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MAGA commences Sethsiripaya Stage III: Sri Lanka’s largest office complex

Mar 1 (FT) Sethsiripaya Stage III, the third phase of the Govt’s administration hub in Battaramulla, is a 25-storeyed modern office building with floor area of over 1.3 million square feet – making it the largest public sector building and the largest office complex in the country. The new complex will bring ministries, public corporations, departments, and Govt offices that were scattered around the city to a centralised location; more..

Video: Easter attacks report presented to Mahanayake Theros and Cardinal Ranjith

Mar 1 (AD) A copy of the final report of the PCoI on the Easter Sunday attacks has been handed over to Archbishop of Colombo Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith. The Director General, Legal Affairs of the Presidential Secretariat Hariguptha Rohanadheera presented the report to the Cardinal Ranjith at the Archbishop’s House today. Meanwhile the President’s Media Division stated that the report was also presented to the Mahanayake Theros of the Malwathu and Asgiri Chapters this morning. more..

Govt to amend Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Code to conclude criminal...

Mar 1 (Island) The govt has decided to amend the Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code to curb the rising crime rate. The aim is to set up a judicial mechanism that can resolve a criminal case and impose a sentence in as little as three months. With the approval of the Chief Justice, two or three Supreme Court judges would work together to establish a Trial at Bar system to expedite the hearing of cases, Minster of Public Security Rear Admiral (retd) Sarath Weerasekara said. more..

More needs to be done to stop Police brutality: SJB

Mar 1 (FT) A holistic approach is needed to combat Police brutality, former MP Ajith P. Perera said yesterday. Perera charged that the dismissal of a few Police officers from the service for engaging in Police brutality was not enough to effectively combat what is a systemic problem. “The assault of a law student and obstructing the work of a lawyer at a Police station has brought this matter back into the spotlight. more..

Sri Lankan author Hafiz Sheriff launches debut book

Mar 1 (MENAFN) History as I See It and Others by Hafiz Sheriff, a searing take on the Israel-Palestine conflict and current world affairs, has now launched in SL. The Israeli occupation of Palestine has been a hotly debated topic for many years, among academic circles, casual gatherings, and within the hallowed halls of the UN. In SL however, the subject of the military exercises, settler violence, and merciless tactics of persecution inflicted upon the Palestinian people is a conversation that more..

Video: Mother and exorcist remanded over 9-year-old’s death

Mar 1 (AD) The mother and the woman who performed a ritual on a 09-year-old girl in an alleged exorcism have been remanded over the death of the child. The Mahara Magistrate remanded the two women until March 12 when the case was taken up at the court today. On Feb 27, a 9-year-old girl died after she had been beaten by a cane in an alleged exorcism, and the mother of the child and the woman who carried out the ritual were arrested. The mother in question had taken her daughter more..

Sri Lanka priority one partner in defence, says India

Mar 1 (AD) India described SL as Priority One partner in the defence sphere and said the participation of its military aircraft in the 70th anniversary celebration of the SL Air Force (SLAF) is indicative of the growing cooperation, camaraderie and friendship between the two militaries. The SLAF is celebrating its 70th Anniversary on March 2 and to commemorate the historical event, a Fly Past and an Aerobatic Display is being organised for more..

9 conglomerates’ 9-month topline improves to Rs. 861 b

Mar 1 (FT) Nine select listed conglomerates have posted a combined turnover of Rs. 861 billion and Rs. 80. 7 billion as profit from operations in the first nine months of FY2021, despite the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as per an analysis done by the Daily FT. Expolanka had exponential growth of 80% in its turnover whilst LOLC saw 21% growth. For Vallibel One, it was 8% growth, and 7% for Hayleys, 4% for Hemas, and 3% for Bukit. JKH turnover was down by 13%, more..

Amaraweera explains why SLFP has rejected PCoI probe report

Mar 1 (Island) The leader did not commit suicide at the outset in any terrorist organisation in the world. “So, we need to find out who ordered Zahran to carry out attacks. And if Sarah, the wife of one of the suicide bombers, herself had fled to India, who would have helped her? Answers to those questions should have been found, Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said yesterday. He said that the SLFP, therefore, rejected the report by the PCoI that probed the Easter Sunday carnage. more..

