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Make the office of Auditor General the most powerful audit office

Nov 1 (CT) A leading weekend print media reported recently that the final draft of the National Audit Bill was submitted to the Office of the PM Ranil Wickremesinghe by Legal Draftsman on 14 June 2016 and it is held up there since then. Ranil Wickremesinghe, whose days as the premier appear to be almost numbered, should see the importance of making the office of the Auditor General absolutely independent and most powerful. He should comprehend the bigger picture more..

UNESCO Resolution: Zionist Media Spin & Sri Lanka’s Abstention

Nov 1 (CT) UNESCO Resolution on Occupied Palestine which was endorsed recently by its’ Executive Board comprising representatives from 58 states, and approved by 24 votes to 6, with 26 abstentions and two absentees, has already raised a hornet’s nest. Sri Lanka was among the abstentions. The situation stems from many misrepresentations about this Resolution, painted misleadingly by several news outlets fed by Zionist controlled Media over the past week, more..

CEB tender failure

Nov 1 (SO) Deputy Minister Ajith Perera is blaming CEB engineer unions for a 5-month delay in new energy production initiatives, while Power Ministry officials warn that the long delay will worsen the anticipated energy shortage by 2018. He said that delays in the tender board procedure for new energy proposals was due to the failure of CEB engineers to participate in the tender process because of trade union politics. more..

Sri Lanka’s history curriculum

Nov 1 (GV) Seven years since the conclusion of the armed conflict in Sri Lanka, there is an opportunity to build bridges between divided communities. In this context, education is key to meaningful reconciliation. Education is a tool that can create religious and ethnic tolerance, and build inter-faith co-existence. The role of education systems in constructing counter narratives to tackle radicalisation and extremism is well documented. This article examines Sri Lanka’s history more..

Achieving durable reform in Sri Lanka

Nov 1 (GV) Time and again, countries that have experienced repression and armed conflict have an opportunity to transition to a better future. Yet, only a minority succeeds. Challenges may appear obvious, but the path forward is rarely so. And, as the initial optimism generated by the 2015 elections comes to an end, the SL case is proving no exception. Many Latin American states overcame military dictatorships, but still experience very high levels of violence and inequality. more..

Footnote group belittled AG

Nov 1 (CT) Chairman of the COPE Sunil Handunnetti says UNP MPs on COPE belittled the Auditor General during the investigation. "I cannot understand why the govt is trying to save a couple of persons at the cost of sacrificing the AG and COPE unity in the process." Q: Are you satisfied with the COPE report on CB Bond scam? A: Yes. I am highly satisfied. It was a successful exercise getting all MPs on COPE to agree to more..

Editorial: Municipal waste

Nov 1 (Island) Unsorted garbage won’t be collected in municipal areas with effect from today, the govt has announced. Inconvenient as this move may be to the public, it is a step in the right direction provided all other measures necessary to make the project a success have been adopted. Separate bins and bags for different kinds of garbage will have to be made available. At present the public haphazardly piles up bags of garbage at designated places to be picked up by municipal workers more..

Independent commissions & all the brouhaha

Nov 1 (ST) Last Sunday’s perceptive editorial in this newspaper on President’s sudden and unexpected critique of some independent commissions and its implications might have touched many a raw nerve. The fact is that however annoyed or disturbed they may be that editorial which also provided interesting background to the wielding of political power, spoke some home truths. President’s sudden and unexpected critique of some independent commissions have touched a raw nerve. more..

Face the Nation

Sri Lanka worth $ 74 billion but impact of CBSL Bond scandal?

Nov 1 (FT) In the recent Brand Finance release on the value of a nation, Sri Lanka registered a 74 billion dollar value at a commanding growth of 9% as at the 2016 report. However, the good news got wiped away last week when the cutting-edge COPE report on the bond scandal was released. The decision sure shook the country and we will have to see how this issue affect the brand ratings of 2017.  The logic is that Brand Finance, the originators of the valuation, has been mentioning to SL more..

Transitional justice needs to go beyond war-related accountability

Nov 1 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena addressing the Armed Forces, Gallantry Awards 2016, last week said that certain media organisations, journalists, NGOs and traitorous forces act without realizing the importance of ensuring national security. The President, who is constitutionally vested with the authority of Commander-in-Chief of the Sri Lankan security forces said he was not ready to compromise national security in order to please NGOs. more..

