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‘It is the speed of rupee depreciation or appreciation against the dollar that matters’

Feb 23 (Island) US dollar depreciation/appreciation against the rupee is nether a barometer to determine the strength of the economy nor the strength of the currency/rupee. The most important matter is to look at how and at what speed the rupee depreciated or appreciated against the dollar, top economist said. "Currently, the US dollar has touched Rs 153.44 but this is not a parameter to determine the strength of the economy or the currency. When one looks at a developed economy like South Korea, more..

The Oculus channels the Sri Lankan landscape through its form

Feb 23 (WP) Rising up from the flat grasslands of Jaffna, Sri Lanka, the Oculus, designed by architecture firm Palinda Kannangara, is a residence for staff and visitors at the Jaffna wind power farm. Commissioned by Windforce, the Oculus sits at the first point of the axis which extends across the landscape to the wind farm hosting 16 wind power turbines, and the main monitoring station building, where the wind farm is controlled from. Oculus is named after the circular opening carved out more..

JVP wants to know probe details on SAITM CEO shooting

Feb 23 (DN) JVP demanded to know the revelations of the investigations into the shooting incident against the SAITM CEO. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake making a special statement in Parliament said that there were reports of contradictory evidence and witness accounts leading to many doubts on the incident of CEO of SAITM coming under gun fire on Feb 6. Minister Lakshman Kiriella said that Minister Sagala Rathnayake more..

China's New Silk Road is derailed in Sri Lanka by political chaos and violent protests

Feb 23 (Forbes) It was supposed to be a great new catalyst of transportation, manufacturing, and trade that would be used to stimulate growth in remote Hambantota district. The dream was for Sri Lanka, China, and other nations to join together in the building of a new international city that would rise up from the southern jungles that could complement booming Colombo, a 250 kilometer driver to the northwest. Instead, Sri Lanka found itself with an array of cash-hemorrhaging, more..

New trial date set for accused human smuggler after jury unable to reach verdict

Feb 23 (VS) A new trial date has been set for a Sri Lankan man accused of smuggling hundreds of Tamil migrants to Canada aboard a decrepit cargo ship. Kunarobinson Christhurajah will face trial again in B.C. Supreme Court starting in May, three months after a jury failed to reach a verdict in his case. He was charged alongside another Sri Lankan and two Canadians of masterminding the voyage of the MV Sun Sea, which carried 492 asylum seekers to British Columbia’s coast in summer of 2010. more..

TNA promises maximum cooperation for constitutional reforms

Feb 23 (Island) TNA promising that they would extend the maximum co-operation for the constitution making processes demanded that those processes should "be taken forward in a genuine and purposeful manner, so as to ensure permanent peace with justice and equality to all citizens." Leader of the Opposition R. Sampanthan moving a motion for the debatesaid: "It is fundamental that all extend their cooperation more..

Cabinet approves $ 75 m WB loan to upgrade financial sector

Feb 23 (FT) Cabinet approved a $ 75 million loan from the International Development Association (lDA) of the World Bank to fund a financial sector modernisation project. Cabinet paper presented by PM was given approval, allowing the implementation of the Financial Sector Modernisation Project, which will run from 2017-2022 and is based on a study done by the World Bank in 2015 on the request of the Govt. The project development objective is to contribute to increasing financial market more..

Thonda calls for review of collective agreement

Feb 23 (DN) The collective agreement that was signed between the estate workers trade unions and the estate owners has to be reviewed, Ceylon Workers’ Congress Leader MP Arumugam Thondaman said. “The joint agreement has to be reviewed as the estate owners have failed to adhere to the terms and conditions of the agreement,” he said. Addressing the media, MP Thondman said that the estate workers do not receive the guaranteed wage according to the new agreement. more..

NFF declares its independence from UPFA

Feb 23 (Island) NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa requested from Speaker in parliament to accept five NFF MPs including him as an independent group since they have severed all their connections with the UPFA. Speaker said that he would refer the matter to the party leaders’ meeting scheduled for today and will inform the outcome to the House. MP made his request soon after House commenced sittings yesterday. more..

