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Video: President will enact Sampanthan Constitution: Keheliya

Jan 23 (DM) President Sirisena is attempting to enact a Sampanthan Constitution by cancelling the first three clauses in the First Chapter of the current Constitution, JO MP Keheliya Rambukwella claimed today. He said the new Constitution was based by the proposals submitted by the TNA and Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan as a condition for the TNA’s support to President Sirisena at the 2015 presidential election. more..

'USS Hopper visit signals growing bilateral cooperation'

Jan 23 (USE) The USS Hopper (DDG 70) concluded its five-day port call to Colombo today as part of a visit to strengthen growing U.S.-Sri Lankan ties and express appreciation to the Sri Lankan Navy for its assistance during an emergency medical evacuation of a USS Hopper crewmember in September 2016. “Cooperation between our two countries’ naval forces enhances maritime security in the Indo-Pacific region,” said U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Atul Keshap. more..

Presidential commission on bondscams to have two judges, auditor

Jan 23 (EN) A 3-member Presidential commission of Inquiry to probe frauds in bond auctions will have a judge from Supreme Court, High Court and an auditor, a statement said. A notice appointing the commission will be published in the Govt Gazette, later this week, a statement from President's media office said. "President appeals to all sections involved to support the commission to carry out its duties," statement said. In the so-called bondscams, Perpetual Treasuries, connected to more..

Muslim farmers in Amparai district seek return of 2878 acres

Jan 23 (ENS) Muslim farmers in Ampara district are pleading with the govt to return 2878 acres of agricultural land which ought to have been given back to them when the 30-year war ended in 2009. The non-return of these lands has affected 1406 families, who find that the end of the war has brought no relief to them in economic terms, according to Nihal Ahamed, Co-ordinator of Ampara district alliance for land rights (ADALR). more..

An Island for all seasons for the wider Latin American Market FITUR, Madrid 2017

Jan 23 (SLT) Sri Lanka made a great impact in promoting the country as a tourism destination by participating at the 37th staging of the International Tourism Trade Fair, FITUR, in Madrid Spain from 18th to 22nd January 2017. This event, organized by IFEMA, brought together at Feria de Madrid, 9,672 tourism companies, institutions and bodies from 165 countries and regions and has earned it’s standing as the third largest tourism fair in Europe. The inauguration of the Sri Lanka stall more..

Move to deny credit to less-affluent advised by university scholars

Jan 23 (CG) A move to deny credit to the less affluent to purchase a three-wheeler by the govt, which smacks dangerously on social engineering, was mooted by university scholars, a finance ministry said. CB had issued regulations requiring a down payment of 75% to be made before leasing a three-wheeler. Yet another public body to be built out of taxpayer funds, expanding an already-bloated state to regulate three-wheelers, as well as squeeze credit to potential new buyers more..

Arjuna Mahendran is an adviser to Finance Ministry now: ACF

Jan 23 (AD) Former Governor of the CB, Arjuna Mahendran is currently acting as an advisor to the Finance Ministry, the Anti-Corruption Front (ACF) alleged. ACF has also written to President demanding him to prevent controversial former governor Mahendran from attending meetings at the Ministry of Finance, ACF said in a statement.  “We are extremely grateful of your decision to appoint a Special Presidential Commission of Inquiry more..

Video: Two killed, 33 injured in head-on collision in Nittambuwa

Jan 23 (DM) An accident involving a bus, a container truck, a car and a trishaw in Pasyala this morning has killed two and injured 35, Police say. The accident occurred around 5 a.m. on the Colombo-Kandy main road when the bus and the container crashed head-on, Police reports. The car and the trishaw were caught in the resulting pileup. Two persons were killed in the accident and over 35 injured. The injured were rushed to the Hospital where they are being treated currently. more..

