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All possible action taken based on Weliamuna Report: SriLankan Airlines

Jan 18 (AD) SriLankan Airlines said that contrary to popular belief, the Board of Directors of the national carrier have taken all action possible to address the internal and disciplinary issues highlighted in the J. C. Weliamuna Report. Due to numerous News Paper articles and other interested parties who have referred to the J.C. Weliamuna Report time and time again, the airline today issued a response to put things into perspective more..

Bond Scam: Here are several important recommendations

Jan 18 (LT) The report of the Presidential Commission appointed by President Sirisena on 27th Jan 2016 to probe fraudulent bond dealings that have been committed during the 2015-2016 period was handed over to President on 30th Dec and 26 of its English copies were handed over to the Secretary-General of parliament today (17). We reproduce here several important recommendations of the 30 recommendations mentioned in its report by the Commission headed by SC Judge more..

FCID traces Rs. 94mn worth properties owned by Udayanga

Jan 18 (DM) FCID today informed court that it found Rs. 94 million worth properties belonging to former Ambassador Udayanga Weeratunga, while probing the financial loss incurred by the government when purchasing four Ukrainian MIG 27 aircraft in 2006. Filing a report, FCID Inspector Nihal Francis said Mr. Weeratunga owned an eight-acre land worth Rs. 40 million and a one-acre land worth of Rs. 25 million in Dompe and a luxury apartment (Trillium Residencies) worth Rs. 29 million in Borella. more..

Video: Looters as Rulers: PM makes special statement on Bond Commission report

Jan 18 (AD) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe says that necessary action will be taken regarding the UNP members accused in the report of the Bond Commission, based on the recommendations of the committee appointed by the party. He stated that a committee headed by Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana has been appointed to look into the allegation leveled against UNP members in the report and to submit recommendations. more..

System is more resilient than people like to believe

Jan 19 (CT) We are a resilient nation and I’ve insisted on the point before. Sri Lanka is not a failed state but has signs of failing. That is not new either. The signs have been there at least as long as the moment J.R. Jayewardene brought in the Second Republican Constitution in 1978. Nineteen amendments later, all things considered, remedial measures have been few and far between and moreover taken the form of little more than patch-up. Sri Lanka is resilient. more..

Understanding national reconciliation: Tie that binds us together

Jan 19 (DN) Jan 8 -14 was declared a National Integration Week by the Govt. It was supposed to drive home the imperative need for national reconciliation for development. However, except for reported speeches of Prez & PM and isolated references by few religious dignitaries in their sermons nothing much was observed. Even the media stood aloof. Our Honourable MPs thought it’s better to engage in fisticuffs and exchange un-parliamentary compliments rather than more..

Six things Sri Lanka did right in 2017

Jan 19 (Roar) Years, as they go, are tumultuous, but SL wound her way magnificently through the last one. Braving incidents as horrific as the Meethotamulla tragedy, the protracted drought that engulfed a swathe of the nation, and cyclone Ochki that raged through parts of the island, Sri Lanka, nevertheless, made meticulous progress on several fronts. Here are a few things that Sri Lanka did right in 2017. more..

The elders can relax, but can we?

Jan 19 (CT) There are days when I run out of ideas and topics to write on. Those are days I suffer from creative blocks, on account perhaps of drowsiness or the languor that a full stomach tends to invite. All it takes to get out that block is a quick perusal of my bookshelves, a random flip-through of a book I’ve just finished reading, but sometimes even that method never works out. That’s when I stray from the usual topics I like to write about and instead read what other writers and bloggers from here more..

National Prosperity: Starter for turning tide!

Jan 19 (CT) "It is too scary to think about what is in store for us as a nation as we cannot see any signs of positive change towards the Objectives we have missed; either because they were not thought of or because they had been too elusive for our mechanical planners and the clueless who led, chasing the Ritual Budgets which were not properly earthed to ensure the Development Flow Circuit and that way be securely anchored. It is time that something meaningful is attempted, more..

Key expose by PCoI on Bond Scam

Jan 19 (FT) Thus, the net cash inflows [monetary gains made] by Perpetual Treasuries Ltd. from the sales of the aforesaid Treasury bonds to the EPF, amounts to 57% of the total net cash inflow of Rs. 11.145 billion received by Perpetual Treasuries Ltd. from all sales of the aforesaid Treasury bonds, in the Secondary Market, during the period relevant to our mandate. These stark figures raise questions with regard to more..

