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NOCSL elections would be held on schedule, says secretary general

Jan 4 (ST) National Olympic Council Sri Lanka (NOCSL) Secretary General, Maxwell de Silva, says he cannot understand why a segment of the sports fraternity is making such a hue and a cry and keep writing to the International Olympic Council (IOC) when there is a cut-and-dried methodology to arrive at the next AGM in February. De Silva was answering to a query regarding a group Sports Association heads more..

Colombo Tea Auction continues buoyant trend

Jan 4 (CT) The Colombo tea auction, into the second trading day of 2018 yesterday, continued the same buoyant trend as Tuesday's Ex Estate sale, in which the best quality offerings from High and Medium elevations were sold. There was fair demand at easier rates for the 870,000 kg on offer, mainly due to selective buying by those operating for the Tea Bag sector, Lanka Commodity Brokers Director Jehan Algama said. Russia, together with some other markets in northern hemisphere, more..

Over 200,000 coconuts at reduced rates due to Thai Pongal

Jan 4 (DN) Over 200,000 coconuts were handed over to Lanka Sathosa by Elkaduwa and Kurunegala Plantations companies to be sold at a concessionary rate with the upcoming Thai Pongal festival. This is according to the instructions given to the Minister Kabir Hashim by President Sirisena and the PM Wickremesinghe. Kurunegala Plantations Company Sales Manager Jagath Jayawardena said, “Over 200,000 coconuts were handed over to Lanaka Sathosa on Dec 31, 2017 by more..

SLIEOA mulls union action if Govt. fails to introduce service minute

Jan 4 (ST) SL Immigration & Emigration Officers’ Association (SLIEOA) says it will decide by early next month on how to proceed with trade union action after the Govt failed to provide solutions to several key demands before the expiration of deadline set by the association. The two week time period set by the union for the Govt ended yesterday (30). Association’s main demand is the introduction of an approved service minute for more..

Govt to dispose of 7,723 inoperative State-owned vehicles

Jan 4 (FT) Following information gathered by the newly-appointed Comptroller General of the Ministry of Finance and Mass Media, the Govt has issued instructions to discard 7,723 State-owned vehicles not in running condition. Approval was given by the Cabinet to go ahead with the exercise, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. State institutions and provincial and local govts currently own 57,961 vehicles, out of which 50,238 are in running condition. more..

Sri Lanka state funds lost Rs8.5bn in bond scam, probe reveals

Jan 4 (EN) State funds lost Rs8.5 billion in SL’s biggest securities scam while primary dealer Perpetual Treasuries Ltd. (PTL) made an undue profit of Rs 11 billion, President Sirisena said. Presidential Commission which probed the scam also recommended special laws to be passed by parliament to recover the funds, Sirisens said, making a special statement to media on the PCoI report. EPF and other govt institutions had lost more than Rs 8,524 million or Rs 8.5 billion,” more..

Video: National govt expiry: JO says Cabinet unconstitutional, illegal

Jan 4 (DM) The extra set of Cabinet and non-Cabinet ministers appointed by the Govt has become unconstitutional and illegal today, JO said. It said the number of Cabinet and non-Cabinet ministers had been determined by the 19th Amendment to the Constitution and that number stands at 70. “According to the clause 46 (a) and (b) of the Constitution, the number of Cabinet ministers shouldn’t exceed 30 more..

PM appoints 5-member committee to resolve immigration and emigration service issues

Jan 4 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has appointed a five-member committee to find immediate solutions to prevailing issues with Sri Lanka’s immigration and emigration service which has allegedly been neglected by the authorities for the past two decades. Registration of Persons Department Commissioner General Viyani Gunathilaka has been appointed as the President of the committee, while Immigration and Emigration Department Additional Controller General more..

SriLankan Airlines Board resignation accepted

Jan 4 (FT) SriLankan Airlines Restructuring Ministerial Committee has yesterday accepted the resignation of Board of Directors and is to appoint a 5-member panel to restructure the national carrier. This decision was made when Ministerial Committee chaired by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe met yesterday to review the progress of the revival of SriLankan Airlines. The SriLankan Board comprised of Ajit Dias (Chairman), Rajan Brito, Rakita Jayawardena, Ruwanpura De Silva, Mahinda Haradasa, more..

