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‘Hambantota mega economic zone to have 2,500 new industries’

Jan 13 (Island) The proposed mega economic zone in Hambantota will have 2,500 new industries. This will be in tune with Sri Lanka's initiative to be a notable industrialized country, Minister for Special Assignments Dr. Sarath Amunugama said. Referring to a visit he had made to China recently with PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, Amunugama said that Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, whom they had met, had been of the view that Sri Lanka should be an industrial country. more..

Sri Lanka to build tourist zone at ex-VOA relay station site: PM

Jan 13 (EN) Sri Lanka will set up a tourist complex in a 400 acre land bordering the North Western coast where a former Voice of America shortwave transmitting station was located, PM Ranil Wickraamasinghe said. The shortwave transmitting station operated until mid-2016 from Iranawila, in Chilaw, Sri Lanka. "When the VOA relay station land is returned to the government we will build a tourism complex there," PM Wickremesinghe said at a ceremony in Gampaha Wednesday. more..

Sri Lankan Muslim body takes up Muslim issues with US envoy

Jan 13 (ENS) Muslim Council of Sri Lanka (MCSL) met US Ambassador Atul Keshap on Wednesday and apprised him of the issues facing the Muslim community in the light of a recent resurgence of Sinhala-Buddhist extremism with the tacit support of a section of the govt. MCSL member and media personality Hilmy Ahamed said that the Ambassador was concerned about the fate of the post-war ethnic reconciliation process and more..

US$ 30 mn Jie Jie Beach hotel Panadura opens on Monday

Jan 13 (DN) SL’s first purpose built Chinese five star hotel, Jie Jie Beach will open on Monday in Panadura. This is also SL’s first solar powered hotel and also constructed by Chinese engineers. A joint venture between China’s J.J. Construction and White Heaven Hotels, Panadura the project is a US$ 30 million investment. J.J. Construction in China is an international construction companybuilding many skyscrapers and they were also involved in the building of the Beijing Olympic Stadium. more..

Sampanthan participates in National Integration and Reconciliation Week

Jan 13 (FT) President Sirisena as Minister of National Integration and Reconciliation declared National Integration and Reconciliation Week from 8 to 14 Jan every year from 2017, with the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers. All schools were requested to give importance to the unity, harmony, national integration and reconciliation by commitment to the declaration on national integration and reconciliation issued by Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation.  more..

Consultation Task Force report must lead to justice

Jan 13 (AI) As long as the SL govt ignores the findings of a taskforce, which examines crimes under international law and human rights violations and abuses during the country’s decades-long internal conflict, justice, truth and reparation for thousands of families who have suffered deaths and disappearances will remain elusive, Amnesty International said. The organization is dismayed by the SL govt’s casual disregard for the findings more..

Draft proposals in 2000: No clause for two-year extension of tenure: CBK

Jan 13 (DM) Former president Chandrika Kumaranatunga responded to Minister Rajitha Senaratne saying she made no attempt to extend her term of office by two more years through the constitutional proposals presented to Parliament in 2000. The following is her statement issued: "I am surprised to see a statement made by Minister Rajitha Senaratne about the 2000 draft Constitution formulated by my Govt, where he states the UNP opposed it and did not give 7 votes required more..

Man who provided refuge to Rajiv Gandhi’s assassins in Bengaluru dead

Jan 13 (Hindu) J. Ranganath, who provided refuge to Rajiv Gandhi’s assassins Sivarasan, Subha and five others in a house at Konanakunte here, died on Thursday. The nearly 60-year-old resident of Nagasandra in Bengaluru was suffering from kidney problems for a long time. Ranganath was accused number 26 in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. He was arrested in 1991 and was among the 19 of the 26 accused who were released in 1999. According to K. Ragothaman, ex-CBI officer more..

Chamari Liyanage, who killed her abusive husband, allowed to stay in Australia

Jan 13 (ABC) A woman who killed her abusive husband will be allowed to stay in Australia after the Department of Immigration reinstated her visa. SL-born doctor Chamari Liyanage is serving a four-year prison term after being convicted of the manslaughter of fellow doctor Dinendra Athukorala at their home in the West Australian town of Geraldton in June 2014. She was acquitted of the more serious charge of murder and has been more..

