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Why we need the Sampur Coal Power Plant

June 3 (Island) I am deeply touched by by Eng Parakrama Jayasinhe’s persistent commitment towards self reliance in our electrical power needs. No wonder he was honoured with Excellence in Engineering Award by the IESL. His illustrated graph of Daily Electricity demand cycle in The Island of May 27 well demonstrates the adage a picture is worth a thousand words. For almost two decades, he along with Late Ray Wijewardena promoted self reliance in power through dendro power or more..

I am clean: CB Governor

June 3 (SO) CB Governor Arjuna Mahindran says he has done nothing wrong, played no role in the Bond issue and his son-in-law had no dealings with Cabraal: Breaking his silence over the controversial Treasury bond issue, Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahindran claimed he was not involved in the decision-making process with regard to the Bond issuance. He said, he was willing to cooperate with any investigation more..

LOLC surpasses PBT growth of 84%

June 3 (CT) LOLC Group records Rs 8.1Bn as Profit Before Tax for 2014/15 with LOLC's financial services sector dominating the growth in profits compared with 2013/14 of Rs 4.4Bn. LOLC's main financial services entities comprising of the flagship finance company, Lanka ORIX Finance (LOFC), Commercial Leasing and Finance (CLC) and LOLC Micro Credit (LOMC), led the financial services sector to PBT growth of 73%, an increase from Rs 4.1Bn last year to Rs 7.1Bn in current year. more..

Expolanka posts Rs. 13.9 b Q4 revenue

June 3 (FT) Expolanka Holdings posted a revenue of Rs. 13.9 billion for the final quarter of the financial year 2014/15 with a growth of 14% compared to the corresponding quarter of the previous year. Profit after tax reached Rs. 287 million for the final quarter of this year recording a growth of 181% in comparison to the corresponding quarter of the previous year. “A year after implementing the strategic restructuring plan and striking a partnership with SG Holdings Japan, more..

Sri Lanka to provide air facilities to concur Asian tourist arrivals

June 3 (LBO) Sri Lanka increase tourist arrivals from the Asia – Pacific region through bi-lateral aviation agreements. “There has been a significant improvement in the tourist arrivals in the past few years and a notable increase in the Asia-Pasific region,” Minister Reginald Cooray said. “We anticipate that this present growth will continue and are currently in the process of setting up necessary infrastructure to cater to this growth,” more..

Adam Investments donates Rs. 1 m to President’s Kidney Relief Fund

June 3 (FT) Adam Investments PLC Chairman Dr. Ali Asger Shabbir Gulamhusein and Director Danushya Madiwake Gulamhusein donated Rs. 1 million to the President’s Kidney Relief Fund at a function held in Polonnaruwa. The fund is intended to help all those suffering from the kidney blight which is plaguing central Sri Lanka. The function held in Polonnaruwa, one of the main epicentres of the kidney blight, was attended by President Sirisena who received the donation, more..

Ranbhumi Rally for Unity in Ratnapura today

June 3 (CT) Ranbhumi Rally for unity which is a beacon to attract national unity and communal harmony by meshing in Sri Lanka's multi-religious and multi-cultural communities together will be enter Ratnapura today. This Rally for Unity is organized by the MTV/MBC, News 1st, networks based in Colombo in association with the National Youth Services Council. The venture will surge through to 1,500 towns, which according to the organizers is a pledge for peace and co-existence more..

Tourism earnings rise 13.6% in 1Q

June 3 (FT) Sri Lanka’s lucrative post-war tourism boom continued to prosper in the first quarter of 2015 with earnings increasing by 13.6% year-on-year to $ 762.3 million, pushing overall income to nearly $ 1 billion by end-April. Tourist arrivals grew at a rate of 18%, year-on-year, to 157,051 in March 2015. Tourist arrivals during the first quarter of the year amounted to 478,838, recording a year-on-year growth of 13.6%. more..

Visit of Chinese business delegation Ceylon Chamber organizes B2B Meetings

June 3 (CT) A 48 member high powered business delegation from China organized by the Beijing Lansing Century Exhibition Company Ltd. in association with Lanka Exhibition & Conference Services (Pvt) Ltd. will be visiting Sri Lanka June 2015 to coincide with the Construction Expo 2015 in Colombo. In order to facilitate members to meet the delegates, the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce will be organising a Business Forum followed by a Business Networking Event on 11th June, more..

