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Mouth-watering contest against South Africa

Apr 5 (Island) Successive South African teams have toured SL and succeeded with extreme pace being their main weapon. The likes of Brett Schutlz, Allan Donald and Shaun Pollock have had their moments in SL over the years. This time too the tourists will bank heavily on their pace reserves, but there is a significant change in the outlook of the side. While the South African sides of yesteryear consisted of all white pacemen, the current fast bowlers in the squad are predominantly black. more..

CB to investigate ETI financial deals

Apr 5 (CT) Ways to mobilize further capital to make ETI Finance viable is necessary to finalize compensation for depositors, CBSL Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said adding that the Edirisinghe family finances will be investigated to find out the root cause of the financial crisis in both financial companies, once the acquisition by the Singaporean Company was finalized. He noted that the money that was to be received from more..

MAS begins biodiversity battle with 25,000 acre habitat restoration drive

Apr 5 (DN) MAS Holdings mapped its sustainability goals in 2016 and made three clear commitments in its quest to drive sustainable manufacturing in Sri Lanka. As one of the world’s most recognized design to delivery solution providers in the realm of apparel and textile manufacturing and also the largest apparel and textile manufacturer in South Asia, MAS has pledged to take radical climate action in the renewable energy space, to continuously manage the footprint of more..

Tea Board to prioritize replanting, infilling, factory upgrades

Apr 5 (CT) The SL Tea Board will shortly propose and facilitate an ambitious replanting programme of 14 million tea plants in nurseries, which will be handed over to the Regional Plantation Companies, Tea Small Holders and other tea growers in an accelerated programme to improve the industry. “The cost of a plant will be around Rs 12, which means that the overall cost will be around Rs 168 million. We have to work out a method to finance this significant project in consultation with more..

CB signals wary policy loosening

Apr 5 (FT) The Central Bank yesterday cut the policy ceiling rate by 25 basis points to 8.50%, signalling cautious relaxation of monetary policy for the first time in two years, predicated on falling inflation and growth. Central Bank, explaining its reasons, pointed out the change would moderate anomalous interest rates in April and allow the interest rates to stabilise in the short term, as well as reduce gap between deposit & lending rates. more..

We’ll be there for you: India tells Sri Lanka

Apr 5 (Island) India will be there for Sri Lanka and such friendship comes without any strings attached. This is the message India sends Sri Lanka, specially in consideration of its regional policy of Progressing Together or Sabika Sath Sabka Vikas. Such policy positions stressing good neighbourliness were enunciated on Tuesday by India’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Taranjit Singh Sandhu. He was delivering the 14th annual Sujata Jayawardena Memorial Oration, more..

New appointments at Mahaweli Authority

Apr 5 (PSL) A ceremony was held under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena to hand over appointment letters to newly appointed 147 officers of Mahaweli Authority, at Presidential secretariat, today (4). President Sirisena symbolically handed over few letters of appointments. Addressing the newly appointed officers, President Sirisena said everyone should be committed to fulfill their responsibilities as newly appointed officers under Mahaweli Authority more..

33 UNP MPs want 6 SLFP Ministers sacked

Apr 5 (AD) A group of MPs of the ruling party have written to PM requesting the immediate removal of 6 Ministers of SLFP from the Cabinet. A letter signed by 33 UNP MPs has been presented to the PM, following the vote on the no-confidence motion, seeking the removal of ministers S.B. Dissanayake, W.D.J. Seneviratne, Anura Priyadharshana Yapa, Susil Premajayantha, Chandima Weerakkody, Dayasiri Jayasekara. more..

Reports on intellectual rights of cinema, tele drama and music submitted to president

Apr 5 (GDI) President Maithripala Sirisena says that artistes and others in the fields of cinema, teledrama and music fields have a great responsibility in leading the citizens towards a proper path on behalf of the future of the country. President assured that the govt will provide cooperation and make constitutional requirements to facilitate that objective. He said this after the three committee reports on the intellectual property rights of local cinema, tele drama and the field of music more..

Housing Minister commissions Waya Ulpatha model village

Apr 5 (DN) The fifth model village named Waya Ulpatha, which was planned under the Anuradhapura housing development project, was commissioned by Housing and Construction Minister Sajith Premadasa, recently. The said model village is located in the Palugaswewa DS Division of the Anuradhapura district. The Waya Ulpatha model village consists of 25 well-equipped new houses and each family had been provided with a low-interest loan facility amounting to Rs. 300,000. more..

