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Hedging deal cost CPC over Rs. 9 billion loss: Auditor General

Jan 12 (ST) The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has incurred losses of more than Rs. 9 billion as a result of the disastrous hedging transactions. The CPC was cited as a party in arbitration proceedings pertaining to the hedging contracts entered into with several commercial banks. In June 2013, US$ 60 million had been paid to the Standard Chartered Bank under a deed of settlement entered into between the parties. more..

Technological city to be established in Malabe: PM

Jan 12 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday said that every school should have an e library and a technological city will be established in Malabe. The PM was speaking at the annual prize giving of Ramanathan Hindu Ladies College in Colombo. PM said that many changes have taken place in the education sector “Every school should have a library and an e library. The students in developed countries make use of more..

'Country will only develop under JVP administration'

Jan 12 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is dangling the proposed new constitution before the people, in an effort to detract attention from burning issues, MP and President of the Socialist Youth Federation Bimal Ratnayake said. He was speaking at a district seminar organised by Socialist Youth Federation in A'pura. Ratnayake said that while they were not opposed to formulating a new constitution, more..

Student who assaulted teacher with wicket stump remanded

Jan 12 (AD) The 17-year-old student of a school in Galle, who was arrested for allegedly assaulting the school’s assistant principal with a cricket stump, was remanded till January 18 after being produced at the Galle Magistrate’s Court. The incident had occurred during school hours yesterday morning after the assistant principal, who is also the teacher in charge of discipline, had admonished the student in question over his hair. more..

'Colombo port city proposal to be downsized'

Jan 12 (LBO) Sri Lanka will continue with the Colombo port city project after downsizing the previous agreement entered with China, the International Trade State Minister said. He said that the initial proposal led to a transfer of 50 acre land to a private party. “50 acres was supposed to be given on a private deal; that was not for the govt. We’ll remove them. To do so we have to change the agreement,” he said. more..

Jaishankar arrives in Sri Lanka

Jan 12 (IANS) Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar arrived in Sri Lanka to hold bilateral discussions with the island nation's leadership. Jaishankar is expected to meet PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera among other dignitaries. During the course of his visit, Jaishankar is expected to pave the way for India-SL Joint Commission meeting scheduled to be held in Colombo more..

People’s views on Constitution to be collected by committee

Jan 12 (FT) Public views on the proposed Constitution will be collected by a newly formed independent group, to be presented to parliament within the next three months. Public Representations Committee on Constitutional Reforms (PRCCR) composed of academics, lawyers, civil society representatives and politicians of minority parties, has been formed to seek out public opinions on the new Constitution and formulate these more..

Writ Application challenging appointment of FCID

Jana 12 (Island) The Court of Appeal yesterday gave respondent parties time till Feb 25, 2016 to file objections to the Writ Application filed by the Venerable Elle Gunewanse Thera and Rohan Weliwita, who requested the court to nullify the gazette dated Feb. 13, 2015, which paved the way to establish the FCID. The petition has said that there is no provision in the Police Ordinance to enable IGP to appoint FCID. President’s Counsel Uditha Egalahewa appeared for petitioners. more..

Commemoration stamp & first day cover in remembrance of Wilson Hegoda

Jan 12 (PSL) The ceremony of cancelling a Commemorative Stamp and a First Day Cover, issued by the Postal Department to mark the centenary birth anniversary of Mr. Wilson Hegoda, a pioneer of the SL photography, was held today (11) at Department of National Archives, under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena. Wilson Hegoda was a world renowned photographer. He also was a poet and wrote two poetry books named Ambapali and Malaka Suvanda. more..

Minister Rajitha Senaratne

ISIS activity in SL: What is the govt doing?

Jan 12 (DM) Last week Defence Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi acknowledged that at least 36 Sri Lankans have gone to Syria and that some of them have joined the ISIS. That was after the Sunday Times reported in the previous week, that State Intelligence Service (SIS) has alerted the govt that 45 Sri Lankans from nine families have gone to Syria so far to join the Islamic terrorist group. Later the Ministry of Defence assured in a media statement that, more..

