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Video: 'Price hike of sugar not permitted'

Sep 20 (AD) Ministry of Finance states that price hike of sugar will not be permitted as the international price of sugar has been drastically reduced due to excess sugar in the world market. The import cost of sugar imported to Sri Lanka from the sugar producing countries such as India, Thailand and Brazil has been decreased to Rs 55 per 1 kg of sugar from the previous Rs 75. Special Commodity Levy of Rs 31 more..

Sri Lanka handicrafts exports up 11%

Sep 20 (DN) Despite the South Asian giant’s renowned arts and craft traditions of millennia, India cannot hold back its love for SL handicrafts. “Sri Lanka, like India has a tradition of handicrafts. The handicrafts in both our nations continue for millennia. Sri Lankan art creations are very popular with Indians” said High Commissioner of India to SL Taranjit Singh Sandhu on Sept 12 in Colombo. Export of crafts increased last year by 11% to US$ 61 million from 2016’s $56 million. more..

'Minister won’t interfere with SLR decisions'

Sep 20 (CT) Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) has decided to go ahead with their decision of fielding foreign rugby players in the bottom-tier clubs, after Sports Minister Faiszer Musthapha gave the green light for the new move to be implemented by the sports’ governing body. Following a complaint received by the Sports Minister from two ‘A’ division rugby playing clubs against the SLR ruling, the Minister had inquired about it during a meeting held at the Sports Ministry with officials of the SLR. more..

Tax for gold imports slashed

Sep 20 (FT) The Govt yesterday announced tax cuts on gold imports, in a bid to curtail gold smuggling to Sri Lanka impacting the country’s gold reserves, Deputy Minister Ajith Mannapperuma said. The decision to reduce tax from 15% to 5% was made following requests made by industry leaders, Mannapperuma said. According to him, an increasing number of smugglers bring gold though irregular means to avoid the tax, more..

SL outplay UAE 3-0 to book semifinal berth

Sep 20 (DN) SL made their way to the semi finals of the first ever Asia Men’s Volleyball Challenge Cup yesterday at Suagathdasa stadium when thy trounced UAE in a convincing three sets to nil win (25-20, 25-17, 25-15). The first set began with UAE taking the lead just before the first technical time out at 8-7. Local lads fought well after return and overtook their opponents with a slender two point lead to be at 10-8 but the opponent worked well once again to snatch the lead 16-14. more..

'Sri Lanka trade policy catalyst for growth'

Sep 20 (EN) SL's national trade policy sets out goals to reform the tariff regime and improve trade facilitation for both exports and imports in order to achieve higher economic growth, but risks losing investments to countries reforming faster, a trade economist has said. "Sri Lanka's national trade policy was very carefully crafted and lays out the parameters for trade growth and export diversification," said Nihal Pitigala, a trade economist who's worked as a consultant for more..

Amendments to Finance bill 2018 approved by Cabinet

Sep 20 (FT) Cabinet has approved a host of Amendments, including abolition of Mansion Tax, to the Finance bill 2018 approved by the Cabinetin July this year to incorporate tax proposals in the last three years. Amendments will be incorporated to the bill at the committee stage of the debate. Presenting the Cabinet paper, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera proposed to abolish the Mansion Tax proposed in 2015 Budget, more..

Nestlé initiative helps more than 6,000 young Sri Lankans become more employable

Sep 20 (ST) More than 6,000 young Sri Lankans have received support to build skills and enhance their employability through the ‘Nestlé Needs YOUth’ initiative. Nestlé, which has a long tradition of recruiting young people directly from universities, launched the programme in 2016 to help address the issue of youth unemployment. Since the initiative’s launch, Nestlé has strengthened its focus on offering young people employment opportunities. Currently close to 35% of Nestlé’s more..

Govt analyst to submit report on voice recordings

Sep 20 (DM) Colombo Fort Magistrate M/s. Lanka Jayarathne today ordered the govt analyst to submit an immediate report on the recorded telephone conversation over an alleged attempt to assassinate President Maithripala Sirisena and former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The magistrate also ordered to check whether the recordings were compared with the voices of TID DIG Nalaka de Silva and Anti Corruption Force Organisation working Director Namal Kumara. more..

