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Sampath Bank’s profit-after-tax tops Rs. 12bn

Feb 21 (Island) Sampath Bank posted a Profit After Tax (PAT) of Rs 12.1 bn for the year ended 31st Dec 2017, an impressive 32.7% YoY growth compared to Rs 9.1 bn recorded in the previous year. Similarly, Profit Before Tax (PBT) too grew by 31.8% YoY to reach Rs 16.6 bn for the period under review, as against the Rs 12.6 bn reported for the previous year. Meanwhile, the Group, which comprises of the Bank and four fully-owned subsidiary companies, also posted a growth more..

Law Prof. gives legal lesson to President on sacking PM

Feb 21 (Island) SLPP Chairman Prof. G.L Peiris said President Maithripala Sirisena had no need to wait till the Supreme Court interpreted the provisions of the 19th Amendment on his powers to sack the PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. Prof. Pieris told the media that President Sirisena had not consulted the Supreme Court when he sacked the then PM D. M. Jayaratne to appoint Wickremesinghe the PM in January 2015 more..

Video: One injured in shooting at Cotta Road

Feb 21 (AD) One person has been injured and hospitalised following a shooting incident near the railway crossing on Cotta Road in Borella, Police Spokesman said. Two unidentified individuals who arrived on a motorcycle had opened fire at a car near the railway crossing on Cotta Road at around 6.35pm today (20) and then fled the scene. The driver of the car, a 32-year-old man from Kotahena, had sustained injuries in the shooting and has been admitted to the Colombo National Hospital. more..

‘Auditors can contribute to financial stability’

Feb 21 (DN) Constructive and effective relationships between the prudent supervisors and audit regulators can enhance financial sector supervision, says CB Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy. He was speaking at the 12th Int'l Forum of Independent Audit Regulators, in Colombo. 3-day forum is hosted by SL Accounting & Auditing Standards Monitoring Board. “We also believe that such a regulation process helps audit professionals to achieve full potential of its role in the financial market.” more..

Economy underpins political loss: Dr. Sally

Feb 21 (FT) Respected economist Dr. Razeen Sally stayed true to his usual straight-talking style, criticising main political parties for misjudged appointments and slow reform implementation as root causes for the dismal LG results, warning that unless the current drifting of the Govt was reversed, little would stand in the way of the previous administration’s return. Delivering a talk titled Economic takeoff & young professionals, more..

Aping other cricket nations

Feb 21 (DN) In the past week or so there has been news making the rounds that Sri Lanka Cricket is planning to hold a Lanka Premier League (LPL) on the same lines as the Indian Premier League (IPL) and similar to tournaments that are hosted by other Test playing nations across the world. Before pitching headlong into holding one, SLC must first sit back and think what benefits this type of tournament would bring to the game, to the country and its cricket. more..

DFCC Bank records impressive performance

Feb 21 (DN) DFCC Bank continued to demonstrate positive momentum across businesses in 2017 as a rapidly growing commercial bank completing its second year after the amalgamation. Despite a backdrop of higher taxes, volatile interest rates, tight margins and intensifying competition, the Bank closed the financial year ended 31st Dec 2017 with a profit before tax of LKR 5,792 million a growth of 31% and profit after tax of LKR 4,415 million a growth of 34% over yr ended 31st Dec 2016. more..

Speaker to rule on National Govt today

Feb 21 (FT) Speaker of Parliament Karu Jayasuriya told Parliament he will issue a special statement today regarding the agreement between the UNP and the SLFP on the term of the national unity govt. He made this statement in response to a query raised by JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake and a group of MPs of the JO. MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said the several MPs, including Dinesh Gunawardena, raised more..

Harassing tribal woman: Lankan held in Andhra Pradesh

Feb 21 (CT) Two men, including a Sri Lankan national, were arrested on 18 February, by the Visakhapatnam Rural Police, for allegedly sexually harassing a tribal woman. The suspects and the victim had worked in a private firm at Brandix India Apparel City, Atchutapuram SEZ area in Vizag. The arrested have been identified as the firm's general manager Dileep Pinto (55) and senior executive officer Malla Shyam Sundar (30), who is from Sri Lanka. more..

Racist hoax letter asks locals to host SL family during Commonwealth Games

Feb 21 (9N) Queensland Police is investigating a racist hoax letter which asks locals to take part in a multicultural home-sharing scheme during the upcoming Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. The letter, which appears to be printed on Gold Coast Commonwealth Games letterhead and signed under the name of chairman Peter Beattie, notifies one resident they have been selected to host a SL family during the event under the United by the moment, share your home plan. more..

