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Establishing entities under the SLIIT : MFSPU and GMOA to protest

Jan 8 (CT) A massive wave of protests, marches, rallies, and sathyagrahas will commence after 20 Jan to oppose the Govt's decision to create two entities under the SL Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT) after abolishing the medical faculty of the SAITM, Medical Faculty Students' Parents' Union (MFSPU) Chairman, Dr. Nimal Karunasiri said. He noted that they cannot accept the Govt's proposals of establishing more..

Special Parliamentary session likely this week

Jan 8 (DM) Parliament is likely to hold a special session this week to debate the Bond Scam scam as requested by political parties, it is learnt. The Business Committee of Parliament will meet tomorrow under the chair of Speaker Karu Jayasuriya to fix a date for the purpose. Later, a decision is to be taken to hold a session this week. After President Maithripala Sirisena made a statement on the recommendations made by more..

Govt borrowed USD 14.6 bn foreign currency loans: MR

Jan 8 (DM) The govt has borrowed over USD 14.6 billion in foreign currency loans alone during the short period of 36 months that this govt has been in power, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said today. He said even though 14.6 billion USD would suffice to build five Norochcholai power plants, five Hambantota harbours with enough money being left over to build two more Southern Expressways, more..

Video: Rajagiriya flyover declared open by President and PM

Jan 8 (AD) Rajagiriya flyover which was constructed as a long term solution for the heavy traffic congestion in Rajagiriya, was declared open by President and PM today. Speaking at the occasion, President Sirisena said that a request was made by the public to name the flyover in the name of late Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero. The construction of the flyover was completed a year ahead of scheduled date more..

The President’s Directive

Jan 8 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena addressing Secretaries to Ministries and Department heads at the first meeting in the New Year emphasized prioritizing the need to serve the citizens of the country to strengthen good governance. The President also pointed out that during the election period, senior Govt officials should not neglect their services to the people and has categorically mentioned that State assets should not be misused during this time. more..

Ravi K’s critique of Central Bank

Jan 8 (FT) Former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, in an interview, had put the Central Bank’s management on its toes by making some scathing allegations against the bank (available here). His main charge, among many others, has been that the bank is absolutely corrupt and inefficient. In the previous part (available here ), we looked at specific charges made by Karunanayake, namely, the issue of the Central Bank’s autonomy, bank’s failure to tame inflation more..

Pradeep Jayawardene

Sri Lanka tourist trade hails fast-tracking of promotional campaign

Jan 8 (EN) Sri Lankan tour operators and hotels have hailed plans by tourism authorities to expedite an advertising campaign targeting spends in excess of Rs 5.3 billion in 2018, saying arrivals growth had slowed amid promotions by rival destinations. Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau (SLTPB) and Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) plan to expedite the digital advertising campaign planned for early 2018 and the global advertising campaign scheduled for mid-2018. more..

Complaint against SLPP of distributing Buddha statues with lotus bud

Jan 8 (Island) Matale Assistant Elections Commissioner’s office has received a complaint that the SLPP candidates in the LG polls fray have distributed Buddha statues with the lotus bud symbol printed thereon. Matale UNP PS candidate Gamini Costa lodged the complaint accusing his SLPP rivals of violating elections laws. The Buddha statues carrying the flower bud symbol had been distributed at Thotagamuwa, Dumkolawatte and Kanangamuwa areas, the complaint said. more..

PM assures unprecedented development for Kandy

Jan 8 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, on Saturday, assured an unprecedented development programme for Kandy within the next few years. Speaking after opening a newly built auditorium of the Kandy District Secretariat, PM said he would stay in Kandy for some time to discuss the proposed development drive with all stakeholders. PM stressed the need to develop Kandy, which had become more..

Election propaganda: Don't misuse Temple Trees: CaFFE to PM's Secy.

Jan 8 (DM) The CaFFE today requested the Prime Minister's Secretary not to allow Temple Trees to be used for election propaganda work. It said this in the wake of an event where the education ministry distributed mobile lab kits to school principals on Thursday. In a statement CaFFE accused the Good Governance administration of using Temple Trees, which is the PM's office for election propaganda purposes and said the former Rajapaksa administration also did this. more..

