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Hambantota port control to revert to Sri Lanka after 80-years for one dollar

Aug 9 (EN) Sri Lanka can will regain a majority stake in the terminal company at Hambantota port from China after 80-years for one dollar and the port will pay standard royalties on containers and bulk cargo after 25-years, details tabled in parliament showed. There is also an option to buy the entire port back after the 70-years, the shipping minister said, filing answers to a parliamentary question. more..

Mannar mass grave excavation: Media and NGOs banned

Aug 9 (CT) Police have obtained a written Order from the Mannar Magistrate not to permit the Media and NGOs, that are working closely on the missing and enforced disappearances issue, to visit the Mannar mass grave site to collect information or report on it. Police have claimed that several Media outlets have misinterpreted the information given to them by the officials at the burial site. more..

Vidyaís murder: appeals by convicts to be taken up in December

Aug 9 (AD) The appeals filed by the seven suspects, sentenced to death over the gang rape and murder of the schoolgirl Sivaloganathan Vidya, were ordered to be taken up for consideration on Dec 13 by the Supreme Court. The applications, demanding the exemption from the punishment of the defendants, were taken up today (09) before the three-judge bench comprising the Supreme Court Justices Eva Wanasundara, more..

Special Army bus service by to assist railway commuters

Aug 9 (AD) The govt has permitted the railways commuters to travel on Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) buses using railway season tickets until the railway trade union strike concludes. Reportedly, a special bus service by Army has been deployed today (9) to transport the students sitting for the G.C.E. A/L exam. Several railway trade unions including drivers and guards had launched a sudden strike at 3 pm yesterday (8) protesting the more..

Sangakkara, SLC laud Pallekele spectators' clean-up act post match

Aug 9 (CI) Groups of spectators have helped collect rubbish discarded in the stadium following both SL-South Africa ODIs at Pallekele - the same venue where play had to be stopped last year when spectators threw empty bottles onto the ground as India closed in on victory. A group of students from the island's South Eastern University is believed to have begun the cleaning initiative after the third ODI on Sunday. more..

Reports regarding textile imports from North Korea to Sri Lanka erroneous

Aug 9 (MFA) The attention of this Ministry has been drawn to news reports regarding textile imports from North Korea to several countries including Sri Lanka during the period Oct 2017 and March 2018. The Ministry wishes to clarify that the information contained in the news reports in relation to Sri Lanka are erroneous. In keeping with Sri Lankaís international obligations as a member of the UN, Govt of SL abides by the provisions more..

Sittings limited to two hours and five minutes

Aug 9 (Island) Parliament sittings were limited to two hours and five minutes yesterday as MPs listed to speak for the debate on Apartment Ownership (Special Provisions) Bill and regulations imposed under the Construction Industry Development Act No I were either absent or refused to speak. Sittings that commenced at 1 pm were adjourned at 3.05 pm as some of the MPs listed to speak were not present in the chamber and more..

Japan diplomats, defence officials, visit Sri Lanka's Hambantota port

Aug 9 (EN) A delegation of senior Japanese diplomats and military officials had visited Sri Lanka's Hambantota port, which is now operated by joint venture company with China. The delegation had met key officials of Hambantota International Port Group (HIPG) the operating joint venture, including Chief Operating Officer Tissa Wickramasinghe and Chief Security Officer Admiral Jayantha De Silva. more..

Garbage projects coming on stream to help ease disposal issues

Aug 9 (ST) Amid piles of garbage on the streets with no proper disposal sites, a few solid waste management projects are expected to start operations by the end of next year. The most talked about solid waste management project, the sanitary landfill in Arawakkalu, Puttalam, will commence construction this month and the Megapolis and Western Development Ministry anticipates that operations will begin by November next year. more..

We will never condone any political deal with UNP in future: S.B.

Aug 9 (DM) Q: How is your groupís preparation for the forthcoming Provincial Council polls? A: Both, the SLFP and the UPFA contested the local govt polls and were beaten badly. A large number of SLFP and UPFA members have joined the JO since then except for a few like Duminda Dissanayaka and Mahinda Amaraweera and few others. Our target is to achieve a landslide victory against UNP and form a SLFP govt more..

