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Sri Lanka Tourism lobbies for inclusion in travel corridors

Jul 8 (FT) Sri Lanka Tourism said yesterday it is working closely with the Foreign Ministry to be included in developing travel corridors for travel with no quarantine overseas, for returning tourists or visiting Sri Lankans. “We are working closely with our Ambassador in the UK and other Ambassadors who are talking to the relevant govts. We are also in regular contact with the UK Ambassador Sarah Hulton. more..

Sampath Bank conducts webinar series to help SMEs revitalise businesses

Jul 8 (Island) Sampath Bank recently conducted two webinars under its Sampath Saviya entrepreneurship development programme to offer advice to SMEs on how best to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their businesses. These webinars were facilitated by top professionals and conducted free of charge for any SMEs that wished to attend. The first webinar focused on creating a positive business mindset and planning for rebuilding business more..

Rising demand for export of face masks and surgical products

Jul 8 (ST) Manufacturers of BOI companies and other export oriented companies will be exempt from an import ban, as their contribution is through value addition and exports. The main purpose of introducing new regulations relating to imports and exports was to stem the flow of outward remittances to protect the local manufacturing industry, said the Controller-Operational, Dept of Imports and Exports Control K.G.R. Wimalasooriya during a recent National Chamber of Commerce webinar more..

Lack of Single Window Service, major dampener for investments in North

Jul 8 (DN) Finding suitable land for commercial use, poor access to finance and lack of financial literacy continues to be significant constraints and key challenges for private sector investments to the Northern Province a study by Ernst & Young SL (EY) and revealed. Absence of a Single Window Service was also identified as a major dampener for investments while inadequate Infrastructure and Human Resource deprives more..

Placing nature at the centre of change: Preserving biological diversity

Jul 8 (DM) The loss of biodiversity is a loss for humanity. When we re-examine our relationship to the natural world, we find that despite technological advances, we are completely dependent on healthy and vibrant ecosystems for day to day needs. International Biological Diversity Day was marked on 22 May, under the timely theme; Our solutions are in nature, bringing home the importance of living in harmony with nature. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, more..

Wijeyadasa’s revelation: How a Bill to abolish and repeal H’tota port agreement stymied

Jul 8 (Island) One-time Justice Minister, Wijeyadasa Rajapakse, PC, recently questioned serious shortcomings in the parliamentary as well as political party system to address contentious issues which may have major security implications. Against the backdrop of recent trouble, at the Colombo port, over the handing over of the East Container Terminal (ECT) to India, SLPP Colombo district candidate Rajapakse discussed the controversial and highly dangerous deal with China over H'tota port. more..

Ramesh Pathirana

Editorial: Early warnings and second waves

Jul 8 (Island) Many Sri Lankans perish in disasters because early warnings of such events go unheeded. Moments before the landfall of the Boxing Day (2004) tsunami, the sea rolled back; there was an eerie clam and animals ran away, but people ignored those signs. The second wave barrelled across the ocean and made landfall. The rest is history. Landslides have snuffed out so many lives because people inhabiting vulnerable areas take early warnings such as cracks and more..

Reverberations of the Ladakh Crisis

Jul 8 (CT) China’s strategic assessment of the Ladakh clash that began 5 May this year and ended with 20 Indian soldiers and an estimated, though unconfirmed, 40 Chinese soldiers being killed in those treacherous slopes , has been a solitary Indo-Chinese geopolitical tussle for over 50 years of bloody dispute from the times of Mao Zedong and Jawaharlal Nehru. This arose out of a soldier entrusted with drawing the delimitation lines between China and India across more..

A world of beautiful colour

Jul 8 (TM) Last week, 1 July, saw the passing of one of SL’s most prolific children ‘s book authors, Sybil Wettasinghe. Wettasinghe (Kala Keerthi Sybil Wettasinghe) passed away at the age of 92 while receiving treatment at the Sri J'pura Hospital. Her funeral was held on 3 July. Born in Gintota, near Galle, in 1927, Wettasinghe was an alumna of Holy Family Convent, and moved on to work in publishing. more..

