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Both major parties agree to have PC polls under PR system

Jan 10 (Island) Minister Lakshman Kiriella told Parliament, that both main parties had agreed to hold the elections under the proportional representation (PR) system. In answer to a question raised by UPFA MP Dinesh Gunawardena, Minister said that both parties had reached agreement at the party leaders’ meeting. MP raised a question regarding the failure on the part of the Delimitation Review Committee, headed by PM more..

Cluster bombs & Chemical weapons: Govt-TNA clash

Jan 10 (CT) The Govt yesterday, refuted allegations made by two TNA MPs S. Shritharan and Shanthi Sriskandarajah that Sri Lankan Security Forces used cluster bombs and chemical weapons during the last stage of the war. The TNA MPs during the Second Reading of Chemical Weapons Convention (Amendment) Bill, while claiming that there is evidence to the effect, queried as to why the Security Forces are afraid of an international inquiry if these allegations are not true. more..

PM to table draft constitutional proposals tomorrow

Jan 10 (Island) Constitutional Assembly will meet, at 10.30 am tomorrow with Deputy Speaker Ananda Kumarasiri presiding. The expert panel report, which contains draft constitutional proposals, will be tabled by PM during the sitting. The views of political parties are also given in the report and the report will be available in all three languages. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya is the Chairman of the Constitutional Assembly, but since he is out of the country, Deputy Speaker will chair the sittings. more..

CB bond scams: Delay in empowering CIABOC: Prez-Speaker powwow soon

Jan 10 (Island) Prez Sirisena will soon request Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, in writing, to take tangible measures to enact the Presidential Inquiry Commission Amendment Act to enable the speedy prosecution of those responsible for treasury bond scams perpetrated in 2015 & 2016. Prez will take the issue up with the party leaders via the Speaker against backdrop of Prez himself accusing parliament of sabotaging more..

Ministry to probe Trinco jet landing

Jan 10 (DN) Ministry of Law and Order under President Maithripala Sirisena has launched an investigation into an incident where a private jet had landed and taken off from the Air Force base in Trincomalee without the required authorisation. The private jet had landed at the Trincomalee Air Force base and was said to be carrying investors from Singapore, China and Hong Kong. SLFP Media spokesperson Mahinda Samarasinghe described the incident as a threat to national security and more..

Electricity & water tariffs to go up?

Jan 10 (NR) The SLPP claims the govt is preparing to increase electricity and water tariffs through various legislations. MP Ramesh Pathirana said the present administration is preparing to introduce a pricing formula for electricity and water tariffs. He said accordingly the public will be forced to pay higher rates in future. On a separate note, MP Pathirana added the govt is able to expedite the conduct of provincial council election through legitimate channels. more..

Slew of amendments to Inland Revenue Act

Jan 10 (FT) The Finance Ministry announced a slew of amendments to the Inland Revenue Act passed in 2017. The summary of Cabinet-approved amendments to the Inland Revenue Act included Withholding Tax (WHT) on earnings from Govt securities exempt of any gain including interest, discount or capital gain earned by non-residents of sovereign bonds in local and foreign currency issued by or on behalf of the Govt: more..

'Keep you wives home when you play cricket'

Jan 10 (CT) Commenting on recent social media posts about wives of two famous cricketers in the National Team, Minister Harin Fernando stated that it’s a shame that these things are happening. “Recently a problem has occurred with the wives of the cricketers. I request you all to keep your wives at home and play cricket on the playground. We are shamed of the things that happened. When it happens the world sees our country as a crazy country. Problems occur, but keep them at more..

Polonnaruwa to get Rs 360 mn fertilizer plant

Jan 10 (DN) Laizhou City Laiyu Chemical Co. Ltd, China, Zetryl Chem.Phils, Philippines and Araliya Agro Holdings (Pvt) Ltd, Sri Lanka will set up a manufacturing plant in Sri Lanka next year. The three companies would invest around Rs. 360 million to set up this plant in Polonnaruwa. President Philippines’ Zetryl Chem.Phils, Danton Pajarillaga said that they will utilize paddy husk, vegetable waste and other locally found material to manufacture fertilizer. more..

