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Highways Ministry owes Rs. 151 b to local banks

June 25 (FT) Govt said that the Highways Ministry was in debt to many local banks to the tune of Rs. 151 billion for various projects carried out during the previous administration. Minister Kabir Hashim said from August last year Ministry had obtained loans via local banks to develop the national road network. In a bid to develop the national road network during the previous regime, Highways Ministry had more..

US report used with ulterior motives: Ruwan

June 25 (DM) State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene said that statements portraying danger to national security citing a recent report by the US State Department were baseless and made by persons with ulterior political motives. Issuing a statement, Wijewardene said that elements were using a report of the United States State Department as a base for such false notions. ďThe President, the PM and I have placed utmost diligence in ensuring and furthering national security. more..

Gammon to launch Dubai-model FTZ in SL

June 25 (GT) Saudi-based Gammon Middle East is all set to invest $1.2 billion to develop a Dubai-model Free Zone in Sri Lanka. Leading Free Zone industrial infrastructure development group Gammon has concluded preliminary agreement at a day-long discussion held between President Maithripala Sirisena and Chairman of Gammon Middle East Group Rafik Mohammed. The biggest motivation to Sri Lanka to enter the Free Zone segment came from the example set by Dubai, more..

Media asked to shun unhealthy food Ads

June 25 (DN) If all print and electronic media institutions voluntarily stop all children's milk powder advertisements, it will be a great service to the country and the people. Unhealthy and dangerous food patterns popularized in the country by misleading and inaccurate food advertisements have made people sick, Dr. Palitha Mahipala said. Over 22% of men and 26% of women in the SL workforce are overweight more..

SLT deploying Ruckus smart WiFi with Alepo

June 25 (RW) Service provider Sri Lanka Telecom today announced a plan to deploy an islandwide Wi-Fi network to serve some 20 million people with the help of Ruckus Wireless and Alepo. Sri Lanka Telecom will use the Ruckus ZoneFlex indoor/outdoor access point managed by the companyís SmartCell Gateway. Alepo will provide the business support system and operations support system software. SLT plans to offer Wi-Fi access with single-use prepaid plans, as well as more..

High-powered trade and investment delegation to visit Singapore next month

June 25 (FT) The Sri Lanka-Singapore Business Council (SLSBC) of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce will be organising a trade and investment promotion mission to Singapore from 29 July-1 August. This will be the fifth such outward mission to Singapore organised by the SLSBC since 2010. The mission is planned to coincide with the IE-SBF Seminar on Business Opportunities in Sri Lanka followed by one-to one business meetings organised by the Singapore Business Federation (SBF), more..

Ravi Kís cabinet paper on eNIC project comes under fire

June 25 (FT) Minister Ravi Karunanayakeís Cabinet Paper on the Electronic National Identity Card (ENIC) project came under fire yesterday in Parliament. Leader of the Opposition, Nimal Siripala de Silva, accused the Govt of taking the project away from the Department of Registration of Persons, which comes under the Ministry of Public Order and Christian Religious Affairs and getting ICTA, which comes under more..

Families around Meetotamulla garbage dump get financial allocations

June 25 (DN) Over a 100 families living around Meethotamulla garbage mountain in Kolonnawa received cheques worth Rs 160.5 million from Minister Ravi Karunanayaka to move away from the garbage dump to more conducive places. He handed over cheques to 107 families in 101 Watta, at a ceremony presided by Mayor A.J.M. Muzammil. Recipients received Rs 1.5 million each. Garbage mountain in Meethotamulla has spread to a level that people can no longer live in the area. more..

TNA, Maithri discuss political solution, land issue

June 25 (CG) TNA had talks with President Maithripala Sirisena on a political solution for the Tamils and on the land issue in the North. TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran said that the talks held today is part of a series of discussions the TNA hopes to have with the President. He said that the land issue has not been addressed in a satisfactory manner and so the issue was raised with the President. Sumanthiran said that the President had assured he will look into that and take appropriate action. more..

