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Dharmadasa enters cricket elections

May 22 (Island) Two-time President of Sri Lanka Cricket Jayantha Dharmadasa has entered the cricket elections and will contest against incumbent President Thilanga Sumathipala. Once bitter-rivals having contested the cricket elections on several occasions, Dharmadasa and Sumathipala two years ago formed a common front to contest Nishantha Ranatunga in the 2016 elections setting aside differences. more..

Megapolis Ministry dumps WB loan for Puttalam garbage project

May 22 (ST) The World Bank (WB) and the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development this week split hairs over the ministry’s decision not to take WB funding for a sanitary landfill at Aruwakkalu in Puttalam. Issues regarding the project procurement process were first highlighted by the Sunday Times in January this year. China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd (CHEC) won the US$ 100.9 million (LKR 15.64 billion) contract more..

Sri Lanka inflation slows to 1.6% in April, lowest since Feb 2016

May 22 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s headline inflation measured by National Consumer Price Index (NCPI) has decreased to 1.6% in April, lowest since Feb 2016, from 2.8% in March 2018. The decline in the year-on-year inflation in April 2018 was mainly driven by the higher base resulted by the increase in prices of the items in the Food category during April 2017. The change in the NCPI measured on an annual average basis more..

Navy rescues 172 marooned flood victims

May 22 (GDI) At least 172 people including nine pregnant women, marooned by the flood waters, were rescued by the Navy. Navy Spokesman said 130 flood victims in Walalawita, 21 in Nikawaratiya, nine pregnant women in Kalawana, nine people at Serathkuliya in Anamaduwa and three in Giriulla were among those rescued. 38 naval teams were deployed in eight districts to assist in the rescue and relief operations. more..

Prez reviews the progress of Gramashakthi

May 22 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena urged all stakeholders to support the Gramashakthi People’s Movement without any political difference to achieve the goal of eradicating poverty. He made this appeal at the Provincial Steering Committee Meeting on the Gramashakthi programme in Badulla yesterday (21). President will be directly progress review meetings of the Gramashakthi People’s Movement, which more..

Sri Lanka mulls change to PAYE tax charging formula

May 22 (EN) Sri Lanka is discussing a change to the advance income tax deduction from salaries, after a new tax law increased Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax by including allowances, a minister has said. "We got complaints on new #SriLanka PAYE tax that some employees will see pay cut due to bringing in allowances in to tax calculation," State Minister Harsha de Silva said. "We listened and revised the calculation to a most equitable manner. more..

The temple of a thousand pillars and more: One day in Trinco

May 22 (Roar) While Colombo is in the midst of creating a new port city (under the auspices of the Sri Lankan Ports Authority and China), Trincomalee is way ahead by centuries. At about a seven hour ride from Colombo, Trinco is widely recognised as one of the world’s best natural harbours—the Ports Authority claims it to be the second best in the world. The town is popular for its clear seas, remote beaches, more..

War heroes and cheap political mileage

May 22 (DM) Army Commander Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake has called on all concerned not to use war heroes for political propaganda, which of course is a timely advice as almost all parties, especially the two main -- UNP and SLPP unofficially led by former President Rajapaksa -- use the soldiers who sacrificed their lives to gain political mileage. This is a unique country where political leaders and their cohorts, whose lives had been threatened with death for over three decades more..

Editorial: Trump’s moment of truth

May 22 (Island) The US and North Korea may be poles apart, but their incumbent leaders, Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, respectively, seem to have more in common than their sartorial elegance, tonsorial oddity, quirks and quiddities. Most of all, they are of an aggressive disposition. They carry themselves aplomb like the swashbuckling heroes in Hollywood flicks. Some people have changed the course of world history single-handedly––either for the better or the worse. more..

