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Opposition calls 2019 budget deceitful

Mar 7 (NR) UPFA MP Udaya Gammanpila says the govt is deceiving the public by artificially generating state income. Speaking in Parliament during the debate the MP questioned the govts means of generating an income. He noted the govt that has been claiming of a debt burden for the past four years has increased the debt burden further through the Budget. Govt has artificially manipulated to increase govt’s income, more..

Godahewa sees Govt debt going up by another 2000 billion rupees

Mar 7 (Island) The 2019 budget would increase Sri Lanka’s debt by 100%, Nalaka Godahewa, former Chairman of the SEC told the media. He said that the broad objective of a govt was the long term economic development of the country. "The budget is a document that shows the short term govt plans to reach those long term goals. Tuesday’s budget only has expenditure. Also there is nothing different between Tuesday’s budget with any other budget presented since 2015," he said. more..

SL launches 5 and 10-year sovereign bonds

Mar 7 (EN) Sri Lanka has launched a 5 and 10 year sovereign bonds Thursday, a report said after a budget was presented to parliament Wednesday and the IMF said it had reached a staff level agreement to continue a reform program earlier in the month. Initial price guidance on the 5-year bond was around 7.2% and the 10 year 8.2%. Sri Lanka had said it was trying to acquire US$ 2 billion or more in international capital markets in 2019 with parliament giving the CB permission to more..

'Govt to raise US$2b from ISBs'

Mar 7 (CT) The Govt will be selling International Sovereign Bonds (ISBs) worth USD two billion in the next couple of days, State Finance Minister Eran Wickramaratne said. He said the tenures of these ISBs will be between five and 10 years. “Already the lead managers are working on this project,” he said. However, sources from the banking sector said that they are looking to raise USD 3 billion and they expect the cost to be around 7%. more..

67 guilty of bribery or corruption in 2018

Mar 7 (NR) CIABOC says 67 suspects cited in corruption cases have been found guilty of charges filed against them in 2018. Speaking during a media briefing at the Ministry of Media, Director General of the Commission President’s Counsel Sarath Jayamanne said the highest number of persons found guilty of bribery and corruption were reported last year. Director General said the five year plan to take measures against bribery and corruption is due to be publicised on the 18th of March. more..

Case against Namal R. fixed for July 18

Mar 7 (DN) The two cases filed against MP Namal Rajapaksa and three others alleged involvement in laundering money amounting to Rs.30 million through Gowers Corporate Services (Pvt) Limited between 2013 and 2014, were postponed till July 18 by Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayarathne. The four accused, Namal Rajapaksa, Sudarshana Bandara, Nithya Senani Samaranayake and Sujani Bogollagama who functioned as the directors of Gowers Corporation were present in court more..

General election prior to Presidential Poll

Mar 7 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday, hinted at the possibility of a General Election being held before the Presidential Election this year. While confirming that a Presidential Election would be held by the end of 2019, Prez told heads of Media institutions at a meeting with them at the President’s House in Colombo yesterday morning, that, however, a General Election might take place sooner due to political tension more..

Pakistan HC met with Opposition Leader

Mar 7 (PHC) High Commissioner of Pakistan, Major General (R) Dr. Shahid Ahmad Hashmat paid a courtesy call on Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa on March 6. High Commissioner briefed him on the latest security situation in the region. He underscored Pakistan’s desire for peace and stability in the region and resolution of all issues through negotiations and dialogue. Highlighting various steps taken by Pakistan to de-escalate the situation, the High Commissioner underlined more..

New Muslim party in the making in East

Mar 7 (Island) Eastern Province is likely to witness the birth of another Muslim political party. Launching the Eastland Liberation Organisation (ELO) at a well-attended meeting in Kalmunai last Monday, founder of the political outfit, Waffa Farook said the Muslims particularly from the East felt duped by their existing community leaders. "Already two top office bearers of the National Congress led by former Minister A.L.M. Athaulla has resigned and it is very likely they will join ELO," party source said. more..

SC issues order preventing Wasantha Karannagoda’s arrest

Mar 7 (AD) Supreme Court has issued an order preventing the CID from arresting or detaining the Retired Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda over the abduction of 11 youths. The SC judge bench consisting of Justices Buwaneka Aluwihare, Vijith Malalgoda, and Preethi Padman Surasena issued the injunction considering the Fundamental Rights (FR) petition filed by the Retired Admiral. The SC has, reportedly, advised Karannagoda to more..