Hot coffee and cold tea

Jul 8 (ST) During a recent meeting, some of us ordered tea while others opted for coffee. Prof. W.N. Wilson who is now retired from the university was also with us. While sipping a cup of tea, he started to share some thoughts on coffee. Listening to our older generation always brings new insights and in this context I was keen to hear what he had to say. Prof. Wilson had done his postgraduate studies in the Netherlands in the late 1970s. A few years later, he had an opportunity to go back to Europe more..

Regimes in times of crisis: Authoritarian populism, bonapartism and fascism

Jul 8 (DM) The crisis we face now is like a tectonic shift in the economy. Global production, the labour used for it, and the demand to realise it, are all in free fall. What will be the political consequences, and what kind of regimes will emerge out of such a deep crisis? In Sri Lanka, as we approach a significant parliamentary election, my question is not about the character of the parties and the personalities of the candidates that may win or lose. The victory of the SLPP and more..

Is Sri Lanka on it’s way to becoming a dictatorship?

Jul 8 (CT) A new infographic reveals how Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa is ruling SL, as if he is autonomous, through powerful militarised task forces that bypass the usual checks and balances of a democratically elected parliament. These bodies are unelected and report directly to the Prez requiring the full cooperation of the SL civil service and are not subject to the usual scrutiny and oversight of parliament. more..

Economic recovery & Development without reconciliation: Gota’s Machiavellian strategy

Jul 8 (CT) At the beginning of this month, while SL’s Acting Permanent Representative at UN, Dayani Mendis, was urging, “all parties … to recognise the realities on the ground, and appreciate the approach of focusing on deliverable measures of reconciliation … instead of opting to continue with a framework driven externally that has failed to deliver genuine reconciliation for over four-and-a-half years”, the World Bank, almost coincidentally, reclassified and downgraded Sri Lanka from more..

An appeal to the voting citizens of Sri Lanka on behalf of caring elders of society

Jul 8 (CT) Your Vote at the forthcoming General Elections is a Constitutional Right endowed on you, to be exercised thoughtfully, in order to assure that the nation’s governance of the future is placed in the hands of political parties and representatives, who will strive with commitment to discharge their obligations post-elections, solely for the advancement of the nation Sri Lanka, ensuring the long-term benefit of all citizens of today, including yourself and your family, as well as more..

Video: Group of SJB members will join UNP after polls: Akila

Jul 7 (DM) A group of Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) candidates will join the UNP after the conclusion of the general elections, UNP General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said today. Mr. Kariyawasam who was responding to journalists at a media conference said a selected few from SJB will join the UNP after the elections. “We will select and accept only those who would be useful to the country,” Mr. Kariyawasam said. more..

Bodies of Qatar triple homicide victims repatriated to Sri Lanka

Jul 7 (NF) The bodies of three Sri Lankans who were victims of a triple homicide in Qatar were brought to the country on Tuesday. The victims were identified as a 59-year-old father, 55-year-old mother, and their 34-year-old daughter. General Manager of the SL Bureau of Foreign Employment Mangala Randeniya said the trio was strangled to death inside their residence in March this year. He said authorities are yet to arrest the suspect or suspects responsible for the triple murder. more..

SLNS Kawanthissa commissioned

Jul 7 (CT) Naval Deployment Hambantota in the Southern Naval Command was commissioned recently as the SLNS Kawanthissa. The commissioning was presided over by Navy Commander, Vice Admiral Piyal De Silva. Naval Deployment Hambantota is home to 32 officers including a flag officer and 802 senior and junior sailors. The control of sea area by SLNS Kawanthissa ranges over 101 kilometres from Kalametiya to Kumbukkan Oya along beach. more..

FB tightens noose on misinformation in SL

Jul 7 (DM) Facebook has tightened the noose on misinformation in Sri Lanka which includes bringing on dedicated SL policy and programs managers to engage with local stakeholders. Facebook Sri Lanka Team said that Facebook has deployed Sinhala-language hate speech technology that helps them proactively detect potentially violating content. Facebook has also introduced changes to its platform architecture in more..