Mangala heads to Washington for IMF talks

Jan 10 (FT) Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera will leave for Washington on Friday to get the $1.5 billion IMF External Fund Facility (EFF) back on track. He will be meeting IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, Deputy Managing Director Mitsuhiro Furusawa, Asia Pacific Department Director Chanyong Rhee, Teal Leader Manuel Goretti, and other members of the IMF Sri Lanka Team, the Finance Ministry said. more..

Sri Lanka migrant worker outflows flat in 2018, housemaids up

Jan 10 (EN) Migrant worker departures from SL have fallen marginally but women going abroad as housemaids have seen double-digit growth in 2018, data released by the state foreign employment bureau shows. Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment said 211,502 persons left for work abroad in 2018 against 211,992 a year earlier, and female workers had fallen to 66,971 from 68,319. But official departures as housemaids have risen to 64,965 in 2018 from 55,884 a year earlier. more..

Protest opposite Castle Street Hospital over pregnant woman’s death

Jan 10 (DN) A protest held opposite the Castle Street Maternity Hospital in connection with a death of a pregnant mother with twins. The protestors claimed that the mother died due to negligence on the part of the hospital staff. The pregnant mother from Meegoda and her twins had died at Ward Seven of the Castle Street Maternity Hospital. Family members and relations of the dead woman said the mother and her twins died due to the negligence of doctors. more..

Desperate Sri Lanka seek ICC clearance for Dananjaya, Kaushal ahead of WC

Jan 10 (DN) Sri Lanka desperately in need of wicket-taking bowlers in the middle overs ahead of the World Cup are anxious to clear the bowling action of spinner Akila Dananjaya in order to have him up and ready for the upcoming South African ODI series. Sri Lanka’s lack of such a bowler was quite evident in the recently concluded three ODI matches against NZ where the hosts ran up totals in excess of 300 to win the series 3-0. more..

Siddhalepa group wins international innovation award

Jan 10 (CT) Enterprise Asia, the leading NGO for entrepreneurship in Asia, bestowed recognition on SL’s home-grown household staple, Supirivicky, at their recently-conducted International Innovation Awards for 2018. Supirivicky won in the Product category and present to receive the award was Group MD, Asoka Hettigoda. “This award is a testimony of my family’s untiring efforts to preserve our age-old traditions and remedies in a modern form, one that would appeal to both local and more..

Two reports on parliament chamber violence ready

Jan 10 (Island) The committee, which probed the violent incidents during the Parliament sessions on the 14-16 of Nov 2018, has prepared its report besides the one by police. Deputy Speaker Ananda Kumarasiri said that the two reports would be submitted to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya when he returned from Malta where he is attending a meeting of Speakers of the Commonwealth member states. The committee has scrutinised the video footage on the violent incidents in preparing the report, more..

Dudley Sirisena to launch anti-corruption movement

Jan 10 (DM) The brother of President Maithripala Sirisena and Araliya Group of Companies Chairman Dudley Sirisena yesterday announced his plans to launch an anti-corruption organisation by joining hands with scholars, professionals, media and business community aiming to put a stop to corrupt activities carried out by politicians and officials and to direct the govt on the path of good governance to accelerate more..

Port tariff hike put on hold following ministry secy.’s meeting with industry

Jan 10 (DM) The controversial tariff revision by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), which rattled exporters and importers alike, has been suspended after the industry lobbied against the move, Mirror Business learns. The decision to suspend the higher tariffs for three months has been reached after the Ports, Shipping and Southern Development Ministry Secretary Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake met with the industry representatives along with senior SLPA management. more..

Euromoney awards HNB as best Trade Finance Bank in Sri Lanka

Jan 10 (DN) HNB was recently awarded by the prestigious Euromoney Magazine as the Market Leader in Trade Finance and Best Service in Trade Finance in Sri Lanka for the year 2019. These are a testimony to HNB’s pioneering role as the preferred bank for Trade Services. HNB is also the recipient of Euromoney Magazine’s Best Cash Management Bank in Sri Lanka for 2018. Euromoney Magazine is recognised globally as the most influential financial magazine and more..

