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Maintaining core economic development in a turbulent political environment crucial

June 9 (ST) The first half of the year has been one of political change, instability, uncertainty and confusion. This state of affairs is likely to prevail till after the parliamentary elections, when hopefully a stable govt takes office under President Maithripala Sirisena. Meanwhile the wheels of the economy must be kept running as smoothly as possible. Current political uncertainties are hardly conducive to investment and growth. Economic growth is therefore likely to dip below expected 6.5% more..

UNHRC: Precedents set could come back to haunt us, says Kohona

June 9 (ST) The upcoming visit to Sri Lanka of the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances could be the thin end of a large wedge, leading critics of Sri Lanka’s domestic mechanisms to demand more international interventions, a former diplomat has warned. While adherence to international human rights standards is a must, respect for our own ability as a mature state to deal with issues of this nature must not be compromised, says Palitha Kohona, more..

'Sampur issue resolved'

June 9 (SO) Minister D.M. Swaminathan says AGs Dept will file papers in the SC for resettlement of the displaced in their own lands. The decade-long issue of the eviction of 825 families from their traditional homes in Sampur and subsequent relocation in uninhabitable, make-shift shelters in impoverished conditions elsewhere, which sparked off persistent agitations locally has been resolved once and for all, more..

Greening the Blue

June 9 (CT) The theme of World Oceans Day 2015 is – Greening the Blue. Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet. World Ocean Day was first proposed by the Govt of Canada at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro (1992). A UN General Assembly Resolution passed in December 2008 established World Oceans Day as the 8th of June each year. The UN highlights this day as one to celebrate the ocean while re-evaluating our ways of treating this living resource by creating perspective on more..

Rupee is down: So is Siri-Wicky regime

June 9 (CT) Point No:1: The momentum generated by the historic January 2015 presidential election is being exhausted, and that the minority govt appointed for the sole purpose of executing the 100-day reform programme is drifting aimlessly. Point No:2: The current balance of power in the institutions of the state is incongruous and unsustainable, with a President elected in 2015 to undertake thoroughgoing constitutional reforms, on the one hand, and a Parliament elected more..

Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face

June 9 (NS) I am enjoying a retired life but some people call me to inform that I am in news again. They say it is linked to Dilith Jayaweera, the joint Managing director of Derana media house who is at the receiving end of a huge media attack by another media house Sirasa/MTV. Meanwhile FCID, the new police unit set up by the PM is busy investigating some share transactions related to Lanka Hospitals that took place in 2011 Feb. more..

Editorial: Pedalling uphill

June 9 (Island) It took months for the new govt to wise up to the fact that a substantial decrease in the price of a widely used commodity would invariably lead to an increase in the demand for it. That would have been known to anyone with a nodding acquaintance with rudimentary economics. Now, Minister Champika Ranawaka is lamenting that fuel consumption has increased drastically due to petroleum price reductions. Rajapaksa govt savagely exploited the public by keeping more..

Towards building true reconciliation in SL

June 9 (SL) Vidhya Sivaloganathan’s death sent waves of agony and distress across Sri Lanka. The horrific brutality inflicted upon her broke all ethnic and religious boundaries and united all citizens of the country under one voice calling for justice. Vidhya was considered Sri Lanka’s daughter; her death became the solitary incident that indiscriminately united all Sri Lankans under one cause. Unfortunately, it needed such a tragic event for such unification to occur. more..

Australian activist pays price for propagating truth

June 9 (NS) Diannah Paramour is 60 years old and a proud Aussie. She refers to herself as a humanitarian in the real sense of the word. Her humanity is not subject to a payroll. She had been following Sri Lanka’s conflict for many years and unlike most had done her own investigations and concluded that much of the hype and propaganda were false. Being regularly involved in social media, she has been able to more..

Wrongs of the past can’t undo wrongs of the present

June 9 (SL) Sri Lankan politicians have come believe that vile acts committed by them, however contemptible or illegal, is excusable and morally justifiable or even legal, if such acts have been committed by their rival political rivals on them when their opponents were power. Being a political observer for decades, we have seen leading ministers when their govts were accused by opposition members in parliament of gross crimes and other horrendous offences, thunder back more..

