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Net foreign inflows to bourse tops Rs.28bn

Aug 29 (DM) Net foreign inflows to the Colombo bourse topped Rs.28 billion yesterday—the only silver lining in the otherwise gloomy market hindered by higher interest rates, a debt-ridden economy, natural disasters and political volatilities stemming from a coalition govt. Only other time the net foreign inflows hit the Rs.28 billion mark was in 2012, after a bull run that made many local investors to burn their fingers and lose their life savings. Foreigners yesterday bought stocks worth of Rs.42 mil more..

Public must help lead SL on new path: JVP

Aug 29 (NR) JVP says the citizens of the country must reach a common agreement in order to transform and direct the country towards a new political pathway. Leader of JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said new governance is needed to change existing socio-economic political policies. He said the citizens need to take the country to a new political path adding that the JVP will promise that under the govt it forms more..

Roti and Rice: Examining imbalances in nutrition for children in the estate sector

Aug 30 (GV) It’s 10:30 am at the Social Institute for the Development of Plantation Sector (SIDPS) pre-school on the Strathspey estate in Maskeliya. The children, most of them around five years old, queue up – boys first, then girls. The pre-school doesn’t have a toilet, as it’s located next to a chemical store room. Because of this, the Govt didn’t give the clearance needed. They have to make do with an open sewer outside. Then they open up their lunch-boxes. more..

Abolition of the Executive Presidency equates to a new Constitution

Aug 30 (CT) Those who are insisting for a new constitution should pause to reflect on what they are asking and from whom they are asking. First of all, it was the abolition of the executive presidency that was pledged in the 2015 elections and not a brand new constitution. One may argue that abolition of the executive presidency equates to a new constitution. While that maybe the case, the more important question in this highly debatable matter is, do we have the right people in place more..

Superheroes in SL: Cosplays of comic-con

Aug 30 (Roar) Like Star-Lord dancing to the tune of Come and Get Your Love, Asus Lanka Comic Con sauntered into the weekend of August 26-27 putting a smile on many a geek culture aficionado’s face. Organised by the Geek Club of Sri Lanka, this is the third time Lanka Comic Con happened. Sri Lanka Exhibition and Convention Center played host to all manner of geek culture, and it was never better. more..

Our Land Our Life

Aug 30 (DN) From the North, South, East and West, from the Central hills and even from the indigenous community, more than two hundred representatives from communities, civil society activists, researchers, scholars, lawyers and many others gathered at the Hector Kobbekaduwa Agrarian Research and Training Institute at Wijerama Mawatha on August 23 and 24 to initiate a year-long participatory peoples’ process to formulate a comprehensive set of legal/policy proposals more..

The mirror cracks

Aug 30 (CT) Developments in the two weeks I was away suggest that the govt is, a year before I expected it, hurtling towards its end. Or rather I should say towards its end as we know it, since the manner in which the Elections Bill was changed at whim suggests that we are back to the days of J.R. Jayewardene and his manoeuvres to stay in power at any cost. We can therefore expect strategies on the lines of the first few amendments to the Constitutions which Stymied the Courts which more..

Priority bus lane improves road discipline

Aug 30 (SO) A lane, dedicated to buses alone till recently was an alien concept to SL’s transport system. Weaknesses in enforcement and non-adherence of motorists meant that a bus only lane implemented on Galle Road several years ago had to be scrapped in a short span of time. However, after a trial of seven days on Parliament road in March, Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development was able to introduce several more..

Village and City

Aug 30 (Island) After just over an hour of driving on a Sunday, Padukka offers a level of bucolic bliss that belies the fact that it is so close to Colombo. Drive is absolutely stunning in the morning, just after sunrise. A selenic mist embraces vast, verdant paddy fields. Road winds through villages, and often through lush green forest areas. Languor of buffalo is offset by the flurry of birds feasting on the rich pickings off fertile earth; children in white stream into temples. Dogs own the roads and more..

Editorial: Of that protest vote

Aug 30 (Island) Need for encouraging people’s active participation in the electoral process cannot be overemphasised in that it is a prerequisite for a country’s democratic wellbeing. Sri Lanka has been known for its fairly high voter turnouts all these years. Time was when its voters even braved guns and bombs to exercise their franchise and, thereby, helped keep democracy alive. But, disconcerting tidings come from Election Commission: there has been a drop in voter registration, more..

