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As rupee falls, CPC loses Rs. 17.5 b in three weeks

Oct 1 (ST) The depreciation of the rupee is pushing the Govt’s fuel bill up, resulting in a loss of more than Rs 17.5 billion in less than three weeks to Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC), a senior official said. The losses had shot up because the CPC had obtained US dollar loans from two state banks – People’s Bank and Bank of Ceylon for the purchase of fuel. The loans amounted to US$ 2.5 billion. more..

We will continue to support Sri Lanka: UN Secretary General

Oct 1 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena briefed UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres about Sri Lanka’s progress in strengthening democracy, rule of law, media freedom and reconciliation. Prez Sirisena urged the international community to look at Sri Lanka with a fresh perspective taking into consideration the progress made so far. He was participating in a meeting at the UNSG’s office on the 27th floor of UN Hq more..

A walk to eradicate physical torture from the school system by 2020

Oct 1 (PMD) The walk, “A walk for real change”, organized to completely eradicate physical torture from the school system by 2020 started from the Independence Square, Colombo today (30). Prez Sirisena participated in this event as the Chief Guest. Over 131 countries, including Sri Lanka has taken action globally against child abuse and torture based on its negative impact towards the children and their future. more..

Govt condemned for organizing wasteful tamashas to mark Int'l Children’s Day

Oct 1 (Island) The govt’s tamashas to mark the International Children’s Day had led to a colossal waste of public funds which could otherwise have been used for the benefit of needy children, Women for Rights organisation said. Addressing the media, Colombo WFR Chairperson Saroja Savithri Paulraj said that the govt should be ashamed of wasting funds meant for the benefit of children in ceremonies to mark the children’s day. more..

Gammanpila claims counter plot to kill DIG Nalaka De Silva

Oct 1 (DM) There was a counter plot to kill DIG Nalaka De Silva, who was accused of a plot to assassinate President Maithripala Sirisena and Gotabaya Rajapaksa, PHU leader and MP Udaya Gammanpila claimed today. He said the best option available for the conspirators was assassination of DIG De Silva, so that he would then be silent forever with the secrets he possessed. “We have evidence in the past in relation to cases where more..

President to reshuffle Cabinet again to bring back Ravi and Dayasiri

Oct 1 (AM) President Sirisena is considering another Cabinet reshuffle to bring UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake and UPFA MP Dayasiri Jayasekera into the Cabinet. A few ministerial portfolios are expected to be shuffled to make way for Karunanayake and Jayasekera, govt sources said. UNP had requested the Prez several times to re-appoint Karunanayake to the Cabinet as he had not been implicated in more..

Rs123bn injected to sterilize dollar outflows

Oct 1 (EN) Central bank has injected around 123.21 billion rupees (US$ 730 million) to sterilize dollar outflows below the ceiling policy rate, in the second currency panic triggered by targeting dual anchors in 2018. Up to Friday the central bank injected 118.2 billion rupees net after deducting 5.05 billion rupees kept overnight by excess banks in the deposit window. About 90.6 billion rupees were injected via 7 day and 14 day term more..

DIG Nalaka Silva's room sealed

Oct 1 (DM) The office of the DIG Nalaka Silva, who is in charge of Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) in Colombo, was sealed as a result of the ongoing probe against him, police sources said. Two laptop computers had also been taken into custody from his office for the investigations. The DIG has been sent on compulsory leave after investigating into a complaint that had been made by Operations Director more..

A robust arrangement must exist to ensure elderly are well protected: PM

Oct 1 (GDI) In a message issued to mark the International Day of Older Persons and the World Children's Day, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said taking care of the elderly counts the same as protecting the children and a robust arrangement must exist to ensure elderly are well protected. "I believe that our collective endeavours will assure a secure world for both our children and our senior citizens," he said. Full text of the Prime Minister's message to mark the World Children's Day more..

The fate of the rupee Part II: Need for addressing issues at root

Oct 1 (FT) In the previous part, we looked at how the SL rupee has been continuing its one way journey to depreciation ever since the country gained independence from Britain in 1948. Accordingly, the rupee, which was exchanged for Rs 4.76 per US dollar in 1948, could not be maintained at that level even with the strictest set of import and exchange controls till 1977, and in a partially liberalised regime since then. Before 1977, while changing the value of the rupee through deliberate action more..

