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Bandula wants true facts and figures of CB

Mar 7 (AD) Govt has lied to the international community on true facts and figures of the Central Bank, MP Bandula Gunawardena said. “SL’s gross official reserves were amounted to US$ 8.2 billion during our time. It has now been reduced to US$ 5.3 billion,” he said. He also went on to say the FCID has questioned some 667 businessmen since the new govt came in power. Under the circumstances, he pointed out the investors have found it uncomfortable to invest in SL any more. more..

Video: Carrots have been dangled

Mar 7 (DM) While questioning how the statements of the youth into the Rajagiriya accident were changed after four days later from the first statement, the Lawyers Collective member Namal Rajapaksha said some politicians have attempted to gain political mileage by bribing these youth. Writing to the Police Chief, Lawyer Rajapaksha requested a proper investigation into the discrepancy of the statements and more..

Call a Spade a Spade: Anarchy and Lawlessness

Mar 8 (CT) Minister Faizer Mustapha, at a media conference has admitted that the removal of the Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake from office was unlawful, but he along with the other Cabinet of Ministers of the Rajapakse govt were helpless, had no option but to agree with the Party Leader in approving the despicable act. The Minister pleads an apology from the people of Sri Lanka for the serious wrong committed by him to please the then Executive President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Two successive annual trade deficits exceeding US$8 billion weaken BOP

Mar 8 (ST) Trade deficits of over US$ 8 billion in 2014 and 2015 were primarily responsible for the current balance of payments difficulties. Despite the precipitous fall in oil prices and sharp decline in oil import expenditure last year, the trade deficit reached US$ 8.4 billion in 2015, exceeding the large trade deficit of US$ 8.3 billion in 2014. These large trade deficits eroded the country’s foreign exchange reserves to crisis proportions this year. Large trade deficit in 2015 was brought about by more..

Farmers go to town

Mar 8 (SO) When Nimal Gunadasa sat on a rattan chair surrounded by his children under the thatched roof of his mud house, he was hopeful that the Budget proposal presented by the new coalition govt would usher in some relief for him and his family. Perhaps he could finally start building a house or send his youngest son to school, neither of which he could do with his meagre income as a farmer. "I knew when the proposals were more..

Is ETCA good or bad for Sri Lanka?

Mar 8 (CT) It seems that the govt, at least Ranil’s faction in the govt, is desperate in signing the proposed Economic and Technology Corporation Agreement (ETCA) with India. Some people support it and some people oppose it. They have their own arguments either to support or to oppose it. Some are economic arguments and some are not. In this article, I intend to discuss only economic reasons as to why anybody must support or oppose to ETCA. Since, the ETCA is not finalized yet, more..

Editorial: Been there, seen that!

Feb 8 (Island) A sharp increase in underworld activities during the last few weeks has jolted the govt into action. The long arm of the law has gone into overdrive. An elaborate plan to combat crime has been unveiled. Several special police units have been set up to take on the netherworld of crime and narcotics, we are told. Been there, seen that! Govts have reacted in this manner for the last several decades to assuage people’s anger and ward off an adverse political fallout. more..

Give us govt jobs

Mar 8 (CT) Recently, the Police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse a protest organized by unemployed graduates. They were demanding jobs from the govt. They claimed that it is the responsibility of the govt to give them jobs. Media spokesman for Centre for Graduates, Anuruddha Wickremearachchi stressed that in 2012, graduates were recruited to the public service as development officers and since then more..

Dignity or Humiliation at the World T20?

Mar 8 (CT) SL's campaign for the Asia cup is done and dusted and sadly with nothing to write home about. Reigning champions have been dethroned and to an extent disgraced. Looking back the Sri Lankan's had just the game against the minnows UAE to show in terms of wins, though that too, could have very nearly been an embarrassment. The rest of the matches against the major teams in the region ended in rather comprehensive defeats for SL, who now has to do some serious rethinking. more..

Party is bigger than any individual

Mar 8 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena, who is also the Chairman of the SLFP, took two firm decisions last week disproving the charge that he was indecisive. He intervened in the fertilizer subsidy issue and ordered fixing of a price ceiling of Rs 2,500 per 50 kg bag of fertilizer. On the same day he appointed several SLFP organizers to replace a few members who openly challenged him. A political party, while maintaining a reasonable inner-party democracy, has to ensure that more..

