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SL reiterates warning on Indian fishermen

Apr 24 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan govt on Friday reiterated its warning that Indian fishermen who violate Sri Lanka's maritime border and illegally fish within its waters will be arrested. Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Mahinda Amaraweera told journalists that the Sri Lankan Navy had been ordered to arrest the Indian fishermen and have their boats confiscated if they stray into local waters. more..

Gota’s journey had its humour

Apr 24 (CT) Oh! What an era we live in! Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, most powerful sibling of the most powerful President Sri Lanka ever had, on a journey to the Bribery Commissioner’s Office! On the first of January this year did you, reader, ever imagine this journey? Even on the 8th of January Maitripala Sirisena had no clue that Gota will have to make his way to the Bribery Commissioner’s Office under his watch as President. Maitri was hiding that fateful day in a secret place fearing that more..

Shares rise to over 6-week high on banks

Apr 24 (Reuters) Shares rose to over six-week high on Friday, despite foreign outflow from risky assets, as investors picked up shares of finance companies on expectations of better earnings, with positive sentiment continuing due to lower interest rates. The main stock index ended 0.22% or 15.39 points firmer at 7,129.78, its highest close since March 10. It has, gained 3.31% since the central bank cut key rates on April 15, while yields on t-bills have fallen 26-36 basis points since then. more..

President Sirisena's Special Statement

Applications to sit Korean language exam issued from April 27

Apr 24 (Island) Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) announced yesterday that the applications for the 14th Korean Language Proficiency Exam (KLPE) would be issued from April 27 to 30. The examination was scheduled to be held on June 13 and 14 in Colombo and the Korean job seekers could receive their exam application at 16 countrywide SLBFE district offices. It is envisaged to provide about 5000 Korean jobs for Sri Lankans in their manufacturing sector and more..

Robbing State assets

Apr 24 (CT) Yesterday this newspaper reported that the Financial Crime Investigation Division (FCID) of the police has begun probing into the activities of Lanka Sathosa, a govt owned company retailing fast moving consumer goods in the country. FCID was set-up by the new regime to investigate into cases of misuse and abuse of State property, with such investigations taking a pecuniary flavour in particular. This probe was as per an order given by Colombo Chief Magistrate, Gihan Pilapitiya. more..

Video: MR visits Basil at CNH

Apr 24 (DM) Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa today visited his brother Basil who was admitted to the Colombo National Hospital (CNH). The former economic development minister, the ministry’s former secretary Nihal Jayatilake and former Divineguma Department Director General R.R.K. Ranawaka were on Wednesday ordered by the Kaduwela Magistrate to be remanded till May 5. Except for the former minister who was more..

SL up 5 notches in World Happiness Report

Apr 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka's happiness has climbed five places to rank at 132 position bagging 4.271 points in the latest World Happiness Report published on Thursday. The country was ranked 137th in the second edition of the report published in 2013. Switzerland topped the ranking while Iceland bagged the second place in the 2015 report. The World Happiness Report reviews the state of happiness in the world today and more..

BBS a Western conspiracy: MR

Apr 24 (EN) Sinhala nationalist Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) was a Western-backed conspiracy to alienate minority Muslims and defeat his govt, former president Mahinda Rajapaksa has said. He said that neither he nor his defence secretary brother had anything to do with the BBS despite popular belief that the Rajapaksas were behind the group. "Look at where the BBS travelled (Norway and the US)," Rajapaksa said. more..

Hambantota port loan capital repayments to China begin

Apr 24 (EN) Capital repayments of Chinese loans taken to build Hambantota port in southern Sri Lanka start this month, greatly increasing the financial burden on the Sri Lanka Ports Authority, an official said. SLPA Chairman Lakdas Panagoda said the authority was taking a fresh look at the building of a container terminal in the second phase of the port construction, given its lack of business and huge debt burden. more..

New govt’s policies have created positive environment: Ban Ki-moon

Apr 24 (AD) Welcoming the new Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has stated that a positive environment has been created by the policies of the new govt in Sri Lanka for a greater collaboration with the UN and the international community. The new Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN in New York, Dr. Rohan Perera presented his credentials to the Ban Ki-moon, more..

Wigneswaran seeks release of 3 Indians in Premananda case

Apr 24 (TOI) Chief minister of Sri Lanka's Tamil-majority Northern Province C V Wigneswaran has requested PM Narendra Modi to release three life convicts in the sensational Swamy Premananda case. The three -Kamalananda, Balan alias Balendiran and Sathis alias Sathishkumar - were convicted and sentenced along with Premananda for raping 13 girls, including minors, and conspiring to murder an inmate more..

'Our foreign policy is based on practical realities, not on ideological fantasies'

Apr 24 (DM) Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera, in an interview, said the new govt managed to reset the country’s foreign policy to the centre while having excellent relations with the major power centres of the world including the US, China and India. He said the govt would be ready with the domestic investigative mechanism by late July to look into allegations of human rights violations and accountability issues. more..

