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Redress for Golden Key depositors

Feb 24 (DN) Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake gave an undertaking yesterday, to redress the grievances of the Golden Key depositors within a short period. He said he was exploring the prospect of accomplishing this mission before the end of the govt's 100 day programme. Golden Key depositors continuously engaged in an extensive struggle staging protests, holding press conferences and appearing before court more..

Maithripala let us down, say paddy farmers

Feb 24 (SL) Paddy farmers are frustrated and disgruntled with the present govt as well as they feel that they have been let down by president Sirisena as well. National Organizer of All Ceylon Farmers’ Federation (ACFF) said that when Maithripala Sirisena was appointed as the president they were very happy as he was from the paddy country and that he would at least take up their issues and provide solutions to grievances more..

Dispute over the Russian Embassy land

Dec 24 (DM) Politics of corruption and corruption of politics are major topics in Sri Lanka. This corruption is shaped to benefit the eyes of the beholder. As such, corruption is a habit, a past time of many characters in this political drama. At times a comedy, at times a thriller and rarely does it shows features of a musical, this drama is worth the watch. Misuse of power to reach other’s property is a common sighting in this arena. more..

Jealous Saudi wives want maids from Asia

Feb 24 (DM) Saudi wives will not allow housemaids from Morocco and Chile into their houses on the grounds they are beautiful and not as patient as Asian maids including from Sri Lanka. Sabq, an Arabic language daily said it had spoken to many women in the world’s largest oil exporter following rumours that the government intends to open the door for hiring domestic workers from Morocco and Chile for the first time. more..

Govt dragging feet on human rights: CaFFE

Feb 24 (CT) Notwithstanding the assurances those in the govt had given about protecting and promoting human rights, during the recent presidential election campaign, those promises had not been kept, Executive Director of CaFFE, Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon said. His reference was about those who had disappeared, political prisoners, custodial deaths and those who had fled the country. more..

'Conspiracy to topple present govt'

Feb 24 (DM) A conspiracy is on to topple the present administration, Deputy Minister Ajith P Perera, said. The supporters of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa were involved in this. This was seen at the Nugegoda rally organized by Udaya Gammanpila, Wimal Weerawansa, Dinesh Gunawardena and Vasudeva Nanayakkara (A break away group of the Sandanaya). The rally was a threat to the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. more..

Household poisoning on the increase

Feb 24 (ST) They are all over our houses, in our bedrooms and bathrooms, our garages, store-rooms and kitchens. Hardly a glance do we cast at them, but use them frequently. The National Poisons Information Centre of the National Hospital, Colombo, however, has not only looked at them long and hard but also gone a step further to study the pattern of household poisoning through them, in Sri Lanka. more..

Criteria for nominations at next election

Dec 24 (DM) Amid heated debates and criticism of what is widely perceived as a delay in probing allegations of corruption in mega deals and abuse of power by the Rajapaksa regime, main opposition SLFP took some vital decisions over the weekend. The SLFP at a special workshop presided over by President Maithripala Sirisena, who is also now leader of the party, decided to form a national govt to achieve the main objectives of the 100-Day programme of the administration more..

Two ways to stop Rajapaksa

Dec 24 (DM) Messrs Wimal Weerawansa, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Dinesh Gunawardena and Udaya Gammanpila who cannot win at the next Parliamentary Elections without contesting on the SLFP-UPFA ticket, want Mahinda Rajapaksa to make a political comeback --in order to save their own political future and not so much the future of the country. For that purpose, they held a political rally in Nugegoda, last week and the wheeler-dealers who benefitted from largess of the previous more..

Immigration officer says Wimal gave letter to issue DPL Passport

Feb 24 (CT) Former Minister, Wimal Weerawansa's wife, Shashee Weerawansa, who was arrested for providing false information and presenting forged documents to obtain passports, was banned from travelling abroad by Colombo Magistrate, yesterday. It is said that Shashee Weerawansa had obtained a diplomatic passport by providing false documents and CID had told the Court that this diplomatic passport was more..

