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Post-war economy, MR regime, unity govt

Apr 28 (CT) SL, often known as the pearl of Indian Ocean is an economy valued at $80 billion at the end of 2015 according to the World Bank. The service sector generates around 62% of GDP while manufacturing and agriculture generate 28% and 8% respectively. This reflects the importance of the service sector to the country in maximizing economic potential. Post-independence SL experienced its first GDP growth contraction (-1.4%) in 2001, under the leadership of Chandrika more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Voices from Musali: The real story behind the Save Wilpattu Campaign

Apr 28 (GV) The adhan call resonates. The residents of Marichchukkaddi in Musali stop speaking and bow their heads in prayer. For five minutes, peace prevails. The only sound is that from the green banners fluttering in the breeze. A sign, inked in on bright yellow cardboard, says 28. For 28 days, this group has sat in this shed by the side of the road in Musali, demanding that their voices be heard. “We have used this land for hundreds of years. This area has a rich history. more..

Corrective action stabilized economy in 2016

Apr 28 (Island) In terms of Section 35 of the Monetary Law Act No. 58 of 1949, the sixty seventh Annual Report of the Monetary Board of the Central Bank was presented to Ravi Karunanayake, the Minister of Finance, by Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy, Governor of the Central Bank. A summary of the performance of the SL economy in 2016 as reflected in the Annual Report is given below: Overview: Following a period of uncertainty, Sri Lankan economy showed early signs of stabilisation more..

Disciplining the unruly the Fonseka way

Apr 28 (DN) Cabinet caused a stir this week with the President allegedly suggesting that Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka take on a bigger role in coordinating situations in times of emergency. Specifics of this new role however, have created much confusion as various parties have interpreted this to mean different things. Minister Rajitha Senaratne said this would be similar to role of an overall commander of tri-forces more..

SL can’t remain aloof: Dipankar Banerjee

Apr 28 (CT) Major General (Rtd.) Dipankar Banerjee speaker at a public lecture hosted by the Institute of National Security Studies recently said Sri Lanka was the only country to attain victory over violent terrorism and the most developed country in South Asia in terms of human development indices and many other factors in measuring security. However, he noted that in the present era, there are new challenges that are emerging. Given the speaker's immense experience in the subject more..

High vehicle import duty hurting SMEs

Apr 28 (CT) Chamath Tennekoon, CEO of Future Automobiles (Pvt) Limited, the exclusive Ford Dealer in SL, stressed that the govt has not considered the adverse impact on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in setting out govt policy on imported vehicles. He said, "The current import duty structure curtails the profitably of the SME sector." He said, "as many of the SMEs are based in the agriculture industry, the current high import duty and other regulatory restrictions more..

Sri Lanka settle for Silver & Bronze in freezing weather

Apr 28 (DN) Sri Lanka had to content with silver and a bronze medal as the second leg of the Asian Grand Prix 2017 concluded in Jiaxing Sports Complex, East China yesterday. Himasha Eshan who won the 100m silver at the first leg with a timing of 10.43 seconds took 10.47 seconds to win the silver yesterday in the second leg. Me Hong of China (10.40 secs) and Indonesia’s Boby Yaspi (10.50 secs) won the gold and more..

World Masters Game: Rohini a step away from badminton gold

Apr 28 (DN) Rohini Jayawardene, a badminton star in her own right is a step away from winning a gold medal for Sri Lanka in badminton at the ongoing World Masters Games in Auckland, New Zealand. Rohini has qualified to play in the Ladies over 70 singles final against Gay Bloxham of Netherlands today. In the semi-finals played yesterday Rohini defeated another Dutch opponent Kathy Whittaker 19/21, 21/15, 21/8. What is more creditable about Rohini’s achievement is that this is the more..

The unholy trinity of Sri Lanka Football

Apr 28 (ST) This is the story of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly sides of Sri Lanka Football (SLF). This is the easiest comparison to make, relating the whole scenario, taking characters out of the epic Clint Eastwood cowboy movie. The movie had characters fitting to its titles. The good was good, the bad was very bad and the ugly, was foolish, cunning yet opportunistic. But, in the case of SLF, all these 3 are bad. Yet, the Good saved the sport from slavery of administrative dictatorship. more..

