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PM assures boost for stock market

Jan 21 (FT) PM Mahinda Rajapaksa assured stockbrokers that the Govt would prioritise the development of the stock market to improve attracting investment to the country. During a meeting with the members of the Colombo Stock Brokers Association (CSBA), Rajapaksa had insisted that the prolonged decline seen in Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) over last 4 years would be reversed by fresh policies, more..

Sajin’s case fixed for February 11

Jan 21 (DN) The case filed against former UPFA MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena over a money laundering charge was yesterday fixed for February 11 by the Colombo High Court. The case was taken up before Colombo High Court Judge Gihan Kulatunga. At a previous hearing, the indictment was handed over to the accused and accused was released on a cash bail of Rs. 500,000 and two sureties of Rs. 5 million. He has been indicted by the AG on the charge of money laundering more..

SLC distributes 8,000 balls to Schools

Jan 21 (CT) Sri Lanka Cricket last week completed the distribution of 8,000 cricket balls, to cricket playing schools, who are taking part in the ongoing Under-19 School Cricket Tournament. The Ball Distribution Scheme, which saw a significant investment was conducted under the guidance of the President of SLC, Shammi Silva and the Executive Committee in collaboration with the School Cricket Association. The distribution was conducted in two phases and more..

Two big banks escape Central Bank penalties

Jan 21 (TM) Two leading banks that did not comply with the Average Weighted Prime Lending Rate (AWPR) cut requirement imposed by the CB before the stipulated time period have escaped from penalties of the CB, only being subjected to name-shaming. SL’s largest private bank Commercial Bank of Ceylon and country’s second biggest state bank People’s Bank failed to comply with the requirement as they fell short more..

PickMe’s Tharindu Kumarage wins scholarship to Arizona State University

Jan 21 (ST) Tharindu Kumarage, a Consultant Research Engineer at PickMe, recently received a scholarship to pursue his PhD at Arizona State University (ASU) in the US. A talented product of Royal College Colombo, Mr. Kumarage was a part of the CSC 13th Batch at the Computer Science Dept, Uni of Moratuwa, graduating in 2017 with a first class, and joined PickMe in early 2018. He has since been deeply engaged with Collaborative Filtering in Mobility-on-demand systems, and is now pursuing his doctoral studies at ASU, more..

Rugby referees swimming against tidal wave of critics

Jan 21 (ST) SL rugby referees may not be considered world class. This honour goes to Nizam Jamaldeen and Dilroy Fernando, who officiated at the inaugural Rugby World Cup Sevens held in Dubai in 2009. However, the present crop of young referees are equal to the task performed by experienced foreign officials invited to blow key matches this season. A past president of the SL Society of Rugby Football Referees (SLSRFR) says it is unfair to bring foreign referees to officiate ostensibly to ease pressure on local referees, more..

Lasith takes 5 but Zim in control

Jan 21 (CI) Lasith Embuldeniya completed a second 5-wicket haul in Test cricket, and Sri Lanka's attack finally made headway, but Zimbabwe still ended day two in a position of strength in Harare, thanks in part to a late SL wicket. Nine batsmen fell on Monday in total, in comparison to the two on the stolid first day. The pitch was beginning to show hints of deterioration and life. Where there had been virtually no spin on more..

Editorial: Jobs for the youth

Jan 21 (Island) One cannot bring oneself to oppose the govt decision to employ all unemployed graduates besides thousands of not-so-literate youth from poor families. Those young people desperately need jobs to build their future. One can only hope the powers that be will not lose sight of the need to adopt a long-term strategy to address the issue of graduate employment, which is mainly due to the fact that successive govs have failed to ensure the employability of graduates, more..

Could we at last put the horse in front of the cart as a revised concept for urban planning

Jan 21 (Island) After a decade of talking about the lack of real urban planning in the country and raising these issues in three articles questioning the suitability of high rise construction and living in a tropical city, in a series to The Island on The cart before the horse urban planning concepts prevalent today. The issues raised about a statutory abrogation of the city, wholesale to the developer, who is only interested in his profits and not about the city as a holistic visual entity was raised. more..

