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Sri Lanka improves ranking in Economic Freedom of the World index to 83 from 98

Sep 17 (FT) Sri Lanka ranks 83 out of 162 countries and territories included in the Economic Freedom of the World: 2020 Annual Report, released by Canada’s Fraser Institute in association with the Advocata Institute SL. In the previous year SL’s rank was 98. Hong Kong and Singapore top the index, continuing their streak as first and second respectively. New Zealand, Switzerland, US, Australia, Mauritius, Georgia, Canada, and more..

SLC seeks ways to salvage Bangladesh Tour

Sep 17 (CT) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) officials have decided to seek the input of the head of the COVID-19 Task Force Army Commander Lt Gen Shavendra Silva shortly, in order to resolve the present imbroglio that has arisen between SLC and Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), regarding the quarantine period that has to be undergone by the Bangladesh team ahead of the start of the 3-match Test series next month. The issue had been aggravated due to the BCB expressing more..

Dimuth on pains of not playing sport

Sep 17 (Island) SL skipper Dimuth Karunaratne has spoken of the mental struggles of not playing international sport for more than six months now. Dimuth was drawing up plans with Head Coach Mickey Arthur for the two match Test series against England when the tourists were forced to return home less than a week to go for the opening Test match with the pandemic creating havoc in the UK. Since then, five series have been postponed while Bangladesh’s visit to SL is one the fence more..

CSE marks paradigm change today with digitisation

Sep 17 (FT) Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) will today kick off a fully-fledged digitisation journey which the regulator SEC describes as a paradigm change benefitting all stakeholders. The breakthrough initiative spearheaded by the SEC and the CSE and fast-tracked following the COVID-19 induced shutdown of the market, the digitisation drive will involve a fully-digital on-boarding experience, enable seamless post-trade and more..

Govt to woo foreign investment into bonds with no exchange loss guarantee

Sep 17 (FT) The Govt is to attract more foreign investments into Treasury Bonds with an assurance of no exchange losses. The proposal was revealed by State Minister Nivard Cabraal on Tuesday at an investor forum organised by Softlogic Stockbrokers. He said CB is looking at addressing the exchange rate fluctuations which is a deterrent to foreign investors in to Govt securities. “The idea is if a foreign funds invests in Govt securities today at a particular exchange rate, when he sells more..

The perspective of Law Students on the proposed 20th amendment

Sep 17 (GV) The proposed 20th Amendment seeks to repeal/amend all changes introduced by the 19th Amendment save three. They are the retention of five-year terms for the Prez and Parliament, the two-term limit on the office of the Prez, and the recognition of the right to information as a fundamental right. Following Cabinet approval, this bill was gazetted on 3 Sept, giving the public, the opposition, civil society and other interested parties a window of 14 days to challenge draft more..

SriLankan Airlines manager convicted for sexual harassment in Delhi

Sep 17 (CT) Earlier today, Lalith De Silva, the former SriLankan Airlines Regional Manager was convicted by the Metropolitan Magistrate Court of New Delhi for insulting the modesty of one of his Indian national female staff members, during the time he was stationed in New Delhi, India. The incident which took place in 2009 and was first heard in court in 2014, went on for 6 years, before the Judge Dev Saroha presiding used more..

SL Squash says not facing suspension

Sep 17 (SO) Sri Lanka Squash in a statement claims that it is not facing any suspension following a report in the Sunday Observer last week attributed to the Sports Ministry titled Ten sports bodies in big trouble for not submitting their annual account statements on time. The report was attributed to the Sports Ministry’s Director General (DG) of Sports Amal Edirisooriya. “Director General of the Sports Department of the Sports Ministry has compiled a report to be submitted next week more..

3 sports bodies seek Namal’s intervention

Sep 17 (DN) Sports loving public are in quandary over the activities of three sports bodies, namely Basketball, Carrom and Hockey, and are seeking Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa’s intervention to reactivate these games to achieve their past glory. These three sports, which at one time stole the limelight, have ceased conducting their annual activities due to reasons known only to them. Hockey, which SL was dominating in the 80’s and 90’s in the region, has perished completely more..

