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'US resolution has to be renegotiated'

Jun 18 (CT) Minister Vasantha Senanayake said this week that Sri Lanka has to renegotiate the US-sponsored Resolution as some of the clauses in it were not practical to implement and that some needed Constitutional Amendments. He also said that the Prevention of Terrorism Act was far too Draconian and had to be replaced with another, but that has to be done in such a manner which will not compromise National security more..

Editorial: Lucky criminals

Jun 18 (Island) Prisons are hellholes only for the poor. Only the inmates without the wherewithal to grease the palms of those who matter in state pens languish behind bars. Their well-to-do counterparts with underworld and political connections find jails home away from home with corrupt prison officers being at their beck and call. We have reported some instances where wealthy drug barons, serving sentences, threw parties inside prisons with expensive spirits flowing. more..

Mavericks still grab headlines

Jun 18 (SO) Most govts in recent Sri Lankan history have had their mavericks. They are gaffe prone, engage in outlandish acts that question their suitability to serve as public representatives and, in general, give their Govts a bad name. The Jayewardene Govt had one in Vi Ja Moo (as he preferred to be called) Lokubandara and the Premadasa govt had A.J. Ranasinghe. Both Chandrika Kumaratunga and Mahinda Rajapaksa were blessed with the company of more..

Importance of Reparations in post-war SL

Jun 18 (SO) This week the Cabinet approved draft legislation to establish an Office for Reparations in adherence to the commitments made by the Govt in 2015. Unfortunately, there is a lack of public knowledge about what reparations are, despite successive Govts providing various forms of reparations over the years. At the time of writing, there was also limited public information on the draft legislation approved by Cabinet. more..

For a true Vision 2025

Jun 18 (CT) We may have read many definitions of capitalism. Capitalism according to my Oxford English Dictionary is an economic system in which the production and distribution of goods depend on invest on private capital and profit-making. Capitalism is a social order where profit regulates the financial life and the social structure. “Capitalism – also called Free Market Economy, or Free Enterprise Economy, economic system, dominant in the Western world since more..

Hulft’s Dorp or Kafka’s Dorp?

Jun 18 (CT) Traitors in Black Coats Flocked Together, was the caption of a news item that appeared on 9th July 2009 in the official Web site of the Ministry of Defense. News story identified the five lawyers who represented the Sunday Leader newspaper at a hearing in a Mount Lavinia court as having a history of appearing for and defending LTTE guerrillas. It carried pictures of three of those lawyers. In addition, the story did something that was remarkably original in our judicial history. more..

Sri Lanka housemaid underpaid for 8-years in Saudi Arabia

Jun 17 (EN) A Sri Lankan housemaid who had worked for eight years in Saudi Arabia without getting the agreed salary had won 64,000 riyals (17,000 US dollars) as backwages, a statement said. Lalitha Ranjini from Ratnapura, Sri Lanka had gone to work in Saudi Arabia in 2009, and her family members had complained to authorities in Sri Lanka that they could no longer contact her. more..

Chandimal charged with altering condition of ball

Jun 17 (CI) Sri Lanka skipper Dinesh Chandimal has been charged for breaching Level 2.2.9 of the ICC Code of Conduct that relates to changing the condition of the ball. On Saturday (16), Chandimal and his teammates refused to take the field after the umpires found them guilty of shining the ball wrongly. The match officials for the ongoing second Test between the Windies and Sri Lanka, Ian Gould and Aleem Dar, decided to change more..

RTI exposure reveals US$ 8.2 billion loans from China during past 12 years

Jun 17 (ST) Sri Lanka has obtained loans from China amounting to more than Rs.1,029 billion (US $8.2 billion) in the period 2005 to 2017, information obtained by the way of a Right to Information (RTI) application revealed. The loans have been taken from the China Development Bank Corporation and the Export-Import Bank of China and have been for major projects such as highways, power plants, water supply and sewerage schemes. more..

Procurement of oncology drug: Second highest bidder wins the day at Rs. 135,900 per vial

Jun 17 (Island) The procurement of another fresh stock of the controversial Russian-made oncology drug Trastuzumab (Herceptin) at a cost of more than Rs. 75 million has caused ripples within industry circles over claims that a particular bidder was favored to purchase 557 vials at the second highest bid price of Rs. 135,900 each. The lowest price quoted for a WHO GMP/US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved, time-tested, more..

Mixed signals on Sinharaja elephant relocation

Jun 17 (SO) The issue surrounding the relocation of the two last remaining wild elephants in the Sinharaja forest reserve has become a political battle of sorts, environmentalists claim. While commending President Sirisena’s recent decision to temporarily halt a possible relocation till a thorough scientific research is conducted by experts, they say the Minister and Deputy Minister of Sustainable Development and Wildlife have inform the Wildlife Department to carry on with the relocation of the elephants. more..

Navy puts final touches to Corruption Court building

Jun 17 (SO) Nearly two months after Parliament enacted amendments to the Judicature Act to set up three special High Courts to hear corruption cases and cases of complex financial crime, the first court will be ready to commence hearings by July 4, with SL Navy personnel working feverishly and round-the-clock to complete reconstruction work and refurbishment of the old building that was previously used as a traffic court in Hulftsdorp, in time for the opening session. more..

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..

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