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In a war of elephants, the ants get squeezed

Jun 10 (DM) Ever since Donald Trump became the US President, as well as during his presidential campaign, he raised the spectre of an aggressive China building its military, naval and air power and the threat China pose to both US interests and the interests of neighbouring states in the region. Today we see US naval forces patrolling the South China Sea and on many occasions coming into confrontation with the Chinese Navy in what China claims are its territorial waters and more..

Video: Modi meets Ranil, Mahinda and Sampanthan

Jun 10 (AD) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi holding discussions on global terrorism emphasized the collective measures which could be taken for counter-terrorism. Indian Prime Minister Modi visited the island today (9) and was welcomed by PM Wickremesinghe at the BIA. PM Modi held fruitful discussions with his Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe. more..

Ranil snatches Minister in Attendance post from Sajith

Jun 10 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, snatched the Minister in Attendance post from Minister Sajith Premadasa, during the visit of Indian PM Narendra Modi. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe acted as the Minister in Attendance for Indian PM Modi’s visit from the BIA although Minister Premadasa was officially appointed by Prez Sirisena as the Minister in Attendance. Sources said that the vehicle of PM Wickremesinghe followed the vehicle of the Indian PM from the BIA to Colombo more..

Economic sentiment continues to decline: Survey

Jun 10 (FT) Latest LMD-Nielsen Business Confidence (BCI) poll reveals that more than two-thirds of respondents consulted by Nielsen, expect the economy to worsen over the next 12 months. “The economy and the investment climate are obviously in a very poor state due to current developments in the country,” states a survey respondent. Similarly, another businessperson remarks that “given the current economic situation and now with country’s reputation also at risk, more..

Indian support for counter-terrorism, economic recovery

Jun 10 (DN) Visiting Indian PM Narendra Modi pledged Delhi’s fullest co-operation in the key areas of counter-terrorism and Sri Lanka’s post-attack economic recovery. This commitment was made during bilateral talks the Indian leader had with Prez Sirisena yesterday during his brief visit to Colombo after his state visit to The Maldives. Appreciating Prez Sirisena’s prompt invitation to visit SL made during his inauguration as PM, more..

SLT set to launch roadmap for SMART Sri Lanka

Jun 10 (Island) Sri Lanka Telecom will mark a special milestone in the country’s digital journey towards SMART Sri Lanka with the formal launch of the National Digital Roadmap on June 11, at Nelum Pokuna under the patronage of Prez and PM. Proposed blueprint for integrated national digitisation will be presented through a comprehensive multi-faceted nexus of 16 pillars representing areas such as Smart Govt, Smart Security, Smart Health, Smart Transportation & Mobility, more..

LTTE former mouth piece Daya Master indicted in Vavuniya High Court under PTA

Jun 10 (Island) A case filed against media spokesman of LTTE, Velayutham Dayanidhi alias Daya Master under the PTA will be taken up before the Vavuniya High Court on July 08. TNA MP, M. A. Sumanthiran is appearing for Daya Master and the case is to be heard by High Court judge Ramanathan Kannan. Daya Master has been accused of aiding and abetting terrorism, justifying the conduct of the LTTE, etc. Charge sheet was handed over on June 7, 2018. more..

Video: Three demanded Rs 100 mn from Dambulla Thero remanded

Jun 10 (AD) Three suspects who were arrested for demanding extortion money from the caretaker monk of Dambulla Raja Maha Viharaya have been remanded until the 19th of June as per the order of the Magistrate’s Court. The phone conversation of the attempt to extort money from the caretaker monk of Dambulla Raja Maha Viharaya has been released to the media. Three males were arrested over demanding more..

Video: Country should be brought under one common law: Rathana Thero

Jun 10 (AD) The President should use his executive powers to bring the whole country under one law, states UNP MP Athuraliye Rathana Thero. Thero mentioned this speaking to the media personnel in Kandy. According to him, there are many steps that the government should take regarding the Muslim extremism that is prevailing in the country. “The first step is one country, one law. One education policy. Preventing land acquisition by using arbitrary means of public power. more..

