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China and Sri Lanka discuss port city project

Jan 6 (CG) China and Sri Lanka had discussions today on the Colombo port city project and other Chinese funded projects in Sri Lanka. The talks took place between a visiting Chinese delegation and Deputy Minister of National Policy and Economic Affairs, Niroshan Perera. Chinese delegation led by Yang Weiqun, director of department of Asian affairs at Chinese Commerce Ministry, is in SL on an official visit. more..

Sri Lanka released eight TN fishermen

Jan 6 (ANI) Eight Tamil Nadu fishermen, who were arrested for allegedly crossing the international maritime border, were released by Sri Lanka following an order by a court in Mullatheevu. The arrests were made on Monday after their boat collided with the boat of Lankan fishermen, which sank in the mid sea as a result of the impact. The Lankan fishermen then cornered the fishermen from Akkarapettai in Nagapattinam district and dragged the fishing boat to Sri Lanka with ropes. more..

Sri Lanka utilities regulator aims for electricity cost cuts

Jan 6 (EN) Public Utilities Commission (PUCSL) said it aims to further reduce electricity costs and charges while improving delivery quality and reducing accidents. Releasing its Activity Plan for 2016, PUCSL said one of its goals is to reduce by 10% by 2020 the total cost incurred in supplying electricity in 2013, subject to adjustments for the generation mix and fuel prices. It also aims for a 10% reduction in real terms by 2020 in charges levied by service provider on services in more..

Sri Lanka denies deal to buy Pakistan made JF-17 fighters

Jan 6 (ENS) SL Air Force on Wednesday denied a news report that Sri Lanka had entered into a deal with Pakistan to buy the Sino-Pak JF-17 third generation fighter aircraft. The report had said that the deal was sealed during talks the visiting Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif had with Lankan leaders here on Tuesday. Refuting the story, Group Captain Chandima Alwis, said: “There has been a lot of speculation in the media on this. more..

Sri Lanka PM, Soros, Harvard CID to debate sound money, growth

Jan 6 (EN) An economic forum with Sri Lanka's leaders, investor George Soros and a policy unit at Harvard University will debate the need for sound money, competitiveness and broad-based growth. The forum will open with President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe. "Sri Lanka will face a formidable choice in determining the establishment of a solid foundation towards sustaining long-term growth through sound monetary and fiscal policy," a statement from the PM's office said. more..

Video: No bringing back unregistered housemaids at State expense: Minister

Jan 6 (DM) Minister Thalatha Athukorala said the Foreign Employment Bureau would no longer make any effort to bring back Sri Lankan housemaids from abroad if they had not registered with the Bureau. With this regulation coming into effect from Jan 1, this year, any housemaid, who had gone abroad for employment without registering with the Bureau, would not be brought back at state expense even in case of ill health, mistreatment by employers or their bodies in case of death. more..

Video: Dematagoda abduction case: suspects released on bail

Jan 6 (AD) The 8 suspects arrested and remanded over the Dematagoda abduction incident, involving a vehicle belonging to MP Hirunika Premachandra, were released on bail today after being produced in an identification parade. The suspects, who were identified by witnesses during the identification parade, were each ordered released on two personal bails of Rs 100,000 each by Colombo Magistrate’s Court. more..

Video: No charge for delay at ports for LCs before budget

Jan 6 (AD) President has ordered not to charge for the delays of clearing vehicles at ports for which the Letters of Credit (LC) were opened prior to the budget, Minister S.B. Dissanakaye said. Cabinet earlier also decided not to impose new taxes on vehicles for which LC had been opened before the budget. Budget 2016, presented by Minister Ravi Karunanayake on Nov 20 in Parliament introduced a new valuation system taking full option manufacturer’s price as the tax base. more..

SL’s torture machine continues in peacetime

Jan 6 (IRIN) Sri Lanka’s new govt has been lauded for efforts at reconciliation after a devastating civil war. Yet, civilians are still being abducted, tortured and sexually abused by security forces, according to a report published today. Abuses carry echoes of the not-so-distant past. War erupted in the early 1980s in the island nation when the Tamil Tigers began fighting for an independent homeland for the ethnic Tamil minority, which had suffered discrimination under the Sinhalese majority. more..

Eknaligoda case reaches major breakthrough

Jan 6 (AM) In a major turn of events, two suspects, who have been arrested in connection with the disappearance of Prageeth Eknaligoda, has indicated the authority which gave ordered to abduct the journalist, Police headquarters sources said. As a result, they said, the CID's suspicion had been directed at a senior figure of the previous administration who played a key role in the country's defence establishment. more..

