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Police have not ruled out another Islamic extremist attack

Jul 1 (Island) Police had not ruled out the possibility of another attack by Islamic extremists, former head of PSD and SDIG Southern Province, Rohan Silva told the PCoI. Silva said so in answer to a question posed by a commissioner whether there was still Islamic extremist activity. SDIG Southern Province said that a training camp run by National Thowheed Jamaat (NTJ) had been found in Hambantota in 2019 and more..

Post-Election: State Ministers clinging to State vehicles could lose seats

Jul 1 (CT) Election Commission (EC) has ordered the Police to immediately seize five official vehicles, which were not returned by former State Ministers, EC Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said. “The vehicles should have been returned to the State on 2 March. State Ministers no longer exist since the dissolution of Parliament and therefore official vehicles must be returned. It was informed that if a former State Minister uses official vehicles after that date, Rs 100,000 should be deposited for more..

Core Group reiterate disappointment over SL's withdrawal from UN resolution

Jul 1 (TG) Canada, Germany and UK reiterated their profound disappointment over SL's withdrawl of co-sponsorship from UNHRC resolutions promoting accountability, reconciliation and human rights. Addressing the UNHRC 44th Session, the member states, alongside North Macedonia and Montenegro, stressed that any "accountability mechanism must have the confidence of those affected". "Since March, SL has been battling COVID-19, and has kept case numbers significantly lower than more..

New office hours from August

Jul 1 (DM) The govt has decided to change the working hours of the public and private sector employees based on convenience, traffic congestion and productivity, Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said yesterday. He said a consultative committee headed by Transport Ministry Additional Secretary Tilakaratne Bandara was appointed to study this matter and submit recommendations and the report handed over to the minister by more..

Felicitation for Sri Lankan Olympians today

Jul 1 (DN) The oldest Olympian living in SL, DIG Sumith Liyanage will be among a host of distinguished sportsmen and sportswomen who will be felicitated at a ceremony to be held at the Duncan White Auditorium of the Ministry of Sports, today. Altogether, a total of 47 Olympians living in SL are set to be felicitated at this ceremony which will be held under the patronage of Sports Minister, Dullas Alahapperuma. In addition, all SL Olympians will be presented with an insurance scheme more..

Dengue eradication programmes: Launched in schools

Jul 1 (TM) Parallel to the disinfection programme that is being carried out at schools, the National Dengue Control Unit (NDCU) is to launch a dengue eradication programme at all schools, prior to starting for the second term. “For years we have been carrying out such programmes and this time too, we will work closely with the zonal education offices to ensure that the school environment will be cleared of any potential mosquito breeding sites. “As a practice, we carry out eradication more..

Defence Secy flays police top brass for failure to prevent crime in their divisions

Jul 1 (Island) Defence Secretary Maj. Gen. (Retd.) Kamal Gunaratne has said senior police officers-in-charge of provinces should be ashamed of wearing their uniform if they cannot stop drug trafficking, extortion, underworld activities, illegal logging, running of brothels, illegal sand mining and other illegal activities there. "You need to curb illegal activities that are increasing at an alarming rate and protect dignity of the uniform that you wear; more..

Court extends order restraining SLTDA from cancelling Lanka Realty Leisure lease

Jul 1 (FT) Colombo District Court extended the enjoining order against the SLTDA, preventing it from cancelling a lease agreement with Lanka Realty Leisure Ltd. for a resort in Yala. The extension of the enjoining order till 13 July was issued by Colombo District Judge Amali Ranaweera after the previous order, valid for two weeks, was to lapse yesterday. Court also directed that written submissions in relation to the inquiry of the enjoining order to be filed by 13 July 2020. more..

SLIIT Undergrad creates robot for Karapitiya Teaching Hospital to fight COVID-19

Jul 1 (CT) SLIIT fourth-year student Harsha de Silva, with the help of a few friends from the Wayamba and Rajarata Universities, developed a novel, remotely operated robot after understanding the importance of protecting health workers in their fight against COVID-19 while tending to patients. The robot has been developed to transport up to 20kg of items necessary for patients and also communicate with patients via a remote control device. The robot can safely transport food items to patients more..

