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Chrishmal Warnasuriya speaks...

Cabinet approves signing FTA with Singapore

Jan 17 (LBO) SL’s Cabinet has approved a proposal to sign the proposed Free Trade Agreement between Sri Lanka and Singapore. The proposed Free Trade Agreement consists of provisions regarding trade in goods and services, service liberalization, investments and public procurement. Following the proposal put forward by International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama, Cabinet has granted approval to sign this agreement subject to the clearance of the Attorney General. more..

IMF says ready to help Sri Lanka with capping Central Bank deficit financing

Jan 17 (EN) IMF is ready to help cap central bank credit to govt (deficit financing with printed money) as the monetary authority plans to keep price increases low with inflation targeting, an official said. An IMF staff report said changes to SL's monetary law, in the run up to inflation targeting, will address issues identified in a safeguards assessment including the presence of a Treasury representative in the monetary board, and inadequate limits of credit to govt. more..

PM tells UNPers not to drag President into problems

Jan 17 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had instructed UNP Ministers and MPs not to make controversial statements dragging President Maithripala Sirisena anymore. PM had given the instruction at the UNP Working Committee meeting at the party headquarters Sirikotha this morning. Party sources said the PM had also informed the UNP MPs and Ministers to take on the SLFP Ministers directly and settle whatever more..

Unity Govt to forge ahead

Jan 17 (DN) The two main parties of the Unity Govt yesterday agreed to forge ahead as a strong force brushing aside differences if there were any. President Maithripala Sirisena addressing the Cabinet of Ministers yesterday emphasized the need to work together after he had a lengthy discussion with PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. President referring to the Bond Commission report said that it was not released aiming any individual or a group. He further said that he was not an ungrateful man and more..

UNP Working Committee to hold discussion today

Jan 17 (NR) A discussion will be held today between the Working Committee of the UNP. The discussion will be held at the Sirikotha under the leadership of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe said the discussion will focus on campaigning for the upcoming LG Election. He said the UNP members will provide solutions for the problems arising in the political sphere. He noted the Working Committee is planning to have a discussion about claiming victory in upcoming election more..

Govt says committed to reform Muslim marriage law

Jan 17 (AD) Govt of SL says that it remains committed to reform the minimum age of marriage for girls under the Muslim law, with the active participation of the concerned community. “A committee had been set up under the aegis of the Ministry of Justice to carry out the necessary legal reform,” SL delegation told the Committee on the Rights of the Child in Geneva on Tuesday. Govt was following a 2-pronged approach to the issue, more..

Parliament receives Bond Commission and PRECIFAC reports

Jan 17 (AD) Speaker of Parliament Karu Jayasuriya says that the decisions on further action on the recommendations of the Bond Commission report and the debate on the report will be taken during the party leaders’ meeting on Jan 22. Reports of the Bond Commission and PRECIFAC have been handed over to the Speaker’s Office, a short while ago. Speaker’s Office said that 26 copies (English) of the Bond Commission report and a summarized report and 34 copies (Sinhala) of PRECIFAC more..

U-19 WC: Afghanistan beat Sri Lanka

Jan 17 (CI) Reigning Under-19 Asia Cup champions Afghanistan reprised their regional success on a global stage at the World Cup in New Zealand, defeating SL by 32 runs on DLS Method in Whangerei. Having already beaten Pakistan in Group D, Afghanistan clinched a place in the quarter-finals for the second time in their history, having done it in 2014 in the UAE before losing to eventual champions South Africa. The success for Afghanistan is also a 180-degree turn from more..

අල්ලස් කොමිසමේ දැළට හසුවන්නේ ...

The art of sanctimonious humbugging

Jan 17 (FT) Politicians of all hues have mastered the art of humbugging and the people of this country are certainly not short of such personalities among the highest in the land right down to Pradeshiya Sabha members. Omissions or commissions are not their fault and always it is the previous regime or the political opponents who should be held answerable. It has trickled down to the public service too and you will scarcely find a public officer responsible for any failure or dereliction of duty owed to more..

Law Reigns Supreme

Jan 17 (CT) The Supreme Court (SC) since the advent of the Yahapalana Govt three years ago on 8 January 2015, coinciding with the election of Maithripala Sirisena to the high office of Executive President on that day, has delivered three judgments against the Govt thus far. Two of those judgments were delivered two years ago in 2016 and the last, as early as two days ago on Monday (16). The two judgments of 2016 revolved round mainly on the then new VAT rates. more..

JO criticizes giving Ravi a bond report copy but not Parliament

Jan 17 (DM) The JO yesterday said the move to give former minister Ravi Karunanayake, an accused of the bond fiasco, a copy of the bond report but not Parliament was absurd. SLPP Chairman G.L. Peiris said giving a copy to MP Karunanayake would give him enough time to prepare for upcoming legal proceedings. “This has enabled him to prepare for what’s coming in the future. What is the objective of giving more..

