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Face the Nation

Makeshift salon at home destroys her marriage

Feb 20 (DM) An incident where a loss of a woman's hair also resulted in her calling off an intended marriage was reported recently from a village in close proximity to the up-country capitol. Woman in question had gone to middle-east for employment but had been convinced to return back home by her elder sister to get married by a proposal arranged by her. This was after working as a housemaid for 3 years. Woman had arrived at her sister’s house dreaming of meeting her Romeo more..

Killing of Vijaya

Feb 20 (Island) On 12 Feb. 1988 Vijaya Kumaratunga participated in a ceremony organised by the H.R. Jothipala Commemoration Society, where he declared open H. R. Jothipala Mawatha. He made one of the most emotional speeches I ever listened to. He spoke at length about his friendship with Jothipala and revealed how he as an actor benefited from Jothipala’ voice. He also acknowledged the fact that his popularity was largely due to Jothipala’s playback singing. more..

The electoral shock treatment: Will it work?

Feb 20 (Island) A defeat is not a victory. A drubbing is not an endorsement. The UNP fared badly at the LG election and the SLFP fared even worse. The JVP didn’t do as well as it hoped; nor did the SLMC or the TNA. The only clear winner of the election was Mahinda Rajapaksa. He failed to exceed the 50% mark - an important point; but a far more critical point is that his newly-formed SLPP replaced the UNP and the SLFP as more..

Editorial: Hopper suppers

Feb 20 (Island) There are unmistakable signs of a perfect political storm brewing in the wide dark yonder. People, all at sea, are left with no alternative but to batten down the hatches and hope for the best. The prevailing political uncertainty has cast a pall on the country, and not many people, we believe, are in a mood for political jokes, which are likely to go down like lead balloons instead of lightening up the atmosphere, fraught with doom and gloom. more..

Seylan Group ups profit by 24% to Rs. 5 b

Feb 20 (FT) In the backdrop of challenging external environment, Seylan Group has reported a resilient performance by recording a profit after tax of Rs. 5.004 billion for the year ended 31 Dec 2017, which is the highest profit reported in its history. Seylan Bank also continued its growth momentum by achieving a profit after tax of Rs. 4.430 billion during the period under review. Net interest income recorded a moderate growth of 15.03% as a result of the strong balance sheet growth. more..

Victorious Sri Lankan cricketers return

Feb 20 (DN) Jubilant Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal praised solidarity and teamwork of his teammates which earned them the much needed series victory in Bangladesh during a press briefing following their arrival yesterday. "We were not just like a team there, we were a family and that unity gave us the winning rhythm. I really appreciate the support given by the SLC president during the recent turbulent times. more..

Cost of construction to go up by 7%: RIU

Feb 20 (CT) According to a study conducted by the Research Intelligent Unit (RIU), the cost of construction will surge by 7%, as average wage expectations of construction workers increase by 20 to 40%, coupled with the industry's continued labour shortage. RIU further noted that the industry's high labour turnover has resulted in long delays of work to be completed thus contributing to the surge in construction cost. According to Labour Survey 2017, share of elementary occupations more..

Sri Lanka needs a narrower inflation target to stop stagflation, BOP crises: Bellwether

Feb 20 (EN) Sri Lanka is now in a quagmire of stagflation with inflation at 7% and growth at 4%, due to policy errors before and after the 2015/2016 balance of payments crisis. Usually, following a balance of payments crisis, inflation rise as the currency collapses, and then it tends to fall, partly helped by a re-appreciating exchange rate, though growth will also fall. This time however, while paying lip service to a flexible exchange rate, the central bank has bought US$ 1.7 billion, more..

Global interest in Hilton and Hyatt Colombo Hotels

Feb 20 (CT) Govt of Sri Lanka has received Requests for Proposals from 15 local and foreign companies to act as the transaction advisor in the scheduled divestment process for the Hilton and Hyatt Colombo Hotels, Ministry of Public Enterprise Development announced. There were 11 world-renowned investment banking units and companies and four local investment banking and accounting companies among the interested parties. more..

