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Questions raised over Kerawalapitiya LNG 300MW power plant tender

Jun 17 (Island) Energy sector experts have expressed concern over subtle moves to award the Kerawalapitiya LNG 300MW power plant tender to a higher tariff bidder, which they asserted would result in a long-term loss of a staggering Rs. 40 billion. Questions are being raised why a particular bidder offering a Rs. 2 billion higher annual tariff was being considered over and above others on a far more competitive pricing structure beneficial to the country. more..

Assurance from President: Medical specialists put off strike plans

Jun 17 (ST) Sri Lankan medical specialists, planning to withdraw from private practice tomorrow (18) in protest over unfair taxes, have temporarily called off their action following a productive meeting on Friday with President Maithripala Sirisena. “Prez Sirisena requested us to submit tomorrow (18) afternoon a joint letter from the four stakeholders, representatives of whom attended the meeting, detailing our grievances,” more..

Sri Lanka’s Democracy Conundrum

Jun 17 (Island) Violence has no place in the teachings of the Buddha. Yet when violence was unleashed on Kandy’s Muslims, in the name of Sinhala-Buddhism, only a handful of Buddhist monks had the moral courage to speak out. Ven. Galkande Dhammananda Thero was among that handful. Recently he used Buddha’s teachings to enlighten and inform another hot-button topic – how the end of the long Eelam War should be commemorated. more..

If you’re seeking asylum in the US, forget it

Jun 17 (ST) Sri Lankans seeking political asylum in the United States be warned. The US is getting increasingly tougher in providing asylum both on political and religious grounds – and even on grounds of human rights violations in the home country. And if the applicant is found to have ties to a terrorist organization either as a supporter or being forced to work for such an outfit – be it ISIS or the LTTE—the US will reject such applications for asylum. more..

Sri Lanka should not go for any more coal-powered electricity generation

Jun 17 (Island) In an article published in the SUNDAY ISLAND of 7 January 2018, CIMOGG, employing a minimum of technical language, set out several compelling reasons why coal-powered electricity generation is wrong for SL. Eng. Tudor Wijenayake (TW), in an article in the DAILY FT of June 7, 2018, has given much useful additional information including valuable data on costs in this connection. TW reports that, in a note addressed by CEB engineers to its membership, more..

America stops war games in South Korea, starts a new game in Sri Lanka

Jun 17 (Island) The greatest admirer of President Trump is the man himself. No known political figure speaks more highly of one’s own achievements than Donald Trump. In Trump’s own estimate, his greatest presidential achievement could be his Singapore summit meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, even though it may not be enough to qualify him for a Nobel peace prize, that he covets so much if only because Barak Obama was given one for merely being elected as the first non-white American President. more..

Minister suggests extra compensation to include ex-LTTE members and next-of-kin

Jun 17 (ST) A UNP Cabinet Minister wants enhanced compensation paid to Tiger guerrilla ex-combatants who were defeated in the separatist war that ended in 2009 and their next of kin. Ministers last Tuesday discussed a memorandum by Minister D.M Swaminathan for this purpose. He has recommended that compensation to all affected persons, without any discrimination, be paid but he did not stipulate an amount. more..

UN Committee lists missing Lankan among cases for urgent action

Jun 17 (SL) A UN Committee has listed a missing Sri Lankan among cases which require urgent action. The UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances has listed Gopalakrishan Kugachelvam in a list of 500 missing persons which requires urgent action. The Committee published the list of names of the disappeared persons with regard to whom the Committee has requested the State party concerned to take all the necessary measures, including interim measures, to locate and more..

Flood victims’ compensation payments completed in Matara

Jun 17 (SO) The final instalment payment of the compensation to flood victims were handed over yesterday by Minister Mangala Samaraweera. Speaking at the ceremony held in Matara he stated that the every person residing in Matara who was affected by the inclement weather received compensation. “Every person who suffered loss due to the flood in May 2017 has been compensated by the Govt irrespective of their cast, ethnicity, religion or political affiliation,” he said. more..

