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Perpetual Treasuries records over Rs.5bn profit

Sept 28 (DM) Perpetual Treasuries, the controversial primary dealer connected to the family of the former Central Bank Governor, Arjuna Mahendran, has made an after-tax profit of Rs.5.1 billion for the year ended in March 31, 2016, increasing from Rs.959.5 million recorded a year ago, the financial results showed. The performance was purely due to the Rs.5.2 billion net capital gains made by way of trading financial assets more..

Public to be informed of state institutions summoned by COPA

Sept 28 (DN) State institutions to be summoned before the Committee would be notified in advance to the public in the near future through the Parliament website, the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) Chairman Lasantha Alagiyawanna said. He said this step has been taken to obtain people’s ideas and proposals on the state institutions being summoned. “In this way, the whistle blowers inside those institutions, more..

SLC to slash player fees

Sept 28 (DM) The National cricketers are in for a substantial pay-cut in their contract fees as well as on match-fees as their paymaster - Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) prepares a performance based pay-packet for the ensuing year. Instead, players will receive a significant increase in individual performance bonus and win bonus - a strategy the SLC is keen to implement to encourage better performances of players. more..

GMOA after monopoly: SAITM

Sept 28 (DM) Ms. Himali Jayatilake – Deputy Chairperson of the SAITM explains why the controversial private medical university has to be protected and promoted. Q: Your critic number one, the GMOA and the ‘Centre Against Private Medical Colleges’ charge that the SAITM chairman Dr. Neville Fernando and its Board of Directors had committed fraud in establishing the SAITM by providing false information. more..

Sri Lanka holds rates as past hikes curb credit boom

Sept 28 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's Central bank held its key policy interest rates steady on Wednesday, a widely expected decision that analysts say suggested policy makers were keen to support a slowing economy even as they kept a tight leash on rampant credit growth. Central Bank, left the standing deposit facility rate (SDFR) and the standing lending facility rate (SLFR) at 7% and 8.5%, respectively. more..

'Govt coffers could muster Rs. 82 billion annually by imposing special tax on fags'

Sept 28 (Island) JO MP Bandula Gunawardena yesterday said 1,004,100 cigarettes were manufactured in the country annually and if the govt imposed a Special Trade Commodities tax of Rs. 20 per cigarette, the state coffers would collect Rs. 82 billion. Even if the consumption was half the amount still the govt would be up on the deal. "This amount would be more than sufficient to bridge the budget deficit," he said. more..

Hundreds walk miles for water as drought bites

Sept 28 (ST) The severe drought prevailing in at least five provinces, including the North Central region, is forcing hundreds of people to walk several kilometers daily to fetch drinking water or look for bathing places. In Polonnaruwa, one of the worst-affected areas, the drought has hit more than 34,000 people. Communities in Monaragala, Ampara, Vavuniya, Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Puttalam, Anuradhapura, and Hambantota more..

GMOA to submit proposals for National Policy on education

Sept 28 (Island) GMOA said it would submit a set of proposals outlining the need for a long term National Policy on Education to President Sirisena during their meeting with him today. GMOA Secretary Dr Naveen de Zoysa said his union had assessed the situation which had arisen regarding schooling facilities for approximately 300 doctors’ children and the ensuing friction between the union and Education Minister, more..

Kiriella accuses Rajapaksa of trying to get political mileage out of ethnic issue

Sept 28 (Island) Minister Lakshman Kiriella lashed out at former President Mahinda Rajapaksa claiming he was still using the ethnic problem to gain political mileage. Kiriella was addressing the launching of road development project held at the Sucharithagama Junction in Anuradhapura on Sunday. Sixty roads will be carpeted in 21 Divisional Secretariat Divisions in the Anuradhapura District at a cost of Rs. 6609 Million. more..

New laws sought to protect elephants at peraheras

Sept 28 (SL) The recent fatal attack on a woman by an elephant in a Peraheras in Ratnapura grabbed the attention of the media and animal rights activists and has opened the debate as to whether elephants must be used for such events as the animal can get restless and kill people in the crowd. When there is a fatal accident by an elephant attack it gets media attention. But there are several incidents which were not reported as more..

