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Edu. Ministry had violated the Constitution in appointing teachers: PM

Jul 12 (DM) Ministry of Education has been violating the Constitution in appointing teachers for the past 30 years, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said today. PM came out with this statement at the launch of Subaga Scholarship scheme for school children at Temple Trees last morning. “A clause was included in the 13th Amendment that only teachers who hold a degree or a diploma should be appointed to schools run by the central govt and PCs. more..

Dialog powers Woman Entrepreneur of Year 2017

Jul 12 (Island) Dialog Axiata PLC, Sri Lanka’s premier connectivity provider, partners the Women’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce (WCIC) to power the 10th installation of the Women Entrepreneur of the Year. WCIC is a non-profit organisation instrumental in channelling change and providing a platform for Sri Lankan women to become successful entrepreneurs. Dialog aims to support the WCIC in identifying successful business women across multiple categories including more..

Opened letters & parcels in Galle under inquiry

Jul 12 (NR) Department of Posts has launched an extensive investigation into an incident of a stock of parcels and letters at the main Post Office in Galle being opened. When inquired Secretary to the Ministry of Posts and Postal Services RMDB Meegasmulla said he is awaiting a full report on the matter. The Secretary said an investigation was launched after the incident was reported. The stock of opened parcels and letters were found in the office of the supervisor at more..

Govt fleecing public through fuel price manipulation: MR

Jul 12 (DM) Former President Rajapaksa said today the govt had fleeced the public through the manipulation of fuel prices and urged it to explain to the public why the retail price of fuel was disproportionately high today. “The latest price increase is being justified in terms of a price formula which nobody has seen. It is quite clear that this govt is aiming to collect more tax revenue from fuel by increasing and reducing fuel prices more..

Trilingual programme for MPs a failure: Mano

Jul 12 (NR) Minister Mano Ganesan says programmes introduced for Parliamentarians to learn all three languages have been unsuccessful. Speaking to media in Dambulla Minister said the programme was a failure as Parliamentarians failed to attend teaching sessions. Minister Ganesan stressed the public's money was used to initiate these classes in Parliament adding Tamil Parliamentarians were asked to learn Sinhala and Sinhala MPs were asked to learn Tamil. more..

Karunaratne celebrates 50th Test in style

Jul 12 (CI) 4: The number of SL openers who have carried their bat in a Test innings. Dimuth Karunaratne joins Sidath Wettimuny (63* v New Zealand, 1983), Marvan Atapattu 216* v Zimbabwe, 1999) and Russel Arnold (104* v Zimbabwe, 1999) in this elite group. 55.05: Percentage of SL's runs scored by Karunaratne on the opening day of the Galle Test. Only seven others Sri Lankans have scored a higher percentage of runs in a completed Test innings. Asanka Gurusihna's 63.4% more..

Herath, Karunaratne help Sri Lanka end tough day on a high

Jul 12 (CI) An unbeaten century from Dimuth Karunaratne neutralised the South African threat on the opening day of the Test series in Galle, after the visiting attack burrowed their way through Sri Lanka's middle order. Playing in his 50th Test, Karunaratne was the only Sri Lankan batsman to score more than 26 runs and featured in five partnerships of over 40 - the last stand of 63 with Lakshan Sandakan - more..

Most Indian, Western tourists in Sri Lanka satisfied with hotel stays

Jul 12 (EN) Most Indian and Western tourists visiting Sri Lanka are satisfied with their stays in hotels, according to the latest airport survey done by the SL Tourism Development Authority. Of the over 1,000 tourists who answered questions in the survey, 63% had stayed in hotels. Another 16% stayed in guest houses, and 8% stayed in boutique hotels. The highest number of respondents in the survey were from India, Germany, UK, Australia and Russia, aged between 20-29 and were male. more..

No mention of allegations, Bellana accorded safe exit from Blood Bank

Jul 12 (CT) The Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine has removed Dr Rukshan Bellana from the position of Director, National Blood Transfusion Services with effect July 10, 2018. Allegations of wrongdoing by Bellana and complicity on the part of the Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne as well as the involvement of the minister’s brother, let to trade union action that brought the institution to a standstill for the first time in its 68 year history. Secretary to the Ministry of Health more..

