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State Owned Enterprise reforms in full steam

Nov 11 (DN) The govt has launched a major restructuring programme for State Owned Enterprises (SOE), Finance and Mass Media Ministry Senior Advisor, Mano Tittawella said. Answering questions posed by the business community, on the ailing public sector, he explained that they were looking at either listing non-strategic enterprises on the stock market or handing them over to private sector management. more..

Present govt’s alleged fraud, corruption: Handunnetti to reveal all in Parliament

Nov 11 (CT) JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti said, his Party had decided to present to Parliament after 17 Nov, a heap of information regarding alleged large-scale fraud and corruption committed by the current Govt. He said, that the committee stage debate of the Budget will be held in Parliament from 17 Nov to 9 Dec and that the JVP intends presenting to Parliament during this period, a number of extremely significant evidence regarding many large-scale frauds & corruption taking place in ministries. more..

Champika warns of Colombo, parliament going under water...

Nov 11 (Island) Minister Champika Ranawaka said in Parliament that there was the danger of the dam at the Ambatale reservoir collapsing during a heavy shower and the entire Colombo city and Parliament getting inundated. Action should be taken immediately to reinforce the dam, which was likely to give way come the next rain, he said, adding the danger of Nagalagam Street Dam also collapsing. Colombo and Kelaniya were protected by two dams built more than 100 years ago by the British. more..

UN to review Sri Lanka’s human rights record

Nov 11 (DN) Sri Lanka’s human rights record will be examined by the UNHRC’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group for the third time on Nov 15, in a meeting that will be webcast live. The delegation of Sri Lanka will be headed by Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva. Sri Lanka is one of the 14 States to be reviewed by the UPR Working Group during its upcoming session taking place from 6 to 17 Nov. more..

Business confidence crawls up in October

Nov 11 (FT) Business Confidence Index (BCI) has recovered marginally following its crash in the previous month to reach 106 basis points in Oct, latest edition of LMD. Nielsen’s Managing Director Sharang Pant cautions in LMD that “large-scale concerns on the economy and business climate still persist.” He also notes: “While Vision 2025 has been welcomed by stakeholders, business leaders and consumers are looking for more on the ground and immediate action to rebuild lost confidence.” more..

Central Bank officer files FR petition against AG Department officers

Nov 11 (FT) Supreme Court fixed for support on 21 Nov the Fundamental Rights petition filed by a Central Bank officer seeking the Court to prevent him from being questioned by the Attorney General’s Department officers assisting the Bond Commission until the final determination of his petition. Bench comprised Justices Sisira De Abrew and Vijith Malalgoda. The Petitioner S. Pathumanathan in his petition cited Senior Additional Solicitors Dappula de Livera and Yasantha Kodagoda, more..

Bankrupting SL: Harsha details govt borrowing of Rs. 1.56 trillion last year

Nov 11 (FT) Govt has obtained Rs.1.516 trillion worth debt in 2016, Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva confirmed in Parliament yesterday. The weighted average yield rate (WAYR) due to the total debt obtained in the form of treasury bills from the domestic market for short-term and long-term instruments were 9.99% and 13.58% respectively. WAYR for SL Development Bonds, which is a domestic US dollar denominated more..

Wilpattu Deforestation and settlement: CA re-fixes argument on 8 February

Nov 11 (FT) Court of Appeal fixed for argument on 8 Feb next year the Writ Petition filed as public interest litigation on the alleged deforestation and illegal construction of housing project in the Northern Sanctuary of Wilpattu National Park. The Bench comprised Justices L.T.B. Dehideniya (President/CA) and A.L.S. Gooneratne. The Writ petition was filed by Centre for Environmental Justice (Guarantee) Ltd. citing the Conservator General, Central Environmental Authority, more..

CA fixed for order on Dr. Padeniya’s preliminary objections

Nov 11 (DN) The Court of Appeal yesterday fixed for December 6 to deliver its order regarding the preliminary objections raised by GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya in respect of a charge sheet filed against him over contemptuous statements. The Court was informed that the partied have filed written submissions regarding the preliminary objections. The Court of Appeal bench comprised Justice L.T.B. Dehideniya and Justice Shiran Gunaratne. more..

John Tarbet Junior Athletic C'ships: Joes, President’s Nawala champs

Nov 11 (Island) St. Joseph’s College, Darley Road, Colombo thrived on field events and relays, and President’s Balika, Nawala blossomed on the prowess of record-breaking sprinters Kavindi Edirisinghe and Ruwansa Weerakkody as the two schools won the overall championships in the boys’ and girls’ categories respectively of the 48th Sir John Tarbet Junior Championship concluded at Mahinda Rajapakse Stadium, more..

New Constitution should be drafted by the people, not a chosen few, says union

Nov 11 (ST) Proposed new Constitution should be the product of entire people of the country and not a chosen few, a trade union movement has said. Free Trade Zones and General Services Employees’ Union (FTZGSEU) in a statement which called for the new Constitution framework proposal to be through a People’s Process has urged the govt to present a work plan without any further delay to carry out the total programme of socialising the Constitution making process. more..

