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Video: CM is all-powerful in a provincial council: Dayasiri

Jan 7 (DM) Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara said today that people are unaware about the powers of a chief minister and that a Chief Minister could take over any ministry. He said that CM can do anything he wishes within the parameters of a provincial council. “ A Chief Minister could do anything within the parameters of a provincial council and that the Chief Minister comes second only to the President and the Provincial Governor," he said. He made these remarks at a function where more..

Bakery food prices arbitrarily jacked up

Jan 7 (CT) Immediately following the announcement increasing the price of flour by Rs 2, a number of traders in several areas of the country have arbitrarily jacked up prices of bakery products. When contacted, President of the All Ceylon Bakery Owners' Association (ACBOA), N. K. Jayawardene said that despite the flour price increase, no decision has so far been taken to increase prices of bakery products. But, Jayawardene agreed that as a more..

'JHU won’t let terrorism raise its head again'

Jan 7 (DM) The JHU said it would not allow terrorism to raise its head again or allow clauses in the Constitution concerning the unitary state and giving priority to Buddhism be amended. “Only a PSC will be appointed on January 9 to seek opinions on introducing constitutional reforms to the present Constitution which gives priority to amend the election system. We will not allow any changes to the unitary state or giving priority to Buddhism which will need referendum to do so,” he said. more..

Kingswood College Principal interdicted

Jan 7 (DM) Principal of Kingswood College in Kandy, has been interdicted on charges of violating Education Ministry circulars by collecting Rs.3.6 million from parents saying it was for the purpose of constructing a new building for the school, Education Ministry said. This matter came to light on the basis of an audit carried out on the instructions of Education Ministry Secretary. Principal had allegedly collected Rs.3,625,000 from parents when admitting their children to Grade 1. more..

SL to be made a global mega city: PM

Jan 7 (DM) Sri Lanka will be developed into a global city that will go between Dubai and Singapore where international trade and movement is concerned, PM Ranil Wickremeisnghe said today. Speaking at the Sri Lanka Economic Forum 2016 in Colombo, PM said the time had come to make plans to fulfil this objective. “Our objective is to make Sri Lanka the most competitive nation in the Indian Ocean and to develop more..

Finding winners and losers in 2016

Jan 8 (DM) Tagged national compass, zigzags erratically in the hand of President Sirisena. Hold it southward, swivels northbound. President carries no magnetic power in his grasp but gasps to be the elected PM. Naturally, the mind goes back to a time before and his compass, computer-like adjusts accordingly. Thinking too far for a man too small. Looking back, the Northern votes made the difference at the last presidential election. Northern Province, on a stand-alone basis can more..

One year later… what?

Jan 8 (CT) Warren Beatty’s extraordinary film Reds charts the life and career of John Reed, who became the first American to be buried in the Kremlin for his sympathy and support for the Bolsheviks. The movie is extraordinary not so much for its vast, epic canvas as for its depiction of the protagonist’s trysts with idealism and disillusionment. I am, of course, talking about his support for the Russian Revolution. There’s an interesting scene towards the end of the film. more..

'Govt has failed to deliver on its promises'

Jan 8 (FT) “Catching thieves has become the biggest robbery and probing into corruption has become the biggest crime,” stressed former Western Province Minister Nishantha Warnasinghe. “But this does not mean the previous regime was better or Mahinda Rajapaksa should once again come to power,” said Warnasinghe, adding: “It is just that this administration has failed to keep up with more..

A flag-mad Sri Lanka

Jan 8 (DM) One year ago, Sri Lanka elected Maithripala Sirisena as the sixth Executive President. Today, backers of the President have asked the people to raise the national flag to mark this day. The President’s detractors, meanwhile, have asked the people to raise black flags by way of lamenting that decision on Jan 8, 2015. Now, it is natural for politicians to think of themselves as saviours of the people. Even the most obnoxious and incompetent politician thinks that more..

After one year in office; Maithri’s external & internal battles continue

Jan 8 (CT) “What the hell is going on ha..?” “With What?” “With this govt, what else..?” “Why? What is the issue?” “They are not putting anyone (of former regime) behind bars no… They are not delivering what they said” This is a conversation that I had earlier this week with a person whom I knew from a Western Embassy. She (a Sri Lankan) had been a strong supporter of this Yahapalana regime. No wonder that many such Yahapalana supporters are repeatedly raising this question for the past more..

