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Did CMSC contravene the sports law?

Jan 22 (ST) Ceylon Motor Sports Club (CMSC), which boast a history of 80 plus years of motor sports in Sri Lanka, will face an inquiry next week for gross violation of the Sports Law and not following proper selection process in sending a team to represent the ASN of Sri Lanka. Saman Bandara, the Director General of Sports has summoned CMSC after a complaint made by SL Association of Racing Drivers and Riders (SLARDAR) about the matter to Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera. more..

'Participatory citizenship is important'

Jan 22 (CT) UNP Mayoral candidate for the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC), Rosy Senanayake said that she does not consider being an international beauty queen as helping or hampering her bid to be Colombo's first woman Mayor. Q: Colombo is home to many underserviced areas including slums. How will you deal with issues such as insufficient schooling facilities, rampant sex & drug trades, more..

A reflection on accountability, march hares and madness

Jan 22 (ST) An interesting pro-accountability exercise took place in Sri Lanka this week which went largely unnoticed due to political distractions. These doltish distractions ranged from a withdrawal of a withdrawal of a long forgotten excise notification forbidding women to buy liquor to ominous grandstanding by leaders of the coalition government even as details of the Central Bank bond scam came to light with the release of the Commission of Inquiry report. more..

New Convention Centre, increasing events in Colombo to boost tourism

Jan 22 (ST) Longer opening hours for pubs and restaurants to sell liquor and streamlining the liquor licence process which last week raised the ire of President Maithripala Sirisena and some hardliners, were in fact recommendations made by a committee to improve the tourism infrastructure in the country. It was one of many recommendations by a 13-member tourism taskforce appointed by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in June last year. The taskforce was chaired by Hari Selvanathan and more..

Anura Kumara Disanayake

Hypocrisy at its worst, from followers of Hippocrates

Jan 22 (SO) For many months, indeed for more than a year, the GMOA was holding the country and its millions of patients to ransom, dangling the threat of strike action under the guise of agitating against the SAITM. Now that the govt has announced that SAITM has been abolished and has worked out a comprehensive formula that addresses not only the issue of standards in private medical education but also the fate of those who are already enrolled as students at SAITM, one would assume more..

A woman’s right to drink the wine of equality

Jan 22 (ST) Last Wednesday (10), Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera used his broom to do a spot of spring cleaning and to clear the Lankan household of the cobwebs that had long clogged the nation’s march to becoming a modern state. Boldly he used the powers at his command to brush away the tangled web of hypocrisy and deceit that had been weaved for long and which had taken over the unused rooms of the law and also had ruled unchallenged in unused attic of SL mind. more..

Chandimal wants more from his batsmen

Jan 212(CI) Sri Lanka's bowlers dismissed Zimbabwe for what both captains agreed was a sub-par score, but Dinesh Chandimal felt Sri Lanka's batsmen could have executed the chase better. His grouse is perhaps with Sri Lanka's middle-overs stutter, which delayed victory and probably cost Sri Lanka a bonus point. Having been 103 for 1 in the 22nd over, they lost four wickets for 42 runs, and the rate of scoring consequently slowed. more..

PUCSL to sue CEB

Jan 22 (CT) Public Utilities of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) is planning to take legal action against CEB for, intentionally, delaying the construction and commissioning of power plants proposed in the approved Least Cost Long Term Power Generation Plan 2018-2037 (LCLTPGEP), as the delay could lead to a potential power crisis, PUCSL, Chairman, Saliya Mathew said. PUCSL earlier sent a strongly -worded letter to the CEB demanding reasons for the delay in constructing the power plants more..

Emergency power costs SL Rs 40B

Jan 22 (CT) Due to delays in construction of least-cost power plants in Sri Lanka, the Govt has spent a whopping Rs 38.5 billion on emergency power purchases during the first eight months of last year (2017), top CEB official said. According to him, the average purchasing cost per unit was around Rs 31. During the first eight months of 2017, the CEB has purchased over Rs 18 billion worth of power from Aitken Spence-owned ACE Power Embilipitiya (Pvt) Ltd, Rs 11.4 billion worth of power more..