Ranjan Ramanayake

When higher education turns into wrong highway

Mar 8 (ST) When the current govt assumed power in the name of the National Unity Govt last August, portfolios multiplied faster than rabbits. The numbers far exceeded what the public was made to expect. The reason for such liberal distribution of largesse was clear enough. The new President Maithripala Sirisena was trying to attract to his fold sections of the SLFP, especially those who were seen as supporters of former president Rajapaksa. If they were to jump ship – never mind loyalties more..

Addressing accountability

Feb 8 (Island) The current debate in the country is whether there should or should not be any foreign participation in the accountability processes and if there is to be foreign participation, to what degree it should be. The uncertainty as to the final outcome of the debate has caused the Security Forces to be understandably apprehensive. However, what needs to be appreciated is that accountability is only one facet of the entire reconciliation process. Issues such as the closure on missing persons, more..

Tuk Tuk graffiti and lessons for life

Feb 8 (CT) The road has become an idea collector and an ideology for many. I am a proud pedestrian and a passenger that endorses more on my journeys through the roads of Sri Lanka. I love to experience the beauty of nature and that of manmade constructions. Admiring vehicles and indulging in a few conversations always pay off at the end of the week. Roads can also provide us with lessons for life. more..

Sri Lanka Tourism to pump in Rs. 3.5 b for global marketing

Feb 8 (FT) In a mission to boost tourism earnings, the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau (SLTPB) confirmed that a total of Rs. 3.4 billion would be utilised for marketing activities in 2016. SLTPB Marketing Director Madubhani Perera said that this year the Sri Lankan brand image was set to get a boost with its first-ever digital marketing campaign which would be unveiled in potential source markets. “We are planning on spending Rs. 200 million on digital marketing and more..

Asia Cup debacle: Sri Lanka slumps from hero to zero in T20 rankings

Feb 8 (DN) Not so long ago Sri Lanka were enjoying top Twenty20 status as the world champions in that format and being number one in the ICC Twenty20 rankings. But over the last three months series defeats against New Zealand (0-2) and India (1-2) and following the Asia Cup debacle in Bangladesh where they won only one match (against UAE) out of four has seen Sri Lanka slump from number one slot in the ICC T20 rankings to a staggering eighth place days before the start of World Twenty20 more..

Lankan apparels enters 3D design platform

Feb 8 (DN) Leading provider of hi-tech solutions for the global textile industry has partnered with SL's apparel sector to upgrade the country's apparel designing to new levels-and the Lankan apparel industry has now entered 3D design realm for the first time. "With world class certifications we are now supplying to many global brands such as Victoria's Secret & Gap. Our apparel exports to USA has been growing by 6%" more..

Grown-up backpacking in breathtaking SL

Feb 8 (HP) Like many people I know, I travelled the world after graduating uni. I packed my bags, escaped the post study lull and set off on my adventures alone with a one-way ticket to Sydney and 15kg of luggage on my back. Nine months later, I'd worked in an outback pub in Australia, as a ranch hand in the middle of nowhere, visited some of Asia's most beautiful islands and put myself in some fairly questionable health and safety situations all in the name of good fun more..

GMOA vs ETCA: Sad state of professionals

Feb 8 (FT) The question is, have we lost it all? Going back a couple of decades ago people looked upon doctors as one of the most ethical and respected professionals as they were considered a rational, educated, reasonable and responsible section of the society who are considered doing a noble job for the country and its people. To be fair, today the majority are doing the same noble work, but the front-end voice they represent as doctors via GMOA has been hijacked and is driven by more..

Capital Gains Tax to hit CSE?

Feb 8 (FT) An already-dampened Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) could be severely hit if an unforeseen directive to impose the Capital Gains Tax is implemented by the Govt after a hiatus of 29 years. CSE Chairman Vajira Kulatilaka said that the perceived impact of capital gains tax after many years of absence would be far larger than the actual impact, likely resulting in a further decline of trading activities on Bourse. more..

SLT Campus signs a Letter of Intent with Texas Tech University

Feb 8 (DN) The Sri Lanka Technological Campus (SLTC), a fully owned subsidiary of Sri Lanka Telecom entered into a Letter of Intent (LoI) with Texas Tech University, USA. This initiative has been taken with the aim of helping to meet the national need for expanding the quality of higher education in Sri Lanka by conducting state-of-the-art undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes collaboratively with globally reputed and high-ranked universities. more..

