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Sri Lanka drought a credit negative, costs may worsen deficit: Moody's

Mar 2 (EN) Sri Lanka's plans to pay compensation to drought affected farmers could expand a planned budget deficit by up to 0.2% of gross domestic product in 2017 and reduce economic activity which is a credit negative, Moody's, a rating agency said. Sri Lanka has a 'B1' speculative grade rating with a negative outlook. Moody's is forecasting a deficit of 5.2% of GDP, compared to an planned 4.6% under a deal backed by the IMF. more..

Govt urged to protect state financial institutions, EPF

Mar 2 (Island) General Secretary of Communist Party D.E.W. Gunasekera has warned of dire consequences unless the govt reverses its policies which, its critics say, are severely inimical to the state banking and insurance sectors and the EPF. Veteran politician, who was Chairman of COPE during previous administration, alleged that a diabolical attempt was being made to undermine the state financial sector. more..

Compensation for all who gave up land for port

Mar 2 (NR) Ministry of Ports and Shipping says steps will be taken to promptly provide compensation to all parties who provided land for the Hambantota Development Project. A statement released by the Ministry said parties who provided 237 plots of land to the project under the second phase have been fully compensated thus far. Minister Arjuna Ranatunga advised officers to promptly conclude providing compensation to the owners of the remaining 129 plots of land. more..

Sri Lanka’s failure to establish hybrid court must lead to ICC referral

Mar 2 (CT) 34th Session of UNHRC has begun and all eyes are turned to Geneva. What struck me most in High Commissioner’s opening remarks was this line, a line so true and profound: “When humans understand fully they have rights, it is next to impossible to make them un-know it.” And for the Tamil people seeking justice, truth, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence – the so called four pillars of transitional justice, HC’s words couldn’t have been more true and profound. more..

ආණ්ඩුව පම්පෝරි ගැහුවට රටේ වෙනසක් වුණාද?

Norway's Norges Bank fund invests US$65mn in Sri Lanka stocks

Mar 2 (EN) Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), a sovereign wealth fund in Norway has invested US$ 65 million in SL stocks over the past two years. NBIM, which comes under the Norges Bank, country's central bank, has started by investing US$ 31 million in 2016 and doubled it to US$ 65 million in 2016. "It must also be noted that the Norwegian Central Bank is completely independent from the Norwegian Govt, therefore, this fund is not used as an instrument of more..

Garbage crisis: Ja ela residents granted permission to intervene in FR case

Mar 2 (Island) Supreme Court granted permission to the residents of Ja-ela to intervene in fundamental rights violation petition filed by residents of Meethotamulla, seeking an end to the dumping of garbage at Meethotamulla by Colombo Municipal Council (CMC). About 18 acres at Meethotamulla are currently being used as a garbage dump. The area is to be extended by another three acres. They said that CMC, UDA and CEA should be ordered to stop dumping garbage there. more..

People in wet zone cry for water

Mar 2 (CT) Kalutara is a wet zone district with 26 waterfalls and streams. But today thousands of people in the Kalutara District are waiting for the water bowser to meet their requirements. The people in the Kalutara District rarely experienced any drought. Instead, floods devastated the district several times a year. It is said that the people who over exploited natural resources are now reaping the harvest. more..

Priyasad Depp sworn in as new Chief Justice

Mar 2 (PSL) The senior-most judge of the Supreme Court, Priyasad Depp was sworn in as the new Chief Justice before President Maithripala Sirisena at the President’s official residence, today (2). Justice Priyasad Depp held the office of the Solicitor General from 2007 to 2011 and became a judge of the SC in 2011. He had fulfilled his duties as the Acting Chief Justice several times. Minister of Justice, Wijeyadasa Rajapakhse Secretary to the President P. B. Abeykoon, more..

Big matches: Sobitha Thera to file case against Police

Mar 2 (DM) Founder of the Sri Bodhiraja Foundation Ven. Omalpe Sobitha Thera yesterday said that he would file a case against the police and other authorities for neglecting their duties and not banning school big matches. The venerable thera had earlier called for the banning of school big matches as they promoted alcohol and immoral behaviour. Sobitha thera said he had resorted to legal action as relevant authorities had failed to take any action to prevent malpractices from more..

