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Editorial: Dogs, bones, polls

Jan 23 (Island) The UNP and the SLFP did their damnedest to avoid an electoral contest because they were wary of taking on each other at the expense of the fragile unity of their yahapalana govt. But, today, they are squaring off, having exhausted all their lame excuses for postponing the LG polls. They are aware that their political survival hinges on their unity, but, two dogs at the same bone seldom agree. They have to fight while sharing power and jointly holding the former ruling family at bay. more..

Rohan to fight for NOC hot seat

Jan 23 (ST) Rohan Fernando, the President of Amateur Rowing Association of SL, officially announced his intention to contest the post of president of the National Olympic Committee. He will contest Suresh Subramaniam at the Feb 23 election of office bearers in a bid to take control of the country’s premier sports body. Fernando, alongside a batch of supporting officials from 16 other NOC Member Associations, launched the campaign under the theme Save Sports from Corruption more..

Maxwell accepts lapses in NOCSL accounts

Jan 23 (CT) In a failed attempt to justify several eye brow raising comments and opinion given by the Auditor General in his report of the National Olympic Committee Sri Lanka (NOCSL) accounts for years 2010, 2011 and 2012, NOCSL General Secretary Maxwell de Silva admitted that there were a Few procedural lapses although Ceylon Today found that the said issues are a little more than Few procedural lapses. more..

Has Hathu caught a tiger by the tail

Jan 23 (CT) Finally it has come to light about the sad situation brought about with the game of cricket in Sri Lanka. Losing to one time sparring partners Bangladesh might have been what Mohammed Ali felt losing to Ken Norton. It is inevitable in sports to stop someone from being on the bottom rung to one day climb up to be the favourite. But, when you lose to someone who once looked up to you does not necessarily mean you have to look down in shame. The shame comes with the way you lose. more..

Minister vows action against corrupt UNP candidates

Jan 23 (DN) Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayake warned all UNP candidates contesting the elections that in the event they are found guilty of corruption or fraud after the elections, action will be taken to initiate legal action against them and the party too would take disciplinary action against them. The minister noted that the UNP has not fielded candidates who have committed offences such as having parties after raping women, tying govt servants to trees, more..

Acceptance of new NSFs by NOC: NOC Members expect further clarification

Jan 23 (CT) National Olympic Committee (NOCSL) members are awaiting further clarification from International Olympic Committee (IOC) on accepting membership of five new National Sports Federations (NSFs). This is due to the clarification letter dated 11 August 2016 regarding the matter itself carries confusion about the voting rights. The five new associations, namely Baseball/Softball, Karate, Skateboarding, Modern Pentathlon & Rugby, more..

Dhananjaya to replace injured Kusal Perera

Jan 23 (CI) Dhananjaya de Silva will join the Sri Lanka ODI team that is currently playing the Tri-Nation Series in Bangladesh, as a replacement for the injured Kusal Perera. Kusal suffered a side strain during his innings of 49 in Sri Lanka's match against Zimbabwe on Sunday. He has been advised rest, and will miss the rest of the tournament. Limited-overs captain Angelo Mathews, who is recovering from a hamstring strain, has returned to Sri Lanka and will take no further part more..

HNB clarifies

Jan 23 (FT) HNB PLC clarified what it described as misleading information which appeared in the Daily FT of 22 Jan titled Court orders seizure of select cash machines of HNB. HNB said: “Pursuant to the seizing orders issued by the Colombo Magistrate Court, one bulk cash deposit machine kept at Kotahena Branch was sealed on 18 Jan 2018. Subsequent to the submissions made by the lawyers of HNB, the court ordered the plaintiff not to proceed with the rest of the seizing orders.” more..

CCC says stability of economy to continue in 2018

Jan 23 (FT) The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) in its Economic Outlook for 2018 forecasted a 4.5% economic growth based on a progressive macroeconomic picture, while insisting that the country should continue structural reforms, capitalising on opportunities. “Stability of the economy is likely to continue into 2018. We are looking at 4.5% GDP growth next year supported by base effects. more..

‘Gem and jewellery sector hit badly by new tax system’

Jan 23 (Island) The new tax system that is to be introduced in the 2018 budget for the gem and jewellery sector will impact the industry negatively, which brings more than US $ 750 million in exchange revenue annually into the country. "The new income tax under the IMF tax reform recommendations affects the local gem and jewellery sector which provides sizeable direct and indirect employment for the country, Managing Director, Zam Gems, Ahsan Refai said. more..

