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SriLankan Airlines: Govt draws plan for profits in 4 years

Sep 19 (ST) The debt-ridden SriLankan Airlines, aiming to be profitable in 4 years following a restructuring plan, is said to have terminated leased aircrafts from Airbus without prior Cabinet approval. These were revealed at the recent COPE committee meetings. Ministers Kabir Hashim and Ravi Karunanayake had submitted in 2017 a Cabinet paper requesting to obtain approval for the terminal of lease agreement to purchase more..

ATMs are becoming expensive for banks to maintain

Sep 19 (ST) While banks encourage the usage of ATMs to its customers instead of depositing or withdrawing cash over the counter, times have changed today where the ATMs have become expensive for a bank to maintain and service them. Moving into online transactions is less expensive than maintaining an ATM machine, says Channa De Silva, CEO of LankaClear (Pvt) Ltd. Mr. Silva made this remark during a media briefing to announce the third LankaPay Technnovation Awards more..

Race the Pearl 24-hour Cycle race to peddle SL into world recognition

Sep 19 (ST) Race the Pearl, a 24-hour, ultra-endurance Cycling challenge was conducted for the second time in Sri Lanka on Sept 13, when Cyclists, individually or in teams ride from Dondra Point to Point Pedro in 24 hours. The aim of Race the Pearl was threefold: To put Sri Lanka on the world map of ultra-endurance Cycling events among the likes of Race Across America, as a world-class Cycling event in the Indian Ocean region; to encourage Lankans, from south to north, to engage with more..

Sri Lanka to have running squad of 40 for senior and ‘A’ tours

Sep 19 (DN) Sri Lanka are looking at naming a 40-member squad from which the senior national teams and the ‘A’ teams will be picked for future series and tours. In this aspect the Sri Lanka ‘A’ team series against Bangladesh ‘A’ will be of great importance to the players picked to play in the two-match 4-day unofficial test series and three-match unofficial ODI series. The series begins on Sept 23 with the first 4-day unofficial test more..

Brainless NSF scheduling leaves top athletes in a quandary

Sep 19 (CT) Despite blundering in the scheduling of track and field finals of the country's premier multisports event the National Sports Festival, Sports Ministry is unwilling to change the dates and have dismissed the request made by the Southern Province to reschedule the event. Scheduling of the NSF finals from 24-27 September raised many an eye brow as it directly clashes with the World Military Games to be held on the same days in Wuhan, China. more..

Ruhunu Economic Development Corporation Bill gets shot down by SC

Sep 19 (FT) Supreme Court has determined that proper procedure was not followed when placing the Ruhunu Economic Development Corporation of SL Bill in the Order Paper of Parliament. “In terms of Article 121 and Article 123 of the Constitution, that seeks the provisions of Clause 16 and Clause 17 of the Bill are in respect are matters set out in the Provincial Council list and the Bill has not been referred by the President to every Provincial Council for the expression of their views more..

German brands positive on Sri Lanka economic outlook

Sep 19 (FT) Nearly 150 German brands were represented at the sixth edition of the Top German Brands in SL organised by Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Sri Lanka (AHK SL) with the support of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany yesterday. The event saw 147 German Brands being recognised for their valuable contribution which was held under the patronage of Minister Malik Samarawickrama, more..

Should all govt buildings reflect the cultural base of the country? Yes, they should

Sep 19 (Island) The cultural traditions and values of a country are precious and should be protected. It is evidence of how the different countries and its people responded to the individual vicissitudes of climate, the belief systems and the aspirations of its people. These eventually evolved as a symbolic and cultural value that is unique to that particular country. Sri Lanka being at the centre of the trade route between China and the Mediterranean regions was subjected to many influences more..

Rethinking Land and State with Hasbullah and Geiser

Sep 19 (DM) Why hasn’t there been a powerful peasant movement in SL? Are the rural people governed by an ethnicised Sinhala state? Is political patronage the reason for changes in land use in the countryside? What kind of research is necessary to understand rural people’s economic, social and political challenges? These are some of the questions addressed in ‘Negotiating access to land in eastern SL: Social mobilisation of livelihood concerns and everyday encounters with more..