'Rubella will be eliminated in next few years'

Mar 7 (DN) Rubella will be eliminated from Sri Lanka in next few years. Now it is nearing elimination, Health Services Director General Dr. Anil Jasinghe said. According to Dr. Jasinghe, Thalassemia screening in the country is now going on very successfully. Every single child live in affected areas in the country to be screened. The screening harvest is low and it is a good sign. He was addressing media during a seminar held in Colombo recently. Dr. Jasinghe pointed out that more..

Special hotlines to inform on illicit liquor

Mar 7 (AD) Police Headquarters has introduced three special telephone numbers for the public to provide information on illicit liquor. This initiative has been taken by the IGP as per the instructions given by Prez Sirisena. Accordingly, the public is requested to contact 0113 024 820/48/50 to inform on illicit liquor rackets operating anywhere in the country. Speaking on the program to control illicit liquor in villages, the President recently said that he instructed the IGP to more..

Mannar mass grave report reveals bone samples belong to 1499-1719 AD era

Mar 7 (DM) Carbon dating report from the Beta Analytic Institute of Florida, USA has revealed that the skeletal remains found in the Mannar mass grave dates back to a period between 1499 and 1719 AD (Anno Domini). However, the analysts are of the opinion that it was impossible to determine the specific time period. Skeletal remains of 325 bodies were recovered during the investigation carried out for 155 days. more..

The Jungee PM

Mar 8 (CT) Ranil Wickremesinghe’s mother is late Nalini Wijewardene, the benefactress of the supreme hub of Theravada Buddhism, the Kelaniya temple. His father is late Esmond Wickremesinghe, the Editorial Director under Ranil’s grandfather DR Wijewardene’s Lake House. Ranil is the recipient of a free honorary doctorate in law from Deakin University, Australia in 2017, orator at the Oxford Union and the biggest proponent of liberal democracy. He is also the PM of our republic. more..

Random shades of Sri Lankan justice

Mar 8 (CT) I often see various people complain, complement or remain silence on how justice is meted out in many countries in the world. For the same outcome. I have seen the complements and also complaints. So I searched a proper definition. Here is what I saw but if the readers know better I can be educated. They are extracted from the ordinary dictionaries and the legal dictionaries: A concern for Justice, piece, genuine respect for people; Quality of being fair & reasonable; more..

'Media freedom we granted, boomeranged on us'

Mar 8 (CT) UNP MP Kavinda Jayawardana says it is not easy to rescue the country from the pit this country has fallen into, due to loans taken by the Rajapaksa Govt. Q: You were given the post electoral organiser and even though delayed weren’t you meted with some justice? A: It was not like that. It was a decision made by the Party after deliberating on the most suitable time. Prev. organiser for Negombo was my father. more..

Religion in politics: RIP to good sense, decency and the democratising spirit?

Mar 8 (FT) I read recently that the problem with failed societies is that they listen to their politicians and not their poets. Not once did I read it, but thrice, and in as many forums. There must be something the universe is trying to tell us? Just hope the powers that be are listening! It’s a sobering thought for an ancient civilization such as ours, supposedly looking into the abyss of cultural apathy and corrupting influences all around us. It’s not a new idea. more..

Enhanced scientific approach to animal welfare

Mar 8 (DN) The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science (FVMAS) of the University of Peradeniya is the only higher education institution in Sri Lanka that offers an undergraduate study programme leading to the Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc) degree. The current programme extends over eight semesters (four years) and the annual intake is fixed as 80 students per year. Almost all the BVSc graduates find employment as soon as they graduate, primarily in state more..

Traffic case that sparked Aluthgama riots ends in acquittal

Mar 8 (SO) The 3 young men accused of having assaulted a bhikkhu and his driver, leading to a hate-filled BBS rally on the border of a Muslim majority settlement in Aluthgama, which in turn sparked vicious violence against Muslim-owned shops and businesses were acquitted by court The traffic incident that sparked vicious religious riots in Dharga Town, Aluthgama in June 2014 reached its judicial conclusion last week. more..

Floods happen: Preparedness vital

Mar 8 (CT) Sri Lanka has got 103 river systems and out of them 20 are in the wet zone receiving more rainfall from April to September. These wet zone rivers frequently generate severe floods ending in disasters affecting many people in low-lying flood plains. Riverine flooding mainly inundate floodplains and in extreme cases expands beyond the floodplain to nearby areas occupied by people and properties. The country experienced similar flood situations many times in the recent past, more..

