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Sri Lanka targets trade deficit in monetary dominance of fiscal policy

Aug 14 (EN) Sri Lanka's central bank which is operating an unstable dollar soft-peg is increasingly relying on fiscal policy to target the trade deficit by nudging the finance ministry to hike taxes and second guess consumption and investment decisions of ordinary citizens. Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera had admitted to monetary dominance of fiscal policy saying car taxes were raised at the request of the central bank. more..

Opposition leader’s post: Improper for some MPs to criticize my ruling

Aug 14 (DM) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said today it was improper and unacceptable for some MPs to criticize his decision on the opposition leader’s post and insult him via the media. Speaker’s office said in a statement that the tradition in democratic countries in the world was to accept the speaker’s ruling and if unable to do so to take further action democratically. It said a decent society would not accept any criticism by MPs when the opinion given was not to their liking. more..

Large-scale deforestation racket uncovered in Kahalla-Pallekele sanctuary

Aug 14 (AD) A large-scale racket of deforestation and taking over state lands of Kahalla-Pallekele sanctuary in Kandulugamuwa, has been uncovered by the wildlife officers of Galkiriyagama Wildlife Conservation Office. The forest reserve belongs to the Meegalewa wildlife zone, which is bordering the Kurunegala, Anuradhapura and Matale districts. The residents of the area had informed wildlife officers and govt officials of the ongoing racket, but to no avail. more..

Video: Bandula reveals how a secret gazette on SLSFTA was passed

Aug 14 (AD) A gazette removing the duty tax of nearly 4000 items pertaining to the SL-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (SLSFTA) has been passed secretly, JO MP Bandula Gunewardane said. Every mid-year, a report on the state financial situation at the mid-year is presented and he meticulously studies this, says MP Gunewardane. According to the report, a gazette has been published lifting duty taxes of 3539 customs more..

Dilantha complains of death threats

Aug 14 (DM) A special police team has commenced investigations into an alleged plot to kill legendary racing driver Dilantha Malagamuwa. The police have initiated the probe following a complaint made by Mr. Malagamuwa with the Police Headquarters recently. According to sources, Mr. Malagamuwa had lodged the complaint based on information received from the police during an interrogation with an arrested underworld figure. However, the contract had been given to a prisoner by a former more..

Ranjith Ariyaratne new Post Master General

Aug 14 (DM) Polonnaruwa District Secretary Ranjith Ariyaratne has been appointed as the Post Master General (PMG). Minister M.H.A. Haleem said the Cabinet approval had been sought two weeks before the appointment was made. He said the Cabinet had to direct the request to the Cabinet Sub-Committee on Establishment Matters headed by Dr Sarath Amunugama and the approval was received today. Mr Ariyaratne had held the Deputy Post Master General position in Northwestern and more..

Video: Rs.200,000 to 55 MPs is a bribe: NFF

Aug 14 (DM) Govt’s decision to give Rs. 200, 000 each month as transport allowance to 55 MPs was a bribe to those MPs, NFF alleged. NFF Propaganda Secretary Muhammad Muzammil said since the Govt was struggling to secure power and because it was in need of the participation and help of more MPs, it had promised this amount to be given to those MPs to gain their support. “At this juncture, the Govt has realized that it lacks more..

Pay hike for entire public sector

Aug 14 (EN) Govt said it will appoint a special commission to examine and increase public sector salaries and to remove salary anomalies that have led to strikes recently. The finance ministry announced the govt has decided to appoint a Special Salaries Commission to make necessary recommendation to increase the salaries of the entire public sector staff. The aim is to do away salary anomalies that were reported in certain public sector institutions like the Railway Dept, more..

Rs.1 mn cheated from actress Angeline Roshana

Aug 14 (DM) Mirihana Special Crimes Operations Unit said yesterday that a film director who had allegedly cheated a sum of Rs. 1 million from the actress Angeline Roshana Ondachchi on the pretext that a luxury vehicle would be imported for her. A complaint had been made to Mirihana Special Crimes Operations Unit on Oct 28, 2017, by this actress against this suspect, no justice had been meted out and later she had complained about it to Western Province – South DIG Wasantha more..

