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'No-Confidence Motions not in SLFP agenda'

May 22 (FT) The SLFP said that the priority at present is to carry out the legal and educational reforms needed urgently to address the current security situation, not destabilise the Govt. “No-Confidence Motion may be in the agenda of other parties but not in the SLFP agenda,” said SLFP General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekara, noting that the move will only delay the reforms needed to address the current situation in the country. more..

I don’t think Prez will extend his tenure: MR

May 22 (DM) Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa said he did not think Prez Sirisena would seek an extension of his tenure because he vowed to serve only one term. Mr. Rajapaksa said this when responding to journalists after visiting several schools in Colombo yesterday. When asked about his comments on Prez Sirisena’s alleged attempts to seek an extension in office, he said, “I don’t think he will do that. He came only for one term. I believe he is not a Prez who will postpone elections,” more..

Japan and India to develop Colombo port, countering Belt and Road

May 22 (Nikkei) The govts of Japan, India and SL have agreed to jointly develop the Port of Colombo, Nikkei has learned, as the Indian Ocean becomes more integral to global trade. The project's goals are to increase the port's container volume and enhance marine transportation in and around South Asia. The deal comes as China has been using Belt and Road projects to increase its influence in the region, and with Japan aspiring to play a significant role in the area pushing its Free & Open Pacific Ocean more..

Govt repeals MR’s controversial Takeover Act

May 22 (FT) Govt moved a new law to repeal the Revival of Underperforming Enterprises of Under-utilised Assets Act No.43 of 2011 yesterday in Parliament, seeking House approval. Even though the Act will be, repealed most properties acquired during the administration of Opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa will not be returned to their owners, but will continue to be with the Govt. Revival of Underperforming more..

Empty SL boat creates flutters in Nellore

May 22 (DC) An abandoned speed boat was spotted three days ago drifting in the Bay of Bengal close to the coast near Ponnapudi Pathuru village in Vidavalur mandal of SPSR Nellore district, Andhra Pradesh. Other than smoked cigarettes and beedi butts, a can of water bearing a Sri Lankan sticker was found in the boat, indicating that the water was produced in Sri Lanka. However, the police find the India-Sri Lanka friendship poster, which was found pasted on the boat, especially unsettling. more.. clinches top spot in e-Commerce

May 22 (CT) has clinched the top spot as SL's most valuable eCommerce brand in Retail Services, securing a score of 67.50. Being the pioneer e-commerce operator in the country, the company was placed 4th overall in the e-commerce brand category but was the leader in the Retail Services sector - ahead of several prominent industry players. Headquartered in London, Brand Finance is the world's leading independent band valuation and strategy consultancy more..

Sri Lanka's struggling hotels get fillip from local demand

May 22 (EN) Sri Lanka’s hotel demand surged during the Vesak holiday weekend with local bookings, after the industry took a hit following the Easter Sunday bombings in April. President of The Hotels Association of SL Sanath Ukwatte said that 60-70% of hotel rooms in the island were booked during the long weekend, which ran till Monday. Previously, hotel occupancy was at 10%, with foreigners cancelling trips to SL more..

Pakistan-Sri-Lanka trade drop to zero after Sunday-Easter bombings

May 22 (EAT) Trade between Pakistan and Sri Lanka has come to a sudden halt after the Sunday-Easter bombings. The reason for the termination of trade between Pakistan and SL is believed to be the escalating violence against the Muslim community in SL. “Rice and textile exports to SL from Pakistan have stopped. Potato export has also reduced drastically,” said Pakistan-SL Business Forum Chairman Aslam Pakhali. “It is the Muslim community in SL that imports Pakistani more..

Hayleys revenue up 34% YoY to Rs. 219 b in FY 18/19

May 22 (FT) The iconic SL multinational, Hayleys PLC, recorded outstanding growth in revenue and operating profits in the financial year ended 31 March 2019 (FY18/19). Group revenue expanded by 34% YoY to Rs. 219 b while operating profit before interest increased by 40% YOY to Rs.15.9 bn. Group Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortization for FY 18/19 has improved to Rs. 21.3 b from Rs. 15.8 b while the Finance Cost has increased from Rs. 5.9 b to Rs. 10.5 b. more..

