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GMOA Strike : Not started yet ? - Rajitha

Jan 4 (Island) Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that the Harsha De Silva Committee on the SAITM had been dissolved and there was no question of the GMOA withdrawing from it. Answering questions on the GMOA’s threat to quit the Harshade Silva Committee, at the Post Cabinet Briefing in Colombo, Senaratne noted that proceedings had been terminated, after the GMOA and other stake holders agreed on granting those who had studied medicine at SAITM, medical degrees. more..

Two SL leopard cubs born in England Zoo

Jan 4 (DM) Banham Zoo at Norfolk in England is celebrating the birth of two rare and endangered Sri Lankan leopard cubs which were born in September. With fewer than 1,000 SL Leopards in the wild, the birth of the cubs has been warmly welcomed by the zookeepers at Banham. These endangered animals have bred successfully at the zoo for many years but this is the first time for Sariska and her mate Mias, wrote Harriet Orrell. Zoo’s animal manager, said it’s very exciting for the zoo. more..

Killing of 5 youth in Trinco: Case now progressing with Skype evidence

Jan 4 (DM) Minister Sagala Ratnayaka said the case involving the 2006 killing of five Tamil students in Trincomalee was now progressing as new reforms have allowed the use of Skype evidence. In a tweet, he said, “We could not proceed with the case as the main witness was overseas and was not in a position to support proceedings. Case is now progressing as new reforms have allowed use of Skype evidence." more..

Manoj Sirisena sworn-in as SPC Sports Minister

Jan 4 (DM) Southern Provincial Council (SPC) member Manoj Sirisena was appointed as Minister of Sports and Youth affairs, Culture and Arts, Social Welfare, Probationary Care and Child Protection, Women’s Affairs, Housing and Construction and Manpower and Employment. He was sworn-in today before President Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat. SP Governor Hemakumara Nanayakkara, CM Shan Wijayalal De Silva and others participated on this occasion. more..

Unexpected response for President’s statement: Thilanga

Jan 4 (AD) Deputy Speaker Thilanga Sumathipala says that the public response and expectation regarding President Maithripala Sirisena’s statement on the report of the Bond Commission had exceeded expectations. He stated that ever since the President made the statement, religious leaders from all faiths have expressed their appreciation and extended blessings for the President’s “brave decision.” MP stated that opposition groups had continuously attempted to create more..

PM hopes AG will act on bond commission report

Jan 4 (EN) PM's office expressed hope that the Attorney General will act on a report by President Commission of Inquiry, though no action has been taken on a parliamentary report which was handed over more than a year ago. PM's office said a report by the parliament's COPE was referred to the AG as far back as October 31, 2016. "The report on the PCoI on bond issues has been referred by Prez to the AG," statement said. more..

JO wants PM and UNP sacked from govt

Jan 4 (AD) The JO says that with the release of the report of the Bond Commission, what the President should do first and foremost as a good governance govt is to immediately remove the UNP Cabinet ministers including the PM. UPFA MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage claimed that the UNP, which was unable to even pay the electricity bill at Sirikotha, had given each of its candidates Rs 5 million from the bond money for the general election. He said that JO had repeatedly pointed out more..

Sri Lanka hire performance psychologist

Jan 4 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket have hired the services of performance psychologist Dr. Phil Jauncey on a short-term basis, at the behest of new head coach Chandika Hathurusingha. Jauncey has previously worked with Hathurusingha on the Bangladesh national team, completing at least two stints in Dhaka. His work with the Sri Lanka side began on Wednesday, and is expected to last 10 days. The team hopes to engage him over many more stints along the way. more..

UK All- Party Parliamentary Group on Sri Lanka met with President

Jan 4 (PSL) The UK All- Party Parliamentary Group on Sri Lanka met with President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat, today. Members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group including its Chair Mr Ranil Jayawardena of Sri Lankan origin, MP, House of Commons, who represent the Conservative Party of the UK, participated in this meeting. The delegation arrived in the country with the aim of more..

Gap between knowledge & practice in sexual health behaviour among factory workers

Jan 4 (MX) More and more people are aware of modes of transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and ways to be protected from them with increased media proliferation in recent years. However, the increased awareness alone does not guarantee safer sexual behaviour, a study in Sri Lanka has shown. The study, which was carried out to assess knowledge, attitude and behaviour related to STIs and HIV/AIDS among factory workers in the Seethawaka Export more..

