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Cayman Island-based The Sri Lanka Fund to be wound up

Feb 5 (EN) Ceylon Guardian Investment Trust and Ceylon Investment have announced they are considering winding up The Sri Lanka Fund, based in the Cayman Islands tax haven, whose aim was to attract foreign investments to the island. The two firms hold 43.34% each of the dollar denominated fund, managed by Guardian Fund Management Limited. A stock exchange filing said the decision was taken as this investment vehicle is no longer an attractive structure. more..

Sri Lanka drop Chandimal for South Africa tour, Karunaratne made captain

Feb 5 (CI) Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal has been dropped from the Test squad, in a shock move by the selectors. The captaincy goes to opener Dimuth Karunaratne for the tour of South Africa. According to an SLC release, Chandimal has been released to play domestic cricket and regain his form with the bat, after he made only 24 runs in four innings in the recently concluded Tests against Australia. more..

Special units under DIGs to conduct internal raids: PTFDP

Feb 5 (CT) Special teams and units coming under DIGs have been deployed within the Police Department, to conduct internal raids on Police divisions and stations that were either not properly investigating drug related cases or were employing Police personnel involved in narcotics related crime. Presidential Task Force on Drug Prevention revealed this to Ceylon Today, adding that the decision to establish such a mechanism, to root out corruption from within the Department, more..

Customs trade union actions to continue work-to-rule campaign

Feb 5 (AD) Customs trade unions say that the trade union action will continue until the official letter reinstating P.S.M. Charles as the Director General of SL Customs is received. The trade Union action was launched by the Customs Trade Union Alliance on 30th January in protest over the decision to transfer the Director General of SL Customs P.S.M. Charles and the appointing of a retired navy officer to the position. Customs trade Union Alliance stated that as per govt laws and regulations more..

Sri Lanka not a country to be monitored by West almost everyday: Lord Naseby

Feb 5 (DM) British Baron Lord Naseby has said Sri Lanka is not a country that has to be monitored by the Western countries almost everyday, the Politics Home reported today. He said now is the time for closure and to let Sri Lanka stand on its own two feet. “Is this really a country that has to be monitored by the West almost every day. My view as President of the All Party British Sri Lanka Parliamentary Group is no. more..

Sumanthiran lambasts Wiggy For comparing TNA with LTTE

Feb 5 (Island) The LTTE killed a large number of people when they were operational as a way of resolving issues they faced. However the TNA couldn’t kill people like the LTTE, TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran said. Speaking at a public event in Thenmarachchi, Jaffna, the MP said that the way of doing politics changed with the passage of time. Sumanthiran was responding to former CM of the Northern Province, C.V. Wigneswaran, who had earlier condemned the LTTE more..

Customs work-to-rule action called off

Feb 5 (AD) The Customs trade unions have decided to call of their work-to-rule action this evening. On Jan 30, the Trade Union Alliance of SL Customs had launched the work-to-rule action to protest over the decision to transfer the Director General of SL Customs P.S.M. Charles and the appointment of a retired navy officer to the position. The Trade Union Alliance stated that in accordance with the govt laws and regulations, position of Director General can only be held by a Special Grade Officer more..

P.S.M. Charles reinstated as SL Customs DG

Feb 5 (AD) Ms P.S.M. Charles has been reinstated as the Director General of SL Customs for a period of three months. Minister Mano Ganesan said the decision was reached during the meeting of Cabinet Ministers today. He said that Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera withdrew the Cabinet paper seeking to transfer P.S.M. Charles from the position of Customs DG. He further said that she was reinstated in the position more..

Thoughts on decolonising Sri Lanka: From servility to dignity

Feb 6 (CT) To mark the 71st anniversary of Sri Lanka gaining dominion status. One of the most insightful pieces of writing one would read this year is scholar-activist Senel Wanniarachchi’s excellent account of encountering Tara, a Buddhist and Hindu mother goddess of mercy and generous compassion at…the British Museum. Several excerpts of Wanniarachchi’s article are worth quoting at some length, and in this independence month, these words are absolute food for thought to all more..

Need to move forward without remaining in the past

Feb 6 (CT) SL enters its 71st year of Independence with political uncertainty in the air. The only certainty is that 2019 will be a year of elections. Presidential elections have to be held in November. There is a likelihood that provincial and general elections will be held either before or soon after the presidential elections depending on the calculations of the govt that is in power. Once again, as in the past, the main Tamil political parties did not attend the Independence Day celebrations. more..

