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Arrest of Gotabaya imminent

Oct 22 (SL) The arrest of former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa is imminent, well informed sources said. Sources said that a discussion had been held last week between govt officials from the legal and security establishments on taking Rajapaksa into custody to face charges against him. Rajapaksa returned from the United States last week following a private visit and according to sources he was to be arrested at the airport. more..

SL’s new Forex Act in force on Nov.1

Oct 22 (ST) Though SL’s new Foreign Exchange Act got a second, new operational date – Nov 1, 2017 – it is unlikely to come into force since the relevant regulations are yet to be gazetted, informed official sources said. The limits and conditions under which the related foreign exchange rules will apply should also be published in the gazette for the law to become valid, a senior official said. This week, the govt an earlier date of Oct 15 for SL’s new Foreign Exchange Act, more..

Gamlath bags a hat-trick of meet records

Oct 22 (ST) Indika Gamlath of Colombo Dockyard obtained a hat-trick of meet records at the conclusion of the second day of the 34th Mercantile Athletics Championships at Rajapaksa Complex Diyagama, yesterday. They were in the men’s over 40, 100 mtrs, 200 mtrs and 400 mtrs. Sri Lal Alahakone of Vee Power Solutions had set up two new records in the 200 metrs and 400 metrs events. Another two records were lowered in the women’s novices by H.A.H. Erandi of SriLankan Airlines. more..

Special committee to probe SLT irregularities

Oct 22 (ST) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) has appointed a 3- member committee headed by retired Appeal Court judge, Sunil Rajapaksha to inquire into alleged malpractices and irregularities at the company since 2008, union sources said.This follows continuing protests from workers over alleged corruption who launched a work to rule and sick note campaign three weeks ago. The other members of the committee are Sri J'pura Vice Chancellor Prof. Sampath Amarathunga and more..

Kingfisher Beer Europe to distribute 2 Lion Brewery brands

Oct 22 (ST) The European arm of United Breweries in September has tied up with Sri Lanka’s Lion Brewery, in which Carlsberg holds a stake, to launch two of its beer brands across Europe. Kingfisher, bought by Heineken is now carrying out distributing and marketing duties for Lion Lager and Lion Stout in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. “Kingfisher spotted an opportunity with Lion Brewery for customers interested in discovery beers,” more..

Lipton scales operations to remain on top

Oct 22 (ST) Unilever-owned, Lipton is handing over its local operations – auctioning, evaluation and buying of its tea – to Finlays as part of ensuring cost efficiency. Lipton seems to be constantly moving out its operations, outsourcing its business to some of the other companies in a bid to ensure cost efficiency and in the wake of the UK tea market itself reducing its consumption of the brew. Currently one of the biggest tea brands in the UK, Lipton had also closed more..

Govt taps informal sector to widen tax base

Oct 22 (ST) In the face of dwindling revenue, low tax compliance and a narrow tax base, the govt is to introduce a progressive tax structure for the informal sector while strengthening the income tax collection mechanism. This is through the 2018 ‘Designer’ Budget shifting from the stance of the ‘Robin Hood’ budget 2015, Finance Ministry sources disclosed. Treasury officials are ‘burning the midnight oil’ in devising 2018 budget proposals on the directions of more..

Lack of batting depth is hurting Sri Lanka

Oct 22 (Island) They may have narrowly qualified for the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2019, but SL’s ODI team is plagued with batting woes. Had they been relegated to play the qualifying round, the current team would have been tested by other teams likes Zimbabwe, Afghanistan and Ireland. SL needs to address several grey areas to be able to compete in cricket’s showpiece event which is less than two years away. SL have now failed to go past the 240-mark in their last 11 ODIs, more..

Are specialists appointed by allegiance or due to skill?

