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PIA signs contract with Sri Lanka for lease of three A-330s

July 29 (PT) Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has formalised wet leasing of three A-330 aircraft from Sri Lankan Airlines. At a ceremony held in Colombo on Friday CEO, Bernd Hildebrand signed the contract with Chairman, Sri Lankan Airlines, Ajith Dias and CEO Capt. Suren Ratwatte said. The contract has materialised after a series of negotiations between the two sides. First of these aircraft would he delivered during the next week, while the rest in following months. more..

Spinners put Sri Lanka in strong position heading into fifth day

July 29 (CI) Australia do not lose Tests to Sri Lanka. That, at least, is the conventional wisdom, for it has happened only once in the 33-year history between the two nations. It has not happened this century. But times change. There is every chance Sri Lanka will rewrite the conventions in 2016, for at stumps on day four they were in a powerful position, seven wickets from victory. Australia needed 185 runs, and runs were more..

'Sri Lanka could better harness bio-gas'

July 29 (LBO) Bio-gas can be used in Sri Lanka as a cheaper and cleaner renewable energy alternative to petroleum-based fuels, a senior official said. “Using domestic waste management and converting it into bio gas could be a boon to the developing island’s rising demand for energy,” said Nalin Mannapperuma, director, Waste Management Authority. “Currently thermal power takes up as much as 44% of energy generation costs in SL and we are heavily dependent on petroleum, more..

Say no to ETCA: K.D. Lalkantha

July 29 (CT) President of National Trade Unions Centre (NTUC) K.D. Lalkantha assured that every possible step would be taken to prevent the signing of the Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) with India, as it is deemed highly unfavourable to Sri Lanka. He warned that in the event the agreement is signed, many Sri Lankans will be deprived of jobs and that salary rates will plummet. NTUC distributed one million handbills on Thursday opposite the Fort Railway Station more..

No more debate on monorail vs. LRT, Japan confirms funding

July 29 (LBO) Govt confirmed that the Japanese govt will fund the islands proposed Light Rail Transit (LRT), ending a debate on monorail vs. LRT following the conclusion of a high level delegation visit from Japan, Thursday. “The delegation, led by Hirofumi Katase the Vice Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan confirmed their govt’s willingness to finance SL’s landmark project on deeply concessional terms,” more..

Aussie streaker locked up in Sri Lanka says he got drunk, messed up

July 29 (HS) AN Australian arrested for indecent exposure after streaking at a cricket match has spoken from a Sri Lankan jail, saying he regrets getting drunk and messing up. The 26-year-old carpenter, who ran onto the Pallekele Stadium’s outfield naked during Tuesday’s first day of play in the first Test match between Australia and Sri Lanka, says he now fears for his safety after being locked up with killers. “I got quite drunk and I messed up,” James said. more..

Case against Dhammika Ranatunga amicably settled

July 29 (DN) The case against SL Ports Authority Chairman Dhammika Ranatunga that he allegedly threatened the media in the premises of the Colombo High Court on March 16 was yesterday amicably settled before the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court. When the case came up before Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya, both parties expressed their willingness to settle the case. At an earlier occasion, matter was referred to Mediation Board on the instructions of Chief Magistrate. more..

Court refuses restraining order on Paada Yathra, UNP recruitment

July 29 (DM) Attanagalle Magistrate Dinesh Perera today refused to grant a restraining order to prevent the Joint Opposition from holding meetings in Nittambuwa on Sunday in line with its Paada Yathrawa and the UNP from conducting a membership recruitment drive during the weekend. Nittambuwa Police OIC Prasanna Welikala filing a petition informed the Magistrate that Paada Yathrawa led by former president Rajapaksa more..

CCPI inflation down 0.5% points in July 2016

July 29 (LBO) Consumer prices in Colombo has accelerated 5.5% in July 2016 from a year earlier, down from 6% in June with the inflation index gaining 0.2% in the month. Year on year inflation of Food Group has decreased from 8.2% in June to 8.1% in July while Nonfood Group decreased by 4% to 3% during this period. For the month of July, on year to year basis, contribution to inflation by food commodities was 3.89% and the contribution of Non food items was 1.6%. more..

