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Sri Lanka to host Asian forum on management of dead during emergencies

May 21 (SL) Sri Lanka is to host the 3rd Asia Conference on Regional Cooperation and Policy Development in Management of the Dead in Emergencies on 22 and 23 May 2018. To be organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the conference will bring close to 30 senior forensic specialists and policymakers from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Timor Leste, Viet Nam and SL to Colombo. more..

Water feature in Rajakeeya Mawatha: Potential dengue breeding

May 21 (Island) There have been more than 18,760 dengue cases so far this year, According to the Epidemiology Unit. Approximately 30.3% of the cases were reported from the Western Province. The highest number of cases, 2,665, have been reported from the Colombo District. The severity of the outbreak forced the health authorities to impose heavy fines on those who create an environment conducive to dengue mosquito breeding. more..

Coal power: CEB has not factored in human, environment costs: Expert

May 21 (Island) Indirect costs of coal power plants far outweighed the profit made by the CEB, Dr. Trishan Perera of the Centre for Sustainability, Sri J'pura University told The Island, yesterday, highlighting the adverse effects of the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant. "The CEB claims it is making a significant profit by producing electricity from coal. But it has not factored in the human and environmental costs of coal power." more..

E-waste factory a health hazard: Environmentalists

May 21 (CT) An electronic waste (e-waste) management factory, located in Homagama, is currently damaging the environment while causing severe health issues to the residents, environmentalists accuse. Environmentalist and the executive director of Centre for Environmental and Nature Studies, Dr. Ravindra Kariyawasam said that the activation of the plant in Godaparagahahena, Kiriwattuduwa, Homagama, is causing too many more..

Researchers warn of harmful bacteria in unhygienic salted fish

May 21 (ST) The age old tradition of preparing salted fish cured in goraka (gamboge) in the coastal belt of Sri Lanka on a commercial scale has come under fire by the Industrial Technology Institute (ITI), which warns of dangerous pathogens that could harm human health. Research scientist Wasundera Divisekera said that the jaadi, a preparation made by fishing communities to preserve the excess fish harvest during more..

Suspension lifted, but SriLankan not using facility for four of five neo planes; why?

May 21 (DM) The Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka (CAASL) has restored certification to SriLankan Airlines to fly its Airbus neo fleet for more than an hour outside the range of airports suitable for emergency landings–but for reasons not immediately specified, the company is only applying the facility to one of its five neo planes. This means that the other four aircraft continue to spend extra time in the air to ensure that more..

Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s economic vision and political mission

May 21 (DM) Viyathmaga is an organization that claims to be dedicated to the goal of an intellectually inspired Sri Lanka. It is said to possess an elitist membership comprising top level professionals, academics and entrepreneurs of SL. The Viyathmaga website describes the organization in the following manner: Professionals for a better future (VIYATHMAGA) is a network of Academics, more..


May 21 (DM) The end of the war anniversary this month is once again polarizing the country. The losses are again being counted along ethnic lines, reinforcing notions of war heroes and martyrs. Remembering the war and the dead in this manner is providing few lessons and avenues towards seeking a peaceful and just future. With the changing political dispensation in the South this year, a new constitution to address the issues that underlie the conflict are no longer in sight. more..

Is there a breakdown in governance?

May 21 (DM) The coalition govt led by the UNP and a faction of the SLFP led by President Sirisena in the so-called National Unity govt came into power in January 2015 -a coming together of two political forces which have since their creation been diametrically opposed to each other. Unfortunately the coming together of two diametrically opposed political forces without either a common ideology or pragmatic programme of work was bound to flounder. And so it has come to pass. more..

Mangala takes MR to task over foreign debt payment statement

May 21 (DN) Minister Mangala Samaraweera took former President Rajapaksa to task for alleging that the foreign debt payments due in 2019 is a result of the doings of the present govt. He contradicting Rajapaksa’s claim, pointed out that 77% of the USD 4,285 mn foreign debts which is due in 2019 was debt obtained during the tenure of the Rajapaksa regime. He also observed that 48% of the total foreign debt obtained after 2015 more..

