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'No need to have a fresh law to regulate NGO activities'

July 25 (DM) Minister Mano Ganeshan, in an interview, spoke about the current status of the constitution making process and the role of NGOs. Q: There are different activities- cultural events - being conducted for the promotion of reconciliation. Yet, there is a school of thought by some Tamil leaders that none of them will serve the real purpose without a new Constitution. What is your position regarding this as the Minister? more..

Is the govt playing good cop, bad cop?

July 25 (DM) It’s notable that President Sirisena gazetted the controversial Office of Missing Persons (OMP) Act during the visit to Sri Lanka of Jeffrey Feltman (19-21 July), UN Under Secretary General for Political Affairs. Similarly it appears that high profile arrests of officials associated with the govt’s political rivals from the previous regime, also tend to take place during these visits – as if to prove a point to external observers. The unprecedented arrest of Commodore D.P.K. Dassanayake more..

Sino-Indian troop confrontation in Bhutan

July 25 (DM) On June 16, 2017, Chinese road construction workers accompanied by Chinese troops began moving into the tri-junction of Doko-Lam where the borders of the three countries – India, China and Bhutan meet. Chinese authorities claim they were in the process of constructing a road within their territory. The Chinese workers had also demolished an old bunker used by the Indian army at the tri-junction in Sikkim, after the Indian army refused to comply with a Chinese demand.   more..

Arjun Aloysius paid Ravi’s Penthouse lease

July 25 (Island) A witness dropped a bombshell while giving evidence before the Presidential Commission on bond scams. Former owner of a 4,000-square-foot luxury apartment at Monarch Residencies, situated at Colombo 3, Vinodani told the Commission that it had been first leased out to Ravi Karunanayake till the renovation work on his house was completed, but the lease had been paid by a company connected to Arjun Aloysius. more..

Docs on strike

July 25 (Island) GMOA is scheduled to conduct a one-day strike today (25) to pressure the govt to meet four of its demands including taking action against those responsible for the attempted abduction of a student leader in Colombo late last week. Ex-Co member Dr Chandana Dharmaratne said the union had given the govt adequate time to initiate a proper investigation into the attempted abduction of Medical Faculty Students’ Action Committee Convener, Ryan Jayalath and more..

Today’s Economic Summit to focus on solutions to national challenges

July 25 (Island) Govt Ministers, Opposition MPs and Govt Advisers will take center stage at the eighth and the last session of the Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2017 to discuss current national challenges faced by the country and possible solutions for those issues. The session, titled, Transformative Solutions to Current National Challenges will take into discussion Sri Lanka’s ongoing reconciliation process, economic reform agenda, Law and Order situation, national debt burden and more..

Cabinet to decide today fate of Rs. 193b costing, Rs. 47b loss making H'tota Port

July 25 (FT) Cabinet is scheduled to decide on the future of the Hambantota Port, built by former President Rajapaksa through a loan costing Rs. 193 billion, which has since accumulated a loss of Rs. 47 billion. Following many rounds of negotiations as well as months of scrutiny and revisions due to concerns, a restructure of the Hambantota Port has been proposed under a public-private partnership whereby the govt via more..

Customs officials seize 2.4 kg gold smuggled from Sri Lanka

July 25 (Hindu) In an early morning operation on Monday, Customs Preventive Unit (CPU) sleuths seized 2.4 kg of gold biscuits, smuggled from Sri Lanka, through the sea route after intercepting two fishermen on the coast between Mukuntharayar Chathiram and Dhanushkodi. Acting on specific intelligence, a six-member team, led by Superintendents Muniasamy and M. Pugazhendi, visited the seashore around 1.30 a.m. and made the seizure after intercepting the fishermen, more..

Those who prevented white van abduction to be arrested

July 25 (Island) Colombo Crimes Division is getting ready to arrest all those who obstructed its officers who tried to arrest convener of Medical Faculty Students’ Action Committee Ryan Jayalath at the GMOA premises last week. CCD sources said that they had reported the incident to court. IGP Pujith Jayasundara said that it was a serious offence to obstruct policemen attempting to arrest a warranted person. Those who obstructed the arrest and helped the suspect to escape. more..

Video: CPC launch indefinite strike

July 25 (DM) CPC Trade Union launched an indefinite strike from midnight today (24) citing what it called the govt’s inability to repeal the agreement which would allegedly handover the China Bay oil tanks farm in Trincomalee to India and the Hambantota port to China. CPC TU Collective Convener D.J. Rajakaruna said a cabinet paper was planned to be presented tomorrow (25) to Parliament regarding the handing over of more..

Ravi won’t appear before Commission today

July 25 (DN) The Treasury Bond Commission issued a notice last week summoning Minister Ravi Karunanayake to testify before the Commission. Minister Karunanayake’s lawyer Sandun Gamage appearing before the Commission yesterday informed that his client is unable to appear before the Commission on July 25, 2017 as summoned. Gamage said Minister Karunanayake is unable to appear before the Commission due to official commitments he has on the specific day. more..

