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Sri Lankan shares edge down; budget proposals a concern for firms

Dec 4 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares edged down on Friday, hovering near an eight-month closing low, on worries that the new budget proposals would hit earnings of financial firms. Investor sentiment was also dented following PM Ranil Wickremesinghe's warning on Wednesday of lower economic growth in 2016 due to the global slowdown. The main stock index ended 0.16 percent weaker at 6,869.56. On Wednesday, it closed at its lowest level since March 31 at 6,862.79. more..

Those who shout now were silent during my regime: MR

Dec 4 (DM) Former President and MP Mahinda Rajapaksa who spoke in Parliament for the first time since his election as an MP said that some who allege about wrongdoings during his regime remained silent then. Some of them were even ministers in my Cabinet, he said. Mr. Rajapaksa who responded to a statement by his successor Maithripala Sirisena that 12,000 LTTE members were released during previous regime said more..

Former OIC Narahenpita arrested by BC

Dec 4 (AD) Former OIC of the Narahenpita police Chief Inspector M.G.U.D. Gunathilake has been arrested by the Bribery Commission, Director General of the Bribery Commission said. The arrest has been made in connection with the earlier incident where Crime OIC of Narahenpita Police was arrested while soliciting a bribe of Rs 2.5 million. OIC of the Crimes Unit of Narahenpita Police Station was arrested by the bribery commission on Nov 27 while soliciting a bribe of Rs 2.5 million. more..

Video: Gotabaya among 5 grilled by CoI

Dec 4 (AD) Former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa appeared before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (CoI) investigating large-scale corruption to give a statement this morning. Rajapaksa arrived at the commission at around 9.00am to participate in the proceeding of the probe into the Rakna Lanka company, a spokesman said. Meanwhile four former navy officers were also summoned by the commission today to give evidence pertaining to the investigation. more..

'Ex-President did not take action against corrupt elements around him'

Dec 4 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena said in Parliament yesterday that under previous govt some people had fraudulently obtained funds even when wreaths were sent for funerals from the Presidential Secretariat. That practice had ended on Jan 8, he said. "I do not say that the former President did so. It was those who were around him who were engaged in helping themselves to public funds. more..

Controversy still surrounds Ravi K’s BIL’s SriLankan Airlines London job

Dec 4 (CT) The controversy surrounding Minister Ravi Karunanayake‘s lined up SriLankan Airlines Sales Manager (UK) job for his brother in law Gihan Malalasekara has taken another twist according to another applicant who contacted Colombo Telegraph. The applicant who requested to remain anonymous said that he had initially received an email from Anne Seneviratne the Talent Resourcing Manager of the island’s national carrier on the 23rd of Oct 2015, informing him to more..

Rape and murder suspect hospitalised after taking poison

Dec 4 (Island) The suspect wanted in connection with the rape and murder of an 18-year-old garment factory employee at Tekkekele, Dambagolla in Mahiyangana was admitted to Mahiyangana hospital yesterday after swallowing poison when a team of policemen surrounded his house to take him into custody yesterday morning. The police used a sniffer dog to trace the suspect who had left his slippers behind. Police said the suspect had been charged for a similar offence previously. more..

Canadian party unaware guest was being deported for LTTE links

Dec 4 (NP) Ontario Progressive Conservatives said they were unaware that a guest they entertained at Queen’s Park last week was being deported for being a member of a terrorist organization. Last Thursday, MPP Jack MacLaren stood in the Ontario legislature to welcome a group of friends and guests he said had come to hear him read a statement about those killed during the Sri Lankan civil war. more..

More women in LG bodies next year

Dec 4 (CT) The Draft Bill seeking to ensure a 25% female representation in local councils will be presented in Parliament in early January, Deputy Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Govt, Karunarathna Paranawithana said. He added that the proposal made by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to amend the Local Authorities Elections (Amendment) Act to ensure 25% female representation in local councils was approved by the Cabinet last Wednesday. more..

Chameera takes 3 as NZ BP XI openers shine

Dec 4 (CI) Fast bowler Dushmantha Chameera's 3 for 52 and opener Dimuth Karunaratne's 93 were the highlights in another modest day for the Sri Lankans in their three-day tour match in Queenstown. The NZC President's XI took a 95-run lead at the end of day two, having dismissed the Sri Lankans for 193, then hitting 288 for 7 on the back of a brisk 179-run opening stand. Ben Smith struck 81 from 108 balls, and Bharat Popli made 79 from 137. The Sri Lankans began the day on 97 for 5, more..

