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Don’t hatch Constitution on the sly: Wiggy

Sept 30 (CT) Northern Province CM C.V. Wigneswaran said that "hatching a Constitution in secrecy with selected members from the Tamil community would not help the Tamils, and when the Constitution is passed we will have no way of making any constructive criticism at that stage." Explaining the reasons which led him to hold a massive really in Jaffna, he said nothing concrete has been done by govt to deliver the rights of more..

Military releases 454 acres to private owners

Sept 30 (FT) Ministry of Rehabilitation and Resettlement yesterday announced the release of over 450 acres of military-controlled land to private owners, in the latest reconciliation efforts made by the Govt. Ministry of Defence has identified 454.2 acres of land in Thelipallai D.S. Division for release to private ownership as part of an initial phrase, Ministry Secretary V. Sivagnanasothy said. “Arrangements are being made to release these lands to pvt ownership as soon as possible. more..

Rs 11.5B excess liquidity mopped up

Sept 30 (CT) Downward pressure on the exchange rate (ER) continued to be exerted virtually for the eleventh consecutive day in yesterday's trading, with the ER declining sharply by between 25 and 35 Sri Lanka cents to Rs 146.80 to the US dollar in interbank spot trading, market sources said. Pressure on the rupee to depreciate is caused by seasonal demand due to the forthcoming Christmas season. Wednesday (28), the ER closed at Rs 146/45/55 to the dollar in two way quotes. more..

Budget 2017 deficit set at 4.7%

Sept 30 (FT) Minister Ravi Karunanayake yesterday confirmed the VAT increase to 15% would be presented for parliamentary approval in the first week of October and would likely generate Rs. 100 billion in additional revenue by the end of 2017 to push forward stronger fiscal consolidation and contract the Budget 2017 deficit to 4.7%. Despite delays in passing VAT amendments, Karunanayake was confident of meeting 2016 Budget deficit more..

New laws needed to face new threat of migration: MS

Sept 30 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena said that the Security Council, which met recently, had discussed the importance of drafting new laws to face the growing threats posed by migration apart from implementing existing laws pertaining to emigration and immigration. He said issues arising from migration had today became one of the key concerns faced by the country which is an island nation with a population of more than 20 million. Addressing the opening ceremony of more..

42nd National Sports Festival in Jaffna: Western Province grabs 91 golds on day 1

Sept 30 (DN) For the first time in the history of the North, a premier sporting experience was presented to the citizens of Jaffna when the 42nd National Sports Festival began at the Alfred Duraiappah Stadium, Jaffna yesterday. The event was initiated by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya with the participation of Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara, Deputy Minister H.M.M. Harees, Minister Mano Ganeshan, Northern Province Governor Reginald Cooray, NP Sports Minister Thambirajah Gurukularajah more..

First batch of free stents arrive

Sept 30 (DN) The first batch of free stents (500 stents) to be given to heart patients arrived at the Medical Supply Division (MSD) of the Health Ministry. The funds were obtained after cancelling corrupt tenders. No funds were obtained from the Treasury for this purpose, Health Ministry said. One stent costs the govt Rs.75,000 while the total cost was Rs. 37 million. MSD distributed the 500 stents among state hospitals yesterday. more..

SL backs call to postpone SAARC summit

Sept 30 (CG) Sri Lanka has reportedly backed calls to postpone the SAARC summit scheduled to take place in November. 19th SAARC Summit was to be conducted in November in Pakistan. However  four nations decided to pull out of the summit, citing increasing terrorism in the region. Four out of the eight members of the South Asian grouping – India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Bhutan – had decided to skip the Summit which is to be hosted by Pakistan from 9 to 10 November. more..

Govt allocates Rs. 10 million to Asian Bishops’ Conference

Sept 30 (FT) Govt has allocated Rs. 10 million to the Asian Bishops Conference to be held in Sri Lanka in November. Minister Ravi Karunanayake handed over the money to the Archbishop of Colombo His Eminence Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith at Archbishop House yesterday. Tourism Minister John Amaratunga was also present at the occasion. Over 150 bishops from the region will participate in the Bishops’ Conference to be held in Negombo from 28 November to 4 December. more..

