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All is not lost despite World Cup debacle, says chief selector

Jul 5 (DN) Sri Lanka’s poor performance at the 2019 World Cup where they failed to qualify for a place in the semi-finals does not mean that all is lost, according to chairman of selectors Ashantha de Mel who is with the squad in the role of manager cum selector on tour. “No doubt our performance was below par and not upto the mark. We played eight games, two were washed out; we won three and lost three. more..

Accelerated economic recovery likely: First Capital

Jul 5 (FT) First Capital Research said accelerated economic recovery is likely for Sri Lanka, as the months after the Easter Sunday attacks had shown a faster return to normalcy, quicker removal of travel advisories, and unexpected signs of resilience. Releasing its latest update, First Capital Research said despite the Easter Sunday attacks, Sri Lanka’s economic outlook has shown signs of resilience and ability to recover quickly, as economic activities were seen returning to normalcy more..

Using drone technology to transport drugs, blood across Sri Lanka

Jul 5 (ST) When fatalities occur in parts of the country and things like surgical instruments, drugs and particularly blood are needed urgently, if they are not supplied in the quickest possible time, it could result in death. Dr. Vijith Gunasekera, former Director of Blood Transfusion Services/Director, Laboratory Services, participating in a round-table video conference for media held in Colombo last week and speaking on Challenges and Opportunities in Healthcare logistics in SL, more..

Govt brews fresh cuppa for estate sector wage hike

Jul 5 (FT) Govt is planning on presenting yet another Cabinet paper to give a daily Rs. 50 allowance to plantation workers, as promised by the Plantation Minister earlier this year, Minister Palany Thigambaram said. “PM promised this, there will be another Cabinet paper next week. A Committee was appointed, headed by Minister Thilak Marapana, to look into the matter. We will definitely give this allowance to the people by next week,” more..

Foreigner-funded dog abuse in Sri Lanka

Jul 5 (Island) What seems to be a massive FaceBook racket (a scam may be of international proportions) duping foreigners into donating huge amounts of money to build basic buildings to incarcerate street dogs and to purchase luxury vehicles to transport street dogs to the vet (!) was reported to the relevant authorities for investigation and necessary action by a large group of animal lovers, welfarists and activists of Sri Lanka, who were appalled by the funded animal abuse more..

WC 2019: West Indies beat Afghanistan

Jul 5 (CI) Eighteen-year-old Ikram Alikhil came within three shots of becoming the first teenager to hit a World Cup century, and Rahmat Shah made a velvet-smooth half-century of his own, but it was still not enough for Afghanistan as they exited the World Cup without a single point from nine matches. Three of West Indies' brightest young batting talents - Evin Lewis, Shai Hope and Nicholas Pooran - made ebullient half-centuries as well, which formed the centerpiece of their 311 for 6. more..

Why is Sri Lanka reinstating death penalty?

Jul 5 (DW) SL President Maithripala Sirisena recently announced the reinstatement of capital punishment amid severe criticism from the int'l community. DW analyzes the reasons behind his controversial decision. Talking to local media last week, SL President Sirisena explained the motive behind the reinstatement of the death penalty in the South Asian country. "I would like to announce today, on the Int'l Day Against Drug Abuse more..

Edtorial: Light trains and ground reality

Jul 5 (Island) The govt is in overdrive, launching as it does many development projects in view of the upcoming presidential election. The latest of them is the Colombo-Malabe light train project, which was launched on Wednesday. It is welcome, but the question is whether it will get off the ground unlike the Hoaxwagen factory, etc. The Central Highway project was launched, after the 2015 regime change, and we were given to understand that it would be over before the conclusion of the term of more..

