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Editorial: Needed: A robust Opposition

Jan 9 (Island) President Sirisena did not make any revelations as such in his recent statement on the bond probe commission report. But, he has stirred up a real hornets’ nest. He should have respected the people’s right to information by releasing the whole report instead of selectively disclosing parts thereof. He has left much to the imagination of the public, as usual. Knee-jerk reaction of beleaguered former Minister Ravi Karunanayake has been to dismiss bond commission findings, more..

SLC to announce new ODI captain today

Jan 9 (Island) Sri Lanka will announce their new white ball captain today during a media briefing at 11:00 am at the board headquarters at Maitland Place. Prior to the announcement, the selection panel and Head Coach Chandika Hathurusingha will have a meeting at 8:30 am to decide who will take Sri Lanka’s through to the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup in England and Wales. There are only two candidates for the ODI captaincy as SLC has decided to end Thisara Perera experiment. more..

SLC well towards achieving sporting and financial success: Thilanga

Jan 9 (DN) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) president Thilanga Sumathipala has said that SLC is in the right direction towards achieving the twin goals of sporting and financial success. Addressing the employees of SLC, while commencing work for the year 2018 at the SLC, Sumathipala said within two years of his election, he along with the SLC employees was able to turnaround SLC’s financial position from poor to strong. more..

Polythene ban: No effective mechanisms in place

Jan 9 (SO) There was mixed reaction to the polythene ban which came in to effect from Jan 1 2018. While consumers look for more options the producers of polythene and plastic materials said that the ban is not a good decision as there is no proper mechanism for alternatives or for the recycling process. Emphasizing on the importance of a proper collection mechanism, a packaging product manufacturer said that SL has to establish an effective collection mechanism and more..

SLAITO, THASL hail upcoming Sri Lanka tourism promotion plan

Jan 8 (FT) SL Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) and Hotel Association of SL (THASL) in a joint communiqué said they appreciated the efforts by SL Tourism Promotions Bureau (SLTPB) and SL Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) to expedite the digital advertising campaign planned for early 2018 and the global advertising campaign scheduled for mid of this year. The promotional plans for Sri Lanka tourism have been long overdue and the industry has felt more..

Sultan of Johor invests $ 10 m in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Zone

Jan 9 (CT) State Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Corporation of SL (SPMC) and Pharma Zone (Pvt) Ltd yesterday entered into an agreement to build SL's first-ever exclusive pharmaceutical manufacturing zone in the Welipenna area of the Kalutara District, with an investment in excess of US$ 10 million. Pharma Zone, located on 50 acres, is a BOI-approved company whose principals are the Sultan of Johor, more..

SLTA to embark on all-weather court project

Jan 9 (ST) With the onset of the success of launching its digitalisation programme, the Sri Lanka Tennis Association (SLTA) is hoping to embark on the all-weather court programme – the first of its kind in Sri Lanka, according to its Vice President Suresh Subramanium. Last week, the SLTA introduced a tennis development initiative for 2018, which aims to completely automate the SLTA Administration through a cloud accessed digitised platform for its stake holders. more..

Colombo Coffee Company at Shangri-La

Jan 9 (ST) Colombo Coffee Company recently partnered with Shangri-La Colombo as the new hotel’s official coffee solutions provider. In a media release the company said it’s currently the market leader in the coffee industry for premium coffee blends, state-of-the-art coffee machines and a wide range of other coffee solutions. Over the last seven years of operations, Colombo Coffee Company has partnered with many of the international hotel chains that have made their way to Sri Lanka and more..

Nurses strike defying Court order SJGH faces possible shutdown: Director

Jan 9 (CT) All planned surgeries and investigations came to a halt at Sri J'pura General Hospital (SJGH), due to nurses not reporting to work yesterday, defying a Court order which debarred any trade union activities being carried out. Nurses did not report to duty in protest against the newly installed fingerprint system established for all workers. Expressing concerns, Director of SJGH said doctors were excluded from more..

Australia-Sri Lanka trade reaches $1.3bn, services up 27%

Jan 9 (EN) Trade and services between Sri Lanka and Australia had reached 1.3 billion Australian dollars in 2017 (about US$ 960 million), up 15% from a year earlier, drive by service. "Education continues to grow as a pillar of the economic relationship with more than 9500 enrolments by Sri Lankan students to study in Australia and thousands more pursuing Australian-affiliated studies locally," the Australian High Commission (embassy) said in a statement. more..

