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Central Bank head resumes duty after bond probe report

Apr 23 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's central bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran has resumed his duties after a more than five-week voluntary leave of absence after being cleared by a panel investigating a controversial govt bond auction. The panel of legal experts probing the Feb. 27 auction said on Sunday that it had cleared the central bank chief of any direct role in the decision to increase the size of the sale by 10 times, while calling more..

GL accuses Bribery DG of targeting Gota at the behest of govt

Apr 23 (Island) Alleging that former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa had been unfairly harassed by the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC), former MinisterG.L. Peiris challenged the CIABOC to conduct a comprehensive inquiry into the Central Bank bond scam. He accused the CIABOC of carrying out a special project at behest of UNP-led govt. more..

Probes into 52 cases, legal action taken on 26

Apr 23 (ST) The newly set up Financial Crime Investigation Division (FCID) has opened investigations into 52 complaints made by several social organisations, political parties, Govt officials and individuals on fraudulent financial transactions. FCID has taken legal action on 26 complaints with a similar number being investigated. Financial corruption on the hedging deal and MiG aircraft transaction, abuse of funds in Divi Neguma more..

Massive protests to go ahead in Sri Lanka despite court ban

Apr 23 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan opposition said that they would go ahead with a massive protest campaign outside the country's Bribery and Corruption Commission on Thursday despite a court ban on such a demonstration, an official said. The protest has been organized by opposition party members against summons issued on Former Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse over corruption allegations. more..

Opposition scuttled presentation of Report on Rs.10 bn. TB issue: Govt

Apr 23 (Island) Report of a three member committee that inquired into the recent issue of Treasury Bills worth Rs.10 billion was to be presented to Parliament on Tuesday, but a section of the Opposition prevented it by their disruptive behavior, govt revealed. Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva said that when they had tried to give those who had been very critical of the Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran over the Rs.10 billion worth more..

Sri Lanka's ruling coalition faces rift

Apr 23 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's ruling coalition faced a rift on Thursday with the two main parties making accusations against each other. The rift was mainly over the failure by the SLFP to back key constitutional reforms in Parliament while the UNP wants the reforms approved soon. President Maithripala Sirisena is the chairman of the SLFP and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe the leader of the UNP. more..

The battle for the kingdom he lost

Apr 23 (CT) I write this comment with a sense of disgust. People who braved the risks of resisting Mahinda Rajapaksa’s regime knew they were doing so with death standing at their door-step. President Maithripala Sirisensa eloquently expressed this reality by saying that “I would have been seven feet below the ground where I stand today if we had lost the election”. This reality is not yet over. Mahinda Rajapaksa and his brothers did not build their Vampire State for nothing. more..

An election is on the horizon: Without a party is MR geared for one?

Apr 23 (DM) I didn’t waste Mahinda Rajapaksa’s time by seeking appointments when he was the President! But when he lost, I sought a meeting and was promptly told to come early next morning to a Colombo address. Probably he carried no diary being without an official secretary. We sat in a private room sandwiched between cardboard boxes crammed with used goods waiting for a transfer to Tangalle and talked of current events; time was not an issue. more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Sri Lanka shares end steady; President's speech awaited

Apr 23 (Reuters) Shares ended steady in thin trade on Thursday, hovering around their highest in more than six weeks hit in the previous session with investors offloading telecom and diversified shares, as they awaited President Sirisena's address to the nation later in the day. Analysts expect Sirisena, who promised to dissolve parliament after 100 days from his election, to explain his policies for political stability and implement the promised constitutional and electoral reforms. more..

If Opposition blocks passage of 19 A: Parliament to be dissolved on April 28

Apr 23 (Island) The govt said that Parliament would be dissolved on April 28, if the 19th Amendment to the Constitution could not be enacted by then. Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera addressing a news conference in Colombo said that some sections of the SLFP of which President Maithripala Sirisena was the Chairman obviously could not comprehend that what they were trying to do was implement the pledges contained in the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe 100-day programme which was presented to more..