Sri Lankan bidder for EAP Group chastises: CBSL Over negotiation process

Feb 21 (CT) A SL bidder, for the failing EAP Group, has complained, to the Governor of the CB Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy, that the bidding process to acquire these properties is opaque and does not follow the spirit of transparency and good governance. The local company, Shri Krishna Investments, has submitted a bid of US$ 61 million for the assets which include Edirisinghe family's (former owners of EAP) more..

Mendis was used as opener for tactical reasons: Samaraweera

Feb 21 (Island) Sri Lanka’s Batting Coach Tilan Samaraweera shedding light into the decision to open the batting with young Kusal Mendis during the just concluded tour of Bangladesh said that it was more a tactical decision and wasn’t sure whether Sri Lanka would stick to the same strategy moving forward. The 23-year-old, who was dropped for the tour of India, was making a comeback in Bangladesh and there were concerns when the added responsibility was thrust upon him. more..

ACMC calls for stability amid post-poll upheaval

Feb 21 (FT) Riding on its latest electoral victory at the recent LG polls, the ACMC has called for political stability within the Govt while strongly denouncing the Mixed Electoral System (MES) used in the polls. “We call for our two leaders to unite for a stable govt,” said the Leader of the ACMC, Minister Rishad Bathiudeen said. “Mixed Electoral System has been used for the first time at the recent local elections. ACMC believes that the MES has been introduced to favour the two major parties more..

Witness says Karunajeewa gave Rs. 30 MN cheque to be encashed

Feb 21 (DN) Rohan Iriyagolla yesterday told Colombo High Court that Indika Karunajeewa, a companion of Namal Rajapaksa gave him a cheque worth Rs. 30 million to be encashed and deposited in a bank account of Iriyagolla’s company. Witness Iriyagolla was testifying in a case filed against MP Namal Rajapaksa and five others under the Money Laundering Act. Rohan Iriyagolla, chairman of Boston Capital Pvt Ltd made more..

Lanka Army enlists 11 former LTTE members

Feb 21 (PTI) At least 50 northern Tamil youth, including 11 former LTTE members, have been enlisted to serve the Sri Lanka Army s volunteer force. They will not be wearing the military uniforms but would be entitled to pension and other related benefits, military spokesman Brigadier Sumith Atapattu said, adding that they will be deployed for agricultural work carried out by the Army. Among the recruits are 11 former LTTE members who had undergone rehabilitation. more..

SLRC’s Reconciliation Channel launched

Feb 21 (DN) The Reconciliation Channel, a new Tamil language channel under the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC) was launched yesterday, presided over by President Sirisena. This new channel was launched to promote the govt’s reconciliation programme and it will have programmes catering to Tamil speaking people and showcase items that reflect their religious, national and cultural identities. Ministers Mangala Samaraweera and Mano Ganesan, more..

Non-renewal of MoU: Unity Govt cannot continue: Opposition

Feb 21 (CT) The Opposition yesterday stressed in Parliament that since the consensual Govt has not renewed its MoU, all MPs in excess of 30 holding Cabinet portfolios are illegal. As a result of that, the Govt does not hold the power to rule the country, they claimed. The validity of the current Govt was brought into question once again when JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake raised a point of order. more..

First draft of National Sustainability Dialogue presented to President

Feb 21 (PSL) The first draft of National Sustainability Dialogue was presented to President Sirisena today (20) at the Presidential secretariat. Dialogue is drafted in order to list out the sustainable development targets to be achieved by Sri Lanka in economic, social and environmental spheres by the year 2030. The Draft, formulated by the 2030 Sustainability Vision Experts Committee, was presented by Prof Mohan Munasinghe and other members of the experts committee, more..

Maharagama UC: Independent group rejects claims of resigning

Feb 21 (DM) Seven councilors of the Independent Group, which contested from the motor-bicycle symbol for the Maharagama Urban Council, said today that they would not resign as Councillors. Seven Councillors out of the 25 elected from the Independent Group 2 for the Maharagama UC informed the Elections Commission today in writing that any document submitted by a third party to the Elections Commission or Returning Officer except from them were fake and illegal. more..

