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Three businessmen nabbed with illegally imported goods at BIA

Apr 12 (DM) Three businessmen who attempted to smuggle a stock of goods worth more than Rs. 200 million into the country were arrested this evening by a group of investigation officers attached to the SL Customs at the BIA. The Customs investigations revealed that the goods were imported into the country illegally without paying Customs duty. Among the goods were foreign-made whiskey, cigarettes, apple varieties, smart mobile phones, wristwatches, Apple Mac books, Apple iPads more..

Hot weather brings bad news of white fly infestation in coconut trees

Apr 12 (ST) Agrarian authorities have introduced a biological control agent to curb white fly infestations in coconut trees, which have been made worse by the prevailing heat that creates a conducive environment for the infestation. The biological control agent, Encarsia guadeloupe, one of the parasitoid species, was applied in both forms (live and eggs) to small scale coconut farms as a pilot project in several regions of the Northern Province. Thevarajah Vaigunthan, Regional Head of more..

Newly discovered fireflies stir hopes of other species

Apr 12 (ST) Fireflies are interesting insects as they produce a greenish light. While continuing their ongoing research on fireflies in Rammale Forest, a team of researchers from the University of Ruhuna noticed a few flying firefly species that looked different. In addition to fireflies, there were wingless alien-looking glow worms (known in Sinhala as re badulla) that emit light on their abdomen, in the leaf litter on the ground. more..

Transfer of expressways from RDA to Sahasya to take six months: Min Sec

Apr 12 (ST) It will take the Highways Ministry at least six months to devise a strategy under which SL’s expressways can be transferred from the RDA to the State-owned company named Sahasya Investments Ltd (SIL), although Cabinet approved the relevant management agreement to take effect on April 1 this year. SIL still has just two employees – one from the Ministry and from the RDA – and will only now start informing donor agencies who financed the expressways and obtaining their approval. more..

The Pekoe Trail; an adventure experience beyond tea

Apr 12 (ST) SL is well-known for its rich tea plantations and thick forest reserves across the central highlands while establishing a world renowned brand for producing the best Ceylon Tea globally. A cuppa generally narrates the story of the tea plantations, the smell of freshly plucked tea leaves and the lifestyle of the tea pluckers and their daily earnings. The Pekoe Trail that has recently sparked interest and recognised as one of the top 20 travel experiences in the world for 2024 more..

රටට මොකද වෙන්නේ?

Decline: Why Ranil and Sajith ain’t no JR and Premadasa

Apr 12 (FT) Having watched recent TV performances by JVP leaders and NPP’s Dr. Harini Amarasuriya’s charming admission that though she reads Marx she is not a Marxist-Leninist nor is the leftist NPP, the SJB’s shadow finance minister Dr. Harsha de Silva experienced a gotcha moment. He exclaimed that this revealed a hugely problematic gap, and referring to the JVP’s admissions, challenged: “who can say they love Marx and go to the IMF? No one does that! Tell me more..

Indian Ocean islands evolving into thresholds of power for influential countries

Apr 12 (CT) The Indian Ocean is home to numerous islands, both inhabited and uninhabited, which have recently garnered attention due to their geopolitical significance amid escalating power dynamics involving nations like India, China and their allies. Indian Ocean has historically been a vital trade route, with islands acting as strategic points for control and influence. These islands provided access to resources and wealth for those who controlled them, justifying the effort to overcome more..

Eid al-Fitr: The day of reward and rejoice

Apr 12 (CT) The popular Arabic term Eid al-Fitr refers to the Ramadan Festival of the followers of the faith of Islam that falls at the end of the one-month-long Fasting, which is obligatory for Muslims who live in every nook and corner of the world. As a matter of fact, when the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar Ramadan, culminates, the first crescent of Shawwal, the tenth Islamic month merrily emerges, carrying the joyous Eid Festival or more..

Big Mac and Burgernomics

Apr 12 (ST) After about 25 years of operations since 1998, on March 24, McDonald’s closed down its business in Sri Lanka. The shocking news was reported widely in both local and int'l media. The closure of the business was a result of a legal battle in the Commercial Court of Colombo regarding the poor hygienic status of the McDonald’s food served in the country by its local franchisee. McDonald’s is known to be a cheap fast-food restaurant all around the world which is also popular more..

A better place to call home

Apr 12 (TM) Sri Lankans approach this Sinhala and Tamil New Year with renewed hopes for a better country. A nation, our youth would be proud to call home. The road ahead is not an easy one, it never has been. Despite the limited festive cheer, the limited purchasing power of the average Joe, many Sri Lankans will enter this festive period with a stiff upper lip and an earnest view of what it will take to forge a path ahead. Looking forward, there is much to be done. more..

