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President requests Britain to arrest or deport editor of LankaeNews

Jun 10 (ST) President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday requested Britain to have London-based LankaeNews Editor Pradeep Sandaruwan Senadheera arrested or sent back to Sri Lanka. He made the request during a 30-minute a meeting with British High Commissioner James Dauris whom he summoned to his Paget Road residence. Among those present at the discussion were the President’s Coordinating Secretary Shiral Lakthilaka and Defence Secretary Kapila Waidyaratne. more..

Hambantota project: Chinese firm holds back US$ 585m

Jun 10 (ST) Chinese company involved in the Hambantota Port project has put on hold the last tranche of US$ 585 million to SL over a dispute involving infrastructure facilities. China Merchants Port Holdings Company (CMPort) is insisting that in accordance with the existing Concession Agreement, an artificial entertainment zone on reclaimed land is among the issues it wants resolved. more..

Sri Lanka may cut kerosene price

Jun 10 (EN) SL is planning to cut kerosene prices by 25 to 30 rupees a litre, State Minister Dilip Wedaarachchi had said amid protests by fishermen who had got used to the highly subsidized fuel. SL cut the price of petrol sharply in January 2015 from 81 to 65 rupees, as part of mis-guided economic proposals by then Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake. Later kerosene prices were cut to 44 rupees a litre. SL's got into balance of payments trouble and rupee fell due to 2015 budget, more..

China–SL FTA talks not stalled: Secretary

Jun 10 (SO) Secretary to the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade, Chandani Wijewardana last week refuted reports that discussions between Sri Lanka and China on the proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) had come to a standstill. However, she acknowledged that there has been a delay in the progress of negotiations which is a normal feature in all negotiations. “The FTA is under negotiation and has not been concluded or scrapped. more..

Medical specialists threaten to withdraw from private hospitals over unfair taxes

Jun 10 (ST) SL’s medical specialists are threatening to withdraw for two weeks from private practice from June 18 onwards, if their requests for a reasonable tax structure are not heeded. The Medical Specialists’ Collective brought together under the guidance of the Association of Medical Specialists (AMS) says that while they are opposed to the post-April 1, 2018 tax structure in which taxes have doubled to 24% (upper limit) from 12%, more..

Mahinda Rajapaksa pushed up Sri Lanka’s debt to Rs. 7,391bn

Jun 10 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who created a world record through unfettered borrowings, should tell the country how he proposes to make his claim to reduce taxes by 20% a reality, if he is returned to power. During the Rajapaksa era, Sri Lanka’s debt burden zoomed to Rs. 7,391 billion, which meant a ‘record’ of pushing up the country’s borrowings three-fold, he noted. "Now the people have to repay this enormous debt". more..

Dayasiri to visit CID tomorrow

Jun 10 (CT) UPFA MP Dayasiri Jayasekera will visit the CID tomorrow, to give a statement. “I will be visiting the CID on Monday to give a statement,” he said. Jayasekera has been accused of obtaining one million rupees from Arjun Aloysius. He said, “At the time that these allegations were made, I was the Chief Minister of the North Western (Wayamba) Province. I was not a MP or a Member of COPE at that time. The elections were called from 6 July 2015 till 13 July 2015 which was the day that more..

President-Premier in a seeming truce

Jun 10 (ST) President Sirisena who exploded last week with a scathing attack on PM Wickremesinghe, has seemingly reached a truce. It came during a two-and-half hour meeting last Tuesday night at his official residence at Mahagama Sekera Mawatha, the former Paget Road. The talks centred on the irritants and recurring issues that stood in the way of relations between them as well as coalition partners, SLFP and UNP. more..

Stop Gotabaya-Rex!

Jun 10 (Island) Gotabaya’s candidature for the presidency has been announced with much fanfare. All the backward forces of Sri Lankan society gathered at a great event organised by an elitist-chauvinist outfit called Viyathmaga in a resplendent hall to greet their new champion. Narrow nationalists and Sinhala chauvinists were there; leaders of the Joint Opposition attended; a sprinkling of the Dead Left deserted geriatric beds to put in a showing. Vasudeva did not attend but tied himself more..

Missed opportunities

Jun 10 (Island) I was around 25 when the ceasefire agreement by the UNF govt, with Ranil Wickremesinghe as PM, was freshly inked. Some of the most visible checkpoints in Colombo, for the first time in my life, were removed. I was part of a group of journalists who were the first to go up North on the newly re-opened A9, to meet with the LTTE; journalists in the North - including some of the first on the ground to use digital video and photography to document inconvenient truths more..