PM thanks supportive MPs, admits shortcomings, vows to strengthen Govt/UNP

Apr 5 (FT) PM yesterday expressed his gratitude to all the MPs who helped to defeat the Motion of No-Confidence which was brought against him and the Govt. Speaking to the UNP MPs in the presence of media following the vote on the motion, he stated that it was a significant victory and that he will not forget their service. “We now have to start a new journey. As a Govt, we have to proceed with our work much more rapidly along with more..

FinMin puts bunching debt figure at US $ 15bn between 2019 and 2022

Apr 5 (DM) The headroom to tackle Sri Lanka’s worsening public debt situation appears to be disappearing as the government estimates a whopping US $ 15 billion in foreign debt service payment during the four years from 2019 to 2022. In a candid acceptance of the bunching of the foreign debt repayments, the Finance Ministry has said the country is facing a public debt overhang – a situation where the stock of debt exceeds its future capacity to repay. Sri Lanka’s debt stock exploded as more..

'UNPers visiting Singpore meet Mahendran'

Apr 5 (CT) JO Parliamentary Group Leader Dinesh Gunawardena said that the country has no confidence in the Premier because of the role he had played in the appointment of Arjuna Mahendran, who is not even a Sri Lankan citizen, as Governor of the CB. Gunawardena, opening the debate on the No-Confidence Motion, against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, said “The Prime Minister did not take any action against those who are responsible for the Treasury Bonds scam. more..

Susil hints at senior SLFP defections

Apr 5 (FT) In a hard-hitting speech, senior SLFP MP and Minister Susil Premajayantha challenged the Govt to maintain the Unity Govt if senior SLFP MPs leave the Govt. He made this remark while taking part in debate on the No-Confidence Motion. SLFP Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara too said he had no qualms over vacating his ministerial position. “SLFP General Secretary cannot represent party alone in coalition govt” more..

Video: Sri Lanka's Got Talent contestant knocks himself out during karate routine

Apr 5 (CBS) SL's got talent, and probably also a serious concussion. On the first season of Sri Lanka's Got Talent -- the latest of many localized Got Talent series made popular by Simon Cowell -- one gentleman attempted to impress the judges with his karate skills. He got off to a decent start, having broken several boards over his arms while performing a split that would put most of us out of commission for weeks. However, things quickly went awry when he attempted to incorporate more..

CB Governor says time is right for fuel pricing formula

Apr 5 (Island) It is time to introduce a fuel pricing formula as all other indicators relating to inflation are favourable, CB Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said. He made this comment during a Q&A session with the media after announcing the Monetary Policy Review No. 2 for 2018. "The inflation will remain in the mid-digit band during most of the year and a price formula for fuel at this juncture would not have a significant impact on inflation. So, this would be an ideal time for this. more..

Money Politics: Royal victory for Ranil

Apr 5 (FT) PM yesterday emerged victorious after he managed to decisively defeat the much anticipated No-Confidence Motion with a comprehensive majority of 46 votes and will meet President Sirisena today to decide the future of the govt. At the conclusion of a full day debate of nearly 12 hours Speaker Karu Jayasuriya moved the House for a vote on the motion. Motion against PM received 122 votes in favor and 76 against more..

PM to meet Prez today

Apr 5 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe told the media last night that he would meet President Maithripala Sirisena today. "I will tell him that we must protect the January 08 victory and we must safeguard the principles that we were elected on." Although some elements that supported the govt in 2015 had distanced themselves, the government would forge ahead with the help of others, the PM said. "We have our weaknesses but we have to fix them and move ahead. more..

MPs who were absent

Apr 5 (DN) Dr. Sarath Amunugama, Nimal Siripala de Silva, Duminda Dissanayake, Faiszer Musthapha, Mahinda Samarasinghe, Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, Vijith Vijithamuni Soysa, Piyasena Gamage, Mohan Lal Grero, Shriyani Wijewickrema, Lakshman Seneviratne, A.H.M. Hisbulla, A.H.M. Fowzie, Lasantha Alagiyawanna, Sarathi Dushmantha, Manusha Nanayakkara, Malith Jayathilake, Arumugam Thondaman, Weerakumara Dissanayake, Angajan Ramanathan, more..

