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Sri Lanka aims to grab attention in Davos

Jan 20 (FT) Sri Lanka this week will make its first and important effort to grab attention in Switzerland's ski resort Davos, which will host global business and political leaders for the 2016 World Economic Forum. Encouraged by the invitation to PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to attend the Davos Forum, a first for a Sri Lanka political leader, the Govt and the private sector have joined hands to maximise the unprecedented opportunity. more..

Towards a new centrist convergence ?

Jan 20 (DM) The crucial and challengingly complex task facing Sri Lanka remains the resolution, or successful management and containment, of the ethno-national question. What is the National Question or Nationalities Question? It is one of our composite and politically contending collective identities. More fundamentally it entails the existential questions: What is SL and how can a better SL come into being? How must we structure the State in order to become Sri Lankan? more..

Ruwan’s Secretary quizzed by PRECIFAC

Jan 20 (CT) The PRECIFAC summoned Chaminda Perera, the Coordinating Secretary to former Minister Wimal Weerawansa and current State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene, to respond to an allegation of causing a loss of Rs 2 billion to the govt in the sale of 100 metric tonnes of dynamite ordered by the Defence Ministry of the previous regime. This stock of dynamite which has been ordered on the advice of former Additional Secretary to Ministry of Defence Damayanthi more..

SL to restart petroleum imports from Iran

Jan 20 (Xinhua) SL govt said that it will begin discussions on trade and petroleum sales with Iran next month after economic sanctions were lifted on the country last week. A high level delegation from Iran will be arriving in SL in Feb as Sri Lanka looks to re-commence petroleum and petrochemical sales to Sri Lanka. "We are entering the post sanction era, it is time to upgrade our bilateral relations, including economic relations. more..

Krrish deal tax breaks to be lowered

Jan 20 (EN) A mixed development project by India's Krrish group which ran into a controversy during the last regime can still go ahead but as a new project with tax incentives revised lower, an official said. "It came as a strategic investment that required certain undertakings from their part," Director General of Board of Investment, Duminda Ariyasinghe said. "Obviously some of them haven't been met. We are revising downwards the incentives that we offer." Krrish has submitted a fresh investment more..

India and SL to play T20 series in February

Jan 20 (CI) India and Sri Lanka are set to play a three-match T20 series, prior to the Asia Cup, as both teams look ahead to the World T20. The tour begins in Pune on Feb 9, then the teams head to Delhi to play the second match on Feb 12 and the final T20 will take place in Visakhapatnam on Feb 14. These matches will be the first time the two sides face each other in the shortest format since the final of the 2014 World Twenty20, which Sri Lanka won in April 2014. more..

ICC bans Jayananda Warnaweera

Jan 20 (AFP) The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Wednesday imposed a three-year ban on top Sri Lankan official Jayananda Warnaweera for failing to cooperate with an anti-corruption investigation. ICC said Warnaweera, a former Test player who was already facing a two-year domestic ban over allegations of involvement in match-fixing, had failed to attend interviews with its anti-corruption unit (ACU). more..

1,500 vehicles get declarations: Customs

Jan 20 (DM) About 1,500 vehicles would be cleared following declarations by the importers from the Hambantota Port, Customs Spokesman Leslie Gamini said today. The vehicles had been at the port awaiting declarations for clearance following the budget. “We have received 1,500 Customs declaration for the release of vehicles and about another 1,500 are waiting declarations,” he said. “Most of the vehicles were imported by commercial importers. more..

Govt says some missing people may have feld overseas

Jan 20 (CG) Govt says some people reported missing during or soon after the war may have gone overseas. Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said that when he was with the former Govt he had worked with the Foreign Ministry to seek information on people reported missing and believed to have been living in a foreign country. However Samarasinghe, who was Ministerof human rights under the Rajapaksa Govt, said that some foreign Govt’s refused to share information on Sri Lankans more..

Health Minister and GMOA issue contradictory statements

Jan 20 (Island) Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said that GMOA did not oppose the Private Medical Colleges, but wanted the private medical education standerdised. He said a GMOA delegation led by its President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya had met PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on Monday and he, too, had attended the discussion. "GMOA questioned the standards of Malabe PMC at the discussion, but they did not oppose it," more..

