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SriLankan Airlines: Chairman Dias and Director board have not resigned

Jan 5 (CT) Amidst much speculation and media hype that SriLankan Airlines Chairman Ajith Dias and his Board of Directors have resigned, Colombo Telegraph can confirm that neither have they handed over their resignations nor have they been asked to resign as yet. At the time of writing Chairman Ajith Dias and his existing Board of Directors of SriLankan Airlines are still firmly rooted to their respective seats. more..

Tourist arrivals up 3.2% in 2017, sharply short of target

Jan 5 (EN) SL's tourist arrivals grew 3.2% to 2,116,407 million in 2017, falling sharply short of a 2.5 million target announced by Tourism Minister John Amaratunga, for the second year in a row. SL also failed to reach a 2.2 million target, which Minister Amaratunga said will be comfortably exceeded to 2.5 million in 2016. Tourism ministry blamed the closure of the main airport for repairs (which was known before the target was set), a countrywide dengue epidemic and floods more..

Ravi would be in jail now if Bond Commission had judicial powers: DEW

Jan 5 (AD) General Secretary of the SL Communist Party D.E.W. Gunasekara says that the appointing of a PCoI by the President to probe the bond scam has proven to be a correct decision although some had condemned it back then. “In that way we have to be grateful to the President for appointing the commission,” he said. He stated that the judge panel toiled for 10 months continuously and not only did they hear the case they also investigated, but they did not have judicial powers. more..

Looters as Rulers: Bond Commission Report: CB to begin forensic audit soon

Jan 5 (DM) CB Governor Indrajith Coomaraswamy has informed PM Ranil Wickrmesinghe that his institution would begin a Forensic Audit on the bond issues as recommended by PCoI appointed to probe the 2015 bond issue. He said this at a meeting he had with the PM and several ministers at Temple Trees today. Governor said this in response to a request made by the PM that Central Bank should begin implementing more..

How fast will law fight Bond issue?

Jan 6 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena was in the spotlight of both governance and politics with his announcement recommendations of the Presidential Commission on the Treasury bond issue, and its call that all related offenders be brought to book. He stood above the stature of political party leaders engaged in the current LG poll campaign, while being such a leader himself, as he informed the public of the results of a probe into what is certainly the largest show of corruption in recent years, more..

Bondage of our minds

Jan 6 (CT) I am travelling. Deprived of my PC, I write this missive cloistered in a booth in an Internet Café in a rather sleepy place called Petaling Jaya near Kuala lampur on Thursday (5). Not familiar with what are called hand held devices that require graceful swiping and gentle taps I am tapping away on an aged Acer PC. A personable Malay youth who calls me uncle helps me to get by with this contraption whose coy mechanism sneers at me with a pronounced enthusiasm. more..

Action against Karunanayake must be instituted under Bribery and Corruption Laws

Jan 6 (CT) We publish below the entire speech made by President Maithripala Sirisena last evening on the Report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry on Treasury Bonds. First of all, I offer my best wishes for the New Year. As the people of this country are waiting with bated breath, I wish to make a statement on the final Report of the PCoI into the Issue of Treasury Bonds of the CB, which was appointed by me taking into more..

Ravi must go from his deputy leadership forthwith

Jan 6 (CT) Looking at the Bond Commission Report, he has no other choice. In the interests of the Grand Old Party, Ravi Karunanayake has to voluntarily resign. This will earn him the respect of the UNP rank and file and the general political public. Of course, the matter has to be referred to court for a final justice. That is no reason for Ravi to cling on behind. On more than a prima face basis, he is seriously suspect. Honour and ethics demand he must go. more..

The impact of war on women’s economic empowerment in Sri Lanka

Jan 6 (Island) In 2009, the 26 years of civil war in Sri Lanka, much of which was fought in the Northern and Eastern Provinces of the country, came to an end. Many women in the war-affected regions have dealt with multiple long-term impacts of the violent conflict such as injuries; loss of lives, property, income sources, and livelihood activities; multiple displacements; and trauma, amongst other impacts, which have placed many households in a precarious situation when trying to rebuild their lives. more..

Will one set of rogues punish another set of rogues?

Jan 6 (CT) JVP Central Committee Member and Uva Provincial Councillor Samantha Vidyaratne says that if anyone thinks that this Govt will punish the wrongdoers in the Treasury Bond scam, his head has to be examined. Q: Is the JVP trying to kill two birds with one stone by fielding two Independent Groups for the LG election? A: We have fielded two Independent Groups, one for Bandarawela PS and other for Bandarawela more..