Oxford Business Group, Ceylon Chamber to analyze SL trade strategy

Jan 23 (CT) The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) has entered a MoU with global research and consultancy firm Oxford Business Group (OBG) to assist in the research for The Report: Sri Lanka 2018, a report which will look at Sri Lanka's plans to nurture small and medium-sized enterprises as part of its longer-term bid to achieve upper-middle income status, a press release stated. This is the third such MoU signed between the two organizations for the production of the report, more..

EPRLF MP Sivashakthi Anandan alleges:15 TNA MPs bribed by PM’s Office

Jan 23 (CT) The EPRLF MP, Sivashakthi Anandan, has alleged that except for him, fifteen TNA MPs had been bribed by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe's Ministry of National Policy and Economic Affairs to vote in favour of the 2018 Budget. EPRLF MP Anandan, who quit the TNA a month ago, following the decision taken by his Party hierarchy said, each TNA MP was bribed to the tune of Rs 20 million to vote in favour of the said budget. more..

'Action will be taken against Uva CM if guilty'

Jan 23 (DM) Minister Susil Premajayantha today condemned the incident where Uva Chief Minister Chamara Dassanayaka is alleged to have asked the Principal of a Tamil Girls School to kneel down in his presence and said the SLFP would take action after an inquiry before the LG polls. He said political parties must pay more attention when nominations are given to candidates to contest elections representing the party and must be more careful when political positions are given to them. more..

Ravi slams Dayasiri, Amaraweera, John, S.B

Jan 23 (SL) UNP Assistant Leader, MP Ravi Karunanayake slammed SLFP members and Govt Ministers Dayasiri Jayasekera, Mahinda Amaraweera, John Seniviratne and S.B. Dissanayake. Speaking at an election propaganda meeting in Kotahena on Monday, Karunanayake said that Dayasiri Jayasekera, Mahinda Amaraweera, John Seniviratne and S.B. Dissanayake had worked towards the defeat of President Sirisena at the 2015 Prez elections. more..

Customs destroy 130,000 counterfeit items

Jan 23 (CT) Sri Lanka Customs is actively pursuing the establishment of an authorized dealer system through the Ministry of Finance and Mass Media as a mitigation mechanism to avoid substandard products entering Sri Lanka. The plans were disclosed at the Rank Container Terminal (RCT) Container Yard in Orugodawatte, to destroy approximately 130,000 pieces of substandard imports worth Rs 31 million in violation of more..

SLSFTA to renew trade relations with Asia

Jan 23 (DN) SL will sign a Free Trade Agreement with Singapore aiming at reforming of SL’s trade and trade related policies. SL Singapore Free Trade Agreement (SLSFTA) is a land mark agreement as it is the first trade agreement that SL is signing in over 10 years and it is the first comprehensive agreement for SL beyond Trade in Goods. Negotiations of SLSFTA commence in August 2016 after signing of the joint statement of Singapore and SL during the official visit of SL’s PM to Singapore. more..

Buddhist sites need a facelift, say Indian tour operators

Jan 23 (Hindu) Buddhist heritage sites in the Visakhapatnam region have the potential to draw tourists from across the globe. All that is needed is provision of basic amenities like accommodation and toilets in addition to appointment of guides, opine representatives of Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO). 25-member IATO delegation, which was here on the invitation of Govt of Andhra Pradesh, visited Buddhist heritage sites at Thotlakonda & Bavikonda in Visakhapatnam more..

‘Prez should resign if he doesn’t know UNP ruined economy on his watch’

Jan 23 (Island) JVP says that President Sirisena should resign immediately if he admits he does not know what has happened to the country’s economy during the last 3 years. JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said: "President ruled this country for three years. It was he who appointed the members of the Cabinet. He is the head of the Cabinet. Doesn’t he know the decisions made by Cabinet with regard to the economy more..

Attributes calm to new electoral system

Jan 23 (FT) Election monitoring bodies asserted that the current LG election campaign period was the most peaceful in over a decade, attributing the relative calm to the new electoral system. Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) Executive Director Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon said that there had been no major issues reported thus far. “I must say that this campaign period has been very peaceful. No serious incidents or election law violations have been reported. more..