LG Elections: Too early to predict Mahinda’s Party performance: Ranil

Jan 4 (Island) Since the LG election campaign proper has not started, it is too early to predict how the SLPP would perform, says PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. Asked if he could predict the fortunes of the SLPP, widely regarded as a party established by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, PM said on Tuesday "Let’s wait and see. It’s a bit too early to comment on that." Mahinda still remains a joint patron of the SLFP along with Ex President Chandrika Kumaratunga more..

SAITM abolished: Govt signs MoU with SLIIT and SAITM

Jan 4 (AD) The 9-member Committee appointed by the President was tasked with implementing the steps outlined in the Presidential Communiqué of 29.10.2017, which provided the following solution to this crisis: the abolition of SAITM in a manner legally acceptable to the current shareholders, lending institutions and the new entity interested in taking over all operations and management of SAITM, via the transferral of more..

Clean coal versus liquified natural gas

Jan 5 (Island) From the early 1970s, the highly-committed senior engineer Carlo Fernando lobbied sincerely, knowledgeably and forcefully to press the govts of the time to build one or two medium-sized coal-based power stations and not to go in for gas turbine or diesel engine-powered electricity generation. The thrust of his logic was that (1) Sri Lanka’s hydropower potential was limited and would soon be fully exploited, (2) the volume and timing of rainfall could not be accurately predicted, more..

President initiates strategic offensive

Jan 5 (DN) Thursday evening President Maithripla Sirisena making a special statement informed the nation about the findings and recommendations of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the CB Bond issue, the report of which was presented to him on Dec 30, 2017. The Commission was appointed following the exposure of an alleged fraud by the COPE, the Opposition and the public regarding the issue of Treasury Bonds by the CB between Feb 1, 2015 and March 31, 2016. more..

Decorated tuk tuks a thing of the past, soon

Jan 5 (SO) The three wheel wisdom or the three wheel humour, call it what you may, has earned a special place and popularity in its own right among locals and tourists in Sri Lanka. This subculture, however, is destined to go under the axe by the turn of this year. The govt has instructed that additional stickers and accessories on three wheelers must be removed since they are a cause of accidents, among other things. more..

The Communal in and out of Wilpattu

Jan 5 (CT) Last week I wrote that Wilpattu should be the core issue of the forthcoming LG elections because the said election has taken on a national character and because Wilpattu is a national issue. I defined Wilpattu thus: Wilpattu in the sense the term is used here is not a forest reserve located in the North Western Province. Wilpattu is every forest under threat of encroachment; Wilpattu is every tree that is marked for felling; Wilpattu is every creature whose habitat has been threatened more..

Telling their diverse stories with a click

Jan 5 (ST) The funeral rites performed by Hindus at the cemetery, the smiling faces of children dancing around their teacher, the hard work of a labourer. These were some of the images captured by young photographers and exhibited at the Lionel Wendt Art Centre recently. The exhibition, Our country – our people, organised by the Centre for Peace Building and Reconciliation as part of its Voice of Image photography programme looked to highlight the lifestyles of people from all over Sri Lanka. more..

'We don’t have a mandate to ally with UNP'

Jan 5 (CT) JO and UPFA MP Pavithra Wanniarachchi says that all political forces except the UNP retrogrades have to be brought together. Q: Are you a member of the SLFP or SLPP, now? A: I am a member of the SLFP, at present. Leader of SLPP is Prof. G.L. Peiris. Former President Rajapaksa is a patron of the SLFP. But they go campaigning for the Lotus Bud toting the pictures of Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Editorial: Moment of truth for Prez

Jan 5 (Island) We waited, with bated breath, for a pulse-pounding, earth-shattering revelation on Wednesday. But, Prez Sirisena only read out a statement, selectively disclosing some of the recommendations made by the PCoI, which probed CB bond scams. However, he, credit where credit is due, has at least done that much unlike his immediate predecessor, Mahinda Rajapaksa, who swallowed presidential probe committee reports whole and flashed grins like a Cheshire cat. more..

