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Ice Age of Ceylon

Apr 7 (DN) In 1969, Ceylon Cold Stores celebrated its diamond jubilee. Unlike the usual souvenir magazine with messages from ministers, chairman and business heavyweights, to mark the occasion the company thought it fit to produce a short history – Ceylon in Our Times 1894-1969. The foreword to the book describes their purpose, not just our story, but the story of our times. We are the richer for that effort by the much-loved company; “dealing in soft drinks, milk, butter, ice-cream, ham, bacon more..

'We oppose Nationalism and Federalism'

Apr 7 (CT) JVP is proclaimed to be the richest political party in the country, with its total income exceeding Rs 87 million, in 2015. JVP is also said to be the most financially secure party with assets worth of over Rs 190 million. The party has also earned over Rs 10 million from the sale of MP's vehicles. However, party aides solemnly declare that the leadership of the party has explicitly evinced its forthrightness by revealing accurate figures of more..

SOEs need reform

Apr 7 (NS) The divestiture of under performing state-owned enterprises  SOEs has once again entered the public domain. The prefix under performing automatically means that the enterprise needs a fix. The crucial question is who the ideal fixer should be. Could the state be the effective fixer or should the patient be transferred by way of a divestiture to the private sector for remedying its ailment. Needless to say, public is divided on this issue. When it comes to privatization, even in the developed world more..

Editorial: Cutting the Gordian knot

Apr 7 (Island) Bar Association of SL has sought to wash its hands of the so-called Kannan issue. It has said it had nothing to do with the appointment of Ramanathan Kannan, a member of the unofficial bar, a High Court (HC) judge and, therefore, it will not get involved in the ongoing campaign in some quarters to remove him. Trouble began when President Sirisena, in his wisdom, made the controversial appointment on the then BASL chief’s recommendations a few weeks ago. more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Tribute to Most Venerable Davuldena Gnanissara Mahanayaka Thera

Apr 7 (DN) The last decades of the English rule in Ceylon left much room for cultural exploration. English scholars such as Professor Rhys Davids founded Pali Text Society in a bid to offer more emphasis to Buddhist studies. Buddha’s teachings had a constructive discourse owing to many factors. Most western scholars portrayed the teachings as a nihilistic phenomenon. This drew the dire need to produce scholars to counter such false opinions. That need was fulfilled by many scholars, more..

How Malinga's slower dippers sucker-punched Bangladesh

Apr 7 (CI) Lasith Malinga is the only bowler to have claimed three ODI hat-tricks. So, perhaps, it is only fitting he should have one in the format for which he is most famed. It has been a while since he was at his fastest, or his fittest, but what he lacked for firepower, he made up for in wiles. Mushfiqur Rahim was first to be dismissed - bowled by an offcutter that evaded his slog sweep and shaved off stump. Mashrafe Mortaza was also bowled by a delivery that dived on him. more..

Senior Athletic season begin with trials tomorrow

Apr 7 (CT) National Senior Athletic season will begin with the first trials of the year tomorrow where local athletes will get their first shot at qualifying for the forthcoming Asian Championship as well as the IAAF World Championship in the two day event to be held at Mahinda Rajapaksa stadium Diyagama. Although this meet was to be the trial to finalize SL team for the 22nd Asian Championship and since the Championship was postponed more..

New constitution should prioritise the people

Apr 7 (Island) There are individuals and small group of parliamentarians who do not seem to be true and acceptable representatives of the people for whom they have been nominated solely on party leaders’ choice. They disregard the people and plan to impose their views and sabotage the never-to-be-missed opportunity to adopt a New Constitution for SL. They prioritize their individual selves under many pretexts. They presume that they, undemocratic, insensitive and short-sighted more..

PATA all set to kick off annual summit in SL

Apr 7 (FT) The much-anticipated Annual General Meeting of the Pacific Travel Asia Association (PATA) will be held at the Jetwing Blue Hotel, Negombo, in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Convention Bureau and Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, which will host the event scheduled to be held from 18-21 May. This year’s theme will be based on Disruption, Innovation, Transformation: The future of tourism and will include a wide number of speakers and more..

Need our top five batsmen to fire: Gurusinha

Apr 7 (CI) Asanka Gurusinha has conceded his first tour as Sri Lanka's cricket manager has been disappointing. Though Sri Lanka had had a rough outing in South Africa, they were expected to win home series against Bangladesh, an opponent they had more-or-less consistently dominated. However, like the Tests and ODIs, the T20s have also now been shared 1-1. "It's not ideal for us," Gurusinha said. more..