Dr. Harinda Vidanage

MAP calls for independent evidence-gathering mechanism for Sri Lanka

Oct 1 (CT) Sri Lanka Monitoring and Accountability Panel (MAP) called for the UNHRC to set up an independent evidence-gathering mechanism for Sri Lanka with a similar mandate to those on Syria and now Myanmar. The organization made this request in light of the SL govt’s continued delaying tactics in setting up an accountability mechanism for the country. "Looking ahead to the HRC’s 40th Session in March 2019—when the question of SL’s compliance is back on the agenda— more..

Be compassionate to children and elderly!

Oct 1 (CT) Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi had praised the manner Sri Lanka is focusing on the education of children and the country’s appreciative efforts towards curtailing child labour. So it is important to remember the appreciative comments made by Nobel Peace Prize winner of 2014 Kailash Satyarthi who was in Sri Lanka to attend the Second Asia Meet of the Parliamentarians Without Borders for Child Rights a couple of weeks ago in Colombo. According to Kailash Satyarthi, more..

'Looking to modernise Mahinda Chinthanaya'

Oct 1 (DM) Former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa has said that they are continuing to discuss with professionals from all social spheres on how to carry forward the Mahinda Chinthanaya based on current trends and developments. He told a conference organised by the Eliya Organisation that the views of professionals were important to resolve contentious issues & carry out development projects when a new govt assumes office. more..

'Film of childhood cannot be screened twice'

Oct 1 (AD) President Sirisena, in his World Children’s Day message reminisces a popular saying that says that the film of childhood cannot be screened once again. He says that the International Children’s Day invites adults to view children in heartfelt emotions and fond memories of our own childhood. Prez further says that they have freed today’s children from most economical and societal challenges experienced in the past. However, president believes that today’s children have more..

Singer Ronnie Leitch passes away

Oct 1 (NR) The Sri Lanka Singers Association says the remains of Ronnie Leitch will be brought to the island within the next few days. Chairman of the Association Keerthi Pasquel said the relevant documents to release the body from authorities are expected within the next 24 hours. He noted the Sri Lankan Consular Services Office in Perth has been involved in this regard. Popular singer and actor Ronnie Leitch has passed away aged 65, in Perth, Australia. more..

Sri Lanka's permit moratorium could cut $210 mn vehicle imports

Oct 1 (EN) Sri Lanka's moratorium on tax slashed permits to politicians and state worker could reduce or shift an estimated 210 million dollars worth vehicle imports, based on officially available figures. At least 7,000 vehicles had been imported so far this year by public servants paying on average 3.6 million rupees less than the actual duty payable on those vehicles. Several other categories such as MPs, returning diplomats, more..

Over 700 families affected by minor floods

Oct 1 (DM) Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said today some 700 families were affected by minor floods in the Galle District. DMC Spokesman Pradeep Kodippily said Karapitiya Road in Galle, Beligaha, Galagediya, Moragoda, Dangedara, Kahaduwawatte were under water because of the heavy rains over the weekend, however, by last afternoon the water had begun to recede. DMC quoted the Met Dept as saying the prevailing rainy weather was expected to increase, more..

CB Governor’s sister Dr. Radhika Coomaraswamy appointed to JKH Board

Oct 1 (AD) Just in a little over 2 years after the resignation of Sri Lanka’s oldest Central Bank Governor so far appointed Dr. Indrajit Coomarswamy resigned from Sri Lanka’s foremost conglomerate John Keells Holding’s PLC (JKH) as independent non- executive director on John Keells board, his sister Dr. Radhika Coomaraswamy had been appointed JKH board as an independent non-executive director of the board, latest disclosure by the company reveals. more..

15 % train fare hike not on previous fare but on fare per kilometer: Railway dep.

Oct 1 (DM) Clearing the confusion prevailing among the train commuters with regard to the train-fare revision from today, Railways Deputy Commercial Superintendent N.J. Indipola said the 15% increase was based on the train fare per kilometre and not on the current fare. “The previous fare charged per km was Rs.4.20 for the first class, Rs.2.30 for second class and Rs.1.30 for a third class. more..

