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'Samantha Power trying to introduce federalism'

Nov 23 (DM) The hidden agenda behind the visit of US permanent representative to the UN, Samantha Power to Sri Lanka is to promote federalism, PHU General Secretary MP Udaya Gammanpila claimed today. He said the UNís Political Affairs Department has launched a programme to encourage third world countries which are caught up in ethnic conflicts to introduce a federal administration. more..

Ratmalana airport to be closed under megapolis programme

Nov 23 (DM) Minister of megapolis and Western Province Development, Champika Ranawaka said the Katunayake airport will be expanded from the 18th km post up to Minuwangoda for all aviation purposes and that the Ratmalana airport, used at present for internal aviation is to be closed under the proposed megapolis development programme. Addressing a meeting to create awareness on development projects for more..

Litro gas prices to be reduced from today

Nov 23 (CG) Litro Gas today announced that as per the provision made in the Budget Ė 2016 presented by the Minister Ravi Karunanayake Gas prices have been reduced with effect from today. Executive Chairman of the Litro Gas Shalila Munasinghe said that accordingly, the price of the 12.5 kg Cylinder of domestic Gas will be Rs 1346.00 within the Colombo area. Prices of the 5 kg and the 2.5 kg Cylinders will be more..

Tamil Diaspora: Good and bad of ban

Nov 23 (CT) An Extraordinary Gazette Notification [No. 1941/44], issued recently by the Ministry of Defence, lifted the ban on eight leading Tamil Diaspora organizations. The Tamil Diaspora organizations which were thus removed from the list of banned organizations included the Global Tamil Forum (GTF), British Tamil Forum (BTF), Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC), World Tamil Movement (WTM), Australian Tamil Congress (ATC), National Council of Canadian Tamils (NCCT), more..

Harsha distributes cement to low income earners of Kotte

Nov 23 (Island) Deputy Minister of External Affairs Dr Harsha de Silva told low income earners of his Sri Jayewardenepura electorate that he was prepared to do everything possible to resolve their housing issues, during a ceremony held last Friday morning at the UNP office in Nawala. Presiding over a ceremony to mark World Habitat Day (20) Dr. De Silva also distributed 10 bags of cement each to 70 low-income earning families to get their homes plastered. more..

JVP press conference

Shares post over 2-week closing high

Nov 23 (Reuters) Shares ended at their highest in more than two weeks on Monday after the govt proposed a slew of measures in its budget for next year to boost the capital market. Govt announced on Friday a raft of steps, including the removal of a 0.3% share transaction levy, to stimulate trading in the share market and increase liquidity. "This will help address one of the major drawbacks of the Sri Lankan share market," Vajira Kulatilaka, the CSE chairman, said in a statement. more..

Ravi canít pronounce English either

Nov 23 (CT) ďI guess I should have paid more attention during Sinhala class when I was in school. Oh, well. But it would absolutely stupendous, dear Speaker, if someone in Parliament sponsors me to improve my Sinhala; both writing and pronunciation. Or we could come to terms with me reading the Budget in English, which is easier for me, next year.Ē Ė Ravi Karunanayake. First, let us look at his claim that he cannot pronounce Sinhala words, at least some of them. more..

China offers to assist SL maximize potential

Nov 23 (CG) Chinese Govt today offered to assist Sri Lanka maximize on the potential it has. The Ministry quoted the Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Yi Xianliang as saying huge investment and business opportunities are of a win-win nature and China would like to assist Sri Lanka to maximize on the great advantages, potentials and opportunities it has. He was speaking at the China Zhejiang-Sri Lanka Investment and Trade more..

ĎInfamous Regaining SL re-implementedí

Nov 23 (Island) National Teachersí Council alleged that the UNP-SLFP coalition govt was in the process of implementing the UNPís infamous economic project, Regaining Sri Lanka, once rejected by the people. UNP-led UNF govt implemented project during 2002-2003 period. President of the National Teachersí Council Nimal Premawansa claimed that the sharp reduction in the number of Year Five Scholarship beneficiaries, denial of public servantsí rights as well as offering of vouchers more..

