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Video: KP: AG noticed to appear in Court

Jan 27 (DM) Attorney General Yuwanjana Wanasundara was today issued notice to appear before court on Feb 5 following a writ application filed by JVP MP Vijitha Herath. JVP MP filed the writ application with the Court of Appeal against former LTTE leader Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP on Jan 19. JVP through their petition sought an investigation into Kumaran Pathmnathan’s assets and requested court to investigate the reason more..

Immigration Dept. looking for Gunaratnam

Jan 27 (DM) The Immigration and Emigration Department has informed the Front line Socialist Party (FSP) that it wished to record a statement from its leader Kumar Gunaratnam on his political activities since his arrival in the country. FSP Propaganda Secretary Pubudu Jayagoda, said that immigration department officials visited the FSP office in Pannipitiya yesterday and said they wanted to record the statement based on a complaint received by the Department. more..

COPE and PAC under UPFA members for the time being

Jan 27 (Island) Chairman of Committee of Public Enterprises (CoPE) D.E.W. Gunasekera said that he was in the process of finalising their final report to be tabled in parliament. Perhaps, the report could be made available to members in March ahead of the dissolution of Parliament, General Secretary of the Communist Party said. The former senior minister said that in spite of CoPE presenting two interim reports to parliament, many institutions would be dealt with in the final report. more..

Sajin under a cloud, seeks appointment with Bribery Commission

Jan 27 (Island) Accused of several corrupt transactions, UPFA MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena said that he was awaiting an opportunity to respond to allegations. Asked whether he was evading law enforcement authorities, MP said that he had written to CIABOC on Jan 21 after the JVP and various other interested parties had lodged complaints against him. "The commission responded to my letter and now I am awaiting more..

Ranil, FUTA to discuss UGC Chair

Jan 27 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is scheduled to meet with members of the FUTA today to discuss their objections over UGC Chairperson Kshanika Hirumburegama, State Minister of Higher Education Rajiva Wijesinha said. While Wijesinha wished to take part in today's discussion, he had received no official complaint with reference to Hirumburegama. "Those who did have a complaint have written to President Maithripala Sirisena and sent copies of their letters to me. more..

Video: Special unit over media attacks

Jan 27 (CG) The National Executive Council today approved the formation of a special unit to investigate the attacks on the media over the past couple of years. National Executive Council member and JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that the special unit will investigate the murder of journalists Lasantha Wickremethunga and Dharmeratnam Sivaram, the disappearance of Prageeth Eknaligoda and the attacks on several other journalists and media rights activists. more..

'The vehicle was only loaned to me'

Jan 27 (DM) Popular Artiste Jackson Anthony today denied allegations that a luxury vehicle without number plates belonging to a govt ministry was recovered from his home. He said that the vehicle found parked at his residence was not gifted to him by any company but it had been given to him on a temporary basis to be used for his Travel TV show productions for the purpose of promoting the vehicle company. more..

Unethical to topple majority in PCs: Dayasiri

Jan 27 (CT) It is unethical to gain control of a Provincial Council (PC) through obtaining affidavits from PC members, for in that way the democratic will of the public is not heeded, Chief Minister for the Northern PC, Dayasiri Jayasekera said. He said that it is incorrect to remove a Chief Minister of a PC from his post when his party holds the majority of seats in the PC. "If decisions are taken to remove the Chief Minister from his post based on personal matters it is very unethical. more..

Farmer kidney patients get monthly dole

Jan 27 (Island) The govt commenced paying Rs.3,000 to around 20,000 chronic kidney patients on a proposal made to the govt by Kidney Research Scientist Dr. Channa Jayasumana, GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya and GMOA Committee member Dr. Chinthaka Wijewardena. Dr. Jayasumana said that only farmers who had contracted Chronic Kidney Disease of Agricultural Origin in the North-Central province, Kurunegala, Ampara & Vauniya Districts were being paid more..

Video: Police to probe Duminda’s accounts

Jan 27 (DM) SSP Ajith Rohana said a Court Order was obtained from the Colombo Magistrate’s Court to check all accounts held by UPFA MP Duminda Silva at several banks and financial institutions. Court Order was based on a statement made by narcotics kingpin ‘Wele Suda’ and included the checking of accounts held by two others as well. “The accounts belonging to Duminda Silva, Wele Suda & his wife held at 82 banks more..