An airport within Colombo harbour

July 25 (DM) The Megapolis and Western Development Ministry announced that it had submitted a proposal to the govt to build an airport within the Colombo Port premises. The ministry believes that if this project becomes a reality, it would be the strongest port in the region. Minister Champika Ranawaka said if the proposal is implemented within the next 10 years, the people would capable to airlift from the Colombo Fort without going to BIA. more..

Nallur Shooting: Police uncover all

July 25 (CT) Police investigating teams have uncovered all information about the chief suspect who shot at the Police Sergeant and the Constable travelling for the protection of High Court Judge Manickavasagar Ilancheliyan, one of the three members of the committee appointed for hearing of the case against Vithya's murder incident in Jaffna. It has been revealed that the gunman had been a member of the LTTE more..

Kyle wins second Silver

July 25 (CT) Kyle Abeysinghe created history by becoming the first ever Sri Lankan swimmer to win two Commonwealth Junior Championship Swimming Medals when he clinched his second Silver at the Commonwealth Youth Games being held in Bahamas. Abeysinghe finished second in the Boys 50m Freestyle final with a time of 23.38. He secured his first medal on Saturday in the 100M Freestyle event. So far Sri Lanka has only won two Silvers and both were clinched by Kyle Abeysinghe. more..

Average inflation remains at 18-month high

July 25 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s annual average inflation remained at a more than 18-month high of 6.1% in June, unchanged from a month ago. National Consumer Price Index which measures nation-wide inflation is the most recent consumer price index that has been released monthly from Oct 2015. Data is available for the annual average percentage change since Dec 2015 where the index reported 3.8%. Annual average inflation or 12-month moving average is the percentage difference more..

Video: 'Law and order collapses in Jaffna'

July 25 (DM) Saturday’s shooting incident, in which a police officer was killed, showed the breakdown in the law and order situation in Jaffna today, Minister Mano Ganesan said. He said the IGP and the other senior police officers in charge of the region should take responsibility for the shooting and said immediate action should be taken against the culprits. Meanwhile, he criticized the police spokesman for his statement more..

CB takes steps after HNB customer info leak

July 25 (LBO) Central Bank has conducted a preliminary investigation into a leakage of information of more than 4,000 customers of Hatton National Bank, and supervisory measures have been initiated, the central bank said. “Central Bank wishes to inform the general public that a preliminary investigation was conducted by CB and as per the information available at present, it appears that this incident had occurred inadvertently relating to certain banking info of 4,630 customers,” more..

Tony Weeresinghe brings Wall Street to Colombo investors

July 25 (FT) Sri Lankan IT pioneer Tony Weeresinghe will this week in Sri Lanka be launching his latest venture Ustocktrade, a revolutionary online trading platform that offers individual and institutional investors access to US securities at an unprecedented $ 1 per trade, with sale proceeds credited the same day. Approved by the Central Bank, the platform is open to Sri Lankans with US dollar RFC or NRFC account with specified banks. more..

Rich fly to Singapore for lifesaving dengue vaccine; poor helpless due to Ministry delay

July 25 (FT) With deaths caused by dengue nearing 300, concerned affluent Lankans have been travelling to Singapore to get a lifesaving dose of the vaccine whilst a delay in Health Ministry approval locally has left most poor people helpless. Sources said the rich in recent weeks have flown to Singapore, one of the 17 countries where the world’s first WHO-approved dengue vaccine by Sanofi Pasteur is available for sale. more..

Sri Lanka to exceed 2.2 m tourist arrivals target this year: Minister

July 25 (FT) Tourism Development Minister John Amaratunga expressed confidence that Sri Lanka could see as many as 2.5 million tourist arrivals in 2017, higher than the official target of 2.2 million, if the Indian and Chinese markets were effectively promoted and managed. “There is no problem in reaching the target of 2.2 million tourist arrivals. If we can tackle the Indian and Chinese markets we can attract an adequate number of travellers from these countries,” he said. more..

Commercial Bank & Sampath Bank pioneer real-time online Customs payments

July 25 (Island) Commercial Bank and Sampath Bank together announced the introduction of real-time, online payments to Sri Lanka Customs through their respective online banking platforms. Having received all necessary regulatory approvals, the two leading private banks are the first to go live with this service. This announcement comes on the heels of the SL Customs’ historic implementation of an online payment platform for Customs payments in partnership with the Central Bank. more..

Electric vehicle owners form club, urge Govt. to liberalise imports

July 25 (ST) Electric Vehicle (EV) Club, a collection of EV owners in Sri Lanka, says more electric vehicles should be encouraged in SL as it cuts the country’s fuel bill while minimising environmental pollution and fumes. To discuss these matters the EV Club met last week where Mahisanka Abeywickrama, Co-Founder EV Club said that their main objective is to examine the problems confronted by them & find speedy solutions. more..

Ashwin thrilled to return to happy hunting ground

July 25 (Island) India’s leading spinner Ravichandran Ashwin says he is thrilled to return to Galle, a place that has given him happy memories during his team’s last tour to the island. Ashwin took a match bag of ten wickets when India played in Galle two years ago and he finished the series with 21 wickets, an effort that earned him the Player of the Series award. "To come back to a place where I did really well last time in 2015 is like a dream come true because it was some sort of more..