Central Bank weighs options to support economy after terrorist attacks

May 22 (BN) SL’s central bank will consider all options to support the economy in the wake of last month’s terrorist bomb attack, including reducing the reserve ratio at its next policy meeting. “If you look at all indicators, there’s a strong case for relaxing monetary policy,” Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said. “All options are there. It could be a SRR, it could be a policy-rate reduction, it could be a combination of the two,” more..

Govt's economic diplomacy put to test amid exporters' battle to keep orders

May 22 (Island) Finding foreign export buyers for their products and services – an arduous task for exporters - has been accomplished by many Sri Lankan companies but today they are facing a new challenge. That is, how to keep their hard won export orders not because of external challenges but because of internal developments. Sri Lankan exporters who added US 5.1 billion to the GDP last year, today remain not too sure whether they can retain their existing export orders as more..

Film industry calls for Govt. support for quicker revival

May 22 (FT) The cinema industry has become the latest sector struggling in the aftermath of Easter Sunday terror attacks, and is urging authorities for support to maintain business and encourage people to patronise theatres. Accordingly, the number of customers patronising film theatres have dropped below 50% occupancy, and the stakeholders are now finding it difficult to maintain their businesses, where they have invested heavily over the past few years. more..

National inflation hits 3.6% in April

May 22 (EN) Sri Lanka's nationwide inflation rose to 3.6% in the 12-months to April 2019, its highest in over a year, from 2.9% in March. The rise in the National Consumer Price Index was owing to the monthly increases of prices of items in both Food and Non-food categories. “Non-food inflation continued its increasing trend for the fourth consecutive month recording 7.5% in the current month.” more..

SL power lifters ignored by Sports Ministry

May 22 (CT) In spite of being lower on the scales as a crowd puller, Power Lifting is a sport unlike Cricket, Rugby or Football, but, this select community of sportsmen and women has brought Lanka some significant honour at home as well as abroad. However, as in many other sports, they too lack support from the Ministry of Sports. The Ministry makes it tough for the Sri Lanka Power Lifting Federation to develop the sport to meet international standards. more..

Hutch-Etisalat merger operations set to begin next month

May 22 (Island) Sri Lankan mobile phone services operator Hutch will merge with another leading operator Etisalat and merger operations will probably start from next month, Hutchison Telecommunications Lanka CEO Thirukumar Nadarasa said. "Therefore, Hutch is now investing US $100 million to develop its 4G network to provide an effective and efficient service to customers, Nadarasa said. He also said that plans are afoot to invest $ 200 million in the medium term more..

Pradeep leads the way as Sri Lanka break win-less streak

May 22 (CI) Dimuth Karunaratne scored his maiden ODI fifty in just his second ODI, back in 2011 against Scotland at the Grange. After eight years, he finally crossed 50 for the second time in his career, against the same opponent on the same ground in a bit of handy deja vu for Sri Lanka's new ODI captain to propel them to a 35-run win on the DLS method. The result broke Sri Lanka's eight-match ODI losing streak. more..

Have they no shame?

May 22 (Island) I am sure I am one of the thousands, nay millions, of those shocked and bewildered by the shameless behaviour of most of our rulers. I am ashamed to say that, I too once supported the UNP which, unfortunately, has metamorphosed into a traitorous party whose treachery in letting down the armed services that liberated the country from a murderous terrorist group after a prolonged war lasting three decades, to satisfy international do-gooders and more..

Tennis: Savini emerges U-18 Champion

May 22 (CT) SL tennis star Savini Jayasuriya from Bishops College defeated Alana Senevirathne to emerge as the champion in the Clay Court National Tennis Championship 2019 at the SL Tennis Association yesterday. Savini competing in the Women’s U-18 category overcame Alana in the finals in straight sets 6/4, 6/4. Savini played an attacking game from the first set where she thrashed her opponent without mercy. Meanwhile, in the Boys Category Shamal Dissanayake and more..