Hakka Patas: The bane of elephants in SL

Apr 12 (GV) Hakka patas (a cynical Sinhala term which translates as jaw breaker) are small improvised explosive devices, also known as a Homemade Explosive Device (HED), which consist of gun powder, stones, lead and iron shaped into a ball. They are made among the rural agrarian villages in the Northern and North Eastern part of SL for the purpose of keeping wild animals, including elephants, away from the crops. more..

Hakka Patas: The bane of elephants in SL

Apr 12 (GV) Hakka patas (a cynical Sinhala term which translates as jaw breaker) are small improvised explosive devices, also known as a Homemade Explosive Device (HED), which consist of gun powder, stones, lead and iron shaped into a ball. They are made amIndividuals (reference to burial rites), and most importantly your commitment to rectify mistakes of the past, more..

Breathing tradition: Ancient SL secrets to a breath of fresh air

Apr 12 (TM) In ancient times, Sri Lanka employed sophisticated air purification techniques that integrated humanity with nature. By uncovering the ancient methods that our ancestors used, we can learn and be reminded of these practices' timeless relevance. As we live in a time where Sri Lanka is facing major air contamination related issues and navigating modern day environmental challenges, revisiting Sri Lanka's heritage provides valuable lessons for sustainable living. more..

රෑ නැකත මව පියා දෙන්නම දුර්වල...

Shashini Gimhani set for Sri Lanka debut in T20 World Cup qualifier

Apr 11 (TM) SLC has announced the 15-member national women’s squad that will participate in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Global Qualifier 2024. According to the SLC, the tournament will take place from 25 April to 7 May, 2024, in Abu Dhabi. The SL team will reach Abu Dhabi directly from South Africa, where the team is currently engaged in a whiteball tour. Meanwhile, 15-year-old left-arm wrist spinner Shashini Gimhani is set to make her international debut for the SL Women’s team more..

S. Korea promises assistance for SL in edu, health, renewable energy & employment

Apr 11 (AD) Ambassador of South Korea, Miyon Lee has called on PM Dinesh Gunawardena in Colombo on Wednesday to discuss the follow-up actions on the decisions taken during the SL Premier’s visit last week. While in South Korea, Gunawardena held discussions with his counterpart Han Duck-soo, Speaker of National Assembly Kim Jin-pyo, Governor of Gyengsangbuk-do Province Lee Cheol-woo and former Secretary General of the UN Ban Ki-moon. more..

Sri Lankans asked to choose auspicious times from disputed almanac

Apr 11 (ST) With only a few days remaining for the Sinhala Tamil New Year, there is still confusion about auspicious times, following a dispute among astrologers. While the two factions—the state committee and a rival group of astrologers—presented different auspicious times and then refused to compromise, Minister Vidura Wickramanayake said that the people could follow auspicious times that were convenient more..

CB buys $715mn from fx markets in March

Apr 11 (EN) Central Bank has bought US$ 715 million from forex markets in March 2024, up from a net US$ 239.5 million in February, taking the total so far this year to US$ 1,199 million. Gross official reserves went up by US$ 431 million in March as debt was repaid from domestic savings. A central bank is able to collect reserves when domestic credit is moderated by an appropriate interest rate (reducing domestic investments), and the rupees created by dollar purchases more..

President opens Ratnapura Gem Tower

Apr 11 (TM) Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe emphasised that the Govt’s prudent decisions over the past two years have bolstered the nation’s economy, providing a favourable environment for political activities on the streets. However, he cautioned that the economy still faces challenges, urging citizens to weigh the choice of either continuing with the Govt’s initiatives for prosperity or risking regression. Highlighting a remarkable increase of over 50% in govt income more..

Visa sees 35%+ surge in debit card spends

Apr 11 (TM) Visa, the global leader in digital payments, announced that Visa debit card spends saw a significant increase of over 35% in the past year, indicating healthy growth of digital payments in SL. This increase is buoyed by a 30%+ increase in face-to-face spends and over 40% increase in ecommerce spends. As the Tamil and Sinhala New Year celebrations commence in the country, retail transactions are picking up more..

19 fishermen detained by SL return home

Apr 11 (PTI) As many as 19 Indian fishermen detained by the Sri Lanka Navy were on Wednesday repatriated to India after being released by authorities here, the Indian HC said. "Returning home! 19 Indian fishermen have been repatriated from Sri Lanka and are now on their way from Colombo to Chennai," Indian High Commission here said. The Navy has so far held 23 Indian trawlers and 178 Indian fishermen for allegedly fishing in the island nation's waters thus far in 2024, more..

Singapore’s Food Safety Agency officials explore local food processing firms

Apr 11 (FT) A delegation from the Singapore Food Agency (SFA), headed by Assistant CEO (Operations), Dr. Abdul Jalil Karder, along with two other officers from the Joint Operation Division of the SFA visited SL from 25 to 28 March. The purpose of the visit was to conduct pre-inspections of slaughterhouses in SL that have applied for licenses from the SFA in Singapore, with the objective of assessing the potential of SL companies to be approved as sources of poultry products more..