Workshop on commercialization of natural resources

June 3 (GDI) Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science (SLAAS) is organizing a one-day workshop on June 4 to strengthen the public and private sector partnership in bringing sustainable economic development to the country. Workshop will address value addition, product development, and commercialization aspects of the natural resources of Sri Lanka. Main focus of the workshop will be on minerals, polymers and rubber, apparel and plant based materials. more..

Jayalalithaa seeks Modi's intervention to secure release of 14 fishermen

June 3 (TOI) In her first letter to PM Narendra Modi after taking over as chief minister, J Jayalalithaa sought his personal intervention for the release of 14 TN fishermen who were arrested by Sri Lankan authorities on Monday. "I urge your immediate personal intervention in this issue and request you to direct the ministry of external affairs to take up the matter with the Sri Lankan authorities to secure the immediate release more..

Former Bangladesh school principal dies in Colombo

June 3 (AN) The former principal of Bangladesh International School-English Section in Riyadh, Mohamed Shaheed Hussein, passed away in Colombo on Friday. He is survived by his wife and four children. Hussein, a Sri Lankan, served the school as principal for nearly a decade. Before coming to Riyadh, he had worked as a teacher in Oman and the Maldives. When he returned home, Hussein was the provincial director of education for the Sabaragamuwa district on the island. more..

Kaspersky Lab Managing Director – South Asia here

June 3 (CT) AltafHalde, Managing Director - South Asia, Kaspersky Lab, will be in Sri Lanka From 3 June till 5 June 2015 to launch a new product on special invitation extended by Avian Technologies (Pvt) Ltd, Authorized Distributor for Kaspersky Lab Sri Lanka and Maldives. Halde is responsible for managing channel sales activities and day-to-day business operations in South Asia. He covers operations in Sri Lanka, India, Maldives, Nepal and Bangladesh. more..

CSE sets out new strategic vision, targets $ 50 b market cap in 3 years

June 3 (FT) The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) announced a new strategic vision for the local Bourse, targeting a market capitalisation of $ 50 billion within the next three years. Speaking at the launch of the CSE’s Annual Report 2014 on Monday, CSE CEO Rajeeva Bandaranaike described several initiatives that the Bourse would be implementing in order to expand its market size, diversify product offerings – more..

Minister signs documents to donate his eyes

June 3 (Island) Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said that the SL Ophthalmic Association which was initiated by late Dr. Hadson Silva in 1961 was held in high esteem all over the world. The late Dr Hudson Silva had been a rare human being committed to serving humanity, he said at a ceremony to mark his 65th birthday held at D.S. Senanayake College, Beruwala recently. Minister pointed out that many patients who wanted to be treated for various ailments were being driven from pillar to post. more..

APOT concludes Annual Forum in Sri Lanka

June 3 (CT) Asia Pacific Onboard Travel (APOT Asia) commenced their Annual Forum 2015 co-hosted by SriLankan Airlines and Sri Lanka Tourism, on 31st May in Colombo with a delegation of over eighty high profiles of Multi National Organizations operating in Aviation, Hotel and Tourism industries all over the world. The forum successfully concluded yesterday in sunny Down-South of the Islandwith a tea plucking gathering that announced the launch of the Guinness record attempt, more..

CPC and IOC now clamour for further duty reduction on fuel

June 3 (Island) Ceylon Petroleum Corporation had recommended that the Power and Energy Ministry request the Treasury to consider a further tax reduction on fuel imports along with the forthcoming oil pricing formula, a top official said. CPC Managing Director Ranjith Wickremasinghe said that following the recommendation of a pricing formula to the Cabinet by Minister Champika Ranawaka three weeks back, more..

Power and Energy Ministry mulling bonds and debentures

June 3 (Island) Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) bonds amounting to USD 2 billion and Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) debentures amounting to USD 500 million, for purpose of restricting debt portfolios, would be taken up shortly by Minister Champika Ranawaka with the Treasury. Power and Energy Ministry Secretary Dr. Suren Batagoda said that they had planned to go for one shot clearing of financial outstandings through bonds & debentures, rather than focusing on interest etc. more..

MS to meet NMSJ on electoral reforms

June 3 (DM) With the National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ) led by Ven. Maduluwave Sobitha Thera urging the enactment of electoral reforms, President Maitripala Sirisena will hold a special meeting tomorrow with representatives of this group to discuss the way froward. NMSJ and some other civil society groups had earlier requested both the President and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to enact the electoral reforms through the 20th Amendment before dissolving parliament. more..

