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Shan Wijayalal De Silva

NPC Resolution: Federalism, Confederation or Separate state?

Apr 2 (CT) There is nothing wrong in proposing a viable federal system to Sri Lanka given the conflict context and its necessary resolution, in the short, the medium or the long term. In fact it is a must, unless it is stalled by adventurism. This means going beyond the existing devolution arrangements, already quasi-unitary in character. There can be other merits in expanding devolution towards federal or quasi-federal system, particularly taking the existing provinces as economic planning more..

Why not ask new IGP to catch these rogues, Mr. President?

Apr 2 (ST) At long last the President has come to the end of his tether. Finally it seems the message has hit home. The realisation has dawned that the impudent mischief of some members of his own party, working hand in glove with the leaders of one-man bands to create political instability and cause havoc in the body politic, can no longer be tolerated. Atrocious behaviour displayed sans a blush in the recent past has condemned the rebels beyond the pale of political rehabilitation. more..

Sri Lankans believe they are ahead on corruption in South Asia

May 2 (FT) Over 40% of people who participated in an opinion survey recently to identify public opinion on the level of bribery and corruption in SL believe that their country is ahead in the good governance battle when compared with regional neighbours. It was revealed that 41% of the 400 respondents believe that there is less bribery and corruption in Sri Lanka when compared with other countries in the Asian Region. more..

Govt launches Open Govt Partnership to promote good governance

May 2 (FT) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with the Open Govt Partnership held a launch to coincide the visit of the OGP officials in Sri Lanka. The event took place on 4 and 5 April at the BMICH over a period of one-and-a-half days. The launch which took place on 4 April evening was attended by senior officials of the govt ministries, civil society heads from Colombo and the regions and representatives of international development agencies. more..

Interview: Patrick Mendis

May 2 (TD) Patrick Mendis, a Rajawali senior fellow of the Kennedy School of Govt’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University, is the author of Peaceful War: How the Chinese Dream and American Destiny Create a Pacific New World Order (2014), Commercial Providence: The Secret Destiny of the American Empire (2010), and Trade for Peace (2009). He served as a Pentagon professor and U.S. diplomat during Clinton & Bush administrations, more..

'ICC supported proposed changes to SLC's governance structure'

May 2 (IC) Sidath Wettimuny, the former head of the interim committee governing Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), has said that the SLC constitution, which allows in excess of 140 entities to vote, has lent itself to huge politicization leading to unruly governance. Wettimuny-led interim committee was appointed in March 2015 and served until the current administration was elected earlier this year. "India, with 1.2 bil people, has only 46 votes more..

EWIS empowers UoM Dept of Computer Science and Engineering with R&D Centre

May 2 (FT) Sri Lanka’s only local Original Device Manufacturer (ODM), E-W Information Systems Ltd. launched a fully-equipped Research and Development Centre at the University of Moratuwa. EWIS-UoM Computer Products and Process Development Research Centre, located at the university premises will facilitate a partnership for knowledge sharing, the exchange of data, experience and technical equipment. This unique partnership will enable EWIS and the univ to more..

Southerners and Westerners dominate in Under19 Inter-Provincial Tourney

May 2 (DN) Southern Province U19 winning both matches comprehensively they played so far in the tournament against North Central and Eastern Provinces stood tall among all the teams competing in this tournament with two more games to play in their group. North Western Province other than Southern were the only outstation team that could remain unbeaten collecting first-innings points from the two matches they played against WP Central and Uva. more..

Thilanga jumps over ICC hurdle; next — cricket constitution

May 2 (ST) No English reader would ever say that they had not heard that famous call It’s A Bird… It’s A Plane… It’s Superman. Yes, we have lived with through our lives via comic strips and in the modern era, through pay channels with more than their fair share of re-runs also included – of course at a tidy cost. Yes, when I saw the banner headline last week screaming about the proposed Interim Committee with a cast that read as more..

Mobile and internet connections soar

May 2 (NS) Sri Lanka’s mobile telephone penetration (connections per 100 persons) stood at 116.3 by end 2015 while total internet connections grew by 20.5% during 2015, raising internet penetration to 19.5, the Central Bank’s 2015 Annual Report stated. According to the Report, the number of mobile telephone connections increased by 10.2% in 2015 largely supported by the rapid growth of 22.2% in mobile internet connections, while fixed internet connections grew by 12.6%. more..