Video: GMOA to decide on next step after meeting Finance Minister

Dec 4 (DM) Even though the outcome of the meeting with the President and the Health Minister was positive, the GMOA said today its future action would be decided based on the outcome of the next meeting with PM and Finance Minister between Dec 10 and 19. GMOA Secretary Dr. Nalinda Herath said the President’s response was positive when they pointed out that most of their concessions had been cut down in the budget. more..

No lax in extra security checks for Maldivians at BIA

Dec 4 (Haveeru) Despite assurances by Maldivian authorities, Sri Lanka customs are continuing to heavily screen the luggage of Maldivians travelling to Colombo. Maldivians who travelled from the Emirates Airline flight last Saturday had been held back at the airport for hours during the security check. However, Customs in a statement said its chief Mohamed Junaid had met with his SL counterpart and finance minister over tightened security measures at BIA for Maldivians. more..

Unregistered docs at private hospital: IUSF

Dec 4 (CT) Inter-University Students' Federation (IUSF) lodged a complaint with the Inspector General of Police claiming that there are 13 illegal medical practitioners attached to a private hospital in Malabe. Convener of the IUSF Lahiru Weerasekara told Ceylon Today that a representative of the federation and a student of the University of J'pura lodged the complaint claiming that they had proof of many unregistered medical practitioners treating patients at this hospital. more..

Sri Lanka rights body asks police to compensate student victims

Dec 4 (EN) Sri Lanka's Human Rights Council in a landmark decision ordered compensation for nine students who had been unlawfully assaulted by police who were found guilty of exceeding their powers. Students had been subjected to cruel and degrading treatment in violation of their rights guaranteed by the constitution as well as international human rights covenants, the commission noted. more..

9 women arrested for polluting Kelani River

Dec 4 (DM) Nine women were arrested by the Peliyagoda Police Marine Division today on charges of throwing garbage, waste water and other effluent substances into the Kelani River. Police said those arrested were residents of Henamulla and Thotalanga and the arrests were made during a raid carried out by the Marine Division. The women were released on police bail, but will be produced before the Maligawatta Magistrate on Dec 7. Recently, 23 people including 13 women were arrested more..

SB on the footsteps of Basil

Dec 4 (LT) The Yahapalana govt that came to power on 8th Jan, appointed the Accountant of National Housing Development Authority Dammika Gunawardene as the Acting Director General of the controversial Divi Neguma Development Department. Minister of Social Empowerment & Welfare S.B. Dissanayake abolished this appointment today and appointed former Director General of Samurdhi Commissioner General’s Department Ms. Chandra Wickremesinghe. more..

Video: DNA confirms its Thajudeen’s body

Dec 4 (DM) The Genetech Laboratory at Kitulwatte in Borella has confirmed that the DNA samples removed from the remains exhumed from a grave sited at the Dehiwala Jumma Mosque Burial Grounds were those of murdered rugby player Mohamed Waseem Thajudeen. The report filed by the Laboratory Director states that the tests carried out on the DNA samples had matched with the blood samples obtained from Thajudeen's mother more..

No pressure on govt to sign Rome Statute

Dec 4 (CG) The govt says it is not under any pressure to sign the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC). PM Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament today that even the United States has not signed the Rome Statute. “No one can put pressure on us and no one has put pressure on us,” he said. The Rome Statute of the ICC (often referred to as the International Criminal Court Statute or the Rome Statute) is the treaty that established the ICC. more..

Appointing Karuna as SLFP VP was a good move: President

Dec 4 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena today said appointing former LTTE member V Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman as a minister and as a SLFP Vice President was the right decision. He said instilling ethnic extremism in the minds of the people is a dangerous move. The President made this point by stating that extremism is being inflicted in the minds of the people by certain forces that make false allegations against the govt on the steps it had taken to release those who are held more..

'India, US gave navy intelligence to fight the LTTE'

Dec 4 (DM) India and the US gave intelligence information to the navy to help fight the LTTE at sea, Govt revealed in Parliament today. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said that he obtained intelligence assistance from overseas to defeat the LTTE and former President Chandrika Kumaratunga and also former President Mahinda Rajapaksa continued to obtain such intelligence assistance. more..