Principal, deputy principal of Pollonaruwa school nabbed

Jan 20 (CG) The principal, duty principal and an office assistant of a school in Pollonaruwa have been arrested by the CIABOC. Director, Investigations, Priyantha Chandrasiri said that they were arrested for accepting a bribe of Rs. 7500 inside the school. Chandrasiri said that the duty principal and office assistant of the school had obtained the bribe on behalf of the principal to admit a child to the school. He said that the arrest was made following investigations conducted on more..

Sri Lanka to call open tenders to purchase locomotives, power sets

Jan 20 (LBO) Transport Ministry is to call open tenders to purchase locomotives for Sri Lanka Railways allowing a German company to forward their bids, Deputy Minister Ashoka Abeysinghe said. The ministry wants to allow other bidders besides India to forward their bids in this regard. Cabinet last month approved a proposal to purchase 12 locomotives and 9 power sets to be operated in the upcountry line. “We told the German company who interested in this to forward their bids more..

TN Governor demands justice for war victims

Jan 20 (Hindu) Indian govt should prevail upon SL govt to take action against those who had committed crimes against Tamils in the last phase of the war, TN Govt K. Rosaiah demanded in the state Assembly. But the entire opposition parties staged a walkout alleging the ruling AIADMK govt had failed in all fronts and its failure to release water from Chembarambakkam Lake caused the flood in Chennai. more..

Lankans not welcome at Mirissa Bay Hotels

Jan 20 (DM) Several restaurants located in the Mirissa Bay have refused to serve food, beverages and provide accommodation to Sri Lankans because of their anti-social behavior, several customers complained. Based on complaints of discrimination by Sri Lankans who had visited these hotels, Daily Mirror contacted some of the hotel owners in Mirissa and they too confirmed that they were reluctant to serve Sri Lankans because of their unruly behaviour. “I and two of my friends were turned away more..

SC suspends Paddy Marketing Board GM

Jan 20 (DN) Supreme Court issued an interim order suspending the decision to appoint Saman Bandara to the post of General Manager of the Paddy Marketing Board until the final hearing and determination of a Fundamental Rights (FR) petition. Supreme Court three-judge-Bench comprising CJ K. Sripavan, Priyantha Jayawardena and Anil Goonaratne made this order consequent to a FR petition filed by Upul Perera the former Deputy General Manager of Paddy Marketing Board. more..

Video: Govt. trying to divert attention: GL

Jan 20 (DM) The move to introduce a new Constitution was an attempt to divert the people’s attention away so the Govt could establish a special war crime court as proposed by the UNHRC to probe alleged war crime charges and to hunt down armed forces personnel, G.L. Peiris said today. He said the govt had been given an ultimatum to execute UNHRC proposals and therefore, it would establish the war crimes court and introduce more..

Moratuwa Uni IT Faculty temporarily closed

Jan 20 (DN) IT Faculty at the University of Moratuwa has been temporarily closed since Monday barring IT students from entering the department or participating in academic activities over what the university cites as aggravated student protest over a ragging incident. VC Ananda Jayawardene said the university has been extremely tolerant of the student unions. However, a satyagraha conducted this past week, led them to believe that academic activities of other faculties could be hindered in process. more..

New fuel price formula for Cabinet approval

Jan 20 (DN) A new price formula for fuel will be presented in Cabinet for approval today, Minister Chandima Weerakkody stated. Last year the Minister announced that a formula will be introduced to formulate fuel prices as the country was in need to a proper method to calculate the prices. He further added that the implementation of the new price formula would be accepted by the public. Cabinet paper containing the pricing formula was presented to the Cabinet early this year. more..

IGP attempting to cover up Embilipitiya death and protect ASP: Attorney

Jan 20 (AD) IGP is attempting to cover up the Embilipitiya incident which resulted in the death of a youth and protect former ASP in charge of Embilipitiya, D.W.C. Dharmaratne, claims attorney representing the family of the victim. Attorney-at-law Vijitha Punchihewa said that since the incident occurred, Embilipitiya Police as well as several top officers of Police Dept are attempting to justify the incident and protect those responsible. more..

