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Court refuses to release PTL's Rs.1bn funds

Oct 12 (DM) Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne refused to release Rs.1 billion belonging to Perpetual Treasuries Limited (PTL), that had been maintained in the Central Bank's RTGS account prior to the controversial bond scam. The defence earlier demanded that the sum be released for the expenses of the company as it belonged to PTL and existed in CBSL's system prior to the bond auction on Feb 27, 2015. more..

Justice Nalin Perera likely to be CJ

Oct 12 (DN) Supreme Court Judge Justice Nalin Perera has been nominated by President Maithripala Sirisena to be appointed as the next Chief Justice of Sri Lanka. He will be the 46th Chief Justice of Sri Lanka once the Constitutional Council affirms his appointment today. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya told Parliament yesterday that the newly appointed Constitutional Council will go through the new nominations today to the country’s top most position in the judiciary. more..

Adverse weather: Death toll rises to 12

Oct 12 (CT) Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources and Disaster Management yesterday said that 12 deaths in five districts were reported and 18 were injured due to the adverse weather conditions that are prevailing in the country. 75,241 individuals (18,736 families) have been affected. Out of the 12 deaths, eight were caused by electricity mishaps in Kalutara and Galle, two by drowning in Ratnapura and Colombo while another two by falling trees in the Ratnapura and Kegalle areas. more..

Cool Planet turns hot

Oct 12 (CT) A fire erupted at the four storey retail chain store Cool Planet in Pelawatte, Battaramulla yesterday, completely destroying the building and causing damage to several adjacent structures. Fire started around 11 a.m. Cause of the blaze is yet to be determined. Thalangama Police claimed that an investigation will be conducted to ascertain the cause of the fire. The damages caused by the fire are yet to be estimated. more..

Will the road end for Sirisena ?

Oct 12 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena who was loved, voted for and ushered in with much hope for the country’s future now sees the road ahead of him in politics strewn with obstacles. Some opine that the president is in dire straits given the unstable economy and the ever widening gulf between him and the Premier. There are also reports that the president has said that Wickremesinghe is stifling the efforts he is taking to carry out his work. Amidst all these issues and uncertainties associated more..

Coming out of this Fools Paradise

Oct 12 (DM) The dwindling Rupee has jerked the Yahapalana (Good Governance) govt wide awake to face the reality they preferred to ignore. Since assuming office in Jan 2015 and promising a better managed economy and jobs, comfortable living and social stability, the yahapalana rulers are now told by a depreciating Rupee that they have completely failed. On a heavily depreciated Rupee, President Sirisena is now speculating whether to give into Rajapaksa’s demand to rule the roost. more..

Caretaker govt: Who is fooling whom?

Oct 12 (DM) Political parties in the country are obsessed these days with speculation about a caretaker Govt that is to be jointly formed by the joint opposition headed by former president Mahinda Rajapaksa and the SLFP headed by President Maithripala Sirisena. The speculation got wings after some news items over the matter published in last Sunday’s newspapers saying that a discussion had been held between the former more..

Doctors focus on unsafe abortions

Oct 12 (ST) The touchy topic of abortion was discussed at the inauguration of Family Planning Day last week where medical experts tried to dispel myths about the use of contraceptives and means of reducing unwanted pregnancies, thus reducing the number of unsafe abortions in the country. Health Promotion Bureau Director Dr Paba Palihawadana said that unsafe abortions could be reduced through family planning. more..

Salaries Commission Chief points to haphazard payment of CoL allowance

Oct 12 (Island) Presidential Salaries Commission Chief S.R. Ranugge said that a substantial section of the state sector employees had been unjustly deprived of the cost of living allowance. The senior retired public servant said that the payment of the cost of living allowance only to a section of the public sector couldn’t be justified under any circumstances. Ranugge said so in response to the query whether he would take into more..

Unfair touse mysterious formula to jack up fuel prices: JVP

Oct 12 (Island) People of this country were compelled to shell out their money whenever the govt jacks up fuel prices according to a pricing formula, which was not known to those consumers, JVP said. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that it was unfair to make the public bear the increases fuel prices determined by a secret formula. "We have asked several times in this House to table that mysterious formula. more..

