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1000 more Army personnel ready for any emergencies

May 23 (SLA) Around 300 members of the Army, together with fellow-sailors and airmen are currently engaged in flood relief emergencies in worst-affected Galle, Kalutara, Matara, Ratnapura and Puttalam Districts as of Tuesday noon. About 25 boats of the Army have already been sent to most affected locations in Hiniduma, Palindanuwara, Kamburupitiya, Ratnapura and Puttalam where some of the public roads remain inundated more..

'US$ 450 million savings if new refinery is constructed'

May 23 (CT) The country is in dire need of a new fuel refinery to minimize losses of imported refined fuel. A new refinery could save the country a thumping USD 400 - 450 million on an annual basis, Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said. “We would require an investment of USD 2.5 to 3 billion if we are to construct a new refinery. The Govt is unable to fund this amount and currently we are looking for investors. We could easily recover more..

Allegations of tender fixing mar Central Bank’s CCTV move

May 23 (ST) A tender for the supply, installation, testing and commissioning of an internet protocol (IP) closed-circuit television (CCTV) system for the Central Bank of SL is being challenged on the grounds that the bid consultant has designed the prequalification criteria to tilt the contract in favour of a pre-selected entity. In a letter to the CBSL’s Director Facilities Management Department, Akro (Pvt) Ltd–which has more..

PAYE Taxes: Laws soon to make workers directly liable

May 23 (CT) The Finance Ministry plans to introduce amendments to the existing laws to prevent State-sector institutions from paying the income taxes of their employees from the funds of the institution. Officials said that they have found that the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Taxes, of eligible employees, were being paid by the institution, thereby burdening the institution and passing on the financial burden to the public, which buys more..

Malik ready to meet TUs

May 23 (CT) Minister Malik Samarawickrama said that the new regulations, which specify the procedure of employing foreign nationals, would be submitted for Cabinet approval within next two weeks. He revealed this while moving two Orders under the Strategic Development Projects Act. Elaborating further, Samarawickrama said that there are several new Regulations that have been proposed more..

500-600 influenza patients in the South

May 23 (CT) The Ministry of Health said that there were approximately 500 to 600 suspected influenza patients currently being treated in Southern hospitals. Director General of Health Services Dr. Anil Jasinghe addressing the media at the Govt Information Department, however, said that there had been only seven deaths, contrary to media reports. A majority of the victims were children below the age of two years. more..

Sugar puts Tea industry in a dilemma

May 23 (DM) It was last February that the story of 53 tea factories, which allegedly adulterate tea with sugar during production, was revealed. The raids on these tea factories had been carried out by the Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB). Minister Navin Dissanayake said that any culprits found guilty would be punished severely. This was revealed through Sathya Gaveshana (Exploration into the truth) an expos article which more..

CBSL responds to ex-Governor

May 23 (Island) Apropos our front-page news item headlined Cabraal: What has happened to USD 8 bn yesterday, the Economic Research Department of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka has sent us the following statement: "A misleading news item has been disseminated in relation to SL’s foreign reserves and external debt servicing. "The contents of the news item portray a misleading picture of the country’s external position. more..

7 invasive alien plants found in SL

May 23 (Roar) Sri Lanka is considered one of 35 biodiversity hotspots in the world due to the wealth of flora and fauna found on the island. According to the National Red List on the Conservation Status of the Fauna and Flora in SL, there are about 3,150 species of flowering plants on the island, a large number of them endemic. Despite this, there are several invasive alien species of plants spreading rapidly across the island. more..

Sri Lanka Then and Now!!

May 23 (DM) We wonder if even God can help our country now!! Our island home was a beautiful paradise and its inhabitants were good God-fearing people!! That was in the time of the benevolent respected leaders, who truly loved this country and its people. They fought long and hard to gain independence and they maintained the TRUE SPIRIT OF THAT INDEPENDENCE they fought so hard to gain!! When did our beautiful island more..

Gotabhaya's breakthrough

May 23 (DM) When a future historian writes the political history of the most obtuse and inept govt in postcolonial Sri Lanka, he or she will doubtless identify its most myopic move as the Constitutional prevention of Mahinda Rajapaksa running for President again, thereby opening the door for the fulfilment of the worst fear of the neoliberal cosmopolitan democrats, namely a Gotabhaya candidacy. A pivotal moment will be identified as May 18, 2018, when TV audiences watched more..

The two-lane New York of Sri Lanka

May 23 (DM) What the skyline of Buthgamuwa road offers to viewers these days is only second to Colombo 1 in terms of the number of high rising buildings. This otherwise laid back largely neglected neighbourhood of Kotte no doubt is fast becoming the New York of Sri Lanka with the mushrooming of apartment complexes along the meandering Diyawanna lake. Govt decision to release Buthgamuwa land to real estate companies has seen an unlimited number of construction more..

Heavy rains to continue

May 23 (CT) Govt, through the RDA, allocated Rs 5 million for each Province, currently affected by the floods, for the purpose of repairing damaged roads. Ministry of Finance has requested the Treasury to immediately make available funds to assist the affected. Minister Mangala Samaraweera advised Treasury officials to immediately release funds in order to provide relief to the people affected by recent disaster situation. more..

