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Sanasa Bank private placement to raise Rs3.3bn

Dec 16 (EN) Sanasa Development Bank (SDB) said it plans a private placement of ordinary shares at Rs140 a share and convertible loans from int'l lenders to raise Rs3.3 billion to strengthen its capital base and lending portfolio. SDB has signed deals with FMO (Netherlands Development Finance Company), Dutch development bank and SBI-FMO Emerging Asia Financial Sector Fund. It also intends to sign an agreement with Int'l Finance Corporation (IFC), private sector lending arm of WB. more..

Video: Govt selling national resources to foreign countries: Dullas

Dec 16 (DM) The Sri Lanka Police, Justice Ministry and Prisons Department will be the only state-owned institutions if the govt continues to administer the country till 2020, joint opposition said. JO MP Dullas Alahapperuma said that the country's economic hubs would vanish if the govt sells our national resources to foreign countries like the move to sell 80% of the Hambantota Harbour to a Chinese company. more..

Jaffna Uni shooting: 5 policemen further remanded

Dec 16 (NR) The five policemen arrested on suspicion of the death of the two students of the Jaffna University have been further remanded. The suspects were remanded till the 30th of Dec by the Jaffna Magistrate’s Court when the case was taken up for hearing today. CID informed Court that investigations were continuing. On the 20th of Oct, Police Headquarters announced that the two Jaffna University students succumbed to injuries after meeting with an accident. more..

Video: Legalise sex work to curb spread of STDs: CSWR

Dec 16 (DM) Centre for Sex Workers Rights (CSWR) renewed their call to the authorities urging that their profession be legally recognised as a means of controlling the spread of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), especially HIV. CSWR Co-Chairman B. Maheshwari said streamlining and legalizing sex work would solve many of their concerns including the control of STDs. She said many Sri Lankan sex workers leave for countries like Thailand, Malaysia and more..

'Sri Lanka poised to magnetise tourists with natural wonders'

Dec 16 (Bernama) Since 30-year civil war ended between Sri Lankan Govt and the LTTE, Sri Lanka's tourism industry is set to sparkle like the island republic's moniker, Pearl of the Indian Ocean. Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Board chairman P.M. Withana said previously, the war had been the wall which hindered Sri Lankans from moving forward to develop the country and expose its wonders to other countries. more..

SL signs Open Skies Agreement with India

Dec 16 (NR) India has signed agreements with Sri Lanka, Finland, Spain and three other countries so airlines from the respective nations can operate unlimited flights to six Indian metro airports. The pact was also inked with Jamaica, Guyana, and Czech Republic. India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation terming the pact as Open Skies agreement as per National Civil Aviation Policy 2016 said the new arrangement would encourage connectivity and passenger travel between India & respective more..

Jaliya Wickramasuriya further remanded

Dec 16 (AD) Former SL Ambassador to the US, Jaliya Wickramasuriya, who as arrested on charges of misusing state funds, has been further remanded till Dec 23 by Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court.  He was arrested by the FCID at the BIA on Nov 17 when he was preparing to travel overseas.   He has been charged with allegedly accepting a commission of US$ 332,000 following a contract awarded to refurbish SL Embassy in Washington DC while serving as the Ambassador to the US, more..

Vaiko holds demo against proposed Sri Lankan maritime law

Dec 16 (PTI) MDMK General Secretary Vaiko today staged a protest here urging the Centre to take steps to ensure that Sri Lanka did not make amendments to its maritime law that could affect the lives of Tamil fishermen crossing maritime borders for fishing. More than 500 people belonging to the fishing community besides MDMK volunteers took part in the protest led by Vaiko. Slogans were raised asking the Centre to act against more..

Counsel for CSN tells CA his client will not attend inquiry

Dec 16 (Island) Sanjeewa Jayawardene, President’s Counsel, told the Court of Appeal, that, his client, the Carlton Sports Network Private Limited, would not participate in the inquiry, to be held by the Committee appointed by the Secretary to the Minister of Media and Mass Communication. Secretary to the Minister had no jurisdiction, to cancel the frequency licence of CSN Television Pvt. Limited or to appoint a committee of inquiring. According to Rupavahini Corporation Act, more..

Sri Lanka proceeds with plans for restructuring national airline

Dec 16 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka govt is proceeding with plans for restructuring its national career SriLankan Airlines based on Private Public Partnership model, an official said here on Friday. Deputy Minister of State Enterprise Development Eran Wickramaratne said that eight parties expressed interests and they were shortlisted to three. He said the Requests for Proposals were being evaluated at the moment. After that, he said recommendations would be made to the relevant parties. more..