Briefing note to presidential hopefuls

Aug 9 (DM) Three adults were discussing politics in a quaint holiday house in Kabalana, Koggala named Octopus Reef a few days ago. The son of one of these adults tapped his fatherís knee. The father handed over a mobile phone to his son saying this is what you wanted, right? The son responded thus: Yes. You were talking about ideology, whatever that means. The boy is just 11 years old. He didnít know this, but the truth is that very few talk ideology and fewer still know whatever it means. more..

Citizens arise, apocalyptic dangers facing us

Aug 9 (DM) Expert scientists are warning that the global warming catastrophe may be reaching a point of no-return with some western countries going through their hottest summers in history and some of them getting as hot as 46 degrees Celsius while California and Greece face their worst ever wildfires. Meanwhile the world this week marks the anniversary of another apocalyptic danger -- nuclear weapons. According to a Washington Post report, Hiroshima marked the anniversary of 1945 more..

Duties on small cars to be revised soon: PM

Aug 9 (DM) Govt intended to revise the import duties imposed on small cars and hybrid vehicles in the near future, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe informed Parliament. PM said the minimum duty rate of Rs 1.5 million for small cars with the engine capacity less than 1,000cc and the minimum duty rate of Rs 1.25 million for hybrid vehicles would be imposed as the increase of vehicle import expenditure had pushed balance of payments more..

Liquor price increases

Aug 9 (DM) The prices of fast-moving locally manufactured liquor products of Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka (DCSL) have been reportedly increased between Rs. 30 to 40 from midnight yesterday. The company had revised the prices following the amendment to the NBT on alcohol products, in addition to existing taxes. The NBT exemption applicable on sale of liquor by the importer himself, was removed and made liable with effect from April 01, 2018. more..

Contempt of Court charges: Ranjan pleads not guilty

Aug 9 (CT) Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake yesterday, pleaded not guilty to Contempt of Court charges at the Supreme Court. The Court fixed 5 September for the next hearing of the case. The charge sheet drawn up by Deputy Solicitor General (DSG), Priyantha Nawana, on behalf of the Attorney General, was taken up before a 3-Judge Bench comprising CJ Priyasath Dep and Justices Nalin Perera & Prasanna Jayawardena. Ramanayake informed Court, through his lawyers, more..

Reviewing of Medical Ordinance: SLMA backs move to change composition of SLMC

Aug 9 (Island) Association of Medical Specialists (AMS) has turned down a request from the GMOA to explore ways and means of thwarting the imminent dissolution of the SL Medical Council (SLMC). Instead, Dr. S.R. Wijayasinghe, President, AMS, has requested the SL Medical Association (SLMA) to convene a meeting to discuss the entire gamut of issues. Dr. Wijayasinghe has declined to participate at a meeting convened by GMOA more..

Mangala expresses regrets to train commuters

Aug 9 (DN) Finance and Mass Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera in a special statement extended his regrets to the railway commuters, on behalf of the Govt, who were highly inconvenienced due to the strike launched by railway workers without any prior notice. Minister said during the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers on August 7, a decision was taken to appoint a Special Commission to carry out salary revisions of all govt sector employees, including railway workers. more..

Rs 205 million allocated for compensation of Kandy riots victims

Aug 9 (FT) PM informed Parliament that Rs. 205 million has been allocated as compensation for victims of the communal violence that occurred in the Kandy area earlier this year, but that awarding of compensation has been delayed as the valuation process was still ongoing. Responding to a query by Minister Rauff Hakeem, PM said that thus far, Rs. 18 million in compensation had been awarded, but the remaining monies would be given only once the Dept of Valuation completed its task. more..

