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CB begins a comprehensive audit on GK

Apr 12 (ST) With the intervention of the Finance Ministry to settle the long dragging Golden key (GK) fiasco, the Central Bank (CB) has launched a comprehensive situation audit into the past and present dealings, assets and liabilities of the GK Company as an initial step towards finding redress for around 8200 depositors. A senior CB official told the Business Times that the Bank will take over the management of the court-appointed GK Company and all its subsidiaries and liquid assets more..

SEC will fry big fish on dubious stock deals

Apr 12 (ST) It seems that only the small fish were fried while the big ones have managed to escape through the very large holes in the (fraud) net, according to a vociferous campaigner against financial mismanagement. Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva said that this regime is in the process of closing these flaws and that it will only be a matter of a short time before the culprits are brought to book. “Financial frauds, securities frauds and all other types of fraud need to follow more..

Dissolve Parliament by April 23, keep your promise, says opinion poll

Apr 12 (ST) An opinion poll this week tracking the progress of the new Govt and its 100-day programme has concluded that most of the respondents want parliament to be dissolved by April 23 as promised. The poll was conducted earlier in the week before the President on Thursday announced the April 20th debate on the 19th Amendment to be followed by the dissolution of parliament. Asked “Should the Govt dissolve more..

Historic welcome, red box security if Sri Lanka team visits Pakistan: Riaz

Apr 12 (TN) Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) minister Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada termed Sri Lanka as his second home and described them as Pakistan's very close friends and said he was rooting for Sri Lanka alongside Pakistan in the World Cup. He said Sri Lankans always stands by Pakistan through thick and thin and they are very grateful to them. “Despite attack on their cricket team in the unfortunate Lahore incident, they never turn their backs on Pakistan. more..

Businessmen get arms training

Apr 12 (SL) The Katukurunda Special Task Force (STF) has given special arms training to a local politician and 10 businessmen, defence sources revealed. An official from the STF said that these people were given training in arms after they had submitted applications to obtain firearms. “The training is given as per the instruction issued by the Defence Ministry and it includes training in every weapon that is in used at present,” the official said. 4-week training will be given 4 hours a day. more..

Sri Lanka happy with foreign ties

Apr 12 (CG) Govt says it has been able to restore its relations with several countries from the day it came to power in January. Foreign Ministry sources said that under Rajapaksa regime, ties with many important world powers were strained due to a myopic foreign policy, foreign affairs mismanagement and antagonistic rejection of basic norms expected of any state, adding that it was not the Rajapaksas who bore the brunt of this more..

New Year message: Need for unity vital - President

Apr 12 (SO) What is special in this New Year celebration is the spread of festivity amidst the commitment to good governance that transcends differences of ethnicity, caste and community, with important strides being taken to realise the need for unity among all our people, said the President in his new year message. The message said, I am pleased to send this message of greetings and good wishes when the Sinhala and Tamil New Year is celebrated as all Sri Lankans come together more..

SL Schools U-15 tour to Malaysia: Sri Lanka enters final

Apr 12 (CT) Sri Lanka Schools Under 15 cricket team will meet Bangladesh Under 15 team in the final of the International Under 15 Cricket Challenge for the Tunku Ja'afar Trophy today at Bayemas Oval stadium in Malaysia. Sri Lanka played 5 matches and won all their matches against Bangladesh, Malaysia, South Africa, Singapore and India in the first round. The team beat Singapore by 279 runs in the last match of the first round at Kelab Aman on Friday. more..

CoI recommendations approved

Apr 12 (SL) President Maithripala Sirisena had given the green light to implement certain recommendations made by the Presidential Commission to investigate reports on missing persons, after it submitted its long-awaited interim report last Friday. Chairman of the Commission Maxwell Paranagama said that the interim report consisted of several recommendations. “The interim report was submitted to President last Friday. more..

RW-MS in crisis meet

Apr 12 (CT) In a bid to overcome the deepening crisis over SLFP's demand on electoral reforms to be accommodated as the 20th Amendment to be passed alongside the 19th Amendment, a crisis meeting has been fixed for 17 April between President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, authoritative sources disclosed yesterday. They said the two leaders of the SLFP and UNP will discuss these issues to arrive at a consensus as the President is keen to more..