Sri Lanka is already quasi unitary

Jan 7 (CT) There are possibilities that the debates on the new constitution making process becoming polarized on unitary versus federal lines. This is unfortunate because the old distinctions between the two do not exist any longer. Distinctions or differences are within a broad spectrum of state or constitutional types, and not between the above binary categories. It is only at the two extreme points that pure unitary or pure federal states may exist, and even that only in theory, but not in more..

Council of Tamils – TNA’s baby

Jan 7 (CT) The formation of the Council of Tamils a new non-political group consisting of civilians of eminence, religious dignitaries, and members of some political parties did not shock many but caused some ripples among the Tamil leaders. The council is spear headed by NP’s chief minister C.V. Wigneswaran with whom TNA’s leadership is at loggerheads on several issues like genocide, international investigation, relationship with present dilly dallying govt, etc. more..

Damsels in distress!

Jan 7 (SO) Archaeology Department has decided to ban the public from taking photographs of the Sigiriya frescoes. This comes in the wake of the Sigiriya fortress crumbling and the frescoes being affected due to flashlights. Sigiriya - Lion Rock - a UNESCO world heritage site since 1982, is a masterpiece showcasing indigenous expertise in arts, crafts and the sciences. Department of Archaeology & Central Cultural Fund (CCF) more..

‘Garbage found us’

Jan 7 (NS) Over 1200 tons of waste is dumped here every single day by some 250 lorries. Meethotamulla dump site is already 23 acres in extent, nineteen of which is already overwhelmed with garbage. Nearly 5,000 households are directly affected by the Meethotamulla dump site. In this backdrop the residents of Meethotamulla staged a sathyagraha on Dec 27 demanding a solution to the expansion of Meethotamulla dump site by three acres. The dump site is to be extended over a period of more..

A miracle for the family!

Jan 7 (FT) When Arjuna Ranatunga, former cricketer, now the Minister of Ports and Shipping, nominated his own brother Dhammika Ranatunga to head the Ports Authority, large and economically vital statutory authority coming under the Minister, among the more social conscious there was only consternation. They were gripped by a sense of betrayal, made sharper when committed by a person who by his political stand at the general elections only held just before, stood against nepotism more..

Vegetable prices sky-high

Jan 7 (NS) As 2016 begins, rising price of most vegetables is undoubtedly a pressing concern among most consumers. Last few months of 2015 saw the prices of many vegetables rise in alarming fashion. Sharp increase in prices was due to unseasonal rains and cold weather. According to National Movement for Consumer Rights Protection, price of 250 grams of most vegetables hit Rs.100 mark after C'mas. more..

Ehi Passiko: Come and see!

Jan 7 (SL) I did not tell the people that I’m coming. I went inside their houses and looked at what they were eating. I even looked into their rice pots and hearths. I asked their children what they learn in school. Asked their parents how they are living. All of them said just one thing. Please take us back to the era that we were in32 years back. For those extremists who say that there is a breakdown of national defense and that the LTTE is raising its head, I call upon them to visit the North.” more..

The fuss and buzz over the Enrique bra

Jan 7 (DM) Sri Lanka has been quite notorious in the international arena with regard to undergarments. Lingerie in particular. BuzzFeed, a popular American internet media company picked up the story about a confusing advertisement on lingerie by Triumph in Sri Lanka on Fathers’ Day. And now an incident at the Sex-and-Love concert has turned Enrique Iglesias into a household name in Sri Lanka with virtually no help whatsoever from his musical talents. more..

2015 marked a controversial transition

Jan 7 (SL) After a decade of dictatorial rule, 2015 marked a controversial transition in the Sri Lankan political arena opening doors for a new political experience for Sri Lankans. After supporting President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the UPFA for a long time, amajority of the people in Sri Lanka last year finally decided to give their mandate to another faction, mainly due to the lapses in the regime and its administration. more..

Just another Economic Forum?

Jan 7 (CT) Sri Lanka Economic Forum, brainchild of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe opens today, and for two days the Prime Minister will discuss ways in which we can Steer Sri Lanka Through Sustainable and Inclusive Development. PM has also managed to get a number of prominent economists, including George Soros and Joseph E. Stiglitz to take part in the Forum. Sri Lankan Economic Forum is being held at a time when President Sirisena is gearing up to celebrate his first anniversary in office. more..

