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Number of measures to facilitate private investment: Samaraweera

Mar 22 (DN) SL’s post war economic growth was dominated by a debt funded state driven construction boom, said Minister of Mangala Samaraweera. “This was always going to be an unsustainable growth path and it has contributed to the debt overhang we are grappling with today,” he said speaking at the BOI Networking Session held in Colombo recently. Minister said that over the years, the contribution of BOI companies to the country’s economy has been significant. more..

US insists on full implementation of Resolution 30/1, including hybrid court

Mar 22 (Island) The US insisted that Sri Lanka implement the UNHRC resolution 30/1, which calls for the setting up of hybrid court comprising local and foreign judges, including those from the Commonwealth. US Embassy in Colombo has issued the following statement: "We welcome the Govt’s decision to accept our recommendations on full implementation of HRC resolution 30/1 and on accountability for the govt’s, including the security forces, human rights violations and abuses, more..

OHCHR sees Sri Lanka falling short on its commitments by 2019

Mar 22 (SL) Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on Wednesday expressed much regret over the slow progress in establishing transitional justice mechanisms in Sri Lanka. Kate Gilmore, UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights told the UNHRC today that OHCHR welcomes the Govt’s constructive engagement with OHCHR and the human rights mechanisms, including more..

CLT houses for green Lanka

Mar 22 (DM) If most good things begin in the home, so must the life-or-death battle relating to global warming. Across the world, creative and innovative architects have developed more affordable and eco-friendly ways of building houses. Sri Lanka’s Housing and Construction Minister Sajith Premadasa, continuing the good work his father started, has launched hundreds of projects, mainly in rural areas, to provide houses with deeds and small plots of land to homeless people. more..

Vehicles of corruption: From bicycles to Benz cars

Mar 22 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe didn’t mince his words when addressing newly elected members to the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC). He told them what is expected of them and what is not. ‘Save the city dwellers from dengue, resolve the garbage issue and keep the city clean,’ he said. Now if any CMC member or indeed anyone elected to any local govt authority had to have responsibilities outlined thus, it is sad. However, Wickremesinghe was just warming up, it seems. more..

'Sri Lanka has to decide whether its security is sufficient'

Mar 22 (DM) The Director General of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano visited Sri Lanka on March 14 after concluding a two day visit to Pakistan. He was invited by the Govt of Sri Lanka. The island nation is a member of the IAEA and has consistently obtained technical assistance from the IAEA for peaceful nuclear applications in Non Power areas. Dr. Harinda Vidanage, Director of the BCIS, more..

Muck piles up again while the CMC wastes time dumping blame on people

Mar 22 (ST) Once again, nearly a year after the deadly Meethotamulla garbage mountain collapse, Colombo and its suburbs have turned into a stinking mess because household solid waste is not being collected. No new dump sites have been identified either by CMC or other govt authorities. Short-term dump site at the Muthurajawela wetland sanctuary, is now nearly filled up. The excuses from officialdom are aplenty. more..

Transparency International Sri Lanka red flags diluted National Audit Bill

Mar 22 (SL) Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) is extremely concerned over amended provisions in the gazetted National Audit Bill. There are three major areas of concern – 1. the surcharge powers, being the power to recover monies related to any fraud, negligence, misappropriation or corruption, have been vested in the Chief Accounting Officers (e.g. Secretary to a Ministry or Department Head) instead of the Auditor General more..

Thambuttegama farmers file complaints against police

Mar 22 (Island) Five farmers who were assaulted by the police in Thambuttegama last month filed complaints at the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) yesterday. Police used tear gas and water cannon on February 28 to disperse around 2,000 farmers demonstrating against a drinking water project, which was to use water from Rajanganaya tank. Over 50 farmers were arrested. more..

'Sri Lanka shouldn’t jump the gun on war crimes allegations'

Mar 22 (Island) Ven. Dambara Amila yesterday said there was absolutely no requirement to respond to war crimes allegations at the moment. Ven Amila said that the govt or some future administration could address accountability issues depending on the situation. Addressing the media on behalf of Purawesi Sanvidhana Ekathuwa at the Center for Society and Religion, Maradana, Ven. Amila said Sri Lanka shouldn’t jump the gun. more..

