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Sri Lankan tea farmers want glyphosate herbicide ban overturned

Jan 11 (GLP) Tea farmers in SL want their govt to reauthorize the use of glyphosate for agriculture. SL is one of only five in the world to ban the chemical, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s top-selling herbicide Roundup. In the face of rising crop losses because of overgrowing weeds, the Planters’ Association of Ceylon is asking the govt to either overturn the ban or provide an effective replacement for glyphosate. “Unfortunately, the situation is becoming extremely dire for the tea sector” more..

Top Sovereign Wealth Funds in Sri Lanka to explore investment opportunities

Jan 11 (FT) Minister Malik Samarawickrama yesterday opened the two-day Roundtable Investment Forum with Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs) in Colombo under the patronage of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. Roundtable was an initiative of the Minister following his visit to the Global Investment Forum in Dubai during Nov 2017 and is jointly hosted by the CB and the BoI. He met several of these Funds in Dubai and more..

Four killed as speeding van crashes into back of lorry

Jan 11 (Island) Four were killed when a speeding van crashed into the back of a lorry at Kokavil in Kilinochchi yesterday. The driver of the van had lost control of the vehicle due to speeding, police said. The deceased were Navaratnam Arun (24) of Alvai, Chandrasekaran Jeyachandran (36), Sinnamutturai Krishnarupan (19) of Jaffna and Sivasubramaniam Sindrajan (19) of the Jaffna junction. Another victim Thavarangan (19) is being treated at the Jaffna hospital. more..

17-year-old detainee commits suicide at Pettah Police Station

Jan 11 (AD) A 17-year-old detainee has committed suicide at the Pettah Police Station by hanging himself inside a cell. Police said the teenager was arrested with a stock of cannabis last night at Bastian Mawatha in Pettah. Suspect, a resident of Kirimanagama in Haputale, had allegedly used his own clothes as a noose to hang himself inside the cell he was locked-up in. The body of the teen has been placed at the Colombo National Hospital while investigations have been launched more..

Admission of guilt?: Bonds from 2008- 2014 needs further probe:PM

Jan 11 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said he intends to discuss with the Parliamentary Public Finance Committee Chairman shortly, about the bond issuances from 2008 to 2014. He said it was surprising that the COPE Committee had approved CB financial reports during that period. He said this in parliament yesterday during the special session convened yesterday to discuss the final report of the PCoI more..

Tense situation in House, set up by Govt: CaFFe

Jan 11 (DM) The tense situation that prevailed in Parliament was a deliberate act created by the govt to sabotage the parliamentary session on the bond report debate, Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) Executive Director Keerthi Tennakoon said. He said the govt was aware of the main culprit who should be held responsible for the bond scam, the govt headed by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe wanted to create chaos in parliament and divert the attention of the MPs. more..

Monk files intervention in favour of President having a six-year term

Jan 11 (DN) Anti Corruption Front Chairperson Ven. Ulapane Sumangala Thera yesterday sought Supreme Court’s permission to intervene into President Maithripala Sirisena’s reference in SC about the presidential term of office. Filing an intervenient petition in the SC regarding President Sirisena’s reference about the presidential term, the thera said the President has no impediment to continue in the office of President for a period of six years which ends on Jan 9, 2021. more..

Thuggery and obscenity: Parliament degenerates into madness

Jan 11 (CT) The hallowed Chamber of Parliament once again turned into a rowdy arena with Members throwing punches, hurling objects and invective as the proceedings into the much hyped debate into the report of PCoI, which investigated and inquired into issuance of Treasury Bonds was taken up. Some MPs were injured when JO Members invaded the well of the House carrying placards and shouting Hora (thief) more..

Respect nature and it will bear fruit

Jan 11 (DM) In the US East Coast, tomorrow is likely to be the coldest night with temperatures plunging to about 40 degrees below zero. Though President Donald Trump -- whose mental fitness to rule the world’s most powerful country is being widely questioned -- still claims that climate change is largely a hoax made in China. Associated Press (AP) reported that the blast of arctic air that engulfed portions of the East Coast broke more cold temperature records in several cities. more..

