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SL formulating strategy for digital economy

Mar 20 (EN) Sri Lanka is developing a National Financial Inclusion Strategy focusing on payment gateways and digital financial services, in a broader effort to improve accessibility to finance and global markets for citizens and small businesses. Separate working committees have been set up to look into establishing a national payments gateway and improving infrastructure to support digital financial services platforms. more..

Sri Lanka economy grew 3.1% in 2017

Mar 20 (LBO) SL’s statistics office says economic growth rate for the year 2017 has been estimated as 3.1%. Agriculture, Industry, Services and Taxes less subsidies on products have contributed their share to the GDP at current price by 7.7%, 27.2%, 55.8% and 9.3% respectively for the year 2017. “Agriculture sector has been affected badly mainly due to the unfavorable weather conditions (severe drought as well as heavy rainfalls) prevailed during last 2 years in many districts of the country,” more..

Faction against efficient judiciary to be revealed

Mar 20 (NR) Deputy Minister Karunarathna Paranawithana says the faction represented by those objecting the measures to make the legal system efficient will be revealed promptly. He said there is a faction that is attempting to disrupt the initiatives of the govt of increasing the efficiency of the judiciary and speed up the process of bringing the guilty to book. Deputy Minister said they are filing cases in court in opposition of punishing the guilty and increasing efficiency of judiciary. more..

Will support no-confidence vote against PM: JVP

Mar 20 (CT) The JVP yesterday said that it would support the Joint Opposition’s no-confidence motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on the basis that he had allegedly protected thieves in both the current and former Govts by making deals with them. JVP Propaganda Secretary MP Vijitha Herath said that the JVP has not seen the no-faith motion which the JO is going to bring to Parliament yet, but the JVP would support more..

IAEA to continue support to Sri Lanka to achieve development goals

Mar 20 (IAEA) IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano reviewed the cooperation between the IAEA and Sri Lanka during his visit to the country on 14 March. The IAEA supports the island nation in many areas including nuclear medicine, non-destructive testing in industry and assistance in introducing nuclear energy. While joining the Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya at the inauguration of the new offices of the SL Atomic Energy Board, Mr Amano was informed of the progress the country more..

Sri Lanka aims for real-time data to guide policymaking

Mar 20 (EN) The Sri Lankan govt wants to adopt advanced information systems that can provide real-time data to help policymakers do their job better, Karu Jayasuriya, Speaker of the Parliament, said. “For a country such as Sri Lanka, with established digital infrastructure, and 20.4 million people, gathering data should be more cohesive, and forward thinking,” he told the First National Symposium on Data for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). more..

Tax imposed on FDs and Savings increased from 2.5% to 5%

Mar 20 (DM) The tax has been increased from 2.5% to 5% from the interests earned from Fixed Deposits and Savings Accounts of Banks and Financial institutions according to the new income tax act which will come into effect from 1st of April. The new tax revision will be applicable, if the income of a senior citizen is over Rs.1.5 million, according to new income tax act. The many changes have been introduced by new income tax act & P.A.Y.E. more..

Javeria Khan century gives Pakistan opening win over Sri Lanka

Mar 20 (Samaa) Javeria Khan’s second one-day international century was backed by a strong bowling effort as Pakistan strode to a 69-run win over Sri Lanka in the first of a three-match ODI series which contributes to the ICC Women’s Championship match. Khan marshalled the middle order and guided her side to 250/6 in their 50 overs after they were put in. The spinners then struck at regular intervals as the Sri Lankan reply was clipped at 181 in 45.2 overs. more..

Knife-wielding man robs bank in Kiribathgoda

Mar 20 (AD) A private bank in Kiribathgoda has been robbed by an unidentified suspect armed with a knife, who made off with nearly Rs 1 million in cash today. Police said that suspect, who had entered the bank pretending to be a customer, had pulled out a knife and threatened the female employee before stealing cash from the counter and escaping. The robbery had taken place at around 1.40 pm at a private bank located near the junction turning towards the Kiribathgoda new road. more..

