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Video: Intl. salvage company members board MT New Diamond

Sep 9 (AD) Three members of the international salvage company have boarded the oil tanker MT New Diamond which was caught on fire again following the initial dousing efforts. The tanker MT New Diamond had been sailing 38 nautical miles off Sangamankanda Point east of SL seas at around 8.30 am on the 3rd of Aug, when the unfortunate turn of events unfolded. Joint operation to control the fire engulfing the oil tanker, caused by more..

Oil samples from near MT New Diamond to be submitted to Govt Analyst’s Dept

Sep 9 (AD) Attorney General has directed the Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) to submit samples of oil collected from the sea near the ill fated oil tanker MT New Diamond to the Govt Analyst’s Dept. Attorney General Dappula de Livera has informed this to the Chairperson of MEPA Dharshani Lahandapura, according to Coordinating Officer of the AG State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne. The AG has further instructed Chairperson Lahandapura to issue necessary directions more..

Excise chief ordered to pay back Rs. 3.65m over excessive fine

Sep 9 (AD) Court of Appeal has ordered the Commissioner General of Excise to pay back Rs. 3.65 million charged from three liquor store owners in excess of the maximum fine imposable for an offence committed under the Excise Act. The order was delivered by an Appeals Court judge bench consisting of Justices Mahinda Samayawardhane and Arjuna Obeysekara, delivering the verdict of a petition filed by the three individuals in question including a resident of Nawalapitiya named more..

New laboratory for PCR testing opens at Colombo Army Hospital

Sep 9 (FT) The daily PCR testing capacity has increased by 300 in Sri Lanka with the opening of an Infectious Disease Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory at the Colombo Army Hospital yesterday. The laboratory, which cost Rs. 30 million to construct, is for Army personnel and their families and hopes to expand its capacity to 600 PCR tests a day to cater to national requirements. At the opening of the laboratory Chief of Defence Staff more..

Video: Tense situation in Atalugama

Sep 9 (AD) A group of residents have attacked a team of police officers who had visited the Marawa area in Atalugama, Bandaragama on a drug bust. Reportedly, the police had arrested a person selling cannabis in the area and interrogation of the suspect has led to the arrest of the main suspect of the drug racket. When the main suspect was being escorted back to the police station, the residents of the area had obstructed the police jeep and stoned the officers. more..

Crysbro enters seed paddy production

Sep 9 (EN) Sri Lanka’s Crysbro, an agri-industrial group said it has started producing seed paddy on 1,000 acres of farmland which will reduce the cost of paddy farming, the firm said amid a restriction on imports. Crysbrop roduces BG352, BG358, BG366, BW367 and BG300 varieties of seed paddy. Crysbro said some farmers were moving to other more viable crops due to a spike in seed paddy costs and it was giving the seeds at concessionary prices. “Among the numerous other effects of COVID-19′ more..

Controversy over awarding of doctorates: Defence Secy. inquires into accusations

Sep 9 (Island) Amidst a controversy over PhDs being awarded by British-American University, Florida to selected persons in SL, Defence Ministry has raised the issue with the Ceylon College of Applied Studies (CCAS), which organised the event at the BMICH, recently. The Island learns that Defence Secretary Maj. Gen. Kamal Gunaratne has sought an explanation as regards the special graduation ceremony conducted under more..

eZ Cash launches SL’s first QR enabled payment facility for microfinance loans

Sep 9 (AD) eZ Cash, the country’s first and largest mobile money and payment service by Dialog Axiata partnered VisionFund Lanka, a leading socially responsible microfinance institution affiliated with World Vision Lanka and also a subsidiary of VisionFund International, to facilitate customers with a convenient and sustainable QR card repayment facility for their microfinance loans. A digitally inclusive solution to sustain VisionFund Lanka’s client pool, this strategic partnership more..

Web service soon to ascertain authenticity of NICs; DRP Commissioner

Sep 9 (DM) A web service would be introduced to certify the authenticity of the particulars of the National Identity Card (NIC) in the near future, the Dept for Registration of Persons (DRP) said. DRP Commissioner-General Viyani Gunathilaka said that after the Smart-ID Card was launched in 2017, details of all citizens were re-registered into a database called the National Persons’ Registry (NPR) as an interim solution until the e-National Identity Cards (e-NIC) were issued. more..