Opposition complains to regulator, People’s Bank chief says followed procedure

Mar 1 (EN) SJB has lodged a complaint against the head of People’s Bank for granting a loan to a firm he is a partner in, but Chairman Sujeewa Rajapakshe says he followed the ethical process required for such an approval. In a complaint to the Central Bank of SL (CBSL), SJB MP Mayantha Dissanayake said that a Working Capital loan of LKR23mn had been approved for BDO Partners, of which firm Rajapakshe is a managing partner. more..

Chief Opposition Whip asks Speaker for rest of Easter carnage report

Mar 1 (Island) Chief Opposition Whip and Kandy District SJB MP Lakshman Kiriella has written to Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena asking the latter to provide the MPs with copies of the complete report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry on Easter Sunday carnage. Kiriella in his letter says that the Opposition has continuously demanded the PCoI report on Easter Sunday terror attacks and as a result only the first volume of the report was made available to the MPs. more..

Marikkar accuses officials of dragging their feet on the burial of Covid dead

Mar 1 (EN) The opposition is slamming officials for dragging their feet on the issue of burials for the remains of people who die of Covid 19 saying the Director-General of Health Services is delaying the process by looking for suitable lands for a burial ground. Opposition SJB MP S M Marikkar told reporters in Colombo today that the Health Minister has already issued the gazette allowing burials based on the report by the technical committee. Marikkar said DGHS Dr Asela Gunawardena more..

Central Bank Chief confident all debt obligations will be met

Mar 1 (FT) Central Bank Governor Prof. W.D. Lakshman last week expressed confidence that all debt obligations of SL will be met. He made this remark at the inaugural webinar of the Veemansa Initiative, a newly launched policy development and advocacy think tank, on the external debt situation in Sri Lanka. It highlighted several challenges facing the country’s economy and concluded with valuable policy more..

Sirisena must surrender or fight: JVP

Mar 1 (Island) JVP said that former President Maithripala Sirisena has now been left only with two options either to surrender or fight against the recommendations of the report of the PCoI on Easter Sunday carnage. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said: “Accusations of serious nature have been leveled at the former Prez Sirisena in the PCoI report. He has to surrender or fight. He will never be able to absolve himself of the responsibility for failure to prevent the terror attacks. more..

Politicisation of tragedies

Mar 1 (Island) The Opposition has got hold of something to beat the govt with. The final report issued by the PCoI on the Easter Sunday carnage has come in handy for it. The SLPP made a lot of political capital out of the security failures that led to the terror strikes under the yahapalana govt, and came to power, promising to expose and punish all those who were responsible for the carnage. Now, the boot is on the other foot. The SJB, which consists of former yahapalana politicians, more..

රාජ්‍ය අමාත්‍ය විදුර වික්‍රමනායක

New Secretary appointed to Agriculture Ministry

Mar 1 (AD) M.B.R. Pushpakumara has been appointed as the new Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, the President’s media Division said. The former Nuwara-Eliya District Secretary has been appointed to the position following the recent decision by former Agriculture Secretary Major Gen. (Rtd) Sumedha Perera to step down from the post. Meanwhile B.L.A.J. Dharmakeerthi has been appointed as the Secretary to the State Ministry of Batik, Handloom and Local Apparel Products. more..

Cabraalnomics: No default because we have enough forex inflows to pay ISBs

Mar 1 (FT) My former colleague and friend with whom I can always discuss policy issues without tears, State Minister Ajith Nivard Cabraal in a statement reported in the press had challenged the ‘doomsayers’ who had been pronouncing from time to time the perilous path which Sri Lanka’s economy was taking toward an ultimate self-destruction. He had confidently said that those doomsayers will be disappointed when the Govt would repay in full the International Sovereign Bonds or ISBs more..

Catholics to attend Sunday church service in black to protest against PCoI failure

Mar 1 (Island) Sri Lankan Catholics have been requested to attend Sunday church service countrywide on March 7, dressed in black as a sign protest against the failure to apprehend the real culprits of the Easter Sunday carnage by the PCoI. Rev. Fr. Victor Jayamanne, Parish Priest of Dalugama Church said that the decision to conduct the protest had been taken with the concurrence of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of SL more..

