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Final tranche for Hambantota port: CM port to pay US $ 585 million this week

Jun 20 (CT) China Merchant Port Holdings Ltd will pay the final tranche of US$ 585 Million for the Hambantota Port this week. Chairman of the SL Ports Authority, Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake while confirming that the final tranche of US $ 585 Million would be paid by China Merchant Port Holdings Ltd this week, also debunked news stories both in the local and foreign Media that China Merchant Port Holdings Ltd more..

SAITM students disappointed with President

Jun 20 (CT) Students of the SAITM are unhappy over the delay by the President to respond to their request for a meeting. Secretary of the Students Action Committee of SAITM, Chatushka Rambukwella said that they had not been aware about the details of the proposed solution to recruit SAITM students to the Kotelawala Defence University (KDU) and neither had Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe nor Prez Sirisena given them an opportunity to meet them to obtain more..

'Ex- Navy Commander harboured suspect'

Jun 20 (CT) The CID yesterday informed Colombo Fort Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne that investigations conducted in the case, where 11 children were alleged to have been abducted, have revealed that Former Navy Commander and Incumbent Chief of Defence Staff Ravindra Wijegoonawardene had provided residential facilities to the missing chief suspect in the case Lieutenant Commander of the Navy Prasad Hettiarachchi. CID submitted a progress report on the case more..

LNG power plant: Proposal to award contract to foreign bidder withheld

Jun 20 (CT) Cabinet yesterday put off the ratification of the tender, regarding the controversial 300 mw liquefied natural gas (LNG) combined cycle power plant at Kerawalapitiya, due to the non-availability of observations from the Ministry of Finance. Standing Cabinet Appointed Procurement Committee (SCAPC) has already recommended that tender should be handed over to GCL China Wind Powers & Renew Gen. more..

Cabinet heats up over Kerawalapitiya LNG plant

Jun 20 (FT) A Cabinet meeting yesterday heated up when the Power and Renewable Energy Minister presented a Cabinet paper seeking approval to award the tender for a second LNG power plant to a Chinese company. Subject Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya came in for severe criticism from his Cabinet colleagues for proposing to award the tender to the Consortium of GCL China Windforce and RenewGen to construct a 300 MW LNG Plant in Kerawalapitiya, ignoring the lowest bidder more..

Govt submits supplementary estimate for Rs.2.5 Billion

Jun 20 (DM) Govt today presented a supplementary estimate for Rs.2.5 billion to improve skills, to provide salary subsidies to ex-LTTE combatants and for empowerment of women in the North. Approval was sought to spend Rs.2,531,500,000 to improve the skills of ex-LTTE combatants, war widows, renovation of a Purana Raja Maha Vihara and other places of archaeological value in the North, address the needs of differently-able women in the North, to support the indebted people in the North more..

COPA exposes failure of 26 ministries, state institutions

Jun 20 (Island) Findings of the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA), tabled in Parliament, revealed serious lapses on the part of 26 out of 51 ministries which the watchdog committed studied, in respect of financial management and performance. The COPA report assessing the financial management and performance of 837 institutions, covering the financial year 2016, was tabled in Parliament more..

Why the world would love a messed up Messi than a hat trick Ronaldo

Jun 20 (DM) Unlike in politics in sports the clever often rise to the top. On the top comes the distinction. The world would never shy away from distinguishing the one who is both clever and good against the clever and the bad. It is this that sees the world adoring a Roger Federer against a Rafael Nadal and a Lionel Messi against a Cristiano Ronaldo. The bad here does not mean bad in an unwholesome sense. It’s just that they are being too loud, pompous, arrogant and also perhaps more..

Gota’s knotty bid

Jun 20 (DM) Perhaps the most decisive intervention of America’s Ambassador in Colombo, Atul Keshap during his three-year span seems to be a parting shot at a farewell meeting with ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa. During the tete-a-tete, Mr Keshap had cautioned the ex-President against fielding his younger brother as the next Presidential candidate. According to the story which first appeared in Jaffna based newspaper Kaalaikkathir, and reproduced by journalist D.B.S Jeyaraj, more..

Crippling postal strike has the govt sidestepping

Jun 20 (ST) With the Postal Trade Unions (PTU) strike continuing into the 2nd week, the Govt has taken contingency measures to mitigate the inconvenience caused to the people. In one such measure, motorists have been directed to pay traffic fines at District or Divisional Secretariats. Police Spokesman, Ruwan Gunasekara said, “Under the existing provision, traffic fines should be paid in 14 days. more..

