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Private sector, markets begin crucial week

Jan 26 (FT) The country’s private sector and key markets begin a crucial week with the first monetary policy review under the new Central Bank Governor and mini-Budget of President Sirisena-Premier Wickremesinghe coming up. The Monetary Board is scheduled to meet today or tomorrow for what would be its first meeting under the chairmanship of new Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran, who received his letter of more..

Lankan sentenced for molesting girl in Dubai

Jan 26 (National) A Sri Lankan man was sentenced to six months in jail and deportation for molesting an 11-year-old girl in a clothes shop. The Dubai Criminal Court convicted A A, 31 with a sexual assault charge on Sunday. Prosecutors told the court that on October 7 last year, Indian S M was with her parents at a clothes shop in Al Qusais when the defendant hugged her from behind. The girl said the defendant stuck his body to hers and held her around the waist. more..

Pan Asia Bank wins two awards from Global Banking & Finance Review

Jan 26 (FT) Pan Asia Bank, which has been expanding the horizons of the local banking industry with its innovative banking products and impressive growth record, has been bestowed with two awards by Global Banking & Finance Review. Pan Asia Bank has been recognised as the ‘Fastest Growing Commercial Bank in Sri Lanka 2014’. In addition, Pan Asia Bank’s groundbreaking product Sammana, the specialised banking product for senior citizens, has been recognised as the more..

39 top global CEOs hunting for investment opportunities here

Jan 26 (CT) The members of the Chief Executives Organization (CEO), a global grouping, became the initial investors to visit Sri Lanka since the new government was elected into power two weeks ago. The CEO community which is an exclusive international organization of the world's 2,000 most powerful business personnel, is currently on a tour of Sri Lanka and they visited the Ministry of Food Security on Friday and met Minister more..

NTUC wants Labour Minister for private sector

Jan 26 (CT) The National Trade Union Centre (NTUC) demanded that the govt appoint a Labour Minister to look into the matters of the private sector. NTUC President K.D. Lalkantha said, at present the Labour Ministry is incorporated in the justice Ministry and the duties of the Labour Minister will be carried out by the Justice Minister Wijayadasa Rajapakshe. "There are more than 6.5 million private sector employees in the country. Therefore, it is essential to set-up a separate ministry to look in to more..

Brandix i3 and SLIIT sign MOU to set up In-House Internship Programme

Jan 26 (CT) Brandix i3 signed a MOU last week with the SL Institute of Information and Technology (SLIIT) to set up an in-house Internship Programme at the university. Programme will simulate a corporate environment for students to acquire the professional and technical skill sets needed to increase employability. SLIIT will provide the undergraduates with work space and infrastructure at. the faculty premises, whilst Brandix i3 will provide the conducive corporate environment and more..

Maithri on SLFP stage

Jan 26 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena agreed to lead the SLFP-led UPFA at the upcoming General election. He gave his consent during a discussion with the SLFP Central Committee on 23 January, SLFP internal sources said. The Party has also decided to take disciplinary action against its members who are attempting to handover powers in. PCs and local govt institutions, that have a UPFA majority, to other parties. more..

North resettlement expedited

Jan 26 (LP) North resettlement process to be expedited, Minister of Resettlement, Reconstruction and Hindu Religious Affairs D.M. Swaminathan stated. He made these remarks while talking to the Chief Minister of the Northern Province C.V. Vigneswaran. Northern area resettlement process had been stopped due to various reasons during the previous regime. Under President Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe they expect to expedite this process by releasing 6000 acres of land, more..

Organisation formed to fight for political rights of dual citizens

Jan 26 (Island) The newly formed Organisation for Protecting Sri Lankan Expatriates’ Rights (Videsha Balakaya), plans to campaign for the political rights of their members who hold dual citizenships. Secretary of the Videsha Balakaya (VB), Subhashana Subawickrama, told The Island yesterday that a move had come up to deprive the Sri Lankans holding dual citizenship of their rights to engage politics and his organisation had decided to fight for their rights. more..

