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Admission to sports schools from Grade 8

Sep 15 (Island) Ministries of Education and Sports and Youth Affairs hope to commence the admission of students to sports schools from Grade 8. The aim is to produce outstanding athletes at the school level who can win internationally, the Ministry of Education states in a media release. It states: The admission of students to sports schools is started from grade 8 and the students who have special abilities and more..

Governor Yahampath does her bit to wean farmers from toxic chemicals

Sep 15 (Island) The soil damaged and made ill by agrochemicals should be cured by using carbonic manure, says the Governor of Eastern Province Anuradha Yahampath. Participating in the Aluth Sahal Mangallaya or the New Rice Festival, the first harvest festival of the 100 acres of organic paddy cultivation in the Eastern Province for the Yala season and trade exhibition in Kantale last week, Governor Yahampath said that witnessing the harvest of the first 100 acres cultivated more..

WSO2 appoints prominent industry professionals to key senior leadership roles

Sep 15 (FT) WSO2, the open source API-first integration company, yesterday announced a series of high profile appointments within its senior leadership team as the company looks towards further growth in key global markets, particularly North America, Asia Pacific, and Europe. Padmika Dissanaike has been appointed as the Senior Vice President – Finance and Operations. Padmika has been heading the global finance function at WSO2 since 2009 and in her new role, more..

Indika Hapugoda, SSP

What’s good and not so good about govt direction

Sep 15 (FT) A month has passed since the Parliamentary Elections. In terms of its life, over 1% has already been consumed. While it’s still in early days, it could still be evaluated based on the initial signs of direction. First and foremost, the handling of the COVID-19 outbreak should be commended although the measures were implemented from March onwards, well before the current Govt was formed. Secondly, it is heartening to note that the Govt has well understood that of more..

Video: Schoolgirl kidnapped and dropped off near school after 3 hours

Sep 15 (AD) A female student of a leading school in Kandy had allegedly been kidnapped from the front of her home in Bahirawakanda area this morning. However, she had been dropped off near another school in Kandy three hours later, stated the Police. Parents of the 12-year-old schoolgirl had lodged the complaint with the police that a group of people who arrived on a vehicle had kidnapped her when she came out of the house at around 6.45 am in the morning to go to a nearby house to get more..

Committee recommendations on proposed 20A to be submitted today

Sep 15 (FT) The committee appointed to study the proposed 20th Amendment will present their conclusions and recommendations to PM Mahinda Rajapaksa today, as well as at the Cabinet meeting tomorrow. According to SLPP Chairman and committee head Prof. G.L. Peiris, the committee met yesterday evening to analyse all articles of the proposed 20th Amendment, and final decisions on the procedure to be followed more..

Blood test results not required to obtain driving licence from today

Sep 15 (DM) The results of blood tests and X-rays submitted by applicants when seeking driving licences will no longer be required from today, Transport State Minister Dilum Amunugama said. Though the blood test report is not required for the issuance of licence, the applicant will have to however submit a report. State Minister said many people face difficulties due to their blood test results when obtaining driving licenses. “People may have high blood pressure and diabetes or both. more..

28 COVID-19 cases detected yesterday

Sep 15 (NR) 28 coronavirus cases were recorded in the country yesterday increasing infections to 3,262. 11 returnees from the UAE, five Indian sea marshals, four arrivals from Bahrain, four returnees from Bangladesh, and one arrival each from Vietnam, Qatar and Kuwait were among those who tested positive yesterday. The individual who passed away yesterday owing to the coronavirus, was confirmed to have contracted the virus yesterday. The 60-year-old male, passed away while more..

SJB whips up frenzy over flaws in draft 20A

Sep 15 (Island) SJB had commenced a campaign to safeguard the democratic values of the 20th Amendment and named it 19Plus, SJB MP Tissa Attanayake said. The campaign would be launched officially at 4 pm today at the New Town Hall. He said that the proposed 20th Amendment by the govt had become a fatherless baby. “The Justice Minister says that though he submitted the draft to the Cabinet he does not know who prepared it. more..

Ranil to continue as UNP Leader till early January

Sep 15 (DM) Ranil Wickremesinghe will continue as the leader of the UNP at least till early January despite his earlier announcement that he is ready to resign and appoint a new leader, senior party sources told Daily Mirror yesterday just after a secret ballot elected former Gampaha District MP Ruwan Wijewardene as the UNP's new Deputy Leader. Ruwan Wijewardene contested for the post with Ravi Karunanayake, and he won through the secret ballet with 28-10 votes. more..

UNDP, Brandix partner to promote Sustainable Biomass Energy

Sep 15 (DN) UNDP partnered with Brandix Apparel Limited to promote renewable energy in Sri Lanka through the facilitation of Model Fuelwood plantations for a Sustainable Energy Supply in SL. Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP in Sri Lanka, Faiza Effendi stated, “As nations prepare for the COVID-19 aftermath, there is a tremendous opportunity for a reset. Ambitious green recovery plans will help countries restore their economies while deepening their energy transition. more..

