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Sri Lanka seeks to grow economy with help from Baker & McKenzie

Aug 30 (AL) Baker & McKenzie's Hong Kong office was hired by the govt of Sri Lanka to advise officials on financial laws in other countries and jurisdictions, the firm confirmed Monday. Sunday Times reported that the global legal giant will be paid $2.3 million for 12 weeks of work. Some of that work will involve drafting and revising the country's IP, real estate, restructuring & tax laws, according to the publication. more..

Rs. 5 mn worth party pills seized at mail exchange

Aug 30 (DM) The Customs officials at the Central Mail Exchange (CME) today seized a parcel containing 1000 recreation tablets worth Rs.5 million, which were imported from the Netherlands, Deputy Superintendent of Customs Lal Weerakoon said. “A parcel of 1000 tablets containing methamphetamine as active ingredient was seized for the first time in the history of the Sri Lanka Customs,” he said. “One 24-year-old person from Grandpass in Colombo was arrested, while more..

Evaluation of A/L and Scholarship answer scripts begins

Aug 30 (ITN) The evaluation of the G.C.E. A/L and Grade Five Scholarship answer scripts commenced today. The first stage of the marking of answer scripts of the A/L Examination is scheduled to take place at 31 centres until the 11 of this month. The Examinations Department said that 6876 teachers are participating in the process under 382 Evaluation Boards. Six schools will be kept closed throughout this period. 21 schools will be kept partially closed. The marking of answer scripts of more..

Giving accountable amnesty to abductors is doing injustice to victims’ families: HRW

Aug 30 (ENS) Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said that the recommendation of SL Commission to Investigate Complaints Regarding Missing Persons that perpetrators of abductions be given accountable amnesty is tantamount to rendering injustice to the families of the victims. Concept of accountable amnesty is outdated and falls short of int'l standards, says James Ross, HRW’s Legal & Policy Director. more..

Two govt ministers removed as defendants in SLTB case involving MR

Aug 30 (AM) Two good governance govt ministers have been removed as defendants in the case filed by SL Transport Board in the Commercial High Court over the default of payment of Rs 142 million. The original case filed in August 2015 had seven defendants namely former President Rajapaksa, the former UPFA General Secretaty Susil Premajayantha, former SLFP General Secretary Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Gamini Senarath, Amal Senadhilankara, UPFA and SLFP. more..

Viharamahadevi Park: Time to finish what Gotabhaya started

Aug 30 (LBO) Viharamahadevi Park, once called Victoria park, is the showcase public park for the city of Colombo. It rests in a place of prominence in our city and has a vital role to play in the development and beautification of the proposed Megapolis. I have visited the park well over one hundred times in the last few years. It is a park where I have seen the poorest of the poor, and the richest of the rich traversing the same grounds, whether its famous politicians, media moguls, more..

'Govt to discuss Peace-Building-Fund with UNSG'

Aug 30 (DM) Govt will discuss the setting up of a Multi-Million Dollar Peace Building Fund (PBF) for Sri Lanka, sponsored by the UN, during the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s three-day visit to Sri Lanka, a senior Foreign Affairs Ministry source said. Deputy Foreign Minister Harsha De Silva said that the objective of the PBF was to ensure fast and flexible funding in support of various peace-building & reconciliation efforts in SL. more..

Admission of SL students uo Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT)

Aug 30 (HCI) Govt of India has decided to provide opportunities for admission of meritoriousSri Lankan studentsto the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) in India, from the 2017-18 academic sessions onwards. In this regard, a delegation of faculty members from IITs will visit Sri Lanka in the first week of Sept 2016 to interact with students and parents of GCE A/L students, and final and pre-final year engineering students, regarding IIT entrance examinations, more..

Sacred elephants abused during Sri Lankan Buddhist festival

Aug 30 (F24) Amateur videos showing elephants being abused by handlers during one of SL’s biggest Buddhist festivals have recently emerged. This type of abuse is not new: our Observer, a veterinarian in SL, says that elephant owners and authorities turn a blind eye to this type of behaviour for both financial and political reasons. Kandy Esala Perahera festival is one of the oldest Buddhist festivals in SL. It began as a procession that took place in the 4th century, when a relic – a tooth that was more..