Oct 22 (Island) At the time of writing, SL has already lost the ongoing ODI series vs. Pakistan 0-3. Prognosis is that we could end up completely whitewashed by the time the series is over. How is it that a team that won the Test series 2-0 is now in this parlous predicament? Short answer is that Test and ODI cricket are two different kettles of fish. Specialist players are required for each format – as shown by the players the Pakistanis have picked for ODI games after Test series. more..

Gung-ho Lankans freeze out top names

Oct 22 (ST) SLC has penalised national cricketers for, refusing to travel to Pakistan for the last T20 even as the team’s head coach and another member of the support staff backed down from the Lahore trip over security concerns. Head Coach Nic Pothas and Physiotherapist Nirmalan Dhanabalasingham have also pulled out, Team Manager Asanka Gurusinha confirmed. It was a decision that some other members of the team had also taken before the final Twenty20 squad was announced. more..

Great expectations

Oct 22 (ST) This Dickensian-connected headline was triggered by a casual remark on Thursday by Kussi Amma Sera on the forthcoming budget. Mahattayo, mey sarey, monawa thiyai-da, budget-eke? she asked sipping tea from her favourite mug inscribed with a smiling picture of the late Gamini Fonseka, a famous 1980s Sri Lankan actor who was also her favourite star. Ravi Karunanayake, mahattaya giyata passe, honda, honda dewal thiyai-da? she further queried. more..

Can January 8 Mandate be brushed under the carpet?

Oct 22 (SO) The PCoI into the Treasury bond issue, appointed by President Sirisena earlier this year, has now concluded hearing of evidence, leaving the Sri Lankan political sphere in suspense. It is still not clear when the Commission would present its report to the President. Although the Commission has concluded hearings, the commissioners have asked for an extension of its official term. This indicates that the additional time will be used to analyse evidence and more..

Proposed constitution facing stillbirth?

Oct 22 (CT) Last Saturday President Maithripala Sirisena who was in Jaffna to inaugurate the National Tamil Language Day celebrations, took his security detail by surprise after he threw caution to the winds and abruptly alighted from his official vehicle to confront a group of protesters in Jaffna. President was in Jaffna to inaugurate the National Tamil Language Day celebrations at the Jaffna Hindu College when the incident took place. more..

Solving the SAITM issue

Oct 22 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena has pledged to put forward a solution to the long festering SAITM issue next week. The GMOA has regarded this latest announcement with skepticism as previous pledges given had not resulted in any significant change in the situation. The GMOA published a report on SAITM in 2010 and a five member committee appointed by the then Minister of Health (Maithripala Sirisena) put out a report on the matter in 2012. more..

UNP offshoot party and Sirisena’s machinations

Oct 22 (Island) The offshoot of the UNP the United National Freedom Front which held its first press conference some days ago, after gaining recognition as a political party by the Elections Commission could have serious implications for the UNP at any elections held in the future. This new political party is a natural outgrowth of the kurundu polu clash that occurred in Matara in October 2014. This was to prevent a long march organized by Maithri Gunaratne and more..

Adaraneeya Sri Lanka: Kilinochchi|

Citizenry watch

Oct 22 (ST) My dear Citizen Silva, I thought I must write to you when I heard that you are initiating action in the courts of law against the postponement of provincial council elections. Now, anybody going to courts against postponing elections should be applauded, but in your case I am a bit confused which is why I thought of writing. Firstly, I hope you don’t mind me calling you Citizen Silva because that is what you are now even though you have been used to decades of being Your Lordship. more..

LNG and the President’s visit to Qatar

Oct 22 (ST) President leaves on a state visit to Qatar next Wednesday (25), a country diplomatically isolated by its Arab neighbours over accusations that it is funding terrorism in the region. Arguably, the richest country in the world per-capita-wise, Qatar’s Emir is the only West Asian Head of State to have visited Sri Lanka in recent years. There are some 130,000 Sri Lankans working in the Gulf peninsula-nation situated between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. more..

