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Prez appoints Commission to probe corruption of govt

Jan 17 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena has appointed a commission of inquiry to look into the alleged corruption cases and malpractices reported from 15 Jan 2015 to 31 Dec 2018. The 5-member Presidential Commission is headed by retired SC judge Upali Abeyrathne. Prez last year said a Presidential Commission of inquiry will be established to look into cases of corruption between Jan 2015 and Oct 2018. more..

President signs USD455mn loan agreements with ADB for education, transport

Jan 17 (LBO) President Sirisena made his first visit to the Asian Development Bank headquarters today while conducting a state visit to the Philippines and met with ADB President Takehiko Nakao. During the visit, Sirisena and Nakao have discussed development challenges faced by SL and ADB’s role in helping address them, the ADB said. They have signed three loan agreements totaling US$ 455 million more..

Transporting deported passengers cost UL Rs. 120 mn last year

Jan 17 (Island) SriLankan Airlines had spent Rs. 120 mn in 2017/18 to bring its passengers sent back from their destinations. Mahesh Nanayakkara, Senior Manager- Groups Assurances and Advisory Services said that out of Rs. 120 mn, Rs. 89.6 million had been spent on tickets. The ticket cost for the return of deportees was Rs. 37 million in the 2015/16 financial year and Rs. 49.5 million in the 2016/17 financial year. more..

Driver’s Demerit Points System will effect at the year-end: DMT

Jan 17 (DM) Driver Improvement Points which was known as Driver’s Demerit Points System would be added to the driver's licence by the end of this year Motor Traffic Department (DMT) said. Once the new system is introduced, the merit points exhausted automatic suspension of licence for a period of one year. Demerit points means the points assigned for traffic offences under the Motor Traffic Act in addition to any other penalties more..

SL Army to release 1201 acres

Jan 17 (DN) SL Army, continuing to honour the pledge it has given to the Presidential Task Force is set to release 1201.88 more acres of Army-used state and private lands in the North with no impact for national security during ceremonies in Mullaittivu and the North on Monday, presided by the Prez Sirisena. The release of this acreage of land includes 972 acres of state land in Kilinochchi and 120 acres of state land in Mullaittivu more..

Kidney racket: Health Minister blamed for inaction

Jan 17 (Island) A doctors’ union accused Minister Rajitha Senaratne of not taking action against those shielded kidney racketeers, who tarnished the country’s image and deprived it of valuable foreign exchange. President of GMOF, Dr Rukshan Bellana, said that two and a half years back the Indian govt had reported to the SL govt that there was a kidney selling racket in operation between the two countries and both local and more..

Call to cut taxes, scrap price controls on Sri Lanka milk imports

Jan 17 (EN) Sri Lanka’s govt should reduce taxes and scrap price controls on imported milk powder to ensure better availability and cheaper nutrition for consumers, Advocata, an independent policy think tank based in Colombo has said. The fast depreciating rupee and price controls may lead to a shortage of milk powder, taxed at 45%, as several leading importers are reported to have taken a collective decision more..

Sri Lanka re-tenders Mannar Basin offshore block for natural gas development

Jan 17 (EN) SL has reopened tenders for the M2 off-shore block in the Mannar Basin for fossil fuel development and discovery in January, Petroleum Resources Development Secretariat said. The M2 block has two discovered natural gas wells Dorado and Barracuda and further drilling prospects. "Bidders are expected to consider both development of the discoveries and the exploration of the rest of the M2 block," more..

Burning question for Kandy: Can city officials learn from fire?

Jan 17 (ST) Kandy firefighters cannot easily rush to the scene of a blaze in the overcrowded city because their trucks are blocked by heavy traffic, illegally-erected shops and parked vehicles, authorities revealed in the wake of a horrifying fire in which a man was forced to throw his children out of a third-floor window to the ground to prevent them from being burned alive. Pictures of Namanathan Ramaraj throwing his three children onto more..

