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Prez a prisoner of UNP: JO

Jan 11 (Island) President Sirisena was the head of state and govt, but PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and his small cabal ruled the country, the JO said. MP Bandula Gunawardena said President, PM and ministers issued contradictory statements on the Hambantota Port and land deals. He said President and PM laid the foundation stone for a car assembly factory in Kuliyapitiya recently claiming it was a Volkswagen investment and it had now been revealed that they sought to dupe the people. more..

Maiden waters released into Moragahakanda Reservoir

Jan 11 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena says whatever allegations were leveled against the present Govt, financial crisis of the country occurred not during the past two years, but arose due to the mammoth debt burden created by the previous Govt. President said that today the present Govt headed by him, took the responsibility of resolving that issue and further said that whatever challenges came across for the Govt they will more..

Sri Lankans win human rights, democracy, GSP+: PM

Jan 11 (EN) The people of Sri Lanka has won human rights, democracy as a result of the actions of the current administration and the European Union is restoring GSP+ free trade access to the country, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. "This is not just a victory for the government," PM said. "This is a victory for all Sri Lankans." PM said with the restoration of GSP+ the access of Sri Lankan exports including apparel to the EU will be expanded creating more jobs. more..

USD 2bn overhaul of Sapugaskanda to begin this year?

Jan 11 (Island) Minister Chandima Weerakkody is confident of overhauling the country’s only oil refinery this year. He told the media in Colombo recently that the report on overhauling Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery was expected to be submitted this month and nearly 30 parties had already expressed their willingness to commission studies. Referring to a meeting between the Minister and his Iranian counterpart, Weerakkody said a final decision had not yet been taken since more..

Court of Appeal petitioned for retrial of Raviraj murder case under anti-terror act

Jan 11 (ENS) Attorney General Jayantha Jayasuriya on Wednesday petitioned the Court of Appeal for a retrial of the Nadarjah Raviraj assassination case by a judge and not a jury, and under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), not ordinary law.  Colombo High Court had acquitted the five persons accused of killing TNA MP NRaviraj on the basis of the view of an all-Sinhalese jury. The judge had ordered trial by jury under ordinary law, more..

'Weerawansa arrest not politically motivated'

Jan 11 (NR) The govt says the arrest of UPFA Wimal Weerawansa was not politically motivated. Deputy Minister Ajith P Perera speaking to media said the arrest was made following extensive investigations. He said it is through an internal audit conducted in 2014 that it was revealed that 40 vehicles were misused adding that based on the Audit report the Chairman of the State Engineering Cooperation lodged a complaint with the FCID in 2015 September. more..

Hakeem sees sinister forces within

Jan 11 (Island) Negative and vicious forces are currently engaged in serious attempts to destroy the unity of Muslims to alter the current political stability, says SLMC Leader and Minister Rauff Hakeem. He is of the view that only absolute unity of all Muslims can help defeat these destructive elements. Minister Hakeem said so at a ceremony at the Palamunai Al-Hikma School, where he was the Chief Guest. He distributed land deeds to those who had lost their livelihood due to the tsunami more..

Pacer-friendly Wanderers may pose bigger problems for Sri Lanka

Jan 11 (CI) There was always the expectation the series would become incrementally tougher for Sri Lanka. In Port Elizabeth, there was supposed to be a low, slow pitch, but it was not nearly low or slow enough. At Newlands, instead of defusing seam movement on a greener-than-usual deck, Sri Lanka flailed their way to a defeat so enormous there is really no point recalling the exact margin. Now they have arrived at Wanderers, more..

Special Television channel to promote ethnic harmony

Jan 11 (Island) The govt said that a special Reconciliation Television Channel under the Rupavahini Corporation banner will be established. The channel would be among several measures to mark National Reconciliation Week from Jan 8 to 14, which coincides with the commencement of the third term of President Maithripala Sirisena. Rs.180 million had been allocated by his Ministry to promote reconciliation and peace among the various communities. more..

Hashish valued at Rs. 10 mn seized at Colombo Mail Exchange

Jan 11 (DM) Customs Narcotics Control Unit today seized a parcel containing 1358 grams of cannabis and 84 grams of hashish valued at Rs. 10 million at the Colombo Mail Exchange. Mail Exchange Customs Officials detected an EMS parcel from Spain to a bogus address in Mattegoda. The narcotics were packed in an enclosure of a speaker box. Investigations are carried out on instructions of Director of Customs (Social Protection) Sisira de Silva and conducted by more..

