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SAG 2019: Cover up of Sports Ministry’s ticketing mafia?

Jul 9 (CT) Department of Sports Development (under Ministry of Sports) is solely responsible to purchase air tickets for sports teams travelling abroad for various events, including major events such as Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and South Asian Games. The manner in which tickets were purchased and amount paid has always come into question. South Asian Games Review Committee report more..

Hatch Open House mentorship program supported 50+ start-ups in Sri Lanka

Jul 9 (FT) Hatch launched Open House, a free mentorship program that connects mentors with start-up founders to provide guidance and insight to grow their start-ups. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, Hatch began offering its services online, one of which is the Hatch Open House mentorship program. Through Open House program, Hatch facilitates virtual sessions that connect mentors with the start-ups that need support. Each one-on-one session may go up to one or more hours more..

Andrew Fidel Fernando 2019 Gratiaen Prize winner

Jul 9 (TM) Andrew Fidel Fernando was awarded the 2019 Gratiaen Prize for literary excellence for his work, the travelogue titled Upon a Sleepless Isle. The Gratiaen Trust went digital for the 2019 edition of the awards and things kicked off with the live stream at 6.30 PM on July 4, streamed on the official Facebook pages of the Gratiaen Trust, John Keells Foundation, and their media partner. Amongst the shortlisted candidates were Praveen Jayamanne for his novel The Double Doorway, more..

Kusal Mendis’ accident victim agrees to one-million compensation

Jul 9 (TM) Kusal Mendis, who was arrested by Panadura North Police on Sunday (5) morning, following a fatal road accident involving his SUV, was released on bail — two surety bails of rupees one million each– by the Panadura Magistrate’s Court on Monday (6). The prominent SL cricketer’s driving license was temporarily suspended too. The Range Rover SUV which Mendis was driving at around 5am on Sun more..

Boxing: Sri Lanka has realistic chance to win more Gold

Jul 9 (CT) Dian Gomes, President of the Boxing Association of SL (BASL), believes the country has a realistic chance of winning more Gold medals at the 22nd edition of the Commonwealth Games (CWG) to be held in 2022 in Birmingham, UK from 27 July – 7 Aug. Another important event in 2022 is the South Asian Games, which is scheduled to be held in Lahore, Pakistan. During the Covid-19 lockdown BASL focused on the long term and strategic projects, and plans to select the squad more..

Ryan Peries next high profile player to join squad

Jul 9 (CT) Ryan Peries is the latest high profile foreign-based SL player seeking to join the men’s National squad. Ryan, who is of SL descent, is currently playing for leading England club Ashford Town. He qualifies to represent SL through his grandfather and will be hoping to win a place in the squad for the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers against DPR Korea, Korea Republic and Lebanon. Ryan becomes the fifth player looking forward to be granted SL citizenship to be eligible to more..

Qatar triple homicide: Interpol assistance sought to arrest suspect

Jul 9 (CT) A senior Police official said they hope to obtain the assistance of Interpol to arrest the suspect who is accused of having murdered the mother, father and daughter of the same family in Qatar. The suspect is believed to be the boyfriend of the daughter and is said to have arrived back in SL. Arrangements will be made to inform officials in Qatar through the Interpol branch located at CID & Ministry of Foreign Affairs, more..

Chef Dee talks MasterChef and curry that is not just curry

Jul 9 (TM) SL-born Dhayanie Williams, better known as Chef Dee Williams, who was on MasterChef Australia 2019 and managed to make it to the top 24 contestants, is currently back home in the island, sharing her experience in the world stage with aspiring Lankan culinary talents. She is presently a judge and mentor of Supreme Chef Season 2, which is now being telecast on local media. She is gearing up to share a lot more with the world about the beauty of Sri Lanka via the launch of more..

AIA’s Stuart A. Spencer named one of the 50 most influential and purposeful...