Making a better place for her: Gender equality for sustainable development

Feb 8 (IPS) Recognizing women’s struggles, achievements, and contributions in many spheres, the International Women’s Day (IWD) is globally celebrated on 8th March each year. IWD first emerged from the activities of labour movements at the turn of the 20th century in North America and across Europe. This year, the UN celebrates IWD under the theme “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality”. The aim of the theme is to provide more emphasis on the 2030 Agenda more..

Army to take action against underworld activities

Feb 8 (DM) In the wake of increase in violent, Army is working out measures to crackdown underworld criminals in collaboration with the police, Military Spokesman Brigadier Jayanath Jayaweera said. The spokesman said the police would have to seek the military assistance when needed. President on Sunday said that he had instructed Police & Security Forces to take necessary actions to eliminate underworld activities. more..

7-year languish for buyers of Waters Edge villa plots

Feb 8 (FT) Over 50 buyers of Waters Edge villa plots have been languishing for the past seven years sans any compensation owing to the failure of the UDA to honour the Supreme Court ruling. The estimated total capital payment when the Supreme Court ruled in 2009 in favour of buyers was over Rs. 2 billion i.e. Rs. 44 million per plot. The Court also ruled payment of stamp duties and legal interest. Funds were to be credited to the Registrar of the Supreme Court. more..

Families demand release of fishermen detained in Lanka

Feb 8 (Hindu) Families and relatives of the 20 fishermen from Thoothukudi, who were arrested by SL navy personnel on a charge of trespassing into the waters of the island nation on Saturday, thronged the Collectorate here on Monday, seeking the intervention of the district administration to help secure the early release of the fishermen and their boats. They said that their livelihood would be at stake until the 20 fishermen were released from custody in Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka’s UNP and Communist Party of China to strengthen links

Feb 8 (LBO) Ruling UNP has initiated plans to deepen its relationships with the Communist Party of China (CPC), BoI statement said. Statement came after Chairman of UNP Minister Malik Samarawickrama and Minister Sagala Ratnayaka concluding a meeting with Minister and Vice Minister of the International Department of the CPC. Ministers have agreed to strengthen the links between their parties through bilateral more..

Islanders have fallen off the radar

Feb 8 (DH) When Sri Lanka finally ended their finals’ jinx by beating favourites India in the summit clash of the 2014 World T20 in Dhaka, they also climbed up the rankings to occupy the No 1 spot. Having lost four major finals before the event in Bangladesh -- two 50-over World Cup finals (2007 and 2011) and as many Wolrd T20 finals (2009 and 2013) – Sri Lanka finally bagged an ICC silverware in what was a perfect T20 send-off for two of their finest cricketing ambassadors – Mahela & Sanga. more..

Chaos at SLC over selection policy

Feb 8 (DN) On the eve of the SL cricket team's departure to the ICC World Twenty20 in India tonight mayhem and confusion over selection differences has arisen between Sri Lanka Cricket administrators and the current national selectors. There was further speculation that the Sports Minister has changed the current set of selectors and a new selection committee has been appointed yesterday night to make whatever changes that needs to be done to the already picked squad of 15. more..

CHRI calls for RTI Bill loopholes to be fixed

Feb 8 (FT) Ahead of tabling of Right to Information (RTI) Bill in Parliament today, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) sent a letter to PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to raise their concerns over clauses in the Bill’s draft and to appeal for its release into the public domain. “We urge you to take steps immediately to open up a consultative process through which Parliament may receive comments and suggestions from the people about what more..

Dairy farming the Sri Lankan way

Feb 8 (Stuff) West Otago dairy farmer Marloes Levelink is looking forward to sharing her knowledge with Sri Lankan dairy farmers. Levelink is one of four New Zealand dairy farmers who will travel to Sri Lanka in late May as part of dairy giant Fonterra's new volunteer farmer scheme. "It is a great opportunity for knowledge exchange between farmers from different parts of the world. "This will be farmer to farmer in Sri Lanka, but I hope as volunteers we can also share more..