How UNP came to adopt Maithripala Sirisena

Jan 12 (DM) January 8 is remembered for change. First there was the brutal killing in broad daylight of Journalist and Editor Lasantha Wickramatunga who stood out exposing the excesses of the Rajapaksa regime. Lasantha was killed in a high -security environment near an armed forces installation. He died brave and unbowed. By the Aluth Avurudda in April 2014, the authoritarianism of the MR regime had reached its zenith. After serving on the COPE for four years, rather naively, more..

Lotus Tower: No added expenses due to construction delay

Jana 12 (DM) Despite the delays in constructing the Lotus Tower, which is scheduled to be completed by Oct 2017, the estimated expenses have not increased, TRC said. Recently appointed TRC Director General Sunil Sirisena said under an agreement signed with the construction company ensured the cost of construction did not increase due to delays. The main structure of the building had been completed. more..

Japan supports Sri Lanka disaster risk reduction effort

Jana 12 (EN) Japan’s aid agency is helping Sri Lanka cope with disasters like landslides and floods with a risk reduction community awareness program. Three programs have been done in disaster-prone areas using new visual materials developed by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) with the island’s Disaster Management Center (DMC). The Community Based Disaster Risk Management (CBDRM) uses teaching methodology that comes from a combination of flip charts and more..

Brawl over ox: Woman grabs man by vital parts of his anatomy

Jana 12 (Island) A heated argument between a man and a woman over an ox led to a brawl where they exchanged blows in Kekirawa recently. Some witnesses had claimed that the man assaulted the woman first causing her to fall. Not to be outdone, she struck back and wrestled the man to the ground. Without stopping at that she tore his clothes off, while heaping abuse on him and grabbed him by his private parts. He continued to attack her while struggling to break himself free more..

Video: Dematagoda abduction: Video footage to be sent to Moratuwa Uni

Jan 12 (DM) Colombo Additional Magistrate Mohamed Mihar today directed the Wellampitiya Police to forward the CCTV footage of the abduction of a drapery shop employee at Dematagoda to the Moratuwa University for exam. He also directed that the video footage of the subsequent media briefing held by UNP MP Hurunika Premachandra be forwarded to the Moratuwa University for exam. more..

IUSF to complain to Mirihana Police

Jan 12 (DM) Inter University Students Federation (IUSF) said today it would lodge a complaint with the Mirihana Police against the Principal of St. John’s College, Nugegoda for allegedly assaulting two students from the Sri J'pura University. President of Sri J'pura University Students Union Prabath Chathuranga said the two students were distributing leaflets near the school, when they were allegedly taken into the school, by several old boys of the school, and assaulted by the Principal. more..

JVP recognises concerns of Tamils in North

Jan 12 (CG) JVP, which in 1983 was accused of attacking Tamils, today recognised the legitimate concerns of the Tamils in North. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that the Tamils in the North have suffered as a result of the war and continue to face social and economic issues. “The Tamils also face the psychological issue of being second citizens of this country,” he said. He said that he does not believe the concerns of the Tamils will be addressed by Constitutional changes. more..

My govt policy is to dispel inequality in development process: President

Jan 12 (PSL) It is not the policy of my govt to treat one district more and the other districts less in the country’s development process, said President Maithripala Sirisena. He made these remarks participating in a ceremony to declare open the newly built Bank of Ceylon Welikanda branch, today. President further said that the special development project titled Pibidemu Polonnaruwa (Awakening of Polonnaruwa) implemented to rectify more..

Prof. Mahadevan to conduct CA Sri Lanka leadership programme

Jan 12 (DM) World-renowned speaker Prof. B. Mahadevan will be in Sri Lanka in February on the invitation of the CA Sri Lanka Business School to conduct a one-day programme on Spirituality & Inspirational Leadership. The programme is designed to enable executives understand the core issues in organisations that inhibit them from good performance and will provide a fresh set of ideas to address these issues. The objectives of the programme include: sensitizing more..

Purawesi Balaya gets tough!

Jan 12 (CT) Purawesi Balaya criticized certain appointments made by Govt, especially with regards to the media, and also chastised the Defence Secretary for interference and undue influence in the investigation pertaining to missing journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda. Co-Convenor of the Purawesi Balaya, Saman Ratnapriya also pledged that a people's movement would be set up to fight defeated political groups and religious extremists attempting to sabotage creation of a new Constitution, more..

