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New green fertilizer could contribute to food revolution: scientists

Jan 30 (TRF) A new synthetic fertiliser could help farmers to save money, boost food production and reduce planet-warming emissions, scientists have found after trialling it on rice farms in Sri Lanka. By slowing down the release of nutrients the fertiliser will help farmers to increase crop yields using less chemicals, the scientists from Britain and Sri Lanka said. Chemical fertilisers such as the nitrogen-rich urea were key to the agricultural boom of the 1960s and 70s known as the Green Revolution more..

Two MSD cops arrested for sexually harassing Russian tourist

Jan 30 (Island) Two policemen attached to the Ministerial Security Division have been arrested by Mount Lavinia police for sexually harassing a female Russian tourist on the Mount Lavinia beach on Saturday evening, police sources said. Russian tourist has complained to the policemen patrolling the beach that two men had approached and squeezed her buttocks. When the policemen, a sub inspector and a constable, inquired from more..

SBI launches SL Term Bond Fund in Tokyo

Jan 30 (FT) The Japanese financial powerhouse the SBI Group launched a Sri Lanka Short Term Bond Fund on Thursday (27) to attract investors to high yielding Sri Lankan Bonds. SBI’s inaugural seminar titled “Market Outlook on 2017 and Attractive Investment Opportunity in Sri Lanka” was held at the Roppongi Grand Tower in Tokyo. The introduction to the event was given by CEO of SBI Securities Masato Takamura, and the opening speech was delivered by Secretary to the Treasury, more..

Cage Cricket comes to Sri Lanka

Jan 30 (CT) Latest form of cricket is cage cricket that was introduced to SL last week. Sheromie Brewster, Head of Cage Cricket in London is in SL teaching the technique and rules and promoting the game with SL youth. Ceylon Today met Sheromie at the NCC Cricket Academy Indoor Nets to find out the manner the game is played. She said that it can be played by players of any age and a team consists of six players. It is played in an area equal to double the size of a practice indoor net. more..

Global indices show SL economy at risk: JO

Jan 30 (DM) Sri Lanka’s economy had been dropped in many global indexes, due to the corruption in the Central Bank and other unhealthy development activities taken place in the country, Joint Opposition MP Bandula Gunawardena said. “In the reviews of the Bloomberg’s Global Risk Briefing, Transparency International’s Corruption Index 2016, Global Hunger Index and Fitch Ratings Sri Lankan economy has pushed downwards and more..

Rs 2.6 bn state paddy store in the North

Jan 30 (EN) Sri Lanka has opened a state-run paddy store in the North Eastern region of Mannar which can store 10,000 metric tonnes, a statement said. "Though the govt has a guaranteed price for paddy, there was no storage in the North," Minister Rishard Bathiudeen was quoted as saying at the opening ceremony. "Now farmers in this area who suffered under 30-years of war can sell their paddy at guaranteed prices." The paddy store was built at cost of 2.6 billion rupees, the statement said. more..

Dy Minister Thewarapperuma breaks a leg chasing cattle thieves

Jan 30 (Island) Deputy Minister Palitha Thewarapperuma in a daring chase which broke one of his legs nabbed two cattle rustlers and saved the lives of six oxen stolen from a dairy farm at Yatadola in Matugama on Saturday night. Deputy Minister has handed over the cattle and the suspects to the Matugama police. On Saturday night farmer Lal Ranjith Gamage found that three cattle from his farm had gone missing and phoned the deputy minister and informed the latter of the theft. more..

Monk to use RTI law to obtain information on controversial alienation of land

Jan 30 (Island) Ven. Ittekande Saddatissa thera intends to seek information pertaining to releasing of land for a controversial car assembly plant at Kuliyapitiya. Ven. Thera said that that he would seek information in accordance with the Right to Information Act. "It’ll be one of the first applications to be made under Right to Information Act coming into operation on Feb 3," thera said. Thera said that he felt the requirement to more..

'AG should expose truth behind bond scam'

Jan 30 (DM) Attorney General (AG) should expose the individuals responsible for the Central Bank bond scam, the lawyers' body affiliated to the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) said. “The AG has a legal obligation to expose those responsible and take steps to punish those found guilty,” SLPP General Secretary Sagara Kariyawasam said. “On June 1, 2015 CID Director B.R.S.R. Nagahamulla informed the Attorney General’s Department of a possible financial fraud that more..

