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Thalatha receives ADD chairmanship

Jan 25 (DN) Chairmanship of the Abu Dhabi Dialogue (ADD) was passed from the State of Kuwait to Sri Lanka yesterday at the 4th Ministerial Consultation of the ADD at Cinnamon Lake Side. Chairmanship successor was Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Minister Thalatha Athukorale, who received the position from the outgoing Chair, Hind Al Subaih, Kuwait's Minister of Social Affairs and Minister of Labour and State for Planning & Development. more..

Don’t attend Nugegoda rally

Jan 25 (CT) None of the Ministers or key figures in the government will participate in the first rally of the newly formed Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) on 27 January, former President Rajapaksa said. Speaking to reporters at the Abhayarama temple, he said there were several Ministers and top level members of the SLFP and UNP who had made preparations to be on the stage at the inaugural rally. However, Rajapaksa stressed that due to security concerns more..

Drought could cost Sri Lanka billions

Jan 25 (IPS) The warnings are stark, the instructions, for a change, clear. Sri Lanka is heading into one of its worst droughts in recent history, and according some estimates the worst in 30 years. The reservoirs are running on empty, at 30% or less capacity. Only 12% of the island’s power generation is currently from hydropower and 85% comes from thermal, with a staggering 41% from coal. The rains have stayed away like never before. more..

Sensational dig in Wilpattu

Jan 25 (CT) 32 archaeological monuments have been discovered in an Archaeological Department dig within the Wilpattu Wildlife Park, in addition to the discovery of Kudiramalai pre-historic stone tools and remnants of ancient buildings. These include remnants of what are believed to have been the kollankanaththa, Weliwehera, Suruwam Ela, Pukkulama, Pattieliya and Galge Vihara. The area identified as the Suruwam Ela ruins has yielded remnants of a shrine dating back to A'pura more..

Robbing Peter to pay Paul

Jan 25 (DM) A senior top team member from the Green party is said to be fuming with anger over the cut-back of a major part from the Ministry’s budgetary apportionment thereby sending its development programmes for the year into a tailspin. Of the Rs.6 billion allocated to the Ministry, Rs. 3 billion has been taken back even without informing the top team member who has set his heart upon implementing an ambitious housing programme. Part of the financial provisions withdrawn more..

'Commission of Inquiry on bond issue timely'

Jan 25 (NR) State Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena says the appointment of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the treasury bond issue is timely. He noted that while the SLFP will support good initiatives and endeavours of the govt it will not stand by wrongdoing adding that the president has given them the freedom to address the matter. He said individuals do not have the authority to speak of the delay in appointment more..

Certain forces trying to fan the flames of racism: Sally

Jan 25 (DN) Former Central Provincial Councillor Azad Sally said that certain elements are trying to fan the flames of racism regarding the Wilpattu resettlement issue. “We would like to request President Sirisena to appoint a Presidential Committee with regard to this issue to examine the land deeds owned by the people since after 1948, who are to be resettled in the Wilpattu area, Sally said. “GA of the area has assured the land deeds of these people will be kept safely more..

Action against mill owners who don’t release paddy

Jan 25 (NR) Cabinet has approved the appointment of a Cabinet Sub Committee to take measures against rice mill owners who fail to issue paddy to the general public following purchases from the Paddy Marketing Board. The proposal to appoint a Cabinet Sub Committee to oversee the matter headed by the Subject Minister was tabled during yesterday’s Cabinet meeting. It has been revealed that private mill owners have no released the stocks of rice to the market, more..

Video: Govt responds to remark on living on croton and jack leaves

Jan 25 (AD) Minister Rajitha Senaratne has condemned the remark made by a top govt official that people should get accustomed to living on croton and jack leaves (kos kola) if there is a shortage of food. “It was the Agriculture Director General who made this observation. He would be the first to eat croton and jack leaves if I was the Minister of his department.” While clarifying the Delimitation Committee had to more..

Govt paying Rs. 1.9 billion consultancy fees to foreign firm: GL

Jan 25 (DN) The govt is paying Rs 1.9 billion as consultancy fees to a foreign firm contracted to operate the State machinery in this country, alleged former Minister Prof G L Peiris. He said the govt had an attitudinal problem of treating everything local as anathema. The govt's policy was to seek foreign solutions to our local problems. He said the govt had contracted a US firm in Maryland to restructure the State administrative machinery at a cost of Rs 1.9 billion. more..