AG: TNL used unauthorised Channel; TNL: Action taken due to critical newscast

Jun 10 (ST) The TNL Media Network had used an unauthorised frequency for its telecasts, thus obstructing other Channels, which led to its Repeater Transmission Centre in Polgahawela, being shut down, the Attorney General informed the Polgahawela Magistrate’s Court this week. Police shut down the RTC and seized the equipment there, after obtaining a court order from the Polgahawela Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday. more..

FR petitions against booze ban for women taken up tomorrow

Jun 10 (SO) Two Fundamental Rights Petitions filed by women activists and CPA and its Executive Director, Dr P. Saravanamuttu, on the basis of public interest will be taken up tomorrow. The position of both Petitions is that regardless of whether a woman actually engages in these activities, her constitutional right to make that choice for herself should be respected to the same extent as that of a man. more..

Details of Rs. 3 million paid to Senasinghe now in court

Jun 10 (Island) Amidst claims by former Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara of a list of 118 political beneficiaries who had received money from Perpetual Treasuries Limited (PTL), the name of State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe transpired in the Fort Magistrate’s Court last week over receiving a Rs. 3 million payment from W. M. Mendis and Company, an associate company of PTL. The revelation on Senasinghe’s bounty came to light when more..

Adverse weather affects 12,000 acres of agricultural lands

Jun 10 (ST) Winds exceeding 70 mph were experienced in several parts of SL yesterday. Forecasting director Anusha Warnasooriya, said coastal areas also would be hit by strong winds. She expects average rainfall during the southwest monsoon. With strong winds and showers also comes the danger of landslides. NBRO said that the landslide warning was issued on May 30, but if heavy rains continue, alert will have be reissued. more..

Rigid checks on imported canned fish: Random samples to be sent to Govt. Analyst

Jun 10 (Island) The discovery of worms in a major part of 184 containers of canned fish imported from China has triggered shock waves across the food commodity market as consumers reacted with disgust over the finding of parasites in what’s considered a relatively affordable and easily accessible source of protein widely consumed in many Sri Lankan households. The consignment of contaminated canned fish more..

New MP vows to counter Wijeyadasa in maiden speech

Jun 10 (SO) Newly sworn-in MP, Dr. S.M. Ismail vowed to respond to the accusations levelled against him by Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe on Friday, when he makes his maiden speech in Parliament soon. Before entering politics through the ACMC led by Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, Prof. Ismail had served as the Vice Chancellor of the South Eastern University of Sri Lanka (SEUSL) for six years from 2009. more..

We just need one more big effort: Stuart Law

Jun 10 (ST) Seven wickets away from win, 90 overs to bowl on the last day with a massive lead of 277 runs, West Indies coach Stuart Law wants "one more big effort" from his bowlers on Sunday to take a 1-0 lead in Port-of-Spain in the three-match series. Setting Sri Lanka a target of 453 after declaring for the second time in the Test, West Indies dismissed Kusal Perera, Angelo Mathews and Roshen Silva even though opener more..

New secretariat to implement Enterprise SL

Jun 10 (GDI) Minister Mangala Samaraweera has presented a proposal to establish a new Secretariat in the Ministry of Finance and Mass Media to coordinate the activities on the implementation of the Enterprise Sri Lanka Interest Subsidy Loan Scheme. In accordance with the budget proposals of 2017 and 2018, the Enterprise Sri Lanka Interest Subsidy Loan Scheme is implemented by more..

Questions over SLAF’s aircraft purchase deals running into a staggering Rs. 64.8 b

Jun 10 (ST) SL Air Force (SLAF) has ambitious plans to purchase helicopters of different makes and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) at a staggering cost of more than Rs 64.8 billion, according to documents seen by the Sunday Times. The Defence Ministry is expected to appoint a Technical Evaluation Committee for this purpose. An earlier committee ceased to function after a senior officer of the rank of Air Vice Marshal retired. more..

CB tells Aloysius companies to disclose payments made from 33 banks

Jun 10 (ST) The Central Bank has called upon four companies at the centre of the bond scam to disclose payments made to different persons from accounts they held in 33 commercial banks. It follows a Court order to this effect and is expected to lay bare the names of more recipients of money from the companies–Perpetual Treasuries Ltd, Perpetual Asset Management (Pvt) Ltd, Perpetual Capital Holdings Ltd and W M Mendis & Co more..

