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'JVP will be watchful of CID'

Feb 2 (SL) Speaking on the on-going investigations into bribery and corruption, JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake maintained that ‘it was up to the CID to accelerate the investigations and carry out the process in a proper way’. “It is up to Minister John Amaratunga to look into the matter and ensure that drug and ethanol menace is wiped out from the country. We cannot rest assured that the CID investigations more..

No white knights riding to battle

Feb 2 (ST) To affirm that the independence of the judiciary is secured by individuals is just plain ludicrous. The integrity of an institution depends on processes and procedures that are hallowed by convention as well as by law. They are held sacred to the extent that an individual, even at the highest level of that institution, should not be able to subvert the same in fear of the awful consequences that follow. This week, Sri Lanka saw the horrendous consequences that ensue more..

Editorial: Of those endangered CJs

Feb 2 (Island) Sri Lanka, a country like no other, has set a new world record with last week’s Chief-Justice hat trick as it were. CJ Mohan Peiris was ousted last Wednesday. CJ Shirani Bandaranayake was there till Thursday and CJ K. Sripavan was appointed on Friday! Peiris lost his job because his appointment was deemed bad in law and, therefore, null and void by President Maithripala Sirisena, who held that Bandaranayake’s removal had not been proper. What if a future govt holds that the removal more..

'Too early to name PM candidate'

Feb 2 (CT) Leader of the Opposition, Nimal Siripala de Silva, says the SLFP executive committee and the central committee decided unanimously to appoint him as the Opposition Leader. Q: Did you want to accept the Opposition Leader position? A: Yes, I wanted it. Q: Are you speaking according to your conscience? A: Yes. Q: Who offered you that position? A: Our parliamentary group. Q: Is that the UPFA or the SLFP? more..

No white knights riding to battle

Feb 2 (ST) To affirm that the independence of the judiciary is secured by individuals is just plain ludicrous. The integrity of an institution depends on processes and procedures that are hallowed by convention as well as by law. They are held sacred to the extent that an individual, even at the highest level of that institution, should not be able to subvert the same in fear of the awful consequences that follow. This week, Sri Lanka saw the horrendous consequences that ensue when more..

Protest over assault on Wattala PS Chairman

Feb 2 (CT) Local representatives from several parts of the country will congregate today to stage a protest against the assault on the Wattala-Mabole Preadeshiya Sabha Chairman, Thyagaratne Alwis allegedly by certain councillors during a session last week. The protest is scheduled at 10:00 a.m. opposite the PS building at Mahabage junction, Welisara. Alwis and four others wounded in the assault were rushed to hospital. Police on Saturday arrested three persons over the assault but more..

'President Sirisena is being wrongly advised'

Feb 2 (NS) One of the former Chief Justices Sarath N Silva became a notable icon when he appeared in Dhamma discussions telecast over television channels. This was after his long service in the judiciary. However, he was also seen on political stages and made certain comments regarding judgments given by him which had relevance to politicians. On January 8, then President Rajapaksa was defeated by more..

SriLankan Board to meet over Mihin merger

Feb 2 (CT) The new Board of Directors of the national carrier SriLankan Airlines will shortly meet to discuss the modalities of implementing the merger between the national carrier and the budget carrier Mihin Air. The merger between the two airlines will also be done in such a manner in the most cost effective manner while further maximizing the synergies between the two airlines, SriLankan Airlines CEO Kapila Chandrasena said. The two airlines already co-operate in several areas. more..

First tourist resort of Maithri era opens

Feb 2 (FT) The first tourist resort of the Maithri-era was opened on Friday thanks to an important initiative by Japanese investor Bansei Securities in partnership with Jetwing. The 30-room Bansei by Hotel J was ceremoniously opened by Minister Navin Dissanayake along with Japanese Ambassador Nobuhito Hobo. Hotel is latest venture of Bansei Royal Resorts Hikkaduwa, a subsidiary of Bansei Securities, of Japan, which has investments in SL’s financial services industry. more..

It’s elephant-hunting season – and the goodies are in charge

Feb 2 (ST) From next Wednesday, officials will begin raids on properties where elephants are being held illegally with the minister giving two weeks’ grace to surrender elephants, hoping this would stop panicking wrongdoers from killing the innocent animals. Environmentalists claim more than 50 elephants are being held illegally. Minister Naveen Dissanayake and Deputy Minister Wasantha Senananayake this week issued more..

