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CB Rathnayake

The realities of The Panama Papers: Will Sri Lanka wake up?

Apr 7 (CT) On April 3, 2016, Suddeutsche Zeitung, Germany’s largest daily newspaper leaked 11.5 million files from the database of Mossack Fonseca law firm whose headquarters is in Panama City, Panama. The firm is one of the world’s top creators of shell companies, corporate structures that can be used to hide ownership of assets. The files exposed financial dealings of some of the world’s richest and most powerful individuals. The documents included financial records, legal documents such as more..

National Heroes disappear from Independence Square

Apr 7 (Island) Father of the Nation DS Senanayake was watching over the peaceful Independence Square in Colombo. He was happy that the people were moving freely, even couples cuddling up here and there. He didn't forget to tell his son Dudley that credit must be given where its due and asked him to send a message to Ranil Wicks to always thank Mahinda and Gotabaya and all the security forces not just the chiefs. DS was angry that only certain people were trying to take the credit. more..

An insurrection that went awry

Apr 7 (SO) In a bid to overthrow the govt of the day and to seize power, an insurrection led by the JVP was initiated on April 5, 1971. Part of this initiation was to secure the release of Rohana Wijeweera, the founder of the JVP, who was kept in the Jaffna Prison, after being arrested on March 12, 1971. We spoke to K. Kumara who was a 'brother-in-arms' and came to Jaffna to get Wijeweera out, but got caught and spent two years at more..

Would fertilizer subsidy protect farmer, consumer, nation?

Apr 7 (Island) We can’t give a clear answer to this question using statistics but overuse of subsidised inputs (in comparison to a recommendation) has been recorded in many countries including USA and India. As revealed by researchers, in the past, introducing a subsidy and controlling retail price always increased fertilize use i.e. due to increase in land area under cultivation or due to increase in the application rate. A substantial increase in fertilizer consumption in 1993 over 1992 more..

Sri Lanka bank borrowings dominated by CB credit in January

Apr 7 (EN) Sri Lanka's state borrowings from the central bank peaked to a record 106.6 billion rupees in January 2016, despite a reserve ratio hike withdrawing some cash from the banking system in the month, data shows. Credit to private business rose by 43.6 billion rupees to 2,395 billion rupees, almost the same as December's 43.6 billion rupees and was up 26.7% from a year earlier. Credit to state enterprises rose 4.6 billion rupees to 527.6 billion rupees. more..

'FCID is now like home'

Apr 7 (CT) The institution called the FCID is like home to us. We are not at all bothered. When I went there recently, I asked them whether I will not be taken into custody. If I had not asked that, it is possible that they would have kept me inside until evening. They think that if we are threatened with arrest we will stop our work. They believe that they can take revenge from us. We go in the morning & come back. Then we go again. more..

Suspense over Malinga’s availability

Apr 7 (Hindu) The suspense over Lasith Malinga’s availability for the IPL’s ninth edition continued as the pace spearhead remained the only player to have not joined the Mumbai Indians preparatory camp ahead of its tournament opener on Saturday. While all 26 members of the Mumbai Indians squad slogged it out at the Wankhede Stadium on a sultry Wednesday afternoon, Malinga was the only one missing from the session. The Mumbai Indians remained guarded about his fitness status more..

Tea exporters express concerns over excessive taxation

Apr 7 (FT) The Tea Exporters Association yesterday expressed serious concern over new and excessive taxation proposed by the Govt. “The tea exporters are strongly objecting to these detrimental Budget proposals as they would put additional pressure on them at a time more relief is expected from the Govt. The Association has appealed to the Ministry of Finance for revival of two taxes and is awaiting a response,” TEA said in a statement. It said that since the beginning of 2014 the tea industry more..

Sri Lanka to review billion dollar ArcelorMittal tin house deal

Apr 7 (EN) Sri Lanka will review a billion dollar deal to build 65,000 tax-payer financed houses by ArcelorMittal for homeless Tamil refuges in the island's former war zone, a minister said, amidst allegations of corruption and tender rigging. "The President said he will form a committee with the Prime Minister and relevant ministers to go into this," Minister of National Co-existence Dialogue and Official Languages Mano Ganesan said. more..