Pakistan's Defence Secretary to visit SL

Oct 1 (DND) Lt. General (retd) Ikram Ul Haq will leave for Colombo on Tuesday (2) along with a high level delegation for a four days visit. His visit will end on October 5. Besides participating in the Pakistan-SL Armed Forces Defence Dialogue, Lt. General (retd) Ikram Ul Haq will have a meeting with his SL Counterpart Kapila Waidayyarathne to discuss matters of professional interests. The defence secretary will also hold meetings with the SL Chief of Defence Staff Admiral R.C. Wijegunaratne more..

Workshop for judges on illegal fishing

Oct 1 (SLN) A workshop, organized by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization for the benefit of judges, was held at the auditorium of the Southern Naval Command on 29th Sept. The event was presided over by the Commander Southern Naval Area, Rear Admiral Kapila Samaraweera. A cross section of District Court judges and magistrates across from the country took part in this awareness programme that shed light on illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing practices. more..

Two cousins brutally murdered due to years-long conflict

Oct 1 (AD) Two persons have been shot and hacked to death between 7.30 pm to 8 pm last night (30) in Ranthotuwila area in Uragasmanhandiya. The deceased Chamila Ranasinghe (37) and Saman Suresh (30) are two cousins. The bodies were transferred to the Elpitiya Base Hospital following the inquest conducted by Elpitiya Magistrate Gayan Meegahage at around 10 pm last night at crime scene. more..

Gnanasara’s Special Appeal: SC defers support for 5 Oct

Oct 1 (FT) Supreme Court last week deferred for 5 Oct to support granting of leave with the appeal filed by Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thera. The Bench comprised Justices Eva Wanasundera and Vijith K. Malalgoda. Petitioner is seeking an order from the Court to set aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal. He also asked another order to release him on bail until the final determination of his special appeal. Court of Appeal on 8 Aug in its judgment found him guilty of all four counts of charges more..

Don't panic; Philippines, India, Indonesia also falling with Sri Lanka

Oct 1 (EN) Sri Lanka should avoid ad hoc measures and control imports, while the rupee is sliding and currencies of some other countries are also falling, the island's largest trade chamber said. "Policymakers should not look to curtail imports unless where deemed necessary. Short-term measures to curtail imports will distort business activity," the Economic Intelligence Unit of Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said in a statement. "Ad-hoc raising of para-tariffs will not be in line with more..

Sri Lanka June quarter listed company profits flat, prospects seen gloomy

Oct 1 (EN) Import restrictions on vehicles and electronic appliances and low wage and consumption growth are expected to impact earnings of listed companies which grew 1 percent from a year earlier to 49.72 billion rupees in the June 2018 quarter, LOLC Securities said. Colombo's All Share index fell 8.19%, down 552 points from a year ago to 6,195 points at end June 2018. During this period Sri Lanka's economy had grown 3.7%. more..

Two Japanese ships arrive in Colombo

Oct 1 (SLN) Two ships - Kaga and Inazuma belonging to the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) arrived at the port of Colombo on a goodwill visit today (30). The vessels were received by the SL Navy in accordance with naval traditions upon their arrival. Kaga is a 248m long vessel with a displacement of 19,950 tons. Its crew is consisted of 400 naval personnel. Meanwhile Inazuma is 151m in length with a displacement of 4,550 tons. It is manned by a crew of 170. more..

MS says ragging has turned into violence

Oct 1 (NR) President Sirisena says ragging within universities has turned into violence in the present day. Speaking during an event in Balangoda Prez said this tragedy among students has been created by a political force. He noted violence, assaults and sexual harassment incidents reported within universities in SL cannot be seen at universities across the world. President stressed universities that provide youth the platform to enter the world has been severely affected by violence. more..

Akurana suffers worst floods in 20 years

Oct 1 (FT) Continuous unauthorised construction along the Pinga Oya near the Kandy-Matale road has caused the flashflood, the worst in 20 years, with the level of water to rise to eight feet in Akurana and the cost of damage estimated to be around Rs. 250 million. However, people from the area blamed the Govt for not opening the sluice gate at the nearby Polgolla dam, built in 1972. More than 200 shops and 50 vehicles were hit by more..

‘Tri forces will ensure national security’

Oct 1 (NR) Commander of the Army Mahesh Senanayake says the tri forces will face any challenge that leads to national security being compromised. He said the responsibility of upholding national security lies with the tri forces. He however noted that Army bears more responsibility in ensuring national security. Army Commander also claimed that the military is prepared to help eradicate the country of the drug menace if the govt grants them official responsibility. more..