Oceanic fish farm in Trincomalee

May 2 (SO) Sri Lanka needs to gear up its fisheries sector to increase harvest as the European Union ban on fish exports to Europe has been lifted. "Fish exports are anticipated to be around US $ 2.5 billion by 2020 and the govt will provide assistance to help the sector," Minister Daya Gamage told the guests at the launch of Round Island, the oceanic fish farm of Oceanpick (Pvt) Ltd in Trincomalee last week. Fish farm in the seas off Trincomalee brings new hope for Sri Lanka's fisheries sector. more..

Chava explosives: Key suspects flee to India

May 2 (Island) Investigations reveal that some of those wanted in connection with the chance detection of an explosive haul including a suicide vest at Chavakachcheri during the last week of March have fled to India. ASP Ruwan Gunasekera said that a person identified as S. Sivakaran arrested in Mannar on April 27 was believed to have helped the wanted persons escape. Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) more..

Rajitha to Oppn. : Forget elections till 2020

May 2 (Island) Minister Rajitha Senaratne yesterday said that the govt would not hold elections till 2020 and asked for the Opposition to abandon its plans to change the incumbent govt till then. "I am telling Mahinda Rajapaksa that our govt will not hold elections till 2020. So, you cannot topple the govt. In addition you need people with strong minds to topple the govt. There are no such people with you now. We are the ones who can effect regime change and, therefore, the Opposition will not be able to more..

Sri Lanka is intriguing: Areas to consider for value investing

May 2 (SA) Stock market discount and comparatively stronger trends of growth present in frontier Asia is intriguing, and a buy frontier, sell emerging approach is one of the most clear cut ways to prosper when investing in Asia. These trends, coupled with noteworthy political improvements, can be combined to create a strong value investing case. Sri Lanka is a strong frontier market in Asia that meets all of these requirements, yet is being relegated by many foreign investors. more..

Sri Lanka sets up panel to investigate Panama Papers

Apr 2 (AFP) Cash-strapped Sri Lanka announced Sunday it was setting up a special panel to chase after nationals likely to figure in the Panama Papers, a trove of leaked documents on global tax evasion. the govt, which came to power in January last year on a promise to clean up corruption, has accused former president Rajapakse & his family of siphoning off billions of dollars during his decade in power, a charge he has denied. more..

Across distant seas, Sri Lankans, Swedes explore cultural differences

May 2 (LBO) Sweden, a land of the ancient Vikings, perched in icy northern seas, is as far away from the tropical island of Sri Lanka as one can imagine. One would expect cultural differences when modern investors cross the oceans in search of trade and opportunities, and reach Sri Lanka — a strange place where people surprise you with sudden smiles. LBO spoke to Anna Liberg, the trade commissioner for Business Sweden in South Asia, and asked her this controversial question. more..

Serendib Horticulture to setup Pakistan Biotechnology Institute

May 2 (DN) A leading company in Karachchi has invited Serendib Horticulture Technologies, Sri Lanka’s leading horticulture and bio-technology company to assist in setting up Pakistan Biotechnology Institute (PBIT) in Karachchi. The main focus initially would be to initiate a horticulture project followed by a commercial tissue culture lab. This would be the first commercial tissue culture lab in Pakistan. The first step would be to set up a facility to nurture plants from Sri Lanka. more..

JVP calls for socialism and a political culture

May 2 (DM) Reiterating that the Capitalism has no answer to the people’s problems, JVP requested the people to rally together for socialism in the country and begin a new political culture in which the suppressed would be facilitated. The JVP May Day rally was held today with a massive crowd that entirely filled the BRC Grounds in Havelock Town. Addressing the crowd, JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said more..

Panama Papers: What is relevant to SL

May 2 (EN) Panama Papers will be available on the Internet from 11.30 p.m. on May 9. 1) So far, the documents are available only to some 370 journalists from over 40 news organisations going through the documents. After May 9, anyone should be able to access the information. The website of the International Coalition of Investigative Journalists can be accessed here: 2). The information that will be publicly available will relate more..

