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Yanjian Group wins Rs. 6 b bid for urban housing units in Thalawathugoda

Jan 8 (FT) Govt last week decided to award a 400-unit middle income housing project costing Rs.6 billion to the Yanjian Group. The group offered the lower of two successful bids in a National Competitive Bidding process carried out last year, with a variation of 73.12% from engineering estimates, compared to the second bidder Maga Engineering, which was 34% above the state estimate. The awarded project is to design, construct and finance 400 middle income more..

Leopard attack in Hatton: Changing spots to solve the problem

Jan 8 (CT) The circumstances leading to the attack on five estate workers from the Panamure Estate in Hatton a few days ago by a male leopard are yet to be established. While villagers blame the leopard for the attack on the estate workers, environmentalists say that the leopard is not at fault and would have attacked the villagers because it was trapped or threatened. The five injured estate workers were admitted to more..

A shameful saga of monumental corruption

Jan 8 (ST) Auspicious times or not, Sri Lanka certainly rang in 2018 singularly inauspiciously as damning revelations of the monumental financial scam right in the bowels of the nation’s Central Bank were revealed to a badly shell-struck public even as the New Year had scarce been allowed to draw its breath. The contrast could not be more grotesque. On the one hand, grizzled farmers stood in the scorching sun, pitifully roaring that they were being reduced to beggars as they could not farm more..

PCoI report starts year with a dynamite bang

Jan 8 (ST) Not all the fireworks that exploded on New Year’s Eve in the Lankan sky to herald the advent of 2018 AD could have matched the political bang the PCoI report on the CB bond scam made this week. But first, credit where credit is due. And it’s due to President Sirisena in great measure. Unlike some of his predecessors who appointed grandiose commissions to inquire into some scandal or another but kept its findings secret, Yahapalanaya President chose to take the nation into more..


‘We are right sizing the Army to build a capacity based military in Sri Lanka'

Jan 8 (Island) Army Commander Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake was felicitated in London by Ananda College old boys headed by its President Bhuminda Karunatilake last week. Senanayake was in London on a private visit at the invitation of Sri Lanka Ex-Service Persons Association in the UK. The ceremony was held at the Thistle Hotel in Heathrow and was attended by both Ananda and Nalanda College old boys and well wishers. In his address, Senanayake said that he is in this more..

Citizens’ justice for the mother of all scams

Jan 8 (Island) There is now little doubt that a scam has been perpetrated with no remorse on Sri Lanka as a whole, by those who were meant to protect its financial integrity. Scam was pulled not once, but twice, within a few months. Incredibly, the second one took place after a Parliamentary committee had established that an unprecedented fraud had taken place and several irregularities that enabled it were identified. From the many reports in the media, the massive swindle has resulted in a loss to more..

Hathurusingha to serve as selector-on-tour

Jan 8 (CI) SLC has agreed to make head coach Chandika Hathurusingha an official selector-on-tour, alongside cricket manager Asanka Gurusinha and the captain of the side. Hathurusingha will not play an official role in selecting the squad for a series - that role will continue to be fulfilled by the existing selection panel headed by Graham Labrooy. However, once a squad has been chosen, Hathurusingha, more..

Bond scam: Prosecute the real culprits

Jan 8 (Island) Prez Sirisena, in his recent statement on the findings of the Bond Commission, last week said that "Perpetual Treasuries had made an undue profit of Rs 11,145 millions in the secondary market. In this, EPF and other govt institutions had lost more than Rs 8,524 million or Rs 8.5 billion" and further said "It (Commission Report) also recommends that activities of the EPF must be looked into, and in order to bring the EPF into a proper order, steps must be taken to restructure the EPF". more..

Yahapaalanaya, in pursuit of truth

Jan 8 (SO) The cat is finally out of the bag, so to speak. The report of the PCoI into the sale of Central Bank Treasury bonds was presented to President Sirisena last week. Despite feverish speculation in the media that the report would not be made public, President laid bare its key contents to the nation and assured that the report would be presented to Parliament and therefore, to the public. President didn’t mince his words when he revealed the contents of the report. more..

Rude shock for electric cars after duty cut

Jan 8 (EN) Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera's move to slash customs duty and encourage the import of electric cars may have unexpectedly backfired with hardly any takers for the supposedly greener vehicles. Dealers stuck with stocks imported prior to the November duty reduction were struggling to push their unregistered Nissan Leaf and BMW I3 models while the second hand market for electric cars remained in the doldrums. more..