Irregular Defence Ministry account queried by the AG in 2013

Jan 26 (ST) Defence Ministry account at the Bank of Ceylon (BOC) – to deposit money from the sale of the old army headquarters land – was an irregular one, violated all financial regulations and was also queried by the Auditor General in end 2013. Earlier this week, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake’s disclosure about former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa maintaining an account at the BOC’s more..

Attanayake repents decision to cross over

Jan 26 (Island) Former General Secretary of the UNP Tissa Attnayake, who defected to the UPFA prior to the Presidential election said that he now regretted the decision to desert his party and that he felt it was due to his bad luck that he had decided to defect to the losing side. When asked whether he believed in astrology, he replied in the negative. Attanayake said he had no intention of quitting politics. He was appointed Health Minister by President Rajapaksa, but appointment was more..

Lankans may target US prez on Republic Day

Jan 26 (HT) Indian intelligence agencies have issued alerts to Delhi police and other security agencies saying US President Barack Obama might be targeted by anti-national elements belonging to Sri Lanka or Maldives during his Delhi visit as the chief guest for the Republic Day parade. A close watch is being kept on Sri Lankan and Maldivian nationals staying in India, particularly those with longer visa validity or whose visas have expired. In their alert issued on January 15, more..

'Govt to tackle deaths in police, judicial custody'

Jan 26 (Island) Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, PC, called for tangible measures to guarantee the safety and security of those in police/judicial custody. He said that the new govt was determined to prevent deaths of suspects and convicts in custody. The PC was responding to a query whether he would discuss with the police ways and means to ensure those in custody didn’t die in controversial circumstances, while more..

Missing Persons Commission seeks meeting with President on future proceedings

Jan 26 (DN) Presidential Commission to Investigate Complaints Regarding Missing Persons chairman Maxwell Paranagama has sought an appointment with President Maithripala Sirisena to discuss the future of the Commission. Paranagama said that the Commission plans on making an interim report on the inquiries it has currently completed. According to the chairman, the Commission is continuing to function without a break amid the election of a new President and currently investigations into more..

Lawyers to boycott appearing before Mohan Peiris

Jan 26 (CT) Lawyers affiliated to the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) have decided to boycott cases heard in the Supreme Court, presided over by the 44th Chief Justice Mohan Peiris. Executive Committee of the BASL took this decision on Saturday. Chairman of the Standing Committee on Rule of Law of the BASL Lal Wijenayake added that lawyers have stated that they do not want their cases in Supreme Court taken up before any Bench comprising Peiris. more..

'Dissolution of Parliament would prevent implementation of promises'

Jan 26 (DN) President Maithripala Sirsena said he can dissolve Parliament at any time after discussions with the UNP and other parties which helped elect him President, adding that such a dissolution would prevent the implementation of what he promised to the people at the last Presidential election. “Implementation of what we promised to the people at the last Presidential election including more..

Maithri Palanaya: Beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing

Jan 26 (DM) With the all-party National Unity Govt headed by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe moving into its third week, much attention is focused on massive corruption in mega deals of the Rajapaksa regime and how the new government will deal with this unprecedented plunder of public money and other resources. According to the new Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe—widely respected as a corruption fighter for more than ten years more..

The Dhasa Raja Dharma and the delivery of promises

Jan 26 (DM) The effectiveness and efficiency of a country’s public service is vital to the success of development activities, sound financial management, administrative policy, efficient and fair collection of taxes, and transparent operations. It is necessary, therefore, in the context of the Sri Lankan public service, to understand what needs improvement and what is missing in order to contribute to the delivery of public services to meet expectations of general public satisfactorily. more..

'Prez poll defeat taught us huge political lesson'

Jan 26 (Island) Senior Vice President of the SLFP and newly-appointed Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva assured that his party could not repeat the mistakes that had caused the defeat at the recently concluded presidential election. Alleging that some SLFPers had switched allegiance to the new govt to save their skin, MP de Silva said that the presidential poll defeat had taught the SLFP a huge political lesson. more..

The lives the Weerawansas enjoy!

Jan 26 (SL) Controversy surrounds over how an owner of a small telecommunication centre became a millionaire within a short span of six years. Complaints have been lodged recently with the Commission to Investigate Bribery or Corruption against former Minister Wimal Weerawansa. After the complaint was lodged, startling revelations have come out how Weerawansa is enjoying a super luxury life more..

