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Army Commander in a soup?

Jan 25 (SL) Army Commander Major General Chrishantha de Silva (A.W. J.C. De Silva) who was appointed as the 21st Commander of SL Army effective from Feb 22, 2015, is likely to face legal action for his alleged failure to cooperate with CID over the investigations into the disappearance of senior journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda. The CID, it is learnt, has sought AG's opinion to take action against De Silva and is waiting for AG’s more..

Vehicle registrations slow in December, Maruti down

Jan 25 (EN) Vehicle registrations slowed to 54,139 units in Dec 2015 from a high of 61,864 in Nov as a rush to buy cars before a tax hike eased. Motor car registrations fell to 7,177 units in December from 10,084 units. Indian made Maruti vehicles registrations fell to 3,882 units in Dec from 5,631 units in Nov. Maruti registrations peaked in Sept at 8,029. Vehicle registration started to pick up in the fourth quarter of 2014 more..

Talks with Iran for cheaper oil, but process may take time: Minister

Jan 25 (ST) Sri Lanka on Friday held talks with Iran to buy crude oil at lower prices but the process might take upto four months, Petroleum Resources Minister Chandima Weerakkody said. The possibility of Sri Lanka obtaining oil at lower prices from Iran, following the lifting of the international sanctions, may take three to four months in view of the increased competition in the world market for Iran’s oil, the minister said. more..

Massive fraud uncovered: Construction of wild elephant detention centre

Jan 25 (CT) Unconfirmed audit sources point to a plunder of timber in the Ritigala Forest in the guise of construction of an electric fence. Nearly 16 km of thick forest and 7 km of medium density forest has been cleared for the electric fence. No records are found about the valuable trees such as ebony and satinwood that were felled. Audits have questioned the removal of timber and whether it was done by either more..

Video: Witness in Embilipitiya case wants justice for Sumith

Jan 25 (AD) Anil Sanjeewa, who is said to be an eye witness of the incident in which Sumith Prasanna was killed during a clash with the police, appealed the IGP to hold an unbiased investigation into the case. Sanjeewa claims that he heard a conversation between several police officers that occurred soon after Sumith Prasanna sustained life-threatening injuries during the clash. “I was in 3rd floor. In fear of my life, I didn’t open the door more..

'Dollar will hit 160'

Jan 25 (DM) The Joint Opposition’s Economic Affairs Spokesman, MP Bandula Gunawardane said that people would be compelled to endure economic hardships in the form of rising price and the lack of employment opportunities in the new year. He said it would not bode well for the country, because of budgetary provisions. Q: What kind of impact do the 2016 budgetary proposals have on the country’s economy? more..

Video: Arrest warrant on Gnanasara Thera

Jan 25 (DM) A warrant has been issued by the Homagama Magistrate’s Court for the arrest of BBS General Secretary Ven. Galaboda Aththe Gnanasara Thera. The warrant was issued by Homagama Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake, on Monday afternoon. According the reporter, order was issued on the charges of allegedly threatening, Sandhya Eknaligoda, the wife of missing journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda, at the court premises. more..

'Bhikkhu dialogue was requested by Sangha'

Jan 25 (AM) Mahanayake of Asgiriya Chapter of Siyam Nikaya, Most Venerable Galagama Sri Aththadassi Thera, said in a statement that Theravada Bhikkhu Dialogue has been presented to the parliament as a result of a request made by Maha Nayaka Theras. Chief Prelate stated that goal of the dialogue was not to impose laws on Buddhist monks. “The bill was a result of a request made by Mahanayakes and Maha Sangha, from govt. more..

Sri Lanka seeks to attract private universities

Jan 25 (GT) Minister Lakshman Kiriella has appealed to resourceful educational entrepreneurs to explore the possibilities of setting up private universities for higher education in his country. Minister, who is on a brief visit Qatar to attend the anniversary celebrations of the Stafford International School (Sri Lankan School), said the present govt in Sri Lanka was committed to providing higher educational opportunities for more..

Sri Lanka: Fulfill rights council call for justice

Jan 25 (HRW) The Sri Lankan govt should fulfill its commitments to the UNHRC by ensuring that foreign judges and prosecutors play a significant role in the mandated accountability mechanism for wartime abuses, Human Rights Watch said today. On Jan 21, 2016, President Maithripala Sirisena told the BBC, contrary to SL’s council commitments, that he will never agree to international involvement, saying more..

