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Isura denies Megapolis Ministry claims

Apr 19 (DM) Western Province Chief Minister Isura Devapriya rejected the statement made by the Megapolis Ministry claiming that the British Company introduced by him was not equipped with technical or fiscal capability to execute a project to generate electricity from garbage collected at Meethotamulla. CM said that statement made by the Ministry was completely false and added that he had proposed more..

Meethotamulla Cancels Rajitha’s WB Talks

Apr 19 (CT) Minister Rajitha Senaratne has been compelled to cancel his attendance at a special World Bank Conference in Washington on 20 April, called to address health reforms in Sri Lanka and unveil a loan of US$200 million for the initiative. Minister yesterday wrote the WB saying he cannot participate in the conference because of urgent issues arising from last week's Meethotamulla garbage dump tragedy that took over 30 lives. This is a rare occasion on which a senior Cabinet more..

Singapore secures SL cyber defence deal

Apr 19 (IHS) The electronics division of Singapore Technologies Engineering (ST Engineering) has secured a contract from Sri Lanka to support the development of that country's first national cyber security operations centre. ST Electronics said on 18 April that under the terms of the recently signed contract it would provide consultancy support to develop a facility that will enhance Sri Lanka's digital infrastructure and capability to counter cyber threats. company did not disclose value of contract more..

Sri Lanka Cricketers visit with the victims of the Meetotamulla tragedy

Apr 19 (SLC) Members of the SL National squad, Niroshan Dikwella, Sachith Pathirana, Thisara Perera and Dilshan Munaweera led by Rangana Herath visited with the victims of the Meethotamulla tragedy at the Terrance de Silva Vidyalaya in Kolonnawa this morning. The cricketers were able to spend time with the victims, chatting about their lives and aspirations, and were especially touched by the little children, more..

British Minister Alok Sharma cancels his visit to Sri Lanka

Apr 19 (DM) British Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister for Asia and the Pacific Alok Sharma has cancelled his visit to Sri Lanka after the British PM announced a snap election, the British High Commission in Colombo said today. He was to visit Sri Lanka from Thursday to Saturday this week. Minister Sharma was scheduled to deliver a speech under the theme Opportunities and Challenges in a Post-Brexit World at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute, Colombo 07 on Friday. more..

Logbook pages of army officers assigned to protect MR’s family members gone missing

Apr 19 (DN) Fourteen pages of a logbook maintained by Army officials who were assigned for the security detail of former President’s family members during the time of Thajudeen’s murder took place, had gone missing and this matter is being investigated by the CID, the Attorney General informed Court yesterday. Deputy Solicitor General Dilan Ratnayake appearing on behalf of the CID informed Colombo Additional Magistrate J. Trotsky said that the CID detectives have initiated more..

Muralitharan to be first Sri Lankan in ICC Hall of Fame

Apr 19 (SLC) Sri Lanka Cricket has announced that former off spinner Muttiah Muralitharan who becomes the first Sri Lankan to be voted into ICC Hall of Fame will be formally inducted during the ICC Champions Trophy in June. “It gives us immense sense of pride that Murali is receiving this highest honour. We are proud of him and the glory he has brought to Cricket in Sri Lanka. His illustrious career demonstrates that more..

Why China Not India?- Economic and Geo-political commentary

Apr 20 (CT) This article is with reference to Mr. Dayan Jayatilleka's write-up published on CT. It was titled, The Avurudu sale of Sri Lanka-Who will stop it? The writer makes a very valid point arguing the case for Sri Lanka to be with China as opposed to India. He also criticizes the PM's vision of the ETCA with India and rightly so. It simply does not make any economic and geo-political sense. This article is an attempt to compare both India & China in economic/geo-political terms, more..

Amnesty International’s Allegations against Sri Lanka Anything more ridiculous?

Apr 20 (CT) At the media conference held on 5 April, Amnesty International struggled to answer Shamindra Ferdinando's questions. A subject specialist on the Geneva Resolution, Ferdinando highlighted the vast discrepancy in numbers of alleged deaths and enforced disappearances by the many factions. They all want Sri Lanka before a Hybrid War Crimes Court, but have failed so far to reach a consensus on the allegations. Failing to answer, AI called for a credible investigaation more..

Govt and tobacco control

Apr 20 (CT) Minister Rajitha Senaratne is soon to present a Cabinet proposal to ban the sale of loose cigarettes with the objective of reducing tobacco consumption. The proposal is one among few initiatives of the govt to reduce the adverse impacts of smoking. According to rough estimates nearly 20,000 deaths occur annually due to smoking in Sri Lanka. More often than not, smoking has an impact on disabilities and more..