Hirusha leaps 7.19m to shatter long jump record

Sep 20 (CT) St. Peter’s athlete Hirusha Abeysekara started the Sir John Tarbet Athletic C'ship 2018 in emphatic fashion, when he shattered the Under-16 boys’ long jump record with an astonishing leap of 7.19m at Sugathadasa Stadium yesterday. Hailing from Siddhartha College Balapitiya, Hashen was having a splendid junior athletic career, when he came under the wing of St. Peter’s last year. Hashen habitually won 100m, 200m & long jump more..

Medicine Mafia or Malpractice

Sep 20 (CT) SL has growing pains when it comes to offering proper healthcare facilities and services. Our doctors are on strike every other week, our hospitals are run on second grade equipment that breakdown regularly or don’t run at all due to the lack thereof, medical students who graduate and migrate out of the country due to the poor job standards or the pressure of politics and pharmacies that do not have enough medicine, substandard medicine or even medicine founded on more..

'SL on track to US$ 17.2 bn export target'

Sep 20 (DN) SL is on track to achieve an all time record target of US$ 17.2 billion in total exports for 2018, said Minister Malik Samarawickrama. “Last year was a record year for exports, achieving US$ 15.15 billion in merchandise and services exports,” he said. He was speaking at the Presidential Export Awards. “This shows that our exports have increased by 50% over the past three years. However SL should not be satisfied with this as other countries are exporting 10-15 times more..

Motor traders in a tug of war over state vehicle tender policy

Sep 20 (ST) SL Govt has been caught up in the middle of a tug of war between franchise motor dealers and used car dealers in a bitter dispute over the current vehicle procurement policy for state institutions. Vehicle Importers Association of SL (VIASL – mostly used car sales) is lobbying hard for the removal of the present monopoly enjoyed by automobile franchise dealers (local agents of brand new vehicles) more..

Sri Lanka businesses likely to suffer big losses from climate change: eco lawyer

Sep 20 (EN) SL businesses are likely to suffer losses from the effects of climate change with hotels vulnerable to sea level rise and plantations and agribusinesses to changes in rainfall, an environmental law expert said. Climate change will have devastating impacts on citizens, businesses and the national budget, Attorney-at-Law Lalanath de Silva told a forum held by the SL Business and Biodiversity Platform, known as Biodiversity SL. “The cost runs into millions, if not billions, more..

Sarvodaya has launched a new national awakening!

Sep 20 (CT) Sarvodaya is celebrating its 60th Anniversary this year with various new activities and strengthening their old ones. One of the important initiatives is the launching of the country wide Deshodaya or the national awakening programme. Although the name or even the programme is not completely new, it has taken a new focus and direction with a view to resist and overturn the existing corrupt political system, political culture and practices. more..

Nagananda Kodituwakku

Flying nuts

Sep 20 (Island) President expressing his disdain over the quality of nuts offered on SriLankan Airlines this week brought back memories of my first flight. I was 20 years old, and it was 21 years ago. Undergraduate study in Delhi beckoned, but I was more excited about something else. Listening to my parents and my elder sister speak of flying growing up, and reading copiously on the dynamics and science of flight ever since I can remember, I was far more excited about the passage to Delhi by, more..

Singapore –Model, Rival or Intruder?

Sep 20 (Island) Singapore has recently been much in the news. Should we imitate, rival or insulate ourselves? These deserve to be examined closely as they are more complex than they may first seem. One wonders how many of those who speak of Lee Kwan Yu as the architect of modern-day Singapore have an acquaintance with his two monumental works entitled The Singapore Story and From Third World to First. They are highly instructive and give a fine insight into autobiographical detail and more..