Sri Lanka holds policy rate at 8.5%, credit growth slows

Nov 1 (EN) Central bank said it is keeping unchanged at 8.5% its Standing Lending Facility Rate (SLFR), the policy rate at which cash in injected to the banking system, as credit growth began to decelerate. CB Monetary Board also decided to maintain the Standing Deposit Facility Rate (SDFR) unchanged at 7%. “Growth in credit granted to the private sector by commercial banks decelerated to 27.3% in August 2016, more..

Cremer's leap out of obscurity

Nov 1 (CI) Graeme Cremer does not tend to attract much attention, but there is a story about Zimbabwe's captain that provides some insight into his character. He had been rested for a warm-up match against West Indies in Sharjah in March ahead of the World T20 but after Neville Madziva injured a finger while fielding, Cremer had no problem stepping in. He took a good catch on the boundary and then insisted on batting when Zimbabwe collapsed. more..

Teenager takes 5 wickets in 5 balls

Nov 1 (DN) Captain of Tissa MMV and right-arm fast bowler Mithira Thenuwara performed the rare feat of taking five wickets in five balls including a hat-trick in an under 13 tournament schools cricket match against Kalutara Vidyalaya at Kalutara on Saturday. Thenuwara took three wickets off the last three balls of one over and followed it up with two wickets off the first two balls on his next over to finish with figures of 5 for 28 in the Kalutara Vidyalaya first innings of 80. more..

Cremer's 102* helps Zim avoid follow-on

Nov 1 (CI) A fantastic rearguard effort from Zimbabwe's middle and lower order, led by Graeme Cremer's maiden Test ton, helped the hosts avoid the follow-on and post 373 after they had slumped to 139 for 6 in the morning. Peter Moor put his wicketkeeping woes behind him to contribute with an 84-ball 79 and Donald Tiripano struck a composed 46. Cremer, batting at No. 8, played an attritional Test innings, more..

Seylan Bank records Rs. 2,828 mn PAT

Nov 1 (DN) Seylan Bank continued its growth momentum by recording a Profit after Income of Rs. 2,828 million, for the nine months ended Sept 30, 2016. This is a 3.6% increase over the Rs. 2,730 million reported for the corresponding period of 2015 and has been achieved despite rising interest rates. Interest income grew by 33.7% driven by the sustained credit growth achieved by the Bank. Interest expenses increased at a faster pace of 59.5%, thereby compressing margins. more..

‘Declining yields making Sri Lanka a loser in global tea sector’

Nov 1 (Island) Sri Lanka is losing its competitive edge in the global tea sector due to increased production costs and also a decline in the tea yield owing to dropping fertility levels in the local soil due to excessive use of chemical fertilizer, Immediate Past President, Tea Exporters Association Rohan Fernando said. "Besides those issues, the local tea export sector is now going through a major crisis due to the economic slow down in Russia, the Middle Eastern crisis, Iran trade embargoes more..

SL peacekeeping troops of UN mission in Lebanon recognized

Nov 1 (SLA) Sri Lankan officers and other ranks who have now completed their assignment in the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) were recently awarded customary UN Medal in appreciation of their service and dedication to the duties in the UNIFIL. UNIFIL Deputy Force Commander Brigadier General Sandeep Singh Bajaj as Chief Guest for the awarding ceremony after a formal military salute on arrival at premises, more..

SLR slides further; Yet, records 2nd lowest figures to-date

Nov 1 (CT) The exchange rate (ER) continued to plunge, falling by nine Sri Lanka cents to sink to its second ever lowest value of Rs 149.78 to the US dollar in its average retail selling price among commercial banks in Colombo at 9:30 a.m. yesterday, data showed. The stock market was not dissimilar, sinking to its second lowest turnover in the calendar year to date with a figure of Rs 142.44 million at yesterday's trading. As Sri Lanka is an import dependent economy, more..

Error on Health Ministry website causes confusion

Nov 1 (Island) Health Ministry claimed there had been an error in a list published on its website about next year’s annual transfers. Official sources of the Health Ministry said that the list published was the first draft. It invited alterations from hospital administrators and medical officers. Particular noted list was drafted with the concurrence of institutional heads and medical officers thoughout the country and prepared by the subject clerks and the Medical Officers working in MOHRIMS. more..