Indian HC’s remarks: Opposition, govt blamed for pusillanimity

Feb 8 (Island) Federation of National Organisations Chairman Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekera flayed the govt for being meek and submissive vis-a-vis Indian High Commissioner to SL Y.K. Sinha’s disparaging remarks about former Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris. he said, "Govt should have demanded the recall of the Indian High Commissioner after declaring him persona non grata due to his derogatory remarks but such bold action could not be expected of a govt subservient to New Delhi. more..

LRDC launches inquiry into Independence Square couple evictions

Feb 8 (DN) Security provider for Independence Square, Colombo 7, the Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation (LRDC) said it has launched an internal inquiry into the recent couple eviction incident at Independence Square. Incident sparked public protests at the Independence Square premises on Monday against LRDC security officers. They recently removed a seated couple at more..

Child likely to be admitted to Ananda

Feb 8 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has directed the Education Ministry to make sure that the child, who was denied school admission after rumours that he had contracted HIV, to be admitted to either Ananda Collge in Colombo or Kingswood College in Kandy. PM had made given this direction in the wake of an offer made by the Ananda College Principal to admit the child to that school. Daily Mirror learns that MP and Prof. Asu Bodaha Marasinghe had conveyed the information to more..

Cell phone jammers

Feb 8 (CT) Prisons Department has decided to set up Cell phone jammers in all prisons countrywide which could thwart or hinder secret cell phone conversations among inmates, suspects and those outside. Department had sorted out technical glitches evident in such jammers which were set up in certain prisons in Colombo in the recent past before deciding to set up a new set of Cell phone jammers that could block such conversations among inmates, suspects and those outside. more..

Rajagiriya mishap: Police to question Champika last

Feb 8 (Island) Minister Patali Champika would be questioned last over the jeep-motorcycle mishap that occurred at Rajagiriya on Sunday night (28), in which two youth received injuries, one seriously, SDIG, Pujith Jayasundara said. He said the investigation in that regard was being conducted by a special police unit under his supervision. Asked why the police could not question minister after two sworn affidavits more..

Damayanthi Jayaratne’s computer details obtained

Feb 8 (DN) The PRECIFAC obtained a data report of the computer used by Defence Ministry former Additional Secretary Damanyanthi Jayaratne. Senior State Counsel Janaka Bandara has obtained the report by sending the computer to the Colombo University’s Institute of Computer Studies director, Prof. Gihan Wickremenayake. Commission is conducting investigations into several acts of alleged fraud, corruption, abuse of power and state resources involving Jayaratne who has gone more..

Jt. Opposition urged to oppose constitution making process

Feb 8 (Island) Federation of national Organisations yesterday said the Joint Opposition should oppose the govt efforts to make a new Constitution at the behest of the US and its alles. Chairman of the Federation, Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekera, addressing the media at Dr. N. M. Perera Centre, said the govt was in a hurry to introduce a new Constitution to appease the West. He called upon the Joint Opposition members not to be a party to the Constitution making process. more..

SLC sacks selectors; Sanga in new Committee

Feb 8 (DM) Sri Lanka’s team for the T20 World Cup was shrouded in uncertainty just a day before it was to leave for India after the committee of selectors was unexpectedly disbanded for not complying with SLC’s selection policy, and new members appointed. New committee comprising Aravinda de Silva, Romesh Kaluwitharana, Ranjith Madurusinghe and Lalith Kaluperuma were sitting till late night to finalize the 15-man squad more..

She-roes, arise and fight for equal rights

Feb 8 (DM) Maya Angelou, an American poet, memoirist, actress and an important figure in the American Civil Rights Movement has said it is important for the world to recognize and celebrate not only its heroes but also its she-roes. Maya Angelou’s magnum opus, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” was nominated for the National Book Award in 1969 while in 2001 she was named by the Ladies Home Journal as one of the 30 most powerful women in America. more..

SEX is a dirty word Yes or No ?

Feb 8 (DM) Victor Ivan is right to pointing out to different sexual norms which existed in Sri Lanka at the time of Robert Knox. But such comparisons could be misleading. For example, while it is true that low-caste women went about bare breasted well into the 19th century, there is nothing laudable about this tradition. It was imposed upon them by a rigid, unforgiving social hierarchy. It was a humiliating condition they were born into by feudal law. Such customs still occur with some tribes in Africa more..