Sam-Sum Tamil National Alliance

Apr 20 (CT) Mr. R. Sampanthan, the so-called leader of the opposition, is actually a state sponsored opposition leader. Although he was elected by the people of Trincomalee to look after the interest of the Tamils, he seems to be more concerned about the safety of the Yahapalanaya-Naladchi govt. He, together with Mr. M.A. Sumanthiran (SAM-SUM) is deaf and blind to the voters who are on the roads for months asking for their lands taken over by army to be returned, more..

C. Suntharalingam: Grandfather’s letters

Apr 20 (CT) Before reading Grandfather’ Letters, I had an anecdotal view of C. Suntharalingam (CS). In 1958 as a six year old, I was terrified when classmates talked of Sinhalese marching to Jaffna to slaughter us. CS (in the climax of the book) held the line in Vavuniya, distributing unlicensed-guns and placing dynamite in culverts. One day as lorry-loads of men careened down Chemmany Road Nallur to Vavuniya, I ran alongside the convoy behind senior boys (including our Sinhalese baker’s sons) more..

Marikkar pours scorn on Govt, Rajapaksas

Apr 20 (CT) S.M. Marikkar, Colombo District MP and UNP organizer for Kolonnawa, says the antagonism directed by victims of the Meethotamulla tragedy, towards politicians who visited the garbage dump site after it occurred was absolutely understandable considering the intense mental pressure they might be experiencing in its aftermath. They have lost their homes & loved ones, so their anger is natural. more..

What I talk about when I talk about Sri Lanka

Apr 20 (GV) When you tell people in Washington that you’re following Sri Lanka, you might get a strange look. You might get something worse than that. But you never really know. Please keep in mind that there are plenty of people in Washington who have some idea about what they are talking about (though less than you’d imagine). And yet, there are undoubtedly more who know very little. More broadly, Washington is the capital of both genuine experts and people masquerading as experts more..

Editorial: Grasp the nettle!

Apr 20 (Island) There is hardly anything that SL politicians do not fight over. They get on like a house on fire only when public funds are misused to feather their nests. At present they are hurling rotting garbage at one another, so to speak, instead of putting their heads together to help solve the Meethotamulla garbage issue. It looks as if they were competing with one another to set a new world record by holding most number of media briefings. Some of them are trying to settle old scores. more..

Harsha De Silva

Loyalty of players towards Provincial cricket is questionable

Apr 20 (CT) The Inter Provincial tournament organized by Sri Lanka Cricket has finally got under way with the second day of matches concluded just prior to the Sinhala New Year. After a very long club tournament and a district limited over tournament, the final phase and the most competitive stage of domestic cricket has just begun. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) should be congratulated for organizing a tournament of such a magnitude as this is naturally the need of the hour. more..

Vasantha was a good raconteur too

Apr 20 (Island) I first met Vasantha Obeysekara when the great and late Ajith Samaranayaka took me to his house in Lauries Road in Colombo 4. Ajith and I had a drink at the Bambalapitiya Wine Stores in Colombo 4. Ajith had his usual drinks and I had mine with cheese. Ajith had cheese too. After few drinks he said Lets go and meet Vasantha Obeysekara. He lives close by. I readily agreed as I was a fan of Vasantha. As we walked towards his house down Lauries Road, more..

'Punish perpetrators of war crimes, atrocities'

Apr 20 (Island) The Collective of Civil Society Organizations has urged the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration to inquire into war crimes allegations in accordance with Geneva Resolution 30/1 co-sponsored by the govt. Addressing the media Akalanka Hettiarachchi (Aluth Parapura) emphasized that all those who had perpetrated crimes during the war and post-conflict should be dealt forthwith. more..

Schools Cricket season comes to a close

Apr 20 (ST) Singer Schools Under-19 Limited Overs Tournament came to a close last week with all segments — the Division I, II and III. Richmond College Galle triumphed over Thurstan College Colombo by 8 wickets to capture the Division I championship as the school from down south became the best team from the rest where a total of 16 teams qualified to play in the knockout tournament beginning from the pre-quarter-final stage. more..

