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Meepe: Another Uma Oya?

Aug 21 (AD) Sithawaka Environmental Protection Association states that the villagers of Padukka, Meepe are being subjected to much distress owing to the rock quarries that are in operation on the Kithul Kanda rock. A representative of the Association, states that an entire side of the rock has by now been either blasted off or removed. This large-scale mining activity and its consequent environmental more..

Expert recommends elevated expressways

Aug 21 (Island) President of the Chamber of Construction Industry, SL, Dr. Surath Wickramasinghe says Sri Lanka should opt for elevated expressways, which he considers cost effective and environment friendly. Commuters who travelled between Colombo and Kandy had to spend at least four hours each way, he pointed out in a brief interview with The Island, opining that to fast track the Central Expressway project, the latest design techniques, should be used. more..

Motorcycle tax relief a time bomb: Bus Owners

Aug 21 (NR) The Lanka Private Bus Owners Association says the decision to grant tax concessions for motorcycles will be the imminent cause for several issues. Chairman Gemunu Wijeratne expressing the Associations opposition against the move said instead of granting concessions to improve public transport the decision would only lead to more traffic congestion. He noted when reducing taxes in such a manner the transport and environmental ministry plus more..

Rajapaksa explains why they oppose new Inland Revenue Bill

Aug 21 (AD) Former President Rajapaksa says that the policy on which the proposed new Inland Revenue law is based, is in keeping with the ideology of the UNP but is contrary to that of the SLFP. He said that no member of the SLFP can pass legislation that seeks to tax provident fund contributions, to tax individuals more and companies in the same industry less, to increase the tax burden on the struggling more..

Polythene manufacturers stage protest against polythene ban

Aug 21 (AD) Lotus Road in Pettah has been temporarily closed due to a protest by polythene manufacturers. Earlier, severe traffic congestion was reported in the Colombo Fort area due to a protest by polythene manufacturers against the polythene ban. Protest has been organized by All Ceylon Polythene Producers and Recyclers Association against the ban which will come into effect from Sept 1. Protest is being staged in front of People’s Park Shopping Complex in Colombo. more..

Wijeyadasa should resign if he has any self-respect: SF

Aug 21 (DM) Minister Sarath Fonseka was of the view that Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe should resign if he had an iota of self-respect. He said the UNP Working Committee has already condemned the conduct of Minister Rajapakshe, and therefore he should resign from his post immediately. He was responding to a question posed to him by the media after attending an event. Field Marshal said Mr. Rajapakshe had become a stumbling block to the govt's efforts to more..

Thailand’s Rojana to set up industrial zone

Aug 21 (EN) Rojana Industrial Park is to set up SL’s first industrial zone in over a decade, aiming to use the island’s location, access to big markets through free trade deals and low labour cost to lure investors. The export processing zone in Millaniya, Kalutara, is expected to be ready by end-2018 with a fast-track development programme under which officials, including heads of utilities, meet weekly, minister Sujeewa Senasinghe said. more..

A/L paper leaked: Tuition master’s father and brother arrested

Aug 21 (AD) Police state that the father and brother of the tuition master who distributed leaflets containing questions from the GCE A/L Chemistry exam paper have been arrested. The whereabouts of the tuition master from Gampaha are yet to be found. The tuition master concerned was found to have distributed leaflets containing questions from the 2nd part of this year’s GCE A/L Chemistry paper in front of an Examination Center, leading to the launch of an investigation into the matter. more..

SL’s march toward emerging sciences: A rugged road but not impossible to tread

Aug 21 (FT) At a recent event at which the UK-based Northumbria University’s BSc Honours Degree in biotechnology was launched in SL, Minister Susil Premajayantha outlined the plan of his Ministry to take Sri Lanka toward emerging sciences, also known as emerging technologies.  To sum up problems faced by SL students, he brought out an example from his own life. He had studied in the science stream for the A/L exam with the hope of joining a state sector medical school in SL. more..

'Bond Scam: PM should be questioned'

Airtel clocks fastest internet speeds in SL

Aug 21 (DM) With multiple claims relating to internet speeds in the market the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission of SL – the sole telecom regulatory authority released its latest internet speed test results publication of internet speedsby service providers on their website ( Accordingly Airtel has recorded the fastest mobile internet service provider in the country recording a maximum data speed of 24.2 Mbps and an average speed of 12.4 Mbps on their 3G network. more..

Disaster mitigation vital

Aug 21 (CT) While disasters and their financial and humanitarian consequences cannot be predicted, regardless of which religion or beliefs one has, it is the responsibility of those affected and those who are socially and politically obliged to find solutions in the aftermath. Not necessarily during the aftermath, but take the appropriate proactive steps to prevent similar disasters and threats from taking place. This is of course, an individual as well as a collective endeavour that should be promoted more..

Court rejects Udayanga's request to recall warrant

Aug 21 (DN) Colombo Fort Magistrate rejected a request made by former Ambassador to Russia, Udayanga Weeratunga to recall the warrant issued against him through the INTERPOL over the financial fraud that was alleged to have taken place in procuring seven MiG-27 ground attack craft for SLAF. Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne further rejected an application made by Udayanga Weeratunga challenging the impounding of more..