Gang rapists of Thissamaharama girl were Sajith’s henchmen

Jan 17 (LT) It is reported that the three suspects who were arrested for an incident of gang-raping at Konewalana Grama Seva Division in Thissamaharama had been directly involved in election campaigning on UNP candidates contesting for the Thissamaharama Pradeshiya Sabha. The 14-year girl who was gang-raped by the suspects attempted to commit suicide by hanging but was rescued and was hospitalized. more..

Brian Shaddick tells High Court: Gammanpila faked power of attorney

Jan 17 (DN) Australian businessman Brian Shaddick, 74, a key witness in the alleged financial fraud case filed against PHU leader MP Udaya Gammanpila yesterday informed Colombo High Court that he or his company had never given a power of attorney to Gammanpila to carry out a share transaction. Shaddick was yesterday present before Colombo High Judge A.A.R. Heiyanthuduwa in connection with an indictment filed against more..

'People, through experience, know how Thissa was governed by us'

Jan 17 (LT) “We showed how Tissamaharama Council would be administered. All we want is to make the people kings of their council,” said the Leader of the JVP Anura Dissanayake speaking at a meeting held at Tissamarama on the 10th. Hamabnthota District JVP MP Nihal Galappaththi, Councilor of the SPC Sisira Wahalathanthri, former Chairman of Thissamaharama PS H.L. Jayasiri more..

Sri Lanka expects US$4.7bn from apparel exports in 2017

Jan 17 (EN) Sri Lanka’s total apparel exports for 2017 are expected to be around US$4.7 billion with earnings to November having exceeded that of 2016, Minister Rishad Bathiudeen said. “The latest apparel export total from Jan to Nov last year is now reported by SL Apparel Exporters Association at a strong $4.366 billion,” he said. “Our apparel revenues from Jan to Nov last year exceeded Sri Lanka’s entire apparel exports more..

SAITM issue: Harsha explains three-party MOU to be made public next week

Jan 17 (ST) The three-party MOU to bury forever the saga that has been the SAITM is with the Attorney-General (AG) and will be released to the public next week. The MOU signed on Dec 30 by the govt, the SLIIT and SAITM has been sent to the AG to look at the legal aspects and will be made public next week, said Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva, when asked by the Sunday Times why the MOU was being kept a secret. more..

Patients asking for good drugs after Sri Lanka price controls: minister

Jan 17 (EN) Patients are asking doctor to prescribe good drugs after Sri Lanka slapped price controls, slashing the prices of many branded drugs, pushing up pharmacy revenues by 30%, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. He said doctors have related how patients pensioners, are asking for branded drugs, whereas earlier they were uneasy when original drugs, which are more expensive, were prescribed. more..

Dedduwa Project: Reimagining Mexico’s Mayakoba in Sri Lanka

Jan 17 (Roar) The idyllic beauty of Dedduwa is no secret. Located to the east of Bentota, it comprises water bodies, marshy lands and paddy fields. Weaving through the wetlands is the Dedduwa Lake, rich in biodiversity. It was alongside the Dedduwa Lake that Sri Lanka’s legendary architect Geoffrey Bawa built his iconic country home, the Lunuganga Estate. Administered by a trust after his death in 2003, more..

GL questions AG’s conduct

Jan 17 (Island) Top JO spokesman Prof. G.L. Peiris welcomed the unanimous Supreme Court decision that President Sirisena’s term of office was five years. He said so when asked him whether it accepted that in spite of accusations AG Jayantha Jayasuriya had made representations before the SC on behalf of President Sirisena in accordance with an understanding between UNP & SLFP, apex court had done its duty. more..

'CB bond scam was a shock to us all'

Jan 17 (DM) In an interview with Daily Mirror,Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne expressed his views on the bond scam, the President’s term and the way forward for the govt. Q: President Maithripala Sirisena sought to stay in power for six years. What is the way forward for the govt in the wake of the Supreme Court’s opinion that the President can serve only up to five years? A: Some lawyers told the President that more..

Is Bond-scam unbonding Maithri/Ranil bond?

Jan 17 (DM) Potent arguments are being exchanged between friends regarding the Bond-scam that has taken the Colombo social circuit by storm; lethal points for both sides are being hurled at each other; yet the evidence shows that the bond between the two protagonists, President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremasinghe, of the current coalition government is ostensibly intact. How tight and taut this bond could be is another matter altogether. In politics the line that divides more..

President, the sands of time are running out

Jan 17 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena by seeking a Supreme Court determination has confused the country as to what really his motive was. Firstly, he had made this request to the Supreme Court in the run-up to an election and therefore some leaders of the joint opposition on the premise that he had expected the Court to rule that his term of office would be six years had interpreted it as an attempt to demoralize the opposition voters at the forthcoming local govt elections. more..

