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Global Shapers Colombo Hub wins bid to host Shape South Asia 2016

Mar 12 (FT) Between 22 and 25 September, over 100 Global Shapers from across South Asia will gather in Colombo for Shape South Asia – the regional meet for members of the Global Shapers community in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Afghanistan. This event held under the theme ‘Shaping Identities’ will be hosted by the Colombo Hub who won the bid competing with several other cities across the region. The curator of the Colombo Hub, Sharanya Sekaram stated, more..

Sri Lanka fishery harbors go high-tech with digital technology

Mar 12 (MF) Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development has taken actions to introduce Digital Technology to the 20 main Fishery Harbours of Sri Lanka. Minister Mahinda Amaraweera had given instructions to the Ceylon Fishery Harbours Corporation for the implementation of the programme and consequently the first stage of this programme was inaugurated at Mirissa Fishery Harbour at Matara District. Accordingly, 5 Fishery Harbours including Fishery Harbours more..

Video: Isura Devapriya challenges Jt.Opp.

Mar 12 (DM) Western Province Chief Minister Isura Devapriya challenged the Joint Opposition to elect any member from among them who could contest the Maharagama electorate against him and win at the forthcoming local govt elections. Devapriya said he’ll definitely win the election no matter who would be fielded by the Joint Opposition. “There are some international forces that conspire to destroy the SLFP. more..

Browns commissions first Oolong tea factory

Mar 12 (DN) Brown & Company was recently entrusted with the conversion of the existing Waldemar orthodox tea factory situated in Udapussellawa to manufacture Oolong Tea. The factory in Nuwara Eliya and the upcountry and mid country climates of Uda Pussellawa has an agro-friendly climate which offers ideal conditions for the manufacture of Oolong Tea. Waldemar had been manufacturing Black Tea and as a value addition initiative, Finlays Tea Estates decided to more..

Joint opposition raises strong opposition to polls delay

Mar 12 (CG) Joint opposition raised strong opposition to the postponement of Local Govt (LG) elections. Joint opposition member Dinesh Gunawardena told Parliament that it is disappointing that on March 31 the Department of Elections will not be allowed to declare the LG polls as scheduled. He urged Govt to stop its game of giving excuses and postponing the elections. Minister Faizer Mustapha said that the election cannot take place till the delimitation issue is resolved. more..

Central Bank hopes for change in ratings outlook after IMF talks

Mar 12 (Reuters) Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran said on Thursday he hoped the rating agencies' negative view on SL's credit rating would change after negotiations this month over an IMF loan. S&P on Thursday revised the outlook on its B+ sovereign credit rating to negative, a week after Fitch downgraded its rating by a notch to "B+" with a negative outlook, spurred by a ballooning fiscal deficit, rising debts. more..

SL donates Sacred Buddha Relic to Thailand

Mar 12 (DN) Sri Lanka donated a Sacred Buddha Relic to Thailand on March 10 further strengthening the religious co-operation and relations between the two countries, concurrent to Thailand Deputy PM Dr Somkid Jatusripitak's official visit to Sri Lanka. President Maithripala Sirisena handed over the Sacred Relic to Thai Deputy PM Jatusripitak at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo. "The Sacred Relics were conveyed to the Presidential Secretariat in a special motorcade from more..

Gammanpila peeved at Soros’ visit

Mar 12 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe assured Parliament yesterday that the govt did not invite popular business magnate George Soros to an economic forum in Colombo. He made this statement in response to a question posed by UPFA Opposition MP Udaya Gammanpila, adding that it was Soros who had come to the island and addressed an economic forum to which the Premier was invited. Gammanpila charged that it was the Premier who had told the House that more..

SL woos German tourists and investors

Mar 12 (FT) With the renewal of bilateral ties between Sri Lanka and Germany following the recent State visit of President Sirisena, Tourism Minister John Amaratunga invited German nationals to not only visit Sri Lanka but also seize the many opportunities available for investment in the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors. He made this comment during a press conference hosted by SL Tourism Promotion Bureau more..