Chief Justice Mohan Pieris as a diplomat

Jan 28 (CT) I read in the media about CJ Mohan Pieris’s demand that if he were to resign he should be compensated with a post of a diplomat. Although I am a layman in the field of judicial matters, common sense makes me raise the question whether he has ever proved himself qualified to hold the post of a diplomat or for that matter even the post of Chief Justice. Everyone knows that a judge is duty bound to uphold the independence and the integrity of the judiciary. more..

The mighty fall of Rajapaksas

Jan 28 (CT) The recently concluded presidential elections belied President Rajapaksa’s confidence as he was beaten by Maithripala Sirisena, former health minister and a long- term colleague of his. People seem to have preferred “unknown angel” Sirisena to “known devil” Rajapaksa, as he described himself in an election rally. Rajapaksa was so confident of winning the people’s mandate for a third term that he advanced the election by two years before his second term ended. more..

'Investor confidence and consistency, key to investment'

Jan 28 (SO) “If there is no corruption or bribery in the development projects undertaken by the previous Govt, these projects will be continued. We have a clear stance in this regard. All projects will be implemented on a priority basis. We have no idea to stall projects. Projects beneficial to the country and the people will be given due recognition. We have drafted a mechanism as to what kind of projects, the country needs more..

The deprivation of liberty under national security laws

Jan 28 (GV) During the past fortnight there have been many calls for the immediate repeal of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). Given the fluid and complex political context, and the upcoming parliamentary elections, it appears unlikely this will happen in the short term. However, there are a number of immediate measures the govt could implement to illustrate its bona fides, and begin the process of re-building a relationship of trust with citizens, particularly Tamil speaking more..

Memories of Prageeth Ekneligoda

Jan 28 (GV) Prageeth Ekneligoda, one of the best political cartoonists this country has ever produced was known for his great talent and political vision. He is now remembered for his disappearance on the night of 24 Jan, just two days before the 2010 Presidential elections. It was reported that Prageeth had previously been abducted in August 2009 and was released. On that occasion when he was taken by a white van he pleaded with his abductors that he needed to take his medication. more..

Resettlement highest priority

Jan 28 (CT) Minister of Resettlement, Reconstruction and Hindu Culture, D.M. Swaminathan said he was working with all Tamil political parties to resettle the people of Valikamam –North during the 100 day programme. Commenting on SL refugees in India, he said "There are more than 100,000 Sri Lankan refugees in India. Earlier, when these people came to SL, they were grilled during security clearance by the previous govt. more..

Editorial: Lessons to be learnt

Jan 28 (Island) There is a popular local saying which we repeat in these columns from time to time: mole thiyanakota bale ne, bale thiyanakota mole ne––roughly rendered into English it means that when you have power you have no brains and when you have brains you have no power. Nothing explains what power does to politicians, when it goes to their heads, better than this aphorism which we were reminded of when Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva spoke after visiting more..

Sirisena with UNP or SLFP?

Jan 28 (SL) With less than a hundred days to go for the parliamentary elections there appears to be a remarkable complacency in the UNP which is heading the govt and also in the SLFP which is the main opposition party. Just three months ahead for an island wide parliamentary election the usual practice will be to start drumming up party supporters attacking opponents and drawing up strategies. UNP supporters convey the impression that they are sitting pretty being main party more..

'6.5 Mn private sector work force but no Mininster of Labour!'

Jan 28 (CT) Today's Trade Union talk focuses on the strongest trade union body of the country, National Trade Union Centre (NTUC) which is also the affiliated trade union body to the JVP. The views of the NTUC are very critical at this time as we are at the verge of an interim budget which is expected to address many concerns of the public. K.D. Lalkantha shared his views regarding the demands of the employees and limitations more..

In Sri Lanka, elections could signal new opportunities

Jan 28 (ET) When he called an election two years ahead of schedule, Sri Lanka’s long-serving President Rajapaksa had little fear of being unseated: He had successfully crushed a bloody insurgency led by the LTTE that had ravaged the nation for decades, and held firm control over all branches of govt. But when the votes were counted, Sri Lanka had elected a new leader. The cause was a widespread and unexpected decline in support for Rajapaksa by several key constituencies. more..