Non-academics to launch countrywide strike

Jan 23 (Island) University non-academics yesterday said they would commence a countrywide strike action on Thursday (25) if the Ministry of Higher Education failed to solve their longstanding problems. Co-President of the Inter University Trade Union Joint Committee (IUTUJC) Edward Malwattage said one and a half years back the Higher Education Minister had promised to solve problems of the university non-academic staff. None of those promises had been kept, he added. more..

President tells PM: Give me strength to punish rogues

Jan 23 (DM) President Sirisena made an appeal to PM Ranil Wickremesinghe asking him to give him the strength without weakening him so that he could punish the fraudsters concerned. He reminded that there was a saying that it was better to proceed with the lions after bending the head rather than go ahead with a pack of dogs. President said: “Supporters of G.L.Peiris’ party are highlighting about appointment of more..

Speaker to inquire if Presidential Secretariat withheld volumes of bond report

Jan 23 (FT) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya will be inquiring of the Presidential Secretariat whether all volumes of the bond report were handed over to Parliament or if some were withheld. MP Dinesh Gunawardana told Daily FT that at yesterday’s Party leaders’ meeting, the Opposition had demanded that the Speaker ascertain whether the complete bond report had been presented to Parliament. “There has been a lot of controversy over the bond report that was presented to Parliament. more..

RDA Chief says full benefit of Rajagiriya fly over will be felt soon

Jan 23 (FT) RDA Chairman Nihal Sooriyarachchi has said that it is too early to comment on the success or failure of the Rajagiriya flyover, opened recently with a cost of Rs. 4.7 billion but assured the full benefit would be realised soon. He said it was natural to expect heavy traffic attraction during first few days after opening the facility. “In a network of roads when one link is improved traffic attraction and diversion take place for two to three weeks until it come to an equilibrium. more..

Bond scams: JO cranks up pressure on President, PM

Jan 23 (Island) Chairman of SLPP G.L. Peiris yesterday demanded that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe step down temporarily to ensure a free and fair judicial investigation into treasury bond scams involving the Central Bank and Perpetual Treasuries. Former Minister Prof. Peiris stressed that no other crime could be compared with that of the treasury bond scams allegedly perpetrated by UNP in Feb 2015 and March 2016. more..

Yahapalanaya dogged by tit-for-tat mudslinging

Jan 23 (DM) Elections in this country are acrimonious. And it does not take an astrologer to predict that the unity govt would never be the same if the current trend of mutual recrimination continues. As if recent verbal barbs directed against each other by the lower-rungs of the two main constituent parties of the govt are not good enough, President Maithripala Sirisena himself has joined the fray. He told an election rally early this week that the economy would no longer be under more..

After war ends: A road to national reconciliation

Jan 23 (DM) The three decade-long armed conflict in Sri Lanka had ended with the defeat of LTTE in May 2009. Many initiatives taken by the post-war SL govts have not yielded any national reconciliation, in fact the divergent interests among various social, economic and political groups and increased social fragmentation have terrified the social cohesion and the future of SL. According to the Centre for Policy Alternatives (2013), post-war SL has recorded more than 65 communal clashes in Jan 2013, more..

'UNP willing to continue with Unity govt'

Jan 23 (DM) Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, said that the UNP doesn’t stand for corruption. He said that the party will penalize those responsible for the Central Bank bond transaction. Q: How is your party’s election campaign progressing? A: We started our campaign from Kandy. We intend to have a series of meetings and rallies which will be attended by Party Leader PM Wickremesinghe & other Cabinet Ministers. more..

Taxing soft drinks: Rajitha refuses to budge

Jan 23 (Island) Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne has warned that a Budget proposal to charge 50 cents for each gramme of sugar included in soft drinks would not be reversed despite requests from the manufacturers. Minister said that he had received several requests for tax relief from manufacturers. As a result the price of those drinks had increased in the market. However, relief should be given to the public. more..

'Local administration experiences bitterest period under current rule'

Jan 23 (DM) Minister Basil Rajapaksa who spearheads SLPP spoke about the current status of politics and LG elections. Q: How do you see the progress of campaigning? A: In general, voters are likely to be divided as pro-govt and anti-govt. There are people opposed to the govt in its entirety. There are some who only oppose certain actions of the govt. Next voters will be divided according to their affiliations with political parties more..

