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Political prisoners to go ahead with fast tomorrow

Aug 7 (CG) Tamil political prisoners have decided to go ahead with a protest fast tomorrow despite a meeting held with TNA yesterday. TNA MP Selvam Adaikalanathan met the prisoners at the Anuradhapura prison. The inmates had handed over a letter to the MP to be handed over to TNA leader R. Sampanthan. In the letter the prisoners had noted that the Govt has failed to keep to its word on the political prisoner issue. Prisoners had staged a similar hunger strike in December last year more..

Would international community adopt hands off policy towards Sri Lanka?

Aug 7 (Hindu) Would the international community end its engagement with Sri Lanka on the Tamil question after March 2017, when UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is scheduled to present a comprehensive report before the UNHRC? Hinting that this could happen, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that int'l community was aware that “country is moving towards the correct direction, giving rights to minorities.” more..

Correcting Sri Lanka’s injustices by law

Aug 8 (ST) With SL’s Right to Information (RTI) law finally certified this week as Act, No 12 of 2016 by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya who remained a rare voice in pursuing what the cynics felt was a fruitless demand for a statutory right to know, a contempt of court law needs to be next on the country’s law reform agenda. We have seen unwelcome developments in regard to media law in the region and elsewhere during these few months, In the Maldives, Govt has proposed a Criminal more..

Does constitution restrict religious freedom?

Aug 8 (CT) A beautiful piece of legislation is seen in Article 10. It is a provision granting absolute freedom of the contents mentioned therein. This freedom is absolute because it does not fall within the purview of the restrictions placed on the exercise of fundamental rights vide. Article 15. It is an entrenched Article. “Every person is entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, including the freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice.” (Article 10). more..

'We knew that Paada Yathra will result in nothing'

Aug 8 (SL) UNP MP Mujibur Rahman claims that Jana Satana Paada Yathra was organised to prevent the govt from taking action against the fraudsters of the previous regime. He said that the whole protest targeted the new constitution. Claiming that govt was taking revenge on the JO members, he called for the govt to stop arresting opposition members. He said that despite all these protests, govt will continue to take action more..

Building inter-ethnic social capital for reconciliation

Aug 8 (CT) The need is true even in the case of the recent student clash at University of Jaffna. Both Sinhala and Tamil students in the Science Faculty sat side by side, perhaps in two groups, in lecture halls and in science labs, interacting with their teachers vertically. But they hardly had horizontal connections among themselves. As Pratheep Kunarthnam writing on the subject asked, “Can any of the authorities explain why except in one or two faculties Tamil-Sinhala students more..

Of that alleged bid to divide Sangha

Aug 8 (Island) Some prominent members of the govt have publicly alleged that there was a sinister attempt by Rajapaksa govt to cause a schism in the Malwatte Chapter. They have called for a special presidential commission to probe the allegation and stringent punishment against the culprits. Joint Opposition claims a plot is being hatched to use the aforesaid allegation to strip former President Rajapaksa of his civic rights. UPFA MP Dullas Alahapperuma has recalled how more..

‘I won’t be a yes-man

Aug 8 (CT) President Sirisena will forgive me and lift my suspension, Puttlam Distrct MP Sanath Nishantha said. Q: What is your opinion about being suspended as a SLFP member? A: I actually think that I should not be suspended because we have a lot of politicians who leave the party and come back. But from the beginning I have been a loyal member of the SLFP. I will remain as a member of SLFP in the future as well and more..

The case against Private Universities

Aug 8 (GV) SL’s tertiary education sector and its resistance to the private sector has become a topic of gleeful conversation over the past week on social media. Some of these conversations have taken the form of a critical talk show and there was also a editorial on the need to at least explore some form of private sector involvement in country’s higher education sector. This attention on State universities reflects a growing demand for the entry of private sector into tertiary education sector. more..

Rationale for VAT protest

Aug 8 (CT) "We just increased the VAT by 4% from 11% imposed by Rajapaksa Govt. Once it was as high as 20%. There is no logical basis for protesting against mere 4% increase. This is not a heavy burden. The Opposition is in an attempt to create a monster out of nothing". This was a part of a speech made by a minister telecast last Sunday. According to the minister, people are protesting against the amendments to Value Added Tax (VAT) as it was increased merely by 4%. more..