Hiruni, Cooray and Nimali make the cut

July 25 (CT) Three Sri Lankan athletes have made it to the final list of the IAAF World Championship 2017. The qualification period ended on 23 July at midnight. Javelin thrower Waruna Dayaratne is in the final list of 32 athletes and there is every possibility that he too will get a chance to participate at the Championship. Two marathoners living overseas, Anuradha Indrajith Cooray (London) and Hiruni Wijayratne (USA) have qualified for the World event, while more..

Car registrations decline

July 25 (DN) Car registration has declined in June compared to May. However brand new motor cars registration has shown a marginal increase by 6% from 982 in May to 1,044 in June. Small car segment share dropped slightly from 94% to 92.6%. Financing share for Large cars declined from 37.5% to 26.8%, medium car financing share increased from 25.7% to 30.5%. Small car financing share increased from 58% to 61%. more..

Cash coming into Unit Trusts again

July 25 (ST) David Pieris Group company-owned Assetline Capital’s Assetline Income Fund which was Rs. 7.7 billion in March, down from Rs. 22.3 billion in February, was back up to Rs. 23.6 billion as at end April, data showed. This is certainly not due to renewed interest in unit trusts (UT), analysts say, but due to the Inland Revenue Bill getting entangled with implementation problems including Supreme Court petitions. For this reason, the bill is unlikely to be implemented retrospectively more..

Making fingerspin great again

July 25 (CI) On July 2, 2009, Rangana Herath was about to go to his gym in Stoke-on-Trent in northern England. He was 31, a veteran of 94 first-class matches, but only 14 of them were Tests. He wasn't really expecting to add to that tally any time soon. Not yet an int'l cricketer, having made his IPL debut two months previously, R Ashwin was perhaps going through the previews to gear up to watch India play an ODI in the West Indies on July 3 and then the Test between SL & Pak in Galle from July 4. more..

Can Mathews arrest batting slump?

July 25 (CI) Angelo Mathews, 30 years old, former captain, once the owner of a fearsome average, now merely a very good one, potentially a great batsman still, but man, the last 18 months have not been kind. For a player of such indisputable quality, it has been a strange decline. Remember how he had been in 2014 - that last great year of Sri Lankan cricket - when out of nowhere, he hit a harvest so golden, more..

The bill on enforced disappearances

July 25 (Island) Bill states that it seeks to give effect to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances. Convention that was ratified by Sri Lanka on May 3, 2016 came into force on June 24, 2016. The Bill neither specifies the context in which it is intended to operate nor defines Enforced Disappearances. Under these circumstances both context and definition have to follow what is stated in the International Convention. more..

Ward system, a step towards reducing corruption

July 25 (NS) Ward system based on the first-past-the-post (FPP) voting will certainly do some good towards cleansing Sri Lankan politics as it is now the time for the much maligned PR system to go out. If PR system cannot be completely discarded with, at least a mixed system could be a good starting point. There are strong signs that much postponed Local govt elections are to be held at last. Both President and PM have indicated that these elections could be held by December or January. more..

UNP engineered Bond Scam

Editorial: Yahapalana white vans

July 25 (Island) The so-called white van culture dates back to the late 1980s, when the J.R. Jayewardene govt, troubled by southern terrorism, unleashed brutal force disproportionate to the threat and plunged the country into a bloodbath. It flourished under the Premadasa regime, which brought the JVP’s reign of terror to an end. Pro-ruling party death squads, at that time, used nondescript white vans which were so ubiquitous that they did not attract anyone’s attention, more..

Need for practicality coupled with principle

July 25 (SL) The fact that the dengue pandemic has reached the proportions it has, leading, among other responses, to the German govt issuing a travel advisory for Sri Lanka does not appear to have ‘fizzed; on the current bunch of self-seeking politicians posing as those providing us with governance of some description. Many years ago, after the use of Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, better known as ‘DDT’, as an insecticide was banned, I recall that chemical being more..

'Prioritize FTAs with China and India'

July 25 (CT) Importance of commercial diplomacy has been highlighted in recent times. CT spoke to Chair of the Global Economy Programme at Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute, Dr. Ganeshan Wignaraja who is an experienced professional in International Economics. Q: In the recent past, the Foreign Ministry has given much importance to commercial diplomacy. Why is commercial diplomacy important for SL? more..

Do we need a new constitution?

July 25 (CT) This week marks the 34th anniversary of Black July 1983, one of the darkest days post independence in Sri Lanka. The killings, arson, and looting sent shockwaves around the world and soon the ruthless killings by the Tamil terrorists were forgotten by the international community and the blame shifted to the Sinhalese community. The govt was unable to protect the minorities (including the Tamil inmates at Welikada Prison) and this only made matters worse. more..

Falling in line with UN

July 25 (CT) Minister Rajitha Senaratne responding to the recent comments made by the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Counter-Terrorism Ben Emmerson on the human rights situation in Sri Lanka emphasized the need of not antagonizing the UN. Emmerson met the press in Colombo on the very day (15) Navy Commodore D. K. P. Dassanayake was remanded by the Fort Magistrate on the charge of aiding and abetting in enforced disappearances of 11 youths when more..

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