Injunction order issued against Rakna Lanka liquidation

Dec 16 (NR) Colombo District Court today extended an injunction order issued against the decision taken by the govt to liquidate the Rakna Arakshaka Lanka Limited. Cabinet on the 6th of this month granted approval to dissolve the Rakna Lanka. Rakna Lanka Limited was established as a govt owned business in Oct 2006. Company in collaboration with the Ministry of Defence provides security services to address the maritime more..

Prez presents National Productivity Awards

Dec 16 (PSL) The National Productivity Awards ceremony held under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena at the Stein Studios Ratmalana, today (14). Top performing schools, state institutions as well as production and services sectors which achieved the highest efficiency following the concept of productivity, were felicitated at this Awards ceremony which was organized annually by the National Productivity Secretariat. 1565 institutions applied for this year’s competition more..

Video: Namal at FCID

Dec 16 (DM) UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa has arrived at the Police Financial Crimes Investigations Division to record a statement. The MP was summoned to record a statement pertaining to an investigation launched into the use of funds allocated for Rugby, for investments in a private company. Additionally the MP is required to record a statement pertaining to the ownership of a house in Hambantota. MP Namal Rajapaksa and his lawyer arrived at the FCID a short while ago. more..

Athulathmudali's party to return to active politics

Dec 16 (AM) Democratic United National Front, once led by former Minister Lalith Athulathmudali, is planning to come to active politics once again. The party is planning to contest the forthcoming local govt elections and the provincial council elections. DUNF was formed in late 1991 following the impeachment attempt on the then President Ranasinghe Premadasa. The rebel UNP MPs led by Lalith Athulathmudali and more..

Members playing truant to be removed from hospital committees

Dec 16 (DN) Hospital Committees have been appointed in respect of all hospitals in the country but there are reports about committee members not attending the committee meetings as a habit. As such an order will be issued to remove members failing to attend three meetings of these committee consecutively and appoint new members to fill their vacancies said Minister Rajitha Senaratne. There were also reports of hospital committee members trying to override and overrule their more..

Allowing tax free Beer imports Rs.4.5 B loss to Govt

Dec 16 (CT) Respondents of the Writ Petition against Beer distilleries who were given a tax free period for importing of beer were granted a final date, 27 Jan 2017, by the Court of Appeal to file objections. When this matter was taken up before Justice S. Thurairaja, counsel for the petitioners submitted to the Court that this petition was filed by Ven. Sri Jinananda Thera and six bhikkus as a matter of public interest. Respondents named in the petition have been granted a tax concession more..

Malaysia to explore new investment opportunities in Sri Lanka: Malaysian PM

Dec 16 (PMD) Malaysia is ready to explore new investment opportunities in Sri Lanka, says PM of Malaysia, Abdul Razak. President Maithripala Sirisena who is currently on an official tour to Malaysia, held bilateral discussions with the Malaysian PM Abdul Razak, today. A colourful welcome ceremony was organized at the premises of the PM’s Office to welcome the President and as given a Guard of Honour by Armed Forces. more..

Checkmating LTTE

Dec 17 (CT) It is in the backdrop of the tenth death anniversary of the LTTE theoretician Anton Balasingham this Dec, contents from one chapter on Sri Lanka's three decades of civil war in the book titled Choices: Inside the making of India's Foreign Policy authored by former Indian National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon has been highlighted extensively by The New Indian Express. The LTTE theoretician Anton Balasingham died at the age of 70 on 14 Dec 2006 in London of cancer more..

Muslim Women’s Lib & Liberal Islam

Dec 17 (CT) The women’s lib (liberation) movement, which in the West had been gathering momentum in the first half of the twentieth century, became much more dynamic and also acquired a global spread in the second half. That is true as a generalization, but the Islamic world as a whole has been an exception. There it has been a case not of progress but of regress in women’s lib, back to the Middle Ages and even to pre-Islamic times. The regression has been seen most spectacularly more..

'Assault on journo unfortunate'

Dec 17 (NS) Minister Arjuna Ranatunga speaks out on the recent strike at the Magampura Port, the fracas between a journalist and the Navy Commander, and the crisis which has embroiled the construction of the world’s tallest Christmas tree. Q : The strike at the Magampura Port ended. Yet, some say that the strike was forcibly concluded. As the Minister in charge of the subject, what do you have to say? more..