Cabinet greenlights PPP division

Jan 13 (FT) Cabinet this week gave approval for a Public Private Partnership (PPP) division to be set up under the Treasury with specially recruited personnel to evaluate investment proposals for key public assets. The Cabinet paper, which was jointly presented by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake and International Trade Minister Mallik Samarawickrama, sought Cabinet approval to allocate Rs. 75 million from the financial resources already earmarked for the Finance Ministry. more..

'No statements were recorded from me'

Jan 13 (DM) Deputy Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna who was the Deputy Minister of Construction and Engineering Services in the previous govt when Wimal Weerawansa was the subject minister, said that no one had recorded a statement from him over the alleged misuse of govt vehicles. FCID arrested MP Wimal Weerawansa over a charge of misusing 40 state vehicles belonging to State Engineering Corporation and causing a loss of Rs. 90 million to the state. more..

NFF dares govt to probe Ashu and Alagiyawanne

Jan 13 (Island) NFF has challenged the govt to inquire into the involvement of UNP MP Prof. Ashu Marasinghe and UPFA Deputy Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanne, too, in the alleged misuse of vehicles during NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa’s tenure as a minister. UPFA MP Weerawansa and former General Manager of the State Engineering Corporation (SEC) Samantha Lokuhennadi arrested by FCID on Tuesday more..

Woman dies after drinking concoction made by exorcist

Jan 13 (DM) A woman, who had consumed a concoction prepared for her by an exorcist at a devalaya, died on Wednesday night after going into a trance-like state, the Dummalasuriya Police said. The victim had been identified as Ishara Umayangani Fernando (38) a mother of two from Bangadeniya, Chilaw. She had separated from her husband. She had gone to the devalaya located close to Paliyagara Tank in Welipangahamulla with a cousin, seeking some relief for the spell more..

Wimal observes Sil

Jan 13 (DN) MP Wimal Weerawansa arrested and remanded over the alleged misuse of public property observed Sil in prison yesterday, Prisons officials said. A religious programme is held at the Prisons premises every Full Moon Day. A paper requesting prisoners willing to participate in this programme to place their signatures was circulated among the prisoners on Wednesday night. Weerawansa had requested a prison official to include his name in the list as he is interested in observing Sil. more..

Ravi woos foreign investors

Jan 13 (FT) Minister Ravi Karunanayake tipped his hat to foreigners assuring that Govt would provide a range of incentives including a 5-year resident visa for a minimum investment of $ 300,000 and rights to lease land for those investing over $ 1.5 million. These monies could be brought into the country through licensed commercial banks and could be invested in the capital market, banking industry more..

Let us join hands on this noble mission

Jan 13 (DM) “While respecting the richness of our diversity of different ethnicities, religions, regions and languages, with the firm objective of making National Integration a reality in SL,  We all solemnly pledge in this manner: We are members of one and the same human race.  We will strive resolutely with determination to foster peace among all citizens and communities in Sri Lanka with understanding, mutual trust, and a boundless sense of unity and compassion among all of us. more..

Winning the West

Jan 13 (CT) European Commission (EC) has proposed the restitution of the lost GSP+ facility to Sri Lanka. After going through the formal process of keeping this restitution open allegedly for four months for any objections, it's therefore more than likely that GSP + will be restituted either in April or March. Nonetheless, German Embassy's Deputy Chief of Mission Dr. Michael Dohmen speaking at the Sri Lanka-Germany Business Council AGM which was held on 9 Nov said, more..

'Sri Lanka welcomes investment'

Jan 13 (DM) Sri Lanka's envoy in Beijing said his govt is extremely positive toward Chinese investment and will not stop the development of an industrial zone in the southern coastal city of Hambantota because of protesters. The zone, a key development project in Hambantota, is set to take up 50 square kilometers and is expected to develop businesses including logistics, marine services and marine product processing. more..

Northern Politicos Not Happy

Jan 13 (SL) The Tamils in the North played a pivotal role in the change of regime and they expected their burning issues, mainly the resettlement, releasing of political prisoners and reduction of the military presence in the North to be fulfilled. Some election promises have been partially activated but according to the Northern people the majority of their expectations have not been fulfilled. Tamils in North are also rather disgruntled more..

