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When Padman became a poll hashtag

Nov 3 (Hindu) What links an Akshay Kumar film, a prez hopeful and a now-popular hashtag in Sri Lanka? A promise to end period poverty. “I will wear the #padman label proudly,” Sajith Premadasa tweeted earlier this week, as he took on detractors who ridiculed him as “Pad Man” — referring to the 2018 Bollywood film on the subject — for promising free sanitary products to women who cannot afford them. more..

Apartment VAT exemption to benefit nobody?

Nov 3 (TM) The Govt’s recent decision to exempt apartment units that are under Rs. 25 million from value-added tax (VAT) would not benefit Sri Lanka’s property sector in any meaningful way, The Sunday Morning Business understands. According to Ministry of Finance sources, this is because all apartment units in a complex must be priced at or below Rs. 25 million to be eligible for this exemption, and even if one unit exceeds this threshold, the entire project becomes ineligible. more..

Are we finally done taxing Aunty Flo?

Nov 3 (RN) One of the most talked-about election promises this week has been Sajith Premadasa’s promise to distribute free sanitary hygiene products. Labelling himself as a #padman, Premadasa tweeted that “until sustainable cost-effective alternatives are found” he promises to provide sanitary hygiene products free of charge. Indeed, access to menstrual hygiene products is a serious problem in Sri Lanka, and has become a popular issue across political parties. more..

Govt’s total public debt sky-high by 71%

Nov 3 (ST) SL govt’s total debt has skyrocketed to unmanageable proportions by an increase of 71% since the current administration came into power in 2015. The present administration has to borrow money since 2016 to repay the massive loans taken by the previous regime, Treasury accounts revealed. The most significant borrowing in 2013 was the US$ 750 million obtained from international markets more..

Advanced oil-water separator: Nanotech breakthrough will save billions

Nov 3 (ST) The Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology (SLINTEC), a pioneer in nano and advanced technology and research has developed an advanced oil-water separator to remove hazardous liquid waste from water, a cleanup process that could save billions of dollars to the economy, a top official of the Institute told the Business Observer on Friday. It is estimated that the cleanup costs for a medium-large oil spill could be between $2.4 billion and $9.4 billion. more..

South Africa beat England 32-12 to win Rugby World Cup

Nov 3 (AFP) South Africa overpowered England 32-12 with a brutally effective forward display to win their third World Cup in Yokohama on Saturday. The Springboks' victory was built on a colossal display by their powerhouse pack that allowed fly-half Handre Pollard to kick six penalties before Makazole Mapimpi's 66th-minute try — the first the Springboks had scored in a World Cup final — and another from fit-again fellow flyer Cheslin Kolbe put the result beyond doubt. more..

All-Island Schools Games 2019: Little Tharushi in a big show

Nov 3 (CT) Little runner from A. Rathnayaka CC Walala, Tharushi Karunarathne caught the attention of many, during the major schools championship this year, where she ran like there's no tomorrow; not even slowing down even when leading the race by a considerable distant and giving it all she had. And during the All-Island Schools Games which continued at the Sugathadasa Stadium yesterday. more..

Akalanka sets new SL record, targets five SAG golds

Nov 3 (ST) Akalanka Peiris, who set a new Sri Lanka record in 50-metre backstroke in the current National C'ships, targets five gold medals at the forthcoming South Asian Games to be held in Dec 1 to 10 in Kathmandu, Nepal. Peiris, who also won the 100m gold medal yesterday at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium Pool, finished the 50m backstroke on Friday in 26.27 breaking the previous record of 26.33 set by himself last year. “I am really happy to break a SL record after a year’s hard work. more..

SL wushuites get Iranian coach for SAG

Nov 3 (ST) Wushu Federation of SL has hired Iranian coach Abbas Sheibak to train SL athletes who will represent the country at the forthcoming 13th South Asian Games (SAG) to be held from Dec 1 to 10 in Kathmandu, Nepal. Coach Sheibak, will arrive in the island on November 9 and he will conduct a coaching camp until Nov 30. Coach Sheibak, a PHD holder in Sports Management, has vast experience as a Sanda Coach. He trained the Iran National Team, which won the overall more..

More troubles for Sri Lanka cricket

Nov 3 (ST) Sri Lankan cricket is in a full blown crisis. Just weeks after Sri Lanka acquired a false sense of satisfaction after beating and equally vulnerable Pakistan outfit in a three-match T20 series, there was belief back at home that our cricket is finally back on track. Experts were quick to credit the bold decisions taken by the national selectors to leave out some of the seniors and infuse young blood into the team. more..

Girls made for golf

Nov 3 (SO) Taniya Balasuriya can soon become a household name in the game of golf in Sri Lanka while she has made it a habit of winning in junior golf tournaments regularly for the past five years. When she started playing in a junior open golf tournament as a 12-year old, she had to compete among the boys too as the Golf Union did not conduct tournaments for boys and girls separately. Yet she would beat the boys and win tournaments in the early days and that was the time when more..

