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Rajiv case: Serious issues raised, says SC, seeks CBI's reply

Jan 24 (PTI) Supreme Court today termed as serious and debatable the questions raised by a convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case and asked the CBI to respond to his plea seeking recall of the apex court's May 1999 order upholding his conviction. The apex court issued notice to the CBI and asked it to file its response within three weeks on the application filed by convict A G Perarivalan, who was initially awarded death sentence in the case which was later commuted to life term. more..

Sri Lanka to set up monitoring agency for plantations firms

Jan 24 (EN) The govt plans to set up a monitoring agency to closely supervise the work of regional plantations companies (RPCs) whose performance is considered to be weak, Minister Naveen Dissanayake said. “Especially for, RPCs we have to have a monitoring system in place,” he said. Tea production by RPCs had fallen to 32% of the total crop with the bulk of output now from small holders and private factories, a reversal of the situation 25 years ago when estates were privatised, more..

Australia warns Sri Lankans attempting to travel illegally

Jan 24 (SL) Australian High Commission today warned Sri Lankans to beware of the lies of people smugglers, following media coverage of three recent failed people smuggling attempts. In Dec 2017, Australian border protection authorities intercepted a people smuggling boat with 29 Sri Lankan nationals on board. All 29 people were returned to SL. SL authorities also recently disrupted two planned illegal boat ventures more..

Only one question out of 14 answered by govt

Jan 24 (Island) Only one out of the 14 questions listed for the day in yesterday’s parliament order paper was answered while another was tabled. Govt asked time to answer the remaining questions. The govt asked for one month to answer one question and two weeks to provide answer to the others. Ministers were not present to respond to questions raised by MPs, however some of them too were not available to raise their questions. Front row opposition MP Bandula Gunawardena raised more..

Govt ready to accept any joint opposition member

Jan 24 (SL) Govt says it is prepared to accept any Joint Opposition member willing to cross. Leader of the House and UNP member Lakshman Kiriella told Parliament that if anyone from the JO looks to join the Govt they will be accepted. He was responding to a question raised in Parliament today with regards to the Ministerial position given to Sriyani Wijewickrama, a former JO member. The opposition also asked Kiriella and Speaker Karu Jayasuriya on the term of the unity Govt. more..

President cannot take control of economy from UNP: G.L.

Jan 24 (AD) In a situation where the ministries related to finance and economy are being controlled by Ministers of UNP, President Sirisena has no authority to manipulate or manage the economic affairs of the country as per the constitution, said former MP G.L. Peiris. “The President recently made a statement without any hesitation that he will take responsibility for all the economic affairs which were in the hands of more..

Wigneswaran turns down Bathiudeen’s request

Jan 24 (AD) Northern Province Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran has turned down the request made by Minister Rishad Bathiudeen asking for 1000 acres of land for the rehabilitation of Muslims in Mullaitivu district. In his letter addressed to the Northern CM, Minister Bathiudeen had stated that the Muslims who lived in Mullaitivu district abandoned their lands due to the terrorist activities carried out by LTTE. Minister pointed out 780 such families have been identified, and more..

Supplementary allocation of Rs 7.9 Billion for Dec 2017

Jan 24 (CT) A Supplementary Allocation, in a total of Rs 7.9 billion for Dec 2017, was presented to the Parliament yesterday by Minister Gayantha Karunathilake. A sum of Rs 0.2 billion has been allocated for the expenditure of the rehabilitation work in Kegalle, Kalutara, Matara, Galle and Ratnapura Districts where natural disasters occurred in May 2017. Furthermore, another sum of Rs 0.55 billion had been allocated for the payments to the Golden Key depositors following more..

Ravi’s request to make special statement in parliament rejected

Jan 24 (AD) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has rejected the request made by UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake to deliver a special statement in Parliament based on standing orders. Former Finance Minister had said on Monday that he will make a special statement in parliament regarding the controversial CB treasury bond scam. Karunanayake, who has been accused of giving false evidence to the commission, more..

Court orders issued against anti-SAITM protest tomorrow

Jan 24 (AD) Police Spokesman says that the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court and the Gangodawila Magistrate’s Court have issued stay orders preventing anti-SAITM protesters from marching into Colombo tomorrow. IUSF had planned a protest march over the SIATM issue with a large number of students expected to reach Colombo, possibly causing severe traffic congestion in the city. Police had requested stay orders from the two courts preventing the protest march from more..

