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Vigneswaran hits out at PM’s remarks

Mar 15 (IBN) After PM Narendra Modi's visit to Jaffna, the Chief Minister of Tamil-majority region in Sri Lanka hit out at Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe for his controversial comments on shooting trespassing Indian fishermen. Talking exclusively to CNN-IBN CV Vigneswaran said, "That is not the way for a head of govt to say to a friendly country. As far as the fishermen are concerned, all deep sea trawlers must be sent to Bay of Bengal or the Arabian Sea." more..

Now Lotus Tower in hot water

Mar 15 (DM) The Lotus Tower or Nelum Kuluna will turn out to become the next hot topic with regard to projects initiated by the previous govt with Minister Arjuna Ranatunga vowing to discuss the project with the President and the PM. While on a visit to the Port City Project, the Minister said the tower was being constructed on land owned by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) and that there were no documents to prove more..

Sovereignty and the Port City

Mar 16 (CT) Throughout the world, the owning or holding of and that belongs to another sovereign nation, termed territories held have recently been largely returned. The Panama Canal was returned to Panama in Jan 2000, Hong Kong was returned to China by the UK in 1997, and Portugal returned Macau Island to China in 1999. The notable global exception has been the US base in Cuba. This history is interesting, as it will certainly have a bearing on the historical events that we are more..

Reforms need People not Proxies

Mar 16 (CT) There’s plenty good things told to the local media by this new govt and its ardent fans on a daily basis on Constitutional Reforms, Electoral changes, Right to Information Act and also on Yahapalanaya (good governance). The fad now is to say, “But, there is freedom and a change for the better”. Yes, with Rajapaksas out of power, there certainly is a sense of relief. A carefree feeling blowing around, more in Colombo. There are things happening on reforms, whatever more..

Pascoe Vale cricket club gives Glenroy asylum seeker new hope for future

Mar 16 (HS) Now living in Glenroy, Mr De Silva fled Sri Lanka to escape violence and death threats in 2012, and has donned Pascoe Vale United Cricket Club’s cap, finding acceptance and purpose. “I love cricket,” he said. “It gives me something meaningful and worthwhile to do.” It is a far cry from his native Sri Lanka, where 20-year-old Mr De Silva said he feared for his life, with his family encountering violent attacks and threats from more..

Treasury bonds controversy taints good governance

Mar 16 (NS) The Maithripala-Ranil govt of cohabitation came into office just over two months on a slogan of good governance or yahapaalanaya. They promised a political culture free of corruption and abuse of power. Now, that pledge is facing its first real test.Embroiled in the controversy is Central Bank Governor, Arjuna Mahendran. It is claimed that a firm linked to the Governor’s son-in-law benefited from the sale of 30-year Treasury bonds through insider information. more..

Shoot first, ask later: Lanka trigger happy in Palk Strait

Mar 16 (ST) What on earth could possibly have made the normally unflappable, suave PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to blow his lid and tell a Tamil Nadu television station last week that the Lankan Navy will shoot Indian fishermen who enter Lanka’s territorial waters in the Palk Strait? Especially when the Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was in town, engaged in delicate reconciliation talks with the Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera on how best to rebuild the bridges between more..

Prove if JVP accepted Rs 2.5 M: Anura Kumara challenges Wijeyadasa

Mar 16 (CT) Leader of the JVP, Anura Kumara Dissanayake, says Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe discloses his political bankruptcy by saying he gave the JVP Rs 2.5 million for the 2010 presidential election campaign. "Our election campaigns are assisted by various groups. We discuss among the party members and decide if we were to accept special offers. We have a rule that there must be at least two members of more..

A constitutional curate’s egg

Mar 16 (ST) Some weeks ago, this column likened the performance of the Sirisena Presidency and the Wickremesinghe Government to the proverbial curate’s egg in the colloquial meaning of that term; good in some parts but demonstrably less so in others. But fifty days into what should have been the euphoric honeymoon phase, its yahapalanaya image has increasingly suffered over new financial scandals, particularly in relation to a highly controversial allegation of profit-making more..

Potshots leave govt in knots!

Mar 16 (NS) Poor Rajitha Senarate, the dentist turned politician, seems to be projecting himself as a toothless Cabinet spokesman. It seems that he keeps consistently jumping the gun without official sanction and getting his sarong in a twist every time he expresses the administration’s decisions. Clearly Senaratne is not the sharpest knife in the kitchen drawer as choice of Cabinet spokesman. Even so, shouldn’t he get his facts correct before he spews out all kinds of unsubstantiated hearsay? more..

