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US$ 190.2 million allocated for SriLankan fuel supply

Oct 4 (CT) The Cabinet yesterday approved a sum of US$ 190.2 million to be allocated to 11 aviation fuel suppliers who will supply fuel to SriLankan Airline aircraft in 24 international airports. The proposal was presented by Minister Lakshman Kiriella, after a recommendation by the Permanent Procurement Committee appointed by the Procurement Ministerial Board. The Cabinet further approved a proposal made by Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, for the construction of more..

26 top woman biz and professional leaders at pre-Budget forum today

Oct 4 (FT) 26 top woman business and professional leaders will have their say as to what the Govt should consider priorities in the 2019 Budget, at an exclusive forum organised by the Daily FT and the Colombo Uni MBA Alumni Association, in partnership with Standard Chartered Bank. The unique pre-Budget forum, held for the eighth consecutive year, for the first time brings together women leaders, given their significant contribution to the national economy, more..

Around 750,000 cases pending in Courts

Oct 4 (DN) Number of cases pending in courts around the country is as high as 750,000, Justice Minister Thalatha Atukorale said. She said the delay in expediting cases may result in litigants losing faith in the country’s judicial system. Minister expressed these views at a ceremony to mark National Mediation Day at Temple Trees. Voicing her disappointment on such a large backlog of cases, Minister said, more..

Siriliya Saviya Defender under court custody

Oct 4 (DN) Defender jeep belonging to the Siriliya Saviya Foundation believed to have been used to abduct former rugby player Wasim Thajudeen, was named as a production item in the Thajudeen murder case by the Colombo Chief Magistrate. Magistrate made this order considering a request made by the CID. On a previous occasion too, this Defender had been released under a bond of Rs 5 million. The vehicle’s colour had been changed to blue on the advice of Yoshitha Rajapaksa more..

ICC must make findings on SLC corruption public: TISL

Oct 4 (AD) In response to the statement made by Alex Marshall, General Manager of the ICC Anti-Corruption Unit, Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) today highlighted the need to ensure transparency and public scrutiny in the process of investigating serious allegations of corruption at Sri Lanka Cricket. TISL Executive Director Asoka Obeyesekere said, “Whilst we are aware of the need to protect information that may be seen as prejudicial to ongoing investigations, more..

EPF to be listed and brought under CBSL supervision

Oct 4 (Island) Sri Lanka's largest retirement fund, the Employees' Provident Fund (EPF),with Rs. 2 trillion in assets will be listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) and monitored and managed under the supervision of the Central Bank Monetary Board, Governor of the Central Bank Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy said. "EPF has done a lot of preparation in consultation with the investor community & would be talking to trade unions more..

Duminda calls for independent investigation, laments damage to his reputation

Oct 4 (FT) Minister Duminda Dissanayake called for an independent investigation into the alleged fraudulent money transfer to a bank account belonging to a Govt Minister. Minister lamented damage to his good name as it has been suggested that a sum of Rs. 150 million had been transferred to his account. “My image, although blurred, has been used by different websites which have published the story. No one will come to rectify the damage to my reputation so I, too, urge authorities to more..

UNP backbenchers to question National Economic Council

Oct 4 (DM) UNP MP Thushara Indunil said in a statement that he and other backbench MPs have decided to question the economic council which was responsible for making decisions with regard to the economy in the national level on the steps it had taken to see Sri Lanka through from the economic crisis. The council was appointed by Prez Maithripala Sirisena in April this year. PM Wickremesinghe headed the council earlier. MP Indunil said he would seek approval of PM more..

CV’s vehicle shot down by Cabinet

Oct 4 (DM) Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran’s request for approval to import a super luxury vehicle at a cost of US$ 60,000 had been rejected by the Cabinet on Tuesday Cabinet Spokesman Dr Rajitha Senaratne said. He said that the Govt could not afford the extra luxury to Wigneswaran while suspending vehicle imports for Ministers, MPs and public servants who were entitled to tax-free vehicle imports. more..