'SriLankan Airlines management to go global mid-2017'

Nov 1 (FT) Eight non-airline international investors have sent in expressions of interest (EoI) to take over the management of SriLankan Airlines, and following discussions over the next few months, a transaction is likely to take place around mid-2017. Deputy Minister of State Enterprise Development Eran Wickramaratne said that the interested investors will be shortlisted to two or three names before the end of this year. more..

IOGT International Celebration Conference inaugurated under the patronage of Prez

Nov 1 (PMD) I have no doubt that Sri Lanka’s remarkable position as the first country in Asia, and the fourth in the world, to ratify the WHO FCTC, and other achievements in the field of prevention of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, stated President Maithripala Sirisena addressing the inauguration of IOGT International Celebration Conference, today (31). “In my former office as Minister of Health, I understood the necessity for effective policies, laws and regulations to control more..

Sri Lanka to host French Travel agents

Nov 1 (SLT) The Syndicat National des Agences de Voyages (SNAV), now referred as Les Entreprises du Voyage (LEV) will be staged in Sri Lanka from Oct 31 - Nov 5, 2016 at BMICH. This is a significant landmark for Sri Lanka, since this the first time in 10 years that the Congress is to be held at a long haul destination. Created in 1944, LEV is a professional organization with the membership of 5,700 State approved travel agencies & tour operators of France representing more than 5,000 sales points. more..

Ravi K ratchets up hopes

Nov 1 (FT) As the days tick down for Budget 2017 Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake yesterday stepped forward on tax issues, insisting that the Government would focus on a consistent and coherent system as well as opening up space for key investment areas including housing and the implementation of anti-dumping legislation in January. Responding to issues, suggestions and comments from the business community at more..

Govt clears Galle Yacht Repair Project

Nov 1 (CT) The govt has decided to handover the Galle Yacht Repair Project to Sea Gulf Shipyard (Pvt) Ltd which is a subsidiary of listed MTD Walkers Group, Adviser to the Ministry of National Policy and Economic Affairs R Paskaralingam said. Addressing a 10th session of Ease of Doing Business Forum recently, he directed the Finance Ministry officials to expedite the project after considering grievances of Seagulf Shipyard Director Dr. Sarath Obeysekera. During the forum Dr. Sarath Obeysekera more..

Kudu Roshan’s relative shot dead

Nov 1 (DM) A 59-year-old man said to be a close relative of 'Kudu Roshan' who was recently arrested on charges of masterminding the Mattakkuliya quadruple killing was shot dead at the Wadduwa Railway Station this morning, police said. The man who was employed at the Kelanitissa Power Station had left home on his way to the station around 4.45 am. His body was found on the railway platform. Investigations are continuing. more..

'H'tota Port and Mattala Airport re-born'

Nov 1 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said said Sri Lanka was in the process of agreeing to a debt-equity swap with two Chinese companies to manage the loss-making Hambantota Port and the Mattala Airport. He said the two entities would be converted to exclusive Investment Promotion Zones on the baisi of a PPP with Chinese companies paying US$1 billion to Sri Lanka while absorbing their debt portfolio. more..

Businessman’s strangled body in hotel room

Nov 1 (CT) The body of a 62-year-old businessman was found in a room of a hotel in Urapola in the early hours of yesterday morning, Police Media Unit said. Police said the businessman's body when found, appeared to have been strangled to death, in a hotel room in Urapola, Nittambuwa. He was a resident of the Urapola area, the Police added. Reason for the murder has not yet been uncovered, the Police said, but that investigations are being carried out into the murder of businessman. more..

Customs officers protest irregular appointment

Nov 1 (FT) Customs officers on duty at the head office and air cargo department staged a walk out protest yesterday in response to claims that the Director was reappointed despite being over the retirement age. Officers demanded an immediate reversal to this appointment. SL Customs Union claims that the employee, who was previously the Director Information Technology, has now been appointed as of IT, post which they claim is outside known classification, rules & regulations. more..

JVP to petition SC over loss suffered by EPF due to bond scam

Nov 1 (Island) JVP-led ICEU is planning to move the Supreme Court against Monetary Board of the CB over the massive loss suffered by the EPF due to bond scams. President of ICEU Wasantha Samarasinghe said the JVP also demanded the appointment of an expert committee to ascertain the actual loss suffered by the EPF due to bond scams. He said the Central Bank had lost Rs. 55,850 million due to bond scams during more..

