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Hambantota Port Deal getting curious by the day: CaFFE

Mar 24 (AD) With the latest turn in connect to the controversy surrounding the deal with between Sri Lanka and China Merchant Port Holdings Company sparks doubts whether there is an attempt to manipulate this deal, Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) says. CaFFE in a statement said, it notes this development with distress because this is not the first time that there was an attempt to manipulate this deal. more..

Regular protests, strikes have led to student violence: Akila

Mar 24 (DM) Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said today the protests and the work stoppage by extremist groups may have led the school children to resort to violence and aggressive behaviour especially during big match season. He said such behaviour during the big match season had occurred even in the past but unfortunately today the trend seems to be on the rise and needed to be controlled before it gets out of hand. He said the ministry had discussed this matter with principals more..

Sri Lanka expects US$7.5bn forex reserves by year-end: CB Governor

Mar 24 (EN) CB Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said he expects foreign exchange reserves to grow to US$ 7.5 billion by end-2017, helped by inflows from syndicated loans. Gross official reserves were estimated at US$ 5.6 billion at end-Feb 2017 compared to $6 billion at end-2016. Current reserves amounted to less than 3.5 months of imports and was not a comfortable position. “We are operating on a thin margin and if there is some shock or volatility then there can be a crisis. more..

'Russia will commit to provide benefits of bilateral relations to Sri Lankans'

Mar 24 (PSL) Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev said that Russia will commit to provide more benefits to Sri Lankans in the field of bilateral economic relations between two countries. President Maithripala Sirisena’s visit to Russia is a beginning of a new chapter in bilateral relations between the two countries, he further said. The Russian PM made these remarks when he met the President Maithripala Sirisena in Russia, today. more..

Germany appreciates Sri Lanka’s approach to achieve democracy

Mar 24 (CG) Germany appreciates Sri Lanka’s approach to achieve democracy in the country, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement today. The President of the German Bundestag, Professor Dr Norbert Lammert accompanied by a Parliamentary delegation is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka in April 2017 on an invitation by Karu Jayasuriya, Speaker of SL Parliament. The President of the German Bundestag, appreciated the achievements of the Govt of Sri Lanka and has stated that more..

Dinesh explains JO absence at Constitutional Assembly Steering Committee meeting

Mar 24 (Island) MEP Leader Dinesh Gunawardena told Parliament that action should be taken to provide a report to the House on the MPs’ participation in parliament committee meetings outlining the names of MPs attended them and those who skipped them. The Joint Opposition MPs had not been able to attend a meeting of the Constitutional Assembly’s Steering Committee responsible for preparing a Draft Constitutional Proposal the previous day since they were more..

Video: SLFP lost its status after MS took over leadership: Basil

Mar 24 (DM) The SLFP reputation was damaged soon after President Maithripala Sirisena became its Chairman, former Minister Basil Rajapaksa said. Initiating the SLPP membership drive targeting the Provincial Council elections, Mr. Rajapaksa said that the SLFP’s down turn in popularity could be seen when you see the plight of the Habaraduwa and Rathgama SLFP organizers, who were kicked out. more..

Rathupaswala shooting: Three army personnel arrested

Mar 24 (AD) Three army personnel have been apprehended in connection with the shooting in Rathupaswala which claimed the lives of three persons in 2013. The suspects were apprehended by a team attached to the CID on Friday afternoon. The shooting sparked an outcry across the country due to the deaths including two youths. President Maithripala Sirisena had also given his approval to provide 4.68 million rupees as compensation for 33 victims of Rathupaswala incident earlier. more..


Mar 24 (DM) Former president Rajapaksa arrived at the PRECIFAC this morning to give a statement over financial loses to SL Rupavahini Corporation during last Presidential election. A spokesman said that they will record a statement from the former president over financial loses to the SLRC when broadcasting election advertisements during the last presidential election campaign. MP Rajapaksa was issued summons to appear before the Commission of Inquiry on the 16th of March. more..

