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Cabraal grilled on hedging deal

Mar 30 (CG) Former Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal has been questioned on the hedging deal, by the police special unit investigating allegations of financial crimes. State-run CPC in 2007 entered into a hedging agreement with five local and international banks to buy crude oil at a capped price of $130 per barrel. The deal went sour when the oil prices fell below US$ 50 in the world market and CPC stood to more..

Gemunu cries over broken promises

Mar 30 (Island) LPBOA President Gemunu Wijeratne called on the govt to reveal the names of the large-scale bus owners who had been issued with route permits illegally under the last regime. He said the New Democratic Front had clearly mentioned in its election manifesto that action would be taken to improve the private bus industry. But, so far nothing had been done for the benefit of the industry. more..

'Ransom, commissions in power and energy sector: Report to me'

Mar 30 (DN) Minister Champika Ranawaka requested to directly report to him about any group or individual that demands ransoms or commissions in the power and energy sector. Addressing a general meeting of the Petroleum Dealers’ Association to discuss problems faced by fuel filling station owners, minister stressed that there was no room for extortionists in the power and energy sector under present administration. more..

Govt using equity muscle to make listed bank board changes

Mar 30 (Island) The govt, utilizing its equity muscle through shareholdings of state-controlled entities like Employees Provident Fund, Employees Trust Fund, Insurance Corporation, National Savings Bank and Bank of Ceylon is moving to make board changes in several commercial banks quoted on the CSE. Asked about this, Minister Raving Karunanayake confirmed that "we are getting our act together." more..

Video: EU ban on LTTE, blow against LTTE resurgence: Govt

Mar 30 (DM) Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera says the fresh proscription imposed on the LTTE is a heavy blow against attempts of certain top leaders of the previous regime to acquire the wealth and assets amassed in the EU countries by the terrorist organisation. He said the reimposition of the ban is also a grave blow against those who attempted to revive the LTTE activities internationally. more..

'No national govt, instead a two-party govt'

Mar 30 (DN) The current set up of the govt is not a national govt but only a two-party govt, Attorney-at-law, Dr. Pathibha Mahanamahewa opined. He said that in order for it to be a national govt, members from all political parties represented in the Parliament should be included in the govt. Dr. Mahanamahewa added that confidence could not be placed in the Constitutional Council as constituted in the gazetted 19th Amendment Bill for more..

Unknown heroes brought to light

Mar 30 (DN) The Foundation for Civilian Bravery honour people who manifest human nobility, with action that are courageous and impressive, Defence Ministry Secretary B.M.U.D. Basnayake said. Addressing the gathering at the website launching ceremony of the Foundation for Civilian Bravery on Friday, Basnayake said that bravery in terms of military achievements was a component to bring freedom to the country. more..

Asylum seekers: No place to call home

Mar 30 (SL) People belonging to religious minorities in Pakistan who had been subjected to violence, inhuman treatments and prosecution based on their religious faith had been increasingly seeking help from the UNHRC in Sri Lanka. They were hoping that the UNHCR would assist them to settle elsewhere in the world where they can breathe freely. However, despite their hope, many Pakistan asylum seekers in Sri Lanka claimed that more..

Sri Lanka to float new Indian proposals with all stakeholders

Mar 30 (ST) The Sri Lankan govt will need time to consider the six point proposal put forwarded by Indian fishermen at the latest round of Indo- Lanka fisheries talks in Chennai. Fisheries ministry secretary Nimal Hettiarachchi said a decision regarding the proposals would be taken only after the proposals were discussed on Thursday at a meeting with President Maithripala Sirisena, Northern fishermen federations, more..

The role of Govt and Opposition: Distinct or blurred?

Mar 30 (DM) Institution of Parliament depends for its efficacy and indeed, its very existence, on some basic principles, without which it cannot function at all. One of these principles is the division of functions and responsibilities between Govt and Opposition. For centuries the role of the British Parliament, on which Commonwealth legislative practice is based has re-organised the fundamental distinction between more..

