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SC to convey decision on retrospective NBT to Speaker

Sept 21 (FT) Supreme Court yesterday heard the submissions made on the Nation Building Tax (NBT) Bill and will convey its special determination to the Speaker of the Parliament in due course. A public interest litigant activist filed a petition in SC challenging the NBT Bill, complaining that it imposes retrospective tax liability. Dharshana Weraduwage appeared for petitioner. Additional Solicitor General Farzana Jameel appealed for State & AG. more..

Of banana leaves, German handbags and idling van drivers

Sept 21 (ST) In more affluent parts of the world, the guarantee of profit attracts a wealth of inventions that tackle needs of all size and choice. As technology disruption persists and evolves at an intense pace, the market demand for new inventions only continues to rise as the economic and business value of patents is appreciated. This however hasn’t happened that well in the rest of the world and Dr. Chandra Embuldeniya, Former Vice Chancellor at Uva Wellassa University on more..

Sangakkara kicks off Murali Harmony Cup

Sept 21 (DN) Murali Harmony Cup 2016 was declared open yesterday in Kilinochchi. 24 teams will compete in this year’s blockbuster tournament featuring as many as ten newcomers to have a chance at winning the coveted Champions trophy and bragging rights in the men’s and women’s segments respectively. Speaking at the opening ceremony Guest of Honour Kumar Sangakkara stressed the importance of this tournament stating that this is in fact the hallmark stepping stone more..

Are we over-killing our School Cricket?

Sept 21 (ST) As a rule in September, the schools’ arena comes a buzz with the reigniting of the under 19 cricket season. This is nothing new; it is a ritual that has been repeated for the past one hundred years or more. Yes, we grew up with that and we knew about who were the guys to watch and which combinations had the best chances of beating our team. But, does that hype still prevail and does the school cricket more..


Sept 21 (ST) While being harsh on what now-retired T.M. Dilshan had said on his retirement, Arjuna Ranatunga lambasted the present Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) administration, stating that, “No one should be ashamed of taking a step back to do the right thing”. He said this at a forum on the subject of ‘Preparing set goals with proper planning’, where Ranatunga, now a minister in the present govt, highlighted mismanagement and lack of foresight among present-day sports administrators. more..

Reconciliation and war mentality

Sept 21 (FT) Major General Kamal Gunaratne who commanded the 53rd Division of SL Army to defeat and kill V Prabhakaran, the Leader of the LTTE, has written his memoir, Road to Nandikadal. Hats off to Gunaratne and his fellow commanders and troops for achieving this target of defeating the LTTE which was unthinkable some time back. Political leadership provided by Mahinda Rajapaksa, administrative support of Gotabaya Rajapaksa, military strategies of Sarath Fonseka and other commanders more..

Leaders stealing/wasting people's hard earned money

Sept 21 (Island) I read The Island editorial of Sept 16, on the above caption, with avid interest. It was characteristically forthright and impartial. The discerning would find it as a whistleblower to those in power. The editorial made the undeniable assumptions that the public perception was that bribery and corruption were rampant under the previous govt and that some holding ministerial posts in the current govt more..

Cycling needs to be peddled as a national sport

Sept 21 (ST) A majority of those involved in this sport say standards have improved but, as a sport, Cycling has no noteworthy achievements to showcase. Why? Actually, there is an improvement now, compared with those days of competitive Cycling. Although we did not win any medals at the South Asian Games (SAG), we did prove to be worthy opponents. Jeevan Jayasinghe who is the best sprinter in South Asia, has a good future in the sport. We had some top riders like more..

UNHRC bug now bites India, but Sri Lanka is where the action is still…

Sept 21 (SL) For those Sri Lankans who could not accept the Indian position on the US-sponsored UNHRC resolution on their country, Commission chief Prince Zeid’s reference to Jammu and Kashmir at the commencement of the current session, could be their I-told-you-so moment. For them and others in the country, it’s an occasion to recall what exactly had gone wrong with the SL resolution, when, why and how. To be fair to SL, especially the war-time Govt of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, more..

Mihinda Amaraweera

For Clarence Wijewardena, who never left

Sept 21 (DN) He was a vocalist and a composer. He sang and he scored. He also wrote. His melodies survive reassessments when it comes to applauding him. The man, not surprisingly therefore, wielded different sensibilities and abilities. And in the end, music lovers in this country understood, despite the few who called him out for all the wrong, slanderous reasons, that what he gave went beyond just being revolutionary. His songs became landmarks, true. But none of them were ever uprooted from more..

Editorial: Forgotten heavenly physician

Sept 21 (Island) Millennia before President Mathripala Sirisena, upon being inaugurated, decreed that a chief justice had not existed, Babylonian star gazers did that to a doctor in the sky, as it were, NASA has revealed highlighting what may be considered a kind of historical injustice. NASA has reported that ancient Babylonians, in a bid to ‘make a tidy match with their 12-month calendar, ignored the fact that the Sun actually moves through 13 constellations, not 12, and more..