Cops drag feet in hit-and-run case

Mar 12 (CT) Colombo Additional Magistrate yesterday asked Welikada Police why they had failed to secure cell phone records and CCTV camera footage of the accident in Rajagriya almost a fortnight ago in which Minister Patali Ranawaka is alleged to have been directly involved. A young motorcycle rider was seriously injured in the alleged hit-and-run incident. When the case was last heard Court ordered Police to submit in Court Minister Ranawaka's telephone call records more..

Govt organisations to fly National flag at half mast

Mar 12 (DN) The Ministry of Home Affairs, yesterday requested all govt organisations to fly the National flag at half mast on March 13 as a mark of respect to the Asgiriya Prelate Most Ven. Galagama Sri Aththadassi Mahanayake Thera. Home Affairs Minister Vajira Abeywardana said at a media briefing yesterday that all liquor shops, meat stalls and animal slaughter houses islandwide will be closed on March 13 in view of the cremation of the Mahanayake Thera. more..

Names of those who stole public money will be revealed: PM

Mar 12 (DN) The details as to how much and how the previous regime stole public money would be revealed within the next two to three months, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. He also requested members involved in misappropriations and fraud in the past, to find good lawyers and get ready to defend themselves. PM made these observations responding to a question by UPFA MP Udaya Gammanpila about American business more..

'Thank you SL, Tohoku Region is back now!'

Mar 12 (FT) It was exactly five years ago today that the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami hit devastating many parts of Eastern Japan. The disaster claimed 15,000 lives of people and even today more than 2,500 people are still missing, including foreign citizens. As we mark the fifth year commemoration of this tragedy, I am pleased to mention that the most seriously affected Tohoku region is back again now following speedy and extensive reconstruction by the Govt. more..

Police nab prison guard accomplice

Mar 12 (CT) Prison sources revealed that as far back as five years ago several criminals in death row and other hard core criminals have been methodically using intimidation to extort money from numerous businessmen around the country. Officials believe they could have amassed about Rs 5 million at least, some of which is believed to have been smuggled into prison to finance various schemes of theirs. The extortion racket has been exposed by a special undercover Police team that more..

Audio: Govt seeks Chinese loans

Mar 12 (DM) Govt has sought new loans from China to carry out various projects and proposes to set up a joint venture with that country to develop the Mattala International Airport. Minister Malik Samarawickrama who visited China recently said he had met key officials of China Development Bank and the Export and Import Bank. Talks were fruitful and cordial that Govt had sought financial co-operation to implement several more..

Money traced to Colombo casinos?

Mar 12 (CT) The Bangladesh Central Bank lost US$ 100 million from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, believed to be a result of a hacking activity by an unidentified group or individuals. The Central Bank puts the blame on the Fed for a lack of security, making it possible for hackers to break into the system and stole the money. The New York Fed, on the other hand, claimed that there is no evidence of any attempt of hacking to its system. According to Business Standard, more..

President and PM condoles death of Mahanayake

Mar 12 (ITN) President Sirisena has said that the late Asgiriya Mahanayake the Most Ven. Galagama Atthadassi Thera has rendered yeoman services for the wellbeing of the nation and the country. President made this observation issuing a message of condolence on the death of the Asgiriya Chief Prelate. President Maithripala Sirisena said that the passing away of the Mahanayake Thera is a great loss not only to the entire Sri Lankan nation but also to Buddhists all over the world. more..

Ranil wants report on public views by end-April

Mar 12 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe requested the Public Representations Committee on Constitutional Reforms to submit its report before the end of April in order to decide whether or not the country needs a new constitution. The committee has concluded receiving and gathering public views on the new constitution after visiting all 25 districts. The committee met the Prime Minister to brief him about their work. more..

Destroying Mother Nature: This insanity must stop now

Mar 12 (DM) The national govt is giving top priority to the challenge of tackling the kidney disease epidemic and one of its main causes -- the excessive use of imported agro-chemicals for the cultivation of paddy and other crops. It is in such a scenario that Sri Lanka on Thursday joined the international community in marking World Kidney Day. The mission of this event is to raise awareness of the importance of our kidneys to our overall health and to reduce the frequency and more..

