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'COPE should inquire transactions of Templeton fund in Sri Lanka'

Mar 9 (LBO) COPE should investigate the transactions carried out between the US-based Franklin Templeton Fund and Central Bank in the past, Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva said. He confirmed that close to US$ 500 million have been taken out from Sri Lanka during the past two months. “Templeton Fund has taken out funds close to US$ 900 million in the latter part of last year. Almost US$ 500 million have been taken out more..

Dalai Lama, Sri Lankan prez may attend Buddhist meet in India

Mar 9 (TOI) Buddhist spiritual leader the Dalai Lama and Sri Lankan president Maithripala Srisena are expected to inaugurate the 3-day International Buddhist Conclave being jointly organized by Nava Nalanda Mahavihara (NNM), a deemed university near the Nalanda University ruins, and Union ministry of culture at Rajgir's Int'l Convention Centre on March 17, said Nalanda DM Thiyagarajan SM. President Pranab Mukherjee may attend the closing function on March 19. more..

Dallas to act for Dinesh: Speaker turns down request

Mar 9 (DM) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya today turned down a request made by the joint opposition to appoint MP Dallas Alahapperuma as its acting group leader in place of MP Dinesh Gunawardene who has been suspended from the House for a week. The Speaker said he had no authority to do so as the matter had to be decided by UPFA Group Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva. Mr Alahapperuma said he has to raise an important question as per the standing orders 23(2). more..

Pacific Partnership launched in H’tota

Mar 9 (DM) USNS Fall River, the expeditionary fast transport ship of the US Navy, arrived in Hambantota Port on Tuesday to provide a platform for the two-week-long multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducting by the Pacific Partnership. Pacific Partnership’s mission in SL include a number of both military and civilian experts from US, Australia & Japan apart from SL. more..

Evidence of ex CB Supdt. factual: President

Mar 9 (DM) President Sirisena said the evidence given by a former lady superintendent of Central Bank was the factual, correct and steady evidence given by any witness called before the Presidential Commission to investigate allegations against the former governor of CB. Addressing a ceremony organised by SLFP Women Organisation to mark International Women’s Day, President said as a woman she had demonstrated her valour to fulfil her duty honestly and steadily. more..

Lawyers needing protection in Jaffna: AG given time to file objections

Mar 9 (Island) The Court of Appeal yesterday gave Attorney General Jayantha Jayasuriya time till April 6 to file the objection, if any, to the Writ application filed by a suspect E.M. Jayewardene, a police officer in remand custody, in Anuradhapura, in respect of killing of two Tamil University students in Jaffna on Oct 10, 2016. Altogether five police officers are held in custody in relation to the aforesaid killing. The applicant petitioner Jayewardene has said that the inquiry against him more..

Women’s participation is an essential factor for purity in politics: President

Mar 9 (PMD) “Increasing of the women’s participation in the political sector in order to create a clean, honest and sociable political movement will be an important factor in the future”, says President Maithripala Sirisena. The President was speaking at a ceremony organized by the SLFP Women’s Front to mark the International Women’s Day. President was the chief guest at this ceremony, held today in the SLFP Headquarters. more..

Batakotte (Vadukoddai) resolution written by Jaffna Pinocchios

Mar 10 (CT) Starting from the Dutch period to modern times, the Jaffna Tamil leadership, which consisted exclusively of the Vellalas, relied entirely on two fundamental ideologies to retain their power and privileges in the peninsula. Both ruling ideologies were defined in two separate documents. First was the Tesawalamai codified by Class Isaacksz, Dissawe of Jaffna, on Jan 30, 1707, for the guidance of Dutch rulers. Second was Batakotte (Tamilised as Vadukoddai) Resolution more..

ABC of Trumponomics: Can it make the US a great nation?

Mar 10 (CT) US President Donald Trump outlined his economic philosophy – known as Trumponomics – to a joint session of the Congress last week. He received a standing ovation, sentence after sentence, initiated by his own VP and House Speaker and followed soon by fellow Republicans. That would have certainly boosted his morale in delivering the address since it was a living confirmation of what he was saying. Only bemused onlookers were his rivals in Congress, Democrats. more..

Krishantha’s frank take on governance & biz

Mar 10 (FT) Both a political activist and a corporate and media personality, Krishantha Prasad Cooray is not known to mince words and is quite forthright. Wearing multiple hats as Chairman of Hotel Developers (Lanka) Plc, which owns Hilton Colombo and Independent Non-Executive Director at DFCC Bank as well as a Working Committee member of the ruling coalition party UNP. Daily FT sat with Krishantha to get more..