EU reps meet Opposition Leader

Jan 10 (Island) Amidst the TNA’s effort to retain the the Opposition Leader’s post, former Prez Rajapaksa met two members of the European Parliament, in his capacity as the Opposition Leader. A foreign Ministry statement, confirmed the meeting they had with Rajapaksa."At the invitation of the Govt of Sri Lanka, members of the Friends of Sri Lanka Group of the European Parliament Geoffrey Van Orden, MEP and more..

Sri Lanka Olympians meet Sports Minister

Jan 10 (CT) Committee members of Sri Lanka Olympians (SLO) met the newly appointed Sports Minister Harin Fernando on 8 Jan at the SL Bureau of Foreign Employment, to discuss their plans for the New Year. “Before laying down our plans, we educated the new Sports Minister about the purpose of SLO and our aims. He was very happy with us coming forward to uplift sports in SL and showed great interest in our activity,” said President of SLO, veteran athlete Sriyani Kulawansa. more..

Co-operative allegations proved false

Jan 10 (FT) The SL consumer can benefit only when the small scale rice miller is safeguarded. “We praise Minister Rishad Bathiudeen for promptly looking into this issue and clarifying it,” said Namal Karunaratne of Lanka Govijana Sansadaya (All island Farmers’ Federation-AIFF) on 9 Jan. Karunaratne was speaking after a meeting with the Minister of Industry & Commerce, Resettlement of Protracted Displaced Persons & Co-operative Development Rishad Bathiudeen more..

Central Bank shores up reserves

Jan 10 (FT) Central Bank is focusing on boosting its reserves with a $400 million swap arrangement with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) under its SAARC swap facility and negotiating for a further $1 billion from the same source to boost reserves ahead of debt repayments expected to start next week. Central Bank has also requested a further bilateral SWAP arrangement of $1 billion between the RBI and more..

Edtorial: The hunt begins?

Jan 10 (Island) The JVP has torn into SL’s Ambassador to Russia Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka, who, it says, backed the 26 Oct. govt change. It has, however, stopped short of explaining how he did so. Is it referring to his political writings? There is no love lost between the JVP and Dr. Jayatilleka and, we believe, the former has sought to settle old scores. There has been no formal complaint against Ambassador Jayatilleka as far as we are aware. He is no stranger to controversy and more..

Five Sri Lankans move up in ODI rankings

Jan 10 (CT) Sri Lankan batsmen Niroshan Dickwella (up one place to 26th), Thisara Perera (up 22 places to 65th), Kusal Perera (up seven places to 66th) and Danushka Gunathilaka (up 11 places to 82nd) and Captain Lasith Malinga (three places to 46) have moved up in the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s ODI Player Rankings after the recent New Zealand series. The Indian pair of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, tops the batting list, while fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah heads the bowling list. more..

Secret payments and financial scams

Jan 10 (Island) Last week’s piece headlined CB bond scams mother of all problems discussed how 2015 Feb and 2016 March transactions caused rapid deterioration of yahapalana relationship, finally leading to the collapse of the UNP-SLFP arrangement, on Oct 26, 2018. On the instructions of Prez Sirisena, UPFA General Secretary, Mahinda Amaraweera, on behalf of the grouping, requested for the termination of the coalition. more..

Looking for dividing line

Jan 10 (CT) The doctrine of separation of powers applies to the three principal organs of a constitutional govt, namely, the Legislature, the Executive, and the Judiciary. The use of the word separation should not be understood to mean that each of these organs is absolute in its own right to the total exclusion of the others. It is not so, especially, in the context of the evolution of law, politics, and govt over the years. Today, the use of this 18th century Montesquieu Doctrine is more..