Good governance cannot be imported

Jan 28 (Island) These days, the phrase ‘good governance’ reverberates across the media reporting on Sri Lanka. It refers to a vague concept that is being used by the West and their opportunistic allies as a very effective weapon against our country to keep it destabilized for their own purposes, while trying to alienate us from the relatively more sincere friends in the region that we have had for over a thousand years. (Human rights violation charges are another weapon. more..

'I will build a new Rajarata'

Jan 28 (CT) "If I lost the presidential election, my dearly beloved people of Polonnaurwa would most probably have missed seeing me from the very next day as I would have ended up in a grave somewhere, together with the members of my family," said President Maithripala Sirisena addressing a felicitation meeting held in his honour in Polonnaruwa. "Last presidential election was the most corrupt election held so far in Sri Lanka. more..

The delusion of a Rajapaksa come back and the general election stakes

Jan 28 (Island) The new govt of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has been proceeding without a major hiccup and the issue making the most news daily has been the ongoing revelations of corruption against the former Rajapaksa regime and extending up to its highest levels. The most newsworthy post election development was the collapse of the SLFP into the lap of its longtime former General Secretary, President Maithripala Sirisena. more..

Further monetary loosening in Sri Lanka is not necessary: HSBC

Jan 28 (EN) Sri Lanka does not need further monetary loosening since lending rates are at record lows, with higher state spending expected, though inflation is low, HSBC has said. "In our view, further monetary policy easing is not needed since market lending rates have already declined to record lows and private sector credit growth is witnessing a nascent recovery," HSBC said in a research note. "We expect the central bank to remain on hold for an extended period as additional govt spending more..

Hugo Swire here tomorrow

Jan 28 (CG) British Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire will visit Jaffna while in Sri Lanka from 28-30 January, British High Commission said. Hugo Swire is paying a second visit to Sri Lanka which comes shortly after the formation of a new govt. As part of a broad visit Swire will call on senior ministers including PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to discuss the new govt’s reform programme and areas of potential co-operation. more..

Shifting sands of Lankan politics

Jan 28 (AN) The first foreign envoy to call on the new Sri Lankan President, Maithripala Sirisena, within hours of his Jan. 9 victory over Mahinda Rajpaksa, was India’s High Commissioner in Colombo Yashwant Sinha. In contrast, China’s Ambassador Wu Jinaghao had to wait until Jan. 15 for his turn to shake hands with the island nation’s new boss. Sinha pipping Jinaghao by as many as six days is being seen as proof of New Delhi suddenly gaining the upper hand in Sri Lanka more..

The Lanka question

Jan 28 (PT) New Delhi has lots to explain when Mahinda Rajpaksa was reelected as SL’s President for the second time. India had supplied him small arms which he liberally used to kill the Tamils, the largest minority in that country. He should have been tried for war crimes because he killed 40,000 Tamils in cold blood even after the surrender by what was then called the LTTE, the militant face of Tamils in the North. That he tried to woo both military and police chiefs to stay back even after defeat more..

Six new Governors appointed

Jan 28 (FT) Six new Governors were sworn in before President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday. They were H.M.G.S. Palihakkara (Northern), Austin Fernando (Eastern), Marshall Perera (Sabaragamuwa), Surangani Eallawala (Central), P.B. Dissanayake (North Central) and M.P. Jayasinghe (Uva). Earlier, K.C. Yogeswaran, Amara Piyaseeli Ratnayake and Hemakumara more..

Temple Trees ponies removed to Gonamadiththa right after elections

Jan 28 (CT) Ponies and macaws kept at Temple Trees were meant for the sake of a good 'omen'. They were bought from a businessman/supplier in Hambantota who has a virtual private zoo over there and another at Malabe. The ponies were sold off at a veritable loss after the election. Asanka Indrajith, who bought the four ponies from Temple Trees spoke to us briefly about it. Q: When were these horses brought from the Temple Trees? A: A day after the presidential election, on 09th Jan. more..

3D Concept Studio signs MoU with University of Moratuwa

Jan 28 (Island) 3D Concept Studio, the first rapid prototyping firm in Sri Lanka, signed a MoU with the University of Moratuwa’s Department of Electronics. The agreement will provide students of the department easy access to the company’s vast array of prototyping services. Students of the department primarily use prototyping for their final year projects and while 3D printing would be ideally suited for their needs they have yet to utilise the process. The barrier for students at the University was more..