Mihin Lanka bids adios

Nov 1 (DM) Budget airline Mihin Lanka will cease operations from today in line with the current Govt's policy to amalgamate the airline with the national carrier Srilankan. Budget airline launched in 2007 was operating at a huge loss for several years with some economic analysts attributing the losses to mismanagement while others to under capitalization. Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne said that Minin Lanka would only be amalgamated with Srilankan and that it would not be a merger. more..

Jaffna Uni students to meet President today

Nov 1 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena will meet with Jaffna University students today over the incident in which two university students were allegedly shot at by the police for not complying an order to stop their motorbike. The students of the university launched a protest campaign last week against the killing and demanded that action be taken against those who were responsible for the shooting. However, the week-long protest campaign was suspended by the students yesterday more..

UNP picks holes in COPE report

Nov 1 (Island) UNP said COPE Chairman Sunil Handunetti owed an immediate explanation to the public as regards his decision to leave out UNP recommendation for a criminal investigation into the alleged CB bond scam on Feb. 27, 2015. Deputy Minister Ajith Perera said that he had made that recommendation on behalf of the UNP group in the COPE on Oct 24. He stressed that he called for a criminal investigation into the alleged more..

SLFP committee to study COPE report

Nov 1 (DN) SLFP yesterday appointed a committee comprising senior lawyers to study the COPE report on the CB bond issue, reliable sources said. Sources said that this committee will make recommendations to the party on how it could help a future course of action against those responsible for this scam. Central Committee arrived at this decision after a majority of members were of the view that a financial irregularity has allegedly had taken place in the treasury bond issue. more..

Disabled Police and Tri Forces members demand pension

Nov 1 (FT) After discussions with the Defence Ministry failed, disabled members of the Tri Forces and Police demanding a pension upon reaching retirement age, occupied the road near the Fort Railway station saying that they would continue the protest until an acceptable offer was made. Earlier yesterday the protesting military members marched from the road towards Galle Face Green from the Lotus Roundabout. They were then granted a meeting with Defence Ministry officials but more..

Agitated over killing of two students, Jaffna University bars entry to Vice Chancellor

Nov 1 (ENS) In the continuing agitation over the killing of two of their colleagues by policemen on Oct 20, Jaffna University students on Monday barred VC Dr. Vasanthy Arasaratnam from entering the campus. Relenting after some time, they allowed the VC in and had talks with the visiting Minister D.M. Swaminathan. Talks resulted in the decision to return to classes, which the students had been boycotting since Oct 21. more..

Aftermath of the Bond Scam report

Nov 1 (DM) t is interesting to note that the much hyped report presented to the parliament by the Chairman of the COPE Sunil Handunnetti on the controversial CB bond issue has so many fathers. Also it is encouraging to note that the report was a unanimous one. It is more interesting to note that Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera had said that his party, the UNP had expected a tougher report than what has been presented in the Parliament.   This is Sri Lankan politics. more..

Alleged attck on old Couple and Son

Nov 1 (DM) Rasika Jayasekara and his parents were physically assaulted at their house in Diganaby allegedly by a Naval rating , his brother and father. There had been a heated argument between Rasika and the father of the Naval rating in the afternoon of October 13. That very night the navy rating , his brother and father were alleged to have broken open the front door of Rasika’s house and assaulted Rasika and his parents, who were later hospitalised. It was also alleged that more..

'The Constitution’s tricky issues'

Nov 1 (DM) Constitutional reforms have been a significant highlight in any govt. During the previous regime much power was vested upon the Executive President, which was criticised by many parties. The removal of executive powers of the President, devolution of powers and reforms to the electoral process, are some of the key highlights of the new draft Constitution, which will be presented in Parliament by the end of this year. more..

Sri Lanka drops off Global Impunity Index for the first time

Nov 1 (CG) Sri Lanka, where violence against journalists has receded since the end of a decades-long civil war, has dropped off the latest Global Impunity Index of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) for the first time since CPJ began calculating the index in 2008. Impunity Index, published annually to mark the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists on Nov 2, calculates the number of unsolved murders more..