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Govt offices to start late to ease traffic congestion

Oct 25 (Island) The govt’s attention has been drawn to change the office hours of public sector institutions as a solution to the heavy traffic congestion in Colombo and its suburbs. Approval had been granted for a proposal to change the office hours from the current 8.15 am-4.15 pm to 9.30 am-5.30 pm. The decision had been made during a discussion among top officials of the Ministries of Transport, Megapolis and more..

VAT Amendment bill in line with Constitution: Supreme Court

Oct 25 (NR) Parliament today announced that the Supreme Court has determined that the VAT Amendment Draft Bill tabled on the 4th of Oct is in line with the Constitution. The determination of the Supreme Court was announced by the Deputy Speaker Thilanga Sumathipala during the Parliamentary session this afternoon. The VAT Amendment Bill was presented before Parliament by Minister Lakshman Kiriella on the 4th of Oct. more..

India may relax visa norms for 55k SL monks

Oct 25 (ET) Days after the visit of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, Indian govt is examining a proposal to relax the visa regime for Buddhist monks from SL. More than 55,000 monks visit India every year on employment visa to work in monasteries at New Delhi, Dharamshala, Varanasi, Kushi Nagar & Bodh Gaya, said officials. As per the rules, monks are required to pay a visa fee of $150 for employment permit every year. more..

Jaffna Uni students’ killing: Two narratives

Oct 25 (DM) The tragic deaths of two Jaffna university students in an alleged police shooting raise disturbing questions. Police fired at the two when they were speeding away on a motorbike, allegedly ignoring orders to stop at a checkpoint.One was hit by a bullet, and lost the control of the bike, which crashed on to a wall. Police who admitted the students to hospital have now been accused of distorting evidence that more..

Sabotage ruled out as Norochcholai breaks down again

Oct 25 (SL) CEB Engineers Union (CEBEU) ruled out the possibility of sabotage as the Norochcholai coal power plant broke down once again last weekend. Breakdown led to power cuts island–wide. CEBEU President Athula Wanniarchchi said that unlike previous occasions where there was a total breakdown, they were able to do modifications to minimise a total blackout. CEB engineers said the blackouts were due ad hoc planning. more..

SriLankan changes strategy: A330s and regional focus

Oct 25 (ST) In a marked departure from the previous management’s business strategy for the national carrier, SriLankan Airlines will focus on becoming a regional carrier flying mostly narrow-bodied aircraft, CEO Suren Ratwatte said. He also admitted that finding capital to run the airline was his biggest headache; that arrangements have been made for a voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) for staff; and that SriLankan’s credit rating more..

Govt in crisis: Dinesh Gunawardane

Oct 25 (DM) JO MP Dinesh Gunawardane, says President Sirisena has finally realised the veracity of allegations against the FCID, CID & BC. He says the govt is in a serious crisis. Q:  How do you see the unfolding political situation in the country in the aftermath of President’s outburst? A: For the last 12 months after General Elections, people had fresh hopes as promised by UNP-led govt. more..

Urgent need to create efficient beauracracy

Oct 25 (DM) New breed of bureaucrats are obedient servants because they owe their appointments to Politicians. Public services need to be delivered with integrity, centred around citizens, and responsive to the needs, particularly the needs of the most vulnerable.  Over the last several decades, due to excessive political interference, the quality of public service and the public servants had come down drastically. How? The framers of the 1972 Constitution introduced provisions to abolish more..

Let’s not give ethnic colouring to the killing of two students

Oct 25 (DM) The death of two university students at Kokkuvil in Jaffna when they were shot at by the police when they had defied orders to stop the motorcycle they were riding is making headlines for the past several days, especially in the Tamil media. The sword attack on the two policemen on Sunday at the Chunnakam market automatically gains more weight in the belief that it is connected to the death of the two students.  However, the two incidents do not appear to be connected. more..

