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Six-lane bridge to be constructed over Kelani River through Japan-Lanka JV

Aug 11 (FT) Govt yesterday decided to award a project to construct a new bridge over the Kelani River to a Japanese-Sri Lankan joint venture company.  Cabinet approved a proposal by Highways Minister Lakshman Kiriella to award the contract for the construction of the bridge to successful bidder SMCC-SANKEN JV, a joint venture between Sumitomo Mitsui Construction and Sanken Construction. In 2014 SL received a loan of JY 35,020 million from JICA for the project, more..

Ravi’s resignation interim step to criminal justice outcome: TISL

Aug 11 (Island) Transparency International SL welcomes resignation of Minister Ravi Karunanayake following allegations of wrongdoing that have emerged before Commission of Inquiry (CoI) on Bond Issuances. Whilst acknowledging that such actions emanate from public accountability, TISL is mindful that there exist allegations of several offences of bribery and corruption, which must be dealt with using the full strength of anti-corruption framework, not limited to the mandate of CoI. more..

Bond scam claims first Probe victim: Anger, pressure force Ravi’s resignation

Aug 11 (CT) The alleged Bond scam claimed its first high profile victim yesterday with Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake announcing his reluctant resignation at a tense Parliamentary session. In an emotion-charged speech in Parliament watched by many live ontelevision, Karunanayake said history will decide my place in Sri Lanka's political landscape before he left his front row seat to join Parliament's backbenchers. more..

Involve youth in decision-making processes

Aug 11 (DM) August 12 is International Youth day or IYD. It is a day set apart by the UN to celebrate the young people of our world and serves to remind us that the young people in our midst are often left out and excluded from decision-making processes that affect them. Ultimately, the lack of youth participation in important decisions is detrimental to all, regardless of age.   In Sri Lanka the non-inclusion of young people’s aspirations led to three armed youth uprisings because more..

People’s fate worse than that of Ravi

Aug 11 (DM) Why shouldn’t a Minister in SL receive a gift worth, may be Rs. 10 million from one of his friends?  In SL there are no laws or traditions or generally accepted ethical values that prevent a Minister from accepting such gifts. Then why did Minister Ravi Karunanayake tell the Presidential Commission inquiring into CB bond issue that he wouldn’t have accepted the penthouse, where his family resides now, had he known it was given to him by his long-time friend Arjun Aloysius? more..

'Sri Lanka was not prepared in signing FTA with India in 1998'

Aug 11 (DM) Leading industrialist and Chairman of Nature’s Secrets Samantha Kumarasinghe says that the present Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with India has left Sri Lanka at a loss. Therefore, he stresses that SL should be well prepared in advance before heading for any agreement with India. He shared the following thoughts.  Q: As an industrialist how do you look at trading with India? A: We have a FTA signed with India in 1998. more..

'Exact date of signing ETCA cannot be mentioned'

Aug 11 (DM) Ahead of the next round of talks on the Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) with India, Sri Lanka’s Chief Negotiator K.J. Weerasinghe said that he could not stipulate when the agreement could be signed exactly. However, Mr. Weerasinghe, who is also the Consultant to the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade, hinted that it might be at the end of this year or early 2018. more..

Who after Herath as SL's frontline spinner?

Aug 11 (CI) With Sri Lanka now desperately seeking a long-term replacement for Rangana Herath as the team's lead spinner, ESPNcricinfo weighs up their options, with inputs from national spin-bowling coach Piyal Wijetunge. Lakshan Sandakan: 26-year old left-arm wristspinner; Test record: Five Tests, 15 wickets at 31.93; First class: 203 wickets at 24.14 Having been among SL's most successful domestic more..

SL’s public finances strengthening: IMF

Aug 11 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s overall fiscal deficit decreased from 7 percent to 5.4% of GDP between 2015 and 2016, with public finances strengthening under an IMF supported program, the fund said releasing its country report. The budget deficit is projected to fall to 5.2% of GDP in 2017, although the figure is up from a previously budgeted 4.8%. Sri Lanka’s fiscal consolidation, considered key to improving macroeconomic fundamentals, more..

