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Imprisoned in a beleagured economy

June 27 (CT) Among the principal planks of present govt, riding to power, was the pledge to totally uproot rampant corruption, develop the economy while improving social standards, among a host of others. To the credit of govt, it had the will to pass 19th Amendment which transferred some of the powers vested in the President to Parliament, constituting Independent Commissions and some other developments such as more..

Did forces jump the gun over Sampur?

June 27 (DM) The decision by the forces is a matter of concern though it appears to be justifiable: from where did they get the courage, skill, and strength for the action and why didn’t they think of alternatives when they had plenty of other administrative avenues to raise the issue? Creating situations that are well blown up, extravagant, and thus improbable; the whole drama became a Comedy of Errors. The three Commanders, on May 25 ordered in writing, more..

Brexit: Victory for xenophobia, nationalism, exclusivity

June 27 (DM) The referendum in the UK on whether the country should remain in the European Union (EU) or leave it – Brexit is over. For better or for worse, the majority of UK’s voters opted to leave the EU. The campaign to leave the EU was not based on economics. The Bank of England had warned that leaving the union would have an adverse effect on the UK. The campaign to leave initially led by Nigel Farage of the UK Independent Party (UKIP) based itself on populist issues and more..

COPE chief to quit if ...

June 27 (Island) Chairman of COPE Sunil Handunnetti (JVP) threatens to resign from the post if he feels the members of the committee are being influenced by outside forces trying to clear CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran of wrongdoing in the alleged bond scams. Handunnetti said that he would resign as COPE chairman if there were attempts by committee members to delay the report containing findings of committee's investigation more..

Govt says no to Thonda

June 27 (Island) Govt has decided not to offer portfolios to CWC leader or any of its members due to opposition from the politicians from the estate sector already with the govt. A Minister said six plantation politicians including Minister P. Digambaram had strongly objected to the govt’s move to offer portfolios to the CWC members and hence it had to change its earlier decision. They have said that Arumugam Thondaman and the CWC campaigned against the incumbent President more..

Despite public outrage, Mahendran on the Committee

June 27 (CT) Despite public outrage against Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran, PM has appointed him to a committee tasked to prepare a report on improving economic relations with the rest of Asia. This was revealed during a speech made by the PM in Galle yesterday, at a meeting to recruit more members to the UNP. "The committee will be convened by Charitha Ratwatte. The other members will be Treasury Secretary R. Paskaralingam, Indrajith Kumaraswami, more..

PM explains Brexit fallout on SL : Four Asian deals timely in light of Brexit

June 27 (DN) In a bid to mitigate the impact on the country’s economy by the UK’s exit from the European Union, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has appointed a Committee for the compilation of a preliminary report as to how to strengthen country’s relations in the Asian region. PM participating in a UNP membership promotion campaign at Galle Urban Council, stressed that country’s relations with Asian countries should be broadened. more..

Sri Lankan Airlines to change management

June 27 (ITN) Sub Committee on Economic Affairs has recommended that ground handling operations of the Katunayake International Airport to be handed over to Sri Lanka Airport and Air Services Company. At present these operations are being done by the Sri Lankan Airlines. Govt has decided to handover the management of Sri Lankan Airlines to a foreign partner company. Therefore the Sub Committee has pointed out that the ground operations of the Airport should be kept under the govt. more..

Mihin Lanka losses total Rs. 17 billion

June 27 (EN) Sri Lanka's state-run carrier Mihin Lanka has lost 17 billion rupees over the past seven year, and has received a 15 billion rupee 'letter of comfort in 2015, a Finance Ministry report said. Mihin Lanka was founded by ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa and a close ally Sajin Vass Gunewardene, with tax-payer money and has made losses from day one. The Finance Ministry report said it had been given a 15 billion rupee letter of comfort in 2015 to continue operations. more..

TNA forms team for talks with Govt

June 27 (CT) The TNA has formed an eight-member team to find solutions to the crucial issues in the North and East. The eight members were selected from the TNA's four constituent parties at a meeting held at the TNA Leader R. Sampanthan's office in Colombo. TNA's constituent parties, ITAK, PLOTE, TELO & EPRLF brought out the burning issues in N&E and insisted on the necessity of holding negotiations with govt. more..

Malik off to India

June 27 (CT) Minister of International Trade Malik Samarawickrama is to visit India next week to discuss the Economic and Technology Cooperative Agreement (ETCA), PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. "We must take steps to improve relations with the rest of Asia. We are going to come to an agreement with India. Rajapaksa regime did not want these agreements but we are trying to sign four agreements with Asian nations," he said addressing a rally in Galle yesterday. more..

Negative economic fallout predicted for Sri Lanka from Brexit vot

June 27 (Island) "UK has voted to exit from the the world’s largest trading bloc, the European Union, which accounts for 15 per cent of the world’s trade in goods and services. Therefore, it is the export market for more than 80 countries, including Sri Lanka, a top exporter said. "So, the economic consequences of the disruption that could be caused by the UK pulling out of the EU would be felt even in our part of the world. The reason being, under the GSP plus trade agreement, more..

