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‘GSP Plus can revamp apparel sector’

June 11 (DN) Sri Lanka’s apparel industry really thrived when the country enjoyed the GSP Plus concession, Primary Industries Minister Daya Gamage said. Speaking at the inauguration of the Suppliers Exhibition (AISEX), an exhibition which aims to bring all apparel suppliers and service organizations under one roof at the BMICH yesterday, he said that it was Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who cleverly obtained the GSP Plus concession for Sri Lanka. more..

Flood havoc destroys 1.6 billion kilos of tea

June 11 (Island) Chairman Tea Exporters Association (TEA) Rohan Fernando said that 24 tea exporting companies sustained heavy losses in the recent torrential rains that ravaged Sri Lanka. Fernando said the immediate assessment of damage was that 1.6 billion kilos of tea were destroyed by the flood waters that swept through exporter storage facilities located in areas bordering the Kelani river, and adjacent areas. more..

Special Session and victory over terrorism

June 11 (CT) While we tried at the Peace Secretariat to draw attention to the need for pursuing peace as well as war, other elements in the government did not see this as a priority. One of the worst examples of the attitude that made our task so difficult occurred just before the conclusion of the war. This was the killing of some of the LTTE leaders who sought to surrender. It is still not clear who exactly was responsible for this. The repercussions I will look at later, more..

NWSDB to double capacity of Kelani drinking water plant with 168 m

June 11 (FT) Sri Lanka’s National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) has contracted French company SUEZ to design and construct the expansion to its Kelani Bank drinking water production plant, near capital city, Colombo. In a project worth €168 million, the plant capacity will be expanded to treat 360,000 m3/day to supply the population in the north-eastern zone of the city. The expansion falls in line with the country’s ambitions to prioritise potable water to meet more..

Private sector wary over fresh moot of Capital Gains tax

June 11 (FT) The private sector yesterday expressed concern over the Govt’s fresh pronouncements of a possible tax on Capital Gains, a move which was abandoned previously though hinted. The latest announcement of the reintroduction of the Capital Gain tax came from none other than PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on Thursday in his speech in Parliament during the debate on the no confidence motion against Minister Ravi Karunanayake. more..

'MR did not want to waste his time'

June 11 (Island) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa did not take part in the vote of No Confidence Motion against Minister Ravi Karunanayake because it was not worth his valuable time, PHU Leader Udaya Gammanpila said. He was responding to a question by a journalist at a press conference. "In Parliament Former President Rajapaksa’s vote is only another one vote, but he is a great personality and an exclusive citizen of this country. His vote must be special. more..

SLT opens museum

June 11 (SO) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) opened a national telecom museum at the company’s premises in Padukka recently, to coincide with the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day. Museum showcases telecom equipment dating back from the British era up to to-date taking the visitors through a journey of the transformations that occurred in SL’s telecom industry. The museum is now open for public viewing and promises to provide an unforgettable experience to visitors. more..

COPE cries foul CBSL uncooperative

June 11 (NS) The COPE has charged that Central Bank (CB) and its Governor, Arjuna Mahendran were refusing to provide information pertaining to all Treasury Bond issues from 2015, concerning which a special investigation is being conducted. Chairman of the COPE, JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti said that subsequent to the issue coming up, Governor of CB, Arjuna Mahendran, Secretary to the Ministry of Finance, more..

'MICE tourism capacity could do better'

June 11 (LBO) Sri Lanka should look at increasing its potential as a venue for holding Meetings, Incentive travel, Conferences and Events (MICE) tourism, a minister said. “This is something we need to work on as our MICE tourism capacity is lagging behind,” minister John Amaratunge said. We see huge growth potential for this segment especially from India and China, he said speaking at the second Cinnamon Travel Bloggers conference and awards 2016 held recently. more..

Chinese rescue team set up 446 tents for Sri Lankan disaster area

June 11 (Xinhua) One Chinese rescue team constructed 16 settlements for Sri Lankan during their 9-day-visit here to help local people affected by serious floods and landslides, an official of Chinese Red Cross relief and rescue team said here on Friday. After constructing 16 makeshift shelters with 446 tents in Kagalla and Dehiowita, the most serious landslide-affected by the recent flood and landslide, the rescue team flied back to China on early Friday morning, Mr. Yang Xusheng, the leader of more..

