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Gayantha concerned about animosity among some journalists

Aug 15 (Island) Media minister Gayantha Karunatilleke has alleged that media had been severely affected due to animosity among various journalists and media organizations. He said that he had the experience of the despicable conduct of some journalists when he accompanied a media group to Jaffna recently. He was addressing a seminar held over the weekend in Galle to brief journalists based in the Galle district on more..

Chong Jin Megapolis Mayor says will encourage entrepreneurs to invest in SL

Aug 15 (DN) Mayor of the Chong Jin Megapolis in North Eastern China, Huang Jifan promised maximum support towards Sri Lanka’s exercise to transform the country into the economic centre in South Aisa and said he will encourage entrepreneurs connected to his megapolis to make investments in Sri Lanka too. He made this assurance when he met PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and his delegation at more..

First group of Lankan pilgims arrives

Aug 15 (AN) The first group of 62 of the 2,240 Sri Lankan Haj pilgrims arrived on a Saudi Arabian Airlines plane in Jeddah on Sunday. SriLankan Airlines, and other carriers will bring more pilgrim in the coming days. Sri Lankan Ambassador Azmi Thassim, Consul General Faizer Mackeen and senior diplomats welcomed the pilgrims. “This year, we had a limited quota because of the ongoing development works in Makkah,” more..

SL refugees living in inhuman conditions

Aug 15 (TOI) The reports submitted by the Wayanad district collector and the Mananthavady sub collector to Justice S H Panchapakesan based on visit to the Kambamala colony near Mananthavady revealed shocking inadequacies. TOI had carried a report about the wretched living conditions of the colony residents, who are Tamil refugee families from Sri Lanka who had been rehabilitated in the tea plantation. more..

SL: Challenging gender norms brings abuse

Aug 15 (HRW) Transgender people and others who do not conform to social expectations about gender face discrimination and abuse in Sri Lanka, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 63-page report, “All Five Fingers Are Not the Same’: Discrimination on Grounds of Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation in Sri Lanka,” finds that people who don’t conform to gender norms face arbitrary detention, more..

Confusion over who keeps VAT charges

Aug 15 (ST) Supreme Court’s ruling to suspend the VAT introduced by the govt in May has caused confusion among businesses and consumers with questions being asked about the money raised so far by the tax. The VAT was introduced through newspaper advertisements by IRD that said 4% increase in VAT would be imposed on all businesses to bring VAT to 15%, with no exemptions any longer for the health & telecom sectors. more..

VAT dissent: Protesting traders complain of intimidation

Aug 15 (Island) Govt is using intimidatory tactics to stifle dissent ahead of reintroducing the new VAT amendment Bill in parliament traders’ said. On the 8th of August the shops of three traders in Pettah who had taken part in the anti-VAT hartal were sealed by Customs Department. Asian Traders, Anglo Shirts and Romax all on Keyzer Street were the first three shops to be sealed. These were small establishments more..

Budget deficit narrows in May 2016, revenues up 24%

Aug 15 (EN) Budget deficit has narrowed 18% in absolute terms to 280.5 billion rupees in the five months to May from 310.4 billion rupees, with revenues up 25%. Tax revenues rose to 568 billion rupees in the five months to May from 467 billion rupees a year earlier, rising to 5% of GDP from 4.4% a year earlier. A large number of small vehicles and motorcycles imported in 2015 had increased living standards of people, more..

'Investment friendly environment in SL'

Aug 15 (DN) An investment friendly environment has currently been created in Sri Lanka, United States Assistant Secretary for Economic and Business Affairs Charles H Rivkin said when he called on Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake at the ministry last week. The visiting State Secretary who praised the current economic programme of Sri Lanka, said there is a friendly environment created for investment in the country. more..

Norwegian Premier’s Guidelines

Aug 15 (CT) Norwegian PM Erna Solberg praised the welfare policies of Sri Lanka saying they have attracted the international community and influenced the policy-making of other countries. Norway played a significant role as a facilitator in the peace process, though it failed badly in bringing an end to the island's separatist war through democratic means. Apart from its involvement in the Lankan peace process, Norway even assisted in enhancing the island's fishing activities through more..

