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Why is Norway back

Jan 13 (CT) Southern extremists are now attempting to gain undue political advantage of the recent visit by the Norwegian Foreign Minister who was on a brief visit to Colombo. These extremists used anti-Norway slogans in 2004 and 2005 elections to gain victory. Norway was invited to mediate in the Sri Lankan peace process in 2000 by the Chandrika Kumaratunga administration. However, in 2002 she extended her support to the anti-Norway moves to topple Ranil Wickremesinghe's Govt. more..

No nonsense judiciary

Jan 13 (CT) To take a Judge to Court is no easy task, even when he is in the wrong. And, in a move that inspired faith in the fairness of our Judiciary, Supreme Court on Monday unanimously dismissed FR petition filed by former SC Justice Sarath de Abrew and granted leave to proceed with the sexual abuse case filed against him. Colombo HC thereafter took up the case for hearing yesterday and released Judge on a cash bail of Rs 100,000 and two sureties of Rs 200,000 each. more..

MP Udaya Gammanpila

Kurunegala feed mill, crowning glory of Bairaha Farms

Jan 13 (ST) Not only the best machinery counts; a clean and efficient building with modern state-of-the-art commercial animal feed manufacturing factory also matters. Bairaha Farms Plc did just that by purchasing machinery from Buhler a Switzerland company to set up the new factory in the Kurunegala district as a large scale modern feed mill in the country at a cost of Rs. 1.65 billion on a 36-acre site. The new factory will commence production within the next two months following more..

New laws to govern microfinance companies

Jan 13 (FT) New laws on licensing, regulating and supervising companies carrying out microfinance business were moved in Parliament yesterday. The proposed laws will govern the registration of non-governmental organisations accepting limited savings deposits as microfinance non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the setting up of standards for the regulation and the supervision of microfinance NGOs and micro credit NGOs and to provide for matters connected. more..

Time to look within, not westwards

Jan 13 (Hindu) Exactly a year after his election, President Sirisena has initiated a welcome process to rewrite the country’s Constitution. Govt is also moving ahead on transitional justice processes to address UNHRC resolution unanimously adopted in September last year. However, progress on both the constitutional and transitional justice fronts, which seem to have the consensus of both President and PM coming from historically opposing parties, more..

Shanaka sets SL record for most sixes in T20

Jan 13 (DN) SSC T20 captain Dasun Shanaka set a Sri Lankan record for the most number of sixes in a T20 innings, hitting 16 of them for SSC in an AIA Premier T20 match against Saracens SC at Colts grounds yesterday. Shanaka raced to 123 off 46 balls and took his team to a massive 251 for 6 in 20 overs. It proved to be too many for the opponents. Shanaka, who made his T20 debut against Pakistan in August last year, walked in to bat in the seventh over, featured in an 155-run stand more..

Medium term growth prospects for SL market

Jan 13 (LBO) The Sri Lankan economy is forecast to grow 6 percent 2016 with fiscal proposals to stimulate manufacturing, export and construction offering growth prospects in the medium term, CT CLSA Securities said in its Sri Lanka Outlook 2016 report. “The 2016E fiscal proposals to stimulate manufacturing, export and construction sectors are expected to be key catalysts for sustainable economic growth in the medium term,” report said. Signs pointing to a recovery in more..

Jan 25-30 declared as National Week for Sports & Physical Fitness

Jan 13 (DN) To promote physical fitness and well being among the people of Sri Lanka the Ministry of Sports have declared January 25-30 as a National Week for Sports and Physical Fitness titled Run Sri Lanka Run. "Around 12% of the school children in Sri Lanka suffer from diabetes and several non communicable diseases which could lead to a huge problem in the future," said Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera yesterday. more..

15,000 users, 30 hospitals sign up with trilingual over 3 years

Jan 13 (ST) More than 15,000 users and 30 hospitals are currently using trilingual online medical advisory service, a Sri Lankan outfit which started operations a little over three years ago. This service provides “medical advice either online or via phone. An understanding, non-judgmental platform where no question is too trivial for the attention of the qualified panel of Sri Lankan doctors. Their services are extensive. On a personal level, they answer any medical query. more..

