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Three cooks in a budget soup

Jan 20 (ST) A joke doing the rounds in SL is that the only remaining part of Minister Ravi Karunanayake’s 2016 budget speech is “Honourable Speaker …Everything else has been amended, changed or suspended … at least a large part. That’s not all … consider the confusion. Gazette notifications or Treasury circulars – two processes that provide legal validity to tax proposals – are yet to be issued amidst some taxes being collected which technically could be challenged in a court. more..

School admission scam & The Royal fiasco

Jan 20 (SO) In an education system that's rigged with corruption and cronyism, the culture of brown-nosing becomes a costly competition. Eventually the highest bidder wins. In the wake of shocking transfers of several school principals over allegations of corruption and bribery, authoritative sources at AG's Department and the Ministry of Education have made startling revelations that the school admission scams more..

Sports Minister goes overboard

Jan 20 (DN) The way things are shaping up for the national cricket team before an important Cricket World Cup is certainly not good thanks to the Minister of Sport Dayasiri Jayasekera. We respect the Minister on whatever decision he takes but in this instance it seems that he has jumped the gun and taken it upon himself to report to the FCID to investigate a case of alleged match-fixing that involved two national cricketers - Kusal Perera and Rangana Herath, when there was a more..

One captain policy should be carefully weighed

Jan 20 (DN) The news that Sri Lanka Cricket is going to revert to one captain to lead the country in all three formats - Tests, ODIs and T20Is is something that should not be rushed but needs careful thought before decisions are made. At present we have two captains for the three formats - Angelo Mathews for Tests and ODIs and Lasith Malinga for T20Is. Is the SLC trying to stir up a hornet nest by attempting to replace Malinga from the T20 captaincy as it appears to be? more..

Software to match fingerprints alters investigations in Sri Lanka

Jan 20 (LM) Fingerprint identification is one of the oldest forms of biometrics and is often considered reliable because of the uniqueness of fingerprints and easy availability. In Sri Lanka, fingerprints have been used by investigation agencies since 1908. But a major challenge was that since they were searching through a manual system with naked eye, that judicial and police investigators took up to 4 weeks to submit a report. more..

Video: Second stage of Jan 8 conspiracy is now underway: Amarasekera

Jan 20 (AD) The second stage of the January 08, 2015 conspiracy is now underway, Convener of the Jathika Emamuthuwa Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekera says. The observation was made at a press conference held in Colombo this afternoon (19). Amarasekera stressed that to fulfill the needs of the western countries, the Government is about to formulate a new Constitution. “But, the western countries don’t seek a constitutional change. They want something else,” said Amarasekera. more..

Letters of appointment to Sunday Hindu school teachers

Jan 20 (CT) A ceremony to mark the handing over of letters of appointment to teachers assigned to Sunday Hindu religious schools (Araneri Padasalai) in Alayadivembu Divisional Secretariat area was held at the Auditorium of the Hindu Mamanram housed in Alayadivembu on Saturday. The ceremony presided over by the President of the Hindu Mamanram V. Chandrasekeram was attended by the Tamil National Alliance MP for Digamadulla District Kaveenthran Kodeeswaran, more..

I will save country from drug menace: Prez

Jan 20 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says he would save the country and the people from the drug menace, ignoring the income received by the govt from the sale of drug and tobacco. He was speaking at the concluding ceremony of the series of the programs of the 4th phase of the Drug Free Country, National Program for Drug Prevention held today (19) at the National Youth Services Council in Maharagama. more..

Need for knowledge not know-it-alls

Jan 20 (CT) If you take cricket in Australia, when their cricket is down they always recover fast and get on the top of the lists be it Test or ODI. Their experience in the international arena is taken seriously and put into use and it happens fast. Experimenting with their coaches has always brought in very good results. They carry on whatever they do keeping minds of players free. The matter with things going wrong far too often with Sri Lanka's cricket is their lesser experience more..

Fresh by-elections when MPs cross over

Jan 20 (CT) The Public Representations Committee on Constitutional Reform has mooted a by-election in any electorate in which the sitting Member of Parliament crosses over to another political party, abandoning the Party through which he was elected to Parliament. Lal Wijenayake, Chairman of the Public Representations Committee on Constitutional Reform says the issue of electoral reforms and the question of crossovers would be addressed in the new Constitution, especially in the case of more..

