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Liquor and women: Prez overrules Mangala

Jan 15 (Island) President Maithiripala Sirisena said he had ordered the reversal of a Finance Ministry decision to extend the business hours of liquor shops and bars and remove restrictions on the employment female workers in places where liquor is manufactured or sol as well as the sale of liquor to women. President said that the Finance Minister circular would be withdrawn with effect from today. more..

Pakistani army chief to visit Sri Lanka

Jan 15 (Xinhua) Pakistani Army Commander Qamar Bajwa will visit Sri Lanka from Jan 15 to 17 at the invitation of his SL counterpart Mahesh Senanayake, a statement from the Pakistani High Commission in SL said. During the visit, Bajwa will hold talks on matters of professional interests with Senanayake, the statement said. Bajwa will also call on President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremasinghe to discuss issues of regional security and matters of mutual interest, more..

SL to build Rs19.6bn tower for govt offices

Jan 15 (EN) Sri Lanka is starting to build a 25 floor tower, at a cost of 19.6 billion rupees at the main office complex in the administrative capita Sri Jayawardenepura, where the piling contract has just been awarded. The cabinet of ministers had approved a proposal by Megapolis Minister Champika Ranawaka to award of a piling foundation of the tower to San Piling Pvt Ltd for 1,155 million rupees. The tower will be located at the Sethsiripaya administrative complex in Battaramulla. more..

President’s term is only five years: SC

Jan 15 (DM) Supreme Court has communicated to the Presidential Secretariat that President Maithripala Sirisena’s term was only five years, it is learnt. Last week the President had made a reference to the Supreme Court seeking its opinion whether he could serve up to six years. The five-member bench of the Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that the President’s term was restricted only to five years. more..

Not interested in becoming SriLankan Chairman: Thilan

Jan 15 (ST) National Agency for PPP, Chairman/Acting CEO Thilan Wijesinghe drawing reference to the Sunday Times news item, last week, has sent the following response. “I wish to respond to the article speculating that I am in the running for Chairman of SriLankan Airlines by stating that I have no interest whatsoever in taking on this role. As Chairman of the National Agency for PPP and convener/member of the Officials Committee on Restructuring SriLankan more..

No confidence motion to be presented against Speaker

Jan 15 (SL) The joint opposition is to submit a no-confidence motion against the Speaker of Parliament, Karu Jayasuriya. JO MP Prasanna Ranatunga said that points to be included in the no-confidence motion are still being discussed by the joint opposition. Ranatunga said that the Speaker of Parliament is expected to be independent yet Jayasuriya is seen as being partial. He said that a final decision has not yet been taken on when to submit the no-confidence motion. more..

Central Bank reforms: PM seeks IMF support

Jan 15 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has sought the support of the IMF to make the much needed legal and structural changes in the Central Bank to combat fraud and corruption, Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha De Silva said. A meeting was held on Saturday in this regard where PM requested for assistance from IMF Country Representative Dr. Eteri Kvintradze given the close working relationship between IMF & CB. more..

Compensation for houses damaged by gale

Jan 15 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has instructed the Home Affairs Ministry to commence provision of compensation to those affected by the gale force winds in Divulapitiya area from today (15). DMC Media spokesperson Ravi Jayaratne said that measures have been taken to hand over an advance out of the total full compensation to the residents of every affected house. “Total amount will be provided after completion of the preparations of relevant evaluations by the district secretariat,” more..

Quarrel with squatters: Tight security around Russian embassy

Jan 15 (ST) Security around the Russian embassy in Colombo has been tightened after some youths in the neighbourhood pelted stones at the mission following a dispute over a cricket ball. Police Diplomatic Security Division Chief G.K.J. Aponso said that the embassy staff had informed the Cinnamon Gardens Police on Thursday soon after the incident and a police team was sent to the area. Stoning incident had taken place after the youth playing cricket in the area were drawn into more..

