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'Large revenue contribution from migrants'

Jan 24 (NR) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe says migrant employment has contributed immensely to the country’s revenue. Speaking at 4th ministerial consultation of Abu Dhabi Dialogue that commenced in Colombo, PM said the country is looking into all aspects when deploying Sri Lankans for employment overseas in order to make smooth transitions with the receiving countries. Speaking before the initiation of Ministerial Consultation PM highlighted role of Asia in migrant industry. more..

‘Retain majority stake in Colombo Port East Container Terminal’

Jan 24 (DN) Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said in Parliament today that he was of the view that the govt should retain the majority stake of Colombo Port East Container Terminal. He was responding to a question raised by JVP MP Nalinda Jayatissa. Minister said govt called for expressions of interests to invest in the East Terminal, but added the mechanism for that has not been decided yet. He said even though a Cabinet paper more..

Sampanthan demands action against corruption

Jan 24 (NR) Parliament convened this morning for a special session to debate the report by the COPE on CB bond issue. Joining the debate Opposition Leader R Sampanthan highlighted that various govt’s come into power on the back of addressing corruption when coming into power. However he noted that the failure to address corruption and fraud could lead to the end of democracy in SL. He also questioned if legal action has been taken against any individual found guilty of corruption. more..

Ex-President asks CID to question him regarding Lasantha killing

Jan 24 (Island) Former President Rajapaksa said that the people of this country knew very well who was behind the killing of Lasantha Wickramatunge and if the CID questioned him about the killing he would reveal the identity of the killer. When The Island queried him regarding the statement made by Minister Sarath Fonseka on the killing of Sunday Leader editor, he said "Certain elements simply make comments without considering the consequences or its seriousness." more..

University teachers calls authorities to fill vacancies in student admissions

Jan 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s university teachers say there is a large number of unfilled vacancies in certain faculties of state universities and called relevant authorities to address the issue. University Teachers for Social Equity (UTSE), emphasized there had been a large number of vacancies in the science and agriculture faculties of University Grants Commission (UGC) funded universities during the past years. more..

State institutions to be inspected for dengue

Jan 24 (NR) The Ministry of Health has taken steps to conduct a special inspection of state institutions with the intent of preventing the spread of dengue. The National Dengue Prevention Unit said an island wide dengue prevention programme will be conducted today, while the public will be educated through social media. Under the dengue prevention programme, individual state institutions have initially been directed to conduct their own inspections of the premises. more..

Student who refused to play rugger beaten

Jan 24 (DM) A rugby coach and four students from a school in Dematagoda were arrested for beating a 14-year-old student of the same school when he refused to play the game.  A complaint had been lodged at the Dematagoda police stating that a grade 10 student was assaulted by four other students and the rugby coach in the schools’ rugby room.  Victim was practicing badminton in the school premises last Friday when Coach had approached him with the request to play rugby. more..

Perpetual group dumped stocks on the EPF; probe needed: Kabir

Jan 24 (EN) Perpetual investment group, whose primary dealer arm is under probe for frauds in bond markets, had dumped billions of rupees of pumped up stocks on the EPF during the ousted Rajapaksa regime, Minister Kabir Hashim said. He said during the Rajapaksa administration large scale pump and dump scams were practised on the EPF, a private sector workers' pension fund managed by the Central Bank. more..

Nadarajah Raviraj case: Appellate court to consider appeal

Jan 24 (AD) Court of Appeal has decided to go ahead with the appeal filed by the wife of the assassinated TNA MP, Nadarajah Raviraj, against the ruling of Colombo High Court in the case. Appellant Sasikala Raviraj has sought an order to set aside the High Court’s acquittal of the accused. On Dec 24, 2016, Colombo HC acquitted 5 suspects, including 3 navy personnel, who were accused in the shooting death of Tamil lawmaker, on grounds of lack of sufficient evidence. more..

China sees no harm from protests staged in Hambantota

Jan 24 (CG) China today said it saw no harm to the relationship with SL as a result of the protests staged in Hambantota recently. The opposition staged a protest in Hambantota recently against the proposed industrial zone which will give China a large amount of land. SL and China celebrate 60 years of diplomatic relations this year and the Cultural Attaché to the Chinese Embassy Lui Dong said that no matter what happens the relationship between both countries will remain strong. more..

