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Govt has no mandate to sign CEPA: JVP

Jan 24 (CG) JVP insisted that Govt has no mandate to sign the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with India. JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake said that past govts had attempted to sign the agreement with India but could not do so owing to several protests. He says now the current govt is also attempting to sign the agreement without having the mandate from the public. He said that CEPA agreement has not been backed by Sri Lankans in the past as it does not favour SL. more..

Emerson reflects on Murali controversy

Jan 24 (CG) 17 years ago to the day, standing at square leg during the 1999 one-day series between Sri Lanka and England at the Adelaide Oval, umpire Ross Emerson no-balled Muttiah Muralidaran for chucking. There had been an ominous air of expectation as Murali took the ball in the 18th over — Emerson had called him before during the 1995-96 tour. Channel’s Nine’s Tony Greig set the mood: “Right, well this is more..

EPF & ETF: Should or shouldn’t they be merged into a separate institution?

Jan 25 (CT) In a recent live television discussion on ITN, the President of the Ceylon Bank Employees Union, also known as CBEU, made a very strong case against the proposed merger of the Employees Provident Fund or EPF and Employees Trust Fund or ETF into a separate board and taking EPF fund management away from the Central Bank. Proposal to merge them had been made by PM Wickremesinghe in the Economic Policy Statement or EPS delivered in Parliament last year. more..

A special day to remember Sugitharajah and why he was murdered

Jan 25 (CT) Sri Lanka’s calendar is full of reminiscences from the bloody years. January is a month to remember the targeted killings of journalists under the previous govt’s supervision. Impunity for these crimes against democracy prevails. In February attention is on independence, which opened up the doors for ethnical strife, in May it’s the end of the war, in Black July the race riots against Tamils, ​​and in November Tamil families remember their dead guerrillas. more..

Shivarasa cries his heart out

Jan 25 (CT) At the time the country was undergoing a period of civil unrest. Bombs exploded every now and then and hundreds of people died. A delay in a second could cost lives. Therefore, everybody from common man to highest citizen used to live suspecting everything because anything could be a bomb. The security at the ceremony held in Polonnaruwa had been tightened in view of the visit of the Minister of more..

Dispelling gathering storm clouds over SL

Jan 25 (ST) As former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa emerged smiling into television cameras this week following summons issued by Presidential Commission on Serious Fraud et al (PRECIFAC), his jibes were clear. So there were rogues in our time he said, ‘…there were rogues in the past as well and rogues also, in the present.’ The storm clouds that are gathering amidst rumors of a new Rajapaksa political grouping may not be directly over us as yet. more..

Govt opens Pandora’s Box and sets free Mahinda’s power broking hopes again

Jan 25 (ST) In ordinary times, local govt elections elicit about as much excitement as a donkey race would rouse at Royal Ascot. This year’s scheduled polls would have been held and the elected declared councillors with the general public only taking a passing interest in its outcome as in years past. It is the lowest level of govt and in terms of public interest comes way down the line as evidenced by its low voter turnout. But with the Govt’s decision to abolish the 38-year-old constitution more..

'Govt has let us down and we are losing faith in them'

Jan 25 (SL) NPC member M.K. Shivajilingam said President had made a pledge to conduct an independent investigation with regard to the missing persons and alleged war crimes. However he claims the President has changed his stance and has gone back on his word by saying that foreign judges and prosecutors should not be involved in an investigation into allegations of war crimes. This is a clear violation of the trust more..

Wasting Premier Cricket on bad surfaces

Jan 25 (CT) This week my column's focus will be back on domestic cricket and what aspects need to be concentrated on. After the rather dismal showing in New Zealand and the controversy surrounding the tour naturally the topic and attention of the fans around the world is the National cricket team. Also, with a new committee in place, elected on the 3 Jan 2016, the burning topic or the issue will be improving domestic cricket! I am sure past greats and administrators as well as more..

Sri Lanka: Another new hub?

Jan 25 (CT) Sri Lanka has been dubbed South Asia's hub for diverse reasons the main being its geographical position in the Indian Ocean. Named as the Pearl of the Indian Ocean, this Thrice Blessed Land was a traders' hub from ancient times. In modern times, successive govts have outlined in their future economic vision for this country that Sri Lanka is a potential shipping hub, an aviation hub, a financial hub, among a host of others, notwithstanding that, Colombo, capital of hub, more..

