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Recommendation of GSP +to Sri Lanka: EU denies laying down any conditions

Jan 18 (DN) Head of the Political, Trade and Communication Section of the Delegation of the European Union (EU) in Sri Lanka Paul Godfrey denied that the EU laid down any conditions as such to Sri Lanka - 58 conditions in total as some news reports have been suggestive of – to recommend GSP+ to Sri Lanka. Godfrey said the European Commission in Brussels recommended granting GSP+ preferences for Sri Lanka to support the progress of the country’s commitment to more..

SL-Thai FTA study to conclude by August

Jan 18 (FT)  A preliminary study looking into the feasibility of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Sri Lanka and Thailand is projected to conclude by August, according to a statement released by Industry and Commerce Ministry, which looks at increasing trade between the two countries including sugar imports.  During his visit to Thailand to take part in the Asia Pacific Ministerial Talks, Minister Rishad Bathiudeen met his counterpart Thai Minister of Commerce Apiradi Tantraporn. more..

SC directs corrupt CEB officer to pay Rs. 1.1 m compensation to Dikhena resident

Jan 18 (FT) The Supreme Court recently directed an Assistant Investigation Officer of the CEB as well as the CEB to pay compensation to the tune of Rs.  1.1 million to a resident of Dikhena, Pitigala for having violated his Fundamental Rights by levelling false charges against him of tapping electricity illegally as well as for soliciting a bribe to drop these charges. The Court directed that petitioner Sunil Seneviratne be paid Rs. 725,000 by the CEB official more..

Sri Lanka is making its contribution to economic integration in South Asia: PM

Jan 18 (FT) Sri Lanka is making its contribution to the economic integration in South Asia by making Sri Lanka the hub of Indian Ocean, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday. Addressing a press conference at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland on Tuesday along with Ministers Malik Samarawickrema, Ravi Karunanayake and Harin Fernando, PM said with Sri Lanka’s hub concept, logistics and the business hub, the integration will become more viable. more..

SLBA mulls changes to Constitution

Jan 18 (CT) The Sri Lanka Badminton Association (SLBA) authorities are putting in much effort to get certain points included in the Badminton Constitution of 2015/10 amended according to the sports regulations stated in Gazette Notification No. 1990/23 dated 27 Oct 2016. Accordingly, SLBA has summoned a meeting of the Executive Committee for the 27th of this month and is scheduled to amend five points. Even though the Constitution of 2015 states that the Presidency of the Association more..

Angelo confident of bouncing back, says SLC president

Jan 18 (DN) Bouncing back graciously from a crushing defeat, Sri Lanka’s young Test team led by captain Angelo Mathews engaged in a lengthy discussion with president of Sri Lanka Cricket Thilanga Sumathipala yesterday. During the meeting, captain affirmed his team’s commitment to re-strategize for the upcoming T20 and ODI series in South Africa. SLC president convened this emergency meeting at SLC headquarters with the participation of vice-presidents Jayantha Dharmadasa and more..

SAGA of New Robber Barons in Hambantota

Jan 18 (Island) Why the US and India have not yet raised an issue over the decision of the Sirisena- Wickremesinghe govt to lease out Hambantota Port to a Chinese company for 99 years has surprised many. SL govt has also decided to grant China 15,000 acres in the vicinity of Hambantota Port. Since it is hard to find the real causes of the deafening silence on the part of India and the US, one may attribute it to two factors either in combination or alone. more..

CSN vs. TRC case: CA further extends status quo till 17 Feb

Jan 18 (FT) The Court of Appeal further extended its order to maintain status quo till 17 Feb in respect to the licenses issued for four frequencies allocated to Calton Sports Network (CSN) by the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC). The bench comprised Justices Vijith K. Malalgoda (President/CA) and S. Thurairajah. The Court of Appeal on 12 Dec granted time till 17 January to Mass Media Ministry Secretary and TRC to file objections in respect of the writ petition more..