Jul 9 (Island) AIA’s Group Chief Marketing Officer, Stuart A. Spencer, has been recognised as one of the 50 most influential and purposeful marketers in the region for the second year running. He was named on the Asia-Pacific Power List 2020 by Campaign Asia-Pacific, the only insurance executive to be recognised by the leading marketing publication. ​As a member of AIA Sri Lanka’s Board of Directors, Spencer has been a passionate advocate of the company’s efforts to amplify and more..

Project to save 19 A: CC member all out to foil SLPP’s bid to secure 2/3 majority

Jul 9 (Island) Constitutional Council member, Attorney-At-Law Javed Yusuf, threw his weight behind a fresh initiative by civil society grouping, Freedom: People’s Collective project, to prevent the ruling SLPP from securing a two-thirds majority to abolish the 19th Amendment. Addressing a group of civil society activists, Yusuf emphasised the pivotal importance of protecting the 19th Amendment, enacted at the onset of more..

The Sangakkara episode as symptom and symbol

Jul 9 (FT) That is a perfect definition of the fake news of match-fixing and the questioning of Kumar Sangakkara for nine to 10 hours. Two cricketing greats were questioned during that week. One, Aravinda de Silva, who was named by Wisden as the World’s Greatest Batsman at a certain point in time. He was questioned for six hours. The other is of course Kumar Sangakkara, whose distinctive contribution to cricket made him the first-ever non-white President of the World Confederation of more..

Did Expert Committee use similar standards in evaluating MCC and Port City loans?

Jul 9 (Island) Sri Lanka has at least US Dollars one and a half billion (USD $1.5B) debt repayment due later this year and both the status of the global economy in the Covid-19 environment and our own vulnerabilities caused by the pandemic, namely the total curtailment of foreign tourism, the drastic drop in expatriate worker earnings and reduced earnings from exports such as apparel, together with fiscal slippage, has downgraded our international credit ratings and made access to more..

How blind extremists trumped intelligence

Jul 8 (CT) After 30 years of a brutal war in the North and East that claimed thousands of lives, SL saw only ten years of reprieve from that dark era until the threat of civil unrest reared its head again – several hotels and churches were hit by a series of suicide attacks on 21 April 2019 by a set of religious extremists, shocking the nation and sparking much discussion regarding religious extremism. more..

Uplifting MSMEs

Jul 9 (CT) Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Sri Lanka linked to global value chains (GVCs) make more profits than others, an Asian Development Bank (ADB) study dated 22 June 2020, said. The report which focused on 329 MSMEs located in four backward districts in the island, namely Nuwara Eliya, Matale, Badulla and Monaragala, found that the average monthly profit levels of MSMEs that are engaged in GVCs in these four districts were considerably higher than more..

Educated youth must not leave country: Harshana Rajakaruna

Jul 8 (DM) Harshana Rajakaruna contested the 2009 provincial council election and was elected to the Western Provincial Council. He was elected to parliament in 2015. Q: Your educational and professional qualifications? A: Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Management Studies from University of Nottingham, UK Masters in Business Administration from Cardiff University, USA. Q: Vision for education of children and youth? A: I believe that preschools are not overlooked properly. more..

Ranjith Madduma Bandara

Big No to the MCC: Anura Kumara

Jul 8 (DM) Career politician since 1988, Anura Kumara Dissanayaka held the position of National Organiser of the Socialist Students’ Association and later appointed to the Central Working Committee of the JVP in 1995. He was elected to parliament in 2001. Q: Your educational and professional qualifications? A:My main qualification is my experience in politics. (Anura Kumara holds a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from the Uni of Kelaniya.) Q: Vision for education of children more..

Editorial: Foreign students in the US

Jul 9 (Island) US President Donald Trump has, true to form, set the cat among the pigeons, again. His govt has declared that all international college students who take only online courses in the US will lose their visas. It has perturbed hundreds of thousands of foreign students and their family members including many Sri Lankans. This directive has provoked angry reactions from the groves of academe in the US and been called just plain wrong and needlessly rigid. more..

