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Manohara disputes Yusuf’s claim on 19 A, seeks clarification from CC

Jul 10 (Island) President’s Counsel Manohara de Silva strongly disputed Constitutional Council member Attorney-at-law Javed Yusuf’s claim that the incumbent govt would have conducted parliamentary polls as originally scheduled for April 25 regardless of the threat posed by coronavirus if not for the timely intervention made by the Election Commission established in terms of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, more..

Cabinet nod to revise cost estimate for 1,000 rural bridges project

Jul 10 (FT) The Cabinet of Ministers has approved a proposal by Minister Janaka Bandara Tennakoon to revise two cost estimates for the construction of 1,000 bridges in rural areas using loan funds from UK and Netherlands. Cabinet approval was given to revise the GBP 100 million original contract value of Phase II of the Rural Bridges project planned to construct 537 bridges to GBP 114.19 million while the other was to revise the Euro 105 million original contract value of Phase III of the project. more..

MS and RW should take full responsibility for failing to prevent Easter carnage: Witness

Jul 10 (Island) Former Prez Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe must fully take the responsibility for the failure to prevent Easter Sunday carnage, a senior military intelligence officer who was attached to the office of the Chief of National Security (CNI) office told the PCoI. When the commissioners asked the witness whether Sirisena and Wickremesinghe should take responsibility if they had not been briefed on intelligence information on possible attacks more..

President tours Colombo in support of SLPP candidates; warm response from people

Jul 10 (FT) Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday attended several public meetings in Colombo in support of SLPP candidates contesting the upcoming General Election. The general public in area requested the Prez to eradicate the drug menace from the country, similar to the manner in which he provided them with housing after doing away with the slums. “Many lives, including both youths and adults, more..

FDI falls 27% in 1Q’20

Jul 10 (CT) Foreign direct investments (FDI), including loans to BOI companies, year-on-year (YoY) in the first quarter of this year (1Q’20) fell by 26.7 per cent (US$ 70 million), from US$ 262 million in 1Q’19 to US$ 192 million in the 1Q’20, according to statistics presented by CBSL Director Economic Research, Dr C. Amarasekara. The remittances in the first five months of this year on a YoY basis declined by 11.9% (US$ 300 million), from US$ 2.7 billion to US$ 2.4 billion in the review periods. more..

Molecular biology laboratory set up at BIA

Jul 10 (CT) A molecular biology laboratory facility primarily to conduct Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing was set up at the BIA and handed over to the Ministry of Health yesterday. The lab facility has been set up by renovating the Domestic Airport Building at the BIA at a cost of Rs 18 million. It would strengthen the safety net in preventing SL repatriates and foreigners from entering the country without undergoing a PCR test. PCR test would be conducted on each passenger arriving at BIA more..

Protect 19th amendment, civil society activists urge voters

Jul 10 (EN) A civil society collective yesterday called for an electoral defeat of attempts by SL’s ruling party to repeal the 19th amendment to the constitution. At an event held in Colombo, speakers for the Freedom People’s Collective stressed on the need to protect the 19th amendment which they said the govt is seeking to abolish through a two-thirds majority in parliament. Activist Gamini Viyangoda accused the SLPP of more..

Cancellation looms over Under-19 cricket tournaments

Jul 10 (Island) The grim possibility of canceling the covid 19–interrupted Under-19 cricket tournament is looming after the Ministry of Education decided to dedicate the entire second term for curricular activities. SL Schools Cricket Association is ruling out the possibility of conducting the few remaining matches of the Division I, II and III tournaments during the second term in complying with the Ministry of Education instructions. And there are technical issues in conducting more..

Srimali hopes to lift Lankan profile high in int’l weightlifting

Jul 10 (DN) 21-year-old Srimali Samarakoon is an outstanding woman weightlifter, holding the present SL weightlifting record of 140 Kgs in 48 Kg. weight class. She is an old girl of Habarana Central College who has done higher studies at Mahamaya Girls College, Kandy and qualified to enter the University of Jayawardenapura. She is a rare person who had the talent to do sports as well as studies with the encouragement of her parents. Srimali has represented the country at the Samoa Youth Commonwealth Games in 2015 more..