Karunanidhi death: SL tamil leaders mourn

Aug 9 (Hindu) DMK chief M. Karunanidhiís passing has evoked powerful messages of grief and solidarity from several senior Sri Lankan leaders, representing Tamils of the islandís north and east, and the Malayaha Tamils living in the central and southern parts of the country. Observing that the DMK leader was highly respected as an influential politician in the sub-continent, veteran Sri Lankan Tamil politician and more..

Govt looking to establish airport in Kandy

Aug 9 (CT) In line with the Govtís ambition to develop several domestic airports to ease travel times, Cabinet on Tuesday agreed to carry out a feasibility study on building a domestic airport in the Kandy District to connect the Central Province with other regions for economic development. Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva submitted a proposal to carry out a feasibility to develop a domestic airport, which could facilitate medium-sized aircraft at Dingana, connecting the Central Province with more..

Agri Ministry overstaffed: Gamage Has 36,000 employees

Aug 9 (CT) Minister Daya Gamage, claimed that whereas his Ministry has a cadre strength of 57 with room to go up to 82, on the other hand the Ministry of Agriculture has a cadre strength of 36,000. Speaking in Colombo, where he introduced a WB funded US$ 104 million matching grants programme to entrepreneurs, one entrepreneur said he was finding it difficult to breed Tilapia fish in paddy lands due to opposition by Ministry of Agriculture. Sri Lanka has an export market for Tilapia. more..

Swiss Justice Minister reaffirms commitment in Sri Lanka

Aug 9 (SWI) Swiss Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga concluded her four-day visit to Sri Lanka by saying that Switzerland will do its utmost to ensure that the nationís newly formed Office of Missing Persons, as well as the Human Rights Commission, can do their work. During her visit, Sommaruga met President Maithripala Sirisena, as well as govt ministers, representatives of the national human rights commission, and more..

EFL granted Special Leave to Appeal to challenge unlawful electric fence

Aug 9 (FT) EFL was granted Special Leave to Appeal by the Supreme Court on 1 August, relating to an illegal forest clearing and the subsequent erection of an electric fence within the immediate vicinity of the Nakolagane Purana Raja Maha Viharaja in Ehetuwewa, in the Kurunegala District. Over the years, EFL has been ardently involved in combating the clearing of forest land in SL while ensuring complaints of such regard are brought to the notice of relevant Govt officials. more..

Fluctuating fuel price formula will not be scrapped: Rajitha

Aug 9 (Island) Cabinet decision to implement a fuel price formula based on world market prices would not be scrapped, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. Asked at yesterdayís Cabinet News Conference, about some Ministers publicly disagreeing with the govtís policy on fuel prices, Senaratne said that such persons should express their views at the Cabinet meeting first. Govt announced last month that fuel prices would be reviewed on the 10th of every month and an increase or decrease effected more..

SL Ambassador to Qatar forcibly took over Sri Lankan school in Doha: JO

Aug 9 (FT) JO charged that SL Ambassador to Qatar A.S.P. Liyanage had wrested control of the Stafford Sri Lankan School in Doha, forcibly bringing it under the management of the SL Embassy in an attempt to misappropriate funds to the tune of Rs. 4.5 million. Elaborating on the matter, JO MP Wimal Weerawansa said that the school had been commenced by 20 Sri Lankans who had raised funds to set up the institute more..

Sri Lankaís plans for boosting FDI, exports explored in report

Aug 9 (DN) SLís broad-based plans for boosting both FDI and exports are explored in detail in a forthcoming report by the global research and consultancy firm Oxford Business Group (OBG). Marking OBGís third publication on the country, The Report: Sri Lanka 2018 tracks several developments across the economy including Port City Colombo, the Chinese-backed real estate project, which has been earmarked for a key part in the Asian giantís ambitious Belt and Road Initiative. more..

Govt to institutionalise trade negotiation process

Aug 9 (FT) Cabinet this week approved the reconstitution of the National Trade Negotiating Committee comprising of 16 members, appointing representatives of different agencies as heads of subcommittees tasked with handling negotiations of all free trade agreements underway at present. Minister Malik Samarawickrama, presenting a Cabinet proposal, has informed the Ministers that considering the magnitude and complexity of the negotiation with widened scope, more..

