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The impact of current global financial turmoil on Sri Lanka

Sep 5 (DM) The financial crisis has already become a cliché but what happened on Black Monday, Aug 24, cannot be taken too lightly. Although the financial markets have somewhat recovered across the globe, hundreds of billions of dollars wiped off from the world’s financial markets as the Chinese rout sent shares tumbling in Europe, Asia and the US. Here is a short summary to what happened on sell-off on Monday: The US stock market has suffered its biggest sell-off in four years. more..

Revenue dilemma!

Sep 5 (NS) The comparatively slower growth in Sri Lanka’s consistently largest foreign exchange earner, worker remittances in 2015 till to-date is a major concern given the fact that other predominant revenue streams, such as exports, tourism and Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) have also not performed to expectations, analysts cautioned last week. They say that if the current trend continued, Sri Lanka would be under severe fiscal pressure owing to the lack of proper revenue more..

SAITM students left in the lurch

Sep 5 (NS) The issue of providing clinical training in govt hospitals for the students of the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) still remains unresolved, parents of students complain. An agreement was reached in the Supreme Court following a Fundamental Rights petition filed by five students of the SAITM, requesting clinical training at the State hospitals which was taken up before a 2-judge bench more..

Men and Women Tuskers In China

Sep 5 (CT) Sri Lanka men's rugby team will take on Kazakhstan today at 12.22 p.m. SL time and Singapore at 3.18 p.m. SL time in the Asia rugby seven's series first leg in Qingdao, China. Sri Lanka has won convincingly against both these teams in last year championship. The Tuskers finished third in the Asia region in 2013 and fourth in 2014. The second leg this year will be played in Bangkok, Thailand on 26th and 27th Sept and the final leg will be in Colombo on 10th and 11th Oct. more..

ILO to help train 400 youth in N&E

Sep 5 (FT) Under the European Union Support for District Development Program (EU-SDDP), the International Labour Organisation (ILO) entered into an agreement with the Vocational Training Authority to introduce labour market-oriented skills training and improve delivery capacity of selected vocational training centres in the north and east. These centres are located in the Vavuniya, Mannar, Batticaloa and Ampara Districts. Under the agreement, nearly 400 youth will receive skills training more..

'MRIA warehouse rental undecided'

Sep 5 (NS) Chairman of the Paddy Marketing Board (PMB), M.B. Dissanayake denied reports that the board had decided to pay Rs. 800,000 as rental for the usage of the warehouse of the Mattala airport. Conflicting reports emerged on Wednesday with some reports indicating that the PMB had decided to pay Rs. 800,000 every month, while other reports said that the said amount would be paid every six months. more..

Taiwan authorities deport Sri Lankan man

Sep 5 (CG) A Sri Lankan national transiting at the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on his way to Germany on a forged Schengen Area visa was picked up by the National Immigration Agency’s (NIA) special cross-unit task force and deported to Sri Lanka. According to the agency, the man had arrived in Taiwan on a China Airlines flight from Singapore bound for Frankfurt, Germany, purportedly on a business trip. NIA task force noticed a discrepancy in his Schengen visa, more..

ACJU felicitates Muslim Parliamentarians

Sep 5 (FT) A felicitation ceremony for the Muslim MPs elected for the eighth Parliament of Sri Lanka, hosted by the ACJU, was held on Tuesday, at the ACJU head office. The representatives of civil societies and Muslim organisations participated in this event, which was chaired by ACJU President Ash-Sheikh Mufti Rizwe. The session commenced with recitation of the Holy Quran by ACJU Youth Affairs Division Secretary Ash-Sheikh Arkam Nooramith and the compering of ACJU Fatwa more..

4000+ companies also under scrutiny

Sep 5 (NS) The issuance and renewal of the Environment Protection License (EPL) of over 4000 industrial plants bordering the Kelani River will now be scrutinized and restructured by the Central Environment Authority (CEA) as the state agency attempts to clamp down on unauthorized waste disposal. Ajith Weerasundara, Director of Waste Management at the CEA conferred that even though the industries more..

Officials clueless on asbestos ban

Sep 5 (NS) Despite the announcement made by President Maithripala Sirisena that stern laws will be imposed on asbestos and a complete ban is to be enforced on the production and importation of asbestos by 2018, the relevant authorities seem to have not yet been given any directive as to how the govt intends to enforce the ban. When contacted by The Nation regarding specific details about steps being taken to reduce the importation of asbestos, the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) more..

