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Time to celebrate: Politico perks surrender against externally imposed import curbs

Oct 1 (CT) Amidst the doom and gloom vibes that Donald Trump’s economic measures have given countries like Sri Lanka, there emerges some fall outs that bring more than a smile on our faces. Here is one and let us celebrate: the oppressively unfair practice of bequeathing the politico elite with duty free permits for luxury cars will go. This is among the latest series of policy decisions by government in a war to cut down our import bill in order to save the rupee. more..

Call President Sabhapathi not Jana-Adipathi and have such a one!

Oct 1 (CT) If the JVP had brought a simple private member bill to change the Sinhala and Tamil name for the President in the constitution, it could have done a better service to promote democracy in SL than the present convoluted and not so democratic 20th Amendment. When SL became a republic in 1972, even the leftists like Colvin R. de Silva agreed to use this authoritarian sounding term for the nominal executive and the head of state as Janadhipathi and Janatipati respectively in more..

Review Committee made scapegoat to postpone polls: Critics

Oct 1 (CT) Political critics allege that this time the Govt has made the Review Committee, appointed to review the Delimitation Committee report, the scapegoat as a reason to postpone the Provincial Council Elections. Previously the Govt used various strategies and it is the opinion of political critics that appointing a Delimitation Committee is another one in an attempt to postpone the PC Elections. more..

Right to Information (RTI) is Real Democracy in Action: Aruna Roy

Oct 1 (SO) The Right to Information (RTI) law has strengthened real democracy in India because it asks for a share in everything – in decision making, in information seeking, and in governance. It is fundamentally asking for both, transparency and accountability at all levels of govt. This was the core message shared by Ms Aruna Roy, the Indian social activist and a pioneer of the RTI movement, who was in Colombo this week as a special guest at Sri Lanka’s RTI week activities. more..

GMOA, finally made to eat humble pie

Oct 1 (SO) In a verdict that probably didn’t receive the publicity it deserved, the Supreme Court last week ordered the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) to register a graduand who had qualified from the SAITM. Ironically, the institution itself is no more, having wound up operations in the face of opposition from students in state universities and more importantly the GMOA, the trade union of doctors which had no hesitation in staging strike after strike against the existence of more..

'Mahinda’s best option is to field Shiranthi'

Oct 1 (SO) Firebrand JVP Trade Union Leader K.D. Lalkantha made waves last week when he declared that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s best option to resolve his candidate crisis would be to field his wife and former First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa. Lalkantha argues that Namal Rajapaksa’s path to the presidency in 2025 will be blocked by his uncle and former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. more..

Edtorial: 20-A and T-20 rush

Oct 1 (Island) The JVP is in overdrive drumming up support for the 20th Amendment Bill. Its leaders visit religious dignitaries and meet the press regularly. They are as desperate as a batsman facing the last few overs in a T-20 match. Why is this mighty hurry? The JVP is no great lover of the Westminster system. It staged its first bloody uprising, in 1971, when parliamentary system of government was well entrenched and the President was a mere figurehead. It had no qualms about playing more..

Trump puts the world on notice

Oct 1 (ST) Armed with a fistful of American dollars and the other fist steeled with the knuckle duster of America’s military might, US President Trump, in a gung ho speech delivered at the UN annual summit in New York, warned world leaders this Wednesday that if they do not kowtow to the American line then they will have only themselves to blame for the fate that will befall their nations: for if Uncle Sam’s right fist don’t get them, then the left one will. If the only thing Donald Trump did not do more..

රනිල් ගෙදර යවන්න මෛත්රීට නැවතත් වාරයක්

A scandalous quid pro quo alleged against prosecutors?

Oct 1 (ST) Returning from Malaysia this week, correspondence with a now retired and respected diplomat focused on the ravages that the Malaysian people has had to go through including the gruesome instance of a Malaysian deputy public prosecutor whose body was discovered in a cement-filled oil drum dumped in a river. He had apparently been investigating corruption involving the former PM Najib Razak and his wife, Rosmah Mansor when he had been abducted and later, found killed. more..

Defiance, thy name is Maithri or what!

Oct 1 (Island) By telling the UN General Assembly to allow Sri Lankan people to solve their problems on their own and adding that as an independent country we do not want any foreign power to exert influence on us, President Maithripala Sirisena may have let the cat among the global pigeons – or, is it a mixed metaphor, where the terms cat and pigeons are inter-changeable? If one were to recall the not-so-infrequent posting of the social media visual, the mouse may be chasing more..