For the mystery buffs and escape artistes

Jan 19 (ST) A close comparison to physically jumping into an interactive video game the escape rooms in Colombo have taken the local entertainment industry abuzz. This week we delve into the inner workings of those mysterious four walls and hope to uncover what has Colombo humming about this latest fad. Located down Bethesda Place in Bambalapitiya, Escape Colombo, rumored to be the first official escape room established in Sri Lanka in July 2017, more..

Editorial: Old story retold

Jan 19 (Island) Bond probe commission report is in the public domain at long last. Ironically, it has overshadowed 34 reports released by a PCoI which probed serious acts of fraud, corruption and abuse of power, state resources and privileges under the previous govt. Spotlight is on the corrupt cop and not the thief he is pursuing! While reading the bond commission report which runs into more than 1,000 pages, we were reminded of a song, popular among SL youth, api baila gamuda remix karala. more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Will SL manage to perform the balancing act between China and India?

Jan 19 (LSE) “It is for the people of Asia to run the affairs of Asia, solve the problems of Asia, and uphold the security of Asia,” Chinese President Xi remarked at the 2014 Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia. But can the two rapidly surging Asian countries live in co-existence and collaborate with one another, respecting each party’s security and economic concerns in their quest to run the affairs of Asia? Over the years, China has demonstrated more..

Peradeniya Uni. An Utopia lost: An Utopia to be regained

Jan 19 (Island) "A sylvan 2,000 acre verdancy, no longer does a Pera Uni make, Nor spacious residential facilities, provide it an intellectual great. Minds dull and quiet, sans achievement, supplicate With outstretched hands, "What is there in it for me? Give me a break." Leelananda de Silva, in an article published in the Sunday Island of Jan 7, discussed a lost utopia that was- the sole University of Ceylon (U of Cey), Peradeniya. He also offered suggestions for a regained utopia. more..

SLTPB assures global tourism promotion campaign on schedule

Jan 19 (FT) Sri Lanka Tourism officials yesterday assured that there will be no impact to the long-awaited digital promotional campaign despite the resignation of the head of Promotion Bureau (SLTPB). “The concern of the industry was that the promotion campaign would bring to a standstill because of the unexpected change in the SLTPB Chief. But we have now assured the industry that there will be no impact and more..

SL in trouble, Mathews under injury cloud

Jan 19 (CI) The securing of Chandika Hathurusingha to coach SL was seen as a boon for an under fire cricket board, and his no-nonsense approach to training, attention to detail, and penchant for data analysis has gained him a litany of admirers. There is also the small matter of his three-year stint with Bangladesh, which saw the team achieve unprecedented success, most notably home series wins against India, Pakistan, South Africa. In that sense, the fact that SL go into this clash more..

SLIC’s new Executive Director

Jan 19 (Island) Dr. Keerthi Bandara Kotagama who has been appointed as the new Executive Director of the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC), recently (12th Jan) commenced his duties at the main office of SLIC, Vauxhall Street, Colombo 02. Kotagama, an expert in Agri-business Management field, holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture from the University of Peradeniya and a Post Graduate Degree in Business Management from Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand. more..

Sri Lanka: One step forward, two back

Jan 19 (HRW) SL govt stalled on its key pledges to provide justice for conflict-related violations and strengthen human rights protections, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in its World Report 2018. Govt took some steps in 2017 to reduce restrictions on speech and assembly, but there was little progress on transitional justice initiatives agreed to at the UNHRC in 2015. In the 643-page World Report, its 28th edition, more..

SLR conducts Rugby Coaching Programme

Jan 19 (DN) Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) conducted a Rugby Coaching Programme in the Kuliyapitiya district on the 15th Jan with over 900 girls and boys participating in the event. It was a resounding success and it was nice to see Minister of Sports gracing the occasion and encouraging the children. SLR has a big plan to take the sport to the rural areas and they are targeting to take the sport to every educational zone. Their initial plan is to cover all 25 districts by identifying one Educational more..

Ven. Devapriya Keerthisiri Fernando installed as sixth Bishop of Kurunegala

Jan 19 (DN) Lord Bishop of Colombo, Rt. Rev. Dhiloraj Canagasabey and Bishop Emeritus Rt. Rev. Kenneth Fernando installed Ven. Keerthisiri Fernando as the sixth Bishop of Kurunegala at a colourful ceremony at Christ the King Cathedral amidst a large representative crowd of faithful and distinguished gathering that included several bishops from abroad. Several other religious leaders too were present to wish him well. So, we have two radiant bishops currently from the seat of more..

