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Sri Lanka to securities settlement in deal with China depository

Dec 18 (EN) SL’s stock exchange hopes to strengthen registration and settlement infrastructure through an agreement with the China Securities Depository and Clearing Corporation. A statement by the CSE said a memorandum of understanding had been signed between SL’s Central Depository Systems (Pvt) Ltd (CDS) and China Securities Depository and Clearing Corporation Limited (CSDC). The deal with CSDC, a non-profit-oriented corporation with Shanghai Stock Exchange more..

Cabinet should be limited to 30 Ministers: SLPP

Dec 18 (NR) The SLPP reiterates if the United National Party fails to establish a coalition govt with another major party then the Cabinet of Ministers should be limited to 30 persons. Speaking at a media briefing UPFA MP Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene noted the Constitution does not allow the appointment of more than 30 Cabinet Ministers under a standalone govt. MP Abeywardene stressed if the UNF forms a coalition with another party it should be acceptable before Court. more..

JVP moves motion to abolish executive presidency

Dec 18 (DM) JVP today moved an adjournment motion to abolish the executive presidency claiming that a majority of the people of the country were in favour of doing so. JVP MP Nalinda Jayatissa moved the adjournment motion, while JVP MP Vijitha Herath seconded it. MP Herath said it was the executive presidency which led the country into instability during the last 50 days and added that it provided ample opportunity for the people more..

Weather-related disasters in SL: Low-income households most vulnerable

Dec 19 (DN) Every year, natural disasters wreak havoc on the lives of people around the world. In the recent past, Sri Lanka too has experienced an increase in the frequency and intensity of natural disasters. Floods and droughts are the most common weather-related disasters, affecting tens of thousands of people in the country. Sri Lanka is also prone to hazards such as landslides, storms, coastal erosion, and lightning strikes. The impact of natural disasters could have severe consequences, more..

Rise of social media and Fall of mainstream media

Dec 19 (CT) Mass media plays a pivotal role in any country for safeguard of the democracy, as it is the bridge that connects citizens with the rulers. When people rely on media for knowing the truth and thereby take decisions, especially their political decisions, civil power of the media is on the increase. Once incidents taking place for past few weeks in the country are closely examined, what can be seen is the rise of social media and fall of mainstream media. more..

CrowdIsland: Helping startups run like actual companies

Dec 19 (Roar) Equity crowdfunding is a seamless model in the West thanks to better regulation, legal protections, and the general maturity of the ecosystem. In SL, half a world away, CrowdIsland has embarked on a similar model, albeit with a few tweaks mandated by the excellent teacher that is experience. SL’s young, nascent startup ecosystem in only just learning about how to successfully take a product from idea to more..

Celebrating Christmas 2018: Creating harmony and seeking reconciliation

Dec 19 (DN) The core message and challenge of Christmas embody a powerful call to foster the goodwill of all and an imperative for efforts at creating harmony and seeking reconciliation of differences. It involves easing tensions, calming anger & contention, resolving conflicts and exercising restraint in all matters, initiating dialogue in patience and establishing mutual understanding between divergent ideological positions, as well as healing the wounds incurred and restoring more..

JVP’s task ahead

Dec 19 (CT) Ranil Wickremesinghe has reclaimed his Prime Ministership, not because he deserved but because of President Sirisena’s impulsive irrationality driven by hunger for power and because of a determined commitment by JVP, TNA and Muslim MPs to rescue democracy from the brink of destruction engineered by a conspiratorial cabal. Above all and most importantly, it is the country’s Supreme Court with its utmost impartiality, integrity & independence amidst unwarranted doubts, more..

'I will never join Pohottuwa'

Dec 19 (CT) UPFA MP Dayasiri Jayasekera says that the UNP has entered into an agreement with the TNA to amalgamate the North and the East. Q: Ultimately, the Ministerial post you obtained with difficulty was also affected, wasn’t it? A: It was not a ministerial position that I had got with difficulty. The President made a decision to remove the PM on 26 Oct and to appoint a new PM and setup a new Cabinet. more..

From mythology to psychology

Dec 19 (CT) Astrology and other pseudosciences have become part and parcel of our culture, except for a handful of people living in our country. This was a hot topic in our political arena as well, during the recent past, as some crucial predictions based on astrology did not come true, as expected by some politicians. According to some management research, we are a risk-averse Nation, and whenever we have to take risky decisions, we tend to rely on astrological forecasts rather than more..