To make us healthy, wealthy and wise

Mar 30 (DM) Setting a palatable example to religious institutions and social justice groups, the Gangaramaya Temple last Wednesday launched a movement to provide nutritious and hygienically prepared packets of rice and curry for lunch or dinner at the affordable price of Rs. 50 a packet each. The Gangaramaya Dhansala, for which the temple’s Chief Incumbent Ven. Galaboda Gnaneswara Thera took the initiative, was declared open by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. more..

National drug regulatory bill: An insight

Mar 30 (DM) National Drug Regulatory Authority Bill was subjected to an evolutionary process before it was passed in Parliament recently. The long fight to instil justice in the field of pharmaceuticals was won by Dr. Senaka Bibile who was the founder of the Senaka Bibile Essential Medicines concept. Up until now, this policy was amended to be what it is today. However, since the enactment of this new policy was part of the 100-day programme under the good governance regime, its contents and more..

Kshenuka’s appointment on hold

Mar 30 (DN) Appointment of Kshenuka Seneviratne as the SL Ambassador to Thailand has been put on hold as she is yet to be summoned before the Committee on High Posts in Parliament. Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera said a final decision on the matter would be taken based on the recommendations of the Committee on High Posts. He said Seneviratne’s appointment was not taken up at last High Posts committee meeting and more..

SL security forces should be geared: PM

Mar 30 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Saturday that the Sri Lankan Security Forces should be geared to face the future terrorist threats across the borders of the country. Speaking at the Palali Security Base, Mr. Wickremesinghe said the Sri Lankan Army, Navy and the Air-force should be modernized and equipped to face these threats. “We will have to think of the new roles that our forces will have to play when the South Asian region develops,” he said. more..

Gold gets into Customs officer’s socks in toilet

Mar 30 (Island) A smuggler who had brought Rs. 13.3 million worth of gold from Dubai was nabbed during the early hours of Saturday when he attempted to take out the contraband with the help of a customs officer. The smuggler from Kalmunai having returned to Colombo with about three kilos of gold jewellery handed over the contraband to the customs official in a toilet. Thereafter the customs officer stuffed the gold inside his socks. While two of them were walking out of the airport more..

Ex-CDS sees conspiracy to deprive him of due promotion

Mar 30 (Island) Former Chief of Defence Staff and former Air Force commander Air Chief Marshal Roshan Gunathilake said that he believed that there was a conspiracy to launch a smear campaign against him over a controversial MIG deal to deprive him of the post of Marshall of the Air. Air Chief Marshal Gunathilake said that the government had felicitated the former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka by promoting him to the rank of more..

Opposition leader tussle: Hakeem backs Sampanthan

Mar 30 (CT) Leader of the TNA R. Sampanthan is the most qualified to become the Opposition Leader, the SLMC said. SLMC General Secretary Hassan Ali said SLFP and SLMC MPs hold ministerial portfolios. Thus the TNA has the highest number of MPs in the Opposition and only racist elements can say that Sampanthan is not suitable to hold the position of Opposition leader. Ali added that Sampanthan should not be denied the position because he is a Tamil, more..

Priyantha Sirisena killing: Wife says husband had lent heavily to killer

Mar 30 (CT) Geethanjali Samankumari, wife of President Maithripala Sirisena's brother Priyantha Sirisena who was axed to death by a suspect now in Police custody, insists that her husband's gruesome killing was a crime planned by several conspirators. "I have never before seen the garage owner. This was an organized conspiracy. My husband had told me that this garage had been built with his money. Besides that, he had also lent large sums of money to the garage owner. more..

Ex-Tigers involved in anti-govt activism under surveillance

Mar 30 (ENS) Cadre of LTTE who have been rehabilitated and sent back into society after the war in North SL, seem to be free from systematic surveillance, so long as they are not involved in any anti-govt activism. S Yogeswari (name changed), who has been taking part in demonstrations highlighting the disappearance of LTTE cadre who had surrendered to army, said she lives in fear because of close surveillance. more..

