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Prof Lakshman committee report on SLSFTA: SL’s sovereignty & autonomy compromised

Jan 9 (CT) The final report of the committee chaired by Professor W.D. Lakshman which was formed by President Maithripala Sirisena to probe the controversial Sri Lanka-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (SLSFTA) has deemed that through the SLSFTA the country’s sovereignty and autonomy had been compromised. Based on Section 49 of that report, “The SLSFTA can be considered as a deep agreement, more..

UPFA says PM should refrain from irresponsible statements

Jan 9 (FT) UPFA MP Bandula Gunawardena called on PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to refrain from what he termed as irresponsible statements regarding Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa withdrawing $ 8 billion in reserves during the recent political turmoil. Referring to reports of a speech made by PM Wickremesinghe during the opening of the Water’s Edge 50K Orchid restaurant last week that the Sirisena-Rajapaksa administration after 26 Oct had mismanaged reserves and more..

Prez pledges to fulfil people’s expectations

Jan 9 (FT) President Maithripala Sirisena stressed that he will continue to fulfil the expectations people had placed in him when he took over duties as Head of State four years ago. Marking the fourth anniversary of assuming Office, President said although there were successes as well as failures in his program for the country, he is committed to work towards turning the losses into victories as well as further consolidating the successes. Prez made this announcement addressing a public rally after more..

JVP alleges Dayan backed Oct. 26 coup

Jan 9 (Island) Concerns regarding the conduct of SL Ambassador to Russia Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka had been raised during a recent meeting of the Committee on High Posts, JVP MP Bimal Rathnayake told Parliament. He said that Dr. Jayatilleka’s conduct as an Ambassador was highly questionable. "Dr. Jayatilleka may have the right academic qualifications., but he acts more like a political campaigner than a political scientist. more..

India calls for project proposals

Jan 9 (Island) India has called for project proposals aimed at further strengthening Indo-Lanka ties. The following is the text of a statement issued by the India-SL Foundation: "India - Sri Lanka Foundation (ISLF) was established by a MoU between the govts of India and Sri Lanka in 1998 in order to foster India-SL relations through the enhancement of economic, scientific, technical and cultural cooperation and to promote greater understanding between the people of the two countries. more..

Sri Lanka set for crucial pink-ball prep

Jan 9 (AAP) Tourists Sri Lanka will enjoy more pink-ball practice than Australia before their Test series begins under lights at the Gabba from Jan 24. Scheduling has been a source of frustration for Australian players in recent years, including the domestic one-day competition effectively becoming a pre-season tournament plus the JLT Sheffield Shield's mid-season hiatus. The latest by-product of a convoluted calendar will give Sri Lanka, the only side apart from Australia to have won more..

Arundika apologises for sitting on Speaker’s chair

Jan 9 (CT) UPFA MP Arundika Fernando, apologised for sitting on the Speaker’s chair on 16 Nov 2018. Following Prez Sirisena appointing former Prez Mahinda Rajapaksa as the PM on 26 Oct 2018, violent clashes erupted in the Chamber on 14, 15 and 16 Nov 2018, causing injuries to the MPs and damage to property inside the Chamber. On 16 Nov 2018, Fernando was seen leading a mock sitting without allowing Speaker more..

Speaker nominates 13 lawmakers to Panel of Chairs

Jan 9 (FT) The Speaker nominated 13 lawmakers to the Panel of Chairs in Parliament yesterday. Representing the Unity Govt as well as the Opposition, lawmakers Sriyani Wijewickrama, Bimal Rathnayake, Anura Jayaratne, K. Thurairetnasingam, Janaka Wakkumbura, Velu Kumar, Mayantha Dissanayake, Tharaka Balasuriya, Mujibur Rahuman, Harshana Rajakaruna, Thusitha Wijemanna, Hesha Withanage, and Wijepala Hettiarachchi were in the list of nominations more..

