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Siyam murder: Vass Gunawardena, son and 4 others found guilty

Nov 27 (AD) Six suspects including former DIG Vass Gunawardena and his son Ravindu have been sentenced to death after being found guilty for the abduction and murder of businessman Mohamed Siyam by the Colombo High Court Trial-at-Bar. Verdict of the high-profile case was delivered today by the Trial-at-Bar comprising Colombo High Court Judge Lalith Jayasuriya (President), Judges Kusala Weerawardena more..

Great Heroes' Day passes off peacefully in Jaffna

Nov 27 (ENS) Great Heroes' Day (Maaveerar Naal), which commemorates dead Tamil Tiger cadres, passed off peacefully in the Tamil speaking parts of Sri Lanka's Northern and Eastern Provinces on Friday. Even the funeral of 18 year old Rajeswaran Senthooran, who apparantly committed suicide demanding an independent Eelam and the rehabilitation and release of detained Tamil Tiger suspects, passed off without any untoward incident. The funeral was not a huge public affair more..

SL backs new Commonwealth trade fund

Nov 27 (CG) Commonwealth and the Govt of Malta, together with the Govts of Mauritius, Sri Lanka and India announced a new trade financing fund to help boost trade and investment flows, particularly for small and developing countries. The voluntary fund hopes to attract start-up capital of $20 million. It will provide member countries facing trade challenges with the finance they need to increase their trade capacity. It is estimated for every dollar invested, invested, the fund will generate $20. more..

Britain to give SL £6.6m over three years

Nov 27 (Independent) Britain will give Sri Lanka £6.6m over three years to help the battle-scarred country continue its recovery from a long civil war. The money will be backed up by a non-resident defence attache and access to British armed forces training to help with military reform. The aid will also help people displaced from their towns and villages during the bloodshed to return home. more..

Video: Siyam’s father says Vass Gunawardena didn’t kill his son

Nov 27 (AD) In a surprising twist, the father of slain businessman Mohamed Siyam says that his son was not murdered by former DIG of Police Vass Gunawardena, who was sentenced to death after being found guilty over the killing. Former DIG, his son Ravindra Gunawardena and four other police officers were sentenced to death by the by Colombo High Court Trial-at-Bar, after being found guilty for the abduction and murder of Siyam. Siyam, a father of three involved in the footwear business, more..

Fresh queries over Sri Lanka's creative budget for 2016

Nov 27 (EN) Sri Lanka's budget numbers for 2016 have been questioned by a governance activist with emerging information showing that revenues and spending may be overstated by at least one percent of gross domestic product with imputed rents. Chandra Jayaratne, a former chief of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce who has pushed for better governance during the Rajapaksa administration has asked whether the budget for 2016 is in "line with Transparent Disclosure and Committed to more..

President tells C'wealth: Common values are important and not the power of wealth

Nov 27 (PSL) President Sirisena said he is fully satisfied with the accomplishment of goals set at the last CHOGM in Colombo during the period of last two years when SL was the Chair in Office of the Commonwealth. Addressing the CHOGM in Malta today, he said that progress made in areas such as poverty eradication, promotion of trade, sustainable development, involvement of youth in development activities, more..

Sethusamudram project: Swamy takes on Centre in SC

Nov 27 (TOI) BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Thursday warned the NDA govt against reviving the UPA's Rs 25,000 crore Sethusamudram channel project, which was meant to make Palk Strait navigable for bigger ships to save them from circling Sri Lanka while travelling from India's one coast to the other. A bench of Chief Justice H L Dattu and Justice Arun Misra appeared more than happy to adjourn hearing in the controversial case when additional solicitor general Pinky Anand said more..

Sri Lanka on an ill-thought out slippery slope of price controls: economists

Nov 27 (EN) Sri Lanka is on a slippery slope of undermining markets with ill-thought of experiments on price controls, economists have warned, while private sector workers struggle to sell better quality goods as the currency collapses amid money printing, driving prices up. Trade Ministry slammed a series of price controls on basic goods Thursday, including the some foods which have been artificially pushed up by the current regime with import taxes slammed by a midnight gazette. more..

No-confidence motion against Ravi handed over

Nov 27 (DM) A no-confidence motion signed by 44 Opposition MPs against Minister Ravi Karunanayake was handed over to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya today. Minister is alleged to have distorted statistics by adding asset values to govt expenditure giving the impression that the govt had allocated a huge amount of funds to the education sector. Motion said minister's action had resulted in Parliament losing confidence in minister. more..

'Global companies want to tap oil, gas in SL'

Nov 27 (CT) A number of international companies have shown interest in tapping oil and gas resources in Sri Lanka, Minister of Petroleum and Petroleum Gas, Chandima Weerakkody said. He added that Total Group, one of world's largest integrated oil and gas companies based in France, has agreed to conduct a study on Sri Lanka's oil and gas resources. He also said his ministry is currently engaged in discussions with the Finance Ministry on formulating a new pricing mechanism. more..

