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Sri Lanka govt plans LED street light, CCTV surveillance network

Apr 11 (EN) Korea Telecom has won a Sri Lankan govt deal to replace conventional street lights with a network of LED lamps in main cities like Colombo that is also planned to be used for public Wi-Fi and video security surveillance. Minister of Internal & Home Affairs and Provincial Councils & Local Govt Wajira Abeywardena had proposed the project which was approved by the Cabinet of ministers this week, more..

Sri Lanka among countries with rising interest burdens: IMF

Apr 11 (EN) Sri Lanka is among countries having high levels of commercial debt with rising interest burdens that are vulnerable to rollover risks, according to the International Monetary Fund. It was among countries that faced tighter financing conditions and rising risk premiums last year. “Many economies saw rising interest burdens, which exceeded 20% of total revenue in 2018 in Egypt, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka,” the IMF said in its latest Fiscal Monitor report. more..

CP Governor assures remote Meemure villagers he will redress their woes

Apr 11 (Island) Central Province Governor Maithri Gunaratne has assured the villagers of Meemure, a remote village in Udadumbara, that he would take action to redress their grievances. During a field visit to Meemure last Weekend Governor gave a hearing to the villagers, who complained of lack of educational and healthcare facilities. Kaikawala Vidyalaya believed to be the best school in Meemure is under-staffed. There are no teachers for subjects like Tamil, Science, Mathematics, more..

ලංකාවේ විදුලි හිඟයක් ඇති කළා...

Aiyo Sri Lanka!

Apr 11 (FT) Avurudu season is approaching and April as always is hotter than hot. Heat warnings are released from the Met Department and what else? Power and water cuts are the daily norm – for most of us. In these times the entire – or let’s say most of the – country is reminded how it is to live without power and how dependent we are on it in many ways. These times also remind us of those Sri Lankans who are facing this destiny throughout the year, and who still have not been able to more..

Imported dairy cattle fiasco

Apr 11 (CT) Sri Lanka is a country with a lofty agricultural tradition. The economy of ancient SL hinged upon agriculture and the country was self-sufficient and food security of the inhabitants was highly assured. The agriculture-based rural economy was subsistent and the inhabitants cultivated paddy and other necessary crops for their own consumption while rearing dairy cattle in households for obtaining milk. Dairy industry is a sub-sector of SL’s agricultural economy which plays more..

Sri Lanka repays Rs. 70 billlon in contractor arrears, bonds to banks for subsidies

Apr 11 (EN) Sri Lanka has repaid about 70 billion rupees of arrears to private construction firms in March and an overdue interest subsidy of 40 billion rupees will be settled after raising fresh debt or through a bond, Central Bank Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said. "The Treasury has paid about 70 billion rupees in overdues to the construction industry," Coomaraswamy said. more..

Northern politicians exploit SC ruling to their advantage

Apr 11 (Island) Following the recent landmark decision by the Supreme Court to pay compensation to the people affected by the Chunnakam power station, some Tamil politicians in the Jaffna Peninsula were now trying to take the upper hand to strengthen their vote bank, alleged the environmental group that fought for justice of the affected people. "We took up the matter with all Tamil politicians, including TNA Leader more..

Ranawaka promises to halt brain drain with Port City

Apr 11 (Island) Minister Champika Ranawaka has said that the Colombo Port City will help prevent brain-drain as it will provide jobs for 80,000 Lankan professionals who would otherwise go abroad for employment. Addressing a ceremony held at Danthure last week to declare open Poththapitiya Bus Station and multi purpose building constructed at a cost of Rs 710 million, the Minister said: more..

If Sirisena's term extended: GL threatens court action

Apr 11 (CT) Chairman of the SLPP, Professor G.L. Peiris said they would go before the Supreme Court if President Sirisena’s Presidential term is extended, adding that they have reasons to justify filing a suit opposing such a move. Prof. Peiris claimed that General Secretary of the SLFP, Dayasiri Jayasekara’s statement on seeking the Supreme Court’s opinion once again to determine what the start and end dates of Prez more..