'Sri Lanka can become the main hub of the Indian Ocean'

June 25 (ITN) PM Ranil Wickremasinghe has said that Sri Lanka can be transformed into the main hub of the Indian Ocean and in this context it is essential to work in a friendly manner with neighbouring countries. He said his intention is to pave the way for the people to lead a virtuous life. PM was addressing a function organized to hand over letters of appointment of BoC, Peopleís Bank, NSB and SL Customs. more..

Pathfinder economic proposals presented to President

June 25 (CT) In the recent weeks President Sirisena has undertaken the task of consulting groups of intellectuals and captains of industry with a view to sharing their views and experience to improve Sri Lanka's economy. His pre-occupation should be seen in the context of the current status of the economy as well as the general elections due to take place in the near future. During a meeting held on Tuesday Bernard Goonetilleke, Chairman of Pathfinder Foundation (PF) handed more..

Performance based incentive scheme for plantations

June 25 (DN) Plantation Association (PA) is looking at introducing a novel performance based wage scheme for the sector. This is to be discussed with the trade unions. PA Chairman, Roshan Rajadurai said that this way the workers too will get better returns for their work and also they could expect high productivity. This will help to narrow the production costs, a burning issue for the sector. He said the wages and living standards of SL plantation workers are the best in the world. more..

Politicians shouldnít waste public money for banners & cutouts: President

June 25 (GDI) Politicians should not waste public money for the banners and cutouts for their election campaigns. They should spend that money for the welfare of the people instead, said President Maithripala Sirisena. He pointed out that the politicians of the former governments used the money of state organizations to promote their personalities. They spent thousand billions on that regard, the President said. more..

Airtel, Virtusa, MillenniumIT, 17 more tapped as 2015Ā Best Companies to Work for in SL

June 25 (ST) Celco Airtel, as well as IT companies Virtusa and MillenniumIT were some of the firms recognised at the Top 20 Best Companies to Work for Sri Lankan honours for 2015, which was held recently. This June 10 event was organised by the Great Place to Work (GPTW) Institute along with the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. The selection of these three companies, as well as the 17 others recognised locally, resulted from a survey conducted by GPTW, of 60 firms operating more..

Southern Expressway extension to commence next month

June 25 (LBO) Sri Lanka will commence the extension work of the Southern Expressway early next month. ďItíll be inaugurated by the President on 4 July 2015,Ē Highways Minister Kabir Hashim said. ďThen within the next two weeks weíll be calling bids to construct the ColomboĖKandy highway and also will expedite the process with regard to the ColomboĖRatnapura highway.Ē This will be apart from the commencement of the pending rural road development projects in the country. more..

Are you ready SLBA?: Showdown with BWF

June 25 (CT) SL Badminton Association faces a 30 June, deadline to revise some points in the first draft of its constitution and to hold the election of new office bearers for the 2015-2016 year before the end of 30 June, in order to retain its international membership. World governing body of badminton, stressed that sports ministry should revise some points from the sport law which was imposed recently. more..

HSBC Regional Head visits Sri Lanka

June 25 (DN) Tim Evans, the Regional Head of Middle Market Enterprises, Asia Pacific HSBC who oversees 19 markets including Sri Lanka, is in the country on a two day visit to meet with customers, senior management and staff of the bank. Prior to his current posting, he was the Regional Head of Global Trade & Receivables Finance for a period of 3 years covering the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region consisting of a presence in 10 countries. more..

Sri Lanka professionals say rules not ready to liberalise services

June 25 (EN) Sri Lankan professionals say regulations are still not in place to allow liberalization of professional services but trade experts maintain these changes will come only if talks on opening up the economy are allowed to proceed. Talks on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) with India, one of Sri Lankaís most important trading partners, have been stalled owing to resistance from professionals bodies and protectionist local businesses. more..

