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Wildlife Resources Minister requested to propose plan

Jul 3 (DM) Discussions are underway to remove 05/2001 circular issued by the Environment Ministry which gave provisions for the Forest Department to develop and protect state forest patches. “This circular was issued back in 2001 at a time when state lands inclusive of forest patches were also under the purview of Divisional Secretaries and govt agents,” said Rainforest Protectors Convener Jayantha Wijesingha. more..

Cargills cashes in on low interest rate regime to set off IFC facility

Jul 3 (FT) Diversified blue chip Cargills (Ceylon) Plc has decided to make use of the current low interest rate regime to set-off the relatively expensive Group facility worth Rs. 2.5 billion obtained in 2014/15 FY from the International Finance Corporation (IFC). The then Rs. 2 billion IFC facility for Cargills Foods Company (CFC) was fetched at 9% interest with a put option exercisable by February 2021. IFC had expressed interest to renegotiate and renew but Cargills (Ceylon) Plc management more..

BOI targets USD 2 b under revised plan

Jul 3 (SO) The Board of Investment (BOI), the apex body driving investments, has revised its target to achieve Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) in the range of US$ 1.5-2.0 billion due to the global pandemic, Secretary to the Ministry of Industrial Export and Investment Promotion, M.P.D.U. Mapa Pathirana said on Friday. “The BOI has launched measures to get the projects in the pipeline and those under construction, off the ground at the earliest,” he said, adding more..

SLC optimistic over LPL launch in August

Jul 3 (CI) SLC is hopeful the Lanka Premier League will go ahead as scheduled in August, despite the Sri Lankan govt pushing back the Aug 1 reopening of the country's main airport in Katunayake. SL's sports ministry last week gave a go-ahead for the tournament, which has been scheduled from Aug 8 to 22. The date had been scheduled taking into account that SL would be opening borders for foreign arrivals on Aug1. more..

Top-ranking national badminton players return for training

Jul 3 (DN) Sri Lanka Badminton (SLB) has called the country’s top-ranked Senior Badminton Pool Players for training at their headquarters, a spokesman for the National Pool said. The decision was taken after SLB got the green light from the Sports Ministry and other concerned authorities. They are to begin with a light warmup workout routine over the next week as they have remained home during the recent lockdowns. Nevertheless, the players have stayed in touch with the National Coaches and more..

Fencing twin sisters eye Olympics after achieving summit in Nepal

Jul 3 (ST) Fencing may be a relatively new sport in Sri Lanka but teenage twin sisters Chathuni and Chamodi Karunaratne have set their sights on creating history at the Olympics. It is no idle dream for these two Princess of Wales College, Moratuwa students who proved they are capable of climbing the summit by achieving excellent results at the GCE (O/L) exam while representing SL at the 13th South Asian Games (SAG) in Nepal in December. Both of them clinched bronze medals more..

2020 Olympic qualification: Nilani within striking distance

Jul 3 (CT) The newly introduced World Ranking system for athletics has created confusion among the athletics fraternity in SL, with some Media even reporting that double South Asian Games Gold medal winner Nilani Rathnayake had qualified for 2020 Olympic Games, which will now be held in 2021. Ceylon Today can confirm that though Nilani is within the world top 45 eligible to compete at the Olympics as of now, those rankings more..

Dananjaya to face clearance test in India as ban ends in August

Jul 3 (SO) Spin bowler Akila Dananjaya who was slapped with a one year ban is ready to clear his bowling action after facing a test by the ICC in India. The ban ends on August 29 and Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is making arrangements to send him for another test in India to ensure he will be able to return to international cricket. The 26-year-old bowler who mesmerized batsmen with his unorthodox spin bowling, was suspended twice by the ICC that stopped him from int'l cricket. more..