'Govt should implement the agenda on which it was elected to office in 2015'

Jun 20 (DM) German Ambassador Jorn Rohde, speaks about the current status of the political situation in Sri Lanka, bilateral relations and the way forward. Q: How do you see the current status of German-SL relations? A: We marked the 65th year of our relationship. Our relationship has been excellent most of the time. There were some irritants under the previous regime with German political foundations having to leave the country. more..

CID on Collision course with CDS over the fugitive

Jun 20 (DM) According to the ‘B’ Report submitted to the Colombo Fort Magistrates Court by the CID last week, several witnesses within the SL Navy have provided information to sleuths. The information reveals that Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ravindra C. Wijegunaratne personally harboured fugitive Lieutenant Commander Chandana Hettiarachchi alias Navy Sampath at Navy headquarters, provided him with more..

SF’s jumbo op has irked UNESCO, say environmentalists

Jun 20 (Island) Wildlife Minister Sarath Fonseka’s efforts to translocate the remaining two elephants in Sinharaja had caused concern to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), environmentalists alleged. "The UNESCO wrote to the Sri Lankan Ambassador to France, raising concerns about proposed translocation of the last two wild elephants in the Sinharaja forest reserve. more..

Sri Lanka is recovering, Central Bank threat looms: Bellwether

Jun 20 (EN) Sri Lanka is on a recovery path, and this is the time when commercial bank credit picks up, the Central Bank cuts rates and pushes the country into balance of payments trouble. A serious added threat to stability could come from rupee debt operations of liability management, if the operations significantly disrupt the domestic monetary system or debt repayments are re-financed by newly created CB money. more..

Norway, Sri Lanka discuss promotion of ocean-based industries

Jun 20 (EN) State Minister of Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Jens Frølich Holte will visit Sri Lanka this week during which he will discuss promotion of ocean-based industries. Holte’s visit during 20th - 23rd June coincides with the arrival of the Norwegian research vessel Dr. Fridtjof Nansen to SL. The research vessel will arrive in Colombo on the 21st of June followed by a 26 days research journey around the island. more..

Finance Minister calls on professionals to step up and pay their taxes

Jun 20 (LBO) Minister Mangala Samaraweera called on professionals like doctors, lawyers, tuition masters, architects and others to come forward and pay their taxes. “Our doctors, lawyers, tuition masters, architects have been funded by taxpayers money through free education,” he said. “It is only fair that they step up and start paying their taxes in line with the new law – then as a govt we can look at giving more subsidies for the people.” more..

Norochcholai turbine shut down after unbearable fly ash release

Jun 20 (Island) Residents of villages near the Lakvijaya coal power plant at Norochcholai had complained to the North Western Province Environmental Authority (NWPEA) about an unbearable fly ash emanating from the power plant, NWPEA Acting Director, Saman Lenaduwa said. "Villagers complained that fly ash came out of the plant around noon yesterday and that it was difficult for them to stay in their houses. more..

Pohottuwa explodes

Jun 20 (DN) Cracks have appeared within the political front aligned with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, as the battle over the faction’s presidential candidate heats up. Although the pro-Rajapaksa faction looks spoilt for choice with regard to its nominee to contest the 2020 Presidential poll, all three Rajapaksa brothers Basil, Gotabhaya and Chamal who held powerful positions in the former regime are now vying for the slot, creating deep divisions within the group. more..

Postal Trade Union fast underway

Jun 20 (NR) The fast launched by Postal Trade Union Collective is currently underway opposite the Central Mail Exchange in Colombo. TConvenor of the Joint Postal Trade Union Collective Chinthaka Bandara said a fast unto death will be initiated if solutions are not provided to their demands within the next few days. He noted the postal trade unions launched the strike in an attempt to urge the govt to provide solutions to their more..

Extend good governance to Sports, too

Jun 20 (CT) Sports despite the individuality it maintains on the wider array of worldly mechanisms, has had to establish somewhat of a bond with Governance. Sports and those who participate as well as those who administer the rules of the said games have to be regulated; thus the involvement of various Govts as the apex governing body. While there may be limits to their interference and assistance, Govt involvement has become essential in the current context where even more..

