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Private US company chosen for public sector reform here

Jan 2 (Island) US has chosen Development Alternatives, Inc (DAI), to implement a mega project meant to reform Sri Lanka’s public sector, in accordance with an agreement between Sri Lanka and the House Democracy Partnership of the US House of Representatives. Strengthening Democratic Governance and Accountability Project (SDGAP) worth Rs 1.92 bn (USD 13 mn) is first of its kind implemented in Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka not to nationalise seized boats of fishermen

Jan 2 (Hindu) In the run-up to the first ministerial meeting on fishermen scheduled in Colombo on Monday, Sri Lanka has denied media reports that it proposed nationalisation of fishing boats belonging to Tamil Nadu fishermen. This clarification was provided by representatives of the neighbouring country on Saturday during a meeting of the Joint Working Group on Fisheries. However, on the issue of the release of boats and fishermen, there was no commitment from Sri Lanka, more..

Supun Weerasinghe takes over as Dialog’s Group Chief Executive

Jan 2 (FT) Dialog Axiata Plc has announced the appointment of Supun Weerasinghe as its Group Chief Executive, taking over from Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya who has led the company since 1997. The transition of leadership takes place with effect from 1 Jan 2017. Weerasinghe will also join the Board of Directors of the Dialog Group in the capacity of Executive Director. Dr. Wijayasuriya will remain closely associated with Dialog Axiata in his capacity as Regional CEO for the South Asia more..

Sirisena to push for amendments in Sino-Lankan pact on Hambantota port

Jan 2 (ENS) Given the billowing controversy over Sino-SL Framework Agreement (FA) on Hambantota port, President Sirisena is all set to seek some significant amendments in it. He proposes to do so by appointing his own representative in the negotiating team. Sirisena met the Chinese Ambassador to sound him about this plan to appoint his own representative, Dr. Sarath Rajapatirana of IPS, to the nagotiating team. more..

May discipline prevail in the National Govt

Jan 2 (DM) As the New Year 2017 dawned yesterday, the Rainbow Coalition - which was swept to office with high hopes and expectations on Jan 8, 2015 - was facing political thunderstorms.   The national govt leaders, President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe were optimistic and said the New Year would be a turnaround for Sri Lanka with poverty alleviation, sustainable all inclusive development and measures to curb climate change being given high priority.  more..

India, China and MR’s new political project

Jan 2 (DM) With the Maithri-Ranil unity govt approaching the end of its second year in office in an increasingly acrimonious co-habitation, former President Rajapaksa is gearing up for a come-back. He’s in combative mode, claiming that the real SLFP is with him, that he opposes the govt’s ongoing privatization and hopes to restore to the party the values of its founders. Engaging Colombo-based foreign correspondents in a wide-ranging discussion he seemed to relish encounter, more..

Looming darkness

Jan 2 (DM) With several islandwide power outages reported in 2016, many have predicted a looming power crisis threatening to cripple the country’s already fettered energy supply. The predictions and warnings come following significant changes in weather patterns over the past couple of years and amidst the island’s power regulators debating ways to mitigate the impact of a power shortage during the first few months of 2017. more..

Sri Lanka aims at eco-friendly growth by 2030; expand middle class

Jan 2 (EN) Sri Lanka wants to go forward protecting the environment providing more opportunities for people to enter the middle class President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. President Sirisena said protecting the environment for future generations was a responsibility of leaders and a path to sustainable growth 2030 in line with UN goals will be followed by Sri Lanka. more..

Sapugaskanda modernisation: CPC goes ahead despite objections

Jan 2 (ST) The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation is going ahead with its call for bids to modernise its Sapugaskanda refinery, ignoring the Cabinet Committee on Economic Management recommendation that the project be held back until an attractive investment is found. Accordingly, CPC has received 28 bids from international companies, including companies from India, the UAE, Iran, Singapore, US, Italy & China. more..

State Ministers dissatisfied with govt., demand solutions within within two months

Jan 2 (Island) State Minister Range Bandara has given an ultimatum to the govt following the resignation of State Minister Piyankara Jayaratne. Skills Development and Vocational Training State Minister Bandara (UNP) on behalf of his colleagues said that they, too, were unhappy with the government. Jayaratne said that he had given up the portfolio as he couldn’t bear the humiliation caused by some UNP members. more..