'I cannot be silenced with a Deputy Minister posting'

Feb 6 (CT) Deputy Minister Buddhika Pathirana says, “if a Presidential Election is announced, immediately, we in the Working Committee will meet and the Candidate who is most trusted and can achieve victory will be our Presidential Candidate.” Q: Are you happy, within the Party? A: I was always happy, within the Party. There was no change; happiness is often determined by working for the people. more..

Tale of lost opportunities: 71 yrs of economic underdevelopment amid social progress

Feb 6 (ST) On the eve of the country’s 71st anniversary of independence, we cannot be content with the country’s post-independence economic performance. It has been far below our potential and expectations at independence. It has been a tale of lost opportunities. Nevertheless, our post-independence social development has been impressive with significant improvements in education, health and social amenities. Sustained rapid economic growth has eluded SL. more..

Cricket as tainted as our politics

Feb 6 (ST) So the latest of Sri Lanka’s sports ministers has taken wing to Australia. Some say he is due to attend an event said to be connected with the country’s national day tomorrow. But the first news out of Canberra suggests that this is not the only reason Minister Harin Fernando hurriedly departed for Down Under. It has also to do with the state of SL’s national cricket team which seems intent on going down under — six feet or more, metaphorically speaking — of its own volition. more..

More bombs drop on the MiG Deal

Feb 6 (SO) The controversial MiG Deal remains in the public spotlight as evidence continues to surface of the Rajapaksa Govt’s complicity in engineering the dubious 2006 arms deal, and of scandalous attempts to hide the truth of the deal from the public. Sunday Times Defence Correspondent, Iqbal Athas, who first exposed the alleged scam in Dec 2006, has now revealed that his reporting on the MiG Deal led to more..

How humbug holds hope hostage

Feb 6 (SO) Clever people often get trapped in their own cleverness. Convinced that nobody could fool them, they begin to fool themselves. Nobody in his right senses will believe the yarn about the UNP forming a National Govt with one solitary parliamentarian of the SLMC. That would make it an obscene obfuscation of a provision in the 19th Amendment which is now assailed by the Opposition. It would amount to a perversion as bad as the one attempted on October 26, 2018. more..

PC elections, yet to see the light of day

Feb 6 (SO) Elections are a necessary evil in a democracy. That said, the continued postponement of elections for the nine Provincial Councils doesn’t bode well, either for the country or for the Councils themselves. At present, the terms of the Councils have expired and they are run on the directions of their Governors. The Govt has been arguing that, to conduct elections, it needs to enact the relevant legislation which is yet to be finalised, there being differences of opinion about which more..

Vadivel Suresh

A war crimes dossier on arguably the most important ground commander

Feb 6 (Island) SL celebrated her 71st Independence Day on Monday against the backdrop of a defamatory 137-page dossier on Army Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Shavendra Silva, the first General Officer Commanding (GoC) of the celebrated 58 Division of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA). The 58 Division, formerly known as the Task Force I, played a significant role in eradicating the LTTE’s conventional fighting capability in the Vanni region. SL military brought the war to a successful conclusion, more..

Moving beyond identity politics on constitutional reforms

Feb 6 (Island) Two largest parties in Parliament, UNP in Govt and UPFA in opposition, the latter in both its SLFP and SLPP forms and factions, are entirely preoccupied with the politics, personalities and their prospects at the forthcoming presidential election, constitutionally mandated and due at the end of this year. Hence their focus and activity has been almost entirely on the various machinations required for that exercise. Minor allies of these two parties have also been similarly preoccupied. more..

No quick fixes, Sri Lankan cricket needs a bottom-up overhaul

Feb 6 (CI) Sri Lanka have lost 16 of their last 18 international matches, so there are rumours floating around about replacing the coach again. Rumours that Sri Lanka Cricket has inquired about the availability of top coaches overseas. That the island's sports ministry - essentially running cricket in the country at present - has consulted lawyers about the legal ramifications of firing or demoting Chandika Hathurusingha. more..

Edtorial: Intrepid women

Feb 6 (Island) The govt, yesterday, gave in while irate Customs workers were planning to intensify their trade union action to crank up pressure on it to reverse its decision to remove Sarojini Charles from the post of Director General (DG) of Customs, or appoint a senior SL Administrative Service (SLAS) official to that position. The warring trade unions agreed to call off their go-slow following an assurance from the govt that she would be allowed to function in that post for three months. more..

