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Colombo International Book Fair returns to the city for milestone 20th year

Sep 18 (ST) If last year’s figures are anything to go by, some 1.5 million book lovers from all over Sri Lanka can be expected to visit the BMICH over just 10 days later this month, when the annual Colombo International Book Fair (CIBF) returns for its 20th edition. More than 450 exhibitors, 40 of them from overseas, have confirmed participation in the Book Fair, by footfall the largest annual exhibition in the country across all sectors, more..

Do we need a counter terrorism law that will target mainly Sri Lanka’s Sinhala extremists?

Sep 18 (Island) Do we need a Counter Terrorism Law in SL, is a question that I wish to raise. Do we in this country need a law that will eventually be used, abused and compelled to be used against Sinhala Buddhist extremist violence in this country, the perpetrators of which are extremely few in number. We are not another Myanmar, a Buddhist preacher of violence of which country was captured in Time magazine’s front page, sometime ago, as the Buddhist Face of Terror. more..

Ragging: A youth excitement turned sadist ritual

Sep 18 (CT) Ragging in the universities of SL, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan is an imported Oxbridge tradition from British colonial days. It originated as a week of initiation to new entrants, so that they may socialise with their seniors and get acclimatised to habituating in a new environment of highly motivated young adults. By the time a student qualifies to receive education at tertiary level in these countries that student is at least on the verge of crossing his or her teen years to enter adulthood. more..

Law in Sri Lanka: Faraz & Keerthi

Surprise withdrawal of Dhanushka, a concern

Sep 18 (CT) It’s time for the Asia Cup and it’s that time of the year, the giants of Asian cricket look to peak and also showcase what they are made of. I can also add that with the possible exception of Hong Kong, who qualified to the bigger event, every other team in the tournament has a chance of winning it. Whilst the group that has India and Pakistan, two of the top teams in, the region are assured of a berth in the final round of the tournament, it’s the group that SL is in, more..

Edtorial: Citizen Silva shivers

Sep 18 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena is in the attack mode. He has recalled Ambassador to Austria Priyani Wijesekera and several other embassy officials for not answering his calls. This has come close on the heels of his diatribe against the national carrier over the poor quality of cashew nuts he was served. Is he asserting himself to show that he is the boss? If only he had taken such stern action when the lid was blown off the first bond scam in 2015! more..

When will the Gin-Nilwala project see the light of day?

Sep 18 (CT) It is strange but true. When the country’s health is at stake & engineers give recommendations to bring in the much-needed relief, Govt ignores them either willfully or through sheer ignorance. A case in point is the Gin-Nilwala-Multi-purpose Irrigation Project Scheme, where recommendations given by engineers are blatantly observed in the breach and it is for this reason that many development projects are often more..

President’s forthcoming address to UN will highlight challenges to reconciliation

Sep 18 (CT) The recent interventions of President Maithripala Sirisena into issues of governance brings out sharp differences of opinion within the govt coalition he heads. The most significant of these is his bid to break free from the commitments made by the govt to the international community with regard to issues of war time accountability for serious human rights violations. In Oct 2015 the newly elected govt eased tensions that had been escalating between the previous govt and more..

Fundamental weaknesses and vulnerabilities in external finances

Sep 18 (ST) The persistent and widening trade deficits, the large foreign debt, the heavy debt servicing obligations, the risks of capital outflows and uncertainties in remittances from workers in the Middle East are fundamental weaknesses in the country’s external finances. Furthermore, the current global uncertainties: trade embargoes, rising fuel prices and interest rate policies of the US Federal Reserve make the country’s external finances volatile and vulnerable. more..

EPF to re-enter stock market only under a clean slate: CB

Sep 18 (SO) Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy has assured that the re-entry of Sri Lanka’s largest social security scheme, the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) into the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) will only be under a clean slate with proper checks and balances. “We don’t know when we will start investing but we have left that decision to the investment committee to decide more..

Presidential ire & playing pandu with cricket

Sep 18 (ST) Well what do you know! Sri Lanka’s president with a penchant for legal lynching of convicted drug dealers and the corrupt many has gone nuts-metaphorically speaking — over the cashew served by the national carrier. So the SL president is after SriLankan Airlines for serving him cashew nuts which he thinks were not even fit for dogs. Now I know little of the dietary habits of dogs (even those that hang around at 5-star hotels) and whether canines do partake of cashew nuts. more..

Registering a new world order

Sep 18 (CT) I had planned to follow up my piece of a fortnight ago about our foreign policy, or the lack of it, by an article about where we should be heading, following Maithripala Sirisena’s excellent choice of Dayan Jayatilleka to be our Ambassador in Moscow. How significant that might be was registered by Ranil’s cat’s paws in Parliament, Sumanthiran and the right-wing of the JVP. Or perhaps cat’s paws is the wrong word because that refers to unwitting instruments, whereas Sumanthiran knew more..

DIG of TID transferred after allegation of assassination plot

Sep 17 (DM) DIG in charge of the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) Nalaka de Silva has been temporarily transferred to the IT division yesterday, Police Spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said. He said the transfer was made by the IGP under the covering approval of the National Police Commission. Earlier, IGP Pujith Jayasundara handed over the investigations to the CID after a phone conversation allegedly made between DIG Nalaka de Silva and more..