Politics of post-Pâda Yâtrâ: From here to 2020

Aug 15 (CT) When the formula of a national govt or grand coalition as it was then termed, between the UNP and the SLFP, was first mooted in the early 1970s by JR Jayewardene and Anura Bandaranaike, the established Left was horrified, with LSSP theoretician Hector Abhayawardena denouncing the project as that of a govt of capitalist concentration. The radical Left thought it would result in a most welcome polarization, eliminating the middle ground in a decisive leftward more..

අතුරුදන්වීම් පිළිබඳ පනත

Sri Lankan shares hits more than 11-wk high

Aug 15 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares ended at more than 11-week high on Monday as investors bought beverage and banking shares amid foreign buying into the island nation's risk assets boosted sentiment. The benchmark Colombo stock index ended up 0.93%, or 60.46 points, at 6,582.60, its highest close since May 25. "The market moved up on thin volumes, but the market is looking better and better with the more stability coming into the market," said Reshan Kurukulasuriya, more..

Call for rebuilding of Tiger war memorials

Aug 15 (Island) Memorials of Tamils who were killed during their struggle against SL govt must be rebuilt, said members of the Tamil public at a zonal hearing of the govt’s public Consultation Task Force on reconciliation in Vadamarachchi, Jaffna. "All memorials built to honour the Tamils who fought and sacrificed their lives in their struggle for freedom had been demolished", the members of the group said. "The building of Sri Lankan army camps over the demolished tombs of more..

Namal arrested by FCID

Aug 15 (AD) MP Namal Rajapaksa who arrived at the FCID to give a statement on alleged irregular purchase of Rs. 125 million worth Hellocorp shares has been arrested. Namal Rajapaksa and five others were earlier named as suspects over money laundering charges in connection with a case filed at Colombo Magitsrate’s Court on 28 July. The case was filed over the allegation of purchasing shares worth more..

Stabbing of A/L students: Suspects arrested

Aug 15 (Island) Akuressa police arrested three suspects wanted in connection with the stabbing of two schoolboys on Saturday at the Akuressa bus stand. The police said the victims were returning home after sitting the GCE A/L exam at the time of the incident. The injured were admitted to the Matara Hospital. The victims were 17 and 18-years old and their school uniforms were drenched with blood following the incident. The police attributed the incident to a dispute more..

A case of squandered progress

Aug 15 (CI) Early in his innings, on the second evening, Steven Smith went back to try to cut Rangana Herath off the line of the stumps. The ball skidded through, Smith was hurried in his shot, and the ball skittered away for no run. Immediately, Smith reeled away in self-recriminating histrionics, angry at himself for taking the same risk that resulted in his dismissal in Galle. Of all his Test hundreds, this was perhaps Smith's most draining. He has had a difficult tour, more..

Herath six-for curbs Australia's lead to 24

Aug 15 (CI) This was a handy day of Test cricket all round. Rangana Herath's magic hands conjured six wickets. Mitchell Marsh's hard hands cost him the chance for more than a fifty. Kusal Perera's lightning hands effected two brilliant stumpings. Shaun Marsh and Steven Smith played invaluable hands, scoring Australia's only two centuries of the series. And by the close of play on third day in Colombo, it was impossible to more..

Deputy Minister reaches settlement in assault case

Aug 15 (Island) Deputy Minister Range Bandara reached an amicable settlement with an undergraduate who had lodged a complaint with the Pallawa police that the former had assaulted him recently. The undergrad who complained that he had received injuries after the UNP politician assaulted him got himself admitted to Chillaw hospital. The deputy Minister, however, denied the allegation. In his complaint the university student has said while returning from a funeral house more..

COPE makes representations to Committee on High Posts

Aug 15 (DN) The COPE made representations to the Committee on High Posts on the conflict of interest of the Agrarian Insurance Board chairman. The COPE interim report tabled in Parliament by its Chairman Sunil Handunnetti last week, stated that the Agrarian Insurance Board chairman has the ownership of 20% of the shares of a private insurance company leading to a conflict of interest. The COPE Secretary had sent a letter to Committee on High Posts in March communicating about more..

Sarath de Abrew dies following accident at home

Aug 15 (AD) Former Supreme Court Judge Justice Sarath de Abrew has died following an accident at his residence. His remains lie at the Colombo South Teaching Hospital in Kalubowila. Colombo High Court in January granted bail to former Justice Sarath de Abrew in a case in which he is charged with an alleged assault on a domestic worker. Abrew, who is alleged to have attacked the domestic worker at his house more..

