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Yahapalana theory stood on its head

Apr 16 (Island) Sri Lanka entered the traditional New Year with the yahapalana govt literally standing on its head. Present govt described its first mini-budget in January last year as a Robin Hood budget where the rich were robbed to give concessions to the poor. Indeed there was no doubt that in the early days the govt did both – robbing the rich as well as giving concessions to the poor. They introduced several one off taxes such as the Super Gains Tax of 25% on all entities more..

Heavy metals in vegetable oils: Toxic truths

Apr 16 (SO) With drastic changes in society and enhanced living standards, the common people are adopting healthier eating habits. Awareness about health-related issues, especially in the context of excessive weight gain have altered food habits for the better. The shift from animal fat-based cooking oils to vegetable oils is one such. However, there is very little information on the heavy metal levels in edible vegetable oils used in more..

Will India topple Ranil’s govt too?

Apr 16 (CT) India maintained strict silence on Ranil's visit to China. Only India is aware of the secret behind that silence. Subsequent to Mahinda's defeat, his brother former Defence Secretary Gotabaya said at a conference that Indian Defence Adviser Ajit Doval had told him to halt the Colombo Port City (Chinese) Project. Gotabaya said, his brother's govt got involved in problems with India because of the decision the govt took not to halt this project. more..

Post-war Sri Lanka urgently needs new acts on Police & Firearms

Apr 16 (CT) With the end of the three-decades long armed conflict in 2009, Sri Lanka has embarked in seeking permanent peace and human security in the country through reconciliation, rehabilitation and reconstruction. This will help not only bridging the gaps between ethnic communities in SL but also in overall socioeconomic and political development of nation building. Since the new govt came into power on Jan 8th 2015, there is a big hope that country’s supreme law will be change and more..

Law enforcement agencies in a state of collapse?

Apr 16 (SL) The state of the law enforcement agencies, particularly the police service, and other branches of the administration of justice, the Attorney Generals Department, and the judiciary in Sri Lanka is in a state of serious collapse. So long as this state of collapse remains, it would not be possible to implement any constitution within the framework of the rule of law under the principles of the Supremacy of law. more..

Editorial: Mrs. B’s birth centenary

Apr 16 (Island) Today marks the 100th birth anniversary of Mrs. Sirima Ratwatte Dias Bandaranaike, three times PM of this country in 1960, 1970 and 1994. She is best known to her countrymen as Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike, two additional letters having been added to her first name as an honorific – gauravartha bahu vachana in Sinhala. We carry two articles on Mrs. Bandaranaike in today’s issue, one a personal memoir by a senior govt official of the Ministry of Planning & more..

Sirimavo: A Leader in her own right...

Apr 16 (Island) On 21 July, 1960 Sirimavo Bandaranaike became the first woman PM of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). Despite being a novice in politics, she soon placed the stamp of her personality on the job of the chief executive of the country whilst beginning to play an especially notable role in the foreign policy realm. As a celebrated leader of the Nonaligned Movement, her contribution to the furtherance of Third World solidarity in the 1960s and 70s and her successful interventions on more..

Colombo Fashion Forecast

Tamils’ meeting shows continuing rift in Labour Party regarding foreign policy

Apr 16 (CT) Tamils for Labour organised what was probably its biggest ever meeting on 11/04/2016. The main attraction for the 400+ people in attendance – many of whom were young Tamils – was the chief speaker, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Labour Party leader and leader of the opposition. Hilary Benn MP, shadow foreign secretary, Chuka Umunna MP, former shadow business secretary under Ed Miliband, gave speeches, as did a number of other Labour MPs. Journalists Callum Macrae, more..

'Disintermediation and disruption key to innovation'

Apr 16 (LBO) Disruption goes hand-in-hand with disintermediation and is a key feature that drives innovation, Kris Canekeratne of global IT outsourcing company Virtusa said. He was speaking at the LBR LBO Enterprise Summit 2016: Build Smarter Businesses with Smart Technologies or be Outsmarted, held in Colombo on Thursday. “What would life be like today without your favorite app, to do what you want it to do when you want it to?” Canekeratne, CEO, Virtusa said. more..

Remittances slow down will weaken Sri Lanka credit quality: Moody’s

Apr 16 (EN) Lower remittances from the Middle East, which accounts for half of Sri Lanka’s migrant work earnings, will weaken the island’s credit quality, Moody's Investors Service says. Weaker remittances will dampen benefits of lower oil prices for Asia Pacific sovereigns. Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) economies have been hit hard by the slump in oil prices. “Generally, weaker remittances will immediately impact recipient countries' more..