Video: Australian woman and child killed on Southern Expressway

Jun 20 (AD) An Australian national and a child have been killed in an accident near the Kurundugahahetekma interchange on the Southern expressway. The accident took place near the 65.1 km L post in Kurundugahahetekma area of the Elpitiya police division, at around 5 am today. A van travelling from Kottawa to Galle had collided with a lorry which was parked on the side of the road due to a technical issue. Four Australian nationals in the van and the driver of the lorry sustained more..

Rusiripala Tennakoon

Blood brother bandits of Blood Bank

Jun 20 (CT) Dr Rukashan Bellana, infamous officer of the Ministry of Health, interdicted in the aftermath of the formation of the Yahapalana government in 2015 for engineering a false testimony regarding sexual misconduct of Maithripala Sirisena, Presidential Candidate is currently involved in fraudulent procurement at the National Blood Transfusion Services (NTBS) commonly known as the Blood Bank of SL. Bellana, who was a Rajapaksa acolyte was a fierce campaigner more..

SDIG Ravi Waidyalankara in-charge of FCID

Jun 20 (DM) Retired Senior DIG Ravi Waidyalankara has been re-employed on a 9-month contract, from yesterday and will head the FCID, following a cabinet decision, National Police Commission (NPC) said. He retired from service on May 14. The NPC had said earlier that the SDIG would be reinstated on a contractual basis, if Cabinet approval was granted. It had also rejected a recommendation by IGP Pujith Jayasundara and the Law and Order Ministry to suspend more..

Sri Lanka should allow the rupee to float: IMF

Jun 20 (EN) Sri Lanka should allow the rupee to float, and stop defending the currency peg, an IMF official said as the central bank defended an unstable soft-peg at around 160 to the US dollar. "The central bank should let the exchange rate float," Manuela Goretti, the head of an IMF mission to Sri Lanka said. "The exchange rate should be the first line of defence." Sri Lanka printed tens of billions of rupees in March and April and more..

Muslim markers in SL: Changes & challenges

Jun 20 (FT) The end of the civil war in Sri Lanka in 2009 marks a watershed in the island’s political development. The Govt’s military victory over the LTTE was also a victory for militant Buddhist Sinhala nationalism over militant Tamil nationalism. Yet, the twins have not yielded the promised peace dividend to the country. Rajapaksa regime won the war but lost the peace. In the meantime, militant Buddhist nationalism is now targeting the island’s second minority, Muslims. more..

Pakistan reaches out to uplift Sri Lankan youth through scholarships

Jun 20 (PHC) In order to enhance younger generation’s capacity building for better educational opportunities, the Government of Pakistan through its High Commission awarded scholarships to 308 Sri Lankan students under the prestigious Jinnah Scholarships Scheme at a local hotel in Kandy on June 19, 2018. Vice Chancellor, Uni of Paradenyia, Prof. Upul B. Dissanayake was the Chief Guest on the occasion while Mayor of Kandy, Mr. Kesara Senanayake was the Guest of Honour. more..

Video: Justice Minister speaks out on disrobing Gnanasara Thero

Jun 20 (AD) Minister of Justice, Thalatha Athukorala stated that the Commissioner General of Buddhist Affairs has no authority to disrobe a Buddhist monk. She made this comment in a response to the letter sent by the Deputy Prelate (Anu Nayaka) of Kotte Sri Kalyani Samagri Maha Sanga Sabha of the Siam Nikaya, Ven. Kotapitiya Rahula Thero regarding the disrobing of Ven. Galadoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero, more..

Compensation to war-affected: New Cabinet memo submitted

Jun 20 (DM) A fresh Cabinet memorandum seeking to grant compensation to war affected people including ex-LTTE combatants was reported to have been submitted yesterday. Cabinet withheld its approval for this compensation formula till the establishment of the reparation office after enacting necessary legislation. This is the third time this Cabinet paper was submitted. It was first submitted last year. But, the move was shelved amid widespread objections to the inclusion of more..

CHR says parliament can pass new laws to give special treatment to clergy in prisons

Jun 20 (Island) Parliament has the ability to formulate new laws to ensure that some sections of prisoners get special treatment, the Centre for Human Rights (CHR) says. There were 18 members of clergy in prisons, representing all four major religions of the country, and all should be treated equally under the Prisons Ordinance, the CHR says. "There are members of clergy found guilty of murder, rape, theft, creating chaos and anti-govt activity. more..