Why is Karadiyana waste project yet at a standstill?

Apr 11 (Island) Public concern is on the rise again regarding the Karadiyana mass scale waste project and the govt’s inability to proceed despite the private developer, Fairway Waste Management (Pvt.) Ltd. having completed all necessary regulatory matters up to now. In the latest development of the crisis, three senior academics, namely Prof. Ajith de Alwis - Senior Professor in Chemical & Processing Engineering, more..

Sri Lanka’s Northern Province journalists win awards for using RTI for reporting

Apr 11 (FT) Ten journalists working in the Northern Province have been recognised for their commitment to using the right to information (RTI) for public interest journalism. They were chosen from among 19 journalists who submitted 59 media stories published or broadcast between Sept 2018 and Jan 2019. These entries were evaluated by an independent panel of judges. The first place was won by Kumarasamy Selvakumar, more..

Judiciary must be free of any pressure to function independently: Retiring CJ

Apr 11 (ST) Chief Justice (CJ) Nalin Perera has urged the Executive not to create the slightest impression that the judicial system is being pressurised, as a judiciary must be free of any pressure, in order to function independently. Speaking at his farewell ceremony this week, the CJ, who will be retiring on April 24, emphasised that the State must always abide by the rulings of the Court, and not consider rulings against it as unfriendly ones. more..

RTIC orders release of report on contract to build Akuregoda Defence Headquarters

Apr 11 (ST) The report of the four-member committee chaired by G S Withanage, appointed to review the awarding of a consultancy contract to build a Defence Headquarters Complex at Akuregoda during former Prez Rajapaksa’s tenure, and details of payments made to a controversial architects firm, Muditha Jayakody Associates Ltd (MJAL), were ordered to be released on April 2 by the Right to Information Commission (RTIC). more..

'Appointment of DG Finance a redundancy'

Apr 11 (CT) The Health Ministry is violating all accepted norms in seeking to appoint a Director General for Finance in addition to the existing position of the Director General Health Services (DGHS), Secretary of the GMOA, Dr. Haritha Aluthge claimed. He alleged that the Ministry already had a Chief Accountant. However, this structural change was being made within the Health Ministry to suit the whims and fancies of a certain more..

Thieves, murderers or Nagananda?

Apr 11 (DM) After every election the same set of shifty mugs are seen in Parliament. There is never a change. Whether they are in the Govt, in the opposition or on the fence they are happy. They know they are going to have a jolly good time at the expense of the citizens of the country. If you are still watching broadcasts in the TV channels you cannot, but be amused by the contradictory statements of the MPs from the same party or the same more..

If Karu is the Candidate: Does he need to name a PM?

Apr 11 (DM) With the announcement of the possible candidature of Gotabhaya Rajapaksa as the next Presidential Candidate from the Pohottuwa Party (Now it seems to be jeopardy while a couple of cases being reported to have been filed against him), a lot of gossip and rumours are afoot as to who could be the UNP candidate at the next Prez Election. Most of the pseudo-pundits are working overtime and their vested interests are dictating that a losing candidate should be coming forward more..

Power Crisis: Let’s together help Sri Lanka turn the corner

Apr 11 (DM) The unannounced power cuts at different times of the day with a varying duration has plunged Sri Lanka and its people into a red-hot furnace. But the consumers would have definitely heaved a huge sigh of relief at the announcement by Power and Energy Minister Ravi Karunanayake that as of today there would be no more power cuts. But nevertheless the sting in the tail is his warning that there is no room for complacency because the power crisis is still not over. more..

President lambasts Media

Apr 11 (DN) President Sirisena, rejoicing the fact that media freedom and democracy have been restored in the country, urged the media to use them in an ethical manner. He used the platform of SL’s first ever Presidential Media Awards 2019 held at the BMICH yesterday to caution media personnel against scathing criticisms on him stating that the alternative leader who would emerge as a result would be his opposite and prone to more..