Kosgama people curse authorities for not doing their job

June 11 (Island) People who lost virtually all their possessions due to Sunday’s fire and explosions at the Kosgama army camp, complain that the govt has not properly distributed relief material among them; they blame officials and politicians for delays in assessing damages caused to their properties. Clearing of debris and any unexploded ordnance in the adjoining villages of Salawa Army Camp at Kosgama would be completed by more..

Govt confident of amicable deal on compensation sought by port city

June 11 (CG) The Govt today informed Parliament it is confident of reaching an amicable deal with the Chinese company involved in the port city project on compensation sought over the losses incurred as a result of the temporary suspension of the project work. Deputy Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna told Parliament that an initial agreement has been reached where Sri Lanka will not be required to pay the compensation sought by the Chinese company. He said that discussions are still ongoing more..

Govt requests Supplementary Allocations of over Rs. 8 billion

June 11 (ET) The Govt moved a fresh request for Supplementary Allocations over Rs.8 billion in Parliament to shoulder urgent cash requirements. Some of the monies will be used to construct a building attached to the official residence of former President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Rs. 13 million to reimburse the consultation fee of the restructuring plan of debt-ridden National Carrier SriLankan Airlines. Regional Development Ministry will be allocated Rs.327 million for more..

Missing persons: Sharp difference in numbers quoted by govt & Prez Commission

June 11 (Island) Retired High Court Judge Maxwell Paranagama, Chairman, Presidential Commission to Investigate Complaints Regarding Missing Persons said that the Commission had received approximately 19,000 complaints in respect of disappeared civilians during sittings held in various parts of the country. Commission dealt with missing persons cases since 1983. Paranagama declined to comment on sharp discrepancy more..

Dalmia Bharat, Shree Cements in race for Holcim’s Sri Lankan operations

June 11 (ET) A diverse set of domestic cement majors like Dalmia Bharat, Shree Cements along with South-based Ramco are in hot pursuit of LafargeHolcim's Sri Lankan operations that the global cement major is divesting as part of a global portfolio realignment. These players have been shortlisted after an initial round of screening and are competing with local Sri Lankan, Chinese and Thai cementmakers and private equity players like Baring Asia as the race to acquire the largest and more..

Indian Coast Guard to sign MoU to conduct joint exercises with Sri Lanka, Myanmar

June 11 (ENS) Indian Coast Guard will be signing a memorandum of understanding to conduct joint exercises with Sri Lankan and Myanmar Coast Guards, according to Director-General of Indian Coast Guard Rajendra Singh. Addressing reporters after overseeing the joint exercise by Indian and South Korean Coast Guards, Singh said that Coast Guard had already signed MoUs with six countries and was planning to have MoUs with Sri Lanka and Myanmar. more..

UK ready to send experts in support of FCID, CIABOC

June 11 (Island) The UK has offered to position a team of experts in Colombo to work with the CIABOC and specialised police including the FCID. The offer has been made during a recent meeting between a British and CIABOC delegations at the latter's office. Asked whether the UK and GoSL had reached an agreement on deploying British investigators here, a spokesperson for the British HC told The Island: more..

PM should be commended

June 11 (DM) Earlier this week, Daily Mirror joined other independent media groups, civic action movements and the people in protesting strongly against the govt supplementary estimate for a huge Rs.1.17 billion to import super luxury vehicles for some ministers and Deputies. In an editorial headlined Where are they driving the people? Daily Mirror described this move as shameful and disgraceful for a Yahapalana govt which was committed to principles of Alpechchathawaya more..

Jeyalalitha: TN champion of SL Tamil cause

June 11 (DM) Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran seems to be fond of doing what could be irritating to the govt, in spite of the Tamil people he represents being benefited by it or not. It should be the reason behind his craving for an audience with the TN Chief Minister Jeyalalitha Jeyaram who was re-elected for the post last month despite allegations of mass-scale corruption against her. Jeyalalitha is a person who always looks for some issue on which she could lash out at more..

'Armed forces will enthusiastically support President if he gives Gotabhaya ....'

June 11 (DM) Former National List MP and Prominent Academic – Author Rajiva Wijesinha has a reputation for speaking out forthrightly on issues affecting the nation at large. Prof. Wijesinha responds to questions on a number of matters including the track record in governance of the present Govt, ethnic reconciliation, internal politics of the SLFP, Maithri- Mahinda relations, Leader of the opposition, resentment in the armed forces more..

