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Was it by design or by accident?

June 19 (DM) The former strongman visited the country of the Rising Sun recently and was given a red carpet welcome by the compatriot community there. And by a strange coincidence, soon afterwards he found himself in the company of a yahapalanaya deputy who was to remain his inseparable companion until the end of his visit in that hospitable country.  The deputy is said to be a Blue one hailing from the Puttalam district and he was in the council even during the regime of more..

Ministers to meet PM on constitutional reforms

June 19 (Island) Final talks between ministers, representing UNP and SLFP, and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on the proposed constitutional reforms will be held this morning, according to Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka. Thereafter, a group of MPs supporting the Yahapalana govt would join the ministers and PM for further talks on the issue, Karunathilaka said. At 5 pm today, all ministers are scheduled to meet President Sirisena at Presidential Secretariat on the same issue. more..

Harry J hooks up with Japan’s ANA, JAL for SriLankan Airlines

June 19 (FT) Senior business leader Harry Jayawardena has teamed up with Japan’s leading carriers ANA and JAL in a consortium to acquire a 49% stake along with management of SriLankan Airlines. Consortium has conveyed its expression of interest to the Govt, which is keen to revive the national carrier via a Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative. All Nippon Airways (ANA), is the largest airline in Japan whilst Japan Airlines more..

SL Basketball player dies during match

June 19 (DN) Not just the SL basketball fraternity, but the sporting community as a whole mourn the untimely demise of Ranil Ganewatte of Hayleys Group who died during Friday’s Mercantile Services Basketball League tournament match against Airport & Aviation at Henry Pedris courts, Colombo. 39-year-old 6.5” centre player was overjoyed as he scored an early basket, but little he knew as he collapsed near half court line on his way back to back court, that he will never wake up again. more..

EPRLF: TNA unity hangs in balance in House

June 19 (DM) Keeping the unity among the TNA could not be sustained among the allies, even in Parliament, unless the No-Confidence Motion against Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran was not withdrawn, EPRLF Leader Suresh Premachandran opined. EPRLF, ITAK, PLOTE and TELO are the constituent parties in the TNA. The motion has been signed mainly by the ITAK members. The other three parties met last evening and discussed modalities to sort out the problem. more..

Video: Hate crime: Police probing politicos' speech

June 19 (DM) Police were investigating into politicians' statement, which was seen as inciting racism and create communal disharmony, DIG Priyantha Jayakody said. He said that legal action would be taken against such politicians under the instruction of the Attorney-General. Total of 14 individual had been arrested in connection with the incidents based on racism. “The suspects were arrested in connection with several incidents more..

Arrest of BBS chief: Police fear public uprising

June 19 (CT) Police fear that the arrest of BBS leader Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera would lead to negative consequences and even a possible public uprising, a high ranking Police official said. Official who did not wish to be named, said that the Police are aware of the dormant possibility of a public uprising in the event of the thera's arrest. Court has already issued an arrest warrant on the thera who is facing charges that include hate speech and instigation of racial violence. more..

Lakshman Yapa assumes duties today

June 19 (CT) State Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, who was reported to be in dispute with the Minister Kabir Hashim over office space, is to assume duties officially today. He will assume duties at the Ministry office at the World Trade Centre. Minister Abeywardena was to assume duties on 2 June. However, he postponed it after hearing that six rooms out of nine assigned to his ministry office at the World Trade Centre, had been acquired by the staff of Minister Kabir Hashim. more..

Three constituents threaten to quit TNA

June 19 (CT) The leaders of three TNA constituent parties, EPRLF, PLOTE and TELO, have expressed solidarity with Northern Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran and warned that if the TNA hierarchy brings out the No Confidence Motion against Northern Chief Minister, they would withdraw their parties from the TNA and function separately in Parliament. Leader of EPRLF Suresh Premachandran, PLOTE leader Darmalingam more..

Grenfel Towers fire: The price of profit at any cost

June 19 (DM) On June 14, 2017, London’s Grenfell Towers, owned by the Borough Council in Kensington and Chelsea (Local Govt Authority), and managed by an independent company - Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO), went up in flames.  The building was refurbished by a third party - Rydon Construction - who were contracted by KCTMO at a cost of £10 million recently. Rydon Construction, while refurbishing the building with full knowledge more..