J.O. hell bent on a President-PM split

Apr 16 (Island) One thing that you must grant the Joint Opposition (JO) is that it strategizes craftily and does its homework carefully. I intend to layout the JO’s central strategic objective at this time and make an assessment of its likelihood of success. But first I need to explain that, for the purposes of this piece, JO does not include the whole bunch of 30+ MP, some goofy and some crafty, arraigned around former president Rajapaksa, but only the decision making core. more..

Benefits of curbing illicit financial outflows

Apr 16 (Island) "An international report that has recently come out by Global Financial Integrity has reported that USD 20 billion has been moved out of Sri Lanka by corrupt practices in the ten years between 2004 and 2013". This is the headline of a recent economic report. (See Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries: 2004-2013 Dev Kar and Joseph Spanjers Dec 2015.) We have been having exchange control on outward foreign payments since the Second World War. more..

Sri Lanka disclaims knowledge of IMF economic report, denies suppression

Apr 16 (EN) Central bank denied knowledge of an economic report by the IMF, which should have been made public in December, and instead said the multilateral lender may have withheld it. However, authorities in Sri Lanka are denying knowledge of such a report. "In December there was no staff report that I am aware of," Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran said. Sri Lanka is still repaying a loan from a bailout program more..

Singapore detains SriLankan Airlines passengers, orders flight back

Apr 16 (EN) Singapore has detained five passengers on board a SriLankan Airlines flight Thursday after ordering it to return to Changi International Airport for security reasons soon after it took off. SriLankan Airlines said flight UL 309 of April 14, was instructed to return to Changi due to security reasons soon after it was airborne to Colombo and that no reason has still being given for the action. Flight later arrived in Colombo at 0042 hrs on April 15, with a total delay of 3 hours. more..

SL backs China’s One Road, One Belt plan

Apr 16 (AT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe concluded his first official visit to China and returned to his country last week bearing a Chinese hamper of goodies, including a friendly grant of 500 million yuan along with a pledge for more Chinese investments in the island nation. During his four-day visit, he gave his word to Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang to join their one road, one belt initiative while looking at promoting Sri Lanka as a trade hub in the Indian Ocean. more..

Who will be Sri Lanka’s 34th IGP?

Apr 16 (Island) With police chief N. K. Illangakoon stepping down, who will succeed as Sri Lanka’s 34th IGP is the talk of the town. Senior DIGs S.M. Wickramasinghe, Pujitha Jayasundara and Chandana Wickramaratne are in the fray for the coveted, top-most slot, which reflects on upholding the dignity of the police service established by the British in 1866. In terms of Constitutional provisions, he is required to more..

Looming China factor and balancing India’s interests

Apr 16 (NS) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s visit to China took place at a crucial point in our history. It is very important as it is his first visit since he became the PM in a two party govt after defeating the Rajapaksa administration which was a close China ally. Their Chinese connections were high and close enough to cause much trepidation and suspicion in neighbouring India’s corridors of power. Despite Sri Lanka’s good relations with both countries as a non-aligned nation in the past, more..

Five Sri Lankan youth deported to Serbia from Romania

Apr 16 (CG) Five Sri Lankan youth have been deported to Serbia from Romania after they entered the country illegally. Immigration officials said that eight foreign citizens originally from Sri Lanka, Iraq and Syria who were in Romania illegally were returned to Serbia under agreement between both countries. The eight people were arrested in Romania on April 6 by border guards on the banks of the Timis river. The group consisted of five Sri Lankans aged between 20 and 24, more..

'Budget 2016 had over 450 reforms'

Apr 16 (NS) Minister Ravi Karunanayake said that although it is not easy to bring in reform, the 2016 budget proposals presented and approved by the Parliament had consisted of over 450 reform options where as the previous budget of 2015 was limited to a mere 62. “The budget presented in Nov 2015 created new vistas for private sector investments with emphasis of Public, private partnerships, more..

Sri Lanka Navy divers training in Guam

Apr 16 (SLN) A 20 member Sri Lanka Navy diving squad is presently undergoing diving training with the US Navy sailors from the Explosive Ordinance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 5 in Guam. The Navy divers are undergoing training with the US divers to acquire skills and knowledge required to remove unexploded underwater ordnances left by the LTTE in tanks and lagoons in the North and East. The combined military to military Subject Matter Expert Exchange (SMEE) training more..

