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Janashakthi delivers sustained double digit growth

Feb 28 (Island) Registering steady double digit growth in premiums through FY 2017, Janashakthi Insurance PLC (Janashakthi) posted a consolidated Gross Written Premium (GWP) of Rs. 15.115 billion for the twelve months ended 31st Dec 2017, a commendable year on year (YoY) growth of 11%. The Non-Life or General Insurance business grew by 14% to end the year with a GWP of Rs. 12.212 billion, while the Life Insurance business remained flat, recording a GWP of Rs. 2.903 billion. more..

Thousands rally over mounting debt in northern Sri Lanka

Feb 28 (Hindu) Months after Sri Lanka’s Central Bank vowed action on mounting household debt in the war-affected north, thousands gathered in Jaffna on Tuesday, protesting against the govt’s inaction. Our home and country are indebted, what is the solution?; Stop loans, give employment and Strengthen people’s organisations, read the banners held by participants, who marched from the iconic Veerasingham Hall more..

Joes have a slight edge

Feb 28 (DN) St. Joseph’s College Maradana will have a slight edge over traditional rivals St Peter’s College to regain the Rev.Fr Maurice LeGoc trophy when they confront each other in the 84th Battle of the Saints cricket encounter that will take place on March 2 and 3 at the P. Sara Oval. This battle of the Saints encounter started way back in 1933 with St. Joseph’s College winning the inaugural clash. Robert Fernando led St. Joseph’s College in the first encounter. more..

NTB records 31% growth in pre-tax profits

Feb 28 (Island) Nations Trust Bank closed the financial year 31st December 2017 with a post-tax profit of Rs. 3,371Mn, up by 18% over the previous year with pre-tax profits increasing by 31%. A higher effective tax rate stemming from the increase in the financial services VAT rate as well as the additional tax of Rs. 210Mn on inter-company dividend payments impacted the Group bottom line growth. Healthy portfolio growth and strong fee-based income growth enabled more..

Video: SAITM needs a political solution: GMOA

Feb 28 (DM) SAITM controversy was a result of arbitrary political decisions therefore it can be resolved only through a political solution, GMOA said. Although a presidential solution was provided, it has not been conveyed to Supreme Court yet. Because of this lapse, GMOA said this issue could get aggravated. GMOA Secretary Dr. Harith Aluthge said the govt has to issue the gazette notification abolishing the SAITM without further delay to more..

Eran tells Mumbai forum SL’s economic outlook, investment opportunities positive

Feb 28 (FT) For Sri Lanka to achieve its 2025 goal ofbeing an upper-middle income country, the Govt has formulated a three-year Economic Delivery Programme to Increase per capita income to $5,000, create one million new jobs and Increase Foreign Direct Investment to $5 billion per year, according to State Minister for Finance Eran Wickramaratne. He made these comments while speaking at the India and South Asia Investor Conference 2018 held in Mumbai on 26 February. more..

Union Bank posts Rs 782 mn operational profits

Feb 28 (DN) Despite the volatile macro environment Union Bank has performed exceptionally well in 2017 resulting in a 35.6% increase in profits from operating activities to Rs. 782 million. This is in comparison to Rs. 577 million recorded in 2016, while recording a profit before tax (PBT) of Rs. 534 million, a 23% growth YoY. Gross income of the Bank improved by 39.7% to Rs. 11,938 million in comparison to Rs. 8,546 million recorded in 2016. Income growth of the Bank in 2017 was more..

Fresh bid to ascertain number of deaths etc. during war years

Feb 28 (Island) A fresh countrywide survey is underway with the focus on the Northern and Eastern provinces to ascertain the number of deaths, including those of the combatants during the conflict, authoritative sources said. Sources said govt had launched the survey last December and was now in the process of collecting data. The project was delayed due to the recently concluded LG polls though the National Integration more..

Video: Wimal asks PM, President to resign

Feb 28 (DM) While claiming that it was a big mockery to appoint the Prime Minister, who was the mastermind of the bond scam, as the Law and Order Minister, NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa said the PM and the President should resign without dragging the country towards anarchy. Addressing a news briefing, he said the President who proclaimed that he would not engage any culprits to run the govt, seemed that he had forgotten what he had uttered during the pre-election period. more..