Pots, kettles and an all-black political system

Jan 11 (DM) Dulles Alahapperuma, having first entered Parliament in 1994 and having retained his seat in the General Election in 2000 surprising decided not to contest in 2001. He had his reasons. His argument was that he was too white to be in Parliament. ‘Most people in Parliament are brown, but no one realizes this because there’s no contrast to make the brown stand out. When there’s white, it shows. This makes brown people uncomfortable. I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable more..

Sapphires & Sarongs: Ratnapura gem street

Jan 11 (Roar) Since time immemorial, Sri Lanka has been intrinsically associated with gems. The island has regularly been referred to as the Jewel of the Indian Ocean, while Ratnapura literally means City of Gems (in Sinhala රත්නපුර and Tamil இரத்தினபுரி). It is estimated that approximately 25% of Sri Lanka’s total land mass is potentially gem-bearing, making the country a world leader in terms of gem-density. more..

'We don’t endorse Basil’s leadership'

Jan 11 (CT) NLF Leader Vasudeva Nanayakkara says that the result of this LG election will send a political shock enough to shatter the Govt. Q: What has happened to the earlier strength of the JO? A: I don't know what you used to measure it. I'm asking about the journey you started making quite a big noise saying that the Govt will be toppled and its fraud and corruption revealed? A: We have a complete programme in mind. more..

‘Discipline is the foundation for a peaceful society’

Jan 11 (DM) DailyMirror sat with former Education Minister, UNP strongman and current ambassador to Sri Lanka in China, Dr. Karunasena Kodituwakku for an interview during a visit to the island. Dr. Kodituwakku spoke about Sri Lanka-China relations, Chinese investments in the island and politics. Following are excerpts of the interview done with Dr. Kodituwakku. Q: China has become the biggest donor and investor in Sri Lanka. more..

More questions than answers over final solution to SAITM issue

Jan 11 (ST) The so-called final solution to the saga of the SAITM announced on Thursday has raised a hornet’s nest. What is in the MOU with the SL Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT), asked many sources, questioning why it has not been made public or presented to the main groups involved in the SAITM issue. Stakeholders involved in the process but have had no access to the MOU urged that its content should be more..

Govt to pay compensation to victims of 2014 communal violence

Jan 11 (GDI) Cabinet of Ministers has granted approval to the govt to pay compensation to the victims of the communal violence occurred on 15th and 16th of June 2014 in Beruwela, Aluthgama areas. Properties belonging to 273 families in the Beruwela and Aluthgama areas were destroyed by unidentified people during the clashes. Army has repaired the houses and other buildings damaged during the riots. more..

Govt to call for new oil, gas exploration bids

Jan 11 (DM) The third licensing round to offer offshore blocks for oil and gas exploration and development in northern Sri Lanka will take place over the next three months, according to state-run Petroleum Resource Development Secretariat (PRDS). “We are planning to conduct the third licensing round for some of the remaining blocks in the Mannar and Cauvery basins in the first quarter of this year,” PRDS Benefits Director more..

Bid to circumvent 19A: GL tears into Prez

Jan 11 (Island) The JO said that having repeatedly promised to abolish the executive presidency since Dec 2014, President Sirisena was now seeking to serve the original 6-year term in violation of the 19th Amendment that restricted the presidential term to five years. JO heavyweight Prof. G.L. Peiris alleged that President Sirisena was making a desperate bid to consolidate his position even at the expense of 19 Amendment more..

Over 900kg of cocaine to be destroyed

Jan 11 (AD) SL Police said that over 900 kilograms of cocaine, seized by the Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) during past raids, will be destroyed in Katunayake on Monday (15). Minister Sagala Ratnayaka said last week that necessary legal provisions will be taken to destroy seized drugs in front of the public. He stated that heroin, illegal cigarettes, liquor and cannabis worth Rs. 37.55 billion has been seized by STF more..

Earl and Countess of Wessex to visit SL

Jan 11 (AD) Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, and the Countess of Wessex, will visit Sri Lanka from 31 Jan to 4 Feb 2018. Their Royal Highnesses will represent Her Majesty the Queen at the 70th anniversary celebration of Sri Lanka’s independence on 4 Feb. “The Earl and Countess will travel to Colombo and other parts of SL, celebrating the long-standing friendship between the two countries and shared interest in more..