Malinga could be taken to task for adverse comments

Apr 16 (DN) Sri Lanka Cricket will take action against former Sri Lanka T20 captain and fast bowler Lasith Malinga if he has made adverse comments against SLC and its officials. During the World T20 tournament in India Malinga, a contracted player criticized his selection to the squad when he said he had informed the selection committee that he was not fit for the World T20 and despite his request he had been selected. He questioned whether there was no one to replace him. more..

Dhaka objects to Colombo continental shelf claim

Apr 16 (DT) Bangladesh has objected to SL's claim of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles from its coast baseline. SL has made a submission of its claim before the UN for determining the limits of its continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles. A senior official said the govt analysed Lankan submission and it appeared that they also claimed some portion of the Bangladesh continental shelf, which was objected. more..

Three Indian naval ships in Colombo

Apr 16 (SLN) Indian Navy’s First Training Squadron which is comprised of Indian Naval Ship (INS) Tir, INS Sujatha and Coast Guard Ship Varuna, arrived at the Port of Colombo today (15) on a training visit. The Indian Naval Ships were ceremonially welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy in accordance with naval traditions on their arrival. Meanwhile, Captain C.R Ayyar, Commander S Muthukrishnan and Commandant ICGS Varuna, B Ranjan called on the Deputy Area Commander Western Naval more..

New Year message of the JVP

Apr 16 (LT) The New Year joyously celebrated by Sinhalese and Tamil masses in our country dawns on 13th April this year. We wish the majority of Sri Lankans who celebrate this cultural festival a Happy New Year. The New Year is linked to novelty in everything. According to astrology the sun moves from constellation of Pisces to that of Aries. However, the cultural festival that is linked to this belief is a social phenomenon that affects the lives of our people positively. more..

Asian govts, central banks to work together to prevent repeat of cyber heist

Apr 16 (LM) Govts and central banks in Asia, including India, will work together to protect their systems from hackers to avoid a repeat of the daring cyber heist on Bangladesh Bank, the central bank of Bangladesh. Coordinated action to tackle this menace is the need of the hour, SL minister of finance Ravi Karunanayake said after a meeting of the finance ministers from G24 countries, comprising emerging economies more..

Sri Lankan journalist appointed as Publicity Ambassador to HWPL

Apr 16 (AT) Dilshan Wijegunasekera, a prominent Sri Lankan journalist, has just mounted another level of success in his life as he has been given the appointment as the Publicity Ambassador for the Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), a Seoul-based international peace organisation in association with the UN Department of Public Information (UNDPI). Mr. Wijegunasekera got this new appointment at the peace network dialogue co-hosted by the HWPL and more..

Sri Lanka among Asia's top 10 FDI hotspots

Apr 16 (DN) Sri Lanka is ranked among Asia Pacific's top 10 foreign direct investment (FDI) hotspots, according to a study by US-based global information company IHS Inc. The other Asia Pacific FDI hotspots are China, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Myanmar, Thailand, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. IHS said that over the next decade, Asia Pacific is forecast to be the fastest growing region of the global economy and the region that offers the biggest potential gains for FDI. more..

'Karunanidhi gifted Katchatheevu to SL'

Apr 16 (AA) AIADMK supremo J. Jayalalithaa accused DMK leader M. Karunanidhi of being instrumental in the handing over of the Katchatheevu islet to Sri Lanka. Ms Jayalalithaa ridiculed the DMK promise of retrieving Katchatheevu, which is featured in the party’s election manifesto. Dealing with the subject in elaborate fashion, she listed out the efforts she has been taking since 1991 to get back the islet, traditionally used by more..

Prof. Mohan Munasinghe receives top Global Energy Award

Apr 16 (Island) Prof. Mohan Munasinghe, who shared the 2007 Nobel Prize for Peace recently, received a top world energy award from the Energy Globe Foundation in Vienna, for his outstanding commitment and contributions to energy, sustainable development, and climate change. Dr. Wolfgang Neumann, Executive Director of Energy Globe, presented the award medal and certificate to Prof. Munasinghe, on behalf of Maneka Gandhi, President of Energy Globe, Indian Minister more..