Moves to heal rift between MS and MR

Apr 12 (ST) Peace initiatives are under way to bring together President Sirisena and his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa. Two emissaries, former Ministers P.B. Ekanayake and Kumara Welgama, met Mr. Sirisena yesterday to discuss moves at rapprochement. When Mr. Welgama asked President Sirisena to allow Mr. Rajapaksa to contest the upcoming Parliamentary elections, he asked “who told you that I was not allowing it?” He added, “He can contest the elections by all means. more..

Electoral reforms before dissolution

Apr 12 (ST) UPFA leaders decided yesterday to fast track an electoral reforms package for inclusion in the 19th Amendment so that President Maithripala Sirisena could dissolve Parliament after its passage and go for early polls. Consensus on the matter emerged at a meeting of alliance leaders at the residence of President Sirisena. A four-member Committee of the SLFP is now formulating this package. They will meet on April 15, more..

Police brace for festive season Special safety arrangements for the New Year

Apr 12 (CT) In view of the forthcoming Sinhala and Tamil New Year, Police Media Spokesman, ASP Ruwan Gunasekara announced to the media a special set up arrangement will be made up by the Police. The Spokesperson speaking about this to the journalists yesterday (10) said the Police will take adequate and required steps to reduce the traffic congestion and special traffic operations will be in effect from 12 to 20 April to apprehend drunken drivers. more..

PM awards Singer Ultra Notebooks to top ten O/L performers

Apr 12 (Island) Singer Sri Lanka PLC, the country’s number one brand, supported the top ten students who excelled in the GCE (O/L) examinations in 2014 at a ceremony held at the Temple Trees recently. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe awarded the latest Singer Ultra Notebooks to the top performers at a special function held to felicitate the students who achieved island ranking together with dignitaries from the Ministry of Education and the business fraternity. Mr. Asoka Pieris - CEO Singer Sri Lanka more..

Corruption probes: 3 members of presidential commission quit

Apr 12 (ST) Three members of a 5-member Presidential Commission appointed to probe corruption, fraud, and misuse or abuse of power in the past five years, have decided to withdraw. Justice Priyasath Dep who was appointed as chairman and Justice Anil Goonaratne had conveyed their decision to withdraw from the commission as they are Judges of the Supreme Court and hence their presence in the commission could raise concerns. more..

No objection to MR contesting General Election: Maithri

Apr 12 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena says he has no objection whatsoever to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa seeking reentry to politics via the upcoming general election. President Sirisena's statement came at a Party Leaders' meeting at the official residence of the President yesterday morning. Asked to confirm this statement by President Sirisena, Chief Organizer of the UPFA Susil Premajayantha affirmed it in a chat with Ceylon Today. more..

Cremation of Mahanayake of Asgiriya Chapter today

Apr 12 (Island) The cremation of Most Venerable Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha Mahanayake Thera of the Asgiriya Chapter of the Siyam Maha Nikaya (Siamese Sect) will take place with full state honors at the Asgiriya police grounds at 2.00 pm on Sunday (12). The remains of the prelate, who died at a hospital in Singapore on Tuesday night, were flown to Colombo last Thursday and later taken to the Asgiriya Maha Vihare. The late Maha Thera was 85 years at the time of his death. more..

Sirisena, Ranil struggling for good governance with backs to the wall

Apr 12 (ST) Ahead of last Wednesday’s weekly meeting of ministers; President Maithripala Sirisena was locked in conversation with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. After he handed over a document, Wickremesinghe was poring over it. Later, the duo arrived for the ministerial meeting which is conducted in the refurbished Well of the former Parliament and now Presidential Secretariat. more..

Speaker at crossroads

Apr 12 (CT) TNA Leader R. Sampanthan has informed the Speaker on Friday that his party is the most eligible to function as the 'Opposition Leader' (OL) in the House. He had alleged that the TNA which is non-partisan vis-à-vis the other parties in Parliament (other than being partisan to its own cause), has 14 MPs in the House. Sampanthan's contention is that though the UPFA is currently considered as being the 'OL,' there are however, a number of reasons to disqualify them from more..

