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Sri Lanka examine market pricing furnace oil for industry: official

Mar 10 (EN) Sri Lanka will look into the possibility of market pricing furnace oil, which is a key ingredient of export industry. Advisor to Finance Ministry Deshal de Mel told Eco said the govt would look in to the possibility of bringing furnace oil in to a price formula. Though petrol and diesel is market priced, furnace oil is not. Furnace oil, which is a mostly sold to business-to-business and the state-run CEB has been kept at a price above cost in the last three years when oil prices fell. more..

Budget will create an entrepreneurship culture: Biz community

Mar 10 (SO) Economists, Chamber heads and top business personalities commended the 2019 Budget as a progressive one, with a focus on promoting women entrepreneurship and creating an entrepreneurship culture in the country. The move to further liberalise the economy, drive exports and create a conducive environment for foreign direct investments were also commended by the business community. Chairperson Women’s Chamber of Industry & Commerce Chathuri Ranasinghe more..

President calls for resolution of disputes between Pakistan, India through dialogue

Mar 10 (PHC) High Commissioner of Pakistan, Major General (R) Dr. Shahid Ahmad Hashmat called upon President Sirisena on March 8. HC apprised the Prez on the security situation in the South Asian region. HC reiterated emphatically Pakistan’s unrelenting commitment and dedicated resolve for peace, stability and prosperity in the region. The HC underscored repeated sincere and honest efforts of PM of Pakistan more..

Kshenuka named Rep to UN in NY

Mar 10 (CT) Former Foreign Secretary Kshenuka Senewiratne has been nominated as the new SL Ambassador/Permanent Representative to the UN, in New York, Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced. Her name and the names of nine other envoys have been sent to the Parliament Committee on High Posts to examine their suitability to be appointed to the State service. Ten new SL Ambassadors from the SL Foreign Service, have been nominated to new posts by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. more..

New UNDP Resident Rep takes office

Mar 10 (CT) Jorn Sorensen presented his credentials on Friday to Minister Tilak Marapana, officially taking office as the new Resident Representative for UNDP in SL. Speaking after presenting his credentials, Sorensen stated, “For UNDP, 2019 marks the beginning of a new era as we officially delink from the Resident Coordinator’s Office. This is not a disconnect but it gives UNDP a chance to re-position itself as a strategic partner for sustainable development, more..

Chinese company gets multibillion contract to expand coal yard

Mar 10 (ST) China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC), builder of the Lakvijaya coal power plant, has won a contract worth more than Rs 4.6 billion to expand its coal yard. The award further increases the footprint of Chinese companies handling multibillion rupee projects in SL. CMEC already has a repertoire of businesses here, including the 400 megawatt natural gas power plant coming up in Hambantota and more..

Hit-and-run case: Borella Traffic OIC succumbs to injuries

Mar 10 (AD) Borella Traffic OIC, who was injured in the hit-and-run accident at Bambalapitiya last month, has succumbed to injuries at the Colombo National Hospital. He passed away today (9) while receiving treatment in the ICU. Traffic OIC of the Borella Police, IP Sarathchandra, 51, had been en route to the Kollupitiya Police Station, when he had met with an accident when the motorcycle he was riding was hit by a speeding Defender in Bambalapitiya, at around 4.35 am on Feb 24. more..

Suspected extremists shoot at Hashim’s coordinating secretary

Mar 10 (ST) Suspected members of an extremist group shot and seriously wounded an official working for a cabinet minister in Mawanella yesterday. Razak Taslim (37) was asleep when two persons arrived at his home at Dhanagama Mawatha before dawn yesterday. One of them pulled out a pistol and fired at him at point blank range. Mr. Taslim is now lying at the ICU of Kandy National Hospital. He is described as a Coordinating Secretary to Minister Kabir Hashim. more..

With no hope of SLPP backing, Sirisena may go it alone

Mar 10 (ST) In SL’s 71 years of independence from British rule, at no time before have bizarre political records tumbled in rapid succession than since last year. The fiascos, set in motion from October last year, with Prez Maithripala Sirisena sacking PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and foisting Mahinda Rajapaksa in his place, continue. Supreme Court rescinded that particular action and declared it was unconstitutional. more..