Yoshitha requested to be the head of the Security for the former President

Feb 24 (LT) It is revealed that Lt. Yoshitha Rajapaksa, who is on a foreign tour violating SL Navy regulations, has requested to be the head of the Security for the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. He has made this request from President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. This has been revealed by State Minister of Defense Ruwan Wijeywardene. The request made by former President’s son is looked down by many in Navy say sources. more..

EPTTA wants two schools taken over by Navy returned

Feb 24 (CT) Two leading schools in the Muttur East, Sampoor Maha Vidiyalayam and Sri Murugan Vidiyalayam, being used as camps of the Sri Lanka Navy since the year 2006, should be handed over to the Ministry of Education to uplift the standard of education of Muttur children, Eastern Provincial Tamil Teachers' Association (EPTTA) demanded. EPTTA General Secretary, S. Jeyarajah, met State Minister for Education Radhakrishnan at the latter's office in Colombo and made above request. more..

UPFA minority parties unhappy over SLFP deal for national govt

Feb 24 (FT) Minority parties of the UPFA expressed their displeasure over the SLFP decision to support a national govt. UPFA left-wing politician Vasudeva Nanayakkara said that if the SLFP was going to consent to the concept of a national govt it showed that they were surrendering to the UNP. “If such a decision is taken it shows that the SLFP is distancing itself from its challenging powers and surrendering to the UNP. more..

Listed Company gets First Bhikkhu Director

Feb 24 (DN) Venerable Theeniyawala Palitha Thera has been appointed as a member of the board of directors of the Lanka Hospitals PLC. The Lanka Hospitals PLC which came under the purview of the Finance Ministry appointed a 13 member board to manage the institution. Ven. Theeniyawala Palitha Thera is the chief incumbent of Nalandaramaya Temple in Nugegoda and a prominent member of the UNP's National Bhikkhu Front. Ven Palitha Thera had been a prominent activist against more..

JVP opposes national govt move

Feb 24 (Island) JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake yesterday said that his party would not support moves being made to form a national govt. He insisted that Parliament be dissolved on April 23 and a fresh general election be held. He said that the JVP would not approve of surreptitious moves being made to bypass a general election. Dissanayake said: "If there is a real need for a national govt that may be formed after the next general election. more..

Packer played politics: Ranil

Feb 24 (BS) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has defended his govt’s decision to withdraw licence approval and millions of dollars in tax breaks for James Packer’s now-scrapped $450 million Colombo Crown ­casino project, saying there was nothing in it for the country. Mr Wickremesinghe, who began his third term in office last month after former president ­Rajapaksa lost the election, also hinted that more..

Fifty injured in multiple collision

Feb 24 (DN) Fifty passengers were injured and 39 among them admitted to the Dambulla Hospital after a private bus and two lorries collided in Digampathaha, Dambulla last morning. The bus plying on the Dambulla-Habarana main road had turned turtle after colliding head on with a lorry that came from the opposite direction near the Digampathaha Navy Camp. Among the injured were 18 women, 17 men, a boy and three girls. Eleven persons have already left hospital after more..

Green light for new political parties

Feb 24 (CT) The Elections Secretariat will accept applications to register new political parties on 28 March following a lapse of five years, Elections Commissioner, Mahinda Deshapriya said. Dates have now been set for local govt elections at Pudukkudiyiruppu and Maritime Pattu. A month after these elections, applications for Party registrations and polling cards would be called for. The 2009 No. 58 Elections Act (Amended) states that applications for polling cards and party registration more..

'National policy on economy tomorrow'

Feb 24 (FT) Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, while addressing the corporate sector yesterday, confirmed that a positive outlook over the country’s economy had optimised investor confidence. He said that the Govt would announce its national policy on the economy next Wednesday, which would provide a clear direction as to where the govt intended to take the economy during the next few years. more..