YouTube plays in Sinhala

Jan 13 (FT) Google introduced the local version of YouTube for Sri Lanka which will deliver country specific content in Sinhalese. YouTube has launched in Sri Lanka with a homepage that’s customized in local language and domain, Google said. Along with country-specific homepage in Sinhalese for Sri Lanka, YouTube has been launched in Nepal in Nepali and in Pakistan in Urdu. “If you’re in Nepal, Pakistan or Sri Lanka, you’ll see a new YouTube homepage that’s customized more..

Cheeky Karunaratnes skipped SAG Trials

Jan 13 (CT) SL's top ranked badminton players, Niluka Karunaratne and Dinuka Karunaratne, have been axed from the SL Team for forthcoming South Asian Games (SAG) as both had not participated in SAG selection trials. Nevertheless, according to a source, it's evident that both Karunaratne's skipped the trials purposely as they are in no position to win a medal in regional championship though they are pampered by more..

Don't blame the cricketers blame the system

Jan 13 (DN) Sri Lanka's recently concluded tour of NZ when one looks at it from the point of view of results could be termed a Disaster. Not only was Sri Lanka white-washed 0-2 in the two-Test series but also suffered a similar loss in the Twenty20 format which they are the current world champions. Their solitary win in their five-week tour was in the third ODI which series they also lost by a 1-3 margin. No doubt team that Angelo Mathews took to NZ was very much short of international experience more..

Sagala defends cops in Embilipitiya skirmish

Jan 13 (FT) The controversial death of a youth in Embilipitiya and the police raid on party came up in the Parliament where opposition lawmakers accused law enforcement authorities with brutality and the illegal application of the law. Minister of Law & Order and Southern Development, Sagala Ratnayaka sought to set the record straight on the ongoing investigations, rejecting the charges against the police and media reports. “A party was held in the particular building on the 16th January. more..

Massive stock of substandard rice in CWE warehouses raided

Jan 13 (FT) Health authorities warn people to beware when buying red and nadu rice as they have detected a massive racket run by rice traders and millers that sell substandard rice, which is unfit for human consumption. The substandard rice stocks have been polished, coloured with harmful chemicals and mixed with low-graded rice to enhance its appearance. This unscrupulous trading practice was revealed when MoHs more..

CBSL outlines external sector performance and trade deficit

Jan 13 (Island) SL’s external sector reflected a modest performance in the month of October 2015 with lower trade deficit, continued growth in tourist earnings and a moderate increase in workers’ remittances. Despite the slowdown in imports during the recent months, cumulative trade deficit at end Oct 2015 increased by 2.5% mainly due to the subdued export performance as a result of depressed global demand. At end Oct 2015, gross official reserves stood at US$ 6.5 billion, more..

Unemployed graduates demand jobs

Jan 13 (FT) Combined Association of Unemployed Graduates (CAUG) claimed it will continue its protest if the govt doesn’t take immediate action for the matter of unemployment. CAUG is holding a protest in Kandy town since 9 Jan and it said the protest will be converted to a Satyagraha movement if the Govt is unable to fulfill its demands. CAUG Convener Dammika Munasinghe alleged the Govt pledged to create job opportunities for all graduates, but it still limited to the lines of manifesto. more..

NTPC, CEB partner for 2nd coal power plant

Jan 13 (DN) National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), India and CEB will set up the second coal based power plant in Sri Lanka, Deputy Indian HC, Arindam Bagchi said. Speaking at the preview event held in Colombo for the Elecrama Electricity Forum 2016, held from Feb 13 to 17 in Bengaluru, India he said India looks forward to a deeper level of economic cooperation with Sri Lanka and efforts are being made by the both govts more..

Bopage to file FR against Police

Jan 13 (CT) Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) is presently considering filing a complaint with Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka against the police for the arrest of Attorney-at-Law Nuwan Bopage for his professional connection with a protest conducted against Municipal authorities for failure to take action about the Kolonnawa garbage dump. President of BASL, President's Counsel Geoffrey Alagaratnam said although a final decision regarding the matter had yet to be taken, more..

Batticaloa lorry owners protest

Jan 13 (CT) A massive protest demonstration was undertaken in Batticaloa urging to control the activities of illegal sand excavation smugglers and to provide permits for Lorry owners to load sand. Lorry owners in Batticaloa district parked their vehicles at Arasadi in Batticaloa and carried out their demonstration on Monday. Demonstrators said that they have been having suitable lorries to load sand for a long time and were engaged in the business of uploading/downloading sand for many years. more..