'Contaminant an organic solvent'

Sep 5 (NS) Test results of the contaminant from the Coca-Cola factory leak which was received by the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NSWB) from India confirms that the leak was not of a diesel. NSWB Chairman K. Alahudeen Ansar confirmed that the test results samples, of the contaminant which was collected at Ambatale and various places on the day of the leak, showed a methylene content of 0.5mg per liter. “This is not diesel, neither is it kerosene,” he said. more..

National Govt introduces new political culture: PM

Sep 5 (DN) The historic National Govt formulated with the joining of the country's two main political parties is capable of finding solutions to the issues faced by Sri Lanka at national and international level, said PM Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday. He said that this is a historic day in Sri Lankan politics as a new political culture has been introduced to the country with the joining of the two main parties to serve the nation. more..

President to participate in UNP's anniversary celebrations

Sep 5 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena will participate in the 69th anniversary celebrations of the UNP tomorrow. It is the first time that a President of the SLFP will participate at an event of the UNP. The anniversary celebrations will be held at the UNP headquarters Sirikotha under the patronage of UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. PM Wickremesinghe will make a special announcement on the programme to be launched by the new govt to uplift the country's economy. more..

More Cabinet Ministers to be sworn in

Sep 5 (NS) Several more Cabinet Ministers are due to be sworn in early this week, along with State and Deputy Ministers, The Nation learns. Forty-two Ministers took oaths as Cabinet Ministers on Friday at the Presidential Secretariat. There are 44 Ministers in the Cabinet thus far, along with the Prime Minister and President. A motion approved by Parliament last week allowed a maximum of 48 Cabinet Ministers and 45 non-Cabinet Ministers. more..

Forward march

Sep 5 (FT) President Maithripala Sirisena stuck to his forthright demeanour yesterday, telling the 42 ministers from the Parliament-approved 48 who were sworn into the Cabinet that they had to take forward good governance for the next five years. As a first step towards ensuring better governance and transparency, President Sirisena also announced the formation of an independent commission to appoint heads of more..

Sri Lanka, the world is watching

Sep 5 (DM) With the legendary Ameradeva’s Rathnadeepa Janmabhumi, Lankadeepa Vijaybhumi and the ever-inspiring National Anthem being sung, Sri Lanka yesterday reached a landmark of the new journey, transformation or the people’s silence revolution which began on Jan 8 this year. The newly-elected Parliament on Thursday had overwhelmingly approved PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s motion, in terms of the 19th Amendment for setting up of National Govt more..

Country lost a strong Opposition

Sep 5 (DM) This is history repeating consecutively but with a difference. A month ago we had a bizarre Parliament with members of the Opposition sitting on both sides- on the govt side as well as the Opposition side. Some Opposition members held ministerial portfolios while their other colleagues were representing the Opposition with one of them holding the Leader of the Opposition post. The President of the country was then chairing the Cabinet at a time while presiding over more..

The long arm of the law inactive?

Sep 5 (SL) The long arm of the law, which easily reaches out to less-privileged, has failed to act against Sudarman Radaliyagoda, the former Deputy General Manager of News and Current Affairs of the ITN. However, law enforcement authorities were seen to be very active after the downfall of the Rajapaksa administration and arrested Radaliyagoda, this time not for the involvement of a fraud, but for airing a news more..

Otara appeals to President’s better judgement on behalf of rescued wild animals

Sep 5 (Island) The Otara Foundation has appealed to President Maithripala Sirisena to intervene to prevent wild animals rescued from forests being sent to zoos instead of being returned to the wild. Otara Gunewardene has, in a letter addressed to the President, brought to his attention the case of four sloth bear cubs and a leopard cub now under the care of the Wildlife Conservation Department, and a request the Department had more..

Silky-smooth new highways lure reckless drivers to death

Sep 5 (ST) Driving on the plush new highways of Sri Lanka has made the average driver push his luck to the limit with the result that accidents on the trunk roads connecting major cities and ports have shot up in recent years, according to motor traffic police. There are 102 accidents reported daily around the country with a fatality rate of 7.5 persons a day. This figure is high compared to the figures of last year when 98 accidents more..

