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Death of BorellaTraffic OIC: Those on bail likely to be arrested

Mar 11 (CT) The suspects who are currently on bail, in connection with the hit- and-run incident are likely to be arrested, in the process of the investigations, as the Traffic OIC of Borella Police, who was the victim, has succumbed to his injuries. This was revealed by Chief of the Traffic Police, DIG Ajith Rohana, said. He also said that late Traffic OIC of the Borella Police, Ananda Sagara Sarathchandra (51) is likely to be promoted posthumously. more..

Army gets Belgian Malinois to Mine Detection Dog fleet

Mar 11 (DM) Mine Detection Dog (MDD) fleet of the Humanitarian De-Mining Unit (HDU) had received the 4-year old Belgian Malinois from the US-based Marshall Legacy Institute (MLI) for its mine clearing work, the Army said. Born in Bosnia on 15 May 2015, the Belgian Malinois named Nam has been serving in mine-infested northern Iraq as a member of the MDD team before she was brought down to Sri Lanka with the int'l MDD trainer, Adis Pelto, multiplying the Army’s MDD fleet to 8 dogs. more..

Business confidence continues to rise

Mar 11 (FT) The latest edition of LMD reports that the LMD-Nielsen Business Confidence Index (BCI) climbed 14 basis points to register 115 in February. This follows an increase of 11 basis points in the previous month and also puts the index above its average of 101 for the last 12 months. However, it remains 12 basis points below where it stood a year ago, LMD points out. Nielsen’s Managing Director Sharang Pant says: “The tailwinds behind the improvement in sentiment remain the same more..

Students to sit for easier exams?

Mar 11 (CT) Dept of Examinations is to implement a programme to make national exams for schoolchildren less complicated than the existing ones. Under this student-friendly examinations programme, much easier exam papers for the students sitting for Grade Five Scholarship exam, GCE O/L and A/L exams, will be prepared. According to Examinations Commissioner General, programme will be implemented this year. more..

Colombo land prices up by 18% in 2H 2018

Mar 11 (AD) Land Price Index (LPI) for Colombo District, compiled by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL), reached 125.9 during the 2nd half of 2018, recording an increase of 18 per cent compared to the 2nd half of 2017. The three sub-indices of LPI, namely residential, commercial and industrial have contributed to this increase. LPI is compiled covering all Divisional Secretariat (DS) divisions of Colombo District using per perch bare land prices collected from the Govt Valuation Department more..

SL ensures women’s safety: Champika

Mar 11 (DN) SL can be considered as the leading country in South Asia that ensures the safety of women despite certain shortcomings. Now women in SL should become shareholders of smart technology too, Minister Champika Ranawaka said. He was addressing the gathering at a ceremony to mark Int'l Women’s Day themed, Suhuru Kathak, Sonduru Lovak held at the NYSC, Maharagama on March 8. He said it can be proudly stated that in Sri Lanka, no prohibition on the fairer sex to enter more..

Washington mission remains headless since Aug 2017

Mar 11 (Island) SL’s top diplomatic post in Washington remains vacant in spite of the parliamentary High Posts Committee approving the appointment of career foreign service officer Rodney Perera as the Ambassador to the US. Perera still remains Ambassador to Belgium and the EU with concurrent accreditation as Ambassador to Luxembourg though he received the go ahead a couple of months ago. more..

First Sri Lankan nurse recruited for US hospitals leaves country

Mar 11 (FT) The first SL nurse recruited through the SL Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) has left the country for nursing service at a U.S. hospital. The SLBFE recently signed a MoU with an American company, Michigan-based Karma Services to provide job opportunities for more than 3,000 local nurses in U.S. hospitals. Accordingly, the first SL nurse recruited for the nursing service in the US, MMG Ruwani Ranasinghe, a registered nurse of the Sri Lanka Medical Council, more..

Sri Lanka and Cambodia join hands to empower buddhist communities

Mar 11 (IDN) President Sirisena was the Chief Guest at the ceremonial opening of the Buddha Shrine of the Int'l Cambodian Buddhist Centre in Kaduwela on March 9 marking a new chapter in reviving ancient Buddhist links with Cambodia. The event was Co-Chaired by the Most Venerable Napana Pemasiri Mahanayaka Thera, Chief Sangha Patron of the SL Ramanna Maha Nikaya and the Most Venerable Am Lim Heng Maha Nayaka Thera, Deputy Sangharaja of Cambodia. more..

