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Sri Lanka, the second biggest used car importer from Japan

Jan 21 (Island) World's biggest used car auction, USS Logistics International Service Company, located in Yokohama, inspects vehicles that are exported from Japan to Sri Lanka in a major way. This is because Sri Lanka is the second largest used vehicle buyer from Japan after Malaysia. SL born Harsha Shaminda, attached to marketing division of USS Logistics International, said that his company is the biggest used vehicle auction in the world and enjoyed 30% of world's used vehicle market. more..

Fifth India-Sri Lanka Army to Army staff talks begin in New Delhi

Jan 21 (SLA) India-Sri Lanka Army to Army Staff Talks (AAST) which has been organized for the fifth consecutive time, began in New Delhi Wednesday (20) with the objective of further enhancing the existing defence cooperation between the two armies. The discussions will continue until Friday (22). The Sri Lankan military delegation, attending the AAST left on Tuesday (19) and is headed by Major General N.U.M.M.W. Senanayake, Military Secretary, Army Headquarters. more..

Govt sketches new Maritime City

Jan 21 (FT) Govt has sketched out a new Maritime City in its grand strategy to develop and convert the entire Western Province into a single Megapolis. According to Minister Champika Ranawaka, new Maritime City plan extends from Colombo Port to Wellawatte. As far as Chinese Port City project is concerned, he pointed that they had prepared a complete plan for the entire Maritime City & were now having discussions with them. more..

Norwegian firms keen on investing in SL

Jan 21 (EN) Norwegian companies are keen on investing in Sri Lanka and are happy with new govt’s liberal policies, Norway’s envoy said, noting that good governance and rule of law were important for investors. Thorbjourn Gaustadsaether, Ambassador of Norway to SL, said Norwegian firms were particularly interested in the oil and gas, shipping, renewable energy and fisheries sectors. “I have been contacted and informed by Norwegian companies of their interest to work in more..

Indian aircraft carrier visits Colombo

Jan 21 (EN) India, which is known to have opposed Chinese attack submarines calling at Sri Lankan ports, is sending its largest navy ship, the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, to Colombo Thursday on its maiden overseas port call. She will be accompanied by INS Mysore, a frontline missile destroyer made in India, on a transit visit during a voyage to take part in a fleet review being hosted by the Indian Navy. “The visit to Colombo by INS Vikramaditya is a manifestation of the close more..

Jayalalithaa seeks release of 6 fishermen

Jan 21 (ENS) CM J Jayalalithaa urged PM Narendra Modi to take steps for the immediate release of six fishermen arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy on Jan 17 and 19. She said the incidents are shocking when Tamil Nadu is eagerly awaiting the homecoming of the 104 fishermen whose release has been announced after several months of incarceration in SL Jails. In the latest incident, 3 fishermen in a mechanised boat more..

Cricket: PM says corruption claims must be probed

Jan 21 (AFP) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said Wednesday cricket match-fixing claims must be investigated out of fairness to the players and his country. Sri Lankan police questioned skipper Angelo Mathews the previous day as part of investigations into an attempt to bribe players to under-perform in a Test match against the West Indies. "All allegations have to be investigated in fairness to the players and in fairness to the Sri Lankan team and to Sri Lanka," PM said. more..

Mahinda refuses to talk politics at former Minister’s funeral

Jan 21 (FT) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa lashed out at reporters for asking inappropriate questions at the funeral of his former Minister and dissident, M.K.D.S. Gunewardane, who passed away on Tuesday. Former President paid his respects at the Gampaha residence of the late Minister and long time SLFP member. Asked by reporters upon his exit from the funeral if he was willing to forgive Gunewardane for his betrayal ahead of the Jan 2015 presidential election, more..

13th Amendment back in the limelight in SL

Jan 21 (Hindu) Even as SL is preparing to come up with a new Constitution with devolution as one of the key issues, 13th Amendment, which created provincial councils in the country, is again in the limelight. While former President Rajapaksa has argued that the proposed scheme of devolution should not exceed the terms of the amendment, with no to any merger of provinces and transfer of land and police powers to the Provincial Councils, more..

