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Samarakoon gets another chance at a medal

Aug 12 (DN) Ace shooter Mangala Samarakoon will be seen in action for the second time at the XXX1st Olympic Games when he takes part in the men’s 50m rifle prone event qualification round at Olympic Shooting Range, commencing from 9 am on Friday (5.30 pm SLT). The former South Asian Games gold medallist who came across an unexpected problem due to his shooting attire and painted a poor picture in the men’s 10m air rifle event three days ago will not have the same worry in the prone event. more..

DFCC Bank forges partnership with EDB

Aug 12 (Island) DFCC Bank recently partnered with the SL Export Development Board as the exclusive banking partner of the upcoming World Export Development Forum, which is set to take place in Colombo from 12th -13th Oct. This forum will bring together over 600 local and international business leaders, policymakers and members of investment and trade institutions, to address advancements in sustainable trade as well as the latest strategies for maintaining int'l levels of competitiveness. more..

Galle pitch may have been doctored by curators

Aug 12 (TA) Photographs obtained by The Australian of the wicket at Galle on the third day of the recent Test match show what are obvious ­efforts by curators to aid the local spinners. Despite the move apparently being in breach of ICC regulations, The Australian was informed last night that SLC had escaped sanction after ICC match referee Chris Broad filed his pitch report. Pitch doctoring is one of the main reasons wins more..

SLFP proposes 2 million monthly threshold to pay VAT

Aug 12 (FT) The special committee on VAT revision, consisting of ministers from SLFP, has recommended that the monthly VAT threshold be increased from Rs. 1 million to Rs. 2 million. If the recommendation is implemented, all businesses that earn Rs. 2 m or more per month will need to register to pay VAT. Minister Sarath Amunugama said that they had requested Minister Ravi Karunanayake to include the proposal to VAT amendment following demands raised by trade community. more..

Veteran shutterbug, Sri Lal Gomes, dead

Aug 12 (Island) Veteran photo journalist and former Island staffer Sri Lal Gomes (59) passed away after a brief illness on Wednesday. He was a father of three. Gomes, an award winning photographer also served as the Pictures Editor of Upali Newspapers. He had a stint at Sumathi Publications as well. Gomes was the official photographer of the Mahaweli Ministry under the late Minister Gamini Dissanayake and contributed regularly to its publication Isura. more..

Govt reins in on public taxi rip offs

Aug 12 (FT) Frustrated by arbitrary rates levied in its growing public taxi system, Sri Lanka is finally stepping in to rein in on errant taxis, with no less than an announcement in Parliament on 10 August. “Today people have become highly dependent on various three wheelers and taxi services but often the passengers are cheated and they pay higher than usual rates,” said Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen. more..

Sri Lanka’s London Games medalist axed

Aug 12 (Island) Despite being in good form and securing a higher world rank, London 2012 Paralympics medalist Pradeep Sanjaya has been cold shouldered when selecting the team for the forthcoming Paralympics Games to be held in Rio de Janeiro. The war hero turned para athlete who won country’s first ever Paralympics medal at the last edition of the Games in London, holds world ranks of 14 and 17 in the T46 200 and 400 metres respectively. more..

Sri Lanka exports goats to Maldives

Aug 12 (FT) Taking a leap, Fanam International, the only company to export livestock in Sri Lanka, will ship its second batch of goats to Maldives this week, which will be twice as large as its first consignment sent in Sept 2015. Sri Lanka, which usually limits its exports to Maldives to fruits and vegetables, made the radical addition with five goats last year. The latest consignment consists of 10 bucks of the Jamnapari breed for breeding purposes, the company said. more..

'OMP Bill will be nullified under JO govt'

Aug 12 (DM) Joint opposition said it would consider the Office of Missing Persons Bill invalid because the due procedure was not followed in passing it and as such it would be nullified under a future govt headed by it. JO parliamentary group leader Dinesh Gunawardane said the Bill was put to a vote when a group of MPs were demonstrating in the Well of the House and that the quorum bill was not rung for members to arrive in Chamber more..

State plantations get Rs. 377 m bailout

Aug 12 (FT) Cabinet approves five months of salaries to 13,000 employees as committee considers private investor proposals to be implemented before year-end. State-run plantation companies earmarked for restructuring will be given Rs. 377 million in Treasury funds to pay the salaries of 13,000 workers for the rest of the year as the Government considers proposals for private investors to take over the loss-making enterprises. Under a Cabinet paper submitted by more..