Micro-finance and Leasing: Today’s Loan Sharks

June 19 (DM) It has taken the Central Bank many years to see what some of us have been pointing to since the war ended – that people in the north and east are in a massive debt trap.   When I set out to research rural incomes in Jaffna five years ago, it was evident that debt had become a central economic problem. In most villages in the north and east, any discussion about the rural economy would quickly get to the problem of crippling indebtedness. After years of indifference and denial more..

Move to ban tobacco cultivation questioned

June 19 (SL) Despite both the Ceylon Tobacco Company (CTC) and its tobacco farmers being key drivers of national and rural economic growth, neither party was consulted before the intention to ban tobacco cultivation in 2020 was announced, spokesperson of CTC said. As a responsible tobacco company, CTC supports reasonable regulations that are consultative, evidence-based & delivers policy objectives more..

New Standard for plugs and sockets in Sri Lanka: Are you aware?

June 19 (DM) Why Sri Lanka need standardization for Plugs and Sockets Plugs in use There are over 60 types of different plugs used in electrical equipment in Sri Lanka. The three most common socket types used in Sri Lanka are 15A- Round Socket, 5A round Socket, 13A square socket. To plug these different plug-tops to un-matching socket outlets people are addicted to unsafe practices as follows. more..

'Those who score 50 runs and complain of leg pains should go home'

June 19 (DM) Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera has decided  that 23 sports in each district should be specially encouraged and 23 coaches should be assigned to do this job. His main targets are the Olympics, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games, where these athletes will be able to rake in medals. Meanwhile if there are special coaches among them, they are to be sent abroad for special training. more..

Yahapalana Corruption?: Minister pitches for ArcelorMittal’s steel prefab houses

June 19 (ST) Resettlement Ministry this week summoned District and Divisional Secretaries and Directors of Planning of the North and East, for a Progress Review meeting in Colombo–and used the event to promote the controversial ArcelorMittal prefabricated (prefab) housing project. The meeting chaired by Minister D.M. Swaminathan, took place on Thursday. Jaffna District MP, Douglas Devananda was also present, more..

President gives Western Province Chief Minister 3 days to clean up city

June 19 (DM) President, Maithripala Sirisena has warned Western Province Chief Minister Isura Dewapriya that he would be sacked from his post if the garbage that had piled up in Colombo and the suburbs was not disposed on in three days. President had given him this ultimatum when the CM was absent during a meeting held to discuss ways and means to control the spread of dengue in and around Colombo on Saturday. more..

Speaker laments poor attention paid to COPE, COPA revelations

June 19 (DN) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya regretted the lack of public spotlight on the misappropriation and waste of money revealed in the recent COPE and COPA reports. Speaker made this comment addressing a workshop for Parliament correspondents held in Negombo on Saturday. “Parliamentary watchdog committees such as the COPE and COPA have played an unprecedented role in the current Parliament. more..

Conspiracy being hatched in Colombo to oust me: CV

June 19 (DM) CM C.V. Vigneswaran said that there is a conspiracy being hatched in Colombo to remove him from office. He had made this startling revelation when a group of supporters walked into his official residence and expressed their solidarity with the CM with regard to the no-faith motion brought against him. He said, “It is in Colombo that this conspiracy has been hatched. I do not like to reveal the persons behind it now. more..

Getting ready for Money Laundering?: TISL flags legal flaws in Lotteries Board Gazette

June 19 (Island) Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) has expressed concern over the recent gazette notification, which has placed the National Lotteries Board under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. TISL, calls for the the error to be expediently remedied by regazetting the National Lotteries Board under the Finance Ministry as per the law. "National Lotteries Board was created by The Finance Act 1963, more..

Sri Lanka to become export driven economic & financial hub

June 19 (EN) Sri Lanka is improving its soft infrastructure to boost investments to make the country an export driven economic and financial hub of the Indian Ocean, Minister Managala Samaraweera has said in Korea. "Developing physical infrastructure must be done along with administrative and legal frameworks to ensure required policy or regulatory support to streamline and boost public and private investments," more..

