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T bond scams take their toll

Jan 10 (Island) Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono arrived in Colombo on the evening of January 4 with the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration in severe turmoil over President Maithripala Sirisena’s statement on Treasury bond scams involving Central Bank and Perpetual Treasuries. President Sirisena, who is also the leader of SLFP, based his statement on the report of PCoI that probed treasury bond scams more..

Will the AG’s department act independently?

Jan 10 (Island) President Sirisena in his address to the nation comprising extracts of the report handed over to him by the Commissioners who inquired into the Bond Scam made the following observations. "Commission Report stated that the Hon. PM’s responsibility in the appointment of Mr. Arjuna Mahendran as the Governor of CB was proper. Commission was of the view that when the PM made his statement in Parliament, referring to the appointment of Mr. Mahendran, more..

Fault Lines: precarious lives in Spring Valley’s estates

Jan 10 (GV) Spring Valley is one of the coldest places in the Uva Province. Located in the Hali Ela administrative division close to the foot of the Namunukula mountains, this hilly terrain, which is nearly 1,200 meters above sea level, is dangerously vulnerable to the elements. The NBRO has identified nearly half of the Badulla district as being prone to landslides. The CEA lists the Badulla district as one of the most environmentally-sensitive areas on the island. more..

Wimal Weerawansa

Editorial: Diplomats and doormats

Jan 10 (Island) The yahapalana govt plucked up enough courage to leap to the defence of Palestine at the UN recently in spite of dire warnings from Washington following US President Donald Trump’s decision to shift the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Curiously, it lacks the same intrepidity or at least one percent thereof to defend Sri Lanka at the UNHRC! In Geneva, it takes everything lying down at the behest of the US and expects SL diplomats to act as doormats. more..

Proposal to build two coal power plants

Jan 10 (Island) A news telecast in one electronic media on 02.01.2018 described in detail the observations made by the President on a joint cabinet paper submitted by two ministers seeking approval to build two coal power plants,that no such cabinet paper should be submitted to the cabinet without first getting the concurrence of the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) which is the legal entity having the mandate to approve such projects. According to media reports, more..

'EPRLF trying to create confusion'

Jan 10 (CT) ITAK Secretary and former Minister of Agriculture for the Eastern Province, Krishnapillai Thurairasasingham said there will be no change just because the EPRLF broke away from the TNA. "The EPRLF is only trying to create confusion among people before elections. Some of our members (ITAK members) have requested from us to contest separately, claiming that we have more support among people. more..

Foster creativity

Jan 10 (DN) Lanka Children’s and Youth Theatre Foundation (LCYTF) or popularly known as Somalatha Subasinghe Play House commenced its session of Creative Activities for Children program on January 6. Children from ages four to fourteen can take part in the program. The prime objective of the program is to develop child’s mental and physical aspects and to enhance artistic taste, cheerfulness and playful sense of the child through aesthetic experiences. more..

Glyphosate: Destined to die soon

Jan 10 (DN) Glyphosate is repeatedly described as the most popular herbicide ever by those who ignorantly and blindly believe in the marketing scam conducted by the manufacturers. Glyphosate is popular as judged by virtue of its unprecedented volume of sales. This popularity lies with only the profit oriented medium and large scale commercial farmers and that is due to the fact that the use of glyphosate eliminates a lot of work in weed control and time used on it. more..

Pearls in elephants?

Jan 10 (SO) Centuries ago, at a time lost in history, tuskers were the kings of the jungle. They roamed majestically, in the dense forests that were their own. Today, tuskers are hunted for ivory and for their pearls, which are sold at high prices by illicit traders. Along with the seizure of the tusks belonging to Galgamuwa Dala Poottuva, the Walana anti-Corruption Unit also seized six elephant pearls (Gaja Muthu). more..

LG elections: Time to send signals?

Jan 10 (CT) Local Govt (LG) bodies in Sri Lanka are one of the cornerstones of public administration and structure of the state. There are 341 local bodies including municipal councils, urban councils and pradeshiya sbhas (regional councils). Although local govt bodies are primarily responsible for community level operations, they provide extremely critical public services including but not limited to garbage management and maintenance of local roads, markets, etc. more..

On getting that culture right

Jan 10 (CT) Just the other day I came across an amazing comment on Facebook. The commenter had argued that Sri Lankans, to be specific Sinhala Buddhists, were too apathetic to bother with economic issues and were busier with racist issues. In other words, keeping their strength relative to other ethnic groups was our overriding concern. It was a vicious circle that results from this fixation with racial superiority, since leaders, who naturally pander to the numerical majority, more..

President eyes another year in office, heads for show down

Jan 9 (EN) President Maithripala Sirisena has asked the Supreme Court if he can remain in office for six years despite having reduced his tenure to five through a constitutional amendment. The move to seek an interpretation to the 19th amendment to the constitution which among other things reduced the term of office to five years will put Sirisena on a collision course with his senior coalition partner. more..