Galle Fort secured in UNESCO World Heritage Site list

Jan 8 (DN) Minister Sagala Ratnayaka assured today that the Galle Fort is no longer under the threat of being removed from the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. He said this at a press briefing held during a site visit to Galle, today adding that Sri Lanka was able to ensure its place in the World Heritage Sites list after strictly following UNESCO terms and conditions. Minister said that the govt took strict measures to retain Galle Fort in the Heritage Site list by taking to heart to ensure more..

Sri Lanka to build its first ever pharmaceutical manufacturing zone

Jan 8 (LBO) State Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Corporation and Pharma Zone Private Limited is to sign an agreement to build the first ever exclusive pharmaceutical manufacturing zone of Sri Lanka in Welipenna Area of Kalutara district. Pharma Zone will facilitate the local pharmaceutical manufacturers with sufficient land for manufacturing plants and basic infrastructure facilities for smooth operation of Pharma production facilities. more..

Trinco businessman goes missing, believed kidnapped

Jan 8 (Island) A businessman of Trincomalee has gone missing since last Friday, according to a complaint his mother has lodged with the police. The missing person, identified as W. Chathuka Dilranga owns a hotel at the Anuradhapura Junction in Trincomalee. It is believed that he has been kidnapped. The missing businessman’s father was killed by the LTTE some years back. The businessman was on his way home when he went missing. He had walked on that day as more..

119th Birth Anniversary of S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike under President’s patronage

Jan 8 (PSL) 119th birth anniversary of late Prime Minister and the founder of the SLFP, S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, was held under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena at his statue near the Galle Face Green, today. President Sirisena and the former President Chandrika Kumaratunga paid the first floral tribute to the statue. Later, SLFP activists including Ministers Nimal Siripala de Silva, Mahinda Amaraweera, Susil Premajayantha and Duminda Dissanayake paid floral tribute to the statue. more..

Treasury posts Rs22bn primary surplus in Budget, first time in 63 years

Jan 8 (LBO) Govt has achieved 21.9 billion rupees surplus in the primary balance of the fiscal accounts during the first ten months of 2017, for the first time in 63 years. Finance Ministry said in the post independent SL history a surplus in the budget deficit was first recorded in 1954 and later in 1956. In the meantime the surplus in the current account was registered from 1950 to 1970 and later from 1973 to 1994. more..

Akbar Town renamed as Enderamulla 01

Jan 8 (DM) Issuing a Gazette extraordinary on Friday, govt renamed the Akbar town election constituency in Mahara Pradeshiya Sabha as Enderamulla 01. In the gazette notification, Minister Faiszer Musthapha said the name Akbar Town which appears as name of ward No:31 of No. 16 - Mahara PS in No-02 Gampaha District would be renamed as Enderamulla 01. The name was changed amending the order published in Gazette extraordinary No.2006/44 of 17th Feb 2017. more..

What caused lonely death of Kallaru tusker?

Jan 8 (ST) The four-foot-long tusks seized by police this week belong to the Kallaru tusker that used to roam the Mullikulam forest in the Mannar region, whose death is yet a mystery. The tusks belong to the skull and skeletal remains found on Friday at Silawatura in the Mullikulam wilderness. “Both tusks and bones belonged to an elephant that died one and half years ago. I determined that the tusks, which had been pulled out of the skull, were the same size of the bone sockets,” more..

Video: Some conspiring to destroy me for political survival: Ravi

Jan 8 (DM) UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake, who faces charges in connection with the Central Bank bond scam, asked for a copy of the commission report today under the Right to Information Act. He told reporters that some stooges of political party leaders in the govt and the opposition were conspiring to destroy him merely for their political survival. The MP said President Maithripala Sirisena had not accused him more..

Sri Lankan banks to issue more debentures in 2018: Fitch

Jan 8 (EN) Sri Lankan banks are likely to significantly increase issuance of Basel III-compliant debentures in 2018 to meet higher capital requirement rules coming into force the next year, Fitch Ratings said. Most banks will need to raise capital to meet higher Basel III requirements that take full effect in Jan 2019, and to support balance-sheet expansion, it said in a statement. “Banks will also need to undertake significant Basel III Tier 2 issuance, as a result of more..

