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Emirates to operate one-off A380 flight to Colombo

July 20 (FT) Emirates’ iconic A380 aircraft will make a one-off landing at the BIA, Katunayake, on 14 August as the global airline joins local authorities in the celebration of the airport’s resurfaced runway. The special flight, operating as EK654 from Dubai, will be the first A380 aircraft to disembark passengers in Sri Lanka after completing a commercial service. The one-off A380 aircraft will arrive at 16:10 hours and be on ground for more than six hours before it returns to Dubai more..

Secretary to the President holds meeting on Dengue Prevention

July 20 (GDI) Secretary to the President, Austin Fernando held a special meeting with the Operation Committee on Dengue Prevention today (19) at the Presidential Secretariat. Heads of the Institutions of health sector joined this meeting. As the 30% of dengue patients are school children, the Committee suggested handing over the responsibility of making the school premises free from dengue mosquitoes to the Principals of the schools. Accordingly, all Principals of the island will be educated more..

Dr. Fernando to settle all loans in 10 years

July 20 (DM) SAITM said that as per the Cabinet Memorandum, the mortgage rights of the Dr. Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital (NFTH) will remain with the Bank of Ceylon (BoC) until such time all loans are repaid by SAITM within the next 10 years, after which all titles of ownership will be vested with the Govt of SL. SAITM also stated that “This arrangement was materialized under the advocacy of attorneys of BoC, govt & SAITM more..

SL record wins in Devis Cup & Fed Cup

July 20 (DN) Sri Lanka continued its winning streak in the Davis Cup Asia Oceania Group III when they beat Pacific Oceania 2/1 in their group 'A' tie at the SLTA clay courts yesterday. Sri Lanka's key player Harshana Godamanna gave a superb start by beating Heve Kelley in comfortable straight sets 6/1, 6/3 in the first singles, but Sharmal Dissanayake was unable to maintain momentum and went down to Colin Sinclair 4/6, 4/6 in the other singles match. Both Harshana and Sharmal put up a superb more..

$1.4 billion revenue loss due to incentives

July 20 (CT) Highlighting a revenue loss of more than US$ 1.4 billion due to the tax concessions given to several projects, Minister Mangala Samaraweera said that the govt was focusing on a 60:40 ratio for direct and indirect tax. Acknowledging that the indirect taxes were burdening the poor, he said that indirect taxes in the country were the highest in South Asia. According to Samaraweera the tax incentives provided by the previous govt had led to higher dependence on indirect taxes more..

Australia to help SL fight dengue outbreak

July 20 (AP) Australia is helping Sri Lanka combat the deadly mosquito-borne disease dengue fever that has claimed 250 lives and infected nearly 100,000 so far this year. Visiting foreign minister Julie Bishop said Australia is giving US $377,000 to the WHO to implement immediate dengue prevention, management and eradication programs. SL is suffering its worst-ever dengue outbreak and hospitals are overcrowded with patients. more..

Singer Logistics Hub in Dambulla

July 20 (DN) Singer Sri Lanka created a new milestone in logistics capability when President Sirisena ceremonially opened the company’s massive 75,000 sq.ft. Logistics Hub in Dambulla last week. The opening of the state-of-the-art logistics hub would result in doubling up Singer’s speed of distribution while maintaining a streamlined inventory control to keep up with rapidly increasing growth in sales. New Singer Logistics Hub located on a 5.5 acre extent of land in Dambulla more..

Last SL tour changed India's mindset: Kohli

July 20 (Reuters) The odds were against India the last time they toured Sri Lanka in 2015, but Virat Kohli led the inexperienced side to a comeback win in the test series which changed the team's mindset, the captain said. "That tour for us was a landmark tour," Kohli told reporters before India's departure for the island country, where the team will play three tests, five one-day internationals and a one-off twenty20 match. "If you look at the average age of that team a couple of years back. more..

Radical elements in GMOA not interested in resolving SAITM issue: Govt

July 20 (Island) The GMOA did not want to resolve any issue that it had raised, since it wanted to keep its protest campaign going in a bid to topple the govt, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said yesterday. Senaratne said that radical elements within the GMOA’s ranks were uttering blatant lies to give like minded colleagues confidence to continue with their demonstrations to re-install former President Mahinda Rajapaksa in power. more..

Madras HC rejects SL refugee’s plea to transfer him to Coimbatore

July 20 (Hindu) Madras High Court Bench here has rejected the plea of a Sri Lankan refugee, K. Arulinbathevar alias Ayya, facing a criminal case on a charge of cheating other refugees by promising to take them to Australia, to transfer him from a special camp at Tiruchi to the one in Coimbatore where his wife and children have been lodged. Justice P.N. Prakash dismissed a writ petition filed by him on several grounds, including the absence of a right conferred on a refugee to demand such more..

