten, we would like to remind you, more..

ගුවන් හමුදාවේ බෙල් 212 හෙලිකොප්ටරය

Gully bowsers distributed with WB assistance

Jun 7 (GDI) Ministry of City Planning and Water Supply distributed waste water and solid waste disposal (Gully) bowsers worth Rs. 40 Million for four districts. These Bowsers were distributed to the Mulathivu PS, Karachchi PS, Moneragala PS, and Talawakele UC in Mulathivu, Kilinochchi, Moneragala and Nuwara Eliya districts under the patronage of Minister Rauff Hakeem. Ministry has also launched a programme to establish waste water and solid waste disposal networks in selected more..

Lankan jailed over bomb threat on Malaysia Airlines flight from Melbourne

Jun 7 (BBC) A Sri Lankan man who threatened to detonate a bomb on a Malaysia Airlines plane has been jailed in Australia. Manodh Marks, 26, forced Kuala Lumpur-bound jet MH128 to turn back to Melbourne in May last year after he tried to access the cockpit. He was later found not to be carrying explosives and in a drug-induced psychosis, a court heard. It is the first time Australia has jailed a person for attempting to take control of an aircraft. Marks will be deported after serving more..

Austin to be replaced by another Fernando as President’s secretary

Jun 7 (CT) Austin Fernando‘s short stint as the Secretary to the President Maithripala Sirisena is set to end soon with high-ranking Sirisena aides actively looking for a replacement, Colombo Telegraph learns. The likely candidate is current chairman of People’s Bank, Hemasiri Fernando one time Secretary to Sirimavo Bandaranaike who also held chairmanships at SL Telecom and Airport and Aviation Authority. more..

SLPP takes over Maharagama UC

Jun 7 (DM) The SLPP list for the election to the Maharagama Urban Council was rejected but managed to get six of its members including former mayor Kanthi Kodikara nominated to the local body yesterday. After the SLPP nomination list was rejected, SLPP backed the independent group that contested the polls under the bicycle symbol and won with the backing of former president Rajapaksa. There was an agreement that its elected members would resign later making way for more..

Handunnetti re-elected COPE Chairman

Jun 7 (AD) JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti has been reappointed as the Chairman of the COPE. His name was reportedly proposed by UPFA MP Dayasiri Jayasekara and seconded by UPFA MP Lakshman Seneviratne. “We unanimously re-elected JVP MP Sunil Handunhetti as Chairman of COPE of Parliament. He did a good job thus far and wish him luck for even a better job in the remaining term of this Parliament. All parties except JO members present at COPE,” State Minister Harsha more..

Menstrual waste, taxes, and cups: The impact of bleeding in Sri Lanka

Jun 7 (Roar) A girl’s first period in Sri Lanka is celebrated. Her coming of age is marked by numerous rituals (often differing from one ethno-religious community to another), and ends with a big girl party at the end of the seventh day. She is bathed, given a special diet predominantly consisting of eggs, and gifted with gold and new clothes. All this attention is a one-off event—because menstruation and all topics more..

TEDx Kandy, realising Sri Lanka’s untapped potential

Jun 7 (FT) The recently concluded second edition of TEDx Kandy was held at the historic Queen’s Hotel, in Kandy on 26 May. The event attracted a diverse audience; from university students to leading businessmen, from activists to seasoned political figures, from senior academics to young professionals, everyone shared the same enthusiasm to hear and appreciate a few ideas worth spreading. TEDx Kandy 2018 was made possible by generous partnership of Brandix, more..

Two policemen sentenced over gang rape incident

Jun 7 (NR) A Former Police Sub Inspector and a Police Assistant have been sentenced to 20 years and 6 months each on four charges including the abduction gang rape of two women. The two suspects were fined 70,000 rupees each and were ordered to pay a compensation fee of 200,000 rupees each to the victims. The order was issued by Colombo High Court Judge Gihan Kulatunga against the former Police SI and Police Assistant attached to the Bambalapitiya Police Station. more..

Citing unfair demands: Protesting NWSDB workers irk Hakeem

Jun 7 (CT) Minister of City Planning and Water Supply Rauff Hakeem criticized the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) employees, who are engaging in a trade union action, saying that it was unfair to go for a trade union action demanding a three per cent pay hike when they had been given 60% in increments during the last three years. He added that these increments had been granted to them more..

Over 500 Muslim IDPs languish in capital’s ‘hell compound’ 28 years after eviction

Jun 7 (FT) A shocking number of internally-displaced families evicted from Jaffna region in the 1990s continue to languish homeless after 28 years of their initial displacement in a highly-unsanitary compound that borders Colombo. “Every year our religious fasting season arrives, giving us hope, but then it ends with sadness. We continue to helplessly witness it from this camp but there is no end to our suffering,” said N.M. Haniffa, a member of Displaced Northern Muslims’ Camp more..

Funds transferred to Aluthgamage's account: Witness

Jun 7 (DN) A trade union treasurer said he took measures to transfer trade union funds amounting to Rs.3.9 million among three individuals including former Minister Mahindananda Aluthagamage. Testifying before the Colombo High Court, witness Douglas Kahawage, the Treasurer of the SL Nidahas Kamkaru Congress affirmed in court that he took measures to transfer the funds. Kahawage gave evidence in a case filed against former Sports Minister and MP Aluthgamage for more..

