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Central Bank cancels TKS Finance license after action on The Finance Company

Sep 21 (TM) Central Bank today (19) cancelled the license issued to TKS Finance Limited under the Finance Business Act, No. 42 of 2011 with immediate effect, three days after extending the regulatory actions imposed on The Finance Company PLC on for a one month period. CB stated that it arrived at this decision after taking several regulatory actions and allowing TKS the opportunity to provide justifications for violating/contravening the provisions of the Finance Business Act more..

Aravinda de Silva: One of the greatest batsmen produced by Sri Lanka

Sep 21 (DN) Widely considered as one of the greatest batsmen ever produced by Sri Lanka Deshabandu Aravinda de Silva will be the chief guest at the 41st Observer/Mobitel School Cricketer of the Year awards night. De Silva, a former captain is renowned for helping Sri Lanka to win the 1996 Cricket World Cup and for bringing his country from underdog status to present day form. He has held various posts in Sri Lanka Cricket after his retirement in 2003. more..

The Tower of Guilt unveiled

Sep 21 (Island) SLFP’s Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekera will have to give up on his calls for the SLPP and the Gotabaya Rajapaksa team to have a common symbol if contesting the polls in an alliance between the two parties. Prez Sirisena has now sent the symbol of Gotabaya and the SLPP into celestial heights with the opening of the Nelum Kuluna – the Lotus Tower of political display and pain of expenses. more..

New era of Sri Lankan Chess

Sep 21 (ST) Kandy Open Int'l Chess Festival, undoubtedly the biggest chess experience in SL concluded the event on Aug 27 with the record of the highest number of participants for any Int'l Chess event ever held in SL. This enthusiastic tournament was held at Oak Ray Regency Hotel, Kandy for six days with 836 participants. 64 Squares Chess Academy, the leading chess academy in SL has brought much fame to the island by producing world & Asian chess champions in the past decade. more..

Sri Lanka’s trade deficit continues to improve

Sep 21 (ST) Sri Lanka’s trade deficit continued to improve during the first half of 2019 with the sustained growth of exports and the notable contraction in the growth of imports. The deficit in the trade account narrowed significantly in June 2019 in comparison to the corresponding month of 2018 mainly due to the reduction in imports of motor vehicles and fuel, the CB announced. On a cumulative basis, the deficit in the trade account contracted by US$ 2,112 m to $3,597 m more..

Public sector accountants under the scanner

Sep 21 (ST) Public sector accountants were given a lesson in ethics on Tuesday when a number of financial and legal specialists highlighted the importance of maintaining accounts without falling under pressure to act unethically. Solicitor General Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe said that accountants were whistle blowers and the first investigator to any transaction, while speaking at a seminar on Ethical Responsibility of more..

BOI to double total land area of FTZs

Sep 21 (TM) The Board of Investment (BOI) has initiated plans to almost double the collective land extent of SL’s Export Processing Zones, also known as Free Trade Zones. Currently, there are 14 Export Processing Zones around Sri Lanka which occupy a total land area of around 3,000 acres. “We have 14 FTZs, but the space available is about 3,000 acres and the space usable is only about 2,600 to 2,800, or even less. Now there is an initiative to almost double that capacity,” more..

Be positive, CCC tells private sector

Sep 21 (TM) Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Chairman Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya has called for an end to negativity and despondency in the private sector. “Our first obligation as a private sector is to be positive and I think we need to cancel from our vocabulary the sentiment of despondency. There is no room for negative attitudes and complaining and as the private sector we must simply be positive and look forward to the future as we do with our businesses.” more..

Not opposed to abolishing presidency: Sajith camp

Sep 21 (RN) UNP seniors backing Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa in the race to the executive presidency defended their decision yesterday to oppose the 11th hour move to abolish it. Ministers Thalatha Atukorale, Ranjith Madduma Bandara and Ravindra Samaraweera said that all party leaders of UNP-led United National Front (UNF) alliance were not only vehemently opposed to the move, but were also fully behind candidacy of Premadasa. more..

GermanTech North catalyst to expand vocational training

Sep 21 (DN) The GermanTech North has helped Sri Lanka in its journey towards realizing the govt’s Vision 2025 and achieving important targets connected to Sustainable Development Goal 4 related to skills and employability, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera, said on Tuesday in Kilinochchi. He was speaking on the occasion of the official handing-over of modern training equipment to the Sri Lanka – German Training Institute which is known as GermanTech North. more..

