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New SEC Chairman appointed, but appointment bad in law, claim analysts

Jan 22 (FT) Additional Solicitor General Viraj Dayaratne PC has been appointed as the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC) by PM and Minister of Finance Mahinda Rajapaksa. His appointment, however, is being termed as bad in law since the SEC Act refers to only appointed members from the non-State sector. As per the SEC Act, there is provision to appoint six persons drawn from more..

PAFFREL against giving nominations to priests

Jan 22 (Island) Executive Director of PAFFREL Rohana Hettiarachchi, addressing a seminar in Kandy, said that clergy should not be given nominations at elections as they should be above laymen. He said political parties should ensure that members of the clergy did not contest elections. Only clean candidates had to be fielded, Hettiarachchi said. "Political parties must not give nominations to people who are involved in activities such as bootlegging and narcotics trade. more..

Anandakumar shines as Trinity end Nalanda’s unbeaten run

Jan 22 (Island) Spinner Abhishek Anandakumar picked up five wickets (13-2-34-5) as Trinity ended Nalanda’s unbeaten run inflicting an innings and two runs defeat in the Mahela-Sanga Trophy Under 19 cricket encounter in Kandy on Tuesday. Commencing the second day still needing 115 runs to make the home team bat again, Nalanda could muster only 113 runs to the overnight total. Only three batsmen made contributions of note as Anandakumar led from front. more..

Another Gota Governor Anuradha Yahampath flouts the constitution to make a buck

Jan 22 (CT) Anuradha Yahampath another Viyathmaga stalwart elevated to the post of Governor Eastern Province and also like her contemporary Dr. Seetha Arambepola the Governor Western Province, continues to be in violation of the country’s constitution, as she too currently operates as a Director of Kandyg’s Handloom Exports Ltd, Colombo Telegraph can reveal. more..

Indian Navy ship Airavat arrives

Jan 22 (SLN) Indian Naval Ship (INS) Airavat arrived at the port of Colombo today (20) and she was welcomed by the SL Navy in compliance with naval traditions. Meanwhile, the Commanding Officer of the ship, Commander Sunil Sankar and a group of Indian officers met the Commander Western Naval Area, Rear Admiral Sumith Weerasinghe at the Western Naval Command Hq. They held a cordial discussion on several matters of bilateral importance. Mementos were also exchanged more..

SL Tourism says new marketing plan ready

Jan 22 (FT) A new long-term marketing plan to boost Sri Lanka Tourism has been finalised for the consideration of the industry and the Government within the next few weeks. SL Tourism Chairperson Kimarli Fernando said that the new strategy has been finalised and will be tabled at the first meeting of the new Board of Directors of SLTPB tomorrow, and if approved, to the Cabinet subsequently. She said that as an initial phase, marketing will be focused on eight Tier 1 destinations, more..

Ranjan speaks in the parliament

More French, Belgian tourists to visit SL after mega PR blitz

Jan 22 (FT) More French and Belgian tourists are anticipated following the conclusion of a mega PR exercise involving 20 leading journalists from these two European markets. The commendable initiative was by Chairman and Managing Director of Connaissance de Ceylan and Theme Resorts and Spas Chandra Wickramasinghe, organised in collaboration with Salaün Holidays, a leading tour operator in France. Twenty journalists from print, magazines, radio and TV from France and more..

Facets of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s foreign policy vision

Jan 22 (Island) Foreign Policy (FP) represents the long arm of the State protecting and imaging its national interest and projecting overseas all aspects of an independent sovereign State. As such, Foreign Policy is essentially based on a fundamental principle - that is to protect the country, State and people thereby reserving its Right to defend. Recognizing and contextualizing Sri Lanka’s historical, physical and strategic location in the central Indian Ocean Rim, more..

