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Motor traders in a tug of war over state vehicle tender policy

Sep 20 (ST) SL Govt has been caught up in the middle of a tug of war between franchise motor dealers and used car dealers in a bitter dispute over the current vehicle procurement policy for state institutions. Vehicle Importers Association of SL (VIASL – mostly used car sales) is lobbying hard for the removal of the present monopoly enjoyed by automobile franchise dealers (local agents of brand new vehicles) more..

Sri Lanka businesses likely to suffer big losses from climate change: eco lawyer

Sep 20 (EN) SL businesses are likely to suffer losses from the effects of climate change with hotels vulnerable to sea level rise and plantations and agribusinesses to changes in rainfall, an environmental law expert said. Climate change will have devastating impacts on citizens, businesses and the national budget, Attorney-at-Law Lalanath de Silva told a forum held by the SL Business and Biodiversity Platform, known as Biodiversity SL. “The cost runs into millions, if not billions, more..

Sarvodaya has launched a new national awakening!

Sep 20 (CT) Sarvodaya is celebrating its 60th Anniversary this year with various new activities and strengthening their old ones. One of the important initiatives is the launching of the country wide Deshodaya or the national awakening programme. Although the name or even the programme is not completely new, it has taken a new focus and direction with a view to resist and overturn the existing corrupt political system, political culture and practices. more..

Nagananda Kodituwakku

Flying nuts

Sep 20 (Island) President expressing his disdain over the quality of nuts offered on SriLankan Airlines this week brought back memories of my first flight. I was 20 years old, and it was 21 years ago. Undergraduate study in Delhi beckoned, but I was more excited about something else. Listening to my parents and my elder sister speak of flying growing up, and reading copiously on the dynamics and science of flight ever since I can remember, I was far more excited about the passage to Delhi by, more..

Singapore –Model, Rival or Intruder?

Sep 20 (Island) Singapore has recently been much in the news. Should we imitate, rival or insulate ourselves? These deserve to be examined closely as they are more complex than they may first seem. One wonders how many of those who speak of Lee Kwan Yu as the architect of modern-day Singapore have an acquaintance with his two monumental works entitled The Singapore Story and From Third World to First. They are highly instructive and give a fine insight into autobiographical detail and more..

Sack captain, sack coach but don't talk about real changes

Sep 20 (CI) Right. Okay. This is pathetic, isn't it? Knocked out of the Asia Cup basically before it has even begun. A big 91-run loss to Afghanistan, following an even bigger 137-run pasting by Bangladesh. Appalling. Someone needs to be held accountable for this garbage. How far Sri Lankan cricket has fallen. This is beyond embarrassing. Contracts must be torn up. Changes must be made. Heads surely have to roll. more..

Fundamental problem of currency depreciation

Sep 20 (DN) The currency value is a frequently discussed topic among financial media, opposition political corners and policy-makers in almost all countries without. The most in emerging market economies (EMs) raises grave concerns on the depreciation of the currency and its adverse effects on the economy and public as currency appreciation is not generally heard in many countries like Sri Lanka. The frequently raised concerns over the currency depreciation are the increase in more..

In quest of Perfect Presidential candidate

Sep 20 (DN) Even if there is a period of fifteen months before the next presidential elections, the run up to the poll appears to have begun already with the major political parties eyeing the contest and planning their strategies from now on. A hint of this came from President Maithripala Sirisena himself a few days ago when he declared at a public event in Nivithigala that the presidential election, due in January 2020 will not be held “even one day earlier”. more..

Writing about a world he knows all too well

Sep 20 (ST) Close without touch. That was the only love permitted, though it was deeply felt among our own. We borrowed idioms and shopped American verses. In our caustic speech we threw out platitudes, in our guts our feisty wit. It was like we lived upon jagged teeth in the dark, in this bone-cold London city. A young nation of mongrels. Constantly measuring ourselves against what we were supposed to be, which was what? more..

