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260 powerful Sri Lankans have secret Swiss accounts

Apr 19 (ST) Inland Revenue Department (IRD) is to ask a group of locally-based Sri Lankans with secret Swiss bank accounts to make a fresh assets’ declaration after a new complaint was filed seeking action on their undeclared foreign accounts. A senior IRD official said tracing black or unaccounted money overseas owned by Sri Lankans is not within their jurisdiction but noted that they will ask these account holders to make a more..

Golden Key probe getting nowhere despite promises

Apr 19 (ST) Why is the government taking so long and ignoring the plight of the Golden Key depositors? The previous regime did absolutely nothing to settle this long, outstanding issue. Many depositors have committed suicide and many were put into financial embarrassment and even thrown to the streets. It is a known fact that the Rajapaksa’s were benefited by (once powerful) Lalith Kotelawala, and as a result did nothing to settle this matter which has brought heartburn to more..

TNA to sign MoU

Apr 19 (SL) The TNA is to call for a meeting to finalize a MoU between the TNA coalition parties prior to the next election. TNA PM Suresh Premachandran told The Sunday Leader that the TNA was expected to hold a meeting last Friday to discuss the draft of the MOU but was postponed as Leader of the Illangai Thamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) Mavai Senathirajah is out of the country. “We have already distributed the draft of the MOU but we have not made any decision related to that. more..

Japan to assist CoI

Apr 19 (SL) The Presidential Commission of Inquiry (CoI), appointed to investigate into the cases of missing persons, is to meet the Japanese Embassy in Sri Lanka this week to discuss the funds required for counselling programmes in the North and East. Speaking to The Sunday Leader, Secretary of the Commission H.W. Gunadasa said that the Japanese Embassy had agreed to provide funds for the counselling more..

CSE, safe to create cross border listings

Apr 19 (CT) A major breakthrough for cross border listings and capital market linkages will take place when the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE). Lanka in collaboration with the South Asian Federation of Exchanges (SAFE) will host the 'South Asian Investment Conference 2015' and SAFE Annual General Meeting at the Galadari Hotel on 26 and 27 April, 2015. The conference aims to accelerate the process of economic integration in South Asia by creating strong cross border more..

'FTA not mutually beneficial'

Apr 19 (SO) There are serious issues in the Indo-Lanka Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that India and Sri Lanka should iron out before phasing into other trade agreements. The FTA should be of mutual benefit to both countries which is not the case at present, Vice President SAARC Chamber of Commerce, Past President Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka and Past Chairman, International Chamber of Commerce, Tissa Jayaweera said. more..

3-wheel taxis to be regulated

Apr 19 (ST) The Govt is embarking on the difficult task of regulating 3-wheeler taxis comprising around 900,000 vehicles which provide self-employment for over 3 million people both directly and indirectly. At present there is no law which regulates three-wheelers. Necessary regulations for this purpose are to be finalised by the Legal Draftsmen and the possibility of amending the Motor Traffic Act is also being explored, more..

Sri Lanka renegotiates crane deal with China

Apr 19 (EN) Sri Lanka Ports Authority is renegotiating the price of cranes to be supplied by a Chinese company for its new East Container Terminal under construction in the Colombo South Harbour. SLPA chairman Lakdas Panagoda said they hope to get a better deal on the price of four pier-side gantry cranes and 12 rubber-tired gantries to transfer containers in the yard. The cranes had been ordered by the previous management under the Rajapaksa regime when the SLPA more..

Agri-research should be conducted at farm-level: Experts

Apr 19 (SO) Sri Lanka’s export earnings from non-traditional agricultural products could be doubled from the current Rs. 4,000 million in the next two years by enhancing scientific and organised production, National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (NCCSL) Secretary Sarath de Silva said. Sri Lanka has a market for its agricultural products but the poor quality and inconsistent quantity are major hurdles to boost exports and bring in the much-needed foreign exchange. more..