'Party supporters wanted me to quit the govt'

Jan 13 (DM) Amidst a volatile political atmosphere, UPFA MP, former State Minister Priyankara Jayarathna recently tendered his resignation from his ministerial portfolio. Minister responded to questions about the cause of his resignation. Q: Why did you accept the state minister portfolio?  A: As you know, I represent Anamaduwa, a seat where voters are known for their leftist political ideologies. more..

Few mighty millers accused of rigging rice market

Jan 13 (ST) Farmer groups and small-scale paddy millers are accusing heavyweights of manipulating the rice market. They say large-scale millers are gaining control by buying up stocks released by the Govt. Brokers are buying paddy from Govt stores on behalf of large-scale operators, while some are using fraudulent documents to claim they are small-scale millers. All-Island Farmers Federation, more..

Rajitha, doctors lock horns over delay in transfers

Jan 13 (Island) Minister Rajitha Senaratne blamed the GMOA for having caused a delay in implementing doctors’ transfers. He accused the doctors’ union of unduly interfering in transfers. There was no point in blaming the Health Ministry for the delay, he said. He said the GMOA had overstepped its limits. Minister has alleged that due GMOA’s interference some hospitals have got more doctors than required. more..

Central Bank Governor is a good soul: Ravi

Jan 13 (EN) Central Bank Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy is a good soul Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said, in the wake of rising concerns that the independence of the monetary authority was being undermined. "There are two people in the central bank - not the Governor, he is a good soul - but he is being led by two cronies who are basically running the wrong way," Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. more..

40 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees from TN return

Jan 13 (Hindu) About 40 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees from various camps located across Tamil Nadu will be leaving for the island nation on Friday under the voluntary repatriation programme of the UNHCR. The individuals from 14 families have been living in camps located in Coimbatore, Dindigul, Erode, Karur, Namakkal, Pudukkottai, Salem, Sivaganga and Tiruchi districts. They will leave for Colombo from Tiruchi int'l airport. more..

Questionable coal deal pushed cost of electricity up: LCC Head

Jan 13 (Island) Chairman of Lanka Coal Company (LCC) Maithri Gunaratne has alleged that the Power and Renewable Energy Ministry preempted a possible chance to cancel a multi billion-rupee questionable coal tender awarded to Swiss Singapore Overseas Enterprises Pvt Limited, which is said to have caused a loss of over four billion rupees on an earlier occasion. more..

Sri Lanka's small parties unhappy with local govt election reform

Jan 13 (ENS) Small political parties and parties of small minorities have got a raw deal in the local govt reform process and may be reluctant to support any legislation in the regard, says Mano Ganeshan, leader of TPA and a cabinet minister. He said that as per the present proposal, 79% of seats in local govt councils will be filled through First Past the Post System (FPPS) & 21% Proportional Representation System (PRS). more..

Tri-forces to support drought victims

Jan 13 (NR) President Maithripala Sirisena says he will seek the assistance of the tri-forces in assisting those affected by the drought in the island. Accordingly apart from state officials members of the tri-forces will also be deployed to lend a hand in relief efforts. Speaking at a function organized by the SL Air Force the Head of State said he has immense faith in the tri-forces. Head of State said as Minister of Defence, more..

Questioning traditional approaches to growth

Jan 13 (CT) On Friday Jan 13th it has been reported that Chinese Prime Minister had made the observation that, We must question traditional approaches to growth, At last, someone has recognized the dangers of unquestioned growth. Our path to growth must be questioned even at this late stage. It was not that the current direction of growth went unquestioned. The observations made below were written in 1977, our politicians where were deaf to our pleas and blind to the consequences. more..

Sri Lanka may consider other options for SriLankan Airlines: Finance Minister

Jan 13 (EN) SL may consider other transparent options to find a partner for state-run SriLankan Airlines if the govt decides that proposals made so far can be bettered, Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. "We are currently in talks. I think we may have to look at this more broadly," "We are looking at the proposals made by several companies," he said. " If we think we can get proposals that are not good enough and better options are possible, we may broaden the process. more..

අපේ රටේ දේශපාලනයේ තව ත් පැතිකඩක්

Let’s go to the green, green grassroots

Jan 13 (DM) The National Unity Govt – launching its sustainable all-inclusive and eco-friendly development strategy this year -- is giving high priority to issues relating to climate change and global warming.   On Wednesday, as one of the important events of the ongoing National Reconciliation and Integration Week, President Sirirsena launched the Moragahakanda development project, last phase of the accelerated Mahaveli Development Programme. more..