Bond Scam: Ex-CB Chief calls for action against culprits

Jan 15 (Island) Former CB Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said the govt owed an explanation to the country as to why action hadn’t been taken against any of one of those named in the PCoI report on treasury bond scams of 2015 and 2016. Pointing out that the report containing the findings and the recommendations had been handed over to Prez Sirisena on Dec 30, 2017, Cabraal emphasized that there couldn’t be any justification more..

Sushma, Mangala meet in New Delhi

Jan 15 (Island) Minister Mangala Samaraweera called on Indian Minister of External Affairs of India, Sushma Swaraj at the Jawaharlal Nehru Bhawan in New Delhi on Saturday, Ministry said adding that the two Ministers discussed issues of development cooperation between the two countries. He also called on Arun Jaitley, Minister of Finance of India in New Delhi on the same day. The Ministers reviewed the present status of ongoing economic projects between the two countries. more..

'Fake media will learn a lesson on Feb 10'

Jan 15 (DM) Certain media institutes were fabricating fake news and they would learn an unforgettable lesson after the Feb 10 elections, UNP MP Minister Lakshman Kiriella said at a UNP meeting. “The UNP cannot be defeated by false propaganda and our victory of the election will prove it,” he said. “President Donald Trump could win the election despite false propaganda campaign carried out by 99% of American media. But Donald Trump explained to people about false propaganda more..

Scam?: Cabinet facing rights petition over tender procedure violation charge

Jan 15 (Island) Senok Trade Combines has filed a fundamental rights petition in the SC against the Cabinet, Minister of Power & Renewable Energy and several public entities over the alleged non-granting of a tender to the company, amounting to Rs. 3 bil, in violation of the established tender procedure, for the purpose of installing 50 power generation sets in the country. "Despite our company being the most suitable more..

Shiva Sunbeam found in Lanka: 248th butterfly species in country

Jan 15 (CT) Shiva Sunbeam (Curetissiva), a species hitherto unrecorded in SL but found in India, has been recently discovered by butterfly expert Dr. Michael Van der Poorten. Although earlier misidentified as a seasonal form of another butterfly, the Indian Sunbeam (Curetisthetis), Dr. Van der Poorten has now confirmed the existence of the species, Shiva Sunbeam (Curetissiva), in SL as well. The adult butterfly can be seen in the canopy of trees in the wet zone forests more..

CA Sri Lanka scholarships for top three A/L commerce achievers

Jan 15 (Island) The top three achievers in the commerce stream at the 2017 GCE A/L exam were recently awarded with scholarships from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of SL (CA Sri Lanka) to kick start their professional journey as globally sought after Chartered Accountants. CA Sri Lanka scholarships were presented to the island’s first in the commerce stream Ms. Dulani Rasanthika of Sujatha Balika Vidyalaya, Matara, island second Ms. Kaushalya Dabare of Musaeus College, more..

CMPort pays second tranche of US$97.3 mn in H’tota Port investment

Jan 15 (DN) China Merchant Port Holdings (CMPort) made the payment of US$ 97.365 million to SLPA as the second tranche of its investment in the PPP. The payment, recently in January, takes the total paid by CMPort to date to US$ 389.462 million. “CMPort is one of the most successful global companies in the ports sector, and their investment in the Port of Hambantota can be described as a credible vote of confidence more..

SLT to issue LKR 5 Billion Debentures

Jan 15 (Island) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) announced that the directors of the company have resolved to issue LKR 5 billion listed debentures with a green shoe option for a further LKR 2 billion, subject to regulatory approval. SLT is a listed company on the CSE and has positioned itself as the preferred digital lifestyle provider (DLP), providing a wider range of services such as voice, data, internet, global connectivity, television, education and other related services to the nation. more..

Gammanpila's Rs. 21 m case fixed for Jan 16

Jan 15 (DN) Further trial into a case filed against PHU leader MP Udaya Gammanpila and another accused for allegedly misappropriating Rs. 21 million following their alleged fraudulent share transaction that took place in 2000 was yesterday fixed for January 16 by the Colombo High Court. Australian businessman Brian Shaddick, 74, a key witness in the alleged financial fraud case, was cross-examined by defence counsel. The witness is to be further cross-examined on next trial day. more..

Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Zim seek to rebuild in tri-nation clash

Jan 15 (AFP) Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe all have a point to prove when they battle each other in a tri-nation one-day tournament in Dhaka from Monday. The home nation, without a coach, are licking their wounds from a disastrous tour of South Africa. Sri Lanka have just had their worst year in international cricket. And Zimbabwe are on edge after a thrashing by the Proteas that blunted their run-up to a crucial World Cup more..

Pohottuwa operations turn fractious as polls race heats up

Jan 15 (SO) The SLPP which is contesting under the Pohottuwa or lotus bud symbol is viewed as having broad support from former President Rajapaksa and his extended family, which ruled Sri Lanka for nearly a decade. However, in recent weeks, rifts have emerged within the brand new political party, with disgruntled insiders claiming that the Rajapaksas were using the SLPP as a political vehicle, even though none of the family members were willing to officially take membership. more..

Taking Parliament for a ride?

Jan 15 (Island) In a way, it is the reverse of having the cake and eating it too. By calling a special session to discuss the CB bonds scam probe report, and not making the report available to members, the Got seems to have pulled a fast one on not just the political Opposition of whatever kind, but on the nation and the collective intelligence of the people and institutions, alike and together. It was but natural for any Opposition in the place of the JO and the JVP to have demanded more..

Hathurusingha plays it cool on Mirpur return

Jan 15 (CI) The teams set to start the tri-series on Monday are B'desh and Zimbabwe but much of the focus at Shere Bangla Stadium on Sunday was on Chandika Hathurusingha who returned to Mirpur after his acrimonious exit as Bangladesh coach last year. In SL camp now, Hathurusingha was speaking publicly in Bangladesh for the first time since he quit as their coach and there were bound to be questions about that. more..

No Test vacancies for Asela & Kaushal

Jan 15 (ST) Seamer Suranga Lakmal was yesterday named the vice-captain of the Test side for the two-match series against Bangladesh later this month. Lakmal 30, has been Sri Lanka leading fast bowler in Test cricket in recent months. In 42 Tests, he has taken 96 Test wickets at 44.94 with a best of 5 for 63. The 16-man squad announced yesterday also see the return of top-order bat Kusal Mendis, seamer Lahiru Kumara and the inclusion of uncapped wrist-spinner Akila Dananjaya. more..

SL- Japan negotiations on Ceylon Tea

Jan 15 (ST) Sri Lankan authorities are negotiating with the Japanese authorities to resolve concerns regarding the residue levels of pesticide found in Ceylon Tea. Japan has introduced a set of revised regulations impacting on Ceylon Tea as well since the authorities have requested that residue levels of certain types of weedicides need to be at very low levels. During the recent visit of Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono to the country, Minister Navin Dissanayake had requested more..

Vertical limit: Engineering students on a winter expedition to Everest

Jan 15 (Island) His jacket caught the wind from the jet stream and literally lifted him off the knife-edge ridge on which he was hiking. Although the wind kicked dust blinded Eshan momentarily he had the presence of mind to drive his ice axe into the ground and break his speed simultaneously with his stick. He was forced to wait out the jet stream while his fellow team mates, scared out of their wits, scoured the ridge looking for Eshan. more..

Carrom: Nishantha and Chalani Lakmali crowned Champs

Jan 15 (ST) Nishantha Fernando and Chalani Lakmali proved they had not lost their touch after a long lay off, by clinching the Men’s and Women’s titles at the pre-national Carrom Championships at Kohuwela. Both Slicers exhibited a high standard when they won the championships without much difficulty, defeating their opponents 2-0 in the finals. Open Carrom C’ship was conducted only in two categories in Men’s Singles and Women’s Singles events. Chamil Cooray heads Slams table more..