Thisara bats and bowls Sri Lanka to victory

Jan 22 (CI) Thisara Perera blasted out Zimbabwe's top order, Nuwan Pradeep cleaned up the tail, and Dinesh Chandimal shepherded home a stilted chase, with five wickets and 31 balls to spare. This first victory of 2018 was that very rare Sri Lanka phenomenon - an occasion in which the team's supposed senior players played in a manner befitting their station. Their efforts mean all three sides stay alive in the tournament, more..

Editorial: Kekille’s bloodline

Jan 22 (Island) It is thought that King Kekille, who meted out severe penalties to innocents and set free culprits in cases heard before him, never lived and he was invented by storytellers in days of yore as a metaphor for the asininity of rulers. But, we have reason to believe that the bovine monarch actually inhabited this land and his bloodline has survived; some of his descendants are currently in politics if their sayings and doings are anything to go by. JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti has, more..

Some call-of-nature, this!

Jan 22 (Island) Give it to Minister Rajitha Senaratne, to demean the high office of the nation’s Presidency than already! He could have explained away that President Sirisena was feeling unwell, or had gone to make or attend an urgent personal or overseas call that he had either forgotten or put off. It was enough if the Cabinet spokesman claimed that the call of duty, the call of the nation demanded the Prez’s presence in an ante room for a private conversation or consultation. more..

Audits reveal serious discrepancies in NOCSL finances

Jan 22 (ST) There were serious financial, operational and management discrepancies in the National Olympic Committee of SL between 2010 and 2012, reports from AG’s Department show. The reports should have been ready three months after the end of each financial year. Section 6.1.1. of Treasury Circular No: 01/2004 of Feb 24, 2004, states that financial statements should be rendered for audit to more..

Army win National Boxing Championship

Jan 22 (CT) Army BC pugilists emerged champions at the 92nd National Boxing Championship concluded at Royal MAS Boxing Arena at Reid Avenue on Saturday. Army BC won the national boxing championship for the third successive year and in doing so they secured five Gold medals, a Silver medal and three Bronze medals, while Slimline BC Pannala took second slot winning two Gold medals, five Silver medals and three Bronze medals. MAS Unichela Koggala retained more..

$ 50 m Sri Lanka Opportunity Fund debuts

Jan 22 (FT) Bullish on the country’s prospects given the regionally strategic location and growing ties with China and India, a new $ 50 million Sri Lanka Opportunity Fund (SOF) has been launched to fund high growth companies. The promoters of SOF are VinaCapital, one of Vietnam’s leading investment management and real estate development firms with over $1.8 billion in assets under management and Ataraxia Capital Partners, investment management firm with over 7 years of expertise more..

CEB and PUCSL at loggerheads as energy crisis looms

Jan 22 (FT) As pressure mounts to power through the Long-Term Generation Expansion Plan (LTGEP) to avoid an energy crisis, CEB engaged in a fresh battle with Public Utilities Commission (PUCSL) over electricity generation cost estimates in formulating the plan which was approved last year. CEB has written to the PUCSL in Dec, claiming that the costs used by the institution to arrive at the least cost generation plan more..

Court orders seizure of select cash machines of HNB

Jan 22 (FT) Commercial High Court Colombo has issued a stay order against Hatton National Bank to suspend the operations of several cash deposit machines with immediate effect. The order was issued in case number 01/2018/ IP by intellectual property owner One and Only Ltd. on the submissions made by Attorney-at-Law Mohamed Nazar. Despite the order, the bank has been operating the machines, prompting the intellectual property right owner to file a case in more..

Tourism’s foreign ownership share up

Jan 22 (DN) Tourism has become the largest segment to have foreign ownership share in SL with 3.3% of foreign ownership and another 3.1% as joint ventures with SL. This segment has now overtaken the industrial sector which was at 2.9 % at the end of 2017. According to the Dept of Census and Statics latest report the highest number of employment was in the industry sector. Among the occupation group in 2017, the highest number of employment was recorded in service & sale workers category. more..

Call to roll back FBR rule for female workers

Jan 22 (CT) The Association for Licensed Foreign Employment Agencies (ALFEA) has called on the authorities to scrap the Family Background Report (FBR) for non-domestic female expatriate workers saying that the rule was affecting the job market in that category. The FBR was introduced to prevent errant females from abandoning children under the age of five unattended for overseas employment. more..