Govt and JO yo-yoing on the Colombo Port City seesaw

Aug 8 (ST) No one but a complete numbskull, clueless of the historic rivalry existing between India and China and ignorant of the current power play by both nations in the South Asian region with Lanka at the hub of contention, would have failed to fathom that India was against the Chinese-funded Colombo Port City. Only a nitwit would have thought that India would keep her reservations about the security threat it would pose to her own borders to herself; and not make her opposition to more..

Coconut plantations sell at Rs. 20 while traders market it at Rs. 50

Aug 8 (ST) To ensure pure coconut oil for the consumers, the Coconut Growers Association of Sri Lanka (CGA) is urging the Govt to impose regulations on coconut oil in bottled form with mandatory labelling. Lionel Fonseka, newly elected President, CGA at its 22nd AGM last week, while presenting the annual report of the CGA made this request to Navin Dissanayake, Minister of Plantation Industries – Chief Guest at the event, to have mandatory labels for pure coconut oil. more..

UGC should get the best out of the Non-academics: IUTJC

Aug 8 (CT) Throughout last week the work of all the universities countrywide came to standstill due to the strike action launched by the non-academic staff in universities. CT interviewed President of Inter-University Trade Union Joint Committee Edward Malwattage to explore about the reasons for trade union action and the progress of the strike. He noted that non-academic staff wants a monthly compensatory allowance more..

MillenniumIT unveils revolutionary matchmaking platform for CSR Sri Lanka

Aug 8 (ST) MillenniumIT together with CSR Sri Lanka, recently launched Mahoga; a revolutionary matchmaking platform that paves the way for corporations to engage in meaningful corporate social responsibility (CSR) activity. The launch was held in the presence of CEO MillenniumIT Mack Gill, Chairman CSR SL Chandula Abeywickrema and Board Members, British HC James Dauris, USAID Mission Director to SL Andrew Sisson, investors, beneficiaries and senior members of more..

People’s Travel Pass: Handy solution for bus travel

Aug 8 (Island) People’s Bank recently unveiled the People’s Travel Pass to offer its customers and the general public the benefit of cashless commuting at a media conference in Battaramulla. Provincial ministers, People's Bank officials and officials from Dialog were at the event. In order to launch the People’s Travel Pass, People’s Bank tied up with Touch, which introduced cashless commute for private bus passengers in Sri Lanka with the launch of its NFC-enabled Touch Travel Card. more..

Iron One CEO clinches Woman Entrepreneur of the Year award

Aug 8 (DM) Lakmini Wijesundera, CEO of Iron One Technologies was crowned as Woman Entrepreneur of the Year last Friday, graced by President Sirisena. Speaking about her accolade, Lakmini said that IronOne Technologies, an IT company started exactly 10 years ago in her parent’s garage with a handful of engineers and today she has a team of over 120 professionals which includes foreign nationals and more..

'An efficient transport system vital to Colombo's success as a city'

Aug 8 (Island) "SL's inadequate public transport system was largely to blame for the huge rise in vehicle imports and the longer-term consequences of failing to address this issue could be serious, Head of Investments, Western Region Megapolis Project Nayana Mawilmada said. "The introduction of mass transit is critical and decisions on how to incorporate a suitable public transport system, including different systematic tiers of service, linked with land use under a single authority, more..

Every student, every school matter

Aug 8 (Island) The School is where every child, beginning in its earliest years, goes to from home more regularly than even to a place of worship which is of no less importance. The School, whether it be a pre-school or a play school in the village or a bigger school in a small town or city or university or any institute of tertiary education, has an irreplaceable function and lasting impact on the life of every child or student in the particular educational institution. Just as the mother and father, more..

Lankans into action at Rio today

Aug 8 (DN) Three Sri Lankans will be seen in action on day four of the XXXIst Olympic Games here on Monday. The trio – judoka Dharmawardena (73 weight category preliminary round), weightlifter Sudesh Peiris (62 weight class) and shooter Mangala Samarakoon (rifle shooting 10m air rifle qualification round) will see all their respective events commencing at the same time at different venues – 9 am local time (5.30 pm SL time). more..

Thomas Cook India promotes MICE opportunities in Sri Lanka

Aug 8 (TBM) Thomas Cook (India) Ltd, an integrated travel and travel related financial services company, hosted an exclusive corporate event in collaboration with Sri Lanka Convention Bureau and Sri Lankan Airlines to harness the significant demand for MICE travel to Sri Lanka, across mid and large Indian corporates and SMEs, showcasing Sri Lanka’s diversity of unique engagements- from whale watching, spectacular wildlife, adventure safaris; adrenalin filled activities such as more..