Video: 9-year-old dies after being beaten by cane in alleged exorcism

Mar 1 (AD) A 9-year-old girl has died after she had been beaten by a cane in an alleged exorcism, Police Media Spokesperson DIG Ajith Rohana. The mother of the child in question had taken her daughter to a woman operating a Devala in Kanduboda, Meegahawatta claiming that her child been taken by evil spirits. The woman at the treatment center had anointed some oil on the 09-year-old child before beating her with a cane to dispel the alleged evil spirits from her body. more..

Video: Police raids buying and selling operation of stolen motorcycles

Mar 1 (AD) An operation that carries out buying and selling of stolen motorcycles in the Negama area in Galnewa has been raided by the police. A suspect arrested in connection with the racket has been remanded until March 09 by the order of Kekirawa Magistrate’s Court. Reportedly, 23 motorcycle registration number plates, 17 spare parts, two motorcycle chassis, and one motorcycle engine have been found at the scene. There is an uptick in motorcycle thefts in the country and more..

Video: Former SL cricketer Suraj Randiv opts bus driving profession in Australia

Mar 1 (CT) SL’s right-arm off-spinner Suraj Randiv, who was a part of SL’s ICC 2011 World Cup squad, is now working as a bus driver in Australia to earn his living. Apart from Suraj, one SL and Zimbabwe cricketer namely Chinthaka Jayasinghe and Waddington Mwayenga have migrated to Australia and work as bus drivers in Melbourne for a French-based company known as Transdev. Three cricketers play for local cricket clubs more..

Seven COVID-19 deaths bring fatalities to 471

Mar 1 (FT) Seven COVID-19 deaths, bringing the country’s COVID-19 death toll to 471. Three of the deaths occurred yesterday, which the remaining deaths occurred on Friday and Saturday. Among the deaths that occurred yesterday is that of a 59-year-old individual from Gampaha who died of blood poisoning, COVID pneumonia and a liver infection while receiving treatment at the IDH. An individual from Demalagama also passed away yesterday. The individual was 51 years old and died of more..

Video: 2020 A/L results out in April?

Mar 1 (AD) Results of the G.C.E. A/L Exam for the year 2020 will most probably be released in April, says Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris. In addition, steps will be taken to reduce the gap of one and a half years in granting university admission to those who have passed the A/L exam, Minister said. He points out that if A/L results are released in April, the qualified students will be able to commence university education from September. This would ensure that another year is not gone to waste, he added. more..

812 persons test positive for COVID-19 during weekend

Mar 1 (FT) Over 800 persons tested positive for COVID-19 during the weekend, bringing the total number of patients detected in the island to 83,242. Patients detected yesterday include 346 associates of the Peliyagoda COVID-19 cluster and four persons linked to the Prisons COVID-19 cluster. On Saturday, 425 associates of the Peliyagoda COVID-19 cluster and 35 overseas arrivals tested positive for COVID-19. more..

Customs restarts investigations into alleged tax fraud by multinational

Mar 1 (TM) Investigations have restarted into the alleged excise tax evasion of Rs. 1.5 billion reportedly committed by a leading multinational company in Sri Lanka through the importation of palm oil under a different HS Code, Sri Lanka Customs confirmed. Newly appointed Sri Lanka Customs Director General (DG) Maj. (Retd.) General Vijitha Ravipriya told us that after he took over, he had ordered investigations into the alleged tax fraud of the aforementioned company. more..

Sri Lanka repatriates 320 stranded migrant workers from Oman

Mar 1 (EN) Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it repatriated 320 stranded migrant workers out of which more than 81 workers had overstayed after the expiry of their visas. Others included Sri Lankan migrant workers who lost their jobs, sheltered at the Embassy Safe House, released from prisons and were under medical emergencies, MFA said. The Govt of Oman had granted an amnesty for the Sri Lankan migrant workers to leave Oman with the full waiver of their penalties and fines. more..

