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'Investor confidence and consistency, key to investment'

Jan 28 (SO) “If there is no corruption or bribery in the development projects undertaken by the previous Govt, these projects will be continued. We have a clear stance in this regard. All projects will be implemented on a priority basis. We have no idea to stall projects. Projects beneficial to the country and the people will be given due recognition. We have drafted a mechanism as to what kind of projects, the country needs more..

The mighty fall of Rajapaksas

Jan 28 (CT) The recently concluded presidential elections belied President Rajapaksa’s confidence as he was beaten by Maithripala Sirisena, former health minister and a long- term colleague of his. People seem to have preferred “unknown angel” Sirisena to “known devil” Rajapaksa, as he described himself in an election rally. Rajapaksa was so confident of winning the people’s mandate for a third term that he advanced the election by two years before his second term ended. more..

Chief Justice Mohan Pieris as a diplomat

Jan 28 (CT) I read in the media about CJ Mohan Pieris’s demand that if he were to resign he should be compensated with a post of a diplomat. Although I am a layman in the field of judicial matters, common sense makes me raise the question whether he has ever proved himself qualified to hold the post of a diplomat or for that matter even the post of Chief Justice. Everyone knows that a judge is duty bound to uphold the independence and the integrity of the judiciary. more..

Video: Police to probe Duminda’s accounts

Jan 27 (DM) SSP Ajith Rohana said a Court Order was obtained from the Colombo Magistrate’s Court to check all accounts held by UPFA MP Duminda Silva at several banks and financial institutions. Court Order was based on a statement made by narcotics kingpin ‘Wele Suda’ and included the checking of accounts held by two others as well. “The accounts belonging to Duminda Silva, Wele Suda & his wife held at 82 banks more..

Farmer kidney patients get monthly dole

Jan 27 (Island) The govt commenced paying Rs.3,000 to around 20,000 chronic kidney patients on a proposal made to the govt by Kidney Research Scientist Dr. Channa Jayasumana, GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya and GMOA Committee member Dr. Chinthaka Wijewardena. Dr. Jayasumana said that only farmers who had contracted Chronic Kidney Disease of Agricultural Origin in the North-Central province, Kurunegala, Ampara & Vauniya Districts were being paid more..

Unethical to topple majority in PCs: Dayasiri

Jan 27 (CT) It is unethical to gain control of a Provincial Council (PC) through obtaining affidavits from PC members, for in that way the democratic will of the public is not heeded, Chief Minister for the Northern PC, Dayasiri Jayasekera said. He said that it is incorrect to remove a Chief Minister of a PC from his post when his party holds the majority of seats in the PC. "If decisions are taken to remove the Chief Minister from his post based on personal matters it is very unethical. more..

'The vehicle was only loaned to me'

Jan 27 (DM) Popular Artiste Jackson Anthony today denied allegations that a luxury vehicle without number plates belonging to a govt ministry was recovered from his home. He said that the vehicle found parked at his residence was not gifted to him by any company but it had been given to him on a temporary basis to be used for his Travel TV show productions for the purpose of promoting the vehicle company. more..

Video: Special unit over media attacks

Jan 27 (CG) The National Executive Council today approved the formation of a special unit to investigate the attacks on the media over the past couple of years. National Executive Council member and JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that the special unit will investigate the murder of journalists Lasantha Wickremethunga and Dharmeratnam Sivaram, the disappearance of Prageeth Eknaligoda and the attacks on several other journalists and media rights activists. more..

Ranil, FUTA to discuss UGC Chair

Jan 27 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is scheduled to meet with members of the FUTA today to discuss their objections over UGC Chairperson Kshanika Hirumburegama, State Minister of Higher Education Rajiva Wijesinha said. While Wijesinha wished to take part in today's discussion, he had received no official complaint with reference to Hirumburegama. "Those who did have a complaint have written to President Maithripala Sirisena and sent copies of their letters to me. more..

Sajin under a cloud, seeks appointment with Bribery Commission

Jan 27 (Island) Accused of several corrupt transactions, UPFA MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena said that he was awaiting an opportunity to respond to allegations. Asked whether he was evading law enforcement authorities, MP said that he had written to CIABOC on Jan 21 after the JVP and various other interested parties had lodged complaints against him. "The commission responded to my letter and now I am awaiting more..

COPE and PAC under UPFA members for the time being

Jan 27 (Island) Chairman of Committee of Public Enterprises (CoPE) D.E.W. Gunasekera said that he was in the process of finalising their final report to be tabled in parliament. Perhaps, the report could be made available to members in March ahead of the dissolution of Parliament, General Secretary of the Communist Party said. The former senior minister said that in spite of CoPE presenting two interim reports to parliament, many institutions would be dealt with in the final report. more..

Immigration Dept. looking for Gunaratnam

Jan 27 (DM) The Immigration and Emigration Department has informed the Front line Socialist Party (FSP) that it wished to record a statement from its leader Kumar Gunaratnam on his political activities since his arrival in the country. FSP Propaganda Secretary Pubudu Jayagoda, said that immigration department officials visited the FSP office in Pannipitiya yesterday and said they wanted to record the statement based on a complaint received by the Department. more..

