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'Investing climate conducive to investors'

May 18 (CT) Asian investors would find Sri Lanka a compelling destination for business with an abundance of untapped opportunities available, said Minister Malik Samarawickrama. He was speaking at a meeting of diplomats from Asian countries and the SL corporate sector, organized by Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. SL’s friendly ties with all Asian countries and the openness to partner with all of them without preference; more..

Harin confident of turnaround at ICTA with new management

May 18 (FT) With a fresh management team at the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA), Minister Harin Fernando expressed confidence in making a remarkable turnaround in the entity to bolster the country’s digital transformation. He said all the financial liabilities the ICTA have right now will be settled by the Ministry in the immediate future. “The Treasury has released Rs. 1,48 billion to the Ministry to settle the overdue bills of ICTA,” he said. more..

Don’t use war heroes for personal agendas: Army Chief

May 18 (DM) War heroes must not be manipulated to serve narrow objectives and personal agendas, nor should they be incited to resort to emotional and anti-social acts, Army Commander Mahesh Senanayake said. Lieutenant General Senanayake said nine years have passed since the eradication of terrorism from the country and he firmly believed the freedom thus gained should be shared not by exaggerated glorification or through mere rhetoric and hyperbole but by showing our sentiments more..

Rs. 2 b SL-US dairy project to double milk production

May 18 (FT) A Rs. 2 billion initiative to double Sri Lanka’s dairy production kicked off with PM Ranil Wickremesinghe outlining ambitious plans to use the project to improve quality and strengthen the rural economy. The new project is a joint venture between the SL Govt and US Dept of Agriculture. Titled the Market Oriented Dairy Project, it aims to expand the country’s dairy industry by increasing productivity and more..

Hathurusingha’s mantra to make Sri Lankan cricket great again

May 18 (Island) If budding cricket coaches need to get an idea on what is meaningful training, they only have to go and take a look at how Chandika Hathurusingha prepares his players for the challenges ahead. It is this meticulous planning that has been Hathurusingha’s mantra for success whether it was with Sri Lanka ‘A’, Sydney Thunder, New South Wales or Bangladesh. He may not have a magic wand at his hand but he knows the nucleus that form successful cricket teams. more..

Sports Minister mediates to conduct SLHF election

May 18 (DN) Sports Minister Faiszer Mustapha has directed the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of SL to conduct SL Hockey Federation (SLHF) election which was not held for nearly 3 years. According to the mediation made among the rival parties in the Appeal Court case no 286/2015, an Election Committee comprising Sports Development Dept Director General as the head along with three NOC members and two Sports Development Dept officials has to conduct the election. more..

How imprudent to omit girls relay team from Asian Juniors

May 18 (CT) The decision taken by Athletic Association of Sri Lanka (AASL) to omit South Asian Gold medal winning SL junior girls’ 4x100m relay team from the Asian Junior Athletic championship has raised several questions on the selections process once again, especially with the junior sprinters clocking even faster times during the recently concluded National selection trials. AASL had decided to omit the girls’ 4x100m relay more..

Truth about defaced currency notes

May 18 (ST) Central Bank recently adopted a clean note policy which has caused some anxiety among the public. Originally it was to come into effect on Dec 31, 2017 but then it was postponed indefinitely. With an effective campaign which had CB adverts at every cash counter, the public have been made to understand that any ink on the currency note is not acceptable. I was once held up in a supermarket queue with the customer arguing with the counter clerk about a Rs. 5000 note with ink. more..

Galle and Colombo enter final

May 18 (CT) The two teams that finished on top of the points table, Galle and Colombo will clash in the final of the SLC Super Provincial One Day cricket tournament. The final will be played at the R. Premadasa Cricket Stadium on Sunday 20. Rain forced no decisions in the two matches that were played yesterday. The game between Galle and Colombo played at the R. Premadasa Stadium saw Galle scoring a healthy 155 for two wickets when rain halted play. more..

Digitizing Sri Lanka’s heritage for tomorrow’s generations

May 18 (Roar) Sri Lanka’s history spans over 2,500 years and its archaeological ruins, historic buildings, ancient artefacts, documents and inscriptions all bear testament to it. But throughout this long period of time, these places and objects have borne the risk of being damaged and even destroyed due to the civil war, pollution, decay and other factors. Bearing this in mind, a few initiatives have been taken by both the public more..

Power sector development in Sri Lanka: Shifting to reverse gear

May 18 (Island) The Cabinet of Ministers at its meeting held on 09.05.2018 has taken two important decisions on the development of the power sector in the country. One is on the establishment of three power plants operating on natural gas sponsored by the govts of India, Japan and China. The other is with regard to the recommended fuel mix for generating electricity. The cabinet decision for the above has been posted in the website of the Cabinet Office under the heading more..