World Bank to fund Early Childhood Care and Development in Sri Lanka

June 25 (WB) World Bank Board approved a $50 million credit to improve the quality and increase equitable access to Early Childhood Development (ECD) services in SL. Early investment in human capital development is particularly effective at increasing the ability of disadvantaged children to access learning opportunities. It will also contribute to improve learning outcomes and support SL to become more..

Punguduthivu: An island devastated by war

June 25 (wsws) Punguduthivu Island, 20 km southwest of Jaffna, was the scene of a gang rape and murder of a teenage student, Vithya Sivalohanathan, on May 13 that triggered mass protests in the war-ravaged north of Sri Lanka. The demonstrations spread to the eastern province as well. The protests reflected widespread anger over the horrific crime, as well as the unbearable social conditions and de facto military rule in the north. This repressive situation has continued since more..

Can Herath rediscover his mojo?

June 25 (CT) A demoralized Sri Lanka will hope spin ace Rangana Herath will rediscover his mojo as they aim to square the series, while a resurgent Pakistan looks to clinch their first Test series in Sri Lanka since 2006, when the second match starts (the 50th between the rivals) at the P. Sara Oval in Colombo today. Herath bamboozled Pakistan with 23 wickets when the two met in a two-match series last year in Sri Lanka as he engineered a 2-0 series win virtually single-handedly. more..

Chasing Mahindaís ghost

June 25 (FT) As President Maithripala Sirisena grows more assertive in the presidency and focuses predominantly on consolidating power within the SLFP, will he continue to allow Mahinda Rajapaksa to dictate the political agenda? After a disastrous meeting at the Parliamentary Complex in early May, President Maithripala Sirisena and his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa had a chance encounter last week, under less official, more..

Confidence up after Galle win: Misbah

June 25 (CT) Misbah-ul-Haq, the Pakistan captain, has said the win in the first Test in Galle has helped his side regain confidence and got rid of the nervousness they felt ahead of the series. He also said that offspinner Mohammad Hafeez, who was reported for a suspect action in the first Test, could still have a significant role to play in Colombo. "We got a lot of confidence from the first Test and we just want to carry that momentum in the second Test here," Misbah said. more..

Health is a right

June 25 (CT) Our yesterday's lead story was about the JVP taking Minister Champika Ranawaka and some of his officials to the Human Rights Commission of SL for the alleged establishment of a SL Atomic Energy Authority laboratory at Halbarawa, Thalahena, Malabe. The contention by the JVP's former WPC member Sarath Pathirana was that the lab which is alleged to be built underground is to test radiation levels of imported food, is to be located at a residential area. more..

'The people still want Mahinda Rajapaksa'

June 25 (FT) ďThis could be our last chance in bringing Mahinda Rajapaksa into the party,Ē stresses SLFP bigwig John Seneviratne. ďThere are certain avenues that have been suggested by President Sirisena. Now we need to know whether Mahinda Rajapaksa will agree to avail himself of those opportunities or whether he expects anything more than that,Ē said former Minister. Seneviratne, who is heading the six-member more..

Post Rajapaksa: Gullible people are being mercilessly abused

June 25 (CT) In his 2005 Election Manifesto Rajapaksa, when campaigning for the Presidency for the first time, with full support of the JVP, promised to the people to abolish the Executive Presidency (page 97 Ė 2005 manifesto). Then again in his 2010 manifesto, when contesting for the second term, Rajapaksa promised to take whatever measures needed to eliminate frauds, corruption and malpractices. But what he did after elected to the office was completely the opposite. more..

Saving cattle from the slaughter house: Is it enough alone?

June 25 (CT) Animal welfare activists have voiced their concerns over the trauma that cattle saved from slaughter have to undergo when Y.M.B.A. officials use men from the slaughter house/butchery to load these animals in to vehicles. Ceylon Today was informed of a recent incident where on Poson day (2 June) a cow saved from slaughter as part of the Y.M.B.A's annual cattle saving programme was cruelly treated when it refused to get into the vehicle. According to eyewitnesses animal out of fear more..