Sri Lankan navy denies reports of attacking Indian fishermen

Nov 23 (Xinhua) SL Navy denied reports that it had attacked an Indian boat in mid seas near Katchatheevu, an uninhabited island belonging to Sri Lanka. According to media reports, the attack which occurred on Sunday, had left one Indian fishermen injured when SL naval officers had allegedly attacked their boat by pelting stones and bottles. Boat had four Indian fishermen on board. Captain Akram Alavi however denied the reports and said that such an attack had not taken place. more..

Govt urged to take over Sea Marshals Service

Nov 23 (DM) Sea Marshal Officers' Association urged the Defence Ministry to take over the sea marshalsí service from Avant Garde Maritime Service (AGMSL) and allow the sea marshals to carry out their duties independently and professionally. Sea Marshal Officers' Association Convener B.I. Abdeen said with AGMSL handling countryís sea marshalsí service, nearly $1700 had been cut from each sea marshalís salary. more..

Former LTTE member found dead near home

Nov 23 (CG) A former LTTE member who was rehabilitated and released into society, was found dead near his home in Mannar. W. Dhanapalasingham (40), was working as a fishermen when he was found dead near his home on Saturday. His body was found hanging from a swing tied to a tree near a tent close to his house. A person who had gone to take him for fishing had found him dead. Initial investigations have found that the man may have committed suicide. more..

Bahrain-Sri Lanka business ties discussed

Nov 23 (BNA) Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI)'s Bahrain Asian Traders Committee (BATC) headed by vice-treasurer and head of committee Mohammed Sajid visited the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Kingdom of Bahrain Dr. Saj U. Mendis. The delegation's visit to the Sri Lankan Embassy came in translation of the committeeís aim of invigorating and facilitating the various business activities of Asians in Bahrain and encouraging investment flow and partnership between more..

We appreciate govtís commitment to reconciliation: Samantha Power

Nov 23 (PSL) U.S. Permanent Representative to the UN Samantha Power commended the commitment of Sri Lankan govt for a sustainable reconciliation during past ten months. She made these remarks when she called on President Sirisena today at Presidential Secretariat. PM Wickremesinghe also participated in this meeting. Ms. Power said new govt is performing in more trustworthy and acceptable manner more..

Commemorative Stamp on anniversary of Anton Chekhovís visit to Sri Lanka

Nov 23 (PSL) A special Commemorative Stamp and First Day Cover issued to mark the 125th anniversary of the Great Russian play writer Anton Chekhovís visit to Sri Lanka under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat today. Mr. Alexander Karchava, Russian Ambassador to SL presented the Commemorative Stamp and First Day Cover to the President. A book written by Sarath Lal Kumara titled Chekhov is special to Sri Lanka and more..

ĎBusiness opportunities in Pak go beggingí

Nov 23 (Island) A Sri Lankan Association having strong business links with Pakistan wishes to have more non-Muslims within its ranks. "Regardless of religious differences, letís all unite as sons and daughters of mother Lanka and reap the benefits of the great relationship we have with Pakistan," President of the Sri Lanka Ė Pakistan Friendship Association, Iftikar Aziz said in an interview. Even when China understands Pakistanís potential, Aziz said, not that it was surprising why more..

Seya's killing: Accused plead guilty

Nov 23 (DM) Kondaya's brother Saman Jayalath today pleaded guilty to the charge of killing of 5-year-old Seya Sadewmi of Kotadeniyawa after the indictment was read to him by Deputy Solicitor General Ayesha Jinasena in Negombo High Court. The accused also pleaded guilty to the charges of abduction and rape when the case was taken up for hearing by Negombo High Court Judge. However, Judge Karunatilleke observed that more..

First Sri Lankan ISIS fighter joined with 16 others

Nov 23 (AM) The recently released propaganda magazine of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has carried an article featuring the Sri Lankan who was reportedly killed in Syria, who was described by media as Sri Lanka's first ISIS fighter. The article makes a chilling revelation, claiming that 16 other Sri Lankan Muslims, including his parents, wife and six children, joined the ISIS along with him. In a featured article which was titled as Amongst the Believers Are Men: Abu Shurayh As - Silani, more..

President unveils statue of Weera Keppetipola

Nov 23 (MoD) President Maithripala Sirisena unveiled a statue of Weera Keppetipola near the Matale Public Library to mark the Weera Keppetipola's 197th birth anniversary. The ceremony was organized by the Matale Keppetipola Foundation. The statue was built to commemorate this prominent leader of the 1818 Uva- Wellassa Uprising against British colonial govt. Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara, State Minister Wasantha Aluwihare, Dy Minister Lakshman Perera, more..

