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Mega cultivations continue to gorge wildlife sanctuaries

Nov 28 (SL) Despite all authorities in the country being kept informed of the alleged rape of the crown land, several of Sri Lanka’s flagship national parks and highly sensitive conservation areas including the Wilpattu National Park in the North Western Province and Lunugamvehera National Park in the Southern Province, are allegedly being pillaged and plundered for mega commercial cultivations. more..

Why can’t the Govt Walk the Talk?

Nov 28 (DM) We are fast approaching the first anniversary of electing a joint opposition candidate as the President. But alas the people feel that the President and the Govt are finding it difficult to walk the talk. Somewhere in Nov, Dec 2014, we heard many allegations of corruption, and promises of bringing the culprits to book. But since the January 8 presidential election and the August 17 general elections, none of the wrong doers has been properly prosecuted. more..

Independent judiciary for a Just Society

Nov 28 (DM) For centuries in the democratic world -- the time tested pillars have been the executive, the legislature, an independent judiciary and an independent media with checks and balances, transparency and public accountability. Since 1998 and especially during the previous regime, three of these pillars were virtually brought down by an all-powerful and over-loaded Executive President, resulting in the breakdown of democracy and the rule of law. more..

Govt has to pay Rs.400 b for previous regime’s construction projects: PM

Nov 28 (DN) The govt is faced with the task of paying Rs. 400 billion for construction projects undertaken by the previous govt, said PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. He also said that the govt would bring the matter before Parliament to decide on how to find this amount. “Many buildings were constructed at various places including Temple Trees,” the PM said. “I suspended the construction of one of the two proposed buildings at more..

MDMK, Vaiko celebrate Prabha’s birth anniversary

Nov 28 (FT) South Indian regional party MDMK celebrated the 61st birth anniversary of slain LTTE founder V Prabhakaran on Thursday, 26 Nov. Prabhakaran was born into a middle class family in the coastal town of Velvettiturai in northern Sri Lanka in 1954. The architect of Asia’s longest-running civil war had vowed never to be taken alive, but Sri Lankan army soldiers killed the island’s most wanted and most elusive man in 2009. For 37 years, LTTE Chief Prabhakaran had done one more..

CIABOC takes Johnston to Court Doubts income, assets declaration

Nov 28 (CT) Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) filed five cases in Court yesterday against former Minister Johnston Fernando for failing to reveal his income and assets. Director General for the Prevention of Bribery and Corruption Dilrukshi Wickramasinghe said that five cases were filed in the Colombo Magistrate's Court yesterday accusing Fernando of not revealing his income and assets from 2010 to 2015. Commission had filed these cases on grounds of more..

HRCSL writes to AG, raises concerns on detainees

Nov 28 (CT) Human Rights Commission of SL has written to Attorney General (AG) Y J Wijayatilake, conveying to him its grave concern about the rights of the detainees and remandees held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and the Emergency Regulations and called upon him to take necessary measures to ensure the protection of the rights of these detainees and remandees. more..

Two Japanese naval ships arrive in Colombo

Nov 28 (SLN) Two Japanese naval ships, Akizuki and Sawagiri, arrived at the Port of Colombo on a goodwill and replenishment visit on 27th Nov. They were welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy in accordance with naval traditions on arrival. The head of the mission, Commander Escort Division V Captain Futoshi Toyozumi and the ships’ Commanding Officers, Commander Yasuharu Asou and Commander Tsuyoshi Sato paid a courtesy call on the Commander of the Navy, more..

FCID shifted to a new building

Nov 28 (NS) The Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) was brought to a new building this morning after a small function, attended by IGP NK Ilangakoon. ASP Ruwan Gunasekara said that the new premise has enough space to carry out its duties freely. Accordingly, the FCID’s new office is situated at the Central Point Building at No. 54, Chatham Street, Colombo 1. The FCID has received 204 complaints, and around 100 cases are being processed in the judiciary. more..