Central Bank draws up action plan for govt in view of Brexit

June 27 (Island) Central Bank on Saturday submitted an action plan to the govt detailing measures to be taken in view of Britain’s exit from the European Union. Action Plan handed over to President and PM had been prepared by Financial Research Division of Central Bank on the instructions from Governor Arjuna Mahendran. The 9-page Action Plan outlines the strategies and steps SL govt should take in view of forthcoming more..

Dr. Padeniya becomes GMOA President for sixth time

June 27 (Island) Dr. Anurudda Padeniya was re-elected President of the GMOA for the sixth time on Saturday. The election was held at the auditorium of the Organisation of Professional Associations (OPA). Specialist doctors Muditha Kudagama and Sanjeewa Thennakoon were elected vice presidents while Dr Naveen de Zoysa was re-elected Secretary. Doctors Chandana Dharmaratne, Haritha Aluthge, Kanchana Bulankulama and Sai Niranjana were elected deputy secretaries. more..

SLPI welcomes Parliament’s passing of 2016 RTI Bill

June 27 (FT) Sri Lanka Press Institute welcomes the passage of the Right of Access to Information (RTI) Billby unanimous vote in Parliament on Friday. The SLPI, which comprises the Newspaper Society of SL, Editors’ Guild of SL, Free Media Movement, SL Working Journalists Association and affiliates viz., the SL Tamil Media Alliance, Muslim Media Forum, Federation of Media Employees Trade Unions and South Asia Free Media Association had long campaigned for this law beginning from 1998 more..

Clash of views over Executive Presidency at SLFP CC meeting

June 27 (DN) Two incompatible views were expressed at the SLFP Central Committee (CC) meeting last week on the abolition of the Executive Presidency, State Minister Dilan Perera said. He said one group was of the view that the Executive Presidency should be retained with powers pruned, while another section of members said it should be abolished. He said the CC was unable to come to a final agreement as more..

Yala Warden harassed for uncovering exertion of political pressure

June 27 (DM) Warden of the Yala National Park Suranga Rathnayake remains harassed and an unbearable amount of pressure is levelled on him after he revealed to the media how political pressure was exerted on him and Wildlife Conservation Department (WLCD) Director General Dr. Sumith Pilapitiya, prompting the latter to resign, it is learnt. Suranga Rathnayake said that Minister Gamini Jayawickrama Perera urged him to apologise to Minister Sajith Premadasa following more..

Plunkett's ten-year half-century, and Hales' return to earth

June 27 (CI) Liam Plunkett made his ODI debut nearly 11 years ago, against Pakistan in Lahore, so it's fair to say he has bided his time. When he struck with his second ball to remove Kusal Perera, top-edging a swing to the leg side, it took him to 50 ODI wickets in his 37th match. In terms of time, it has taken him 10 years and 199 days - but that isn't quite the longest for an England bowler: Graeme Swann, who played his first ODI in early 2000 before a 7-year gap, needed 10 years and 232 days. more..

Example is better than advice in building a drug free country: President

June 27 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena says the example is better than the advice in the program to build a drug free country. “Everybody should be committed to fulfill their responsibility, according to their self-conscience”, he said. The President was speaking at the 6th phase of the National Program for Drug Free Country, held today (26) at the New Tow Hall in Nuwara Eliya. more..

Tri, Sri Lanka: exclusive review

June 27 (CNT) Koggala Lake is dark glass. Pre-dawn, the jungle on the far shore is smudgy with steam, but in the mirror-lake, each frond is distinctly drawn. The sun rises, the image inverts. It's important to catch the precise moment when the lake gives the day back its edges. It helps that I can practise this ritual from my bed at the just-opened Tri sanctuary in Sri Lanka's deep south, though I didn't come here for enlightenment. I first came to this island as a student, for the beach parties, more..

Softlogic & Fairfax Asia establish partnership

June 27 (FT) Softlogic Holdings PLC and Fairfax Asia on Friday announced that they have signed an agreement to enter into a 10-year exclusive general insurance Distribution Agreement. The consideration payable under this agreement is Rs. 224 million. As part of this transaction, Asian Alliance Insurance PLC announced that it has signed a Share Sale and Purchase Agreement with Fairfax Asia to sell all of the shares that it holds in Asian Alliance General Insurance Ltd. more..

'Ad hoc policy changes jolt to Auto Industry'

June 27 (DN) In the last couple of months or so the policies with regard to the automobile industry has been very ad hoc. Policies in the last 12-13 months have changes almost 14 times, said new Chairman Ceylon Motor Trader Association (CMTA), Reeza Rauf. This ad hoc chances in policy especially in automobile industry is a very difficult task to cope with because the industry needs a lot of planning and forecasting. more..

Difference of opinion in bid to form new party

June 27 (SL) Attempts by the joint opposition to form a new political alliance are facing rocky ground with difference of opinion arising among some of the members. Sources revealed that difference of opinion has arisen primarily between joint opposition members and former provincial council members supportive of former President Rajapaksa. The new political alliance was set to be formed on Tuesday and former Minister Basil Rajapaksa was set to play a key role in the party. more..