PM to launch Invest SL Forum in Singapore

Feb 28 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is scheduled to visit Singapore this week, in a bid to attract investments, close on the heels of the Free Trade Agreement between the two countries. He was expected to arrive in Singapore tomorrow and deliver the key note address at the first Invest Sri Lanka Forum for this year, at the Four Seasons Hotel on Friday, financial sources said. The forum is organised by the CSE, SEC and Singapore-Lanka Business Association. more..

Cabinet ministers raise concerns over Ampara incident

Feb 28 (FT) The Cabinet raised concerns over escalating tensions between the Muslim and Sinhalese communities in the wake of another clash on Monday night. A number of ministers, including members representing the Muslim community, spoke out strongly against alleged police inaction when the latest incident erupted in an eatery in Ampara town on 26 Feb night and later spread to other areas. more..

High-end residential sector to face challenging year: JLL

Feb 28 (FT) SL’s high-end residential sector will face a challenging time ahead amid the oversupply in the market, Jones Lang Lasalle (JLL), which specialises in real estate, said, while playing down any fears of a bubble, insisting that hospitality, commercial office and retail is set for a good year. “High-end residential sector is in for a challenging year due to the oversupply. Rise in land prices, 15% VAT imposition, high material cost, shortage of labour and oversupply are key concerns of more..

Full support for no-faith motion against Ranil: JO

Feb 28 (DM) The joint opposition would give its fullest support in case a no-confidence motion was brought against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe as proposed by State Minister Range Bandara of the UNP, MP C.B. Ratnayake said. Referring to the statement made by the state minister on Monday that a no-confidence motion would be moved against the party leadership with the support of other UNPers, the MP said they would not hesitate to extend their support in such a case. more..

Cabinet passes heavily diluted National Audit Bill

Feb 28 (DN) Cabinet has given its green light for the amended Audit Bill, Cabinet Minister said. He said the Audit Bill was presented to the Cabinet again, incorporating the amendments proposed by the Ministerial Sub-committee headed by Dr. Sarath Amunugama while the Cabinet endorsed the amended Bill. Long overdue National Audit Bill, which has been procrastinated for 13 long years, was a key pre-election pledge more..

Kahagolla blast: Govt urged to be cautious

Feb 28 (Island) Retired Maj. Gen. Kamal Gunaratne yesterday said the govt shouldn’t take lightly the recent blast at Kahagolla in a private passenger bus that caused injuries to 19 persons, including security forces personnel. The war veteran said that he was certain a grenade blast couldn’t under any circumstances trigger a fire. Therefore, the govt and military authorities should closely examine the circumstances leading to the blast. Gunaratne said that as a retired military officer more..

Historic brain surgery at NHSL

Feb 28 (DN) The first ever surgery in Sri Lanka’s history performed at the National Hospital of Sri Lanka (NHSL) on a stroke patient without opening up the brain has been successful. Sources said the stroke patient’s life had been saved after a 15 minute brain surgery at the NHSL. The patient had suffered a stroke due to a blood clot in the brain. Surgery had been performed within 8 hours of hospital admission by NHSL surgeons Dr. Prasad De Silva and Dr. Premasiri Bandaranaike. more..

‘Reconciliation need of the hour’

Feb 28 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena stated that incidents such as the one in Ampara on Monday were detrimental to the reconciliation process of the country. President said that such incidents stand as challenges to the govt’s reconcilliation programme. “While we launch the Sri Lanka National Policy on Reconciliation and Co-existance, we have to overcome these kinds of challenges in the process of reconciliation,” more..

Sathosa rice import case: CIABOC grills Ravi

Feb 28 (CT) Former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake was yesterday (27) grilled, for nearly five hours, by the CIABOC, according to inside sources. Sources said that Karunanayake had been questioned and his statement recorded over the import of 100,000 metric tons of rice, which was found to be unsuitable for human consumption, through the Lanka Sathosa, thereby causing a loss to the State. Sources said that the said incident had taken place in 2015. more..

Textiles to lead Lanka’s export revival in 2018: OBG Group

Feb 28 (DN) Sri Lanka’s apparel and textile export segment is likely to experience the highest rate of growth and would be the key driver towards SL’s 2020 export earnings target of $ 20 billion. A survey by Oxford Business Group (OBG) Business Barometer with CEOs who took part in a face-to-face survey predicted that the garments industry would be the growth engine for exports in the year ahead, followed by tea and spices at a distant second with 14%. more..

