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The galloping stock market

Jan 24 (Island) Colombo stock market has been galloping like nobody’s business these past several days with little or no rational explanation of why this is so in the context of a pandemic-hit business downturn. Among the reasons that have been proffered by brokers and analysts for this surge in confidence of market players, and they have increased substantially in recent months according to the CSE, is that interest rates are plunging. Investors who could earn as much as 12-13% more..

Transfers, inquiries amidst port agitation

Jan 24 (ST) Port workers continued their agitation on Friday amidst punishment transfers and inquiries initiated against the trade union leaders that have been campaigning to ensure that the East Container Terminal (ECT) will be run solely by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA). Friday’s demonstration was to be carried out at the Gate 3 entrance to the Colombo Port with the participation of all trade union members during the lunch hour, All Ceylon General Workers Union General Secretary more..

Colombo Port City: Special Economic Zone Bill to be enacted soon

Jan 24 (SO) The Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Bill will be enacted hopefully by the end of next month under which the Colombo Port Commission will be set up to oversee operations, market and position the Port City to be a competitive investment hub in the region. “The legislation for the SEZ has been approved and it will be in force soon enabling the Commission to carry on marketing and promotional activities that will help attract global investors to the financial city,” more..

East Container Terminal: Trilateral talks ongoing: Japan

Jan 24 (TM) Govt is attempting to hand over the entirety of the 49% of shares allocated for foreign investment in the East Container Terminal (ECT) at the Colombo Port to India, by abandoning Japan, trade unions (TUs) attached to the SLPA alleged. Meanwhile, the Japanese Embassy in Colombo maintained that trilateral discussions were still ongoing. Port TUs alleged that the sudden urgency shown by the Govt to more..

Finance Ministry wants its nominees as independent directors in private banks

Jan 24 (ST) Questions are being raised on the much promoted meritocracy by the current govt with the Ministry of Finance (MOF) moving to remove certain independent directors in some private banks. These commercial banks are being pressurised by the MOF to remove certain independent directors, in a bid to replace them with political cronies. Sources close to the Treasury say that the MOF had written to certain banks directing them to remove at least two directors each & appoint MOF nominees. more..

Lanka tightlipped over Indian protest over deaths of fishermen

Jan 24 (ST) Colombo has not responded, and is unlikely to respond, to New Delhi’s strong demarche earlier this week over the death of four fishermen on board an Indian poaching vessel which sank off. SL’s northern Delft Island after a mid-sea collision with a SL Navy boat. Foreign Ministry said it had no statement and that the matter would be under the AG’s Department, Defence Ministry or the Fisheries Ministry. more..

'There’s nothing prescribed as Parliament has failed to enact legislation for contempt...'

Jan 24 (Island) TNA MP M. A. Sumanthiran, in an intervention in Parliament, said he was privileged to appear for Ranjan Ramanayake, a clean, honest politician in the Supreme Court and he was proud of that. Nevertheless, Ranjan Ramanayake was convicted and sentenced. Sentence of four years’ rigorous imprisonment was unprecedented and exceptionally severe, Parliament has a responsibility in this regard because we have not enacted a law for contempt of court, MP noted. more..

Misappropriation of Rs. 3,000 million: Top PMB officials interdicted

Jan 24 (SO) Paddy Marketing Board (PMB), Deputy General Manager (Operations), Director Finance and a Regional Manager have been interdicted for misappropriating nearly Rs.3,000 million funds of the PMB. On my instructions, these three top officials of the PMB were interdicted on Friday (22) in connection with a series of frauds committed by them including, taking money from rice mill owners to sell paddy and misappropriating PMB funds to purchase Polysacks bags to store paddy, more..

UNHRC Chief warns of asset freezes and travel bans for Sri Lankans

Jan 24 (ST) UNHRC High Commissioner’s latest report on SL goes so far as to suggest targeted sanctions such as asset freezes and travel bans for Sri Lankans credibly accused of human rights violations. The report is with the SL Govt and it has till Jan 27 to respond, said Foreign Secretary Admiral (Prof) Jayanath Colombage. High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet even recommends starting criminal proceedings in ICC more..

Conundrum over diplomatic postings

Jan 24 (ST) There are many ways in which the word diplomacy has been defined. At least a few are more noteworthy. Britain’s wartime PM, Sir Winston Churchill, said, “Diplomacy is the art of telling people to go to hell in such a way that they ask for directions.” American playwright, actor, and journalist Will Rogers declared, “Diplomacy is the art of saying nice doggie until you can find a stone.” Added Adolf Hitler, more..