Archaeological monument demolished in Kilinochchi

Sep 17 (DM) An archaeological monument in Kilinochchi is reported to have been demolished by officials of the local authority in the area on a request made by TNA MP S. Sritharan. Officials of the Karachchi Pradeshiya Sabha in the Kilinochchi district said that Mr. Sritharan had for the past three years been requesting them to demolish the site. Mr. Sritharan was reportedly present when the site was bulldozed. This archaeological monument is believed to have been erected during the Polonnaruwa period. more..

Draft charges served to Wimal and six others

Sep 17 (DM) Colombo Chief Magistrate today served the draft charges against NFF Parliamentarian Wimal Weerawansa and six others for protesting at Bullers Road opposite the UN office, on the arrival of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Prince Zaid Raad Al Hussain of the UNHRC on Feb 6, 2016. When the matter was called for an inquiry today, Colombo Chief Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake issued a copy of the draft charge sheet to the Counsel of the suspect for scrutiny and perusal. more..

Video: More female representation can raise competence of parliament: President

Sep 17 (AD) President Maithripala Sirisena says that at the outset the Parliament must be an example of efficiency as a country that is moving towards the development goals. The efficiency of the Parliament has an impact on the efficiency of the public service and when achieving the development targets the efficiency of all these sectors are important. The President made these remarks participating in the inaugural ceremony of the EvalColombo2018 held in Colombo, more..

Today law is enforced only on one group: Mahinda

Sep 17 (AD) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says that the current govt is implements the law targeting only one group. He said that the law in the Northern Province has fallen to ruins and that the police cannot enforce the law as required. He points out that the high ranking officials of the police are behaving in a manner that ridicules monks and graduates. Speaking further, Rajapaksa said that the present government is attacking his family members and supporters by more..

Follow-up activities commenced on oil-spilled coastal line

Sep 17 (AD) Follow-up activities have been commenced from Dikkowita to Uswetakeiyawa coastal line following the efforts of removal of oil spilled from a pipeline carrying oil Muthurajawela Oil Refinery Complex, says SL Navy. According to the Navy, three small groups of military personnel have been deployed for the follow-up activities. A leakage in pipeline carrying oil to Muthurajawela Oil Refinery Complex had occurred on Sept 9 and the officers of the CPC more..

Indefinite country-wide strike from September 24: bus associations

Sep 17 (DM) All Ceylon Private Bus Association (ACPBA) and the Private Bus Workers’ Association (ACPBWA) today warned that they would launch a country-wide indefinite strike from Sept 24 midnight, demanding a hike in fares and due to the revision of recent traffic fines. ACPBA Secretary Anjana Priyanjith said that took the decision following a discussion with all the private bus associations at Narahenpita today. He said that at the discussion all associations agreed more..

India, Sri Lanka urged to be more open; new trade deal expected in December

Sep 17 (EN) India and Sri Lanka are likely to sign a new trade deal by December and both countries should be more open in order to improve competitiveness and attract foreign direct investments, said Indian Council for Research on Int'l Economic Relations Chief Executive Rajat Kathuria. "There is optimism that Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement may be signed by the end of this year. Given the difference in market size one country will inevitably run a current account deficit more..

Galaha residents demand re-opening of hospital they attacked

Sep 17 (Island) Residents of Galaha demonstrated, yesterday, urging the govt to reopen the hospital in their area, closed following a mob attack thereon on Aug 28 over the death of an infant. The villagers said that they were compelled to travel a long distance to the Peradeniya Hospital. Earlier this month Galaha Police arrested seven suspects over damage caused to the hospital property. Following the incident, health authorities transferred the doctors who had been serving at the hospital. more..

Sri Lanka rupee falls to new record low below 165 to dollar

Sep 17 (EN) Sri Lanka's rupee closed at a new record low of 165.00/165.30 rupees to the US dollars on the spot market dealers said down from 163.60/80 levels Friday dealers said while stocks closed flat. The central bank injected 33.4 billion rupees overnight at an average rate of 7.94%, 56 basis points below the 8.50% ceiling policy rate at which cash could have been given overnight to provide more support for the rupee. A bond settlement took place on Monday. more..

Cabinet will decide on bus fare revision: Nimal

Sep 17 (NR) After private bus owners today threatened to launch a strike action on the 24th of this month, Minister Nimal Siripala says a final decision on increasing bus fares will be determined by the Cabinet of Ministers. He said a report is currently being compiled by the National Transport Commission pertaining to bus fares. Minister noted a discussion has been called under the patronage of the Secretary to the Ministry of Transport and bus trade unions on Wednesday. more..

Maneka appeals for release of Dehiwala jumbo

Sep 17 (Island) Indian Union Cabinet Minister for Women & Child Development and animal rights activist, Maneka Gandhi has written to President Sirisena about the plight of Bandula, an elephant which has been chained for 67 years in the Dehiwala Zoo. "Sri Lanka is such a gentle and beautiful island. It seems out of character to treat an elephant in this way. May I request you to release the elephant and send it to the Ridiyagama Safari Park to live free," she has said in her letter. more..