Court refuses to release Hirunika’s vehicle

Jan 13 (CT) CID informed Colombo Additional Magistrate M.M.M. Mihal that the black defender vehicle allegedly used by the supporters of UNF MP Hirunika Premachandra for the abduction of a youth in Dematagoda cannot be released to her immediately. MP Premachandra had sought a Court Order for her vehicle, a black defender bearing licence No.62-1895 to be returned to her possession yesterday. However, CID officers informed more..

Media Minister visits Prince Udaya Priyantha

Jan 13 (GDI) Minister Gayantha Karunathilake presented a cheque amounting to Rs.100,000 to singer Prince Udaya Priyantha for medical treatment. Prince Udaya Priyantha is a famous Sri Lankan artist who entered the music field in 1980s from the National Youth Services Council. He has composed and sung a wide range of songs. Prince Udaya Priyantha has exhibited his/him musical talents by successfully performing in different fields in the musical world as a musician. more..

TDAP aims at $1bln exports by utilising FTA with Sri Lanka

Jan 13 (TN) Pakistan aims at $1 billion exports to Sri Lanka in the next few years by utilising Free Trade Agreement (FTA), Rabiya Javeri Agha, secretary of the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), said in a statement. The authority has estimated that Pakistan’s exports to Sri Lanka will be doubled this year from $267 million to $500 million. The TDAP is a government body responsible for promoting exports and it is aiming to fully utilise the FTA, she said. more..

GMOA, professional unions sign solidarity MoU

Jan 13 (CT) The GMOA and 19 Professionals' Unions affiliated to it signed an MOU yesterday in an effort to win public service rights yesterday. The MOU incorporates provisions to ensure continuity of the public service pension scheme, the national salary policy, attracting more persons to the State Sector and safeguarding its privileges, gaining the consent of trade unions before restructuring institutes from which taxes are to be levied. more..

Cyprus-Sri Lanka seek to deepen relations

Jan 13 (SL) Dimitrios A Theofilaktou, the High Commissioner of Cyprus to Sri Lanka, based in New Delhi, presented his credentials to the President Maithripala Sirisena, saying Nicosia wishes to enhance its ties with Colombo. An official statement issued in Nicosia on Tuesday said that the High Commissioner had the opportunity to exchange views with President Sirinesa on bilateral and international issues, confirming the excellent relations between the two countries. more..

Bread up by one rupee

Jan 13 (DM) The price of a 450 g of loaf of bread will be increased by Re.1.00 with effect from midnight tomorrow, the All Ceylon Bakery Owners’ Association Chairman N.K. Jayawardana said. The decision had been taken increase the prices of all bakery products due to the increase of the Nation Building Tax (NBT) following the recent budget, he said. “Some bakery owners had increased the bread price by Rs 5.00 to Rs. 10.00 without consulting the association,” he said. more..

Tamil leader appeals to Rajapaksa to support new Constitution

Jan 13 (PTI) Opposition leader and TNA leader R Sampanthan appealed to Mahinda Rajapaksa to back the new Constitution-making process, saying the former president's support is important. "I wish to make a special appeal to him to place the country's interests before anything else," he said. Addressing parliament on the proposal to convert the House to a Constitutional Assembly, Sampanthan said Rajapaksa was a leader of more..

Rishad’s Ministry issues correction on UN Commissioner Zeid’s visit

Jan 13 (FT) Further to the press release issued on 11 Jan, by the Office of Minister Rishad Bathiudeen published yesterday in Daily FT, the Ministry has sent the following correction. We regret to inform that there have been inaccuracies in the content, and your consideration of publishing the correction note below is kindly appreciated. With regard to the visit by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, UN Office in Colombo clarifies that Commissioner has accepted more..

JVP takes UGC to HRCSL

Jan 13 (CT) JVP lodged a complaint at the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka against the UGC decision to not permit students to enrol into higher courses of study based on repeat results of the exam at a second or third shy; following initial registration and selection. JVP MP Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa said that the laziness and inefficiency of a few UGC board officials was the hindrance, which was affecting the cases of about 300 students who had sat for their GCE A/L exam. more..

Giritale Army Intelligence Camp sealed off

Jan 13 (DM) After the Homagama Magistrate observed, on Monday, that the Army Commander could be arrested and charged if he did not cooperate with probe into the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda, Military Intelligence Corps camp at Giritale (3 MIC) was sealed by Army Commander Crishantha de Silva last morning to provide conditions conducive the investigation, informed sources said. more..

