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Dialog’s parent and Norway’s Telenor call off merger

Sep 10 (TM) Dialog Axiata PLC’s parent, Axiata Group Berhad, and Norway’s Telenor SA mutually agreed to end discussions on a proposed merger of operations, international newswire reported on Friday. In May 2019, Norway-based Telnor Group and Axiata, which has an 83.3% stake in Dialog (DIAL), indicated discussions of a merger, resulting in Telenor owning a controlling stake of the global merged company by Sept 2019 more..

Nuwan and Buddhika share best award at Para Games

Sep 10 (SO) SL Light Infantry and Rehab Lanka SC emerged men’s and women’s champions at the National Para c'ships concluded at Sugathadasa Stadium on Friday as Nuwan Indika from SL Light Infantry and Buddhika Indrapala of the Commando regiment jointly won the men’s best athlete award. It was very competitive among the para athletes and 30 new meet records were established. Both Nuwan and Buddhika won three gold medals in their respective events to set up meet records. more..

Sri Lanka’s junior stickers eye top position in Singapore tournament

Sep 10 (ST) Sri Lanka’s junior stickers are geared to aim for a top three position at the inaugural Air Asia Women’s Junior AHF (Asian Hockey Federation) Tournament which begins tomorrow (Sept 9) at the Sengkang Hockey Stadium, Singapore. Six countries will be participating in this tournament which will continue until Sept 15. Conducted on a league basis, the other participating countries are Chinese Taipei, Bangladesh Singapore, Hong Kong and Uzbekistan. more..

Tea testing facility in Sri Lanka soon

Sep 10 (TM) SL tea exporters will soon be able to test their consignments in an internationally accredited laboratory within the country itself, according to Tea Exporters Association of Sri Lanka (TEA) newly appointed Chairman Sanjaya Herath. The long-needed requirement to have an internationally accredited laboratory is finally being addressed as the Ministry of Plantation Industries, TEA, & SLTB are in the process more..

Editorial: Dilemmas

Sep 10 (Island) The UNP is at war with itself and apparently in the self-sabotage mode. It has made a mess of the process of selecting its presidential candidate. A section of the party insists that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has finally decided to run for President. It tells us that the PM, at a recent meeting with a group of UNP seniors, revealed his intention to do so. But, UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa has already launched his prez election campaign and crossed the point of no return. more..

Consolidating gains in trade balance vital to reduce external financial vulnerability

Sep 10 (ST) Reducing the trade deficit and increasing the balance of payments surplus this year would enhance the country’s external reserves, decrease foreign indebtedness and reduce the country’s external financial vulnerability. A substantial balance of payments surplus could be achieved primarily by reducing the trade deficit this year to US$ 8 billion or less. This year’s growth in exports must be enhanced and imports must be reduced to achieve this. more..

COPE කමිටුවේ දී Sri Lanka Cricket කාපූ ...

Lead by example

Sep 10 (TM) There is nothing SL politicians love more than being in power. They will not think twice about resorting to any third-degree activity just to stay in power. These days, with the election season slowly creeping upon us, politicians of all hues are jostling with each other, daggers drawn to secure nomination to contest. While two parties have already named their prez nominees, namely the SLPP and JVP, the two main parties that have alternatively governed SL since more..

Politicking hits centre stage

Sep 10 (TM) With less than two weeks for the Election Commission (EC) to receive the power to announce the prez election due to be held towards the end of the year, country’s political parties and politicians are engaged in real-time politicking both day and night. The crisis with the UNP over deciding its candidate at the next prez election continued intensely last week with Party Leader PM Ranil Wickremesinghe agreeing to discuss the issues in a one-on-one meeting with UNP Deputy Leader more..

No risk to party unity: Harsha

Sep 10 (TM) UNP Minister Harsha De Silva said that UNP Dy Minister Sajith Premadasa was the obvious choice for their party’s prez candidate. Q: Why is the UNP taking so long to select a prez candidate? A: Our party is a democratic entity and therefore, many the last years since the party was established in the 40s, our constitution provides for a mechanism on how to select a candidate and we will democratically select more..

