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Lankan embassy in Doha warns against recruiting maids online

Aug 29 (TP) SL Embassy in Doha has advised employers to be cautious about online advertisements for recruitment of maids and urged them to verify details with the mission. Many advertisements for maids posted on social media and other online platforms lack credibility and some mislead employers, Counsellor at the embassy said. “There are people who advertise about maids on social media, but they are not reliable. more..

No VAT (Amendment) Bill before Budget

Aug 29 (DM) The govt is unlikely to present VAT (Amendment) Bill before the budget to be presented to Parliament on Nov 10, it is learnt. The previous attempt to present was nullified by Supreme Court on the basis that the due procedure outlined both in the Constitution and the parliamentary Standing Orders has not been followed in presenting it. Subsequently, govt initiated fresh action to redraft the Bill and present it more..

Video: SLFP was snatched from me: MR

Aug 29 (DM) Former President Rajapaksa said SLFP which was headed by him until 2015 when he lost Presidential Election, was forcibly snatched by his successor President Sirisena. Former president said he did not offer the leadership of the party at any occasion. He said President Sirisena called a separate convention for SLFP members where new Central Committee was formed under his own consent in an attempt more..

New model to administer loss making plantation companies

Aug 29 (DM) The govt will introduce a new model to run the plantation companies soon, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday. Speaking at the UNP membership drive in Hatton, PM said all plantation companies which are undergoing losses would be brought under this new model of administration. “Some plantation companies are not run effectively and incur losses while others are running at a profit. more..

Honey trap racket targeting randy, elderly, rich men busted

Aug 29 (Island) Police yesterday busted a racket where several women posing off as teledrama actresses relieved elderly businessmen of their valuables. Police deployed several decoys on information obtained following a complaint lodged by a 64-year-old businessman who had been duped by two women on July 29. The women lured businessmen into taking them to lodges, where they got the victims to take one too many. Later the racketeers relieved them of their valuables more..

Govt fast tracks the superstructure reform process

Aug 29 (CT) The constitutional reform process moving forward rapidly, though without a high level of publicity, indicates that the govt leadership has a businesslike approach to political reform. It is reported that four of the six subcommittees who were given different areas of constitutional reform to deal with have handed in their reports to the steering committee on constitutional reform headed by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, which is responsible for producing the draft constitution. more..

පියානෝ වාදන ශිල්පිනි ටාන්යා

Sri Lankan stocks end lower on profit-taking

Aug 29 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares fell for a second straight session on Monday in moderate volume as investors booked profits. The increase in excise duty on diesel which dragged on Lanka OIC also pulled down the index, brokers said. Sri Lanka's finance ministry on Friday said it had increased the excise duty on diesel by 10 rupees with effect from Aug 20, but there will not be any price increase in diesel at pumps. Shares in Lanka IOC ended down 2.12% on Monday. more..

Hooted at Minister John: Three arrested

Aug 29 (DM) Two women and a man had been arrested by the Police last night over allegedly hooting at Minister John Amaratunga at a function in Wattala. Police had to escort Minister Amarathunga, when a group of people hooted at him after he arrived to lay the foundation stone for a Tamil school at Olyyamulla in Wattala. People expressed their objection of the plan to put up a building for a Tamil school on a block of land that had earlier been reserved for a sports ground. more..

CERT ensuring Prez’s website invulnerable

Aug 29 (CT) Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT) has taken various steps to ensure that President Sirisena's official website will in future not be vulnerable to hackers, following last week's cyber attack that threatened a cyber war in the near future. Information Security Engineer of CERT Roshan Chandragupta said that they were working together with the IT Department of the President's office, to take precautionary more..

India, not Ban, the adjudicator

Aug 29 (CT) As reported on these pages yesterday, UN Secretary General (UNSG) Ban Ki-moon is expected to visit the island on Wednesday. During his visit, he's supposed to meet President Maithripala Sirisena. Ban Ki-moon is also expected to visit Jaffna and meet with Northern Province Governor Reginald Cooray. The UNSG is also billed to speak on the UN's global development goals in Colombo. UNSG's visit to Colombo on Wednesday will be his second to the island. more..