Pakistan fears may lose Sri Lankan NIC deal

June 3 (GT) An international contract of $84 million of scanning, digitising and delivery of captured data for identity cards of the Govt of Sri Lanka is slipping from the hands of Pakistan’s National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) after the authority has been subjected to unnecessary criticism over voter verification process, sources say. Nadra’s credibility had been badly damaged after political parties started more..

'Parliament likely to be dissolved this month'

June 3 (CG) Uva Province Chief Minister Harin Fernando says Parliament is expected to be dissolved this month. Fernando that President Maithripala Sirisena is in the process of resolving some issues in his party and that was partly the reason why Parliament is yet to be dissolved. “I believe by mid-June Parliament will be dissolved,” he said. Fernando said that the UNP wants Parliament elections to be held soon so the public can decide who they want to run the country. more..

Provincial Politico’s sons run drug racket

June 3 (CT) A recent drug racket involving the sons of two provincial councilors has been unearthed by the CID. According to the CID, the suspects have been importing drugs online from Bangkok to be sold to those who frequent night clubs. A senior police officer said the suspects were trying to popularize this drug using night clubs as their initial testing grounds. According to the Police the drug allows the user to stay active for 24 hours without food or drink and thus more..

Ravi challenges MR on his economic policies

June 3 (DM) Minister Ravi Karunanayake accepted UPFA MP Bandula Gunawardena’s challenge to a debate on the economic crisis and in turn challenged former president and finance minister Rajapaksa to a debate on his government’s economic policies which resulted in the country being mired in an economic crisis. Minister said he accepted the challenge because it was only ethical and reasonable that he more..

High Court issues notice on AG, FCID

June 3 (Island) Colombo High Court Judge Ms. Sarojini Kusala Weerawardene issued notice on the Attorney General and the Director General of the Financial Crimes Investigation Division, ordering them to be present in court on June 8, to explain why the former Minister Basil Rajapaksa was kept in remand custody. Basil Rajapaksa has filed an application of appeal in the Colombo High Court seeking to challenge and set aside an order by the Kaduwela Magistrate which remanded him. more..

Australia stops 54 Sri Lankans, sends them to Indonesia

June 3 (FT) Australian Customs has turned back 65 people, including 54 from Sri Lanka, after their boat reached Australian waters last week. The 65 people from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Myanmar, who reportedly claimed to be asylum seekers, are now in detention on the Indonesian island of Rote. Fishermen spotted two boats floating near an island in the West Rote district, 500 kilometres north-east of the Australian coast, on Sunday. “They looked exhausted,” Rote Police Chief Hidayat said. more..

Judicial executions: EU puts a spoke in GoSL’s wheel

June 3 (CG) The European Union opposes Sri Lanka resuming judicial executions under any circumstances. Well informed sources said that the EU had strongly advised successive governments against resumption of judicial executions and there was no change in that stance. Former President Rajapaksa’s govt, too, was also told to continue with moratorium on capital punishment, though the public pushed his govt on the issue. more..

CC is no joke

June 3 (DM) Govt took more than the 100 days it allotted for itself to get the 19th Amendment passed. Better late than never, as they say. Better less-than-perfect than nothing, one might add. A key element of the 19th Amendment is the Constitutional Council (CC) and more importantly the appointment of its members. What we got is not ideal because it is nothing more than a glorified Parliamentary Select Committee. Saving grace, so to say, is the provision for some non-parliamentarian members. more..

Animal welfare: Is attention paid to strays adequate?

June 3 (DM) Despite an increasing need for animal welfare, and more commitment worldwide to the cause, resources devoted to it are still only a fraction of what goes into other humanitarian causes. Worldwide, more than 17,000 animal welfare groups are listed. But many of these are from the developed world. Almost all are short of funds to a greater or lesser degree. Homeless animals outnumber homeless people by a ratio of 5:1. At least 2.7 million dogs are killed each year more..

'No level playing field'

June 3 (SL) The political bias of certain quarters within the opposition has clearly emerged once again recently with accusations levelled against the Director General (DG) of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABC) while three high-profile public officials who were likely guilty of the same conduct were left unscathed. Although three UPFA MPs Mohan de Silva, Janaka Wakkumbura and more..

