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Govt’s decisiveness wins all round Support

Aug 16 (CT) The issue of fulfilling the pledges made to the international community in Geneva seemed to threaten the unity of the govt even a month ago. In Oct 2015 the govt co-sponsored the resolution on Sri Lanka that was sponsored by the US and backed by the majorit of countries in the UNHRC. There were publicly articulated differences of opinion in which Minister Mangala Samaraweera sought to reassure the international community that the govt would be standing by more..

'Govt wants to keep PTA'

Aug 16 (SL) Govt makes false promises to fulfill their political agendas, claims former TNA MP and member of NPC Suresh Premachandran. He said the Tamil people’s issues have not been resolved yet and even the representatives chosen to safeguard the interest of the Tamils have let them down badly. Claiming that they have lost faith now even in the TNA leadership, he pointed out that former govt used anti-terror laws more..

Editorial: Customs as shock troops

Aug 16 (Island) Most politicians who pretend to be statesmen and extol the virtues of democracy ad nauseam lay bare their true faces when their interests are threatened. We have witnessed the transformation of many a Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde under successive govts. The incumbent govt has resorted to coercion to suppress protests against the VAT increase, according to a report in this newspaper yesterday. Traders’ unions which took to the streets, demanding relief complain that more..

VAT is the cause of their discontent

Aug 16 (ST) What on earth is going on in this miracle of Asia? From the day the Finance Minister and other UNP whiz-kids in the cabinet tried to increase the Value- Added Tax from 11 per cent to 15 per cent, the exercise seemed jinxed. Not too long ago Ravi Karunanayake tried to up the VAT by administrative fiat. That attempt came a cropper. The judiciary ruled that imposing new taxes or raising them cannot be done administratively. That was a matter for parliament and legislature more..

JVP Press Conference

OMP: When labels take precedence over content

Aug 16 (GV) On Thursday 11 August, Parliament pushed through one of the most sensitive and important pieces of legislation, the Office on Missing Persons (OMP) Act amidst the most uncivilised and ugly Parliamentary behaviour. That was not how such an important bill should have been passed in Parliament. The OMP allows for a permanent mechanism to be established to investigate missing persons. Set without a time period, by definition it includes enforced disappearances too. more..

From Sri Lanka’s Beira to the Rio Olympics

Aug 16 (Island) Several years ago the waters of the Beira Lake in the heart of Colombo changed colour practically overnight to a bright green. This gave rise to considerable bewilderment and comment and word was conveyed to President Premadasa that an industrialist had dumped a large quantity of green paint into the Beira. Acting on this advice, President Premadasa instructed the Police to investigate the matter immediately and identify who was responsible for this. more..

Why Sri Lanka will buy Pakistani fighters

Aug 16 (CT) During the Cabinet Media Briefing Minister Rajitha Senaratne revealed that Sri Lanka will purchase between eight and 12 multirole fighter aircraft to replace the ageing fleet of the Air Force. The proposal was submitted by President Sirisena. "The fighter aircraft of the Sri Lanka Air Force have been ageing. It is necessary to replace them because the Air Force needs a functioning fleet to maintain oceanic security more..

University of Jaffna responds on Audit Report issues

Aug 16 (FT) Following is a response from the Vice Chancellor of the University of Jaffna to the article titled AG highlights several irregularities at University of Jaffna published in the Daily FT. I would like to appreciate your interest on the highlighted matters in the Audit Report of University of Jaffna by the Auditor General, for year 2013. The answers are as follows: 1.Delay in issuing results (audit para 4.1 a) Now it has been improved by taking up this matter in the Senate. more..

SLT Group 1st half revenue up; profits affected by external factors

Aug 16 (Island) Sri Lanka Telecom released the Group financial results for the first half of 2016. The Group comprises of the holding company and eight subsidiaries including the mobile service provider, Mobitel (Pvt) Ltd. As the national ICT solutions provider with a strong balance sheet, Group reported revenue of Rs 36.69 billion for the first half of 2016 which reflected a growth of 9% year-on-year. Whilst the Group operating costs increased to Rs 26.10 billion to meet more..