'PTA used to hunt down intelligence officers'

Feb 23 (DM) Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) is being used only to hunt down army intelligent officers whereas legal actions against suspected terrorists are being taken under the general law, joint opposition (JO) said. Prof. G.L. Peiris said the five suspects who were arrested in connection with an assassination attempt of an MP should have been arrested under the PTA. “Since these suspects had not been arrested under the PTA, there are obstacles to keep them in detain and more..

Bond Scam findings sent to Commission

Feb 23 (CT) JVP politburo member Wasantha Samarasinghe says all reports placed before the country related to the alleged CB Bond scam have been submitted to Presidential Commission of Inquiry into CB Bond Issues. He said a special request has been sent to the Secretary to the Commission seeking an opportunity for him to offer verbal evidence pertaining to the alleged scam. He added that 250-page report, including the alleged involvement of former CB Governor, more..

Unaware black money is laundered via bonds

Feb 23 (CT) Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy, Governor of CB, giving evidence before the Presidential Commission to investigate and inquire into the issuance of Treasury Bonds, said it is difficult to say whether money laundering took place during the sale of bonds. Coomaraswamy was replying to a question put to him by the Commission comprising Dappula de Livera (Senior Additional Solicitor General), Yasantha Kodagoda more..

Golden opportunity for Student Movement to fight ragging

Feb 23 (DM) Youth, across continents and throughout history, more than any other segment of the population, believe that change and in particular systemic change is not only desirable but possible. They have the idealism, the energy and the belief in quantities that others just cannot muster. This is why it is often said that youth are the agents of change. Youth make up the numbers in any revolutionary movement that dedicates itself to overthrowing dictatorships or hierarchical systems more..

Sinhala & Tamil traces in an Island’s history

Feb 23 (DM) Any discussion on claims which contain words such as traditional or historical can make sense only if assertions are backed by facts and not by myths. They should be buttressed by a corpus of evidence that are coherent and wholesome, and are not marked by the errors of selectivity. In an article where he sets himself the task of refuting an allegation that ‘the claim of traditional/historical homelands (of Tamils) is a load of balderdash, unsupported by any kind of more..

Justice denied to survivors of the Kumarapuram massacre of ‘96

Feb 23 (SL) Shoot me but, please don’t kill my children,” pleaded Kanthappoody Kamaladevi with her arms outstretched over her head, just before she was shot dead outside her home in Kumarapuram, Killiveddy, by SL Army. Feb 11th 2017, marks the 21st year commemoration of the brutal Kumarapuram massacre of 26 Tamil villagers by army personnel belonging to the 58th and Dehiwatte Camps, and Kiliveddy check point. more..

Sri Lanka to set up special company to fund highway projects

Feb 23 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s cabinet has approved establishing a special infrastructure company to seek funding for critical infrastructure projects, especially focusing on highways. The Special Infrastructure Company (SIFCO) established under the Road Development Authority (RDA) will be a public limited liability company incorporated under the Companies Act and the RDA will own majority shares. more..

'India asked me to halt the Port City Project'

Feb 23 (DM) Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, speaks about his future plans, diplomatic ties he developed during the war time and the charges levelled against him. Q: As the former Defence Secretary, how do you analyse the current situation of the country? There are a lot of people analysing economy and all those things. You could see a definite frustration among people. You could see govt is not focused. more..

Govt sharply cuts prices of costly lenses used for cataract surgery

Feb 23 (ST) Months after reducing the prices of several essential drugs, the Govt on Friday sharply cut the prices of costly lenses used as implants during cataract surgery and said it was eyeing another expensive but inevitable option in patient care – private hospitals and laboratories. The prices of 38 common varieties of intra-ocular lenses implanted during cataract surgery have been regulated by the govt with effect from more..

Vehicle registration files removed by a fmr. commissioner: DMT

Feb 23 (DM) A number of vehicle registration files had been allegedly removed by a former Commissioner Administration at the Department of Motor Traffic (DMT), Commissioner General Jagath Chandrasiri said. He said that the DMT had requested the Transport Ministry Secretary to probe against the Commissioner-Administration in connection with the incident. Issue was raised by an NGO called Anti Corruption Association. more..

Are Tamil leaders losing patience?

Feb 23 (Hindu) After two years of engaging the Sri Lankan govt on reconciliation and constitutional reform, the country’s Tamil polity seems to be losing patience, if Leader of Opposition R. Sampanthan’s address in Parliament is any indication. On Wednesday, the veteran Tamil leader attacked the govt that, he said, was treating the minority Tamils the same way the previous govts did. more..

