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Big boys link up with micro to boost agribusiness under Grama Shakthi

Jul 13 (PMD) The Central Province received numerous benefits from the private sector under the Grama Shakthi People’s Movement. Central Province Action Committee of the Grama Shakthi People’s Movement met under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena at the President’s House in Kandy, yesterday (11) and during this meeting several agreements were signed in this regard. It is a project implemented more..

Tourism earnings up 14.7% Jan-May Forex income hits US$ 1.8B

Jul 13 (CT) SL earned nearly US$ 1.8 billion from tourism during the first five months of this year, up 14.7% compared to US$ 1.65 billion a year ago, reflecting the same growth as tourist arrivals to the country during the period. In May this year the country earned nearly US$ 240 million from the sector, up 6.2% compared to US$ 226 million during the same month last year. SL hopes to welcome 2.5 million tourists this year, the same target the Govt failed to achieve during the last two years. more..

JO to become Joint Podujana Peramuna to form broader alliance

Jul 13 (FT) Joint Opposition (JO) MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara said that the Joint Opposition would be reconstituted under the name Joint Podujana Peramuna (JPP). MP Nanayakkara said that the re-formation of the JO into the JPP was to form a larger alliance in the Opposition. “We expect to include additional parties to the JPP in order to form a larger alliance against the Govt.” With regard to the SLFP Group of 16, MP Nanayakkara said that the group subsequently adopted JPP membership. more..

U.S. companies painting sombre picture of business conditions in Sri Lanka: study

Jul 13 (Island) U.S. companies surveyed for a report on FDI Landscape and Investor Sentiment in SL, have painted a sombre picture of business conditions within the country with policy instability being the primary issue cited, followed by a shortage of labour, among other concerns. From a U.S. perspective, conditions for attracting FDI into SL are not optimal and the current quantity of U.S. FDI into SL is not significant. more..

Decision on death penalty seen as buoying stock market

Jul 13 (Island) The decision of the govt to selectively implement the death penalty with regard to some hard drug offenders along with the sanctioning of selling fuel at the new prices have increased the confidence of investors in the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), our news sources said. Prez Sirisena stated at a Cabinet meeting that he would sign the required orders to implement capital punishment for convicted drug traffickers who carry out large scale drug smuggling operations more..

Pushpakumara, Jayasuriya fashion out series win for Sri Lanka A

Jul 13 (DN) Malinda Pushpakumara’s six-wicket haul blew away Bangladesh A by an innings and 38 runs within three days in the third and final 4-day unofficial test played at Sylhet. SL A finished 1-0 winners in the three-match series after the first two matches were drawn. Left-arm spinner Pushpakumara finished with nine wickets but it was his second-innings haul that wrecked Bangladesh, who were bowled out for 107 on the third morning. They started the day on 57/1, trailing by 88 more..

Knuckles range- Projects in conservative area withdrawn: SPC

Jul 13 (DM) The State Plantations Corporation (SPC) said it had withdrawn some projects attached to the Knuckles mountain range after finding that the lands given to those projects belonged to the Knuckles conservative area. SPC Chairman Thilak Mahanama told a news conference that no land belonging to the Knuckles Conservation Forest had been given to investors to carry out projects and added that they had withdrawn more..

World Bank approves US$ 200 mn to improve primary healthcare services

Jul 13 (GDI) The World Bank Board of Directors today approved a $200 million loan to help increase the use and the quality of Sri Lanka's primary healthcare services. The Primary Healthcare System Strengthening Project builds on years of experience and lessons in Sri Lanka's health sector and will focus on detection and management of non-communicable diseases in high-risk population groups, responding to the needs of the poorest of the population, a press release said. more..

Adopting plain packaging a must to curtail smoking

Jul 13 (DM) Curtailing the ability of cigarette packs to advertise and promote their brands just makes common sense. Why? Think about it - everybody these days would agree that the ban on advertising tobacco on television and the internet, on billboards and in shops, is sensible and necessary. Nobody could dispute that promoting tobacco and smoking have led to the greatest public health threat the world has ever known. And every marketing manager of any business that makes more..