Peoples’ sovereignty central to all agreements/treaties

Jul 5 (Island) My article in The Island of June 12, 2019, titled Legality of agreements with foreign countries, was immediately followed by a report titled US wants future SL govts to respect yahapalana foreign deals, wherein a US official was quoted having said: "We want any govt that comes to respect human rights and democracy. We also want them to continue to respect the international obligations taken on by the present administration. We have a 70 year relationship with SL more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Digging holes and filling them up

Jul 5 (ST) During the time of the Great Depression in the 1930s, as businesses began to plummet, people lost jobs and incomes. Because people lost jobs and incomes, their purchases plummeted too. Because people cut back purchases, in turn businesses plummeted and closed down. And the vicious cycle of an economic crisis – the Great Depression, continued for more than a decade starting from 1929. John Maynard Keynes of the University of Cambridge was walking along King’s Lane more..

How Lanka’s black media peddling racism

Jul 5 (DM) In journalism, dog does not bite dogs. Yet, there are times when, as civic conscious journalists, we need to, at least, bark. After all, we are watchdogs. In recent months and years, sections of Sri Lanka’s media have knowingly chosen a path to promote racism and hate speech, showing scant regard for journalistic principles. Their choice tends to reverse the journey Sri Lanka’s media right activists have embarked on to take SL’s journalism to the peak of professionalism. more..

'Presidential race: Yes… I am ready'

Jul 5 (CT) Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne says that there are several popular candidates in the UNP, for the Presidential Election. “They are all candidates who can get votes.” Q: What is the Party you represent now? A: The UNP. UNF is just a name being used for the elections and not a registered Party, is it? A: It is not a registered Party, but it’s a Party led by the UNP and acts as a political campaign along with more..

Lanka is a fool’s paradise!

Jul 5 (CT) We had a discussion to understand the theology of ISIS with the participation of members of all religions and rationalists. We expected to understand the ideology of ISIS. But it turned out to be a critical investigation of what Muslims are doing in this country. Hence, it was miserable and a failure. It exposed, in a way that confusion in the society is deep and sensitive. May be the wounds inflicted upon the Lankan society by the Easter Sunday attacks on Christian churches, more..

Instability due to burial of consensual politics

Jul 5 (CT) With the burial of consensual politics, the two national political parties, SLFP and UNP are at loggerheads over the powers of the President and PM. President Maithripala Sirisena states the country will benefit only if the 18th and 19th Amendments to the Constitution are abolished. He called for repealing the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which has curtailed the presidential powers, blaming it for the political instability in the country. more..

Hot as Hell: What India's unprecedented heatwave means for Sri Lanka

Jul 5 (Roar) While Sri Lanka has been grappling with a new threat to national security, a short distance away, our regional neighbour India has been dealing with a crisis of its own. The northern and central regions of the country—an area inhabited by over 500 million people— have been suffering from an unprecedented heatwave, with temperatures climbing as high as 50C in some parts. The scorching heat has triggered more..

Rally of the un-enlightened

Jul 5 (CT) Sri Lanka is getting deeper and deeper into an intractable political, economic, social and geopolitical morass, from which there is less hope for an early relief without avoiding at great cost economic suffering, communal bloodletting, depreciated sovereignty and maligned international reputation. In spite of all theoretical and erudite explanations for this multi-dimensional malaise, by political scientists, economists, sociologists and foreign policy experts, there is no running more..

Racial Experience: Universal & Unique?

Jul 5 (CT) “On June 17, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat of New York, posted an Instagram live video discussing the detention camps along the southern US border as concentration camps in which she used the phrase Never Again. This drew sharp criticism the following day from Representative Liz Cheney, Republican of Wyoming, and others for allegedly misappropriating a slogan associated with the Holocaust. After several days of heated media & political more..

Video: Largest ever stock of methamphetamine pills detected at CME

Jul 4 (DM) A 52-year-old building contractor from Mount Lavinia was today arrested by Customs officers when he arrived at the Colombo Central Mail Exchange (CME) to collect methamphetamine pills worth Rs. 27 million. Acting Customs Spokesman Lal Weerakoon said the suspect had arrived at the CME this morning to collect six parcels containing 5,500 drug pills which had been hidden inside subwoofers. more..