Mahinda Amaraweera

Unilever and Arpico encourage shoppers to Go Green

Aug 30 (LBO) Unilever SL and Richard Pieris Distributors Ltd. together carried out the Don’t Be Silly Silly awareness drive to encourage shoppers to go green by switching to the reusable Arpico – Unilever cobranded blue eco bags at Arpico Supercentre outlets around the island. The campaign, which was kicked off in early July, saw consumers being apprised of the environmental issues stemming from the use of polythene shopping bags and how this could cut down more..

Art and Jazz on the street

Aug 30 (DN) This follows the successful launch of Fairway Colombo Street Food Festival in March 2017, which has become a must visit event in the social calendar of the city dwellers in Colombo, attracting the attention of foreigners as well as locals. Creative, highly talented artists in our country lack a space and a place to showcase their talents. The art galleries that are few and far apart only cater to a fairly limited crowd of people who throng the given occasions. more..

'We will establish a broad front in 2020'

Aug 30 (CT) Leader of the JVP Anura Kumara Dissanayaka says give us power and we will show how to govern. He said that the JVP has planned to form a broad people's front by 2020. "All forces including university teachers, learned persons, intellectuals, artistes, journalists and environmentalists are gathering together to join us. The work required for this is being carried out at present". more..

UNICEF hands over drought relief to Prez

Aug 30 (UNICEF) UNICEF handed over four water bowsers to President Maithripala Sirisena in support of the Govt’s ongoing response to the country’s worst drought in 40 years. Ministers Rauf Hakeem, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa and Sudarshini Fernandopulle were also present. The four water bowsers, each with the capacity to carry 6,000 liters of safe water, will be sent to the country’s most severely drought affected districts - Polonnaruwa, Gampaha, Ampara and Kandy. more..

Is India’s Sri Lanka policy working at all?

Aug 30 (ORF) Turning out of the Trinco oil tanks deal for India and Hambantota port deal for China are only indicative of the massive trust deficit or leverage the two competing powers have in SL. Relative to its size, SL probably punches highest above its weight in geostrategic importance, in South Asia. Though size has mostly been an incorrect and incomplete indicator in determining strategic thrust, few nations would be as closely watched, or presented with choices as SL. more..

Digital drive in danger

Aug 30 (FT) Sri Lanka may be enthusiastic about creating a digital economy but ownership of computers and laptops has declined whilst there is no major improvement in the computer literacy rate of the country, according to the latest available survey. Percentage of desktop- and laptop-owning households has declined to 21.6% last year from 24.4% in 2015 and 22.2% in 2014 as per the latest survey by Department of Census & Statistics. more..

'IRB will have negative impact on Lankans'

Aug 30 (DM) The Inland Revenue (Amendment) Bill (IRB) which is to be tabled in Parliament next week weighted in favour of foreigners and a disadvantage to Sri Lankans, MP Bandula Gunawardane said. He said that according to the new Bill, Sri Lankans working abroad would be taxed when they bring in their wealth to the country. “However, foreigners working here will be exempted from taxes when they take away their income out of the country. This is not rational,” the MP said. more..

SL Wrestlers refused visa to visit Gay Paree

Aug 30 (CT) The wrestling team that was selected to go to France to participate at the World Wrestling Championship has been refused visas by the French Embassy. According to Sri Lanka Wrestling Federation all applications for visas were rejected and the team will now be unable to participate at the Championship. The Federation also said the Ministry had received some objection based on the article Jobs tempt athletes to desert camp which appeared recently in Ceylon Today. more..

Monkey business Malinga to lead crippled SL

Aug 30 (EN) Lasith Malinga who is facing a suspended ban for comparing the country's sports minister to a monkey has been asked to lead a crippled team against India at the next ODI. Malinga, who was two months ago slapped a fine of 50% of his match fee and given a six-month ban suspended for a year, was asked to replace Chamara Kapugedara who was ruled out of the rest of the Indian tour because of injury. more..

152,000 MT of rice in the market

Aug 30 (GDI) The country has started infusing locally milled rice to the markets and has also inked an agreement with Indian private suppliers for immediate rice tranches to Colombo. “We are also going ahead with the Indian rice orders”, said Minister Rishad Bathiudeen today (29). “On the directions of President Sirisena, we released 52, 000 MT of locally milled rice to the market last weekend. These rice stocks were milled from the paddy obtained from the Paddy Marketing Board. more..

