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Forces involvement in campaigning raises red flags

Nov 4 (SO) Ministry of Defence and Law and Order last week strictly warned military and police personnel that the only political activity they could engage in was the casting of votes on election day. The directive comes amid concerns raised especially in the Eastern Province that SL Navy personnel in civilian clothes were engaged in campaigning heavily for SLPP prez candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa. more..

HSBC launches supply chain finance platform in Sri Lanka

Nov 4 (TM) Global banking giant HSBC launched its supply chain finance (HSCF) platform in Sri Lanka at an event in Colombo on Thursday (31). The bank noted that this is the first supply chain finance on web-based platform launched by HSBC in Sri Lanka, following its successful implementation in France, Canada, Australia, the UAE, Singapore, Thailand, South Korea, Malaysia, Bangladesh, and Vietnam. The launch event focused on the modernisation and disruption of the supply chain more..

This land of glorious promise and perpetual failures

Nov 4 (ST) As SL’s Prez election counts down to a tense culmination in two weeks, let us have the comfort of imagining in a parallel and more hopeful universe, that following the crushing defeat of the Rajapaksas in 2015, its newly formed Pohottuwa Party had cleansed its ranks of the highly corrupt, the highly murderous and the highly racist, modeling itself on the lotus bud that it had chosen as its symbol. As many would cackle, this would perchance have been wondrously impossible, more..

JVP Press conference

Editorial: Publish audit report

Nov 4 (Island) The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) is reported to have consulted the Attorney General’s Department on whether to release the forensic audit report on the bond issuances from 2007 to 2015, as it could have an influence on the polity in the run-up to the upcoming presidential election. One is baffled. If the findings of the auditors are likely to influence the voters then that is all the more reason why they should be made public without further delay. more..

Extracts from Tamil Tigers' debt to America

Nov 4 (CT) Daya Gamage worked at the American Embassy in Colombo, as the Sole Foreign Service National and a Political Specialist. He retired in 1994 and has been living in Las Vegas since retirement. He has been able to share his knowledge, understanding and his intimate professional association with the US Department of State in the form of a book - Tamil Tigers' Debt to America. While assuring the facts contained in his book cannot be found anywhere else, more..

Water crisis in the Wet Zone

Nov 4 (CT) Farmers in the Harispattuwa area in Kandy have noted that they have abandoned the cultivation of paddy and other plants that require a substantial amount of water to grow, due to the difficulties they face in obtaining water. However, official sources who requested to remain unnamed, clarified that these circumstances occurred not only within Harispattuwa, but also within the entire Kandy District. more..

SLFP’s charge of the light brigade

Nov 4 (ST) Patron Saint of the SLFP chapter and the Party’s former Prez of SL twice over, Chandrika Kumaratunga flew home from her London base last week after receiving an SOP – Save Our Party – text message from senior party stalwart, Kumara Welgama. The man from Kalutara, the 68-year-old Welgama had been keeping the onerous problems that had been plaguing the SLFP in these recent months on his shoulders like Atlas keeps the sky on his head, but the mounting weight of it more..

CBK's ascendancy

Nov 4 (CT) Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga (74), Sri Lanka's fourth Executive President (Nov 1994-Nov 2005) displayed exceptional political cunning. She is best known for successfully exploiting the naivety, indecisiveness and weakness of UNP/UNFGG Leader and PM, Ranil Wickremesinghe (70), thereby sending the UNP - Sri Lanka's single largest political party at one time - into the political wilderness for a record 21 years (1994-2015), save two years in between. more..

'Sajith Premadasa's victory is assured'

Nov 4 (CT) Minister and UNP General Secretary, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, says if fraud occurred in the CB Bond Issue, deliver a judgment about that immediately. Q: Do you support Sajith Premadasa genuinely? A: Yes, we work with genuine intentions. However, we want the UNP to win. When the Party takes a decision, we get together, irrespective of our personal stands. Ranil Wickremesinghe took this decision more..

Boomerang lesson for Yahapâlanaya

Nov 4 (CT) During the same period in 2014, nearly five years ago, the echoing clamor of the people of the island nation was to end nepotism, corruption, waste of public funds and bring democracy that would create a just society which upheld key features of a righteous democracy such as freedom of expression, equality before and equal protection of law and right to stand against discrimination, cruelty and degradation. Thousands gathered and voted for a just society based on principles of more..

A centrist social compact

Nov 4 (CT) The hullabaloo over sanitary pads has served a salutary purpose. It has exposed our collective confusion over what is poverty and what is development. Other than National Security that acquired a new urgency in the light of the Easter Sunday massacre, poverty and development are the two central issues dominating the furious debate on who should be our next president. The subject of menstrual hygiene of women/girls who constitute 52% of the population was first taken up more..

SLFP patron CBK faces expulsion

Nov 3 (ST) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, now patron of the SLFP, faces expulsion for being engaged in a deal with the NDF. Enraged by the move, the SLFP’s de facto leader Prez Sirisena has summoned an urgent meeting of the party’s Central Committee, its policy making body, for Tuesday night. He will recommend her expulsion from the SLFP together with party members who are backing her. more..