Abolition of exec presidency: Civil society launches fresh project to garner support

Mar 11 (Island) Three civil society groups have thrown their weight behind UNP, JVP and TNA efforts to abolish the executive presidential system while Minister Mano Ganesan declared that the UNP-led United National Front (UNF) recently reached a consensus on a common presidential candidate though he wouldn’t reveal the identity of their man. DPF leader Ganesan said that the UNP was ready to face 2019 prez election. more..

Senior banker, Jayaraja Chandrasekera assumes duties as the new NSB Chairman

Mar 11 (ST) A senior banking professional with over 40 years experience in the local bank arena, Jayaraja Chandrasekera assumed duties as the new Chairman of National Savings Bank (NSB) this week. Mr. Chandrasekera has served at HNB in various posts including as a member of its Senior Corporate Management and later at Pan Asia Bank and Zenith BPO Pvt Ltd as a member of the Board of Directors since leaving his alma mater Royal College Colombo. more..

UK’s Flexicare Group kicks off work on $ 10 m medical consumables manufacturing plant

Mar 11 (FT) Flexicare Lanka Ltd, a fully owned subsidiary of Flexicare Group, UK, is in the process of setting up a state-of-the-art modern manufacturing facility in Bandaragama, a BoI approved project with a total investment of over $ 10 million. This will be the first time that a fully-fledged facility is established for medical consumables and devices, with a view to export a significant amount of the products manufactured in SL. It is envisaged that over 90% of the production will be exported, more..

TNA wants Mannar mass grave findings tested in another lab

Mar 11 (Island) Another set of samples from the Mannar mass grave should be sent for carbon dating in another country, TNA said. "This is not to say that we do not accept the reports sent by a lab in US, but given the importance of the Mannar grave site we need to get a second opinion," Mullaitivu District MP, Nirmalanathan Sivamohan said. Nothing had been done when 96 skeletons were found, previously, more..

Call for Keynesian type intervention to boost economy

Mar 11 (DN) A strong call was presented for a Keynesian model intervention to boost the economy at the CA Budget Forum held on Saturday. Dr Nishan De Mel addressing the forum, urged for a Keynesian intervention to boost the economy. He called for the indexing of excise taxes. He said this would help create consistent tax rises within subsequent budgets. Dr De Mel began his presentation by outlining the IMF view of austerity economics. more..

WB grants $125 million to improve agricultural productivity & climate resilience

Mar 11 (CT) The World Bank Board of Directors last week has approved a $125 million credit for Sri Lanka to improve the climate resilience and productivity of agriculture for more than 470,000 small farmers in 6 provinces in the dry zone of the country. The provinces selected are those that are most exposed to climate impacts. Sri Lanka is particularly vulnerable to climate-related natural disasters such as floods and droughts. The agriculture sector, which contributes 7.7% to more..

PM plans programs for rapid development of country in next five years

Mar 11 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe says, during the next 5 years, programs that everyone can be a part of will be implemented to bring about a rapid development in the country. Participating in the first rally of the Sirikotha Gamata program of UNP membership drive in Thotawatta Village in Panadura, PM said that they took the Govt in 2015 and began to make a change, the results of the work done are being received now. more..

Munchee extends its support to young athletes at ISAC

Mar 11 (Island) Munchee of Ceylon Biscuits Limited (CBL), recently partnered with the prestigious 19thannual International Schools’ Championships (ISAC) as the principal sponsor. ISAC was held on Feb 15, 16 and 17, 2019, at the Sugathadasa Stadium in Colombo. Supporting Munchee’s mission of raising the profile of local sports, starting from school sports, the ISAC sponsorship aimed to shine a spotlight on student athletes at International Schools, paving a path to enter into more..