The Square is still under occupation

Mar 12 (DM) Last Sunday a protest was held at Independence Square. The call to action, so to speak, came in the form of a post on social media by unknown persons calling themselves Occupy the Square. The issue was about a security guard taking issue with a couple for inappropriate behavior at Independence Square. That call was shared. A fair number turned up including the Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva. Harsha came armed with the relevant circular. He took it up with the more..

The Tamil woman politicain whom most Sinhalese loved to hate

Mar 12 (DBS) Mangaiyarkkarasi Amirthalingam known widely among Tamils at one time as Mangai Akka (elder sister Mangai) passed away at the age of 82 in Britain where she had been residing for the past 27 years. She was taken ill and admitted to Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames Hospital in Surrey on March 8th. Ms. Amirthalingam died in hospital 30 hours later. more..

Chinese investors continue to drive Sri Lanka economy

Mar 12 (SL) Sri Lankan authorities claim the country expects to record an economic growth of seven percent by the end of this year, achieved solely with the arrival of Chinese investors. Governor of the Central Bank Arjuna Mahendran states that the Govt is already in the process of holding talks with China. Central Bank Governor emphasised that SL may succeed in achieving a 7% economic growth by the end of this year. more..

More women studying to be accountants in Sri Lanka

Mar 12 (EN) Women now outnumber men among students of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka), its president has said, noting that women remain under-represented at corporate senior management level. It was important for the accounting fraternity to encourage more women into the profession, said Lasantha Wickremasinghe, President of CA Sri Lanka. more..

'I try to sell an idea to a player but I do not force it on him'

Mar 12 (CI) Marvan Atapattu, the former Sri Lanka opener, is at the World T20 as Zimbabwe's batting consultant. He talks about his role with the team, the need for Zimbabwe to have more exposure at the international level, and the impact of Dav Whatmore on his career, both as player and as coach. Q: What brought you to this role with the Zimbabwe team? A: I am a professional and one of the reasons I left my earlier coaching job more..

Religious leaders hit out at communal-minded politicians

Mar 12 (ST) Religious leaders and civil society activists say that though it may look like the people are living in a peaceful and harmonious environment now, co-existence between communities is yet to be achieved and they have started to work on it. Bishop Christian Noel Emmanuel who administers the Diocese of Trincomalee told the Sunday Times that even though there was a change in the Govt last year, still open were the wounds caused more..

New laws to check exploitation of workers by Manpower Agencies

Mar 12 (Island) New laws would be introduced to prevent the exploitation of workers recruited under the Manpower Agencies, Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne told Parliament. Moving the National Minimum Wage of Workers Bill and the Budgetary Relief Allowance of Workers Bill in Parliament, the minister pointed out the need to pay serious attention to the workers recruited under the Manpower Agencies as those workers were more..

Sharp surge in violence reveals security lapses: GR

Mar 12 (Island) Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday said that an unexpected surge in violence in the city and its suburbs had revealed serious security lapses as well as the failure on the part of the powers that be. Island sought the former Defence Secretary’s views on the continuing wave of violent incidents in the wake of five persons allegedly being killed in the Dankotuwa police area. more..

EU tells Sri Lanka to increase cooperation with Zeid’s office

Mar 12 (CG) European Union (EU) has urged Sri Lanka to increase its cooperation with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. EU delegation at the UNHRC said that it welcomes Sri Lanka’s engagement with the office headed by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Al Hussein. However EU delegation said it would like to encourage Sri Lanka to further increase its cooperation with Zeid’s office more..

Cross-talk in Parliament over LG elction

Mar 12 (DM) Govt said yesterday there was no legal provision to hold the local govt election till the issues pertaining to the de-limitation of wards were resolved. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, who responded to a question asked by MP Dinesh Gunawardena in Parliament, said the deadline to submit petitions to the committee looking into shortcomings had been further extended, as more complaints were more..

Yahapalanaya: Bonanza for MPs

Mar 12 (Island) Close on the heels of additional burden placed on taxpayers, UNP, SLFP, Opposition and Joint Opposition consisting of UPFA rebels, in a rare display of unity, unanimously approved a range of allowances for MPs. Besides, they agreed to pay a special allowance to the parliamentary staff, according to highly placed sources. The aforesaid decisions were made at a party leaders’ meeting chaired by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya. more..