Govt hedges on its incomplete 100-day programme as deadline looms

Apr 24 (ST) Any unfulfilled promises in the govt’s 100-Day programme will be delivered following Parliamentary elections expected in June, Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha De Silva said. The comments came as Govt’s ambitious 100-Day programme reaches its deadline. Even though Govt has failed to fulfill some of its pledges completely, due to lack of time, it has taken sufficient measures to address important issues immediately. more..

Nearly 1700 people sign up for free Wi-Fi within first five days

Apr 24 (Island) Only 1693 people had been registered in the first five days to receive free Wi-Fi facility launched by the govt. At the end of March the govt launched the first phase of the free Wi-Fi facility at 26 locations covering eight districts. Kandy, Colombo Fort, Polonnaruwa, Matara, Jaffna, Galle, Peradeniya, Katunayake, Ratnapura and Dehiwala, were among the first areas to get the free service which was an election pledge of President more..

Bringing down the cost of living

Apr 24 (SL) Bringing down the cost of living by reducing prices of some essential goods was one of the govt’s promises during the last election campaign which had a clear appeal on ordinary people. At present the govt boasts of having fulfilled their promise even though some opposition members have been mocking at certain economic policies of the govt. PHU General Secretary Udaya Gammanpila said that more..

Minimising fraud, corruption and restoring ethics

Apr 24 (DM) Corruption is the misuse of political or bureaucratic power. Fraud is an intentional act or an omission designed for the purpose of deceiving others, which results in the victim suffering a loss while the perpetrator gains. In Sri Lanka, both govt and private sector organisations are constantly facing fraud risks. Due to fraud, there have been massive losses in numerous sectors causing irreparable damages and consequences to the people and the public sector. more..

Protests and the rule of law

Apr 24 (DM) The breakdown of the rule of law and the serious damage caused to the independence of the judiciary were among the main factors that led to the disillusionment of the public and the defeat of the previous regime on Jan 9. Bauddhaloka Mawatha especially the stretch where the Commission to Investigate Bribery or Corruption is situated has become the latest protesting point for pro-Rajapaksa allies. The latest protest was conducted yesterday even after the police had obtained more..

Message of Maithri for Motherland!

Apr 24 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday appealed to all political parties represented in parliament to vote for the 19 Amendment to the Constitution. The President emphasized the importance enacting the 19 Amendment in accordance with the ruling given by the Supreme Court recently. President was addressing the nation on television to mark his govt completing 100 days in power. more..

Catholic Bishops call for passing of 19A

Apr 24 (Island) The Catholic Bishops’ Conference has reiterated its support for immediate curtailment of dictatorial features in the Constitution by enacting the 19 Amendment to the Constitution. The following is the full text of the statement: "The 19th Amendment to the Constitution is a step in the right direction in the effort of Mother Lanka as it attempts to curtail the unlimited powers of the Executive Presidency and to ensure that democratic structures for Good Governance are established. more..

Court wants CID Report on Sajin's Case probes

Apr 24 (CT) Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya ordered the CID yesterday to expedite investigations into the case against MP Sajin de Vaas Gunawardena who is accused of earning money through improper channels and having purchased houses, lands, vehicles and aircraft using those monies. CID had launched investigations under the Money Laundering Act according to a complaint filed against the parliamentarian by the Convener of the Anti-Corruption Campaign more..

SLFP central committee decides to support 19th amendment

Apr 24 (ENS) President Maithripala Sirisena and the Central Committee of the SLFP torn by serious differences this far, closed ranks on Thursday to face the emerging challenge from former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. In a surprise move, the SLFP’s Central Committee unanimously agreed to support the 19th Amendment to the Sri Lankan constitution, a project close to Sirisena’s heart. Previously, the Central Committee had more..

No plaint of SL Navy hurling petrol bombs

Apr 24 (ENS) The Indian govt did not get any complaint against Sri Lankan navy hurling petrol bombs at Indian fishermen, Minister V K Singh informed the Rajya Sabha. The written reply by the Minister of State was a direct contradiction of reports in media in TN, which quoted police sources as saying that Lankan naval personnel had tossed petrol bombs on fishermen last month. “As per records available with the Govt, no complaint has been received regarding alleged incident of more..

Sirisena defends return of land to minorities

Apr 24 (Hindu) President Maithripala Sirisena on Thursday night defended the new govt’s policy of returning private land, once used by the security forces, to legitimate owners, especially in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, where Tamils and Muslims are present substantially. In his 30-minute-long address to the nation through the electronic media to coincide the completion of 100 days of the govt, Mr Sirisena, said the 30 year conflict (with LTTE) should not raise its head again. more..

Gunning for Gota!

Apr 24 (FT) Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption became the site of dramatic scenes again, when the former Defence Secretary and ex-Presidential sibling Gotabaya Rajapaksa arrived at its offices on Bauddhaloka Mawatha last morning. Waving distorted versions of the National Flag and defying a Court order by Colombo Chief Magistrate banning demonstrations in front of the Commission, more..