India to take up with Sri Lanka today, return of impounded fishing vessels

Jan 2 (ENS) The Indian Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Radha Mohan Singh, is to take up the issue of the return of Tamil Nadu fishing vessels seized by Sri Lanka as punishment for poaching in Sri Lankan waters, when he meets his SL counterpart, Mahinda Amaraweera, here on Monday.   In a statement issued on the eve of the first meeting of the reconstituted Joint Working Group on Fishing (JWGF), Singh said that more..

Grievances of Northerners directly under President’s supervision

Jan 2 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena will declare open an office in Jaffna, on Wednesday, which will attend to the grievances of the people in the North. This new office, which will come under President's direct supervision, will be opened at Northern Province Governor's Office at Old Park in Chundikuli. President, accompanied by several ministers, will travel to Jaffna on Wednesday to participate in various key events, more..

Yahapalana rental scam: Govt Chief Valuer made to amend report

Jan 2 (SL) Tender scams under the good governance administration are escalating and action has not been taken against the fraudsters by the govt who promised to put a complete stop to corruption when they were in the Opposition. First it came to light as to how under the present regime, a valuation report of Govt Chief Valuer was ignored and a building was rented at a higher rate to house the Ministry of Agriculture in Rajagiriya. more..

Sri Lanka misses some IMF benchmarks

Jan 2 (EN) Sri Lanka's has missed some structural benchmarks under outlined in a program with the International Monetary Fund for December, including processes for automatic market pricing of energy. By December 2016 a price formula was to be introduced for pricing fuel which with no losses and a market to service debt, taken to cover past losses of Ceylon Petroleum Corporation. more..

Lottery sellers usher in New Year with strike

Jan 2 (DM) Lottery ticket sales agents in many parts of the country boycotted sales yesterday protesting against the price increase of tickets to Rs. 30. They demanded prize amounts and their commissions be increased in line with the price increase. They claim that they should be paid Rs. 5.25 per ticket instead of Rs. 4 proposed by National Lotteries Board (NLB). They have also organised a huge demonstration in front of more..

'No division of country in new Constitution'

Jan 2 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena told the chief prelates, of the Malwatte and Asgiriya Chapters, on Saturday, that the new Constitution Draft Bill does not include any clause that is harmful to the country and that it is not in any way a document that will divide the country. President informed the Prelates that, although certain people are expressing their opinions against proposed new Constitution, it will not cause more..

Clarion call for good governance

Jan 2 (CT) The New Year messages with the blessings of religious leaders and the greetings from all national leaders have energized the countrymen to continue with the good efforts to strengthen good governance in the country. Two years ago, in January, National Unity Govt was set up to the satisfaction of the peace loving citizens of this country. Unity Govt which is very much focused on strengthening peace and reconciliation has succeeded to a great extent in past 2 years more..

Logic of coalition politics as art of the possible will continue 

Jan 2 (CT) Former President Rajapaksa has predicted the collapse of the govt in the New Year and his return to power. He is demonstrating the same tenacity that stood him in good stead during his long stint in politics prior to rising to become the undisputed leader of the country. He was kept down by his party leaders but prevailed in the end. After his unexpected defeat at the presidential election of Jan 2015 that he called prematurely he has been tenaciously struggling to stage more..

2017 වන වසරේ ජනතා බලාපොරොත්තු...

Chandra Jayaratne wants Eran to practice what he preaches

Jan 2 (CT) Good governance activist, Chandra Jayaratne has called on Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne to practice what he preaches. In an open letter, Jayaratne recalling the deputy minister’s recent statement that the Govt is open to discuss suggestions; and following such submissions ready to take reform action, congratulated the deputy minister on his announcement and reiterated that this was the fervent expectations of the citizens who voted in the Yahapalanaya Govt. more..

Prepaid cards for private bus commuters from April

Jan 2 (NR) Lanka Private Bus Owners Association says passenger prepaid cards will be introduced for buses island wide from the 1st of April. Chairman Gemunu Wijeratne said discussions will be held with the govt in future regarding insurance schemes for private bus owners and employees. Wijeratne said the association has proposed a pension scheme for private bus employees. Accordingly he said island wide a prepaid card system will be introduced for passengers from the 1st of April more..

