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Govt expenditure to increase by Rs. 394 billion: Prez, PM get more

Oct 10 (Island) The budget process for the next year started yesterday with the presentation of the Appropriation Bill 2019 by Minister Mangala Samaraweera, setting out spending allocations for individual ministries ahead of the actual budget to be presented to parliament on Nov 5. The total estimated expenditure of the govt for next year is Rs. 4,376 billion, which is an increase of Rs. 394 billion, compared to the estimated more..

Even I'm unable to comprehend pricing formula: Mangala

Oct 10 (CT) Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera yesterday, told Parliament that there was a possibility of SL rupee depreciating further against the US Dollar. Samaraweera, participating in the Adjournment debate on the current economic state of the country, further said the previous regime used USD 4.1 billion to defend the Rupee in 2012 when there was a currency crisis. “We only used USD 250 million. more..

Fuel prices to increase with pricing formula

Oct 10 (DM) In accordance with the pricing formula activated by the Ministry of Finance, there is the possibility of the price of fuel being increased from today said the general secretary of the CPC Trade Union D.J. Rajakaruna. He said that in view of the appreciation of the Dollar and the price of crude oil in the world market rising an increase in the price of Fuel in the local market could be expected. more..

Twenty out of 21 Mihin Air accounts closed

Oct 10 (Island) Testifying before the PCoI, CEO of Sampath Bank Chaminda Sirikumara yesterday said that now defunct Mihin Air had maintained an account which had Rs.11 million and it was still lying with the bank. Sirikumara told the Commission that Mihin Air had had 21 Rupee Accounts with the Sampath Bank and now there was only one as others had been closed and money withdrawn. more..

Video: JO to request release of comm. report on Singapore FTA

Oct 10 (DM) The joint opposition (JO) yesterday said it would request the govt to release the report on the Sri Lanka and Singapore Foreign Trade Agreement (SLSFTA) compiled by a committee of experts. Addressing a news briefing, JO MP Bandula Gunawardana said they would stop opposing the SL-Singapore FTA if the Expert Committee appointed by the President says the it was not detrimental to Sri Lankan interests. more..

IMF understands need for Sri Lanka trade restrictions: CB Governor

Oct 10 (EN) The IMF has understood the need for temporary trade restrictions put in place by Sri Lanka in the face of global instability, Central Bank Governor Indrajit Coomarawamy said. "They (IMF) realise that we need to find a way of stabilizing," Governor said. "When there is this kind of currency disturbance all across the emerging market space, the priority has to be to stabilize the situation. Then you can go back." more..

UNHRC resolution: Sri Lanka has made considerable progress: Marapana

Oct 10 (DM) As regard to the UNHRC resolution 30/1 co-sponsored by the US and Sri Lanka and adopted in early Oct 2015, Foreign Affairs Minister Tilak Marapana said Sri Lanka has made considerable progress on complying with the requirements expected of Sri Lanka. Further more, the resolution overlapped undertakings in the EU for Sri Lanka to obtain GSP+ facilities and the lifting of the export of fish ban, he said. more..

Govt promises remedial action to protesting pensioners

Oct 10 (FT) Govt promised urgent action to resolve pension irregularities and follow through on the recommendations of the Salary Commission report presented to the Treasury in Sept 2017. Lawmakers highlighted the traffic congestion at Polduwa Junction, which blocked the entrance of Parliament, caused last afternoon by a protest staged by pensioners who were seeking a suitable increase more..

U.S. Embassy Launches Cultural Heritage Preservation Project in Jaffna

Oct 10 (USE) Chargé d’affaires Robert Hilton inaugurated a two-year project to preserve pre-historic artifacts in the collection of the University of Jaffna. Funding is provided by the U.S. Department of State under the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) and totals more than Rs. 23 million ($140,000). The project will rescue artifacts such as clay pots, brass and copper items, temple statues, coins, coral stones, more..

