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Service providers in worst-hit times felicitated

Feb 14 (SLA) The highest-ranking trio in the Army, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, Commander of the Army, Major General Amal Karunasekara, Chief of Staff and Major General Dampath Fernando, Deputy Chief of Staff Monday (12) afternoon were on the same stage at the Army Headquarters, in a fitting ceremony of rare nature, to award laurels and felicitate a selected group of 60 Army personnel who toiled tirelessly during the times of most recent national catastrophes, more..

UNP කාරයෙකුගේ අදෝනාව (කැපුවත් කොළ අයට)

Harvard economist confused by para tariffs

Feb 14 (Island) I have never heard of para tariffs on imported goods in any other country other than in Sri Lanka, Professor Robert Lawrence, faculty chair of the Practice of Trade Policy Program at Harvard University’s Kennedy School said in Colombo recently. "I am not suggesting that Sri Lanka shouldn't attempt to protect its infant-industries through tariff barriers when there is an economic rationale for trade protectionism. The core of this trade protectionism argument is that more..

Scope for popularising Buddhist sites

Feb 14 (Hindu) Visakhapatnam, which is having direct flights from SL, Malaysia and Singapore, has scope to attract tourists coming from those countries. This is due to the presence of around 30 Buddhist heritage sites in North Andhra. Frequency of Vizag – Colombo SriLankan flight, which is presently operating four days a week, would continue its high occupancy, even if it is operated seven days a week. “A tourism carnival should be held in Colombo to showcase Buddhist sites more..

Forming new Councils: CWC to consult Prez

Feb 14 (DN) Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) said the party will continue to support President Sirisena as the CWC is still an ally of the UPFA. CWC Leader Arumugam Thondaman said he will meet President Maithripala Sirisena to discuss on how power can be shared in the councils won by his party in the upcountry today. “We have won 11 councils in the upcountry and many of them would be governed by ourselves”, he said. more..

Dilhani wins women’s javelin throw

Feb 14 (Island) Sri Lanka’s track and field team continued to make most of the opportunity with another first place winning performance at the pre Asian Games Invitational Championship in Jakarta on Tuesday. Dihani Lekamge won the women’s javelin with a feat of 55.13 metres to join young sprinter Tharusha Dananjaya and Vinoj Suranjaya who won their respective events earlier. Suranjaya and Tharusha Dananjaya won the men’s 100 metres and 400 metres respectively. more..

A newly found virus capable of causing rabies-like disease in man and animals

Feb 14 (Island) The researchers of the Uni of Peradeniya, in collaboration with scientists from the UK, have recently discovered a novel virus which was subsequently named as Gannoruwa Bat Lyssavirus (GBLV), in the brains of Indian flying foxes, commonly known as Mawavulo or giant fruit bats, in our country. This virus affects the central nervous system mainly the brain, and is capable of causing an invariably fatal nervous disease similar to rabies in humans and other mammals. more..

Last ditch effort to prevent collapse of national govt.

Feb 14 (Island) Co-conveners of Purawesi Balaya, Gamini Viyangoda, K.W. Janaranjana and Saman Ratnapriya claimed that the outfit had received firm assurances from President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe on Monday (12) that they wouldn’t quit yahapalana alliance over the disappointing outcome of Feb. 10 local govt polls. Addressing a hastily called press conference, Purawesi Balaya spokespersons, explained more..

Former head of CSN summoned by FCID

Feb 14 (DM) Former Chairman of the Carlton Sports Network (CSN) Rohan Welivita had been summoned to the FCID this morning to record a statement. Mr. Welivita said the FCID had recorded a statement from him for three hours into an incident of selling a CSN property to a state bank. He said the FCID was probing the incident that CSN had committed a crime by selling the property in violation of a Court order. However he said CSN had sold the property with the necessary permission of more..

LG election: EC releases 13 delayed results

Feb 14 (CT) Elections Commission (EC) on 12 Feb released the LG election results for 13 LG bodies which had been delayed. Delayed results were submitted to Govt Information Dept. Results for 14 LG bodies were not published by 11 Feb (afternoon). LG Bodies in question were Anamaduwa, Ridimaliyadda, Pathadumbara, Mahawa, Koralai Pattu, Thunukkai, Valikamam North, Manmunai West, Uhana, Horowpathana, Karuwalagaswewa, Navithanveli, Niyagama, more..