West Indies to tour Sri Lanka in February for three ODIs, two T20Is

Jan 22 (CI) West Indies will tour SL in February for 3 ODIs and 2 T20Is, Sri Lanka Cricket has confirmed. West Indies are expected to arrive in SL on Feb 10, and they will play two warm-up games on Feb 17 and 20, before the first ODI on Feb 22. First of the two warm-up matches will be an unofficial encounter at the P. Sara Oval, while the second game against a Board President's XI at Katunayake will mark official start of the tour. more..

The irrelevant UNP leadership struggle

Jan 22 (Island) UNP leader of over 25 years, Ranil Wickremesinghe, is obviously an avid baseball fan. Clearly believing that the rules of that quintessential American sport, applies to the UNP leadership states. In baseball, you need three strikes to be out. Mr. Wickremesinghe has already struck out twice. He lost the party’s nomination for the prez election, something he sought and fought for until the eleventh hour. He subsequently also lost the attempt to be the leader of the opposition. more..

In memoriam Jayalath Manoratne

Jan 22 (Island) The recently deceased Jayalath Manoratne was a verbal artist par excellence. He was a Sinhala dramatist and playwright, poet, creative writer, scholar, lecturer, cultural critic, humanist and philosopher. A product of Peradeniya University under Prof Ediriweera Sarathchandra, he believed in a single humanity and expressed that belief in his art, to which he was dedicated. Mano was never after money or fame. He had the courage to refuse, on principle, award under Prez JRJ more..

Angelo Mathews, Kusal Mendis lead Sri Lanka's strong reply

Jan 22 (CI) Angelo Mathews and Kusal Mendis led Sri Lanka's steady progress on day three, as the visitors finished just 63 runs adrift, with six wickets still in hand. They lost a wicket in each session on what was a still placid Harare Sports Club surface. The most likely route to a result in this Test may be for Sri Lanka to establish a big lead in the first innings, then dismiss Zimbabwe cheaply. While Mathews started slowly, more..

Clarion call for an effective first-class cricket structure

Jan 22 (DN) Legendary left-arm spinner Rangana Herath has urged Sri Lanka Cricket to revamp the first-class cricket structure. Herath is not the first past Test cricketer to call for a change in the current inferior first-class domestic cricket structure and he won’t be the last either. “Our domestic cricket structure must improve if we are to compete against formidable teams,” was Herath’s plea to Sri Lanka Cricket. Several past cricketers including the present Test captain Dimuth Karunaratne more..

Editorial: Handling foreign waste: Malaysia shows the way

Jan 22 (Island) The Malaysian government has set an example to its counterparts in the developing world in handling foreign garbage. It has told the exporters of plastic waste, in no uncertain terms, that they must stop trying to turn Malaysia into a waste dump and matched its words with action; it has sent back 150 containers of plastic waste to 13 countries, including Sri Lanka, during the last several months, according to a news item we published yesterday. more..

S.M. Chandrasena

UNP’s future in limbo

Jan 22 (TM) The much-awaited decision on the leadership of the UNP was once again delayed, as last week’s meeting ended with the failure to reach a conclusive resolution and Sajith Premadasa’s camp adamant to form its own alliance from within the party to face the next general election. During the UNP parliamentary group meeting held on 9 January, it was indicated by the current leadership that it was crucial to regain the Sinhala-Buddhist vote – the loss of which many believe was more..

Focus shifts towards Geneva

Jan 22 (TM) With the UNHRC meeting at the end of next month in Geneva for its regular session, Sri Lanka has already commenced diplomatic-level discussions to secure support to counter any pressure which may be exerted on the new Govt. Govt sources said that both Russia and China have already reiterated their support for Sri Lanka and similar support is expected from Pakistan and other countries that have in the past opposed any interference in Sri Lanka’s domestic affairs. more..

Duminda convicted on circumstantial evidence

Jan 22 (CT) Exposure of Ranjan Ramanayake voice recordings has thrown a cloud over the judiciary and people have started to question the veracity of their judgments. The confidence instilled in the judiciary by the trusting public was shattered and caused massive damage to the respect and confidence directed to such bodies that have been appointed to implement and maintain law and order more..