Army, Cannons & The Constitution

Mar 12 (CT) You see, gentlemen, a king whom the army and cannons obey – this is part of a constitution! Ferdinand Lassalle once said. Lassalle, writing in 1862, was theorising at the time of the newly-born modern constitutions. They were begat by the bloody battle between the two then competing systems, decaying feudalism, and emerging capitalism. The democratic demands and the revolutionary steps forward contained within the constitutions that developed out of more..

People smuggling: To hurt or to heal

Mar 12 (CT) The People Smuggling Conference which was held at a venue just outside Colombo revealed pretty mind-boggling statistics on this crisis of calamitous proportions around the world and especially in the Asia-Pacific region. Australia teamed up with Sri Lanka to co-host this conference attended by nearly ten nations in the region. It's a safe bet to say that people smuggling in the region operates on two facts: namely that families and individuals who see no hope for their futures more..

Incompetent leaders making SL bankrupt

Former Sinha Regiment officer challenges appointment of SF as MP

Mar 12 (Island) Retired Major Ajith Prasanna (of the Sinha Regiment) and former Southern Provincial Council Member of the UPFA, filed a petition in the Court of Appeal, complaining that the appointment of Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka as a National List MP of the UNP, is unconstitutional. The petitioner, an attorney-at-law said, Fonseka had not been on National List of the UNP, prior to the Parliamentary Polls of Aug 17, 2015. Hence, he could not be appointed a National List MP more..

Legacy of Mangayarkarasi Amirthalingam

Mar 12 (CT) Mangayarkarasi Amirthalingam, the wife of the first Tamil Leader of the Opposition and the late TULF Leader Appapilai Amirthalingam passed away at the age of 83 in London on Wednesday. In Tamil, the name Mangayarkarasi means queen of women. So throughout the late Amirthalingam's political career from the time she married him in 1954, Mangayarkarasi remained a pillar of strength to him until his untimely death in Colombo in 1989. more..

Lotus Tower construction to be completed by Sept: TRCSL

Mar 12 (DM) Despite disruptions, the construction work of the Lotus Tower is scheduled to be completed by Sept 2017. TRCSL Director General Sunil S. Sirisena stated that the structure, when completed, would be the tallest building in South Asia. However, the Director General pointed out that additional funds were required for the construction of the parking lot and shopping complex in the premises. more..

Sri Lanka Treasury: A bottomless pit !

Mar 12 (CT) Minister Ravi Karunanayake presented the Yahapalanaya govt’s budget for the year 2016 to Parliament in Nov 2015, indicating that the proposed estimated expenditure would be Rs. 2,787 billions and the estimated revenue and grants for the same period would be Rs. 2,047 billions leaving a budget deficit of Rs. 740 billions. According to the media reports, following the initial talks with the IMF about a loan which could be used to plug gaps in the budget, Finance Minister has stated more..

86 Indian boats, 64 fishermen in SL custody

Mar 12 (CT) Sri Lanka has, in its custody, 86 Indian fishing vessels and 64 Indian fishermen who were apprehended by the Sri Lanka Navy and the Coastguard on various occasions for poaching in Sri Lankan territorial waters, Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, revealed. Speaking during a discussion with the fisheries cooperative societies he stated "I have given instructions to the relevant officials to release all Indian fishermen detained, but not to release their boats and fishing nets." more..

Sri Lanka gets second currency swap from India; total US$1.1bn

Mar 12 (EN) Sri Lanka has received a US$ 400 million currency swap from Reserve Bank of India's facility for South Asia, Central Bank Deputy Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe said, taking the total support to the island's monetary authority to US$ 1.1 billion. Proceeds of the 400 million dollar 3-month swap had arrived in Sri Lanka on March 08, and is in the country's official reserves, he said. The swap could be extended. more..

Sinhala medium students hit by poor education standards

Mar 12 (ST) Poor education standards are among the main concerns of the residents in Trincomalee which they say still lacks facilities and teachers, though the war ended in 2009. Mahinda Geeganage, a longtime Trincomalee resident, says Sinhala medium students are the worst affected and parents are forced to their children to schools in faraway districts to pursue quality education. “Particularly in the Sinhala areas, the facilities are woefully inadequate. more..