ගස් වවමු රට හදමු

Has Sri Lanka been beaten by Myanmar?

Jul 12 (FT) We have heard that the great Lee Kwan Yu wanted Singapore to be like Sri Lanka way back in the sixties. Today, Singapore is a $ 349 billion economy whilst we are at just a quarter of that value at around $ 85 billion. Then we consider ourselves to be better than Bangladesh. Once again, way back in 1990, SL, Bangladesh and Vietnam were at just $ 2 billion in export revenue. Today, Bangladesh is at $ 37 billion and Vietnam is at $ 213 billion whilst Sri Lanka is at just $ 11.5 billion. more..

Stability, Not Laws

Jul 12 (CT) Seventy one year old J.R. Jayewardene, soon after he was elected to power in July 1977, opened up the economy. As a result, a flood of Western banks set-up office here. Among those were the German based European Asian Bank, the forerunner to Deutsche Bank; Citi Bank, USA; American Express Bank, USA; Bank of America; The Netherlands based ABN Bank, the forerunner to ABN-Amro Bank; France based Bank Indosuez, Chase Manhattan Bank, USA and more..

Fears that Sri Lanka death penalty moves will hit GSP+ access

Jul 12 (EN) Fears are rising that SL’s plans to execute drug dealers, ending a 42-year moratorium on carrying out the death penalty, may endanger the GSP+ free trade concessions with the European Union (EU), industry analysts say. EU frowns on the death penalty, which is no longer carried out in many countries, and calls itself the leading institutional actor and largest donor in the fight against death penalty worldwide. more..

Ex-UL Chairman’s drivers earned excessive salaries: Official

Jul 12 (FT) Three drivers working for former SriLankan Airlines Chairman Nishantha Wickramasinghe earned hundreds of thousands of rupees in overtime and other payments, with no official oversight to check if their work claims were verified, a top official told PCoI. SriLankan Airlines Company Secretary Dalrene Thirukumar provided evidence demonstrating that the three drivers who worked under more..

Sri Lanka banks need Rs. 19 billion in fresh capital: Fitch

Jul 12 (EN) Sri Lankan banks face challenges due to slower economic growth, weak consumption and regulatory reforms which will require fresh capital of about 19 billion rupees, Fitch Ratings said. "Sri Lankan banks face challenges due to slower economic growth and pressure on disposable incomes," Fitch Ratings said in a report on Asia Frontier Bank Reforms in Sri Lanka, Mongolia and Vietnam. more..

Keith Noyahr assault case: Prosecution told to obtain docs from Def Secy

Jul 12 (CT) Mount Lavinia Additional Magistrate Lochana Abeywickrema, ordered the CID to obtain necessary documents connected to the Baduwatta Army Camp and the Maradana Tripoli Army Intelligence Quarters from the Defence Secretary, in connection with the case concerning the assault and abduction of Journalist Keith Noyahr. She also ordered the CID to desist from exerting pressure on lower ranked more..

Lanka Labor Demand Survey 2017 identifies occupations demanded by private sector

Jul 12 (Island) On a request by the Policy Development Office of The PM’s Office, Dept of Census and Statistics (DCS) has conducted the first ever survey on the labor demand in the country in 2017. The island wide survey supported by Int'l Labor Organization (ILO) aimed to identify the demand for employment requiring different skills and formulate appropriate policies related to education and vocational training in the country. more..

JVP organises countrywide protests against fuel price hike

Jul 12 (Island) The JVP will conduct a two-day countrywide protest campaign next Monday and Tuesday against fuel prices hikes, which it calls unfair. JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva, said that the govt had jacked up fuel prices on May 10 and at a time the people were burdened with increases in the prices of essentials and bus and trishaw fares. "This back-to-back fuel price hikes are unbearable. more..

