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Sri Lanka - Singapore FTA: A New Dawn?

Jan 27 (Island) Sri Lanka-Singapore Free Trade Agreement signals a move towards a deepening economic relationship with Singapore. The critical policy question for Sri Lanka is how to fully benefit from such an agreement. The two small island countries have enjoyed warm diplomatic ties for several decades. Singapore’s founding father, Lee Kuan Yew once noted, Ceylon was Britain’s model Commonwealth country. However, Sri Lanka is yet to fully realise the economic benefits of more..

Bonds know no bounds

Jan 27 (DN) Actions speak louder than words. The white collar criminals, who swindled and splurged the nation’s wealth, have been exposed as never before. The two most awaited reports of PCoI are now in public domain. The reports have gathered strong evidence against several bigwigs in the political and business sphere. The citizenry is weary of repeated assurances on political stages on ending the impunity enjoyed by those influential figures implicated in the nation’s dirtiest deals more..


Corruption poser to SLPP and Rajapaksa leadership

Jan 27 (DN) Can the Bond issue catchword be replaced by PRECIFAC? This is emerging as the possible campaign issue for both the SLFP and the SLPP. President Sirisena’s loud campaigning against corruption, with the immediate target of the Bond issue and the UNP, could well move towards the charges based on the PRECIFAC findings, which are being revealed with much concern for the SLPP and its Rajapaksa leadership. President Sirisena speaking at a poll rally at Panadura more..

Editorial: Will he or won’t he?

Jan 27 (Island) Following the recently announced Supreme Court decision that President Maithripala Sirisena’s term is limited to five years, speculation is rife in political circles that he will contest the next presidential election. Will he seek another term? The best person to answer this question is Prez Sirisena himself, but he is evasive in the extreme. The same is true of his spokespersons. This query figured at a meeting President Sirisena had with heads of media institutions yesterday morning more..

Rohan fires back at Maxwell’s blame game

Jan 27 (CT) National Olympic Committee (NOCSL) Presidential candidate and president of the de Facto financial committee, Rohan Fernando dismissed Secretary General's attempt to divert responsibility of the financial irregularities and mismanagement to the said committee. In a strong reply to the media release by de Silva, Fernando revealed several old communiqués from Fernando to Executive Committee, Secretary General more..

Colombo to host 3rd South Asian Junior Athletics Championship

Jan 27 (CT) Athletic Association (AASL) confirmed the hosting of the 3rd South Asian Junior Athletics Championship (SAJAC) at Sugathadasa Stadium in May. SAJAC which was last held in 2013 was postponed several times where Sri Lanka could not host the game due to the lack of proper venues. Championship which will be competed by under-20 athletes will be held on 5 and 6 May. Initial selection of SL team will be done after the Junior National Championship to be held on 26-29 March more..

Northern Myliddy, once second largest fish producer, slowly returns to normal

Jan 27 (ST) Myliddy in northern Jaffna region, which once had the country’s second largest habour until the raging ethnic conflict destroyed that, is slowly returning to normal. For 27 years, the area was controlled by the army until last July when the Myliddy jetty was released to the public bringing happiness to the people. But living conditions in the area had deteriorated because all the houses were damaged during the war. Kankesanturai buses have extended their services up to Myliddy, more..

Periyannan’s nest egg at Bamba keeps growing

Jan 27 (ST) In the case of Desapillai Periyannan the egg came first, 20,000 eggs to be exact – the number he sells every day to restaurants, bakeries as well as customers who walk in off the street and into the Colombo Egg Centre in Bambalapitiya. “The egg changed my life,” says the proprietor of one of the biggest wholesale outlets for eggs in Colombo. “I knew a lot about eggs when I was a young man working for a small grocery more..

Pathfinder Foundation launches Samudura Kelambuma

Jan 27 (FT) The first copies of the Samudura Kelambuma, the Sinhala translation of Dr. Raja C. Mohan’s Samudra Manthan: Sino-Indian Rivalry in the Indo-Pacific, published by the Pathfinder Foundation ware handed over to a group of former senior diplomats, some of whom had represented Sri Lanka in New Delhi at a ceremony held at Cinnamon Grand. Chief guest at this event was the HC of India Taranjit Singh Sandhu, who inaugurated the event by lighting the traditional oil lamp. more..