Yahapâlana may attract more protests

Dec 5 (CT) The former Commissioner of the SL Human Rights Commission Dr Prathiba Mahanamahewa of Colombo University Law Faculty delivering a lecture on Tuesday at a symposium for journalists on transitional justice at Sri Lanka Press Institute revealed one of his personal experiences during the Geneva engagements, a couple of years ago “During thick of activities and negotiations, we received a text message saying – Wanathe Sunil is missing in Sri Lanka. more..

Govt cannot hold persons under PTA

Dec 5 (CT) Mr. Chairman, I am happy to start the Debate, on which a Cut has been moved by the Hon. Anura Kumara Dissanayake. We are discussing the Votes of His Excellency the President, the Office of the PM, Judges of the Superior Courts, the Office of the Cabinet of Ministers and of several Commissions which have in terms of the 19th Amendment, been appointed in recent times. We are extremely happy that we are in the position to debate the Votes on these more..

People-friendly: Human Rights

Dec 5 (SO) Leading human rights activist and legal academic Dr. Deepika Udagama as the new Chair of the Human Rights Commission says their objective is for the Commission to be proactive and more people- friendly to bring out the hidden human rights issues of the marginalized and the grief stricken. She says their role will be different and that it will be devoid of political interference. “But whatever it is, you have to work according to more..

The importance of honouring pledges

Dec 12 (SL) It is no doubt that Mahinda Rajapaksa is the only leader who made a physical development in the country in the recent past. During his time the country was driven by the better known Mahinda Chinthanaya and hardly known Unstoppable Sri Lanka 2020 which can be considered as the implementation manual of the Mahinda Chinthna policy programme. It is also known that the Rajapaksa brothers spearheaded the mega development projects in an extreme speed. more..

Helping working class women: Ashila Niroshini Dandeniya

Dec 12 (SL) The working class women of Sri Lanka have always been frowned upon by those of a higher class. These women, who don’t have good educational backgrounds join the Free Trade Zone and is given work that is sometimes not suitable for them. These women suffer greatly as the pay is not high, the work conditions are poor, and they face great difficulty when it comes to providing for their families as the wages are insufficient, some of these women have been forced to look in to other more..

Whom does govt get its science advice from: Quacks, cronies or scientists?

Dec 12 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena says the new govt’s objective is to take the ideas and proposals of the scholars and intellectuals to utmost consideration for the forthcoming programme to build the country. He pointed out that the knowledge and experience of the scholars are important in the economic, political and cultural reforms in the country. (President’s address to 30th annual summit more..

Editorial: Fish or cut bait!

Dec 5 (Island) No sooner had Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake claimed that there were journalists among 300 outsiders who had benefited from Avant Garde largesse, than Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said a dozen journalists had been on SLPA payroll. Both Ranatunga and Ramanayake are political matadors known for their pugnacity. They are not known for pulling punches. But, they have, strangely, stopped short of naming names, for reasons best known to themselves. more..

Understanding Islamic terrorism

Dec 5 (Island) Many Muslims may find the above title objectionable on the ground that the term Islamic terrorism is completely meaningless. At the core of terrorism is the killing of innocent people and Islam is most emphatically against that, so that Islamic terrorism amounts to a contradiction in terms. Furthermore, many Muslims would point out that non-Muslims who use the term Islamic terrorism are doing so hypocritically because they never spoke of Catholic terrorism more..

ලාල්කාන්තගේ සාහිත්žයමය දේශනය

Corporate bigwigs honored at Annual Report Awards

Dec 5 (NS) One of Sri Lanka’s leading companies, Diesel & Motor Engineering PLC (DIMO) won the coveted ‘Cyril Gardiner Memorial Trophy’ Gold Award for Overall Excellence in Annual Financial Reporting at the grand finale of the 51st Annual Report Awards Competition, organized by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka. The silver award was won by John Keells Holdings PLC, while Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC won the bronze. more..

Ease of Doing Biz Forum gets 260 submissions for simplifying procedures

Dec 5 (FT) Ease of Doing Business Forum has received 260 submissions for simplifying approval procedures and other issues, the Finance Ministry revealed this week. “Up to now, 260 queries have been submitted through the Ease of Doing Business Forum and the Ease of Doing Business Unit (EODB Unit) of Ministry of Finance has successfully managed to resolve most of the issues raised by the business community,” Ministry said, following the conclusion of the 5th Forum this week. more..