Jaffna International Cinema Festival – 2017

Aug 30 (CT) Agenda 14, in collaboration with the Fine Arts Department of Uni of Jaffna and Ceylon Theatres, is planning to hold the Jaffna International Cinema Festival (JICF) for the third consecutive year. Their theme is Celebrating independent cinema in the peninsula. According to the Festival Director, Anoma Rajakaruna, the JICF 2017 will be held at the Majestic Cineplex at Cargills Square in Jaffna, Kailasapathy Auditorium – UoJ, and Hatton National Bank Auditorium – Jaffna. more..

Palitha insists on foreign expertise, overseas training to reverse athletics fortunes

Aug 30 (Island) Palitha Fernando, president of SL Athletics Association reiterated his stance of obtaining foreign expertise for coaching and sending prospective athletes for overseas training with a view to win medals at int'l events as the SLAA unveiled its future plan ahead of a challenging year. "We are planning to send some of our athletes for foreign training. We have earmarked few athletes who are ranked higher in the Asia region" more..

Forex earnings from SL spice trade could exceed $ 1.5 bn annually says minister

Aug 30 (Island) The export market for SL spices, including cinnamon, pepper and cardamom, is substantially lucrative, but spice growers have not effectively developed available plant stock to ensure the exploitation of the potential of spices. Although SL achieved a reputation for its spices, it is disappointing to note that spice growers have not fully realized the potential of these crops. These spices could help generate foreign exchange earnings to the extent of $ 1.5 bil annually, more..

SriLankan can still be turned around: CEO

Aug 30 (DN) SriLankan Airlines can still be turned around and be run locally, provided the huge debt burden is cleared and the govt implements the restricting plan. CEO of SriLankan Suren Ratwatte said that in the last three months their revenue targets were met and there were operational profits. “However these profits are being swallowed by the huge debt pay back which is keeping the airline in red. It may be difficult for the govt to clear this debt and the airline needs a partner more..

Video: Tax concessions next month: PM

Aug 30 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe assured that the govt will come up with some tax concessions next month. PM made this statement at a ceremony organized by the ministry of housing to distribute housing loans to 1100 families in the Colombo District at Temple Trees last evening. “We will come up with a package of tax concessions next month. Those investors who provide employment to people will be given more..

Supreme Court defers hearing petitions on 20th Amendment for 6 Sept

Aug 30 (FT) Supreme Court yesterday deferred for 6 Sept the hearing of the special determination on the Bill titled The 20th Amendment to the Constitution. The bench comprised Chief Justice Priyasath Dep, justices Anil Gooneratne and Vijith K. Malalgoda. Eight petitions have so far been filed seeking the special determination of the SC. Prof. G.L. Peiris, Udaya Gammanpila, PAFFREL, MEP, CPA, Dullas Alahaperuma MP, Ranga Dayananda and Renuka Perera have filed petitions. more..

President extends best wishes to Sri Lankan students set to climb Pakistan's K2 Mountain

Aug 30 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena made a financial donation to the Kandy Dharmaraja College Scout Group troops who plan to conquer the world’s second highest mountain Karakoram 2 (K2) in Pakistan, at the Presidential Secretariat, today (29). This is the first time that a Sri Lankan Scout Group takes part in climbing the world’s second highest mountain ‘K2’ and for this challenging task the President made a donation of one million rupees. more..

Video: Trade Union actions inevitable: GMOA

Aug 30 (DM) While claiming that the President had not issued any statement mentioning the stance of the govt on SAITM, GMOA said that they would launch trade union actions in near future. Member of Media Committee of GMOA Dr. Prasad Colombage said that AG's Department had turned a blind eye to command the govt to announce its stance on SAITM and adding the political elements had mislead both the AG's dept and the govt more..

Dayasiri – Arjuna clashed at Cabinet meeting

Aug 30 (DM) A heated argument had erupted between Petroleum Industry Minister Arjuna Ranatunga and Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara over cricket at the weekly Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, it is learnt. The problem cropped up when Minister Ranatunga made his observations on the Cabinet Paper presented by Minister Jayasekera in connection with the re-laying of synthetic race track at Sugathadasa Sports Complex. However, Prez intervened and the matter was settled. more..