Sixteen cases against Rajapaksa regime big wigs to High Courts

Aug 21 (DN) Sixteen high profile cases filed against 37 people including several big wigs in the previous Rajapaksa regime for alleged misappropriation of state funds and properties amounting to billions of rupees will be taken up for hearing in three High Courts within the next few months. Among the 37 accused in these cases are former Minister Basil Rajapaksa, MP Namal Rajapaksa, former Chief Ministers, more..

Govt to hold parliamentary, presidential polls together

Aug 21 (Island) The govt is, in consultation with political parties, exploring the possibility of holding both parliamentary and presidential polls on the same day, says Minister Rajitha Senaratne.  "Conducting local, provincial, parliamentary and presidential elections on separate days had resulted in a waste of valuable financial resources and also caused declining interest among  the voters," Senaratne said on Friday, more..

Lack of facilities & resources at AG’s Dept: Ashu blames Wijeyadasa

Aug 21 (CT) Minister of Justice, Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, is responsible for the lack of facilities and resources at the Attorney General's Department, UNP MP Ashu Marasinghe, who was one of the architects of the proposal to remove Rajapakshe, which was discussed at the party's working committee meeting, said. "I think most people have an idea of what to do and AG's Dept is also acting with great professionalism. more..

20,000 graduates to get jobs soon: PM

Aug 21 (DM) The reconciliation process would have to move on a slow pace as it would have to look at many aspects, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said at the opening ceremony of new Municipal Council Building in Eravur. "Our journey towards national reconciliation is slow. It is slow as we have to think of all relevant aspects," he said. PM recalled that a Unity Govt was formed together with Prez Sirisena to bring about more..

'Drought: No cases of malnourishment'

Aug 21 (CT) The Health Ministry, together with a multilateral donor agency, is taking steps to combat any adverse effects on people living in the drought affected areas, encompassing some 15 disricts in the island, Director General Health Services Dr. Jayasundara Bandara said. No incidents of malnourishment have been reported so far, he said. Dr. Bandara said that the relief programmes are been implemented together more..

Controversy over SAITM graduates, students being denied entry

Aug 21 (Island) Those who had graduated from the SAITM as well as SAITM undergraduates were deprived of an opportunity to attend clinical sessions of the College of Surgeons of SL at the Grand Kandyan Hotel on Aug. 18, some of the affected said. Three batches had so far graduated from the SAITM and several hundred more students were undergoing studies there. SAITM spokesperson said that they had received more..

SLC keen to introduce four-team first-class tournament next season

Aug 21 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket has reiterated its commitment to starting a condensed, provincial-based first-class tournament in the 2017-18 season. Although a similar tournament had been scheduled and budgeted for the 2015-16 season, board led by Thilanga Sumathipala had scrapped those plans, and has since failed to organise a high-quality first-class tournament for two seasons running. Next season, however, will see more..

Japanese bikes will roar again after tax slash

Aug 21 (ST) Prices of small trucks and single cabs are to come down by as much as Rs. 300,000 following the vehicle tax revisions announced on Thursday, while there will also be a substantial reduction in the prices of motorcycles, especially Japanese bikes below 150cc. Vehicle importers said they would be able to once again import Japanese motorbikes after the tax concessions. Many had been unable to do so thus far due to the 90% more..

Audit report alerts parliament on CPC

Aug 21 (SL) Recent protest jointly organised by Petroleum unions collective ended with the Govt declaring fuel distribution as an essential service. Even the head of National Trade Union Centre, which is affiliated to JVP member K.D. Lalkantha was also seen waiting in the queue to pump petrol. Meanwhile the govt quarter alleged that this strike was one that went beyond mere trade union demands & it was an attempt to cripple more..

Economic crisis & Co-operative possibilities

Aug 21 (DM) The economy in the north is in crisis. Youth unemployment is high, rural incomes are irregular & devastating indebtedness is widespread.  8 years after the war, there is no light at the end of the tunnel for the war-affected rural population. Myth about the private sector and Tamil diaspora led development in the north have been exposed; neither the private sector nor the Tamil diaspora have made significant investments resulting in substantially increased employment. more..

Terror at Charlottesville: America’s day of shame

Aug 21 (DM) The number thirteen is generally seen by large sections of the populace as being unlucky. And so it came to be in the town of Charlottesville, Virginia in the US. On Saturday (13), large numbers of white supremacists, neo-Nazis, anti-Semitists and other similar lunatic fringe groups (far right extremists) gathered to protest the taking down of statues of Confederate General Robert E. Lee (general commanding pro-slavery forces during American civil war) and to take America back. more..

Sleeping with the Corrupt: Will not go: WR

Aug 21 (DM) Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said that he did not have any intention of resigning from the Ministerial post just because some people made allegations against him on various issues. Speaking to journalists after meeting Mahanayake of Asgiriya Chapter Most Ven. Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Thera and Mahanayake of Malwatte Chapter the Most Ven. Thibbotuwawe Sri Sumangala Thera, more..