Edtorial: All quiet on the Diyawanna front?

Dec 19 (Island) Parliament had a trouble-free session, yesterday, after weeks of turmoil, with Ranil Wickremesinghe and Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader, respectively. Their rightful positions have been restored, at last. But for the deplorable manipulation of the parliamentary composition by the yahapalana regime, Rajapaksa would have got the Opposition Leader’s post, three and a half years ago. Wickremesinghe would not have had to fight, more..

Face the Nation

Are we Sri Lankans One People? Where are our leaders?

Dec 19 (GV) Politically, it may appear that we are not one people. We have a long history of ethnicity-based politics within a small island with a measure of ethnic diversity unrivalled in countries of our size. But socially and culturally the reality appears to be different. Our ethnic communities are closer to each other culturally and socially than in many others, whether in South Asia or elsewhere. While there are regions in which one or another of the ethnic groups is dominant, many contain mixed more..

A UNP govt under a hostile President

Dec 19 (Island) The whole purpose of making it virtually impossible to dissolve Parliament until the lapse of a period of four and a half years was a knee-jerk reaction to the dissolution of Parliament in 2004 by Chandrika Kumaratunga, who sent the UNP into the political wilderness for over a decade. While the recent Supreme Court decision shows that the UNP has succeeded in achieving its objective, the wisdom of what it did through the 19th Amendment needs to be called into question. more..

Institutionalising Angampora

Dec 19 (DN) The Sri Lanka Army by establishing the country’s first-ever Angampora Experiment Institute and Training Centre (AEITC) at the Panagoda Army Cantonment with state patronage added a new chapter to the field of Army sports on Dec 4, during an induction (Kala Elimangalya) of the Army Angampora group before a gathering headed by Army Commander Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake. more..

Records galore for Mathews and Mendis

Dec 19 (CI) 22 Instances of no wickets falling through an entire day's play in a Test match. The last time it happened was more than ten years ago, in February 2008, when South Africa scored 405 without loss on the opening day against Bangladesh in Chittagong. 239 Runs added by Angelo Mathews and Kusal Mendis through the entire day. The last time fewer runs were scored on a wicketless day was in 1986 in Mumbai, when 235 runs were scored without a wicket on the fourth day. more..

Rare comet lights up Christmas skies

Dec 19 (DN) SL astronomy enthusiasts will have a rare opportunity to observe a comet in the eastern sky soon after sunset in the constellation of Taurus these days. The comet 46P/Wirtanen, a space rock which is only 1.2 km in diameter was first observed in Jan 17, 1948 by American astronomer Carl Wirtanen. This small comet with an orbital period of only 5.4 years came as close as 11.4 million km to earth and became one of the 10 closest comets which flew by earth in the past 70 years. more..

GDP growth slumps to 2.9% in 3Q

Dec 19 (FT) The country’s economic growth in the third quarter had slumped to a historic low of 2.9% in the third quarter in comparison to 3.2% a year earlier reaffirming the continuous struggle. 3Q growth was lower in comparison to 3.7% achieved in the 2Q. Agricultural activities expanded favourably by 3.3% compared to the contraction of 3.0% reported in the third quarter of 2017. Industrial activities recorded more..

Speaker lauds Sri Lanka’s eye donation effort

Dec 19 (DN) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said two people see the world because of the eye donations made by his late parents. “I too have signed up with the eye donation campaign to donate my eyes after my death,” he said. “Despite various shortcomings in our country, the level of interest shown by Sri Lankans to donate their eyes showcases us as a great nation to the world,” he said. Speaker was speaking as chief guest at the National Eye Donation Day celebrations organised by more..

Special home loan offering from DFCC for TRI-ZEN buyers

Dec 19 (DM) A recent partnership between DFCC Bank and JohnKeells will facilitate flexible and affordable payment terms exclusively for John Keells Properties’ customers. The exciting new loan package from DFCC, available exclusively for John Keells Properties developments, will offer up to 20-year home loans with a grace period of five years, together with concessions for early settlements. Additionally, the DFCC/John Keells partnership enables homebuyers to lock in their more..

Status of MPs joining SLPP: Speaker to rule on Select Committee

Dec 19 (DM) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya is expected to give a ruling on the appointment of a Select Committee to inquire whether MPs including Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa, who obtained SLPP membership can remain in Parliament. Speaker told the House that he would give a ruling on this matter when Govt MP Rauff Hakeem and TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran requested that this matter be clarified. more..