Diaspora behind conditions for GSP+ claims JO

Jan 18 (FT) The Joint Opposition slammed the Govt for considering what it termed as conditions that would be harmful to the country to regain GSP+ and claimed diaspora communities were responsible for the European Union (EU) holding Sri Lanka to 27 international conventions. SLPP Chairman G.L. Peiris charged that the EU was attempting to get involved in the internal matters of Sri Lanka and alleged it would be beneficial to the aspirations of Tamil diaspora groups. more..

'No grouses with majority community against Tamils'

Jan 18 (ANI) Highlighting the changes taking place in Sri Lanka between the majority and Tamils, Field Marshal turned politician Sarath Fonseka on Tuesday said that there are no grouses with the majority community in the northern SL regarding the 13th amendment. "We have given that message to the majority community in the south also. There are no grouses with the majority community with the people in the north now. We didn't want to make the same mistakes," more..

Finding a second wind

Jan 18 (CI) India pulled off an astonishing chase in Pune, recovering from 63 for 4 to hunt down 351 thanks to a 200-run stand between Virat Kohli and Kedar Jadhav. ESPNcricinfo picks out a few other successful chases - and a tie - which came courtesy of memorable recoveries. Australia beat West Indies by one wicket, Sydney, 1996 (38 for 6 chasing 173): New Year's Day, 1996. As Sydney tried to shake off a collective hangover, it appeared Australia were staggering towards defeat. more..

Cricket mourns death of singer Deepal Silva

Jan 18 (Island) Cricket has lost one of its true fans with the death of singer Deepal Silva. Deepal was a huge cricket fan and never missed a game when the national cricket team was involved. It is said that he didn’t accept shows if they clashed with cricket matches. After hearing his death, former captain Sanath Jayasuriya tweeted. "Deeply saddened to hear about the passing of a legend of Sri Lankan music. Deepal Silva, you will be missed. May you attain nibbana," he tweeted. more..

H1N1: Proper screening vital

Jan 18 (CT) Last week, it was reported that three patients at the Nephrology Unit of the Kandy Teaching Hospital died due to the influenza virus, H1N1. Accordingly, three deaths were reported from Ward 69 of the Kandy Teaching Hospital and subsequent to the incident, the ward was closed to stop the spread of the virus. Later, the patients of the ward were transferred to a special unit by the hospital administration. more..

Defeat conspiracy against Sri Lankan judges

Jan 18 (Island) There has been a concerted effort by NGOs, both here and abroad, to look down upon our judges and attack, in a most dastardly manner, the judiciary. When this attack began, we were ruled by a govt, which was considered anti-Western, pro-Russian and left leaning. So, it was a Western agenda to destabilise the three branches of govt— executive, legislature and judiciary. There were enough and more reasons for the general public to be dissatisfied with the executive and the legislature. more..

Editorial: Obama’s swansong

Jan 18 (Island) President Barack Obama has, towards the latter part of his second term, shown a tendency to get increasingly maudlin. Tears welled up in his eyes the other day while making his farewell speech. Last year, he refused to speak at his daughter Malia’s graduation lest he should get too emotional. In 2015, he was seen wiping away tears during a fascinating performance by Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul. It is toe-curling to see grown up men, especially political leaders, more..

Keheliya Rambukwella

H’tota Port issue: Controversy continues!

Jan 18 (SL) The govt’s recent decision to lease out the Hambantota Harbour over to a Chinese company has given rise to much tension in the Hambantota district. Although the formal agreement on the matter had been scheduled to be signed on Jan 7, it has now been postponed until further notice. It is said that the signing of the agreement has been postponed due to the fact that the contract document had not been drafted in a way that would be favourable for the Ports Authority. more..

Time to scrap mini hydro power plants

Jan 18 (SL) Environmentalists warn that it is high time that the Power and Renewable Energy Ministry scrap mini hydro power plants in the country. The negative impacts  of Mini hydro plants is huge for a biodiversity hotspot country like ours. When considering the long term impacts it is advisable to put an end to such projects Hemantha Withanage, Executive Director, Centre for Environmental Justice (CEJ) blamed the Sustainable Energy Authority of Sri Lanka for misguiding more..