Estate workers’ daily wage: Digambaram won’t allow his portfolios hinder agreement

Jul 12 (Island) Minister Palani Digambaram says he is ready to give up his portfolios to pave the way for a collective agreement between estate management and workers. Digambaram, leader of Workers’ National Front says he wouldn’t mind if his move could facilitate a collective agreement, advantageous to workers. Digambaram said that he was ready to make a personal sacrifice in case interested parties felt his ministerial more..

Concerns over move to Reinstate Controversial CMC Commissioner

Jul 12 (DM) The attempt to bring the former Colombo Municipal Commissioner back to office by a group of UNP Municipal Councilors has raised eyebrows in the council. Former Colombo Municipal Commissioner V.K.A. Anura was removed from office early this year on the recommendation of the Presidential Commission. This was after the commission probed into the collapse of the Meetotamulla garbage dump and found that more..

Bank’s security inadequate, police warnings went unheeded

Jul 12 (ST) Lapses in security arrangements at a State bank in Thalawa are being probed, as the search for the robbers who got away with Rs 160 million in cash and jewellery, continues. Initial investigations revealed the gang had broken into the bank from the rear, close to a scrub jungle. A senior Police officer in the area said the OIC of Thalawa Police station, on a visit to the bank late last year, warned the management that more..

Fuel price hike: President kept in the dark by treasury officials

Jul 12 (DM) Prez Sirisena was outraged at Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting for keeping him in the dark about the move for the upward revision of fuel prices last week. First, the decision was taken at a meeting attended by the Prez last Thursday to revise the prices in conformity with the pricing formula adopted for the purpose. Accordingly, the prices were to be increased effective from last Friday. more..

Shall we make swimming a mandatory skill?

Jul 12 (DM) The nail biting episode of Thai caves got the whole world glued to the television sets for a week. While the rescue operation was midway, a school principal and three others here in Sri Lanka died due to drowning in Ek Gal Oya in Ampara after their boat capsized. Even otherwise we hear about drowning incidents at regular intervals either in the sea, rivers and streams or tanks occasionally with tourists too becoming victims. An island surrounded by the mighty & unpredictable Indian Ocean more..

Sushma Swaraj’s gumption and India’s abiding arrogance

Jul 12 (DM) The Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, addressing top diplomats posted in neighbouring countries (July 3, 2018), opined that India should not focus on competing with China on resources. That’s sensible considering resource-mismatch. She also said that India must closely watch all Chinese activities. That’s sensible too, considering India’s economic and strategic interests in the region. This (and what follows) has been reported in the HT of July 8, 2018. more..

CIABOC determination: MPs can sell their duty free vehicles

Jul 12 (Island) The CIABOC has cleared the way for lawmakers to sell super luxury vehicles imported under special duty free scheme available for MPs since the 1970s. Secretary to the CIABOC Shanthi Jayasekera has asserted that the transfer of vehicles imported by lawmakers wasn’t contrary to the Bribery and Corruption law. Jayasekera was responding to attorney-at-law Nagananda Kodituwakku, who, at the onset of more..

Declining ethics, morals blamed for businesses going behind politicos

Jul 12 (DM) The decline of ethics and morals in SL’s business community has led businesses to heavily depend on excessive lobbying to politicians to gain favour and unfair advantage over the competitors, a leading shipping and logistics industry figure lamented. SL Shippers’ Council Chairman, Chrisso de Mel, highlighted that due to the decline and demise of ethics and morals such as integrity and honesty, business leaders have lost the right spirit in which businesses should be carried on. more..

Petition against Maharagama UC election

Jul 12 (DN) An election petition had been filed in the Colombo High Court seeking a declaration that the election of 23 candidates who contested for the Maharagama Urban Council under an independent group (motorcycle symbol) is invalid and that they are disqualified. The petition had been filed by 21 candidates nominated by the UNP at the Local Authorities election held on Feb 10, for the election of the Maharagama Urban Council. Colombo High Court Judge Gihan Kulatunga fixed more..

