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A.S Jayawardena’s short spell as CB’s Economic Research Director

Aug 30 (CT) First part of this series looked at how AS, a radical socialist economist in his young days, was converted to a free market economic thinker. Second part dealt with how he took forward the mission of Bank of Ceylon, as its GM, to transform it from the elite’s bank to the common man’s bank. His transformation was supported by his studies at both the London School of Economics and Harvard University and his association with the world-renowned economists he met at both places. more..

Govt’s first year political achievements and economic disappointments

Aug 30 (ST) Assessments of the new govt that came to power a little over a year ago have been mostly those of disappointment and disillusionment. However a balanced assessment of the first year’s performance is that there have been considerable improvements in political freedoms and governance, but inadequate achievements on the economic front. The disappointment of its economic performance is quite widespread. Several underlying reasons account for this dissatisfaction. more..

Over 25,000 participants at National School Games

Aug 30 (ST) The All-Island School Games 2016 will be held in four stages from Sept 2 to Oct 17. The event will be continued on all weekends. This has been decided by the Ministry of Education. Twenty eight sports have been included in the All-Island School Games. Over 25,000 school athletes are expected to be in the fray. Special Consultant of Sports Ministry of Education Sunil Jayaweera who is behind revival of this event more..

A big question mark over his benevolence

Aug 30 (DM) Unusual generosity on the part of a leading businessman has raised eye brows in political circles, they say. This businessman has already paid a lump sum of Rs.9 million as six months’ payment for a house taken on rent by a leading politician. Politician had moved into the rented house because his official residence is now under repairs. Incidentally, this generous businessman is a son-in-law of a onetime white-collar bigwig who controlled public finance. more..

Quo Vadis the bourse?

Aug 30 (CT) A rising interest rate market is not conducive to attract foreign portfolio investments into the Colombo Stock Market (CSM). This is because the fixed income market in such a scenario is much more attractive to the investor to place his bets. In this connection, commercial banks' average weighted prime lending rate (AWPLR), year-on-year to last Friday, 19 August, had had increased by 489 basis points (bps) or by 4.89 percentage points (72.02%) to 11.68%. more..

Improving urban services and livability across Sri Lanka

Aug 30 (WB) What makes a city competitive? What makes a city livable? Sri Lanka’s cities are experiencing rapid development but are facing growing pains. These increasingly vibrant and dynamic centers including the country’s secondary cities of Kandy, Galle and Jaffna are increasingly plagued by congestion and lack of equal access to quality services and facilities by residents. more..

Address barriers to exports before entering FTAs: Think Tank

Aug 30 (DM) Sri Lanka must address internal barriers to exports that it can control, before placing all its efforts on creating Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), Verite Research, a Colombo-based think tank said at a seminar themed A Ship Without Sails: Trade Access Without Competitiveness. “The question is whether we are focusing too much on FTAs and too little on the multiple areas on which we can assist to improve exports and export competitiveness?” Dr. Nishan De Mel asked. more..

Industry & Commerce Ministry denies nadu rice raid in Polonnaruwa

Aug 30 (FT) Refuting media reports of a raid conducted by Public Health Inspectors at the Polonnaruwa rice mill in connection with Lak Sathosa, the Industry and Commerce Ministry yesterday said that the sealed nadu rice stock was fit for consumption. Several media reports alleged that a few days ago a group of PHIs from Minneriya had raided a rice mill holding 2,450 metric tonnes of nadu rice which was unsuitable for consumption. “That nadu rice stock was given to Mihiri mill more..

Tea industry gets tough over moves to tamper with Global Promotion Fund

Aug 30 (FT) All stakeholders of the tea industry expressed their unmitigated and resolute opposition to the intention, as reported in the media, of the Ministry of Finance to appropriate the funds accumulated by the SL Tea Board which had been collected from the industry for global tea promotion. A joint statement to this effect was issued by The Colombo Tea Traders’ Association, The Tea Exporters’ Association, more..

Body recovered from abandoned gem pit

Aug 30 (Island) The Bogawanthalawa Police recovered the body of a man from an abandoned gem pit around 8 am yesterday. The deceased has been identified as M. Devendran (43) a father of two, who resided at Theresia Estate in Bogawanthalawa. His family members had identified the body yesterday afternoon. A person who was cutting grass for his cattle near the pit yesterday morning saw the body first and informed police. Family members told police that victim had left home more..