Murali’s father’s biscuits and Kandy make for tasty combination

Aug 11 (TOI) As he greets you with a smile at his biscuit factory, named Luckyland Biscuit Manufacturers, Sinnasamy Muthiah, with his big eyes and diminutive stature, immediately reminds you of someone you've grown up watching on TV. With one of his four sons being Test cricket's highest wicket-taker Muttiah Muralitharan, Sinnasamy Muthiah is a well-known man in Kandy. However, this 73-year-old seems to be unlike more..

Pruning of Samurdhi beneficiaries creates storm in parliament

Aug 11 (Island) Parliament sittings were suspended for about 25 minutes yesterday morning by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya following protests by joint opposition MPs who accused the govt of depriving low income families of their Samurdhi benefits. The Joint Opposition (JO) members, who were wearing black arm bands or scarves as a token of protest, displayed posters and shouted slogans against the govt. more..

SriLankan chief admits need to trim fat, but won’t say how

Aug 11 (ST) Suren Ratwatte, the chief executive of indebted, overstaffed, multi-billion rupee loss making Sri Lankan Airlines, has admitted having excess corporate fat, while sidestepping a question on how costs would be cut, in an interview with a US news broadcaster. Staff costs at the airline which employs 6,959 people, runs into billions and it has been awarding generous 13% annual salary increases in some cases. more..

Resignation, a reflection of new political culture: PM

Aug 11 (DN) Resignation of Minister Ravi Karunanayake reflects the new political culture which was brought about with the good governance govt, said PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in Parliament. He also said that he was proud of ushering in that tradition and culture in the country, making history. PM made these observations addressing Parliament soon after the statement made by Minister Karunanayake on his resignation. more..

UNPer to move no-faith motion against Musthapha

Aug 11 (CT) UNP MP Chaminda Wijesiri announced in Parliament yesterday that he would be bringing a No-Confidence Motion against the Minister Faiszer Musthapha. Soon after the Chief Government Whip, Minister Gayantha Karunatilake responded to questions on behalf of Minister Musthapha, due to the latter's absence, Wijesiri pointed out that Minister Musthapha was repeatedly absent from Parliament and more..

Whitewashing Bond Scam: Hedging deal & Greek bonds weren’t investigated: UNP

Aug 11 (AD) The UNP charges that investigations were not conducted into cases such as the hedging agreement or the Greek bonds during the previous tenure of the UPFA led govt. Deputy Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs Harsha De Silva said the former govt retained individuals in the state service defying recommendations of the Supreme Court that they were unsuitable to hold office. more..

World War 3 in the air?

Aug 11 (CT) North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un's threat of a preemptive strike on the US base Guam just hours ago at the time of writing, in what was broadly seen as a knee-jerk reaction to US President Donald Trump's threat to unleash power as never before seen in the world against North Korea for its aggressively dangerous development of the ICMB, has led to a flurry of meetings across the globe of national security councils, with Guamese and Philipinians bound to respond more..

Waiting – still – for Godot to come clean

Aug 11 (FT) Good things come to those who wait… as the actress said to the bishop. But all this making us wait for the inevitable end is the sublime descending into the ridiculous – as the bishop replied. In the end, the man went… as he could or should have long before it became ridiculous to keep us waiting. It would have been sublime if his head had rolled as a matter of principle at the first whiff of something unsavoury, rather than have him offer it as a sop to the baying hounds in the House.  more..

PM should be summoned to Bond Comm.

Road infrastructure should improve to implement move: LPBOA

Aug 11 (DM) The proposal by the govt to increase fines for seven traffic offences to Rs.25,000, which had received approval from the govt, could only be implemented if the roads and infrastructure in the country are developed according to international standards, LPBOA president Gemunu Wijeratne said. He said the decision taken by the govt to increase fines for certain traffic offences was a good one as it helps to increase road discipline amongst drivers and to deduce the road accidents. more..

Sri Lanka defaults to Iran rise despite readiness to pay

Aug 11 (EN) Sri Lanka has effectively defaulted payments to Iran in 2016 and 2017, during an IMF program, due to administrative difficulties despite being willing and ready to pay. A country with a program under an IMF program is not allowed to default on payment obligations, and repaying loans is a performance criteria or a mandatory condition, as maintaining creditworthiness is key to operating a budget and re-financing debt. SL had accumulated arrears of US$ 7 million by Dec 2016 more..

Is PM the mastermind of Bond Scam?