Fireworks at COPE

Oct 25 (FT) Fireworks ensued at the meeting of the COPE yesterday, with Chairman of the oversight body stepping aside in protest against UNP members allegedly exerting undue influence on a draft report on CB Bond issue and delaying the report’s presentation to Parliament, which was initially expected today. COPE Chairman Sunil Handunetti walked out of the meeting, when the committee sat for its third day of deliberations more..

Jaffna deaths spark nationwide protests

Oct 25 (Hindu) Students across Sri Lankan universities protested on Monday, condemning the recent death of two Jaffna University students in alleged police shooting and demanding a fair investigation. Thousands of students took to the streets in Jaffna town, blocking A9, the main highway to the island’s north, urging speedy action against the perpetrators. CID, which began investigations on Friday, arrested five policemen in this connection, and remanded them. more..

Minister Range Bandara’s son arrested

Oct 25 (DM) Minister Palitha Range Bandara’s son Yasodha and three others had been arrested by Anamaduwa Police this evening in connection with a road accident in which a 42-year-old man had been killed. Land Rover which was allegedly driven by the minister’s son had run over the victim, identified as Gamini Wanninayake, of Anamaduwa. The victim was an employee of a shop in Anamaduwa. He had been returning home on a bicycle when he was knocked down and run over. more..

Bond Scam: UNP action against AG

Oct 25 (Island) Chairman of COPE Sunil Handunnetti walked out of its meeting yesterday evening as UNP members repeatedly asked Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe in a threatening manner to withdraw his department’s findings which held former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran responsible for CB bond scams. UNP MPs’ last ditch efforts to save Mahendran succeeded to some extent yesterday as they managed to get Chairman more..

Protest against Jaffna Uni student killings Hartal in North today

Oct 25 (CT) NCP Member M. K. Shivajilingam said a hartal will be held today and all shops and sales outlets in the North will be closed in protest against the murder of the Jaffna University students. He said representatives of Tamil political parties met in Jaffna on Sunday and agreed to stage the he hartal. A number of Tamil political parties, including the TELO, under leadership of Selvam Adaikkalanadan PLOTE, led by Dharmalingam Siddharthan, EPRLF led by Suresh Premachandra, more..

SC dismisses petition challenging Mittal project

Oct 25 (FT) The Supreme Court dismissed a fundamental rights petition challenging a contract to build 65,000 steel houses in the North for displaced persons. Counsel Upul Jayasuriya, appearing for Minister D. M. Swaminathan in the fundamental rights petition, told the Supreme Court that there was a lot of misrepresentation and falsehood in the Petition, and further asserted that even the Cabinet of Ministers had declined to make a decision on the matter. more..

Take action against Arjun Aloysius: COPE

Oct 25 (DM) Members of COPE held former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran's son-in-law Arjun Aloysius and other directors of Perpetual Treasuries responsible for the controversial CB Bond Scam, UNP member of COPE and Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera said. The COPE recommended to arrest Aloysius and the other directors and take action in accordance with the penal code, he said. more..

Danish business delegation here

Oct 25 (DN) A high-level delegation from Denmark including Peter Taksoe-Jensen the Ambassador of Denmark, Morten Viktor Ranieri-Svendsen, Commercial Counsellor and Head of Trade of the Royal Danish Embassy, Jens Holst-Nielsen, Director International, and Nanna Bogesvang Olesen from the Confederation of Danish Industry will be visiting Sri Lanka from Nov 1 to 4. A business delegation comprising 15 leading Danish companies will be accompanying the dignitaries. more..

CB’s power to bailout troubled finance companies challenged

Oct 25 (DM) Former Deputy Governor Wijewardena says notion of taxpayers’ money being used to pay defrauded depositors flawed Monetary Act Law doesn’t allow Central Bank to print money and pay depositors. Central Bank’s plan to bailout three fraud-hit finance companies and a primary dealer is against the Monetary Law Act (MLA) as the provisions of the MLA allows the bank to lend only to licensed commercial banks in the case of liquidity requirements but not for more..

