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NPC resolution should be examined like any other proposal: TNA

Apr 25 (Island) Jaffna District TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran said that a resolution seeking the re-merger of the Eastern Province with Northern Province adopted by the TNA-led NPC on Friday could be considered by the govt as well as all other political parties represented in Parliament. TNA comprises ITAK, TELO, PLOTE & EPRLF. Sumanthiran emphasised the need to take a look at the NPC’s proposal. It could be considered like any other proposal, he said. more..

Demand for federalism: Kiriella asks media not to set country ablaze

Apr 25 (Island) Extremists were asking for federalism. Such moves should not be taken so seriously. They must be ignored, said Minister Lakshman Kiriella in Kandy on Saturday. He said the media should not should not use such demands to set the country ablaze. Addressing the media, Minister Kiriella said there were extremists in all communities. There were Sinhala extremists, Tamil extremists and Muslim extremists. But among the masses at least 95% were for peace. more..

Grenade and NIC of politico found in drain

Apr 25 (CT) A hand grenade and a NIC of a politician was recovered from a drain in Vavuniya on Saturday , said the Police. The grenade was recovered on a tip-off received by the Intelligence Service along with the National Identity Card of a politician inside a small bag, under the concrete slab in a drain by a goods shed. According to the Police Media Spokesperson, the STF defused the grenade. The Vavuniya Police are conducting further investigations into this incident. more..

Second bond scandal costs EPF dear: JVP

Apr 25 (Island) JVP said a Central Bank racket had resulted in a huge loss to the EPF. Former JVP MP cum convenor of the Anti-Corruption Voice, Wasantha Samarasinghe alleged that a company owned by a person close to the Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran was involved in the scandal. Samarasinghe said losses incurred by the EPF due the scandal must be the biggest issue to be addressed on May Day. more..

Unidentified gang abducts ex-LTTE commander in East

Apr 25 (Island) An unidentified gang yesterday abducted a former LTTE commander identified as Ram at Thambuluvil in the Ampara district. Security sources told The Island that Ram had been rehabilitated after the conclusion of the conflict in May 2009 and released in 2013. Sources said that Ram had been a senior LTTE commander involved in many battles. The police said that Ram’s wife had lodged a complaint with the police and the alleged abudction was being probed. more..

IMF loan contingent on privatisation of key state institution: JVP

Apr 25 (DN) The JVP said the govt has given an undertaking to the IMF that it will privatise several loss making state institutions including the CPC, CEB and SriLankan Airlines. JVP MP Vijitha Herath told journalists that the above was one of the conditions laid down by the IMF in exchange of a loan facility which the got has requested. Herath predicted that the privatisation of these institutions will happen in stages so as not to earn the immediate wrath of the public. more..

Exporters slam forex return policy

Apr 25 (FT) Exporters urged the govt to deal with dollar earnings kept overseas on a case by case basis without making knee jerk policy decisions that could upset the regulatory framework and send mixed signals to investors. Exporters had aired their concerns during a meeting with PM on Saturday just a day after Central Bank announced new policy measures to push exporters to bring all their earnings immediately to SL by freezing more..

No more polio shots for Sri Lankan children

Apr 25 (CT) The triple vaccine provided for children to prevent Polio would be replaced with a dual vaccine from this year onwards complying with the international practices. A new vaccine will be introduced on 30 April. Health ministry noted that triple vaccine is no longer necessary as the Polio Type 2 was eradicated from the globe. The Ministry added polio was eradicated from Sri Lanka in 1993. WHO states that 'poliomyelitis (polio) is a highly infectious viral disease, more..

NPC not for special powers, says chairperson

Apr 25 (Hindu) The NPC, which has reiterated the position of Tamil parties for a merger of the North and the East, is not for special powers to be provided to the proposed State, according to its chairperson C.V.K. Sivagnanam. On the significance of the resolution adopted on Friday, Mr. Sivagnanam told The Hindu that “our demand for federalism should not be misconstrued as something in favour of separatism. Let the Central govt share power with all the States or Provinces uniformly. more..

