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Sri Lanka gets set to prosecute former regime members

Dec 29 (EN) SL’s law enforcement authorities are close to instituting legal proceedings against ousted president Rajapaksa and members of his regime. Minister Rajitha Senaratne said enough evidence had been uncovered to hold trials against former regime members facing human rights abuse and corruption charges. Independent investigations were made possible as the new govt formed after January 2015 presidential poll more..

Importance of environment in good governance – A way forward

Dec 30 (CT) Constitution of tSri Lanka clearly states the role of the govt in relation to environment. Article 27 (14) states that, the State shall protect, preserve and improve the environment for the benefit of the community. Article 28 (f) also states that, it is the duty of every person in Sri Lanka to protect nature and conserve its riches. Hence it is obvious that the govt is bound by the Constitution to protect, preserve and improve environment of the country. That's why it's important in good governance more..

Eleven years after Tsunami; Muslims still live in makeshift huts

Dec 30 (CT) The anniversary of the ferocious and frenzied tsunami waves, observed on Dec 26, provides an opportunity for some soul searching -of our conscience, moral principles and religious values. Tsunami waves which snatched away thousands of lives in the most devastating natural disaster ever to strike the island, dismembered thousands of families, wiped out communities, razed down buildings, swallowed villages, cities and left behind an unprecedented trail of destruction. more..

GMOA sticks to its guns

Dec 30 (CT) Last week, the GMOA threatened to launch a countrywide trade union action in the first week of January 2016 over several issues. The issues include unfavourable proposals contained in Budget 2016, the decision to provide clinical practices in govt hospitals to students of South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) and the proposed Indo-Sri Lanka Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA). more..

Solidarity actions and struggles for justice

Dec 30 (GV) On 28th Dec 2015, the Nuwara Eliya High Court delivered a historic judgment: two men were each sentenced to 23 years rigorous imprisonment and ordered to pay Rs. 200,000 in compensation after being convicted for the abduction and rape of Rita, a 17 year old Tamil girl from Talawakele in the hill country, on 12th Aug 2001. It was a happy moment for Rita and those of us who were in courts with her. It was a victory for exceptional courage & determination of Rita more..

In a Nutshell

Dec 30 (SL) A slip of the tongue they say is no slip of the brain. Or is it? The Lord of the Colombo City had to learn the hard way the truth about a slip of the tongue. Moo-sa was to deliver a short speech at a recent event attended by My-three. Addressing the gathering, Moo-sa addressed the new Prez with the name of his predecessor. Realizing the mistake, Moo-sa, who initially had a speech prepared for a few minutes had to lengthen his speech for over half an hour to sing praise of My-three to more..

'We need a Federal Constitution'

Dec 30 (CT) Former TNA MP and EPRLF Leader Suresh Premachandran said it is Leader Sampanthan and member Sumanthiran who have broke away from the policies of the coalition TNA, and not Northern Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran. "Sampanthan and Sumanthiran are going against the basic policies of the TNA. They have broken away from the policies. It is not correct to say that CM is against the party," he said. more..

Ensure win-win situation or stay away from ETCA

Dec 30 (CT) Day before yesterday, Minister Malik Samarawickrama had said that Sri Lanka is to sign Economic & Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) with India in May. According to him the final draft of the agreement would be prepared by Feb and only ship building and information technology service providers would be allowed to work in SL as per the agreement. ETCA was not the initial plan of govt. Plan was to sign Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) more..

The force slumbers: In local political theatres last year

Dec 30 (FT) I have a bad feeling about this. Essaying any form of evaluation or assessment of Good Governance’s first year in office (or power, if you are in that mood) is bound to come a-cropper. Too cynical, and the powers that be could be inclined to crucify you. Too sentimental, and one’s reading public should do well to sniff in disdain and turn to other more critically engaged and less charitable pages. Too middle of the road (mediocre, balanced.) – and I wouldn’t be able to sleep more..

360 with Nishantha Ranatunga

Why Mahinda worried about Prageeth, Lasantha murder investigations

Dec 30 (CT) Today this column records the true story of Mahinda Rajapaksa's recent photograph released to the Facebook by his son Namal in which Mahinda was seen standing on his head. Namal uploaded this photograph to show that his 70-year-old father was still fit as a fiddle. On the contrary, the common man in society viewed it in a more practical social and political perspective because it was only a few days before this photograph went viral on the social and print media, more..

