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CEB Diesel Scam exposed

Apr 10 (CT) CEB Engineers' Union has decided to complain to COPE about corruption and malpractices in the CEB. President of the Union Athula Wanniarachchi said he was ready to complain to COPE about LTL Holdings in Kerawalapitiya in which CEB holds a 63% stake. He further said Engineers' Union agrees with the corruption exposed by COPE Chairman Sunil Handunnetti in Parliament on 7 April. more..

Rs. 38 million spent with President’s consent

Apr 10 (SL) Director General of the Irrigation Department, S.L.S. Weerasinghe stated that the Rs. 38 million that was spent for the National Farmers’ Convention under the theme Govi Muluwai – Jana Suwayai was with the consent of the President. When asked about the colossal expense for this convention, Weerasinghe said the sum was used for reasonable expenses and most of the unnecessary expenses were avoided. He said that although the estimated expense was Rs 38 million, more..

Wijeya Newspapers, Champika’s Secretary under fire

Apr 10 (CT) Paul Ratnayake Associates on behalf of their client former MP Tiran Alles, who is also the Chairman of Ceylon Newspapers Private Limited, has sent letters of demand to Wijeya Newspapers Private Limited and Media Secretary of Minister Champika Ranawaka, Dhanushka Ramanayake, claiming a sum of Rs 3 billion for defaming him in the publication of an article titled Champika not named as accused – Secretary in the Daily Mirror newspaper of 6 April 2016. more..

Rs. 2.88 trillion spirited out of Sri Lanka in last 10 years

Apr 10 (SL) Corrupt individuals including politicians and businessmen, criminals, and tax evaders have moved US$ 19.96 billion in dirty money out of SL in the decade up to 2013, an organisation that tracks the movement of shady money has revealed. Equivalent of Rs. 2.88 trillion has been illegally taken out of the country in the 10 years from 2004 to 2013. This includes money illegally earned through corruption. more..

Minister’s Adviser in Panama Papers!

Apr 10 (CT) An Adviser of a frontline Minister who has served in the previous regime and now in the incumbent govt has been embroiled in the controversial Panama Papers, making a veritable mockery of the principles of Good Governance touted by the govt, while in Opposition! This Adviser, who has never held a govt position, has also no business in his name and has neither been linked to business, and clouds of controversy looms how he has amassed his wealth, sources said. more..

Sarath Fonseka wants a Rs. 45 million BMW

Apr 10 (SL) Minister Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka has informed the cabinet that he needed a Rs. 45 million, 7 Series super luxury BMW for his use. It is learnt that Fonseka had made this request on April 6 during the cabinet meeting held and several other ministers had raised objections to his request. Several ministers had pointed out that the rest of the ministers had a limit of Rs. 35 million as vehicle allowance and Fonseka should not be permitted to exceed that limit. more..

Yahapalana Deal: Minister disconnects with SLT Chief’s huge housing allowance

Apr 10 (ST) A decision reportedly taken by Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) board to approve a huge monthly housing allowance of Rs. 725,000 for its Chairman P.G. Kumarasinghe Sirisena has been challenged by Minister Harin Fernando. Minister said that he had told the PM that the figure approved for the housing allowance was too high and a review was needed. “I am responsible to Parliament as SLT comes under the purview more..

UNP’s internal shuffle, a heartburn for some members

Apr 10 (SO) UNP’s internal reshuffle had been the cause for heartburn of some senior members, including those who have been re-appointed to positions other than what they already hold. A senior and vocal member of the UNP said even Minister Daya Gamage was not happy to lose the national organiser’s post. He is only 50% happy, he said. Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake had confronted the UNP leader as to why he was overlooked when the party’s internal positions more..

Sri Lanka to make path for China to access Indian Ocean despite India's concerns

Apr 10 (TOI) Sri Lanka has accepted China's bidding to make Indian Ocean an economic hub ignoring India's concerns over it. The move, which was announced by visiting Sri Lankan PM, Ranil Wickramasinghe, will help China fulfill its desire for access to the Indian Ocean. "Our policy is to make Sri Lanka an (economic) hub of the Indian Ocean," Wickramasinghe said at a press conference at the end of his four-day visit to China. Worried that the move might upset India, the PM added, more..