Legislation to prevent fragmentation of coconut land above five acres

Aug 9 (Island) The govt is to bring new legislation to revise the land fragmentation policy, which would necessitate the obtaining of permission from the authorities before fragmenting coconut lands above five acres, instead of currently applicable ten acres, Minister Navin Dissanayake said. "Under the new legislation, to fragment coconut lands above five acres, a land owner would have to obtain permission from local govt authorities more..

Romania the gateway to Europe: Gamage

Aug 9 (CT) Romania is becoming the gateway to Europe, gradually displacing Turkey, which currently occupies that position, Minister Daya Gamage said. Minister said that he wants to boost two-way Romanian trade, currently at US$ 20 million, to US$ 500 million in five years. He also said that he plans to establish 5,500 export villages island-wide. Currently, global trade is controlled by 7,000 mainly multinational companies (MNCs) which have a 53% market share, said Gamage. more..

Japanese delegation visits ONUR

Aug 9 (FT) A delegation comprising of Takefumi Akai, Mayor of City of Akaiwa in Okayama Prefecture and Japan based Association of Medical Doctors of Asia including high school students from Japan, visited the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR) on Tuesday (7) in Colombo. While extending their fullest support towards the reconciliation process in SL, the discussion which was attended by ONUR officials, centred on the possible cooperation in reconciliation more..

Thilanga opposes Introducing Independent Election Committees to NSAs

Aug 9 (CT) Apart from former SLC President Thilanga Sumathipala, all others raised their hands in favour of Sports Minister Faizer Musthaphaís suggestion to appoint Independent Election Committees to conduct National Sports Associations (NSAs) elections. Minister called the meeting to discuss the proposed new amendments to the sports regulations, which will allow Sports Ministry to appoint an Independent Election more..

Sanath tries 3 Guinness records in one attempt

Aug 9 (CT) Marathon running has always been considered the most difficult challenge in regular athletic competitions; the runner gets the daunting task of running 42.195km, which normally takes around 2 to 3 hours. But, the SL distance running great, Sanath Bandara will be eyeing something categorized as impossible, he will be eyeing to set Guinness records, running the fastest bear foot 50Mile, the fastest bear foot 100km and the biggest distance in 12 hours at the Track Ultra more..

Otara wins WIMís Woman of the Year award

Aug 9 (FT) Entrepreneur, philanthropist and activist Otara Gunewardene on Tuesday received the Woman of the Year award at the eighth edition of the Top 50 Professional and Career Women Awards 2018. Organised by Women in Management (WIM) and IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, the awards witnessed 63 women from Sri Lanka and the Maldives being honoured with prestigious Gold and Silver awards for excellence. From being a sole proprietor of one store in 1990, more..

Lower order, Lakmal end SL's losing run

Aug 9 (CI) Suranga Lakmal defended seven runs off the final over to cap off SL's most inspired showing in the field and best batting performance of the series so far and end an 11-match losing streak against South Africa. After rain interrupted both innings, South Africa's target was reduced to 191 runs off 21 overs and they looked set to reach it. They needed 69 runs off the last 10 overs with seven wickets in hand when more..

Edtorial: People fully awake

Aug 9 (Island) Burglars in days of yore, used to make a hole in a wall and put a pot through it with the help of a stick before entering a house. If it got smashed, they would run away because they knew the occupants were fully awake. Yahapalana leaders employed the same modus operandi the other day. In a bid to keep MPs happy and contented, they sought to give them a massive pay hike. They leaked their decision to the media to gauge public reaction only to get the same scare more..

Singer revenue grows 16% in 1st quarter

Aug 9 (Island) Singer (SL) PLC announced its results for the quarter ended 30th June 2018. The results showed an increase of 16% in revenue amounting to Rs. 15.1 Billion, compared to the previous year, in spite of challenging business conditions. While an improvement in the rural economy was noted in April-May, the company noted a lower consumer demand in urban areas. The Consumer Durables industry, where Singer is present is more susceptible to more..