Sri Lanka Telecom Broadband announces market’s biggest data allowance

Jan 8 (Island) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), boasts of the market's biggest data allowance with its announcement of the increase in broadband data volumes adding up to 75% more GB data volumes offered for the new year 2018 at the existing prices for all its broadband packages. With these entitled monthly data volume enhancements, SLT broadband customers would be able to consume more data and enjoy their connected digital lifestyles which is significantly increasing more..

Video: President failed to use the sword for three years: Gammanpila

Jan 8 (AD) President Maithripala Sirisena had shown an adequate amount of gratefulness for UNP over their commitment to bring him to power, and it is high time for the President to meet out justice for those who are hoping that he would act Anti Corruptively, said MP Udaya Gammanpila while addressing a media briefing. “It has been 3 years since the President was handed over the sword which the lion bears in our National Flag. more..

Cancellation of the four Airbus A350-900 leases and the downfall of SriLankan Airlines

Jan 8 (FT) Cancellation of the four Airbus A350-900 leases, executed under the current management led by the pilot CEO, was one of the most controversial decisions ever taken in the history of the airline. It also turned out to be the decision that finally broke the airline. The politically motivated decision is costing the airline accumulated P&L losses of over Rs. 35 billion, including lease cancellation costs (phase 1) and lease cancellation loan payments (phase 2). more..

Sri Lanka to raise $500 mln via bonds, divesting state hotels amid debt

Jan 8 (Reuters) Sri Lanka aims to raise $500 million this month via development bonds and is in the process of divesting two state-owned hotels, the central bank and a ministry said on Monday, as the govt faces unprecedented debt repayment this year. President Maithripala Sirisenea’s administration must repay an estimated 1.97 trillion rupees ($12.85 billion) in 2018 - a record high - including $2.9 billion of foreign loans, and a total of $5.36 billion of interest. more..

President vests Moragahakanda Mega Irrigation Project with the nation

Jan 8 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena vested the Moragahakanda Development Project with the nation, today. Moragahakanda-Kalu Ganga Irrigation Development Project can be considered as the 21st century’s irrigational wonder of Sri Lanka which ends the sorrowful tears of farmers in Rajarata by providing solutions for their agricultural and drinking water issues. In the completion of Moragahakanda reservoir, more..

India's budget airline Indigo to begin flights to Sri Lanka

Jan 8 (Xinhua) India's budget airline Indigo Airlines will begin direct flights to Colombo from Jan. 20. Indigo is India's largest and fastest growing low-cost carrier. Colombo will become Indigo's 49th overall destination. The airline will operate daily direct flights from India's southern cities of Chennai and Bengaluru. "It gives us immense pleasure to add Colombo to our growing network, which will not only help us cater to the growing tourist potential of the city, but also provide affordable travel options more..

Army to renovate 500 irrigation tanks

Jan 8 (CT) SL Army Field Engineers, recognized as one of the most sought after service-providers in the country, are currently engaged in multifarious infrastructure improvement projects and renovation of more than 500 medium-size irrigation tanks in the Trincomalee District. This task is in compliance with the Commander's concept that one out of three soldiers should always be committed to nation building. Last week, troops under the Sirisara Pivisuma project in Trincomalee more..

Family of murdered SL editor seeks justice

Jan 8 (AFP) The family of a newspaper editor murdered in Sri Lanka criticised the govt for failing to bring his killers to justice as they marked the ninth anniversary of his death on Monday. Lasantha Wickrematunga, a prominent critic of the former administration, was stabbed days before he was due to testify in a corruption case involving the then defence minister Gotabhaya Rajapakse. The killing sparked an international outcry and more..

Political instability threat to economic growth in 2018 and beyond

Jan 9 (ST) Global economic conditions, political stability and effective implementation of pragmatic economic policies would determine the country’s economic performance this year. Of these three, political conditions would be the foremost determinant of the country’s economic growth, not only for this year, but for several years ahead. Despite the unstable political environment being a serious drawback, the economy is likely to grow somewhat faster than in 2017 by around 5% more..

