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National study moots 15 key steps to boost MSME sector post-COVID-19

Jul 7 (FT) A nationwide survey has resulted in 15 key recommendations to boost Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) post COVID-19 pandemic. Recommendations follow a countrywide survey of nearly 3,000 MSMEs by the Small and Medium Business and Enterprise Development Ministry with academic inputs from Uni of Colombo, Peradeniya and Sabaragamuwa and consultancy facilitation from PASSAsia. more..

CoA dismisses Sierra’s street lighting project petition

Jul 7 (TM) A petition by Sierra Construction Ltd. following the loss of an LED smart street lighting project awarded by the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) was dismissed by the Court of Appeal on 19 June 2020. The petitioner had held the CMC, its Municipal Commissioner, Richardson Technologies (Pvt.) Ltd., which was awarded the project, and the Attorney General as respondents of this petition. Sierra, one of the bidders for this project, specialises in telecommunication engineering and more..

What is ailing the UNP? Lack of Sinhala Buddhist-ness or something else?

Jul 7 (DM) The UNP is in the throes of an existential crisis. The Grand Old Party in its present self is no stranger to crisis. But the current one is threatening not just its electoral prospects at the general election on August 5, but also its whole existence as a viable political force after the election. During the last 25 years, the UNP had ruled barely seven; on both occasions, in cohabitation arrangements with a SLFP President, with Chandrika Kumaratunga during Dec 2001- 2004, more..

Aloysius in contempt of court?

Jul 7 (TM) Controversial businessman Arjun Aloysius has been served with a contempt motion for failing to honour an enjoining order issued against him, barring him from interfering in the management of alcohol producer W.M. Mendis & Co. Ltd. The motion has been served by Jayasiri Holdings (Pvt.) Ltd., to which Aloysius handed over W.M. Mendis & Co. for a 10-year period in 2018, while he was in remand custody over CB Bond Scam, more..

Editorial: When sinners stone one another

Jul 7 (Island) China is cock-a-hoop at its recent victory during the 44th Session of the UNHRC, where its national security law for Hong Kong received the support of 53 countries. The members who condemned it over issues concerning Hong Kong, Tibet, etc., could muster only 27 votes. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has seen red. He has called the new law an affront to all nations. In backing or opposing resolutions, at the UNHRC, the member states are unfortunately guided by more..

It’s time to remove the obstacles to eradicate drug menace

Jul 7 (DM) Senior DIG for Western Province Deshabandu Thennakoon was seen on TV on Sunday vowing to eradicate drug menace from the country. He very confidently stressed Math drawya uwadura thrun karanawa karanawamai (Will definitely eradicate the drug menace). His declaration comes on the heels of several other actions by the govt to arrest the threat posed by the drug businessmen in the country and some of his own recent statements to that effect. more..

Face the Nation

Clean Water

Jul 7 (CT) COVID-19 crisis has reinforced the need to have safe drinking water, good clean sanitation facilities and for people to practise good hygiene behaviour at all times, World Bank (WB) said on 23 June. Though Sri Lanka has made great strides in the water supply and sanitation sector, achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by increasing access to improved drinking water and sanitation to 95% and 96% of the population, the next challenge is to achieve the SDGs more..

Elections in Sri Lanka: Some reminiscences

Jul 7 (Island) To start with, let me state that I was born in 1929, and first voted in 1952 as a 3rd year medical student. Since then I have voted at 15 elections – except one (1970), when I was abroad on post-graduate studies. All these elections bring back memories for me personally, and some elections a have special significance for the country. I will give a brief resume of each, as it may interest the younger folk who perhaps voted for the first time. Era as a Crown Colony - more..

Islandwide special ops on Prez’s orders to fight underworld

Jul 7 (CT) Uninterrupted Police investigations would be conducted on advice from Defence Secretary Kamal Gunaratna and Acting IGP Chandana D. Wickremaratna to bust all forms of crimes, illegal drug peddling and similar illegal activities throughout the country following an order issued to this effect to the law enforcement authorities by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, SDIG Deshabandu Tennakoon said. more..