Election night coup What really happend?

Jan 26 (DM) Earlier this week, Indian media quoting Minister Mangala Samaraweera reported there was a fear of a real coup in Sri Lanka during the early hours of Jan 9, when it was becoming evident to former President Rajapaksa that the poll results were not in his favour. However, as the first light of the day hit the city of Colombo on Jan 9, former President Rajapaksa accepted his defeat and left Temple Trees, assuring more..

‘China’s economic presence in SL needs to be reduced to eliminate corruption’

Jan 26 (DM) The newly appointed Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake recently revealed that steps have been taken to transfer funds, amounting to close to eight billion rupees in an account allegedly maintained by the Former Defence Secretary at the Taprobane Branch of Bank of Ceylon, to the Treasury. Minister spoke on this issue, as well as other corruption charges against previous regime, current state of the Treasury more..

High-level drug menace to face powerful taskforce

Jan 26 (ST) Battling a really powerful drug ring, the newly-appointed Minister John Amaratunga said a special taskforce will be appointed to tackle the escalating flow of drugs into the country. “We will set up a task force that will be headed by a senior DIG and the Commissioner of Excise,” Mr Amaratunga said. The comments came in the wake of the arrest of notorious drug lord, Samantha Kumara alias Wele-Sudha and more..

'No overnight return of Gen. Fonseka to Parliament'

Jan 26 (Island) The Elections Secretariat has consulted the Attorney General’s Department on the restoration of former Army Commander and DP leader General Sarath Fonseka’s franchise, Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said. The Elections Department sought legal advice after President Sirisena had granted Gen. Fonseka a full pardon and restored his civic rights, more..

'Executive Presidency will be abolished by end of February'

Jan 26 (AM) Minister of External Affairs Mangala Samaraweera said that the Executive Powers of Presidency will be abolished by February. Speaking at a gathering in Matara, he said that the govt will take steps to completely revise the Executive Presidency and remove all excessive executive powers of the Presidency. “It is unnecessary for a single person to have such powers beyond measure; we have seen how more..

Navy ordered to probe Yoshitha

Jan 26 (CG) Defence Secretary B M U D Basnayakee has ordered the Navy Commander to launch a full scale inquiry as to how a member of the former first family joined the Navy and received scholarships to study at a prestigious Naval College overseas. The order was given after the JVP raised the issue with the Defence Secretary today and questioned as to how Yoshitha Rajapakse, second son of former President more..

India seeks to boost Lankan ties

Jan 26 (CG) The Indian Govt says it looks forward to working with the new Govt of Sri Lanka to take the bilateral relationship to the next level for the benefit of the people of the two countries and the South Asian region as a whole. The High Commission of India Y.K. Sinha noted that the electoral victory of President Maithripala Sirisena, is a tribute to his capacity to respond to Sri Lankan people’s yearning for change. more..

Dhanapala to hold talks with UN Human Rights Chief

Jan 26 (ST) Jayantha Dhanapala, President Maithripala Sirisena’s Senior Adviser on Foreign Relations, will go to Geneva, today for talks with UN Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. Mr. Dhanapala is going as a special emissary of the Govt to discuss the ongoing probe into war crimes allegations by the OHCHR. Last year, the investigators requested permission to enter SL for the purpose of their work. more..

Take a stand for justice at Jaffna University and everywhere in Sri Lanka

Jan 26 (CT) University of Jaffna is full of wrongdoings. Every appointment from the VC’s down to that of Labourer is based on political loyalty rather than excellence. The most senior persons from whom we expect leadership have no backbone. The Council – both internal and external members – simply sit back and endorse these improper appointments. As an Acting Dean awaiting regular appointment confessed to a friend, “I need to go along with the VC in everything to survive.” more..

Docs to read riot act to govt ‘over broken promise’

Jan 26 (Island) GMOA said complained that more than 20,000 of its members had been discriminated against in implementing 1: 4.25 salary increment ratio as only professionals in the Justice and Higher Education Ministries and the Sri Lanka Administrative Service had benefited from it since January 2015. GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya said that the salary ratio of 1:4.25 in accordance with the National Wage Policy should have been implemented from January 2015 more..