Tube wells to be regulated by govt

Apr 28 (ST) Govt authorities are cracking down on large-scale, unauthorised use of ground water resources, stepping up regulations and approvals in this sector not only in industrial use but for other users as well. In a public announcement on April 6, National Water Board said industrialists engaged in commercial activities utilising ground water and spring water must follow certain rules and regulations. more..

Mahela not ready for coaching

Apr 28 (CT) Under Mahela Jayawardene, Mumbai Indians have won six of their eight games so far and the side leads the points table at the half way stage of the IPL. But the Sri Lankan says he has not made too many changes to the team and the success belongs as much to the coaches of the past as the present ones. Q: How has coaching experience been, particularly a high profile side like Mumbai Indians? A: I knew it is going to be a challenge. From the time I first sat for a meeting more..

Sadeera steers Galle to final

Apr 28 (DN) Sadeera Samarawickrama one of the future bright stars hit a brilliant 120 off 104 balls to bring Galle a thumping 221-run win over Dambulla at the R Premadasa Stadium under lights and ensure a place in the final of the SLC Super Provincial 50-over tournament. Dambulla will meet Colombo in the final to be played at the same venue on April 30. Samarawickrama slammed 10 fours and two sixes to help Galle post an imposing score of 362-7 after winning the toss and batting first. more..

Contract for Trincomalee Port by India not to be inked during Modi visit

Apr 28 (ENS) Much awaited agreement to develop Trincomalee Port, by India will not be inked during PM Narendra Modi’s visit next month, but the two countries have agreed to set up a Joint Working Group to work details of it. With China gaining a toehold in the south of the Island nation, India has been keen to counter-balance it by strengthening its position in Trinco, a surfer’s paradise and is touted as a natural harbour more..

Taiwan company keen to set up garbage recycle, Electricity plant

Apr 28 (DN) One of the leading Taiwanese waste management companies is planning to set up office in SL to introduce waste management systems with the ability for power generation. APO Centre of Excellence Taiwan, Program Co Leader, Lihkkuan Lee said they have been efficiently using this system in Taiwan for the past 12 years. “We purchase garbage from residents and then recycle them in our plants to generate electricity,” she said. In addition to using power generated from waste, more..

N&E hartal with backing of Hakeem, Bathiudeen

Apr 28 (Island) A hartal organised by Tamil National Council in the North and East disrupted public life yesterday. TELO’s National Organiser M. K. Sivajilingam said the civil disobedience campaign was a strong protest against the govt which did not heed the suffering Tamil and Muslim people. Protesters demanded that the govt release lands which were still held by the security forces, probe enforced disappearances and provide employment to thousands of unemployed youth in N&E. more..

Ravi K predicts foreign reserves will reach $ 10 b by end 2017

Apr 28 (FT) With no international bond maturities due from 2019 to 2021, Govt is looking to tap the global capital market for a very long-term $ 1 billion through an int'l sovereign bond (ISB) by the end of May. “We are rectifying the error created previously by looking at the short term. Now we are looking at a sounder, long-term facility, 15-30 years where there is no cost on the opportunity,” Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. more..

It’s the Kunu, stupid

Apr 28 (ST) Kussi Amma Sera (KAS) is back from the long Avurudu holidays, after spending time in the village with her children and, as usual, grumbling about the weather, cost of living and other household chores. I was punching the keys of the old home desktop preparing to write about the weather, climate change and the economic realities in an environment where sustainable development would be the key to Planet Earth’s future. But No! KAS’s furious ramblings from the kitchen more..

A lion’s roar reduced to a whimper

Apr 28 (DM) A Yahapalanaya purohita who once made a big hullabaloo against the proposed deal to hand over the management of the Hambantota harbor to a Chinese company is no longer gung-ho about the issue, they say. Highly disappointed TU activists who once looked on the purohita as their hero complain that his lion roar has turned into a virtual whimper. Some inquisitive ones wonder whether a massive gain expected from an insurance scheme is closely linked to purohita’s change more..

Move to tax EPF: Key TU flays govt

Apr 28 (Island) Free Trade Zone and General Services Employees Union urged like minded groups and the Opposition to campaign against ongoing moves to impose unprecedented 28% tax on the EPF. The grouping’s joint secretary Asela Dharmapriya said that the EPF issue would be taken up at its May Day rally. Dharmapriya said trade unions should work in unison to thwart what he called a yahapalana project to steal monies more..

