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KKS Presidential Palace to be high-end hotel International investors keen to take over
Published Date: 29/01/2018 (Monday)
President Maithripala Sirisena revealed that the vacant 'Presidential Palace' built in Kankesanthurai (KKS) in the Northern Province on a hundred acre land costing Rs 3.5 billion will be turned into a high end tourist hotel to generate profit for Sri Lanka. Construction on the presidential palace commenced in 2012......and was completed with 20 specially designed rooms and luxury suites with expensive chandeliers, two swimming pools, and rest rooms with residential facilities and several auditoriums as well as a golf course.
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Literary works in all three languages foster greater understanding and reconciliation: Mangala
Published Date: 29/01/2018 (Monday)
Minister of Finance and Mass Media Mangala Samaraweera on Friday said literary works in Sinhala, Tamil and English fostered greater understanding and reconciliation between Sri Lankans. Addressing the 2017 Fairway National Literary Award in Galle at the Fairway Literary Festival, the Minister said this was the only National Literary Awards competition which accommodated all three of the main languages used in Sri Lanka.
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Hate speech precedes violence: CaFFE
Published Date: 29/01/2018 (Monday)
Highlighting that hate speech is only a prelude to physical attacks/violence, the Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) urged the authorities to take immediate action to end the systematic hate speech campaign against female Muslim candidates of the forthcoming local government elections. The organisation has consulted with the Commission of Elections and will take action against certain Muslim clerics who have been carrying out the systematic campaign.
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Sri Lanka-Singapore FTA positive, expropriation protections may bring FDI: Moody's
Published Date: 29/01/2018 (Monday)
A Singapore Sri Lanka free trade agreement (SLSFTA) will be positive for both countries and protections against expropriation will increase foreign direct investments, which can also increase exports, Moody's a credit rating agency ha said. "The agreement also will promote direct investment in Sri Lanka by Singaporean companies," Christian de Guzman, Vice President – Senior Credit Officer said in Moody's credit outlook update. "By easing regulation in the services sector, the SLSFTA will broaden the scope of investment to other areas such as infrastructure, logistics, education and healthcare.
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Sri Lanka all set for more borrowings
Published Date: 28/01/2018 (Sunday)
Sri Lanka plans to launch her maiden Sovereign Bond (up to US$ 2 billion) for 2018 around mid-February, Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) officials told Ceylon FT. "We will soon appoint the Lead Managers/Book Runners to the proposed issue. As soon as it is finalized, we are ready to tap into international capital markets, most probably somewhere around mid-February," he said. The proposed transaction is to be Sri Lanka's 12th US dollar ($) benchmark offering in the international Bond markets since 2007.
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Kannan – Focal Point in reuniting the Ex-LTTE Cadre
Published Date: 28/01/2018 (Sunday)
A former active member of the LTTE and many of his colleagues in the erstwhile outfit, have come forward to reunite the divided, scattered and splintered former LTTE members into one strong organization and bring them into the main stream politics to serve the Tamils of Sri Lanka.Sebamalai Kannan Sebamalai Kannan, a veteran former LTTEr, who joined the outfit as a child soldier and subsequently undergone the governments rehabilitation program, presently involved in uniting the former rehabilitated LTTE cadres, into one group in a mainstream political
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Suspicions raised over Lasantha probe following President’s revelation
Published Date: 28/01/2018 (Sunday)
Suspicions have been raised over the ongoing investigations into the murder of the founding Editor of The Sunday Leader, Lasantha Wickrematunge following a revelation by President Maithripala Sirisena on Friday. The President said that when he had made inquiries from the relevant officials with regards to the progress of the investigations in 2016, he was told the investigations are expected to be completed in just over a week. He said that the relevant officials had informed him that further legal will be filed in relation to the murder of Wickrematunge as well as the murder of rugger player Wasim Thajudeen and the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda.
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Poaching in Sri Lankan waters to attract stiffer fines
Published Date: 28/01/2018 (Sunday)
LKR 6-175 mn penalty could be imposed on foreign vessels Sri Lanka has increased the fine on foreign vessels fishing in its territorial waters by amending its existing Fisheries Act of 1979. By implication, Indian vessels found fishing in Sri Lankan waters will henceforth be liable to pay anything between LKR 6 million (approximately Rs. 25 lakh) to LKR 175 million.