Rishad denies Ranjan’s allegations

Jan 30 (DN) There had been no illegal settlement or encroachment in Wilpattu and the govt authorities have already accepted this fact, Secretary to Minister Rishad Bathiudeen and Secretary to ACMC S. Subairdeen said. Speaking to the Daily News yesterday, he strongly denied the allegations by Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake that Minister Bathiudeen was responsible for the deforestation near Wilpattu. “This was a malicious statement. We can prove it is wrong,” he said. more..

2 great leaders in front of the people; Crooks behind closed doors: Ranil raps Mahinda

Jan 30 (FT) Directing a blistering volley at former President Rajapaksa, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe went on the offensive over the weekend, recalling the latter’s white elephant projects and introduction of the 18th Amendment. The PM warned that no one would be allowed to derail the country’s growth. Responding to Rajapaksa’s statements at the Nugegoda rally, PM spared no punches at former President’s track record more..

Key President Trump ally Shalabh Kumar to visit Sri Lanka

Jan 30 (LR) Indian-American industrialist Shalabh Kumar says the current trade between India and the United States stands at only $100 billion, can reach up to $1 trillion under the Trump administration. Kumar, who was a major backer of US President Donald Trump is planning his own Sri Lanka visit to meet his friend, who is the new Indian envoy to Colombo. “The target in the first term is to take trade with India to $300 billion a year and put on a trajectory to be hitting almost more..

Legislation should benefit masses: CJ

Jan 30 (DM) Chief Justice K. Sripavan underlined the need for legislation that could directly benefit the masses and all those approaching the courts in search of justice. Addressing the SAARC Law Conference in Karachchi, he agreed with his counterpart from Pakistan that both Bar and the bench must play their role for the cause. “SAARC countries must make concerted efforts in this regard,” he said. Sripavan said that supremacy of law was a prerequisite for the prosperity more..

President summons Ranjan, Divulapitiya DS

Jan 30 (DN) Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake and Divulapitiya Divisional Secretary have been summoned to the Presidential Secretariat today, to sort out an issue regarding illegal sand mining in the area. Deputy Minister said that he too was asked by the President to attend the meeting to sort out the issue which was given wide publicity in the media. The electronic media carried recent footage showing more..

Sexual harrasment; No excuse is good excuse

Jan 30 (DM) A research conducted by Britain’s Trade Union Congress (TUC) reveals that more than half the women say they have been sexually harassed at work and most admit to not reporting it. A survey of 1,500 women saw 52% cite the problem and also found a third had been subjected to unwelcome jokes and a quarter experienced unwanted touching. TUC head, Frances O’ Grady said it left women feeling ashamed and frightened. Sexual harassment is one of most common more..

National Question and grievances faced by a minority

Jan 30 (DM) n a recent article in the Daily mirror of Jan 5, 2017, titled Let’s make Sampanthan’s New Year wish come true, the writer refers to the fact that the Opposition Leader has pinned his hopes for a peaceful and prosperous country in 2017 on a resolution of the National Question. The writer poses the question, What is the National Question. He takes the view that it boils down to, what the grievances are of the Tamil people, which he says should be spelt out. more..

'MPs should earn their reverence'

Jan 30 (SO) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said, once again the opportunity has come to draft a new constitution as the two major political parties have joined together in governance. Also, we have a mature Opposition Leader who has the country at heart, and is prepared to cooperate on national policies. So this is the ideal time to talk about a new constitution. Speaker said, he feels sad as all propaganda are based on mere more..

SF says Nugegoda rally was a damp squib

Jan 30 (Island) Last Friday’s Joint Opposition (JO) meeting at Nugegoda with the patronage of former President Rajapaksa was a noisy pus vedilla said Minister Sarath Fonseka during a visit to the prelate of Malwatte on Saturday. Addressing the media after the meeting, Fonseka said that a meeting attended by 20,000 or 30,000 people could not topple the Yahapalana govt. "The govt is strong and stable. more..

Drinking water issue threatens the North

Jan 30 (SL) The Jaffna peninsula has always faced the problem of a shortage of drinking water. After the end of the war in 2009, the drinking water problem in the Jaffna district had been identified by the govt as a key issue that needs to be resolved. Accordingly in 2013, a project was initiated by the then govt to provide drinking water to the Jaffna and Kilinochchi districts. The progress of the Iranamadu Irrigation Development Project, more..

