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All SLFP candidates to serve people: Prez

Feb 17 (FT) President Maithripala Sirisena said programs will be implemented in the near future to serve the people, together with all the people’s representatives who contested for the LG election under the SLFP led UPFA. He added that the program will be implemented by the SLFP and the Govt. “None of the defeated candidates would ever be abandoned, and all of them would become representatives of me appointed to develop the village,’ the President said. more..

'End instability, confusion & fulfil promises'

Feb 17 (DM) In a letter to Prez Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe, Malwatte Chapter Mahanayake Most Venerable Tibbotuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Thera has urged them to end the instability and confusion resulted in the country following the LG polls and to deliver promises made at the last Prez and General Elections. Thera said the crisis which is ongoing in the country in the aftermath of LG elections more..

Irish Ambassador Brian McElduff on HR and war crimes issues

Feb 17 (Island) Irish Ambassador, Brian McElduff says the Irish government understands the difficulties caused by armed conflicts. He points out that communities are often left to deal with marginalisation, war crimes and human rights issues after conflicts. Having overcome the Northern Ireland conflict, McElduff said that the Irish government could relate to what the Sri Lankan people went through. "Bridges must surely be built and such issues dealt with and resolved. more..

Money laundering case: Namal allowed foreign travel

Feb 17 (CT) Colombo HC Judge Sampath Abeykoon yesterday decided to hear the money laundering case, against MP Namal Rajapaksa and four others, from 20 Feb. Meanwhile, he also temporarily lifted the travel ban on Rajapaksa. They have been indicted by the Attorney General under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, over their inability to reveal how a sum of Rs 30 million had been earned. The case was due to be taken up for hearing on 16 Feb, but due to the failure of more..

Implement 25% Quota for Women in LG polls: Rosy

Feb 17 (CT) UNP Colombo Mayoral Candidate Rosy Senanayake, wrote to Chairman of the EC, Mahinda Deshapriya calling for the 25% female quota in LG bodies to be implemented immediately. She expressed dismay at the news that the implementation of the said quota at the LG elections is being questioned. According to Senanayake, 2017 Local Authorities Elections (Amendment) Act, which amended more..

SLT opens new Contact Center in Bandarawela

Feb 17 (Island) As a means of strengthening its services and broadening the organization’s reach across the island, Sri Lanka Telecom recently announced the opening of a new Contact Centre in Bandarawela. Thus strengthening the SLT 1212 hotline, whilst also raising the standard and improving the level of customer service, by reducing holding time and providing callers with over-the-phone technical support. The new contact center will also play a role in the improvement of more..

Sri Lanka gets $75mn from ADB for lending to small businesses

Feb 17 (EN) Govt has got an additional US$75 million from the Asian Development Bank to be lent through banks to support small businesses expand and hire more people. The finance ministry said the funds are in addition to $100 million lent by the ADB in 2016 to finance the Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME) Line of Credit Project which is to be completed in two years by March 2020. “The objective of the project was to strengthen the SME sector in SL by facilitating access to finance more..

රනිල්, මෛත්රී කුමන්ත්රණයේ අලුත් තත්වය

Green loans get Cabinet nod

Feb 17 (FT) A concessionary loan scheme to encourage small-scale entrepreneurs to engage in sustainable income generation activities was approved by Cabinet this week. The schemed is aimed at providing financial assistance to packaging manufacturers to switch to biodegradable raw materials and improving facilities offered under the ‘Homestay’ program of the Tourism Development Authority, which is to be implemented through public and private sector banks. more..

'Didn’t take Bangladesh for granted'

Feb 17 (CT) Sri Lankan opener Danushka Gunathilaka said on Thursday (15) that his side was confident of chasing down a huge total in the opening Twenty20 international against Bangladesh as the pitch was good for batting. Sri Lanka chased down Bangladesh's highest T20I score to go 1-0 up in the two-match series at Dhaka. The visitors took the lead in the series with some style as they chased down 194 runs, their highest chase in T20Is without any sort of discomfort whatsoever. more..

CB assures Sri Lanka off money laundering watch list by Oct.

Feb 17 (FT) Central Bank yesterday expressed confidence that its renewed efforts to meet international compliance guidelines will see the country’s ratings return to safe territory later this year. Sri Lanka has been given till March 2019 to fulfil the requirements by the Financial Action Task Force. “We believe that within eight to 12 months we can fulfil these requirements,” Central Bank Deputy Governor C.J.P. Siriwardene said. more..

General Electric wins tender for 12 locomotives for upcountry railway line

Feb 17 (FT) Cabinet on Wednesday gave the green light to procure 12 locomotives for the upcountry railway line from US company General Electric (GE) at a cost of $ 4.056 million per engine, Cabinet Co-spokesperson Gayantha Karunathilaka said. The proposal, made by Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva to proceed with the procurement which includes a financing package, was granted approval subject to obtaining relevant authorisation by the Department of External Resources. more..