Lotus Tower set to open by year end

Apr 28 (DN) Sri Lanka’s latest contribution to the Colombo sky line, the Lotus Tower is said to be completed in October 2017 and will be opened by the end of the year. The tower upon completion will be the tallest tower in South Asia reaching up to 350 metres in height. The tower upon completion will act as a transmission tower for television and radio. The tower will equalize the quality of transmission and ensure that all consumers have equal access to quality broadcast. more..

10 Sri Lankan exporters at Canada show

Apr 28 (CT) High Commission of Canada in Colombo announced the participation of 10 small and medium sized exporters to the international food and beverage trade show SIAL Canada 2017 to be held from 2 to 4 May in Toronto, Canada. These companies will also be participating in a business to business meeting session with Canadian importers as well as undergo a market orientation of Canada. Programme is facilitated by the Trade Facilitation Office (TFO) of Canada, more..

TUs criticize SF’s appointment

Apr 28 (DM) A move to appoint Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka as the Army Commander or the Overall commander for two years, claiming to instill discipline in the country was highly criticized by several leading state trade unions including the GMOA, teachers’ unions and labour unions. “We were forced to go for an alliance with all trade unions with the govt’s decision to appoint Sarath Fonseka to discipline the country,” they said. more..

India, Sri Lanka sign energy pact

Apr 28 (Hindu) Following Wednesday’s overarching MoU signed between India and Sri Lanka, both sides will collaborate in a host of energy and infrastructure projects across the island, The Hindu learns. The Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi says the MoU provides a road map that will require further discussions. “Our vision to promote connectivity and development takes Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas to our external environment, and naturally to neighbourhood first,” more..

Glamping with elephants in Sri Lanka

Apr 28 (Stuff) We were both woken abruptly by a thud on the canvas. Leopard? Elephant? I scrambled for our tent's window. It turned out to be a big furry thing, like a mutant squirrel – except the size of a cat. I later found out it was in fact a grizzled giant squirrel. Who even knew that was a thing? That's the beauty of the Tree House Jungle Lodge – it's a sensory overload, of the wildlife variety. Sri Lanka has several national parks teeming with wildlife; but you can't stay the night in them. more..

Justice Chitrasiri insists it’s only a fact finding commission

Apr 28 (Island) Chairman of the Special Presidential Commission of Inquiry investigating the alleged bond scam Justice K.T. Chitrasiri yesterday, resuming the proceedings, said that the commission was only a fact finding one and it was still in the process of recording evidence. He said the commission had no power to decide whether anyone was guilty or not. Chithrasiri said that he had to make a special announcement about more..

3 Sri Lankans with Canadian citizenship to be deported

Apr 28 (Hindu) Three Sri Lankans having Canadian citizenship and lodged in a special camp here will be deported to Canada on Friday. Prakash, Suganthan and Muralidharan were lodged in the special camp after they served the sentence period in a cheating case in which they were convicted. The Chennai City Q Branch CID had booked a case against them under various sections of IPC, including 120 (b) (criminal conspiracy), 420 (cheating), 468 (forgery) and under a couple of Sections under more..

'No proposal to make SF army commander'

Apr 28 (DM) Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said today President Maithripala Sirisena had neither proposed Field Marshal Minister Sarath Fonseka to take up the post of army commander or overall commander as reported in the media nor had Mr. Fonseka requested for such a post. The Minister said that the President only asked whether Mr. Fonseka could help implement a mechanism to ensure uninterrupted supply of essential services for which Mr. Fonseka agreed. more..

Expect to fulfil President’s request: SF

Apr 28 (DM) Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, who had been offered a position with the responsibility to execute essential services in case they were disrupted, said today that he expected to fulfil the request made by the President. He said President Sirisena instructed him to take responsibility in carrying out essential services when they were disrupted. “President made the request at the last Cabinet meeting more..

Give May Day back to Saadukin Pelenawun

Apr 28 (DM) With the social revolution in 1956, the then PM SWRD Bandaranaike— activating the Pancha Maha Balawegaya comprising the Sangha, Veda, Guru, Govi, Kamkaru— declared May Day as a holiday and provided many benefits for millions of workers and their families. There were short term and long term benefits, the most important being the EPF  which unfortunately during the past decade or so has been plundered and abused by some political leaders and more..

