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Sajith assures Modi style management in housing, samurdhi portfolios

Jan 26 (Island) Housing and Samurdhi Minister Sajith Premadasa intends to follow Indian PM Narendra Modi in accordance with his overall strategy to receive recognition as the best minister in PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s Cabinet. He said that Indian PM Modi had shown the way to use the public sector effectively to achieve desired objectives. Premadasa was addressing a meeting at the New Town Hall. Basil Rajapaksa and Wimal Weerawansa held samurdhi and housing portfolios, more..

Sirisena says there was a plan to deny him Lanka presidency

Jan 26 (PTI) Sri Lanka's newly elected President Maithripala Sirisena has said that there was a 'plan' to deny him victory by his predecessor even after the results showed that he had won the January 8 Presidential election. "You are aware of a plan by (former President Mahinda) Rajapaksa to stay in power for two more years by not declaring the result," Sirisena yesterday said while addressing his home constituency of Polonnaruwa in the north central province. more..

Video: Vass’s wife complains against Shiranthi

Jan 26 (AD) Former DIG Vass Gunawardena’s wife, Shyamali Perera, today alleged that her husband was arrested under 'false charges' due to him spearheading an investigation into a conspiracy to sell 100kg of gold belonging to the treasury and its direct links to the former First lady. She said that her husband had received information through the army intelligence unit regarding an attempt to illegally sell 100 kgs more..

Central bank seen tightening by removing lower repo penalty rate

Jan 26 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's Central bank is expected to hold key interest rates steady at record lows on Tuesday for a 12th straight month, but tighten policy by scrapping the lower repo rate paid to banks that use the standing deposit facility more than three times a month, a Reuters poll showed. The repurchase, or standing deposit facility rate, is at 6.5% and reverse repurchase rate or standing lending facility is at 8%, while commercial banks' statutory reserve ratio (SRR) is at 6%. more..

JFE Engineering lands order for sewage treatment plant in Sri Lanka

Jan 26 (AS) JFE Engineering Corp. announced that it has received an order for the design and construction of a wastewater treatment plant and treated effluent disposal system in Kandy, Sri Lanka. The order from the Sri Lankan National Water Supply and Drainage Board is the first project for construction of a sewage treatment plant funded by the Japanese govt’s Official Development Assistance program. Facility will treat sewage from approximately 70,000 city residents, more..

'Unlawful military deployment is military coup'

Jan 26 (DM) DP Leader General Sarath Fonseka in a candid interview spoke on his role in the new govt, the security situation of the country, the LTTE and on their plans to proceed at the upcoming General Elections. Q: What is your role in the new govt? A: I cannot be directly involved in the processes since I am not an MP but am a member of the National Executive Committee, which is headed by the President and the PM and more..

Sri Lanka’s media needs reform — can new President Sirisena deliver?

Jan 26 (XI) Any nation’s media would be hard pressed keeping track of a landslide of political change, environmental crises, imminent constitutional reform and a general election, all while keeping safe from a generation of assassins used to impunity. When the media itself needs reform too, the problems might seem overwhelming. This is why SL needs a constitutionally recognised national commission to oversee that reform and ensure freedom of expression is properly defended. more..

'Presidential term only five years'

Jan 26 (CG) The committee involved in drafting constitutional changes is to propose a five year term for the President in future, President Maithripala Sirisena said. Speaking at an event in Polonnaruwa today, the President said that the committee met this week to discuss the constitutional changes, which includes abolishing the Executive Presidential system. Sirisena said that he had proposed at the meeting that the Presidential term be reduced to four years and not six years. more..

FUTA wants action taken against UGC head

Jan 26 (CT) The FUTA will write to the Cabinet Minister of Higher Education, Kabir Hashim and State Minister for Higher Education, Rajiva Wijesinha requesting them to take action against Chairperson of the UGC, Kshanika Hirimburegama for her actions during the previous govt. "We have sent the UGC Chairperson a letter on 18 January requesting her to resign with dignity because of how she abused her position. more..

Thewarapperuma to remain in remand

Jan 26 (AM) Colombo Chief Magistrate today rejected UNP MP Palitha Thewarapperuma’s motion requesting bail. The UNP MP was earlier remanded until February 2 over charges of making opposition PS Member Murugan Pushpakumara kneel in public and attacking a political meeting of the opposition. Thewarapperuma's unruly behavior was captured on a video footage which was released to media by the SLFP. Police complaints were lodged with regard to the incident by former Minister more..

Champika gets telephone call from MR

Jan 26 (AM) Minister Champika Ranawaka was taken by surprise when he heard a familiar voice from the other end of a telephone call which he got recently – nearly two weeks after the presidential election. It was none other than the voice of the former President against whom the leaders of the Common Opposition, including Ranawaka, waged a relentless battle over the past two months. However, there was no sign of anger or any other bitter feeling in the former President’s voice. more..

