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Sri Lanka faces power cut risks by end March

Jan 13 (RN) Sri Lanka could face power cuts by March in the driest month of the year after a coal plant which was about to be built was cancelled under environmentalist pressure and a tender for a 300 Megawatt diesel plants ended up in court. Sri Lanka is moving into the driest months of the year in February and March, amid weather warnings that the tropical island is likely to receive lower than average rainfall in the first quarter. more..

Scholars appeal to President to stop moves to remove DG National Archives

Jan 13 (Island) A statement signed by 45 academics, researchers and practitioners condemns the govt’s attempts to remove Director General of the National Archives. Statement was sent on 23 Dec 2019 to the Prez, PM and Secretary to the Ministry of Buddhasasana, Cultural and Religious Affairs. Statement has been signed, among others, by Prof Savitri Goonesekere, Prof Gananath Obeyesekere, Dr Ranjini Obeyesekere, more..

ICTA to spearhead project to bring State entities’ information to one database

Jan 13 (SO) The move to bring in all information of State entities into one data base has been given the thumbs up by IT experts and the country as a whole, as a timely initiative to do away with cumbersome, time-consuming and costly procedures followed in most public establishments which are hurdles to expedite economic growth in the country. All personal information such as National Identity cards, driving licences, more..

Rights bodies accuse new govt of intimidating critics

Jan 13 (TM) Two rights bodies today claimed that the new govt of Sri Lanka, headed by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, has unleashed a chilling process of repression targeting critics and human rights defenders. The International Truth and Justice Project – Sri Lanka (ITJP) and Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS) said intimidation and threats to critics have taken place before and after the presidential elections. more..

Hamilton Canal to be redeveloped for tourism and commuting

Jan 13 (RN) Sri Lanka Tourism will seek Dutch assistance in redeveloping the Hamilton Canal as a tourist attraction as well as a mode of public transit to ease traffic congestion, a statement said. Also known as the Dutch canal, the 14.9km Hamilton Canal will be redeveloped in collaboration with the Ministry of Fisheries, UDA, Land Reclamation Corporation and Provincial Road Development Authority. more..

Azerbaijan tragedy: Remains of Lankan students to be repatriated

Jan 13 (RN) Postmortems of the three Sri Lankan university students who died in a fire in Azerbaijan last Thursday have been completed. The Sri Lankan mission in Tehran, Iran, have been coordinating the repatriation process of the remains with Azerbaijan authorities, said Delpitiya. The process is now at its final stage, she added. The 3 SL university students who had been studying at Western Caspian Uni in Baku, Azerbaijan, more..

Consume alternative veggies to manage price hike: Traders Union

Jan 13 (DM) The prices of vegetables soared high due to the unprecedented rains across the island during the last season, the All Island Unified Economic Centres and Manning Market Traders Union (AIUECMMTU) said. The Union’s National Organiser H.M. Upasena said the reason for the present vegetable price increase couldn’t be blamed on any person –especially, the govt. “There is a shortage of carrot & leeks in the market” more..

18A and proposed 21A and 22A

Jan 13 (DM) Just before the dawn of the New Year, two constitutional amendment Bills were presented as private member bills by MP Wijedasa Rajapakshe. These Bills; if enacted, would impact some of the progressive and pro-democratic provisions realised by the 19A in order to strengthen democratic practice and good governance.The 19A was materialized as a promise expressed in the election campaign of presidential election 2015, in which the former Prez severely criticized more..

Slaying of General Qassem Soleimani

Jan 13 (DM) In the early hours of Friday morning, the US, using drone-fired missiles killed Iranian General Soleimani just outside Baghdad’s int'l airport. Soleimani was the second most powerful man in Iran. This was not the first time the US has used assassinations as a means to get rid of leaders whom it felt a threat to Washington’s interests anywhere in the world. We can hardly forget that the US attempted to assassinate Cuban leader Fidel Castro on at least more than 3 dozen times more..