GMOA wants Minister to reveal who permitted lifting of Glyphosate ban

Aug 14 (DM) The GMOA yesterday urged that Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne should reveal who permitted the lifting of the ban on the controversial weedicide Glyphosate. GMOA Assistant Secretary Dr Nalinda Herath said the Agriculture Registrar could not permit lifting of the ban arbitrarily. “The Agriculture Registrar should seek Health Ministry Secretary’s consent before lifting the ban. more..

Pharma cos. to sue him over more drug price reductions: Rajitha

Aug 14 (CT) Minister Rajitha Senaratne claimed that pharmaceutical companies were threatening to take legal action against him for his efforts to bring down the prices of more medicinal drugs. Minister said that he would go ahead with reducing prices of 25 more drugs inclusive of those prescribed for patients suffering from cancer regardless of any opposition from the Sri Lanka Pharmaceutical Industry (SLPI). He said that he had met with the pharmaceutical importers last week more..

Ihala Kotmale and Wimalasurendra reservoirs at spill level

Aug 14 (DM) The Ihala Kotmale Reservoir and Wimalasurendra Reservoir had reached spill level because of the heavy rains in the catchment areas, the engineers in charge of the reservoirs said. The water level of the Kotmale Oya had risen after one of the spill gates of the Ihala Kotmale reservoir was opened today. The heavy rains had also resulted in the water levels of the Castlereagh and Mausakelle reservoirs to reach spill. The CEB said hydro-power generation at the Canyon, Laxapana, more..

Video: Navy Sampath arrested

Aug 14 (DM) Navy Sampath, who was wanted by the CID in connection with the abduction and disappearance of 11 youths, had been arrested yesterday, Police said. Hettiarachchi Mudiyanselage Chandana Prasad Hettiarachchi alias Navy Sampath, was wanted by the CID in connection with the abduction and disappearance of 11 youths in 2008 and 2009. SP Ruwan Gunasekera said the suspect was arrested by the CID more..

No storage for Rs.110-million worth paper

Aug 14 (NR) Govt Printers Trade Union Collective says 110 million rupees worth paper at the State Printing Cooperation is at risk of ruin. Convenor Sarath Lal said the paper was ordered for the purposes of printing school text books and other govt related documentation, and is now at risk of ruin due to the lack of storage facilities. 1,626 metric tonnes of paper was imported on seven occasions since 2016. State Printing Cooperation had resorted to purchasing paper from a local more..

Pakistan Independence Day celebrated in SL

Aug 14 (APP) Pakistan high commission and the Pakistani community based in SL Tuesday celebrated the Independence Day of Pakistan with national zeal and enthusiasm and the commitment to protect the country against perils. Acting HC of Pakistan, Janbaz Khan hoisted the national flag in a distinctive ceremony held at the High Commission premises. Messages of the president and prime minister of Pakistan were read out on the occasion, a message received here from SL said. more..

CBK confesses Yahapâlana govt is corrupt

Aug 14 (CT) Former Prez Chandrika Kumaratunga in an interview claims that extreme corruption reigns all across the country [and] across all segments of the population– the public service, the political authorities, and now it has seeped right down to the bottom. In responses liberally laced with her usual anti-Rajapaka rhetoric Kumaratunga laments that despite all her efforts to rid the country of corruption, more..

'I will stop illegal activities in prisons'

Aug 14 (DN) Justice and Prison Reforms Minister Thalatha Atukorale yesterday said she will arrest illegal activities in prisons. She was speaking at the foundation laying ceremony of the Uduthuthiripitiya bridge at Nivithigala yesterday. “I will control illegal activities in prisons even though prison inmates protest on roofs,” she said. She said Welikada Prison Superintendent has already been sent directives over the prison inmates’ roof-top protest. She said the prison inmates can participate more..