Karunaratne's self-deprecating, myth-busting masterclass

Jul 13 (CI) Dimuth Karunaratne has a hard time convincing people it is tough to open the batting in SL. He tried this line once in a press conference overseas, and you could practically hear the eyerolls. SL? The place where conventional seam bowling goes to die? Sri Lanka? Where pitches are so dusty that dismissed batsmen have to be blasted with industrial-strength firehoses before they are allowed back in the dressing room? more..

It’s up there in my top three says Dimuth

Jul 13 (DN) Opener Dimuth Karunaratne rated his monumental innings of 158 not out against South Africa on the first day of the first Test at Galle yesterday amongst the top three of his eight Test centuries scored in his 50-Test career. Thanks to Karunaratne’s solid defiance SL’s top order that was threatened to be blown away by the pace of Kagiso Rabada recovered from slumping to 176-8 to post a healthy total of 287. “This is one of my best after NZ and India it ranks in my top three,” said more..

Dhananjaya named Sri Lanka U-19 captain

Jul 13 (CT) Nipun Dhananjaya Perera, of St. Joseph Vaz College Wennappuwa, was named captain of the Sri Lanka Under-19 four day squad to face India Under-19. He becomes the first cricketer from St. Joseph Vaz to be appointed captain of a SL U-19 team. Dhananjaya has represented the SL Under-19 on tours to Malaysia and New Zealand for the Asia Cup and Youth World Cup. Two Mahindians, Navod Paranavithana and Nipun Malinga and two Antonians Navodya Vijayakumara and more..

Commentator makes U-turn over Hitler remarks

Jul 13 (EN) Int'l cricket commentator Roshan Abeysinghe apologised profusely and begged for forgiveness Thursday after a backlash on social media over his comments glorifying Hitler. After resisting for days to remove his offending tweet and calling his own fans fools, stupid and uneducated for criticising his remarks wishing for a Hitler to rule the country, Abeysinghe did a 180-degree turn with the online equivalent of begging on his knees. more..

Act fast to avert diabetes catastrophe: Lankan doctor issues clarion call to UN

Jul 12 (ST) An urgent call to halt the diabetes epidemic before there are catastrophic consequences goes out from Dr. Chamari Warnapura, who was accorded the singular honour of opening a United Nations interactive hearing on the prevention and control of diabetes. Dr. Warnapura, the Deputy Medical Director of the National Diabetes Centre (NDC) of the Diabetes Association of SL, spoke at the Forum on ‘Scaling up prevention and control of diabetes as more..

Story of Galle, Maha Kappina Walawwa and the Pollocks

Jul 13 (Island) "We came to S.L. especially to watch the tests at Galle and Colombo. There is no doubt that the Galle cricket ground is one of, or these (sic) most, attractive test cricket venue in the world. The combination of a small ground, proximity to the tropical ocean, with the ramparts of a 400 year fort as a background, plus the friendly & knowledgeable local enthusiasts make watching cricket here an unforgettable experience." - David Doden, South African cricket enthusiast, S.L. July 2014 more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Edtorial: Y-palana Dutertes

Jul 13 (Island) The yahapalana leaders, during their Opposition days, used to tear into the Rajapaksa govt for using the armed forces to do police work. They also claimed that military personnel were being made to perform menial tasks such as clearing drains and canals to destroy mosquito breeding places. Three years on, they are planning to make the military perform constabulary duties. The govt has announced a plan to deploy the armed forces in drug busting operations. more..

Is Gotabaya above the Law?

Jul 12 (CT) The Govt which terribly suffers from Gota-phobia levels various allegations against Gotabaya Rajapaksa. A notorious minister with a presidential dream leads this sinister campaign. Let us reply to his allegations one by one. According to him, people have lost confidence in the judicial system as Gotabaya has been placed above the law. Hence, the Govt failed to remand him at least for a single day. The reality is the exact opposite. The people’s confidence in the judiciary has more..

