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President is closing stable door after horse has bolted: JVP

Jan 23 (DM) President Sirisena's decision to appoint a Special Presidential Commission of Inquiry to probe the CB bond scam is only similar to closing the stable doors after the horse has bolted, JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said. He said that there was a sinister move to block the scheduled to be held in Parliament tomorrow and that the case filled by the Ven. Thiyawala Palitha Thera against the COPE report on more..

Improvised explosive devices taking heavy toll on domestic animals

Jan 23 (Island) Killing of dogs and cattle in various places of the Anuradhapura has increased as, they become victims of improvised explosive devices commonly known as hakka patas set by people to hunt wild boars and other animals. The Hakka Patas (approximate English translation – jaw breaker) are a mixture of explosive matter, lead and iron made into a ball, which is inserted into a cucumber or a pumpkin or another bait. These are mainly used to hunt wild boar. more..

Group of school boys of Kandy leading school to be arrested

Jan 23 (Island) The women’s and children’s Bureau of the Kandy police headquarters is taking steps to arrest a group of students of a leading boys school in Kandy for allegedly attacking a 15 year old student of the same school, recently. The year 13 victim being a resident of Colombo was admitted to a private hospital in Colombo, the police said. The attack on the student has been so severe that the private parts of the student have been affected, according to sources. more..

Malaysia will not end up like Sri Lanka, won’t lease properties to China: Johari

Jan 23 (AD) Malaysian Finance Minister Johari Abdul Ghani has said Malaysia will not end up like Sri Lanka, which was forced to lease its properties for its indebtedness to China. “That is Sri Lanka, this is Malaysia,” Johari said when met at an event in Kuala Lumpur.  He was responding to prominent socio-economic activist and Bantah TPPA deputy chairperson Azlan Awang, who was quoted by news portal FMT as warning more..

Too cleverby three quarters on bonds

Jan 23 (CT) Monk’s petition on eve of bond debate in House was the caption of a front page story in Sunday Times. UNP has sent their emissary to Hulftsdorp together with footnotes. There is a palpable air of duplicity. These are the best of times and worst of times. Bonds between the spiritual & temporal are blurred. Some in Buddhist brotherhood of our land are worried over treasury bonds. Some are contemptuous over bonds between people of different sexual orientations. more..

More investigation officers for price controls

Jan 23 (LBO) Sri Lanka is enforcing new protection measures from 21st Jan to safeguard consumers from errant traders who violate price controls in the domestic market. Industry and Commerce Ministry said 62 new investigation officers were appointed bringing the total force to 250, island-wide, to safeguard 21 million consumers. Minister Rishad Bathiudeen said that before the end of this year he will appoint another 200 or more to double the existing investigative force. more..

EIB to provide 50 million Euros to improve sewage networks

Jan 23 (EIB) European Investment Bank (EIB) will provide EUR 50 million to support improvement and expansion of sewage networks across Colombo. The new loan will help CMC to achieve its goal of providing full sanitation coverage to benefit people living and working in the greater Colombo area. New EIB loan is EIB’s first ever support for water investment in Sri Lanka and the first loan for public sector investment agreed more..

Homophobic justice minister Wijeyadasa should resign: Right Activists

Jan 23 (CT) Right activists slammed Justice Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe‘s outrageous comment on homosexuality and urged him to step down. On Friday Wijeyadasa described homosexuality as a mental illness. Speaking at the opening ceremony of new district court complex in Tissamaharama, Wijeyadasa said: “They impose conditions on us when granting the GSP+ concession. When we were exporting fish to the EU they imposed the conditions and we complied with them. more..

Tax on alcohol Rs 175b in 2017

Jan 23 (CT) The govt expects to generate revenue of Rs 175 billion through the Excise Duty imposed on liquor in 2017, Approved Budget Estimates show. According to the Budget Estimates 2017, this is an increase of Rs 50 billion comparing with the revenue generated through excise duty imposed on liquor in 2016. In 2016, the revenue generated through excise duty on liquor was Rs 125 billion. Although the approved excise duty revenue from liquor is Rs 175 billion, more..

Nation-wide inflation steady at 4.2% in Dec

Jan 23 (LBO) Consumer prices as measured by National Consumer Price Index rose at a steady pace of 4.2% in Dec from the 4.1% reported a month ago. The NCPI has been calculated as 118.0 for Dec 2016. This shows an increase of 1.4 index points or a percentage of 1.2 compared to the previous month’s (Nov) index of 116.6. This monthly change was due to the increase of expenditure value of food items by 1.25% and more..