Contempt of Court action filed against SLMC

Oct 12 (DN) The members of Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) were yesterday noticed to appear in the Court of Appeal on November 16 to show cause as to why they should not be punished for contempt of Court for their failure to register a student of SAITM in Malabe in terms of the Court of Appeal judgement. Filing a contempt of court action against the SLMC, petitioner Dhilmi Kasunda Suriyarachchi, a MBBS graduate of SAITM more..

Backroom moves over Chief Justice pick

Oct 12 (EN) The political manoeuvring involving President Maithripala Sirisena and the Joint Opposition centred on the top Supreme Court post which is to be filled Friday with the appointment of low-profile career judge Nalin Perera. Official sources close to Sirisena said he nominated Perera, 64, to be the next Chief Justice overlooking the senior most SC judge Eva Wanasundara who has a chequered record. more..

300M loan and interest for Mihin Lanka offset by Treasury: Witness

Oct 12 (CT) The Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) failed to provide any recorded evidence of prior approval sought from the Treasury with regard to the decision taken to waiver the interest component of a Rs 300 million loan taken on behalf of Mihin Lanka (Private) Limited from the Shipping Development Fund. This was disclosed by the Director of the DPE attached to the General Treasury, M.C.N. Balasuriya more..

Rajarata Medical Faculty imbroglio raised in parliament

Oct 12 (Island) Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe told parliament that his ministry was holding discussions with the Ministry of Finance and Mass Media to solve Rajarata University’s medical faculty crisis caused by the en masse resignation of its teaching staff in protest over withholding of their monthly retention allowance. Responding to a question by JVP Leader Anura Kumar Dissanayake, Minister said that neither Higher Education more..

Central Bank says Cabraal’s comments on rupee depreciation misleading

Oct 12 (LBO) Central Bank says the allegations made by former Governor Nivard Cabraal in a recent newspaper article that the Central Bank has neglected its statutory duty and the recent depreciation of the rupee could have been better managed are misleading. “Exchange rate pressure that is currently observed is not limited to SL, and any attempt to reverse such developments by supplying large amounts of foreign exchange more..

Constitutional Council approved President’s nomination for CJ

Oct 12 (AD) The Constitutional Council has approved President Sirisena’s nomination for the position of Chief Justice. Constitutional Council chaired by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya convened at the Parliamentary Complex at 12 noon today. The vacant position of Chief Justice was discussed during the meeting while the council approved the President’s nomination to the position, the Speaker’s Office said. more..

Understanding the current industry trend towards bespoke tourism

Oct 12 (FT) Bespoke tourism is growing in popularity around the world. The reason for this is because it’s similar to choosing between off-the-rack suits over tailor-made suits. No matter how good the design is, a bespoke version is going to fit you much better. To elaborate further, nowadays, travellers look for something more than the traditional organised tours centred round famous attractions. They search for more unique and authentic experiences, which will connect them to the values and cultures of more..

Integration of global value chains for sustainable tourism development in SL

Oct 12 (FT) Sustainable tourism is the concept of visiting a place as a tourist and trying to make a positive impact on the environment, society and economy. Tourism can involve primary transportation to the general location, local transportation, accommodations, entertainment, recreation, nourishment and shopping. It can be related to travel for leisure, business and visiting friends and relatives. Given its natural advantages, the tourism sector is viewed as one of the more..

පාලකයින් ජනතාවට බේගල් ඇද බාන්නේ ඇයි ?

IGP finally fulfills CC instructions after warning from Speaker

Oct 12 (Island) The implementation of all recommendations by the National Police Commission had been duly completed by the IGP within the two weeks’ period given to him, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said. Speaker made this observation in Parliament yesterday in reply to concerns raised by JO Parliamentary Group Leader Dinesh Gunawardena. Speaker summoned IGP Pujith Jayasundara and National Police Commission members for a special meeting of CC on more..

INS Rajput arrives at the Port of Colombo

Oct 12 (SLN) The Indian Naval Ship (INS) Rajput arrived at the Port of Colombo today (11) on a goodwill visit. The ship was ceremonially welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy in accordance with naval traditions on her arrival. Subsequently, the Commanding Officer of INS Rajput, Captain Rajesh Nair and the Indian delegation met the Commander Western Naval Area, Nishantha Ulugetenne at the Western Naval Command Hq and held a cordial discussion. more..