Bond Scam ii?: CBSL opposes govt move to set up hybrid company

Feb 21 (Island) Many an eyebrow has been raised by a govt move to set up a hybrid company as part of the controversial National Payment Platform (NPP) to facilitate single button transactions. CB Governor Dr. Indrajith Coomaraswamy has written to E.M.S.B. Ekanayake, Secretary to PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, that there is no need for setting up a separate hybrid company to handle clearing of retail payments. more..

Virtues of mother languages; Don’t turn them into vices

Feb 21 (DM) Today is the Int'l Mother Languages Day as declared by UN which, in a statement says, languages, with their complex implications for identity, communication, social integration, education and development, are of strategic importance for people and the planet. It says that yet, due to the globalization processes, mother languages are increasingly under threat, or disappearing altogether. When languages fade, so does world’s rich tapestry of cultural diversity. more..

Winds of change that rattled Yahapalana structure

Feb 21 (DM) These claims remind us of Minister Felix Dais Bandaranaike’s 1962 idea of a bit of totalitarianism [a system of Govt that is centralised and dictatorial and requires complete subservience to the state], which motivated a powerful section of Military and Police officers to stage the aborted Coup de’ t’at. The unexpected outcome of LG election results can be attributed to a series of issues and features, starting with rice, coconuts and other essentials, and the Bond Scam, more..

Whither Sri Lanka

Feb 21 (DM) Whither indeed! Where are we going? To gather more BUDS (POHOTTUWAS) or scatter them? You can certainly fool some of the people some of the time, but not ALL the people ALL THE TIME! The answer was inevitable! Did the Govt set about correcting any of the discrepancies which had been committed? Do the wheels of justice grind that slow that in three years we have not put wrongdoers behind bars? Have any of the significant more..

'Youth is energy untapped'

Feb 21 (DM) Dr. Mallika Kumar is Associate Professor for Economics at the Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) of the University of Delhi. She is the Head of the Commerce Department and the Coordinator for the Office of International Programmes at SRCC & Cultural Coordinator for the University of Delhi. She is also a member of the UNDP Microfinance Solution Exchange. She has done her PhD on Financial Cooperatives and more..

From traditional to digital and everything inbetween: Getting published in Sri Lanka

Feb 21 (Roar) Getting published is no easy feat. It takes consistency, determination, a lot of luck, and a thick skin—the latter mostly to just keep going after getting rejected by publishers multiple times. Getting rejected (or published) isn’t generally an indication of how good you are as a writer—take J.K. Rowling for instance, whose rejection letters asked her to join a writing class. Getting published in SL is just as—if not— more..

No decision to scrap/amend 25% female representation: Speaker

Feb 21 (Island) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya told Parliament that no decision had been taken at the party leaders’ meeting on Monday to abolish or amend the law which made 25% female representation mandatory in LG bodies. Speaker said so, responding to a point of order raised by JO MP Dullas Alahapperuma. Alahapperuma said newspapers had reported that the govt had decided to do away with the decision taken more..

Hurry up and walk: Killer diabetes is just behind you

Feb 21 (ST) Walking is the medicine that doctors liberally prescribe along with a healthy diet to prevent or control diabetes which has reached epidemic proportions in Sri Lanka. Following the same pathway, three active anti-diabetes groups — the SL College of Endocrinologists (SLCE), the SL Diabetes Federation (SLDF) and the SL Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease Initiative (SLDCI) — have joined hands with Lions Clubs Int'l, more..

'Chaos not caused by election result but due to power struggle between Prez & PM'

Feb 21 (LT) The chaos that has sprung up in the country is due to the power struggle between the President and the PM says the Leader of the JVP Anura Dissanayaka. He said this in Parliament yesterday (19th) participating at the debate regarding the unstable situation in the country. Speaking further Mr Dissanayaka said, “This decision to have this debate has been taken stating there was chaos in the country. more..

Ex-Tamil Tiger due to be deported says he will face torture in Sri Lanka

Feb 21 (ABC) A Sri Lankan asylum seeker who claims he once built warships for the Tamil Tigers says he will be tortured and possibly killed in his home country if he is deported by the Australian Govt on Thursday. Santharupan Thangalingam, 46, said he was a senior leader of the LTTE, a militant terrorist organisation, which waged a bloody insurgency against the Sri Lankan Govt for more than a quarter of a century. more..

Cabinet reshuffle tomorrow?

Feb 21 (NR) Cabinet Co-Spokesman Minister Rajitha Senaratne says a Cabinet reshuffle might take place within the week. Speaking at the Cabinet media briefing today, Minister said the govt will take measures to make necessary amendments systematically at the right time. He said the Cabinet reshuffle wasn’t spoken of for weeks adding that the past few weeks the country spoke of a change in the govt. more..