Bouquets & brickbats for Budget in House

Nov 28 (FT) Opposition lawmaker Annamalai Nadesu Sivasakthi alias Sivasakthi Ananthan moved the fourth day of the Appropriation Bill 2016 – Second Reading Adjournment Debate blaming the Govt for increasing taxes which will increase the burden on the struggling people in the Northern Province. “There is no big difference between previous and current Govts. Both are poor in delivery and not keeping promises,” more..

Shangri-La Hambantota resort opens in June

Nov 28 (DM) Shangri-La's Hambantota Resort and Spa, the first of the two Shangri-La hotels being constructed in Sri Lanka will be declared open by early June next year, Shangri-La Hotel and Resorts Sri Lanka General Manager Mehdi Serrour said today. The constriction of the Resort, on a-145 acre land in Hambantota, started in late February, 2012. One of the major attractions of the Resort would be an 18-hole golf course, a first-timer in the Sri Lanka’s hotel sector. more..

Students barred from protesting

Nov 28 (DN) Kaduwela Magistrate issued an injunction order preventing demonstrations near Parliament, entering Parliament road and blocking it. Members of Inter University Students’ Federation (IUSF) and Inter University Bhikkhu Front (IUBF) planned to hold a protest in Colombo and march to Parliament. Police obtained an injunction order from the Magistrate as they had received information about the protest which the IUSF and the IUBF planned to hold near Parliament. more..

Important decisions on Grade-5, O/L soon

Nov 28 (DM) Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said the education ministry would soon take some important decisions on the Grade-five scholarship exam and GCE O/L exam and that a new Education Act would be introduced in January. He said the ministry was discussing whether to continue with the two exams on the basis that these exams had placed a heavy burden on the students and the parents. more..

Northern schools closed

Nov 28 (DN) All schools in the Northern Provincial Council were closed on the directive of Provincial education authorities. However, several Sinhala medium schools remained open last morning, as such schools had not not been informed by the provincial authorities. Provincial Education Ministry informed the school principals to keep their schools closed yesterday as the death of a school student in Jaffna may trigger tension in the province, This student committed suicide in Kokuvil, more..

60 Solutions Against Climate Change

Nov 28 (FT) On 27 Nov at 10 a.m. Embassy of France in Sri Lanka and the Maldives, in partnership with the French Agency for Development (AFD) and the Ministry of Internal Affairs – Wayamba Development and Cultural Affairs of Sri Lanka, inaugurated the photo exhibition 60 Solutions Against Climate Change under the patronage of Mayor A.J.M. Muzammil. This exhibition composed of 21 photos by the world-renowned Yann Arthus-Bertrand (GoodPlanet Foundation) will be more..

MS to be nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

Nov 28 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena is to be nominated for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize. Minister John Amaratunga who was speaking during the second reading debate in the House said many countries were currently discussing the nomination of President Sirisena for the Nobel Peace Prize for his initiative to form a joint govt made up of two main political parties in the country. more..

GMOA warns of island-wide strike next week

Nov 28 (NS) Govt Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) has threatened to launch an island-wide strike next week if the govt failed to respond positively to two key issues discussed at its Central Committee meeting today. Issuing a media release, GMOA stated that an urgent Central Committee meeting was held at its trade union head office today with the participation of 85 GMOA branches located island-wide. Two key matters were taken up for discussion at this meeting, more..

North should be provided with free electricity: Sritharan

Nov 28 (DN) TNA MP S. Sritharan said the govt should allocate money for the development of education in the North. He stated that it is not clearly mentioned the amount of money that was allocated for the development of education in the North. "The money allocated for the health sector in the North is also not clearly disclosed," Sritharan said. TNA MP Sritharan stated that the LTTE Heroes Day is historic for them, adding that those people should be remembered. more..