This dirty game called politics

Sep 10 (ST) Save us from our politicians is a constant prayer that is heard from a disgusted public, be it in Sri Lanka or the UK. More so in that country like no other that is known by other epithets, too. But they are better left unsaid in case one is accused of being unpatriotic by pseudo-nationalists hitting the high decibels with their constant refrain that includes some praise to Adolf Hitler and Nazi gauleiters, both foreign and local. Thankfully here in the UK, Hitler is a dirty word like politician, more..

Exports and Imports?

Sep 10 (Island) According to CB reports SL’s external debts in 2014 was Rs. 5633 billion and it has increased to Rs. 9559 biilion in 2018. PM Ranil Wickremesingha at a meeting held recently highlighted the need to increase export earning to settle the county’s debts. But, what we are going to export is the main question. CB report indicate that neither the earnings from our main exports tea, rubber coconut and the so called minor export crops nor their production has not increased more..

'I have a vision for my country'

Sep 10 (CT) Venerable Maha Sangha and religious dignitaries, The 5th Executive President of Sri Lanka, HE Mahinda Rajapaksa, dear guests, members of Viyathmaga, Media Personnel, Representatives of National Organizations, all Sri Lankans residing in and out of Sri Lanka who are connected with us at this moment, my friends, The objective of any govt should be to develop a prosperous nation more..

Navin’s unbeaten fifty

Sep 10 (CT) The year was 2000; it was either end of August or beginning of September. I was living in Los Angeles, California in the United States. I was driving to work and was about to enter 118 Ronald Reagan Freeway. My phone rang and from the country code flashing on my screen I knew that it was from Sri Lanka. It was Navin Dissanayake, Gamini Dissanayake’s eldest son. He said that he intended to hand in nominations for the forthcoming elections scheduled for October 10, 2000. more..

Making best use of SL’s strategic location

Sep 10 (CT) There is increased competition between the global big powers in the India Ocean. The four main protagonists are India, the United States, China and Japan. The challenge to Sri Lanka is how to maximize the benefit to itself from this situation without being overwhelmed by pressures that may be brought to bear upon it. Sri Lanka can become a beneficiary of competition as it has in the case of the USD 480 million grant from the Millennium Challenge Corporation of the United States. more..

Casino Mogul Ravi Wijeratne to foray into Construction via buying MTD Walkers

Sep 9 (AD) SL’s one of the two Casino Moguls that had dominated the Gaming Industry for over 30 years in the island, Ravi Wijeratne, Chairman-owner of conglomerate Rank Holdings, who operates a port, builds real estate, handles waste-reclamation and is building hydro and wind energy plants will soon foray into mega scale booming construction industry in SL through buying Malaysia’s MTD Capital Bhd owned more..

SL born hedge-fund manager Raj Rajaratnam is released from prison two years early

Sep 9 (BN) Raj Rajaratnam, the mastermind of what prosecutors said was one of the largest hedge-fund insider-trading rings in U.S. history, is out of prison -- almost two years early. And he’s been out for more than six weeks. Rajaratnam, whose Galleon Group LLC once managed more than $7 billion, has been living with his family on a quiet block of Manhattan’s East Side since July 23, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons. He’s mostly confined to his apartment for the remainder of his sentence, more..

Jayawickrama Perera appears before PCoI

Sep 9 (AD) Minister Gamini Jayawickrama Perera has appeared before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry appointed to investigate and inquire into serious acts of fraud, corruption, and abuse of power, state resources, and privileges. Minister appeared before the Commission to record a statement with regard to an investigation on financial fraud in the Mahapola Board of Trustees. However, he had requested the Commission give him another date to submit the relevant documents more..