Satana: Sirasa TV

Team performance and commercial values not related

Jan 25 (DN) Ten Sports Taj Television CEO Rajesh Sethi said that performance and commercial values were not related to each other when they assess teams. Tomorrow Zimbabwe can be the no 1 team but the commercial value of that team won't increase. Winning and losing and commercial aspects are not linked, its not linear, he said. Replying to a question how his company rated teams when they had their highs and lows, Sethi said, The right spirit of partnership is that more..

Editorial: Kings and development

Jan 25 (Island) Political leaders, on ego trips, under successive govts have made vital decisions on the country’s development projects according to their whims and fancies. They have even built political dams and political tunnels against expert advice. In the late 1980s, a pithy slogan was used by the JVP to mobilise the resentful youth in its subversive campaign. It meant that Colombo was getting milk or the best of everything and the villages had to settle for the common vegetable, kekiri more..

Back door appointments killing SOEs

Jan 25 (SO) Sri Lanka is at a critical economic juncture, weighed down by monster enterprises; unprofitable, debt-ridden State-owned enterprises (SOEs), which need constant bailouts. Analysts say SL may need to take a cue from China to prevent its economy from convalescing from this bad cold. PM attending World Economic Forum in Davos, said some harsh home truths, which spoke directly to those who operate these enterprises. more..

Key to Sri Lanka’s success

Jan 25 (AN) It is not easy for societies riven by internal disagreements or mistrust to draft a democratic constitution, especially to replace the existing one. And that too after a deadly ethnic war, the trauma of which still remains fresh in peoples’ memory. As SL, despite its continuing sociopolitical polarization, embark on a constitution re-writing journey shortly, the leadership needs to be reminded that for a constitution to be lastingly effective it must not only be framed for the future, more..

UAE, Sri Lanka promote MEASA investments

Jan 25 (KT) Essa Kazim, governor of Dubai International Financial Centre, or DIFC, welcomed a high-profile Sri Lankan delegation led by Finance Minister, Ravi Karunanayake. The discussions held as part of the visit sought to reinforce business ties and investment relations between Sri Lanka and Dubai. As part of the knowledge sharing session, the DIFC team provided an overview of the centre's value proposition, and showcased unique dynamics of Dubai's financial services industry. more..

Economy overheating says SCB economist

Jan 25 (FT) Putting Sri Lanka’s fiscal consolidation in order has to be the foremost priority of the Govt in 2016 if policymakers are to stave off a possible downgrading on the country’s sovereign rating, prevent overheating and put the economy on a sustainable path, according to top analysts. A group of Standard Chartered Bank analysts presenting global, Asian and SL prospects for the New Year unified the challenges more..

Vgo launches in Colombo, invites beta users

Jan 25 (FT) The transport and logistics industry is in a phase of dramatic transformation. The increasing use of GPS for fleet tracking and the fast growth of smartphone usage have brought service providers and customers closer, making it easier than ever to offer fast, efficient and cost-effective solutions for moving people and goods. Traditional players in the industry—most notably taxi operators—are being challenged by these disruptive new entrants to the market. more..

ULCCs boost Port of Colombo volume

Jan 25 (FT) Colombo International Container Terminals Ltd. (CICT) has set another milestone by closing 2015 with an impressive 1.561 million TEUs, with the ULCC (Ultra Large Container Carrier) and VLCC (Very large Container Carrier) segments making a 67% contribution to this volume. CICT is the first and currently the only deep water terminal in South Asia equipped with facilities to handle the largest vessels afloat. The Port of Colombo ended 2015 with an impressive 5.185 million TEUs, more..

Destroying blood ivory message loud & clear

Jan 25 (DN) Destroying the largest consignment of blood ivory confiscated by Customs would send the right message to illegal fauna and flora racketeers loud and clear: Sri Lanka does not tolerate smuggling rackets. Wildlife activists and protection authorities alike hope that this would deter any future smugglers from using the country as a transit point. On Inte'l Customs Day (26) Customs will destroy more than 359 African more..

SL govt to publicly destroy blood ivory

Jan 25 (Island) A much-talked-about forfeited blood ivory in 2012 will be destroyed at Galle Face Green under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremasinghe tomorrow (26). For this historical occasion, President Sirisena invited the Secretary General John Scanlon of the Convention on International Trade on Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES). Scanlon will be the first Sec. Gen. of the CITES to visit to Sri Lanka and perhaps the South Asian Region. more..