European Commission decides to restore GSP+ trade access for Sri Lanka

Jan 11 (EN) The European Commission Wednesday said it proposed the European Union remove import duties on Sri Lankan products, restoring GSP Plus trade access to the island’s biggest export market. “These one-way trade preferences would consist of the full removal of duties on 66% of tariff lines, covering a wide array of products including textiles and fisheries,” it said in a statement. more..

My dear PM, Our country is sure to face another disaster

Jan 12 (CT) My dear PM, No one knows as to where the country is heading to, in the name of National Govt. No one takes me seriously when I say something, based on my Sixty years of experience in politics. But I am positively sure that our country is heading towards another disaster. I was the only one who single handedly opposed some activities of the LTTE which was very strong at that time and I was the one who predicted as to what will happen to the LTTE in the future. more..

Four brothers who ran the country…Avarice personified

Jan 12 (CT) The guns fell silent. Victory cries echoed in the skies while jubilant Sri Lankans celebrated the war victory with Kiribath (milk-rice), Lunu-Miris (chili-peppered onion-chutney) and plain tea. The country at large, those who lived south of Vavuniya, claimed, in all rightful sense, a historic military victory over the forces of Tamil extremists who brought unspeakable terror, anguish, pain and death to many a Sinhalese-Buddhist community. The celebrations were justifiable; more..

Sports Minister scripts future of sport

Jan 12 (NS) Sri Lanka ushered in the New Year last Sunday, a day in the week where most sportsmen and women preferred to relax at home. This was how most people involved with sport thought many years ago. Regular international tournaments together with a hectic domestic calendar have changed all that. Those in national pool have a choice to take sport seriously. The best news that can motivate athletes is more..

Editorial: RTI, RIP

Jan 12 (Island) The self-proclaimed champions of good governance or yahapalana have laid bare their true faces once again. It was only the other day that President Sirisena waxed eloquent, at a ceremony to mark the second anniversary of his assumption of office, on what he called benefits that had accrued to the public from the change of govt in 2015. He stressed that media freedom was one of them. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and other govt leaders, also, never miss an opportunity to preen more..

Will monkeys attack the local Mujica?

Jan 12 (CT) There was a common belief that political opinions agreed about a factor that was mentioned every time strikes and threats which were extremely stressful to the public across the country during the past two years were talked about. That is the fact that there was an invisible political hand behind all of these threats and strikes. Last week, this invisible hand was named and the cat was out of the bag. MP, Mahinda Rajapaksa said at a press briefing that this govt will be overturned. more..

'Sri Lanka needs economic knowhow'

Jan 12 (DN) Professor Ricardo Hausmann of Harvard Kennedy School of Govt delivered a lecture entitled Increasing your chances of success while leaving your comfort zone: adapting Sri Lanka’s growth model to new constraints, at BMICH. Hausmann, who runs the Kennedy School’s Center for Int'l Development, and his team have been studying SL’s economy for the past year. His lecture spanned over two hours more..

Sri Lanka and The political karmic cycle

Jan 12 (SL) Rajapaksa the China lover is against the Chinese coming to Hambantota and Ranil, the one time China baiter, is inviting the comrades into the Rajapaksa Port, Rajapaksa Airport and the whole of what Rajapaksa considered to be the Rajapaksa fiefdom. Soon Ranil may be playing pandu with the Chinese at the Mahinda Rajapaksa Cricket Stadium. Little wonder the man is threatening to topple Yahapalanaya, Eksath Jaathipala of Sri Kotha was saying loud and clear at the Waterhole. more..

MR’s topple-threat unnerves PM Ranil?

Jan 12 (SL) By trying to react half-mockingly at former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s open threat that he would try and topple the present Government in the New Year, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has only expressed nervousness, not confidence. As has been the case since the duo came to power in Jan 2015, President Maithripala Sirisena has come up with a measured reaction, if it’s any. There is a difference, though. Unlike on earlier occasions whenever their two parties, more..

Wajira Abeywardena

Transitional justice in Sri Lanka: Lessons so far and the long road ahead

Jan 12 (GV) The new year in Sri Lanka commenced with some noise around aspects of transitional justice, largely due to the release of the report by the Consultation Task Force (CTF). The report capturing over 7000 views from across Sri Lanka is the first officially sanctioned process that consulted people on their views on the proposed mechanisms on transitional justice and touches on many other critical areas on reconciliation. Despite being an important initiative, only particular aspects of more..