Indonesian Prez Joko Widodo arrives in SL

Jan 24 (NR) President of Indonesia Joko Widodo has arrived in the island on a two day official visit. A 50 member delegation also arrived with the Indonesian President. President Widodo arrived in the island following an invitation extended by President Sirisena. Several MoUs are to be inked between the two countries during the visit. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe will also hold discussions on economic, trade & investment cooperation with Prez Widodo at a breakfast meeting tomorrow. more..

'CBSL Governor appointed by MS'

Jan 24 (NR) State Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene says the responsibility of appointing the Governor of CB Indrajith Coomaraswamy will be borne by President Maithripala Sirisena and himself. He said neither him nor the President is in charge of the appointment of Former Governor of the CB Arjun Mahendran. State Minister claimed a CB Governor is appointed according to clause 12 of the Monetary Law Act No. 58 of more..

Yahapâlana govt as a hyper-debt regime

Jan 25 (CT) Govt debt, as an important topic, was highly exploited by the Yahapalana coalition to come to power in 2015 and to remain in power during the past three years. Coalition govt describes Rajapaksa Regime as debt driven and has caused an immense debt burden on the country and its people. Rajapaksa rule ended on 9 Jan 2015 and by that time (end of 2014) the total govt debt stood at 7,390,899. The domestic and foreign debt components remained at 4,277,783 more..

Ekneligoda, Sugirtharajan and 24th January

Jan 25 (GV) For several years, Free Media Movement (FMM) of Sri Lanka and free expression advocates has dubbed January as Black January. This was in the context of large number of journalists killed, disappeared, assaulted, as well as attacks on media institutions – all in January. 24th is one such Black day in January. Trincomalee based Tamil journalist Subramaniyam Sugirtharajan, was shot dead on 24th Jan 2006. The Colombo based Sinhalese cartoonist and journalist more..

Food vendors flaunt ban- using sub quality packaging for cooked meals

Jan 25 (SO) Food vendors it seems, are a tough tribe. Undeterred by bans, fines, and threats to haul them to courts and jail them if they continue to flout the food laws, they carry on regardless with impunity. Statistics show proof of their disrespect of the laws under the Food Act. Last year alone Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) filed some 438 cases under the Food Act, Chief Medical Health Officer Dr Ruwan Wijeyamuni said. more..

Women Action Network condemns attacks on woman candidates

Jan 25 (CT) A woman candidate who was involved in election campaign activities in Wellawaya area of Monaragala District has been admitted to the hospital in a serious condition after she was brutally attacked. In Arayampathy Selvanagar of Eastern Province, a woman candidate’s house and the contents inside were damaged. A woman candidate in Puthukkudiyiruppu area of Mullaitivu District has been physically assaulted, kept locked in a house, and threatened to withdraw the complaint more..

Namal Rajapaksa, bots and trolls

Jan 25 (GV) Late 2017, the Twitter account of Groundviews was getting trolled – or in other words, had bitter invective levelled against it in a sustained manner – in an entirely new way. This piqued our interest. Since its inception in 2006, Groundviews has generated all manner of violent, venomous pushback and responses to content it has produced, published and promoted. Over the years, this feedback has ranged from threats of bodily harm and worse to, far more often, most virulent more..

'Mahinda cannot destroy Maithri'

Jan 25 (CT) Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne says Mahinda Rajapaksa never thought that he would leave the SLFP, even during the last stages. "He thought that Rajitha would never give up on him, as he believed we were such good friends. But we are in politics. We came to engage in politics. Therefore, political decisions have to be made. On the day there is no politics, the friendship will flourish again," he said. more..

1958 under fire

Jan 25 (DN) The story of the race riots of 1958 is a story of violence, un-reason, jealousy, anger, fear, suspicion, vengeance and many other states of heart and mind which the people of Sri Lanka experienced. Many Lankans—Sinhalese and Tamils lost their lives in the May riots. Many of them lost their kith and kin, properties, their means of livelihood. The worst affected areas were, Colombo, Jaffna, A'pura, Polonnaruwa, Baticaloa, Eravur and Kurunegala where the two communities more..

Remembered with affection

Jan 25 (DN) Why would anyone get into the hearty, yet heartbreaking, singing business? There must be times when all the agony pays off – when, for instance, you get to stage a strange local ballet without betraying yourself. Rukmani Devi is best known as the local nightingale. What the majority of the younger generation would not know is that Rukmani Devi was not much conversant in Sinhalese though she voiced lyrics of that language. That remains not to be a talent, but a legacy. more..