Solar getting stepmotherly treatment from Govt

Jul 10 (FT) Solar Industries Association (SIA) called for an increase in Govt support for solar power projects, to align with policy on increasing renewable energy generation to account for 80% of total generation by 2030. “Today, we are not allowed to connect a single megawatt of solar power nor a single megawatt of wind power without calling for tenders. An 80 MW mini-hydro plant was halted for five years, and only 32 MW was passed recently. However, more..

A narrative of deep commitment to two beloved countries

Jul 10 (Island) The title of this book comes from a line in an epic poem by John Milton on England’s Civil War. Although the book is a narrative of the many contributions by the Author to further the interests of Sri Lanka, it is more about the armed conflict and its aftermath that attempted to alter the political future of Sri Lanka. Therefore, it is fitting that the Author chose a line from a poem that deals with a Civil War that defined the political future in his own country – the UK. more..

U-19 WC wining coach Naveed Nawaz given contract extension

Jul 10 (CT) Naveed Nawaz, Bangladesh's U-19 World Cup winning coach, has penned a three-year deal with Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), it was confirmed on Tuesday (7). He was appointed the head coach in 2018 and helped Bangladesh clinch the title earlier this year by beating India in the final in South Africa. BCB also extended the contract of Under-19 strength and conditioning coach Richard Stonier until 2022. "We had taken the decision earlier that we will continue to work with more..

CB slashes rates to spur 2H growth

Jul 10 (FT) Putting its main focus on ensuring a growth rebound in the second half, Central Bank yesterday reduced rates by 100 basis points and called on banks to ensure the market rates are slashed rapidly, to boost consumption and keep the economy on target to achieve 1% to 1.5% growth in 2020. CB Governor Prof. W.D. Lakshman told reporters that the Monetary Board had unanimously decided to reduce rates, its fourth such effort more..

Keells introduces own Label range

Jul 10 (DN) Providing customers access to lower priced good quality products, was the main drive behind introducing the Keells own label range. The range of Keells products, not only covers a majority of the household needs, it is at 10% less than comparable products of regular brands and is of good quality. Keells products range offers customers the ability to save on their household shopping and a range of affordable products for anyone wanting to purchase everything under one roof. more..

Editorial: Let forests recover

Jul 10 (Island) A Cabinet decision to transfer state residual forests, which are currently under the Forest Department, to the District and Divisional Secretariats, has raised many an eyebrow. Cabinet Spokesman Bandula Gunawardena has sought to justify the govt move by claiming that a circular, issued by the Forest Resources and Environment Ministry, in 2001, transferring residual forests from Divisional Secretariats to the Forest Department, has caused numerous difficulties to more..

Relationship between disability & poverty

Jul 10 (Roar) Around 15% (1 b people) of world’s population lives with some form of disability. Roughly 2-4% of the community lives with debilitating conditions and severe difficulty functioning. Over the recent years, it has been noted that the number of people with disabilities has increased, owing to an ageing population and a global rise in chronic health conditions (diabetes, mental illness, cardiovascular diseases, etc.). more..

Truth telling, ghastly twist to the match fixing saga and fearful crowds

Jul 10 (Island) Cassandra spent a quiet day of introspection on Esala Poya on Saturday (4). It was healthily quiet and her thoughts went to the Peraheras, particularly the unique Dalada Maligawa Perahera during this month of Esala. One finds it difficult to fathom the curtailments and dents in routines and rites observed during the preceding couple of months. But we people are prepared for any restrictions if it promotes the curtailment of the Covid 19 pandemic. more..