Nasheed didn’t meet MS or any other politician: FAM

Jan 20 (DM) Foreign Affairs Ministry denied reports of former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed meeting President Maithripala Sirisena or any other SL politicians. Ministry Spokesperson said Mr. Nasheed was only on transit in Sri Lanka while on his way to Britain for medical treatment. Several media reports earlier published a photograph showing President Sirisena and Mr. Nasheed together claiming they had met during Mr. Nasheed’s transit through Sri Lanka. more..

Duleep Mendis shocked by bribery claims

Jan 20 (MENAFN) Former SL cricket star Duleep Mendis has claimed that he has been 'completely taken by surprise' by the bribery allegations that have rocked his country's cricket scene over the past couple of days. 'I am totally shocked with what I am hearing. I don't yet know whether it's true or not and what the outcome will be like but I must say that I am completely taken by surprise' Mendis said. SLC suspended the national team's fast-bowling coach Anusha Samaranayake for two months and more..

All notices should be in all three languages

Jan 20 (DM) Laws would be strictly implemented against the public institutions, which do not display public notices in all three languages, Department of Official Languages said. Commissioner W.A. Jayawickrama said they had already informed all public institutes of the need to have notices in all three languages. “They generally have notices in Sinhala and English and in some places just in one language. more..

Constitutional changes: Muslim politicians’ indifference

Jan 21 (CT) Intense discussions have been underway ever since the government announced its decision to bring about constitutional changes. Numerous seminars, symposiums and open discussions were held by various interested groups from all communities to ensure their rights in the proposed constitution. Emphasizing the need to ensure the rights of all communities President said, “We must safeguard the rights of all communities, to prevent re-emergence of terrorism.” more..

Can constitutions make politicos or politicos destroy constitutions?

Jan 21 (SL) With the dubious reputation of producing periodicals in constitutional making rather than lasting constitutions, Sri Lanka is now all agog in producing another constitution - some say – that could provide the people with everlasting freedom and others predict damnation of all freedom. The paradox of Sri Lankan democracy and indeed of many modern democracies is that citizens, who hold contemporary politicians in greatest of contempt, entrust tasks such as making of constitutions more..

'UNP should not move away from rural bases'

Jan 21 (CT) UNP Kandy District MP Mayantha Dissanayake is a new entrant to Parliament and a young MP at 42 years of age. As the PM preaches of a new country for the youth, questions of whether he can let go of the reins in a new UNP Constitution remains to be answered. Will there be a new UNP for young UNPers? According to Dissanayake, politics is a game of patience. Q: When you initially joined the SLFP at the start more..

What’s wrong with SAITM

Jan 21 (CT) The debate about South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) appears to be heating up, at least at this late hour, with all the stakeholders throwing in their two cents worth. While I do not have any vested interests, except the interest of being a person who benefited from free education, let me throw in my two cents. As a preamble to my viewpoint on SAITM, let’s examine some of the arguments put forward by different factions who clearly have their own agendas. more..

When is religious impunity going to end?

Jan 21 (SL) What t provoked the title of this piece is a recent event to which I was witness when a man in saffron robes, a Buddhist priest I presume, jumped the queue at a major private hospital while several other obviously sick patients were waiting their turn to see a consultant who proved to be the epitome of professionalism and kindness. There we were, a handful of patients awaiting the arrival of the doctor we had chosen to see, with the first of our number already in the consultation room, more..

'SLFP is a watchman guarding Ranil’s govt'

Jan 21 (CT) Leader of NFF, MP Wimal Weerawansa expressed his views about the preparation of Joint Opposition in the forthcoming LG elections. He also clarified the stance of NFF on drafting a new Constitution. Q: You spoke of a new alliance to contest the coming local govt election. Can you elaborate on your role and the NFF's contribution towards this process? A: The necessity of a new front wasn't pointed out by us. more..

Duplicity of Northern resettlement: Is the hate campaign back?

Jan 21 (CT) The Head of BBS, Venerable Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thero, in a statement after meeting with President Sirisena admitted that the previous govt of President Mahinda Rajapaksa colonized the North with alien Sinhalese. He claimed that 4500 Sinhala families who were settled in Bogas wewa during the time of the previous govt are leaving the colonized area and going back to their original homes. The reason for their abandonment may be linked to their security concerns. more..

Crowd-sourcing a new constitution for Sri Lanka: Mind the gaps!