Aiyooammaah! The cruel fate of Meeriyabadda

Mar 16 (CT) It was another ordinary Wednesday for Sinnaiah Mazin as he walked to school and joined his friends who were going out of their classroom to line-up in the school ground to attend morning assembly. But it did not take long for Mazin to realize that the rest of the day would not be normal as he and his friends heard a thundering noise in the background. "We were all in the playground and our principal took the mic more..

Electronically maintained data system vital for Govt Medical Services

Mar 16 (Island) Dr Jeong-Wook Seo, Professor of Pathology at the Seoul National University College of Medicine, South Korea, specializing in the pathology of congenital and adult heart diseases, was in Sri Lanka to participate as the keynote speaker in the 22nd Annual Scientific Sessions & International Conference of The College of Medical Administrators of Sri Lanka. He is also the Director of the WHO Collaborating Center for Health Information and Library Services and more..

Editorial: Modi’s clarion call

Mar 16 (Island) Indian PM Narendra Modi has returned home after a successful overseas tour, of which the Sri Lanka leg had been very well planned. It was a diplomatic masterstroke. He paid a floral tribute to the statue of Anagarika Dharmapala at Mahabodhi Viharaya, Colombo, visited Anuradhapura and offered alms to the Buddhist monks before getting down to business. PM Modi, making a speech couched in very diplomatic terms on Friday, made his position very clear on more..

'I will respond to critics'

Mar 16 (CT) Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran coming down hard on his critics, said that he will respond to all the allegations that have been made against him regarding the Rs 15 billion Treasury Bond issue when he returns to Sri Lanka from his overseas visits. "I will respond to all these allegations after I return to Sri Lanka from the United States and other countries, where I was present at investor fora," he told Ceylon FT. more..

Modi’s visit to Sri Lanka

Mar 16 (Hindu) As he inaugurated the reconstructed Northern Province railway line during his two-day, four-city visit to Sri Lanka, PM Narendra Modi signalled in more ways than one that he would like to flag off a new start to India-Sri Lanka ties, that could put them on track to the golden chapter that he had promised earlier. Mr. Modi has done well to focus on strengthening India’s historical links with Sri Lanka, invoking the ancient ethnic, linguistic and religious ties that bind them. more..

Soggy end to 136th Battle of the Blues

Mar 16 (Island) Thomian dominance continued to the final day and rain played spoil sport for a second consecutive day as the 136th Battle of the Blues ended in a tame draw at a waterlogged SSC Ground in Colombo on Saturday. Royal were 19 for one wicket in the second innings, still trailing by 52 runs at lunch, when rain interrupted proceedings. No play was possible after lunch due to rain and the match was called off at 3 p.m. Thomians dominated morning’s proceedings when more..

Apparel exports at hair's breadth of US$5B

Mar 16 (CT) Apparels, Sri Lanka's topmost merchandize export earner, had arrived very close to the US$5 billion mark in 2014, and Lanka's prospects on the crucial European GSP Plus facility looks brighter, as revealed on 12 March in Colombo. "We are now almost ready to achieve the US$ 5 billion export milestone in our apparels. Our apparel exports in 2014 totalled US$ 4.9 billion. more..

After 1996, this is best team: Gurusinghe

Mar 16 (CT) Asanka Gurusinghe, who was a member of the World Cup winning cricket team of 1996, said the way the Sri Lankan cricket team is performing currently is reminiscent of themselves in 1996. He also said that the present team is the best after the team we fielded in 1996. Gurusinghe, a top left hander, went on to say the SL side that played against Scotland on 11th proved beyond doubt it is the best team that has been selected, and with the entry of Rangana Herath, more..

Sri Lanka’s IT market spending to grow over 15% next five years

Mar 16 (FT) A leader in market analysis expects the Sri Lanka’s Information Technology market to grow over 15% in the next five years. London-based Business Monitor International (BMI) forecasts a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 15. 4 % for Sri Lanka IT market spending 2015-2019 with the market expected to increase to a value of Rs. 188.8 billion in 2019. SL Information Technology Report Q2 2015 says the expected growth is underpinned by the strong economic growth more..

Hakeem assures solutions for Slave Island residents

Mar 16 (CT) Minister Rauff Hakeem has assured officials that he will get Cabinet approval for the settlement of issues, which have arisen for the residents of Slave Island, in a project which has to be completed in collaboration with India's Fortune 500 giant – the Tata Group. The minister also assured that a meeting with officials last week that he will appoint a special committee to solve the problems within a 60 day timeframe. more..