Travel Girl: Nuwara Eliya

RPCs don't welcome Rs 1,000 wage hike

Jan 21 (CT) Plantation workers greatly welcomed the Rs 1,000 wage increase announced by Prez Rajapaksa in his Thai Pongal Day message. The increase means that Rs 250 would be added to the current daily wage of Rs 750 (basic plus Rs 50 Price Share Supplement). The Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) did not welcome the message in the same manner and 19 RPCs are up in arms inquiring as to how on earth this could be implemented when they quote tea production more..

An update on Sri Lanka's lost opportunities

Jan 21 (CT) Annihilating the Demons of Sri Lanka: An Unfinished Story, by veteran Indian journalist Apratim Mukarji (Konark Publishers New Delhi-Seattle 2019) updates Sri Lanka's lost opportunities to pull together, solve its national ethnic question, and move on to making itself a genuinely integrated democracy. Almost everything written in the 214-page book is meticulously sourced and presented in a reader-friendly and stylish way by Mukarji, who had served in Sri Lanka more..

'General Election: New UNP team to contest'

Jan 21 (CT) UNP MP, Ranjith Aluvihare, says people will understand the situation of this Govt within four months. "They will then understand that the UNP Govt was right. A new team will contest and the programme is underway," he said. Q: You were a frustrated character in the past. Is it still the same? A: Actually, I am not frustrated. The reason for my feelings was people had not understood me. Q: Did it have anything to do with more..

Wasting our resources

Jan 21 (ST) It was a wonderful Thursday morning. A slight shower had given way to bright sunshine, with the rain drops on the leaves of the margosa tree gently falling to the ground and quickly evaporating. At the gate, the trio was having an argument with the hapless Aldoris, the choon-paan karaya, over the sugar content in the gal bunis and other sweetened bread like kimbula bunis. “May davaswala aharavala seeni vedei (There is too much sugar in the food these days),” said Kussi Amma Sera. more..

Will justice ever be done?

Jan 21 (ST) SL’s judicial system has taken a bad beating in recent weeks. This, of course, is not the first time it has been slammed by legal professionals and the public alike. Naturally the professionals, being more learned in the law (spare me the sniggers, thank you), subject it to greater probity than the public which present specific instances to buttress their arguments. The other day Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva lamented the fact that the people’s faith in judicial system has eroded. more..

'19th Amendment, a showpiece for the public'

Jan 21 (SO) State Minister Keheliya Rambukwella referring to the leaked audio clips of UNP MP Ranjan Ramanayake said that obviously the entire UNP machinery had been involved in tampering and influencing the judiciary to suit their own requirements but not in keeping with Ranjan Ramanayake’s whims and fancies. He said that the 19th Amendment was only a showpiece for the public but they have been dubiously manipulating it. more..

Pre-election words of wisdom: Dictatorship by any name is disastrous!

Jan 21 (CT) When the Rajapaksas lost power in 2015 elections, SL then became among the first democracies to defy the tide of populism. Sadly, however, the unity of purpose that earlier endeared the common opposition alliance leaders – Maithrapala and Ranil duo, to voters, subsequently collapsed under the weight of internal squabbles once they were elected to govt. The feud grew into a constitutional crisis in 2018, with MR being appointed as the PM, which move the courts more..

Road to hell is paved with good intentions: Wijeyadasa’s 21st & 22nd Amendments

Jan 21 (CT) Knowledge does not necessarily always translate to wisdom, and neither does wisdom always transcend the politics of self-aggrandizement in terms of doing the right thing and not doing that which is expedient. It is also observed that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. And it is this peculiar cognitive dissonance that can be observed in MP and President’s Counsel, Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe’s two Private Member Bills titled the 21st Amendment to the Constitution and more..