Editorial: From Soros to Zorro

Jan 13 (Island) A mystery investor is reported to have offered to throw a lifeline to the Sri Lankan govt which is flailing away in an economic rip tide. He, said to be of Belgian descent working with a local partner, is ready to invest as much as USD one billion here in two tranches, and first amounting to USD 500 is already on its way, we are told. This is certainly good news. Curiously, the govt has refused to reveal his identity. The govt’s desperation is understandable. more..

Liberal pluralism, Tamil People’s Council and the new Constitution

Jan 13 (Island) More than six years after the war’s end, a particular line of thinking has come to the forefront in Tamil nationalists’ defence of their politics around national self-determination. I would broadly describe this philosophy as liberal pluralism. Predicating the politics around state re-formation primarily, if not solely, on ethnicity or culture, it tends to build a one-to-one relationship between cultural identities, territories and the state. It is not an entirely new phenomenon as far as more..

Teething problems exaggerated: IRCON

Jan 13 (ST) IRCON officials said the issues experienced along the Northern railway line were teething problems that were being exaggerated out of proportion. “The common man in Sri Lanka is very happy with the project,” said S.L. Gupta, the Sri Lanka-based Project Director. “The Railway Department is earning a lot of revenue. The trains are running full.” Mr. Gupta answered specific questions related to the Northern railway line. more..

Hirunika Saga: Taking law into own hand

Jan 13 (SL) Justice delayed is justice denied. Police Department’s decision to seek Attorney General’s recommendations to take legal action against UNP MP Hirunika Premachandra has become a farce, opined a renowned legal luminary. If the country’s Police Department seeks AG’s advice for each and every case such as Hirunika’s alleged involvement in the abduction, the country will need to establish more offices and officials more..

2,300 graduates receive Govt appointments

Jan 13 (ITN) 2,592 trainee graduates received appointments, parallel to the one million jobs programme that is in place, based on a concept of PM Ranil Wickremasinghe. Event was organized at Temple Trees and held under auspices of Minister Ranjith Maddumabandara. Trainee graduates who received their appointments will be assigned to Ministries and Departments of Central Govt for a one-year training period more..

De-mining SL: A job for widows & survivors

Jan 13 (AJ) Not so long ago Shanmukam Thankamuththu had 25 goats; now she has only five. The other 20 have been sold, each animal bringing in 9,000 rupees, or around $60, depending on its size. "I sold one and used the money to build this wall. I sold another to dig the well," she says, explaining how her goats paid for her house. This sturdy but cramped single-room structure is occupied by the 56-year-old, more..

Jaishankar holds bilateral talks with SL

Jan 13 (ENS) In what appears to be a low-key, business-like visit to Sri Lanka, Indian Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar on Tuesday had talks with his Lankan counterpart, Chitranganee Wagiswara, on the entire gamut of bilateral relations. He also met International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama; called on PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in the evening; and had dinner with Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera. more..

Bill presented to parliament to control conduct of bhikkus

Jan 13 (Island) The govt yesterday presented a bill seeking the approval of Parliament to bring about new laws to control the conduct of bhikkhus and to punish those who did not abide by the new laws. Bill titled Theravadi Bhikku Kathikawath (Registration) seeks to "provide for the formulation and registration of Kathikawath in relation to Nikaya or Chapters of Theravadi Bhikkhus to provide for every bhikkhu to act more..

British Minister asked to insist on SL govt to have a clear plan to end torture

Jan 13 (FT) As Foreign Minister Hugo Swire prepares to visit Sri Lanka this week, the human rights charity Freedom from Torture is calling on him to make sure that UK taxpayers' money is not handed over to the Sri Lankan military unless the government offers a clear and effective plan to tackle endemic torture in the security sector. The charity has issued the call following 27 cases of torture in 2015 uncovered by Freedom from more..

Rice imported prior to Presidential poll to be used as animal feed

Jan 13 (DN) A large stock of rice imported by the previous regime prior to the last Presidential polls are to be given away as animal feed as they are not fit for human consumption. President Sirisena said that he had instructed the Cabinet to consider giving thousands of metric tonnes of rice, worth millions of rupees imported by the previous govt to be used as animal feed as they were not suitable for human consumption. more..