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Ball in AG's Court

Nov 14 (CT) Sri Lanka began issuing Treasury (T) Bonds in 1997. T Bonds generally have a maturity period of a minimum of over a year, while its younger cousin, T Bills, have a maturity period of a maximum of one year only. Issuing of T Bills and T Bonds to the market is a common practice globally, for Govts to raise funds domestically to meet its financing needs. With the exposure of the multi-billion rupee T Bond scandal vis-a-vis the 27 Feb 2015 T Bond primary auction, more..

Consternation surrounding MCC agreement

Nov 14 (FT) Release of the draft MCC agreement by the Ministry of Finance 1 November, followed by an open challenge by Minister Samaraweera to show if there are any harmful aspects in the MCC to the country, a fast unto death by a venerable Buddhist monk against it, resulted in the Cabinet postponing the signing of this agreement until the conclusion of the Prez Election to be held on 16 Nov. In the meantime based on several petitions filed by many parties in the Supreme Court (SC), more..

Pani Wijesiriwardena

Witness hearing of Avant-Garde bribery case to resume in Feb.

Nov 14 (AD) Colombo High Court has ordered to resume witness hearings of the case against Chairman of Avant-Garde Nissanka Senadhipathi and former Chairman of Rakna Lanka Major General Palitha Fernando on Feb 14th, 2020. The case against the duo was taken up before Colombo HC Judge Shashi Mahendran this morning. The prison officers had presented the former Rakna Lanka chairman & the Avant-Garde chairman before the court. HC judge also ordered to issue more..

All Govt. schools to be closed tomorrow

Nov 14 (DM) All govt schools countrywide would be closed tomorrow (15) ahead of the Presidential Election which will be held on Saturday (16), the Education Ministry announced. The Ministry said the decision had been made following a request made by the Election Commission that schools have to be utilised as polling or counting centres. Accordingly, the statement noted that all schools would be handed over to Grama Niladhari offices after school hours on November 14. more..

Sri Lanka author attacked ahead of key polls

Nov 14 (AFP) Armed men stabbed and injured a writer in Sri Lanka on Thursday, a week after he published a book criticising the main opposition candidate at Saturday's prez polls, police said. The attackers stormed the home of Lasantha Wijeratne, who released his book Wasteful Development and Corruption last week and gave a copy to ruling party candidate Sajith Premadasa. "Four men broke into the house and stabbed him in the arm after more..

Man clubbed to death by wife for attempting to stab son

Nov 14 (AD) A case of woman assaulting her husband to death with a club is reported from the Kannagipuram area in Valachchenai. Reportedly, the deceased husband had attempted to attack their 16-year-old son with a knife during an escalation of an argument between the husband and wife. However, the wife had then assaulted the husband with a club, according to the Police. 36-year-old husband had been admitted to Hospital with critical injuries where he succumbed to his injuries. more..

Audit flags delays in ADB-funded water project

Nov 14 (EN) Sri Lanka’s auditor general has drawn attention to delays in an Asian Development Bank-funded project to improve water supply in the capital Colombo, saying physical progress has been slow with a lot of funds lying unused. The auditor general’s department also issued a qualified opinion on the third tranche of funds for the National Water Supply and Drainage Board’s Greater Colombo water and wastewater management improvement investment program. more..

Colombo air quality unhealthy today

Nov 14 (DM) Sensitive people have been advised to be mindful of the unhealthy air quality engulfed in the Colombo area today, NBRO Air Quality Unit Senior Scientist H.D.S. Premasiri said. According to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, when Air Quality Index (AQI) values are between 101 and 150, members of sensitive groups might experience health effects, but the general public was unlikely to be affected. more..

Three drug peddlers nabbed in Kiribathgoda

Nov 14 (AD) Navy in coordination with the Police apprehended 03 suspects with 1.650kg of Kerala Cannabis in Kiribathgoda on 13th November 2019. During a raid carried out by the Western Naval Command and the Organized Crime Division, a suspicious three-wheeler was intercepted in Kiribathgoda and found Kerala Cannabis in the possession of the persons travelling in the three-wheeler. Further investigation revealed that the accused who are drug peddlers in the region, more..