Dress code for parents: How incongruous!

Sept 28 (DM) It seems Principals of some public and private schools are enforcing morality as over zealously as Mullahs in Tehran. A few elite schools have been enforcing a strict dress code on mothers, who drop off their children at schools. On one instance, a notice had been pasted at the entrance of a private school dictating as to which attires that parents could wear when coming to school to pick up their kids. Sarees and loose garments are permitted; skirts and sleeveless tops are not. more..

Eluga Thamil is a Distraction, not a help to resolve National Question

Sept 28 (DM) Northern Province CM C.V. Wigneswaran is under fire both from North and the South over Saturday’s mass protest held in Jaffna under the slogan Eluga Thamil or Rise up Tamils organized by Tamil Peoples’ Council (TPC) headed by Wigneswaran. Although he was pressing for the resolution of several reasonable demands along with certain unrealistic ones, he had given a highly nationalistic colour to the event leading many including Tamils to call it a racist move. more..

'There’s no time frame for signing ETCA'

Sept 28 (ENS) India’s Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that India has not given any time frame for negotiating an Economic & Technical Cooperation Agreement (ETCA), although the SL govt would like it to be signed by December this year. She told the media after talks with PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, Minister Malik Samarawickrama and other ministers, that ETCA will have to be negotiated in great detail, more..

National Mosquito Control Week begins

Sept 28 (ITN) National Mosquito Control Week commenced today (27). It covers the entire island. The Week will be operative until Monday (3). Launch of the National Mosquito Control Week took place in Colombo as well as in Jaffna. Mosquito Control week is being mooted on the instructions of Minister Rajitha Senaratne. Presidential Task Force and the National Dengue Control Unit are playing a leading role in this programme. Launch in Colombo took place near the Dematagoda Prison grounds. more..

Special raid unit established to rein in illegal excavations

Sept 28 (ITN) A Special Raid Unit has been established on the instructions of the President to rein in illegal excavations. A special Police team has been affiliated to this Unit which is operative from today. The Unit will be operating round the clock. The attention of the President has been drawn to the harm done to the environment following illegal excavations that are being carried out including the violation of the conditions mentioned in the permit. President gave instructions to the IGP and more..

Lasantha Wickrematunge’s body exhumed amidst tight police cordon, media shutout

Sept 28 (FT) The body of Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge was exhumed for a fresh autopsy yesterday, nearly eight years after he was brutally slain on the streets of the capital at the height of the war. Swarms of police personnel hovered over the gravesite in a corner of the Borella Cemetery which was in lockdown during the exhumation process which concluded at noon. White and blue tents were erected in front of more..

Sajin before FCID

Sept 28 (CT) FCID recorded a statement from former MP Sajin Vaas Gunawardena in connection with a property allegedly owned by him in Mount Lavinia valued at over Rs 150 million. He was summoned last morning following a complaint received alleging that the property that was owned by the former MP had been bought by another person. FCID had recorded a statement from Gunawardena on the manner in which the land had been first mortgaged to a bank and more..

Bopage comes under fire from ACF

Sept 28 (CT) Anti-Corruption Front (ACF) has written to the committee on high posts stating that the Secretary on the Ministry of Media, Nimal Bopage, is not suited to hold this important post. "He has a number of allegations levelled against him and even COPE has made scathing remarks of him," said Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon, advisor to ACF. "Bopage is said to be using his position as the Secretary to the Media Ministry to thwart the investigations against him. more..

Sri Lanka slips in global competitiveness ranking; India best performer

Sept 28 (FT) Sri Lanka has slipped three positions to languish at number 71 in the latest ranking of global competitiveness by the World Economic Forum whilst neighbouring giant India has emerged as the best performer. The WEF’s Global Competitiveness Report 2016/17 identified Sri Lanka as the most advanced economy in the South Asian region but noted the country has slipped three positions to 71st out of 138 countries more..