'ETCA not detrimental to Lankan interests'

Jan 20 (DN) Indo Lanka Economic and Technical Co-operation Agreement (ETCA) which is to be inked mid this year will not have any negative impacts to Sri Lanka, Minister Malik Samarawickrama said. Govt responsible for the economic development will not do any thing that will be detrimental to the country. “We will not rush this and will seek views of Business Chambers, business community, professions & opposition MPs.” more..

SriLankan Airlines expects late delivery of A350 Airbus’ due to financial crisis

Jan 20 (ST) Debt-ridden SriLankan Airlines, bidding farewell to its last and the oldest A340-300 aircraft which has been in operation for more than two decades in the fleet, says it is delaying the delivery of an order of eight A350-900 aircrafts from Airbus until its acute financial position is sorted out. In view of the financial situation, the delivery of the eight A350-900 aircrafts will take longer than planned, said Suren Ratwatte, CEO of SriLankan Airlines. Mr. Ratwatte made these comments to more..

South Korea’s construction giant Kunyoung enters Sri Lanka

Jan 20 (DN) Leading Korean construction and real estate company Kunyoung Engineering and Construction entered Sri Lanka launching Kunyoung Ceylon (Pvt) Ltd. Kunyoung Ceylon, which comes under the umbrella of one of South Korea’s spearheads in construction and engineering having contributed significantly to the rapid development of South Korea and aims to do the same for Sri Lanka’s ambitious development plans. It also unveiled Amorium, Kunyoung’s eco-friendly more..

'LG polls likely in June'

Jan 20 (DM) Local Govt elections will be held in June after sorting out the grievances of all stakeholders with regard to the recommendations of the National De-Limitation Commission, Minister Faizer Musthapha said. He said the LG elections were postponed under the powers vested in him by Local Govt Act. The minister said the five-member committee appointed by him to look into the grievances by a cross section of society more..

Lankan paddlers prepare for SAF TT

Jan 20 (DN) The 12th South Asian Games Table Tennis Championships 2016 will be conducted at Jawahalal Nehru Sports Complex, Indoor Hall, Shillong India from 6 to 10 February. Sri Lanka Men's team comprise: Udaya Ranasinghe, Rohan Sirisena (captain), Nirmala Jayasinghe, Chameera Ginige, Prasad de Silva, Dishantha Tennekoon (standby). Sri Lanka Women's team: Ishara Madurai (captain), Ruvini Kannangara, Erandi Warusawithana, Hansani Piumila, more..

TRC revises mobile call, SMS rates

Jan 20 (DN) Telecom Regulatory Commission (TRC) has introduced a new common floor rate for the Sri Lanka telecom industry. This will be with effect from Feb 1. “The idea is to set a new minimum rate creating a level playing field for all operators,” an official from the TRC said. “It will enable small time operators also to be competitive.” Under the circular issued by TRC, Short Messages (SMS’) will be increased from current cents 10 to 20. In addition call charges within same network more..

Blackmailer on the loose on FB

Jan 20 (CT) Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya ordered the CID to launch a probe into an organized gang which is alleged to be earning millions of rupees in hush money through a Facebook scam whereby nude photographs and videos of selected men have been taken prior to them being threatened with exposure on Facebook if the demanded sum was not paid. Head of the computer division of CID told Court more..

Avant Garde withdraws writ petition

Jan 20 (DN) A writ petition filed by Avant Garde and its director retired Major Nissanka Senadhipathi seeking an order directing the Colombo District Secretary to issue the relevant licenses pertaining to 91 repeater and bore guns for 2016 was withdrawn before the Court of Appeal by the petitioners yesterday. The Counsel appearing for the petitioners informed Court that the petitioners have already received the relevant licenses and thereby they want to withdraw the case. more..

Rajitha responds to allegations

Jan 20 (DN) Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said if his relatives are at SAITM, the best thing he could do is to demand the govt to take over SAITM. "One of my younger brothers was at the Ragama (then private) Medical Faculty and I opposed it. He later got a better and well recognised degree because it was taken over by the govt," Dr. Senaratne said issuing a special statement on SAITM. Minister said a cordial discussion was held at Temple Trees between GMOA and govt more..