NPC Ministers write to Wigneswaran demanding reshuffle

Apr 16 (CG) A group of Northern Provincial Council (NPC) Ministers have sent a letter to Northern Province Chief Minister C V Wigneswaran demanding a reshuffle in the provincial administration. Wigneswaran said that 16 Provincial Ministers have signed the letter demanding that some Ministers be removed and new ones be included. The Chief Minister said that he needs to study the issue very carefully before taking a final decision. He said that while it will be unfair more..

'Govt going slow on stolen US$ 18 billion investigations'

Apr 16 (Island) Govt was going slow on investigations into allegations that the Rajapakasas had allegedly siphoned off US$ 18 billion in State funds while in power between 2005 and 2014, a senior member of UNP charged. WPC UNP member Srinath Perera PC, said that it was a mystery as to why more than a year after UNP/SLFP administration had assumed office, not much headway had been made on an allegation more..

DMK hits back at Jayalalithaa on claims over Sri Lankan island

Apr 16 (CG) India’s DMK has hit back at TN Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa over her claims on Katchatheevu which was ceded to Sri Lanka by India. DMK treasurer M.K. Stalin claimed Katchatheevu was ceded to Sri Lanka during a state of emergency and not when the DMK was in power. Reacting to CM Jayalalithaa’s charge at her election meeting that it was the DMK that gave up the right over Katchatheevu, Stalin, said that the party always stood for the rights of TN fishermen. more..

Namal facing imminent arrest over two high-profile investigations

Apr 16 (AM) Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaka is facing imminent arrest in connection with two high profile investigations, authoritative Police sources said. The FCID is currently probing into money laundering allegations levelled against the MP while the CID handles inquiries into former Rugby player Wasim Thajudeen's death. Highly place Police sources said there was enough grounds to suggest that the Parliamentarian would be arrested over the incident. more..

Catch Me If You Can: COPE to probe Central Bank dealings since January this year

Apr 16 (NS) COPE has called on the AG to submit a report regarding all dealings done by the Central Bank since January this year. The move comes amidst fresh allegations pertaining to the issuance of Treasury bond worth Rs. 80 billion in March, whereas CB had claimed the bonds issue was only for Rs. 40 billion. When queried about the allegation with regard to a scam surrounding a Treasury bond issue of Rs 80 billion more..

Navigating the New Year, geo-politically

Apr 17 (SO) Aluth Avurudu or Sitthirai Puttthandu, was celebrated by Sri Lankans last week, just as much this same New Year festival - the transition to the new Year of Saka 1938 - is being observed and celebrated throughout the South Asian Sub-Continent during these few weeks, according to regional cultural calendars. Since the earliest human civilisation in the South Asian Sub-Continent, this time of the year is the time of transition of monsoons, the movement of the sun more..

Frolicking through a debt crisis

Apr 17 (SL) It can’t be a happy Avuruddha however much we may wish to with the country tottering on the brink of a debt crisis. A debt crisis means the loans and payments of interest on the loans exceed the revenue earned by a state during a fixed period. Some economists describe such a state in the country being bankrupt. The present govt faced this situation when it took over the administration but were more interested in forming a coalition govt while warding off flame and stone throwers more..

'Govt has to go on bended knees to the Chinese'

Apr 17 (SL) Former External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris said that during the election campaign, the UNP stated emphatically that the Chinese presence in our economy is harmful, and needs to be scaled down. In fact, many of the Chinese projects were essentially lacking transparency and it was said that a UNP administration would not proceed with many of them. He further added that it is ironical that more..

Always see the splinter in the others’ eye and not the mote in yours!

Apr 17 (SO) That is almost a Sri Lankan national characteristic. So Menika, true nationalist that she is, follows that maxim and sits back happy, criticising and finding fault with others and believing she is lily white and such a goody goody. Menika’s title is from the Bible. She tried to get the version read long ago at Scripture classes in a missionary school but it’s all new versions given in the Internet. So she hopes the mote and splinter were in the original Bible verse and are not inventions of hers. more..

Selectors looking for the right blend

Apr 17 (CT) With the month of May approaching which is when the Sri Lanka tour to England happens the National Team is once again in for some exciting and interesting times ahead. With very little representative cricket happening between now and the time the teams are to be picked the selectors will be seriously looking at the right blend. At the outset one has to compliment SLC on the decision to re-appoint the former great Sanath Jayasuriya as the Chairman of Selectors. more..