GMOA’s double game ruins SL’s reserves

Mar 10 (NS) The saga over the SAITM continues. It has already seen the good and the bad. Now it is seeing the ugly. This week police alleged that the reported shooting of the CEO of SAITM was apparently stage managed. A Pradeshiya Sabha member, police claim, was involved in the incident. SAITM has already announced that the CEO has been stood down, pending further inquiries. While the CEO is entitled to his presumption of innocence until proven guilty, findings of the Police more..

Federal Constitution It’s not the answer

Mar 10 (CT) If the problems and issues are emerging from a distinctly identifiable Geographical region and if those problems can be seen only in such a region and those prevent any effort towards a possible solution due to the magnitude of the expanse of the land, then it becomes naturally more logical to seek a Federal Solution. It is justifiable as the people of such a land have been deprived of opportunities to make the best out of what the environment has given them. more..

I am with the President: Isura Deshapriya

Mar 10 (CT) Chief Minister of Western Provincial Council Isura Deshapriya says the rule of law and fiscal policy are severely politicized under this govt. "People think that UNP is selling public property to find money for the next election". Q: Why has a CM become a severe critic of the govt? A: That question must be posed to those who ask SLFP ministers in the national coalition to quit, and from those who hold more..

Editorial: Drama, waste and vanity

Mar 10 (Island) Wednesday’s Parliament drama, which may be called Diyawanna nadagama, had the trappings of a third-rate soap opera. It, however, served the govt’s purpose in that it diverted public attention from a vital issue—parliamentary approval for allocating about half a billion rupees to buy super luxury vehicles for ministers and others. Surprisingly, an otherwise mild-mannered Speaker Karu Jayasuriya saw red when JO leader Dinesh Gunawardena launched into a tirade against more..

Sri Lanka’s future with a Karuna in politics

Mar 10 (SL) Some politicians and intellectuals praise Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman for his latest move in forming a new political party, the Tamil United Independent Front -Thamilar Aikkiya Suthanthira Munnani. According to Karuna Amman, the purpose of forming a new party is to provide livelihood opportunities to former LTTE cadres and to assist widows of LTTE cadres and war victims. The party will be based in the East –Batticaloa- and be more focused on issues more..

Sarath Weerasekara

Sri Lanka offers the first battle ground for a neo-cold war?

Mar 10 (SL) In diplomatic terms, if not militarily, the incumbent Govt seems to have developed a knack for running with the hare and hunting with the hound. Rather, it wants to please every nation and seek to benefit from all of them, purportedly without hurting itself. But the history of Non-Alignment Movement (NAM), which is what the nation seems, wanting to restate in a new geo-strategic environment, has only hurt those that used to be on the wall all the time, not helped them in anyway. more..

Is sale of family silver remedy for our economic ills?

Mar 10 (Island) IMF is reported to have recommended the sale of some of our national assets such as Colombo Hilton, Lanka Hospitals, Hyatt Hotel and Waters Edge, to raise USD 1.5 billion to solve today’s economic crisis. What really happens is that this USD 1.5 billion will be paid to our creditors and the country will face another crisis before long. When funds from the IMF run out and we will be back to square one. It is essentially a no win situation, where we raise loans to pay more..

What Mangala said (and didn’t say) at the UNHRC

Mar 10 (Roar) Last week, during the 34th session of the UNHRC, and a full 17 months since Sri Lanka’s co-signing of Resolution 30/1, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera delivered a speech at a high-level segment in Geneva. Kicking off on an uncharacteristically sombre note, Samaraweera said: “Those of different faiths and beliefs, across gender, caste and creed, that constitute our country, worked together more..

Mushfiqur's purple patch continues

Mar 10 (CI) 101.75: Mushfiqur Rahim's average in Tests this year, with 407 runs in five innings. He scored 159 and 13 not out in Wellington, and 127 and 23 in Hyderabad, before adding another 85 in the first innings of this Test. 115: Runs scored by Mehedi Hasan Miraz in his last three innings, with scores of 51, 23 and 41. In his first eight innings, he had a total of 20 runs with one double-digit score. His 106-run stand with Mushfiqur was only B'desh's 5th century stand for 7th wicket. more..

