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Counsel faults HC judge’s failure to give reasons for conviction of Duminda et al

Mar 27 (Island) One of the three High Court Judges of the trial-at-bar against Duminda Silva and others had not given reasons for his judgement and, therefore, the judgement against Duminda Silva et al could not stand, said President’s Counsel Anil Silva in the Supreme Court (SC) yesterday, when he supported the appeal application filed by Duminda Silva and three others convicted of murder of Bharatha Lakshman more..

SL’s development projects threatened: ADB

Mar 27 (CT) The Govt’s fiscal reform agenda may include improving the level of external borrowing, leading to the insufficiency of budget allocations for project expenditure, thus affecting the disbursement ratio in project funding over a period of time, thereby delaying project implementation, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), a key project funder of development projects in Sri Lanka, more..

SLCP clarifies Dr. Senaratne’s statement

Mar 27 (CT) The Sri Lanka College of Paediatricians (SLCP) yesterday made a clarification over recent claims made by Minister of Health Dr. Rajitha Senaratne about the Little Hearts project, which was initiated to build a Cardiac and Critical Care Complex at the Lady Ridgeway Hospital (LRH), to treat children suffering with congenital heart diseases. Dr. Senaratne on 23 March alleged that the said project is in a crisis more..

UNP bags Tangalle UC, Aranayake PS chairs while Pohottuwa wins Dehiwela-Mt Lavinia

Mar 27 (DN) The UNP yesterday succeeded in turning the tables by winning the Mayoral positions of many Local Govt bodies which were won by the SLPP (Pohottuwa) at the last LG election. UNP candidates were elected as head of Local Govt institutions in Tangalle and Aranayake though the party lost the council at the last LG election. Even though the SLPP had won 14 wards in the Aranayake Pradeshiya Sabha more..

Colombo port ranked 13th best connectivity port in the world

Mar 27 (DM) The Colombo port has gained five places in the latest Drewry Port Connectivity Index to be ranked as the 13th best connectivity port. According to the rankings, the Colombo port is also the best connectivity port in South Asia. The Drewry Global Container Port Connectivity Index recently announced the top 20 ports with new entries of Jebel Ali and Algeciras to the listing for the fourth quarter of 2017. more..

EAP seals deal to sell key assets to Singapore firm

Mar 27 (DM) A deal has been sealed to sell some of the key EAP Group assets to a Singapore-based investment holding company, with Sri Lanka’s Central Bank giving the green light to proceed with the deal. The assets that will be sold under the US $ 75 million deal would be Swarnamahal Financial Services PLC, EAP Films and Theatres Private Limited, EAP Broadcasting Company Ltd & Swarnamahal Jewellers. more..

PM wants India & Japan cash to balance China

Mar 27 (BN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said Sri Lanka is seeking foreign investment from India, Japan and others amid criticism over his country’s reliance on Chinese loans for infrastructure projects. He defended a deal last year that gave a joint venture led by state-owned China Merchants Port Holdings Co Ltd. a 99-year lease to the southern port of Hambantota. The agreement gave Sri Lanka $1.1 billion more..

Ethnic co-education, a good idea

Mar 27 (CT) Minister for National Coexistence, Dialogue and Official Languages Mano Ganesan is right on the money when he says schools which are exclusively for one race or linguistic group foster communal disharmony. Ganesan’s attention to the issue has been drawn after several schoolchildren were accused of posting racist and inflammatory messages on Social Media before and during the attacks against the Muslim community in and around Kandy earlier this month. more..

Mahinda, Ranil and the big picture

Mar 27 (FT) There is an ancient Chinese saying about missing the big picture by focusing on the trivial. This is about the big picture. The Mahinda Rajapaksa phenomenon is not unique. In human history such men have existed. The French Political Philosopher Étienne de La Boétie spent a lifetime studying tyrants of the type of Mahinda Rajapaksa. Tyrants whose tyranny was with popular consent. He produced the classic- Politics of Obedience: The discourse of voluntary servitude. more..

ගිනි නිවීම ගැන නිසි ඇගයීමක් තියෙනවා ද?