First stage of construction on lower Malwathu Oya reservoir begins

Aug 30 (FT) The first phase of construction on the lower Malwathu Oya reservoir was initiated by the Minister Palitha Range Bandara. The proposed reservoir is located across Malwathu Oya in Kappachchi which lies in the A'pura and Vavuniya districts. This project envisages the construction of a 209 MCM capacity reservoir, 3,590-metre-long earth dam, radial gated spillway, left bank, right bank and river sluices and canal systems to the new settlement area and powerhouse. more..

Video: Corrupt persons in the legal system panicking over my statements: Ranjan

Aug 30 (DM) Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake said only the corrupted law enforcement officers start panicking when one talks about corruption in the judiciary. He said that lawyers who have not done any wrong should not get alarmed about his recent statement that legal personnel are amongst the worst corrupted people in this country. “Bar Association of SL Chairman U R De Silva has threatened me by saying they will file legal more..

SLC to probe Kapugedara

Aug 30 (Island) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) will conduct an investigation on stand-in captain Chamara Kapugedera’s controversial decision to bat first in the third ODI against India at Pallekele on Sunday. During a team meeting, Sri Lanka had decided to chase after losing the first two ODIs batting first. Captain Kapugedera had been instructed by team management and coaching staff to chase if he won the toss, but he did the exact opposite. Indian captain Virat Kohli had won 5 tosses in a row more..

Shooting drama at Maradana

Aug 30 (Island) Two gunmen opened fire on three members of a rival gang, injuring one of them seriously, at Jayantha Weerasekera Mawatha in Maradana yesterday. Eye witnesses said two gunmen riding a motorcycle had chased down the underworld trio travelling in a three wheeler and shot at them with a T-56 assault rifle around 9.45 am before fleeing. Condition of one of the 3 injured in the shooting was critical. Shooting incident was due to a longstanding dispute between two more..

Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya not fleeing war crimes charges: Foreign Ministry

Aug 30 (CT) Sri Lanka's Ambassador in Brazil Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya is on his way back to Sri Lanka, coinciding with war crimes charges filed against him in Brazil and Colombia. The cases were filed by the International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) headed by international human rights lawyer Yasmin Sooka alleging that Jayasuriya had committed war crimes during the last phase of war that militarily defeated LTTE in 2009. more..

Committee to finalise plans to develop Mattala Airport

Aug 30 (DM) In the wake of the policy decision to lease the Mattala airport to an Indian company, the govt is in contact with India to work out modalities on how best to develop it. A Cabinet source said that a subcommittee was appointed for this purpose and that though there were various proposals, no final agreement had been reached up to now. The establishment of a flying school integrated with the airport or an aircraft maintenance plant is among the proposals. more..

Mandaithivu boat tragedy: Bodies of six youth handed over to families

Aug 30 (CT) Bodies of the six A/L students, who died when their boat capsized at sea, off Mandaithivu, Jaffna on Monday, were handed over to their families following an autopsy yesterday. The incident occurred around 1.30 p.m. when seven students travelled to Mandaithivu for a boat ride to celebrate one of their birthdays. Initially five out of seven students died due to drowning, one went missing and the other was rescued. However, the body of the missing youth was also recovered more..

AG’s Dept. calls for legal action against Perpetual Treasuries

Aug 30 (Island) Senior Additional Solicitor General of AG’s Dept Dappula de Livera, PC requested Commission probing bond scam to institute legal action against Perpetual Treasuries (PTL) for misleading the commission by providing fabricated documents and hindering investigations by tampering with the company’s call logger system. De Livera told the commission that the PTL had meddled with its call logger system more..

Bribery and corruption in pre-independence legislature

Aug 30 (DM) The unicameral legislature for Ceylon (Sri Lanka), The State Council [SC] was established in 1931 under the Donoughmore Constitution replacing the Legislative Council of Ceylon, the nation’s original legislative body. The commission recommended universal adult franchise to the Ceylonese people long before our giant neighbour India achieved the privilege. There were two State Councils: the first, elected in 1931, and the second in 1936 which lasted till 1947, more..

Yahapalanaya at risk

Aug 30 (DM) Good Governance, however much it looks easy to shout about on platform and introduce, is incredibly hard to sustain even for a short period of time. The present govt is proving it. With each passing week and month, the level of trust and confidence and the enormous expectations the people placed on the incoming government are evaporating. And they are evaporating fast, albeit the forced resignation of former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake and firing of more..