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Bond commission raises red flag over EPF stock market scams

Jan 18 (EN) A presidential commission of inquiry into Sri Lanka's largest securities fraud involving rigged bond auctions in 2015 and 2016 had drawn a red flag over alleged frauds in the stock purchases by central bank managed Employees Provident Fund from 2010. The commission said transactions of the EPF retirement fund on the stock exchange from 2010 onwards should be examined, and consideration should also be given to probe the losses of the CB itself around the period. more..

Govt urged to take up Mahendran extradition with Singapore

Jan 18 (Island) Former Minister Prof. G.L Peiris yesterday urged the govt to take up with Singapore the possibility of extraditing former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran, named in a presidential commission inquiry report on treasury bond scams. The govt should take up the issue with Singapore soon, Prof. Peiris said, pointing out that Singaporean PM Lee Hsien Loong was scheduled to arrive in Colombo on more..

Over 40,000 postal vote applications rejected

Jan 18 (DN) 560,000 applications for postal votes have been received from public servants for the LG polls on Feb 10 but 41,000 of them have been rejected as they were erroneously filed and some were received after the due date. About 560,120 applications have been accepted. The highest number of applications for postal votes have been received from Kurunegala District (67,411). From Kandy District, 48,353, from A'pura District, 45,261, from Gampaha District, 41,049 applications more..

CEB unions strike today?

Jan 18 (DN) The CEB trade unions are to commence an island-wide strike from today, claiming that they were assaulted at the CEB headquarters by the Police. The STF and the Police rescued several high-ranking CEB officials, including its Chairman, who were detained by the CEB Trade Union members at the CEB head office, yesterday. “Following the rescue operation, there was a clash between the Police and the trade union activists,” sources said. more..

PCoI report: Action recommended against Mahendran, Aloysius, Ravi, et al

Jan 18 (Island) The PCoI which probed Treasury bond scams has determined that the then CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran provided inside information to Perpetual Treasuries owned by his son-in-law Arjuna Aloysius and acted in collusion with that company. The commission has recommended the Attorney General and other authorities consider whether PTL has used, gained and benefitted from inside information at more..

Bond scam: Speaker’s attention drawn to take action against COPE members

Jan 18 (DM) Speaker’s attention has been drawn to take necessary action against the COPE members who had conversations with Perpetual Treasuries Limited (PTL) owner Arjun Aloysius during COPE proceedings into CB Bond scam, Presidential Media Unit (PMD) said. A statement issued by PMD said it was revealed that certain members of the COPE had conversations with PTL owner Arjun Aloysius during the COPE investigations into CB Bond scam and investigations connected to the PTL. more..

Bond commission asks Rs688mn be clawed back from Mahendran

Jan 18 (EN) A PCoI has recommended that 688 million rupees be clawed back from ex-CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran after he interfered in an auction in February 2015, which benefited his son-in-law's company. The commission said Mahendran direct that bids to the value of 10 billion be accepted for the improper, wrongful and mala fide so that Perpetual Treasuries, the primary dealer connected to his son-in-law Arjuna Aloysius was able to get bonds at high yields (low prices). more..

President orders AG and other officials: Act now on Bond Commission report

Jan 18 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday directed the Attorney General, Jayantha Jayasuriya, Governor of CB, Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy and DG Bribery Commission Sarath Jayamanne and other officials to immediately act on the recommendations of PCoI into the alleged Bonds scam. President's meeting with the top law enforcement officials came as 26 copies of the report were sent to the Speaker more..

Political stability and national unity

Jan 18 (DM) The Cabinet’s co-spokesman Rajitha Senaratne insisted yesterday that the National Unity or consensus govt would continue whatever happened at the February 10 elections to 341 municipal, urban councils and Pradeshiya Sabhas. Addressing a Cabinet news conference and responding strongly to questions on various issues, Dr. Senaratne said the consensus govt between the UNP and the SLFP was an historic alliance worked out for the first time since independence. more..

'Power of India is the people of India'

Jan 18 (DM) Lakshman Kadirgamar Memorial Lecture 2017 was held at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of Int'l Relations and Strategic Studies, Colombo on Jan 15. The lecture was delivered by Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister for Law and Justice and Electronics and IT, Govt of India on the theme The Evolution of India’s Constitutional and Democratic Polity. Late Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar was remembered by Minister Tilak Marapana and Chairman of more..