CID begins analyzing phone conversations on crimes committed under Madush

Jul 4 (AD) CID has commenced analyzing the telephone conversations on four major crimes that have been committed under the directions of drug kingpin Makandure Madush. Makandure Madush, a notorious underworld figure wanted in the country for many crimes, is currently detained under the custody of the CID. Madush was previously under the custody of the Dubai authorities after being arrested at a drug-fuelled party thrown by him in a Dubai hotel, back in October 2018. more..

Canada to support conflict prevention in SL

Jul 4 (Island) Canada would continue to support conflict prevention efforts in Sri Lanka, where it has been seen how hate speech and media can entrench communal divisions, says Canadian High Commissioner to SL David Mckinnon. Speaking on the occasion of Canada Day, which fell this week, High Commissioner said that Canada had committed US$ 300 million over three years for humanitarian assistance, development and peace and stabilization efforts and would continue more..

Video: Railway strike ends after talks

Jul 4 (AD) Railway trade unions have decided to end their ongoing strike action following discussion held with the authorities today. Representatives of trade unions met with Minister Arjuna Ranatunga and State Minister Ashoka Abeysinghe with talks ending, a short while ago. speaking to reporters after the meeting, railway trade unions said that they have decided to call off the strike and resume train services as usual. more..

Opposition delegation in Russia for international forum

Jul 4 (AD) A delegation of the Parliamentary Opposition has taken part in the Second International Forum on Development of Parliamentarism held from July 1st to 3rd in Russia. The international forum was held at the Russian State Duma in Moscow with the participation of about 800 lawmakers and experts from 132 countries as well as 41 Speakers of national parliaments. The participants have exchanged their views on topical issues of int'l security more..

Southern Expressway extension: Matara – Beliatta stretch to open in November

Jul 4 (DN) Matara–Beliatta stretch of the Southern Expressway extension will be operational by end November, RDA Chairman Nihal Sooriyarachchi said. The 96km extension, costing Rs 255.2 billion and funded by Exim Bank of China and the SL govt, consists of four sections: Matara to Beliatta (30km, cost Rs. 113.5 billion); Beliatta to Wetiya (26 km, cost Rs. 55.2 billion); Wetiya to Andarawewa (15km, cost Rs. 31.5 billion); and Mattala to Hambantota via Andarawewa (25km, cost Rs. 56 billion). more..

Pope appoints Sri Lankan as Secretary of Vatican's inter-religious dialogue body

Jul 4 (VN) Pope Francis on Wednesday appointed a Sri Lankan as the Secretary of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID). Msgr. Indunil Janakaratne Kodithuwakku Kankanamalage, currently the under-secretary of the Council, is a member of the clergy of the Diocese of Badulla, Sri Lanka. Msgr. Indunil was born in 1966 of a Buddhist mother who converted on marrying a Catholic. more..

Video: SLFP-SLPP agree on name for possible new alliance

Jul 4 (AD) An agreement has been reached on the name of the possible new alliance between the SLFP and SLPP. Accordingly, the possible new alliance between the two parties would be named the Sri Lanka Nidahas Podujana Peramuna, stated MP Mahinda Amaraweera. He stated that, if SLFP and SLPP decide to contest the polls together, they would be contesting under this new alliance and under this name. He said that the SLPP had sent them a set of proposals and more..

President hands over appointment letters to new SLFP organizers

Jul 4 (PMD) President Sirisena handed over appointment letters to new organizers of the SLFP reorganization program today (02). Accordingly, Thilanga Sumathipala is the new SLFP organizer for Moratuwa, Priyantha Karunatilake is the new SLFP Organizer for Ratnapura District, B.R. Udawaththa has been appointed as the new organizer of Hingurakgoda Pradeshiya Sabha in Minneriya electorate, Rohitha Hattotuwa has been appointed as the co-organizer of Elahera PS area. more..