Gemunu Chethiya penalised

Jan 9 (CT) Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) Executive Committee has decided to impose a two-year suspended sentence on Gemunu Chethiya, who was found guilty of misbehaviour at the Asian Rugby Championship held in Chinese Taipei recently. SLR Executive Committee tabled the report submitted by SL Schools Rugby Association at their meeting held on Monday. After studying the report they decided to impose a 2-year suspended sentence, and also to send him to a counselor to reform him. more..

Young UNP MPs berate Malik

Jan 9 (CT) A group of UNP MPs have expressed their anger and rage against Minister of Development Strategies, International Trade, Science and Technology and Research, Malik Samarawickrema at the party meeting held in Parliament yesterday. MPs including Hesha Vithanage, Chaminda Wijesiri have criticized Minister Samarawickrema’s attitude. They alleged that Minister Samarawickreme did not permit more..

Dayasiri vows to get blessings of Maithripala, Mahinda and Chandrika

Jan 9 (Island) Recently appointed General Secretary of the SLFP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera predicted in Kandy that UNP leader Ranil Wickremasinghe led govt would not last long as it was very unstable. After receiving the blessings of the Sacred Tooth Relic and the prelates of Malwatta and Asgiriya Chapters on Sunday. Kurunegala District MP said that the country needed a stable govt. Only a Parliamentary election could help the country have a stable govt, Jayasekara said. more..

T-56, mortars etc recovered following P’kulam detection

Jan 9 (Island) The police investigating the recent recovery of a bag containing several hand grenades, one pistol and several rounds of ammunition at Puliyankulam have arrested three persons, including a woman. A senior police officer said that the suspects were among 12 involved in the incident. Those nine persons wanted in connection with the inquiry included the person who had brought the weapons to Puliyankulam, and his handler. According to police, handler has fled to India. more..

Govt allocates Rs 2.2T to debt servicing: Largest allocation in nation's history

Jan 9 (CT) Govt of Sri Lanka, once again controlled by UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, has allocated the largest amount in Sri Lanka’s history for debt serving during this year. The Appropriation Bill submitted by Minister Mangala Samaraweera has indicated that the Govt would allocate nearly Rs 2.2 trillion during this year to debt servicing – the largest amount paid in the history of Sri Lanka. more..

Don't complain to us about lost mobile phones: TRC

Jan 9 (DM) The TRC of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) requested the public not to contact it directly when a phone was lost or stolen. Deputy Director Compliance Menaka Pathirana said TRC would not directly investigate any cases of lost or stolen mobile phones and would not record any complaints either. “TRC is unable to carry out any investigations into such complaints,” she said. “People should make their complaints directly to police stations in the area or log on to the website" more..

Apparel exports poised to top US $ 5bn mark for first time

Jan 9 (DM) As the apparel export growth picked up pace in November last year, the apparel industry expects to surpass the US $5 billion mark in 2018 for the first time, recording the best growth in apparel exports since 2013. According to the Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF), apparel exports increased 10.1% year-on-year (YoY) to US $ 447 million in Nov 2018. The exports to the U.S. increased by 16.6% YoY while exports to the EU increased by 3% YoY in the period. more..

Cart-before-horse management style of SriLankan exposed

Jan 9 (Island) A business plan for the SriLankan Airline’s air taxi service was prepared only 11 months after its inception, PCoI was told. Ravi Jayathilake, current SriLankan Country Manager for Australia and New Zealand and former Manager Product Development and Air Taxi, told the PCoI that the air taxi service, had commenced in December 2010 and his business plan had been presented to the board 11 months later. more..

Cement production stalls in 2018

Jan 9 (CT) Sri Lanka’s cement production was down 3.2% to 2.086 million tonnes in the first nine months of 2018 and imports were also flat, but there had been a pick-up in September. Total imports and production was flat at 6.204 million tonnes in the first nine months of the year, against 6.229 million tonnes a year earlier. In September, domestic production picked up 11.4% to 262,000 metric tonnes. Imports also picked up 18 per cent to 909,000 metric tonnes during the month. more..