Akila Viraj Kariyawasam

'New SEC Bill long overdue but overregulation must be avoided'

Jan 25 (FT) Stressing that a complete overhaul of the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) Act was long overdue and lauding the proposed Securities Exchange Bill for a number of its more salient features, former SEC Director-General and Chairman Dr. Dayanath Jayasuriya on Tuesday cautioned against moving towards an environment of overregulation. Delivering an hour-long presentation on the implications of the new Bill which is to be taken up in P'ment on 26 Jan, more..

Aney Ammo! Aney Appo! Back from hospital

Jan 25 (Island) This year I started my column by writing about death and cemeteries and my third column is about hospitals. Nimalee Uduwela is more than just a doctor. She is a kind hearted and a lovely human being who had kept me alive for a long, long time. I am always thankful to her. She did it again last week when I went to see her with high fever and every other symptoms of dengue. She immediately did a blood test though the test for dengue was negative, Nimalee ordered me to see a more..

'Bangladesh seniors boosting their side'

Jan 25 (CI) Shouldering responsibility. Bangladesh's senior players do it. SL's, not so much. Just look at the tournament charts. Tamim Iqbal tops the run-scorers' list, with an average of 122. Shakib Al Hasan is third with 155 runs at 51.66. Shakib has also been inspirational on the bowling front, taking nine wickets for 124. And look who else he has for company near the top of that list: Mashrafe Mortaza and Rubel Hossain, more..

University of Peradeniya: Utopia never lost

Jan 25 (Island) University of Peradeniya, formerly University of Ceylon, Peradeniya completed its Golden Jubilee last year. I read with great interest a series of articles published in newspapers regarding the Golden Jubilee and particularly about the present status and achievements of the University of Peradeniya. My particular attention is drawn to an article with the title Utopia lost – The University at Peradeniya. Utopia, by definition is an imaginary ideal or perfect state. more..

Editorial: Why blame Trump?

Jan 25 (Island) US President Donald Trump continues to draw heavy flak for coining the phrase shithole countries to describe some developing nations which have become a burden on America. Some progressive types among the world leaders such as French President Emmanuel Macron have shared widespread moral outrage over Trump’s coinage. But, those who are living in some parts of the Global South and appalled by what is happening there may not be on the same page as more..

Tea stirs calm cup

Jan 25 (FT) Sri Lanka’s tea industry is eyeing a smooth ride in 2018 after earning $1.53 billion last year, but is trying to put the lull in its troubles to good use by rolling out the long delayed Rs.6 billion global marketing program in the first quarter, establishing a monitoring agency for Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) and encouraging replanting. In 2017, tea crop rose 5% from 292 million kilos to 307 million kilos. more..

SLC offers domestic player contracts

Jan 25 (CT) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is to make an investment of Rs. 85 million to provide contracts to over 100 domestic cricket players for the 2017/2018 season. Accordingly, 103 players who took part in the Major Tournament 2016/2017 have been listed to be given annual player contracts. The players were selected on the following criteria. 20 first class players who had performed at the highest level during the last season, 23 players under the emerging category, to encourage them to more..

Trade exhibitions have tremendously helped Jaffna’s growth

Jan 25 (ST) The country should refocus its political and economic policies towards creating opportunities for individual creativity and private investment in business. In this context the Jaffna International Trade Fair 2018 is a great opening especially where the Northern business community can enhance its business connectivity with the business community in Colombo. These comments were made by K. Vignesh, Chairman, Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Yalpanam more..

Singapore Trade and Industry Minister pays visit to Colombo City Centre site

Jan 25 (FT) Singapore Trade & Industry Minister S. Iswaran yesterday paid an onsite visit to the Colombo City Centre (CCC) which is under construction at Colombo 2. He also inaugurated the building’s cornerstone with the mind of further strengthening the Singapore-SL friendship. “This building has a really unique and nice layout and shows the demand for quality lifestyles that people are seeking for. more..

Softlogic to raise Rs. 7 b including foreign equity investments up to $ 35 m

Jan 25 (FT) Softlogic Holdings PLC has come to an agreement with Samena Ceylon Holdings Ltd. to raise private equity in order to restructure the diversified blue chip’s balance sheet and improve key capital ratios. Samena Ceylon Holdings is a fully-owned subsidiary of Samena Capital, a principal investment group focusing on the Subcontinent, Asia, Middle East and North Africa (collectively, SAMENA region). Firm has raised more than $1.5 billion of capital since 2008 more..