The biggest change comes through elections

June 9 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena has announced his intention to seek the passage of the 20th Amendment to the constitution as a priority. The reforms envisage an electoral system in which the majority of parliamentary seats will be obtained on the first-past-the post system, while keeping to an overall proportional outcome. The experience at elections held under the present proportional system with a preferential voting option has been a negative one. more..

SLC in sound financial footing

June 9 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket remains mired in stadium debt of over USD $20 million, but has strode towards stability in its operational budget since the interim committee took over in late March, board treasurer Lucille Wijewardene said. The board also hopes to contest the ownership of much of those stadium debts, which were accrued in the approach to 2011 World Cup. Officials said board's operational funds have been improved more..

New jobs in apparel sector for 58 Tamil youth

June 9 (GDI) Nine Sri Lanka Engineers (SLE) Regiment under the Security Force Headquarters-Killinochchi organized another welfare project with the cooperation of Tri Star Apparels to enhance the living standard of poverty stricken people in the area. On the request of the officers of the 9SLE Regiment, Tri Star Apparels conducted a series of interviews in May to select youth from low- income families in Kilinochchi, at Harmony Centre, Kilinochchi for providing of employment. more..

Chandimal to lead Board President's XI

June 9 (DN) Dinesh Chandimal has been named to lead the Board President's XI against Pakistan in the only tour game to be played at the Colts Cricket Ground from June 11 to 13. Chandimal, the man who will probably fill the vacuum of number four slot in the national Test side following the retirement of Mahela Jayawardene, will take the field in the three-day game against Misbah-ul-Haq led visitors. After recovering from an injury, regular wicket-keeper batsman of NCC, Niroshan Dickwella will join more..

Compulsory military training jeopardises SL’s chances of qualifying for World events

June 9 (Island) Many a leading sportsmen and women of Sri Lanka Air Force have been compelled to undergoing nearly two and half month-long mandatory military training, which leading coaches allege would jeopardize their chances of engaging in systematic training, preparing and qualifying for a number of international events including Rio Olympics. While Sri Lanka Navy has already started a similar more..

Sri Lankan energy sector team visits Bavaria to study Renewable Energy

June 9 (Island) A 13 member Sri Lankan energy sector team, which comprises of industry executives and academics, will visit Bavaria, Germany during mid-June in order to take part in a training program on Renewable Energy. Team would be led by the Sri Lanka - Germany Business Council of Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, while the program is backed by the Bavarian Employers' Association and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Media, Energy and Technology in Germany. more..

Adam Investments new plant heats up Sri Lanka activated carbon competition

June 9 (EN) Sri Lanka’s Adam Investments said it is upgrading its activated carbon factory and aims to resume production shortly with carbonisation and recycling technology that produces higher yields and saves cost. A total of 151 million rupees in bank debt of Bieco Link Carbons, the activated carbon factory renamed Adam Carbons, due at the time the unit was acquired last year with the takever of PCH Holdings, was settled in full, the company said. A complete plant upgrade is being done with more..

Miss Earth visits as tourism earnings nears $1b by April

June 9 (FT) The Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau commemorated World Environment Day with 2014 winner of the Miss Earth pageant Jamie Herrel. Herrel’s visit to the island comes in the backdrop of a 13.6% year-on-year growth in tourism earnings, amounting to $ 956.8 million in the first four months of 2015. Herell commended the efforts of Rotary, HNB and the SLTPB in launching their landmark One Million Tree Stories project, more..

May motivation

June 9 (FT) Lucrative tourism received a fresh boost in May when arrival numbers recorded the highest growth so far this year, albeit from a low base, growing 26.1% to reach 113,529 tourists. Month of May in 2014 suffered a slump attracting only 90,046 visitors but the corresponding month for 2015 has continued to ride the prosperous wave begun at the start of the year, analysts said. However, numbers dipped from 122,217 in April to 113,529 in May according to seasonal changes. more..

Club cricketers to get pay increase

June 9 (DM) Domestic cricketers will see a significant increase in player payments, though the number of contracts offered would be reduced, Sri Lanka Cricket Interim Committee Chairman Sidath Wettimuny said. He said that the interim committee had developed a system that would be incentive based, and therefore ensure domestic cricketers worked harder to reach the next level. “Other than 17 contracted players at the top, players payment were increased from 96 million to 130 million. more..