Asiri Hospital group June net up 1.8%

Aug 14 (EN) Profits at Asiri Hospital Holdings grew 1.8% from a year earlier to 392.8 million rupees in the June 2018 quarter on slower revenue growth. The hospital group comprising four hospitals and a laboratory service, reported earnings of 35 cents a share in the quarter. The stock closed unchanged at 24.70 rupees on Monday. In the June quarter, gross profit grew 3.6% from a year earlier to 1.4 billion rupees on on revenue growing 4.5% to 3.1 billion rupees and cost of sales contracting 5.3% more..

Ex-president’s son proposes to sweetheart atop Kilimanjaro

Aug 14 (EN) Former Prez Rajapaksa’s youngest son Rohitha travelled from Tangalle to Tanzania to propose marriage to his sweetheart on top of snow-covered Kilimanjaro, another sibling said. Second son Yoshitha was the first to announce the engagement yesterday atop the highly romantic setting on the highest mountain in the African continent. “Congratulations to @Rohitha_Chichi Malli for proposing to our beloved more..

A’pura docs threaten stern union action over failure of police

Aug 14 (Island) Doctors attached to the Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital have decided to resort to stern trade union action over what they call failure on the part of the police to arrest ten students of the Peradeniya Uni Arts Faculty responsible for brutally assaulting specialist neuro surgeon of the A'pura Teaching Hospital, Dr. Yohan Koralage, near the Obeysekera Hall of the university on August 3. The victim was admitted to the Kandy Hospital and later transferred to the National Hospital. more..

Group admitting a patient assault hospital staff

Aug 14 (AD) A group of individuals, who had admitted a patient to the Padukka Divisional Hospital, have reportedly assaulted two staff members of the hospital. Police said that two individuals have been arrested with regard to the incident. A group of individuals had admitted a person to the Padukka Divisional Hospital at around 9 pm last night (13). The group had then assaulted two staff officers following a heated argument between the two parties and damaged more..

රත්තරං පුටු ගැන, අල්ලස් කොමිසමේ ....

Issues surrounding EPF

Aug 14 (FT) In a previous article, I discussed about the contemplated policy changes of the EPF system. One of the main concerns was the proposal to entrust the management of the investment portfolio of the fund to a specially appointed fund management company. The underlying argument is the need to invest the EPF balances more profitably, with a view to generate additional income for the beneficiaries. Indeed a creditable and admirable motive, if the rationalisation is bona-fide. more..

A change in status quo of Railway a need?

Aug 14 (CT) The sequence of events that coincided with the five-day lightning rail strike which ended on Sunday is worth recapitulating. On 6 Aug, a train travelling at top speed allegedly ignoring signals collides with a stationary office train near Polgahawela, injuring 33, one of them seriously. As a result, four rail workers were interdicted, including the engine driver, assistant engine driver, head guard and the under guard of the recalcitrant train the following day 7 Aug. more..

GMOA urges President: Don’t enact SLSFTA till probe report released

Aug 14 (CT) The GMOA appealed to President Sirisena to stop enacting the SL-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (SLSFTA) till the completion of its probe. GMOA Secretary, Dr. Haritha Aluthge said that since the report was to be handed within two months, it was best to refrain from enacting it. The President appointed a committee Chaired by former Vice Chancellor of Uni of Colombo & Economist, Prof. W.D. Lakshman, more..

lawyers to seek Rs.100 mn compensation for Glyphosate deaths

Aug 14 (DN) Professor Channa Jayasumana of the Rajarata Uni said that discussions are underway to file a case in the Supreme Court seeking compensation of Rs.100 million for each victim of cancer and kidney disease caused by the Glyphosate agro chemical. He said that there will be four parties including the farming community, researchers, patients suffering from these diseases and the families of persons who died from more..

'SL currently facing a foreign currency issue'

Aug 14 (DM) Sri Lanka is currently facing a foreign currency issue and needs to go for an export-driven economy, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. He expressed this sentiment during the opening of greater Kurunegala water supply and sewerage project this evening. “The country was facing a debt service issue when we took over and the nation’s revenue was not sufficient to settle the debts. more..