England Lions win by five wickets  

Mar 10 (CI) Carbs' boys, they called themselves with the broadest of smiles, and for Michael Carberry, back in training with Hampshire after treatment for cancer, it will be an uplifting moment. Throughout his personal fight against illness, his support for the up-and-coming generation has never wavered. More than 5000 miles away, Daniel Bell-Drummond and Tom Alsop assembled a partnership to give him cause for celebration. Alsop is a Hampshire team-mate of Carberry's; more..

Never thought of dropping Mendis: Ford

Mar 10 (CI) Coach Graham Ford produced a ringing endorsement of Kusal Mendis after the 22-year old hit 194 in Galle and said the team management never thought of dropping him despite a spell of poor form. Mendis averaged 21.70 across 10 Test innings with only one half-century on the tours of Zimbabwe and SA. However, it took him only one innings, back in home conditions, to shrug off those returns and SL staff was certainly more..

Sarkar rues another soft dismissal

Mar 10 (CI) Soumya Sarkar, whose lapse in concentration at the start of the third day started Bangladesh's slide, has lauded his captain Mushfiqur Rahim for helping the side avert the follow-on in Galle. Mushfiqur played the ball on merit and ultimately fell 15 short of his third century in three Tests. He took 89 balls to score his first boundary - a clean six over Rangana Herath's head in the 72nd over - and then picked up the pace. He managed only 22 off his first 88 balls more..

Kalana shines for Thomians on day one

Mar 10 (DN) Royal’s innings was based on two face-saving partnerships. When play ended prematurely due to bad light S.Thomas’ had replied with 33 for no loss. The Royal innings was woven around a second wicket stand of 69 between Pasindu Sooriyabandara (35) and Ronuka Jayawardene (32) and a further 83 for the eighth wicket between Himesh Ramanayake (41) and Ganith Sandeepa (42) who helped Royal to reach their final total of 255. The Thomians won the toss and more..

Rice crisis blown out of proportion

Mar 10 (CT) Wheat flour consumption has shown an increase by 60% owing to the rice crisis, All-Island Canteen Owner's Association convener Asela Sampath said. Taking advantage of the prevailing rice crisis, some authorities have raised the price of rice so as to encourage the public towards higher wheat flour consumption and consequently, the consumption of wheat flour has resulted in a higher incidence of malnutrition, more..

AIADMK raises alleged killing of Tamil Fisherman in Lok Sabha

Mar 10 (ENS) The AIADMK raised the issue of the alleged killing of the Tamil fisherman by SL navy in Lok Sabha on Thursday and urged the Centre to take action with regards to the situation and make sure that such incidents don’t repeat. “It is high time India intervene and protect its citizens, and see to it that such incidents don’t repeat,” AIADMK leader M Thambidurai said. He also said that Indian fishermen are regularly troubled by SL Navy who at times also take away their fishing equipment. more..

Expect Sri Lanka to expedite probe into fisherman killing: India

Mar 10 (ENS) India today said it expects Sri Lanka to expedite the investigation into the killing of one of its fishermen given the gravity and seriousness of the issue. Sri Lanka has informed the Indian High Commission in Colombo that it will release all 85 Indian fishermen in their custody, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Gopal Baglay said. Asked about the status of the probe into allegations of SL Navy opening fire on Indian fishermen and killing one of them, more..

Silent on yahapalana extravagance, MPs’ privileges: JO

Mar 10 (Island) JO says it hasn’t taken a stance on the govt seeking massive amounts of public funds to purchase luxury vehicles for members of the ruling coalition at a time the vast majority of people in the country are struggling to make ends meet. JO says it cannot comment on members’ privileges. Govt sought parliamentary approval for allocating Rs 494,962,790 to purchase vehicles for 7 ministers, 3 state ministers and a deputy minister. more..

HC commences trial against former DIG Vass, wife, son

Mar 10 (DN) Colombo High Court commenced recording evidence from the prosecution’s witnesses regarding the case filed against eight accused including former DIG Vass Gunawardena his son Ravindu Vass Gunawardena, and wife Shyamali Perera for allegedly abducting and assaulting Nipuna Ramanayake, a student attached to SLIIT on August 2009. When the case came up before HC Judge R. Gurusinghe, victim Nipuna Ramanayake, a key witness in the case, gave evidence. more..

Govt to lose Rs. 50 b in revenue from tobacco in 2017

Mar 10 (FT) As customs seized 3.5 million illegal cigarette sticks at the Colombo Port on Wednesday, Sri Lanka’s sole legal manufacturer of cigarettes reported that the Govt will lose Rs. 50 billion in revenue in 2017 due to disproportionate taxation. When contacted with regards to the rise in tobacco smuggling, company officials pointed out that while four million illicit sticks were detected in 2016, within the first two months of this year already 10 million illegal sticks have been detected more..

