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Bodyguards galore

May 10 (DN) About ten years back I was introduced to this person at a restaurant. He had just returned from America, having lived there for a lengthy period. Like most returnees from cosmopolitan societies, he was confident, casual, conversed easily; listening politely and expressing himself moderately. To my ear, in his words there was nothing to suggest an unusual interest in local politics or even domestic issues. more..

Westley makes Test case as Prasad injury mars Sri Lanka's preparations

May 10 (CI) When touring sides are searching for the positives after long hard days in the field, they tend to point to miles in the legs for their bowlers or useful insights into a likely Test opponent. On both counts at Chelmsford, however, Sri Lanka finished the second day of their tour match against Essex with precious little to cheer. If Tom Westley's fourth first-class century in eight innings of a stellar season does prove to have been enough to earn him a place in Thursday's squad for more..

South meets North Western for U19 supremacy

May 10 (DN) Sri Lanka Cricket’s Rs. 26 million Super under 19 provincial tournament reaches its climax when Southern Province meets North Western Province in the three-day final at the R Premadasa Stadium from tomorrow (Wednesday). The final originally scheduled to commence today was postponed by a day in order to give the two finalists recovery time before they confront each other over three days. The group matches were played over two days. more..

Cricket administration: High time they donned their pads

May 10 (ST) This is like any other game. First you have to form your own team and then automatically the opposition becomes a part of the fray. Then you have to concentrate on the strategies and see how you could form your winning combination, thus harnessing the talent in your possession. Then you have to practise, have dummy fights and get mentally acclimatised to match situations. Then the rest is easy. more..

Adam Carbons signs joint venture with Korean firm for Rice Husk Carbonization

May 10 (EN) Sri Lankan activated carbon maker Adam Carbons (Pvt) Ltd has signed a joint venture deal with South Korea’s Kooks E & C Ltd. for rice husk carbonisation that would enable it to diversify its product range. Adam Carbons is a fully-owned subsidiary of Adam Capital. Adam Carbons has signed a memorandum of understanding with Kooks E & C Ltd. for the joint venture for rice husk carbonisation. Kooks E & C Ltd. is a diversified group of companies based in Seoul. more..

Fragile economic fundamentals and weak economic performance in 2015

May 10 (ST) The dip in economic growth to 4.8% in 2015 was as expected. It was a continuation of the declining trend in economic growth of recent years compounded by politically motivated economic policies in 2014 and 2015, disruption and distraction of two elections and unfavourable global economic conditions. The fragile economic indicators and the growing economic instability in 2015 were more serious than this lower economic growth. The fiscal deficit was high, trade deficit reached more..

Colombo Zonal Athletic Championship: Bens, Visakha emerge champions

May 10 (CT) St. Benedict's College excelled in the Colombo Zonal Athletics Championship as they emerged overall winners of the boys' section while Visakha Vidyalaya won the girls' division beating the second placed Ladies' College by 10 points at Sugathadasa Stadium last Thursday. The Bens outclassed their opponents in the boys' section earning 202 points. They dominated the track winning most of the running events more..

Turkish companies explore trade, investment opportunities

May 10 (DN) “There is great scope to increase bi-lateral trade and economic relations, but there is lack of information and awareness on the potential areas of investment available between the both countries. I think it is time to formulate aggressive promotional campaigns by both sides to reduce this gap and to enhance trade and investment opportunities,” Ambassador Ozcuhadar said on the sidelines of SL–Turkey Business forum organized by Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC). more..

Activist files FR case on irregularities in awarding Mittal to build houses in N&E

May 10 (FT) A social activist has filed a Fundamental Rights petition complaining of alleged irregularities and inconsistencies in the contract to build 65,000 houses with an international company. Petitioner Mohamed Fazl laments that Chairman of the Cabinet Appointed Negotiation Committee (CANC) for the constructing of 65,000 houses for conflict affected families in the North and East, Minister D.M. Swaminathan, has awarded a contract bypassing procedures and the law. more..

Govt’s policy inconsistency irks CCC

May 10 (FT) Consistency in policy should be a top priority of the Govt in order to build confidence and boost private sector investment, members of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said. At its latest monthly meeting, members of the Committee observed that while there is greater interest among Govt officials to listen to, and address, private sector concerns, this is yet to translate into a stable economic policy more..