A budget for all elections by the man for all seasons

Mar 10 (Island) By any measure, Minister Mangala Samaraweera is SL’s man for all seasons in politics. He has been in opposition to both UNP (1989-1994 and 2002-2004) and SLFP (2007 to 2014) govts. Equally, he has been a Minister in both SLFP (1994-2007) and UNP (2015 - ) govts. He has been a Minister, as well, under every President after 1994, and has had more than a hand in ending the presidency of two of them and is about to play the same role for the third and the current Prez. more..

Friday Forum faults all players in the polity

Mar 10 (Island) It is now three months since the interpretation of our constitution by the Supreme Court of the country was respected by the President and the relevant political leaders, and the constitutional crisis he created was resolved. Yet the country continues to be trapped in problems of critical concern for all of us. The SC decided that President Sirisena had acted in violation of the constitution and yet Parliament and the country have not questioned his right to hold this office. more..

The brigadier who kicked up a legal storm

Mar 10 (Hindu) On Feb 4, 2018, SL’s Independence Day, a group of Tamil protesters gathered outside that nation’s Embassy in London — some waving Tamil Eelam flags, some carrying placards calling for the release of political prisoners in Sri Lanka and for the details of people still missing from the conflict to be released. Among those coming in and out of the building was the Embassy’s defence attaché Brigadier more..

Prez refuses extension for PM’s bodyguard

Mar 10 (ST) President Maithripala Sirisena has said there will be no extensions of service to police officers who retire. The issue came into focus after PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had recommended an extension of service to a ranking member of his personal security detail. President Sirisena, under whom the Police Department now functions, has said he had decided as a matter of policy not to grant extensions. more..

Inland Revenue CG: Vacant post causes massive revenue loss

Mar 10 (SO) Continuous failure of the Ministry of Finance in appointing a permanent Commissioner General (CG) to the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) may end upstaging a loss of over Rs. 50 billion to the General Treasury, sources at the IRD said. “There are court cases on hold due to the absence of a CG. The cases have been filed against the IRD by tax payers who claimed that tax estimates are incorrect. more..

High posts committee to vet 10 ambassadors-designate

Mar 10 (Island) The names of 10 Ambassador-designates have been referred to the Committee on High Posts of Parliament to examine their suitability. In line with accepted practice, the committee has, through public advertisement, called on any individual or organization desirous of making representations on the nominations to submit them to the Committee Office of Parliament. Such memoranda may be required to be supported more..

Presidential poll: Sirisena still hopeful

Mar 10 (ST) Four years in office now, Prez Sirisena still hopes he will be the joint candidate of SLFP and SLPP at the prez election expected within the next seven months. This is notwithstanding growing uncertainty. Yet, signs that he would not back out and retain his option, at least, as an SLFP candidate, emerged this week. He has already named SLFP electoral organisers in 7 districts and is busy picking others. more..

UN Rights Chief hails star CID sleuth

Mar 10 (SO) In a week where one of the CID’s top sleuths was being mercilessly vilified in the country’s highest court, the UN Envoy on Human Rights has hailed the courage and dedication of law enforcement officials, in a compromised criminal justice system, in her report to the UNHRC. In her report, High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet named the OIC of the CID Gang Robberies Branch IP Nishantha Silva, more..

Florida report is not the final: Lawyers

Mar 10 (CT) Following the report of Radiocarbon dating analysis obtained from Florida, on the six skeleton samples, the lawyers representing the families of the disappeared persons in the North, cautioned that the report obtained cannot be counted as the final report, when articles such as biscuit wrappers, toffee papers and metallic chains tied to the tibia bones (lower legs), that were found, are sent to local laboratory for testing. more..

Worm-hit farmers to get compensation today

Mar 10 (ST) Farmers affected by the Fall Army (Sena) worm will be given compensation today under a programme being launched in the Ampara district. “Rs 250 million has been allocated to provide compensation” Agriculture Insurance Board Director General Panduka Weerasinghe said. Farmers were instructed by the Agriculture Department to burn down the affected plants at the first sight of the worm. more..

Karannagoda before CID tomorrow

Mar 10 (SO) After weeks of absconding from the police, former Navy Chief Wasantha Karannagoda has been noticed to appear before the CID at 9 am tomorrow, on an order issued by the country’s apex court. A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court last Thursday, stayed Admiral Karannagoda’s arrest by the CID, but in the same order, instructed the war-time Commander to present himself to the police on March 11. more..