Aiming high in a horizontal pool

Sep 17 (ST) As the world gets ready to embrace the excitement of the Tokyo Olympics next year, a young champion swimmer Akalanka Peiris is determined to be part of it as he has set his sight on qualifying for world’s biggest sporting spectacle. But this is no easy task. With little support from the authorities, former Peterite swimmer is putting the hards yards in Colombo under his mentor Shehan Dias while many of his national level more..

Yupun wins Bronze in Switzerland

Sep 17 (CT) A week after his record breaking 100m run in 10.16 seconds, Yupun Abeykoon ran another sizzling 100m to clock 10.24 seconds in the 2020 Gala dei Castelli, World Athletics Bronze Level Series Meet in Switzerland to finish third last night. Defending Commonwealth Games champion Akani Simbini from South Africa won the event clocking 10.02 seconds, while World junior Silver medalist Tortu Filippo from Italy finished second in 10.07 seconds. Apart from these two, the race saw more..

Reviving the economy in a changing global economic environment

Sep 17 (ST) Can the Sri Lankan economy that is dependent on exports, workers’ remittances and earnings from tourism revive in the current inhospitable global economic conditions? A credible answer as to what extent the economy could revive cannot be given as the performance of the Sri Lankan economy is very much dependent on several global uncertainties. How and when the pandemic would be contained and there would be a global economic recovery remains uncertain. more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Illness to Wellness

Sep 17 (CT) Sri Lanka with a score of 69.29 points out of 100 is placed 52nd out of 153 countries and second out of eight South Asian countries in the Global Wellness Index 2020, data on the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB’s) update of their Asian Development Outlook 2020 report released on Tuesday showed. Ahead of Sri Lanka in the South Asian region was the Maldives with a score of 74.72 points. Maldives was also ranked sixth in the Asian region vis-à-vis Global Wellness Index 2020. more..

The cost of development at any cost

Sep 17 (GV) As the country hurtles along the path of development at any cost, its environmental defenders are facing a host of challenges on all sides. From illegal road construction and illegal clearing of land to sand mining and the destruction of coral reefs, the cases are piling up, demanding immediate attention. All environmental systems, including rain forests, animal habitats and water sources, are under threat. It is not for the want of laws. more..

CEA vows to take action against Wanathawilluwa squatters

Sep 17 (SO) The SL Cement Corporation (SLCC) will formulate a scheme during a meeting on Monday (14) in order to remove illegal residents from its land I at Eluwankulama, Wanathawilluwa, SLCC’s Chairman Attorney-at-law Gamini Ekanayake said. During the meeting, that is scheduled to be held with officials representing the Central Environment Authority (CEA), Forestry Department, Siam City Cement (SL) Ltd, more..

20th Amendment: Yahapalanists are subverting objection

Sep 17 (DM) When constitutional amendments are proposed and they are made public in draft form, there is a general rule of thumb that can be employed to figure out where one should stand -- for or against. It goes like this: You disregard whether or not you are generally in favour of the immediate would-be beneficiary or beneficiaries in the political order; instead you ask yourself a simple question, what if (insert name of a political personality/ party that you dislike/fear) was in power right now? more..

Tamil is the language of the original inhabitants of this island

Sep 17 (CT) Someone asked me; You have made a sweeping statement that Tamil is the language of the original inhabitants of this Island. What benefit has it brought to you except that you have earned the wrath of the Sinhala People? My response was: Not a sweeping statement! It was a well studied statement. Any objective student of History, Sinhala or Tamil, Muslim or Burgher would accept my statement. I did not mean to annoy anyone. I simply stated a historical truth. more..

Land acquisitions in Hanthana and Knuckles Mountain ranges

Sep 17 (DM) Sri Lankans will soon lose their opportunity to boast about the rich biodiversity the land once had. Ad hoc practices such as clearing protected areas, felling and burning down trees have put long established statutes into question. Therefore, even with laws and ordinances to protect the environment, political affiliation, power and money still stand above all. However, the depletion of forest cover will cause an irreversible more..