SLR gives green light to Schools 7's

Sep 21 (CT) After much debate over the Inter-School Sevens Rugby Tournament, it has been confirmed that the tournament will indeed be played on 21 and 22 Sept. Sri Lanka Rugby had earlier told the SL Society of Rugby Football Referees to skip refereeing the tournament as the SL Schools Rugby Football Association had failed to submit the Tournament Rule Book. SLR Vice President Rizly Illyas says that the green light for the tournament was given after SLSRFA handed over the more..

SLFP throws its weight behind Gotabaya

Sep 21 (Island) After vehemently denying Prez Sirisena had backed UNP leader and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s last ditch attempt to abolish the executive presidency ahead of Nov. 16 prez poll, the SLFP, yesterday, assured that it wouldn’t undermine SLPP prez candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The assurance was given by UPFA lawmaker Thilanga Sumathipala, who claimed that Prez Sirisena, in his capacity as the head of more..

Navy assists to bring injured seaman of an oil tanker, ashore

Sep 21 (SLN) SL Navy assisted to bring ashore an injured seaman who was onboard an oil tanker owned by a private company, for prompt medical treatment, on 19th Sept. Following the facts received from Int'l Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) unit of Colombo port, a Fast Attack Craft (FAC) attached to the Western Naval Command was promptly dispatched for rescuing the patient. Accordingly, the patient was taken safely onboard the FAC at the seas 12 Nautical miles off C'mbo light house more..

Docs and Fire Dept. team save savoury snack maker’s hand stuck in grinder

Sep 21 (ST) A savoury snack maker from Kundasale, has lived to tell the tale of a horrifying accident in which his fingers could have been severed when they got stuck in a grinder. Cutting equipment from firefighters and an emergency surgical operation at the Kandy Teaching Hospital helped Mohamad Faisal to recover from a terrifying, excruciatingly painful experience. Plastic surgeon Sasanka Amila Ratnayake undertook the surgery of the man who is a vadey maker. more..

TNA’s Sumanthiran says both President and PM agreed to Thursday’s Cabinet meeting

Sep 21 (FT) TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran said that the emergency Cabinet meeting summoned on Thursday to discuss the abolition of the executive presidency was done with the agreement of both the Prez and PM. “Primary promise of 2015 Prez Election campaign was the abolition of the executive presidency, and this is one issue on which the TNA has been talking to both the Prez & PM for some time. more..

Abolishing executive presidency destabilizes country: Rathana Thera

Sep 21 (DM) Abolishing executive presidency would definitely destabilize the country, MP Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera said. He said it was a national crime to abolish executive presidency at this stage. “The main reason as to why the cabinet paper was brought about by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe at the eleventh hour was purely because of his power-hunger,” Rathana Thera said. He said this was not the first time that PM had brought in the proposal to do way with executive presidency and more..

Time given to Govt Analyst to submit report on British garbage extended

Sep 21 (Island) The Court of Appeal, yesterday, extended till Oct 21, the date to submit the Govt Analyst’s report on the foreign garbage containers stored at the Colombo Harbour and at the Katunayaka FTZ. Centre for Environmental Justice has complained that the garbage from overseas pollutes the soil and ground water and the ocean. The foreign waste should be sent back to the country of origin, which is Britain. Viraj Dayaratne, Additional Solicitor General appeared for AG. more..

RW wants executive presidency move to be inclusive

Sep 21 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said that each political party would have to take a decision on the fate of the executive presidency and present their options before the public so that citizens can make a final decision. He also said Prez Sirisena had proposed discussing the 20th Amendment at the suddenly summoned Cabinet meeting on Thursday, and as a consensus could not be reached, each political party would now more..

Australian HC in Sri Lanka visits Batticaloa

Sep 21 (DN) High Commissioner for Australia in Sri Lanka David Holly along with First Assistant Secretary to South and West Asia Division Dr. Lachian Strahan, Councillor Development Assistance Dr. Thomas Davies and Team Leader David Ablett visited Batticaloa at the invitation of the Batticaloa District Secretariat yesterday. He was welcomed by the cultural troupes of the three communities. The Tamil troupe presented their traditional dances while the Muslims more..