Rain havoc claims more lives

May 22 (DN) Unrelenting rains continue to wreak havoc in 12 districts around the country, leaving 1,024 persons displaced, over 22,000 persons affected and six dead. Ratnapura, Galle, Matara, Kegalle, Kalutara, A'pura, Mullaitivu, Trincomalee, Badulla, Nuwara Eliya and Matale districts were affected by the South-Western monsoonal rains. Met Dept issuing a report yesterday stated, more..

JVP’s 20A to Parliament today?

May 22 (CT) The JVP yesterday said, it would present the proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution, which seeks the abolition of the Executive Presidency to the Parliament, today or tomorrow. JVP MP Nalinda Jayatissa added that they would, upon the submission of the proposal, move the Speaker to call for a debate on the Bill and announce the dates for it. Bill is to be initially handed over to the Secretary General of Parliament, after which it will be tabled in the House. more..

Mattala airport sees 35,000 passengers in 2017

May 22 (EN) Mattala int'l airport built by China has handled 30,051 passenger using it in 2017, sharply from 5,750 passengers a year earlier, after the main airport in Colombo was closed for runway repairs earlier in the year. Aircraft movements to Mattala had increased 6.9% to 978 in 2017, data showed. UAE based Fly Dubai makes scheduled flights to the airport built by China with a loan from the country. SL has tried to attract an investor to run the airport and later said it will given to India to operator. more..

Outbreak of influenza: Some primary schools to close

May 22 (CT) Southern Province Ministry of Education yesterday, said it had decided to close primary schools and primary sections in six education zones of the province for two days, due to an outbreak of influenza. Ministry Secretary’s Office added that all preschools in the province would be closed for a week till the situation was brought under control. Decision had been taken as children had been identified as more..

Immigration officers threaten work-to-rule repeat if demands unresolved

May 22 (ST) Immigration officers warned they are prepared to resume their work-to-rule campaign next week, if the Govt fails to follow through on its guarantee to address their grievances by Tuesday (22). Sri Lanka Immigration & Emigration Officers’ Association (SLIEOA) President Aruna Kanugala told the Sunday Times, they called off their work-to-rule campaign on Friday (18), following talks with the subject Minister of Internal Affairs & Wayamba Development S.B. Nawinne. more..

Jeremy Corbyn labours for minority vote by flogging Tamil cause

May 22 (ST) Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn and big beasts of the party threw their weight behind the Tamil community saying that crimes against the Tamils is still going on in Sri Lanka. At a meeting held in the House of Commons, to commemorate a series of events connected with crimes against the Tamils, Corbyn promised to make human rights and international justice the centre piece of foreign policy in any future Labour govt, that would help further the Tamil cause. more..

Lord Naseby meets Sri Lankan Diaspora

May 22 (LBO) Last week, the UK Parliament paid tribute to the Sri Lankan community living in the UK with the first-ever meeting pertaining to Sri Lanka, one of the most auspicious days in the British calendar last week. For the first time in history, the Sri Lankan community event was held on 16th of May 2018 in the House, of Lords, Palace of Westminster. Mr Ranjiv Goonawardena, organised, chaired & facilitated the meeting, more..

Economic sentiment at post-war low: Survey

May 22 (FT) The latest LMD-Nielsen Business Confidence Index (BCI) survey suggests that the downward trend in economic optimism has continued to reach a post-war low in April. Of the corporate executives polled, only 5% expect an improvement in economic conditions over the next 12 months compared to 11% in the previous month. Meanwhile, a greater number (47% versus 44% in March) of respondents expect conditions to worsen over the same period. more..

Dr. Lester’s medal theft Suspects remanded till June 4

May 22 (DN) The six suspects arrested for stealing the Golden Peacock medal awarded to the late Dr. Lester James Peries at the International Film Festival of India in 1965 were yesterday remanded till June 4 by Colombo Additional Magistrate Priyantha Liyanage. Bambalapitiya Police informed Court that the bus driver and conductor who noticed the medal on the overhead rack of their bus and brought it to police, identified the first suspect at the identification parade held yesterday. more..

