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Issues in Kataragama Devalaya solved

Aug 28 (DM) Problems evolved from the tense situation that occurred at the Kataragama Devalaya was solved after the discussions held with the chief Kapu Mahattaya, Somipala Ratnayake and five other Kapu Mahattayas, Buddhist Affairs Commissioner Nimal Kotuwegedara today said. He said that the shortcomings which were prevailing with regard to the possession of the keys had ended up with proper solutions; in addition to that, more..

Stern action if no decision today: GMOA

Aug 28 (DM) Stern trade union action would be taken if President Maithripala Sirisena failed to reveal the govt’s stance on SAITM within Monday as promised, the GMOA warned a short while ago. GMOA Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge said a discussion was held with the President last Friday over the SAITM issue. During the discussion, he said the President pledged to reveal the stance on Monday. He said the day had almost ended and the President’s words had become lies.  more..

'SL, Turkey should collaborate over tea'

Aug 28 (AA) Turkey can become a tea hub between Europe and Asia with Colombo's collaboration, said Sri Lanka's ambassador to Ankara P.M. Amza. "Our hope and desire is to collaborate [in the tea sector] rather than compete in order to achieve a mutually beneficial outcome," Amza said. Amza said that blending Sri Lankan and Turkish tea would enhance Turkey's production capacity thus making the country not only an importer but also an exporter of the product. more..

President laid foundation stone for Pandith Amaradeva Sangeetha Asapuwa

Aug 28 (PSL) The foundation stone laying ceremony of the Pandith Amaradeva Sangeetha Asapuwa was held under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena at the premises of the Ape Gama, today. It is being constructed with the aim of preserving the great service rendered by the Pandith Amaradeva for the benefit of the future generation and fulfilling a promise given by President at the Amaradeva’s funeral more..

Colombo University chosen for UNESCO project on ICT driven innovation

Aug 28 (Island) University of Colombo has been chosen as a lead implementing partner for a new UNESCO project on ICT-driven innovation; Seizing Digital Opportunities in Higher Education: Building staff capacity for ICT-driven innovation in Cambodia and Sri Lanka. This is a project supported by the Shenzhen Municipal Govt within the UNESCO-Shenzhen Funds-In-Trust Framework (SFIT). "Blended learning – the synthesis of online and face to face engagement more..

FR petition filed against Constitutional amendment

Aug 28 (NR) Election monitoring body People’s Action for Free & Fair Election (PAFFREL) filed a Fundamental Rights Petition before the Supreme Court against the draft bill of the 20th Constitutional Amendment. Petition was tabled by the Executive Director of PAFFREL Rohana Hettiarachchi. The Amendment notes that elections of all Provincial Councils should take place on the same day. Petitioner points out that through this Amendment govt can postpone the PC Election to 2019. more..

'Lankan Army ready to share anti-terror experience with others'

Aug 28 (PTI) The SL Army is concerned about the re-emergence of violence in the country, Army chief Lt Gen Mahesh Senanayake said today as he expressed readiness to share with others the experiences learned from the three decade long war with the LTTE. "The SL Army is a proud military to have done its duty in liberating the motherland from the clutches of dreadful terrorism," he said while speaking at the seventh more..

Too many cooks and what a soup

Aug 29 (ST) Unable to fathom the disastrous performance of our cricket team in all forms of the game a Sri Lankan cricket lover here asked me the other day what was worse-our cricket or our politics. Had the question been formulated differently I would have unhesitatingly said both. Alas this left no option but to ask him to rephrase. After all, even Hobson provided an easier option. Trying to unravel what is going on in Sri Lanka’s politics and cricket at one and the same time is more complicated more..

More purposeful govt in the making 

Aug 29 (CT) Resignation of Minister Ravi Karunanayake due to a disclosure of conflict of interest in the issue concerning the Central Bank bon scam appears to have galvanized the govt to take action against its political opponents whom it accused of far worse wrongs, including murder. Much to its chagrin the govt has found that the reforms it has instituted, in particular to empower state institutions to act independently, are being used more resolutely by those who wish to more..

‘He should have resigned with honour to earn people’s respect’

Aug 29 (SO) The controversy surrounding Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe took a dramatic turn when President sacked him from his portfolios on Wednesday following an official request made by the UNP leadership to remove him from his post. UNP Working Committee which met on August 17 had unanimously decided that Rajapakshe had breached the collective responsibility of the Cabinet and the party, and should be given time till more..

