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SL's monetary policy and the way forward

Dec 3 (EN) This is the prepared text of the Olcott Oration 2017 by P, Nandalal Weerasinghe Ph.D, Deputy Governor of SL's central bank made at Ananda College in Colombo, detailing past exchange and monetary policies and the planned move to a flexible inflation targeting regime. The full text is reproduced below: I would like to note that the views expressed in this oration are my own as an economist and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. more..

Labrooy defends Thisara as ODI skipper

Dec 3 (ST) Sri Lanka cricket’s chief selector Graeme Labrooy stoutly defended the decision to name allrounder Thisara Perera as the captain for the ODI series against India, replacing southpaw Upul Tharanga, during the coming series. He said, “We are certainly looking at someone who can take us to the 2019 World Cup. Though we have touted several names and even given the opportunity to some of them to lead the side, still we have not been able to make the choice. more..

IOC urges NOCSL to respect guidelines

Dec 3 (ST) International Olympic Committee (IOC) this week asked its local representative –the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka (NOCSL) –to reconstitute the unconstitutionally formed Athletes Commission. NOCSL had set up the Athletes Commission, a mandatory requirement under the Olympic Charter, as a closed-door business by handpicking certain individuals. more..

Green port city, with solar and wind power

Dec 3 (ST) With the aim of building a green port city with solar and wind power, the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development has commissioned a special Social Environment Impact Assessment Report. The decision was made after a team of officials from the Ministry and other government institutions linked to the Port City project visited several foreign port cities. The team included officials of the Coast Conservation Department, Central Environment Authority and UDA. more..

ATM card cloning gang with Sri Lanka, Mumbai links nabbed

Dec 3 (Hindu) Chittoor police on Saturday nabbed a five-member gang hailing from Tamil Nadu involved in ATM-cloning offences while they were about to strike at an ATM centre at Palamaner and seized Rs. 10 lakh, electronic gadgets used for cloning ATM cards, capturing details of PIN numbers and swiping machines. SP S.V. Rajasekhar Babu and DSP K. Chowdeswari said after 70-days of gruelling investigation in TN, Karnataka & Maharashtra, 5-member gang was apprehended. more..

Killing of Galgamuwa blind tusker: Grama niladhari among those arrested

Dec 3 (CT) As the remains of the Galgamuwa blind tusker lay on the ground deep inside the forest of the Kahalla Pallekele Sanctuary, six suspects were taken into custody in connection with the killing of the elephant. The worst fears of environmentalists and animal welfare activists were confirmed when the carcass of the elephant found at the Kahalla Pallekele Sanctuary on 29 Nov was more..

Rs. 3.5 b for LG polls, heavy cost for training

Dec 3 (ST) Local polls in February next year, for the first time under a new mixed electoral system, will cost Rs 3.5 billion, a senior elections official said yesterday. Additional Commissioner M.M. Mohamed said the costs would cover programmes to educate voters on the new system. 60% of the members would be elected on first-past-the-post basis and 40% through proportional representation. He said there would also be separate programmes to apprise political parties and candidates. more..

Transition time for Sri Lanka, says Dias

Dec 3 (Hindu) Sri Lanka’s under-19 head coach Roy Dias, one of the most elegant batsmen, is delighted to visit the Brabourne Stadium, Cricket Club of India. “The under-19 team should be proud of playing matches here. The facilities, conditions and wickets are fantastic. It’s a good exposure for them. “India has proved to the world they are the best. This is the first time majority of the players have come to India. “Maybe six or seven players from this squad will be chosen for the Under-19 World Cup. more..

Self-employment loan scheme: Only fraction of ex-LTTE cadres benefit

Dec 3 (CT) Only a tiny fraction of the money allocated as Self-employment Loans for the rehabilitated ex-LTTE cadres has been disbursed. This newspaper met a large number of these ex-LTTE cadres in the Eastern Province last week. Their inability to obtain a portion of the Rs 524 million to restart their lives was a common lament. What we heard was that the State banks in the Northern and Eastern Provinces are more..

Time and age limits for serving on bank boards to stay

Dec 3 (Island) Some high pressure lobbying by interested parties to amend present rules under the Banking Act placing an age limit of 70-years on directors of bank boards and also not permitting such directors to serve for more than nine years have not succeeded with the Central Bank keen on continuing these safeguards. The matter had been discussed at a recent meeting of a high powered committee with consensus achieved to allow the status quo to remain for the present and more..