Anoma promises to keep RVSA apolitical

Feb 24 (Island) Services of the Rana Viru Sewa Authority (RVSA) would be widened to give benefits to all war heroes without considering their political affiliations, its newly appointed Chairperson Anoma Fonseka said yesterday. Addressing the media after assuming duties, Fonseka said she knew the problems of Ranaviru families very well as she was a wife of a war hero. "I know the difficulties of Ranaviru families, especially widows of fallen war heroes more than others," she said more..

Union wants SLTB depoliticized

Feb 24 (CT) All Ceylon Transport Workers' Union (ACTWU) urged President Sirisena to appoint an independent committee to protect Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) from politicization. ACTWU General Secretary, Sepala Liyanage said, as permanent chairman was not appointed to the SLTB, at present a lot of irregular appointments had taken place within the short period of the new govt. "Previous regime used SLTB for political purposes which incurred millions of losses to SLTB. more..

Celcos in crisis mode

Feb 24 (DM) Five mobile service providers in the country gathered for a crisis meeting last Friday, to discuss possible actions to avert impacts of the far reaching tax proposals of the new govt on the sector. Possibility of taking legal action was also discussed, among others, if the govt went ahead with enacting laws demanding celcos to pay the 25% reload tax. In revised budget presented in Jan, celcos were asked to pay 25% tax to govt more..

Probe killings of political prisoners

Feb 24 (CT) TNA MP Eswarapatham Saravanapavan, in a letter to the Minister of Justice and Labour, Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, asked that he appoint a commission to investigate the brutal murders of Tamil political prisoners detained in Sri Lankan prisons over the years. In a letter sent to the Minister, the TNA MP asked that justice be established without race or religious differences in order to establish the promise of good governance. While he appreciated the fact that more..

DSI dominates Design Awards

Feb 24 (CT) SL footwear market leader, DSI dominated the Design Award Ceremony held at BMICH. Held parallel to the Footwear and Leather Fair 2015, the Awards Ceremony celebrated the best and brightest of the industry. The exhibition was organized jointly by the Sri Lanka EDB and Industrial Development Board (IDB) in collaboration with the Footwear and Leather Goods Manufacturers Association in SL as an endeavour to assist and upgrade local manufacturers and designers. more..

Army-run hotels may be discontinued

Feb 24 (ST) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is unlikely to allow the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) continue its hospitality service running hotels enticing tourists, govt said. Minister Navin Dissanayaka said that the PM was “not into the army doing business.” He noted that in terms of an economic model it would not hold well for the SLA to be engaged in business activities. Currently, the SLA is involved in running a number of hotels more..

President distributes aid to owners of flood damaged houses in Polonnaruwa District

Feb 24 (GDI) Politicians as well as public officials should dedicate themselves to fulfill the needs of the public said President Maithripala Sirisena. He further said that it is the responsibility of the govt to look into the welfare of the people during disaster situations. President expressed these comments on Monday at the Buddhi Hall in Polonnaruwa while distributing aid to the owners of houses completely and partly damaged in the Polonnaruwa District due to floods in Dec 2014. more..

'Documentation, main drawback in Indo-Lanka FTA'

Feb 24 (CT) A visiting Indian Professor said last week that the documentation was the main drawback in the smooth implementation of the Indo-Lanka Free Trade Agreement. "Sri Lanka utilizes 98% of the FTA. The main issue hindering the smooth functioning of the FTA is the documentation. There has to be accredited authorities that both countries could accept. Otherwise when both countries want foodstuffs to be checked at either side, the cargo lies in the port for a long time. more..

‘Expat Tamils returned with funds but left due to red tape’

Feb 24 (Island) Some members of the Tamil diaspora had come in their numbers with enough funds to invest in the North, following the end of the war, but the unprecedented red tape had resulted in them making a hasty retreat, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Yarlpanam (CCIY) said. Asked by The Island why the Tamil diaspora was not making big investments in the North of Sri Lanka though the war had ended more..