Watching them grow

June 27 (NS) Skipper Angelo Mathews and coach Graham Ford have made the right inputs to a side where youngsters are nurtured to face the challenges in international cricket. With Sri Lanka’s tour of England still being kept alive with the first ODI finishing in a tie, what has happened till now is more of an experience that one gets at an examination hall. Students who sit for examinations don’t really gain any new experience in this environment, but what happens is that when more..

England restrict subdued SL before washout

June 27 (CI) Fifties to Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal and Angelo Mathews were the sparks in a Sri Lanka score of 248 for 9, but gloom ultimately defined the day, after rain washed out play four overs into the reply. The back end of Sri Lanka's innings had been played in drizzle, which persisted through the lunch break and for some time afterwards. Although the weather relented to allow the teams to resume play, it returned at more..

Editorial: Acid test for COPE

June 27 (Island) Last year’s ouster of Mahendra (Percy Mahendra Rajapaksa) as President paved the way for the formation of the present govt. Its unity is now threatened by moves being made to oust Mahendran (Arjuna) as Central Bank Governor. UNP, which catapulted Mahendran to that high post, has defended him to the hilt in spite of allegations of two mega bond scams against him. Having dug its heels in on the question of granting him another term, the UNP has opted for a tactical retreat. more..

India, Geneva and the timing sense

June 27 (NS) Sri Lanka and India united once again last week to reopen the newly refurbished Durayappah stadium. President Maithripala Sirisena was joined by Indian Premier via video conference. The stadium equipped with the latest facilities and several improvements is expected to be utilized by schools, youth organizations and other institutions. The opening of the renovated stadium is a positive thing especially for the students and youngsters. The recent developments where youngsters more..

'I don’t bust up state funds'

June 27 (CT) CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran says that he has been acquitted by the Supreme Court and other Courts in the Treasury Bonds allegations. I hope COPE may do me justice. Q: You are the focal point of many political discussions in Parliament, media, opposition and COPE. Why is that? A: It is good. I render my service honestly for my country. The discussions may be because of my unique work as the Governor of CBSL. more..

London Haamus reject lankan Yakko advice

June 27 (SL) The UNP trio that went to London to advise British voters of SL origin on the British referendum has run into heavy flak of some of our Londoners. SL Three has been mockingly compared with The Three Kings -The Three Wise Men – who visited Jesus on his birth. SL Trio comprised prominent UNPers – one Minister, one Deputy Minister and a queen, an ex-beauty queen turned politician & diplomat. Despite all that some haughty SL Haamus have scoffed off SL advice. more..

Clang! Sri Lanka's street food sounds as good as it tastes …

June 27 (TG) You can hear Sri Lanka’s favourite street snack being made before you see it. The loud, distinctive sound of metal blades bashing against a metal hotplate fills the smoky air along the seafront at Galle Face Green in Colombo, mingling with the crash of waves against the sea wall and the cries of cooks yelling orders at each other. Like many great dishes, kottu is made from leftovers, using day-old rotis that are chopped into strips and mixed with spices, egg, chicken or beef, and more..

JVP press conference

Power Corrupts

June 27 (SL) After it was exposed how former Wildlife Minister S.M. Chandrasena had obtained electricity for his hotel illegally from the police post which is paid by the govt, more fraudulent activities of the former minister have now come to light. According to North Central Provincial Council Member Wasantha Samarasinghe, Chandrasena was involved in several illegal activities overwhich neither theformer government nor the present govt has taken any action. more..

A tribute to mrs Ishvari Corea – Librarian

June 27 (Island) Sri Lanka Library Association held its 56th Annual Sessions and General Meeting on June 24. It’s an opportune time to remember a pioneer librarian, who was a very active member of the Association. I interviewed her recently and this is what she said to my first question: "What is your main thought about your career as a librarian?" "I thought I had done a good job to the best of my ability and always enjoyed my work." When I asked her about her retirement and was she happy, more..

'Honour election promises'

June 27 (SO) The Civil society of the country was one of the major forces which contributed to the victory of the current government. Different factions of citizens’ movements rallied behind the common campaign to bring a govt based on good governance to power in Sri Lanka. One and a half years later, the same factions of civil society launched into action yet again, this time to ensure the govt makes good on election promises. more..

United Kingdom, a kingdom not united

June 27 (ST) It was a Hamletian moment but on a much larger canvass. If Hamlet was an individual confronted with doubts, the UK was a nation faced with a historic and life changing decision. To go or not to go, that was the question. It was the question that faced the British voters as they headed for the polling centres on Thursday to make that vital decision at a referendum, the second referendum connected with European membership since the one held 41 years ago. more..

Using RTI as an extraordinary exception

June 27 (ST) This Friday as SL’s Parliament unanimously approved the 2016 RTI Bill amidst the mumbling discontents of its gloomy detractors in the House, sceptics raised a rare and hearty cheer. Born out of a tortuous process ranging back over two decades and frustrated by political hostility on several occasions, it was difficult to believe that this country had at last passed an information law which, though not perfect as such laws rarely are, eminently sufficed for the purpose. more..

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