Polls monitors flay candidate list

Nov 3 (CT) A group of independent polls monitors are to submit a proposal to raise the Prez candidate deposit from the present Rs. 75,000 to at least Rs. 2.5 million to discourage also ran hopefuls, Executive Director of the PAFFREL, Rohana Hettiaarachchi said yesterday. He said, the matter had already been unofficially raised with the Elections Chief Mahinda Deshapriya and a draft proposal towards this end would be prepared more..

Muhyiddin denies LTTE detainees abused during detention

Nov 3 (NST) Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has denied allegation that those held on suspicion of having ties to the LTTE were tortured and intimidated during their detention. He said based on the information given to him by the IGP Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador and officers involved with the case, the detainees were not abused. According to Muhyiddin, the detainees also did not make any formal complaints in the court room more..

Sajith makes written request to Gota for a debate

Nov 3 (NR) NDF candidate Sajith Premadasa in a formal letter called on SLPP prez candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa for a one-on-one debate before the prez polls. “On Wednesday, I invited you to take up the challenge of facing the nation at such a debate. Unfortunately, I am yet to receive a response from your campaign. Some of your advisors have alluded to the absence of a written invitation even in this age of more..

100 arrested with drugs at Facebook party in Dehiwala

Nov 3 (AD) Dehiwala Police has arrested 100 persons at a party involving drugs held at a hotel on the Dehiwala beach. The arrest has been made last night based on a tip-off received by the Dehiwala Police Station. Reportedly, 83 males and 17 females have been arrested at the party organized through Facebook. The arrestees aged between 18 and 48 years are residents from Ambalangoda, Kalutara, Kurunegala, and more..

Opened Lotus Tower still closed to public; TRC and military to run it

Nov 3 (ST) The Lotus Tower, which was ceremoniously opened in September this year, remains barred to the public with the Telecom Regulatory Commission of SL (TRCSL) now planning to run it with the use of the military. The deployment of army, navy and military will be a temporary measure, said P R S P Jayatilake, TRCSL Chairman. He also said the date on which the Lotus Tower will finally be accessible to the public is not yet decided. more..

US$40m OPEC Fund loan finances key highway in Sri Lanka

Nov 3 (DM) The OPEC Fund for Int'l Development, OFID, has signed a US$40 million loan agreement with Sri Lanka to co-finance the rehabilitation of an 18 km section of the A017 Highway in the southern region of the country. The project, known as the Rehabilitation of the A017 Road Corridor Project (Rakwana–Suriyakanda) and co-financed with the govt of SL, is expected to help promote trade, reduce travel costs and time, more..

Prez declares open development projects completed under Pibidemu Polonnaruwa

Nov 3 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena today (2) handed over several developments completed under Pibidemu Polonnaruwa district development programme. Prez declared open the water pump station and the tower in Kaduruwela established in order provide safe drinking water to the public under Polonnaruwa Water Supply Project. Polonnaruwa Water Supply Project has been implemented at a cost of Rs. 2240 million more..

Nightlife for Trinco harbour

Nov 3 (RN) The Trincomalee port is set to double its capacity with the installation of night navigation the SL Ports Authority said. Project was completed with One billion Yen assistance from Japan. “This enables the Trincomalee harbour to handle deep drafts and doubles its capacity. This also makes the port operational 24 hours,” Ports Minister Sagala Ratnayaka was quoted as saying by the communique. more..

Central Bank act to replace monetary law act

Nov 3 (TM) Monetary Law Act (MLA), which established SL’s monetary system and the CB in 1949, will soon be repealed and replaced by a new Central Bank Act, according to CB Governor Dr. Indrajith Coomaraswamy. The new act will carry three main changes, one being that the CB’s existing Monetary Board which oversees the institution’s activities will be bifurcated or broken up into two separate boards, more..

Rajapaksa Authoritarianism and Premadasa Welfarism

Nov 3 (Island) The presidential election campaign is getting into its final two-week home stretch. The two leading candidates have released their manifestos and finalized their broad alliances. Chandrika Kumaratunga has formalized the trifurcation of the SLFP by pledging her support to Sajith Premadasa. Regardless of whatever electoral effect she may or may not have, she has given the patented SLFP a fighting chance to survive as a political entity after the presidential election. more..

Class drivers and a Gotabhaya autocracy

Nov 3 (Island) At no time since 1848 in Europe has unrest, rebellion, street fighting and mob rule erupted as much as in 2019. This time it is worldwide – South America, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Europe. I will work up a list half-way down this essay. Sri Lanka at this moment is quiet. That’s because a prez election is pending and it is also a periscope into the next general election. Unrest cannot breakout unless incited by the business, ex-military and political throng mobilising more..

Polls in Jaffna: It’s a fight between two devils

Nov 3 (ST) 35 may be in the fray for the prez election in this former war-torn northern peninsula but the voter interest is clearly between two – Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Sajith Premadasa. And funny enough, most refer to the duo by different demonic titles. Gotabaya Rajapaksa is Achchakkara Pei (frightening devil). Sajith Premadasa is Verukkira Pei (hateful devil). Voters talk to each other about which devil is less dangerous more..