India-Sri Lanka renewable energy growth forum 2015

Feb 24 (PRN) UBM India, host of the annual Renewable Energy India (REI) expositions in the country, announced its first ever India-Sri Lanka Renewable Energy Growth Forum, to showcase the business opportunities that exist in both the countries in the field of renewable energy. Exclusively supported by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, this one-day conference is being held on 11th March at The Galadari Hotel, Colombo and gains further significance in the light of more..

Sampath Group ups profit by 45% to Rs 5.2b

Feb 24 (CT) Post tax profit of Samapth Group, consisting of Samapath Bank and its four subsidiaries for 2014 crossed the Rs 5.0Bn mark and reached Rs 5.267Bn, as compared to Rs 3.637 Bn for 2013, recording a growth of Rs 1.63Bn or 44.8%. Post tax profit of the bank for the year amounted to Rs 4.914 Bn, as compared to Rs 3.430 Bn achieved in 2013, which represented a growth of Rs1.484 Bn or 43.2%. This was achieved, despite extremely challenging external conditions of more..

Shashi uses DPL Passport for six visits

Feb 24 (DM) Former Minister Wimal Weerawansa’s wife Shashi now in the centre of a major controversy on the basis of having obtained a diplomatic passport by using fraudulent documents had reportedly travelled overseas on six different occasions since Sept 2010. Ms. Weerawansa, whose DPL passport D3642817 issued on Sept 13, 2010 under the name of Randunu Mudiyanselage Shehasha Udayanthi Ranasinghe, had made more..

Com Bank Dec quarter net up 2.15%

Feb 24 (EN) Commercial Bank group said December 2014 quarter net profit rose 2.15% to 3.4 billion rupees from a year ago supported by higher fee income and lower provisioning for bad loans. It said in a stock exchange filing diluted earnings per share for the quarter were 3.91 rupees. Net interest income rose 13% to 7.3 billion rupees as interest expenses fell while interest income rose marginally. Net fees and commission income for the December quarter rose 23% to 1.4 billion rupees more..

Undergrad's suicide opens a can of worms

Feb 24 (CT) The report as at 2014 by the WHO, as per their current rankings have Sri Lanka ranked in the fourth place among 172 countries in 'suicides' with 28.8 deaths for every 100,000 people, which is far above the global average of 11.4 per 100,000. Amali Chathurika, a 23 year old undergrad, would now be registered as yet another such statistic on the list of suicides in Sri Lanka. She hung herself off her own roof in her house at Pannipitiya using her mother's sari. more..

Hambantota port explodes with thumping losses in bunker fuel sale

Feb 24 (ST) Purchase of bunker fuel for Hambantota port has stopped as it had incurred losses amounting to US$16 million since it commenced operations in June 2014. Newly appointed SLPA Chairman Dr Lakdas Panagoda said bunkering at Hambantota incurred losses. Authorities found that bunkering was started without studying the subject carefully with a bank facility of $30 million for sole purpose of purchasing bunker fuel. more..

BOI impresses Japanese investors in Singapore

Feb 24 (Island) Board of Investment of Sri Lanka conducted a series of events in Singapore in collaboration with MizuhoBank which had signed a MOU recently with BOI to promote Japanese investment into Sri Lanka. Keizo Tsuchiya, Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Advisor initiated this investment promotion mission. Eran Wickramaratne, Deputy Minister of Highways, Higher Education and Investment Promotion led the BOI delegation to Singapore recently more..

Editorial: Nugegoda tremors

Feb 24 (Island) Last week’s successful pro-Mahinda rally has unsettled the govt though its leaders have sought to put a bold face on it. Claiming that they won’t be cowed by such muscle flexing they have gone into the attack mode. Wimal Weerawansa’s wife has been arrested over an alleged offence committed some years ago! He challenged them to do so and they did! PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has dared former President Rajapaksa to contest the next general election if he can. more..