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Overloaded ass, prosecute the plunderers

Jan 19 (DM) Even in the basically democratic world, it is widely admitted that the law is an ass, it later became a rich person’s ass and now it is an overloaded ass. According to figures compiled by the Justice Ministry, the number of pending cases is staggering and shocking. The statistics up to Sept 2016 show that there were about 750,000 cases pending in courts because of the complex, long and sometimes bribe-ridden procedures. There were 535,000 cases pending in Magistrate Courts, more..

President & UNP cannot divorce each other

Jan 19 (DM) Needless to say that President Maithripala Sirisena’s reported emotional speech to the Cabinet and walk out from the meeting on Tuesday was the most serious manifestation of the strained relationship between the two partners of the govt, UNP and SLFP. Even an ordinary man, leave alone an executive President would not tolerate the vituperative remarks made by the UNP Parliamentarians and ministers on public forums since recently against the President. more..

‘PM’s resilience to criticism is an example to all’

Jan 19 (DM) Minister Lakshman Kiriella spoke about the present status in politics in the wake of the action taken by President Maithripala Sirisena regarding the bond scam. Q: President Sirisena staged a walkout from the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday. What is your view? A: In politics, one has to bear with criticism. Today, you can see PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. What a scathing attack is made against him by some sections more..

'Sri Lanka has been named as a high risk country for investment'

Jan 19 (DM) Joint Opposition MP Bandula Gunawardane spoke about the implications of the controversial bond scam and the seriousness of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s allegation regarding similar frauds in the past. Q: You engaged the CB Governor on the bond scam. What is next? A: The Joint Opposition made the most rigorous campaign against the controversial bond transaction ever since it took place on Feb 27, 2015. more..

People gutted by war, drought speak out

Jan 19 (ST) It’s late evening in the village of Ambagahawella in Ampara. A group of supporters of T.A. Swarna Latha, a candidate for the upcoming LG elections from the SLPP, breakaway faction of the SLFP, have gathered in her humble home. Three years of living under the yahapalanaya govt has done little to dent their strong support for former presiden Rajapaksa. In fact, the failure of the Govt to reach out to more..

Dead army officer’s claim doubtful: CID

Jan 19 (DN) The Army Intelligence Officer who had committed suicide by hanging himself in 2016, having written a letter taking responsibility for the killing of senior journalist and Sunday Leader Chief Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge, had in fact spent that day in the Kegalle area, the CID informed the Mount Lavinia Magistrate yesterday. This revelation is based on the officer’s telephone records, unearthed by the CID. more..

Sajith frowns on election laws, laments suspension of projects

Jan 19 (Island) UNP deputy leader Sajith Premadasa, MP, said that he had been recently compelled to postpone handing over of buses to eight schools in the Hambantota District in view of current restrictions in place due to forthcoming LG polls. Addressing a public rally he said that he had raised funds required for the project with the help of friends, philanthropists, dignitaries and various companies. more..

'Disease pattern of dengue unchanged but unusual variations can occur'

Jan 19 (DM) Dismissing reports indicating that the disease pattern or the dengue virus had significantly changed as baseless, Head of the Centre for Clinical Management of Dengue Dr. LakKumar Fernando said there could be some unusual variations of the dengue virus. All diseases and biological events had a classical pattern that affected majority while some unusual manifestations could occur to a small minority. more..

Seat belts, Air Bags compulsory on vehicles from July 1

Jan 19 (GDI) The Ministry of Finance and Mass Media having considered the representations made by motor vehicle importers and manufacturers for a lead time to make required adjustments to comply with the proposed emission standards and safety measures, has decided to postpone the implementation of the budget proposal on introduction of emission standards and safety measures from 1st July, 2018. more..

United States helping Sri Lanka to counter human trafficking

Jan 19 (USE) The U.S. govt will award more than 183 million rupees ($1.2 million) to counter trafficking in persons in Sri Lanka over the next three years. The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs will award the new project Equipping Sri Lanka to Counter Trafficking in Persons (EQUIP) to the International Labor Organization (ILO) Country Office for Sri Lanka and Maldives. more..