Ranil scuttles no-faith bid

Apr 5 (Island) The no-confidence motion against PM, for his alleged involvement in treasury bond scams and failure to act promptly to contain ethnic violence in Ampara and Kandy, was defeated in Parliament with a majority of 46 votes. At the end of a full day debate from 10 am to 9.30 pm Speaker Karu Jayasuriya moved the House for a vote. Motion against PM received 76 votes in favour and 122 votes against while 26 MPs were absent more..

Let the youth not be provoked again

Apr 5 (DM) Tomorrow April 5 is the 47th anniversary of the 1971 youth insurrection by the JVP and it came in the aftermath or afterglow of the tumultuous parliamentary debate yesterday on the no-confidence motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. Many analysts believe the JVP insurrection was crushed and the youth prophets crucified possibly because it came too early. In 1970 the socialist Sirimavo Bandaranaike govt along with the LSSP, CP and other socialist groups more..

Hobson’s choice or Homben Yana choice?

Apr 5 (DM) The wanna be rider had only one choice. He had to take the horse that was in the stall nearest to the door. It was a simple matter of either take it or leave it. When the word spread about this, it became known among possible horse renters that what they got was Hobson’s Choice. Yet, they had one guarantee. The Hobson customer always got a horse to ride. Now let me take you to the Homben Yana choice segment of my story. Of course, we don’t have a Thomas Hobson and more..

'Social Media is only a Tool'

Apr 5 (DM) Ambika Satkunanathan, one of the Commissioners at the Human Rights Commission of SL said that social media is only a tool that is used to incite hatred or violence and that it isn’t the cause of hatred or violence. She said that when impunity isn’t addressed perpetrators are emboldened as a result of which they continue to commit such offences. Therefore, she stressed that in order to prevent recurrence of such acts more..

JO mentioned Kandy clashes: Hakeem

Apr 5 (CT) SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem yesterday said, the JO has added a clause about the recent communal clashes in Kandy and Ampara to the No-Confidence Motion, against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, in an ad hoc manner,in a bid to garner the votes of Muslim MPs in favour of the motion. “Just after the communal riots erupted in those areas, some SLMC MPs made emotional speeches over the incident. more..

Seven species of Avifauna which can be seen in and around Colombo

Apr 5 (Roar) You don’t need to venture far to go birdwatching in Sri Lanka. Our forests, plains and other habitats are home to many different kinds of birds—both endemic and non-endemic—and our feathered friends have even made themselves at home in the urban and suburban areas of our island. Here’s a look at some species of birds that can be often seen in Colombo and its surrounding areas. more..

Rs 1.2 Billion paid in compensation to victims: Govt

Apr 5 (CT) Govt told Parliament that it has granted a total of Rs. 1.2 billion as compensation to the victims of Meethotamulla garbage dump collapse. Responding to an oral question, raised by JO MP Udaya Gammanpila, Deputy Minister of Disaster Management Dunesh Gankanda, said that the total amount mentioned consists of both compensation granted for destroyed houses and for the loss of lives. more..

RTI Com dismisses SriLankan Airlines refusal to divulge info on CEO’s salary

Apr 5 (ST) The Right to Information (RTI) Commission has dismissed an objection by SriLankan Airlines that it was exempt from divulging such information as salaries and allowances of its CEO on the grounds that it did not fall within the jurisdiction of the RTI Act. In its decision dated March 23, the Commission says it is in no doubt that SriLankan Airlines falls within the ambit of the RTI Act. “A contrary finding would disturb more..

Mangala promises: Progress in constitutional reforms and transitional justice

Apr 5 (Island) Finance and Mass Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera promised in Parliament yesterday to show clear progress in constitutional reforms and transitional justice process within this year. Taking part in the debate on the No-Confidence Motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, he said PM Wickremesinghe had personally given leadership to Constitutional reforms and transitional justice process. more..

Namal accuses Sirisena of betrayal

Apr 5 (EN) Former president Rajapaksa’s legislator son Namal fathered the failure to topple PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on President Sirisena, hours after a humiliation in the national parliament. “President Sirisena’s habit of betrayal proven again at the no confidence motion. First he encouraged SLFP members to support it and then backs off. He has betrayed both the SLFP and the UNP,” he tweeted after the vote. more..