Batticaloa campus: Did Hizbullah misuse his office?

May 22 (SO) Members of the Parliamentary Subcommittee on Higher Education led by Prof. Ashu Marasinghe, visited the Eastern Province late last week as part of the investigation on the controversial Batticaloa campus linked to the Eastern Governor M.L.A.M. Hizbullah. The mission of the 3-member team was to inspect the institution and its facilities for a report meant for the Cabinet of Ministers to decide its fate. Known as more..

High jumper turned hurdler Roshan wins Silver

May 22 (CT) Following a stellar junior career in the high jump, Roshan Ranatunga started his senior international career winning a silver medal and a personal best in the 110m hurdles at Thailand Open Athletics C'ship at Bangkok yesterday. Roshan clocked 14.22 seconds, his career best in the 110m hurdle event and was adjudged second after a tape finish. Anousone Zaysa of Laos who also clocked 14.22 seconds won the gold medal while Haizad Muhammad of Malaysia won bronze medal. more..

Memorialisation on may 18th: From politicisation to peoplisation

May 22 (GV) At the last stages of the war thousands of civilians who lived in the Vanni Region of Northern SL were killed, injured and disappeared. Surrenders of war and persons among detainees were gone disappeared. When war intensified in late 2008, people of Vanni region started to move towards Mullaitivu district from other parts of Vanni. Daily they moved place to place to protect themselves from shelling and bombings, and finally they all came to bare lands where they found more..

Face the Nation

Edtorial: Another danger

May 22 (Island) The country is still under a pall of uncertainty which has taken its toll on all vital sectors, especially the economy. The people fear for their safety. School attendance has improved somewhat, but parents are on tenterhooks. The security situation may, hopefully, improve with the passage of time should the ongoing anti-terror operations continue without political interference and yield the desired results. But the country will continue to be troubled by something else more..

Testing Muslims in the month of patience

May 22 (GV) Ramadan, the month of abstinence is when Muslims observe fast, voluntarily depriving themselves from all that are permitted to them on ordinary days. These abstentions are replaced with worship and acts that uplift the spirit like charity, forgiveness, patience and magnanimity. In Islam, the institution of fasting has been designed to provide a yearlong spiritual training. Therefore, in addition to Ramadan, there is provision for a Muslim to fast voluntarily for three days every month, more..

'We don’t want to create another terrorist'

May 22 (CT) Ten years ago, by the second week of May in 2009, people from all walks of life were eagerly and impatiently waiting in front of a television or radio set until the SL Govt announced the victory over the LTTE, who had been fighting a separatist war for nearly three decades. On a particular Monday − 18 May 2009 − the news of the SL Army closing in on the final stronghold of the LTTE in the Vellamullivaikal area broke with more..

Ramifications of that Beijing trip

May 22 (CT) The cares and commitments of one’s ordinary day are such that, it’s easy to miss the palpable vibrations of fear and insecurity coursing out to the world from Sri Lanka’s hapless Muslim community, living once again so soon after the havoc of March 2018, under signs fraught with fears of another pogrom. A minority extremist fringe of Islamic Jihadists, back after a brief foray with ISIS fighters after their lost dreams of a caliphate in Iraq and Syria, quite possibly cajoled into more..

Demonising hallowed concept of Tawheed

May 22 (CT) Tawheed is a term that is dear to all the three great Abrahamic faiths, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In fact, it is on this foundation of Tawheed that these religions have been set up. It is by hijacking such a noble term that the terrorists of 21/4 killed and injured innocent civilians who were piously devoting their time in the churches on Easter Sunday. Also, maiming scores of worshippers for life. Today, this word, Tawheed has become demonised in the minds of the people. more..