Anura Kumara Dissanayaka

Editorial: Corruption and awareness

Sep 19 (Island) The CIABOC has launched a countrywide campaign to raise public awareness of its five-year anti-corruption plan and hotline (1954). The CIABOC seems to be labouring under the delusion that one of the main obstacles, in its path, is lack of public awareness of bribery and corruption. The CIABOC is preaching to the choir, so to speak. The ordinary people are sufficiently aware of the heavy toll bribery and corruption have taken on society. more..

Behind the walls of 'super’markets

Sep 19 (DN) On the other hand, the story of a young girl who works at a supermarket does not make anyone happy. If I put it in her own words, “Miss, we do many more shifts than are assigned to us. We are always short of staff. We have to beg to take a day’s leave. Usually, our superiors do not let us take leave. We work 6 days a week. We hardly have time for ourselves or our families. But we do not earn an adequate salary.” If this is their story, how can we expect them to work with enthusiasm? more..

Health Minister, GMOA at loggerheads again

Sep 19 (CT) Tussle between doctors of the GMOA and Minister Rajitha Senaratne took a turn for the worse with the union recently demanding that his civic-rights be revoked. They accused the Minister of being responsible for the drug shortage and being involved in malpractices with regard to drug purchasing. The union has left no stone unturned to prove their case during the past few months starting with alleged drug shortages more..

Transport corridors and elephant corridors

Sep 19 (ST) I was in the audience, participating at a public seminar on Evaluating Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact grant to SL, organised by the Pathfinder Foundation. A few participants from the audience expressed their concern, commenting on the MCC Compact grant. One of the participants gave his reasons to oppose: “Proposed Colombo–Trinco transport corridor is going to cut across our elephant corridors, disturbing the country’s wildlife”. There was laughter in more..

Questions about Speaker’s candidacy for the Presidency?

Sep 19 (CT) It is rather unfortunate that Mr. Karu Jayasuirya has issued a statement (17 Sept), as the Speaker, ‘that he is willing and ready to contest the prez election, on the request of some organizations and individuals, including Maha Sangha, however on certain conditions and objectives.’ The conditions and objectives are obviously political. The statement is on the Speaker’s parliamentary letterhead and he has signed as the Speaker! It is not that he cannot legally contest the prez election as more..

Performing the pain away: An alternative form of therapy in Sri Lanka

Sep 19 (Roar) The use of the arts as a medium for healing is a practice embedded in SL culture, although you may not have been aware of it. Ancient ritualistic practices, such as the shanthikarma, thovil and kolam, could be interpreted as forms of therapy seeking to rid people of evils, trauma and other negative energy. For this reason, actor and drama therapist Tehani Chitty (38) doesn’t believe that what she does is all that new. more..

Origins, rise & irrelevance of SLMC

Sep 19 (CT) Andreas Johansson’s Pragmatic Muslim Politics: The Case of Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, Switzerland: Springer, 2019, is the latest piece of academic research on SLMC, based on Parliamentary Hansards, official party documents and information received from interviews with members of SLMC hierarchy. Because earlier researches did not adequately deal with the role of Muslim politics of the party, in the sense of how its representatives discursively used the pool of more..

More than just her good karma

Sep 19 (DM) Sandya Salgado’s Not Just My Good Karma is partly an autobiography and partly an account of a very different era in advertising in the country. Which of these I should be reviewing in this space, I don’t know. I haven’t met Sandya, I have only heard of her, but her prose affirms much of what others have said of her. Tempestuous, brash, frequently assertive, never really hostile, she has, to put it diplomatically, experience. If she says what she thinks and thinks what she says, more..

Chinese FM to inspect major Chinese projects

Sep 18 (CT) Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, who is on a sudden visit to Sri Lanka, will inspect the Colombo International Container Terminal and the Colombo Port City (The Sales Gallery Office). He was expected to visit the Lotus Tower at 9 a.m. today but it is alleged that he has cancelled the visit as it has become a controversial issue after Prez Sirisena said that Rs 2 billion in Lotus Tower funds have gone missing, more..

