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Zaharan’s mosque to become a Harmony Centre

Jan 15 (RN) Mosque in Kattankudy where National Towheed Jamaat (NTJ) leader Zaharan Hashim once exhorted his followers to kill non-Muslims is to become a Harmony Centre where people from different religions can come together. Secretary of the Kattankudy Mosque Federation, Abdul Latif Mohamed Sabeel said “the govt has handed over the mosque to the Federation and we want to turn it into a Harmony Centre where more..

Suraksha, uniform voucher system to continue: Dulles

Jan 15 (DM) The Education Ministry has decided to go ahead with the much-criticized Suraksha Student Insurance scheme and the voucher system for school uniforms introduced by the Yahapalana govt. Accordingly, Education Minister Dulles Alahapperuma has said the Suraksha Insurance Scheme will continue further to pay compensation to 4.5 million school children and Samanera bhikkhus (novice monks) at Pirivenas more..

One Galle Face Mall: What’s the big deal?

Jan 15 (TM) Malls have always been considered a destination, a one-stop shop for most of life’s daily essentials and a place of social interaction driven by custom experiences. In today’s technology-driven world of online stores for clothes, food, electronics, and other goods, the need for malls to focus on experiences is vast. This change in the retail market has led many brands moving their stores online. more..

Ranjan’s tapes

Jan 15 (DM) A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. UNP MP Ranjan Ramanayake, who claims that he is waging a lone crusade against corruption & for social justice recorded incriminating phone calls he made to top cops, judges and the former director-general of the commission probing the allegations of corruption, without the knowledge of his callers. If that was not embarrassing enough, he had them copied to CDs. more..

Uni students treated properly for first time

Jan 15 (CT) President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, addressing the convocation of the General Sir John Kotalawala Defence University recently, emphasised the importance of preventing brain drain by boosting higher educational opportunities and the quality of education provided by local educational institutions, and thereby uplifting the economy of the country. Prez also opined that if both the Government and the private sector could ensure that higher educational institutions including more..

Vehicle horn etiquette

Jan 15 (DM) Sri Lanka is being touted as the best tourist destination by quite a few travel magazines. Certainly it is an achievement that makes any Sri Lankan proud. Unique locations, low cost, friendly and helpful locals, cleanliness, clean air and hassle free travelling have contributed to this feat. However, it is a fact that there are still some areas where improvements are necessary in the quest to make the island a much more pleasant place to visit. Even otherwise these changes can be considered more..

People’s views on MCC must be given consideration: President

Jan 15 (FT) President Gotabaya Rajapaksa informed a top US diplomat that the people’s views in regard to the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) agreement must be given consideration. Rajapaksa made the comment when he met visiting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Alice Wells, who was accompanied by US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Alaina Teplitz. more..

Sri Lanka suspends incorporation of foreign companies

Jan 15 (EN) SL’s registrar of companies has suspended incorporation foreign owned companies in the island. “Incorporation of foreign owned companies in Sri Lanka with (sic) Registrar of Companies is temporarily suspended until further notice,” registry said in a public notice. No reason was given in the notice. The directive had come from the Prez’s office. Foreigners can usually incorporate companies in SL provided the activity is not on a negative list for foreign investment. more..

TNA rules out any support to govt to amend or repeal 19A

Jan 15 (Island) The Tamil National Alliance has decided not to help the govt muster a two-thirds majority in Parliament to amend or do away with the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. TNA spokesman parliamentarian M. A. Sumanthiran speaking to media said that his party would not vote in support of a motion to remove or amend the 19th Amendment. He said that the changes implemented by the 19th Amendment to the Constitution were needed for the wellbeing of democracy. more..

Ranjan’s conduct shows calibre of some MPs: DEW

Jan 15 (Island) Communist Party General Secretary D.E.W. Gunasekera, said that the primary objective of a no holds barred investigation into UNP MP Ranjan Ramanayake’s controversial audio/video clip collection should be to establish the State Minister’s motive. Investigators should ascertain as to why UNPer systematically recorded conversations and whether he was acting at the behest of someone in the then govt, he said. more..

Scorpians detected at BIA to be handed over to Willdlife Dept.

Jan 15 (Island) Department of Customs is in the process of handing over 200 live scorpions which were detected while being smuggled out of the country to the Department of Wildlife. Customs Director and its Media Spokesman Sunil Jayaratna said that a Chinese national had been arrested over the incident and later released on Rs. 100,000 bail. The Chinese smuggler was attempting to return to China with the scorpions probably collected from Sinharaja or northern part of the country. more..

Iraj cruises to Tourism Promotion board of directors

Jan 15 (AD) Popular artists and music producer Iraj Weeraratne has been appointed to the Director Board of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB). Mr Weeraratne confirmed that he has been appointed to the SLTPB Director Board and that he has received the letter of appointment. He has been appointed to the position with immediate effect by Minister Prasanna Ranatunga by virtue of the powers vested in him in terms of Section 43 (2) of the Tourisms Act No. 38 of 2005. more..

