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Sri Lanka rejects two main proposals by UNHR Chief

Mar 20 (DM) Sri Lanka today rejected UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet’s proposals to establish an Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Sri Lanka and calling to implement a detailed and comprehensive strategy for the transitional process with a fixed timeline. “We all are eager to see results. However, pressing for time bound benchmarks to show quick results on more..

Sri Lanka's highest leadership lacks vision: UN rights chief

Mar 20 (EN) Sri Lanka has failed to fully implement its commitments to ensure accountability for war-time atrocities because of a lack of vision at the highest level of leadership in the county, UN human rights chief said. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet told the council in Geneva that Colombo cooperated with the UN, but there was very slow progress in delivering the 2015 commitments on accountability. more..

Extradition of Mahendran: Singapore rejects President's allegation

Mar 20 (DM) Singapore today rejected President Sirisena's allegation it was sheltering a former central bank chief wanted for fraud, saying Colombo failed to provide documents to support its extradition request. Sirisena on Monday accused Singapore of sheltering Arjuna Mahendran, one of his country's former central bank chiefs wanted in connection with a high-profile $74 million insider trading scam. more..

SL war heroes subject to Universal Jurisdiction: Sarath Weerasekara

Mar 20 (DM) Former MP, Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara making his presentation during a side event at the UNHRC session in Geneva said conspiracy against SL army is clear since they are denied Visa to foreign countries, peace keeping slots, just because they took part in war. He said the UNHR High Commissioner subjects them to Universal Jurisdiction on bogus charges. “Talking about racial discrimination, more..

Video: Beliatta PS Opposition Leader found with gunshot wounds

Mar 20 (AD) Beliatta UNP Pradeshiya Sabha Opposition Leader Kapila Amarakoon has been admitted to the hospital this morning with gunshot wounds. A relative of Amarakoon had visited his house at around 7 am this morning when he had found the mid-forties PS member lying on the bed injured with gunshot wounds. Reportedly, the PS member from the UNP lives alone in his house in Modarawana, Pallattara. more..

Ports Ministry in move to cancel ECT bidding process; India-Jap deal under consideration

Mar 20 (ST) Ports and Shipping Ministry this week sought Cabinet permission to rescind a 2016 bidding process for the deep water East Container Terminal (ECT) after squandering months on what started out as an effort to seal a public private partnership for the facility’s management. Ports Minister Sagala Ratnayake presented the paper to the Cabinet this week, but notified ministers that he was withdrawing sections in the MoU more..

Sri Lanka GDP grows 3.2% in 2018

Mar 20 (EN) SL's gross domestic product was estimated to have grown 3.2% in 2018, data from the state statistics office showed amid monetary instability triggered by money printing and real effective exchange rate targeting as well as a political crisis. GDP growth slowed from 3.4% a year earlier. Agriculture grew 4.8% after a drought ended, industry grew 0.9% and services grew 4.7%. In the fourth quarter growth was estimated at 1.8%, more..

Rs 50.6 Million in taxes not collected: JVP

Mar 20 (CT) The JVP yesterday informed Parliament that the Finance Ministry has failed, for four years, to collect a sum of Rs 50.6 million as tax money from a distillery belonging to businessman Arjun Aloysius. JVP Kalutara District MP Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa said the distillery owed a sum of Rs 50.6 million as at 21 May 2015 as taxes to the Excise Department but the Ministry had failed to collect those funds. more..

Kiriella defends govt position at UNHRC

Mar 20 (Island) During the previous govt’s tenure in 2012, 2013 and 2014 three proposals were passed by the UNHRC against Sri Lanka. We were isolated internationally and had Mahinda Rajapaksa won the election in 2015, the country faced the risk of having economic sanction being imposed against the country. Even MP Mahinda Samarasinghe acknowledged it, said the Minister Lakshman Kiriella in parliament. more..

SL community supports Mayor of Harrow

Mar 20 (Island) Ka Members of the Sri Lankan community in Harrow have backed the borough’s mayor, following calls for her resignation over controversial photo. TCampaigner April De Alwiss has handed in a counter-petition to Harrow Council last week which gave full support to Mayor Kareema Marikar. It comes after Harrow’s Tamil community urged her to step down as mayor after she was pictured alongside SL military more..

