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Ravi K bemoans Revenue Proposals challenged in court

July 21 (DM) Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, says VAT increase was introduced with the aim of collecting Rs.100 billion in terms of revenue for the govt. However, he said it was regrettable to note the revenue proposals being challenged in court. Q: How do you analyse the present status of economy with reference to the financial situation of the govt? A: If you look at it from a broader aspect, it is a much safer, more..

'I do not intend to contest elections in future'

July 21 (DM) Former Minister Basil Rajapaksa, before he was arrested and remanded, said that the SLFP had virtually been divided at the moment. He said the new political movement braced for any election or referendum at any moment. Q: How do you look to the JO’s future political programme? A: In Badulla, we started a political programme with a long term vision. Before that, we engaged with all our stakeholders and more..

TUs want President to take over Customs

July 21 (DM) Hitting back at Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake on his remarks to go ahead with the new Customs Act despite objections, Customs Trade Unions yesterday urged President Maithripala Sirisena to either remove Minister Karunanayake or to bring the Customs under his purview. Minister said that he would go ahead with the proposed Customs Act and described those opposing the Act as offenders. more..

Bus fares up but commuters’ rights to better service not addressed

July 21 (ST) This week, private bus operators got yet another increase of 6% on fares, but passengers complain that their right to a better service has failed, as always to draw attention during negotiations. Complaints include overcrowded buses and the uncouth behaviour of conductors and drivers who treat passengers like herds of cattle. Critics argue that although there are provisions in Transport Act for negotiations more..

The truth, the whole truth and nothing but

July 21 (DM) Contexts count. Hostage rescue operations are different from wars. Responding to military aggression is different from declaring war on a country on a pretext such as the possession of non-existent weapons of mass destruction. July ’83 is different from July ’16. Clashes between raggers and anti-raggers are different from the clash that took place a few days ago at the Jaffna University. Contexts count. And they frame the assessment of responses. more..

Civilising the civil and public service

July 21 (DM) In Britain and several other Western countries, the civil and public services have to a large extent functioned independently, effectively and beyond party politics. Govts may change but the civil and public service go on to serve the people in line with the policies of the administration. This was one of the gifts or positive features that Britain left behind in Sri Lanka when we became independent in 1948. We saw some distortions or aberrations since 1948 but the major change to more..

PM denies existence of Task Force for National reconciliation

July 21 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said that he was not aware of an institution by the name of Task Force for National Reconciliation. He said so in answer to a question by NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa, who demanded to know whether an institution by the name of Task Force for National Reconciliation had been set up with former President Chandrika Kumaratunga appointed as its head. more..

Mike Hussey confident of Australia's success in Sri Lankan conditions

July 21 (CB) Mike Hussey, the former Australian batsman, believes Australia's inexperience in Sri Lankan conditions will be challenging to deal with but is confident they can replicate the success of their predecessors five years ago. Only three of Australia's 15-man squad have experienced Test cricket in Sri Lanka and eight of their players have never played five-day cricket in the subcontinent. In the past decade, Australia has only won one Test in Asia - against Sri Lanka in Galle 5 years ago. more..

GPS system faulty in most buses

July 21 (Island) Deputy Minister Ashok Abeysinghe told Parliament the govt would launch a special project to rectify the flaws in the GPS system used in buses and enable commuters to get all information about the buses via SMS. Responding to a question raised by JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti, Deputy Minister admitted that there were flaws in the GPS system installed a cost of Rs 61 million in buses. He said the system was functional only in 800 out of 2,085 buses in which it was installed. more..

Committee to probe coal tender bungle

July 21 (CT) Minister Ranjit Siyambalapitiya, informed Parliament CEB had incurred staggering losses due to problems in the coal stocks supplied by company Nobel Resources; and that a 3-member committee has been appointed to investigate in this regard. Minister, citing several examples, said that Nobel Resources had supplied coal at prices higher that index price since 2011, which had resulted in more..

Lankan paddlers win nine out of ten golds: Dominate at South Asian Junior TT

July 21 (DN) Sri Lankan paddlers swept the board winning gold in nine out of ten finals at South Asian Junior Table Tennis Championships concluded in Karachi, Pakistan from July 15-17. Sri Lanka won gold in the four team events – Junior Boys, Junior Girls, Cadet Boys and Cadet Girls and five golds in the individual events – Junior Boys single and doubles, Junior Girls singles and doubles and Cadet Girls singles. The only event that SL were deprived of a gold was in the Cadet Boys final more..

'To keep align with IOC principles: Sports Law will be amended shortly'

July 21 (DN) The Sports Law will be amended shortly according to the principles of the International Olympic Charter, Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara said. He was participating in the debate in Parliament yesterday on several regulations under the Sports Law. The minister said the Sports Law which is in force since 1973 would be revised in order to make it compatible with the basic principles laid out by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). more..

‘Casinos out for investors’

July 21 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said no investor will be allowed to set up casinos in SL. PM said this answering a question when he addressed a Business Forum in Singapore. When discussions were held regarding investment sectors to be promoted in SL in future, one businessman asked PM whether the present govt would encourage the setting up of casino industries in SL as previous regime did in encouraging more..