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Local Council Polls : ‘Do or die’ battle for Sirisena
Published Date: 28/01/2018 (Sunday)
• President uses Bond Commission findings as an artillery barrage against Rajapaksa’s SLPP and UNP; wins public support but will it translate into votes ? • Sirisena declines to answer questions as to whether he will contest again and says he is unsure where the current situation will end • Mahendran was the source from which Perpetual Treasuries Ltd. obtained “inside informantion”says Bond Commission
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Northern Myliddy, once second largest fish producer, slowly returns to normal
Published Date: 27/01/2018 (Saturday)
Myliddy in Sri Lanka’s northern Jaffna region, which once had the country’s second largest habour until the raging ethnic conflict destroyed that, is slowly returning to normal. For 27 years, the area was controlled by the army until last July when the Myliddy jetty was released to the public bringing happiness to the people. But living conditions in the area had deteriorated because all the houses were damaged during the war. Kankesanturai buses have extended their services up to Myliddy, but the Myliddy-Point Pedro road is still closed. Myliddy villagers who suffered most have settled in Point Pedro.
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Act immediately against Sri Lanka’s Fisheries Bill, Vaiko urges Centre
Published Date: 27/01/2018 (Saturday)
MDMK general secretary Vaiko has urged the Centre to immediately lodge its protest with the Sri Lankan government over the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (Amendment) Bill, saying it would be detrimental to the traditional fishing rights of Indians. He has also called on the Central government to ensure that the island nation withdrew the ‘controversial’ provisions of the Bill. Speaking to reporters here on Friday, Mr. Vaiko said the proposed law, which had the approval of the Sri Lankan government’s Cabinet, would give more powers to the Sri Lankan
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PAFFREL records 614 polls and general law violations
Published Date: 27/01/2018 (Saturday)
Polls monitor, the People's Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) had, by yesterday (26) morning, recorded a total of 614 complaints during the pre Local Government Election period. Of the 531 complaints they have received of incidents, all relate to 614 election law and general law violations, 76 are of incidents relating to acts of violence. A total of 13 hospitalizations have been reported to date in relation to those incidents.
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One cannot eat Liberal Democracy
Published Date: 27/01/2018 (Saturday)
Anti- corruption is only selectively campaigned in Colombo circles. The Rs.23.5 million a month rent paid for the DPJ Tower’ that still remains unoccupied for nearly two years and the alledged underhand Mega Spectrum deal that should be treated as a serious crime isn’t heard anywhere. The Bond Scam remains popular among Colombo middle-class circles as one that exposes the power struggle within the Yahapalana leadership. Now, the PRECIFAC Report gives some reason to yell against Rajapaksa corruption as well.
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President’s Catch-22 Can President send rogues to hell within two years?
Published Date: 27/01/2018 (Saturday)
In last November, he had indirectly warned State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe for accusing him of appointing the Presidential Commission on the Controversial Central Bank Bond Issuance. That was his first open salvo against the UNP. On January 3, he made a special statement to the country explaining the recommendations of the Bond Commission, one of which according to him, called for legal action by the Bribery Corruption Commission against UNP Deputy Leader and former Minister Ravi
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Avant Garde case: Commission recommends filing criminal cases against Gota, Senadhipathi and 11 others
Published Date: 27/01/2018 (Saturday)
The Presidential Commission of Inquiry has recommended filing criminal cases against 13 individuals including former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and Avant Garde Chairman Nissanka Senadhipathi over the Avant Garde case. The final report of Presidential Commission of Inquiry into Serious Acts of Fraud, Corruption and Abuse of Power, State Resources and Privileges (PRECIFAC) was tabled in Parliament on Tuesday. The other individuals against whom the Commission recommends filing criminal cases over the Avant Garde case include former Additional Defence Secretary Damayanthi Jayaratne, former Rakna Arakshaka Lanka Limited (RALL) CEO Major General K.B. Egodawela
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Maithree defends govt’s Geneva efforts, silent on TNA deadline
Published Date: 26/01/2018 (Friday)
President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday said Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative in Geneva (Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha) had made representations on behalf of Sri Lanka at the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) following revelations made by Lord Naseby in the House of Lords. Recently, the Foreign Ministry announced plans to replace Aryasinha late next month in the run-up to the Geneva sessions.
