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Govt hoodwinking people on Knuckles issue: JVP

Jun 17 (CT) The JVP has demanded that the Govt not make false declarations to the country that lands belonging to the Knuckles Climatic Forest have not been provided for private projects and to withdraw the Cabinet Paper which approved the handing over to private entrepreneurs’ lands from the Knuckles forest range. Uva Provincial Council JVP member, Samantha Vidyaratne said that it was confirmed following a tour of more..

Main suspect and 2 others arrested for shooting at Kiriwehera Chief Incumbent

Jun 17 (AD) The main suspect and 2 others have been arrested in Pepiliyana for allegedly attempting to murder Kiriwehera Chief Incumbent by shooting, said the Police. The main suspect of the incident is a person named Asela Lakshman Bandara, who had previously worked at the Mahasen Devalaya at the temple as a Kapurala. Two twin brothers have also been arrested along with Bandara for the same case. The chief incumbent of the Kiriwehera Rajamaha Viharaya Ven. Kobawaka more..

Lonely MRIA awaits stopovers

Jun 17 (ST) SL's loneliest airport, Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) may not have any scheduled flights but still welcomes unscheduled air traffic movement, airport officials said. In 2016 the airport saw about 49 int'l aircraft movements with four non-scheduled domestic aircraft movements and 398 non-scheduled aircraft movements that increased to 176 non-scheduled international aircraft movements and 440 non-scheduled domestic aircraft movements last year, more..

Sri Lanka to remove VAT from hospital bills

Jun 17 (EN) Sri Lanka will remove value added tax from hospital bills from next week,Minister Mangala Samaraweera said in the wake of calls by President Sirisena also to lift the tax. Sri Lanka slammed a 25% value added tax on hospital bills while threatening price controls on private hospital bills and also depreciating the rupee in a bid to boost exports by improving competitiveness which involves destruction of real wages of workers. more..

Postal workers to hold protest march on Monday

Jun 17 (NR) Postal Trade Union Collective says a protest march has been organised for Monday demanding a solution to their demands. Co-convenor of the Collective Chinthaka Bandara said the public has been severely inconvenienced due to the lack of permanent solutions. Bandara attributed the decision to hold a protest march to the failure by authorities to date to address their demands. Collective said 1.2 million letters and parcels have accumulated at post offices island wide more..

Land swindle in Knuckles Range: Ministry sends auditors to inspect site

Jun 17 (DM) The Public Enterprise and Kandy City Development Ministry has sent a team of auditors to inquire into the alleged transfer of 21,000 acres of land in the Knuckles Mountain Range to close associates of government ministers, Ministry Secretary Ravindra Hewavitharana said. He said the auditors were accompanied by officials of the Department of Forest Conservation, Grama Niladharis, Superintendents and officials of the related companies and residents of the area. more..

PC polls unlikely this year: Musthapha

Jun 17 (DM) The elections to six provincial councils are not likely this year because political parties are apprehensive of the outcome following the experience gained at the February local govt polls, Minister Faizer Musthapha said. He said delimitation report has to be debated and approved prior to any elections to the PCs and rejected certain media reports that he had agreed to hold the PC polls under the old system. more..

SLT gets acting head for six months

Jun 17 (ST) After months of being headless, Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) has finally found a CEO, but this acting appointment is yet to be announced to the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), which is a compulsory requirement. Kiththi Perera, earlier SLT Chief Commercial Officer, was appointed acting CEO with effect from June 1, more than two weeks back. Additionally Chief Technology Officer Priyantha Fernandez has been appointed as acting Chief Operating Officer (COO). more..

New set of public procurement guidelines soon

Jun 17 (CT) Sri Lanka is expected to save over 10 per cent of annual public procurement expenditure by strictly adhering to the proposed public procurement guideline by the regulatory body related to public procurement, the National Procurement Commission (NPC), its Chairman Eng. Nihal Wickramasuriya said. Addressing a recent press conference, he revealed that this is an improvement of the procurement guidelines that have been in operation for the last 12 years more..

Govt, CMPort continue discussions on $585 m payment

Jun 17 (ST) The govt this week continued discussions with the Chinese company involved in the Hambantota Port project, which has put on hold the last tranche of US$ 585 million to SL, examining some concessions in terms of tax benefits. Both sides are keen to resolve the matter without any delay, an informed source confirmed, adding that previous sticky issues are unlikely to block the deal and final payment. more..

Sri Lanka to crackdown on Internet fraud

Jun 17 (ST) In the wake of rapidly increasing online financial fraud, Sri Lanka has taken measures to strengthen laws and regulations aimed at preventing computer crimes. The Finance Ministry is working with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in strengthening laws to crack down on Internet financial crimes, a top official of the Treasury said. Anti-money laundering compliance has been enhanced by introducing amendments to the Trust Ordinance, Companies Act, and enactment of more..