SL Women off to Oz for 3 ODIs & T20s

Sep 21 (CT) The Sri Lanka Women's Cricket Team will take wing to Australia on 22 Sept to take part in a series comprising of 3 ODIs and 3 T20s. The two senior players of the team, Chamari Atapattu and Shashikala Siriwardene have been appointed as the Captains of the T20 and ODI teams respectively. The visitors will kick-off the tour with the first T20I on 29 Sept in Sydney while the remaining two games also will be played at the same venue on 30 Sept and 2 Oct respectively. more..

AG to refer matter to PSC

Sep 21 (DM) Attorney General (AG) Dappula de Livera is expected to make a request to the Public Service Commission (PSC) next week to take disciplinary action against Solicitor General Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe over an alleged telephone conversation made with Avant Garde Owner Nissanka Senadhipathy after confirming the authenticity of it, sources at the AG’s Department said. more..

Pet-nappers invade Nuwara Eliya

Sep 21 (ST) String of incidents where holidaymakers visiting Nuwara Eliya had surreptitiously taken away pets owned by families who rented out their premises, have been reported in the recent months. According to residents, some lodgers who had rented out rooms for a couple of days, had left with expensive dogs and cats. They said this happened particularly at houses which provide accommodation as a part-time business. It was the more furry pets which were targeted by animal nappers, more..

Jaffna school principal in bribery net

Sep 21 (CT) The officials of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) arrested the Principal of Jaffna Hindu College yesterday when he accepted a bribe to admit a student. He was questioned by CIABOC officials over similar allegations lodged against him two days ago. Suspect Sadha Nimalan was caught when officials sent a person with Rs 50,000 as a bribe which he accepted yesterday. Following the arrest, the matter was informed to more..

China's ALIT rejects Prez's graft allegation

Sep 21 (Reuters) China’s state-run Aerospace Long-March Int'l Trade Co (ALIT) rejected Prez Sirisena’s allegation of misappropriating 2 billion rupees in a deal to work on the construction of South Asia’s tallest tower. Sirisena made the allegation at the inauguration on Monday of the 356-meter Lotus Tower, which overlooks Beira Lake, sparking a political row in the country, which has relied heavily on China for project finance. more..

Strike not for cash but against climate change

Sep 21 (DM) With SL’s prez election to be held on Nov 16, the main party candidates need to give a pledge that they will give priority to climate change issues and we are happy to reveal that worldwide it is the young people who are taking bold initiatives. Yesterday (20), was historic because in more than 150 countries, people came forward to support young climate strikers and demand an end to the age of fossil fuels. The youth leaders say, “the climate crisis won’t wait, so neither will we”. more..

Crisis beyond 9/16 and importance of JVP

Sep 21 (DM) The hype that came about immediately after Gotabhaya was announced as the SLPP prez candidate by a sullen faced Mahinda Rajapaksa whose preamble for the announcement was all about his own credentials and not about Gotabhaya, has virtually died down within a month with SLPP yet to come live with its prez election campaign. Hype now in media is about UNP selecting a candidate for its proposed new alliance, with Karu Jayasuriya throwing himself into the ring for candidacy more..

Mismanagement hurts CPC

Sep 21 (TM) Alleged mismanagement and corruption is hurting the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) with little or no action being taken to address it. Petroleum sector trade unionists have accused the Govt of failing to take action against those accused of being involved in corruption at the CPC when the former Govt was in power. They claimed that even though documented proof had been submitted to Prez Sirisena more..

Mysterious emergence of abolition debate

Sep 21 (RN) The abolition of the Executive Presidency has suddenly come up, with just 57 days to polling day in the next Prez election. Is there a mystery why this has happened? Depends on who you talk to. TNA spokesman M A Sumanthiran says he is pushing the govt to take an official stand on the matter, even in the face of the poll. In a statement released on Friday, Sumanthiran said that the TNA has been in talks with more..

The story of SWRD Bandaranaike’s Assassination

Sep 21 (TM) The Prime Minister is Dead was the striking headline in extra-large, bold letters of a special edition published by the now defunct Times of Ceylon on the morning of Saturday, Sept 26, 1959. Though I was only a little kid at that time and sixty years have passed since, I still remember this headline vividly as the newspaper was among copies of newspapers with important news that were kept by my father for many years. more..

Unauthorised pandals, hoardings cut out for disaster as polls loom

Sep 21 (ST) As the 2019 Prez Election draws ever closer, political hoardings and pandals are appearing all over the country. The collapse of one such pandal in Maharagama last week, has shown that such structures pose real dangers to the public. The pandal in Maharagama, erected near the town’s clock tower, collapsed last Sunday (8). The pandal had been put up by a contractor for an event organised by the SLPP to be held on Sept 10. more..