Inspired by Modi, Sri Lanka's Tell the President facility will be using mobile app

Jan 2 (ENS) Inspired by PM Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama, Sri Lanka’s Tell the President will be using a special IT app to enable citizens communicating with the Presidential Secretariat to track action taken on their requests through the ministries and departments of Central govt in Colombo, Coordinating Secretary to President Shiral Lakthilaka said. Any person with an android phone can install a special app more..

Police after other members of gang responsible for massive heist

Jan 2 (Island) Kadawatha police are looking for the remaining suspects of an armed gang who got away with Rs. 1.9 million cash, cigarettes worth Rs. 450.000 and a three wheeler in which the fags were being transported at Kiribathgoda in a daylight heist staged day before Christmas. One suspect was arrested and produced before Mahara Magistrate Aruna Ranasinghe and remanded till January 4. The Judge ordered the police to produce the suspect before an identification parade. more..

Sarath Kumara Gunaratne remanded

Jan 2 (DM) Former deputy minister Sarath Kumara Gunaratne, arrested by the CID on charges of misappropriating Rs.12 million belonging the Negombo Fisheries Harbour Corporation, was today remanded till January 9 by Colombo Chief Magistrate Lal Bandara. The CID had produced four suspects in court on the instructions of the Attorney General and that Mr. Gunaratne was the fifth suspect arrested in connection with the allegations with one more to be taken into custody. more..

Demarcation report unacceptable: Faizer

Jan 2 (NR) Minister Faizer Mustapha today refused to accept the report compiled by the National Delimitation Committee headed by Asoka Peiris on demarcations of wards for local govt bodies. The publication of the report of the Committee set up to look into complaints arising from delimitation of new wards was delayed on several occasions. Committee attributed the delay to several issues including, opposition by more..

Jaliya Wickramasuriya further remanded

Jan 2 (NR) Former Sri Lankan Ambassador to the US Jaliya Wickramasuriya arrested and remanded on charges of misusing state funds during the tenure of the UPFA led govt has been further remanded till the 11th of January. The order was issued by Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayarantha. The order was issued when the former Ambassador was produced before court today. Ambassador was arrested after arriving to record a statement at the FCID. more..

Video: One dead 9 injured in bus accident

Jan 2 (DM) A bus collided with a lorry on the Colombo - Kandy main road killing one and injuring nine, Kegalle Police said. A resident in Aranayaka area, Indika Kulathilleke (34), was transporting some timber from his saw-mill to Vavuniya when he met with this fatal incident. The accident happened when the Colombo bound Matale private bus was overtaking another bus at Kegalle, Kawdulla area around 7 am. Police said that the carelessness of the private bus driver had caused accident. more..

Mahinda can do whatever he wants, but I’m the PM: Ranil

Jan 2 (AD) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa is free to do whatever he wants, but I am the PM of this country, Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Monday. The PM made the observation while responding to reporters at the Temple Trees. “I will be going next week to Switzerland for one week giving Mahinda time to bring the govt down,” Wickremesinghe said. Mahinda Rajapaksa earlier had told more..

Vidura urges MR to act to ensure national well-being

Jan 2 (Island) UPFA MP Vidura Wickremanayake has urged former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to take tangible measures for the well being of the country and the SLFP. Kalutara District JO member Wickremanayake said that the former President had the strength and the courage to take decisions for the betterment of the country, therefore he should intervene now. The MP made the appeal at the funeral of his father, former PM Ratnasiri Wickremanayake at Horana. more..

President launched several development projects at Polonnaruwa General Hospital

Jan 2 (PSL) The vesting of several developments projects at the Polonnaruwa General Hospital with the public and the launching of new development projects under the Rajarata Navodaya- Pibidemu Polonnaruwa programme, with the aim of creating a healthier nation, was held under President Sirisena, today (01). President who arrived at the Polonnaruwa General Hospital conveyed his best wishes to the staff of Polonnaruwa General Hospital and later joined in the event. more..