Distorted National Flag at Jaffna boat launch

Jan 23 (CT) A distorted version of the national flag was hoisted on Nechunkarakei, a new boat service that transports passengers from the Delft to Kurikattuwan in Jaffna and vice versa. The national flag contains four yellow Bo leaves in each corner of the background representing the four main concepts of Buddhism, Metthaâ, Karuna, Mudita and Upekkha. However the flag hoisted on this boat did not have the four Bo leaves. Neduntharakai was ceremonially launched by more..

Google Loon delay: Govt seeks AG's advice

Jan 23 (DM) Govt has sought the advice of the Attorney General on the action it should take on the delay by the Int'l Telecommunication Union (ITU) approving the Google Loon Project, Minister Harin Fernando said. He said that TRC and the Cabinet approved the project. "But the delay is caused by the ITU" he said. He said Google Company Chief would also be keen to see the proposed project when he visited more..

'Fonseka may have let cat out of the bag'

Jan 23 (CG) JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake feels former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka may have let the cat out of the bag on talks to give the Trincomalee port to India. Speaking at a media briefing today, he said that Fonseka seems to have revealed something discussed by cabinet but not formally made public by the Govt. Fonseka had told the Indian media that Sri Lanka was discussing with India to give the Indians the Trincomalee port. India had however denied the claims but  more..

Pillayan further remanded until Feb 6

Jan 23 (AD) Former Eastern Province CM S. Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan, who was arrested in connection with the murder of ex-MP Joseph Pararajasingham, has been further remanded until Feb 6.  The bail application filed on behalf of the defendant was rejected by the Batticaloa Magistrate’s Court, when the case was taken up on Monday.  Pillayan was arrested on Oct 11, 2015 when he arrived at the CID to give a statement in connection with the assassination of more..

Nation-wide inflation steady at 4.2% in Dec

Jan 23 (LBO) Consumer prices as measured by National Consumer Price Index rose at a steady pace of 4.2% in Dec from the 4.1% reported a month ago. The NCPI has been calculated as 118.0 for Dec 2016. This shows an increase of 1.4 index points or a percentage of 1.2 compared to the previous month’s (Nov) index of 116.6. This monthly change was due to the increase of expenditure value of food items by 1.25% and more..

Tax on alcohol Rs 175b in 2017

Jan 23 (CT) The govt expects to generate revenue of Rs 175 billion through the Excise Duty imposed on liquor in 2017, Approved Budget Estimates show. According to the Budget Estimates 2017, this is an increase of Rs 50 billion comparing with the revenue generated through excise duty imposed on liquor in 2016. In 2016, the revenue generated through excise duty on liquor was Rs 125 billion. Although the approved excise duty revenue from liquor is Rs 175 billion, more..

Homophobic justice minister Wijeyadasa should resign: Right Activists

Jan 23 (CT) Right activists slammed Justice Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe‘s outrageous comment on homosexuality and urged him to step down. On Friday Wijeyadasa described homosexuality as a mental illness. Speaking at the opening ceremony of new district court complex in Tissamaharama, Wijeyadasa said: “They impose conditions on us when granting the GSP+ concession. When we were exporting fish to the EU they imposed the conditions and we complied with them. more..

EIB to provide 50 million Euros to improve sewage networks

Jan 23 (EIB) European Investment Bank (EIB) will provide EUR 50 million to support improvement and expansion of sewage networks across Colombo. The new loan will help CMC to achieve its goal of providing full sanitation coverage to benefit people living and working in the greater Colombo area. New EIB loan is EIB’s first ever support for water investment in Sri Lanka and the first loan for public sector investment agreed more..

More investigation officers for price controls

Jan 23 (LBO) Sri Lanka is enforcing new protection measures from 21st Jan to safeguard consumers from errant traders who violate price controls in the domestic market. Industry and Commerce Ministry said 62 new investigation officers were appointed bringing the total force to 250, island-wide, to safeguard 21 million consumers. Minister Rishad Bathiudeen said that before the end of this year he will appoint another 200 or more to double the existing investigative force. more..