6,000 Tamils stranded seeking asylum

Mar 10 (CT) Nearly 6,000 Sri Lankan Tamils, stranded in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, seeking asylum in those countries or urging to be sent elsewhere, are seeking the UN Refugee Agency’s support. International Tamil Refugees Advocacy Network’s (ITRAN) Australian-based Int'l Coordinator Arasa Ratnakanthan said that they have collected details of around 4,600 registered & unregistered Tamil asylum seekers more..

Abolish Presidency blues hit the charts again in poll’s year

Mar 11 (ST) Even as in spring time a young man’s fancy turns to thoughts of love and romance, so do Lanka’s leading politicians begin to hum the old, known, well-worn tune of scrapping the presidency at every spring of a presidential poll year before raising it to a crescendo at the approach of winter’s end. And this time, like the robin breast who sings at the first sign of spring, they have started cooing early. Leading the flock was Ranil Wickremesinghe, a long time proponent of more..

Applauding the draft CTA is akin to a merry drunk dancing at the edge of a cliff

Mar 11 (ST) SL’s draft Counter Terrorism Act (CTA) is not a curate’s egg of mostly good with a little bit of bad thrown in. Rather, it is the reverse. The draft Act is a whole lot of bad with some good thrown into the unappealing mixture. Certainly it is not the same perverse creature inhabiting the initial CTA drafts. But to cheer that seeming advance is to fall into the precise trap that those who are well-schooled in the sly tricks played by SL’s artful state agents will avoid with a jaundiced eye. more..

Digana: Ground Zero one year on

Mar 11 (SO) A year ago, the peaceful village was an unrecognisable hotbed of hate and violence and this street on which Samsudeen’s home now stands reconstructed, was filled with concrete and glass, debris from the attacks on Muslim-owned homes and businesses around town. The shoe merchant Samsudeen lives in a newly built house in the middle of town. The man in his 60s invited us into the bedroom cum living room more..

Int'l Court of Justice & The Ceylon Tamils

Mar 11 (CT) It is said that The Int'l Court of Justice, the highest court of the UN came to the conclusion that Britain should return the Chagos Islands archchipelago to Mauritius without delay. At the ICJ Mauritius claimed they were coerced into handing over the Chagos Island to Britain at the time of their independence in 1968. That is 20 years after the independence of Ceylon. The Tamils, who were concentrating in drafting of the Constitution of Ceylon, without asking for petty favours from more..

Brigadier’s conviction & GoSL ineptitude

Mar 11 (CT) Brigadier Priyanka Fernando, the former Minister Counsellor – Defense of the Sri Lanka High Commission in London was recently convicted of threatening protestors and denied diplomatic immunity by the Chief Magistrate at the Magistrate’s Courts in Westminster. Submissions for and against the withdrawal of the arrest warrant against Fernando were heard March 01. An issue had arisen as to whether Fernando benefits from diplomatic immunity. more..

Climate-resilient women

Mar 11 (CT) Time and time again, it has been proven that inclusion of women in development dialogues is essential for sustainable development. And it’s even more so relevant to Sri Lanka, as we battle the biggest existential threat that we’ve faced to date, climate change. It’s no secret that women play a significant, yet unrecognised, and an underestimated role in the country’s mainstay, the agricultural sector. more..

A tribute to Shibly Aziz PC

Mar 11 (SO) I want to thank the organisers for having invited us here today to pay tribute to this great man. I want to particularly thank Shibly Aziz’s wife Fathima. In life she was Shibly’s rock of Gibraltar and today she is the main driving force behind this event and other activities being done in his name. Shibly has talented sons and Afdhel Aziz’s book Strange Fruit once kept me company on a long flight across the Atlantic with its sensitive portrayal of people and the diversity endemic more..

Editorial: Unholy alliance

Mar 11 (Island) Chairman of the Committee on Public Finance M.A. Sumanthiran is reported to have said that following a query posed to a group of Finance Ministry officials, at a committee meeting, on cigarette prices, tCeylon Tobacco Company (CTC) sent him a letter, requesting an opportunity to furnish some information thereon. The letter was followed by a request over the telephone from someone who introduced himself as a lawyer representing the company, more..

හෙට අනිද්දා මහින්දත් NGO කාරයෙක් වන ලකුණු

Systemic violence: Mapping Police statistics on sexual abuse

Mar 11 (GV) In 2016, Groundviews mapped incidents of street harassment for International Women’s Day. None of these incidents had been reported to the police. Those who contributed their stories to the map recounted experiences that remained painful or frightening, even years later. This year, Groundviews wanted to ascertain the disparity between public experiences on street harassment and available police statistics. The grave crimes abstract that is publicly more..