PCoI orders to Confiscate ex-SIS Director’s Phone

Sep 15 (CT) PCoI probing Easter Sunday terror attacks in 2019 ordered the Police unit attached to the Commission yesterday (14) to confiscate a mobile phone used by former Director of State Intelligence Service (SIS) SDIG Nilantha Jayawardena. The mobile phone had been used to record several conversations that took place between him and some senior security officials after the terror attack. more..

CNBC to promote Sri Lanka Tourism for 3 months

Sep 15 (FT) CNBC, a leading international channel for consumer and business news, has extended its support to Sri Lanka Tourism by providing complimentary advertising worth $ 100,000 for a period of three months. The complimentary tourism promotional campaign opportunity was offered to promote and uplift the tourism industry, severely impacted by the pandemic. Sri Lanka Tourism advertisements will be aired from mid-September on CNBC in Asia, Middle East and Europe. more..

European Union funds nine Capacity Building for Higher Education projects

Sep 15 (SM) Delegation of the European Union (EU) to SL & Maldives in collaboration with the Uni of Peradeniya announced EU-funded Capacity Building for Higher Education (CBHE) projects for 2020. The announcement took place at the Univ of Peradeniya together with 15 other participant institutions. EU in SL is funding nine capacity-building projects in 2020 through the Erasmus+ programme, which aims to promote the sustainable development of its partners in the field of higher education. more..

UN rights chief urges UNHRC to give renewed attention to Sri Lanka

Sep 15 (AD) United Nations human rights chief said on Monday that she is troubled that the new Govt of Sri Lanka is swiftly reneging on its commitments to the UNHRC since it withdrew its support for resolution 30/1. U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet also warned that the proposed 20th amendment to the Constitution may negatively impact on the independence of key institutions, including more..

Sri Lanka among 3 countries with greatest external risks: Moody’s

Sep 15 (TM) Credit pressures are likely to increase for some govts with large dollar-denominated debt repayments, with SL (B2 review for downgrade), along with Turkey (B2 negative) and Ukraine (B3 stable), being at greatest risk. “SL has $ 1.0 billion in international bonds to repay in October. Govt has secured $ 1.2 billion in external financing from China Development Bank (A1 stable), along with a $ 400 million swap line from Reserve Bank of India, both of which bolster foreign exchange reserves. more..

Webinar on economic cooperation between Sri Lanka and South Korea

Sep 15 (Island) The embassy of SL in the Republic of Korea in close coordination with the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC), Korea Importers Association (KOIMA), Korea Business Council and the embassy of Korea in Colombo conducted a webinar, last week, with particular focus on business opportunities and vistas, strategies to enhance bilateral trade particularly exports of goods and services of SL to South Korea, investment and commercial opportunities and tourism, more..

Video: President instructs to implement plans to meet domestic liquid milk demand

Sep 15 (AD) President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has instructed officials to implement a short-term and long-term plan in collaboration with the public, private sectors and small-scale farmers to meet the local demand for liquid milk. Prez stressed the need to improve grass cultivation, dairy cow breeding and research institute services in order to achieve the set targets expeditiously. President made these remarks during more..

Import ban to boost local tiles and sanitaryware industry

Sep 15 (CT) Import ban on tiles and sanitary ware is a major advantage for the local tiles and sanitaryware industry, Colombo based equity research arm of the SC Securities stated in its latest research note relating to Royal Ceramics Lanka (RCL). However, RCL expects supply side challenges as bathware; packaging and aluminum sectors are reliant on imported raw materials. “We expect strong recovery in volume in the second quarter of 2021, and increase in market share more..

SLR awaits green light to resume rugby

Sep 15 (ST) The new administration of Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) unveiled its action plan with four important competitions to be staged from October onwards, but its implementation will depend on the feedback from the higher authorities. President Rizly Illyas positively revealed SLR’s immediate action plan while introducing the new heads of the committees at their inaugural press conference held on Friday, in which he also stated on an important meeting with stakeholders to be followed on more..

SEC finalises new Act

Sep 15 (FT) The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has finalised its new Act for submission to Finance Minister PM Mahinda Rajapaksa, to be tabled before the Cabinet for approval. The new SEC Act has been in the works for several years, with multiple drafts and many rounds of stakeholder consultation. “We have refined the final draft, bringing greater clarity and removing ambiguity. more..

TT players to get permanent place for training

Sep 15 (DN) Table Tennis Association of SL (TTASL) will finally get a permanent place for the players’ practices at Torrington Sports Ministry premises new building. This is a much-needed requirement for the paddlers and several times this issue was pointed out by the officials of TTASL. The present President of TTASL State Minister Kanaka Herath finally submitted this proposal to the new Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa. Last week after a successful discussion between Minister Namal more..

Sri Lanka could end 2020 with no international cricket

Sep 15 (Island) Sri Lanka could end up not playing any international cricket at all this year after Ministry of Health put up strict health guidelines for visiting teams to resume cricket. SLC was expected to host Bangladesh for three Test matches later next month and had identified Pallekele and SSC as the two venues as well for the games. However, the tourists have opposed the two week quarantine requirement demanded by the Health Ministry. While Bangladesh Cricket Board had indicated more..