Lanka’s double trouble: ICC Ex-co seat and access to funds denied

Apr 19 (ST) The SLC Interim Committee is scheduled to urgently meet tomorrow to ascertain what steps it should take with regard to the ICC’s holding on to funds due to Sri Lanka on a charge of Political interference in matters with regard to cricket. CEO of Sri Lankan cricket Ashley de Silva told the Sunday Times that the Interim Committee Secretary Prakash Schaffter was down to call up the membership for this urgent meeting. more..

The Man Who Bowled Viv Richards

Apr 19 (Island) Kapila Wijegunawardene, the new Chairman of Selectors, was an unsung cricketer. None of the present team are aware of his record. He deserves fame not obscurity. The fast bowler played just two Tests and 26 ODIs during the dark era between 1987 to 1992 when nobody toured the island. His day in the sun was his role in Sri Lanka’s first victory over the West Indies, which took place in Rajkot, India in October 1989. It was an ODI in the league stage of the 6-nation Nehru Cup. more..

Manipulators have the last laugh

Apr 19 (Island) The ICC has said Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) won’t get any money from it until the completion of the probe to be launched into govt interference with the latter’s affairs. The ICC has issued a media statement that Sri Lankan govt may have breached its constitution by appointing an interim committee without holding an annual general meeting. The ICC decision has raised many an eyebrow. This is not the first time the govt has interfered with cricket administration. more..

Sri Lanka bowled by its own doosra

Apr 19 (ST) It all began with someone shouting The leopard has come to the village to mislead the villagers and the game went on and on. Now it’s a case of the leopard really coming to the village and attacking the people. How true that narration is, even though it has trickled down the ages in folklore. Yes, there was a time when political authorities, especially in South Asia with the exception of India, took cricket — which they more..

Ranil and his game-plan

Apr 19 (SL) With the Supreme Court order now delivered and parliament set to debate the amendment minus the parts that the Court opined would need a referendum, it was very clear that the executive presidency remains largely intact. This augurs well for those harbouring hopes for presidential leadership in the future including Sajith Premadasa, Nimal Siripala De Silva, Champika Ranawaka, Duminda Dissanayake and of course Namal Rajapaksa. more..

The mother of all political betrayals

Apr 19 (Island) Immediately after the New Year holidays, events are once again moving faster than they can be written about. The Avurudu festivities would have shown the entire country which way the cookie is crumbling. The only public appearance that President Maithripala Sirisena made during the festivities was at the oil anointing ceremony. He was accompanied on that occasion by ministers, Rajitha Senaratne, Duminda Dissanayake and M.K.D.S. Gunawardene. more..

'I tried to control Mervyn'

Apr 19 (SL) He was considered a powerful Defence Secretary during his term in office but Gotabhaya Rajapaksa says the media portrayed the wrong image about him. In an interview to an independent organization, Rajapaksa said that when he was in office he did everything in good faith. He also said that allegations raised against him, particularly by people like former Minister Mervyn Silva, should not be taken seriously. more..

Out of the red and into the wilderness

Apr 19 (ST) My dear Somawansa sahodaraya, I thought I must write to you when I heard you announcing that you were resigning from the party of the rathu sahodarayas. Having not heard from you for many months and believing that you had retired when Anura sahodaraya took over the leadership of your party, this came as quite a shock! While we were at first taken by surprise by your sudden decision, sahodaraya, we are now confused. You say you have no disputes with the rathu more..

19A defeats Govt’s well meaning RTI Law

Apr 19 (ST) On Tuesday, the new Govt is optimistic that those parts of the 19th Amendment (19A) — cleared by the SC — would be passed by a two-thirds majority in Parliament, notwithstanding undercurrents of a spoiler by lawmakers unhappy with the outcome of the Jan 8 Presidential election. While there is general acceptance to whittling down the powers of the Executive Presidency, the contentious issue is that electoral reforms must also be passed at the same time. more..

'TNA has no loyalty towards LTTE'

Apr 19 (SL) With the debate continuing on who should be the opposition leader in Parliament, the TNA, which had recently told the Speaker that the post should go to its leader R. Sampanthan, insisted that there is no reason why the Tamil party should not get the post. TNA MP, M.A. Sumanthiran said that the TNA had not run after Ministerial posts and had declined positions even when they were offered, and that they will always stand up for more..