රටින්ගේන ෆෝන් ලංකාවෙදි භාවිතා...

An opportunity to reverse injustice

Sep 9 (DM) In the beginning of the month of March 2020, the news of former Army Staff Sergeant Sunil Rathnayake, who was convicted of the heinous Mirusuvil massacre, been granted a complete presidential pardon, especially at a time when Sri Lanka was battling an unknown and a formidable enemy in the form of Covid-19, came as a rude shock to all. Rathnayake, was convicted by a High Court Trial-at-Bar of the ruthless murders of eight civilians at the height of the civil war. more..

The Art of Selective Transparency

Sep 9 (DM) This indeed is an art. An art perfected for public consumption, fibbing and managing the financial bottom-line. A lot has been written about social media and last month’s elections. Last week, a lot of praise was freely uncritically dispensed on some of those, who worked on moderating election related fakes and misinformation campaigns. Ironically, there was so much praise going around it was hard to figure out why we had been talking so much and so long about this. more..

Video: Narrow diesel oil patch observed close to MT New Diamond: Navy

Sep 9 (AD) SL Navy says the concerted efforts of the disaster management teams have successfully controlled the fire resulted by adverse weather onboard the MT New Diamond to a greater extent by now. Meanwhile, the disaster management teams are making a lot of effort and continuing the mission ahead, using fire extinguishing agents and water. In a recent development, a narrow diesel oil patch more..

Govt considers changes to 20A during committee stage

Sep 9 (DM) The govt is reported to be considering the incorporation of certain changes to the 20th Amendment during the committee stage of the debate. Although Cabinet approval has been given to the bill titled 20th Amendment to the Constitution. there is dissension among some govt members on some of the provisions such as the restriction on the size of the Cabinet, the scrapping of the National Audit Commission and that of removing the ban on dual citizens becoming parliamentarians. more..

100 acres of forest destroyed in Wanathavilluwa: Gihan

Sep 9 (CT) With the involvement of some provincial political parties, more than 100 acres of forest was destroyed in Wanathavilluwa, said the organiser of Wayamba Handa organisation, Ajith Gihan. He said it was found that 6,000 acres of land in Wanathavilluwa, which belonged to Dept of Forest Conservation for the past 30 years, was leased to the Puttalam Lanka Cement Factory. Factory ownership has since been transferred to INSEE Cement Factory, along with the lease of land. more..

SJB vows to defeat selfish and undemocratic 20A with people-centric, truly patriotic 19A+

Sep 9 (FT) SJB vowed to defeat what it called the selfish and undemocratic proposed 20th Amendment with a people-centric and patriotic 19th Amendment Plus. “Constitutional building is all about ensuring wellbeing of the country and the people as a whole by upholding democracy and safeguarding people’s power.” “However, the proposed 20th Amendment is largely targeted at individuals and personalities more..

Govt distributes relief packages of veggies at Rs.350 each

Sep 9 (CT) The Agriculture Ministry launched a programme which would benefit the vegetable farming community and consumers by putting in place a mechanism to sell a bag of vegetables comprising six varieties at Rs 350. Media Spokesman of the Ministry, W.J.A.N.S. Jayasuriya said yesterday (08) said that the Agriculture Minister, Mahindananda Aluthgamage had launched the programme in keeping with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s policy on Vision of Prosperity. more..

US-SL discuss backlog of court cases and overcrowding of prisons

Sep 9 (DM) Justice Minister Mohamed Ali Sabry met US Ambassador Alaina B Teplitz and discussed the backlog of court cases and overcrowding of prisons in the country, the Justice Ministry said. The Ambassador met the minister at the ministry on Tuesday and discussed the present role and future plans in terms of courts and the meting out of justice, infrastructure development of the court system, prison congestion, training of judges and matters related to reparation. more..