Attempts to smuggle out US$ 208,000: Finance Ministry keeps file

May 22 (ST) Finance Ministry has retained the Customs file containing evidence on the November arrest of Jaya Sudhir Jayaram, a Malaysian businessman, who was attempting to smuggle foreign currency out of the country, sources said. US dollar notes amounting to US$ 50,000 were found in the hand luggage of Mr. Jayaram. Two others also had US$ 50,000 each in their possession while fourth carried US$ 58,000. more..

Temples will be protected: PM

May 22 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said the govt would never let rural and urban temples to go to ruin. He was speaking at the main ceremony organised by the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) to provide financial assistance to religious places in the Colombo city held at Temple Trees yesterday. CMC organised the programme annually to donate Rs. 50,000 each to all religious places within the city limits to facilitate religious celebrations to ensure harmony among people. more..

PM chairs special meeting to discuss relief

May 22 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday held a special meeting at Temple Trees to discuss immediate steps to provide necessary relief to the people affected by the prevailing unfavourable weather. During the discussion attended by the relevant stakeholders, the Premier instructed the authorities to keep the Tri-Forces on standby for relief and rescue operations. He also urged Local Govt representatives to work with the Govt Agents and Divisional Secretaries more..

Govt's net borrowings equal to foreign reserves: Cabraal

May 22 (DM) Former CB Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal charged that the net borrowings by the present govt almost equal the country’s current foreign reserve stock and hence, hinted that the pressure on the rupee is not unwarranted as the Central Bank says. According to Cabraal, net borrowings of the govt since 2015—which include the sovereign bonds sold totalling US $ 7.1 billion since 2015, recent US $ 1 billion term loan more..

Lanka’s LHI completes 2nd coastal protection consultancy in France

May 22 (ST) SL engineering consultancy company, Lanka Hydraulic Institute Ltd (LHI) recently completed a coastal rehabilitation project in Bormes les Memosas, Southern France. LHI has been serving international markets for over three decades and its work saw Corinthe Ingenierie, a renowned French engineering consultancy company, commission LHI for the rehabilitation work. This project comes soon after the completion of a commercial fishery harbour in Algeira. more..

Southern Province hit by double blow

May 22 (DN) The Southern Province which is severely affected by the extreme weather is also affected by an influenza epidemic which has thus far reported 600 cases. A second team of specialists from the Epidemiology Unit of the Health Ministry in Colombo were sent to all affected areas in the Southern Province yesterday to deal with the emergency. The first team sent earlier had been headed by Dr. Anil Dissanayake, Director of the Ministry of Health, Epidemiology Unit. more..

PHSRC should be notified

May 22 (CT) Private Health Services Regulatory Council (PHSRC), of the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, whilst acknowledging that the non-consensual administration of a particular contraceptive to prospective female migrant workers, at private medical centres affiliated to the Gulf Approved Medical Centres Association (GAMCA) during the mandatory pre-departure health screening, more..

Video: This is an unlawful govt: GL

May 22 (AD) The current govt is an unlawful govt and it works against the constitution, said SLPP Chairman, Prof. G.L. Peiris. The current govt should all go home as they have proven that they cannot run the country, says the former foreign minister. According to him, JO and SLPP have planned to organize a series of island-wide protests from June. He claims that the current govt has carried out activities that are against the public and SLFP supported the govt in those. more..

Voicing his opinion cost him his job

May 22 (DM) A leading political authority sacked a white-collar high-up handling development projects for expressing his opinion that a monetary allocation made for funding certain projects in a backward district is unreasonably excessive, they say. The high political authority had set apart only Rs.7 billion to develop a main city with many shortcomings while allocating more than twice that amount for the development projects in the backward district. The white-collar high-up had pointed out that more..

Revised National Physical Plan to be approved shortly

May 22 (DM) SL’s revised National Physical Plan for 2018-2050 is expected to be gazetted shortly and the plan proposes to develop Colombo-Trincomalee as the main economic corridor along with three other sub-corridors, while A'pura and Kandy also to be developed separately as metropolitan areas, aiming for future agglomeration of economies and to draw investments. more..

