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Minister Ravi Karunanayake

Sri Lankan stocks end at over 3-wk low

Feb 11 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares fell for the fourth straight session on Thursday to end at a more than three-week low, as weaker global markets weighed and as investors stayed off risky assets on concerns over rising domestic interest rates. Turbulence tore through global markets on Thursday as investors sought the safety of Japanese yen, gold and top-rated bonds while dumping U.S. dollars on bets the Federal Reserve could be done with raising interest rates. more..

Winning Peace

Feb 11 (CT) When UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein paid a visit to the Mahanayakas of the Malwatta and Asgiriya Chapters of the Siyam Nikaya, they informed him that the UN should not unduly interfere with the attempts made by the government to address issues of alleged war crimes through a domestic mechanism. The two Chief Prelates informed the visiting UN dignitary that the UN's assistance to the government to reach its aims would suffice. more..

Politicians’ responsibility is to use power for betterment of people: President

Feb 11 (PSL) “Though the common nature of the world politics as well as national politics is that power corrupts the politician, it is the responsibility of the politician not to be destructed from power but to use that power for the betterment of the people”, says President Maithripala Sirisena. He made these remarks after unveiling a portrait of late President D. B. Wijeythunga today at the Parliament premises. more..

Sri Lanka hotels association defends minimum room rate policy

Feb 11 (EN) Sri Lanka’s hotels association believes a minimum room rate policy for star-class Colombo city hotels helped attract more investments and needs to be continued for several more months to prevent a rate war. At the time the govt imposed the minimum rate city hotels had lost confidence and were not making money, Hiran Cooray, president of the Tourist Hotels Association of SL, told a tourism forum in Colombo. "When the govt imposed the minimum rate policy, more..

Port entrance fee hike reasonable: Arjuna

Feb 11 (CT) Chief Opposition Whip Anura Kumara Dissanayake, in Parliament yesterday inquired as to why the entrance fee at the Colombo Port had been increased drastically plunging those who have been regular import/export visitors to the Port into very considerable financial inconvenience. Raising a question under Standing Order 23/2, the Chief Opposition Whip said that the entrance fee to the Colombo Port had been increased by 4000% under the new govt. more..

Discussion to amend Bhikku Kathikawath Bill

Feb 11 (DM) Chief Adikarana Sangha Nayake of Colombo Nava Korale Ven. Diviyagaha Yasassi Thera said today several proposals were put forward to amend the Bhikku Kathikawath Bill at a meeting held at the All Ceylon Buddhist Congress (ACBC) this morning with the participation of the Mahanayake theras including Ven. Pahamune Sumangala Thera, Ven. Akuretiye Nanda Thera, Ven. Thrikunamale Ananda Thera and more..

Defeated Mahinda to get an opportunity

Feb 11 (LT) An incident where former President Mahinda Rajapaksa declaring open a bridge on the 8th one day after former President Chandrika Bandaranayke Kumaratunga had inspected the bridge is reported from Attanagalla area. According to reports the new bridge across Attanagalu Oya to replace the old bridge was built with state funds. The money had been made available during Mahinda Rajapaksa regime by the Ministry of Economic Affairs of Basil Rajapaksa. more..

Chief valuer gives evidence

Feb 11 (DN) The PRECIFAC probing an alleged massive fraud involving the purchase of the super luxury Cellestian Residencies Housing Complex with an international hotel which was being built by the Ceylinco Group near Temple Trees, with the intervention of certain Big Wigs in the previous regime recorded evidence from Govt Chief Valuer Dayasena. State land on which this edifice was coming up had been offered by National Housing Development Authority under a 99 lease. more..

'Govt attempts to cover up the reality of Geneva resolution'

Feb 11 (AD) President and PM have given UN Human Rights Commissioner an assurance that last year’s UNHRC resolution against Sri Lanka will be implemented, former President Rajapaksa said. Issuing a statement, he said that having accepted the Geneva resolution, govt is now adopting various strategies to convince the public that it will not be harmful to the country. “There is now an attempt to portray UNHRC resolution more..

