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EPF reaches Rs 2 trillion milestone

Jan 5 (CT) Management of Employees' Provident Fund (EPF), Monetary Board of CB, as the safe custodian, has decided to completely revamp the fund investment process, while maintaining its over 90% investment portfolio in the Govt debt securities, Deputy Governor K.D. Ranasinghe said. Meanwhile, CBSL's 2018 roadmap stated that, as the largest superannuation fund in the country, EPF passed a significant milestone during the last year, with total assets of the Fund surpassing Rs 2 trillion. more..

JVP accuses President of absolving PM

Jan 5 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisenaís Wednesday address to the nation was nothing but a balance sheet of frauds committed by the two main parties during the last 70 years, the JVP says. JVP MP Vijitha Herath said: "The presidentís address was only a confession of what the SLFP and UNP did in the name of governing the country. It is nothing but a balance sheet of their administrations. more..

Commission clears PM: Minister Musthapha

Jan 5 (DM) While appealing to the media not to politicise the statement made by President Maithripala Sirisena on the CB bond scam, Minister Faizer Musthapha said t Bond Commission had clearly said that there was no involvement whatsoever by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in the bond controversy. He asked journalists whether a school principal would be removed when a student did something wrong simply because the principal admitted the boy to the school? more..

'SriLankan shut down not even discussed'

Jan 5 (CT) Refuting reports of a possible shut down of SriLankan Airlines, Minister Kabir Hashim said yesterday that such a move has not even been discussed and that a new Chairman and Board of Directors will be appointed to oversee the restructuring of the national carrier. "Certain individuals are relying on false rumours about a possible shut down of SriLankan Airlines, and creating, intentionally or unintentionally, a volatile situation. I am disgusted by these actions," more..

Rs. 3.8 mn dessert: Sanga says no one had to pay

Jan 5 (DM) Responding to his twitter followersí criticisms made on Rs. 3.8 million worth dessert, Kumar Sangakkara said it was just the launch of the dessert and no one had to pay the price on the day of the launch. He tweeted and said Itís the headlines that grab the attention. The details are lost to some. Twitterites confronted Sangakkara over the news that Rs. 3.8 million worth dessert which he shared with his wife at Grand Hotel more..

UNP has done a massive task for the development of villages: PM

Jan 5 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe says that although during the past two and a half years, UNP within the unity govt has done a massive task for the village, no govt money was spent on publicizing them. PM pointed out that this work has been done through education, road systems, temples, health sectors and development projects. He made this statement at a convention held at Sirikotha to enlighten the party organizers and the candidates for the upcoming local govt election on more..

I am at loss to understand how I became a suspect: Ravi K

Jan 5 (DM) UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake, against whom the Bond Commission presses bribery charges, said he was at a loss to understand how he turned up as a suspect since the CB and the State Banks did not remain under his purview. President Sirisena, in his statement on the controversial bond transaction by the Central Bank, said the Commission had recommended legal action against Mr. Karunanayake under bribery charges. Mr. Karunanayake said he would make more..

Looters as Rulers: Regime capable of robbing even from the Central Bank

Jan 5 (Island) Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka Chairperson Dr. Deepika Udagama strongly asserted that the law should be applied to all citizens equally. Dr. Udagama said so when The Island sought the reaction of the commission to President Maithripala Sirisenaís admission that members of the UNP as well as the SLFP had been implicated by justice K.T. Chitrasiriís PCoI and PRECIFAC, respectively. more..

PCoI report: A tough lesson for politicians

Jan 5 (DM) Dismissing criticism by cynics and opposition leaders, President Maithripala Sirisena on Wednesday, assured that effective and immediate legal action would be taken against those facing serious charges in the report of the Presidential Commission, which probed the Central Bank bond transactions from February 1, 2015, to March 31, 2016. The Commission has made charges of unethical conduct by the Central Bankís former Governor Arjuna Mahendran. more..

Predictable crises all round either way

Jan 5 (DM) The popular question that is making the rounds is Who would come on top, at this election? They mean Which party? Will MR and his SLPP (outnumber Sirisenaís SLFP and the UPFA? What most, want to know in advance is the outcome of the elections. The winner for sure will not be decided by the voter. If the party that takes control of the most number of LG bodies is counted as the winner that will be decided within hours and days by elected men and women, more..