Ready to accept AG’s recommendations: govt

Jan 24 (NR) Govt today announced that it will accept AG’s recommendations into the controversy surrounding the CB Bond issuance. Parliament is currently debating on the report compiled by the COPE on the CB bond issue. Joining the debate, Minister Lakshman Kiriella said PM initiated investigations into the issue and stressed that the present administration will not hesitate to punish those found guilty. more..

Bond Issue: Bandula questions Prez’s stance

Jan 24 (NR) UPFA MP Bandula Gunawardena questioned the stance of President Sirisena pertaining to the controversy surrounding the CB Bond issuance. Parliament convened for a special session today, to debate the report compiled by the COPE on the CB bond issue. Debate is being held following a special request made by the opposition. Joining the debate MP said alleged discrepancies reported at the CB could be considered one of the biggest thefts in the country’s history. more..

Charge bond from university students: JVP

Jan 24 (NR) The JVP today proposed the govt to charge a bond fee from students who receive higher education in Sri Lanka, but leave the country without engaging in local employment. The proposal was tabled by JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake. MP said if gradates leave the country at the completion of their studies a fee should be charged for education. In response Minister Lakshman Kiriella noted the proposal will be considered once it’s been tabled before parliament. more..

Hopes fade for justice for dead, lost Sri Lankan journalists

Jan 24 (AP) Hope is fading fast that SL's govt will take action against those responsible for the deaths and disappearances of dozens of journalists during and after the country's long civil war, activists and relatives said. President Sirisena campaigned on a promise of ending a culture of impunity when he defeated former President Rajapaksa in Jan 2015 election. During Rajapaksa's 9-year tenure, dozens of journalists more..

Video: Prevent Mahendran from interfering in State affairs: JO to Prez

Jan 24 (DM) President Sirisena should stop former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran from interfering in State decision-making to ensure the credibility of the Special Presidential Commission to be appointed to investigate the CB bond issue, the joint opposition said today. It said otherwise, it would only seen as a ploy to consume time. “Mr. Mahendran is a frequent member of the Prime Minister's delegation when travelling abroad. He also takes part at Finance Ministry meetings. more..

4 new envoys present credentials to the Prez

Jan 24 (PSL) Ambassadors of Mongolia, Lithuania and Panama and new Indian High Commissioner presented their credentials to President Maithripala Sirisena today. Those who presented credentials were Ambassador of Mongolia, Gonchig Gangbold, Ambassador of Lithuania, Laimonas Talat-Kelpso, Ambassador of Panama, Sorvio Bethancourt and HC for India, Taranjith Singh Sandhu. President briefed the envoys about the three main objectives of the govt – economic development and more..

Sri Lanka's alternative facts on bond sales

Jan 24 (EN) Govt Tuesday resorted to the latest Donald Trump tactic of offering alternative facts to defend Arjuna Mahendran who is accused of insider dealing when he headed the Central Bank. Govt loyalists side stepped the findings of the COPE during a debate initiated by JVP and went onto the focus on the alleged corruption during Rajapaksa's decade in power. Govt's anti-corruption activist Ranjan Ramanayake diverted attention more..

Unitary to quasi-federal structure

Jan 25 (CT) “What we are now contemplating is the changing of that unitary structure to admit of a degree of power sharing, which is generally associated with quasi-federal structures. Now the question that is asked is: we are all familiar with the phenomenon of independent entities coming together within the framework of a federal state, but is it possible, is it feasible, to envisage a country which has always been a unitary state now adopting, as a result of a political process, more..

Justice Weeramantry: Hero of Muslims

Jan 25 (CT) Much has been written about Justice Weeramantry and his achievements and contributions. He was a genius at what he did as a Judge, academic and an advocate of world peace. He was passionate about promoting peace between nations, communities and individuals. His quest for peace was not confined to his writings and lectures alone. He established Weeramantry Int'l Centre for Peace Education & Research to enhance study and understanding of main religions of the world. more..

A Rishad canard!

Jan 25 (CT) Ongoing destruction of the Wilpattu Forest Complex has been allowed to continue by two successive govts since 2009; with indications of the Rajapaksa regime being involved during its tenure and the current Yahapalanaya govt is turning a blind to the wanton illegal deforestation and resettlement of displaced persons taking place in the most diverse and largest of protected forest complexes in the country. more..

