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Govt failed to appoint officials to key institutions: JVP

Jan 17 (DM) JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake alleged that the govt had failed to appoint officials to key govt institutions for the last two months, which had led to malfunctioning of nearly 500 govt institutions. He said that there were 238 govt institutions such as Corporations, Boards and Authorities and about 200 other state institutions and added that govt had not appointed chairpersons & director boards for most of these institutions. more..

Wage hikes: Workers in small estates losing out: Union

Jan 17 (CT) Low country estate workers, claimed that those employed in small estates will not see a commensurate wage increase, and that only the minimum daily wage of estate workers, that are under the purview of the Ministry of Plantation Industries, will be increased, with effect from 1 March. Low Country Estate Labourers' Union Chairman, Ruwan Gallage, said that over 200,000 estate workers, employed in small estates that are about 25 to 50 acres, will not be eligible to more..

Sri Lanka’s special envoy visits Oman

Jan 17 (MFA) Minister Susil Premajayantha, Special Envoy of Govt of SL accompanied by MP Faiszer Musthapha, visited the Sultanate of Oman to convey the condolence messages from Prez Rajapaksa and PM Rajapaksa addressed to His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said, on the demise of late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said. SL’s Special Envoy also carried the condolence message from Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena address to his counterpart of Oman. more..

Air quality to be healthy after mid February

Jan 17 (DM) Frequent fluctuations of air quality being unhealthy will come to normalcy after mid-February, NBRO Air Quality Unit Senior Scientist H.D.S. Premasiri said. The situation had been occurring as a result of the Northeast monsoon, which prevailed since last November. “The condition of air quality being extremely unhealthy is currently prevailing in the South Asian region resulting in some impact on SL,” more..

Sri Lanka eyes tanks in China-run port to store buffer stock

Jan 17 (EN) Minister for Power and Energy, Mahinda Amaraweera has asked officials to start talks with a Chinese company that runs a port in Hambantota in the south of the island, to use its fuel tanks to boost buffer stock capacity. Port, which has a bunker terminal has capacity to store 71,000 metric tonnes of fuel. The tanks are now under the controls of China and Minister Amaraweera has asked officials to start talks on using the capacity or to get the Chinese firm to keep buffer stocks. more..

Port City to kick-off global investment pitch after May 2020

Jan 17 (Island) Govt is planning to go outside SL as well as outside China to reach out to a global investor community to attract investments to the Port City of Colombo after May 2020, according to Dr. Priyath B. Wickrama, Secretary to Ministry of Urban Development, Water Supply & Housing. "We are planning to go out and promote investment opportunities that Colombo Port City offers to discerning investors. There will be a few events outside SL and outside China after May 2020. more..

President directs transfer of all govt ICT-related projects to ICTA

Jan 17 (FT) All Govt organisations have been directed to transfer ICT-related projects and programs, including financial provision, to the Information and Technology Agency (ICTA), as part of the initiative taken by Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa to centralise systems. Prez has directed that all ICT/digital solutions having an impact on citizen service delivery be implemented under the overall management and supervision of the ICTA. more..

Sands Active to invest over US$ 10 mn in pharmaceutical plant

Jan 17 (DN) BoI signed an agreement with Sands Active (Pvt) Ltd to set up a project for the manufacture of pharmaceutical products for the local market to meet the current National requirement of imports substitution of medicinal drugs. The agreement was signed on behalf of the BOI by Susantha Ratnayake, Chairman and on behalf of the Company Dr. Anoopkanth Segar, Director. Total value of this agreement is US$ 10.1 mil and project will provide employment to 160 workers. more..

SL to host series of int'l triathlons in 2020

Jan 17 (CT) CeyEndurance, the triathlon series of Divinsan Pvt Ltd., announced the launch of Sri Lanka's first international and national series of triathlons commencing in early 2020. The press conference was held at Shangri-La, Colombo on 6 January 2020, under the leadership of Divinsan Pvt Ltd, Managing Director Dinesh Fernando. A press release announced the 2020 series of triathlon events, endorsed by Sri Lanka Triathlon (SLT), partners with Triathlon Club Colombo, more..