MIG deal will expose Gota: Rajitha

Jan 30 (DM) Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that the investigation into the controversial MIG aircraft deal will expose the former Defence Secretary. Dr. Senaratne said the former Defence Secretary was always depicted as a patriotic person and added that the country will come to know about his patriotism when the MIG probe comes to a conclusion. According to the minister, unlike during the previous regime, more..

Galle Face Green gets ready for 69th Independence Day

Jan 30 (ST) Preparations are underway to celebrate the country’s 69th Independence next Saturday. The main celebration will be held at Galle Face Green commencing at 8 a.m. with the participation of over 8000 personnel from the tri forces at the traditional victory parade and ceremony. President will be the Chief guest at the celebrations while PM, ministers and diplomats will be among others in attendance. more..

Champika faults MR for released Tigers making an attempt on Sumanthiran’s life

Jan 30 (Island) Minister Champika Ranawaka has claimed that the four former LTTE cadres nabbed by the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) for plotting to assassinate TNA MP, M.A. Sumanthiran had been among Tigers released during President Rajapaksa’s regime without any investigation. He said the Rajapaksa administration had released 12,600 former LTTE cadres without any investigation. more..

Sumanthiran assassination plot a sign of LTTE re-grouping: JHU

Jan 30 (DM) The alleged plot to assassinate TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran that was uncovered recently signals the regrouping of LTTE and the possibility of terrorism raising its ugly head once again in SL, JHU national organiser, Media Spokesman Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said. He said that the Terrorism investigation Department (TID) and other intelligence authorities were keeping a watchful eye on the situation and more..

Central bank scrambles to contain damage from printed money

Jan 30 (EN) Central bank has scrambled to undo the damage to the rupee and the economy after the Treasury repaid around tens of billions of a maturing bond on Jan 2 with printed money. Excess liquidity in the banking system which was 39 billion rupees on Dec 30, shot up to 108 billion rupees on Jan 2, after the Treasury repaid a maturing bond with printed money. Treasury bill portfolio of the central bank shot up from more..

Over 470 Bills held up

Jan 30 (SO) Around 477 Bills to be presented in Parliament are stagnating, mostly between the Attorney General’s Department and the Legal Draftsman’s Department over the past ten years, Minister Champika Ranawaka said. Considering this situation, Cabinet has directed the Justice Ministry to expedite the process of sorting out those Bills depending on the priority of those bills. This shows the inefficiency of AG more..

SL cuts import tax on rice amid crop shortfall

Jan 30 (EN) Sri Lanka has cut an import tax that has kept domestic rice prices high pushing up food costs of the poor, and restricted supply allowing large millers to control the market and earn excess profits. A so-called special commodity levy on imported rice has been brought down to 05 rupees a kilo for raw, nadu and samba from Jan 27, from 15 rupees a kilo. The 15 rupees tax had been effective from Jan 17. more..

Fraudulent school admissions

Jan 30 (CT) The first time the Govt has nabbed prestigious schools in the act as it were while fraudulently admitting children to Year One, including Royal College Colombo. According to Ministry of Education sources on the directive of Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, investigations have even been launched over complaints against fifteen National schools including Colombo's Royal College with regard to admission of students to Year One at the beginning of this year. more..

EPF loss from bond scam Rs. 14,000 million

Jan 30 (Island) The Employees Provident Fund Department sources at the Central Bank yesterday said due to the bond scam, the fund had incurred a loss of over Rs. 14,000 million. The sources attributed the loss to the EPF Dept. of the CEB buying Treasury Bonds from primary dealer Perpetual Treasuries without buying them at the auction direct. The sources said the bonds had been purchased from the Perpetual Treasuries which company is now embroiled in a controversy. more..

DEW Gunasekera on Yahapalana Scams

UNP-SLFP unity beyond 2020 is key to new Sri Lanka

Jan 30 (CT) The formation of the Govt of National Unity in the aftermath of the victory of President Sirisena at the presidential election of Jan 2015 generated hopes of a rejuvenation of the polity and the unleashing of its full post-war economic potential. However, much to the disappointment of those who believed in the new government, the rift between the UNP and SLFP, which are the two main constituent parties of the govt, appears to be increasing with the passage of time. more..

3 killed, 34 hurt after two accidents in Kalmunei, Inamaluwa

Jan 30 (AD) 15 persons were injured after a speeding private bus veered off the road in Inamaluwa on Monday. The accident occurred on Dambula-Habarana road, police said. Four of 15 persons are in a critical condition and they are receiving treatments at the Dambula hospital. The driver of the bus has been arrested following the incident. Meanwhile, in another accident, three children were killed and 19 others injured after their van collided head on with a bus on more..