Video: Sarath de Abrew indicted

Jan 12 (DM) The case against retired Supreme Court Judge Sarath De Abrew, on charges of sexually abusing and assaulting his domestic aide, was fixed for hearing on May 23 by Colombo High Court Judge Prithi Pathman Soorasena after the accused pleaded not guilty. Attorney General indicted Mr. De Abrew under Clause-365 of the Penal Code on two counts of sexual abuse and assault in June last year at Ratmalana. more..

Dilan ready to debate GL

Jan 12 (Island) Minister Dilan Perera said that he was ready for an open debate with former Minister Prof. G.L Peiris over his contradictory views regarding the drafting of the new constitution. He said that Prof. Peiris had been writing articles complaining against the current efforts of the govt to amend the constitution. But, Prof. Peiris himself tried to amend the constitution thrice, in 1995, 1997 and in 2000 under the former president Chandrika Kumaratunga’s govt, the Minister said. more..

Shares fall for 7th session on margin calls

Jan 12 (Reuters) Share index fell for a seventh straight session on Tuesday due to panic selling, led by margin calls after the market fell over 3.5% in the past six sessions. Fears over investors shifting to risk-free assets such as govt securities due to rising yields in govt securities also dented sentiment. The main stock index ended 1.74% or 115.97 points down at 6,534.35, lowest close since July 7, 2014. The index fell as much as 1.85%, posting its biggest fall since Aug. 24, 2015. more..

Now Ananda College principal under a cloud

Jan 12 (DM) Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam today ordered that a fresh investigation be launched into allegations made against Ananda College Principal Kithsiri Liyanagamage that he had violated ministry circulars on grade-1 admissions. He also confirmed that Royal College Principal Upali Gunasekera had been transferred to the Education Ministry pending an investigation. Several complaints had been received that more..

'Police Spokesperson is irresponsible'

Jan 12 (AD) The Police Spokesperson has failed to show a proper sense of responsibility in making comments with respect to the recent death of a man who died during a clash with police in Embilipitiya, former Legal Secretary of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) Nimal Punchihewa says. The former Legal Secretary also severely criticised the manner in which the Spokesperson dramatically made the comments with respect to the controversial incident. more..

'Premachandran’s allegation should be investigated'

Jan 12 (CT) TULF General Secretary V Anandasangaree, commenting on the recent statement by former TNA MP and EPRLF leader Suresh Premachandran, on stealing votes, said, "Whatever said and done this is a very high handed act and Premachandran's allegation should be investigated and the offenders should be traced and properly punished under any law, as it is not possible in this case under the election law as action should have been taken within the time limit." more..

Sampanthan insists no demand for a separate state

Jan 12 (CG) Opposition leader and TNA leader R Sampanthan today insisted that there is no more a demand for a separate Tamil state in Sri Lanka. Speaking in Parliament he said that Tamils have, during the recent elections, backed a political solution within the framework of a united and undivided and indivisible Sri Lanka. He said Tamils hope new Constitution which has been proposed, will resolve the National issue. more..

Bahrain minister receives SL ambassador

Jan 12 (BNA) Health Minister Faeqa bint Saeed Al Saleh received the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Bahrain, A S U Mendis. The minister welcomed the recently-appointed ambassador, praising the advanced level of bilateral relations between Bahrain and Sri Lanka and wishing him success in further developing and consolidating the friendship and cooperation ties between the two countries and peoples. She expressed the intention to boost the bilateral cooperation through the exchange of more..

Dilshan not ready to retire yet

Jan 12 (CG) Sri Lanka’s opening T-20 batsman Tilakaratne Dilshan says he is not prepared to retire from the game as yet as he feels he is still in good form. Dilshan was visibly annoyed following the final T-20 match between Sri Lanka and New Zealand recently when a Sri Lankan fan had told him to retire from the game. The comment from the fan came as Sri Lanka lost the series against New Zealand and Dilshan was seen reacting by asking the fan if he can play better than him. more..

Sri Lanka to allow Chinese port city project

Jan 12 (Reuters) Sri Lanka is to go ahead with a $1.4 billion Chinese-backed real estate project after some changes to its terms, a minister said on Tuesday, signalling readiness to accept more Chinese investment in the face of a balance-of-payment crisis. President Sirisena's new govt suspended the project, which includes apartments, shopping malls, a water sports area, a golf course, hotels and marinas next to Colombo's port, more..

