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We have clear consensus on domestic mechanism: Mangala

Jan 12 (DM) Even though there were divergent views within the govt regarding the participation of foreign judges in the proposed judicial mechanism, there was a clear consensus across the board on the need of an independent and credible domestic mechanism as promised by the manifesto of President Sirisena, Minister Mangala Samaraweera said. Speaking on the SL's reconciliation process at Chatham House, more..

2-5 year Resident Visas for foreigners investing over US$ 300,000

Jan 12 (DN) Resident Visas for up to 5 years would be issued to foreigners who would invest a minimum of US $ 300,000 in Sri Lanka, Minister Ravi Karunananyake said. He said, “We are expecting to provide land permanent residency and land leasing facilities for foreigners who are expecting to invest more than US $ 1 500 000 as long-term investment plans”. He also said that the objective would be to reduce the debts and increase investments more..

GTF welcomes CTFRM’s Recommendations

Jan 12 (LG) The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) welcomes the recommendations of the Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms (CTFRM), and calls on SL govt to fully implement these recommendations. We wish to congratulate the eleven-member panel headed by senior lawyer Manouri Muttetuwegama, who after exhaustive, countrywide consultations conducted over a year, more..

Health Minister to prevent eye-lens racket

Jan 12 (GDI) Minister Rajitha Senarathe said that he would take necessary steps to prevent the eye lens racket and to provide eye lenses for lower prices. He made these remarks recently participating in an observation visit at SL Eye Bank in Colombo. At the visit, he paid his attention regarding the development of the eye bank. The eye lenses imported from India for Rs. 6,000 are sold at Rs. 25,000 in local market. more..

Professionals urge President’s intervention to halt ETCA

Jan 12 (Island) Information Technology professionals called for President’s intervention to stop Economic & Technological Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) with India as UNP was planning to sign it. Secretary of Society of IT Professionals Lasantha Wickremesinghe said a group of powerful UNP economic consultants, including a minister had held a secret discussion with some Indian officials in Colombo to finalise the ETCA. more..

Sri Lankan Muslim body challenges North Chief Minister’s claim on resettlement

Jan 12 (ENS) The Muslim Council of SL has challenged the claim of C.V. Wigneswaran, Chief Minister of the Tamil-majority Northern Province, that the charge of step-motherly treatment of  Muslims in the matter of re-settlement is baseless.   In a letter to the CM, President of the MCSL, N.M. Ameen, said that the CM’s contention that out of the 4307 families which had obtained lands between 2013 and 2016, 73.02% were Muslim, more..

Freezing of Udayanga’s bank accounts challenged in Supreme Court

Jan 12 (Island) The supreme Court gave the Attorney General, four weeks, to consider whether there was a possibility of lifting the curtailment of debit transactions, in respect of the bank Accounts of petitioner Udayanga Weeratunga the former SL Ambassador in Russia. Weeratunga has complained that since the first quarter of 2015, his debit transactions have been arbitrarily frozen by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. more..

Canadian Mayor backtracks on Sri Lankan sister-city talk after council backlash

Jan 12 (BG) Linda Jeffrey’s foray into foreign affairs has managed to sour relations at home after councillors voiced concerns that the mayor is moving ahead with plans to enter a sister city agreement with a Sri Lankan municipality without council approval. “I don’t believe the mayor has the authority to bypass council and she would be foolish doing so,” said Regional Coun. John Sprovieri, reacting to a recent announcement from more..

WPB, place for CTFRM report: Champika

Jan 12 (Island) The JHU yesterday rejected the recommendations of the govt appointed Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanism (CTFRM). Its report should be relegated to the waste paper basket, he said. JHU leader and Minister Champika Ranawaka, addressing the media, at the party headquarters in Battaramulla, said the recommendations at issue were inimical to ethnic harmony and the national interest. more..