Jayathma among TIME’s 100 Next

Nov 14 (DM) Jayathma Wickramanayake, UN Youth Envoy, has been named as one of the rising stars in TIME magazine’s 100 Next list among many other influencers including Awkwafina, Camila Cabello, Lily Singh and Carlos Alvarado Quesada, Prez of Costa Rica. The magazine said the new list TIME 100 Next is a part of an ongoing expansion of its flagship TIME 100 franchise and the new list spotlights 100 rising stars who are shaping the future of business, entertainment, sports, more..

SL raises overflying charges after 38 years

Nov 14 (AD) Sri Lanka has decided to increase the overflying charges on aircraft flying through the country’s air space, for the first time in 38 years. In exchange for providing navigation aids to aircraft overflying their territories and landing at their airports, countries impose overflying navigation fees. “We have taken a decision to increase overflying charges which we have not done for the last 38 years,” more..

Disappearance of 11 youths: CID informs Court probe concluded

Nov 14 (CT) The CID yesterday (13) informed Colombo Fort Chief Magistrate Ranga Dissanayaka that the probe into the alleged abduction and disappearance of 11 youths from Kotahena, Colombo and extortion has been concluded and that abstracts of the case had been sent to the perusal of Attorney General (AG), President's Counsel Dappula de Livera. This was revealed by Officer-in-Charge of the Organised Crimes Unit of the CID, Inspector of Police Nishantha Silva. more..

USAID funded project estimates SLPP spent Rs 1518 million so far on campaigning

Nov 14 (Island) National Coordinator of the Center for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) Manjula Gajanayake said the estimated campaign cost of the 2019 Prez poll by all political parties and candidates would be around Rs. Rs 10,000 million. He called upon the media to investigate the sources of funding. Gajanayake made this request at a media briefing convened by the CMEV yesterday morning. He also pointed out that campaign finance with no trace of source of funding led to corruption, more..

'Worst media behaviour in election history'

Nov 14 (RN) Presenting data analysed by Ministry of Mass Media on the news reporting of eight television stations, Election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said that in no other election has the media behaved worse than they have this presidential election. Deshapriya said if television stations start to give equal airtime to candidates in their news reporting during the silent period starting today, “we can think that more..

Hakeem predicts landslide victory for Sajith

Nov 14 (Island) It was indeed a remarkable achievement to bring all politicians of various political camps together under one umbrella to ensure a landslide victory of Sajith Premadasa, at the oncoming prez elections, said Leader of SLMC and Minister Rauff Hakeem speaking at a meeting held at Kalkudah in Batticaloa District, campaigning in support of prez candidate Sajith Premadasa. He said, "We unanimously selected Sajith Premadasa as the conduit to unite all parties more..

Artistes on the political ramp

Nov 14 (DM) The political stage is getting heated by the day as many faces continue to pledge their support for existing parties and new alliances. Recently several artistes, both veteran and amateur too pledged their support to various candidates and even went to express their views on the political stage. Hence, a few of them shared their views with the on why they decided to support a particular candidate. “After four and half years we have realised that this Govt has failed us,” more..

Pakistan to host SL for 2-Test series in Dec

Nov 14 (CI) Pakistan are set to host a Test series for the first time in ten years, against Sri Lanka next month. The two-match series will be played in Rawalpindi and Karachi, on Dec 11 and 19 respectively. The Test series was originally scheduled to be played in October - with the limited-over series initially slated for December - and was reportedly supposed to be played at a neutral venue as SL players had refused to tour Pakistan. more..

DMC cautions CEA to be alert on smog levels

Nov 14 (DM) The Disaster Management Centre (DMC) has cautioned the Central Environment Authority (CEA) to be watchful on the SMOG levels in SL’s atmosphere and to inform them if it reaches alarming levels. DMC Spokesman Pradeep Kodiplly said that CEA has been asked to be watchful on the SMOG situation and to inform them if there are any concerns in the SL atmosphere. “There is no reason for anyone to be alarmed now but the DMC and CEA are watchful on the situation,” more..

SL weighs return to murky past in prez poll

Nov 14 (AFP) Sri Lanka holds prez elections on Saturday with a possible comeback by the powerful Rajapaksa clan sparking fears of a return to murky disappearances, murders and Chinese submarines docking in Colombo. The frontrunners among the record 35 candidates -- who include two monks but just one woman -- are Sajith Premadasa, 52, son of assassinated president Ranasinghe Premadasa, and Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. Gotabhaya, 70, is the younger brother of Mahinda Rajapaksa, more..

