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VAT wanted!

Aug 31 (FT) Central Bank yesterday kept growth rates steady despite persistently high credit growth but warned that the Govt’s revenue targets could come under pressure unless the proposed VAT increase was implemented as quickly as possible. Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy told reporters that the economy was broadly on track to meet its growth target of 5.5% and mid-single-digit inflation but more..

Top team from State Bank of India in town

Aug 31 (FT) A top team from State Bank of India led by Chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya will be in the country as part of furthering its engagement in Sri Lanka. Bhattacharya, who is among Forbes’ Fifty Most Powerful Business Women in Asia, is here on invitation from the Central Bank to deliver the 66th anniversary oration titled Financial Sector Reforms in India today at 4:30 p.m. She is also the first woman Chairman of SBI in its over 208 years of history. more..

Decision on Hambantota bunkering project depends on China talks: Arjuna

Aug 31 (FT) Minister Arjuna Ranatunga says a decision over who will operate the bunkering facility at Hambantota port will be dependent on the outcome of talks with China, according to a report in Ship & Bunker. He has said that his ministry is awaiting proper advice from the Govt regarding the Chinese. “We need to see what China is looking at,” Minister was quoted as saying. China is understood to have already provided the bulk of the port’s $ 1.5 billion development costs, more..

Lt. Col. remanded over near fatal shooting of his estranged wife

Aug 31 (Island) The Athurugiriya police yesterday arrested a Lieutenant Colonel over a shooting incident at Malabe which left his wife with near fatal injuries, police said. Lt Col Pradeep Kumara Nettasinghe (47) attached to the Gajaba Regiment and currently serving with the army detachment deployed at the Mahinda Rajapaksa Nelum Pokuna Theatre was produced before Kaduwela Magistrate yesterday afternoon and was remanded. more..

SLC Marketing goes digital

Aug 31 (DN) Sri Lanka Cricket, the country’s most profitable sports body, will go ahead through Digital Marketing. ICC representative and it’s head of Digital Sales, Unmish Parthasarathi presented how SLC should evolve through this newest concept, which Cricket Australia and England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) are currently using. Singapore based Parshasarathi said Sri Lanka is a unique cricketing nation which he tagged as the Asian Calypso. more..

SLPA begins investigations on fire

Aug 31 (DN) Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) has begun separate investigations regarding this fire that broke out Hyundai Private site on Monday. A fire broke out at the Colombo Port’s Hyundai private site at around 1.30 pm on Wednesday. The fire occurred at a stack of scrap rubber tubes. These rubber tubes are used to pump sand to the land from the sea. There was no disturbance for the day to day activities of the Sri Lankan Ports Authority or for the Colombo Port terminals. more..

'Underhand deals to make mints off top cricketers'

Aug 31 (CT) Minister Arjuna Ramatunga voiced strong disapproval of the habit of corporate bodies to exploit the images of Lankan cricketers and other sports stars for commercial gain. This must stop immediately he said. Minister said these unscrupulous people were minting money by using sports camps at which they promote sports victories singling out the performances of special individuals. more..

Ministry of Housing and Construction signs MOU with UN-Habitat

Aug 31 (UNH) The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) strengthened its partnership with the Govt of Sri Lanka by signing a MoU with the Ministry of Housing and Construction. Mrs. W.K.K Athukorala, Secretary Ministry of Housing and Construction, signed the MoU on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka while Mr. Srinivasa Popuri, Senior Human Settlements Officer, UN-Habitat, Regional Office for Asia and Pacific, signed on behalf of UN-Habitat. more..

Govt to consider non-academic staff demands soon

Aug 31 (Island) Insurance and pension scheme for university non-academic staff would be considered by the govt in the near future as discussed with the union representatives, State Minister Mohan Lal Grero said. Addressing the 60th anniversary of the University Technical Officers’ Union he said Rs. 10,000 salary hike for public servants would be applicable to university non academic staff and Rs. 2,500 would also added to their basic salary within a few years, he added. more..

Families of people missing in Sri Lanka's civil war march in silence

Aug 31 (Reuters) Human rights activists and families of missing people rallied in Sri Lanka on Tuesday (30) in support of an office recently set up to independently investigate the cases of thousands of people who vanished during the govt's long conflict with Tamil Tiger rebels. The march marks International Day Against Forced Disappearances and comes a day ahead of U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's 3-day visit. more..