Cricket lovers appeal: Rename Pallekele as Muralitharan Stadium

Jul 3 (DN) Cricket lovers in Sri Lanka are appealing to the authorities to rename the Kandy Pallekele cricket stadium in honour of cricket legend, Muttiah Muralitharan. Every Sri Lankan should be proud of their former Test Cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan who was the World’s highest Test-wicket taker who has been named as the most valuable Test player of the 21st Century by the Wisden Cricket Monthly. This makes it more appropriate for our Country to honour Muttiah Muralitharan by naming more..

Veteran cricket coach Mendis laments junior standards deteriorating

Jul 3 (ST) Nelson Mendis, a veteran cricket coach with well over six decades of experience, producing a number of national players, was highly critical about the standard of school cricket in SL, which according to him is deteriorating day by day. A popular figure among aspiring cricketers and a respected coach among many national cricketers, for his uninterrupted service as a coach, Mendis said the standard of school cricket has dropped more..

Bhanuka Rajapakse: Model of Perseverance

Jul 3 (SO) The Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year contest has always been the most prestigious and looked forward to event in Sri Lanka’s school cricket calendar and winning that main title has been the dream of every schoolboy cricketer since its inception. Most importantly, the Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year began at a time when even the Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association did not have a tournament for First X1 school cricket. more..

Harassment of cricketers condemned

Jul 3 (Island) The opposition is busy fighting themselves and the upcoming General Elections should be a walk in the park for the govt and they may even go onto to get two third’s majority. However, individuals within the govt seem to be doing their best to bring down the popularity of the govt and former Minister of Sports Mahindananda Aluthgamage is at the forefront. His sensational claims that the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup final between India and Sri Lanka was fixed has more..

Tribute to Father Ernest Poruthota

Jul 3 (Roar) In 1971, the Catholic Church in SL officially inaugurated the national office of the International Catholic Organisation for Cinema and Audio-visual (OCIC), under the guidance of the then Archbishop of Colombo, Dr Thomas Benjamin Cooray. The decision was based on reforms within the church aimed at increasing the role of the media, particularly after the Second Vatican Council of 1965, at which a papal decree, more..

Editorial: Complacency can kill

Jul 3 (Island) A few weeks before the general election, the pace of campaigning is hotting up. Candidates are running around like headless chickens; they and their backers, engaged in frenetic vote-catching activities, have thrown caution to the wind. There are political meetings and other such events where health guidelines are blatantly flouted. Most people do not seem concerned about the possibility of a second wave of Covid-19 infections. Buses are getting overcrowded again and more..

Faces of resistance: The omnipresent force of Bob Marley in Sri Lanka

Jul 3 (GV) In Sri Lanka, the face of Bob Marley is a recurring visual motif- from tuk tuks, to street art, to reggae bars on the beach, and adorning various paraphernalia. But how did he come to occupy this visual space as a cultural icon? His face did not simply appear; it tells an integral story of resistance in SL. In popular representation, SL and Jamaica are both subjected to a single story; desired tropical paradises, privy to the constant gaze of exoticism, offering tranquility as Garden of Eden of sorts. more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa: ඇය වෙනුවෙන් අසුනක්

Beyond NAM to Globalism

Jul 3 (CT) When Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena had a long discussion with US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo by telephone on 30 June, it was revealed that the talks dealt with matters which were perhaps entirely out of the scope of matters relating to the MCC agreement. Not that the discussions had to necessarily be stuck on the pending MCC agreement. The MCC agreement, when we analyse the discussions between SL’s top man in foreign relations more..

New Year's day ordeal

Jul 3 (Island) It happened very many years ago, but it still lingers in my memory. Every Sinhala New Year's day our family had a busy schedule visiting friends and relatives and it was well nigh midnight when we reached home that day. After dropping the family at our front compound, I opened the garage which was at the rear. I was about to take the car in when I heard an agonizing shriek of a woman at the foot of the abutting hill. Looking over the boundary wall, I found that a woman had given birth more..

I’m contesting as a Sri Lankan: M.S.H. Mohamed

Jul 3 (DM) M.S.H. Mohamed, who initiated the Fight Cancer Team, will be contesting under the UNP ticket from Colombo District at the upcoming Parliamentary Elections. The Team raised funds to donate a PET/CT scanner to the Maharagama Apeksha Cancer Hospital. However Mohamed and the Team faced several allegations regarding the transparency of donations received while raising funds for the cause. more..