Editorial: Fodder for thought

Jan 8 (Island) The biggest ever financial scam has cast a shadow on the third anniversary of the yahapalana rule. It was on Jan. 8, 2015 that the present-day leaders formed a joint administration with much fanfare, promising to eliminate corruption and abuse of power, restore the rule of law and usher in good governance. But, within weeks of that grand event, the first bond scam was committed and the very leaders who undertook to probe the rogues of the previous dispensation and more..

Colder nights and mornings anticipated

Jan 8 (CT) The Meteorological Department said that dry weather with colder nights and mornings can be expected in most parts of the island. In its daily weather forecast, the Meteorological Department stated that Nuwara Eliya and surrounding areas have recorded 4.7 degrees Celsius and this is the lowest temperature in the country. In comparison, Ratnapura had recorded 32.7 degrees Celsius yesterday and this is the highest temperature in the country. more..

Bonds Commission: An untold story

Jan 8 (CT) Sri Lanka has a long and vibrant history when it comes to formally inefficient inquiries and investigations carried out by various authoritative institutions. Yet, only a rare handful - let's just say that it's less than five and easily counted on the fingers of one hand - among the countless others that are established, have provided satisfactory solutions, which were implemented by the then administrations. more..

Schoolchildren trapped in Piliyandala drug racket

Jan 8 (DM) A well-organised drug racket which has continued for several months targeting schoolchildren in the Piliyandala area has been revealed to the Daily Mirror. The drug menace had completely affected the Batakaththara, Madapatha, L. S.Watte, Kahapola and Makandana areas and is popular among the schoolchildren as Paspanguwa due to its distribution in five ways. Among the drugs found were toxic arecanut (Mawa), tablets, Kerala Cannabis, toxic powder and toxic drinks. more..

High price drives down govt revenue from smokers

Jan 8 (FT) Govt’s excise earnings from tobacco dipped by Rs. 2.7 billion in 2017, ending a prolific run of growth. Department of Excise point to a revenue drop of 3.1% last year to Rs. 86 billion, over the figure of Rs. 88.7 billion in 2016. State earnings from the CTC grew a mammoth 37.5% in 2015 when revenue grew by Rs. 21.5 billion, followed by growth of 12.46% in 2016. Company sources attribute the reduction in govt revenue to the unprecedented 40% drop in volumes last year, more..

SGH chief gets tough with striking nurses

Jan 8 (Island) The nurses’ strike at the Jayewardenepura General Hospital (SGH) entered the fifth day yesterday. Director of the hospital, Dr. Susith Senaratne said a restraining order had been issued by the Nugegoda Magistrate’s Courts against the strike. The director said there were about 600 nurses in the hospital and 250 of them had to report for a shift if the hospital was to be run properly, but due to the strike there were only more..

APPG-SL meets Reginald Cooray

Jan 8 (NR) The visiting UK All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG-SL) has held discussions with the Governor of the Northern Province Reginald Cooray. The meeting was held at the Governor’s office. The discussion was mainly focused on expediting the release of lands held by the military in the Northern Province. Two parties also held discussions pertaining to the progress made on resettlement programmes. The four member delegation of the APPG-SL is currently visiting the island more..

Mathews passes fitness Test

Jan 8 (CT) Former skipper Angelo Mathews has passed the fitness test following his injury last week and is the front-runner to be appointed skipper of the national ODI and T20 teams once again. SLC earlier announced that a new skipper for the ODI and T20 teams will be appointed on 9 Jan, while Dinesh Chandimal will continue as Test skipper. Mathews, who came back after injury on the last Indian tour, was once again injured during the first T20 and was ruled out from the rest of the tour. more..

Half a million vacancies in private sector

Jan 8 (FT) Department of Census and Statistics has found out that there are nearly half a million vacancies in the private sector. The findings follow the conduct of the first ever establishment and enterprise survey to capture labour demand in the country in 2017. The data collection was done from a sample of 3,500 establishments and enterprises with more than three persons engaged covering the whole country. more..