Controversial supplement use and suppliers going scot-free

Sep 15 (Island) Reputed sprint coach and Olympian Sunil Gunawardena alleged that a segment of track and field coaches guiding the destinies of SL’s top level athletes were ruining their careers by promoting controversial supplements. He said that country’s fastest sprinter in both the boys’ and girls’ categories are now being coached by an individual who imports and promotes supplements. Gunawardena who did not name more..

Chess: Ranindu takes the lead as top seeds collide, Nethmi unbeatable

Sep 15 (Island) As the opening weekend of the National Chess Championships comes to an end, the second seed Ranindu Liyanage (Ananda College) came on top by holding the top seeded Susal de Silva to draw in a double rook ending using a French defense. Liyanage then went on to win against Maheesha Dabarera (Maliyadeva College) who was leading the championship at the start of round five through a game where Maheesha opted for Sicilian Kan variation, but Ranindu used more..

Foreign scholarships for 10 best athletes

Sep 15 (DN) Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa has decided to give ten foreign scholarships to the athletes who perform well at the forthcoming National Sports Festival (NSF). This scholarship duration will be three years and ten athletes will be selected according to their performance. The 46th National Sports Festival is scheduled to be held next December at the Sugathadasa Stadium and the Minister already has given instructions to cut down expenses in conducting this NSF and more..

Debating draft 20th Amendment

Sep 15 (TM) The proposed 20th Amendment seems to have received much opposition given that the incumbent Govt has made changes in a way that fortified the powers vested in the Executive President. Below are excerpts of interviews with Opposition party representatives – SJB National Organiser Tissa Attanayake, JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, and ITAK Leader Mavai Senathirajah – more..

Why the hurry about 20A?

Sep 15 (Island) May I begin by expressing my appreciation to the Kandy Professionals Association for embarking on this very timely initiative of meeting every month, on a Sunday, to discuss in depth the issues involving constitutional reform, and the way forward in our country. I consider this an exercise of immediate relevance and value. The decision by the Govt to present to the Cabinet of Ministers the text of the 20th Amendment to modify significantly the contents of the 19th Amendment and, more..

Editorial: Expedite repatriation

Sep 15 (Island) Nobody has accepted responsibility for drafting the 20th Amendment (20A) to the Constitution. This fatherless Bill has become a huge embarrassment to the SLPP govt, which may have thought that securing its passage would be a walk in the park. Prez Rajapaksa has been left holding the baby. The govt has decided to review 20A, we are told. It is putting the cart before the horse. PM Rajapaksa has appointed a committee to study 20A and submit a report thereon to him fast. more..

SLMC criticised for snubbing Russian degrees

Sep 15 (CT) Association of SL Graduates from Socialist Countries (ASLGSC) seemed to have stirred a hornets’ nest following their vehement condemnation of the Sri Lanka Medical Council’s (SLMC) decision to delist four Russian medical degrees presented by four Universities to students who sought foreign medical degrees after their GCE A/L exams. It has fired up the Russian Centre which has issued a warning that more..

Amendments must be done with broader spectrum

Sep 15 (DM) The govt is going to change the present Constitution in two steps, in line with Prez Rajapaksa’s policy statement at the inaugural session of the Parliament on Aug 20. Accordingly, the govt has already gazetted on Sept 3, a Constitutional Amendment Bill - 20th Amendment to the Constitution. On the other hand, the Cabinet, on Sept 3 has appointed a nine-member committee of experts on the recommendation of Justice Minister Ali Sabri who had been tasked the job by more..

20A is redundant in supra-majority; so why this unholy hurry?

Sep 15 (DM) The abiding feature of the indigenous constitution-making in SL is personalism. Since the first Republican Constitution of1972, successive constitutions and endless amendments have been adopted to remodel the supreme law of the country to fit into the personal and political ambitions of the political leadership of the time. United Front Govt which was elected with a two-third majority in 1970 converted the House of Representatives to a Constituent Assembly and churned out more..

Face the Nation

Expedite repatriation

Sep 15 (CT) This newspaper in an article published on 28 August under the heading 26,000 plus expats repatriated quoting Army Commander and Head of National Operation Centre for the Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak, Lt Gen Shavendra Silva said that currently, 26,000 plus expatriates have been repatriated and 55,000 more are to be repatriated on a staggered basis. The greater part of these Sri Lankans awaiting repatriation may be presumed to be the country’s workers in Middle-East more..

Rebooting system Sri Lanka

Sep 15 (TM) If one were to define the meaning of the word democracy, the words of a revered American Prez spring to mind. It was Abraham Lincoln who in his epic speech known as the Gettysburg Address famously described the concept of democracy as govt of the people, by the people, for the people. Lincoln’s profound words hold true and remain relevant to the democratic world a good 157 years after they were first uttered. We were reminded of these words following the ha-ho more..