Pillayan further remanded until Feb 6

Jan 23 (AD) Former Eastern Province CM S. Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan, who was arrested in connection with the murder of ex-MP Joseph Pararajasingham, has been further remanded until Feb 6.  The bail application filed on behalf of the defendant was rejected by the Batticaloa Magistrate’s Court, when the case was taken up on Monday.  Pillayan was arrested on Oct 11, 2015 when he arrived at the CID to give a statement in connection with the assassination of more..

'Fonseka may have let cat out of the bag'

Jan 23 (CG) JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake feels former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka may have let the cat out of the bag on talks to give the Trincomalee port to India. Speaking at a media briefing today, he said that Fonseka seems to have revealed something discussed by cabinet but not formally made public by the Govt. Fonseka had told the Indian media that Sri Lanka was discussing with India to give the Indians the Trincomalee port. India had however denied the claims but  more..

Google Loon delay: Govt seeks AG's advice

Jan 23 (DM) Govt has sought the advice of the Attorney General on the action it should take on the delay by the Int'l Telecommunication Union (ITU) approving the Google Loon Project, Minister Harin Fernando said. He said that TRC and the Cabinet approved the project. "But the delay is caused by the ITU" he said. He said Google Company Chief would also be keen to see the proposed project when he visited more..

Distorted National Flag at Jaffna boat launch

Jan 23 (CT) A distorted version of the national flag was hoisted on Nechunkarakei, a new boat service that transports passengers from the Delft to Kurikattuwan in Jaffna and vice versa. The national flag contains four yellow Bo leaves in each corner of the background representing the four main concepts of Buddhism, Metthaâ, Karuna, Mudita and Upekkha. However the flag hoisted on this boat did not have the four Bo leaves. Neduntharakai was ceremonially launched by more..

Video: Two killed, 33 injured in head-on collision in Nittambuwa

Jan 23 (DM) An accident involving a bus, a container truck, a car and a trishaw in Pasyala this morning has killed two and injured 35, Police say. The accident occurred around 5 a.m. on the Colombo-Kandy main road when the bus and the container crashed head-on, Police reports. The car and the trishaw were caught in the resulting pileup. Two persons were killed in the accident and over 35 injured. The injured were rushed to the Hospital where they are being treated currently. more..

Video: President will enact Sampanthan Constitution: Keheliya

Jan 23 (DM) President Sirisena is attempting to enact a Sampanthan Constitution by cancelling the first three clauses in the First Chapter of the current Constitution, JO MP Keheliya Rambukwella claimed today. He said the new Constitution was based by the proposals submitted by the TNA and Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan as a condition for the TNA’s support to President Sirisena at the 2015 presidential election. more..

Move to deny credit to less-affluent advised by university scholars

Jan 23 (CG) A move to deny credit to the less affluent to purchase a three-wheeler by the govt, which smacks dangerously on social engineering, was mooted by university scholars, a finance ministry said. CB had issued regulations requiring a down payment of 75% to be made before leasing a three-wheeler. Yet another public body to be built out of taxpayer funds, expanding an already-bloated state to regulate three-wheelers, as well as squeeze credit to potential new buyers more..

An Island for all seasons for the wider Latin American Market FITUR, Madrid 2017

Jan 23 (SLT) Sri Lanka made a great impact in promoting the country as a tourism destination by participating at the 37th staging of the International Tourism Trade Fair, FITUR, in Madrid Spain from 18th to 22nd January 2017. This event, organized by IFEMA, brought together at Feria de Madrid, 9,672 tourism companies, institutions and bodies from 165 countries and regions and has earned it’s standing as the third largest tourism fair in Europe. The inauguration of the Sri Lanka stall more..

Muslim farmers in Amparai district seek return of 2878 acres

Jan 23 (ENS) Muslim farmers in Ampara district are pleading with the govt to return 2878 acres of agricultural land which ought to have been given back to them when the 30-year war ended in 2009. The non-return of these lands has affected 1406 families, who find that the end of the war has brought no relief to them in economic terms, according to Nihal Ahamed, Co-ordinator of Ampara district alliance for land rights (ADALR). more..

