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Central Bank loans Rs 12.5B to govt

Jan 24 (CT) Central Bank on a net basis loaned Rs 12,495 million to the Govt by way of printed money, thereby increasing the money printing figure by 4.04% to Rs 322,030.31 million at the end of yesterday's trading. However, Govt's interest cost on account of money printing declined by Rs 215.3 million (2.39%) to Rs 8,786.66 million yesterday, probably because though there was an increase in money printing, some high cost Treasury (T)-Bill holdings in CBSL's godowns, would, more..

H'tota back in action with Bangladesh Tour

Jan 24 (ST) With its growing international status, the Bangladesh Tour of Sri Lanka should be of special significance where the present Lankan national cricket is concerned. Lankans upon concluding their T-20 engagement against Australia in Feb will be back at home taking on the high-riding Bangladesh cricketers when they will play two tests, three ODIs and two T-20s, in March this year. It is also noteworthy in these it is very likely that the Mahinda Rajapaksa Int'l Cricket Stadium more..

Plea for Jallikattu type world-wide struggle to promote Sri Lankan Tamil cause

Jan 24 (ENS) SL’s largest selling Tamil daily Virakesari has, in an editorial, called for a Jallikattu type non-partisan, peaceful, world-wide mass struggle in support of the SL Tamil cause. Expressing amazement at the way Tamils in TN and abroad spontaneously rose in defense of a cultural right shunning political parties and film stars in the process, paper said the Tamil Spring India saw kindles the hope that more..

SL’s Blind Cricketers to participate in World Blind 20-20 Tourney

Jan 24 (ST) A contingent of 17 Sri Lanka’s Visually Handicapped Cricketers and 3 officials will leave for India on Jan 31, to take part in the 2nd 20-20 World Blind Cricket organised by the World Blind Cricket Council, to be held from February 1-12. A well balanced team of 11 seniors and 6 freshers led by Chandana Deshapriya and selected from 3 categories- B1: Totally Blind, B2: Partially Blind and B3: Slightly better vision than B2, are brimming with confidence to win the Championship, more..

Bollettieri assures success in SL tennis

Jan 24 (CT) Sri Lanka is very fortunate to obtain the services of a top notch and world famous tennis coach Nick Bollettieri to uplift the standard of SL's tennis players. He was in SL from 22 to 24 January and very eager to get going on the court from the time of his arrival. Bollettieri is a celebrity coach who lives in America and has produced many successful tennis players in the likes of Andre Agassi, Boris Becker, Maria Sharapova, Venus and Serena Williams, Martina Hingis, Jim Courier more..

Mahendran mayhem

Jan 24 (FT) Local corruption watchdog the Anti-Corruption Front wrote to President, urging him to ban former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran from attending meetings at the Ministry of Finance and continuing to influence the decisions of the Monetary Board. Former Governor Mahendran, who was deprived of a service extension after an investment firm linked to his son-in-law was alleged to have illegally profited more..

Leasing Hambantota land to China: SC fixes petition to support on 2 Feb

Jan 24 (FT) Supreme Court re-fixed for support on 2 Febr the rights petition challenging the framework agreement with China to dispense 15,000 acres of land for investment in Hambantota for converting debt into equity. Petitioner Vasudeva Nanayakkara cited  PM, Minister of Ports and Shipping and Finance Minister as well as Members of the Cabinet, Members of the Cabinet Appointed Negotiating Committee, State-Owned Corporates of China - namely China Merchants Port and more..

Jaffna stadium should not contain political flavours

Jan 24 (CT) The President of SLC Thilanga Sumathipala visited the North and earmarked an area in Jaffna to build a cricket stadium. In fact Jaffna is one of the areas that had always produced cricketers with good potential for a long time, even before the country played the ICC World Cup in 1975. Sumathipala who started his public work slowly at regional level is now the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, which shows his liking for politics and it is no understatement. more..

Monetary Board to probe EPF investments

Jan 24 (DN) The majority of EPF investments go into govt securities; bills or bonds and the Monetary Board is conducting a study to find out whether there have been losses in their investments between 2015 and 2016, Finance Ministry Deputy Secretary S.R. Attygalle said as the Monetary Board released a statement to the press yesterday to dispel fears over losses incurred to Employee Provident Fund (EPF). more..