NBRO issues landslide warnings for 9 districts including Colombo

May 21 (DM) Landslide warnings have been issued to Kalutara, Kegalle, Ratnapura, Kurunegala, Nuwara-Eliya, Badulla, Galle, Colombo and Gampaha Districts since the rainfall within the past 24 hours has exceeded 100mm, the National Building Research Organization (NBRO) said. The NBRO requested the public living in the warned areas to evacuate to a safer locations to avoid the risk of landslides, slope failures, rock falls, cutting failures and ground subsidence. more..

Fifty senior officers receive VSV

May 21 (Island) Adjutant General of the Army Maj. Gen. Shavendra Silva and Director General Infantry Maj. Gen. Chagi Gallege were among the officers who received Vishishta Seva Vibhushanaya (VSV) Medal that recognises their exceptional, distinguished and loyal dedication to the nation with a record of moral and military conduct. Gajaba Regiment veterans played significant role in eelam war IV with Maj. Gen. Silva’s celebrated 58 Division credited with a spate of battlefield victories. more..

Breakaway 16 to meet MR

May 21 (CT) Group of 16 SLFP PMs, who quit the Unity Govt, will meet former President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Wednesday, former Minister Chandima Weerakkody said. He was one of the 16 SLFPers who had quit the Govt last month. When asked what the agenda would be on that day he said, “Former Prez Rajapaksa is a patron and the former leader of the Party. All 16 of us worked for him during the presidential elections. more..

ETI Finance depositors to be paid from 5 June: CB

May 21 (FT) Central Bank said that depositors of troubled ETI Finance Ltd. (ETIFL) would be paid in a phased-out manner starting from 5 June. It said the Monetary Board, having considered the critical financial conditions of ETIFL and the possible implications to the financial system, decided to permit and facilitate ETIFL to sell its holding of shares in subsidiary and sub-subsidiary companies and investment properties, based on a proposal submitted by the Board of Directors of ETIFL, more..

'Do not send children to school with feverish symptoms'

May 21 (DM) Southern Province Education Minister Chandima Rasaputhra today requested the parents to not to send their children to schools if they are suffering from cold, cough and fever. He said so far no decision has been taken to close the school temporary concerning of the prevailing fever, however, will do so if necessary after discussing with health authorities. However, Minister requested the parents to refrain from sending their children to school if have any of above symptoms more..

Five dead in adverse weather

May 21 (DN) Five people were reported dead due to adverse weather conditions with the Met Dept predicting landslides and floods if the heavy rains persist in the country in the next few days. An advisory for heavy rains, strong winds, lightning and rough seas was issued by the Natural Hazards Early Warning Center yesterday, as heavy monsoon conditions set in over the island. According to warnings, heavy rain falls of about 150 mm more..

Water levels increasing-- Be vigilant: DMC

May 21 (DM) Disaster Management Centre (DMC) warned the people living along the downstream of the Gin Ganga, Attanagalu Oya and Kalu Ganga to be cautious as the water levels of the rivers reached the spill level due to the heavy rainfall experienced in the catchment areas. Quoting the Irrigation Dept’s latest report issued at 3.30pm, DMC warned the public to pay special attention over the water levels of the mentioned rivers as the Met Dept expected more rains in the coming hours. more..

'New laws to protect Buddhist religious sites'

May 21 (DM) Higher Education and Cultural Affairs Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said the govt was considering amending the existing laws in order to protect the Buddhist religious sites as well as the places with archaeological value. Attending the occasion to resume the conservation works of the Rangiri Dambulu Rajamaha Viharaya which had been stalled for some time, Minister said that the new laws would provide for penalizing of those who vandalize such religious/archaeological sites. more..

As killer flu hits South Several children die

May 21 (CT) Several persons have died, mainly infants and hundreds of children have sought treatment, as a deadly viral flu continues to sweep several areas in the Deep South and elsewhere, Health authorities warned. They did not give the actual number of deaths but only stated that several infants, below the age of one, had already perished and hundreds of children had received treatment in major hospitals in the South. more..