Increasing balance of payments deficit eroding external reserves

Jul 7 (ST) The increasing balance of payments deficit will weaken the external reserves and increase the country’s external financial vulnerability. External reserves that were US$ 7.5 billion at the end of 2019 are falling likely to dip to below US$ 6 billion at the end of this year. A huge balance of payments deficit is likely this year owing to a large trade deficit, decrease in workers’ remittances and a sharp decrease in tourist earnings. A balance of payments deficit of US$ 3 to 4 billion by more..

Tales from the past: When cricket was corruption-free

Jul 7 (ST) Wherever colonial Britain stamped its military footprint, it left several legacies in the territories it occupied. One might say that Ceylon was one of those that escaped relatively unscathed unlike India and some African colonies whose populations did suffer death and deprivation. Like the early trappings of representative govt, there were other British legacies that persist until today in a much more exciting form and format such as cricket, unlike the colonial administration more..

'An intelligent political school of thought is the need of the hour'

Jul 7 (SO) Shasheendra Rajapaksa is another brilliant and patriotic scion of the Rajapaksa family, who has rendered an immense service to the Uva province as Chief Minister. Equipped with a 5-year master plan, he is contesting the General Election from Moneragala district, with the intention of executing his plan to fulfill his obligations to the regional community and the country. Excerpts on the current political situation and more..

2011 Cricket World Cup Final: Arjuna: I Would someday reveal the truth

Jul 7 (CT) This writer is at his wits’ end to unravel the following: 1) Mahindananda Aluthgamage was the Sports Minister at the time of the 2011 Cricket World Cup Final. Why did he not pursue his allegation of ‘match-fixing’ giving victory to India at the time he was sports minister? 2) Why has he now after 9 long years raised this issue? 3) Police media spokesman SSP Jaliya Senaratne now informs that the Sport Ministry’s Special Investigation Division has halted its investigations as more..

The delays that erode confidence in reconciliation

Jul 7 (CT) The govt last week responded to the concerns of those countries in the UNHRC in Geneva which have been taking a special interest in SL. They had expressed their concern about the govt’s position that it no longer supported UNHRC Resolution 30/1, which SL had co-sponsored in 2015 under its previous govt. Canada, Germany, North Macedonia, Montenegro and the UK issued a joint statement that expressed disappointment at the abandonment of the partnership with more..

BIA departure terminal open for 5 guests per passenger

Jul 6 (AD) Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) now allows up to five guests to accompany passengers into the departure terminal of the airport. Previously, only three guests were allowed to enter the departure terminal with a passenger carrying a valid air ticket. On June 15, the departure terminal was reopened for guests after been closed off for guests for a prolonged period owing to the COVID-19 global pandemic. more..

Oral submissions in contempt case against Ranjan resumes

Jul 6 (DM) Supreme Court today resumed oral submissions in the first contempt of court case filed against former State Minister Ranjan Ramanayake for allegedly making insulting remarks on the reputation of the judiciary. Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sarath Jayamanna appearing for the Attorney General submitted to court that respondent Ramanayake had deliberately made a contemptuous statement to media on Aug 21, 2017 outside the Temple Trees. more..

Dart Global to set up e-commerce capable Sri Lanka logistics centre

Jul 6 (AD) BOI signed an agreement with Dart Global Logistics to set up a state-of-the-art logistics fulfillment center, at the Muthurajawela Industrial Zone located in Kerawalapitiya, Wattala with an investment of over US$ 3 Million. The agreement was signed by Susantha Ratnayake, Chairman BOI and Jude Wijesundara, COO and Mr S Mohandas, Group CEO of Dart Global Logistics. The Facility will offer top-of-the-range third-party logistics (3PL) services under one roof for various more..

Sri Lanka seeking billion dollar repo from New York Fed

Jul 6 (EN) Sri Lanka is seeking a billion US dollar repo from the New York Federal Reserve to boost dollar liquidity, Treasury Secretary S R Attygalle said as the island re-opened most economic activities after controlling Coronavirus. The repo facility would be done by pledging Sri Lanka assets in the US, he said. Sri Lanka had US$ 6.49 billon by end May of which US$ 4.52 billion were securities and US$ 796 million more..