Hathurusinghe and diplomatic curtailing

Jan 9 (CT) Wondering about the decision delivered down to the ranks by Coach Hathurusinghe banning music for them, began the search for reasons for such priority. There is and always have been skirmishes among athletes who compete with others in the same team. A very famous case in sports' history was the case of the American figure skaters Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding who both were members of the US figure skating team. At the Cobo Arena Detroit while practising for the more..

Price of packeted lunch goes up in Colombo

Jan 9 (DM) The prices of the packeted lunch sold within the Colombo City limits have shot up at least by 20 to 30 rupees from today following the increase of the lunch sheets and polythene bags from the beginning of the year. When Daily Mirror carried out a study, it was revealed that the packeted meals and the night stall foods had been increased between Rs. 20 to 30. When contacted, the sellers in the Colombo more..

Pakistan’s Single Country Exhibition – 2018

Jan 9 (PHC) After successfully organizing similar event in 2016 & 2017, the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) in association with the High Commission of Pakistan in SL is organizing Pakistan Single Country Exhibition in Colombo from January 12 to 14, 2018 for the third consecutive year. President Maithripala Sirisena will be the chief guest on the opening ceremony of the exhibition on 12th January 2018. Exhibition aims to provide a platform to the Pakistani companies more..

Top schoolboy slicer meets with tragic death

Jan 9 (DN) A top class carrom player Navin Kalansuriya, 2016 national schools best carrom player is no more. He died on Saturday under tragic circumstances. While travelling after a open carrom tournament held at the carrom headquarters at Kohuwella he took the Colombo-Kandy bound train. He was seated on the steps of the train compartment and stuck his head on the railway bridge wall and fell into the river, just a few kilometers from Kandy. more..

Mangala pledges justice for Lasantha

Jan 9 (FT) Finance and Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera yesterday pledged to provide all resources to the CID and Attorney General’s Department to bring justice to former The Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge and insisted that failure is unacceptable. Given below is the full statement released by the Minister. Today, 8 Jan 2018, marks the ninth anniversary of one of the most heinous crimes ever more..

Murder suspect shot dead in Pannala

Jan 9 (DM) A 35-year-old man was shot dead by an unidentified gunman at Pallama in Pannala on the Kurunegala-Negombo Main Road this afternoon. SP Ruwan Gunasekara said the victim, who was travelling in Jeep at the time was a resident of Pannala and had been released on bail in connection with a double murder, which took place in April last year. The man died on admission to Sandalanka Hospital. Police were investigating though the gunman was yet to be identified more..

Lankan elected Dy Secy General of IBC

Jan 9 (Island) Sri Lankan Dr. Damenda Porage was elected as the Deputy Secretary General of International Buddhist Confederation during its second General Assembly held in New Delhi, India recently. International Buddhist Confederation is a global umbrella organization of Buddhists all over the world represented by more than forty countries. IBC’s mission is to gather the collective wisdom of Buddhists around the world to speak with a united Buddhist voice to make more..

Cabraal denies bond scams

Jan 9 (FT) Former CB Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal categorically denied any irregularities in bond sales during his term and said he was prepared to testify before any future commission but called for the Govt to take action on the PCoI report. Responding to the statement by PM on Sunday that 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 more..

Ford, World Vision Lanka launch rainwater harvesting in Polonnaruwa

Jan 9 (CT) Ford Motor Company and its local distribution partner, Future Automobiles, in collaboration with World Vision SL, recently launched a rainwater harvesting project in Polonnaruwa. The project aims to establish year-round access to water for 100 beneficiaries in Welikanda, Polonnaruwa through effective rainwater harvesting replenishment systems. This project will enable the utilization of rainwater that would otherwise go to waste & provide year-round more..

Death of former Health Minister Dr. Ranjith Atapattu

Jan 9 (DN) Former Health Minister Dr. Ranjith Atapattu passed away yesterday at the age of 84. He entered Parliament winning the Beliatta electorate at the 1977 election while representing the UNP. He served in the J.R. Jayewardene Govt as the Health Minister. He later served as the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare. Dr. Atapattu is the son of D.P. Atapattu who was a Deputy Minister in the 1965 – 70 Dudley Senanayake govt. Funeral will take place on Thursday at 4 pm more..