Double murder: Death sentence on two

Aug 30 (DN) Thangalla High Court imposed death sentence on two who were found guilty of a double murder on Oct 2, 2002 at Unakuruwa beach in Tangalla. Thangalla High Court Judge Sujatha Alahapperuma sentenced two brothers, Pradeep Priyantha, 52, and Oliver Chandrasiri, 61, of Unakuruwa, Thangalla for committing the murder of two brothers by hacking and shooting. The victims were Arukkattu Patabendige Sujith and Arukkattu Patabendige Sanee. more..

PM and his friends making decisions about country's economy behind closed doors

Aug 30 (LT) It is revealed that there is a plan to hand over the East Container Terminal of Colombo Port, the container operational terminal fully owned by Ports Authority, to an Indian company. This decision has been taken by the three member committee of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, Minister Malik Samarawickrama and Consultant R. Paskaralingam. Minister Arjuna Ranatunga presented a cabinet paper on 22nd June, more..

‘Govt divesting part of its stake in SOEs to increase private participation in bourse’

Aug 30 (Island) "Govt is now in the process of divesting part of its holdings in public entities, through Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) listings, to infuse private sector participation in public enterprises. This is the best transparent mechanism rather than privatizing public entities, CSE chairman Vajira Kulatilaka said. "When the govt divests part of its holdings in these entities through the CSE, these entities automatically become listed companies and all their financial transactions more..

Fire at Colombo Port

Aug 30 (CT) A fire broke out in a stock of rubber at the Eastern Terminal of the Colombo Port yesterday, Colombo Ports Authority said. President of the SL Nidhas Sevaka Sangamaya, Ports Branch, Prasanna Kalutarage said, the fire broke out in the Eastern Terminal, which was owned by the well-known automobile company. The fire had broken out when workers at the ports tried to take away the old stock, he said adding that had been no major damage and no one was injured. more..

'Military Intelligence involved'

Aug 30 (CT) Additional Solicitor General Sarath Jayamanne told Supreme Court that he had evidence to prove that Prageeth Ekneligoda was abducted by intelligence officers of the military. He said he would take full responsibility for what he had said. Jayamanne revealed this before Bench comprising CJ Sripavan and Justices Sisira Abrew and Upali Abeyratne, when providing answers to the petition filed by two intelligence officers more..

Anura Yapa contradicts MR’s claim

Aug 30 (CT) Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa contradicted former President Mahinda Rajapaksa's statement that the SLFP leadership was snatched from him. Yapa said, the transfer of the SLFP leadership took place amicably. He added, "As far as I know, there was a discussion between the two leaders and then it was handed over to President Sirisena by Mahinda Rajapaksa. That is what I know. This took place at the Speaker's residence. I have no knowledge of other things." more..

Randy grandfather in hot water

Aug 30 (DN) A 70-year-old grandfather who had raised his sarong and exposed his person to a female undergraduate while travelling in a crowded SLTB bus from Matara to Akuressa was nabbed by Akuressa Police. Rs. 35,000 found in his possession was also taken into Police custody. Police said according to the bus conductor, the man, a notorious pervert had placed many women into inconvenience in the past. The undergraduate of the Ruhuna University had been on her way to more..

Trainee JMO blamed for molesting female patient

Aug 30 (Island) Trainee Judicial Medical Officer, who was accused of molesting a young female at the Kalubowila Teaching Hospital (KTH) has been barred from continuing his training in the Hospital’s Judicial Medical Unit till investigations are over. Director of KTH Dr. Asela Gunewardane said that Judicial medical officers from Sri J'pura Medical Faculty underwent training at KTH since Sri J'pura General Hospital lacked required facilities. more..

Athurugiriya shooting incident: Police submit report to Kaduwela Magistrate

Aug 30 (DN) Athurugiriya Police yesterday submitted a report to the Kaduwela Magistrate, regarding a shooting incident where the wife of an Army Colonel was hospitalised with gun shot injuries. Two gunmen arrived on a motorcycle and shot at the woman through a window of her house at Isurupura in Athurugiriya on Saturday night. The gunmen fled. She was admitted to Colombo National Hospital. She was sleeping with her three children when the gunman fired at her. more..

PAFFREL calls for completion of delayed delimitation process

Aug 30 (FT) The People’s Action For Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) organisation yesterday urged the National Delimitation Committee to complete the delimitation process of electorates before tomorrow (31 August) as it promised earlier. Writing to Committee Chairman Asoka Peiris, PAFFREL claimed keeping local Govt authorities under officers’ administration for nearly two years by extending the terms without holding the election was a violation for the democracy. more..

