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Modernise or be disrupted

Mar 22 (FT) Sri Lanka’s financial sector needs to rise up and embrace technology to foster economic growth or risk having the system be disrupted by more dynamic sectors, warned a top banking official. CB Deputy Governor Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe, delivering his keynote address as Chief Guest at BankTech Asia, Sri Lanka Series called on the industry to take its services and access to the next level.  “My fellow colleagues, the new reality for banking landscape is disruption,” more..

Bangladesh hopes Sri Lanka win will bring more Tests

Mar 22 (AFP) Bangladesh’s historic Test victory in Sri Lanka should encourage more teams to find space in their schedules to play the fast-improving minnows, according to the head of the country’s cricket board. In their 100th Test, Bangladesh beat Rangana Herath’s men by four wickets in Colombo on Sunday - their first victory away from home against top-class opponents. Bangladesh’s only other victories on foreign soil since gaining Test status in 2000 came against more..

SL Navy action hitting diplomatic efforts, says Tamil Nadu CM

Mar 22 (ENS) Alleging that Sri Lanka had been trying to thwart efforts for a diplomatic solution to the issues relating to sharing of marine fish resources, TN Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Tuesday said the continuous arrests of TN fishermen by the SL Navy seemed to be intended so. Bringing to the notice of PM Narendra Modi the arrest of 10 fishermen by SL Navy early morning Tuesday, the chief minister said more..

Writ petition filed by Perpetual Treasuries re-fixed for support today

Mar 22 (DN) The writ petition filed by Perpetual Treasuries Private Limited, a primary dealer in govt securities, seeking an Interim Order restraining Central Bank from taking action under the directives issued by the Monetary Board of the Central Bank was yesterday re-fixed for support today by the Court of Appeal. When the petition came up before the Court of Appeal (President) Justice Vijith Malalgoda and Justice S. Thurairajah, President’s Counsel S.A. Parathalingam yesterday more..

Perpetual Treasuries gets more support: Tax concession to produce liquor

Mar 22 (DM) If the distillery owned by Arjun Aloysius is given a huge tax concession it would have serious repercussions on palm arrack manufactured in the Northern Province, SLFP Youth Front (SLFPYF) said today. SLFP Youth Front President Shantha Bandara said the Excise Department and the Finance Ministry had permitted the construction of the distillery. He said the Govt had already increased excise duty on locally manufactured palm arrack and coconut toddy while more..

Done so much damage to the country financially but still handling people's money

Mar 22 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe disclosed a debt repayment plan stretching over a period of 10 years to settle Rs. 11,000 billion obtained by the previous regime for different purposes.  Responding to a question, PM updated the Parliament with the anticipated measures to broaden tax collection and narrow the Budget deficit to 3.5% of the GDP by 2020, which will support debt servicing. more..

Mahendran allowed to monitor affairs of the Commission

Mar 22 (DM) The Commission probing the Bond transaction yesterday allowed former Governor of the CB Arjuna Mahendran to monitor the affairs of the Commission. Permission was granted by the Commission accepting a request made by his Attorney PC Romesh De Silva as per clause Number 16(1) of the Commission Act. Accordingly, yesterday Arjuna Mahendran was present at the Commission sittings from 10 am until01 pm. The Secretary of the Monetary Board of the CB more..

Hambantota Port Project: Govt given go ahead for joint venture

Mar 22 (DM) After lengthy discussions in the presence of President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe, the Cabinet gave the go ahead for the proposed joint venture between the Govt and China Merchants International Ltd for the Hambantota Port Project, Daily Mirror learns. Govt has also appointed a top level committee headed by Minister Sarath Amunugama and some key ministers to work out the criteria for implementation the sorting out of any snags that might arise. more..

Heated exchange between Senior ASG and Mahendran’s Counsel

Mar 22 (Island) During the sittings of the Special Presidential Commission of inquiry probing the alleged bond scam, Senior Additional Solicitor General Dappula Livera strongly objected to former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran sitting in the observer gallery. Mahendran was attending the sittings with his Senior Counsel Romesh de Silva and a team of lawyers. Defence Counsel Romesh de Silva requested the Commission to submit more..

Woodman, spare that tree

Mar 22 (DM) Yesterday (21), was the International Forest Day with the theme being Forests and Energy. At a time of potentially catastrophic climate change – though the US’ newly elected President Donald Trump, appears to by planting lots of fake news relating to climate change denial – it is vital that all countries should commit themselves to the principles of this event. The UN this year highlights the importance of wood energy in improving people’s lives, more..