Fillip for junior cricket: SLC builds partnership with Education Ministry

Apr 7 (ST) At least now the Lankans should admit that a score of years down the line, we have missed the bus with the the right route number and we have landed somewhere next to Timbuktu with a truck load of cricketers who are now more bewildered than the bus driver himself. Now we are wondering what our next destination is going to be. Yes, in the aftermath of the T-20 exercise, the Lankan cricket hierarchy put their heads together and looked at other routes to arrive at the next English more..

Sri Lanka in topsy turvy economic spin but business seen as brisk

Apr 7 (Island) National Chamber Of Commerce of Sri Lanka, convened a seminar on Tuesday on the subject; Insight into Treasury Management & the Current Economic Setting. Economist JB Securities Eshini Ekanayake in her presentation What is the Overall Directionality of the Market, projected a droll picture of the economy of Sri Lanka in its current state. GDP at 4.7% was slowing down, from its 2015 level of 4.8%. Monetary performance, she said, was disappointing. more..

Presidential Awards for drug prevention

Apr 7 (PSL) A program to bestow Presidential Awards to officials who contribute to investigations and special raids on drug prevention will be launched from this year says President Maithripala Sirisena. Speaking at the National Program on Drug Prevention held yesterday (5) at the Maligapitiya Playground in Kurunegala, President said priority will be given to promotions of those officers who perform exceptionally in drug prevention. more..

Emirates celebrates 30 years of flights to SL

Apr 7 (GN) This week, Emirates celebrated thirty years of flights to Sri Lanka. Its first flight was on Apr 1, 1986, when an Emirates Boeing 727-200 Flight EK800 departed Dubai International Airport touching down in Colombo, Emirates’ fourth global destination. The airline has already announced it will increase capacity further with the addition of a fifth daily flight between Colombo and Dubai from 1 Aug 2016. “We would like to thank all our customers and industry partners in Sri Lanka more..

CTSU threatens legal action

Apr 7 (CT) Ceylon Teachers' Service Union (CTSU) denounced the Ceylon Teacher's Union's accusation of financial looting of educational co-operators. They stated that they will be taking legal action against Teachers' Association and will demand a compensation of Rs 50 million against these accusations. These accusations were published in Guru Handa newspaper under headline of Financial looting of Educational Co-operators (Adyapana Samupakara Samajika Mudal Kollaya). more..

Wijeyadasa, Fonseka flare up in Cabinet

Apr 7 (DM) Ministers Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe and Sarath Fonseka had a heated argument at the Cabinet meeting yesterday, when the latter accused of former for violating a collective agreement of the Cabinet of Ministers. According to sources, the altercation had taken place when Field Marshal Fonseka objected to the action of Mr. Rajapakshe in tendering an apology to a Buddhist monk over a statement made by more..

World's largest wastewater firm ready for Sri Lanka entry

Apr 7 (DN) World's largest wastewater service firm is looking to enter Sri Lanka and help modernize the country's disposal methods. "We are the single largest wastewater management company in the world, well-known for green-tech, microbiology, biotech and nanotech innovations," said Indah Water Konsortium (IWK), Malaysia Manager Devan Iyavoo said in Colombo. Iyavoo is a member of the visiting Malaysian delegation to Sri Lanka. A 15 member Malaysian delegation led by a VIP-the more..

Children around Sri Lanka paint for water in Brandix initiative

Apr 7 (ST) A novel initiative to inspire children to give expression to their views on water conservation and management through art has resulted in the Brandix Group engaging with 37 schools in Sri Lanka to commemorate World Water Day 2016. Diya Siththam (Water Frescoes) programme conducted by the Bindu Foundation, the Corporate Social Responsibility division of the Group paved the way for nine schools whose thematic wall paintings were adjudged the best among participants to more..

36 gangsters arrested

Apr 7 (DN) Police have arrested 36 members of organized crime groups under the special operation to arrest the recent hike in serious crimes. Among the 36 arrested are 18 most wanted criminals. Among them are well-known criminals such as Kalu Sagara, Nadun Chinthaka, Dineth Milan alias Uru Juwal, D. Manju and Joseph Kumara alias Josa. Operation which is under direct supervision of Senior DIG Pujith Jayasundara, more..