Bid to alter BOI organisational structure: Writ petition withdrawn after amicable settlement

Aug 8 (FT) The writ petition in the Court of Appeal challenging the purported alteration of the organisational structure of Board of Investment (BOI) by Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya (JSS) was withdrawn after the parties involved in the dispute reached a settlement. The writ petition was filed by JSS President Heelle Piyatissa and was presented before Justice A.H.M.D. Nawaz. Piyatissa cited BOI Director General Duminda Ariyasinghe, Development Strategies & Int'l Trade Ministry more..

75 SL Tamil refugees from in TN are arriving

Aug 8 (AT) 75 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in Tamil Nadu, India are arriving Sri Lanka under the UNHCR facilitated voluntary repatriation programme. There are three voluntary repatriation movements - on Tuesday consisting 29 persons (7 families) scheduled to arrive through Mihin Lanka Airlines at 10.05 a.m and from Madurai and 31 persons (13 families) scheduled to arrive through Sri Lankan Airlines ) at 10.15 a.m. more..

Kimiko finishes fourth in heats

Aug 8 (DN) Sri Lanka's Kimiko Raheem finished fourth in her women's 100m back stroke heat of the XXX1st Olympic Games swimming competition at Olympic Aquatic Centre today. Competing in lane two of heat number two of her pet event, the 17-year- old Lankan lass clocked an unimpressive one minute and 4.21 seconds to secure only the fourth place. She was nowhere near her personal best and finished way behind Claudia Lau of Hong Kong who won the race in 1.0127. more..

Epson expands operations in Sri Lanka

Aug 8 (DM) Epson, a Japanese digital imaging and printing solutions company, announced its expansion plans in Sri Lanka at a media briefing recently. Considering Sri Lanka as a key market, it is planning to set up a wholly-owned subsidiary, with the expectation of increasing its reach and presence in the country. It intends to reach cities as many as possible with its entire portfolio, which include, InkTank printers, projectors, billing printers and dot matrix printers. more..

Mixed performances by provinces in GDP

Aug 8 (FT) The country’s provinces produced mixed performance in terms of GDP last year with the dominance of the Western region continuing to wane and other areas improving except Uva. Economy reached an annual real GDP growth of 4.8% in 2015, while the nominal GDP recorded a growth of 7% to Rs. 11,183 billion. CB said as in previous years, Western province provided highest contribution to GDP in 2015. more..

Prof. Ajantha Dharmasiri takes over the reins of IPM

Aug 8 (ST) Prof. Ajantha Dharmasiri, one of SL’s top academic and professional personalities, was recently elected President of IPM Sri Lanka for the year 2016/17 at its AGM held at IPM Sri Lanka head office HR House situated in Colombo 5. IPM comprises over 1000 professional members who serve in both public and private organisations. ”I take this opportunity to thank the membership in placing their trust and confidence in me to lead IPM Sri Lanka in the forthcoming year more..

Top CEOs to get key insights into cyber security today

Aug 8 (FT) Several top CEOs of the country will receive key insights to threats and challenges to cyber security today at a forum organised by the Daily FT in partnership with CICRA Consultancies. The much sought after CEOs Forum, a key part of the annual Cyber Security Summit, will be held today from 6.30 p.m. onwards at the Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo. This is the fourth consecutive Cyber Security Summit and CEOs Forum under the joint initiative of Daily FT-CICRA. more..

Govt extends EOI deadline for SriLankan

Aug 8 (DM) In an attempt to choose from a wider pool of potential partners to manage the country’s debt-ridden national airline, the govt yesterday extended the closing date for expression of interest (EOI) till the end of August to accommodate several more proposals that were in the pipeline. Extension was made primarily to accommodate four more companies who have informally expressed their keenness in more..

The Galle to do

Aug 8 (Hindu) The spray stings my eyes as I lean over the yellow ramparts of the Moon Bastion. In the distance, the starburst tops of coconut trees line the shores. Behind me lies the green oval of Galle International Stadium, one of the most picturesque in the world, fringed on two sides by water. Winds vectoring off different latitudes spiral overhead, bringing with them the scent of the sea, cinnamon and sailors who navigated the Indian Ocean in the quest for new trade routes. more..