Colombo bourse to list Sri Lanka international sovereign bonds

Mar 11 (EN) Colombo Stock Exchange is planning to list recently issued dollar denominated sovereign bonds, with a positive response from the central bank SEC said. SEC Chairman Ranel Wijesinha has been informed by CB Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy that the US$ 2.4 billion of sovereign bonds last week will be listed in Colombo. "We are firm in our belief that the Capital Market in Sri Lanka should lend itself to facilitate the country’s initiatives to raise funds while at the same time more..

Budget gets IMF support

Mar 11 (FT) Budget 2019 has drawn support from the IMF, but it comes coupled with a call for a prudent policy mix with continued fiscal discipline and reforms, especially stronger performance monitoring of State-owned enterprises (SOE) to strengthen the economy. IMF Mission Chief for SL Manuela Goretti said that an extension of the $1.5 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) is likely to go before IMF Exec Board in May. more..

The Battle of the North ends in draw

Mar 11 (ST) St. John’s opening pair Christy Thanujan and Nagenthirarajah Sawmiyan shone for St John’s Jaffna in their drawn 113th Battle of the North big match against traditional rivals Jaffna Central concluded at the Central ground in Jaffna yesterday. The pair made amends of their failure in the first innings as they led the sides’ fight back with half tons. Thanujan made 66 and Sawmyan hit 50 and associated in a valuable opening stand of 134 runs. more..

Trinity captain’s injury aggravated by over-enthusiastic crowd – school authorities

Mar 11 (DN) Trinity College captain Pubudu Bandara was the victim of over-enthusiastic supporters during the 103rd cricket encounter against St Anthony’s College that resulted in him ending up at the Kandy General Hospital on Saturday. Bandara who had injured his right arm attempting to stop a ball off his own bowling during the Antonian first innings on Friday was in considerable pain. School authorities stated that a doctor who attended to his injury more..

Sri Lanka car market stalls as duty increase hits demand

Mar 11 (EN) Sri Lanka’s main car dealers were offering pre-budget prices for fleets of vehicles in stock, but the demand had virtually dried up both in the new and second hand markets, dealers said Sunday. United Motors took out advertisements offering Eclipse and Xpander models at the pre-budget price with a saving of 1.6 million on the new customs duty rate. Mercedes-Benz agent Dimo said it was selling more..

Met Dept warns of continuing heat wave in NP, NCP and NWP

Mar 11 (Island) The Met Department yesterday warned residents of Northern, North-Central and North-western provinces to continue to be cautious in view of the current heat wave. Extending its hot weather warning, the department urged those who work outdoors to stay hydrated and take breaks in the shade as often as possible. "Even when indoors ensure that elderly and the sick are hydrated, never leave children inside vehicles alone and limit strenuous outdoor activities," it said. more..

Yesteryear’s schoolboy sportsman, Ray de Silva passes away

Mar 11 (ST) A popular schoolboy sportsman of yesteryear, Ray de Silva passed away this week. A triple coloursman at Royal College, Colombo, de Silva played First XI cricket in 1969 as a wicket-keeper under the captaincy of Eardley Lieversz and in the Royal-Thomians from 1971-73 under Jagath Fernando, Asitha Jayaweera and Ajita Pasqual. He was in the Royal College First XV rugby football teams from 1970 to 1973 playing under Jagath Fernando, Fred Perera, Gamini Gunasekera more..

South Africa take series as De Kock sets up big D/L win

Mar 11 (CI) Quinton de Kock breezed to 121 off 108 balls before the South Africa middle order propelled the team to 331 for 5, and following a rainy Kingsmead evening, the adjusted Duckworth-Lewis-Stern target was ultimately 72 too many for SL. Following a rain delay of several hours, which arrived when SL were 75 for 2 after 16 overs, the visitors were posed with an incredibly challenging required rate upon resumption, more..

A swing vote to hang convicted drug wholesalers

Mar 11 (Island) A spectre is haunting SL, the spectre of a drug menace, growing in geometric progression, possibly leading her to becoming a narco-state. Govt, as part of its raft of measures of increasing severity, wishes to re-introduce a judicially determined death penalty for drug traffickers but Catholic Bishops oppose it. Govt’s intention is to permanently remove drug traffickers from the trafficking loop by introducing the hanging loop, Catholic Bishops wish to more..