Suspension of PTL further extended

Jul 6 (AD) Monetary Board of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) has decided to extend the suspension of Perpetual Treasuries Limited (PTL) from carrying on the business and activities of a Primary Dealer for another six months. The Monetary Board, acting in terms of the Regulations made under the Registered Stock and Securities Ordinance and the Local Treasury Bills Ordinance, has decided to extend the suspension for a period of six months with effect from 4.30 p.m. on Sunday (July 5). more..

Election voting period extended by an hour

Jul 6 (NR) The voting period at the August 5 General Election has been extended an hour. Chairman of the Election Commission Mahinda Deshapriya issuing a statement said voting at the 2020 General Election will take place between 7 am and 5 pm on the 5 of Aug. Election Commission considered extending the voting period as the usual 7 am to 4 pm voting period will be insufficient given the health guidelines that are required to be adhered to by voters and officials on election day. more..

Govt breaking the COVID rules at election meetings: SJB

Jul 6 (EN) The SJB is complaining that the governing SLPP is not abiding by the COVID prevention regulations for public meetings laid down by the Elections Commission (EC). Party’s National Organiser Tissa Attanayake accused the EC of turning a blind eye to the recent rallies where PM and Prez participated violating these regulations. Attanayake said that the EC gave guidelines to the opposition about certain restrictions when more..

Eight suspects of Sunil Jayawardena murder further remanded

Jul 6 (AD) The eight suspects arrested in connection with the murder of Chairman of the Self-Employed Professionals’ Three-Wheeler Association, Sunil Jayawardena, have been further remanded. The suspects have been ordered to be remanded until July 17 as per the order of Nugegoda Additional Magistrate Tissa Wijeratne when the case was taken up today (6). Jayawardena, who was critically injured following an assault which took place in front of a leasing company located in Mirihana more..

Video: Kusal Mendis released on bail

Jul 6 (AD) Cricketer Kusal Mendis who was arrested over a fatal accident in Panadura has been released on bail by the Panadura Additional Magistrate’s Court. He was produced before the Panadura Additional Magistrate’s Court this morning (06). Mendis has been released on two surety bails worth Rs 01 million each. Further, his driving license has also been temporarily suspended by the court. The next hearing date of the case was set as September 09. more..

Insaf studied Arabic at Wellampitiya factory

Jul 6 (CT) Mohamed Ibrahim Insaf Ahmed, who carried out the suicide bombing at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel, studied the Arabic language with his brother Mohamed Ibrahim Ilham Ahmed (Shangri-La Hotel suicide bomber) and Abdul Latif Jameel Mohamed, bomber at the Tropical Inn Lodge in Dehiwala, at the factory located in Wellampitiya in 2017, said Sanun Mohamed Ishad, Manager of Colossus company, owned by Insaf Ahmad. more..

Video: Indian Coast Guard rescues six SL fishermen from rough seas

Jul 6 (WION) Six SL fishermen who were stranded at sea for 4 days, are headed for Visakapatnam, after being rescued by a Merchant's vessel on Sunday. The rescue was coordinated by Indian Coast Guard Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres (MRCC) in Mumbai and Chennai. The capsized fishing vessel and the six survivors were sighted around 170 nautical miles east of Chennai, by merchant vessel YM Summit, after which the Indian Coast Guard authorities were alerted. more..

Sri Lanka hotels see weekend trippers, delayed weddings as Covid-19 curfews end

Jul 6 (EN) Sri Lanka hotels outside of Colombo has seen rising occupancy as curfews ended with the domestic spread of the disease controlled and housebound weekend trippers fanning out, while delayed weddings are also helping, officials said. “I do not have the exact details but the occupancy rate of hotels out of Colombo are doing 60-70% during the weekend,” Sanath Ukwatte, the President of The Hotels Association of SL, and the Chairman of the Mount Lavinia Hotel Group said. more..