President acknowledges thousands of war missing are dead

Jan 20 (AFP) President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has acknowledged for the first time that more than 23,500 people missing for a decade since the end of the country's protracted Tamil war are dead. Rajapaksa, who played a key role in the military campaign that crushed the Tamil separatist rebels, told a UN envoy that steps would be taken to finally provide death certificates for those reported missing, his office said. more..

Video: Matheesha Pathirana allegedly breaks fastest ball record with 175 kph delivery

Jan 20 (NDTV) SL Under-19 pacer Matheesha Pathirana, whose slingy bowling action grabbed eyeballs for its similarity with that of Lasith Malinga, bowled a short delivery to India Under-19 star Yashasvi Jaiswal, after which the speed gun showed a reading of 175 kph. The incident happened as the two teams took each other on in their opening match in the ongoing ICC Under-19 World Cup in SA. If the reading is correct, it would make it the fastest recorded delivery in the history of cricket more..

India moves to seek closer military ties with Sri Lanka

Jan 20 (AJ) Sri Lanka and India have pledged to strengthen military ties and widen maritime links with neighbours after security talks, the president's office said on Sunday, as New Delhi moves to counter Chinese influence in the region. China, a longtime regional rival of India, has been widening its footprint in the region, including building ports and expressways and upgrading airports in SL and the Maldives. India's National Security Advisor Ajit Doval met on Saturday with recently elected more..

Video: CCD records statement from Judge Gihan Pilapitiya

Jan 20 (AD) The Colombo Crime Division (CCD) has recorded a statement from High Court Judge Gihan Pilapitiya with regard to controversial phone recordings of MP Ranjan Ramanayake, on the instructions of the Attorney General. Police Media Unit said that accordingly CCD officers had recorded a statement from the High Court Judge for nearly 5 hours last evening. Last week, the Attorney General directed more..

Coming three years, challenging for debt repayment: Harsha

Jan 20 (CT) Former Minister of Economic Reforms Dr. Harsha De Silva claims that the Govt is due to repay US$ 6 billion in debt over the next three years including a US$ 1.2 billion payment to the private sector. He said that 2020, 2021 and 2022 are some of the most challenging years for debt repayments, and that there is no sign of the Govt having taken adequate measures to repay these debts. "According to statistics, positive growth in exports is not enough, and also remittances are falling. more..

Malaysia sends plastic waste back to Sri Lanka and 12 other countries

Jan 20 (DM) Malaysia has sent back 150 containers of plastic waste to 13 countries, including Sri Lanka, since the third quarter of last year, the Sky news reported. The country's environment minister warned on Monday that those who want to make Malaysia the rubbish bin of the world can dream on. Shipments of unwanted rubbish have been rerouted to Southeast Asia since China banned the import of plastic waste in 2018, but Malaysia and other developing countries are fighting back. more..

New members appointed to Parliamentary Select Committee

Jan 20 (AD) Parliamentary Selection Committee (PSC) under the chairmanship of Speaker Karu Jayasuriya will be tabled tomorrow in order to conduct the nomination process of the Members for Committees Committees will also include COPE & COPA. The following 17 MPs will serve the current session of the Select Committee: Chamal Rajapaksa, Nimal Siripala De Silva, Dinesh Gunawardena, Johnston Fernando, more..

Leading accounting bodies call for improved unsustainable dev. goals disclosures

Jan 20 (FT) Leading accounting bodies and other organisations last week called for corporate and asset owner action and improved reporting on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in an attempt to hit goals set for 2030. The recommendations are detailed in the report Sustainable Development Goals Disclosure (SDGD) Recommendations authored by Professor of Accounting Carol Adams, with Durham University Business School’s Honorary Professors more..

No comforts for Ranjan!

Jan 20 (CT) MP Ranjan Ramanayake, who is detained at the Magazine Prison, has requested the Welikada Prison Hospital to give him a mattress, table and a commode chair but the hospital authorities have not approved it. Doctors who examined him had recommended that Ramanayake was in good health and approval for these items has not been given. Meanwhile, it has been reported that a group of Ramanayake supporters had taken a bed cover on 18 Jan but prison authorities did not more..