Shares fall ahead of policy rate decision

Jan 25 (Reuters) Shares fell on Monday to snap a two-session winning streak ahead of the central bank's monetary policy decision later in the day and as investors worried over volatile global markets and rising returns on risk-free assets. Six out of 11 analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected the Central Bank of Sri Lanka to keep key policy rates steady, while the rest predicted a hike. The central bank is scheduled to announce its monetary policy rate decision at 1400 GMT on Monday. more..

Govt to publicly destroy blood ivory tomorrow

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

Gnanasara Thero

Transitional justice process needs to become more inclusive

Jan 25 (CT) A high level delegation of EU officials was in Sri Lanka last week to have meetings with a cross section of society prior to engaging in discussions with their counterparts in SL govt. When they met with civil society representatives they said that this was the first joint meeting on issues of human rights with the govt and saw this as a positive breakthrough. They also said that they had come to see what had been delivered by the govt in terms of the promises it had made. more..

Stewardess released for Namal Rajapaksa in unelected SriLankan Airlines union

Jan 25 (CT) SriLankan Airlines flight stewardess released for Namal Rajapaksa‘s work has been appointed as the new Assistant Secretary of the Flight Attendants Union. In an unprecedented move flight stewardess Nithya Samaranayaka, who was unable to describe the exact location where she worked to the Jayaratne/Weliamuna inquiry, except the fact that it was some location in Temple Trees, was named as the assistant to Secretary Lanka Kamalgoda of the FAU. more..

SL policy rates unchanged, credit still strong

Jan 25 (EN) Central bank said it is keeping policy rate corridor unchanged at 6% and 7.5% while private credit still grew. In November private credit grew 91 billion rupees, while state enterprises credit fell and the central govt also did not borrow after a sovereign bond sale, the Central Bank said. After raising the statutory reserve ratio by 1.5% to 7.5%, which economists and analysts said was an archaic tool that will more..

CCD summons ASP Liyanage

Jan 25 (DM) Businessman A.S.P. Liyanage said today he was summoned by Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) to record a statement in connection with the probe into complaint that gold had been hidden in his swimming pool. He said he was summoned to give a statement to the CCD tomorrow at 10 a.m. Earlier, Mr. Liyanage raised concerns that a hidden hand was preventing the police from acting on his complaint regarding reports that gold had been hidden more..

385 naval recruits pass out

Jan 25 (Island) Three hundred and eighty five naval recruits belonging to the 224th regular intake of the Sri Lanka Navy passed out at SLNS Shiksha in Poonewa on Friday (22). Addressing the gathering, Chief Guest, Rear Admiral Eric Jayakody said the Navy had an immense responsibility to protect the country. The battles fought by the Navy both at sea and on land as a professionally competent and technically efficient force had helped eliminate terrorism, he said. more..

Vehicle registrations slow in December

Jan 25 (EN) Vehicle registrations slowed to 54,139 units in Dec 2015 from a high of 61,864 in Nov as a rush to buy cars before a tax hike eased. Motor car registrations fell to 7,177 units in Dec from 10,084 units. Indian made Maruti vehicles registrations fell to 3,882 units in Dec from 5,631 units in Nov. Maruti registrations peaked in Sept at 8,029. Vehicle registration started to pick up in 4th quarter of 2014 as credit turned positive. more..

New buildings in Kotte should confirm to that Era: CM

Jan 25 (DM) The construction of new buildings, which do not clearly depict the identity of the country or the village should not be encouraged, because constructing them according to foreign plans will not portray our values and can sometimes become health hazards, Western Province Chief Minister Isura Devapriya said. He said all new constructions undertaken by the Western Provincial Council should be in accordance with the Kotte architectural designs. more..

ILO launches translated site to improve awareness of labour law

Jan 25 (Island) International Labour Organization (ILO) announced the addition of full Sinhala and Tamil translations of SL’s labour laws to the website in an effort to improve awareness of workers’ and employers’ rights and duties. Website, which is an initiative of the Wage Indicator Foundation, hosts detailed, easy-to-understand and well referenced information about SL’s labour laws while also providing career advice and comparative analysis of salaries on a sectoral basis. more..