'Sri Lanka to call international bids for Mannar basin gas exploration in October'

June 9 (LBO) Power and Energy Minister says a fresh round of international tenders will be called in Oct 2015 in order to expedite the gas resources exploration process in the Mannar basin. “In October we will call for international tenders to explore the gas deposits in the country,” Minister Champika Ranawaka, said. Earlier this year Cairn India announced its withdrawal from Mannar Basin natural gas exploration following the global more..

Enabling environment in place for Capital Market progress

June 9 (Island) Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Director General Vajira Wijegunawardane stressed that SEC as the regulator has established an enabling environment and now it’s up to the industry to take the initiative and make full use of it. He also said that the SEC is focusing on short selling equity markets. Speaking at the 63rd LBR LBO CEO Forum tilted Reimaging Debt Capital Market – to unlock opportunities and sustain growth in Sri Lanka, held last week more..

Quack doctor in police net - A woman's vigilance pays-off

June 9 (CT) GMOA has estimated that thousands of bogus medical practitioners are carrying on roaring businesses in various parts of the island. They carry on their activities mostly in remote areas and the plantations. A young woman in Ragama helped the authorities to arrest such a bogus doctor who posed as a medical officer of the Colombo National Hospital. He was using the name and the registration number of a qualified doctor who is registered with SL Medical Council (SLMA) more..

Western sanctions on Iran affects Uma Oya project

June 9 (Island) Govt will not give in to the conditions laid down by the Iranian consultancy company that has undertaken to construct the delayed Uma Oya multi-purpose development project. Mahaweli Development and Environment Ministry Secretary, Engineer Nihal Rupasinghe said that they would not release funds as requested by Iranians. He said that Iran was facing a problem of investing money in Uma Oya Project due to more..

Misbah eyes victory as team leaves for SL

June 9 (AFP) Pakistan's 15-man squad flew out of Lahore for Colombo late on Monday night with Test skipper Misbah-ul-Haq announcing that his boys will go all out for victory against Sri Lanka. The team will play three Tests, five One-day Internationals and two Twenty20 games against the hosts, with the aim of qualifying for the 2017 Champions Trophy in England. Pakistan, currently ninth in one-day rankings, must beat Sri Lanka to get to the eighth spot or better before Sept 30 cut off date for more..

NCPA marks World Day against Child Labour

June 9 (Island) The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) yesterday held a walk as part of its awareness programme to commemorate the World Day Against Child Labour. Starting at 8.00 a.m. the walk commenced from the Independence Square and concluded at the BMICH. Prizes were given away to winners of an all-island essay competition on children on child labour. The trilingual contest was sponsored by the International Labour Organization (ILO). more..

'Mangala violated Penal Code by voting for Gay rights'

June 9 (DM) Legal action should be taken against Minister Mangala Samaraweera for violating SL's Penal Code by voting in favour of gay rights at the UN, NFF Leader Wimal Weerawansa said. He said Foreign Affairs Ministry had voted against a resolution submitted by Russia calling for the withdrawal of benefits for gay and lesbian couples. “Being gay and lesbian-friendly has become our foreign policy today. more..

Euro 64 million loan Milco completes Polonnaruwa factory refurbishment

June 9 (CT) Sri Lanka's dairy product manufacturer- Milk Industries of Lanka Co. Ltd (MILCO) which is under a Euro 64 Million loan facility, has completed the Polonnaruwa factory refurbishment, which manufactures condensed milk. The major restructuring of the company will include moving the Colombo factory to Badalgama. While the other factories in Digana, Ambewela are being modernized at present. The refurbishments of the Polonnaruwa factory have been completed. more..

'NCM against PM cannot be condoned'

June 9 (DN) At a time when a national govt headed by President and PM is in operation, the action taken by a group of opposition MPs to table a No Confidence Motion against the PM can never be condoned, said Ven. Galagama Sri Aththadassi Mahanayake Thera of Asgiriya Chapter. “No sane or level headed person will resort to such lowly acts like tabling a No Confidence Motion at a time like this,” Thera said. Country needs an opposition acting for the country’s progress more..

Gotabaya can't be arrested in four cases: SC

June 9 (ENS) A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court on Monday clarified that former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa cannot be arrested in the four cases mentioned in the Fundamental Rights petition he had filed in the court earlier, till the court gives its determination on the petition. The cases in question relate to the floating armoury docked at the Galle harbour with a large consignment of unlicensed more..

