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Central Expressway third stage: Experts question resettlement action plan

Apr 22 (ST) The Road Development Authority’s (RDA) resettlement action plan (RAP) to minimise effects of massive displacement from building the proposed third stage of the Central Expressway (CEP III) is riddled with holes and spells disaster for the affected parties, experts said. Thousands of people will be impacted by the project for which land acquisition is underway. 6,432 people from 1,742 families will be affected. more..

CID closes in on masterminds of Keith Noyahr abduction

Apr 22 (SO) The CID is nearing the end of its investigation into the May 2008 abduction and assault of former deputy editor of The Nation newspaper, Keith Noyahr, according to a detailed three-hour oral submission made to the Mount Lavinia Magistrate’s Court by Senior State Counsel (SSC) Lakmini Girihagama last Wednesday on behalf of the Attorney General. Objecting to bail being granted to former Director of more..

SLFP Minister and businessman brokered no-confidence motion

Apr 22 (SL) A SLFP Minister and a top businessman had brokered the recent no-confidence motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, The Sunday Leader learns. Well informed sources said that the Minister, who later abstained from voting for the motion, had talks with the businessman, who is close to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, to obtain support for the no-confidence motion in Parliament. more..

Finance Ministry to review social protection programmes

Apr 22 (ST) The Finance Ministry is to recruit consultants to study Sri Lanka’s social protection programme–which includes pensions, employment, health and other welfare benefits–and to make recommendations for a new policy. Assignments include a US$ 40,000 (Rs 6.2mn) contract for a comprehensive assessment of existing social protection structures; a US$ 25,000 (Rs 4mn) commission for the development of a strategy more..

PC elections to be postponed further

Apr 22 (CT) The failure of the Govt to have a debate on holding of elections to the Provincial Councils (PC), based on the report of the delimitation committee and to have it passed with a 2/3rd majority in Parliament, has necessitated the further postponement of the elections. Delimitation committee report, which was prepared under the PC & LG Elections Act No. 16 of 2017, was scheduled to be debated in Parliament on 19 April. more..

DIG Latheef to be axed?

Apr 22 (CT) A powerful Govt politician and a high ranking Police officer are trying hard to have reputed Police Officer, the Head of the STF and Senior DIG M.R. Latheef removed from that post as he cannot be influenced by the political authority, a reliable source revealed. Discussions have been going on, in future, make available funds, hitherto allocated only with Cabinet approval, to the STF through the Police Department, more..

14 unions to defy ban on May 1 rallies

Apr 22 (ST) Some local trade unions, backed by a global trade union body, are bracing for a confrontation with the authorities after deciding to go ahead with May 1 rallies and celebrations despite the Govt changing the date of May Day to May 7. Backing the local unions is the Geneva-based Industrial Global Union which on Friday fired letters to President and PM, urging them to remove restrictions on holding May 1 rallies. more..

Huge ali dung fraud at Pinnawala

Apr 22 (ST) Presidential probe may lead to charges against senior officials of National Zoological Gardens Dept. A massive Rs. 74 million fraud involving elephant dung has been going on at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage for the past three years and the National Zoological Gardens Dept’s senior officials are likely to face charges. The findings were made by the Presidential Investigation Unit (PIU) which more..

MS optimistic of contesting 2020 presidential election

Apr 22 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena expressed optimism of contesting the presidential election in 2020 as the leader of the SLFP, which, he said, will be restructured with some significant changes. "There will be some tangible changes with reforms in the SLFP on the cards in June this year", President told members of the SLFP UK branch in London on Friday. President Sirisena, who was attending CHOGM in London, more..

'Power plan implementation vital to overcome energy crisis'

Apr 22 (CT) SL’s most influential professional trade union, the CEB Engineers’ Union (CEBEU), said this week that they will commence the work-to-rule campaign against their regulator, the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), from 8 May. CEBEU President Saumya Kumarawadu said it would be unavoidable to prevent power blackouts during the work-to-rule campaign, which is why the Union expects more..