PM’s intervention prevents fast-unto-death against Kollonnawa garbage dumps

Aug 30 (Island) Kolonnawa Bhikkhu Organisation and All Religious Association threatened a fast-unto-death campaign starting from tomorrow if the govt did not solve the 30-year-long garbage problem in the area. Chairman of the two organisations Ven Labuthale Sudassana Thera said they were to commence the hunger strike yesterday but decided to suspend it following a telephone call from PM, who promised a solution for more..

Sulaiman’s murder planned for months

Aug 30 (CT) Police have received information that the murder of millionaire businessman Mohammad Sulaiman, of Colombo 4 had been carried out after being planned over several months. Sulaiman's killers had even attempted to bury the evidence, so that the Police would have been left with no clue to locate them. According to Police, they are currently examining the CCTV footage of 200 cameras that have been set up from Colombo 4 to Colombo 6, from Colombo 4 to Colombo 3 and more..

Probe disappearance of Tamils: Vaiko

Aug 30 (Hindu) MDMK general secretary Vaiko has urged UNHRC and Red Cross Society to inquire into the disappearance of Tamils in the last phase of war in Sri Lanka and the alleged poisoning of 107 LTTE cadres. He said Balakumar, one of the important Tamil leaders, who was seen sitting with his son in a photograph, disappeared during the last phase of the Eelam war. Similarly, senior LTTE leaders including Yogi, Baby Subramaniam and political wing Ezhilan were arrested by the SL Army. more..

SLFP CC in special meet tonight

Aug 30 (CT) The SLFP Central Committee will hold a special meeting tonight, at President Maithripala Sirisena's official residence down Paget Road, Party sources said. The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. The decision taken by nine Joint Opposition (JO) MPs, who had decided to boycott the party's 65th anniversary, having convened to their party organizations, is to be discussed at length during this meeting. more..

RDA warns of traffic in Rajagiriya

Aug 30 (DM) Due to the impending construction of a four-lane fly over spanning 533 metres in Welikada Rajagiriya, the RDA warned of congestions in the area commencing today. Vehicular traffic will have to use alternate routes on the J'pura Road, in Welikada Rajagiriya, due to do certain lanes being closed for traffic until Dec 2017. Meanwhile, the Expressway Operation Maintenance & Management Division requested the public to not to fly kites in the area near to the expressways. more..

Conspirers trying to create conflict between President, PM: Arjuna

Aug 30 (FT) A conspiracy is being created to cause conflict between President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, says Minister of Ports and Shipping Arjuna Ranatunga. Charging that a group that made money in the previous Govt is behind this conspiracy, the Minister further said that several websites were trying to cause this conflict in a technical manner. “On 8 January politicians who love to fulfil the need of the people joined hands together to ensure justice in this nation. more..

Rs 700M People’s Bank IT Scam Prime Minister intervenes

Aug 30 (CT) All documents and written evidence, pertaining to the controversial Rs 700 million IT project were handed over to PM Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday. Two board members of People's Bank, who were amongst those who challenged the proposed project to buy hardware for the digitalization of the bank, had personally gone to the PM's Office yesterday morning and handed over the documents. more..

Sampanthan goes South with hand of friendship

Aug 30 (DM) While the national govt is taking practical and concrete measures for reconciliation and the rebuilding of a sustainable peace, a significant move in this direction was also taken by the Opposition and TNA Leader R Sampanthan. Mr. Sampanthan, emerging as a moderate and middle path leader sincerely committed to a united SL, last Saturday made his first official visit to the South as Leader of the Opposition. He attended a Pirith ceremony at a Matara temple, more..

Triangle of conflicts in Tamil Politics

Aug 30 (DM) An elderly Tamil gentleman, who in his retired secluded life in a rural village seems eager for company, surprised me with his perfect Sinhala. Curious about his background, I asked how he learned Sinhala so well. He said he had worked in a private company as an area sales supervisor. Spanning a period of 40 years, he had lived in Kurunegala, Kalutara South, Galle and finally in Colombo. I asked his opinion on the January 8 change. This was what he had to say more..

Plantation industry in peril

Aug 30 (SL) In the light of the clash between the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Plantation Industry engaged in a brutal tug-of-war over the Cess funds amounting to over a staggering Rs 8.7 billion, the beleaguered plantation industry urged an urgent solution to ensure the future of the billion dollar industry that is in jeopardy. After meeting interim allowance obligations, Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) called on more..