Sri Lanka to Host Asia Hotel and Tourism Investment Conference

Aug 15 (LBO) Sri Lanka, one of the top two emerging hotel and resort markets in Asia, is to host the first Asia Hotel and Tourism Investment Conference (AHTIC), a top-level gathering of international investors, business leaders, govt ministers and officials. President Maithripala Sirisena is supporting the conference as its patron. The AHTIC conference will take place on Nov 27-29 at the Hilton Colombo in SL. “Sri Lanka is a perfect place to launch our Asia conference. more..

Four nabbed for pelting stones at train

Aug 15 (DN) Four suspects who allegedly pelted stones at a passenger train yesterday morning, were handed over to Kollupitiya Police by railway security officers. The stones had been pelted at a Mount Lavinia bound Colombo passenger train near the National Gem and Jewellery Authority in Kollupitiya. Police said nobody was injured in the incident. The suspects questioned by Police, denied the allegations. Investigations are continuing. Security for passenger trains had been tightened more..

OMP findings can be used as evidence: GL

Aug 15 (DM) Though the govt had assured that the findings of the Office of the Missing Persons (OMP) would not give rise to civil or criminal liability, joint opposition said the findings could be used as evidence when the judicial mechanism is set up to hear accountability issues. Former MP G.L. Peiris said the hidden purpose of OMP was to collect evidence to be submitted in the proposed accountability court and pointed out that more..

Korean assistance for ICT development

Aug 15 (CG) Sri Lanka has sought Korean assistance for ICT development, Ministry of Education said. Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam met with Korean Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education Lee Joon Sik, and President of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) In Shik Kim in Seoul. Discussions focused on Korea’s continuing cooperation in the fields of ICT development and e-learning, as well as KOICA’s support to establish more..

Marsh-Smith: 246 runs; others: 133 runs

Aug 15 (CI) 1: Higher partnerships for Australia for any wicket in Tests in Sri Lanka than the 246-run stand between Shaun Marsh and Steven Smith. Marsh was involved in the highest partnership as well - 258 runs with Mike Hussey in Pallekele in 2011. This was the first double-century partnership for Australia for the second-wicket against Sri Lanka. The previous highest was 170 between Kepler Wessels and Graham Yallop in Kandy way back in 1983. more..

Former LTTE No.2 was RAW agent: Book

Aug 15 (IANS) An LTTE leader who was once a deputy to its supreme leader V Prabhakaran was a RAW agent, recruited as early as 1989, a new book says. Journalist Neena Gopal, who interviewed former PM Rajiv Gandhi moments before he was assassinated in 1991, says Gopalaswamy Mahendrarajah alias Mahattaya was a Research and Analysis Wing mole. "The man was cultivated & positioned by RAW as their mole more..

'Office of Missing Persons was govt’s idea'

Aug 15 (AD) If there was any bad precedent in passing the Office of the Missing Persons (OMP) Bill, Joint Opposition MPs were responsible for it, said Minister Mano Ganesan. He was referring to newspaper reports which indicated that the passing of the OMP Bill reflected a bad precedent. He added, "Speaker of the House, did his very best, and even went out of the way to bring control and amity between legislators in Parliament the day OMP Bill was passed. more..

Video: Amaratunga predicts police’s next arrest to be made

Aug 15 (AD) A prominent member of the former Govt would be arrested next, Minister John Amaratunga predicts. The observation was made while speaking to reporters after an event held in Wattala this morning. Amaratunga also suggested the next member that the police are eyeing to arrest is the one who blames the present government over its failure to take legal action against corrupt politicians. He also went on to say that most of the opposition members who make allegations more..

US proud of assistance given to the people in the North

Aug 15 (CG) The United States (US) is proud of the assistance given to the people in the North. On behalf of the American people, U.S. Ambassador Atul Keshap, representing the American people, donated medical supplies brought in by U.S. Pacific Command’s Operation Pacific Angel (PACANGEL) to Chief Minister of the Northern Province C.V. Wigneswaran and Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan who more..