Arjuna Mahendran extradition: Singapore seeks clarifications for 4th time

Mar 1 (TM) Singapore has sought further clarifications from Sri Lanka on the request made to extradite former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran, a key suspect in the controversial Treasury Bond Scams, for the fourth time since the process began in Sept 2019. It is learnt that SL’s Attorney General’s (AG) Department is currently in the process of providing those clarifications as requested by Singapore AG’s Dept. more..

EU-Sri Lanka trade-related assistance project draws to fruitful completion after four years

Mar 1 (FT) The EU-SL Trade-Related Assistance project, funded by the European Union (EU), successfully concluded its four-year engagement of assisting SL small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) increase trade competitiveness in the EU and regional markets. Implemented by the International Trade Centre (ITC) with the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), in partnership with the Dept of Commerce of the Ministry of Trade, the project has helped SL more..

Loss-making CPC profits from lower oil prices

Mar 1 (ST) Loss-making Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has been turned into a profit-making entity in 2020 after several years following a drastic fall in world crude oil prices during the COVID-19 crisis. However local fuel prices have remained unchanged. Global oil prices have been falling amidst the coronavirus pandemic and the Singapore Platts price of a barrel of petrol and a barrel of diesel began its downfall from Jan 2020 up to the fourth quarter, and it has dropped more..

Higher compensation for worker termination is now law

Mar 1 (FT) Labour Ministry in its latest Gazette has doubled the upper limit of compensation under the Termination of Employment of Workman Act (TEWA) from Rs. 1.25 million to Rs. 2.5 million. The Gazette, which was issued on 25 Feb by Labour Commissioner General, legalises a Cabinet decision made in January. The new ceiling came into effect on 19 Feb. Termination of Employment (Special Provisions) Act No.45 more..

ComBank ranked the Strongest Bank in Sri Lanka in 2020 by Asian Banker

Mar 1 (Island) Commercial Bank of Ceylon has been declared the Strongest Bank in Sri Lanka in 2020 by the Asian Banker Magazine, based on the strength of its balance sheet. This accolade was presented to the Bank at a virtual plaque presentation ceremony on 25th Feb during which it was recognised as the strongest bank, with 50 places separating Commercial Bank and the second highest placed SL bank. Commenting on this intetnational ranking accorded to the Bank, more..

'Govt uses VIP list instead of priority list'

Mar 1 (DM) Govt is using the VIP lists instead of a priority list when administering COVID-19 vaccine, JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake charged. WHO stated that when a country receives a small volume of vaccines, that should be used to minimize the number of deaths. He said National Vaccine Deployment Plan in our country was formulated to minimize the deaths caused by COVID-19 and added that the govt has failed to follow the priority list as finalised by the health authorities. more..

Govt to reconsider new export regulations

Mar 1 (ST) Faced with opposition from exporters of varied sectors against the newly imposed regulations by the Central Bank to convert 25% of their proceeds from dollars to rupees, authorities agreed to revise the regulations next week. At a meeting of exporters from a number of different sectors at the Central Bank on Thursday chaired by Trade Minister Bandula Gunawardena together with State Finance Minister more..

Luka, Savini claim Men’s and Women’s titles

Mar 1 (CT) Savini Jayasuriya of Gateway College, Colombo powered her way to the women’s singles crown with a well-deserved 6-1, 6-4 win over Janali Manamperi at the SSC Open Tennis Championship at SLTA courts yesterday. Despite the excellent rallies and deft touches from both competitors, it was Savini who continued to come away with the points. It led to a couple of early breaks and then eventually a shutout in the opening set. Savini playing with extreme confidence dominated more..

A German analyst’s view on the Eelam War

Mar 1 (Island) SL eliminated a dreaded terrorist group, with intricate global links, but receives little credit for it. Unlike elsewhere in the world, SL has succeeded in resettling 300,000 IDPs. There are no starving children for the NGOs to feed but this gets ignored. SL has avoided mass misery, epidemics and starvation but the West takes no notice of this. Sri Lanka has attained enviable socio-economic standards for a developing country while eliminating terrorism but gets no acknowledgement. more..