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Bakery Owners agree to reduce price of bread by Rs 5

Sep 19 (AD) Following a discussion held with Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, Bakery Owners’ Association said that they will be able to bring down the price of a loaf of bread by Rs 5 within several days. Association has guaranteed the Minister to reduce the price of a bread loaf, if the price of wheat flour is brought down, stated Chairman of the Association N.K. Jayawardena. Bakery Owners’ Association held a discussion with the Minister and more..

Sarpaya’s FB account operated by female lawyer

Sep 19 (DN) Attorney General informed the Colombo High Court that a Facebook account belonging to former Sabaragamuwa Provincial Councillor Hasitha Samantha alias Sarpaya who is on death row over a double murder is updated by a female lawyer and her sister. Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peiris appearing for the AG told High Court Judge Champa Janaki Rajaratne that CID investigations conducted so far revealed that this Facebook account had been operated by more..

Minister Sagala Ratnayaka undertakes official visit to the US

Sep 19 (SLE) Minister Sagala Ratnayaka undertook an official visit to Washington D.C. from Sept 12-13. During the visit Minister Ratnayaka met with Chairman Mac Thornberry of the U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee and Chairman Ted Yoho of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific. Minister also met with senior interlocutors of the National Security Council, Dept of State, Dept of Defence, US Agency for International Development (USAID) more..

Special High Court hears Gamini Senarath’s case daily from the 29th of Oct

Sep 19 (GDI) The first case to be taken up by the three-judge bench of the Special Trial at Bar decided today, to hear the case filed by the FCID against Gamini Senarath, who was former president Rajapaksa's chief of staff and Piyadasa Kudabalage, the former chairman of the SL Insurance Corporation, decides to hear the case daily, beginning from 29th of Oct. They are charged with misappropriating SLIC funds by more..

Release Tamil political prisoners: Sampanthan

Sep 19 (NR) Leader of the Opposition R Sampanthan has requested Prez Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe to grant an opportunity to discuss the release of Tamil political prisoners. Opposition Leader made this request in a letter directed to the Prez and the PM. The letter stated that decisions reached during the last meeting with the President have not been implemented yet. Opposition Leader accordingly claimed another round of talks should be held and agreements should be more..

Swarna Pusthaka – Sri Lanka’s richest literary prize presented

Sep 19 (Island) Five Sinhala novelists vied for a purse of Rs 1.25 million – Rs 750,000 to the winner and Rs 100,000 each to the five finalists. Presented annually for the past 11 years by the Sri Lanka Book Publishers’ Association (SLBPA), the Swarna Pusthaka (or Golden Book) award recognises the best work of Sinhala fiction published by a publishing company in the preceding year. The 2018 award was presented at a grand ceremony at the BMICH on Saturday, 15th September. more..

SL rupee falls to new low below 167 to dollar

Sep 19 (EN) Sri Lanka's rupee fell to a new low of 167 to the US dollar dealers said, as the central bank continued to inject cash to money markets around 50 basis points below the ceiling policy rate. The spot US dollar closed at 167.10/30 levels to the green back Wednesday down from 165.90/166.10 levels a day earlier. The spot dollar traded as high as 167.20 levels to the US dollar during the day, market participants said. more..

'Frustrated, but we have to back the team'

Sep 19 (DM) Though frustrated, Sri Lankan fans still have to back the Cricket team and push them to work harder, former cricket Captain Mahela Jayawardena said today. In a tweet, he said, “I can understand the frustration of all Sri Lankan fans and I am also one of you. We still have to back the team and push them to work harder,” “Looking at all the social media jokes and criticism on the team. Yes, they played poorly but let’s not get personal. It’s a sports. more..

Lies, damn lies and unbelievable manipulations of FTAs and New Trade Policy

Sep 19 (FT) According to the media reports, the President, taking into account the concerns of some professional associations, has appointed a Committee of Experts led by Professor W.D. Lakshman to revisit the SL-Singapore FTA and the New Trade Policy (NTP) of SL. As there are many explanations by the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade (MoDSIT) and other independent experts addressing various negative comments on FTA with Singapore, more..

ලංකාවට අවාසි වන සිංගප්පූරු ගිවිසුම

Rohitha permitted to travel overseas

Sep 19 (AD) The overseas travel ban imposed on former Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardena, who is charged over the alleged illegal acquisition of assets, has been temporarily lifted by the Colombo High Court. Presenting submissions at the hearing through a motion, the attorney representing the former Minister informed the court today that his client is supposed to travel to Norway, to attend a workshop on the Norwegian governing system. He further informed that his client needs to travel more..

Remove Food Taxes

Sep 19 (CT) Finance Ministry responding to protests by the trade, has reduced the value added tax (VAT) on fabric imports from 15% to 5%, the Ministry in a statement released on Monday said. Previously, imported fabric was only subject to a Rs 100, per kilo cess, which, however, in Budget 2018, was changed to a flat, 15% VAT, doing away with the cess. The VAT regime for fabric imports was operable from last month. Garment exports, SL’s second largest foreign exchange earner, more..