Spirit Answers Door Bell

Jan 25 (CT) Lionel recollects how his father Jim (fictitious) died when he was 66 years and 6 months old to be precise, at an integer of 666! There are many beliefs surrounding the number 6 and particularly 666 referring to Satan! In the Textus Receptus manuscripts of the New Testament, the Book of Revelation (13:17–18) cryptically asserts 666 to be man's number or the number of a man associated with the beast. In modern popular philosophy, numbers 666 are identified as more..

Sri Lankan asylum seeker in Manus Island charged with raping local woman

Jan 25 (ABC) Police in Papua New Guinea have charged an asylum seeker from Australia's offshore detention centre on Manus Island with sexually assaulting a local woman. The 31-year-old Sri Lankan man has been charged with raping the 19-year-old woman at a hotel on the island on January 17. The man took the young woman to a hotel in the main town of Lorengau on the island, where he raped her three times. Manus province police commander said the woman was injured more..

'Recommendations in sub-committee reports pose threats to Buddhism'

Jan 25 (DM) Ven. Medagama Dhammananda Thera, Lekhakadhikari (Chief Secretary) of the Asgiriya Chapter, speaks about the Constitution-making process and the elements to be considered in this case. The Ven. Thera says the foremost status is historically-bestowed upon Buddhism in Sri  Lanka. Q: How do you look at the current Constitution-making process? A: Mainly, there is no clear mandate either to bring more..

The day Kumar Sangakkara felt humbled

Jan 25 (Island) Kumar Sangakkara earned the wrath of President Rajapaksa’s govt for his hour long Spirit of Cricket lecture at the July, 2011, Sir Colin Cowdrey Lecture at Lord’s. Some politicians and officials depicted the lecture as a frontal attack on the then govt. Those who had resented Sangakkara, for being critical of their conduct, cleverly deceived President Rajapaksa. They propagated the lie that the cricketer was challenging the govt and was working with the Opposition. more..

This country is being sold out to …

Jan 24 (SL) This country is being sold out to ……..,’ is an old refrain which baby boomers of the forties now long in the tooth with bald pates are well familiar with. It was even worse soon after Independence when the claim was that Ceylon’s (SL’s earlier name) claim of being an independent country was a fake. How could this country be truly free and independent when the King of Britain is still our head of state, pundits in red shirts and some black coated oracles of Hulftsdorp asked. more..

Face The Nation

Contempt of court proceedings filed against Dr. Chris Nonis, others dismissed

Jan 25 (FT) Contempt Proceedings filed in the Court of Appeal by Mary Jean Varma against the Directors of Mackwoods Ltd., namely Dr. Chris Nonis, Lalith Fonseka, Lakshman Leelaraja Samarasinghe and Shelendra Nonis, was dismissed without costs when the matter was taken up in the Court of Appeal yesterday, 24 January 2017. The Contempt Petition was filed alleging a violation of an Interim Order of the Commercial High Court in Case No. HC (Civil) 14/2016/CO by the Respondents. more..

The primacy of the mandate of Jan. 2015

Jan 25 (Island) I thought I must write to you openly when I learned through the mass media, that some SLFP seniors in govt were unsupportive of serious constitutional reforms and accordingly had persuaded President Sirisena, as SLFP leader to direct that the SLFP engages in some dialogue and consultations on the proposed reforms. You may consider my views as part of this consultation and on my part, they are complementary to my personal submissions to LLRC during its hearings more..

Trade foray into Sri Lanka

Jan 25 (Dawn) Muhammed Jahangir holds up bold, coloured textiles with intricate traditional needlework. He explains them to the SL customers at his trade stall — how the needlework is done and how painstaking it is. Entirely handmade by women employed in his factory in south Punjab, some of these traditional forms of stitching date back to the Mughal period, he tells two SL women while giving them a brief account of the relevant history. more..

Editorial: Bond scams: Words, words, words!

Jan 25 (Island) We usually hear a cacophony of croaks near the Diayawanna Oya. At the end of the day, all shouting, abuse and barbs which pass for parliamentary debates leave the public none the wiser. The right of the national legislature to discuss matters it thinks to be important cannot be questioned. But, we are afraid, most such debates are tantamount to an utter waste of public funds utilised to keep the House open on sitting days. Some of ruling coalition pundits keep arguing more..

Did Govt get it wrong?