A one-day service

Dec 30 (FT) However much we may dislike interactions with the bureaucracy of the State, it is something we cannot avoid completely. There is no escape when it comes to things like licensing, issuing of permits, obtaining travel documents and numerous other authorisations which function is completely with the State, directly or indirectly. We also turn to it for services which form a core area of our so-called welfare State; attempting to provide us with basic needs like health, education and more..

Budget 2016: From promise to compromise

Dec 30 (SO) Third Reading of Budget 2016 was passed after 16 of its revenue proposals were amended in compliance with the call made by Opposition political parties and trade unions. This would go down in the annals of the country as the first time a govt had bowed to the wishes of the people signaling its strong affinity and commitment towards upholding democratic norms. Winding up of the Third Reading of the Budget debate, more..

Remembering Dr. E.W. Adikaram II

Dec 30 (Island) It would be a mistake to think that Dr A had retired from active life to be simply engaged in a process of passive self-study. Though his personal habits and tastes were undoubtedly austere, his mind was seething with curiosity and full of varied interests. The lasting influence on his life was the Buddha and he refused to associate the Buddha with ‘renunciation’. In his introduction to The Adventure and Struggle of the Buddha, a little book he wrote in 1947, he says: more..

Taking a deep look into the SL Test tango

Dec 30 (ST) You can use any number of hackneyed clichés! One may say The lads were thrown in at the deep end or say It was an acid test — yes, that was all reality. The young Lankans were tested in real terms and their plight could be explained with the clichés at hand, and they did lose the Test series, but in real cricketing terms it was not a defeat perse. Prior to the series, there was scepticism on the abilities of the greenhorns who were to be tested against one of the toughest Test-playing more..

Seeking the place my father once called home

Dec 30 (G&M) As Dakshana Bascaramurty was growing up in Canada, her father would reveal almost nothing about his past life in rural Sri Lanka. So when fate took her to the island country, she knew she had to search for the place he left behind. My father never read to me when I was a kid, but could sometimes be persuaded to tell a bedtime story from memory, drawn from a stock of SL-ified versions of more..

Australia extends support to Sri Lanka’s fisheries industry

Dec 30 (FT) Australia has agreed to support development and maintenance of Sri Lanka’s fisheries industry on a sound footing. An Australian trade delegation headed by Australian Trade Commissioner Grayson Perry recently held a meeting with the Minster Mahinda Amaraweera in Colombo. At the discussion, the Australian Trade Commissioner has agreed to extend support to provide the necessary knowledge and training, on the methods and ways followed by Australia, more..

Colts, NCC in final showdown

Dec 30 (CT) Defending champions Colts CC will meet NCC in the AIA Premier Inter-Club Limited Overs Cricket Tournament final at the R. Premadasa Stadium today. Colts CC will be led by Ishan Jayarathne and NCC will be led by Farveez Maharoof. Sri Lanka youth player Hashan Dumindu is the leading run-getter for Colts CC. He has scored 125 runs (average 41.66) in four innings with two half centuries. Another youth player Sandun Weerakkody is leading run-getter for NCC. more..

'Sri Lanka should consider IMF support'

Dec 30 (FT) Former Central Bank Deputy Governor W.A. Wijewardena yesterday opined that Sri Lanka should go for IMF support to avoid Balance of Payment (BoP) crisis situation. By end September the country’s BOP was estimated to have recorded an overall deficit of $2.3 billion during the first three quarters of 2015 in comparison to a surplus of $2 billion recorded a year earlier. “Given the tight liquidity in capital markets, more..

CA Sri Lanka to conduct leadership programme for top finance professionals

Dec 30 (DM) Business School of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka), together with the internationally renowned Euromoney Training will conduct a proactive financial leadership programme exclusively for the country’s high profile finance professionals in March 2016. The Game of a CFO, a two-day intensive programme will help Chief Financial Officers, aspiring CFOs, Finance Directors, Financial Controllers and Executive Board Directors more..

A forgotten UN - LTTE accord during CBK's presidency

Dec 30 (Island) A commemorative, event held at Sri Lanka’s Permanent Mission, in New York, on Dec 14, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the then Ceylon’s entry into the United Nations, was reminded of sometimes strained relations between Sri Lanka and the global body with special emphasis on the situation, during Mahinda Rajapaksa’s presidency. Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative, in New York, Dr. Amrith Rohan Perera, PC told the gathering: "As in other relationships, more..