The OMP and the aspirations of families of the missing and disappeared

May 18 (CT) The first permanent official body created to search and trace missing persons in SL is the Office on Missing Persons (OMP) established under Act No. 14 of 2016. This was done to comply with a recommendation in the 2015 UNHRC Resolution which was co-sponsored by the Govt of SL. However the office was set up about two years after the Act was passed. It started functioning only in May 2018 with members visiting Mannar to meet the victims of disappearances in that District. more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Asphalt cowboys and yahapalana puppets

May 18 (Island) Private bus owners have once again proved that they are no respecters of govt decisions; they are a law unto themselves. They contemptuously rejected a Cabinet approved 6.56% bus fare hike and forced the govt to grant a 12.5% bus fare increase and a minimum fare of Rs. 12. No govt seems equal to the task of taming them. Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration claims to do everything very scientifically, and it must have used some scientific method to work out more..

Holy month of Ramadan begins

May 18 (CT) Religions and philosophies that practice fasting include Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, and Jainism, just to mention a few. All utilize fasting in one form or another, whether for purification, spiritual vision, penance, mourning or sacrifice. Ramadan, also known as Ramadhan or Ramazan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. The word Ramadan is derived from an Arabic word for intense heat, scorched ground or dryness. more..

'Sri Lanka committed to gender equality'

May 18 (DN) Many national commitments have been made by the SL Govt regarding gender equality and there are also thriving civil society organisations that work to make sure that gender rights are respected, said French Ambassador to Sri Lanka Jean-Marin Schuh in an interview. France is continuing its ambitious action to promote equality through its third International Strategy for gender equality (2018-2022), a strategy that more..

In a land like no other

May 18 (DN) When I joined the Police as a Probational ASP in 1958, Brigadier Anton Mutucumaru, the Commander of the Ceylon Army who was on the Interview Board chaired by the then SD and EA Gunasena de Soyza did not have a Chief of Staff under him. As far as I am aware, this exalted position in the Army came into existence with the phenomenal growth of the Army when the war against LTTE terrorism escalated. The loud sounding term, Chief of Staff was unheard of more..

Delusions & dead-end of Tamil nationalist politics: Reply To Mr. Thangavelu

May 18 (CT) Mr. Thangavelu’s diatribe against me is so full of crazy lies that it would be a waste of my time answering it, except that it is quite symptomatic of Tamil nationalist politics and the Tamil nationalist mindset, that this can turn into a teaching moment. First off, I would ask Mr. Thangavelu to give the source for the outrageous quote he attributes to Mahinda Rajapaksa speaking in Kilinochchi. Now let’s dispense with the stuff about me. I can hardly be a Sinhala Buddhist nationalist or more..

Ramadan: A month of benign blessing for reaping rich rewards

May 18 (Island) Muslims across the globe actively and eagerly make preparations to warmly welcome the advent of the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, the Ramadan that is certainly packed with the power of benign blessings and a great mercy of Allah for the whole world. In Ramadan, Gates of paradise are opened, Gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained up - Sahihal Bukhari. more..

Developments and opportunities for SL

May 18 (CT) Being the second largest emitter, agriculture produces 13% of total Green House Gas (GHG) emissions of the world. Organic agriculture is rapidly becoming an alternate method of production as the traditional way of producing food causes water pollution, soil erosion and environmental unsustainability due to the high use of synthetic chemicals, including fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. Organic agriculture is also known to be a source of poverty reduction & good health. more..

Puzzle of the Presidential Hopeful

May 18 (DN) The declaration by President Maithripala Sirisena at the SLFP May Day rally that he would not retire from politics in 2020 has ignited discussion in political circles about prospective presidential candidates for the election which is due that year. Previously, the President had pledged that he would not run again for President. He did so while campaigning for the Presidency, shortly after taking his oath of office, when he visited the Dalada Maligawa a few days later and more..

Living the high life with people's money: Rs.5.7m to refurbish toilets at Mayor's house

May 17 (DM) A sum of Rs.5.7 million has been allocated for the modernisation of the toilets at the Colombo Mayor’s official residence, CMC member Sumith Passaperuma revealed at the CMC meeting held yesterday (16). He said it was sad to witness such a waste of taxpayer's money for such a purpose when public toilets within the city were in such a unhygienic condition. In reply, Mayor Rosy Senanayaka more..

Mechanism to combat increasing financial crimes strengthened

May 17 (Island) The composition of the Committee to Prevent Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing would be expanded due to an increase in the number of financial crimes, govt said. Minister Gayantha Karunathillake said that better coordination among state institutions was essential to combat financial crimes which had increased with the expansion of technology. In this regard a proposal submitted by the Minister Mangala Samaraweera to expand the composition of more..

Her sanctum burnt down

May 17 (DM) A mysterious fire has destroyed the outhouse where the Rajarata sorceress cum soothsayer well-known as Penakiyana-maani practiced her occult crafts, they say. Many people from all walks of life including politicos would throng her devalaya daily either to get their future read or seek her magical powers to fulfil various other purposes in life, they say. Leading politicos in the country have been among her clientele and some people claim that making significant more..