Ex-Minister Cooray indirectly blames Rajapaksas for SLFP’s sorry plight

Feb 11 (Island) Former Minister Reginald Cooray said that in spite of suffering two major defeats at the presidential and parliamentary polls during 2015, the party had not yet been able to adopt remedial measures for want of what he called self-criticism on the part of those who had previously wielded power. The ex-MP stressed that the SLFP’s internal crisis had paved the way for the UNP’s return to power. Had they managed to address contentious issues through mutual understanding, more..

High level Sri Lanka-Bahrain talks renew trade, bilateral cooperation

Feb 11 (GDI) A series of recently concluded high level meetings between visiting SL’s Minister of Industry and Commerce and the ruling monarch of Bahrain have ushered a fresh renewal of ties between both countries. Minister Rishad Bathiudeen who visited the Kingdom of Bahrain in early February succeeded in taking the message of Sri Lanka’s transformation not only with the Bahraini business sector but even the ruling monarch His Royal Highness Prince Salman Al Khalifa. more..

Govt worse than black market; mum on oil price: Tilvin

Feb 11 (AD) JVP says that the govt is acting like a black market trader and keeping the benefit of the low global oil prices away from the people. “When we look at the policies of the govt, we can see that though the govt talks about giving relief to the masses, it’s acting like a govt which is curtailing relief,” JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said. He stated that before coming to power they talked about the high tax on oil but more..

SL condemns North Korea’s missile launch

Feb 11 (AD) Govt has condemned the launch of a long range missile carried out by North Korea on Sunday. “Sri Lanka calls upon the Republic of Korea to abide by its international obligations and desist from any action that would adversely impact on the peace and security of Korean Peninsula,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement. North Korea said it had successfully put a satellite into orbit, with a rocket launch widely condemned as a ballistic missile test for a weapons delivery system more..

Sri Lankan Navy arrests 12 Indian fishermen

Feb 11 (PTI) At least 12 Indian fishermen were arrested and their trawlers seized for allegedly poaching in Sri Lankan waters, the country’s Navy said on Thursday. The fishermen, all hailing from Tamil Nadu, were arrested on Wednesday night in the Sri Lankan waters northwest of Thalaimannar, Navy said. They were handed over to the officials of Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources for further action. Those arrested were fishing near Katchatheevu. Two boats were seized. more..

Sri Lanka’s maid in Saudi problem

Feb 11 (WSJ) Sri Lanka says it has a maid in Saudi Arabia problem it is trying to fix. In the past two years, the South Asian nation has had to pay to bring more than 2,000 Sri Lankan maids home from Saudi Arabia after they fled their jobs. Sri Lanka brings home overseas workers every year from all over the globe, but the number that it has to help return from the Middle Eastern kingdom is highest. more..

Seenigama Devale Collections stolen

Feb 11 (CT) The management of the Seenigama Devale at Hikkaduwa says, due to the escalation of thefts and such acts they have decided to set up CCTV cameras within Devale premises. Security guard of the Seenigama Devale had complained to Meetiyagoda Police that three money boxes set up at the Devale premises had been broken into by thieves on 8 Feb night. The management of the Devale had then decided to set up CCTV cameras in a bid to reduce such thefts. more..

Thimbirigasyaya Road gets back it’s name?

Feb 11 (CT) New names are to be proposed for several roads in Colombo, including Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda Thera Mawatha, at the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) Housing and Urban Development Standing Committee meeting, UPFA Councillor Saman Abegunratne said. A petition signed by 57 persons including Dhammasiddi Thera of Ashokaramaya, Colombo 5, was handed over to PM Ranil Wickremesinghe requesting to rename Thimbirigasyaya Road more..

Airtel, Axiata to merge operations in SL

Feb 11 (ET) Bharti Airtel is believed to be in talks to merge its wholly-owned Sri Lanka unit into Dialog Axiata, the Malaysia-based Axiata group's telecom arm in the island nation, in a likely share-swap deal, two people familiar with the matter said. A potential Airtel Lanka-Dialog-Axiata merger is likely to be along the lines of the recent merger of Bharti Airtel and Axiata's telecom units in Bangladesh, wherein Axiata will be the dominant shareholder more..