‘Cronies of govt secure thermal power contracts’

Sept 30 (Island) CEB engineers warned that if the govt did not go ahead with the Sampur coal fired power plant the country would have to face blackouts in 2017 and 2018 and incur Rs. 200 billion as additional cost of expensive thermal electricity generated by diesel power plants. President of CEB Engineers Union Athula Wanniarachchi said Secretary of Power & Energy Ministry Dr. B.M.S. Batagoda had informed more..

Zim to host SL for Tests, WI for tri-series

Sept 30 (CI) Zimbabwe Cricket has announced that they will host Sri Lanka for two Tests followed by a one-day tri-series that will also involve West Indies. The two Tests will be played in Harare, with the first one from Oct 29 and the second from Nov 6. The tri-series will begin from Nov 14 with the first match between the hosts and Sri Lanka at the Harare Sports Club. The three teams will play each other twice, making it a total of six round-robin matches, before the final on Nov 27. more..

Nestlé launches dairy development program

Sept 30 (DR) Nestlé has launched the Kiri Govi Diriya dairy development program, with 3,000 SL dairy farmers receiving training and development tools to learn about modern technologies and best practices. Launched at a special event in Anuradhapura, Kiri Govi Diriya (which means dairy farmer development) commits to 150 training and development programs for 3,000 dairy farmers, and provides 150 farmers with milking equipment to help develop their business. more..

LG elections likely to be further delayed

Sept 30 (FT) Hinting that LG elections could be delayed further Elections Commission said a number of changes required for the delimitation process to be completed are beyond the mandate of the appointed committee and would have to be included in an Act of Parliament. National Delimitation Committee Chairman said that a further delimitation of five districts is yet to be finalised for the report to be submitted to Minister on more..

Competition hots up in SL lubricant industry

Sept 30 (DN) SL’s lubricant market has grown by 6.8% to Rs 23.4 billion in 2015, with 10.1% growth in automotive lube and 7.7% increase in industrial lube, lubricant market report by PUCSL said. However the marine lubricant market has shown a reduction of 37.7% in 2015 compared to year 2014 while the grease market has shown a moderate growth of 4.7%. In the automotive lubricants market segment the highest growth is shown in four stroke motorcycle oil with an increase of 29% more..

Govt permits granting relief to drought victims deviating from circulars

Sept 30 (ITN) Minister of Disaster Management has issued orders to grant relief needed by the people of Polonnaruwa experiencing hardships as a result of the drought, devoid of circulars. Seven Divisional Secretariat Divisions in Polonnaruwa are severely impacted by the dry climatic conditions prevailing in the area. Minister has instructed Govt officials to take suitable initiatives to extend relief to the drought affected families. These directions were given at a special discussion held at Polonnaruwa DS. more..

TIFA to roll out first year work plan to boost US-SL trade

Sept 30 (FT) US-Sri Lanka Trade and Investment Framework (TIFA) aims to roll out its first year work plan in the next few weeks and kick off a series of private sector interactions between the two countries, but preferential trade access as desired by the Sri Lankan Govt would be unlikely.  In April during a TIFA Council meeting, a US-Sri Lanka Joint Action Plan to Increase External Trade and Investment was adopted. more..

Sri Lanka heading for significant tea production shortfall

Sept 30 (EN) Sri Lanka is heading for a significant shortfall in tea production this year with the crop down 12% up to August while reduced offerings at the Colombo auctions have pushed up prices. Tea  production in August 2016 was down 13% or 3.4 million kilos to 23.01 million kilos from a year ago with all elevations affected, they said. “If the current extreme weather pattern continues, Sri Lanka’s tea crop is poised to show a significant negative variance by the end of the year,” more..