Gota’s announcement subdues President’s advocacy for candidacy

Jan 17 (DM) There were rumblings within the political combine of the UPFA, SLPP after some UPFA stalwarts – Mahinda Samarasinghe, Nimal Siripala de Silva and the like- announced that Prez Sirisena would be their presidential candidate. UPFA is now a broad political platform as opposed to the political force led by UNP. The SLPP or the UPFA segment led by Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa, however, more..

Sophomoric legislators cannot fix constitutional flaws

Jan 17 (DM) Constitutional reforms is a serious business, whether it is an amendment or a new document altogether. Even ordinary bills and acts of parliament are serious affairs. Such things require lawmakers, the Attorney General’s Department, the judiciary and the general public to act with sobriety and responsibility. The basic premise of any new piece of legislation is that whatever exists is insufficient or flawed. That, however, is just one reason for attempting correction. more..

Political divisions increase storm clouds of climate change

Jan 17 (DM) Among the world’s global powers, growing tensions are the most urgent global risk and make it harder to mobilise collective action to tackle climate change, according to a report prepared for next week’s World Economic Forum at Davos in Switzerland, the Guardian newspaper reported. The WEF has found that a year of extreme weather-related events meant environmental issues topped the list of concerns. The report came after a survey of around 1,000 experts & decision-makers. more..

Rajitha threatens legal action against GMOA

Jan 17 (DM) Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said he would take strict legal and administrative action against GMOA as they had even involved President Maithripala Sirisena in their malicious, vituperative and acrimonious campaign against him. The GMOA’s claim that President Sirisena told them during a discussion he had with them that a Presidential Commission would be appointed to look into the activities of more..

'TNA pact aimed at regaining political clout'

Jan 17 (DM) TNA’s pact with the govt is an attempt to regain its lost political authority in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, MP Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said. TNA on Monday said it had come to an agreement with the govt to rename the Northern Development Ministry as the North and East Development Ministry. It also said the govt agreed to consult the TNA when making Cabinet decisions to develop the N&E. Commenting on the matter, UPFA MP said what TNA attempted more..

Many are ministers today because of late Sobhitha Thera: Sajith

Jan 17 (DM) Many have forgotten that they managed to receive ministerial portfolios because of the late Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera, Minister Sajith Premadasa said. “We should not forget that we were able to become ministers -- after remaining in the opposition for decades -- because of the late Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera. We should also remember that we were able to give concessions to people and develop the nation because of the late Thera,” Mr. Premadasa said. more..

Probe on MiG deal: Udayanga transferred Rs 72 mn from Colombo to Dubai-AG tells court

Jan 17 (Island) Attorney General Department told Fort Magistrate that in addition to one-time SL Ambassador in Moscow Udayanga Weeratunga allegedly involved in MiG deal, his wife, brother-in-law (Lalith Mannamperuma) and mother-in-law (Latha Mannamperuma) had received large sums of money from overseas. AG informed that several accounts maintained by them in banks here received USD. more..

Central Bank takes in Rs90bn in Treasury bills for forex financing

Jan 17 (EN) SL's central bank said it had received 90 billion rupees of Treasury bills (about US$ 500 million) after filling a foreign currency financing gap of the govt. The central bank's Treasury bill stock went up from 68 billion rupees on Dec 10 to 100 billion rupees on Jan 11 and 160 billion on Jan 14, the day a billion dollar sovereign bond was repaid. The central bank said it bought the bills due to a delay in getting foreign currency to meet Treasury's cashflow for Jan 2019. more..

Police seek help from Interpol and SL foreign missions

Jan 17 (CT) IGP Pujith Jayasundara said, Police Department was currently seeking the support of the Interpol and SL diplomatic missions overseas, with the aim of capturing four criminals including noted underworld gangster Makandure Madush. He made this statement at a meeting held with Chief Police Officials over the weekend at Police Hq. IGP has noted that the four underworld gangsters operating from overseas had ordered a spate of contract killings in the country in the recent past. more..

Port City is here for all!

Jan 17 (FT) The reclamation of the 269 hectares of the Port City was officially completed yesterday, setting the stage for the next phase of seeking investment with officials, saying they would redouble efforts to restart talks stalled during the recent political turmoil to achieve the target of $15 billion infresh ventures. Minister Champika Ranawaka, speaking at the ceremony to mark the end of the reclamation, spoke of master plan more..