Hela Clothing ships one millionth garment from Ethiopia

Jan 22 (DN) Sri Lanka’s Hela Clothing, recently produced and shipped their one millionth garment from their factory in Ethiopia. A feat made more impressive considering the company only commenced operations in the country in June 2017. With 800 workers and 70,000 production hours logged it is the most efficient factory in Ethiopia representing 66% of the country’s total knit women’s underwear exports. “We are proud of achieving this milestone in such a short period of time. more..

Special HCs to hear fraud, corruption cases within six monthss: PM

Jan 22 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe says that with the proposed establishment of Special High Courts, fraud and corruption cases could be heard within six months at the earliest, in comparison to about six years or more now. Addressing rallies in Elpitiya and Godakawela in support of UNP candidates on Saturday, the PM said that legislation would be in place soon, to ensure speedy and equitable justice was delivered, without letting cases drag on for long periods. more..

New Ambassador-Designate of China arrives

Jan 22 (CT) Cheng Xueyuan, the new Ambassador-Designate of the People's Republic of China to Sri Lanka arrived in Colombo yesterday. Ambassador-Designate Cheng and his family were received at the BIA by representatives from the Protocol Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, SL-China Friendship Associations, overseas Chinese enterprises and communities, as well as Embassy Officials. more..

Journalist Jatila Wellaboda passes away

Jan 22 (Island) The death occurred yesterday of veteran journalist Jatila Wellabada (56), former Chief Editor of Lakbima and Irudina newspapers. Jatila was working as a Consultant (News) to the Independent Television Network (ITN) at the time of his death. He joined the Divaina newspaper as a cub reporters in 1984. He soon gained a reputation as a political analyst, columnist and editorialist. Jatila was appointed the Chief Editor of the Lakbima Daily in 2002, a post which he held for 10 years. more..

Hayleys among firms interested in taking over state plantations

Jan 22 (ST) Hayleys PLC, NMK Holdings and Hettigoda Industries are among companies that have expressed interest in taking over state-owned plantations and have sent proposals under the request for proposals by the Public Enterprises Ministry. Altogether the Govt has received 36 proposals for areas of 50 acre land extent and worth Rs. 100 million or more. These proposals have been forwarded to the National Agency for Public Private Partnership (NAFPPP) under more..

Alleged harassment caused by Uva CM to principal: President orders immediate probe

Jan 22 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena has directed IGP Pujith Jayasundera to conduct an immediate investigation into complaints of alleged harassment caused by Uva Chief Minister Chamara Sampath Dassanayake to a female school principal in Badulla recently. President has also asked the Uva Governor to take over the functions of the Uva Province Education Ministry temporarily, to ensure a just & fair investigation into these allegations. more..

NPC calls for resuming constitutional reform, transitional justice process

Jan 22 (Island) The National Peace Council has urged the coalition government to resume both constitutional reform and transitional justice processes after the conclusion of the local govt elections. "The leadership provided by the President and the Prime minister will be crucial in giving proper direction to the future of the country and taking it out of the shallows in which it has been stuck for too long." NPC said in a statement. "Sri Lanka currently has a govt of national unity comprising more..

Human Rights Commission issues guidelines for police officers to follow during LG polls

Jan 22 (FT) Sri Lanka’s Human Rights Commission has issued guidelines for police officers to follow before, during and after the upcoming local govt election. Issuing the Guidelines to Police Officers on Local Authority Election 2018, Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission Dr. Deepika Udagama said the Commission would be monitoring compliance with these guidelines and would be compelled to inquire into complaints of violations resulting from either action or inaction. more..

60 arrested in Kataragama mayhem

Jan 22 (FT) At least 60 persons including 13 women were arrested as police used tear gas to disperse unruly protesters who took to the streets following the fatal shooting of a motorcyclist in Kataragama on Saturday night. Tear gas was used to disperse the protesters in a bid to protect public property and to maintain law and order in the area. Earlier in the day, IGP Pujith Jayasundera had ordered a special team from the CID to probe more..