PM visit reboots equilibrium with China; seeks conversion of loans into equity

Apr 10 (ST) A crucial final round of talks between Govt leaders & IMF for a standby loan to stave off a balance of payment crisis gets under way tomorrow. This is the culmination of consultations a visiting IMF mission had in the past days with Govt officials. Due for discussion, were some important issues relating to policy level matters. This includes putting a stop to what is being described as haphazard govt spending, more..

PM’s China visit: Two-timing diplomacy for Indo-China investments

Apr 10 (Island) It is not that the world is watching PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s visit to China. The political world is preoccupied with the Panama Papers and the unfolding saga of the estimated US$21-trillion unreported private financial wealth hidden in the world’s tax free treasure islands. The curious cats in Sri Lanka are sniffing for traces of Sri Lankan rupees that may have trickled into this global loot. Deputy Minister Eran Wickremaratne has stoked Sri Lankan curiosity by alluding to the potential presence more..

Right to Care; Responsibility to Protest

Apr 10 (Island) Panama Papers reveal a truth which is timeless and universal. Power and corruption are conjoined twins. The 148 politicians implicated so far, by the 11.5 million files from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, span every divide, starting with race, religion and ideological persuasion. They have one common denominator – the possession of power; and a willingness to use that power to their own financial advantage. Panama Papers is a reminder that no country, more..

Sampur: An energy necessity Vs environmental death knell

Apr 10 (SL) The CEB’s proposed long-term plan clearly spells out that the much hyped Indian Government partnered coal power station in Sampur, Trincomalee will not be available untill 2020; in other words, the Board will have to look into other means to cover the short-fall. While most of the engineers strongly believe that the 500MW plant is a must, especially after 2018, to meet the country’s growing electricity demand, more..

Yuan same status as US Dollar in Sri Lanka

Apr 10 (SO) The Chinese Yuan will be made a convertible currency in Sri Lanka soon after the China Bank sets up operations in Colombo, Central Bank Governor Arjun Mahendran said. Mahendran was a member of the high profile Sri Lankan delegation visiting China with PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. During the visit, representatives of the SL govt had extensive discussions with Chinese govt to strengthen more..

Presidential red light for Fonseka’s Benz

Apr 10 (ST) Soldier turned politician Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, now a Minister, received what seems a polite snub from President Maithripala Sirisena at a recent weekly ministerial meeting. It came after the Field Marshal told the meeting that with the financial allocation of Rs. 35 million for his ministry, he was unable to even buy a vehicle. Whilst the latest series BMW cost Rs. 70 million, a Mercedes Benz was Rs. 40 million. more..

Draft Megapolis Bill flouts Provincial Council powers

Apr 10 (CT) Minister Champika Ranawaka has been at the helm of controversy on several occasions in his political career thus far. He started off as a National list MP, grew radical in his views and a sudden enlightenment saw a classic transformation in his views. He joined hands with the YahaPalanaya Govt and was accorded a ministry that required great vision and intellect. Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development was more..

Welgama irks Ranja; Nayana caught in crossfire

Apr 10 (CT) A Deputy Minister's attempts in Parliament at poking fun at a senior member of the Opposition regarding the latter's supposed romantic relationship with a prominent actress backfired when the Opposition MP retorted that at least his relationship was not with an old woman (naaki geni). Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake, who, while taking part in a debate on the activities of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of more..

Retail resurgence ahead of the New Year

Apr 10 (SO) In the Sri Lankan retail scene, there are mainly two seasons that drive shoppers to retail stores and of course, makeshift stalls by the roadside. They are Christmas/New Year and Sinhala and Hindu New Year. After the shopping frenzy from November to December, there is a lull from mid-January till end of February, but shopping picks up from the first week of March in anticipation of Sinhala & Hindu New Year. more..

Kidney surgery on foreigners to resume

Apr 10 (CT) The kidney transplant racket involving Indian nationals and Sri Lankan medical professionals, shows signs that the entire operation is being handled by an organized mafia. Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) had held a meeting on 29 March to discuss a circular sent by the Ministry of Health requesting the SLMA to lift the ban on kidney transplant surgery on foreigners. In the circular, the SLMA has also been directed to set up an more..