Maruti export to lebbs after duty changes

Jan 21 (BS) Maruti Suzuki’s export to Sri Lanka, its biggest foreign destination last year, is losing speed after an increase in import duty by the island nation two months earlier. Last year, Sri Lanka overtook Maruti’s hitherto top export markets of Chile and Philippines, after the government there had reduced the duty. The move acted as a stimulus for demand and India emerged a big beneficiary. “The pent-up demand following the duty relaxation last year has been served. more..

Video: New Constitution: Govt to consider JO recommendations: Amunugama

Jan 21 (AD) Maithripala Sirisena is the only President who stepped forward to take efforts in a bid to abolish the Executive Presidency, Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama says. He pointed out that though all the Presidents who came to power since the origin of Executive Presidency vowed to abolish it, only President Sirisena took practical steps in this regard. He said that Govt would consider the proposals and recommendations of the Joint Opposition when drafting new Constitution. more..

Bid to bribe cricketers: Possible foreign involvement too being probed

Jan 21 (Island) SLC and FCID inquiring into an alleged attempt to fix the Galle Test during the recently concluded West Indies tour are expected to inquire into the possibility of foreign involvement in the scam. Sri Lanka won the match by an innings and six runs. A close associate of fast bowling coach Anusha Samaranayake, Gayan Viswajith, who had been accused of offering Rs. 10 mn to wicketkeeper Kusal Janith Perera and more..

Minister M.K.A.D.S. Gunawardena's funeral with state honours

Jan 21 (DN) Funeral of Lands Minister M K A D S Gunawardena who died on Jan 19 will be held with full state honours at the Leelaratne Grounds, Kantale, on Jan 23 afternoon. Funeral arrangements were finalised at a meeting chaired by Trincomalee GA N A A Pushpakumara at the Kantale Divisional Secretariat with the participation of DIG Macarthy Perera on Jan 20. The remains of Gunawardena brought to Kantale on Jan 21 will be received by his relatives and people in the area more..

Foreign Fishing Vessels Act to be amended to fight poaching

Jan 21 (Island) The Attorney General informed the Supreme Court that the Cabinet had appointed a committee to amend the Foreign Fishing Vessels Act to make it more effective. The amended Act would provide for releasing fishermen and prosecuting the owners of the vessels which illegally entered the Sri Lankan waters. The encroachments caused massive losses to the fishing industry of Sri Lanka. Petitioners, Fisheries Cooperatives of Jaffna, Mannar and Kilinochchi had complained that more..

Video: 'I saw Sumith pushed off the building'

Jan 21 (DM) Shashika Munasinghe, widow of Sumith Munasinghe (29) who died after a controversial fall from a three-storey building in Embilipitiya two weeks ago, during a clash with the police said that she seen her husband being pushed off the building. Addressing a media briefing held in Maradana yesterday, she said that they were not at all satisfied with the way the police investigations were conducted. more..

Joint Opposition now unsure

Jan 21 (CT) Joint Opposition in Parliament has still not made a final decision on forming a new political party to contest the 2016 LG polls, UPFA MP Bandula Gunawardene said. He said that though certain parties in the Joint Opposition had made comments to that effect, a final decision on creating a new party was still far from being a foregone conclusion. UPFA MP stated that no discussions had so far taken place within the Joint Opposition on the need to form a new party though more..

Govt seeks consent of Karaka Sabhas

Jan 21 (DM) Cabinet decided to seek written approval of Karaka Sangha Sabhas, of all the Chapters to the proposed Theravada Bhikku Kathikavath Registration Bill tabled in Parliament. Bill received criticism from sections of the Maha Sangha, which called it an attempt to impose undue control over Buddhist monks in their activities. According to Govt bill was intended to register a discourse among the main Buddhist Chapters to enforce a code of discipline for monks. more..

Video: 'Will go ahead with Port City project'

Jan 21 (DM) Govt has decided to go ahead with several Chinese funded infrastructural projects, including the Port City Project, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe told foreign journalists in Davos. “We are going ahead with Chinese funded projects, including the Port City and the next phase of the Hambantota Port. China is an economic power in Asia and is ready to work on some development projects in Sri Lanka” he said. more..

Kanthoruwa, kanthoruwa mama wedakarana

Jan 21 (DM) Never in our history has any trade union leader criticized his members or at least mildly pointed out the injustices that are meted out to the general public by his members. Daily Mirror on Tuesday reported such a rare incident where the General Secretary of the Govt and Provincial Council Public Service Trade Union Federation Ajith. Thilakarathne had taken up an issue of wasting time by public sector employees with President Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. more..