Preserving our past & taking us to the future

Oct 1 (ST) Whether it is preserving the valuable traditional knowledge of Sri Lanka’s farmers through documentation; a forecast on crop-mapping at the touch of a keyboard; a system of dots to help the blind become computer savvy; or taking a close look at the pre-historic inhabitants of this land, there is a thick golden thread running through them all. The thread which has woven a rich and unique tapestry throughout the country more..

Peel more, cry more

Oct 1 (ST) On Thursday (20), I was at a reception at the Taj Samudra on the occasion of the National Day of Nepal. There were representatives from the diplomatic missions, the govt, the business community, and the academia. I was was among them with some of my colleagues. The Ambassador of Nepal, Prof. Bishwambher Pyakuryal – a close friend of mine for a long time, introduced me to the High Commissioner of South Africa, Ms. Robina Marks. During our conversation, I asked her: more..

Sri Lanka thrash Hong Kong by 10 wickets

Oct 1 (CT) Sri Lanka beat Hong Kong by 10 wickets on the second day of the 5th Under-19 Asia Cup at At Zahur Chowdhury Stadium, Chittagong Bangladesh yesterday. Winning the toss and opting to field, Hong Kong were bowled out for a paltry 56 runs in 33.1 overs. Left arm orthodox spinner Shashika Dulshan picked up his maiden 5 wicket haul for just 19 runs. Dunith Wellalage and Kalana Perera took 2 wickets each. SL knocked off the target in 9.2 overs without losing a wicket. more..

Media blitz in defence of Mathews shot down

Oct 1 (SO) An unprecedented push by the Media for the reinstatement of Angelo Mathews in SL’s limited-overs cricket squad proved a disaster as his ouster was vociferously defended by the selectors and coach with a high profile home series against England on the cards. Mathews is probably the last of the household-names to come through a traditional schools system where the coaching book was foremost and was defended heavily by more..

Sri Lanka sevens rugby hits record low

Oct 1 (Island) Sri Lanka sevens rugby team finished as the 6th placed in the Asian Sevens Series 2018 - second leg in South Korea, which concluded yesterday. After securing a third-place finish in the first leg in Hong Kong fortnight ago, the Sudarshana Muthuthanthri led team dropped down three positions. It is also the first time in five years where SL failed to finish inside the top five teams in the Series. Sri Lanka started off well beating Chinese Taipei (33-12) in their first match more..

Labrooy takes ex-Minister Jayasekera to task on duplicity

Oct 1 (SO) International match referee and Sri Lanka Cricket head selector Graeme Labrooy took ex-Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera to task after he was accused of unethical deeds and being in conflict with two roles. Jayasekera on Wednesday charged that Labrooy had given an assurance on being appointed the chief selector that he will step aside from the role of ICC match referee. But Labrooy hit out at Jayasekera saying the former Sports Minister was practicing duplicity. more..

Asian medalist Sriyani Kulawansa embroiled in degree dispute

Oct 1 (DM) Asian medalist and International acclaimed athlete Sriyani Kulawansa has been enrolled to the Health and Physical Education (BEd) degree at the National Institute of Education (NIE) ignoring the routine enrollment procedures. The three year course which was suspended for some time had been re-launched last year and the lectures were started on Nov 24, 2017. more..

‘Convert Lanka in to export-oriented country’

Oct 1 (DN) It is the duty of all local exporters to convert Lanka in to a export- oriented country to achieve the objective of prospering its economic growth, 99X Technology CEO Mano Sekaram urged addressing the 26th annual National Chamber of Exporters (NCE) Awards ceremony held in Colombo. SL’s Netherlands Ambassador Joanne Doornewaard was the Chief Guest. Over 50 SL exporters of local products including agricultural, rubber, tea and spice and spices based more..

'Probe on IGP will be made public'

Oct 1 (DM) Final results of the investigations conducted on the allegations against the police top brass will be known public once they are completed, Minister Ranjith Madumma Bandara said over the weekend. “Allegations are being made against the high officials in the police and these have been given prominence in the media these days. We are not going to run away from them as investigations are being carried out on them. Investigation reports will not be swept under the carpet but more..

Gang rivalry claims innocent life

Oct 1 (Island) A woman was shot fatally, yesterday, at the Weligampitiya Junction in Ragama, by an unidentified gunman while she was driving her car from Weligampitiya to Ja-Ela, police said. The gunman had arrived in a car with several others and opened fire on the woman who was travelling with her eight-year-old daughter, witnesses told police. Both the mother and daughter were rushed by the bystanders to the Colombo North Teaching more..