Legal action taken against 7,266 mosquito breeders during Dengue Control Week

Mar 30 (Island) About 54,929 mosquito breeding grounds and 4,405 high risk places infested with dengue larvae had been detected and about 7,266 persons prosecuted during the on-going Dengue Control Week. Health Ministry Media Spokesman said that during the Dengue Control Week, Ministry with the assistance of Public Health Inspectors and Ministry officials had so far detected many places and taken legal action against those responsible for facilitating mosquito breeding. more..

Priyantha’s cremation today

Mar 30 (DN) Cremation of Priyantha Sirisena, 43, will take place at the Public Cemetery, Polonnaruwa today. Sirisena also called Weli Raja was the brother of President Sirisena. He who lived at Laksha Uyana, Polonnaruwa was attacked with an axe by a friend on Thursday night following an argument. He was rushed to Polonnaruwa Hospital and air lifted to Colombo in a critical condition. He died at a private hospital on Saturday. Sirisena leaves his wife Geethanjali Samankumari and 3 children. more..

Peaceing together fisher formula

Mar 30 (ENS) Although leaders of Indian fishermen and the Indian Ministry of External Affairs have given a positive spin to the third round of talks between the Sri Lankan and Indian fishermen held in Chennai recently, Lankan fishermen said that they had only agreed to consider the demands, not accept them. While Indian fishermen said that amicability and trust have been added after Mahinda Rajapaksa was toppled more..

CAA must declare assets – consumer protection groups

Mar 30 (CT) In view of the unhygienic foodstuff, that is being sold to consumers by supermarket chains, and the failure on the part of the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) to take legal action against the offenders, Consumer Rights Protection National Organization (CRPNO) demands that CAA declare their assets. Chairman of the CRPNO, Ranjith Withanage said some popular supermarket chains were selling food, especially fruits and vegetables like cucumber in various stages of rot, more..

Woman surrenders to police after hacking husband to death

Mar 30 (Island) A woman surrendered to Rambukkana police after hacking her husband to death on Friday. The suspect, Hevayalage Susantha Jayatissa (38), confessed to the police that her husband Neville Karunaratne (42) of Vahumpura Gedera, Malakariya in Rambukkana used to come home drunk every night and assault her. Unable to bear up his cruelty any longer she had hacked him with a large knife, she told the police after surrendering with the weapon. more..

Reinstating GSP Plus: ‘Lanka needs to improve human and labour rights record’

Mar 30 (SO) The European Union delegation which began discussions on reinstating the GSP Plus trade concessions to Sri Lanka has called upon the govt to turn commitment to reality in adhering to the UN conventions. “We want Sri Lanka to improve its record on human and labour rights, good governance and environmental concerns to be eligible for the new GSP Plus trade concessions,” EU Ambassador to Sri Lanka, more..

Cleaning of Castlereigh Reservoir commences after 67 years

Mar 30 (GDI) The cleaning of the Castlereigh Reservoir which makes a vital contribution in the generation of hydropower has commenced after 67 years. The Norwood Police said that operations have been launched for the apprehension of those who dump garbage into the Reservoir. The garbage that has collected in the Reservoir had not been cleared since its construction in the year 1948. A massive damage is caused to the environment due to the garbage dumped by residents more..

Karu says govt looks to private sector-led growth

Mar 30 (FT) Minister Karu Jayasuriya last week said that management professionals and business education played a key role in building the economy. “Management is going to be our theme. Management professionals are a readily employable group and play a lead role in contributing to the economic development of Sri Lanka. As a Govt, we only believe in providing the infrastructure, because we are looking at a private sector led growth,” he noted. more..