Indian business team headed by Foreign Secretary Jaishankar meets PM for 2nd time

Oct 25 (ENS) Indicating the importance of their on-going visit to SL, Indian public and private sector business delegation headed by Foreign Secretary S.Jaishankar met PM Ranil Wickremesinghe for the second time on Monday, to carry forward the discussions the group had had with SL governmental and private sector stakeholders spread over two days on increasing bilateral trade and investment. more..

Sri’s company: Temples, tea and tusks in stunning Sri Lanka

Oct 25 (NYP) I felt like Don Draper in the final episode of Mad Men, getting my om on while meditating atop an ocean-side perch at sunrise. With sea-foam waves crashing nearby and coconut palms towering above, I had a revelation. Only I didn’t want to buy the world a Coke. I wanted to get everyone a flight to Sri Lanka’s south coast. I’d come to the region less for enlightenment and more out of zeal for the new. A dozen years on from 2004’s devastating Christmas tsunami more..

NDBIB successfully closes Mobitel’s e-Channelling acquisition

Oct 25 (Island) NDB Investment Bank (NDBIB) successfully advised Mobitel (Private) Limited in its recent acquisition of e-Channelling PLC. The transaction was announced on the floor of the Colombo Stock Exchange on Sept 5, 2016 and the acquisition was executed via a Voluntary Offer. "NDBIB takes pride in having partnered Mobitel in its maiden acquisition and supporting the latter as it ventures into value added services, particularly in the fast growing e-health space, more..

Controversial Lankaputhra chief loses appeal

Oct 25 (FT) After a prolonged battle to retain his office, Lankaputhra Development Bank (LDB) former Chairman Lasantha Goonewardena has been removed from his post by the Monetary Board of Central Bank. Monetary Board made the decision at a meeting held on 3 Oct and had released a letter notifying stakeholders that they upheld the decision made by Director Bank Supervision of CB to more..

2 Sri Lankans win in Muay Thai tournament

Oct 25 (DN) Two sportsmen representing the Muay Thai Association of Sri Lanka (MTASL) have earned their first high-profile wins in the home of the sport, Thailand, having recently excelled in their individual weight classes at the world famous Grand Thai Boxing Stadium in Hua Hin. The winners from Sri Lanka were Kumudu Prasanna who won in the 60kg weight class, and Nilanka Madushan, the winner in the 75kg weight class. The tournament showcased three Sri Lankan competitors, more..

Never expected the captaincy at 38: Herath

Oct 25 (Island) Rangana Herath, who was appointed SL’s Test captain on Sunday says he never expected the captaincy of the national cricket team in the twilight of his career. Herath was named as SL’s 14th Test captain after regular skipper Angelo Mathews was ruled out with a calf strain. The national cricket team left the island last night and will play two Tests and a tri-nation series also involving West Indies. Both Tests will be played in Harare and the first Test gets underway on Saturday. more..

CSN broadcasting license cancelled

Oct 25 (FT) The broadcasting license of the Carlton Sports Network (CSN), which has strong links to the family of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, has been cancelled as the channel failed to adhere to regulations.  CSN was plunged in controversy when the FCID commenced investigations into the ownership of the business entity and how CSN had secured all broadcasting rights for international sporting events.  more..

SLAF wins 2016 Inter Club Netball C'ship

Oct 25 (CT) Sri Lanka Air Force SC defeated Sri Lanka Navy SC in a nail-biting 26-25 score-line to clinch the 2016 Inter Club Open Netball Championship which was concluded at FTZ ground Katunayake on Sunday. After a brilliant first half, Air Force led by as many as 7 points with a score of 15-08, but Navy came back strongly in the opening few minutes of the 2nd half to cut the deficit to just two points. However, they were unable to close the gap further as Air Force kept them at bay more..

Pay hike for cricketers: SLC

Oct 25 (CT) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) President Thilanga Sumathipala said that salaries of all players will be increased within the next three years and all National players have agreed to a performance based contract. He made these comments during a press conference yesterday, prior to SL Team's tour of Zimbabwe. Sumathipala commented that salaries of all players will be increased within the next three years, and all players have agreed to a performance based contract. more..

