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Mirigama-Kurunegala expressway stretch to be completed soon

Feb 13 (CT) Minister Lakshman Kiriella stated that the first highway system in the country should have been from Colombo to its second capital Kandy. He expressed these views after inspecting the construction work of the Central Highway from Mirigama to Kurunegala yesterday. Speaking further he said the work of the Central Highway had been begun following the joint initiative of Prez and PM. Kiriella expressed the hope that work on the Central Highway from Mirigama to Kurunegala more..

Srilankan not co-operative enough: PCoI Chairman

Feb 13 (Island) SriLankan Airlines has not fully co-operated with the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI), Chairman of the PCOI Justice Anil Goonaratne said. Goonaratne made this observation when SriLankan Airlines Company Secretary Dalrene Thirukumar failed to submit a number of documents the PCoI needed. Senior State Counsel Fazly Razik, who led the evidence told the PCoI that Thirukumar had failed to produce a number of letters between the airline and other companies more..

ADB gives Sri Lanka US$145mn to help breed tech-oriented graduates

Feb 13 (EN) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will give Sri Lanka 145 million US dollars for science and technology in higher education, developing curricula with industry inputs to nurture a new breed of technology-oriented graduates. The ADB and four Sri Lankan universities Wednesday signed project agreements for the funds under the ADB funded Science and Technology Human Resources Development project to foster more..

Bank frauds and rising NPAs: Do we have the right people in the financial industry?

Feb 13 (FT) There are 33 banks and 48 finance companies in SL. Financial industry which mainly consists of the Banking Financial Industry (BFI) and Non-Banking Financial Industry (NBFI) has an asset base of 12.2 trillion. This comprises total loans and advances of Rs. 8 trillion, total investments of Rs. 2.73 trillion and other assets of Rs. 1.459 trillion. It is being looked after by a workforce of 88,000 who are serving customers through 5,000 branches islandwide as of June 2018. more..

Principal of Anuladevi Galle arrested while taking bribe

Feb 13 (AD) Principal of the Anuladevi Girls’ School in Galle has been arrested by officers of the Bribery Commission while accepting a bribe of Rs 100,000. The female principal had accepted the bribe from a parent to enroll a student into a Grade 1 class of the school. She was arrested at the Principal’s Office while accepting the bribe through two teachers who were also present at the time. According to reports, the principal in question had refrained from enrolling the student into the school until more..

Lasil De Silva

Healthcare in Sri Lanka highly praised

Feb 13 (CT) Healthcare in Sri Lanka can be classified as more than satisfactory, almost all citizens can expect to receive some sort of medical treatment irrespective of social status. The country’s universal healthcare is highly praised for the services it renders on a daily basis. Even Bill Gates commended SL healthcare, saying: “Sri Lanka… has built very high quality primary healthcare systems, staffed primarily by women...” Sadly, all things good about our healthcare system more..

Ministry of Crab opens in Mumbai

Feb 13 (FT) The most anticipated overseas outpost of Ministry of Crab (MOC) was launched last week in Mumbai, India. Within a span of six months from opening Ministry of Crab in Shanghai last year and in Manila earlier this year, Ministry of Crab, Mumbai was launched at the Zaveri House in Khar on 9 February following a media luncheon and grand opening event in the presence of the Ministers of Crab themselves, Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Dharshan Munidasa. more..

Pentagon seeks sustained engagement with Sri Lanka

Feb 13 (PTI) Amid the increasing Chinese influence over the strategically important Indo-Pacific region, a top Pentagon commander has advocated sustained US engagement with Sri Lanka, despite the political and ethnic turmoil in the island nation, posing a challenge to their ties. “Sri Lanka remains a significant strategic opportunity in the Indian Ocean, and our military-to-military relationship continues to strengthen," more..