Elucidation wanted: On Tamil Issues & Solutions: Part I

Jul 3 (CT) Mr. C.V. Wigneswaran is no ordinary person: He is a retired Justice, fluent in all the three languages, Sinhalese, Tamil & English that are spoken in Sri Lanka, is patently religious and brought into politics from his retired life. Very soon after, and never of such privileged position accorded to anyone before, considered as new light, a new breeze and new hope by a majority of Tamil voters in the North of Sri Lanka, he was directly elevated to the exalted political office more..

More representative decision making bodies required

Jul 3 (CT) There has been a trend of Prez Rajapaksa making senior appointments in which those who are outside the established administrative systems are being brought in to provide leadership and ensure effective and non-corrupt practices. As a large number of these appointments have been from the security forces this has given rise to a perception that the country is heading towards eventual military rule. There is a concern that the forthcoming general elections will be followed by more..

'Rally under the Ekama Handak–Ekama Ratak banner'

Jul 3 (SO) The Janasetha Peramuna with a vision for the future and ensuring that all communities irrespective of caste, creed and ethnicity, enjoy the right to live in an undivided country, SL, invite all to rally under the banner Ekama Handak – Ekama Ratak. The party led by Ven. Battaramulle Seelarathana Thera, is now in its 11th year in the political arena. It has no bias of any kind; accept and respect all those who genuinely claim more..

HR concerns regarding Sri Lanka again!

Jul 3 (DM) Sri Lanka came in for much praise for controlling the spread of COVID-19, but some of the latest developments in the international scene, regarding human rights issues, might erase much of the good name health workers helped this nation earn. Right now SL has come under the spotlight for reports that are circulating with regard to minorities being targeted using hate speech and stigma. These concerns are being aired by an authority not less than the UNHRC’s Chief Michelle Bachelet. more..

Another election to repeat the same blunder

Jul 3 (DM) A popular claim in the recent past among the people had been that all the 225 MPs were rogues. Some people went on to curse them in public. And ironically, some of those MPs themselves quoted this claim during televised talk-shows pretending to assert the need to elect honest and qualified law makers to the legislature. We cannot recall anybody challenging this view or defending the legislators of the day. However, more than 200 out of the same 225 former MPs more..

World Bank downgrades Sri Lanka to lower-middle income country

Jul 2 (TM) World Bank has downgraded Sri Lanka from an upper-middle income country to a lower-middle income country. The change in classification comes in the World Bank country classifications by income level: 2020-2021 report. Sri Lanka is among ten economies that are moving to a different category this year and is one of three countries that are moving to a lower category from the previous year. more..

Pakistan High Commissioner visits Central and North Central Provinces

Jul 2 (PHC) High Commissioner of Pakistan, Maj. Gen. (Retd) Muhammad Saad Khattak visited Central and North Central Provinces from 29th June to 2nd July, 2020. HC met with the Governor of Central Province, Lalith U. Gamage at his office in Kandy on 29th June. Both discussed areas of mutual interest between the two countries, including assistance which can be provided by Pakistan to the Central Province and to explore opportunities to further enhance economic, trade, more..

CID wanted me to frame Gotabaya, Karannagoda: Cdr Ranasinghe

Jul 2 (CT) Commander Sumith Ranasinghe said the CID, under the supervision of its former Director Shani Abeysekera and Chief Inspector Nishantha de Silva, asked him to make a statement that the incumbent Prez Rajapaksa and the former Commander of the Navy, Admiral of the Fleet Wasantha Karannagoda instructed him to maintain a torture camp at the Trincomalee Navy Camp. Making a statement at the PCoI probing Political Victimisation of public servants during more..