Labour Dept. to introduce minimum retirement age for private sector

Nov 14 (DM) The Department of Labour plans to introduce a minimum retirement age for Sri Lanka’s private sector employees after the presidential elections. “I have already prepared a Cabinet paper to submit to the Cabinet following the presidential elections to determine the minimum retirement age for private-sector employees. However, it has to be discussed at National Labour Advisory Council,” Labour Department more..

AG to inform court on onward action regarding Ali Roshan case

Nov 14 (AD) 3-judge bench of Colombo High Court has ordered the AG to inform the court on the onward action which will be taken against Niraj Roshan alias Ali Roshan and seven others on the 2nd of Dec. Previously, the defendants raised preliminary objections to the Colombo HC to reject the case filed against them stating that the Colombo HC does not have the jurisdiction to hear the case as the manner in which the charges were filed against their clients is uncertain. more..

3,821 election law violation cases reported so far: EC

Nov 14 (DM) The Elections Commission has received a total of 3,821 complaints from October 8 to November 13 regarding election law violations and violent activities, the Commission said. It said ten violent activities had been reported to the National Election Complaint Management Centre and District Election Complaint Management Centres while 3, 687 election law violations were reported to the respective centres. 107 other cases had also been reported. more..

Minorities fear return of Gotabaya Rajapaksa in prez election

Nov 14 (DW) As Sri Lankans head to the polls to vote for a new president this Saturday, the name Gotabaya Rajapaksa will stand out among the list of candidates. To many Sinhalese, Rajapaksa is the embodiment of a country's savior — the great former defense secretary who crushed the LTTE, after nearly three decades of civil war. To Sri Lanka's minorities the name Gotabaya Rajapaksa cuts to their core. more..

Uncle Sam’s new deal for Derana

Nov 15 (CT) The official spokeswoman of the US Embassy in Colombo decided to do an interview with the Gotabaya Rajapaksa aligned Derana TV without the knowledge of other US Govt agencies. The interview happened while the rumour mill was in overdrive that Gotabaya Rajapaksa had not yet sorted out his US citizenship issues and his lawyers released multiple sets of documentation that made things even murkier. CT learns that the decision to have Nancy Van der Horn on Derana TV more..

The buck stops in EC’s Office

Nov 15 (CT) According to the Daily Mirror of Nov 12th, the following statement has been attributed to Mr. Mahinda Deshapriya, Election Commissioner. “It is none of the business of the Election Commission to inquire about candidates’ citizenship and as such the EC had not asked them to furnish any documents pertaining to their citizenship, EC Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said. He said they had not asked any candidate to produce any documents pertaining to the renunciation of more..

MMDA in the spotlight again

Nov 15 (CT) There was a recent call from the Women and Media Collective (WMC), to all Sri Lankans, to vote for a President who respected the principles of democracy. Director - Programmes, Viola Perera, announcing the Women's Manifesto, which had been submitted to the 35 Prez Candidates contesting the Nov Prez Poll, urged women especially to use their vote wisely. She pledged on the occasion to more..

A Prez Poll we had to have before 2020

Nov 15 (CT) A Prez Poll to be held on 16 Nov is something we thought would have been dealt with by Prez Sirisena, who was elected in Jan 2015 as Prez, mainly on the slogan that he would abolish it, which most agree has been the bugbear to all in SL, ever since it was introduced by Prez JRJ, in 1977. Because of this broken promise of our incumbent Prez Sirisena, we have to face this election with trepidation and hope it will not remain there for much longer or be reduced to play a ceremonial more..

Light at the end of the tunnel

Nov 15 (CT) "Prosperity is the reflection of national wellbeing, and it is in turn the true ground situation that would decide whether it denotes the real meaning or just a farce that misleads. The current heat of the Prez Election is a reality witnessed and experienced by all these days, and it is very timely and worthwhile to see how the contenders are trying to show the best solutions." All around us, we see an environment with a very high potential capacity to become one of the richest Nations more..

Youth’s vote is Youth’s voice

Nov 15 (DM) Out of 15, 992, 096 eligible and registered voters, 30.8% are youth voters and 1.55% are first time voters. This year’s Presidential Election is coming months after the gruesome Easter Sunday attacks and a year after the constitutional coup, the first ever in Sri Lankan history. Due to these issues, political activism in youth and youth apathy are both prevalent regarding the Presidential Elections. more..

