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The Ceylon Civil Service

May 11 (Island) I refer to the article on the Ceylon Civil Service (CCS) by Dr. P.G. Punchihewa in the Sunday Island. It raises many interesting issues. Punchi’s views and mine are somewhat different on these matters. About the abolition of the CCS in 1963, he quotes some gentleman (Hillary Pieris) writing to the Sunday Island on April 7, 2017 and saying that Felix Dias Bandaranaike (FDB) was the man who destroyed the Civil Service. We are not aware of the credentials of this gentleman. more..

Review: Bimba Devi hewath Yashodara

May 11 (Island) Prof Sunil Ariyaratne has cleverly, with great intelligence and care made a beautiful film on the life of Yashodara, wife of Prince Siddhartha Gautama in their last life and many more previously in samsara. She expressed within herself the intention to be the spouse of the man who she was beside when awaiting the arrival of Deepankara Buddha, very early in the film. The man expressed the intention to be a future Buddha. more..

LIOC hails Govt decision to implement pricing formula

May 11 (FT) Following the implementation of pricing formula by the Govt, Lanka Indian Oil Company (LIOC), too, revised its auto fuel prices with effect from midnight, yesterday. Issuing a statement, the company welcomed the implementation of pricing formula for auto fuels, insisting that it was a step in the interest of the economy of Sri Lanka. LIOC raised Lanka Auto Diesel to Rs.111 a litre, Xtra MILE to Rs.114, Lanka Super Diesel to Rs.119, Lanka Petrol 92-Octane to Rs.137, more..

Court dismisses Captain Cool’s Rs. 500 m damages case against Airtel

May 11 (FT) District Court of Colombo has dismissed a case filed by Captain Cool Arjuna Ranatunga alleging that Airtel had violated his right to privacy when the mobile telecom firm had used the picture of the famous 1996 World Cup victory trophy presentation ceremony in the company’s TV commercial. Judge held that no injury or damage had been caused to Ranatunga’s reputation through the use of the footage from the 1996 World Cup Final award ceremony in a TV commercial more..

Juniors opt out of trials

May 11 (CT) Athletics fraternity of SL who were anxiously waiting to see thrilling battles between senior and junior athletes, especially in the men’s 400m, will be disappointed at Saturday’s second National trials for the Asian Games 2018, with the juniors opting out citing they cannot cope with the work load. Two junior athletes, Aruna Darshan (46.55 sec) and Pasindu Kodikara (46.70 seconds), ran several sub 47 seconds races more..

Editorial: Charge of the old brigade

May 11 (Island) Dr. Mahathir Mohamad is back in the saddle, in Malaysia, as the world’s oldest elected leader. He is 92 years old. He has come out of retirement and defeated the Barisan Nasional (BN), which had been in power for six decades. It was not a task a lesser person was equal to and the respected veteran had to step in to accomplish. His alliance, Pakatan Harapan–– the Alliance of Hope––has secured a very comfortable majority. It was obvious that the fate of BN, more..

Move over Miami Vice, new-look tourist police to help safeguard foreigners

May 11 (ST) It will not be exactly Armani, but our tourist police will soon be wearing more public-friendly uniforms and they will have gear to match, including jet-skis, as the govt attempts to raise its game in the face of growing criticism from the tourism sector that the industry lacks the infrastructure to provide visitors a safe and friendly environment. The sartorial overhaul for the long arm of the law was one of the few nuggets of information to come out of a long-winded seminar titled more..

Inland Revenue Act aims to raise direct taxes to 40%: FM

May 11 (DN) The new Inland Revenue Act is aimed at increasing direct taxes to 40% and reducing indirect taxes to 60%. Earlier, the ordinary masses contributed to 82% of indirect taxes levied on goods bought for daily consumption. This was an outdated system which caused a heavy burden on the common masses, Finance and Mass Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera said. Minister was addressing the 17th AGM of more..

Ansari charged for spot fixing in Sri Lanka

May 11 (CT) Irfan Ansari has been charged for breaching ICC’s anti-corruption code, the cricket governing body confirmed on Thursday (10 May). He was reported to the ICC by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) when he approached their national team skipper Sarfraz Ahmed to spot-fix a match against Sri Lanka in October in 2017. Ansari, who is affiliated to a team that participates in international matches and also provides net bowlers to teams in the UAE, has been charged for breaching more..