Wijeyadasa blasts int’l community

Mar 24 (DM) Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe charged that the international community is making unrealistic demands from Sri Lanka. Mr Rajapakshe who was speaking during a debate on several regulations in Parliament said looking into the crimes committed during the war time and bringing about reconciliation at the same time is not realistic at all. ‘Reconciliation and probing crimes which took place during more..

Seya murder: FR petition filed by student in court

Mar 24 (NR) The fundamental rights petition filed by a school student against his arrest and remand over the kidnap and murder of Seya Sadewmi in Kotadeniyawa claiming he was wrongly accused will be taken up for consideration in Court today. The petition will be heard at the Supreme Court. The petition filed by the student cites despite him having no involvement in the incident to the murder he was arrested and subjected to various mistreatment including assault. more..

Disappointed in MPs violating Standing Orders-Speaker

Mar 24 (NR) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya says it is disappointing that certain MPs violate standing orders. Speaker addressing the House said Hansard report indicates that several false and baseless allegations were hurled at the PM by MPs who addressed the House on Wednesday. Speaker said MPs should not hurl allegations at fellow MPs and speak degradingly claiming Standing Orders as cited indicate the code of conduct for MPs, and brought this to the attention of the House. more..

සිනමාවේදිනි සුමිත්žරා පීරිස්ť part 2

Yesterday, today & tomorrow: Whence, where & wither

Mar 24 (CT) “Gotabaya can build a new urbanized technocratic civilization which is the 21st century equivalent of the magnificent civilizations that this island once built; civilizations that put us ahead of the rest of South Asia, until the Tamil invaders drove us downward and the Western invaders finished what they started” says Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka. I will leave the brazenly chauvinist, historically erroneous part about Tamil invaders and Western   conquistadors completing what more..

London terror attack

Mar 24 (CT) Three important happenings affecting Sri Lanka took place in two major cities of the West on Wednesday. The first was the terror attack in London which left at least five dead and 40 injured, according to reports. The other two took place at Geneva where the alleged Sri Lanka war crimes issue is being discussed. In this context, Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva speaking at the UNHRC sessions, said that Sri Lanka will be co-sponsoring a Resolution with the USA and more..

UK calls for meaningful devolution in SL

Mar 24 (CG) The British Govt today encouraged Sri Lanka to deliver meaningful devolution through constitutional reform, establish credible transitional justice mechanisms, return all remaining military-held private land and replace the Prevention of Terrorism Act with human rights compliant legislation. British High Commission in Colombo said that the UK welcomes the co-sponsorship of the new UNHRC resolution more..

Video: Dilrukshi had to resign due to questioning frauds of the powerful

Mar 24 (LT) Former Director General of the CIABOC Ms. Dilrukshi Dias Wickremesinghe had to leave the position not due to any weakness in her duties but due to a political reason says JVP MP Anura Dissanayaka. When Ms. Wickremesinghe was made to resign investigations in connection with a powerful minister of the govt and a state minister, who had also served as ministers of the previous Rajapaksa regime had begun, he said. more..

Chagie’s visa application under consideration: AHC

Mar 24 (Island) Australian High Commission said that no final decision had been taken in respect of Maj. Gen. Chagie Gallage’s visa application. Veteran Gajaba Regiment officer is Director General of Infantry. Australian HC was responding to a query whether any other SL military officer had been denied visa over unsubstantiated war crimes allegations. HC said that Gallage’s application remains under assessment. more..

Sri Lanka hikes policy rates 25bp after inflation spiked to 8.2%

Mar 24 (EN) SL raised policy rates 25 basis points to 8.75% as inflation rose to 6.8% in Colombo on Feb and nation-wide inflation rose 8.2%, after loosening policy in Nov and Jan. Central Bank said it was raising policy rates as "a precautionary measure, in order to contain the build-up of adverse inflation expectations and the possible acceleration of demand side inflationary pressures through excessive monetary & credit expansion." more..