President instructs to expedite e-Land Registration to prevent unlawful activities

Jul 1 (PMD) Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa instructed the relevant officials to expedite the system of electronic registration of lands in order to eradicate frauds in land registration to speed up the process of land registration. The public is faced with many difficulties due to frauds and delays in the land registration process. Prez highlighted the importance of accelerating e-Land Registration system in collaboration with more..

Prez looks into grievances at Excise Department

Jul 1 (PMD) Prez Rajapaksa reviewed long-standing issues at the Department of Excise and directed relevant officials to find immediate solutions to them. Prez instructed the officials to look for remedies at institutional level for issues pertaining to expediting the preparation of Service Charter, recruitment and promotions. These issues were identified and solutions were recommended during a discussion held at the Prez Secretariat yesterday (29) with the collective of rade unions of Dept of Excise. more..

Coaches ID, a must from 2022

Jul 1 (DN) Sports Minister Dullas Alahapperuma is ready to make arrangements to issue official identity card for the professional coaches. The active coaches who work from 2014 have to register first and make the coaches National list ot obtain the official identity card under the new programme. Sports Minster has already given instructions to work out this programme for the benefit of sports development. The Minister who assumed duty last November investigated several issues more..

‘Facemasks not compulsory in classrooms’

Jul 1 (Island) A costly project to provide equipment to schools to test students for fever has been halted on the advice of Director General of Health Services (DGHS) Dr. Anil Jasinghe. Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said that the project was meant to provide the required equipment to 16,000 schools at a cost of Rs. 116 mn ahead of the re-opening of schools following long closure forced by the corona crisis. more..

BOC and SL balance sheets to be strengthened by US$ 140m facility from CDB

Jul 1 (Island) Bank of Ceylon's obtaining of a US$ 140 million facility from China Development Bank (CDB) will strengthen the balance sheets of both Sri Lanka and the Bank of Ceylon, Kanchana Ratwatte, chairman of the Bank of Ceylon said. "The facility will be utilized for supplementing BOC's general lending requirements. which will provide much needed support for businesses affected by COVID-19. The funds will mainly be utilized to help businesses that need support for revival more..

No person permitted to cast vote by post unless valid identity card is produced

Jul 1 (AD) Election Commission says it is mandatory to produce a valid identity card in order to establish the identity to cast the vote by post. The postal voters are accordingly instructed to produce either the National Identity Card (NIC), a valid driving licence, a valid passport or a temporary identity card issued by the Election Commission when postal votes. Any person who fails to establish his identity by producing any of the aforesaid identity cards or the official identity card more..

Practice 50 over encounter: Dickwella, Chandimal, Thisara hammer centuries

Jul 1 (CT) Niroshan Dickwella, Dinesh Chandimal and Thisara Perera shone with centuries during the practice 50 over encounter between Dickwella XI and Dimuth XI played at Pallekele Stadium yesterday. Dickwella XI scored a mammoth 346 for 8 batting first. Dickwella smashed 127 off 100 deliveries with 14 fours and a six. Former Test skipper Dinesh Chandimal was unbeaten with 117 runs from 100 deliveries more..

No note from Sri Lanka on match-fixing claims: Indian Cricket Board

Jul 1 (OI) The Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has not received any correspondence from Sri Lanka regarding the 2011 World Cup match-fixing claims. ANI reported, quoting sources within the BCCI's ACU, that the body would be able to talk about the claims once it receives any sort of correspondence. "We haven't received any correspondence from SL related to the 2011 World Cup match-fixing issue, once we receive it then only can talk about it," more..