Life ban for Kapila Kumara

Jan 5 (CT) Ministry of Sports banned four former officials of the Sri Lanka Body Building and Fitness Federation and ten former officials of the Sri Lanka Judo Association when it was revealed that they were guilty of offences from the investigation reports, Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara said. The banned officials included the former President of the SL Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation, Kapila Kumara who will face a life time ban from all sports due to forgery, misusing funds & misconduct. more..

JVP press conference: Bond Issue

Developing or developed nation? The answer in 2018

Jan 5 (ST) Students often seem to be writing at the outset of their economic tutorials that Sri Lanka is a developing country. During my time too, as students of economics, we gave the same designation to our country: Sri Lanka is a developing country. I studied Sri Lanka’s development history mostly from the scholars of our previous generation. I remember they had also written in the same way in their books and papers: Sri Lanka is a developing country. Over the past 70 years after independence more..

National Prosperity Budgets: Promoting Development or Inflation?

Jan 5 (CT) It is high time we became sincere and gave our most serious and committed assessment of factors that contribute towards the economic wellbeing of our nation so that there are no illusions any more. What is important is not the political party or leader who comes into power, when some are rejected as undesirables for a variety of reasons. Out of them, the most deciding aspect is the degree of development and its effect that can be felt and seen. more..

Ministry to take firm action against NOC officials

Jan 5 (CT) Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara said the ministry will take firm action against top NOC officials who violated the sports law. As Ceylon Today revealed in the article Violation of Sports Law by NOC official, three NOC officials, namely President Hemasiri Fernando, Secretary General Maxwell de Silva and Treasurer Gamini Jayasinghe were appointed as office bearers of Triathlon, Judo & Handball Associations respectively. more..

No State recognition for Pushparaj: Minister

Jan 5 (CT) Despite several media hype concerning controversial bodybuilder Lucion Pushparaj following his recent Int'l achievement, Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara assured that SL will not recognize any of his achievements or sponsor him for any future competitions. Pushparaj had publicly acknowledged he is using substances banned by World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) and competed only in competitions where he claimed all other participants too aren't subject to anti doping testing. more..

Sports Ministry’s Cash award scheme

Jan 5 (CT) Sports Minister announced their new cash distribution scheme for Int'l Medallists with a highest award of Rs 20 million for an Olympic Gold medallist. Nevertheless cash awards are not subject to Asian and Commonwealth Championships. Even though a World Championship medallist will be awarded prize money it is subject to the number of participants. Besides that, the coaches too will get 25% of the cash prize received by the medallist. If there is a former coach involved, more..

Permanent employment for unemployed sportspersons

Jan 5 (DN) A permanent employment program for all national level players in all sports will be the top priority of the Ministry of Sports for the year 2018, stated Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera. “A large number of national players are going through a variety of economic difficulties mainly because of such a situation, the players find themselves not dedicating 100% to the respective sports they have associated with,” he stated. more..

Mahinda throws SLFP into crisis by Vote Pohottuwa call

Jan 5 (CT) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa who is a Senior Advisor of the SLFP appeared to have burned his boats with the party he has been a member of for more than four decades when he called people to vote for the Joint People’s Front. Rajapaksa made this call when he spoke at the launch of the Joint People’s front election campaign at the Sugathadasa Stadium today at a meeting attended by approximately 8000 candidates contesting under Pohottuwa (bud) symbol. more..

All govts responsible for the very large debt stock: CB Governor

Jan 5 (Island) I don't think that anyone would vote against the Liability Management Bill to be tabled in parliament shortly because all successive govts have been responsible for creating the very large stock of debt, Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy said. He said so when the media asked whether the intended Liability Management Bill would receive enough votes in parliament for it to become an Act. "I don't see why they should stop a Bill that would help the CB deal with debt repayment," he noted. more..

Country faces acute shortage of manpower: Survey

Jan 5 (DN) The number of existing labour vacancies in Sri Lanka by June 2017 was estimated at 497,302 and the highest demand is for sewing machine operators. This is the first ever survey on the labour demand in the country in 2017 conducted by Dept of Census and Statistics (DCS). In addition to that the report says that security guards, other manufacturing labourers, shop sales assistants, advertising and marketing more..