FMM condemns alleged threat to journo

Aug 14 (CT) The Free Media Movement (FMM) condemned the alleged threatening response given by the President of the GMOA Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya to a journalist, who contacted him for a comment on the views of his outfit’s token strike on 3 August. The FMM stated that the response shown by the GMOA to the media was anti-democratic. The GMOA President had been contacted by the journalist to obtain more..

Official to probe issues which led to Welikada female inmate protest

Aug 14 (AD) An official from the Prisons Reforms Ministry has been directed to look in to the issues leading to the protest conducted by female detainees at Welikada Prison. Meanwhile, the protest which was launched last morning by nearly 20 female inmates at Welikada Prison on top of its roof is still continuing today. Ministry Secretary Mangalika Adhikari stated that should the inmates end their protest and come down, more..

Death on the FB floor: Dancing and dying the night away

Aug 14 (CT) The setting was a plush seaside resort situated close to the heart of the Wadduwa Town and it is called the Saffron Hotel. On Saturday evening last week some 1,800 party revellers packed the hotel’s event hall for a so-called Face Book gathering and were dancing the night away to wild music spun by a Israeli DJ known only as Guy. J. Earlier in the evening there was a steady build up of the crowd, many who had arrived more..

Third ranked firm wins deal after SriLankan Airlines changed tender specs: witness

Aug 14 (EN) State-run SriLankan Airlines had cancelled a tender for security scanners in 2014, changed specifications and entirely dropped others, leading to a firm previously ranked third to win the deal in the second attempt, a commission of inquiry heard. Commercial Procurement Manager Vageesha Fernando testified at a PCoI into irregularities at SriLankan, providing documents on a tender for securities scanners. more..

'Programme to build country would be presented in 5 months'

Aug 14 (LT) The party’s programme to build the country would be presented to the masses in January 2019 says the Leader of the JVP Anura Dissanayaka. He said this at a meeting held at Godakawela held as a part of the Ten Thousand Meetings programme of the JVP held throughout the country under the theme “People’s Administration to Develop & Protect Country.” Mr Dissanayaka said the country could be built only if the present more..

Dual citizens as envoys: Foreign Secretary makes contradictory statements

Aug 14 (ST) Appointment of dual nationals as heads of Sri Lanka’s diplomatic missions overseas has set a serious poser for Parliament’s High Post Committee. This came in the wake of contradictions following Foreign Secretary Prasad Kariyawasam’s interpretation to Parliament on the SL Foreign Service Minute. The Minute adopted in Nov 2016, he says, required new entrants to the foreign service to be a citizen of Sri Lanka more..

'Will form broad political front with civil society'

Aug 14 (DM) Uva Provincial Council Member of JVP Samantha Vidyaratne shares his thoughts on future politics of his party and the struggle spearheaded by it. Q: You raised a lot of noise against the Uma Oya project. You, in fact, fielded a separate independent group representing the affected people to contest the LG elections. It failed. Now, you are quite silent on the project. Why is that? A: It is a project with disastrous more..

Strikes: Why the Govt should sell off SOEs ?

Aug 14 (DM) Last week, locomotive engine drivers stopped work, bringing the railway services to a grinding halt for four days. Stranded commuters clashed with striking workers and damaged railway property. The strike was called off on Sunday after the President agreed to look into the salary anomalies, the main grievance of the strikers. During the same week, another strike by the govt doctors left the hapless patients without treatment. The doctors were demanding more..

Stop this crime of wasting public funds

Aug 14 (DM) One of the best cases in point in respect of arrogant attitude of politicians’ towards public funds is the attempt by the authorities of Western Provincial Council (WPC) to purchase 125 chairs each worth Rs. 640,000 for the new chamber of the council at the new building complex of the council in Battaramulla. Upon a request by JVP’s WPC member Lakshman Nipunaarachchi, Provincial Governor Hemakumara Nanayakkara has suspended the purchase on Saturday. more..