Team environment awash with dirty linen

Feb 6 (CT) SL’s cricket team is divided; it has many factions; five seniors are vying to grab the captaincy for the World Cup; the coach is overpaid and is a Hitler. These are some of the internal sentiments associated with the current SL team at present. Whilst no one can verify these statements as the true goings on, on the field of play where the defeats have been embarrassing and some off the field happenings smacking of scandal haven’t exactly contributed to the wellbeing of team either. more..

Speaker urged not to accept UNP’s national govt proposal

Feb 6 (Island) Close on the heels of President Maithripala Sirisena turning down UNP’s call for a National Govt, the SLPP urged Speaker Karu Jayasuriya not to accept a substantive motion handed over to the Secretary General of Parliament W.B.D. Dasanayake seeking parliamentary approval for a National Govt. Minister Lakshman Kiriella, on behalf of the UNP, last week handed over a substantive motion that Parliament decided more..

Independence Day events show Sri Lanka’s North and South drifting apart

Feb 6 (ER) Ominous events in Sri Lanka’s Tamil-majority Northern Province and gloomy pronouncements made in the Sinhalese-dominated South in the past few weeks indicate a widening gulf between the Tamils and the Sinhalese in the island nation. These events and pronouncements weaken the hope that with the end of the separatist was in May 2009, ties between the Sinhalese and the Tamils would be restored and Sri Lanka would be a harmonious country again. more..

RPCs to meet today for wage talks

Feb 6 (FT) Following the withdrawal of the daily wage agreement for plantation workers, discussions will restart with Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) today. Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA) is set to meet with RPCs to discuss the plantation workers’ wages issue mediated by Minister Naveen Dissanayake today, Cabinet Minister Mano Ganesan said. Issue of wages was raised at the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday by Minister Mano Ganesan backed by Minister P. Digambaran. more..

Maldives & Sri Lanka to enhance cooperation to curb drug trafficking

Feb 6 (PMD) Presidents of the Maldives and SL have agreed to work according to a broad and new cooperation in the process of working against illegal drug trafficking. The official meeting between the visiting Maldives President Ibrahim Solih and President Sirisena was held at the Presidential Secretariat, today (5). During this meeting, the Maldives President highly appreciated the special procedure taking forward by more..

Jaggery from termite mounds

Feb 6 (ST) Little Subangi got excited when she came to know that jaggery could be made from termite mound clay! So far she had known that clay could be used to make little things for herself to play with, such as toy birds and toy animals. There was another reason for little Subangi to be excited about this new discovery of making jaggery: There were humongous termite mounds in her large home garden in Bandaragama. Some men come to her home on bicycles from time to time. more..

Sri Lanka’s cricketing woes start at home

Feb 6 (DN) Another crushing Test series defeat this time at the hands of the Australians only added to the mounting woes of the Sri Lanka cricket team that seems to be getting nowhere with lack of direction, purpose and discipline. On this occasion our cricketers were undone by the bounce and pace of the Australian pitches and mounting injuries to our fast bowlers didn’t help our cause either. Chairman of selectors Ashantha de Mel was quick to point out that problems the national team are more..

MR blames TNA’s lack of cooperation during his tenure

Feb 6 (CT) Leader of the Opposition Mahinda Rajapaksa, while opposing the formation of a National Govt, pointed out that if the TNA had cooperated with him, he would have gone for a meaningful settlement to the ethnic question, soon after the war. Rajapaksa had a breakfast meeting with the senior editors and journalists of the Tamil media at his Wijerama Mawatha residence yesterday. more..

Rajapaksas and Wickremesinghes are involved in bond scam: JVP MP

Feb 6 (DM) Rajapaksas and Wickremesinghes are both involved in the bond scam, JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake alleged in Parliament. The MP said this in response UPFA MPs who protested when he spoke of Perceptual Treasuries chief Arjun Aloysius had attended the wedding of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s son Rohitha Rajapaksa. Mr. Ratnayake also responded to the govt MPs who laughed when he said both Rajapaksas and Wickremesinghes are involved in bond scam. more..

Form national Govt prior to increasing Cabinet: PHU

Feb 6 (DM) Form a national govt first before increasing the number of ministers, PHU leader Udaya Gammanpila said. He said that the govt was shamelessly attempting to increase the number of ministers to 48 by forming a national govt with the only member of the SLMC. MP said it was unethical & unconstitutional. “Article 46(5) of Constitution states that a national govt is formed by the political party which obtain the highest number of seats in P'ment in alliance with other political parties. more..

