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Tea earnings plummet in Sri Lanka
Saturday, 13 August 2016 - 4:39 PM SL Time

Earnings from tea exportation are expected to see a sharp drop of nearly Rs 40 billion this year owing to adverse weather patterns, the ban on certain widely used weedicides and the lack of quality fertilizer.

Sri Lanka had earned a revenue of USD 1.34 billion through tea exportation last year. However, experts pointed out that productivity had dropped by 15% already this year and would drop further by December this year.

Chairman, Planters Association of Ceylon (PAC), Roshan Rajadurai told Nation that the heavy drought during the initial part of the year and the heavy showers and landslides which followed in quick succession had severely affected Sri Lanka s tea productivity this year.
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US report says BBS continued to promote supremacy of Buddhists
Friday, 12 August 2016 - 5:04 AM SL Time

The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) continued to promote the supremacy of the country s Sinhalese Buddhist population and propagated views hostile toward members of religious and ethnic minorities last year, the US State Department said in a new report.

The US State Department s International Religious Freedom Report for 2015 noted that BBS General Secretary Ven. Galagodaththe Gnanasara Thero regularly made inflammatory statements about Islamic invasion and aggression and forced conversions by Christian groups as posing an existential threat to the country s Buddhism.
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Chinese port city delayed to gain advantage:PM
Thursday, 11 August 2016 - 3:58 AM SL Time

Sri Lanka has renegotiated the USD 1.4 billion Chinese-funded Colombo port city project and the new agreement has no provision for outright grant/hold of the reclaimed sea land by China, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told the parliament today.

Answering an opposition question in the assembly, Wickremesinghe said, `In March 2015 the project was halted as the government was having concerns over the project`s environmental impact.`
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Harin unhappy with SLT, warns of competition
Tuesday, 9 August 2016 - 1:02 PM SL Time

Expressing discontent with the country s largest fixed line operator Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure Minister Harin Fernando yesterday insisted the company should formulate a plan to share its network with other players in the sector.

SLT, which is headed by President Maithripala Sirisena s brother Kumarasinghe Sirisena, has one of the largest fibre backbone systems in Sri Lanka. In its 2015 Annual Report the company said it was prepared to share capacity with other telecom operators.
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Political prisoners to go ahead with fast tomorrow
Sunday, 7 August 2016 - 11:50 PM SL Time

Tamil political prisoners have decided to go ahead with a protest fast tomorrow despite a meeting held with the Tamil National Alliance yesterday.

Tamil National Alliance Parliamentarian Selvam Adaikalanathan met the prisoners at the Anuradhapura prison yesterday.

The inmates had handed over a letter to the Parliamentarian to be handed over to Tamil National Alliance leader R. Sampanthan.

In the letter the prisoners had noted that the Government has failed to keep to its word on the political prisoner issue.
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Sri Lanka 100m star bitter after state neglect ahead of Olympics
Wednesday, 3 August 2016 - 1:07 AM SL Time

Colombo (AFP) - Sixteen years ago sprinter Susanthika Jayasinghe was a national heroine, having become Sri Lanka`s first woman to win an Olympic medal. Today she is a struggling single mothers_day.jsp' class=black>mother with only bitterness towards a country she says has given her nothing in return.

Jayasinghe won bronze in her 100m event in Sydney when she was 24 and was upgraded to silver in 2007 when winner Marion Jones admitted taking performance enhancing drugs.
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Herath bowls Sri Lanka to historic victory
Sunday, 31 July 2016 - 4:01 AM SL Time

Tonight, Sri Lanka are gonna party like it`s 1999. Specifically, like it`s September 11, 1999, the only other date on which they beat Australia in a Test. That victory came in Kandy with an XI full of Sri Lankan greats - Aravinda de Silva, Arjuna Ranatunga, Sanath Jayasuriya, Mahela Jayawardene, Muttiah Muralitharan, Chaminda Vaas. This win, up the road in Pallekele, is all the more remarkable for the dearth of such legends. Then again, it could be the making of some new ones.
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FCID names Namal, five others over Hello Corp transaction
Thursday, 28 July 2016 - 7:16 PM SL Time