Only in Sri Lanka: 46 officials accompanied a 9-member olympics team

Aug 29 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has directed Sports officials to probe how 46 officials accompanied a 9-member sports team that represented Sri Lanka at the recently concluded Rio Olympics. The PM has also ordered officials to submit a full report on the activities of the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka for the past five years. The PM has specially directed them to include information on those who attended the Rio Olympics from Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka arrests 17-year-old youth for hacking president's website

Aug 29 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan investigators on Monday arrested a 17-year-old youth for allegedly hacking into the President's official website last week. Police have also launched a manhunt for a Bangladeshi national who is also believed to be involved in the incident. Initial investigations revealed that the 17-year-old school boy was from the Central Hills of Kandy. "Police are not sure what their actual motive is but more..

Security joke at Dambulla

Aug 29 (CT) Spectators who had purchased tickets had to undergo a horrendous experience as security and crowd control by the law enforcement officers ended up in disaster as a large number of groups without valid tickets stormed into every section of the ground before the start of the third ODI between SL and Australia at Dambulla yesterday. Police seemed to be helpless and some officers were deliberately looking the other way while the crowd stormed past barriers to enter every block of the ground. more..

Tea industry opposes govt seizing cess fund

Aug 29 (EN) Tea industry has opposed a reported govt attempt to take over a cess fund charged from exports in order to promote Ceylon tea globally and demanded that if not the cess be suspended. “All stakeholders of the tea industry express their unmitigated and resolute opposition to the intention, as reported in the media, of Ministry of Finance to appropriate the funds accumulated by the Sri Lanka Tea Board, which had been collected from the Industry, for Global Tea Promotion,” more..

Sri Lanka to fix import prices to enforce retail drug price controls

Aug 29 (EN) Sri Lanka's drug price control regime has taken a new twist with the state planning to fix import prices of medicines in a bid counter pharmaceutical firms padding up retail pricing formula as predicted by analysts last year. Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said pharmaceutical firms were padding up a retail pricing formula by inflating import prices. "We will issue fixed CIF (cost-insurance-freight) prices to stop them," more..

Committee should probe bribery charges against MS: PHU

Aug 29 (DM) A commission comprising former Attorney Generals and Auditor Generals should be appointed to probe the bribery charges against the President as reported in the Australian media, PHU General Secretary Udaya Gammanpila said. He said this was vital to protect the country's image from being tarnished. Australian media reported that Australian Police are investigating allegations that the overseas staff of Snowy Mountains Engineering Company (SMEC) had bribed more..

Sri Lankan firms advised to get sourcing strategy right

Aug 29 (EN) An int'l expert has advised SL firms to have a sound sourcing strategy in order to help improve the overall business performance by sourcing the rights products at the right price and at the right time. Tom Albrigston, a director at the Norway based Fair Deal AS, said it is important for firms to have an effective sourcing strategy. ‘Many firms ignore this point, even though they have strategies in place for marketing, finance, product development and sales,” more..

Dilshan opens up on lack of support during captaincy tenure

Aug 29 (CI) Tillakaratne Dilshan cast aspersions on the conduct of former and present team-mates -particularly Angelo Mathews - soon after his final ODI, against Australia on Sunday. Prompted to speak on the challenges faced in his 10-month stint as SL captain between April 2011 and Jan 2012, Dilshan suggested he did not have the support of some team-mates. He also said he had been hurt by his sudden removal as captain, more..

Sri Lankan cricket board apologises for crowd chaos in Dambulla ODI

Aug 29 (IANS) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) on Monday issued an apology for inadequate crowd control measures during their third ODI against Australia in Dambulla. Australia won a close contest by two wickets at the Rangiri Stadium on Sunday to pull ahead 2-1 in the five-match series. Over-enthusiastic cricket fans climbed trees, walls and scaffolding to get a glimpse of the match and, around 45,000 people thronged the venue which has a capacity of only 18,000. more..