Poll Cards: Today is a special delivery day

Nov 3 (DM) Today (3) is a special delivery day for polling cards for those who have not received their cards by post, Deputy Postmaster General (Operations) D.A.R.K. Ranasinghe said. He said the distribution of polling cards for the 2019 presidential election was continuing from Oct 26 and would end on Nov 9. The DPMG requested voters who had not received their polling cards to stay indoors to receive their cards and said some 8,000 personnel had been assigned to deliver the polling cards. more..

Tanker coming today; LP gas shortage will end within two days

Nov 3 (ST) The severe domestic LP gas shortage currently affecting the country will come to an end within the next two days as a 3,500 metric tonne gas tanker is on its way to Colombo Port from Mumbai, the Govt says. The tanker is scheduled to reach the Colombo Port early today and the cylinder filling would be done throughout the day. The gas cylinders will be distributed to the agents directly from the port itself, according to Industries and Commerce Ministry Secretary Ranjith Asoka. more..

Election Commission plunged in to crisis over ITN censorship

Nov 3 (EN) Election Commission plunged into crisis on Saturday after its Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya ordered a censorship of state-owned ITN television network without the consent of the other two members of the 3-man panel. Deshapriya shocked his fellow commissioners by firing a letter to ITN saying that they are prohibited from broadcasting any politically-oriented programs, interviews from Monday till results of the prez more..

LP gas shortage resulted in panic-buying mode: Litro

Nov 3 (AD) A shortage of Liquefied Petroleum (LP) gas is reported across the country for the past few days. Ada Derana reporters stated that most of the LP gas shops currently remain closed and the shortage has shown a considerable increase today. Litro Gas Lanka said “In the aftermath of the Saudi Aramco Drone attack that took place in September, there is an understandable shortage of LP gas in the market. Current status of the LPG shortage could be attributed to a number of convolving factors.” more..

Over 2,500 complaints received regarding prez poll: EC

Nov 3 (AD) The Election Commission (EC) says the total number of complaints it has received pertaining to the Prez Election has exceeded 2,500. Accordingly, EC has received 2,540 complaints on the attire-while 2,425 of this total concern violation of election laws. During the past 24 hours which ended at 4 pm last evening (1), the Election Commission has received 147 complaints. Meanwhile, Transparency International SL (TISL) has thus far received a total number of 79 complaints more..

Over 3.5 m medical records online

Nov 3 (ST) Over 3.5 million medical records in more than 40 govt hospitals are now online making it easy and efficient for both doctors and patients to diagnose and receive treatment. The Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA), the apex ICT institution of the Govt functioning under the Ministry of Digital Infrastructure and Information Technology has given power to this project, named more..

Ballot paper printing process concludes

Nov 3 (AD) Dept of Govt Printing has announced that printing the ballot papers for the Prez Election has concluded. Govt Printer Gangani Liyanage said the printed ballot papers are currently being scrutinized. Following the completion of the scrutinization process, the ballot papers will be taken to deliver the printed stocks of ballots papers to the Election Commission by next Tuesday, Govt Printer said further. It is reported that over 17 million ballot papers have been printed for Prez Election. more..

SL to regulate imports of taps, bath fittings

Nov 3 (EN) Sri Lanka is planning to bring regulations on water faucets and to improve quality, govt has said, though high import taxes in the country are encouraging the flow of low quality products including factory rejects. The Cabinet had approved proposal by the Minster of Urban Planning and Water Supply to develop a set of regulations are consulting state agencies and the public. Water Board has identified that there are many low quality bathroom fittings that result in leaks. more..

Taiwan raises issues on Ceylon Tea

Nov 3 (ST) Just as Sri Lanka had eased its problems of residues in tea with Japan, Taiwan has now raised concerns over the maximum residue levels (MRL) found in Ceylon Tea. The glyphosate level recommended by Taiwan had been too high, some industry analysts observed noting that the MRL has not been adjusted with the data following some detections made with the shipments. The issue had arisen about 3-5 months back and more..

‘Increased technology use, a must, to face productivity challenges’

Nov 3 (SO) The increased use of technology is an absolute need to face the productivity challenges the country faces. Therefore, there should be a clear plan to increase ICT use, Chairman, Federation of Information Technology Industry SL (FITIS), Abbas Kamrudeen said. “By working in collaboration with the EDB as part of the national export strategy, we have built the brand IOI (Island of Ingenuity) which we will promote aggressively to create our own SL ICT and knowledge services brand,” he said. more..

Vallibel Finance PBT grows by 17%: Races to Rs. 1.2 Billion in 06 months

Nov 3 (Island) Despite SL’s financial landscape being tormented by uncertain environmental conditions in a topsy-turvy first half, Vallibel Group’s name-bearing finance company has experienced smooth sailing as usual. Amidst many challenges, Vallibel Finance continued to set the bar high with profits before tax (PBT) reaching a record high of Rs. 1.2 billion for the first six months ending Sept 2019, increasing from Rs. 1.01 billion against the corresponding period of the previous year. more..