Sri Lankan held for smuggling gold

Aug 12 (Hindu) The officials of the Customs Air Intelligence Unit at Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) here have arrested a 38-year-old Sri Lankan national who allegedly concealed 100 gm of gold bits in his mouth and gold biscuits in his shoes. The accused has been identified as Raghu, who arrived at KIA from Colombo on Monday. While he was being checked, Raghu showed signs of nervousness and didn’t open his mouth when the officials questioned him. more..

Ranil readies reforms to boost human capital

Aug 12 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe identified human resources as one of the key strengths of Sri Lanka to differentiate and improve competitiveness for which new reforms are underway to ensure sustainable inclusive socio-economic growth. Inaugurating the first ever Sri Lanka Human Capital Summit at Taj Samudra, PM said a new Education and Employment Act is in the offing and more..

Rathana Thera unhappy over OMP Bill

Aug 12 (DM) Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera MP expressed his displeasure over the passage of the amended draft Bill to set up an Office of Missing Persons (OMP). Thera said the procedure adopted by the govt to pass the Bill and the objections of JO MPs to the draft Bill were both disappointing. “The entire procedure, and the mechanism adopted to pass the Bill and the way the objections were posed were disappointing. The Bill was passed without making room for amendments; and more..

Sri Lanka’s first female bus driver arrested

Aug 12 (DN) Five suspects including Sri Lanka’s first female bus driver who drives a bus on Southern Expressway was arrested yesterday and produced in court by Narahenpita Police for allegedly threatening and berating the National Transport Commission Chairman at his office. They have also been charged with criminal trespass. However, taking into consideration the facts presented by defence counsel, ordered to release the five suspects on a cash bail of Rs.2,000 with more..

Poisoning Tigers in govt custody: Ratnayake calls for probe

Aug 12 (Island) There couldn’t be any suspicions regarding the death of one-time head of the LTTE Political Wing leader Subramaniam Sivakami alias Thamilini during post-war rehabilitation under the care of the govt, veteran movie maker Dharmasiri Bandaranayake said. Thamilini passed away at the Maharagama Cancer Institute in October last year. The top Tiger, who had surrendered during the last week of more..

SLT enhances connectivity via backhauling facility

Aug 12 (DN) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) has gained full landing status of SMW5 Cable Station in Matara, aiming to be a key regional player offering global services through multiple international undersea cable systems running through Sri Lanka. SLT’s International Backhaul Network consists of three main cable stations at Colombo, Mt Lavinia and Matara connecting to SLT’s international backhaul hub at the Welikada SLT premises. All these stations are connected by OTN NW on which more..

'Indo - Lanka trade about to cross $5 Billion threshold'

Aug 12 (ST) As year-on-year bilateral levels surged by 6.3%, overall trade volumes between India and Sri Lanka has edged towards a historic mark of just $5Billion -only $83 million short of coveted threshold, Minister of Commerce and Industry Rishad Bathiudeen said. “We are on the verge of important turning points in our bilateral trade history” said Minister yesterday in Colombo. He was addressing the 5th edition of the Indo Ceylon Economic Dialogue (ICE dialogue-5) more..

Amidst Joint Opposition protests Crucial OMP Bill rushed through Parliament

Aug 12 (Island) JO’s protest enabled the govt to rush the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) Bill through parliament. Bill was passed with amendments amidst shouting and chanting of slogans by JO against the govt. When the time came for Notice of Motions and Orders of the Day, Minister Lakshman Kiriella moved the Office on Missing Persons (Establishment, Administration & Discharge of Functions) Bill for 2nd reading. more..

The Thomian pharisees are unrepentant: Why this matters to all Sri Lankans

Aug 12 (CT) This is the third article on this subject published in five months on this Public Forum. The two earlier articles have drawn 227 comments. Quite a few are admittedly explanations by the author, but taken as a body, the comments clearly indicate that those who have learnt about the sad situation in these schools are very concerned. The quality and balance of the comments is testimony to the fact that these schools still have a role to play in the future of our country. more..

Who doesn’t want accountability and satisfaction ?