Senarath Bandara appointed GM/CEO at Bank of Ceylon

Feb 20 (CT) The Board of Directors of the Bank of Ceylon (BOC) appointed Deputy General Manager (Sales and Channel Management), K. B. S. Bandara as General Manager/CEO of the Bank of Ceylon, with effect from 22 February 2018 on the retirement of D.M. Gunasekara, incumbent General Manager/CEO. The new position will be a relatively challenging task, as he has to fulfil the Govt mandate to list the minority stake of the Bank, as proposed by this year's budget. more..

Japanese volunteers support Sri Lanka’s development efforts at grassroots level

Feb 20 (Island) On 15th Feb, five Japanese young volunteers were introduced to their host organizations at an assigning ceremony, which was held at the Department of External Resources (ERD). The occasion was attended by ERD, JICA and officials representing the volunteers’ host organizations and other institutions. Five volunteers introduced themselves and expressed their determination to carry out a two-year assignment in Sinhala language. more..

$ 60 m EAP Group sale to UK Lyca Group today?

Feb 20 (FT) The sale of EAP Group assets for $ 60 million is speculated to be concluded today, with foreign investors having arrived yesterday. CB has been negotiating with Singapore-based Straits Grid Ltd., and the intermediary, Malaysian businessman Sudhir Jayaram, to dispose the assets owned by ETI Finance. Actual buyer is believed to be Lyca Group, UK, owned by SL-born entrepreneur Allirajah Subaskaran. more..

Sports Ministry donates cricket gear to schools

Feb 20 (DN) Sports Ministry distributed cricket equipment to schools with the aim to develop school cricket during a ceremony held at the Sports Ministry. School principals, coaches, teachers and school cricketers were present at the occasion. Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara said that his ambition is to develop the school cricket infrastructure facilities and provide it with the necessary cricket gear to solve the problems that hinder the development of school cricket. more..

Architect 2018 to showcase creative work of SL architects

Feb 20 (Island) Sri Lanka Institute of Architects (SLIA) established in 1957 holds A18 (ARCHITECT 2018) the pre-eminent and most popular trade exhibition in the country for the 36th consecutive time at the BMICH from the 22nd to 25th Feb. The Members’ Work and Trade Exhibition will be opened to the general public from 10 am to 10 pm providing the ultimate experience with more than 290 trade Stalls and 126 display including digital panels displaying architects’ work. more..

SLFP’s traditional support base has shifted to a new camp: JVP

Feb 20 (Island) JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake told Parliament that the results of the local govt election had proved that the SLFP’s traditional support base had shifted to a new camp. Participating in the adjournment debate on the prevailing political crisis in the country, Dissanayake said: "The elections results have shown the world that SLFP is no longer at the Darley Road but elsewhere. more..

Transshipments at Colombo Port up by 20.4% in January

Feb 20 (LBO) Transshipment operations at the Port of Colombo have shown a significant increase in January this year against last year amid an increase in productivity, Sri Lanka Ports Authority said. Accordingly against 362,451 transshipment TEU operations in January 2017, together with the JCT, SAGT and CICT, the Colombo Port has recorded 436,303 transshipment TEU operations for the month of January this year marking a competitive increase of 20.4%. more..

Karu writes to Maldivian counterpart: Requests intervention in Malé crisis

Feb 20 (CT) Speaker, Karu Jayasuriya, in his capacity as the Chairman of SAARC Speakers and Parliamentarians, submitting a letter to his counterpart in the Maldives, Abdulla Maseen Mohammad, has drawn the latter's attention to the current unstable political environment that exists in Malé. Jayasuriya, in his letter, has noted that several recent incidents had taken place in Maldives such as the declaration of an emergency situation, arrests, and not heeding orders given by its SC, more..

‘Defeat fault of President, Premier: 19-A ensures continuation of cabinet’

Feb 20 (Island) Constitutional affairs expert and National List MP Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne said the 19th Amendment guaranteed the continuation of the existing cabinet of ministers, including PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. Dr. Wickramaratne, who had played a pivotal role in introducing the 19th Amendment, stressed that the piece of legislation prevented the executive taking unilateral measures in a time of crisis. more..

‘Allow motorised country boats to Katchatheevu’

Feb 20 (Hindu) Two separate petitions were filed before the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Monday seeking permission to allow motorised country boats to travel to Katchatheevu during St. Antony Church festival to be held on Feb 23 and 24. The petitioners claimed that the fishermen from several fishing hamlets in Tamil Nadu offered their prayers at the church in Katchatheevu, which was built by two fishermen, Seeni Pattankattiyar and Antony Pillai from Ramanathapuram in 1905. more..