'Over 50,000 jobs vacant in BoI companies'

Apr 7 (DN) There are 50,000 job vacancies among the Board of Investment relegated companies, State International Trade Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe said. "Sadly there are no takers for these jobs and the govt many now have to consider importing labour to feed these companies adhering to requests made by BOI firms." "There are vacancies in 12 sectors including apparel, information technology and boat building with 500 to1,000 vacancies in each sector," Senasinghe said. more..

Prescription (Special Provisions) Bill passed with amendments

Apr 7 (FT) The Prescription (Special Provisions) Bill was passed yesterday in Parliament with amendments. The Bill enables special legal provisions to be made in respect of persons who were unable to pursue their rights in court for the recovery of any immovable property including land, due to the activities of a militant terrorist group, which prevailed in Sri Lanka and for matters connected. Moving the motion the Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said: more..

China says biz disagreements will not shake friendship with Sri Lanka

Apr 7 (FT) Disagreements in business operations will not affect the traditional friendship between China and Sri Lanka and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s visit to Beijing yesterday will be an opportunity to consolidate that friendship, China said. PM arrived in China on a four-day official visit from 6 to 9 April at the invitation of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang said different opinions emerging in more..

GL asks why CID questioned him without first hand information

Apr 7 (DN) Former Minister G.L. Peiris said that he was questioned by the CID without having first hand information. "It is illegal to question a person without first hand information," Prof. Peiris. He made this observation commenting on the move to question him in connection with the statement he made on the recovery of explosives from a house in Chavakachchri. "When I asked about the first hand information, the CID said that there is no first hand information and there was a written order more..

Ports Ministry driver involved in assault remanded till April 18

Apr 7 (Island) The suspect who abused and assaulted a driver of Upali Newspapers at the turn off to Wijerama Mawatha along Bauddhaloka Mawatha on Tuesday was arrested by Cinnamon Gardens Police following a complaint lodged by the victim and wide exposure by the media. Suspect Nishan Thivanka was produced before Colombo Additional Magistrate and remanded till April 18. The suspect is the driver of Ports and Shipping Ministry media officer Thamira Manju. more..

PM urged not to withdraw MR’s elite commandos

Apr 7 (Island) Claiming continuing LTTE threats to his life, former President Rajapaksa has appealed to PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to rescind a govt decision to withdraw a contingent of army commandos assigned for his security. Former President met PM at the latter’s office in parliament on Tuesday. NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa, explained the circumstances under which former President had made representations to PM more..

SLFP MPs threaten to end political marriage with UNP unless ...

Apr 7 (Island) SLFP MPs in the national unity govt threatened to quit it if no immediate action was taken to stabilise the economy, which, they said, was now on the verge of collapse. Addressing the media at the SLFP headquarters on Darley Road, flanked by Minister Chandima Weerakkody and State Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, Deputy Minister Arundika Fernando said they fully backed the government but all the ministries responsible for economic affairs were held by the UNP. more..

Election of new Mahanayake today

Apr 7 (Island) The election of the new Mahanayake Thera of Asgiriya chapter of the Siamese Sect is scheduled to place today. Supreme Council of the Sangha (Karaka Maha Sangha Sabha) sits at the historical Uposhathagaraya (Higher Ordination Chamber) of Asgiriya Vihare at 4 p.m. for the purpose. The two deputy heads of the chapter (Anunayake Theras) Ven. Wendaruwe Upali Thera and Ven. Warakagoda Gnanaratana Thera are the likely contestants for the coveted office more..

Enhanced perks for MPs back on agenda

Apr 7 (Island) Party leaders have decided to grant increased allowances to MPs following representations made by several Tamil party leaders. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has told the party leaders that the plan to grant increased allowances for MPs could be approved if party leaders backed the move. TNA MP M. A. Sumanthiran said at the meeting that it was unreasonable to have withdrawn the proposal more..

Swindlers’ List: Find the plunders of the poor

Apr 7 (DM) Most of the people today appear to be caught up knowingly or unknowingly, in a world system that is essentially consumerist—that means to get and get, grab and grab, buy and buy whether we need it or not. Sinhala language has a powerful word for it Raskaraganime Thrushnawa or more politely in English, the acquisitive instinct that drives people to become rich fools. We go on to build bigger and bigger barns or bank accounts, secret or otherwise, blissfully ignoring the reality of more..