Shares steady; seen falling after rate hike

July 29 (Reuters) Shares ended steady in thin trade on Friday, though cautious investors fear the gains would be short-lived, as the central bank's surprise move to raise key policy rates will hurt market sentiment. After market hours on Thursday, the central bank raised its key interest rates by 50 basis points each in a surprise move aimed at curbing stubbornly high credit growth that is adding to concern about inflationary pressures. Colombo stock index ended up 0.03%, more..

Sri Lanka and China have talks on the Hambantota port

July 29 (CG) The SL govt and China today had talks on on developing the Hambantota port. Minister Malik Samarawickrama, Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama and the Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Yi Xianliang inspected the port in Hambantota. Speaking to reporters at the port, Amunugama said that Govt is keen on developing the port which was constructed with Chinese assistance and opened in 2010. more..

Mendis' 176 Sri Lanka's second-highest maiden century

July 29 (CI) 0: Individual scores higher than Kusal Mendis' 176 in Tests in Pallekele. Before Mendis, Younis Khan's unbeaten 171 in the famous chase last year was the previous highest. 1: Maiden hundreds for Sri Lanka in Tests higher than Mendis' 176. Brendon Kuruppu scored 201*- also the highest Test score on debut by a Sri Lanka batsman - against New Zealand in 1987, which is the highest. Mahela Jayawardene is third on this list - he made 167 in Galle against New Zealand. more..

Court rejects police request to bar protest march entering Warakapola

July 29 (AD) A request made by police seeking a court order to prevent the Joint Opposition’s protest march (Pada Yatra) from entering the Warakapola jurisdiction tomorrow (30) has been rejected by the Thulhiriya Magistrate’s Court. Although the request was made based on several reasons including the UNP membership drive in the Warakapola town, the court rejected it after considering the facts presented attorneys of the Joint Opposition. Meanwhile the requests for court orders preventing more..

SAITM students ready to face open govt medical exam

July 29 (DM) Students who passed out from the SAITM are ready to face an open exam conducted by the Ministry of Health or the Ministry of Higher Education similar to the exams of State medical faculties. This was said by a student named Tharindu Ruwanpathiranage, who had passed out with the first batch of students of SAITM, at a press conference where SAITM students are presently carrying out their clinical studies. more..

Central Bank increased the interest rates!

July 30 (CT) The Monetary Board met on July 28, 2016. On that meeting the Monetary Board decided to increase the main interest rates of the Central Bank. Accordingly, what is known as the Standing Deposit Facility Rate (SDFR) and the Standing Lending Facility Rate (SLFR), have gone up by 50 basis points each, to 7% and 8.5%, respectively with immediate effect. The resultant effect of this decision is that the market interest rates will go up. Why did they do it? On the same day, more..

Against nonsense on reconciliation

July 30 (CT) The Jaffna University beating up of Sinhalese University students by their Tamil counterparts sent what has been appropriately called shock waves throughout the country. True our University students have been notoriously prone to violence and there have been such incidents before. But the ethnic dimension of what had happened could not be ignored: it happened because of the introduction of a Kandyan dance item into what had traditionally been a purely Tamil ceremony, more..

'Tea industry: Innovative to overcome losses'

July 30 (CT) The tea industry has to supply new products and be innovative in order to overcome the major losses, Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries Lakshman Wasantha Perera said. Q: What are the new projects planned at the Ministry of Plantation Industries after you assumed office? A: Actually, at the Ministry of Plantation Industries we have to handle three sectors which are tea, coconut and rubber. more..

Consensus govt and national issues

July 30 (NS) It has been decided that the current consensus govt will run for its full term of five years until it fulfills its pledges given in August 2015. Initially, the UNP and the SLFP had agreed to work together for two years and to decide the future, depending on how it works during that period. However, due to various reasons, they have now extended the cohabitation even before the two year period is over. The initial pledges given to the people included working jointly to resolve ethnic more..

Rise and fall of the Sri Lankan economy

July 30 (FT) Standard Chartered said a few years ago that the US would eventually be replaced in what it defined as the third global economic super cycle. Standard Chartered is not the only institution to make the claim that China’s GDP growth would beat the US’s within the next five to six years. IMF has made similar assessments over the last year. It forecasts China’s GDP to hit $ 24.6 trillion in 2020, up from $ 5.7 trillion in 2010. The US economy should register GDP growth of $ 23.3 trillion, more..

Mr. Politician, face the mirror!

