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Up the creek without a paddle

July 1 (CT) This piece of convoluted logic offered in the BBC comedy by the civil service Mandarin Sir Desmond Grazerbrook to his PM, nearly sums up the predicament of PM Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe. I say nearly because he is not only up the creek without a paddle but is in a near state of undress. When the Bond issue was first discussed in Parliament, the PM very authoritatively asked the house “Who amongst you can claim to understand the issue of bonds by the Central Bank?” more..

Thoughts on right to information

July 1 (CT) Transcript of the speech made by Leader of opposition R. Sampanthan on RTI bill in Parliament on 23rd of June: Thank you, Hon. Presiding Member. We are debating an important Bill, the Right to Information Bill in the House today. This Bill should have been brought to Parliament a long time ago, but unfortunately, that did not happen. Right to Information Law has been passed in many countries world over and is considered as a very important piece of legislation. more..

Deficit of 500 megawatts forecast: Will the lights go out

July 1 (SO) A looming power crisis is forcing CEB to scramble in search of extraordinary measures to keep lights on in Sri Lanka at a time when the govt has stalled the commissioning of new power plants. Deputy General Manager, CEB warned that a power crisis in 2018 and 2019 were imminent, certain and unstoppable. “Our peak demand on Wednesday (22) this week was 2,230 megawatts while the supply was 2,800 mw more..

SLFP demands new marketing plan for Mattala Airport

July 1 (FT) Policy makers should formulate a fresh plan to market the Mattala airport to promote charter flight operations with international destinations, SLFP said. Deputy Minister Arundika Fernando said the SLFP urged UNP members of the Govt to work with them to define a marketing strategy to promote the Mattala airport. Fernando also insisted that the SLFP did not agree with the decision to use Mattala to store paddy and hinted that it was an exclusively UNP decision. more..

Some Finance Ministry, Treasury officials ignore President's orders

July 1 (DN) Certain officials in the Finance Ministry or the Treasury do not carry out the President's orders and purposely ignore them or delay them, GMOA Deputy Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge said. He said action should be taken against those officials immediately. He President had said that the gazette notification in connection with granting vehicle permits to public servants had already been issued or is being issued. But still that gazette notification has not been issued. more..

Rugby: Dharmaraja, Trinity, Carey slapped with bans

July 1 (DM) A special committee appointed by Ministry of Education at a meeting held at the Ministry auditorium took the decision to slap bans on three rugby playing schools Dharmaraja, Trinity and Carey which they say has brought disrepute to the sport of rugby due to their behavior on and off the field. Dharmaraja was slapped with a ban of nine months effective from July 1 for their misbehavior in the match against St Joseph’s more..

Forgotten oath

July 1 (DN) Two traditional protagonists are lining up to do battle once again: the govt and the GMOA, the trade union representing the vast majority of doctors in state hospitals. The issue at stake is the granting of recognition to the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) in Malabe. This week the GMOA held its annual elections and re-elected its President, Dr. Anurudhdha Padeniya for a sixth consecutive year. Unlike in some previous years, Padeniya was elected uncontested. more..

Taxes: Proposals and the way forward

July 1 (DN) It was proposed to raise the individual tax free allowance to Rs.2.4 million from Rs 500,000, almost a 500% increase. If implemented this would have left very few individuals paying income tax in this country. This proposal was withdrawn. Share transaction levy is a proper way of taxing share transactions in the Colombo Stock Exchange. Whether there is a profit or not the levy is charged on each share transaction. This levy was removed and reintroduced later. more..

Mahindananda Aluthgamage

Two Lankans named in Top 25 Immigrants Awards

July 1 (LR) Two SL origin Canadians joined Room author Emma Donoghue were named RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrants, along with several other artists, academics entrepreneurs and champions of many worthy causes. Presented by Canadian Immigrant magazine and sponsored by RBC, this annual wards program celebrates the achievements of inspiring Canadian immigrants. Chandran Fernando (Toronto/SL) is founder of Matrix Search Group, a recruitment firm specializing in more..

Dialog CEO wins Asian Mobile Industry award

July 1 (DN) GSMA, the worldwide association governing the Global Mobile Industry, has named, Dialog Axiata CEO Dr Hans Wijayasuriya as the recipient of the Outstanding Contribution to Asian Mobile Industry Award for 2016. Award as described by the GSMAis the highest honour at Asia Mobile Awards 2016. The award recognises sustained and extraordinary contributions by individuals, organisations or collaborative achievements that advance the value and benefits of more..