Fresh storm in teacup

Jan 17 (FT) Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa has created a fresh storm in a teacup with his directive to hike estate worker wages by 17% to Rs. 1,000 from March whilst a Collective Agreement is in place and with the plantations companies, already in crisis, saying they have no capacity to pay. The plantation companies and the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon held an emergency meeting yesterday to come to terms with what one industry leader more..

CICIR and Pathfinder confer on strengthening China-Sri Lanka cooperation

Jan 17 (FT) Assistant President Professor Zhang Li together with his team representing the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR) visited the Pathfinder Foundation (PF) recently to discuss strengthening bilateral cooperation between the two institutions. CICIR is a longstanding, extensive and multifunctional research and consultation organization focusing on international, strategic and security studies. It covers all geographic areas and more..

US-based equity firm becomes 2nd largest share holder in Softlogic Life Insurance

Jan 17 (Island) Leapfrog, a US-based private equity firm, became the second largest shareholder of Softlogic Life Insurancefollowing the purchasing of a 19% stake in its third largest shareholder Deutsche Investition (DEG) for Rs. 2.6 billion, stock market analysts said. DEG, a German development bank, sold its 19% stake to Leapfrog’s Dalvik Inclusion Private Limited, as a crossing or arranged transaction, in the CSE yesterday. Both countries held a 19% stake each and more..

Small retail liquor business hit by high taxation

Jan 17 (ST) Despite regulatory and operational issues and high taxes, small retail liquor businesses are finding ways to survive and thrive in the face of adversity amidst non- constant policy on liquor production and marketing. There are currently 4910 licensed liquor shops and of them 1100 are retailers, 1,567 hoteliers and 554 restaurateurs while the Excise Dept has issued licences for 368 wine & beer outlets, as well as, 200 toddy taverns. more..

Anil Koswatte new Litro Gas Chairman; new faces on Board

Jan 17 (FT) Multi-faceted Anil Koswatte has been appointed as the Chairman of Litro Gas Lanka Ltd., the largest importer and supplier of LP Gas. Koswatte is well known sales and marketing professional is a leading entrepreneur and the founder of Lakarcade, Asia’s biggest novelty gift and souvenir chain which he is the CEO and Managing Director. He held the position of Chairman and Board Member in a number of reputed Govt institutions as well as private sector org more..

Sri Lanka rough rice harvest forecast at 2.4mn metric tonnes for 2020 Maha

Jan 17 (EN) Sri Lanka is making a preliminary paddy (rough rice) harvest forecast of 2.4 million metric tonnes for the main Maha cropping season that is underway, which is in line last year’s levels. Department of Agrculture said in a preliminary forecast that Sri Lanka would get 2,395 million kilograms of rice with 606,702 hectares sown, which is 74% of a target of 819,000 hectares. In 2018 SL produced 3 million tonnes of rice in Maha season, when final cultivation numbers were out. more..

Green light for civil helicopter flights from Galle Face

Jan 17 (FT) Govt granted permission for domestic aviation operators to use the helipad at Galle Face after a lapse of 25 years. Move was welcomed by domestic operators, who pointed out that operating out of Galle Face would allow tourists and locals access to any part of the island quickly. Four operators—IWS Aviation, Senok Aviation, Sakurai Aviation & Daya Aviation—flew 4 helicopters in to the MOD grounds more..

Royal College swimmers and divers excel in Thailand

Jan 17 (ST) Royal College diving and swimming teams, which excelled in most local tournaments last year, performed exceptionally well in the Asian Open Swimming and Diving Championship held recently at Thammasat University in Pathumthani, in Bangkok, Thailand. Team Royal emerged champions in the diving competition, winning four gold, seven silver, and eight bronze medals, while the swimming team became fifth out of 10 teams with three gold, 12 silver, and 15 bronze medals. more..