Luxury cruise liner Europa docks at Hambantota

Jun 10 (CT) Hapag-Lloyd’s luxury cruise liner Europa 2, docked at the Hambantota International Port (HIP) last week for an overnight stay. Over 200 passengers from the cruise liner took advantage of the stopover, making day trips to Yala, Bundala, Udawalawe, Kataragama, and Ella. Europa 2’s visit was the first luxury cruiser in Sri Lanka, after the Easter Sunday bombing as well as being the first time a cruise ship did an overnight stop at the port. Fact that Hapag-Lloyd had the confidence more..

TNA tells UN: Govt action inhibits reconciliation

Jun 10 (Island) Leader of TNA Rajavarothiam Sampanthan has told Assistant Secretary-General and Executive Director of the UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) Michele Coninsx that the actions of the govt inhibit reconciliation. "Non-commitment to the implementation of UNHRC resolution and the resolutions passed in Parliament to introduce more..

Free visa on arrival facility into force soon

Jun 10 (DN) Sri Lanka will soon be offering the free visa on arrival facility to foreigners, said State Minister Wasantha Senanayake. He said that this facility would be initially offered to nationals from EU countries and USA and UK. The facility was earlier planned to be offered to EU, UK, USA, SAARC countries and a few other selected countries from May 1 but was put on hold due to the Easter Sunday blasts. SL currently offers on arrival visa only to citizens of Singapore, Nepal & Maldives. more..

Colombo Port partners SL Country Pavilion

Jun 10 (DN) Port of Colombo through an exclusive delegation from Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), South Asia Gateway Terminals (Pvt) Ltd. (SAGT) and Colombo Int'l Container Terminals (Ltd) (CICT) partnered in the SL Country Pavilion at the Transport and Logistics Fair in Germany. Fair was held from June 4-7 in Munich Germany. The annual event attracts more than 2,000 exhibitors and nearly 70,000 business visitors for sectors such as logistics, mobility, IT and supply chain. more..

Visiting Lankan academic says spirit of security forces has been crushed

Jun 10 (Island) SL security forces had turned from being hunters to fishermen during the last few years and the spirit of the security forces had been crushed since 2015, expert on terrorism Rohan Gunaratna told a meeting organised by the Mahinda Rajapaksa Centre yesterday. he said that the Easter Sunday attack was not an intelligence failure but a failure of political leadership. SL forces provided the govt with accurate information, more..

Awareness programme on illegal fishing activities for fisheries community

Jun 10 (SLN) An awareness programme on illegal fishing activities organized by the Sri Lanka Navy for fisheries community was held in the territorial area of Southern Naval Command on 7th June 2019. An awareness programme intended for educating the fisher folk about the disadvantages caused to the ocean and coastal belt by illegal fishing measures, is being conducted by the Navy under the directives and supervision of the Commander of the Navy Vice Admiral Piyal De Silva. more..

CT CLSA Asia Frontier Forum kicks off today

Jun 10 (FT) The CT CLSA Asia Frontier Forum will open today in Colombo, with participation of foreign and local institutional investors. Overcoming extraordinary conditions in Sri Lanka post-Easter attacks, CT CLSA Securities forged ahead with hosting its flagship Frontier Markets Forum for the fourth consecutive year. CT CLSA Securities Chairman Cecilia Muttukumaru said: “We are keen to showcase Sri Lanka’s resilience and determination in these difficult times and more..

Talks with Iran on tea exports this week

Jun 10 (FT) A Govt delegation is set to hold talks with Iranian officials this week to develop a payment mechanism for Sri Lankan tea exports to Iran, Minister Navin Dissanayake said. Govt is yet to find an effective mechanism to bypass US sanctions imposed on Iran, one of Sri Lanka’s largest tea markets. The sanctions have impacted tea industry payments where direct remittances through banks were not possible. more..

Air India to resume Delhi-Colombo flight halted after Easter attacks

Jun 10 (PTI) Air India will resume its additional flight on Delhi-Colombo route from July 15, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said. The national carrier had stopped operating the additional flight after the April 21 Easter Sunday terror attack in Sri Lanka that targeted churches and luxury hotels, killing total 258 people and injuring 500 others. In Colombo, PM Narendra Modi on Sunday pledged India's solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka as he visited the St Anthony's church, more..