Anyone in Sri Lanka or overseas can share information with Office on Missing Persons

Jun 20 (AD) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs today urged anyone in Sri Lanka or overseas to share with the Office on Missing Persons information regarding any individuals, including security forces and police personnel, who may be considered to be missing. Issuing a statement today, the ministry said its attention has been drawn to a list of names published online by the ITJP (International Truth and Justice Project). more..

Govt Radiological Technologists Association to launch strike on June 26

Jun 20 (DN) The Govt Radiological Technologists Association (GRTA) will launch a trade union action from June 26 after staging a token strike on June today and tomorrow in the North Western Province, GRTA Secretary Dharmakeerthi Epa said. According to Epa, trade union action will be taken in order to get all the transfers reversed. The direct requests for Radiological examinations come from Kurunegala Teaching Hospital, Chilaw Hospital and the other state hospitals located more..

Discussions underway to grant Presidential pardon to Gnanasara Thera: Rajitha

Jun 20 (DN) Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that President Sirisena spoke to the Mahanayaka Thera regarding granting a Presidential pardon for Ven Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara. He, however, could not confirm whether this would materialize or not. Minister was of the view that the govt could not go against the law of the country to make an exception for the BBS leader. “We cannot go against the decision of the courts. This is the legal system of the country. more..

Bill to absorb SAITM students to KDU passed in Parliament

Jun 20 (AD) The General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University (Special Provisions) Bill, to absorb SAITM medical students into the KDU, was passed in Parliament with amendment today. The bill was passed without going for a vote. The bill was presented to the Parliament on June 8 by the Minister of Higher Education and Cultural Affairs Wijayadasa Rajapaksa. It seeks to lay down the national policy relating to the absorption more..

Uber bets big on Sri Lanka

Jun 20 (DM) Joining for a discussion with Mirror Business recently, Uber General Manager Sri Lanka and South India Christian Freese and Uber Chief Business Officer India and Emerging Markets Madhu Kannan assured that Uber is committed to reshaping Sri Lanka’s urban mobility landscape while revealing several expansion plans are underway for the Sri Lankan market. Q: How has Uber’s business model evolved over time, keeping up with the new trends? more..

Cabinet approves formulation of Hajj Act

Jun 20 (NR) Cabinet of Ministers has approved the move to instruct the legal draftsman to draft laws regarding the formulation of the National Hajj Act. Around 7,000-10,000 Muslims apply for the Hajj pilgrimage annually. However, Ministry of Muslim Religious Affairs said the opportunity is only limited to 2,000-3,000 Muslims each year. Accordingly, the Ministry faces several challenges in choosing pilgrims and tour organizers. Cabinet had taken theses facts into consideration when more..

Sri Lanka exporters call for migrant labour

Jun 20 (EN) SL's exporters are asking for migrants to fill critical vacancies caused by a shortage of skilled labour and an exodus of graduate employees shifting to state-sector jobs. "The shortage of skilled labour in specific categories in respect of some export sectors is a crucial issue faced by exporters," National Chamber of Exporters said. Recent survey showed the existence of 3,400 vacancies requiring skilled labour. more..

Parliament deed handed to Speaker

Jun 20 (NR) Minister of Lands and Parliamentary Affairs Gayantha Karunathilaka has handed over the deed of Parliament, which confirms ownership to the Speaker of House Karu Jayasuriya. The Deputy Secretary General of Parliament Neil Iddawela said the deed was handed over during an event at the Parliamentary Complex. It was recently revealed that the property of the Parliamentary Complex in Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte did not have an official deed. more..

Ravi demands measures to keep parliament roads open for MPs

Jun 20 (Island) UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake, demanded that measures be taken to ensure that the MPs could come and leave Parliament without hindrance. Raising a point of Order the MP asked the intervention of the Speaker to enable MPs to come to Parliament amidst a protest by university students against placing the SAITM under the Kotelawala Defence University’s administration. "I could not come to Parliament on time. Some more MPs were obstructed. more..

Chinese Company pays final tranche of H’tota Port deal

Jun 20 (DM) The final tranche of investment value for Hambantota Port concession was released by China Merchant Port Holdings Limited (CM Port) today, the Ministry of Ports and Shipping said in a statement. It said the cheque to the effect was handed over to SLPA Chairman Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake by the Chief Representative of China Merchant Group in Sri Lanka - Mr. Ray Ren in the presence of more..