Samurdhi workers’ May Day rally held despite ban

May 2 (CT) It was extremely unfair to have banned the May Day rally organized by Samurdhi officers at the Apegama premises, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa told media that subsequent to coming in procession from Denzil Kobbekaduwa Mawatha with the participation of leaders of the Joint Opposition and leaders of Trade Unions. It was possible to see how a large crowd of thousands had gathered near the office of the Samurdhi Produce Association on Deniyawatte Road at Battaramulla more..

State institutions will be made profitable without privatisation: Ranil

May 2 (DM) The state institutions will be made profitable ventures without privatising them, said PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in his May Day address. He said these institutions would be placed under a Public Wealth Trust giving more and more benefits to the people at large. “These public properties will come under the Public Wealth Trust and be owned by the people. Value of this trust will be more than the total value of all blue chip more..

Audit Bill before Cabinet next Wednesday

May 2 (DN) The Audit Bill will be presented to the Cabinet next Wednesday, Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said. He was addressing a May Day rally organised by Republic Health Services Association at Punchi Borella. Audit Bill is one of the main election promises of President Maithripala Sirisena and his govt. The bill will empower the Audit Commission established under 19th Amendment. He said: “The workers’ movements should be spearheaded aiming at specific goals. more..

Injured Malinga out of action for 6 – 9 months

May 2 (ST) The Lankan panel of medical experts who studied the case of injured fast bowler Lasith Malinga is of the opinion that the cricketer would be out of action for at least six to nine months, according to secretary SLC, Mohan de Silva. Malinga, who is shrouded by a wall of controversy about the severity of his injury, was examined last week by a group of four top medical experts in the country. Earlier owing to Malinga’s attitude of picking and choosing tournaments, more..

Video: Galle rally gives a good boost: Prez

May 2 (AD) Gazette notification to recommence fish exports to EU countries will be issued tonight (1), President Maithripala Sirisena says. The observation was made while speaking at the May Day rally of the SLFP in Galle. President also went on to say it is vital to figure out reasons as to why some parties seek a federal solution to their issues, rather looking solutions for a federal solution. more..

Increased VAT in effect from today

May 2 (CT) Value Added Tax (VAT) which was at 11% will be increased to 15% from today, 2 May, as stated by the govt. The amendments to VAT which are being implemented by the govt according to recommendations of the Ministry of Finance, the govt declared last week will not affect electricity, water and education services. At the same time although VAT will not be charged from health services for pharmaceuticals, increase in VAT for Channelling Services in the private sector more..

Thirappane killing result of internecine warfare between underworld gangs

May 2 (Island) One of the three persons found shot dead in a car at Selestigama, Thirappane in Anuradhapura on Saturday afternoon has been identified as an underworld figure wanted for various crimes. The deceased had been identified as Sarath Bandara alias SF Banda (45), U. Saman Kumara (24) of Nochchiyagama and MG Pradeep Kumara (30) of Gintota, Galle, police said. They were found inside a car that had run off the road. The victims were killed execution style. more..

Treasury bonds: COPE calls for complete report from AG

May 2 (DN) COPE has called for a complete report from the Auditor General on the recent treasury bonds issuance of the Central Bank to study the controversy surrounding the issuance of treasury bonds on March 29. COPE Chairman and JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti said the investigations on the fresh allegations on the issuance of treasury bonds would start following the receipt of this report. Several parties raised concerns over more..

Parents, give priority to education

May 2 (DM) With political and other leaders reiterating their May Day pledges to restore the dignity of labour and the living standards of millions of workers, we hope that practical and effective steps would be taken from this week to fulfil those pledges by going beyond the bottle of liquor and the packet of lunch. To start at the beginning is a good place to start and that should be in the vital area of education where it is an issue of make or break for millions of young people who more..

Sinha in many facets

May 2 (DM) It was last week that the nation bid farewell to a legend – Dr. D.B. Nihalsingha, who created a vacuum not only in the film industry, but in academia as well. As it was widely claimed during his funeral days, Dr Nihalsingha was the first in many aspects. He created history by laying the foundation for many firsts not only in movies but also in various other fields. We heard many stories about his innovative contributions to the film industry through his involvement in Sathsamudura more..