Sri Lanka customs invites rights holders to fight counterfeits

Dec 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka Customs invited right holders of products to come forward to help authorities to stop importing counterfeit goods to SL. Ashorf Samzudeen, deputy superintendent of SL Customs said they can fight against counterfeit and piracy only with the corporation of right holders, law enforcement agencies and legal professionals. “We are at the boarder control to stop importing counterfeit goods to Sri Lanka. more..

Jamail sizzles as Lanka Lions turn on style at Dubai Rugby Sevens

Dec 5 (E24|7) Lanka Lions are turning on the style with their dazzling brand of rugby to live up to their billing as title favourites in the Gulf Men's Open segment of the Dubai Rugby Sevens. The Lankan side are on the cusp of glory after racking up over a century of points to top their pool. Bolstered by the presence of two Fijians, the Lankan expatriates in UAE are keeping the Lion flag flying high. They may not be the centre of attraction having to showcase their skills on the fringes of a tournament more..

‘Climate conducive to improving Japan-SL economic relations’

Dec 5 (Island) Text of speech made by Minister Sarath Amunugama, at Japanese National Day function held in Colombo , representing govt of Sri Lanka. Today, Sri Lanka's robust economic growth and development policy provide enormous potential for further enhancement of economic relations between our two countries, especially in trade, investment and tourism. Sri Lanka's total trade turnover with Japan has shown a threefold increase during the period of 2009-2014. more..

SOEs to be listed next year

Dec 5 (CT) Govt is planning to list a few large state-owned enterprises (SOEs) on the Colombo bourse by early next year PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. Speaking at a ceremony to mark the Colombo Stock Exchange's (CSE's) 30th anniversary celebrations which was held at the CSE premises yesterday, he further said that Sri Lanka may have to bring a Contingencies Liability bill to parliament sometime next year to fulfil more..

Sangaree makes chessboard move

Dec 5 (CT) In response to the TULF Leader V. Anandasangaree's offer to accept the leadership of the party, Northern Provincial Council's Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran has pointed out that the unity of all Tamil political parties was the need of the hour to resolve the political and the humanitarian issues of the North and East. The post-Parliamentary poll issues between the Northern Chief Minister and the TNA leadership were considered a storm in a tea cup. more..

Sri Lanka equity earnings down 6% in Q3 on diversifieds, telcos

Dec 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka equity market earnings declined 6% in the third quarter of this year largely due to lower earnings in diversified and telecommunications sectors, CT CLSA said in a research report. A slowdown in banking, finance and insurance added to this performance, the securities firm said. On a twelve-month basis, however, motors, manufacturing and healthcare showed strong earnings growth. The diversified sector reported 10% lower earnings in 3rd quarter, more..

‘Don’t spread racism to achieve narrow political gains’

Dec 5 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena requested the politicians not to spread narrow racist ideas among the Sinhala Buddhist community to achieve their narrow political gains. He made these observations participating in the debate on the expenditure of the Defence Ministry in Parliament today (4), in his capacity as the Defence Minister. President emphasized that even though some extremists spread rumours on more..

Admiral Somathilake Dissanayake gives evidence before PRECIFAC

Dec 5 (DN) Former Navy Commander Admiral Somathilake Dissanayake giving evidence before the PRECIFAC said even though the Navy had defended Sri Lankan territorial waters during the war, the LTTE were successful in gaining entry with firearms and other equipment. "Though the Sri Lankan Navy had fulfilled its duty, the navy had not been able to eradicate the LTTE activities of transporting arms by sea," he added. Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa more..

Sri Lankan cuisine: Food festival opens to dance performances

Dec 5 (ET) A six-day Sri Lankan food festival kicked off on Friday with traditional dance performances and lighting of oil lamps. The dances performed at the ceremony included Pooja dance, a homage to the goddess Sarsawati; Thelme dance, dedicated to the devil deo; and the Hansa dance, featuring dancers dressed up as swans. The festival is a joint effort by the Sri Lankan High Commission and the Pearl Continental Hotel. Speaking at the ceremony, EAS Wijayanthi Edirisinghe, more..