Banks must offer wider product suite to maximize digitalisation’s benefits: expert

Nov 11 (DM) Following is an interview with international trade finance expert Gary Collyer. The International Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka (ICCSL) will be hosting an international trade finance seminar on Past Challenges and Future Opportunities in Trade Finance. The one-day workshop will be held at Hotel Kingsbury on Nov 22, 2017. The workshop will be conducted by international trade finance professional Gary Collyer. Here’s an interview with Collyer addressing more..

President calls on the nation to take actions to protect children

Nov 11 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena emphasized that all should fulfill their collective responsibilities to build a safe country for the children; our nation’s future. ‘The govt is committed to ensure the protection of the children as well as to provide better education for them’, the President said, addressing Polonnaruwa District Conference of Daruwan Surakimu (Let’s Protect Our Children) National Programme, held at Polonnaruwa more..

NOC Election set for 9 January

Nov 11 (CT) Election and AGM of the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka (NOC) is finally set to be held on January 9 next year, it is nine years since NOC held their last AGM to elect office bearers. At the General Assembly of the NOC held on Thursday where the new Constitution came for ratification, none of the amendments were sanctioned without further change to the constitution. Assembly started around 6p.m. and went past 8 p.m. First proposal which was to more..

'Miss no opportunity from Budget 2018'

Nov 11 (DM) The Designer Budget presented by the new Finance and Mass Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera is said to have a number of blessings in disguise for which the country’s leading business chamber urged its community to thoroughly analyse the proposal so that no opportunity is missed. Implying that existing and new businesses can reap a plethora of benefits provided they know which areas to tap into, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Chairman Rajendra Theagarajah said: more..

රනිල් මෛත්රී කෙස් වලු පටලවගනී. දීගය අවසානද?

Ranil-Mangala budget and why SLFP must reject it

Nov 11 (Island) Mangala Samaraweera clearly reveals that the guiding philosophy of his Budget and indeed of the govt’s economic policy is manifestly not that of President Sirisena but rather that of PM Wickremesinghe when he says Mr. Speaker…In line with Vision 2025… Mr. Samaraweera’s budget is filled with lies, half-truths, dangerous ideas and outrageously treacherous policy suggestions. Its guiding philosophy, just as that of Govt’s Constitutional proto-draft more..

Sayurala leaves for ASEAN International Fleet Review -2017

Nov 11 (MoD) SL Navy's largest Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessel (AOPV), SLNS Sayurala left the country to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Int'l Fleet Review -2017 in Thailand, on Thursday. The ship left with a crew of 127 Naval personnel from Trincomalee, yesterday. This will be the first foreign sea voyage of Sayurala which joined the Navy's fleet in August, this year. International Fleet Review is scheduled to be held in Pattaya, Thailand from 18th to 21st Nov. more..

Mounting jeep safaris make Yala animals snarl

Nov 11 (DM) The overcrowding issue at Yala National Park has disrupted wildlife, jeopardized the nature experience of visitors to this facility and endangered the lives of animals. Ministry of Sustainable Development took action to solve longstanding issue. Environmentalists, former wildlife officials and even current officials of the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) claim that due to mounting political pressure, more..

The blossoming of Parasathu mal

Nov 11 (ST) When Chithra  Balasuriya set out to produce a film about an aristocratic landowner given to wine, women and song  titled Parasathu mal, little did he realize that five decades later, the film would continue to generate  the same  kind of interest it did when it was first released in 1966. The success of his debut film production took Balasuriya by surprise  and today at the age of 85, he still wonders  how luck played a role in putting him at the right place at more..

Hardik Pandya rested for Sri Lanka Tests

Nov 11 (CI) Hardik Pandya has been pulled out of the squad for the first two Tests against Sri Lanka due to begin on Nov 16. A media release from the BCCI said the selection committee had taken the call in consultation with the team management so as to lessen the allrounder's chances of injury. "Considering Mr Pandya's heavy recent workload, the decision was made to negate any possibility of a major injury concern. Mr Pandya will undergo a period of strength at conditioning more..

The Joke Riders at Diyawanna

Nov 11 (Island) It really needed a fuel crisis to get our politicians to ride bicycles. Those who rode bicycles to Parliament are not bikeholics – they are luxurholics, who have thought of riding a bicycle as a pastime of fun politics. In case they thought of getting more publicity than Minister Mangala Samaraweera presenting his first Budget, they did not have a good ride. Budget hit the headlines and cycle-jokers hit the sidelines. more..

Private sector pension scheme in the offing

Nov 11 (ST) SL’s private sector will be made more dynamic and forward-looking by providing necessary incentives (not tax exemptions) while motivating employees in the sector with the introduction of a new pension scheme along with existing superannuation fund reforms. Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s upcoming 2018 Designer budget is to unveil several proposals aimed at creating an economy firmly based on foreign and domestic investment harnessing maximum more..