Construction of three highways by January: Minister

Aug 31 (DM) Construction work on three highways would be commenced by January 2017 by connecting the whole island, Minister Lakshman Kiriella said. He said Colombo-Kandy (Stage II), Colombo-Ratnapura and Kurunegala-Dambulla-Trincomalee - Jaffna Highways would be constructed under this scheme. “Investors have approached us and have accepted to develop the provinces one by one. China has stepped forward to develop Hambantota while more..

Seya murder: Wrongfully arrested student submits photos of cops to SC

Aug 31 (Island) Pradeep Seneviratne, a schoolboy of Gampaha yesterday submitted to the Supreme Court photographs of four police officers who, he said, had harassed him, forcing him to admit that was connected to the sexual abuse and harassment of five-year-old girl Seya at Kotadeniyawa on Sept 15, 2015. The petitioner has said that he was shown blue films and his computer was taken away forcibly by the police officers. The Petitioner did not know anything about the murder of Seya. more..

'Geneva Resolution being implemented'

Aug 31 (Island) Minister Mangala Samaraweera assured that the process implementing the Geneva Resolution was on track. Strongly denying a dispute within the ruling coalition over the process, he stressed that President Sirisena had been consulted before the Govt of SL co-sponsored the Resolution at Sept/Oct, 2015 sessions of the UNHRC in Geneva. He vowed to proceed with the process regardless of resistance by hostile more..

Ranil to Singapore for conference

Aug 31 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe will leave for Singapore today to participate in the Indian Ocean Conference organised by the Indian Foundation which will get under way on Sept 1. PM will be one of several leaders who will participate in the conference. Others who are expected to participate are the Deputy PM of Malaysia, Dato Bin Hamidi, The former president of the Maldives, Abdul Gayoom, and and US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Nisha Biswal. more..

World Bank praises Sri Lanka over achieving development goals

Aug 31 (FT) The World Bank has stated that Sri Lanka had been rapidly achieving its development goals which were set at the time loans were granted to it. According to the Finance Ministry the World Bank Vice President of the South Asian Region, Annette Dixon, has said that the financial discipline practised by the incumbent Govt was the reason for such results. Dixon said this during a special meeting she had with Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake at the Finance Ministry. more..

Wigneswaran sidelined in itinerary for Ban Ki-moon's visit

Aug 31 (ENS) UN, TNA and SL govt have combined to sideline Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran in the itinerary drawn up for the visit of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to SL. Secretary General will not be meeting Wigneswaran separately, but only as part of the TNA delegation headed by its chief, R. Sampanthan. Wigneswaran said that Sampanthan called him on the phone to say that if he wished to meet Ban Ki-moon, he could more..

England breaks Sri Lanka’s ODI record

Aug 31 (DM) England smashed a world record-breaking 444-3 against Pakistan in their third one-day international on Tuesday, after opening batsman Alex Hales hit England’s highest individual ODI score with 171. That surpassed the previous record of 443 for nine by Sri Lanka against the Netherlands at Amstelveen in 2006. It was also the highest ODI total in a match between two Test nations, topping South Africa’s 439 for two against the West Indies at Johannesburg last year. more..

Johnny allowed to travel abroad

Aug 31 (CT) Colombo Chief Magistrate allowed former Minister Johnston Fernando to leave the country till 6 Sept. Fernando's passport had earlier been impounded by the Court when he was charged by the Bribery Commission (BC) with not disclosing his assets and earnings. BC had filed three charges against the former minister for having failed to reveal his assets and earnings for the years 2011, 2012 and 2013 and thus committing an offence under the Assets and Earnings Declaration Act. more..

LTTE leaders paid defense officials of former govt and escaped: Mangala

Aug 31 (FT) Minister Mangala Samaraweera in a startling revelation said that the leaders of LTTE paid money to a defense official of the previous govt to obtain safe passage out of the country. He said over 200 LTTE members, who have paid an official of the Ministry of Defense and left the country during the last week of the war in May 2009, are now listed as missing persons. Minister said several prominent LTTE leaders more..

