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Sri Lanka’s coconut growers dismayed by plans to import fresh coconut

July 22 (ST) Proposed plans by the govt to import fresh coconuts have sent shock waves amongst the Coconut Growers Association (CGA) who say such a move will have serious repercussions on the industry. CGA President Lionel Fonseka said that the moment they heard about the news of the govt’s intention to import fresh coconuts, a delegation of the CGA met the Cabinet Sub-Committee on Economic Development more..

Sri Lanka’s new regionalism: Looking beyond South Asia

July 22 (IPS) Since the conclusion of a nearly three-decade long conflict in 2009, Sri Lanka’s prominence in Indian Ocean politics has grown significantly. Whereas during the conflict its outlook was predominantly security-oriented, island nation has now become prominent in economic and political matters in the region. However, despite its role as a pioneer of South Asian regionalism through the SAARC, Sri Lanka is increasingly turning towards broader engagement with East Asia. more..

Kyle wins silver medal in 100 m freestyle

July 22 (DN) Kyle Abeysinghe came up with a marvellous performance winning a silver medal in the 100 metres free style event in a time of 50.93 seconds at the Youth Commonwealth Games in Bahamas. The gold medal was won by Scott Alex of Scotland in a time of 50.46 seconds while the bronze was bagged by Singapore's Jonathan Tany 51.10 seconds. This is a great achievement by a Sri Lankan swimmer as earlier Sri Lanka had won only one medal at Asian & South Asian Games. more..

Schoolboys in nude pic trade

July 22 (NS) The local racket involving the trade of pictures of schoolgirls   in various stages of undress or intimacy, also known as nudes, amongst schoolboys and the sale of them to online porn sites, involving 70 reported cases including of related attempts of blackmail and/or extortion, masterminded and orchestrated in an extremely organized manner by schoolboys as young as 14 years of age, has come to light. more..

Tall storeys of skyscraper rise

July 22 (Island) In the midst of all the political and governing, urban and rural, garbage and drivel, secular and religious cons we are facing today, there is the new story about the World Capital Centre or WCC. We are really moving higher. The WCC will be the world’s largest and ninth tallest building in Colombo. It looks as if some guys in business think we have not heard enough of tall tales in recent times, not necessarily about tall buildings. Just keep in mind it is a BoI approved project. more..

What was the mandate of Emmerson?

July 22 (Island) Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur Ben Emmerson’s haughty statement at a media briefing in Colombo on 14 July,with the UN Resident Representative at his side not contradicting the special rapporteur in any way, and his official communiqué in Geneva on 18 July, is arbitrary, judgmental, arrogant, accusatory, threatening, interventionist, and insulting. It reeks of the worst white supremacist holier than thou attitude with regard to the non white world. more..

SL remain a tough country for openers?

July 22 (CI) Opening the batting is usually easier in Asia than in other parts of the world: the pitches and the conditions normally don't offer as much by way of pace, bounce, seam and swing as they do elsewhere. However, Sri Lanka is one country that has consistently bucked that trend. The overhead conditions there have often been more favourable for swing, while the pitches too have had a bit by the way of pace and bounce. more..

Helping SL Youth navigate the hurdle of O/L

July 22 (IPS) GCE O/L exam is a watershed in education for youth in SL. Success at the O-Levels opens avenues for further education and better skills, but this is a full stop in education for many, due to poor performance. Education and skills are essential ingredients to any strategy that aims to empower youth, a key goal embodied in World Youth Skills Day that is commemorated on 15 July. This March, as usual, when the O/L results were released, articles spotlighting top performers more..

President accuses media of criticizing his govt: Media only tells home truths

July 22 (CT) Accusing the media of criticizing the govt, President Sirisena stated recently that media personnel had forgotten the sufferings they underwent during Rajapaksa regime. He claimed that it was his govt that freed the media and had given the freedom now enjoyed. Of course, it is common knowledge that there are plenty of Rajapaksa stooges all over including in the media. The talk has been that there are plenty of Rajapaksa mercenaries, stooges and ghost writers more..


Editorial: Shocking news

July 22 (Island) Madness has cynically been defined as doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. Sri Lankans have been doing likewise at successive elections since Independence. They religiously exercise their franchise and vote for self-serving politicians in the hope that they would get a better deal only to be taken for a ride after every election. Yahapalanaya or good governance, the incumbent leaders promised them, two and a half years ago, more..

The debt trap…

July 22 (NS) Being in debt in this commercially-driven world is not something that is unusual. We live in a world where we have to depend on each other for our own survival, whether an individual, or a nation. Sri Lanka is no exception. The country is in debt and is still looking for ways and means of paying them off. However, what is alarming is the rate of increase of household debts in the country. It was reported last week that according to statistics released by the Central Bank, more..

'Multinationals have sounded death knell for local trishaw industry'

July 22 (CT) President of the All Island Trishaw Entrepreneurs Federation (AITEF) M.J. Dissanayake says there was a segment of society which was trying its utmost to stifle us by bringing in a Statutory Authority through the Provincial Council Administrations. Q: There were a large number of criticisms and allegations levelled against the business, running and the operations of trishaws or three wheelers in Sri Lanka. more..