Business confidence slumps in March

Apr 7 (FT) The April edition of LMD reports that the LMD-Nielsen Business Confidence Index (BCI) is at its lowest point in nearly four years. The unique index shed 15 basis points in March to register 112 – a 44-month low, the leading business magazine notes. Nielsen’s Managing Director Sharang Pant points out in LMD that “negative sentiments have crept back in,” which is brought into focus by the share of respondents who believe that the economy will be worse off in 2017. more..

UAE to enhance commercial ties with SL

Apr 7 (DN) The UAE wishes to enhance bilateral trade and investments with Sri Lanka, its envoy in Sri Lanka, Abdulhamid Al Mulla said. He expressed this interest, during a visit to the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce to discuss matters of mutual interest with CEO Dhara Wijayatilake. “There are many opportunities to increase trade and we need to look at how this can be done," Ambassador said during the meeting. He said the UAE had opened a visa center in Colombo more..

Bangladesh square T20 series with Sri Lanka

Apr 7 (CI) A thundering start with bat, and an incisive turn with the new ball ball set Bangladesh on track to a series-leveling victory, and provided a happy T20 swansong for Mashrafe Mortaza. It was in the first six overs of each innings that the game was won and lost. Bangladesh's openers were fearless inside their Powerplay, smoking 68 runs for no loss, and looking stylish while they were at it. SL, however, slumped to 47/5 in their Powerplay, more..

‘Sri Lanka to auction 18 Port City blocks by Aug 2018’

Apr 7 (DN) Sri Lanka will auction the first 18 blocks of the Colombo International Financial City (CIFC) and Port City by mid next year, Minister Champika Ranawaka said. He said work is progressing rapidly now and he was confident that the first fully developed 18 blocks will be ready by 2018 August to be internationally tendered for investments for a 99 year lease. In 2016 Port City project was added in the Megalopolis plan and the govt which planned an International Finance Center in Colombo more..

EU pledges Rs. 7 b through financing agreements to Sri Lanka

Apr 7 (FT) European Union (EU) will step up its assistance to Sri Lanka by providing Rs. 6.93 billion for the implementation of two programs, Support to the Modernisation of the Agricultural Sector (euro 30 million) and Strengthening Reconciliation Processes (euro 12 million). Secretary to the Ministry of Finance, Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga, signed the agreements on behalf of the Govt in the presence of the Ambassador to Sri Lanka for the Delegation of the EU Tung Lai Margue. more..

New Exchange Control Act to facilitate foreign investment

Apr 7 (Island) The govt intends introducing a new Exchange Control Act soon to facilitate the export and import sectors, Minister Daya Gamage said. "At present Exchange Control Act No. 24 of 1953, which is operative in these areas of the economy, needs to be amended," Gamage said. The Act aims at implementing tools to measure and limit the currency flow into and out of the country and every country has laws and regulations more..

Public-Private Partnerships raising conflicting feelings

Apr 7 (Island) The much touted Public Private Partnerships have seemingly got entangled in the emotions of love and distaste. In other words, policymakers love it and govt regulators can't love it so much because ultimately the buck stops with them if something goes wrong in the approval process of getting a PPP off the ground; especially in the backdrop of no economic reform being enforced yet to legally enable PPP. This issue was manifest at Ease of Doing Business Forum more..

Australian Minister visits Northern Province

Apr 7 (DN) Australian Minister Concetta Fierravanti-Wells visited the Northern Province recently. Minister Fierravanti-Wells met Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Vigneswaran. He reaffirm the chief minister Australia’s commitment to the development of the province and support for Sri Lanka’s reconciliation process. Since 2009, Australia has provided more than AUD250 million to support the reconstruction of conflict-affected communities in the North and East. more..

PM kicks off search for new export strategy

Apr 7 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday kicked off the first ever national symposium to carve out the national export strategy. The two-day symposium involves over 150 public and private sector representatives who will plan the next export growth cycle of the country. The ground breaking initiative championed by the Ministry of Development Strategies and Int'l Trade and the Export Development Board (EDB), more..