Ministry recommends to send DIG Nalaka de Silva on compulsory leave

Sep 19 (AD) The Ministry of Law and Order has recommended to the National Police Commission to place DIG Nalaka de Silva on compulsory leave with immediate effect, to facilitate the ongoing investigations into allegations against him. The ministry said that it has informed the National Police Commission of its recommendation. Director of the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) was temporarily transferred to Police IT div more..

Warrant issued on State Minister Hisbullah, several others

Sep 19 (DN) Valachchenai Magistrate M.Rizwan on Friday ordered the arrest of State Minister M.L.A.M. Hisbullah, his son and several others for allegedly taking away construction equipment, machinery and raw materials belonging to the Lanka Builders Cooperatives Society. The construction company have utilized these machinery, raw materials and construction equipment worth Rs.94 million for the construction of Batticaloa Uni more..

Video: Action could be taken against IGP’s behavior: Rajitha

Sep 19 (AD) Action could be taken regarding the IGP Pujith Jayasundara’s behavior, says Cabinet Spokesperson Minister Rajitha Senaratne. Minister stated this responding to a question of a journalist at the press briefing of Cabinet decisions held today. Media personnel questioned the Minister on the phone call recording of DIG Nalaka de Silva allegedly conspiring to assassinate the president, as well. more..

No ethnic problem in Sri Lanka: Prof. Channa Jayasumana tells UNHRC

Sep 19 (AD) Professor Channa Jayasumana says that the mythical history created by racists in Sri Lanka has led to violation of human right in all Sri Lankans. “The Tamil Vellalar leaders aspired to be the leaders of the country under the auspices of the British. In 1931 the British introduced universal franchise and the Vellalar leaders found that they could not become the leaders of Sri Lanka.” more..

Bus fares to be increased by 4%

Sep 19 (NR) Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva says bus fares will be increased by 4% from midnight tomorrow. Speaking to media after holding talks with bus trade unions at 10 this morning the Minister said the minimum bus fare of Rs.12 however will remain unchanged. The Minister said lengthy talks were held at the Ministry of Transport which was attended by the National Transport Commission and bus trade unions more..

Budget-2019 ahead of schedule

Sep 19 (CT) The Govt has decided to present Budget Estimates for 2019 on 5 Nov 2018, three days in advance of previously scheduled date. It was earlier decided to present Budget 2019 on 8 Nov, but the Govt Parliamentary Group that met at the Temple Trees, under the leadership of PM on Monday evening, had decided to present it on 5 Nov. The decision was changed following the Opposition pointing out that the days more..

China company out, Indians coming to rebuild northern roads

Sep 19 (ST) The Govt is proposing to drop a Chinese bidder selected on a competitive tender to rehabilitate RDA roads in the North and to obtain fresh proposals from two Indian companies for the same project because of geopolitical concerns. Proposals were invited through international competitive bidding with 100% confirmed financing for six packages to rehabilitate roads in the Northern and Eastern provinces. more..

Overzealous investigations into military affairs counter productive to transitional ...

Sep 19 (DM) Last Thursday, barely 48 hours after the regular Cabinet meeting, President Sirisena convened an emergency Cabinet meeting. The reason for this hush-hush meeting (President repeatedly urged his ministers not to divulge the substance to the media) was the impending arrest of the Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne by the CID. Admiral Wijegunaratne was accused of aiding more..

‘Gota can be defeated easily’

Sep 19 (DM) Minister Lakshman Kiriella, spoke about the current status of politics in the country, the possibly candidacy of former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the financial position of SriLankan Airlines. Q: What is your opinion on former President Mahinda Rajapaksa trying to obtain legal clearance to contest the presidency again? A: Mahinda Rajapaksa has no moral right to seek office again. more..

Hunt on for 10-year-old boy in Balangoda

Sep 19 (CT) There is a tiny house situated on a hill, in a remote and mist covered village named Samanalawatte located some 16 km east of the Balangoda Town where the occupants are praying for the safe return of their child who remains missing without a trace since 20 July this year. Ten-year-old Sahan Dharmasiri a grade six student from the Samanalawatte Vidyalaya was last seen clad in a three-quarter tailored trouser, more..

Of course ragging can be stopped!

Sep 19 (DM) Ever since I remember (and that dates back longer than I care to mention) ragging has been the hot topic vis-a-vis the Universities of Sri Lanka. Under Sir Ivor Jennings – or at least while he was Vice Chancellor, the Colombo University rivalled the British ones. The standards were so high it was felt that going to England for one’s education was not strictly necessary. The same education could be had right here in Colombo. Of course the more affluent ones went anyway – more..

Subtle methods of privatising Edu. & Health

Sep 19 (DM) It is said that Sri Lanka has a free education system and a free health service. To some extent, it is true as the Govt schools and hospitals do not levy fees legally from students and patients. However, in a sense, one cannot call the country’s education and the health services free because authorities have developed various methods to levy money from the students and the patients or push them to the wall, where they have to spend money for the same services. more..

Uproar in House over assassination plot

Sep 19 (Island) UPFA MPs, yesterday, demanded that DIG Nalaka Silva be arrested over an alleged plot to assassinate President Maithripala Sirisena and former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. Deputy Minister Sriyani Wijewickrama called for the arrest of DIG Silva, sacking of incumbent IGP and conducting investigations into the alleged plot under a new IGP. MEP leader Dinesh Gunawardena said more..