EU blacklists Sri Lanka over illegal fishing

Jan 26 (AP) European Union has blacklisted Sri Lanka for failing to combat illegal fishing, officially banning imports of fisheries products from Sri Lanka-flagged vessels into the EU. Officials said that the decision to put Sri Lanka on the list was taken by EU fisheries ministers at their regular talks in Brussels. Sri Lanka is the second biggest exporter of swordfish and tuna into the EU. Bloc said it only accepts stocks caught at sustainable levels. more..

Eastern University split over VC

Jan 26 (CG) The Eastern University has split on the future of its Vice Chancellor with a group pf teachers saying they want him to continue while another group has petitioned for him to be removed. In a statement to the media, Eastern University Teachers Association for Democracy and Development (EUTADD) and the Eastern University Employees Union (EUEU) have claimed that a handful of member of academics from the Eastern University are misleading the public by more..

PS transport director banned from leaving country: 246 vehicles missing

Jan 26 (AM) Colombo Fort Magistrate today banned the Transport Director of the Presidential Secretariat Keerthi Dissanayake from leaving the country. Colombo Magistrate banned the official from leaving the country on the grounds that 246 vehicles belonging to the Presidential Secretariat have not been returned and the transport log book has been missing. Last week, 53 vehicles belonging to the Presidential Secretariat were found by Police, abandoned at a yard in Colombo. more..

Departing Northern Governor says he did his best for the Province

Jan 26 (CT) The departing Northern Province Governor, Maj.Gen. (Retd) G.A. Chandrasiri, in his farewell message, said that he had done his best, since he assumed duties as the first Governor of the Northern Province in 2009, to rebuild the war-torn Province and leaves office with the highest satisfaction that he had done a good job to strengthen peace and reconciliation. G.A. Chandrasiri resigned from his post as more..

Rehearsal on Ramakrishna and Vivekananda Road tomorrow

Jan 26 (DM) Ramakrishna Road and Vivekananda Road in Wellawatta connecting the Galle Road and the Marine Drive would be made one-way tomorrow between 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. and between 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., the Police said. The flow system is only a rehearsal. Vehicles would be allowed to enter the Marine Drive from Galle Road through Ramakrishna Road. No traffic would be allowed in the opposite direction. Vehicles should use the Vivekananda Road to enter the Galle Road. more..

Complaints of fraud against Litro top management

Jan 26 (Island) The govt coffers suffered a loss exceeding Rs. 70 million owing to a corrupt deal at the state owned Litro gas company during the last regime, according to employees of the company. The loss had been caused by a deal to purchase LP gas entered into by the company overriding its normal tender procedures, a senior company official alleged. The agreement to purchase LP gas from a foreign source at a higher price had been entered into by high official of the company more..

Mahindananda’s passport to be impounded

Jan 26 (AD) Bribery Commission has instructed immigration authorities to impound the passport of former Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage for a period of 3 months, pending an investigation into a complaint against him. The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption has instructed the Department of Immigration and Emigration to temporarily impound the UPFA MP’s passport due to ongoing more..

US in talks with Defence Minister

Jan 26 (CG) The US had talks with the State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene at the Defence Ministry in Colombo today, the Defence Ministry said. Charge d’ Affaires of the US Embassy in Sri Lanka Andrew Mann had cordial discussions with Wijewardene on matters of bilateral importance and mutual relevance. Meanwhile, separately, the Palestine Ambassador in Sri Lanka Zuhair M. H. Dar Zaid also paid a courtesy call on the State Minister of Defence today. more..

'Right to Info' Bill being fast-tracked

Jan 26 (CT) Fulfilling a long overdue need, the govt is planning on presenting the Right to Information (RTI) Bill in Parliament on 20 February. Secretary to the Ministry of Mass Media and Information, Karu Paranavithana, said this is considered as one of the key issues in the 100-day programme, and both Ministers Gayantha Karunathilleka and Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe have appointed a working committee to screen and select what should be included in the Bill. more..

'SL looks for cheaper dept, stable rupee'

Jan 26 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's new govt has inherited a "scary" economic situation and is looking for cheaper debt while aiming to maintain a stable rupee, the finance minister said on Monday. New minister Ravi Karunanayake said he would reveal the reality of the economy when he announces fiscal policies during the unveiling of a supplementary budget on Thursday. "We have the economy in a precarious position," more..

Regulating liberalized higher education

Jan 26 (CT) One of the hallmarks of the liberalization of the economy, ushered in by the J.R. Jayewardene Govt in 1977, was the partial opening up of the country's conventional higher education (tertiary) sector as well. This took the form of the establishment of a 'Private Medical College (PMC),' giving an opportunity to A/L qualified medical students, who were yet unable to enter the State's non-fee levying medical faculties due to various 'barriers', an opportunity to more..

Sri Lankan Share turnover hits 8-month low

Jan 26 (EN) Shares closed marginally higher in thin and choppy trade Monday with turnover sinking to an eight-month low as investors waited for direction on the govt monetary policy and budget, brokers said. All Share Price Index rose 39.45 points (0.54%) to reach 7,316.08 while the S&P SL20 index, gained 17.85 points (0.44%) to close at 4,096.74. Turnover was 338 million rupees, the lowest since May 2014 with no crossings or off-market negotiated deals, brokers Lanka more..