Video: KP: AG noticed to appear in Court

Jan 27 (DM) Attorney General Yuwanjana Wanasundara was today issued notice to appear before court on Feb 5 following a writ application filed by JVP MP Vijitha Herath. JVP MP filed the writ application with the Court of Appeal against former LTTE leader Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP on Jan 19. JVP through their petition sought an investigation into Kumaran Pathmnathan’s assets and requested court to investigate the reason more..

Dharmasri Ekanayake appointed President's Media Director

Jan 27 (GDI) Senior Journalist Dharmasri Bandara Ekanayake has been appointed President’s Media Director. He received his Letter of Appointment from President Maithripala Sirisena today at the Presidential Secretariat. An old boy of Ibbagamuwa Central College, Ekanayake previously served as the News Director at News1st, and as Programmes Director at Sirasa TV. Ekanayake who possesses a Diploma in Mass Communication at the Sri Jayewardenapura University more..

NGOs applaud suspension of fish imports from Sri Lanka

Jan 27 (FIS) Fisheries Ministers of the European Union (EU) agreed in Brussels to punish Sri Lanka for not fighting illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, imposing trade restrictions upon it. Several NGOs, among which are Environmental Justice Foundation, Oceana, The Pew Charitable Trusts and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), welcomed the decision taken by the Ministers, which temporarily suspended imports of fish from Sri Lanka. In addition, the issuance of more..

Probe on Gota’s alleged attempt

Jan 27 (CG) The govt has called for an investigation into an alleged attempt by former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa to create instability in the country over the next three months. Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said that documents related to the alleged attempt were handed over to the National Executive Council (NEC). “Gotabaya Rajapaksa still has hopes to topple this govt. Therefore I informed NEC to look into this more..

Fuel reduction to cost CPC Rs. 15 billion above what was promised

Jan 27 (Island) Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) will hold a crucial meeting today with the Treasury after a number of discussions starting from Saturday, on a cost reflective strategy, to cut down high costs and to make the institution transparent in future deals. Discussions are taking place under the guidance of Power and Energy Minister Champika Ranawaka. Newly appointed CPC Chairman Ranjith Wickremasinghe said that they would adopt the new methodology as early as possible. more..

Sri Lankan shares end up 0.7%

Jan 27 (EN) Sri Lankan shares rose strongly Tuesday to end up 0.7% as the central bank kept benchmark interest rates unchanged and ahead of an interim government budget that investors expect to give direction on the economy. The All Share Price Index ended at 7,367.65, up 51.57 points while the S&P SL20 index, rose even more strongly, gaining 33.69 points or 0.82% to reach 4,130.43. Turnover recovered from a three-month low of 338 million rupees to reach 1.1 billion rupees. more..

'SLFP will contest under Sirisena'

Jan 27 (CG) The SLFP says it will contest the next General elections under the leadership of President Maithripala Sirisena, who is the party chairman. Opposition SLFP leader Nimal Siripala de Silva told reporters in Kandy today that the SLFP will gather support to work with Sirisena at the polls. He said that the SLFP had already decided to support President Maithripala Sirisena’s 100 day program in Parliament. more..

President's son Daham Sirisena leaves SL

Jan 27 (AM) President Maithripala Sirisena’s son Daham Sirisena has left for the UK for six months. Family sources said Daham Sirisena left the country to pursue his higher studies. Sirisena is reading a law degree in the UK. He returned to Sri Lanka in Nov, last year, when his father announced candidature to contest the presidential election. President’s son had left Colombo this morning, around 11 am. Daham Sirisena, according to some media reports, has a chequered past more..

'Sri Lanka plans sovereign bond in February'

Jan 27 (EN) Sri Lanka is planning a sovereign bond sale in February after a revised budget for 2015 is presented by a new administration, Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran said. "As soon as the budget has been announced on the 29th we will start talking to markets," Mahendran said. "I am hopeful that by February we will have a mandate to tap the markets for a new bond issue." Sri Lanka was earlier planning to go the markets with a 1.5 billion US dollar bond ahead of more..

MR says media blitz to vilify him

Jan 27 (DM) Former President Rajapaksa in a statement charged that a media blitz had been unleashed to vilify him and mislead the public instead of following a proper procedure to act on allegeations of wrongdoing against anybody. Statement: To the Venerable Maha Sangha, all Reverend Clergymen and the People of Sri Lanka, Numerous allegations have been levelled against me, my family and my govt both before and after the more..

New govt. consumed with hate: FSP

Jan 27 (Island) A popular mandate for the so-called compassionate governance was being abused by few key elements in the new govt to take revenge from their political opponents on some flimsy pretexts, the Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) said. Propaganda Secretary of FSP, Pubudu Jayagoda, addressing media opposite Fort Railway Station, during a leaflet distribution campaign said instead of taking conducive action to usher in good governance, govt was busy with witch-hunts. more..