Indian Cotton mills explore Colombo storage facility

Sept 28 (Hindu) Textile mills in the southern states, especially those in Tamil Nadu, are exploring the possibility of having space at a port yard in Colombo for storage of cotton sourced from different countries so that it can be shipped to the mills here. A seven-member delegation will visit Sri Lanka in the first week of October at the invitation of the Colombo Port in this regard. India is expected to import over 20 lakh bales of cotton this year (Oct 2015 to Sept 2016) and the volume could go up more..

Public raises Rs. 2 mn as compensation on behalf of army officer

Sept 28 (Island) Ajith Prasanna paid a glowing tribute to those who had helped retired Gemunu Watch officer Maj. Wimal Wickramage to raise funds in the wake of Colombo High Court Judge directing him to pay Rs. 2 mn to the closest living relative of an LTTE suspect killed while attempting to escape from the custody of the Army in 1998. Judge on Aug 31 imposed two years RI suspended for 10 years on Wickramage who had shot dead an LTTE suspect trying to escape from the Pt. Pedro Camp. more..

Police want complaint to probe tapping of senior judge’s phone

Sept 28 (Island) DIG Law and Discipline Ajith Rohana said with regard to the alleged tapping of telephones of a senior judge by the police that no complaint had been received. "We cannot launch an investigation without a complaint though the newspapers have highlighted the issue." Veteran lawyer Hemantha Warnakulasuriya, has complained to the Bar Council that CID allegedly tapped the phones more..

Two PCs killed in crash

Sept 28 (DN) Two police constables astride a motorcycle were killed when they crashed into a container carrier in Katana on Monday night. Constables Keerthi Munasinghe, 46, a father of two and Mahesh Chandradasak, 28, died in the incident. They were attached to the Katana Police. Munasinghe was a resident of Kaduwela while Chandradasak was from Katuwana. The incident occurred around 10.20 p.m. when the two were traveling on the motorcycle along Divulapitiya more..

Browns Agriculture empowers farmers

Sept 28 (DN) A ceremony was held at the Mahaweli Buddhi Mandapaya in Embilipitiya recently organised by Sri Lanka Mahaweli Authority and under the patronage of President Sirisena, to award winners of the Mahaweli Maha Goviya and Best Mahaweli Farmer Organization competitions. This was conducted with the aim of aiding a sustainable conservation of country’s irrigation system through organic farming & efficient water management in Mahaweli Farming Community. more..

Video: Ranjan loses temper, hits camera

Sept 28 (DM) A heated argument between Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake and a journalist from the electronic media ended up with the former hitting a video camera at a media briefing. Incident flared up when the deputy minister was about to after the briefing. Argument which began during the media briefing continued even after it. Mr Ramanayake accused the journalist of making a false allegation more..

Munchee, No. 1 FMCG Brand in Sri Lanka

Sept 28 (DN) SL’s leading biscuit brand Munchee has been adjudged Sri Lanka’s Number One FMCG Brand by Brand Footprint Report, a global study of winning brands in the FMCG space conducted by Kantar Worldpanel. This global ranking reveals the strength of brands in 44 countries around the world, across the Food, Beverage, Health and Beauty and Home Care sectors. Every year, Kantar Worldpanel conducts the most exhaustive study of FMCG brands across the globe. more..

SLT Zero One Awards web launched

Sept 28 (DN) In a bid to recognise and reward all the efforts made by individuals and organisations towards inculcating the digital excellence in their respective fields, Sri Lanka Telecom will be organising the nations’ first ever digital excellence awards SLT Zero One Awards for Excellence 2016. SLT Group Chairman P.G Kumarasinghe said the Zero One Awards initiative will provide a national recognition platform and an impetus for growth and innovation of many sectors in Sri Lanka. more..

Only in SL: No resignations for wrongdoing

Sept 28 (DM) Central Province Governor Neluka Ekanayaka said a miscommunication between her and CM Sarath Ekanayaka had resulted in 29 PC members travelling to Russia last morning in violation of presidential guidelines. She said the Chief Minister informed her that the President had verbally approved the foreign trip. Governor said she had instructed Council’s Chief Secretary to conduct a thorough inquiry into the foreign trip by more..