Banks, insurance lead Sri Lanka Dec quarter corporate earnings growth

Mar 20 (EN) Earnings of listed Sri Lanka companies grew 17.4% to 86 billion rupees in the Dec 2017 quarter from a year ago, driven by growth in banking, finance and insurance, CAL Research says. Corporate earnings totaled 60.5 billion rupees in the previous quarter, down 1.4% from a year earlier. Combined profits of listed banks, finance and insurance companies grew 62% in the December quarter, to 46.7 billion rupees, more..

Kos Malli’s body parts found

Mar 20 (CT) The remaining body parts of underworld figure Kos Malli, whose severed head was found in Keselwatta, Colombo, were unearthed from the Angunakolapellessa area, the Police said. Investigations led by the Colombo Crime Investigation Division (CCD) had identified the crime scene where the body parts were believed to be buried. The CCD had discovered the location following the arrest of several suspects involved in the murder. more..

Avant Garde/Rakna Lanka case postponed

Mar 20 (CT) The case against Chairman of the Avant Garde Maritime Security Services Nissanka Senadhipathy and the Chairman of the Rakna Lanka, former Major General Palitha Fernando, was fixed to be taken for Trial from 26 June, yesterday by Colombo HC Judge R. Gurusinghe. Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption has indicted the duo on 47 counts including soliciting a bribe to the tune of Rs 35.5 million to maintain a floating armoury off the Southern Seas. more..

Monks, troops help Muslims after race riots in Sri Lanka

Mar 20 (UCAN) Buddhist monks and army troops have begun rebuilding and renovating scores of properties damaged during a series of anti-Muslim riots near Kandy in SL's Central Province, an area known for its scenic tea plantations. The govt announced a nationwide state of emergency after two people were killed in the sectarian violence, which also saw nearly 450 Muslim-owned homes and numerous shops damaged. more..

US Coast Guard intercepts migrants from Sri Lanka near Florida

Mar 20 (ABC) Two migrants from Sri Lanka were part of a group attempting to get to the U.S. illegally when authorities found them in a small boat off Florida, the U.S. Coast Guard reported Monday. A Coast Guard airplane crew spotted six men in an 18-foot center console about 5 a.m. Saturday. The Coast Guard sector Miami deployed two crews to search for the boat and intercepted them east of Jupiter. The other migrants were from the Bahamas, Jamaica and Brazil. more..

MP Prasanna Ranaweera remanded over assualt

Mar 20 (AD) UPFA MP Prasanna Ranaweera has been remanded until March 22 by the Mahara Magistrate, in connection with a case filed over an assault incident. Kiribathgoda Police had launched an investigation into a complaint filed alleging that the MP had assaulted an individual following a verbal dispute during a function. Ranaweera was produced before the court today in connection with the incident which had taken place several days ago. Police had already presented facts to more..

Sri Lanka political uncertainty puts economic gains at risk, warns CB Governor

Mar 20 (EN) Sri Lanka's fractious unity govt should restore political stability and avoid reversing positive macroeconomic and policy gains which saw record exports, FDI and inflows to the stock exchange, albeit from low bases, warned CB Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy. Political uncertainty has gripped the island with the uneasy SLFP-UNP coalition growing more unstable and fractious, especially after former President more..

Ariyadasa Cooray removed as NPC Secretary

Mar 20 (DM) National Police Commission (NPC) Secretary Ariyadasa Cooray has been removed from the post with effect from today. Mr. Cooray said he had received a letter from the Commission informing that he was suspended from the post according to a Public Administration Circular. NPC Chairman P.H. Manatunga said according to the Public Administration Circular No 03/2018, which was issued in February, a retired Public Official beyond 60 years of age should not be employed in more..

