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'Sajith reveals his political stand on Sunday'

Jan 24 (DM) Leader of Opposition Sajith Premadasa will reveal his future political stand to UNPers and UNF allies on Sunday January 26, UNP MP Ajith P. Perera said yesterday. MP Perera said Mr. Premadasa had already invited leaders of UNF, all MPs, Provincial Councillors, members of local bodies and party organisers for meeting at Sri Lanka Exhibition and Convention Centre where he will reveal his future political stand. more..

Most judges are without blemishes

Jan 24 (Island) There were more than 300 judges and most of them had not faced allegations; therefore one couldn’t say that all cases filed were wrong or judgements given were wrong, senior lawyer, Saliya Peiris PC said on Wednesday answering a question posed by a journalist during a panel discussion on the legal and ethical implications of recording phone calls organised by Centre for Journalism & Education (CJE). more..

Rayynor Silva challenges Hirunika & Ranjan to make allegations outside Parliament

Jan 24 (CT) Recently a spate of spurious allegations were levelled by UNF MPs, Ranjan Ramanayake and Hirunika Premachandra taking cover under Parliamentary privileges against Chairman of ABC Media Network Rayynor Silva and the Hiru media conglomerate, that the latter was engaged in the illegal drug trade. Silva has condemned the allegations levelled against him and his Media network. more..

Video: Sri Lanka can improve Corruption Perceptions Index rank: TISL

Jan 24 (AD) It is possible for Sri Lanka to improve its rank on the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2019, says the Manager of Research and Policy at Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) Maheshi Herat. Addressing a press conference on the CPI 2019 which was issued by Transparency International, Herat said the government has a responsibility in making an improvement in this regard. more..

Norochcholai third phase delay costs Rs250mn daily: Minister

Jan 24 (EN) The CEB is bearing a loss of 250 million rupees a day, due to delays in developing the third phase of the Norochcholai coal power plant. Mahinda Amaraweera said officials had informed him of the loss due to delays in developing the power plant, which has required costlier power purchases from the private sector. The minister said this in a meeting held at the ministry of Petroleum on Jan 23, 2020 to discuss about future projects. more..

Govt urged to clarify its stance on Geneva resolution

Jan 24 (Island) Federation of National Organizations (FNO), urged the govt to clarify its stand vis-a-vis controversial resolution 30/1 co-sponsored by the previous administration at the Geneva based UNHRC in Oct 2015. Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekera, Dr. Wasantha Bandara and attorney-at-law-law Kalyananda Thiranagama on behalf of the FNO emphasized that the new administration owed an explanation in the wake of more..

Famed economist turns nostalgic with Return to SL: Travels in a paradoxical island

Jan 24 (FT) A day in early Dec 1977 is well etched in Razeen Sally’s memory. He was visiting the family’s estate bungalow named Razeena in Badulla and though only 12 years old at the time, there was foreboding that his carefree days spent with family and friends amidst the lush green tea bushes and bathing under waterfalls was coming to an end. There was in him a self-realisation he would not be back for some time. more..

Constructive talks between conservation groups and Minister of Wildlife

Jan 24 (FT) During a crucial meeting with several environmentalists today, Minister of Land, Land Development, Environment and Wildlife Resources agreed to issue a directive which would request that the relevant authorities refrain from providing more guns to the Civil Defense Force (CDF). The Minister also agreed to review the Human Elephant Conflict (HEC) mitigation strategy. The Wildlife and Nature Protection Society (WNPS) teamed up with more..

CHEC violates permit conditions for vehicles

Jan 24 (DM) China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd- the contractual company of the Hambantota Port Project (Phase 1 and 2) has come under fire for allegedly violating conditions stipulated in the duty deferment permits granted to them by the Departments of Fiscal Policy and Trade, Tariff and Investment Policy of the Ministry of Finance and Planning. China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) was granted more..

