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EDB partners SLINTEC to provide R&D access to exporters

Jan 15 (DN) Export Development Board (EDB) signed a memorandum of understanding with the Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology (SLINTEC) to enhance research and development access to Sri Lanka's exporters. EDB has provided space to SLINTEC to open a satellite office at their headquarters in Nawam Mawatha. In addition to the strategic and business development staff of SLINTEC being present on a regular basis at the EDB premises, SLINTEC will also conduct more..

Aim of all investments is to build a better society: President

Jan 15 (PSL) Final objective of all investments of the govt is to build a better society, says President Maithripala Sirisena. Uncivilized and indecent behaviors in the society should not be allowed to be a problem for the future of the children, he added. Govt is committed to build the future of the children of the country in a safer way, he said. President made these remarks at annual Kepakaru scholarship award ceremony more..

Cyprus invites airline, shipping sector to increase ties

Jan 15 (DN) Cyprus and Sri Lankan trade can be aggressively promoted to a higher-level as both countries have not looked at this area seriously so far, Cyprus' High Commissioner to SL, Demetrios Theophylactou said. He said that Cyprus has found natural gas deposits like in Sri Lanka and are looking to share the Sri Lankan experience in this area. "In addition Cyprus is an island and is strong in the shipping area. This is another area we can promote and we will also look at both more..

Thaipongal festival will lead the way to genuine co-existence: President

Jan 15 (PMD) Thaipongal is a festive occasion that signifies the everlasting relationship between human beings and nature, states President Maithripala Sirisena in his Thaipongal Message to the Hindus of Sri Lanka. As this festival is very close to the hearts of our fellow people, just like a boiling milk pot that overflows on this day, let the love of humans towards each other pour out and may the illuminated lamps lighten up to dispel darkness and lead the way to genuine co-existence, he added. more..

Businesses in quandary after tax deferment

Jan 15 (EN) Sri Lanka's business are wondering what to do after collecting value added and a turnover tax new, based on a notice from the revenue authorities after the finance ministry said yesterday that the higher rates would be deferred. Companies that collected taxes at higher rates are wondering whether they should be refunded and those that paid lower rates are wondering whether extra taxes should now be paid, business sources said. more..

Uber launches new budget version in SL

Jan 15 (LBO) Uber, a global ride sharing company in over 340 cities in 60 countries, launched its more economical version, UberGO in Colombo, Thursday. UberGO operates with smaller hatchback vehicles like Suzuki Altos and Tata Nanos and is the second product option after uberX and is more economical, a statement said. “We are thrilled to announce that uberGO will be available in Colombo,” Varun Mundkur, Senior Launcher, Uber said. “Uber has a simple goal – to provide safe, reliable, more..

TDAP lists 2,200 products for potential exports to Sri Lanka

Jan 15 (TN) Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) has prepared a list of 2,217 items for exports under the facility of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Sri Lanka. These items have potential to be exported to Sri Lanka having zero percent Customs duty agreed under the free market access to Sri Lanka, Rabiya Javeri Agha, secretary of the TDAP, said this week. She is now in Colombo, Sri Lanka to attend a three-day Pakistan Single Country Exhibition starting from Jan 15. more..

Video: Laws to control Buddhist monks will fail: BBS

Jan 15 (DM) The activities of certain monks who support political leaders seeking benefits have a negative impact on the entire Buddhist mission, Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera said today. “We are facing these problems because of not taking the right decision at the right time, a point which has not been understood by our political leaders,” Thera said. As a Buddhist organisation we urged the govt to establish a commission to more..

Hugo Swire’s speech in SL to the Council of Business with Britain

Jan 15 (NS) Honourable Deputy Minister Wickramaratne, Mr Shirendra Lawrence, Chairman of the Council for Business with Britain; Ladies and Gentlemen. It is an honour to address such a distinguished audience and I thank you for your warm welcome. I am delighted to be back in Sri Lanka. And I want to take this opportunity to share my thoughts on the exciting prospects for this country – and for the political and economic ties between Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom. more..