Dayasiri blasts Arjuna: Invites him to take over Selection Committee

Jan 19 (CT) Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara extended an open invitation to Minister Arjuna Ranatunga to take up the post of Chairman of Selection Committee of SL Cricket. Dayasiri made these remarks against Arjuna Ranatunga who had slammed SLC and the Ministry of Sports during the felicitation ceremony of veteran athlete and Head Coach Yogananda Wijesundara. Jayasekara said that a felicitation ceremony is not the correct more..

FIFA WC to arrive in Colombo next week

Jan 19 (Island) FIFA World Cup is scheduled to arrive in Colombo on the 23rd Jan, giving SL fans a glimpse of football’s most coveted prize. The FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola began its historic journey from Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium on the 9th Sept 2017. The Russian leg of the FIFA trophy tour was officially launched when FIFA President Gianni Infantino presented President of Russia Vladimir Putin with the trophy. Russia is the host nation of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. more..

SLT opens Rs 2.4 bn National Data Center

Jan 19 (DN) Together with Ministry of Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructure (T&DI) and Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) launched it’s newly built, state-of-the-art, Tier 3 (Tier III) Data Centre in Pitipana - Homagama on Tuesday at a cost of Rs. 2.5 billion. Ravi Shankar Prasad Minister, Law & Justice, Electronics and IT, of India was the Chief Guest. It is the country’s first Purpose built, tier 3 Data Centre recognised as the National Data Centre in operation more..

National income distribution: Poorest 20% gets 5.6%; richest 20% gets 50.4%

Jan 19 (CT) State statistics office, revising its figures in the Household Income and Expenditure Survey, highlighted that the poorest 20% in the country received 5.6% of the national income, while the richest 20% received 50.4%. Data provided ample evidence to prove the uneven income distribution in the country. In its preliminary report, State statistics office said that income distribution among the poorest 20% of more..

Now, MPs, PC members get increased postal allowance

Jan 19 (Island) The govt has decided to increase the postal allowance for MPs and Provincial councillors. Lands and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Gayantha Karunathillake, told the post Cabinet press briefing on Wednesday, that the postal facility for MPs would be hiked from Rs.175,000 to Rs. 350,000 and from Rs. 24,000 to Rs. 48,000 for Provincial Councillors. The proposal submitted by Post and Postal Services Minister M. H. A. Haleem had been approved by the Cabinet, he said. more..

Cabinet decision to ban women from purchasing liquor is unconstitutional: Verite

Jan 19 (FT) Verité Research says the Cabinet decision to withdraw Excise Notification No. 02/2018 is unconstitutional. The notification removes the ban on the sale of liquor to women within the premises of a tavern. This legal insight explains why the Cabinet decision constitutes an imminent infringement of the fundamental right to equal protection. Following is the Verite brief on the matter released yesterday. On 10 Jan 2018, the Minister of Finance and Mass Media issued Excise Notification more..

How does a call of nature last for 30 min? asks MR

Jan 19 (DM) While urging the President and ministers not to belittle the post he holds, his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa today wanted to know if it was a bladder or a water tank that President Maithripala Sirisena has to answer a call of nature for 30 minutes. Minister Rajitha Senaratne on Wednesday said President Sirisena did not storm out of the Cabinet meeting and he had simply gone out to answer a call of nature. more..

‘Jipmer-Sri Lanka pact will be a game changer for telemedicine’

Jan 19 (Hindu) Jipmer expects to play a pivotal role in the field of telemedicine under the MoU between India and Sri Lanka to facilitate direct high-speed internet connectivity between the two countries. Under this pact, the National Knowledge Network (NKN) would join with Lanka Education and Research Network (LEARN) to facilitate high-speed connectivity. The MoU was signed in Colombo recently by the Union Minister for Electronics and IT, Ravi Shankar Prasad and more..

Advocacy lobby calls for free and fair LG polls, honest candidates

Jan 19 (FT) The Australian Advocacy for Good Governance in Sri Lanka Inc. has called for free and fair Local Govt Elections and the election of honest candidates. The lobby’s President Dr. Lionel Bopage issued the following statement. The Local Government Elections in Sri Lanka are to be held on 10 February 2018. Under the new mixed electoral voting system, 8,356 councillors are to be elected from 341 councils, an increase of 3,870 councillors from the last elections. more..