The new UNHRC resolution and Hybrid Court

Mar 22 (DM) This week under a fresh UNHRC resolution, Sri Lanka is likely to receive a two-year-extension to fully implement a previous UNHRC resolution approved in October 2015. Like the previous one, the new resolution will be co-sponsored by Sri Lanka. This would also likely to be flaunted like its predecessor as another triumph of the govt. That the European nations and America have softened their earlier stance towards Sri Lanka could well be an achievement of govt’s policy. more..

Former MP Sarath Weerasekera never sought meeting with UNHRC Chief

Mar 22 (DN) Former MP Rear Admiral (Retd.) Sarath Weerasekera or any of his representatives has not sought any meeting with the UN Human Rights Commissioner’s Office, informed sources from Geneva confirmed. Although Weerasekera’s supporters told the local media that Weerasekera will present a special report to the UN Human Rights Commissioner, a spokesperson from UNHRC Chief’s office said no one requested more..

Financial Stability Of CEB In Jeopardy

Mar 22 (SL) Implementation of interest payment of security deposits of consumers destabilizes the financial of CEB. Total deposits have passed Rs. 11 Billion, informed sources said. Energy sector regulator, the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) recently issued guidelines to the CEB and the LECO to pay interest on the security deposit of electricity consumers held by the companies. more..

Be warned, you may be eating poisoned rice!

Mar 22 (DM) Chief Medical Officer of Polonnaruwa Kidney Disease Prevention Unit said rice mill owners used highly poisonous chemicals to preserve rice they hold in stock and that such treated rice could be preserved for at least 5 years. He made this comment at a meeting of the District Agricultural Committee warning that people who consumed rice treated with that toxic chemical were susceptible to terminal kidney diseases. more..

Hambantota port deal seen helping build forex reserves

Mar 22 (EN) Getting China to operate Sri Lanka’s loss-making, debt-ridden Hambantota port is aimed not only at reviving the harbour’s fortunes but also managing foreign currency reserves to relieve pressure on the rupee, a central bank official said. “The govt is looking at a broader level, not just the port,” said Nihal Fonseka, a member of the governing board of SL’s central bank. “It is looking at country’s debt, more..

FFMTA, Medical Faculty deans, GMOA take common stand on SAITM

Mar 22 (ST) Concrete proposals to ease the controversy surrounding the SAITM and stymie the slide down the slippery slope to major youth unrest have been presented to President this week. Stop admissions to SAITM with immediate effect; stop SAITM from granting an MBBS degree forthwith; legalise the minimum standards required for medical education; appoint a committee to bring about a fair solution for all the students who more..

JO predicts hike in prices of fuel, electricity, water due to IMF-GosL agreement

Mar 22 (Island) The JO predicted that prices of diesel, petrol and kerosine would increase soon as the govt had promised the IMF that subsidies on fuel would be done away with. Former Minister G.L. Peiris said that according to an agreement signed by Minister Ravi Karunanayake with the IMF on May 12, 2016, govt had been required to remove subsidies on fuel before Dec. 16, 2016, but that pledge had not been fulfilled. more..

New legislation to update existing laws on issuing of Treasury Bills, bonds

Mar 22 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament that the govt would bring in new laws concerning the issue of Treasury Bills and Treasury Bonds to provide the flexibility of raising higher or lesser amounts than specified in the order published in Gazettes. Responding to a question by JO Leader Dinesh Gunawardena, PM said the same legislation would declare as legal all Treasury bills and bonds more..

Sri Lanka will not join ICC: PM

Mar 22 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe assured that the govt had not agreed to join an International Criminal Court (ICC), to bring in foreign judges to Sri Lankan Courts and appoint a Hybrid Court since they are against the govt’s policy as well as the policy of the Asian govts. He said that the govt only sought the expert advice in this regard. The govt has proposed to bring about an indigenous mechanism more..

'New loans wont be used to pay old ones'

Mar 22 (NR) Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake says the loans obtained for development projects of the govt won’t be utilized to pay off the debt left by the former UPFA led govt. Minister Ravi Karunanayake speaking in parliament added the govt is taking steps to provide tax concessions to the public by the end of this year. He said the situation that prevails now is that govt have more than enough funds to conduct all future more..