Central Bank bonds and Political Bombshell

Jan 18 (DM) The lender of last resort - The Central Bank of Sri Lanka is under heavy fire now, due to the release of extracts of the report on the Bond Commission appointed by the head of state. Further it is turning out to be a hot political issue, as one of the leading and popular TV channels in the country, has very vigorously launched a severe attack on one of the leading political personalities in the country. more..

An Interview with C.V. Wigneswaran

Jan 18 (HP) C.V. Wigneswaran is the chief minister of the Northern Province and a member of the TNA. Q: Maithripala Sirisena became president three years ago. What are the principal challenges for people living in the Northern Province? A: No doubt the earlier environment is no more. Democracy, to a great extent, has returned. But our expectations have not been fulfilled. Over 60,000 private and state lands are still occupied by more..

Wife seeks army support in probing ekneligoda case

Jan 18 (DN) Sandya Ekneligoda, the wife of disappeared journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda has handed over a letter to Army Commander Lt. Gen Mahesh Senanayake requesting his assistance in the probe into the disappearance of her husband. In the letter Sandya Ekneligoda noted that its been 8 years since her husband had disappeared on Jan 24, 2010, but had received little or no help in tracing what had happened to Prageeth Ekneligoda. more..

Govt fails on promised concessions: Polythene industrialists

Jan 18 (ST) Polythene Manufacturers and Recyclers Association (PMRA) last week said the Government had failed to give them concessions on the raw materials imported for the manufacture of bio-degradable polythene, as promised in its 2018 Budget. PMRA President Anura Wijetunge said although the government promised tax concessions on the import of raw materials for the transition from non-degradable to more..

Liquor ban reinstatement: Govt struggling to explain

Jan 18 (CT) Liquor is not a typical requirement of Sri Lankan females, Minister of Health Dr. Rajitha Senaratne reasoned based on supposed national statistics. Remarking on the recent reinstatement of the liquor purchase ban on women, he noted that over 90% of women, a majority in the rural parts of the country do not purchase liquor. According to him, only a small percentage of women in the country more..

20M lunch sheets added to environment daily

Jan 18 (CT) The Centre for Environmental Justice (CEJ), stated that a total of 20 million lunch sheets, 15 million plastic shopping bags, 10 million empty plastic bottles and soft drink bottles were being added to the environment daily and was polluting the environment to no end. They pointed out that for example, during last December around 35,000 plastic bottles were spotted at the vicinity of Sri Pada site. more..

Mathews injured, will return home

Jan 18 (DM) Angelo Mathews has been forced to return home with a hamstring injury suffered during Sri Lanka’s 12-run defeat to Zimbabwe on Wednesday, Sri Lanka Cricket sources confirmed. Dinesh Chandimal will lead the side in his absence. SLC said Mathews suffered a tightness while batting in Sri Lanka's unsuccessful run-chase yesterday. Mathews suffered a similar issue in December when he was o return to more..

UNP National List MP MHM Salman resigns

Jan 18 (NR) United National Party National List MP MHM Salman has handed over his letter of resignation to the General Secretary of Parliament Dhammika Dassanayake. When inquired, General Secretary Dhammika Dassanayake said the letter was handed in around noon today. The United National Front obtained 106 seats including 13 national list seats following the 2015 August General Election. more..

LG poll really a referendum on yahapalana govt, says JO

Jan 18 (Island) The Joint Opposition (JO) yesterday fervently urged the electorate to take February 10 local govt polls as important as parliamentary or presidential elections. MP Dallas Alahapperuma, former Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris and LSSP General Secretary Prof. Tissa Vitharana emphasized the responsibility on the part of the electorate to inflict a decisive defeat on the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration. more..

Rajapaksa era culture and ethos, EPF scams helped bond frauds: Commission

Jan 18 (EN) Politicization of central bank, corporate culture and ethos coming from Rajapaksa regime and ignoring stock scams at the EPF helped bond frauds to be committed from 2015, PCoI has observed. Commission inquired into a series of rigged bond auctions during the tenor of CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran, where he was found to have interfered in auctions and policy rates while officials supinely stood by. more..