The FCID-on a directive of Attorney General had today named Namal Rajapaksa and five others as suspects over purchasing shares of Hello Corp. using ill-gotten funds of Gowers Corporation, which is headed by Mr. Rajapaksa. The FCID filing a B report informed court that the suspect Namal Rajapaksa had dealt with a company named Boston and had given Rs. 15 million and another Rs.30 million through one Indika Karunajeewa to the Chairman of that company, Mr. Rohan Abey Iriyagolla. Then according to the statements got from the chairman of the Boston Co., the given money was paid to Gowers and NR Consultants again, which are headed by Namal Rajapaksa, as payments for the services obtained by Boston. The two transactions were found by the prosecution as offences that fell under the Money Laundering Act. The other suspects, Indika Prabath Karunajeewa, Pavithra Sujani Bogollagama, Nithya Senani Samaranayake, Sudarsha Bandara Ganegoda and Iresha Silva were named as suspects over conspiring to commit the offences that fell under the Money Laundering and the Penal Code, by the FCID. Acceding the prosecution request, Additional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris issued an arrest warrant on second suspect Indika Karunajeewa, since the suspect currently resides abroad, absconding the prosecution. The FCID also said court that the prosecution would file two cases separately over the alleged two transactions against the suspects. Further inquiry was postponed to September 1
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Wasim s Family Threatens To Protest
Sunday, 24 July 2016 - 11:59 AM SL Time

The family of the murdered rugby player Wasim Thajudeen has threatened to take to the streets if investigations into the murder are placed under the carpet.

A family member of Wasim Thajudeen told The Sunday Leader on condition of anonymity that they had faith in the ongoing investigations into the murder. However the family member said there is fear that like some other investigations, even this investigation too could take a back seat later owing to political influence.
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Sri Lanka an IS transit hub?
Monday, 18 July 2016 - 1:26 AM SL Time

Sri Lanka is very close to becoming the unofficial transit hub for IS members, and Ceylon Today speculates at least 12 persons from Kerala have travelled through Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) within the last one month to join the Islamic State. Despite this the Police say they have no information on people routing through BIA to reach Syria or any other Middle Eastern countries to join IS. But, sources in Kerala confirmed that at least 12 persons have left transiting through BIA to the Arab countries.
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Sri Lanka back in business, Ravi K tells Credit Suisse investment forum
Thursday, 14 July 2016 - 2:06 PM SL Time

With 6% GDP growth forecast for this year, up from 4.8% in 2015, Sri Lanka is on the move, the country s Finance Minister, Ravi Karunanayake, said in a keynote address at the Credit Suisse 2016 Asian Investment Conference (AIC).

Since a new President and Prime Minister took office at the beginning of 2015, the Government has worked to get the country back onto a path of strong economic growth, Karunanayake said. It was necessary for fiscal consolidation to take place.
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Namal arrest: MR asks if govt. happy now?
Tuesday, 12 July 2016 - 9:23 AM SL Time

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa today said he had to ask the government whether it was now happy after arresting his son Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa, Mr. Rajapaksa who was arrested by the FCID today over an inquiry of allegedly misappropriating Rs. 70 million worth of funds belonging to `Krish Company , was later remanded by Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne till July 18. After visiting Namal Rajapaksa at the Welikada prison this evening, the former president and Kurunegala District Parliamentarian said, `What I have to ask from the government is Obata Satutuida Dan (Are You happy now?)`, he said. Talking to the media he alleged that it was very much clear that this was a political revenge and nothing else. Mohamed Muzamil is still in prison and there will be more to be put into prison in the future. It is not a problem for us now. We are considering this as a normal incident, he said. Now we see the, justice is now operational. It works on only to a selected group and that is the fault of it, he said. - See more at: Full Story     Post Reply To This     Read Replies ( 290 )

Interim order by SC suspends VAT increase
Monday, 11 July 2016 - 9:33 PM SL Time

The Supreme Court on Monday (11) issued an interim order to suspend the Value Added Tax (VAT) increase.

The Supreme Court issued the order after considering a petition filed seeking an order to revoke the decision to increase VAT.

The petition was filed by an attorney representing three persons including National Freedom Front leader Wimal Weerawansa.
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Hostile Tamil Diaspora activists invited again
Thursday, 7 July 2016 - 1:14 PM SL Time

Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera has invited Tamil Diaspora activists, including those still promoting a separatist agenda to visit Sri Lanka.