Regeneration has begun quicker than I expected: Ford

Aug 16 (CI) Sri Lanka's regeneration has begun quicker than he had expected, coach Graham Ford said, in light of several encouraging individual performances. Ford had taken up the role at a particularly low ebb for a rebuilding Sri Lanka team, and has since overseen a poor World T20 campaign, and a woeful tour of England. However, having now defeated the top-ranked Test team at home, SL believe they have more..

Manufacturing PMI dips and Services PMI gains in July

Aug 16 (FT) Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) has dipped in July whilst the Services Sector PMI gained. Manufacturing PMI decreased to 50.6 in July, indicating a neutral performance in comparison to 55.1 in June 2016. The decline in July in comparison to June was mainly due to the decrease in New Orders and Production Indices. Month-on-month decline of the PMI and the sub-indices follows the significant increase observed in June compared to May 2016. more..

Law should be equal to everybody: President

Aug 16 (PSL) “The public questions me as to how far it is fair to allocate a paying ward in a government hospital for privileged persons who are in remand custody”, says President Sirisena. He was speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the Asia Pacific Law Forum – 2016, held at the BMICH today (12). Golden Jubilee which completes 50 years of the Asia Pacific Law Forum is being held in Sri Lanka. Law Forum which is also held from 13th to 15th, parallel to the Golden Jubilee. more..

Fireman Herath rescues SL from the pits

Aug 16 (CI) There was a hole at the SSC. This is not the foot-hole in the bowling crease, which Australia bowlers had reported to be so deep, that by now, Mitchell Starc should able to travel through it to Rio, to watch brother Brandon compete in the high-jump. This hole was merely figurative. (Though, again, this is not a jibe at SL Cricket administrators' travel-and-expenses account.) No, this was the kind of hole more..

Series of money-swindling scandals confront small banks

Aug 16 (ST) A series of money swindling scandals have engulfed several Thrift and Credit Cooperative Society (TCCS) banks while the Department of Co-operative Development (DCD) and the Provincial Co-operative Development Commissioner (PCDC) have been accused of inaction. A large number of small depositors, lured by the comparatively higher interest rates offered by some of these institutions, have lost their life savings and don’t know who to turn to as their complaints to state authorities more..

National Conference on Organ Donation and Transplantation today

Aug 16 (FT) National Conference on Organ Donation and Transplantation will be held today from 8.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. at SL Foundation Institute. Chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal failure is a significant health problem in SL. Chronic haemodialysis without a kidney transplant is a highly expensive facility and is not available to all patients in SL. The predominant practice of kidney transplantation in SL is conducted by means of live donor kidney transplantation. more..

Sri Lankan businesses disappointed over govt performance, survey shows

Aug 16 (EN) Sri Lanka’s corporate sector is disappointed over the new coalition govt’s performance since it was formed last year but strongly support its commitment to free trade, logistics and public-private partnerships, a new survey has found. Done by the CCC, the survey found that although respondents rated govt performance as poor, they were optimistic about the govt’s ability to deliver economic results in the next 4 years. more..

New operation theatre, ICU & ward complex at Embilipitiya base hospital

Aug 16 (PMD) The newly built, state of art Operation Theatre, Intensive Care Unit and Ward Complex at the Embilipitiya Base Hospital vested with the public under the patronage of President Sirisena. These development works had been done at a cost of around 100 million rupees in order to remove many shortages at the hospital existed for a long period. After declaring open Ward Complex, President made an inspection tour of the hospital. He also registered the first patient to Male’s Ward. more..

French Naval ship arrives at Sri Lankan port on goodwill visit

Aug 16 (SLN) The French naval vessel “Revi” arrived at the Port of Trincomalee this morning (15) on a goodwill visit. The ship was ceremonially welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy in accordance with naval traditions on her arrival. Subsequently, Commanding Officer of the French naval ship Revi, Lieutenant Stephane Congues called on Commander Eastern Naval Area, Rear Admiral Travis Sinniah at the Eastern Naval Command Headquarters and held cordial discussions. more..

Tense situation erupts during ‘Different yet Equal’ campaign

Aug 16 (DN) A tense situation erupted during the campaign of Different yet Equal close to Baudhaloka Mawatha yesterday. A group of monks representing the Singha Le Jathika Balamuluwa disrupted the unity campaign claiming that the campaigners cannot use the term Singha Le during their demonstration. The Different yet Equal refuted it saying that Singha Le, Ekama Le. “The motive of the Singha Le organisation was to more..

