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CCCSL maintains Sri Lanka's Southern Railway project built on low costs

Apr 18 (Xinhua) Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Sri Lanka (CCCSL) on rejected the accusation by the new govt that the Southern Railway project in the island nation was constructed on a higher cost than the Northern Railway project. Rejecting a statement by the country's deputy minister of economic development, CCCSL said that according to the relevant Chinese contractor involved in the Southern Railway project, more..

Keangnam’s fate will not affect Waterfront Project: JKH

Apr 18 (DM) Korean construction house Keangnam Enterprises, which holds a significant stake in the construction of John Keells Group’s Waterfront Project could be facing liquidation, after stocks hit the bottom in The Korea Exchange. However, John Keells Group Deputy Chairman Ajit Gunawardene said that this would not affect the US$ 800 million project. “As far as we are concerned, there is no impact. Our contract is with Hyundai,” he said. Hyundai Engineering and Construction, more..

‘No Confidence Motion is illegal’

Apr 18 (NS) Central Province Chief Minister Sarath Ekanayake said that he doesn’t fear the No Confidence Motion that had been submitted against him, and dismissed it, saying ’it is ‘illegal’. Speaking further, Ekanayake said he had learned of the no confidence motion through the media. He nevertheless, expressed confidence that the motion would be unsuccessful and said he was confident of facing whatever was coming. Meanwhile, the no confidence motion, containing the signatures more..

Dual citizenship by end April

Apr 18 (CT) Department of Emigration and Immigration said that several applications of more than 300 received for dual citizenship to date from Sri Lankans living abroad, who are also citizens of other countries, have been selected and are pending final approval. The 4-member committee appointed to select these applications was continuing further investigations to process more applications. more..

Israel employment contracts breached

Apr 18 (CT) Sri Lankan migrant workers who left for Israel to work in agricultural projects have decided to extend their stay illegally in contravention of the terms of their employment agreements signed with the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) Deputy General Manager of the SLBFE Mangala Randeniya said. "These migrant workers were sent through a government agency under the supervision of the SLBFE. They were supposed to work for six months. more..

Sinhala & Tamil New Year Celebrated in Cuba

Apr 18 (AT) The staff and families of the Sri Lankan Embassy in Cuba joined by members of the Sri Lankan community and students celebrated Sinhala & Tamil New Year (Aluth Avurudhu in Sinhala and Puththandu in Tamil) on 14th April at the chancery premises in Havana in a truly festive atmosphere resembling traditional new year celebrations back in their motherland. It all began after the exchange of new year greetings with one another followed by lighting the ceremonial oil lamp more..

Court fight with ex-wife strands father of two in Sri Lanka

Apr 18 (SCD) When Jayden Jacenko turned two yesterday, his father wasn't there to celebrate. Instead, Dusan Jacenko was half a world away, trapped in a Sri Lankan legal minefield. An ongoing dispute over maintenance payments to his ex-wife has left the former Sunshine Coast man virtually a prisoner in the island nation he has called home since 1999. The dispute has become so bogged down in that country's more..

Construction of houses for Meeriyabedda victims commences

Apr 18 (NS) Construction of 75 houses for landslide-affected families in Meeriyabedda has commenced, the Ministry of Plantation Infrastructure Development said. Secretary to the Ministry of Plantation Infrastructure Development, V. Sivagnanasothy said the Sri Lanka Army will be carrying out construction work on these houses, and that it has already put up its site office. Land clearance has been done and the foundation work for the housing program has already commenced. more..

Good governance in Sri Lanka

Apr 18 (HP) The World Bank Group's Worldwide Governance Indicators are: voice and accountability, political stability and absence of violence, government effectiveness, regulatory quality, rule of law and control of corruption. The defeat of Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Sri Lankan Presidential elections on January 8 is attributed to violations of these indicators, most notably the control of corruption. His regime was charged with nepotism, cronyism, abuse of financial transactions more..