Asia Pacific’s internet experts to meet in Colombo on 3-5 October

Sept 30 (FT) Over 200 local and international internet specialists will converge in Colombo in October for the APNIC 42 Conference, at the Hilton Colombo. Running from 3-5 October, the conference is one of the Asia Pacific’s most important Internet events and is supported by local hosts Sri Lanka CERT|CC, as well as ICTA, LEARN, and CSSL. Staff from governmental organisations, research and educational institutions, internet service providers, data centres, internet exchange points more..

Double whammy for fags

Sept 30 (FT) Cabinet this week approved slapping 15% VAT and Rs.5 production tax on cigarettes as well as an increase of cess on the import of beedi leaves despite industry appeals against additional tax increases that could reduce revenue to Govt.  President Sirisena and Minister Rajitha Senaratne jointly submitted a Cabinet paper calling for the increase, which was approved after the Finance Minister appointed a committee to more..

PM begins the New Zealand official tour

Sept 30 (ITN) PM Ranil Wickremasinghe left the island today (29) beginning his official tour of New Zealand. This is the first time that a Sri Lankan PM is visiting New Zealand. The PM is undertaking this three-day official visit following an invitation extended by PM John Key. The official ceremony to welcome PM Ranil Wickremasinghe will be held at the State House in Auckland on Saturday the 01st. It will be followed by bilateral discussions between the two Prime Ministers. more..

Two cricketing heroes befittingly recognised

Sept 30 (DN) Kumar Sangakkara was adjudged the most popular Sri Lankan by the voting of people and also the icon of Sri Lanka with Dr. Ajith C. S. Perera adjudged as The Unsung Hero at the Sri Lankan of the Year 2016 awards presentation heId last Friday night at the Hilton Hotel Colombo. They both received their awards to a standing ovation. Kumar Sangakkara the most polished and prudent of batsmen and also the ODI record breaking wicket keeper, is regarded as more..

New party will be a reality: Basil

Sept 30 (Island) UPFA strongman and former Minister Basil Rajapaksa said that the new political party in the offing would soon become a reality and masses from grassroots level different areas would converge at Ratnapura on Oct 8 to fire the first salvo. He said: "The more the govt burdens the masses with all kinds of taxes and take repressive measures against the people, the more urgent the need for a new political party will become." more..

Two Bangladesh Navy ships arrive at the Port of Colombo

Sept 30 (SLN) The Bangladesh naval ships, BNS Somudra Avijan and BNS Somudra Joy arrived at the Port of Colombo today (29) on a goodwill visit. The ships were ceremonially welcomed by the SL Navy in accordance with naval traditions on their arrival. Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne is scheduled to visit the two visiting ships tomorrow (30) and the Commanding Officers of the two Bangladeshi ships; Captain Kamrul Chowdhry and more..

St. Joseph’s, Colombo creates schools swimming history

Sept 30 (Island) The swimming team of St. Joseph’s College, Colombo created history by emerging victorious at eleven major swimming meets during the 2016 calendar year, becoming the first school in Sri Lanka to achieve such a great feat. The 120-member strong swimming team captained by Eshan Sovis emerged victorious at swimming meets that saw nationwide representation such as the All-Island School Games Championship, National Age Group Intermediate Championship and more..

Eluga Tamil and Constitutional litmus test

Sept 30 (FT) In an ironic twist, last Saturday marked an epoch in the lifespan of two nationalist movements in the island’s north and south.  In Colombo, JHU used its 13th National Convention at the Sugathadasa Stadium to shed its saffron image, with Omalpe Sobitha Thero stepping down as party leader. When it first won seats in the 2004 parliamentary elections, JHU was a party dominated by monks who rode a wave of more..

Editorial: Sinners stoning one another

Sept 30 (Island) Northern Province CM C.V. Wigneswaran has apparently got setting the cat among the pigeons down to a fine art. This time around, he has drawn heavy flak for some incendiary remarks he made at a recent agitation campaign in the North. The TNA, which is at loggerheads with Wigneswaran and his allies, has dissociated itself from the protest. But, the question is whether the TNA does not subscribe to Wigneswaran’s main demand—a federal more..