Well-off move into gold courier business

Sep 5 (ST) Recent raids at Bandaranaike airport reveal that gold smuggling couriers now include those in high positions in companies or in other white collar jobs. Gold couriers are not necessarily the desperately poor any more. In a recent raid, two staff members of a known airline were arrested with 75 gold biscuits amounting to more than Rs. 300 million. The biscuits, weighing 7.5kg in total, had been brought into SL by more..

TNA to talk to govt on national question

Sep 5 (DM) The main opposition TNA said it hoped to hold talks with the govt on resolving the national question no sooner PM Ranil Wickremesinghe returns from his upcoming visit to India. TNA Spokesman M.A. Sumanthiran said that one of the stated objectives of the national unity govt was the resolution of the national question. “We will talk to the govt straightaway with a view to resolving long outstanding matter,” more..

New MPs to get duty free vehicle permits shortly

Sep 5 (Island) Those Provincial Council members as well as professionals who had obtained duty-free vehicle permits during the past five years wouldn’t be entitled for the same facility, though being elected to 8th parliament. Among 63 new entrants to parliament were many PC members, sources said, adding that the issuing of duty-free car permits would be one of the priorities at the onset of the new parliamentary term. more..

Sampanthan as Sri Lankan opposition leader gives hope: DMK

Sep 5 (PTI) DMK President M Karunanidhi welcomed the appointment of TNA leader R Sampanthan as the Leader of Opposition in Sri Lankan Parliament, saying it has given hope for the Tamils in the island nation. "Sampanthan being elected Leader of the Opposition at a time when Tamils were for long looking forward to a resurgence gives us all hope," he said in a statement here. more..

Indian fishermen launch protest against SL

Sep 5 (CG) Mechanised boat fishermen Rameshwaram, India have decided to abstain from fishing from today, protesting the arrest and attack of fishermen and confiscation of their boats by SL Navy. Three days after SL Navy arrested 16 fishermen, including four from Thangachimadam in the Rameshwaram, leaders of 11 fishermen associations met yesterday and decided to launch an indefinite strike from today, more..

SL tea prices stagnate below 2013 levels

Sep 5 (EN) Sri Lankan tea prices this year have remained below the levels two years ago in both rupee and US dollar terms at the Colombo auctions. The Jan – Aug 2015 cumulative average of 405.91 rupees a kilo at the Colombo auction was 65.63 rupees lower than the 471.54 rupees fetched in the same 2014 period, Forbes & Walker Tea Brokers said. “These levels are even lower than the 2013 levels in US dollar & SL rupee terms,” more..

Five Cabinet slots yet to be filled

Sep 5 (Island) EPDP and the CWC offered to join Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration, but their leaders haven’t been accommodated in the Cabinet. They are likely to be appointed ministers. EPDP contested on its own whereas the CWC fielded candidates on the UPFA ticket. EPDP leader Douglas Devananda was returned to parliament from Jaffna. CWC leader Arumugam Thondaman and Muththu more..

Schooling rulers: Who’s responsibility is it?

Sept 5 (CT) There’s a grave danger in imagining that the new cabinet and their deputies understand even the notion of good governance. In fact many of them have openly mocked the very idea of Yahapalanaya not so very long ago. Even for some of the others, who have now got on the Yahapalana bandwagon, the idea of actually being accountable to those below them (leave alone being their servant or slave) would be quite alien. It has been the common experience of many people I’ve spoken to more..

50-50 to regionalism

Sept 5 (CT) The country's new Opposition Leader R Sampanthan (82), the oldest Opposition Leader the island has seen in its 68-year-old Parliamentary history, speaking in Parliament on Thursday made reference to power devolution. Sampanthan, who's also as old as SL's first Executive President J.R. Jayewardene when he retired from politics in 1988, is the Leader of the TNA and a member of the Federal Party (FP). He belongs to the minority Tamil community living in the North and the East more..

No sanctuary for this leopard

Sept 5 (ST) In more sad news from Yala, the body of a female leopard was found inside Yala National Park itself, on the verge of the Jamburagala road. The body had no apparent scars but the postmortem revealed the leopard died due to a broken neck (spinal code). There was evidence that some elephants had passed through the area in which the leopard was lying but it was unlikely that death could have been due to more..