Duminda’s appeal taken up for argument

Mar 27 (DN) The appeal petitions filed by the five accused including former MP Duminda Silva challenging the judgment of Colombo High Court was yesterday taken up before the Supreme Court for argument. When the appeal came up before SC the 5-judge-Bench headed by CJ Priyasath Dep, further argument was fixed for today. President’s Counsel Anil de Silva appearing on behalf of the appellant-accused Duminda Silva stated that the High Court Trial-at-Bar conviction cannot more..

Permanent jobs for 135 workers of Magampura Port, compensation for others

Mar 27 (GDI) In accordance with the agreement between SL Ports Authority and trade unions following the new launching of the Hambantota Magampura Port, 135 port workers were given permanent appointments. Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe handed over the new appointments to the employees in a ceremony held at the Mahapola Ports and Maritime Academy. Those who did not get permanent appointments were awarded a compensation of 1.3 million rupees each. more..

President stops gazette on transferring Central Bank from Ranil to Mangala

Mar 27 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena stopped the printing of the gazette notification transferring the Central Bank from PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera a short while ago. While sources from the Govt Printer confirmed that the gazette notification had been sent although the green light to print had not yet been given, Prez’s Secretary Austin Fernando confirmed more..

SL & Ukraine to agree on mutual cooperation

Mar 27 (NR) Ukraine is due to reach an agreement with Sri Lanka on mutual cooperation and protection of investments. The agreement was stated in the President’s decree yesterday. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko formed a delegation for the negotiations concerning the relevant agreement with Sri Lanka. State Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, headed the delegation. Foreign media reported the decree provides the instruction for the delegation. more..

Udayanga was not arrested: FCID

Mar 27 (DM) Senior DIG in-charge of the FCID, Ravi Waidyalankara today rejected reports that former SL Ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga had been arrested in Dubai. Media reports quoting Senior DIG Waidyalankara earlier said that authorities in Dubai had arrested Weeratunga on Monday morning based on the investigations and submissions made by the FCID. However, when contacted Senior DIG Waidyalankara, he dismissed the report of Udayanga being arrested more..

Special Committee to look into glyphosate ban

Mar 27 (AD) The Cabinet has decided to appoint an experts’ committee to decide on the usage of the banned agrochemical Glyphosate. Committee will reportedly be represented by specialist and intellectuals from fields such as health, agriculture and plantation industries. Ministers Rajitha Senaratne, Navin Dissanayake, Duminda Dissanayake and MP Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thero will serve as observers. more..

Party leaders’ meeting to discuss no-confidence against PM

Mar 27 (NR) A special party leaders meeting is set to take place tomorrow. The Speaker’s office said the meeting will be held to discuss the No-Confidence Motion filed against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. The party leaders meeting will commence at 9.30am tomorrow under the leadership of Speaker of House Karu Jayasuriya. Meanwhile, the TNA says it will make a decision on the No-Confidence Motion against the Prime Minister on the 2nd of April. more..

No reason to oppose no faith motion against PM: S.B

Mar 27 (DM) The SLFP has no need to oppose the No Confidence Motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, Minister of Social Empowerment S.B. Dissanayake said. He said it was the SLFP members who proclaimed at first that stringent actions should be taken against the offenders of the controversial bond scam. “The attempts of the SLFP became successful and culminated in appointing a Presidential Commission to inquire into the so called bond fraud,” he said. more..

Expert says debt repayment levy ends up 0.25% on financial VAT

Mar 27 (FT) The much-discussed debt repayment levy proposed in the 2018 Budget is now ending up as 0.25% of the financial VAT, which is slated to come into effect from 1 April, a veteran in the industry confirmed yesterday. “The Finance Ministry have now decided that the levy will be based on the percentage of the financial VAT, which is 0.25%,” KPMG Sri Lanka Managing Partner Reyaz Mihular said yesterday, at a seminar organised by more..

Visiting Sri Lanka 100 times is still not enough: Prof. Manfred Domroes

Mar 27 (FT) Professor Manfred Domroes, a lecturer and adventurist with an immense passion for SL’s natural beauty and exquisite tea, recently paid his 100th visit to the country. His maiden visit was in 1967: since then, he has remained loyal to the country, calling Sri Lanka as his second home. In this interview with Daily FT, Professor Domroes shares why he loves the country and details of his 100 visits, mainly promoting the study of the geography and economy of SL to groups of more..