SLFP–UNP committee to decide fate of unity govt

Feb 14 (Island) A committee comprising UNP and SLFP members would be appointed during today’s Cabinet meeting to decide on the future of the national unity govt, sources close to the President said. "The SLFP group will also meet after the Cabinet meeting," source said, adding that a group of SLFP Ministers has sought President Sirisena’s permission to form a govt with the UNP. more..

‘Govt earnings from cigarettes see drop in 2017’

Feb 14 (Island) Govt tax earnings from cigarette sales are likely to see a reduction in 2017 for the first time in five years. The govt earned LKR 86 billion from tobacco excise in 2017 compared to LKR 88.7 Billion in 2016, a drop of Rs. 2.7 billion, a Ceylon Tobacco Company press release said. It adds - ‘In 2016, the tax revenue from tobacco grew 12.46% year-on-year and govt excise earnings from tobacco alone was LKR 88.7 billion, a drastic increase from LKR 57 billion in 2014. more..

Singaporean companies exploring investment opportunities in Sri Lanka

Feb 14 (DM) Accenture The Singapore Business Mission to SL organized by the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) together with International Enterprise Singapore (IES) and Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SICCI) recently held a seminar on doing business in Sri Lanka, at the Paramount Tower in Nawala. Mr S.S. Teo, Mission Leader, SBF Chairman and Managing Director of Pacific Int'l Lines, said, “This is the Federation’s fourth visit to SL since 2008, more..

Sri Lanka cursed with corrupt & incompetent leaders: 'Prez, PM should apologize'

Feb 14 (DM) President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe should admit their mistake and apologize to the people, Purawesi Balaya Co-Convener K.W. Janaranjana said. He said that President and PM should make up their minds to work according to the mandate given to them in 2015 and underscored the fact that they would not leave any room for the Rajapaksa regime to return to power again. Mr. Janaranjana said the mandate given to more..

Indian envoy Taranjit Singh Sandhu met President and PM

Feb 14 (NA) The Indian High Commissioner in SL, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, met SL President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe separately on Tuesday, ahead of his departure for New Delhi to meet the new Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale. The meetings had been pre-arranged and had nothing to do with the current political situation in Sri Lanka, informed sources said. The envoy discussed with the two Sri Lankan leaders, bilateral matters and issues of mutual interest. more..

Central Bank seen keeping policy rates steady; rate cut not ruled out

Feb 14 (Reuters) Sri Lanka’s central bank is expected to keep key interest rates unchanged on Thursday, a Reuters poll showed, but a surprise rate cut is not ruled out to quash uncertainty after coalition partners in the country’s govt suffered a loss in local polls. Eleven of 13 economists in the survey predicted the central bank would keep its standing deposit facility rate (SDFR) and standing lending facility rate (SLFR) unchanged at 7.25% and 8.75%, respectively. more..

President asks PM to step down

Feb 14 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena requested UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, on Monday (12), to resign as PM and appoint another person for the post. Govt source said that the President had made this request during a meeting with the PM at the President’s official residence. There should be a change in the post of PM and a Cabinet reshuffle, or the SLFP will not remain in the govt, President has told the PM, more..

TNA says no to joining Govt

Feb 14 (CT) The TNA has definitively said that they would not join the Govt under any circumstance until a durable solution is reached for the national question. It was speculated that the TNA would join the Govt after it had suffered defeat at the LG Polls held on 10 February. However, Parliamentarian President's Counsel M.A. Sumanthiran added that as a policy the TNA would not be a part of any Govt under any circumstance. "There is no possibility of us joining the Govt. more..

Some SLFP Ministers to join UNP

Feb 14 (DM) Some Ministers belonging to the SLFP are planning to team up with the UNP to form the new coalition govt, while others are trying to align with the opposition. The two parties are trying to part ways, in the aftermath of the electoral defeat at the LG polls. However, some SLFP ministers will throw their weight behind the UNP while the others will sit in the opposition as a separate group. They also have plans to rally behind other political forces in the opposition. more..