2,400 admin workers on sick leave tomorrow

Sep 9 (RN) Some 2,400 administrative workers affiliated with the Sri Lanka Administrative Service Association (SLAS) will go on sick leave tomorrow and, on Wed, engage in a protest campaign in Colombo demanding a permanent solution to unresolved salary anomalies and related concerns. It is anticipated that the planned trade union action will disrupt work in all district and divisional secretariats as well as more..

PCB worried over unavailability of senior SL players for home series

Sep 9 (PTI) The continued refusal of senior Sri Lankan players including captain Dimuth Karunaratne, Lasith Malinga and Angelo Matthews to tour Pakistan for a limited over series later this month has left the PCB authorities worried. Though the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has made no official comment on the senior Sri Lanka players' availability, sources in the board said they are in touch with the Sri Lankan board officials and Sports Minister Harin Fernando. more..

Video: Kanjipani Imran remanded for threatening cop

Sep 9 (AD) Notorious drug trafficker Mohamed Najim Imran alias Kanjipani Imran has been ordered remanded until September 20 by the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court. This was in connection with the threatening of a police officer over the phone. The accused had allegedly threatened an Inspector of Police (IP) attached to Keselwatte Police. The court also granted approval to forward the recording of the phone call, during which Kanjipani had threatened the policeman, more..

Video: Easter attacks weren’t caused by disabling intelligence service: Ajith Colonne

Sep 9 (AD) Ajith Rohana Colonne, former Deputy Director and Advisor on Intelligence Analysis at the State Intelligence Service, stated that he rejects the charges against intelligence units following the Easter Sunday terror attacks. He stated that the main reason behind the Easter attacks is the lack of a national security policy. He pointed out that although intelligence officers have performed their duties to letter, more..

No room for politically aligned polls monitors: EC

Sep 9 (DM) The Elections Commission (EC) has said key officials of election monitoring groups found engaging in political activities will be removed from election monitoring at the upcoming presidential election. In a letter sent to political party secretaries, the EC said only the PAFFREL and the CMEV have been permitted to monitor the election and enter polling booths. It said the other monitoring groups would function as external or mobile monitors. The EC in its letter said more..

Open economy leads people away from religion: Cardinal

Sep 9 (DM) Archbishop of Colombo, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith said on Saturday that the open economy had created a consumerist society which had, in turn, led people to deviate from religion. He said this at Kalamulla after blessing the new wooden altar at the church. Cardinal said Jesus Christ sacrificed his life to save people from sin and what he did at the Last Supper continues even today among Catholics who gather around the altar to help develop spiritual relationship among them. more..

Two army deserters arrested over series of robberies

Sep 9 (DM) The Kelaniya Division Crimes Investigations officers had uncovered a series of robberies in Kadawatha, Kiribathgoda and Wattala areas following the arrest of two army deserters in Peliyagoda. Initially, the police arrested a 43-year-old suspect, Samantha Ariyasena, who is a resident of Kekirawa in possession of five grammes of heroin in Peliyagoda on Sunday. He was arrested following the information given more..

Sri Lanka approves hotels with investments of US$23.3mn in June

Sep 9 (EN) Sri Lanka’s tourism regulator has approved 16 new hotel projects worth US$ 23.30 million in the second quarter of 2019, most of which did not start construction following the Easter Sunday terror, official data showed. All new hotels approved will have less than 49 rooms each, a SLTDA report said. Four hotels approved are in the Gampaha District, north of the capital Colombo, while three each are in the Galle and Matara Districts, on the southern coast of Sri Lanka. more..

'90% of vocational training courses free of charge'

Sep 9 (RN) In addition to the free education provided to school and uni students, some 90% of vocational training courses are conducted free of charge under the present govt, Deputy Minister Karunarathna Paranawithana said. He said that over the past few years, the number of students enrolled for vocational training courses has increased. “When this Govt came into power in 2015, we decided that in parallel to free education the students receive, they should also receive free vocational more..