Britain calls for clarity on differing war missing persons figures

Dec 3 (Island) Britain has called for clarity on differing figures mentioned with regard to persons who had gone missing in Sri Lanka during the war between govt forces and the LTTE and in the aftermath of the end of the conflict on May 19, 2009. A British High Commission delegation comprising Senior Research Analyst and Justice Consultant Paul Bentall, Regional Head of Stabilization Unit Eric Vincent and Political Officer Jovita Arulanantham during a recent meeting with more..

SLFP-JO talks falter, Sirisena must go it alone, face the inevitable

Dec 3 (ST) Talks between rival factions of the SLFP have collapsed despite efforts for the first time by President Sirisena and his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa to reunite for the local polls. The duo appointed their respective committees to take forward the talks. This even saw a meeting between President Maithripala Sirisena and Gotabaya Rajapaksa. There was mutual endorsement of the two teams then. more..

Unseasonal storms, weather, a forewarning

Dec 3 (SO) Once again, large parts of the country are reeling from the sudden impact of a powerful tropical storm. Tens of thousands have been temporarily displaced from their homes and workplaces, at least eleven people have died, a score more announced missing at sea, and dozens more injured. Last week’s storm is the result of a tropical storm system, the next in severity after the the cyclonic storm system. Over four days, sustained heavy rainfall and, strong gusts of more..

PM’s bond blast, Rajapaksa arrest howler, Lord Naseby & LG elections

Dec 3 (Island) Due apologies for a mouthful of a title! SL politics is nothing when it is not mouthful. Better that way than going fistful, to give the latter word a violent meaning. Or, put another way, Jaw, Jaw is always better than War, War, as Sir Winston Churchill is said to have quipped during a 1954 White House luncheon. Hosting Britain’s World War II PM was the American WW II General turned President, Dwight Eisenhower. Americans now have a president who goes nuclear on twitter. more..

Wasting people's hard earned money ?: Rs. 20 b Russian patrol vessel this week

Dec 3 (ST) Govt will this week sign a US$ 135 million (Rs 20 billion) deal to buy a Russian built Gepard 5.1 Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) for the SL Navy. A delegation from Rosboronoexport, monolithic state-owned enterprise for defence exports, will arrive in Colombo for this purpose. They are also expected to hold talks on other Russian defence equipment on offer. more..

Bending the rules

Dec 3 (CT) If the trust of the citizens of a country is broken with regard to delivery of justice, everything else will be lost. Reason being when all other social institutions are collapsing due to corruption, fraud and crime and citizens have only a straw to cling to, they rely on the belief that the institutions of law and justice will act on their behalf. When you consider most facts, at this moment, the people of SL have had their hopes dashed. more..

UK insists that Sri Lanka fully implements UNHRC Resolution 34/1

Dec 3 (Island) British govt wants Sri Lanka to fully implement UNHRC Resolution 34/1, according Foreign & Commonwealth Office Minister, Mark Field. Answering three written questions submitted by Wes Streeting MP (Labour, Ilford North - member of the All Party Parliament Group for Tamils), he says that he stressed to SL’s Foreign Minister, Tilak Marapana, the importance of implementing the Resolution. more..

Aloysius calls: Ajith Perera’s complaint referred to Privileges Committee

Dec 3 (ST) The privilege issue raised by Deputy Minister Ajith Perera following reports that he had telephone conversations with businessmen Arjun Aloysius has been referred to the Privileges Committee of Parliament. The motion to refer the matter to the Privileges Committee was moved by House Leader Lakshman Kiriella on Monday. The motion was based on the privilege issue raised by the Dy Minister on Nov 22 more..

30 Presidential Limos to be dumped

Dec 3 (CT) More than 30 Presidential limousines, imported during and after J.R. Jayewardene's tenure as President, will be dumped into the sea, according to top official sources. They said some of the vehicles, which are in the storage space within the one- and-a-half acre premises, at Mumtaz Mahal (the former Official Residence of the Speakers of Parliament, at Galle Road Colpetty, before the Speaker's Residence shifted to more..

Weather experts warn of more heavy rains

Dec 3 (CT) Thousands took to relief camps in Sri Lanka and southern India on Saturday to escape rising floodwaters after a cyclone killed at least 26 people. Cyclone Ockhi has left 13 people dead in Sri Lanka and killed an equal number in India's Kerala and TN states since Friday as it churns in the Arabian Sea. Eleven people, mostly fishermen, remained missing in the two countries as nearly 9,000 sought shelter in relief camps. more..