Curious case of the 25 UPFA portfolios

June 3 (ST) On March 22, 25 UPFA MPs were appointed ministers. Was there a basis on which these 25 MPs were chosen? Analysis by, Sri Lanka’s pioneering parliamentary monitoring platform, identifies three criteria that form the basis of President Sirisena’s selection: (1) Winning potential (2) Geographical distribution (3) District targeting. Strategy: Securing the support of prized stallion MPs who received large more..

Five Sri Lankan athletes on the track today

June 3 (SL) Five Sri Lankan athletes will be in action on the opening day of the 21st Asian Athletics Championship. Schedule includes heats and semifinals of both 400m and 100m. New 400m champion Kalinga Kumarage of Army will be the first out from the block for Sri Lanka in the men's 400m heats, while Chandrika Rasnayake of Air Force, who finished fourth in the last year's Asian Games, will compete in women's 400m, more..

After the world’s first female Premier, Sri Lanka struggles for equality in politics

June 3 (WSJ) Sri Lanka elected the world’s first female prime minister in 1960 but four decades later the island nation is still struggling to achieve equal representation for women in politics. Fresh electoral reforms, which include combining the proportional representation and first-past-the-post system, promised by its new govt could be the answer to the female shortfall. Though women’s rights campaigners say the changes are not more..

Alleged acts of sexual violence against Tamil women during the war

June 3 (DBS) The brutal gang rape and murder of 18 year old schoolgirl Vidya Sivaloganathan in the Northern Island of Pungudutheevu has resulted in widespread revulsion and condemnations. It has drawn attention to the burning issue of sexual violence against women in general and Tamil women in particular. This is a recurring phenomenon with different dimensions. There was a time during the war between more..

'Sri Lanka military, foreign service under foreign nationals during Rajapaksa regime'

June 3 (EN) Sri Lanka's military and the diplomatic service had been under foreign nationals during the ousted Rajapaksa regime, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said defending the appointment of a Singapore national to head the country's central bank. Wickremesinghe said former Defence Secretary Gothabhaya Rajapaksa was a US citizen who had renounced any allegiance to Sri Lanka. He said US oath of allegiance required those more..

Former National Football coach threatens legal action

June 3 (DM) Former Sri Lanka football head coach Nikola Kavazovic has threatened to take legal action if his demand for US$ 6700 (two months’ salary and one month’s allowances) for unilaterally terminating his services as the national coach of the depleted Lankan team is not paid within the next few days. Kavazovic, a Serbian was sent home in May after his reign as head coach brought in disastrous results for the national team, more..

Sexual bribes in tele-drama field irk minister

June 3 (Island) The govt has decided to put an end to ugly practice of extracting sexual and monetary bribes from tele-drama artistes to allocate specific durations in the telecast time-belt. Media Minister Gayantha Karunathilake said that he would practice zero-tolerance policy against bribe takers for reserving slots during the prime time for tele-dramas of the National Rupavahini or the ITN channels. more..

SLFP MPs divided over NCM

June 3 (DN) A strong difference of opinion has occurred among SLFP MPs over the No Confidence Motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. A group of SLFP MPs including the ones who hold ministerial portfolios have decided to oppose the No Confidence Motion while another group expressed their support for the move. Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said he would not sign the No Confidence Motion as the motion was not more..

US to help Sri Lanka strengthen governance

June 3 (CG) The United States says it plans to do a lot to support Sri Lanka to strengthen its governance, especially its judicial and financial institutions. Richard E. Hoagland, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs at the US State Department, said hat democratic elections have brought about a sea-change in the relationship the US has with Sri Lanka. He noted that President Maithripala more..

Enforcement, not death

June 3 (CT) Yesterday, this newspaper in its columns reported that President Maithripala Sirisena is contemplating introducing the death penalty for drug (narcotics) peddling. He had further said that he would first hold discussions with civil society in this connection. Sirisena said that he was cognizant of the fact that such an act would raise a public outcry here and abroad, of charges of human rights (HR) abuse. The President had further said that some countries however, more..

No flowers bloomed in the first hundred days

June 3 (CT) At the end of the glorified 100 days the nation is left with a sense of déjà vu, if not disappointment and frustration. Nothing significant stands out as exemplary achievements of the Sirisena–Wickremesinghe regime to crow about the promised difference (when-a-suck). The failure of the Yahapalanaya (good governance) to achieve its promised objectives – not to mention upholding the higher values promised in the manifesto of the Yahapalanaya – has left the people standing more..