NewsThe Supreme Court today (Nov 4) granted leave to proceed on a petition challenging the President's gazette to bring the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC) under the Defence Ministry. Accordingly, the case would be taken up for further hearing on June 10, 2020. The order was issued after considering a petition filed against the President's gazette to take over the state-owned television network, citing it as an illegal move. Dambara Amila Thero and Professor Chandragupta Thenuwara, and parliamentarian Ashu Marasinghe had filed the petition. It is being heard before Justices Buwaneka Aluvihare, Murdu Fernando, and S. Thurairajah.
November 04, 2019 05:48 UTC
NewsDeputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Ajith Rohana has been asked to appear before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) probing the Easter Sunday attacks, tomorrow (Nov 5). Rohana, currently serves as the DIG of the Police Legal, Discipline and Conduct Range. In addition, Colombo Range DIG Lalith Pathinayake has also been given notice to give evidence before the five-member investigation panel headed by Appeal Court judge Janak de Silva, a PCoI spokesman told Times Online. President Maithripala Sirisena, had appointed the PCoI last month, to probe the terrorist attacks which, the government said had killed 258 persons and injured 481, on April 21.
November 04, 2019 05:07 UTC
NewsThe Presidential Secretariat has called for applications to appoint President's Counsels, after issuing a gazette to that effect last week, in keeping with a Supreme Court order. Last month, the Supreme Court directed authorities to formulate a criteria on the appointment of President's Counsels. Accordingly, lawyers who meet the eligibility criteria, as outlined in last week's gazette, can fill out the relevant application forms and send it through registered post to “Secretary to the President, Presidential Secretariat, Colombo 01” on or before November 11, 2019. The title 'Appointment of President’s Counsel' should be clearly written on the top left corner of the envelope, the gazette said. Applications can be downloaded via www.presidentsoffice.gov.lkSee gazette calling for applications hereRelated storyGazette issued outlining guidelines to appoint President's Counsels
November 04, 2019 05:05 UTC
NewsThe second phase of postal voting for the presidential election got underway today (Nov 4). Employees attached to District Secretariats, Election offices, and the Police, will be able to cast their postal votes today and tomorrow. Those who fail to do so, will be able to cast their vote on November 7.
November 04, 2019 05:03 UTC
BusinessJetwing Symphony PLC, a hotel group, says it is focusing on the long-term future of the company in an industry that was shattered by the Easter Sunday bombings in April. “I envision a country where each citizen, regardless of their race or religion, could live together in peace and harmony. Among its other benefits, peace is the single most important catalyst for economic growth – with tourism being one of the major beneficiaries. For 10 years, our industry flourished, mainly due to the peace and stability established in the country. “We decided to continue the project despite the prevailing situation, focusing on the long-term prospects of the company.
November 04, 2019 03:11 UTC
Polls chief clashes with Hoole on postal voting View(s):When it comes to issues, National Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya is one who brooks no nonsense. Prof. Hoole took over from where Mr Deshapriya ended his answer on postal voting. “Postal voting is very outdated. We spend millions of rupees on postal voting, he pointed out. Prof. Hoole interjected, “Sir, I said that I believe….” The polls chief replied, “No one can say that it is believe.
November 04, 2019 02:38 UTC
NewsFive persons including a child have been arrested while paying fake currency notes to purchase goods in Beliatta. A counterfeit Rs 1000 note and 18 counterfeit Rs 500 notes were seized from the suspects, police said. In addition, Rs 65000 worth cash and their purchased goods had also been taken into custody. The suspects have been identified as those between the ages of 13 and 50. Police are due to produce the suspects before the Tangalle Magistrate today.
November 04, 2019 02:03 UTC
NewsThe Sri Lanka Navy has seized nearly 200kg of a substance suspected to be heroin found in a multi-day fishing trawler and arrested five suspects, off the coast of Galle. The arrests were made during a search operation by the Navy. Navy Spokesperson Lieutenant Commander Isuru Suriyabandara said that the multi-day fishing vessel has been brought to the Colombo Harbour. A total of 739 kilograms of heroin has been seized by the Navy so far this year, the Navy spokesman said.