Inflation at a high of 7.6%: Driven by rising food and non-food prices

Dec 3 (CT) Inflation, as measured by the Colombo Consumers' Price Index (CCPI), decelerated to 7.6% last month, compared to the 7.8% in October, whilst on a month on month basis, to last month, it had increased by 1.2%. Both, the food and non-food baskets, contributed to the increase in inflation. Central Bank, in a recent report, warned that inflation has eaten into the wages of those in both the private and public sectors, signaling more..

Sri Lankan family in Montreal hopes for last-minute reprieve from deportation

Dec 3 (CBC) After spending five years in Montreal fighting for asylum, a SL family is launching a final plea to stay in Canada. Robert Lawrence and his family have had their refugee claim refused by the Canadian govt and will be deported on Sunday night. His family hasn't even started packing up their two-bedroom apartment in Parc-Extension. "I feel very sad, and you know, I don't know what to do," said Lawrence. more..

Employment of Magampura Port workers not terminated, November salaries paid

Dec 3 (Island) Rejecting what it called several inaccurate and misconceived reports relating to Magampura Port Management Company (MPMC), SL Ports Authority clarified that the employment of the workers has not been terminated and their November salaries were paid. "Salaries were paid despite attempts by some workers to cause delays in such payment by sabotaging admin. functions of MPMC. more..

Religious places out of bounds for polls work: EC

Dec 3 (SO) Elections Commission (EC) has prohibited political parties from using religious places for any election propaganda, Chairman of EC, Mahinda Deshapriya said. EC has already informed political parties in this regard and no direct or indirect propaganda activity will be allowed at religious places, under any circumstances. “This also includes holding discussions on elections campaigns within religious places or centres,” more..

Reading Ranil’s Rhetoric

Dec 4 (CT) The statement of the PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in parliament about bonds, made last week was a preemptive tactic to position himself and his beleaguered administration to deal with the report of the commission of inquiry due on 8 Dec. His use of the personal pronoun I in As I always say is explanatory and uncharacteristically less authoritative. The choice of pronouns in political statements and speeches indicate the speaker’s inclination to share more..

Bond Scam: Will the public get the answers?

Dec 4 (CT) The President was of the opinion that irregularities committed in respect of the Issuance of Treasury Bonds during the period of 1 Feb, 2015 and 31 March, 2016 –have to be investigated and inquired into by a commission of inquiry in the National Interest. Accordingly a 3 member commission was appointed by the President in pursuance of the provisions of Section 2 of the Commission of Inquiry Act (Chapter 393) as amended, to investigate and inquire into and more..

'Pottical parties' fortunes not our concern'

Dec 4 (SO) Commissioner of Elections Mahinda Deshapriya, despite his tight schedule and heavy work in the run up to the polls to 93 local govt bodies early next year said, it would become possible to hold elections to all local govt bodies if the Appeal Court dissolved its Stay Order on the gazette notification on the Delimitation Committee Report. The interview happened to be a day before the Appeal Court order dissolving the Stay Order, more..

Ajith P. hits out at Aloysius during meeting

Dec 4 (SO) When the JO first entered into negotiations with the SLFP to contest the LG elections together, a sizable proportion of SLFPers viewed the move with a modicum of suspicion. JO, since its inception in early 2015, was hell bent on dividing the SLFP and forming a breakaway party under the leadership of former President Rajapaksa. There was a reason for the JO’s inclination to divide the SLFP, the grand old party formed in 1951 by S.W.R.D Bandaranaike as a social more..

Political vultures and the carcass of the rainbow revolution

Dec 4 (ST) Vultures are circling high above in the skies as they watch what appear to be the struggling death throes of Sirisena-Wickremesinghe unity alliance with delight. Former President Rajapaksa hypocritically thunders on the twin dangers of the sale of national assets and the betrayal of national war heroes, going on to insist that the faction of the SLFP loyal to President Sirisena can join his group only on their terms. His numerous hangers-on in the self-styled JO who compete with each other more..

'Transport systems Cheaper and efficient solutions needed'

Dec 4 (CT) In the last few years Sri Lanka has undertaken the construction of a number of expressways and the expansion of its road network. This has led to the expansion of our public road network to cover 8% of Sri Lanka. However, we have continued to ignore our public transportation system forcing people to purchase private vehicles. Ceylon Today spoke to former Chairman of National Transport Commission more..