Fighting for recognition: Opening of Hingurana weekly fair complex a circus

Aug 29 (Island) The organisers of the opening ceremony of the newly done up Hingurana Weekly Fair complex found themselves in a dilemma as they were forced to conduct two opening ceremonies on Saturday. First, Minister Daya Gamage with his wife Deputy Minister Anoma Gamage barged in and declared the fair open. That was followed by Eastern Province Chief Minister Nazeer Ahamed and his party unveiling the same plaque sometime later on the same day. more..

World Bank Vice President visits Sri Lanka for talks on north, local govt support

Aug 29 (EN) World Bank South Asia Region Vice President Annette Dixon arrived in Sri Lanka Monday on an official two-day visit during which she will hold talks on projects supporting local govt service delivery and northern province development, including Jaffna city. She will be meeting with senior officials including Minister Ravi Karunanayake; Governor of CB Indrajit Coomaraswamy & CM C.V. Vigneswaran, more..

New Sri Lanka Constitution could be presented in parliament by November

Aug 29 (PTI) SL’s new draft Constitution could be presented in Parliament before the next budget which would be announced by mid-Nov this year, Minister Mangala Samaraweera has said while hoping that it will celebrate the country’s diversity. “We hope to be able to present that [Constitution] in parliament before the next budget,” he said while addressing a gathering in Point Pedro. The 2017 govt budget is expected to be presented in Parliament mid-November. more..

Video: Volkswagen project has temporarily been halted: Eran

Aug 29 (AD) The proposed project to set up a Volkswagen car plant in Sri Lanka has temporarily been halted, Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne says. He went on to say that the project has been temporarily halted due to several issues that the company had to face “in international level.” Germany’s famous car-maker Volkswagen however had earlier signed an agreement with the BOI to establish a USD 26.5 million investment motorcar assembling plant in the island. more..

LTTE leader's name to be reported to Office of Missing Persons

Aug 29 (PTI) With some Tamil nationalists in Sri Lanka still believing that V Prabhakaran may still be alive, a TNA leader has said the LTTE supremo's name could be reported to the newly setup Office of the Missing Persons (OMP). M Shivajilingam, a member of the NPC said that he was willing to report Prabhakaran's name to the OMP set up by the govt. "If his sister or the brother wants it reported to OMP I am willing more..

Dejected over losing stewardship over mega project

Aug 29 (DM) This purohita presiding over a portfolio linked to marine traffic is a highly disillusioned one, they say. His main grouse is that the country’s main development project, which he feels, should invariably come under the purview of his Ministry has gone to another political authority. He had told his friends that he learnt for the first time that he had been distanced from this project only at the time the protocols on it were signed. The unhappy purohita had confided in a friend that he, more..

Uduwe Dhammaloka thera seeks permission to travel abroad

Aug 29 (AM) Uduwe Dhammaloka Thera today sought permission from the High Court to travel abroad for a Dhamma program in the UK. His lawyers today filed a request through a motion, informing that Dhammaloka Thera has to be abroad from Sept 3 to Sept 7. The Attorney General requested the relevant documents before an opinion could be given. High Court judge Nissanka Karunathilaka gave the AG till tomorrow to give his opinion on Dhammaloka Thera's request. more..

'Tamils want devolution, not separation'

Aug 29 (PTI) Tamils no longer want a separate state and want a united Sri Lanka, seeking a solution to the decades-old ethnic issue through the new Constitution with the participation of all communities, leader of the opposition and the main Tamil party has said. Making a historic visit to SL's Sinhala majority dominated south yesterday, TNA leader R Sampanthan said the Tamils no longer aspired to separate the country. more..

Grace and Grandeur of Nallur

Aug 29 (CT) Nallur Kanthan is a graceful deity and the Nallur Kanthaswamy Kovil is considered to be one of the most famous, significant and powerful Hindu shrines in the history of Hinduism in SL. It is located in the northern corner of the island and in the heart of Jaffna. It is recognized as the abode of Lord Murugan, where he dwells with his two spouses, namely Valliamman and Deivanai. To add to the divine delight, it's also an excellently managed shrine with punctuality a prime practice more..

Three killed in highway accidents

Aug 29 (DM) At least three people were killed and two others were injured in two separate accidents in Colombo-Katunayake Expressway and the Southern Expressway. Police said two people were killed and one injured when a car they were travelling in, crashed into a lamp post near the Ja-Ela entrance of the Colombo-Katunayake Expressway this morning. The driver (23) and a passenger (25) were succumbed to injuries after being admitted to the Ragama Hospital. more..