Kandy traffic problem: Congestion, pollution & Kandy kassa

Aug 29 (CT) Recently I spent two weeks at Peradeniya on a family visit. During this time, I used public transport between Kandy and Panideniya on Peradeniya road. The period coincided with Kandy Perahara & there was additional traffic. Nonetheless, I was appalled to observe the conditions on the road and the difficulties the public including school children and parents face. Here, I explain the issues and possible solutions in the hope that authorities in Yahapalana govt will take note. more..

IMF cautions on possible slippages

Aug 29 (ST) The International Monetary Fund (IMF) considers the expected economic growth of 4.7 per cent this year acceptable owing to the floods and drought that impacted adversely on the economy. However, in its latest Staff Country Report it cautions against any future increasing of public debt and revenue slippage and stresses the need for careful debt management, prudent monetary policy and the need to reign in losses in state owned enterprises. more..

'Worst govt since independence'

Aug 29 (CT) Head of the Department of Political Science at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Prof. Terrance Purasinghe says the govt has not delivered on its election promises. "The new Constitution is being drafted at a snail's pace. Those reforms have not been implemented. The people wanted the Executive Presidential System to be abolished, and wanted a Parliamentary system to be put in place." more..

Rajitha’s saked to worship PM in Parliament

Aug 29 (CT) Minister of Health was asked to worship the PM in Parliament this week when the Opposition mounted an offensive, calling out the minister on his alleged misdeeds in the past; while the govt successfully enacted a crucial piece of legislation during this week's sessions. Leader of JVP, Anura Kumara Dissanayaka, began hurling allegations of corruption at Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, while taking part in an adjournment debate on the prevailing severe drought conditions. more..

Editorial: A perfect storm on the horizon

Aug 29 (Island) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has said he will sign the recently passed local govt elections (amendment) bill into law this week. If he does so, the baton will be passed on to the Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya, who will have to do a Usain Bolt to race against time. If everything goes as planned, people will be able to exercise their partially atrophied franchise come December. But, if experience is anything to go by, there's many a slip twixt cup and lip; more..

Face the Nation

Conscience and collective Cabinet responsibility

Aug 29 (CT) It was reported in the media recently that when the former Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe was asked the question How long can you be in this govt amidst attacks from all quarters? the minister's response was: "I believe I can proceed with the govt. The ministerial posts are worth nothing to me in terms of monetary gains. Ministerial positions matter as long as one can serve the country and its people at large. I was offered a ministerial post during the time of more..

Nurturing National Cricket team and protecting country‘s image

Aug 29 (Island) Sports lovers, particularly cricket fans, must be highly concerned about the unruly crowd behaviour at recent ODIs. Last week, there was the wholly unbecoming experience of the Sri Lanka cricketers being booed at a home match and then having to remain in their dressing room until they were escorted away from the stadium by the Police. Then there was the unacceptable episode where play had to be suspended because of unruly crowd behaviour. more..

Kerawalapitiya Power Plant: TU action affects tender procedures causing delays

Aug 29 (CT) Power experts warn that the 2018-2019 periods may present some challenges for the power and energy sector. Energy Expert Dr. Thilak Siyambalapitiya said that the delays in the proposed 300 MW LNG combined cycle power plant in Kerawalapitiya would lead to excessive expenditure. This is one of the reasons causing a quandary related to the tender of the Kerawalapitiya Power Plant. more..

Sri Lanka may be heading for a triple anchor inflation targeting oxymoron

Aug 29 (EN) Under planned flexible inflation targeting, Sri Lanka is supposed to target an inflation index, intervene to prevent speculation in forex markets and target a real effective exchange rate index. Sri Lanka is supposedly heading for inflation targeting or flexible inflation targeting, whatever that discretionary oxymoron means. From statements made so far, the Central Bank is set to target a mish-mash of at least three separate anchors, one of which involves being hostage to more..

Sri Lankan Ambassador in Brazil awarded with Degree of Gran Cruz

Aug 29 (FT) Ambassador for Sri Lanka in Brazil General Jagath Jayasuriya was awarded with the Degree of Gran Cruz by the State Government of Goiás at a royal ceremony held on 26 July. The degree along with a medal of honour was awarded to Ambassador Jayasuriya in recognition of the contribution he made towards strengthening trade and economic relations between Sri Lanka and the State of Goiás. The degree which is regarded as the highest award presented by State of Goiás more..

