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'Win in NZ will create a huge impact'

Nov 26 (DN) Sri Lanka may have begun the post Mahela-Sanga era on a winning note defeating the West Indies quite convincingly in the Test and ODI series but skipper Angelo Mathews will be the first to admit that his team faces their toughest challenge in NZ. "We played some really good cricket against the West Indie we outplayed them in all three departments in all formats but it will be a completely different tour in NZ because more..

What comes after Samantha Power's Sri Lanka visit?

Nov 26 (HP) In recent days, Samantha Power, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. has really stirred things up in Sri Lanka. She seems to have met virtually all of the key political players and the optics of her visit to the Northern Province were especially good. From the looks of it, Power left the island looking like a bit of a rock star. While it's easy to appreciate the fact that her agenda was wide-ranging, it's important to keep in mind that, in President Obama's White House, very few people actually have control more..

Budget 2016 to help ease pressure on external sector: CB

Nov 26 (FT) The Central Bank this week said that the 2016 Budget would help ease the pressure on external sector performance of the country. “Recent policy measures taken by the Central Bank and the Government coupled with policy measures announced in the Budget for 2016 are expected to curtail certain imports, particularly motor vehicles, thereby easing the pressure on the external sector,” the Central Bank said in its statement following the November Monetary Policy review. more..

'Budget proposals more export oriented'

Nov 26 (DN) State Finance Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena highlighting several aspects of the new budget proposals said it will help to create a social and export oriented economy in the country. He made these remarks at a well attended business forum, organized by the National Chamber of Exporters in Sri Lanka (NCE). Principal, KPMG, Tax and Regulatory Suresh Perera made a presentation on 2016-Budget Analysis and more..

Social activist honoured in Sri Lanka

Nov 26 (TI) Another feather in the cap of President awardee Swaraj Grover was added when she was felicitated with “Lifetime Achievement International Award” for her countless and continuous social works that she has been doing for the upliftment of society, especially women since 1968. She was honoured by Sri-Lankan Central Education Minister VS Radhakrishanan and Samata Sahitya Academy, SL, president Dr DS Tandekar during India-SL Friendship Samta Sahitya Conference-2015 more..

Wilkins Group opens US$ 3 m factory at Mawaramandiya

Nov 26 (DN) Wilkins Spence Sri Lanka, a subsidiary of the Wilkins Group UK, opened its state-of-the-art factory to produce retail packaging solutions in Mawaramandiya. The opening was attended by the Board of Directors of Wilkins Group UK, dignitaries and factory officials. The 40,000 sq.ft factory was completed in 14 months and was facilitated with an investment of US$ 3 m by the Wilkins Group UK, which operates one of the largest independent packaging factories in the UK. more..

'Sri Lanka Cricket hosting Indo-Pak series purely on goodwill'

Nov 26 (PTI) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is gearing up to host the marquee India versus Pakistan series purely on goodwill and not for any other benefits, said its secretary Prakash Schaffter. "SLC has decided to play the hosts for the Indo-Pak series as any good and co-operative neighbour would do. If we are hosting this series, it is an act of goodwill gesture towards our neighbours and not for any kind of financial benefits from this series," more..

India intends linking Varnasi & Kataragama

Nov 26 (DN) Indian govt intend to link Varansi (Baranas), the sacred city in India and SL's sacred city Kataragama, for the benefit of Buddhists in both countries. The proposed bridge from Thalaimannar to Dhanuskody will enhance the tourism industry in both countries, it was revealed. Consul General of India in Hambantota, Raj Kumar made this announcement at of a photo exhibition and a film screening of sacred Buddhist places in India, held at Jayanthi Bodhirajaramaya in Kataragama. more..

President off to Malta

Nov 26 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena left for Malta this morning to participate in the 10th session of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). Malta is hosting CHOGM for the second year. CHOGM 2015 will be held in Malta from 27 to 29 Nov 2015 under the theme The Commonwealth – Adding Global Value. Meetings will take place at a number of historical venues around Malta, while the Heads of Govt retreat will be held at Fort St. Angelo, in Vittoriosa. more..