Let’s talk in New Year; Govt for the People

Apr 7 (DM) It has been some years since I wrote a column for a mainstream newspaper. Looking back on it, I gave up writing for a combination of reasons, which oscillated from being bored and tired of saying the same thing to focusing on more practical action to effect change. The change happened in that in those two decisive national elections of 2015, we came out of the darkness of impunity, profligacy and loot to a new dawn of hope and expectation that we could function yet again, more..

Soaring greenback makes importers weep

Apr 7 (ST) The greenback jumped to Rs. 150 last week, reaching its highest level in months since the govt decided to float the rupee last September. The market recorded a spike of Rs. 3-4 to the dollar, causing concern amongst businesses and food importers. Economists predict consumers will be hard hit in coming months if the dollar keeps rising and sends up prices of imported food even further. more..

SEC fails market again

Apr 7 (SL) Sri Lanka’s capital market watchdog – Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) has failed to arrest the grave situation faced by SL’s capital market – Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) although SEC Chief stated that he will unveil a solution on March 31. Many analysts and investors alike expressed utter disappointment not over SEC Chairman Tilak Karunaratne’s failure to make public such a solution but more..

Sri Lanka braces for extreme Heat

Apr 7 (IPS) Sri Lanka is facing the heat from a scorching sun for the past one month. In recent times, the country has imposed power cuts after almost a decade. Main reason was the stoppage at a coal power plant, but engineers at CEB admit that hydro-power generation capacity is at such a critical low that without additional coal, diesel and renewable generation, the country’s full demand for power cannot be met. more..

'Radical measures afoot to strengthen economy'

Apr 7 (DN) The govt will take several radical measures to strengthen the country's economy. A programme for an economic transformation is scheduled to be implemented towards this, Finance State Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said. "As a result of the world economic downturn, SL economy as well as economies of most other countries have affected. Not only the rupee value but also the values of Yen, Yuan, more..

Video: Joint Opposition breaking up into splinters: Minister

Apr 7 (DM) The Joint Opposition was breaking into splinters and slowly turning into a diluted group, Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara said today. He said that the Joint Opposition members were trying to topple the Govt by dashing coconuts. “A Govt cannot be toppled by dashing coconuts but it only can be done through an election,” he said. “Yesterday, 3 ministers crossed over to the Govt and they are appointed as more..

Unease in the House

Apr 7 (CT) Unease lasted briefly in Parliament yesterday when members of the Joint Opposition began vociferously demanding that govt reveal the current number of Cabinet, Deputy and State Ministers in the National Govt. MP Wimal Weerawanasa raising a point of order challenged the eligibility of a national govt as the Speaker had already accepted the No-Confidence Motions submitted by the Joint Opposition as well as more..

'Release fishermen in Sri Lankan custody'

Apr 7 (ENS) Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa wrote to PM Narendra Modi demanding concrete action for the immediate release of four fishermen apprehended by SL Navy and 84 fishing boats in the custody of the neighbouring country. In a letter to Modi, Chief Minister said that four fishermen in a mechanised fishing boat, who set off from Rameswaram fishing base of Ramanathapuram District have been apprehended by SL Navy more..

Information ban on Central Bank, Trade Agreements unacceptable: JVP

Apr 7 (DM) JVP alleged that govt had restricted peoples’ right to obtain information on certain subjects, including information released by Central Bank and information related to International Trade Agreements, under the new Right to Information Bill while accepting the access to information as a right. JVP MP Vijitha Herath said it was mentioned in the Bill that releasing certain information was a punishable offence, more..

Sri Lanka hoping to wrap up billion dollar deal with IMF next week

Apr 7 (EN) Sri Lanka is expecting to finalize and agreement with the IMF next week which may involve a loan of about a billion US dollars, State Minister for Finance, Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene said. "By next week we are hoping to reach an agreement with the IMF," Minister Abeywardene said. "It is not that they tell us what to do. We have to present our plan and show we are going to manage the economy." more..

Lankans get overdose of iodine: NIFS

Apr 7 (Island) Higher iodine intake led to dysfunction of thyroid gland, thyroiditis, goitre, hyperthyroidism, sensitivity reactions, thyroid papillary cancers and other acute responses such as mouth and stomach burnings, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, weak pulse, cardiac irritability and coma. National Institute of Fundamental Studies (NIFS) yesterday revealed that all salt produced in Sri Lanka had excess iodine that more..