'Aloysius should have been arrested'

Oct 22 (CT) The UN should know that the incumbent govt is worse than the previous govt, UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa said. He elaborated the incident that took place a fortnight ago during the Hambantota protest which he claimed was a peaceful one, where several protesters were assaulted by Police. Upon his arrest he tweeted to the UN stating that Police arrested peaceful protesters who were protesting against national assets being sold and is stifling opposition voices. more..

Producing Tradeable Graduates

Oct 22 (CT) The then Premier Chandrika Kumaratunga, soon after she was elected to power at the Aug 1994 Parliamentary Poll by trouncing the capitalist UNP which had been in power for 17 years, summoned the private sector for a meeting. This was before the Nov 1994 Presidential Election, where she consolidated her position by winning that poll too, convincingly. Nonetheless, with her not so surprising win at the Aug 1994 Parliamentary Poll, there was trepidation among the private sector more..

Spotlight moves from bonds to constitution

Oct 22 (Island) The front pages of the daily newspapers have become duller with the conclusion of the recording of evidence by the bond scam commission. The emergence of all manner of sensational information and disclosures during proceedings had become the order of the day and this provided lunu ambul to news pages and the evening bulletins of the various television stations. Commission is on record saying that it had served some interrogatories on PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, more..

'Budget 2018: Need solutions for debt overhang’

Oct 22 (SO) Continuing the investment on development, as well as stabilizing the economy on the basis of sound fiscal management will be the main focus of Budget 2018. It is time to reform the Sri Lankan economy. The country had borrowed heavily and the debt overhang was distorting all budgetary activities. Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama said, one of the most important areas to stabilize the economy is to ensure that there is a regular flow of foreign funds to more..

Follow the law, not the mob!

Oct 22 (SL) The Presidential Commission investigating the Central Bank Bond scam is distinctive in that it is a commission investigating into allegations that reflect on high ranking politicians of the govt itself. Previous presidential commissions were appointed to investigate alleged acts of corruption or violations of the law by political opponents of the govt in power. Although the appointment of such a commission cannot whitewash wrongdoings of govt politicians – more..

Sangha’s guiding role in politics

Oct 22 (SO) The engagement of the Maha Sangha with the politics of society is a laudable demonstration of the role of spirituality actively contributing to the life of the community. It would be the same for any religion or for philosophical humanism. Ever since the Arahat Mahinda chose to engage with the monarchy of A'pura Kingdom for purposes of proselytization on a mass scale, the Maha Sangha has been given the recognition of intellectual guides in social and political management. more..

Public private partnerships not required for maintenance of highways: RDA Committee

Oct 21 (ST) SL’s expressways will generate enough revenue for the RDA to run, maintain and extend them for the next ten years. They do not require a public private partnership type financial model, a team appointed on the instructions of Cabinet Committee on Economic Management (CCEM) has said. Six-member group, comprising senior RDA officials, was set up in response to strong opposition by unions to a Ministry more..

Motorists voice concerns about new technology to monitor vehicles

Oct 21 (ST) Several vehicle-user associations raised concerns over the decision to use Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to monitor vehicles. Many of the associations said their awareness regarding the new technology is insufficient. All Island Three-wheeler Drivers & Owners Association President Sudil Jayaruk, while adding the project will be important for the security of both passengers and three-wheeler driver, said it should not be an additional burden for the poor people. more..

Sri Lanka A take stranglehold of 2nd Test

Oct 21 (JO) Left-arm spinner Malinda Pushpakumara and middle order batsman Roshen Silva excelled to help Sri Lanka A maintain their iron grip on the second 'Test' against West Indies A at the Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium here yesterday. Expertly exploiting worn spots on a pitch which dried out with extraordinary rapidity on the second day, Pushpakumara grabbed 6-52 as West Indies A resuming the day at 14-2 were bundled out shortly after Lunch giving the visitors a lead of 157. more..