July 30 (CT) Politics and politicians have become a pet topic nowadays. Cambridge English Dictionary describes the word politics as activities of a govt, members of law making organization or people who try to influence the way a country is governed. Urban Dictionary, however, defines it differently viz: "Politics derived from the words poly meaning many and tics meaning blood-sucking parasites. more..

Sri Lanka can’t sit on the sidelines; we must join the race for trade and jobs

July 30 (FT) The Prime Minister’s move to fast-track the FTAs with Singapore and China and a revised ETCA is a good move. He knows we cannot protect our economy by stagnating behind tariff walls. The best protection possible is a mutual lowering of tariff barriers among friendly nations so that all may benefit from the free flow of goods. Increased economic activity resulting from increased trade will provide more job opportunities for our young workers. more..

Walk of divisive politics, builds more unity in governance

July 30 (DN) A strong understanding in the interests of public security and safe peoples’ movement in the densely crowded city of Kandy, saw the Police and the Courts bring decisions that best served the people and not politics, in the launch of the much touted Jana Satana – Paada Yathra from Kandy on Thursday. While the prayers and offerings for this political exercise with more interest in political divisions than people’s unity were made by the JO organisers at the Dalada Maligawa, more..

Wimal Weerawansa

Foreign Ministry’s Tourism Memorandum with India

July 30 (Island) Mortgaging the country’s soul (cultural identity) is a thought that arose in my mind after reading the letter of Dr. P. Punchihewa, of the former Ceylon Civil Service (later, International Civil Servant), who has authored nearly 30 books including those relating to history of SL. The erudite writer points out that one of the MOUs signed between the two countries during the June 2016 visit of Indian Foreign Minister, Sushima Swaraj, is being referred to in the media in both countries more..

Editorial: New ambulance service

July 30 (Island) The govt launched an Indian-sponsored pre-hospital care ambulance service in Colombo on Thursday while the Joint Opposition (JO) was conducting its Kandy-Colombo Pada Yathra. The ambulance project has run into stiff resistance from the govt doctors and other health workers. Anything that comes from India is generally viewed as a Trojan horse here. This kind of suspicion does not stem from one’s xenophobia or antipathy towards India; it is mainly due to more..

Mendis has shown wonderful maturity: Ford

July 30 (CI) Coach Graham Ford, who has previously praised Kusal Perera's technique, described Kusal Mendis' 176 as one of the best he's seen, and said the batsman's temperament had impressed him as well. At the end of day four, Mendis' innings still appears a monumental anomaly in a match in which the next highest score is 47. "What can you say? It's one of the best innings I've ever seen," Ford said. "It was. He seemed to more..

Bad light and bad faith

July 30 (CI) During one of many rain delays to afflict this Test match, the martial beat of Zombie by the Cranberries was piped through the public address system at Pallekele. Something was unmistakably fitting about this choice of song, for a couple of reasons. First, there is something zombielike about the capacity of Test cricket to keep cheating a death pronounced by many; secondly, the way the game has been treated by its custodians is as mired in 1990s as Cranberries themselves. more..

Murali: Traitor or legendary cricketer?

July 30 (NS) The entire country is talking about Muttiah Muralitharan again and this time, they are not all on his side. The legendary off-spinner who holds the world record for the most number of test wickets incensed a sizeable proportion of Sri Lankans by offering his services to the touring Australian cricketers against Sri Lanka in a series that is being played for a trophy that bears his name. In addition, Murali is alleged to have used his influence to tailor a wicket at a practice game more..

'If the former leaders governed properly, there won’t be a need for long marches'

July 30 (PMD) President Sirisena says if the former leaders performed their duties and governed properly, there would not be a need for them to undertake long marches for political purposes, hurting their feet. President said so at a ceremony held in Mawanella today (29) to distribute computers to fifty Pirivenas and churches in Kegalle District. “Though some people greedy for power walk through roads aimlessly, more..

Our education and health sectors gained high international recognition: President

July 30 (PSL) The annual prize giving ceremony of the St. Paul’s Girls School in Milagiriya held under the patronage of President Sirisena on July 28. The President presented certificates to those pupils who showed their outstanding performance in the field of education and teachers were felicitated at this event for rendering a yeoman service to the School. At present SL’s education and health fields has gained high international recognition, addressing the ceremony President said. more..