Killings on the rise, but police say crime down

Oct 10 (ST) Murders are mounting but the Police Department insists that the crime rate is down according to their statistics. Just this week, two persons were shot and hacked to death in Uragasmanhandiya near Elpitiya. It was followed by the shooting of a woman in Ja-ela when she was driving. Her eight-year-old daughter escaped miraculously. There was a gun battle between a gang leader and Police in Athurugiriya. more..

The Pidurangala fiasco and the inner dynamics of social media

Oct 10 (DM) Last month the Pidurangala Challenge became well-known for all the wrong reasons. The bare-bottom boys who found themselves behind bars for what they all though was a Facebook prank, must be thinking what really happened to them. A lot of us wondered why these kids, some of whom had just sat for the A/L’s, did not realize what they were doing was insanely stupid. Hailing from the predominantly Buddhist Kurunegala District, they should have known better than to do what more..

Grade 5 Scholarship; to scrap or not

Oct 10 (DM) While the debate whether the govt should go ahead with the Grade 5 scholarship exam continues another set of young candidates, mostly from not so prestigious schools, has emerged top rankers at this year’s exam as well. Interestingly five of the ten top slots, including a first place for which there was a tie, went to a relatively unknown school in the Kesbewa electorate. For the past decade or so Somaweera Chandrasiri Primary School in Piliyandala has been churning out Grade 5 more..

Looters as Rulers: PM spends Rs 300 million each on two vehicles: JVP

Oct 13 (Island) JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had no moral right to ask the general public not to import vehicles after importing two vehicles worth Rs. 300 million each just to come to parliament from Temple Trees. "According to the Supplementary Estimates PM imported two luxury vehicles spending approximately Rs. 300 million each for coming to parliament from Temple Trees. more..

Alleged assassination plot: Wimal’s wife to be questioned over Indian’s visits

Oct 13 (Island) CID is to question NFF leader WimaL Weerawansa’s wife, Sashi, in connection with the alleged conspiracy to kill President Maithripala Sirisena and former Defence Secretary Gotabhya Rajapaksa. CID investigations have revealed that the Indian national with links to Namal Kumara had visited Shashi Weerawansa. Indian national has told the CID that he visited Wimal Weerawansa’s residence as he had read in the newspapers the latter had received death more..

HC orders notice on Prez, PM for fifth time

Oct 13 (Island) Colombo High Court, yesterday, issued notice for the fifth time on President and PM to appear before it as witnesses in the trial against Tissa Attanayake, the former Secretary of the UNP, who has been indicted of forgery of signatures of Sirisena and Wickremesinghe. The alleged offence was committed in the run-up to the last Presidential election. Attanayake is alleged to have said that Sirisena and Wickremesinghe signed a secret pact with the TNA. more..

War crimes: PM rules out foreign role

Oct 13 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said at the Oxford University, on Monday, that there was no need for foreign intervention in SL to investigate allegations of war crimes against the security forces and the LTTE. Responding to questions after addressing students of Oxford University at the Oxford Union Chamber, PM said that the current Sri Lankan govt had, since assuming office on Jan 15, 2009, more..

TISL flags Rs. 40 m in Govt pilfering

Oct 13 (FT) Transparency International SL (TISL) has flagged over Rs. 40 million in misappropriated public funds in a filing at the CIABOC in Colombo yesterday. The move is the latest by the organisation, under its Programme for the Protection of Public Resources (PPPR) and Advocacy and Legal Advice Centre (ALAC), to utilise the RTI Act in holding state officials accountable for their actions. The first complaint was in relation to the World Bank-funded North East Local Services more..

Sri Lankan Navy ships in Kochi

Oct 13 (Hindu) Two Sri Lankan Navy ships, SLNS Sagara and Suranimila, commanded by Captain NMJD Nissanka and Captain MHCJ Silva are visiting Kochi. The Commanding Officers called on Rear Admiral RJ Nadkarni, Chief of Staff of the Southern Naval Command, and discussed issues of cooperation between the two Navies, especially those pertaining to training. They also interacted with other flag officers in station. During the visit, SL Navy personnel visited Indian Navy training more..