Cost of 100-day promise

Apr 19 (CT) The then Presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena made a host of promises to the electorate which he said he would implement in the event he was elected to power at 8 Jan 2015 poll. His subsequent victory is now history. Let us examine in a nutshell what his win and the promises he made to the masses by way of doling handouts has cost the taxpayer in the little over three months (100 days) that have had lapsed thus far. Among two of his plethora of election promises more..

SLC, the Miracle of Asia

Apr 19 (NS) ‘SLC’ stands for Sri Lanka Cricket. That’s not what the headline refers to. The headline refers to Sri Lanka cricket (note the lower case ‘c’) or cricket in Sri Lanka. Our cricketers, individually and collectively, have brought more glory to the country than most politicians and officials, including, and especially those who run Sri Lanka Cricket (note the upper case ‘C’). They secured two World Cups (ODI and T-20) and made it to the finals of several top international championships more..

'Confident 19A will be passed on Tuesday'

Apr 19 (SO) April 20 and 21 have been set for the much-awaited Parliamentary debate on the 19th Amendment. Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said that the Govt is confident of obtaining a two-thirds majority in Parliament to pass the landmark legislation. It's coalition partner, the JHU which earlier opposed the amendment has also confirmed that it will vote for it after the Govt decided to remove sections in 19th Amendment draft more..

British democracy and the Tamil Diaspora

Apr 19 (SL) Statements made by British political leaders on Sri Lanka are necessarily directed at the British electorate though it will indirectly impact on the Sri Lankan political situation too. Britain is now going through a hectic election campaign and the Sri Lankan diaspora of Tamils have cleverly organised themselves in a number of electorates where they could influence the numbers of seats won by contending parties. Thus, statements made by British leaders such as Ed Miliband of more..

Cheques and (bank) balances

Apr 19 (SO) The Citizens' Movement for Good Governance (CIMOGG), which made a name for itself through sheer consistency and painstaking - if low key - campaigning for good governance in the country for over a decade, must be in transports now. A decade and more of steadily worsening bad governance was scrupulously criticised by CIMOGG even as its members refused to be disheartened by the persistent popularity of those in bad govt. Their hope for change may have come - on Jan 8, more..

Sri Lanka bars central bank chief from foreign travel for three months

Apr 18 (Reuters) Sri Lanka has imposed a three-month ban on overseas travel by its central bank governor, Arjuna Mahendran, who faces an investigation over alleged insider dealing, an official said on Saturday. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe set up a three-member panel to investigate the alleged insider dealing at a Feb 27 bond auction after opposition accused Mahendran of involvement and demanded an independent inquiry. more..

Senior SLFPers oppose dissolution of Parliament on April 20

Apr 18 (Island) With President Maithripala Sirisena stating that Parliament would be dissolved after the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, a crucial SLFP parliamentary group has been scheduled for Sunday. Senior SLFP sources said that the people had given a mandate to serve them for six years and they did not want an election any time soon. "We will not support piecemeal constitutional amendments. There is no problem with shedding the draconian powers vested in Executive Presidency, but more..

Over Rs. 6.5 m for white washing of Swarnamali Chetiya

Apr 18 (DN) The white washing of the Swarnamali Chetiya will begin on April 20, Ruwanweli Chethiyaramadipathi Ven. Pallegama Hemarathana Thera said. He said the white washing of the dagaba will cost Rs. 6.5 million or more. Galduwa hermitage chief incumbent Ven. Kahagolle Somawansa Nayaka Thera, the Maha Sangha and the Dayaka Sabha headed by SL residing in Australia, Arjuna Wijeratne will contribute funds for the white washing of the dagaba which is 338 feet in height. more..

Deputy Minister highlights Sri Lanka's acheivements in ICT sector

Apr 18 (AM) Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith P Perera participated at the Global Conference on Cyberspace, from 16-17 April in the Netherlands. He stressed that Information and Communication Technology was the tool and enabler that would push the boundaries of socio-economic development in SL. He also stressed that e-Govt led reforms would be a catalyst in bringing greater transparency, efficiency & accountability. more..