'I will not give up my American Citizenship'

Jul 13 (CT) Former Minister Basil Rajapaksa says that the present govt is the weakest govt ever, in the history of SL. “The security of the country, territorial integrity and sovereignty of a country should be protected first and foremost. Discipline, rules and the administration have collapsed.” Q: What is Basil Rajapaksa’s role in Podujana Peramuna? A: Actually, I am only a member of Podujana Peramuna and more..

Rightfully returned

Jul 13 (DN) Since the end of the war in May 2009, civilian lands belonging to the people of the North that were taken away from them has been released to them gradually, although for many the process is taking too long. Currently, nine years after the end of the war, keeping in line with the govt’s policy of releasing civilians’ land, hitherto used by Jaffna Security Forces, the SL Army released a record 683 acres of land in the Thelippalei DS area to 964 legal owners during a ceremony, more..

The Silent Sangha

Jul 13 (GV) One of the greatest challenges facing Sri Lanka today is the failure to bring about communal reconciliation in the island. Hate has grown, gone rampant and viral. On a recent visit to Lanka I was alarmed to hear fellow Sri Lankans freely express a high level of fear and hatred towards their counterparts. I remembered the words of Brian Eno, who once said, “Feelings are more dangerous than ideas, because they aren’t susceptible to rational evaluation. more..

Cycling together in Palmyrah country

Jul 13 (ST) Vanni Yathra 2018- a cycling journey by youth from both the North and South highlighted the importance of joint ventures in protecting nature. Launched on June 4 from Kilinochchi, the journey ended in Vavuniya covering over 200 km in nine days. Team behind the effort- Eco-Friendly Volunteers (Eco-V) had previously organized seven such Yathras or journeys covering different parts of Sri Lanka. more..

Local women in their infinite variety

Jul 13 (Island) Twenty-nine years after the brutal murder of Rajani Thiranagama, human rights activist and feminist who dared to live and work in Jaffna and criticise the LTTE after first admiring them, is the subject of T.D. Ramakrishnan’s Malayalam book Sugandhi Enna Andal Devanayaki. This chronicle of her struggle will be available in English published by HarperCollins on July 25. The Malayalam work published three years ago was reportedly sensational. more..

Save the young from this tobacco monster!

Jul 13 (DM) McDonald’s gives away a free toy with meals intended for kids. So what? No big deal, right? Do they give away a free toy with a salad? Well, no. Ever thought why? Let’s give it a try. If you check what kind of meals they do give away, they are usually burgers, fries and soda. These are the ones that bring the highest profit margin. And, they are the ones most loaded with salt and sugar; in other words, most unhealthy. Did you know that obesity with the risk of diabetes, more..

Rs.19 mn to Pushpa Rajapaksa Foundation was a donation: CICT

Jul 12 (DM) Colombo International Container Terminals Limited (CICT) has reiterated that its payment of Rs.19,410,000/- (equivalent to US$150,000), to the Pushpa Rajapaksa Foundation was a donation, in good faith, for the construction of houses for the less privileged, CICT said in a statement. “This donation was made long after the project concession agreement for the Colombo South Terminal had been signed and more..

Interim Order against National Film Corporation extended

Jul 12 (AD) Colombo District Court has extended the interim order against the decision of National Film Corporation (NFC) to take over the distribution of films, until July 25. Colombo Chief District Judge Amila Rathnayake issued this order, taking into consideration a petition filed by the four private sector companies that have so far been handling the local distribution of films. Considering the submissions by both parties, Chief District Judge ordered the National Film Corporation more..

Sri Lanka, France to promote manufacturing, infrastructure investments

Jul 12 (EN) Sri Lanka’s investment and export promotion agencies have signed a two-year deal with Business France, a French govt agency, to encourage investment in manufacturing and infrastructure. The tripartite Memorandum of Understanding between Sri Lanka’s Board of Investment, Export Development Board of SL and Business France will enhance cooperation, trade and investment. Business France helps French companies do business abroad and more..