From minority govt to minority opposition

Sept 5 (CT) My unambiguous opinion is that Mr. Sampanthan is a gentleman of the old school and one of the finest parliamentarians we haveand ranks high among the few such left such as Dinesh Gunawardena. As an individual he is streets ahead of the person named by the pro-MR camp as its choice of Leader of the Opposition (Dinesh or Dullas, Vasu or Vidura would have been far better). Therefore my opinion that it was a blunder to name Mr. Sampanthan as the Leader of more..

No excuse for this cabinet

Sept 5 (CT) A rationalist may have been able to find reasons and excuses for all the machinations that have gone on, ever since the decision was taken to allow the former president to contest the general election. Give the new president a chance was the watchword and some of us tried and even backed these moves. The appointment of rejected politicians to parliament on the national list was the beginning of our worries. Now this jumbo cabinet with minsters ranging from those more..

PAFFREL calls for probe

Sept 5 (NS) People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) has written to Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya urging him to probe alleged misuse of State vehicles for election campaigning by candidates during the recent General Election, and to take action against offenders. PAFFREL Executive Director Rohana Hettiarachchi said that while misuse of State resources during this year’s General Election more..

WP climate change summit on Sept 8 and 9

Sep 5 (Island) Western Province Climate Change Summit which will be a part of Network of Regional Governments for Sustainable Development (NRG4SD)’s General Assembly which is scheduled to be held on Sept 8 and 9 in Colombo. The inauguration ceremony will be held on Sept 8 at the Colombo Hilton under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. The Summit will bring together NRG4SD members, representatives from other regional govts, more..

TISL hails President’s pledge to combat corruption

Sept 5 (FT) Transparency Intern-ational Sri Lanka (TISL) in a statement hailed President Maithripala Sirisena and his Govt for deciding to further strengthen the institutional mechanisms available to arrest corruption and waste. TISL also praised the President’s decision to be firm and take punitive action against those who were accused of corruption and misappropriation of public funds, regardless of their status. The following is the full text of the statement. more..

Gorgeous actress Geetha Kumarasinghe stars in new role as Galle district MP

Sept 5 (DBS) Elections are over and a new Parliament has been elected. The political excitement however is yet to subside. Spotlight returns after a brief interval to focus on films, film personalities and film-related matters. The focus this time would be on an alluring beauty who made a successful name for herself on the cinema screen and then entered the political stage. I am of course referring to the gorgeous actress more..

Protest over arbitrary water cut disrupts train services

Sept 5 (Island) Residents of Mihindupura Housing Scheme in Dematagoda yesterday staged a massive protest near the Dematagoda railway station as they had been severely inconvenienced due to the prevailing water cut which had continued during the last one week. Rail services were disrupted due to the protest. Protestors claimed though they had paid their water bills on time to the UDA, it had not paid the dues to Water Supply and Drainage Board and as a result they were more..

Wildlife officer among 2 held for timber racket

Sep 5 (AD) Two persons including a wildlife officer have been arrested in connection with an illegal timber racket in the Keenagoda Reserve in Medagama. The suspects were arrested in a raid carried out by Medagama Police, acting on information received. Police also seized illegally felled timber in their possession and equipment used for cutting down trees. The suspects are to be produced before the Magistrate’s Court today while Police is conducting further investigations. more..

Mystery faded, matured Ajantha Mendis bides time

Sep 5 (TOI) From the SSC, where the 3rd India-SL Test is currently underway, Premadasa Stadium is only about a half-hour away by tuk-tuk. The Premadasa is one of the biggest, if not the biggest cricket stadium, in Lanka and at one corner of the field, on the sidelines, a bunch of SL players are seen doing running drills. In the middle, a visiting Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) team is taking on Sri Lanka 'A ' team in a three-day more..

Scattered rains could see hike in dengue cases, warns health official

Sept 5 (ST) The prevailing weather conditions could result in an increase in the number of dengue cases in Colombo City, a health official has warned. Stressing that the scattered rains experienced across the country, could turn potential mosquito breeding grounds to actual breeding sites, Colombo’s chief medical officer Dr. Ruwan Wijayamuni said the leave of doctors and health workers in the city have been cancelled on account of a possible hike in dengue cases. more..