Central Bank Regional Office opens Sunday in Nuwara Eliya

Jan 15 (FT) The Central Bank will commence operations at its Regional Office in Nuwara Eliya on 17 January to further expand its regional presence to promote financial inclusion and to facilitate economic activities in the region. Nuwara Eliya Regional Office is to be declared open by the Governor of the Central Bank, Arjuna Mahendran, with the participation of the senior management of the Central Bank and senior officials of commercial banks and govt institutions. more..

Finance Ministry attitude angers President?

Jan 15 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena is reported to be perturbed over the Finance Ministry allegedly placing conditions for the allocation he sought for development work in the Polonnaruwa district. President submitted a Cabinet paper seeking financial allocations to execute the development projects in the district. However, it is learnt that the Finance Ministry has reportedly made some reservations about President's paper. more..

SL frees 55 fishermen after court acquittal

Jan 15 (ENS) Sri Lankan govt has handed over 55 Tamil Nadu fishermen arrested by the SL Navy to the Indian Embassy after they were released by a Lankan court. The fishermen were released because of the persistence of the Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. A total of 104 fishermen from Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Pudukottai and Ramanathapuram were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy. The Chief Minister had written letters to the PM Narendra Modi seeking their release. more..

Ban tells UNGA transfer of power in Sri Lanka was smooth

Jan 15 (CG) UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon told UN Genereal Assembly (UNGA) transfer of power in Sri Lanka last year following elections, was smooth. He mentioned SL during an annual informal briefing to UNGA yesterday. Ban began by declaring that 2016 must be a year in which landmark decisions on sustainable development “gain solid footing on the ground.” He said that in 2015 there were smooth transfers of power in Sri Lanka and Nigeria, and democratic gains in Myanmar and Tunisia. more..

Sri Lanka decides to withdraw embassies in Libya and Uganda

Jan 15 (ITN) Govt has decided to withdraw SL Embassies in Libya and Uganda. However, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said, Embassy in Iraq will not be shut down. He said some are averse to take up diplomatic positions in certain countries. Among these countries are Syria, Iraq and Libya. If so a diplomatic appointment has to be made. But they have decided not to take a decision with respect to Iraq as it is a country importing SL tea. more..

No jury for Vithya's rapist killers

Jan 15 (CT) Sivaloganathan Vithya rape cum murder probe is nearing completion and the Attorney General will now ask the Chief Justice to establish a trial- at- bar to hear the case, Minister of Justice, Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said. He added that this Special Court will not have a jury. "As soon as the investigation is over the AG will ask for a trial-at-bar. This is what the President also promised," he said. Rape and bloody murder of 18- year-old Sivaloganathan Vithya last year stirred up more..

UPFA former LG heads to form new party

Jan 15 (FT) A group of SLFP former Local Governments’ representatives yesterday revealed their aim to form a separate political party to contest upcoming Local Government polls, perhaps under former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Speaking at a media briefing the Federation of Local Govt Institutions’ Representatives said it would contest the next local Govt election under the blessing and maybe the leadership of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Royal billions in Dubai Bank unraveled

Jan 15 (DN) Appropriate legal measures will be taken in connection with the massive amounts of US dollars deposited in a Dubai Bank by a member of royal family during the previous regime soon after the details of transactions of those accounts is provided by FED in the US, said Minister Rajitha Senaratne. According to details US$ 1.086 billion are lying in one account which is owned by one member of previous govt's VVIP family. more..

Workers protest CPC privatization bid

Jan 15 (CT) A group of employees of CPC (Ceylon Petroleum Corporation) staged a protest during the lunch hour last afternoon. The protest was held to oppose alleged moves by the govt to privatize part of CPC. When contacted the President of SLFWU affiliated to the CPC, Bandula Saman Kumara had this to say. "Petroleum which was controlled by the private sector was taken over to the Sate sector back in 1961. Afterwards the CPC was nationalized systematically and back in 2003, more..

350,000 students are admitted to Grade One this year

Jan 15 (ITN) The admission of children for Grade One this year commenced today. The national ceremony was held at President’s College in Kotte. The national ceremony at the President’s College was held under the patronage of Minister Akila Viraj Kriyawasam. He said that a colossal sum has been allocated for education under the guidance of the President and the Prime Minister. He emphasized that no one would be permitted to swindle this money or take commissions. more..