Two unconventional politicians

Jan 24 (DM) Two political personalities; wholly different from each other and different to all others as well, are in the limelight now. One is former State Minister and now Opposition MP Ranjan Ramanayake whose membership was suspended by the UNP leadership a few days ago, while the other is the controversial former Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the newly-elected President. more..

UNP on the Brink of Suicide

Jan 24 (DM) Apart from the UNP currently facing a severe problem caused by the phone-tapping by its Parliament Member Ranjan Ramanayake, the party seems to fail to resolve its infighting over its leadership before the forthcoming Parliamentary elections. The party has been holding discussion at various levels for the past several months on the issue, but it has always been back to square one after each discussion during which the final decision has been postponed, as if a ritual. more..

Media must honour privacy

Jan 24 (DM) Artiste turned lawmaker Ranjan Ramanayake’s revelations about alleged corrupt activities of politicians and businessmen through his voice recordings have raised questions about privacy of individuals. When two people engage in a telephone conversation, neither party would wish the other to record what’s said without consent. Ramanayake became notorious for such acts even when sitting at the head table at media briefings. Controversial MP has to his defence said more..

Sri Lanka may have lost Rs10.4bn from direct placement of bonds: forensic audit

Jan 24 (EN) Sri Lanka may have lost up between 9.9 to 10.4 billion rupees in over 1,100 direct placements of bonds made by-passing auctions, between 2005 and 2015, a forensic audit has estimated. The audit by BDO India was commissioned following a recommendation of a presidential commission of inquiry into so-called bondscams in 2015 and 2016 through rigged auctions. more..

Forensic Audits incomplete without relevant Annexures: Speaker

Jan 24 (Island) As per the directive by the Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, the Secretary General of Parliament Dammika Dassanayake has informed Prof. W. D. Lakshman, the Governor of Central Bank that the reports of five Forensic Audits are incomplete without the relevant annexures and exhibits. The Secretary General has also informed the Governor of the CB as directed by the Speaker to take necessary action to make available complete audit reports to Parliament at the earliest. more..

Vidura promises legal action against those involved in DPJ building deal

Jan 24 (Island) State Minister Vidura Wickramanayake said that legal action would be instituted against those responsible for obtaining the DPJ building to house the agriculture ministry at a huge monthly rental. He said that his legal consultants were in the process of instituting legal action and housing the ministry in that particular building had in no way contributed to promoting agriculture. Minister said he believed several persons had benefited from the corrupt deal. more..

President instructs Acting IGP: Arrest only when absolutely necessary

Jan 24 (CT) As arrests were not a part of the punishment and results in the serious deprivation of liberty of citizens and other significant implications, such as loss of reputation and standing in society, arrests to be carried out only when absolutely necessary and upon a decision taken with utmost care and in strict compliance with the law, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa instructed Acting IGP Senior DIG C. D. Wickramaratne. more..

Cabinet approves setting up power plants

Jan 24 (CT) Cabinet has approved a proposal to set up two 300 megawatt coal fired power plants in addition to setting up two Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) power plants in Kerawalapitiya to ensure uninterrupted power supply. According to a Cabinet Paper, the CEB was said to be facing difficulties in catering to the increasing demand due to delays in setting up proposed power plants. Therefore, to ensure uninterrupted power supply, two 300 megawatt coal fired power plants more..

'Ranjan took back CDs following legal advice'

Jan 24 (DM) Clarifying the position with regard to the tabling of CDs containing phone conversations of MP Ranjan Ramanayake, UNP MP Harsha De Silva said the former had to take the clips back after tabling it following legal advice. “I was informed on Wednesday that Mr. Ramanayake had tabled the CDs. I was also informed by him that he had handed over the CDs to the Secretary General of Parliament who had directed him to the Hansard Department. Mr Ramanayake had received legal advice more..

UNF on the verge of splitting for general elections

Jan 24 (DM) The former ruling United National Front (UNF) is on the verge of splitting up for the upcoming general elections with minority alliance members likely to contest under their own symbols due to the ongoing leadership battle between UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa. Already, alliance partners such as the Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA) has said that it will hold a meeting next Monday more..