TNA introduces bill to ban bottom trawling in Lankan waters

Apr 23 (ENS) TNA MP, M.A.Sumanthiran, has introduced a bill in the Sri Lankan parliament to ban bottom trawling in Lankan waters, irrespective of the nationality of the fishing vessel. If passed, the bill will particularly hit Tamil Nadu and Puducherry fishermen as these are the biggest offenders as far as bottom trawling in Lankan waters is concerned. A Lankan Act banning bottom trawling will also render untenable, more..

Registered/Assistant Medical Officers call off strike

Apr 23 (Island) An all-out strike launched by Registered and Assistant Medical Officers attached to Western Province hospitals yesterday has been called off from 8.00am today following an assurance given by the Provincial Health Minister yesterday. President of the Colombo Branch of the Society of Registered and Assistant Medical Officers, Dr C.W.S. Kumarage said that on the advice of Western Province Chief Minister Prasanna Ranatunga, Provincial Health Minister more..

Northern politicos are better: Pillaiyan

Apr 23 (CT) Former Chief Minister of the Eastern Province S. Chandrakanthan alias Pillaiyan has said that the new govt, under the guise of good governance, neglected the development activities in the Eastern Province. The former Eastern Province Chief Minister, who is currently a councillor in the Eastern Provincial Council, has criticized the Sirisena Government at the opening ceremony of a Sports Club at Siththandy in Batticaloa District on Sunday (19). more..

Video: BC turned into hunting mansion: NFF

Apr 23 (DM) NFF accused the govt of misusing the Bribery Commission (BC) to witch-hunt its political opponents and to tarnish the image of the former President. “BC had been converted into a hunting mansion and the govt had appointed a Hunting Princess as the Commission’s Director General to hunt political opponents. Today, the govt had stoop so low that it is accusing former president Rajapaksa on baseless charges,” more..

WP Chief Minister vows not to allow removal of Mahindodaya name

Apr 23 (Island) Western Province Chief Minister Prasanna Ranatunga in his capacity as the Provincial Education Minister yesterday said that he would not allow central govt to remove the ‘Mahindodaya’ name from the Technology Laboratories from the schools in the Province. CM Ranatunga also promised to open all ‘Mahindodaya’ laboratories yet under construction under the name of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, when they were completed. more..

Sri Lankan opposition says peace attempts with ruling party murdered

Apr 23 (Xinhua) The opposition said that attempts to settle a rift between President Sirisena and Former President Rajapakse as well as politicians affiliated to both sides has been murdered due to the recent actions of the govt. Opposition MP Dallas Allahapperuma said that the questioning of the former Defence Secretary by the anti graft commission and investigations also to be conducted against former president are hurting chances of a reconciliation between Sirisena & Rajapakse. more..

Jail not serious for politicians: MR

Apr 23 (DM) Jail terms should not be taken seriously as such experience was natural for them, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said in Matale. “I myself had served three months jail term,” Mr. Rajapaksa said. The former president stated so while participating as a special invitee at the opening ceremony of new two storied Sangawasa at the Purijjala Sri Dammasiddharama Sri Sangabodi Pirivena Temple in Matale. more..

Sri Lanka hails China’s defence help

Apr 23 (CG) The Govt today thanked China for the assistance given to the island, particularly for defence and development. State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene expressed his gratitude to China when the Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Yi Xianliang paid a courtesy call on Wijewardene at the Defence Ministry. “During the meeting a cordial discussion was held between the Minister and the visiting Ambassador on matters of mutual interest and bilateral relevance. more..

Age of consent for girls under review

Apr 23 (Island) Ministry of Women's Affairs (MWA) said that it had initiated discussions regarding the age of consent for girls as a part of the 100 day programme which had been drawn up for it. However the discussions initiated early this month follow in the wake of Minister Rajitha Senaratne's son being accused of abducting an under-age girl. MWA sources said following a round of discussions held early this month that there was a debate as to whether the age limit for girls more..

'Chinese investors interested in Sri Lanka'

Apr 23 (Xinhua) Chinese investors have shown interest in investing in Sri Lanka and ongoing Chinese projects in the island nation have greatly benefited the local people, said Chinese ambassador to Sri Lanka. Ambassador Yi Xianliang said that Chinese projects in Sri Lanka have benefited the local economy and also created employment for thousands of local workers. For example, "Norochcholai coal power plant has created more..