First open air zoo unveiled

Apr 18 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s public will be given the opportunity of visiting its first open air zoo, adjoining the Elephant Orphanage in Pinnawala free of charge from today until the 01st of next month. “The public will be given the opportunity of visiting this zoo free of charge from today until the 01st of next month,” the report said. “Sri Lanka’s second zoological gardens and the first open air zoo will be opened today and more..

Exploiting Sri Lanka's oil and gas reserves

Apr 18 (DN) Cairn India announced its withdrawal from natural gas exploration in the Mannar Basin last week, following falling global oil prices. The govt is now reportedly holding talks with other oil companies to exploit the gas from the Mannar Basin. The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad expressed his govt's willingness to support Sri Lanka's oil exploration efforts during his visit in March, which gives the country yet another option in its quest for oil wealth. more..

Tax man acquitted of bribery charges

Apr 18 (CT) Colombo High Court Judge, Padman Surasena acquitted a Provincial Inland Revenue Tax Assessor, C.M. Wijebandara of Polonnaruwa from four counts of bribery alleged against him. In his testimony before Court, Moralanda alleged that Wijebandara of the Polonnaruwa Inland Revenue Office, who was handling his tax file solicited and accepted a sum of Rs 30,000 for reducing the amount of Business Turn Over Tax payable by him pertaining to his hardware business, more..

Harsha says bleeding analysis of Treasury Bond fiasco is bunkum

Apr 18 (FT) Govt rebuffed the Rs. 42.5 billion bleeding analysis arising from the Treasury Bond fiasco as bunkum and claimed the expert computation was highly hypothetical. The response came from Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva following the Daily FT article yesterday that the 30-year T-Bond fiasco had created an additional cost to Government borrowing. FT article was based on an expert computation along with tabulated data. more..

First Hotel Management Conference in Colombo

Apr 18 (GDI) Ceylon Hotel School Graduates Association will hold its first Hotel Management Conference from May 12-13 at the Taj Samudra Hotel, Colombo. The two-day conference on the theme 'Strategic Management for Hospitality Leaders' will showcase the growing potential that lies within the travel and hospitality sector and explore approaches that allow companies to create further value for stakeholders, Chairman Conference Committee, Ceylon Hotel School Graduates more..

FSP won’t back Somawansa

Apr 18 (DM) The FSP which broke ranks with the JVP some years ago said it would not back former JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe, who quit the party or the JVP itself. FSP Central Committee Member Pubudu Jayagoda said that the latest rift between Mr. Aramasinghe and the JVP was merely a policy issue. He said the JVP’s current leader was more towards right-wing based politics and had tilted towards associating with right wing parties while Mr. Amarasinghe favoured a nationalistic line. more..

Sri Lanka’s superbrands of the year

Apr 18 (FT) The year’s most valuable Sri Lankan brands along with other supporting lists were recently released by Brand Finance Lanka in the latest Brands Annual. This year, Brand Finance Lanka also looked at smaller, niche brands and identified those that are pioneering the digital marketing sphere, as well as those newly emerging brands which could be the future face of Sri Lanka to the world. Whilst branding is well known and more..

Youth kills father, commits suicide

Apr 18 (CT) A 21-year-old youth committed suicide after killing his father in the afternoon of Wednesday. The suicide followed the killing in Nawanagara, Ganangalla area of Polonnaruwa within a very short space of time. Ceylon Today learns that initially the 57-year-old father identified as Denipitiya Liyanaarachchige Jayasinghe had been brutally killed by his 21-year-old son Dilshan Sampath Jayasinghe. Police said the killing was a sequel to a dispute between father and son. more..

Weliwita summoned by FCID

Apr 18 (DM) Former Presidential coordinating secretary and CSN Channel founder director Rohan Weliwita has been summoned by the Financial Criminal Investigation Division on Sunday over a complaint on alleged financial misappropriation in the channel, police said. Earlier, CSN Director Nishantha Ranatunga was also questioned by the FCID over financial misappropriation at CSN. The FCID had so far received 52 complaints and they were expediting the probes on them. more..