Royal retain Schools Rugby League Crown

Jun 17 (ST) Royal won the Schools Rugby League and became the only team to retain the League title. It was a victory for Royal as well as coach Dushan Lewke who steered his p.rotégés to the League title in his first year of coaching. Lewke has proved he is worthy metal, beating Sanath Martis his guru of last year. Martis and Lewke were a force to be reckoned with, winning the coveted Bradby 3 years in a row. It is very unfortunate that Martis was attacked after the match. more..

Sri Lanka deny wrongdoing amid ball-tampering controversy

Jun 17 (CI) Sri Lanka have strongly denied any wrongdoing after being charged with altering the condition of the ball during the St Lucia Test against West Indies. Their players protested the charge - and the subsequent penalty of a ball change and the award of five extra runs to the opposition - by refusing to take the field at the start of the third day's play. The match eventually resumed after a two-hour delay, but more..

'Over 70% of rooms listed online unregistered'

Jun 17 (Island) Star-class city hotels in Colombo are reeling from drastically reduced occupancies resulting from competition from the informal sector. Mr. Lalin Samarawickrema, the Managing Director of Kingsbury PLC, says in the company’s annual report that over 70% of the accommodation on major online booking websites "is actually informal and unregistered homestays, guest houses etc." This websites have a room inventory of around 90,000 for the whole of Sri Lanka, he said. more..

Is Faizer doing a Gamini Lokuge?

Jun 17 (Island) Since the day the Appeal Court provided interim relief by staying Sri Lanka Cricket elections scheduled for 31st of May, Sports Minister Faizer Musthapha has committed some serious blunders and the game of cricket is in very sad state. Instead of appointing an Interim Committee to look after Sri Lanka Cricket, Musthapha appointed a Competent Authority, his Ministry’s Secretary to run the affairs of one of the richest institutions in the country. more..

Gabriel strikes for WI after narrow lead

Jun 17 (CI) Sri Lanka's quicks scythed through the West Indies lower order, and finished only 13 runs behind for the loss of one wicket by stumps. But it was what they did at the start of the day that loomed over this game. For two hours, they refused to take the field, and when they did, it was only under protest. The reason? Match officials had charged them with ball tampering, slapping on a five-run penalty, and more..

Indunil shatters 25-year-old SL record

Jun 17 (CT) Middle distance runner, Indunil Herath shattered the long standing record in the 800m of Sri Lanka, clocking 1 minute 47.14 seconds in Kenya yesterday afternoon. Indunil, who trains in Kenya was placed second in the Kenyan President’s Cup when clocking this record breaking time. He broke the 25 year old SL record of 1:47.56 seconds set by Ranjith Subasinghe back in 1993 South Asian Games. The South Asian Games gold medalist skipped the Commonwealth Games, more..

Hooked on cricket

Jun 17 (SO) Girls from Devapathiraja College in Ratgama, Galle became unsung heroes this year when they emerged as the inter school girls cricket tournament champions with a team of extremely talented hopefuls. One of the promising stars of the school, Kaveesha Dilhara, is already part of the Sri Lanka team playing as an off spinner. “I love cricket from my childhood but I didn’t play cricket at home. I only got the opportunity at my school when I played at the school sports meet at the age of 12”, more..

International community still bothered about Rajapaksas?

Jun 17 (CT) Prez Sirisena has alleged that certain interested parties were interfering in the investigations into the CB Bonds scam, by exerting undue influence on law enforcement authorities. He made these revelations, in an interview, in response to a question as to whether high level political interference could be inferred from a statement he made recently, where he had said that he was being stifled and not being allowed to carry out more..

2 Sri Lankan women making news overseas

Jun 17 (Island) I hand out kudos, (or should it be bouquets?) to the women of Sri Lanka across the board, especially to those with political or administrative power for their apparently clean hands and dedicated service to the nation. While accusations of receiving millions from companies affiliated to Perpetual Treasuries Ltd are being flung around with excuses of not knowing who signed the gift cheques, and do-good sleuths salivating to reveal more MPs’ names, we women are more..

SL - Singapore FTA: What has the govt committed this country to?

Jun 17 (Island) There is mounting disquiet in the country over the free trade agreement that the govt has signed with Singapore. What they have signed with Singapore is not an agreement that is restricted to trade in goods, but a more comprehensive arrangement that involves the trade in services as well. When this govt tried to sign a similar agreement with India, they encountered stiff resistance from the public and have all but jettisoned the idea. But this FTA with Singapore which more..

Satana

Balm for the soul

Jun 17 (ST) Kussi Amma Sera came running into the sitting room, shouting, Kokatath Thailaya Mahattaya enava gate-eka langa (Kokatath Thailaya Sir is near the gate)”. For a moment, I was completely confused then realised she was referring to Sando Kumar, my Kokatath Thailaya (remedy for all ailments) friend who drops in occasionally for a chat and provides a soothing balm for aching joints, before he leaves. Unlike most of us who’ll run to a doctor for the slightest ailment, more..

Ambassadorial swing and miss

Jun 17 (ST) My Dear US Ambassador Atul, I thought I should write to you because everyone is talking about you when you are about to leave us after spending several years in Paradise. All those years, hardly anyone knew your name and your presence was not felt but all of a sudden, you have become the hot topic of conversation. The reason for that seems to be a meeting you had with Mahinda maama. At that meeting you are reported to have made your thoughts known about Mahinda more..