99X Technology wins gold at HRM Awards

Mar 16 (CT) 99X Technology was placed among some of Sri Lanka's most celebrated corporate entities when it was named a Gold Winner at the HRM Awards 2014, in recognition of the innovative and cutting-edge human resource practices adopted in its day-to-day operations. Although a newcomer to the HRM Awards, 99X Technology has been acknowledged by various local and international organisations time and time again, as a pioneer in creating employee-centric workplaces with more..

Reservoirs 90% full

Mar 16 (Island) Reservoirs are almost brimful, according to Water Management Director of the Irrigation Department Janaki Meegastenna. She said that water levels of 73 major reservoirs and 160 central reservoirs had reached their maximum capacity indicating that there would be enough water for the forthcoming Yala season. She said that heavy rains received in the catchment areas of the Senanayake Samudraya had resulted in the water level rising up to 760,000 acre feet. more..

World Cup 2015: Top teams gear up for knockouts

Mar 16 (PTI) With top teams making the quarterfinal line-up, the knockout stage will begin when South Africa take on 1996 champions Sri Lanka on Wednesday at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Sri Lanka, who have had an excellent run in the final few matches of the league stage, ended third in pool A with opener Kumar Sangakkara leading the run-scorers chart after hitting a record four consecutive ODI hundreds - a first in the 50-over format. more..

Suncity Developers unveils Rs 250 m Moratuwa project

Mar 16 (DN) Suncity Developers unveiled the latest addition to their extensive portfolio of apartment complexes by introducing a modern building in Moratuwa. The apartment complex is located in Watson Peiris Mawatha, 300 meters from Galle Road. The building will house 20 apartments over five floors, with modern facilities and conveniences. "We have invested Rs. 250 million for this building in Moratuwa and we have another project to be started very shortly in the Colombo city. more..

Sri Lanka to make further inroads into Russian tourism market

Mar 16 (CT) Sri Lanka will continue to make further inroads into the Russian tourism market, when it will have a presence at the 22nd Moscow International Travel and Tourism (MITT) Exhibition billed to kick off on Wednesday and will continue till Saturday. There will be eleven Sri Lankan companies which will be represented at this travel exhibition which will aim to maintain the same numbers of Russian arrivals of 2014 in the short term, but, we are hoping to buttress the relationships more..

For Sri Lanka’s eiite, high school Cricket match is more than a game

Mar 16 (WSJ) The new PM here is racing to carry out an ambitious 100-day plan to overhaul the constitution and reinvigorate the economy as he girds for elections likely within the next few months. But on Saturday, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe took a break from affairs of state—to watch a high-school cricket match. It isn’t just any game. Known as the Battle of the Blues, it has been played annually for 136 years more..

Marching orders for 12 District Secretaries

Mar 16 (Island) The govt has transferred 12 District Secretaries with immediate effect. Secretaries of the districts of Gampaha, Badulla, Polonnaruwa, Matale, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Anuradhapura, Kegalle, Ampara, Jaffna, Kilinochchi and Mulaitivu have been transferred, Secretary to the Ministry of Home Affairs S.D.A.B. Boralessa said. The transfers had been effected with the approval of the Cabinet of ministers; he said, adding that among those who received transfer orders were more..

COSMOS gets six months licence extension

Mar 16 (ST) COSMOS Aviation would be granted a licence extension for a period of six months in the wake of a Supreme Court (SC) directive for the regulator to arrive at a compromise fomula with the flying school operator. COSMOS Aviation had complained to the SC about two weeks back saying its fundamental rights has been violated. As a result the SC directed the regulator, Airport and Aviation Services Ltd to allow a temporary arrangement for COSMOS Aviation to continue more..

Rajitha’s son accused of abducting underaged girl

Mar 16 (Island) A 17-year-old Dinithe Ranasinghe, daughter of businessman Gamini Ranasinghe of Kirulapana was abducted on Feb 24, 2014 while she was returning home after school and her whereabouts had not been known since then. Father of the victim, Gamini Ranasinghe, blamed Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne’s second son Eksath for the disappearance. He said Minister and his family had been intimate friends more..

Sri Lanka to host South Asian Investment Conference in April

Mar 16 (FT) The South Asian Federation of Exchanges (SAFE) in collaboration with the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) announced that Sri Lanka will be hosting the South Asian Investment Conference on 27 April. Aimed at promoting investment in South Asian markets – a region which recorded 6.7% average growth between 2000 and 2012 according to World Bank data – the conference will focus on improvement of cross-border capital market linkages, cultivation of a favourable more..