Sports & Physical Health Promotion Week commences under patronage of President

Jan 25 (PMD) The inauguration ceremony of the Sports and Physical Health promotion programmes organized by the Ministry of Sports held under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat premises, today. Accordingly, it is expected to create an energetic, enthusiastic and healthy nation encompassing the adolescent, young, adult and senior social levels of the society more..

Fall in remittances could hit Sri Lanka economy: economist

Jan 25 (EN) A slowdown in remittances, Sri Lanka’s highest foreign exchange earner, because of troubles in the Middle East could hit the economy badly, an economist said. “Lower oil prices have an impact on remittances,” said Saman Kelegama, Executive Director of the Institute of Policy Studies, a think-tank. “Remittances account for nine percent of GDP and are the highest foreign exchange earner in Sri Lanka. A decline in remittances is going to hit the economy strongly.” more..

Ceylon Chamber moves to influence Sri Lanka economic strategy

Jan 25 (EN) Sri Lanka’s main business lobby, the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, is forming thought-leadership groups to made up of private sector and govt members in a bid to influence economic strategy. These National Agenda Committees (NACs) will “represent the country’s foremost insights on key strategic economic themes,” a statement said. The National Agenda Committees will be a set of multi-stakeholder groups functioning under the CCC, more..

I am fully committed to safeguard national security: President

Jan 25 (PMD) “Whatever abuses, insults and allegations directed to me, I am dedicated to make a similar commitment like the valiant war heroes who made sacrifices to bring about an ever lasting peace in the country”, says President Maithripala Sirisena. “Some narrow-minded political extremists are accusing me stating that I am trying to break the country into two parts by arresting the members of intelligent sections and more..

One of the six doctors is a member: GMOA

Jan 25 (DM) One of the six doctors suspected of being involved in the kidney transplant scandal is a member of the GMOA, Assistant Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge said yesterday. “This particular doctor, who is practicing in a Colombo hospital, is alleged to have been involved in the international kidney-selling scam. But, the allegations have not been proved nor have they been made by official or reliable sources,” he said. Dr. Aluthge said that in the wake of social media reports, more..

KPI system to streamline State Enterprises

Jan 25 (DN) National Policy and Economic Affairs Ministry Secretary M.I.M. Rafeek has issued a circular to all line Ministry Secretaries asking them to prepare and report their organisational Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for the first quarter of the year ending in April. Senior Advisor to the PM Charitha Ratwatte said that the concept of KPI has been introduced to all State-owned Enterprises (SOEs) as a way of effectively and practically implementing what is being said. more..

'Ministry will not intervene in admitting students'

Jan 25 (DM) Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam requested all govt school Principals not to send parents to him or to his secretary with requests for letters to admit their children to school. He said this at a ceremony held at Education Ministry, where each of the 140 schools, which had now started teaching A/L Science Subjects was granted Rs.2 million. Funds will be utilized to build new laboratories and other equipment. more..

Shiranthi Rajapaksa requests another date from PRECIFAC to give statement

Jan 25 (AM) Former first lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa, who was summoned to appear before the PRECIFAC, has requested for another date to appear before the commission. Her legal representative informed the Commission’s officials of her request. She was summoned to record a statement regarding an incident where a house belonging to National Housing Development Authority was handed over to her Media Secretary at less than the stipulated price. more..

'Concept of the State is not an absolute one'

Jan 25 (CT) The concept of the State is not an absolute one and neither is it sacred and holy, Attorney-at-Law, Lawrence Marcel Kumaran Arulanandam said. Sovereignty does not mean that Sri Lanka can do what it wants within the country, he explained. He added that in Sri Lanka, there was at present a clash of two concepts, sovereignty and the rule of law. Rule of law too is not a static concept but a developing one, he noted. Concept of a human family must be included in a Constitution, more..

Arrest warrant for Kolonnawa UC Chairman

Jan 25 (DN) Colombo Additional Magistrate Mohammed Mihal issued an arrest warrant on Kolonnawa Urban Council Chairman Ravindra Udayashantha and four others after failing to appear at the court for the Magisterial Inquiry on the alleged assault on protesters at Meetotamulla. A protest was launched on December 27, 2015, over the dumping of garbage at Meetotamulla. The protesters launched a Satyagraha later that evening. more..