Blood on the temple floor

Jun 17 (CT) The lights adorning the chaitya at the Kiri Vehera Rajamaha Vihara in Kataragama shone brightly on Tuesday night last week when the Chief Prelate Ven. Kobawaka Dammina and two other Buddhist monks made their daily routine religious observances before retiring for the day. The three monks had started to descend the flight of steps that lead to the chaitya when the night’s silence was shattered with sound of gunfire. more..

MPs for hire

Jun 17 (ST) Never more has the importance of transparency in campaign financing been relevant than now, when at least two Members of Parliament are revealed to have accepted millions of rupees from a company whose chairman subsequently became embroiled in one of Sri Lanka’s worst corruption scandals of recent times. Investigators sifting through piles of documentation related to the Central Bank bond scam will receive in the coming weeks the details of other cheque payments more..

Why preferential tax rates for anybody?

Jun 17 (Island) It is commonly accepted almost everywhere that equity is a first principle of taxation. But not so in this so-called democratic socialist republic, which drives its tourist promotion with the claim that Sri Lanka is a land like no other. Many people would surely agree with that claim for reasons different to those who apply that blurb to promote this country as an idyllic vacation destination. The current effort by our high earning medical consultants and specialists, more..

Behind the fond farewell in Vishwamadu

Jun 17 (SO) In the backdrop of militarisation fatigue and continuing calls for the removal of the armed forces from civilian structures in the war-affected Northern and Eastern Provinces, scenes last week of Tamil civilians and ex-LTTE combatants in Vishwamadu, Mullaitivu bidding a senior military officer tearful farewell on his transfer to Ambepussa, sent shock waves all over the country. more..

Name & Shame

Jun 17 (CT) Interfering with the law is a punishable offence. Nonetheless, Prez Sirisena had said that vested interests were interfering in the probes related to the alleged multibillion rupee Treasury (T) Bonds scam that took place during the period 27 Feb 2015 to 30 June 2016, a period covering his current tenure in office. These scams allegedly involve CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran, his son-in-law Arjun Aloysius and his family-owned company Perpetual Treasuries (PT). more..

Elephants, forests and humans

Jun 17 (SO) Last week, in the nick of time, Prez Sirisena responded swiftly to the calls of nature conservationists and the local population and stopped the capture and transfer of the last two wild elephants living in the world famous Sinharaja forest reserve. Whether these Elephas maximus maximus will be allowed to remain in their homeland or whether these two animals will finally be trucked out to another habitat depends on either a holistic conservation plan or another whim more..

President asks group of 16 to remain united

Jun 16 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena is reported to have requested the 16 SLFP members, who quit the govt, to remain united amid reports about a split among the them. Eleven of the 16, excluding MPs Susil Premajayantha, John Seneviratne, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa and John Seneviratne had met the President on Wednesday and discussed the current political situation in the country. Some among them are said to be more..

Underworld thrown into disarray by STF

Jun 16 (DN) Operations conducted by the Police Organized Crimes Division and the STF resulting in the recent killing of Iresh Nawagamuwa alias Baila has destabilised operations of underworld figures Makandure Madush and Angoda Lokka. Madush is suspected to be in hiding in Dubai and Angoda Lokka is abroad, SP Ruwan Gunasekara said. It has been revealed that Iresh Madushanka’s death was a blow to Madush as more..

Microfinance-related suicides in North on the rise

Jun 16 (CT) In the wake of a spate of microcredit repayment-related suicides, several civil society organizations – women supporting good governance and NGOs in Mannar urged the Govt to release people from the clutches of microfinance. They argue that many lives in the Northern Province were being ruined and that in recent times a spate of microcredit repayment-related suicides have been reported. more..

Too much monkey business causing havoc on many fronts

Jun 16 (ST) Large troops of monkeys, sometimes numbering 50-100, are causing havoc in populated areas in a grab for food, with homes and public property suffering damage in many areas. Monkey attacks come up as one of the main complaints heard at District Secretariats and agriculture-related meetings. Monkeys are causing damage to crops, roofs, power cables, telephone lines and water lines and are even attacking more..

Union says too many women running railway off track

Jun 16 (ST) Recruiting unskilled employees under political influence has resulted in about 6,000 vacancies for professionals in Sri Lanlka Railways, a union official said. Railway Employees’ Union Convenor S.P. Vithanage claimed that there were only about 20 professionals to maintain the upcountry services. He said women were recruited on the recommendation of politicians from time to time and they could not run more..

Video: Mahinda will choose the most suitable presidential candidate: Gotabaya

Jun 16 (AD) As a leader who identifies the thoughts and wishes of the people, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa would choose the most suitable individual as the next presidential candidate, says former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. He made these comments while speaking to reporters after meeting with the Chief Incumbent of the Getambe Rajopawanarama Temple in Peradeniya, more..

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