Sadeepa stuns Shelinda in 200m

May 11 (CT) Gateway sprinter Sadeepa Henderson stunned her school and training mate Shelinda Jansen to win the 200m for girls under-18 at the Colombo Zonal Athletics Championship which commenced at Sugathadasa Stadium yesterday. Sadeepa who had a disappointing outing at the Junior Nationals was selected for SL’s South Asian Junior Athletic Championship team only as a reserve athlete, while Shelinda, who is a year older than her, won the Bronze medal in both the 100m and more..

I had to pull out pistol to get things done: Range Bandara

May 11 (DM) Irrigation, Water Management and Disaster Management State Minister Palitha Range Bandara said yesterday that the Anamaduwa Technical College was built using the Rs.38 million allocated for the purpose by the State, after he drew his pistol. The minister made these remarks addressing a function to mark the launch of the Deduru Oya-Sengal Oya project that was held in the Deduru Oya embankment in Pallegama - Anamaduwa. more..

Sri Lanka lifts withholding tax from children's bank accounts

May 11 (EN) Sri Lanka has decided to lift withholding tax from minor's bank accounts until they are 18 years, Finance and Mass Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera said. Samaraweera said under the earlier Rajapaksa administration children's accounts were taxed at 2.5 percent for interest above 5,000 rupees. Under tax reforms effective from April 2018, bank deposits were to be taxed at 5 percent. But the government had now decided to lift the tax, he said. more..

$1B target by 2020 with right policies: Gem and Jewellery Assn

May 11 (CT) SL can achieve the US$ 1 billion gem and jewellery export revenue by 2020, provided the right policy framework is in place along with the lifting of the 14% tax on net profit on the sale of gems and jewellery, National Gem and Jewellery Association officials said. While also expressing concerns over why NBT on gem imports has not yet been removed. “Since 1979, this industry has had a tax exemption for all foreign currency sales for direct and indirect exports. more..

'Nagananda, Sugandika duo accused of playing politics'

May 11 (Island) Convenor of Soldiers for Motherland retired Maj. Ajith Prasanna, yesterday, accused attorneys-at-law Nagananda Kodituwakku and Sugandika Fernando of trying to undermine former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s presidential bid. Prasanna, formerly of the Sinha Regiment, said that Kodituwakku and Fernando were backing a project to deny Rajapaksa the opportunity to contest 2020 prez polls. more..

NDB records Rs 2.7 bn PBT in 1Q 2018

May 11 (DN) National Development Bank (NDB) closed the first quarter ending March 31, 2018 on a high note with impressive growth in profitability and business volumes. The 1Q performance was recorded in the aftermath of a highly successful financial year in 2017, where it was recognized as the Best Bank in Sri Lanka by the prestigious Global Banking and Finance Magazine of USA in 2018 for the excellent performance. Bank’s Gross income increased by 20% to Rs 11,943 million, more..

Reckoning and reform loom for Sri Lanka

May 11 (UCAN) Though the political turmoil in Sri Lanka has subsided the govt has been weakened by a no-confidence motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, raised by a faction from his own SLFP. The situation is likely to become even more precarious if a transitional justice mechanism for wartime atrocities covering the civil war from 1983 to 2009 is not set up, despite requests from the international community. The urgent need for a war crimes tribunal — or something of that nature more..

Lawyer strikes discordant note, vows to pursue disputed campaign

May 11 (Island) Attorney-at-law Nagananda Kodituwakku yesterday lambasted the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) accusing it of turning a blind eye to the successive govts suppressing democratic rights. Kodituwakku, facing disciplinary inquiry by the Supreme Court called a media briefing to explain what he called his anti-corruption crusade. Lawyer revealed that he had received summons more..

Bond’s new book inspired by letter from Lankan kid

May 11 (PTI) Ruskin Bond fans have something to cheer again — a new book will be launched on his 84th birthday on May 19 which is inspired by a letter from one of his many fans in Sri Lanka. Lyrical and illustrated, Ranji and the Music Maker is a sunny story of forging bonds and simple joys. The legendary author will launch the book at one of his most frequented places, Cambridge Bookstores in Mussoorie. “It was set off, inspired you might say, by the photograph of a small boy more..

Dalada funds for rehabilitating war-damaged in Trincomalee

May 11 (Island) A sum of Rupees 120 million from Sri Dalada Maligawa funds had been allocated for the rehabilitation the Buddhist temples and monasteries in the Trincomalee District, destroyed during the war, Diyawadana Nilame Pradeep Nilanga Dela said. Dela said so, at a ceremony to mark the handing over of more than Rs. 30 million to about 40 temples and monasteries in the Trinco District in DS divisions of Gomarankadawala & Seruwawila on Tuesday. more..