Singapore PM arrives today

Jan 22 (DN) PM of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong will arrive in Sri Lanka today on a three day official visit at the invitation of President Maithripala Sirisena. Singaporean Premier will be received at the Presidential Secretariat on the morning of Jan 23 with an official Guard of Honour and gun salute that will be followed by official bilateral discussions with President Sirisena. A Free Trade Agreement between SL and Singapore will be signed following bilateral talks, Foriegn Affairs Ministry said. more..

Policemen get charged by elephants in bid to catch crooks

Jan 22 (AFP) Police who were charged by elephants as they staked out a farm dropped an automatic rifle as they ran for their lives, sparking a hunt on Sunday for the missing weapon. Policemen who had been camping out near the plantation in a bid to catch crooks turned tail and scarpered after the huge creatures started hurtling after them. "The constables dropped their weapons and fled to save their lives when the elephants charged," statement said. Officers were now looking for the T56 more..

SAITM issue to be completely resolved this week: Harsha

Jan 22 (FT) The outstanding issues with the South Asian Institute of Technology and Management (SAITM) are finally to be resolved by the end of this week, Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva said. The Govt has put forward two solutions to the problems plaguing SAITM, with the first being the inclusion of the minimum standard gazette which is to be finalised today which will qualify all students at an equal level. more..

Priests, doctors and the State: The agony of the masses

Jan 22 (DM) Media headlines in recent months in Sri Lanka have concentrated heavily on the political role of Buddhist monks, agitations of govt medical officers against the establishment of a private medical college and the increasing failure of the State to address many pressing social issues. These three matters are by no means unconnected. In fact, all three are the products of a process of social and political change that unfolded over the last several decades. more..

Counting in LGBT

Jan 22 (DM) Recently there has been a spate of speculation as to exactly how many persons in SL identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT). A news article published a few weeks ago, ran a headline stating that Gay population in Sri Lanka now tops 7,500, maintaining there were only 7,500 Gay persons in this country! Based on the total population of SL – that would mean that only 0.035% of the population in the country identified as LGBT. That number defies common sense. more..

Block law’s lacunae: Not letting bond thieves go scot-free

Jan 22 (CT) After the release of the final Report of the PCoI into the Bond Issuance, nobody expected any resignations of politicians or senior officials of financial institutions who were directly or indirectly involved in the massive fraud, because there is no such honest tradition on our part of the world. But the people were shocked by some actions and statements made by some of the people named in the Report. more..

Govt cannot postpone the reform of Central Bank any more

Jan 22 (FT) Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva is reported to have announced the engagement of the IMF by the Govt to amend the present Monetary Law Act (MLA). MLA is the law governing the operations of the Central Bank. Areas of amendment, according to Harsha, have been the mandate and scope of the bank, its autonomy, governance and accountability. This is indeed a long felt need which the Govt is seeking to fulfil more..

'Bond racketeers should be given deterrent punishment'

Jan 22 (Island) Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama says those who had robbed public funds through bond scams should be given the maximum punishment regardless of their positions. Addressing a UPFA rally he said: "Those who have robbed people’s money should be severely punished irrespective of their positions. Some people who have robbed public property & public funds without any shame are now posing as patriots. more..

Mathews in doubt for Tests against Bangladesh

Jan 22 (CI) Angelo Mathews is not merely out of the ongoing ODI tri-nation series, but is also in serious doubt for the Tests against Bangladesh, and has returned to Colombo for treatment. It was hoped that the niggle in Mathews' right hamstring would heal quickly enough for him to take part in the back-end of the tri-nation series. However, as has often been the case with Mathews' injuries, recovery has been slow. more..

MR calls for rejecting both govt and yahapalana Opposition

Jan 22 (Island) The JVP and TNA are working hand in glove with govt and the voting public should understand that the counry has been left with an incompetent yahapalana govt and an equally incompetent yahapalana opposition, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says in a statement. Calling upon the people to reject both the yahapalana govt and the yahapalana Opposition, Rajapaksa has said: There is a yahapalana more..

Construction of Kerawalapitiya LNG Power Plant: Political pressure blocks tender award

Jan 22 (CT) The Tender Procedure for the construction of a 300MW Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) Power Plant, to be built in Kerawalapitiya, has been completed, but the tender has not been awarded as yet by Standard Cabinet Appointed Procurement Committee (SCAPC), to the lowest bidder selected due to political influence. Construction of the 300MW LNG Power Plant has been delayed by about six months and more..