A swing vote to hang convicted drug wholesalers

Mar 11 (Island) A spectre is haunting SL, the spectre of a drug menace, growing in geometric progression, possibly leading her to becoming a narco-state. Govt, as part of its raft of measures of increasing severity, wishes to re-introduce a judicially determined death penalty for drug traffickers but Catholic Bishops oppose it. Govt’s intention is to permanently remove drug traffickers from the trafficking loop by introducing the hanging loop, Catholic Bishops wish to more..

South Africa take series as De Kock sets up big D/L win

Mar 11 (CI) Quinton de Kock breezed to 121 off 108 balls before the South Africa middle order propelled the team to 331 for 5, and following a rainy Kingsmead evening, the adjusted Duckworth-Lewis-Stern target was ultimately 72 too many for SL. Following a rain delay of several hours, which arrived when SL were 75 for 2 after 16 overs, the visitors were posed with an incredibly challenging required rate upon resumption, more..

Yesteryear’s schoolboy sportsman, Ray de Silva passes away

Mar 11 (ST) A popular schoolboy sportsman of yesteryear, Ray de Silva passed away this week. A triple coloursman at Royal College, Colombo, de Silva played First XI cricket in 1969 as a wicket-keeper under the captaincy of Eardley Lieversz and in the Royal-Thomians from 1971-73 under Jagath Fernando, Asitha Jayaweera and Ajita Pasqual. He was in the Royal College First XV rugby football teams from 1970 to 1973 playing under Jagath Fernando, Fred Perera, Gamini Gunasekera more..

Met Dept warns of continuing heat wave in NP, NCP and NWP

Mar 11 (Island) The Met Department yesterday warned residents of Northern, North-Central and North-western provinces to continue to be cautious in view of the current heat wave. Extending its hot weather warning, the department urged those who work outdoors to stay hydrated and take breaks in the shade as often as possible. "Even when indoors ensure that elderly and the sick are hydrated, never leave children inside vehicles alone and limit strenuous outdoor activities," it said. more..

Sri Lanka car market stalls as duty increase hits demand

Mar 11 (EN) Sri Lanka’s main car dealers were offering pre-budget prices for fleets of vehicles in stock, but the demand had virtually dried up both in the new and second hand markets, dealers said Sunday. United Motors took out advertisements offering Eclipse and Xpander models at the pre-budget price with a saving of 1.6 million on the new customs duty rate. Mercedes-Benz agent Dimo said it was selling more..

Trinity captain’s injury aggravated by over-enthusiastic crowd – school authorities

Mar 11 (DN) Trinity College captain Pubudu Bandara was the victim of over-enthusiastic supporters during the 103rd cricket encounter against St Anthony’s College that resulted in him ending up at the Kandy General Hospital on Saturday. Bandara who had injured his right arm attempting to stop a ball off his own bowling during the Antonian first innings on Friday was in considerable pain. School authorities stated that a doctor who attended to his injury more..

The Battle of the North ends in draw

Mar 11 (ST) St. John’s opening pair Christy Thanujan and Nagenthirarajah Sawmiyan shone for St John’s Jaffna in their drawn 113th Battle of the North big match against traditional rivals Jaffna Central concluded at the Central ground in Jaffna yesterday. The pair made amends of their failure in the first innings as they led the sides’ fight back with half tons. Thanujan made 66 and Sawmyan hit 50 and associated in a valuable opening stand of 134 runs. more..

Budget gets IMF support

Mar 11 (FT) Budget 2019 has drawn support from the IMF, but it comes coupled with a call for a prudent policy mix with continued fiscal discipline and reforms, especially stronger performance monitoring of State-owned enterprises (SOE) to strengthen the economy. IMF Mission Chief for SL Manuela Goretti said that an extension of the $1.5 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) is likely to go before IMF Exec Board in May. more..

Colombo bourse to list Sri Lanka international sovereign bonds

Mar 11 (EN) Colombo Stock Exchange is planning to list recently issued dollar denominated sovereign bonds, with a positive response from the central bank SEC said. SEC Chairman Ranel Wijesinha has been informed by CB Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy that the US$ 2.4 billion of sovereign bonds last week will be listed in Colombo. "We are firm in our belief that the Capital Market in Sri Lanka should lend itself to facilitate the country’s initiatives to raise funds while at the same time more..