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Face the Nation

Mobitel considers strategic acquisition of local operator

Nov 28 (LBO) Mobitel, a fully-owned unit of listed SLT, said it is considering a strategic acquisition of a local operator and denies reports that the company intends to pay over and above the value of the target entity. “Mobitel denies the assumptions and opinions made on the subject that Mobitel is intending a payment which is over and above the value of the target entity,” mobile operator said. “Mobitel has stated that they are considering a strategic acquisition of a local operator to enhance more..

Lankan Muslims suffered ethnic cleansing: Samantha Power

Nov 28 (CT) US Ambassador to UN, Samantha Power said the Muslims of Jaffna had experienced ethnic cleansing even before the term ethnic cleansing was coined. Speaking to a gathering at Osmaniya College, Jaffna, earlier this week, she commended the school's efforts to house and provide refuge to recent flood victims of Jaffna. "It was on these grounds that just over 25 years ago the Muslim community of Jaffna was gathered and told to leave their homes. more..

Sri Lanka price control minister waxes lyrical on social market economy

Nov 28 (EN) In a bizarre turn of events, Minister of Trade and Commerce, who is in charge of an agency that imposes price control by gazette has praised the concept of a social market economy. "I commend PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s call for clear long term economic policy for Sri Lanka to become a highly competitive social market economy," Minister Rishard Bathiudeen was quoted saying in parliament. more..

SL Ambassador to Saudi Arabia approves stoning to death of SL house maid

Nov 28 (SB) Newly appointed Sri Lankan ambassador to Saudi Arabia Azmi Thassim has criticized the local media for their comments on Saudi law of stoning to death. Recently a Sri Lankan house maid was sentenced to death by stoning in Saudi Arabia for alleged relationship with another Si Lankan. Media has criticized the law as inhuman. But the SL ambassador Azmi Thassim defending saudi decision has said that the problem lies more..

Concerns rise over Sri Lanka's risky interventionist moves to coerce banks

Nov 28 (EN) Concerns are rising that Sri Lanka's interventionist proposal to ban leasing from banks, made without evidence based policy making or a consultation may have serious negative effects on the people, including small borrowers and depositors. Ranel Wijesinghe, a director of state-run Bank of Ceylon told a business forum at Ceylon Chamber of Commerce that while lenders like People's Bank had a subsidiary, his bank more..

'LTTE did not represent Tamils'

Nov 28 (CG) Minister Mangala Samaraweera says the LTTE terror did not represent the hopes and aspirations of the majority of the Tamil community. He made this observation while speaking at the Meeting of Commonwealth Foreign Ministers in Malta. He said that as radicalisation, violent extremism and terrorism undermine the core Commonwealth values of democracy and pluralism, Commonwealth states should direct it’s focus more..

SLAS wants vehicle permits restored

Nov 28 (DM) Perturbed over the withdrawl of concessionary vehicle permits, senior public servants have written to President and PM urging that the circular prohibiting such vehicle permits be withdrawn and the status quo restored. The privilege to purchase an imported or locally manufactured vehicle on a concessionary rate had been withdrawn in the 2016 Budget and a circular issued to this effect. more..

‘Avant Garde not illegal’

Nov 28 (CT) Collective of Aggrieved Employees of Avant Garde Maritime Security Services (AGMSS) said, AGMSS is not an illegal establishment despite the claims of mentally deranged politicians. Chairperson of Collective, Retired Commander Anura Ariyaratne said, for nearly 11 months various companies conducted investigations on the legality of AGMSS, but they were unable to find sufficient proof that it was illegal. more..

Re-think on certain tax proposals

Nov 28 (DM) In the wake of widespread protests over some of the budgetary proposals such as the increase in the fees for vehicle emission tests, the govt is contemplating amending the charges during the Budget debate. The Budget proposed to increase the charge for the vehicle emission test to Rs. 5000. As a result of protests from several quarters govt is now planning to introduce a congestion charge from motorists. more..

On the trail of Paynter’s paintings; sold and regained

Nov 28 (ST) A respected academic in his late seventies is accused of secretly hawking to local collectors, the works of one of Sri Lanka’s greatest artists because he needed money. Prof. Albert Dharmasiri was granted bail by the Nuwara Eliya Magistrate this week. His arrest sent shockwaves through the country’s academic and artistic community. The nine paintings and two drawings he is alleged to have sold off are more..

Minister Ramanayake says his piece on Avant Garde

Nov 28 (DM) Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake in a discussion with the said that party democracy faded when it came to the Avant Garde issue. He alleged that the chairman of Avant Garde had bought over many people with money. Q: Last week Minister Harin Fernando made a comment that he will take action against you if you actually had said that he was bought in an Avant Garde deal? Did you actually make such comments? more..

Mega cultivations continue to gorge wildlife sanctuaries

Nov 28 (SL) Despite all authorities in the country being kept informed of the alleged rape of the crown land, several of Sri Lanka’s flagship national parks and highly sensitive conservation areas including the Wilpattu National Park in the North Western Province and Lunugamvehera National Park in the Southern Province, are allegedly being pillaged and plundered for mega commercial cultivations. more..

