Harrison gets Rs. 01 per kilo

The prices of rice remain high due to the brokers of rural economic affairs minister P. Harrison being given the state-owned paddy stocks, alleges president of the Polonnaruwa district rice producers association Mudith Perera.

None of the 52 mill owners in the district who had applied to receive the paddy from the Paddy Marketing Board, through the association, have been issued with the paddy, according to him.

Twenty two mill owners recommended by minister Harrison received the paddy, he said, adding however, that none of them were actively involved in milling rice.

‘SL continues to be corrupt under Maithri’

According to the latest Transparency International report, Sri Lanka continues to be a corrupt country under president Maithripala Sirisena, says SLFP spokesman, minister Dilan Perera.

Addressing the media at the party headquarters today (26), he said the SLFP was raising a voice within the government to prevent that corruption.

Tharanga To Lead SL In ODI Series In South Africa

With an injured Angelo Mathews returning home, Upul Tharanga has been named stand-in captain for the five-match ODI series against South Africa, ahead of Dinesh Chandimal, who will lead the side in the series-deciding third T20I on Wednesday.

Seam-bowling allrounder Lahiru Madushanka and wicketkeeper-batsman Sandun Weerakkody received their maiden call-ups in ODIs and are due to join the squad already in South Africa along with left-arm spinning allrounder Chaturanga de Silva, who has played six ODIs.

MR –CM talks end without agreement

Discussions between the Chief Ministers and former president Mahinda Rajapaksa had been concluded without any agreement reaching upon, Central Province Chief Minister Sarath Ekanayake said today. Chief Ministers of six Provinces representing the SLFP outside the North and East met former President Mahinda Rajapaksa this morning at his official residence at Wijerama Mawatha, Colombo to discuss the strategies for the restoration of unity among party circles before the upcoming Local Government and Provincial Council elections. However,

North Central Chief Minister Peshala Jayarathna did not participate at the meeting. Mr. Ekanayake said Prof. G.L Peiris, Bandula Gunawardena, Gamini Lokuge, Johnston Fernando and Prasanna Ranatunga had participated with former president to the meeting.  

Trump sworn in as 45th President of USA

Donald John Trump was sworn in Friday as the 45th president of the United States, taking office on a day that has featured smaller crowds and more subdued ceremony than previous inaugurations — but still ushers in a transformative shift in the country’s leadership. Trump, 70, was administered the oath by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. His wife Melania Trump stood at his side.

The oath was given using two Bibles — one from President Lincoln’s inauguration, and another that Trump’s mother gave him in 1955. Earlier on Friday morning, Trump met with outgoing President Barack Obama at the White House — an Inauguration Day tradition, made more unusual this time by the two men’s history.

US Embassy on Iranawila station closure

The United States says it values its strong relationship with Sri Lanka and bilateral partnership over the past 60 years. The Iranawila shortwave station, managed by an independent US agency, the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), is an example of this partnership. The shortwave station has transmitted Voice of America programs from Washington through shortwave radio signals to audiences around the world, bringing them news, music, and special interest programs about the United States. Without the support of Sri Lankan governments over many years, Voice of America could not have succeeded in its mission of telling America’s story to the world.

Sajith tells cabinet he will resign in protest

Sajith Premadasa told the cabinet meeting today (17) that he would resign from the housing and construction ministerial position in protest against the curtailment of funding to his ministry by more than half.

He alleged finance minister Ravi Karunanayake had restricted the budgetary allocation to his ministry by handing over the construction of houses in the estates and in the north to two other ministers.

Sajith and Ravi have been at odds against each other since the two contested for the deputy leader position of the UNP some years ago.

Rathana Thera takes up battle against new constitution

The reports of the committees tasked with formulating a new constitution have proposed annulling the country’s unitary status, alleges MP Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera.

Speaking to the media at Sri Lanka Foundation in Colombo today (16), he said he was now an independent member of parliament and would work to take the government on the correct path.