The Volkswagen fiasco: A look into the future of our automobile industry

Jan 30 (DM) The Volkswagen fiasco created much hullabaloo in political and public circles with politicians making haughty statements about how the automobile giant was to invest in our country. However through the discoveries made by the media, it was later discerned that no such investment took place, nor had ever been planned to take place. This made the public express a series of emotions, from hope to utter disgust and more..

Video: Hambantota clash: four more get bail

Jan 30 (AD) Four of 29 persons arrested over the clash in Hambantota have been released on bail and the rest of the suspects were remanded until 13 Feb. The suspects were further remanded when the case was taken up for hearing at the Hambantota Magistrate’s Court on Monday.  At least 21 people, including three police officers, were injured in violent clashes between Sri Lankan govt supporters and protesters marching against what they say is a plan to take over private land more..

Commander of the SL Navy visiting India

Jan 30 (IBNS) Vice Admiral RC Wijegunaratne, Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy is on an official visit to India from 29 January to 02 February 2017. The visit is aimed at consolidating bilateral naval relations between India and Sri Lanka and to explore new avenues for naval cooperation.  Commander, Sri Lankan Navy will hold bilateral discussions with Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chief of the Naval Staff and other senior officials of the Indian Navy on 30 January 2017.  more..

Port City: Gazette on tax concessions presented to House

Jan 30 (DM) Govt has presented to Parliament the two gazette notifications which authorises tax concessions to two major projects -- Port City Project (PCP) at Galle Face and the Mix Development Project (MDP) in Slave Island. Gazette notification provides the US$ 1.3 billion Port City Project a six-year holiday on corporate tax, with the dividends distributed to shareholders being exempted from income tax for 25 years. more..

Rajitha wants doctors appointed to closed state hospitals

Jan 30 (DN) Minister Rajitha Senaratne requested Health Services Deputy Director General Dr. Amal de Silva to appoint doctors to all closed state hospitals. The sources said Dr. Senaratne had made this request to appoint doctors from the 332 Post Intern appointments to be given to doctors soon. He had also ordered to appoint doctors for dialysis centres countrywide. The minister made this order to health officials during the Provincial Health Ministers' Summit in Colombo. more..

Video: Lankan nabbed with foreign currency worth Rs. 111 million at BIA

Jan 30 (DM) A 42-year-old Sri Lankan man was arrested by the Customs at the BIA while attempting to smuggle foreign currency worth Rs.111 million to Dubai last evening. The Suspect who is a resident of Mount Lavinia was a passenger of UL 225 flight bound to Dubai, UAE. Currencies in US dollar, Euro, Swiss Francs, Saudi Riyal, Dirham, Qatar Riyal and Sterling Pound in his possession had been seized. Superintend of Customs, D. Bopege, who made the arrest conducts further investigation. more..

World Bank distances itself from Arjuna Mahendran’s bond scam

Jan 30 (CT) World Bank has officially distanced itself from the controversial Central Bank bond scam committed by ex-Governor Arjuna Mahendran citing that they are not aware of the international best practices to accurately calculate the potential loss in the case of the past bond auction. In a letter addressed to M.S.B Ekanayake, Secretary to PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on Dec 7, 2016, the World Bank Country Director to Sri Lanka, more..

Sri Lanka condoles with Canada over Quebec terror attack

Jan 30 (NR) Sri Lanka has offered its condolences to Canada over the terrorist attack in Quebec which killed six people and injured several others. Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mahishini Colonne said “Sri Lanka grieves with Canada for the victims of the terrorist attack in Quebec and condemns all forms of terrorism.” Six people were killed after gunmen opened fire in a Quebec City mosque during evening prayers. Two suspects in the shooting were arrested. more..

Infrastructure building seen main growth driver in Sri Lanka

Jan 30 (EN) Infrastructure construction, funded mainly by foreign investors, is likely to be the main growth driver in Sri Lanka and will compensate for an anticipated fall in consumption. Capital Alliance Securities said in its outlook for 2017 that Sri Lanka’s economic growth for 2017 is expected to fall to 3.9%, from an estimated 5% in 2016, excluding foreign direct investment. “The main growth driver is likely to be infrastructure construction, funded primarily by foreign entities,” more..