'Tourism in a tizzy: Minister Amaratunga wants control'

Jan 27 (ST) Tourism Minister John Amaratunga has sent the following response to the article published in the Business Times last week under the above heading. “I wish to inform you that the tourism industry is not running helter skelter as stated in this article and (the industry) only sought to clarify certain matters at a recent meeting with me. I made use of this opportunity to explain to The Hotels’ Association of SL (THASL) and SL Inbound Tour Operators Association (SLAITO) more..

අහසින් වැටුණු වීර මෛත්žරී !!

Hemas Travels spreads its wings to Jaffna

Jan 27 (Island) Hemas Travels (Pvt) Ltd, has spread its wings in the rapidly developing city of Jaffna. The IATA-approved travel agency which has been in operation since 1979 made an impact in the central province with the launch of its Kandy branch late last year, and has within a short duration, now set its imprint in the North with its second branch outside of Colombo. Strategically located at No 14, Jaffna – Point Pedro Road, the new Jaffna branch operates from 8.30am to 5.30pm more..

Ex-CB Governor rubbishes President’s claim

Jan 27 (Island) President Sirisena's statement that only Rs.1 trillion out of foreign loans of Rs. 10 Trillion is accounted for, during the period of the previous government, is ridiculous and untrue considering that Sri Lanka's GDP in 2014 was only Rs. 10.3 Trillion, says former Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal. If what the President claims is correct, then the loan that are unaccounted for should amount to a staggering 90% of GDP," he says in a media statement. more..

Act immediately against Sri Lanka’s Fisheries Bill, Vaiko urges Centre

Jan 27 (Hindu) MDMK general secretary Vaiko has urged the Centre to immediately lodge its protest with the SL govt over the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (Amendment) Bill, saying it would be detrimental to the traditional fishing rights of Indians. He has also called on the Central govt to ensure that the island nation withdrew the controversial provisions of the Bill. Mr. Vaiko said the proposed law, more..

SLIIT stays one step ahead via industry consultative meetings

Jan 27 (Island) SLIIT is among the first educational institutes in Sri Lanka to develop the curricular recognized by the UGC, for its BSc (Hons) and BBA (Hons) degree courses. This clearly demonstrates the Institute’s high academic standards, especially in the ever changing field of Information Technology. Taking this benchmark to a higher level, SLIIT’s Faculty of Computing and Faculty of Engineering recently introduced a Department-Industry Consultative Board meeting. more..

Fairway Galle Literary Festival: Crowds throng the Fort

Jan 27 (CT) This annual event in January is drawing larger and larger crowds. It's the ninth festival that is on-going and yours truly Kumari is in, dear awakened Galle, enjoying immersion in the literature of the Queen's language and having small doses of our national languages too. Since 2016, Fairway Holdings is the principal sponsor. Shyam Selvadorai was Curator for long; this year it is Jill McDonald with a team of helpers. The first festival was in 2007. There was a lapse of a couple of years when more..

Sri Lankan chief negotiator's death didn't stall FTA talks

Jan 27 (ST) Just before the sixth round of talks for a free trade agreement (FTA) with Singapore, Sri Lanka's chief negotiator - a staunch free trade advocate - died of a heart attack. Dr Saman Kelegama's death last June cast a cloud of uncertainty over the future of the negotiations. Would the new chief negotiator believe in the deal the way Dr Kelegama did? Would the talks face a long postponement? more..

Harin behind Uva PC clash: CWC

Jan 27 (DN) Uva Province Education Minister Senthil Thondaman alleged that Minister Harin Fernando was behind the recent clash inside the Uva Provincial Council. He refuted allegations made against his party (CWC) for the tense situation. He said that he has videos to show how the clash broke out and who was behind it. He said that Provincial Councillor A. Ganeshamurti was attacked due to a personal conflict and it had nothing to do with his party or party members. more..

Colombo Eye to add sparkle to Battaramulla

Jan 27 (DM) Water's Edge today signed an agreement with Melchers Project Management (Pvt) Ltd to construct a giant Ferris Wheel named Colombo Eye similar to the London Eye in the South Bank of the River Thames in London at the Fantasy Land that is to be built in Battaramulla. The project which is to be launched with a Rs.600 million investment would be the first phase of the Fantasy Land construction. The project to be launched based in Diyawannawa is to be supported by more..