SLFP-backed candidate will have Northern vote: Angajan

Sep 18 (RN) Accusing the Govt of betraying the Tamil community, UPFA Jaffna district national list MP Angajan Ramanathan said any candidate who has the backing of the SLFP will secure the Northern vote. Speaking to reporters in Colombo today at the SLFP headquarters, Ramanathan said Tamil people are frustrated by the ruling UNP and the opposition TNA. The MP accused PM Ranil Wickremesinghe of lying to the people in the North about solving their problems while enjoying TNA support. more..

Sri Lanka Industry activity continues growth in July

Sep 18 (EN) Activity in Sri Lanka’s industry sector grew 2.1% in July 2019 from a year earlier, with a growth in manufacture of paper and paper products, the state statistics office said. Index of Industrial Production of the Census and Statistics Department grew to 108.4 points in July 2019 from 106.1 points a year earlier. Industrial activity had also grown 1.1% in July from a month earlier. An index value over 100 means industrial activity grew compared to the base year of 2015. more..

Saudi to fund US $50 Mn for fully equipped medical faculty at Sabaragamuwa Uni

Sep 18 (AD) Saudi Fund for Development SFD has agreed to provide a concessional loan amounting to Saudi Riyal 187.5 Million (USD 50 million) to establish a Medical Faculty in the Uni of Sabaragamuwa. The balance USD 20.46 million will be borne by the GOSL. Accordingly, Loan Agreement was signed today, 18th September at the Ministry of Finance by Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunge, Secretary more..

Sri Lanka govt performance audit, action tracker mooted by Ceylon Chamber

Sep 18 (EN) Ceylon Chamber of Commerce has proposed an action tracker for all SL govt initiatives and mandatory performance audits along with a sound public communication strategy to try to revive the island economic growth. The proposals are in the chamber’s draft 2020-25 Economic Acceleration Framework launched at the Sri Lanka Economic Summit this week. Hans Wijayasuriya, the head of the chamber, said the framework was focused on re-calibrating Sri Lanka’s economic trajectory. more..

Citing several anomalies CEA threatens TU action

Sep 18 (CT) The Cultural Employees' Alliance (CEA) for the Cultural Identity of Sri Lanka, warned that they would engage in strict trade union action, if the Ministry of Cultural Affairs did not provide them with solutions for issues they have been facing for years, within 14 days. Co-Convener of the Alliance, Chandana Sooriyaarachchi, yesterday said they requested discussions and meetings with the subject Minister, and added that he had rejected them on several occasions. more..

Sri Lanka to hold presidential poll on Nov. 16

Sep 18 (AP) State media say Sri Lanka will hold its presidential election on Nov. 16. State television Rupavahini announced that nominations will be accepted on Oct. 7. Under the law, the election must be held between Nov 8 and Dec 8. Sri Lanka has a strong presidential system of govt, with the president being the head of state, head of govt and head of the armed forces. A PM is in charge of Parliament and the Cabinet. more..

AG informs Speaker: Sack Hisbullah as MP

Sep 18 (CT) Attorney General has informed the Speaker that he should take legal steps to cancel M.L.A.M. Hisbullah's parliamentary membership, as it was illegal for him to have signed agreements on behalf of the Hiraa Foundation while being a MP, with retrospective effect. AG Dappula de Livera has informed the Speaker thus, taking into consideration facts submitted by the Parliamentary Education Monitoring Sectoral Committee and other institutions. more..

Four-member committee to pick UNP’s presidential candidate

Sep 18 (AD) The UNP has appointed a four-member committee to decide on its presidential candidate, says State Minister Ajith Mannapperuma. The committee comprises Ministers Kabir Hashim, Ranjith Madduma Bandara, Rajitha Senaratne and prime-ministerial adviser Dinesh Weerakkody, he stated. The committee will submit a proposal to the Working Committee of the UNP on the most suitable candidate from the party to contest in the presidential election, state minister added. more..