Consider people’s interest before giving lands to army: Wigneswaran to officials

June 11 (ENS) Chief Minister of Northern Province, C.V. Wigneswaran, has told provincial officials not to hand over land and houses to the Lankan military without considering the people’s interest. Speaking to officials of the local govt department in Vavuniya, the Chief Minister said that provincial officials have got used to handing over lands and buildings to the armed forces if the latter ask for them and more..

Govt allocates US$ 95.8 Million for rehabilitation of war affected

June 11 (ENS) Govt has allocated Rs. 14,000 million in 2016 for the rehabilitation and resettlement of all Lankans affected by war, including the people of the Tamil-speaking North and the East; refugees repatriated from India; and the war-affected Sinhalese border villagers. Minister D.M. Swaminathan told parliament that 10,030 permanent houses are being built in eleven districts including eight war-affected districts of the North more..

Govt accused of failing to address land issue

June 11 (SL) The govt has been accused of failing to address the land issue for war displaced in the North and East, despite the various promises made in the past. TNA has already called on the govt to give priority to the issue. The Oakland institute, which last week published a study on the land issue in the North and East, said that seven years after the official end of the war, SL army continues to occupy High Security Zones more..

‘No one can split SLFP’

June 11 (DN) No one or no group will be allowed to split the SLFP and no such action will be tolerated, Minister Chandima Weerakkody and State Minister Mohan Lal Grero said. They added that the SLFP was a shattered party until 1994 and therefore the party suffered a lot. In accordance with the lessons learnt from the past, no one is allowed to destroy the SLFP. The ministers were addressing media yesterday. more..

GMOA to sign petition calling for national policy in trade agreements

June 11 (Island) The Govt Medical Officers' Association (GMOA) said they would commence signing a petition next week to impress upon President Maithripala Sirisena the pressing need for a National Policy, on International Trade Agreements. Addressing the media at the OPA yesterday, Secretary National Hospital GMOA branch, Dr Samantha Ananda said there was an urgent need for a feasibility study on how more..

Aid but no relief: Victims empty-handed while donations pour in

June 11 (ST) Local and foreign relief aid is piling up for flood victims but lack of coordination between govt agencies and independent relief teams is affecting distribution, a survey in the affected areas revealed. Hundreds of volunteers working with different organisations and even individuals offering help in Colombo, its suburbs and other districts were found extending help with little clue about the locations that needed it most. more..

Kumar Dharmasena reselected for ICC umpiring panel for 2016/17 season

June 11 (IL) The ICC announced the reappointment of Sri Lankan umpire Kumar Dharmasena for Emirates Elite Panel of ICC umpires for 2016/17 season following the annual review and selection process on 08 June. The decision was made by the ICC Umpires Selection Panel consisting of Chairman and ICC General Manager – Cricket, Geoff Allardice, former SL captain and ICC Chief Match Referee Ranjan Madugalle, more..

'NCM against Ravi meant to send strong signal to govt'

June 11 (DN) The main purpose of the No-Confidence Motion (NCM) against Minister Ravi Karunanayake was meant to send a strong warning signal to the govt and that purpose was achieved successfully, MEP leader Dinesh Gunawardena said. He said the Joint Opposition (JO) had no hope of winning it, but, used the debate to expose govt’s financial mismanagement. “48 NCM’s had been presented to Parliament, more..

Moves to wind up Mihin Lanka?

June 11 (DM) Preliminary activities relating to the winding up of Mihin Lanka is already in progress, employee sources of the airline revealed. Accordingly several divisions of Mihin Lanka including officials have already been transferred to SriLankan Airlines. Flight scheduling and ticketing are among these divisions. It is also said that several senior officials of Mihin Lanka have been asked to quit their positions but more..

'Only 20% of mental patients seek treatment'

June 11 (DN) One in every 10 Sri Lankans suffer from a mental disorder, but, only 20% of the mental patients seek medical treatment, Minister Dr.Rajitha Senaratne said. According to Dr. Senaratne, cases of mental disorders are on the increase in Sri Lanka. “War and Tsunami were two main reasons for this trend. According to a WHO Report, Sri Lanka stands fourth place in the world when it comes to committing suicide,” he said. He was addressing a ceremony held in Colombo. more..

