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'A future govt must bring bond scam masterminds to justice'

Aug 17 (Island) Yahapalanaya bond scams from Feb 2015 to June 2016 inflicted staggering losses on the country, economy and people of SL, and irreparably damaged the country’s reputation. People have watched with helplessness, the biggest-ever scam committed in SL, unfold before their very eyes. The people have endured in dismay, the determined cover-up being carried out by a group of ultra-corrupt politicians, officials & more..

Sri Lanka and Oman sign agreement on avoidance of double taxation

Aug 17 (MFA) During the Second Meeting of the Sri Lanka-Oman Bilateral Consultations, held on Wednesday in Colombo at senior officials’ level, an agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion between Sri Lanka and Oman was signed by the leaders of the respective delegations. The Sri Lanka delegation to the Bilateral Consultations was led by Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Prasad Kariyawasam and the delegation of Oman was headed by more..

Prisons Police has been set up: Thalatha

Aug 17 (NR) Minister of Justice and Prison Reforms Thalatha Athukorala says a prisons police has been set up instead of the prisons intelligence unit. Minister said steps will be taken to ensure the special police unit has legitimate and legal powers. Minister said the Intelligence Unit was established in 2010 adding however even after 8 years they had no legal authority. Minister stressed no one held responsibility for their duties and the raids carried out by the Intelligence Unit more..

New traffic fines to stay

Aug 17 (DN) Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva stated that the new fines aimed at reducing road accidents will not be changed or removed under any circumstances. Minister de Silva said that the traffic fines were amended after 13 years, along with the introduction of several new categories of traffic offences. Even though the new fines were effective from January this year, several bus unions are opposing them only now. more..

Record income from Cinnamon exports

Aug 17 (GDI) SL has obtained a record income of US$202.5 million from cinnamon exports in 2017, according to the National Cinnamon Research and Training Center under Dept of Export Agriculture. It is an increase of 30% compared to the previous year. SL has been named as a high-quality cinnamon producer in the world. That's why there is a high demand for SL cinnamon in the world market, Cinnamon Research Center says. In 2017 Sri Lanka exported 32% of global cinnamon exports more..

No backing down on revised road fines

Aug 17 (Island) Transport and Civil Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva yesterday said that under no circumstances would the increased traffic fines be revised. De Silva said Cabinet approval had been obtained for enhancing fines. He said traffic fines had been increased after 2005, considering the new developments and trends. The Minister said there were protests, demanding the withdrawal of the revision of traffic fines, but the govt would not give in to pressure. more..

FM evades RTI query on UK wartime dispatches from Colombo

Aug 17 (Island) Foreign Ministry has refrained from responding to a query whether it would brief the Human Rights Commission of SL as regards wartime British High Commission dispatches that cleared the SL military of alleged massacre of 40,000 civilians on the Vanni east front. Sri Lanka brought the war to a successful conclusion in May 2009. The Island recently sought clarification in this regard from C.A.H.M. Wijeratne, more..

Uva Wellassa for US sugarcane cultivation: Monks protest land grab

Aug 17 (CT) Buddhist monks in the Uva Wellassa area will meet Chief Prelates of all Nikayas and inform them about the alleged land grab in the Badulla, Moneragala and Ampara Districts, where thousands of hectares are to be given to a US-based multinational company to cultivate sugarcane. Secretary of the Bibile Sasanarakshaka Bala Mandalaya, Ven. Dodammulle Soratha Thera said the monks would notify the prelates of the massive destruction that will take place in the area if more..

SriLankan Airline decisions on shares of SriLankan Catering defy any sense

Aug 17 (Island) SriLankan Airlines officials had not done an evaluation of share value before it bought back 40 mn of SriLankan Catering shares, at Rs. 100 reach, at a cost of Rs. 4 billion, the PCoI on irregularities at SriLankan Airlines, SriLankan Catering and Mihin Lanka was told yesterday. Nalaka Sanjeewa, Manager-Finance at SriLankan catering told the PCoI that the initially the company had one million shares and that had increased to 100 million in Sept 2009. more..