Over 35,000 govt executive officers to go on strike next week; GMOA threatens own strike

Sep 18 (RN) Over 35,000 executive-level govt workers are set to go on strike on Monday (23), demanding a swift resolution to anomalies in salaries and allowances. Joint Committee of Govt Executive Officers said that one of the main reasons for the strike action is that the GMOA has been excluded from an agreement reached with the agitating trade unions to pay an overdue allowance. Committee Secretary H.L. Udayasiri accused more..

Objecting to illegal recruitment drive: CPTSL Chair removed

Sep 18 (CT) Chairman of the Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminals Limited (CPSTL) and Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC), P.W. Witanage has been removed from the chairmanship of CPSTL for allegedly being against the unauthorised recruitment of workers to CPSTL and CPC. It is envisaged that the recruitment process was carried out with a view to gain votes at the upcoming Elections, a top source said. Ministry of Petroleum Resources Development is under Minister Kabir Hashim. more..

Court orders to bury Kingsbury bomber’s remains at Borella cemetery

Sep 18 (AD) Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court has ordered for the remains of NTJ suicide bomber Mohamed Mubarak, who blasted himself at the Kingsbury Hotel, to be buried at the Borella cemetery as relatives have refused to accept his remains. The court had issued this directive to the Thimbirigasyaya divisional secretary today. CID had informed the Fort Magistrate that the relatives of the suicide bomber had refused to accept his remains. Fort Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake has more..

Kiriella contradicts Mangala, claims no liquor licences have been issued by govt

Sep 18 (Island) Minister Lakshman Kiriella told Parliament that the present govt had not, so far, issued a single liquor licence. During a heated argument Minister stated that the media were carrying baseless news items in view of upcoming elections. Kiriella said so, responding to a question by Chief Opposition Whip Mahinda Amaraweera, who asked the govt to hold an investigation into the news items published in the newspapers more..

Term of PSC probing Easter Attacks extended

Sep 18 (NR) The term of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) probing the Easter Sunday attacks, has been extended, until the 31 of Oct. Parliament today approved the resolution presented by Minister Lakshman Kiriella. The term of PSC was due to end on the 30th of Sep. Meanwhile, members of PSC probing the Easter Sunday attacks are expected to record a statement from Prez Sirisena pertaining to the April bombings, by visiting the Head of State at Prez Secretariat in the near future. more..

Sri Lanka to give subsidies to develop domestic air routes

Sep 18 (EN) Sri Lanka’s tourist promotion office will give subsidies to domestic airlines that operate scheduled services to selected destinations, the state information office said. SL Tourist Development Authority will provide viability gap funding (VGF) of between 100 to 150 dollar per flight for airlines for one year to fill the differences between costs and revenue. The funds will be provided on a model development by Sri Lanka’ National Agency for Public Private Partnerships. more..

'Lotus Tower revelation will not affect talks with SLPP'

Sep 18 (RN) President Sirisena’s recent remarks about alleged corruption in the Colombo Lotus Tower project will not affect ongoing talks between the SLFP and SLPP, a spokesman said. UPFA General Secretary Mahinda Amarawee said that the unexpected statement would have no bearing on the discussions for a common alliance between the two parties as the Prez had not named any names in his revelation. more..

Ex-Minister H.R. Mithrapala passes away

Sep 18 (AD) UPFA Kegalle District Parliamentarian former Minister H.R. Mithrapala passed away today (18) at the age of 73. Family sources said he had been receiving treatment at the Karawanella Hospital at the time of his death. Mr Mithrapala, who was born in 1946, was an attorney-at-law by occupation. From 2007 to 2015, Mr Mithrapala served as a minister and a deputy minister. The family said the funeral services of the late minister will be announced soon. more..

Govt lost Rs 11 B: Abeygunawardana

Sep 18 (CT) The Govt lost Rs 11 billion, because of their inability to take the Lotus Tower Project forward, claimed MP Rohitha Abeygunawardana, yesterday. "The Govt has suffered a loss of Rs 11 billion, thanks to their attitude towards the Lotus Tower Project. They have always had a vengeful attitude towards every project started by the previous Govt. So, the Lotus Tower was no different. If you go through the financial records of the Lotus Tower Project, this loss will be evident. more..

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