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CSE gears to weed out bad eggs on its boards

Jan 21 (ST) At least 20% of SL’s listed companies at the Colombo bourse have run afoul of regulations pertaining to the prescribed minimum percentage of shares held by the public. Figures as at Sept 2017 show that 59 listed companies are non-compliant with the minimum public float rule of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE). Since then in the past few months, more companies have said that they are not compliant with these rules. Of the figures as at Sept, between 30 to 40 firms are likely to exit more..

SriLankan Airlines achieves highest ever monthly revenue in Dec 2017

Jan 21 (Island) SriLankan Airlines achieved the highest ever monthly revenue in company history in Dec 2017 with the air-transport operation of the company recording a stand-alone revenue of US$ 100.1 million – first instance in the 38-year history of the airline where monthly operating revenue reached this landmark figure, airline announced. Airline attributed the increase in revenue to its expanded network and continuous improvement in revenue management processes. more..

NOCSL members came out together against current regime

Jan 21 (CT) Fourteen strong members of the National Olympic Committee Sri Lanka (NOCSL) came together to make an official announcement of the candidacy for president at the upcoming NOC elections where the President of the Amateur Rowing Association of Sri Lanka Rohan Fernando would run for the office against Colombo Business Tycoon Suresh Subramaniam. They will be running on a platform of anti-corruption more..

Disappointing week despite fresh hopes of 2018

Jan 21 (Island) Hopes of a new era being ushered into Sri Lankan cricket after a painful 2017 were soon crushed this week after some sloppy performances by the national cricket team in Dhaka where they suffered two successive defeats to Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. Everyone expected Head Coach Chandika Hathurusingha to have something up his sleeve against his former chargers but Friday’s clash against the host nation proved to be an anticlimax as SL went down by 163. more..

Increasingly strained MS-RW relationship

Jan 21 (Island) The Supreme Court determination that the President Maithripala Sirisena could hold office for only five years according to the 19th Amendment, was one of the most significant political developments to take place after the yahapalana govt was formed in 2015. It appears that all this while, the President has been operating on the assumption that his term ends on 9 Jan 2021 even though the 19th Amendment shortened the presidential term to five years. more..

E-passport tender award challenged in SC

Jan 21 (ST) Sri Lanka’s new bio-metric E-passport project has been embroiled in a legal mesh as a result of the attempt made by the authorities to award the contract to De La Rue Lanka Currency and Security Print Ltd (De La Rue Lanka) through a non-transparent and unsolicited, single-source procurement process. Objecting to the award, a fundamental rights case has been filed in SC which would be taken up for hearing more..

Sri Lanka achieves record exports in 2017

Jan 21 (Island) SL merchandise exports grew to an all time record of over US$11.4bn in 2017, surpassing the previous high of US$11.1bn achieved in 2014. Once, again the EU and the USA were our biggest markets taking ~US$3bn each. Sectors showing particularly strong year-on-year growth were tea ~20% and fisheries ~40%. Tea benefited from higher prices and enhanced access to Middle Eastern markets, particularly, Iran. Fisheries benefited from both the lifting of more..

Govt mulls nation-branding initiative

Jan 21 (ST) The govt is planning to launch a major Nation Branding project which will have a direct and positive impact on expanding the country’s export, investment and tourism segments. It is the belief of experts that a positive brand strategy would help increase export earnings and attract FDIs as the tourism industry needs refreshing to transform itself into the next level through a new strategy. It is crucial for Sri Lanka to put together ideas and create programs and initiatives that will more..

Board meeting Thursday, new UL directors yet to be appointed

Jan 21 (ST) While the next board of directors meeting at SriLankan Airlines is scheduled for Thursday (25), the current directors are still awaiting the appointment of a new board or board of management, as stated by the Govt. On Jan 5, Minister Kabir Hashim said the Govt had accepted the resignations of the board of directors led by Ajith Dias (chairman). However by Friday, board members remained in their positions with more..

Anti dumping legislation to be taken up on Wednesday

Jan 21 (SO) Parliament is scheduled to take up the delayed Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Duties Bill for debate on Wednesday, authoritative sources said. “The relevant provisions in the FTAs related to anti dumping laws, for example under the goods chapter and trade remedies, will be effective once this legislation is passed,” Secretary toMinistry of Development Strategies and Int'l Trade, Chandanie Wijayawardhana said. Bill contains provisions for the imposition of Anti-dumping taxes against more..