PTL actual profit around Rs 18, 200mn: VAC

Jan 19 (DM) Although the loss to the country as a result of the bond had been to be Rs. 11,500 million in the report of the PCoI into the CB bond issuance that occurred in 2015 and 2016, the actual profit made by Perpetual Treasuries Ltd (PTL) was Rs.18, 200 million, Voice Against Corruption (VAC) said. VAC Convener Wasantha Samarasinghe said it is questionable whether the CB had done its duty properly as it had failed to track more..

'Will leave after punishing corrupt politicians'

Jan 19 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena said he would leave the presidency after giving appropriate punishments to corrupt politicians. “Some people ask as to when I will resign from the office of President. I will leave the presidency after giving appropriate punishments to corrupt politicians,” President said addressing a public rally. Prez emphasized that he is ready to walk down in the streets with the people to commence more..

Whoever takes advantage of Report will win election

Jan 19 (CT) The final report of the PCoI that investigated the issuance of Treasury Bonds during the period of 2015 and 2016 is finally in the public realm for the scrutiny of our nation's citizens, legal and financial academics and professionals of all sorts and politicians, as well it seems. Let's hope that no one puts it up on the internet for the social justice warriors to see oops, too late. Within moments of the final report and its copies being presented to the Speaker last Wednesday, more..

MS-RW Unity Govt must stay united for the sake of the country

Jan 19 (FT) A few days after the Unity Govt celebrated its third anniversary, President Sirisena asked the SC: “Whether, in terms of provisions of the Constitution, I, as the person elected and succeeding to the office of President and having assumed such office in terms of Article 32 (1) of the Constitution on 9 Jan 2015, have any impediment to continue in the office of President for a period of six years from 9 Jan 2015, the date on which the results of my election was declared.” more..

රනිල්ගේ ජාතිය ඇමතීම හෙවත් ජාතිය ඇන්දීම

Video: Hambantota port workers call off fast unto death

Jan 19 (AD) Hambantota port workers have decided to call off their fast unto death campaign, a short while ago, due to a receiving a favorable response from SL Ports Authority to their demands. The protest fast was launched on Jan 9 demanding that the 438 employees of the Magampura Port be recruited by the Ports Authority or that they be compensated sufficiently. Eleven employees, including a female employee, had launched the protest, which had continued until today. more..

U-19 WC: Sri Lanka knocked out

Jan 19 (CI) A slim and slightly tense chase against Sri Lanka helped Pakistan seal a three-wicket win and a quarter-final berth, led by a combined five wickets between their quick bowlers Shaheen Afridi (2 for 41) and Suleman Shafqat (3 for 29). The duo helped bowl SL out for 188 before the chase was steered by a half-century from left-hand middle-order batsman Ali Zaryab and later sealed by consecutive sixes from No. 9 Muhammad Musa. Put in to bat, SL struggled to build substantial partnerships more..

Presidency – Parliament & political garbage

Jan 19 (DM) PCoI Report that led to many political frictions is now out in the public domain in the English language only. It was this report that led to PM’s theatrics in parliament, the social media swallowed in bellyfull and then switched to President Sirisena on his outburst at the Cabinet meeting last Tuesday. His accusation that some UNP MPs including Minister Harin Fernando have slandered him on election platforms, more..

Bond report: JVP says AG cannot be trusted

Jan 19 (DM) While claiming that the Attorney General cannot be trusted on implementing the recommendations of the Bond Commission, JVP said today legal action should be taken against those involved in the Central bank bond scam through a special court established by Parliament. JVP MP Sunil Hadunnetti said that it has been more than a year since the report of the COPE on the Bond scam had been sent to AG and added that he had taken no action so far. more..

Malaka surrenders, arrest warrant recalled

Jan 19 (DM) Colombo Additional Magistrate Dharshika Wimalasiri today recalled the arrest warrant issued against former Minister Mervyn Silva's son Malaka. The suspect surrendered to the court today and tendered a medical report over his absence during the last court proceedings. Malaka, accused of allegedly assaulting a Scottish couple at a nightclub in Colombo 2014, was not present at the court when case was taken up previously prompting magistrate to issue an arrest warrant. more..