Kumar’s mother seeks president’s intervention

Nov 26 (Island) Rajamani Gunaratnam, mother of Frontline Socialist Party Premkumar Gunaratnam, has sought the intervention of President Maithripala Sirisena to sort the issue of her son’s Sri Lankan citizenship. She has, in a letter to the President, said: "I am an 80-year-old retired school teacher. I was born in Undugoda in Kegalle and married to Aadimoolam Pillai Gunaratnam born in Jaffna. more..

More Chinese airlines planning flights to Colombo

Nov 26 (FT) Capitalising on the booming tourism industry, several more Chinese airlines are planning to start services to Colombo. “With growing interest in travel between the two countries and the number of tourists arrivals increasing at a significant pace, several airline companies have now expressed their interest in commencing flights between Colombo and Kunming,” the People’s Government of Yunnan Province Foreign Affairs Office Chief Counsel Jin Cheng said. more..

UK to continue monitoring the situation of Tamil detainees in Sri Lanka

Nov 26 (FT) UK says that it will continue to monitor the situation of Tamil detainees held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act closely and to raise issues of ongoing concern with the Sri Lankan govt. British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Hugo Swire responding to a written question presented by MP Joan Ryan, said the UK govt raises matters of concern with the Sri Lankan govt, including the Prevention of Terrorism Act and detention of prisoners without trial. more..

Video: Nothing for the govt servants in the budget: Lal Kantha

Nov 26 (DM) The budget presented by the govt was the first budget that had provided nothing for the govt servants, whereas at least something was granted for them in every budget presented since 2005, former JVP Provincial Councillor K.D. Lal Kantha said. He was speaking at a cultural event at the Tower Hall in Colombo. He said the govt had proposed in the budget to remove EPF and ETF from the Treasury more..

Military blood saves Mother and child

Nov 26 (CT) Seven soldiers donated blood to a pregnant woman in critical condition at the Mullaitivu Mathawala Sinkulam Mancholai Hospital to save the mother and child. 34-year-old woman went into labour at the Mullaitivu Mancholai hospital just after she admitted herself there on 19 Nov. Her condition however was serious and she was in need of a transfusion of O positive blood if her life was to be saved. But the hospital blood bank had run out of reserves of that particular blood group. more..

Stick to your lane: Police

Nov 26 (DM) The traffic lane law would be strictly implemented starting today especially along the Sri J'pura Road from Jayanthipura to Colombo, Police said. Extra Police officers would be deployed to oversee that the law was being implemented and that drivers follow the rule from 6 a.m. today. “The law will also be implemented on the entrance roads to Colombo. We expect to file cases against those who drive carelessly neglecting the traffic lane law and also jaywalkers. more..

Sri Lanka PR for investors bringing US$5mn

Nov 26 (EN) Sri Lanka is planning to give permanent residence for investors who bring over US$ 5 million to the country and three year residence visa for those brining over 250,000 dollars, Finance Ministry said. A budget for 2016 said a three year resident visa would cost US$ 250,000 and a permanent residence US$ 5 million. Minister Ravi Karunanayake said dollar amounts were not fees, but investment volumes. more..

Queen skipped Colombo but graces Malta

Nov 26 (CT) British monarch Queen Elizabeth II, who did not attend the Commonwealth Heads of Govt Meeting in Sri Lanka in 2014, will grace this year's summit in Malta. The Chair of the Commonwealth which was held by Sri Lanka for two years now passes on to the President of Malta. Many world leaders have already arrived in Malta to attend the Summit. Heavy security arrangements have been put in place all over the Republic of Malta owing to the recent terrorist attack in Paris. more..

Two ex-navy commanders at PRECIFIC today

Nov 26 (DM) Former Navy Commanders Admirals Jayanath Colombage and Jayantha Perera have been summoned by PRECIFIC for the purpose of recording their statements over allegations of fraud and corruption at the Rakna Arakshaka Lanka Ltd. A senior official of the PRECIFAC said the Defence Ministry's former Additional Secretary Damayanthi Jayaratne had also been summoned today to clarify certain matters that had arisen with regard to the evidence recorded earlier in this connection. more..

UNHRC resolution to be discussed in Malta

Nov 26 (Island) Although Sri Lanka is not on the formal agenda of the three-day CHOGM in Malta scheduled to begin tomorrow, the UK intends to discuss progress made since the adoption of a UNHRC resolution to probe Sri Lanka’s alleged war crimes. The UNHRC unanimously approved the resolution on Sept. 30. Co-sponsored by Sri Lanka it calls for a thorough investigation into the alleged accountability issues during eelam war IV. more..