MMDA: Personal Narratives – 7

Jan 6 (GV) This is the seventh in a series of videos conducted by sister publication Maatram, highlighting the difficulties faced by women under the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA). Article 16 of the constitution states that existing written and unwritten laws, such as the MMDA, will continue in force even over constitutional law. There is currently a campaign for the reform of personal laws, with some calling for the repeal of Article 16 altogether. more..

East meets west in this aesthetic quest

Jan 6 (ST) Story of Ravana is a part of the prehistoric legend and folktales of SL narrated from generation to generation with many opinions and interpretations. As portrayed by Valmiki’s Ramayana- the ancient Indian epic, Ravana is the Rakshasa (demonic king) of Lanka who abducted Sita, wife of the divine prince Rama. In the great battle between the allies of Rama and Ravana, classical text narrates that Ravana is defeated and Sita, rescued. Yet some historians and more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Cadeting can mould you into a good citizen: Major Dissanayake

Jan 6 (DN) The former old boy of Kekirawa Central College, Junior and a Senior Cadet Sergeant and a Company Quarter Master and an Athlete and Volleyball player, a former Cadet Master of Madawachchiya Central College, Lumbini Vidyalaya, Colombo and Master in Charge of Cricket, Volleyball, Athletics and Cadeting and later Prefect of Games at Moratu Vidyalaya, Master in Charge of Cadeting at Lalith Athulathmudali Vidyalaya, Mt. Lavinia and the present Principal of more..

Some thoughts on the elections

Jan 6 (DN) It is true that relations of Lasantha, Rajudean, Raviraj and Eknaligoda, also Marshal be really disappointed that police still couldn’t find a valid reason to arrest former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. Any HR conscious foreigner who reads the above opening statement of this article may wonder what is happening in this country. Why the govt is incapable of keeping in line with the UN resolution. Why the govt is looking for more reasons to arrest a person who as more..

Can, when, & will law strike on Bond Scams?

Jan 6 (Island) Are we to be left at the mercy of the AG’s Department, and for how long more? This is the latest puzzle on the Bond Scam probe. Prez Sirisena has made his statement that the AG has been asked to act on the recommendations of the PCoI. We also have it from the Prime Minister that he referred the COPE Report on the Bond Scams to the AG for necessary legal action, and that was many months ago. more..

Editorial: Who guards the guards?

Jan 6 (Island) The biggest threat to the nation’s coffers comes not from outsiders as such but from the rogues among its custodians. Troubled by a spate of bank heists, a desperate police once sought to slap a ban on full-face helmets, which are usually worn by robbers to hide their identities. But, those who robbed the Central Bank not just once but twice, so to speak, wore no helmets and carried no guns, at all. Arrayed in designer suits with official IDs dangling from expensive lanyards, more..

NOC election set for 23 February

Jan 6 (CT) The much awaited NOC election after many cancellations is once again schedule for 23 Feb after a tense situation that arose at the Special General Meeting of National Olympic Committee held on Thursday. Nomination will be closed on 9 Feb and election will be held with observers from Int'l Olympic Committee (IOC) and Olympic Committee of Asia (OCA). The situation occurred due to the participation of non-member associations at the SGM which was headed by more..

Sri Lanka sinks in water safety: Over 1,100 deaths by drowning each year

Jan 6 (FT) Surrounded by the sea and boasting an impressive number of waterways inland, SL is blessed abundantly in terms of water. But when it comes to water safety, we sink. With a staggering 1,100 deaths (estimated) a year by drowning, Sri Lanka has fallen short quite dismally in terms of delivering on health and safety obligations in the water. What’s even more tragic is that all of these deaths are preventable. more..

2018 debutant at CSE Jetwing Symphony rings first

Jan 6 (FT) Looking forward to embrace the New Year with renewed aspirations, the country’s capital market yesterday had its first bell ringing ceremony and the first listing for 2018 by Jetwing Symphony Ltd. On the first day of trading, the shares in Jetwing Symphony ended 0.7% firmer, compared to the opening price of Rs. 15 a share. Company raised Rs. 753 million by listing a 10% stake. Jetwing Symphony Chairman Hiran Cooray said 2018 would be a year of consolidation and reducing debt more..