Sack captain, sack coach but don't talk about real changes

Sep 20 (CI) Right. Okay. This is pathetic, isn't it? Knocked out of the Asia Cup basically before it has even begun. A big 91-run loss to Afghanistan, following an even bigger 137-run pasting by Bangladesh. Appalling. Someone needs to be held accountable for this garbage. How far Sri Lankan cricket has fallen. This is beyond embarrassing. Contracts must be torn up. Changes must be made. Heads surely have to roll. more..

Fundamental problem of currency depreciation

Sep 20 (DN) The currency value is a frequently discussed topic among financial media, opposition political corners and policy-makers in almost all countries without. The most in emerging market economies (EMs) raises grave concerns on the depreciation of the currency and its adverse effects on the economy and public as currency appreciation is not generally heard in many countries like Sri Lanka. The frequently raised concerns over the currency depreciation are the increase in more..

In quest of Perfect Presidential candidate

Sep 20 (DN) Even if there is a period of fifteen months before the next presidential elections, the run up to the poll appears to have begun already with the major political parties eyeing the contest and planning their strategies from now on. A hint of this came from President Maithripala Sirisena himself a few days ago when he declared at a public event in Nivithigala that the presidential election, due in January 2020 will not be held “even one day earlier”. more..

Writing about a world he knows all too well

Sep 20 (ST) Close without touch. That was the only love permitted, though it was deeply felt among our own. We borrowed idioms and shopped American verses. In our caustic speech we threw out platitudes, in our guts our feisty wit. It was like we lived upon jagged teeth in the dark, in this bone-cold London city. A young nation of mongrels. Constantly measuring ourselves against what we were supposed to be, which was what? more..

SL to tell UN: We will do it our way

Sep 20 (CT) Sri Lanka is gradually asserting itself to tell the international community that solving the internal issues of the country and its citizens is our duty and responsibility, and although we expect and welcome the support of the world, we would find our own solutions at our own pace. At the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly on 25 September, President Maithripala Sirisena will announce a set of new proposals for consideration at the March 2019 Session of the UNHRC. more..

Polls in near future?

Sep 20 (CT) Whatever his intention, motive, and manoeuvrability is, President Sirisena has done the nation some good by sealing political speculation about possible Presidential Polls in Jan 2019, one year ahead of schedule. If it were true, it would have driven the nail onto one more of the ruling GNU’s purported poll promises from 2015 – they would not impose fresh elections on the nation, as his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa was to do. Fair enough, Candidate Sirisena had vowed more..

‘Efforts underway to suspend Singapore FTA’

Sep 19 (NR) MP Venerable Athuraliye Rathana Thera says efforts will continue to suspend the Singapore-SL Free Trade Agreement together with civil societies and professionals. Speaking to media after calling on the Chief Prelate of the Malwathu Chapter Venerable Rathana Thera said the Chief Prelate was informed on the impact the Singapore has on the country’s sovereignty, culture, economy and security. more..

Cabinet approves declaration of Thripitakaya as national heritage

Sep 19 (DM) Cabinet of Ministers on Tuesday gave approval to declare Thripitakaya, which includes Buddhist teachings, as a national heritage. The Cabinet Paper in this regard was submitted by President Maithripala Sirisena, Buddha Sasana Minister Gamini Jayawickrama Perera and Higher Education and Cultural Affairs Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe. Accordingly, Buddha Sasana Ministry was vested with the power to oversee the reprinting of the Thripitakaya and its related matters. more..

Sri Lanka to buy Spanish ocean cleaner

Sep 19 (DM) Mahaweli Development and Environment Ministry would buy a high tech ocean cleaning vessel through Spanish funds in near future, Deputy Minister Ajith Mannapperuma said. “The vessel is capable of cleaning waste in saline water,” he said. The ship would be bought following a request made by the Mahaweli Development and Environment Ministry. He said the Ministry hoped to use the ship in special projects to clean 14 tourist beaches and to upgrade them among more..

Thai-Sri Lankan FTA to be concluded by 2020

Sep 19 (NMM) Negotiations on a Thailand-SL free trade agreement (FTA) would be concluded by 2020, Auramon Supthaweethum, director-general at the Dept of Trade Negotiations, told a press conference. Thailand will host the second Thai-Sri Lanka FTA negotiations from today until Friday. The first meeting was hosted by the SL govt in July when the two countries discussed brief outlines of the FTA, Auramon said. more..