Hacking President's website: Hidden foreign hand under probe

Aug 31 (CT) Chief Inspector of Police Computer Crimes Division S.K. Senaratne informed Colombo Chief Magistrate that a probe had been initiated to nab an overseas-based suspect who is believed to have significantly helped two local suspects who hacked the official website of President Sirisena recently. CID told Court that its initial investigations had revealed that it had been the overseas-based suspect who had helped the two local suspects to hack the President's official website. more..

Most Colombo schools cleared Dengue-Free

Aug 31 (CT) Ministry of Health stated that 962 schools in the Western Province had been cleared as being safe from dengue. The dengue inspection programme initiated last week in the Western Province concluded on Monday. The programme was initiated on the instructions of Minister Rajitha Senaratne ahead of the commencement of the 3rd school term today. 962 schools in the districts of Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara were inspected to eliminate any possible dengue sites. more..

UN Secretary General here today

Aug 31 (DN) Secretary-General of the UN Ban Ki-moon, accompanied by Mrs Ban Soon-taek, is expected to arrive in Sri Lanka today on a three-day visit at the invitation of the govt. The Secretary-General is expected to meet President, PM and other govt members and MPs. He will travel to Galle tomorrow where he will participate in an event involving youth under the theme Reconciliation and Coexistence: Role of Youth. more..

Let not the truth go missing

Aug 31 (DM) Yesterday August 30 was the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances -- an important and somewhat controversial issue in Sri Lanka also. According to the United Nations, enforced disappearance have frequently been used as a strategy to spread terror within society. The feeling of insecurity generated by this practice is not limited to the close relatives of the disappeared, but also affects their communities and society as a whole. more..

Political ethnocide, State suicide?

Aug 31 (DM) How is it that the much-celebrated peace agreement heralding national reconciliation in Colombia between its FARC guerrillas and Columbia’s President Dos Santos just signed in Havana in the presence of President Raul Castro, ending over half a century of civil war, opts under the rubric of Transitional Justice for restorative justice over punitive justice, contains an arrangement for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission with a provision for amnesty or more..

Buddhist way or the other way… a moment of reckoning for all Buddhists

Aug 31 (DM) Building Buddhist temples, placing statues under Bo-trees have negated reconciliation efforts, making a very potentially-unpopular observation, Minister Rajitha Senaratne, however, could not have uttered truer words. Hailing from a Buddhist background, educated in the two leading Buddhist schools in SL, firstly at Nalanda College and then Ananda, Rajitha’s utterances could be politically incorrect, but more..

'No serious discussion on reconciliation in society'

Aug 31 (DM) Rajitha Dissanayake’s latest play Nethuwa Beri Minihek (A Much Needed Man) will hold its premiere at the Lionel Wendt in Colombo on Sept 2 and 3 at 7.00 pm. The play revolves around the family of a Sinhala nationalist businessman Jayantha who supported the war and benefited financially from close ties with the previous regime. With the relatively improved democratic atmosphere in the country, more..

Helping Hambantota appeal to a fuller bench

Aug 31 (SL) The eleventh anniversary of the Indian Ocean tsunami came and went on Dec 26 last year with hardly a mention of Helping Hambantota, the scandal that, if not for the timely intervention of the Supreme Court, would have torpedoed the presidency of Mahinda Rajapaksa before it even began. A review of the scandal during Rajapaksa’s term would arguably have called for more courage than even the more..

SL used for trafficking Nepali women abroad

Aug 31 (MR) Scores of poor Nepali women travel abroad on a daily basis upon promises of a good job. Many of the unsuspecting women often land in trouble as they are duped by human traffickers. The suffering faced by Deepa Rai (Limbu) of Dharan, who is currently trapped in Oman, is just a representative case to show how Nepali women are being trafficked to Gulf and other countries. Deepa was heading for a safe more..

Protest against SAITM to continue: Medical Faculty Students’ Action Committee

Aug 31 (DN) The Medical Faculty Students’ Action Committee will launch a series of protests against SAITM at Malabe until it is taken over by the state, said Medical Faculty Students’ Action Committee Convener Ryan Jayalath. He said it has been planned to launch a protest march from the Sri J'pura University to Colombo today demanding the authorities to take prompt action regarding the SAITM. more..