Budget should not heap taxes on vehicle imports: Importers

Feb 6 (DM) Vehicle Importers Association of SL (VIASL) said that it hoped more taxes would not be heaped on vehicle imports in the upcoming budget. Its chairman Ranjan Peiris said imposing more taxes on vehicle importers in the guise of increasing Govt revenue would make the govt hugely unpopular at the upcoming elections. “More and more taxes had been imposed on vehicle imports by Yahapalana Govt. more..

Taking photos on top of Kiralagala Chetiya: Eight students released

Feb 6 (DM) The eight youths who posted the photos taken on top of the ruins of Kiralagala Chetiya in Horowpothana on social media, were released after being fined by the Kebithigollewa Magistrate. The youths, who are final year students of the South Eastern University’s Engineering Faculty, were arrested on Jan 23 on charges of illegally entering into an archaeological site, taking photos on top of the Kiralagala Chetiya and defaming a religious place of worship by publishing more..

Rupee appreciates against dollar; gives CSE a welcome boost

Feb 6 (Island) The rupee appreciated against the US dollar yesterday, marking the current selling rate of the US dollar at 178.83. This gave a considerable impetus to the CSE. But the volatile political situation keeps investors cautious. The buying rate of the US dollar was Rs. 174.98, while the exchange rate was Rs. 177.54. Further, the appreciation of the rupee helps local importers who are in the manufacturing sector because it has a direct impact on the cost of production, stock market analysts said. more..

Banks to use EMV technology to thwart ATM frauds

Feb 6 (DN) Sri Lankan banks are working together to enhance their ATM networks to EMV chip capability and also to achieve 100% EMV chip card issuance which will help prevent skimming frauds, as per the directions given by the Central Bank. Over the weekend several banks have received complaints from some customers that their savings/current accounts have been debited through fraudulent ATM withdrawals. more..

Safer Internet Day: UNICEF calls for concerted action

Feb 6 (FT) UNICEF cautioned yesterday of the dangers posed by online violence, cyberbullying and digital harassment for the 70.6% of young people aged 15 to 24 years old who are online globally, and called for concerted action to tackle and prevent violence against children and young people online. The call, made on Safer Internet Day, comes following a recent UNICEF poll of young people, which received more than one million responses over 5 weeks from more than 160 countries, more..

Fitch Ratings to recalibrate SL’s ratings

Feb 6 (Island) Fitch Ratings said it will recalibrate the Sri Lankan National Rating scale to reflect changes in the relative creditworthiness among Sri Lankan issuers following the downgrade of the country's sovereign rating to 'B' from 'B+' on 3 December 2018. The recalibration will result in rating actions for some issuers with SL national ratings. We anticipate a reduction in the number of 'AAA(lka)' rated issuers after the recalibration exercise is finalised, expected by end-Feb 2019, more..

Makandure Madush arrested in Dubai hotel

Feb 6 (Island) Notorious gangster and heroin dealer Makandure Madush and four of his confederates were arrested in Dubai in the early hours of yesterday. They were among 25 persons arrested at a party hosted by Madush to celebrate his daughter’s birthday. Security sources identified the other four criminals as Imran, Cheenu and Angoda Chutta. Dubai police have seized cocaine, heroin, ganja and other narcotics. more..

More shocking revelations on Jaliya

Feb 6 (Island) SriLankan Airlines had booked hotel rooms in Dubai for 100 individuals, including former SL Ambassador to the US, Jailiya Wickramasuriya and his family, PCoI was informed. State Counsel Chathura Gunatilake, who led evidence, yesterday, presented the PCoI with an e-mail sent by a former CEO Kapila Chadrasena. It showed that the airline had made the above mentioned booking for those who travelled in a chartered flight in April 2013 from Washington to Mattala via Dubai. more..

Sri Lanka national day celebrated in Pakistan

Feb 6 (TN) Sri Lankan national day was celebrated at a local hotel to mark the country’s 71st anniversary of the Independence in Islamabad. The event was hosted by the high commissioner of Srilanka Noordeen Mohamed Shaheid. Sri Lankan national day, has been celebrated annually on 4th February to commemorate independence from British rule in 1948. Since then Sri Lanka is heading toward progress, development and is on the path of rapid economic growth. more..