Sri Lanka frontrunner to host Ind-Pak series

Nov 23 (CI) Sri Lanka is fast emerging as the likeliest venue to host a shortened bilateral series between Pakistan and India. Sri Lanka Cricket has been sounded out by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), and appear very keen to host the series. Things have moved fast since BCCI president Shashank Manohar and PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan met at the ICC headquarters in Dubai on Sunday afternoon more..

Missing novice monks found

Nov 23 (DM) The four novice monks who had lost their way while inside the Maduru Oya Forest were found this morning by the Police and the Army during a search operation launched by them. The four monks attached to the Danajaya Raja Maha Viharaya in Kandegama had lost their way after entering the forest located behind the temple on Sunday. When they had not returned, the templeís chief prelate had lodged a police complaint that the four monks had gone missing. more..

Top French delegation meets Army Chief

Nov 23 (Island) French Ambassador in Colombo Jean-Marin Schuh and Rear Admiral Antonie Beaussant, Joint Commander of French Forces in the Indian Ocean last Friday paid a courtesy call on Army Commander Lt. Gen. Crishanthe De Silva. Meeting took place in the wake of coordinated ISIS attacks in Paris exactly a week ago. Rear Admiral Beaussant arrived in Colombo last week to attend the sixth edition of the Galle Dialogue 2015 International maritime conference. more..

Video: FCID records statement from GL

Nov 23 (DM) Former Foreign Minister G.L Peiris has been called to appear before the Police Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID) to record a statement. The Former Minister is reportedly to be questioned regarding several malpractices that occurred at the Foreign Ministry during his time as the minister. more..

Probe launched after missing womanís body found

Nov 23 (NS) Galenbindunuwewa Police have commenced investigations into the discovery of the body of a woman who was reported missing on November 21. According to Police Media Unit, the woman, a resident of Megodawewa, had gone missing on Nov 20. A complaint had been lodged on Nov 21 with the Galenbindunuwewa Police reporting her to be missing. The body of the 49-year-old woman was recovered by Police from a culvert filled with water at around 9am today. more..

Sri Lanka public to guarantee losses, fraud in finance companies

Nov 23 (EN) Sri Lanka's central bank will guarantee all deposits at finance companies from January 2016, the most risky among deposit taking institutions, and fund will be set up to bailout troubled firms, the budget for 2016 said. Money from tax payers had already been used in a controversial move by the current administration to bailout depositors and let the directors off the hook at Golden Key Credit Card Company, an illegal finance company. more..

Lifting ban a security threat: Joint Opposition

Nov 23 (CT) Joint Opposition expressed its total and vehement opposition to the govt's decision to deproscribe eight Diaspora Groups and 269 individuals, after being determined by the previous regime as having alleged links with the LTTE. They, in individual interviews, also said in unison and in combination, the move could not only lead to national security threats but also to separatism. New Gazette which was issued more..

'More parties to join UPFA for LG elections'

Nov 23 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena is reported to have said that, eight National Political Parties had expressed their desire to contest together with the SLFP at the Local Govt elections, mid next year. He is reported to have said so while addressing a SLFP Executive Committee meeting held last weekend at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute. Sirisena had informed that while no party which contested with the UPFA at the last General Elections would be removed, more..

Sri Lanka inflation at 3% in October

Nov 23 (LBO) Consumer prices rose 3% in the 12-months to October from a year earlier, from the 1.9% a month earlier, data from the state statistics office showed. Year on year inflation of Food Group has increased from 1.1% in Sept 2015 to 2.3% in October 2015 while NonĀ]food Group also increased by 3.2% to 4.4% during this period. The Department of Census and Statistics has commenced releasing this new price index called National Consumer Price Index from this month. more..

'No naval bases for other countries in SL'

Nov 23 (CG) Govt today asserted that there would be no naval bases allocated to other countries within Sri Lanka. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, speaking at Galle Dialogue, said that historically, Sri Lanka has always had significant interests in the Bay of Bengal. He said that while SLís economic zone falls within the area, his Govt remains committed to preventing international terrorism, transnational crimes and more..