Presidential commission on bondscams to have two judges, auditor

Jan 23 (EN) A 3-member Presidential commission of Inquiry to probe frauds in bond auctions will have a judge from Supreme Court, High Court and an auditor, a statement said. A notice appointing the commission will be published in the Govt Gazette, later this week, a statement from President's media office said. "President appeals to all sections involved to support the commission to carry out its duties," statement said. In the so-called bondscams, Perpetual Treasuries, connected to more..

'USS Hopper visit signals growing bilateral cooperation'

Jan 23 (USE) The USS Hopper (DDG 70) concluded its five-day port call to Colombo today as part of a visit to strengthen growing U.S.-Sri Lankan ties and express appreciation to the Sri Lankan Navy for its assistance during an emergency medical evacuation of a USS Hopper crewmember in September 2016. “Cooperation between our two countries’ naval forces enhances maritime security in the Indo-Pacific region,” said U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Atul Keshap. more..

Arjuna Mahendran is an adviser to Finance Ministry now: ACF

Jan 23 (AD) Former Governor of the CB, Arjuna Mahendran is currently acting as an advisor to the Finance Ministry, the Anti-Corruption Front (ACF) alleged. ACF has also written to President demanding him to prevent controversial former governor Mahendran from attending meetings at the Ministry of Finance, ACF said in a statement.  “We are extremely grateful of your decision to appoint a Special Presidential Commission of Inquiry more..

Effective governance requires getting from three power centres to one 

Jan 24 (CT) Change of govt that took place in 2015 gave rise to much hope that the new govt would solve the most intractable problem that the country faces, and resolve ethnic conflict that has been a festering sore from the time of Independence in 1948. It is not as if sincere efforts at problem solving were not made in the past. But a notable feature of past attempts at ethnic problem solving was that they were made by one of the two major political parties, while other remained in opposition. more..

Steamrolling of Central Bank by Minister of Finance: An unsavoury development?

Jan 24 (CT) A growing rift between Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake and the senior management of the Central Bank is surfacing now, worrying both financial markets and prospective foreign investors. The relationship between the Finance Minister and the Monetary Board of the Central Bank is not very clear under the new work allocation of the Govt. In terms of this work allocation, the Central Bank, which should legitimately come under the Finance Minister, has been listed under more..

Drone journalism calls for media ethics

Jan 24 (SO) The controversy over the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as drones for media coverage has hit the news during the past few weeks, generating diverse opinion over media ethics and responsibility of the media personnel when using drone cameras to cover events like protests and other functions attended by VVIPs. It was after the arrest of a drone camera belonging to a pvt media institution, more..

Sri Lanka: The shape of things to come

Jan 24 (Island) Politics is shaped by the ability to deliver. So is the future. It is all about doing and achieving, doing what you say what you say you are going to do, to paraphrase Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva. It is not about good intentions, it is about getting results. It is not about pleasing outsiders and being liked by them; ultimately it is about keeping your own people happy, satisfying their aspirations, reassuring them, protecting them and advancing their interests. more..

This beggar’s opera and Malik’s frolics

Jan 24 (ST) There is an old African saying (I think it originated in the Kikuyu tribe though there are variants of it) that when elephants fight it is the grass that is trampled. It is simple enough to understand. When beasts the size of pachyderms fight it is the small animals inadvertently caught up in the tussle and the grass on which they fight that suffer the most. Those engaged in the current gladiatorial contests are not the four-legged kind that gave rise to the African proverb. more..

Docs threaten TU action if...

Jan 24 (CT) This week the trade union talk focuses on the issues faced by doctors. Ceylon Today interviewed the General Secretary of GMOA Dr. Naveen de Zoysa. He insisted that it is unfair to tax the secondary income of doctors. He noted, due to the existence of private medical services the burden on the govt health services is reduced. In that context, govt should encourage the private medical services. more..

CTF recommendations and hybrid court

Jan 24 (CT) In the wake of the Consultative Task Force calling for foreign Judges to hear war crime charges, Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene stated that President Sirisena categorically ruled out the participation of foreign Judges to hear or inquire into war crime allegations. He reaffirmed the President's position that only logistical and IT assistance would be obtained to expedite the judicial process, when the judicial mechanism was set up to probe the alleged crimes. more..

Forgotten Republic Day

Jan 24 (CT) The fourth of February is celebrated as the National Day and the country is to mark the 69th Independence Anniversary on 4 Feb 2017. On Thursday (26 Jan) India celebrates its Republic Day with pomp and pageantry as India considers the Republic Day as the most important National Day. At the same time India celebrates the Independence Day (15 Aug) as the day the country gained independence, by hoisting the Indian Tricolour on the rampart of the Red Fort in Delhi. more..