Link more with Japan to face crisis: PM

Oct 4 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had told a group of Ministers and economic experts that Sri Lanka should enhance its economic and trade ties with Japan as a precaution for the ongoing economic crisis. PM had expressed these sentiments at a meeting he had with a group of Ministers and experts on the current economic situation prior to his departure to Norway. He has told the Ministers and experts that SL should enhance its economic & trade ties with Japan more..

15% of television money goes missing

Oct 4 (Island) Sri Lanka Cricket is facing further scandal after it was revealed that 15% of the money that Sony the official broadcaster had paid SLC for the just concluded South African series had gone missing. It was revealed yesterday that instead of the money being credited to one of SLC’s account, it had been desposited to a different account. SLC officials said that they were doing their best to recover the money. Last month, SLC prevented a major financial scandal when Sony had been more..

Prez to decide on IGP next week

Oct 4 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena would take a decision on Police Chief Pujith Jayasundara in the next few days unless he tendered resignation, minister Rajitha Senaratne said. He admitted that it was difficult for IGP Jayasundara to remain after President Sirisena expressed his displeasure over his behaviour in public and as the Police Chief. He said the IGP was appointed by the Constitutional Council and therefore, Prez more..

Non-violence mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction

Oct 4 (DM) Tuesday (2) marked the UN International Day of Non-Violence. It is the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the Indian independence movement and pioneer of the philosophy and strategy of non-violence or Satyagraha. In a message UN Secretary General António Guterres says Mahatma Gandhi proved that non-violence could change history. “Let us be inspired by his courage and conviction as we continue our work to advance peace, sustainable development more..

Notes for a Manifesto: National Security

Oct 4 (DM) The word brings to mind guns and barricades, soldiers and war (in the immediate past, lived through or imminent). That’s natural in a land where several generations have had guns and bombs in-their-faces, literally and figuratively. Natural also in a world that has become small courtesy of communication technology and therefore has war delivered to the palm, so to speak, or obtained with a swipe. It is not surprising that national security has mostly been associated more..

'Modi wants SL political parties to have dialogues with the separate Indian states'

Oct 4 (DM) Leader of EPDP MP Douglas Devananda, speaks about his recent visit to India along with a parliamentary delegation headed by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya. Q: You recently took part in a visit to India as part of a parliamentary delegation and met with Indian PM Narendra Modi. What is your assessment of the visit? A: As far as a visit to India is concerned, I had two issues. One is that the Tamil opposition accused me of more..

Admission by Aussie prosecutor as startling as the arrest of Kamer

Oct 4 (ST) “I have never been more proud to be a Sri Lankan after having seen the immense support for me,” said Lankan student following his release on bail “I’m now a free man,” said SL student Kamer Nizamdeen out on bail and firmly proclaiming his innocence after an extraordinary admission from a Crown prosecutor on Friday that there was little to substantiate Australian police charges that linked him to terrorism. more..

Knowing your blood report

Oct 4 (DM) Blood tests have become such an integral part of disease diagnosis and treatment process that when you go to a doctor, more often than not, you are asked to obtain a blood report related to your condition. That’s why we decided to bring you a series of articles to provide information regarding blood tests; ordered commonly. Dr. K.A.C. Wickramaratne, Consultant Haematologist, Senior Lecturer in Pathology, more..

Yahapalana regime at breaking point

Oct 4 (DM) One thing was certain when President Sirisena derided IGP Pujith Jayasundara and the entire police service at Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting. That is that resentment between the President and the UNP has climaxed to a point of no return. President is reported to have said that the police service had deteriorated to such low ebbs that it needed urgent reforms to forge ahead. In the Govt, there appears to be two power centres more..

Car dealers hold prices as demand drops

Oct 4 (EN) Car dealers offered vehicles at discounted prices despite a sharp appreciation of the dollar and the yen as many prospective buyers delayed their purchases following Central Bank ordered credit restrictions, traders said. Importers of small Indian and Japanese cars were calling potential customers who had made inquiries recently asking if they have bought a vehicle and if not to make use of generous more..

Govt steps up disaster aid

Oct 4 (CT) Over 450,000 families affected by the drought, in various parts will receive assistance under the theme Apekamata Api. A package worth Rs 4,000 for families with three members or less and Rs 5,000 for families with more than three members will be given, Minister Duminda Dissanayake said yesterday. The total expense is valued at over Rs 2,030 million, he added. Representatives of the Ministry added that more..

