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'We have now become labourers of the West'

Sept 28 (SL) UPFA MP and member of Joint Opposition Dullas Alahapperuma said the cohabitation govt is ruling the country by deceiving the public. He claims that the govt makes promise after promise, but has absolutely no intention of fulfilling them, since it is merely a ploy to escape from burning issues that they confronts. He said Sri Lanka was a free country that took pride in its steadfast stand. more..

Analysing President’s bitter pint

Sept 28 (DM) President is nothing if not outspoken, when it comes to gender-sensitive issues. While handing out life-time achievement awards to an NGO  which rehabilitates drug addicts, he said more women were drinking beer, while pointing out the dangers posed by alcohol and drugs to Sri Lakans. If he had deplored the fact more people are drinking beer now, it would have been positive feedback from a leader whom, one assumes, is either a teetotaler or a moderate drinker. more..

Paradise Lost: The hidden costs of tourism development in Sri Lanka

Sept 28 (GV) Sept 27 is World Tourism Day. This year,  the theme is promoting universal accessibility. Groundviews decided to focus on sustainable tourism – and specifically, on how tourism development has impacted local communities. Tourism is a vital driver of income to the local economy – with over a million tourists arriving in Sri Lanka from January to August 2016 alone. It also provides thousands of people with jobs, either directly or indirectly. more..

Civil society leaders rubbish GMOA elite schools demand

Sept 28 (SO) The mad rush for places in high quality govt schools has taken a new twist recently, with govt doctors resorting to lightning strikes and, other trade union tactics, in their agitation for such a privilege for their children. Led by the GMOA, the doctors have threatened to extend their protest island-wide, if some 200 of their children are denied best schools by Education Ministry. It was the first of a kind, more..

Sirisena The Diplomat

Sept 28 (SL) Diplomacy has not been the forte of President Maithripala Sirisena who is essentially of a rural background and is still a humble politician expressing his thoughts and views, usually in his mother tongue, sans the highfalutin gobbledygook that usually goes with those aspiring or posing off as diplomats. Yet viewing his achievements during the past one year and nine months in office Sirisena has achieved much for his country and for himself in the field of diplomacy as no other politician more..

Sri Lanka and great power relations

Sept 28 (Island) The post-conflict period saw the engagement of two Great Powers in SL affairs. One was India to some degree and the other was China to a much greater degree. With the new administration coming into force starting Jan 8, 2015, US has made a discernable impact on the affairs of SL. Consequently, there are three Great Powers currently pursuing their respective interests in SL. It is reported that other powers such as Japan and Singapore are also likely to engage more..

'India investments in Lanka not affected by aborted plant Joint Venture'

June 27 (PTI) Sri Lanka's decision to scrap a joint venture coal power plant project will not deter India's future investment plans in the country, Indian govt said today. Commerce minister Nirmala Sitharaman stated this at the end of her three-day visit here after meeting SL minister Malik Samarawickrema and other officials. The proposed Economic and Technological Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) and issues concerning more..

India's envoy to Sri Lanka named new High Commissioner to UK

June 27 (NNN) Mr. Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha, High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka, has been appointed as the country's next High Commissioner to the United Kindom. A press release from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said Mr. Sinha, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1981 batch, was expected to take up his assignment shortly. He will succeed Mr. Navtej Sarna, who has been named as the new Ambassador of India to the United States. more..

Minor earth tremor in Galle

June 27 (DM) A minor earth tremor had been experienced in the Galle area this morning, Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said. The Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GSMB) said the tremor had been recorded at the Seismic Data and Tsunami Alert Centres (SDTAC) at Matara, Hakmana and Pallekelle. However, Richter scale had been recorded as lower than three amplitudes on the tremor.  The tremor had taken place at around 5.30 a.m. more..

Court of Appeal issues notices on Ravi K.

June 27 (DN) Minister Ravi Karunanayake and 13 other respondents were this morning noticed to appear before Court of Appeal on Oct 12, in connection with a writ petition filed by six Buddhist monks, challenging Finance Minister’s decision to exempt customs import duty amounting to Rs.6 billion on alcoholic products imported by a beer brewery. A Court of Appeal Two-Judge-Bench comprising more..

Int'l conference on Right to Information

June 27 (DN) A two day international conference on Right to Information will be held at Jaik Hilton, Colombo tomorrow and day after under the patronage of President Sirisena to mark International Right to Information Day. Deputy Minister Karunaratne Paranavithana said Chairman of 20th Law Commission of India and Chief Justice (Retd) of Delhi High Court Ajit Sha, Speaker Karu Jayasuriyam, Minister Gayantha Karunathilake will participate at the opening ceremony more..

Labour officers end strike action

June 27 (AD) The Public Service Labour Officers’ Union has decided to temporarily suspend the strike action launched by labour officers.  President of the Union I.C. Gamage said that the decision was taken in view of the Labour Minister submitting a cabinet paper for a service constitution to the Cabinet of Ministers.  Labour Minister W.D.J. Senewiratne had presented the relevant cabinet paper today while it is slated to be debated by the cabinet on Oct 4. Union had been engaged in a strike since Sept more..