UNP and Ravi ask for copy of PCoI report

Jan 6 (DM) The UNP has asked for a copy of the PCoI report on the CB bond issue, MP Ravi Karunanayake said yesterday. He said he also sought a copy for himself in addition to the copy requested by the party and said he would respond after a detailed study of the report. The PCoI report covers the CB bond sales between 2015 and 2016. It states that primary dealer, Perpetual Treasuries Limited (PTL) made a minimum profit of Rs.688 million at bond auction on February 27, 2015. more..

Colombo’s changing skyline to dazzle SA

Jan 6 (ST) Forget the changing skyline. Colombo’s Port City will have mapmakers in a tizzy as they hurry to re-draw the shape of SL. This is the massive scope of the multi-billion dollars’ project which has drawn controversy as well as admiration. When it is fully completed, in 23 years from today, the tear drop island will have changed forever. For off the West coast, Colombo will have grown an extension with a new city rising from more..

PM launches project to supply 3,000 rural area schools with mobile science equipment

Jan 6 (FT) The inauguration of a pilot project to supply 3,000 schools in remote areas with sets of mobile science equipment was held at the Temple Trees on Thursday under the patronage of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. A sum of Rs. 134,000 has been spent on providing the science equipment to a school which has grades 6-11. Science equipment and chemicals adequate for 5 years are included in the kit. Kit has been prepared so that the students can easily carry out practical activities. more..

Thank you Govt, for the mess in the power sector

Jan 6 (ST) Cancelling power plants is great fun. Even a child can do it. Building a new one, especially a large power plant and a new gas terminal, is so hard, and the Govt is learning that the hard way. Learning for the fourth time, by exactly the same group of people running the Government; both now and then. In 1993, they kept shifting a major power plant from Trincomalee (east) to Mawella (south) to Norochcholai (west), as if Sri Lanka needs only one power plant for ever. more..

Karting in SL: From humble beginnings to the first ever CIK approved event

Jan 6 (Island) Go-Karting (or Karting as it’s commonly known) is an entry-level form of the sport which offers great thrills and challenges as the driver sits just millimeters from the ground, and compared to other forms of motoring, totally exposed to the elements. Karting in Sri Lanka goes back to the early 1980s when the Ceylon Motor Sports Club (CMSC) brought down 6 karts from Bill Sisley in the UK. Initially these karts all had 125cc motor cycle engines, which, more..

Banks must offer wider product suite to maximize digitalisation’s benefits: expert

Jan 6 (DM) Following is an interview with international trade finance expert Gary Collyer. The International Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka (ICCSL) will be hosting an international trade finance seminar on Past Challenges and Future Opportunities in Trade Finance. The one-day workshop will be held at Hotel Kingsbury on Nov 22, 2017. The workshop will be conducted by international trade finance professional Gary Collyer. Here’s an interview with Collyer addressing some of the key issues more..

Lankan boy sets Guinness World Record

Jan 6 (DN) Thanuwana Serasinghe, a Sri Lankan boy living in the Seychelles has brought fame to Sri Lanka by creating the Guinness World Record for the youngest author ever for a published book. He had taken just three days to author a book titled Junk Food When he was 4 years and 356 days old. The President is seen presenting a memento to Thanuwana. Sri Lankan High Commissioner in the Seychelles Tikiri Herath Gunathilake and the boys' parents were present. more..

PM opens first Lanka Sathosa Mega store

Jan 6 (FT) Monthly turnover up to Rs. 3 B, 25 new Mega Stores in pipelineThe State owned Lanka Sathosa shopping chain yesterday added a new service by opening its first mega store with about two dozen more expected to be opened over the next few months. “Lanka Sathosa now stands as Sri Lanka’s largest retail shopping chain,” said Minister Rishad Bathiudeen. Minister Bathiudeen, joined by PM Wickremesinghe, more..

FTA with Malaysia: Will it lead to an expansion in flow of trade and investment?

Jan 6 (IPS) PM of Malaysia, Najib Razak, who was on an official visit to Sri Lanka in Dec 2017 to mark the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries, has agreed with his counterparts, to expand cooperation in fields such as trade and investment. He said a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) would be useful to expand bilateral trade and steps would be taken to explore its feasibility during his meetings with President Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. more..

Moragahakanda Development Project national ceremony on Jan 8

Jan 6 (DN) The commissioning of Moragahakanda-Kalu Ganga Multi-Purpose Development Project will coincide with the completion of Mahaweli Development Programme, Secretary to the President Austin Fernando said. A national ceremony has been organised on January 8 to mark the landmark occasion with President and PM as the Chief Guests. Ministers, MPs, ambassadors and foreign dignitaries, public officials and farmers have been invited to the solemn occasion. more..