Sri Lanka launches fourth Decent Work Country Programme

May 21 (Island) Sri Lanka’s fourth Decent Work Country Programme was launched in Colombo recently. A MoU giving effect to this was signed by Ministry of Labour and Trade Union Relations, Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC), the Sri Lanka Nidahas Sevaka Sangamaya (SLNSS), National Trade Union Federation (NTUF), Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC), Ceylon Federation of Trade Unions (CFTU), Free Trade Zone & General Services Employees Union (FTZGSEU) for more..

OBG quizzes CDASL chairman Pradeep Moraes on Sri Lanka’s property sector

May 21 (Island) Less than 10% of investors in SL’s luxury residential property developments are foreigners because purchase of residential property is not as yet linked to residency privileges, the internationally-acclaimed global leader in Business Intelligence Oxford Business Group (OBG) reported recently. Quoting Pradeep Moraes, Chairman of the Condominium Developers Association of Sri Lanka (CDASL) in an interview, OBG said 60 to 65% of buyers of luxury residential property are more..

A shipload of coal finds its way into sea etc. annually

May 21 (Island) More than 67,000 tonnes of coal find their way into the ocean annually and this is equal to one ship load, the Coalition Against Coal (CAC) says. "Of this amount, about 17,000 tonnes are lost due to spillage during unloading from ship to barge. It is common for coal pieces to reach beaches in areas such as Kalpitiya," CAC said in a report titled Norochcholai Coal Power Plant – A summary of Social & Environmental Issues. more..

China's Guangxi exhibits educational facilities to attract Sri Lankan students

May 21 (Xinhua) Study in Guangxi Education Exhibition in Colombo is underway, drawing a steady stream of SL students wanting to study in China. In the first-ever exhibition of their facilities, 25 higher education institutions from Guangxi, China offered a wide variety of courses in the liberal arts, management, technology, science, medicine, Chinese language, tourism and teaching. The main reason for SL students flocking to the exhibition is the lack of facilities in the island, more..

SL world’s 6th best performing wealth market

May 21 (FT) Sri Lanka has been ranked as the sixth best performing wealth market for 2016-2017 in the world by a specialist firm, the AfrAsia Bank, in its Global Wealth Migration Review. It said global wealth rose by 12% in 2017 (from $ 192 trillion at the end of 2016 to $ 215 trillion at the end of 2017). Sri Lanka’s growth was put at 20% a figure shared by Mauritius, Poland and Vietnam. India with 25% growth ranked first whilst China with 22% was at number three. more..

'Remaining SLFPer to stay in govt'

May 21 (CT) The remaining SLFP Ministers, Dy Ministers and State Ministers will remain in the Govt until its term ends, UPFA General Secretary and Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said. “We, the remaining Ministers will remain with the Govt till the full term ends in 2019 as we have no reason to leave now, he said yesterday. He was responding to a question on the Party’s reaction after Prez Sirisena told SLFP Central Comm more..

A betting on borrowing, too?

May 21 (Island) The shoe now seems to be on the other foot, and it is former President Rajapaksa, who is heard telling the nation that the successor-Govt of three-plus-years is on a borrowing-spree. According to him, Govt foreign commercial borrowings since January 2015, when the Sirisena-Ranil duo took over office, stood at $ 19.5 b, and Sri Lankan Rs 6 trillion. As if he was responding to Rajapaksa’s charge, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has said that the forex reserves were adequate and more..

Dharshana and Punchali top cyclists

May 21 (DN) Dharshana Prasad Fernando of the North Western Province and Punchali Sulochana of Western Province won the respective Men’s and Women’s Racing Cycling titles at the 44th National Sports Festival held at Puttalam on Saturday. Dharshana finished the 129kms distance in 3hrs 14mts and 07secs while Sulochana covered the 56kms in a time of 1hr 39mts and 42secs to win the gold. Men’s event covered the cities of Kurunegala, Nikaweratiya, Anamaduwa, Padeniya, more..

