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Cabinet approves National Economic Council

Aug 10 (FT) Cabinet yesterday gave the go-ahead to set up the proposed National Economic Council chaired by President Sirisena. The proposal, which was submitted by Sirisena as a note to the Cabinet to establish the high-level policymaking body, was deferred for two weeks until PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and the President were able to discuss the issue in detail. Senior SLFP Ministers present at Cabinet Meeting said that more..

How was Lasantha Wickramatunga murdered? Conclusion today

Aug 10 (NR) The conclusion of how veteran journalist Lasantha Wickramatunga was murdered will be announced in Court today. The conclusion will be issued by Mount Lavinia Chief Magistrate Mohammad Mihal. The conclusion could not be declared in Court to date despite two post mortem examination reports pertaining to the murder as the Govt Analysts report was not tabled. Earlier Court was informed through a medical reply that Lasantha Wickramatunga died due to gunshot wounds. more..

Rathupaswala shooting: Evidence destroyed says CID

Aug 10 (DN) CID officials investigating the Rathupaswala shooting incident in 2013, informed Gampaha Chief Magistrate that all evidence in relation to the shooting incident have been destroyed. CID submitting a further report to court said even though the Western Province North DIG had entrusted then Gampaha ASP Munasinghe with the investigations into the incident, he had relegated the job to another Police Inspector and this had led to the destruction of evidence. more..

Sri Lanka to ease price controls: Eran

Aug 10 (EN) Sri Lanka will gradually move away from price controls, but wanted markets to function freely and responsibly to give benefits to consumers, State Minister Eran Wickramaratne said. Sri Lanka has already said para-tariffs such as cesses which were imposed to allow politically connected rent seeking domestic producers, which critics generally call crony capitalists to exploit the poorest consumers more..

85 drone cameras registered at CAA

Aug 10 (CT) 85 persons have registered their drone cameras to date and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said, it would in 2018 be seeking Cabinet approval for regulations governing drone cameras. Registered persons are media, production house personnel as well as individuals who use such drones in the course of their work. Online registration is available on the CAA website to register early and avoid problems. The registration of drones means they can use the drones but more..

President thanks China for strong assistance, support

Aug 10 (Xinhua) President Maithripala Sirisena has appreciated and thanked China for its strong support to help the island country develop and strengthen its economy. Sirisena made the statement at the 60th anniversary celebrations of bilateral relations between SL and China organized by the SL China Society in Colombo on Wednesday. Sirisena said that China had always stood by Sri Lanka and helped the country defeat the Tamil Tiger rebels after a 30-year bitter conflict. more..

Two waste-to-energy plants to get off the ground today

Aug 10 (FT) The first waste-to-energy initiative in Sri Lanka, amounting to a total investment of $ 193 million, will commence today as two public-private partnership (PPP) projects in Muthurajawela. Two plants to be set up in Muthurajawela will add 20 MW worth of electricity to the national grid once commissioned, converting waste generated in Colombo and Gampaha into energy with the third project, more..

Dialog net up 2.5% in June

Aug 10 (LBO) Profits at Dialog Axiata group, increased by 2.6% to 2.3 billion rupees in the June quarter, interim accounts showed. Dialog said their second quarter performance was impacted by externalities including the inclement weather and severe flood conditions during the month of May. The group which has interests in mobile, fixed and pay television, reported basic earnings of 29 cents per share for the quarter compared to 28 cents per share a year ago. more..

Waruna and Nimali in action today

Aug 10 (CT) After both Marathoners flopped, Sri Lankan hopes will now lie in their Javelin Thrower Waruna Lakshan and 800m runner Nimali Liyanarachchi. They will be seen in action tonight at the IAAF World Championship in London. Neither of them are expected to win a medal in their respective events, especially with Nimali running with a minor injury and she needs specialized shoes, but both will be eyeing to improve on their performances, which can be categorized as a win in itself more..