Let Gunaratnam engage in politics here

Nov 26 (DM) Whatever the citizenship he is currently holding, Frontline Socialist Party’s polit-bureau member Kumar Gunaratnam is a Sri Lankan by birth. However, he was arrested on November 4 while at his ancestral home in Anguruwella, Kegalla for overstaying his 30-day tourist visa as an Australian citizen. According to the Immigration and Emigration Department, he is liable for deportation to Australia. On April 7, 2012 he was abducted by some unknown people in a white van more..

Executive PM instead of Executive Prez?

Nov 26 (DM) A Cabinet decision has apparently been made to abolish the Executive Presidency to be effective after the term of President Sirisena comes to an end in 2020; so announced Minister Mangala Samaraweera; on the same day we have the former President Mahinda Rajapakse stating that this govt will never scrap the Executive Presidency. If the government really means what they say, the necessary amendment to the Constitution should be tabled in the near future even before more..

'Marapana’s resignation proves Yahapalanaya really exists'

Nov 26 (DM) Q: Though termed as good governance or Yahapalanaya isn’t there much difference of opinion in the govt now? A: No there is no such thing. Now anyone could express his dissent unlike in earlier times. There was no opportunity to do that earlier while being a govt MP or a Minister. Some have overstepped their freedom and got involved in unnecessary dialogues. When they could have discussed the issues within themselves, more..

‘No-confidence motion poses no challenge’

Nov 26 (DN) Rumours of an impending increase in water, electricity and telephone bills due to 2016 budget proposals are without any basis, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. The minister assured that the govt would never heap unnecessary burden on the people. He stated this at a foundation laying ceremony yesterday at Bodhi Samudrarama Vihara, Mutwal. more..

Govt urged to set up proper framework

Nov 26 (SL) Farmer organisations and leading environmentalists while admiring the initiative taken by JHU MP Ven. Athureliya Rathna Thero to call for the provision of a cash fertiliser subsidy to farmers, stressed that there should be a framework on how money would be disbursed to the farmers. Proposal is reportedly aimed at promoting organic farming methods among farming community by encouraging them to use carbonic fertiliser. more..

Tested 1-year rehab programme will suit PTA detainees

Nov 26 (ST) Detainees held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) who may be released on condition of rehabilitation can go through the efficient one-year programme through which thousands of former Tigers have been integrated into civil society, the programme’s chief said. Some legal sources, however, said the rehabilitation legislation did not cover these detainees, scores of whom have asked to more..

Govt will transform Southern mega projects into productive ventures: PM

Nov 26 (DN) Presiding over a forum of ministers and MPs in the Southern province, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, while discussing new strategies for the South, said the government would make productive the mega development projects launched in Hambantota, despite dissimilar views within the govt. "Whatever different point of views on the mega projects launched in the South by the previous govt, the reality is that more..

‘Journalists among 300 outsiders receiving monthly payments from Avant Garde’

Nov 26 (Island) Two journalists had been in the payroll of the controversial enterprise Avant Garde, a vociferous award-winning actor and politician disclosed. "They had been paid Rs 6000 each, monthly," Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake said. He quoted PM Ranil Wickramasinghe as having told him, in lighter vein; "I’m surprised why they did shopping for Nissanka Senadhipathy for such a measly sum." more..

Cosmopolitan Sri Lanka for fun fearless young women from March

Nov 26 (EN) Hearst Magazines International and Capital Media, a Colombo-based publishing house will launch the Sri Lanka edition of Cosmopolitan in March 2016. The announcement was made by Gautam Ranji, Hearst Magazines International senior vice president, licensing and business development and Shamindra Kulamannage, executive director of Capital Media. "The Cosmopolitan brand is truly global, more..

Video: Opposition cries foul

Nov 26 (DM) As part of their efforts to engage with the Heads of Diplomatic Missions in Colombo, the joint opposition met the Russian Ambassador and briefed him about what it called the lack of democratic space for dissent and the use of govt machinery to suppress political opponents, a former minister said. The joint opposition, combining a section of SLFP and its allies loyal to former President Rajapaksa, had also sought more..