Health Minister & the failure of COVID syrup

Jan 25 (DM) Irony at its best -the Minister of Health, one of the chief proponents of the locally developed COVID syrup better known as the peniya, has tested positive for the Coronavirus. The Minister publicly consumed the syrup produced by a person who claimed to have access to, and influence in, the world of good and evil spirits. The producer of the wonder drug claimed the decoction provided life-long protection from the virus. Most embarrassingly for us Lankans, more..

Crimes without Criminals

Jan 25 (DM) MP Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan has been discharged and released over the Joseph Pararajasingham murder case. The Batticaloa High Court on Jan 13 acquitted MP Chandrakanthan and four other suspects, after the AG’s dept informed the Court on Jan 11 that it has decided not to continue with the case. Former TNA MP Pararajasingham was shot dead on Dec 2005 at St. Mary’s Co-Cathedral Church in the Batticaloa town while attending Christmas prayers. more..

Cult and its Heretics

Jan 25 (GV) The tyranny of unreason does not stop at the borders of politics. It spreads its tentacles to every aspect of human life. In his first post-Trump media briefing, Dr. Anthony Fauci provided a telling summation of the existential costs of Trumpism. “The idea that you can get up here and talk about what you know, what the evidence what the science is,” the immunologist said, “…it is somewhat of a liberating feeling.” more..

Military Training for Youth

Jan 25 (CT) Recently, Minister of Public Security, Rear Admiral (Rtd) Sarath Weerasekara said he would submit a proposal to Parliament to provide military training to those above 18 years. He said that avenues will be examined, and added that the initial proposal would be for the Army to provide military training to school leavers above 18 years for six months. Furthermore, Weerasekara said this proposal seeks to promote leadership among citizens together with establishing more..

Editorial: Syrup promoters in the soup

Jan 25 (Island) So, it should now be clear that the Dhammika peniya or syrup, which the Department of Ayurveda has undertaken to test, is no cure for COVID-19. All intelligent people knew it was fake, but others including some government politicians were convinced otherwise. Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi, who swigged the syrup to protect herself against coronavirus, has contracted COVID-19. Several other MPs who ingested it have also tested positive for the virus. more..

'2021 crucial for energy sector'

Jan 25 (TM) The dream to turn Sri Lanka into the energy hub of Asia is seemingly distant, as the energy sector is relying on outdated infrastructure and has, at times, experienced several breakdowns and shortages whilst attempting to cater to the growing energy requirement of the country. Minister of Energy Udaya Gammanpila, who was keen on clarifying the strategic plan that the Govt has in place to ensure the sector addresses the lags more..

Another new commission promises no relief to victims

Jan 25 (ST) The recent appointment by Prez Rajapaksa of yet another SL Commission of Inquiry to study past Commission reports with a view to finding out if ‘any human rights violations, serious violations of international humanitarian law and other such serious offences have been revealed’ is, to put it bluntly, like a bad line in a particularly atrocious comedy. This newest Commission, the latest in a long line of distinguished and not so distinguished bodies, has been tasked to look at more..

America rises to a brand new dawn after braving the Trump nightmare

Jan 25 (ST) Phew! America and the watching world breathed a humongous sigh of relief this Wednesday when Prez Donald Trump mounted the last remaining step on the boarding stairway and, after a brief wave of goodbye, boarded Air Force One and flew into his Florida sunset. It was the moment America had held in palpitating suspense, fearing until the eleventh hour, that the usually peaceful transition of presidential power would be marred by violence; that the symbolic ritual staged when more..

රතු ඉර - කාලීන දේශපාලන සංවාදය

137 shot dead on July 29, ’87: India arm-twisted JR to sign the Indo-Lanka accord

Jan 25 (DM) The report reminisces the unprecedented July 29, 1987 turmoil on the day Indo-Lanka Accord was signed under curfew in Colombo. The purpose of the accord was described as, “to establish peace and normalcy in SL, the President of SL, attaching utmost importance to strengthening, nurturing, and intensifying the traditional friendship of the two nations, and acknowledging the crucial need of resolving the ethnic issue, and the resulting violence, and more..

Great to see Sri Lanka’s fighting spirit after first Test debacle

Jan 25 (ST) A fine effort by SL with the bat has put us in a strong position in the second Test against England in Galle and I am so happy with the way Angelo Mathews took up responsibility after a tough first Test. Angelo was brilliant. It was a good determined knock when the chips were down by our senior most player. There were quite a few negative things going around the team leading up to this Test match but Angelo showed his class. As a former captain, he showed the way to others how to more..