Sri Lanka should move towards freer trade: diplomat

Jul 4 (EN) Sri Lanka needs less protectionism to develop further as a country, Britain's top diplomat to the island was quoted as saying. Council for Business with Britain in a statement said that British High Commissioner James Dauris, while addressing the group's annual general meeting, had called for greater competition and freer trade for the development of Sri Lanka. “Freer trade, lower barriers, less protectionism, more..

President urges to expedite relief for businesses affected by terror attacks

Jul 4 (AD) President Maithripala Sirisena today instructed relevant officials to expedite relief assistance to tourism and other sectors which were affected by the Easter Sunday terror attacks. He emphasized that it is the responsibility of everyone to properly and efficiently implement the relief programmes necessary for the businesses in the tourism sector and other affiliated sectors which were crippled by the Easter Sunday attacks and to help them rebuild. more..

President applauses international award-winning artists

Jul 4 (PSL) Sri Lankan artists who were awarded at international film and television festivals were appreciated by the President Maithripala Sirisena along with handsome prizes at the Prez’s Office yesterday. Artists Neeta Fernando, Nilmini Sigera, Kumara Karawdeniya, Shiran Rathnayake, Ranga Bandaranayake, Athula Pieris, Nishadi Bandaranayake who’s talents were recognized at the Nice Int'l Film Festival in France, Osaka Asian Film Festival in Japan and Moscow Int'l Film more..

Sri Lanka could help Chinese manufacturers offset trade war impact

Jul 4 (SCMP) Sri Lanka is wooing Chinese manufacturers, urging them to make use of its preferential duty-free treatment by the US and Europe as a way to offset the growing tariff pressure of the trade war. The country’s development minister, Malik Samarawickrama, was in Beijing on Wednesday as part of an investment forum at the SL embassy attended by dozens of Chinese businesspeople. more..

Two JO MPs file petitions against State Lands Bill

Jul 4 (AD) Two petitions have been filed with the Supreme Court stating that certain Articles in the State Lands (Special Provisions) Bill are against the Constitution and seeking a court order calling for two-third majority consent of the members of the Parliament as well as a referendum to pass the Bill. The petitions were filed by JO MPs Udaya Gammanpila and Sisira Jayakody against the State Lands (Special Provisions) Bill, which was recently tabled in the Parliament by the govt. more..

Silence hackers hit banks in Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, and Kyrgyzstan

Jul 4 (ZDN) A group of hackers specialized in attacking banks has hit again, and this time they've breached four targets in Asia, respectively in Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, and Kyrgyzstan, security researchers from Group-IB have told ZDNet. The only incident that is currently public is one impacting Dutch Bangla Bank Limited, a bank in Bangladesh, which lost more than $3 million during several rounds of ATM cashout attack that took place during the month of May, more..

President throwing away a gift of USD 480 mn over lies: Harsha

Jul 4 (AD) Posting on the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) on Twitter, Non-Cabinet Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva says that the President will throw away a gift of USD 480 million believing the lies of the Opposition. According to the Minister, the MCC agreement was developed by a SL economics team along with Ricardo Haussmann the Director of Harvard’s Center for International Development and his group to address more..

5 Indian fishermen, 34 vessels in Sri Lanka's custody

Jul 4 (PTI) Five Indian fishermen and 34 fishing vessels are in SL's custody, External Affairs Ministry said, asserting that the govt regularly takes up the matter of their early release and repatriation. Replying to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Minister V Muraleedharan said the issue has been discussed at high-level meetings between the two nations. "It was discussed during bilateral meetings held during the visit of Prez of SL to India from May 30-31, 2019, & visit of PM of India to SL on June 9, 2019," more..

Sri Lanka LRT project to ease congestion, boost economy: Champika

Jul 4 (EN) A US$ 2.2 billion light rail transit project for Colombo, will ease congestion and boost economic activity, Minister Champika Ranawaka said. "We cannot continue to promote private transport, there is traffic congestion and negative fallouts," he said at an official launch ceremony Wednesday. "Already we are seeing the benefits from this projects. Land prices in areas like Battaramulla have doubled due to the confidence placed in the project." more..