Unwarranted taxes and ambiguous policies: Business community disheartened with Govt

Mar 30 (SO) The business community is displeased with the Govt's business policies incorporated in the interim Budget and the negative image it has created about the country to foreign direct investors. Super Gains Tax imposed on large companies with retrospective effect has stirred a hornet's nest among big corporates which accuses govt of being unfair when certain companies made large undue profits under Rajapaksa regime. more..

Mobile phone sales soar in 2014

Mar 30 (DN) Sri Lanka's mobile phone market has witnessed considerable growth in terms of sales in 2014 with the overall mobile phone market reaching one million mark in the fourth quarter, 2014. According to IDC, the demand for smart phones has shown an increased growth and contributed about 22% to the overall mobile phone market. On global basis, the customers' preference is moving towards smart phones from feature phones and Sri Lanka is no exception. more..

SL's apparel exports readying to cross $ 5b

Mar 30 (DN) Within a day after Sri Lanka and EU successfully joining in Colombo for the redux of the sought after GSP Plus to boost its apparel exports, comes yet another coveted technical breakthrough extended through a surging EU economy and this support stream connects not only to Lanka's finished apparels but even its manufacturing core itself-opening along with it a new market destination even beyond EU called as the next economic supermodel of the world, as revealed on 25 March. more..

HNB in landmark deal with ADB

Mar 30 (Island) HNB entered into a landmark agreement with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to raise USD 100Mn by way of a 7 year senior debt. This is the largest transaction by ADB with a SL private sector bank and the funds raised would be deployed towards infrastructure development projects with special emphasis on renewable energy, power and irrigation which are key sectors in economic resurgence of SL. more..

Creative Solutions holds Hackathon

Mar 30 (DN) Creative Solutions in collaboration with Cambio Software Engineering recently completed a successful 24 hour Hackathon titled Innovate 2k15. It was enthusiastically participated by eight teams from both Creative Solutions and Cambio Software Engineering. Cash prizes worth Rs. 300,000 including an individual prize for the most socially active participant were on offer. A panel of adjudicators consisting of software architects and businessmen scored the teams more..

People’s Bank posts best-ever results in 53 years

Mar 30 (FT) Notching a host of record-breaking numbers, People’s Bank closed 2014 with an impressive performance, attesting that it continues to remain the Pulse of the People. Posting the milestone of Rs. 1 trillion on its balance sheet, only the second bank in Sri Lanka to do so, People’s Bank also notched the best profitability for a year-end, since its inception in 1961. Augmenting its balance sheet of Rs. 1 trillion, this year’s profit before tax inclined 67.2% to Rs. 17,231 m, more..

Sri Lanka to re-examine statist, nationalist land laws that block investment

Mar 30 (EN) Sri Lanka will re-examine land laws which prevent people from owning larger tracts of lands and foreigners and investors from using them to create higher value, officials said. R Paskaralingam, special advisor to Sri Lanka's PM said the govt would look at the land use ceiling as well as foreign ownership. "The govt is looking at the ceiling on land and also foreigners owning land," Paskaralingam told a business forum more..

SL's new govt questions poverty indicators

Mar 30 (EN) Sri Lanka's new govt wants to reassess existing poverty indicators and go beyond income measurements, Deputy Minister Harsha De Silva said. "I am not happy with poverty measurements in Sri Lanka," he declared at a recent forum, noting that he does not believe the numbers actually reflect existing poverty levels. According to a new UN report on how the island had performed in meeting the Millennium Development Goals and govt surveys, the estate sector saw a sharp more..

Deheragoda’s absence a blessing for others

Mar 30 (ST) Cool climes of Diyatalawa will be heated to the roaring of motors when the 23rd edition of Fox Hill Supercross flags off on April 18, 2015. The event is organised and conducted by the SL Military Academy (SLMA) and the SL Auto Sports Drivers Association (SLADA). This is a much looked forward event by motor sports enthusiasts. Dinesh Deheragoda, the reigning champion will be a notable absentee at this year’s event as he is preparing to take part in the more..

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