Sri Lanka’s Twenty20 politics and how Ranil’s GPS failed

Feb 21 (EN) The power struggle between President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe ended with both being badly bruised, but the acrimony also exposed the failure of their long-term political strategies. The run-up to the Feb 10 LG elections deepened the differences within the uneasy coalition and saw Sirisena declaring that his govt was more corrupt than the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime. more..

19 including 12 military personnel injured in bus explosion

Feb 21 (DM) Nineteen passengers including twelve military personnel were injured in an explosion inside a bus in Diyatalawa this morning, Army Media Spokesperson Brigadier Sumith Atapattu said. Seven soldiers and five airmen were among the military personnel who were injured. The rest of the injured were identified as civilians. “A private bus which was carrying the passengers had been heading towards Diyatalawa from Jaffna. more..

Sri Lanka cuts state land lease rentals for agriculture

Feb 21 (EN) Sri Lanka has cut the lease rentals charged on state land released for commercial agriculture, Minister Gayantha Karunathilake said. Though concessions were given for state land released for housing and industry, land released for commercial agriculture is charged a higher rate, he said. Under concessions approved by the cabinet of ministers an upfront fee equal to three years lease rentals will no longer be charged. Instead of increasing lease rental by 50% every 5 years, more..

Sanity Prevails

Feb 21 (CT) The dust has at last settled vis-à-vis the 2018 LG Polls which concluded on 10 February after former President and SLFP/UPFA MP Mahinda Rajapaksa's new party, the SLPP's surprise landslide win. This raised the dust for one week and a day as President Maithripala Sirisena's SLFP and the UPFA Coalition it led being able to garner 13.38% or 1,487,960 of the popular vote, gaining a majority in only 11 of the 340 local authorities that were up for stakes. more..

මැතිවරණ ක්රමය පිළිබඳව ඔබ හොඳින් දැන සිටියාද?

Betraying the very foundation of the Unity Govt- Consensus

Feb 21 (FT) Soon after the results of the LG bodies were released, it was reported that the President wanted the resignation of the PM, indicating that he cannot work with the PM any more. In return, the UNP insisted that the leader of their party Ranil Wickremesinghe should be the PM. Hence, it was further reported that the members of the SLFP were negotiating with the members of the JO to form a Govt. Ranil Wickremesinghe said at a press conference that he would continue as the PM more..

Diyatalawa explosion caused by grenade

Feb 21 (NR) Initial investigations have revealed the sudden explosion in the bus travelling from Bandarawela to Diyatalawa reported this morning was due to a grenade explosion. In response to an inquiry made by MP Dinesh Gunawardena in Parliament, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and Minister Sagala Ratnayake said the Army and the Govt Analyst are carrying out further investigations. PM meanwhile said it is believed that a passenger travelling from Jaffna might have carried more..

Sri Lanka: Tag and grab raid

Feb 21 (NZH) Hikkaduwa Beach, about an hour north of Galle on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka, is one of those sun-kissed stretches of sand lapped by an impossibly turquoise ocean. It's well known for snorkelling — the coral starts just a few metres from the shoreline. Small islands pepper the near horizon, easily reached by one of the many small boats that bob around on the breakers, with promise of underwater treasures for the more more..

Mahanayake Thera of Asgiriya Chapter says Unity Govt should be scrapped

Feb 21 (CT) Mahanayake of the Asgiriya Chapter of the Siam Nikaya has called for the end of the Unity Govt and urged President Sirisena to install a new single party or alliance Govt. In a statement, Most Venerable Warakagoda Gnanarathana Mahanayake Thera said that if such a Govt could not be formed, then steps should be taken to dissolve Parliament and hold a General Election. President is prevented from unilaterally dissolving Parliament for 4.5 years by the 19th Amendment more..

Promise to remove beggars from Colombo after January 1 yet to be kept

Feb 21 (Island) Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development has requested the Ministry of Justice to look into the possibility of changing the Vagrants Ordinance so that it can effectively remove and rehabilitate beggars in the city of Colombo, Additional Secretary of Ministry, S.K.A.P. Devarajah says. Commenting on the Ministry’s initiative to remove beggars from the streets of Colombo, she said that a significant number of beggars had been sent to Ridiyagama Detention Centre. more..