Canal network to be used for passenger transport

Feb 11 (CG) The canal network in Colombo is to be used for passenger transport, the Govt announced today. The 43km long Colombo canal network is maintained by the Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation. Cabinet has been told that utilising the canal network for transportation of passengers and goods after several years would result in minimising traffic congestion in the city and promoting the tourism industry. Accordingly, a proposal made by Minister Champika more..

Govt to clarify difference between CEPA & ILETP

Feb 11 (DM) The govt will clarify in Parliament as to how the proposed Indo-Lanka Economic and Technological Partnership (ILETP) differ from the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) once its finalized, Minister Malik Samarawickrama told Parliament today. Mr. Samarawickrama who was responding to an oral question, said it was not possible to the state as to how ILETP was going to differ from CEPA as the proposed agreement was yet to be finalised. more..

CID names Ekneligoda’s abductors

Feb 11 (CT) CID reporting to the Homagama Magistrate's Court last Tuesday said that journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda had been taken to Giritale Army Camp and to Akkaraipattu blindfolded before he was killed. According to facts reported by CID SSP Shani Abeysekare, Ekneligoda had been taken to Giritale Army Camp on 24 January 2010, as the Officer Commanding of Giritale Army Camp had stated to the CID. more..

SL’s Independence Day celebrated in Geneva

Feb 11 (GDI) 68th Anniversary of Sri Lanka’s Independence was celebrated at an event organized by Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva on Feb 6 at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) New Building. Over 250 members of the Sri Lankan community attended the event, said Permanent Mission of SL in Geneva in a release. Addressing the gathering, Mrs. Samantha Jayasuriya, Charge d’Affaires said this solemn event was a celebration of Sri Lankan identity more..

Unheralded SL look to trip up India again

Feb 11 (CI) In the first match, India's batsmen seemed not to know much about the pitch in Pune. They also seemed not to know much about SL's 2nd-string seam attack. Actually, no one did. Why would they? After a year of modest performances, and with the frontliners all in the sick bay, these new guys were selection Hail Marys. For a change, someone up there answered the prayers of SL's fan base. Result suggested there was truth to what SL's local coaches have been saying all along. more..

Video: Yoshitha further remanded

Feb 11 (DM) Yoshitha Rajapaksa and four other suspects arrested on alleged financial irregularities at the Carlton Sports Network were further remanded until Feb 25 by Kaduwela Magistrate’s courts today. The other suspects include former CSN CEO Nishantha Ranatunga and former CSN Chairman Rohan Welivita. The five suspects were arrested on Jan 30 and remanded till 11 Feb, after being presented before the Magistrate more..

NL what it should be and what it is today

Feb 12 (NS) Democracy is all about people electing their representatives to make laws and govern them. Theoretically they are expected to elect the most suitable candidates with proper education and character as their representatives. But in today’s political environment it does not always happen that way. Political process has become so complex that in order to win elections one may need colossal amounts of money, craftiness and many other attributes which are totally different from more..

IHL, Genocide & Investigation on Sri Lanka

Feb 12 (CT) The Human Rights Council adopted Resolution 255/1 in March 2014 requesting the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to “undertake a comprehensive investigation into alleged serious violations and abuses of Human Rights and related crimes by both parties during the period covered by the LLRC to ensure accountability for any alleged violations and crimes.” The mandate for the Investigation was to cover the period from Feb 2002 to Nov 2011. more..

Let’s talk with Prez & PM to solve problems

Feb 12 (CT) Minister of Fisheries Mahinda Amaraweera said he cannot work with mutual trust with his State Minister of Fisheries Dilip Wedaarachchi. Q: At a press conference, recently you said that your State Minister is idling. Why? A: There is no serious problem here. We divided ministries between the SLFP and the UNP. I was given the Ministry of Fisheries. State Minister of Fisheries was sworn in later. more..

Time to get the act together

Feb 12 (NS) While the government is in the process of obtaining public opinion on the proposed constitutional reforms, the Tamil People’s Council (TPC) on January 31 laid out its constitutional proposals, the contents of which are widely discussed in the Tamil political circles at the moment. The TPC, since its formation has gained a considerable momentum due to the backing of several civil organizations and political parties, some of which had fallout with the TNA. more..

Well done, his Excellencies, The President & The high commissioner!