'No 1 & 2 must work together for UNP to win'

Sep 9 (RN) Calling for unity in the increasingly fractured UNP, Minister Navin Dissanayake said that, if the party is to win the upcoming prez election, its top two leaders must work together. Without naming names, he said that it is vital that the No. 1 and 2 of the UNP resolve their differences and find a way to work together in the run-up to the polls. “In the UNP, there was always room for the party leader to be its prez candidate. more..

Another White Elephant for SL health sector

Sep 9 (CT) In the climax of catastrophes in the health service due to non-availability of nearly 300 essential medicines in the country, Ministry of Health has initiated another white elephant project. The project of drones to transport essential medicines and blood is an extremely costly project which the govt has already initiated. Zipline, the US company to which the project is granted has already advertised for recruiting flight operators for Sri Lanka drone delivery. more..

19 university students arrested over ragging incident further remanded

Sep 9 (AD) The 19 students of the University of Ruhuna who were arrested recently over a ragging incident have been further remand until the 23rd of September. They were produced before the Chief Magistrate of Isuru Nettikumara today. The suspected students were taken into custody on the 6th of Aug over inhumane ragging of a freshman of the Ruhuna Uni. The student, who was allegedly ragged, had released a video on social media about his harassment and subsequently revealed more..

Ranil says will not resort to racism to win presidential election

Sep 9 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe says that he will never resort to racism to capture power. Declaring that he was not a Bokku Karaya – Drain Builder, PM said, last week, that he was focussed on developing the entire country and its people. He said that those who had run short of ideas, mounted public stages and whipped up racism by mouthing hackneyed slogans such as Rata Jathiya Arakshakeranawa, more..

Pathfinder Foundation in dialogue with CIIS

Sep 9 (FT) China Institute of International Studies (CIIS) Vice President and Senior Research Fellow Dr. Rong Ying together with two other Assistant Research Fellows met with the leadership of the Pathfinder Foundation (PF) early this week. PF Founder Milinda Moragoda while warmly welcoming Dr. Rong and his colleagues, expressed the timeliness of working together to promote socioeconomic development of Sri Lanka as well as other countries in the region. more..

Japanese packaging firm to set up plant

Sep 9 (EN) Japan’s Sugano Packing Materials Co., Ltd., is to set up a plant in Sri Lanka to make flexible packaging that will be used partly by tea exporters, the Board of Investment said. The packaging produced in the plant in Ja-Ela, north of Colombo, would be mainly flat bottomed bags, a statement said. Sugano, which will import a large pouching machine to manufacture the bags, will invest 7.5 million US dollars in the plant, the investment promotion agency said. more..

FSP names Duminda Nagamuwa as Presidential Candidate

Sep 9 (AD) Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) has named the party’s Propaganda Secretary Duminda Nagamuwa as their candidate for the upcoming prez election. This was announce during the FSP rally which is currently underway in Colombo. Nagamuwa had also contested at the 2015 prez elections under an alliance formed by several leftist parties. He joins Anura Kumara Dissanayake of the JVP and more..

Manoj Sirisena nominated to fill Gajadeera's vacancy in Parliament

Sep 9 (ST) Manoj Sirisena has been nominated to fill the vacancy in Parliament following the demise of Chandrasiri Gajadeera, Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekara said. Mr. Sirisena had previously served as a provincial minister in the Southern Province. Gajadeera, who represented the United People's Freedom Alliance of which the SLFP is a constituent party, passed away while receiving treatment at a private hospital in Colombo last week. more..

Australians affected by Easter attacks can seek compensation

Sep 9 (Island) Suicide bombings in SL, on 21 April, have been declared terrorist acts by Canberra, and Australians can seek a one-off payment of up to $75,000 each. Australian residents who were injured or lost a family member in Easter Sunday bombings can apply to the federal govt for compensation. Home affairs minister, Peter Dutton said, the eight suicide bombings on 21 April had been declared terrorist acts for the purpose of the Australian victim of terrorism overseas payment scheme. more..