SLFP chairmanship: I would not have accepted had I known what it entailed: MS

Apr 25 (DM) President Maitripala Sirisena said he would not have accepted the chairmanship of SLFP had he had any foreknowledge of the harassment he would be subjected to when running the party's affairs. Addressing a political meeting, he said he assumed that he would receive the same degree of cooperation enjoyed by the party’s past leaders when he was elected to the post, with members having raised both hands. more..

JAAF, World Bank report on apparel sector released tomorrow

Apr 25 (DN) The World Bank will release its report on Stitches to Riches, a study on apparel employment, trade and economic development in South Asia. South Asia is in the midst of a demographic transition. For the next three decades, the growth of the region’s working age population will far outpace the growth of dependents, a World Bank report has stated in its latest findings. Significant insights in to South Asia’s burgeoning labour market have been revealed more..

Prof. Arjuna de Silva appointed SARADO Chairman

Apr 25 (DN) Prof. Arjuna de Silva has been appointed South Asian Regional Anti-Doping Organisation (SARADO) Chairman. The appointment has been hailed as a vote of confidence of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) for the hard work done by SL. The appointment is for a period of four years. Academic and physician, Professor de Silva is currently the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Anti-Doping Agency. He is also Head of the Department of Medicine, more..

Sri Lanka emergency power request shot down by regulator

Apr 25 (EN) SL's power regulator has denied a request by CEB to procure 55 MegaWatts of emergency power. Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) told the CEB that its request to buy 55 MW of emergency power was not in line with the approval given by Cabinet and was not in line with its least cost power generation expansion plan. PUCSL said 20 MW of additional capacity beyond what was approved by the Cabinet. more..

Seminar on Bilateral Trade between Sri Lanka and Pakistan

Apr 25 (GDI) National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (NCCSL) will hold a session on Bilateral Trade between Sri Lanka and Pakistan. The seminar will be held on Thursday 28 April from 3.00 to 4.30 p.m. at the National Chamber Auditorium on D R Wijewardene Mawatha in Colombo. High Commissioner of Pakistan to SL Major General (Retd) Syed Shakeel Hussain will be the Special Guest Speaker. He will be assisted by the Deputy High Commissioner Dr. Sarfraz Khan Sipra. more..

Main suspect of 14 bill apparel theft arrested

Apr 25 (ITN) Police have arrested the main suspect of the 14 billion apparel theft in Anuradhapura. Hidhogama Police recently found a stock of apparels valuing 14 billion rupees stolen from a garment factory at Nelum-bewa area in Anuradhapura. These apparels are produced only to be sold overseas. Police said that the stock of apparels were found from a garment factory in the area. Police had earlier arrested a woman and two suspects in connection with the theft. more..

Video: Sweden FM appreciates work of govt

Apr 25 (DM) Foreign Minister of Sweden Margot Wallstrom appreciated the work of the new govt of re-establishing democracy and said the country has marked a significant progress. During a brief discussion held with the Deputy Foreign Minister Dr. Harsha De Silva, the visiting Sweden Minister said she would be looking forward to discuss with the President and Prime Minister during the discussion to be held today (25). more..

Economic outlook for Asia and Sri Lanka

Apr 25 (Island) As identified by Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2016, which is a Report produced annually by Asian Development Bank (ADB), the developing Asia will continue to contribute at least 60% for the growth of the world. With slower growth in US and Euro zone together with transition taking place in China and reforms in India, ADO forecasts a growth rate of 5.7% in developing Asia for the year 2016 and 2017. Developing Asia consists of 45 economies listed under ADB. more..

