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Bond issue inquiry takes several turns

Mar 25 (NS) Former Governor of CB, Arjuna Mahendran arrived at the premises of the special Presidential Commission last week after he was summoned by officials of the CID. He arrived at the Commission this week and participated as an observer with the permission of the tribunal appointed by the President. Commission met four days during this week too and two CB officials testified. During Monday’s sitting, most noteworthy fact that more..

The flipside of the World Cup win

Mar 25 (NS) In the last few decades, as Sri Lanka was reeling under the dark clouds of a civil war, there was one unifying factor that brought the nation together: cricket. Country reached dizzy heights in the sport, even winning the World Cup in 1996. Last week was arguably its darkest hour in cricket – it was defeated by Bangladesh, the country with the shortest history of test playing status. Until last week, SL had not lost to the two countries that attained test status more..

Parades of shame

Mar 25 (NS) Even though the big match season is in its latter stages, the hype and celebration is yet to die down. While the season has witnessed some memorable encounters in the pitch, the encounters outside the cricket grounds have evoked negative vibes. Since of late, we have been coming across several incidents of student aggressiveness. A few weeks ago, a fracas between students of two leading schools in Colombo resulted in injuries and damage to properties. more..

Drug companies to get stimulus dosage

Mar 25 (FT) Local pharmaceutical companies are about to get a windfall after the Govt this week decided to draft policy to grant extensive tax concessions for the sector and establish a dedicated mega biomedical zone to fast-track the sector’s expansion.  The details of the plans were listed out in a Cabinet paper presented by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe this week, which was approved. Under the proposals approved by Cabinet the Health Ministry will gazette more..

Editorial: Prez, Premier & Prince

Mar 25 (Island) Most Sri Lankans have had problems with kings throughout history so much so that they betrayed their last monarch. They also rose against the British Crown several times with disastrous consequences. Two years ago, they ousted a powerful ruler, who, his propagandists claimed, was a reincarnation of a warrior king. Now, they have a Jordanian prince to contend with! President Maithripala Sirisena has, declared on several occasions, wrapping himself in the flag, more..

Sri Lankan democracy needs mending

Mar 25 (Island) Sri Lankans generally are proud of their civilization that extends over 2500 years. They rub their hands in glee that their forefathers had defeated South Indian invasions repeatedly, and preserved Theravada Buddhism to this day. In fact, Sri Lanka is acknowledged as a leading Theravada Buddhist country in the world today. SL govt politicians also claim that the country is a pristine democracy and have been so for the last 71 years in international forums. more..


Walking into a tuneful house

Mar 25 (ST) Soft footfalls as twos and threes walk in, some still in school uniform, and signal the start of classes. Then begin the sound of notes emanating from varied musical instruments, as tuning is performed by the children themselves. Between the 217th and 218th kilometre-post and Hungama and Nonagama in the deep-south, off the Tangalle-Hambantota Road, is a walauwwe-like house, now the home of a well-known retiree. Every single week day, in the afternoons, and Saturdays and Sundays, more..

Stumbling in the dark for 20 years

Mar 25 (ST) He can smell the flowers but he cannot see the vibrant hues of pink and red of the roses, zeeniyas and ixora in his garden. For, diminutive Ashoka Thilakeratne, just 31 years is blind. He has not been blind from birth, but the cruel hand of fate had rendered him a hard blow when he was still a boy of 11. We have travelled through lush green landscapes but on roads good and mostly bad, bumpy and rutty, to Ashoka’s home. Far away from Pallebedda town off more..

'Compromise will lie somewhere in between'

Mar 25 (DN) March 25 marks the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome, an agreement that established the European Economic Community. The document is still one of the two most significant treaties in the contemporary European Union (EU). The EU is also one of the major influencers in Sri Lanka and as Sri Lanka faces the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Tung-Lai Margue, Ambassador of the Delegation of the EU to Sri Lanka and the Maldives more..

13-A is still a good start…

Mar 25 (SL) It may sound a preposterous proposition, especially when Sri Lanka wants to believe that it’s at a breakthrough-point on a new Constitution and thus a new, negotiated settlement to the decades-old ethnic issue. Yet, the fact remains, 13th Amendment to the Constitution, facilitated by the larger Indian neighbour, is a good document to begin with. It’s another matter whether contemporary Sri Lanka, post-war, wants to begin implementing 13-A in all earnestness for now, more..

Not so free education

Mar 25 (DN) Much public attention has been focused on education these days. Perhaps controversy over and agitation on the SAITM medical faculty would have contributed to this situation. Obviously the latter agitation is intrinsically woven with much broader and deeper issues pertaining to education. Besides educating one’s offspring is a high priority among all Sri Lankans, including the most humble as it is perhaps the only means of moving up the social ladder. more..

The Kennel Club: We have to think from a dog’s point of view

Mar 25 (SO) The Kennel Club was formed in 1899 in the house called Temple Trees which was then owned by a Britisher, and which is now the Prime Minister’s residence. At that time, British businessmen and planters brought down lots of dogs such as Beagles, Harriers, Labradors, Golden Retrievers and blood hounds for the purpose of hunting which the British were famous for. It was more like a sport, and subsequently they formed the Kennel Club. more..