SL set to send full side to Pakistan for Tests

Nov 3 (Island) Sri Lanka are set to send a full strength squad to Pakistan for the two match Test series in December, a board official said. Sri Lanka Cricket had initially wanted to play only one-day cricket in Pakistan due to security concerns but now have softened the stance and has managed to convince all players. The national cricket team played three ODIs and three T-20s in Pakistan last month and after the successful completion of this tour, Pakistan Cricket Board has convinced more..

Prez to make a special statement in p'ment

Nov 3 (CT) Few weeks ago, on 15 Oct, Cabinet approved a proposal by Minister Mangala Samaraweera for Prez Maithripala Sirisena to retain his official residence, which he now occupies at Mahagamasekara Mawatha (formerly Pajet Road), Colombo 7, following the end of his term of office. Former Presidents are entitled to an official residence and security detail as well as a pension. He occupied this residence since 2015 and more..

Kelum invents fan controlling regulator

Nov 3 (DM) Kelum Perera, who graduated from the Dept of Physics and Electronics, University of Kelaniya, has invented a remote controlled regulator for ceiling fans. The device can be controlled using a mobile phone, thanks to the scientific research he has been engaged in since 2014. Perera, who did research in order to assemble a ceiling fan regulator for the first time, is presently pursuing his PhD in Kent State University in USA. Professor S.R.D. Kalingamudali of the Dept of Physics and more..

Give, give and give…

Nov 3 (ST) The die is cast. Postal voting began this Thursday morning and the prez race is on in what is perceived as one of the closest elections in the country’s political history. Apart from two strong candidates, a third force is emerging with JVP’s Anura Kumara Dissanayake, while in former Army Commander Mahesh Senanayake, the country has seen the coming together of civil society organisations, in putting forward a candidate. With these thoughts in the air, more..


His days are numbered

Nov 3 (ST) Aiyo Sirisena, I thought of writing to you because this will probably be the last time we will write to you as the man in charge. Soon, you will be the retired big boss who promised so much and delivered so little. Now, your days are really numbered: thirteen more to go before you yourself have to go. Aiyo Sirisena, you are a living testament to the fact that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Four and a half years ago, you were a simple man who spent his entire life in politics, more..

Use and abuse of a mandate

Nov 3 (ST) The frontline presidential hopefuls have gone on an unabashed spree of promises. There’s not a passing day when promises are not tumbling out of their respective platforms. The range is wide. From free fertilizer for farmers matched the next day with free fertilizer for all agriculturists, to making devil dancing a part of the nation’s heritage — it’s from the ridiculous to the even more ridiculous; some eclipsing the infamous promise of yesteryear to get rice even from the moon. more..

Scandal & politics: Ravi W. imbroglio

Nov 3 (SO) Former FCID chief left the police in the wake of a Sunday Observer expose in Jan 2019 into allegations that the top cop had mishandled key investigations while he and his family were enriched under mysterious circumstances. This is the continuing saga and details about his family’s involvement with a financial scammer indicted for money laundering in the US and under investigation by Waidyalankara’s more..

TNA agenda visible in UNF manifesto

Nov 3 (Island) UNF prez candidate Sajith Premadasa launched his election manifesto in Kandy on Thursday. It’s called Sri Lankawe idiri gamanata seemawak netha: Ekwa gamana yamu. Loosely translated this would mean "There are no limits to what Sri Lanka can achieve: Let’s go on this journey together". If there was one section of the population that was waiting eagerly for the launch of this manifesto other than the members of the UNF itself, it was the groups of political parties more..

Ending university ragging

Nov 3 (Island) Quite apart from the lesser fry, neither of the two main contenders for the presidency at the election which is only days away, have responded up to yesterday to the recent letter written to them by Drs. Anula Wijesundere and Tara de Mel on behalf of the Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) on the subject of university ragging. SLMA was established in 1887 and is considered to be the leading organization of the country’s medical profession. The letter highlights the well known more..

Can tea boost economy with a wage hike?

Nov 3 (CT) The time has come again to reveal the pathetic state of affairs looming around the plantation sector; unpredictable weather and work conditions, poor housing and education, low wages and poverty, while politicians are frantically crossing and switching sides to support the Prez candidate of their liking. However, the burning issue is will anyone get the overly due 1,000 rupee per day wage hike demanded more..

Treachery, thy name is...

Nov 3 (CT) Chandrika Kumaratunga, the fourth Executive Prez of SL, the daughter of two SLFP PMs - one the founder of the party and the other the world's first female PM, has abandoned the party fostered by her illustrious parents, yet again. She joined the SLFP in the early 1970s, and in 1974 became an executive committee member of the party's women's league. In 1978 - a year after her mother was defeated at the 1977 General Election where SLFP was relegated to mere 8 seats more..

Why have a public debate?

Nov 3 (SO) As the date for the presidential election approaches, there appears to be a great debate about a great debate: NDF candidate and Minister Sajith Premadasa has challenged his principal rival at the poll, SLPP candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa, for a public debate. Unfortunately, Rajapaksa is not accepting the challenge. Election are all about democracy. In turn, democracy is all about disseminating different viewpoints, discussing them, debating their pros and cons and more..