Peter Hill to leave SriLankan for Fiji Airways

Apr 24 (DM) Former SriLankan Airlines CEO Peter Hill, who rejoined the national carrier in an advisory capacity this February, will be leaving his position to head Fiji Airways. “Yes, he’s leaving because he was offered this position,” SriLankan Airlines Chairman Ajith Dias said. Hill was the CEO of SriLankan from 1999 during its management by Emirates. However, his work visa was revoked in 2007, when he had refused to let former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and 35 close associates more..

Sri Lankan prisons give unfair privileges to politicians: Eran

Apr 24 (EN) A Sri Lankan deputy minister acknowledged that prisons give special privileges to politicians and other 'distinguished' persons not accorded to ordinary citizens, saying it was unfair and must be changed. "It is unfair," declared deputy minister Eran Wickramaratne. "It will not cost much to improve the conditions in our prisons." He was replying to a question on whether special privileges had been given to former minister Basil Rajapaksa, in the ousted Rajapaksa regime who more..

Swiss expert here to unravel clandestine accounts

Apr 24 (DN) Gretta Fenner, a Swiss expert, has arrived in Sri Lanka to assist the Sri Lankan govt in its investigations into clandestine Swiss bank accounts belonging to Sri Lankans. The Swiss expert has visited the country following a request made by Sri Lankan authorities to the govt of Switzerland. This issue drew the attention of Sri Lankan authorities in February, this year, when a cache of leaked Swiss bank files analysed by more..

Ex-FM's passport further impounded

Apr 24 (CT) Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya, has ordered the Chief Registrar of Court to retain in a secure place in court, the passport of former minister Rohitha Bogollagama. Bogollagama's passport was impounded after a hearing into a bribery case in which he is cited. The Bribery Commission has filed a case against former Minister for allegedly having forced the Director General of the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka to pay a sum of Rs 1,546,641 in addition to more..

Divineguma Additional DG also remanded

Apr 24 (Island) Kaduwela Magistrate yesterday remanded till May 05 Additional Director General of Divi Neguma Bandula Thilakasiri over financial misappropriation alleged to have taken place during his tenure. He was produced before the court by the police Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID). On Wednesday evening, FCID arrested former Minister Basil Rajapaksa over alleged misappropriation of Divineguma funds and the police charged him under the Public Property Act. more..

Dilution of Executive Presidency, electoral reforms before next General Election: Govt

Apr 24 (Island) With the Cabinet of Ministers having approved the proposed electoral reforms, the govt said that both the 19 and 20 Amendments to the Constitution would be enacted before the next General Election. Asked if the 19A and 20A Bills would be presented to Parliament separately or together as demanded by the SLFP, Minister Rajitha Senaratne replied that it did not matter since it was a technical issue. more..

jLanka launches ePro1000 smart meter, a first in Sri Lanka

Apr 24 (DN) jLanka Technologies introduced the ePro1000 smart meter, Sri Lanka's first ever electricity consumption monitoring smart meter in Colombo. CEO Dr. Mayura Jayasoma said the investment for the project will be Rs 65 million with Rs 15 million spent already in research and development in the last 18 months. They intend to be competitors in energy management solutions and had plans to initially expand into Asia markets with their innovative product. more..

'India, Sri Lanka on same frequency in political, economic ambitions'

Apr 24 (Island) India and Sri Lanka are on similar frequency in terms of huge political expectations and preferred economic reform and everyone is hoping that remaining political uncertainties in Sri Lanka will be cleared after the general election, paving the way for lasting good change, Tarun Rai, CEO, J. Walter Thompson (JWT), South Asia said in Colombo. Tarun said so at a media briefing where he discussed JWT’s plans for Sri Lanka and the South Asia region. more..

I will not allow a handful to hinder govt's progressive steps: PM

Apr 24 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said he would not allow a handful of persons to hinder the progressive steps initiated by the govt. The PM observed the people gave a mandate for President Maithripala Sirisena on January 8 to produce the thieves before court, investigate corruption charges and implement the 19th Amendment to Constitution. He said if those in the current Parliament are against these moves, more..

Buddhist flags worth Rs 1 million confiscated

Apr 24 (DN) The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) confiscated 50,000 Buddhist flags worth of Rs. 1 million which did not confirm to standards. They were seized from shops located at People's Park Building Complex in Pettah yesterday. The CAA will raid shops which sell Buddhist flags, Vesak decorations and Atapirikara that fail to conform to standards during the Vesak festival which falls next week. The CAA has received a number of public complaints regarding traders more..

Frittered and frazzled

Apr 24 (Economist) The date should have been one to celebrate: April 23rd was the hundredth day since Maithripala Sirisena formed a government after winning a fraught presidential election, in January, as the head of a broad coalition of parties. The surprising victory was rightly feted as a democratic triumph. It ended nearly ten years of authoritarian, nepotistic rule by Mahinda Rajapaksa, the man who in 2009 inflicted a military defeat on Tamil Tiger rebels. more..