Senior Gurusinghe took post WW I cricket by storm

Jul 10 (Island) The late Gurusinghe, the grandad of Asanka Gurusinghe the All Ceylon cricketer, was a sportsman of no mean repute. He represented Mahinda College, Galle and the Galle Cricket Club at cricket. In 1910 he captained the college football team. The late E.M Karunaratne, popularly known as E.M.K, the Patron Saint of Galle Cricket, recounts in his write-up Cricket Down South in the year 1929, some of Gurusinghe's memorable cricket feats. He rates Gurusinghe as the best left arm bowler more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Protecting environment shouldn’t be a trend: Namal Rajapaksa

Jul 10 (DM) Namal Rajapaksa contested the 2010 parliamentary election as a UPFA’s candidate from the Hambantota District and was elected to Parliament the same year. Q: Your Educational and Professional Qualifications? A: Bachelor of Laws - City University of London. Attorney-at-Law, SL Law College. Q: Vision for education of children and youth in Sri Lanka? A: The education of children has to totally change, become more practical and serve the purposes of the modern era. more..

Soaring electricity bills and solar power

Jul 10 (DM) We’ve stepped onto the customary road that takes us to the places where we must go each day. Whether to office and since a few days ago our schools we’ve found the energies to go with the flow and return to normalcy. But there are somethings that will trouble us. Excessive washing of hands using sanitizer is going to weaken our immune systems and cause skin irritations in the long-run, opine health experts. And another thing which troubles us more than the few pounds more..

The world’s oldest Tea auction goes digital

Jul 10 (Roar) Almost every week, for the last 126 years, well-dressed tea traders have gathered at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) to snap up Ceylon Tea for export. Over two consecutive days every week, the sound of bidding echoes in three noisy, crowded auction rooms, as hundreds of traders place calculated bids at a rapid pace. On average, at least five sales are made a minute at the Colombo Tea Auction (CTA), more..

The President must come clear

Jul 10 (DM) Promises. Promises. Promises. They come in all sizes, shapes and colours during elections. Therefore, almost all manifestos and slogans can be summarised as follows: We promise to do this, that or the other if you vote for us. There’s not much to pick in the this, that and the other though. Let’s take a look at the parties. There’s the SLPP and it’s the clear front-runner. It’s not victory that’s troubling them but the margin. The party’s prez candidate conferred a resounding defeat more..

Whom do they Protect and Serve?

Jul 10 (CT) In a Nation that’s confused with a cross-pollination of expeditious political escapades and a score of hands reaching out for governance through all sorts of avenues in the law, it’s only natural that one of the victims of the greed for power is the Police department. The charge remains intact however that what we seem to have been having in the Police department from top to bottom has been not a mere lick-my-boots laid back kind of worship to all in power but that those in the force for more..

'When western countries catch a cold, our leaders get pneumonia'

Jul 10 (DM) Imthiaz Bakeer Markar is a prominent member of the newly-formed SJB, and is on its National List for the upcoming parliamentary polls. The son of former Speaker M.A. Bakeer Marker, Imthiaz has a longstanding involvement with the UNP. He spoke on the role and goals of the SJB in the current political climate. Q: You have mentioned the SJB is a party that is embarking on a new journey. What do you mean by this? more..

We’re worse than Ethiopia: Udara Rathnayake

Jul 10 (DM) Udara Rathnayake started his political career in 2013. He was elected as a Western PC Member in 2014. Your Educational and professional qualifications? A: Bachelor of Science in Business Management, Uni of Essex; Master of Science, Uni of Colombo. Professional experience in diverse industries ranging from exports, imports and apparel industry. Q: Vision for education of children and youth in Sri Lanka? A: Current education platform needs drastic changes. more..

When guardians abdicate their role

Jul 10 (DM) We are aware of how some unscrupulous politicians often times put one foot if not both feet in their mouth to attract attention or gain popularity among their voters when elections are round the corner. They make various allegations knowing that even if they proved false, the politicians would be rarely if at all taken to task. One such case was that of former sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage blatantly making unsubstantiated allegations that 2011 Cricket WC Final more..