Male domination in Sri Lanka's plantations challenged by ex-chief

Oct 1 (EN) An ex-plantations chief in Sri Lanka has challenged the gender norms and operational practices the industry inherited from its British colonial rulers, which are still prevalent today. "I'm intrigued by the fact that planters are thoroughly male dominated," former Planters' Association of Ceylon chairman Rohan Fernando said at the annual general meeting held last week. "Is that because we have let ourselves dominate the profession, or is it because we have not let more..

'It wasn't China who asked for Hambantota Port, it was us'

Oct 1 (DM) While rejecting claims that either Sri Lanka have sold the Hambantota Port to China Merchant Port or that China coming and taking the Hambantota Port to achieve their geo-political objectives, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said that it was not China who asked for the Hambantota Port but Sri Lanka who offered it. “It was not China who asked for the Hambantota Port, but it was us,” the minister said more..

Counter-terrorism bill & Its timing

Oct 2 (CT) On the 11 of Sept a Counter-Terrorism Bill was introduced to the cabinet by two ministers and was approved with the blessing of the President, which replaced the PTA introduced first as temporary law in 1979, made permanent in 1982 and came under international criticism for its abuses. However, with the end of the civil war and defeat of LTTE terrorism was successfully wiped out and a re-emergence of that evil from the same quarters is highly unlikely. more..

Looking back on Children’s Day

Oct 2 (CT) It can never be too late to write about the Children’s Day — despite us adults arguing it to be on two separate dates of the calendar — one would like to think that every day should be a children’s day. If that was the case, there would be no need to have two separate dates to reminisce and raise awareness of the rights of children and search for ways and means to overcome our failure to protect and provide for the future generations of humanity, who would strive forth making more..

Should CB aggressively defend the Rupee?

Oct 2 (SO) Top economists and officials last week commended the Central Bank’s approach in tackling the present foreign exchange dilemma by keeping interventions to a minimum level and not wasting valuable foreign exchange reserves. Senior Professor in Economics, Uni of Colombo, Dr. Sirimal Abeyratne said as SL’s weak Rupee is not CB’s responsibility but a consequence of sluggish exports and poor FDIs more..

Sirisena and the Mandela moment

Oct 2 (ST) Who invited President Sirisena to speak at the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit at the UN in New York few Sri Lankans or South Africans would know. As he was due to address the UNGA a day later those who arranged the Mandela event probably thought two speeches for the price of one was sound economics — a sort of buy-one-get-one-free promotion. But it was hardly a price worth paying by those who read the two back to back speeches that Sirisena made during his more..

Threats to Lankan economy from global developments and trade tensions

Oct 2 (ST) Tremors from global financial markets and trading uncertainties are being felt in the Island’s economy. The depreciation of the rupee, increasing prices of petrol and gas, hikes in bus fares and higher costs of imports are among the inevitable repercussions of the global financial crisis. Global economic growth could also be affected by the current setbacks to free trade. The increase in US interest rates, surge in fuel prices, and trade restrictions are the exogenous factors more..

Cloaked in silence: The story of Sri Lanka’s hearing impaired children

Oct 2 (Roar) Ushan Dilsara dreams of working in a hotel when he finishes school. “My grandmother’s food is not tasty,” the 18-year-old says, pulling a face. “But I can cook well. My mother used to teach me from the time I was little, and I look at my phone and follow the recipes online.” He tells us a funny story about how his grandmother’s bad cooking drove him to learn to cook an egg. His words are mispronounced & slightly garbled, more..

Municipal Councils and the Public Service

Oct 2 (DN) A friend, a retired accountant, owned a plot of land in the Dehiwela area with a long frontage to a major road. He had bought it thirty years ago as a residential property, but later, in view of the rapid transformation of the area, developed it into a shop/office complex. This was an investment he made with money saved during a lengthy assignment with an UN agency, overseas. Eventually, he intended to bequeath the property to his children. However, sometime last year, more..

World Habitat Day: Waste no more!

Oct 2 (DN) The world habitat days was declared by the UN General Assembly in the year 1985. First Monday of October every year was dedicated as the World Habit Day. The theme this year is Municipal Solid Waste Management What is solid waste? Solid waste refers to a wide range of garbage created by human and animal activities discarded by as unwanted and useless. The main creators of solid waste are residential, industrial and commercial activists in the given municipal areas. more..