Indian further remanded

Aug 16 (CT) Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne yesterday ordered a 56-year-old Indian national, who was arrested and remanded till yesterday on charges of molesting a 14-year-old British girl, at a five-star hotel in Colpetty, to be further remanded till 25 August. According to the Police, the teenage British girl had arrived in Colombo on a vacation with her parents and four siblings and had been residing at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel in Colombo 3. On 14 August the victim had, after a swim, more..

Navy nabs 17 illegal migrants

Aug 16 (CT) SL Navy on Monday intercepted a fishing craft and arrested 17 illegal migrants on board, were believed to be heading to Australia. 17 would-be illegal immigrants were taken into the custody and the boat was confiscated, Navy said. Navy arrested the passengers and the boat on the seas off Batticaloa. They were brought to the Trincomalee harbour and handed over to the CID for further investigations. These migrants who try to set foot in countries like Australia and Italy more..

SL signs MoU with China on vital projects

Aug 16 (DM) Govt is reported to have signed a MoU with China with the assurance to encourage Chinese investments and to implement key projects including the Colombo-Ratnapura expressway. Development Strategies and Int'l Trade Ministry had signed the agreement on behalf of SL Govt while Chinese Commerce Ministry on behalf of China. Among the proposed Chinese investments to be implemented on a priority basis are more..

‘SL-Ind economic pact may soon be a reality’

Aug 16 (Hindu) Proposed Economic & Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) between India and SL, which would be an improvement over the existing Free Trade Agreement (FTA), may soon be a reality. Indicating this, Y.K. Sinha, Indian High Commissioner, used 70th Independence Day as the occasion to tell critics and sceptics of the ETCA that “it is up to Sri Lankans themselves to decide on the contours of any agreement that they sign with a foreign country”. more..

Norwegian research vessel to assess Lankan marine stocks

Aug 16 (DN) Norwegian funded research vessel will visit SL waters next year to carry out a marine stock assessment, Norwegian PM Erna Solberg said. This would be the first time an in-depth research on fish stocks and a marine survey covering the entire sea of the country conducted in SL, and Norway has consented to extend their support to SL in this endeavour. “SL & Norway could work together through our fisheries cooperation on sustainable use of marine resources” more..

Hero Scot set for SL court showdown with politician's son over nightclub brawl

Aug 16 (HS) A Scots engineer who became an overnight celebrity in Sri Lanka after punching the hated playboy son of a govt minister has spoken of his hope to see justice done as a long-running investigation into the incident finally comes to court. James Casserly, was hailed a hero by the local press after he tackled notorious hellraiser Malaka Silva during a Halloween night out at Rhythm & Blues nightclub in 2014. more..

'Playground is a centre for reconciliation'

Aug 16 (ITN) President Maithripala Sirisena has said that the playground is the Centre for Reconciliation. He further said that if politicians had stepped into the playground, a deterioration would not have been witnessed in the political field. The launch of the Sports Star Sports Festival was held at the Embilipitiya Mahaweli grounds under the patronage of President Sirisena. It was joined by sports trainers and sports officials representing the nine Provinces in the island. more..

Asian Bishops’ Conference in Colombo

Aug 16 (Island) Arrangements had been made to hold the Asian Bishops Conference in Colombo next November, Bishop of Galle Raymond Wickremesinghe disclosed during a media briefing. Bishop Wickremesinghe said more than 200 Bishops, Archbishops and Cardinals were expected to attend the conference. Already several visiting representatives from Vatican had consulted Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith regarding the conduct of the Asian Bishops’ Conference. more..

SSC curator slams Ugly Aussies

Aug 16 (Island) Curator of SSC ground Michael de Zoysa has slammed the Australian cricket team as Ugly Aussies. De Zoysa said that he had lost patience with the tourists following constant complaints and had to even bring certain incidents to the notice of Match Referee Chris Broad. De Zoysa was upset that the tourists had accused the ground staff at SSC for preparing another three day Test match wicket. more..

Nabbed with knife at BIA

Aug 16 (CT) Air Force Media Spokesman, Group Captain Chandima Alwis, said the security service officers at the BIA had apprehended a man who had allegedly attempted to enter the departure lounge of the airport carrying a 1-foot-long sharp knife on his person at around 7:30 a.m. yesterday. He said the man had subsequently been handed over to the Airport Police. The suspect has been identified as Gunasiri Ananda, a 31-year-old resident of Pittugala, Malabe. more..