Priority Lane System in effect from the 15th

Aug 11 (NR) Priority Lane System will come into effect in Colombo from next Tuesday. Accordingly public transport services will be allocated a Priority Lane. The Priority Lane will be active from Moratuwa Cross Junction to Katubedda and from the Savoy Cinema to the Bambalapitiya Junction from 15th of Aug. Meanwhile the Priority Bus Lane will also be in operation from Katubedda Junction to Maliban Junction and Bambalapitiya Junction to Pittala Junction from 22nd of Aug. more..

Appeal filed by Vass G. fixed for support

Aug 11 (DN) The appeal petition filed by former DIG Vaas Gunawardena, his son, Ravindu Vaas Gunawardena and four police officers challenging Colombo High Court's judgment to convict them for committing the murder of millionaire businessman Mohamed Shyam, was fixed for support by the Supreme Court. SC three-judge-bench fixed the matter for support on Sept 6. Former DIG Vaas Gunawardena, his son, and four police officers were sentenced to death by the Colombo HC Trial more..

Battle against SAITM will continue: GMOA

Aug 11 (DM) GMOA said that their battle against SAITM could arise in a way that the govt had never imagined. GMOA Assistant Secretary Dr. Naveen de Soyza said that this battle would only ended up in victory and added that discussions were still underway with regard to the SAITM controversy. “A little silence of us cannot be regarded as that we have taken a step back from this battle. This battle will continue further. more..

Sri Lanka: The year so far

Aug 11 (ICRC) Sri Lanka suffered from devastating mudslides and floods, in May 2017, due to the heavy south-west monsoon rains. Working hard to help the thousands of displaced people, the ICRC supported the work of its national partner, the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society. In prison health-care updates, two pilot projects, launched in 2016, to bring about sustainable changes, were successfully implemented in 2017. A laboratory and three new consultation rooms were built in more..

Preview: Sri Lanka pin hopes on quicks to avoid whitewash

Aug 11 (CI) India have arrived at Pallekele, and oh my, a 22-yard carpet almost as lush and green as the surrounding hills has been rolled out before them. The track is likely to be shaved before the first ball is bowled on Saturday, but nevertheless, this one may be a unicorn of an Asian surface, where teams consider strapping three quicks to the plough. The visitors have thrashed Sri Lanka on a batting pitch. They have spanked Sri Lanka on a bone-dry turner. more..

Govt will not axe benefits of Samurdhi beneficiaries: President

Aug 11 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena emphasizes the govt will not cut off or reduce the benefits of the Samurdhi beneficiaries. He pointed out there are large number of people in the country who are eligible for the Samurdhi benefit but have not been granted them yet. He said therefore the govt will not cut off that benefit but will try to provide it to new applicants too. President was speaking at the ceremony to hand over 5000 deeds to more..

160 arrested for dumping garbage

Aug 11 (DM) Police said that 160 individuals were arrested for dumping garbage in an ad hoc manner during raids conducted on August 8 and 9. During the raids carried out in collaboration with the SL Army, 40 people were arrested from Nugegoda area. Data revealed that 34 were arrested in Colombo Central, 20 were arrested from Colombo North, 18 from Gampaha, 13 from Kelaniya, 12 each from Colombo South and Negombo, 10 from Mount Lavinia and 1 from Panadura. more..

Tilak Marapana likely to be next FM

Aug 11 (DM) Minister of Development Assignments Tilak Marapana is likely to be appointed Foreign Minister, a position which had fallen vacant following the resignation of MP Ravi Karunanayake who came under the pressure following his alleged involvement in the ongoing bond scam. Well informed sources from the govt said that Marapana is likely to be appointed to the post. “Mr. Marapana is the most likely choice of both the President and PM and should take oaths shortly,” sources said. more..

U.S. House of Representatives delegation strengthens U.S.-Sri Lankan ties

Aug 11 (USE) A bipartisan delegation of Members of Congress from the U.S. House of Representatives arrived in Colombo on Wednesday (9) to further strengthen ties between the govts and people of SL and the United States.  Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen of New Jersey, Chairman of House Appropriations Committee, and Congressman Henry Cuellar of Texas held productive meetings with PM more..

