NewsSri Lanka’s abhorrent history of corruption and abuse of the rule of law in the last few decades are expected to be exposed to an international audience when the Commonwealth Law Ministers meet in Colombo at their 4-day biennial conference beginning on 4 November. “It is quite appropriate that the Law ministers and senior lawyers should, at this time, be discussing corruption and abuses of the justice system and difficulties in accessing justice. “The law ministers should not only pay attention to the stories of corruption that they will hear. The problem is that while ministers and senior officials might engage in discourse and decisions taken they are not always implemented. The law ministers are expected to discuss potential solutions that look beyond dispute resolution, to equality of outcomes.
October 30, 2019 08:15 UTC
NewsPrime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today (Oct 30) said in order for the Hambantota Port to be transformed into a profitable venture, it would take at least a decade. Accordingly, Wickremesinghe added that both institutions involved in the joint venture expect that it would require at least a decade to transform the port into a profitable project. The Prime Minister eyed an economic growth of 7.5 percent, which he said, would assist Sri Lanka to achieve its target over the next five years. On the same lines, he said he would remain as Prime Minister if his United National Party (UNP)-backed New Democratic Front presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa comes into power. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister said that upgrading of the Batticaloa Airport to accommodate international flights will begin in another two weeks.
October 30, 2019 08:03 UTC
NewsCabinet approval has been granted to expand the Enterprise Sri Lanka Loan Scheme upon considering a proposal by Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera. The Finance Minister, had stated that Rs 70 billion worth loans have been distributed among more than 40,000 individuals as at August 31, since its introduction in June last year. Advanced Level examination will be entitled to obtain loans for higher education under the 'Mage Anagathaya' loan scheme. Further, the time period for granting loans to journalists to purchase and upgrade media equipment under the 'Madya Aruna' scheme, has been extended from July 2 until December 31. In addition, the National Savings Bank will also serve as a credit guarantee institutions for loans obtained under the Ran Aswenna, Govi Navoda, Jaya Isura, Diri Saviya, and Green Loan schemes.
October 30, 2019 05:48 UTC
NewsThe Defence Ministry has received cabinet approval to host a regional seminar on the Chemical Weapons Convention, in Sri Lanka, from December 3 to 5, this year. Sri Lanka, in 1993, signed the convention which is being implemented by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). According to the ministry's cabinet proposal, 15 participants from OCPW Asian member states, along with 25 local experts will take part in the seminar in Colombo. The seminar will revolve around safety and security management, and will be hosted by the defence ministry and the National Authority for the Implementation of Chemical Weapons Convention.
October 30, 2019 05:37 UTC
Global LPG supply dropped following the drone attack at the Saudi Aramco oil processing facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais in eastern Saudi Arabia. Accordingly, LAUGFS Gas PLC experienced a short-lived curtailing in the LPG supply line that lasted from October 21 to 24. However, the company succeeded in meeting the demand of its industrial customers while there was a 35 per cent drop in the domestic LPG supply front. Since October 26, LAUGFS Gas PLC has been able to double the supply of LPG to meet the increasing demand from consumers. At the moment, LAUGFS Gas PLC works around the clock in place of typical 12 hours a day to meet the soaring demand for LPG.
October 30, 2019 04:41 UTC
The misappropriation case filed against two individuals including Parliamentarian Udaya Gammanpila has been fixed for further hearing on March 12, ... Features & AnalysisApplications for UK Government’s Chevening Scholarship to close on Nov. 5Applications for Chevening Scholarships to study in the UK will close on November 5, 2019, with applications to be su... In pictures : Christmas cake mixing at Taj SamudraThe Taj Samudra recently held its traditional cake mixing celebrations at the Grand Marquee. Designer Nayana Ascharya Peiris among BBC's 100 inspiring women of 2019Designer Nayana Ascharya Peiris has been named among the BBC's 100 inspiring and influential women from arou...Special screening programme for breast cancer at Early Detection Centre in NarahenpitaOctober is designated as ‘Breast Cancer Awareness Month’, worldwide. Cancer ranks amongst the leading thr...
October 30, 2019 02:50 UTC
The Railways Department has decided to add an S-14 class locomotive train to the up-country line. This luxury train named ‘Denuwara Menike’ is to begin its maiden journey from the Colombo Fort on November 1, Railways department said yesterday (Oct 28). This train which would ply up to the Badulla railway station comprises two first class compartments, two second class compartments and three third class compartments. Seats to all these classes could be reserved in advance, said the Railways Department. Television and mobile phone charging facilities would be available in the air-conditioned first class compartment, the Railways Department said.