Diyawanna Oya accident driver remanded

Mar 20 (NR) Owner of the luxury vehicle that was driven into the Diyawanna Oya has been remanded till the 27th of March. The order was issued by Kaduwela Magistrate’s Court this morning. Suspect who is a resident of Thalangama was arrested after surrendering to Police yesterday and was produced before Kaduwela Magistrate’s Court today. Vehicle was driven into the Diyawanna Oya last Saturday morning after colliding with two other vehicles near a night club in Thalawathugoda. more..

Health ministry busts millions of public funds to glorify Rajitha

Mar 20 (CT) Ministry of Health in the guise of a confab on health development initiatives has spent millions of rupees for a tamasha at the BMICH on Marhc 9, that was all about glorifying Minister of Health Rajitha Senaratne. According to a Health Ministry official present at the event, the National Conference on Recent Health Development Initiatives was a large gathering of medical administrators with over 2000 invitations more..

UNP Parliamentary Group extends fullest support to PM

Mar 20 (DN) UNP Parliamentary Group met PM Ranil Wickremesinghe at Temple Trees yesterday and extended their fullest support to him to continue in his post. UNP Parliamentary Group during the meeting with the PM had said that if the JO were to bring a No-Confidence Motion against the PM in Parliament, they were prepared to defeat it. “Apart from the 10 UNP MPs who are currently overseas on official visits, all other UNP Ministers and MP’s took part in the meeting” UNP member said. more..

Why do we have to pay for the sins of every govt?

Mar 20 (FT) One of the most common questions asked of me when I meet people at various forums nowadays is, Hey, what is happening to the country? Nowadays, I find that some of the strongest critics of the previous regime and hence those who proactively promoted the Yahapalanaya govt, have now gone silent. People have spoken during the LG elections on 10 Feb. However, the people who are governing our country, whether in power or in the opposition, continue to cause disappointment more..

How PM & his cronies bankrupting Sri Lanka

Maya Ahmad: Sleepless in Sri Lanka

Mar 20 (AN) Lebanese makeup artist and vlogger Maya Ahmad has been soaking up the sun on vacation in Sri Lanka. I do not want to leave this place, Ahmad wrote on Instagram on Monday. Most amazing vacation and the weather was PERFECT! She waxed lyrical about the view of coconut trees and the ocean from her room at Shangri La’s Hambantota Resort on Sri Lanka’s south coast: Waking up to this is priceless! she wrote. A post from her last night in the resort, however, more..

Let there be a stable govt!

Mar 20 (CT) Another week and there is another mention of a No-Confidence Motion in Parliament against the Govt in power. While rumours of such a move have been floating around, last night, the Former President, Mahinda Rajapaksa leant his weight to a No-Faith Motion and told this newspaper that says that the Joint Opposition will hand over the paperwork to move the Parliamentary resolution against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya this week. more..

US says concerned about reports of HR violations in Sri Lanka

Mar 20 (AD) The United States has expressed concern over ongoing reports of human rights violations and abuses by members of the security services, and recent attacks targeting members of religious minority communities in Sri Lanka. The UNHRC yesterday adopted the final report of Sri Lanka’s review under the 3rd cycle of the Universal Periodic Review, which took place in November 2017. more..

Looters as Rulers: Don't enter politics seeking riches: PM

Mar 20 (DM) Don’t become politicians who search for luxuries after coming to the field as paupers, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe told the newly elected members of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) yesterday. PM came up with this advice during the swearing-in of new CMC members including the first woman mayor of Colombo Rosy Senanayake at Temple Trees last evening. “You are faced with a task of saving the city dwellers more..

Sirisena urged to rise as a statesman

Mar 20 (Hindu) Reminding President Maithripala Sirisena of the unstinted support that Tamils extended to him in 2015, senior Tamil politician and Leader of Opposition R. Sampanthan on Monday urged him to rise as a statesman and resolve Sri Lanka’s ethnic problem. “We want a statesman to rise in this country who can say, ‘I resolved the country’s national question’ and we think you can do it, we think you should do it more..