UNP to place Gota’s fate in SF’s hands?

Apr 11 (Island) The UNP has sought to shift the responsibility for handling former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s citizenship to Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, according to sources. It was decided at a meeting between senior UNP ministers and PM, yesterday, to have Fonseka appointed Minister of Internal Affairs. Internal Affairs Minister is responsible for issues related to citizenship. UNPers decided to nominate Field Marshal Fonseka for that post & convey their decision to Prez’s office, more..

Nadun Guruge new head of IRD

Apr 11 (Island) Cabinet approval has been granted for the appointment of Nadun Guruge as the Commissioner General of the Inland Revenue Department. Guruge, who has worked at the IRD for 34 years, previously served as a Deputy Commissioner General and the Acting Commissioner General. Guruge has a Bachelor of Commerce (Special) degree, from the Uni of Sri J'pura and completed a Diploma in Strategic Management and Leadership (Level 7) at more..

Drought affects over 500,000

Apr 11 (Island) More than 500,000 people have been affected by the severe drought. 529,420 persons, belonging to 136,329 families, had been affected by the prevailing drought. The worst affected areas are in the Northern Province. In Delft, Kayts, Karainagar, Velanai and Maruthankarny areas in the Jaffna District, 33,488 persons, belonging to 24,207 families, have been affected while in the Mannar District 53,569 people of more..

People’s Bank signs landmark $ 200 m transaction with China Development Bank

Apr 11 (FT) People’s Bank has signed a landmark $200 million, eight-year, bilateral funding facility with China Development Bank, which is one of the largest and the longest tenor funding facilities secured by any commercial bank in SL up to now. The signing ceremony was held at China Development Bank’s Guangxi Branch in Nanning, of China on 27 March. CEO Vasantha Kumar and Guangxi Branch General Manager Mei Shiwen signed the facility agreement representing more..

I was the most harangued and insulted head of state: President

Apr 11 (DM) Prez Sirisena said he was the most harangued and insulted head of state from the media among all six Presidents since J. R. Jayewardene but the next Prez after him will not tolerate the mudslinging and character assassinations like him. He sounded alarm to the media that they must be careful if they intend to treat the next Prez in the same manner in the way they treated him in the last four years. He went on to say that he is not satisfied with canard and more..

CMC raids Colombo supermarkets

Apr 11 (DM) A number of supermarkets within the Colombo Municipality were raided by the CMC Health Department officials today to check the hygienic conditions and food safety regulations. During these raids, many outlets were found to have violated food safety regulations, especially in terms of storage regulations. Medical officer-in-charge of the City Food Safety and Hygiene Promotion Unit Dr. Subash Mendis more..

SL, Myanmar trade hits USD 80 mn mark

Apr 11 (DN) The trade figures between Sri Lanka and Myanmar in 2018 was around USD 80 million, Ambassador of Myanmar, Han Thu said yesterday. Health care, cosmetics, food and beverages, banking, IT and shipping are the main sectors fromSri Lanka that could to invest in Myanmar. The laws and policies in Myanmar enable foreign companies to carryout retail, whole sale and education business. It also enables foreigners to buy shares in local companies. more..

Cabinet defers Ravi’s proposal for uninterrupted power supply

Apr 11 (Island) The Cabinet has deferred a proposal by the Minister Ravi Karunanayake for maintaining a continuous power supply. The Cabinet paper proposes the purchase of emergency power, the establishment of power plants and amending the SL Electricity Act to remove barriers to establishing renewable energy based power plants and easing the tensions between the CEB and the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka. A committee was appointed to study the proposal, more..