Bond Scam probe: Experts wonder whether recommendations reflect evidence received

Jan 4 (Island) Attorney General (AG) couldn’t initiate action on his own in respect of the recommendations made by PCoI that had probed treasury bond scams involving Perpetual Treasuries Limited (PTL). Sources emphasised that the AG had to go by specific instructions received from the President. The Island sought an explanation from relevant authorities in the wake of Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera asserting that the AG could now more..

Rs.3.8 mn worth bite!

Jan 4 (DM) Marry Me, an artisanal dessert by Master Chef Viraj Jayaratne valued at Rs. 3.8 million, was presented to star cricketer Kumar Sangakkara. The dessert, created to mark 25 years of Chef Jayaratne’s culinary journey was prepared using expensive imported ingredients. The Grand Hotel team including the Master Chef took this bold step in an attempt to explore new avenues in the hospitality industry. Tourism Minister John Amarathunga was present at the event. more..

Full Text: Prez statement on PCoI report

Jan 4 (Island) May the Triple Gem Bless You! First of all, I offer my best wishes for the New Year. As the people of the country are eagerly waiting with high interest, I wish to make a statement on the final report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) into the Issue of Treasury Bonds of the Central Bank, which was appointed by me taking into consideration the opinion of the people regarding allegations of corrupt practices and misdeeds during the period 2015 and 2016. more..

CB targets 5%-5.5% growth for 2018

Jan 4 (FT) Legal amendments, the continuation of fiscal consolidation and stronger reforms to attract investment and boost exports are needed to underpin a recovery of about 5% to 5.5% growth in 2018, Central Bank said yesterday, as it prepares to tackle Rs. 1.9 trillion in debt repayments this year. CB Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy, presenting the annual Road Map for 2018, exhaustively recapped 2017 and reiterated more..

Bond Commission won’t release report

Jan 4 (Island) Secretary to the PCoI that probed treasury bond scams Sumathipala Udugamsuriya said that the releasing of the report would be President Sirisena’s prerogative. Udugamsuriya said so when inquired from him whether a copy of the report could be obtained. The official said that their mandate was for a fact-finding inquiry and report to the appointing authority. Responding to another query, he said that about six copies were printed for members of the commission el al. more..

PCoI recomendations on Bond Scam: AKD wants Parliament summoned urgently

Jan 4 (CT) Chief Opposition Whip Anura Kumara Dissanayake (AKD), wrote to the Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, requesting him to summon Parliament urgently to present the report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry, which investigated the issuance of Treasury bonds. The report was handed over by the PCoI to President Maithripala Sirisena, who revealed the contents, which included the Commission's findings and recommendations, to the public via Television. more..

Presidential statement on PCoI report: New laws to recover massive losses

Jan 4 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday endorsed a key recommendation, by PCoI which probed bond scams, that losses caused by Perpetual Treasuries Pvt. Ltd. (PTL) be recovered. "The recovery could be done by following the normal legal procedure, but, since it would take a longer time, the commission has suggested to present a special bill to Parliament to bring about laws for the speedy recovery of the loss," more..

Fighting to keep children alive

Jan 4 (DM) J.K. Rowling the famous author of the Harry Potter series has written a shocking and shameful story on institutionalized orphans mainly in Third World countries. CNN says twenty years after casting her spell with the very first Harry Potter book, British author opens up about the other huge passion in her life -- getting every institutionalized child out of orphanages. Magic of Harry Potter has transformed her into the most famous, most loved, most celebrated author of our time. more..

Right of Reply: Fair exchange is no robbery

Jan 4 (DM) Govt must be really disappointed that police still couldn’t find a valid reason to arrest former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Any foreigner who reads the above opening statement of this article may wonder what is happening in this country. A govt is looking for reasons to arrest people? Such things happen only under dictatorships, fascist regimes and undemocratic circumstances. But this is the sad reality in Sri Lanka today. Since the current govt came to power more..

'We are only concerned about our security, safety and law'

Jan 4 (DM) State Minister M.L.A.M. Hizbullah spoke about the current political situation in the country and also aired his views about the happenings in the east. He said that cooperation is absent among the ministers and the situation can’t continue as it is. Following are excerpts of the interview done with Hisbullah. Q: As a Muslim politician from the east, how do you view the preferences of the Govt? It is ok. more..