World’s most boring cricket team

Sep 19 (Island) A proud cricketing nation has been brought to its knees twice inside three days here in the Arabian desert as Sri Lanka crashed out of the Asia Cup in such an embarrassing way. Defeat to Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi Monday night was perhaps the lowest point in the history of Sri Lankan cricket. It remains to be seen whether it is a point of no return? The current side has no depth in batting, their bowling is toothless while fielding remains the worst in the world. more..

Speaker to take action against Vijayakala based on court ruling

Sep 19 (Island) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, said that he had been informed by the Attorney General that the latter would initiate legal action against former State Minister Vijayakala Maheswaran on her statement calling for the revival of the LTTE. He said so in response to a query raised by NFF leader MP Wimal Weerawansa. Weerawansa raising a point of order said: "Speaker gave an assurance to Parliament that he would seek information from the AG’s Department with regard to more..

Sri Lanka stops import of Iranian oil ahead of sanctions

Sep 19 (TN) Sri Lanka has stopped crude imports from Iran and is actively switching to other crude grades, as South Asian importers, including India, significantly restrict supply in anticipation of US sanctions against Tehran. "We stopped as soon as the sanctions were announced. We didn’t buy [directly] from Iran. We buy from Singapore, Dubai, Fujairah,” minister Arjuna Ranatunga told reporters in Fujairah. more..

Declining rupee, rising oil prices reverberate through Parliament

Sep 19 (FT) With the Sri Lankan rupee hitting a record low of Rs. 166.64 yesterday, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament the depreciation was inevitable and a global phenomenon common to all nations. “It is a question of why the dollar is getting stronger against all other currencies. Among many other currencies, the US dollar has strengthened. Due to this appreciation, the prices of goods have escalated in many countries. This is a global issue,” said the PM, more..

Gas price to go up, milk powder to be reduced

Sep 19 (DN) Cost of Living Committee appointed by the Cabinet recommended to increase the price of a 12.5Kg domestic Gas cylinder by Rs.195. Gas companies had made a proposal to the CoL Committee to increase the price of 12.5 Kg of domestic gas to Rs.325 considering the soaring gas prices in the world market and depreciation of the rupee against the dollar. However, the Committee has recommended an increase of Rs. 195 after taking the proposal made by gas companies more..

Accountability issues: SLFP decries TNA & SB

Sep 19 (Island) Minister and SLFP Vice President Mahinda Samarasinghe alleged that the four-party TNA always sought international intervention here in the wake of the successful conclusion of the conflict almost a decade ago. He condemned the TNA’s stand, alleging that the party was pursuing a hostile policy towards successive govts. Samarasinghe emphasized that the TNA’s call for int'l judicial mechanism was nothing new. more..

Ready to provide security to Gota if he requests: PM

Sep 19 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said the govt would provide police security to former Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa if he requested. He told parliament that if Mr. Rajapaksa thinks that his life was at risk, he could request for security. "As I know, we may have to provide him security due to the rift in the joint opposition. Do not try to gain political advantages from this incident," he said. PM said he was surprised that opposition members who were silent when more..

Perpetual Treasuries can’t subscribe for NDB Rights Issue

Sep 19 (ST) National Development Bank (NDB) is offering shares of under fire Perpetual Treasuries Ltd (PTL), holding some 7 million shares of its Rights Issue to prospective buyers as PTL will not be subscribing for them, informed sources say. The Financial Intelligence Unit of the Central Bank late last year ordered banks to freeze the accounts of firms related to Arjun Aloysius’ PTL to prevent the siphoning off of money gained from the infamous bond scam. more..

Kamer Nizamdeen’s family urges Australian authorities to arrest real culprit

Sep 19 (FT) A silent vigil was held yesterday at Independence Square demanding the release of Kamer Nizamdeen, with over 500 people gathering at the venue. Those gathered included family, friends, colleagues, civil society groups and rights activists. In a statement to the media, Nizamdeen’a maternal uncle Dr. Kaleel Cassim asserted that Nizamdeen had been framed and urged Australian authorities in charge of more..

Sri Lanka to release 173 boats

Sep 19 (Hindu) The SL govt has ordered the release of all the 173 trawlers confiscated by its navy since 2015 after arresting fishermen on the charge of illegal fishing in their waters. The govt order dated Sept 7 was received by the Fisheries Dept here last week and it is set to send a salvage team comprising fishermen, mechanics and officials to the island nation to assess the condition of the trawlers. “We have received the order and the salvage team will leave for Sri Lanka after more..

Q Branch police question LTTE member

Sep 19 (Hindu) Q Branch police have quizzed a suspected militant of the now defunct Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), who was part of a gang, which indulged in unlawful activities in Tamil Nadu in 2015 in a bid to revive the organisation. Q Branch police officials said C. Kumar alias Murugan alias Udyakumar, 37, hailing from Kilinochchi in the northern province of Sri Lanka, was part of a group of LTTE supporters, who procured cyanide capsules and other equipment. more..