SL ranks 76 at latest Human Development Index

Sep 17 (DM) Sri Lanka ranked 76 at the latest Human Development Index (HDI) with a value of 0.770 under the category of countries with High Human Development, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) said. The HDI-2018, which was compiled by the UNDP and released on Friday said the value of Sri Lanka has been increased by only 0.78% from 1990 to 2017. The life expectancy of SL females was listed at an average of 78.8 years and that of males at 72.1 years. more..

Porcupine hunt backfires claiming hunters’ lives

Sep 17 (CT) The remains of two males were recovered from a rock cave in dense forest in Ragala yesterday morning, the Ragala Police said. Police disclosed that based on the findings from the preliminary investigation, the deceased had left their home on an animal hunting trip on Saturday but had failed to return. Ragala Police said that the carcass of a dog was also recovered from the cave along with the human remains. The two were believed to have gone hunting for porcupines. more..

Successful completion of SL Exposition of OTDYKH/LEISURE International Tourism Exhibition

Sep 17 (Island) Sri Lanka was among 44 participant countries at the 15th OTDYKH /LEISURE International Tourism Exhibition held since 2001 at Moscow’s Expocentre, a press release said. The official closing ceremony of the exhibition held on Thursday. With 44 participant countries in 2018, LEISURE has become one of two Moscow’s largest international tourism fairs. SriLankan prominent participation was under the auspices of SL Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) in coordination with more..

VAT on imported fabric reduced to 5%

Sep 17 (NR) The Ministry of Finance says the VAT on imported fabric has been reduced to 5%. Minister Mangala Samaraweera after considering requests by stakeholders in the fabric industry decided to reduce the VAT on fabric to 5%. Fabric was subject to a 100kg CESS at the time of imports. The 2018 Budget proposed to impose a 15 % VAT on goods, the Value Added Tax Act No 14 of 2002 was amended accordingly, and the new VAT scheme came into effect from the 16th of Aug this year. more..

Pakistani caught at BIA with heroin worth over Rs 16 mn

Sep 17 (AD) A foreign national has been apprehended on arrival at the BIA by the Customs Narcotics Division for the possession of heroin. Reportedly, customs officials had found 1.6 kg of high-quality heroin of Brown Sugar variety, hidden within a false bottom of the luggage of the suspect. The worth of the smuggled haul of heroin is estimated to be about Rs 16 million, according to the Customs. A Pakistani national has been arrested in such manner, stated the Customs Officials. more..

Namal Kumarage questioned for seven hours by CID

Sep 17 (DM) CID grilled for seven hours Namal Kumara who revealed as to how DIG of the Terrorist Investigation Division Nalaka Silva informed him of a plot to lay harm on the lives of President Maithripala Sirisena and former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa by using underworld criminal Makadure Madush who is absconding court at the moment. Namal Kumara, a leading figure of the organization identified as an anti-corruption movement, was questioned regarding the revelation he made in this regard. more..

ශ්žරී ලංකා සාම සාධක හමුදාවේ සේවය

Central Bank should play role of a smart wife to moderate govt’s demands

Sep 17 (FT) In Parts I and II of this series, it was presented that Central Banks, created by society and not by politicians, have the mandate to preserve the value of money which the public holds on trust. The Central Banks could do so by producing money by using a prudent formula. That formula requires them to produce the required quantity of money to facilitate the economy to conduct the growing volume of transactions with the expansion in trade and output. more..

Terror in TID

Sep 17 (CT) A shocking revelation has been made over the alleged involvement of head of the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) DIG Nalaka de Silva in a plot to assassinate Prez Sirisena. It is indeed very shocking to know even a head of a vital establishment which was created to root out terrorism in the country being part of a plot to assassinate the Head of State. There were instances where several top ranking Police officials such as former DIG Vass Gunawardena was convicted over more..

Alleged plot to kill President and Gota: DIG Nalaka to be grilled shortly

Sep 17 (Island) Police protection would be provided to Namal Kumara of Dushana Virodi Balakaya, who has alleged a plot to kill President Maithripala Sirisena and former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, a senior police officer told The Island. Kumara told media last week that DIG in charge of the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) Nalaka de Silva had been plotting to assassinate Sirisena and more..

Construction cost of WPC building: JVP calls for Auditor General’s intervention

Sep 17 (DN) The JVP has made a written submission to the Auditor General requesting to intervene and audit the expenditure for the newly constructed Western Provincial Council building amounting to over Rs.7000 million. The JVP has also requested the Auditor General to probe the spending of public money on various posts in the Provincial Councils which the JVP claims are not legitimately recognised. more..

Sri Lanka slams Nomura report again; says not worse than Argentina and Turkey

Sep 17 (EN) Sri Lanka central bank which operates a non-credible crawling peg with the US dollar has slammed a report by Nomura, an investment bank, that appeared to exaggerate the island's vulnerability to a currency crisis. Sri Lanka cannot be worse than Turkey and Argentina, central bank said. SL has been vulnerable to currency collapses since 1951 when a central bank with money printing powers was created to join more..