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Banking reforms in the context of subordinate financialization

Mar 28 (CT) It is both an honor and a pleasure to be here at the event of marking the 75th Anniversary of the Ceylon Bank Employees Union. First, let me offer my heartfelt greetings to CBEU, its office bearers and membership. CBEU has had a proud and celebrated history of struggles that helped immensely to record so many victories to improve the conditions of the working class in general and the bank employees in particular. The topic I have selected for my address this afternoon is more..

Glaring omission of US brokered 2010 TNA-SF pact

Mar 28 (Island) Veteran Indian journalist Padma Rao Sundarji’s Sri Lanka: The New Country, authored during the tail end of war-winning President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s second term, expertly dealt with Sri Lanka’s conflict that was brought to a successful conclusion, in May 2009. Rao, who had been to the northern part of Sri Lanka, at the time the LTTE was in control, as well as during the post-war period, discussed the conflict, certainly without bias. By and large, Rao addressed conflict and more..

From Hendala to Angoda: A History of mental hospitals in Sri Lanka

Mar 28 (Roar) Given the stigma surrounding mental illness, you would think mental healthcare in SL is still at early stages; but it was in 1839 that British Governor James Alexander Stewart-Mackenzie first introduced an ordinance to establish mental asylums in SL. The piece of legislation called the Lunacy Ordinance was enacted for the better care of mental health patients, who had until then languished in jails. more..

Editorial: Sanctuaries in danger

Mar 28 (Island) Colombo is fast becoming an asphalt desert with its green lungs shrinking at an alarming rate. Rapid urbanisation as well as gentrification projects are taking their toll on green belts. Marshes which used to retain storm water in days of yore have been haphazardly reclaimed and, today, all it takes to cripple the entire city is a single cloudburst. The signs are that the same fate will befall the remaining wetlands and natural lakes in Colombo’s conurbation before long. more..

The Pathi I knew

Mar 28 (Island) Dharmasena Pathiraja (Pathi) is best known in SL for his movies. In Melbourne where he studied for his PhD. he is also known for his courageous activism. I came to know Pathi in 1997. I had known his movies long before that and had greatly admired them. But I never had privilege of meeting their director. And when I finally met him it was in a way that had a lasting impact on my life. I came to Australia in 1990, to study. Most of my undergraduate years at uni were spent in more..

Mathews, Chandimal welcome competitive Provincial Tournament

Mar 28 (Island) Sri Lankan captains Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal welcomed the new Inter-Provincial First Class tournament that is expected to raise the level of competitiveness. A four-team competition of four days duration is believed to be the treatment for the troubles of domestic cricket. Current domestic structure where there are 24 teams has been severely criticized and the new tournament more..

India’s Mahindra to assemble vehicles with Sri Lanka’s Ideal Motors

Mar 28 (Hindu) Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) Ltd. has initialled an agreement with Ideal Motors of Sri Lanka to set up a joint venture in the island nation. The Mumbai-based M&M will pick up 35% equity in the proposed joint venture with Ideal Motors. The remaining will be held by the Sri Lankan partner. The joint venture company is being set up to assemble vehicle in Sri Lanka. The proposed investment in the Sri Lankan joint venture is subject to approval by the Reserve Bank of India. more..

Central Bank calls for proposals to raise $1 b

Mar 28 (FT) Central Bank has released a Request for Proposals to raise a Foreign Currency Term Financing Facility (FTFF) of $ 1 billion this year as the Govt prepares to repay record levels of foreign debt from 2019. FTFF would be denominated in US dollars, Japanese yen, euro or their combinations up to $1,000 million or its equivalent, the Central Bank said, calling for proposals. “The FTFF is expected to be raised at a fixed rate or a floating rate, linked to the USD, JPY or Euro 6 Month LIBOR more..

Sri Lanka cigarette prices highest in Asia

Mar 28 (ST) Prices of cigarettes in Sri Lanka are the highest in the Asia Pacific region and the second highest in the world with the island rapidly turning into a cigarette smugglers paradise. These comments were made by Roshan Madawala, Managing Director, Research Intelligence Unit (RIU) at Tuesday’s launch of the Research Report on Taxation in Sri Lanka – a case study on the Tobacco Industry by the RIU at the Galadari Hotel more..