Freedom of the press and power to suppress

May 10 (ST) What a cruel irony that was. While media bodies in Sri Lanka like others round the globe were preparing to observe World Press Freedom Day underscoring the importance of media freedom in strengthening democratic governance and calling on govts to remove the constricting shackles that inhibit effective and serious journalism, Sri Lanka was threatening to throttle the media. Whether the timing of the threat a few days before Press Freedom Day was fortuitous more..

HNB continues growth momentum in 2016

May 10 (FT) HNB it has recorded robust growth in Q1 2016 with the bank’s Profit After Tax (PAT) growing by 68% YOY to Rs. 3.1 b, driven by core banking operations, while Group PAT improved to Rs. 3.5 b, which is an increase of 73% from Q1 2015. Strong growth of 26% YOY in the bank’s advances portfolio resulted in a 29% YOY growth in interest income whereas the deposit base recorded a YOY growth of 22% while maintaining a healthy CASA ratio of 43.5%. more..

Gross official reserves US$ 6.3 bn in Jan

May 10 (DN) SL’s gross official reserves as at end Jan 2016 amounted to US$ 6.3 billion, equivalent to 4 months of imports. Meanwhile total foreign assets amounted to US$ 8.4 billion, equivalent to 5.4 months of imports. During 2016 up to May 5, the rupee depreciated by 1.1% against the US dollar. Based on cross currency exchange rate movements, SL rupee appreciated against the pound sterling by 0.9%, more..

AmCham welcomes US easing of military trade restrictions on Sri Lanka

May 10 (FT) American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) SL welcomed the easing of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) applicable to Sri Lanka which took effect from March 2008, making it US policy to deny licenses and other approvals to export or otherwise transfer defense articles and defense services to Sri Lanka. The Regulations were subsequently amended in 2011 and 12 respectively granting exceptions for humanitarian de-mining, assistance for aerial more..

Navy arrests 10 local fishermen engaged in illegal harvesting of sea cucumbers

May 10 (SLN) Naval personnel onboard P 4445 attached to Eastern Naval Command arrested 6 local fishermen engaged in illegal harvesting of sea cucumbers in the seas east of Chalai on 7th May 2016. During the raid, 150 sea cucumbers along with 2 Fiber Glass Dinghies (FGDs), 20 oxygen cylinders, 4 pairs of diving fins and 4 diving masks were taken into custody. The arrested persons and their belongings were handed over to the Mulaitivu Police for further investigations. more..

KP not involved in terrorist activities: AG

May 10 (Island) Justice Preethi Surasena yesterday directed petitioner JVP MP Vijitha Herathto decide by May 30, 2016, whether he still wanted to continue with his writ application requesting the state authorities to arrest Kumaran Pathmanathan of the LTTE. The Attorney General told the Court of Appeal that according to the investigations done by the CID, Kumaran Padmanathan, current leader of the LTTE, more..

AISEX apparel industry show on June 9

May 10 (DN) The exhibition will focus on a wide range of textile machinery, accessories and services from many parts of the world. AISEX 2016 will be held from June 9 to 11 at the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Memorial Exhibition Center (SBMEC). The event is organized by Lanka Exhibition and Conference Services (Pvt.) Ltd – LECS and supported and endorsed by the Sri Lanka Apparel Institute (SLAI) and the Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF). AISEX aims to sharpen the manufacturers more..

Sexually assaulted octogenarian dies

May 10 (Island) An 83-year-old woman who was raped by an intruder on the night of May 4 died two days later according to a complaint received by Rangala police. The rapist was absconding, police said. The old woman who was living alone in her house at Putuhapuwa in the Rangala police division had been sexually assaulted by an unknown man around 1 a.m. Her neighbours who woke up on hearing cries rushed her to house and informed one of her sons in Polonnaruwa. more..

'Govt has not decided bus fare hike'

May 10 (Island) Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva rejected the bus owners’ associations recent demand for a fare hike. He said the govt had not yet taken a decision to increase the bus fare in view of the recent increase in VAT. Minister de Silva said that the VAT increase would have no impact on the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB). A decision to increase bus fares should be taken by the Cabinet and not bus owners, he said. more..