Systemic violence: Mapping Police statistics on sexual abuse

Mar 11 (GV) In 2016, Groundviews mapped incidents of street harassment for International Women’s Day. None of these incidents had been reported to the police. Those who contributed their stories to the map recounted experiences that remained painful or frightening, even years later. This year, Groundviews wanted to ascertain the disparity between public experiences on street harassment and available police statistics. The grave crimes abstract that is publicly more..

හෙට අනිද්දා මහින්දත් NGO කාරයෙක් වන ලකුණු

Editorial: Unholy alliance

Mar 11 (Island) Chairman of the Committee on Public Finance M.A. Sumanthiran is reported to have said that following a query posed to a group of Finance Ministry officials, at a committee meeting, on cigarette prices, tCeylon Tobacco Company (CTC) sent him a letter, requesting an opportunity to furnish some information thereon. The letter was followed by a request over the telephone from someone who introduced himself as a lawyer representing the company, more..

A tribute to Shibly Aziz PC

Mar 11 (SO) I want to thank the organisers for having invited us here today to pay tribute to this great man. I want to particularly thank Shibly Aziz’s wife Fathima. In life she was Shibly’s rock of Gibraltar and today she is the main driving force behind this event and other activities being done in his name. Shibly has talented sons and Afdhel Aziz’s book Strange Fruit once kept me company on a long flight across the Atlantic with its sensitive portrayal of people and the diversity endemic more..

Climate-resilient women

Mar 11 (CT) Time and time again, it has been proven that inclusion of women in development dialogues is essential for sustainable development. And it’s even more so relevant to Sri Lanka, as we battle the biggest existential threat that we’ve faced to date, climate change. It’s no secret that women play a significant, yet unrecognised, and an underestimated role in the country’s mainstay, the agricultural sector. more..

Brigadier’s conviction & GoSL ineptitude

Mar 11 (CT) Brigadier Priyanka Fernando, the former Minister Counsellor – Defense of the Sri Lanka High Commission in London was recently convicted of threatening protestors and denied diplomatic immunity by the Chief Magistrate at the Magistrate’s Courts in Westminster. Submissions for and against the withdrawal of the arrest warrant against Fernando were heard March 01. An issue had arisen as to whether Fernando benefits from diplomatic immunity. more..

Int'l Court of Justice & The Ceylon Tamils

Mar 11 (CT) It is said that The Int'l Court of Justice, the highest court of the UN came to the conclusion that Britain should return the Chagos Islands archchipelago to Mauritius without delay. At the ICJ Mauritius claimed they were coerced into handing over the Chagos Island to Britain at the time of their independence in 1968. That is 20 years after the independence of Ceylon. The Tamils, who were concentrating in drafting of the Constitution of Ceylon, without asking for petty favours from more..

Digana: Ground Zero one year on

Mar 11 (SO) A year ago, the peaceful village was an unrecognisable hotbed of hate and violence and this street on which Samsudeen’s home now stands reconstructed, was filled with concrete and glass, debris from the attacks on Muslim-owned homes and businesses around town. The shoe merchant Samsudeen lives in a newly built house in the middle of town. The man in his 60s invited us into the bedroom cum living room more..

Applauding the draft CTA is akin to a merry drunk dancing at the edge of a cliff

Mar 11 (ST) SL’s draft Counter Terrorism Act (CTA) is not a curate’s egg of mostly good with a little bit of bad thrown in. Rather, it is the reverse. The draft Act is a whole lot of bad with some good thrown into the unappealing mixture. Certainly it is not the same perverse creature inhabiting the initial CTA drafts. But to cheer that seeming advance is to fall into the precise trap that those who are well-schooled in the sly tricks played by SL’s artful state agents will avoid with a jaundiced eye. more..

Abolish Presidency blues hit the charts again in poll’s year

Mar 11 (ST) Even as in spring time a young man’s fancy turns to thoughts of love and romance, so do Lanka’s leading politicians begin to hum the old, known, well-worn tune of scrapping the presidency at every spring of a presidential poll year before raising it to a crescendo at the approach of winter’s end. And this time, like the robin breast who sings at the first sign of spring, they have started cooing early. Leading the flock was Ranil Wickremesinghe, a long time proponent of more..