Champika, Rajitha warn govt not to deviate from 2015 mandate

Mar 22 (Island) Two senior Ministers have warned the National Unity Govt that failure to fulfil the pledges given to the people at the last Presidential Election would compel them to launch a campaign to ensure that it honoured its promises. Minister Rajitha Senaratne, admitted that Minister Champika Ranawaka had, in a Memorandum submitted to Cabinet on Tuesday, urged both Prez and PM not to deviate from the goals they had set out in more..

Continued UNHRC scrutiny needed until justice commitments met in full; HRW

Mar 22 (HRW) In this Council, we often talk about the importance of implementation. We can pass all the resolutions we like, but none of it matters if it doesn’t translate into actual progress for people on the ground. SL’s co-sponsorship of resolution 30/1 in October 2015 represented a moment of hope, of opportunity, the prospect of justice and accountability for the tens of thousands of victims of SL’s brutal civil war. more..

President orders to halt all construction at Muthurajawela

Mar 22 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena instructed to cease all the activities of construction and fillings of land paving way for environmental pollution, which prevails around Muthrajawala Sactuary. He has ordered to revoke all the permits that has already been given by any govt organization to fill any lands around the area. The President has instructed relevant authorities to take disciplinary actions against the govt officers more..

Japanese Envoy says No to foreign judges

Mar 22 (DN) Japanese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Kenichi Suganuma said yesterday that his govt was not of the opinion that foreign jurists should be brought to Sri Lanka to evaluate claims of human rights violations. Responding to a reporter’s question about the matter, Ambassador Suganuma said the Sri Lankan govt has the capability to investigate alleged violations and bring those involved to justice. more..

Namal blocked flying to US from Moscow

Mar 22 (DM) MP Namal Rajapakse, who was in Moscow, Russia to observe the presidential election, said that he was not allowed to travel to US on the instructions of US officials. In a tweeter message, MP said that the Emirates Airline officials in Moscow informed him that he cannot board a flight to Houston as US officials instructed the airline not to let him, board. “Emirates Air #Moscow informs I won’t make my Houston Flight more..

Forests: our Last chance to see them

Mar 22 (CT) Our ancestors, the ape-men, when they descended from the tree-tops that provided them a safe haven from prowling predators, never would have thought that their future generations – we - would be the ones to cut down almost all of the world’s trees. At present, the planet’s forests cover stands at an unfortunate 30% with the numbers dwindling like water gushing from a broken faucet. The situation does not look good for humanity if we were to experience complete deforestation more..

Racism, riots, and the Sri Lankan State

Mar 22 (FT) Only when fear and hatred is spread by extremists does serious reflection haunt a community. The teardrop-shaped island of SL, a seeming paradise hanging off the Indian subcontinent, has been provoked yet again. Within a few hours arose an ugly incident of violence, the hill country’s vibrant colours serving as a backdrop to death and destruction – a systematic break-down of lives, religious spaces, and personal property. The July 1983 riots, insurrections quashed more..

UN resolution on SL

U.S. Embassy and Matara Chamber of Commerce launch American Innovation Hub

Mar 22 (USE) The U.S. Embassy launched an American Innovation Hub (iHub) in Matara on March 21, in partnership with the Matara District Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The iHub will provide employment and leadership skills for young people, promote English language learning, encourage study in the United States, and introduce the local community to American culture and values. “The American Innovation Hub will inspire creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship in more..

Fifth COPE report tabled

Mar 22 (CT) Fifth Report of the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE), of 8th Parliament, was tabled in Parliament yesterday. Tabling the report, COPE Chairman Sunil Handunnetti said that the institutions which are accountable and Ministers in charge of the relevant subjects had not paid sufficient attention to the previous reports that were tabled. “In this report we have added a separate note as to what responses we got from the institutions after giving them our recommendations. more..

How to use Credit Cards efficiently

Mar 22 (DM) Sri Lanka, being a multicultural country, has a lot of festivities throughout the year. While we all love these different celebrations spread across the year, they come along with leaving a dent in our wallets. Exceeding your usual budget during seasonal times is nothing unusual, but it is something that can be controlled through the efficient use of credit cards. Before you get your hands on a credit card it is important more..