Depot to store 10,000 metric tons of grain to be opened in Mannar next week

Jan 25 (DN) Another proposal in Budget 2017 will become a reality when a new store house in Mannar is opened with the patronage of Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake and with the participation of several other ministers on January 26. The 21,586 square feet storehouse built at a cost of Rs.264 million at Nanattan in Mannar, has the capacity to store 10,000 metric tons of grain. World Bank provided grants to build this store house which would benefit over 1,000 farmers in the area. more..

Sri Lanka becomes more corrupt: Robbing the CB while talking about development

Jan 25 (DM) Sri Lanka ranked at 95 in the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2016, climbing the rank by 12 slots when compared to 2015. Report released by Transparency International, ranks countries according to the perceived level of public sector corruption. Sri Lanka was ranked at 95 out of 176 counties with a poor score of 36 when compared to 2015 when the country was ranked 83 among 168 countries. more..

Editorial: Democracy in a quandary

Jan 26 (Island) Brexit was a political tsunami, which swept across the UK. Rejecting calls from all major political parties which wanted the UK to remain in the European Union (EU) people voted for a withdrawal last year. PM David Cameron, who took the referendum gamble in keeping with a pre-election promise and campaigned hard to keep the UK in the EU, had to resign. It was thought at that time that Brexit would trigger itself, unhindered though the referendum was non-binding. more..

The story of the split self

Jan 26 (CT) Over three decades ago, sometime in the late Seventies, a young boy from a town UpNawth in Sri Lanka was preparing to go to university. Having worked very hard on his calculus for two years, he had gained admission to HillTop for four more years of further hard work that was going to be the gateway to a permanent job and marriage to a fat dowry. Just before his departure, the protective Tamil mother had called the young man aside and given him a well-rehearsed lecture: more..

‘We are marching forward’

Jan 26 (NS) Minister Lakshman Kiriella opened out on the proposed new constitution, current political developments as well as future political changes. Q: The present fortunes of Yahapalana govt are not favourable. Is it? A: Not at all! Our fortunes are very favourable. This opinion is held by those who miserably failed going behind bogus astrologers. Q: But some say the govt is very unstable. A: We won two elections – more..

Writing to reconcile: A personal journey

Jan 26 (GV) Last fall, in Toronto, I went to see a play that was written by one of the writers in this anthology, Sindhuri Nandakumar. Play was called A Crease in my Sari and told the story of a young SL Tamil woman, born and raised in Canada who found herself in a relationship with a Sinhalese man, whom she had met in the coffee shop. Maheshwari had been purposely raised by her mother in a western suburb of Toronto, away from other Tamils who generally live in the eastern suburbs. more..

Lost & Won

Jan 26 (CT) Argentina Judiciary ordered on 28 Dec last year that all assets of the former President Christina Fernandez of Argentina worth US$ 633 million be confiscated. It is reported that the Court issued this order subsequent to investigations carried out into accusations of corruption and fraud which targeted the former President. In addition another such incident was reported from Australia on the 9 of this month. Australian Minister Susan Leigh who was accused of misusing finances more..

'I am infuriated when the JO lies about H'tota'

Jan 26 (CT) Deputy Minister Eran Wickremaratne says that Sri Lanka's debt burden will further increase in the coming years, and explained "By now we have set up a procedure to avoid that situation. That is why we reached an agreement with the IMF. If not, these are not agreements we got into willingly. Not explaining these to the country is one of our shortcomings." Q: At the 2015 General Election, in the UNP Manifesto and within more..

Battle of wits

Jan 26 (DN) Political landscape in SL is always in a state of flux and the week past was no exception, with developments in the opposition hitting the headlines. Wimal Weerawansa of the NFF, whatever his faults, is a clever politician. He has the knack of converting any event to his advantage and this is what he did when he was detained and remanded on charges of misusing state property- over 40 vehicles- which he allegedly distributed among family, friends and party officials. more..

Pinnacle of patriotism

Jan 26 (DN) Politicians of doubtful character have often found a niche and taken prominent parts in the governance of the country. They took centre stage with their strident words that covered their charade of patriotism under which they did not hesitate to exploit this country for their personal advantage. These bogus patriots would abuse the power the people have vested in them to usurp their office and to misuse agencies and personnel of the govt for their nefarious private purposes more..