Chile eyes SL to target South Asia market

Jana 12 (EN) Chilean businesses want to use Sri Lanka as a base from which to export to other South Asian markets to slash shipment times of up to two months from the South American country. Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said the New Delhi-based Chilean envoy Andres Barbe is on a visit to explore investment potential in Sri Lanka. During talks, the ambassador talked about the possibilities of Chile focusing on exporting to the Indian and other Asian markets using Sri Lanka as a platform, more..

Sri Lanka endorses declaration to end sexual violence in conflict

Jan 12 (CG) Sri Lankan Govt today endorsed the declaration of commitment to end sexual violence in conflict. At an event held at the United Nations on 25th Sept 2013 in New York, 122 Member States of the UN endorsed the declaration of commitment to end sexual violence in conflict. Today, this declaration is endorsed by 155 UN member states. Foreign Ministry said that the Govt of Sri Lanka, in manifestation of its firm commitment to uphold, promote and protect the human rights of all, more..

Sri Lanka to probe alleged drinking, squabbling on NZ tour

Jan 12 (AFP) Sri Lanka's demoralised cricket team faces an investigation into alleged scandalous behavior during its dismal tour of New Zealand, including drinking parties and squabbling, the sports minister said Tuesday. Dayasiri Jayasekera said he had been handed photos of national players attending all-night parties just before crucial matches against hosts NZ, who achieved a virtual clean sweep more..

Culture happens. No matter what.

Jan 13 (GV) Currently there is an initiative to draft a National Cultural Policy for SL – which will look at bringing arts, culture and creative thinking into the heart of local life and nation building. I have, consequently, spent much time thinking about and reflecting on this elusive concept of culture – what does it encompass? What does it reflect? Naturally, much of my thoughts have been on what Sri Lankan culture is. What is the culture of our country, really? Immediate trap is to think that it's wide smiles more..

Traitors: JVP & the non-JVP Left

Jan 13 (CT) The political culture outlined in this series of articles is apparent in most of the Sri Lankan political entities, particularly, in the left. Internationally also, this political culture has prevailed, as has been epitomised by the political struggle between Stalinism and Trotskyism in the last century. As I am discussing left wing tendencies, I will digress by looking at the destructive political culture that had prevailed in the Soviet Union, which strongly influenced the political culture of more..

'The making of a new constitution: This is a test for the Left parties'

Jan 13 (SO) Subscribing to the strike while the iron is hot theory, Dr. Jayampathi Wickremaratne, MP and constitutional expert is convinced this is the best time for the constitution making process, as the two major parties, UNP and SLFP, are working hand in hand in the govt. He expresses his belief that the new constitution will put a strain on the opposition as it will definitely do away with the executive presidency & will give a long lasting more..

Some notes on the procedure to enact a new constitution

Jan 13 (CT) Joint Opposition or their spokespersons seem to take more interest in the constitutional procedure rather than the need for or the substance of a new constitution. Motive seems to be power politics rather than the interest of the country or its future. Otherwise, their valid objections should have been put forward in a constructive manner. On the other hand, there seem to be some neglect on constitutional procedure on the part of govt or advocates for a brand new constitution. more..

What’s in store for 25.1% in 2nd of Yahapalanaya?

Jan 13 (GV) President is reported to have told parliament today in his special address on the Resolution to elect a Constitutional Council, no one should be afraid of a new Constitution as it is for the benefit of the people. While saying we need a Constitution that will treat all religions and ethnicities alike, he had also said the country’s main religion (Buddhism) will not come into any harm. He also had said the security forces will not be reorganised. Yet he had warned of extremist elements more..

'In developing SL under good governance, From island to continent should be theme'

Jan 13 (DM) Daily Mirror met Minister Champika Ranawaka for an interview. Q: UNF govt came to power though much promise and hope. Are you satisfied with the performance of its first year in office? A: Yes and no. When the people of this country made a silent revolution by voting Rajapaksa regime out of power, their aspirations were high. People’s agenda included constitutional reforms to strengthen democracy, more..