Docs’ strike: Court refuses to issue enjoining order

Apr 7 (FT) Colombo District Court, while overruling a heart patient’s request to enjoin the planned GMOA strike fixed for today, issued notice of an interim injunction and summons on the GMOA to appear before Court on 4 May to consider whether the strike was legal or not. Colombo District Judge Sujeewa Nissanka issued this notice on the GMOA after considering a petition filed by heart patient Hewa lhala Mullage Piyasena, who sought a declaration from the District Court that more..

Killing of 27 inmates at Welikada Prison; Writ petition filed seeking justice

Apr 7 (DN) A writ petition was yesterday filed in the Court of Appeal seeking an order directing the IGP and Director of the CID to commence an investigation into the incidents of Dec 9 and 10, 2012 in the Welikada Prison resulting in the death of 27 prisoners. Sudesh Nandimal Silva who was in remand custody at the time of the alleged incidents took place had filed this writ petition citing Commissioner General of Prisons, Director of CID, IGP, Minister of Prison Reforms, more..

Tax collection should be more efficient and systematic for strong national economy: Prez

Apr 7 (PSL) President Sirisena said that the current methods of tax collections should be more efficient and systematic for the development of national economy. Statement was made during the address of annual meeting of commissioners Association of Inland Revenue.  State income which has to be collected through State Institutions, certain private companies and investment projects have made several issues more..

Women Entrepreneurs Learn to Create, Grow Businesses in Kandy

Apr 7 (USE) Women entrepreneurs from the Central Province promoted and sold their products at a U.S. Embassy-sponsored trade fair at the American Center in Kandy on March 30, 2017.  This fair served as the capstone event for a 5-month program to provide entrepreneurial skills to women representing the area’s diverse communities. The free program provided participants with English language training as well as intensive workshops on marketing, production, use of social media, more..

Video: Maternity leave same for private, state sector employees: Minister

Apr 7 (DM) The govt will introduce laws to ensure that the maternity leave for employees in the private and public sector is the same, Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne said. He said private sector employees faced more inconvenience because of the limited number of maternity leave they were entitled to. "Some private sector institutions provide more maternity leave while others less. Under the Shop and Office Act, private sector employees have 12 weeks or 84 days of maternity leave while more..

‘Govt won’t privatise Mattala, but will make it a profit earning venture’

Apr 7 (DN) The govt will not privatise the Mattala Int'l Airport, but there is a burning need to convert it as a profit earning venture as it had already become a burden on the economy of the country, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said. He said so, addressing a gathering at the BIA yesterday after commissioning the renovated runway for 24 hour air traffic operations. He added that country’s resources cannot be offered to other countries more..

Commission warns Mahendran

Apr 7 (CT) Presidential Commission, yesterday severely warned former Governor of the Central Bank Arjuna Mahendran. The former Governor had obtained permission from the Commission to watch the proceedings of the Commission, while evidence was being obtained in his capacity as a lawyer. While the Commission was listening to evidence being given by a witness against Mahendran's actions, the former CB Governor was observed operating a Mobile Phone continuously. more..

MPs’ attendance register goes public

Apr 7 (Island) Parliament resolved to make public the MPs’ attendance register with effect from May 01. Most of the MPs including ministers were not present in the House yesterday when sitting commenced at 10.30 am. Some opposition MPs protested against the absence of ministers who were expected to answer their questions. After listening to the MPs, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya asked whether the House would agree to make public the list of names of MPs who attended the sessions. more..

Ravi appoints Monitoring MPs

Apr 7 (CT) Minister Ravi Karunanayake has appointed 15 MPs of the UNP as Monitoring MPs to supervise six State institutions which come under his ministry. He had summoned a group of UNP MPs who had not been appointed to any posts to his official room in Parliament last Wednesday and their letters of appointment had been handed over to them. These MPs have been given the authority to supervise work at more..

Docs to strike today

Apr 7 (Island) The GMOA will go ahead with its strike today. GMOA Secretary Dr Naveen D. Zoysa, said the GMOA would extend the strike to the private sector hospitals as well, to pressure the govt to take over the SAITM. He accused the Mahinda Rajapaksa govt and the incumbent administration of having mishandled the issue. The higher education ministers in govts had done their damnedest to promote the interests of the private medical college, Dr. Zoysa said. more..