'19th amentment not drafted to PMs agenda'

Apr 18 (AM) Advisor on Constitutional Affairs to the President Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne slammed critics who claim that the 19th Amendment was drafted to satisfy the agenda of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. He further stated that as a leftist, he would prefer to see a Prime Minister from SLFP. Wickramaratne stated that constitutions cannot be drafted aiming the welfare of one person. The current PM may be the opposition leader in the next parliament if a SLFP member becomes PM. more..

Chinese envoy calls on Commander of Army

Apr 18 (SLA) Ambassador of China in Sri Lanka, Yi Xianliang on Friday paid a courtesy call on the Commander of the Army, Crishanthe De Silva at the Army Headquarters. Cordial meeting that exchanged views on several bilateral aspects in relation to both People’s Liberation Army of China and Sri Lanka Army was largely focused on ongoing cooperation for training programmes. Exchange of mementos culminated the cordial meeting between the diplomat and the Army Chief. more..

Sangakkara wins award at Asian Awards 2015 in London

Apr 18 (CW) Sri Lankan batsman Kumar Sangakkara has picked up an Outstanding Contribution to Sport award at the fifth annual Asian Awards in London. Sangakkara was presented with his award by former England footballer Gary Lineker at the global celebration of Pan-Asian excellence at London's Grosvenor House Hotel. The left-hander, who will make London his home this summer while playing for Surrey, more..

GMOA urges govt to release consultants to serve in private hospitals on sabbatical leave

Apr 18 (Island) In a bid to provide better medical services for the private sector hospitals, the GMOA has urged the govt to release doctors attached to the public sector to work before 4.00 p.m. on sabbatical leave basis. GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya said that most patients seeking treatment from private hospitals had been unable to get timely medical attention from Consultants because most Consultants were employed in the public sector. more..

SL provides aid to Vanuatu cyclone victims

Apr 18 (FT) As a token of solidarity with the people of Vanuatu, the Sri Lankan Govt sanctioned a cash contribution of $ 50,000 to victims of Cyclone Pam, which ravaged Vanuatu last month. The Acting High Commissioner for Sri Lanka in Australia P. Selvaraj called on Vanuatu High Commissioner Kalfau Kaloris at the Vanuatu Mission in Canberra on 17 April 2014 to hand over the cheque. The High Commissioner of Vanuatu conveyed his gratitude for the contribution, saying that Vanuatu more..

PM offers worship at Guruvayur Temple

Apr 18 (Hindu) PM Ranil Wickramasinghe visited the Guruvayur Sreekrishna Temple on Saturday. His wife Maitree Wickramasinghe and Minister D.M. Swaminathan accompanied him. The Prime Minister and his team arrived at the Sreevalsam Guest House of the Guruvayur Devaswom around 11-15 a.m. He changed into a traditional Veshti and Mundu, and proceeded to the temple. more..

Escaping the battle ground

Apr 18 (SL) During last couple of weeks several groups of Sri Lankan expatriates who were stranded in strife-torn Yemen returned to Sri Lanka safe and sound. Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau said that last Friday another group of 16 Sri Lankans returned home from Yemen while a group of 8 Sri Lankans returned on the 16th, a group of 29 on the 8th and 1 person returned on the 9th of this month. The son of Mr and Mrs Nazim who was waiting at the BIA for his parents to return home from more..

SL vehicle registrations soar to new high

Apr 18 (EN) Sri Lanka vehicle registrations hit a historic new high of 66,664 up 147% from a year earlier, with 2 and 3 wheeler registrations doubling from a year earlier, analysis of vehicle registry data shows. JB Securities, said that motor cycle registration hit 42,221 in March, up from 163% from 15,997 and also sharply up from the 25,155 levels seen earlier. Three wheelers which are mostly used as taxis were up 104% from a year earlier to 12,347. In Feb 2015 7,994 vehicles were registered. more..

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