Chinese company to assist Chinese tourists to get e-visa

Jan 24 (FT) Cabinet has approved a joint proposal by multiple ministries to allow a Chinese company to process visas for Chinese tourists to Sri Lanka in the Chinese language using the Electronic Travel Authorisation System (ETA). Dept of Emigration and Immigration follows the ETA since 2012 for issuance of visas to tourists from a range of countries wishing to travel to SL. However, Chinese tourists have found it difficult to use ETA as it is only available in English, minister Bandula Gunawardena said. more..

Five member police committee to probe Judge Gihan Pilapitiya case excerpts

Jan 24 (DM) Acting IGP C. D. Wickramaratne has appointed a special five-member committee to study the excerpts of an investigation into interdicted High Court Judge Gihan Pilapitiya over the phone recording case and make a recommendation to arrest him as per the Attorney General's instructions. The police said today that the AG has instructed the Director of the Colombo Crime Division (CCD) to name Judge Pilapitiya as the second suspect and obtain an arrest warrant over the case more..

Free trade zone of international universities on the cards for foreign students

Jan 24 (RN) The cabinet has green-lit a proposal to establish a BOI-approved free trade zone of international universities to attract foreign and non-resident students to the country. Minister Bandula Gunawardena told reporters today that the objective of the so called free trade zone (in the Minister’s words) is to make SL an international education hub home to branches of world-renowned universities. more..

Sri Lanka takes center stage at the TITF-2020 Tour Fair in Bangkok

Jan 24 (Island) The embassy of Sri Lanka in Bangkok-Thailand together with the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB), coordinated and facilitated the participation of twelve Sri Lankan travel and tour companies at the 26th Thai International Travel Fair (TITF) hosted by the Thai Travel Agents Association (TTAA) held from January 16-19, at the IMPACT Hall in Bangkok. The cultural troupe of the SL Army led by Cpt. Ajith Ruwanpura performed at the opening ceremony of TITF more..

Jetwing Hotels introduces exclusive east coast tour with Hiran Cooray and Len Porter

Jan 24 (Island) East Coast of SL is a region where tourism booms during May Sept when the waves that crash along the coastal towns of Arugambay and Pottuvil are eagerly sought after by surfers across the globe. To counter the widespread misconception of monsoon weather curbing visitation during November to April, Hiran Cooray, chairman, & Len Porter, director, Jetwing Symphony are ready to show guests a unique perspective to a land that has so much to discover. more..

Japan to support humanitarian demining activities in Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu & Jaffna

Jan 24 (FT) Govt of Japan has provided a total sum of $630,028 (approx. Rs. 111 million) to Delvon Assistance for Social Harmony (DASH) for humanitarian demining activities in northern SL. The grant contract was signed on 23 Jan at the Ambassador’s Residence in Colombo, between Ambassador of Japan Sugiyama Akira and DASH Program Manager Ananda Chandrasiri. The project will contribute to the efforts of govt of SL more..

11th Jaffna International Trade Fair 2020 opens

Jan 24 (Island) Jaffna International Trade Fair 2020 (11th edition), the biggest and only one of its kind events in the Northern Province kick off today, 24th January and will go on till January 26 2020 at Muttraweli Grounds in Jaffna. Jaffna Int'l Trade Fair 2020 is organized for the 11th consecutive time by Lanka Exhibition & Conference Services (Pvt) Ltd (LECS) in association with the Chamber of Commerce & Industries of Yarlpanam (CCIY) with the support of the Jaffna Municipal Council, more..

Govt calls on banks not to eliminate borrowers only on CRIB

Jan 24 (FT) The Govt yesterday called on banks to consider a variety of criteria when evaluating loans, while appealing for financial institutions not to eliminate proposals solely based on whether the applicant is included in the Credit Information Bureau (CRIB). “The CRIB is not an institution which proposes to grant or refuse loans to a person, but only provides information on the credit quality of a customer,” State Minister Shehan Semasinghe said yesterday. more..