Only one flower bud can bloom this time Mahinda knows that

Mar 20 (DM) The Wickremesinghe led Govt is sitting pretty after having passed the second reading of Budget 2019, but it has to emerge victorious at the Budget vote, scheduled for Apr 5. Many have termed Budget 2019 as an election friendly budget with loans being offered even to newly weds, migrant workers and undergraduates studying at non-state universities. But Wickremesinghe Govt must see the challenge that it may face if the SLFP supports the candidate proposed by SLPP more..

Should we reform the Buddhism we practice?

Mar 20 (DM) As an avowed admirer of the profoundness of the science and philosophy, Gautama Buddha gifted to mankind, I was overjoyed to read that Theravada Tripitaka was to be recognised as a World Heritage. But my elation was short-lived as I realised, contrary to misleading media reports, it is yet to happen. A ceremony is due to take place on March 23 at the Maha Maluwa of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, to make the announcement that SL is making this more..

'President has not approved co-sponsoring UNHRC resolution'

Mar 20 (FT) UNP lawmaker Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe told Parliament that Prez Sirisena is yet to give approval to cosponsor the UNHRC resolution which will be presented in Geneva today. He held Prez should provide his consent for SL co-sponsoring of an international resolution. Challenging the Govt decisions, Dr. Rajapakshe held the line Ministers responsible are kept in the dark while others take decisions. more..

Forensic audit on CB bond scam: Cabinet calls for report on selecting experts

Mar 20 (DM) The Cabinet yesterday decided to a call for a report within three months on the steps taken to select international experts for a forensic audit on the Central Bank bond scam. The Cabinet had earlier endorsed a proposal to call for tenders to obtain foreign expertise to conduct such an audit. Cabinet meeting chaired by President Maithripala Sirisena is reported to have said this matter should not drag on and therefore a report on this matter is to be submitted within three months. more..

Kiriella furious over Kandy tunnel project suspension over baseless arguments

Mar 20 (Island) Tunnel from Tennekumbura to Suduhumpola that is due to be built to minimize traffic congestion in Kandy town has been put on hold due to unfounded arguments put forward by certain elements, Minister Lakshman Kiriella told Parliament. He said that Cabinet approval had been granted for the project and that the Korean Govt was also ready to provide assistance for the project. However, Govt has been forced to temporarily put the project on hold due to unfounded more..

Mahinda’s team meets Prez over Geneva imbroglio

Mar 20 (Island) A top Opposition delegation, Monday night, met President Maithripala Sirisena, at his Pajet road residence, to express serious concern over the UNP govt co-sponsoring a fresh resolution to secure two more years to fulfill obligations in terms of the Oct 2015 Resolution. The delegation included JO parliamentary group leader Dinsh Gunawardena, SLPP Chairman Prof. G.L. Peiris, Raja Collure, Tissa Vitharana, more..

Ranjan demands CID questions Mahinda over Thajudeen remarks

Mar 20 (Island) State Minister Ranjan Ramanayaka, called upon the CID to summon Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa over his recent remarks on the slain rugger player Wasim Thajudeen. He said that Rajapaksa, addressing an SLPP event in Kegalle, had stated that the current govt had launched a political investigation into the death of Thajudeen, portraying it as a murder. According to Rajapaksa only Knight Rider could have saved Thajudeen from a vehicle travelling at 175 KMPH. more..

Ravi instructs to expedite connecting Chunnakam Power station to national grid

Mar 20 (FT) Minister Ravi Karunanayake has instructed the Chairman of the CEB and relevant authorities to take steps to expedite adding electricity generated from the Chunnakam Power plant to the national grid. The Minister has instructed the relevant officials while engaging in an inspection visit to the Chunnakam Power station during an official visit to Jaffna and Vavuniya recently. The main objective of this visit was to identify the electricity needs of the people in the area, more..