New legislation, regulation for tourism

Jan 25 (ST) The government is gearing up to introduce new legislation and regulation to ensure the industry operates in line with today’s traveller requirements.Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) Director General Malraj Kiriella said at the Sunday Times Business Club meeting held at The Kingsbury on Tuesday that they would be strengthening legislation and regulations in relation to providing new guielines to prevent any negative impacts on the tourism industry. more..

President promises to resolve unemployment in North and East

Jan 25 (FT) President Maithripala Sirisena declared open the newly built apparel factory of the Hirdaramani group at Puthukkudiyiruppu in the former conflict zone in the North. Speaking at the event President Sirisena said the future of the country is with the youth and the country can be built with their strength, utilizing their energy and ensuring their democratic rights to build the nation. President said govt is set to more..

Lifting Iranian sanctions brews well for Ceylon Tea

Jan 25 (ST) US ending economic sanctions on Iran is eyed with optimism by the Sri Lankan tea industry which noted that this could boost prices in future and create avenues to directly deal with banks between the two countries. Sri Lankan tea industry had been awaiting this move by the US for a long time that could allow the two countries to carry out banking directly between them and reduce the delays in transferring payments for tea exports, Tea Exporters Association Chairman Rohan Fernando more..

Abu Dhabi hotel builds fun facility for orphans

Jan 25 (KT) Spending around Dh100,000, Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel and Resort has built a multi-purpose recreational facility for the children of Kalamusu Kadella Children's Home in Sri Lanka. A team of three employees from the Sheraton were to board a flight to Sri Lanka to meet the boys and girls of the Kalamusu Kadella orphanage. Rui Maroto, Director of Engineering Jorge Guisasola, Director of Guest Service and Judith Pasztor Duffy, Director of Marketing at Sheraton Abu Dhabi will spend more..

'Progress of sports impeded due to sports club conflicts'

Jan 25 (DN) The progress of every game and sport of the country is hampered due to the various types of clashes and rivalries within sports clubs and institutions, Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara said. He made this observation while participating at a ceremony to lay the foundation stone for the proposed Rs. 225 million project to construct the Galle District Sports Complex at Dadella, Galle on Saturday. more..

German bridge of peace for SL Tamils

Jan 25 (DC) Strange are the ways time moves in the digital age. The past could as much be a window to the future as the present in recreating trust. Just when Maithripala Sirisena-Ranil Wickramesinghe current dispensation in Sri Lanka has taken the first steps for drawing up a new Constitution, raising hopes for a lasting peace to the long-suffering and embattled SL Tamils, Immanuel Kant, 18th century German philosopher and a great find of the European Enlightenment age, more..

Army stun Tamil Union to win T-20 C'ship

Jan 25 (Island) Underdogs Army SC came up with an outstanding all-round performance to win the Inter-Club T-20 Championship beating Tamil Union by five wickets in the finals at R. Premadasa Stadium yesterday. Chasing a target of 166, Army’s number three batsman Asela Gunaratne anchored the innings with an unbeaten 65 and with three overs to spare Janith Silva brought up the winning runs by lofting Suranga Lakmal for a six to complete a comprehensive victory. more..

JVP vows to derail pact with India

Jan 25 (Island) The JVP fired the first salvo against the proposed Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) between India and Sri Lanka. It said the govt had no mandate to enter into such a pact at the expense of the country’s economy. JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake, said his party would do everything in its power to prevent the govt from inking the ETCA with India. "We will rally the people against it besides more..

Thonda devours 40 buses

Jan 25 (LT) Former cabinet Minister of Rajapaksa regime Arumugam Thondaman has been accused of deceitfully selling 40 Tata City Ryder type buses worth Rs.80 million and using the money for his personal benefit. The buses were donated by Indian government for the welfare of estate worker community. The 40 buses had been donated on two occasions in 2008 on a request made to then Indian PM Manmohan Singh to be used for the welfare of the estate worker community. more..

Man deported from Oman arrested at BIA

Jan 25 (CG) A Tamil youth has been arrested at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) by the CID after being deported from Oman, the police media unit said today. The police said that the 25 year old youth is a resident of Kilinochchi and was arrested yesterday after he arrived at the Katunayake airport on being deported from Oman. The youth was detained in Oman while attempting to travel to Italy on a forged visa. He is to be produced before the Negombo Magistrate today. more..