Too cleverby three quarters on bonds

Jan 23 (CT) Monk’s petition on eve of bond debate in House was the caption of a front page story in Sunday Times. UNP has sent their emissary to Hulftsdorp together with footnotes. There is a palpable air of duplicity. These are the best of times and worst of times. Bonds between the spiritual & temporal are blurred. Some in Buddhist brotherhood of our land are worried over treasury bonds. Some are contemptuous over bonds between people of different sexual orientations. more..

Malaysia will not end up like Sri Lanka, won’t lease properties to China: Johari

Jan 23 (AD) Malaysian Finance Minister Johari Abdul Ghani has said Malaysia will not end up like Sri Lanka, which was forced to lease its properties for its indebtedness to China. “That is Sri Lanka, this is Malaysia,” Johari said when met at an event in Kuala Lumpur.  He was responding to prominent socio-economic activist and Bantah TPPA deputy chairperson Azlan Awang, who was quoted by news portal FMT as warning more..

Group of school boys of Kandy leading school to be arrested

Jan 23 (Island) The women’s and children’s Bureau of the Kandy police headquarters is taking steps to arrest a group of students of a leading boys school in Kandy for allegedly attacking a 15 year old student of the same school, recently. The year 13 victim being a resident of Colombo was admitted to a private hospital in Colombo, the police said. The attack on the student has been so severe that the private parts of the student have been affected, according to sources. more..

Improvised explosive devices taking heavy toll on domestic animals

Jan 23 (Island) Killing of dogs and cattle in various places of the Anuradhapura has increased as, they become victims of improvised explosive devices commonly known as hakka patas set by people to hunt wild boars and other animals. The Hakka Patas (approximate English translation – jaw breaker) are a mixture of explosive matter, lead and iron made into a ball, which is inserted into a cucumber or a pumpkin or another bait. These are mainly used to hunt wild boar. more..

President is closing stable door after horse has bolted: JVP

Jan 23 (DM) President Sirisena's decision to appoint a Special Presidential Commission of Inquiry to probe the CB bond scam is only similar to closing the stable doors after the horse has bolted, JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said. He said that there was a sinister move to block the scheduled to be held in Parliament tomorrow and that the case filled by the Ven. Thiyawala Palitha Thera against the COPE report on more..

'Executive Presidency will be abolished'

Jan 23 (NR) Minister of Health Rajitha Senaratne says the Executive Presidency will be entirely abolished under the proposed new Constitution. The Minister of Health made this statement speaking at a rally in Hiniduma. Minister Senaratne said a court case could not be filed against the President due to immunity, but now action can be taken. He said Parliament at any time can criticise the govt adding Parliament cannot be dissolved at any time unlike before. more..

Twin probes on EPF scam

Jan 23 (EN) Central bank and law enforcement authorities are probing the Employees' Provident Fund, a retirement fund of private sector workers which is managed by state workers. President Maithripala Sirisena is also appointing a commission to go into the bondscam. Concerns have been raised that long dated bonds bought at rigged auction at high yields (low prices) through so-called 'bondscams' were later dumped on the EPF at low yields (high prices) during the past two years, more..

සරත් ෆොන්සේකා

Customs union to boycott ordinance act discussion

Jan 23 (NR) The All Ceylon Customs Service Union has decided to withdraw from discussions with the govt pertaining to the abolishment of the Customs Ordinance Act. In a statement released today the union said the executive committee decided to quit the talks that they allege are heading towards a new Customs Act that facilitates racketeers to drain the country’s wealth. The Union said it also decided to continue campaigning against the abolishment of the Act. more..

President’s focus on upcountry

Jan 23 (CT) President Sirisena graced the occasion marking the 150th anniversary of the tea industry in the island and the 92nd anniversary of the Tea Research Institute, Talawakele on Saturday. Tea industry started by the British in 1867, when James Taylor along with Scotsman Thomas Lipton planted tea in just 19 acres at Loolecondera Estate a former coffee plantation, remained a key export revenue maker, along with rubber in the country. However, despite SL tea being still respected world more..