EU welcomes Sri Lanka for advancing human rights agenda

Mar 24 (AD) The European Union (EU) has welcomed the UN High Commissioner’s report on Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan Government’s continued engagement with the Council. The EU, welcoming the Sri Lankan Govt’s continued engagement with UNHRC, said it fully acknowledges the progress made in Sri Lanka in terms of advancing the broader human rights agenda and restoring fundamental freedoms. more..

India will go with consensus on Sri Lanka resolution at UNHRC: Govt

Mar 24 (PTI) India said on Thursday that it will go with the consensus at the UNHRC on the US-sponsored resolution which proposes to give two more years beyond 2017 to Sri Lanka to fulfil its promises on protecting the interests of Tamils there. Minister Sushma Swaraj said in the Rajya Sabha that India’s approach in the UNHRC is been guided by the belief that promotion and protection of human rights can be best pursued through more..

JO defends MPs’ right to sell duty free vehicles

Mar 24 (Island) UPFA MP Shehan Semasinghe has strongly defended the right of members of parliament to sell duty free vehicles imported by them on special permits issued by parliament. Joint Opposition loyalist Semasinghe said the matter had been taken up in court and often raised by the media though as a MP he believed in their right to transfer ownership of such vehicles. JO comprises nearly 50 members elected on UPFA ticket. more..

Ravi amended 30 of 57 clauses: SLASA

Mar 24 (CT) The Sri Lanka Audit Services Association (SLASA) has revealed that Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake has modified 30 of the 57 clauses included in the Audit Bill, according to his preference. SLASA President, Attorney-at-Law K.N.M. Kumarasinghe said that the amended clauses have an impact on the independence of the Auditor General and Financial Auditing Power, as well as a number of other points. more..

Dengue expert and team bring hope

Mar 24 (ST) Sri Lanka is fighting a losing battle with dengue as intermittent rains are sending the number of men, women and children affected by this mosquito-borne disease soaring. Into 2˝ months of the year, the number of dengue cases is reported to be 21,000, the highest ever the country has experienced for similar periods in other years, while the death toll is also rising steadily, more than what has been seen in the last three years. more..

Concern over Rishard’s views on Wilpattu

Mar 24 (SL) Civic minded organisations and environmentalists expressed concern about the remarks made by Minister Rishard Bathiudeen in London last Sunday, pertaining to the  Wilpattu land grabbing issue. In an interview with the BBC, Sinhala Service , he said that the jungles surrounding the Wilpattu sanctuary were cleared not by Muslim Internally Displaced People – IDPs – nor people but by state authorities themselves. more..

Fonseka’s claim on hit squads

Mar 24 (DM) The debate during the last lap of the war between the Army Commander, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka and the Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa during the same period over the death squads allegedly used against many including journalists seems to be a mere coincidence with the ongoing UNHRC sessions. However, the demonstration in the North over the disappearances of people at a time when UNHRC was at sessions is not accidental. more..

We stand with Theresa May & British people

Mar 24 (DM) First of all let us express our heartfelt condolences to the victims of the recent terrorist attack in London, those who were injured, the families of those who died and all the citizens of the United Kingdom. We add the last because any act of terrorism in any part of any country, impact each and every citizen. It is not a happy thing to live your days under the shadow of terrorism. It is not a happy thing to be wary all the time. It is not a happy thing to worry if you’ll see your loved ones ever again more..

UNHRC gives Sri Lanka two more years

Mar 23 (FT) UNHRC adopted a resolution on Sri Lanka for the fifth time yesterday, but the Govt will claim a diplomatic victory after it won a two-year extended timeline to establish mechanisms that will deliver justice to thousands of victims and reconcile a country torn apart by a civil war that spanned three decades.  UNHRC Resolution 34/1 titled Promoting Reconciliation, Accountability & Human Rights in Sri Lanka more..