Mathews, Lakmal declared fit for WI tour

May 17 (CB) Sri Lanka will be glad that they will have the services of two of their most experienced players for the upcoming tour of West Indies after senior batsman Angelo Mathews and seamer Suranga Lakmal passed their fitness tests. Both players were picked in the squads named last week, but their participation was subject to fitness. Both players' match fitness was assessed during an eight-day residential training camp more..

US economic boom adversely affects SL: PM

May 17 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe today said the economic growth in the US has had a negative impact on Sri Lanka and other developing nations. PM said this at the International Nurses’ day programme at Temple Trees. He said the US dollar had picked up with the economy boom in the USA and that had resulted in the devaluation of currencies of countries such as SL and Argentina. However, he said SL would be able to manage the economy as the CB Governor recently said. more..

10 districts prone to landslides: NBRO

May 17 (NR) National Building Research Organisation (NBRO) said ten districts within the country have been identified as areas with landslide threats. Director General of NBRO Asiri Karunawardena said accordingly Nuwara-Eliya, Badulla, Matale, Kegalle, Ratnapura, Kalutara, Galle, Matara, Hambantota and Kurunegala districts may experience landslides. He stressed NBRO has identified several areas in and around these districts as high risk, medium risk and low risk areas. more..

SLCERT gets 900 Facebook related complaints in four months

May 17 (Island) Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Readiness Team (SLCERT) said that it had recorded 900 Facebook related complaints since April this year. SLCERT Media Spokesman Roshan Chandragupta said that 80% of the complaints were related to Facebook and about fake accounts. SLCERT has recorded 3,900 complaints last year, out of which 3,600 were related to Facebook. In 2016 there were 2,350 more..

3 injured in grenade explosion at SLAF Training School in Diyatalawa

May 17 (AD) Three persons including two instructors and a female trainee have been injured and hospitalised following a grenade explosion during an exercise at the SLAF Combat Training School in Diyatalawa. SL Air Force Media Spokesperson, Group Captain Gihan Seneviratne, said that the incident had occurred at around 10.00am today during a training exercise in the Nariyakanda area. The wounded persons have been admitted to the Biyatalawa Base Hospital more..

Man fined Rs.10,120 for not paying 30-rupee parking fee

May 17 (DM) A man who failed to pay a parking fee of Rs. 30 at a parking slot in Wellawatte, has been fined Rs. 10,120 after a lapse of 13 days. The man had parked his car in Wellawatte on April 25 and had forgotten to pay the fee of Rs. 30 via a machine placed near the parking place. The person had not been aware that the payment should be done via a machine. When he found that there was nobody to collect the payment, he had departed the place without paying the fee of rs. 30 per hour. more..

Passport to the murky world of contraceptives for housemaids

May 17 (DM) Two months ago, unrest sparked across the country due to the speculation that a pill that causes infertility had been mixed with a food served in a small restaurant in Ampara. Particle was later found to be mere lumps of flour. Nevertheless, did you know that a considerable number of SL women, who work in the Gulf as housemaids, regardless of their race, have been unwillingly taking the most dangerous more..

Wimal’s Rs 75M case postponed to 6 Aug

May 17 (CT) Colombo High Court postponed the hearing of the case filed against MP Wimal Weerawansa by the CIABOC for having allegedly illegally accrued Rs 75 million during his stint as a Minister, to 6 August. This decision was taken when the case was called up before High Court Judge Vikum Kaluarachchi yesterday. Attorney representing the Commission told the Court that although a notice had been submitted to the defence in order to inspect computer evidence related more..

Tax increase triggers gold smuggling spree

May 17 (Island) Attempts to smuggle gold into Sri Lanka has increased since the 15% tax on gold was imposed in April, Deputy Director of Customs, Vipula Minuvanpitiya says. He said that a large number of persons had been caught smuggling gold and three Sri Lankans attempting to smuggle in 22 gold biscuits, worth over 14 million rupees, had been detained by the Customs at BIA between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. Two Sri Lankans returning from Singapore and Chennai more..

Meethotamulla tragedy: AG's report blames CMC

May 17 (DM) Auditor General had held that the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) was responsible for the death of 32 people and for the damage caused to properties as a result of the collapse of the Meethotamulla garbage dump in April last year. Report of the audit carried out by the AG's Department into the tragedy has said the CMC was responsible for it. It blamed CMC for failing to manage garbage disposal process more..

Interpol Red Notice called for Chandana Prasad

May 17 (NR) Court today called for an Interpol Red Notice to be issued for the arrest of Former Navy Lieutenant Chandana Prasad Hettiarachchi over the abduction of 11 youth in 2008. Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne accordingly ordered for the warrant to be obtained through the Interpol. Two other suspects arrested over the incident were further remanded till the 31st of May. Another group was arrested by the CID in July 2017 on charges of assisting and issuing instructions for more..

NCDs risk factors survey from August

May 17 (CT) A national survey to identify risk factors for Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) is scheduled for implementation this August. The Govt yesterday announced that the national survey will be conducted at an estimated cost of Rs 50 million, which received Cabinet approval on 15 May. The national survey for identifying risk factors for NCDs was launched in 2003. The survey is implemented once in five years. The last survey was conducted in 2013. more..