Poverty down to 4.1%, but highest in North

Oct 21 (CT) Sri Lanka's poverty headcount declined to 4.1% last year, from 6.7% in 2012/13, when the last of such censuses were taken, Census and Statistics Department (CSD), in a report released on Thursday, said. Official Poverty Line (OPL) for last year was Rs 4,166 per soul per mensem, as opposed to real per capita expenditure per month for a person fixed at Rs 3,624 in 2012/13 to be poverty neutral then. more..

IG Punjab assures foolproof security

Oct 21 (GEO) Punjab IGP Arif Nawaz has assured foolproof security for the final T20 match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, scheduled to be held at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore on October 29. Speaking to Geo News, the IG admitted that sluggishness on the part of police had led to the attack on Sri Lankan team in Lahore in 2009. IG Nawaz pointed out that the provincial police had been providing the best possible security to the visiting cricket teams over the last two years. more..

Death of Jacintha Peiris

Oct 21 (CT) A few days ago 58 years old Jacintha Peiris of Mannar died of heart attack following her futile attempt in search for her husband Amalan Leon and son Roshan Leon. Jacintha was in Colombo to attend a Court case hearing last week over the disappearances of her husband and son. The case hearing was on some identity cards found at an alleged secret camp believed to have been operated by the Navy and the identity card of Jacintha's son Roshan Leon was also seized more..

Proposed constitution to be discussed with clergy: PM

Oct 21 (NR) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe says views will be exchanged with the clergy following discussions on the proposed new Constitution in Parliament. Three special meetings of the Constitutional Assembly will be held on the 30th and 31st of Oct and on the 1st of Nov at the Parliament complex. Talks will take place from 10.30 in the morning to 6.30 in the evening. Speaking at a function in Vavuniya more..

Sri Lanka Navy rescue seven members of Indian cargo ship

Oct 21 (PTI) Seven members of an Indian cargo vessel were on Saturday rescued by Sri Lankan fishermen, according to the spokesperson of the Sri Lankan Navy. A group of Sri Lankan fishermen had found the Indian cargo vessel heading for the Maldives. They rescued the crew members and handed them over to SL Navy, Navy spokesman Commander Lankanatha Dissanayake said. Navy has also announced that they returned six Indian fishing trawlers to India on Saturday. more..

Prelates decrying new Constitution Govt to blame says Mano

Oct 21 (CT) Minister Mano Ganesan said that the failure on the part of the govt to sufficiently enlighten the Chief Prelates of Malwatta and Asgiriya Chapters on the need to formulate a new Constitution was a massive shortcoming on the part of the administration. He said that despite the position taken by the Chief Prelates who had insisted on the non necessity of drafting such a Constitution, govt should take the rap for having failed to convince the Maha Sangha on its more..

SL will continue to work with UN, other firms by aligning govt. policy with SDGs

Oct 21 (DM) Sri Lanka will continue to work with the UN and other institutions by aligning the govt’s policy strategy with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Targets to be achieved by 2030, Minister Mangala Samaraweera said. Addressing the WB/IMF annual meeting in Washington recently, Minister Samaraweera said Sri Lanka’s broad development strategy had focused on a three-pillared agenda more..

BHC won’t discuss private correspondence with MPs or House of Lords

Oct 21 (Island) British High Commission (BHC) in Colombo yesterday declined to discuss what it called private correspondence with members of British parliament or the House of Lords. We asked the BHC whether Michael Morris, Baron Naseby, PC had sought clarification/information regarding wartime accountability issues here before he had urged the British government to get the UN and the UNHCR in Geneva to accept a civilian casualty figure of 7,000 to 8,000, not 40,000, and more..

President opens NIBM- Limkokwing National Innovation Centre

Oct 21 (PMD) President Sirisena vested the new NIBM- Limkokwing National Innovation Centre in Kirulapone with the students, today (20). National Innovation Centre is a result of a strategic partnership agreement between National Institute of Business Management (NIBM) and Limkokwing University of Creative Technology. National Innovation Centre aims to provide an empowering business education in disciplines for those who seek global professional knowledge/qualifications. more..

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