Accommodative and conciliatory approach of the TNA

Nov 11 (CT) Speech made by Leader of TNA R. Sampanthan at the Constitutional Assembly debate on the Steering Committee Interim Report in Parliament was more accommodative and inclusive in his approach with a broader outlook than the stance taken by the first Tamil Leader of the Opposition and TULF the late A Amirthalingam during his parliamentary days. Nothing but a separate Tamil state of Eelam had been the manthra of the TULF from the time Vaddukoddai more..


Editorial: Guilty by suspicion

Nov 11 (Island) The UNHRC is apparently wasting its time and money on its campaign to have a hybrid war crimes tribunal set up in this country. For, UN expert and South African human rights lawyer, Yasmin Sooka, has already found the Sri Lankan troops guilty of war crimes! A member of the UN panel of experts on Sri Lanka, Sooka has faulted multinational fizz drink giant, Coca Cola, for sponsoring a motoring event organised by the Sri Lanka Army in August. more..

Failing to plan is same as planning to fail

Nov 11 (CT) Those who are on average older than 50 years may remember people staying in a long queue to purchase essential items during the United Front Coalition Govt of 1970-1977. Population was smaller then and needs were basic. The present queues, of a much larger scale, in and around petrol sheds over the last few days would have brought back some of those memories. Isn't it totally unacceptable that rejection of a single oil shipment could have caused so much distress to more..

May his legacy live on

Nov 11 (DN) Fish continue to swim under the soft coral growth. The coral growths house a pond divided by a bridge which leads to the monastery. The monastery sheltered a spiritual leader of this country. As you enter the Kotte Sri Naga Vihara premises, the life-size statue of its previous Chief Incumbent greets you with a fatherly smile. Venerable Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera needs hardly any introduction owing to his involvement in more..

Conserving Yala: An alternative approach

Nov 11 (GV) Much has been written and said about Block One of Yala National Park and its over-visitation, causing disturbance and danger to wildlife, thus jeopardizing conservation. The latest decision to cap the number of jeeps entering Block One at 500 is unsustainable for obvious reasons. This decision was a response to a pushback from jeep drivers to a previous cap at 200 jeeps – that is, 100 in the morning, 100 in the evening. As a result of the pushback, that decision never really took off. more..

How to win the referendum

Nov 11 (GV) Every country has two constitutions: a legal constitution and a political constitution. The focus for the past two years has been on the legal constitution. If the govt is serious about introducing a new constitution and winning a referendum it must now shift its focus to the political constitution. A constitution answers a series of question about the State. Is it unitary or federal? Which is more powerful, Parliament or the Executive? What rights do minorities have? more..

Expressways and obstacles

Nov 11 (SO) Expressways have been an integral part of the SL govt’s development plan in the post war era. In fact with economists identifying that the lack of a systematic highways network connecting the agricultural and industrial centers with other important towns as one main obstacle to the development of the country constructing expressways has been a main focus area of the Sri Lankan govt. more..

Crisis, Coalition, Constitution

Nov 11 (CT) Big Chief Wigneswaran has spoken. “Chief Minister of the Northern Province C.V. Wigneswaran stated that the only way the freedom of the Tamil community can be protected is through a federal constitution. Chief Minister made the above statement while addressing a press briefing yesterday (8), which was called to speak on the interim report of constitutional steering committee. He further cited Canada and Scotland as nations that stand as examples of federal states more..

The marxist head & The cultural heart

Nov 11 (CT) There’s a story from the 1971 insurrection that intrigues me even today. This story, I heard or rather read about from Malinga Gunaratne, who had in turn heard it from Victor Ivan. Apparently Victor had been arrested, interrogated, and imprisoned for his involvement with the insurrectionists and a series of attacks they had masterminded on police stations throughout the country. One of those attacks had involved a frontal assault on the Kadugannawa Station and more..

Concerns raised over banning Lanka e News

Nov 10 (DM) Several international and local media movements had condemned the govt’s decision to ban the news portal Lanka e News (LeN) stating the action a threat to sustaining media freedom. In a letter sent to President Sirisena, the Young Journalists' Association (YJA) had raised concerns about the blockage of the news portal Lanka e News (LeN) due to its critical reporting. YJA President Tharindu Uduwaragedara stated more..

Angling instead of netting

Nov 10 (DM) Three members from yahapalanaya crossed over to the JO during the past few months. However, Tikiri, the rebel from Wayamba, who was the first to make a big noise about their decision to quit the govt, stays put as quietly as a mouse. Meanwhile, JO stalwarts claim that it was according to a set plan that the dissident duo from Puttalam and the latest one from Gampaha have already quit yahapalanaya. The remaining dissidents too would follow suit in singles or doubles more..

Govt attempting to privatize education: JVP

Nov 10 (NR) The debate on the second reading of the 2018 Budget commenced this morning. The debate of the second reading of the 2018 Budget will continue till the 15th of November. JVP MP Nalinda Jayatissa accused the govt of attempting to privatise university education. He added that the govt should focus and invest more on free education. He said, “The budget has proposed the ownership of shares of state universities that are administrated by the UGC can be released to stock market. more..