Srilankan flight hit by a bird in Tiruchi

Nov 27 (CG) A Sri Lankan Airlines flight (UL131) from Colombo to Tiruchi suffered a bird hit while landing at the Tiruchi Airport last morning. The aircraft was grounded at the airport for more than seven hours. According to sources, the bird hit was reported in the left engine of the aircraft while landing. The aircraft had a safe landing. The return flight (UL132), which was scheduled to leave at 9.40 a.m yesterday, was delayed. A team of engineers of the airlines arrived in Tiruchi by more..

Anatomy of Yahapalanaya

Nov 27 (Island) Former Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris has alleged that the country is in chaos due to the govt’s failure in every sector. He issued the following statement headlined The Anatomy of Yahapalanaya. "One of the most senior Ministers of the Govt in a public speech in his home constituency has declared that Yahapalanaya is in tatters and that even the debris cannot be found. It is quite obvious that this is the reality on the ground. more..

Singapore confident of ties with Sri Lanka

Nov 27 (CG) Singapore has expressed confidence that the relations with Sri Lanka would be further deepened and strengthened. These views were expressed when the newly appointed High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to Singapore, Nimal Weeraratne presented his credentials to Tony Tan Keng Yam, President of Singapore, the Foreign ministry said today. The ceremony was held at the Istana, the office and official residence of President of Singapore where High Commissioner more..

Narahenpita Crimes OIC arrested over Rs 2.5m bribe

Nov 27 (AD) The officer-in-charge (OIC) of the Crimes Unit of the Narahenpita Police Station has been arrested by the bribery commission while soliciting a bribe of Rs 2.5 million. The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption stated that the police officer was arrested at around 3.30pm today in the Kohuwala area. Crimes OIC had requested for the bribe from a doctor in order to refrain from lodging a case against the latter regarding a certain transgression. more..

Sri Lanka removes casino entrance fee, but taxes tightened

Nov 27 (LBO) Sri Lanka is to remove the casino entrance fee imposed in the last budget and plans to increase the annual levy imposed on the business of gaming, other than rujino, to 400 million rupees. “I also propose to amend the Finance Act to make directors and shareholders personally liable for non-payment or any act which is taken to avoid payment of Casino Industry Levy introduced in Interim Budget,” text of budget speech said. more..

ITMIS to track value of govt assets

Nov 27 (CT) Minister Ravi Karunanayake said yesterday that the real value of assets held by each Govt Ministry would be shown as capital expenditure from the year 2017, under the government's new policy to introduce an Integrated Treasury Management Information System (ITMIS). Making a Special Ministerial Statement, Minister Karunanayke said that the disparity between the original value of an asset and its current value would be shown as revenue under the new system, more..

Sri Lanka Tea exports to Japan fall sharply

Nov 27 (EN) Sri Lanka’s tea exports to Japan, considered a discerning market, have fallen sharply this year compared with last year, impacting mainly producers of high grown varieties, brokers said. The slowdown in shipments to Japan comes amid an overall slump in tea exports owing to less demand from key markets like Russia and the Middle East. “Of concern for the high grown tea producers is the reduced quantity exported to Japan,” Asia Siyaka Commodities said more..

Sri Lanka urges Saudi not to stone to death maid for adultery

Nov 27 (Reuters) Sri Lanka said on Friday it was calling on Saudi Arabia to pardon a domestic worker sentenced to death by stoning after she admitted committing adultery while working in the Arab nation. An official from Sri Lanka's Foreign Employment Bureau said the married 45-year-old woman who was working as a maid in Riyadh since 2013 was convicted of adultery by a Saudi court in August. Her partner, also a SL migrant more..

Indian fishermen demand release of boats, colleagues from Sri Lanka

Nov 27 (PTI) Mechanised boat owners' associations, comprising 11 outfits, today warned of launching an indefinite stir from December 5 if the Centre did not take steps to secure the release of the 23 fishermen and 53 boats seized so far by Sri Lankan naval personnel. They also wanted compensation for the boats that were totally damaged while anchored in the Sri Lankan coast, said Sandhya, Vercode fishermen's association president. Various associations' functionaries, more..

People’s Bank launches first phase of digitalization drive

Nov 27 (Island) People’s Bank recently partnered with IBM and Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) to launch the first phase of its digitalization drive. This partnership and the introduction of this cutting-edge technology will enable People’s Bank to deliver a new level of service to its customers, whilst revolutionizing the banking sector. The following is the text of the statement issued by the bank: "People’s Bank selected the most advanced IBM enabled technology, to implement the more..

Harin puts lid on President’s brother’s bid to make a killing on SLT-Hutch deal

Nov 27 (CT) Minister Harin Fernando effectively put a maximum payable price on the proposal for Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) to purchase the troubled telecom service provide, Hutch. Fernando addressing an SLT gathering with Mobitel personnel in the audience, claimed that both he and SLT/Mobitel Chairman, Kumarasinghe Sirisena, were being treated like punching bags over the proposed Hutch Deal. more..

A logical solution to a communal problem

Nov 27 (CT) History repeats itself. Although this is not a proven fact, we observe not one but several things that make us believe that it is true, with each passing day. History and mistakes go hand in hand in these rarely noticed incidents around the world. The lesson the world should have learned after the First World War was not learned in due time and the world was led towards the Second World War. Now the world is facing what may or may not be the third world war. more..