Ranil urges tri-nation economic convergence

July 21 (hindu) Improving on his 2003 idea of converting south India-Sri Lanka sub-region into a single market, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is now for economic collaboration among his country, Singapore and the five southern States of India. Describing his proposal as a “vision of convergence that is inextricably interwoven with the future of South Asia as a whole,” he said the proposed arrangement had the potential of enhancing economic cooperation among the 3 countries more..

President removes D.V Upul, puts Gunasena

July 21 (FT) President Maithripala Sirisena removed Southern Provincial Councilor D.V. Upul from his position of Southern Provincial Council Fisheries, Livestock, Environment, Electricity and Rural Industries Minister and appointed the UPFA Provincial Councilor H.W. Gunasena for the portfolio. Gunasena assumed his duties yesterday. Upul was on bail after being arrested by the CID in June 2015 over allegations of making several controversial comments including threatening more..

Thajudeen murder: CID says PSD men grilled

July 21 (CT) CID informed Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris that they had questioned, in detail, several PSD officers, who had provided security to Joint Opposition (JO) and SLFP MPs Mahinda Rajapaksa, Namal Rajapaksa and Yoshitha Rajapaksa, in relation to the brutal slaying of former rugby player Wasim Thajudeen. Senior State Counsel Dilan Ratnayake, appearing for the Attorney General (AG), told Court that more..

Former IGP grilled

July 21 (DN) Former IGP Jayantha Wickramaratne was questioned by CID recently in connection with the murder of former Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickremetunga. Prassana Nananaykara who was a Senior DIG and Chandra Wakishta who was a DIG at the time of the murder together with former Mount Lavinia Police SSP Hemantha Adikari were also questioned. CID also hopes to obtain advice from the Attorney General to question Army Intelligence Officer Kandegedera Piyawansa, more..

COPE instructs SLC to submit AG’s report

July 21 (DN) The Committee on Public Enterprise (COPE) instructed Sri Lanka Cricket to submit a report on the Auditor General's report on an institution set up to collect funds. COPE committee summoned the Sports Ministry and Sri Lanka Cricket officials before them yesterday. According to Parliamentary sources the COPE had inquired if an institution had been set up outside the provisions of Sri Lanka Cricket constitution to collect funds to develop cricket in Sri Lanka. more..

Only two of 56 newly appointed RDA consultants have passed GCE A/L

July 21 (CT) Minister Lakshman Kiriella, told Parliament the govt had been predisposed to recruit individuals that assisted the UNP to secure a significant win at the General Election, to posts of consultants to various projects under the RDA. He made these remarks in response to a question posed by JVP MP Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa, who inquired as to how and why a Bhikkhu had been recruited by the RDA as a consultant to more..

SLT improves location based public Wi-Fi Hotspot services

July 21 (Island) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) has improved its post-paid and pre-paid Wi-Fi services by continuously expanding its hotspots coverage in important locations with Wi-Fi hotspots broadcasting SSID: SLT broadband. The company introduced a range of pre-paid options to improve user convenience. Recently, the latest addition of carrier-grade Wi-Fi hotspots to its network went live at the University of Peradeniya. SLT launched the first ever cutting-edge carrier-grade public Wi-Fi more..

Ticket to cricket abyss: Why forget the homegrown

July 21 (ST) Are these some very ominous signs? At the news conference which was held to welcome the Australian cricketers, none of the big guns of Sri Lanka Cricket was present. The most conspicuous being the absence of Jayantha Dharmadasa, SLC’s pillar in charge of international cricket, and the ceremony was chaired by CEO Ashley de Silva. In general terms this should be the case, but, according to the present Sri Lankan culture it does not happen in this manner. more..

Appoint commission to probe Jaffna varsity fracas: Wigneswaran and Thavarajah

July 21 (ENS) C.V.Wigneswaran, Chief Minister of Northern Province, and S. Thavarajah, Leader of Opposition in the NPC, have together asked the govt to set up a full-fledged Commission of Inquiry to conduct an in-depth probe into last Saturday’s clash between Tamil and Sinhalese students in Jaffna University saying that the fracas was a manifestation of deeper problems faced by the Tamils of North Lanka. more..

Maduwantha overlooked

July 21 (CT) SL National Selection Committee announced a 12-member Under-18 squad that will take part in the Second Asian Schools Rugby Sevens Championship in Hong Kong this weekend. S. Thomas' wing three quarter Naveen Henakankanamge will lead the team which also consists of three players each from doubleatitle winners Isipathana College and Trinity College, Kandy. Among the Isipathana players are centre Sumudu Rankothge, scrum half Harith more..

Sri Lankan visit an eye-opener

July 21 (NZH) Whakatane dairy farmer Troy Doherty says spending four weeks in SL as part of a volunteer scheme organised by Fonterra opened his eyes to an industry that is light years behind New Zealand. He was part of a delegate of four farmers selected nationally for a farmer volunteer scheme designed to share knowledge and insights. Fonterra has been operating in SL for more than 35 years - and PM John Key opened Fonterra's new demonstration farm in the country in April. more..