'Govt’s economic policies extremely destructive'

Jan 8 (CT) Govt is attempting to copy economic policies which led to the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997 and is on the route to violent suppression of dissent, FSP stalwart Pubudu Jagoda alleges. Q: The FSP has been one of the most vocal critics of the economic policy of the UNFGG. What are the main reasons for this opposition? A: PM Ranil Wickremesinghe presented the midterm economic policy of the Govt in 2016 budget more..

Editorial: Pyongyang bang

Jan 8 (Island) North Korea’s claim of having successfully tested a hydrogen bomb underground has sent shockwaves across the globe. The increasing nuclear capability of the hermit state points to the growing vulnerability of the global super powers vis-à-vis not only elusive terrorist groups which defy conventional military responses such as the IS but also a country governed by a ruthless dictator who is still wet behind the ears. The western bloc has taken upon itself the task of more..

Whither TNA? Whither CA?

Jan 8 (SL) President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe need to be congratulated, as the calendar year draws to a close and close is also the completion of the first year of their unity govt experiment. It’s as much for evaluating their politician-brothers, their proclivities and predilection right, as for the duo’s strategy for winning two nation-wide elections in eight months. To be sure, it’s not that the duo won, but that incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa lost more..

Gomin Dayasiri

Sri Lankan expats doubtful on stable govt and sustainable policies

Jan 8 (ST) Sri Lanka’s one-year old govt is working on enticing local professionals resident abroad to return to the country and share their skills and expertise. However most expatriates (expats) have reservations about returning flagging issues like the need for sustainable policies and a stable govt. Recently the Business Times attended the 3rd annual Work In Sri Lanka conference held at the Kingsbury. It was organised to promote Sri Lanka as an attractive destination for more..

Building the movement for a living wage

Jan 8 (ST) The annual Asia Floor Wage Alliance meeting held on December 17-20th at the Sri Lanka Foundation was a critical opportunity to bring activists together from across the region to discuss the pressing needs of garment workers. Participants arrived from over nine countries to highlight issues in an industry that provides clothing for much of the world, including for famous brands such as Gap, H&M, Marks and Spencer, Next, Inditex, and Adidas. more..

Hirunika’s fall from grace

Jan 8 (SO) SL political landscape has been built on power inherited through the generations and is steeped in a culture of political aggrandisement, high-handedness and thuggery. Violence, intimidation and impunity have been hallmarks of a regressive political culture with a few individuals and literally no party is free from this taint. Many attribute these acts of law breaking and violence to the late 1970s, when during President J.R. more..

Harvard training for Sri Lanka’s development drive officials

Jan 8 (Island) 'Sri Lankan officials who would be playing a key role in fast-tracking this country's economic resurgence effort would be sent to the Harvard University's Centre for International Development in February for advanced training, Niranjan de Silva Deva Aditya (Nirj Deva), Lankan-born Vice President of the International Development Committee of the European Parliament and an adviser to PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. more..

Brandix adopts Nivithigala as its second model village

Jan 8 (Island) Nivithigala in Ratnapura District has been refreshed with water supply and sanitation facilities it received from Brandix, under the Group's novel model village themed community initiative. Sri Lanka's single largest apparel exporter has donated water supply and toilet facilities to five schools, two Sunday schools and a hospital in the Nivithigala area under the second project carried out under this initiative, benefitting more than 4,700 children and adults. more..

Spoilt migration dream

Jan 8 (CT) Migration has become an alarming issue of the 21st century, where people are migrating, seeking greener pastures. At the same time, in the face of migratory issues, many politicians and policy makers in the developed world, with their back to the wall, lock horns with each other; in their conflicts between right-wing and left-wing political parties over immigration policies. Some experts identify migration & globalisation as 2 sides more..

TUs to launch massive agitation against govt

Jan 8 (ST) Trade unions have warned of a mass agitation campaign against the govt’s refusal to address their concerns and make necessary amendments to the budget proposals as promised. In a Dec 28 letter addressed to PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, trade unions said that they would be compelled to resort to trade unions action and start an awareness campaign among its members and thereafter launch a mass agitation campaign. They have pointed out that this could impede more..