Pointless, aimless May Day

Apr 28 (DM) May Day or the International Workers’ Day has long lost its purpose and spirit. However, in Sri Lanka the first of May is still a general holiday and political parties using it to boost their images by showcasing their strength by gathering as much supporters as possible to a place to hold processions and rallies. This year the May Day has been a talking point, especially after the loyalists of the former President Rajapaksa, who call themselves the Joint Opposition more..

UDA loses Rs. 330 Million

Apr 28 (SL) Astonishing revelations have come to the fore how the Urban Development Authority (UDA) has incurred losses over Rs.330 million due an unscrupulous act of its present Chairman Jagath Nandana Munasinghe. Munasinghe who is holding the post of Chairman UDA is on sabbatical leave from the University of Moratuwa and also holds the post of Director General National Physical Planning Dept more..

'Laws needed to tackle private sector graft'

Apr 28 (DN) Bribery Commission Director General Sarath Jayamanne emphasised the importance of expanding the scope of corruption probes even to the private sector. He said there is no proper discussion in the public domain to make private sector responsible for bribery or corruption offences in Sri Lanka. According to Jayamanne, the United Convention against corruption review team who paid a visit to Sri Lanka recently, more..

‘Tenders to be cancelled if delays in waste management projects’

Apr 28 (NR) The govt has warned it will cancel the licenses of companies issued tenders to manage waste if they delay operations more than month since obtaining the Environmental License. Minister Champika Ranawaka speaking in Parliament said people are making various statements claiming the needful was done over Meethotamulla. He said in 2015 after the new govt came into power, UDA was given a mandate more..

Lasith Malinga: Will he make it to the Champions Trophy?

Apr 28 (DM) Lasith Malinga is a box office attraction with his ability to send those toe-crushing yorkers but his return to action in February following a long injury lay-off has not been productive.  While he claimed 11 wickets in five T20 internationals since returning to action, Malinga has been out of form this season in the IPL, taking just four wickets so far in his four matches for the Mumbai Indians. more..

Mahaweli Prathiba Cultural Festival held under patronage of President

Apr 28 (PSL) The Mahaweli Prathiba Cultural Festival organized to portray the artistic talents of children of Mahaweli Zones held in a grand scale under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena at the Nelum Pokuna Theatre, yesterday (27). Mahaweli Cultural Unit and the Mahaweli Centre jointly organized the Festival with the aim of enhancing artistic talents of school children in Mahaweli Zones. more..

Forgotten people of past tragedies still await help

Apr 28 (ST) Although the explosion of the ammunition store at the Salawa army base on June 5 last year only claimed one life, the incident damaged or destroyed more than 2,000 houses. The Govt set aside more than Rs 1.2 billion for compensation. While rebuilding continues, compensation has caused anger, with some victims having rejected estimates of property damage done by Valuation Department officials. more..

Investors should get ready to ride GSP+ and expand in Sri Lanka: Harsha

Apr 28 (EN) Businesses should get ready to invest and expand their factories in Sri Lanka with the vote of confidence at the European parliament showing that free trade benefits will be restored to the country, Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva said. A motion to deny the restoration of GSP+ free trade benefits to Sri Lanka was defeated by 436 votes to 119 at the EU parliament Thursday. De Silva said the formal vote to restore more..

UNP, SLFP intoxicate members, make it a tamasha to insult May Day: JVP

Apr 28 (LT) The UNP and the SLFP serve liquor to their members to make the May Day a tamasha on the road and insult the May Day says the General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva. JVP MP Vijitha Herath was also present. Mr. Tilvin Silva said, “The May Day this time is important to the working masses in this country as well as for the JVP. At the moment the govt and the society are confronted with economic, cultural and social crisis. more..

PUCSL discusses concerns on Norochcholai plant

Apr 28 (IL) Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), electricity sector regulator, kicks off the discussions with the communities that raise concerns on the environment impact of the Norochcholei coal power plant in the North Western Province. Accordingly, a committee of expertise appointed by PUCSL in March 2016 to study the environmental impact that caused by the thermal power plants in Sri Lanka, more..