Chandimal to stand in for injured Malinga

Dec 30 (CI) Sri Lanka will be without Lasith Malinga, their designated T20 captain, for the two-match series that culminates their NZ tour in January. Dinesh Chandimal, who led Sri Lanka in the format till Malinga took charge in 2014, has been named the stand-in captain. Opening batsman Danushka Gunathilaka and pacer Suranga Lakmal, who are part of the current ODI squad in NZ, have been named as replacements ahead of T20 series more..

Punjab wants to benefit from expertise of SL

Dec 30 (PO) A high level Sri Lankan delegation led by Minister for Public Administration & Management Ranjith Madduma Bandara met Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, here. Matters of mutual interest, bilateral relations and promotion of cooperation in agriculture, education, health, tourism, skill development and public administration were discussed in the meeting. The Sri Lankan delegation expressed keen interest in investment in small hydel projects in Punjab. more..

Central Bank seen raising rates by 25 bps

Dec 30 (Reuters) Central bank is expected to raise interest rates by 25 basis points from record lows at its policy meeting on Wednesday, a Reuters poll found, a move that could relieve pressure on the fragile rupee. Rupee closed at a record low of 143.95/144.05 per dollar on Tuesday, hit by dollar demand from importers. Six out of 11 economists surveyed expected the Central Bank of Sri Lanka to raise the standing deposit facility rate (SDFR) and the standing lending facility rate (SLFR) by more..

'Report of B sample awaited before next step'

Dec 30 (DN) Ravi de Silva, manager of SLC Kusal Perera said that they were awaiting the conclusive report of the 'B' sample from the ICC Anti-Doping Committee before taking the next step towards clearing the Lankan cricketer's name and making him eligible to play. Perera who underwent a random test during the SL-WI series in Oct-Nov had his A and B urine sample reports positive which led to him being automatically being suspended more..

Germany donates applied bio-systems machine to Peradeniya Uni

Dec 30 (FT) German Ambassador Dr. Jüergen Morhard recently handed over gene research equipment to Peradeniya University’s Department of Animal Science Professor, Missaka Wijayagunwardane. The high-tech gene research machine was donated by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany to further research in the area of identifying different genes and their expression. The handing over of the QST 7500 Real-Time PCR Machine together with more..

India-based green energy firm gets green light for bamboo venture in Vavuniya

Dec 30 (ST) Sustainable Green Energy (Pvt) Ltd, a Sri Lankan company headed by an Indian entrepreneur, has received the green-light from the govt to launch its ambitious industrial venture of going green with a bamboo cultivation project in the North. The company has already started a massive bamboo cultivation and Dendro power project with an investment of US$20 million in a 2000-acre land in Nedunkulam, Vavuniya. The project components include policy framework, more..

Another Army officer arrested

Dec 30 (DN) CID recently arrested another Army Officer attached to the State Intelligence Service in connection with the abduction and murder of journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda. CID sources said he is a member of the gang who abducted Eknaligoda in 2010. According to sources Abeyratne was a Sergeant during the period when Eknaligoda was abducted and later promoted to the Lieutenant rank. more..

Cyber crime on the rise: IGP

Dec 30 (DN) IGP N K Illangakoon said the number of cyber crime offences in Sri Lanka was increasing day by day. Offences such as computer hacking is an indicator that criminals are now evolving in line with modern technology, while in modern society, the greatest threat had come from cyber crime. Now it has become a challenge to the police, he explained. "The police are now more occupied with modern technology, which has become a very important item in the police service. more..

Former Eastern University VC files FR

Dec 30 (DN) Former Vice Chancellor of the Eastern University in Chenkalady filed a Fundamental Rights petition in the Supreme Court seeking an interim order preventing the authorities including the University Council from taking any steps towards making an appointment to the post of the Vice Chancellor. The petitioner Dr. K. Kobindarajah stated that he is a dual citizen of Sri Lanka and Canada and served as the Vice Chancellor of the Eastern University. The petitioner stated that more..