Freedom, where are the joys that free men have sung in thy name?

Feb 2 (ST) This Wednesday morning as President Maithripala Sirisena hoists the Lion flag of Lanka to mark the 67th year of independence from the British Raj, no doubt his eyes will rest on the yellow and green strips of colour that symbolise the presence of the two minority communities – the Tamils and the Muslims — who have shared the land with the Sinhalese and together have undergone the trials and tribulations this nation has endured for centuries. 26 days after being sworn in as more..

Five-month wait till June poll to decide interest rates' future

Feb 2 (CT) With the government having to wait for direction in regard to foreign direct investments (FDI) only after the June general election when a new government is elected to power, likewise, authorities will consider the future direction of interest rates only after that poll, market sources said. "It's a long wait, a wait of a minimum of five months from now, before the future direction of the country's external sector is decided upon by the authorities," they said. Though FDI inquiries have been pouring in, after more..

'Take decision to make temporary reliefs permanent'

Feb 2 (LT) “People would never have got these reliefs if Mahinda Rajapaksa had come to power again. The people should take correct decisions to make permanent the reliefs that were obtained temporarily,” says JVP MP Vijitha Herath. He said this at a press conference to apprise the view of JVP regarding the interim budget. “Presenting of the interim budget is a result of the political change that took place in the country. more..

Rohantha new Tourism Promotion Chief; Withana new Development Authority boss

Feb 2 (FT) Minister Navin Dissanayake has appointed top professionals Rohantha Athukorala as the new Chairman of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau and Paddy Withana as the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority. He expressed optimism on the future and said the appointments would help to boost the tourism sector through effective consultation with industry stakeholders. Athukorala is a Chartered Marketer & multiple award-winning marketer more..

Super gain tax an indictment on respected corporates; retrospective effect riles analysts

Feb 2 (FT) The chorus is growing that of all the populist proposals of the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe interim Govt, the super gain tax is the worst indictment on a group of companies which is highly respected and well-managed, apart from the contentious issue of it being retrospective. The Super Gain Tax is the largest one-time revenue raising measure perhaps in the history of national budget with a staggering Rs. 50 billion estimated. Ironically corporate earnings more..

Golden Key under fresh CB probe

Feb 2 (ST) Central Bank is closely examining its various, market-related activities, whether proper risk management processes were followed and whether any individuals – within the regulator and outside – need to be prosecuted in the Golden Key fiasco. Bank, under a new Governor, is also unlikely to adjust the rupee value right now and would retain it at current levels. “There is a whole bunch of things that needs more..

Mixed bag in SL’s amended 2015 Budget

Feb 2 (ST) Sri Lanka’s 2015 Budget has become a mixed bag with the second time amendment or adjustment made this week under the new Maithri regime in its 100 day revolution budget. The previous govt on Nov 5 altered the estimated expenditure of 2015 appropriation bill presented on Sept 26th and the budget on Oct 24 for the first time. The new Finance Minister has fulfilled the task of finding necessary financial provisions to implement most of pledges given to the common man more..

Sharma and Mangala hold talks

Feb 2 (CG) Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma had talks today with the Minister Mangala Samaraweera at the External Affairs Ministry. Sharma arrived in Sri Lanka on a three day official visit during which he is to meet President Maithripala Sirisena. Sirisena became the Commonwealth’s Chair-in-Office following the recent Presidential elections. The Secretary-General was also meet PM Ranil Wickremesinghe during his visit to discuss Commonwealth priorities more..

New economic team justifies Interim Budget

Feb 2 (FT) The new govt’s top economic policymakers including Minister of Finance, Ravi Karunanayake, Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran and Deputy Minister of Policy Planning and Economic Development, Dr. Harsha De Siva on Friday justified the Interim Budget as critical to address immediate socio-economic issues in the country. Other members of panel included CCC Chairman, Suresh Shah, more..

Army recruits Mullaittivu Youths as tradesmen

Feb 2 (SLA) Security Force Headquarters-Mullaittivu recently enlisted 34 young Tamil youth to the SL Army Volunteer Force from Mullaittivu area and commenced recruit training for them at Pudukuduirippu Battalion Training School on Monday under the directions of Major General Jagath Dias. The recruit training will continue for 16 weeks under the supervision of the 15 SL Artillery. Training programme and demonstrations are to be conducted in both Tamil and Sinhala more..