President, CBK to grace UNP anniversary celebrations

Aug 31 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena and Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga are slated to grace the UNP 70th anniversary celebrations from Sept 4 to 10, a UNP MP said. UNP MP Edward Gunasekera said that the main event to mark the 70th Anniversary would be the party's annual convention on Sept 10 in Colombo. President Sirisena will attend the Convention of the UNP as he did last time. more..

Request by Sri Lanka to focus on migrant workers’ health

Aug 31 (DM) It is at Sri Lanka’s request that the Regional Committee Meeting will turn an urgent spotlight on migration and health. Pointing out that this week Sri Lanka hosted a conference among labour-sending countries (the Colombo Process) to discuss key issues, Dr. Palitha Mahipala, Director-General of Health Services said the authorities were able to get the health of migrant-workers onto that agenda. more..

2017 will be the year of eliminating poverty: President

Aug 31 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena says 2017 will be declared as the year of eliminating poverty. He said he would present the proposal to the Cabinet in this regard. President was speaking at the progress review meeting of the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment. “This goal will be achieved through a comprehensive program which connects the public sector, private sector as well as all NGOs”, President said. more..

Hackers defaced 37 other websites, Court learns

Aug 31 (DN) The Colombo Magistrate’s Court learned that the two suspects arrested for hacking into the President’s official website had previously hacked 37 other sites. The two - a 17-year-old from Kadugannawa and a 27-year-old from Moratuwa – interacted with each other on a forum called Yakadaya, CID of the Police told Colombo Magistrate yesterday. CID of the Police filed a ‘B’ report before Colombo Magistrate more..

Mangala cautions media on giving coverage to protests against Geneva process

Aug 31 (Island) Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, on Monday, urged the media to be cautious in their coverage of the ongoing campaign against the post-war reconciliation process implemented in accordance with the Geneva resolution co-sponsored by the Govt of Sri Lanka. Minister Samaraweera requested that those propagating extremist views not be given unnecessary coverage. more..

JVP’s inconsistent policies

Aug 31 (CT) JVP MP, Bimal Ratnayake was reported on these pages yesterday of having had said that he's against Govt of Sri Lanka's (GoSL's) moves to allegedly privatize the Colombo South Port East Container Terminal (CSPECT). CSPECT was one of three terminals spawned after the construction of the Colombo South Port with ADB aid a few years ago. One of those three terminals was already privatized in 2011 to the Chinese during the hypocritical Mahinda Rajapaksa regime. more..

A doddering prophet battles a fallen god

Aug 31 (CT) There is a slavish bondage between Mahinda Rajapaksa and his personal support base. He is a skilled communicator, eloquent and persuasive. He reaches the deepest recesses of emotions of a large section of our people. His devoted and loyal base does not believe that he or his family has either raided the coffers of the treasury or trampled on their civil liberties. Wimal, GL, Vasu and Dullas are canny, clever and crafty. Their sanity is not in doubt. more..


Power Ministry willing to dispel darkness from religious places as well

Aug 31 (Island) The govt’s ambitious project Ratama Eliyai, Adnura Duralai (A brighter country – banishing darkness) National Electrification campaign started with the aim of reaching 100% electrification level providing electricity to every household in the country has not benefited the places of worship, says Chief Incumbent of the Sri Bodhi Viharaya, Baseline Road, Colombo, Ven Kolamba Saddharathana Thera. Thera said that the CEB officials had rejected requests by more..

Last minute appeal to SLFPers not to boycott party covention

Aug 31 (Island) All SLFP leaders who were boasting that they were safeguarding the party should participate in the 65th SLFP National Convention to be held on Sept 4 in Kurunegala, UPFA General Secretary and Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said. He was responding to several media statements issued by SLFP MPs in Joint Opposition (JO) that they would not participate in the convention. About 95% of SLFP members were saying they did not want to divide the party more..

Sri Lanka has no concerns with activities of ex-Maldives President

Aug 31 (CG) Govt says it has no concerns over the activities of former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed in Sri Lanka. There have been reports that Nasheed was working from Sri Lanka to topple the current Maldives Govt. Minister Rajitha Senaratne however said that Nasheed was raising democratic issues and so it cannot be seen as an attempt to topple the Maldives Govt. A Maldives court had this week issued an order more..