Deluges to droughts

Jan 24 (ST) SL’s focus last week on an impending drought has drawn a lot of praise in that the authorities – any govt for that matter – have got its act together and are preparing ahead for the expected calamity. While we too add a wee bit of praise to these developments, one must not be too complacent about short-term measures or long-term steps, however well intentioned they are, as these need to be accompanied by an efficient state machinery, finances and the will to succeed more..

Police to probe motive behind Dasa Sil Matha's hunger strike

Jan 24 (CT) Police are probing the motive behind the Dasa Sil Matha's fast-unto-death opposite the Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy since Sunday. It is reported that the unidentified Dasa Sil Matha has launched her fast demanding that the Unity Govt resign. Police have begun an investigation into her actions as the Dasa Sil Matha has refused to reveal her identity or provide any other details pertaining to her motives. She was admitted to Hospital due to being in a critical condition. more..

Ukrainian Capt of Avant Garde moves SC against his illegal arrest, prolonged detention

Jan 24 (Island) Ukrainian Gennadiy Gavrylov, Captain of MV Avant Garde, that had been embroiled in alleged arms smuggling controversy, has moved the SC against what the petitioner called his wrongful, unjustifiable and illegal arrest on the morning of Oct 6, 2015 and the continuing detention. There hadn’t been a previous case of a foreigner filing fundamental rights application in SL in terms of Articles 11, 12(1), 13(1), & 13(2). more..

PM to attend Ministerial consultation of Abu Dhabi Dialogue

Jan 24 (NR) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is scheduled to attend the 4th Ministerial consultation of the Abu Dhabi Dialogue today as Chief Guest. The conference commenced yesterday in Colombo. Accordingly, senior officer level discussions also commenced yesterday. Along with the Premiers participation, Minister Mangala Samaraweera is also due to attend the summit. ADD formed in 2008, brings together Asian labour sending and receiving countries, seeking to boost protection and more..

AI hosts Memory and Justice – day of activities and poetry book launch

Jan 24 (AI) Amnesty International will be hosting a day of activities around the theme of Memory and Justice in Colombo on 24 January, at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute. The day of activities will be a platform for a series of workshops and art exhibits. Amnesty International will also be launching Silenced Shadows, the published collection of winning entries from the human rights organization’s October 2015 poetry competition on the theme of enforced disappearances. more..

Punish bond thieves, recover stolen funds

Jan 24 (Island) Police and security officers are on high alert to prevent robbers, wearing full-face helmets from staging bank heists. But, those who robbed the bank of the banks came in, donning three-piece suits and walked away with billions of rupees richer. They made a killing for themselves as well as their political masters through several bond scams. They are currently seen in the exalted company of yahapalana leaders advocating more..

Davos trip a resounding success: Harin

Jan 24 (FT) Govt said PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos was a resounding success, helping to boost investor confidence and opening up opportunity for a high profile event in Colombo by the Switzerland-based global entity. Minister Harin Fernando said a request by the PM to hold an event of the World Economic Forum in Sri Lanka in 2018 to coincide with the 70th Independence Day celebrations in the country was received positively. more..

Report on outstanding Rs. 35 b from former govt’s projects to be handed to Cabinet

Jan 24 (FT) The final report of the Rs. 35 billion in outstanding payments for 500 public projects started by the previous regime covering 53 ministries will be presented to the Cabinet today, a top official confirmed. Digging through the morass of public projects from 2011, a three-member Cabinet committee has cleared Rs. 3 billion by August 2016 from a whopping Rs. 35 billion in outstanding payments on 500 projects started by the previous Govt.  more..

COPE report on CB Bond scam: House debate not sure

Jan 24 (Island) President Sirisena has instructed the Attorney General to take immediate steps to appoint a Special Presidential Commission to inquire into the allegations of malpractices in the bond issue of the CB and take required legal action, PMD said in a release. It said: A gazette notification to appoint a Commission comprising a judge of the Supreme Court, a judge of the High Court and an expert in auditing will be issued this week. more..

President assures help to needy villages

Jan 24 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena told a public meeting in Nuwara Eliya about an incident he encountered on his way to the event, that a student of a school in Kotagala had requested a toilet for his school. The student had made this request in response to an inquiry by the President about the problems faced by the people in the area. The President had promised the student to send a team of officials to the latter’s school next week to do the needful and also assured them he would more..