Bohras of Sri Lanka celebrate their Spiritual Leader's birthday

Jan 8 (NA) Along with the rest of the community across the globe, the Bohras of Sri Lanka took out a colorful procession in Bambalapitiya, Colombo, on Saturday, to celebrate the birthday of their Spiritual Leader Dr Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin. The community which gathered at their mosque on Adamally Avenue, heard sermons and after singing the Sri Lankan national anthem took out a colorful procession. A massive cake was also cut on the occasion. more..

Services of State institutions should not be neglected due to LG polls: President

Jan 8 (FT) President Maithripala Sirisena has stressed that the daily public services of State institutions should not be neglected due to election-related activities. He emphasised that it was the responsibility of the secretaries of ministries not to allow property resources or vehicles belonging to any State institution to be used for election purposes. President gave these instructions to ministry secretaries during a meeting held at the Presidential Secretariat on 5 Jan. more..

Maiden SLPP political rally in Kadawatha

Jan 8 (AD) The first political rally of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) headed by former President Rajapaksa was held earlier today (6), near the Kadawatha bus station. Thousands of supporters from the region attended the event marking the first of a series of rallies that will be held leading up to the LG election. Theme for the rally was let’s rebuild the nation once again. Several members of the Joint Opposition and more..

Roshan Biyanwela elected SLC Secretary

Jan 8 (Island) Senior Air Force officer Roshan Biyanwela has been elected as Secretary of Sri Lanka Cricket at an EGM held yesterday. Air Commodore Biyanwela had earned the respect of his colleagues at SLC as an efficient and honest official. When SLC Secretary Mohan de Silva was promoted as Vice-President, it was expected that Assistant Secretary Ravin Wickramaratne, a long standing Thilanga Sumathipala loyalist will take up the vacated position. more..

Moragahakanda: Largest reservoir at work from today

Jan 8 (PMD) Sri Lanka, primarily an agricultural nation, marks a significant milestone today when the waters of the last but biggest reservoir of the multipurpose Mahaweli Project at Moragahakanda opens its sluice gates to irrigate parched dry lands in faraway Vanni in the Northern Province on one side and Rajarata, Wayamba, Central and Eastern Provinces on the other. Today also marks the 42nd anniversary of the commissioning of the first Mahaweli Project at Polgolla more..

Sri Lanka to launch Digital Economy Strategy in April

Jan 8 (SO) Sri Lanka plans to launch the proposed Digital Economy Strategy in April, a vital initiative that could uplift the nation’s economic growth by around 1-3% in 2019, PM’s Office said in a statement. According to a statement released by the Policy Development Office, it has been decided that the diagnostics phase of the assignment will commence by Jan 15 and last a period of two weeks. “This would be followed by more..

U-19 Cricket World Cup opens in NZ

Jan 8 (DN) ICC U19 Cricket World 2018 Cup officially got underway in style at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch on Sunday with an impressive ceremony showcasing New Zealand’s culture. The ceremony was attended by representatives of all the 16 participating sides, Christchurch Councillor Aaron Keown, as well as New Zealand Cricket President Debbie Hockley, who, on behalf of the ICC and NZC, welcomed the teams to the tournament. The tournament proper gets underway on 13 Jan more..

PM on his Baila dance

Jan 8 (CT) Referring to a video that went viral of him dancing at a wedding PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said that he decided to take a break from tiring development activities and thus dance to a baila song. During the past two days, a video showing the PM dancing took over social media. In the video, Wickremesinghe is seen dancing and sharing a light moment with veteran actress Iranganie Serasinghe at a wedding ceremony. Wickremesinghe is nephew to actress Serasinghe. more..

Sri Lanka thanks Pakistan for timely provision of fertilizer

Jan 8 (PT) The High Commissioner of Pakistan in Sri Lanka Dr Shahid Ahmad Hashmat called on Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena at the President’s Secretariat recently. Sirisena expressed his gratitude towards the Prime Minister of Pakistan Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and the govt of Pakistan for timely provision of fertilizer to Sri Lanka to curb the shortage, as had been requested by the president, govt news portal reported. more..

President halts recovery of Samurdhi loans given during former rule

Jan 8 (DM) President Sirisena had ordered the Department of Samurdhi Development to halt the recovery of loans issued for housing renovation of low income families by the Samurdhi Banks during the previous govt. These loans have been sanctioned by the then Divineguma department for Samurdhi beneficiaries. Samurdhi Development Dept Director General said President had instructed him to stop deduction of loan premium from the monthly Samurdhi allowance. more..