N’chcholai to add all 900 MW to national grid

Jan 25 (Island) Norochcholai Coal Power Plant (NCPP) would add 900MW of electricity to the national grid this week, Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said. On completing the last phase of the NCPP, full capacity of 900mw would be trapped under the ministry’s National Electrification Programme of Ratama Eliyai-Andura Duralai (A Brighter Country- Banishing Darkness). NCPP would aim to produce 5,300 million watts in 2016. more..

'Govt to establish 5,000 factories islandwide'

Jan 25 (DN) The govt will embark on a programme to establish 5,000 factories islandwide with the aim of creating one million jobs within the next five years. An effort spearheaded by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is underway to woo several multi-national companies, including ones from the Asian region to set up business here, said State Minister for International Trade Sujeeva Senasinghe. Already, around 16 prominent global firms have voiced interest in investing in several sectors. more..

Invest in East 2016

Jan 25 (CT) Eastern Provincial Council has finalized all plans to host for the second time the Invest in East -2016 an international investment promotion forum which focuses on the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka on 28 to 29 Jan. Eastern Province Chief Minister Naseer Ahamed explained the back drop to the forum and the objectives and other related details. Chief Minister explained the Invest in East - 2016 is to be held in the backdrop of a new business - friendly regime being elected by more..

Damayanthi Jayaratne fleeing: PRECIFAC to grill Internal Affairs Secy over

Jan 25 (CT) The PRECIFAC will question Secretary to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, J.J. Ratnasiri about Ministry Additional Secretary Damayanthi Jayaratne fleeing the country. At the time of leaving the country without permission, Jayaratne was wanted by the PRECIFAC for questioning with regards to her alleged involvement in the Avant Garde floating armoury deal and an incident involving dynamite. more..

CIABOC receives 4,794 complaints: More bribery cases pouring in since 2015

Jan 25 (CT) CIABOC has informed that it has to date received a total of 4,794 complaints since 2015. Director General of CIABOC, Dilrukshi Dias Wickremesinghe said that 4,541 were from last year while the balance 253 had been lodged in the past 20 days. Out of the total complaints, 1,365 are presently being investigated, she noted, adding that legal action had been taken against about 100 who had allegations of large scale bribery and corruption levelled against them. more..

Rakna Lanka settles defaulted income tax

Jan 25 (DN) Rakna Lanka paid Rs. 555 million of the total income tax in default to the Inland Revenue Department (IRD), Rakna Lanka Chairman Victor Samaraweera said. He said the IRD has already informed Rakna Lanka to pay another Rs. 42 million as fine for the defaulted tax since 2013. Rakna Lanka submitted a petition to the Inland Revenue Commissioner with regard to the fine. "The company had not paid income tax properly during the previous regime and if the fine is settled, more..

GMOA accuses govt of falling into Indian trap

Jan 25 (Island) The govt has lent credence to a non-existing human organ racket here and deprived the country of foreign exchange by imposing an ill-conceived, blanket ban on kidney transplant operations on foreigners in Sri Lanka, the GMOA says. GMOA Secretary Dr. Nalinda Herath said the end result of the govt ban served the purposes of Indian doctors and medical industry to block a large number of Indians coming here more..

A salute for the slain tuskers

Jan 25 (DM) During the former regime, Sri Lanka earned worldwide notoriety for the multi-million dollar plunder and pillage of public wealth and resources by leading politicians, officials and their stooges. Tomorrow Sri Lanka will earn worldwide fame, when for the first time in Asia, if not the world, full State honours are given to majestic tuskers that are believed to have been slaughtered in Tanzania and their 359 tusks that were seized at the Colombo Port, while they were being smuggled, more..

Forthcoming LG elections give birth to a party- splitting season

Jan 25 (DM) With the on-going preparations of political parties for the forthcoming LG election the disunity among various groups in the SLFP seems to be intensifying. The imminence of the party splitting is being furthered by two factors- Mahinda Rajapaksa factor and the small parties within UPFA as well as those who contested under the UPFA during the Rajapaksa regime. The fear among hardcore Rajapkasa loyalists within the SLFP they would be sidelined when the lists of more..