Landmark SC ruling on executive power: Cabinet decision declared invalid

July 1 (Island) In this country, a court case rarely attracts much attention unless it has to do with something like murder or rape – preferably both. In a nation that has been discussing matters of corruption and graft and illegal money making, it is certainly surprising that a court case involving irregularities in the country’s biggest tender could goes virtually unreported in the media. What is even more surprising that even the landmark more..

Culture & poverty in our neo liberal economy

July 1 (GV) In this neo liberal or free market global economy, Sri Lanka was counted as a country moving into the middle income group with an annual per capita income of 3,230 US dollars by the of the year 2014. It was expected to reach 4,400 US dollars by the end of this year (2016). In 2014 this was equivalent to Rs. 436,050 and for a month, amounted to Rs.36,337 per person. In Sri Lanka, if every person had that income, there would not be beggars on the streets. more..

Editorial: Antho Jata Bahi Jata

July 1 (Island) Last year’s regime change was expected to bring about a radical change in SL politics. In fact, the self-appointed champions of good governance or yahapalanaya made a solemn pledge before the last presidential election not only to fight bribery and corruption which had eaten into the vitals of society but also to depoliticise the state institutions completely. Sadly, that promise remains unfulfilled. Yahapalanaya was described by its proponents as an efficacious antidote more..

Monetary board to micro-manage Central Bank sans Governor

July 1 (EN) Monetary Board, governing board of central bank is expected to micro-manage the institution approving key decisions, until a new Governor is appointed, persons familiar with the agency's operations say. Term of Arjuna Mahendran as Governor ended on June 30, without a new appointment despite President tweeting Wednesday that a new Governor would be in place in the coming hours. more..

SLT to become global PoP with double-landing station in Matara

July 1 (FT) SL’s National ICT solutions provider, Sri Lanka Telecom PLC (SLT), is building international connectivity as a key aspect of its overall business strategy. SLT’s global coverage was significantly strengthened via multiple undersea optical fibre cable systems: SEA-ME-WE 5, SEA-ME-WE 4, SEA-ME-WE 3, Bharat-Lanka and Dhiraagu-SLT. Sri Lanka’s geographical location makes it a natural nexus for communications in the Indian Ocean basin and helps ensure that more..

Appointment of CBSL Governor should not be politicized says good governance activist

July 1 (Island) "The Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka functions as its chief executive officer. This is one of the most important positions in the country because the Central Bank is charged with ensuring economic and price stability besides financial system stability, while providing prudential and pro-active policy recommendations as a principal advisory arm of the govt on economic affairs, top good governance activist K.C Vignarajah said. more..

Departing CB Chief says economy not in dire straits

July 1 (FT) Departing CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran played-down global volatility, asserting that Sri Lanka still had a few silver linings and called for greater private sector role in financing infrastructure development. Assuring that the economy was not in a dire situation, he emphasised that country needed to think afresh on how to generate revenue and resources to pay off the existing huge debt burden and more..

Psychology and Sociology of Ragging

July 1 (Island) I have been reading and digesting the many articles that have been appearing in the media in the recent past on the topic of ragging. I believe that they touched upon many important points; in particular I refer to the excellent article by Prof. Hennayake in The Island. Some commentators from outside the university system are unfortunately not privy to the reality of the situation and therefore, understandably, were unrealistic in their proposals to stop ragging in the universities. more..

Muzammil praises Gota

July 1 (CT) Tenures of Local Govt bodies are not in the least likely to be extended again, Colombo Mayor A.J.M. Muzammil said. He told Councillors and employees at the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) that the CMC was very likely to be dissolved by the end of the day. "The CMC which has been functioning four years and six months might not be extended when a review is made," he said at the meeting, which was a special gesture of gratitude organized by workers and councillors. more..

LPBOA agreeable to 6% hike; not in strike

July 1 (DM) Members of the LPBOA would not engage in the bus strike announced by All Ceylon Private Bus Owners Association, LPBOA Chairman Gemunu Wijeratne said today. ACPBOA earlier announced that it would launch an islandwide bus strike commencing July 3 midnight ACPBOA General Secretary Anjana Priyanjith and several other private bus association representatives are demanding a 15% bus fare increase. more..