'Politically manipulating people in saffron robes is wrong'

Jul 9 (DM) Ven. Pahiyangala Ananda Sagara Thera, convener of Protect Sri Lanka Organisation is preparing to contest at the upcoming Parliamentary Election from the Our Power of People Party (Ape Janabala Pakshaya) ticket. Having voiced strongly against looming environmental issues, Ven. Ananda Sagara Thera believes that a political intervention is needed to put an end to environmental disasters more..

The myth: Self-sufficiency guarantees food security

Jul 8 (CT) The novel coronavirus which drove cities and countries into lockdown has now sparked anxiety over a possible food crisis given the increase in export and import bans and disruption of global food supply chains. This uncertainty has left the SL govt to question whether these disruptions would affect food security in the near future and if ensuring self-sufficiency is the absolute and undisputed solution to this conundrum. In this attempt to achieve self-sufficiency in food more..

Tribute to mark 45th anniversary of Sacerdotal Ordination

Jul 8 (SO) The history of salvation is dotted with examples when God Almighty raises up prophets and shepherds to journey with His people through challenging and deliberating moments of history. Whether it be Abraham, Moses, Isaiah, Joseph or Jeremiah, or Peter or Paul, they all had one thing in common. They were convinced that their mission was related to a deeply spiritual calling. This is found in the Old Testament written around the sixth century BC. more..

The Newspaper: Breathing new life into Lankan cinema

Jul 8 (TM) The Newspaper, co-directed by Sarath Kothalawala and Kumara Thirimadura who are also featured in the main cast, was screened at a special screening at PVR Cinemas last week at the theatre in One Galle Face and was attended by Prez Rajapaksa and PM Rajapaksa. The film tells the story of an unwavering friendship between two individuals on a journey to right a wrong; it is the story of two men from rural more..

Why such a long lockdown at the airport?

Jul 8 (CT) In all countries that have got past the worst of the coronavirus crisis and most others airports are open for both arriving and departing passengers. Even India which is still in the grip of the disease airports started opening for internal flights though the country is closed to international travel. To the best of my knowledge airports in the UK, USA, most European countries, Hong Kong, Singapore and most in China did shut down completely though inbound travel from more..

Mental health intervention in the new normal

Jul 8 (TM) Mental health intervention, put quite simply, comprises the variety of techniques used by psychologists to treat individuals with issues pertaining to mental health and wellbeing. A common misconception is that mental health intervention is simply counselling, but this is not so. There are diverse techniques with various levels of physical and emotional interaction. These techniques include counselling, psychotherapy, vocational therapy, and even medication. more..

'If Prez Rajapaksa signs the MCC agreement he will commit political suicide'

Jul 8 (EN) A Nationalist organisation is saying that if President Gotabaya Rajapaksa signs the controversial Millennium Challenge Compact (MCC) he will be committing political suicide. Addressing a press conference, General Secretary of the Patriotic National Movement Dr Wasantha Bandara said it is clear the Prez will not enter into this agreement. The press conference held in Colombo was organized by more..

Scholarship launch contravenes Election law: PAFFREL

Jul 8 (CT) PAFFREL stated that they had received a complaint regarding the launch of a scholarship programme for students by SLPP Anuradhapura District Candidate S.M. Chandrasena ahead of the 5 August Parliamentary Poll. PAFFREL has charged that Chandrasena had allegedly used letterheads of his Ministry of Environment, Wildlife, Lands and Land Development to seek publicity for the scholarship programme which is a violation of Election laws and regulations. more..

Video: 210 at Welikada Prison tested negative for Covid-19: Army Chief

Jul 8 (AD) A total of 310 individuals – including inmates and prison officers – at the Welikada Prison have been directed to PCR testing on Tuesday (7), says the Commander of SL Army, Lt Gen Shavendra Silva . The test results of 210 of this group were received this morning and all of them have tested negative for the virus, he said further. Under the instructions of the Prez, 186 inmates at the prison were moved to a separate quarantine centre in Punanai supervised by the Army, last night. more..