Netball practises to resume early July

Jul 1 (CT) Netball Federation of Sri Lanka (NFSL) expects to resume practises after the appointment of the new Head Coach on 6 July and will strictly adhere to health regulations imposed by the Govt in view of the Covid–19 pandemic. Commenting on the resumption of practises NFSL President Victoria Lakshmi said: “Under the guidance of the Sports Ministry, we expect to resume practises under strict social distancing guidelines after the appointment of the new head coach on 6 July. more..

Sri Lanka inflation in June 2020 at to 3.9%

Jul 1 (EN) SL’s consumer price inflation in the 12-months to June 2020 eased to 3.9% from 4% in May, though food prices picked up sharply. Colombo Consumer Price Index gained 0.8% in June to 135.3 points, slower than the 1.4% in 2019, helping moderate the 12-mont rise. May and June typically shows the steepest rise in the index, during the year after a spike in reserve money in April. The food index rose by 2.6% more..

The other side of the Govt’s relief measures

Jul 1 (TM) This has not been an easy time. We are moving through the third week of Covid-19 in Sri Lanka following the identification of the first local patient. Medical experts have advised us to continue social distancing in the critical weeks to come. Fortunately, no deaths have been reported so far and a few patients have successfully recovered as of 27 March 2020. That’s a big relief. I am sure no Sri Lankan ever thought that one virus could have caused such damage, but it has. more..

COVID 19 and Sri Lanka

Jul 1 (GV) When globalisation was the dominant concept for looking at the world, pandemics were discussed as a global security issue. The objective was to see how pandemics have an impact on global security, and how to prepare for them. Now that one is happening, it is interesting to look at the response. It is clear that the nature of states, their characteristics and what they should do, has come to the forefront of the discussion. This development is so pronounced that Daron Acemoglu, more..

ComBank goes for $ 50 m private placement with IFC

Jul 1 (FT) The largest private sector bank, Commercial Bank is going for a $ 50 million (over Rs. 9 b) private placement with the World Bank’s IFC to boost capital in support of business expansion. This development bodes well for both Commercial Bank and Sri Lanka since owing to the COVID-19 pandemic overall global investor sentiments have been uncertain and markets volatile. Board of Directors of Commercial Bank on Tuesday evening resolved to more..

University education reforms in Australia: Should Sri Lanka follow suit?

Jul 1 (Island) A preamble is necessary. Covid-19 pandemic, like the Great Depression, calls for the countries with generous state provision in education, health and welfare achieving desirable social objectives, to reassess welfare expenditures because they are bound to exceed their capacities to deliver without crippling economic fallouts. Laudable social goals based on noble social values are becoming less feasible in the post COVID- world, given trajectory of global economics more..

Editorial: Deceit and prevarication

Jul 1 (Island) Trade unions have asked the Sri Lanka Ports Authority to set up gantry cranes at the East Terminal of the Colombo Port or face a strike. They insist that the delay is due to foreign pressure. A strike or a ca’canny, in the Colombo Port, will send the economy into a tailspin and make the post-Covid recovery even more difficult. Trade unions also complain of a move to hand over the terminal to foreigners. Will the govt explain why the installation of cranes has been delayed? more..

Dullas Alahapperuma

Aug 5 elections unlikely to herald in qualitatively different new parliament

Jul 1 (ST) When one reflects on the political future of this country, if one goes by current trends there is little cause for optimism. The prospects of a qualitative change in the composition of parliament following the parliamentary elections scheduled for Aug 5 look rather bleak. One of the main arguments put forward against the recall of the earlier parliament during the debate on the advisability of holding early elections in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, was that previous parliament more..

General Elections and the social media landscape

Jul 1 (DM) The ad library had been available for SL since the November Prez Election. The ads for which details would be available are those deemed political in content by Facebook. The issue with SL is the thousands of gossip pages that have millions of followers. One very popular page has over two million followers. These pages can post ads veiled as posts. They circumvent any oversight and rely not on Facebook’s ad placement but on their gigantic user base. There will be no details available. more..