SL to tell UN: We will do it our way

Sep 20 (CT) Sri Lanka is gradually asserting itself to tell the international community that solving the internal issues of the country and its citizens is our duty and responsibility, and although we expect and welcome the support of the world, we would find our own solutions at our own pace. At the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly on 25 September, President Maithripala Sirisena will announce a set of new proposals for consideration at the March 2019 Session of the UNHRC. more..

Polls in near future?

Sep 20 (CT) Whatever his intention, motive, and manoeuvrability is, President Sirisena has done the nation some good by sealing political speculation about possible Presidential Polls in Jan 2019, one year ahead of schedule. If it were true, it would have driven the nail onto one more of the ruling GNU’s purported poll promises from 2015 – they would not impose fresh elections on the nation, as his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa was to do. Fair enough, Candidate Sirisena had vowed more..

‘Efforts underway to suspend Singapore FTA’

Sep 19 (NR) MP Venerable Athuraliye Rathana Thera says efforts will continue to suspend the Singapore-SL Free Trade Agreement together with civil societies and professionals. Speaking to media after calling on the Chief Prelate of the Malwathu Chapter Venerable Rathana Thera said the Chief Prelate was informed on the impact the Singapore has on the country’s sovereignty, culture, economy and security. more..

Cabinet approves declaration of Thripitakaya as national heritage

Sep 19 (DM) Cabinet of Ministers on Tuesday gave approval to declare Thripitakaya, which includes Buddhist teachings, as a national heritage. The Cabinet Paper in this regard was submitted by President Maithripala Sirisena, Buddha Sasana Minister Gamini Jayawickrama Perera and Higher Education and Cultural Affairs Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe. Accordingly, Buddha Sasana Ministry was vested with the power to oversee the reprinting of the Thripitakaya and its related matters. more..

Sri Lanka to buy Spanish ocean cleaner

Sep 19 (DM) Mahaweli Development and Environment Ministry would buy a high tech ocean cleaning vessel through Spanish funds in near future, Deputy Minister Ajith Mannapperuma said. “The vessel is capable of cleaning waste in saline water,” he said. The ship would be bought following a request made by the Mahaweli Development and Environment Ministry. He said the Ministry hoped to use the ship in special projects to clean 14 tourist beaches and to upgrade them among more..

Thai-Sri Lankan FTA to be concluded by 2020

Sep 19 (NMM) Negotiations on a Thailand-SL free trade agreement (FTA) would be concluded by 2020, Auramon Supthaweethum, director-general at the Dept of Trade Negotiations, told a press conference. Thailand will host the second Thai-Sri Lanka FTA negotiations from today until Friday. The first meeting was hosted by the SL govt in July when the two countries discussed brief outlines of the FTA, Auramon said. more..

Sri Lanka slaps 100% LC margins on car imports amid rupee fall

Sep 19 (EN) Sri Lanka has slapped a 100% margin required on import letters for credit for vehicle imports as the rupee fell to a new low of 167 to the US dollar. "The decision to impose the margin deposit requirement is based on recent developments which, if not addressed, could threaten macroeconomic stability," central bank said. As of Wednesday central bank was still injecting cash in the market at around 8% about 50 basis points below the ceiling policy rate. more..

Sri Lanka women’s suffer narrow loss in the 1st T20 game

Sep 19 (SLC) SL women’s team lost the 1st T20 played against the visiting Indian Women’s team by 13 runs with 3 balls to spare, as they were all out for 155 runs in 19.3 overs. Chasing a target of 169 to win the game, Lankans started well with Yasodha Mendis and Captain Chamari Atapattu going for a flying start. Mendis in particular was in flying form, as she raced to 32 runs from 12 balls, which included five boundaries and a six. Mendis fell in the third over, when the score was on 39. more..