CA directs to expedite Animal Welfare Bill

Jan 17 (FT) The Court of Appeal yesterday directed the Respondents, including the Minister of Livestock & Animal Welfare, to expeditiously and forthwith facilitate the enactment of the Animal Welfare Bill and to submit a progress report to Court by 1 February. The Bench comprised Justices Deepali Wijesundera (Acting President/CA) and Achala Wengappuli. Court issued the above direction pertaining to raise animal welfare and to enforce the existing laws against all offenders when more..

IATA renews SriLankan Airlines’ IOSA registry

Jan 17 (CT) International Air Travel Association (IATA) has renewed the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) registry of SriLankan Airlines for a further two-year period up to 4 Dec 2020. IOSA is the global airline industry’s benchmark for an airline’s operational management and control systems. SriLankan Airlines has a firm tradition of adopting and adhering to the highest standards and benchmarks in all areas of airline operations, and had its IOSA registry renewed once again more..

Video: Five MoUs signed between Sri Lanka and Philippines

Jan 17 (AD) Five MoU were signed between Sri Lankan and the Philippines on educations, tourism, agricultural and economic corporation. The two heads of state have focused on establishing an economic council to revive economic and trade relations between SL and the Philippines. President Maithripala Sirisena commenced a four-day state visit to the Philippines yesterday (15) and Prez Rodrigo Duterte & Prez Sirisena more..

Two LTTE suspects sentenced for assaulting SLAF base

Jan 17 (DN) Two LTTE members admitted to the were sentenced to 10 years in prison by the Anuradhapura Magistrate's Court. Two LTTE members have been sentenced to 10years in prison by the Anuradhapura magistrate court for providing information on an attacking Anuradhapura Air Force Base on 22.10.2007. Magistrate ordered the order to be passed in 5 years. Two suspects, Aravindan and Thavarupan, had been charged with providing information to the Air Force base. more..

Sri Lanka participates in International Mediterranean Tourism Market in Israel

Jan 17 (MFA) The Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, in collaboration with the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Tel Aviv, organized and coordinated the participation of Sri Lanka in the 24th International Mediterranean Tourism Market (IMTM 2018), which was held from 6 to 7 Feb 2018 at the Tel Aviv Convention Center in Tel Aviv, Israel. The IMTM is the largest annual professional official exhibition for the tourism market in Israel, which promotes and focuses both domestic and foreign tourism more..

Academic warns of authoritarian parliamentary rule, system far worse than...

Jan 17 (Island) Sri Lanka could be heading for a sort of authoritarian parliamentary rule which was likely to be far worse than the current presidential system, academic Dr. Lalithasiri Gunaruwan warned. The senior lecturer in economics of the Colombo Uni said that "Those trying to convince the public that the abolition of the executive presidency can be the panacea for our problems conveniently forgot more..

Burgher Association summons EGM to discuss its future

Jan 17 (Island) Burgher Association (BA) will hold an Extraordinary General Meeting on Saturday at the Dutch Burgher Union Hall from 7.00 pm. BA President Carlyle de Zilva said the meeting had been convened to discuss the impending closure of the association. Although the issue had been discussed at recent committee meetings, it had now become necessary that the general membership was formally informed of the situation, he said. Burgher Association was formed in 2001 more..

‘Need for new laws in favour of social enterprises’

Jan 17 (DN) Sri Lanka’s existing legal and regulatory framework needs to be made more favorable to foster a social entrepreneurship culture, giving social enterprises a greater degree of flexibility to pursue social business models that generate both social and financial returns. It is estimated that there are between 6,000-15,000 social enterprises in Sri Lanka, covering major sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture, cultural, creative and environmental protection sectors. more..