Alleged harassment at Darun Nusra: Injured girl hospitalized

Jan 6 (CT) Gangodwila Magistrate ordered to place a girl who had allegedly been abused at the Darun Nusra orphanage in Dehiwala with her aunt, girl's legal guardian. Attorney-at-Law Nilani Manthrinayake appearing on behalf of the child had informed Court that the minor in question had most recently been assaulted whilst in the care of the orphanage and had subsequently been hospitalized for medical treatment more..

A. Sivanandan (1923-2018): A Black intellectual from Sri Lanka

Jan 6 (Hindu) SL-born British writer Ambalavaner Sivanandan, theorist of state racism and Black liberation politics and founding editor of Race & Class journal, passed away in London on Wednesday. He was 94. Best known for his political essays and his novel When Memory Dies, Mr. Sivanandan made original contributions to understanding communities of resistance in Britain, focussing on the Black working class that he felt was more prone to the racism that kills, as more..

Distribution of water bowsers worth Rs. 235 Mn

Jan 6 (Island) In accordance with the government’s programme of ‘provide pure drinking water for everyone’ a function was held at the premises of the Ministry of City Planning and Water Supply under the chairmanship of the Minister Rauf Hakeem to distribute water bowsers to various places for distribution of water during the drought season. 13 bousers with the capacity distribute 4000 to 9000 litres of water were distributed at this function. An amount of Rs. 235 Million from more..

EC warns against female candidate intimidation

Jan 6 (FT) Elections Commission warned candidates that attempting to intimidate female candidates would only be detrimental to their own political career, citing instances of female candidate intimidation in Eastern & North-eastern regions of the country. “We received a complaint from Eastern Province, where in Pudukuduirippu a female candidate stated that she had been prevented from coming into hand in her nomination. more..

Election monitor: 80% of voters ignorant of new electoral system

Jan 6 (Island) PAFFREL says that more than 80% of the country’s eligible voters lack proper understanding of the new electoral system. Executive Director of PAFFREL, Rohana Hettiarachchi said that lacuna had been noticed during several workshops his outfit had conducted throughout the country in the recent past. "Even some candidates were ignorant of the electoral system," he said. Hettiarachchi said the LG election law had been amended and re-amended more..

LG polls: EC imposes restrictions on number of canvassers

Jan 6 (Island) Chairman of the Election commission Mahinda Deshapriya said all election offices, cutouts and posters of candidates contesting the Feb 10 local govt elections should be removed before January 31. Addressing the media at the Elections Commission, Deshapriya said steps would be taken to remove the election offices, cutouts, posters and other such propaganda materials after the deadline. He said all candidates had to declare their assets and liabilities before Jan 20. more..

Bond scams: UNP leadership must take blame: DEW

Jan 6 (Island) General Secretary of the Communist Party D.E.W. Gunasekera said that the top UNP leadership couldn’t absolve itself of the responsibility for the bond scams. The former minister said he had earlier addressed the media as the Chairman of the 13-member COPE that proved the first bond scam in 2015 Feb. They perpetrated the first treasury bond scam on Feb 27, 2015, on the 50th day of 100-day yahapalana govt, more..

People need not panic over Influenza B: Health Ministry

Jan 6 (DN) Northern Province Health Ministry Specialist Dr. R. Kesevan urged the people of the Mullaithivu area not to panic over the flue reported from the area. He added that the people should not panic even though it is identified as Influenza B, after the special medical team deployed by the Health Ministry had identified that the disease is Influenza B after arriving in Mullaithivu from Colombo. However, he noted that the disease is curable and therefore people need not panic. more..

France seeks SL's support for Expo 2025 bid

Jan 6 (AFP) The head of France's bid to host the 2025 World Expo held talks with SL leaders Friday in a bid to secure their support. Pascal Lamy said that France expects to spend $4.22 billion on hosting the Expo in Paris, and the money will be generated by the project itself without public funding. Paris is bidding to host the Expo a year after staging the 2024 Summer Olympics, and Lamy said he was confident of securing int'l support for France's environmentally-sustainable proposal. more..

JO mulls no-faith motion against PM

Jan 6 (DM) The JO said it was planning to submit a no-confidence motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in connection with the CB bond sale issue. JO MP Wimal Weerawansa said a decision would be taken at the JO party leaders meeting to be held on Sunday. “The govt should not try to close the Bond chapter by sacrificing Ravi Karunanayake. It was PM Ranil Wickremesinghe who orchestrated this scam. more..