Video: Ranjan Ramanayake arrested by CCD

Jan 15 (AD) MP Ranjan Ramanayake was brought to the Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) following his arrest at his residence in Madiwela. He is to be produced before the Nugegoda Magistrate Court tomorrow (15), police said. UNP MP Ranjan Ramanayake has been arrested by the CCD. CCD officers had arrived at the MP’s official residence in Madiwela, with an arrest warrant. He was subsequently taken into custody and more..

Central Bank issues SME moratorium rules

Jan 15 (EN) Central Bank in a circular outlined how banks should provide a debt moratorium for small and medium scale enterprises, in line with a request made by the Prez and PM. “Based on discussions…had with the licensed banks, it is observed that the proposed scheme may not cause an undue level of stress or threaten the stability of the banking system,” the central bank said. SMEs operating in manufacturing, services, agriculture and construction with an annual turnover more..

Wang Yi: China-Sri Lanka cooperation never targeted third party

Jan 15 (CGTN) China-Sri Lanka cooperation has never targeted any third party and also it should not be affected by any third party, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Tuesday. Wang made the remarks during separate meetings with SL President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and PM Mahinda Rajapaksa in Colombo, stressing that deepening cooperation between China and Sri Lanka will surely be conducive to the peace and development of the region. more..

Russia, Sri Lanka to boost trade to USD 700 mn, strengthen defence & economic ties

Jan 15 (RN) Sri Lanka and Russia will work towards boosting bilateral trade up to USD 700 million, with increased cooperation on the cards in areas of counter-terrorism, oil exploration and tourism infrastructure development. Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena and Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced a number of informal agreements reached between the two countries. Lavrov, who began his diplomatic career more..

Leak in Moragahakanda Reservoir dam fixed completely, officials say

Jan 15 (AD) The leak which was observed in the Moragahakanda Reservoir for the past several days has been repaired completely, according to the officers in charge of the project. They added that following the completion of fixation, the iron fence that was temporarily attached to the dam is now being removed. A few weeks ago, a leak was observed in the upper corner of the main dam of the Moragahakanda Reservoir for as the maximum water capacity of the reservoir had reached. more..

Felicitation for renowned cricket coach Nelson Mendis

Jan 15 (DN) Nelson Mendis, the renowned Cricket Coach, who has been instrumental in inspiring and moulding the characters of so many cricket stars of Sri Lanka, during their younger days, completes six decades of coaching this year. Mr Mendis as he is fondly referred to was Cricket Coach, a Prefect of Games and a Master in Charge of Cricket at Nalanda during the seventies, and has the distinction of nurturing as many as 26 national level cricketers. more..

We too want to be economically strong: President tells China

Jan 15 (PMD) “Sri Lanka is a small country. Fortunately or not, it is geographically placed in a most strategic location. As a result, the country has to face many political challenges. The only way to overcome them is to be economically strong. The economic independence will ensure political independence”, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa told the visiting Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi who called on him more..

Speaker’s decision on Bond Scam forensic audit report next week

Jan 15 (AD) Speaker of Parliament Karu Jayasuriya has stated that a decision regarding disclosing the Forensic Audit report on the Central Bank bond scam to the members of parliament, will be taken during next parliament sitting week which starts on January 21. These forensic audit reports have been received by the Parliament and the Speaker has taken measures to abstain from releasing the aforesaid to Members of Parliament upon the instruction of the Attorney General. more..

Sri Lanka has stocks of fuel to draw if war breaks out in the Gulf: CPC

Jan 15 (EN) The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) is saying that it has sufficient stocks of fuel to supply local consumers even if the fuel supply to Sri Lanka gets hit by growing tensions in the Gulf region. CPC states that several fuel vessels are scheduled to arrive in Sri Lanka in shortly and that it already has sufficient stocks of fuel for 19 days and added that fuel tankers carrying 16,000 tonnes of fuel and 15,000 tonnes of fuel are due to arrive this month. more..

Ranil ready to leave but only after unifying party: Akila

Jan 15 (FT) Ranil Wickremesinghe is ready to renounce his party leadership but will only do so leaving behind a united and strong party, said UNP General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said. He made the comment in response to a question posed regarding the party leadership issue which will be taken up at the party Parliamentary Group meeting to be held tomorrow. What was needed most at this juncture is party unity, more..

Sri Lanka’s knack of breaking the ice

Jan 15 (DN) The last time Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe were locked in a Test match contest in Colombo and in Harare, the difference between the two sides was Rangana Herath, the most successful left-arm bowler in Test cricket history with 433 wickets. Herath destroyed the Zimbabwe batting in both Tests played in Harare in 2016 with a generous haul of 19 wickets leading his country from the front in the absence of regular Test skipper Angelo Mathews who was injured. more..

U-19 WC (warm-up): Pakistan see off SL

Jan 15 (CT) Pakistan U-19 clinched a 4 wicket victory over Sri Lanka Juniors in the teams' second warm-up assignment in Pretoria. After winning the toss and batting first, skipper Nipun Dhananjaya anchored the innings as wickets fell regularly around him. He smashed an impressive 55 runs with 1 four and 2 sixes during his 88-ball innings and getting his side to a healthy total. Despite a below-par performance from most of the batsmen, middle order batsman Sonal Dinusha made more..