Minister Samaraweera has extended the invitation on behalf of the government of Sri Lanka during a meeting with expatriate Tamils on the sidelines of 32 session of the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

Addressing the media at the Foreign Ministry auditorium, Minister Samaraweera explained the dialogue he had with Diaspora representatives.
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Sri Lanka President intervenes in VAT hike
Tuesday, 5 July 2016 - 2:29 AM SL Time

Sri Lanka`s President Maithripala Sirisena is intervening directly in a recent value added tax hike made without parliamentary debate and minimal public communication, following protests from traders as well as anger among sick people.

President Sirisena has called a meeting of Treasury and Inland Revenue officials for a meeting after earlier saying in public that some relief will be given for VAT, in a sign that he is getting directly involved in economic policy making.
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President calls the shots: Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy Central Bank Governor
Sunday, 3 July 2016 - 2:59 PM SL Time

President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday appointed Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy a renowned diplomat and economist, as the Governor of the Central Bank ending weeks of speculation over who will take the post.

The move which climaxed a behind-the-scenes drama this week had pitted the two key players of the Government the United National Party (UNP) and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) on a virtual collision course.
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Navy to look into Yoshitha after financial probe is over
Saturday, 2 July 2016 - 4:07 AM SL Time

Lieutenant Yoshitha Rajapaksa was under investigation for financial crimes and therefore other allegations allegedly done as a Naval Officer would be investigated by the Sri Lanka Navy, after the conclusion of the civil case on financial crimes, Navy Spokesman Captain Alevi Akram said. Captain Akram responding to a question raised by a journalist as to why the Sri Lanka Navy treats Lt. Rajapaksa and Lt. Commander K.C Welagedara differently, he said there was no discrimination whatsoever and added that Sri Lanka Navy was awaiting the ruling from President Maithripala Sirisena as the Commander in Chief on the appeal made to him by Lt. Commander Welagedara against his punishment. He said comparatively, the offence committed by Lt. Commander Welagedara being an officer of a higher rank was serious than the offences committed by Lt. Rajapaksa, of a lower rank and that was why a Court Martial was held against Lt. Commander Welagedara. He was demoted four ranks, which was a minor punishment, considering the magnitude of his offence, Captain Akram said. However, a final decision will be taken on him on the directive of President Sirisena as he has made an appeal to him on the punishments meted out to him by the Navy, he added. Captain Akram said Lt. Commander Welagedara, while serving as the Chief Commanding Officer of the Naval and Maritime Academy in Trincomalee that trains 300 Naval Officers and 1,500 Navy men, had left his service station without prior approval of a higher authority. - See more at: Full Story     Post Reply To This     Read Replies ( 125 )

US strengthens Sri Lanka nuclear counter-proliferation screening
Tuesday, 28 June 2016 - 4:48 AM SL Time

The United States has concluded a training program for Sri Lankan port and military personnel under its International Counterproliferation Program (ICP) aimed at preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

The US embassy said in a statement a five-day workshop was done in Colombo for members of the Sri Lankan Ports Authority and Customs, Police, Navy, and Coast Guard to provide training on eliminating the proliferation of WMD.
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Ranjan under fire for target practice
Friday, 24 June 2016 - 5:01 AM SL Time

Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake came under fire in Parliament today for using the premises of the MPs` housing complex in Madiwela to do target practicing for a film shoot. JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, angered by the move, asked Mr. Ramanayake not to consider every place in the country as theatres for film shooting. Mr. Ramanayake, the actor cum MP, was not present at the time in the House. Then, Joint Opposition MP for the Moneragala district Padma Udayasantha Gunasekara raised a question of privilege in this regard, and said the spouses and children of MPs had been terrorised by this act of the Deputy Minister. `This is a place where the MPs live with their families. I too live there. I am asking that member to stop this. Our children have been frightened now,` he said. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe replied that he asked the member concerned to stop target practicing at this site. `It was brought to my notice by MPs Dinesh Gunawardane and Bandula Gunawardane. So, it was stopped. We can provide him the police shooting ground if needed,` he said. ( - See more at: Full Story     Post Reply To This     Read Replies ( 161 )

Sri Lanka`s Dialog launches Voice over LTE
Friday, 24 June 2016 - 4:59 AM SL Time

Sri Lanka`s Dialog Axiata Plc said that its fourth generation fixed and mobile networks have been enabled with Voice over LTE (VoLTE) allowing customers to experience near stereo quality.

`VoLTE capability has been activated across the Dialog LTE Networks,` Dialog said. `Subscribers would however require a LTE handset or LTE CPE (Customer Premise Equipment), which is VoLTE capable in order to experience VoLTE,`
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