Towards a Just, Harmonious and Sustainable Social Order

Jan 24 (DM) It is common knowledge that today we are not living in a contented, just and conflict free world. Globalization and related processes have integrated countries across the world closer together. Economic, social, cultural and political relations today are as much global as local. Millions of people are on the move, traveling across countries and continents for work, business, education and leisure. Social networks are formed more and more in the cyber world, more..

Despite wide showers over one million gripped by drought

Jan 24 (Island) Recent showers across the country have eased the severe drought experienced in 18 districts, but experts say it wasn’t enough to make up for months extreme dry condition. 1,072,392 people of 260,055 families in Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Gampaha, Kalutara, Hambantota, Matara, Monaragala, Badulla, Anuradhapura, Jaffna, Mulitivu, Mannar, Vavuniya, Kandy, Kilinochchi, Ratnapura, Kurunegala more..

Free education system will be strengthened to benefit all children in country: President

Jan 24 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says he will take steps to create a society of intellectuals by strengthening the free education system of the country and providing equal benefits to all the children in the country. He made these remarks participating at the centenary celebrations of the Visakha Vidyalaya, at the school premises, today (23). President was warmly received by the school children when he arrived at the venue. more..

Handunnetti urges for voting rights for Sri Lankans abroad

Jan 24 (AN) Visiting Sri Lankan legislator Sunil Handunnetti said that the country’s expatriates should be given voting rights, and that their community schools should be affiliated to the Education Ministry in Colombo. Handunnetti, chairman of the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) in Parliament, was on a brief visit to Riyadh to tell his countrymen about his brainchild, the Organization for Overseas Sri Lankans (OOSL). more..

SLFEB funds swindled by ex-Minister

Jan 24 (SL) The credibility of the FCID is fast diminishing due to their alleged failure to conduct investigations against those who are aligned with the govt. The police division, which was established to investigate those who are involved in financial crimes, have allowed those who have extended support to the govt to roam free whilst offenders who are against the govt are questioned. Failure to question former Minister more..

Video: Wimal Weerawansa further remanded

Jan 24 (AD) Former minister Wimal Weerawansa, who was arrested on charges of misusing state vehicles, has been further remanded until Feb 7 after being produced before the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.  NFF leader was arrested by the FCID on Jan 10 after he arrived to give a statement pertaining to allegations of misusing state vehicles. He has been accused of misusing several vehicles belonging to more..

Govt to rush through amended legislation to tackle mosquito breeding

Jan 24 (Island) Deputy Director General Public Health Services (DDG PHS) Dr Sarath Amunugama yesterday said the amended draft copy of the Prevention of mosquito breeding Act No. 11 of 2007 had been sent to the legal draftsman for whetting and would be submitted for cabinet approval within the next few weeks. Dr Amunugama said the Health Ministry hoped to implement the amended act within three months. more..

Coal Tenders: Blackening everything it touches

Jan 24 (DM) “One million tonnes into 10 USD into 150 rupees, is the loss we, as taxpayers have to bear” said Maithri Gunaratne, the Past Chairman of Lanka Coal Company (LCC). This is the gist of the coal tender scandal that has rocked Sri Lanka since 2015, which was brought to the forefront again after an Auditor General’s report revealed that the country had suffered a loss of Rs.4145.43 million in 2016 due to it. more..

'Perpetual dumped 95% of bonds on EPF'

Jan 24 (EN) Perpetual Treasuries, a gilt dealer linked to ex-CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran, acquired tens of billions of rupees of bonds from auctions and unloaded 95% on the EPF, causing a loss of 14.9 billion rupees, a MP said. Anura Dissanayake, leader of JVP, told parliament that a report presented to governing Monetary Board of CB showed that Perpetual Treasuries had bought 227 billion rupees of bonds directly and indirectly. more..

Traditional left warns of a rising dictator

Jan 24 (Island) SL Communist Party Chairman Raja Collure said PM Ranil Wickremesinghe was making a valiant bid to pull the rug under the feet of President Maithripala Sirisena. Collure said Wickremesinghe had taken control of some of the ministries coming under the purview of President Sirisena which was unparliamentary and undemocratic. "PM cannot behave in this manner which is arbitrary & his undemocratic actions more..