Current govt has wrecked agriculture economy: MR

May 10 (DN) The country cannot be developed by assaulting or disgracing the people. We united this nation for the sake of all people including the future generations. No one can be allowed to tear it asunder, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said. Addressing a rally at Galgamuwa on May 8, he said that people at large today were feeling that they had been cheated. Farmers had been denied the 50% fertiliser subsidy promised to them. A guaranteed price had not been offered for their paddy. more..

‘Vast drop of GDP during govt’s first year in office’

May 10 (DN) The govt has cried halt to all on-going development work launched by the previous regime as soon as it assumed power. This type of action is unprecedented in the history of this country, former MP DEW Gunasekera said. He said the GDP had recorded a vast drop during the govt's first year in office according to Central Bank reports. But earlier the economy had gained a fresh momentum whenever there had been a change of govt since 1948. He said the country gained the biggest more..

Sri Lankans in Panama Papers: Full List

May 10 (EN) The names of several Sri Lanka domiciled individuals, including Nissanka Senadhipathi of Avant Garde, have been disclosed in the Panama Papers released on the Internet on Monday. According to documents leaked from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, Senadhipathi incorporated an offshore company in the British Virgin Islands with three others. The four shareholders of Avant Garde operation more..

Kangatta re-remanded till May 23

May 10 (DM) Priyantha Mendis alias Kangatta, the main suspect in the Colombo Museum burglary in which millions of rupees worth of artifacts were robbed, was today re-remanded till May 23 by Colombo Additional Magistrate because the AG’s advise was still pending. Priyantha was the seventh accused in the case, the other suspects were released on bail. On an earlier occasion, CID told Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya that the extracts of the investigation had been sent to more..

110 women who faced intimidation in the Middle East return home

May 10 (ITN) More women who encountered intimidation after taking up jobs as housemaids in the Middle East have returned to the island. 110 such women returned home from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. These housemaids who returned to their motherland said that even though they took up jobs in the Middle East via local registered job agencies, they were tortured and intimidated instead of receiving salaries. They had to serve as housemaids in many houses within several years. more..

SL would-be migrants may be in detention, being treated properly: Authorities

May 10 (ABC) SL Govt has confirmed 12 would-be migrants sent back to Colombo by Australia last week are currently in the hands of its CID. The country's Immigration and Emigration Department told the ABC the group Australia sent back last week are all members of the majority Sinhalese ethnicity, and insists they are all being treated properly. Yesterday Immigration Minister Peter Dutton confirmed recent reports that more..

May Mother Nature bloom again

May 10 (DM) May is widely seen as the year’s most beautiful month, and it may be the best month for all people to do our part to restore the beauty and balance of the environment so that we could turn around from the catastrophic global warming. In Sri Lanka, most areas are boiling at temperatures ranging from 35° to 40° Celsius or more. In Jaffna for instance, bowsers are sent daily to spray water on the streets. Thankfully, there was some rain yesterday. more..

Lankan May Day front for power displays

May 10 (DM) On May 1, 1886, in Chicago, a workers’ strike with a demand for an eight-hour working day gave birth to May Day sometimes called Labour Day or the International Workers’ Day. The rioting that ensued, caused the death of some people including police officers; several more were injured. The costly protest did not produce the results expected overnight; but with time it did have an impact and an eight-hour working day became the norm. more..

Controversial SLFP members given top posts under Yahapalanaya

May 10 (DM) The slow and steady pace of the good governance regime was celebrated for just a few months before certain decisions became contradictory to their manifesto. During the January 2015 elections many promises were made and some were fulfilled. But today, the people involved in taking the country forward are those who were also involved during the MR regime. Whether they will take the country forward or to the gutters is more..

'No regrets about Mahinda Rajapaksa’s defeat; Yahapalanaya is not transparent'

May 10 (DM) Professor Sarath Wijesooriya, convener of the National Movement for a Just Society, said that as a member of civil society he was not content with the manner the present govt was functioning. However, he admitted he had no regrets about former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s defeat. Prof. Wijesooriya was of the view that many state institutions in the Yahapalana govt were not independent. more..