Private medical uni: GMOA stays neutral

Feb 23 (DN) The GMOA has taken a neutral stance on the subject of private medical universities and stated that it was up to the govt to decide whether to establish private medical universities or not. GMOA Secretary Dr. Naveen de Soysa, said the govt should appoint a commission to study whether the country needs private medical universities or not and then establish them while maintaining minimum standards. more..

Dr. Coomaraswamy says no necessity for Governor to meddle in Loans Dept.

Feb 23 (Island) CB Governor Dr. Indrajith Coomaraswamy giving evidence before the Presidential Commission of inquiry investigating the bond scam yesterday for the second day said that there was no necessity for the CB Governor to visit the Govt Loans Department in connection with the issuance of bonds. In response to questions raised by the State Counsel, Coomaraswamy said during the last four months he had not visited more..

Counsel granted permission to appear for Perpetual Treasuries

Feb 23 (DN) President Counsel Nihal Fernando appearing before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry to Investigate and Inquire into the Issuance of Treasury Bonds issue, made an application seeking permission to appear on behalf of Perpetual Treasuries at the proceedings currently taking place on CBSL treasury bond issue. PC Nihal Fernando sought permission to appear before Presidential Commission more..

Snap election very likely

Feb 23 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena informed the SLFP electoral organizers yesterday that he is prepared to face elections at any moment. He told SLFP district and electoral organizers yesterday in the course of discussions at President's House that there could be an election very soon. President was satisfied with responses from the organizers about grassroots organizational work and expressed pleasure when he heard more..

Relevance of Jaishankar's visit

Feb 23 (CT) Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar is considered one of the very best diplomats on the global stage. No stranger to SL, he was First Secretary at Indian High Commission in Colombo in 1989 and 1990, during which time he was also the Political Advisor to the IPKF Commander fighting LTTE terrorists in the N&E. From there he went on to the zenith of the diplomatic world, successively posted as India's envoy to the US, China, Moscow, Czech Republic and so on. more..

Enough is enough: We have a long list of unresolved cases

Feb 23 (CT) This is a historic opportunity, as pointed out not only by the Hon. Leader of Opposition, but by His Excellency the President himself who tabled this Resolution at a Special Sitting of this House on the 8th of Jan last year. No other Constitution-making process in 1972 or in 1978 has had this consensual approach. Moreover, our nation has today reached a point of maturity having been through conflict, and witnessed the suffering and the agony that this nation has gone through since more..

වමේ පක්ෂ අතර ඇයි මේ ගුටි කෙළි?

Rains coming again

Feb 23 (DM) Showers are likely again from tomorrow, the Meteorology Department announced today. It said the showers may be expected in the southern part of the Island. “Showers will occur in the Eastern and Uva Provinces and in the Hambantota district. Showers or thundershowers will occur at a few places in the Western, Sabaragamuwa and Central provinces and in the Galle and Matara districts,” the Met. Dept. said. It said misty conditions can be expected at more..

Ex-LTTE cadre and 3 others remanded

Feb 23 (CT) Colombo Additional Magistrate ordered that a former LTTE cadre and three others be remanded till 1 March. They were charged with attempting to send a cap embossed with the official emblem of the LTTE, from the BIA to London. The Police had arrested the suspects on charges of violating the Prevention of Terrorism Act. The lawyers appearing for the suspects told the Court that as the case cannot be sustained, based on the PTA, they were seeking bail for their clients. more..

CBK now says she did not accuse military of sexually exploiting women in the North

Feb 23 (CT) Former president Chandrika Kumaratunga now says that she did not accuse the Military of sexual exploitation of women in the North. Office for National Unity and Reconciliation has said: “ONUR would like to categorically deny that the former president Kumaratunga did not make a statement as alleged by Brig. Roshan Seneviratne and at no point did she mention or accuse the Military, as a whole, of sexual exploitation of more..

AerCap found buyers for SriLankan A350-900s within three weeks: report

Feb 23 (EN) AerCap, a Dutch based aircraft leasing company had found new buyers for three airbus Airbus A350-900 aircraft within three weeks, a media report said. Reuters, financial news service quoted Chief Executive Aengus Kelly as saying that there was demand for A350-900 and Boeing 787-9 but it was more difficult to sell A350-1000, 787-10, 777X and the A380. "But other markets are liquid. On used A330s, we are moving those all the time," Reuters quote him as saying. more..