The 19th Amendment: Supreme Court throws a lifeline to save Yahapalanaya

Apr 12 (Island) The govt could not have hoped for a better gift for the traditional April New Year than the Supreme Court ruling on the 19th Amendment that was read out in parliament on Thursday. I was all set to write my piece under the title, YahaPalanaya in trouble: Ranil’s arrogance, Maithri’s silence, and Opposition confusion, to meet my earlier than usual deadline in view of the New Year holidays. Then came the Supreme Court ruling and I was gladly forced to change the tone more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

Apr 12 (ST) Tiran Christopher Alles, businessman and DNA MP, has been questioned by Police over the provision of money to Tiger guerrillas. Police spokesperson Ruwan Gunasekera said Mr. Alles was grilled for two hours by the Special Investigations Unit (SIU). This Unit functions directly under Police Chief N.K. Illangakoon. Earlier, Police Headquarters issued an official statement under the spokesperson’s name. more..

A six year-old elephant calf donated to NZ

Apr 12 (DM) A female elephant calf named Anjalee – a resident of the Pinnawala elephant orphanage has been given to NZ’s Auckland zoo in honor of an exchange agreement made between the two countries. The six year-old elephant calf had braved a 12-hour flight from Sri Lanka to Auckland and is currently being kept in quarantine in Niue before being transported to the zoo to keep company to its other elephant, Burma. more..

Mystery deepens around Noel's death

Apr 12 (CT) The mysterious 'death due to vehicle accident' of Noel Ranaweera, the unmarried 37 year-old translator and assistant secretary at the Sri Lanka Embassy in Moscow, has been the silent cry of anguish for his mother and family ever since the Lankan embassy informed them about his death on 11 June 2014. Warned of something 'fishy' in the death last year, family had been contacting several media people to more..

Citizens unsatisfied with govt’s progress on combating corruption within the 100 days

Apr 12 (Island) According to a study done by Transparency International to assess citizen’s perception of the progress made in the 100 day program of the govt, 62% of the respondents stated that the govt’s tackling of corruption failed to meet their expectations. Meanwhile, 32% of the respondents said that they are somewhat satisfied with the govt’s actions against corruption while only 6% was found it satisfactory. more..

TNA, SLMC want delimitation put off for ten years

Apr 12 (ST) The TNA and the SLMC want the Govt to refrain from carrying out the delimitation of electoral boundaries in the Northern Province for the next 10 years, until displaced people are resettled. The proposal was put forward by a TNA delegation led by R. Sampanthan and SLMC leader Rauf Hakeem when they met PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on Friday at the Parliament Complex. Proposal was made on the grounds more..

Maha Nayake Thero was an erudite and scholarly monk: PM

Apr 12 (AD) The passing away of Most Ven. Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha Maha Nayake Thero of the Asgiriya Chapter is the most saddening news to us Sri Lankans, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe stated in a condolence message. “He was an erudite and scholarly monk of his time, who rendered a yeoman service to the Sasana he entered, to his country and to the society he lived, through his dedicated life. more..

Sri Lanka has potential to be a global example: UN envoy

Apr 12 (ST) If handled well, Sri Lanka’s case has the potential to be a regional and global example of how sustainable peace ought to be achieved, says Pablo de Greiff, UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence, at the end of his recent visit to Sri Lanka. Mr. de Greiff also says that decisions Sri Lankans have taken of late signal an end to the country’s “temporary leave from more..

Release of Sigiriya girl delayed

Apr 12 (DM) The release of the girl, who was sentenced to two years imprisonment over allegedly damaging the Sigiriya Mirror Wall, would be delayed till Court cases of two appeals are cleared, Deputy Minister of Justice Sujeewa Senasinghe said today. The two appeals had been filed by the People’s Movement for Good Governance (PMGG) organisation and Home for Human Rights (HHR) organisation against more..

Floating Armoury report due this week

Apr 12 (SO) The Govt will receive this week the Police CID report on the probe into the arms deals and high seas military venture scandal involving the secretive Avant Garde Security Services and Rakna Arakshaka Lanka that may have cost the govt billion-rupee losses as well as risked breaches in the global counter-terrorism effort. The CID investigation had been closely monitored by President Sirisena and PM more..

Bid to revive Mattala: Free for all airlines

Apr 12 (ST) The Govt has implemented an open skies policy over the ailing Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA), granting international operators all nine freedoms of the air—including the liberty to use it as a base for commercial airline operations. The new development is expected to be published as a gazette and in the worldwide aeronautical information circular this week. more..