'UNP, SLFP will govern country together till 2020'

Jan 5 (DM) Minister John Amaratunga speaks about the current political situation of the country. However, he declined to make any comment on President Maithripala Sirisenaís statement on the CB bond scam. He said the UNPís media unit only would respond to it. Q: How are you getting ready for the LG polls? A: It is a walkover for the UNP. It is the Wattala Urban Council area and the Wattala Pradeshiya Sabha area. more..

Unity bovt impaled by bond commission but ...

Jan 5 (DM) Hard on the heels of the MoU between SLFP headed by President Sirisena and UNP led by PM Wickremesinghe on the so-called National Govt having lapsed on Dec 31, President on Wednesday made public the findings of the report of PCoI on CB bond scam, to the utter disappointment of UNP. Personal interest taken by the President to make the findings of the report public would surely have hurt leaders of UNP more..

Sri Lankan education system: Violation of studentsí rights on the rise: HRCSL

Jan 5 (CT) The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) revealed that the number of complaints being received by them regarding the violation of the rights of students in the country's education system has gone up considerably and that the situation has become aggravated. In this circumstance, HRCSL was contemplating the submission of an Education Policy Report during 1st quarter of this year to govt. more..

2018 far from road-safety year; new fine system further delayed

Jan 5 (ST) Will our roads that claim eight lives every day be safer in 2018? Perhaps, they may not be so at least till April next year Ė with the authorities now saying that the much-debated-and-delayed motor traffic fine system will not be implemented from tomorrow. The new traffic fine regulations were scheduled to be gazetted today and implemented from tomorrow, but National Council for Road Safety (NCRS) Chairman more..

'President clears PM's name in Bond scam'

Jan 5 (DM) JO MP Namal Rajapaksa said President Sirisena had cleared the good name of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe through his statement on the CB bond scam. He said that accordingly, now the wrongdoer was former CB Governor Arjun Mahendran. ďIn President Sirisenaís statement, he has cleared the good name of PM Wickremesinghe. The wrongdoer is Mahendran, not the person who had appointed him or more..

'SL has guaranteed equality of employment'

Jan 5 (DN) Sri Lanka is far ahead of some western countries where equality of employment opportunities and salaries between and male and female is concerned, Minister Champika Ranawaka said. He made this observation pointing out that one of the leading news in the int'l media was that femalesí salaries was tallied with males in Ireland. He added it was a main topic since until then, males there were granted a higher salary than more..

Govt, media faulted for not paying attention to HR issues

Jan 5 (Island) Human rights chief Dr. Deepika Udagama alleged that state machinery hadnít provided the much required backing to ensure the smooth functioning of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL). The head of the Department of Law, Peradeniya said that she hadnít been able to rectify shortcomings in spite of strenuous efforts at obtaining govt intervention. more..

Video: Bond scam loss could be up to Rs 500-1,000 billion: Cabraal

Jan 5 (AD) Former Governor of the Central Bank, Ajith Nivard Cabraal, says that he believes the losses caused by the bond scam is a lot more than what has been stated in the commission report. ďI see it as a loss of somewhere between Rs 500 billion and Rs 1,000 billion.Ē He also said that he is glad that the report of the PCoI on the bond scam has recommended an investigation into the issuance of bonds during the period 2008-2014. more..

'Narcotics seized to be destroyed in public'

Jan 5 (NR) Minister Sagala Ratnayaka says all narcotics that have been seized thus far will be destroyed in public. He noted relevant legal provisions to do so are being arranged. The value of heroin, illegal cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana seized from the 1st of Jan 2017, till the 27th of Dec 2017 has been valued at 375.5 million rupees. He said the number of raids carried out this year will be increased in order to speed-up the process more..

Court issues open warrant to arrest Jaliya W.

Jan 5 (AD) Colombo Fort Magistrateís Court has issued an open warrant for the arrest of former SL Ambassador to the US, Jaliya Wickramasuriya. Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne also issued notice on the defendantís four bailsmen, including his wife who signed for the bail, to appear before the court on Feb 16. On Nov 17, Magistrate had issued an arrest warrant on the former diplomat after he failed to appear before the court. more..