Herath to return to Sri Lanka

Jan 27 (CI) Rangana Herath will be unavailable for the seventh ODI against New Zealand on Thursday, as he returns home to be with an unwell family member, Sri Lanka's team manager has said. Herath will leave the squad immediately, but is scheduled to return to New Zealand on around February 3, well ahead of Sri Lanka's first World Cup warm-up match against South Africa on February 9. He has been Sri Lanka's best spinner in the series, taking four wickets at an average of 30 and more..

Video: Bus fares to be reduced by 8 – 10%

Jan 27 (DM) The fares on private and SLTB buses will be reduced from Feb 1 with Rs.8 as the minimum fare sequent to the fuel price reduction introduced by the Power and Energy Ministry. Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara said that bus-fare reduction of 10% to 11% would be based on three segments ranging from the minimum fare of Rs.8 to the highest fare of Rs.651 for normal bus transport. more..

JSA wants CJ to preserve honour and dignity of judiciary

Jan 27 (Island) The Judicial Service Association (JSA) yesterday expressed the hope that the Chief Justice would act in such a manner so as to preserve the honour and dignity of the judiciary. Following is the full text of the JSA statement signed by the association’s secretary Ranga Dissanayake: At the Executive Committee meeting of The Judicial Service Association (JSA) held on 24th January 215, it was unanimously decided to issue the following statement: more..

President: ‘No funds were released for irrigation projects when I was minister’

Jan 27 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena visited the Moragahakanda Project for which the foundation stone had been laid in 2007 and pledged to recommence work soon. Addressing officials at the Moragahakanda Project office, Sirisena regretted that even though the former President Rajapaksa and he had laid the foundation stone for the construction of the reservoir on Jan 25, 2007 and pledged to the Rajarata people that they would very soon have an ample supply of water for more..

'Sri Lanka should grow at 10 to 12% a year'

Jan 27 (EN) Sri Lanka should be looking at growing 10 to 12% after the war with private sector being given more space and foreign direct investment moving up, Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran said. "The economy is not growing fast enough," he said. "7%, 7.5% is not enough for Sri Lanka. We should be growing at 10-12%." He said the new administration was expected to announce a number of structural reforms more..

The President’s Faux Pas

Jan 27 (CT) No leader of a multi religious society, can afford the luxury of being seen practicing his religion, in the full glare of the public! President of this country is a representative of all its people; Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Christians. Therefore, such a President cannot be seen favoring one faith, even though it is his own. If he must, then he ought to pay equal obeisance to other religions as well. After all, he is the leader of all of us, not just the Buddhists of Sri Lanka. more..

Bring down vegetable prices

Jan 27 (CT) NDF coalition govt of SLFP leader Maithripala Sirisena will present its interim budget in another two days' time on Thursday. The interim budget's mandate may extend beyond June when general elections are to be called, to cover the totality of the current calendar year. This is due to the two fold reasons that the executive president, whichever the party is returned to power in June, will still be Sirisena and the other is the bipartisan relationship which the executive has more..

'Ex-IGP got bungalow from drug lord'

Jan 27 (Island) CID investigations into the dealings of drug kingpin Wele Suda allegedly had with a former IGP have revealed that the drug baron gifted the top police officer a new palatial bungalow at Kelanimulla, Kelaniya. The ex-IGP has fled the country with his family soon after the election. A senior sleuth said the bungalow had been constructed under the supervision and direction of a Colombo district UPFA MP more..

'Accountability issues: New govt won’t depend on foreign experts'

Jan 27 (Island) Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith P. Perera said that the service of a three-member international panel assigned to assist local investigation into atrocities allegedly committed by the security forces was no longer required. He was responding to a query as regards the international experts’ continuing role in domestic inquiry. Now that investigation undertaken by retired High Court Judge Maxwell Paranagama more..

Shashi Weerawansa’s passport under CID probe

Jan 27 (DM) The CID has launched an inquiry into the controversial diplomatic passport alleged to have been obtained by former minister Wimal Weerawansa’s wife Shashi Weerawansa by producing false information. Police said the investigation was based on a complaint lodged about passport. The former minister’s wife had applied for a diplomatic passport in 2010 by submitting false personal information which more..

'China is not the only girl on the beach'

Jan 27 (EN) Sri Lanka is not solely dependent on projects funded by China for growth and economic links with other regions can take up the slack, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. "China is not the only girl on the beach," he said. "We have very good relations with India. "We want to explore the EU area which has been blocked for the last 10 years and open up the US." Karunanayake said the new administration more..

Rail road projects on corruption

Jan 27 (SL) One of the main areas of corruption during the former regime was the railway and road construction sectors. Currently the northern expressway project initiated by the previous regime has been put on hold until the cost effectiveness of the project is fully analysed. While the previous govt launched the project which was to be carried out under a loan agreement with China, highway was due to link Colombo with Kandy more..

Sri Lanka keeps rates unchanged amid lower inflation

Jan 27 (EN) Sri Lanka kept policy rates unchanged amid stronger as inflation remained low, the Central Bank said, despite heavy recent state borrowings from the banking system. In the 12-months to December 2014 consumer inflation was only 2.1% the Central Bank said in its monetary policy review for January and cuts in taxes of fuel this month and other planned cuts will also reduce consumer prices. more..