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Yahapalana Corruption: High level probe into Central Expressway Phase III tender

June 20 (ST) In a dramatic turn of events, a high level investigation will get underway into Central Expressway Phase III tender on the directions of PM following concerns expressed by Japanese govt. PM intervened and instructed RDA to investigate as to how the highest bidder of the recently concluded Central Expressway tender was accepted as technically competent whilst there were accusations of the facts being otherwise, more..

Srilankan Airlines Board summoned to Cabinet meet today

June 20 (CT) Board of Directors of SriLankan Airlines has been summoned to the Cabinet meeting today. Since SriLankan is accumulating continuous losses, the govt is compelled to take serious action about the institution, thus the Board of Directors have been summoned so that they can clarify and explain the situation. SriLankan currently has 25 aircraft, 360 pilots and 7,200 employees. Commenting on the issue last week, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that more..

MR to address a gathering in Pakistan: Sri Lanka’s campaign against LTTE

June 20 (CT) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa is expected to address a gathering of politicians and military officials in Islamabad, Pakistan on several matters related to the country's civilian and military leadership and its importance to SL. He will be accompanied by a high-level delegation and is scheduled to address a gathering of politicians and military officials at the National Defense University, Islamabad tomorrow. He will discuss SL's successful campaign against Tamil Tigers more..

NPC cools down: No-faith motion against Wiggy to be withdrawn

June 20 (Island) TNA leader R Sampanthan has written to CM CV Wigneswaran that the no-confidence motion against the latter will be withdrawn. The former has assured the latter that there will be no punitive action against two ministers. In his letter to Chief Minister dispatched yesterday Samapanthan said that he had informed the Governor of Northern Province that the no-confidence motion would be with drawn. more..

CEB’s long-term generation plan biased against LNG: experts

June 20 (DM) Unrealistic and outdated statistics used in the CEB Least Cost Long-Term Generation Expansion Plan 2018-2037 (LCLTGEP) are discouraging the more environmentally friendly liquid natural gas (LNG)-based electricity generation, energy sector experts charge. Although the development of Sri Lanka’s LNG discoveries in the Mannar Basin is proceeding slowly, the CEB is expecting to operate an LNG-based power plant in 2019 through imports. more..

Ratana Thera vows to defeat move to lift glyphosate ban

June 20 (Island) MP and Presidential Advisor Ven. Athuraliye Ratana yesterday said he would do his best to stop the importation of banned agrochemical, glyphosate, in small quantities to be used on tea plantations. Thera who had launched a campaign against the use of the banned chemical in the country. He said a Cabinet paper was being prepared by the Plantations Industries Ministry to allow import of Glyphosate only by companies owning large tea plantations. more..

Minister threatens defender of minority rights

June 20 (HRW) Sri Lankan govt should immediately repudiate statements by the country’s justice minister threatening to disbar a prominent lawyer for speaking out against attacks on religious minorities, Human Rights Watch said. The incident highlights the govt’s failure to fully investigate and prosecute recent attacks on Muslims and Christians in the Buddhist-majority country. On June 17, Justice Minister more..

No Lankans in Team of ICC CT 2017

June 20 (ICC) The ICC announced the Team of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, which includes players from five of the eight participating sides, with Pakistan’s Sarfraz Ahmed as captain. The side was selected by a jury of cricket experts, which included former captains Michael Atherton of England, India’s Sourav Ganguly, Ramiz Raja of Pakistan as well as Lawrence Booth (Editor, Wisden) and Julian Guyer (cricket correspondent, AFP), with ICC General Manager, Geoff Allardice, as chairman. more..

Sri Lanka’s bank credit against GDP among lowest in Asia Pacific: Fitch

June 20 (DM) Despite the record high banking sector credit granted in recent years, Sri Lanka’s private sector credit still stands amongst the lowest in comparison to the size of the economies in the Asia Pacific region, the data compiled by Fitch Ratings Lanka showed.  According to the data, Sri Lanka’s bank credit as a percentage of GDP stood around 45% by end-2016. This is much lower than the 130% in Singapore and Malaysia, 150% in Thailand and 140% in Australia. more..