Estate workers to get Rs. 50 more from Govt. for one year: Navin

Feb 13 (DM) Tea Estate workers would get an additional Rs. 50 to the current daily wage of Rs. 750 as a budgetary allocation from the Govt for one year, Minister Navin Dissanayake said today. “This is the outcome of a discussion I had last morning with PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and senior officials of the PM’s office,” Minister added. He said that the extra Rs. 50 would be paid outside the collective agreement reached on Jan 27 more..

PTA to be repealed: Counter Terrorism Bill soon

Feb 13 (DN) Parliament Oversight Committee on International Relations will approve the Counter Terrorism Bill next week with more amendments, Committee Chairman Mayantha Dissanayake said. He said the Oversight Committee deliberations on the Counter Terrorism Bill will be completed by next week enabling the Government to move it for debate any time after that. International Relations Sectoral Oversight more..

Will develop public transport service instead of highways: Champika

Feb 13 (DM) If I hold the power to monitor capital expenditure, I would give priority to uplift the public transport like train and bus services instead of constructing highways, expressways and flyovers, Minister Champika Ranawaka said. While addressing the gathering during the opening of second phase of the Lakhiru Sevana housing scheme in Malagawatte last evening he said developments done to the transport sector more..

SLPP blames Speaker for defects in implementation of 19A, promises to revise it

Feb 13 (Island) Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Chairman Prof. G.L. Peiris yesterday said that a future government under former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s leadership would seek to introduce significant changes to the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. Prof. Peiris emphasized that the 19th Amendment wouldn’t be abolished but amendments would be effected to make it meaningful. more..

Two individuals behind incidents involving Lasantha, Keith & Prageeth: Gota

Feb 13 (DM) Former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa said two individuals were behind the assassination of Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge, the assault on journalist Keith Noyahr and the disappearance of Prageeth Ekneligoda. In an interview, Mr. Rajapaksa said he was not involved in any of these things including the disappearance of Ekneligoda. “We did not want to do such things. more..

PM moots Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Feb 13 (DM) Ahead of the UNHRC session in March, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe presented a Cabinet memorandum seeking approval to establish a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, similar to what was established in post-apartheid South Africa. The commission will give the opportunity to those accused of war crimes to confess to their wrongdoings. According to the memorandum, no criminal liability will arise more..

Six PCs under Governors: CaFFE flays prez but its former boss among beneficiaries

Feb 13 (Island) Manas Makeen, Acting Executive Director of Campaign for Free and Fair Election (CaFFE), said that his predecessor Keerthi Tennakoon had received the appointment as the Governor of the Southern Province where the Provincial Council continues to function. Makeen said that last week he had expressed concern about Prez Sirisena placing six dissolved Provincial Councils under Governors. more..

Amal and son were in Dubai to sing: lawyer

Feb 13 (Island) Attorney-at-Law Udul Premaratne said that Dubai police had given him permission to see his clients singer Amal Perera and his son Nadeemal Perera, who were in Dubai Police custody with the notorious criminal leader and drug smuggler Makandure Madush and others. He said that a group of lawyers representing the Wellappili Law Firm were in Dubai to appear for Lankans caught with 31 others including more..

Popular schools allowed to open branches

Feb 13 (ST) In a move to meet high demand for Grade 1 admission to popular schools, cabinet has approved a govt proposal to allow popular semi-govt schools such as St Peter’s College, Colombo to establish branches across the country. A total of 36 popular semi-govt schools including St Peter’s, St Joseph’s College and Wesley College in Colombo, Maris Stella College and Loyola College in Negombo, Holy Cross more..

Man hours lost due to traffic congestion

Feb 13 (DM) Let us admit it, even grudgingly, that the Rajagiriya flyover helped ease traffic in and around the area. However, it also created a minus. The ease of traffic due to the flyover and its panoramic view tempted thousands of those who had been avoiding Rajagiriya, due to traffic snarls earlier, to venture into the route again. The number of vehicles down Kotte or Buthgamuwa Road rose once again and for a moment it looked that the flyover move was a flop. more..