'Not going to be a day-five pitch'

July 30 (CI) In four completed Tests at the Pallekele Stadium, Sri Lanka have never been winners. In the only matches that reached a fourth innings, chasing sides have found no terrors on the pitch, particularly when Pakistan ran down 377 in the most recent Test at the venue. With 185 more runs to get and seven wickets in hand, Australia batting coach Stuart Law is hoping the trend continues. Both teams were shot out for relatively modest first-innings totals, but counter to what is usually more..

Jaffna gives warm welcome to Canada’s FM

July 30 (LR) Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion received a warm welcome in Jaffna today as he continued on the second day of his historic visit to SL. The visit to Jaffna holds significant symbolism as Canada is home to the largest SL Tamil community outside Asia, who maintain strong ties to the region. Yesterday, SL’s Foreign Minister urged brothers and sisters who sought refuge in Canada during the war to more..

Policy makers line up to Focus.ACT.Deliver at SL Economic Summit

July 30 (Island) SL govt’s top policy makers led by President Maithripala Sirisena are slated to attend the upcoming SL Economic Summit 2016 and will discuss how to Focus.Act.Deliver to propel the nation’s economy to new heights. The President will kick start the two day event organized by Ceylon Chamber of Commerce delivering the inaugural speech, while Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake and newly appointed CB Governor Dr. Indrajith Coomarasway will follow him, more..

Chinese Ambassador calls on Mahanayake of Asgiriya Chapter

July 30 (FT) Chinese Ambassador Yi Xianliang called on Asgiriya Chapter Mahanayake Most Ven. Gnanarathana Thera in Kandy. Ambassador Yi expressed his congratulations to the Mahanayake on his election of the chief of Asgiriya Chapter of Siam Nikaya. He recalled the history of Buddhist exchanges between China and Sri Lanka and appreciated the contribution of Sri Lankan Buddhist community to the development of China-Sri Lanka relations. more..

13% school students on drugs

July 30 (NS) Presidential Task Force on Drug Prevention last week revealed that 13% of schoolchildren island-wide, primarily those over 14 years of age, were addicts involved in some form of substance abuse. Certain schoolchildren were producing thool an intoxicant composed of lime and arecanut wrapped in betel leaves and pressed using an iron and then placed under one’s tongue, which after a while dissolves & causes drowsiness. more..

Megalopolis & its impact on property prices

July 30 (DN) Sri Lanka has the proud heritage of being a developed nation in ancient times. It is believed that even before recorded history of 2500 years; there existed developed cities with proper infrastructure. As recorded in historical chronicles, great cities such as Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa existed with many aspects of urban development and sustained its existence over a period of 14 centuries. The buildings were advanced in terms of maximising airflow, sustainability and comfort more..

Sri Lankan vehicle importers to campaign for import of eco-friendly vehicles

July 30 (ST) Vehicle Importers Association of Lanka (VIAL) says it is campaigning to encourage the SL Govt to promote and import eco-friendly vehicles to the country. This was stated at a recent conference in Colombo hosted by VIAL for a group of delegates from Japan on the theme Setting Goals towards Eco-Friendly Auto Market by 2020. VIAL President Sampath Merenchige, in his welcome address, said the world has advanced technology and the country must get maximum use of that technology more..

No consensus on sustainable fishing practices at Delhi meeting

July 30 (Hindu) Aiming to find a permanent solution to India-Sri Lanka fishermen issues, Ministry of External Affairs on Friday held an internal stakeholders meeting. The meeting was chaired by Minister Sushma Swaraj and attended by the Minister of State for Transport, Highways and Shipping, Radha Krishnan, and a host of representatives from TN, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Odisha. more..

C'wealth Chess Championship from today

July 30 (NS) Though chess is not a spectacular sport, there is much mental toughness necessary to play a game. This aspect of the game is only known by the person who plays it. This is why the Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara said that he is ready to support this sport, if the Chess Association of SL will present him with a five-year plan on how to develop the game further. Minister added that he was glad to know that arrangements were being made to host a tournament of such magnitude as more..

Catholic church walk against drugs today

July 30 (Island) Catholic Church has organised a walk against drug abuse today under the auspices of Bishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith starting from Basilica Church, Ragama. Other religious leaders are also scheduled to participate. A spokesman for the Catholic Church said Kerala ganja (cannabis) was sold in the vicinity of Basilica Vidyalaya targeting schoolchildren despite arrests made by the police and the Bishop decided to organise a walk in protest. more..