Garment exporters confident of achieving 2015 revenue target

Feb 2 (Island) Sri Lanka Chamber of Garment Exporters (SLCGE) and its partner Sri Lanka Apparel Sourcing Association (SLASA) expressed confidence of achieving this year’s govt target of USD five billion in export revenue. SLCGE Manager, Administration, Rohan de Silva said that the apparel sector is keen on signing a Free Trade Agreement with China and at least a MoU with Japan. He said that if the country is able to sign the agreement with China and tap the Japanese market, more..

UPFA gave Rs 524 billion in Treasury Guarantees!

Feb 2 (CT) The previous UPFA govt has provided Treasury Guarantees up to a whopping Rs 524 billion according to the data. Of the larger amounts, the biggest amount which the Treasury under the stewardship of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Deputy Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama and Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera had guaranteed was Rs 206.7 Billion for the CPC and Rs 157.3 billion for the RDA. more..

British Minister donates books to Jaffna Library

Feb 2 (CT) Britain's Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister Hugo Swire expressed his concerns over the media personnel in Jaffna when he met a group of Jaffna journalists from the Jaffna Press Club (JPC) last Thursday. The Jaffna journalists told the British Minister that the media personnel was yet to see a conducive climate for them to carry out their duties without any harassment. They also pointed out that the journalists from the island who live in exile in the Western countries more..

Merrill J. Fernando awarded FCCISL Entrepreneur Hall of Fame Award

Feb 2 (CT) Tea industry icon, founder and Chairman of MJF Exports Ltd and of Dilmah Teas fame, Merrill J. Fernando, was awarded the Entrepreneur Hall of Fame Award at the 19th Entrepreneur of the Year Award Ceremony 2014, hosted by the Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Sri Lanka (FCCISL) at the Water's Edge, Battaramulla last Thursday. Fernando, was recognized for his service to the country through his innovative company which was founded in 1988. more..

Oil pipeline leak at Orugodawatte to cost the state coffers dear

Feb 2 (Island) Residents of Orugodawatte collected a vast amount of aviation fuel gushing out of a pipeline from the Colombo Port to the Kolonnawa oil tanks after it sprung a leak at Kambikotuwa area yesterday. Aging pipeline burst around 6 am yesterday and the fuel flowed into drains in the area. Chairman of the Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminals (CPST), Roshan Gunawardana said he had visited the area more..

'Sirisena has given hope to Tamils'

Feb 2 (Hindu) The election of Maithripala Sirisena as the Sri Lankan President has offered a hope to the Tamils in Sri Lanka and they are able to move freely without the Army’s interruption, said K. Velayutham, SL Minister of State for Plantation and Industry. Talking to reporters after meeting DMK leader M. Karunanidhi on Sunday, he said he had explained the situation after change in leadership and efforts were on to withdraw the Army from the Tamil areas and camps. more..

Faizer Mustapha flies to Singapore again!

Feb 2 (LT) It is reported that the State Minister of Aviation Faizer Mustapha has left to Singapore by flight number UL 308 of SriLankan Airlines today (1st) evening. During the past few days media reported that he would resign from his ministerial portfolio while it is stated the reason for Mr. Mustapha to resign is handing over to Minister Arjuna Ranatunga a part of the subjects in Mr. Mustapha’s ministry. However, Mr. Mustapha has not said anything regarding any resignation more..

Sri Lanka tells James Packer: 'Do not come to our country in your lifetime'

Feb 2 (AFP) Sri Lanka's new govt declared Australian billionaire James Packer unwelcome in the country after the gaming mogul pulled out of building a luxury resort following a ban on new casinos. Packer's Crown Group on Friday abandoned plans for the $350 million development, which would have included a casino, after the govt also withdrew generous tax concessions granted under previous regime more..

SLFP Organiser calls for independent domestic war crimes probe

Feb 2 (Island) SLFP Chief Organiser called for an independent domestic inquiry into allegations of war crimes that the UNHRC had levelled against the previous govt, the SL military and the LTTE. Neomal Perera MP, who is the SLFP’s Chief Organiser for Chilaw and former Deputy Foreign Minister said that even though the previous UPFA govt had refused to comply with the UNHRC resolution passed against it, the war crimes charges had to be dealt with, if the country was to move forward. more..