Sri Lanka wants Panama Papers discussed

June 27 (CG) Sri Lanka has sought a discussion on the controversial Panama Papers at Commonwealth Finance Ministers Meeting (CFMM) next week. Finance Ministers will gather for the Commonwealth Finance Ministers Meeting on 6 Oct, at the headquarters of the IMF in Washington DC, USA. CFMM has agreed to Sri Lanka’s request and will focus on topical issues arising from the international response to Panama Papers more..

Saudi court pays blood money for Lankan

June 27 (DN) A court in Saudi Arabia paid Rs. two million, one third of the blood money of a death sentenced Sri Lankan to escape gallows for killing his compatriot in his workplace. Sri Lankan Consul General in Saudi, Faizer Mackeen said that the accused, a man from Seeduwa had stabbed his co-worker Mohammed Intiqab during an argument on some trivial issue. Diplomat said that the murder took place in 2009 and the accused, who was intoxicated at the time, confessed that more..

Video: Police panic as drone flies over Lasantha’s grave

June 27 (DM) Police today panicked when a drone attached with a camera flew over the grave of murdered Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunga, when it was being exhumed. Even though the Policemen at the scene searched the assembled journalists at the scene they were unable to find the drone or its handler. Wickrematnga’s body was exhumed at the Borella cemetery today following a request by the CID to the Mount Lavinia Magistrate’s Court earlier this month. more..

Ramith pleads guilty on three counts, says not guilty to DUI

June 27 (DM) Colombo Additional Magistrate suspended the driving licence of Cricketer Ramith Rambukwella following an accident that occurred at Independence Avenue, Colombo 7 recently. Police had put forward five charges against the suspect including Drunken Driving, Negligent Driving, Not Avoiding a Possible Accident, Driving a Vehicle Registered under someone else’s name and driving with a Fake Number Plate. more..

Lands Ministry web hacked

June 27 (CT) Ministry of Lands website,, was hacked twice in four days, 23–26 Sept. Website was quickly restored to its original format on Friday 23 Sept. The hacker, ML7C, changed the entire homepage and had DJ Snake ft. Justin Bieber's Let Me Love You playing on loop. He seems to have been interested in testing the govt websites' online security, as he advices that the website be fixed and had provided an email address to contact him. more..

Shares end at 2-week closing high

June 27 (Reuters) Stocks ended slightly firmer on Tuesday to a two-week closing high led by blue chips, amid foreign outflows and tax hike concerns. Foreign investors sold a net 22.3 million rupees worth of shares on Tuesday extending the year-to-date net forging outflow to 3.03 billion rupees worth of equities. IMF on Friday said SL's govt, which has failed to raise taxes as promised when it received a $1.5 billion loan from the lender in June, needs to implement a tax reform package more..

Expedite of RTI Act implementation: PM

June 27 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had instructed the Media Ministry to expedite the process of implementing the Right to Information Act, Deputy Minister Karunaratne Paranavithana said. He said Sri Lanka had passed the RTI recently and was now in a process of setting up the Right to Information Commission. "We have already taken steps to set up the RTI Commission, but PM instructed us to expedite it," he said. more..

Gemunu slams govt’s tax mania

June 27 (AD) President of Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA) Gemunu Wijeratne says that a complaint was submitted to the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) against the Ministry of Finance and several other parties over undue taxing.  Speaking to reporters after handing over the complaint, he said that presently around 20,000 private buses operate across the country while the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) operates only some 5,000 buses.  more..

Basil to be Coordinator of new party

June 27 (AM) Former Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa will hold a key responsibility in the new party that will be formed by the Joint Opposition, the Local Govt Representatives of the JO said. The Co-Chairman of the Joint Opposition LG Representative Collective Udeni Athukorala said that the team which is engaged in the organizational work are currently conducting their work as a group, since no officials of the party have been designated. more..

Ranil's Puppet: CIABOC Director General charged with abuse of office

June 27 (CT) Director General of CIABOC, Dilrukshi Wickramasinghe has been charged for abuse of office. A formal complaint in this regard was lodged to Chairman of the Commission today. Director General for prevention of Bribery and Corruption In his complaint, Public Interest Rights Activist and lawyer, Nagananda Kodituwakku accused Wickramasinghe of abusing her position to suppress and/or ignore more..

Video: Mahindananda released on bail

June 27 (AD) MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage, who was arrested and remanded on money laundering charges, has been released on bail by Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court today. Magistrate ordered that he be released on a cash bail of Rs 50,000 and four personal bails of Rs 10 million each. Aluthgamage, who was the former Sports Minister, was arrested by CID on Sept 15 on charges under Prevention of Money Laundering Act after a statement was recorded from him same day. more..

Sri Lanka to promote ecotourism

June 27 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka will seek to promote ecotourism and protect the environment as part of its tourism agenda in the coming months, Tourism Minister John Amaratunga said. He said that while accessibility remains a key component of SL's tourism development strategy, sustainability of the industry is of equal importance. "We must ensure that our resources and attractions remain unharmed by the development activities which are currently taking place in this country," more..