Basil transferred to National hospital

Apr 23 (AD) Former Minister Basil Rajapaksa who was at the Colombo Prison hospital has been transferred to the Colombo National hospital. Former Minister Basil Rajapaksa and two other senior ministry officials, who were arrested by the Police FCID over allegations of financial fraud, were remanded last night until the 05th of May by the Kaduwela Magistrate. Mr Rajapaksa, former Economic Development Ministry Secretary Dr. Nihal Jayatilaka and former Director General of more..

Polls after 19 and 20As: Rajitha

Apr 23 (DM) The Cabinet gave the nod for the electoral reforms that would elect 238 members at the forthcoming Parliamentary polls, with an increase of 13 members to the current 225 member Parliament, Cabinet Spokesman and Minister Rajitha Senaratne said today. He said the number of members elected directly by the voters would be increased to 173 from current 160 with the reintroduction of multi member constituencies to give a fair representation of minorities. more..

'Basil not scared, unlike former President'

Apr 23 (EN) Sri Lanka's former minister Basil Rajapaksa is co-operating with law enforcement authorities probing allegations of misuse of govt funds, unlike his brother the former president, an official said. Basil Rajapaksa, the brother of ousted president Mahinda Rajapaksa, has been accused of massive misuse of govt funds to support the January presidential polls campaign of his brother which the latter lost. more..

AG to be axed due to delay on inquiries

Apr 23 (AM) The Attorney General, who was under fire from various quarters over soft-pedaling on the investigations with regards to the former first family and their close associates, is to be removed from office within next two weeks, top govt sources said. It has now been revealed that many investigations have been slowed down due to delays on the part of the AG's Department. Many have raised concerns that these deliberate delays are aimed at protecting the top echelons of the previous govt from more..

Police probe use of altered flags

Apr 23 (CG) The police are to investigate reports that the National flag carried by some of the protesters outside the Bribery and Corruption Commission today were altered. Police spokesman ASP Ruwan Gunasekara said that the police will report to court on the issue as well as on the protest which was staged in violation of a court order. The Sri Lankan flag used during the protest did not have the colored stripes representing the minorities in Sri Lanka. more..

Video: 'Sri Lanka has become a police state'

Apr 23 (AD) Former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa said that he has not unlawfully obtained a single cent within the past 9 years and that he is the victim of a politically motivated witch-hunt. Rajapaksa arrived at the Commission to Investigate Allegation of Bribery or Corruption this morning amidst a large gathering of protesters chanting slogans against the govt and the commission for summoning the former more..

Sri Lanka participates at TUR travel fair 2015 in Gothenburg, Sweden

Apr 23 (GDI) Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau along with the Sri Lanka Embassy in Sweden and representatives from several Sri Lanka Travel agencies participated in the TUR Tourism Exhibition and Travel Fair 2015 held from 19-22 March 2015 at the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre in Gothenburg, Sweden. The Sri Lanka pavilion was inaugurated by Mr. Thomas Myrén, Honorary Consul of Sri Lanka in Gothenburg. The Sri Lanka stand at the Travel Fair showed attractive displays more..

Ravana Balaya opposes changing National Flag

Apr 23 (AM) Ravana Balaya Convener Ittakande Saddatissa Thera said that two vertical stripes of equal size in green and saffron should not be removed from the national flag. The presence of the flag without the two vertical lines during two recent protests created some controversy. On Tuesday, the flags were seen in the protest outside the parliament in support of former president Rajapaksa. The flags were seen once more on Thursday morning at the protest outside the parliament in support of more..

Video: People’s aspirations not fulfilled: JVP

Apr 23 (DM) Making a review of the first 100 days of the present govt, JVP said there were many aspirations of the people that had not been fulfilled during this period. JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that the govt had failed to establish a people’s friendly economy. He said there had been a delay in penalising those who had been allegedly involved in robbing public property and nationalising those properties though more..