SL Black Leopard not extinct; spotted again

Jan 20 (DM) Sri Lankan Black Leopard which was believed to be extinct had been captured on a trap camera in October in the Central Hills, the Department of Wildlife Conservation said. The footages were recorded in Oct 2019. However, Department did not announce the existence of the species until they confirmed the footages. The department's Spokesperson Hasini Sarachchandra said the animal was spotted more..

President Gotabaya invited to visit UAE

Jan 20 (Island) Crown Prince of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has sent his greetings and warm wishes to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. While assuring his keenness to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries, the Crown Prince also extended an invitation for President Rajapaksa to visit the UAE. Prez reciprocated the Crown Prince’s warm wishes and accepted the invitation. more..

34 arrested in Sella Kataragama clash

Jan 20 (CT) 34 persons were arrested following a bloody clash between two groups at a location in Sella Kataragama on Saturday. They said another five persons who had sustained injuries in the clash, were currently receiving treatment at the Kataragama Hospital. According to Police, the clash had erupted between a group of visitors to the holy shrine and local villagers. The villagers had told Police that the visitors, who were inebriated at the time of the incident, more..

Retired Judge Padmini Ranawaka questioned for over 3 hours

Jan 20 (AD) Retired High Court Judge Padmini Ranawaka has reportedly left Colombo Crime Division (CCD), after recording a statement for over 3 hours. The former Judge left the premises of the CCD after recording a statement for over three hours. Ranawaka arrived at the CCD this afternoon to record a statement regarding the controversial phone recordings involving MP Ranjan Ramanayake. more..

Minister Johnston promises to review agreements with Prima and Tokyo Cement

Jan 20 (Island) Minister Johnston Fernando, on Saturday, pledged to look into the agreements Tokyo Cement and Prima had signed with the government within one month and review them. Addressing the media after an inspection tour of the Trincomalee Harbour, Fernando said that though Trincomalee was the world’s second largest natural harbour and situated at a strategic location only Tokyo Cement and Prima had their facilities there. "Apart from this, we do bunkering through Indian Oil. more..

Video: Eight students hospitalized as roof of tuition class collapses

Jan 20 (AD) Eight students have been injured after the roof of a tuition class in Amabalangoda collapses in, stated Ada Derana reporter. Reportedly, the incident had occurred at around 2.30 pm this afternoon (20). The injured students have been admitted to Balapitiya Base Hospital for treatment. However, their condition is not critical, according to hospital sources. Ambalangoda Police is conducting further investigations into the incident. more..

Video: Fear on Saukadi Beach

Jan 20 (RN) This is the tale of the little food shop on the beach that got hit because of events beyond the control of is owner and her customers. The little eatery is run by Hussanar Mainmunachchi Umma on Saukadi beach in Batticoloa where she cooks food for the hungry fishermen returning from a night’s fishing in the sea. Hussanar is a Muslim, most of the fishermen are Tamil. Woman is a widow in her late fifties, more..

Election Commission bills running to several hundred million rupees not paid

Jan 20 (Island) The Galle District office of the Election Commission has paid only Rs. 700,000 out of Rs. 9,700,000 it owes the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) for supplying electricity to the counting centres and other offices during the Nov 2019 Presidential Election. CEB Southern Regional Deputy General Manager S. S. Kahanda said that they had sent a number of reminders to the Galle District office of the Election Commission. However the bill had not yet been settled. more..

AHMD Nawaz appointed Acting President of Appeal Court

Jan 20 (NR) Court of Appeal Judge AHMD Nawaz has been sworn in as the Acting Chairman of the Court of Appeal. Nawaz was sworn in before President Gotabaya Rajapaksa this evening. Yasantha Kodagoda previously served as the Chairman of the Court of Appeal. Kodagoda has been recommended to the Constitutional Council by President Rajapaksa as a Supreme Court Judge to fill the vacant position following the demise of Judge Prasanna Jayawardene. more..