Jan 25 (CT) Telecommunications play a vital role in the modern economy and the 25 per cent tax levied on internet usage has stirred up major concerns among users. Earlier this year VAT was imposed on various commodities and services, including telecom. Ironically Maithri-Ranil Govt came to power with a pledge to provide free internet services. For many users, the tax system is complex, Ayesha Kumar who works as a content manager for a website for the past five years noted that more..

Professionals should not allow politicians to disrupt development: Ravi K.

Jan 25 (DN) Professionals should not allow bureaucrats and inefficient politicians to disrupt ongoing development drive, Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. He said many public officials and even certain politicians keep silence in the face of such bureaucracy consequently suppressing the innocent people of this country. He expressed these views at the inaugural ceremony of the Diploma in Public Procumbent & Contract Administration more..

Challenges, risks abound globally but plenty of opportunities for the brave: SCB

Jan 25 (FT) Standard Chartered Bank reinforced the fact that though countries and corporates are facing many challenges and risks globally, there are plenty of opportunities for growth for the brave. “Obviously whats catching the headlines at the moment are the challenges and risks. I definitely think there are massive opportunities for those who are prepared to be a little bit brave and relook at some of the historical approaches, given the new environment the country and the world is in,” more..

Assault on undergrad: Eight remanded

Jan 25 (DM) The eight undergraduates of the Peradeniya University, who had allegedly assaulted a first year student, were arrested today and remanded for an identification parade. The arrested students were produced in the Chambers of Kandy Chief Magistrate.  21-year-old victim, who is a son of a High Court Judge, had been allegedly assaulted by the second-year university students for voicing against ragging. The student, who is an Arts Faculty undergraduate of the Peradeniya University, more..

Tharanga to lead SL in ODIs against SA

Jan 25 (CI) With an injured Angelo Mathews returning home, Upul Tharanga has been named stand-in captain for the five-match ODI series against South Africa, ahead of Dinesh Chandimal, who will lead the side in the series-deciding third T20I on Wednesday. Seam-bowling allrounder Lahiru Madushanka and wicketkeeper-batsman Sandun Weerakkody received their maiden call-ups in ODIs and are due to join the squad more..

President receives award for commitment to mitigate climate change

Jan 25 (ITN) A conference on the impact of climate change for the development of the country was held under the patronage of President Sirisena in Colombo. President was presented an award for his commitment towards mitigating climate change. Award was presented to President by Ravin Basnayake, President of the AmCham on behalf of its Board of Directors. Opportunities and Challenges for Business as a result of the Climate Change in the present world came up for discussion. more..

Attorney General orders for criminal probe on bondscam: Eran

Jan 25 (EN) Attorney General has asked CID to start a criminal probe on alleged frauds in bond markets involving a firm connected to ex-CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran. On Jan 10, Dilan Ratnayake from the Attorney General's department had instructed police to start an investigation, Deputy Minister Eran Wickremaratne said. CB Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy had also asked for a criminal probe he said. COPE had already prepared a report on the bond scam, where bond auctions were more..

Total revival of Tea, Coconut & Rubber

Jan 25 (DN) Supply and demand is the decisive factor for tea, rubber and coconut markets. Two years back tea was priced Rs 300 per kg. Now it has marked a stable price of Rs 500 and this is a positive gesture for tea smallholders, Minister Navin Dissanayake said. He said a total revamping is being done as regards planting and selling of the 3 major crops and in 2017 new export markets will be developed for these crops. more..

Desk thumping greets Jayaratne crossover

Jan 25 (CT) Seating arrangement in Parliament following Ven Aturaliye Ratana Thera's decision to sit as an independent member has not been changed. A seat in the front row in govt benches remained at his disposal when sessions began yesterday. Ven. Ratana Thera was allocated a front row seat by the Speaker because the Thera was the group leader of JHU. Meanwhile, MP Priyankara Jayaratne, who relinquished his Ministerial portfolio, moved over to opposition benches more..

Eknaligoda involuntary disappearance: CA vacates Stay Order on MC proceedings

Jan 25 (FT) Court of Appeal yesterday (23) vacated its Stay Order on the Homagama Magistrates’ Court proceedings in respect of the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda. The bench comprising justices Vijith K. Malalgoda (President/CA) and S. Thurairajah directed the Magistrates’ Court to go ahead with the inquiry and report. Habeas Corpus petition was filed on 19 Feb 2010 by his wife Sandhya Eknaligoda and his two children Bandara and Sooriyia. more..