Canada, UNFPA to address sexual, gender-based violence in Sri Lanka

Jan 9 (SL) The High Commissioner of Canada to Sri Lanka, David McKinnon, and Representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Sri Lanka, Ms. Ritsu Nacken, signed a letter of agreement in reference to a grant arrangement of CDN$900,000. The grant is provided by the Govt of Canada to UNFPA Sri Lanka for the delivery of the project, Addressing Sexual Gender-based Violence through Public Institutions, by 31 March 2020. The purpose of this project is to more..

Tamils protest outside Swiss court against case on LTTE supporters

Jan 9 (SL) Over 150 Tamils protested outside a Swiss court on Monday against a trial involving 13 LTTE financiers. Protesters held posters of the LTTE and its slain leader Vellupillai Prabakaran and made statements in support of a separate Tamil state in Sri Lanka. 13 financiers accused of funnelling more than CH15 million ($15.3 million) to the LTTE stood trial before the Swiss Federal Criminal Court on Monday. The accused are from Switzerland, Germany and Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka Cricket cleared of corruption by ICC, says Board

Jan 9 (AFP) Sri Lanka Cricket said on Tuesday that the sport's global governing body had found no evidence of wrongdoing following allegations of match-fixing and other forms of corruption. The board said the ICC had failed to uncover evidence of graft during an investigation into explosive accusations levelled by former SL players. SLC CEO Ashley de Silva said ICC anti-corruption investigators visited the island more..

No truth in N-E amalgamation: Hakeem

Jan 9 (CT) "Some politicians who could not bear to see the masses being with us have been spreading stories that we support the amalgamation of the North and East solely for our political existence. We need not block the aspirations of the Tamil Community", so said Minister and Leader of SLMC Rauff Hakeem at an SLMC propaganda meeting supporting SLMC candidates in Nintavur Former Provincial Council member Ariff Samsudeen presided over the meeting. more..

Priority bus lane from Borella to Maradana

Jan 9 (DM) Priority bus lane will be in force from Borella to Maradana from tomorrow. It will apply to the P. De S Kularatne (Maradana Road) from 6 am to 9 am for buses on route numbers 176 and 103. Meanwhile, officials said the priority bus lane at Battaramulla was put on hold for two weeks until the construction of the Rajagiriya Flyover was completed. The priority lanes along the Galle Road towards Colombo adopted last year has contributed to a significant reduction in traffic more..

Video: Rajagiriya flyover, Moragahakanda planned by my Govt: MR

Jan 9 (DM) In a statement on the third anniversary of the yahapalana govt, former president Rajapaksa said the Moragahakanda project was planned, funds allocated and construction work launched under his govt in 2007 under the 2005 Mahinda Chintana programme. He said even the Rajagiriya flyover was planned and money allocated for its construction by his govt and pointed out that Cabinet approval was granted more..

Distributing ballot papers: EC to find alternatives in case of Postal strike

Jan 9 (DM) Elections Commission to issue a gazette seeking an alternative to distribute postal voting ballot papers if the Postal employees decided to go ahead with the scheduled strike tomorrow, Additional Election Commissioner M.M. Mohomad said. Accepting of applications for the postal voting was concluded on Dec 27 and the eligible voters’ list was published on Monday (8). Mr. Mohomad said the EC has to send the ballot papers for postal voting through the post. more..

Sri Lanka's LVL Energy Fund starts trading; firm plans to go global

Jan 9 (Reuters) LVL Energy Fund Pvt Ltd debuted higher on the CSE on Tuesday after listing a 20% stake, and the SL energy firm said it plans to expand into Nepal, Bangladesh and East Africa. A subsidiary of Lanka Ventures Plc and the 298th firm to be listed on the bourse, LVL Energy Fund raised 1.2 billion rupees through the listing. Company will use 720 million rupees for its power projects in SL, Bangladesh and Nepal, and the remainder 480 million rupees to service part of its debt. more..

Sri Lanka excited by prospect of rookie pacer Shehan Madushanka

Jan 9 (CB) Sri Lanka's chairman of selectors Graeme Labrooy is excited by little heard of Shehan Madushanka. The 22-year-old has played less than a handful of domestic matches but inspired head coach Chandika Hathurusingha when he saw him bowl during the T-10 League in UAE last month. He was drafted into the 16-member squad for the tri-nation series in Bangladesh that starts next week. more..

Bond report: Without copies debate sure to frizzle out: NFF

Jan 9 (DM) NFF MP Jayantha Samaraweera asked how the MPs could debate on the bond commission report without knowing its contents because none of them were given copies of the report. He said that no worthwhile debate could be held without sufficient information about the matter at hand. “The information we have gathered is from the excerpts divulged by President Sirisena during his special statement on the bond report. Some ministers may have gathered information from different more..

Sri Lanka using ten times more free Donald Trump stents

Jan 9 (EN) The use of stents on heart patients had gone up nearly 10 times after tax payer financed state hospitals started giving them at no cost to patients, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. "At the cardiology unit earlier only about 50 to 60 stents were used each month," Senaratne said. "Now about 450 to 500 are being placed." A stent is a medical device that is inserted into a human vessel or duct to keep it open. In the case of heart patients with blocked arteries, more..