Jaffna shooting: 5 Police officers remanded

Jan 13 (NR) Five Police officers arrested in connection with the murder of two Jaffna University students have been remanded till the 27th of January. The five Police officers arrested on suspicion in connection to the murder of two students of the University of Jaffna have been remanded till the 27th of Jan. The order was issued by Jaffna Magistrate K Sadish. Court ordered the CID to submit a progress report of the case during the next court hearing. more..

Debt, politics, fiscal uncertainty could dampen Sri Lanka growth: World Bank

Jan 13 (EN) Sri Lanka’s economic growth rate will improve this year and the next but rising debt, political tensions and uncertainty about fiscal consolidation could weaken its prospects, according to a new World Bank report. “Growth in Sri Lanka is forecast to climb to 5 percent in 2017, supported by increased private consumption and a rise in foreign direct investment,” the World Bank’s January 2017 Global Economic Prospects report said. more..

Full Text: European Commission report on assessment of the application for GSP+

Jan 13 (CT) The Commission on Wednesday proposed that a significant part of the remaining import duties on Sri Lankan products should be removed by the European Union in exchange for the country’s commitment to ratify and effectively implement 27 international conventions on human rights, labour conditions, protection of the environment and good governance. These one-way trade preferences would consist of the full removal of duties on 66% of tariff lines, covering more..

Pro-Champika website posted B report even before conclusion of court proceedings?

Jan 13 (Island) NFF spokesperson Mohammed Muzammil said that govt wouldn’t probe MPs’ duty-free vehicle permit scam though their leader Wimal Weerawansa, MP, was hauled up before Fort Magistrate on Tuesday and remanded for alleged misuse of about 40 vehicles during previous administration, Muzammil alleged that the B report pertaining to MP Weerawansa’s arrest had been posted on a website backed by minister Champika Ranawaka even before the Fort Magistrate more..

Royal College Grade 1 admissions: 31 applicants de-listed

Jan 13 (DM) Thirty one children who had applied for Grade-1 admissions at Royal College in Colombo allegedly using fraudulent documents will be de-listed, Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said today adding that the admissions would resume next week. He told a media briefing that the admissions to the Grade-1 at Royal College had been suspended after the Education Ministry launched a special inquiry more..

Minister, his bureaucrat differ on Lankan Fishers in Indian custody

Jan 13 (Island) Minister Mahinda Amaraweera maintained that there were no SL fishermen in Indian custody. He was responding to a statement made by the Northern Province Director of Fisheries P. Mirando, who had claimed that a large number of SL fishermen were in the custody of Indian authorities and negotiations to secure their release had failed. Minister noted that there were only three Sri Lankans in the custody of Indian authorities at present but they had not been arrested more..

Japan to assist in development of former Bogambara prison land

Jan 13 (Island) The former prison land at Bogambara would be re-developed with the assistance of Japan, Minister Lakshman Kiriella said. Addressing the opening ceremony of the Halloluwa Bridge built across the Mahaweli River by the Road Development Authority (RDA) under UK Steel Bridge Project held on Sunday, Minister said discussions were being held with Japan to develop ten acres of land belonging to the Bogambara Prison considering the necessities of the people. more..

Boru Show to cover up corruption: National Agenda for Ministries soon: PM

~Jan 13 (NR) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe announced that the govt has decided to formulate a national agenda for all ministries. He said a detailed plan will be included for ministries to follow in the next few years. PM said the national agenda will be formulated with the consensus of President. PM said it will highlight future plans of the govt and proposed projects with private entities in respect of ministries adding that following more..

Wigneswaren holds bilateral meeting with Ontario Premier in Toronto

Jan 13 (LR) Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario, hosted Justice C.V. Wigneswaran, Chief Minister of the Northern Province, for a very productive meeting at her Queen’s Park office today.  Premier Wynne conveyed Ontario’s strong interest in seeing and supporting further progress in strengthening the Ontario-Northern Province relationship, including in the areas of economic development, women’s empowerment, institutional governance and public sector capacity building. more..