What is happening now is what I said earlier: Attanayake

May 2 (DM) Former General Secretary of the UNP Tissa Attanayake said what is now happening in the North is what he had said earlier and which were not accepted by some. Speaking to media after visiting the newly appointed chief prelate of the Asgiriya chapter Most Venerable Sastrapathi Warakagoda Gnanarathana Thera, and obtaining his blessings, he said that the NPC had made certain proposals and after adopting more..

Its business as usual for all Chinese-funded projects

May 2 (ST) All Chinese-funded projects are now back on track and either completed or in the process of being completed, a senior Finance Ministry official said. Govt has a total of 28 projects funded predominantly by Chinese loans amounting to US$ 7.671 billion, the official said. They are spread among power and energy, roads and transportation, telecommunication, airport and aviation, port, irrigation and water sectors. more..

CEBEU warns Govt not to fish in troubled waters

May 2 (CT) The Ceylon Electricity Board Engineers Union (CEBEU) accused the recent move by the govt to separate into six outside units the right to regulatory licences for power generation, transmission and distribution which were in the possession of the CEB General Manager up to now, is an initial step towards privatization of the institution. CEBEU emphasizes that they will not hesitate to take maximum trade union action more..

Sajin Vass: Witness most corrupt

May 2 (SL) Should all crimes of a wharf clerk turned CEO Mihin be ignored just because he now turns state witness against the Rajapaksas? Sajin de Vass Gunawardena, former Monitoring MP, who stands accused of mass-scale fraud, unpaid loans, criminality and unfulfilled promises during the Rajapaksa regime, is back in the spotlight, this time for enjoying ministerial privileges from taxpayers hard-earned money more..

PM nod for CMTA drive

May 2 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has given the nod for The Ceylon Motor Traders’ Association (CMTA) proposal to base brand new vehicle valuation on manufacturer’s invoice value, said Gihan Pilapitiya, Chairman CMTA. The meeting with the premier which took place last week was very fruitful with several CMTA proposals receiving the green light, Pilapitiya said. He said for the last few months they had more..

Chava explosives haul: TNA should dissociate itself from LTTE: NPC

May 2 (Island) The National Peace Council (NPC) has urged the four-party TNA to dissociate itself from the LTTE and its acts of violence and terror. The request was made in the wake of the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) arresting suspended ITAK official identified as S. Sivakaran for allegedly helping some LTTE cadres wanted in connection with the recent Chavakachcheri explosives haul to escape to India. more..

Sri Lanka to abolish uncivilized exchange control law: Ravi

May 2 (EN) Sri Lanka will abolish its exchange control law to remove draconian provisions in line with other civilized nations, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. He said that a previous plan to create a new agency and set up an exchange management law had been abandoned. He said draconian exchange controls were not in line with best practices followed in civilized nations. Exchange controls are used by countries more..

MR predicts his arrest

May 2 (Island) Former President and Kurunegala District MP Mahinda Rajapaksa vowed to continue with the ongoing campaign against the govt regardless of consequences. He was addressing the Joint Opposition rally at Kirulapone. In spite of dire warnings by President Maithripla Sirisena, over 46 UPFA MPs joined the rally. MPs Vasudeva Nanayakkara and Shalinda Dissanayake were overseas and more..

SL's political numbers game at May Day

May 2 (EN) SL's political parties used this year's May Day rallies to demonstrate their strength in a spirited contest to woo audiences, but the real winner appears to be the state Transport Board (SLTB). Unlike in previous years, SLTB chartered some 3,800 busses for political rallies and all had to pay up front at commercial rates. "If May Day is celebrated on the first of every month, the SLTB will return to profit within a year," more..

Education, pharmaceutical drugs have been exempted

May 2 (DN) The present rate of Valued Added Tax (VAT) which stands at 11% which has been increased to 15% will be operative from tomorrow (2), Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. “Education and pharmaceutical drugs have been exempted from the expansion,” Minister said. “Medical care services provided by private hospitals will be liable for VAT. The same goes for telecom services,” he said. more..