Aug 12 (DM) There’s talk of constitutional reform. A lot of talk. There’s talk of what should go in and what should be taken out. People were appointed to gather public opinion and the gatherers, as always, represent a particular segment of the entire ideological spectrum. A tiny segment, let’s remember. But since it is public opinion that is filtered by panels that are essentially made of people who share such slant, it makes it easier to say ‘this is what the people say (not us)’. more..

Missing Baggage mainly due to passenger negligence: Authorities

Aug 12 (ST) Failure of airline passengers to observe basic requirements to keep their luggage secure is the main reason for them to go missing at the BIA, authorities say. Police claimed, incidents of organised luggage theft at BIA are rare. However, the continued failure of airline passengers to take basic precautions could open the door to thieves. Passengers were not directing enough attention towards securing their more..

Jaffna now a route for radicals attempting to join IS in Afghanistan

Aug 12 (CG) Jaffna has now become a route for radicals in India attempting to join the Islamic State (IS) in Afghanistan, reports said. The conventional route was fleeing to Afghanistan via Bangladesh or Dubai but with both the routes being keenly monitored by security agencies, the new route of halting at Jaffna is now being explored. A Mumbai police team will soon visit Kerala in connection with the case against two aides of more..

US ready to partner with SL entrepreneurs

Aug 12 (FT) US is ready to partner SL entrepreneurs and encourage investment, a top official said, calling on them to use democratic change to foster growth. US Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Charles Rivkin, who landed in SL on Thursday, while addressing IT entrepreneurs, praised the quality of the start-ups in SL and stressed that America was enthusiastic about encouraging partnerships. more..

More funds out of state coffers?

Aug 12 (SL) Minister Chandima Weerakkody says the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) is to settle an amount of USD 256 million to Iran for purchasing crude oil, but the modes of paying back the money is under discussion as the Govt of Sri Lanka is not in a financial position to settle the full amount in due time. As a result of lifting the banking sanctions on Iran, the country requests SL to pay the money as Iran claims more..

Sri Lanka readies petroleum law, gas policy to give confidence to investors

Aug 12 (EN) The Sri Lankan govt is close to presenting a new petroleum law to parliament and completing a natural gas policy that would investors confidence to invest in exploration for hydrocarbon deposits, Minister Chandima Weerakkody said. “The Petroleum Resources Development Act is almost ready and is to be tabled soon in parliament,” he said. “We have also come to the final stage of our national policy on natural gas. more..

Norway – Sri Lanka cooperation to increase in energy, fisheries, IT sectors

Aug 12 (PMD) Sri Lanka and Norway will take effective steps to increase cooperation in several areas, including fisheries, information technology, energy, hydro and solar power and oil and gas exploration. These were discussed during the bilateral discussions held between President Maithripala Sirisena and visiting Norwegian PM Erna Solberg at the Presidential Secretariat today. more..

Minister Ranawaka rises in defence of SAITM

Aug 12 (Island) Minister Champika Ranwaka said among doctors who were breathing fire and demanding the closure of SAITM at Malabe were students of defunct North Colombo Medical College, Ragama. he said North Colombo Medical College faced worse opposition than SAITM from various quarters and the issue almost brought President J. R. Jayewardene to his knees and finally the medical college had to be more..

Office of Missing Persons is necessary: JVP

Aug 12 (DM) A fully local permanent office was needed to provide redress to the relatives of missing persons, JVP said. JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake, speaking during the debate on the Office of Missing Persons Act, in Parliament, said such an office was needed to mete out justice to the relatives of those who had gone missing during the past few decades. “There was unrest in the country in 1971, 1983, 1987-89 and 2009 to 2015, when more..

UNESCO Director General to pay first official visit to Sri Lanka

Aug 12 (LBO) UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova will undertake her first official visit to Sri Lanka, where she will affirm the Organization’s support to the peace and reconciliation process and the advancement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Through a series of public events, visits to world heritage sites and top-level bilateral meetings, she will witness the transformation underway more..

Colombo Port City: Frontline of China and India's geopolitical showdown

Aug 12 (Forbes) The story goes that in 2011 Sri Lanka’s then-president Mahinda Rajapaksa looked out from the land reclamation site of Colombo’s emerging South Container Terminal and had an epiphany: why not just keep going and build an entirely new city district? The idea was as pragmatic as it was visionary — the area next to the new port was silting up naturally anyway. Whatever the reasoning behind its origins may be, more..