Economic sentiment deteriorates: Survey

Jan 9 (FT) Sentiment surrounding the economy declined in December 2018, according to the latest LMD-Nielsen Business Confidence (BCI) poll. The unique survey reveals that only 4% of the business people spoken to by Nielsen expect the economy to improve in the next 12 months compared to 19% in the previous month. In contrast, two-thirds of those polled say the economy will get worse with one corporate executive stating that the investment climate and the economy are falling apart. more..

GDP calculation needs support

Jan 9 (FT) In order to comprehensively capture economic activity in Sri Lanka, more effective and efficient systems need to be established to calculate Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth with greater precision, experts said yesterday. Economist and former Central Bank Deputy Governor Dr. W. A. Wijewardena said that the Census and Statistics Department needs to be given better resources, training and more..

Anura de Silva heads AFC Delegation

Jan 9 (CT) Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has appointed the President of the Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL) Anura de Silva, as Head of the AFC Delegation at the ongoing AFC Asia Cup 2019 in UAE which commenced on 4 Jan. He will be on duty for AFC from 4 to 22 January and will be stationed at the Sharjah Stadium, which is one of the official venues. AFC Asian Cup is Asia’s biggest competition and the second oldest continental competition in World Football. more..

Thisara Perera’s coming of age

Jan 9 (DN) From the time Thisara Perera made his international debut for his country at the age of 20, the big hitting fast bowling all-rounder was expected to deliver on the big stage because of the extraordinary talent he possessed. He was a captain’s dream in the short format and when he first came into the national side against India at Kolkata in 2009 Sri Lanka looked upon him as an outright match-winner. But to everyone’s dismay Perera failed to live upto that expectation more..

Kusal Perera returns to Sri Lanka Test squad

Jan 9 (DN) The selectors however were forced to make a second change to the squad and drop Danushka Gunathilaka after he suffered a back injury while fielding during the third ODI against New Zealand at Nelson on Tuesday. “Something happened to a disc in his spine while fielding and he could not move because his back became stiff. He couldn’t bat in his usual position as opener and came to bat lower down at no. 7,” more..

Reservoirs are full, oil prices are down

Jan 9 (ST) On Wednesday, Governor of CB Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy presented the Central Bank’s Road Map 2019 – monetary and financial sector policies for 2019 and beyond. It provides an outline of the CB’s policy directions for the year guiding us to figure out where we intend to move in an uncertain and volatile economic environment, both locally and globally. While the Central Bank has little to do with what is happening around it, it is responsible for managing the outcome of more..

Editorial: Discrimination most foul

Jan 9 (Island) Former Education Minister and UPFA MP Bandula Gunawardena has drawn heavy flak—and rightly so—for opposing the practice of bracketing the students of public and private schools together when the GCE O/L and A/L national rankings are determined. His advocacy of the segregation of the students of private schools from their public school counterparts should be condemned unreservedly. All students following the same curricula and sitting the same exams more..

Prawn export industry in Sri Lanka

Jan 9 (Roar) The prawn export industry in SL has had a brief but eventful story thus far. It first began in the mid 80’s and has been through some major ups and downs since. According to the SEASL (Seafood Export Association of SL), Sri Lanka currently accounts for less than 0.5% of the global supply of prawns farmed annually. Of the approximately 6000 metric tons of prawns farmed here, only 2000 metric tons are exported. more..

Range Yanawada?

Jan 9 (Island) Arab Spring of 2010 was an unimaginable game-changer in the Eastern Mediterranean rim. Everything that was volatile erupted with such violence which resulted in a rolling of heads that the world had seldom seen. Those who were pasted to power and who ruled as if they were to last till eternity bit the dust in the most inglorious manner. The winners and those who made them win divided the melon like Biafran Akigbo’s Hurrah for Thunder. more..