Looters as Rulers: President disbands PM-headed Econonic Management Committee

Feb 28 (CT) Prez has ordered that the Committee on Economic Management, headed by PM, be disbanded and the functions of that Committee be vested in the Cabinet of Ministers. Decision was taken at the Cabinet meeting held yesterday. These Officials were part of the Cabinet Sub-Committee on Economic Management, which included officials such as R. Paskaralingam, former Treasury Secretary Charitha Ratwatte and more..

What's up: Aftermath of a Local Election

Feb 28 (DM) Southerners uplifted the 44%(+) Man‘s non – governance’ regime and lowered the no governance peg fixed on the Colombo Lad’s 32% (+) vote, taught a lesson to a fiddling govt; restoring the status quo to its origin – a process tha tleft the nation on a ‘nowhere’ platform. Much needed changes are in the making. UNP picked the message to evolve a possible transition for its survival. Not good enough at a self-destructing moment, but a beginning for a beleaguered more..

Let us work together in harmony

Feb 28 (DM) Religious, political and other leaders who met at the Ampara District Secretariat yesterday demanded that tough action be taken against those involved in the communal and religious tension that erupted in this eastern town on Monday night, with attacks on a place of worship and business houses. The Cabinet at its meeting yesterday also agreed that tough action should be taken after several ministers expressed deep concern over what had happened and more..

ශ්රී පාදය රැක ගැනීමේ වුවමනාව

Failure at Local Elections: Inability of the govt to care for needs of the people

Feb 28 (FT) The purpose of this article is to discuss the causes of the massive failure of the Govt at the LG elections held and their impact on the economy. The country took a step forward when the current Govt was elected in 2015 and 2016. The economic policies announced and developed by it were a sharp departure from the protectionist policies adopted during the preceding 10 years; import tariffs or duties were increased to very high levels and numerous para tariffs such as cesses and more..

Ranil misses the bus

Feb 28 (CT) A press release issued by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe's Office in respect of fighting crime and corruption included the establishment of a three- member committee comprising Ministers Rajitha Senaratne, D.M. Swaminathan and Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera. Release also spoke of establishing a Criminal Justice University under the leadership of PM and including Ministers Thalatha Atukorale and Sagala Ratnayaka in a committee formed in this regard. more..

JVP to support no-faith motion against PM

Feb 28 (DM) JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said today the party would support a no-faith motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on the basis that he had not carried out his duties properly and with allegations of fraud and corruption and on allegations of protecting thieves. However, he also said protecting Mr. Wickremesinghe’s Premiership or helping to continue it was not a matter of the JVP. He said that they would more..

NPC wants Int’l court over alleged war crimes

Feb 28 (DM) Northern Provincial Council (NPC) yesterday passed a resolution to request the UNHRC to establish an International Court to look into the alleged war crimes committed by the armed forces during the wartime in the province. The resolution, which was submitted by Councillor M.K. Shivajilingam, was passed with a majority at the 117th council session held at the Provincial Council premises at Kaithady. Mr Shivajilingam said govt had failed to probe into war crime charges more..

Raviharan released on bail

Feb 28 (NR) TNA Northern Provincial Councillor T Raviharan who was arrested for damaging state property has been released on bail. The order was issued by the Mullaitivu Magistrate’s Court this afternoon. A protest was staged on the 22nd of Feb by Raviharan and a group of protestors over efforts to hand over land owned by the Gotabaya Navy Camp in Wattuwakal, Mullaitivu to the Navy through a survey. The protest was held adjacent to the Mullaitivu District Department of Survey. more..

Video: Protesters attack Thambuttegama Police Station

Feb 28 (AD) A tense situation has been reported at Thambuttegama town as police fired tear gas and water cannons at protesters who were attacking the Thambuttegama Police Station with stones. A large number of villagers gathered near the police station today and staged a protest blocking the Kurunegala-Anuradhapura road at Police Junction in Thambuttegama. Protest was launched against granting permission to more..

Sarath Fonseka’s appointment as Law and Order Minister not yet finalized

Feb 28 (DN) Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that a new Cabinet Minister for Law and Order will definitely be appointed in two weeks and the decision to appoint Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka has not yet been finalized. The Minister said this while responding to a question raised by a Journalist at the weekly Cabinet Media Briefing held today at the Govt Information Department. Minister said that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe swore in as the Law and Order Minister only for two weeks. more..