India sought details on bank accounts of KP

Nov 26 (CG) India had sought the details on the bank accounts of Selvarasa Pathmanathan alias ‘KP’ and some of his associates as part of the investigations over the murder of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, reports said today. The Multi-Disciplinary Monitoring Agency (MDMA) in India had sought permission from the Sri Lankan authorities to question the alleged financier of the LTTE. “The MDMA is keen to know about more..

Video: Canteens increase prices; challenges Ravi K

Nov 26 (DM) While increasing the price on hoppers, plain tea and varieties of items sold at canteens from today the national organiser of the Canteen Owners Association Asela Sampath said the association would challenge the Minister Ravi Karunanaya to tell a place where one could buy food items at prices mention in the budget. “As an association we are challenging the Finance Minister to find and tell one single place where we can more..

Sri Lankan shares post 4-1/2 month closing low on budget worries

Nov 26 (Reuters) Shares closed at their lowest in four-and-a-half months on Thursday on worries earnings of financial firms would fall after the new budget proposals announced last week were implemented. Main stock index ended 0.67%, or 46.62 points, weaker at 6,963.37, its lowest close since July 9, and below its psychological barrier of 7,000. "Selling pressure continues after the budget, especially on the banking shares, and it will gradually settle," said a stockbroker more..

Sirisena abuses power again, appoints loser SLFP MPs to special srojects

Nov 26 (CT) Presiden Sirisena appointed defeated MP’s Shantha Bandara, Jagath Pushpakumara and Eric Weerawardhana as Directors of Special Projects with no description of the need for such appointments. The appointments were made in contravention of principles of Good Governance and in clear abuse of existing Executive Powers of the President. The appointments also come in the backdrop of the 19th amendment which was showcased as a pruning of the powers and more..

Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe

It’s action time for Maithri

Nov 26 (CT) SLFP under Maithripala Sirisena's leadership visibly functions in two camps. The smaller camp is identified as Mahinda Rajapaksa loyalists. This is the first time in the history of SLFP parliamentary politics two groups from the same party operate in Parliament. Both UNP and SLFP experienced internal rifts within their own entities, but they operated as one team in Parliament. UNP has maintained the tradition of being one team in Parliament despite internal rifts. more..

Budget 2016: How Tamils can go along

Nov 26 (CT) Quite a few worthwhile projects for the North and East of Sri Lanka, with due financial provision are found in the nation’s Budget for 2016. Several steps have been taken and some hurdles cleared, at the highest levels to reach this threshold to implementation. Much requires to be done from early next year by the administration to see that the ambitious objectives are realized. While not getting distracted in any way, as we go along in 2016, the project needs and provision for 2017 and more..

Sharma lauds President Sirisena

Nov 26 (DM) Secretary General of Commonwealth Kamlesh Sharma today said the Chair in Office President Maithripala Sirisena has done a wonderful job to promote Commonwealth ideals. He said this after a joint press conference with Maltese PM Joseph Muscat at the CHOGM Media Center in Valetta. Dr. Sharma said that President Sirisena’s total commitment to promote commonwealth principles such as more..

Nimal to oppose some aspects of the budget

Nov 26 (CG) Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva says he will oppose some aspects of the 2016 budget despite being a member of the cabinet. He said that President Maithripala Sirisena has given the SLFP to be critical of any issue in the Govt. He said that the current President is the only leader to allow such criticism within the Govt and that is a good sign for democracy. “Despite being members of this cabinet we will give critical support to the National Govt and the budget,” he said. more..

MLTs’ union stresses need for preventing diseases

Nov 26 (Island) SL Society of Medical Laboratory Science said it had stressed the need for President Maithripala Sirisena to establish laboratory services for the prevention of diseases. SLSMLS President, Ravi Kumudesh said that close attention should be paid in the future when appointing medical laboratory technologists as the focus of the country should be on preventing diseases. Kumudesh said that the SLSMLS had written to President Sirisena regarding the matter and more..

Sri Lanka warns of action over LTTE commemoration

Nov 26 (IANS) Sri Lankan Police on Thursday warned that it will take legal action against anyone who publicly shows support to the now vanquished Tamil Tigers. The warning came as some groups in the Tamil dominated north of the country prepared to commemorate the birth anniversary of slain Tamil Tiger leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran. Prabhakaran, killed by the military in 2009, was born on this day in 1954. more..