Foreign judges will enhance confidence in war crimes probe: HRCSL

June 20 (Island) The govt had agreed to the participation of foreign judges in a war crimes probe in accordance with Oct 1, 2015 Resolution moved at the Geneva-based UNHRC, Human Rights Commissioner Ambika Satkunanathan says. Asked to comment on foreign judges in proposed war crimes courts, Satkunanathan said: "it is something the govt has agreed to as part of the HRC Resolution." more..

HC concludes testifying witnesses in sil redi distribution case

June 20 (DN) The Colombo High Court hearing the controversial sil redi distribution (fabrics used by devotees to observe sill) case yesterday concluded recording evidence from the prosecution and the defence witnesses. Accordingly, the case was fixed for oral submissions on July 10. Judge Gihan Kulatunga rejected a request made by the Attorney General to call two additional prosecution witnesses in the case. AG had filed indictments against former Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunge more..

Swapping incriminating evidence for a ministerial portfolio

June 20 (DM) A certain familiar figure in political circles has reportedly tried to strike a bargain with several powerful political authorities to secure a ministerial portfolio for his son-in-law. “If you agree to offer my son-in-law a ministerial office – at least deputy post – I will hand you a file containing incriminating evidence against a former powerful politician, who has now turned out to be your most formidable rival,” is the message he sent to the high political authorities in yahapalanaya. more..

Video: 'Govt in informal talks with Emirates'

June 20 (DM) The Govt is holding informal discussions with Emirates to partner our national carrier SriLankan, State Minister of Finance, Eran Wickramaratne told a media briefing today. He said Emirates was one of several airlines with which the govt had begun informal discussions for teaming up with Srilankan. “Mind you no airline will invest even a dollar in Srilankan airlines prior to formal discussion,” the state minister said. more..

Bringing benefits from BRI

June 20 (FT) China and India are the global growth engines of the future and for Sri Lanka the potential economic opportunities hold great promise, a plethora of experts agreed last week, seeking a way forward for the country to leverage its abundant advantages for growth.  Sri Lanka has the capacity to punch above its economic weight, observed State Minister Eran Wickramaratne, pointing out the country was already well integrated with regional giants China and India, more..

Excellence in ICT Awards 2017

June 20 (CT) Computer Society of Sri Lanka (CSSL), the premier organization dedicated to promoting and improving professional standards in the Information Communication and Technology (ICT) sector of Sri Lanka has called nominations/applications for its CSSL ICT Awards 2017, which celebrates excellence in ICT. CSSL ICT Awards 2017 will be held for the fifth consecutive year this time. More information about it can be obtained at more..

Wounded victims of SL's child marriage law

June 20 (BBC) In SL legal marriage age is 18, but under a decades-old community law, much younger Muslim girls can get married. As calls grow for this law to be amended, Saroj Pathirana meets one young girl forced to marry against her will. When Shafa* was 15, she was forced to get married. "While studying for exams, I fell in love with a boy," Shafa said, tears running down her cheeks. "Parents didn't like it. more..

Inauguration of KIU Degree programmes

June 20 (Island) KIU held the 2017 inauguration of BSc. Hons in Nursing, Biomedical Science, psychology, management, Acupuncture and Kaatsu degrees. This intake reported the highest number of Nursing students thus far which was approximately 200.  A remarkable number of students enrolled for BSc. Hons in Biomedical Sciences, psychology and management. The guests were welcomed with a majestic dancing performance and after lighting the oil lamp Honorary Vice Chancellor of KIU more..

