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Video: President declares open new Army Headquarters

Nov 8 (AD) The new Sri Lanka Army Headquarters complex, equipped with the latest state-of-the-art technology and high-tech security systems, was declared open a short while ago under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena. The ceremony was attended by Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene and many other distinguished guests this morning (08). more..

Sri Lanka to change IMF deal in a Gotabaya administration: Cabraal

Nov 8 (EN) Sri Lanka will change a deal with the IMF if a new administration under Gotabaya Rajapsaka comes to power, former CB Governor Nivard Cabraal said. Sri Lanka is now suffering low growth higher inflation (SL Stagflation) and bad loans are ticking up after two currency collapses occurred in quick succession as the central bank printed tens of billions of rupees a at a time to generate liquidity shocks and more..

Law to stop corruption in sports in Parliament on Monday

Nov 8 (RN) Parliament will have a Special Sitting on Monday to debate a Bill on Prevention of Offences in Sports an important proposed law to crack down on corruption in sports. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya ordered the special sitting on a request by PM. According to yesterday’s Order Paper, the National Innovation Agency Bill and three Regulations under the Section 41 read with Section 31 of the Sports Law No. 25 of 1973 more..

Unitary status cannot be challenged for political gain, crossovers et al: PAFFREL

Nov 8 (Island) MPs couldn’t challenge or undermine the unitary status of the country under any circumstances, Rohana Hettiarachchi, Executive Director of PAFFREL told the media. He said so in response to The Island query as why both local and foreign polls monitors were mum over ITAK led five-party grouping demanding abolition of unitary status as a prerequisite for extending its support to either Sajith Premadasa (NDF) or more..

Candidates lure voters with divergent agenda

Nov 8 (YS) As the final countdown begins for the presidential elections in Sri Lanka, two major contestants Gotabaya Rajapaksa, 70, of the SLPP party and Sajith Premadasa, 52, of the UNP are seeking votes offering a contrasting agenda. As many as 16 million voters will choose the new president among 35 contestants on Nov. 16. While Rajapaksa, who as the secretary of defense played a key role to defeat the rebel Tamil tigers more..

Abans revs up auto biz with Hyundai

Nov 8 (FT) Abans is stepping up efforts to boost its automobile business with a key agency deal with global giant Hyundai, rolling out multi-million-rupee investments for modern showrooms, service centres and other benefits to customers. An ultra-modern first-of-its kind Hyundai showroom set up with Rs. 20 million investment was opened yesterday at the Colombo City Centre (CCC) and an Abans Hyundai Service Centre more..

Women activists call for appointing female judges to Quazi courts

Nov 8 (Island) Muslim Personal Law Reforms Action Group (MPLRAG) activist Hyshyama Hamin, recently, said that as Sudan and Malaysia had appointed Muslim women as chief justices, Sri Lanka had absolutely no excuse for not allowing Muslim women to be judges in the nation’s community based Quazi court system. Hyshama Hamin, a participant at the media briefing by MPLRAG & Hashtag Generation to highlight more..

Is the Election Commission a capable media monitor?

Nov 8 (DM) On Tuesday last, there was a surprising tweet that had copied a post from the FB account Bring Back Gota said to be managed by the SLPP social media group. The FB post very openly said, “Election Commission in SL is no more an independent Commission. It is a biased Commission. Prof Hooley (misspelled purposely?) is not independent, he is an appointee that represent Tamil Diaspora and Western interests. more..

Agree to disagree… and thus ended the first ever presidential debate

Nov 8 (ST) This week, we bring you the transcript of the much-awaited live debate between the main candidates at the presidential election. In attendance were Sajith Premadasa (SP), Gotabaya Rajapaksa (GR), Anura Kumara Dissanayake (AKD) and Mahesh Senanayake (MS). Moderating the debate is Mahinda Deshapriya, better known to the audience as MaKo. MaKo: Good evening everyone, this is a historic occasion more..

'Capitalism offers no solutions to the dangers facing workers'

Nov 8 (DM) Although one of the smaller parties contesting the prez election, the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) has a history of over half a century of active politics in Sri Lanka. In 1964 it broke away from the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP) when the old left party joined the Sirimavo Bandaranaike coalition. In 1968 the breakaway group formed as the Revolutionary Communist League (RCL), and later in 1996 as the SEP. more..

