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SL to host regional summit on sanitation

Feb 16 (DN) The South Asian Conference on Sustainable Solution for Sanitation (SACOSAN – 3S) will be held from February 21 to 23 at Berjaya Hotel Colombo under the patronage of Minister Rauff Hakeem and State Minister Lucky Jayewardene. 3-day conference will provide a platform to learn about scalable sanitation solutions and best practices from South Asian national govts as well as water and sanitation experts and practitioners from the region. more..

Lasith Embuldeniya fills empty apartment

Feb 16 (CI) There's an opening spot up for grabs, the No. 3 position doesn't have a permanent occupant, No. 5 is dodgy, as is No. 7, but the longest ongoing search by far, for SL, has been for a successor to Rangana Herath as the go-to spinner, home and away. First, if there are that many vacancies in your XI, it is clear there are serious problems. If you were out to rent an apartment and found out half the units in the building more..

Sampath Bank profits down amid loan losses

Feb 16 (EN) Sampath Bank said its net profits for the Dec 2018 quarter fell 31.8% to 2.7 billion rupees from a year earlier amid a steep write-down of bad loans. The firm's earnings per share for the quarter were 9.88 rupees. Net profits for the 2018 year fell 0.6% to 12.6 billion rupees with earnings per share of 46.85 rupees. Sampath Bank's share was trading at 238 rupees, Friday. Interest income for the Dec 2018 quarter grew 20.7% to 28 billion rupees from 2017, while interest expenses grew 11.9% more..

State banks to bring in experienced professionals as banking heads

Feb 16 (ST) The Finance Ministry is now clearing high level procedures in appointing heads to state banks almost two months after the reinstatement of the UNF govt with the aim of invigorating the state banking sector with experienced professionals. Most of the state banks are currently embroiled with dysfunction in policy and decision-making in managing and administering its key financial and legal matters as the boards of directors of these banks are still to be reconstituted. more..

Legendary golfer Nandasena Perera passes away

Feb 16 (DN) Legendary SL golfer Nandasena Perera passed away at the age of 64 yesterday at Western Hospital, Cotta Road after suffering from a kidney ailment. He was cremated within 24 hours after his death as per his last wishes at the General Cemetary, Kanatte yesterday at 5 pm. Nandasena born in August 1954, re-shaped the game of golf in Sri Lanka, establishing the RCGC Course Record of 63 in 1983 more..

Incidents in Parliament: CID records statement from MP Punchinilame

Feb 16 (DM) UPFA MP Susantha Punchinilame said the CID recorded a statement from him over the chaotic incidents that took place in parliament in November last year. He told the media after making the statement that the CID had summoned him in connection with a complaint he had lodged with the CID requesting it to conduct an investigation over the incident. The MP said he had lodged the complaint requesting for an investigation over the speaker’s conduct on the day when more..

Hartal in Puttalam against garbage recycling plant

Feb 16 (DM) Puttalam tuned into a ghost town yesterday when all business establishments and private sector institutions put up shutters and staged a hartal against the Aruwakkalu Gabage Recycling plant which is being built. More than 2,000 business establishments and private sector institutions including supermarkets, pharmacies, catering services, hotels and suppliers of essential commodities participated in the hartal. Residents said the protest which was launched on more..

CB sets record straight on ETI Finance

Feb 16 (FT) The Central Bank (CB) yesterday issued a clarification seeking to correct any misleading statements on the sale of subsidiaries and investment properties under ETI Finance, which was released earlier this week. The CB noted that there was much incorrect and misleading information in the contents of the article and wished to state the CB’s observations. The approval granted by CB was to transfer more..

SL youth reluctant to take hard-working jobs

Feb 16 (ST) Youth reluctant to take hard-working jobs and dependency on their parents, among other issues came to the fore during a discussion on Crisis in Employment organised by the Sunday Times Business Club (STBC) last week. The panel comprised Fayaz Saleem, Principal Consultant/MD of Executive Search; Rozaine Cooray, Business Psychologist and founder of Forté Consultancy and Isuru Tillakawardana, Deputy General Manager – HRM, Commercial Bank, last week and more..

ETI Finance issues statement to clarify misinformation

Feb 16 (FT) The ETI Board of Directors, in a statement, said it is deeply concerned regarding the recent baseless allegations made in certain newspapers and electronic media regarding the sale of Swarnamahal Jewellers Ltd., EAP Films and Theatres Ltd., and EAP Broadcasting Company Ltd. to Ben Holdings Ltd. and Blue Summit Capital Management Ltd. Following is the statement. The said companies and corresponding assets are private interests. more..