PSC denies being flogged by political appointments

Jan 13 (DM) The six-member presidential select committee (PSC), appointed to nominate Chairmen and directors to state institutions, denied it was supporting nepotism or favouring certain candidates among the 11,000 estimated applications it had received to date. Committee member, Dr. Nalaka Godahewa said that the committee had made recommendations to the posts of Chairmans and directors based on the credentials of more..

Video: Another phone recording of Ranjan and Justice Padmini Ranawaka revealed

Jan 13 (AD) An audio recording of another conversation between MP Ranjan Ramanayake and justice Padmini Ranawaka was released to the public. The audio clip was released at a press conference held by retired Major Attorney at Law Ajith Prasanna. Recording contains a conversation between the MP and the judge on the verdict on the case of Sil Cloth distribution campaign against former Secretary to the Prez Lalith Weeratunga and former Dir-Gen of TRC Anusha Palpita. more..

Immigration nabs seven Indian labourers from Wattala

Jan 13 (DM) Dept of Immigration and Emigration flying squad nabbed seven Indian nationals last week, who were employed as labourers at a leading construction site in Wattala defying their visa conditions. Following a tip-off, the department’s investigation wing raided a construction site of an apartment blocks maintained by a leading construction agency in the country from Kerawalapitiya in Wattala. When searched the site the sleuths found seven Indian nationals more..

Azath Salley influenced Mawanella Buddha statue vandalizing probe

Jan 13 (DM) Former Western Province Governor Azath Salley has reportedly influenced the police probe into the vandalizing of Buddha statues in Mawanella, as revealed during a four-hour statement given to the CID by a retired top cop on Saturday. CID sleuths who recorded a statement from retired Kegalle DIG Palitha Siriwardena at his Homagama residence on Saturday for over 4.5 hours has surfaced more..

‘Army officer abducted with Eknaligoda too missing’

Jan 13 (Island) The War Heroes for Motherland Organisation yesterday demanded that UNP MP Ranajan Ramanayake and former CID Director SSP Shani Abeyesekera be arrested immediately and booked for concealing facts related to the alleged crime of abducting and killing of web journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda. Convenor of the organisation Major (Retired) and Attorney-at-Law Ajith Prasanna said that a leaked telephone conversation between Ramanayake & former CID Director showed more..

President appoints commission to probe ETI sale to Blue Summit

Jan 13 (EN) Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has appointed a commission to probe the sale of assets of ETI Finance Ltd, a troubled finance company to a consortium involving foreign investors. Control of ETI Finance, EAP Broadcasting Company, EAP Films and Theatres Ltd, Hotel Sapphire Ltd, Swarnamahal Jewelers Ltd were sold to Blue Summit Capital Management Private Ltd and Ben Holdings Private Ltd, to raise money to pay depositors, under central bank supervision. more..

Video: I’m ready to work with Prez: Sajith

Jan 13 (AD) Leader of the Opposition Sajith Premadasa says he has no issue with working together with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in building the country. UNP MP expressed these views addressing a public meeting held in Kesbewa, this afternoon (12). He says that he will go on a victorious journey by getting together everyone. He does not want to obtain titles by breaking apart the party, Premadasa added. more..

'A top post will be given to Champika soon'

Jan 13 (DM) Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa said that arrangements are underway to offer a key post to General Secretary of the JHU MP Champika Ranawaka in the near future in the UNP. He said so, at a public gathering held in Kosgama to thank people in the Avissawella electorate who supported him during last Prez Election. He also said that the doors are open for the educated and intelligent individuals such as Champika Ranawaka who thinks to adopt himself to the future world. more..

'Release of intelligence officers welcomed'

Jan 13 (DM) Release of Army Officer Sunil Ratnayake and 34 officers attached to the State Intelligence from prison was a welcome move, UNP MP Ajith P Perera said. MP said that the decision of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was a welcome move. “President pledged during the Presidential Election campaign that he would release all military personnel, who are detained would be released. “We are happy that he had fulfilled one pledge that he had made during the campaign,” he said. more..

CB forensic audit: CID contradicts AG’s claim

Jan 13 (TM) Despite Attorney General (AG) Dappula de Livera claiming that investigations had been instituted on the basis of the Central Bank Forensic Audit (FA) report, Neither the CID nor any other branch of the Police have been tasked with such an investigation. SP Jaliya Senaratne said that no orders had been given to carry out any investigation pertaining to the FA reports. “We have not received instructions to more..