Zero Tolerance or Selective Tolerance

Jan 18 (CT) With much flare and fanfare the Government of Sri Lanka destroyed US$108 million worth of high quality cocaine in public, seized by local authorities in the port of Colombo. The authorities destroyed 928 kg (more than 2,040 lbs) of the drug, the largest cocaine haul in Asia, which was found in a container of timber on a Colombian ship bound for India in December 2016, and represented part of more than 1,700 kg of drugs seized in the past three years. more..

Abortion: The agony of a nation

Jan 18 (FT) Sri Lanka’s 130-year old anti-abortion law is clear: aborting a pregnancy except to save the life of the mother is a crime. Section 303 of the Penal Code states: “Whoever voluntarily causes a woman with child to miscarry shall, if such miscarriage be not caused in good faith for the purpose of saving the life of the woman, be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both; and if the woman be quick with more..

Rusiripala Tennakoon

Eco-agriculture cooperation agreement signed between Chinese & SL institutions

Jan 18 (DN) China LvHai Technology Group signed an agreement with the Sadaham Sevana International Buddhist Information and Research Institute, Sri Lanka on eco-agriculture cooperation. Under the agreement, Chinese and SL institutions will jointly conduct eco-agriculture experiments and promotional activities to help develop the agriculture sector in Sri Lanka. The signing of the agreement took place at the Strategic Enterprise Management Agency in Colombo more..

Ranjith Soysa removed as SLFP Rakwana organiser

Jan 18 (NR) UPFA MP Ranjith Soysa has vowed to continue his political journey with former President Mahinda Rajapaksha. Commenting on his removal as the SLFP Rakwana seat organiser, PM said he has not been informed of the move by the party. MP Soysa stressed that he will not back a coalition with the UNP and therefore will continue to oppose the present SLFP hierarchy. MP said he got to know through electronic media that he was removed as the Rakwana Seat Organiser of the SLFP. more..

Former CJ Mohan Peiris summoned to appear at court

Jan 18 (AD) Colombo Chief Magistrate has issued notice on former Chief Justice Mohan Peiris and three others, who have been named as defendants in a case filed by the Bribery Commission, to appear before the court. Accordingly former CJ Mohan Peiris, Court of Appeal Judge A.H.M.D. Nawaz and former Secretary to the Power and Energy Ministry M.M.C. Ferdinando were summoned to appear at court on Mar 8. more..

Special HC to probe complex financial crimes awaits AG’s nod

Jan 18 (Island) Bill to establish Special High Courts to administer speedy justice in bribery and corruption and complex financial crime cases, awaited the Attorney Generals approval, prior to being presented to Parliament, govt said. The proposed amendment to the Judicature Act No. 2 of 1978, presented by Justice Minister Thalatha Athukorale, once enacted into law would enable the AG and Director General of CIABOC, to directly forward cases to the Special High Court more..

CPC suspends operation of Nawala filling station

Jan 18 (DM) Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CEYPETCO) sealed all the fuel dispensing pumps of the Nawala filling station yesterday night for illegally loading of Kerosene to bowsers with the use of fuel station pumps, Ministry of Petroleum Resources Development said. While issuing a statement they said it is illegal to load Kerosene to other bowsers using fuel dispensing pump. This illegal operation was detected by by the CPC Special Raids Division yesterday. more..

Warrant issued for Malaka Silva’s arrest

Jan 18 (AD) Colombo Additional Magistrate today issued an arrest warrant against Malaka Silva, the son of former minister Mervyn Silva. The warrant was issued for his arrest due to Malaka Silva failing to appear before the court for the hearing of the case filed against over the assault on two foreign nationals at a night club in Colombo in 2014. When the case filed by Cinnamon Gardens Police against the ex-minister’s son was more..

SLTB fleet to get 50 electric buses

Jan 18 (CT) Cabinet has approved the purchase of 50 electric buses to the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB), in a move to improve the urban public transport service, currently dominated by diesel run buses. The proposal by the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Nimal Siripala de Silva thus received the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers, who convened on 16 January. The announcement was made to the media by the Co-Cabinet Spokesperson Gayantha Karunatileke. more..