Entrust owes Rs. 9 bln to clients

Apr 25 (ST) The liabilities in the bond market by Entrust Securities, a primary market dealer under-fire since early this year, is at Rs. 9 billion and not Rs. 5 billion as earlier estimated, latest data revealed. Informed sources told the Business Times that Entrust has some Rs. 5.3 billion that it owes to just three institutions – and the two on top of the list are the Central Bank (CB) and the CEB. “Entrust owes Rs. 2.2 billion to CB and Rs. 1.8 billion to CEB,” a source said. more..

India seeks land to build 2866 houses for estate families

Apr 25 (HCI) India is seeking more land in Sri Lanka to build 2866 houses for families working in the estate sector in the country. The High Commissioner of India, Y. K. Sinha, and P. Thigambaram, Minister of Hill Country New Villages, Infrastructure and Community Development jointly laid the foundation stone for the third phase of the Indian Housing Project at the Dunsinane estate today in the presence of Ministers more..

Damages to Sigiriya paintings: Minister orders probe

Apr 25 (DM) Minister of Education Akila Viraj Kariyawasam has on Saturday (23) ordered the Central Cultural Fund and the Department of Archaeology to investigate the incident of damage caused to the Sigiriya paintings when cello tape pasted on the plaster for some rehabilitation activity was being removed. When the journalists visited the site on Sunday to observe about the incident they had not been allowed to enter the relevant cave and to take photos. more..

Economy: Nosediving or sailing towards safer waters?

Apr 25 (Island) Two news items on the economy of the country which appeared in The Island recently prompted me to write this. One was a press release issued by the leader of an IMF team, Todd Schneider, who visited Colombo during March 31- April 11 to hold discussions with the govt on its request for a loan. The other was a news item on a statement made by the Governor of the Central Bank at a press briefing. IMF team has observed: "Macroeconomic performance in 2015 more..

'SLC has a lot to answer for cricket’s downfall'

Apr 25 (DN) Legendary batsman Kumar Sangakkara blamed Sri Lanka Cricket and its administrators for failing to arrest the slump the national team is currently going through. Sri Lanka’s performance has dipped in all three formats of the game after the retirements of Mahela and Sangakkara from international cricket. It was quite evident from their pretty woeful defence of their World T20 title in India, where SL won only more..

Under 19 Provincial Match Roundup

Apr 25 (DN) Rain played an unwelcome hand in almost all opening games of Super U19 Provincial tournament 2016 forcing tepid ends in all four games. Only the match between Western Province South U19 and North central Province U19 produced some sort of a result as WP South recorded a first-innings win whilst the rest ended in no-result. A dominant bowling spell followed by Mishen Silva’s blistering century helped WP South claim much needed first innings points over more..

Sanga hits 171 for Surrey

Apr 25 (Island) With the national cricket team going through many struggles, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) will be tempted to ask their former captain Kumar Sangakkara to come out of retirement after he compiled an unblemished century for his country Surrey against Somerset in a Division I County Championship game at The Oval yesterday. The 38-year-old Sangakkara, who served a short stint as a national selector, was playing only his second game for the county this season. more..

Aussies invite SL for T-20 series in Feb 2017

Apr 25 (ST) Besides the Australian tour of Sri Lanka scheduled for July this year, the two teams will meet once again in February next year in Australia for a three-match T-20 series. In February next year, the Lankans will be going through an off peak season — following their gruelling full tour of South Africa that would keep the Lankan national cricketers occupied from Dec 2016 to Jan 2017. In Feb 2017, Australians are scheduled to more..

‘No consistent state policy on driving CSE’

Apr 25 (Island) The govt does not have a proper direction or consistent policy to drive the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) to boost investor confidence, which is now dropping drastically, president, Colombo Stock Brokers Association (CSBA) Ravi Abeysuriya said. "The govt should have proper strategies and policies to meet all the govt expenses and to address macro economic issues, which is now the need of the hour to salvage the economy from this bad situation, Abeysuriya said. more..