SLFP සටන් විරාමයක්

Eight Sri Lankans rescued from Myanmar cybercrime camps safely arrive in Thailand

Apr 11 (AD) The 8 Sri Lankans, who were rescued from the cybercrime camps in Myawaddy area of Myanmar, have safely arrived at the Embassy of SL in Thailand. Commenting in this regard, Ambassador of SL to Thailand, Mr. Janaka Bandara said the rescued people will be repatriated to the island in the coming days. Out of the 56 Sri Lankans who were trapped in cybercrime camps in Myawaddy, eight were rescued by the Myanmar govt authorities in early March and sent to the Myawaddy more..

Govt waits for LD approval to establish Chartered Institute for Journalists: Minister

Apr 11 (EN) SL govt is waiting for the approval from the Legal Draftsman Department to proceed with Chartered Institute for Journalists, State Media Minister Shantha Bandara said. Cabinet has approved the establishment of Chartered Institute for Journalists in 2021, but it has not taken off the ground amid Covid pandemic and an unprecedented economic crisis. Minister Bandula Gunawardena had promised to complete the state-controlled professional media body by last year. more..

MV X-Press Pearl case: Environmentalists seek govt agencies’ expeditious support

Apr 11 (TM) The judicial proceedings with regard to the MV X-Press Pearl maritime disaster should be expedited and the relevant Govt agencies should support it, said environmental scientist, Dr. Ajantha Perera. She said that nearly three years have passed since the incident, and that there is no progress in the relevant compensation process. “The relevant Govt institutions are so lethargic, and are waiting doing nothing. more..

Ranga Dias engaged in research misconduct, Uni of Rochester says

Apr 11 (Hindu) A team from Nature, through court documents, has found that Ranga Dias, professor at Uni of Rochester who had touted the discovery of room-temperature superconductor in March last year, committed data fabrication, falsification and plagiarism. The publication found an investigation report in court documents that stated the physicist had committed scientific misconduct. The 10-month-long investigation, which concluded on Feb 8, was carried out by a group of scientists, more..

More Secondary Businesses in Port City get Cabinet nod

Apr 11 (FT) The Cabinet of Ministers approved designating several companies as Secondary Businesses of Strategic Importance under the Colombo Port City Economic Commission Act. The decision aims to provide exemption or incentives to the designated companies from specific Acts outlined in Schedule II of the aforementioned Act. Additionally, the Cabinet has authorised the publication of orders for the same through gazette notifications. more..

Consumer confidence surges to new peak in March 2024

Apr 11 (EN) Consumer confidence in Sri Lanka surged to a new peak in March 2024 though all three indices run by the Institute for Health Policy (IHP), which ran the survey, were still at pessimistic levels. The IHP’s March 2024 Consumer Confidence Indices, which are generated from its SL Opinion Tracker Survey (SLOTS), improved to a new all-time peak in March, the institute said in a statement. more..

The Falcon and Falconer

Apr 11 (FT) It is showdown time. I borrowed the caption from the The Second Coming by W.B. Yeats. Things fall apart and the centre cannot hold. Passionate intensity dictates debate. The next election, Prez or Parliamentary will be a head-to-head encounter between the dominant and the dominated. Despite polls and engineered parades, the dismantling of the hegemony of the dominant class is not a certainty. Since hope is not optimism, I would say that it is a near certainty. more..

Uncomplicated route to Kachchatheevu

Apr 11 (FT) The recent statements by PM Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar on Kachchatheevu created a sensation in India and SL, especially regarding what would be their short- and long-term repercussions. Quotes such as every Indian is angered as PM Modi said, and India needing to sit down and work out a solution, declared by Minister Dr. Subramaniam Jashankar, insinuated the heartburn and the potential for follow-up action in Indian power-houses. more..

සිංහල රාජ්‍ය භාෂාව වුණේ 1961 දී!

Suspicious death of 23-year-old woman at hotel sparks concerns

Apr 11 (DM) A 23-year-old woman was discovered dead under suspicious circumstances at a hotel in Avissawella, Police said. The Avissawella Police were alerted after the individual accompanying the deceased woman reported her unconscious state to the hotel management. Upon receiving the call, Crime Scene Investigation Officers from the Sitawaka Police Division rushed to the scene and initiated investigations. The deceased is a resident of Walapane. more..

Sri Lanka, US discuss boosting peace and security in region

Apr 11 (FT) Senior Advisor to the President Sagala Ratnayaka yesterday had a telephone conversation with the US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan where the duo discussed matters to strengthen peace and security in the region. A statement from the PMD noted the dialogue encompassed a range of crucial topics aimed at bolstering bilateral relations between the two nations. Central to their discussion was the unwavering US commitment to supporting SL’s security and sovereignty. more..