Authorities interference needed to cease post election violence: Champika

Feb 20 (DM) Minister Champika Ranawaka requested the relevant officials who maintain law and order to take necessary actions to stop post election violence. He said although the ruling coalition had won the last Presidential and General Election it had never involved in any such incidents however following the recent LG Election victory by the SLPP it supporters were responsible for post election violence. He said the SLPP supporters behave in this manner after gaining victory in more..

Video: President continues to keep PM without removing him: MR

Feb 20 (DM) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said it was none other than President Sirisena who keeps PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in his post without ousting him. Former president said this in response to a question asked by a journalist when he was leaving Parliament. When asked his opinion about President Sirisena seeking AG’s opinion on the legality of removing the Premier, he said “Why seek AG’s consultations? more..

Polls monitor says complaints about harassment of female candidates flooding in

Feb 20 (Island) Complaints of harassment at various stages of electioneering were flooding in, a spokesperson for CaFFE said, adding that the organization would meet with the Elections Commission to expedite various police investigations on those incidents. "A number of female candidates, especially from the Estate Sector and the East have been harassed and the police investigations against the perpetrators are slow. Moreover the female candidates claim that more..

Liability Management bill presented in Parliament

Feb 20 (FT) The Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs moved the Active Liability Management Bill yesterday in the Parliament with the aim to authorise the raising of loans within the country or offshore to improve public debt management. The Bill also ensures that the financial needs and payment obligations of the Govt are met at the lowest possible cost over the medium to long-term consistent with a prudent degree of risk. However, Parliament may, from time to time, more..

Sampanthan slams MR for Eelam remarks

Feb 20 (Hindu) Leader of Opposition R. Sampanthan said he was alarmed at former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s recent pre-poll campaign in which he told the Sinhalese electorate that a Tamil Eelam would bloom following the local authority elections. Emphasising that his party had sought a solution within an undivided, indivisible, single country, Mr. Sampanthan asked: How dare he say [Tami] Eelam could be created? more..

SL Tamil fisherman yearns to return home

Feb 20 (Hindu) Ever since the Marine Police of the Coastal Security Group arrested Sri Lankan Tamil fisherman A. Mariadoss (37) after he was rescued and brought to the shore by Rameswaram fishermen on Dec 17, 2017, he has been running from pillar to post to return home. Mr. Mariadoss, who hailed from Mannar district, was fishing on the high seas in a fibreglass boat with another fisherman, K. Andron (20), on Dec 16 last, when the boat, caught in squally winds, capsized. more..

SLMC to support a stable Govt

Feb 20 (DM) SLMC said it would only support a stable govt which commanded a comfortable majority in Parliament. SLMC leader and Minister, Rauff Hakeem said the need of the hour was a stable govt with a comfortable majority. “It is not advisable for anyone to form a minority govt neither should there be a situation where one party directs another by way of a remote control," he said when recalling the political crisis that arose when he was removed from the Cabinet in 2001 more..

Reprieve for coalition

Feb 20 (FT) President Sirisena’s SLFP announced it would remain in the ruling national unity coalition yesterday, ending a week of political uncertainty and abruptly ending its campaign to oust PM, although some members warned the ceasefire was temporary. After lengthy discussions with Prez Sirisena at Presidential Secretariat last afternoon, SLFP decided to remain in Govt and agitate for major changes in UNP-led Cabinet. more..

Political impasse needs to be resolved soon

Feb 20 (DM) Today’s political crisis in the country is unprecedented. Never in Sri Lanka’s political history has a govt in power plunged into crisis just because it was defeated at a local election. The crisis has stemmed from the notion that the joint govt formed by the UNP and SLFP has no moral right to continue after its defeat at the Feb 10 LG elections or the seeming unwillingness of the SLFP faction led by President Sirisena to continue with the joint govt with the UNP or both. more..

Ranil’s choices

Feb 20 (DM) Sri Lankan politics is cheap. The depth of that cheapness is proof in the two stark choices that the people have now been given. One is the return of the old regime with all its nastiness. Forty four per cent of the voters had chosen that. And the other is to continue with the UNP under the leadership of Ranil Wickremesinghe, whose incompetence, should, more than anything else, be blamed for the resurgence of the Rajapaksas. Through his indecisiveness in governance, more..