BASL dismayed by Prez, PM skipping court again

Oct 13 (Island) President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) U.R. de Silva PC, yesterday, said that the Attorney General’s Department should intervene to ensure the presence of President and PM in the Colombo High Court hearing the case against former UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake. Attanayake has been accused of forging the signatures of President Sirisena and Premier Wickremesinghe more..

Sri Lanka to sell hotel stakes, possibly within six months

Oct 13 (Reuters) Sri Lanka plans to put two state-owned hotel companies up for sale within the next six months in a sale that could raise $500 million for the island nation as it seeks to bolster its finances, the finance minister said on Tuesday. Sri Lanka faces repayments on expensive infrastructure foreign loans starting this year and already has a hefty debt burden, while its rupee currency has plumbed record lows. “We’re going through the legal hoops of preparing (the sales),” more..

There won't be any change of Govt: Kiriella

Oct 13 (DM) Minister Lakshman Kiriella said there would be no change in the govt as claimed by the opposition and that the good governance govt or the UNF had a clear mandate to govern the country. He told parliament that this govt was not prepared nor had it any mandate to form a govt with the political parties that were rejected by the people. The minister said this in response to a question asked by UNP MP S.M. Marikkar regarding the govt's stance on the media reports more..

Mangala adamant economy remains buoyant

Oct 13 (FT) Rebuking Opposition claims, the UNP yesterday said the economy was not facing a crisis but the Govt was enacting sustainable policies as opposed to dangerously populist measures. “We assure that the economy is not near any turmoil, and under no circumstances will the Govt let the economy go in that direction,” Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera told journalists at a press conference held at Sirikotha yesterday. more..

New policies to drive MSME: CB Governor

Oct 13 (DN) CB Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy said that they are looking at implementing new policies to further extend the micro, small and medium sector (MSME). This is in a bid to promote entrepreneurial skills among them and allow them more free access to credit and try to increase their export potential. The governor was delivering the closing remarks at the Asia-Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (APRACA) Regional Policy Forum at Colombo Hilton. more..

Sri Lanka bask in the glow of debut victory

Oct 13 (Olympic) Sri Lanka’s women’s basketball 3x3 team made the perfect start to their Summer Youth Olympic Games debut at Buenos Aires 2018, beating Egypt at Urban Park on Monday 8 October. The Asian nation does not have a rich basketball history, which also goes for the basketball 3x3 format. Lying 32nd in the world U-18 women’s rankings and eighth in Asia, they are making their first YOG appearance and were not expected to upset the Egyptians in their Pool B opener. more..

Maga Neguma welfare society funded Rs.20 mn for Hirunika’s political activities: FCID

Oct 13 (DM) It was reported before the Colombo Chief Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake, that a sum amounting to Rs. 20 million had been spent through an account belonging to the Welfare Society of the Maga Neguma Construction Equipment company to fund the political activities of Hirunika Premachandra who is currently a MP. The OIC of the FCID unit 07 Chief Police Inspector Anura Premarathne submitted to courts the above more..

Cases against 3 from MR’s family heard yesterday

Oct 13 (CT) 3 members of former President Rajapaksa’s family were involved in three separate cases that were heard at the Colombo High Court Complex yesterday. They were namely, former Minister Basil Rajapaksa, former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and MP Namal Rajapaksa. A case was called at the Court Hall Number One, pertaining to the alleged misappropriation of Divi Neguma funds, amounting to Rs 36 million, towards the purchase of GI pipes during more..

Navy assists providing relief measures for people affected by extreme weather

Oct 13 (SLN) Under the directives of the Office of CDS and on information released by the DMC, SL Navy’s relief teams are in action to provide assistance to the distressed people following the inclement weather in Southern and Western provinces in the island. Accordingly, 10 Naval relief teams with 07 dinghies and 02 Emergency Rescue Boats have deployed in affected areas. Naval personnel attached to the Marine Battalion and Rapid Response Rescue & Release more..