Troika & Truth: A Constructive commentary on Lalith Weeratunga’s testimony

Jun 11 (CT) I was delighted to read Lalith Weeratunga’s revelatory article The Troika (Counterpoint, Daily FT). I regard him as a friend and I respect him as one of the finest public servants we have had. President Rajapaksa could not have had a better Secretary to the President at a crucially testing time in our contemporary history. I have long encouraged Lalith to write his memoirs and I hope what I see in the newspaper is but a teaser, which will eventuate in a full volume. more..

Catch me if you can: Corruption wave hits MPs

Jun 11 (SO) For once, our politicians are on the back foot: they are running scared of the list. No one is certain whether such a thing in fact exists, but everyone appears to be scurrying for cover. This is the list of MPs who are alleged to have received funds from companies related to Perpetual Treasuries Ltd., the company at the centre of investigations into the CB bond scandal. Matters came to a head when it was revealed that, that singularly unfortunate politician, more..

Gotabaya vs FCID : The case of four recusals

Jun 11 (CT) In 1992, gunmen shot and killed a Colombian judge who was investigating a charge of murder conspiracy against the fugitive drug lord Pablo Escobar. The victim, AP reported at the time, was 38 year old Miriam Rocio Velez, one of Colombia’s faceless judges whose identities were kept secret to protect them from terrorists and drug traffickers in the troubled country. In 2000, seven years after Escobar’s death, more..

Some thoughts on 2020

Jun 11 (CT) Last week, attending the late Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera’s 76th birth anniversary at the SL Foundation Institute, President Sirisena warned the country not to think too much about the upcoming presidential election in 2020. According to the Sunday Times (June 3) the president has claimed that “there is lots of talk about presidential candidates. That is a crime as the elections are due only at the end of next year. Already presidential candidates are being named. more..

Greening blood stained Jaffna

Jun 11 (CT) Northern Province Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran who is generally critical of Army presence in the North joined hands with Army personnel to plant trees in Jaffna on 5 June to mark World Environment Day. It was a week ago Chief Minister Wigneswaran emphasized the need of withdrawing the Army from the North in a letter he sent to PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. Chief Minister’s letter was handed over to the Prime Minister at a meeting convened by him at Jaffna DS. more..

'SLFP will quit govt after party reforms'

Jun 11 (CT) UPFA MP and former Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera said on Friday that the SLFP will quit the Govt, soon after Party reforms Party are in place. He said that the situation has reached a crescendo, where the SLFP can no longer work with the UNP and that the partnership has reached a boiling point. Q: Last week saw the UNP nominating MP Ananda Kumarasiri for the post of Deputy Speaker and the SLFP nominated more..

How crucial relations with India were managed in the last phase of separatist war

Jun 11 (CT) It is no secret that foreign ministries work in watertight compartments and often under immense pressure. As a result, they cannot be flexible, and quite obviously cannot think out of the box. Even the most experienced Foreign Service officers have to be cautious when dealing with their counterparts due to sensitivity of the work they handle. In writing a memo, a letter or a communique, foreign ministry officials take extraordinary precautions, and that’s quite understandable. more..

That powerful reconciliation strategy which Sri Lanka missed

Jun 11 (ST) In retrospect, one of the greatest missed opportunities of the now doomed Sirisena-Wickremesinghe Unity Govt was its failure to grab SL’s legal system by its ears (metaphorically speaking), cleanse the Bench of corrupt and politically compromised judges against whom files were stacked up aplenty and demonstrate the power of criminal justice reforms for human rights abuses and corruption to all citizens alike through the length and breadth of the country. more..

මෛත්රී විසින් සුජීවගේ රෙදි ගැලවෙම

Sujeewa’s hangover after gulping 3m tots from Arjun’s arrack cask

Jun 11 (ST) If SLFP MP and former Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera found himself in the public dock three weeks ago for accepting a million bucks from Bond Scam Godfather Arjun Aloysius, it was the UNP State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe’s turn this Thursday to make his less than grand entrance to the same public dock of shame and share it with his SLFP counterpart, Dayasiri. As was the case with Dayasiri three weeks ago when police filed a B report at a magisterial court in connection more..