Warrant issued for arrest of Comm. of DMT

Mar 23 (DM) Kaduwela Additional Magistrate yesterday issued a warrant for the arrest of Commissioner of the Department of Motor Traffic (DMT) for not adhering to the court summons issued on him to appear in court to give evidence in a case that had been filed against Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa. The case was filed by the FCID against MP Rajapaksa with regards to the ownership of a luxury car valued at over Rs.8 million. The lawyer appearing for MP Rajapaksa, more..

Wijeyadasa on Wimal: Prove innocence before going on hunger strike

Mar 23 (DM) Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said MP Wimal Weerawansa should prove in court that he had not misused a single state vehicle instead of going on a hunger strike. Responding to an allegation made by JO that there was political revenge behind the arrest, Mr. Rajapakshe told parliament that there was no political matters behind this and added that it was only the implementation of law against him. "He was not arrested by the President, PM or the Law & Order Minister. more..

Novel way to rob people's hard earned money: Rental Scam of Parliament Mafia

Mar 23 (FT) Just the monthly rents for 33 buildings leased from the private sector to house ministries is costing the taxpayer a whopping Rs. 149.7 million per month, Parliament was informed, with Science and Technology, Agriculture and Public Enterprise Development ministries among the worst offenders. Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka, said Govt has also advanced Rs. 1 billion to retain these buildings. more..

Pay special attention to the Yashodara Balika incident: Sobitha Thera

Mar 23 (DM) Authorities should pay special attention when investigating the incident where students from Mahanama College had forcibly entered Yashodara Balika Vidyalaya during a big-match parade, Ven. Omalpe Sobitha Thera said. While condemning the incident Thera also said he was disappointed with the way the Police acted during the incident. “These kinds of incidents cannot be considered trivial. These students had intimidated staff members and assaulted an employee of the school. more..

GL points to difference between Mahendran’s conduct and that of British banker

Mar 23 (Island) Joint Opposition spokesman Prof. G.L. Peiris yesterday said the ongoing attempts to save former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran, embroiled in alleged bond scam, running into billions of rupees should be examined against the backdrop of the recent resignation of Charlotte Hogg as deputy governor of the Bank of England after being accused of withholding information in respect of her brother holding a senior position in Barclays. more..

'Mahendran decided to accept bids above limit set by Monetary Board'

Mar 23 (Island) Former Deputy Governor of the CB Ananda Silva, testifying before the Special Presidential Commission, said that at the treasury bond auction on Feb. 27, 2015 bids should have been limited to Rs. 2 or 3 billion and not Rs. 10 billion. Silva said that at the Monetary Board meeting on Feb. 23, 2015, it had been decided to hold the Treasury bond auction on Feb. 27, but no final decision had been taken. more..

UNHRC must refer Sri Lanka to ICC, says Dr Anbumani Ramadoss

Mar 23 (DC) Former Union health minister and MP Dr Anbumani Ramadoss has appealed to the UNHRC to immediately refer Sri Lanka to the General Assembly and the International Criminal Court (ICC) for perpetrating genocide and also the killing Indian fishermen. “President and PM of Sri Lanka have repeatedly stated that no international involvement will be allowed, contrary to commitments made in resolution 30/1. As the next step of non-compliance, more..

Money printing up Rs 8.31B

Mar 23 (CT) Central Bank printed money (PM/MP) to the tune of Rs 8,307 million (inclusive of associated borrowing costs to the Govt of SL) to aid GOSL's monetary commitments, thereby increasing MP plus related borrowing costs to GOSL by 4.61% to Rs 188,325.14 million, yesterday. Nonetheless, due to the retirement of some high cost Treasury Bills related to MP in CBSL's godowns, GOSL's MP borrowing costs declined by Rs 64.17 million (0.88%) to Rs 7,300.51 million. more..