Transparency in selection, rubbishes archaic Sports Law

Jan 25 (ST) National Olympic Committee (NOC) President Suresh Subramaniam debunks the myth that only sports like athletics can win medals in the int'l arena calling for a level playing field when it comes to selection of disciplines for multinational events like the Olympics although dampening SL’s dream of glory in the Tokyo Games. “I am targeting Paris 2024 & 2028 Los Angeles. We will never get a medal this year in Olympics. more..

SLR finally set to host Inter Club 7s

Jan 25 (CT) Despite not seeing rugby for the last seven months, the much-awaited season is finally set to commence shortly after Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) received approval from the Health Ministry and other relevant authorities to conduct the inter club rugby 7s. In this regard, SLR has invited club representatives to attend the Tournament Committee meeting scheduled for today (25) at the Institute of Sport Medicine Unit. SLR have also asked all clubs to submit their answers to the following more..

Hatch to venture into Pakistan

Jan 25 (ST) Hatch, will be opening its first ever overseas branch in Lahore, Pakistan by April. Jeevan Gnanam, speaking to the Business Times on the sidelines of the official launch for Council for Start-ups at Hatch Works in Colombo on Tuesday, said that with their partner in Lahore, Hatch will take its products to Pakistan and vice versa. “We aim to add value to Pakistan‘s start-up ecosystem.” Eventually, Hatch will expand into the region, Mr. Gnanam added. more..

Lasith Embuldeniya's unsexy virtues put him on the right path

Jan 25 (CI) Remember that one guy? That great Sri Lankan fingerspinner? Body like an overfull water balloon, heart as big as the ocean? Well, let's not mention him here, because there's a new left-arm spinner, and at 24, Lasith Embuldeniya is just making his way. There's already been talk of large shoes needing to be filled and mantles begging to be taken up. But these are unfair expectations, right? more..

MillenniumIT ESP continues silver jubilee celebrations at hybrid town hall event

Jan 25 (FT) MillenniumIT ESP – one of SL’s leading Systems Integrator and Information Systems providers – completed its silver jubilee anniversary on 3 Jan. In lieu of this celebratory milestone, MillenniumIT ESP organised a town hall event (MiTown Hall) that could be attended virtually by its members of staff, partners and clients, with a selected few been invited to attend the physical event held at their head office following all COVID-19 guidelines and precautionary measures more..

Video: Two tennis balls containing drugs thrown into Kandakadu treatment centre

Jan 25 (AD) Two tennis balls filled with drugs have been thrown into the Covid-19 treatment centre in Kandakaru. The contraband was found yesterday (23) by the army officers attached to the facility. the two tennis balls, which had been filled with cannabis, heroin and tobacco, were handed over to the Welikanda Police. A special investigation has been launched into the incident. Incidents as such were previously reported from Welikada, Negombo and other prisons, however, more..

Root stars with 186 as Embuldeniya takes seven in tightly-fought contest

Jan 25 (CI) Another stunning knock by Joe Root frustrated Sri Lanka on the third day of the second Test at Galle, but his fall right on stumps swung the contest back in the home side's favour. Root's near-flawless 186 sent England to the close still 42 runs adrift after Lasith Embuldeniya claimed seven wickets with his left-arm spin that bamboozled almost everyone, except Root. It was testament to Root's exertions that he fell in gut-wrenching more..

Video: Random antigen tests for school transport drivers, assistants

Jan 25 (AD) The traffic police will be consistently monitoring school transport services once schools reopen to ensure that health safety guidelines are adhered to, Police Media Spokesperson DIG Ajith Rohana. In addition, it has been decided to conduct random rapid antigen tests for COVID-19 on drivers and assistants of school transport services from tomorrow (25) onwards, the DIG added. Meanwhile, the police have arrested nine persons who were not wearing face masks within the past 24 hours. more..

Australia edtech start-up Vygo to set up Sri Lanka engineering unit

Jan 25 (EN) Vygo, an Australia based education technology company said it will set up an engineering office in SL which may see a doubling of its staff by the end of 2021. “The strategic decision to expand to SL comes at a time where COVID-19 continues to affect many industries,” Vygo chief executive and co-founder, Ben Hallett said. “With the brand’s primary audience being a younger and tech-heavy-user, it is imperative that our talent hub become home to bright, young, thirsty minds. more..

Ishara pips Dhammika… for now

Jan 25 (FT) Individually the duo will deny they are at loggerheads or racing against each other and insist they have better things to do like continuing to drive value in their respective businesses, but with the stock market soaring, analysts and investors have indeed been pitting the two against each other. The duo may harbour other plans or acquisitions in mind, however, as of Friday, young business leader Ishara Nanayakkara more..

