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Sri Lankans want to work abroad while foreigners work in Sri Lanka: Harin

Feb 5 (Island) Foreign nationals are working in Sri Lanka in various projects and institutions and Sri Lankans want to work outside their home country with women, children and families left behind, Minister Harin Fernando said addressing an event where his ministry launched a national media campaign to promote safe and beneficial labour migration. He was mainly referring to hundreds of jobs in the construction sector which are filled by foreign nationals dominated by Chinese more..

SL draws record $ 2.3 b FDI in 2018, eyes $ 3 b this year despite political challenges: Malik

Feb 5 (FT) Despite political challenges, Sri Lanka has drawn the highest ever Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) worth $ 2.3 billion last year, prompting Minister Malik Samarawickrama to be optimistic of increasing it to $ 3 billion this year. The 2018 achievement and forecast for 2019 was revealed by the Minister when he spoke at the launch of a Rs. 30 billion mixed development project in Battaramaulla by the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development on Friday as a PPP more..

CEB drops out of Swiss Challenge proposal for FSRU

Feb 5 (CT) Aggravating the energy crisis, the members of the CEB have quit the Project Committee, which had been appointed to establish a Floating Storage Re-gasification Unit (FSRU) to import Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) to SL, according to the Swiss Challenge system, by a Korean Company. CEB has refused to agree to what it sees as unfavourable conditions extremely harmful to SL, which the Korean Company had submitted. more..

Ferris wheel collapses at theme park: woman killed, daughter injured

Feb 5 (DM) A 47-year-old woman has been killed and her daughter critically injured when a Ferris wheel at a private theme park at Naiwala in Veyangoda collapsed this morning, the police said. They said a bucket of the Ferris wheel had collapsed around 11.00 a.m today while they were riding on it. The injured were admitted to the Gampaha Hospital where the mother died on admission. The daughter, who was in critical condition, was transferred to the Colombo National Hospital. more..

US says eager to build on partnership with Sri Lanka

Feb 5 (FT) The United States has said it remains eager to build on the partnership with Sri Lanka and advance shared interests in the Indo-Pacific region, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said in a message on the occasion of Sri Lanka’s National Day. Extending wishes for peace and happiness in the year ahead, Secretary Pompeo said the US is looking forward to working together to further deepen the ties between the two nations. Full text of Secretary Pompeo’s message: more..

Customs work-to-rule campaign: TUs hopeful of cabinet decision today

Feb 5 (DM) Customs’ work-to-rule reached its seventh day today as attempts to meet PM failed last evening. Union leaders, however, remained hopeful of a solution after today’s Cabinet meeting. If not, they would seek Prez Sirisena's intervention as a last resort. The indefinite work-to-rule launched over the replacement of Customs Director General Ms. P S M Charles with a retired Navy officer currently more..

SLMC undecided on National Govt

Feb 5 (NR) SLMC says it has received an invitation from the UNP to form a national govt. SLMC MP Seyed Moulana said the SLMC has not made a final decision on being party to a national govt. MP said SLMC high command is expected to convene under the auspices of party leader Minister Rauff Hakeem to discuss the matter tomorrow. Last week, Minister Lakshman Kiriella handed over a resolution to the Secretary-General of Parliament in a bid to obtain approval to form a national govt. more..

I was not recalled, I resigned: ASP Liyanage

Feb 5 (DM) SL Ambassador to Qatar A.S.P. Liyanage denied reports of being recalled by Prez Sirisena, claiming instead that he had resigned. “I sent my resignation letter, and the president accepted it. But I wasn't recalled. I prefer to return to Sri Lanka as soon as I finish my official commitments as a diplomat,” Mr. Liyanage said. He added that he had requested the President to relieve him of his position as he wanted to be of service in Sri Lanka and nowhere else in the world. more..

Prez opposes moves to form national govt

Feb 5 (Island) President Sirisena, addressing the Independence Day Ceremony, said he was opposed to the efforts being made by the UNP to form a national govt. "How ethical is it to establish a national govt by enlisting the support of a single MP? I am opposed to this proposal. The people don’t want more ministers and the only reason why some want to establish a national govt is to increase number of ministers." more..

Joseph, Kavinda in verbal spat in Ja-ela

Feb 5 (DM) UNP MP Dr. Kavinda Jayawardene and former Speaker Joseph Michael Perera who is also an UNP organizer, engaged in a verbal clash at a function held in a church recently. The clash erupted when Mr. Perera protested against the omission of his name in the plaque and on the banners led to the verbal spat. Mr. Perera told Daily Mirror that the foundation stone for a new Sunday school building is to be constructed using the Housing Ministry funds. “I was invited to the ceremony by more..