Death sentence for Gampaha quintuple murder second accused

Feb 23 (DN) Gampaha High Court Judge delivering the judgement in the Gampaha Mahawatte quintuple murder case, sentenced the second accused Mahesh Perera to death by hanging at the Welikada Prison. He was indicted with having committed the murder of five members of the same family, K.W.W. Tillakaratne, A.D. Ramyalatha, S.A. Amawathie and two children Dilshen Madhuranga and Samantha Lakshen at their residence at Mahawatte on May 19, 2008 by cutting them over a land dispute. more..

MR slams CBK for revealing Army sexual abuse against Tamil women

Feb 23 (CT) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has condemned former President Chandrika Kumaratunga over her allegations that there was widespread sexual exploitation by the army against Tamil women in the former war torn areas. Rajapaksa said: “Statement made by Mrs Kumaratunga to foreign correspondents in Colombo last week to the effect that war widows in SL now face widespread sexual exploitation more..

Sri Lanka milk production can be fast-tracked with commercial farms: expert

Feb 23 (EN) SL's milk production can be fast-tracked by creating conditions for commercial dairy farming to take off, but lack of private land due to past expropriations by rulers was holding back the sector, an industry expert said. Sri Lanka now has about 300,000 small farmers who were making a valuable contribution, but they could not keep pace with demand and cow herding was also becoming a less hip occupation, said H W Cyril, chairman of National Livestock Development Board. more..

Indonesian support for development including transport sector

Feb 23 (GDI) Govt of Indonesia assured its fullest support towards the future development activities in Sri Lanka. Deputy Foreign Minister of Indonesia A.M. Fachir met SL Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Nimal Siripala De Silva this morning and held discussions in this regard. Deputy Minister Fachir has arrived in Sri Lanka to discuss the steps that could be taken by his govt to support the future development in SL in parallel to President Sirisena’s visit to Indonesia in March this year. more..

Lankan scribe asked to appear in court to identify abductors

Feb 23 (PTI) A former SL journalist, who was allegedly abducted and assaulted in 2008 during the war against the LTTE, was today asked to appear in court next month to identify the suspects, including an army Major, arrested over his abduction. Keith Noyahr was an associate editor of the The Nation when he was abducted in May 2008. He was severely beaten before being released. After the attack, he fled to Australia more..

Opposition claims arrests to coincide with UNHRC session

Feb 23 (CG) The joint opposition claimed that some arrests are being made to coincide with the upcoming UNHRC session. Joint opposition MP Keheliya Rambukwella told reporters today that military intelligence officers are being arrested over criminal incidents to show the UNHRC something is being done to address concerns on serious criminal incidents. “In the Keith Noyahr case the military intelligence officers were arrested just to show the UNHRC something is being done,” he said. more..

Dullas recalls what PM said as Opp. Leader about Fonseka

Feb 23 (Island) MP Dullas Alahapperuma yesterday recalled that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe as the then Opposition Leader in 2009 told Parliament that then Army Commander Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka was responsible for the abduction and assault on journalist Keith Noyahr. He said they would not oppose any investigation into attacking of journalists, but the prison sources informed them the military intelligence officers were forced by the police to confess to what the govt wanted. more..

Sri Lanka makes progress in reducing child labour: survey

Feb 23 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka has made progress in the reduction of children employed in some forms of economic activities, according to a survey out on Thursday. The survey conducted by the Department of Census and Statistics (DCS) last year shows that only about 2.3% of children aged 5 to 17 years old were found engaged in some kind of economic activity or working. "This is a decline of 10.6% points from the 12.9% reported in 2008/09," more..

Video: Sri Lanka’s lack of national policies a world record: Prof. Wimalarathana Thero

Feb 23 (AD) Ven. Professor Bellanwila Wimalarathana Thero says that SL will go down in the history books as a country with no national policies. “SL has many world records. I think that this country not having any national policies on the likes of education, culture and media is also a world record,” Chancellor of the Univ of Sri J'pura said. He was speaking during an event to launch the public commission formulating a national policy on int'l trade & agreements. more..