Saying ta-ta to Uncle Sam

Nov 15 (FT) I am no lawyer. What follows is simple and straightforward information available in the websites of the US State Department and a website that offers information on renouncing US citizenship. Renouncing and relinquishing are not the same. Renouncing your citizenship is different from relinquishing your citizenship. I do not know what the 19th Amendment requires of a US and SL dual citizen who wishes to be our President. The procedure to renounce your US citizenship more..

Gota’s citizenship, US silence & presidency

Nov 15 (FT) As soon as Gota’s dual citizenship became a debatable issue on the eve of his nomination by his brother’s party, the SLPP, US authorities must have realised that they have been presented with manna from heaven to help them achieve what they want from Sri Lanka, irrespective of who wins the tight contest. In a single stroke of her pen, the US Ambassador in Colombo could have cleared the air immediately, but she must have been advised to allow the controversy continue, more..

BOI aims for $ 1.5 b FDI for 2019

Nov 15 (FT) The BoI is aiming to end the year with $ 1.5 billion in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), with plans to tap into the bunkering and petrochemical industry, which could potentially earn SL billions in fresh investment over the next 5 years. In 2019, the BOI focused on export catalytic investment, BOI Chairman Mangala Yapa said, insisting that focus was on high local value addition, job creation, and environmental protection. more..

Editorial: What they forgot

Nov 15 (Island) Perhaps, the only thing the presidential candidates did not promise us, during the last few weeks, was rice from the moon or handen haal. They pledged to give us virtually everything else free of charge so much so that one may have wondered whether they had found Aladdin’s magic lamp. Fulfilling all these promises is a task that only Sakka or the King of Gods may be equal to, given the huge amount of funds and the superhuman effort it requires. more..

Kishu Gomes bids farewell to SL Tourism

Nov 15 (FT) Allowing the new Govt to appoint a new Chairman, incumbent SL Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) Chairman Kishu Gomes has tendered his resignation effective 15 Nov 2019, having been in the industry for over 9 months. Early this year, Gomes received an invitation from the tourism industry to accept the position of SLTPB Chairman which was approved by the President. However, the PM, having reviewed the appointments approved by the president, later decided to make Kishu more..

'Port City will create 83,000 jobs'

Nov 15 (DM) A Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is seen as a vital aspect in propelling SL’s economic growth to the next level. Even on political platforms, the prez candidates vow continually to attract FDIs if they are elected to office. However, it is difficult to encourage FDI projects without improving the country’s status in the Ease of Doing Business Index. Sri Lanka is ranked 99 in the index out of 190 economies in the world. more..

Sri Lanka’s highest value FDI via strategic investment in petroleum refinery

Nov 15 (FT) SL’s geographical locational advantage between Singapore and the Middle East, and the availability of a new deep-water Port in Hambantota make the island an optimum location for establishing export-oriented petroleum and other commodity processing facilities. Promoting the country’s prospects as an investment destination against this backdrop, the BOI’s efforts have resulted in an investment proposal from Hambantota Oil Refinery Ltd., an affiliate company to Sugih Energy more..

MCC Compact should conform to the Constitution

Nov 15 (Island) Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact is temporarily down but is not out. Despite this set-back, it is bound to resurface after the Prez Election when it would be submitted to Parliament as required by the provisions of the Compact. However, a fact that needs to be acknowledged is that if not for the concerted public pressure that included Ven. Ududumbara Kashyapa Thera to launch a protest fast, Compact would have been signed by now. more..

Festive demand boosts factory output, automation hits service jobs

Nov 15 (EN) Sri Lanka’s factory production increased in October propelled by food and beverage manufacturing to meet festive demand while services also grew but without new jobs owing partly to automation, according to the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI). Manufacturing PMI increased 2.9 points to 57.6 in October 2019 mainly due to increases in production and new orders compared to Sept 2019, more..

Presidential candidates and the ailing agriculture sector

Nov 15 (Island) Agricultural sector is the cornerstone in the economic and social development of the country and hence, a number of presidential candidates in their manifestoes highlighted the need to improve this sector. Around 1.6 million ha of the country is cultivated with annual and perennial crops and around 25% of Sri Lankans are employed in the agricultural sector. Around 860,000 ha in Sri Lanka are under food crops such as cereals, legumes, oil crops, vegetables etc. more..