Feb 12 (CT) At the 68th Independence Day, His Excellency the President declared: “There are incorrect interpretations given about the resolution presented to the UNHRC. I clearly state that we are facing these resolutions in order to protect the pride and dignity of our country, our people and our security forces, and also to make our tri forces to be internationally renowned armed force. We should face these resolutions with patience, discipline and decorum so that more..

Huge public interest on constitutional reforms

Feb 12 (NS) Chairman of the Public Representations Committee on Constitutional Reforms, Attorney-at-Law Lal Wijenayake spoke to Nation about the epoch-making challenge of navigating terra incognita – a/the people’s Constitution – and of ultimately deciphering the stentorian vox populi. Q: How has the progress of the work been thus far? A: We started sit-ins on January 18, 2016 from Colombo and more..

A father’s love that brought oceans of tears

Feb 12 (SL) Jan 30th was a red letter day in Sri Lankan history. This marked the arrest of an offspring of a former executive president for the first time in the history of SL. Navy Lieutenant Yoshitha Rajapaksa – son of former President Rajapaksa and de-facto chairman of the Rajapaksa family-owned Carlton Sports Network (CSN) along with its CEO Nishantha Ranatunga and former President’s Spokesman Rohan Weliwita were arrested by FCID over alleged financial irregularities more..

Judicial investigation of war crimes

Feb 12 (SL) Sri Lanka govt is once again embroiled in a controversy over international participation in the judicial process to inquire into allegations of war crimes perpetrated by both the Sri Lanka army and the LTTE during the Eelam War. President Maithripala Sirisena in an interview with BBC said he would never agree to international involvement in this matter. We have more than enough specialists, experts and knowledgeable people in our country to solve our internal issues. more..

Dayaratne Ranathunga

Neglected and derelict public property, fraud and corruption

Feb 12 (ST) There is no effective control over properties belonging to the govt and semi-governmental and other statutory bodies. Some buildings have been abandoned and trees have grown over them but it is of little concern to most to see at least whether the exist or have been encroached by others. There are instances where certain expensive equipment is allowed to deteriorate and remain inside packing without being put into any use. more..

Guns instead of Rice is SA’s preference

Feb 12 (Island) However, there is no serious LTTE-linked security threat in Sri Lanka’s North-East at present. This perceived threat is a figment of the imagination of some sections of the country’s Opposition and their backers. If these sections are seriously concerned about the security and well being of Sri Lanka, they would do well to figure out as to how the socio-economic grievances of Sri Lankans could be alleviated rather than engage in mindless rabble-rousing. more..

Sri Lanka to reinvent horse racing

Feb 12 (SO) Horse racing, some call it the sport of kings, has been earmarked for a re-launch in Sri Lanka in all probability with government backing following the formation of the Royal Turf Club (RTC). The RTC has already secured the services of foreign experts in Wayne Wood as its inaugural CEO of Stipendiary Stewards and Sinclair Marshall as Thoroughbred Riding Instructor and Stipendiary Steward. more..

Western Region Megapolis master plan

Feb 12 (Island) At present, the public are minimally informed as to what the Megapolis Development is all about and have many questions regarding the concept of the Megapolis. Therefore, the Megapolis Ministry should further educate the public on how it will affect them when implemented, especially in the periphery of the Megapolis. Now that the Megapolis Development Master Plan has been unveiled quick action must be taken to enact the Megapolis Development Authority Act, in Parliament more..

Editorial: Don’t worry, be happy!

Feb 12 (Island) Petroleum prices are falling and ISIS terrorism is spreading fast. There seems to be no end in sight to the crisis in West Asia. But, thankfully, the grim lay of the land in that part of the world is not devoid of a positive side. At least one country seems to be making a serious effort to make its people happy. PM of the UAE Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has recently unveiled a grand plan to create a ministerial portfolio for happiness. more..

Taxing times

Feb 12 (Economist) SL ought to be sitting pretty. Its growth has averaged 6% a year over the past decade. Seven years after a protracted civil war ended, its economy is still reaping a peace dividend. It is also a beneficiary of the collapse in commodity prices, which has trimmed its hefty bill for imports of fuel. Yet last week, after long debate, its leaders requested a loan from IMF. If so much is so rosy, why is SL going cap in hand to IMF? more..