State credit expands sharply in January

Apr 18 (EN) Sri Lanka's credit to the state from commercial banks as well as printed money from the Central Bank which results in later forex reserve losses, had risen sharply in January 2015, official data shows. Credit to private borrowers rose 21.0 billion rupees in January, down from an unusual December peak of 76.5 billion rupees and also down from the 40 to 50 billion rupee pace seen since a recovery in credit from August. more..

Analysts slam surprise rate cut

Apr 18 (NS) Sri Lanka’s independent research analysts last week termed the decision by the Central Bank Monetary Board to cut policy interest rates by 50 basis points as a surprise given that there wasn’t such a requirement, as private sector credit growth had been recovering steadily in the midst of a low inflationary environment. Their observations came in the wake of Central Bank announcing that headline inflation, on a year-on-year (y-o-y) basis, declined to 0.1% in March 2015 more..

Disorder within, disorder without

Apr 18 (FT) “There are two ways of being a politician, the first is to bring to politics all one’s ideas, energies and even possessions to enrich it with one’s riches and yet in the midst of it to maintain one’s own intellectual and inner preoccupations, so that the management of public affairs maybe ennobled by them. The second way is the exact opposite. It consists of taking from politics all one’s ideas, along with the power and many other resources. more..

Expressway to North in the backburner

Apr 18 (NS) The Govt last week said construction work of the expressway headed towards the North has been placed in the backburner and added that work would begin only after the completion of the Colombo-Kandy expressway. Deputy Minister Eran Wickremaratne said that Govt was yet to commence work on the Colombo-Kandy expressway and added that the segment of the expressway leading to the North would only commence more..

Sri Lanka liberalizes Mattala aiport completely; what it means

Apr 18 (EN) Govt has announced the complete liberalization of Mattala Airport in a desperate attempt to make something of the inherited white elephant. The investment is sunk. Recrimination is pointless. It is in everyone’s interest that Mattala at least covers operational costs, without dragging down other govt entities such as SriLankan Airlines and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority. According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka’s Annual Report, in 2014 the Mattala Airport more..

CCC says uncertainty affecting economic and biz environment

Apr 18 (DM) The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) yesterday urged the President and the govt to end the prevailing political uncertainty by holding the general election as soon as possible, preferably keeping to the dates announced in the 100-day program. CCC said it was concerned by the diverse positions taken on the forthcoming general election by parties currently forming the coalition govt. The chamber stressed that the prevailing uncertainty impacts negatively on the economic and more..

'Maturity of Mathews was high point'

Apr 18 (NS) One thing that stands out vividly in memory during his two-year stint as manager of the Sri Lanka cricket team for Michael de Zoysa is the maturing of Angelo Mathews as a man and a batsman and more importantly as a captain - able to take on the responsibility and show his class. “That was one of the great highlights of that period. I always knew he was a good player,” De Zoysa whose contract as manager ended with more..

Rugby to come under Interim Committee?

Apr 18 (NS) An Interim Committee to administer rugby is in the pipeline after it has now been disclosed that no contestants (apart from the present old guard) had entered the fray to contest the upcoming election of office-bearers to the Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union (SLRFU) with nominations already closed, Nation learns. The only contestants in the fray are the current SLRFU president Asanga Seneviratne, his vice president Lasitha Gunaratne and secretary Nalin de Silva. more..

John bats for Anura

Apr 18 (Island) The resignation of former JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe from it would be good for the party which was forging ahead in the right direction, Public Order and Christian Religious Affairs Minister John Amaratunga told The Island yesterday. Minister Amaratunga recalling the last JVP uprising, said Somawansa was a prominent leader along with their first leader Rohana Wijeweera, who shed the blood of innocent youth, police and army persennel.