Aruwakkalu Landfill to accept garbage from Puttalam district

Feb 16 (DN) The Aruwakkalu Sanitary Landfill site will accept garbage collected from all local authorities in the Puttalam district from March 15, Megapolis and Western Development Ministry Secretary Nihal Rupasinghe said. In the wake of growing hartal and other protest campaigns by the area residents with only a month remaining to the commissioning of the landfill, the Ministry Secretary took pains to dispel more..

More power useless if what's devolved is unused: PM

Feb 16 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said there was no point in asking for more powers if the local bodies don't use what is already devolved to the Provincial Councils. He said this at the development review meeting held at the Kilinochchi DS. PM referred to power devolution when TNA MP S. Sridharan complained that the pradeshiya sabhas have not received funds for housing from the central govt and the provincial council. “It is the PCs which should allocate funds to the PSs. more..

MR wants improved security for migrant workers

Feb 16 (FT) Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa requested that the safety of female housemaids be improved when he met with the Kuwait parliamentary friendship group at the Opposition Leader’s Office. 3-member Kuwait parliamentary friendship group was led by Prof. Adel Al-Damkhi while MP Nayaf Alajmy and MP Abdullah Alenezi were also part of the delegation. During the meeting, Prof. Al-Damkhi congratulated Mahinda Rajapaksa for been appointed as Opp Leader. more..

Prez goes sour on milk powder companies

Feb 16 (FT) Prez Sirisena yesterday criticised multinational milk powder companies for importing substandard products to SL and called for the local dairy industry to be developed to meet consumer needs. Speaking in Polonnaruwa, Prez referred to the recent statements in Parliament by Deputy Minister Buddhika Pathirana, who accused imported milk powder of being contaminated with pork fat and palm oil. more..

Poverty cut-off figure rises to Rs 4,584

Feb 16 (CT) The country’s island-wide poverty cut-off point jumped sharply by Rs 52 to Rs 4,584 last month; complementing the increase in inflation, which saw last month’s Colombo inflation accelerate by 0.9% points to 3.7% over its December figure. That means people have to earn more to keep their noses above the water, without being swamped by the waters of poverty, to be downgraded by being classified as being poor. SL’s last poverty headcount was in 2016, which saw 4.1% or 843,914 more..

Keep calm and crab on

Feb 16 (Hindu) It’s a ministry where your requests will get heard, served and where you will want to spend hours. This is the Ministry of Crab (MoC), Colombo’s celebrated restaurant known as much for its crustacean preparations as its celebrity cricket owners. Mahela and Sangakkara together with Chef Dharshan Munidasa opened MoC in the Dutch Hospital Complex in Colombo. Their crab preparations became an instant hit, attracting celebrities and awards in equal measure. more..

Finance Company PLC in troubled waters

Feb 16 (Island) The Central Bank (CB) has banned The Finance Company (TFC) from accepting new deposits, imposed restrictions on withdrawal of deposits and restricted disbursement of loans and advances to facilitate the process of restructuring TFC. These actions come into effect from yesterday. CB added that TFC had been severely impacted by the failure of a number of financial institutions within the group in 2008. more..

Madush’s arrest: Police team to leave for Dubai

Feb 16 (DM) A six-member police team was appointed by Defense Secretary Hemasiri Fernando to leave for Dubai to assist the Dubai Police in the investigations into the recent arrest of 31 Sri Lankans including drug kingpin Makandure Madush and singers Amal Perera and his son Nadeemal. Police sources said the team included officials of the Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB), Unsolved Crimes Investigation Unit, CID and STF. They said the police team would leave soon after more..

'Many lawyers falling over themselves to save Madush, Poor Rizana had none'

Feb 16 (Island) Many lawyers were trying to secure the release of Makandure Madush and his associates arrested in the UAE, but not a single SL lawyer attempted to help Rizana Nafeek when she was sentenced to death by Saudi Arabia, State Minister Ranjan Ramanayake, said. "Rizana was executed in 2013 although she was convicted contrary to the Convention on the Rights of the Child. When she was convicted there were no lawyers to help her; she even didn’t have more..