Video: SC rejects SLPP FR petition

Jan 19 (AD) Supreme Court rejected the petition filed by SLPP against the rejection of their party nomination list for the Maharagama UC a short while ago. The verdict regarding the FR filed by the SLPP against the rejection of their party nomination list for the Maharagama and Thiruppane were schdulded to be delivered today. The case was taken up for hearing today in front of the bench of three judges comprising Priyasath Dep, more..

Excessive beer tax policy benefited bondscam group: Minister

Jan 19 (EN) An excessive tax hike on beer imposed by Sri Lanka's ex-finance minister had benefited a company connected to a business group involved in bond market frauds, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera brought down taxes on beer in his last budget, to be more in line with its alcohol content. Initially President Maithripala Sirisena and Health Minister Senaratne objected. "I and the President examined this matter," Senarate said, more..

Nepal Army Chief calls on President Sirisena

Jan 19 (PMD) Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) of the Nepal Army, General Rajendra Chhetri, who is on a goodwill visit, called on President Maithripala Sirisena a President’s official Residence in Colombo, today (18). During this meeting views were exchanged on reinforcement of cooperation between the two armies in for the task of nation building, methods of quick responses during disastrous natural calamities and bilateral relations between the two countries in military training. more..

'Rift between SLFP and UNP Investors feel country unstable'

Jan 19 (CT) Investors appear to feel that the country is unstable due to the ongoing rift between SLFP Chairman, President Maithripala Sirisena and his coalition partner, UNP, SL Institute of Directors (SLID) Chairman and Commercial Bank Dy Chairman, Preethi Jayawardena said. He insinuated that the paucity of foreign direct investments (FDI) received, under US$ 1 b annually, even before this rift became evident, more..

Court says no to selling Udayanga’s property

Jan 19 (NR) Court today issued a restraining order preventing the sale of property owned by Former Ambassador of SL to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga in the Colombo and Gampaha districts. The order was issued by the Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne. FCID informed Court that information revealed the relevant property was bought by Weeratunga with earnings of the controversial MiG aircraft deal. Magistrate who took into consideration the facts issued the restraining order. more..

Video: 'We also hurt when Prez is accused'

Jan 19 (DM) In reference to the negative remarks that have been made by some UNP members recently against President Sirisena, MP Rohitha Abeygunawardena said that they also hurt when such remarks are made against the President. He said that as the incumbent President was the Secretary of SLFP during their regime, they also felt sorry for him and feel hurt themselves when they hear such things being said. “It is evident that the current SLFP members seem to be reluctant more..

'Approx 60 candidates unsuited for LG'

Jan 19 (CT) The March 12 Movement has received reports concerning the unsuitability of approximately 60 candidates, a figure which is on the rise, contesting for the upcoming Local Govt polls to be elected as people's representatives, due to their alleged corrupt background. At present, 56,066 candidates are vying to become LG politicians from among 8,356 people's representatives to be elected to the 341 LG authorities. more..

Japan grants an Audio-Visual Studio to Sri Palee Campus

Jan 19 (GDI) The Govt of Japan has decided to grant a total sum of Rs. 12 million under its Grant Assistance for Cultural Grassroots Project for upgrading audio- visual equipment at the Department of Mass Media, Sri Palee Campus, Uni of Colombo. The Grant Contract was signed between Kenichi Suganuma, Ambassador of Japan in Sri Lanka and Senior Professor Lakshman Dissanayake, Vice Chancellor of the Uni of Colombo, on 17th January more..

Bogambara prison becomes cultural, tourism centre

Jan 19 (DN) Bogambara prison premises will be converted into a cultural and tourism centre under the govt’s programme of developing Kandy as a tourism hub, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. He was participating in an inspection tour of the prison premises yesterday. These development activities will be conducted under the guidance and blessings of the Chief Prelates of the Malwatte and Asgiriya Chapters, PM said. Bogambara prison was built by the British in the 19th century and in 2013, more..