Crunch talks to check coalition crack

Feb 14 (FT) Efforts to break a deadlock on the political future of Sri Lanka’s ruling coalition continued yesterday, with a second round of late night talks for all UNP Cabinet ministers at President Maithripala Sirisena’s official residence at Paget Road last night. The meeting ended inconclusively, but ministers present said the national unity coalition would make a final decision on if it would stay together or part ways after more..

Justice delayed, justice denied

Feb 14 (DM) There is a feeling among a section of the public that the law’s delays were one of the reasons for widespread public disapproval, disappointments and even anger which led to a massive protest vote against the govt at the February 10 elections to 340 local councils. It was an important aspect of the verdict given by the court of the sovereign people. During the campaign for the Jan 8, 2015 presidential election, the then rainbow coalition leaders alleged that more..

The Voter: Running round in circles

Feb 14 (DM) The citizens of this beautiful Island are past masters in going round in circles; when it comes to governing themselves they display their prowess in this art in no uncertain terms. For example when they voted Sirimavo Bandaranaike out of power showing their displeasure of the mode of governance they were subjected to during the 1970-77 period , they ushered in a neo-liberal economic style and attendant political system to facilitate it. After 17 years of this experiment more..

Laggards of South Asia

Feb 14 (DM) Asoka Obeyesekere, a Barrister and political scientist, is the Executive Director of Transparency International (TI) Sri Lanka, which is the National Chapter of TI, the leading global movement against corruption. Previously, he was the Governance Consultant at Verité Research, where he founded and led the team that ran the only Parliamentary performance monitoring platform in Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lankan Newsrooms in the 1950s

Feb 14 (Roar) The 1950s are considered the golden age of SL journalism, producing many giants such as Denzil Peiris, Mervyn de Silva, Tarzie Vittachi, Ira Amarasekera, and Piyasena Nissanka. At the time, there were only two main news publishers in the country—the Times group and the Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited, better known as the Lake House. Both these companies were privately owned and more..

India firm says setting up Sri Lanka LNG terminal amid take-or-pay controversy

Feb 14 (EN) India's Petronet is planning to sign a deal with Sri Lanka to build a floating liquefied natural gas terminal, a media report said amid a growing controversy over excessively large facilities proposed to be built on a take-or-pay basis. Petronet, the country's largest LNG importer has teamed up with Japan's Sojitz and Mitsubishi to build a terminal in SL. "Once the MoU is signed this month, some project related studies more..

Universal franchise, a fiction for those who can’t vote

Feb 14 (ST) Despite the barrage of ads encouraging people to vote, thousands were unable to use their power of franchise. They included workers who keep vital services running – including services that enable others to cast their votes. Others include the homeless, who lack an address needed for inclusion on the electoral register. An estimated 1.5 million Lankans working overseas lacked the means to cast votes. more..

Hung LG bodies cause headache for political parties

Feb 14 (Island) Executive Director of Transparency International SL Asoka Obesekere has warned of political turmoil for want of a particular party gaining absolute majority in about 160 LG bodies at just concluded LG polls. Countrywide elections were held for 340 LG bodies. Elpitiya PS is the only exception due to a court directive. Obesekere asserted that those having the majority in hung LG bodies would find it difficult to secure more..

Fowzie slams attempts to tarnish his name and family’s

Feb 14 (AD) State Minister A.H.M. Fowzie says that the recent media reports alleging that his granddaughter was assaulted within the court premises were created with the intension of tarnishing his name and that of his family. He issued a special statement today, in response and with a clarification to the article published on Ada Derana with the headline of Minister Fowzie’s granddaughter assaulted at courts. more..

'Govt’s crushing defeat at LG Election Public angry with Unity Govt'

Feb 14 (CT) Puravasi Balaya Organization, stressed that the Govt had suffered a crushing defeat at the LG election, because the public was more angry with Unity Govt than with those in the previous regime of former. President Rajapaksa, who had allegedly stolen public funds, because the former is protecting the latter. The co-Convener of Puravasi Balaya, Gamini Viyangoda, said that the results of the Election can be more..

Speed radars operational on Expressways from today

Feb 14 (DM) The new speed-detecting system would be operational on Expressways from today. The new speed-detecting system would help reduce the accidents on the Expressway, while keeping the maximum speed to 100kmph. With the use of the new speed-detecting system, vehicles will be compelled to maintain the speed to 100 kmph and the drivers exceeding the limit will be fined. more..