Anuradhapura was Indian Ocean Singapore, deep study of history ahead: PM

Aug 17 (EN) Anuradhapura city was at the centre of Indian Ocean trade, when there was no Singapore or Dubai, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said, revealing plans to set up an Institute of History to study ancient Sri Lanka. Anuradhapura City was built on a civilization that sprang up upon the Malwathu Oya Valley the origins of which is still unknown, with evidence already emerging of Sri Lanka's human settlements dating back more..

SLTDA removes Minimum Room Rate: Some welcome measure; others fear price drops

Aug 17 (CT) Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) has finally removed the Minimum Room Rate imposed on city hotels, allowing operators to decide their own selling prices, after reports that the island has come to be known as an expensive destination. Visiting tourists have complained that the country was too expensive, and that they did not get their money’s worth, due to poor quality service and standards. Recently, SLTDA Chairman Kavan Ratnayaka announced that more..

SLC announces team managers/coaches for T20 League

Aug 17 (DN) Sri Lanka Cricket announced the appointment of Vinothen John, Priyantha Udayaratne, Nalinda Ilangakoon and Gajaba Pitigala as managers of the four teams competing in the upcoming SLC T20 league. Accordingly, Vinothen John, who represented Sri Lanka in both ODIs and Test matches will manage the Dambulla Team. He was a former national selector and was also the chairman of the women’s cricket selection panel. The Kandy team will be managed by more..

Sri Lanka lifts vehicle importer license fee, each vehicle to be charged

Aug 17 (EN) Sri Lanka has scrapped an annual 1.5 million rupee license fee from vehicle importers but a fee will be charged from each vehicle cleared as it is cleared from customs, in changes proposed to the country's Finance Act. The Motor Vehicle Importers License Fee, introduced in 2015 as part of a series of arbitrary and retrospective taxes that clouded the business environment and helped more..

Sri Lanka carbon tax burden to fall on poorer, older citizens; EVs exempt

Aug 17 (EN) Sri Lanka has proposed higher carbon taxes for older cars, generally owned by less affluent people and older citizens, while lower taxes are proposed for newer cars which are usually owned by richer people in a classic socialist-interventionist move. The Finance Ministry has proposed taxes of 0.50 cents per cubic centimeter for vehicles less than 5 years old, 1.00 rupee per cc for cars between 5 to 10 years old and 1.00 rupee for cars over 10 years. more..

Quality golf expected at Altair Open tournament

Aug 17 (CT) A high standard of golf is expected at the RCGC Open Golf tournament that will be played at the Ridgeways course on 28 August. This is because Sri Lanka’s best professional and amateurs will get down to the course to vie for honours that offers attractive cash prizes. Professional golfers like Mithun Perera, Anura Rohana, Thangarajah and Kumara would have just returned after competing at the Asian Games in Jakarta: Thus they will be in good form for this Open tournament more..

SLSFTA won’t be suspended: Malik under fire over receives SLFP backing

Aug 17 (Island) The SLFP threw its weight behind Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrema, now under heavy fire over SL-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (SLSFTA) finalized in January this year. SLFP Vice President and party spokesman Mahinda Samarasinghe strongly denied Samarawickrema having done anything underhand to facilitate the SLSFTA. more..

Sri Lanka to charge 7% tax from banks on added value

Aug 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka has proposed to charge 7% value added style-tax from banks and finance companies, in changes proposed to the Finance Act as a so-called Debt Repayment Levy. The proposed tax will be calculated applying the attributable method referred in the value added tax act 14 of 2002, the bill said. It is not clear whether customers who take loans can recover the tax, through their VAT payments. Banks already pay a non-recoverable value added tax which falls more..