Sri Lanka resume domestic cricket minus spectators next week

Jul 8 (Reuters) Domestic cricket in SL will resume on Tuesday without spectators, the country’s cricket board said on Wednesday. Lockdown and curfews have ceased in Sri Lanka, where the total number of infections was reported to be 2,084 on Wednesday. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) organised two residential training camps for the national team squad last month and action would resume next week with an inter-Club more..

Govt contradicting its own claims: Sajith

Jul 8 (NR) Leader of the SJB Sajith Premadasa says various factions of the govt are making contradictory statements over important economic matters in the country. Addressing a rally Premadasa said the govt lacks a clear economic plan. He said the present govt is inefficient, adding that the govt is even incapable of controlling the price of salmon and dhal, and cannot provide relief to the people either. Premadasa added the latest drama includes Minister Bandula Gunawardana more..

Former CNI chief testifies at PCol

Jul 8 (DM) The govt's measures to analyse the impacts of foreign agreements such as the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) on national security, commenced soon after the ending the country's civil war, former Chief of National Intelligence (CNI) Kapila Hendawitharana informed the PCoI probing Easter Sunday attacks today. Highlighting the importance of reviewing important matters pertaining to the national security constantly, Mr. Hendavitharana said that even after more..

JVP outbids Sajith with offer of salary increment to match cost of living

Jul 8 (Island) None of the main parties that had governed the country for the past 70 years had given a salary increment to public sector workers to match the cost of living, JVP trade union wing said. JVP trade union wing leader K.D. Lalkantha said that the public workers should use their vote at the Aug 5 election as an instrument to effect a radical change. "We call on the state workers to think carefully of their present plight and more..

Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Awards continues for 17th consecutive year

Jul 8 (FT) The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce will be conducting the Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Awards 2020 (BCCS Awards), with a revised application format and also a revised evaluation process in order to appraise the sustainability of the corporates and the projects during the current pandemic. The new focused areas of evaluations will be on emergency preparedness, resilience and stakeholder management during the pandemic and also contingency plans of the corporates. more..

UNP lodges complaint against SJB over election campaign color

Jul 8 (AD) UNP has lodged a complaint at the Elections Commission with regard to SJB using green color for their election campaign. Submitting a letter to Chairman of the Election Commission Mahinda Deshapriya, UNP General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam requests the Commission to take steps to prevent SJB from using green color, which is official party color of UNP as per the party constitution. He further points out that as per the SJB party constitution, the official party color more..

Extracting sand from Mahaweli River: Environmental activists slam GSMB

Jul 8 (CT) Environmental activists criticised the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau’s (GSMB) attempt to extract sand from the Mahaweli River to finance a project to build groynes for one of the river’s dams. Groynes are rigid hydraulic structures built perpendicular to ocean shores or river banks to interrupt the flow of water and limit the movement of sediment. Convener of Rainforest Protectors Org, said that the project was being done under more..

Kelaniya University to reopen for 4th-year students next Monday

Jul 8 (AD) University of Kelaniya has decided to recommence academic activities for the 4th-year students on the 13th of July. Accordingly, the Faculty of Management, the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Computing and Technology will be reopened next Monday. The 4th-year students of these faculties will be allowed to return to hostels on Sunday (12) between 9 am and 5 pm. However, the management of the university noted that returning to hostels is not compulsory while more..

Sports Ministry sends match-fixing probe report to AG’s Dept.

Jul 8 (DM) The Sports Ministry has referred the probe report of its Special Investigations Unit that investigated allegations of match-fixing made by Mahindananda Aluthgamage, to the Attorney General’s Department. Ministry said in a media statement, that Secretary K.D.S. Ruwanchandra has referred the report to the AG’s Department seeking its advise in order to take future action. Ministry Secretary Ruwanchandra earlier made a complaint to the Police Special Investigation Unit more..