DLB posts Rs. 1.2 billion profit for 1H 2018

Oct 1 (Island) Development Lotteries Board (DLB) recorded successful financial achievements with a 28.4% growth in profit before tax of Rs. 1311 millions in the first half of 2018 over the same period 2017 in spite of challenging business environment. The profit before tax during the first six months of 2017 was Rs.1021 millions and the profit margin stood at 15.9% compared to profit margin of 16.3% during first 6 months of 2018. This was an increase of 2.5% compared to 2017 profit margin. more..

Taming Tigers author calls for collaboration within private sector

Oct 1 (FT) The author of the bestseller Taming Tigers and framework architect Jim Lawless on Friday urged Sri Lankan corporates to opt for collective collaboration for the advancement of business and the country to demonstrate their commitment to lead. “Individual commitment is key but collective collaboration is more important,” Jim commented at the launch of the League of Multinational Corporates (LMNC) and its business forum titled Conquering the Impossible. more..

SriLankan Airlines cash-strapped even after capital injections: inquiry

Oct 1 (EN) Sri Lanka's had ex-Treasury secretary had stopped SriLankan Airlines from turning bonds given as a capital injection to cash for spending, and limited the airline to using annual interest as a subsidy, a commission of inquiry heard. The loss-making airline also could not use the bonds as collateral to get a loan, a SriLankan airline official said. Head of Financial Management Yasantha Dissanayake, more..

LP gas pricing formula to Cabinet soon

Oct 1 (FT) The long overdue LP gas pricing formula will soon be submitted for Cabinet approval, a top official confirmed. “The pricing formula was revisited by the Authority’s Pricing Committee after the industry requested to change the prevailing pricing formula which was introduced in 2007. The amended pricing formula has now reached the final stages, and the Industry and Commerce Minister (Rishad Bathiudeen) is ready to submit it to the Cabinet for approval in the near future,” more..

SL paying heavy price for liberal policies

Oct 1 (Island) The Joint Opposition (JO), alleged that the country was paying a very heavy price for what it called the liberal policies of the govt. JO spokesman MP Bandula Gunawardena said that the sharp depreciation of the rupee had begun soon after the change of the Rajapaksa govt in 2015. MP Gunawardena dismissed govt claims that the rapid US economic recovery owing to Trump policies had caused the sudden deterioration of the Sri Lankan economy. more..

Harsha De Silva pulls out from Investors’ Forum in London

Oct 1 (DM) State Minister Dr Harsha de Silva has pulled out from speaking at an Investors’ Forum to be held in at the London Stock Exchange on Oct 8, in a move to help cut the demand at the margin in the face of rapid rupee depreciation. When contacted, the State Minister said he was supposed to speak at the London Stock Exchange next week on an Investors Forum. “But I pulled out and declined to go because more..

Feasibility study on electric buses for SLTB approved

Oct 1 (SO) Ministry of Transport has approved the feasibility study of the proposal of amalgamating 1000 luxury electric buses to the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) by a Hungarian investor in a Private Public Partnership, and directed it to the Tender Committee. According to the official this Hungarian bus deal is one step away from receiving the final approval. Meanwhile, commenting about the aforementioned deal Vice Chairman, SLTB, Priyantha Balasuriya said that providing more..

The Sunday Morning, Sathi Aga Aruna enters Sri Lankan news arena

Oct 1 (AD) Marking a milestone in the history of Sri Lankan printed media, two brand new Sunday newspapers, Sathi Aga Aruna and The Sunday Morning, entered the Sri Lankan market today (30). Published by Liberty Publishers, these newspapers will quench the Sri Lankan readers’ thirst for credible news and ethical journalism. The launch of the two newspapers today, was attended by veterans and scholars of many fields. Sathi Aga Aruna, published in Sinhala, will contain many features more..

Mangala claims Ranil saved Mahinda from becoming an international criminal

Oct 1 (FT) Minister Mangala Samaraweera stated that the current govt salvaged Sri Lanka from its status as a drop of blood on the world map and prevented former president Rajapaksa from becoming an international criminal. He pointed out that the ex-President now had the opportunity to visit the international community and even to criticise the Govt thanks to the present govt. He was addressing a meeting held under more..