Amal and 15 others likely to be deported

Feb 16 (DN) Singers Amal and his son Nadeemal Perera who were arrested at Makandure Madush’s son’s birthday party in Dubai are likely to be released on conditional bail. This is upon a settlement of a fine along with 15 others who would be deported to Sri Lanka once the case is taken up on Feb 27, lawyers said. “We spoke at length with Bur Dubai Police and the Public Prosecutor. more..

'More Consular offices at regional level'

Feb 16 (DN) Foreign Minister Thilak Marapana yesterday said that his ministry will open more Consular Offices at regional level in future particularly in the areas where a substantial number of families of migrant workers reside. He added that this measure will enable them to obtain consular services in their own districts, without having to travel to Colombo. Marapana also appreciated the contribution made by his predecessor Minister Mangala Samaraweera towards taking more..

Madush arrest: Prez orders STF Chief not to give into pressure

Feb 16 (CT) Prez Sirisena has ordered STF Commandant, Senior DIG M.R. Latheef not to give into any political pressure in connection with the arrest of noted underworld criminal Makandure Madush. Prez instructed Latheef to swiftly bring it to his attention if there is any political pressure or influence exerted on him regarding the arrest of Madush. Prez also informed Latheef that the law should be instituted against all underworld criminals, irrespective of their nexus with politicians or more..

SL police in the dark: Legal action against Madush in Dubai

Feb 16 (Island) Police have not sent a single representative to Dubai to monitor legal action against notorious underworld criminal Makandure Madush. However, several lawyers have gone to Dubai to represent the suspects and are feeding the media with wrong information, a senior police officer said, adding that the police should have immediately sent a representative to monitor the investigations in that country. more..

Green Fashion: imagine and act naturally

Feb 16 (DM) This week, the United Nations marked the International Day of Women and Girls in Science with the theme being Investment in Women and Girls in Science for Inclusive Green Growth. According to the UN, Science and gender equality are vital for the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Over the past 15 years, the global community has made a lot of effort in inspiring and engaging women and more..

Depression high in kidney patients

Feb 16 (CT) Any person who is not of sound physical health becomes psychologically unsound due to the illness. Coping with a chronic illness may be unnerving as chronic illness condition lasts for an elongated period and often cannot be cured fully. There are some chronic illnesses that can be managed throughout life with medication, appropriate diet and exercise. A large number of patients who are suffering from chronic illnesses are susceptible to psychological illnesses such as more..

Concerns grow as report shows plastic killing off our fish

Feb 16 (ST) As Sri Lankan seas become increasingly polluted with plastic waste, contributing to a 500% depletion in fishing stocks, a pollution expert has called for more effective garbage management to avert a man-made disaster. Four-fifths of microplastic waste (extremely small pieces of plastic debris) found in our seas comes from the land, washed into the sea through canals and rivers, Environment and Renewable more..

Detection of contraband - Colombo Port to get 3 high-tech scanners

Feb 16 (DM) With the installation of three high-tech scanners at the Colombo Port of Colombo on March 1 the Sri Lanka Customs (SLC) would be able to detect drugs, narcotics, cigarettes, gold and other contraband smuggled in containers, Director General P.S.M. Charles said. "A thorough screening and scanning system of all containers arriving at the Colombo Port will be launched with the commissioning of the latest scanners more..

Implementation of the death penalty: Siam Sect opposes selective targeting

Feb 16 (CT) The Siam Sect criticised the proposed decision to enforce the implementation of the death penalty for death row prisoners with convictions for drug-related offences, who were continuing to commit the offence whilst in prison, on the basis that it violated the right to equality, the equal protection of the law and non-discrimination. The Constitution of Sri Lanka under Articles 12(1) and 12(2) guarantees and enshrines equality, more..

Reducing gender gap boosts Sri Lankan economy: World Bank VP

Feb 16 (AD) The World Bank Vice President for South Asia Region, Hartwig Schafer concluded his three-day visit to Sri Lanka on Friday with a commitment to work with public and private sectors to create the space for women to access work and remain at work. Evidence suggests that Sri Lankan women are excelling in higher education and outlive men, but they are not part of the workforce. more..

Mannar mass grave: carbon dating results received

Feb 16 (AD) The results of the radiocarbon dating tests carried out by a lab in the U.S. on the bone samples recovered from the mass grave in Mannar were received early this morning , according to Dr Saminda Rajapaksa, the Judicial Medical Officer who is in charge of the excavations. He said that samples from the skeletal remains of six humans were sent to Beta Analytics which is based in Miami, Florida and more..