President’s power to perform duties of a Cabinet Minister questioned

Jan 24 (RN) Minister Bandula Gunawardena is saying that according to the 19th amendment when there is no subject minister appointed the President can take over the powers of that portfolio. He said that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa issued the extraordinary Gazette empowering the military forces to continue to assist in maintaining public order as the person responsible for national security and the Defence Minister based on more..

UNP Working Committee to be appointed by Monday

Jan 24 (FT) UNP will conclude appointing members to the Working Committee by Monday, Senior MP Lakshman Kiriella said. The previous Working Committee's term ended on 31 Dec 2019. For a new leader to be appointed to the UNP the Working Committee will need to approve the appointment. The Working Committee is appointed by the Chairman who is also the party leader, Kiriella said. However, he would not comment on a date the new committee might meet to resolve more..

Govt delaying warehouse project that could stabilise vegetable prices: Harsha

Jan 24 (EN) The construction of a 600 million rupee climate-controlled warehouse in Dambulla, which would contribute to stabilizing vegetable prices in Sri Lanka is being delayed, UNP MP Harsha de Silva said. “Vegetable prices fluctuate. We understand that there are such problems due to rain,” he said. “If vegetables are stored in climate controlled warehouses, these fluctuations will reduce,” de Silva said. “This was a requirement for years, but when I was in office, we started a project.” more..

Govt to bring new laws to combat online hate speech

Jan 24 (FT) Defence Ministry is to introduce new laws to stop defamatory posts and comments on social media and also set up a mechanism for immediate removal of ethically and religiously sensitive posts that spread hatred via social media networks, it said in a statement yesterday. The new legal framework will be introduced under the National Cyber Security Strategy, which will be formulated soon more..

Sri Lanka baseball leap into 36th place in world ranking

Jan 24 (ST) Sri Lanka has leaped five places in the World Baseball ranking released Friday and currently sits in 36th place. In the latest world rankings for 2020 released by the World Baseball Softball Confederation, SL has reaped rewards after a highly successful 2019. SL national team received 50 points for winning the West Asia Baseball Cup which was held in July last year. They beat the much fancied Pakistan to retain the West Asia Baseball Cup crown which they won in 2017. more..

New UNIDO - SL country program

Jan 24 (Island) Pioneering work on UNIDO’s new Country Program for Sri Lanka 2020-’24 commences today in Colombo. "UNIDO interventions have a long history of industrial value chain development and improved quality infrastructure of SL products. The new country program is based on industry and innovation related Sustainable Development Goals called SDG 9 framework" said Sri Lanka UNIDO Focal Point National Director Nawaz Rajabdeen. more..

Tourism triumph in the works for 2020

Jan 24 (FT) Emboldened by its potential Sri Lanka Tourism is optimistic of pursuing an ambitious target, doubling their 2019 numbers to four million arrivals and accelerating revenue from $ 3.5 billion last year to $ 5 billion in 2020 to spearhead an overall economic revival for Sri Lanka. “We are very optimistic about this year. The goal we want to chase is anything between 3.5 to 4 million tourist arrivals and more..

Int'l exposure for SL boat manufacturers at Boot Show – Dusseldorf, Germany

Jan 24 (FT) The delegation of German Industry and Commerce in SL (AHK SL) together with the EDB organised the first-ever SL pavilion at the world’s leading boat exhibition Boot Show in Dusseldorf, Germany. The Boot in Dusseldorf is the world’s largest and most international indoor fair for boats and water sports. It takes place every year and is a pure public exhibition. At an exhibition area of 220,000 square meters the visitor will be informed about the services and products more..

Patents should provide better protection for developers

Jan 24 (CT) Obtaining a patent for an invention after years of research in itself is insufficient if proper mechanisms are not formulated to ensure that such inventions are in use. Patents only protect rights of inventors and founders up to a limited period of time following after which these ideas and projects are exposed to the world at large. The University of Colombo, Faculty of Science and Medicine obtained their first patent for a compound extracted from a type of mushroom named more..