The relevance of India’s anti-crossover provision for Sri Lanka

Jun 11 (Island) Whenever any discussion about the abolition of the executive presidential system comes up, one of the main points raised by those who argue in favour of retaining the executive presidential system is that once this system is abolished and power passes on to a parliamentary executive, any interested party, including foreign parties will be able to get anything they want done by simply bribing MPs. They fear that govts will be formed and fall entirely on the basis of MPs more..

Tharanga century seals Super Four final for Galle

Jun 11 (CT) Team Galle emerged champions of the SLC Super Provincial One Day (cricket) tournament at the R. Premadasa stadium yesterday when they beat Team Colombo by 75 runs in the final. Team Galle won the toss and electing to bat first scored 320 runs for 7 wickets in 50 overs. Skipper Upul Tharanga scored his second ton in this series. He scored 124 runs in 122 balls with 13 boundaries and 3 sixes. more..

Editorial: Pound of flesh?

Jun 11 (Island) The UNP, during the last govt, condemned the Hambantota Port as a white elephant and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe keeps calling it the world’s biggest swimming pool. Some UNP notables said the Rajapaksas were waiting on the Hambantota beach and waving at passing ships in a bid to get them to call at the deserted inland port. Today, it looks as if the yahapalana leaders were waiting, near the Chinese embassy in Colombo, for the release of the next tranche more..

For the minority, not of the minorities?

Jun 11 (Island) It is the irony of SL times that the 225-MP will now have a Deputy Speaker with only 97 members voting him into position. There were 53 MPs voted against the winner. The second highest of numbers was those who abstained, a total of 74, leaving out Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, who did not cast his vote, as is the tradition. The list included former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was not present, and yes, TNA’s Leader of the Opposition, R Sampanthan, more..

Relay Gold elevates Sri Lanka to 5th position

Jun 11 (DN) Sri Lanka finished with nine medals – the most in their history at the Asian Junior Athletic Championship concluded in Gifu, Japan yesterday. In the final medals tally, SL’s 13-member athletic team won three gold, four silver and two bronze medals to finish fifth in the overall standings. Host Japan dominated taking first place with 14 gold, 15 silver and 13 bronze. This is huge achievement for SL in track & field history more..

Joes, Mahamaya champions in pool

Jun 11 (DN) St. Joseph’s College, Colombo with 607 points and Mahamaya Balika Vidyalaya, Kandy with 527 points emerged overall boys' and girls' winners in the 45th Milo All Island Age Group Aquatic Championships 2018, concluded at the Sugathadasa Swimming Complex last weekend. Mahamaya won the title for the 20 consecutive year while St Joseph's clinched the title for the 15 consecutive years. In the boys section champion Joes were far ahead of 1st runner-up more..

Joes win high scoring game over Isipathana

Jun 11 (Island) St Joseph’s College managed to secure the second spot after a thrilling game against Isipathana College, beating them by 34 points to 29 at Havelock Grounds on Sunday. It was an exhilarating game of rugby between the two sides. The Joes opened the scoreheets through a penalty from Santhush Algama. Isipathana skipper Manilka Ruberu replied in the same manner few moments later to even the scores but another penalty from Algama put the Joes back in front. more..

West Indies crush Sri Lanka

Jun 11 (CI) Sri Lanka hurtled to defeat either side of lunch on the final day, losing the last five of their wickets within 25 deliveries, for eight runs, as West Indies went 1-0 up in the three-Test series. The telling blow had been struck earlier in the day, by Shannon Gabriel, who has been outstanding in this Test. He pitched a ball just short-of-a-length to centurion Kusal Mendis, got the ball to erupt, and drew the outside edge. more..

Combank launches mobile remittance channel between South Korea and Sri Lanka

Jun 11 (Island) Commercial Bank of Ceylon has become the first Sri Lankan institution to launch a Mobile to Account Remittance Service between South Korea and Sri Lanka, facilitating real time fund transfers from an estimated 30,000 Sri Lankans employed in the East Asian nation. The service, launched in collaboration with Global Money Express Co Ltd. (GME), one of the first exchange companies in the Republic to obtain a money transfer licence, paves the way for real time more..

Investment Migration Council’s green light for biz migration to Lanka

Jun 11 (DN) One of the largest worldwide association’s for investor immigration and citizenship-by-investment, the Investment Migration Council (IMC) has accepted Sri Lanka as one of its global destinations to promote investor migration. Based in Switzerland, IMC in a statement has stated that Sri Lankan political and economic fabric is suitable to promote their members to live and invest. The peace and no conflict factor in Sri Lanka has also been taken into account. more..