TN assures release of Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan custody

Jan 8 (Hindu) Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam has assured fishermen that the State govt would request the Centre to prevail upon the SL govt and secure the release of all fishermen arrested by the SL navy along with their confiscated boats at the earliest. In a brief chat with reporters, Mr. Panneerselvam, who was on a visit to the island to offer worship at Sri Ramanathaswamy temple, said Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami has already taken up the issue with the Centre. more..

Corrupt probing Corrupt: Ranil exposes MR-era bond scams

Jan 8 (FT) Kicking campaigning for the upcoming LG elections into a new gear, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said govt would have to pay a whopping Rs. 10 trillion over the next 25 years due to allegedly irregular bond sales of Rs. 4 trillion from 2008 to 2015 without the CB’s Monetary Board approval. Attending a special Convention at Campbell Park yesterday accompanied by stalwarts of UNP, including Deputy Leader Ravi more..

Why Constitutional reform is a threat

Jan 8 (DM) The 19th Amendment to the Constitution is considered the first constitutional reform effected under Yahapalanaya Govt. Reducing Presidential Immunity to some extent, making President responsible to the Parliament, restricting number of terms a person can be elected to the office of President not more than two, legalizing the right of access to information, restoration of Constitutional Council and nine commissions covering Election, Public Service, Police, Audit Service, more..

A robust regulator: A fundermental ingredient in a sustainable market economy

Jan 8 (DM) My motivation to put pen to paper and to invest time to think creatively, if I may say so, even to decide on the caption, was to generate visual impact on the reader to build awareness on the subject matter, since I firmly believe in A Market Economy but with desirable and effective Regulation. It has been more than two and a half decades, that I have published my thoughts on this topic and articulated my views thereon, in a column titled The Thought Leadership Forum more..

First ever open heart surgery in Jaffna

Jan 8 (CT) The Jaffna Teaching Hospital which suffered greatly during the war has now proved itself to be one of the premier medical institutions in the Island with a successful open heart surgery performed at the hospital a few days before Christmas on 20 December last year. In the mid eighties, there were plans to shift the hospital from its present location, due to clashes between Armed Forces and more..

4-star hotel at BIA

Jan 8 (ST) The Govt has invited proposals from prospective investors to establish and operate an airport hotel at the Bandaranaike International Airport. The Airport and Aviation Services (SL) Ltd wants to build a star class hotel at BIA for airline crew, airline passengers, off-loaded passengers, transit passengers and other airport users, according to a notice by the Standing Cabinet Appointed Procurement Committee. more..

New Law and Order State Minister begins journey on wrong foot

Jan 8 (ST) Piyasena Gamage, the latest State Minister appointed by President Maithripala Sirisena, made news straightaway – only for the wrong reasons. He got rebuffed by the Police when he asked for crack STF commandos for his son, and then went on to face allegations that he berated a policeman in a rural station for apprehending one of his supporters who broke the law. more..

What does risk management have to do with Sri Lankan families?

Jan 8 (WB) Imagine there is a small fire in your house: someone forgot to put out a cigarette stub and accidentally set your rubbish bin on fire. You will need just one bucket of water to put it out. But up the ante, and it is no longer possible for an individual to handle it. For instance, if your entire house was on fire, you would need to call your local fire station for help. Now, go up one more level. You live in a thickly wooded part of a district like more..

Lasantha died exposing corrupt deals of former regime: Rajitha

Jan 8 (DN) Minister Rajitha Senaratne, speaking yesterday at the 71st General Convention of the UNP at Campbell Park made startling revelations regarding the brutal assassination of Lasantha Wickrematunge whose 9th death anniversary falls today. Lasantha Wickrematunge, Editor-in-Chief of the Sunday Leader, a correspondent for TIME Magazine and an outspoken critic of the govt was ambushed and more..

President and I remain committed to ideals & vision that united us 3 yrs ago: PM

Jan 8 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, issuing a statement on the eve of the third anniversary of the presidential election victory of 2015, said there is much left to be done to bring justice for the sins of the past and heal this country from the culture of brutality that prevailed for nearly a decade. He said in his statement, "Ours was a fight against unchecked corruption, against the re-engineering of the entire public service to serve the whims of more..