Suspect arrested over Minuwangoda Kalu Ajith murder

Jun 10 (AD) The STF has arrested a person at the Mahawatte area in Ja-Ela in connection with the murder of Minuwangoda Kalu Ajith. Reportedly, the suspect has been arrested at a raid conducted last night (08) at Madama road. On 5th June, Krishantha Ajith Kumara alias Minuwangoda Kalu Ajith was shot dead by unidentified gunmen who had arrived on a motor bicycle at Mahawatte area in Ja-Ela. The person who rode the relevant motorbike has been arrested in this manner. more..

IT industry wants more say in Cyber Security Bill

Jun 10 (FT) IT industry stakeholders have called for more Govt engagement on the proposed Cyber Security Bill, citing lack of transparency, clarity in legal definitions and problems within the institutional frameworks to establish a Cyber Security Agency under the legislation. The first round of consultations was held last week to obtain industry and stakeholder views to further improve the bill. more..

Mass in Moscow for victims of Easter Sunday massacre

Jun 10 (FT) On 21 May, one month after the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka, the Mass for its victims was conducted at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception of the Holy Virgin Mary, the largest Cathedral in Russia, by Archbishop Paolo Pezzi, Metropolitan of the Archdiocese of the Virgin Mother in Moscow, in the presence of another Archbishop, His Grace Celestino Migliore, Apostolic Nuncio to the Russian Federation. Mass was attended by the Heads, Deputy Chief of Missions and more..

WC 2019: India beat Australia

Jun 10 (CI) There was a masterclass in batting at The Oval. Shikhar Dhawan overcame a weakness to score 117. Steven Smith showed none as he made 69. Hardik Pandya was pure unfettered power. David Warner fought demons. And Virat Kohli, as always, was method over madness. That the Oval pitch offered nothing to the bowlers dulled the contest a little bit, but India showed immense awareness with the way they paced their innings and for that alone they deserved victory. more..

Tourism sector VAT revised to 7%

Jun 10 (FT) Govt has issued fresh legislation amending VAT for tourism-related industries to 7% instead of 5% to avoid restrictions on input credit claims after worried industry stakeholders lobbied the Finance Ministry over the changes. Finance Ministry has issued a fresh gazette effective from 1 June to revise the VAT percentage charged on services rendered by a hotel, guest house, restaurant or other similar business providing more..

ERP to take Sathosa out of the woods

Jun 9 (ST) State-owned Lanka Sathosa Ltd (LSL)’s retail store network of 403 outlets currently running at a loss is set to be revamped with the introduction of a new sophisticated system, a Finance Ministry report revealed. The new sophisticated Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system has been devised to increase the asset base in the company covering the entire outlets, warehouses and the Lanka Sathosa Head Office. Under this initiative the LSL will strengthen the marketing arm more..

The Glory and the Ignominy of SL Football!

Jun 9 (ST) Congratulations is due to the Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL) President on his election as a co-opted member of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). An enviable achievement this, even if it is for representing South Asia Football Federation (SAFF), rather than the FFSL. A back room entry is as good as the front door, when it comes to such privileged sanctums, even while SL languishes at the bottom of FIFA rankings. Without sounding peevish, SL Football fans can more..

Nuwan Pradeep out of Bangladesh match with dislocated finger

Jun 9 (CB) Sri Lanka pace bowler Nuwan Pradeep has been ruled out of the Bangladesh match on Tuesday after dislocating the little finger on his bowling hand. The 32-year-old is likely to regain fitness in a week's time, according to ICC. Pradeep injured himself in the nets while bowling to Kusal Perera. The bowler put his right hand up to protect his face from a straight shot hit back at him and injured himself in the process. more..