Vapours of cleverness

Nov 23 (CT) It was a calculatedly choreographed media event. It was a dismal reminder that the Maithri Ranil coalition prefers the opaque to that of transparency in governance. President Maithripala Sirisena with PM Ranil Wickremesinghe volunteered to be grilled by a patently patronizing inquisitor Ė media personality and UNP politician Upul Shantha Sanasgala on a live TV show Wenasaka Arambuma [Genesis of a change]. The Sinhala program was telecast on all channels on 21st Nov more..

Budget 2016 & The EPS of Yahap‚lana Govt

Nov 23 (CT) Budget of the new Yahapalana Govt for 2016 was presented by Minister Ravi Karunanayake in Parliament last week. This budget follows the economic policy statement or EPS delivered by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in Parliament a few weeks back. The EPS, while admitting the perilous state of the fiscal sector of the country, had vowed to discipline the budget, introduce economy wide reforms, convert the countryís simple production system to complex production, more..

Fiddling with the EPF and ETF

Nov 24 (SO) EPF and ETF are progressive milestones in the well-being of the worker population. Today the EPF and ETF funds amounting to Rs.1.7 trillion, the largest fund in South Asia is administered by the Central Bank and the Ministry of Policy Planning and Economic Affairs. The govt has now proposed to set up a EPF-ETF combined National Pension Fund. The govt probably wants to make it a more nationally productive enterprise helping beneficiaries and more..

Tamils back to mutual blame-game(s)!

Nov 24 (SL) Itís sad and shocking that at a time when Sinhala-majority National Govt is talking about converting the present Parliament into a Constituent Assembly without any specific reference to a political solution to ethnic strife and facilitator of a power-devolution package, TNA is back to community leadershipís old game of mutual blame. Ultimately, as is already beginning to happen, they would also blame the Sinhala majority for its conspiracies to de-stabilise the Tamil leadership, more..

'Sri Lanka budget has reformist agenda'

Nov 24 (LBO) The 2016 budget can be termed as a reformist agenda, that looks to address short-term risks to the economy while setting up Sri Lanka for the long run, CT CLSA Securities said in a report on the budget. ďBeing used to budget speeches that were extremely populist, or included implausible or regressive proposals, the proposals presented on 20 Nov, though falling short of being revolutionary as promised in the lead up, look to adequately address the short term risks more..

The saga of HIV patients

Nov 24 (CT) Executive Director of the Positive Women's Network Princy Mangalika spoke to CT about her life as a patient with HIV, the challenges faced by those infected with the virus, and about the work she does through her organization. Q: How did you get started with this kind of work? A: We were residing at Siyambalagoda, Polgasowita, Piliyandala. My village is Ragama. I am a housewife and a mother more..

Government Delivers!

Nov 24 (SL) The new govt delivered the goods both literally and in reality by making strong sentiments and by granting further relief to the general public of Sri Lanka through the announcement of their maiden budget, Budget 2016. Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake on Friday presented the Budget 2016 and laid to rest all rumours which have been revolving around the Budget by announcing that the govt has proposed to further reduce the prices of ten more essential food items. more..

How can we create employment in post-conflict states?

Nov 24 (WEF) This blog looks at the job creation in the fishery sector in the Eastern Province, after the ending of the armed conflict in this province in 2007. The Eastern Province is a resource rich province. It has huge areas of inland water. Traditionally, fishing has been a main economic activity given its 420km of coastline. Moreover, 5.5% of the province is covered in irrigation tanks and canals. In 2013, 21% of the total population of about 1.5 million in the province were living in fishing households. more..

Agriculture seen as hitting arid patch with fertilizer subsidy removal move

Nov 24 (Island) Govt's recent budget proposals would put the agriculture sector in a crisis as a result of converting the fertilizer subsidy into an annual cash grant of Rs 25,000. This will not serve any purpose for farmers because fertilizer prices tend to go up to unbearable levels, farmers complained. "Under the 2016 budget, govt's proposal to convert the fertilizer subsidy into a grant Rs 25,000 per year, targeted at small farmers more..

Budget continues fiscal populism and changes expenditure priorities

Nov 24 (ST) The four-and-a-half hour marathon budget speech by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake covered nearly every sector and sub sector of the economy, even the governmentís policy to increase arecanut production. It was populist in its proposals, reiterated the govtís economic policies and reoriented public expenditure priorities towards education and health. This budget once again exemplified the fiscal populism that has dominated budgets for many years. more..