Old Habits die hard: Trinity Memories

Jan 12 (Island) They served only soft drinks as before in the Trinity dining hall. Oh, sorry they served only water then. For soft drinks and milkshakes we had to visit the tuck shop. We took our seats as disciplined students like in the late seventies. Ajantha Fernando and Mano Sekaram wanted their seats reserved with napkins placed on them. Old habits die hard! We knew that they would serve us more than paan, parippu and papadam. It was felicitation time for our teachers. more..

Bat slow or fast, but concentrate: Mathews

Jan 12 (CI) Sure, batsmen have sped their way to doom, and of course, they have played too many loose shots, but switching to all-out defence is not necessarily the answer either, Angelo Mathews said ahead of the third Test. Aside from opener Kaushal Silva, and perhaps Dimuth Karunaratne as well, each of the other batsmen in SL's top order is of an attacking bent. Dinesh Chandimal, Kusal Mendis and more..

Today is Duruthu Poya Day

Jan 12 (Island) It is perhaps symptomatic of the fallen nature of the ordinary human condition that few of us pass the full extent of our lives comfortably reconciled to our natural selves. Even in the midst of prosperity and success, grinding notes of discontent trouble our days and disturbing dreams come to haunt our sleep. As long as our eyes remain coated with dust we incline to locate the cause of our discontent outside ourselves - in spouse, neighbour or job, in implacable fate or fluky chance. more..

Fetters that bind us to cycle of samsara

Jan 12 (DN) The Buddha taught that the self-view is but the best form of self-referent belief we have. Once this mental construct has been seen through, a great deal of work still remains. The Buddha's clearest description of what we initially see through and what remains is the formulation of the Ten Fetters. The fetters provide us with a vivid description of the self-referent obstacles in our path, and thus the very nature of the path and goal. A fetter is a shackle for the ankles more..

PM should not intervene in Weerawansa's case: Ranjan

Jan 12 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe should not heed to any request from anyone to intervene in the case of Joint Opposition MP Wimal Weerawansa who was arrested, Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake said. He said that the PM may get phone calls requesting that he should intervene in the case but should not respond to those. “People of this country expected President and PM to be tough leaders more..

SLIC yet to receive Deposited Guarantee Money from Seychelles, Maldives

Jan 12 (DN) Sri Lanka Insurance has to get over US$ 500,000 from insurance regulators in the Seychelles and the Maldives that were deposited as guarantees, SL Insurance Corporation Joint Managing Director Bangsa Jayah said. He said they found that the operations in Seychelles that were started by the management appointed by the previous govt were not profitable. “There is a limited population in the Seychelles and there are only a few motor vehicles to insure. more..

Du Plessis only has eyes for a whitewash

Jan 12 (CI) There are ways of saying things and then there is the Faf du Plessis way of saying things. It's considered rather than clichéd and direct without being dismissive, an especially important quality in a series like this. South Africa have dominated to the extent that Dale Steyn's quietly confident, pre-series prediction that a 3-0 whitewash could be on the cards now seems a certainty. Apart from the first day of the first Test, Sri Lanka have failed to put up a concerted challenge to more..

Blow to tyre exports from a US determination

Jan 12 (ST) Sri Lanka’s tyre exports to the US got a severe blow this week following the US Commerce Department’s final affirmative determination against the island in the anti dumping duty investigation on market-distorting effects caused by injurious dumping and unfair subsidization of imports. US Dept took the decision on Wednesday (4) after inquiring into indepth petitions filed by US tyre manufacturers more..

SL delegation arrives in Thailand for fourth Bangkok talks

Jan 12 (FT) A top official delegation left Sri Lanka this week to attend the latest Bangkok Agreement talks in Thailand. Five-member delegation is led by Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen and will attend the fourth session of the Asia Pacific Trade Agreement Ministerial Talks in Bangkok, his Ministry said in a statement.  “It is time Sri Lanka starts benefiting from one of Asia’s pioneering trade agreements,” he said prior to his departure to Bangkok. more..