Why can’t the Govt Walk the Talk?

Nov 28 (DM) We are fast approaching the first anniversary of electing a joint opposition candidate as the President. But alas the people feel that the President and the Govt are finding it difficult to walk the talk. Somewhere in Nov, Dec 2014, we heard many allegations of corruption, and promises of bringing the culprits to book. But since the January 8 presidential election and the August 17 general elections, none of the wrong doers has been properly prosecuted. more..

Independent judiciary for a Just Society

Nov 28 (DM) For centuries in the democratic world -- the time tested pillars have been the executive, the legislature, an independent judiciary and an independent media with checks and balances, transparency and public accountability. Since 1998 and especially during the previous regime, three of these pillars were virtually brought down by an all-powerful and over-loaded Executive President, resulting in the breakdown of democracy and the rule of law. more..

Govt has to pay Rs.400 b for previous regime’s construction projects: PM

Nov 28 (DN) The govt is faced with the task of paying Rs. 400 billion for construction projects undertaken by the previous govt, said PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. He also said that the govt would bring the matter before Parliament to decide on how to find this amount. “Many buildings were constructed at various places including Temple Trees,” the PM said. “I suspended the construction of one of the two proposed buildings at more..

MDMK, Vaiko celebrate Prabha’s birth anniversary

Nov 28 (FT) South Indian regional party MDMK celebrated the 61st birth anniversary of slain LTTE founder V Prabhakaran on Thursday, 26 Nov. Prabhakaran was born into a middle class family in the coastal town of Velvettiturai in northern Sri Lanka in 1954. The architect of Asia’s longest-running civil war had vowed never to be taken alive, but Sri Lankan army soldiers killed the island’s most wanted and most elusive man in 2009. For 37 years, LTTE Chief Prabhakaran had done one more..

CIABOC takes Johnston to Court Doubts income, assets declaration

Nov 28 (CT) Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) filed five cases in Court yesterday against former Minister Johnston Fernando for failing to reveal his income and assets. Director General for the Prevention of Bribery and Corruption Dilrukshi Wickramasinghe said that five cases were filed in the Colombo Magistrate's Court yesterday accusing Fernando of not revealing his income and assets from 2010 to 2015. Commission had filed these cases on grounds of more..

HRCSL writes to AG, raises concerns on detainees

Nov 28 (CT) Human Rights Commission of SL has written to Attorney General (AG) Y J Wijayatilake, conveying to him its grave concern about the rights of the detainees and remandees held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and the Emergency Regulations and called upon him to take necessary measures to ensure the protection of the rights of these detainees and remandees. more..

Two Japanese naval ships arrive in Colombo

Nov 28 (SLN) Two Japanese naval ships, Akizuki and Sawagiri, arrived at the Port of Colombo on a goodwill and replenishment visit on 27th Nov. They were welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy in accordance with naval traditions on arrival. The head of the mission, Commander Escort Division V Captain Futoshi Toyozumi and the ships’ Commanding Officers, Commander Yasuharu Asou and Commander Tsuyoshi Sato paid a courtesy call on the Commander of the Navy, more..

FCID shifted to a new building

Nov 28 (NS) The Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) was brought to a new building this morning after a small function, attended by IGP NK Ilangakoon. ASP Ruwan Gunasekara said that the new premise has enough space to carry out its duties freely. Accordingly, the FCID’s new office is situated at the Central Point Building at No. 54, Chatham Street, Colombo 1. The FCID has received 204 complaints, and around 100 cases are being processed in the judiciary. more..

Bouquets & brickbats for Budget in House

Nov 28 (FT) Opposition lawmaker Annamalai Nadesu Sivasakthi alias Sivasakthi Ananthan moved the fourth day of the Appropriation Bill 2016 – Second Reading Adjournment Debate blaming the Govt for increasing taxes which will increase the burden on the struggling people in the Northern Province. “There is no big difference between previous and current Govts. Both are poor in delivery and not keeping promises,” more..

Shangri-La Hambantota resort opens in June

Nov 28 (DM) Shangri-La's Hambantota Resort and Spa, the first of the two Shangri-La hotels being constructed in Sri Lanka will be declared open by early June next year, Shangri-La Hotel and Resorts Sri Lanka General Manager Mehdi Serrour said today. The constriction of the Resort, on a-145 acre land in Hambantota, started in late February, 2012. One of the major attractions of the Resort would be an 18-hole golf course, a first-timer in the Sri Lanka’s hotel sector. more..

Students barred from protesting

Nov 28 (DN) Kaduwela Magistrate issued an injunction order preventing demonstrations near Parliament, entering Parliament road and blocking it. Members of Inter University Students’ Federation (IUSF) and Inter University Bhikkhu Front (IUBF) planned to hold a protest in Colombo and march to Parliament. Police obtained an injunction order from the Magistrate as they had received information about the protest which the IUSF and the IUBF planned to hold near Parliament. more..