Bond Scam: Unity govt has its own check & balance

Jan 9 (CT) When the news of irregularities in the issuance of Central Bank bonds under the newly elected govt came to light in March 2015 it seemed to be another story that would end up as only a story. Many had voted for the new leaders because they promised to be transparent and non-corrupt. Human beings have a great need to believe in something good that will come in the future to sustain their hope and thereby their lives. The hope of those who voted for the new govt was that more..

PET scanner arrives on January 25

Jan 9 (SO) Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scanner which was purchased by public contribution to be installed at the Maharagama Apeksha Hospital is expected to arrive in Sri Lanka on January 25, 2018. Founder Fight Cancer Team (FCT) and President of the Kadijah Foundation, M.S.H. Mohammed who initiated the raising of funds to purchase a PET Scanner for the Apeksha Hospital spoke to Sunday Observer, more..

British envoy’s lesson about truth

Jan 9 (ST) In ancient Greece there was this fussy old philosopher who went around the market place in broad daylight with a lantern in hand looking for an honest man. Diogenes was either a cynic or just crazy. Who would ever go to the market place in search of an honest man! It is as loony as searching for a well dry-cleaned politician, clean of mind and body. While many in Sri Lanka would now be engrossed in discussing the Bond Commission report – if they could get their hands on it – more..

Cold facts & Warm bodies

Jan 9 (CT) It is now clear that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has decided to ride out the storm that has engulfed him, his party and his administration. Endowed, as he is, with a prodigious supply of illusion and indifference, that is only natural. PM seems to emulate the Somerset Maugham character in the novel Razors Edge who asserts “You’re beginning to dislike me, aren’t you? Well, dislike me. It doesn’t make any difference to me now.” more..

'Mahinda Rajapaksa still an SLFPer'

Jan 9 (CT) Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe says a majority those in the JO, who support the Lotus Bud have accusations of corruption against them. Q: How is the SLFP preparing for LG Elections? A: We are contesting under the Betel Leaf of the UPFA in certain areas and under the Hand symbol of the SLFP in others. There is no doubt at all that we will achieve an excellent victory. People have understood by now, more..

Dumbara Valley awakens from its slumber

Jan 9 (CT) Ending the centuries old slumber, the Dumbara Valley awakens today when silvery waters of Amban Ganga and Kalu Ganga flow through the sluice gates of Moragahakanda Reservoir to irrigate far flung parched lands from Vanni in the North to Central, North Central, and Wayamba regions to boost the rice production in SL. A double auspicious day has been selected for the commissioning of the country's biggest reservoir. 8 January is the birth anniversary of S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, more..

Let Local Govts mind local affairs

Jan 9 (CT) Whatever platform you are reading this on, Newspaper, Computer, Tablet or Smartphone raise your head and look around you because one of the biggest electoral exercises in the history of this country is happening around you. Some 70,000 people are vying for the 8,356 Local Govt Council seats up for elections in 341 LG bodies, an unprecedented exercise on our sunny island. Campaign begins in earnest this week, but the usual sound & fury of a South Asian style election more..

Face the Nation

Bond scams: Central Bank, Public Debt Department and EPF

Jan 9 (Island) Now that the committee he appointed to report on the events identified as the bond scams has been given to President Maithripala Srisiena, and in the reasonable belief that it will suffer the same fate as the report on the egregious Welikade Jail Murders, I venture to comment on the series of events collectively called the bond scams. (As I have not read the Report, the reader more familiar with events will pardon me if I get something more wrong than the authors of the Report.) more..

Bonds scam report boomerangs on Sirisena, too?

Jan 9 (Island) Same-side goal, yes, considering he is heading a coalition govt, but did President Sirisena hit a self-destructive goal with his early publication of the CB bonds scam probe report? Going by media reports post-publication, the latter too seems truer. In possibly seeking to refurbish his self-styled Mr Clean brand-image from Elections-2015, first by ordering the probe when it became unavoidable and releasing the report before it might have leaked to the press more..

Looters as Rulers: In a country where law enforcement has taken a back seat

Jan 9 (Island) President Sirisena, while outlining the highpoints in the final report of the PCoI into to the issue of Treasury Bonds of the CB, also referred to the final report of PRECIFAC. Both reports have been handed over to the AG for necessary action. Judging from the history of previous Commission reports, getting to this point is indeed historic and the President has to be commended for the actions taken by him and more..