Video: ECT joint venture terms changed: JVP

Aug 29 (DM) The conditions pertaining to the proposed joint venture to administer the Eastern Container Terminal at the Colombo Port has been changed bypassing the Cabinet, JVP said. JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake said that Cabinet approval was given to a paper presented by Minister Arjuna Ranatunga for a joint venture with the private sector to administer the Eastern Container Terminal with the SLPA having a 51% stake. more..

Barriers beyond tariffs: SL’s exports to China

Aug 30 (IPS) Sri Lanka is stepping up its game in trade by going full steam ahead on negotiating free trade agreements (FTAs) with three of its major trading partners – India, China and Singapore. The -government hopes to conclude discussions and strike comprehensive trade deals with India and Singapore by Dec 2016, and with China by the first quarter of 2017. Sri Lanka’s recent enthusiasm for FTAs with major trading partners, dubbed in media as FTA Mania, is not without good reason. more..

Ranil’s slogan Jobs, better life

Aug 30 (CT) Premier speaking at SL's first ever Human Capital Development Summit which was inaugurated in Colombo on 11 Aug, said that three issues govern the govt's thinking. Those were, primarily the next elections due in another five years' time, and targeting that, to provide jobs and a better life to the people of the country. PM further said in this respect the private sector will have to pull up its socks, with deal making and crony capitalism becoming things of the past. more..

'Issues faced by Tamils not fully addressed'

Aug 30 (SL) S. Thavarajah, leader of the opposition in the NPC and EPDP member, is of the view that the unity govt has achieved some mileage in steering the country on the right track, but it is totally inadequate. He said the Tamil people’s issues are still not resolved in a tangible manner. He said that the Tamil people who have undergone great difficulties over the past 30 years should be given compensation and more..

Security can coexist with human rights

Aug 30 (CT) I felt sad to learn from the media that thousands who were displaced by the civil war were still roughing it out in refugee camps, waiting for their native lands to be released by the Army. According to the newspapers thirty one welfare camps are situated in seven Divisional Secretariats of the Jaffna District, housing 936 families, comprising 3,260 people. The news took my memory back to 1997, when I visited the Poonthottam Camp in Vavuniya, as the first chairman of more..

JO rebels impaled upon Swords of Secrets

Aug 30 (ST) November 2014. In that winter of his reign as Lanka’s self-acclaimed king, Mahinda Rajapaksa felt the first harsh gust of cold wind threaten the family tree: and saw, in that season of his decline, the first ominous signs of the birds that had swarmed round the fruitful abode of plenty now deserting in flocks, flying pell-mell in droves from the boughs upon which they had once perched and feathered their nests, to that evergreen meadow of the still unborn spring, more..

'A supreme audit institution is the need'

Aug 30 (SO) National Audit Bill, one of the 100-day pledges of Govt, is still struggling after a year, to overcome the initial Cabinet hurdle before it can march its way to Parliament. Commending the Govt for making his office independent from political interference, Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe warned against moves to transfer some of his proposed powers to a special committee. "It is not a feasible option. more..

SL and Australia's strategic defense interests

Aug 30 (TD) Sri Lanka and Australia have enjoyed a robust bilateral relationship for more than six decades, since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1947. Historical records show people-to-people connections between the two former British colonies date back much earlier, to at least the late 19th century. Moreover, the two countries have cooperated in several multilateral forums over the years, including in the Commonwealth and the Colombo plan and, more..

Editorial: When small is not beautiful

Aug 30 (Island) Minister of Ports and Shipping Arjuna Ranatunga has embarked on an ambitious project as is his wont. He has undertaken to put up the world’s tallest Christmas tree on the Galle Face Green! There has been a mixed reaction thereto. Schumacher’s aphorism, Small is beautiful is not for Sri Lankans, who seem to think the bigger, the better. We think so big that we end up achieving too little paradoxical as it may sound. PM keeps telling us that we can be proud of having more..

JVP press conference