Abstain from voting bigger offence than Nov 11 betrayal: Dayasiri

Apr 11 (DM) A group of SLFPers cheated the party by joining the SLPP soon after Prez Sirisena sacked PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and formed a govt with opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa as the PM, General Secretary of the SLFP, Dayasiri Jayasekara said. He asked whether abstaining in Parliament and not to vote in favour of the budget 2019 was a bigger offence than the betrayal of the party on Nov 11, on which more..

Junior Golf: Top seeds through to semi-finals

Apr 11 (DN) All top seeds in the respective Divisions for the different Age Groups qualified for the semifinal stage with top seeded Haroon Aslam receiving a walk-over in the Gold Division for Boys from Jestin Robinson from Kilinochchi. Robinson grabbed the opportunity to win the Plate Division on a count-back from Lidurshan, who didn’t qualify for the match-play stage. Aslam will meet Dilshan Malinda who overcame 4th seeded T. Vikash in a nail-biting finish on the 19th hole more..

Kumar Sangakkara addresses BOI

Apr 11 (Island) Cricketing star Kumar Sangakkara addressed the staff of the BOI and spoke of the importance of the concept of leadership in an organization like Sri Lanka’s investment promotion and facilitation agency. The address was titled Reach the Peak 2019. This was an opportunity for the popular sporting personality to share his experiences on the sporting field and to express his ideas on "the importance of believing in something bigger than yourself". more..

New measures to reduce lending interest rates: PM

Apr 11 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe announced new measures to reduce lending rates, especially for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), but stopped short of putting a cap on lending interest rates. PM, announcing the new measures that were adopted after recommendations were made by a group of experts, said Govt would review the procedures over the next few weeks & make adjustments if necessary. more..

Stop ragging: Ava group warn Jaffna undergrads

Apr 11 (DM) Ava Group had put up notices in the Jaffna University premises warning that the students who were involved in ragging newcomers will be punished and calling for immediate stop of any ragging activities in the university. Several posters had been put up in a building of the arts faculty on Tuesday night and in reply, students unions of the Jaffna and Eastern University had also put up notices saying that no such ragging is carried out on the newcomers in the university. more..

Tourism earnings grow 5.9% in 1Q19

Apr 11 (DM) SL’s tourism earnings grew by 5.9% YoY to US$ 1.39 billion in the first quarter of the year. The growth in tourist arrivals averaged to 4.6% in the first quarter with 740,600 foreigners travelling to the island nation. In March, the country earned US$ 458.6 million from tourism, up 6% from US$ 432.8 million a year earlier. Tourist arrivals grew moderately at 4.7% YoY in March to 244,328 visitors amidst a notable decline in arrivals from Northern & Western European countries. more..

Govt mulls one framework for all labour laws

Apr 11 (FT) Govt has kicked off discussions on amalgamating as many as 40 different labour laws into one comprehensive legislative framework, to simplify employment among different sectors and improve economic competitiveness. Labour Minister Ravindra Samaraweera said Govt was moving forward to create one comprehensive labour law and talks had already begun between different departments within the Ministry. more..

Buwaneka, Thilini take the honours

Apr 11 (DN) Buwaneka Gunatilleka and Thilini Hendahewa emerged open men’s and women’s singles champions at the inaugural Defenders Open Badminton championships which concluded at Army Indoor Stadium Panagoda. Buwaneka completed the double by winning the men’s singles and doubles partnered by Sachin Dias but missed the triple crown losing the mixed doubles final. Buwaneka who upset Dinuka Karunaratna in the semifinals earlier won in straight sets more..

Police get 25,000 breathalysers

Apr 11 (CT) To curb drunk driving during the festive season, 25,000 additional breathalysers have been brought down. This comes in the wake of a rise in fatal accidents due to drunk driving during the festive season. Statistically it has been found that, “The most number of fatal road accidents occur in April. Last year, there were 296 fatal accidents in April and a majority was due to drunk driving, so we will take necessary precautions,” Police Media Spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekara said. more..