England Women thrash SL in warm-up game

June 20 (ECB) England Women continued their World Cup preparations with a comfortable eight-wicket victory over Sri Lanka. SL captain Inoka Ranaweera won the toss and chose to bat under a baking sun that was more Colombo than Chesterfield. Sri Lanka played all 15 of their squad in this official World Cup warm-up match while England rotated out Nat Sciver, Danni Hazel, Jenny Gunn and Beth Langston. Despite the conditions perhaps being to the liking of the visitors more..

Asian Athletics Championship 2017: SL team leaves to India on 24th

June 20 (CT) Sri Lanka's Athletic team comprising 22 athletes and six official coaches are set to leave the country on Saturday 24th for a 1 day training programme to Bhuwaneshwar, Odisha ahead of the 22nd Asian Athletics Championship scheduled to start on 6 July at the same venue. Athletics Federation of India (AFI) has given permission for the SL team to train at the same venue so that the SL team will have the benefit of getting used more..

Jeddah-based IDB to up stake in Amăna Bank

June 20 (EN) Islamic Development Bank (IDB) group, based in Jeddah, will raise its stake in SL’s Amăna Bank through its rights issue to raise Rs. 4.75 billion to take the bank’s core capital beyond the stipulated Rs.10 billion mark. Amăna Bank said it plans to issue 1,250,695,267 new shares at Rs. 3.80 per share in a ratio of 1 new ordinary share for every 1 ordinary share held (1:1). “Bank has already received commitment from Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) more..

Retail industry launches Retailers’ Academy

June 20 (ST) Retail Leadership Excellence Programme conducted by the SL Retailers Association held recently was the very first retail learning workshop that was organised by the association. This workshop saw more than 40 executive and middle level employees learning of managing retail business effectively, developing leadership skills, effective communication, operational excellence, customer care skills development, understanding retail tech, more..

'Relations with India excellent'

June 20 (TS) Chitranganee Wagiswara, a former foreign secretary of Sri Lanka, took over as the country's High Commissioner to India in 2016. She joined the Foreign Service in 1981 and since then has served her country in various capacities in both Lanka and abroad. She speaks about Lanka's relations with India and various other issues. Q: The SL PM visited India in April when the two countries signed an agreement on cooperation in more..

SLT launches island wide free pre-paid public Wi-Fi

June 20 (Island) Following the successful conclusion of free post-paid public Wi-Fi promotions in February and March, Sri Lanka Telecom has launched an island wide promotion, providing free Internet access for all pre-paid SLT Wi-Fi scratch card users via public Wi-Fi hotspots. This promotion will take place between the 23rd and the 30th of June. Nearly 200 Wi-Fi hotspot locations will be available for free Internet access to all users who have obtained an SLT pre-paid Wi-Fi card. more..

Motor trade resurgence after re-adjusting taxes

June 20 (ST) While there is a general view that the tax hike has impacted on SL’s motor trade and vehicle imports, the country is beginning to reap benefits of easing traffic congestion in the near future as a result of declining car imports. Given the current grave traffic situation and the massive contribution of the automotive trade to our economy, there is a doubt in achieving the expected revenue from the 2016 and 2017 budget’s tax hike. Still the govt expects some sort of reform to occur more..

Return of Glyphosate hangs in the balance

June 20 (SO) Ban of the widely used herbicide glyphosate had a huge negative impact on the tea industry. Planters’ Association of Ceylon (PA) said early this year, that crop losses were devastating and cost in excess of an estimated Rs. 15 billion in the 18 months after the ban. PA pleaded with the Govt to immediately provide a rational and effective solution to the management of chemical weeding in the estate sector in a more..

Editorial: A triple whammy

June 20 (Island) Time was when crocodiles helped keep Colombo clean, strange as it may sound. In colonial times, garbage was dumped on the banks of the Beira Lake and huge crocs with a ravenous apatite, living there, dutifully gobbled it up. Colombo developed over the decades and crocodiles vanished from the city. Most people shifted to the periphery of Colombo and even beyond the city limits owing to waves of rapid urbanisation; so did municipal waste. more..

Challenges to reconciliation: Retributive justice or restorative justice?