Video: Remove PM for a fair bond trial: JO

Jan 9 (DM) JO requested Prez Sirisena to remove PM Ranil Wikcremesinghe so as to ensure a free and fair trial on the CB bond scam. SLPP Chairman G.L. Peiris said that the President was unable to take any practical measures as long as Mr. Wickremesinghe continued to function as Premier. “PM's name was also mentioned in the bond report. He said he will take the responsibility for appointing Arjuna Mahendran as the CB Governor. more..

Victor Ratnayaka’s wife arrested

Jan 9 (DM) Hashini Amendra, the wife of veteran singer Victor Ratnayake, was arrested by the Tangalle Police this morning for the alleged misappropriation of Rs. 1.28 million worth of jewelry belonging to a state bank. Police said the manager of the said state bank had lodged a complaint with the police against the 32-year-old for the crime she allegedly committed during her time as an employee of the pawning section of the bank during 2012-2016. Tangalle Police arrested the suspect, more..

SL to strengthen consumer protection laws

Jan 9 (EN) Sri Lanka has began work to upgrade its consumer protection regime in line with UN guidelines, reforms aimed at keeping up with changing trends like online shopping and cross border consumption. The island will adopt the UN Guidelines on Consumer Protection (UNGCP) with reforms done under a partnership between the Colombo office of the UN Industrial Development Organisation and the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) under the ministry, more..

DKP Dassanayake & 5 others granted bail

Jan 9 (NR) Six individuals including former Navy Media Spokesman Commodore DKP Dasanayake who were arrested and remanded on charges of assisting and issuing instructions for the abduction and disappearance of several persons, have been granted bail. The order was issued by Colombo High Court Judge Manilal Waidyathilaka this afternoon. Commodore Dasanayake was arrested by CID in July 2017 on charges of more..

Govt purposely let rice stocks spoil to sell as animal food: Namal

Jan 9 (AD) MP Namal Rajapaksa claims that the govt purposely allowed 5,000 MT of rice, donated by Indonesia after the floods in SL, to spoil so that it can sell it as animal food to get commissions. He also claimed that the same is happening to the 10,000 MT of rice donated by Pakistan, which according to him is spoiling at the harbour warehouse. “Indonesia donated 5K MT of rice to Sri Lanka after floods. Our Govt purposely let it spoil to sell as animal food & get commissions.” more..

Road closure from CKE due to New Kelani Bridge project

Jan 9 (AD) Due to the commencement of construction of the proposed new bridge in Kelaniya, the traffic exit from Colombo-Katunayake Expressway (CKE) to Colombo-Kandy Road, at New Kelaniya Bridge towards Kelaniya and Wattala will be closed with effect from tomorrow. RDA said that motorists going towards Colombo can use the CKE as usual. However, motorists coming from CKE and going towards Kelaniya and Wattala by using exit ramp at New Kelaniya Bridge are advised to more..

Prince Edward chief guest at freedom festival

Jan 9 (ST) Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and youngest son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh is expected to be the chief guest at the 70th Independence Day celebrations on Feb 4. The main parade on that day will be held at the Galle Face Green, the same venue that independent Lanka’s first PM, D.S. Senanayake, brought down the Union Jack, and hoisted the Lion flag to mark SL’s freedom from 400 years of more..

Number of university entrants has increased

Jan 9 (NR) Department of Examinations says the number of candidates obtaining university entrance has seen a gradual increase over the past years. Issuing a statement the Department said 63.15% of school candidates who faced the A/L Examination in 2012 have qualified for state universities. Accordingly the percentage has increased to 66.02% in 2017. The percentage of students who obtained 3As which was recorded at 2.22% in 2013 has increased to 3.62% over the past year. more..

Failures in contract administration cost billions to the country

Jan 9 (FT) A few weeks ago, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe visited the Rajagiriya overpass construction site, built under the RDA. PM also informed that the Rajagiriya flyover would be formally opened to the public on 8 January, nearly one year ahead of schedule. The new flyover will reduce the traffic slow-down experienced by the travellers between Borella and J'pura on Parliament Road. Construction commenced on 31 August 2016 and the 533m-long, 3.5m-wide, more..

Maithri Gunaratne

Case against Keheliya fixed for Jan.26

Jan 9 (DN) A corruption case against former Minister Keheliya Rambukwella and former State Printing Corporation (SPC) Chairman for allegedly causing an unlawful loss of Rs.230,984 to the govt after paying the former Minister’s mobile phone bill using SPC funds, while functioning as the Mass Media Minister in 2012 was yesterday fixed for Jan 26 by Colombo Chief Magistrate. The order regarding the objections raised by defence over the maintainabillity of the charge sheet more..

Govt has left much to be desired

Jan 9 (CT) In the heady days of Jan 2015 when Maitripala Sirisena won an unexpected victory over the incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa, many of the Human Rights activists who had backed the former Health Minister thought their time had come. They felt that many of the historic wrongs that were committed by successive govts could be righted and that finally our dismal record of corrupt politics could end, and the country will be able to turn the page. At this 3-year mark it has not happened. more..

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