Intellectuals leaving the motherland have become a major problem: President

Jun 7 (PMD) At present intellectuals in various fields including medical, engineering and technological fields, leaving the motherland has been a major problem, President Sirisena said that adding that the Govt is not ready to impose rules and regulations on the freedom of leaving the country, but as the citizens who nurtured as a result of free education, should commit themselves according to their conscience to fulfill their responsibilities more..

NWP Environment Chief won’t give in to CEB engineers’ threat

Jun 7 (Island) Norochcholai Coal Power Plant would be given an environmental protection licence (EPL) after its management fulfills obligations they had undertaken, North Western Provincial Environmental Authority (NWPEA) Acting Director, Saman Lenaduwa said. Responding to a threat issued by the CEB Engineers Union (CEBEU) on Monday that unless NWPEA granted the EPL before next Tuesday, they would shut down the Norochcholair power plant, Lenaduwa said he would not be more..

Sri Lanka will host big UN talk shop on wildlife next year

Jun 7 (Island) The govt yannounced that it was ready to host the 18th session of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 2019 in Colombo. Convention will be held for two weeks from May 22, 2019 at the BMICH. Accordingly, the Minister Gamini Jayawickrama, signed the host country agreement on behalf of the govt to host the largest UN conference as per the offer made by Sri Lanka to host the 18th session and accepted at more..

Champika withdraws defamation cases against newspaper

Jun 7 (AD) Minister Champika Ranawaka has withdrawn two defamation cases filed before the Colombo District Court demanding Rs 1 billion and Rs 500 million in compensation from Mawbima newspaper. Two cases were subsequently dismissed by the Colombo District Court today. In one of the court cases, Ranawaka had stated that an article published in the newspaper on more..

3-wheel driver has tooth broken for giving his number to Chooti Nangi

Jun 7 (DM) A lift given to a school-girl by a three-wheeler driver had landed him in a whole lot of trouble with her cousin and three of his pals. The girl, who was approaching the main road from a side road was accosted by the three-wheel driver who asked if she was going to the main road. When she replied in the affirmative, he told her to get in as he was going that way. Upon getting in the 3-wheel driver began to question her about school, her home address etc. more..

Warrant issued for arrest of Sanath Nishantha

Jun 7 (AD) Chilaw Magistrate’s Court today issued a warrant for the arrest of UPFA MP Sanath Nishantha Perera and to produce him before the court. Chilaw Magistrate and District Judge Manjula Ratnayake issued the warrant order today due to the MP failing to appear before the court when a case filed against him over an incident of harassment and intimidation. Meanwhile the MP and his brother Arachchikattuwa PS member Jagath Perera had appeared before the Chilaw High Court yesterday more..

New Labour Act formulated: Integrates all currebt labor laws

Jun 7 (CT) Minister Malik Samarawickrama yesterday said that the Govt hopes to, at a future date, establish a separate fund to provide cash and medical benefits for pregnant employees with the collaboration of employers, trade unions and all other stakeholders. Samarawickrama made this statement during the Second Reading of the Maternity Benefits (Amendments) Bill and the Shop and Office Employees (Amendment) Bill. more..

Politicians should not change parties for personal gain: Malwatte Chief Prelate

Jun 7 (DN) Politicians should change political parties for the betterment of the country and not for their personal benefits, the Chief Prelate of the Malwatte Chapter Most Ven. Thibbotuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Mahanayaka Thera said said. Mahanayaka Thera further said that there are many politicians who are divided into groups and parties at present for their own personal gains. Prelate made these tebservations when newly appointed SLFP General Secretary more..

I'm unaware my campaign teams received Rs.3 million: Sujeewa

Jun 7 (DM) In response to what transpired in court, State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe said he was unaware that his campaign teams received cheques worth Rs.3 million from W.M. Mendis & Company Limited. State Minister said that he had five teams handling various aspects of his campaign at the 2015 parliamentary elections. “These committees collected donations from well-wishers for campaign financing. Every financial activity was handled by a gentleman named Amal the campaign teams more..

A State Minister receives three cheques from Mendis Co.: ASG

Jun 7 (DM) Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Yasantha Kodagoda informed the Colombo Fort Magistrate that a state minister of the govt had received three cheques worth Rs.3 million in 2015 and 2016 from W.M. Mendis & Company Ltd owned by Arjun Aloysius, an accused in CB bond scam. ASG also informed court that according to investigations, this state minister had used this money for his election campaign. more..

Are we a democracy? May be?

Jun 8 (CT) On the face of it, we exercise our franchise, vote and often turn out govts. We have retired public servants working as election staff. By all accounts they are very honest poll workers and the result is inexorably the will of the electorate. However, there is a lot more to democracy than taking a good record of the will of the electorate. There are related issues: are people whom we would really choose as our representatives able to contest? Here the answer is often no, more..

Economic disparity & Nationalism: Final part

Jun 8 (CT) Civic patriots comprise not solely of individuals of white Anglo-Saxon background. According to them, citizenship is the primary determinant of group identity and not race, ethnicity or religion. Their allegiance appears to be for secular state, state institutions and civic values. So, non-Europeans and non-Christians may immigrate to Australia, but they need to assimilate into Australian culture. All of them are rabidly anti-Islam., They slanderously campaign against Islam and more..

'Ranil took us for a ride'

Jun 8 (CT) Badulla District MP Chaminda Wijesiri said Ranil broke promises and took them for a ride. “He must also stop cheating the country,” he added. Q: You have been in Parliament only for a short time but you are trying to stage a revolution. What actually is this revolution? A: We built up our political lives with the vote of the provincial people. We have to respond to their demands. What we have to always do is to more..