'People wish not only Govt. but also President will step down'

Feb 20 (DM) Former Basil Rajapaksa, who spearheads the SLPP, speaks to Daily mirror about the way forward following the conclusion of LG polls and the present impasse of the govt. Q: How do you look to future politics in the wake of the current electoral victory? A: This is like a cricket match series. There are different kinds of matches. We have 20-20, one day and test matches. We have won the 20-20 game now. more..

TNA MP Sumanthiran warns UNHRC members of Govt backsliding

Feb 20 (ST) Ahead of the annual session of the UNHRC in Geneva in March, TNA is engaged in a vigorous campaign with representatives of member countries, to pressure the Govt into implementing the UN Resolution within a year, which it co-sponsored. Speculating that the Govt may derail implementation of its Geneva commitments, in the wake of the electoral setback it suffered at recently concluded LG polls, more..

'Sri Lanka ready for IRONMAN 70.3 Colombo'

Feb 20 (DM) Julian Bolling, Head Coach and Director, Rainbow Swimming Academy needs little introduction as in the years gone by he put Sri Lanka on the map when representing the country in swimming. Bolling is also the Director, Pro Am Serendib, the company behind IRONMAN 70.3 Colombo, which will hit the streets of the city by the sea on Sunday (25). Q: Have you done a triathlon? A: Yes. One in Hawaii where athletes came more..

SL-S'pore FTA to come into force from Apr 1

Feb 20 (FT) The latest free trade agreement (FTA) signed between Sri Lanka and Singapore will hopefully come into force by 1 April, if the two govt agencies manage to exchange the diplomatic norms before the end of this month, a top official said. “We hope that once the diplomatic norms or the formal communications are exchanged between the two countries, the FTA will come in to force on the first day of the second month. more..

PMCPSL urges govt to convert SAITM to state-owned institution

Feb 20 (FT) The Private Medical College Parents Society Limited (PMCPSL) urged that SAITM be converted to a govt institute, as that is the only fit solution for the students who are suffering. At a media briefing, the PMCPSL stressed on the plight of the 900 students, as they are undergoing many difficulties such as mental stress, personal problems and so forth, as a result of them being unable to complete their studies and more..

Delimitation Committee on Provincial Councils hands over report to Minister

Feb 20 (FT) The Delimitation Committee for the conduct of Provincial Council elections yesterday handed over its report on the delimitation of electorates to Minister Faiszer Musthapha. With the enactment of the Provincial Council Elections (Amendment) Act No. 17 of 2017, a new mixed voting system was introduced for provincial councils. Under the mixed voting system, 50% of representatives should be elected by more..

'Keen on expanding player pool'

Feb 20 (CI) One tour, three formats, three series wins. For Chandika Hathurusingha, it has been the ideal start to his tenure as head coach of Sri Lanka. Speaking on his side's return home from Bangladesh, a content Hathurusingha cited good communication, tactical flexibility, and a relaxed environment as key elements in Sri Lanka sweeping every trophy on offer. Now, his concentration has shifted to more..

CaFFE requests govt to hold PC polls in April

Feb 20 (NR) The Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) has requested the govt to hold the Provincial Council Election in April. Executive Director of CaFFE Keerthi Tennakoon said an all party meeting for relevant demarcations should be called promptly. Keerthi Tennakoon stressed CaFFE would not allow any individual to postpone the Provincial Council Election under any circumstance. more..

Move to sack PM: Prez asks SC to interpret his powers under 19A

Feb 20 (Island) Ongoing political impasse was going to continue further as the SLFP’s Maithri faction had been instructed by President Maithripala Sirisena to wait till the Supreme Court interpreted the provisions of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution giving power to him to sack the PM, Parliament was told yesterday. Deputy Speaker Thilanga Sumathipala, making a special statement, said the UPFA and its SLFP members had more..

'Enactment of Constitution would have been advantageous to govt'

Feb 20 (Island) Govt MP and a key proponent of a new Constitution Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne emphasized that the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe led unity administration could have done much much better at the recently concluded LG polls had it succeeded in introducing a new Constitution. He said so in response to The Island suggestion that the UNP and the SLFP would have suffered a far worse defeat if the govt had more..