Colombo’s upcoming Dubai-styled Financial Centre: How would it work?

Jan 7 (NS) Delivering the Budget speech in Parliament, Minister Ravi Karunanayake first revealed plans to set up Sri Lanka’s first financial centre – Colombo International Financial Centre (CIFC). This he said will be built on a 300,000 square feet specific zone along D R Wijewardena Mawatha on the lines of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and such other off-shore centres around the world. Minister in his speech also invited domestic & international banks more..

HSBC and British Council 24 hour hackathon for young entrepreneurs

Jan 7 (FT) HSBC Youth Enterprise Awards jointly organised by the British Council and HSBC is a business plan contest aimed at recognising and supporting young entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka to start-up their businesses. The competition, which is open to SL postgraduates, undergraduates and students aged 18 to 35 years currently pursuing their studies at universities, private higher education institutions, more..

Ties with Sri Lanka

Jan 7 (Dawn) That terrorism was one of Nawaz Sharif’s major concerns during his SL visit became obvious when he rang up Narendra Modi to assure him that his govt would not hesitate to take prompt and decisive action if the involvement of Pakistan-based elements in the Pathankot attack was proved. Terrorism also came up for discussion during talks between Mr Sharif and SL President Maithripala Sirisena, when the latter thanked Pakistan for its help in putting down the Tamil insurgency more..

New pink ball prototype gets Shield trial

Jan 7 (CI) A fresh prototype of the pink ball will be trialled during the next day-night Sheffield Shield round later this summer, as negotiations intensify around more flood-lit Test cricket in 2016-17. The salient criticism of the Adelaide Test between Australia and New Zealand centred on the seam, which most players found fiendishly difficult to see under lights. In another departure from years of traditional ball design, the new pink ball will have an all-black seam in the hope that more..

'Kusal's absence was the biggest blow'

Jan 7 (DN) The absence of impulsive opener Kusal Perera from the Sri Lankan batting line-up had an adverse effect on Sri Lanka's overall performance in the five-match ODI series which they lost 1-3 to NZ. "The biggest blow I believe for the country and myself was Kusal's absence. I did not get much of the explosive starts," said SL interim head coach Jerome Jayaratne. "Kusal brings a new dimension to the game. more..

What causes SMEs to fail in Sri Lanka?

Jan 7 (DM) It is a global understanding and a duly recognized fact that Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are a major contributing source to emerging economies in terms of economic growth, employment generation, social cohesion and development. In Sri Lanka, SMEs contribute more than 70% to gross domestic product (GDP) and employment generation. Indeed, SMEs contribution to Sri Lanka’s economy is significantly more than in Singapore, Malaysia and Japan. more..

Sri Lanka’s post-war growth: Still stuck in an unsustainable strategy

Jan 7 (DM) Gross domestic product (GDP) is the most common measure of a country’s prosperity; it is an imperfect means of assessing the wellbeing in an absolute sense, but the changes to GDP is a valuable indicator that the economy is progressing and of what is driving increases in employment and incomes. At the end of 2013, Verité Research published an Insight titled: The post-war bump has hit the ceiling. The point was that Sri Lanka had been driving growth in boom and bust cycles. more..

People should not damage environment in their development process: President

Jan 7 (PSL) ‘Our next goal should enter into an era of blue and green, in a background where climate change poses a fundamental threat to the survival of human beings’, said President Maithripala Sirisena. The President also emphasized that people should not damage the environment in their development process. He made these remarks participating at the inaugural ceremony of the Towards the era of blue and green Program more..

'Term of imprisonment unclear'

Jan 7 (DM) The term of imprisonment of the Sri Lankan housemaid who was charged with adultery in Saudi Arabia has not been clearly mentioned, the Foreign Employment Ministry stated yesterday. Following an appeal filed by the Foreign Affairs Ministry and Foreign Employment Ministry for sympathetic consideration in respect of the housemaid, the Government of Saudi Arabia had decided not to carry out the death sentence, but to imprison her instead. more..

Troubled tea gets peaceful start in 2016

Jan 7 (FT) The troubled tea industry started out the new year on a peaceful note with the first auction for 2016 seeing “good general demand,” according to John Keells brokers. First auction for the year comprising 6.1 Mkgs met with good general demand, the company said, with ex-estate offerings comprised 0.99 Mkgs meeting with enhanced demand for well-made teas. “Best Western High Grown BOPs were dearer following quality, whilst the BOPFs too showed a similar trend. more..