Woman FIDE Master Suneetha Wijesuriya queen of the night

Jan 21 (ST) At the SLT SILK Sports Awards 2017, Woman FIDE Master Suneetha Wijesuriya was awarded the SLT SILK for Outstanding Dedication & Contribution to Promote Sports, and the 25th Anniversary of her winning a Gold Medal at the 30th World Chess Olympiad in Philippines, in 1992. Between 1980 and 1997, Suneetha won the Women’s National Chess Championship on 10 occasions. She received this award not only for her victory which brought glory to the country but more..

Looters as Rulers: Debt level tops Rs. 9,387 billion: New law to manage borrowings

Jan 21 (ST) With the Govt debt level in excess of Rs. 9,387 billion, a new Active Liability Management Law is to be enacted to make provision to raise loans, in and outside Sri Lanka, to manage public debt. The objective is also to ensure that the financing needs and payment obligations of the Govt are met at the lowest possible cost over the medium to long term, consistent with a prudent degree of risk. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is also more..

Shuttler Niluka elected head of NOCSL Athletic Commission

Jan 21 (ST) NOCSL five member Athletic Commission was set up on Thursday with three Olympians in their midst. National Badminton ace Niluka Karunaratne, a world ranked player, was elected as the chairman of the commission. Karunaratne who has been in the forefront of this sport was elected the captain of the Lankan Olympic team for the 2012 London summer Olympics. He also represented the country at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, besides more..

Sri Lanka’s Kandyan dancers meet Nrityagram’s Odissi

Jan 21 (TOI) As the sun went down in the far away horizon, the stunning limestone-and-brick gali gopuram of Sri Ramachandraswamy Devasthanam in Ammapalle lit up to life. Hyderabad's well-heeled, draped in the finest silks and handloom weaves trooped in and so did the village folk — especially little boys and girls — everyone equally excited about the spectacle that was about to unfold. Gudi Sambaraalu by Paramparaa, the annual temple festival which has been bringing to more..

Lankan laws suffcient: Arjuna Mahendran can be arrested: AG

Jan 21 (CT) The now beleaguered former CB Governor, Arjuna Mahendran, who is in Singapore could be arrested at any time, Attorney General, Jayantha Jayasuriya said. "There was intense speculation that he could not be arrested as he is not a Sri Lankan citizen, but a Singaporean, but the existing laws in Sri Lanka are sufficient to arrest him," AG Jayasuriya said. "The laws in Sri Lanka are such that even if more..

No consent yet to Singapore FTA; professional groups say

Jan 21 (ST) Professional groups in Sri Lanka, engaged as key stakeholders in discussions with the Govt on proposed Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with India, China and Singapore, have said they have not provided any consent to an FTA being signed with Singapore. This came after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday announced that Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong visiting Sri Lanka tomorrow and is scheduled to sign an FTA between Singapore and Sri Lanka. more..

Tea Board cracks whip on contaminated tea exports

Jan 21 (Island) Sri Lanka Tea Board has sent out an advisory circular on the quality of made tea to all registered manufacturers of tea saying that the Tea Board will closely monitor all tea presented for sale at the Colombo Tea Auctions under powers vested in it by law in order to ensure that quality standards expected by importing countries are met. This is a direct reaction to the recent discovery of a khapra beetle in a tea shipment to Russia which resulted in an import ban being slapped on Ceylon tea more..

Yahapalana Scam?: Rajitha requests unsolicited contract for brother’s company

Jan 21 (ST) On Minister Rajitha Senaratne’s request, Cabinet has instructed Housing Ministry to entertain an unsolicited proposal for the re-development of Torrington Flats on Thimbirigasyaya Road by a company in which Mr Senaratne’s younger brother is a director. In November, Housing Ministry put forward its own proposal to the Cabinet to re-develop the present site of the Torrington Flats more..

Marapana Committee worse than Pitipana Committee: JVP

Jan 21 (DM) JVP MP Sunil Hadunnetti said the appointing of a committee headed by Minister Tilak Marapana to recommend action in the event any UNPer was involved in the CB bond scam was worse than appointing the Pitipana Committee to probe bond scam. He said the minister was the first person in the present govt to resign from his portfolio because of his alleged involvement in Avant-Garde incident and was a national list MP appointed by UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. more..