New car importers call for controls on competition

Oct 4 (EN) Ceylon Motor Traders Association (CMTA) has urged the govt to regulate vehicle imports by registering all importers including individuals, saying new import limits prompted by a glut of small cars had hit their earnings, as a soft-peg of the rupee came under pressure from unsterilized excess liquidity generated by the central bank in July & Aug 2018. The CMTA, representing all major int'l automakers, more..

SriLankan’s call centre mired in issues: Disclosure at PCoI

Oct 4 (CT) The setting up of a fully outsourced call centre for SriLankan Airlines Limited (SLA) in 2009 fell short of a prior formal study conducted by the Airline in this connection. It was also in the absence of SLA’s Business Plan making any reference to such a unit. Subsequent to procedure, witness SLA General Manager of Commercial Services and Support Services, Panduka Weeraratne said that two companies, namely HelloCorp and more..

Sri Lanka permanently sterilizes some forex interventions

Oct 4 (EN) Sri Lanka has begun permanently sterilizing forex market interventions with outright purchases of Treasury bills to print money into the banking system after rejecting an auction of Treasuries, official data showed. The central bank printed a total of 13.27 billion rupees Wednesday to fill a liquidity shortage coming from dollars sold to intervene in the spot forex market and swaps in the forward market through which more..

National Economic Council discussed the current status of the economy

Oct 4 (PMD) The National Economic Council, headed by President Maithripala Sirisena, discussed about the current status of the country’s economy with private sector and the academia. National Economic Council was gathered under the patronage of the Prez at the Presidential Secretariat, yesterday with the participation of the business leaders, chambers of commerce and industries, members of the academia more..

Practise what you preach

Oct 4 (CT) Premier Sirimavo Bandaranaike during her tenure of office from 1970 to 1977 preached austerity. It was an era of import bans, shortages, rationing of non-essentials and essentials, resulting in a thriving black market, nepotism and cronyism. Meanwhile, cloth was not only rationed then, but the rationed cloth available was of low quality, smelling of kerosene. Further, a person going overseas was restricted to take only US$ 10 with him, to preserve the country’s Spartan US dollar reserves. more..

Municipal Councils and our public service

Oct 4 (FT) A friend, a retired accountant, owned a plot of land in the Dehiwala area with a long frontage to a major road. He had bought it 30 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..

D.E.W. Gunasekera

Sri Lanka to get automated warehouse with Norwegian technology

Oct 4 (EN) Sri Lanka will set up an automated warehousing and packaging facility with robotics capabilities for fresh fish in collaboration with Norway's Element Logics and Tiqri, the PM's office said. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe who is on a three-day official visit to Norway visited sports goods retailer XXL's robotic warehousing facilities. The automated warehouse uses robots to store, package and ship goods to XXL stores and online shoppers. Technology can be applied for warehousing more..

Navy divers recover a cache of gunnery items form Arugambay lagoon

Oct 4 (SLN) On receipt of information, a group of Navy divers attached to the Southeastern Naval Command carried out an underwater search operation and recovered a cache of gunnery items from the lagoon area of Arugmbay yesterday (2). Among the recovered items were; seven (7) 81mm mortar grenades, two (2) 81mm mortar grenade fuzes, three (3) 60mm mortar grenades (with fuze), seventy nine (79) 7.62x39mm ball ammunition and one (1) RPG grenade spilling charger. more..

Controversial ambassador to Qatar carries Rajapaksa sons’ bags at airport

Oct 4 (CT) SL Ambassador to Qatar, controversial businessman A.S.P. Liyanage was seen welcoming Yoshitha Rajapaksa and Rohitha Rajapaksa, the two sons of former President Rajapaksa – when they arrived in the country this morning. The gesture is not in line with any diplomatic protocol as the Rajapaksa sons do not hold any positions in the government, at the moment. Liyanage was seen welcoming them more..

CSOs urge Prez assassination plot probe

Oct 4 (CT) Collective of People’s Movements (Purawesi Sanvidana Ekamuthuwa) urged the Govt and the CID to probe into the claims made by Director Operations of the Anti Corruption Front organization, Namal Kumara regarding an alleged contract to assassinate President Maithripala Sirisena and former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Convener of the Collective, Saman Rathnapriya, said it was a welcome change that there were other groups such as more..