Some priority concerns for constitutional reform

Sept 30 (Island) As the Constitutional Reform process nears conclusion the Friday Forum draws the attention of the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly to the following areas of concern that must be addressed in the new Constitution: Article 16 of the present Constitution states that all existing law at the time the Constitution was promulgated remains valid notwithstanding any inconsistency with the fundamental rights chapter of Constitution. more..

Satana

Ban Ki-moon’s New Union for Sri Lanka

Sept 30 (DM) You’ve heard of the We Tamils (who beat up High Commissioner Ansar). Now we have the E-Tamils–the Eluga/Ezhuga Tamils (or simply Eelam Tamils?). They shut down Jaffna, took over its streets, raucously demanding federalism, an international investigation and cleansing of the army and Sinhala Buddhist symbolism/presence from the North (thereby turning it into a mono-ethnic enclave). Meanwhile the smooth operators Suma-Sam-Sara-Suren canvass federalism more..

The quiet and shout of racism

Sept 30 (DM) Chief Minister of the Central Province has stated that Hindu and Muslim encroachment as well as Christianization have to end. Right now. Chief Minister of the Western Province, not to be outdone, has echoed the same sentiments. Rev. Galagodaththe Gnanasara Thera, pointing out that a) the archaeological record clearly indicates that the Northern and Eastern Provinces (along with the North Central and Uva) was the heartland of the island’s Buddhist heritage, and more..

'UNP could reign for 20 more years'

Sept 30 (CT) Former minister D.E.W. Gunasekera in conversation said "I can assure you that the new party would assure UNP of a guaranteed seat in power for another 20 years." Q: How do you read the political developments in the country at present? A: Well it is complicated. One single party could not form a govt at the concluded parliamentary election. Therefore a unity govt was formed with the support of two major parties in the country. more..

Only in Sri Lanka?

Sept 30 (SL) The pictures of Chanuka Ratwatte being escorted into custody as a result of being charged with what some publications claim is the biggest single financial fraud in Sri Lankan history brought a smile to my wrinkled old visage, if not an outright guffaw. Why? Because this kind of humour is not easily come by in Sri Lanka, despite it being the capital of such as ambulatory, human tents parading as cabinet ministers. Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny and the Road Runner more..

Beats from the heart

Sept 30 (DN) Ishan De Lanerolle along with his brother Rohan De Lanerolle possesses one of the most beautiful and potent forces on earth - music. The brothers have been handed down voices that exist in the heavenly realm. Outstanding Persons features Ishan De Lanerolle of the De Lanerolle Brothers who shared his views on his music, and what it means to him to have such a precious gift. Q: The De Lanerolle brothers have acquired legendary status in Sri Lanka and beyond our shores. more..

'Wigneswaran not acting on his own accord'

Sept 30 (CT) Northern Province CM C.V. Wigneswaran's activities and statement inciting inflammatory emotions through his Arise Tamils campaign, and opposing the settlement of Sinhalese and Muslims in the North is contentious, Minister M.L.A.M. Hizbullah said. He opined that Wigneswaran may not have spoken such words on his own accord, but might be propelling a hidden agenda of another individual or party seeking more..

Wiggie’s way

Sept 30 (DN) A protest campaign led by Northern Province Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran last Saturday has attracted attention both in the North and South of the country, sparking speculation of a rise in Tamil extremism yet again, even as the government grapples with the delicate process of addressing the grievances of all ethnic groups while drafting a new Constitution. Wigneswaran took the lead in staging Eluga Thamil (Rise, Tamils) in Jaffna last Saturday. more..

BCIS pipes a new tune

Sept 30 (CT) In meeting the present Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies (BCIS) Director Dr. Harinda Vidanage, ostensibly to interview him, I have an ulterior motive. I go to judge him. The BCIS is a tertiary educational institute offering study programmes in international relations. BCIS programmes promise to be potential gateways to careers in the Sri Lankan Foreign Service, foreign missions and international organizations. Leaving aside his dynamism, energy, leadership more..

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