Häagen-Dazs enters Sri Lanka

Sept 28 (Island) Häagen-Dazs, renowned as the world’s finest ice cream recently announced their entry into the Sri Lankan market. The Made in France ice cream has continually offered new flavors with unmatched premium quality, creating exceptional ice cream experiences that goes beyond great taste. The rich, sensual textures and remarkable flavours make the Häagen-Dazs moment an intense, absorbing sensory pleasure. A select range of rich flavours of Häagen-Dazs more..

JKH launches 2nd luxury apartment block

Sept 28 (EN) John Keells Holdings group said it plans to build a second high-rise luxury apartment block after the success of the first one, half of whose floor space has already been sold. Pre-bookings for The Suites at Cinnamon Life, second residential tower to be built as part of a 4.5 million square foot integrated resort by JKH unit Waterfront Properties Limited, have exceeded 15%. The 196 apartments in the second residential tower, which will rise 39 stories to a height of 136 meters, more..

US supports cultural preservation of Galle Fort

Sept 28 (USE) The US has granted $ 100,000 in support of the work undertaken by the University of Sri J'pura to document historic buildings within the Galle Fort, create a strategy for long-term preservation of its architectural characteristics and to formulate a master plan to guide development within the historic area. “We recognize that we cannot ignore the natural and human changes that continue to affect Galle Fort. The grant of $100,000 more..

Citrus announces strategic corporate restructure

Sept 28 (FT) The Citrus Group of Companies yesterday announced an overall strategic restructuring plan of its group yesterday. The proposed strategic restructuring, which is subject to relevant regulatory approvals, shareholder approvals and conditions, entails Hikkaduwa Beach Resort Plc (CITH) making a voluntary offer to shareholders of Waskaduwa Beach Resort Plc (CITW) and CITH amalgamating with Kalpitiya Beach Resort Plc (CITK) and Passikudah Beach Resort Ltd. more..

National Centre for Aging proposed in new elders’ policy

Sept 28 (ST) Sri Lanka’s population is rapidly aging and according to projections the share of the population aged 60 years and more will increase to 29% by 2050 from 12% currently and 16% in 2020. It will reach its peak at 34% in 2080, according to the Ministry of Health.  In a call for public comments on a National Elderly Health Policy of SL, the proposed policy says that at the same time, there will be a process of aging of the old people, “as the oldest old people aged more than 80 yrs more..

ADB revises down growth forecast for Sri Lanka in 2016 and 2017

Sept 28 (FT) Asian Development Bank (ADB) has lowered the economic growth forecast for Sri Lanka Tuesday saying growth prospects for Sri Lanka edge lower on weak industrial performance and fiscal consolidation. In an update of its flagship annual economic publication, Asian Development Outlook 2016, ADB lowered the GDP growth rate to 5% for Sri Lanka in 2016 from the 5.3% it projected in March this year. more..

Tea crop dip in August worst in a decade

Sept 28 (FT) Sri Lanka’s tea crop has plunged to a 10-year low in August, further worsening the first eight months’ production. Asia Siyaka Commodities, quoting Tea Board data, said that the crop in August was 23 million kilograms, down by 13% from a year earlier. “This year’s figure is the lowest since 2006 when 21.5 million kilograms was recorded,” produce broker said. However, the August crop was an improvement from July’s take of 1.32 million kilograms. more..

Football beyond graves that Channa digs!

Sept 28 (ST) Sri Lanka Football (SLF) got a 2-page spread in the Sunday Times of Aug 21. Whenever SLF gets big coverage in the media, it is either a scandal or, the national team has been drubbed mercilessly! However, the Sunday reading once again brought the abysmal depths that this sport has descended to in spite of the grandstanding by its big guns.  Ex. National Football Captain E.B. Channa for starters, resembles the state of SLF, which is certainly close to the grave! more..

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