Rs. 5.5 billion sought to resume drought relief programme

Jan 21 (ST) With the North East monsoon season not brining enough rain, the Govt is seeking Rs 5.5 billion to resume its food relief programme in drought-affected areas, a senior minister said. Disaster Management Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said the Treasury was expected to release the money in the coming weeks following Cabinet approval. The distribution would start from this month and continue for four months. Cabinet approval is expected to be given on Tuesday. more..

President drops bombshell on Ranil: Taking over economy from PM

Jan 21 (EN) President Sirisena announced taking over economic management responsibilities which had been with PM Wickremesinghe for the past 3 years. In a surprise move that is certain to further sour relations between him and his coalition, Sirisena said he will manage and guide the economy through an special council he had set up three months ago. "Although the UNP was allowed to manage the economy in the past 3 years, more..

Govt slapped with high insurance premium for Central Expressway loan

Jan 21 (ST) Govt is to be slapped with a massive insurance premium of Rs. 14 billion, for a loan of Rs 138 billion from a Japanese bank, to construct a 32-km stretch of Central Expressway from Pothuhera to Galagedara. High premium has been imposed following a review of the country’s re-payment capacity, current status of foreign debt and its current economic stability, Director General of External Resources Dept under the purview of Ministry National Policy & Economic Affairs, more..

UNP plays down statement by MS of taking over economy

Jan 21 (SL) UNP played down a statement made by President Sirisena that he has taken over directing the national economy from this year. Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva said that he spoke to the President and that the Prez insisted he didn’t mean taking over the responsibilities of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe but only use the National Economic Council (NEC) more for the national economy. “NEC has Prez PM FinMin some others. He took time to explain to me what he meant at Bogollagama wedding,” more..

Speaker brokers SLFP-UNP truce, but undercurrents remain

Jan 21 (ST) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has intervened in a growing spat of angry outbursts among coalition partners – SLFP and UNP – urging both President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe to rein in both sides on the eve of the local council elections next month. This climaxed at this week’s Cabinet meeting when President Sirisena made a 40-minute-long address to the ministers and then walked out of the meeting, only to be more..

Two years are long enough time for the govt to be born again or to die again

Jan 21 (Island) A week is a long time in politics is what British PM Harold Wilson apparently said a week before narrowly winning the 1964 British elections. On that political scale the two years remaining on President Sirisena’s first term, as confirmed by the SC, are indeed a long time in presidential politics. They are long enough for President and PM to remake their govt and fulfill at least some of the sweeping promises they made to the people in 2015. more..

A diluted President: Never a sober week in Sri Lanka

Jan 21 (Island) With a coalition govt now at the level of the PM having to instruct his party to not publicly attack the President, the prognosis for political cohabitation is bleak. A shared interest in keeping the old regime out of power will continue to animate how the President and PM interact. How this interest translates into political machinations is up for contestation. The President – used to cold calculations and indeed, betrayal, is unsure of his role and relevance beyond 2020 more..

I have a master plan: Salley

Jan 21 (CT) Mayoral candidate of the SLFP, Azath Salley, promises to build a Colombo free of traffic congestion, garbage and the drugs menace once he assumes office after winning the 10 Feb elections. Q: Why should people in Colombo elect you as Mayor and if you win, what are you planning to do for the people of Colombo? A: First, Colombo needs a young and energetic man to address its issues and secondly, more..

Gang rape shakes Tissamaharama

Jan 21 (CT) These days a family is mourning the untimely death of a 13-year-old girl who hanged herself after she was allegedly gang-raped by her secret lover and two drunken accomplices at a tiny village in Tissamaharama on Tuesday last week. It all began the previous day when the girl had slipped out of the house unnoticed at late night, while the other occupants were asleep, for a secret tryst with her clandestine 25-year-old lover. more..

President vows to send corrupt politicians to hell

Jan 21 (ST) The prosecution of allegedly corrupt politicians has been the topic of political debates for the past three years, and it intensified in recent weeks with the release of the Bond Commission report which implicates some senior politicians. President Sirisena on Thursday, addressing an election rally of SLFP, took it to another level said some reports were questioning when or whether he would quit office more..