Govt writes off loans of 45,000 women borrowers in drought-affected districts

Feb 16 (FT) The Govt has written off nearly Rs. 1.4 billion in capital and interest of loans of 45,000 women borrowers in drought-affected districts whose capital cost is less than Rs. 100,000. This relief was granted under the Enterprise Sri Lanka Loan scheme with concessionary interest rates instead of high-interest microfinance loans. The national ceremony to grant relief to 45,000 women who were affected by more..

PM urges people to forgive and forget

Feb 16 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, speaking in Kilinochchi yesterday, said that the Govt is working on a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) process and mechanism to tell the truth related to the war, regret the past and ask forgiveness for a genuine reconciliation, similar to what the South Africans did. He urged Sri Lankans to reconcile after the war by telling the truth, regretting the past and more..

SJGH Acting DG transferred

Feb 16 (CT) The Health Ministry yesterday, appointed Senior Medical Administrator Dr. Kapila Wickramanayake, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, as the new Acting Director of the Sri J'pura General Hospital (SJGH). Responding to questions, Chairman of SJGH, Dr. Athula Kahandaliyanage said that on instructions of Auditor General’s Department Ministry had investigated more..

Only one BOI project in the North funded by Diaspora, says report

Feb 16 (ST) SL’s war-torn North has only 23 BOI companies, just one of which is funded by the diaspora, the lowest number of industrial enterprises in the country and an industrial sector growing far slower than the national average, a new report reveals. In the ten years since fighting ended, employment creation has also not met demand while the Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi districts record the nation’s lowest monthly incomes. more..

Kusal Perera's epic 153* leads Sri Lanka to insane victory

Feb 16 (CI) A see-sawing Test match reached an incredible finale on the fourth afternoon at Kingsmead as Kusal Perera and Vishwa Fernando put on a record-breaking 10th wicket stand to see their team home in an atmosphere of almost unbearable tension. Sri Lanka's last pair came together with 78 still needed and victory virtually assured for South Africa, but as Vishwa clung limpet-like to the crease more..

Sri Lanka Cricket – still in convulsions

Feb 17 (SO) The tragedy of Sri Lanka’s cricket is not in the game or with the players, but in the governance of this country’s most lucrative and accomplished sport. Yes, sadly, for some of the key players in cricket’s governance, the lucre aspect comes first and, has long taken precedence over sporting accomplishment. Today, the national team convulses in repeated collapsed innings, whole tour whitewashes, questionable team strategy or non-strategy, and player pangs over selections. more..

Importance of GSP+

Feb 17 (CT) GSP+, the duty-free export vehicle gifted to Sri Lanka from the EU has not only helped the island’s merchandise exports to grow, but has also made the EU, SL’s largest regional market, unseating the USA, if the latter is considered as a region and not a country. For instance in 2004, on the eve of Sri Lanka being gifted with the GSP+ duty-free facility for its merchandise exports to the EU, SL’s total merchandise exports to the USA, its largest consumer then, comprised 34%, more..

Rookantha G.: Back in active politics

Feb 17 (SO) Rookantha Gunathilaka is considered the ‘uncrowned king’ of Sinhala pop who changed traditional Sri Lankan music in the 1980s with his brand of popular songs. The veteran musician in an interview with gave his reasons as to why he accepted the UNP electoral organiser post for Dambadeniya. He said the UNP will secure victory at whatever election to be held and strongly feels that UNP should field its own candidate more..

Hangman and other men

Feb 17 (Island) Prez Sirisena is apparently hanging tough on resuming judicial executions. He won’t budge despite pressure from human rights groups, both local and international. Following his recent declaration that the hanging of drug lords, currently on death row, would commence in two months, the prisons authorities are said to be busy repairing the gallows. They have reportedly held discussions on how to procure a good rope as the existing one needs to be replaced; a new one will have to more..

The tale of two wanted men

Feb 17 (ST) A senior Minister blamed the media for botching the extradition of a SL drug king-pin from the Emirate of Dubai after his recent arrest. He said the publicity the arrest generated spoilt the chances of the SL Govt getting him to stand trial here. Minister then went on to compare and contrast the incident with the manner in which KP, the head of the LTTE’s Weapons Procurement Division, was stealthily arrested in Malaysia and brought to Sri Lanka in total secrecy. more..