SLC president blames poor player management for spate of injuries

Oct 25 (DN) SLC president Thilanga Sumathipala has blamed poor player management for the number of injuries the national team is carrying at the moment. “We have not managed our players properly for the last three years. We are experiencing good cricketers who have come in from under 19, 23 and club level that once they reach the top level they can’t sustain their physical condition because they have been badly managed,” more..

Commercial Bank’s Rs. 5 b debenture issue oversubscribed twice over

Oct 25 (FT) Rs. 5 billion debenture issue of Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc closed within minutes of opening yesterday after it was oversubscribed twice over, the bank has announced. The bank received a substantial amount of applications and has decided to exercise its option of enlarging the issue to Rs. 7 billion, the bank notified the CSE. The basis of allotment of the debentures will be decided by the Board of Directors of the bank and will be notified to the CSE more..

Foreign Tours- Bane of Sri Lanka Football

Oct 25 (ST) There is no other topic in Sri Lanka on which there has been so much controversy, disputes and allegations of abuse than on the subject of Sports. The recent tour undertaken by our National Football Team to Cambodia has come in for much comment and criticism in the local Dailies. In view of the regular brickbats hurled at the Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL) which continue unabated, accepting and undertaking any invitation from abroad, it is time more..

Hasanthi hogs limelight with javelin record

Oct 25 (Island) Imasha Dissanayake of Ratnayake Central, Walala hogged limelight as she shattered Under-15 girls’ javelin throw record on day three of the Sir John Tarbet Junior Athletics Championship at Embilipitiya on Monday. On a day that featured only five finals Hasanthi’s was the only record in individual events as she hurled the javelin to a distance of 33.98 metres. The thrower coached by Susantha Fernando broke the record more..

The Sri Lankan example

Oct 25 (Dawn) OF late, I have been studying Sri Lanka’s war experience. The country has fascinated students of comparative politics like me as it defies virtually all conventional wisdom about peace and conflict within societies. Unlike the rest of South Asia, it checks several boxes typically associated with relatively peaceful outcomes for nations. It boasts a 90-plus per cent literacy rate. It is now formally a middle-income country — even when it wasn’t, it didn’t suffer from more..

HNB adjourns EGM after interim orders

Oct 25 (FT) Following two interim orders Hatton National Bank (HNB) yesterday notified CSE that it would not be holding the Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) that was initially scheduled for tomorrow. Last Thursday the Commercial High Court issued an Interim Order to HNB and its key shareholders preventing them from holding an EGM, which was scheduled for next week, until a court decision was made on the bank proceeding with a share issuance of $ 50 million to ADB. more..

Too many eggs in the school Cricket basket

Oct 25 (ST) In our October 9th issue, we took up the subject of re-gularising school cricket and, according to Education Ministry’s Special Consultant Sunil Jayaweera, the ministry is very serious about the task at hand, and is hoping to rope in most of the stakeholders of school cricket, when they are ready to take up the subject for further scrutiny. He said, “At present, there are well over 400 cricket playing schools. more..

Need to rebrand Sri Lanka conflict

Oct 25 (Island) And if distinguishing a civilian from a combatant was impossible, it follows that it is also not possible to ascertain whether military advantage gained by planned attack was proportionate or not. Furthermore, it is also not possible to determine who among the dead was a civilian and who was a combatant. In view of the particularities of the circumstances that prevailed, in particular after >350,000 civilians were taken hostage, principle of proportionality becomes inapplicable. more..

Kaveesha’s untimely death Destiny should not be distorted

Oct 25 (DM) I hadn’t heard of Kaveesha Ayeshani until her untimely death in a car accident. That’s because I do not have the time to watch tele dramas. This may be partly due to a feeling that there has been a drop in quality over the years. But this writing is not about teledramas. It’s about all the talk generated over social media websites and in the print media about this young teledrama actress’s death.  Accidents kill Sri Lankans at a rate which comes close to the civil war years, more..