SriLankan Chief given marching orders

Jan 27 (FT) Controversial SriLankan Airlines CEO Suren Ratwatte was asked to step down following a Board meeting on Thursday with Manoj Gunawardene tipped to be the hot favourite to take over. The move comes amidst plans to restructure the troubled national carrier, with its Chairman and Board of Directors expected to step down once the Govt finalises the reform agenda. “The CEO has stepped down and Manoj Gunawardene is more..

Sirisena promises National Audit Bill soon

Jan 27 (CT) Govt is close to bringing the much-vaunted National Audit Bill to Parliament, President Maithripala Sirisena said yesterday (26). He said the Legal Draftsman's Department had completed its work and that the Bill would be presented to the Cabinet shortly. The President has been under fire, in recent months, for not having the Bill passed as it was one of the main promises he made during his presidential election campaign which ended with him being the winner. more..

Virakesari journalist eighth Lakshman Kadirgamar Journalism scholar to MASCOM

Jan 27 (Island) The eighth Lakshman Kadirgamar Journalism scholar to MASCOM, the leading Indian mass communication college left Sri Lanka this week to follow its prestigious Diploma course, the Editors’ Guild of Sri Lanka (TEGOSL) said in a press release. It said: Ravichchandrasarma Ramkumar, Assistant News Editor of the Virakesari newspaper published by Express Newspapers of (Ceylon) (Pvt.,) Ltd., is the recipient of the annual Lakshman Kadirgamar scholarship by virtue of winning more..

Prez waking up for LG election: Sirisena takes dig at MR, UNP

Jan 27 (FT) President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday took his fight against corruption to a new height levelling serious charges on his coalition partner the UNP and his nemesis and predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa. Dropping a bombshell during the first breakfast meeting with editors and media heads for the New Year and barely two weeks before crucial LG polls, President alleged almost the entirety of foreign funding more..

Facebook friend dupes, rapes Lankan teen

Jan 27 (Hindu) While none of her friends took up the offer, Roza’s family took the decision after their finances dwindled. Roza is one of three children, and her father has been paralysed for the past eight years. Treatment had exhausted all their savings. “I’m illiterate, and can’t get a job in Sri Lanka. Roza’s offer in Mumbai seemed to be the only tangible thing. I decided to get Rs. 2 lakh and head to India with her,” said her mother. On Nov 28, the mother-daughter duo came to Mumbai, more..

Trial against Hirunika on June 07

Jan 27 (Island) Colombo High Court fixed for June 07, the trial against UNP MP Hirunika Premachandra, indicted for the abduction and assault of a man at Dematagoda in Dec 2015. Eight employees of Hirunika, who had earlier pleaded guilty to the charges were given suspended simple prison terms for two years. They were also ordered to pay compensation to the victim, who was paid yesterday. Premachandra, who pleaded not guilty, will now face trial. more..

Maithree defends govt’s Geneva efforts, silent on TNA deadline

Jan 27 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena said Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative in Geneva (Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha) had made representations on behalf of Sri Lanka at the Geneva-based UNHRC following revelations made by Lord Naseby in the House of Lords. Recently, Foreign Ministry announced plans to replace Aryasinha late next month in the run-up to the Geneva sessions. more..

Compelling Principal to kneel before Uva CM: HRC holds ten hour probe

Jan 27 (DN) A ten hour investigation was carried out by the Human Rights Council on Thursday, over the incident where the Badulla Tamil Girl’s School Principal R. Bhavani was compelled to kneel down before the Uva Chief Minister and later threatening her and obtaining a statement. The Executive Director of the Human Rights Centre Keerthi Tennakoon and the Ceylon Teachers Union General Secretary Joseph Stalin, appeared on behalf of the complainant party. more..

PAFFREL records 614 polls and general law violations

Jan 27 (CT) Polls monitor, PAFFREL had, by yesterday morning, recorded a total of 614 complaints during the pre LG Election period. Of the 531 complaints they have received of incidents, all relate to 614 election law and general law violations, 76 are of incidents relating to acts of violence. A total of 13 hospitalizations have been reported to date in relation to those incidents. The total number of election related acts of violence include 90 with the majority being 32 cases of acts more..