'A fair fighting chance for all'

June 25 (CT) State Minister of Youth Affairs Niroshan Perera, at 44 years, is one of the youngest ministers in the govt and is appropriately in charge of the youth of this country. The biggest challenge before his ministry is unemployment and the minister believes that high-tech industries, not unlike the garment factories of the 90s, would be the solution to the employment crisis. Q: According to the 2011 census there are 5.6 million youth more..

Peopleís Bankís pension anomaly

June 25 (NS) Pensionersí Association of Peopleís Bank has appealed to President Sirisena, demanding that an independent Commission of Inquiry be set up to address grievances. There are allegations and accusations involved. These include a fraud that (as the Association states) is costing pensioners what they are owed. This is not the first time an association of (former) employees has appealed to have their grievances addressed. What stands out here is what is being alleged. more..

Heartbreaking news from Kekirilanthaya

June 25 (NS) Savannah the Vast on competence and the importance of a good lube Sri Lankaís former dominatrix President Savannah the Vast says that she serviced and lubedsix ministers throughout her two terms. ďIt was exhausting for those six but I got off on it. When you are a dominatrix, youíve got to get off any way you canĒ, the Vast one said. Cialis, the drug for people with erectile dysfunction, says that it is extremely keen to speak to any of the three living Prime Ministers more..

Insider view: Horror at the Oak Room

June 25 (SO) The highly jinxed Queenís birthday party - at the Oak Rome of Cinnamon Grand Hotel; where 12 guests collapsed and had to be hospitalised could have ended in tragedy, if the guests themselves had not taken speedy action. Guests accuse Hotel authorities of feigning ignorance and charge that no higher ups came to inquire about the situation, when they informed the management about unfolding drama. more..

Kathurumurunga: For smokers and drinkers

June 25 (CT) Kathurumurunga is a very tasty mallung which we all like. It is also a good curry. Kathurumurunga leaves and flowers made into a mallung or a tasty curry is also popular among many people. It is used as a tasty food as well as an effective drug in ayurveda. This tree grows commonly in warm areas in countries such as Sri Lanka, India, Malaysia and the Philippines. The origin of the tree is Malaysia. It does not grow very well in cold climes. more..

The sixth mass extinction

June 25 (CT) The world is embarking on its sixth mass extinction with animals disappearing about 100 times faster than they used to, said a study led by experts at Stanford University, Princeton University and the University of California, Berkeley. But Sri Lanka is different, here we are finding new species at a rate about 100 times faster than they used to and all this in a background of rapidly disappearing habitat throughout the island. Apart from the ability to attract the tourist market more..

France keen to boost relations with Sri Lanka

June 24 (CG) France is very eager to strengthen bilateral relations and economic cooperation with Sri Lanka in several areas such as trade, investment, tourism, fisheries, water purification, environment protection and curtailing drug smuggling, the Presidentís office said in a statement. French Ambassador Jean-Marin Schuh said this when he called on President Maithripala Sirisena today at the Presidentís Office. more..

Probe into missing arms at army museum

June 24 (DM) Army said it had launched an investigation into the misplacement of three weapons at the Diyathalawa Army Camp museum. Brigadier Jayanath Jayaweera said the Military Police is investigating the incident under the instructions of Army Commander Crishantha De Silva. He said a 22 mm rifle, Gal-Katas weapon and a pistol were misplaced at the museum last Saturday and Monday. The Diyathalawa Police had also launched an investigation more..

Video: Gota could lose civil rights in MiG deal probe: Mangala

June 24 (AD) Minister Mangala Samaraweera welcomed the the US State Department report which had revealed the existence of the LTTEís financial network and said that it reflected the ďfailureĒ of the former govt. ďItís a welcome report. This report I would say is a reflection of the total failure of the strategy of the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration,Ē he said responding to a question from media. The US State Departmentís 2014 Country Reports on Terrorism has said that more..