Lest we forget: A response

Nov 27 (CT) Dr Sanjiva Wijesinha’s article appeared in Sunday Times, 22nd Nov. Those who haven’t read it should be able to access it or infer content from what follows. The main thrust of his reproach is that while there was massive coverage of the terrorist attack on Paris, Sri Lanka was left alone during the years when the Tigers were active: we grieved alone; we grieved and mourned and suffered alone. It has been observed that success in a legal case depends on more..

Vickramabahu Karunaratne

Link technical training with industry, ADB tells Sri Lanka

Nov 27 (EN) Asian Development Bank has recommended Sri Lanka encourage private sector involvement in curriculum development and teaching in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutes to build a more productive labour pool. “The present low quality of labour and productivity in the country may affect the realization of projected economic growth targets,” bank has warned in a new report on modernising technical education in south Asian economies. more..

Sri Lankan shares fall to 4-1/2 month closing low on budget worries

Nov 27 (Reuters) Shares edged down and closed at their lowest in four-and-a-half months on Friday on worries earnings of financial firms would fall after the new budget proposals announced last week were implemented. Main stock index ended 0.03%, or 1.96 points, weaker at 6,961.41, its lowest close since July 9, in thin trade. "Market was very dull, not much of activities. Market was basically holding on with a marginal dip," said Yohan Samarakkody, head of research at SC Securities (Pvt) Ltd. more..

Dispute over Samurdhi funds etc: Ranil to meet SLFP ministers

Nov 27 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe will meet ministers representing the SLFP today to discuss contentious issues relating to the coalition govt’s first budget presented last Friday. Among the issues to be taken up today is a budget proposal which is widely seen as a move to undermine powerful Samurdhi portfolio held by S.B. Dissanayake. Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe revealed that more..

Elections Commission hits legal obstacles

Nov 27 (DM) The newly constituted Elections Commission has been hit a legal lacuna, with it being unable to determine its functions and roles, it is learnt. The Constitutional Council, reintroduced under the 19th Amendment, nominated three members to the Elections Commission establishing it for the first time in the country. Yet, the absence of legal provisions has become a problem in deciding on its roles and responsibilities. more..

Jaffna fears remembering Tamil war dead

Nov 27 (BBC) Six years after the end of Sri Lanka's bloody civil war, Jaffna in the northern Tamil heartlands is returning to normal. But do the city's residents feel free to remember their war dead? The BBC's Priyath Liyanage in Jaffna finds out. News of the suicide of the young student reached Jaffna households early on Thursday, a reminder of the days when death no longer shocked anyone here. Senthuran Rajeswaran was 18. more..

Intercompany employees union opposes funding VCs through EPF, ETF

Nov 27 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s Inter-company Employees Union on Thursday opposed a budget proposal to create a venture capital structure using EPF and ETF funds. 2016 budget proposed a venture capital approach for providing equity financing facilities to SMEs through the establishment of a fund termed by Finance Minister as a Fund of Funds. The Fund will comprise of stakeholders such as Banks, Insurance more..

Thilanga vs Nishantha: Stage set for cricket’s showdown

Nov 27 (ST) Pocket meetings, group discussions and animated telephone conversations and various other means of exchanges of views are the order of the day. Reason — Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera has fixed the date for Sri Lanka Cricket elections on January 3 and the nominations will be opened from Tuesday till Dec 4, with 86 stakeholders voting to elect 147 cricket administrators. more..

Don’t interfere with Maveerar Day, Sangaree tells govt

Nov 27 (Island) The TULF urges the govt not to interfere with the rights of the Tamil people to celebrate Maveerar Day today (Friday) as it has been conducted for more than two and a half decades. V Anandasangaree, TULF leader said he had spoken with a large number of the northern people. "They told me that the Maveerar Day is not a day to commemorate Velupillai Prabhakaran but a day to mourn the death of our loved ones more..

'Nobody has the right to stop us as True members of Opposition'

Nov 27 (DM) Q: Did you participate at the Pinkama held at the Sri Maha Bodhi premises in Anuradhapura to invoke blessing for former President Mahinda Rajapaksa? A: Yes. I also actively participated in arranging the religious activities of the Pinkama organised by the combined opposition to coincide his 70th birthday. Q: If so, are you liable for disciplinary action? A: What, disciplinary action? more..

A litmus test on reconciliation for govt

Nov 27 (SL) Several of the 120 Tamil political prisoners who have been incarcerated over many years have given up on life and remained in oblivion, having lost all hope of ever being released. For over 20 odd years, these long term political prisoners have not been allowed to be in contact with their families and no one ever visited them. They take some pills and just slip into a world of their own with nothing to look forward to. more..

SL currency fall blamed on weak economy

Nov 27 (EN) Sri Lanka's currency will recover as the economy strengthens, Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran said as the rupee fell to fresh historic low amid money printed to keep interest rates low. Mahendran said there was tendency to see "stronger a reflection of the strength of our national economy." "But we've admitted that e economy is no terribly strong," Mahendran told a business forum on Nov 23. more..

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