'No need to praise Sri Lankan army for its post-war good deeds'

Aug 30 (ENS) C.V. Wigneswaran, Chief Minister of Northern Province, said that the Tamils need not praise the SL armed forces for their post-war development work in the North because these are only reparations for what they did during the 30 year conflict. He was commenting on Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s statement in Jaffna, that Tamils should praise the armed forces for the many good deeds they are doing after the war. more..

Sri Lanka chamber envisions global businesses with Mattala, Sharjah link

Aug 30 (EN) Sri Lankan investors can build global businesses by linking with Dubai's Sharjah airport free zone and Mattala airport, accessing a larger global market without state restrictions, officials said. Secretary General of Sri Lanka's Federation of Chamber of Commerce Ajith Perera said local firms who set up shop in Dubai can build a value chain linking Sri Lanka. "FCCISL stands for the free flow of goods and services across the globe," he told a business forum in Colombo. more..

New SLFP organizers appointed for Ududumbara and Yatinuwara

Aug 30 (CG) Two new organizers were appointed by the Sri Lanka Freedom Party for the Ududumbara and Yatinuwara electorates, the PMD announced today. President Maithripala Sirisena, in his capacity as the President of the SLFP, handed over the letters of appointment to Deputy Minister Anuradha Jayaratne, as the new SLFP organizer for the Ududumbara electorate and Central Province Chief Minister Sarath Ekanayake, as the new SLFP organizer for Yatinuwara electorate. more..

SL seek revival against depleted Australia

Aug 30 (CI) SL had lost key players to injury right through the Test series, but continued to thrive on dwindling resources, as the opposition appeared in slight disarray. In ODIs something of a reversal has occurred. Australia have lost Steven Smith, Nathan Coulter-Nile, and most recently, Shaun Marsh, yet lead the series 2-1. Sri Lanka, meanwhile, have made alterations to the squad three times already, more..

Injured Shaun Marsh to fly home from SL

Aug 30 (CI) Shaun Marsh has been forced home from the tour of Sri Lanka after breaking his finger while fielding in Australia's win in the third ODI in Dambulla on Sunday. "Shaun suffered an injury to his left little finger whilst fielding in the match yesterday," Australia's physio David Beakley said. "An x-ray after the match confirmed a fracture and Shaun will now return to Perth to allow time for this to heal." As a result of Marsh's injury, Usman Khawaja will stay on more..

Tea industry in SL will not collapse: Navin

Aug 30 (CT) Contrary to the belief of some, the tea industry in Sri Lanka will not collapse, Minister of Plantations, Navin Dissanayake said, addressing a gathering of tea smallholders. "Some look at the industry from a political angle and say the tea industry is collapsing. But that will not happen; the demand for tea is rising across the world. When there is such a demand how can the industry collapse?" he queried. Dissanayake requested tea smallholders to utilize the fertility subsidy more..

MR to visit Malaysia

Aug 30 (DM) A delegation of the Joint Opposition led by former president and MP Mahinda Rajapaksa is scheduled to visit Malaysia from Sept 1 to 4 to attend the Int'l Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP), Mr. Rajapaksa’s private secretary Udith Lokubandara said. He said the delegation would include MPs Dinesh Gunawardana, Jonston Fernando and Lohan Ratwatte, former MPs A.H.M Azwer, himself more..

Video: Wimal too had plans to build bridge connecting India and Lanka: Gunasekara

Aug 30 (AD) A proposal to build a bridge connecting India and Sri Lanka was also proposed in the National Physical Guidelines 2011 which was prepared by the Ministry of former Minister Wimal Weerawansa, UNP MP Edward Gunasekara says. “This book was prepared when Wimal Weerawansa was the Housing Minister. There were proposals to get contribution from the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka and Road Development Authority for the project as well,” he added. more..