Universal access to sexual and reproductive health

Jan 21 (DM) Sexual and reproductive health has been a sensitive issue that has been discussed over the years in Sri Lanka. Amid issues such as teenage pregnancies, sexual harassment, child abuse and other crimes increasing, many civil society groups have been instrumental in raising their voices against them. However, over the recent past there have been several instances where women and children have been subjected to the devastating consequences of violence. more..

MR-led political front: A Stir in hornet’s nest?

Jan 21 (DM) As the joint opposition virtually confirmed its plan for the establishment of a new political party under the leadership of former President Rajapaksa, SLFP seniors, stirred by the development, have made fresh efforts to engage with party leader President Maitripala Sirisena. Joint Opposition, even though consisting of a section of SLFP MPs, has made strides in the direction of forming a party to be registered more..

'Kathikawath Bill will have to be amended'

Jan 21 (Island) Speaking to The Island about the Theravada Bhikku Kathikawath (Registration) Bill which is now before parliament, Ven. Bellanwila Wimalarathana Thera, emphasised that the Mahanayake Theras and other senior monks had for many years been asking for legal authority to be conferred on the Kathikawath (internal rules of conduct for monks) of the three main Nikayas and the chapters thereof. more..

Dr. Nalaka Godahewa released on bail

Jan 21 (AD) The former SEC Chairman, Dr. Nalaka Godahewa, and two others arrested over a financial irregularity at Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), have been granted bail by Colombo High Court. Suspects were released on a cash bail of Rs.500,000 and two personal bails of Rs.5 million each. Dr. Godahewa was arrested by FCID on Dec 7 in connection with suspected misappropriation of Rs 5 million. more..

Calls grow for laws to grow ganja for medicinal purposes

Jan 21 (ST) Ayurveda Commissioner P.S.K.R. Weerakoon has called on the Govt to expedite measures to make cannabis cultivation legal as native medicine practitioners are finding it difficult to obtain the herb. He said that at present they obtained much of the cannabis, a key ingredient in Ayurveda concoctions, from courts. Last year, some 350 kg of cannabis produced in courts were sent to the department while more..

IPM funds wasted on foreign tours and tamashas?

Jan 21 (SL) The Institute of Personnel Management (IPM), which was once said to be the nation’s leader in human resources management, has allegedly been converted into a den of thieves. Founded in 1959 and incorporated by an Act of Parliament in 1976, IPM is a tax exempted institute engaged in professional education. However allegations are now being leveled that this tax immunity is being abused more..

Inteview with President Maithripala Sirisena

Jan 21 (FL) It was a Sunday afternoon, and the 64-year-old Maithripala Sirisena was in no mood to relax. He had a series of meetings earlier. After his appointment with Frontline in a hall of his official residence sporting the portraits of Marx, Lenin and Mahatma Gandhi, the President had some more meetings scheduled for the day. He appeared relaxed during his interaction with this correspondent, which was originally meant more..

President angered

Jan 21 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena ordered the Secretary to Ministry of Agriculture to meet him forthwith with all circulars which have been issued pertaining to fertilizer in the country. President's order came in a sequel to a complaint submitted to President at yesterday's Cabinet meeting, by Ministers Sarath Amunugama and Sajith Premadasa, about farmers in 62 areas in the country being unable to purchase fertilizer stocks. more..

Kidney surgeries for foreign nationals temporarily suspended

Jan 21 (DN) Kidney surgeries in private hospitals for foreign nationals have been temporarily suspended, with effect from today stated Director General of Health. Ministry of Health has launched a fresh investigation into the alleged kidney transplant racket operated from India. Department of Medical Services in the ministry has been instructed to conduct a full investigation on the matter and submit a report, more..

Video: PM assures Hambantota will not be a Chinese navy base

Jan 21 (CG) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe assured that the Hambantota port will not be made a Chinese navy base. Speaking to NDTV on the sidelines of WEF, he said that India was aware of the construction of the Hambantota port when the former Govt was in office. “Chinese Navy ships will not be based there,” he said. PM said that India or any country can also invest on the Hambantota port. more..