Important decisions on Grade-5, O/L soon

Nov 28 (DM) Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said the education ministry would soon take some important decisions on the Grade-five scholarship exam and GCE O/L exam and that a new Education Act would be introduced in January. He said the ministry was discussing whether to continue with the two exams on the basis that these exams had placed a heavy burden on the students and the parents. more..

Northern schools closed

Nov 28 (DN) All schools in the Northern Provincial Council were closed on the directive of Provincial education authorities. However, several Sinhala medium schools remained open last morning, as such schools had not not been informed by the provincial authorities. Provincial Education Ministry informed the school principals to keep their schools closed yesterday as the death of a school student in Jaffna may trigger tension in the province, This student committed suicide in Kokuvil, more..

60 Solutions Against Climate Change

Nov 28 (FT) On 27 Nov at 10 a.m. Embassy of France in Sri Lanka and the Maldives, in partnership with the French Agency for Development (AFD) and the Ministry of Internal Affairs – Wayamba Development and Cultural Affairs of Sri Lanka, inaugurated the photo exhibition 60 Solutions Against Climate Change under the patronage of Mayor A.J.M. Muzammil. This exhibition composed of 21 photos by the world-renowned Yann Arthus-Bertrand (GoodPlanet Foundation) will be more..

MS to be nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

Nov 28 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena is to be nominated for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize. Minister John Amaratunga who was speaking during the second reading debate in the House said many countries were currently discussing the nomination of President Sirisena for the Nobel Peace Prize for his initiative to form a joint govt made up of two main political parties in the country. more..

GMOA warns of island-wide strike next week

Nov 28 (NS) Govt Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) has threatened to launch an island-wide strike next week if the govt failed to respond positively to two key issues discussed at its Central Committee meeting today. Issuing a media release, GMOA stated that an urgent Central Committee meeting was held at its trade union head office today with the participation of 85 GMOA branches located island-wide. Two key matters were taken up for discussion at this meeting, more..

North should be provided with free electricity: Sritharan

Nov 28 (DN) TNA MP S. Sritharan said the govt should allocate money for the development of education in the North. He stated that it is not clearly mentioned the amount of money that was allocated for the development of education in the North. "The money allocated for the health sector in the North is also not clearly disclosed," Sritharan said. TNA MP Sritharan stated that the LTTE Heroes Day is historic for them, adding that those people should be remembered. more..

Supreme Court of Canada strikes down entry laws on human smugglers

Nov 28 (G&M) In two cases involving ships carrying Tamil refugees to Canada’s shores, the Supreme Court has ruled that federal immigration laws denying entry to human smugglers are unconstitutional. Those laws could be used to bar from Canada or prosecute anyone who performs a humanitarian act, including passengers helping one another or family members giving aid to their relatives, court said in unanimous rulings more..

India Sourcing Fair at SLECC from Dec 8

Nov 28 (DN) The first-ever India Sourcing Fair will be held from Dec 8 to 12 at the SLECC in Colombo. The event is organised by the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) - Public Sector Enterprise under the Ministry of Commerce, Govt of India and supported by the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka. "This is a timely step by ITPO which is the premier trade promotion agency of the Govt of India for organising Trade Fairs. It has put together a large all Indian participation. more..

Damitha Saluwadana passes away

Nov 28 (DM) Veteran character actress Damitha Saluwadana who had served as an actress for more than 45 years, passed away this evening. She entered the film and scene in the sixties, showcasing multiple talents. Her role as Asilin in Kopi Kade was one of her most popular characters. She had acted in more than 300 stage plays, 200 tele dramas and 25 films. Her remains will lie at the Boralesgamuwa Florists in Boralesgamuwa tomorrow. more..

Colombo International Financial Centre requires right talent: experts

Nov 28 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s plans to set up an international financial district bodes well for financial sector development and should be set up with the right talent in place, experts said. “We have talked about this for many years, but this is a budget where we have heard for the first time a policy to create a Dubai Financial Centre type financial hub,” Ravi Abeysuriya, CEO of the Candor group of companies, said approving of the policy. more..

Sri Lanka among best and lowest taxpaying regimes: FM

Nov 28 (DN) Minister Ravi Karunanayake said the 2016 budget has paved the way for Sri Lanka to be among the best and lowest taxpaying regimes in the world. Addressing a houseful audience of over 900 including professionals, students and members of public at the Annual Budget Seminar organized by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka), Minister who was part of a panel discussion also elaborated that the taxation system that was in place was non-motivational more..

Martis resigns

Nov 28 (CT) Head Coach of the Junior National Rugby team veteran Sanath Martis submitted his resignation to Susantha Mendis, Secretary of SL Schools Rugby Football Association (SLSRFA) after a disagreement at a meeting held with Director General of Sports KD Ruwanchandra yesterday. The general secretary of SLSRFA confirmed that he had received the resignation but opted not to accept it. Martis was fed up with director general Ruwanchandra's decision regarding more..