McCullum deserves glorification for being truthful

June 11 (CT) Former NZ cricket great Brendon McCullum whose awe inspiring speech at Lord's during the M.C. Cowdrey MCC Spirit of Cricket lecture, delivered on 6 June 2016, is bound to change the game. This speech coming from the bottom of the heart of a man, who once wanted to be known as being brash, aggressive and perhaps even arrogant, is what makes it overwhelmingly truthful. What is all the more encouraging is the fact how this man realized how to be someone more..

Anura Dissanayake

Rajapaksa regime gave millions worth free rides to militant monks & journalists

June 11 (CT) Abusing tax payer money the former Minister Wimal Weerawansa gave millions of rupees worth of free rides to both militant Buddhist monks and Journalists. The convener of the militant Buddhist monk brigade Ravana Balaya Iththakande Saddhatissa had been given three vehicles a month amounting to almost Rs 2 million a year, whilst prominent Lankadeepa journalist Prasanna Thennakoon vehicle cost was over Rs 800,000. These figures only for 2014. more..

CP Governor reads riot act to Provincial Council in her maiden speech

June 11 (Island) Central Province Governor Niluka Ekanayake warned the Central Provincial Council (CPC) at a meeting of the Council that certain powers of the governor delegated to the council would be taken back if the council failed to render the expected service to the people. Governor issued the warning in her maiden address to the CPC since her assumption of office as governor. The meeting of the provincial council was held at the council’s assembly hall on Tuesday. more..

Litro Gas explains

June 11 (DM) In response to the Daily Mirror article titled Litro Gas Open Tender Raises Eyebrows, which appeared on June 8, Litro Gas Lanka Limited has sent the following clarification: “On May 27, 2016, the LPG tender was closed at 3.00 p.m. Around 3.15 p.m. the box containing the bids were brought to the head office auditorium. At the time of opening the bids, the Chairman of Litro Gas Lanka Ltd and more..

Salawa – Wisalawa & man made disasters

June 11 (CT) Salawa is in a suburb with a mixture of a township and village in the famous and traditional Seethawaka Kingdom in SL on High Level Road not too far from Colombo. It is one of the most fertile areas in SL famous for fruits, vegetables, industries, greenery water falls river/canals and cultivation of small and commercial crops such as tea rubber and coconut. It is called KOSGAMA a village of jack fruit- the fruit only second to rice for Sri Lankans. People living there were happy and more..

Minister promotes ornamental fish industry

June 11 (Island) All steps would be taken to improve Sri Lanka’s ornamental fish export industry to international levels, the State Minister Dulip Wedaarachchi said. With this objective in mind, Min Wisithuru an ornamental fish exhibition will be held providing its participants with knowledge, from August 5-7 at the Sri Lanka Exhibition and Convention Centre (SLECC). A discussion was held at the Ministry auditorium with the ornamental fish breeders, exporters, more..

Child abuse: Awful granddads

June 11 (CT) At least three children are abused daily, while over 1,500 cases of violence against them are reported annually. About 500 children live in remand homes and rehabilitation centres in prisons. This is what Dr. Deepika Attygalle, the President of the College of Community Physicians, said recently. Citing a child activity survey, she says nearly 100,000 children are engaged in child labour while nearly 61,000 more..

Salawa fire: Compensation to be paid from Tuesday

June 11 (DM) Colombo District secretary Sunil Kannangara said today compensation would be paid to people who lost their houses and property by the fire at Salawa army camp from next Tuesday. Mr. Kannangara said damage caused to the houses and property was being estimated and that it would be completed by tomorrow. He said 654 houses and buildings were damaged in the incident while some of them were completely destroyed. Mr. Kannangara said in a discussion at more..

Offshore Patrol Vessel built for SL Navy launched

June 11 (SLN) The launching ceremony of the Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessel, built by Goa Shipyards Ltd for the Sri Lanka Navy, came about on a grand scale at Goa Shipyard in India today (10). Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, Eng. Karunasena Hettiarachchi and Mrs. Wasantha Gunawardena along with Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne attended this significant occasion which marked another milestone in the history of Sri Lanka Navy. more..