Building bridge of China, SL peoples' friendship to further promote Sino-Lanka ties

Jan 4 (Xinhua) Several events have been planned for this year to further promote Sino-Lanka ties and spread further awareness on China's Belt and Road Initiative in Sri Lanka, a association president said. President of the Association for SL-China Social and Cultural Cooperation Indrananda Abeysekera said that his Association, along with several friendship associations in China, has been planning many events this year more..

Video: DMT announces new series of motorcar registration numbers

Jan 4 (DM) A new series of motorcar registration numbers starting from CBA 0001 will be printed into vehicle registration plates, Department of Motor Traffic (DMT) said. DMT Commissioner General A.H.K. Jagath Chandrasiri said CAA 0001 vehicle registration numbers were introduced on July 13, 2013, and that the main ‘CA’ category had 26 sub-categories of English letters ranging from CAA 0001 to CAZ 9999. more..

Paving the way for more and more open heart surgeries in Jaffna

Jan 4 (ST) With open heart surgery being initiated at the Jaffna Teaching Hospital this month, bypass operations are to be launched in about two months. All arrangements are being made to begin coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) at the Jaffna Hospital, the Director-General (DG) of Health Services, Dr. Anil Jasinghe who paid a visit to the hospital soon after the first two surgeries on Dec 20 and 21, told the Sunday Times. more..

CH - Navy brawl: Dhanushka Perera writes

Jan 4 (DM) In response to our article titled CH shocked over Yoshitha criticism Mr. Dhanushka Perera has sent the following letter in which he states as follows. This is to bring to you notice that I was shocked and dismayed to see the way my name has been dragged into and unnecessarily mentioned repeatedly regarding the incident that happened at the rugby match between CH & FC and Navy SC on Dec 30, 2017. more..

Govt nod to raise $5B via dollar bonds

Jan 4 (CT) Sri Lanka will raise over US$ 5 billion in 2018 under its public borrowing programme by issuing US $3 billion worth of Sri Lanka Development Bonds (SLDB) and US$ 2 billion worth of International Sovereign Bonds (ISB), Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara said yesterday. This provides confirmation on Ceylon FT's exclusive story in its 2 January edition titled Treasury to seek Govt nod to raise $2 Billion. more..

Fertiliser ship arrives, ready for distribution

Jan 4 (DN) Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara said current shortage of fertiliser will end with the arrival of 40,000 metric tonnes of fertilizer from Pakistan. He said the fertiliser will be sent to the respective areas in 200 lorries soon after the consignment is released from the port on the special permission given by the relevant authorities. Reason for the sudden fertiliser shortage was a cancellation of a two tenders due to certain irregularities more..

Mathews, Chandimal in ODI captaincy frame

Jan 4 (CI) Sri Lanka's ODI captaincy may pass back to Angelo Mathews, barely six months after he resigned from the position, or it may go to Dinesh Chandimal, who has not consistently held a place in the XI. Thisara Perera captained Sri Lanka in the recent ODIs against India, but is now unlikely to be persisted with under head coach Chandika Hathurusingha's new regime. The decision to strike out in another direction - the next World Cup more..

Call for Parliamentary debate on Bond Commission findings

Jan 4 (AD) The SLFP has requested for a debate in Parliament regarding the findings of the PCoI on the issuance of CB treasury bonds, UPFA General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera said. Meanwhile the JO and the JVP have also called for Parliament to be convened immediately to discuss the recommendations of the report. In a letter addressed to Speaker of Parliament, JVP said that as per president’s special statement more..

President's office has second thoughts on bond statement

Jan 4 (EN) President Sirisena's office has put out several versions of his bond commission statement in an apparent attempt to soften the blow to PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and his party. First English translation of President's Sinhala statement was reasonably close to the original, but a subsequent version -- Bond Report V3 final.docx -- took the sting out. It removed all references to Wickremesinghe & Ravi Karunanayake more..

Elephant Conservation

Jan 4 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena speaking to his constituents in Polonnaruwa on Sunday had said that due to a lack of resources, construction of elephant fences and taking other such measures to address human-elephant conflict has been delayed. But it's not permanent fences that are needed to keep the peace, but temporary fences, coupled with village involvement in maintaining those fences for sustainability, a recent World Bank (WB) report said. 'Wildlife such as elephants cannot more..

2018: A year for reinventing Sri Lanka

Jan 4 (FT) The start of a new year always offer an opportunity for some fresh thinking and among most an opportunity to have a new resolution. The progress of course will depend on one’s commitment and only time will tell. One thing is sure, we have had many a year passing through and millions must have done this process at the start but if one is to think that only wars, lies, deceptions signify the past year, we know that we have not stood by our principles. more..