National Export Strategy for Cabinet nod soon: Malwatte

May 22 (DN) Sri Lanka’s exports in 2017 has grown by 15% to US$15.4 billion and the challenge would be to keep it going and further increasing it, said Indira Malwatte, Chairperson Export Development Board. “Now we have a challenge of increasing exports by 15% every year for a period of 20 years,” she said addressing the launch of the 100th issue of the Sri Lanka Exporter Magazine recently in Colombo. Malwatte said the export target for 2018 has been set at US$ 17.8 billion. more..

Hayleys first listed firm to cross $1b turnover

May 22 (FT) Building on a strong momentum gathered over the final quarter of FY 2017/18, SL’s leading diversified conglomerate Hayleys PLC announced a record breaking top-line performance, as revenue expanded by 47% Year-on-Year to Rs. 163.2 billion during the 12 months to 31 March 2018. Supported by the addition of 6 months of operations from its recently acquired subsidiary, Singer (SL) PLC, the conclusion of the financial year marked two important milestones for the Hayleys Group, more..

Lanka Hospitals to start facility in Seychelles

May 22 (ST) The Lanka Hospitals PLC (LHPL) is eyeing setting up a facility in Seychelles and plans to commence work on it this year, top officials say. “This will be a pilot project for Lanka Hospitals and progress will be monitored carefully to refine it further for replication in other locations,” LHPL Chairman Dr. Sarath Paranavithana has said in his annual review. An ageing demographic, high incidence of non-communicable diseases, more..

Teejay Lanka doubles capacity of India plant with $15 m expansion

May 22 (FT) Teejay Lanka, one of the region’s largest textile manufacturers, has announced a doubling of capacity of its Indian mill, following the completion of an expansion project involving an investment of $ 15 million (more than Rs. 2.3 billion at current rates). Located within the 1,000-acre Brandix India Apparel City (BIAC) in Vizag, Andrapradesh, Teejay India is now capable of manufacturing up to 42 million metres of Weft knitted fabric annually using state-of-the-art more..

PF addresses Innovative Forum for Mayors of International Sister Cities of Chengdu

May 22 (FT) Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage, Director of The Pathfinder Foundation, delivered a speech at the recently-concluded 2018 Innovative Forum for Mayors of Int'l Sister Cities of Chengdu, held in Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan Province in China. The theme of this forum was New Economy, New Energy, New Growth. Mayors, deputy mayors, municipal councillors and state ministers from 40 countries participated in this mega event, which was held for the third time. more..

eSIM Technology: What’s all the fuss about?

May 22 (Roar) After 20-odd years of the same technology gluing our mobile lifestyles together, the humble SIM card is finally ripe for a bit of disruption. Introducing eSIM technology. The recent Mobile World Congress 2018, hosted by GSMA—the global body that represents the interests of mobile network operators worldwide—discussed this nascent technology’s enormous potential. more..

Who is managing SriLankan Airlines?

May 22 (Island) SriLankan Airlines (SLA) recently announced highlights of unaudited results for FY ending March 31, 2018. Key among them were: Annual Passenger Revenue of Rs 126.9 billion (USD 830.7 million), an unprecedented Rs 14.7 billion in Cargo Revenue and another first-timer, Group Revenue exceeding USD 1 billion. The announcement further stated that all three business divisions had exceeded revenue targets. Airline’s CEO Suren Ratwatte jubilantly declared, more..

Comprehensive strategy needed to handle extreme weather

May 22 (CT) The month of May every year sees SL going through its regular flood trauma, as global climate change, causes fiercer storms and extreme weather. As we reported yesterday as the South West monsoon conditions set in, heavy showers have been predicted for several provinces in the country. Already five lives have been lost and the DMC said 8,690 persons from 2,194 families have been affected by the weather. The Department of Meteorology is predicting heavy rainfalls more..