Colombo Defence Seminar on August 28-29

Aug 21 (MoD) Countering Violent Extremism: Global Trends, will be the theme of the 7th Colombo Defence Seminar - 2017. The international defence conference is to be held for the seventh consecutive year at the BMICH in Colombo on the 28th and 29th of Aug. The conclave is to be attended by 800 participants, including 200 foreign representatives. Organizers have extended invitations to all Chiefs of Army Staff (Army Commanders) in the SAARC Region for the conference more..

Concerns raised over moves to curtail Auditor General’s powers: TISL

Aug 21 (FT) Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) is concerned by reports that Cabinet of Ministers plans to curtail the proposed powers of the Auditor General, under the National Audit Bill, which would limit the AG’s ability to hold individuals personally liable for losses caused to State entities. TISL urged the Govt to retain these surcharging powers, which are in keeping with international best practices, whilst being mindful of the opportunity to further detail the surcharge more..

Leaked A/L Chemistry Paper reports: Two probes launched

Aug 21 (CT) Two separate investigations have been launched based on the reports that the 2017 A/L Chemistry II paper has been leaked. Examinations Dept has commenced an investigation on a complaint they received about the matter. According to the complaint, an individual was seen distributing pamphlets following the conclusion of the Part II paper. Pamphlets allegedly contained several questions that were included more..

Polythene manufacturers to stage protest

Aug 21 (Island) Arrangements have been made by Polythene Manufacturers and Recyclers Association to stage a demonstration in Colombo Fort today against a govt decision to ban certain types of polythene and plastic with effect from Sept 1. President of the association Anura Withanage said that the govt had moved to ruin a 40-year-old industry within 45 days. "The move has been made on the pretext of protecting the environment, but it will actually help a project jointly launched by more..

Corruption crippling SL’s coalition govt

Aug 21 (AT) Marred by serious allegations of corruption and mismanagement, Sri Lanka’s much-hyped coalition govt appears to have very little to celebrate as it completes two years in power. The coalition appears to be slowly losing its grip as public confidence dwindles over its failure to live up to its pledges of good governance free of corruption, despite the rhetoric during the run-up to the 2015 presidential and parliamentary elections. This month alone, members of public/civil society more..

Indian fans, Sumathipala face SL fans’ ire

Aug 21 (WI) When the day started, Dambulla Int'l Stadium was a delight. A cozy venue nestled in foliage, the music, the dancing, the smell of fresh hot dogs in the air … it was perfect for Sri Lanka’s opening ODI against India on Sunday. No one could have imagined at the time that these scenes would change dramatically over the course of the next six hours. Even as the game went on, tension between four female fans from India and more..

US investor confidence eroding: Survey

Aug 21 (CT) The alarming level of corruption and bureaucracy in Sri Lanka is deteriorating US investor-confidence in Sri Lanka, while posing major challenges to both businesses and to the national economy. US companies have expressed their concerns over several challenges to their businesses including corruption, bureaucracy and high cost of doing business in a recent survey conducted among long established US companies in Sri Lanka. more..

Anyone who violates collective Cabinet responsibility has to go: Amunugama

Aug 21 (Island) Minister of Special Assignments Dr. Sarath Amunugama yesterday took a swipe at his beleaguered Cabinet colleague Minister of Justice and Buddha Sasana Dr. Wijayadasa Rajapakshe without naming him. Any minister who was not willing to respect the principle of collective Cabinet responsibility had to give up his or her ministerial positions, Dr. Amunugama said fielding questions from journalists after attending a ceremony in Galagedera. more..

Comprehensive agreement on NFTH takeover to be inked soon: Rajitha

Aug 21 (Island) Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne said the govt would soon enter into a comprehensive agreement with the SAITM in respect of the take over of the Dr. Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital (NFTH). Dr. Senaratne said that the Attorney General’s Department was in the process of finalising an agreement in the wake of a tripartite agreement (letter of intent) among the govt, SAITM and more..

Sri Lanka can meet energy demand with renewables by 2050

Aug 21 (FT) Sri Lanka can meet its current and future electricity demand through the judicious use of renewable energy by 2050, according to a joint study by UNDP and ADB. The report, titled Assessment of Sri Lanka’s Power Sector - 100% Electricity Generation through Renewable Energy by 2050, notes that Sri Lanka’s demand for electricity is going to increase in the future. “Sri Lanka as one of the countries disproportionately affected by climate change has agreed to ambitious renewable more..

Dr Swami deployed to lead Sri Lanka’s historic Madrid entry

Aug 21 (DN) Sri Lanka has appointed an eminent legal personality and a time-honoured expert in Intellectual Property (IP) to lead the country’s historic accession to the international trademark system called the Madrid Protocol. And the accession is slated to be completed by August next year. “We thank you for your contribution to the development of our intellectual property” said the Minister of Industry and Commerce, Rishad Bathiudeen on August 17. more..