War against drugs on all fronts

Mar 8 (DN) What happens to the drugs confiscated? This often asked question will get answered on the first of next month when over 1,000 kilograms of heroin, together with large stock of cocaine, Kerala ganja and local ganja scientifically destroyed. President Sirisena said he would personally witness this operation because of his firm determination to eradicate illicit drugs that has been identified as the most dangerous threat that bent upon destroying the future youths of our nation. more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Happy, remembering view of the week mixed for good cheer with the spice of malice

Mar 8 (Island) So our Minister of Finance has presented the govt’s budget for the year 2019 after an abortion of regular proceedings by no less a person than HE The President tumbling the govt and casting it aside and installing a new PM and a new Cabinet just before the govt in situ presented its budget at the very beginning of Nov 2018. Cassandra refers to that terrific upheaval termed euphemistically the political coup. It was much more than a coup or even a tumbling of apple cart. more..

How the Supreme Court coped with the 19th Amendment

Mar 8 (Island) Supreme Court was called upon to deliver a judgment relating to the provisions of the 19th Amendment for the first time when several political parties including the UNP petitioned the apex court against the dissolution of Parliament and the declaration of a general election, late last year. The instance in which the 19th Amendment was considered by the Supreme Court before that was when it was still a Bill. The document that went before the Supreme Court, in early 2015, more..

Everything you need to know about the Budget 2019

Mar 8 (Roar) Budget proposals for the fiscal year 2019 were unveiled in Parliament on Tuesday, by Minister Mangala Samaraweera. Theme this year is Empowering The People And Nurturing The Poor. It is a continuation of the Enterprise SL concept launched by the Minister last year, with the accompanying theme: a Blue, Green Budget. Budget proposals for 2019 were due during the last quarter of 2018, but were delayed more..

UN medal parade for Sri Lankan soldiers

Mar 8 (Island) In my container room, sleep came to me very late that night, at the UN peacekeepers desert camp in Gao. There was that silence of the night. At times, I was disturbed by the sound of planes. No one knew where the planes were heading for. "However, in Bamako, the capital of Mali, a cab driver told me that the French were plundering resources of Mali with the help of the country’s leaders and Malians were getting poorer and poorer. "Mali is rich in natural resources. more..

Edtorial: When the boss is bossed around

Mar 8 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena, on Wednesday, revealed the real extent of foreign interference with the internal affairs of this country. He told a group of media heads that some foreign envoys had even sought to meddle in the Cabinet appointments, last December. Some of them had tried to persuade him to refrain from bringing the police under his purview, the President said. One may recall what befell a British High Commissioner who overstepped his diplomatic limits while more..

Ceypetco loses Rs104bn as dollar soft-peg collapses

Mar 8 (EN) State-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation has lost 104 billion rupees in 2018, down from a 3.5 billion rupee profit a year earlier, with 82 billion rupees of the loss coming from a collapse of an unstable soft-peg with the US dollar. This was the worst loss incurred by CPC, topping the 97.3 billion rupee loss in 2012. CPC sales grew 14.6% from a year earlier to 521.5 billion rupees in 2018, while cost of sales cost of sales more..

140th Battle of the Blues: Match seesaws as 16 wickets tumble

Mar 8 (DN) A brilliant spell of left-arm swing bowling by Kalana Perera of S. Thomas’ College Mt. Lavinia who took six wickets for 54 runs saw Royal College collapse for 158 all out on the opening day of the three-day 140th Battle of the Blues cricket encounter played at the SSC grounds yesterday. By the close however the Royalist had fought back by capturing six Thomian wickets for 158 runs with off-spinner Kamil Mishara claiming three wickets for 32 runs. S.Thomas’ are equal with Royal’s 1st innings more..

Samaraweera: The Mr. Cricket of Sri Lanka

Mar 8 (SO) Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year has always been the prime target of many schoolboy cricketers. Winning such a mega event would definitely change the destiny of a deserving personality. This year’s Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year is going great guns with the all-important first team matches reaching its peak with the annual big matches also being played. We have been talking about some of the top schoolboy cricketers of yesteryear more..

Orders for bond sale top $ 3 billion

Mar 8 (FT) Govt has launched its first Int'l Sovereign Bond for 2019 and is expected to accept at least $2.5 billion, which will largely be used for debt repayment. SL launched the sale of US dollar-denominated bonds on Thursday and orders topped $3 billion. Finance Ministry Secretary Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga said that the amount that could be accepted was limited by the Vote on Account that was passed by Parliament in Dec, more..