New business plan for CPC soon

Jan 5 (CT) Sri Lanka lacks a national Energy Policy, which is vital to determining the future direction of Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC), Chairman of CPC Dammika Ranatunga said, adding that a company will be tasked with the preparation of a comprehensive business plan for the state entity. "This country does not have an energy Policy. There are a lot of products coming into the market and if an energy policy comes into place, we would be able to decide which percentage of products more..

Census Dept. to rebase GDP calculation year

Jan 5 (FT) The Census and Statistics Department is working to rebase the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) calculation year from 2010 to possibly 2015 over the next few months, a top official said yesterday. Census and Statistics Department Director General Dr. A.J. Satharasinghe told the Daily FT that the base year for calculating national accounts, which was previously upgraded from 2002 to 2010, in 2015 is likely to be changed to 2015 or a year closer to that presently. more..

'India’s only aim in Sri Lanka is to cooperate and collaborate with it'

Jan 5 (NA) Indian High Commissioner in SL, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, has said that India’s only agenda in Sri Lanka is to cooperate and collaborate with it, and that Indo-Lankan bilateral cooperation is all about sharing and caring and devoid of caveats and riders. Speaking here following the signing of an agreement by which SL will purchase 209 state of the art ambulances with an Indian grant of US$ 15.02 mil, more..

Tourism, promising field for investments: Japan FM

Jan 5 (DN) A business delegation comprising nearly 100 members from the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry will visit SL this month to explore investment opportunities, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said. Through various exchanges including this business delegation, I expect to further increase investment from Japan to SL, he added. He arrived in SL for a two day official visit yesterday. This is the first time in 15 years that a Japanese Foreign Minister is visiting SL. more..

Details collected on Dubai accounts of Rajapaksa’s family

Jan 5 (FT) Details have been collected related to the Dubai accounts of the family of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Cabinet co-spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said that investigations into the illegal funds stored in the Dubai accounts are ongoing and important information is expected to be revealed soon. In 2015 the Govt had said that Namal Rajapaksa, the son of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, had an offshore account in Dubai with millions of US dollars. more..

Tamil Tiger financiers to stand trial in Switzerland

Jan 5 (SWI) 13 financiers accused of funnelling more than $15.3 million to Tamil separatist group LTTE will stand trial before the Swiss Federal Criminal Court on Monday. The accused are from Switzerland, Germany and SL. Some are former members of the World Tamil Coordinating Committee (WTCC), which represented the LTTE in Switzerland until 2009, and include its founder, his deputy and the person in charge of finances. more..

CBSL prints Rs 128B, then retires Rs 90.2B

Jan 5 (CT) Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) on Wednesday lent to the Govt of Sri Lanka (GoSL) Rs 127,961.06 million on an overnight basis to help meet its liquidity commitments due to a revenue lack. However, yesterday, Rs 90,236.45 million of such liquidity, reflected in CBSL's FVMP holdings, was retired, thereby mitigating both GoSL's rupee debt and demand-pull inflationary pressure. As a consequence to these activities, CBSL's face value money printing (FVMP) holdings, more..

Biz confidence nudges up ahead of elections

Jan 5 (FT) LMD-Nielsen Business Confidence Index (BCI) inched up to 122 in December from 119 in the previous month, the latest edition of LMD reports. Nielsen’s Managing Director Sharang Pant points out in LMD that “a mixed response to the Budget continues amongst business leaders and citizens in general. While some stakeholders have called for a reversal of specific taxes, others including the IMF have appreciated the changes.” And he observes: “While macro indicators continue to more..

Mattala JV with India: Negotiations still grounded without detailed business plan

Jan 5 (FT) Govt has sought clarification on a detailed proposal submitted by the Indian Govt to operate Mattala Rajapaksa Int'l Airport to understand their business plan in order to move forward with the negotiations, a top Govt official confirmed. An Indian team of experts visited Sri Lanka to discuss the proposal, which was being studied by the Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC). TEC has submitted its detailed report more..

TISL wants apolitical opening of Rajagiriya flyover ahead of LG polls

Jan 5 (FT) Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) in a statement yesterday called on the Govt to ensure that the opening of the Rajagiriya flyover was carried out in compliance with regulations issued by the Elections Commission of Sri Lanka. “If the Rajagiriya flyover is to be opened ahead of the Feb 10 local govt elections, it should be done without the participation of politicians to remain in compliance with the Commission’s regulations,” TISL said. more..