RTI Commission orders SriLankan to disclose VIP salaries

Jun 17 (ST) SriLankan Airlines top management’s salaries, which have been shrouded in secrecy so far, should be released to the Airline Pilots’ Guild of SL, the Right to Information Commission (RTIC) has ruled. Commission has also ordered the national carrier to disclose the cost of flying training met by the company on behalf of Suren Ratwatte, its former CEO. In addition the Commission has called for the release of more..

The Tamils’ battle against the debt demon

Jun 17 (Hindu) Following prolonged struggles for their military-occupied land and for answers about their disappeared relatives, Tamils living in SL’s north and east are battling a new demon — debt. Almost every family is crumbling under the weight of mounting loans with steep interest rates. What began as sporadic complaints from affected borrowers is turning into a widespread mass struggle, going by the string of protests last week, in Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Mannar & Vavuniya more..

Over 1,500 sacks of airmail stuck at BIA

Jun 17 (DM) Over 1,500 airmail sacks had piled up at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) due to the ongoing postal work stoppage, a spokesman from SriLankan Imports said. The strike launched by postal employees entered its sixth today, disrupting all postal related services. Accordingly, mail sacks were also seen piled up at the Central Mail Exchange (CME) as mail collection and distribution islandwide has come to a standstill as a result of the strike action. more..

Govt hoodwinking people on Knuckles issue: JVP

Jun 17 (CT) The JVP has demanded that the Govt not make false declarations to the country that lands belonging to the Knuckles Climatic Forest have not been provided for private projects and to withdraw the Cabinet Paper which approved the handing over to private entrepreneurs’ lands from the Knuckles forest range. Uva Provincial Council JVP member, Samantha Vidyaratne said that it was confirmed following a tour of more..

Main suspect and 2 others arrested for shooting at Kiriwehera Chief Incumbent

Jun 17 (AD) The main suspect and 2 others have been arrested in Pepiliyana for allegedly attempting to murder Kiriwehera Chief Incumbent by shooting, said the Police. The main suspect of the incident is a person named Asela Lakshman Bandara, who had previously worked at the Mahasen Devalaya at the temple as a Kapurala. Two twin brothers have also been arrested along with Bandara for the same case. The chief incumbent of the Kiriwehera Rajamaha Viharaya Ven. Kobawaka more..

Lonely MRIA awaits stopovers

Jun 17 (ST) SL's loneliest airport, Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) may not have any scheduled flights but still welcomes unscheduled air traffic movement, airport officials said. In 2016 the airport saw about 49 int'l aircraft movements with four non-scheduled domestic aircraft movements and 398 non-scheduled aircraft movements that increased to 176 non-scheduled international aircraft movements and 440 non-scheduled domestic aircraft movements last year, more..

Sri Lanka to remove VAT from hospital bills

Jun 17 (EN) Sri Lanka will remove value added tax from hospital bills from next week,Minister Mangala Samaraweera said in the wake of calls by President Sirisena also to lift the tax. Sri Lanka slammed a 25% value added tax on hospital bills while threatening price controls on private hospital bills and also depreciating the rupee in a bid to boost exports by improving competitiveness which involves destruction of real wages of workers. more..

Postal workers to hold protest march on Monday

Jun 17 (NR) Postal Trade Union Collective says a protest march has been organised for Monday demanding a solution to their demands. Co-convenor of the Collective Chinthaka Bandara said the public has been severely inconvenienced due to the lack of permanent solutions. Bandara attributed the decision to hold a protest march to the failure by authorities to date to address their demands. Collective said 1.2 million letters and parcels have accumulated at post offices island wide more..