President inaugurates CRT International Trade Fair

Aug 11 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena inaugurated the CRT (coconut, rubber and tea) International Trade Fair today at BMICH. The trade fair which has been organized by the Ministry of Plantation Industries will provide the opportunities for the representatives of relevant international companies to exchange their ideas, suggestions and views about the three industries and the products. This also will open doors for the producers to get a good knowledge about more..

Professionals push connectivity, access in Sri Lanka rail electrification

Aug 11 (EN) Sri Lankan transport professionals have praised a plan to electrify the railway but want more careful study and inclusion of multi-modal connectivity, freight and station accessibility to ensure the investment’s best use. Preliminary designs for the electrification and modernisation of the railway between Veyangoda, north of the capital Colombo, and Panadura on the coast to the south are almost ready, said Rodolfo Martinez, a consultant to the project. more..

'Good opportunity for Kumara, Fernando to put their hands up'

Aug 11 (CI) Sri Lanka are willing to try just about anything to win. There was the high altitude training camp at Pallekele before the Champions Trophy, the high profile appointment of Allan Donald ahead of the same tournament, three trips to Kandy's Temple of the Tooth over the past 13 months, a fast-bowling workshop with Wasim Akram, the appointment of a cricket manager, appointment of a number of supplementary more..

We've got no time for Arjuna: Thilanga

Aug 11 (MD) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) president Thilanga Sumathipala launched a scathing attack against his country's former skipper Arjuna Ranatunga, who alleged World Cup final between the Islanders and India was fixed. Ranatunga also had held the SLC chief responsible for the recent defeats and demanded an investigation by the ICC. "In SLC, nobody takes notice of Ranatunga's allegations. We have no plans to investigate because we have got no time for him," more..

Harsha apologises to Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC)

Aug 11 (AM) Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva apologised to Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) for his tweet on Virat Kohli and India's performance against SL. I wish to apologize to @OfficialSLC for my tweet. It was just a joke n never intended to dishearten our brave cricketers. Go Lions!, De Silva tweeted last evening, apologising to the SLC and cricket fans. De Silva, in a previous tweet said, Told Virat Kohli #India Cricket to go easy on #SriLanka next test. 600 a bit too steep. more..

'Assessment reports needed for new housing complexes'

Aug 11 (NR) Minister Champika Ranawaka says the newly introduced certificate assessing impact on motor traffic congestion, will be taken into consideration before granting permission to the private sector to construct new housing complexes. He said a solution will also be provided to housing issues faced by those residing in shanties. Minister said he would like to state that the government is going to intervene more..

Coomaraswamy brings back transparency to IMF dealings

Aug 11 (EN) Central Bank Governor has seemingly brought back transparency to relations with the IMF, authorising the timely release of economic reports, which were suppressed in recent years. IMF economic reports were released regularly from the tenure of Governor A S Jayawardene. But, they were delayed or suppressed altogether when governors Nivard Cabraal and Arjuna Mahendran were in office. "In keeping with its policy of transparency, the govt has authorised more..

Mattala to India: Cabinet okays feasibility study

Aug 11 (CT) Cabinet of Ministers authorized the appointment of a committee comprising senior ministry secretaries, to consider the feasibility of a US$ 293 million proposal made by the Indian Govt for the development of the Mattala Mahinda Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA), for a period of 40 years, Minister Gayantha Karunathilake said yesterday. "Indian Govt submitted an investment proposal on 3 May 2017 to form a joint venture company between Govt of India (GoI) more..

Central Bank & ICTA have no legal deal with Total Pay: Harsha

Aug 11 (LBO) Deputy Minister Harsha De Silva told Parliament Friday that neither the Central Bank nor ICTA have signed a legal agreement with Total Pay. Cabinet mid last year approved the introduction of a National Payment Platform (NPP) to facilitate digital commerce and online transactions. ICTA had been directed to implement the NPP, with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka facilitating its implementation. more..

Effective remedy with papaw leaf juice

Aug 12 (CT) Dengue has reached epidemic proportions with no solution in sight other than various forms of insects which could eradicate mosquitoes and larvae. Using genetically modified mosquitoes can lead to unforeseen circumstances, especially when they bite humans. These types of practices not subject to rigorous scientific testing should be watched closely without jumping to conclusions. There are other matters which should be considered as far as dengue epidemic more..