Tourists make a beeline for Sri Lanka

Jan 5 (Hindu) Itís the dawn of a new year but I long to go back to the final vestiges of 2017, when, relaxing on the glorious beaches of southern SL, reality was so far away. This year, it seems like an enormous, well-heeled Indian contingent is vacationing in SL. From press accounts, even Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh were there to snorkel. Indian Ocean doesnít offer the calmest of waters, of course, but the sun sizzles & it helps that SL currency is so much weaker than ours. more..

Does GSP decide the progress of Sri Lanka?

Jan 5 (FT) In March 2017, EU approved the grant of GSP+ facility, a much-awaited response by the SL Govt since it had been temporarily suspended. This decision of the EU created a blissful environment in SL. But in the latter part of Dec 2017, US had declared the grant of GSP benefits for SL and another 120 nations would end on 31 Dec 2017. Now the time is ripe for SL to examine how new global tendencies like fluctuations and changes in GSP facilities are liable to affect SL exports. more..

Gomin Dayasri

Collusion among elites must not happen again

Jan 5 (CT) Sri Lankans are used to Govts appointing various Commissions, to investigate issues and crimes committed, throughout our existence as a nation ever since the British took over the country. Many of these Commissions have sought to contribute towards nation building, and some recommendations have been accepted by Govts, and others ignored. For instance, Sansoni Commission heard the tales of the horrors of the 1983 anti-Tamil violence that were widely more..

Rajapaksa welcomes any probe into bond trades during his tenure

Jan 5 (Island) Former President Rajapaksa said that he was happy about the decision taken by the govt to conduct a forensic audit on alleged bond scams under the UPFA govt from 2008 to 2015. Rajapaksa said "I trust my officers and I am of the belief that no such thing ever happened." He said not only the whole country but also the entire world knew who the real culprits were. "We have no objection to the purported investigation to be conducted by the govt into alleged bond scams under our govt," more..

China's ban on ivory sale should be followed by all: Sri Lankan wildlife experts

Jan 5 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's leading wildlife experts and environmentalists on Thursday welcomed China's decision to ban ivory sales, saying all countries should follow China's example in order to save tuskers globally. Leading Environmentalist and a member of the Wildlife and Nature Protection Society of SL, Vidya Abhayagunawardena said that China's decision would safeguard elephants across the world. more..

Sri Lanka plans household debt survey

Jan 5 (EN) A country-wide assessment of household indebtedness is to be carried out in Sri Lanka amid concern over rising debt levels, according to CB Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy. central bank, over the next few years, will continue to strengthen the institutional framework for macroprudential surveillance, he said presenting a road map for monetary policy in 2018. This will be through analysing liquidity and interest rate gaps and multicurrency foreign exchange risks, more..

Remains of the Kallaru Tusker found

Jan 5 (NR) Dept of Wildlife has found the remains of the Kallaru Tusker that was inhabited in the Wilpattu National park and in Kallaru. Remains were found in the Mullikalam forest reserve in Silawathura. Three individuals were arrested last week while attempting to sell a pair of tusks believed to be of the Kallaru Tusker. Kallaru Tusker was reportedly last seen around 8 months ago before going missing. Police suspect the individuals killed the Tusker with the intention of obtaining its tusks. more..

A Chinese flag flies over Sri Lanka as China extends its reach into Indiaís backyard

Jan 5 (SCMP) On the first day of the new year, the Chinese and Sri Lankan flags were hoisted to the same height over the Hambantota port in the Indian Ocean nation. It was the first time the Chinese flag had risen over the loss-making facility which Sri Lanka formally handed over to a Chinese state firm in a US$1.12 billion deal. The port deal is just one of a series of infrastructure forays China has made into Sri Lanka more..

JVP Western Province Councilor Asoka Ranwala arrested

Jan 5 (AD) JVP Western Province Councilor Asoka Ranwala had been arrested last night (04) over charges of allegedly threatening Sapusgaskanda Crimes OIC, according to police. However the WP Councilor alleged that he was assaulted by the Sapusgaskanda Crimes OIC when he was questioned regarding a youth in the area. Ranwala made this statement to media, while he was being admitted Ragama Teaching Hospital by the Sapusgaskanda Police. more..