Stormy weather: Death toll rises to nine

May 23 (Island) The death toll from stormy weather rose to nine by yesterday afternoon while eight other persons were injured. More than 68,343 people from 18,079 families in 19 districts have been affected and 6,090 people (1,625 families) removed to 80 safe locations, according to Disaster Management Centre (DMC). The DMC said 918 houses had been damaged and 19 others destroyed. The highest number of affected people was reported from Ratnapura District; it was 13,033. more..

Treasury releases sufficient funds for flood victims

May 23 (FT) Finance Ministry Secretary Dr. R.H.S Samaratunga confirmed that the Treasury had released sufficient funds to the Disaster Management Ministry to provide immediate relief to the flood victims. He said all Divisional Secretariats had been provided with Rs. 1 million at present to provide necessary relief to the flood victims. “Minister Mangala Samaraweera has given instructions to provide sufficient funds for the districts affected by the floods,” he said. more..

Treasury bond scams: CBSL whistle-blower to be considered for top award

May 23 (Island) Deepa Seneviratne, one-time head of Public Debt Dept of the Central Bank would be considered for Top 50 Professional and Career Women Awards 2018 the media was told yesterday. Dr. Rohantha Athukorala, Chairman, Panel of Judges explained the process of selection of winners with the focus on Seneviratne eligibility. Asked whether the senior CBSL official who had exposed the illegal directive issued by more..

Weather affects over 38,000

May 23 (DN) The Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said a total of 68,000 persons belonging to 18,079 families have been affected across 19 districts due to the adverse weather prevailing in the country. DMC Deputy Director and Media Spokesman Pradeep Kodippili said more than 6,710 people have been displaced and currently staying in 168 safer locations in nine districts. Eight deaths have been reported so far and six out of those deaths were due to lightning incidents. more..

'Govt has failed to contain invasive species'

May 23 (CT) Biodiversity experts allege that the Ministry of Environment has failed to control the spread of invasive plant and animal species that have endangered the country’s unique biosphere. The sentiments were voiced by Prof. Sarath Kotagama, when he delivered a special lecture at the National Bio Diversity Summit. "Ministry has launched many mega projects to eradicate and control invasive species. But they have been totally unsuccessful in their efforts. more..

JO request for debate on floods turned down

May 23 (Island) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, yesterday, turned down a request made by the Opposition for a debate on prevailing disaster situation in the country and fuel price hikes instead of the scheduled one an Order to provide for a condominium in Kollupitiya. Speaker Jayasuriya said that it had been decided at the last party leaders’ meeting to debate the Order under the Strategic Development Project Act No 2 made by more..

SMSPU to meet all religious leaders

May 23 (DN) The State Medical Students’ Parents Union (SMSPU) met several leading Buddhist Bhikkus and scheduled to meet all religious leaders. But President Maithripala Sirisena, the Higher Education Minister and some other politicians have not given an opportunity for the union to meet them, SMSPU Media Spokesman Wasantha Alwis said. He said the union informed Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda Thera and Ven. Bengamuwe Nalaka Thera about the danger posed to free education more..

Speaker signs four bills into law

May 23 (Island) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya yesterday announced in Parliament that he had signed the Judicature (Amendment) Bill, the Penal Code (Amendment) Bill and The Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) bill which were passed by the House on May 09. The Civil Aviation (Amendment) Bill which was passed on May 11 was also signed by the Speaker on the same day. Jayasuriya said that he had signed the Bills on May 15. The Judicature (Amendment) Act gives more..

Milestone marks from Mangala

May 23 (FT) Marking his first year, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera assured that the macroeconomic stabilisation efforts of the Govt had been successful, and assured additional efforts were underway to put the country on a stronger growth footing. Addressing a special media briefing, he pointed out that within the past year the Govt had not only reduced the prices of essential goods but had now established more..

Survival of Test cricket: Sri Lanka and Windies have a role to play

May 23 (DN) After much rumblings about the tour being in danger of getting cancelled and the threat of the itinerary being pruned down to less than three Tests, SL’s tour to the Caribbean after a lapse of ten years has somewhat survived the storm and thankfully will definitely go ahead as scheduled with no alterations to the itinerary. Thus for the first time since the two teams began playing Test cricket in 1993 Sri Lanka will be involved in a three-Test series in the Caribbean. more..

SLFP nominates MP Angajan Ramanathan as next Deputy Speaker

May 23 (FT) The SLFP has requested the permission of President Maithripala Sirisena, in his capacity as its leader, to appoint SLFP national list MP Angajan Ramanathan to the post of Deputy Speaker, it was revealed at yesterday’s party leaders meeting. UPFA General Secretary, Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, told the party leaders meeting that his party had nominated Ramanathan to President Sirisena to be appointed as the Deputy Speaker of Parliament. more..

