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'Govt joining hands with thieves'

Apr 2 (NS) JVP is seen as a party in recent years that has been outspoken with regards to govt corruption and fraud. Since the conclusion of the Presidential Election the party has been more active in this regard with party member and Convener of the Voice against Corruption Wasantha Samarasinghe taking the forefront to ensure action is taken against corrupt politicians. Nation interviewed Samarasinghe to discuss the more..

Editorial: Arming terrorists – II

Apr 2 (Island) The govt keeps saying it will probe a complaint against former Sri Lankan envoy in Russia, Udayanga Weeratunga, that he supplied arms to Ukrainian militants. He has gone missing, we are told. He should be traced, brought here, grilled and arraigned for the offence if credible evidence is available to prove his culpability. The new administration ought to get cracking. We have previously argued that the LTTE’s chief arms procurer, Kumaran Pathmanathan or KP, more..

Devolution in India and Sri Lanka

Apr 2 (Island) We should be more than thankful to the Editor of The Island for carrying Neville Ladduwahetty’s article under the above caption in The Island on the 28th of March; it is a most valuable one and should be read and studied by our policy makers and those who have an interest in Indo-Lanka relations and problems in the North. The 13th Amendment was foisted on us by the Indians after they stopped the Vadamaarachchi Operation and saved Prabhakaran; more..

'Private sector involvement in agriculture is low'

Apr 2 (CT) The Sri Lanka Organization of Agricultural Professionals (SLOAP) has put forward a framework for a National Agricultural Policy. President of the SLOAP and Professor in Animal Science at the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Peradeniya, Prof. H.W. Cyril spoke to Ceylon Today about issues plaguing the agriculture sector and about the woes of the livestock farmers. Here are some excerpts from the interview: more..

Crime: Conspiring to kill the President; Punishment: Being elevated to the Cabinet

Apr 2 (Island) The war was raging with no respite on the horizon. Both divides believed that the elimination of Prabhakaran or Mahinda Rajapaksa would end the conflict, which had raged for 30 odd years. Rajapaksa was no fool, or at least, his security commanders knew how to thwart any attempt on the President’s life. Security was tightened and even the walls around Temple Trees and the residence were fortified. It was like a fortress. President was immensely popular. more..

Do not feed Rambo the Jumbo

Apr 2 (NS) Every morning an elephant wades across the Udawalwa reservoir to reach the main road. There he stands most of the day, morning till night surrounded by tourists and pilgrims traveling to Kataragama along with many fruit vendors. The great giant affectionately called Rambo by Udawalawa residents’ poses for pictures with his many admirers while munching on various goodies thrown at him by the visitors. Being an intelligent animal, he has noted the difference more..

After the storm there was a lot to smile about

Apr 2 (ST) In May 2012, John Rankin, UK’s High Commissioner in SL, found himself caught in a storm of controversy in the wake of a video posted on HC’s website. In it, Scottish diplomat called for steps to be taken toward demilitarisation of Sri Lanka’s northern and eastern provinces. A slew of editorials, and even a few cartoons followed. He describes it now, with masterful British understatement, as most memorable period. more..

Bourse slowdown due to unpulled policy levers

Apr 2 (Island) Trading activities of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) have slowed down as policy levers that stimulate market activity are yet to be pulled. Vajira Kulatilaka, chairman of the Board of Directors of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) told the media, "As you can see, the market performance is not up to desirable levels as there are policy uncertainties which inhibit the market. This is understandable as the country is still in an election mode. more..

Sri Lanka Tourism Strategy: China 2015 launched with private sector

Apr 2 (eTN) The marketing strategy by Sri Lanka Tourism to the market China for 2015 was launched with a private- public partnership in the presence of the Deputy Mission in Charge of the Sri Lankan embassy of China with the top 65 photographers from Shanghai photographic association capturing the beauty of Sri Lanka under the theme " Sri Lanka - beauty in my eyes". Today is unique as we have the key stakeholders from the private sector who operate the market China at more..

JKH Waterfront Project to continue

Apr 2 (DN) John Keells Holdings (JKH) will continue the Waterfront Properties project as planned despite the new govt's amendment to restrict the ability to rent space for gaming activities, JKH Chairman Susantha Ratnayake said. "The project is progressing well and it has only released out the space reserved for the casino parlour under new govt's ruling," Ratnayake said. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe announced more..