Ravinatha to be replaced before crucial March Geneva session

Jan 9 (Island) SL’s Permanent Representative in Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha will be replaced with diplomat A.L.A. Azeez before the Geneva sessions scheduled to commence on Feb 26 and run through March 26. Aryasinha had been transferred with effect from Feb 28, even before the Parliamentary Committee on High Posts examining the suitability of the person designated as PR in Geneva. more..

Govt announces National Integration and Reconciliation Week

Jan 9 (FT) Following a Cabinet directive, the period from 8-14 January each year has been declared National Integration and Reconciliation Week, according to the Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation. The main aim of the initiative was to promote unity, peace, dignity, respect diversity, equity, inclusiveness, fairness, tolerance, empathy, friendship, kindness, compassion, justice and human rights among communities of different ethnic, religious, cultural and regional diversities. more..

India and Sri Lanka to celebrate 70 years

Jan 9 (CT) High Commission of India in Colombo is organizing a special cultural event titled Bollywood and Beyond on 17 January in Colombo. The special event is being organized to jointly celebrate 70 years of India and Sri Lanka, termed as India and Sri Lanka @ 70. Bollywood and Beyond, a musical evening will showcase the blending of Indian and Western classical music with Bollywood songs. It features violinist Dr. L. Subramaniam, singer Kavita Krishnamurthy Subramaniam, more..

President, PM resolute on road less travelled

Jan 9 (FT) It was a symbolic opening of a flyover but the leaders of the Coalition Govt, marking its 3rd anniversary, reaffirmed their resoluteness to take the road less travelled for the betterment of the nation. Providing a long-term solution for the heavy traffic congestion in the Welikada junction area, President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe yesterday declared open the Rajagiriya flyover built at a cost of Rs. 4.7 b. more..

A footnote to Bond Commission report

Jan 9 (DM) Last week, President Maithripala Sirisena swung his sword that he recently vouched to use. The UNP had a good deal of its vital parts cut off. It would be nursing those wounds throughout the local govt election campaign, which it was earlier expected to win hands down. The president in his much awaited statement on the report of the PCoI appointed to investigate the alleged irregularities in the CB bond deals delivered a damning censure against the former CB governor Arjuna more..

DS Vs SWRD: Battle for Control

Jan 9 (DM) Don Stephan Senanayake, as in Shakespearian dogma, was not born great, but achieved greatness and greatness, to a certain extent was trust upon him too; but in Little Solomon West Ridgway’s case the dogma applied in its totality, SWRD named after Governor, Joseph West Ridgeway by his Maha Mudaliyar of the Governor’s Gate father, Sir Solomon Dias Bandaranaike, was born great, achieved greatness and had greatness thrust upon him too. more..

Rejection of nomination lists A pre-scrutinizing system would avoid it

Jan 9 (DM) Constitutional Lawyer Canishka G Witharana, in an interview with the, spoke about nomination lists of some political parties being rejected and the legality involved. Q: You filed two court cases regarding the rejection of the SLPP nomination list for Maharagama. What is your opinion about rejection? A: A particular rejection referred to in your question is bad in law and against the very purpose and objectives of more..

Sri Lanka attracts record number of corporate private jets

Jan 9 (ST) The number of international corporate jets visiting Sri Lanka has risen sharply last year, with 569 recorded arrivals and the total is expected to be higher when additional statistics are collated. There were 326 international corporate jet movements into the BIA up to Sept 2017 alone; 126 into Ratmalana airport up to Dec 15; and as many as 117 into Mattala Rajapaksa Int'l Airport (MRIA) up to Sept 2017. more..

The life of a Toddy tapper

Jan 9 (Roar) Around the buffer zone of the evergreen Sinharaja Rainforest Reserve, there are approximately 25 villages where toddy-tapping is practiced. Toddy—a wine-like, low-percentage alcohol—is made from the extract of the flower of the fish-tail tree (caryota urens), by a tapping technique passed down through generations. When boiled at high heat, the sap transforms into kithul, a honey-like syrup more..

Ravi denies Mano Ganesan's claims

Jan 9 (DM) UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake denied the claims made by Minister Mano Ganesan that underworld figures had been nominated for LG elections to represent the Colombo North. Responding to a question raised by a journalist when MP Karunanayake visiting the grave site of slain newspaper editor Lasantha Wickrematunge, said, if members of underworld can stay in the govt what would be the problem. more..