'British HC trains FCID to attain personal agenda'

Jan 20 (DM) NFF Leader MP Wimal Weerawansa yesterday charged that the FCID officials were being trained by the British High Commission in Colombo to hunt down the politicians who are against the agenda of the Britain. He made these remarks while delivering a speech under the theme The end of the motherland’s journey. He said British HC was facilitating and conducting lectures to the FCID officials in groups on how to make more..

SL’s stockmarket crime buster objects to new CLDC CEO

Jan 20 (ST) Sri Lanka’s top stockmarket crime buster has raised issue over the appointment of the new CEO to Colombo Land and Development Company (CLDC) citing serious conflicts of interest issues. In a letter to SEC Chairman Thilak Karunaratne, K. Vignarajah says that Vasula Premawardhana, who has been appointed as the CEO of CLDC, is also a director of several companies in the George Steuarts Group, Citrus Leisure, owned by Dilith Jayaweera more..

Transfer of Investigation Bureau chief: Customs DG denies union claims

Jan 20 (DN) Customs Department Director General Chulananda Perera strongly denied claims by unionists that the transfer of S.A.D. Subasinghe who heads the Central Investigation Bureau was in connection with the Rs. 1 billion vehicle fraud scam. "I am baffled as to why the transfer of this individual is being tainted as a dismissal when in fact the decision to re-shuffle him and another director was done in consultation with the unions," he said. Perera added that Customs was grateful to more..

Emergency SLFP Central Committee meeting to avert split

Jan 20 (DN) SLFP will convene an urgent Central Committee meeting this week to discuss measures to prevent a possible split in the party, party sources said. At the same time, the SLFP will organize district level meetings across the country from today where its Local Govt representatives will pledge their unconditional support to the party. The first meetings will be held in Kandy and Gampaha. The move comes in the wake of statements more..

Editorial: Cost of web mania

Jan 20 (Island) About 60% of public employees of all grades waste at least two hours on Facebook etc a day during working hours, a state sector trade union has revealed. They mostly use their mobile phones for surfing the Internet, we are told. Anecdotal evidence suggests that most of the executive grade public workers disport themselves in surfing the net and playing games on their official computers. Trade unions in this country specialise in making all sorts demands and staging pickets, cacanny, more..

The Constitution imbrogli

Jan 20 (Island) Govt has promised a new Constitution in the New Year. It was only last year that the current Constitution was updated. Although the project was announced with much fanfare in the wake of victory, it fizzled out unceremoniously, leaving behind a makeshift document. Presumably, it is that fiasco which has prompted the rulers to usher in New Year with the promise of a brand new Constitution. In doing so, it would be wise for them to reflect on what put paid to last year’s effort. more..

Constitution making: A flawed process

Jan 20 (Island) Resolution on the making of a Constitution for our country, moved in Parliament by PM on 9th Jan, has given rise to public debate on a wide range of issues which need to be addressed in earnest if the professed objectives are to be attained. I. Causes for Concern: (a) Absence of Cabinet Approval. Incredible as it may seem, the 6-page Resolution, setting out in detail Govt’s plans for drafting a Basic Law intended to more..

'There is no draft'

Jan 20 (DM) Dailymirror was in conversation with MP Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne PC on the recent changes in formulating a new Constitution. As well as pointing out the advantages of such a process he clarified several allegations that have arisen with regard to the process. Q: Did the Constitution come up because of a conducive political environment or was it the need of the hour irrespective of any political change? more..

Houses at Rs. 2 m each for N&E displaced

Jan 20 (ST) A Govt-led initiative to build 65,000 houses for the displaced in the N&E has run into controversy. Civil society groups are questioning the estimated cost of each house—a steep Rs. 2.1 million—and the fast-track process by which a builder was selected out of several bidders. The displaced will have no say over the type of house they are to receive with little or no room for modification according to individual needs. more..

Controversy behind Abhayarama exposed

Jan 20 (SL) Ven. Muruttettuwe Ananda Thero, the Chief Incumbent of the much talked about and highly politicized Buddhist temple in the country, Sri Abayaramaya in Narahenpita, is accused of being dishonest despite being a Buddhist monk who is expected to follow noble values. Controversy also surrounds the manner that Ven. Ananda Thero was appointed as the chief incumbent of the Temple. more..