June 20 (Island) In general, the two recognized approaches to reconciliation are: Retributive justice and Restorative justice. While retributive justice involves the perpetrator and the victim, restorative justice involves the perpetrator, the victim, and the community. Furthermore, while retributive justice is punitive, meaning that by punishing the perpetrator the victim finds relief that amounts to redressing the pain, albeit amounting to revenge, restorative justice focuses on healing the perpetrator more..

Face the Nation

Living beyond means

June 20 (SL) At a recent economic seminar in Colombo, Central Bank Governor, Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy, is reported to have said that the nation has been living beyond its means. He attributed the profligacy of the past to concessional loans with long-term repayment periods from international financial institutions like the World Bank and ADB, and also pointed out that the climb-up to becoming a middle-income country meant that rating agencies and int'l capital markets dictated more..

Ravi moves to cleanse our diplomessy

June 20 (ST) If the news flowing along the grapevine is correct-and the ear-splitting silence from the Foreign Ministry seems to suggest it is – then the new Foreign Minister deserves much more than a pat on the back. In fact a few hallelujahs would certainly not be out of place for the cleansing process he envisages was much overdue. That is if the country’s diplomatic service is ever to come within striking distance of what it was in its early days. more..

'Wiggy Out ! if he can’t prove majority NPC support'

June 20 (CT) NPC faces turmoil following the submission of a No Faith motion to the Northern Governor signed by 21 councilors in the NPC against CM C.V. Wigneswaran. This comes in a sequel to his decision to strip two ministers in the NPC of their portfolios. At a special meeting of NPC on 14 June he warned Ministers P. Iyngaranesan and T. Kurukularasa to relinquish their portfolios and two other ministers P. Sathyalingam and more..

A committed consistent and predictable economic programme imperative

June 20 (ST) Last Sunday’s column that discussed the economic consequences of the recent natural disasters underscored three crucial imperatives. These were: the need to prevent or mitigate these occurrences, developing a more robust economy that would be resilient to withstand such disasters and adoption of a certain consistent and committed economic programme. Lack of an agreed economic programme has been the foremost reason for govt’s inability to achieve rapid economic growth. more..

Champika, Rathana Thera, Gnanasara Thera and the Streisand effect

June 20 (GV) Discovered through a tweet this morning that the article Champika, Rathana Thera responsible for Gnanasara Thera’s actions, published in print and on the Daily Mirror website on 16th June 2017, has been deleted. No explanation given by the paper as to why the article, which is readily available on other sites a Google search away, is no longer on its own website. At the time of writing, the video of the press conference by the BBS, on which the report was based on, more..

'You can’t suppress majority to make minority happy'

June 20 (CT) The militant movement Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) is fully backed by the incumbent govt, said UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa. He conceded that certain govt elements instigated extremist violence against minorities during his father's governance. However, the same elements left Rajapaksa to join President Maithripala Sirisena, which is the cause for the revival of the BBS, he added. more..

The wellspring of Sinhala Extremism & Gotabaya question

June 20 (CT) As the basic axiom of journalism goes, facts are sacred, comment is free. CT has admitted the fact that I never said Gotabhaya is behind the BBS or is responsible for the BBS. Then why did its caption misleadingly read Dayan Reveals Gota’s Post-Conflict Homeland Security Plan; Gota and Israel behind BBS’ anti-Muslim hate crimes? Does this not clearly state that Dayan reveals…Gota and Israel behind BBS? Is this not spin? Secondly, one cannot have the cake and eat it. more..

Govt strategy to bring about promised change is needed

June 20 (CT) Two main factors that caused a change of govt in 2015 are reappearing at the present time. The first is the feeling amongst the religious and ethnic minorities that the govt is not doing enough to protect them. During the period of the former govt the minorities even felt that the govt was opposed to them. This was on account of its inadequate efforts at post-war normalization and the growth of religious intolerance. Election of the new govt came as a great relief to the minorities. more..