Mahinda Amaraweera

Silenced Shadows: A fine presentation of compassionate resistance poetry in SL

Jan 26 (CT) Amnesty International has published a collection of poems titled Silenced Shadows. It’s a collection of 15 poems and translations of the said poems into all three languages, Sinhalese, Tamil and English. Originally, AI called for poems on enforced disappearances in SL and selected 15 poems for publication. Five of the poems were written in Sinhala, five in Tamil and five in English. Now a very powerful collection of poems are available for readers in all the 3 languages. more..

A Midsummer Night’s Dream at PM’s Office

Jan 26 (Island) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga receiving controversial report prepared by 11-member Consultation Task Force on Transitional Justice and Reconciliation at the Presidential Secretariat on Jan 3. In January last year, the PM appointed an 11 member body styled the Consultation Task Force on Transitional Justice and Reconciliation comprising of the following individuals. Manouri Muttetuwegama - Chairperson, Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu - Secretary, more..

We could have won 3-0: Dickwella

Jan 26 (CI) Though thrilled with their first series win in South Africa, in any format, Sri Lanka sense they could have enjoyed even more success in the shortest format had wet weather not thwarted them in the opening encounter. "We could have won the series 3-0. It was in our hands in the first T20 but we lost it unfortunately," Niroshan Dickwella, the man of the series, said afterwards. "In the other two matches we were cool and calm, more..

Wicket everyone wanted & hat-trick of drops

Jan 26 (CI) With AB de Villiers pencilled in at No.3, even the home crowd wanted the opening partnership to end as soon as possible but it started off strongly. Jon-Jon Smuts and Reeza Hendricks took 22 runs off the first two overs before Isuru Udana did is best to separate them. Smuts went after a slower ball and hit it high with the intention to clear long-on. In gusty conditions, the ball could not make the distance and Thikshila de Silva at mid-on was in position to take the catch. more..

String of low scores has doomed Chandimal

Jan 26 (Island) Dinesh Chandimal managed just 85 runs in six innings with a top score of 30 as SL were whitewashed 3-0. When it comes to talent, Dinesh Chandimal has fewer peers in int'l cricket. But a string of low scores in South Africa has seen him losing his impact and attracting much criticism. Rightly so. Latest blow came on Tuesday when his NCC colleague Upul Tharanga was entrusted with the captaincy ahead of him for 5-match ODI series against SA that gets underway on Saturday. more..

Prasanna, Dickwella haul SL to series victory

Jan 26 (CI) Sri Lanka spoiled AB de Villiers' comeback by snatching the T20 series from South Africa to claim the first silverware in the country in their history. Niroshan Dickwella's career-best 68 overshadowed de Villiers' 63, in his first international outing in six months, as Sri Lanka chased down 170 with one ball remaining but it was Seekkuge Prasanna's 16-ball 37 which completed 2nd highest successful chase at Newlands. more..

SL, SA qualify for Tri-Nation U19 final

Jan 26 (DN) Sri Lanka and South Africa qualified to play in the final of the Tri-Nation U-19 series after Zimbabwe were eliminated from the tournament following back to back defeats. SL crushed Zimbabwe by a massive margin of 240 runs on Tuesday at Boland Park and yesterday host South Africa beat Zimbabwe by three wickets in a low scoring game at the same venue. SL’s impressive victory was set up by their openers Vishva Chaturanga and skipper Avishka Fernando more..

Conference to highlight importance of marketing

Jan 26 (Island) University of Kelaniya, with International Institute of Knowledge Management (TIIKM), inaugurated Corporate Dialog 2017, last week. The press conference convened included a detailed introduction to the Int'l Conference on Advanced Marketing (ICAM 2017) to be held Jan 26th and 27th. CEO TIIKM Oshadee Withanawasam reiterating importance of the conference said marketing within current commercial circumstances was an intrusive subject that emerged into more..

We are creating a powerful Sri Lanka for future generation: PM

Jan 26 (ITN) PM Ranil Wickremasinghe is optimistic that a young generation that can project Sri Lanka’s image in the world could be groomed through the Youth Parliament. He expressed this optimism joining in the maiden sessions of the Fourth Youth Parliament. The inaugural session of the fourth youth Parliament commenced this morning at the Parliamentary Chamber of the National Youth Council. more..