John backs higher interest subsidy for revamp of hotels

Aug 29 (FT) Given the high cost of construction and materials, Tourism Development Ministry will make a fresh appeal to Finance Ministry to increase the interest subsidy allocated to refurbish and upgrade facilities in hotels from upcoming Budget 2018. “After several discussions with hotel industry stakeholders, they pointed out that the offered amount under loan scheme was insufficient for them to refurbish & upgrade facilities. more..

Hayleys Advantis buys Sri Lanka Shipping Company

Aug 29 (LBO) Hayleys Advantis Limited, a subsidiary of Hayleys PLC, has acquired 94.81% equity stake of Sri Lanka Shipping Company Limited for a purchase price of 4.9 billion rupees. The group said in a stock exchange filing that the transaction was carried out on 23rd Aug 2017. “This acquisition is in line with the Group’s strategy on expanding its maritime operations,” Hayleys said. “It paves the way for the establishment of the largest marine and shipping Company in Sri Lanka.” more..

PickMe poised for bigger ride

Aug 29 (FT) Tech-savvy transportation company PickMe has emerged as the most successful startup within two years, enjoying a valuation of Rs. 3 billion and offering 35,000 rides daily. In June, PickMe, the taxi hailing service through a mobile app, marked its second full year of operation and its performance has been impressive. A year ago, the number of rides per day was over 10,000 and today the business has tripled to over 35,000 rides daily and a gross billing of Rs. 2.3 billion. more..

Do not behave like Indian spectators: Arjuna

Aug 29 (DM) World Cup-winning cricket captain and Minister Arjuna Ranatunga requested Sri Lankan Cricket lovers to stop behaving like Indian spectators at the end of cricket matches. Addressing the media, he said an incident had been reported as spectators had thrown plastic bottles into the ground during the third ODI between Sri Lanka and India at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Pallekele on Sunday. more..

SLASSCOM and ICT Norway in joint effort to boost Sri Lanka’s IT sector

Aug 29 (DM) In an effort aimed at helping Sri Lanka’s IT/BPM industry reach USD 5 billion mark by 2022, country’s primary IT/BPO chamber, SL Association of Software and Service Companies (SLASSCOM) together with ICT Norway (IKT-Norge) kicked off a fresh initiative to empower startups in the country.  SLASSCOM and ICT Norway have come together to offer Sri Lankan startups the unique opportunity to take part in Oslo Innovation Week, which is scheduled for Sept this year. more..

USAID to develop human resource at Sathosa

Aug 29 (Island) The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission to Sri Lanka has sent positive vibes on a call to strengthen the workforce skills of the country’s largest state owned retail store chain, Lanka Sathosa. "We are empowered to work with the private sector" stressed USAID’s Deputy Head of Mission in Colombo Ms Elisabeth Davnie Eston during her meeting with the Minister Rishad Bathiudeen on 22 August at the Minister’s office, Colombo 3. more..

Kapugedera’s brain fade

Aug 29 (Island) You don’t get a donkey to run in the Derby. Similarly you don’t get anyone with a First Class average of 32 to captain the national team. Unless of course he is Mike Brearley. That exactly is what SLC have done in appointing Chamara Kapugedera to lead the national team. And Kapugedera is no Mike Brearley. After their six wicket loss to India on Sunday at Pallekele, SL cricket team has been left fuming following more..

Sri Lanka vs World XI match postponed

Aug 29 (CT) T20 encounter between a World XI and Sri Lanka XI which was scheduled to be played on 8 Sept, has been postponed by SLC citing Tight schedule, Ex-co member confirmed. SLC was to host a T20 charity match in Colombo, featuring players from around the world for the benefit of disaster-affected children. Jerome Jayarathne, COO of SLC, said that they wanted to make sure logistics were in place to ensure the possibility of playing the match on a said date. more..

Indian Navy launches long-range aircraft for surveillance

Aug 29 (Hindu) The ship involved in the accident off Kollam shores on Saturday is most likely to be the Hong Kong-registered Ksl Ang Yang, which is heading southward, naval sources have said. “It is about 400 nautical miles from Kochi and since it is much beyond the range of Dornier aircraft, a long-range surveillance aircraft P8I has been launched. Since it involves flying on Sri Lankan airspace, permission of the Sri Lankan authorities has been obtained,” they said. more..