30th Federation Cup Carrom Championship: Nishantha, Roshita win triple crowns

Jan 9 (DN) At the 30th Federation Cup Carrom Championship conducted by Carrom Federation of Sri Lanka, Shaheed Hilmy of Royal College, Colombo defeated Suraj Maduwantha of SL Army by 2/0 (25/10, 25/08) at the men’s singles final whilst, Joseph Roshita of SL Navy defeated Maduwanthi Gunadasa of SL Army by 2/1 rounds (17/25, 25/13, 25/08) at the women’s singles finals. Nishantha Fernando of SL Navy bagged triple crowns by winning Veteran’s Singles, Men’s Doubles more..

S.B. Disanayake

SL - the colossus is sorely missed today!

Jan 9 (CT) Exactly four years ago on this day the Rajapaksa Administration came to an end when Maithripala Sirisena defeated Mahinda Rajapaksa at the 2015 presidential elections. The demise of the national hero, the fearless S.L. Gunasekera on that very same day was an omen of the most extraordinary journey we since experienced with the tenure of the Yahapalana Govt, its own abrupt ending and its artificial resuscitation to the cheering of the western agents. more..

Pursuing executive positions

Jan 9 (CT) I have written during the last couple of weeks about the suffering the Nation has undergone because of the perverse manner in which the Executive has been constituted under what is supposed to be an Executive Presidential system. J.R. Jayewardene ignored his commitment, which was in terms of such systems internationally, to keep the Executive outside Parliament. This was to ensure executive control of Parliament, which is unheard of when a Constitution is supposed more..

And then they came for me

Jan 9 (CT) Thursday, 8 Jan 2009, started out like just another day for all journalists who worked at The Sunday Leader newspaper. But little did they realise that this would be the day they would lose their beloved Editor-in-Chief, Lasantha Wickrematunge, forever. In the years before he was finally murdered, Lasantha was threatened and beaten and his house attacked for the controversial stories he published in The Sunday Leader. more..

Reparation for the missing

Jan 9 (DN) It’s almost 10 years since the war ended and many in the country have got back to their lives. Today, the war is nothing but a bitter memory of the past. However, according to estimates, thousands are still missing in Sri Lanka in the last 30 years, the vast majority during the insurrection in the 1980s or throughout the war. Although the majority of the country is now least concerned about the bitter past, for the families of the missing, their agony and torment continues. more..

A letter to Ahimsa, with love

Jan 9 (CT) Ahimsa, I write to you, not because I am an authority on loss, but because I too am a daughter. Not because any living human can offer words of true solace to a daughter whose father has been murdered in broad daylight in a high security zone. The indecency of a brutal death is that it envelopes, like a dark cloud, every aspect of the lives of those who remain. That act of brutality may be one of many for the murderer. But it is inflicted on the one father that a daughter has. more..

'Opposition Leader post belongs to UPFA'

Jan 9 (CT) Politburo Member of JVP and President of the National Trade Union Centre K.D. Lalkantha says the JVP will give all six votes in favour, if an impeachment motion is brought against the President. Q: According to the JVP, the political conspiracy was defeated. Was it your priority that was completed? A: In politics, priorities change from time to time. At that moment, the priority was to defeat the attempt by more..

Reminiscences of a friend: Lasantha did it his way

Jan 9 (DN) It is with a profound feeling of sadness and sense of melancholy that I pen these lines on the 10th death anniversary of my schoolmate and one time journalistic colleague Lasantha Wickrematunga. Lasantha and I go back in time to the days we were kids at the primary at St. Benedict’s College Kotahena the premier Catholic educational institution run by the De la salle brothers. However, although we advanced in our grades together it was not until Grade 7 more..

After a decade of lies, one truth still shines: Lasantha spoke truth to power

Jan 9 (CT) Ten years ago today assassins on motorbikes forced Lasantha Wickrematunge’s car off a busy street in a Colombo suburb. From what we have been told since, all we long-standing international observers can really say confidently, even now, is that he died of his injuries in a local hospital a few hours later. For all who believe in the rule of law and a peaceful future for a democratic Sri Lanka, everything else is clouded by obfuscation, implausible denials, half-truths, flat-out lies more..