Second under 19 test ends in draw

July 1 (DN) Ashen Bandara joined team mate Pathum Nissanka when he completed a solid century on the third and final day of the second under 19 test against South Africa which ended in a draw at the Welegedara Stadium yesterday. The overnight pair carried their fifth wicket partnership to worth 210 runs before they were separated. Nissanka struck a superb 172 off 295 balls with 22 fours and one six, and Bandara hit 16 fours and a six in his knock of 121 scored off 310 balls. more..

Sri Lanka exports 98 tons of fish to EU first week after ban lift

July 1 (DN) The Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Ministry yesterday announced that Sri Lanka has exported 98 tons of fish resources to European countries during the first week after the lifting of the EU ban. According to the Media Spokesman of the ministry thirteen fish exporting companies in Sri Lanka have exported 98 tons of fish products during the last seven days. Sear fish, Tuna, lobsters and prawns are the main fish species the among exported fish. more..

EU of CEB threatens to withdraw membership

July 1 (CT) Engineers' Union of CEB announced that the Union would withdraw its membership from the Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) if the govt tried to build power plants in an ad hoc manner without considering the long term generation plan of the CEB. President of CEB Engineers' Union charged that the decisions in the power sector are taken by govt under the influence of several business tycoons in the industry. more..

Demining in final stages

July 1 (NS) Demining agencies last week said that despite the process moving into its final stages, they continued to recover over 2,000 mines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) every month. While the Govt focused on infrastructure development and resettlement of IDPs following the end of the war, the demining process was of paramount importance to ensure that those resettled were safe from mines and other UXOs. International demining operator, HALO Trust informed that more..

Cooray in Kenya to train for Rio Olympic

July 1 (Island) National marathon record holder Anuradha Indrajith Cooray said that he is preparing to make his third Olympic appearance a memmorable one when he competes at the 2016 Rio Olympic marathon in August. He said this from Nairobi where he trains alogside some of the world’s best marathoners in preperation for Olympics. "I have just commenced training. I am training with some of the best in the world. Hopefully I would be able to make my Rio Olympic participation more..

School admission drama: Thewarapperuma in suicide bid

July 1 (DN) In a dramatic turn of events, Deputy Minister Palitha Thewarapperuma yesterday attempted suicide after his fast unto death protest demanding the educational authorities to enroll 10 students to Grade I of the Meegahetenna complaining of a heart ailment. He was later transferred to the Nagoda General Hospital. A few hours later, he was rushed to a private hospital in Colombo as his condition worsened, more..

How Warne the loser turned into a respected spinner in Sri Lanka

July 1 (Roar) As Australian cricketers start their tour of Sri Lanka next month, Shane Warne will recall his transformation from a battered bowler to a spinner to fear in Sri Lanka in 1992. Credit should go to skipper Allan Border. His trust to give Warne a ball at a crucial point in the August 1992 Colombo Test did wonders to boyish-looking podgy Warne’s confidence. Warne’s Test debut was a disaster. Against India in the January 1992 Sydney Test he took 1-150. more..

Fourteen SSPs to be appointed acting DIGs

July 1 (DM) National Police Commission (NPC) has recommended that 14 SSPs, including SSP Ajith Rohana, be appointed as acting DIGs. NPC secretary Ariyadasa Coorey said the appointments would be on temporary basis on account of service requirements. There were a number of vacancies for DIGs. “Therefore we selected 14 SSPs who had not yet completed their eight years of service as SSPs to be appointed as acting DIGs,” he said. Appointments would be made next week more..

Terms of 23 Local Govt bodies end

July 1 (DN) Minister Faiszer Musthapha said that the tenure of 23 local govt bodies will not be further extended. The terms of 23 Local Govt Bodies ended yesterday. Pradeshiya Sabhas in Muhudubadapattu and Pudukuduirripu are not functioning due to legal actions taking place, the minister said. Terms of nine LG bodies in the Eastern Province ended on March 17, 2013. Meanwhile, term of Jaffna MC was ended on Aug 31, 2014. more..

