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Indonesia extends visa exemption facility to Lankan Passport holders

Mar 31 (ST) The Indonesian govt today introduced a visa-free facility to 169 countries including Sri Lanka under the new visa regulation. Indonesian President Joko Widodo has signed Presidential Regulation Number 21 of 2016 concerning Visit Visa Exemption on March 2. Passport holders of certain countries in the regulation are exempt for having a visa to enter Indonesia. The visa exemption valid only for 30 days, non-extendable or convertible into another kind of stay permit. more..

Japan, Korea, China keen on Sri Lanka-India economic pact

Mar 31 (EN) Countries like Japan, China and South Korea are keen on Sri Lanka signing an Economic and Technology Cooperative Agreement (ETCA) with India, State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe said. These advanced industrialised countries want to use Sri Lanka’s location and access to export products to the Indian market, he said. “Japan will make Sri Lanka a gateway to India,” Senasinghe said. Japan wants to export duty free to the Indian market using Sri Lanka’s preferential access more..

Responsibility on financial discipline & management shown practically: President

Mar 31 (PSL) President Sirisena says he has fulfilled his duties and responsibilities in an appropriate manner during the last one year period as the President when it comes to financial discipline and management of this country. “At present, I have taken steps to cut down the expenditures of the Presidential Secretariat by 60%,” President said, adding that he has never used charter flights for his foreign tours & he travelled by economy class more..

Cecille Kotelawala granted bail by High Court

Mar 31 (AD) Former Ceylinco Chairman Lalith Kotelawala’s wife Cecille Kotelawala, who was arrested and remanded in connection with the Golden Key case, was granted bail by the Colombo High Court today. She was ordered to be released on a cash bail of Rs 100,000 and two personal bails of Rs 1 million each. Cecille Kotelawala, who was a Director of the Golden Key Credit Card Company, had been evading courts and was arrested by immigration officials at the BIA more..

HSBC ceases its Primary Dealership

Mar 31 (ST) The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Ltd (HSBC) has withdrawn its Primary Dealership from tomorrow, a Central Bank press release said. “The general public is hereby informed that with effect from 01 April, 2016 The HSBC at 24, Sir Baron Jayathilaka Mawatha, Colombo 1, ceases to operate as a Primary Dealer. HSBC will, however, continue to function as a Dealer Direct Participant in scripless securities and transact in scripless securities on behalf of customers and more..

Laws to create office on missing persons by May – June

Mar 31 (CG) Laws to create a permanent office on missing persons is expected to be finalised by May or June this year, Minister Mangala Samaraweera said. Govt is working with the ICRC to create the office on missing persons. He assured that the Govt will take steps to ensure no one goes missing like they did during and soon after the war. A Task Force has been appointed to consult the families of the victims of the war when more..

I’ve never gone after anyone asking for IGP’s post: Police Chief

Mar 31 (DM) Amidst the intensifying competition for the post of IGP, outgoing Police Chief N.K. Illangakoon yesterday said that he had never gone behind others asking for the IGP post. He said in his 34 years in service, even when he was holding second position in the Police, had never gone after promotions or benefits and that those things came to him at the right time as he worked according to his conscience. “Even when I was the second in command of the police force, more..

Sri Lankan PM to visit China

Mar 31 (IANS) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe will pay an official visit to China from April 6 to 9 at the invitation of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, a foreign ministry spokesperson said. Chinese leaders will meet and hold talks with Wickremesinghe and exchange opinions on bilateral relations and issues of common concern, spokesperson Hong Lei said. "We commend the Sri Lankan govt's positive policies towards China and are ready to jointly consolidate the traditional friendship, more..

Colombo inflation accelerates 2% in March

Mar 31 (LBO) Consumer prices in Colombo has accelerated 2% in March 2016 from a year earlier, down from 2.7% in February 2016 with the inflation index dropping 1.1% in the month. Year on year inflation of Food Group has increased from 0.8% in February 2016 to 1.4% in March 2016 while Non]food Group decreased by 4.6% to 2.5% during this period. The CCPI for all items for the month of March 2016 was 181.7 recording more..

Court allows FCID to probe Gowers accounts

Mar 31 (DM) Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris today allowed the FCID to peruse the bank accounts of the Gowers Corporate (Pvt) Ltd and NR Consultations allegedly headed by MP Namal Rajapaksa. The order was given over a complaint lodged by the Voice Against Corruption (VAC) against MP Rajapaksa on money laundering charges. Lodging the complaint, JVP Provincial Councilor Wasantha Samarasinghe alleged that the Gowers Corporate (Pvt) Ltd. had purchased more..

45 liquor shops owned by politicians

Mar 31 (LT) Various govts that were in power since 1994 have issued 1098 liquor licenses and it is revealed that 45 of them have been reserved directly by senior politicians represented and representing Parliament. The list with names and addresses of politicians has been revealed and 13 of the 45 liquor licenses for politicians have been taken by 13 politicians representing Kurunegala District. Despite information revealing that 45 liquor shops are owned by politicians, more..

Sri Lankan in Bangladesh cyber heist says she was set up by friend

Mar 31 (Reuters) When Shalika Perera, a small Sri Lankan businesswoman, got a deposit of $20 million in her account last month, she said the funds were expected but had no idea they were stolen from Bangladesh's central bank in one of the largest cyber heists in history. Unknown hackers breached Bangladesh Bank's systems between Feb. 4 and Feb. 5 and tried to steal nearly $1 billion from its account at more..

India and SL signs MoU to gift 150 boats and fishing equipment to fishermen of Mullaithivu

Mar 31 (IHC) India and Sri Lanka today signed an MOU to supply 150 boats and fishing equipment to fishermen of Mullaithivu. The MoU was signed at the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development by Mr. Y.K. Sinha, High Commissioner of India and Ms. W.M.M.R. Adikari, Secretary, Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development. Hon. Mahinda Amaraweera, Hon'ble Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development presided over the ceremony. more..

CEB to buy power from ACE

Mar 31 (DM) CEB said it had decided to connect 100 MW to the national grid from the ACE Power Generation of Embilipitiya, which had been shut down due to the non renewal of tariff revisions. “Earlier the CEB had decided to shut down the ACE Power Generation in Matara and Embilipitiya (a subsidiary of Aitken Spence), which provided 20 MW and 100 MW due to non-renewal of the tariff revisions as well as the Heladhanavi Power Station in Puttalam,” CEB Media Spokesman said. more..

SriLankan Airlines seeks foreign partner

Mar 31 (AFP) Sri Lanka is seeking foreign assistance to rescue its loss-making national carrier, a minister said Thursday, after the govt announced the airline was unable to pay back nearly $1 billion in debt. The country cannot afford to bear SriLankan Airlines' losses of 128 billion Sri Lankan rupees ($872 million) on top of its massive debt, Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe said. The airline owes at least $933 million but more..