Lankan navy arrests 13 TN fishermen; CM writes to Modi

Mar 2 (PTI) 13 Indian fishermen were today arrested by the SL navy, prompting the Tamil Nadu govt to dash off a letter to the Centre seeking its intervention. Taking up the matter with PM Narendra Modi, Chief Minister E K Palaniswami, in a letter, said the state govt was extremely concerned over such incidents and sought Centre's intervention into the matter. Such incidents of the arrest of "our fishermen by SL Navy (should) more..

20 arrested over recovery of weapons at Mt. Lavinia Courts

Mar 2 (NR) The 20 suspects arrested in connection with the discovery of a cache of weapons in the premises of the Mount Lavinia Magistrates Court have been remanded till the 13th of Feb. The order was issued by the Mount Lavinia Magistrates Court today. Of the 20 suspects 16 are residents of Ratmalana. Further investigations are being conducted into the incident. A statement was earlier recorded from a police officer who was on Court duty & from Prison officers who were present more..

Call to change existing Sri Lanka laws to better apply RTI

Mar 2 (EN) Proactive disclosure is a key obligation of the Sri Lankan govt under its new Right to Information (RTI) law and existing laws preventing publication of information from public authorities should be changed, a new study said. The study by the think-tank, Verité Research, together with Democracy Reporting International (DRI), presents practical recommendations for the implementation of the RTI Act. “The success of the Act will depend on how effectively it is implemented,” more..

Kalutara shooting: Suspects identified

Mar 2 (DM) Two police teams have been deployed at Katunayake BIA and Mattala Int;l Airport to prevent the suspects involved in the Kalutara prison bus shooting from fleeing the country following information that there were such moves. Police said information had been received that some suspects in the shooting incident are planning to flee the country using fake passports. Police had identified the main suspect and more..

Electricity and Poverty

Mar 2 (CT) State controlled Daily News quoting PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on its Tuesday's edition said that by modernizing poultry and the dairy subsectors in the agriculture sector, it would be able to generate greater employment and industries within the village itself. He had said this at the opening of the Rural Economic Affairs Ministry in Colombo. Premier had further said that economic development, both rural and urban, has become a dire necessity for the govt. "We need to look at alternative incomes, more..

Three Cadets nabbed for caddish behaviour

Mar 2 (DM) Three cadets of a boys’ school, who had stripped six cadets of another school naked and video recorded them at the National Cadet Corps Training Centre in Rantembe, were arrested by Hasalaka Police yesterday. The three cadets had tied the six cadets up after stripping them naked and had proceeded to video record them thereafter. The incident had been brought to the attention of the principal of the victimized students’ school, who took immediate action to lodge a complaint more..

Water board sets targets to achieve by 2019

Mar 2 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s water board has agreed to undertake several targets in line with IMF and Finance Ministry requirements over implementing KPIs for the sector. Operational profitability and cash flow generation of the water board declined in the last couple of years due to the lack of cost effective tariff mechanisms. The board however has recorded 1,030 million profit for year 2015. Now, water board has submitted several targets. more..

Peradeniya Ragging: Mobiles to be inspected

Mar 2 (NR) 15 students of Agriculture Faculty of the University of Peradeniya arrested for allegedly ragging first year students of the same faculty have been further remanded. The students were remanded till the 16th of March by Kandy Magistrate’s Court when the case was taken up for hearing today. When the case was taken up for hearing police informed Court that investigations were being conducted to determine if the mobile phones of the 15 students contained any more..

Lions ready to get their teeth into Sri Lanka

Mar 2 (CI) If England Lions needed any reminder that they are just one step away from the international stage as they embark upon a five-match series in Sri Lanka, Tom Curran's dead-of-night text message from the national selector, James Whitaker, duly provided it. When Curran went to bed in Dambulla after the four-day leg of the tour, he was an England Lion, just looking forward to advancing his reputation in a series that he knew would make little impact back home. more..