Interview: Deconstructing the CTF Report

Jan 18 (GV) Excerpts from an interview with the Chairperson of the Consultation Task Force for Reconciliation Mechanisms (CTF) Manouri Muttetuwegama on their recently released report. Q: What do you think are the most important points that people should focus on in the recently released Consultation Task Force for Reconciliation Mechanisms (CTF) report? A: Firstly, it’s a matter of pride to the CTF, how honestly people came and expressed their concerns to us. more..

A man of hope who realised his dream

Jan 18 (ST) Sunday Hindi movie on the black and white television screen installed in the first SOS Children’s Village in Greenfields, India in the late ’60s by J.N. Kaul, was not only the highlight of each week but an occasion which called for brotherhood and merry-making. With food to pass around and blankets to nestle in, it was more a family carnival chuckles Siddhartha Kaul, President, SOS Children’s Villages (SOSCV) International, reminiscing about his earliest memories of community feeling. more..

Hitting a classical note with ease

Jan 18 (ST) It was always there, says Gehan Cooray, trying to pinpoint the exact moment he knew he wanted to pursue a career in the performing arts.  Opera singer/ filmmaker/ actor, he effortlessly launches his long lean frame into an elegant Cleopatra pose on top of a table (making it look completely natural) and it’s easy to see that he was born and not moulded into his profession. In a week’s time, music lovers can watch Gehan take the stage for Music from the Heart. In aid of the Ostomy Association of Sri Lanka, the first concert more..

Changing traditions of Pongal festival

Jan 18 (DN) Jaffna was quiet the night before Thai Pongal: shops closed early, streets emptied and restaurants shuttered. Strolling through the silent lanes, one could get the idea that the city had been deserted. But just after sundown the fireworks began, literally. Groups of teenage boys flitted in and out of alleys equipped with sparklers and small firecrackers, setting up their gear and then fleeing the scene with big smiles plastered across their faces. more..

Peoples participation in governance: Acute need of the hour

Jan 18 (CT) I have simply plagiarized the title from the theme on which the People’s Power (PP) and the National Movement for a Just Society (NMJS) have organized a public meeting on this Wednesday. Whatever the speakers are going to say at that meeting, the theme is sharply accurate in capturing the questioning minds of the ordinary masses on the dubious twists and turns of politicians and other public figures on the question of a New Constitution. Who is afraid and why? more..

Who is afraid of a new constitution?

Jan 18 (CT) I have simply plagiarized the title from the theme on which the People’s Power (PP) and the National Movement for a Just Society (NMJS) have organized a public meeting on this Wednesday. Whatever the speakers are going to say at that meeting, the theme is sharply accurate in capturing the questioning minds of the ordinary masses on the dubious twists and turns of politicians and other public figures on the question of a New Constitution. Who is afraid and why? more..

Lanka Coal Company board of directors, chairman removed

Jan 17 (AD) Board of Directors of the Lanka Coal Company, including the Chairman Maithri Gunaratne, has been removed by Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya. A statement issued by the ministry today stated that after considering the facts, recommendations and conclusions of the report submitted by AG to the Parliament’s Sectoral Oversight Committee on Energy on 2016.12.30 regarding the coal purchases made by more..

600,000 people in Sri Lanka hit by worst drought in a decade

Jan 17 (PTI) At least 600,000 people in Sri Lanka have been hit by the worst drought since 2006 in nearly 13 of the 25 districts, disaster management officials said today. "They are hit by shortages of drinking water and damage to crop," Pradeep Kodippily, spokesman for the DMC, said. Most irrigation tanks in the island have run dry, the Irrigation Department said. According to the Water authorities, restrictions have to be placed on the drinking water supplies. more..

Sri Lanka should fix basics, picking winners may create cronies: economist

Jan 17 (EN) Sri Lanka has to fix basic conditions that provide stability and freedom for business to invest and grow, instead of trying to pick winners bureaucratically, which may lead to crony businesses, an economist said. To pick winners, govts need technical capacity, Ganeshan Wignaraja, an economist at Asian Development Bank based in Manila, said at a forum organised by Advocata Institute, a free market think tank based in Colombo. "I think it's hard for govts to pick winners, more..