Deadline for Makandure Madhush to surrender ends

Mar 27 (NR) The time period granted for notorious underworld kingpin Madhush Lakshitha alias Makandure Madhush to surrender to Court ends today. Makandure Madhush was ordered to surrender over the murder of former Chairman of the Southern Development Authority Danny Hittatiyage. During the previous hearing, Matara Additional Magistrate said an order will be issued to confiscate all property belonging to Makandure Madhush if the suspect fails to surrender before Court more..

Maj. Gen Dampath new Army Chief of Staff

Mar 27 (SLA) Major General Dampath Fernando has been appointed as the 52nd Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Army, announced the Military Secretariat. He succeeded Major General Amal Karunasekara who retired from the service a few days ago. Major General Fernando was serving as the Deputy Chief of Staff at the Army Headquarters before he was appointed as the Chief of Staff, second highest office in the Army. more..

Railway unions condemn commuter fare hike

Mar 27 (CT) All Ceylon Railway Employees General Union (ACREGU) condemned the decision taken by the Govt to increase train fares by 15% with effect from 1 April, without having made a conscience effort to develop the service for commuters. ACREGU has pointed out that the Department of Railways continues to lose a sum of over Rs 70 billion annually and charged that the Govt instead of taking action to remedy its flaws was now intent on burdening the public by increasing train fares. more..

Case against Gotabhaya re-fixed for July 9

Mar 27 (DN) Colombo Additional Magistrate Shanima Wijebandara yesterday re-fixed for July 9 the trial in relation to the corruption case against former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and seven others for allegedly incurring a loss of Rs.11.4 billion to the govt by giving permission to the Avant-Garde Maritime Services to operate a floating armoury. Eight were accused including former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, former Avant Garde Chairman Major Nissanka more..

Sri Lanka's reluctant saviour

Mar 27 (EM) Indrajit Coomaraswamy was all but retired when the call came to run SL’s central bank. He can’t remember saying yes to the job, but in 18 months, the self-effacing civil servant has given a govt on the edge of bankruptcy a new lease of life. They don’t make them like Indrajit Coomaraswamy any more. The calm and self-effacing governor of the Central Bank of SL spent most of his career behind the scenes, more..

Police await GA’s report on Muttur massacre

Mar 27 (CT) The Police claimed that the weapons related to the massacre of 17 relief workers at Muttur in 2006 had been sent to the Govt Analyst and that they are presently awaiting the results. Police Media Spokesman Superintendent of Police Ruwan Gunasekara said that the investigations are being conducted by the CID, however, no suspect has been arrested yet. He also said that the Court case would be resumed today (27) at the Muttur Magistrate’s Court. more..

Video: May Day shifted to May 7 due to Vesak

Mar 27 (AD) The Cabinet has decided to commemorate this year’s May Day on May 7th instead of the usual May 1st, following a request made by Buddhist clergy in the country. The request had been made in view of International Workers’ Day coinciding with Vesak Week. Accordingly, the Cabinet decided to postpone the rallies and meetings from May 1 to May 7. Meanwhile the 7th of May will be declared as a public holiday while the President has invited all political parties and more..

GL asks all SLFP members of govt to support no-faith motion

Mar 27 (Island) All members of the SLFP should take a collective decision on whether they would support the no-confidence motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe or not, SLPP said. SLPP Chairman Prof. G.L. Peiris said that so far only four SLFP members had signed the no-confidence motion against PM Wickremesinghe. "The people have given their verdict by voting for SLPP at the last month’s LG elections and more..

Sri Lanka Super Four Provincial Tournament to start this week

Mar 27 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket's revamped domestic provincial tournament has been given a name and a launch date. The Super Four Provincial Tournament, which was initially due to be played last December, will now get underway on 30 March, with some of the best talent in the country taking part. The tournament, which will consist of four provincial teams based around SLC Centres of Excellence in Colombo, Galle, Kandy and Dambulla, facing off in six four-day games - more..