Bogollagama jumps again citing principles

Jul 7 (Island) Rohitha Bogollagama has resigned from the UNP by tendering his letter of resignation yesterday. Letter said: I wish to take this opportunity to place on record my sincere appreciation for the co-operation extended to me during my political association with you. Currently having said that the time has come for me to view the immense pressure and the challenges that are surfacing in the Political Landscape of SL, which I have now studied in great depth and with keen interest. more..

Video: Over 170 inmates undergo PCR tests

Jul 7 (DM) At least 174 inmates out of 250 personnel identified as contacts of the COVID-19 patient detected from the Welikada Prison have been subjected to PCR tests. PCR tests on the 174 inmates detained at the Ward - I at the Welikada Prison where the Covid-19 infected inmate was found have been conducted within the prison premises today. PCR tests on the rest of the personnel who are prisons officers will be carried out later on. more..

Govt’s debts have ballooned by Rs. 1,000 bn in first 4 months of the year: Harsha

Jul 7 (EN) Former MP Harsha de Silva is saying that govt’s debt had increased by Rs 1000 bn within the first four months of 2020. Former Minister said that the latest weekly report by the Central Bank indicates that the total outstanding central govt debt has increased from Rs 13,031.5 bn to Rs 14,024.7 bn during the first four months of 2020. SJB candidate said when in Opposition the SLPP criticized the previous govt for more..

More Sri Lankans return from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Philippines

Jul 7 (AD) Three more batches of Sri Lankans who are stranded in foreign countries due to the COVID-19 global pandemic returned to the country from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the Philippines. A SriLankan Airlines charter flight brought down 275 Sri Lankans from Riyadh in Saudi Arabia at around 7.10 am this morning. Another 05 Sri Lankan sailors who had been employed at Qatari ships returned to the island early this morning. They arrived at the BIA at 1.45 am on a flight of Qatar Airways. more..

Faulty PCR reports issued by external research labs could jeopardise...

Jul 7 (EN) Faulty PCR test reports issued by external research laboratories that don’t come under the purview of the Ministry of Health could jeopardise SL’s efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, the College of Medical Laboratory Science SL (CMLS-SL) warned. CMLS-SL President Ravi Kumudesh said that research laboratories belonging to the country’s universities being used for PCR tests as opposed to ministry-affiliated diagnostic laboratories which are more..

'Intelligence agencies should act on technical intelligence'

Jul 7 (CT) It is timely for SL Intelligence Agencies to act on technical intelligence rather than on human intelligence, former Acting Director of the State Intelligence Service (SIS), Deputy DIG Mohamed Hafeez Marso said. He gave evidence before the PCoI probing the bombings on Easter Sunday. He said Intelligence Agencies in the UK recently had been able to arrest an extremist Muslim woman who had planned to carry out a suicide bombing more..

Welikada Prison off limits for visitors until further notice

Jul 7 (AD) Welikada Prison in Colombo has been closed off for visitors until further notice. The move came after an inmate of the prison tested positive for the COVID-19 virus this morning. The Director-General of Health Services, Dr. Anil Jasinghe said this inmate was transferred to the Welikada Prison from the Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre – East in Kandakadu on June 27. Officers and other inmates of the prison have been subjected to PCR testing and the quarantine procedure. more..

’Who is the real cat’s paw of communalistic political parties?’

Jul 7 (DM) One should go in front of the mirror and find out as to who is really the cat’s paw of communalistic political parties, SJB Leader Sajith Premadasa said yesterday. Mr. Premadasa came out with this remark in response to PM Mahinda Rajapaksa who said on Sunday that SJB was a cat’s paw of communalistic political parties. “SLPP has been disturbed by my campaign in the North. One must understand that one cannot safeguard a nation through communalism & religious sentiments. more..