Chinese Foreign Minister to hold bilateral talks in Sri Lanka

Jan 13 (AD) State Councilor and Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi will visit Sri Lanka next week to discuss matters related to bilateral ties, according to an official statement. He will arrive in Colombo on Tuesday (14) and meet President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, PM Mahinda Rajapaksa and his counterpart Dinesh Gunawardena during his visit. This will be Wang’s first overseas visit for the year 2020. The visit is the highest level interaction so far after Gotabaya Rajapaksa was elected Prez. more..

Emergency power in 2020: CEB needs Rs 6.5 billion

Jan 13 (CT) Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, says the CEB needs to spend Rs 6.5 billion, to purchase emergency power, this year. He pointed out that due to various irregularities in the CEB since 2015, the Govt has to spend this amount. Minister further stated that although the demand for electricity has increased by 27%, it has been uncovered that only 2 per cent of the electricity demand is supplied. Meanwhile, the employees of CEB say that CEB had not incurred such a loss before 2015, more..

Govt in far bigger crisis than UNP: Mujibur

Jan 13 (Island) UNP MP Mujibur Rahman, said Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s govt was in a far bigger crisis than the UNP though the media remained focused on the Opposition. He claimed that there were several influential factions within the govt trying to consolidate their positions in the run-up to the parliamentary polls expected in late April 2020. Referring to post-presidential poll role played by Viyath Maga, more..

SLC to hire Moody on consultancy basis

Jan 13 (ST) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is in negotiations with former Sri Lanka head coach Tom Moody to appoint him on a potential consultancy role. SL reached the 2007 World Cup finals, the first time since their victory in 1996 tournament under Moody. The board now wants to use his extensive experience to help raise the local standards. The former Australian international has responded positively for the offer and could start his first consultancy stint as early as mid-February. more..

Sri Lanka ends 2019 with US$ 7.6 billion in forex reserves

Jan 13 (EN) Sri Lanka has ended 2019 with US$ 7,638 million of forex reserves in Dec 2019 below initial targets, despite weak credit slowing imports, with monetary policy reversing from around July, official data showed. But the reserves were up from 6.9 billion recorded on Dec 2019. SL’s gross official reserves are made up of monetary reserves of the central bank, collected by pegging the currency to the US dollar and dollar balances of the Treasury raised or kept to repay foreign loans. more..

Govt gets tough with Japan on new BIA terminal

Jan 13 (TM) The Govt has given the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) time till Wednesday to agree to renegotiate the cost of construction of the second terminal of the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA). This is following a deadlock of several years, in which JICA refused to budge from the original quotations submitted by two Japanese contractors, which were 46% & 96% higher than engineer’s estimate. more..

SLC Major T20 Tournament: Unbeaten NCC and CCC continue winning spree

Jan 13 (DN) Unbeaten NCC and CCC recorded their 5th wins in the SLC Major T20 Inter Clubs Cricket tournament conducted by SLC yesterday. NCC beat Tamil Union C & AC by 6 wickets at MCG Katunayake and CCC beat Lankan CC by 1 wicket at SSC. Janith Silva’s 5 wickets haul steered Army CC to win over Chilaw Marians CC by 31 runs at Surrey ground. Irosh Samarasuriya of Nugegoda SC made unbeaten ton against Kandy Custom SC. Keahsn Wijerathne (Lankan CC) took 5 wts more..

Textile plant in Eravur to attract $40 million investment

Jan 13 (ST) SL’s apparel industry expects the fabric manufacturing plant, to be established in eastern Eravur, to commence construction in six months’ time with the likelihood of attracting an investment of US$40 million towards the project. SL Apparel Exporters Association (SLAEA) Rehan Lakhany said that within about six months the plant would be ready for construction. He noted that since this has been part of the new President’s election manifesto the industry is convinced that the project more..