Why LNG? GOSL receives blessings from the CEB for LNG regasification

Apr 22 (Island) The global energy landscape is continuously changing. The global energy mix is shifting, driven by technological improvements and environmental concerns. More than ever, energy policies of all countries need to adapt. Govt of Sri Lanka now have the blessings from the key stakeholder CEB’s Union in the ongoing energy policy debate and is able to promote LNG to the energy mix. This is a key milestone that the govt has now reached in further keeping the public more..

JO signals support for removing Executive Presidency

Apr 22 (Island) Pussycat, pussycat, where have you been? I have been to London town to see more common MPs. Pussy cat, pussy cat, what did you do? I frightened them all by talking about NCMs.- The new SLFP rhyme. One would have thought that the idea to prorogue parliament would have come as a positive idea from the PM and the UNP, to make a fresh start in parliament after the terrible four months the govt has gone through in 2018. Rather, it came from the President as a desperate measure more..

Cabinet reshuffle and policy statement among President Sirisena’s priorities

Apr 22 (ST) A lesser known fact among most politically literate Sri Lankans was a directive PM Ranil Wickremesinghe issued to all MPs of his United National Front (UNF) ahead of the National New Year. On April 9 he told them to refrain from criticising the 16 SLFP MPs who had voted in favour of the no-confidence motion against him. That comprised six Ministers, the Deputy Speaker, four State Ministers and five Dy Ministers. more..

Enough of infighting, get back to serious work, President tells SLFPers

Apr 22 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena has called for a return to serious work and an end to the bickering and infighting seen in recent times, senior SLFP sources said. They revealed that the President had told party seniors that the fast tracked two year development programme that the National Unity Govt would be implementing after the Sinhala and Tamil New Year celebrations concluded, should be given priority over any differences between the UNP and SLFP. more..

Richest 1% on target to own two-thirds of all wealth by 2030

Apr 22 (CT) The world’s richest 1% are on course to control as much as two-thirds of the world’s wealth by 2030, according to a shocking analysis that has lead to a cross-party call for action. World leaders are being warned that the continued accumulation of wealth at the top will fuel growing distrust and anger over the coming decade unless action is taken to restore the balance. An alarming projection produced by the House of Commons library suggests that if trends seen since more..

UAE refuses to deport Weeratunga; proposes extradition case in court

Apr 22 (ST) UAE has turned down SL’s request to repatriate to Colombo Udayanga Weeratunga, and advised the Govt to initiate extradition proceedings in UAE courts. An extradition treaty exists between SL and UAE. However, though it was signed on April 29, 2002 it has not been placed for ratification in SL’s Parliament. Officials had pinned their hopes on a deportation of Weeratunga after formal official requests were lodged with more..

20 tourist police posts by year end: Minister

Apr 22 (DM) Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara said that 20 Tourist Police Posts will be established within this year at identified tourist hotspots across the country to prevent the harassment of tourists. A Dutchman and two women tourists were reported to have been brutally assaulted at Water Creatures Beach Guest Restaurant & Surf Bar’ in Mirissa on April 8 when resisting attempts of sexual harassment. He said Rs.30 million has been allocated to strengthen more..

New SEC Commission by end April?

Apr 22 (ST) The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been rudderless for the past three months. Officials say a new commission will be appointed before the end of this month but others dismiss this as just rhetoric. This is the first time the capital market regulator is without a Chairman and a commission in its entire history, according to SEC officials. “It’s expected that a new commission will be appointed after the cabinet reshuffle,” a SEC official said. more..

Where countries are Tinderboxes and Facebook is a match

Apr 22 (NYT) Past the end of a remote mountain road, down a rutted dirt track, in a concrete house that lacked running water but bristled with smartphones, 13 members of an extended family were glued to Facebook. And they were furious. A family member, a truck driver, had died after a beating the month before. It was a traffic dispute that had turned violent, the authorities said. But on Facebook, rumors swirled that his assailants were more..