SAITM students get impatient with govt solution

Mar 27 (Island) Students of the SAITM wrote to the President asking him to transfer them to the Kotelawala Defence University (KDU) as soon as possible. President Maithripala Sirisena announced in January that students of SAITM medical school with required educational qualifications would be absorbed into the Kotelawela Defence University (Medical Faculty). The Student Action Committee of SAITM has issued the following statement: "It has been 51 days since then and more..

Speedy steps to control illegal sand & stone trade

Mar 27 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says speedy steps will be taken to control the illegal sand and stone excavation and trade. He made these remarks while speaking at the Silver Jubilee celebrations of the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau held at the Water’s Edge Hotel in Battaramulla, yesterday. President further said that the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau and the Central Environmental Authority have a prime more..

Sampanthan’s alma mater

Mar 28 (CT) A large number of family members of the involuntarily disappeared persons staged a protest when President Maithripala Sirisena arrived at St Patrick’s College, Jaffna to declare open the newly built Technology Centre of the school last week. The Old Boys of St Patrick’s College Jaffna who were the students of former Rector Rev. Fr. Michael Francis Joseph also joined hands with the protestors carrying aloft the portrait of their former Rector who was among hundreds of more..

When leaders cry - Part I

Mar 28 (Island) PM Ranil Wickemesinghe appears to be trying hard to ward off unprecedented pressure on him to call it quits, coming from the grassroots membership of the UNP, at least some of his parliamentary team and of course, the opposition. Most reasonable people without vested interests would agree that as a politician just 360 days from reaching ‘the days of his years’ — three score and ten —and 40 years in politics, the time is ripe for him to step aside for his own sake more..

'Yahapalanaya is an undefinable concept thrown in for election purpose'

Mar 28 (DM) Head of the Dept of Philosophy at Uni of Peradeniya, Dr. Charitha Herath speaks about the current political trends and the future. Dr. Herath also served as the Media Ministry Secretary during the former rule and as the Chairman of the Central Environment Authority. Q: How do you look at the current political situation? A: It is a complex situation. It's a sad situation we are facing now. more..

Reform & Reality: The intellectual & ideological crisis of Yahapâlanaya

Mar 28 (CT) Given the lowest economic growth rate in 16 years—since Ranil was last the PM in 2002– the inescapable conclusion going by the hard empirical evidence, is that electorally the UNP is a Dead Man Walking. Mr. Wickremesinghe has repeatedly failed his party and his govt. He has lost elections many times and this is the second time in as many decades that he has been sought to be removed as PM. His campaign jingle ends with a chorused chant which reaches a crescendo more..

Ranil’s political judgments

Mar 28 (CT) Ranil’s Govt did not last long, which is why English medium has survived till now. The benefits would have been greater and more widespread had we been allowed to develop the Amity concept, and also introduce wider learning outcomes. But we have to be thankful that the blight he cast on one of the more noteworthy achievements of Chandrika’s years in office was lifted before it destroyed the fruits of our labours completely. more..

Prowling in tea country to save the leopard

Mar 28 (ST) Stunning, sleek and spectacular, yet powerful and graceful, are these tawny and spotted creatures as they stride along the mountain ridges, masters of all they survey. Let them live………protect their territory, will be the earnest and fervent plea to tea companies in the Central Highlands on behalf of Sri Lanka’s biggest predator – our very own Big Cat, the leopard. Panthera pardus kotiya which more..

Reform resistance in Sri Lankan Politics

Mar 28 (GV) One serious political question that emerges from Sri Lanka’s current political impasse is the following: why has a reformist democratic regime, with domestic popular support as well as international backing, begun to run out of its political energies, and political options, so early and is facing disintegration half away? In Sri Lanka’s on-going political debate, there are several explanations being offered. Two stand above others. The lack of political will among govt leaders, more..

Take good care of Colombo!

Mar 28 (DN) It is another remarkable achievement for Rosy Senanayake. She has been appointed as the Colombo Mayor. Many significant historical records have been made by Sri Lankan women in the past. This is another dimensional achievement. The newly appointed mayoress has been given an important and prominent area which houses important places like the Supreme Court, residencies of President, Prime Minister, Ministers and most parliamentarians. more..

Wijayadasa Rajapaksha