'Over 7,000 goods to receive concessions from GSP+'

Jan 17 (NR) Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena says GSP+ tax concession will provide relief to 7,200 types of goods. Garment industry which incurred losses of US$ 782 million will largely benefit from tax concession. There are textile factories that incur losses of up to 782 million USD. He said however when GSP+ is in place all of these factories will instead be profitable adding the govt considers this a very significant matter. more..

Executive Presidency to go: Nalin Bandara

Jan 17 (DN) The Executive Presidency would be terminated along with the introduction of the new constitution, UNP Kurunegala district MP Nalin Bandara said. He was speaking at a media briefing at Sirikota yesterday. Bandara said confirmation of the delimitation committee report is being delayed. “But effective measures would be taken to hold the Local Govt polls soon,” he said. He also said that legal action would be taken with regard to the Bond Scam in the near future. more..

Former SL cricketers recall '96 WC win

Jan 17 (TOI) Former cricketers of Sri Lanka, Roshan Mahanama and Romesh Kaluwitharana made the Meet and Greet event organized by ReachOut Club of Melaka Manipal Medical College, Manipal campus on Sunday interesting. Roshan a prolific scorer, also a former ICC official, and the wicket-keeper batsman Kaluwitharana, both members of the 1996 World Cup winning team, were guests of honour, and in a question answer session they spoke of Sri Lankan cricket. more..

Crook Thiru Nadesan rules the roost

Jan 17 (LeN) Following the transfer of FCID  Director DIG Anura Premashanatha due to pressures brought to bear by the corrupt and the crooks, SSP Dhammika Priyantha has taken over his duties at the FCID. Based on reports reaching Lanka e news inside information division , it is Thiru Nadesan the husband of Nirupama Rajapakse who is the key man behind the sabotage activities which are militating against FCID more..

Air Force officer arrested at BIA

Jan 17 (DM) A SLAF Flight Lieutenant was today arrested by Customs officers at the BIA, when attempting to smuggle eight bottles of foreign liquor into the country, Airport Customs Deputy Director Parakrama Basnayake said. He said the arrest was made at the airport tarmac when the Flt. Lieut. was on the verge of removing the bottles bypassing the Customs. Mr. Basnayake alleged that the Flt Lieut. had smuggled 40 bottles of foreign liquor on five earlier occasions. more..

Premier invites Joseph Stiglitz advice on economic development

Jan 17 (NR) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has extended an invitation to Economist and a professor at Columbia University Joseph Stiglitz to observe and provide expert advice on Sri Lanka’s future economic development plans. PM met with Prof. Stiglitz on the sidelines of the 2017 World Economic Forum currently underway in Davos, Switzerland. Issuing a communiqué, the Office of the PM said the discussion was focused on Sri Lanka’s future economic and development plans. more..

Video: Rs.1.2 Bn profit by SAITM by devious means: JVP

Jan 17 (DM) Monetary rewards and politics had resulted in the SAITM earning an illegal profit more than Rs.1.2 billion, JVP said. JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said this after last morning's meeting with SL Medical Council officials including its President Prof. Carlo Fonseka. When asked by a journalist about the SLMC's response responded to the request made by the JVP for the SLMC to refrain from recognising those who more..

Pvt. hospital regulatory report to be completed within two months

Jan 17 (GDI) Minister of Health, Dr. Rajitha Senarathna has instructed Dr. Kanthi Ariyarathne, the Director of Private Hospitals to complete report which includes the framework for regulating the private hospitals within two months. The report is being prepared by international company, KPMG. When regulating private hospitals, all sections including investigations, surgeries, OPD treatment as well as the sale of drugs will be regulated, said the minister. more..

NTC opens first bus terminal in Northern Province

Jan 17 (GDI) Vavuniya, the first bus terminal built by the National Transport Commission in Northern Province was opened by the Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva yesterday (16). Built at a cost of Rs. 195 million by the NTC with all facilities, the three acre- terminal can park about 34 buses including inter-provincial services, and provincial services buses. It will also operate about 100 buses to and from Jaffna. Bus operation rooms of SLTB, and Road Passenger Transport Authority, more..

 Sri Lanka in South Africa