Arrest of another DIG indicates a serious crisis in the State’s machinery

July 22 (CT) DIG Lalith A Jayasinghe was arrested and is now being remanded for harbouring an offender and aiding the escape of the chief suspect Swiss Kumar, for the gang rape and the murder of 18 year old Sivaloganathan Vidya on 13 May 2015.  The DIG is suspected of having committed an offence punishable under Section 209 of the Penal Code. The relevant part of which is as follows; “… Whenever an offence has been  committed,  whoever harbours, conceals,  assists,  or more..

Sri Lanka’s choices: Between surging dragon and suspicious sacred cow

July 22 (CT) Sri Lanka's long history has been intimately conditioned by the monsoonal winds that buffet its shores and the tides and waves of the vast Indian Ocean. The greed and ambitions of its regional and distant neighbours who followed the winds and rode the waves coveting its treasures and its unique strategic position have been a bane as well as a blessing. While, time and time again, it was forced to ward off marauding attention of external powers during the course of its long history, more..

The language that was left behind: Sri Lankan Portuguese Creole

July 22 (Roar) It has been three and a half centuries since the Portuguese colonisers left Sri Lanka, but the language they spoke while here still lingers in the eastern coast of the country. Although few are aware of the existence of this language, Sri Lankan Portuguese Creole (SLPC) is spoken by the Portuguese Burghers, descendants of the early mestiços or the people of mixed Eurasian origin. This language was formed in the contacts more..

Lest we forget: The anti-Tamil pogroms

July 22 (FT) It is of no doubt, that Sri Lanka has tainted its history with the blood of the innocent. After gaining independence from the British we turned our attention towards, quite literally, killing each other. Some call it nationalism, some ethnic cleansing and some pure mundane madness. Whatever it may be, it is essential that we as a people understand the true events that led to an unwarranted war that claimed the lives of the very same we sought to enrich. more..

New Constitution: Forces behind the scene

July 22 (CT) Feeling proud about one's own ethnicity is a very normal human behaviour. It is applicable to any community. It is also natural for some to go to extremes. It becomes absurd only when such extremists become so self-centred and delve into their own dreams. When the military power of a community grows beyond its limits it becomes a cause for concern. Enthusiasm that sprang up in S. India due to social conflict that came into being as a movement of Tamils Against Brahmins more..

'SL to re-examine President's tax holiday'

July 21 (EN) Sri Lanka's will re-examine the income tax holiday granted to the President under the existing law, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said, with a new income tax bill proposing the sweeping away of ad hoc tax exemptions granted over the years. A central theme of the draft income tax law was to end the tax exemptions granted as favours to various people at various times, he said. more..

Pothas likens Sri Lanka to India

July 21 (C365) Pothas feels that Sri Lanka should look to emulate India’s approach to replacing superstars but it is plain to all but the most casual observer that the Islanders do not have the cricket infrastructure and base that their Asian rivals possess. India have an unending conveyor belt of talent drawn from a cricket mad populous of over a billion people, SL has a population of just over 20 million people and lack the facilities to ensure the best talent does not slip through their fingers. more..

Champika entrusted with clearing canals in Colombo

July 21 (DN) Minister Champika Ranawaka was entrusted with the task of clearing blocked canals in and around Colombo. The Cabinet Sub-Committee which met on Wednesday gave the full authority to Minister Ranawaka on this regard. Minister, who was previously given full authority to ensure proper and efficient garbage disposal in Colombo, could shoulder the task successfully in the last few weeks. The new assignment comes on the heels of this success.    more..

Video: Attempt to arrest MFSAC convener: GMOA complains to NPC

July 21 (DM) GMOA today complained to the National Police Commission saying some people under the guise of being police personnel in civvies had attempted to abduct the Medical Faculty Students Action Committee (MFSAC) convener Ryan Jayalath. It submitted the video footage and the pictures of the incident which took place at the premises of the Organisation of Professional Associations (OPA) yesterday. more..

Kuldeep, Jadeja rip through SL Board XI

July 21 (CI) Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav claimed seven wickets between them, wiping out a strong SL Board President's batting lineup for 187, on the first day of India's two-day practice match. Led by KL Rahul's rapid half century, the visitors then ended the day on 135 for 3. Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane remained not out in the thirties. Despite the President's XI's modest score, it had been Danushka Gunathilaka, who had made the greatest individual batting impression more..

Inflation declines to 6.3% in June 2017

July 21 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's consumer prices in June rose 6.3% from a year earlier, slowing from the previous month's 7.1%, Department of Census and Statistics said on Friday. The National Consumer Price Index (NCPI) rose 1.3% in June on a month-on-month basis, after rising 0.7% in May. The 12-month moving average inflation, for which data is available since December 2015, remained at an all-time high of 6.1 percent in June, unchanged from a month ago. more..