Air ticket money not disbursed as yet

Apr 20 (CT) The parents of swimmers that represented Sri Lanka at the 8th Asian Age Groups Swimming Championships held in Thailand in 2015 are set to make a complaint to the Minister, against the Aquatic Sports Association (SLASA) for not refunding half of the cost of Air Tickets. It is reliably learnt that a sum of approximately Rs 1 million provided by the Ministry of Sports for air tickets have not been disbursed to the swimmers by the SLASA as yet. more..

Important five days for players to showcase their form

Apr 20 (DN) Sri Lanka Cricket’s Super provincial limited-over tournament which is being used as a pre-cursor to selections for the ICC Champions Trophy in England in June will resume after an eight-day break for the Sinhala and Tamil New Year with Kandy taking on Colombo at the NCC grounds and Galle meeting Dambulla at the Dambulla Stadium today. The matches from today followed by ones scheduled for April 22 & 24 more..

Indra Silva sells 3.5% COMBank stake for Rs. 4.3 b; foreigners buy

Apr 20 (FT) High networth investor and Indra Traders Chairman Indra Silva sold 3.5% stake in Commercial Bank, the largest non-state entity, for Rs. 4.3 billion, with several institutional foreign investors collecting quantities. Deals on 29.7 million shares of COMBank worth Rs. 4.3 billion were done at the Colombo stock market yesterday, boosting its turnover to Rs. 5.17 billion, the highest since 8 December and more than three times this year’s daily average of Rs. 863.7 million.  more..

Excited Establishment turns to Sri Lanka for decade-long growth

Apr 20 (CW) Asia-focused Establishment (ET) is backing Sri Lanka, which it says is home to high quality, low valuation listed companies. A trip to the island country of SL, has surprised Establishment manager Henry Thornton of Blackfriars Asset Management. He said that despite the country’s tough ride, including civil war and a tsunami, country is not only making strides in implementing economic reform but is set to be boosted by increased tourism & Chinese investment. more..

GSP+ hangs in balance as govt treads slow on sensitive issues

Apr 20 (DM) European Union (EU) is still concerned about the progress SL has made in its human rights commitments with less than 4 weeks to go till the culmination of SL’s GSP+ application process to gain reduced duty access to EU markets. “Deadline finishes on the 15th of May, so there’s even less than 4 weeks for SL to make its case. There are still some areas on which (EU) MPs have already signalled their concern,” more..

Prevailing drought and impact on coconut production, exports and prices

Apr 20 (ST) The prevailing drought is reported to be the worst experienced during the last four decades. Around two thirds of the coconut is grown in the two districts of Wayamba (Kurunegala and Puttalam) and Gampaha districts. These three districts are characterised by a rainfall pattern, which is bimodal. Around two thirds of the annual rainfall occur during the inter monsoon months when the rainfall magnitude is high. The intensity and the distribution of the rainfall and more..

JAT signs Rangana Herath as Brand Ambassador

Apr 20 (CT) JAT Holdings recently signed on Rangana Herath as its Brand Ambassador. The 39-year-old, left arm, spin bowling all-rounder will henceforth be the 'face' of JAT Holdings thereby enhancing JAT's image as a dedicated patron of the game. "Rangana Herath has proved his mettle as a sportsman and is a cricketing great in his own right. His track record enriches itself with every match he plays; making him a formidable force to reckon with in contemporary Sri Lankan cricket. more..

President, PM lead Meethotamulla makeover

Apr 20 (FT) President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday joined the relief effort initiated in the aftermath of the collapse of the Meethotamulla garbage dump. The two jointly chaired a top-level meeting at the Disaster Management Ministry to assess the disaster’s impact and make urgent decisions. It was the PM’s first hands-on move as he cut short his official visit to Vietnam more..

Sri Lanka among top 4 in real estate sector

Apr 20 (DN) Sri Lanka is fast gaining recognition as one of the top four destinations for investments in the real estate sector for both Chinese and Japanese investors, Horton Square project CEO Paul Kelly said. He said the foreign investors know this trend and are investing in large condominium projects in Sri Lanka. “However I am not sure if Sri Lankans know about this plus factor.” Kelly said that for Chinese and Japanese their best investment destinations are Australia, USA & Singapore. more..

National Cooperatives Policy to help achieve sustainable development goals

Apr 20 (Island) Minister Rishad Bathiudeen addresses the International Cooperative Ministers’ Conference 2017 in Hanoi, Vietnam, yesterday. Sri Lanka says it’s enlisting its massive cooperative sector for a speedier realisation of it 2030 national Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) plan. "I stress that we can achieve our national Sustainable Development Goals easily if the govt and the cooperative movement work together. Sri Lanka’s cooperatives are active many sectors, more..