Petition against Cutting down Bo-tree: SC fixes for argument on 7 Sept

Jan 25 (FT) The Supreme Court yesterday (24) re-fixed for argument on September 7 in respect of the Petition filed against the cutting and removing the Bo-tree located in Pannipitiya near the border of the Colombo – Avissawella Road. The Bench comprised Justices Eva Wanasundera, B.P. Aluvihara and K.T. Chitrasiri. The Court had already issued Interim Order restraining the Road Development Authority from cutting down or removing the said Bo-tree. Ven.Weraduwe Sirijothi Thera more..

'High Profile White collar crimes: Won’t keep cases for next Govt'

Jan 25 (CT) All high profile financial misappropriation and corruption cases would be resolved by 2020, once most of the judicial amendments are finalized in February and it is presented to Parliament for approval in early March. State Minister of Public Enterprise Development Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene, said that in order to prevent another Govt from inheriting the same criminal or civil cases, all such cases will be resolved by 2020. more..

Presidential Sec. says Ravi given copy of bond report

Jan 25 (DM) Presidential Secretaria contradicted the Speaker Karu Jayasuriya when it confirmed that a copy of the bond commission report was given to UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake on Jan 17. Secretariat’s information officer said the MP was charged Rs.5,000 for the bound copy of the report. “The MP had requested for a copy under the Right to Information (RTI) Act,” he said. However, on Wednesday in Parliament Speaker dismissed claims made by the MP that he had obtained a copy more..

Ministry of Education signs MoU with SEC

Jan 25 (Island) Ministry of Education signed a MOU with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) today (24) to formalise the provision of trilingual financial education among school teachers and students in Sri Lanka. Mr. Sunil Hettiarachchi, Secretary, MOE and Mr. Vajira Wijegunawardane, Director General, SEC entered into the MOU on behalf of the Ministry and SEC. Financial literacy encompasses many concepts such as financial awareness, knowledge, skills & capabilities. more..

Govt unable to identify real challenges: Gota

Jan 25 (DM) Former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa said the current govt has failed to identify the real challenges facing the country and instead had made the defaming of Mahinda Rajapaksa as its only challenge and objective. He said the previous govt had a visionary leadership to identify the real challenges which were highlighted in Mahinda Chinthana Programme. He pointed out that Rajapaksa govt had an able team to achieve more..

'PCoI report was first sent to Parliament'

Jan 25 (DM) UPFA General Secretary and Minister Mahinda Amaraweera today assured that no politician had been given the bond commission report before it was submitted in Parliament. "Even we as govt members did not receive it beforehand," he said. Minister said the President and the govt were ready to publish all the reports and added that they would not allow anyone to suppress or hide anything connected to the report. He said revealing certain annexes would be disadvantageous more..

Six Pohottuwa petitions withdrawn

Jan 25 (DN) Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) yesterday decided to withdraw six writ petitions filed in the Court of Appeal. The petitions challenged the Election Commission’s decision to reject nomination papers for the Maharagama, Panadura and Weligama UCs, Agalawatta, Mahiyangana and Thirappane PSs. Court of Appeal two-judge-Bench comprising Justice Preethi Padman Surasena (President) and Justice Shiran Gunaratne decided to dismiss the petitions without a hearing. more..

Keen tussle at SLMC poll, GMOA alleges assault

Jan 25 (Island) The GMOA alleged that an executive member of the association, Dr Senal Fernando, had been assaulted by another doctor on the second day of voting to elect members to some Sri Lanka medical Council (SLMC) positions which have fallen vacant. The elections were held at the SLMC head office at Norris canal road. GMOA President Padeniya told the media that the assault victim had been an observer at the election. more..

Standards on Medical Education and clinical training to be gazetted

Jan 25 (SL) Govt on Wednesday announced that the minimum standards on medical education and clinical training will be gazetted on Jan 27. The gazette includes abolishing the Malabe SAITM institute and by transferring its assets, liabilities, students, and staff, to a new non-state, non-profit degree awarding institution. A new not-for-profit sunset institution will absorb all students who were in the medical program of the SAITM campus in Malabe, as well its assets and liabilities, more..