Women scorn cultural reasons behind alcohol ban

Jan 21 (ST) Women’s groups stringently questioned the cultural reasons behind the govt’s ban on women buying or selling liquor, saying the ban showed Sri Lankan men lacked confidence in women’s capacity to make rational decisions. “If there are people worried that women drinking disintegrates the morality of the society at large, there are more alarming issues like gang rapes and domestic violence triggered by more..

Who are the Aava Group? Mohan’s story

Jan 21 (CT) A few years ago, folks on the Jaffna Peninsula as well as the South were deeply concerned about a sword wielding gang driving around on motorbikes, reputedly terrorizing people in the North. Were they criminals or were they the latest avatar of the Tamil Separatist terrorists, the media wondered aloud. Dubbed the Aava group, the police vowed to crack down on them. Ceylon Today met a member of this group who has been more..

In Election Times

Jan 21 (Island) 19th Amendment was the greatest achievement of the Sirisena- Wickremesinghe administration. President Sirisena played an active role in making it happen. He helped craft it and spearheaded it through a fractious parliament in a 12-hour marathon session. Without his committed and tireless efforts, Amendment would not have garnered the SLFP’s support and would have failed to pass for that reason. more..

District leaders urged to lead in addressing religious & ethnic tensions

Jan 21 (Island) Members of District Reconciliation Committees have been urged to take the lead in addressing religious and ethnic tensions. Keynote speakers at a conference of 25 District Reconciliation Committees held recently at the BMICH as a component of National Reconciliation Week, said that leaders at the grassroots were the best persons to inculcate in people the importance of National Integration and Reconciliation. more..

Video: IGP deploys team to probe Kataragama shooting incident

Jan 21 (AD) IGP Pujith Jayasundara has deployed a special team to probe the Kataragama shooting incident that left one dead and led to severe damage of Police property last night (20). Police officials from Kataragama gunned down a motorcyclist that refused an order to stop for inspection upon suspicious activity. Following the incident however a large mob attacked the police in retaliation of the incident. more..

Cabinet to get cracking on Corruption Court

Jan 21 (SO) The draft legislative framework for a new High Court to hear corruption cases will be presented to the Cabinet for approval this week. The framework for the brand new anti-corruption court has been finalized by the Legal Draftsman and awaiting final approval from the Cabinet this week before draft legislation is made to be tabled in Parliament. Govt laid the groundwork for the establishment of a dedicated High Court more..

Uva CM steps down as Education Minister

Jan 21 (DM) Uva Province Chief Minister Chamara Sampath Dassanayake said he would step down from the Post of Provincial Education Minister with immediate effect. The Chief Minister said he decided to step down from the post until the investigation into the allegations levelled against him was completed. Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) launched an investigation into the incident where more..

Pickpockets and what not

Jan 22 (SO) Last week, all the news was rife with stories about Pickpockets, wasn’t it? Siripala remembered the years gone by, when any crowded bus had an amazingly skilled guy who’d take your wallet, without you having even a basic knowledge about how it all happened. Suddenly you check your wallet to give the money to the conductor- lo and behold, the bloody thing is missing. Mammaley Marikkar, is known to put his foot in the mouth, no. Not that he has anything to do with Green more..

How misogynistic is Sri Lankan society?

Jan 22 (CT) The recent debate particularly on social media spurred first by the govt’s decision to repeal a law forbidding women from buying or selling alcohol and then to revoke that decision to repeal, has highlighted something that most SL women have known almost all their lives: we live in a highly misogynistic society. Our women may not be dying in their thousands and child birth; we may not kill baby girls simply because they are girls; we may not expect our widows to jump into more..

'Those who swindled billions talking about only one incident'

Jan 22 (CT) Minister Rajitha Senaratne says, soon after the Jan 9 victory, if the Govt was dissolved and went for an election, the UNP would have secured a landslide victory. Without going for that option, the National Govt was formed to change the direction of the country as fought for by civil society organizations and religious leaders like Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Nayaka thera. He said, it was PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and the UNP more..

What is needed to complete the revolution of January 8th

Jan 22 (CT) The challenge before our country is to institute a transformed system, because most of our political ills are a functional result of a poor system. Our politicians and our political culture is a dependent outcome of bad system. This systemic change, above all, demands a change in constitution. The revolution of Jan 8th, 2015 was never a completed task. The election results at the General Elections that followed did not yield a big enough result for the UNP, more..