Sri Lanka slaps 100% LC margins on car imports amid rupee fall

Sep 19 (EN) Sri Lanka has slapped a 100% margin required on import letters for credit for vehicle imports as the rupee fell to a new low of 167 to the US dollar. "The decision to impose the margin deposit requirement is based on recent developments which, if not addressed, could threaten macroeconomic stability," central bank said. As of Wednesday central bank was still injecting cash in the market at around 8% about 50 basis points below the ceiling policy rate. more..

Sri Lanka women’s suffer narrow loss in the 1st T20 game

Sep 19 (SLC) SL women’s team lost the 1st T20 played against the visiting Indian Women’s team by 13 runs with 3 balls to spare, as they were all out for 155 runs in 19.3 overs. Chasing a target of 169 to win the game, Lankans started well with Yasodha Mendis and Captain Chamari Atapattu going for a flying start. Mendis in particular was in flying form, as she raced to 32 runs from 12 balls, which included five boundaries and a six. Mendis fell in the third over, when the score was on 39. more..

Flop of Asia: SL slammed after early exit

Sep 19 (AFP) SL newspapers and fans lambasted the national Cricket team on Tuesday after the former champions were dumped out of the Asia Cup by up-and-coming Afghanistan. The flop of Asia, ran the private Daily Mirror’s headline, while the state-run Daily News said one-day Cricket had hit a nadir. The Island lamented the sad night for Sri Lankan Cricket. Afghanistan demonstrated their rise in int'l Cricket with their 91-run win over SL more..

'Soldiers and Tamil prisoners not equal'

Sep 19 (DM) In reference to the request by Minister Champika Ranawaka to grant a general amnesty to the LTTE cadres and military personnel involved in war-related crimes, the TNA said today that the two groups could not be equated at all. Making his remarks on this matter, TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran told the Daily Mirror that Tamil political prisoners had been arrested and held up for long years. He said their cases were not over. “They are being dragged on,” he said. more..

Govt will not hand over Palaly airport to India: Nimal Siripala

Sep 19 (DM) The govt had not taken any decision to hand over the Palaly domestic airport to India or any other country and said it would be developed in partnership with the Tourism Development Fund and Civil Aviation Authority, Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva said. He told Parliament that not only the Palaly domestic airport but also Higurakgoda, Baticaloa, Koggala, Digana and Trincomlee airports would be developed as domestic airports to cater to the needs of the people. more..

Mahanayakes seek govt intervention to defeat divisive forces

Sep 19 (DN) Mahanayakes of the Malwatte and Asgiriya Chapters called for the govt’s intervention to defeat nefarious forces trying to destabilise the country by creating disputes among the Buddhist community. Mahanayake of the Malwatte Chapter Most Ven. Thibottuwawe Sri Sumangala Thera and Mahanayake of Asgiriya Chapter Most Ven. Warakagdoa Sri Gnanarathana Thera in a letter to the Prez and PM said more..

Sri Lanka to promote ornamental fish industry at village level

Sep 19 (GDI) State Minister Dilip Wedaarachchi says a comprehensive program will be launched island wide at the village level to boost the ornamental fish industry producing ornamental fish that are high in demand globally. He said in parallel exporters and ornamental fish export zones will be establish at district level. Minister made this observation at the inaugural workshop held at the National Aquaculture Development Authority on the preparation of a strategic plan for more..

Speaker reminds MPs of their responsibilities: Maintaining quorum

Sep 19 (CT) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya yesterday urged both, Govt and Opposition, rankers to be mindful of their legislative responsibility as they are bound to maintain quorum in Parliament. While expressing his disappointment over recent incidents where Parliament sessions came to an abrupt end, due to not having a quorum in the House, he urged all MPs to prevent recurrence of such appalling instances in the future. Making an announcement at the commencement of sittings yesterday, more..