On campus ragging

Mar 25 (CT) This short piece is merely a footnote to the principled stand on campus ragging taken by Professor Asoka Ekanayaka in the CT of March 3, and his more recent piece in the press. While fully agreeing with Professor Ekanayaka, my attempt here is to draw attention to ragging as part of a broader social problem. Few would disagree with Professor Ekanayaka’s statement that there is no decent of mild ragging, and all ragging should be eliminated root and branch. more..

A response to “The need to legalize under age marriage

Mar 25 (CT) A country’s secular law comes first and it is good for the country. If someone does not agree this should go and fight for non-Muslims rights in Saudi Arabia. If you do that, you know the consequences and reality. I do not have to explain the ways of punishment. A democratic country gives you the Freedom of speech. It is our responsibility to not to abuse it by spreading hatreds.  Every country has their own law, it is important to respect and obey them. more..

Rajinikanth's Sri Lanka visit next month triggers opposition from Tamil outfits

Mar 24 (PTI) Superstar Rajinikanth's visit to Sri Lanka next month to inaugurate a housing scheme has met with opposition from pro-Tamil outfits here, who cautioned him from getting involved in the emotive ethnic issue. VCK and TVK urged the top actor not go ahead with his two-day visit starting April 9 during which he is slated to hand over 150 houses to displaced Tamils. VCK founder Thol.Thirumavalavan alleged that efforts more..

Russia offers to set up helicopter maintenance center in Sri Lanka

Mar 24 (SN) Russia has proposed to set up a service center for Russian-made helicopters in Sri Lanka, a deputy chief of Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation said. "We’ve submitted our proposals to equip a helicopter maintenance center and provide spare parts for armored hardware to the SL side," agency’s Mikhail Petukhov said at LIMA 2017 military show in Malaysia. SL has 12 Mi-8/17 military transport helicopters, six Mi-24P attack helicopters, more..

Sri Lanka gets World Bank, Australian aid for reforms

Mar 24 (WB) The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade (MODSIT) and the World Bank launched today a joint program of technical assistance and advisory services to the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) to enhance the competitiveness of the private sector and unleash the potential of SL exports. The program aims to address most significant obstacles to creation of new private enterprises more..

TNA welcomes the adoption of UNHRC resolution

Mar 24 (CT) While welcoming the adoption of resolution 34/L 1, at the UNHRC, TNA has urged the govt to honor its commitment with regard to these resolutions and implement the same in letter and spirit. TNA said: “The TNA welcomes the adoption of UNHRC resolution 34/L 1 which reaffirms the full implementation of resolution 30/1 of 2015, promoting reconciliation, accountability & human rights in Sri Lanka. more..

Will close Perpetual distillery: Faizer

Mar 24 (CT) Minister Faiszer Musthapha said, as a member of the SLFP, he will force the closure of the new liquor distillery, which is due to be set up in Kalkudah by the Perpetual Treasuries Company, which is the main accused in the CB Treasury bond scam. He was responding to a question raised by a journalist, at a media discussion yesterday (23) regarding the new distillery, which will be established on a special tax relief granted by the Ministry of Finance. more..

Muthuhettigama writes to President

Mar 24 (CT) Deputy Minister of Ports & Shipping, Nishantha Muthuhettigama wrote to President stating that the letter sent by Cabinet Secretary S. Abeysinghe to the Secretary of his ministry, regarding the Concessionary Agreement on the Port of Hambantota, was contradictory to the decision taken at the Cabinet meeting. "During the Cabinet meeting, held under your chairmanship, on 21 March, the Ministers considered the Concessionary Agreement on Port of Hambantota sent by more..

Insipid ODI form a worry for Sri Lanka

Mar 24 (CI) Bangladesh have exulted, the Sri Lanka team have been verbally flagellated, and after Sunday's result, a tour that had been flying under the radar on the island has suddenly sparked widespread interest. While Bangladesh's second major Test victory in the space of a few months has been interpreted as a another sign of the team's arrival at the top level, Sri Lanka's loss has split opinion at home. more..

'Govt hasn’t taken any action over SAITM'

Mar 24 (NR) The Govt Medical Officers Association says the government has not taken any valid course of action over the issues surrounding the Malabe South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine. Secretary of the GMOA Naveen De Soysa said the association will engage in a strike action if the govt fails to take action in this regard. When inquired by NewsRadio, Naveen De Soysa said the Central Working Committee of the GMOA is scheduled to convene on the 27th of March. more..

Russia, Sri Lanka nearly finalize contract on Gepard 3.9 corvette deliveries

Mar 24 (SN) Deputy Director of Russia's Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) Mikhail Petukhov told the agency this week that the contract was under discussion. "The draft contract is practically coordinated with the SL side, discussion of certain technical details is in the final stage," the source said at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition LIMA-2017. An export version of Gepard-class Project 1166.1 frigates, Gepard 3.9 may be used more..