A Primer on Treasury Bonds: Part II

Apr 2 (FT) In my previous column, A Primer on Treasury Bonds. Daily FT 24 March 2015, I discussed the key features of Bonds in the context of the Sri Lankan Treasury Bond market. I explained some of the main technical terms such as face value, maturity, interest rate, yield and price as well as the basic market information such as the primary and secondary markets. This technical and market information is essential to understand the operation of Bond markets. more..

'Boycott missing persons call on commission'

Apr 2 (CT) Ampara District civil representatives recently said that the sittings of the Presidential Commission to investigate into missing persons should be boycotted and a new commission should be formed with the support of the UN. Rev. Nagaraja Prabhakaran said that the commission had only attended to 2,000 complaints so far, while there are almost 20,000 complaints to be heard. "The commission needs at least 10 years to investigate into all the complaints and track down more..

Combating non-communicable diseases through health promotion and prevention

Apr 2 (WB) “I used to include salt in everything I cooked, even rice,” said 58 year old Seetha Ranjini, a mother of two confessing her ignorance on health implications of the way she prepared meals for her family. “A neighbor encouraged me to come to a healthy lifestyle clinic. Through this clinic, I’ve gained new knowledge on healthy living practices,” she said. Ranjini now regrets that she may have contributed to her husband’s early onset of more..

BOI facilitates round-the-clock service for exporters

Apr 2 (FT) At a ceremony held on 30 March at its Head Office, the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka extended its Green Channel facility to an additional 24 enterprises. A total number of 108 enterprises have been awarded Green Channel facility since 2006. Green Channel is a facility given to BOI export-oriented companies, based on their excellent performances and compliance to BOI regulations. With the Green Channel facility BOI enterprises are granted special facilities such as more..

One of the biggest Kerala ganja dealers nabbed

Apr 2 (Island) Acting on a tip-off, Police commandos attached to theVavuniya STF camp on Tuesday arrested one of the main Kerala ganja dealers in the country. He was arrested with a haul of 102 kilos of Kerala ganja with a street value of Rs. 13.3 million. It had been hidden in his mother’s house in the Palai police area. The 28-year-old suspect, a resident of Panalithirippu, Elawali, had revealed under interrogation that he had been sailing to Kerala in India on board a boat via Madagal more..

'Troops, camps remain in North'

Apr 2 (SLA) Army Commander Crishanthe De Silva, said that the troops deployed in the North have not been withdrawn as well as the military camps. Pledging to raise the professional standards of the Sri Lanka Army to new heights, the Commander said that safeguarding territorial sovereignty was of paramount importance and promised to to take all measures to prevent the resurgence of militancy in the North. more..

EPF brought to heel!

Apr 2 (CT) The govt will soon ban the Employees Provident Fund from investing in listed banks and finance companies. "The govt, through the Central Bank will bring in new guidelines where EPF Funds will be prohibited from investing in Colombo Stock Exchange listed banks and financial institutions, Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva said. He was responding to a question from this newspaper whether the EPF Funds would be continued to be invested in the Colombo Stock Exchange, more..

Women's Affairs Ministry formulates progress report on Sri Lanka

Apr 2 (DN) The progress report on Sri Lanka in line with the Bejing Action Plan is being formulated by the Women's Affairs Ministry to mark the 20th anniversary of the Bejing Women's Conference held in 1995. Women's Affairs Ministry development officer Mekala Jayathilake said the progress report is being formulated under 12 areas and issues related to women. She said one study out of many is underway to find out if the employment rate among women has increased. more..

'19A reduces President to a mere rubber stamp'

Apr 2 (Island) The 19th Amendment to the Constitution sought to reduce the President elected by the people to a mere rubber stamp; except on the appointment of the PM. President had to ask the PM what to do and what not to do and, therefore, it was an affront to the President elected by the people, Counsel Manohara de Silva, PC told the Supreme Court yesterday. De Silva supporting the petition filed by Udaya Gammanpila said more..

Soldier killed, 28 injured in truck-bus collision

Apr 2 (DN) One soldier died and 28 persons including 13 soldiers were injured when an army truck plying from Ratnapura town to Kuruwita camp collided head on with a private bus at the Ratnapura New Town. Fifteen civilians travelling in the private bus are among the injured. According to Army spokesman Brigadier Jayanath Jayaweera, the army truck was carrying soldiers involved in dengue prevention campaign in the Ratnapura town, to the Kuruwita camp, when the mishap occurred. more..