GMOA frowns on Rajitha’s plain packaging move

July 21 (Island) GMOA urged Minister Rajitha Senaratne to discuss with all stakeholders the Health Ministry’s decision to introduce plain packaging instead of the pictorial warnings on 80% of the display area of packets of cigarette. GMOA Secretary, Dr Naveen Zoysa said the Minister should reveal the fora where the issue had been discussed. ‘Plain packaging is practised in Australia and several other countries. more..

‘Coconut-growing project in North and East, most welcome’

July 21 (Island) A special coconut development project in the Northern and Eastern provinces had been inaugurated by Minister Navin Disssnayake, on July 9 costing about Rs. 3000 million. This project is reported to develop infrastructure, model coconut gardens, and regional research and extension stations including human resources. This is welcome news for the coconut industry as the project could bring substantial extent of new land under coconut cultivation in these two provinces more..

CID to reopen probes on Journo attacks

July 21 (CT) CID is planning to revive probes, from whence such inquiries had been stalled, relating to the abduction and assault of two former senior journalists, Upali Tennakoon and Keith Noyahr. CID sources said that, in an effort to revive the investigations, they had already questioned a former DIG, related to the two incidents, last month. CID it is reported had questioned the retired DIG on two separate occasions, before recording statements from him and had uncovered information on more..

And miles to go…

July 21 (FT) This month SL marked the 33rd anniversary of one of the darkest periods in the island’s history. Sparked by a LTTE ambush of soldiers in the North on 23 July 1983, anti-Tamil riots swept across the country, tacitly sponsored by the state; the legacy of a past steeped in discrimination, resentment and majoritarian policymaking that would herald a brutal and bloody future over the next three decades. more..

CA suspends transfer of lady teacher at impugned instigation by Minister

July 21 (FT) Court of Appeal issued an Interim Order suspending the impugned transfer of a lady graduate teacher from Kurenegala to Moneragala district at the alleged malice on the part of the Education Minister. Bench comprising Justices Vijith Malalgoda (President of CA) and Padman Surasena directed to issue notices on the Minister and the Ministry Secretary returnable for 1 August. The aggrieved teacher who was serving at the Wayamba National College of Education, Bingiriya more..

Bank of Ceylon among the top 1000 banks in the world and ranked No. 1 in SL

July 21 (Island) The Banker U.K Magazine revealed The Bank of Ceylon as the No. 1 Bank in Sri Lanka among the World’s Top 1000 Banks in its July 2016 issue. BOC has won many accolades and recognition in the recent past including the title as the Strongest Bank in the country given by the Asian Banker for the strength of its 2015 balance sheet, the Gold Award as the winner of the National Business Excellence Awards Ceremony and being named the No.1 Brand in the country more..

Cultural dance ends in uncultured behaviour

July 21 (DN) Music and dance usually bring people together, but in the case of a welcome procession for first year Science Faculty students at Jaffna Uni, dance has divided students rather than unite them. On Saturday, a clash between two student groups left six students injured, with one in critical condition. The students had fought over which cultural dance; traditional Tamil Nadaswaram or Sinhalese kandyan dance, more..

Editorial: SLFP’s dilemma

July 21 (Island) The SLFP finds itself in a peculiar position. Politically speaking, it is neither fish nor fowl. It is part of the incumbent govt and at the same time it tries to act as an Opposition party. One may call this political cross-dressing, which, however, is not of recent origin. Individual politicians have practised it since Independence and the last govt was full of them. But, it was only after the 2015 general election that a mainstream party adopted it as a policy. more..

Joint opposition’s shadow cabinet: A malignancy beyond cure

July 21 (DM) Joint Opposition has knowingly thrown a challenge at the morality of all decent men and women in Sri Lanka. Announcing a Shadow Cabinet that consists of those who once occupied the most rewarding portfolios of the defeated Mahinda Rajapaksa-regime and whose many dealings are being questioned at various commissions and committees today is simply preposterous and pathetic. The bare audacity to challenge the intelligence of average voter is further proof more..

W A Wijewardena: CB Bond Scam

Think outside the box, the way out

July 21 (DN) It will not be wrong to say that we are a country in a permanent state of crisis, but one that no one can fully explain. Saddled with a constitution that is damned all around, an economy barely moving, simmering racial and other social tensions, leaders only distinguished by their mediocrity, primary institutions which have lost all credibility; a gloom, peculiar to a specific set of circumstances, holds the nation firmly in its grip. We are prisoners of our own minds and creatures of habit. more..

All signs point to a hard grind Test series

July 21 (NS) Sri Lanka hope to bring all the positives gained from their tour of England into the three Test series against Australia which is scheduled to begin with the first game in Pallakele on July 26. Aussies are a force in any form of cricket and do their homework needed to know all about the opposition. It’s no secret that the hosts are recovering from the battering they received in England. However, Sri Lanka coach Graham Ford sees positives from the tour of the UK and told media more..