Refugees who sheltered Edward Snowden seek Canada asylum

Mar 10 (BBC) Refugees who sheltered rogue National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden in Hong Kong are seeking asylum in Canada. The three families' lawyers have filed claims on their behalf. Some city legislators say two Sri Lankan nationals have been targeted by police from their own country who have travelled to Hong Kong. The refugee families fed and housed Mr Snowden for two weeks when he fled the US more..

Lankan refugees in dilemma over return

Mar 10 (TOI) Nearly three decades after taking shelter in India, a majority of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees appear to be in two minds in going back to their country despite normalcy returning to the once war-torn island nation. Uncertainty over a peaceful future back home as well as the consequences of returning to India again are the major deterrents for them. Wounded physically and mentally in the ethnic war in 1980s, SL Tamils had found Tamil Nadu to be a safe haven to survive. more..

For them, identity crisis cripples life in India

Mar 10 (TOI) Refugee status rings in a crisis of identity and those who have been brought up in the many camps in the state have been experiencing its travails for long. This has been the prime reason that drove many of the educated youths housed in the refugee camps to explore the chances of returning home. The youths found that education had not come in handy to secure them suitable jobs even in the private sectors as their lack of identity turned out to be a big hurdle. more..

H’tota deal sails closer to home

Mar 10 (FT) A buoyant Ports Minister yesterday outlined plans to anchor the Hambantota Port deal, which is already before the Attorney General, in the next 10 days and use the debt reduction to upgrade and expand the Colombo Port to increase returns after it nearly doubled profits to Rs. 11 billion last year.  Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said that plans to establish the East Container Terminal and improve the State-run Jaya Terminal more..

Textech 2017 to focus on SL's textile sector

Mar 10 (F2F) The 8th Textech Sri Lanka 2017 International Expo, an exhibition on textile garment technology and machinery, focuses on the entire textile and garment sector of the country. The fair is currently underway in Colombo along with two concurrent fairs, – 26th Dye+Chem Sri Lanka 2017 International Expo and 8th Colombo International Yarn & Fabric Show 2017. More than 200 exhibitors from over 6 countries are participating in these three-day expos. more..

Muhunthan Canagey appointed CEO/MD of ICTA for second term

Mar 10 (FT) The Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) of Sri Lanka has appointed Muhunthan Canagey as CEO and Managing Director for a second term. Canagey was first appointed to the Board of ICTA with the change of Government in February 2015 as the Managing Director and CEO to head the agency. He was entrusted with the task of restructuring and spearheading the architecturing, facilitating and implementing of Digital Sri Lanka. more..

Plot behind Dinesh’s suspension: JO says at car park news briefing

Mar 10 (DM) Joint opposition Chief Organiser MP Dullas Alahapperuma said a political conspiracy was behind the suspension of their leader MP Dinesh Gunawardane and this was an attempt to silence their voices. Holding a news conference in a vehicle park outside the entrance to Parliament, since they were not permitted to hold the news conference inside Parliament, MP Alahapperuma said the govt more..

Colombo Uni’s Arts Faculty students out of bounds

Mar 10 (CT) The second, third and fourth year Arts Faculty students of the Colombo University were placed out of bounds following a clash that took place yesterday, Vice Chancellor Prof. Lakshman Dissanayake said today. He said that measures had been placed after a clash broke out between two groups of students over the forthcoming student council election at the university. “We have advised the students to vacate the hostel by yesterday night for their own security. more..

Billionaire’s son arrested for abducting international schoolgirl and assaulting her

Mar 10 (Island) Multi-billionaire businessman’s son who abducted a female student of an international school and mercilessly assaulted her after taking her to a hotel room in Talahena was arrested by the Narahenpita police. Investigations have revealed that the 22-year-old suspect has had a love affair with the 20-year-old victim and later the latter had broken up with him. The police said the incident occurred when the victim was waiting for her vehicle to go home after school. more..

Bandula utters falsehood

Mar 10 (DN) MP Bandula Gunawardane was severely reprimanded yesterday by Presidential Commission to Investigate Bond Scam, for misleading the public by providing false information on its ongoing proceedings. Commission summoned MP Gunawardane to the Commission for disseminating wrong information via the media. Asked if he did or did not give incorrect information more..