Container Transporters and Wharf Clerks to join

Feb 5 (CT) The Container Transporters’ Union and Wharf Clerks yesterday decided to support the trade union action of the Customs Trade Unions by boycotting work today. Customs Trade Unions commenced a work-to-rule action on 29 Jan against the proposed appointment of a retired Navy officer to replace the former Customs Director General P.S.M. Charles. Meanwhile, the Essential Food Commodities Importers and Traders Association will also close their shops in Pettah today, more..

Appropriation Bill to be presented today: Defence gets the lion’s share

Feb 5 (Island) The estimated govt expenditure for 2019 is Rs. 2,312 billion according to the appropriation bill to be presented in Parliament today by the Finance Minister. Usually, the Finance Minister tables the appropriation bill in Parliament a month ahead of the budget speech. The highest allocation of Rs. 390.3 billion is for the defence ministry, followed by Rs. 290.2 billion for Ministry of Internal & Home Affairs and PCs/LG. more..

Good, bad and complacency

Feb 5 (DM) As SL celebrated her 71st anniversary of independence, there are two competing schools of thought that take stock of the performance of the foregone period. One is blinded by a heavy dose of patriotism, and the other, by an overdose of bitterness and acrimony. The former selectively crows about accomplishments, especially in the broader area of social justice at the same time, glossing over the manifest underachievement in a much larger area, primarily of the economy more..

A postscript on the National Freedom Day Let me stretch my legs

Feb 5 (DM) The opening is hackneyed but yet holds. “Your liberty ends where my nose begins.”- a phrase wrongly attributed to many but was attributed to US Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. who said: “Your Liberty To Swing Your Fist Ends Just Where My Nose Begins.” When it comes to Sri Lanka, too many global powers want to go beyond her nose. Sri Lanka’s location on the map places it in a perilous position of balancing in global geopolitical power plays. more..

Mix-up over Maldivian leader’s visit to Sri Lanka

Feb 5 (ST) Confusion marred efforts to invite Maldivian President Ibrahim Solih for Independence Day celebrations, with the Foreign Ministry having to be apprised by a govt high-up on the protocol to be followed. Foreign Ministry has initially prepared to invite the Maldivian leader as the Chief Guest for the occasion, but after being apprised that foreign invitees are invited to be the Guest of Honour on such occasions, more..

Why Sri Lankan food is one of the healthiest ways of eating

Feb 5 (GN) In December, Michelle Silva returned to Sri Lanka to further her understanding of the country’s cuisine. The Dubai-based Indian expat took a shine to the country’s food when she first visited several years ago. “With the multitude of greens, vegetables, lentils, cashew nuts and coconut milk, Sri Lankan food is convenient for vegetarians and vegans, particularly as you go inland from the coast,” she tells GN Focus. more..

Animal activists urge: Pass Animal Welfare bill now

Feb 5 (CT) Protests and agitations by groups of Animal Welfare Activists a few weeks ago has resulted in the Animal Welfare Bill being sent to the Livestock Development Ministry for the Minister’s suggestions after being stuck at the Attorney General’s (AG’s) Department for more than eight months. But ironically the AG’s Department to date has not given an explanation as to why they sat on this Bill for so long. more..

Sri Lanka hikes maize taxes, no plans yet to expand import quota

Feb 5 (EN) Sri Lanka has no plans yet to expand an import quota for maize based on current reports of crop damage by an infestation of the Fall Armyworms, while officials said import duties are being hiked. Agricultural Minister P Harrison was quoted as saying that maize import taxes would be hiked to help local farmers. An existing 10 rupee per kilogram tax would be raised to 20 rupees. The gazette was to be effective from Sunday. more..

Work on construction of road through Sinharaja on track

Feb 5 (Island) The govt is attempting to recommence the construction of a road close to Sinharaja Forest, which was launched during the Mahinda Rajapaksa govt, environmentalists allege. Ven. Vekandawala Rahula Thero of Sinharajaya Surakina Janatha Pawra (Peoples Wall to Protect Sinharaja) said that the govt had started the construction of a 10-foot road close to the Kudawa office of the Forest Conservation Dept office. more..

PLT Chairman Geoffrey Aloysius permitted to travel to India

Feb 5 (AD) The motion submitted by the Chairman of Perpetual Treasuries Limited (PTL) Geoffrey Aloysius, seeking the court to temporarily lift of overseas travel ban imposed on him, was taken up before the Colombo Magistrate’s Court this morning. Accordingly, the Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne has rejected the motion of Geoffrey Aloysius requesting permission to travel to Singapore. more..