Singapore-SL FTA revenue protection not yet gazetted but published by Treasury

Aug 17 (LBO) Department of Trade & Investment Policy has not yet published the extraordinary gazette pertaining to the revenue protection order which deals with the preferential rates applicable to the Singapore – SL Free Trade Agreement. A preferential rate is leviable and payable under the Singapore – Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement but the order has not yet published in the official website of the Department of Govt Printing which has the authority to publish gazettes. more..

Pre fabricated terminal for BIA

Aug 17 (DN) A pre fabricated terminal will be set up at the BIA soon, an official from the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation said. He said there was a mega plan to build a terminal at BIA but it had to be suspended due to many reasons. Due to the high cost of a permanent terminal and time duration it takes to built it, the authorities opted for a pre fabricated terminal which would be around Rs. 400 million. more..

UDA confident of LRTs by 2023

Aug 17 (FT) The preparation work for Japan and Korea funded Light Rail Transit (LRT) projects are steaming ahead as pre-feasibility studies near completion, with plans by UDA to call for investment proposals soon. “There are two different sets of LRT projects on five different lines. The one supported by Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is nearing the completion of feasibility study and the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process has also been completed now. more..

Continuing extravagant govt spending

Aug 17 (Island) We ordinary plebs of this land, lower and middle classes, have been compelled to tighten our belts to suffocation point but we hear of the govt and its various departments dipping into almost empty kitties to splash on this, that and the other. The merciless railway strikers, some earning more than 200,000 a month said one person who seems to know, has had the Prez buckling down to them. How much increase has he promised? We near-starving can say: more..

Bangladesh beckons Sri Lanka

Aug 15 (FT) A host of investment opportunities exist for SL corporates in Bangladesh, top officials from both countries said yesterday, calling for local businesses with long-term ambitions to venture into the nation of 160 million people. At a forum organised by NDB and titled Ayubowan Bangladesh participants, which included the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) Executive Chairman Kazi Islam and more..

In the embrace of Buddha

Aug 15 (Hindu) There are under-construction skyscrapers across Colombo The soon-to-be opened 1,150-feet Lotus Tower and the Colombo Port City, being built by China on an enormous portion of land reclaimed from the sea, are the new symbols of the island country that desperately wants to rise from a past marred by conflicts. In a nation with a rich history and culture, its capital Colombo, has become a melting pot of old and new, where the old nevertheless continues to define city’s ethos. more..

Edtorial: Leaping before thinking

Aug 15 (Island) The govt is apparently desperate to sign as many free trade agreements as possible like a drowning man clutching at floating straws. It is labouring under the delusion that it will be able to shore up the crumbling economy with the help of such pacts, without getting its act together on the economic front. The govt has demonstrated its willingness to take leaps of faith. That it plunges feet first into signing free trade agreements at the whims and fancies of some ruling party bigwigs, more..

Tata Nano exits in failed experiment: Enter Nexon

Aug 15 (ST) Tata Nano, touted as the people’s budget car, is no more following the discontinuation of manufacturing of this car by India’s Tata Motors, just after a decade since its launch in Sri Lanka. Confirming the non-availability of Tata Nano in the market the Chairman and Managing Director of DIMO, Ranjith Pandithage said that this situation has arisen owing to the auto model change of the Indian company with more..

Sangakkara: Unfair to say India over-reliant on Kohli

Aug 15 (PTI) Former SL skipper Kumar Sangakkara feels it is unfair to label India as over-dependent on Virat Kohli and attributes the team’s debacle in the first two Tests against England to lack of preparation. England won the first two of the five Tests in Birmingham and Lord’s, with a worrying point about India’s batting being that Kohli was the only batsman to score any runs of substance. “It is almost unfair to the other batsmen because we have seen Virat batting like he has for the last more..