Bungling officials poke bowling wound

Jan 28 (DM) As if Sri Lanka team’s on-field problems were not enough, the bungling Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) officials have managed to complicate things by attempting to remove the team’s fast bowling coach Chaminda Vaas in a failed attempt to replace him with Champaka Ramanayake, but team sources in New Zealand said that the botched attempt only contributed to exacerbate the internal issues of the team more..

CBSL continues with two-tier SDF policy

Jan 28 (CT) The bulk of Rs 36.8 billion unaccounted for excess liquidity at Monday's trading ending in the banks' own 'godowns' instead in Central Bank of Sri Lanka's (CBSL's) standing deposit facility (SDF) was not good enough for CBSL to discontinue its current two-tier SDF window and make it uniform when it made its monetary policy statement for the current month yesterday, market sources said. CBSL's two-tier SDF policy regime operates on the basis that when banks park their excess liquidity for more..

BBS on drug menace

Jan 28 (DM) BBS organisation today urged the Govt to appoint a common front comprising of all parties to expose drug dealers in the country. The General Secretary of BBS Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera said they would accept any good changes in the country and they would pledge their support for those changes. He said BBS held a meeting at Kolonnawa last year and there were about five drug dealers among those who were already engaged in politics and the Govt should now probe them. more..

How Wele Suda was busted!

Jan 28 (CT) Heroin extracted from the Poppy flower grown on the Afghan – Pakistan border has become a threat to the entire world. The Poppy flower is symbolic of soldiers who died in World War II. Nobody would have imagined that it would eventually turn out to be a threat to the youth of the world today. A number of drug barons handled the trade of heroin in Sri Lanka from time to time, in its history. more..

'No new technology at Trade Fair'

Jan 28 (CT) Yalpanam Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Chairman, Kularatnam Vignesh yesterday lamented that the most modern technology, which is available in Colombo was not available at the Jaffna Industrial Trade Fair exhibition which concluded on Sunday. "What we needed was the equipment and technology for packing and processing of agricultural and fisheries products; but the exhibitors gave prominence to motor vehicles, Vignesh told Ceylon FT. more..

SLT to offer CYREN cyber security solution

Jan 28 (PRN) CYREN (NASDAQ: CYRN) today announced it signed Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) as one of its latest resellers. SLT will now offer the cloud-based CYREN Web Security solution that provides advanced cyber security and zero-hour threat protection. As the national information and communications technology provider and the leading broadband and backbone infrastructure services provider in the country, Sri Lanka Telecom serves more than six million end users and 10,000 more..

Obama sees new hope in Lanka

Jan 28 (CG) The President of the US, Barack Obama, notes that there is new hope for democracy in SL and that India can help countries like Sri Lanka forge a better future. In a transcript posted on the White House website of a speech Obama made at the Siri Fort Auditorium in India, the US President is quoted as saying that India can help other countries with their elections by using the experience India has with its elections. more..

Sobhitha thera tells CJ to quit

Jan 28 (CT) The NMSJ requested Chief Justice (CJ) Mohan Peiris to step down from his post with dignity. Head of the NMSJ, Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera said as the incumbent CJ was a political appointee and several allegations had been levelled against him, it was his duty and his responsibility to the nation to step down gracefully. The 43rd CJ, Shirani Bandaranaike was taken out, unfairly. Thera said the current CJ has also been implicated in the attempted coup by former President more..

Tea industry brews highest ever exports

Jan 28 (FT) In a major boost, the country’s tea industry has achieved an all-time high export performance both in volume and value. Ceylon Tea Brokers said that cumulative Sri Lanka tea exports for the period Jan/Dec 2014 recorded 327.87m kgs thus recording an all time high surpassing the previous highest of 327.41m kgs in 2006. Jan/Dec 2013 recorded a quantity of 319.66 m kgs. The total quantity of tea exports for December 2014 was 30.28m kgs vis-à-vis 29.00m kgs in more..

‘No change in Lanka’s liberal market policies’

Jan 28 (FT) There is no change in Sri Lanka’s international or domestic trade positioning due to the arrival of a new Govt, Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen said. “We pledge that there is no change in the liberal market policies of Sri Lanka by the new Govt of President Maithripala Sirisena, rather our determined market economy outlook is strengthened even further by the President’s new policies,” he stressed. more..