Video: President Sirisena should resign: Mahinda Yapa

Jan 18 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena did not have had good leadership qualities and therefore should resign from the office, MP Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said yesterday. Addressing a news conference, he said that the President had shown his incapability on numerous occasions and had failed in taking crucial decisions. “The President seems to be desperate and heartbroken following the negative remarks that have been made by some UNP members recently,” he said. more..

Revoking of alcohol Gazette: 11 women file FR in SC

Jan 18 (DN) Eleven female citizens including popular actress Samanalee Fonseka yesterday filed a Fundamental Rights petition in Supreme Court seeking a declare that Ministry of Finance or the State are not entitled in Law to revoke the Excise Notification dated January 10, 2018 in a manner which directly or indirectly prevents a female from lawfully being employed at a place of production and sale of liquor. more..

Department of Motor Traffic: Eyesight of examiners not tested

Jan 18 (Island) Department of Motor Traffic (DMT) has no way of testing the eyesight of its examiners, Commissioner General of DMT, K Jagath Chandrasiri has informed Ceylon Motorcyclists’ Association (CMA) in response to a Right to Information (RTI) application. The inspectors had to inspect chassis number of vehicles to determine whther they are legitimate, whether a person is eligible to obtain a driver’s licence, to determine whether a vehicle conforms to the criteria more..

Top woman official won’t comment on govt move

Jan 18 (Island) Executive Director of National Committee on Women at the Ministry of Women and Child Affairs Anula Indrani said that she would refrain from publicly expressing her personal opinion on the recent revoke of the gazette which allowed women to purchase alcohol or be employed at places that sold liquor, as it wouldn’t be appropriate for her as a state official to comment on a govt decision. The said gazette was issued by the Finance Ministry on Jan 10 abolishing more..

CaFFE asks if President still have faith in PM

Jan 18 (DM) If President Maithripala Sirisena still trusts PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, it means that he has not read the bond commission report, Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) said. In a statement, CaFFE Executive Director Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon said PM has shown that he relies, not on impartial inquiry and independent investigations when making decisions on important matters but on more..

'Do not panic over Bond Commission report'

Jan 18 (AD) MP Weerakumara Dissanayake has requested the public to not panic over the steps to be taken in the future over the report compiled by the Bond Commission. He said criticism will not benefit the country. The MP claimed the President of the country vowed to take action against those involved in the controversial Treasury Bond issuance. He said certain Political parties claim that there are attempts to hide the report by the Bond Commission adding there is no need to hide more..

Wiggy wants Intl legal framework

Jan 18 (CT) Northern Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran stressed on the need to find a political solution for the Tamils through an International legal framework. Wigneswaran was addressing a special meeting, convened by the Tamil People's Council (TPC) under the theme informing people. Prof. S. Swarnaraj (Former professor, Law Faculty, Uni of Colombo) who participated in the peace talks during the Norwegian peace facilitation period was also present at this special meeting more..

Pakistan Army Chief says SL has developed

Jan 18 (PMD) Chief of Pakistan Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa says Sri Lanka has achieved a significant development due to the prevailing peaceful environment. He made these remarks when he met with President Maithripala Sirisena during his tour to SL at the Presidential Secretariat, yesterday. General Qamar Javed Bajwa recalled the historic tour made by the SL cricket team to Pakistan in a background where more..

We will support to formulate new laws: SLFP

Jan 18 (NR) Minister Mahinda Amaraweera says the SLFP will extend its fullest support towards formulating new laws to take legal action against those involved in the controversial Treasury Bond issuance. He said the govt maintained a transparent approach while dealing with the controversy surrounding the Bond issuance. The Minister claimed the according to the President the second operation has been launched. He added the President called a meeting with the AG, more..

CEB employees call off strike

Jan 18 (AD) CEB trade unions have decided to call off their strike action, against yesterday’s police assault on protesting employees. CEB workers last night launched an island-wide strike in protest over the alleged police assault on them last evening. A tense situation was reported at the Headquarters of the CEB in Colombo Fort yesterday as riot police and STF personnel had to intervene to rescue the CEB Chairman who was being held hostage by the protesting employees. more..