Supreme Court of Canada strikes down entry laws on human smugglers

Nov 28 (G&M) In two cases involving ships carrying Tamil refugees to Canada’s shores, the Supreme Court has ruled that federal immigration laws denying entry to human smugglers are unconstitutional. Those laws could be used to bar from Canada or prosecute anyone who performs a humanitarian act, including passengers helping one another or family members giving aid to their relatives, court said in unanimous rulings more..

India Sourcing Fair at SLECC from Dec 8

Nov 28 (DN) The first-ever India Sourcing Fair will be held from Dec 8 to 12 at the SLECC in Colombo. The event is organised by the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) - Public Sector Enterprise under the Ministry of Commerce, Govt of India and supported by the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka. "This is a timely step by ITPO which is the premier trade promotion agency of the Govt of India for organising Trade Fairs. It has put together a large all Indian participation. more..

Damitha Saluwadana passes away

Nov 28 (DM) Veteran character actress Damitha Saluwadana who had served as an actress for more than 45 years, passed away this evening. She entered the film and scene in the sixties, showcasing multiple talents. Her role as Asilin in Kopi Kade was one of her most popular characters. She had acted in more than 300 stage plays, 200 tele dramas and 25 films. Her remains will lie at the Boralesgamuwa Florists in Boralesgamuwa tomorrow. more..

Colombo International Financial Centre requires right talent: experts

Nov 28 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s plans to set up an international financial district bodes well for financial sector development and should be set up with the right talent in place, experts said. “We have talked about this for many years, but this is a budget where we have heard for the first time a policy to create a Dubai Financial Centre type financial hub,” Ravi Abeysuriya, CEO of the Candor group of companies, said approving of the policy. more..

Sri Lanka among best and lowest taxpaying regimes: FM

Nov 28 (DN) Minister Ravi Karunanayake said the 2016 budget has paved the way for Sri Lanka to be among the best and lowest taxpaying regimes in the world. Addressing a houseful audience of over 900 including professionals, students and members of public at the Annual Budget Seminar organized by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka), Minister who was part of a panel discussion also elaborated that the taxation system that was in place was non-motivational more..

Martis resigns

Nov 28 (CT) Head Coach of the Junior National Rugby team veteran Sanath Martis submitted his resignation to Susantha Mendis, Secretary of SL Schools Rugby Football Association (SLSRFA) after a disagreement at a meeting held with Director General of Sports KD Ruwanchandra yesterday. The general secretary of SLSRFA confirmed that he had received the resignation but opted not to accept it. Martis was fed up with director general Ruwanchandra's decision regarding more..

Siriwardena syndrome and the No 3 slot

Nov 28 (ST) Have you ever had the time and inclination to savour the subtle wit of the cartoon strip — the Wizard of Id? Needless to say, my favourite character is Sir Rodney the Chicken-Hearted. Generally, as a matter of fact, he is just called Rodney. He is the king’s chief knight and head of the hapless royal army. He is supposed to be a tall, lanky man of dopey intelligence. He wears a bulletproof vest and carries a spear. more..

Maximum loan-to-value ratio on vehicles reduced to 70% again

Nov 28 (AD) Leasing for motor vehicles allowed up to 70% of total value of vehicle with effect from Dec 1, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka said. The Central Bank on Sept 14 directed banks, finance and leasing companies to follow new leasing rates which have been set at a maximum 70% per vehicle. However, the maximum Loan-to-value (LTV) ratio for vehicle leasing was increased to 90% from Oct 29. Previously potential vehicle owners could lease vehicles at 100% of the value of the vehicle, more..

Political red tape seen as hindering Taiwan-Sri Lanka business links

Nov 28 (Island) Non-recognition of Taiwan travel passports by Sri Lanka's Immigration and Emigration Department hinders development of trade between Taiwan and Sri Lanka. Consequently, Sri Lanka is deprived of huge investment opportunities, a top Taiwan Business Chamber official said. "Non-existence of a Taiwan visa office or embassy in Sri Lanka prevents both countries from developing trade and investment between them. Sri Lanka, which is in a position to attract foreign direct investments more..