Flop of Asia: SL slammed after early exit

Sep 19 (AFP) SL newspapers and fans lambasted the national Cricket team on Tuesday after the former champions were dumped out of the Asia Cup by up-and-coming Afghanistan. The flop of Asia, ran the private Daily Mirror’s headline, while the state-run Daily News said one-day Cricket had hit a nadir. The Island lamented the sad night for Sri Lankan Cricket. Afghanistan demonstrated their rise in int'l Cricket with their 91-run win over SL more..

'Soldiers and Tamil prisoners not equal'

Sep 19 (DM) In reference to the request by Minister Champika Ranawaka to grant a general amnesty to the LTTE cadres and military personnel involved in war-related crimes, the TNA said today that the two groups could not be equated at all. Making his remarks on this matter, TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran told the Daily Mirror that Tamil political prisoners had been arrested and held up for long years. He said their cases were not over. “They are being dragged on,” he said. more..

Govt will not hand over Palaly airport to India: Nimal Siripala

Sep 19 (DM) The govt had not taken any decision to hand over the Palaly domestic airport to India or any other country and said it would be developed in partnership with the Tourism Development Fund and Civil Aviation Authority, Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva said. He told Parliament that not only the Palaly domestic airport but also Higurakgoda, Baticaloa, Koggala, Digana and Trincomlee airports would be developed as domestic airports to cater to the needs of the people. more..

Mahanayakes seek govt intervention to defeat divisive forces

Sep 19 (DN) Mahanayakes of the Malwatte and Asgiriya Chapters called for the govt’s intervention to defeat nefarious forces trying to destabilise the country by creating disputes among the Buddhist community. Mahanayake of the Malwatte Chapter Most Ven. Thibottuwawe Sri Sumangala Thera and Mahanayake of Asgiriya Chapter Most Ven. Warakagdoa Sri Gnanarathana Thera in a letter to the Prez and PM said more..

Sri Lanka to promote ornamental fish industry at village level

Sep 19 (GDI) State Minister Dilip Wedaarachchi says a comprehensive program will be launched island wide at the village level to boost the ornamental fish industry producing ornamental fish that are high in demand globally. He said in parallel exporters and ornamental fish export zones will be establish at district level. Minister made this observation at the inaugural workshop held at the National Aquaculture Development Authority on the preparation of a strategic plan for more..

Speaker reminds MPs of their responsibilities: Maintaining quorum

Sep 19 (CT) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya yesterday urged both, Govt and Opposition, rankers to be mindful of their legislative responsibility as they are bound to maintain quorum in Parliament. While expressing his disappointment over recent incidents where Parliament sessions came to an abrupt end, due to not having a quorum in the House, he urged all MPs to prevent recurrence of such appalling instances in the future. Making an announcement at the commencement of sittings yesterday, more..

Bakery Owners agree to reduce price of bread by Rs 5

Sep 19 (AD) Following a discussion held with Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, Bakery Owners’ Association said that they will be able to bring down the price of a loaf of bread by Rs 5 within several days. Association has guaranteed the Minister to reduce the price of a bread loaf, if the price of wheat flour is brought down, stated Chairman of the Association N.K. Jayawardena. Bakery Owners’ Association held a discussion with the Minister and more..

Sarpaya’s FB account operated by female lawyer

Sep 19 (DN) Attorney General informed the Colombo High Court that a Facebook account belonging to former Sabaragamuwa Provincial Councillor Hasitha Samantha alias Sarpaya who is on death row over a double murder is updated by a female lawyer and her sister. Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peiris appearing for the AG told High Court Judge Champa Janaki Rajaratne that CID investigations conducted so far revealed that this Facebook account had been operated by more..

Minister Sagala Ratnayaka undertakes official visit to the US

Sep 19 (SLE) Minister Sagala Ratnayaka undertook an official visit to Washington D.C. from Sept 12-13. During the visit Minister Ratnayaka met with Chairman Mac Thornberry of the U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee and Chairman Ted Yoho of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific. Minister also met with senior interlocutors of the National Security Council, Dept of State, Dept of Defence, US Agency for International Development (USAID) more..