Prabhakaran's siblings unlikely to petition office of missing persons to trace him

Aug 30 (ENS) M.K. Shivajilingam, Tamil politician and a relation of the slain Tamil Tiger chieftain V Prabhakaran, has said that he will assist Prabhakaran’s siblings, now living in India, Canada and Denmark, if they petition to the SL Office of Missing Persons (OMP) to trace him. But given the fact that when their mother, Parvathy Ammal, was gravely ill and was on her death bed in November 2010, they did not even visit her, more..

Health Minister laments increase in alcohol consumption

Aug 30 (Island) Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne said it would cost Sri Lanka a colossal sum of money to implement a strict programme to control the spread of non communicable diseases (NCDs). Dr. Senaratne launching the Sri Lanka eSTEPs survey – 2015 for Non Communicable Diseases Risk Factors in Colombo, said it would cost Sri Lanka Rs. 1.2 trillion to emulate Britain’s battle against NCDs and apply stringent more..

UAV, drone operators urged to register: CAA

Aug 30 (ST) Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is urging operators of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) including drones, to register with CAA, as the use of these instruments are fast gaining popularity. CAA Director General, H.M.C. Nimalsiri said, only around 50 UAV s are registered with them to date, while many more are believed to be in operation. CAA also intends to introduce regulations to register importers of UAVs. more..

Imperfect, but this was just the pre-farewell

Aug 30 (CI) Oh, this is perfect. Tillakaratne Dilshan's third-over drive off Mitchell Starc picks a gap not much wider than one of the strips of hair in his goatee. It is vintage Dilshan - taking on the opposition's fastest bowler, early in the innings. Some people have driven from Colombo for this. Some people have taken public transport, stopped at snack shops, had tea sweet enough to send their teeth floating into the cup, more..

Two senior ministers join SL Haj pilgrims

Aug 30 (AN) Two senior ministers from Colombo will join Sri Lankan pilgrims during this Haj, the island’s consul general, Faizer Mackeen, said. The VIP delegation will include Mohamed Hashim Abdul Haleem, Muslim religious affairs and posts; State Minister Abdul Hameed Mohamed Fowzie; and legislator Mujibur Rahman. Of the 2,240, the diplomat said, half of the Sri Lankan Haj pilgrims have arrived already in holy cities. more..

Video: The govt is two faced: JVP

Aug 30 (FP) Having played a key role in the Presidential Election in January 2015, the JVP suffered bruising losses in the Parliamentary elections that followed. Despite this, when UNP and SLFP formed a National Govt soon afterwards, it seemed that the TNA and the JVP would play a key role in Opposition—that is, until the Joint Opposition was formed and stole some of their thunder. more..

NFF questions silence of self-appointed anti-corruption hounds

Aug 30 (Island) The NFF called upon the leaders of anti-corruption outfits to make the country aware of their position on the bribery scandal allegedly involving the Snowy Mountains Engineering Company (SMEC) and President Sirisena. "Fairfax Media, one of the largest media institutions in Australia and New Zealand, has uncovered evidence of a bribery scandal allegedly involving the SMEC and President Sirisena. more..

Most SLFP electoral outfits decide against attending convention

Aug 30 (Island) SLFP electoral organisations will have to decide tomorrow whether their MPs in Joint Opposition should attend the 65th SLFP national convention on Sept 4 in Kurunegala. Majority of SLFP party electoral organisations had been consulted and all of them had decided against attending the convention. Majority of SLFP MPs in the Opposition would not attend the party Convention, sources said. more..

MR too old at 70 to form new party: Rajitha

Aug 30 (DM) Taking a swipe at moves by the joint opposition to from a new party headed by ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said such attempts were not conducive for a person who was 70 years of age. At a ceremony held to welcome the new SLFP organizer for Beruwala, M.M.M. Amjad, he said actor turned politician Vijaya Kumaratunga formed Mahajana Paksaya at the peak of his popularity more..

It's about time we woke up

Aug 30 (CT) What the rest of the world comes to know and fear as cyber terrorism or internet vigilantes such as the controversial hacker groups like Anonymous, to us Sri Lankans is a humdrum bunch of computer jilmart. We simply do not care about our cyber privacy or what lies, information and truths could be unveiled in the covered up annals of the Sri Lankan cyber waste bins. Our cyber security and internet privacy is nil; at stages of non-existence. more..