Vice Chancellor held captive; Tense situation at Eastern University

Aug 10 (DM) A tense situation prevailed at the Eastern University on Tuesday when a large group of students surrounded the university's administrative building Senate House and held it's Vice Chancellor (VC) captive, citing certain demands. Speaking to Daily Mirror over the phone last night Vice Chancellor Prof. T. Jayasingam said a group of students had forcibly entered the uni's Senate House on Tuesday evening more..

Case against State Minister Palitha Range Bandara fixed for Nov. 7

Aug 10 (DN) The case filed against State Minister Palitha Range Bandara for allegedly obtaining Rs.5.4 million by dishonestly inducing a person to deliver a vehicle registration permit was yesterday fixed for Nove 7 by the Colombo High Court. When the case came up before Colombo HC Judge A.A.R. Heiyanthuduwa, the prosecution informed Court that the Attorney General is expecting to make his opinion regarding the defence claims that the case cannot be maintained. more..

Private Medical College Parents’ Society issues statement

Aug 10 (FT) Private Medical College Parents’ Society in a statement has strongly opposed the recent developments that the country witnessed in terms of the countrywide protests of university students which culminated with a walk to Colombo. “Whilst we sympathise with the students involved who have been misguided and led away from their studies which should be the priority, it is the view of the society that a few bankrupt political parties as well as politicians rejected by the masses more..

We'll support no-faith motion against Ravi: SLFP

Aug 10 (DM) SLFP ministers have informed PM at today’s Cabinet meeting that all SLFP ministers, state ministers, deputy ministers and MPs would vote in favour of the no-confidence motion against Minister Ravi Karunanayake, a senior minister said. He said that they pointed out to President and PM that the only way out of the embarrassment to the govt and the UNP was to remove the minister before the JO moves more..

Hayleys makes Rs150mn loss in June quarter

Aug 10 (EN) Hayleys group slipped into a loss of Rs150 million in the June 2017 quarter with its gloves and purification businesses hit by higher raw material costs and agriculture by bad weather. Sales of the group, which made a profit of Rs356 million in the June quarter of the previous year, rose 21% to Rs29 billion, according to interim accounts filed with the stock exchange. Hayleys reported a loss per share of Rs2 in the June quarter. The Hayleys share last traded at Rs294. more..

An open letter to President Sirisena

Aug 10 (FT) Dear Mr. President, Your Govt has been reduced to a joke by no less than your Foreign Minister, who has confessed under oath that he doesn’t know anything about what happens right under his nose. When one of the interrogators from the AG’s Department helpfully suggested that he may be lying, he got offended. He declared that he is under oath and he is speaking the truth and nothing but the truth. No, he doesn’t know what happens, when it happens. more..

Coconut crisis: Growers raise key questions at crucial meeting

Aug 10 (ST) Absence of Minister in charge of coconuts (Plantation Minister Navin Dissanayake) or his deputy at last week’s 23rd AGM of Coconut Growers Association irked members who expressed disappointment over the absence of senior govt politicians at a crucial meeting. During the question and answer session, a member said that it was regretted that this is the first time that a responsible officer of govt was not present more..

Why did Sri Lanka seek Chinese investments in ports?

Aug 10 (FT) During the last decade, China has heavily invested in ports across the world spanning from Africa to Australia. In South Asia, they built the Gwadar Port in Pakistan and the Hambantota Port in Sri Lanka. Despite being a staggering $1.12 billion investment, last week’s tripartite agreement between Sri Lanka Ports Authority, China Merchant Port, and the Ministry of Ports and Shipping has left many criticising China’s investments in the Hambantota Port. more..

Seeds of Wisdom Midst Separatist Supremacy: Davutoglu

Aug 10 (CT) "Now who can claim from Sri Lanka – an island which was for centuries the centre of Asia – to be the sole owner of this island? No one. If you claim that this land has been given to me, by history or any such claim, the rest will be oppressed. National unity means all those who have citizenship, identity in that particular country is equal. Nationalism and Patriotism is good. But it depends on how you define the Nation. In a Sri Lankan context, like the PM said, more..