Gamini Senarath withdraws appeal challenging Special HC verdicts

Feb 5 (AD) Fmr. President’s Chief of Staff Gamini Senarath and the three defendants of the Litro Gas funds misappropriation case have withdrawn the appeal challenging two verdicts of the Permanent High Court of Trial-at-Bar. The petition was taken up before the five-judge bench consisting of SC Justices Buwaneka Aluwihare, Sisira de Abrew, Piyantha Jayawardena, L.T.B. Dehideniya & Murdu Fernando this morning. more..

Video: Action against MPs if vote for national govt: SLFP

Feb 5 (AD) Disciplinary action will be taken against any SLFP MPs who vote in favour of a new National Govt, SLFP General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekara said. The govt on Friday sought the consent of the Speaker of Parliament to form a national govt, a move seen as a step to get a majority in the 225-member House. According to reports, UNP plans to set up a national govt by entering into a pact with the solitary member more..

Wage hike at taxpayer’s expense!

Feb 5 (Island) The 1000 Movement, a collective of unions and grassroots activists who are keen on increasing the daily basic salary of an estate worker to Rs. 1,000, alleged that UNP & JVP were trying to grant the workers a wage hike at the expense of the taxpayer. Chinthaka Rajapakshe, Moderator of the Movement for Land and Agricultural Reform (MONLAR) said they had held protests in 13 locations in tea growing areas. more..

Makandure Madush arrested in Dubai

Feb 5 (AD) Notorious SL underworld kingpin Makandure Madush, several other prominent underworld figures and a popular SL singer are among 25 suspects arrested during a joint operation in Dubai, sources said. The suspects were reportedly arrested at a hotel in Dubai in a joint operations carried out by law enforcement officers from both Sri Lanka and Dubai. The prominent underworld figures known by more..

Flying & Crying…

Feb 5 (CT) SriLankan Airlines, flag carrier of SL is in dire jeopardy. With massive losses and irregularities currently uncovered by COPE and PCol, the airline is accused of being a den of thieves and a bungling institution rife with corruption putting a strain on the nation’s coffers. However, revelations of SriLankan’s million dollar losses are making policymakers rethink on how the airline is to move forward. Actions such as reboot and strategic partnerships are currently being considered as more..

Good governance & economic development

Feb 5 (FT) The rationale of economic policy governance could be explained by drawing on the viewpoints expressed by French economist, philosopher and legislator Frédéric Bastiat in two of his publications, one in 1848 and the other in 1850. In the first publication, Selected Essays in Political Economy, Bastiat has distinguished between a bad economist and a good economist. A bad economist would see only what is seen at the moment and upholds a policy if it contains, more..

රේගුවේ ප්රශ්නවලට මුල එක් අමාත්යවරයෙකුගේ...

Qatar Ambassador deprives Lankan kids from sitting their school exams

Feb 5 (CT) Scores of children of Stafford SL School Doha were deprived from sitting for the first semester examinations recently, as Ambassador A.S.P Liyanage ordered the school authorities to not permit those from doing so, as they had not paid their school fees. The school authorities under the orders of Ambassador Liyanage had then rounded up all the children who could not sit their exams into a classroom and had proceeded to further ridicule them by filming them off their mobile phones. more..

Mangala continues MR’s ugly practice: Gives journalists Rs 5 Million worth loans

Feb 5 (CT) Resembling the previous govt’s move to grant interest-free car loans and laptops to journalists, Finance and Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera‘s has also allocated Rs. 5 million for journalists loans under the ‘Enterprise Sri Lanka’ programme fueling suspicion whether the government is attempting to bribe the local media. The state-sponsored credit programme, initiated by Samaraweera last year, was aimed at entrepreneurs and small and media enterprises. more..

Sweeping changes likely to SL Cricket team before South African tour

Feb 5 (CT) SL Cricket team, which suffered a spate of humiliating losses in the recent past, is expected to undergo a major overhaul before the South African tournament starting next week. SL’s Head Coach Chandika Hathurusinghe, Captain Dinesh Chandimal and several other players are likely to be sacked before the South African tour, sources close to Sports Minister Harin Fernando said. more..

Ravi vs Mangala: I'm against the removal of customs DG: Ravi

Feb 5 (DM) Power, Energy and Business Development Minister Ravi Karunanayake said that he was against the removal of Director General of the Customs Department Ms P.S.M. Charles. He said that he knows what lies behind replacing the customs DG. But as long as the subject does not come under my purview, exposing before the media is unethical, he said. However, a discussion would be held during the cabinet meeting this evening regarding the custom’s issue, minister said. more..