November 04, 2019 01:45 UTC
NewsSouth African President Cyril Ramaphosa arrived at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) yesterday afternoon on transit with an eight member delegation. The South African President and his delegation arrived in Sri Lanka at around 4.35 pm on their way back from attending the the World Cup Rugby Final which ended in Yokohama, Japan over the weekend. A delegation from the Ministry of External Affairs and the South African Embassy in Sri Lanka arrived at the Bandaranaike International Airport to welcome the South African President. The crew left for South Africa at around 6pm yesterday afternoon after refuelling.
November 04, 2019 01:33 UTC
NewsThe government has decided to make an emergency purchase of 12,000 metric tonnes of gas to resolve its shortage in the country, the Finance Ministry said. Issuing a statement yesterday (Nov 3), the ministry noted that two 6000 metric tonne gas tankers are expected to reach the country next week. This would be in addition to two 3600 metric tonne gas tankers which are expected to reach the country next week. On Saturday, a 3600 metric tonne gas tanker had reached the country, the ministry noted. Accordingly, the ministry informed the public that the shortage of gas would be resolved by next week.
November 04, 2019 01:30 UTC
NewsPresidential Candidate M K Sivajilingam has submitted a letter of resignation from his party membership of TELO (Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization), leader Selvam Adaikalanathan said yesterday (Nov 3). Adaikalanathan stated that Sivajilingam had been given time by the party’s disciplinary committee to explain himself on standing as a presidential candidate going against the decision and policies of the party. The party had asked Mr Sivajilingam to contest the Presidential election as an independent candidate, as contesting as a Presidential candidate was in defiance of party policies and decisions. Accordingly, Mr Sivajilingam had informed of his resignation from the party to the Party Leader and the General Secretary.
November 04, 2019 01:27 UTC
NewsPrime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said that the United National Front led alliance nor Presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa has not entered into any secret or public agreement with any political party or organization in the North. The Prime Minister further stated that his party has come up with a credible programme for both the North and the South. Further he said a number of special projects have been launched to provide relief to the people of the North and East who have been affected by the war. The Prime Minister said that the establishment of Independent Commission throughout the country had created a secure and free environment. Prime Minister Sajith Premadasa said that the opportunity to decide whether to pursue this program and ensure the development and justice of the freedoms, or to bring back the Rajapaksas to power, would be depressed.
November 04, 2019 01:18 UTC
EC halts admission of 48,000 students claiming Election Law violation View(s):The Election Commission (EC) has intervened to halt the admission of 48,000 students into National and Provincial schools, claiming it would amount to an Election Law violation. The decision was made following complaints from some of the Principals that the admission could amount to a violation of Election Laws. They said the admission letters reaching them were backdated to September 16, a day before the elections were announced. He said that, former Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena had made a false claim that the Education Minister was taking political advantage, but he was not correct, as proper procedures were followed in selecting the students. He said the Education Minister had not influenced the Principals regarding the admissions.
Finance Ministry releases MCC document to challenge Opposition criticism View(s):The Finance Ministry this week released the 84-page draft Millennium Challenge Compact (MCC) agreement in a bid to quell an ongoing Opposition campaign claiming that securing the grant was tantamount to sacrificing Sri Lanka’s sovereignty to the United States. Discussions on the MCC grant first started in 2002, says a statement from Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera. Now, as Opposition Leader, Mr Rajapaksa has created an unnecessary fear amongst the public regarding the MCC contract, Minister Samaraweera says. But, so far, Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa has merely asked for the contract to be submitted to Parliament before signing. The task of whipping up mass hysteria has been delegated to various MPs, Minister Samaraweera observes.
VAT on Residential Condominium PropertyIn recent years VAT on condominium properties has generated much interest on stakeholders including property developers and customers. Residential accommodation was not included in the VAT tax base of Sri Lanka at the inception, as residential accommodation is a basic necessity. However the policy makers have been moving towards making an exception with regard to sale of residential condominium housing units during the past two years with successive budget proposals expressing the intention to impose VAT on residential condominium housing units. Budget proposals for 2019 before Parliament in March stipulated that VAT would be applicable on sale of residential condominium units. However the said budget proposals also provided relief to small scale residential condominium housing project where each and every housing unit cost was below Rs.