President says some media highlight only the negative side

Mar 2 (CG) President says some media highlight only the negative side of the Govt. He says objective of the current Govt is to economically boost all the people in the country. “Every govt should give prominence for people’s essential requirements; food, housing, health and education. Low income families have to face many problems due to the politicians who worked for their private agendas without identifying that matters of priority”, more..

Toronto Mayor to lead trade mission to India and Sri Lanka

Mar 2 (TS) Toronto Mayor John Tory is hitting the road again, this time with a trade mission to India and Sri Lanka. Tory starts the 10-day trip March 15. The city is paying for him, two city councillors and four city staff, while about 20 delegates from Toronto’s business and academic communities will pay their own way. A draft itinerary lists three dozen meetings in cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad — India has the world’s fastest growing major economy and strong ties to more..

President inaugurated program to provide water to drought affected areas

Mar 2 (PSL) A program to provide water bowsers to the people in the drought affected areas was implemented under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena today at the Ministry of Defense. Under this, drinking water is being delivered to 180,000 families in 83 divisional secretariat units in 15 districts, affected by the dry weather conditions. Under the directive of the President, Presidential Secretariat has taken actions to provide tractor bowsers to more..

I neither knew nor planned shooting incident: SAITM CEO

Mar 2 (AD) CEO of SAITM, Dr Sameera Senaratne, rejected allegations that he had anything to do with planning the shooting incident carried out against him and that he believes certain elements are attempting to discredit or scare him. He stated that various rumours and reports are being published in the media regarding the shooting incident carried out against him.“I don’t know anything about the shooting incident. more..

SL A claim first win in Lions ODI series

Mar 2 (CI) If Ben Duckett was looking for an immediate pick-me-up on the England Lions tour of Sri Lanka after his disheartening time in India, he discovered that life can sometimes be less accommodating than that. The teething problems against high-quality spin that abruptly stilled his Test career were again in evidence as Sri Lanka A strolled the first of five one-day matches. SL's 47-run win on a DLS calculation came in mildly farcical circumstances when play was suspended for more..

JO vows to file legal action against Ravi

Mar 2 (DM) The joint opposition today said it would file cases against Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake in the Supreme Court next week, regarding allegations made by him against former President Mahinda Rajapaksa in connection with the issuance of the gazette notifications linked to Central Bank (CB) bond issue. Joint opposition MP Bandula Gunawardane told a media briefing that Minister Karunanayake had challenged Mr. Rajapaksa to take legal actions against him and more..

Mahendran visited Debt Dept. during Bond Auction: CB Additional Director

Mar 2 (DM) Former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran had visited the Public Debt Department office where the controversial Bond auction had taken place and it was the first time, a Central Bank Governor had visited the office during a Bond auction in the Central Bank history, Additional Director of the Statistics Department of the Central Bank Dr. M.Z.M. Aazim told the Special Presidential Commission probing into more..

Thajudeen killing: Suspicious number used by ex-DIG detected

Mar 2 (DM) Deputy Solicitor General Dilan Ratnayake informed court that another suspicious phone number used by former DIG Anura Senanayake to contact the Presidential Secretariat at the time that Wasim Thajudeen died was detected by the CID recently. He said the CID was checking the phone calls taken on that number. The CID sought court permission to check the details of Thajudeen's credit card details on May 16 and 17, 2012. The detectives said they were more..

Tamim shines in the opening day of SL tour

Mar 2 (TC) Bangladesh team has enjoyed a good start in the opening day of the first practice match against Sri Lanka Board President XI at Moratuwa. Sri Lanka BP XI won the toss & invited the visitors to bat first. Opener Soumya Sarkar departed early in the morning after scoring 9 runs. Then Tamim Iqbal & Mominul Haque started to build the innings and made an unbeaten 143 run partnership.  Before retired out, Mominul scored 73 runs from 103 balls with 10 fours. more..

Sri Lanka to co-sponsor UN resolution

Mar 2 (FT) Sri Lanka will co-sponsor a resolution led by US and the core group at the 34th Session of the UNHRC, Govt confirmed in Geneva yesterday. Secretary General of the Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms Mano Tittawela said in Geneva that the Govt would submit a resolution together with the US, UK and Montenegro that it hopes would provide more time for implementation of UNHRC resolution 30/1 more..