5 art forms that are truly Sri Lankan

May 22 (Roar) The arts have always been a release, a form of comfort, a source of happiness and Sri Lanka is home to many culturally exclusive forms of the arts that have many Sri Lankans smiling with immense pride. Although the country has a history of being influenced by other cultures and traditions, a few of the arts, however, have evolved and maintained a distinct Sri Lankan essence that sets them apart and continues to add value to more..

Attacks on helpless & Voiceless Muslims during curfew

May 22 (CT) Senseless and shameful organised racist violence against voiceless and helpless Muslims in the island had shown that Maithri- Ranil continued Mahinda- Gota’s racist violence against the Muslims who pay the price for voting the two to power. The entire episode of Easter Sunday bombings and killings have become a calculated conspiracy against the Muslim community. For example to begin with President Sirisena, PM Wickremesinghe & govt intelligence agents more..

Presidential stakes: Is Gota US proxy & Sirisena China proxy?

May 22 (CT) Our leaders lost little time after independence in 1948 to commence the discrimination of minorities for electoral purposes. The country’s first Prime Minister D.S. Senanayake said to be the father of the nation sensing that Tamils of recent Indian origin on tea plantations posed an electoral threat to his UNP, gave leadership to their disenfranchisement under the Ceylon Citizenship Act of 1948 and Indian-Pakistani Citizenship Act of 1949. more..

Mother of Satan bombs show foreign hand in Sri Lanka bombings: investigators

May 21 (AFP) One month after the Sri Lanka suicide attacks that killed more than 250 people, investigators have told AFP the bombers used Mother of Satan explosives favoured by the Islamic State group that are a new sign of foreign involvement. Detectives said the back-pack bombs used in the April 21 attacks on three churches and three hotels were manufactured by local jihadists with Islamic State expertise. more..

Arrested Hansard officer brought to parliament

May 21 (DM) Mohamed Naushad Jalaldeen, the 42-year old senior indexing officer attached to the Hansard Department of parliament, was brought to parliament for investigations today. Security officers inspected the arrested suspect’s room in parliament. The Defence Ministry yesterday permitted a special police team of the Kurunegala Police to detain the suspect for three months for questioning. The senior indexing officer was arrested in Kurunegala on Saturday on charges of aiding and more..

Video: Wimal blasts JVP over no-confidence motion against govt

May 21 (AD) NFF leader MP Wimal Weerawansa today criticized his former party, the JVP, for the motion of no-confidence brought forth by them against the incumbent govt. Speaking to reporters after meeting with the Archbishop Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith in Colombo, he said that they briefed the religious leader on the no-confidence motion brought against Minister Rishad Bathiudeen. He said that when a no-confidence motion is brought against the govt at this juncture, more..

In Sri Lanka, Muslims say Sinhala neighbours turned against them

May 21 (AJ) The stench of turpentine overpowered Jiffriya Ameer as she cradled her husband against her lap on the front porch of her home and watched the blood drain from the gaping wound on his head and neck. Her three children watched in horror as their father gasped for breath. She screamed for help, but three police officers just looked on in disbelief, she said. The only vehicle which could take 49-year old Saleem Ameer more..

JVP trying to unite Govt via its NCM: Yapa

May 21 (DM) The JVP is attempting to unite the Govt via its no-confidence motion (NCM) against the Govt which is on the verge of a severe split subsequent to our NCM against Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, MP Lakshman Yapa said. He said that the actual purpose of the JVP's NCM was to bring the scattered govt MPs together and uphold the unity in the Govt. “This is not the first time that the JVP has acted on behalf of the govt. However, the move of this nature is somewhat surprising more..

Delay in VAT relief irks tourism industry

May 21 (FT) The delay in legalising the VAT reduction from 15% to 5% for travel and tourism businesses has irked the private sector, despite industry efforts for a fast-track revival post-Easter Sunday setback. “The Cabinet approved the reduction in VAT for the industry two weeks ago, but there has been no follow up to operationalise it, and this is very disappointing,” an industry source said. The frustration was evident, especially during the long weekend in resorts, who lured lots of more..