Gotabaya to claim damages from CBK

Aug 16 (CT) Former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa's lawyer will send a letter of demand to former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, for publicly slandering him, leader of PHU Udaya Gammanpila said. He claimed that the current government has contracted Gotabayaphobia, because various steps have been taken against the former Defence Secretary. "Also, they have kept nine officials of the Army in custody for nearly a month, over the disappearance of journalist more..

GMOA warns of surreptitious bid to ink ETCA

Aug 16 (Island) GMOA warned of an attempt by certain sections subservient to India formulating the Indo-SL Economic and Technological Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) while misleading the govt into setting up a conducive political environment here for it. GMOA Spokesman, Dr Samantha Ananda said his union had impressed upon President Maithripala Sirisena, Minister Malik Samarawickrema, and members of the clergy more..

Tobacco tax; the lies go up in smoke

Aug 16 (DM) Though Sri Lanka is proclaimed to be free and sovereign, it is known that behind the scenes there is large scale lobbying by transnational companies connected to multi-million dollar areas such as pharmaceuticals, food or nutrition and tobacco. They operate through top politicians, officials and vested interests to continue what social analysts see as economic neocolonialism. We focus on this huge though largely unseen issue because the Cabinet today is likely to take up more..

Get up, Rip Van Winkle; get up!

Aug 16 (DM) Tea took over from coffee after it fell to a type of leaf blight. But it took some time for James Taylor to pioneer Ceylon Tea as a commercial product. Thanks to foreign interest in growing tea in virgin soil and selling black tea produced abroad, a tea trade began to grow and tea planters and their principals who took up the gamble of planting tea became the major beneficiaries in an agro-business that became a major foreign exchange earner. Today, it still is. more..

Right of reply by former JMO

Aug 16 (DM) Colombo’s former Judicial Medical Officer Prof. Ananda Samarasekara has sent the following reply to our feature article headlined Thajudeen murder: then a mystery still a mystery- The Questionable role of former JMO Prof. Ananda Samarasekara. This appeared on August 10. While we stand-by our story, here we publish the response of the former Prof. Samarasekara as his right of reply and in line with the highest more..

Sugandhi shatters Sri Lankan record

Aug 16 (CT) Lakshika Sugandhi bettered her own Sri Lanka record in the heptathlon with 4,615 points, while Himasha Eashan retained the Fastest Man title with a Gold Medal in the 100m, once again beating his closest National rival and training partner Vinoj Suranjaya de Silva at the 9th Defence Services Athletics Championship continued at Diyagama yesterday. Sugandhi who last bettered the record at last month's more..

Vasu blames US for passage of OMPB

Aug 16 (Island) The US influence over SL parliament had made the govt rush through the House the Office of the Missing Persons Bill (OMPB) on Friday, despite the widespread criticism it had faced, Leader of DLF MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara said. He said that US Embassy in Colombo had influenced the Speaker of SL Parliament to pass the OMPB on Friday itself and it was one of the main reasons for the protest more..

Probe into students sitting A-L in 16 districts

Aug 16 (ST) Examinations Department has opened an investigation in 16 districts where they suspect students from other areas are sitting the GCE (A/L) exam in order to obtain easier university entrance. Education Officers have been sent to the 16 districts, where lower entry grades for university entrance apply, to ascertain whether students had fraudulently registered in schools there to gain benefit of lower Z-score, more..

Sigiriya under threat

Aug 16 (SL) Sri Lanka is a beautiful country filled with nature, forest cover, ecological and water provisions, different species of birds wildlife and so on which also includes several world heritage sites declared by the UNESCO and reserved in the constitution by the govt. One may agree the protection of nature and the environment in the nation is only given in the papers and is not implemented. more..

Revisiting Lakshman Kadirgamar on his 11th death anniversary

Aug 16 (DN) Lakshman Kadirgamar is no doubt the most outstanding Foreign Minister Sri Lanka ever had, who did utmost justice for the task he was entrusted with. The eminent lawyer, Oxford scholar and illustrious humanitarian who entered politics later in life, had a clear and steady mission for his country when he took the baton in 1994. His dream was to build a multi-religious and multi-ethnic Sri Lanka more..