Free ambulance service from Northern PC

Jan 8 (LT) Health Ministry of Northern Provincial Council has commenced a free ambulance service. Ambulance service is maintained based on Killinochchi Hospital and the public has been given a hot line to get the service free of charge. According to the set up the ambulance of the nearest hospital to the patient would be alerted to pick up the patient. The service is maintained using the ambulances that are in govt hospitals in the North but would expand service by adding more ambulances soon. more..

SriLankan bids adieu to its A340s

Jan 8 (CT) SriLankan Airlines, first Asian airline to operate the four-engined Airbus A340 aircraft, bid goodbye to the last of its A340s after more than two decades in service, with a final commercial flight yesterday. SriLankan introduced the A340 on 1 Sept 1994, at the time when it was the most sophisticated aircraft manufactured by Airbus Industrie. Over this 21-year period, a total of seven A340s have served more..

Loans to 200,000 households for electricity connection

Jan 8 (FT) Govt will grant loan facilities, subject to a maximum limit of Rs. 40,000, for 200,000 households that are unable to bear the primary expenses required to obtain an electricity connection. The required funds could be obtained for this purpose from the Samurdhi Development Bank. Despite existence of necessary facilities to obtain electricity connections, around 200,000 households have yet to take connections owing to the inability to bear the preliminary expenses. more..

Sathwiru Sanhinda: Api Wenuwen Api houses handed over to War Heroes

Jan 8 (MoD) 69 houses built under the second phase of the Api Wenuwen Api project in the Hambantota District were handed over to their new owners during a ceremony held at the Defence Services College auditorium in Colombo Today (7). State Minster of Defence Hon. Ruwan Wijewardene graced the event as the Chief Guest. Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi made the opening remarks during the occasion. In addition, housing assistance for completing 813 partly built more..

Sri Lanka imports, trade deficit falls in October, rupee under pressure

Jan 8 (EN) Sri Lanka's imports fell US$ 111 million to 1.68 billion in October 2015 from a year earlier and the trade gap narrowed US$ 57 million to US$ 791 million as the rupee came under further pressure, shattering long held Mercantilist beliefs. Exports also fell US$ 54.5 million to US$ 901.8 million amid lower commodity prices. The rupee came under further pressure in October as credit soared amid money printing. more..

UDA on why it cannot be solved - Problem of garbage dumping at Kolonnawa

Jan 8 (CT) The garbage problem in Kolonnawa cannot be solved when the local govt and other institutions are functioning, the Deputy Project Director of the UDA, Prasad Ranaweera said. President and PM have given instructions to bring all elements of local govt under one common platform. He made these comments addressing a gathering at the Kolonnawa UC, which was attended by Minister Faiszer Musthapha, UNP MP S.M. Marikkar, Mayor of Colombo A.J.M Muzammil, Deputy Mayor more..

Sri Lanka price controls reduces quality, creates distortions: Economist

Jan 8 (EN) Sri Lanka's price controls is reducing quality and hurting consumers, a top economist said as the country's consumer authority's activities makes nonsense of a govt claim to build a social market economy. "When you resort to price controls what happens is that the low quality products will flourish," Sirimal Abeyratne, a professor at Sri Lanka's Colombo University told an economic forum in Colombo. "And the more efficient and quality products will disappear." more..

National Authority for protecting victims and witnesses set up

Jan 8 (CT) National Authority for the protection of victims and witnesses of crime will be established today under the provisions of the Assistance to and Protection of Victims of Crime and Witnesses Act, No. 4 of 2015. NA set up under the direction of President and PM, will strengthen the process of meting out justice for members of the public. Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe will inaugurate NA at 488, Denzil Kobbekaduwa more..

Cops transferred over Embilipitiya incident

Jan 8 (CG) The police headquarters has temporarily transferred 21 policemen over the death of a youth in Embilipitiya. A hartal was staged in Embilipitiya today over the death the youth who fell from the top floor of a building during an altercation with the police. Shops in Embilipitiya were closed and black flags hoisted at several locations as a mark of protest. The altercation with the police took place when then police visited the house where a party was taking place, following complaints more..