Little hope for the Uma Oya homeless

Jan 12 (ST) Thousands of fearful people in Bandarawela who abandoned their precious homes after watching their dreams fall to pieces in the wake of the much-maligned Uma Oya hydropower and irrigation project bankrolled by Iran, may be re-settled on tea estates. Yet more families became displaced people in their own homeland this week as a result of the continuing destruction caused by a Rs 78.46 billion project more..

Iron fist in a velvet glove

Jan 12 (CT) Sri Lanka needs to grow at a healthy rate if it's to rid or lessen the impact of poverty among its people. Not only should poverty be eradicated or brought down to a minimum, but the island must also ensure that its citizens live decently. Decent living entails good housing and schooling for the children, not just schools, but a good education, good health facilities, good food, good jobs, good transportation, good clothes and good care for the disabled, sick, elderly more..

That curious creature called civil society

Jan 12 (DM) Words are easy for politicians and in politics. Take the people for example. It’s hard to think of a term that has been as abused. It’s all in the name of the people isn’t it? There are of course other useful (and cheap) words in the lexicon of politics. The nation has a lot of utility value, for example and has been used and abused all over the world and across history. And then, there is civil society.   Civil society is defined as the aggregate of NGOs and institutions that manifest interests more..

'TV drone buzzed on diplomatic space, impinged Court order'

Jan 12 (DN) The drone camera of a private TV channel which had ignited a debate over its being seized by the police while it was taking pictures and videos of the scale of demonstrations at the inauguration of SL - China Industrial Zone in Hambantota, would not have suffered that fate, had they notified the Police about their high-flying reporting venture into the space of diplomats with remote control equipment, more..

Sri Lanka further strengthens anti-money laundering drive

Jan 12 (DM) In terms of the provisions of the Financial Transactions Reporting Act, No. 6 of 2006 (FTRA), the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of Sri Lanka entered into a MoU with the Registration of Persons Department yesterday, at the Central Bank to receive information in order to facilitate investigations and prosecutions on money laundering and terrorist financing. Registration of Persons Department Commissioner General Viyani Gunathilake and FIU Director more..

Sept 2016 trade gap down 12% to $645mn

Jan 12 (EN) Sri Lanka’s trade gap fell 12% to US$ 645 million in Sept 2016 from a year ago as exports rose and imports fell, the central bank said. Earnings from exports grew for the second consecutive month in Sept 2016, up 5.7% to US$ 898 million from the year before, it said in a statement. Expenditure on imports declined by 2.5% to US$ 1,543 million in Sept 2016 compared to the same month in 2015, mainly because of lower imports of personal motor vehicles and fuel. more..

No elections in 2020, says Rajitha

Jan 12 (FT) Sri Lanka will not have elections in 2020 but that will not deter the Govt from working towards abolishing the Executive Presidency, said minister Rajitha Senaratne, dismissing a decision made by the SLFP to support the continuation of executive powers. A visibly charged Minister contended that the Central Committees of parties could make decisions but they could change over time and insisted that President Sirisena more..

Lankans are for peace

Jan 12 (Hindu) The trio -- Yogesh R. Mathuria (60), Sabalsihn Vala (78) and Somanatah Bhosle (26) -- are on the final leg of the world peace pilgrimage, walking in India and Sri Lanka. They have been spreading the message of peace in the last 112 days, traversing 3,450 km. Meeting reporters after landing here on completion of the Sri Lanka leg on Wednesday, Mr. Yogesh said that their smiles and love had won many friends in Sri Lanka. There was overwhelming response to their endeavour more..

Release drone video: Dullas

Jan 12 (DM) JO challenged the police and the govt to release the video footage of the seized-and-then-released drone camera belonging to a TV station so that the people could witness who cast the first stone at whom during the Saturday’s protest in Hambantota. JO MP Dullas Alahapperuma said memory chip of the drone camera had been corroded by police to destroy evidence. “I request people not to believe us simply because we say it was thugs, who were under police protection, more..