Jan 21 (GV) Sri Lanka wants to make a new Constitution in a radically different way. It is poised to become the first developing country in the world to crowd-source ideas for making the highest law of the land. That is all well and good – as long as the due process is followed, and that process has intellectual rigour, transparency and integrity. Therein lies the big challenge. PM outlined new constitution-making process as inclusive, transparent and in line with election pledges. more..

Uththareethara: Mathaka Watha

Wet Zone Mini-hydro projects destroying rain forests, says Rain-forest Protectors

Jan 21 (DN) Rain-forest Protectors in Sri Lanka, requested the relevant authorities to take immediate and corrective steps to stop the destruction which is taking place due to the rapidly spreading mini-hydro projects throughout the wet zone. They also urged that the national policy on renewable energy be focused on technologies that do not cause ecological destruction to vital catchment areas. According to the Rain-forest Protectors, the Anda Dola, a tributary of the Gin Ganga more..

Tamils surprised by Ranil’s speech

Jan 21 (CT) Some international media reported that, President's visit to Jaffna, during Thai Pongal festivals, was cancelled due to the pressure of radical Tamils. 'Amid widespread protests by Tamils, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena cancelled his scheduled visit to Tamil areas to celebrate the annual Hindu festival of Thai Pongal on 15 January. Elaborate arrangements were made to organize this festival, but at the last minute the President cancelled his visit and instead sent his PM more..

Saying no to change

Jan 21 (SO) In the backdrop of the government wanting to change the existing pension scheme, trade unions will discuss grievances with PM Ranil Wickremesinghe tomorrow (18) and will not resort to a strike action, Govt Combined Management Assistant Union Spokesperson Tissa Bandara said. "Discussions will centre on the change in the pension scheme for public servants and whether there is a need to change it," Bandara said. more..

Editorial: Unholy crab walk etc

Jan 21 (Island) No sooner had a Bill been presented to Parliament to discipline Buddhist monks than it was reported that some female MPs suffered sexual harassment at the hands of their male counterparts within the parliamentary premises. Minister Chandrani Bandara has undertaken to conduct an inquiry into the matter and submit its findings to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya. We bet our bottom dollar that nothing will come of the probe. In a country where mega bond scandals are swept under more..

Cassie: British Tuk Tuk Kella on a tour of SL

Jan 21 (Island) I met Cassie Trevis through Instagram after I posted a photo of a miniature trishaw given to me by my friend Mahishini Colonne, the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson. Cassie calls herself the Tuk Tuk Kella because of her fascination with the Tuk Tuks of Sri Lanka. She is also promoting Sri Lanka and she wants to work and live here and realise her Tuk Tuk dream. Later, we met for coffee and then she came on Pethikada hosted by me. This is her story for now. more..

Ministry formulating plans to facilitate low cost electricity to all

Jan 21 (DN) Each and every person desired low cost electricity and the Ministry was formulating plans to facilitate this. A new electricity meter which helped conserve electricity during peak hours of 6.30 pm to 10 pm was introduced recently to coincide with the first anniversary of President Sirisena’s assumption to office. We have now provided 98% electricity supplies to the country. Balance 2% is the most difficult part, more..

Commonwealth in final report says Sri Lanka polls democratic

Jan 21 (CG) Commonwealth election observers, in their final report on August 2015 Parliamentary elections, found that the election was democratic. Commonwealth Secretariat released the final report of the Commonwealth Observer Group to SL’s 2015 Parliamentary Elections. Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma made the observers’ findings public after they were sent to the Government, Commissioner of Elections and political parties following the elections. more..

NMRA defends its position

Jan 21 (Island) When contacted the NMRA said that it had approved medicines that were passed by Medical Regulatory Authorities in the UK, USA and other similar developed countries. "Where the drug is experimental and special, NMRA has requested for further information and is awaiting additional information," it said. It is widely known that cancer drugs are the most expensive group of drugs in a country’s medical budget. Sometimes 30% of a country’s medical budget has been spent more..

Fuel pricing formula ready but Ravi overseas

Jan 21 (Island) Minister Chandima Weerakkody said that his ministry had already prepared the new fuel pricing formula and sent it to Finance Ministry for recommendations. It was compulsory to get Finance Ministry recommendations before the formula was submitted for Cabinet approval. Minister Ravi Karunanayake was currently abroad and, therefore, govt was left with no alternative but to wait till the minister returned home more..