'A bowler should be like a managing director of a company'

Nov 28 (CI) I used to get a lot of exercise as a child. We'd always be running here and there and going to beaches far away and riding bicycles up hills with three people clinging on. I was pretty fit from a young age. Some batsmen love the ball coming on, but can't play the slower ones. Others can hit the balls that stop on the pitch, but struggle with the ones that skid on. Working out the opposition batsman & tailoring your strategy more..

Kelani river waste water controversy continues

Nov 28 (SL) Although a company which has been charged of dumping effluents into the Kelani River – Micro Packaging, rejects the allegation stating in defense that the waste is handed over to Holcim Lanka; a official for Holcim Lanka rejected that it receives any effluent from Micro Packaging. Head of Marketing Development and Marketing Expansion of Holcim Pvt. Ltd., Najila speaking said said that no waste sludge from Micro Packaging is received by them. more..

Adopting a province: Impactful devolution & growth

Nov 28 (CT) Two political parties had decided to do the Tango: three persons proposed an idea, and others, accepted it as a good idea. They are now doing a political Tango. Ideas are relevant for compromise; vision, remains a guidance to force an exit of what was defunct and hopeless over the years. It is the demand for compromise and laying standards has now come to be the norm. Reconciliation is a part and parcel of that. At this stage: Development and a compromise, more..

Premechandran urges general amnesty for Tamil detainees

Nov 28 (FT) “I don’t see any difference between the JVP and LTTE – both were armed militants. Both organisations wanted to liberate their people,” stresses Leader of EPRLF and member of TNA Suresh Premechandran. “If a general amnesty was granted to the JVP, why can’t the Govt do the same with Tamil detainees? After all both groups were involved in an armed intrusion,” Premechandran pointed out. more..

Editorial: Need for guarding guards

Nov 28 (Island) Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake is a man with a mission in a hurry. He has taken upon himself the Herculean task of ridding the country of corruption. In local action flicks he achieves unthinkable, heroic feats, but whether he is equal to the task of accomplishing his politico-social mission in the real world is doubtful. Nevertheless, his resolute efforts are to be appreciated. We need more politicians like him to blow the whistle over the loudspeaker, so to speak. more..

Tale of Taxation: A rundown on Budget 2016

Nov 28 (GV) In the wake of the Budget being presented in Parliament, Groundviews spoke to several people, including economists, trade union representatives and govt officials, on their thoughts– from positives to reservations. Senior Economist – Hayley’s Group Deshal de Mel said that the 2016 budget introduced some very progressive measures which went some way towards the structural reforms necessary to drive the Sri Lankan economy forward. ”The proposed investment in more..

Will she be stoned to death?

Nov 28 (CT) A verdict of death has once again been delivered in the great Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and this time it was rather a question of morality than that of murder. The unnamed Sri Lankan woman has been found guilty of fornication and has therefore been sentenced to be stoned to death. Such is the infamous Shari'a law applied in Saudi Arabia. Once again the victim of the archaic and rather ruthless laws of Saudi more..

Awaiting justice for Trinco Five

Nov 28 (SL) The bright white sandy beach in Sri Lankan’s northeastern town of Trincomalee is as beautiful as any urban seafront anywhere. It was midday in October, with the sun too high and hot for tourists and local residents alike. A young Sri Lankan raised in New Zealand told me she had bravedthe undertow for a swim, unaware nor having any reason to be aware of the cold-blooded murders there nearly 10 years ago. On the evening of January two, 2006, while many people more..

Ma Ba Tha & BBS: Deadly combination

Nov 28 (CT) The recent elections in Myanmar marked a significant milestone in the world political landscape with the return of a fully-fledged democracy to a country that had been governed by successive military regimes for over five decades. National League for Democracy (NLD) led by the most globally popular democratic icon Aung San Suu Kyi had a landslide victory against her political rival, though she cannot assume the highest position of presidency due to a constitutional barrier. more..