British companies competing for £ 1 b in Sri Lankan investment

Jan 15 (FT) Britain is betting big on Sri Lanka with British companies competing for about one billion pounds in a range of industries and sending a multi-sectoral trade mission next month, said Minister of State for Asia at FCO and MP Hugo Swire. Political changes that have taken place in SL has opened up the space for more aggressive investment opportunities to foster economic growth in both countries and pave the way for more..

Editorial: The holy vs the unholy

Jan 15 (Island) An economic crisis is looming. Foreign reserves are dwindling and the rupee is tumbling. Educated youth are demanding jobs. Educational institutions, especially universities, are starved of funds. State-run hospitals are experiencing drug shortages. Cost of living has reached stratosphere with people struggling to make ends meet. There is no solution in sight for the ever worsening public transport problems. Crime rate continues to rise; killings are reported daily. more..

Thai pongal: Let’s decide to go green

Jan 15 (DM) For the first time after about 60 years, SL’s Tamil community and the main Tamil political parties are actively and sincerely cooperating with the national govt in multi-faceted moves for a just and fair resolution of the ethnic conflict. They hope to achieve this through truth-seeking, reconciliation, restitution and a commitment to interracial and inter religious unity in diversity. People of all religions and races will join the Hindu community comprising 1,552,518 or 7.1% of the population more..

Metered parking will transform Colombo

Jan 15 (ST) There will be more fee-charged parking spaces within Colombo city limits if a Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) digital parking meter project is successful. From July 1, 150 solar-powered parking meters are to be installed along Duplication Road from Galadari Roundabout towards the flyover bridge at Dehiwela and along the Galle Road from the Liberty Junction to Dharmarama Road, Wellawatte, more..

Balance sheet of the first year

Jan 15 (SL) The govt celebrated its first birthday with the country on Friday boasting they have laid the foundation for a new Sri Lanka in next few years. At the same time the JVP held a protest rally at Nugegoda demanding the govt to respect the mandate they received and to fulfill the aspirations of the people who voted for the change. Even though the JVP had not directly supported to the common candidate at more..

Our aim, to wipe out corruption: Ravi K

Jan 15 (FT) Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake says the govt’s intention is to root out corruption and frauds and channel money thus saved for the wellbeing of the country. He claims that the country had been a victim of rampant corruption and fraud over the past few years. The Minister’s comments came at a function held at the Finance Ministry this week to distribute library books among 31 schools in Colombo North under more..

Political settlement based on the Federal Idea in a New Sri Lanka

Jan 15 (DBS) The new year has dawned on a note of hope and optimism for Sri Lanka! On January 9th President Maithripala Sirisena is scheduled to present a resolution in Parliament that proposes to convert Parliament into a Constitutional Assembly. The envisaged Constitutional Assembly is different to the Constituent Assembly that drafted the 1972 Republican Constitution. more..

Editors Guild demands probe into police violating journalists’ rights

Jan 15 (Island) The Editors Guild of Sri Lanka has requested the Govt to hold an immediate and impartial inquiry into a police officer forcibly removing notebooks belomging to journalists covering the magisterial inquiry into the recent death of a 29-year-old youth under suspicious circumstances at Embilipitiya. The police action has violated media freedom, the constitutional rights of the journalists to practise their profession, and the right of more..

Theravada bill will give more clout to Mahanayakes: Minister

Jan 15 (DM) The proposed Theravada Bhikkhu Dialogue Bill does not aim at weakening the authority of the Buddha Sangha but to give legal authority to Mahanayakas of all chapters including the four main Nikayas to carry out punishments decreed after an inquiry by legal Sangha Sabha of each chapter, Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said. He said up to now there was no legal authority on Maha Sangha to carry out more..

Yahapalana govt decisions deeply riled Ven. Sobitha’

Jan 15 (Island) Prof. Sarath Wijesooriya has declared that Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera had been deeply disappointed at the time of his death by some of the decisions taken by the ruling UNP-SLFP coalition. Addressing two public meetings, Prof. Wijesooriya, of Sinhala Dept of Uni of Colombo, alleged that Ven. Sobitha had expressed disappointment at appointment of defeated candidates through National List. more..