Full marks at Geneva

Aug 12 (CT) At the UNHRC sessions in Sept, Sri Lanka, together with the USA, co-sponsored a resolution calling for international investigations in to alleged war crimes committed by the Govt of SL in the prosecution of its war against the LTTE terrorists (especially during its final days). Inclusion of the clause international investigations seemingly played into the hands of former President Rajapaksa, who, only in the previous month (Aug 2015) suffered a humiliating defeat at parliamentary polls. more..

Goviyage Rataka Balaya Goviyage

Aug 12 (DM) In an important step towards restoring the vital place that agriculture had in SL’s culture and civilization, President Sirisena- himself hailing from a farmer family in Polonnaruwa presented national awards in Embilipitiya yesterday to the Mahaweli Maha goviyas and best Farmer movements. Parallel to the three year national food production goal, this competition was begun to stress the importance of organic farming and efficient water management to the farmers more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Twelve- member committee to make recommendations to revise local bodies

Aug 12 (Island) Provincial Councils and Local Govt Ministry has decided to establish new local government institutions and upgrade some of the existing ones to Urban and Municipal Councils. A 12-member committee chaired by Chandaka Jayasundara, a lawyer by profession, has been appointed by Provincial Councils and Local Govt Minister Faizer Mustapha. Minister said that the committee was scheduled to conclude the process and submit its report within three months. more..

Shares end firmer on foreign buying

Aug 12 (Reuters) Shares edged up on Friday hovering near its more-than-10-week high, hit earlier in the week, as heavy buying by foreign investors in index heavyweight John Keells Holdings boost sentiment. Colombo stock index ended up 0.11%, or 7.37 points, at 6,522.14. Investors hoped that the economic fundamentals would improve after the CB on July 28 raised its main interest rates by 50 basis points each in a surprise move aimed at curbing stubbornly high credit growth. more..

Money market short for 39 days

Aug 12 (CT) The money market, on a net basis, since the beginning of last month, to Sunday 6 August, 2016, has been short for 39 consecutive days. This market shortfall period is inclusive of holidays and the weekends. And there doesn't seem to be an end in sight, with the little inflows that the market has been experiencing, every now and then, being insufficient to turn those cycles of negativisms into positivisms. more..

Calls for bids to mint nearly a billion coins

Aug 12 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka has called for bids to mint nearly 1 billion coins including 10 rupee coins amid a severe shortage of 10 rupee notes and some availability of the 10 rupee coins, a local media report said here on Friday. Central Bank called bids from mints for 190 million 1 rupee coins, 175 million 2 rupee coins, 230 million 5 rupee coins and 375 million 10 rupee coins. "It's a disaster," M Ranasinghe, a business executive, quoted in the media report said. more..

Sri Lanka target rare series whitewash

Aug 12 (CI) Like a villain in Peter Falk's old detective show, Australia's undoing could be completed by one more thing: Colombo. Crushed near Kandy, gutted in Galle, Steven Smith's men now move on to the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground for the final Test of their tour. Their No.1 ranking is at stake although, having lost the series already, even a surprise win in the third Test might not be enough to save their position. Make no mistake: this is Sri Lanka's chance to create history. more..

It's going to be a turner again, Mathews warns Australia

Aug 12 (CI) In a week in which there has been mild consternation in Australia about the state of the Galle surface, Angelo Mathews has made no apologies about what the visitors can expect at the SSC: It will turn again, he said - get used to it. With the island's ground curators directly employed by the board, SL has long catered pitches to the team's needs. Against India last year, surfaces at Sara Oval and the SSC had seam & bounce, more..

SAITM VC sends letter of demand to former senior DIG Anura Senanayake

Aug 12 (AM) SAITM VC and former Colombo Chief JMO Dr. Ananda Samarasekara sent a letter of demand to former Senior DIG Anura Senanayake seeking damages for allegedly tarnishing his reputation and good name through a statement given to the media. According to the letter of demand sent through his attorney, Samarasekara says that Senanayake made these damaging remarks in a newspaper interview published in May this year. In this interview, Senanayake more..