Chinese Ambassador says cheer up for China-Sri Lanka friendship and cooperation

Mar 28 (FT) Ambassador of China in SL, Cheng Xueyuan, on 22 March host a farewell reception for a multiple-parties ministers and MPs delegation visiting China at the Hilton Hotel. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, Minister and head of the delegation Anura P. Yapa, officials from parliament and the embassy as well as media representatives participated in the reception. Ambassador Cheng extended his gratitude to Jayasuriya for his valuable and continuous support to the exchange more..

Insurance and real estate drives December 2017 earnings

Mar 28 (Island) December 2017 Quarter earnings were up by 19%YoY for 279 companies. The numbers spiked 19%YoY to LKR 86Bn, turning around from a dip of -2%YoY in Sep 2017. The main drivers of earnings were Insurance (219%YoY) and Real Estate (255%YoY) overcoming the negative effect of Food, Beverage and Tobacco (-37%YoY) and Capital Goods (-21%YoY). Insurance and Real Estate sectors boosted earnings performance: Insurance Sector saw a phenomenal more..

Accused collapses in Toy pistol case

Mar 28 (DN) There was high drama at the Hambantota High Court yesterday, when the first accused Pemasiri Paranamanna in the case involving the attack on a group of UNP MPs who were on a fact finding visit to the new Airport and Port in Hambanthota in April 17, 2014 fainted and collapsed on the dock when Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne began to give evidence. The case famously dubbed as the Toy Pistol Case more..

Minister wants changes in SL 7s team?

Mar 28 (CT) Sri Lanka seven a side rugby squad which was previously picked by the national selection committee for the Commonwealth Games next month has not been approved by the Sports Minister as he wants certain changes in the team that was selected. Last week National Selectors made four changes to the national side that went for the Borneo 7s where Sri Lanka finished fourth. Selectors recalled dashing Kandy centre Danushka Ranjan, Richard Dharmapala, Srinath more..

Dialog Television launches

Mar 28 (Island) Dialog Television, a subsidiary of Dialog Axiata announced the launch of, a cutting-edge online platform for buying television ad spots on its direct to home Dialog Television. The online portal will enable startups, small and medium entrepreneurs and corporates to directly book advertising space with Dialog Television. is SL’s first online marketplace and user-friendly platform that allows businesses to schedule, buy and review a media plan on Dialog TV. more..

Minister orders SLMC to stop its election

Mar 28 (DM) Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne in a letter sent to the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) has ordered to stop proceedings in the current election of members to the council stating that there would be legal implications. In a letter dated March 23, minister had stated that he had received several complaints on conducting the above election without proper election procedure regulations published in more..

Sri Lanka calls for Bangla connectivity to boost exports, investments

Mar 28 (CT) The Ministry of Industry and Commerce, issuing a press release stated that Sri Lanka has called for stronger maritime and air links with Bangladesh to boost booming bilateral trade as well as FDIs. Meanwhile, trade between both countries has shown a steady surge not only in the last five years but even on a YoY basis in 2017. “Ports of Colombo and Hambantota are vital for Sri Lanka’s economy and the Port of Chittagong is of great importance to economy of Bangladesh. more..

Sri Lanka promotes film tourism opportunities at IIFTC 2018

Mar 28 (CT) SL Tourism issued a press communiqué that stated it participated at the India International Film Tourism Conclave (IIFTC) 2018, India’s leading film location fair, in a bid to capitalize on its potential as a filming location for Indian cinema. The event was held from 1-3 March at the Marriott Hotel, Juhu, for the 5th consecutive year. A number of high-profile Indian film directors participated in the three-day event, including Tharun Masukhani, known for Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, more..

JO alleges MPs offered Rs. 100 mn each to vote against no-faith motion

Mar 28 (Island) MPs have been offered as much as Rs. 100 mn each to oppose the no-confidence motion (NCM) moved against PM and UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, JO heavyweight MP Dallas Alahapperuma alleges. He said so at a public meeting at Verona, organized by the SLPP in Italy over the last weekend. Parliament is scheduled to debate and vote on NCM on April 4. JO handed over NCM signed by 55 more..

Fall from grace: Aussies caught with their pants down

Mar 28 (DN) Australia has been renowned over the years as a great sporting nation and many countries have made them the benchmark to emulate if they want to become successful in sports. Cricket is a game that Australia has reached zenith heights. It is a game they play with a lot of passion with no quarters asked or given. Australia is also well-known for their sledging of opponents and for trying to put them off by making false accusations to distract them from their main priority more..