Sri Lanka’s drive to improve public transport

July 1 (OBG) Sri Lanka is looking to boost its public transport infrastructure, particularly in Colombo, amid rising passenger numbers and increased road congestion. While several proposals in recent years have offered different strategies to improve the public transport system from a cost-effective perspective, the issue is becoming more pressing, as record vehicle imports in 2015 contributed to increased traffic. Public transport’s share of journeys in the capital is also expected to rise more..

Bonds Scam: AG insists facts irrefutable

July 1 (CT) Auditor General (AG) Gamini Wijesinghe said the report compiled by him on the alleged Treasury Bonds scam at CB, cannot be challenged by anyone. He made this comment in response to a signature campaign being carried out by two senior officials of the CB who argue that the report filed by AG on the issue was a bogus report. "I also came to know that a signature campaign had been carried out inside the CB in order to show the country that the report filed by me was an unofficial one. more..

Govt of Ranil and his friends: Civil society activists lambaste govt

July 1 (Island) Alleging that UNP-SLFP coalition had gone off the yahapalana track, President’s Counsel Srinath Perera warned of dire consequences unless remedial measures were taken immediately. UNP WPC member Perera said that the country was rapidly heading for an extremely dangerous situation with those who had earned the people’s mandate at presidential and parliamentary polls in 2015, brazenly violating more..

West tells Sri Lanka to maintain momentum on reconciliation

July 1 (Hindu) Western countries have told Sri Lanka that much more remains to be done in the areas of reconciliation and accountability. In their response to the comments made by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Al Hussein and the subsequent speech of Minister Mangala Samaraweera at the UNHRC on Wednesday, the countries urged the island nation to see to it that the commitments made in a resolution adopted by the HRC unanimously last Oct were carried out. more..

Govt in crisis over Central Bank Governor

July 1 (CT) With a little over a month to go for the Sirisena–Ranil coalition govt to celebrate it’s first anniversary, the first signs of a split appeared this week over the appointment of a new Governor for Central Bank. While PM Wickremesinghe insisted that his associate and senior advisor Charitha Ratwatte be appointed as Governor, President Sirisena had wanted to appoint the bank’s Deputy Governor Nandalal Weeresinghe, which resulted in a major deadlock between the two leaders. more..

Political tug-o-war over CB Governor

July 1 (FT) A political tug-o-war over the appointment of Central Bank Governor continued yesterday, with PM Ranil Wickremesinghe making a public statement that the controversial incumbent Arjuna Mahendran could not be removed from office since the charges against him had never been proved. “We are not protecting anyone. If the charges are proved I will do the needful,” PM said on ITN yesterday. more..

Nations are built by people-power not politicians

July 1 (DM) More than one and half years after the people’s silent and peaceful revolution of Jan 8, 2015 major questions are being raised about how far the Yahapalanaya Govt has gone or failed to go towards the vision of good governance, democracy and a just society. There are plus points - 19th Amendment, the restoration of media freedom and the right to vibrant debates or criticism, the improvement of SL’s international image and standing and the recent unanimous approval more..

Human rights: The force and the farce

July 1 (DM) The Unit is in session. As expected it is assuming the moral high ground to name and shame those countries that have violated human rights and humanitarian laws. Largely at the butt end of UN censure are politically isolated countries or countries that wield little or no power in the international arena. Among those paraded as suspects in the highest human rights assembly is SL. Slapped with a long-war-crime charge sheet, SL has, since the end of 30-year war in 2009, more..

Peace building and corruption

July 1 (SL) After sometime following January 8, 2015, there is not much progress in the area of anti-corruption activities and good governance. There are many partners and allies to support the coalition national govt, and there is good recognition (UNHRC, invitation from world anti-corruption forum in UK, and G7 countries meeting in Japan), in the international community. However, the country needs to progress the good framework of more..

Increase in Chinese, Indian tourists to help strengthen Sri Lanka's economy, says official

July 1 (Xinhua) An increase in tourists mainly from China and India will help strengthen Sri Lanka's frail economy as tourism is poised to become the largest foreign exchange earner, an official said on Friday. Tourist arrivals from China and India had increased in the recent years and due to the prevailing crisis in Europe, Asia had become an ideal destination, Felix Rodrigo, Advisor to Sri Lanka's Tourism Minister, told Xinhua. more..