Video: MFSAC Convener's arrest attempt fails: Police blames distractions by students

July 21 (DM) The commotion that was created when a group of police officers, some in uniform and others in civvies, attempted to arrest Medical Faculty Students' Action Committee (MFSAC) Convener Ryan Jayalath at the conclusion of a joint meeting by GMOA and several other organisations to protest against the SAITM, ended in failure. It was reported that Jayalath along with several other MFSAC representatives had more..

One third of Sri Lankan family firms don’t have a succession plan: survey

July 21 (LBO) SL Institute of Directors and global strategy consulting firm Stax, highlighting their 2017 Family Business Survey, says 32% of Sri Lankan family firms do not have a succession plan. In addition, one out of two Sri Lankan family firms in the second generation (sibling partnerships) have reported that they do not currently have a long-term strategy. These findings reveal some of the ambiguities and challenges experienced by Sri Lankan family businesses today. more..

Travel goods from Sri Lanka to receive duty free entry to US

July 21 (LBO) Export of travel-related products from SL will enjoy duty free entry to the United States following a decision by the US administration to approve the inclusion of travel goods from all GSP beneficiary countries, including SL, in the expanded US GSP scheme on July 1, 2017. Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that this would enable the duty-free entry of products such as bags, wallets and backpacks in to the US market after being previously charged 6 to 20% tariffs. more..

Customs officers transferred over Rs 3.2b cocaine haul

July 21 (AD) Three Customs officers attached to the container yard in Orugodawatta have been transferred over the stock of cocaine recently recovered from the Ratmalana Economic Centre.  Seven suspects have been arrested so far in connection with discovery of a cocaine haul, weighing 218.6 kg and estimated to be worth around Rs. 3.2 billion, on Wednesday. Ministry of Industry and Commerce said that more..

Vaas returns as Sri Lanka fast bowling coach

July 21 (CB) Sri Lanka's fast bowling coach Chamapaka Ramanayake stepped down from his role Friday (July 21) morning, ahead of the Test series against India. Former Sri Lanka pacer Chaminda Vaas has been requested by SLC to help the senior side for the India series. Ramanayake confirmed that he has stepped down. He added that there have been a few offers and that he will weigh in the options before taking up a suitable job after a brief break. more..

SL expects to pass income tax law in August

July 21 (EN) SL is expecting the parliament to vote on a new income tax law that will expand the tax net by August 2017, which applies from the 2018 fiscal year, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said. Finance ministry is currently in talks with industry groups and other stakeholders, whose views, if reasonable, will be incorporated at the committee stage or third reading in parliament. "There are cases filed in Supreme Court, and we will incorporate changes that are suggested," more..

25 tanks were renovated in Trincomalee District this year: President

July 21 (PSL) President Sirisena says renovations of 25 irrigational tanks in Trincomalee District alone have been completed by this year, under the govt’s program to build an agricultural economy to bring the historical irrigation culture back in Sri Lanka. President was speaking at a ceremony held today near the historical Kantale Reservoir. Ceremony was held to appraise the excellences in 2016 of Local Food Production Program. more..

Senior Writers Award ceremony under President’s patronage

July 21 (PSL) Godage Senior Writers Award ceremony jointly organized by the SLBC and Sirisumana Godage Publications was held under the patronage of President Sirisena at the SLBC’s auditorium, yesterday. During this event 15 senior writers, including authors and journalists received their felicitation awards from the President and in parallel to this the winners of the Penayata Pilithuru competition held at school level, were also presented their awards by the President. more..

Garbage crisis will be resolved soon: PM

July 21 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said govt has put in place a well coordinated system to permanently resolve the garbage crisis which has hit Colombo as well as several other cities in the country. “Several cities including Kandy are facing a garbage crisis. The intention of the government is to implement a coordinated effort by all local govt bodies, provincial councils, govt ministers including the Megapolis Minister to resolve resolve this matter permanently,” he said. more..

Sri Lanka slams police over abduction bid

July 21 (AFP) Police faced censure on Friday over an attempt to abduct a student activist, a tactic widely used against dissidents by the previous strongman leader's regime. Minister Mangala Samaraweera said he lodged a protest with IGP Pujith Jayasundara over an attempt by plain-clothed officers to seize a student known for his anti-govt views on Thursday night. Other students prevented him from being grabbed by more..

DIG Jayasinghe suspended from duties

July 21 (AD) National Police Commission has approved the suspension of Senior DIG, Lalith Jayasinghe. Commission has approved the request put forward by the IGP in writing, to suspend Jayasinghe from his duties. Senior DIG Lalith Jayasinghe, who was arrested on the 15 of July, was remanded till the July 25 after being produced at the Kayts Magistrates Court. Jayasinghe was arrested for allegedly helping a suspect in the murder of schoolgirl Sivaloganathan Vidya more..

Severe drought in 13 districts: DMC

July 21 (NR) Disaster Management Centre says extreme drought conditions prevail in 13 districts across the country. Accordingly the DMC noted Mannar, Puttalam and many areas in the North and North Central Provinces are adversely affected by the drought. Assistant Director of the Disaster Management Centre Pradeep Koddippili said drought conditions have been reported for close to a year. Many areas in Kurunegala and in the Kandy district as well are affected. more..