Land swindle in Knuckles Range: Ministry sends auditors to inspect site

Jun 17 (DM) The Public Enterprise and Kandy City Development Ministry has sent a team of auditors to inquire into the alleged transfer of 21,000 acres of land in the Knuckles Mountain Range to close associates of government ministers, Ministry Secretary Ravindra Hewavitharana said. He said the auditors were accompanied by officials of the Department of Forest Conservation, Grama Niladharis, Superintendents and officials of the related companies and residents of the area. more..

PC polls unlikely this year: Musthapha

Jun 17 (DM) The elections to six provincial councils are not likely this year because political parties are apprehensive of the outcome following the experience gained at the February local govt polls, Minister Faizer Musthapha said. He said delimitation report has to be debated and approved prior to any elections to the PCs and rejected certain media reports that he had agreed to hold the PC polls under the old system. more..

SLT gets acting head for six months

Jun 17 (ST) After months of being headless, Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) has finally found a CEO, but this acting appointment is yet to be announced to the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), which is a compulsory requirement. Kiththi Perera, earlier SLT Chief Commercial Officer, was appointed acting CEO with effect from June 1, more than two weeks back. Additionally Chief Technology Officer Priyantha Fernandez has been appointed as acting Chief Operating Officer (COO). more..

New set of public procurement guidelines soon

Jun 17 (CT) Sri Lanka is expected to save over 10 per cent of annual public procurement expenditure by strictly adhering to the proposed public procurement guideline by the regulatory body related to public procurement, the National Procurement Commission (NPC), its Chairman Eng. Nihal Wickramasuriya said. Addressing a recent press conference, he revealed that this is an improvement of the procurement guidelines that have been in operation for the last 12 years more..

Govt, CMPort continue discussions on $585 m payment

Jun 17 (ST) The govt this week continued discussions with the Chinese company involved in the Hambantota Port project, which has put on hold the last tranche of US$ 585 million to SL, examining some concessions in terms of tax benefits. Both sides are keen to resolve the matter without any delay, an informed source confirmed, adding that previous sticky issues are unlikely to block the deal and final payment. more..

Sri Lanka to crackdown on Internet fraud

Jun 17 (ST) In the wake of rapidly increasing online financial fraud, Sri Lanka has taken measures to strengthen laws and regulations aimed at preventing computer crimes. The Finance Ministry is working with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in strengthening laws to crack down on Internet financial crimes, a top official of the Treasury said. Anti-money laundering compliance has been enhanced by introducing amendments to the Trust Ordinance, Companies Act, and enactment of more..

Royal retain Schools Rugby League Crown

Jun 17 (ST) Royal won the Schools Rugby League and became the only team to retain the League title. It was a victory for Royal as well as coach Dushan Lewke who steered his p.rotégés to the League title in his first year of coaching. Lewke has proved he is worthy metal, beating Sanath Martis his guru of last year. Martis and Lewke were a force to be reckoned with, winning the coveted Bradby 3 years in a row. It is very unfortunate that Martis was attacked after the match. more..

Sri Lanka deny wrongdoing amid ball-tampering controversy

Jun 17 (CI) Sri Lanka have strongly denied any wrongdoing after being charged with altering the condition of the ball during the St Lucia Test against West Indies. Their players protested the charge - and the subsequent penalty of a ball change and the award of five extra runs to the opposition - by refusing to take the field at the start of the third day's play. The match eventually resumed after a two-hour delay, but more..

'Over 70% of rooms listed online unregistered'

Jun 17 (Island) Star-class city hotels in Colombo are reeling from drastically reduced occupancies resulting from competition from the informal sector. Mr. Lalin Samarawickrema, the Managing Director of Kingsbury PLC, says in the company’s annual report that over 70% of the accommodation on major online booking websites "is actually informal and unregistered homestays, guest houses etc." This websites have a room inventory of around 90,000 for the whole of Sri Lanka, he said. more..

Is Faizer doing a Gamini Lokuge?