Another suspect arrested over hacking Prez Website

Aug 30 (DM) CID today arrested a 26-year-old man in Moratuwa on charges of hacking the official website of President Maithripala Sirisena, Police said. They said the suspect would be produced in the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s court today. Yesterday, a school boy was arrested in Kadugannawa by the CID in connection with the same incident. Website was hacked once on Thursday and then again on Friday. School boy was today ordered to be placed under probation. more..

As disaster losses mount, Sri Lanka develops tool to track them

Aug 30 (Reuters) Sri Lanka is planning to begin testing its first web-based disaster damage and loss reporting system by the end of the year, authorities say. Disaster Management Center (DMC) is developing the program and training public officials on its use, said Srimal Samansiri, DMC assistant director. The program will enlist at least one govt official from each district – or a representative of a NGOs in some cases more..

Merger of North & East: Another Kalashnikov pointed at Muslims

Aug 30 (CT) The matter that has notably occupied the political spectrums of Tamil and Muslim minorities in Sri Lanka today seems about whether to merge or demerge the already demerged Northern and Eastern Provinces of the country. The talks of North-East merger/demerger have been a political exercise perennially brandished by Tamil political leaders and at times their Muslim counterparts when they have nothing in their hands to deliver to their respective communities. more..

HC permits Dhammaloka Thera to travel

Aug 30 (DM) Colombo High Court today permitted Ven. Uduwe Dhammaloka Thera to travel abroad. Yesterday the Thera sought to travel to UK from Sept 3 to 7, to attend a religious event. High Court Judge permitting the suspect to travel abroad ordered him to return his passport on Sept 13. Thera was indicted by AG on two counts under the Flora and Fauna Act and the Public Properties Act for the alleged possession of a baby elephant without a license at Alan Mathiniyarama Temple. more..

'Digital voting system in house this year'

Aug 30 (DM) The digital voting system will be introduced in Parliament before this year’s budget debate and new technology will be used for further improvement and democratization of Parliamentary business, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said. Senior Parliament correspondent Ajith Jayasinghe receives his tab from Speaker Jayasuriya at the ceremony watched by Deputy Minister Karunaratne Paranawithana. more..

High class illicit distillery run by engineer raided

Aug 30 (Island) Peliyagoda police yesterday raided an illicit distillery in Kandana, which produced high quality spirits sold to liquor outlets. A senior policeman said the illicit distillery has been run by a professional engineer. Following the raid the police recovered 51 bottles with popular brand names of scotch and cognac ready to be despatched to the market. The police also took into custody 16 barrels containing rotgut. Three suspects were taken into custody during the raid and more..

Sri Lankan stocks close steady ahead of cenbank policy meeting

Aug 30 (Reuters) Shares ended steady on Tuesday as investors awaited directions from a key central bank policy meeting later in the day. The central bank is expected to keep its key interest rates steady at the meeting after raising them by 50 basis points last month, a Reuters poll showed, amid signs of easing inflation and slower private sector credit growth. The benchmark Colombo stock index ended 0.02% up at 6,541.80, after posting its lowest close since Aug. 12 on Monday. more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

SL holds rates; private credit still strong

Aug 30 (EN) SL has maintained policy rates at its meeting in August though warning that credit growth was still high at 28.2% from a year earlier. "A high intake of credit to the Industry and Services sectors together with a substantial growth in personal loans and advances drove the credit expansion during the first half of the year, Central Bank said. "According to the available indicators, high growth of private sector credit and broad money has continued in to the month of July 2016 as well." more..

It's about time we woke up

Aug 30 (CT) What the rest of the world comes to know and fear as cyber terrorism or internet vigilantes such as the controversial hacker groups like Anonymous, to us Sri Lankans is a humdrum bunch of computer jilmart. We simply do not care about our cyber privacy or what lies, information and truths could be unveiled in the covered up annals of the Sri Lankan cyber waste bins. Our cyber security and internet privacy is nil; at stages of non-existence. more..