JVP slams JO for dull NCM effort

Apr 5 (FT) Chief Opposition Whip JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake charged that the No-Confidence Motion was a political ploy and not a real attempt to remove PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. “This is a politically motivated no confidence motion. Our standpoint on this Motion’s vote is being questioned by many. Some had even made phone calls and asked whether our vote for the Motion against PM more..

No-faith motion: PM accedes to 10 demands to secure TNA’s support

Apr 5 (Island) TNA Vanni District MP Selvam Addaikalanathan said that UNP leader and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had accepted ten of its proposals in return for the group's backing for him to defeat the No Confidence Motion (NCM) moved by the Joint Opposition. The TELO MP, representing the TNA, said that there had been a heated argument and tension when PM Wickremesinghe at the onset of the meeting more..

Video: Kabir Hashim to resign as UNP General Secretary

Apr 5 (AD) Minister Kabir Hashim says that he has decided to step down from the position of General Secretary of UNP. Minister said that he will hand over his letter of resignation to PM Ranil Wickremesinghe within today. Minister said that he decided to resign from the position in order to make way for party reforms. PM recently assured the UNP Parliamentary Group that the party will undergo major reforms immediately after more..

Politics of Subsidies

Apr 5 (CT) CB Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy speaking to the press yesterday said that whereas credit to public corporations declined by Rs 7.5 billion in January, it increased to Rs 17.1billion in February. He attributed this increase to borrowings led by CEB. The Governor, therefore, emphasized the importance of having an automatic pricing mechanism (APM) for electricity, revolving round variables such as the exchange rate and world oil prices on board, now. more..

Sri Lanka wins first medal at 2018 CWG

Apr 5 (AD) Sri Lankan weightlifter Chaturanga Lakmal won the Bronze Medal in the Men’s 56kg category at the 21st Commonwealth Games on Thursday. He wins Sri Lanka’s first medal of this year’s Commonwealth Games being held in Gold Coast, Australia. India’s Gururaja bags silver while Malaysia’s Izhar Ahmad, who lifted 261kg (CWG record), won the Gold Medal. SL’s Chaturanga Lakmal came third with a lift of 248kg in the 56kg category. Meanwhile SL’s Madushika more..

Looters as Rulers

Ranil wins the day, JO consolidates, Maithri slips even further, govt loses 2/3rds majority

Apr 5 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe comfortably survived the vote of no-confidence brought against him by the JO a short while ago. A total of 78 MPs supported the motion while 122 voted against it. Twenty six MPs were not present at the time the vote was taken. Although both the JO and the UNP had claimed that victory was assured for the respective positions they took, uncertainty prevailed throughout the day after the debate on the motion commenced at 10 this morning. more..

Stay order on FCID preventing action against Gotabaya extended

Apr 5 (AD) Court of Appeal today extended the stay order issued on the FCID, preventing it from taking action on former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa under the Public Property Act, until July 3. Granting leave to proceed with the petition filed by the former Defence Secretary, the judge bench comprising Appeal Court chairman Preethi Padman Surasena and Justice Shiran Gunaratne ordered the stay order extended. However, the stay order will have no affect on the investigations more..

Parliament Mafia

Pen still not mightier than the sword of cheap political talk

Apr 5 (FT) Today (5), as I write, my heart is strangely still at peace since the same time last year. Not because justice has been done… or even looks remotely like it will ever be done in a singular landmark killing on our once war-torn landscape. But because the heart has its own reasons (of which reasons knows nothing). In the case which might stand forever unsolved on Sri Lanka’s postwar mediascape, no prosecutions have ensued although egregious progress has been made. more..

Britisher, another injured in shooting in Kosgoda

Apr 5 (DM) A 68-year-old British man and another person were injured when two men who arrived by a motorcycle opened fire at them at Induruwa, Athuruwella in Kosgoda last evening. Police said the gunmen had fired at the victims while they were travelling in a car. They were admitted to the Nagoda Hospital. Victims were identified as Mohamed Ismail a Britisher and Saman Perera a resident of Athuruwella. Saman Perera has been identified as a suspect in several murder more..