Hold next local polls on hybrid system

Dec 17 (NS) Having seen the dark side of the preferential voting system across the political spectrum, there seem to be general consensus that what is ideal for the country would be a hybrid system of first-past-the-post and PR systems. The ugliest face of the PR system became manifest with bitter fighting at election times even among the members of the same party often leading to violence and mayhem. Another negative aspect that has been often highlighted by the people more..

Politics across Palk Strait after Jayalalithaa

Dec 17 (NS) One of Sri Lanka’s main antagonists, Jayaram Jayalalithaa passed away a few days ago. At the time of her demise, she was the CM of Tamil Nadu, India’s southern most state which is home to a population of 78 million Tamils with close ethnic and cultural links to the Tamil community in Sri Lanka. Jayalalithaa had been ailing for some time. However, her death came as a surprise because the hospital where she was undergoing treatment for over two months had announced more..

'We will expose UNP-Basil secret deals'

Dec 17 (CT) State Minister Dilan Perera, said that persons who received commissions from the Treasury bond scam are baying and howling. He said, "We joined this govt for a certain purpose and while we stand up for it, we will make arrangements to catch the Treasury bond thieves." Q: Are you satisfied with the budget that was passed? A: We are in this unity govt based on a decision made by SLFP Central Committee. more..

No timeline to complete counter terror legislation

Dec 17 (SL) The govt has not set a timeline to complete the deliberations and produce the draft of the new Counter Terrorism Legislation. The govt informed the UN last week the new legislation will replace the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), and would comply with international norms and standards. A UN committee had last week raised a range of substantive issues which covered inter alia, the précise scope of the offences sought to be covered under the proposed law; more..

Govt assures potential investors stable policy

Dec 17 (SL) The govt has assured potential investors a stable policy and invited them to make use of the opportunity in the country. Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said that the govt is willing to discuss any concerns investors may have, The budget of the govt is aiming to lay a strong foundation for economic growth and lower poverty levels. It also relaxes some red tape for investors as the country looks to focus on development over the next five years. more..


Gimmicks & Lack of accountability: Yahapâlana hallmarks

Dec 17 (CT) The historic public library of Jaffna, with the totality of its content, was set fire upon on 1 June 1981, by an armed group directly commanded by a cabinet minister of the Jayewardene administration. It was an act of horrendous cultural and intellectual genocide. The library was home to irreplaceable manuscripts and collections, that were all burnt in that ruthless night, fuelled by the fires of Sinhala majoritarian nationalism and the petty arrogance of political egos. more..

Editorial: Wooing a spent force

Dec 17 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan have, with the blessings of President Sirisena, sought former President Rajapaksa’s support for the govt’s constitutional efforts, according to a recent Hindu report. Why is the govt so keen to involve Rajapaksa in its constitution making process? PM has provided the answer in an interview with The Hindu: The govt is confident of mustering the required numbers in Parliament to ensure the passage of more..

Ethics gets a new uniform

Dec 17 (Island) We are at the dawn of a New Age of Ethics. Ethics that is related to the assault of a journalist by none other than the commander of an armed service – The SL Navy. There is no denial of the assault – which is not easy with the photography that shows all the brutality. But there is no regret about it either. The official angle is that the journalist – Roshan Gunasekera, a provincial correspondent for two dailies more..

Sri Lanka needs to reduce non-tariff barriers to boost agri exports

Dec 17 (EN) Sri Lanka needs to reduce non-tariff barriers (NTBs) to increase agricultural exports which are significant in expanding exports as they account for almost a quarter of total exports, trade experts said. Verité Research, a think-tank, said regulations can become NTBs that hinder exports. In partnership with Lanka Fruit & Vegetable Producers, Processors and Exporters Association, Verité Research held a roundtable discussion on Boosting Agri Exports: Reducing Domestic NTB’s more..

ICCSL reiterates commitment to back PPPs and FTAs

Dec 17 (DM) The International Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka (ICCSL), which has been advocating market and economic reforms since its inception, reiterated its commitment to focus on consulting closely with the govt and various other stakeholders in implementing Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) this week. “We have advocated for FTA’s, PPP’s and market reforms as it would help the country to move forward whilst creating opportunities for our next generation. more..