Ada Cartoon

Sri Lankan Share turnover hits 8-month low

Jan 26 (EN) Shares closed marginally higher in thin and choppy trade Monday with turnover sinking to an eight-month low as investors waited for direction on the govt monetary policy and budget, brokers said. All Share Price Index rose 39.45 points (0.54%) to reach 7,316.08 while the S&P SL20 index, gained 17.85 points (0.44%) to close at 4,096.74. Turnover was 338 million rupees, the lowest since May 2014 with no crossings or off-market negotiated deals, brokers Lanka more..

Regulating liberalized higher education

Jan 26 (CT) One of the hallmarks of the liberalization of the economy, ushered in by the J.R. Jayewardene Govt in 1977, was the partial opening up of the country's conventional higher education (tertiary) sector as well. This took the form of the establishment of a 'Private Medical College (PMC),' giving an opportunity to A/L qualified medical students, who were yet unable to enter the State's non-fee levying medical faculties due to various 'barriers', an opportunity to more..

'SL looks for cheaper dept, stable rupee'

Jan 26 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's new govt has inherited a "scary" economic situation and is looking for cheaper debt while aiming to maintain a stable rupee, the finance minister said on Monday. New minister Ravi Karunanayake said he would reveal the reality of the economy when he announces fiscal policies during the unveiling of a supplementary budget on Thursday. "We have the economy in a precarious position," more..

'Right to Info' Bill being fast-tracked

Jan 26 (CT) Fulfilling a long overdue need, the govt is planning on presenting the Right to Information (RTI) Bill in Parliament on 20 February. Secretary to the Ministry of Mass Media and Information, Karu Paranavithana, said this is considered as one of the key issues in the 100-day programme, and both Ministers Gayantha Karunathilleka and Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe have appointed a working committee to screen and select what should be included in the Bill. more..

US in talks with Defence Minister

Jan 26 (CG) The US had talks with the State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene at the Defence Ministry in Colombo today, the Defence Ministry said. Charge d’ Affaires of the US Embassy in Sri Lanka Andrew Mann had cordial discussions with Wijewardene on matters of bilateral importance and mutual relevance. Meanwhile, separately, the Palestine Ambassador in Sri Lanka Zuhair M. H. Dar Zaid also paid a courtesy call on the State Minister of Defence today. more..

Mahindananda’s passport to be impounded

Jan 26 (AD) Bribery Commission has instructed immigration authorities to impound the passport of former Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage for a period of 3 months, pending an investigation into a complaint against him. The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption has instructed the Department of Immigration and Emigration to temporarily impound the UPFA MP’s passport due to ongoing more..

Complaints of fraud against Litro top management

Jan 26 (Island) The govt coffers suffered a loss exceeding Rs. 70 million owing to a corrupt deal at the state owned Litro gas company during the last regime, according to employees of the company. The loss had been caused by a deal to purchase LP gas entered into by the company overriding its normal tender procedures, a senior company official alleged. The agreement to purchase LP gas from a foreign source at a higher price had been entered into by high official of the company more..

Rehearsal on Ramakrishna and Vivekananda Road tomorrow

Jan 26 (DM) Ramakrishna Road and Vivekananda Road in Wellawatta connecting the Galle Road and the Marine Drive would be made one-way tomorrow between 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. and between 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., the Police said. The flow system is only a rehearsal. Vehicles would be allowed to enter the Marine Drive from Galle Road through Ramakrishna Road. No traffic would be allowed in the opposite direction. Vehicles should use the Vivekananda Road to enter the Galle Road. more..

Departing Northern Governor says he did his best for the Province

Jan 26 (CT) The departing Northern Province Governor, Maj.Gen. (Retd) G.A. Chandrasiri, in his farewell message, said that he had done his best, since he assumed duties as the first Governor of the Northern Province in 2009, to rebuild the war-torn Province and leaves office with the highest satisfaction that he had done a good job to strengthen peace and reconciliation. G.A. Chandrasiri resigned from his post as more..