Sri Lanka battles labour shortage amid massive building boom

Apr 20 (AFP) Cheap SL labour has built skyscrapers and condos across the Gulf for decades but now contractors at home are desperate for workers as Sri Lanka experiences an unprecedented construction boom. The labour shortage has seen builders offer lavish incentives ranging from cash to vehicles to keep workers from heading overseas, and in some cases, illegally employ foreign tradesmen to man projects. more..

JO demands timeframe for providing compensation to Meethotamulla victims

Apr 20 (FT) Criticising Govt for not paying compensation on time to victims of the Meethotamulla garbage dump collapse, Joint Opposition demanded that Govt declare a specific timeframe for compensation for damage property. JO Leader MP Dinesh Gunawardena stressed that Govt must announce the exact compensation rates for the lives lost and the damage to houses and other buildings. “Govt is still wasting time without stating a date to provide compensation to more..

Japan promises country’s support through solid waste master plan

Apr 20 (FT) Japanese Ambassador Kenichi Suganuma pledged his country’s support to develop a master plan to manage solid waste in the Greater Colombo Area. Ambassador and JICA SL Chief Representative F. Tanaka yesterday handed over emergency relief items to Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa as part of the immediate assistance given to the Government in the face of the Meethotamulla disaster. The items donated to the country include tents, sleeping pads, more..

Govt denies any attempt to register another  cigarette manufacturer

Apr 20 (Island) Department of Excise contradicting the GMOA denied any attempts being made to register another cigarette company in Sri Lanka. A spokesman for the Department responding to claims by the GMOA of an attempt by certain parties to register a cigarette company said that his Department had not received any applications for registration. There should be a formal application if such a company was to function legally. more..

‘Maternity leave must be extended to keep women in work’

Apr 20 (DN) Sri Lanka must soon look at offering more maternity leave for female office workers to encourage them to stay in their job, Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne said. Speaking at the Women in Management organised Int'l Leadership Conference titled Thinking Out of the Gender Box Forum, he said that today the women labour force is very low in Sri Lanka. He said this is also seen in the Free Trade Zones where there are over 50,000 jobs that are yet to be filled by women. more..

Muslim saint’s tomb vandalised in Galle

Apr 20 (Island) The tomb of a Muslim Yam (saint) Sheik Salih Waliullah buried in the Galle Fort had been vandalised by unidentified persons two days ago, said former UPFA Minister A.H.M. Azwer. Azwer said the Fort was a World Heritage Site and came under the supervision of the army and still the culprits had not been identified. The veteran politician said the saint had been buried over 300 years ago. The UPFA politician said he would take up the matter with the President. more..

Shot in the arm for Sri Lanka’s economy

Apr 20 (DN) Sri Lanka’s economy will receive a shot in the arm following its programme with IMF and will perform well this year with good results, IMF Economic Counsellor and Director of the Research Department Maurice Obstfeld said at the launch of the Global Economic Outlook on April 18 in Washington. Global Economic Outlook is the flagship presentation of the Fund on the global economic forecast released twice a year more..

TN court releases 7 Sri Lankan fishermen

Apr 20 (Hindu) Chief Judicial Magistrate Court here has ordered the release of seven Sri Lankan fishermen who were arrested on April 6 by Thoothukudi Marine Police on a charge of poaching in Indian waters after the State govt agreed to withdraw the case against them. After the govt ordered to take steps to release and repatriate the seven fishermen with their vessel Kavisha Putha 03 and the prosecution told the court that it was not interested in proceeding with the case, more..

Speaker not informed to summon Parliament

Apr 20 (DN) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya was not informed by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to summon Parliament to discuss the Meethotamulla garbage issue. The Speaker said that Parliament can only be summoned at the request of the Prime Minister. JO MP Dinesh Gunawardena has written to the Prime Minister on behalf of the Joint Opposition requesting to summon Parliament for a special session to discuss the prevailing issues pertaining to the Meethotamulla garbage dump. more..

Protesting CPC’s loss of oil monopoly: All CPC TUs threaten major strike

Apr 20 (CT) All trade unions of CPC have decided to walk out on a massive strike next week, in protest against the joint venture to be signed between the govt and India on 27 April, concerning 74 oil tanks of the China Bay Oil Tank Farm in Trincomalee. "We warn PM that our strike will cause much public inconvenience and the govt will be highly inconvenienced as well. Therefore, please don't enter into this agreement. more..