Needed: genuinely professional politicians

Jan 22 (DN) Almost through the entire history of our Parliament, we have tolerated the recurring, unprofessional conduct and unproductive contributions from many of our politicians, who make a mockery out of august assemblies such as the Provincial Councils and the Parliament. In a scenario of bulging packages of high-cost fringe benefits offered to undeserving and unqualified politicians, the time has come to break the shackles of convention and listen to the disillusioned more..

New vistas in higher education

Jan 22 (DN) Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. So said the visionary South African leader, the late Nelson Mandela. Education is indeed a life-changing experience, where the ultimate aim is to produce good citizens who can make a positive contribution to society. But the education sector in Sri Lanka is riddled with many problems, some of which have been persisting for decades. One silver lining is that SL is one of the few developing countries more..

Poison in the air: Monitoring SL's air quality

Jan 22 (Roar) Early last November, Colombo woke up to an unusual smog lingering over the city. At first, many thought it was a mist brought about by the impending cold weather. But by late morning, news had begun to filter through that Sri Lanka’s air quality had turned unhealthy. Almost as widespread as the smog was the rumour it came from Delhi, India. But although almost half the 50 most polluted cities in the world are in India, more..

Project scope options if the govt wishes to accept the MCC grant

Jan 22 (CT) Cabinet having approved a proposal by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to suspend the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) grant agreement has appointed a four member committee headed by Dr. Lalithasiri Gunaruwan to study the deal and propose further action. If the Government based on the Gunaruwan Committee findings, decide to proceed with the acceptance of the MCC grant, subject to the project scope being amended from the presently agreed three focus areas, more..

When a rose is not a rose: The change of the normative framework

Jan 22 (CT) What took place as a result of the 1972 and 1978 constitutions was the change of the normative framework of the legal system of Sri Lanka. One aspect of the explanation lies in how language affects understanding. Words derive their meaning from what exists in the outside world, whether it will be nature or social realities. However, when it comes to abstract ideas, when a word is used to express an idea that is outside of reality, the word itself acquires a fixed meaning more..

Three Sri Lankans fined by Dubai court for insulting Islam on social media

Jan 21 (KT) Dubai public prosecution accused three Sri Lankans, aged between 28 and 34, of contempt of religion through posts on Instagram and Facebook. It referred them to trial pursuant to the anti-discriminatory and hatred law and the Federal Penal Code. Dubai Court of First Instance ordered that all the three accused be deported after paying the fines. The trio has been detained. The case dates back to May 19 last year. more..

Chinese company moots eco-friendly electric tram car project

Jan 21 (DN) A Chinese company has expressed its willingness to implement an eco-friendly electric tram car project as a solution for the huge traffic congestion prevailing within the Colombo City and suburbs, Minister Mahinda Amaraweera. According to the representatives of the Chinese company named China Railway Group Ltd, as the first phase of the project they are planning to construct a track above 14 feet along High Level road from Kottawa - Pettah to provide transport facilities using more..

SLFP is suffering for what they did: Marikkar

Jan 21 (DM) The SLFP is suffering for what they did to the UNP during the coalition govt of 2015, UNP MP S.M. Marikkar said. He said that the SLFP was at the mercy of SLPP for what it did to the UNP during the coalition govt. “SLFP was given all good ministries. They employed their supporters in the institutions that came under their ministries while UNPers did not get a single employment opportunity in some state institutions. The SLFP is therefore suffering retribution today,” he said. more..

Ranjan tables audio clips in Parliament

Jan 21 (DM) MP Ranjan Ramanayake today tabled in Parliament several CDs containing audio clips of phone conversations he has had with many people including a few heads of State. He did so while stating in Parliament that he was tabling the CDs containing telephone conversations he has had with politicians of various political parties, prostitutes, artistes and even heads of State. However, MP said more..