Rs. 10 b released to settle bills on work done

Jan 26 (FT) Refuting allegations that money has not been released for development activities undertaken in 2016, Finance Ministry said that Rs. 10 billion has been released to line ministries for work done in the last quarter. Finance Ministry said that a large portion of the money for the bills submitted has been released during the year itself. “It is the normal accounting practice to make payments for bills sent in late in the first quarter of the following year.” Accordingly for bills received late for more..

Tea exports hit seven year low

Jan 26 (DN) Tea exports data released by Sri Lanka Customs shows shipments from January to December 2015 at 288.7 mnkg against 306.9 mnkg. The last occasion the country exported less than 300 mnkg in a year was in 2009 following the previous year’s banking crisis and El-Nino drought that reduced supply in 2009. Similarly in 2016 tea production declined more than 40 mnkg against 2015. With supply pressure starting Q4 2015 auction prices rose around mid-year. more..

Same circus different clowns: Yahapalana govt as corrupt as its predecessor: ACF

Jan 26 (DM) Yahapalana Govt promotes corruption and protects fraudsters just as the previous Mahinda Rajapaksa Govt, the Anti-Corruption Front said. ACF Advisor Keerthi Tennakoon said the current govt which was elected to eradicate corruption had become a govt of fraudsters and thieves. “A proper investigation is yet to be launched into incidents of corruption and acts of fraud with a proper judicial process to more..

President instructs to fill vacancies of senior officials at Department of Archaeology

Jan 26 (PSL) President instructed the relevant authorities to take immediate steps to fill the vacancies of senior officials at the Department of Archaeology. President further said that this step should be taken immediately to eliminate the obstacles pertaining to archaeological issues and to protect the archaeological sites. He gave these instructions during a special discussion, under the patronage of the President, regarding protecting archaeological sites and antiquities. more..

Sri Lanka regulator wants fast grid connection of rooftop solar

Jan 26 (EN) Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), the energy regulator, has asked the state-owned power utility and distributor to connect domestic rooftop solar plants to the national grid within two weeks from the date of application. PUCSL said in a statement its decision to ask the CEB and LECO to expedite grid connection of rooftop solar plants was to encourage more people to adopt the technology. A severe drought has reduced hydropower capacity and more..

Cardinal lashes out at govt over fresh move to dump Colombo garbage at Ja-ela

Jan 26 (CT) To remedy the prolonged issues of garbage dumping in Meethotamulla, govt has taken a decision to shift the garbage dump site to a private land in Othekale in the highly populated area in Ja-Ela months ago. However the decision had been suspended consequently due to the strong protests of the residents and the religious community. It is reported that the respective authorities are making more..

Sri Lanka has ignored competitive advantage in exports - Dr. De Silva

Jan 26 (DN) The govt’s intention to promote an Indian ocean order with rules based navigation freedom and overfly across the Indian ocean, will influence Sri Lanka to provide maritime security services and coordination in the region, Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha De Silva said. Speaking at the 58th AGM of the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka, Minister noted Sri Lanka’s future depends on how well the country leverages its geo- strategic location as an Indian ocean hub. more..

Govt looks to holding O/L and A/L exams together in December

Jan 26 (Island) PM said that govt was looking for the possibility of holding both GCE O/L and A/L exams together in December in order to avoid the existing delay in enrolling students to the universities. He said the exams could be held in December and that would result in the increasing of the number of December holidays in schools and invited JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake to attend meetings with education ministry officials on holding the two main examinations together. more..

Mattala Airport in full throttle

Jan 26 (DM) Mattala Rajapaksa Int'l Airport (HRI), which was once dubbed as a ghost airport by both local and foreign commentators, has suddenly turned into life becoming one of the busiest airports in the world, due to the temporary closure of BIA for the relaying of its decade-old runaway. With the operations at BIA increasingly becoming chaotic, an increasing number of airlines has started flying in and out of HRI carrying thousands of more..

CBSL prints Rs 10.8 billion

Jan 26 (CT) Central Bank printed money to the tune of Rs 10,822 million, thereby increasing money printing by 3.42% to Rs 327,480.31 million at the end of the day's trading yesterday. The money printing figure also includes Govt's interest cost, because of it. As a result, money market's net, excess liquidity increased by Rs 6,663 million (11.98%) to Rs 62,289 million and CBSL's book value (BV) Treasury (T) Bill holdings by Rs. 5,709.9 million (2.18%) to Rs. 267,084.09 million. more..