October 30, 2019 02:03 UTC
NewsThe United National Party (UNP) has decided to cancel the party membership of parliamentarian Wasantha Senanayake, UNP General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said. "The party leaders of the New Democratic Front alliance had taken this decision," Kariyawasam told Times Online. Senanayake, who is also state minister of foreign affairs will be stripped off that title in due course, the UNP General Secretary stated. This decision comes in the wake of Senanayake's recent decision to withdraw from the election campaign of UNP-backed New Democratic Front presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa. Recently, he had expressed displeasure regarding the election campaign of Premadasa and the individuals who had decided to support him at the November 16 vote.
October 29, 2019 17:48 UTC
NewsPresidential candidate Gotabhaya Rajapaksa today (Oct 28) said he would end deploying security personnel for development activities, without paying salaries. “During the previous government we paid large sums of money through construction companies, for civil security forces personnel who voluntarily joined development activities,” the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) presidential candidate told a rally in Ampara. He claimed that the current government has been using the services of these personnel in development activities across several areas especially Colombo, without paying them salaries. Rajapaksa, reiterated his promise to uplift the farming community by providing them free fertiliser and waiving off their loans. Another key promise he made was to introduce a “simple and transparent” tax system under his rule.
October 29, 2019 15:56 UTC
NewsPresidential candidate Sajith Premadasa today (Oct 29) invited rival candidate Gotabhaya Rajapaksa for a public debate if he has a “backbone”, calling it an exercise which will allow the public to evaluate both candidates. Premadasa has been repeatedly urging Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) candidate Rajapaksa for a public debate – an invitation to which the SLPP candidate has not responded yet. However, my greatest interest lies in engaging in a face-to-face peaceful debate with my rival,” the NDF candidate declared. Premadasa also said he will commence construction of a hospital and a national school in the Biyagama area “within three months after coming into power”. “We will also widen the Malwana road and ensure infrastructure development in the Biyagama area,” the NDF candidate said.
October 29, 2019 15:00 UTC
NewsThe documents declaring the Shrine of Our Lady of Madhu in Mannar as a sacred place, was handed over by President Maithripala Sirisena to Mannar Bishop Rev. However, the area surrounding the sacred shrine has remained under-developed for a long time since the three-decade long LTTE war, the President's Office said. Earlier this month, the Megapolis Ministry issued a gazette declaring 300 acres of the land area surrounding the shrine as an Urban Development Area to carry out development activities. Accordingly, infrastructure, water, and sanitary facilties for the convenience of devotees visiting the shrine would be developed under this project. In addition, a 5000-acre land has also been declared as a Protected Area of the Shrine.
October 29, 2019 12:49 UTC
NewsThe land deed to lease out the Colombo Port City for 99 years was handed over to China's CHEC Port City Colombo (Pvt) Ltd at the Presidential Secretariat today (Oct 29). Initally, the land deed had been handed over to the Urban Development Authority (UDA) in the presence of President Maithripala Sirisena and Chinese Ambassador Cheng Xueyuan. The UDA had then handed over the document to the Chinese company to lease out the land, the President's Office said in a statement. The Colombo Port City was leased out to CHEC Port City in line with an agreement with Sri Lankan authorities to repay its loans. President Sirisena, during the occassion, was quoted as describing the Port City as a "valuable important investment for the long term economic development of Sri Lanka".
October 29, 2019 12:45 UTC
NewsCabinet today (Oct 29) granted approval for the implementation of the US$ 480 million Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) grant. A proposal to this effect was put forward by Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera. The grant's funds are towards traffic management in Colombo, Road Construction islandwide, and land administration improvements covering the whole country, a statement from the Finance Ministry said. The programmes to be funded under this project were developed by respective officials of the line ministries and departments based on the needs of the country. Sri Lanka is the 37th recipient of such grant funds from the people of the United States of America.
October 29, 2019 11:03 UTC
NewsA Parliament Sectoral Oversight Committee (SOC) has advised the Wildlife Ministry to introduce a policy with strict rules and regulations to manage captive elephants. These directives had been issued during a meeting between the SOC on Sustainable Development, Environment and Natural Resources, and Ministry officials recently. During the meeting, SOC member Sandith Samarasinghe had pointed out that media reports quoting the deploying of elephants for various purposes including tourism have affected Sri Lanka’s reputation. The committee had also discussed implementing of pilot projects, as seen in other countries, to minimise the human-elephant conflict, along with the installation of electric fences. Attention had also been drawn towards the problems faced by residents in the North-Western Province and the Cheddikulam area in Vavuniya as a result of monkeys.
October 29, 2019 11:03 UTC
NewsSouthern Governor Hemal Gunasekara has instructed to close all schools in Hambantota, and the Mulatiyana educational zone in Matara tomorrow (Oct 29), due to bad weather. Gunasekara explained that this decision was made after flood, and landslide warnings had been issued to the area which has been experiencing heavy showers recently. Accordingly, instructions to this effect had been issued to the provincial education directors today, he noted
October 29, 2019 10:52 UTC