BLOOD BANK DIRECTOR transferred out

Jul 12 (CT) Acting Deputy Director of the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS), Dr. Rukshan Bellana has been removed from his post, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. He asserted that there was no crisis at the service, also known as the National Blood Bank, including no strike on the part of the GMOA which had been demanding that Dr. Bellana should be removed over certain allegations, including those pertaining to the purchase of more..

Mihin liquidator ordered to submit documents by July 25: PCoI on SriLankan

Jul 12 (DM) Chairman of the PCol on irregularities at SriLankan Airlines, SriLankan Catering and Mihin Lanka, former SC Justice, Anil Gunaratne ordered Mihin Lanka Liquidator, Sudath Kumara to submit the relevant documents to the Commission on July 25. SriLankan Airlines Company Secretary, Dalrene Thirukumar told the Commission that at times the overtime payments to former SriLankan Airlines Chairman Nishantha Wickremasinghe’s drivers had been over Rs.50,000. more..

Domestic fuel prices will depend on global trend: Rajitha

Jul 12 (DM) The govt would decide on fuel prices in the domestic market on the 10th of every month after taking into account the fluctuation of fuel prices in the global market, Cabinet Spokesman, Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said. However, private bus operators will not be permitted to increase bus fares accordingly because a hike in bus fares took place recently which was for a period of two years, he said while addressing the weekly Cabinet news briefing yesterday. more..

Third Intl. airport for SL in Trinco Master Plan

Jul 12 (FT) The proposed Trincomalee Master Plan project includes a third international airport for Sri Lanka as well as an international cricket stadium. The Master Plan envisions a massive development drive for the Trincomalee District and adjacent regions to make it the Eastern Gateway of SL. The project proposal was handed over to PM Ranil Wickremesinghe by Singaporean Consultancy group Surbana Jurong more..

Fixed CESS rate of Rs. 10 per kg for tea

Jul 12 (FT) Cabinet this week approved to impose a fixed CESS rate of Rs. 10 per kg of tea exported, Cabinet co-spokesperson Gayantha Karunathilaka told the Cabinet. At present, tea exporters pay either Rs. 20 per kg, considered highest in the market, Plantation Minister Navin Dissanayake told the Cabinet, proposing the revision. Pointing out a number of reasons which makes the current system of collecting CESS, which is done on a monthly basis, problematic, Minister informed more..

Lakdhanavi responds to Daily FT article over Kerawalapitiya LNG deal

Jul 12 (FT) With reference to the Daily FT article on Tuesday titled More bidders cry foul over tender process for second Kerawalapitiya LNG power plant, Lakdhanavi Ltd. has sent the following statement: The above article that appeared on the front page of Daily FT of Tuesday 10 July may require certain clarification for the reader to understand the facts clearly. We have provided below our explanation highlighting misrepresented facts along with the corrections. more..

Traffic fine increase, will increase Govt. revenue

Jul 12 (DM) Private Bus Operators and taxi operators voiced their displeasure over the fuel price hike that came into effect midnight and the new increased fines for traffic offences. All Ceylon Private Bus Association (ACPBA) said it had decided to hoist black flags on buses to express its opposition to the recent fuel price hike and implementation of new traffic fines from Sunday. more..

Susanthika showers praise on Sports Minister

Jul 12 (DN) Olympic medalist, Sports Ministry consultant and Director of the Sugathadasa Sports Complex, Susanthika Jayasinghe whilst thanking Sports Minister Faiszer Mustapha to make use of yesteryear champion athlete’s knowledge and experience for the betterment of the future of Lankan athletics, showered praise on another former Sports Minister late VA Sugathadasa. “Today is a special day as we celebrate the birth of V.A. Sugathadasa which fell on July 10. more..

Singaporean investors keen to enter services and manufacturing sectors

Jul 12 (DN) Subsequent to the signing of the Singapore-SL Free Trade Agreement (FTA) there is already interest among Singaporean investors to invest in services and manufacturing in Sri Lanka and this FTA can catalyze more, Minister Malik Samarawickrama said. He was speaking at the Outreach Seminar on Tuesday in Singapore. “There is also much potential for diversification of exports through the trade-investment nexus that this agreement encourages, as well as new JV more..