Cautiously optimistic about solution, says Sri Lankan MP

Apr 10 (Hindu) As the SL Parliament prepares to meet as Constitutional Assembly to draft a new Constitution, TNA MP S. Sivamohan of TNA said that he was cautiously optimistic that the Tamil question would be resolved through the new Constitution. “We are apprehensive that certain Sinhalese majoritarian groups are planning to flare up anti-Tamil sentiments to stop devolution of powers to Tamils in the new Constitution,” more..

Dengue sites need to be cleared with military precision

Apr 10 (ST) Official lethargy and public indifference are the two major obstacles in the way of checking the spread of dengue fever around the country, health officials say as dengue continues to rise with 12 deaths reported so far from the disease with 13,639 dengue cases reported in the past four months. In the first days of April alone, 177 dengue cases have been reported. Colombo reported with the highest number of cases since January more..

State institutions ordered to cut monthly power consumption by 10%

Apr 10 (ST) All Ministries and Departments have been ordered to cut their power consumption by 10% every month. In order to implement the proposal an Energy Officer will be appointed in each of the public institutions, who will be responsible to plan the reduction in electricity consumption and its implementation. They will take into consideration bills for three months and work out an average from which the consumption more..

Ranil appoints top-level committee to facilitate Chinese investments

Apr 10 (Island) A high-powered three-member committee has been appointed to ensure that all Chinese investments and projects in Sri Lanka are methodically facilitated and expedited, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe told Chinese President Xi Jinping and premier Li Keqiang in Beijing. Ministers Dr. Sarath Amunugama, Malik Samarawickrama and Adviser to Ministry of Economic Development, R. Paskaralingam have been appointed as members of this top-level committee, more..

WikiLeaks: Sri Lanka-China relations after Mao’s death

Apr 10 (CT) “Sri Lankan govt (GSL) declared an eight-day period of mourning to coincide with observances in China. Sept 18, the day of Mao’s last rites in Peking, was also declared a day of national mourning and a public holiday.” the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington. “We would judge that a gradual trend in Sri lanka’s relation with China will develop which will lead to a less close relationship. This should have the effect of undermining, to some extent, more..


JVP accuses Iniya Bharathi of taking land

Apr 10 (SL) JVP accused former paramilitary member Iniya Bharathi of taking land by force in Thirukkovil in Ampara. JVP MP Vijitha Herath said Iniya Bharathi had assisted the former govt during the war against LTTE and had control over Thirukkovil. He says during the war Iniya Bharathi used weapons to control the people of Thirukkovil, and today he continues to have a hold on the residents in the area. JVP MP urged the govt to intervene in Thirukkovil issue and more..

Other side of the coin on Emirates deal

Apr 10 (Island) I have read with great sadness and all humility the many newspaper articles and editorials and, of course, the comments made by our legislators in Diyawanna Oya on the rumblings in our national airline and the heavy losses it has accumulated up to now. SriLankan Airline is a fully govt owned company answerable to Parliament & COPE [comprising legislators from all parties]. As such, it is difficult to understand how the entire nation, and our well informed legislators, more..

Promised Yahapalanaya

South Asia’s biggest coastal park at Crow Island opened

Apr 10 (ITN) Minister Ravi Karunanayake says that steps will be taken to develop all areas in the country equally without developing only one area. He mentioned this while opening the South Asia’s biggest coastal park at Crow Island in Mattakkuliya. The Crow Island Coastal Park in Mattakkuliya was vested in the public under the patronage of Ministers Ravi Karunanayaka and Champika Ranawaka. 275 million rupees has been spent on the park under the assistance of the World Bank. more..

U.R. de Silva throws his hat for BASL post

Apr 10 (ST) Two candidates declared their candidacy this week for the post of President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) for the year 2017/2018. Udaya Rohan De Silva known as U.R. De Silva, senior criminal practitioner has declared his intention to contest the post. He was elected as the BASL Treasurer in 2008. Educated at Ananda College, Colombo, Mr. De Silva was called to the Bar in 1983. Since then he has been engaged in active criminal practice not confined to more..