If politicians are faithful to promises, Lanka can grow in stature

Nov 8 (DM) In the afterglow of the 1969 moon landing, a political analyst quipped that if politicians had been like Pinocchio, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin would have been disappointed to note that before they set foot on the moon, the noses of most of the earth’s politicians had already reached the surface of the moon. Today we may have to say that the points of their ever lengthening noses would be touching our galaxy’s black hole, some 27,000 light years away. more..

Let’s nail those who abuse Facebook!

Nov 8 (DM) Last week we read the news about a party organised through Facebook where several guests were arrested for possessing narcotics. The guests arrested during a raid were in the age range of 18-48. Teenagers being at this party, where the use of Cannabis is alleged, is serious. It seems parents have to control the use of Facebook and of possible attempts to entice these youngsters to be addictive to drugs. Organising parties through Facebook has been reported in past few yrs. more..

Govt, JVP members call for punitive action over violent behavior in House last year

Nov 8 (Island) Govt and some opposition MPs, requested Speaker Karu Jayasuriya to take immediate action against those who had been found guilty of chilli powder attacks in the House, last year. Speaker Jayasuriya said that the relevant matter had been referred to AG's Department and measures were being taken to initiate action against the culprits. JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake demanded that Parliament take action against more..

Video: All set to make sure that voting won’t be a hindrance: Deshapriya

Nov 8 (AD) Although the ballot paper for Prez Election 2019 is longer than usual, measures have been taken to make sure that voting can be carried out without hindrance, says Chairman of Elections Commission, Mahinda Deshapriya. He stated that the voted can, according to the Act, mark their vote by either marking an ‘X’ or writing the digit ‘1’ before the symbol and the name of the preferred contestant. The voter will have to place their ballot papers diagonally across the ballot booth more..

UNP to boycott Hiru media network

Nov 8 (DN) UNP has taken a decision that none of its members will participate in talk shows, debates and other programmmes aired on Hiru TV and the Hiru FM network. UNP General Secretary, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said that the UNP had decided to enforce this boycott of Hiru Media Network until and unless the network changes course and follows the media guidelines set by the Elections Commission for all broadcast and print media. “The freedom of the press is a sacred thing and essential to more..

TNA states reasons for supporting Sajith

Nov 8 (Island) The TNA yesterday urged "all people, particularly the Tamils, whom it represents to vote for Sajith Premadasa, the NDF candidate contesting under the Swan symbol." R Sampanthan Leader of TNA, Mavai Senathirajah Leader - ITAK, Selvam Adaikkalanathan, Leader – Tamil TELO and Dharmalingham Siddarthan Leader - PLOTE, said, in a media statement, that the "record of the Podujana Peramuna and more..

Julampitiye Amare sentenced to death

Nov 8 (CT) Tangalle High Court Judge R.S.S. Sapuwida yesterday, handed down the death sentence to Geegana Gamage Amarasiri, alias Julampitiye Amare, who was convicted of a double murder committed during a JVP rally, held ahead of the Provincial Council (PC) Polls seven years ago. Justice Sapuwida said, as the prosecution had proved the charges against the accused beyond a reasonable doubt, he was handing down the death sentence. more..

'No politics with UNP even if Sajith wins'

Nov 8 (DM) While saying he could not further tolerate the hostility shown to him by the UNP, State Minister Wasantha Senanayake said that he had no intention of continuing politics with the UNP and its existing members even if Sajith Premadasa wins the prez election. “I will take some crucial decisions tomorrow and day after as well in my future endeavours,” he said. “Several powerful UNPers including PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa have telephoned more..

Business-friendly AKD pledges coexistence of state and private sectors

Nov 8 (RN) Allaying fears that the private sector will fall by the way side under his presidency’s socially conscious economic development drive, prez hopeful Anura Kumara Dissanayake said today that the path to prosperity lies in the coexistence of the state sector and a regulated private sector. An investment-friendly environment facilitated by consistent fiscal policy and reduced political interference, among other measures, more..