The high-maintenance lowlifes of Diyawanna

Oct 12 (CT) The familiar stench of hypocrisy bordering on malfeasance, of the audacity of preaching and even imposing austerity on the common man while themselves, the high-maintenance lowlifes alias Parliamentarians in the Augean Stables, grazing on public funds and prospering off the fat of the land, is emanating yet again from that house of horrors on the Diyawanna Lake. This time it involves vehicle imports - specifically, more..

Maximum price for white sugar

Oct 12 (AD) The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) says that a maximum retail price has been imposed on packeted and non-packeted white sugar with effect from midnight today (12). Issuing a statement, the CAA said that the maximum retail price has been imposed through two Gazette notifications. Accordingly a maximum retail price of Rs 100 per kilogram has been imposed on non-packeted white sugar while a MRP of Rs 105 per kilogram has been imposed on packeted white sugar. more..

Only Musaeus did it well: President

Oct 12 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena today said he was very disappointed by the level of training and discipline of the govt school students by what he saw at the concluding ceremony of the National School Games held recently. “It was obvious that they were poorly trained. Only one school stood out among others for their perfect march past and school band. I asked Akila (Minister of Education) what that school was. He said that was the Musaeus College” President said more..

Catholic priests & activists urge Cardinal to refrain from using his office to undermine HR

Oct 12 (CT) A group of Catholic priests and activists have written a letter to Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith urging him to refrain from using his position to bring the Catholic faith into disrepute, to mislead Catholic faithful and to undermine the human rights framework and discourses which have universal applicability, including to Sri Lanka, and which have been welcomed by successive Popes. more..

Minister Hashim explains how Sri Lanka faltered economically

Oct 12 (Island) Irrespective of whichever party they belonged to, they had to think along one line in national policies. Under the current govt the country’s exports had increased to $17 billion which is 18% of GDP, said Minister Kabir Hashim in Parliament yesterday speaking on the export sector when two regulations were taken up. "We introduced an open market policy in 1977 under former President J.R. Jayewardene and it was called an era of trade liberalisation. more..

I nominated the most senior and experienced SC Judge: MS

Oct 12 (DM) For the first time in Sri Lanka's judicial history I have nominated the most senior and experienced Supreme Court Judge to the post of Chief Justice, President Maithripala Sirisena said. He said this at a ceremony held at Ape Gama in Battaramulla where letters of appointment were handed over to Regional Forest Officers and the Productivity Awards of the Mahaweli Development and Environment Department. The President said in several instances in the past more..

Arjuna says he won’t allow sale of Trinco oil tanks

Oct 12 (AD) Responding the accusations made by JVP MP Bimal Rathnayaka, Minister Arjuna Ranatunga stated that he will not grant the Trincomalee oil tanks to an Indian oil company. He made this comments at the occasion of providing relief to the workers of CPC who were victims of political revenged. The minister stated that his principal is not to betray the country’s betterment and that he aims to develop the tank terminal more..

India announces scholarships to children of Sri Lanka estate workers

Oct 12 (IHC) Applications are invited from the children of estate workers, for award of scholarships by the Ceylon Estate Workers’ Education Trust (CEWET). These scholarships are available for G.C.E. A/L, Undergraduate courses and for students undergoing Vocational/Technical education in any other Govt Technical Colleges in Sri Lanka. Students who have passed GCE O/L (with minimum 6 credit passes) or A/L exam and below 25 years of age are eligible to apply for this scholarship. more..

Gomi counters Minister Samarawickama’s rejoinder

Oct 12 (Island) Gomi Senadeera, Sri Lanka’s former top trade representative in Geneva has issued the following statement in response to Development Strategies and International Trade Ministry statement. The text of the statement: First of all, let me thank the Development Strategies and International Trade Ministry for the statement in response to my article headlined Garbage in garbage out – Garbage and Blue Asbestos in Sri Lanka Singapore Free Trade Agreement as more..

Sri Lanka rejects US claims, says no Chinese military base at port

Oct 12 (PTI) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has rejected US' claim that China might set up a forward military base at a strategic port it has leased to the communist nation, describing it as imaginary. Last year, Colombo had leased the Hambantota port to Beijing for 99 years after it failed to repay a Chinese loan of USD 1.4 billion for the project. China gaining the control of the port has raised concerns that more..