Removal of PM: Experts warn President’s options limited by 19A

Feb 14 (FT) The enactment of the historic 19th Amendment continues to have profound relevance on the options open to President Maithripala Sirisena as crisis deepens in the ruling coalition, with legal experts warning that a 2003 style take-over of ministries by the President or the unilateral sacking of the Prime Minister feared by many political observers is virtually impossible under the provisions of the Act. more..

Looters as Rulers: PM out foxes naive Sirisena, gets cracking

Feb 14 (EN) Beleaguered PM Ranil Wickremesinghe who deftly deflected calls for his resignation after the local elections debacle has out maneuvered President Maithripala Sirisena and consolidated his grip on power. A naive Sirisena had been made to believe by his closest aides that a majority in the UNP wanted Wickremesinghe out, but the Premier ended up getting all his legislators vowing continued support for his leadership. more..

Get Mahendran

Feb 14 (CT) On 8 Jan, 2015 the masses gave a mandate for justice; equity; democracy; rule of law; anti-corruption, anti- nepotism, anti-cronyism and to reduce the cost of living (CoL) by electing Maithripala Sirisena as President, with the aid of the UNP, Sri Lanka's single largest political party. With an 81.52% total voter turnout, Sirisena obtained 6,216,162 or 51.28% of the franchise, whereas the then incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa obtained 5,768,090 or 47.58% of the vote. more..

Move on, mandate still in place

Feb 14 (FT) In the post polls blogosphere, sundry pundits are having a field day. It is open mic session in media, both social and mainstream. To pontificate on what went wrong – or right, as the case may be for some – or prognosticate on the shape of things to come. So let me add to the Babel of voices albeit briefly; not to analyse (voter patterns are a tea leaf at the bottom of a cup business) or aggrandise (voter preferences a passing storm in tea cup), but share a personal perspective. more..

සරත් විජේසූරිය

Sirasa and Killy ridiculed, condemned and criticized for manipulating political crisis

Feb 14 (CT) MTV/MBC Media Network, owned by controversial businessman Killy Rajamahendran, has come under severe pressure on social media for its unethical and brazenly uncivilized coverage of the current political crisis in Sri Lanka. Sirasa, the flagship channel of the network, repeatedly aired breaking news, strongly pushing for the removal of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. This attack was carried out in the manner of a hate-campaign, violating all norms, ethics and professional standards more..

Stay order against Gotabhaya extended

Feb 14 (NR) The Stay Order preventing action against former Secretary of Defence Gotabhaya Rajapaksa under the Public Properties Act has been extended once again till the 28th of Feb. The order was issued when the case was taken up for hearing before the Court of Appeal today. The stay order was issued and extended until the 15th of Feb following a petition filed by Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and accordingly it was decided at the previous hearing to reconsider the case today. more..

Industrial production up 4.3% in Dec 2017

Feb 14 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s industrial production has increased by 4.3% in the month of Dec, 2017 compared to the same month in 2016, latest official data shows. Index of Industrial Production (IIP) is a key indicator of economic performance in most countries. Index numbers summarize past developments, facilitate forecasting of future trends and assist with evidence based policy decisions. more..

President to make special statement on unity govt’s future

Feb 14 (AD) President Sirisena will make a special statement regarding the future actions of the govt, before Friday, Minister Susil Premajayantha said. Following the crushing defeat it suffered in the local authorities elections, ruling coalition comprising the SLFP led by President Sirisena, and UNP led by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, has been on the verge of a break up. Govt said on Wednesday that it had appointed a special committee to decide on the future of the unity govt. more..

CID arrests Former DIG Prasanna Nanayakkara

Feb 14 (NR) Retired former DIG, formerly in charge of Mount Lavinia Prasanna Nanayakkara has been arrested by the CID on charges of concealing evidence in the murder case of journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge. The CID had arrested the former DIG last night. Retired former DIG Prasanna Nanayakkara is accordingly due to be produced before the Mount Lavinia Magistrates Court today. Chief Editor of the Sunday Leader Lasantha Wickrematunge was murdered on the way to more..