SL: Little action on promised justice, reforms

Mar 20 (HRW) SL govt should announce a time-bound plan to carry out its pledges to the UNHRC since October 2015, Human Rights Watch said today. At an interim update before the Council this week on progress towards fulfilment of its human rights commitments, UN member countries should press Sri Lanka to ensure justice and accountability for the tens of thousands of victims of the country’s brutal civil war. more..

Colombo’s first female Mayor Rosy takes oaths

Mar 20 (CT) UNP’s Colombo Mayoral Candidate Rosy Senanayake was sworn in as Mayor of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) at the Temple Trees yesterday. The swearing-in of Deputy Mayor Thulba Mohamed Iqbal also took place yesterday. Senanayake was declared the first female mayor of CMC by order of the Gazette Number 2062/51 issued on 17 March. Gazette also officially declared the names of more..

Speaker Jayasuriya urged not to certify protection against disappearances Bil

Mar 20 (Island) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has been urged by the Joint Opposition (JO) not to certify the hastily enacted Bill for the protection against enforced disappearances. JO spokesman Colombo District MP Gamini Lokuge said that they had requested Speaker Jayasuriya to allow a fresh debate and a vote on the Bill. Lokuge said Speaker Jayasuriya had allowed PM Ranil Wickremsinghe to manipulate the legislative process. more..

‘Personally against No Confidence Motion

Mar 20 (NR) General Secretary of the SLFP Minister Duminda Dissanayake says he is strongly against the No Confidence Motion said to be tabled against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. He said this was not the stance of the party but his personal opinion. Minister said SLFP has not arrived at a final decision pertaining to supporting the No Confidence Motion against the PM. He added the govt’s failure at the LG election more..

'Negotiations best way to overcome crisis'

Mar 20 (CT) Maldives State Minister Dunya Maumoon announced her resignation from President Abdul Yameen’s Govt maintaining that it is only through putting aside anger and hatred and being willing to listen and talk that the country could overcome the challenges of today. “Resignation is not an easy decision and I walk away with a heavy heart. Walking away does not solve the nation’s problems. more..

'There should be a controlling mechanism on social media not a ban'

Mar 20 (DM) Information Technology Expert Dr. (Eng.) Lalith Liyanage speaks to Daily mirror about the importance of having a controlling mechanism on the social media sites. Dr. Liyanage is the CEO of Lanka Logistics and Technologies Ltd. which comes under the purview of the Ministry of Defence. Q: As an IT expert, how do you see the importance of social media on public life? A: I am a chartered electrical engineer and more..

'OMP is for reconciliation not to satisfy anyone else'

Mar 20 (DM) The Office on Missing Persons (OMP) is one of the main transitional justice mechanisms, the others being a truth commission, an office on reparations and a judicial mechanism to investigate allegations of violations and abuses of human rights. The OMP intends to promote justice and bring closure to those whose loved ones have gone missing. With the recent appointment of the Chairman and more..

Case for Facebook social media ombudsman

Mar 20 (DM) Social media has been a medium of communication on computer mediated technology created to sharing information with individuals, clusters, and social groups, cheap, accessible and fast, until the ground breaking innovative introduction of Face Book by Mark Zuckerberg, a student of Israeli origin at Harvard, innovated for the students of the Harvard University that spread like wild fire all over the world due to innovations of the product. Facebook (Fb), is used by 3 billion more..

Impunity: A cat closing its eyes drinking milk

Mar 20 (DM) The title from my school days refers to a cat thinking that when it sees no one, it is safe. Likewise, our rulers seem to think that blocking out Facebook, WhatsApp, etc. ensures that no one can see us or our friends bashing our Muslim brethren and enjoy that barbaric moment as we act out our Mleccha (barbarian) instincts. With firm action, the riots should have been stopped on day one. Instead, social media showed the police, the STF no less, laughing at one of the victims. more..