Walking the walk in Sri Lanka

Jan 8 (TN) At the end of the first day, we stop at a house for tea. This house in the hills is solid but humble. Simple wooden furniture. A South Indian movie on the television set. A picture of heroes or gods. Peeling paint – no surprise, given how much rain falls here. The Tamil owner goes down the steps to the pantry. His adult daughter walks gingerly as she crosses the main room, also towards the pantry. It was she who would be making our dinner that night. Ravi leans in. more..

Owner of world's largest blue sapphire ponders its fate

Jan 8 (Reuters) Owner of the world’s largest blue sapphire, which he says is worth more than $100 million, said he is deciding whether to auction the Sri Lankan gem or display it as an international attraction. Polished oval sapphire is as large as a person's palm and weighs 1404.49 carats (281 grams), according to a local industry body that certified it, Gemmological Institute of Colombo. "I would love to keep it and have it exhibited more..

Each Ministry to submit their yearly plans to Cabinet

Jan 8 (DN) Cabinet ministers would submit their ministries' annual plans at cabinet meetings, Minister Gayantha Karunathilake said. The Cabinet ministers would submit their plans on the instructions of President Maithripala Sirisena. He added that the President submitted plans for this year of the ministries under him at the yesterday cabinet meeting. He made these observations yesterday at the cabinet briefing held at the Information Department auditorium. more..

CB seeks FM guidance on Senior Citizens' 15% fixed deposit interest scheme

Jan 8 (DN) Central Bank has sought guidance from the Finance Ministry to implement the 15% rate of interest to be paid on fixed deposits of senior citizens proposed by Minister Ravi Karunanayake in his maiden 2016 Budget introduced on November 20 last year. Deputy Governor of the Central Bank Dr Nandalal Weerasinghesaid they had sought clear guidance from the Finance Ministry as to how this proposal should be implementation for the benefit of senior citizens as a relief measure. more..

Ekneligoda case: Solicitor General says Rajitha is lying

Jan 8 (DM) Solicitor General of AG’s Department Mr. Suhada Gamalath denied an allegation made by Minister Rajitha Senaratne relating to the criminal investigation and court proceedings relating to the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda. “This is complete and diabolical lie and I deny this totally,” he said. There were media reports that Solicitor General Gamalath had allegedly negotiated more..

Can Sri Lanka be a new Singapore?

Jan 8 (Hindu) Can Sri Lanka be the new Singapore? This was the question raised at the inauguration of the two-day Sri Lanka Economic Forum here on Thursday. Calling this analogy interesting, Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz recalled how Singapore was much poorer at the time of its independence, talking about certain advantages that Sri Lanka now possesses in the form of a well-educated and healthy population. Referring to the economic growth rates of countries in Asia more..

6 infected with dengue fever after visiting SL

Jan 8 (KT) Infections of dengue fever were confirmed in six patients after visiting Sri Lanka in December for volunteer work. This marks Korea's first confirmed case of group infection of the virus. Two others are waiting for final test results from the Korea National Institute of Health, but the chance of infection is highly likely as they were tested positive in an initial test. The eight ¯ five students, two school staffers and one professor ¯ were among the 35 volunteers who visited SL from Dec 23 to 31. more..

'Imminent arrest of MR regime bigwigs'

Jan 8 (DM) Minister Rajitha Senaratne said a number of high and mighty in Rajapaksa administration are to be arrested by law enforcement authorities soon, as inquiries on cases of corruption, embezzlement, crime and misrule allegedly committed with their direct involvement have been concluded. There will be a few arrests of those who have allegedly involved in assassination of several journalists after 2010, more..

Presidential Pardon for attempted assassin

Jan 8 (DN) The ex-LTTE combatant who was convicted for making an abortive attempt on the life of President Sirisena when he was serving as Mahaweli Development Minister between 2005 and 2006 is likely to receive Presidential Clemency, counsel for the accused appellant informed the Court of Appeal. Accordingly, Court of Appeal allowed the accused to withdraw an appeal filed challenging the High Court conviction. Accused Sivaraja Jenivan alias Mohommadu Cader more..

'Ferdinandez stoking racial bloodbath'

Jan 8 (CT) Ruwan Ferdinandez, former Secretary to Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, is behind the controversial Singha Le movement Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. "The man behind this movement is a person who once spoke vociferously about ethnic reconciliation and democracy. He was with Mangala Samaraweera and launched this movement after he parted ways with the minister" he said. Senaratne added that the Singha Le movement has been organized by more..