Sand to be removed from Peacock mansion swimming pool

Jan 15 (DN) Police sources said that the swimming pool at the Peacock mansion filled with sea sand, will be cleared under Police protection on Monday. It will be cleared on the request made by Sri Lanka Labour Party leader and famous businessman A.S.P. Liyanage to the IGP. The Welikada Police will provide security to the Peacock mansion from today. When contacted A.S.P. Liyanage in connection with this issue, more..

Unemployment among educated women: To study or not to

Jan 15 (DN) Unemployment among the educated women in Sri Lanka continues to remain twice as high as that of educated men, as per the results of a survey carried out by SL's Labour Force for the third quarter of 2015. Unemployment rate of educated men is at 6%, whereas the unemployment rate of educated women is at 14.1%. Unemployment rate is the proportion of the unemployed population to the total labour force. more..

Pope accepts resignation of Bishop Rayappu Joseph

Jan 15 (RV) The Holy Father has accepted the resignation presented by Msgr. Joseph Rayappu, from the pastoral care of the Diocese of Mannar, in Sri Lanka, in accordance with canon 401 § 1 of the Code of Canon Law and has appointed Msgr. Joseph Kingsley Swampillai retired bishop of Trincopmalee, as Apostolic Administrator of the diocese of Mannar, Sri Lanka. Msgr. Joseph Swampillai was born on 9 Dec 1936 and more..

Finally law prevails & blood ivory saga comes to an end

Jan 15 (CT) After almost two and half years of attempts to rob the blood ivory stock, confiscated on May 2002, the customs has now been permitted to dispose the container load of the blood ivory stock. This priceless stock of ivory is now scheduled for destruction with the participation of representatives of CITES on 26th Jan 2016. People should not forget that this was made possible thanks to the unwavering commitment and will of many sons of mother Lanka, who fought tirelessly against more..

Presidential Commission on corruption wants more teeth

Jan 15 (DN) The Presidential Commission of Inquiry investigating into mass scale corruption and malpractices wants more teeth to the Commission to be more independent in their decisions without having them referred to the Attorney General for advice. It is learnt that the Commission is seeking more powers to be independent in their decisions without them being referred to the Attorney General on the grounds that four sitting judges are serving in the Commission. more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Bikkhu Vinaya; who should decide?

Jan 15 (DM) There are moves to bring in new laws to define what is kepa (permissible) and what is akepa (prohibited) for the Buddhist clergy, i.e. the Bikkhus. Whether or not this has been prompted by requests from the Buddhist Order as represented by the Maha Nayaka Theras of the three Nikayas, we do not know. In any event it is an initiative that resurrects the old discussion about the relationship between State and religion, whether the relevant institutions should operate independent more..

Thai Pongal message of the JVP

Jan 15 (LT) Today is Thai Pongal Day. According to Hindu calendar the New Year for the Hindu devotees commences today. Hindu devotees celebrate Thai Pongal Day to aspire for a new dawn for their lives and the work place and for a new beginning. The dawn of a new year is the beginning of new expectations. It is a moment when hopes to win challenges that could not be won as well as determination to solve issues that could not be solved get freshened up. more..

SL can gain from China's apparel exodus

Jan 15 (F2F) China's pain could be Sri Lanka's gain. The supply side of the SL apparel sector has a chance to grow following the exodus of apparel companies from China, an expert said at the Sri Lanka Economic Forum 2016. An initiative of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, the event was sponsored by George Soros, founder and Chairman, Open Society Foundations. “China is still about a third of the world's exports of apparel, and more..

GMOA threatens to sue Rajitha

Jan 15 (DM) GMOA warned it would take legal action against Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne and Ministry Secretary Anura Jayawickrama next week for permitting the Malabe Private Medical University to carry out clinical training at govt hospitals. GMOA Secretary Dr. Navin de Soysa said they were currently consulting legal opinion on this matter. He said that they had decided to take action against the minister because he had ignored the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) recommendations more..

Police brutality continues: AHRC

Jan 15 (CT) “It is the people’s security that is being threatened by actions such as the one that took place in Embilipitiya. People’s security is also being threatened at almost every police station, every day, when the police brutally assault people under the guise of conducting criminal investigations”, says the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC). Issuing a statement AHRC said; “The Govt has announced another attempt at constitution making in Sri Lanka which, this time is to begin, more..