DNF coalition to ensure Sajith's victory

Nov 2 (CT) The New Democratic Front (DNF), led by the UNP and the Organisation to Protect the SLFP, led by former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, joined 30 political parties and over 28 civil society organisations to form the DNF coalition, in a bid to ensure the victory of the DNF Prez candidate, Minister Sajith Premadasa. The Coalition includes the SLMC, Democratic People's Front, Tamil Progressive Alliance, Jathika Hela Urumaya, National Unity Front, more..

Video: Rejected Tamil extremists’ proposals for the sake of country’s sovereignty: Gota

Nov 2 (AD) SLPP’s frontrunner for the upcoming prez election, Gotabaya Rajapaksa assures that any form of extremist terrorism will not be allowed in Sri Lanka. Speaking at a public meeting held in Pannala, Rajapaksa also emphasized that he will not let anyone attempting to segregate this sovereign country. “This is the reason we had to reject the proposals made by the extremist Tamil political parties,” he said. more..

Mangala challenges MR: Show any clause detrimental to country in MCC

Nov 2 (DM) Referring to the statement made by opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa over his concerns regarding the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera challenged the opposition leader to show whether the content of the MCC was detrimental to the country. Minister said the opposition leader was making an effort to level allegations against the govt that the signing more..

Video: Govt imposed new tax on luxury vehicles, importers’ association says

Nov 2 (AD) The govt has imposed a new tax on luxury vehicles, says Vehicle Importers Association of SL (VIASL). Chairman of the Association, Indika Merenchige said the got is spreading a false statement that the luxury tax levied on motor vehicles is not subject to small cars. On Oct 29th, Finance Ministry announced that, as proposed in Budget 2019 by Minister Mangala Samaraweera, in amendment to Finance Act, more..

Corruption, wastage within state sector continues unabated: COPE

Nov 2 (ST) Severe corruption and wastage within the State sector have been revealed by the COPE, Report submitted to Parliament this week. The Report contains details of COPE investigations into 23 State institutions from March 1-Oct 26, 2018. Among the institutions investigated are the RDA, CPC, CEB, People’s Bank, NWSDB, SLPA, State Pharmaceuticals Corporation, State Engineering Corporation and the SL Tea Board. more..

Prez race: Ordinary people expect better economic prospects and national security

Nov 2 (DM) This writer devoted several hours in the past fortnight to communicate with a cross-section of Sinhala media personnel in the Southern, Central, Sabaragamuwa, North Western and North Central Provinces of Sri Lanka. A few journalist colleagues in Colombo helped to put me in touch with them. Our discussions were focused on the upcoming presidential election and about how chief prez candidates were likely to fare. more..

'SL must prepare better for T20 World Cup'

Nov 2 (CI) Interim coach Rumesh Ratnayake believes Sri Lanka must have better preparation on fast pitches prior to next year's T20 World Cup in Australia if they are to be competitive in the tournament. Sri Lanka were beaten out of sight by Australia in the three-match T20I series that concluded on Friday after coming to Australia with high hopes following a series whitewash of the world No.1 team Pakistan last month. more..

Public transport must be revamped: Anura K.

Nov 2 (CT) NPP Prez Candidate, Anura Kumara Dissanayake, said in Kalutara on 18 Oct, "Certain vehicles which are not seen in some European countries are seen in the capital of our country. A vehicle produced this year can be seen in the city of Colombo within a month's time. At the same time, a large crowd of people in our country, climb onto the lorry chassis and the bus body and travel. I am not saying that these luxury more..

'If you can't debate alone, bring your family'

Nov 2 (CT) "If you are afraid to come alone for a debate, come with your family. If that is also not possible, come with the 40 thieves. I'm ready to face them," said NDF Prez Candidate, Sajith Premadasa. He said this while attending a rally in Embilipitiya. Sajith Premadasa added: "Embilipitiya Kolonne is a historic area. My father launched the plan to provide lunch and uniforms to schoolchildren from Embilipitiya. more..

'I will revamp the Nation's security apparatus'

Nov 2 (CT) SLPP Prez Candidate, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, says the present regime, which is short-sighted and incompetent, had damaged the stability of this country. He stated, the country can only be stabilised, and its security could only be ensured, under a Govt led by him. He made these remarks, addressing a SLPP rally in Kantale. Speaking further, he said: "The people who live in these areas had lived in fear and anxiety more..

Robespierre, Racism and the PSC Report

Nov 2 (CT) Maximilien Robespierre hoped he'd be the man who would see the end of the rule of an excessively destroying King of France, and use any method that toyed with his mind to not only get rid of the King, but of multiple thousands of his followers, as the guillotines went up all around France and his supporters in thousands took swords into houses, all aimed at getting rid of the evil within. The bloodletting never ended for the simple reason that at a lower level today the extremist social more..

When journalists are targeted, society pays a price

Nov 2 (DM) Today the United Nations marks the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists and Secretary-General António Guterres in a message says, when journalists are targeted, societies as a whole pay a price. Without the ability to protect journalists, our ability to remain informed and contribute to decision-making is severely hampered. Without journalists able to do their jobs in safety, we face the prospect of a world of confusion and disinformation. more..