Sri Lanka’s Rebirth

Jan 25 (PS) Sri Lanka has been deservedly praised for the progress it has made since the end of the war against the separatist Tamil Tigers in 2009. The economy has grown at an average annual rate of 6.7%, and education and health statistics are impressive. All developing countries face myriad challenges, but this is especially the case for a country that has suffered an intense 30-year civil war. The govt will need to set priorities; but success will require a comprehensive approach. more..

SL man found guilty of assaulting ex wife

Jan 25 (CG) A Sri Lankan man in the UK has been found guilty of assaulting his estranged wife and was handed a 12 months’ community order with a rehabilitation activity requirement for up to 40 days and 100 hours of unpaid work. The taxi driver burned his wedding photos after accusing his estranged wife of having an affair, a court heard. Suresh Chaminada De Alwis cast aspersions after looking at Facebook messages on Lisa Fisher’s phone, Bristol Crown Court heard. more..

Zeid urged to push SL to stick to UN commitment

Jan 25 (CG) UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid, has been urged to ensure that Sri Lanka will stick to its promise and fully implements all aspects of the UN Resolution on Sri Lanka without any exceptions. Global Tamil Forum (GTF), a leading Tamil diaspora group, said it was deeply concerned and disappointed by the recent comments of President Maithripala Sirisena (BBC, Jan 21) concerning more..

Former Rakna Lanka Chairman overseas while claiming he was in country

Jan 25 (DN) Former Rakna Lanka Chairman Major General Palitha Fernando had produced a fraudulent letter signed by a Notary to claim that he was in the country while he was overseas, Senior State Counsellor Janaka Bandara revealed at the PRECIFAC. Bandara submitted an Immigration and Emigration document to the Presidential Commission of Inquiry to certify that Fernando had been overseas on the day when this letter signed by a Notary had been written. more..

CCD to probe kidney racket

Jan 25 (DM) Police Chief N. K. Illangakoon has instructed the Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) to investigate the alleged kidney transplant racket at some private hospitals. Health Service Director General Palitha Maheepala wrote to Police Chief requesting that this matter be investigated. Dr. Maheepala said kidney transplants had now turned out to be a large scale racket. The IGP had directed the Western Province Senior DIG to conduct the investigations. more..

SL ranks 14 on global offshoring index 2016

Jan 25 (LBO) With many domestic and international companies investing heavily on the local IT/BPO and BPM offshoring industry thanks to its commercial attractiveness, access to skilled talent and a lucrative business environment coupled with the improving technology infrastructure, Sri Lanka now ranks in the 14th position on the 2016 A.T. Kearney Global Services Location Index (GSLI). The country moved up by two points more..

Reforms fundamental for accelerating higher education

Jan 26 (ST) Higher education has an important role in Sri Lanka’s economic and social development. The development of quality university and tertiary education that is at the pinnacle of the education pyramid is vital for the country to leap forward into a developed nation. The importance of education in the development process is widely recognized. It is impossible to conceive of a country attaining a high level of development without the support of a good educational system at more..

Chelva–Thanthai who pushed Tamil children over Vadukoddai cliff to Nandikadal

Jan 26 (CT) S.J.V. Chelvanayakam, the ideological father (Thanthai) of Vadukoddian violence, escaped death at the hands of Velupillai Prabhakaran – the merciless killer of Tamils — only because he died of natural causes. Had he lived a little longer he would have been eliminated by the very forces of violent politics he fathered in his Vadukoddai Resolution. He would have been gunned down along with his loyal deputy, Appapillai Amirthalingam – the Tamil political leader who was the Godfather to more..

'This is the best time for a new constitution'

Jan 26 (SL) The need for a new constitution has drawn criticism and praise by many quarters. According to UNP MP Hector Appuhamy, sometimes the govt does not reveal its real intention in certain matters and the media also reports on the negative aspect rather than the real intentions. “This is a shortcoming on the part of the government, and they should be more open,” he said. Appuhamy said media always focuses more..