Nestle Lanka CEO leaves for India to rescue Maggi

June 9 (BI) Shivani Hegde, who made Maggi a household name in India, is back to rescue it. As brand Maggi is going through troubled times, Nestle Global CEO Paul Bulcke has called Hegde back from Sri Lanka temporarily for damage control. Hegde is a member of the parent company's global marketing leadership council and took over as head of Nestle in Sri Lanka four months back. She will come to India with a mission, to re-build brand Maggi. more..

'Drug Pedalling in North is part of genocidal agenda'

June 9 (CT) TNA Jaffna District MP S. Sritharan, launching an anti narcotic campaign in Kilinochchi, described the penetration of drug pedalling in the Northern Province in recent years following the end of war in 2009, was part of a genocidal agenda, to ruin the good values of the Northerners. MP Sritharan was speaking at a meeting, organized by Civil Society representatives in Kilinochchi, on creating awareness over the dangerous effects of narcotics, last week. more..

Video: All must support the 20A: President

June 9 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena requested all political parties to come forward within the next few days and declare their respective positions on the proposed electoral reforms. He stressed that the passage of the 20th Amendment to the Constitution (that would do away with the weaknesses of the Proportional Representation System) was the need of the hour. Addressing a public rally held in support of more..

Lalkantha wants a rethink on Sampur

June 9 (DN) The authorities should reconsider the proposed coal power plant in Sampur due to enviornmental concerns and complications related to resettlement of the displaced persons, JVP Politburo member K.D. Lalkantha said. Lalkantha, who visited the Sampur area in the Trincomalee district on a fact finding mission on Sunday, said the people had the right to return to their native lands in Sampur. "If the proposed project goes ahead the people will have to face health & environmental issues due to it" more..

Sri Lankan leaders all praise for Pakistan

June 9 (ET) President Maithripala Sirisena has acknowledged that Pakistan had played a substantial role in helping consolidate the integrity of the island nation which had been wracked by a deadly Tamil insurgency until it was put out in 2009. In a meeting with army chief General Raheel Sharif on Monday, Sirisena also thanked the people and armed forces of Pakistan for their unwavering support in their fight against terrorism and patterning them in region & bilateral security more..

Cabinet approves 20A

June 9 (DN) The Cabinet last night gave its nod to the 20th Amendment dealing with electoral reforms. After considering arguments presented by members representing the UNP, the SLFP and the SLMC the Cabinet finally decided to proceed with a legislature of 225 MPs. The 225 MP legislature was the stand taken by the UNP and the SLFP, which earlier lobbied for a legislature of 255 MPs, finally agreed to compromise. more..

The London Bridge of Negombo

June 9 (DM) Any concerned person would have been aghast to hear the order by the health authorities to evacuate the patients from the not so old 7-storey Negombo General Hospital building over concerns that the structure is unsafe. On May 30 the authorities moved patients from the main building of the hospital to adjacent buildings within the hospital premises, halting all routine admissions. These safety concerns were raised after Atomic Energy Authority & Moratuwa Uni undertook more..

President saved UNP from being hijacked

June 9 (DM) Now, that the UNP is in the govt, it is easy to forget the existential problems the Green Party had barely few months ago. During those not so distant days, the UNP made headlines not for Opposition political activism, but for an inner-party power struggle. Ranil Wickremesinghe faced with a leadership challenge, clung miserably to the leadership. The main opposition party had been relegated to political irrelevance by the Rajapaksa juggernaut. more..

A costly racket

June 9 (SL) The Customs Department lost millions of rupees by way of customs duty under the former management. Reliable sources claimed that the former management had not taken any action against importers who had imported less duty vehicles and got them converted to luxury vehicles to avert high duties. “The Customs Chief is vested with powers from Excise Act No: 13 of 1988 to forfeit such converted vehicles more..

Outfits demand reinstallation of Prabhakaran statue at Nagai temple

June 9 (ENS) Urging the district administration to reinstall the statue of LTTE leader Prabhakaran in a temple near Nagapattinam from where it was removed under mysterious circumstances on Saturday, cadre belonging to Hindu Makkal Katchi submitted a petition to the Collector here on Monday. Alleging that the police have forcibly removed the statue, cadre of Periyar Dravida Kazhagam too staged a protest more..