Ali Sabry, Uwais Hajiar lead SLPP Muslim Federation

Jul 2 (FT) Muslim Federation of the SLPP has announced its key officials at its general meeting, held under the patronage of PM Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Rosewood Banquet Hall in Kalubowila on Monday. The National Leader of the Muslim Federation will be Ali Sabry PC, who is the President’s advisor on legal matters. National Organiser of the Federation will be A.L.M. Uwais Hajiar, former member of Central Province more..

'Don't use cricketers for political benefits'

Jul 2 (NR) Former MP Harin Fernando says suspicions have arisen whether the govt is engaged in seeking political vengeance over former national cricketers who raised objections to the govt’s proposed Homagama Stadium. He said statements by Former Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage pertaining to alleged match fixing allegations in the past and statements made today are contradictory. He said PM Mahinda Rajapaksa had interest in the Homagama Stadium as more..

State schools to re-open in stages

Jul 2 (CT) Ministry of Education has fixed 10 August for reopening of Grades One and Two of Govt Schools and Pre-Schools, said Minister of Education Dullas Alahapperuma. He said that Prez Rajapaksa has instructed his Ministry, to ensure that measures taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are in place such as disinfecting schools and the use of sanitisers. He noted that the hostel education for second-year students of the National Education Faculties will be conducted from 7-31 July. more..

11 PNB officers to be produced before court

Jul 2 (AD) The eleven officers of the Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB), who were arrested by the CID, will be produced before the Colombo Magistrate’s Court later today. They will be produced before the court on charges of drug trafficking, the AG’s Coordinating Officer Senior State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne said. PNB officers in question were arrested and interrogated by the CID today over their suspected links to drug racketeers. more..

CIC Feeds gets Covid-19 cover

Jul 2 (Island) Given the second wave of Covid-19 hitting the safe geographies like Beijing, Chennai and South Korea, the SL Standards Institution (SLSI) and Rotary stepped up the safeguards from the deadly virus by Certifying the Covid Control Environment Status to the first Sri Lanka owned group of companies-CIC Feeds Limited,. It said: Incidentally, this is the third company to get this cover of badge with the first being the Swedish/ Italian owned Trellerborg Group, more..

RW instructs Mayor to recover Rs. 300 m due from Western Provincial Council

Jul 2 (FT) UNP Party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe instructed Mayor of Colombo Rosy Senanayake to take immediate action to recover Rs. 300 million owed by the Western Provincial Council. Former PM met with Mayor Senanayake yesterday at the Party Headquarters to discuss the relief services provided by the Colombo Municipal Council. Wickremesinghe advised Senanayake to provide immediate relief to three-wheeler drivers and the public in the Colombo Municipal area affected by COVID-19 more..

Govt asks electricity consumers to pay their bills, relief measures will follow

Jul 2 (EN) The govt is asking electricity consumers to pay their bills in full for now until a proper method for relief is found. Minister Bandula Gunawardena asked the electricity consumers to pay up now until a proper relief method for the payments is introduced by the Cabinet next week. Many ministers informed the Cabinet that there are a lot of complaints from electricity consumers that electricity bills more..

People’s Bank marks 59th anniversary celebration empowering MSMEs island-wide

Jul 2 (FT) The 59th anniversary of People’s Bank was celebrated on 1 July, and to mark this occasion a special ceremony was organised at Marandagahamula Branch where 59 Aswenna as well as 59 Saubagya COVID-19 loans were granted to customers of the branch. All loans were granted with the participation of People’s Bank Chairman Sujeewa Rajapakse and CEO/General Manager Ranjith Kodituwakku. These loan schemes were introduced to support Govt’s development more..

Kasturi Chellaraja elected SLCPI President for another year

Jul 2 (TM) The SL Chamber of the Pharmaceutical Industry (SLCPI) unanimously elected Kasturi Chellaraja as its president for the year 2020/21, at the 59th Annual General Meeting held earlier this week. Chellaraja, Managing Director of Hemas Pharmaceuticals and now CEO of the Group, will head the Chamber for the 2nd year and along with the new office-bearers and membership, will drive the healthcare agenda of the Country together with govt & private sector stakeholders. more..