Visa issuance methods to be updated

Jan 11 (NR) The Cabinet of Ministers has approved a proposal to regularize and update present visa issuance methods. Accordingly the Cabinet decided to approve several new amendments to visa issuance, including the collection of visa charges in US Dollars instead of SL Rupees. Therefore under the new issuance methods, visas will be recommended for investors & employees in BoI zones by the Secretary of subject Ministry, more..

Women take care!

Jan 11 (CT) Most SL women will agree that sexual violence is rampant in this country and travelling alone is unsafe for their fellow sisters. Many women avoid travelling by public transport during rush hours because they are propositioned, groped or worse. In fact, this is accepted as such a serious issue that current planning for the Megapolis project looking at public transport in the Greater Colombo area is factoring this issue in, and consider Gender Based Violence as a deterrent to women more..

Sajin Vass and that thousand rupee fine

Jan 11 (FT) Sajin Vass Gunawardena was many things to President Mahinda Rajapaksa. As occasion required, confidant, point man, trouble-shooter, go-between, trusted family aid and general factotum. When the Sri Lankan Govt was conducting sensitive negotiations with the LTTE in Europe, it was Gunawardena who was the President’s eyes and ears, not his official delegation comprising several distinguished personalities. The President’s character – common, parochial – shaped more..

කව්ද හොරා රනිල්ද මහින්දද?

Laugfs Gas says port terminal issues being resolved

Jan 11 (EN) Laugfs Gas said it was holding talks with the new Chinese operator of Hambantota port and investment authorities to resolve problems on proceeding with a terminal it was building at the southern harbour. Construction work on a pipeline linking the terminal to the jetty had been halted by Sri Lanka Ports Authority, a stock exchange filing said. The port was handed over on a 99-year lease to China Merchant Port Holdings (CMPort) for US$1.12 billion last month. more..

MP Wimal Weerawansa handed indictments

Jan 11 (NR) Former Minister Wimal Weerawansa has been handed indictments into charges of the possession of money and property amounting to 75 million rupees, a sum that he could not have earned with the salary and additional income during his tenure as a Minister. The indictment was issued before Colombo High Court Judge Wikum Kaluarachchi this morning. Indictment was issued to Former Minister MP Wimal Weerawansa, as he had pleaded not-guilty to charges before Courts. more..

SL removes ban on sale of alcohol to women

Jan 11 (BBC) Sri Lanka is to allow women over the age of 18 to buy alcohol legally for the first time in more than 60 years. The govt said that it was amending a 1955 law that it agreed was discriminatory against women. The amendment to the law, announced on Wednesday, also means that women will be permitted without prior approval to work in places that sell alcohol. While the previous law was not always strictly enforced, more..

Court issues notice on former Secretary to the President

Jan 11 (AD) Colombo Magistrate’s Court has issued notice on former Secretary to the President P.B. Abeykoon to testify in connection with three cases which have been filed against former Minister Johnston Fernando for allegedly failing to declare assets and liabilities. When the case was taken up for hearing today, attorneys representing the Bribery Commission informed the court that that former Presidential Secretary P.B. Abeykoon and the officer who was in charge of declarations of assets more..

President’s term: JO will intervene and make submissions in SC

Jan 11 (DM) The JO will intervene and make submissions when the reference made by President Maithripala Sirisena to Supreme Court regarding his term limit is taken up for consideration today before a five-judge bench. President’s Counsel Manohara de Silva will make submissions on behalf of SLPP Chairman Prof. G.L. Peiris. The reference by the President says: “Whether in terms of Provisions of the Constitution, I, as the person elected and succeeding to the office of President and more..

US revamps travel warning system; Sri Lanka gets an okay

Jan 11 (DM) United States revamped its warnings about the risks of traveling to other countries and Sri Lanka is listed among countries that the lowest advisory level for safety and security risks in the new four-point safety ranking system. Accordingly, Sri Lanka is listed as a Level-1 country which means Exercise normal precautions when traveling to Sri Lanka. However, neighbouring India and Maldives were more..

U.R. De Silva re-elected President of Bar Association

Jan 11 (AD) Attorney-at-Law U.R. De Silva has been unanimously re-elected the President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) for 2018-2019. President’s Counsel Udaya Rohan De Silva was first elected as the President of the Bar Association on Mar 15, 2017. Educated at Ananda College, Colombo, Mr. De Silva was called to the Bar in 1983. He has previously served as BASL Treasurer in 2001 and as Secretary in 2008. Mr. De Silva has been in active criminal practice island wide more..