'FSP willing to work with JVP as a mass movement'

Jul 1 (SO) Education Secretary of Frontline Socialist Party (FSP), Pubudu Jagoda, said that they are willing to work with JVP as a mass movement but will not merge with it as a political front. He also called for a structural change in the election process as the existing system makes even a good man a dishonest person. Q: There are rumours that the FSP is working with JVP in this elections. Is this true? more..

Israel, the annexation of the West Bank and apartheid

Jul 1 (DM) In May this year, Israel PM Netanyahu announced that on -July 01- it would, in line with US Prez Trump’s one-sided Middle East peace plan annex parts of the Palestinian West Bank. That the so-called peace plan was drawn up by the US Prez’s son-in-law (himself Jewish by religion) without consultation with the Palestinians, tells its own story Annexation is just one part of Trump’s plan, which also calls for the creation of a demilitarised Palestinian state, largely encircled by Israel, more..

Political Nuances in the MCC

Jul 1 (CT) To even begin understanding anything about the nuances in bilateral and multilateral impacts of the proposed MCC compact deal between the US and SL, one certainly needs some knowledge about domestic and foreign policy in the thrust of US political thinking that seeks to subtly enforce, maintain or influence the advancement of US interests in national integrity and military power worldwide. To even assume that matters such as the MCC are generated by US anxieties to help more..

'SJB confident of winning General Election'

Jul 1 (SO) SJB General Secretary and former MP Ranjith Madduma Bandara said that when the UNP is going to lose the upcoming General Election, they attempt to make various false allegations against the SJB. He said that the people are well aware that the SJB was formed with the approval of the UNP Working Committee. He said the group in the UNP is fully responsible for creating a rift in the party. more..

Yatārthaya of a virtuous society

Jul 1 (CT) The Executive President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka has set a new precedence by inviting public officials to his office and publicly reprimanding them under wide media scrutiny highlighting to the nation that aggression and oppression are the key features to implement the Presidential Task Force to build a Secure Country, Disciplined, Virtuous and Lawful Society in accordance with the powers vested in him by Article 33 of the Constitution – hallelujah! more..

TNA blissfully going for a ride again

Jul 1 (CT) Tamil opinion is divided on the TNA’s expression of, let’s call a spade a spade, Possible support for the govt. The Pro-Group says projecting a broad-minded approach and showing sincerity creates an environment which will enable progress on the problems of the Tamils. Anti-Group calls the Pro-Group a bunch of ever-willing-to-be-hoodwinked suckers. Since the time of the B-C Pact successive govts have not only shown no interest in addressing Tamil concerns, but have knowingly cheated. more..

Sri Lanka remittances down 23% in May but up from April

Jun 30 (EN) SL’s foreign remittances fell 23.3% from a year earlier to US$ 431.8 million in May 2020 but has picked up from a low of US$ 375 million in April amid a Coronavirus pandemic. SL was under strict lockdowns in April with banks only operating a few hours and postal services also not operating. Expatriate family members in the Middle East and elsewhere send money either through bank drafts more..

Welikada Prison riot case: Court reprimands suspects, next hearing tomorrow

Jun 30 (CT) The Colombo Permanent High Court Trial-at-Bar on 26 June issued strict warnings to Inspector of Police Neomal Rangajeewa and former Prisons Commissioner Emil Ranjan Lamahewa, that their bail order would be cancelled and they would be remanded unless they stopped making statements to the Media, which could pose a negative impact on the Welikada Prison riot case and the Judiciary. Rangajeewa and Lamahewa are the first and second suspects in Welikada more..

Release of Tamil prisoners detained under PTA: This will happen assures Karuna

Jun 30 (CT) Tamil United Freedom Party (TUFP) Leader and former LTTE militant V. Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman told a leading Tamil radio that he is firm on working towards the release of Tamils detained under the Prevention of Terrorism (PTA) Act. He told the interviewer that he will talk to the Govt over their release. “After the war, some have been arrested for minor issues and detained for many years and they also should return to normal life since the war has now ended,” he added. more..