Elections Commission warns parties not to politicise state projects

Jan 19 (FT) Elections Commission cautioned the public not to attribute state development and infrastructure projects to any politician as they were funded by the public. Elections Commission (EC) Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya, warned political parties not to politicise state infrastructure projects. He said the EC would be carrying out a poster campaign to inform the masses that public-funded development projects belonged to more..

EU-Sri Lanka Joint Commission reviews progress of strong ties

Jan 19 (FT) The 21st meeting of the European Union-Sri Lanka Joint Commission took place in Colombo yesterday. The meeting was co-chaired by Asia and Pacific of the European External Action Service Deputy Managing Director Paola Pampaloni and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of SL Secretary Prasad Kariyawasam. The EU-SL Joint Commission oversees the 1995 EU-SL Cooperation Agreement on Partnership and Development. Its tasks include ensuring the implementation of agreement; more..

Managers called to sell up to $ 2 billion in sovereign bonds

Jan 19 (FT) Central Bank has called for proposals from banks and investment houses to sell up to $ 2 billion in sovereign bonds in 2018, which is in line with plans outlined by the Monetary Authority at the start of the year. Bonds can be sold in single or multiple tranches, the CB said, with proposals to be submitted by 23 Jan 2018. CB Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy earlier this month said he would prefer to go to the market early in 2018 before the US Fed raised interest rates further more..

PM says Bond probes prove yahapalanaya change

Jan 19 (FT) Taking his message straight to the public, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said the unparalleled transparency the bond issue was dealt with can be regarded as the start of the change the public voted for in 2015 and pledged to hold all responsible parties accountable. Making a special statement outlining actions taken by Govt to investigate the allegations of bond sale irregularities, he stated it was the best example to date more..

'No attempts to remove PUCSL members'

Jan 19 (CT) Despite contrary reports by some social activists and media outlets, the Govt had made no attempts to remove any of the senior officers or members of the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), Secretary of the Ministry of Power and Energy Dr. Suren Batagoda said. "We don't want to interfere in any of PUCSL's matters. They are the power sector regulator; they can act independently, and even we don't have any authority to remove any of its members," he said. more..

Tamil film on anti-nuke stir gets censor nod

Jan 19 (DC) After a long struggle for about a year and a half, a Tamil film titled, Kadal Kuthiraigal, attempting to depict the links between the people's struggle at Idinthakarai against the Kudankulam nuclear power project and the Eelam struggle across the seas in northern SL, has cleared the censorship huddles. It is ready for a preview screening in Tirunelveli on Jan 21 before its commercial opening in February second week. Choosing Tirunelveli for his first preview screening more..

President urged to explain missing part of bond commission report

Jan 19 (Island) JO yesterday said that President Maithripala Sirisena owed an explanation to the country as regards the missing section of treasury bond report handed over to him on Dec 30, 2017. PHU leader Udaya Gammanpila, MP, said that the report released by the Presidential Secretariat comprised 1,154 pages though President Sirisena, in his Jan 3 address to the nation said the report contained 1,257 pages. more..

CMC to investigate hoarding demeaning to women

Jan 19 (DM) CMC has launched an inquiry into the erecting of a hoarding which apparently sends a message offensive to women. The hoarding, which was erected by a fitness company, shows a picture of a barrel and says This is no shape for a woman. CMC Commissioner V.K.A. Anura said they had launched an inquiry into this following a request made to them by Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva. “We will take a decision with regard to this hoarding after conducting an inquiry,” more..

CaFFE writes to Speaker asking for missing parts of bond commission report

Jan 19 (Island) Annexure three of the report of the PCoI on Treasury Bonds has neither been given to the MPs nor released to the public via the Presidential secretariat website, CaFFE said writing to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya yesterday. "According to our knowledge the PCoI on Treasury Bonds handed over its report to President Sirisena. President has released the main report and annexures I, II, IV and V. However, I believe that you did not receive one of the most important annexures, no III, more..

Will legal action be taken to recover bonds scam loss? Watchdogs express concern

Jan 19 (CT) Anti-corruption activists are now raising concerns as to whether legal action could be taken against the infamous Perpetual Treasuries, to recover the losses the Govt incurred as a result of selling Treasury Bonds between 2015 Feb to Mar 2016. These Watchdog groups claim that the report of PCoI, which was sent to Parliament on Wednesday, lacks certain information contained in the comprehensive report. more..