Navin, Arjuna push for SLC interim committee

Apr 22 (SL) Ministers Navin Dissanayake and Arjuna Ranatunga are pushing for an interim committee of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) to be appointed. Dissanayake and Ranatunga have discussed the proposal with PM. Two Ministers have said that all measures must be taken to ensure current SLC President Thilanga Sumathipala does not hold power in the cricket board any longer. Sumathipala is among the SLFP members who had voted for the no-confidence motion more..

When home has not been welcoming enough

Apr 22 (Hindu) Repatriates from Sri Lanka live in near-squalor conditions in The Nilgiris and frustrated by lack of opportunities, many decades after they were settled in their land of origin. Repatriates from SL live in near-squalor conditions in The Nilgiris with the younger members of the community frustrated by lack of opportunities, many decades after they were settled in the district. The road that leads to Amman Nagar in Coonoor, a small colony of repatriates from Sri Lanka with 81 houses, more..

May Day on three different days

Apr 22 (DM) May Day in Sri Lanka will be celebrated on three different days this year with trade unions and political parties planning to celebrate it on May 1, May 6 and May 7. UNP has already announced that it would hold its May Day rally on May 6 at Sugathadasa Stadium while the joint opposition is to have its rally in Galle on May 7. Some trade unions including Ceylon Mercantile Workers Union have said they would celebrate it on May 1. more..

Sri Lanka trade mission visits UAE to promote domestic tourism

Apr 22 (SG) Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) has successfully concluded a three-day promotional mission to the UAE as part of its on-going efforts to develop new markets and increase the number of visitors and spend from the region to Sri Lanka. Headed by Madubhani Perera, Director/Marketing, SLTPB, a delegation of thirty-three partners from Sri Lanka’s tourism and hospitality industries visited Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Dubai and held the roadshow at more..

Sri Lanka unites prepares leaders for tomorrow: Jayantha Dhanapala

Apr 22 (Island) On a hot Saturday afternoon, I sat in the Father Mervyn Fernando Auditorium at the Subodhi Institute, Piliyandala to observe the concluding session of the SL Unites Leadership Development Program Let Them Lead. A portrait of the saintly Father Mervyn looked down on the audience benignly - and perhaps secretly chastising us all for not recognizing the depth of the thinking of the Jesuit Pierre Teilhard de Chardin for whom he held a life-long admiration in the midst of more..

Export strategy to be submitted to Cabinet soon

Apr 22 (SO) SL’s National Export Strategy (NES) has been finalised and is scheduled to be submitted for cabinet approval following a series of consultations between industry leaders from the public and private sectors. To facilitate the smooth implementation of the NES, the EDB has appointed Advisory Committees for a period of 3 years, to spearhead private-public collaboration that will identify priority issues more..

Multiple Listing Service for property sales being developed in Sri Lanka

Apr 22 (ST) While investments (both local and foreign) on properties seem to increase drastically in SL, there’re weaknesses among property developers in terms of transparency and professionalism in disclosing certain information about the property, some real estate agents state. RE/MAX SL CEO, Sujan Shan stressed that SL does not have a Multiple Listing Service (MLS) that could ease property sales where all details are transparent and visible for potential investors. more..

Fox Hill Supercross 2018: Ashan and Ishan burn Diyatalawa track

Apr 22 (ST) Defending champions Ashan Silva and Ishan Dassanayake retained their respective Driver’s and Rider’s titles at the Fox Hill Supercross 2018, held at the Military Academy in Diyatalawa yesterday. Silva overcame obstacles to defend his Champion Driver title while Dissanayake had to battle amongst a bunch of experienced and young riders to retain his Champion Rider title for yet another year. The Best Racing Team in Cars was won by Margni Racing represented by more..