New lease of life for Slinga Malinga?

Dec 19 (DN) Cricket they say is a funny game and it mainly pertains to the change of fortunes during a match especially Test matches. But in this instance we talk of the career of one of the most colourful fast bowlers Sri Lanka and the world has seen Lasith Malinga whose chequered career has been illuminated with stunning bowling performances that had made him once the most feared one-day bowler in international cricket and controversies that has defined his character. more..

IPL auction: Malinga sold; Mathews no takers

Dec 19 (CT) For the second time running Jaydev Unadkat earned big at the IPL Auction as he was picked up by Rajasthan Royals for INR 8.4 Crore. The Royals had released him earlier after buying him for INR 11.5 Crore at the previous auction. The other person with the same bid - INR 8.4 Crore - was mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy - who got a whopping 42 times increase in his base price as Kings XI Punjab successfully added him to their roster. more..

Kusal Mendis eyes double-ton as mentor Samaraweera's send-off gift

Dec 19 (CI) Kusal Mendis has paid tribute to outgoing Sri Lanka batting coach Thilan Samaraweera, and hopes to complete a double-hundred on day five, as a leaving present for a man who has seen him through tough times both professionally and personally. Samaraweera, who has been the team's batting coach for a year, is due to be replaced by former Durham coach Jon Lewis at the end of the Test series. more..

Condo sales hit by politics, falling rupee and high financing cost

Dec 19 (DM) Sales in SL’s residential condominium sector have experienced a slowdown due to the general uncertainty in the country, devaluation of the rupee and high cost of financing. KPMG Principal Deal Advisory Shiluka Goonawaradene said the volumes of sales have dropped partly due to the uncertainty, cost of funds and lack of funds availability. Several real estate developers Mirror Business spoke to said their monthly sales have dropped in recent months. more..

US sets up logistic hub in Sri Lanka amidst political chaos

Dec 19 (Island) In the midst of the simmering political turmoil, caused by the sacking of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on Oct 26, by President Sirisena, the US Navy announced the setting up of what it called logistic hub in Sri Lanka to secure support, supplies and services at sea. The announcement was made towards the end of the first week of Dec, 2018. Prez Sirisena, who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, installed on Oct 26 twice President Mahinda Rajapaksa as PM, but more..

Mahinda appointed Opposition Leader amidst govt protests

Dec 19 (Island) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya informed Parliament that he recognised MP Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Leader of the Opposition. He also recognised UPFA MP Mahinda Amaraweera as the Chief Opposition Whip. However, UNP and TNA opposed the recognition of Rajapaksa as the Opposition Leader and called him the leader of a group of strangers in the chamber. Leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella said more..

'Estate strike cost RPCS Rs. 2 billion'

Dec 19 (DN) The recent eight day strike staged by the Ceylon Workers Congress – led estate workers unions has cost the Regional Plantation Companies a whopping Rs. 2 billion in eight days. There are almost all the RPCs which are operating in the upcountry plantation areas and each of them, though having plantation holdings in each of the other geographical expanses in other parts of SL, have a significant presence in the upcountry areas, Immediate past Chair of Planters Association more..

Prez pardon sought for Gnanasara Thera

Dec 19 (Island) A delegation comprising Buddhist monks and laymen of the Vijayagrahi Jathika Sanghamaya (VJS), called on the Mahanayake Theras of Malwatte and Asgiriya and Ramagna Nikaya seeking their help to enable Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera to receive a presidential pardon. The deputation appealed to the prelates to request Prez to pardon and release Gnanasara Thera together with those prisoners to be released to mark Christmas next week. more..

'TNA should not be branded as an LTTE splinter group'

Dec 19 (CT) TNA MP Mavai Senathirajah says the time has come for those in the South to abstain from branding them as clones of the LTTE or as a splinter group of the proscribed terror group. Addressing a group of journalists in Jaffna, MP noted that those who portray themselves as patriotic Sinhala Buddhist forces in the South have alleged that the TNA was a splinter group of the LTTE or as a group engaged in terror tactics. more..