SL to field 484 athletes in 23 disciplines

Dec 30 (DN) Sri Lanka will be one of three countries who will participate in all 23 disciples at the 12th South Asian Games which will be hosted by India from Feb 5 to 16 2016. It is expected to be the biggest sporting extravaganza ever in the North East of India and the first ever gender equal South Asian Games with men and women participation in all the sports. Sri Lanka would send a total of 484 athletes to participate in the 23 events more..

Namal makes strange move after judge hearing Thajudeen's case received extension

Dec 30 (AM) Just minutes after the Judicial Services Commission decided to delay the transfer of the Colombo Additional Magistrate hearing Wasim Thaudeen's case, MP Namal Rajapaksa posted a picture of his brother Yoshitha Rajapaksa on his official Facebook page, dubbing his brother as an officer who rendered great service to the country. "Couldn’t be more proud to have a brother serving our country in the SL Navy," Rajapaksa said, while posting photograph on his Facebook page. more..

Pakistan women entrepreneurs to explore Sri Lankan market

Dec 30 (DT) In an effort to encourage and help the women of Pakistan, the Trade and Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) is taking a single country exhibition to Sri Lanka on Jan 15, 2016 where a large number of stalls have already been sold to women entrepreneurs, Daily Times learnt. These women would explore Sri Lanka's new and potentially high market. Pakistan has a free trade agreement with Sri Lanka and has the potential to increase bilateral trade exponentially. more..

Rs50 bln in bonds likely privately placed by Central Bank

Dec 30 (LBO) Central Bank may have privately placed 50 billion rupees in bonds with state funds this month making an exception to its policy to rely solely on primary auctions. Central bank issued 744 billion rupees in treasury bonds through auctions this year compared with just 31.7 billion rupees worth of bonds last year changing a policy to directly place a majority of treasury bonds with captive sources such as pension funds. more..

Sri Lanka needs holistic trade and investment liberalization: Razeen Sally

Dec 30 (EN) Sri Lanka needs a holistic trade and investment liberalization law to take the country forward instead of ad hoc liberalizations which can bring new distortions and a push-back from lobbies, a top international economist said. Boosting exports and international trade has now become part of the policy discussions in the country, which was a welcome reversal from the denial seen during the last regime, Razeen Sally a top international economist, who was recently appointed more..

Abduction case: 2 more suspects surrender

Dec 30 (DM) Two more suspects, wanted by the police, in connection with the abduction of a drapery store employee in Dematagoda last week, surrendered to the Colombo Crime Division this evening and were placed under arrest. The victim had been taken away in a Land Rover Defender belonging to MP Hirunika Premachandra, The suspects had been sought by police following investigations into the case. The two suspects were not shown in the CCTV footage more..

'Action soon against saboteurs'

Dec 30 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena and the leaders of the political parties in the ruling alliance had decided to take firm action against those who were planning to sabotage the Govt’s plans to even go beyond Yahapalanaya (Good Governance) policies. Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said those who were trying to topple the govt would be countered effectively in the future. “Various political parties and groups who are allies of the govt met more..

Political dinosaurs please step out

Dec 30 (DM) As we move into 2016, we need to think positively, count our blessings one by one, be thankful and grateful for what happened or did not happen. High on the list would be the people’s silent revolution of January 8 – a historic turning point that would be remembered and analyzed for decades or generations. The common candidate Maithripala Sirisena who assumed duties on Jan 9 reiterated last Sunday that he was the chief public servant of the people and he believed that more..

SLFP on brink of destruction

Dec 30 (DM) SLFP is on a path of self-destruction ably assisted unwittingly by its hierarchy. Those at the helm are the ones who are taking the party to oblivion notwithstanding holding the prime positions of Presidency and partner of a National Govt and holds peak positions in the Cabinet. A tragi-comedy is unfolding? Alas, they all survive under the shade tree of the UNP irrespective of the distance artificially woven. That is the flaw in the fragility. SLFP is no more deeply rooted to nationalism more..

'Megapolis objective is to make Colombo and the WP investor friendly'

Dec 30 (DM) Many questions have been asked by people after the new govt took over the country’s reins. Will the new govt carry out development work? Last govt did some work albeit amidst allegations of corruption. New govt talks of good governance and a non-corrupt society, but will it practise what it preaches? Will the ministers refrain from demanding commissions from project contractors? UNP which takes prominence in more..