India, Sri Lanka agree on releasing fishermen; to set up SOPs

Jan 2 (PTI) Sri Lanka will immediately release 51 Indian fishermen from its custody and has agreed to consider returning a large number of fishing boats while India will free three Lankan fishermen, as per outcome of a high- level meeting between the two countries on the vexed issue. "As result of the ministerial meeting, Sri Lanka is releasing 51 Indian fishermen and we are releasing three Sri Lankan fishermen. more..

SLMC opposed to new electoral system

Jan 2 (DM) The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), backed by some other minority parties, is opposed to the proposed new electoral system, officials said yesterday. A new electoral system called the "Mixed Member Proportional System" has been proposed and discussed by the Steering Committee working on constitutional proposals. However, SLMC leader, Minister Rauff Hakeem said that his party was against it because, if enacted, it would be disadvantageous for the parties. more..

Rise in fireworks accidents

Jan 2 (DN) Accidents caused by fireworks saw an increase compared to the previous year. December 30 and 31 saw an increase in road and domestic accidents and domestic violence. 479 incidents were reported to the Colombo National Hospital on New Year’s Eve and the day before. Soysa said last year saw a 13% decrease in accidents compared to the previous year. The number of road accidents reported was 113. This is a 16% drop compared to the previous year. more..

'Govt has planned to make 2017, Year of betrayal'

Jan 2 (DM) While claiming that 2017 would not be a prosperous year, PHU today charged the govt had already planned to make 2017 the Year of Betrayal. PHU General Secretary MP Udaya Gammanpila said the people would have to face an unfortunate circumstance during this year with several actions of the govt. “As the first step of the Year of Betrayal agenda, govt is willing to pass the new Constitution which is biased towards more..

Video: Rs.25,000 fine soon after discussions: IGP

Jan 2 (DM) The Rs.25,000 fine imposed for seven traffic offences would be implemented soon after the ongoing discussions are completed, Police Chief Pujith Jayasundara said today. He said this when he met journalists at a function held at the Police Headquarters to herald the New Year 2017. “This fine is aimed at wrongdoers. Innocent and law abiding people will not be affected by the increased amount,” the IGP said. He said all police personnel should strictly work on these fines more..

SLPP to contest polls in alliance with JO

Jan 2 (DM) SL Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) said it would contest the next elections in alliance with the parties in the joint opposition. “Overtures being made to us is a ploy to overcome challenges at the upcoming elections. We will not be duped for the second time. Clamour is for former president Rajapaksa to lead the party at the elections,” SLPP Chairman G.L. Peiris said. He said the SLFP was an appendage of UNP pointed out that the people would rally behind the new political party. more..

Sri Lanka targets 2.5 mn tourists in 2017

Jan 2 (IANS) SL said that it has set a target of welcoming 2.5 million tourists to the island nation in 2017. Minister John Amaratunga said that the country had already exceeded the 2 million tourist arrival mark in 2016 and now it hoped to attract a further 2.5 million tourists by the end of 2017. Up to Nov 2016, the govt had achieved a little more than 1.8 million tourists with the leading markets being India & China. more..

Shares fall as Keells draws selling

Jan 2 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares fell on the first trading day of 2017 as investors sold market heavyweight John Keells Holdings Plc and other blue chips amid worries over a weakening rupee and rising interest rates. Conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc fell 3.5% and accounted for 67.6% of Monday's turnover of 329.2 million rupees ($2.2 million). The Colombo stock index closed down 0.6% at 6,192.87. The bourse fell 9.7% in 2016, its second straight annual decline. more..

This is a Wahapalanaya govt: Tissa Vitharana

Jan 2 (AD) If someone eyes to become a super minister through the Development (Special Provisions) Act that would be none other than PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, LSSP asserts. Its leader Prof. Tissa Vitharana made the observation while speaking at a press conference. “There is a move to acquire President’s powers through the Act, since he cannot become the President,” he said while adding, “this is not a Yahapalanaya govt. This is a Wahapalanaya govt.” more..

Panneerselvam objects to reported statements of Sri Lankan Ministers

Jan 2 (ENS) Taking strong exception to the announcement of two SL ministers that the fishing boats and gear of TN fishermen which had been under Lankan custody for a long time would be made property of the island govt, chief minister O Panneerselvam sought the intervention of PM Narendra Modi for sorting out this sensitive issue which had caused anxiety among the fishermen in TN. "I strongly urge Govt of India to register more..