EPRLF to remain in TNA, TPC

Jan 7 (Hindu) EPRLF will remain a constituent of both the TNA and the Tamil People’s Council (TPC). A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the EPRLF’s central committee which was presided by Suresh Premachandran, party’s leader, in Vavuniya. Mr. Premachandran, who was the spokesperson of the TNA’s parliamentary party till August, is one of the key figures of the TPC, which is headed by more..

SL bourse gets approval to list foreign firms

Jan 7 (LBO) Colombo Stock Exchange has obtained exchange control approval from Finance Ministry to start listing foreign companies in dollar denominated securities, CSE Chairman Vajira Kulatilaka said. Kulatilaka said that the idea is to make the country a regional hub for financial activities. “This is the first step towards that. We will have in place a world class platform after putting the CCP (Central Counter Party),” he said. “In the first phase, only foreigners can participate. more..

Pakistan invites Sri Lanka to invest in energy and infrastructure sectors

Jan 7 (DT) Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday said Pakistan’s corporate friendly environment makes it an attractive destination for foreign investment and invited the Sri Lankan businessmen to explore the opportunities particularly in energy and infrastructure sectors. The prime minister, who is in Sri Lanka on an official visit, met the industry heads, top executives and media moguls and discussed with them the prospects of investment in each other’s countries. more..

Simple and solemn ceremonies to mark President's first year in office

Jan 7 (DN) Many special programmes have been organised to mark the restoration of democracy since President Maithripala Sirisena assumed office one year ago. Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka addressing a media briefing said that measures have been taken to mark the first anniversary of President Maithripala Sirisena's ascendance to presidency in a simple and solemn manner on January 8 and 9. more..

Graveside memorial service tomorrow to mark 7 years since Lasantha’s murder

Jan 7 (FT) 7th anniversary of the assassination of Sunday Leader founder Editor-in-Chief Lasantha Wickrematunge, which falls on 8 January, will be marked with a service at his graveside. Family, friends, former colleagues and others, including those from political and diplomatic circles, will gather at Borella Kanatte at 9 am to mark the anniversary and remember Lasantha. Assassinated on 8 Jan 2009, Lasantha was one of SL’s leading journalists and an outspoken critic of Rajapaksa govt. more..

SL football men's National team off to Bangabandhu

Jan 7 (DN) The Bangabandhu Cup or Bangabandhu Gold Cup is an international association football tournament organized by the Bangladesh Football Federation as a tribute to father of the nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. It was inaudurated in 1996 and this will be the fourth time the tournament will be held. Eight teams from Asian Football Confederation affiliated countries will participate in this edition. A total of fifteen matches will be played from Jan 8 to 20 more..

Sri Lanka link to Telangana kidney scam

Jan 7 (DC) A Sri Lankan connection has emerged in the Nalgonda kidney racket case as the police has found that the main broker and other donors underwent illegal transplant surgeries in three different hospitals in Colombo in the last two years. The agent, Kasparaju Suresh (22) travelled to Sri Lanka in Dec 2014 and sold his kidney, after which he decided to become an agent for the racketeers. He lured at least 14 people to sell more..

Sri Lanka on alert for ISIS terrorist members

Jan 7 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan Ministry of Defence said on Wednesday that the security forces have been placed on full alert to identify if there are Islamic State (IS) terrorist members operating in Sri Lanka. A statement by the Ministry of Defence said that it has been brought to the notice of the Ministry of Defence that some recently-published media reports indicated the presence of Islamic State (IS) terrorist members in the country and their alleged links with the ISIS organization. more..

Parliament on mobile app

Jan 7 (FT) Sri Lanka Parliament will launch a mobile app today connecting the public and the lawmakers. The new app compatible with iOS, Android, and Windows smart phones will allow people to get in touch with the lawmakers directly, watch the proceedings live, and give access to documentary and video archives. The app will add Sri Lanka as the 11th Parliament among a list of 189 to have an app bridging the gap between the law makers and the public. more..

Video: 1,501 statutory rapes in 2015

Jan 7 (DM) A rundown of the causes of death and crimes statistics provided by the Police Department today showed that while the number of reported rape, suicides and murders in the country had decreased slightly, the number of accidents had increased marginally when compared to 2014. Of the 1,854 incidents of rape reported across the island in 2015, 1,501 were incidents of statutory rape. more..