President orders plantations wage hike to Rs1,000 a day

Jan 15 (EN) Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa has ordered plantations workers wages to be hiked to 1000 rupees a day from March 1. Plantations companies and workers signed a collective agreement in Feb 2019 agreeing to a daily wage of 700 rupees, up from 500 rupees. The govt later said a supplementary 50 rupee a day would be provided with tax payer money for a year. “Prez has decided the minimum daily wage of more..

Dialog launches mobile advisory service for dairy farmers

Jan 15 (Island) Dialog Axiata PLC announced the launch of SAVIYA, a mobile based advisory service for dairy farmers to improve dairy production capacity, quality of milk produced, and health of livestock. The service is provided in partnership with the International Executive Service Corps (IESC) who aim to advance sustainable growth in Sri Lanka’s dairy sector by supporting farmers and related enterprises through the Market-Oriented Dairy (MOD) Project, funded by the USDA more..

Video: 12 university students arrested for assault granted bail

Jan 15 (AD) Colombo Chief Magistrate granted bail to the 12 university students arrested for allegedly assaulting another student at the Uni of Colombo. Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne ordered each suspect released on personal sureties of Rs. 200,000 while also strongly advising them against acting in any manner that would disturb the peace. The accused were also ordered to refrain from influencing the witnesses and warned that the bail granted would be cancelled and more..

Lakmal returns, Kusal Perera dropped from Sri Lanka's Test squad

Jan 15 (CI) Suranga Lakmal returned to Test squad after missing the tour of Pakistan due to dengue fever, while Kusal Perera has been dropped. Despite having lost 1-0 in Pakistan, SL made no other changes to the 15 that toured Rawalpindi and Karachi in Dec. This means that Lahiru Thirimanne remains in the squad, despite seemingly having lost his place in the XI to Oshada Fernando, while offspinner Dilruwan Perera also retains more..

PM praises SAG medal winners

Jan 15 (DN) PM Mahinda Rajapaksa said a Sports University will be established in the future and Diyagama will be upgraded into a sports complex. He made these remarks at the South Asian Games medal winners’ felicitation ceremony held at Nelum Pokuna Mahinda Rajapaksa Theatre yesterday. PM further said the govt plans to concentrate more into sports economics because it plays a major role to sustain athletes and their developments. “I’m very honoured and proud to deliver my speech more..

General amnesty for tri-forces deserters

Jan 15 (AD) A week long general amnesty has been declared to Tri-Forces absentees, enabling them to receive a discharge or to rejoin and continue their service. A press release issued by the Defence Ministry on Tuesday states that the General Amnesty period has been declared under the directions of Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa and will be in force for seven days commencing from Feb 5, 2020. This measure has been taken with the intention to provide an opportunity for more..

Thai Pongal: Beginning of all things auspicious

Jan 15 (Island) There is a saying in Tamil Thai piranthal wali pirakkum which means with the beginning of January a new pathway is also paved. This is the essence of Thai Pongal, which marks the beginning of all things auspicious for the Hindus. Cosmic phenomena have baffled mankind since time immemorial. Sun worshipping or Heliolatry was one of the most widespread forms of worship the world has ever known. more..

Australia burns furiously but still remains an attractive destination to Sri Lankans

Jan 15 (Island) Summer temperatures continue to establish new records. The capital clocks up an unprecedented 49c, a more familiar ​figure in Middle Eastern cities. Bush fires have continued to burn for months, destr​oying hundreds of thousands of forest and farm land (an area bigger than Scotland has been consumed by the fires so far) and thousands of houses. Farm animals by the thousands have perished in the intense heat and insurance claims are expected to exceed one billion Dollars. more..

Sri Lanka: Moving beyond fighting below its weight class

Jan 15 (TM) At the dawn of each New Year or subsequent to an election, the print and electronic media have often asked me what my expectations of the govt were and I have responded. However, I did not do so at the dawn of 2020, although it is difficult not to respond to the requests of representatives of the media whom I have known for decades. Some inquired why I maintained a relatively low profile with regard to national matters, in particular over the previous 18 months. more..

Mahindananda Aluthgamage

Editorial: Swordsmen with ploughs

Jan 15 (Island) Soldiers of the SL Army who combed dense jungles for nearly two and a half decades and effectively neutralised a formidable enemy are now tilling fields, growing trees and cleaning beaches. They have already made a tremendous contribution towards the country’s efforts to restore the fast depleting forest cover while being involved in greening and beautifying urban spaces and leading the national campaign against dengue from the front. They have demonstrated more..

Russia, China & US to meet Prez Gotabaya

Jan 15 (CT) This upcoming week promises to be an interesting one for Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa. He will be on separate occasions meeting the Foreign Ministers from Russia and China, Minister Sergey Lavrov and Minister Wang Yi respectively and Assistant Secretary, State Department of US Alice G. Wells at the Presidential Secretariat on 14 Jan 2020. With the UNHRC March session looming around the corner, the challenge before the new President would be how successfully more..

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