Minister urges Prez to appoint more HC judges

May 11 (Island) President had failed to appoint judges to High Courts, though the laws had been passed five months back to increase the number of judges from 75 to 110 in order to clear the backlog of cases, State Minister Ajith P Perera said. He said the govt was being accused of not punishing the criminals and delaying cases. "We call upon the President to carry out his duties and obligations and make appointments to High Courts so that more..

Cabinet approves Single Window Facilitation Taskforce

May 11 (CT) Understanding the need for speedy and hassle-free approvals to increase foreign direct investment (FDI) to the country, the Cabinet on Wednesday approved a proposal to establish a Single Window Facilitation Taskforce. According to Minister Malik Samarawickrama, investors face grave difficulties in obtaining necessary approvals for investments. Minister told Cabinet that through the self-proclaimed One Stop Shop, the Board of Investment was established to more..

Ranel, Rajeewa and Manjula De Silva nominated to SEC

May 11 (CT) The Govt has decided to appoint veteran management consultant Ranel Wijesinha as the new Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission of SL, replacing Thilak Karunaratne whose term concluded three-and-a-half months ago, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said. “We will officially announce the full Commission soon,” he said. Meanwhile, other sources said the Govt also nominated former SEC Commission member, lawyer and accountant Rajeewa Amarasuriya more..

IRD to submit report on PTL assets

May 11 (CT) Colombo Fort Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne ordered Commissioner General of Inland Revenue Department (IRD) to submit a detailed report on the assets of the primary bidder, Perpetual Treasuries (PTL), to IGP Pujith Jayasundera. Magistrate said that she had given this order as the investigations being conducted were for the benefit of the people of SL. This order was given when the case concerning CB bonds scam more..

Police protection given to residence

May 11 (CT) Managing Director of MG Sugar K.P. Nagaraja, has been provided Police protection by the Cinnamon Gardens Police. Cinnamon Gardens Police said that mobile Police patrols were provided for his residence in Colombo 7 following a complaint he made on 9 May that his life was under threat by Prez Sirisena yesterday. He was appointed as the new STC Chairman by Prez Sirisena on 4 May. The new appointment was made following the arrest of former STC Chairman P. Dissanayake, more..

International Schools to be regulated

May 11 (CT) Govt is expected to reintroduce a mechanism to register and regulate international schools in the country. As per a Cabinet proposal, submitted by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, Govt has approved the re-registration of international schools under the Companies Act. The process, as announced yesterday, will be carried out by the Ministry of Education, until a formal legal framework is developed. Furthermore, the Cabinet has approved the proposal to establish more..

Fuelling hikes!

May 11 (FT) Fuel prices were hiked yesterday in tandem with global spikes with the Govt deciding to opt for a bi-monthly review in line with international prices to make the debt-ridden CPC financially viable and reduce impact on the economy. The Cabinet approved a pricing formula on Wednesday, with the Govt implementing increased fuel prices from midnight, yesterday. In accordance with this formula, the price of more..

New Judicature Act gives fresh hope

May 11 (DM) History tells us that in a democratic society, justice delayed is justice denied. We also know that justice hurried could turn out to be justice miscarried or buried. Therefore, as in so many vital areas, a reasonable solution lies in the middle path. Parliament on Wednesday passed a bill to set up Special High Courts through which the government says it hopes to expedite cases involving large-scale bribery, corruption, fraud or other political crimes. The Judicature (Amendment) Bill more..

President’s blurred mission beyond 2020

May 11 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena had declared that he would not retire from politics in 2020 as he had to complete his mission to serve the people and the country beyond 2020. He was speaking at the Sri Lanka Freedom Party’s May Day rally at Chenkaladi which was held on May 7 as the generally accepted May Day, May 1 fell within the Vesak week. Citing the reason for this statement he said that the media and many others kept asking him whether he would quit politics in 2020. more..

Lack of Common sense in Colombo politics

May 11 (DM) In one of the media outlets where yellow journalism is the rule and the norm both, a media employee told the nation a few days ago that in SL Corruption is the major problem. Not poverty, not riches and not ‘racism’ he stressed. Corruption does matter when the Telecom Regulatory Commission (TRC) directly under the President is accused of selling frequencies underhand and those at the top are more..