Lid blown on Gangewadiya sand mining racket

Jan 23 (CT) Vigilance, timely actions and coordination by a group of officials of the Wildlife Conservation Dept and the Forest Dept and environment activists recently managed to halt a sand mining racket in Gangewadiya area which falls under the one mile buffer zone of Wilpattu National Park where no development activity is allowed. The alleged sand mining has been carried out in the guise of developing more..

ITI takes steps to mitigate any harm from Lakvijaya

Jan 23 (ST) Industrial Technology Institute (ITI) this week started ambient air testing at the Lakvijaya coal power plant amidst continued protests and litigation over environmental pollution caused by fly ash and coal dust. CEB commissioned the ITI to do the tests in 14 locations for a period of one year, said Indrasiri Gallage, Lakvijaya Plant Manager. He also said medical tests have been introduced for employees and more..

GMOA contests SLMC election to upset Health Minister’s agenda

Jan 23 (Island) The GMOA said its members would contest Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) election today to defeat Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne’s political agenda being advanced through the SLMC. GMOA Secretary, Dr Haritha Aluthge said it was the only group, capable of defeating the Minister’s sinister moves. Union was ready to prove to the Minister that the GMOA represented a majority of doctors despite more..

'BCCSL went bankrupt during Rajapaksa regime'

Jan 23 (DN) It is the Rajapaksa regime which had driven the profit earning Board Control for Cricket in SL (BCCSL) to bankruptcy, Minister Champika Ranawaka said. He said Mahinda Rajapaksa built an International Conference Hall in Hambantota named after him spending Rs 863 million and it was unable to pay even its water and electricity bills because not a single int'l conference had been staged there ever since. more..

Ravi to make special statement on Bond issue

Jan 23 (DN) UNP Assistant Leader and Colombo District MP Ravi Karunanayake will make a special statement in Parliament regarding the Central Bank Bond issue when Parliament meets tomorrow (24). Karunanayake announced this when he addressed a UNP election propaganda meeting held in Kotahena West on January 22. He alleged that the contents in the PCoI Report on the CB Bond issue had been distorted. more..

Video: Uva CM surrenders to police

Jan 23 (AD) Uva Province Chief Minister Chamara Sampath Dassanayake has surrendered to police in connection with incident where he allegedly forced a female school principal to kneel at his feet. Chief minister surrendered to the Badulla Police Station through a lawyer this morning. He is to be produced at the Badulla Magistrate’s Court today. On Jan 20, the principal of a Tamil girls’ school in Badulla, more..

Singapore and SL sign free trade agreement

Jan 23 (CNA) Singapore and Sri Lanka signed a free trade agreement today which will deepen economic ties and facilitates greater trade flows between the two countries. The Sri Lanka-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (SLSFTA) was signed by Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry, S Iswaran and SL’s Minister for Int'l Trade Malik Samarawickrama. PM Lee Hsien Loong and SL President Maithripala Sirisena witnessed more..

Over to you, Mr. President!

Jan 23 (CT) In his first speech as PM of newly independent India, Jawaharlal Nehru addressed his nation saying I speak to you today as your First Servant.. Words that the current CM of Uva Province, Chamara Sampath Dassanayake, may not have heard, or if he has done so, certainly would not understand and certainly does not follow. Patrician Nehru, scion of one of India's finest families, educated in the greatest institutes in England, presented himself to his people as a servant. more..

Political moves after 10 February

Jan 23 (FT) Who or what is the main political problem facing Sri Lanka today? The answer you give will reveal where you are on the ideological spectrum, and will in turn have determined your answer. Here are the answers that form the political spectrum of our society: 1.The UNP is the main problem. 2. The current leadership of the UNP–PM Wickremesinghe–is the main problem. 3.The SLFP is the main problem. 4. The leadership of the SLFP – President Sirisena – is the main problem. more..

කොළඹ නගර සභාව දූෂණයෙන් පිරුණු තෝතැන්නක්

Delegation representing 70 Japanese firms here tomorrow

Jan 23 (GDI) A High powered Japanese delegation representing 70 leading Japanese firms and comprising officials of the Japan’s Chamber of Commerce and Industries and the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industries will arrive in SL on Jan 24 to identify investment and business opportunities in SL. It is for the first time in 40 years that such a high powered Japanese delegation is visiting SL. Representatives of leading Japanese firms such as Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi, Sumitomo, Mitsui more..