Police water cannon FSP protest rally

Jan 20 (CT) Police yesterday used water cannons to disperse members of FSP who were on their way to the Presidential Secretariat to protest the prolonged detention of their leader Kumar Gunaratnam. Media Spokesman for FSP, Pubudu Jayagoda said that govt is using water cannons to disperse activists demanding the most basic of rights under a democracy, which is the right to engage in politics. more..

BASL blamed for being silent

Jan 20 (Island) Criminal lawyer Hemantha Warnakulasuriya, PC claimed that an attempt by the police to cover up alleged killing of a father of one in Embilipitiya had failed due to relentless media coverage of the event. The media onslaught thwarted a determined police effort to claim a brutal killing as a suicide. Warnakulasuriya emphasised that the failure on the part of IGP N. K. Illangakoon to act swiftly and decisively in the wake of more..

Time till March 17 for amendments

Jan 20 (DM) Supreme Court granted time till March 17 to the fisher-folk to amend their petition seeking the Court to cease the activities of the Colombo Port City Development Project. Ceylon Fisher-folk Trade Union and its President N.A.R. Fernando in their petition cited the Attorney General, Sri Lanka Ports Authority, Director General of Coast Conservation and Coastal Management, Central Environmental Authority, more..

PM showcases landmark changes in the country at Davos forum

Jan 20 (WEF) A new era has dawned in SL. Peace has been consolidated after a bloody 30-year civil conflict. Country’s 67-year old democracy has been reinforced after a dramatic, peaceful and people-led political transition in January 2015. We’re prioritizing business-friendly policies so that we can take advantage of today’s peace to build a thriving economy. SL is strategically placed to benefit from a changing global marketplace. more..

LG polls: Joint Opp pledges support for Mahinda loyalists

Jan 20 (Island) UPFA MP Prasanna Ranatunga declared that the SLFP- Joint Opposition would campaign at the forthcoming local govt polls for those local govt members who had been with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa since the last president polls. He emphasised that they would throw their weight behind them even if they contested under a different symbol. SLFPer said that it was their responsibility to ensure more..

Teachers & Docs join IUSF in protest rallies

Jan 20 (CT) IUSF will be embarking on continuous satyagrahas in front of medical faculties from Jan 21, onwards over the controversy surrounding SAITM students being given clinical training in State hospitals. Convener of IUSF, Lahiru Weerasekara said that President Sirisena not only had to make a clear statement with regards to the matter, as he during his tenure as the Minister of Health, had acknowledged that more..

The silent revolution of green financing

Jan 20 (DM) In our editorial yesterday, Daily Mirror focused on the need to give the highest priority to poverty alleviation through structural changes and an inclusive, eco-friendly economic development programme to bring about a just society. Just how unjust society is, was exposed on Monday when Oxfam one of the most respected international social justice movement - reported that the world’s 62 richest billionaires owned as much wealth as the poorer half of the world’s population. more..

Law prohibiting killing of pregnant cows not enforced

Jan 20 (Island) Chairperson of the Swarna Boptiya Foundation, Swarana Bopitiya, has complained to the District Court of Colombo that the laws which prohibit the killing of Pregnant cows are not being implemented in Sri Lanka. The plaintiff has cited as defendants the Minister of Justice, Wijeyadasa Rajapakse and the Attorney General. The plaintiff has requested the court to order the Minister of Justice to implement the law which prohibits the killing of pregnant cows. more..

Minister Karunarathna Paranawithana

Minister bemoans lack of talent in govt institutions

Jan 20 (Island) There aren't enough people with talent in the govt service and it has become an issue in implementing projects of the govt, Minister Champika Ranawaka, said while delivering the keynote address at Italy-SL Business Council of Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, on Monday. "I know this personally as I experienced this when I was the minister of power and energy. There had been a significant number of qualified engineers in the CEB some years ago, but when I took over more..

Fisheries Minister invites Indian politicians to see destruction

Jan 20 (FT) Minister Mahinda Amaraweera has invited the Indian politicians to witness the destructions caused by Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan waters. At a meeting held at the Fisheries Market Complex at Peliyagoda recently, Minister has pointed out that the method of bottom trawling adopted by Indian fishermen not only impacts their way of sustenance adversely but also destroys the whole seabed. During his recent visit in the northern peninsula, Minister said the foremost more..