Anura Rohana wins Bengaluru Open Golf Championship

Jan 10 (DN) SL’s R.A. Rohana, Asian Games Silver Medalist in 2002, has being flying the Lankan Flag with pride as a leading professional golfer on the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) and the Asian Golf Tour, ever since! Anura Rohana Ranked #2 on the PGTI 2018 rankings, played more in the Asian Tour in 2018, but once again made his mark in the Bengaluru Open Golf Championship 2018 played at the Karnataka Golf Association Course, with an impressive field of 125 top professionals more..

Animal rights and activism in Sri Lanka

SLFP: Whither a name board only by 2010?

Jan 10 (SO) This Tuesday marks the fourth anniversary of the election of Prez Sirisena to office as President of SL and the beginning of the Yahapaalanaya govt. Sadly, the Yahapaalanaya govt is no more with the UPFA having pulled out of it in October. Tuesday also marks the birthday of Solomon West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike (SWRD to most), the founder of the SLFP, the party which President Sirisena leads and the party which is at a critical crossroads right now. more..

Standing for unpopular causes: Ten years on

Jan 10 (GV) The first thing to catch my eye in Sandya Eknaligoda’s home was a comic book. It was an illustrated copy of Sherlock Holmes. Peeking out underneath was a leaflet bearing a familiar face – disappeared journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda. The image was immediately poignant. I raised my camera and snapped a photo. Tacked to the walls around us were posters, each marking a milestone in Sandya’s long, tireless struggle for answers about her husband’s disappearance. more..

Since 2015: Landmark judgements speak for Judiciary’s independence

Jan 10 (DN) Strengthening the independence of the Judiciary in the country following the 2015 January Presidential Election victory by President Maithripala Sirisena took precedence over many other matters and today, it is a matter to be reckoned with in the long haul. The smooth functioning of the Judiciary by ensuring its independence and the dignity of judges should be commended, especially during last 4 years. more..

A new constitution of the people, by the people for the people

Jan 10 (Island) For the fourth time since Independence a new Constitution is in the making. As in the past it should not be a rulers’ constitution framed by the rulers planning their continuing in power even at the cost of the well-being of the people. The despicable policy of ‘divide and rule’ attributed to the colonialists was continued by the brown sahibs who covered themselves in national attire that people called the kapati suit because of the political hypocrites who more..

Governor Indrajit & EU blacklist on money laundering

Jan 10 (CT) The greed for political power involving the selective recalling of democratic governance played out mainly as a Colombo phenomenon has papered over the hugely economically damaging year-long money laundering label affixed to Sri Lanka by the European Union (EU). The EU which considers Sri Lanka high-risk for money laundering issued the blacklist subsequent to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) placing the country on its grey list from November 2017. more..

Carved creations: The construction of Hindu kovil chariots

Jan 10 (Roar) It is a rainy morning in Jaffna when we set off in a rickety three-wheeler to find 32-year-old Amarasingham Narthanan, a carpenter and woodcarver devoted to creating colourful chariots used in religious processions by Hindu kovils. The road to Araly winds along the coast of Jaffna. Strong gusts of salt-sprayed air whip through the open sides of the taxi as it teeters on its three wheels trying to more..

Post-2015 Foreign Policy Framework

Jan 10 (DN) Fourth anniversary of the Unity Govt’s election is an opportune time to consider the recent evolution of SL’s foreign policy. Evident changes to SL’s foreign policy since Jan 8, 2015, include SL’s engagement with a wider range of international partners, as well as its willingness to undertake necessary commitments to address the country’s post-conflict concerns. These well-known changes have been pursued within a new and overarching foreign policy framework that is perhaps more..

Behind the Mawanella bigotry – II

Jan 10 (CT) When I published an earlier piece on this topic on 30 Dec 2018, I did not intend to add another part to it. However, what happened in the court when one of the culprits was produced before the magistrate has compelled me to add another. In the first part, I drew attention to the mytho-historic mindset that produces such despicable acts. I also provided evidence that such acts were contrary to the cosmopolitan worldliness that Muslims evinced during their High Noon in Baghdad, Cordova more..