Video: Universities authorized to reopen for second and third-years

Jul 6 (AD) Vice-Chancellors of all universities have been given the authority to recommence academic activities for second and third-year students on a date of their choosing, Chairman of the UGC Senior Prof. Sampath Amaratunga. This was mentioned at a special media briefing of the Ministry of Higher Education today. Accordingly, the universities may reopen for second and third-year students from today (6) onward under more..

Shanthini urges voters to reject criminals and corrupt in politics

Jul 6 (Island) Sri Lanka needed civilized politicians and the voters must ensure that they elected people who could take the country to a prosperous future, Kandy district leader of the UNP team for the coming General Election, Shanthini Kongahage told a seminar organised by the Kandy District Inter-Religious Committee in Kandy. The former Central Provincial Council member told the meeting that election of civilized politicians to Parliament would begin from the Kandy District from Aug 5. more..

Tax revenues drop 26% up to April 2020, Rs200bn printed

Jul 6 (EN) Sri Lanka’s tax revenues dropped 26% to 408.5 billion rupees up to April 2020 and the finance ministry has halved capital spending to keep total spending below last year in the same period, amid a fiscal and monetary stimulus compounded by a Coronavirus crisis, data shows. Total revenue was down 20 percent to 476.8 helped by non-tax revenues which grew 53% to 68.2 billion rupees helped by a 24 billion rupee central bank profit given as new liquidity. more..

Polonnaruwa farmers urge President not to allow artificial rice shortages

Jul 6 (PMD) The farmers in Polonnaruwa made a strong plea to the President not to allow the intermediaries to create an artificial rice shortage. They pointed out that there was a bumper harvest in the previous seasons. ‘Hence, should not allow the attempts to create a rice shortage to succeed”, the farmers said. The farmers made this request to Prez Rajapaksa when he joined a public gathering held at more..

President calls for full report on shortcomings in Polonnaruwa schools

Jul 6 (PMD) Prez Rajapaksa in Polonnaruwa was briefed by the public regarding several issues including the teacher shortages affecting many schools in the district. Prez paying his swift attention to this matter requested the former State Minister Roshan Ranasinghe to prepare a full report on the shortcomings in schools. Prez made these remarks joining the SLPP election campaign in Polonnaruwa, today (5). Prez also advised the Alahera people who are engaged in small scale gem mining to more..

Anandasangaree lists his grievances against of Sampanthan

Jul 6 (Island) TNA leader R. Sampanthan used the LTTE to build up an empire of his own and had used the Tamil diaspora to isolate other independent Tamil leaders, V. Anandasangaree, Secretary General of the TULF has said in a media statement. Sampanthan seems to have assumed a superior role in Tamil politics and from time to time changed his tactics, giving the impression that he had the exclusive right to speak on behalf of the Tamil people, Anandasangaree has said. more..

Employers’ Federation says ‘No’ to staggered working hours

Jul 6 (DN) Employers’ Federation of Ceylon, (EFC) says that it’s not practical to implement working hours for the private sector in the manner proposed as it will greatly inconvenience employers and employees alike, especially working women. “Setting working hours is a prerogative of employers, but it is done in consultation with employees and Trade Unions representing employees for good reason”, said Dir Gen EFC, Kanishka Weerasinghe. more..

Explosion at Palai house critically injured ex-LTTE cadre

Jul 6 (AD) An individual suspected to be an ex-LTTE cadre has sustained critical injuries in an explosion that occurred at a house in Iyakachchi, Palai-Kilinochchi. Meanwhile, the police have recovered three locally manufactured bombs, banner containing a message on Black Tigers Day commemoration, explosives, and a photograph of an ex-LTTE cadre. A female who serves as a teacher has also been apprehended along with the items, said Palai Police. more..

Physical distancing forgotten in campaign trail: CaFFE

Jul 6 (Island) Most political parties cared little about maintaining physical distancing during their election campaigns and that could lead to devastating consequences, Director of the CaFFE, Surangi Ariyawansha said yesterday. "We have seen footage of some political events where people are packed together. Health ministry and Elections Commission have issued guidelines to ensure that the election is held safely. Physical distancing is an important part to prevent the spread of COVID-19. more..

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