Sri Lanka says China agrees to cut Hambantota port stake to 60% in a decade

Mar 22 (EN) SL has reached agreement to sell 80% of Hambantota port to China though a joint venture an option to reduce the Chinese stake to 60% in 10 years, Deputy Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe said. CM Port Holdings is expected to pay SL 1.12 billion for the 80% stake. SL has borrowed US$ 1.4 billion mostly from China to build a breakwater, jetty and a tank farm, which state-run SLPA has to service through other revenues. more..

The urgent need to reform the Muslim marriage & divorce act

Mar 22 (CT) An urgent need has arisen to reform Muslim Marriage & Divorce Act (MMDA) of 1951. Before I explain the reasons why, let us see how this Act came about. Based on representations made by the Kathis Association, govt set up an all-male committee in 1939 comprising the Registrar General and Mahrooms M.I. Akbar, T.B. Jayah, A.R.A. Razik, Abdul Cader, M.I.M. Hanifa & M.S.M. Shamsudeen, to study General Marriage Ordinance of 1907, towards formulating a MMDA. more..

Owners of stray dogs face Rs 25,000 fine and 2 years imprisonment

Mar 22 (AD) Cabinet have approved a proposal put forward to carry out an amendment to the Registration of Dogs Ordinance No 25 of 1901. The above amendment is to be done to address difficulties faced by public due to stray dogs.  “Accordingly, the proposal made by Minister Faizer Mustafa, to instruct the Legal Draftsman to amend the above ordinance to make provisions to increase the fine on owners of stray dogs to Rs. 25000 and the imprisonment to 02 years, more..

ඔව් මම පර්මිට් එක වික්කා: මන්ත්රී ශෙහාන් සේමසිංහ

TNA’s hypocrisy

Mar 22 (CT) Former Chief Minister of the once merged North-Eastern (NE) Provinces, A. Varatharaja Perumal, was quoted by this newspaper on its yesterday's edition of having had said, '…rather than insisting on the Hybrid Court for a war crimes inquiry, it would be better to initially try a domestic mechanism, as prescribed by international law… …it is quite unsuitable to say that international mechanisms are necessary to assist the judicial mechanism of the country… more..

Wimal Weerawansa launches fast in prison

Mar 22 (NR) UPFA MP Wimal Weerawansa, has launched a fast inside the Welikada Prison, protesting Court’s refusal to grant him bail. Deputy Leader of the NFF Weerakumara Dissanayake said, MP Weerawansa started rejecting taking meals this morning. A bail application calling for his release was rejected by both the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court and the Colombo High Court. MP was arrested on the 10th of January on charges of providing state vehicles to friends and family more..

Freedom of speech and defamation in Sri Lanka: Where to draw the line

Mar 22 (Roar) Sri Lankans are not entirely unfamiliar with the word defamation. You do hear, for instance, news of one politician suing another for millions of rupees over something that was said by the latter politician, which the former found offensive or unpalatable. Most Sri Lankans are therefore aware that defamation is some kind of limitation on the freedom of speech of another – a tool to prevent verbal diarrhoea of sorts. more..

Rape suspect of a 15 year-old girl released without proper investigation

Mar 22 (CT) Despite the family members of sexually abused 15-year-old girl filing a complaint with the Maskeliya Police Station, case has not been properly investigated. Alleged suspect, who comes from a wealthy family, was simply released. He had appeared before a Magistrate without considering medical reports from two hospitals where the victim was treated. Victim’s family says that because they are very poor, police have not given them proper attention in their quest for justice. more..

Good in Galle, great in Colombo

Mar 22 (CI) March 5: The first person I meet at the airport in Colombo is a taxi driver called Sham, who I lose track of immediately. I am supposed to follow him, but having lost sight of him, I walk nearly out of the airport. Luckily he is also looking for me, and we find each other again. We end up chatting about Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and what great friendships can be like. I wake colleague Andrew Fidel Fernando up in the middle of the night and crash at his place. more..

'Colombo is the second fastest growing port'

Mar 22 (AD) Colombo Port has become the second fastest growing port among the ports which carries out terminal operations, Minister Arjuna Ranathunga stated. It is an increment of 10.6 %, he said. “Political climate prevailing in the country today is very conducive for investment with good governance Practices by the two ruling Major Political Parties. Therefore you could look into the possibilities to invest on commercial ports more..

IPM Sri Lanka to expand footprint to Maldives

Mar 22 (DM) IPM Sri Lanka has initiated plans to expand its footprint to neighboring Maldives in order to provide their expertise in HR education and people management skills to the citizens of Maldives. IPM is the foremost professional HR body in Sri Lanka with its head office in Colombo while reaching out to students and HR professionals in and around regional capitals of Kandy, Kurunegala, Galle, Matara, Gampaha, Negombo and Jaffna via its regional centers. more..