CONICA says Sugathadasa track seep only a minor issue

May 21 (ST) The foreign partner in the joint venture that built the synthetic track at Sugathadasa Stadium has guaranteed durability and the overall performance characteristics of the track after local project supervisor, Central Engineering Consultancy Bureau (CECB), demanded answers over visible water seepage and unusual wearing of the track. To review the issue, CONICA will have one of its technical more..

We have talented players and coaches but not administrators

May 21 (ST) Since the reshuffle of Cabinet Ministers, I have been receiving calls from past players and Football lovers alleging corruption and mismanagement within the Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL) and its affiliated Leagues, and appealing to me to take these matters with the incumbent Minister of Sports (MoS) Faiszer Musthapha. As I felt their requests to be just and fair, I thought I must first write to the Sunday Times, and thereafter, if possible, meet with MoS, more..

Doubly unethical dilemma

May 21 (Island) Each year more than 30% of the world’s food production, weighing about three billion tonnes, is wasted, while 13.1% of the world population (6.8 billion) go hungry. According to UN Food and Agricultural Organization estimates, the waste is enough to feed three billion people. An outfit called The Robin Hood Army is doing its bit to curb food waste in SL by literally taking from the rich and giving to the poor. "We accept food that cannot be sold due to minor quality issues from more..

Govt targets $ 2.1 bn FDI in 2018: Malik

May 21 (DN) Sri Lanka has set a target to export US$17.1 billion worth of goods and services in 2018, said Minister Malik Samarawickrama. Speaking to investors, trade unions and employees during a BOI organized interactive meeting at the Biyagama Export Processing Zone (BEPZ) he said that while FDI had reached US$ 1.9 billion, the target for 2018 was to attack US$2.1 billion FDI. more..

Johann, Arjuna appointed to SriLankan Airlines Board

May 21 (FT) Top professionals Johann Wijesinghe and Prof. Arjuna de Silva have been appointed to the SriLankan Airlines Board of Directors. The duo will make up the new seven-member SriLankan board headed by former senior banker Ranjith Fernando tasked with restructuring the national carrier. Other members of the Board are Mano Tittawella, Susantha Katugampala, Dr. Roshan Perera and Kapila Jayampathi. For Johann it will be of homecoming of sorts as he worked at more..

‘ICT Sector to become US$ 5 bn industry by 2022’

May 21 (DN) The National Chamber of Exporters (NCE) said that they are working with the key stakeholders of the ICT industry to make it a US$ 5 billion industry as envisaged in the Vision 2022 of the Govt. Secretary General of the NCE Shiham Marikar, said that ICT sector also has the potential to become, a 200,000 direct job providing sector and also to enable the launch of 1,000 startups. National Exports Strategy (NES) which is to be presented to the Cabinet shortly for approval more..

The Lost City of Zed: Lanka’s link

May 21 (Roar) In March 2018, the magazine Nature Communications published an article by a team of archaeologists from Exeter University. Team had been investigating possible ancient settlements in the Amazon’s upper Tapajós Basin, using a variety of modern techniques, including satellite imagery. They discovered 81 sites from the pre-Columbian era (about 1250-1500 A.D.). The remnants of several hundred ancient more..

Editorial: Commemorating the dead

May 21 (Island) There has been a real hullabaloo over the commemoration of the LTTE cadres who perished in the final battle of the Vanni war. There is nothing wrong with commemorating the dead so long as commemorative events are not used as rallying points to revive terrorist groups and promote their macabre causes, which are a threat to the civilised world. Several attempts to revive the LTTE have been reported since its defeat in 2009. Last month, a Tamil Nadu court sentenced more..

China, India and the Indian Ocean: Sri Lanka’s Foreign Policy Challenges

May 21 (Island) Today, dragged behind in the development race by 30 years of terrorism, (terrorism resulted in $200 billion in lost opportunity costs for Sri Lanka) mismanagement, credibility gap, and increasingly poor governance, the country, with the economy struggling, is seeking to attract foreign investments to fast track its economic development. When the new government was elected to power in 2015, misguided attempts were made to attract Western resources through more..