New Army Headquarters Complex to be declared open today

Nov 8 (MoD) SL Army will move into a new Headquarters complex built (within the Defence Complex) in Sri Jayawardenapura, today. President Maithripala Sirisena will declare open the new Army HQ complex during a ceremony. This new state of the art complex built with Army expertise will house all Directorates of the Army Headquarters which are, at present located in different places, under one roof. Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, General (Retd) SHS Kottegoda had made several inspection more..

Japan’s MUFG awards Scholarships to Colombo Uni. students

Nov 8 (AD) MUFG Bank, commercial banking entity of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, has awarded scholarships to 17 undergraduates from the Uni of Colombo. The scholarships, worth US$ 5,100 each, were awarded to students by Masaru Enomoto, Resident Representative of MUFG’s Colombo Representative Office on behalf of the Mitsubishi UFJ Foundation. These scholarships will cover their school fees for one academic year. The MUFG award recipients, who are in their 2nd, 3rd or more..

Video: TNA chose the side that can fulfill separatist demands: Gotabaya

Nov 8 (AD) Prez hopeful of SLPP former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa says the TNA has chosen the party that can fulfil their separatist demands. Addressing a rally at Ratnapura, Rajapaksa said he has held neither parliamentary membership nor a ministerial position, but fulfilled the responsibility put on his shoulders. Referring to the prez front-runner Minister Sajith Premadasa’s campaign promises, more..

'Mahinda leased over 8,000 acres to US firms'

Nov 8 (DN) NPP Prez candidate Anura Kumara Dissanayake told a campaign rally in A'pura that a massive land area extending over 8,000 acres was leased out to American companies during the Rajapaksa regime. He said that former Prez Rajapaksa, who pretends to be perturbed over the MCC agreement with the US, had leased out over 5,000 acres of land in Somawathiya, 2000 acres in Pelwatta and hundreds of acres more in Iginimitiya, to American companies for a song. more..

SL turns eyes to Ethiopia’s Industrial Parks

Nov 8 (AD) SL’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, Sumith Dassanayake, said that SL is already participating in Hawassa Industrial Park in apparel textile industries. He noted that SL is keen to build strong relations with many nations, and Ethiopia comes in the forefront. At present, over 800 Sri Lankans are working in Ethiopia. Issabella and Hydramani SL companies have established their operations in Hawassa Industrial Park in textile sector. Currently, Sri Lanka’s textile companies have created more..

Extortionist slandering my image: Hakeem

Nov 8 (DM) Minister Rauff Hakeem, alleged that an extortionist was slandering his image through a certain media. He alleged that a certain person named Mahroof had been slinging mud and character assassinating him for money instigated by former Eastern Province Chief Minister and prez candidate M.L.A.M. Hizbullah. “I know that Hizbullah and another Pohottuwa leader are behind this malicious act against me. more..

2 gas shipments arrive tomorrow & Monday

Nov 8 (DM) The Litro Gas Lanka Company yesterday said they had received 3,600 metric tons of gas shipment yesterday and another two shipments are due on Saturday and Monday to meet the gas shortage. A Litro gas company senior official said 3,800 metric tonnes and 2,500 metric tons of gas shipments will arrive on Saturday and Monday. He said arrangements are underway to issue gas cylinders to the market without any interruptions until next Thursday. more..

Cinnamon Bentota Beach to reopen after Rs. 4.9 bn refurbishment project

Nov 8 (DN) Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts will reopen the Cinnamon Bentota Beach on Dec 15. The relaunching announcement was made at the World Travel Market (WTM) in the UK amidst a gathering of 300 senior journalists of the British Guild of Travel Writers. Cinnamon Bentota Beach will open in December following refurbishment of the formerly known Bentota Beach Hotel, a property which was originally designed by the world-renowned architect Geoffrey Bawa. more..

PM asks Speaker to hold special sitting on Monday

Nov 8 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has requested Speaker Karu Jayasuriya to hold a special session of Parliament on 11 Nov at 10.30 a.m. after a lack of speakers brought sittings to an early close yesterday. PM submitted his request shortly after the House was adjourned until 1 p.m. on 3 Dec. Speaker will issue the Gazette calling for Parliament to meet shortly, officials said. House plans to take up more..