More information on cow scam divulged

Sep 21 (Island) Former Secretary to the Ministry of Rural Economic Development, Renuka Ekanayake recommended the payment of USD 11 million to Wellard Rural Exports Pvt. Ltd., in April 2018, only after obtaining the approval of former line minister P. Harrison, PCoI was informed. Ekanayake said that she had received information that those who took part in the subsidised scheme to introduce high-yielding imported pregnant cows up to more..

Duminda hits ball back into Ranil’s court

Sep 21 (Island) Former Agriculture Minister Duminda Dissanayake told the PCoI that former Ministry Secretary, B. Wijerathna had verbally informed him that Attorney General (AG) had granted approval for the lease agreement between the Ministry and D.P. Jayasinghe Company. "I trusted the former Secretary’s statement," he said. The agreement to move the Agriculture Ministry to a building owned by D.P. Jayasinghe Company, more..

Sajith fails to record PCoI statement owing to official work

Sep 21 (DM) Minister Sajith Premadasa failed to record a statement yesterday with the PCoI to investigate into corruption of the current administration due to official work. Gunaratne Wanninayake PC representing the minister informed the commission that the statement would be recorded on Sept 23 and that the minister would testify on the same day. Minister Premadasa will provide a statement on recruiting a large more..

Will inquire AG about alleged telephone conversation: Thalatha

Sep 21 (RN) Justice Minister Thalatha Atukorale said that upon verifying the authenticity of the leaked telephone conversation allegedly between the Avant-Garde chairman and the former Bribery Commission chief, clarification will be sought from the Attorney General on the contents of the call. Avant-Garde Chairman Nissanka Senadhipathi yesterday released a recorded telephone conversation he had had with more..

Ban on Niqab, Burqa & face covering lifted

Sep 21 (AD) The Police Headquarters says the ban on all face coverings including Niqab and Burqa has been lifted as the State of Emergency is not exercised at present. This was mentioned in a letter addressed to Minister of Muslim Religious Affairs M.H.A. Haleem. DIG of Legal, Discipline and Conduct Range Ajith Rohana stated this as a response to a letter previously submitted by the Minister. more..

Ex DG CIABOC says voice tape doctored

Sep 21 (DM) Whilst not denying the fact that a conversation took place between Solicitor General Dilrukshi Dias Wickremasinghe and Avant-Garde Chairman Nissanka Senadipathi, Wickremasinghe called for the release of the entire phone conversation between the two parties. Posting on her Facebook page in the vernacular, Wickremasinghe asked Senadipathi to reveal name of govt minister who introduced the two. more..

Hippocrates’ hypocrites

Sep 22 (SO) Political discussion and debate may dominate headlines in the media but there is one organisation that aims at achieving its objectives without being distracted or deterred - the GMOA. The trade union which dominates the health services because the majority of doctors in govt hospitals are among its membership, called for and conducted a one-day strike this week, demanding that their salaries be made on par with those in the judicial and legal sectors in govt. more..

And now it begins...

Sep 22 (CT) After weeks of anticipation, the EC finally issued last week the Gazette Extraordinary announcing nomination and poll dates of the upcoming Prez Election. Nomination of candidates for the election of the eighth Executive President will be on 7 Oct and the election will be held on 16 Nov. So far, 17 candidates have informed the Commission of the desire to contest the election. And, according to experts, this number is expected to grow further closer to the nomination date. more..

Is Karuna making a comeback?

Sep 22 (SO) The announcement of Gotabaya Rajapaksa as the Prez candidate of the SLPP on August 11 seems to signal a change of fortunes for former Militant and ex-MP Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan better known by the once feared Nom de Guerre Karuna Amman. With the defeat of the Rajapaksa regime in 2015, Karuna had retreated to the shadows only to appear at the recently held SLPP party convention. more..

The 20th Century Fox

Sep 22 (Island) The 113th birth anniversary of J.R. Jayewardene, was marked with a somewhat low key event at the J.R. Jayewardene Center in Colombo last week with Speaker Karu Jayasuriya doing the honours in the presence of JRJ’s grandsons. Jayewardene was undoubtedly a colossus who left his mark on SL’s contemporary history. He was fond of saying that his long political career, culminating in his UNP routing PM Sirima Bandaranaike’s SLFP by a massive 5/6th majority in general elections more..