SL military's professionalism prevailed: US (Rted) Admiral Fallon

Aug 29 (DM) The professionalism of the SL military was able to prevail eventually allowing the work of re-stabilising the country in the aftermath of the tragedy or war which didn’t seem to know boundaries leaving the people traumatised, Admiral William J. Fallon (Retd) of the US Navy said. He said this when delivering the keynote speech at the Colombo Defence Seminar. He said he believed that ending of the war more..

I’ve learnt a lot from Malinga: Bumrah

Aug 29 (DN) A fast bowler who is on the fringe of taking on the mantle from the great one-day fast bowler Lasith Malinga is India’s 23-year-old Jasprit Bumrah who bowled his team to a series clinching victory in the third ODI against Sri Lanka at the Pallekele International Stadium on Sunday with the first five-for in his brief international career. Bumrah with his ability to bowl slow balls and fast yorkers is reminiscent of Malinga at the height of his powers. Now with the SL bowler nearing the end of more..

Chat with Sanga helped me: Thirimanne

Aug 29 (DN) Lahiru Thirimanne who top scored for Sri Lanka with a determined 80 in the third ODI against India at Pallekele said that a few tips from the great Kumar Sangakkara helped him regain his batting form. Out of the national team for nearly 20 months Thirimanne made good the lucky break he got to return to the national side by making the highest score by a Sri Lankan batsman in the ongoing series. Thirimanne replaced Upul Tharanga in the number four spot of the batting order more..

Commitments to UNHRC resolutions: SL’s lack of progress disappoints AI

Aug 29 (CT) Amnesty International (AI) expressed dire disappointment in Sri Lanka's lack of progress on important commitments towards the UNHRC resolutions. The organization professed these sentiments in a recently released overview of the country's progress towards achieving the goals put forward by UNHRC resolution 30/1 on human rights obligations. Issuing a 4-page review of the country's progress more..

CBSL releases Economic and Social Statistics of Sri Lanka-2017 publication

Aug 29 (Island) The Economic and Social Statistics of Sri Lanka - 2017 an annual publication of the Central Bank, is now available for public access. This publication contains economic and social indicators of Sri Lanka in the areas of national accounts, agriculture, industry, external trade and finance, government finance, banking and financial institutions, money and capital markets, prices and wages, population and labour force, transportation, education, health, telecom services, more..

Meethotamulla garbage tragedy Promises kept in limbo: CHR

Aug 29 (CT) The govt has not delivered most of the promises it made to victims of the Meethotamulla garbage dump collapse, the Centre for Human Rights (CHR) said. "Experts from Sri Lanka and Japan were drafted to look into the matter. Politicians and officials promised the people that they will provide a solution to Meethotamulla garbage dump. But so far nothing has been done," CHR Executive Director, Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon said. He added that presenting their report on more..

Wimal renews corruption charges against new Justice Minister

Aug 29 (Island) NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa, has alleged that Minister Thalatha Atukorale had been rewarded with justice portfolio, in spite of prevailing corruption charges against her. MP Atukorale received justice portfolio last Friday. MP Weerawansa said that yahapalana govt had overlooked the complaint made by the JO in December last year to the CIABOC. The JO alleged a fraud involving Rs 1.5 bn insurance cover more..

15% of Lankan couples sub fertile

Aug 29 (CT) There is a 15 per cent prevalence of sub fertility among Sri Lankan couples, a Cabinet Memorandum by the Ministry of Health has revealed. "For both men and women sub fertility is considered a major life issue associated with psychological suffering. Inability to conceive is usually coupled with intimate partner violence, low confidence, depression, sexual problems, feeling of shame and guilt and isolation from friends and family," the memo read. more..

Brazil trade delegation visits CRT Trade Fair

Aug 29 (DN) A high powered trade delegation from the Federative Republic of Brazil, one of the BRICS nations, visited Sri Lanka from August 10-12 to participate in the CRT Trade fair organized by the Ministry of Plantation Industries which was held at BMICH Colombo. The delegation was led by Elizabeth-Sophie Balsa, the Ambassador of Brazil, and was supported by Bruno Pereira, Counsellor, and comprised of six rubber industry leaders engaged in rubber production. more..

New Customs Ordinance to be introduced

Aug 29 (DN) The govt plans to introduce a new Customs Ordinance to replace the 200 year old one to achieve our goal of making the county a global trading hub, Minister Mangala Samaraweera said. He also said govt is in the process of updating the laws in other related areas. “We are in the final stage of introducing a new Inland Revenue Act which is to be presented in Parliament next Wednesday,” he said. more..