'Development work slow but streamlined'

Sept 21 (SL) Minister Champika Ranawaka admits that development activities of this govt are slow. He, however, stresses that they are carrying out development projects in a streamlined and meaningful manner. He said that the previous regime carried out development projects in haste without a long term vision resulting in these projects being nothing more than white elephants. more..

Efforts to retain SLFP unity

Sept 21 (SO) President invited all SLFPers to join forces to achieve that goal. President said the SLFP would contest the next LG polls using the hand symbol. He called upon all those who talk of forming new parties to join forces with the SLFP and unite with them to ensure the party’s victory. The President said, when he decided to quit the former UPFA Govt and contest the last Presidential Election as the Common Candidate, there were 49 other parties and organisations in the coalition more..

GMOA’s privileges antics

Sept 21 (SO) The GMOA locked horns with the govt again, when a group of doctors occupied the Education Ministry premises demanding a meeting with the minister. The doctors, who received recent transfers, said their children had not been given a chance to get admission to a good school. The minister said their demands were unreasonable on the grounds that some doctors who received service transfers within the same district, had asked for popular schools for their children. more..

Exports hit by indirect taxes: Businessman

Sept 21 (SO) Exporters said they are in a serious predicament due to the falling global commodity prices and the plethora of levies, a disincentive to boost exports which has been crumbling for the 16th straight month up to June this year. They said the absence of a coercive strategy, policy stability and an array of taxes in the form of levies and duties have weighed heavily on exports which have dwindled sharply since 2015. more..

Sergei’s review of Eelam War IV: Reflections

Sept 21 (CT) This month of Sept 2016 I stumbled across an essay from 2009 that I had not seen before. I was puzzled because it is a splendid summary of the political and military factors that enabled the Govt of SL to overwhelm the LTTE in the course of Eelam War IV (2006-09), a force considered invincible by so many – including the Norwegian diplomatic whiz-kid Eric Solhiem who told President Rajapaksa in late March 2006 that Pirapaharan was a military genius more..

US elections: Will it lead to a wall erection?

Sept 21 (CT) Why does the US Presidential election matter? It matters because USA remains the world’s only real super power; both economic power wise and militarily. It also matters because as of late both India and SL have clearly signaled their orbit into the US sphere of influence. For SL, it matters because if the USA gets the military toe-hold it desires in this Indian Ocean Island (with Indian acquiescence) it will clearly follow that ISIS and other Islamic terrorist groups too would harm Sri Lanka. more..

ETCA with India under discussion: Envoy

Sept 20 (PTI) Trade between India and Sri Lanka is set to improve as the two countries are engaged in discussion over signing of Economic and Technology Co-operation Agreement (ETCA), a top Sri Lankan official said. "We were the first to sign the Free Trade Agreement with India in 2000. Now, the process for signing the ETCA are on. It is still under discussion," Sri Lanka Deputy High Commissioner V Krishnamoorthy said. more..

University cut off marks released

Sept 20 (AD) The Z Score Cut off marks for the university academic year 2015/2016 have been released, the UGC says. Minimum Z-scores for selection to courses of study of universities in respect of each district and detailed information of course selection based on the GCE (A/L) Exam in 2015 can be accessed through the following modes; Website Some 27,603 students will be enrolled to the universities this year, which is 10% increase compared to last year. more..

71st Session of UNGA begins

Sept 20 (PMD) 71st Session of the UN General Assembly commenced today at the UN Headquarters in New York. Leaders and representatives from 193 member countries in the world, attended the summit, which inaugurated under the patronage of UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon. Inaugurating the session for 2016, Secretary-General delivered the keynote address. First half hour of the summit was allocated to celebrate the completion of one year since more..

Cricket will help build Lankan identity: PM

Sept 20 (PTI) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said cricket will help the country build its national identity as one nation. He was speaking at a reception at his official residence to felicitate Angelo Matthews and his boys for registering the first-ever 3-0 Test series whitewash against Australia. "Angelo Mathews' team reflects the national unity. When cricket is played the whole Sri Lanka gets behind them," he said. more..

Bail revision application against Senadipathi: Objections on Oct17

Sept 20 (DM) After considering the bail revision application filed by the Bribery Commission against Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya’s order granting bail to Nissanka Senadipathi and Palitha Fernando in the Rs.3.5 million bribery allegation, the Colombo High Court today fixed Oct 17 for the respondents to file objections. High Court Judge M.C.B.S. Morais also ordered the registrar to hand over the notices to the counsel who appeared today on behalf of the respondents. more..

Govt trying to outsource administrative power: NFF

Sept 20 (DM) NFF said Govt was on a mission to handover the administrative power of SL to a corrupt American company identified as Mckenzie under the guise of handling the country’s special projects management. NFF media spokesman Mohamed Muzzamil said the Govt had planned to hand over country’s special projects management through a Cabinet proposal by way of a contract worth Rs.338 million. “According to the reports we have received McKenzie is a corrupt company in America. more..

'Suspects in custody must be checked every half hour'

Sept 20 (DM) With regard to the death of a man while in the custody of the Pussellewa Police, Minister Sagala Ratnayake told Parliament that there had been a lapse on the part of the police when it came to the checking of inmates at regular intervals. He said that though those held in police cells should be checked every half-an-hour, it had not happened. Police had inspected the cell at 18.45 hours and then at 19.40 hours. more..