UNP, SLFP to decide on PC polls system

Oct 4 (DN) The SLFP and UNP will discuss whether to hold the next Provincial Council election on the old PR system or the new electoral system. Co-cabinet Spokesman, Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said all political parties except the SLFP have agreed to hold the upcoming Provincial Council election according to the old system. However, they have all agreed to go for a new mixed system after that election. But, we all uphold the mixed system as a matter of principal,” he said more..

Video: JO wants President to walk the talk

Oct 4 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena should take immediate action with regard to serious issues, such as the economic crisis and the alleged assassination plot, instead of complaining or making mere statements, JO said. JO MP C.B. Ratnayake said if President Sirisena was against the fuel pricing formula and the depreciation of the rupee, he should intervene to defeat Minister Samaraweera’s budget for next year. more..

'UNP's responsibility is to safeguard Prez'

Oct 4 (DM) It is the responsibility of the UNP to safeguard President Maithripala Sirisena and it has no intention of getting him killed, Deputy Minister J. C. Alawathuwala said today. He said it is the responsibility of UNP to safeguard President Sirisena and therefore the party has no intention of getting him killed. “It is the UNP who got President Sirisena elected as the President of this country and therefore our party cannot have any intention of getting him killed. more..

Video: Underworld figure critically wounded in shootout with police at Oruwala

Oct 4 (AD) A suspected underworld gang member has been critically injured and hospitalised following an exchange of gunfire with a team of police officers in Oruwala, Athurugiriya. Police Spokesman’s Office said that a team of officers from the Police Organised Crimes Division had visited the area to apprehend suspects of a criminal gang this morning (4) and that the suspects had proceeded to open fire at them with a pistol. The police officers had returned fire in an act of self-defense more..

Unfortunate and unfair to say Geneva resolution as interference by Int’l Com.: UK

Oct 4 (DM) UK’s Minister of State for Asia-Pacific at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Mark Field, ahead of a visit to Sri Lanka, said that it is unfortunate and unfair to represent the Geneva resolution as interference by the international community in Sri Lanka’s domestic affairs. UK Minister’s visit follows President Maitripala Sirisena’s speech last week at the UNGA where he urged international community to more..

CP UPFA members supporting SLPP stages protest on final day

Oct 4 (Island) A group of ruling UPFA members who have switched their allegiance to SLPP staged a protest at Tuesday’s meeting of the Central Provincial Council, calling for early provincial council elections. The group consisting of 10 members carried placards demanding early PC polls; they shouted slogans sitting on the floor of the House. As the group did not respond to request by Chairman L.D. Nimalasiri for order the Chairman adjourned the proceedings of the meeting for five minutes. more..

Indian shipping modernisation threatens Sri Lankan transhipment volumes

Oct 4 (EN) The modernisation of Indian ports and liberalisation of regulations could threaten the container transhipment business of Sri Lanka’s Colombo port, according to speakers at maritime industry forums this week. “India used to depend on Sri Lanka for their transhipment cargo but gradual improvements to their port infrastructure have resulted in some shipping lines diverting their ships to Indian ports,” said Tung-Lai Margue, Head of Delegation of the European Union for SL. more..

LTTE Magazine prison detainees on hunger strike

Oct 4 (DN) A group of around 43 LTTE detainees commenced a hunger strike at the Colombo Magazine Prison yesterday, according to the Prison Commissioner. These detainees are said to have commenced the strike demanding that their cases be expedited. Meanwhile, last month, eight Tamil political prisoners at the A'pura prison, launched a hunger strike demanding that they be released more..

Court summons Champika & Lalith Weeratunga

Oct 4 (AD) Colombo High Court issued summons on Minister Champika Ranawaka and former Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunga to testify in the case against the former Chairman of RADA Tiran Alles and three others. When the case was taken up before the Colombo HC Judge Wikum Kaluarachchi today, the defense attorneys cross examined Nishantha Sri Warnashinghe the National Organizer of JHU, who has been named as one of the witnesses of the case. more..