Sri Lanka Technological Campus recognized with ISO certification

Aug 8 (Island) Sri Lanka Technological Campus (SLTC) has been awarded ISO 9001:2008 certification for Quality Management System. Fully owned by Sri Lanka Telecom, SLTC courses lead to 4-year degree programmes designed to provide sound theoretical, practical and analytical knowledge with the fundamentals of engineering and technology. Since its opening in Sept 2015, over 100 students have enrolled for degree programmes. The certification requires top management more..

Hartals by traders across the country tomorrow against VAT

Aug 8 (Island) All Ceylon Trader Union Collective are poised to hold protests throughout the county starting from tomorrow against govt’s plan to take up the VAT amendment bill in Parliament on Thursday. Union representatives said that they would conduct a countrywide hartal tomorrow by shutting down their shops and taking to the streets. As part of the protests, a letter would be handed over to MPs of all parties, demanding that more..

Business confidence at a standstill

Aug 8 (FT) July’s LMD-Nielsen Business Confidence Index (BCI) remains steady (at 126), against a backdrop of its 15-point plunge in the previous month, latest edition of business magazine LMD reports. However, the index still lies well below its 12-month average (153) and four points shy of its all-time average (130). “Concerns about the economy, political climate and VAT continue to rise, with businesses still uncertain of their short- to medium-term business prospects,” more..

2.5 million apply for Samurdhi

Aug 8 (CT) An increase of 1.4 million applications for Samurdhi benefits has raised concerns as to whether the country's poverty level has risen. Director General of Divi Neguma Dept, Chandra Wickremasinghe, said that 2.5 million have applied for Samurdhi benefits. Currently there are 1.4 million families receiving aid from Samurdhi Dept. She added that the Department is conducting a technical audit at DS Office level to identify those who deserve Samurdhi benefits. more..

Canada's Tamils watch as Trudeau re-engages Sri Lanka

Aug 8 (CP) The message of tolerance at the heart of Trudeau govt’s international outlook is now being put to the test in one the world’s most ethnically scarred postwar countries — SL. The ultimate success of Canada’s re-engagement with SL, which was formalized last month when Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion visited SL, will have domestic political implications for Liberal govt in the years ahead. more..

SLFP will fully support the proposed VAT amendment bill: Minister Amunugama

Aug 8 (FT) The SLFP has said that it will fully support the proposed Value Added Tax (VAT) amendment bill which will be tabled in Parliament on Wednesday. Minister Sarath Amunugama said the govt needs to find funding to implement the proposed development projects. He said the govt needs to pay off the past debt and as a temporary measure govt income needs to be increased. Minister Amunugama pointed out that in all of Asia; Sri Lanka is the country with the lowest taxes. more..

MR in South Korea: Names elephant calf Kori-Lanka

Aug 8 (CT) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa christened an elephant calf Kori-Lanka during his visit to the Seoul Grand Park Zoo, in South Korea during his visit. The calf was the offspring of two elephants, named Gajaba and Sugala, and was a gift to Seoul Zoo. Rajapaksa is currently touring South Korea, where he has met several Sri Lankans living there. "This is my fifth visit to Korea. There are so many young people in Sri Lanka who would love to seek employment in Korea. more..

Daylight robbery of public funds: SLFP to act against its secretary

Aug 8 (CT) Disciplinary action will be taken against SLFP General Secretary Duminda Dissanayake, who is also the Minister for Agriculture, over the malpractice he allegedly committed while in office, SLFP member of the JO, MP Vidura Wickremenayake. He emphasized that the financial malpractice committed by Dissanayake must be accounted for. He added, "Under his leadership the ministry has undergone a daylight robbery. more..

US election and its effect on world politics

Aug 8 (DM) The US presidential election will be held in November this year. There are major differences between the US presidential election and elections held in most other countries. In SL, the president can call for an election at any time during his 5-year term. He can call a snap election before his period of office is completed if he feels that an impending down-turn in events could dampen his chances of re-election. In the US the date of each presidential election is fixed and has to take place more..

Is the govt disappointing the people?

Aug 8 (DM) The majority of the people clearly identified the abysmally low quality politicians who held power with the Rajapaksa govt and decisively rejected them at the presidential and parliamentary elections in 2015. The majority of the people had hopes of a new beginning. They believed in the possibility of overcoming the fear that prevailed and vanquishing the many forms of evil from rapes and disappearances to the misuse of the people’s money for the benefit of the Rajapaksa family more..