CB to sell US$ 515mn development bonds

June 19 (LBO) Central Bank will issue US$ 515 million development bonds with a tenor of 1 year 7 months, 3 years, 4 years and 4 years 9 months. Central Bank said the subscription will be at a floating rate of 6 month LIBOR for USD plus a margin through competitive bidding, or at a fixed rate to be determined through competitive bidding. Minimum investment is US$ 10,000 with additional investments in multiples of US$ 10,000. more..

SL has no choice but to grow with giants

June 19 (FT) One can accuse that nature has been unkind to small nations in the world. It has made the world with a few giants and a large number of dwarfs. Giants are said to be dictating terms to dwarfs making them gullible and vulnerable and finally an easy prey. Yet, a forgotten fact is that nature has given an unusual cunningness to dwarfs to outwit giants. Take for example, the case of the rabbit. It has been programmed to make a zigzag run when it is chased by its arch enemy, fox. more..

USS Lake Erie departs from Colombo harbour after post relief mission

June 19 (SLN) The guided-missile cruiser of the UN Navy, USS Lake Erie which arrived in Sri Lanka on a post relief mission on 11th June, departed from the Colombo harbour today on successful completion of its mission engagements. SL Navy bade customary farewell in accordance with the naval traditions on her departure. The ship which was boarded by 300 US naval personnel was commanded by Captain D McPherson. The ship’s crew engaged in a number of humanitarian assistance more..

Works of Parliament Mafia

Minister complains out-dated vehicles being used to teach automobile engineering

June 19 (Island) Minister Chandima Weerakkody recently said that the students at Automobile Engineering Training Institute (AETI) at Orugodawatta in Colombo were dependent on 30-year-old vehicles for practical training. Minister Weerakkody said that it was important to provide the students with modern vehicles to learn from. The AETI is a national training institute established in November 1989 with a grant aid from the Govt of Japan at a cost of Rs. 500 million. more..

'Sri Lanka’s shipping, freight market corrupt to its core'

June 19 (DN) Sri Lanka’s shipping and freight market is all corrupt to its core, said Sean Van Dort, SL Shippers’ Council Immediate Past Chairman. Managing Directors to Shipping executives were robbing from their own companies by way of kickbacks, he said speaking at the Post Business Session of 47th AGM of SL Shippers’ Council held in Colombo last week. “It’s seems only a handful of service providers really go out to canvas business on service and quality in its deliveries. more..

When disaster strikes, what does SL do?

June 19 (Roar) The floods came with tragic timing. The optimism that voted in good governance, terminally shrill even before the start, had already inverted into hysterical laughter. Even on May 26, disappointment followed disappointment—from the cabinet’s attempt to buy vehicles for Rs. 360 million to Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa’s protracted absence in Sri Lanka—and encouraged JO’s jeering. more..

Let reconciliation begin from NPC

June 19 (CT) The turmoil in the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) has raised a pertinent question as to how far the Tamil political scene is reconciled to fulfil the political aspirations of the Northerners in the backdrop of reconciliation at national level, which is much spoken of. Until the problematic situation emerged in the NPC, the TNA focused on solving political issues and finding solutions to humanitarian problems, by seeking justice for alleged atrocities committed during the final phase of more..

SB says only 40% of SLFP with Rajapaksa

June 19 (Island) Only 40% of the divided SLFP backed the former President Rajapksa, Minister S.B. Dissanayake said. The others supported President Sirisena, He said, fielding queries from the media in Kandy, where he attended a sports event. The Minister said that the SLFP was a political organisation comprising people who held different views. President Sirisena had not grabbed the leadership of the SLFP and it had been handed over to him, Dissanayake said. more..

Ganesan to mediate rift in the NPC

June 19 (NR) Minister Mano Ganesan says he is prepared to intervene in order to calm the prevailing political rift which has arisen in the Northern provincial council. He said the prevailing rift must be solved if development projects in the North are to be strengthened. Minister said as the leader of TPA the rift in the NPC must be solved adding that the council must engage in discussions peacefully in order to end this political rift. more..