'Govt's repeated mantra on corruption and debt mountain scared away investors'

Oct 13 (Island) The current govt's needlessly self-destructive overemphasis of corruption and the oft-repeated debt mountain scared away foreign investors who lost faith in the country's administrative and financial system, Dr Nalaka Godahewa, former chairman of the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) told the media at a press briefing. "One of the main complaints the then Opposition had about more..

Playing pandu with Kusal Mendis’ career

Oct 13 (DN) Kusal Mendis is by far the next Aravinda de Silva or Mahela Jayawardene if his rare talent needs any comparison. But the manner in which this gem of a cricketer has been treated so far by the national cricket selectors defies logic. With the 2019 Cricket World Cup barely seven months away we find this outstandingly talented player left out of the 15-member squad Sri Lanka has named for the five-match ODI series against England starting at Dambulla today. more..

Hayleys retains top spot in LMD 100 rankings

Oct 13 (FT) In an exclusive pre-publication release, the publisher of leading business magazine LMD, announced its top 20 line-up in the forthcoming LMD 100 special edition. Hayleys retains the No. 1 slot in the 25th edition of SL’s pioneering listed company rankings for financial year 2017/18. With its consolidated revenue exceeding Rs. 163 billion, the conglomerate secured top spot for the second consecutive year on the back of a 47% hike compared to 2016/17. more..

'Past cricketers must unite to clear up the cricketing stables'

Oct 13 (ST) Pramodya Wickremasinghe an integral part of SL’s ICC cricket World Cup winning ensemble says it is high time that SL Players Association shelve all their differences and come out in one voice to save the day for cricket in SL. He said “We have spoken to the President of the country, the prime minister and the sports minister asking them to clean up the stables of Sri Lanka Cricket, because it is the only game that we have remained more..

Nestlé wins big for coconut kernel products at Presidential Export Awards

Oct 13 (ST) Nestlé continued its winning streak at the recently held Presidential Export Awards, bagging the Highest Foreign Exchange Earner award in the coconut kernel product category. This marks the seventh Presidential Export Award for the company in recognition of its strong contribution to national exports, and efforts to create sustainable livelihoods for local coconut growers and farm workers. Nestlé Lanka is one of the world’s largest exporters of coconut milk powder. more..

TFB Rugby Academy for girls and boys

Oct 13 (DN) A team of qualified and talented past national rugby players headed by Duminda Silva have started a rugby academy called the TFB Rugby Academy. Past players who will be handling the coaching part are Nalin Dissanayake level 1 coach, Ravindra Wekadapola level 1 coach, Nalaka Weerakody level 2 coach, Amjad Buksh level 2 coach, Chamara Withanage level 1 coach, Malkanthi Ratnayake level 2 women’s coach, Thanuja Kulatunge level 1 coach & a qualified first aid more..

Sri Lanka promise to address fielding woes

Oct 13 (Island) For the umpteenth time, the Sri Lanka cricket team has given an assurance to give the prominence that fielding richly deserves. SL’s fielding woes have cost them dearly over the last two years and despite the team being called the worst fielding unit in the world, the team management, coaching staff and senior players have done precious little to improve this vital discipline. more..

Second Gold medal for Amila

Oct 13 (CT) Amila Prashan, who won the 200m Gold, made it a double delight by winning the 100M (T42/63) event at the Asian Para Games in Indonesia yesterday. Prashan, who trains under Sumith Janaka, also led the Sri Lanka sprinters to a second clean sweep, as the second and third podium places went to Indika Chuladasa and Suranga Bandara. This was also Chuladasa’s second medal, as he won Silver in the 200m as well. Sri Lanka now has two Golds, four Silvers more..

Controlling the destiny of smaller nations

Oct 13 (Island) This is a response to an article titled Why Does Reconciliation in Sri Lanka Matter TO THE UK? by Mark Field, Minister of State for Asia Pacific. Foreign and Commonwealth Office, The UK, published in the Daily Mirror. He states: "I must be candid with you, the pace of progress on a number of key issues remains much slower than we had hoped for. I know, not least from the UK experience in Northern Ireland that it is not easy dealing with the legacy of conflict between communities. more..