'Mahendran played key role in singing FTA'

May 23 (DM) SLFP MP Dayasiri Jayasekara alleged that former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran, who was in Singapore, had played the key role in signing the Free Trade Agreement between SL & Singapore. "Mr. Mahendran has been assigned the duties to function as the SL representative in Singapore in matters regarding the SL-Singapore FTA while he was wanted by the courts over the CB Bond scam," he said. more..

Exports and FDI poised for growth: OBG

May 23 (DN) Sri Lanka’s plans to transition into a high-income, knowledge-based economy through ambitious fiscal reforms, new trade deals and added-value exports are explored in a new report from the global research and consultancy firm Oxford Business Group (OBG). The Report: Sri Lanka 2018 tracks growth in the tradable sector as the country targets $20bn in export earnings by 2020, boosted by the reinstatement of EU GSP+ status which helped to improve performances more..

Rolf Blaser, new CEO at Baurs

May 23 (DM) Baur & Co. (Pvt.) Ltd has announced the appointment of Rolf Blaser as the company’s CEO with effect from Oct 1, 2018. “This well-planned change in the top cadre at Baurs will ensure the successful continuation of the company founded in 1897 with its Swiss heritage and core values in trust, reliability, quality and innovation,” a press communiqué said. Blaser has spent more than a decade working and living in Asian markets and brings a rich plethora of experience with him. more..

Lankans ready for WI pace challenge

May 23 (DN) The challenge for Sri Lanka is to win their maiden Test series in the Caribbean. They came quite close to doing so on their last tour there a decade ago when Mahela Jayawardene’s side won the first test to record Sri Lanka’s maiden Test win in the Caribbean but lost the second Test to draw the two-Test series one-all. Dinesh Chandimal’s team can take a leaf out of the SL A team’s tour of the WI in Oct last year more..

Aitken Spence ups FY18 pre-tax profit by 22% to record Rs. 6.4 b

May 23 (FT) Aitken Spence Plc recorded a steady financial performance for the 12 months ending 31 March 2018 with a 22% year-on-year growth in profit-before-tax from Rs. 5.2 billion to Rs. 6.4 billion, its highest ever. The leading conglomerate recorded an increase in its annual revenue by 14.9% from Rs. 45.9 billion to Rs. 52.7 billion. The company also reported the highest ever profit-after-tax of Rs. 5.1 billion, which was an increase of 27.3% from the previous year. more..

SriLankan Airlines strengthens its moves against species smuggling

May 23 (Island) SriLankan Airlines, long in the forefront of global conservation efforts, launched a new ‘corporate policy on the carriage of fauna and flora on board SriLankan aircraft', to strengthen its numerous initiatives on species smuggling. Captain Suren Ratwatte, CEO of SriLankan, said: "We believe that the launch of this policy will send a strong message to species smugglers that we will not tolerate any activities that are unethical or endanger the survival of any species. more..

දහම් බේබිගේ පුංචි පැල්පත

Elementary my dear Cabraal, Dr. Indrajit tells ex-CB Chief

May 23 (FT) Akin to Sherlock Holmes saying, Elementary my dear Watson, Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy rebutted former CB Chief Nivard Cabraal over the latter’s claim on Monday that foreign reserves at the end of Rajapaksa regime had been squandered by the Yahapalana Govt. Though not directly referring to Cabraal’s statement, Central Bank said a misleading news item had been disseminated in relation to SL’s foreign reserves and external debt servicing. more..

Rural Development an urgent need

May 23 (Island) Sri Lanka is a land of villages and there are around 14,000 of them. A majority of the population, nearly 80 percent, live in villages, and most of them are faced with severe problems. Hence it is essential that appropriate strategies are implemented which will address the problems of the rural communities. Almost daily we hear about deaths of many people, in the rural areas, caused by wild elephants. They destroy crops and houses in these areas. more..

Ravin W. denies match-fixing allegations

May 23 (Island) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Assistant Secretary Ravin Wickramaratne denied match-fixing allegations involving a domestic match at a special press briefing. The game in question took place on January 23,24 and 25 last year at Maggona between Panadura Sports Club and Kalutara Physical and Culture Club in the SLC ‘Tier B’ Tournament. On the final day of the match, Panadura SC progressed to 399 for 5 before more..

3 professionals appointed to Insurance Regulatory Commission

May 23 (FT) Three senior professionals have been appointed to the Insurance Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (IRCSL) by Minister Mangala Samaraweera, making up the seven-member Commission headed by Mano Tittawella. Joining the Commission recently are Yudhishtran (Yudy) Kanagasabai, Errol Perera and Upul Deshapriya. Kanagasabai serves as the Chairman of the Board Audit Committees of Union Bank PLC and Ceylon Tobacco Company, and as a Non-Executive more..

Pushparaj wins silver at Austrian International Championship

May 23 (Island) SL bodybuilding champion Lucion Pushparaj won a silver medal at the Austrian International Bodybuilding Championship held in Vienna, Austria, on 19 May. Pushparaj beat current European Champion Armin Gangl to third place in winning the silver medal in his weight category, and dedicated his achievement to Sri Lanka. A large number of Sri Lankans, including SL’s Ambassador to Austria Priyanee Wijesekera and Second Secretary of the Embassy of SL Namal more..