Former top players oppose 4-day Test

Jan 13 (ST) There were just two balls of the match remaining when paceman Shaminda Eranga banged in a short ball to Jimmy Anderson and it ballooned from his glove to Rangana Herath parked on the leg side, scripting a historic win in 2014. Sri Lanka won in a dramatic fashion, thereby registering their first series victory against England in their own den. This would not have happened if Test cricket was played over four-days, more..

Will SL be better without Malinga captaincy?

Jan 13 (ST) While most other teams are already working out with their core groups of players for the World T20 tournament later this year, Sri Lanka is in a royal mess, yet to even identify who their own core group will be. The results in India weren’t unexpected but the manner in which Sri Lanka surrendered in the two matches played (the first was washed out) raises serious questions about team selection and captaincy. Captain Lasith Malinga may have the best cricketing brain in the team and more..

Remembering Guy De Alwis

Jan 13 (Island) The seventh death anniversary of former SL wicketkeeper Guy De Alwis fell yesterday. Guy had so much to offer as an administrator when he was snatched away from us aged 52. A product of S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia, Guy broke into the national team at the age of 23. The mass exodus of players on the rebel tour to South Africa in 1982 opened up a place for him and he was one of the 7 debutants in Christchurch, NZ. He replaced Mahes Gunathilaka as the wicketkeeper. more..

Malinga ready to quit captaincy

Jan 13 (DN) Lasith Malinga said Sunday he was ready to stand down as Sri Lanka's Twenty20 skipper after the team's humiliating 2-0 loss to India in their latest foreign tour. Returning from the series, the 36-year-old told reporters that Sri Lanka was just not good enough to make an impact in the 20- over game. He said SL bowlers weren't able to restrict opponents while the batsmen were incapable of putting up 170 more..

Foreign investor holdings in Sri Lanka bonds slightly up

Jan 13 (EN) Foreign investor holdings of Sri Lanka rupee bonds grew by about 1.5 billion rupees to 105.52 billion rupees on January 2020, up from 104.02 billion rupees a week earlier, official data show. Foreign investors have exited steadily since a rate cut in April 2018, and liquidity injections in August, coupled with a so-called one sided ‘DMC’ rule under an IMF program. The one side DMC which tends to undermined the credibility of Sri Lanka’s dollar peg swiftly, more..

Last chance saloon for football coach Packeer Ali

Jan 13 (ST) National football coach Nizam Packeer Ali gets a chance to redeem himself after the debacle at the South Asian Games (SAG) when SL take part in the Bangabandhu Gold Cup to be held in Bangladesh from Jan 15 to 25. This will be the final assignment for Packeer Ali whose contract expires in March, according to Football Federation of SL (FFSL) officials. The former SL full back has been at odds with FFSL officials and local media after a mixed performance by the national team more..

Colombo braces for shocks from West Asia crisis

Jan 13 (ST) The stock market recovered after a day-long crash, the Colombo auction didn’t react but was on alert while airlines are bracing for possible pressure on air fares if tensions in West Asia escalate to a full blown conflict between the US and Iran. Board of Airline Representatives (BAR) Chairman Dimuthu Tennakoon said that airlines operating to Sri Lanka have been called for a meeting tomorrow and they expect to have more..

Pollution of Coastal Areas: Has MEPA become a rudderless ship!

Jan 13 (Island) A recent front page article said that the Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) had collected 1.6 million MT of Plastic waste in the year 2019 and the weekly collection of plastic trash was 238,000 of pieces. Its grandiose plan to clean 100 KM of the coastal areas with a view to collecting 20,000 kilos of plastic trash per week must have warmed the cockles of the hearts of many readers and the general public who are anxious to see a clean coastal belt right round the country. more..

Revealed: Phone talk scandal as Ranjangate Tapes explode

Jan 13 (ST) Long-drawn dramatic search op done by a possibly 40-strong squad of policemen at UNP MP Ranjan Ramanayake’s home last Saturday, seeming to search for something they couldn’t exactly put their finger on, and his subsequent arrest later that evening on the charge of possessing a firearm without a valid licence, no doubt, made compelling viewing to a nation slowly getting accustomed to seeing former regime’s high flyers swiftly brought to ground on habitual basis. more..