Profiteering amidst a pandemic

Jul 10 (CT) Although the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) is taking measures to register hand sanitisers and ensure quality standards, sources inside the Authority expressed scepticism over the legal provisions available to take action against those that fail to meet these standards. Sources explained that the NMRA Act, No. 5 of 2015 enacted by Parliament repealed the cosmetics, devices & drugs act, more..

Poisoned Paradise?

Jul 10 (CT) Michael Naseby’s book, Sri Lanka: Paradise Lost; Paradise Regained (Unicorn Publishing Group, 2020), leads me to share some thoughts on paradise. What follows is not a comment on this book: that has been done by others. Paradise is of two kinds, the one relating to our after-life and the other to life on Earth. We are mortal, that is, by definition we are destined to die, and different faiths have different conceptions of what happens to us after death. more..

The political economy of rice market in SL

Jul 10 (CT) Sri Lanka was self-sufficient in rice and was an exporter for a long time. The country is also known to have had more than a thousand traditional rice varieties with excellent health benefits. These trends got reversed, and she became a rice importer, particularly after British colonization. Since independence, successive govts have implemented various subsidy and guaranteed price schemes, price controls, and various other measures to achieve self-sufficiency in rice, more..

Asia Cup 2020 postponed, Sri Lanka to host tournament in 2021

Jul 9 (Reuters) This year’s Asia Cup tournament, originally scheduled for September, has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Asian Cricket Council (ACC) said. Pakistan, who were set to host the tournament this year in the UAE, have exchanged hosting rights with Sri Lanka, who will stage next year’s event, while the Pakistan Cricket Board will host the 2022 edition. ACC said it is hoping to stage the Twenty20 competition, more..

Principals and teachers should ensure adherence: SLHEOA

Jul 9 (CT) SL Health Education Officers’ Association (SLHEOA) has stated that in the wake of the decision taken by the Govt to re-open schools for the second term after the lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it is important that principals and teachers, ensure that the students adhere to the health guidelines formulated by the Director General of Health Services to combat the fatal virus. They stated that with most grades set to re-open for the second term during the course of this month, more..

SJB raise concerns on Govt. move to axe forestry regulations

Jul 9 (FT) The SJB yesterday raised concerns about a cabinet paper aimed at withdrawing or amending Circular 5/2001 that protects a range of forest lands, and transferring them under the purview of Divisional and District Secretaries, citing possible damage to the county’s fragile ecosystem. Speaking at a press conference, SJB member and former MP Dr. Harsha De Silva stressed that the control over the forest areas covered by Circular 5/2001 should remain with Forest Conservation Department. more..

Video: How Sri Lanka’s first COVID-19 community infection in 70 days was detected

Jul 9 (AD) Health authorities have released details of the first COVID-19 community infection detected within the country in 70 days. Fifty-six persons from the Kandakadu Rehabilitation Centre and a female counselor employed at the center tested positive for COVID-19. The 27-year old counselor from Kottaramulla, Naththandiya area was confirmed to have contracted the virus this morning. Steps have already been taken to direct more..

'Govt concessions are limited to statements'

Jul 9 (NR) SJB has questioned as to whether it is fair that the govt which increased electricity tariffs by 100% is granting a concessionary relief of 25%. SJB General Secretary Ranjith Madduma Bandara said the govts claims of concessions are limited merely to statements alone. He claimed the Prez also joined election campaigning after a recent research revealed the SLPP is at a disadvantage. Madduma Bandara noted the Prez didn’t get involved before and banned his photographs from more..

Eight counsellors on leave recalled

Jul 9 (DM) Steps have already been taken to bring back eight counsellors attached to the Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre – East in Kandakadu who were on leave, after a fellow counsellor tested positive for Covid-19 at the Marawila Hospital today. 56 persons out of 450 inmates and staff members at the Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre – East in Kandakadu tested positive for COVID-19 today. Army Commander Shavendra Silva said it was improbable that the virus will be spread in more..