Troops fight Dengue in the East

Mar 22 (MoD) A contingent of over 200 Army troops is involved in Dengue prevention activities in the Eastern region. According to Army media sources, troops are engaged in conducting preventive measures including destroying possible mosquito breeding places especially in Kinniya, Trinco where most fatality cases are reported, at the request of the Ministry of Health, Special Presidential Task Force on Dengue and local health officials. A sudden outbreak of deadly Dengue disease more..

Romeo student sent to probationary care, Police tighten security for girls’ schools

Mar 22 (DM) The student of the Mahanama College, who had been arrested for forcibly entering Yashodara Balika Vidyalaya, was ordered to be sent yesterday to the Probationary and Child Care Centre in Makola until March 31 by the Hulftsdorp Magistrate’s Court. Police officers in civvies and uniform and the emergency Mobile Police Unit would be deployed in the vicinity of all girls’ schools within the Colombo City limits. more..

Attack on prison bus: STF arrests Baththaramulle Banti

Mar 22 (DM) STF yesterday arrested one of the main suspects known as Battaramulle Banti in connection with the attack on the prison bus in Kalutara. STF Commandant DIG M.R. Latheef said the suspect was arrested by the members of the STF intelligence unit while he was hiding in Sella Katharagama area. He said the suspect was handed over to the Colombo Crime Division. Police said the 25-year-old suspect, who was involved in drug smuggling, was being interrogated by CCD. more..

Tax concessions were not given to construct liquor distilleries: Champika

Mar 22 (DM) Tax concessions were not given to the Northern and Uva Provinces to open up liquor distilleries or to create employment through them, Minister Champika Ranawaka said. He made these remarks in connection with the construction of a liquor distillery in Kalkuda, Batticaloa. “We are against those who open liquor distilleries in the North and Uva provinces, as special relief was given to those areas because of the poverty levels, not to open liquor distilleries. more..

'Efficient public transport system to be introduced'

Mar 22 (NR) Minister of Megapolis and Western Development Champika Ranawaka says a special programme to create a more efficient public transport system will be introduced in future. He said under the programme priority will be given to the bus service. He said it will be possible to raise the standards of public transport in the country adding that govt hopes to introduce an efficient public transport system a year from now. more..

Magistrate issues arrest warrant for Secretary to Mininstry of Power & Energy

Mar 22 (DM) Colombo Chief Magistrate today issued a warrant for the arrest of the Secretary to the Ministry of Power and Energy, B.N.S. Batagoda for not appearing in court as a witness for the persecution in the bribery case filed against Former Deputy Minister Sarana Gunawardena. Chief Magistrate Lal Bandara issued the warrant after he observed Batagoda was not present in court to testify on behalf of the prosecution in the case filed by the Bribery Commission. more..

Sri Lankan nabbed for alleged sexual assault in Malaysia

Mar 22 (TS) In the space of 24 hours, a Sri Lankan national allegedly assaulted two women sexually and physically in Bandar Baru Uda here. He was later arrested by police on Monday evening. In the first case, the suspect allegedly assaulted a 51-year-old factory worker, and robbed her of her mobile phone, ATM card, and RM80 cash at around 7.14am on March 19. Johor Baru (North) OCPD Asst Comm Mohd Taib Ahmad said the victim had just got off from a bus and was walking towards her more..

Sri Lankan and Indian Army discuss military cooperation

Mar 22 (CG) The annual Army-to-Army Staff Talks (AAST) between the Sri Lankan Army and the Indian Army began at the BMICH today. The Army said that the talks will aim to increase bilateral military cooperation and understanding with special focus on exchange of training modules, infrastructure improvement, knowledge on technical aspects and welfare programmes. The three day talks, attended by high-ranking senior officers more..

Sirisena – Putin personnel rapport resulted in invitation for official visit

Mar 22 (PSL) The personal rapport established by President Maithripala Sirisena and Russian President Vladimir Putin resulted in the invitation to the Sri Lankan  leader to pay an official visit to Russia, says Ambassador Saman Weerasinghe in Moscow. He said that when two leaders met in the BRICS Summit held in Goa, India last year, they held a lengthy discussion and the trust and friendship developed at the meeting was evident as within a few days of returning to Moscow, more..