Parliamentary Elections: Candidates from the same party fight each other

Jul 7 (EN) SL’s electoral system and its method of choosing the final winning candidates through the preferential system leads to some unique situations – and one of them is that candidates from the same party will be firing shots at each other. Over the weekend there has been hectic politicking and campaigning with Prez Rajapaksa stumping in Polonnaruwa. In Gampaha, however, the newsmaker has been Prasanna Ranatunga more..

MEPA to monitor ship-generated waste facilities

Jul 7 (AD) Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) is to inspect Ship Generated Waste (SGW) reception facilities in the country from today (07), stated the Ministry of Defense. MEPA will be joined by SL Navy, SL coast Guards, Central Environmental Authority, SL Customs, SL Ports Authority and the Police in the task. The MEPA has launched this special program under the directives of Prez Rajapaksa and with the support of Defense Secretary Maj Gen (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne. more..

AG returns more incomplete probe files

Jul 7 (TM) Attorney General (AG) Dappula de Livera has returned 38 more incomplete investigation files to the Act. IGP on suspects arrested over Easter attacks, Coordinating officer to AG State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne stated. This is in addition to the 40 incomplete files returned on 26th June. AG has also observed that legal action could not be taken based on the files returned. AG has requested the Act. IGP to complete investigations and hand over completed files to AG as soon as possible. more..

'Ranjan’s statement gross insult to Judiciary'

Jul 7 (CT) Former MP Ranjan Ramanayake’s statement to several TV channels, which broadcast around the world, from Temple Trees, the official residence of the PM of the country, while serving as a State Minister, that 95% of the judges are corrupt, which he continued to reiterate in the Supreme Court, was the kind of statement that is unheard of anywhere else in the world and is utterly insulting to the country’s Judiciary, more..

Active Covid-19 cases down to 112 with new recoveries

Jul 7 (AD) Ministry of Health says 38 more individuals, who had tested positive for the COVID-19, recovered from the disease today. According to the situation report issued by the Epidemiology Unit, the latest recoveries are reported from the IDH (4), Welikanda Base Hospital (2), Iranawila Hospital (1), Kattankudy Base Hospital (9), Homagama Base Hospital (21) and Minuwangoda Base Hospital (1). These health improvements have brought SL’s total count of recoveries to 1,955. more..

Prabhakaran the only leader of Tamils: Sivajilingam

Jul 7 (CT) Former TNA MP and member of the Northern Provincial Council, M.K. Sivajilingam said the only national leader of the Tamil community is LTTE Leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. He further said all groups including dead LTTE cadres would be continuously commemorated. Sivajilingam who was arrested in Valvettithurai was released on bail. Meanwhile, he said, “I would like to add something more. The LTTE fought for the freedom of the Tamil people and for a Tamil Eelam. more..

Ranil promises one year grace period to settle unpaid water and electricity bills

Jul 7 (Island) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has said a UNP govt will grant a one-year grace period for paying water and electricity bills and repaying the loans taken under the Enterprise SL programme. Addressing a UNP rally held at Kaduwela, former PM said that the people had not received any relief from the present govt. He said that it was his aim to save the people hard hit by COVID-19 & rebuild the country. more..

BBC collaborates with Sri Lanka Tourism to revive the Tourism Sector

Jul 7 (AD) Despite being considerably affected by the recent COVID-19 outbreak, Sri Lanka Tourism is currently taking several measures to revive the Tourism sector by collaborating with key international organizations, and platforms, through destination promotional marketing among new markets via social and digital media. It is very well known that the Travel and Tourism industry worldwide has faced a major drawback regarding the ongoing COVID -19 crisis, and more..

Sri Lanka says making progress with IMF program, budget support

Jul 7 (EN) Sri Lanka is making progress with a program with the IMF with other lenders also joining in with budget support, Treasury Secretary S R Attygalle said. Other lenders would also provide more than a billion US dollars in budget finance along with the IMF program, Attygalle said. SL has lined up funding from a number of lenders including US$ 300 million from the ADB as well as France, AIIB and WB. WB has already disbursed some funds using emergency clauses more..