'No need to seek Maha Nayaka Theros’ advice to hang drug traffickers'

Jul 12 (FT) Govt ruled that there was no requirement to seek advice from top religious dignitaries such as the Maha Nayaka Theros to implement the Govt decision to reinstate the capital punishment for drug traffickers. “All religious leaders of this country are fully aware of the growing narcotic menace and organised crimes related to this trade. Prisons are safe houses for those drug traffickers, who have been convicted by courts, more..

'Govt using graduates for political motives'

Jul 12 (NR) The JVP says the govt has no intention of providing jobs for unemployed graduates in the state sector. PM Sunil Handunetti said the govt is using the issues of the graduates to fulfil its political objectives. He said the govt must formulate a national policy in order to streamline the recruitment process. He noted in the election manifesto, the present govt promised to hand over jobs for unemployed graduates. He said accordingly vacancies were advertised and interviews more..

Namal in Jaffna says:TNA on Govt side

Jul 12 (CT) TNA is not focusing on the immediate issues of the North but instead concentrates on Constitutional reforms, said MP Namal Rajapaksa yesterday while addressing a press conference in Jaffna. “TNA isn’t the Opposition; they are on the Govt’s side. They are the Opposition for name- sake. When young people are asking for jobs, the TNA leader says they can’t talk about jobs and they have to talk about the Constitution. How can this be an Opposition?,” he said. more..

Sri Lanka climbs two places in latest innovation rankings

Jul 12 (DM) Sri Lanka has made two-position improvement in the 2018 innovation rankings as the country made some limited progress in general infrastructure, ecological sustainability and knowledge and technology outputs, supporting such innovation. Global Innovation Index (GII), a collaboration between Cornell Uni, INSEAD and World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), placed SL at the 88th position, out of 126 more..

Govt burdening people while reducing fines on fraudsters: JVP

Jul 12 (DM) JVP charged that the govt had burdened the people by imposing excessive taxes and fines such as new traffic fines while reducing the fines imposed on fraudsters through National Audit Bill. JVP MP Sunil Hadunnetti said that the govt had imposed new fines and had increased fines on traffic offences so as to increase govt revenue. “The traffic rules have been strengthened not to discipline the motorists but to increase govt revenue. The govt is trying to sustain at the cost of the people. more..

SL Robotics Meetup discuss assistive robots

Jul 12 (DM) 5th edition of Sri Lanka Robotics Meetup was held at Virtusa recently. The event, organized by IEEE Robotics and Automation Society SL Section Chapter in partnership with IEEE Sri Lanka Section and facilitated by Virtusa discussed assistive robots. Prof. Kazuo Kiguchi, Professor in Systems and Control at the Dept of Mechanical Eng, Kyushu University, Japan started the session with a presentation on Control of Human Assist Robot Based on Integrated Information. more..

Thai PM arrives in Sri Lanka

Jul 12 (AD) PM of Thailand Prayut Chan-o-cha has arrived in Sri Lanka on a two-day official visit. The Thai PM and his group of 40 delegates including his wife arrived in Sri Lanka at 2.45 pm on a special aircraft belonging to the Thai Army. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, Ministers Sarath Fonseka, Vajira Abeywardana, Faizer Mustapha and many others had received the group of delegates at the Bandaranaike International Airport, more..

Another fake report on MR is coming: JO

Jul 12 (DM) The Govt was attempting to release another fake report like the New York Times report on former President Mahinda Rajapaksa soon, the JO alleged today. An article appeared recently on New York Times that at least US$7.6 million was dispensed from China Harbour’s account at Standard Chartered Bank to affiliates of former President Rajapaksa’s election campaign. JO member and MP Shehan Semasinghe said it was clear that the recent NY Times report more..

Tussle to handle fuel pricing formula

Jul 12 (Island) Petroleum Resources Development Ministry and the Finance Ministry are on a collision course over the control of the government committee responsible for fuel pricing formula. Citing the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation Act, the Petroleum Resources Development Ministry has requested that the committee be placed under Secretary to the Ministry Upali Marasinghe. Instead, the committee has been placed under an additional secretary to the Ministry of Finance. more..