Foreign travel of Govt MPs restricted from 2-6 April

Mar 28 (FT) Govt MPs have been restricted from travelling abroad from 2-6 April, UNP MP Ashu Marasinghe revealed yesterday. The legislator made this announcement during a press briefing held at Sirikotha last morning. “We have asked all UNP MPs who are in China to return to the island by 1 April. In addition, all Govt MPs have been instructed not to travel abroad from 2-6 April.” He went on to say that the UNP was having an internal discussion regarding the restructuring of the party. more..

SLFP proposes broader national govt without Ranil as Premier

Mar 28 (Island) The SLFP yesterday proposed a broader coalition sans UNP leader and PM Wickremesinghe to implement President Maithripala Sirisena’s 2015 mandate. Minister S.B. Dissanayake said the no-confidence motion (NCM) moved by the JO against PM Wickremesinghe would give Parliament an opportunity to replace the PM. The NCM handed over to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya on March 23 holds PM responsible for more..

Not justifiable to label violent incidents as communal violence: Mahanayake Theras

Mar 28 (DM) Maha Nayaka Thera of the Malwatta Chapter Most Ven. Thibbatuwawe Sri Sumangala Thera today told a group of European Union Ambassadors that it was not justifiable to label the violent incidents occurred in Theldeniya as communal violence. The group of EU Ambassadors including Switzerland Ambassador Heinz Nederkoorn, Romanian Ambassador Victor Chiudea and headed by EU Ambassador Tung-Lai Margue called on the Mahanayake Theras of more..

Call for removing Central Bank from PM’s purview

Mar 28 (Island) The Central Bank should be brought under the Finance Ministry immediately in view of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s alleged involvement in the Treasury Bond scams, executive director of CaFFE and CHR Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon said. Tennakoon said that the Presidential Commission report on the Treasury bond scam had been published several months back and the President should have taken away the control of Central Bank from the Prime Minister. more..

Udayanga's arrest confirmed

Mar 28 (DN) The arrest of fugitive former SL Ambassador to Russia, Udayanga Weeratunga has been confirmed by highly placed govt sources as reported in yesterday’s Daily News. Weeratunga has been arrested in the UAE, following an Interpol Red Notice secured by the FCID in connection with the alleged 2006 MiG Deal. Following a combined operation by signals intelligence units in SL and Abu Dhabi, more..

Sajin Vaas interrogated by SIU

Mar 28 (CT) Former SLFP MP Sajin Vaas Gunawardana was interrogated by the Police Special Investigation Unit (SIU) yesterday over several allegations of financial misappropriation, Police said. SP Ruwan Gunasekara said, “Gunawardana was questioned on alleged financial misappropriation which is said to have taken place in 2010, when buying eight vehicles for the Presidential Secretariat. Prior to this, two suspects were arrested and currently they are on bail. more..

TNA denies taking decision on NCM

Mar 28 (CT) The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has denied reports that it would back PM Ranil Wickremesinghe during the No-Confidence Motion against him. TNA Parliamentarian President’s Counsel M.A. Sumanthiran speaking to Ceylon Today said that the Party will meet on 2 April to discuss the matter and would then reach a decision on the motion. “No decision has been taken on the matter yet. We will go through the content of the motion on 2 April and decide on our stance” more..

Prez hits out at Ranil

Mar 28 (CT) Prez Sirisena had criticized PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and the Govt at yesterday’s Cabinet meeting over the continued delay to dissolve the Cabinet Committee on Economic Management (CCEM). CCEM was established to make recommendations to the Cabinet of Ministers, on the implementation of laws and related subjects, concerning economic affairs, monetary and financial policy, national investment programmes, more..

Introduce austerity drive for ministers

Mar 28 (DM) It has been a tradition in many countries to launch austerity drives for govt politicians when the country’s growth rate hits a record low. That is one important means of taking collective responsibility for the down turn. The measures usually include curtailing foreign travel and if at all travelling economy class, with the objective of reducing the burden the politicians load on the country’s taxpayers who are already reeling under the resultant inflation. more..

Memo to UNP Defy Rajapaksas

Mar 28 (DM) American students took to the streets to defy gun violence. It was more to defy those politicians who were financially backed by the National Rifle Association (NRA), the infamous NGO, whose aim was only more sales of weapons of destruction, guns and more guns. On March 24, the kids and families of March For Our Lives took to the streets of Washington, DC and in 800+ other locations in US. Their message is clear. Theirs is succinct; theirs is angry; theirs is direct and more..