Chinese Ambassador to Lanka also has concerns about H’tota project: MR

Jan 12 (FT) China’s Ambassador to SL, Yi Xianliang, had expressed concerns about the implementation of Hambantota industrial park project, former president Rajapaksa claimed, following a meeting with the envoy on Tuesday. Former president, who participated in a Twitter Q&A, denied reports that the Chinese envoy to Colombo had expressed his displeasure over certain remarks being made about Chinese involvement in SL more..

Sri Lanka promoted as a tourist destination in Malaysia

Jan 12 (CT) Sri Lanka Tourism, in collaboration with the Sri Lankan High Commission in Malaysia, gave its full support to promote Sri Lanka as an important tourist destination, enriched with natural resources and make a positive impact among the Malaysian community of the benefits they will receive by visiting Sri Lanka. The Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) held a Consumer Promotion from 13 to 19 December 2016, at the Suraya KLCC in Malaysia. more..

Five of a family get death sentence

Jan 12 (CT) Matara Magistrate sentenced to death five family members including two women after they were found guilty of clubbing to death a 44-year-old resident of Gandara, Kottegeda, in 2009, The victim had been put to death because he had objected to a love affair involving a member of the family and another individual. The Attorney General (AG) had filed indictments against the five suspects, in the Matara High Court, for the murder which had taken place on or before 15 Jan 2009. more..

Govt moves to forestall power crisis

Jan 12 (CT) The govt plans to purchase 350MW of power from the private energy production sector at Rs 36.50 per unit in a bid to mitigate the impact of power shortages expected to run from January through to April 2017, Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera said. He said while there was no immediate need to enforce any power cuts, the lack of rainfall has seen water levels drop appreciably and thus curtail power generation. more..

New site for Palestinian Embassy

Jan 12 (CT) A plot of land has been allocated to the Embassy of the State of Palestine for the construction of a permanent building to house the Embassy offices, Cabinet spokesman Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka said. This decision was made following Cabinet approval of a proposal made by Minister Mangala Samaraweera. The land allocated is down Hewa Avenue, Colombo 7. Embassy for the State of Palestine presently functions at 110/10Wijerama Mawatha, Col 7. more..

Wimal gets food from home

Jan 12 (DM) National Freedom Front (NFF) Leader MP Wimal Weerawansa, who was remanded yesterday on charges of misusing 40 state vehicles, has requested permission from Prison Authorities to get all three meals from his home. Prison sources said declining food provided by the Prisons Department and bringing them from outside was a privilege for any prisoner. “As such, the approval was given to bring food from outside for MP Weerawansa,” they said. more..

President can seek a second term: WP CM

Jan 12 (Island) Western Province Chief Minister Isura Devapriya argued that President Sirisena was the most suitable SLFP presidential candidate at the Presidential Election in 2020. CM said that President Sirisena was no longer the common candidate of the common opposition; he was the leader of the SLFP and, therefore, there was no barrier for him to contest the next presidential election. more..

Dudley S. gives Rs. 90 rice price guarantee

Jan 12 (FT) Chairman of leading rice mill owner Araliya Rice, Dudley Sirisena, promised to maintain the bulk rice price at Rs. 90 and reduce prices after the third week of February, offsetting fears of a shortage. President Sirisena’s sibling, speaking on behalf of all mill owners in the country, gave a personal guarantee that he would ensure that prices did not further escalate. “Although there is no rule, we have taken a decision to not allow further price escalation. more..

Can Sri Lanka avoid 3-0 humiliation?

Jan 12 (Island) Sri Lanka have a huge challenge in the third and final Test against South Africa here at the Wanderers in Johannesburg starting today as the hosts are looking for a 3-0 whitewash. Sri Lanka are likely to retain the same team that lost the second Test in Cape Town by 282 runs while South Africa could opt for an all-out pace attack fielding as many four fast bowlers. Left-arm quick, Wayne Parnell will feature in the line-up as replacement for the axed Kyle Abbott, more..