China Port City awaits Sri Lanka incentives, laws, to sell land

Jan 17 (EN) Sri Lanka's CHEC Port City (Pvt) Ltd, which has reclaimed 369 hectares of sea to build a brand new city expanding the island's capital Colombo is awaiting tax incentives to begin marketing, officials said. The reclaimed area will have 178 hectares of buildable space and 91 hectares of public areas including a park. "We look forward to govt policy support to attract more investors to the port city," more..

SL participates in Reiselivsmessen 2019

Jan 17 (DN) The Sri Lanka Embassy in Oslo, together with the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, organised and coordinated Sri Lanka’s participation in the premier Nordic Tourism Fair, Reiselivsmessen 2019, which was held between January 11 and 13. Rizwan Wadood from Silver Tree, Sugeeswara Dissanayake from Ceylon Trails and Arushan Lazarus from Explore the Wonders represented the Sri Lanka Travel Trade at the fair. The event was well-attended, and provided more..

Misappropriation of funds by SPCA

Jan 17 (CT) United Southern Cricket Club (USCC) of Galle has written to Ashley de Silva, the Chief Executive Officer of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), that the Southern Province Cricket Association (SPCA) has not conducted its Annual General Meeting on a regular basis. SPCA conducted their last AGM in 2006 and from then on they have failed to conduct the AGM to date, for reasons best known to them. They further state in their letter that SPCA has also failed to submit the AGM reports and more..

Chandimal calls for collective batting lift to challenge Australia

Jan 17 (CI) Dinesh Chandimal, the Sri Lanka captain, has called on his batsmen to dig deep and post first-innings totals over 300 to give the bowlers a chance of repeating the success India enjoyed in their historic series victory. India became the first Asian side to win a Test series in Australia, a contest Chandimal watched closely while in NZ. SL's Test record in Australia is very lop-sided with 11 defeats and two draws more..

MullenLowe announces digital collaboration with We Are Designers

Jan 17 (Island) MullenLowe, joined hands with Colombo based 360-degree full service digital agency, We Are Designers, to further strengthen its digital offering. This exclusive partnership comes at a time when digital platforms continue to rise as the most dominant engagement medium for brands to interact with consumers and inspire brand love. Bringing together MullenLowe’s insight driven creative excellence and We Are Designers’ collective digital experience of 14 years, more..

School Section felicitates four shooting legends

Jan 17 (ST) SL Schools Shooting Sports Association (SLSSSA) felicitated four of their former shooters, who reached the national level while still schooling, at their Colours Awarding Ceremony for the years of 2017 and 2018, held at the BMICH. The four shooters — Rohana Nanayakkara, a present Vice President of National Shooting Sports Federation, Zal Chitti, the Late Ravi Jayawardena and Late Col. Daya Rajasinghe — had been the pioneer school shooters to earn national level recognition, more..

Pathum and Chamika pull-off a draw for SL ‘A’ vs Ireland ‘A’

Jan 17 (Island) Ireland overcame a jolt, to pull-off a draw after a sensational SL fightback, courtesy of Pathum Nissanka and Chamika Karunaratne, on the fourth and final day, yesterday, at Sooriyawewa, and Sri Lanka winning the series 1-0. Ireland, off to chase down 264, were in tatters losing opener James Shannon (0). Stephen Doheny, giving that a cold shoulder tried to be explosive in his 18 off 12, more..

New National Sports Council appointed

Jan 17 (CT) Sports Minister Harin Fernando has appointed a twelve-member National Sports Council for the development, improvement and administration of all sports in Sri Lanka. The 12 members are scheduled to receive their credentials from the Sports Minister today. This committee has been appointed under the Sports Law of 1973 (Section 25 Clause 4) and will be effective for two years. The committee comprises former top officers who were attached to the defence services, more..

SL take on CA XI in Aussie tour opener today

Jan 17 (DN) Dinesh Chandimal, the Sri Lanka captain, has called on his batsmen to dig deep and post first-innings totals over 300 to give the bowlers a chance of repeating the success India enjoyed in their historic series victory. India became the first Asian side to win a Test series in Australia, a contest Chandimal watched closely while in New Zealand. Sri Lanka’s Test record in Australia is very lop-sided with 11 defeats and two draws - and they have passed 300 in their first innings more..