Special High Court hears Gamini Senarath’s case daily from the 29th of Oct

Sep 19 (GDI) The first case to be taken up by the three-judge bench of the Special Trial at Bar decided today, to hear the case filed by the FCID against Gamini Senarath, who was former president Rajapaksa's chief of staff and Piyadasa Kudabalage, the former chairman of the SL Insurance Corporation, decides to hear the case daily, beginning from 29th of Oct. They are charged with misappropriating SLIC funds by more..

Release Tamil political prisoners: Sampanthan

Sep 19 (NR) Leader of the Opposition R Sampanthan has requested Prez Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe to grant an opportunity to discuss the release of Tamil political prisoners. Opposition Leader made this request in a letter directed to the Prez and the PM. The letter stated that decisions reached during the last meeting with the President have not been implemented yet. Opposition Leader accordingly claimed another round of talks should be held and agreements should be more..

Swarna Pusthaka – Sri Lanka’s richest literary prize presented

Sep 19 (Island) Five Sinhala novelists vied for a purse of Rs 1.25 million – Rs 750,000 to the winner and Rs 100,000 each to the five finalists. Presented annually for the past 11 years by the Sri Lanka Book Publishers’ Association (SLBPA), the Swarna Pusthaka (or Golden Book) award recognises the best work of Sinhala fiction published by a publishing company in the preceding year. The 2018 award was presented at a grand ceremony at the BMICH on Saturday, 15th September. more..

SL rupee falls to new low below 167 to dollar

Sep 19 (EN) Sri Lanka's rupee fell to a new low of 167 to the US dollar dealers said, as the central bank continued to inject cash to money markets around 50 basis points below the ceiling policy rate. The spot US dollar closed at 167.10/30 levels to the green back Wednesday down from 165.90/166.10 levels a day earlier. The spot dollar traded as high as 167.20 levels to the US dollar during the day, market participants said. more..

'Frustrated, but we have to back the team'

Sep 19 (DM) Though frustrated, Sri Lankan fans still have to back the Cricket team and push them to work harder, former cricket Captain Mahela Jayawardena said today. In a tweet, he said, “I can understand the frustration of all Sri Lankan fans and I am also one of you. We still have to back the team and push them to work harder,” “Looking at all the social media jokes and criticism on the team. Yes, they played poorly but let’s not get personal. It’s a sports. more..

Lies, damn lies and unbelievable manipulations of FTAs and New Trade Policy

Sep 19 (FT) According to the media reports, the President, taking into account the concerns of some professional associations, has appointed a Committee of Experts led by Professor W.D. Lakshman to revisit the SL-Singapore FTA and the New Trade Policy (NTP) of SL. As there are many explanations by the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade (MoDSIT) and other independent experts addressing various negative comments on FTA with Singapore, more..

ලංකාවට අවාසි වන සිංගප්පූරු ගිවිසුම

Rohitha permitted to travel overseas

Sep 19 (AD) The overseas travel ban imposed on former Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardena, who is charged over the alleged illegal acquisition of assets, has been temporarily lifted by the Colombo High Court. Presenting submissions at the hearing through a motion, the attorney representing the former Minister informed the court today that his client is supposed to travel to Norway, to attend a workshop on the Norwegian governing system. He further informed that his client needs to travel more..

Remove Food Taxes

Sep 19 (CT) Finance Ministry responding to protests by the trade, has reduced the value added tax (VAT) on fabric imports from 15% to 5%, the Ministry in a statement released on Monday said. Previously, imported fabric was only subject to a Rs 100, per kilo cess, which, however, in Budget 2018, was changed to a flat, 15% VAT, doing away with the cess. The VAT regime for fabric imports was operable from last month. Garment exports, SL’s second largest foreign exchange earner, more..