Mathews, Pradeep, Gunathilaka to return

Jan 23 (CI) Angelo Mathews will be one of three players returning to Sri Lanka after the second T20 international in South Africa, with Nuwan Pradeep and Danushka Gunathilaka also flying home due to injury. Mathews' return was a prior arrangement based on personal grounds, a Sri Lanka Cricket release said, though he had also suffered a hamstring strain during his match-winning 54 not out on Sunday. more..

CBSL Governor hopeful of 6% growth but sounds cautionary note

Jan 23 (Island) CB Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy envisages an economic growth of 5.5% to 6% but this projected growth for 2017 comes with a word of caution on significant downsides from the prevailing volatile global economic climate and a possible slowdown in the agricultural sector along with limitations in power generation due to prevailing weather conditions. "It's too early to tell how significant these will be. more..

'Prez Commission to probe killing of journalists and disappearances'

Jan 23 (Island) In the wake of the CID recording Minister Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka’s statement in connection with ongoing investigations into the assassination of The Sunday Leader editor Lasantha Wickrematunga on the morning of Jan 8, 2009, SL Working Journalists Association will launch a fresh campaign to pressure the govt to appoint a Presidential Commission to probe attacks on the media. more..

'Govt has knocked the bottom out of its main charge'

Jan 23 (Island) Former Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris said the yahapalana govt had knocked the bottom out of its much touted allegation that the Rajapaksas had invested billions of US dollars in various ventures through Dubai-based Nandana Lokuwithana. Lokuwithana, who had been accused of building Dubai Marriott and acquiring Steel Corporation on behalf of the Rajapaksas was now having a cozy relationship with the govt, more..

Sri Lanka to lose two-thirds of paddy crop this season from Indian Niño

Jan 23 (EN) Sri Lanka's rice production from the main Maha cultivation season in 2017 could drop by two million tonnes or around 60% of the usual volume, from a severe drought triggered by an Indian Ocean temperature oscillation, official estimates show. Latest crop forecast estimates that the 2016/2017, Maha rice crop will fall to 1.02 million tonnes compared to around 2.9 to 3.0 million tonnes seen in a year with good rainfall. more..

Video: SL hit by worst drought in decades

Jan 23 (AJ) Sri Lanka is suffering its worst drought in four decades, according to officials, with more than a million people experiencing acute water shortages. The lack of rain last year has lowered water levels in rivers in parts of the country. With less water available to drain the sea salt, supplies have been contaminated, especially in the town of Kalutara. In the village of Kaluganga, more than 200,000 people are affected, more..

Anura de Silva Removed From FIFA

Jan 23 (CT) The President of Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL) Anura de Silva has been removed from the Association Committee of FIFA effective from yesterday. De Silva was appointed to the seat in 2015 after former President Ranjith Rodrigo had to make way to the elected President. Rodrigo occupied the seat from 2013 to 2015 and he was the first person appointed as a member in Association Committee of FIFA. more..

'Some ministers call officials Booruwa'

Jan 23 (DM) Asoka Peiris, the former chairman of the Delimitation Review Committee said some ministers believed that govt officials should act according to their dictates like schoolchildren -- sitting down and standing up when ordered to by their teachers. He said some ministers addressed officials as Booruwa. He made these comments yesterday while expressing his best wishes to the National delegates seminar held on more..

Govt is following the path of previous regime

Jan 23 (SL) The good governance administration has once again messed up with its guaranteed policies within a short span of two years. The removal of the Board of Directors of Lanka Coal Company who objected to award a tender that cost the country billions of rupees shows as to how this govt is treading the way the previous regime took which led to their downfall on Jan 8, 2015. Questions are raised as to why more..

 Sri Lanka in South Africa