Sub Committtee recommendations incorporated into Finance Commission Bill

Jan 5 (Island) Recommendations by the Sub Committee on Finance would be incorporated into the Bill to establish the Finance Commission Act, the Govt said on Wednesday. The Cabinet on a Memorandum submitted by President Maithripala Sirisena on Tuesday, decided to instruct the Legal Draftsman to prepare the Finance Commission Bill, by including recommendations made by the Sub Committee appointed for the purpose, Minister Gayantha Karunathillake said. more..

Safari jeeps entering Yala increased to 600 a day

Jan 5 (DM) Wildlife Minister Gamini Jayawickrama Perera said today the govt had agreed to increase the number of safari jeeps entering the Yala National Park to 600 a day following a request made to President Maithripala Sirisena by several hotels and safari jeep owners in the area. Meanwhile, Fisheries Ministry said in a statement the govt had reached this decision on a request made by Minister Mahinda Amaraweera. more..

Two remanded for Britís suspicious death

Jan 5 (CT) Maligawatte Police arrested two suspects on 3 January night in connection with the discovery of the body of a British national in Araliya Uyana, Maligawatte, Colombo 10, under suspicious circumstances. The duo has since been remanded. The arrests were made in the Maradana area, whilst simultaneously the passport, air ticket, Rs 10,000 in cash, a wristwatch, a t-shirt and a cap belonging to the deceased had been found in the possession of the suspects, Police Media Unit said. more..

Rajagiriya flyover to be opened on January 8

Jan 5 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena will vest the Rajagiriya flyover with the public on January 08, providing long term solutions for the heavy traffic congestion in the Rajagiriya area. Even though the construction works of the flyover was scheduled to be completed by the end of this year, steps were taken under the guidance of the President to complete the construction works 11 months ahead of the schedule for the convenience of the public. The construction works of the flyover more..

'Remove propaganda material by Jan 31st'

Jan 5 (NR) Chairman of Elections Mahinda Deshapriya says all offices put up for the LG Election must be removed by the 31st of Jan 2018. He said posters, cut-outs, flags and other material must also be taken down by 31st of Jan. Deshapriya noted that election offices of candidates who fail to declare assets by the 20th of January will be removed. The deadline to accept nominations for all 341 Local Govt bodies concluded last month more..

Medical faculty student abandons newborn

Jan 5 (CT) Anuradhapura Chief Magistrate Harshana Kekunawela on 3 January ordered the Anuradhapura Police Children and Women's Bureau to seek instructions from the Attorney General regarding the case where a female medical student was alleged to have deserted her newborn near a pharmacy. The Chief Magistrate also ordered the Bureau to submit to Court a probation report on the 12-day-old infant, who is alleged to have been abused by the female medical student. more..

Central Bank extends suspension of Perpetual Treasuries for 6 months

Jan 5 (LBO) Monetary Board of the Central Bank has decided to extend the suspension of Perpetual Treasuries from carrying on the business and activities of a primary dealer for a period of six months. CB said this extension will be effective from today, in order to continue the investigations being conducted by them. Meanwhile, during a discussion held today, PM has instructed CB Governor to start implementing bond commission recommendations once the full report is available. more..

Japan assures fullest support for development in Sri Lanka

Jan 5 (PMD) The Foreign Minister of Japan Tharo Kono said that the Govt of Japan is ready to provide its fullest support for the development and reconciliation process of Sri Lanka. He made these remarks when he called on President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat, today (05), during his official tour of Sri Lanka. It is significant that a Foreign Minister of Japan visiting Sri Lanka after 15 years. more..

HRCSL to investigate ban on websites

Jan 5 (CT) As the recent ban imposed by the Government on certain websites is unacceptable, Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) had inquired about the reasons for the ban from the Chairman of the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC), President's Secretary, Austin Fernando. Speaking at a media briefing, HRCSL Chairperson, Dr. Deepika Udagama said that since this ban undermines the freedom of expression, an investigation will be conducted. more..

Pakistan envoy called on President

Jan 5 (PHC) The High Commissioner of Pakistan in Sri Lanka, Dr. Shahid Ahmad Hashmat called on the Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidentís Secretariat on 4th January 2018. The President Maithripala Sirisena expressed his gratitude towards the Prime Minister of Pakistan Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and the Government of Pakistan for timely provision of fertilizer to Sri Lanka to curb the shortage, as had been requested by the President. more..