Legend and lore on Sinharaja

Apr 18 (CT) Would you believe it if you were told that the last lion lived within the majestic forest of Sinharaja? Be that as it may, it is believed that the origin of Sinharaja was in the pre-historic era - that is about 150 million years ago during the origin of flowering plants. During this time which was known as the Paleozoic era Sri Lanka was part of Gondwana land and the Sinharaja forest evolved as a virgin forest as such from the more..

Pingo loads of political desperation

Apr 18 (Island) Negam Yaama or the visiting of family, relatives and friends is an important tradition of the Sinhala & Tamil New Year festivity. It helps strengthen existing relations, promotes goodwill, erases enmities and draws new people into the circle of relatives and friends. With politics, embracing almost all aspects of life in Sri Lanka, it is not surprising that in the past decades, politics did play a major part in the Negam Yaama tradition, with political leaders in any area, more..

Editorial: The Bard’s teeth

Apr 18 (Island) The country is limping back to normal after the traditional New Year. Its full recovery will take a few days more. While most Sri Lankans are still kicking back and enjoying themselves with some struggling to get over the Avurudu hangover and return to work, a good teacher yesterday sent us an email (published on the opposite page today) posing a question to our readers. We wish we knew the answer to her question: Has permission been granted for more..

Farewell to a Master

Apr 18 (NS) Among the hundreds and thousands of Sinhala songs, Neela Wickremasinghe’s Viyo Gee Gayenaa Hade, Ran Tikiri Sina and Master Sir, Milton Mallawarachchi’s Upul Nuwan Widahaa and Amaradeva’s Nim Him Sewwa are invaluable. Although the lyrics are popular in Sinhala, they were originally written in English. Two days after Sinhala Avurudu, comes the sad news of passing of lyricist Nimal Mendis more..

Magistrates: The weak link in policing

Apr 18 (CT) Some police officers have been explicit in the contention that police corruption is what breeds terrorism. Tamils who are regularly taken in by the Police on suspicion would readily agree. Officers in charge of some police stations and certain officers in police units investigating terrorism have been known to hold persons arbitrarily to obtain money for their release. Reports of such officers have come from detainees held by the CDB, CSU, and the more recent TID. more..

New Year messages from West

Apr 18 (CT) Three key International figures this week have expressed their concerns over the alleged war crimes in the Island and on the atrocities committed during the post-war period in the past five years. In the back drop of Britain gearing up for the parliamentary polls in the early part of May this year, British PM cum Conservative Party Leader, David Cameron and the Leader of the Opposition, David Miliband, who is also the Labour Party Leader have emphasized on the need of more..

When volunteers built houses in Muttur

Apr 18 (CT) In the early hours of 21 March, over 20 buses commenced their journey to Trincomalee from both the Galle Face Green and the Viharamahadevi Park. The buses which were full of nearly 600 youth and young professionals were on an ambitious journey to build approximately 60 houses in Muttur. The sun peeked through the clouds and shone its rays of light on us as we entered the Dambulla Cricket Stadium for a more..

India's don't kill Prabhakaran policy is not the only failure

Apr 18 (CT) Gen. V.K. Singh's forthright critique of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) experience and his shocking revelation that Prabhakaran was let off the hook on orders from above on more than one occasion when the IPKF had information on his whereabouts, prompts a reconsideration of those years. The line that the IPKF could have finished and was indeed finishing the job of defeating the LTTE when President Premadasa peremptorily got it to leave – a view shared by many more..

Flawed 19A allows Rajapaksa judgesto continue

Apr 18 (CT) Transitional Provision (Section 54) in the proposed 19th Amendment provides that every person holding office on the day preceding the date on which it becomes law, as the Chairman or a member of the (a) Parliamentary Council (b) Public Services Commission (c) National Police Commission (d) Human Rights Commission (e) Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption; or (f) Finance Commission, shall cease to hold such office with effect from more..