No oil spillage from MV Eurosun: Navy

Jan 25 (CT) There is no oil spillage from the bulk carrier MV Eurosun, which ran aground at Little Basses Reef, Navy Media Spokesman, Captain Indika de Silva, said yesterday (24). The vessel was sailing under a Liberian flag, with a cargo of over 33,000 metric tonnes. Bulk carrier, MV Eurosun, en route to Trincomalee from Abu Dhabi Port, carrying clinker, ran aground at Little Basses Reef, which is about 5.5 nautical miles (10 kilometres) off the southeastern coast of the island. more..

Jos Buttler: Whole team can learn from Joe Root's masterclass

Jan 25 (CI) Jos Buttler has hailed Joe Root's performances in the last two Tests in SL as a masterclass, and believes that everyone in the England squad - not to mention those watching back home - can learn from his example after a superb display of technical and physical prowess in Galle. Root was unluckily run out by a direct hit from short leg off the final ball of the third day's play for 186, his second hundred in consecutive Tests after making a match-winning 228 in last week's more..

Over 1,500 persons test positive for COVID-19 over the weekend

Jan 25 (FT) Over 1,500 COVID-19 patients were detected in the island over the weekend, bringing the total number of COVID-19 patients to 58,430. A total of 843 persons tested positive for the virus yesterday, of which 841 were associates of the Peliyagoda cluster. The previous day, 724 COVID-19 patients were identified, of which 715 were associates of the Peliyagoda cluster and nine were linked to the prisons cluster. more..

Rajitha pessimistic about immediate arrival of vaccine

Jan 25 (DM) Contesting the claims by the govt leaders, former Minister of Health Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said today Sri Lanka will get the COVID- 19 vaccines only by March. He added that it would be sufficient only to 15 percent of the SL population. Dr. Senaratne told a press conference that 600,000 vaccines will be sufficient for a population of 300,000 as one person needed two doses. “The vaccine which Sri Lanka is to get from the WHO will be sufficient for 20 percent of the population. more..

Over 20 more charter flights approved for February and March

Jan 25 (FT) The CAA has approved over 20 charter flights to bring in tourists in February and March. The new approvals are for flights operated by Ukraine International and SkyUp from Ukraine and Air Astana from Kazakhstan. Of the approved, 12 are by SkyUp which was the first to arrive under the pilot project of Ukrainian tourists late last month, five by Ukrainian Int'l Airlines and six flights by Kazakhstan. The CAA last week announced that it had approved two new airlines to operate into Sri Lanka, more..

Cost of restoration of Kallaru Forest Reserve Rs. 1.07 billion

Jan 25 (Island) Forest Conservator General has estimated the cost of restoring a section of the Kallaru Forest Reserve, which suffered extensive damage due to the establishment of a village, at Rs. 1.07 billion. Court Appeal has ordered that SJB MP Rishad Bathiudeen, responsible for clearing part of the forest reserve bear the total cost of the reforestation programme. Sources close to Bathiudeen said he would file an appeal more..

SEC issues guidelines on good practices for stockbroker firms

Jan 25 (TM) Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued a set of guidelines for stockbroker firms on good practices which the firms have to implement with immediate effect, according to a recent circular issued by the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE). The guidelines were approved by the SEC at its meeting held on 13 Jan and were presented to CEOs of stockbroker firms on 19 Jan. Under these guidelines, stockbroker firms have to ensure that the brokerage commission more..

Now, new road to hotel poses danger to ecologically sensitive Roomassala

Jan 25 (Island) A 20-foot road is to be built shortly in a very environmentally sensitive location leading to a hotel which is also under construction, despite objections by officials, Environmental Scientist at Centre for Environment Nature Studies (CENS), Dr. Ravindra Kariywasam said. Wildlife officials had objected to both the hotel and the road, but their objects had been ignored due to political influence, Kariyawasam said. Hotel was being constructed by former Prez Srisena’s brother Dudley, more..

Brampton mayor vows to build Tamil monument to honour lives lost in SL civil war

Jan 25 (CBC) Brampton mayor Patrick Brown has promised to build a monument to commemorate the lives lost in the SL civil war — what many people in the Tamil community call a genocide — after a memorial was torn down at a SL university. The destruction of the Mullivaikkal memorial at the University of Jaffna two weeks ago — a monument that was erected in 2019 to honour the lives of Tamil civilians who died in the war — more..