The Wiggy-Fonny Adipudi

Sep 17 (CT) At first it seemed like a fracas between two aging crack-pots; but it could get serious. A bloke from Galle and a few other SLPP jokers have merged into the melee and on the Tamil side there are more than a few who are biding their time to join the brawl. People thought that the experts – historians and archaeologists – would weigh in to establish the facts without ideological bias; but they have chickened out. I really don’t care whether Tamil, Sinhalese or Double-Dutch is the older more..

Make books your best friends

Sep 17 (DM) 22nd edition of the Colombo International Book Fair will open its pages to the public from tomorrow till Sept 27. SL Book Publishers Association President Upali Wanigasooriya has said that in previous years some million people attended the book fair, but this year with the COVID-19 pandemic casting its shadow over the country, the numbers may be about 500,000. As in past years, the Book Fair would be held at BMICH under strict health guidelines more..

Sale of cigarettes singly to be banned

Sep 16 (DM) Regulations are being prepared to ban the sale of single cigarettes, which have been identified as the gateway to other narcotic drugs. National Authority on Tobacco & Alcohol (NATA) Chairman, Dr. Samadhi Rajapaksa said the Govt that the necessary laws would be enforced as soon as possible. “Global evidence has proved that the prevalence of single cigarettes is an initiation and and sustains smoking among more..

Army to print driving licences

Sep 16 (CT) Motor Traffic Commissioner General Sumith Alahakoon said, the printing of driving licences will be undertaken by the Army from January next year. Currently, Metropolitan Company prints the driving licences and charges Rs 1,000 for the printing of a single licence. Nearly 75,000 driving licences are printed monthly. The agreement signed with Metropolitan Company will lapse on 31 Dec this year. An inquiry conducted by the Audit Dept, into contract granted to Metropolitan Company, more..

Social media scams: Rs.61 Mn defrauded from public

Sep 16 (NR) Police say organised criminals have defrauded Rs.61 million from the general public in the recent past through the use of social media platforms. DIG Lal Seneviratne said scammers have been operating under the guise of digital lottery schemes, online prizes and foreign employment opportunities. DIG said they have received 101 complaints thus far pertaining to such incidents. He said online scammers continue to target the vulnerable public via social media platforms. more..

SLC proposes split quarantine to Bangladesh Cricket Board

Sep 16 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket has proposed a split, two-country quarantine for the Bangladesh team in the board's latest attempt to convince SL's health ministry to allow Bangladesh's tour of SL next month to go ahead. SL's health authorities have so far insisted on a strict 14-day quarantine for all arrivals, which the Bangladesh Cricket Board has refused to agree to. Now, SLC have floated the idea of Bangladesh's players more..

Slipway to be set up in Beruwala to launch large scale vessels

Sep 16 (DM) Prez Rajapaksa has given the approval to set up a slipway in Beruwala to launch large scale vessels. He had given the approval at a meeting held to discuss the future plans of the State Ministry of Warehouse Facilities, Container Yards, Port Supply Facilities and Boats and Shipping Industry Development at the Presidential Secretariat on Tuesday. Speaking at the meeting, Prez Rajapaksa said Sri Lanka can be made one of the main maritime hubs due to its strategic location. more..

FCCISL looks for business, begins interactive meeting series with key ministers

Sep 16 (FT) Federation of Chambers Of Commerce and Industry of SL (FCCISL) organised its first interactive meeting between its board members and some of the key ministers of the Govt recently at Shangri-La. Speaking at the occasion, FCCISL President Shirley Jayawardena said, “This event is of importance to us in many ways. Firstly, this is our first public event after the COVID-19 pandemic, marking FCCISL’s return to normalcy. Secondly, it is the first interactive session with the Govt on more..