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LG polls in Puttalam and N&E Muslim cleric targets female candidates CMEV writes to EC and IGP
Published Date: 25/01/2018 (Thursday)
Polls monitor, Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) writing to the Elections Commission (EC), urged the Commission to take appropriate steps against attempts to hinder the electoral process via hate speech, which was causing discomfort and humiliation to female Local Government candidates contesting from the Puttalam District as well as the North and East. In a letter, copies of which were also sent to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Senior Assistant Head of Police (Administration and Elections) and the Assistant Election
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Two arrested with 288 polling cards in Mullaitivu
Published Date: 25/01/2018 (Thursday)
By Yusuf Ariff Police today said that two suspects in possession of 288 polling cards, for the 2018 Local Authorities Election, have been arrested at a residence in Pudukuduirippu, Mullaitivu. The polling cards were discovered inside the house located at Theravil, based on information received by Pudukuduirippu Police. The homeowner and a postman have been arrested in connection with the discovery, police spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekara said.
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Tamil Nadu CM wants Modi to register protest against Sri Lankan move to impose huge fine on Indian fishermen
Published Date: 25/01/2018 (Thursday)
Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Thursday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to direct the external affairs ministry and the Indian mission in Sri Lanka to immediately register India's strong protest against a Bill introduced in the Sri Lankan parliament which has provisions to impose huge penalties on Indian fishermen, who engage in legitimate fishing in their traditional fishing grounds in the Palk Bay.
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Muslim women in Colombo demand changes to Islamic marriage law
Published Date: 25/01/2018 (Thursday)
A group of Muslim women on Monday stood in silent protest against the country’s Islamic marriage law which discriminates against women. Organised by the Muslims Personal Law Reforms Action Group (MPLRG), the rally was held in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, near the Ministry of Justice. Protesters urged Justice Minister Thalatha Athukorale to recognise their right to "justice and equality". They want the Ministry to update the status of a report on Islamic marriage that has been nine years in the making.
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Indonesian President Joko Widodo arrives in SL
Published Date: 25/01/2018 (Thursday)
President of Indonesia Joko Widodo has arrived in the island on a two day official visit. NewsRadio Airport Correspondent said a 50 member delegation also arrived with the Indonesian President. President Widodo arrived in the island following an invitation extended by President Maithripala Sirisena. Several Memoranda of Understanding are to be inked between the two countries during the visit.
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Japan Claims a Stake in Sri Lanka’s Ports
Published Date: 25/01/2018 (Thursday)
Sri Lanka is caught between the need for foreign investment and the risk of being the object of a great power tug-of-war. Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono’s visit to Sri Lanka earlier this month was the first by a Japanese foreign minister in 15 years. Governmental confirmation of Sri Lanka’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) project came during Kono’s visit, when the prime minister’s office revealed that an MoU was to be signed with Japan to build a Floating Storage Regasification Unit (FSRU). The FSRU and LNG terminal project will be a joint venture by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority with both Japan and India. The LNG terminal is to be located within Colombo port – one of the busiest ports in South Asia and an important trans-shipment hub in the region.
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SL to remain engaged with disarmament goals
Published Date: 24/01/2018 (Wednesday)
Sri Lanka hoped to remain proactively engaged within the Conference on Disarmament (CD) to help achieve its objectives, Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha said on Tuesday on the occasion of Sri Lanka assuming the responsibility of the CD as its first President of the 2018 session. Sri Lanka assumed the Presidency of the CD after 11 years. In his speech, Ambassador Aryasinha said the CD held a significant responsibility with regard to a rule-based international order that Members of the UN family were seeking to uphold.
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TNA wants draft Constitution presented to parliament soon after LG polls
Published Date: 24/01/2018 (Wednesday)
Leader of Opposition and of Tamil National Alliance (TNA) R. Sampanthan has demanded that the draft Constitution be submitted to Parliament soon after Feb. 10 local government polls. A statement issued by the TNA yesterday quoted Sampanthan as having told European Union Sri Lanka Political Desk Head Paul Godfrey: "Soon after the local government elections the process must be expedited and the draft Constitution must be submitted to Parliament and eventually it must be approved by the people at a referendum".
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Survey Department to standardize and romanize geographical names
Published Date: 24/01/2018 (Wednesday)
The Survey Department is in the process of standardizing geographical names in Sinhala and Tamil and will romanize Sinhala geographical names. Senior Deputy Surveyor General, D. N. D. Hettiarachchi said during a recent interview with The Island. This is in addition to introducing the revised version of the 1:50,000 scale map. The Department is currently in the process of standardizing geographical names in both Tamil and Sinhala. Standardization of geographical names was encouraged in all countries by the UN in 1960. Under the standardization process place names as well as those of
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