Video: JO vows to take VAT to SC again

June 27 (DM) Joint Opposition said that it would go to Supreme Court for the second time against Govt’s attempts to introduce the revised VAT, since the Gazette notification on the revision had been printed way before the Cabinet Approval was granted. MP Bandula Gunawardane said the Gazette notice had been printed on Sept 9 though the Cabinet of Ministers didn’t approve the VAT Bill till Sept 13. more..

Australia Women thump SL by record margin

June 27 (CI) A dominant Australia Women side thumped Sri Lanka Women by ten wickets in the one-off T20I in Colombo, chasing down a target of 60 with 71 balls to spare, the largest margin of victory (by balls remaining) in women's T20 cricket. Australia, who had swept the preceding ODI series 4-0, bettered the record of 70 balls set by New Zealand in 2010. Put in to bat, Sri Lanka struggled from the outset, extending their poor form shown during the one-day series. more..

Reducing cargo clearing delays urgent, Sri Lanka shippers say

June 27 (EN) A top Sri Lankan exporter and head of the shippers’ association has called for urgent reforms to Customs to speed up and reduce the cost of transactions, saying competing exporters and hub ports were far ahead of the island. Sean van Dort, chairman of the Sri Lanka Shippers’ Council, said exporters and importers want to reduce the time taken to move cargo into and out of Colombo port and clear Customs in order to stay competitive in global markets. more..

Video: JVP condemns extremist remarks made by Wigneswaran

June 27 (DM) Northern Province CM C V Wigneswaran has started making radical, extremist statements because of his political bankruptcy, JVP charged. JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said that Mr Wigneswaran has become politically bankrupt as Northern people have rejected him. “The people of the North have rejected him as he has done nothing for them for the past few years. Therefore he is out to gain political mileage more..

Diesel tax increase will hit earnings: LIOC

June 27 (Reuters) SL govt's decision to increase tax on diesel is likely to hit 2016/17 second-half earnings at fuel retailer Lanka IOC, its managing director said on Monday. Under pressure from the IMF to increase revenue, SL's finance ministry increased excise duty on diesel by 10 rupees to 13 rupees per litre from Aug. 20, stipulating that fuel retailers cannot pass on the cost to consumers. Subsidiary of Indian Oil Corporation had previously been cushioned against losses more..

Welgama corruption case on 7 Nov

June 27 (CT) Colombo Chief Magistrate fixed 7 Nov to hear the case filed by the Bribery Commission against the former Minister of Transport, Kumara Welgama. Welgama has been charged with having committed a corrupt act by appointing L. Wimalaratne to the non-existent post of Vice President of the SLTB. Bribery Commission has filed four charges against Welgama for having created the said post, on or before 23 Ja 2010, at the SLTB and thereby committing an act of corruption. more..

ආචාර්ය ප්රතිභා මහානාමහේවා

From hesitant compromise to resolve: Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2006

Sept 27 (CT) Delineating the fault lines and events that generated the ethnic conflict between Tamils and Sinhalese Sri Lanka since 1948 will demand careful historical work that builds upon the many studies by a battery of scholars thus far — referring here to a whole line of intellectual work extending from Howard Wriggins through Robert Kearney, KM de Silva, SJ Tambiah and AJ Wilson to Nira Wickremasinghe. Historical causation is usually multi-factorial not singular. more..

Arise, Tamils! Totally unnecessary!!

Sept 27 (CT) There's something always that sways for rebellion in the hearts of all of us when a crowd gathers under a common cause. That is why there's power in numbers and strength in unity. We are, inherently, creatures of passion that need to be motivated and driven toward a common goal and we have known our share of rebellions and revolutions. Last Saturday's Ezhuga Tamizh rally organized by the Tamil People's Council in Jaffna was no doubt a revolution. more..

A deputy minister facing likely arrest: Ranjan

Sept 12 (DM) A deputy minister is expected to be arrested soon because the investigations into his deals have been completed, State Minister Ranjan Ramanayake said. He said that this arrest would be historical because it would be the first instance where a deputy minister in office would be arrested on corruption charges. “This will prove that even a minister will not be able to get away with corruption under the present administration," more..

DEW slams Ravi for heaping more taxes on masses

Sept 12 (Island) JO member D.E.W. Gunasekera flayed Finance Minister Ravi Karunayake for pretending to know everything. "The country’s economy is in a shambles and Karunanayake is attempting to raise revenue by overtaxing the masses." Finance Minister acted in a manner which directly helped the vehicle importers, leasing companies and other businessmen for reasons best known to him, Gunasekera said. more..

Remains of journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge exhumed

Sept 27 (AFP) Police on Tuesday exhumed the body of a prominent anti-establishment newspaper editor as part of an investigation into his murder, widely blamed on the regime of former strongman president Rajapakse. Lasantha Wickrematunga, a fierce critic of Rajapakse's govt, was killed by unidentified gunmen as he drove to work in Colombo seven years ago. New administration has reopened the investigation more..