Video: Man dies after train hits car, wife escapes unharmed

Oct 12 (AD) One person died after a train collided with a car this morning at a railway crossing on Nagarathna Mawatha in the Galle. A slow train traveling from Aluthgama to Galle had collided with the car at around 6.25 a.m. today. The driver of the car, a 57 year old resident of Ginthota, was rushed to the Karapitiya Hospital in critical condition following the crash, but he had succumbed to injuries while receiving treatment. However, the driver’s wife who was also inside the car more..

Sri Lanka clears tax uncertainty on foreign bondholders, lenders

Oct 12 (EN) Sri Lanka's cabinet of ministers had given the nod to exempt foreign investors in govt bonds from taxes on interest and capital gains, the Finance Ministry said as part of a number of revisions to a new income tax law. Sri Lanka will exempt from taxes "any gain including interest, discount or capital gain earned by non-residents on sovereign bonds denominated in local or foreign currency, issued by or on behalf of the Govt." The exemption will also apply to loans more..

Sri Lanka looks to shed massage parlour image for billion dollar wellness industry

Oct 12 (EN) SL's wellness industry is looking to shake off a bad reputation in order to attract tourists and hire people who are wary of the ubiquitous shady massage parlours and spas known for their happy endings. The global wellness industry is estimated to US$ 3.7 trillion, with wellness tourism accounting for US$ 563 billion according to the Global Wellness Institute, and SL wants a piece of this pie, but quality remains a major concern. more..

'Russia is interested in closer ties with SL'

Oct 12 (DM) Russia, which maintains traditionally friendly relations with Sri Lanka, is interested in closer trade and economic cooperation, including in fishery, agriculture and tourism, President Vladimir Putin has said on Thursday. He expressed these views at a ceremony held in the Alexander Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace where 23 new ambassadors including SL Ambassador Dayan Jayatilleka presented credentials to President Putin. “I would like to note that in September, more..

Grama niladaris threaten TU action

Oct 12 (DN) Representatives of the Grama Niladaris Association urged the govt to rectify several issues relating to their service, at a media conference on Wednesday. They warned the govt not to force them to opt for trade union action by not heeding their issues. Govt Grama Niladaris Association (GGNA) Chairman U.A.D.S. Perera said they were contemplating trade union action in the near future. As an initial step, leaflets were distributed to make people aware about their issues. more..

'Sri Lankan currency fears are overblown'

Oct 12 (Nikkei) The sharp decline of SL's currency is not as catastrophic as people make it out to be, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said this week, as the country looks to transform itself into an export-powered economy. SL rupee has fallen by over 10% against the dollar this year, making it one of the worst performing currencies in emerging Asia. The country has imposed restrictions on vehicle imports, more..

81 injured in Lunugamwehera bus accident

Oct 12 (DM) At least 81 passengers were injured when an SLTB and a private bus collided head on at Lunugamwehera on the Hambanthota-Wellawaya Main Road this afternoon, police said. They said the injured were admitted to the Lunugamwehera, Debarawewa and Hambantota Hospitals. The SLTB bus was heading to Ampara from Matara and the private bus was heading to Matara from Dehiaththakandiya at the time of accident. Drivers of both vehicles are among the injured. more..

Govt. presents Chemical Weapons Convention Amendment Bill

Oct 12 (DM) The govt yesterday presented the Chemical Weapons Convention Amendment Bill in Parliament. Ministry of Defence which is under the purview of President Maithripala Sirisena shall be in charge of implementing the said legislation. Ministry of Industries was in charge of implementing the legislation earlier. The legislation deals with implementing of the International Convention on Prohibiting development, production, stockpiling and using of chemical weapons. more..

Public servants must fulfill responsibilities to protect forest resources: President

Oct 12 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena says all the public servants have a responsibility beyond their limits of assigned duties in achieving national development goals while increasing the density of forests across the country.President made these remarks addressing a ceremony to present appointment letters to newly appointed officers of the Department of Forest Conservation as well as to present Productivity Awards for forest offices, more..