D.E.W. Gunasekara says PM should resign

PRECIFAC Report Majority implicated are SLFPers: Amaraweera

Jan 19 (CT) General Secretary of UPFA, Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said, the majority of the findings in the PRECIFAC Report implicate SLFP representatives. Speaking at a media briefing held yesterday (18), he said that this revelation was unfortunate to the party as a whole, adding that most of those individuals now belong to another party. Nevertheless, he stated that action will be taken against all wrongdoers regardless of their political party. more..

Perumal blasts TNA for clinging to Govt

Jan 19 (CT) Social Democratic Party of Tamils (SDPT) leader and former Chief Minister of the merged North and East Province A. Varadaraja Perumal, releasing his party's election manifesto, said that TNA was not going to achieve anything by going behind the Govt instead of standing firmly and speaking up for the rights of the Tamil people. The SDPT's election manifesto was released at the Jaffna YMCA auditorium on Tuesday (16). The SDPT's symbol is a candle. more..

CEB employees to get arrears

Jan 19 (DN) The govt is to provide the best solution to the salary anomaly issue of the CEB employees and pay the arrears at the first possible instance, Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said yesterday. He made revealed this yesterday at the press conference held at the Ministry auditorium on the trade union action launched by the CEB employees in connection with their salary anomalies. The Minister said that the government would act in accordance with the agreement, more..

Controversial hoarding: OSMO Fitness clarifies

Jan 19 (DM) In response to the incident regarding the controversial hoarding, OSMO Fitness in its official Facebook page said it was the first line in a scheduled awareness campaign, which promoted an Obesity-Free Sri Lanka. It said the promotion which will be launch next week was driven by some disturbing figures in a recent World Health Organization report that states an alarming percentage of women in SL are more prone to diabetes, overweight, obesity and physical inactivity more..

Sri Lanka, China to co-build dendro power plant

Jan 19 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka and China on Friday signed a joint venture agreement to construct Sri Lanka's largest dendro power plant in Moneragala in the country's south. The power plant will produce 70,000 megawatts of renewable energy per year to the country's national power grid. The joint venture was signed between Beijing Full Dimension Power Tech Company Ltd, Nanjing Turbine and Electric Machinery Group Company Ltd, and Sri Lanka's IMS Holdings. While speaking at the signing ceremony, more..

Bangladesh thrash Sri Lanka for biggest ODI Win

Jan 19 (CI) Bangladesh's four seniormost cricketers came to the fore to deliver them a 163-run win - their biggest in ODIs - over SL in Mirpur. It was a wretched performance from SL all around. In the face of a daunting Bangladesh total of 320 for 7, their batsmen lasted just 32.2 overs. And their bowlers hardly tested Bangladesh's line-up. Each of Bangladesh's batting core came good. Tamim Iqbal made 84 off 102 balls. Shakib struck an aggressive 67 at more than a run a ball. more..

Operation Unity amidst Bond issue rivalries

Jan 20 (DN) It is a week of major political upheaval. A week when the very existence of the coalition of national unity has been questioned, and the leaders of the key coalition parties had to make fresh commitments to keep alive the govt of unity; amidst the rising swell of the local govt poll campaign making new demands from the political leadership of the govt. The impact of Treasury Bond issue, details of which have now been revealed by the PCoI, remains the kernel of political issues & rivalry, more..

Landmarks in our journey to ethnic morass

Jan 20 (CT) Today’s tumultuous ethnic relations that bedevil SL’s political and social tranquillity is the end product of decades of political miscalculations and misunderstandings by each community about the others, and the overall mismanagement of the country’s pluralism by post-independence rulers. In this saga of miscalculations, misunderstanding and mismanagement certain historical landmarks stand out prominently. Before outlining these and interpreting how they shaped our journey to more..

10 things you need to know about the new Income Tax Law

Jan 20 (Roar) As part of the policy towards tax simplification, and the setting of a legal framework to modernize tax systems to help taxpayers understand the system, while eliminating loopholes that have created ambiguities in the law, the Inland Revenue Act No. 24 of 2017 has been enacted and it will be operative from the 1st of April 2018. Here are ten things you need to know about the new tax law. more..

The system is more resilient than people like to believe

Jan 20 (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..