Two Influenza H1N1 deaths at Kandy hospital

Jan 12 (DN) Two kidney patients in Kandy Hospital died of Influenza H1N1 yesterday. Two out of the three deaths reported from the Kandy Teaching hospital were caused by H1N1. Deceased are two males, one is 35 years of age and the other an elderly individual. Asked if the MRI has confirmed the cause of deaths Kandy Teaching Hospital Director Dr. R.M.S.K. Ratnayake said Kandy Hospital has access to similar facilities more..

LTL Transformers procures Rs 600M contract in Pakistan

Jan 12 (CT) LTL Transformers Ltd. (LTLT), SL's internationally-acclaimed transformer manufacturing company, has procured an order for the supply of 1,000 Nos 11 kV/200 kVA distribution transformers, to the value of Rs 600 million to Lahore Electricity Supply Company (LESCO) in Pakistan. It is, to date, one of the largest export orders procured by the company, which has manufactured distribution transformers for over 30 years. The company was the pioneering venture of LTL Holdings, more..

SL delegation arrives in Thailand for fourth Bangkok talks

Jan 12 (FT) A top official delegation left Sri Lanka this week to attend the latest Bangkok Agreement talks in Thailand. Five-member delegation is led by Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen and will attend the fourth session of the Asia Pacific Trade Agreement Ministerial Talks in Bangkok, his Ministry said in a statement.  “It is time Sri Lanka starts benefiting from one of Asia’s pioneering trade agreements,” he said prior to his departure to Bangkok. more..

Blow to tyre exports from a US determination

Jan 12 (ST) Sri Lanka’s tyre exports to the US got a severe blow this week following the US Commerce Department’s final affirmative determination against the island in the anti dumping duty investigation on market-distorting effects caused by injurious dumping and unfair subsidization of imports. US Dept took the decision on Wednesday (4) after inquiring into indepth petitions filed by US tyre manufacturers more..

Du Plessis only has eyes for a whitewash

Jan 12 (CI) There are ways of saying things and then there is the Faf du Plessis way of saying things. It's considered rather than clichéd and direct without being dismissive, an especially important quality in a series like this. South Africa have dominated to the extent that Dale Steyn's quietly confident, pre-series prediction that a 3-0 whitewash could be on the cards now seems a certainty. Apart from the first day of the first Test, Sri Lanka have failed to put up a concerted challenge to more..

SLIC yet to receive Deposited Guarantee Money from Seychelles, Maldives

Jan 12 (DN) Sri Lanka Insurance has to get over US$ 500,000 from insurance regulators in the Seychelles and the Maldives that were deposited as guarantees, SL Insurance Corporation Joint Managing Director Bangsa Jayah said. He said they found that the operations in Seychelles that were started by the management appointed by the previous govt were not profitable. “There is a limited population in the Seychelles and there are only a few motor vehicles to insure. more..

PM should not intervene in Weerawansa's case: Ranjan

Jan 12 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe should not heed to any request from anyone to intervene in the case of Joint Opposition MP Wimal Weerawansa who was arrested, Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake said. He said that the PM may get phone calls requesting that he should intervene in the case but should not respond to those. “People of this country expected President and PM to be tough leaders more..

Fetters that bind us to cycle of samsara

Jan 12 (DN) The Buddha taught that the self-view is but the best form of self-referent belief we have. Once this mental construct has been seen through, a great deal of work still remains. The Buddha's clearest description of what we initially see through and what remains is the formulation of the Ten Fetters. The fetters provide us with a vivid description of the self-referent obstacles in our path, and thus the very nature of the path and goal. A fetter is a shackle for the ankles more..

Today is Duruthu Poya Day

Jan 12 (Island) It is perhaps symptomatic of the fallen nature of the ordinary human condition that few of us pass the full extent of our lives comfortably reconciled to our natural selves. Even in the midst of prosperity and success, grinding notes of discontent trouble our days and disturbing dreams come to haunt our sleep. As long as our eyes remain coated with dust we incline to locate the cause of our discontent outside ourselves - in spouse, neighbour or job, in implacable fate or fluky chance. more..