Diplomats abusing self-isolation facility; stern warning by Foreign Ministry

Sep 9 (ST) Foreign Ministry has issued a demarche to one foreign embassy and expressed strong concern to all missions based in Sri Lanka about diplomats abusing the allowance to let them self-isolate after flying into the country. Govt has made provision for foreign diplomats to avoid quarantine in centres and hotels. “Heads of Mission and foreign national staff of Diplomatic Missions/UN Organisations who hold more..

Surgery gone wrong in South Africa for Embuldeniya

Sep 9 (Island) One of Sri Lanka’s most promising spin bowlers – Lasith Embuldeniya had been forced to undergo a second surgery on his dislocated thumb after local medical experts found out that the initial surgery done in South Africa had flaws, The Island learns. South Africa is reputed for its world class medicine facilities and the country is the best in the region for medical treatment. As for Embuldeniya, however, things had not gone right. Local professionals were not questioning more..

Aussies and Kiwis recognise Dilmah as most trusted brand

Sep 9 (DN) Ethical tea brand Dilmah, has won the palates and hearts of consumers in Australia and NZ, with their recent recognition as one of the most trusted brands. Dilmah was first launched by founder Merrill J. Fernando, in Australia over 33 years ago, shortly followed by NZ. New Zealanders have voted Dilmah their Most Trusted Tea Brand 6 years in a row, in the Reader’s Digest survey, an indicator of consumer trust for the past 21 years. In Australia, Dilmah was voted as one of the most Trusted more..

Hakeem tells PCoI probing Easter carnage another force masterminded attacks

Sep 9 (Island) National Thowheed Jamaat (NTJ) or its leader Zahran Hashim had no link to ISIS and the Easter Sunday attacks had been masterminded by another force that wanted to destabilise the country, SLMC Leader MP Rauff Hakeem, on Monday, told the PCoI investigating the Easter Sunday attacks. He said that those behind the attack had achieved their final objective of destabilising the country. “The NTJ used the ISIS banner more..

Confirmed COVID-19 cases mount to 3,140

Sep 9 (AD) The total number of positive cases confirmed in the country reached 3,140 as 09 more persons tested positive for COVID-19 today (08). The latest cases include one arrival from Qatar and 08 inmates at the Kandakadu Rehabilitation centre. 193 active cases are currently receiving medical care at hospitals. The number of recoveries from the disease in Sri Lanka moved up to 2,935 as 09 more persons infected with the virus were discharged from hospitals earlier today. more..

24 Lankan fishers detained by Bangladesh

Sep 9 (CT) A group of 24 SL fishermen and their four multiday fishing craft have been detained by Bangladeshi authorities, Minister Douglas Devananda said. The occasion was when their families met him at the Ministry office in Colombo on that day. The fishermen together with their fishing craft had left the Ambalangoda Fishery Harbour more than seven months ago on 5 Feb before straying into Bangladeshi waters. The families of the detained fishermen met Minister on Monday. more..

Holistic approach to develop tea industry: President reviews number of proposals

Sep 9 (PMD) Prez Rajapaksa emphasized that the tea industry which has suffered a severe setback should be revived based on a holistic approach. Experts in the field pointed out that long, medium and short –term plans should be implemented after scrutinizing loss making estates in order to increase tea exportation and its revenue. Prez said objective should be to reclaim the status enjoyed by Ceylon Tea in global market more..

Supreme Court decides in favour of Indian real estate giant in Altair dispute

Sep 9 (FT) The ongoing Altair dispute has taken a new turn, with the Supreme Court giving a ruling in favour of A.A. Infraproperties Ltd, and South City Projects Kolkata Ltd of India, owners of the Altair project. SC refused to entertain the Petition filed by one Jaideep Halwasiya, and dismissed the leave to appeal action. The appeal was filed against the order of the Commercial High Court, refusing to entertain an application by Halwasiya to represent the Indian parent company of Altair, more..

SLC to conduct inaugural T-10 tournament in December

Sep 9 (DN) At a meeting held at the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) headquarters yesterday, the executive committee unanimously approved to conduct the inaugural T-10 cricket tournament in December this year. Eight teams are scheduled to take part in the tournament which is to be played in two venues. The names of teams and the venues are yet to be finalized. After the conclusion of the Lanka Premier League (LPL) in November, all players who participate will be free without more..