Cabinet chaos!: Country taken hostage by Parliament Mafia

Jan 17 (FT) An emotional President yesterday walked out of the Cabinet meeting after voicing disappointment over criticism levelled against him by some UNP lawmakers. President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday told the Cabinet that he was not an ungrateful or inhuman person who has forgotten the help he received during the presidential election. The President was referring to some of the criticism levelled at him on various political stages more..

AG’s team to studay Bond Commission report

Jan 17 (DN) Attorney General Jayantha Jayasuriya PC has appointed a four member committee of lawyers to conduct a legal study of the Bond Commission report. The team comprises a Senior Additional Solicitor General, two Deputy Solicitor Generals and a Senior State Counsel, the Attorney General said. The team will study the commission’s recommendations and pay attention to the initial steps to be taken in this regard by the Attorney General’s Department. more..

UNP maiden public rally in Kandy today

Jan 17 (Island) The UNP will launch its LG polls campaign from Kandy today, party’s Assistant Leader MP Ravi Karunayake says. The first public rally of the party would be held from 3 pm at the Central Market ground with party leader PM Ranil Wickremesinghe presiding, Karunanayake said. PM would participate in all main rallies in every district and address all 25 rallies, Karunanayake said. In addition to the main district rallies, there would be 25 main seminars covering all districts more..

Bond report to Parliament today

Jan 17 (FT) The report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the CB bond scam will only be tabled in Parliament on 23 Jan even though Parliament is expected to receive copies of the report today. Deputy Speaker Thilanga Sumathipala said that Parliament would make it available to all members on 23 Jan, soon after it was tabled in the House. “Our priority is to make it available to the MPs as soon as possible. more..

Yes there was a bond scam: Ranjan

Jan 17 (DM) Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake admitted to there having been a CB bond scam, and said President Maithripala Sirisena’s decision to investigate such scams was an election promise and therefore should be supported by the people. “I must tell the truth even if I am expelled from my electoral seat or from the party. I am not in the habit of telling lies. Telling lies creates mouth cancers. Even our people involved in frauds,” he said. At a meeting in Tissamaharamaya recently more..

Wijeyadasa’s security pruned

Jan 17 (DM) Former justice minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe’s security has been reduced by recalling five of of seven officers of the ministerial security detail. He said the security officers had been recalled even without informing him. “No prior notice was given about a reduction on the security detail. When I inquired from Ministerial Security Division (MSD) Chief as to what had happened, he said he was instructed by the IGP to leave behind only two officers with me because I’m an MP now. more..

China offers best chance for Sri Lanka development: CB

Jan 17 (FT) Stronger economic relations with China, underpinned by a pending FTA, should be given the highest priority by Sri Lanka as it provided the best opportunity to attract trade investments and implement important structural transformations in the economy, CB Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy said. Speaking at the launch of essay book The Island of the Lion and the Land of the Dragon, more..

Sri Lanka, China think tanks co-launch book on Sino-Lanka relations

Jan 17 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan and Chinese think tanks on Tuesday jointly launched a book on the Sino-Lanka relations titled The Island of the Lion and the Land of the Dragon in order to strengthen the bilateral relations between the two countries. The book consists of a series of essays on Sri Lanka, China relations compiled by Sri Lanka and Chinese scholars and is a joint publication of the Pathfinder Foundation in Sri Lanka and the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations. more..

ADB provides additional funds to support SME development in Sri Lanka

Jan 17 (DN) The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Board of Directors has approved $75 million in additional financing to continue support toward the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), considered vital for economic growth and job creation in Sri Lanka. “SMEs have the potential to reduce regional inequalities in Sri Lanka given that SMEs are more widespread throughout the country than larger enterprises, which are mainly based in the capital Colombo,” more..

Central Expressway will create vibrant economy: PM

Jan 17 (DN) The Central Expressway which will connect two airports, two ports, industrial zones, tourism zones and main cities, will create a new economy in the country, said PM Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday, undertaking an inspection tour of the work being done on the Central Expressway. PM conducted his tour at the Kurunegala-Gattuwana and Meerigama-Galdeniya sections of Expressway under construction. more..

'Attempts to alter PCoI report before debate'

Jan 17 (DM) Attempts were made before the parliamentary debate to change the PCoI report in a way that it would not convey the real essence of the report, NFF MP Jayantha Samaraweera claimed. He said that according to confidential sources an attempt had been made to alter the bond report in a manner that would prove the innocence of the culprits including former finance minister Ravi Karunanayake, former CBSL governor Arjuna Mahendran and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. more..

2017 Tea crop rises for first time in four years

Jan 17 (FT) Tea production in 2017 was at 307Mn kg, up only 5% when compared with the previous year’s drought-affected figure of 292Mn kg, brokers said but recovering marginally from the seven year low hit in 2016. Production in December fell by 13.5% from a year earlier. 2017 figure of 307 Mnkg was the lowest since 2009 when total production crashed to 291 Mnkg. A collapse of the market in Q4 2008 following the global banking crisis and draft in 2009 restricted production. more..

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