Focal point of masses Gota, oh Gota!

Dec 4 (SO) So Gota was the focal point of all the masses apart from the little cyclone that hit our way last week wasn’t it? For all the hue and cry about not being afraid, Gota seems to be the one man who is afraid of anything without luxury,​ isn’​t it?. Going to this court and to that court, crying with this person and with the other to stop him from being arrested. Aneyda kiyanney. Anyway, guess what the Writ Petition was about? It was to say that the making of a museum for mama and dada were not from more..

Editorial: Govt all at sea

Dec 4 (Island) Dirigisme is possible only in a country like North Korea. No other nation can keep its economy hermetically closed in the modern world. Even diehard Marxists, at home, have over the years, come to terms with global economic realities as evident from JVP MP Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa’s recent speech in Parliament. But, at the same time, unbridled liberalization, too, has to be avoided. The sudden opening up of the economy in the late 1970s had an OCKHI. effect on the local industries more..

මෛත්žරීගේ අගමැති මහින්ද වුනොත් ??

Why nation’s political Siamese twins must live together or perish together

Dec 4 (ST) Last year in March when Ranil Wickremesinghe blew the 67candles on his birthday cake, he offered the first slice he cut to Maithri. Not to Maithree, the wife. But to Maithri, the President. And though she may have felt snubbed the prized first slice was not given first for her delectation but to her new namesake, she would have understood the significance and the importance of the gesture made to the cohabitating partner of Ranil’s political marriage. more..

Left-of-centre or what is left of centre?

Dec 4 (Island) Of late, I have been reading a great deal of differing views on how and what the Constitution should be made up of, and the form of govt we should be either bestowed with or suffer under. I must admit the views were divergent and, to me, were pearls of intellect on strings of context. Names like Marx, Lenin, Gramsci, Stalin, Castro, Che, Mao, Mussolini are resurrected. United, unified, unitary; Socialist, Capitalist, Globalized; multiculturalism, cosmopolitanism, more..

Kohli's 243 hands India massive advantage

Dec 4 (CI) Either side of a stop-start hour in which the focus of the Delhi Test shifted to the quality of the city's air, India extended their dominance over Sri Lanka with bat and ball. Virat Kohli brought up his sixth double-hundred and carried on to post his highest Test score, and, following a declaration in bizarre circumstances at 536 for 7, India's bowlers took over, reducing Sri Lanka to 131 for 3 in their reply. An unbroken 4th-wicket stand of 56 more..

Phsyio warns long-term effects for players

Dec 4 (Island) While some Sri Lankan players vomited, several others needed a supply of oxygen during the second day’s play of the third Test here in the Indian capital. SL physiotherapist Nirmalan Dhanabalasingham warned about long-term repercussions for the players while playing in unhealthy conditions. "You can get infections from it because these particles in the air get caught and would not be removed from the systems. You can have a higher incidence of things like more..

Sri Lanka's struggles no Machiavellian plan

Dec 4 (CI) Sri Lanka are an unsporting cricketing nation. In fact they can put village cricketers to shame. There is no low they won't stoop to just to deny the opposition a hard-earned milestone. You know Suraj Randiv, of course. He bowled that no-ball to deny Virender Sehwag an ODI century. They have even forced the ICC to outlaw sudden captaincy changes by executing a captaincy switch to save their real captain from an accumulated over-rate penalty that could result in a match ban. more..

Sri Lankan family deported after spending 5 years in Canada

Dec 4 (CBC) A Sri Lankan family who spent 5 years in Canada was deported Sunday despite appeals to Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale to issue a reprieve. Their flight took off from Montreal's Trudeau airport. Before leaving their home in Parc-Extension, Robert Lawrence, father of the family, said they were all very sad, but still love Canada despite their deportation. "What can you do? We have to all obey rules & regulations" more..

Kamaj Silva woos investors on CBC’s Dragons’ Den

Dec 4 (LR) Kamaj Silva, a young SL-born entrepreneur from Mississauga, Ontario, was able to convince a panel of investors in the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s (CBC) national show Dragons’ Den to invest in his business known as the Sneakertub for some percentage of the business. In a rare case on the show, he was offered multiple offers, and walked away with joint offer between four dragons (investors). Silva who is the sole founder of the business Sneakertub amazed more..