Saudi Fund for Development, Sri Lanka sign 2 loan agreements

Apr 7 (AN) Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) signed two loan agreements with Sri Lanka to assist the island nation in two projects. SFD Adviser Abdullah Al-Shedokhi and R.H.S Samaratunga, secretary to the treasury of Sri Lanka, signed the SR263 million agreement for the Mahaweli Left Bank Basin Development and the Wayamba University/Township Development Project. Mahaweli Left Bank Lower Basin Development Project is a proposal made by minister Vijayamuni Zoysa, more..

Bond scandal: Perpetual Treasuries settled dues with borrowings from CB, EPF

Apr 7 (DM) Deputy Solicitor General Milinda Gunathilake revealed to the Commission that Perpetual Treasuries Ltd had borrowed from Central Bank and the EPF on April 4, 2016 when it was settling payments to the CBSL and EPF due three days earlier (1) pertaining to the bids accepted in the bond auctions held on March 29, 30 and 31 in 2016. Concluding evidence from Director of the IT Department of CB Wasantha Kumara Alwis, more..

With this wonder tree why eat junk food?

Apr 7 (DM) From all parts of the country, large crowds attended the five-day national festival of non-toxic food and other eco-friendly items and we hope this green Lanka perception will not end there or with the National New Year but continue to produce smart generations. In January last year, President Sirisena launched a major food production mission whereby Sri Lanka could produce the nutritious food we need at affordable prices without wasting hundreds of millions of dollars more..

Overestimating himself ruins Weerawansa

Apr 7 (DM) Before former Minister and MP Wimal Weerawansa called off his recent fast, who thought that his demands would be fulfilled due to the fast? Answer is nobody. And also who thought that the NFF leader would continue his fast until his death unless his demands were fulfilled by the authorities concerned? The answer is again nobody. Everybody in the country knew that neither his demand (whatever it is) would be met nor he would continue his fast until his death because of that. more..

After H'tota Port Project... Govt bound to face differences in Trinco Oil tank farm project

Apr 7 (DM) Govt is still struggling to get clearance from all the stakeholders to proceed with the Hambantota Port project with a Chinese company. It is hampered due to differences within the govt itself and legal issues arising from the original text of the agreement. It will mar the process of signing the agreement any time soon. Be that as it may, govt is bound to be hit by yet another wrangle involving the proposal to lease out Trinco Oil more..

Large funds in Udayanga’s accounts: CID

Apr 7 (NR) CID has informed Court that Former Sri Lankan Ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga has received large amounts of funds to his offshore accounts. Details into the Former Ambassador were revealed through investigations conducted by the CID. Charges have been filed against him over financial fraud alleged to have taken place during the controversial procurement of MIG-27 aircraft for the Sri Lanka Air Force. more..

Lightning rod racket exposed

Apr 7 (SL) A large scale racket involving the theft and sale of lightning rods installed at govt owned estates has been revealed. Lightning rods installed at government owned estates during the colonial era are being stolen to be sold for millions of rupees. According to sources, over 90% of these lightning rods, which belonged to both state and private estates, have been stolen. Removing these items is against the law. more..

Avurudu buyers feel budgets stretched; traders see weak retail sales

Apr 7 (ST) Shelves are stocked but few people are buying for the Avurudu celebration. Those who are buying, are seeking bargains, traders in the Pettah and Borella say. Many consumer goods traders complain that Avurudu sales are weak. S.H. Mohammad, 52, from Seeduwa who owns a small textile shop in the Pettah said most customers ask about prices and turn away. “A frock we bought for Rs220 last year is Rs240 now. more..

'Minor issues won’t prevent UNP-SLFP cooperation at future polls'

Apr 7 (Island) Minister Champika Ranawaka has signalled that the existing UNP-SLFP alliance will be extended to the next presidential polls scheduled for January 2020. He has stressed that yahapalana partners will cooperate at every level namely local govt, provincial councils, parliamentary as well as presidential polls. He was addressing a gathering after having opened Mirigama weekly market and public grounds. more..

'Brexit: Sri Lanka should focus on non-traditional EU markets'

Apr 7 (DM) Sri Lanka would benefit immensely if it focused on accessing non-traditional markets of the European Union (EU) countries which would reduce the potential negative impact of Brexit on Sri Lanka, Ambassador of the Delegation of the EU, Tung Lai Margue said. He said accessing non-traditional EU markets would also help contribute towards Sri Lanka's ambitious target of doubling its exports revenue. more..