Next presidential election: Who will win in a three-cornered fight?

Feb 13 (DM) The social media is quite busy. One of its main political thrusts has been towards promoting one single individual of the UNP. And that is Sajith Premadasa, the incumbent Housing and Cultural Affairs Minister, the son of the late R. Premadasa. R. Premadasa was a totally different kettle of fish. His modus operandi consisted of real hard work and he was never ever considered a softie. His contribution towards the déclassé still remains unmatched and his masterful skills in oratory more..

Bond Scams: CIABOC can now use presidential commission findings

Feb 13 (Island) Following Speaker Karu Jayasuriya’s endorsement of Commission of Inquiry Amendment Act on Feb 1, CIABOC can now use evidence and the findings of special commissions such as the Presidential Commissions. A spokesperson for the Speaker’s Office said that the Commission of Inquiry Amendment Bill had been presented by Minister Gayantha Karunatilleke on Sept 5, 2018, approved by parliament on more..

Alleged assault of PC: Special Police team to arrest Badulla district MP

Feb 13 (DN) Bandarawela Police yesterday deployed a team to locate and arrest Badulla district MP Chaminda Wijesiri who is reported to have been involved in the assault of a Police Constable attached to Police Narcotics Bureau on Feb 10. The MP and his security personnel had allegedly assaulted the PC after the latter’s jeep overtook the MP’s vehicle in the Bandarawela town. Police team has searched MP wijesiri’s residence and office yesterday but the suspect was not there. more..

Another resolution on Sri Lanka at UNHRC

Feb 13 (NR) A new resolution on SL is scheduled to be presented at the next session of the UNHRC. The 40th regular session of the council is slated to be held from the 25 of Feb to the 22 of March. The UK mission to the UN said the UK as part of a core group will present the new resolution on Sri Lanka during the next session. Core Group on SL, comprising of Canada, Germany, Macedonia, Montenegro and the UK will present a resolution on promoting reconciliation, accountability and more..

Investor drops ETIF

Feb 13 (CT) In our 11 Feb edition, we published that the Central Bank of SL was involved in selling the assets of EAP Holdings to an internationally blacklisted Company named Lycamobile in a discreet manner. Our report further stated that two companies named - Ben Holdings and Blue Summit Capital Management had initially purchased the Companies of EAP Holdings and transferred the assets to a Company named more..

Sri Lankan engineer creates electric conversion kits for auto rickshaws

Feb 13 (IT) Global warming, air pollution and other such environmental anomalies are not news to many around the world. Yet, it is seldom that anyone takes the responsibility of tackling these issues on their own. Sasiranga De Silva, a 33-year-old engineer from SL is one such personality, and his efforts have most recently been recognised by none other than the UN itself. A lecturer at the department of mechanical engineering at the Uni of Moratuwa, De Silva has been a fanatic of electric vehicles more..

Banned Mahaviru memorial completed and opened secretly

Feb 13 (DM) A group of Jaffna University students have forcibly completed the partly built Mahaviru Memorial in the university premises and opened it for display on Monday night despite UGC instructions to stop work. Jaffna University Vice Chancellor Rathnam Vigneswaran stopped the construction work on the partly completed Mahaviru Memorial because the UGC did not approve it. Jaffna University students who held the Mahaviru commemoration day in front of this half more..

Govt nod for two LNG plants

Feb 13 (FT) Govt gave the green light to award the tender to set up two 300MW LNG plants in Kerawalapitiya. As per the recommendations of Minister Ravi Karunanayake, a contract will be awarded to Lakdhanavi Ltd. to set up a new 300MW LNG plant, while approving the Procurement Appeals Board (PAB) Recommendation to award the contract to build the Kerawalapitiya 300MW LNG plant, more..