President Sirisena to Visit India on Feb 16

Feb 2 (PTI) Aiming to boost ties, newly-elected Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena will visit India later this month, a media report said here today. Sirisena is slated to undertake a two-day official visit to India on February 16. The dates were agreed upon during consultations between Colombo and New Delhi through diplomatic channels, the Sunday Times reported. A reciprocal visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Sri Lanka is also planned from March 13-15. more..

Please no H.E. for me: President

Feb 2 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena on Saturday requested that the honorary title Athi Garu (His Excellency) or Uthumanan (Your Highness) which were commonly used over the past years to address Presidents, not be used with reference to him. He also asked not to use the term Aryawa when referring to his wife. He made these observations participating in the Maithri Pilisandara interview telecast over more..

Rays of hope from rainbow revolution

Feb 2 (DM) Rays of hope flicker across the sky as a new Sri Lanka - committed to good governance, democracy and social justice - prepares for a simple celebration to mark the 67th anniversary of Sri Lanka’s Independence on Thursday. President Maithripala Sirisena, in a 90-minute interview with State Television on Saturday night, declared again he had no intention of becoming a king like Parakramabahu or Dutugemunu, but would be the chief servant leader of the people of SL. more..

Minimum programme for new govt

Feb 2 (DM) While the change of regime following the presidential election has raised popular expectations, meeting such expectations is no mean task for any govt. On the other hand, the govt is going ahead with the implementation of a hundred day programme which is largely focused on good governance and rule of law. While this programme would no doubt facilitate other measures and policies, there is an urgent need to prioritize state interventions in order to have a more..

Child-safe high-rise design alert after tragic 75m fall

Feb 2 (ST) The tragic death of an unsupervised four-year-old child who fell 75m from the 21st floor of the luxury Havelock City apartment complex has thrown a spotlight on building safety codes and regulations as well as parental responsibility. “80% of the investigation has concluded,” said the OIC of Wellawatte police, Inspector Frederick Woodler. “Further investigations are made to see whether girl fell or whether more..

General election: President in balancing act

Feb 2 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena on Saturday declared that though he was the leader of the SLFP, he wouldn’t undermine the UNP in the run-up to the forthcoming parliamentary election. Similarly, the SLFP, too, wouldn’t be let down, President Sirisena emphasised while explaining the difficulties experienced in tackling what he called an unprecedented situation. The President was responding to interviewer, more..

Robin Hood’s Plum Tax

Feb 2 (DM) Dailymirror rounds up comments and detail on the Mansion Tax mentioned in the mini budget presented on Thursday. The new govt’s Robin Hood budget presented on Jan 29 has attracted much attention, mostly positive, for being one of the budgets to relieve people of the burden of the high cost of living. However, the interim budget has been very unforgiving on casinos, sports channels (one in particular) and super-rich more..

S.B. acquires Colombo 7 house gifted to Colombo University

Feb 2 (SL) University of Colombo has come under severe criticism for allowing former Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake to acquire a valuable residence in Colombo 7 on forged documents which was a gift to the university by an eminent Gynaecologist. The residence of Dr. Siva Chinnathambi, at No.11, Hewa Avenue, Colombo 7 was gifted to Colombo University to be used as a hostel for female undergraduates more..

Health Minister vows to bring before courts all quacks this year

Feb 2 (Island) Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne warned that quacks would be arrested within this year. Many people were seeking treatment from such quacks, he said. Some businessmen on the pretext of promoting health tourism had established spas and Ayurvedic centres in tourist hotels, the minister said. But, the medical practitioners employed in those centres were not registered with the relevant medical institutions. more..

With change in SL, US eyes deeper ties

Feb 2 (AP) The surprise defeat of Sri Lanka's authoritarian leader and the new govt's early steps to end repression have stirred U.S. hopes that the South Asian island nation can revive ties with Washington and distance itself to some degree from China. The United States takes an important step toward rebuilding the relationship when its top diplomat for South Asia, Nisha Biswal, travels to Colombo on Monday. more..

Mohan Peiris to create public opinion

Feb 2 (DM) Subsequent to President Maithripala Sirisena’s recommendation that the appointment of Mohan Peiris as the Chief Justice was null and void, President’s Counsel Mohan Peiris was expecting to bring the issue through the Parliament and create a public opinion, sources close to Mr. Peiris said. In a letter sent by Secretary to President P.B. Abeykoon on January 28 to Mohan Peiris PC, Mr. Peiris was informed that more..