Sri Lanka above South Aian nations in talent

Jan 21 (Island) Sri Lanka has been ranked above other South Asian nations at number 83 globally on talent competitiveness, followed by India, Bangladesh and Pakistan placed 89th, 100th and 103rd, respectively, on a global index of talent competitiveness. Switzerland has been ranked number one globally on the annual Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) 2015-16 released at Davos, Switzerland on the sidelines of more..

Triumphant Trudeau

Jan 21 (CT) The year 2015 was eventful for both Sri Lanka and Canada. Both countries elected new leaders to take the nations forward, hopefully. The eventual winners were up against formidable contenders. The new winners promised radical departures from the status quo. Maithripala Sirisena and his combined coalition promulgated a manifesto titled A compassionate Maithri governance dubbed in the vernacular as Yahapalanaya. The immediate aftermath of this incredible victory more..

Is Constitution-making a closed-end process for Tamils?

Jan 21 (DM) We have read a plethora of reports appearing in the media on the shape and scope of the proposed new Constitution. The views expressed on the substance of the draft constitution by sections of the public, including the outlandish statement by a group of Buddhist organizations represent their personal or collective opinion or proposals. Aside, we may ignore the racist ranting by certain groups of freaks such as BBS and ESMP. However, when govt’s ministers and its more..

Secretary to PRECIFAC Lacille de Silva

Docs complain of acute shortage of cancer drugs

Jan 21 (Island) College of Oncologists yesterday blamed the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) for the acute shortage of drugs needed to treat patients at National Cancer Institute (NCI), Maharagama. President of College of Oncologists (CO), Dr. Mahendra Perera said that the delay had been caused by inefficiency on the part of officials at the NMRA. He added that there was a severe shortage of 12 types of special drugs required by the Cancer Institute. more..

President pays last respects to MKADS Gunawardana

Jan 21 (GDI) President Maithripala Sirisena paid his last respects to late Minister of Lands and senior member of SLFP M.K.A.D.S. Gunawardena, yesterday. President visited the late Minister’s residence in Gampaha and expressed his deep condolences to family members of Mr. M.K.A.D.S. Gunawardena. Mrs. Jayanthi Sirisena accompanied the President. Mr. Gunawardana was a longstanding member of the SLFP. He resigned from post of Deputy Minister in 2014, more..

Video: Action against doctors involved in kidney scam: Rajitha

Jan 21 (DM) Minister Rajitha Senaratne warned that the names of any SL surgeon found to be involved in the controversial kidney transplant scam would be struck off the Medical Register despite his or her social or professional status and added the findings of the report he had ordered would be forwarded to the CID for legal action. He said he called for a a thorough inquiry into the controversy from Director General Health Services more..

Sri Lanka national consumer price inflation 4.2-pct in December 2015

Jan 21 (EN) Sri Lanka’s consumer prices nation-wide rose 4.2% in December 2015 from a year ago, according to a new national price index compiled using prices collected from all nine provinces, the statistics department said. The National Consumer Price Index (NCPI), with 2013 as the base year, had risen 4.8% in November 2015. The December 2015 NCPI went up 1.1% from the month before. NCPI has been releasing monthly from October 2015 with a time lag of 21 days. more..

Franchise for Special Needs Groups

Jan 21 (CT) Elections monitoring body, PAFFREL, called for the setting up of a mechanism which would allow for groups with special needs and requirements to exercise their franchise with ease. Executive Director of PAFFREL, Rohana Hettiarachchi said that in amending the electoral system, it was essential that an electronic electoral system along with an advanced voting system which allowed for the electors within the country and overseas, who cannot go to polling station more..

Mahinda will back SLFP at LG polls SB

Jan 21 (Island) The SLFP would contest the next local govt polls under the UPFA with the support of President Maithripala Sirisena and former Presidents Mahinda Rajapaksa and Chandrika Kumaratunga, Minister S.B. Dissanayake said. He said President Sirisena had already agreed to lead the campaign as the Chairman of the SLFP led UPFA. Former Presidents Rajapaksa and Kumaratunga, as SLFP Advisers had more..

SLFP ministers hopeful MR won’t leave party

Jan 21 (Island) Former SLFP and ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa would never leave the party to form a new political front, Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama said yesterday. Addressing a press conference, Dr. Amunugama stressed that several key politicians including Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Wimal Weerawansa and Udaya Gammanpila had no political future if they couldn’t divide the SLFP and form a new political party with the support of former President Rajapaksa. more..