Taking back the space of legitimate public dissent

Apr 25 (ST) The regular posturing by the so-called Rajapaksa-led Joint Opposition calling for the upholding of democratic rights in Sri Lanka must be treated with the rightful contempt that it deserves. Even as sanctimonious hypocrisy drips off the tongues of these worthies when they speak with fervor on multifarious topics, ranging from the appointments of the Attorney General and the IGP to contemplated tax increases, let us remind them of some salient home truths. more..

Aluth Parlimantuwa

Non-auspicious times and a bit on Britain

Apr 25 (SO) No less a person than the previous President Rajapaksa has proclaimed that the times selected by astrologers as propitious for the start of the New Year on April 13 around 7 p.m., the hearth to be lit at 8.06 and the first meal partaken of at 8.58 at night, was incorrect. The colour selected for donning while lighting the hearth and eating the first meal – green - was also pronounced inauspicious and the accusation made that the times and colour were selected with a political agenda in mind. more..

Editorial: Wheels of justice spinning

Apr 25 (Island) An oft-heard lament is that Sri Lanka’s justice system is tardy. Some cases drag on for decades on end as is public knowledge. Lawyers like Arabs are said to live on dates. However, the legal fraternity alone cannot be blamed for this situation; there are lapses on the part of judicial officers and the police as well. Several years ago, then Minister of Justice Athauda Seneviratne revealed that a land case he was involved in had dragged on for forty long years! more..

'Possibility of all MPs getting ministerial posts'

Apr 25 (SL) Renowned academic Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri says that there is no need for a large cabinet, which the present govt is building, and notes that it is being done with the intention of solidifying the president’s position within the SLFP and winning over the Joint Opposition members. He said that other than that, it is not intended to benefit the country at all. He said that with regard to reconciliation, there are a lot of more..

New testament to make MPs angels will demand a quantum leap of faith

Apr 25 (ST) A new testament of the faith to be hopefully observed by those deified mortals who dwell in the pantheon of the people’s sovereignty was handed out to them two days before the dawn of the New Year to be perused during the holiday break, suggestions made and to be returned to the Speaker’s office within two weeks marked duly read. Now the holiday break is over, the two weeks are up tomorrow and any day this week the MPs will be expected by the Speaker to hand in their more..

Cherry-picking monetary board when another major bond scandal is rubbing on its nose

Apr 25 (CT) The Central Bank of Sri Lanka has issued a response to an article which this writer had published in this series earlier. This writer’s article had questioned the logic and economic rationale of the loose monetary policy being pursued by the Monetary Board at a time when there is a serious economic crisis looming over the nation. These issues were raised with the Monetary Board because it is the board which has been incorporated and charged under the Monetary Law Act more..

EU lifts ban: Fisheries exports to bounce back

Apr 25 (SO) European Commission last week gave the initial clearance to resume Sri Lanka’s fisheries exports to the 28 nation-strong region, lifting a ban that was clamped down since Jan 2015, depriving the country of US $100 million per annum in foreign exchange. Congratulating Sri Lanka’s achievement, EU Ambassador in Colombo David Daly said, Sri Lanka and EU developed an exceptional partnership through past months more..

The story of a geriatric puzzle

Apr 25 (CT) At the famous pub in Bridgetown UK yesterday, my regular drinking partner, the Sri Lankan Tamil fellow Sivapuranam Thevaram and I were setting puzzles to each other. It was my turn first and I asked him a question I had remembered from back in 1985, around the time the one pound paper note in the UK was replaced by a coin: What is the similarity between Margaret Thatcher and a pound coin? Even decades after her premiership ended, some of us have the habit of regularly more..

Transparency key as UNHRC deadline looms

Apr 25 (GV) January 2015 saw a momentous change in Sri Lanka. After nearly 10 years of increasingly authoritarian rule, a new govt promising change was voted into office. The new govt immediately set about righting many of the wrongs of the previous Rajapaksa govt, including an openness toward independent domestic organizations and the international community. As a clear marker of the sea change, the new govt agreed to key undertakings on transitional more..