Smooth start for FDI: Govt

Mar 20 (FT) Emboldened by a $ 3.85 billion investment for an oil refinery in Hambantota, the BOI is confident of meeting this year’s targets, focusing on manufacturing and service sector investments to give the country’s economy a much-needed boost. “I am sure we can meet our investment target for the year with all the investments in the pipeline,” BOI Director General Champika Malalgoda told reporters. more..

'Air Force, Navy fleet not replenished in 4 yrs'

Mar 20 (DM) Prez Sirisena told the Cabinet meeting that the fleet of military vessels of the Air Force and Navy had not been replenished for the past four years because of objections raised whenever any procurement was to be made. Therefore, Prez, in his capacity as the Defence Minister, asked for the appointment of a committee to make recommendations to replenish them. Prez said this in response to the observations made by Finance Ministry against a proposal to purchase more..

Peaceful environment in SL: French Amb.

Mar 20 (DN) French Ambassador Erik Lavertu said he had observed a peaceful and conflict free environment in Sri Lanka for the last few months since he assumed office and he would convey this personal experience to his govt without any outside interference. Ambassador said he believed that this situation would continue in the country in the future. He said he had earlier served in India and Afghanistan and conveyed the true situations in them to his govt and people. more..

Sri Lanka readies to face cyberattacks

Mar 20 (CT) The SL govt’s cyber security process enables SL citizens to realise the benefits of digitalisation, be aware on cyber crimes and facilitates the country’s economic growth. The country has already taken the initial steps to implement the National Information Cyber Security Strategy 2019–2023, upon the cabinet approval in Oct 2018. These facts were revealed by the Minister Ajith P. Perera more..

Sri Lanka's Ceylon Steel group to set up US75mn cement grinding plant

Mar 20 (EN) Sri Lanka's Ceylon Steel and Onyx group is investing US$ 75 million to set up a cement grinding plant in Mirijjawila, Hambantota, officials said. The plant when completed in 18 months would have an annual capacity of 3.6 million metric tonnes, Mangala Yapa, technical advisor to the ministry of international trade and investment said. Sri Lanka has an annual cement demand of about 8.5 million metric tonnes of which about 2.8 million tonnes are produced domestically. more..

'Sri Lanka, an ideal and growing market for Samsung smart phones'

Mar 20 (Island) Sri Lanka is an ideal market for the Samsung brand and we have a lot of hope to introduce and promote our latest products here, Samsung SL -Managing Director Hanbae Park said. "Last three months of 2018 were bad for our business due to the unstable political situation, but now it's picking up. Therefore, we have some hope for this year with the launch of our latest mobile phone to the SL market, Park said at the 10th year celebration of the introduction of more..

Vacancies for two hangmen: 79 applicants to be interviewed

Mar 20 (DM) 79 candidates from the 102 applicants have been selected for interviews for the Hangman's Post, Prisons Commissioner General Jayasiri Tennakoon said. The interviews would be held at the Prisons Department on two days in April. Among the 102 applicants was an American citizen. Mr. Tennakoon said the US citizen would not be called for the interview because only a Sri Lankan would be eligible to fill the vacancy. more..

Opening double century stand carries SSC to L/O title

Mar 20 (DN) SSC continued their unbeaten run in the SLC Major limited-over inter-club tournament when they swept to a comprehensive seven wickets over CCC to win the final played at R Premadasa Stadium yesterday. An opening double century stand between SL opener Danushka Gunathilaka and Sandun Weerakkody who hit centuries apiece sealed the match for SSC as they chased down CCC’s total of 250-8 with ease to win with 34 balls to spare. The pair added 212 in 36 overs more..

Spencer Eye Hospital gets three more corneas from Sri Lanka for transplants

Mar 20 (TN) Lions Club Pakistan handed over three more corneas donated by Sri Lankan Eye Donation Society to the administration of the Spencer Eye Hospital of Lyari for corneal transplants at a ceremony. The ceremony was attended by Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar and Senior Director Health and Medical Services Dr Birbal Genani of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC). Corneal transplants resumed at the Spencer Eye Hospital after 15 years of suspension in Feb this year more..