Upsized Euro 4.9 m grant from EU to revive tourism industry

Sep 9 (FT) Considering the proposals put forward by stakeholders, European Union (EU) has decided to increase its grant from 3.5 million Euros (Rs.728 m) to 4.9 million Euros (Rs.1.05 b) to revive SL’s tourism industry hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. In May, the EU decided to grant 3.5 million Euros to boost the tourism industry impacted by the pandemic, and called on SLTDA to provide relevant proposals. more..

IBM outlines Cloud and AI led digital transformation strategy for Sri Lanka

Sep 9 (AD) IBM today outlined a comprehensive strategy for Sri Lanka driven by Hybrid Cloud, and Artificial Intelligence (AI), underpinned by Cybersecurity at a virtual round-table meeting. As organisations are beginning to reset, recover and revive their business to emerge smarter from the pandemic, IBM will focus on helping them adapt to the new normal by infusing AI into their workflows, shifting to hybrid cloud, strengthening cybersecurity and automating IT processes. more..

Call for tripartite agreement between player, club and SLR

Sep 9 (ST) A tripartite agreement between the player, club and Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) should be reached in future to protect the interests of all stakeholders involved with the sport and prevent club vs country conflicts arising, says CR&FC president Hiran Muttiah. “Quite often players are being taken for national duty for a 7s programme while the local season is in XVs. The training programmes for both are different. By the time a player comes back to continue more..

State banks block loan relief

Sep 9 (TM) Several state banks have mandated loan applicants to sign a letter agreeing not to request for loan concessions that might be provided by the Govt in the future for those loans. As uncovered by an investigation, National Savings Bank (NSB) and People’s Bank have issued such a letter to loan applicants, and several leasing companies too necessitate their applicants to sign a similar letter. more..

Request to Chair of National Sports Council

Sep 9 (Island) My appreciation to Mr. Sangakkara for addressing, in his interview with Rex Clementine, the need to update the Sports Law of 1973 and its subsequent amendments. Though there are many sections that needed to be updated, I would like to specifically address two that need to be included or updated. I am making my observations and recommendation to improve the sports associations’ noble efforts in the spirit of the Olympic Games and not as a criticism. more..

Pelwatte Dairy butter to Japan, milk powder to China

Sep 9 (DN) Pelwatte Dairy Industries (Pvt) Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Pelwatte Sugar Industries Ltd, will soon be exporting butter to Japan and milk powder to China. Sri Lanka has reached self-sufficiency in milk and that is why we have decided to export butter to Japan and milk powder to China, Pelwatte Dairy Industries Chairman Ariyaseela Wickemanayake said. The company will be initially, exporting 50 tonnes of butter to Japan and 100 tonnes of milk powder to China more..

Turmeric importers await green-light for release of consignments from Colombo Port

Sep 9 (FT) Despite intervention by the Indian HC in Colombo as well as recommendations from the Dept of Export Agriculture to release thousands of kilos of imported turmeric lying at the Colombo Port, Customs Dept is refusing to do so, importers claim. Over 200,000 kilos of dried turmeric consignments had been imported from Chennai and Tuticorin in India in April this year, but importers are unable to clear the stocks due to restrictions more..

Sri Lanka records highest cryptocurrency mining encounters in Asia

Sep 9 (DM) Sri Lanka experienced the highest cryptocurrency mining encounters across the region last year, according to the Asia Pacific finding from the latest edition of Microsoft’s Security Endpoint Threat Report 2019. The findings were derived from an analysis of diverse Microsoft data sources, including eight trillion threat signals received and analysed by Microsoft every day, covering a 12-month period, from Jan to Dec 2019. “As security defences evolve and attackers rely on more..

CB relaxes limits on maximum ownership in banks

Sep 9 (FT) Central Bank has relaxed ownership limits in licensed commercial banks for both multilateral financial institutions and others. As per the new directive, the new maximum percentage of ownership of shares is 15% for any share holder referred to in Sections 12(1C) and 46(1) (d). The limit is 20% for Multilateral Fin-ancial Organisations (MFOs) such as the World Bank, International Finance Corporation (IFC), Asian Development Bank (ADB) and any other similar institutions more..