Five forensic audits into EPF, Treasury bonds cost Rs.275mn: Central Bank

Jan 21 (EN) Central Bank said five forensic audits into the EPF and issuance of Treasury Bonds cost the taxpayer 275 million rupees. The CB in a statement said a cabinet appointed consultant procurement committee, with approval from the cabinet of ministers, selected audit firms with global practice and international experience in forensic audits. Five forensic audits have been completed at a cost of 275 million rupees, while the procurement for the remaining audit is ongoing, more..

UNP MP Shantha Abeysekara granted bail

Jan 21 (AD) UNP MP Shantha Abeysekara, who was remanded for violating bail conditions on a case filed in 2004, has been granted bail by the Chilaw High Court after more than three months. The MP is one of the suspects of a case (16/07) filed before the Chilaw High Court over an incident of illegal possession of firearms while being a member of an illegal assembly in Chilaw in 2004. Abeysekara had been granted bail by the court on 31.03.2019 with regard to case while one of bail conditions more..

Hirunika lodges complaint at CID over leaked phone calls

Jan 21 (EN) UNF MP Hirunika Premachandra has lodged a complaint with the CID over the recorded telephone conversations purportedly between her and MP Ranjan Ramanayake. Premachandra filed the complaint yesterday under provisions in the Computer Crimes Act No 24 of 2007 that pertain to information stored in a computer. Even as she is contesting their authenticity, more..

Interdicted Magistrate Dhammika Hemapala questioned for over 3 hours

Jan 21 (AD) Interdicted Magistrate Dhammika Hemapala has left the CCD after recording a statement for over three hours. He had arrived at the CCD at around 2.30 p.m. to record a statement over his controversial video conversation with UNP MP Ranjan Ramanayake. Earlier this month, a series of audio recordings of phone conversations between the MP and several high-profile officials in the country including former Director of CID Shani Abeysekara & justices, were leaked to media. more..

Inland Revenue says no debt repayment tax on banks from Jan

Jan 21 (EN) Sri Lana’s Department of Inland Revenue has issued a notice saying a debt repayment levy, a new direct tax slapped on banks by the last administration need not be paid from January, potentially lifting their profits from next year. The debt repayment levy, like all direct taxes hits capital formation, investment and future jobs unlike indirect taxes like value added tax. The Inland Revenue Department has issued a notice ahead of parliamentary passage of the tax. more..

Video: Karu will settle UNP issue this week: Mujibur

Jan 21 (DM) Stating that Speaker Karu Jayasuriya would resolve the UNP crisis within this week, UNP MP Mujibur Rahaman said that prominent members of the party should be prepared to make sacrifices to safeguard the party’s future. He said that Speaker Jayasuriya would resolve the issue this week through an arrangement which could be accepted by everyone including Leader of Opposition Sajith Premadasa. more..

No Tamils, Muslims on Task Force on Education: CTU

Jan 21 (Island) Ceylon Teachers Union (CTU), said that the Education Minister had not appointed a single Tamil or Muslim to the Task Force on Education. CTU General Secretary Joseph Stalin said: "Task Force is to formulate a national policy. So, there should be representation from all ethnic communities. Those from different mediums of instruction and geographical areas face different issues and we must have a good understanding of all these. That’s why it is vital to have at least more..

Bill to repeal Kandyan Marriage & Divorce Act to be tabled in Parliament

Jan 21 (AD) Bill to repeal the Kandyan Marriage and Divorce Act will be tabled in the Parliament today. The parliamentary session chaired by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya is scheduled to convene at 1 pm this afternoon. A proposal presented by MP Venerable Athuraliye Rathana Thera as a Private Member’s Bill will accordingly be tabled in Parliament. Ven. Rathana Thera said the Kandyan Marriage and Divorce Act must be repealed just as the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA) more..