Satana

Editorial: Waiting for third umpire’s decision

Aug 10 (Island) The fate of the JO’s no-faith motion against beleaguered Minister Ravi Karunanayake is in the balance. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has referred it to the Attorney General to determine whether it is sub judice in view of the ongoing presidential commission. Why has the yahapalana administration suddenly become so concerned about legal principles? It may be recalled that both the UNP and the SLFP have jealously guarded parliamentary supremacy vis-à-vis judiciary. more..

Glenn, James, Isabelle, Na-Dean at Hangover

Aug 10 (Island) I was having late nights again thanks to the wonderful travellers I met at the Hangover Hostel. They were from all over the world and I found most of them very interesting. Though I had to wake up very early to go to work, I did stay up till late and guzzled a few beers with them but, stuck to my limits. Many of us got connected through Instagram and Face Book. I even called a friend of mine in Kandy to ask if he and his wife could help some of them who were travelling there. more..

'Ravi K. should be jailed'

Aug 10 (CT) JO MP Bandula Gunawardena said that Minister Ravi Karunanayake should be arrested and jailed for the crimes he committed during his tenure as Finance Minister. Gunawardena, who was also Minister during abridged UNF Govt of 2001-2004, said that PM and the entire Govt was embarrassed by the actions of Karunanayake and former CB Governor Mahendran whom he trusted and appointed. more..

How to move forward & not backwards?

Aug 10 (CT) Criticisms on this govt from most (not all) of those who supported or spearheaded a political change in Jan 2015 could not be taken as any effort to bring back the Rajapaksa rule again. SL should move forward and not backwards. Political or social changes in many countries are evolutionary, not revolutionary. Even if there are apparent revolutions, those also should be taken within a long spectrum of evolutionary political/social development and not as absolute or abrupt discontinuities. more..

Politics after the bond scam revelations

Aug 10 (GV) As the media predicted last week, alluding to an off-guard comment made by a junior member of the Attorney-General’s legal team of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the Central Bank bond scam, a star witness has turned the public discussion on high profile corruption into a major political drama. Ms. Anika Wijesuriya, a young female entrepreneur from an extraordinarily rich business family in Colombo, has done what the Joint Opposition of ex-president Rajapakse, more..

Bill to restrict polls campaign funding

Aug 10 (SO) Election watchdogs and civil society groups last week handed over a draft bill calling for restrictions on polls campaign funding, to the Govt. The mooters of the Bill said their aim is to ensure a level playing field for all candidates and promote more women and intellectuals to join in the fray. The effort was a culmination of a months long exercise since September last year. The draft titled a Bill to restrict campaign financing for more..

Appraisal of the LTTE in Mid-1999: Mark Corcoran & The ABC

Aug 10 (CT) In mid-year 1999 during the ongoing Eelam War III, Mark Corcoran of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) visited SL and composed three film documentaries of fascinating breadth. They were: SL:  A close encounter with Arthur C. Clarke, 6 June 1999; SL Tigers at the Gate, 29 June 1999; Sri Lanka: Extreme Surfing, 13 July 1999. I have yet to see the first and third of these film documentaries, but find the topics chosen very much in my line of interest. more..

Voluntary, safe and sustainable return: Support needed for Sri Lankan refugees

Aug 10 (GV) Let me introduce myself. I am Mayuran. My refugee family number in India was 144. When I was just four years old, I traveled to India in a boat as a refugee. My family was happy to reach the shores of India alive and hoped to return to SL as soon as possible. However, it took us 25 years to get back to our country. Yes, I lived 25 years of my life in India as a stateless refugee. The story of refugee life in a camp, being stripped of fundamental rights is one of trauma, pain, more..