November Tea exports plunge 22%

Dec 17 (FT) November saw more bad news unfolding as tea exports dropped 22% to 20.4 million kg from 26.3 million kg in 2015, tea brokers said, noting that it was the lowest export figure since 1998 when a figure of 21.9 million kg was shipped.  Nov also recorded the lowest exports for 2016. Rupee value of exports have fared comparatively better with earnings of Rs. 14.9 billion; down 3% on previous year’s figure of 15.4 million kg. more..

Serving the masters

Dec 17 (Island) Serving the political masters of Yahapalanaya, which has rapidly degenerated at an alarming pace to a Yama-Palanaya, seem to be the only consideration for some public servants holding high office. I do not wish to be disrespectful, in any way, to honourable public servants like Gamini Wijesinghe, Auditor General, whose firm stand against political pressure led to the exposure of the day-light robbery in the Central Bank, which the UNP, unashamedly, tried to cover up. more..

Cabinet nod to import 300,000 MTs of rice

Dec 17 (FT) Minister Ravi Karunanayake said Cabinet has approved importation of 300,000MTs of rice as buffer stock. “People are trying to create an artificial shortage. Cabinet has approved importation of one and half months rice consumption as a buffer stock. The stocks will be kept at bonded warehouses and will be brought in as a duty free,” Minister said. He said the buffer stock would help to alleviate any black market situation. SL requires 200,000 MTs of rice per month for consumption. more..

PRECIFAC to submit 6 more reports to Prez

Dec 17 (FT) The President-appointed anti-corruption commission is ready to handover six reports on investigations into fraud at several Govt institutions including an all-important document on SriLankan Airlines and Lunuwila Coconut Research Board to President Sirisena. Officials of PRECIFAC  has sought an appointment from President to hand over six more final reports of its investigations into fraud, corruption and misuse of State funds. more..

U-19 Cricket: Sri Lanka beat Malaysia

Dec 17 (Island) Vishwa Chathuranga made amends for his disastrous start in the opening match with an unbeaten half century and skipper Kamindu Mendis and spinner Ashen Bandara took three wickets each as Sri Lanka Under-19s made quick work of their Malaysian counterparts’ total of 104 runs in their second Youth Asia Cup match at Moratuwa. Price of Wales College bat scored an unbeaten 68 runs inclusive of seven fours and three sixes for the hosts to reach the target for the loss of two wickets. more..

All set for Int’l Vesak Festival celebrations

Dec 17 (DN) Arrangements have been finalised to hold the International Vesak Festival in the country, Justice and Buddhasasana Minister Wijayadasa Rajapakshe said. The minister who opened the Secretariat for United Nations Day of Vesak 2017 at the Charikarama Temple premises, Colombo 7, said being a Theravada Buddhist country, the main aim of holding the Int'l Vesak Festival is to bring the message of peace to the world and build a cordial rapport with other countries. more..

Rajapaksa threatens to overturn deal with China on Hambantota port

Dec 17 (ENS) The woes of the non-performing Hambantota port, built by former President Rajapaksa with a Chinese loan of US$ 1.4 billion, have not come to an end with a Chinese company, China Merchant Port Holdings (CMPort) agreeing to take 80% stake in it and pull it out of the financial woods. Rajapaksa, and his new organisation SL Podu Jana Peramuna (SLPP), have threatened to abrogate the agreement with China more..

Aitken Spence facilitates cruise Mein Schiff 1's third consecutive call in Colombo

Dec 17 (DN) Mein Schiff 1, the cruise ship owned and operated by TUI Cruises made its third consecutive call in Sri Lanka with over 1800 German travellers recently. The cruise boasts of a colourful history having been laid down in 1995 at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany. Subsequently, she entered service under the Celebrity Cruises flag on the 21st of Dec 1996. She was renamed as Mein Shiff 1 in 2009, which loosely translates to my ship in English. more..

Bharathiyar's  great grandson to speak at Indian Republic Day function in Jaffna

Dec 17 (ENS) Rajkumar Bharathi, great grandson of the Indian nationalist poet Mahakavi Subramania Bharathi and a music composer in his own right, will be speaking at the Jan 26, 2017 Republic Day function at the Indian Consulate in Jaffna, Consul General M. Natarajan said. “Rajkumar Bharathi had expressed a desire to visit Jaffna and we invited him to attend the 68 th. Republic Day function here on Jan 26, 2017 as a Special Guest, and address the gathering at the flag hosting ceremony,” more..