'Maithri–Putin friendship makes a new landmark in SL–Russia relations'

Mar 24 (PSL) “The close friendship which has been built between Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena will create a new landmark in the bilateral relations between two countries”, says Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia Igor Morgulov. These remarks made at a ceremony held yesterday (23) at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, Moscow, to mark the 60th anniversary of the diplomatic relations more..

Mahendrans run govt: Basil

Mar 24 (Island) Former UPFA Minister Basil Rajapaksa yesterday said the govt was being run by Arjuna Mahendran and his son-in-law, Arjuna Aloysius and they had left senior Cabinet ministers in the shade. Basil Rajapaksa, taking questions from journalists said that those who had committed a daylight robbery in the Central Bank, got away scot free. He alleged that a distillery constructed in Kalkudah by Arjun Mahendran had been granted huge tax concessions. more..

President mulls PPP for Colombo Port: Yapa

Mar 24 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena would take key political and economic decisions within the next three weeks to strengthen govt and SLFP, State Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said yesterday. He said the President’s decisions might not be to the liking of some. Asked whether the President would sack SLFPers who were currently with the Joint Opposition, Abeywardena said the SLFP was determined to forge ahead with all its members without sacking anyone. more..

Hambantota Port Deal getting curious by the day: CaFFE

Mar 24 (AD) With the latest turn in connect to the controversy surrounding the deal with between Sri Lanka and China Merchant Port Holdings Company sparks doubts whether there is an attempt to manipulate this deal, Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) says. CaFFE in a statement said, it notes this development with distress because this is not the first time that there was an attempt to manipulate this deal. more..

Regular protests, strikes have led to student violence: Akila

Mar 24 (DM) Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said today the protests and the work stoppage by extremist groups may have led the school children to resort to violence and aggressive behaviour especially during big match season. He said such behaviour during the big match season had occurred even in the past but unfortunately today the trend seems to be on the rise and needed to be controlled before it gets out of hand. He said the ministry had discussed this matter with principals more..

Sri Lanka expects US$7.5bn forex reserves by year-end: CB Governor

Mar 24 (EN) CB Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said he expects foreign exchange reserves to grow to US$ 7.5 billion by end-2017, helped by inflows from syndicated loans. Gross official reserves were estimated at US$ 5.6 billion at end-Feb 2017 compared to $6 billion at end-2016. Current reserves amounted to less than 3.5 months of imports and was not a comfortable position. “We are operating on a thin margin and if there is some shock or volatility then there can be a crisis. more..

'Russia will commit to provide benefits of bilateral relations to Sri Lankans'

Mar 24 (PSL) Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev said that Russia will commit to provide more benefits to Sri Lankans in the field of bilateral economic relations between two countries. President Maithripala Sirisena’s visit to Russia is a beginning of a new chapter in bilateral relations between the two countries, he further said. The Russian PM made these remarks when he met the President Maithripala Sirisena in Russia, today. more..

Germany appreciates Sri Lanka’s approach to achieve democracy

Mar 24 (CG) Germany appreciates Sri Lanka’s approach to achieve democracy in the country, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement today. The President of the German Bundestag, Professor Dr Norbert Lammert accompanied by a Parliamentary delegation is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka in April 2017 on an invitation by Karu Jayasuriya, Speaker of SL Parliament. The President of the German Bundestag, appreciated the achievements of the Govt of Sri Lanka and has stated that more..

Dinesh explains JO absence at Constitutional Assembly Steering Committee meeting

Mar 24 (Island) MEP Leader Dinesh Gunawardena told Parliament that action should be taken to provide a report to the House on the MPs’ participation in parliament committee meetings outlining the names of MPs attended them and those who skipped them. The Joint Opposition MPs had not been able to attend a meeting of the Constitutional Assembly’s Steering Committee responsible for preparing a Draft Constitutional Proposal the previous day since they were more..

Video: SLFP lost its status after MS took over leadership: Basil

Mar 24 (DM) The SLFP reputation was damaged soon after President Maithripala Sirisena became its Chairman, former Minister Basil Rajapaksa said. Initiating the SLPP membership drive targeting the Provincial Council elections, Mr. Rajapaksa said that the SLFP’s down turn in popularity could be seen when you see the plight of the Habaraduwa and Rathgama SLFP organizers, who were kicked out. more..

Rathupaswala shooting: Three army personnel arrested

Mar 24 (AD) Three army personnel have been apprehended in connection with the shooting in Rathupaswala which claimed the lives of three persons in 2013. The suspects were apprehended by a team attached to the CID on Friday afternoon. The shooting sparked an outcry across the country due to the deaths including two youths. President Maithripala Sirisena had also given his approval to provide 4.68 million rupees as compensation for 33 victims of Rathupaswala incident earlier. more..


Mar 24 (DM) Former president Rajapaksa arrived at the PRECIFAC this morning to give a statement over financial loses to SL Rupavahini Corporation during last Presidential election. A spokesman said that they will record a statement from the former president over financial loses to the SLRC when broadcasting election advertisements during the last presidential election campaign. MP Rajapaksa was issued summons to appear before the Commission of Inquiry on the 16th of March. more..

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