Jail term cut for SL man who made threats on a plane with a fake bomb

Nov 8 (SMH) The man who sparked terror on a passenger flight by threatening that he had a bomb has had four years cut from his prison term, partly because the device he had wasn’t an explosive. Malaysia Airlines flight MH128 had taken off from Melbourne Airport on the night of May 31, 2017 when Manodh Marks took something from an overhead compartment, walked up the aisle and said: "I have a bomb with me. I want to talk to the captain." Marks, who was also in the grip of more..

Sri Lanka and China to further elevate cultural relations

Nov 8 (FT) Agreement for the Establishment of a Friendly Temple Relationship between the Shentong Temple of Shandong Province of China and the Bodhi Raja Viharaya of Thalpitiya, Wadduwa, in SL was signed in Shandong on 29 Oct between Abbot of Shentong Temple Ven. Jie Kong, and Anunayake of the Kotte Sri Kalyani Samagri Maha Sanga Sabha and Chief Incumbent of the Bodhi Raja Viharaya Ven. Prof. Kotapitiye Rahula Thero, with the participation of a number of venerable chief more..

State universities minting money by cutting down student intake: CoPE

Nov 8 (Island) Parliament watchdog body, CoPE has observed that there is a gradual decline in undergraduate intakes to state universities. The fourth report of the CoPE was tabled in Parliament, publicising the findings of the investigations on universities and higher education Institutions. The report digs into the questionable transactions and decisions taken at 17 state universities during the period Mar 17, 2017 to more..

Amaratunga wants more beauty pageants in Colombo

Nov 8 (CT) Speaking at the press conference to celebrate Miss Intercontinental Sri Lanka 2019, Minister John Amaratunga stated that events such as Miss Intercontinental are welcome and insisted that such events should be promoted. "There are complaints that Colombo does not offer enough events for tourists. Our Ministry and the Tourism Promotion Board would support any events like Miss Intercontinental Sri Lanka, as events of such nature give the required promotion to SL worldwide. more..

Biz confidence climbs to 8-month high

Nov 8 (FT) The LMD-Nielsen Business Confidence Index (BCI) recorded an increase of 12 basis points to register 102 in October. The leading business magazine notes that this represents the highest the index has been since February. Nielsen’s Managing Director Sharang Pant explains in LMD: “Impacted by the Easter Sunday bombings, Sri Lanka’s GDP recorded a growth rate of 1.6% – the lowest in 21 quarters. However, micro and macro indicators have steadily improved since then.” more..

EPF expands 10.8% to Rs 2.4 trillion

Nov 8 (CT) SL's largest superannuation fund, the Employees' Provident Fund (EPF), expanded 10.8% to Rs 2,428 billion as of June 2019 from Rs 2,191 billion recorded for the same month in last year. According to the CB, the custodian of the fund, growth was achieved due to the combined effect of net contributions of the member and income generated through investments. The total investment portfolio at book value more..

EU GSP+ incentive drives spike in Sri Lankan exports by more than 20%

Nov 8 (Island) Following the granting of GSP+, SL's exports to the EU have increased more than 20%, according to the EU. Notable growth sectors of this economic development include apparel, fisheries exports (which doubled in the first year since the removal of the fish ban and granting of GSP+) tea, tyres, gems, motor vehicle parts and footwear. Since SL’s entry into the GSP+ scheme, the apparel industry has been the biggest beneficiary of the trade facility accounting for 60% of more..

SL Ambassador presents letters of credence to her majesty the Queen of Denmark

Nov 8 (IL) Ambassador Sudantha Ganegama Arachchi presented Letters of Credence on 25 Oct 2019 to the Queen of the Kingdom of Denmark Her Majesty Margrethe II at the Amalienborg Palace, as the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Kingdom of Denmark with residence in Sweden. At the audience with Her Majesty the Queen, Ambassador Ganegama Arachchi conveyed warm greetings from Prez Sirisena to Her Majesty, and thanked her for sending the message condemning more..