Case against Uduwe Dhammaloka Thera re-fixed for trial

Sept 20 (DN) The case against Ven. Uduwe Dhammaloka Thera for allegedly possessing a baby elephant without a valid licence was yesterday re-fixed for trial on Jan 17 by Colombo High Court. The case was re-fixed for trial by High Court Judge Nissanka Karunaratne, on the basis that the Court did not have sufficient stenographers to proceed. This is the first time in Sri Lanka an accused had been indicted in the High Court by Attorney General over an offence of possessing more..

Microsoft to build IT skilled labour workforce in Sri Lankan industry

Sept 20 (CT) The global demand for technologically advanced products and services have risen, creating more opportunities for jobs in the IT sector. In line with that, Microsoft and Sarvodaya-Fusion, have initiated a project to educate 5,000 youth from rural areas around Sri Lanka in computer science. Focusing on the areas of coding, computer application and computer science, youth from Gampaha, Ratnapura, Kandy, Kurunegala, Badulla, Moneragala, Jaffna, A'pura, Polonnaruwa more..

96 former LTTE cadres examined by Northern Province doctors for suspected poisoning

Sept 20 (CI) Doctors at govt hospitals in the five districts of the Northern Province have, in the past three weeks, examined 96 former cadres of the LTTE following allegations by Tamil politicians that Tiger combatants who had surrendered to the SL army at the end of Eelam War IV, were injected with some poisonous drug. Following a complaint by one of the cadres that he was feeling highly debilitated after being injected with some more..

Beams bowls Australia Women to 78-run win

Sept 20 (CI) Riding on Kristen Beams' four-wicket haul and half-centuries from Nicole Bolton and Alex Blackwell, Australia Women thrashed Sri Lanka Women by 78 runs in Dambulla to take a 2-0 lead in the four-match ODI series. The win made Australia Women the first team to secure direct entry for the 2017 Women's World Cup. Sri Lanka's chase of 255 got off to a terrible start as they were reduced to 35 for 5 in the 18th over, with Beams taking three of the first five wickets. more..

EC backs MP Nirj Deva

Sept 20 (CT) European Commission (EC) decided to back Nirj Deva MEP's plan on Public-Private Partnerships for the EU, a financing method which could channel €300 billion a year to the developing world. International Development Vice-Chair in European Parliament and Conservative Development Spokesman Nirj Deva MEP fought for the past four years to steer the plan forward in the European Parliament: "An initiative of this kind by the Parliament and Commission could more..

Fonseka says new book will give clear picture on war

Sept 20 (CG) Former army commander and Minister, Sarath Fonseka says a book which will be released in the near future will give a clear picture on the war. He said that while one military officer had recently released a book on the war more books are expected to be released by other officers who were involved in the war against the LTTE. Fonseka however said that a book which covers his role as army commander will give more..

Death in police custody is a grave matter: Dinesh

Sept 20 (DM) Joint opposition told Parliament today the death of a Tamil youth while in police custody was a matter of grave concern. MP Dinesh Gunawardane said the youth was an estate labourer and that the Police were bound to protect the lives of arrested and anything untoward happening to them while in custody would amount to a serious breach of their fundamental rights. He said the politicians representing the estate areas were silent on the tragedy despite the public protests more..

Bharatha Lakshman murder trial: Three convicts file appeals

Sept 20 (AM) Three out of the five who were convicted for the murder of former MP Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra and three others filed appeals with Colombo High Court today. Accordingly, Anura Thushara de Mel, Chaminda Jayanath alias Dematagoda Chaminda and Sarath Bandara filed appeals against their convictions and sought they be acquitted and released. Their appeals will be forwarded to the SC. Former MP Duminda Silva, who was also convicted, more..

Tissa appreciates US contribution to Lanka’s triumph over terrorism

Sept 20 (Island) LSSP leader Prof. Tissa Vitharana appreciated US support received by the previous govt to bring the war against the LTTE to a successful conclusion, while urging the govt not to renew the military cooperation agreement with Washington. Prof. Vitharana who had been a minister in the previous administration acknowledged critical US backing during Eelam War IV. Asked whether it was fair to criticise govt more..

JO ready to go to courts again over VAT bill

Sept 20 (CT) The Joint Opposition has declared that it will take every measure possible to oppose the VAT Bill, including go to courts if necessary. Former Minister G. L. Peiris said that the Govt should not introduce such bills in an ad hoc manner, and any new taxes should only come via the annual budget. He also castigated SLFP MPs saying they had no moral right to support the Bill. Last week the Cabinet gave the green light for the amended VAT bill, however speaking to reporters more..

PAFFREL FR petition fixed for support

Sept 20 (Island) Supreme Court fixed for support on October 7, the fundamental rights violation petition filed by PAFFREL, complaining of the failure of the state authorities to hold the local govt polls as scheduled. The petition said that the demarcation of electoral areas and the registration of elections had been completed and there was no reason for postponing the LG polls further. It was a violation of the right to franchise of the voters, the PAFFREL argued. more..