LTL Transformers procures Rs 600M contract in Pakistan

Jan 12 (CT) LTL Transformers Ltd. (LTLT), SL's internationally-acclaimed transformer manufacturing company, has procured an order for the supply of 1,000 Nos 11 kV/200 kVA distribution transformers, to the value of Rs 600 million to Lahore Electricity Supply Company (LESCO) in Pakistan. It is, to date, one of the largest export orders procured by the company, which has manufactured distribution transformers for over 30 years. The company was the pioneering venture of LTL Holdings, more..

Two Influenza H1N1 deaths at Kandy hospital

Jan 12 (DN) Two kidney patients in Kandy Hospital died of Influenza H1N1 yesterday. Two out of the three deaths reported from the Kandy Teaching hospital were caused by H1N1. Deceased are two males, one is 35 years of age and the other an elderly individual. Asked if the MRI has confirmed the cause of deaths Kandy Teaching Hospital Director Dr. R.M.S.K. Ratnayake said Kandy Hospital has access to similar facilities more..

Can Sri Lanka avoid 3-0 humiliation?

Jan 12 (Island) Sri Lanka have a huge challenge in the third and final Test against South Africa here at the Wanderers in Johannesburg starting today as the hosts are looking for a 3-0 whitewash. Sri Lanka are likely to retain the same team that lost the second Test in Cape Town by 282 runs while South Africa could opt for an all-out pace attack fielding as many four fast bowlers. Left-arm quick, Wayne Parnell will feature in the line-up as replacement for the axed Kyle Abbott, more..

Dudley S. gives Rs. 90 rice price guarantee

Jan 12 (FT) Chairman of leading rice mill owner Araliya Rice, Dudley Sirisena, promised to maintain the bulk rice price at Rs. 90 and reduce prices after the third week of February, offsetting fears of a shortage. President Sirisena’s sibling, speaking on behalf of all mill owners in the country, gave a personal guarantee that he would ensure that prices did not further escalate. “Although there is no rule, we have taken a decision to not allow further price escalation. more..

President can seek a second term: WP CM

Jan 12 (Island) Western Province Chief Minister Isura Devapriya argued that President Sirisena was the most suitable SLFP presidential candidate at the Presidential Election in 2020. CM said that President Sirisena was no longer the common candidate of the common opposition; he was the leader of the SLFP and, therefore, there was no barrier for him to contest the next presidential election. more..

Wimal gets food from home

Jan 12 (DM) National Freedom Front (NFF) Leader MP Wimal Weerawansa, who was remanded yesterday on charges of misusing 40 state vehicles, has requested permission from Prison Authorities to get all three meals from his home. Prison sources said declining food provided by the Prisons Department and bringing them from outside was a privilege for any prisoner. “As such, the approval was given to bring food from outside for MP Weerawansa,” they said. more..

New site for Palestinian Embassy

Jan 12 (CT) A plot of land has been allocated to the Embassy of the State of Palestine for the construction of a permanent building to house the Embassy offices, Cabinet spokesman Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka said. This decision was made following Cabinet approval of a proposal made by Minister Mangala Samaraweera. The land allocated is down Hewa Avenue, Colombo 7. Embassy for the State of Palestine presently functions at 110/10Wijerama Mawatha, Col 7. more..

Govt moves to forestall power crisis

Jan 12 (CT) The govt plans to purchase 350MW of power from the private energy production sector at Rs 36.50 per unit in a bid to mitigate the impact of power shortages expected to run from January through to April 2017, Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera said. He said while there was no immediate need to enforce any power cuts, the lack of rainfall has seen water levels drop appreciably and thus curtail power generation. more..

Five of a family get death sentence

Jan 12 (CT) Matara Magistrate sentenced to death five family members including two women after they were found guilty of clubbing to death a 44-year-old resident of Gandara, Kottegeda, in 2009, The victim had been put to death because he had objected to a love affair involving a member of the family and another individual. The Attorney General (AG) had filed indictments against the five suspects, in the Matara High Court, for the murder which had taken place on or before 15 Jan 2009. more..

Sri Lanka promoted as a tourist destination in Malaysia

Jan 12 (CT) Sri Lanka Tourism, in collaboration with the Sri Lankan High Commission in Malaysia, gave its full support to promote Sri Lanka as an important tourist destination, enriched with natural resources and make a positive impact among the Malaysian community of the benefits they will receive by visiting Sri Lanka. The Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) held a Consumer Promotion from 13 to 19 December 2016, at the Suraya KLCC in Malaysia. more..