Govt under attack over lifting Glyphosate ban

May 11 (CT) Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the Faculty of Medicine of the Rajarata University, Prof. Channa Jayasumana, alleged that the Govt had sought advice from agriculturists to lift the ban imposed on the agrochemical Glyphosate. Prof. Jayasumana observed that it should have instead sought the advice of experts on medicines and toxins when lifting the ban which was imposed more..

Only a general election can help tackle worsening chaos: Dinesh

May 11 (Island) JO MP Dinesh Gunawardena, called for dissolving Parliament to prevent the aggravation of the anarchical situation in the country. Participating in an adjournment debate on Prez Sirisena’s policy statement, presented to the House on Tuesday, MP said that the President had failed to present a useful policy statement at the inaugural sitting of the 2nd Session of 8th Parliament unlike his predecessors. more..

Oddball council results no bar to extending voting system to provinces

May 11 (ST) When the Hambantota Municipal Council, won by UNP in the Feb 10 LG polls, convened to elect its mayor last week, it was a councillor from the rival UPFA who won the ballot and formed the council. Hambantota MC is among more than 30 local bodies in the country where a political party won the council election but could not form the council due to opportunistic politics played by various parties, according to CaFFE. more..

Cabinet paper on work visas in fortnight

May 11 (FT) Parallel to the Govt’s multiple trade deals, it will introduce a new Cabinet paper in the next two weeks outlining fresh visa regulations targeting foreign professionals and a new mechanism to evaluate their qualifications. International Trade and Development Strategies Ministry Secretary Chandani Wijewardena said that following consultations with numerous professional bodies a decision had been made to address more..

National Govt a failed experiment: JVP

May 11 (FT) The JVP in Parliament yesterday charged that the National Govt was a farce and that there was presently no National Govt in Sri Lanka. Chief Opposition Whip and leader of the JVP Anura Kumara Dissanayake, taking part in yesterday’s debate on the Govt Policy Statement delivered by President Maithripala Sirisena on Tuesday (8), said the UNP cannot form a National Govt with just 23 SLFP MPs when there was more..

Hakeem calls on Govt to include hate speech in penal code

May 11 (FT) The Govt must recognise hate speech as a crime and include it in the penal code, Minister and Leader of the SLMC Rauff Hakeem asserted in Parliament, yesterday. Taking part in yesterday’s debate on the Govt’s policy statement made by President Maithripala Sirisena on Tuesday (8), the Minister said that while the right freedom of speech must be respected, hate speech must be identified as a criminal offence. more..

Sampanthan urges Tamils not to support division of country

May 11 (Island) The division of the country would be neither beneficial to the nation nor the Tamil speaking people, said Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan, appealing to the Tamils not to lend their support to any political movement that advocated secession. "This was the position taken by the Federal party in 1970 in its election manifesto that they were opposed to the division of the country and wanted the Tamil people to vote against more..

Fowzie sworn in as State Minister of National Unity and Reconciliation

May 11 (AD) Veteran SLFP politician A.H.M. Fowzie has been sworn in as the State Minister of National Unity and Reconciliation. He was sworn in before President Maithripala Sirisena at the President’s Official Residence this morning, the PMD said. Fowzie previsouly held the portfolio of State Minister of National Integration and Reconciliation. Secretary to the President Austin Fernando was also present on the occasion. more..

Video: Mahnedran's hide and seek game is short lived: Rajitha

May 11 (DM) Minister Rajitha Senaratne yesterday said Arjuna Mahendran would be arrested by the Interpol from wherever he was hiding and handed over to the Sri Lankan Police no sooner than later. Dr. Snaratne added that no one knew his whereabouts but he would not be able to play this hide and seek game for too long. However, he said he sometimes felt whether only the Yahapalana Govt was concerned about more..

More awareness on RTI necessary

May 11 (CT) Despite living in an age where there is no shortage of information, Sri Lanka’s citizens are confused over the lack of key information pertaining to aspects that have a considerable impact on their lives. The Right to Information Act has been in place for quite some time and there have been people of various walks of life who have filed for information pertaining to issues ranging from missing persons in the North to the development projects in the South. more..

Twin Piques

May 11 (FT) Two things bother me. More than two, really! But let’s just stick to politics. Shall we? First, who constitutes the true political opposition in SL? Is it the JO, which carries the biggest stick and has the loudest foul mouth? Or is it the TNA, which walks softly and has the largest parliamentary grouping outside coalition govt MPs’ ranks? Or is there some other scientific methodology – that en vogue practice for composing decomposing political careers into cabinet portfolios! more..