AIA Sri Lanka records 6% revenue growth

Mar 8 (Island) Consolidated revenue grew by 6 per cent to LKR 18,232 million during the financial year 2018, from the figure reported for financial year 2017, driven by the growth in Gross Written Premium, AIA Insurance Lanka PLC reporting its and its subsidiary's financial results for the year ended Dec 31, 2018 said. The statement added : Gross Written Premium (GWP) of the life insurance business, grew by 11% to a record LKR 12,739 million, driven by growth in more..

Junior Davis Cup: Sri Lanka beat Vietnam 2-1

Mar 8 (DN) Sri Lanka beat Vietnam 2-1 in the ongoing Junior Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Pre-qualify tournament continued at the Sri Lanka Tennis Association courts yesterday. Sri Lanka did not perform well in the first singles match as Thehan Wijemanne went down to his Vietnam opponent Nhat Quang Nguyen 6-7(6), 3-6. But the host country won the second singles when Chathurya Nilaweera defeated Vinh Hien Truong after a close fight 7-6(2), 6-4. more..

UL has no guidelines for foreign loans

Mar 8 (Island) SriLankan Airlines did not have a manual on obtaining foreign loans and financial services, PCoI was informed. Yasantha Dissanayake, Head of Financial Management at SriLankan, answering a question posed by Retired Additional Solicitor General, Neil Unamboowe said that UL had no manual as regards loans. "I have consulted the AG on the matter and I was told loans and finances are not covered in the govt procurement manual. more..

Tennakoon’s second stint as Prisons CG

Mar 8 (AD) T.M. Jayasiri Vijayanath Tennakoon has been appointed as the new Commissioner General of Prisons. The Ministry of Justice and Prison Reforms stated that his name was proposed to the Cabinet meeting held yesterday (6) and unanimously approved. The Additional Secretary of the Labour Ministry had previously served as the Commissioner General of Prisons. The ministry said that Mr Tennakoon will assume duties in his position from next week. more..

Luxury tax to make car prices exorbitant

Mar 8 (FT) The luxury tax proposed by the 2019 Budget is estimated to send car prices soaring higher - between Rs. 600,000 and Rs. 4.2 million. The analysis of 2019 Budget moves by KPMG Partner Shamila Jayasekara sent shockwaves among participants of the firm's post-Budget forum yesterday. She said that the Govt aims to raise the highest amount of Rs. 48 billion via revisions in excise duty, depending on the engine capacity or kilowatts, as well as the luxury tax. more..

'Govt covering up shortcomings'

Mar 8 (CT) UNF was clinging onto the political turmoil which erupted on 26 Oct 2018 and natural disasters which affected the country in the recent past, like clinging onto a lifeboat, in a bid to cover up all its defects, JVP MP Nalinda Jayatissa stressed. Participating in the Second Reading of the Appropriation Bill 2019, he said, “Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera presented his fantasy through the Appropriation Bill for this year. more..

Sri Lanka small biz, entrepreneurs prodded for exports in Budget windfall

Mar 8 (AD) Sri Lanka’s Budget 2019 has fetched a much needed windfall to SL’s entrepreneurs and small businesses. More importantly, the latest Budget skilfully prods the sector towards exports. “Many financial and credit facilities as well as non-financial support have been offered to our MSMEs in the Budget 2019. Our MSMEs exceeding one million, stand to benefit from these proposals. The National Enterprise Development Authority (NEDA) can strengthen its MSME and more..

Minister Bathiudeen commends China’s support for schoolchildren in Mannar

Mar 8 (UTV) China assures its support presently and in future – for the deserving and underprivileged school children of Mannar. “We will try our best to help the children living here,” assured the Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Cheng Xueyuan on Wednesday in Tharapuram, Mannar. Ambassador Xueyuan, joined by Officials of Chinese Embassy, was addressing the school accessories distribution ceremony for underprivileged and deserving school children in Mannar organised by more..

Cabinet approves Rs. 203 mn reward package for Cargills, Sathosa

Mar 8 (DM) The cabinet on Wednesday approved a compensation package worth Rs.203 million for Cargills Ceylon (Food City) supermarkets chain and Lanka Sathosa for selling essential commodities at a concessionary price from Dec 14, 2017, to April 15, 2018. The foods sold under this scheme through the two supermarket chains were rice, sugar, potatoes, salt, dhal, sprats and canned fish. more..