Angelo Mathews reappointed ODI captain

Jan 9 (CI) Angelo Mathews has resumed Sri Lanka's limited-overs captaincy less than six months after he resigned from the position. Following a year in which Sri Lanka's ODI captaincy has been in flux, it is hoped Mathews will take the team into the 2019 World Cup, and perhaps beyond. Dinesh Chandimal retains the Test captaincy, meanwhile, and has also reclaimed a place in the ODI squad. The reinstatement of Mathews as captain more..

Cabraal denies claim of weak CB safeguards

Jan 9 (Island) Former Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal yesterday denied the allegation that the auditing process as well as other safeguards in place at the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) at the time of 2015 February treasury bond scam were extremely weak and there is a need for new ones. Cabraal said so in response to a query by The Island at a media conference called by the Patriotic Professionals Forum. more..

Over Rs.7 million provided to children through Suraksha student insurance scheme

Jan 9 (AD) The provision of benefits through the ‘Suraksha’ insurance scheme provided to school children across Sri Lanka has been further enhanced by the Ministry of Education. Accordingly it was revealed that the SL Insurance Corporation has already provided over Rs.7,000,000 to school children by Jan 7, 2018 through the Suraksha insurance scheme. Ministry of Education further stated that the SL Insurance Corporation more..

Sending LTTE/Prabhakaran greeting cards via FaceBook: Court remands duo

Jan 9 (CT) Colombo Additional Magistrate Thanuja Jayathunga ordered two suspects charged with displaying and distributing the emblem of the LTTE and the photo of its late Leader V. Prabhakaran, by way of greeting cards for 2018 on Facebook, to be remanded till 17 January. The suspects were identified as Dinesh Kumar and Vijaya Kumar Vidushan. Investigations were conducted by the TID following more..

Video: Ex-LTTE spokesman assaulted in Jaffna

Jan 9 (DM) A man was arrested by the Jaffna Police in connection with assaulting former LTTE media spokesman Daya Master in Jaffna yesterday. Daya Master who is also the Media Director of DAN TV, a private media institution was assaulted in his office at the Hospital Road in Jaffna. The Jaffna Police who had initiated an inquiry following a complaint had arrested the suspect, Moses Sathgunadas (53) a resident of Jaffna. more..

Spillover of CB bond scam Real cost Rs 1.5-2 trillion between 2015 & 2007

Jan 9 (CT) JO MP Bandula Gunawardena charged that the real cost or the opportunity cost of the CB Bonds scam, for the period of 2015-2017, was between Rs 1.5 trillion and Rs 2 trillion. He said that the total losses or the economic costs which have been calculated and determined by various university academics and others attributed the figure to increasing interest rates, currency depreciation, the loss of investments and more..

Govt has left much to be desired

Jan 9 (CT) In the heady days of Jan 2015 when Maitripala Sirisena won an unexpected victory over the incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa, many of the Human Rights activists who had backed the former Health Minister thought their time had come. They felt that many of the historic wrongs that were committed by successive govts could be righted and that finally our dismal record of corrupt politics could end, and the country will be able to turn the page. At this 3-year mark it has not happened. more..

Case against Keheliya fixed for Jan.26

Jan 9 (DN) A corruption case against former Minister Keheliya Rambukwella and former State Printing Corporation (SPC) Chairman for allegedly causing an unlawful loss of Rs.230,984 to the govt after paying the former Minister’s mobile phone bill using SPC funds, while functioning as the Mass Media Minister in 2012 was yesterday fixed for Jan 26 by Colombo Chief Magistrate. The order regarding the objections raised by defence over the maintainabillity of the charge sheet more..

Maithri Gunaratne

Failures in contract administration cost billions to the country

Jan 9 (FT) A few weeks ago, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe visited the Rajagiriya overpass construction site, built under the RDA. PM also informed that the Rajagiriya flyover would be formally opened to the public on 8 January, nearly one year ahead of schedule. The new flyover will reduce the traffic slow-down experienced by the travellers between Borella and J'pura on Parliament Road. Construction commenced on 31 August 2016 and the 533m-long, 3.5m-wide, more..