Bottled water prices to come down steeply

Oct 1 (NR) Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) has issued an extraordinary gazette notification regulating the sale of bottled drinking water in the island. The gazette by the CAA has issued directives for manufacturers, traders and distributors on revised Maximum Retail Prices for locally bottled drinking water. Accordingly a bottle containing 350 to 499ml of water can be sold at 26 rupees. According to CAA, a bottle of 500 to 749ml of water can be sold at 35 rupees. more..

Video: Give us the country for 5 years: JVP

Oct 1 (AD) JVP question how a country’s economy can be developed in a context where Rs 3 billion is used to change the logo of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation’s (CPC) logo. Vijitha Herath stated this speaking at a public rally yesterday (29). Although the Finance Minister has nullified the vehicle permits of the MPs, all MPs have already bought their vehicles as of now, he pointed out. He also said that no information is given on the fuel price formula despite the question regarding it. more..

US sanctions on Iran: More economic issues to Sri Lanka: PM

Oct 1 (DM) Sri Lanka might face more economic issues when the US sanctions on Iran comes to be effective in November this year as SL’s tea exports to that country may become vulnerable, PM Ranil Wickremeisnghe said. “We will have to be vigilant in November this year as the US economic sanctions on Iran is going to be effective then. We will have to see what steps we should take then. more..

Digital Economy Strategy before Cabinet this week: Harin

Oct 1 (FT) The important and much-awaited national Digital Economy Strategy is expected to be presented to the Cabinet of Ministers this week, according to Minister Harin Fernando. The Strategy has been developed by popular global consulting firm McKenzie and Company, and the initiative is spearheaded by Fernando’s Ministry of Digital Infrastructure, Telecom and Foreign Employment and the Ministry of Development Strategies and Int'l Trade held by Malik Samarawickrama. more..

DIG Nalaka will be questioned by CID today, tomorrow

Oct 1 (Island) DIG Nalaka de Silva, who is currently under investigation over an alleged plot to assassinate President Maithripala Sirisena and several Joint Opposition VIPs, would be questioned by the CID today and tomorrow, Law and Order Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara said. The DIG, who once headed the Terrorist Investigation Division has already been asked to be present at the CID for questioning, the minister said, adding that the DIG might have to visit the CID several times. more..

Looters as Rulers: Duty-free permits to MPs stopped for theatric effect

Oct 1 (Island) The Finance Ministry, admitted that almost all lawmakers had imported vehicles on duty free permits issued to them following last parliamentary election in Aug 2015 therefore suspension of issuing of permits for a period of one year wouldn’t have an impact on MPs. The parliament comprises 107 (UNP and its allies), 69 (JO), 26 (SLFP), 16 (TNA), 6 (JVP) 1 (EPDP). The Island raised the issue with M. Ali Hassen, more..

The state of the world’s children

Oct 1 (DM) Today we celebrate Children’s Day. The day we as a nation renew our commitment to the rights of the country’s children. We use it to raise awareness of the rights of children and search for ways and means to overcome our failure to protect and provide a decent future to the children of this country -irrespective of race, religion or ethnicity. While the United Nations Organisation (UNO) has set Nov 20 as Universal Children’s Day, we in Sri Lanka, celebrate our children on Oct 1, more..

Rupee Haemorrhage

Oct 1 (DM) The falling SL Rupee is now at the centre of discussions about the economy. Is this problem due to the US Dollar strengthening along with increasing interest rates in the US? Is it a consequence of flawed trade policies that have maintained much higher levels of imports relative to exports? Or is it an outcome of opening our economy to the inflow and flight of finance capital? These debates, politically charged and partisan as they are, provide an important opening to more..

TSHDA HR Manager defies PCoI

Oct 1 (CT) Despite the recommendations by the PCoI, on 22 Jan 2018, for the immediate removal of the present Human Resource and Administration Manager at the Tea Small Holdings Development Authority (TSHDA) T.H.T. De Silva, the individual however, continues to remain in the same post enjoying all the perks that go with it, sources said. They said that De Silva does not have the necessary qualifications that are needed more..

Hakeem pledges to develop Arugam bay

Oct 1 (CT) Minister Rauff Hakkeem emphasized on developing Arugam Bay which is one of the finest tourist destinations for sea surfing and pledged his ministry’s support to provide all necessary assistance to develop Arugam Bay. The Minister also called upon the all hoteliers and public in the area to maintain the environment in Arugam Bay without giving room for pollution. World Tourism Day, with colourful events more..