‘Govt trying to divert attention of people away from its bond scam’

Jan 11 (Island) Kandy District MP Dilum Amunugama (Joint Opposition) told a media conference that the govt was calling for a probe into the alleged irregularities at the Central Bank during the Rajapaksa administration in order to distract public attention from the Central Bank’s massive bond scam to the tune of Rs. 11,000 million. MP Amunugama said it was not known whether the fraudulently acquired funds had already been spirited away from Sri Lanka. more..

ඊයේ පාර්ලිමේන්තුවේ ඇති වූ සිද්ධියට ...

Video: GMOA warns TU action by next week

Jan 11 (DM) GMOA today warned trade union action by next week over curtailment of medical officers’ allowances. GMOA Assistant Secretary Dr. Nalinda Herath said the govt had deliberately ignored to amend their extra duty allowance and other allowances like transportation and telephone. “The extra duty allowance was paid based on a formula which was prepared according to the basic salary of a medical officer. This was last increased in 2016. Though the basic salary was increased more..

UK MPs meet with SL military in Jaffna

Jan 11 (TG) A group of British MPs who are touring Sri Lanka met with the military in Jaffna last week, despite criticism of ongoing militarisation of the North-East. The delegation, members of the UK's All Party Parliamentary Group for Sri Lanka met with General Darshana Hettiarachchi, who heads the SL security forces in Jaffna. Discussions “focused on the civil - military relations, peace building efforts and reconciliation process in the peninsula” stated a military website. more..

Traffic tickets to personal addresses: Sagala

Jan 11 (DM) Minister Sagala Ratnayaka said the Police will launch a pilot project in February to send traffic tickets to personal addresses of traffic rule violators. The new technology would be introduced to assist Traffic police officers in their day to day work. "We all know how they run into difficulties while performing their day to day work. Some even abuse police officers verbally when they try to take action on traffic rule violators. more..

Harassed journalists to receive relief

Jan 11 (NR) The Cabinet of Ministers has decided to appoint a Cabinet Subcommittee, to consider the provision of relief to journalists who have faced harassment or difficulties during the period of 2005 to 2015. Accordingly an opportunity has been granted for any relevant journalists to forward their appeals on the matter, following which the new Cabinet Subcommittee chaired by the former Minister of Foreign Affairs will make recommendations in this regard. more..

Business hours of licensed liquor shops revised

Jan 11 (AD) The Minister of Finance and Mass Media Mangala Samaraweera, under the excise Ordinance today issued a special gazette notification which revise the business hours of the liquor licensed establishments in the country. The revised time schedule, which will come into effect from today, has been listed in the schedule above. Accordingly, the establishments with retail licenses and Beer, Ale, Stout and Wine License for retail sale will be open from 8.00am to 10.00pm. more..

Video: Criminals and rapists have been given nominations: PAFFREL

Jan 11 (AD) Executive Director of PAFFREL Rohana Hettiarachchi says that a large number of various criminals and rapists have received nominations to contest the upcoming LG election. He made these observations during the election watchdog’s first press briefing with regard to the LG Elections 2018, held today. PAFFREL said it has received 243 complaints, out of which 182 were confirmed, in the 30 days gone since more..

President has no moral right to extend term of office: Basil

Jan 11 (DM) SLPP frontliner Basil Rajapaksa said there was no moral basis for President Sirisena to extend his term for six years as he committed himself to reduce the term in the run up to the elections. He said President Sirisena had claimed during his presidential election campaign that he would reduce the term of presidency to four years and would not seek to stay for six years. “It is necessary to keep in mind that former Prez Rajapaksa has also only served for 4 years more..

Ganemulla flyover to be declared open today, Polgahawela on 17 Jan

Jan 11 (GDI) Ganemulla flyover constructed to ease traffic congestion and delays due to frequent closure of railway gates at the level crossings will be declared open today by Minister Lakshman Kiriella. Ganemulla is one of the main cities of the Gampaha district and nearly 90 trains traveling from Colombo to outstations ply pass Ganemulla railway station necessitating the closure of the rail gates frequently which causes severe traffic congestions on either side of the level crossings and delays. more..