13A and India’s U-turn

Mar 3 (NS) One of the interesting turn of events which was witnessed last week was when the visiting Foreign Secretary of India met with Northern Province Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran and members of the TNA. During the meeting, Jaishankar had called upon the TNA to move away from the merger of the North and East and to go easy on its demands pertaining to a durable solution. This remark by an Indian minister of its Central Govt is of utmost importance, more..

Appeal to all Sri Lankans on new constitution

Mar 3 (CT) To understand my article on the An Appeal to Sri Lankans on the New Constitution the context on which I wrote the article is important and the context is going to be the main theme of this article and this context will place my article on the correct perspective. Let my therefore briefly explain the Context. Context:- The process for drafting a new constitution commenced in January 2016 and was moving slowly, but steadily. Third sitting of the Constitutional Assembly more..

Walk among miracles

Mar 3 (DN) I have basically chartered my life says Sarath Kotagama, Emeritus Professor of Environmental Science, University of Colombo. “A lot of people consider me very unorthodox and a Maverick, because to me I had to break through” says Kotagama. Outstanding Personalities features this nature extraordinaire who feels that he is yet to achieve the Nobel Prize. Q: Professor Kotagama, why do you love nature and more..

Why this much ado about SAITM

Mar 3 (DN) Sometime back the former Minister of Education Bandula Gunawardena showed the importance of mustering the support of the private sector for university education. Then Minister Bandula Gunawardena said that the private universities are a must for the development of the country. He went further to mention that political hypocrisy of some parties and politicians had hindered the setting up of private universities in Sri Lanka. more..

Mangala Samayang Samaraweera strikes again! 

Mar 3 (CT) In his speech to the high level segment of the UNHRC session in Geneva, yesterday, Minister Mangala Samaraweera pledged a Third Republican Constitution by our 70th Independence Day (next Feb 4th), declared that a Referendum is imperative, opined that 69 years since Independence were a failed experiment and concluded pompously that we have to put an end to that era. None of what he said seemed to have had the approval of Cabinet or reflect the views of more..

'BASL should not interfere in the appointment of judges'

Mar 3 (Island) The standoff between the Judicial Services Association and the Bar Association of Sri Lanka over the appointment of Ramanathan Kannan as a High Court judge still remains unresolved with the BASL not taking any action to have the appointment reversed as requested by the JSA. Most serious allegation against the new High Court judge is that he had on an earlier occasion, been recommended for appointment more..

Editorial: President, jails and schools

Mar 3 (Island) President Sirisena has said he turned down an invitation to declare open the Angunukolapalessa prison complex, as we reported. But, he is ready to attend the opening of a school anytime, he has said. His aversion to penal institutions is understandable. Nobody likes pens, the mere sight of which is depressing. Luckily for President, Joint Opposition has already said the leaders of the previous govt should be given the credit for building Angunukolapaless prison. more..

Extremists take govt for a ride

Mar 3 (CT) "History is full of incidents and episodes for attempts by some communities to overcome others, by ways of might as well as cunning. In instances where might failed, cunning was used as the way out. The word cunning can be taken as a sugar-coated version for the word conspiracy. The way things are happening, it shows a finely choreographed plan to neutralize all the benevolent forces in order to carry forward a plot through carefully orchestrated actions. more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Ragging in the university system: A collective mental disorder

Mar 3 (DN) en university students were arrested last week (20) for ragging 8 juniors. A torture chamber was discovered in an abandoned house: But the problem of ragging is by no means a new one, and neither are these isolated incidents. Many parties over the past several decades, including the university authorities, have grappled with the problem of ragging, in numerous ways: But even while there is a common acceptance that ragging is wrong, none have been able to formulate more..

SLR threatens to suspend schools rugby league

Mar 3 (CT) After the Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara threatened to cancel the ongoing Schools Rugby Tournament due to irregularities by Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Football Association (SLSRFA), governing body of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) has given them (SLSRFA) time till 12 noon of next Wednesday (8) to address the issues highlighted by the Minister as well as SLR regarding tournament rules. "With the greatest difficulty we managed to convince the Sports Minister to more..