7-member committee to monitor state media

Feb 13 (DN) Minister Mangala Samaraweera has appointed a seven member committee headed by Wijayananda Jayaweera to monitor the working of state media institutions. This committee will monitor state media institutions and ensure that they are truly engaged in public service. Finance and Media Ministry in a statement said at this time when there is a social dialogue about the working and independence of the media, veterans in the media field had expressed the opinion that more..

Can Sri Lanka exploit South Africa’s poor Durban record?

Feb 13 (Island) The Proteas have an excellent record at home. In the last ten years, they have lost only two series in their backyard. However, their record in Durban is rather dodgy. Kingsmead Cricket Ground, a stone’s throw from the Indian Ocean, has seen some unique moments of South African cricket. It was here that South Africa’s campaign in the 2003 Cricket World Cup ended after a miscalculation of the Duckworth-Lewis sheet in their last group game against Sri Lanka. more..

New pay for estate workers: Announcement soon: Ganesan

Feb 13 (CT) Minister and Leader of the TPA Mano Ganesan said that they had held discussions with the Govt regarding the unresolved basic pay demand of the estate workers and very soon they will announce the new pay tabled for them. He said that a discussion between the TPA, Minister Naveen Dissanayake and Minister Raveendra Samaraweera, under the purview of the PM, had ended successfully. more..

Access Engineering ups 9-mo profit by 43%

Feb 13 (FT) Access Engineering, premier listed civil engineering company, has recorded an impressive Group Profit after Tax of Rs. 1.66 b in the first nine months of FY19 with a YoY increase of 43%. For the quarter ended 31 Dec 2018 the Group recorded a profit after tax of Rs. 640 m, a significant YoY growth of 124% against the third quarter of 2017/18. At the Company level after tax profit for the nine months and the quarter was recorded at Rs. 1.56 b and Rs. 542 m respectively. more..

Proposed VAT may hinder condo sales

Feb 13 (CT) A 5% VAT on condominiums sales will come in to effect from 1 April 2019, according to the Govt Gazette issued 16 Aug 2018, which might hinder the Sri Lanka’s growing condominiums sales process, Charles Phillpot, Resident Director at Sri Lanka Sotheby’s International Realty, said. ”Whilst in the past, this proposed tax has been withdrawn post-announcement, so far there is no announcement from the Govt about any further deferment or cancelation,” more..

World Bank VP arrives in Sri Lanka to support country’s reform plans

Feb 13 (FT) The World Bank Vice President for the South Asia Region Hartwig Schafer arrived yesterday on his first visit to Sri Lanka to gain a better understanding of the country’s development priorities and how the Bank can continue to support its critical reform agenda. “Sri Lanka has made good progress in reducing poverty and ranks the highest in South Asia in terms of human capital development,” said Schafer. more..

Jaffna undergrads divided over protest in support of suspended colleagues

Feb 13 (Island) Jaffna University undergraduate community is sharpy divided over the ongoing protest campaign to pressure the administration to withdraw the suspension of 15 undergraduates on disciplinary grounds. Rival factions of undergraduates had a heated argument after a section of the student community refused to join a demonstration at the entrance to the university yesterday morning. Sources said the u'graduates were divided along political lines. more..

Sri Lanka awaits funding to wrap up overtourism study

Feb 13 (EN) A Sri Lanka-World Bank joint study on how many tourists Sri Lanka can handle sustainably requires funding approval from the cabinet, a top official said. "We're about halfway through the project," SL Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) Director General Upali Ratnayake said. "We need a loan to complete the other half," he said. "We are waiting for cabinet approval for the loan." He said the study examines both tourism flows and infrastructure in Sri Lanka. more..

Competitive entrepreneurs cure for economic ills: PM

Feb 13 (FT) Competitive entrepreneurs will decide Sri Lanka’s future, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said, acknowledging that the country is in the midst of a bad dose of fiscal consolidation to repay debt that has hurt growth, but that prospects could be improved through exports and investment. Speaking at the Entrepreneur of the Year awards ceremony, organised by the FCCISL, PM noted that homegrown entrepreneurs more..

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