NBFIs under pressure from asset quality and profitability: Fitch

Mar 20 (FT) Fitch Ratings expects SL non-banking financial institutions (NBFI) to continue to face pressure on asset quality and profitability in the medium term, given slowing growth and movement away from vehicle financing, which was earlier a core segment. Releasing its latest scorecard for local NBFIs, Fitch Ratings said a slowdown in Sri Lanka’s economic activities and lacklustre growth in the sector’s core vehicle-financing segment more..

'Significant victory for SL rubber industry'

Mar 20 (Island) Sri Lanka achieved another legal victory in the case of countervailing duties imposed by the US against off-the-road (OTR) tyre from SL, after the US Department of Commerce decided to withdraw an appeal against the decision of the US Court of International Trade, which in 2018 ruled against the US’ decision to impose countervailing duties on tire imports from Sri Lanka. The decision to withdraw followed the submission of extensive evidence and documentation by the SL govt, more..

Central Bank clarifies on ISB sales

Mar 20 (FT) Central Bank insisted that it has followed transparency procedures and due process when issuing Int'l Sovereign Bonds (ISBs) and that the interest rates were according to market standards. With reference to the recent paper articles on the governance process and issuing yields relating to the 5-year and 10-year International Sovereign Bonds (ISBs) issued by the Central Bank of SL (CBSL) on behalf of Govt of SL, CBSL wishes to make following clarifications: more..

T20: South Africa beat SL in super over

Mar 20 (CI) Sri Lanka's spinners squeezed and throttled and tugged down the opposition run rate in defence of a modes score, but it was the best slow bowler on show - Imran Tahir - who saw South Africa through a tense Super Over situation, and suggested that whatever his team-mates are like, he is capable of keeping his cool in tough circumstances. Not choking is important for South Africa. They are in a World Cup year. more..

Today is Medin Full Moon Poya

Mar 20 (DM) Medin Poya is primarily observed as the day Buddha returned to his home town Kapilawastu seven years after his renunciation. The return with about 20,000 monks took place in the tenth month of his Buddhahood. Several important episodes in the Buddhist calendar that took place following Buddha’s visit to his lay home town are generally known among the Buddhists. These included father King Suddhodana turning a stream entrant and ordination of his lay son Rahula more..

Retraining Arts graduates needed for private sector job demands

Mar 20 (FT) Giving Arts students, who make up the largest component of unemployed graduates, the chance to start STEM subjects would make them more employable, State Minister Eran Wickramaratne said. The Govt has proposed to facilitate the “Arts to Science Internship” Program, where the industry will train 1,000 unemployed, mostly Arts graduates through internships, for a year in IT-BPM, KPO firms, where 50% or up to a maximum of Rs. 25,000 of the monthly salary more..

'Mannar mass grave: Historical documents say it all'

Mar 20 (DN) Emeritus Professor T.G. Kulatunga who had served the Sri J'epura University from 1967 to 2008, said the Mannar mass grave was the result of a massacre committed by King Pararajasekaran to punish the people who converted to Christianity. He said this incident needs to be thoroughly researched to ascertain all related facts. According to Prof. Kulatunga, King Pararajasekaran had ruled Jaffna Kingdom. more..

Laying down the rod

Mar 20 (Island) The textbooks of history come into our hands bound in decorative covers and set in crisp clear types. To the discerning reader, however, their glossy pages are stained with blood and wet with streams of tears. The story of man's sojourn on this planet has generally not been a very pretty one. For sure, deeds of virtue and flashes of the sublime light up the tale like meteorites shooting across the night time sky. But the pageant of events that the records spell out for us more..

Deliverance from bribery and corruption

Mar 20 (CT) Bribery and corruption are global phenomena. Although no country is, completely, free of bribery and corruption, the magnitude of this plague can vary depending on the level of development of the country. The Corruption Perceptions Index by Transparency International (TI) is mainly used for ranking countries according to the degree of corruption. According to TI, Sri Lanka ranked 89 out of 180 countries in 2018. Bribery and corruption impede the development of more..