TV network company offers free Digital TV switch

Apr 22 (ST) Television and Radio Network (TRN), a SL company, is ready to launch countrywide Digital TV using modern technology amidst the long delayed Digitalisation of Television Broadcasting project funded by Japan. Digital TV broadcasting offers many advantages over Analog systems (currently in use) for end-users, operators and regulators. Apart from increasing the number of programmes and quality of pictures, more..

Nestle delivers Rs. 50 divided per share

Apr 22 (Island) Nestle Lanka, one of the country’s biggest and most profitable conglomerates, has faced a challenging 2017 but by utilizing enhanced cost saving measures and focusing on driving efficiencies across the value chain to partly mitigate the impact of weather-related consumer demand decline for its products, unprecedented increase in raw material prices and increased VAT, its chairman, Mr. Suresh Narayanan, said in the company’s recently released annual report. more..

SL worker remittances up 3.2% in Jan 2018

Apr 22 (EN) SL's worker remittances rose 3.2% to US$ 579.5 million in Jan 2018 from a year earlier, after climbing 8.8% in Jan. Remittances for the first two months were up 3.09% to US$ 1,308.9 million from US$ 1,268.4 million a year earlier. In 2017, SL ended the year with total remittances down 1.1% to US$ 7,164 million. South Asian nations including Pakistan experienced sharper downturns with lower oil prices reducing construction and other economic activities in the Middle East. more..

Nationals to serve as trials

Apr 22 (CT) Junior Nationals that will be worked off from 23 to 26 April at the Sugathadasa Stadium will serve as trials for selection of junior athletes who will represent Sri Lanka at 3 int'l junior championships to be held this year. South Asian Junior Athletics Championship (SAJAC) (5-6 May), Asian Junior Athletics C'ship (June) and IAAF World Junior C'ship (July) will be the three int'l junior events to be worked out this year. more..

Prolific Roshen among the big runs again

Apr 22 (ST) Roshen Silva slammed his second ton of the Super Four Provincial cricket tournament following his career best knock of 231 against Team Colombo on day one against Team Kandy in their match played at Sooriyawewa Stadium. Roshen’s knock which came off 165 balls comprised nine boundaries and was involved in another valuable partnership with Dasun Shanaka who made a 90 with 12 boundaries and a six. The pair following their double ton partnership against Colombo more..

Visa says cashless transactions can boost Sri Lanka growth

Apr 22 (EN) Visa Inc, an international payments company said Sri Lanka can boost economic growth by moving to cashless transactions. "For instance, Colombo, with a population of 694,000 and GDP of US$ 6.5 billion could alone gain 200 million US dollars annually in net benefits by transitioning into a digital economy," Visa said. "The estimated catalytic impacts for the city over the next 15 years includes a 20.4 basis point increase in GDP growth rate and 2.1% increase in employment. more..

SLC gauntlet thrown down and the manoeuvering has begun

Apr 22 (ST) Incumbent SLC President Thilanga Sumathipala threw down the gauntlet and announced his name for candidacy to be re-elected as SLC’s president for a further two years. AGM of the SLC is scheduled for May 19 and nominations close next Friday (27). Though on face value it shows a one-horse race for Sumathipala, speculation is rife that there would be challenges coming his way in various forms. more..

Royal pocket first leg with consummate ease

Apr 22 (ST) Far superior, and more competent in almost everything they attempted, Royal set the stage for another Bradby triumph by pocketing the first leg 39-7 at their complex last evening. Only a Trinity die-hard would have expected a different result going into this game. Royal had loads of confidence and their play showed it. They touched down on six occasions. But full back Dulan Gunawardena was off colour and only converted three. The penalty in the dying stages more..

Tourism takes a hit

Apr 22 (SL) Tourism sector has taken a hit in SL following a combination of events, including the recent violence in Kandy and now attacks on foreign visitors. Urgent steps are being taken to mitigate the impact the recent incidents will have on the tourism sector. Hotels in Kandy and even in Nuwara Eliya are suffering from the after effects of the recent violence in Kandy. Manager at a leading hotel in Kandy said that usually during the April holiday season they record 80-90% of occupancy. more..