New income law to provide stable tax framework: Eran

June 19 (EN) Sri Lanka's new income tax law will provide a more stable tax framework that giving more certainty for investors, State Minister for Finance Eran Wickramaratne said. A revamped income tax bill is to be presented to parliament shortly. "There will be an opportunity for debate and discussion," Wickramaratne said. "But after it is passed it will give some predictability to the tax framework. Investors need certainty to make long term decisions." more..

Red tape delays raise costs for Sri Lanka fertiliser importers

June 19 (EN) Delays of up to one month in releasing shipments of imported fertiliser for use and distribution are causing importers to incur significant storage costs, a new study of Sri Lanka's agricultural export competitiveness has revealed. Predictability of time and cost taken to comply with regulations is a critical factor that determines trade competitiveness, according to a study by Verité Research, a private think-tank, of difficulties faced by Sri Lankan agriculture exporters. more..

Finance Ministry circular for importation of vehicle issued

June 19 (DM) A Circular for importing vehicles in terms of Trade and Investment policy for senior executives in management and administration at State institutions and State cooperatives had been issued by the Finance Ministry today. The circular had been issued following amendments made to the relevant policy in accordance with decisions reached at the May 2 Cabinet meeting. more..

Palaniswami asks Modi to take steps for releasing fishermen from Sri Lanka

June 19 (DH) A day after the arrest of five fishermen by Lankan Navy, TN Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami urged the PM to take up the issue personally with the highest authorities in Sri Lanka and to bring the apprehensions at high seas to an immediate halt. CM also asked Modi to direct the Ministry of External Affairs to secure the immediate release of 16 fishermen and 136 fishing boats including the five fishermen and their one mechanised fishing boat apprehended more..

Community support key to protecting Sri Lanka’s biodiversity and resources

June 19 (WB) Mohan Heenatigala knows there are invaders in his forest. Stepping onto a trail, the Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) in Galle sees how the flowering Lantana camara is defeating the grass that would have fed foraging animals; another unwelcome species, tall havari nuga (Alstonia macrophylla) trees cast their shade over the path. “These invasive species are changing the character of the forest, and threatening its biodiversity,” says the DFO, pointing out that they overwhelm more..

Oxford Business Group launches new publication on Sri Lanka economy

June 19 (LBO) Sri Lankafs plans to capitalise on high levels of investor confidence and a $1.5bn deal with the IMF to implement a much]needed modernisation drive and structural reforms are mapped out in a new report just produced by the global research and consultancy firm Oxford Business Group (OBG). SL 2017 charts the island nationfs journey from decades of conflict to a new era of optimism, buoyed by strong growth, more..

J’pura Hospital filled with dengue patients

June 19 (DM) Director of the Sri J'pura Hospital today said the hospital has stopped admitting dengue patients for the time being due to the lack of bed spaces in the ward. The hospital has the capacity to treat 460 fever patients including dengue patients and as of now all beds are occupied. However, he said the hospital will admit new patients when and as in-house patients are being discharged. “We cannot simply admit patients when we don’t have enough facilities for them. more..

Thondaman resigns from Chairmanship

June 19 (NR) MP Arumugam Thondaman today handed over his Letter of Resignation to President Sirisena as the Chairman of the Nuwara Eliya District Coordinating Committee. It was confirmed by Vice Chairman of the CCW and Central Provincial Councillor Ganapathi Kanagaraj. PM had cited issued such as state officials not taking steps to provide a land to dispose waste in Hatton and their general failure to address waste disposal issues as reasons for his decision to resign. more..

Don’t push us to reveal what we know: Udaya

June 19 (DM) PHU General Secretary and MP Udaya Gammanpila warned JHU General Secretary and Minister Patali Champika to stop making misleading statements on the BBS because otherwise he would be forced to reveal what he knew. Former JHU member said Ven. Gnanasara Thera was the former deputy national organiser of JHU and the relationship between BBS and JHU was not a secret. more..

5 member bench for Geetha’s petition

June 19 (NR) A 5 member bench of Judges including the chief justice has been appointed to consider the petition filed by MP Geetha Kumarasinghe over her removal from her parliamentary post. The decision was arrived at following the consideration of a request made to the chief justice by 4 voters named as respondents in the case. Supreme Court ruled that the petition be taken up for consideration on 15th of Sept 2017. Court of Appeal ruled MP Geetha more..