Chinese companies to invest in Sri Lanka only after new laws; no debt equity swaps

Apr 10 (EN) Companies from China will invest in Sri Lanka after new laws are made, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said as a joint statement after a state visit to China called for a favourable business and investment climate to be created. No headway has been made on highly publicised claims about re-negotiating debt. Attemtps to swap debt to equity has also failed, though Chinse firms have expressed willingness to take-over some more..


Apr 10 (Island) Sampur, a new and compelling short documentary by filmmaker Kannan Arunasalam released last week, is now freely available online and over social media. The film deals with displacement. Seven years after the end of the war in Sri Lanka, that so many in Sri Lanka can’t go back to their homes may come as a surprise to some readers. The documentary centres around internally displaced individuals from Sampur - a town located about 30 km South-East of Trincomalee. more..

Sweet melon big hit in east to beat the heat

Apr 10 (ST) Soaring temperatures in the eastern province have turned the common seeni kekiri -(sweet melon)- a variety of cucumber- into a much sought-after thirst quencher. Farmers and traders bring in large quantities of the fruit to the Batticaloa town square as well as along the Batticaloa-Kalmunai Main road where they make a brisk sale. The soaring heat has seen an increased demand for the cucumber as many people see it as a natural way to quench their thirst. more..

SLPA trade union leaders launch fast unto death

Apr 10 (AD) Four workers representing the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) Joint Trade Unions Forum have launched a fast unto death opposite the entrance to the Colombo Harbour, based on several demands including New Year bonuses. The collective of trade unions had previously engaged in work-to-rule action however due to authorities failing to provide solutions to their issues, four including trade union leaders more..

MTD Walkers PLC says no partnership with Kolkota flyover builder IVRCL

Apr 10 (ST) Referring to our last week’s Page 1 story on the Kolkata bridge disaster, MTD Walkers PLC has sent us the following statement: 4th April 2016, Colombo: MTD Walkers PLC ,today stated that they would like to clear any confusion that may have occurred as a result of the article that appeared in a leading English newspaper in Sri Lanka. MTD Walkers PLC wishes to confirm that it is neither a JV partner nor the local partner of M/s IVRCL of India. more..

Couples now banned from sitting together at Negombo bus stand

Apr 10 (CG) Couples have now been banned from sitting together at the Negombo bus stand by security officers. A video sent to the Colombo Gazette shows female security officers at the bus stand telling couples to leave the place in five minutes and not sit together for a long time. The individual who recorded the video told the Colombo Gazette that the security officers had told the couples the bus stand is not the place for couples to spend time together. more..

Thai visa nightmare propels Lankans to seek other holiday destinations

Apr 10 (Island) With Thailand tightening the screws on Sri Lankan visitors, more and more travelers have opted for Singapore, Malaysia and Dubai this holiday season to avoid the frustrating hassle of securing a Thai visa, industry officials. Gone were those spacious days when it was hassle-free for Sri Lankans to grab a visa and make a beeline to this key tourist destination on Southeast Asia’s Indochina peninsula, more..

ACE Power Embilipitiya joins national grid

Apr 10 (SO) Ace Power, a 100 MW thermal power station in Embilipitiya which was decommissioned last year has now begun contributing 40 megawatts of power to the national grid this week as an emergency measure to avert an energy crisis. The inclusion of the power plant has been questioned by the regulator, Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) citing that power purchase from the Independent Power Producer (IPP) does not comply with the Sri Lanka Electricity Act. more..

Govt did something good after long time: MR

Apr 10 (AD) Referring to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s visit to China to strengthen ties, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says that the government has done something good after a long time. He stated China has provided Sri Lanka with immense assistance to develop the country’s economy and infrastructure and that during his reign he signed agreements with the Asian powerhouse to launch development projects and establish business opportunities. more..

Video: MR has been allowed a massive security detail: MS

Apr 10 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena said that he has allowed former president Mahinda Rajapaksa to have a massive security detail including two helicopters even though he was defeated during the last Presidential election. President Sirisena said the former President was allowed to choose his security officials, from ranks such as brigadiers, colonels, captains, majors and the police for his security division. more..