Contempt of Court action against Prof. Sarath Wijesuriya fixed for Feb. 17

Jan 17 (DN) The Contempt of Court action filed against Convener of National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ) Prof. Sarath Wijesuriya was fixed for Feb 17 for objections by Court of Appeal. Court of Appeal 2-judge-Bench comprising Justice Kumuduni Wickremasinghe and Justice Priyantha Fernando directed the respondent Wijesuriya to file objections against the Contempt of Court action before the next mentioned date. At a previous occasion Court of Appeal had issued summons more..

CIMA President reiterates potential of CSE

Jan 17 (DN) Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) participated at the bell ringing ceremony to celebrate its 100 successful years. The event took place at the Colombo Stock Exchange Trading floor yesterday. CIMA is the world’s largest professional body of management accountants offering the most relevant accounting qualification for a career in business. CIMA was formed in March 1919, more..

Debate on Prez’s address to parliament

Jan 17 (Island) In the debate following the address by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa during the ceremonial inauguration of Parliament on January 3, 2020, TNA MP Hon. M.A. Sumanthiran stated: "Nov 16, 2019 gave the President a decisive victory. But what is troubling about this big victory is that no community other than the majority Sinhala Buddhist people of this country were prepared to repose any confidence in him. I am not saying this to cast any aspersions on the President himself, more..

Recordings, shocking revelations and UNP’s future

Jan 17 (DN) A week, it has been said, is a long time in politics and what a week it has been for UNP MP Ranjan Ramanayake. The film actor turned politician has rocked the political, legal and law enforcement establishments with the release of dozens of audio recordings following his arrest last week. After being released on bail Ramanayake was arrested again on Tuesday and his shenanigans represent a major headache for the UNP, soundly defeated at the presidential election and still unable to more..

Gevindu Kumaratunga

Editorial: Problem of being Ramanayake

Jan 17 (Island) UNP MP Ranjan Ramanayake has been remanded over his telephone recordings. The offences he is alleged to have committed carry severe penalties, according to Attorney General’s Dept. But Ramanayake does not seem worried; instead, he looks proud and happy. His political rivals are elated; they say he is one of those who were instrumental in framing them and has got his just deserts. Fame makes people household names. Infamy also does. more..

Family planning in Sri Lanka

Jan 17 (DM) 40-year-old Kavitha (pseudonym) was gripped by panic when she learnt she was pregnant for the sixth time. What made her most fearful was that she was ill-equipped to support and sustain yet another child, for she toiled as a domestic worker without sufficient income, living with a husband whose employment was casual and insecure, and within these means, already taking care of 5 children. 19-yr-old Nuwanthi had a similar reaction when she found out she was pregnant. more..

'UNF regime controlled AG's dept'

Jan 17 (CT) State Minister Rohitha Abegunawardane says that Sarath Fonseka plunged to this level because he tried to wear clothes that did not suit him. He looked good in his Army uniform and it matched his physique however he was not suitable to wear clothes fit for a Prez. Q: Over 50 days have passed after the new Govt came to power. What do you think about the Govt's progress so far? A: People of this country elected more..

Improving English Language proficiency

Jan 17 (DM) After opening the new session of parliament, Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa made an announcement about his policy statement. He has stated that one of his policies will be to develop facilities at all schools to improve English language skills. This is very promising news for the student population, especially to rural schools’ students, teachers, academics, and parents. Compared to urban schools, rural schools experience some disadvantages in learning and teaching more..

Symposium on academic dependency & indigenous knowledge

Jan 17 (CT) A symposium on the above-mentioned theme was held between 12-14 Dec, 2019 at University of Peradeniya with local and international participation. It was organised by the Social affairs journal team led by the Chief Editor Shanti Wijesinghe in collaboration with the faculty of arts. The aim was to critically examine dominant epistemological frameworks and methodologies in the Social Sciences and Humanities as they are practiced in higher education institutions more..