Govt's aim is to create a generation capable of defeating tribal views: Minister

Feb 28 (GDI) Minister Mangala Samaraweera says that the aim of the govt is to create a young generation capable of winning a modern world through defeating tribal views and the development of a country means that the younger generation go forward in education. Speaking at the opening of the new student dormitory of St. Thomas Girls High School in Matara and laying foundation stone for a new four storied building, he said the country needs a society that could work with a straight back. more..

SC prevents arrest of former IGP over Lasantha's murder inquiry

Feb 28 (AD) The Supreme Court today issued an interim injunction preventing former IGP Jayantha Wickramaratne from being arrested over the murder of journalist Lasantha Wickramatunga. The former IGP had petitioned the court seeking a court order preventing his possible arrested in connection with the murder. On Feb 14, the Retired Senior DIG Prasanna Nanayakkara was arrested by the CID for allegedly more..

Security beefed up in Ampara after clash

Feb 28 (Island) A large contingent of Police and STF personnel has been deployed in the Ampara Town in the wake of a clash between two groups which damaged a mosque and several shops on Monday night. SP Ruwan Gunasekara said the area was now calm and no further clashes had occurred. "We have to ensure that the culprits are brought to justice and we are conducting a thorough investigation," he said they would also examine CCTV footage. He said the people should remain calm. more..

Yala Gemunu loses one tusk in fight

Feb 28 (DM) Yala National Park today confirmed that the majestic tusker known as Gemunu in the sanctuary had lost one of its tusks following an attack by two other single tuskers a few days ago. Gemunu had been attacked at the Sandun Oruwa area near Menik River. The well-known tusker Gemunu, had earned the reputation of getting close to safari jeeps in search of food. Deputy Park Warden Ranjith Sisira Kumara who was attached to the Yala Range-II said tusker was attacked more..

Video: 44 arrested over Thambuttegama incident; 4 cops injured

Feb 28 (AD) Four police officers were injured and hospitalized after a group of angry protesters pelted stones and laid siege to the Thambuttegama Police Station earlier today. They have been admitted to the Thambuttegama Hospital, police spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekara said. He stated that a police water cannon truck has also been damaged during the incident. 44 suspects including 5 women have been arrested over more..

India’s RITES gets Sri Lanka central expressway consultancy deal

Feb 28 (EN) Indian engineering consultancy company RITES Limited has won a contract to provide advisory services to improve the road network connecting with the planned Central Expressway, linking Colombo with Kandy in the central hills. Cabinet of ministers this week approved a proposal for the contract by Minister Kabir Hashim. RITES Limited is an Indian govt owned engineering consultancy company and the export arm of Indian Railways providing rolling stock overseas. more..

Cabinet approval for certified prices to purchase paddy

Feb 28 (GDI) Cabinet have approved the certified prices to purchase paddy from farmers in the Maha cultivation season. Minister Gayantha Karunathileka said that the after consideration of the proposal presented by Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera and Rural Economic Affairs Minister P. Harrison, the Cabinet approved the following certified prices for the purchase of paddy from necessary districts: Nadu - Rs 38 per kg; Samba – Rs 41 per kg; Keeri Samba – Rs 41 per kg more..

Works of Energy Mafia: Power Ministry wants Rs.2.5 Bn to buy extra electricity

Feb 28 (DM) Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy has submitted a Cabinet paper requesting for Rs. 2.5 billion to purchase supplementary electricity from private power generating sources. Sources said the document was submitted by Minister Ranjith Siyamabalapitiya at the Cabinet meeting presided over by the President. The request for the immediate purchase 100 megawatts of electricity was made because more..

SL bonds illiquid after bill auction shock

Feb 28 (EN) SL bond market were illiquid Wednesday as it digested the aftershocks of a Treasury bill auction where sharply higher than expected volumes of 12-month paper were accepted a day earlier, dealers said. There were few two way quotes in the market, though rates were only up about 5 basis points after the debt office unexpectedly accepted 30 billion rupees in 12 month bills after advertising to sell only 13 billion rupees. Bids for 3 and 6 month bills were rejected. more..

Bimal & Sunil meet Sri Lankans in London

Feb 28 (LT) Several members of the COPE including its Chairman Sunil Handunneththi and the National Organizer of the JVP Bimal Rathnayaka are in London to participate in a special workshop organized by British parliament for members of COPE. During the three day workshop in British Parliament, Mr Bimal Rathnayaka participated in a seminar in Stockholm in Sweden organized by the JVP. A large number of Sri Lankans irrespective of their political leanings participated. more..