Jun 17 (Island) Since the day the Appeal Court provided interim relief by staying Sri Lanka Cricket elections scheduled for 31st of May, Sports Minister Faizer Musthapha has committed some serious blunders and the game of cricket is in very sad state. Instead of appointing an Interim Committee to look after Sri Lanka Cricket, Musthapha appointed a Competent Authority, his Ministry’s Secretary to run the affairs of one of the richest institutions in the country. more..

Gabriel strikes for WI after narrow lead

Jun 17 (CI) Sri Lanka's quicks scythed through the West Indies lower order, and finished only 13 runs behind for the loss of one wicket by stumps. But it was what they did at the start of the day that loomed over this game. For two hours, they refused to take the field, and when they did, it was only under protest. The reason? Match officials had charged them with ball tampering, slapping on a five-run penalty, and more..

Indunil shatters 25-year-old SL record

Jun 17 (CT) Middle distance runner, Indunil Herath shattered the long standing record in the 800m of Sri Lanka, clocking 1 minute 47.14 seconds in Kenya yesterday afternoon. Indunil, who trains in Kenya was placed second in the Kenyan President’s Cup when clocking this record breaking time. He broke the 25 year old SL record of 1:47.56 seconds set by Ranjith Subasinghe back in 1993 South Asian Games. The South Asian Games gold medalist skipped the Commonwealth Games, more..

Hooked on cricket

Jun 17 (SO) Girls from Devapathiraja College in Ratgama, Galle became unsung heroes this year when they emerged as the inter school girls cricket tournament champions with a team of extremely talented hopefuls. One of the promising stars of the school, Kaveesha Dilhara, is already part of the Sri Lanka team playing as an off spinner. “I love cricket from my childhood but I didn’t play cricket at home. I only got the opportunity at my school when I played at the school sports meet at the age of 12”, more..

International community still bothered about Rajapaksas?

Jun 17 (CT) Prez Sirisena has alleged that certain interested parties were interfering in the investigations into the CB Bonds scam, by exerting undue influence on law enforcement authorities. He made these revelations, in an interview, in response to a question as to whether high level political interference could be inferred from a statement he made recently, where he had said that he was being stifled and not being allowed to carry out more..

2 Sri Lankan women making news overseas

Jun 17 (Island) I hand out kudos, (or should it be bouquets?) to the women of Sri Lanka across the board, especially to those with political or administrative power for their apparently clean hands and dedicated service to the nation. While accusations of receiving millions from companies affiliated to Perpetual Treasuries Ltd are being flung around with excuses of not knowing who signed the gift cheques, and do-good sleuths salivating to reveal more MPs’ names, we women are more..

SL - Singapore FTA: What has the govt committed this country to?

Jun 17 (Island) There is mounting disquiet in the country over the free trade agreement that the govt has signed with Singapore. What they have signed with Singapore is not an agreement that is restricted to trade in goods, but a more comprehensive arrangement that involves the trade in services as well. When this govt tried to sign a similar agreement with India, they encountered stiff resistance from the public and have all but jettisoned the idea. But this FTA with Singapore which more..

Satana

Balm for the soul

Jun 17 (ST) Kussi Amma Sera came running into the sitting room, shouting, Kokatath Thailaya Mahattaya enava gate-eka langa (Kokatath Thailaya Sir is near the gate)”. For a moment, I was completely confused then realised she was referring to Sando Kumar, my Kokatath Thailaya (remedy for all ailments) friend who drops in occasionally for a chat and provides a soothing balm for aching joints, before he leaves. Unlike most of us who’ll run to a doctor for the slightest ailment, more..

Ambassadorial swing and miss

Jun 17 (ST) My Dear US Ambassador Atul, I thought I should write to you because everyone is talking about you when you are about to leave us after spending several years in Paradise. All those years, hardly anyone knew your name and your presence was not felt but all of a sudden, you have become the hot topic of conversation. The reason for that seems to be a meeting you had with Mahinda maama. At that meeting you are reported to have made your thoughts known about Mahinda more..

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