MR too old at 70 to form new party: Rajitha

Aug 30 (DM) Taking a swipe at moves by the joint opposition to from a new party headed by ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said such attempts were not conducive for a person who was 70 years of age. At a ceremony held to welcome the new SLFP organizer for Beruwala, M.M.M. Amjad, he said actor turned politician Vijaya Kumaratunga formed Mahajana Paksaya at the peak of his popularity more..

Most SLFP electoral outfits decide against attending convention

Aug 30 (Island) SLFP electoral organisations will have to decide tomorrow whether their MPs in Joint Opposition should attend the 65th SLFP national convention on Sept 4 in Kurunegala. Majority of SLFP party electoral organisations had been consulted and all of them had decided against attending the convention. Majority of SLFP MPs in the Opposition would not attend the party Convention, sources said. more..

NFF questions silence of self-appointed anti-corruption hounds

Aug 30 (Island) The NFF called upon the leaders of anti-corruption outfits to make the country aware of their position on the bribery scandal allegedly involving the Snowy Mountains Engineering Company (SMEC) and President Sirisena. "Fairfax Media, one of the largest media institutions in Australia and New Zealand, has uncovered evidence of a bribery scandal allegedly involving the SMEC and President Sirisena. more..

Video: The govt is two faced: JVP

Aug 30 (FP) Having played a key role in the Presidential Election in January 2015, the JVP suffered bruising losses in the Parliamentary elections that followed. Despite this, when UNP and SLFP formed a National Govt soon afterwards, it seemed that the TNA and the JVP would play a key role in Opposition—that is, until the Joint Opposition was formed and stole some of their thunder. more..

Two senior ministers join SL Haj pilgrims

Aug 30 (AN) Two senior ministers from Colombo will join Sri Lankan pilgrims during this Haj, the island’s consul general, Faizer Mackeen, said. The VIP delegation will include Mohamed Hashim Abdul Haleem, Muslim religious affairs and posts; State Minister Abdul Hameed Mohamed Fowzie; and legislator Mujibur Rahman. Of the 2,240, the diplomat said, half of the Sri Lankan Haj pilgrims have arrived already in holy cities. more..

Imperfect, but this was just the pre-farewell

Aug 30 (CI) Oh, this is perfect. Tillakaratne Dilshan's third-over drive off Mitchell Starc picks a gap not much wider than one of the strips of hair in his goatee. It is vintage Dilshan - taking on the opposition's fastest bowler, early in the innings. Some people have driven from Colombo for this. Some people have taken public transport, stopped at snack shops, had tea sweet enough to send their teeth floating into the cup, more..

UAV, drone operators urged to register: CAA

Aug 30 (ST) Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is urging operators of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) including drones, to register with CAA, as the use of these instruments are fast gaining popularity. CAA Director General, H.M.C. Nimalsiri said, only around 50 UAV s are registered with them to date, while many more are believed to be in operation. CAA also intends to introduce regulations to register importers of UAVs. more..

Health Minister laments increase in alcohol consumption

Aug 30 (Island) Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne said it would cost Sri Lanka a colossal sum of money to implement a strict programme to control the spread of non communicable diseases (NCDs). Dr. Senaratne launching the Sri Lanka eSTEPs survey – 2015 for Non Communicable Diseases Risk Factors in Colombo, said it would cost Sri Lanka Rs. 1.2 trillion to emulate Britain’s battle against NCDs and apply stringent more..

Prabhakaran's siblings unlikely to petition office of missing persons to trace him

Aug 30 (ENS) M.K. Shivajilingam, Tamil politician and a relation of the slain Tamil Tiger chieftain V Prabhakaran, has said that he will assist Prabhakaran’s siblings, now living in India, Canada and Denmark, if they petition to the SL Office of Missing Persons (OMP) to trace him. But given the fact that when their mother, Parvathy Ammal, was gravely ill and was on her death bed in November 2010, they did not even visit her, more..