Ada Cartoon

Docs to read riot act to govt ‘over broken promise’

Jan 26 (Island) GMOA said complained that more than 20,000 of its members had been discriminated against in implementing 1: 4.25 salary increment ratio as only professionals in the Justice and Higher Education Ministries and the Sri Lanka Administrative Service had benefited from it since January 2015. GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya said that the salary ratio of 1:4.25 in accordance with the National Wage Policy should have been implemented from January 2015 more..

Take a stand for justice at Jaffna University and everywhere in Sri Lanka

Jan 26 (CT) University of Jaffna is full of wrongdoings. Every appointment from the VC’s down to that of Labourer is based on political loyalty rather than excellence. The most senior persons from whom we expect leadership have no backbone. The Council – both internal and external members – simply sit back and endorse these improper appointments. As an Acting Dean awaiting regular appointment confessed to a friend, “I need to go along with the VC in everything to survive.” more..

Dhanapala to hold talks with UN Human Rights Chief

Jan 26 (ST) Jayantha Dhanapala, President Maithripala Sirisena’s Senior Adviser on Foreign Relations, will go to Geneva, today for talks with UN Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. Mr. Dhanapala is going as a special emissary of the Govt to discuss the ongoing probe into war crimes allegations by the OHCHR. Last year, the investigators requested permission to enter SL for the purpose of their work. more..

India seeks to boost Lankan ties

Jan 26 (CG) The Indian Govt says it looks forward to working with the new Govt of Sri Lanka to take the bilateral relationship to the next level for the benefit of the people of the two countries and the South Asian region as a whole. The High Commission of India Y.K. Sinha noted that the electoral victory of President Maithripala Sirisena, is a tribute to his capacity to respond to Sri Lankan people’s yearning for change. more..

Navy ordered to probe Yoshitha

Jan 26 (CG) Defence Secretary B M U D Basnayakee has ordered the Navy Commander to launch a full scale inquiry as to how a member of the former first family joined the Navy and received scholarships to study at a prestigious Naval College overseas. The order was given after the JVP raised the issue with the Defence Secretary today and questioned as to how Yoshitha Rajapakse, second son of former President more..

'Executive Presidency will be abolished by end of February'

Jan 26 (AM) Minister of External Affairs Mangala Samaraweera said that the Executive Powers of Presidency will be abolished by February. Speaking at a gathering in Matara, he said that the govt will take steps to completely revise the Executive Presidency and remove all excessive executive powers of the Presidency. “It is unnecessary for a single person to have such powers beyond measure; we have seen how more..

'No overnight return of Gen. Fonseka to Parliament'

Jan 26 (Island) The Elections Secretariat has consulted the Attorney General’s Department on the restoration of former Army Commander and DP leader General Sarath Fonseka’s franchise, Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said. The Elections Department sought legal advice after President Sirisena had granted Gen. Fonseka a full pardon and restored his civic rights, more..

High-level drug menace to face powerful taskforce

Jan 26 (ST) Battling a really powerful drug ring, the newly-appointed Minister John Amaratunga said a special taskforce will be appointed to tackle the escalating flow of drugs into the country. “We will set up a task force that will be headed by a senior DIG and the Commissioner of Excise,” Mr Amaratunga said. The comments came in the wake of the arrest of notorious drug lord, Samantha Kumara alias Wele-Sudha and more..

‘China’s economic presence in SL needs to be reduced to eliminate corruption’

Jan 26 (DM) The newly appointed Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake recently revealed that steps have been taken to transfer funds, amounting to close to eight billion rupees in an account allegedly maintained by the Former Defence Secretary at the Taprobane Branch of Bank of Ceylon, to the Treasury. Minister spoke on this issue, as well as other corruption charges against previous regime, current state of the Treasury more..

Election night coup What really happend?

Jan 26 (DM) Earlier this week, Indian media quoting Minister Mangala Samaraweera reported there was a fear of a real coup in Sri Lanka during the early hours of Jan 9, when it was becoming evident to former President Rajapaksa that the poll results were not in his favour. However, as the first light of the day hit the city of Colombo on Jan 9, former President Rajapaksa accepted his defeat and left Temple Trees, assuring more..

The lives the Weerawansas enjoy!

Jan 26 (SL) Controversy surrounds over how an owner of a small telecommunication centre became a millionaire within a short span of six years. Complaints have been lodged recently with the Commission to Investigate Bribery or Corruption against former Minister Wimal Weerawansa. After the complaint was lodged, startling revelations have come out how Weerawansa is enjoying a super luxury life more..

'Prez poll defeat taught us huge political lesson'

Jan 26 (Island) Senior Vice President of the SLFP and newly-appointed Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva assured that his party could not repeat the mistakes that had caused the defeat at the recently concluded presidential election. Alleging that some SLFPers had switched allegiance to the new govt to save their skin, MP de Silva said that the presidential poll defeat had taught the SLFP a huge political lesson. more..

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