JO covering up sins through no-faith against PM: Akila

Mar 22 (DM) The JO is attempting to cover up its misdeeds by moving a no-confidence motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, said UNP Deputy General Secretary and Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam. While vowing to defeat the no-confidence motion, he said the joint opposition was trying to dodge legal action over its past frauds, corruptions and carnage. “The JO is attempting to wash away its sins through the no-confidence motion. UNP MPs will not support this cause. more..

Farmers have not asked for lifting of glyphosate ban

Mar 22 (Island) Farmers had not demanded the lifting of the ban on Glyphosate, a herbicide banned in many countries, it was only large scale tea planters that had been pushing for its lifting, representatives of farmer associations said. Nihal Wanniarachchi, Chairman of the Rajanganaya United Farmers Association, said: "We have not asked for this. We want water and fertiliser. There is a shortage of fertilizer in the country because of the mismanagement of the govt. more..

No-faith motion against PM on April 4

Mar 22 (AD) A decision has been taken at the party leaders’ meeting today to take up the motion of no confidence against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in Parliament on April 4. JO leader Dinesh Gunawardena handed over the motion to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya yesterday. Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is also a signatory of the motion, was present on the occasion. The motion has been signed by more..

Maroof, Mir seal series win for Pakistan

Mar 22 (ICC) Captain Bismah Maroof’s 89 and Sana Mir’s 4/20 helped Pakistan Women to a 94-run victory over Sri Lanka Women in the second ICC World Championship one-day international of the three-match series in Dambulla. The victory gave Pakistan an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series, after they had won the first ODI by 69 runs. Opting to bat, Pakistan put up a competitive total of 250/6, Maroof being aided by contributions from Nida Dar (38) and Nahida Khan (29). more..

Fraud suspect Wijenayake in President's delegation of Japan visit: JVP

Mar 22 (DM) JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake said today former MP Piyasiri Wijenayake, who was held responsible for fraud by PRECIFAC, had accompanied the President on his recent visit to Japan and said this would negatively influence the legal proceedings against him. He asked in parliament how the President took him on a state visit when he was accused of a fraud by a commission. "Mr. Wijenayake was seen attending a discussion between Prez & Japanese PM. more..

Legal action to be taken those who misuse kerosene subsidy

Mar 22 (DM) The Petroleum Resources Development Ministry today said legal action would be taken against those misusing kerosene subsidies, which was a relief given by the President. This would be done without considering positions of those involved and against filling stations which violate and misuse the kerosene relief given to them. Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said an artificial increase was shown in the use of more..

Tamil journalist detained and harassed by SL Army while reporting in Mullaitivu

Mar 22 (TG) A Tamil journalist was detained by the SL army and subject to threatening and abusive language by an army official while reporting on the army’s plans to appropriate land in Mullaitivu. The journalist who had been working in Alampil, were residents have reported that the Sri Lankan Army is attempting to permanently seize the land of a destroyed LTTE cemetery was stopped and questioned by soldiers. When the journalist refused to hand over his camera to be searched, more..

Cabinet approval to collect details on shareholders with over 25% ownership

Mar 22 (AD) Cabinet has approved a proposal for the amendment of the Companies Act no 7 of 2007, in order to avoid money laundering and funding of terrorism. The government today said that it had identified the necessity of rapid legal amendments to avoid Money Laundering and Funding of Terrorism. “Therefore it has been decided to make necessary amendments to the Companies act No.7 of 2007 to collect the details on shareholders who have more than 25% of company ownership of more..

SC reaches decision on Judicature (Amendment) Bill

Mar 22 (AD) Having concluded examining the petitions filed on the Judicature (Amendment) Bill, the Supreme Court today stated that it will inform its decision to the Speaker of Parliament. Judicature (Amendment) Act, No. 26 of 2017 is an act to amend the Judicature Act, No. 2 of 1978. It was brought in by the govt to set up a permanent High Court-at-bar to expedite the large amount of pending cases. Several petitions were filed more..