Tourism crisis: Managing and seeking opportunities

Jun 10 (Island) Sri Lanka Tourism is currently going through a major crisis as a result of the devastation of the Easter 2019 terrorist attacks. Occupancies are at rock bottom levels and staffs are being laid off, and some hotels are partially closed down. However, in this environment of doom and gloom, a proper crisis management plan has to be implemented to tide over the rough times being experienced. In addition, there are also opportunities to be availed of. more..

Fast unto death was it more than what meets the eye?

Jun 10 (SO) The fast unto death by independent MP Athuraliye Rathana thera has had its share of drama but now that the venerable monk has given up his fast, been given a clean bill of health and has presumably resumed partaking of his daaney and gilanpasa, we must raise the question, did it achieve anything, if at all? Or, did it make matters worse? Rathana thera began his fast demanding the removal of Governors Azath Salley, M.L.A.M. Hizbullah and Minister Rishard Bathiudeen. more..

නාගානන්ද ලයිව් ඇවිත් ජනතා ප්රශ්න වලට පිළිතුරු දෙයි

What a political pickle!

Jun 10 (CT) 253 individuals that perished on the Easter Sunday, due to a well-orchestrated suicide bombing by Islamic terrorists may be cursing and reeling in their graves, when detailed information concerning the terrorist attack, which could have been easily averted, is gradually unwound. From day one, an accusing finger was directed at the Prez, as Minister of Defence, for being in Singapore during the terrorist attack, which could have been easily averted, is gradually unwound. more..

Edtorial: Tuk-tuk wisdom

Jun 10 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena pontificated on the virtues of unity and reconciliation while mourning the rise of communalism, at a function in the North, the other day. He is not alone in lamenting the absence of reconciliation. His lament reminded us of a tuk-tuk sticker with some words of wisdom thereon, conveying very succinctly the message of communal harmony, which govt leaders have failed to deliver in zillions of words. Some of the witty one-liners written on more..

'Communities in disharmony… Hizbullah has been a concern for Easterners'

Jun 10 (CT) The aftermath of the Easter Sunday bombings, carried out by Islamic extremists, led by Zahran Hashim of Kattankudy, saw a series of unpleasant events taking place in the country, summing up with Muslim politicians; including four State Ministers and four Cabinet Ministers, stepping down from powerful positions in the incumbent Govt. These developments has irked the majority, including Tamils of many areas more..

Ramadan’s new moon portends bad moon rising for all Lankans

Jun 10 (ST) The sighting of the Ramadan new moon on the night of June 4th which bade the Muslims to break their fast and feast and share their sawans with the other races in a traditional show of communal harmony may, sadly, have been only a brief breather from the storms that unknown evil forces plan to unleash upon this thrice blessed land in times to come. Just one and a half months before, the 42 day Christian Lent of self denial – observed to share Christ’s sufferings on the cross for more..

This is no system failure but Sri Lanka’s animal farm charades

Jun 10 (ST) The gay abandon with which politicians and public servants at the highest level act as if they are beyond even the slightest hint of accountability boggles our perpetually astonished imagination. This is exemplified by their behaviour in relation to first, ignoring all impending warnings of the Easter Sunday attacks by Islamist jihadists and second, by casually waving away responsibilities after the event on one ground or another, notwithstanding monumentally devastating consequences. more..

Nalaka de Silva’s revelations at PSC : TID sent weekly reports on NTJ to IGP since 2016

Jun 10 (SO) On June 4, it was Ex-TID Chief Nalaka De Silva’s turn to appear before the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) probing into the Easter Sunday terror attacks. It was the first time the public would hear from De Silva who on May 21 had been bailed out, after being arrested and remanded in October last year when he was accused of instigating a VIP assassination plot. The beleaguered former Chief of the TID arriving more..

Blackmailing the govt

Jun 10 (CT) The death fast by a relatively insignificant nationalist Buddhist monk turned politician Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thero MP, of the JHU and a National List MP nominated by the UNP in the current Parliament, ended on the fourth day. The monk was demanding the resignation or removal of Rishard Bathiudeen MP, and Minister for Industry & Commerce, Resettlement of Protracted Displaced Persons, Co-operative Development, Vocational Training & Skills Development. more..