JVP press conference

Poverty elimination: Rhetoric and policy imperatives

Jan 24 (ST) Govt declared 2017 as the year of poverty alleviation and President Maithripala Sirisena has appointed a special committee to work for the eradication of poverty in the country. Sri Lanka is expected to be poverty free by 2020. The elimination of poverty has been a popular promise among political leaders in SL. Despite their repeated promises, resolutions and committees for eliminating poverty, poverty persists. President Premadasa moved a resolution at SAARC Summit more..

Partnership with three universities to boost industry: INSEE Cement enters SL market

Jan 24 (DN) SL construction industry will be strengthened with the launching of INSEE Cement. INSEE Cement was earlier known as Holcim (Lanka) and currently recognised as the country’s leading cement manufacturer. The main INSEE manufacturing plant is based in Thailand. LafargeHolcim sold Holcim Lanka operations for Siam City Cement (INSEE Cement) for US$ 400m. Siam City Cement Public Company (SCCC), is the second-largest cement maker in Thailand. more..

Let’s become Dhiriya citizens who nurture happiness & drive away sorrow

Jan 24 (LT) “The country is at a stage where people die of mosquito bites. The present administration cannot save the people even from mosquito bites. Death is the cheapest in the country. What we need is a country that nurtures life instead of death, happiness instead of sorrow and that consists of determined people who aspire for unity between Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Burghers and Malays. The policies to build such a country more..

Fowzie in hospital as abuse of state vehicle case is taken up

Jan 24 (Island) Colombo Chief Magistrate ordered the witnesses to be present on April 5 to testify in respect of the complaint filed by the Permanent CIABOC against the former Minister of Disaster Management A.H.M. Fowzie. The Commission had complained that the suspect Fowzie had used a state vehicle given for Disaster Management for his personal use, and thereby caused a loss to the state that amounted up to Rs. 10 million. The value of the vehicle is Rs. 20 million. more..

Dubai Police help Sri Lankan man meet daughter in Switzerland

Jan 24 (GN) Dubai Police helped a Sri Lankan father, stranded in the transit area of Dubai airport due to a fake passport, visit his daughter in Switzerland. The father was travelling to Switzerland to see his daughter — a resident of that country — but was denied entry after passport control in Switzerland discovered that his passport was fake. He was sent back to Sri Lanka through Dubai where he asked for help from Dubai Police. Colonel Al Murr, Director of Human Rights more..

Feel the heat more as captain: Mathews

Jan 24 (WI) In 2014, a few months after he guided Sri Lanka to their maiden Test win against England, Angelo Mathews was named captain of the ICC’s Test Team of the Year. He seemed well set to rise to the upper echelons of the sport’s hierarchy. Like his predecessors Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, Mathews was blossoming into an influential leader with Sri Lanka heading towards a generational change after more..

A Trillion Hat-trick from Bank of Ceylon

Jan 24 (Island) Bank of Ceylon scored its third Trillion at the end of the year 2016. That is surpassing the Rs. one trillion mark in advances- another unique milestone in its 77-year journey as the Bankers to the Nation and becoming the first, and up to now the only bank to pass this milestone in Sri Lanka. Bank’s balance sheet has expanded, press release said. ‘At an impressive scale since its first Trillion target was achieved in 2012 by accumulating over Rs. one trillion assets more..

SriLankan most punctual among OneWorld airlines

Jan 24 (AD) SriLankan Airlines has further enhanced its reputation as one of the most punctual airlines in the world, by being rated as the most on-time member airline of the oneworld global airline alliance in the fourth quarter of 2016, by the global flight data monitoring firm OAG. Oneworld has for many years been rated as the most punctual among global airline alliances. oneworld comprises 14 airlines that connect more than 1,000 cities in 160 countries – air-berlin, American Airlines, more..

'If President to leave coalition govt, that will put his life in danger'

Jan 24 (AD) If President Maithripala Sirisena is to leave the coalition govt, that decision will put his life in danger, PHU leader Udaya Gammanpila said. Gammanpila also alleged the CIA and India’s RAW were behind forming Ranil- Maithri coalition govt in 2015. “They tossed them into a barrel and filled it up to the waist level with concrete. So they cannot leave each other, but still can fight,” Gammanpila said.  more..