AG submits Rs 340 million interim claim to lawyers of MT New Diamond owners

Sep 16 (AD) Attorney General has submitted an interim claim of Rs 340 million to the lawyers representing the owners of the MT New Diamond oil tanker, for the costs incurred by the SL govt in the assistance rendered to the ship and other related matters. The AG’s Coordinating Officer State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne stated that the claim was presented today in writing seeking compensation for the costs related to the assistance rendered more..

State lands: Squatters shouldn’t get documents: Withanage

Sep 16 (CT) Govt should not issue legal documents to those who have occupied or developed State lands without any documents, said Executive Director of Centre for Environmental Justice (CEJ), Hemantha Withanage. According to the Gazette which was released on 10 Sept, the public are requested to apply for legal documents for their unauthorised lands before 30 Sept through the DSs, after which the applicants will receive the legal documents for the lands within a few days. more..

Inland revenue crosses Rs 1 tn mark in 2019

Sep 16 (DN) Inland Revenue Collection has grown by 13% and crossed the Rs 1 trillion mark in 2019. Revenue collection for the year of 2019 was Rs. 1.025 trillion while in 2018 it was Rs. 900.30 billion. Inland Revenue’s collection is now 6.83% of GDP rising from 6.27 percent the year before. Of the Rs 105 billion collected in Nation Building Tax Rs 34 billion were remitted to the provincial council system. Rs 14 billion collected in Stamp Duty were remitted to the provincial council system. more..

Ruwan assures to restructure, rebuild UNP

Sep 16 (FT) Newly-appointed UNP Deputy Leader Ruwan Wijewardene assured that he was ready to take up the challenge of rebuilding the party. Speaking to the press following a religious function at Gangaramaya Temple yesterday, Wijewardene called on all those who once supported the party to rally around the green banner, and restore the UNP. “We have a lot of work ahead of us; it is a challenge and I am ready to face it. more..

Flights to operate from Ratmalana airport to regional destinations

Sep 16 (DM) The Ratmalana Airport will be used for flight operations with the Maldives and some destinations in the southern parts of India, Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said. He said talks had been conducted with Maldivian Air and Villa Air for possible flight operations. The Ratmalana Airport, which began operations in 1935, is Sri Lanka's first international airport. It is currently used to operate commercial flights to internal destinations and for corporate jets. more..

CCTV: Couple with kid caught on camera stealing gold jewellery

Sep 16 (AD) CCTV footage of a recent theft at a gold jewelry store in Dematagoda has been released to the media. Incident had taken place on August 11 when a couple carrying a young child had robbed several displays of gold jewelry from the store. DIG Lal Seneviratne said that the police had noted a couple linked to several robberies carried out in Colombo and suburban areas. DIG said that the man and the woman in question are Registered Criminals in Colombo. more..

UN human rights chief’s remarks on 20A unwarranted, Sri Lanka tells UNHRC session

Sep 16 (EN) Govt of SL refuted UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet’s recent remarks on the proposed 20th amendment to the country’s constitution as being unwarranted and pre-judgemental. Acting Permanent Representative of SL to the US Dayani Mendis told the 45th session of the UNHRC in Geneva yesterday that the draft amendment submitted through parliament will be discussed and debated following more..

Neuro disease drug manufactured in Sri Lanka enters market

Sep 16 (AD) The first medicine manufactured under the new program by the State Ministry of Pharmaceutical Production, Supply & Regulation to produce the country’s own medicine, was issued at State Pharmaceuticals Manufacturing Corporation (SPMC) in Ratmalana today. A drug named Gabapentin used for neurological diseases has been developed in this manner. Reportedly, this particular drug has been imported from overseas until now and an annual sum of more..

Appeals Court Prez recuses himself from contempt case against Gnanasara Thero

Sep 16 (AD) President of the Court of Appeal A.H.M.D. Nawaz has recused himself from a contempt of court case filed against three defendants including Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero. A case had been filed against former TNA MP Shanthini Skandarajah. When the said case was taken up before Justices A.H.M.D. Nawaz and Sobitha Rajakaruna this morning (16), the Appeals Court President recused himself from the case owing to personal reasons. more..