400 babies born annually with hearing deficiencies

Apr 2 (Island) The National Hospital ENT Surgeon and former President of the ENT Surgeons’ Association (ENT SA), Dr Chandra Jayasuriya said that approximately 400 infants were born annually with hearing deficiencies. Dr Jayasuriya said however, that a proper survey had not been carried out to assess the situation in Sri Lanka yet. They had only adopted the method of assessing the new-borns response to sounds heard from their immediate environment. more..

Speaker spends sleepless nights

Apr 2 (CT) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa is staying up all night these days reading books on parliamentary traditions to resolve the issue of who should lead the opposition in Parliament. Speaker is said to be laboriously poring over tomes of all that parliamentary stuff to see whether the erstwhile Erskine May can enlighten him on the affairs in Parliamentary Practice, and other tomes as well by M.N. Kaul and S.L. Shakdher. more..

Rohitha Bogollagama released on bail

Apr 2 (FT) Former Minister Rohitha Bogollagama was yesterday released on bail by the Colombo Chief Magistrate over a case of financial fraud made against him relating to a period in 2006 when the BOI was under his purview. The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption filed action in the Magistrate’s Court on 24 March against him on charges of intimidating the then Chairman of the BOI to allocate funds additional to those required for a promotional program in London more..

Active intervention of Sri Lanka's apparel sector awaited on Swedish offer

Apr 2 (Island) Even though the initial discussions have taken place between a business delegation from Sweden and the Minister Rishad Bathiudeen on the matter of acquiring Sweden’s support for Sri Lanka’s apparel exports sector, the commencement of the above mentioned business deal still awaits the active intervention of Sri Lanka’s apparel sector. Sweden, which is recognized as having one of the highest per capita incomes globally, extended its support to Sri Lanka apparel exports sector. more..

Ranil says bold private sector leaders key to creating a new Sri Lanka

Apr 2 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe called for bold private sector leaders who could take on the challenge of creating a new equitable Sri Lanka instead of asking for favours or remaining uncompetitive. The platform on which the Premier made this call as well as emphasised several strong positions and future plans of the Govt was the function to celebrate the 65th anniversary of Associated Motorways Ltd., attended by more..

Tissa Karalliyadda quits govt

Apr 2 (Island) Deputy Minister of Buddha Sasana and Democratic Governance Tissa Karalliyadda has quit the govt. "I faxed my letter of resignation to President Maithripala Sirisena on Tuesday evening," the former Minister said. Anuradhapura District UPFA MP Karalliyadda said that the incumbent govt, driven by hate, was victimising SLFPers. "Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa proposed a national govt in 2006. The UNP was silent at that time, but now wants a national govt. more..

Full Face Helmet ban postponed

Apr 2 (CT) The imposition of the ban on the use of full face helmets will be postponed by another one month. This decision was announced by Traffic Police Headquarters. The ban was to be imposed from today. Amarasiri Senaratne, Senior DIG in charge of Traffic Police Headquarters, said it has been decided that motorcyclists wearing full face helmets will be flagged down by police and warned to show proof of having procured helmets which adhere to standards stipulated by police. more..

To diffuse SLC crisis Navin to meet Srinivasan

Apr 2 (CT) Sports Minister Navin Dissanayake said he is planning to meet ICC Chairman N. Srinivasan to explain the recent development surrounding Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) along with new Interim Committee Chairman Sidath Wettimuny. "We had a very long distinguish, diplomatic and cooperative relationship with SLC throughout, after we got test status in 1980. Our policy will be the same towards that," more..

Colombo rubber prices hit lowest levels since 2009

Apr 2 (DM) Rubber prices at the Colombo auction have hit the lowest levels since 2009, and appears to continue to slip for the foreseeable future, while production may fall, having already reduced to the lowest since 2004, heralding a dark age for the industry. “Today I bought a batch of RSS1 for Rs.212. The prices are the lowest since July 2009 and the national production has fallen to 98,514 tonnes in 2014,” Colombo Rubber Traders Association Chairman M. S. Rahim said. more..