H'tota Port agreement can be amended: PM

Aug 9 (DM) Agreement signed between SL Govt and China Merchant Holdings to develop the Hambantota Port contains a clause which enables further amendments, PM told Parliament. He said this in response to a matter raised by Anura Kumara Dissanayke that Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe had publicly stated that a clause enabling amendments in the future were included in the agreement while more..

Ravi has been told to resign: Amaraweera

Aug 9 (Island) Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said there was no need to bring a no-confidence motion against Minister Ravi Karunanayake as the latter had been told to resign in view of the ongoing investigations against him. "SLFP has requested President and UNP Ministers to ask Minister Karunanayake to resign on account of the investigations and, therefore, we believe that he will resign from his ministerial post soon by maintaining the respect of his party as well as the govt," more..

Army Corporal sentenced to death over wife’s murder

Aug 9 (AD) A Sri Lanka Army Corporal who was charged with the murder of his own wife was sentenced to death by the Anuradhapura High Court today. The corporal was accused of murdering his wife in Nochchiyagama on Sept 22, 2007, and thereafter burying her body. He had reportedly been serving on the SL Army artillery regiment in Mannar at the time of the incident. Accordingly, indictments were filed against him at the Anuradhapura High Court in connection with the murder. more..

Ravi skips Cabinet Meeting; Will he resign? Or not?

Aug 9 (BBC) Some media reports have said that Minister Ravi Karunanayake, who had been pressurized to resign from his duties due to the allegations made by the Bonds Commission, will come to the cabinet meeting today. As usual, the cabinet meeting held on Tuesday was held at the Presidential Secretariat this week this morning. The foreign minister did not attend. Several ministers said that they discussed the manner in which more..

Yahapalanaya: Is he minting money?

Aug 9 (DM) A story that had gone viral says that there is a Buddhist monk who regularly deposits big money in a private vault in a leading commercial bank. Even the stalwarts of the political party that the monk actively supports have begun wondering from where this endless stream of money is flowing into his hands. Some opine that the monk could be the custodian of the liquidity assets of a controversial yahapalanaya politico. The monk had also been seen very often more..

'Revenue bill amendments on track'

Aug 9 (EN) SL is amending a proposed income tax law to comply with a ruling by the SC, which said several clauses were against the constitution, Minister Eran Wickramaratne said. Even before the court ruling, the finance ministry had been entertaining representation and suggestions concerning the bill, which included some of the areas mentioned, he said. "We are taking the supreme court advise to make the bill legally compliant and robust, and we have already more..

Video: No-confidence motion supporters’ genuineness is questionable: Rambukwella

Aug 9 (AD) MP Keheliya Rambukwella states that one’s genuineness must be taken into account when they express their support for the no-confidence motion. MP explained that although certain ministers representing the UNP had previously publicly extended support for the motion, yesterday the same people had made statements claiming that there was a legal complication with the Leader of the House more..

SLN to provide services and security to Dutch merchant vessels

Aug 9 (DM) SL Navy will provide services and security from the Galle Onboard Security Team (OBST) centre to Netherlands Merchant Vessel Protection Detachments (VPDs) operating in the Indian Ocean from this month. Navy said the Netherlands VPDs are expected to embark and disembark Dutch Marines as well as store small arms at the OBST facility in Galle in the coming weeks. They said the Dutch Marines will be providing onboard security to more..

SL navy arrests 49 Tamil fishermen; Palaniswami writes to Modi

Aug 9 (PTI) DMK today termed as atrocious the arrest of 49 Indian fishermen by SL Navy, saying it amounted to impeding the deep sea fishing initiative launched by PM Narendra Modi recently. Referring to the arrest of 49 fishermen from Tamil Nadu yesterday near Nedunthivu off the island nation, DMK Working President and Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly M K Stalin also slammed SL Navy for the barbaric action of ramming its boats into the mechanised fishing vessels. more..

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