Horana Tyre BOI project rolls on despite concerns raised by President

Jan 24 (ST) Controversial businessman Nandana Lokuwithana has begun clearing the land in Horana where he proposes to set up a tyre factory, even before the lease agreement with the BOI is signed. Meanwhile, President has sent a note via the PM’s office to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Management (CCEM) flagging some concerns regarding the project. It points to the losses BOI will incur in leasing out 100 acres more..

Lankans among highest number seeking Swiss asylum

Jan 24 (Reuters) Requests for asylum in Switzerland plunged by nearly a third to around 27,200 last year after authorities closed the Balkan land route used by thousands to flee hot spots in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, SEM migration agency said. It forecast around 24,500 people would seek asylum this year but cautioned this could rise to 32,000 depending on the flow of refugees via the Mediterranean and whether a deal Europe struck with Turkey to hold back migrants held up. more..

Video: Gnanasara charged for obstructing Police and damaging state properties

Jan 24 (CT) Buddhist monk Galagoda Atte Gnanasara who thretened police officers and used Sudda Sinhala filth in June 2012 at Pinnaduwa was charged for forcible entry to the Southern Expressway, obstructing police duties and damaging State properties. The Homagama Police on Monday has filed a charge sheet against Ganasara and two other monks namely Witharandeniye Nanda and Ambilipitiye Vijitha at the Homagama Magistrate’s courts. more..

What's trending on CBSL and the Bond Scam

Secularism in politics

Jan 24 (CT) We are now in the process of making a new constitution and the claims that the special fore-place, the foremost place, given to Buddhism should continue are very widely heard. I do not know what the new constitution is going to state. But I do think that if a religion is given the foremost place under a constitutional provision stating that all religions are equal and that there shall be no discrimination, it does not seem too meaningful. Remarks by Leader of the Opposition R. Samapanthan at more..

Will the public put the RTI Act to good use?

Jan 24 (CT) After what seems like ages, Sri Lanka is finally witnessing the arrival of the Right to Information (RTI) Act into action. Earlier this week, govt issued a Gazette Notification announcing that the RTI Act will be enacted from 3 Feb. According to Gazette issued by Minister Gayantha Karunathileka, information officers are currently being trained and after they are stationed in govt institutions, general public will be able to access important information that affects their daily lives. more..

Technology and know-how essential for development: Hausmann

Jan 24 (LBO) The guest lecture in Colombo recently by Prof. Ricardo Hausmann highlighted the importance of technology and know-how in fostering economic development. Hausmann of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Govt visited Sri Lanka to follow-up on a programme to build capacity among senior officials at the Board of Investment, Export Development Board and the Tourism Authority. more..

Captain forces flight stewardesses to penetrate Madurai airport security defenses

Jan 24 (CT) The operating crew of a SriLankan Airlines flight from Madurai to Colombo including its Pilots and Cabin Crew were filmed creeping through a barbed wire fence and penetrating the Madurai Airport Security Defenses to gain access to their aircraft to operate their flight back to Colombo. Capt.R. De Alwis and his crew of the national carrier were facing difficulties in gaining access to the main airport entrance in Madurai after their crew stop over. This was due to a protest being held by more..

UFO spotted, possible drone activity: Dr. Chandana Jayaratne

Jan 24 (DM) The Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) that hovered in the skies and spotted in several areas of the country on Saturday night could be a drone activity, Professor Chandana Jayaratne said. He said that he could not say it was an alien activity depending on the video footages and the pictures which captured the object, as they were not clear enough or possible man made. However, he said an investigation regarding this has been launched as the incident was reported in many parts more..

Arjuna Mahendran not employed by Finance Ministry

Jan 24 (DN) Finance Ministry, in a statement released today, denied reports that former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran was working with the Finance Ministry. ‘The Ministry of Finance wishes to inform that Arjuna Mahendran, the former Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, is not working in any capacity at the Ministry of Finance. ‘The Finance Ministry denies media reports that Mahendran currently acts as an advisor to more..

We are not key figures in govt: Harin

Jan 24 (DN) The key figures who brought victory in the last presidential election are not the leading figures who are running the Yahapalana govt, Minister Harin Fernando said. He said it is a group of outsiders who claim their dedication for the setting up of a unity govt. “We are not key figures in the govt. There is a new group at the front line. They are the ones who go around announcing their work and take advantage from the govt,” he said. The ones who walked into the govt on charity do not more..