State revenue given to private firms on political links during past 3 years: Prez

Jan 27 (DM) Firing yet another barrage ahead of the local govt polls, President Maithripala Sirisena said yesterday the govt incurred a major loss of revenue during the past three years because it had been channelled to private companies on political connections. He said this at a meeting with the heads of print and electronic media institutions. The President said several more frauds had taken place in the re-export business, more..

Kataragama shooting: No just society if police behave like this

Jan 27 (DM) The Kataragama shooting is one of the latest black marks in the history of the SL police. Armed police or military shooting at unarmed civilians in Sri Lanka is not something new, though the frequency has declined since the National Unity Govt took office in 2015. In 2014 we heard of an incident similar to what happened in Kataragama last week. The Human Rights Watch (HRW), reported this among number of other incidents of police killing and torture before 2015. more..

One cannot eat Liberal Democracy

Jan 27 (DM) Anti- corruption is only selectively campaigned in Colombo circles. Rs.23.5 million a month rent paid for the DPJ Tower’ that still remains unoccupied for nearly two years and the alledged underhand Mega Spectrum deal that should be treated as a serious crime isn’t heard anywhere. Bond Scam remains popular among Colombo middle-class circles as one that exposes the power struggle within the Yahapalana leadership. Now, PRECIFAC Report gives some reason to more..

Uma Oya sufferers tap well of frustration

Jan 27 (ST) Something truly historic is happening in the Bandarawela local govt election: a people’s movement of those adversely affected by the Uma Oya project is contesting for two local govt bodies, and, while many of the contestants have never been in politics, there is widespread belief that they pose a formidable challenge to established parties. The group is contesting for both the Bandarawela MC and more..

President’s Catch-22

Jan 27 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena has been making, for the past few months serious statements that could imperil the so-called Yahapalanaya Govt or the National Unity Govt, as those statements have been directly and indirectly critical of his partner in governance, the UNP. In last November, he had indirectly warned State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe for accusing him of appointing the PCoI on the CB Bond Issuance. more..

Govt has failed to realise the potential of kitesurfing

Jan 27 (ST) Kudawa, Kandakuliya Lagoon in Kalpitiya has long been a favourite spot for kitesurfing enthusiasts the world over and its popularity in the area commenced way back in 2010. However both the sport and Kudawa Kandakuliya’s reputation is now at risk as there has been no move by the authorities to demarcate areas or provide facilities for enthusiasts. The conditions for kite-surfing at Kalpitiya are such, more..

Commission recommends filing criminal cases against Gota, Senadhipathi

Jan 27 (DN) The PCoI has recommended filing criminal cases against 13 individuals including former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and Avant Garde Chairman Nissanka Senadhipathi over the Avant Garde case. The final report of PRECIFAC was tabled in Parliament on Tuesday. The other individuals against whom the Commission recommends filing criminal cases over the Avant Garde case more..

Finance Minister admits slow reforms

Jan 27 (EN) Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera has admitted that their good governance administration was slow to deliver on promised reforms, but noted the climate of fear had ended since the fall of the Rajapaksa regime. Samaraweera said those who voted overwhelmingly for change at the January 8, 2015 elections may be disillusioned, but urged them to reflect on the restoration of personal freedoms that more..

SriLankan CEO steps down

Jan 27 (DM) Controversial SriLankan Airlines CEO Suren Ratwatte was asked to step down following a Board meeting on Thursday with Manoj Gunawardene tipped to be the hot favourite to take over, Daily FT reported quoting top Govt officials. Move comes amidst plans to restructure the troubled national carrier, with its Chairman and Board of Directors expected to step down once the Govt finalises the reform agenda. more..

Statements recorded from several close associates of MR’s family

Jan 27 (DN) The CID conducting investigations into the murder of former rugby player Wasim Thajudeen yesterday informed Court that it has recorded statements from several individuals who were close associates with the family members of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Filing a further report in Court, the CID informed Colombo Additional Magistrate Darshika Wimalasiri that it has also commenced more..

SJGH appeals for organ donations from brain dead to save other lives

Jan 27 (Island) The Steering Committee of the Sri J'pura General Hospital’s (SJGH’s) Organ Transplant Unit, called on the public to consider consenting to donate, in the event of suffering brain death, their organs to save the lives of other. Addressing the media at the SJGH to announce the events lined up for Organ Donor Day scheduled to be held on Feb. 18, Consultant Urologist and Transplant Surgeon, more..