He said he would bring together everyone who loved the country.

CPS loses Rs. 400 million due to fraud in tar sales

The top management of the CPC is reportedly involved in a massive financial fraud by granting special concessions to two companies that buy tar from the corporation.

CPC sources say the scam is going on by using two letters obtained from the buyers, Bitumen Lanka and Oru Mix.

In its letter, Bitumen mentions it will buy 40,000 barrels of tar, and from 02 September, 2015, it has been issued with tar at Rs. 46.20 per kilo.

Oru Mix promises in writing to buy 20,000 barrels, and the CPC issues same at Rs. 48.50 per kilo.

Indian grant to construct 3000 rain water harvesting systems

India and Sri Lanka today (13) signed an MoU to construct 3000 rain water harvesting systems at a cost of SLR 300 million in Jaffna District.

The MoU was signed by Arindam Bagchi, Acting High Commissioner of India and V. Sivagnanasothy, Secretary, Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation in the presence of A. H. M. Fowzie, State Minister of National Integration and Reconciliation.

The project envisages construction of 3000 rainwater harvesting systems for 3000 households in selected divisions of Jaffna District.

European Commission proposes GSP+ to SL

The European Commission today proposed that a significant part of the remaining import duties on Sri Lankan products should be removed by the European Union in exchange for the country's commitment to ratify and effectively implement 27 international conventions on human rights, labour conditions, protection of the environment and good governance. Removal of customs duties would be accompanied by rigorous monitoring and conditional on continued commitment to sustainable development, human rights and good governance, European Commission said in a statement.

These one-way trade preferences would consist of the full removal of duties on 66% of tariff lines, covering a wide array of products including textiles and fisheries.

Maithri not named as presidential candidate - Chandrika

The SLFP has taken no decision to name incumbent Maithripala Sirisena as the party’s presidential candidate in 2020, says ex-president Chandrika Kumaratunga.
At a media briefing in Colombo today (10), she answered a question raised and said that only ministers of the party had expressed their ideas about the next presidential polls.

Kumaratunga said as a senior leader of the party that president Sirisena has promised to abolish executive presidency after his term ended.

Sirasa TV takes Gota to villages!

Sirasa TV is planning a campaign for the political entry of Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, ‘Sathhanda’ reports.

Under the plan, the television station will accompany Gotabhaya to the villages and discuss problems of the public, in order to portray him as a populist leader.

Also, it plans to campaign against prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and to sabotage the political plans by Gotabhaya’s brother Basil.

Basil’s becoming strong politically is seen as an obstacle to Gotabhaya’s entry into politics, with the latter not attending any of the political functions organized by the former.

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Govt is making Rajapaksas’ dreams come true – Akila Viraj

Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam says that the people living in Hambantota did not ask for an airport where planes don’t land or a harbour where ships don’t dock. They only asked for stable employment and water during droughts, he said addressing a UNP press conference in Colombo today (5). He said that the development of Hambantota is making the dreams of the Rajapaksas come true and that they had obtained massive loans for this purpose.  Kariyawasam claimed that the former President decided to suddenly hold presidential elections because the time was up to pay back those loans and that had Rajapaksa won, the masses would have had to pay off the debt. “As a government we decided to find a solution to this. We don’t like to burden the public.” He said that the government did not write off the Hambantota Port to the Chinese company as free hold land and that a decision was taken to reach a tax agreement.

CID to probe Norway trip of 14 doctors - Rajitha

Health Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne says that the CID is handling investigations regarding an overseas visit by a group of 14 doctors attached to the National Cancer Institute in Maharagama, also known as Apeksha Hospital. The minister states that complaints have been received that the 14 doctors had simultaneously left for Norway to attend a seminar and that the trip was funded by a company manufacturing pharmaceutical drugs.  The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) will also probe the bank accounts of the doctors in question, he uncovered during a discussion held at the ministry.  Dr Senaratne added

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