Six arrested over fatal accident at theme park remanded

Feb 5 (AD) Six individuals, arrested over the fatal accident at a theme park in Naiwala, Veyangoda in which a mother and daughter were killed, have been ordered to be remanded until the 13th of Feb. The suspects were produced before the Attanagalla Magistrate’s Court today. A 13-year-old girl and her mother had met with an accident the while being on a ride of a rotating ‘Octopus’ carousel yesterday. The compartment which they had been riding in had suddenly collapsed and the mother, aged 40, more..

Extensive involvement of citizens inevitable: Victor Ivan in Jaffna

Feb 5 (CT) Veteran journalist and former editor of Ravaya, Victor Ivan suggested that the modern democratic method for citizens to form their advocacy organisations to offer draft proposals and run signature campaigns to pressure Parliament to bringing out a new Constitution suitable for the country. Commenting further on this unique approach Victor Ivan pointed out that the countries such as Brazil, South Africa, Kenya more..

STF chief Senior DIG Latiff gets one-year service extension

Feb 5 (AD) The Cabinet of Ministers have approved President Maithripala Sirisena’s proposal to grant a one-year service extension to the Commandant of the STF Senior DIG M.R. Latiff, who was set to retire today. Senior DIG Latiff was expected to retire today after completing 40 years of service in SL’s police force. However, the President in his capacity as the Minister of Law & Order had submitted a Cabinet paper to grant a one-year service extension to the distinguished officer. more..

LTL protests against move to award tender to Chinese – Lankan joint venture

Feb 5 (Island) Lanka Transformers Company has taken exception to an alleged govt decision to award a tender to a Chinese – Lanka joint venture for the construction of an LNG power plant at Kerawalapitiya. It says the country will suffer a loss of Rs.90 Billion if the questionable deal is struck. Full text of the statement the LTL has issued to media: "In June 2018, then Hon. Minister of Power & Renewable Energy presented a Cabinet Paper to award the above project to a consortium more..

Legend Murali not hopeful of future after Australia walloping

Feb 5 (CN) After yet another big defeat in Canberra to concede the series in Australia 0-2, SL legend Muttiah Muralitharan, whose name is inscribed on the series trophy between the two teams, has identified inconsistent performances by the country’s new generation of players as one of the reasons for the slump. SL have now lost six Tests out of seven this season and are languishing at six in ICC rankings. more..

Video: Foreign cigarettes worth over Rs 1.5 mn seized at BIA

Feb 5 (AD) A Sri Lankan passenger has been detained at the BIA this morning for smuggling in a stock of foreign-manufactured cigarette sticks into the country. The officers of Narcotics Control Unit of SL Customs attached to the BIA have held the suspect, who had arrived in the country from Dubai. The contraband, worth over Rs 1.5 million, had been hidden inside the suspect’s travelling bags. Reportedly, the haul had contained 28,000 cigarette sticks packed in 142 cartons. more..

Video: 110 kg of heroin worth Rs.1,100 Mn seized

Feb 5 (DM) Some 110 kilograms of heroin were seized at Wellawatta and Piliyandala by officers of Excise Department’s Narcotics Unit. Deputy Excise Commissioner Kapila Kumarasinghe said the brown sugar-type heroin had a street value of Rs.1,100 million. Three suspects were arrested. Two suspects were residents of Mount Lavinia and at the time of the arrest at Wellawatte they had 10 kg of heroin in their possession. The third suspect was taken into custody from a house at Piliyandala more..

'SL should consider signing an FTA with EU'

Feb 5 (EN) The Sri Lankan govt should consider signing a free trade agreement (FTA) to keep preferential market access after the GSP Plus benefits ends, the Ambassador to the European Union (EU) said. "I don't think there's any interest in leaving the GSP Plus advantages for the moment," Tung-Lai Margue said at a business forum organized by the European Chamber of Commerce in Sri Lanka. more..

PNF hands over draft interim report to Prez

Feb 5 (CT) UNP/UNF for Good Governance (UNP/UNFGG) sponsored trade policy document is more like a document prepared by India’s intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), President of GMOA and Vurthiyawedinge Jathika Peramuna (PNF), Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya claimed. The occasion was the handing over of the PNF’s interim report on the formulation of a national policy on trade to Prez Sirisena at Organisation of Professional Assoc (OPA) office in Colombo. more..