JO to blame for bad precedent: Ganesan

Aug 15 (CT) If there was any bad precedent in passing the Office of the Missing Persons (OMP) Bill, Joint Opposition MPs were responsible for it, said Minister Mano Ganesan. He was referring to newspaper reports which indicated that the passing of the OMP Bill reflected a bad precedent. He added, "Speaker of the House, did his very best, and even went out of the way to bring control and amity between legislators in Parliament the day OMP Bill was passed. more..

FM attracts more FDI to country

Aug 15 (CT) Finance Ministry intends to sign more agreements with the int'l investment groups to enhance investment opportunities to attract Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) to the country. Minister Ravi Karunanayake optimistically has said "The approach of the govt to find solutions to the huge debt trap is to attract more and more FDI rather than putting the burden on the people. More and more employment opportunities are expected to be created once such investors start operation more..

Video: We will ask the OMP to probe Wijeweera's abduction and death: JVP

Aug 15 (DM) JVP said said it would request Office of Missing Persons (OMP) to investigate the abduction and killing of party's founder leader Rohana Wijeweera, senior member Upatissa Gamanayake and the mass grave in Matale. JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake said that his party would make the request even though OMP might not live up to expectations. “Our founder leader was abducted & ordered to make a public statement on TV. more..

Minister orders Fisheries Corporation managers fired

Aug 15 (DN) A number of managers at the Ceylon Fisheries Corporation have been sacked with immediate effect, after three metric tons of outdated fish was found in cold storage at the CFC. The managers were fired on the orders of Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, for neglect of duties, causing the govt financial loss. When the stock of fish – believed to be about eight years old – was detected a few days ago, Minister appointed a team, led by the Acting Chairman of the CFC and more..

Viyathmaga blame current economic crisis squarely on incumbent rulers’ folly

Aug 15 (Island) A group of professionals on behalf of Viyathmaga, an organization promoting good governance and accountability, asserts that govt has caused massive economic turmoil by increasing the public sector salaries by Rs. 10,000. Viyathmaga alleges that the national economy cannot afford the staggering increase in the expenditure on the state wage bill and is now struggling with no prospect of finding new funding sources or enhancing productivity. more..

Indian envoy rebuts Sri Lankan contention that India is a creation of the British

Aug 15 (ENS) Indian High Commissioner in SL, Y.K.Sinha, has rebutted the contention of some Sri Lankan opinion makers that India has never been a single nation and that the India of today is nothing but a creation of British colonialists. Addressing a gathering at India House on the occasion of India’s 69 th. Independence Day, Sinha said that while India may be a new modern nation state, it is by no means a new country. more..

OMP Bill bypasses JO lost in its own floor show

Aug 16 (ST) Thus far, members of Joint Opposition (JO) group have managed to grab more than their fair share of attention, mainly due to their boisterous behaviour within Parliament, than for their role in enriching the legislative business. However, this week they got bogged down in a situation they themselves created by attempting to sabotage Govt attempts to enact an important piece of legislation. This miscalculation by JO helped Govt to rush through Office of Missing Persons (OMP) Bill, more..

Advice from Economic Forum: Pouring water on a duck’s back

Aug 16 (ST) The two day Economic Summit organised by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce brought out a forthright critique of current economic policies. The overall message was that fundamental weaknesses in the economy that included the lack of consistent economic policies, the need for a taxation system that ensures adequate revenue to reduce the fiscal deficit, appropriate and coordinated monetary and fiscal policies and consistency and predictability of economic policies rather than more..

Good Governance: One year on

Aug 16 (SO) Exactly one year ago, the people gave a historic mandate to the two major political forces in the country to work together. Actually, the process was set in motion eight months earlier, in January 2015 when Common Presidential Candidate Maithripala Sirisena emerged victorious at the Presidential Election, beating incumbent President Rajapaksa who was seeking an unprecedented 3rd term in office. more..

The recent announcement on the Port City

Aug 16 (CT) It was announced a few days ago that the work on Colombo Port City project will resume in October according to a revised plan giving it a new name Financial City. To our surprise neither the President nor the PM has explained to the people of the country how their revised plan of the Financial City will prevent the destruction of the marine environment and the loss of livelihoods of the fisherfolk, who will be deprived of their centuries old means of living due to sand mining more..