Colombo-Talaimannar train services resume today after 24 years

Apr 2 (DN) After more than 24 years, direct train services between Colombo and Talaimannar will resume from today on the newly completed railway track between Medawachchiya and Talaimannar. Four train services are scheduled to operate between Colombo Fort and the Talaimannr Pier daily. Two trains will leave the Fort railway station at 7.40 pm and 8.50 am daily, while two trains would operate daily from the Talaimannar Pier railway station at 10 pm and 10.15 am respectively. more..

China agrees to write off US$ 30 M from Outer Circular Road cost

Apr 2 (DM) China had agreed to write off US$ 30 million from the total amount which it had lent to Sri Lanka for the construction of the Outer Circular Road (OCR) which connects several highways, the Sri Lankan Govt announced. The announcement was made by a group of ministers at a media news briefing held last evening. This had been communicated by the Chinese govt during the visit of President Sirisena to China. more..

Signs of a historic April

Apr 2 (DM) Though April jokingly begins with the feast of all fools, April 2015 may turn out to be one of the most important months in the history of independent Sri Lanka. Next week the 19th Amendment is to be taken up for debate in Parliament. Despite several petitions to the Supreme Court even by the National Govt’s allies such as the JHU, most political analysts believe this vital amendment will be passed with more than a two thirds majority in Parliament. more..

Dictatorship, Democracy and National Development

Apr 2 (DM) A decade is a long period in a fast moving world. It is particularly long in a country like SL that lost nearly three decades for a destructive and destabilizing war. Whereas the last ten years since the end of the war would have been spent for national reconstruction, an increasingly dictatorial regime virtually closed off all possibilities for meaningful, equitable and sustainable national development. War was essentially a costly affair, in every sense of the term. more..

Children, pregnant women severely cautioned against contracting the ‘flu’

Apr 2 (ST) Children and pregnant women are severely cautioned against infection from the present seasonal influenza (flu) which impacts more on them, with risks of developing pneumonia, which could be fatal, Health officials warn. Influenza related maternal deaths are reported during seasonal influenza, and such high-risk groups should seek medical attention if their flu gets worse, or despite treatment they develop difficulty more..

'I am not rich, but gifted my property and Peacock Mansion to Mahinda Rajapaksa'

Apr 2 (DM) Media recently reported that former President Rajapaksa is to be gifted with the Peacock Mansion belonging to A.S.P. Liyanage who contested unsuccessfully at the recent presidential election. The excerpts from an interview with Liyanage are reproduced below. Q: How many times have you contested the Presidency? A: I have contested twice. Q: On the last occasion who did you support? A: I came forward in support of more..

New Cabinet and 19-A create ripples

Apr 2 (SL) A rift has emerged from the political parties who have been supporting the govt’s 100 day programme over the formation of the National govt and the draft of the 19th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution. While some question the criteria in which the National govt was formed, others point out that the intent was to find the two-third majority in the parliament to do the required constitutional reforms. more..

EU’s GSP+: Govt. pledges to deliver on international conventions

Apr 2 (ST) Govt has pledged to the European Union (EU) that it will work towards implementing the 27 international conventions in order to regain GSP trade concessions at the very earliest. This assurance was given to a top level EU delegation that was in the country from the start of this week, to evaluate the current thinking of the new Govt in this regard, Director General of Commerce R.D.S. Kumararatne said. more..

Lasantha Wickrematunge's brother confident of investigations

Apr 2 (AM) Lal Wickrematunge recently expressed confidence that a systematic investigation is being carried out into the murder of his brother, former editor of Sunday Leader Lasantha Wickrematunge. Lal Wickrematunge arrived at the CID on Wednesday in order to give a statement on the murder of his brother. He said that there was hope that the justice will be served to Lasantha and his family members. more..

'SLFP mustn’t keep Opposition Leader’s post'

Apr 2 (Island) Former Minister G.L. Peiris, MP asserted that the SLFP couldn’t under any circumstance retain the post of Leader of the Opposition, while being in the govt. Such a practice couldn’t be condoned and was detrimental not only to the SLFP but also to the entire parliamentary system, Prof. Peiris said. He was responding to a query by whether he subscribed to a petition backing the incumbent Opposition Leader. more..

‘Where is bond issue probe report?’

Apr 2 (Island) The JHU tore into the UNP for tarnishing the image of the new govt which had came to power promising good governance; it called for action against the corrupt elements in the previous regime. JHU Media Secretary Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said that some legal experts who drafted the 19th amendment had sought to cater to the needs of UNP in return for National List slots in next Parliament. more..