Mirusuvil murderer of Tamil children let loose by President

Jan 17 (CT) Even as this new govt gives a full pardon to the convicted throat-slitting murderer of a 5 year old boy in Mirusuvil, much order parents who have abandoned children are denied such an amnesty. The amnesty was confirmed at a press conference by former Minister Ajith P. Perera on Sunday (12). where he mentioned that many had been given amnesty. This article in large part was written immediately after Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa more..

New approach sans tear gas

Jan 17 (DN) Protesting students of universities and other higher educational institutions running helter-skelter from unceasing attacks of tear gas, water jets and baton charges at the premises of President’s Office, Temple Trees or Ministry of Higher Education or UGC were regular items in television news channels for several years. There was a remarkable change of that unruly scenario earlier this week at the Galle Face Front, when hundreds of university students patiently sitting in front of more..

How we shape our morals

Jan 17 (CT) Although I normally like to stay at home most evenings, enjoying a cup of coffee while sitting on my couch, once in a while my friends manage to drag me out to explore our wonderful world. One such day I agreed to help a friend cook dinner and spend the evening with her family. I had known her for several years and gotten used to the very unfamiliar family dynamics they had. Her father was a Muslim and Mother was a Christian. She called herself a Muslim but for all the years I had more..

SC rejects petition of Wijeweera’s wife to produce him before court

Jan 16 (AD) The Supreme Court has rejected a habeas corpus petition filed by the wife of former JVP leader Rohana Wijeweera requesting to order the govt to produce her husband before an appropriate court or to release him. The petition was called before a tri-member judge bench consisting of Justices Sisira de Abrew, S. Thurairajah, and Gamini Amarasekara, today when it was rejected without being heard. more..

No option but to increase prices if US – Iran conflict escalates: Bandula

Jan 16 (DM) The govt will have no option but to increase fuel prices if the US – Iran conflict escalates into an all out military clash, Minister Bandula Gunawardana said. If there is a military confrontation between the two countries, the oil transportation from the Middle East will be fully disrupted and that would directly contribute to increase oil prices in the global market drastically, Minister told reporters and added in such a scenario, govt cannot fully absorb the financial losses. more..

Video: Case against Dr. Shafi to be taken up in March

Jan 16 (AD) The case against Dr. Mohamed Shafi, who was accused of allegedly amassing assets through suspicious means, performing illegal sterilization surgeries and having links to terrorist activities, was taken up before Kurunegala Magistrate’s Court today. The CID, submitting a report to the court on the ongoing probes on Dr. Shafi, stated that statements have been recorded from 76 nurses attached serving at the Kurunegala Base Hospital, while an investigation was more..

Australia spends more than $4.5 million trying to deport SL family

Jan 16 (BF) Australian govt has spent more than $4.5 million in its attempt to expel a Sri Lankan family of four, including two children born in Australia, from the country. That figure, from Sept, is likely to have sharply escalated over the past four months as the married couple and their two young daughters have been held on an island far from the Australian mainland while they fight deportation. more..

'Govt should deliver on its promises instead of being engrossed in audio clips'

Jan 16 (Island) Former minister Lakshman Kiriella said at Peradeniya recently that the UNP would contest the forthcoming General Election as the main constituent of a strong alliance under the leadership of the Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa. The alliance would be formed with the support of a number of political groups and the UNP would come out victorious, MP Kiriella said. He told the meeting after opening the Peradeniya weekly refurbished at a cost of Rs. 5.5 million that more..

Ranjangate: Release the tapes of conversations with govt members: Harin

Jan 16 (RN) Actor-politico Ranjan Ramanayake has audio recordings of phone conversations he had with the members of the current govt in his possession, says Opposition MP Harin Fernando. He made said this today after visiting Ramanayake who in remand custody in Welikada. Fernando also questioned as to why the recordings of Ramanayake having sexually explicit conversations with a fellow MP are being released while his phone chats with members of the govt are being held back. more..

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