Sweeping changes to come through proposed amendments to Finance Act

Aug 17 (FT) A number of changes proposed to the Finance Act will impose new levies to several sectors including telecommunications, vehicle importation and tourism. The amendment bill outlines a number of changes to taxes and levies currently in operation while introducing new ones. The amendments gazetted on 10 August, subject to approval by Parliament, propose a new levy called the Annual Company Registration Levy on companies registered under Companies Act more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

On three well-preserved heritage sites in SL

Aug 17 (Hindu) Ritigala, situated deep inside dense forests (Strict Nature Reserve, announces a signboard), ringed by the high Ritigala mountain range, is not the most accessible of places. In fact, the modern name Ritigala is derived from the ancient name Ariṭṭha Pabbata or Dreadful Mountain. The forest contains powerful medicinal herbs that are believed to be guarded by supernatural beings called yakkas. The other legend is that when Hanuman was flying over this place he dropped more..

Sri Lanka, a melting point of the old and new

Aug 17 (Hindu) There are under-construction skyscrapers across Colombo The soon-to-be opened 1,150-feet Lotus Tower and the Colombo Port City, being built by China on an enormous portion of land reclaimed from the sea, are the new symbols of the island country that desperately wants to rise from a past marred by conflicts. In a nation with a rich history and culture, its capital Colombo, has become a melting pot of old and new, where the old nevertheless continues to define more..

Summer camp in post-war Kilinochchi

Aug 17 (DN) On the playground of Tharmapuram Tamil Vidyalayam, a govt school some 20 km from Kilinochchi town, 12-year-old Sankavi was avoiding her grandmother. The grandmother, Prasanna, sat off to the side, silently watching Sankavi and the other students playing. Prasanna contrasted sharply with her granddaughter: Sankavi was dressed in a tidy skirt and blouse and Prasanna wore a tattered nightgown. more..

Strength of togetherness

Aug 17 (DN) The destiny of SL is being wrought by its households and school rooms even though insufficient attention is being paid to this important fact. The PM has stated that the govt is intent on providing a basket of goodies that could be covered by the family budget of working-class families. It is indeed laudable that a Family Budget Unit will be of help in the sphere of the home economy of families to ‘look into solving the economic issues faced by families in the country and more..

Dealing with Jaffna University’s Communalism

Aug 17 (DN) August 15 was India’s day of Independence. The Consulate General in Jaffna organised a function at India House. The programme was simple and elegant. The Indian flag was raised promptly at 9:00 am – something that we in Jaffna can learn from. A speech by the President read out by the Consul General S. Balachandran, followed by the latter’s own separate speech. Then a dance-drama by Jaffna University’s Ramanathan College, and the vote of thanks. more..

Another day of reckoning for BBS Secretary Chief Monk

Aug 17 (SO) Court of Appeal sentences controversial monk to 19 years rigorous imprisonment for contempt of court over his conduct at the Homagama Magistrate’s Court in 2016; four sentences to be served concurrently, for a total of 6 years To say that no one is above the law is elementary and Galagoda Atthe Gnanasara Thera learnt this the hard way last week. The controversial Ven. Galagoda Atthe Gnanasara Thera, more..

Henry Jayasena or Sudu Seeya to most

Aug 17 (CT) The Play is the Thing contains more anecdotes, comments, and character portraits from and by Henry Jayasena than any article or essay written about the man. It is at once full of wit and sobriety, particularly because it is not just about the theatre, the medium through which he prospered. Full of sketches about the men and women he encountered, some friendly, others indifferent, a few antagonistic, the book harbours no anger or malice. There are very few artists, who have departed more..

Muslim Integrists & Education Of Girls

Aug 17 (CT) Integrisme is a French term for an ideology originated in the 19th and early 20th centuries which rejected the values of secular modernism and wanted the state and govt subjected to the Church as it was in the days of medieval Christendom. This ideology rejects the idea of separation of state and church as advanced by the philosophers of Enlightenment. One who believes and works to achieve this objective is therefore an integrist. Sayeeda Warsi, a British Muslim more..