'ICT a reality to stay for many years'

Mar 28 (DM) Prof. Amarendra Behera, Joint Director of the Central Institute of Educational Technology (CIET) of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) of India visited Sri Lanka recently to participate in the South Asia Regional Symposium on Information and Communications Technology (ICT) for Education 2018. During his visit Prof. Behera spoke on the growing importance of ICT and expressed more..

How Sri Lankans meet and greet each other

Mar 28 (Roar) Meeting and greeting in Sri Lanka is indeed an art that takes quite a bit of practice to master the traditional manner of how it is done. From taking off your shoes at the doorstep to greeting one another with an ayubowan or vannakkam with the palms of one’s hands pressed together whilst slightly bowing the head is the traditional manner of greeting one another in Sri Lanka. While a fist pump or a quick hug may more..

Evidence unfolding before courts on Lasantha's Murder

Mar 28 (DM) The unfolding evidence the CID is now gathering reveals how the former Head of Sri Lanka Police is alleged to have had in his possession the most vital evidence which was destroyed to thwart the investigations conducted into the brutal murder of former Editor of The Sunday Leader Lasantha Wickrematunge. Despite destroying the vital evidence to botch the investigations allegedly carried out on more..

Mothers of Sri Lanka's 100,000 disappeared desperately looking for answers

Mar 28 (ITV) Officially Sri Lanka's long civil war finished nine years ago. But for tens of thousands of Tamils its trauma is never-ending. They are the relatives of the disappeared, people who vanished during the 26-year conflict. The majority of them were Tamils taken away by govt forces, never to be seen or heard from ever again. Amnesty International says the ranks of the disappeared number 100,000. more..

How public spirited residents stopped the rape of Muthurajawela Sanctuary

Mar 28 (ST) The Presidential Investigation Unit (PIU) has launched an inquiry into alleged collusion among govt officials regarding the Muthurajawela Sanctuary landfill, which, environmentalists say, has caused irreparable damage to one of the country’s most unique eco systems. The PIU’s Investigations Director Ruban Wickremaarachchi said President Sirisena had called for a full report more..

Inactive Audit Commission expenses to top Rs. 33 Million

Mar 28 (DN) Expenses of the Audit Service Commission, which has been inactive due to non-passage of the National Audit Act in Parliament, totalled Rs 33 million in 2016, Commission’s Annual Report revealed. Report was tabled in Parliament last Friday. Audit Service Commission was set up in Nov 2015 following the passage of 19th Amendment, but it has been unable to carry out its functions due to the absence more..

Country flooded with substandard motorcycles: CMA

Mar 28 (Island) The number of accidents in the country could be reduced by around 40% if the govt prevented the import of substandard motorcycles with minimal safety standards, Ceylon Motorcyclists’ Association (CMA) Secretary Chirantha Amarasinghe said. A number of manufacturers across the world followed the safety standards recommended by the US Department of Transport. more..

Video: Tense situation during election of Maskeliya PS chairman

Mar 28 (AD) A tense situation has been reported during the ballot held this morning to elect the Chairman of the Maskeliya Pradeshiya Sabha. Police officers had to intervene in order to control the situation. Riot police were called in as the situation continued to worsen with supporters of rival parties clashing outside the Pradeshiya Sabha premises. The violence broke out after supporters of Minister Palani Digambaram accused more..

'We will soon have artificial rain'

Mar 28 (DM) In a bid to find a sustainable solution to the recurring droughts, the next few months would witness the first onset of artificial rain in selected areas of the country as a pilot project, Power and Energy Ministry Secretary Suren Batagoda said. Ministry had decided to introduce Artificial Rains for the first time in SL with technical support from the Bureau of Royal Rainmaking & Agricultural Aviation of Thailand. more..

Vote by name for the No-Confidence Motion

Mar 28 (NR) Leaders of political parties representing Parliament have decided to hold a vote by name for the vote on the No-Confidence Motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. When contacted Deputy General Secretary of Parliament Neil Iddawela said a secret ballot will not be held. Accordingly the vote will be called row by row or by name. Party leaders had agreed to refrain from using electronic voting method in the House. more..

Debt, Development

Mar 28 (CT) The cause of SL’s looming debt trap is foreign commercial loans taken by the previous Mahinda Rajapaksa regime to finance the budget deficit and fund development projects, more often white elephant projects. There were also projects which didn’t follow tender guidelines, casting a justifiable doubt as to whether the island at least got the best financial deal from such projects. As a result, SL’s total foreign loans, if segregated to non-concessional & commercial & concessional, more..