Guangxixue lubricated graft in Sri Lanka

Apr 12 (Island) Why can’t the scourge of corruption, flagrant family nepotism and rampant abuse of power everywhere be exposed in the exemplary way the Weliamuna Board of Inquiry (W-BoI) has done for Sri Lankan Airlines? All along I tamely swallowed the PM and President’s lame excuse that "Ho, haa things must be done properly; the authorities must cautiously build a strong justiciable case". Blah, CID sloths, the tortoises in the Bribery Commission and the lame Attorney General more..

Colombo misses Gota

Apr 12 (Island) Gotabhaya Rajapakse it was who transformed Colombo from being yet another South Asian city into one of the cleanest in the whole of Asia, a city which we can be proud of. My Gama is Colombo, where I was born and bred and it is here that I have lived most of my life and I hence remember what my city was like through the years. Without fear of contradiction I can say it was never like this and we certainly owe it to one man for having made the difference and more..

Maithri ready to show his true colours shortly

Apr 12 (CT) As dissension with the SLFP heightens, the political stage is certainly set to go for a general election with the possibility of the present Parliament being dissolved anytime after 23 April. SLFP crisis has forced President Maithripala Sirisena to think of the future of his presidential administration as a section of the UPFA supporting his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa seems to stifle the 100-day programme initiated by him. more..

The Hodgepodge Constitution: Last laugh is for JR & MR

Apr 12 (Island) J.R. Jayewardene will heave a sigh of relief and break into a wry smile if he finds his constitution is dislodged. As it is, he may have to live with it in a life after death. Those with wafer thin majorities exploited the 1978 Constitution to the maximum that Jayewardene set for himself with a five sixth majority in Parliament. Unelected PM Ranil Wickremesinghe (Is the halfway mark a bridge too far for him to reach?) is aiming to ditch a constitution his kinsman baked and over-iced to more..

Hither and thither moves the Reconciliation Process?

Apr 12 (Island) May 19, 2009: The process for the closure to the ethnic divisiveness should have begun with the defeat of the Tigers in 2009. However the then govt was not sufficiently responsive to reconcile. Their approach to control and contain power had the people fear them but not to contain them. A new option opened out when Maithripala Sirisena was nominated as the Presidential candidate. The controlled but not contained minority community cast their votes for the opposition more..

Gota denies fraud, coup claims

Apr 12 (CG) Former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa has denied allegations of fraud and accusations that he was part Gotaof attempts to stage a coup following the January 8 elections. Rajapaksa said that he also does not have a bank account in Seychelles as claimed by some members of the new Govt. Rajapaksa claims he has only one bank account in Sri Lanka and while he did have one in the US, that account was later more..

Sri Lanka revamps port management

Apr 12 (EN) Sri Lanka's govt is revamping management of its ports, aiming to make them profitable, the new head of the ports authority said. "We're having to look at every port in Sri Lanka," declared Lakdas Panagoda, chairman of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA). "Our problems are huge. We have political, technical and financial issues." Lakdas said the govt wants to exploit the island's strategic location on the main East-West trade route across the Indian Ocean more..

Maha Nayake Thero brought greater light to Buddha Sasana: President

Apr 12 (GDI) The selfless services rendered by Most Venerable Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha Thero brought greater light to the Buddha Sasana, Said President Maithripala Sirisena. His acts of Dhamma portrayed a most efficient and esteemed personality, the President said. Most Venerable Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha Thera earned the respect of the Maha Sangha by his tireless efforts towards unification of the three Chapters of the Maha Sangha, the President further stated. more..

Latest Kotakethana murder: Son kills mother for refusing to give money

Apr 12 (CT) Ending the mystery of yet another murder of a woman in Kotakethana, the police arrested the 18-year-old son of the woman. Police has resolved all the 18 cases of murders of Kotakethana and legal action has been taken regarding 17 of them except the latest one, which is the killing of Chandrani Swarnalatha. The suspect has been arrested with scientific evidence against the claims of surreal elements. more..

A New Year sans fear: PM

Apr 12 (SO) It is unique that, in this year people are able to celebrate the New Year without any pressure, fear or suppression said PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in his New Year Message. The message said this is spring. During this season all Sri Lankans celebrate the Sinhala and Tamil New Year irrespective of race, caste or creed. The Sinhala and Tamil New Year is a cultural festival which is very important to every Sri Lankan. It is a national festival which embellishes more..