Sirisena, too, struck down by the tail-end presidential virus

Jan 15 (ST) It’s a malady which has struck two presidents when they approached the tail end of their elected tenures to that high office. Chandrika got it good and well and tried to extend her term by a year. Mahinda got a severe attack when he tried not merely to extend it by a year but moved heaven and earth and the constitution to repeal the two-term presidential limit and rule forever — though the people politely showed him the door when he tried to go for thirds. more..

Anura Kumara Disanayaike

Editorial: Thus spake a true leader

Jan 15 (Island) It is seldom that we hear a true leader speak. The country is not short of self-conceited grandees who, pretending to be leaders, nay, demiurges, talk a blue streak, pontificating on ethics and morals ad nauseam. With LG elections around the corner, these holier-than-thou worthies of all political stripes are heard talking the hind legs off a donkey in a bid to dupe the public into voting for their parties which, rotten to the core, reek of corruption & numerous other transgressions. more..

A parliamentary circus side-show and the law

Jan 15 (ST) Could right-thinking people of Sri Lanka be blamed for asking themselves as to whether no one will rid us of these troublesome politicians following this week’s depraved fisticuffs on the floor of the House? Is this where the Sovereignty of the People resides, as mandated by Articles 3 and 4 of the Constitution? As national legislators assaulted each other, (some unpardonably boasting about this later) and shouted obscenities with others fainting in the well of the House, more..

'Division in SLFP main reason for UNP victory'

Jan 15 (CT) UNP MP Harshana Rajakaruna says, "the division in the SLFP today will be the main reason for our victory." Q: How does UNP get ready for the election, from Gampaha District? A: We have, by now, finished a good part of the reorganization activities of the party and have selected the candidates. Quite significantly not even one of the UNP's nominations, in the whole of SL, was rejected. We are now campaigning for more..

Neither principle nor law in our politics: A plea to the Police & the AG

Jan 15 (CT) Note: Constitution, §104B(2): ”It shall be the duty of the [Election] Commission to secure the enforcement of all laws relating to the holding of [Elections].” This article is an attempt to secure that enforcement. The reputation of the police is at a low ebb – with viral videos of the IGP assaulting a person, an SSP convicted of murder, a former DIG implicated in the Jaffna school girl’s rape and widespread testimony of bribery on the highways. Election officials on duty who were assaulted more..

Fear reigned then; Freedom reigns now

Jan 15 (SO) Last week marked the ninth death anniversary of Lasantha Wickrematunge, the editor of The Sunday Leader who was brutally assassinated at Attidiya, as he drove to work. Co-incidentally, last week also marked the third anniversary of President Sirisena assuming office as President. The latter has become a trigger for the evaluation of the President’s first three years in office. Fuelled by the upcoming LG elections, there has been a generous glut of govt bashing, more..

Customs focused on achieving targets

Jan 15 (SO) Director General, SL Customs Mrs. P.M.S. Charles is a veteran civil servant who was Govt Agent for Vavuniya and Batticaloa successively for nine and a half years, having played a significant role in successfully implementing the govt’s development programs, resettling war-displaced families and addressing the multifarious problems and miseries of the people of the war-ravaged districts. more..

The bond saga, According to PM

Jan 15 (CT) If the Island report is a verbatim account of what Ranil said in Parliament, it deserves careful annotation. I have therefore, as I did with Ranil’s ridiculous answers to the Bond Commission, noted in bold letters what he really meant when he came out with the dubious statements that the Island reports. It's sad that, when parliament was convened to discuss the report of PCoI on the bond scam, Speaker should have allowed Ranil the chance to try once again to draw red herrings. more..

Play the devil, with the bottle

Jan 15 (SO) Aise, Desmond De Silva must be putting a good shot cheering our Paradisians, no. Siripala doesn’t think he had any idea that one day his Sumihiri Paaney would actually be as Sumihiri as it sounds today, isn’t it?. What men, even in this country, no one goes to the bar at 9 in the morning, and who else except one of these ruffians is able to get a bottle before 9, ah?. Nonsense, no. But we put up with nonsense, where other civilized countries slowly do away with nonsense. more..

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