Prices of bakery products, food parcels up, phone charges, doctors’ fees set to rise

May 10 (ST) The Value Added Tax (VAT) introduced this week (2) is causing confusion to both businesses and consumers with many complaining that there are many gray areas that have to be resolved. Wholesalers, retailers and service centres alike are charging that the reduction in the threshold of the turnover of businesses has created panic among small time business as they will be liable for taxation. more..

Yahapalanana: Good pay for no work

May 10 (DM) It has come to light that a daughter of a politico recruited as the Liaison officer (Foreign relations) of a statutory body handling civil aviation has drawn emoluments amounting to Rs. 6,095,560 for a period of over one year despite not working a single day since the date of appointment. It has also been revealed that she had been appointed to this special post without observing the stipulated recruitment procedure and more..

The sad story of widows in the North

May 10 (SL) At a time the blazing sun’s heat was boiling the still waters of Nandikadal lagoon situated in the South Eastern part of mullaitivu, we arrived at Salewaraji’s residence. Through the walls of her shabby and small house, dark shadows of a sad past were thoroughly visible. “During the height of war my husband and three off my children were killed by shell fire. Now with the remaining three children I have been compelled to make a more..

Asia-Pacific forum on improving conditions in prison

May 10 (ICRC) Sri Lanka will host the third Asia- Pacific Regional Correctional Managers Conference from 10-13 May 2016; the conference is organized by the Department of Prisons in Sri Lanka with the support of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Nearly 50 senior officials from the Ministry of Prison Reforms, Resettlement, Rehabilitation and Hindu Religious Affairs, the Department of Prisons and more..

South Korea introduces new points system to recruit workers from Sri Lanka

May 10 (LBO) The Human Resources Development Services of Korea has introduced a new point based system to recruit workers from Sri Lanka and other countries, The Korean Embassy said. Current system allows only passers of Korean language examination (EPS-TOPIK) constitute valid roster, which has not contained various elements of the person, for an instance, their capability of task completion, physical condition & experiences more..

Bogala graphite miners stage underground Satyagraha

May 10 (AD) Around 50 workers have commenced a Satyagraha inside the Bogala Graphite Mine, some 1670 feet from the surface, based on several demands. The inter-company workers’ union says that the strike action and Satyagraha was launched against the failure to increase wages, not fulfilling employee demands and for the violation of workers’ rights. The strike, which was commenced by the Bogala branch more..

JVP decides to stage mass protests against new VAT

May 10 (CG) The opposition JVP says it has decided to stage mass protests against the new VAT. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said the protests will be staged in Colombo while public awareness campaigns will also be staged. The JVP, which backed President Maithripala Sirisena at the last Presidential election, said that the VAT is a burden on the public. The new 15% VAT was implemented from this month but more..

Five more members of much-dreaded Avaa group arrested in North

May 10 (Island) Jaffna police yesterday arrested five members of the criminal outfit known as Avaa Group, involved in serious crimes in the Jaffna District. Two hand grenades in the possession of the suspects were recovered. Leader of the group, Kumaresaratnam Vinothan (21) from Inuvil also known as Avaa, had been taken into custody on January 6, 2014, but the group had been operating in the district, the police said. more..

15 students, teacher injured as wall collapses on classroom

May 10 (Island) Fifteen students and a teacher were injured when a parapet wall collapsed on a classroom at the Muslim school in the Lunugala police area on Sunday. Five students were transferred to the Badulla hospital for treatment as soon as the 15 injured were rushed to the Lunugala hospital. Of the nine being treated at the Lunugala hospital, three had been discharged. The wall situated above the school had collapsed during a heavy down pour that had lasted three hours. more..

Is the Samapura coal-power generator necessary?

May 10 (CT) Kumar David, well-known columnist and past Professor of Electrical Engineering in Hong Kong has come forward to defend the controversial coal-power installation which has become a thorn of controversy. The ancient name of the city itself (saama-pura, the city of Peace), has been long forgotten; it has been a place where blue murder has been committed by both sides in the name of ethnic nationalism. It was here that a French NGO abandoned its local recruites to more..

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