Northern development institute launches financial literacy project

Dec 19 (ST) Northern Institute of Development Initiatives (NIDI) recently launched a major Financial Literacy and Small Enterprises Management project for the Northern province. Its launch was at the end of a 4-day workshop conducted for 40 candidates from the University of Jaffna and from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Yaarlpaanam, directed by NIDI. The 5-year project to train 1000 young graduates and entrepreneurs in the Northern Province, according to NIDI Founder more..

'Sri Lanka's tourism sector badly dented by political crisis'

Dec 19 (Island) 'The current political crisis in the country has made a severe dent in the tourism industry in Sri Lanka and as a result the winter season had failed to live up to expectations with a large number of cancellations said Ravi Dias Jayasinha, the Head of Gateway, a leading tour operator specialising on the Maldives, SL and Europe, based in Milan. The tragedy struck close on the heels of the higly respected international brand on travel information Lonely Planet ranking more..

Continuing dilemma over some MPs obtaining SLPP membership

Dec 19 (Island) Many an eyebrow has been raised over former Minister Basil Rajapaksa’s recent declaration that SLFP/UPFA lawmakers hadn’t received SLPP membership. Addressing a gathering at Maharagama over the last weekend, the chief architect of the SLPP claimed that the party was yet to take SLFP/UPFA lawmakers to its fold. Among those present on the occasion were SLFP/UPFA lawmakers who had recently taken more..

Woman arrested for foreign job scam

Dec 19 (DN) A woman who had cheated individuals for millions of rup ees promising them jobs in Canada was nabbed in Nawagamuwa, Ranala by the CID yesterday. She was remanded by the Kaduwela Magistrate till Dec 21. Seventy two passports of persons whom she had taken money from promising jobs, have also been taken into CID custody along with several mobile phones, gold jewellery and a car used by her The suspect woman identified by police as Senila De Silva (46) more..

Appointment of proposed IRD head cancelled

Dec 19 (FT) Subsequent to two Writ Petitions, Cabinet of Ministers cancelled the impugned appointment of CB Deputy Governor C.J.P. Siriwardena as the Commissioner General of Inland Revenue. Senior State Counsel Kanishka Balapatabendi informed the Court of Appeal that the Cabinet has cancelled the impugned appointment from outside the Inland Revenue and decided to appoint the senior most officer to the said post of Commissioner General of Inland Revenue. more..

UNP backs abolishing Executive Presidency

Dec 19 (FT) UNP, which created the Executive Presidency in 1978, endorsed the fact that concentrating so much power in one single office is dangerous for democracy and the country at large. Assuring the nation that all efforts will be taken to further dilute the executive powers of the President and abolish the Executive Presidency, a task which began with the 19th Amendment, which proved its importance during the constitutional crisis. more..

Govt expenditure up 7% Jan-Sep

Dec 19 (CT) Govt expenditure during the first nine months of this year ended September reached Rs 2.02 trillion, representing nearly 70% of the target set for this year, up 7% from Rs 1.89 trillion a year ago. According to data released by the Central Bank, the Govt’s recurrent expenditure during the first nine months of this year reached Rs 1.58 trillion, representing nearly 74% of the target set for the year, up 10% compared to Rs 1.44 trillion spent during the same period last year. more..

Battles over attempt to form new Cabinet

Dec 19 (EN) United National Front has to trim ministers down to 30 from the 33 in the last coalition administration, as negotiations are underway with a hostile President who wants police and media, political sources said. At a meeting of the parliamentary group Tuesday morning UNF Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has called for volunteers to step down. Malik Samarawickreme, Rishard Bathiudeen and Mano Ganesan had offered to step down, political sources said. more..

UNP mulls over Cabinet portfolios

Dec 19 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe made an open request to UNP MPs to voluntarily give up Ministry portfolios, in a bid to limit the Cabinet to 30 members. Initially, only Party senior Malik Samarawickrama offered to step down, but seeing there were no volunteers, Party leaders who form UNF, ACMC leader Rishad Bathiudeen and TPA Leader Mano Ganesan offered to step down. Ganesan later wrote on twitter to say: more..

Tribute to a stoic nation 50 days of madness

Dec 19 (DM) It was indeed a fascinating period of time. The Executive branch of our Govt ran amok; it did not understand the fundamentals of democracy, leave alone its nuanced constitutional interpretations. He did not bend the rules; he broke them. On whose legal and constitutional instructions and guidance, one may never know. Yet, he did it, almost at the cost of the country’s precious democracy. For fifty long days, before the country’s populace on whose tired and weary more..