New Lankan Premier League set to clash with CPL and T20 Blast

Feb 17 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has finalised dates for its Lankan Premier League (LPL) T20 tournament, but its ability to attract foreign talent may be limited due to scheduling clashes with the Caribbean Premier League and England's T20 Blast. The LPL is scheduled to run between August 18 and September 10, while the CPL is set to be played from August 8 to September 16, and the English domestic season ongoing throughout. The LPL will feature six teams in its inaugural edition. more..

NOC has been efficiently and effectively managed: Maxwell

Feb 17 (CT) National Olympic Committee's General Secretary, Maxwell de Silva clarified several incidents and queries into the NOC activities during past few years, while he handed over a letter in reply to the article How Maxwell turns NOC Presser into Election Propaganda published earlier in Ceylon Today. Following are extracts from the letter: NOC has been efficiently and effectively managed and has retained earnings of over Rs 80m. more..

CSE on revival track amid political uncertainty now easing claims

Feb 17 (Island) Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) share market activities revived yesterday following two straight sessions of losses on retail buying after the Central Bank held key policy rates steady amid signs the current political uncertainty was easing, stock market analysts said. CB’s decision was widely expected, with policymakers emphasising the need to support an economy that has been beset by production disruptions due to massive intermittent floods and prolonged droughts last year. more..

Section 70 of the Bribery Act needs to be reviewed II

Feb 17 (Island) It will be obvious that the matter raises questions of fundamental importance to the right of the Attorney-General to express his opinion, to advise his client irrespective of whether his opinion was right or wrong. Several issues may be raised in this regard. Is a Magistrate, who is subject to the directions of the AG in the several instances specified in the Code of Criminal Procedure Act, empowered to review and sit in judgment over a legal opinion expressed by the AG? more..

The Maithri Sword of Damocles

Feb 17 (Island) While satirical drawings are the stuff of the Pohottuva success in the recent polls and cartoonists are having a great time laughingly depicting the reality of politics and politicos, one cartoon that stood out this week was in a Sinhala publication that showed President Sirisena ask for his corruption felling sword… to be told by his wife it was in the kitchen cutting jak! It was a hilarious depiction that more..

FDI flows to Asia: No size too small

Feb 17 (ST) It was reported that SL’s US$1.6 billion foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2017 was double the amount reported in the previous year and, was the highest that the country has ever received. Today I intend to talk about, not the Sri Lankan record last year, but the world record of FDI flows. In doing so I want to emphasise the point that we are passing through, or perhaps passing by, the “best time” of our history. In fact, for a number of external and internal factors more..

Strategic plan needed to repay accumulated debt: AG

Feb 17 (SO) Amid controversies and squabbling over foreign debt repayments running into billions and trillions, the Auditor General last week dropped another bombshell confirming that the loans repayable by the govt to domestic and foreign sources stood at Rs.10,993 billion (Rs.10.9 trillion) as at Nov 2017 but there may be unaccounted figures. This meant, every citizen of the country was burdened with a Rs.450,000 per capita debt hanging over his/her head. more..


Editorial: Yahapalana blitzkrieg?

Feb 17 (Island) We thought coercion was antithetical to good governance or yahapalanaya. But, a prominent advocate of good governance has called upon the govt not to baulk at anything in its efforts to overcome challenges to its rule. He has demanded that even measures that may not be in conformity with democratic norms be adopted for that purpose. Ven. Dambara Amila Thera, addressing the media on Thursday, together with some prominent civil society activists, urged the govt, more..

Role of Education: Decided by the population

Feb 17 (CT) National Prosperity is the well-being of the nation and any efforts made to understand the whole scenario without understanding the major aspects relevant to the population can be purely superficial and very misleading. The population of any country shall depend mainly on the wealth of able bodied people who can be very productive. A population with a very large percentage of elderly people is different from the scenario where a larger percentage is younger people, more..

A father’s dream come true shaped as BCSL

Feb 17 (DN) Days were dark with a raging war spreading untold suffering and unbridled poverty in its wake in SL’s East, plaguing the people especially school going children. Parents had no alternative but to send their sons and daughters just after their AL’s to work in small grocery shops and wayside garages for a pittance they called a salary. People’s suffering, especially the plight of youth with no hope of a future unsettled him many a more..

RTI, One year on

Feb 17 (DN) This is a story that had it happened one year ago, people would not have believed. A Sri Lankan citizen, acting in his private capacity, asked the Bureau of the Commissioner-General of Rehabilitation, how many former LTTE cadres they rehabilitate annually. He was ignored. So he asked again. Again he was ignored. Instead of giving up, this man, one Tharindu Jayawardena, took his request to a court of law. After summoning representatives of the Bureau for testimony, more..