Video: Colombo’s first female Mayor Rosy Senanayake assumes duties

Mar 22 (AD) Rosy Senanayake of the United National Party (UNP) today officially assumed duties as the first ever female Mayor of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC). She took office following a ceremony at the Colombo Municipal Council this morning which was attended by Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka and MP Ravi Karunanayake among other guests. Senanayake was recently sworn in as the Mayor of Colombo at a ceremony held at Temple Trees before PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. more..

Japan to donate 8 Fire Engines to EPZs

Mar 22 (EoJ) Govt of Japan has decided to provide 8 fire engines along with fire fighting equipment to Export Processing Zones (EPZs) in Katunayake, Biyagama, Seethawaka and Wathupitiwala, where more than 100,000 employees are working. The equipment donated by local govts in Japan will be utilized for the safety not only in EPZs but also in their adjacent areas. The grant contract for The Project for Upgrading Fire Units in Export Processing Zones amounting US$ 90,778 more..

'Better health service under new regime'

Mar 22 (NR) Minister Rajitha Senaratne says the health service in the country has improved under the present govt. He said the Health Ministry is willing to provide several concessions to health sector workers in order establish an efficient health service in the country. Minister added, “Previously five out of six heart patients died upon admission to hospitals however now only one death is reported among six admissions. more..

Govt compelled to give poison if people ask for it: Harrison

Mar 22 (DM) We would be compelled to provide them with poisonous synthetic fertilizer as a Govt if the people demand so to increase their harvests, Minister P Harrison said. He said Govt took a decision to reduce the usage of synthetic fertilizer as a solution to the kidney disease and to direct the farmers on organic fertilizer. However, he said at the recently held LG Election the people had given a message to the Govt to provide the synthetic fertilizer which causes kidney diseases more..

Set timeframe to implement UN resolution: Canada urges Sri Lanka

Mar 22 (DM) Canadian Govt today urged the SL govt to set a time-bound strategy for full implementation of the UN Resolution, with technical support from the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). “We call on Sri Lanka to meet its domestic and international human rights obligations to ensure a peaceful, reconciled and prosperous future for all Sri Lankans,” it said in a statement. Canada welcomed the High Commissioner’s Representative’s report on more..

Court Order closure of children’s home

Mar 22 (CT) Controversial Darun Nusra children’s home was temporarily shut down on a Magistrate’s orders, which saw the children in its care being transferred to separate orphanages. Officers of the Department of Probation, acting on the orders issued by the Gangodawila Magistrate’s Court, recommended three orphanages to which the 15 children in the care of the Darun Nusra, were transferred to. more..

JVP calls for a new health policy

Mar 22 (NR) The JVP today accused the Ministry of Health for allegedly failing to educate the public pertaining to myths surrounding the circulation of infertility pills that resulted in communal violence in Kandy. Speaking in Parliament today, MP Nalinda Jayatissa called on the government to formulate a national policy for an efficient health service in the country. The MP said there was an extensive debate about infertility pills and other means of abortion adding that more..

70 UNP MPs sign motion in favour of PM

Mar 22 (NR) Seventy UNP MPs have signed a counter motion against the no-confidence motion tabled by the joint opposition against the Prime Minister. UNP MP Harshana Rajakaruna informed that a proposal in favour of the Party Leader PM Ranil Wickremesinghe was signed by 70 MPs today. He said a unanimous decision was taken by the UNP Parliamentary group to vote against the Joint Opposition motion during a meeting held at the Parliamentary complex today. more..

Heated exchange over postponement of Bill

Mar 22 (Island) A heated argument ensued in Parliament yesterday when Minister Lakshman Kiriella announced that the govt had decided to postpone the second reading of Active Liability Management Bill to Friday. Debates on Active Liability Management Bill, Demutualisation of the Colombo Stock Exchange Bill and several Regulations under the Foreign Exchange Act were scheduled to be taken up at yesterday’s more..

Ashley and Me

Mar 23 (CT) The memory of one of the greatest contributors to English education in Sri Lanka is fading away gradually and naturally. This article is a conscientious effort to prevent that from happening too early. The intention is to rekindle our memory of him from time to time. In A Garland for Ashley, Glimpses of A Life edited by Tissa Jayatilaka and Jayantha Dhanapala, a book that was gifted to me by Ashley himself with his familiar signature on it, I read a few personal accounts more..