බැඳුම්කර ගනුදෙනුවෙන් වංචා

Palaniswami urges Modi to secure release of 84 fishermen from Sri Lanka

Jan 4 (Hindu) Hours after 13 fishermen on board two boats from Tamil Nadu were arrested by the Sri Lankan authorities in the Palk Bay on Thursday; Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami expressed concerns and urged PM Narendra Modi to secure the release of all 84 fishermen and all 159 boats presently in SL custody. In his letter to the PM, a copy of which was circulated to the media here, Mr. Palaniswami cited eight recent incidents in which fishermen from Nagapattinam, Pudukkottai more..

Bond Scam: I beat President to the AG’s office, brags Ranil

Jan 4 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said that he forwarded the recommendations submitted by the COPE on the controversial Central Bank bond issue in December 2016, a year before President Maithripala Sirisena pledged to do so. In a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s office, Wickremesinghe claims that both submissions, the President’s and his, have affirmed the democratic and law-abiding policies of the Yahapalana National Govt. more..

Pakistan undertakes policy reversal to address fertilizer issue in Sri Lanka

Jan 4 (DM) Not only did the fertilizer crisis create effects in local politics but it also involved the decision making process in Pakistan as a country exporting such agriculture inputs. Apart from the apparent absence of a contingency plan for the import of fertilizer, the decision by the Pakistani govt also resulted in a shortage in local supply. The major shortage of Urea fertilizer for paddy farming led to consternation among cultivators here. more..

3 Tamil Nadu fishermen arrested by SL navy

Jan 4 (PTI) Sri Lankan Navy today arrested 13 Tamil Nadu fishermen for allegedly fishing in their territorial waters off Katchatheevu islet. They also damaged a few boats and fishing equipment belonging to others using iron rods, before chasing them away. More than 2,000 fishermen from Thangachimadam had ventured into the sea yesterday in 523 boats and were fishing near Katchatheevu when the Lankan naval men came to the spot and arrested 13 fishermen. more..

Ranil under pressure to sack Ravi K

Jan 4 (CT) A group of senior advisors as well as a group MPs belonging to the UNP have launched a campaign against Ravi Karunanayake and are planning to request party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to sack Karunanayake from the post of Deputy Leader of the UNP and his position as head of the Rural Infrastructure Special Programme, CT learns. The call is for his removal for the offense of perjury, for Karunanayake has lied to both the CoI and to the PM. more..

Looters as Rulers: PM thanks Bond Commission for exceptional service

Jan 4 (AD) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe issued a communiqué thanking the PCoI for the Bond Issuance of the CB for 10 months of exceptional service and the provision of unbiased recommendations. He further stated that both the recommendations of the Bond Commission and the report of the COPE committee have been handed over to the Attorney General by the President. PM made a request from AG more..

Govt attempted to give psychological bribes: JO

Jan 4 (NR) JO has accused the govt of attempting to give psychological bribes to voters in the lead up to the upcoming LG Election. UPFA MP Wimalaweera Dissanayake said a female MP who joined the SLFP should be held responsible. He claimed the female MP of attempting to deceive voters in Ampara by promising millions of rupees to voters. MP noted the money in the Ministry belongs to the Local Govt body adding it couldn’t be kept from people holding different political views. more..

Ravi's penthouse: Nettikumara ordered to give statement to CID

Jan 4 (DM) Shanil Nettikumara-who allegedly levelled death threats to the brother of Anika Wijeysuriya for giving evidence before the Bond Commission regarding Former Minister Ravi Karunanayake's Penthouse rental payment by Arjun Aloysius-was today directed to record statement with the CID over the inquiry by Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne. The suspect was present in Court and the Magistrate released the suspect on a surety bail of Rs. 150,000. more..

Video: President must also be held responsible: JO

Jan 4 (DM) In the wake of President Sirisena’s statement on the CB bond scam, JO said President Sirisena should also be held responsible for the fraud as he was the appointing authority of Arjuna Mahendran as the CB Governor who cleaned out the Treasury. Former minister Prof. G.L. Peiris said President Sirisena had only appointed Mr. Mahendran. He also said yesterday’s Prez Sirisena’s statement was merely to more..