PM’s reply on bond issue tomorrow

Mar 16 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is scheduled to make a reply on the controversial Treasury bond issue in Parliament tomorrow. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake is to raise a question under Standing Order 23 (2) with regard to the recent allegations on the controversial sale of Rs. 10 billion worth of Treasury bonds at the auction held on February 27. The PM as the Policy Planning and Economic Affairs Minister is to reply to the statement by MP Dissanayake. more..

Reforms rift!

Mar 16 (FT) The Govt yesterday managed to secure consensus on the Constitutional amendments but decided to meet again tomorrow to agree on electoral reforms amidst mixed views over whether the two must seek Parliamentary passage in one go or separately. At yesterday’s special Cabinet meeting, the rainbow coalition Govt agreed on far-reaching reforms to the Constitution and decided to dispatch draft bill to the AG to seek approval. more..

CB Governor to lie low

Mar 16 (DN) Central Bank Governor Arjun Mahendran is likely to temporarily distance himself from the operations of the bank until the conclusion of the investigation conducted by the three member probe committee, a Central Bank senior official said. He added that there was a possibility of Mahendran going on leave until the end of the investigation. Three member committee appointed by the PM to look into the issue, will present its report during the first week of April, highly placed source said. more..

Ex-Navy man arrested over abductions

Mar 16 (CT) A former high ranking Navy official was arrested yesterday by the CID on the suspicion of abducting four youths. The CID is hoping to obtain detention orders to hold the suspect for interrogations. The suspect was allegedly involved in the disappearance of four youths which occurred between 2008 and 2009. Recently the CID questioned the former Navy Spokesperson Captain D.K.P. Dassanayake, for his involvement in the supervision of a special unit who had more..

'Calls for international war crimes probe insulting'

Mar 16 (IBT) Sri Lanka is united against an international investigation into alleged war crimes during its 26-year-long civil war, according to its former president, Chandrika Kumaratunga. Kumaratunga, who served as president of Sri Lanka from 1994-2005, said that both the Sri Lankan people and its politicians found the calls for a UN-led international investigation insulting by implying that the country could not carry out its own. more..

'Hope Sri Lanka will understand Modi's advice on 13th amendment'

Mar 16 (PTI) Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said he was hopeful the new Sri Lankan govt will act upon the advice given by PM Narendra Modi on implementation of the 13th Amendment and move forward with it to find a solution to the problems of Sri Lankan Tamils. "PM Narendra Modi has said that we must move forward to implement the 13th Amendment on devolution of powers to Tamils which was agreed upon between the India-SL pact in 1987 under former PM Rajiv Gandhi. more..

JVP and JHU at loggerheads over electoral reforms

Mar 16 (CT) The JVP and the JHU, members in the National Executive Council (NEC) had reached an impasse with divergent opinions being expressed on electoral reforms. The JHU has called for a mixed system involving the first-past-the-post and the proportional representation system, while the JVP had claimed that the proportional representation system was the best one, NEC sources said. The JVP however added that the preferential vote system was a bad one, the sources added. more..

‘Mahendran case can be cracked without skills of Sherlock Holmes’

Mar 16 (Island) Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva warned that the national economy would suffer a staggering loss of approximately Rs. 9 billion unless the govt cancelled the controversial Treasury bond issue involving Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran and his son-in-law Arjun Aloysius. Taking tangible measures to avoid Rs.9 bn loss would be as important as punishing those who had been involved in the fraud, more..

Crisis with China: Who is the criminal?

Mar 16 (DM) In the afterglow of a cordial and highly productive visit by India’s charismatic PM Narendra Modi, SL’s new leaders and international affairs experts need to focus attention on the evolving crisis with China on the controversial Colombo port city and other multi-billion dollar projects. Last week, amid confusion and uncertainty, the Cabinet decided to suspend the highly explosive Colombo port city project until the hastily-signed agreement is renegotiated with China’s leaders. more..

Let India catch all our fish and bring investment

Mar 16 (DM) Indian PM Narendra Modi was here on a landmark three-day visit; the first visit to Sri Lanka by an Indian leader in three decades. His Sri Lankan counterpart could well have upset the apple cart with his imprudent remarks, when he tried to justify the shooting of Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy. That the Indian policy elite, in particular, and the average Indians, in general, (save a rabble rousing minority in TN) have due to a soft corner for SL prevented a calamity from happening. more..