Brigadier Priyanka Fernando: A (suggested) wider context

Feb 17 (CT) The recent furore over the throat-cutting gesture by Brigadier Priyanka Fernando in London aimed at demonstrating Tamils led me to the subject of soldiers in general. That the Brigadier pointed to his army insignia and then made the gesture suggests he believes this is what soldiers do: they kill. The gesture can be understood as a synecdoche standing for different forms of violence, murder included. The word soldier etymologically has its roots in payment, and more..

Moonstones of ancient Sri Lanka: Religion, Art, and Architecture

Feb 17 (Roar) Found near the entrance of doorways, or at the foot of steps leading up to Buddhist religious sites—both ancient and contemporary—a moonstone is not just a prominent architectural feature. It is also a good example of the artistic capabilities of stone workers in the many ancient kingdoms of SL. “SL, India and Myanmar are a few countries where moonstones have been discovered at Buddhist religious sites,” more..

Gone are the days of gentleman politics

Feb 17 (CT) Much water has flowed under the bridge, ever since, Sri Lanka gained independence from British Empire in 1948. Many political parties, from time to time, had contested at elections, as separate entities and some as coalitions. Winning party has had ruled the country as coalitions and also sometimes as a single party. Although, post independence Sri Lanka has made some astounding strides in certain sectors, overall progress and development of the country is at a low ebb. more..

Calculating the people’s verdict

Feb 17 (DN) LG elections are over. People have given their verdict. Hence, it would be quite appropriate to reflect upon what happened and its possible consequences. It was a unique election for several reasons. First and foremost, it was the maiden election under a new electoral system. Overall, it was successful. It is more democratic than the infamous preferential of the manape voting system, which was a breeding ground for corruption and violence. more..

PM to remain in his post

Arjun Aloysius, Kasun Palisena: Bail applications rejected, re-remanded

Feb 16 (DN) Perpetual Treasuries (PT) owner Arjun Aloysius’s and PT Chief Executive Officer Kasun Palisena’s bail application was rejected and they were re-remanded until March 2 by the Colombo Fort Magistrate, today. Furthermore the Magistrate ordered former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran to appear before the CID before March 8. The CID named Arjun Aloysius and CEO Kasun Palisena liable in the bond issue under the offence of Abetment Section 102 of the Penal Code. more..

Iran's Navy flotilla docks in Sri Lanka

Feb 16 (FNA) The Iranian Navy's 50th Fleet of Warships berthed in Sri Lanka on a training mission in a bid to bolster professional relations between the two countries' navies. Iran's 50th Flotilla is comprised of Naqdi and Bayandor destroyers as well as Tonb logistic combat warship. The Iranian flotilla's visit is aimed at reinforcing ties between Iran and SL and also promoting peace and friendship culture. A team of Iranian cadets are aboard the Navy vessels to pass training courses. more..

Critics want Elite unchain bond with Jumbos

Feb 16 (DM) Elephants are becoming the not-so-gentle giants of the jungle! The last time you heard good about an elephant would have probably been in a history lesson and chances are that you will hear more evil about these giants in future. With the tragic killing of the Galgamuwa cross-tusker, a series of elephant deaths made headlines during the latter part of 2017. Another addition to the jumbo-related tragedies was more..

HC decides to commence trial against Aluthgamage

Feb 16 (DN) The Colombo High Court decided to commence trial against former Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage on Feb 27, in connection with an indictment filed against him by the Attorney General for the alleged criminal breach of trust of Rs. 3.9 million funds belonging to a trade union named SL Nidahas Kamkaru Congress, yesterday. The case was to be taken up for trial yesterday, but Defence Counsel Hafeel Farisz, appearing for the accused, moved court that more..

Man shot and killed in Hulftsdorp, gunman dies of assault wounds

Feb 16 (DM) A 39-year-old man was shot and killed near the Hulftsdorp Courts Complex in Colombo while the shooter, who was assaulted by the people, died due to the injuries sustained. The person shot at was a resident of Keselwatte, Hulftsdorp and he died after being admitted to the National Hospital. Police said the gunman was captured, assaulted and handed over to the Police by the people in the area. However, he was pronounced dead on admission to the hospital. more..

China debt worries grow in Sri Lanka as ex-president regains clout

Feb 16 (Nikkei) Sri Lanka is poised to become even more indebted to Beijing with the return of pro-China ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa, after his newly formed SLPP won a landslide victory at Saturday's LG elections. The victory for the party could see Sri Lanka flip back into the arms of China, Rajapaksa's favorite lender and builder. The current govt had leant toward India and Western powers but this dynamic could now be tested. more..

Proposed anti-worker measures: TUs to protest on 20 Feb

Feb 16 (CT) Around 20 trade unions have warned the public that the Govt along with the Employers' Federation of Ceylon (EFC) and trade unions, which are controlled by the Govt, are planning to introduce several harmful measures that will affect the working population throughout the country. Issuing a press release, these anti-Govt trade unions have stated that they will be launching a massive protest demonstration in front of the Int'l Labour Organization office at Thunmulla Junction more..