SL to usher in right to information urgently

Apr 23 (ENS) The cabinet has decided to urgently bring a bill to provide Lankans the Right to Information (RTI) as in India and several other democracies. Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that it will be presented to parliament as an “emergency bill” under clause 122 of the Lankan constitution. Senaratne said that the urgency was on account of the fact that bringing about an RTI Act within the first hundred days of his rule was one of the major election promises of President Sirisena. more..

Don’t risk Gota’s life: BBS

Apr 23 (DM) BBS said it would urge the govt not to harm former defense secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa because he was a conscientious govt servant who risked his life to bring peace to the country. Ven. Gnanasara Thera said they were not supporting any politician but said the govt should not risk Mr. Rajapaksa’s life. “Mr.Rajapaksa was conscientious govt servant who has done a great deal of work to beautify Colombo City and restore peace in the country,” he said. more..

Govt rules out corruption in Port City Project

Apr 23 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan govt on Thursday said that there was no corruption involved in a multi billion dollar Port City Project. SL govt also said that the only concern was if the proper procedures had been followed. The Colombo Port City Project solely financed by the China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) was temporarily suspended by the new Sri Lankan govt last month after concerns were raised more..

An earnest request to the Sri Lankan MPs

Apr 24 (CT) As you debate the above Constitutional Amendment in the Parliament under challenging circumstances, we thought that it is important to encourage you to see to its successful passage. One of the major political reforms put to the people of Sri Lanka at the January 2015 Presidential election was the abolition of the Executive Presidency. The Presidential Election Manifesto and the various promises made during the election campaign led the people of Sri Lanka elect more..

Full face helmet fiasco: The head & the tail

Apr 24 (CT) In recent times, the subject of the full face helmet has caught the attention of many. Currently many are unaware as to why there is such a fiasco over this issue, thus leading many to confusion and misinterpretation. So why is there a big deal about these full face helmets? Because a simple fact called “Protection of human life” is involved. Since 2014, the Police has been trying to ban full face helmets. Since 2014 I have written to the President of this country many a time more..

Floating armouries: Danger to national security?

Apr 24 (SO) Armed maritime security has become a money spinner in today's pirate plagued world. Private security firms that lead the trade are not only powerful but also invincible. Though Sri Lanka is a key country along the East West sea lane the trade remained new to the country until the Police detected a floating warehouse of weapons that belonged to the private company Avant Garde Maritime Services in the Galle Harbour in more..

Prosecution of negligent auditors and directors

Apr 24 (Island) Large-Scale corruption will continue to thrive so long as professionals - particularly auditors and lawyers (i) are not held accountable (ii) ‘named and shamed’ (iii) punished - for dereliction of duty and wrongdoing. Can any large-scale corruption occur without the complicity of professionals? Are not accountants and auditors the first line of defense against corruption in all entities dealing with financial resources? This is precisely what is avoided even by more..

The beginning of the end...

Apr 24 (CT) "Not to grab power even in the medium term which Somawansa will see as politically unrealistic, but to step into the scenario with a powerful third force in Parliament, a place that the Rajapaksa clan wishfully presumes is their place in Parliament for the foreseeable future." Psychiatrists have long known that for several reasons, especially parental censure, that personality growth is arrested and remains so throughout life unless detected early in a child and remedied through counselling. more..

Central Bank bond controversy revisited

Apr 24 (GV) Ministry of Policy Planning and Economic Affairs has on April 19 issued a press release announcing some findings of the 3-member committee that PM Ranil Wickramasinghe appointed “to look into matters related to the 30-year bond issued on Feb 27” (PM’s special statement to Parliament, 17th March). The findings, however, instead of resolving the issues, appear to have raised yet more issues. more..

Tax revenue records 23% growth in last 4 months

Apr 24 (DN) Govt's tax revenue has recorded a 23% growth during the last four months. The reason being that the govt has demonstrated proper accountability, good governance and best fiscal management practices, Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. "The govt during the 100 day programme demonstrated proper revenue practices, good governance and accountability. That resulted in that the govt's financial situation now being in safe hands because previous regime put the economy more..