Trade adjustment package for local industrialists: Malik

July 20 (FT) As negotiations on Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) progress, the Govt is mulling introducing a trade adjustment package to assist local industrialists improve their competitiveness.  Minister Malik Samarawickrama said that GSP+ gives SL the chance to deepen backward integration so that export earnings are more equitably distributed among farmer communities. “We are considering introducing a trade adjustment package to local industrialists to upgrade machinery more..

Confusion reigns at first official World Capital Centre press meet

July 20 (FT) First official press conference of the proposed World Capital Centre (WCC), billed to be Asia's tallest building - purportedly a $ 2 billion investment - ended up raising more questions than answers, with the company being unable to satisfactorily clear up doubts surrounding the project. Since the project's official announcement earlier this month (the company itself was incorporated in Mar 2015), more..

Navy sought police probe after key suspect fled

July 20 (Island) Wartime navy Chief Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda called for a police investigation in late May 2009 after personally inquiring into his chief security officer, Lt. Commander Sampath Munasinghe’s alleged involvement in the disappearance of 21-year-old Rajiv Naganathan of No 87, Shoe road, Kotahena. Sources said that Admiral Karannagoda had called for an explanation from Lt. Commander Munasinghe after the then Captain Jagath Ranasinghe more..

PHI develops dengue mosquito detection instrument

July 20 (DN) Chirantha Guruge, Public Health Inspector (PHI) attached to the Galle Municipal Council has produced an instrument which helps to detect the dengue mosquito. Guruge says his instrument helps to detect the dengue mosquito found in gutters, concrete slabs toilet pits and higher elevations in homes and buildings easily. Introducing his novel creation, Guruge said he used a vehicle reversing camera battery, monitor, aluminium pipe & battery charger to turn out his instrument. more..

Pan Asia DGM thinks Aloysious wanted evidence concealed

July 20 (Island) Deputy General Manager of Pan Asia Bank Richie Dias, testifying before Presidential Commission, said that when he met Perpetual Treasuries Director Arjun Aloysius on June 30, he got the impression that the latter wanted vital information and evidence concealed. Dias said so when Deputy Solicitor General (DSG) Milinda Gunatillake asked him what kind of assistance, he thought, Aloysius had expected of him. more..

Visiting Singapore FM says Jaffna holds special significance to Singapore

July 20 (FT) Singapore Foreign Minister Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan after visiting Jaffna and meeting with the Northern Provincial officials yesterday said Jaffna holds special significance for Singapore given the strong cultural and people-to-people ties between the two sides. He said the relationship has evolved from the early days of govt administrators to present day institutions such as the Singapore Ceylon Tamils’ Association. “Some of our pioneer leaders in politics, education and more..

CCTV to nab nocturnal garbage dumpers

July 20 (CT) CCTV cameras will be installed in public areas where garbage is haphazardly dumped by the public in a bid to nab those disposing of waste under cover of dark, Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka said. "Authorities have been alerted to the fact that there was no cooperation from the public in ensuring a systematic and safe waste disposal mechanism, with most of the unlawful waste disposal taking place at night. Hence, Cabinet approved a number of proposals submitted more..

UN access to LTTE detainees to be regulated

July 20 (DN) President Sirisena has asked that new guidelines be put in place when UN Special Rapporteurs visit the country so all parties involved are aware of their activities. Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara stressed that President was not displeased with UN Rapporteur Ben Emmerson having visited Tamil political prisoners but that he simply wanted all relevant departments such as Ministry of Defence informed of such visits. more..

Who represents the real SLFP: Maithri or Mahinda?

July 20 (DM) SLFP, although purported to be following the Bandaranaike policies and principles, basically consists of socialized economic principles and hard nationalism bordering on extremism. Its fundamental appeal has been to Sinhalese Buddhists who it rightly assumed as marginalized and under-served by the then governing principals, a Colombo-based, English-speaking elite led by the UNP. That is all post-Independence politics in Ceylon.    more..

Empower the youth to go green

July 20 (DM) Last week, National Unity Govt took a bold and effective step to ban the use of plastic and polythene, including the popular silli silli bags which come easily but do not go away easily. However, there are interested parties with vested interests. They are demanding an alternative.  Environment analysts and responsible eco-friendly citizens believe that the plastic lobby is basically anti-Sri Lanka -- somewhat like LTTE terrorists, who wanted to destroy our country and people. more..

Widespread brutality against women uncontained

July 20 (ST) In Sri Lanka, women not only just suffer catcalls on the streets and widespread violence from their husbands and partners, but they are also subject to attack by state officials, politicians, and state agencies such as the police and military. Gender-based violence in the island has increased along with the level of brutality. Children are not spared. National agencies have reported more than 9,000 acts violence more..

'Majority of people are against SAITM’

July 20 (DN) Western Province Chief Minister Isura Devapriya said the number of persons who oppose SAITM is higher than the number of persons who support SAITM.  "The President and the Govt has paid attention to the issue. It is good to let the Govt solve it without interferences of others," he said. He said that the Front Line Socialist Party had said that it will bring schoolchildren into the protest against SAITM. more..

Mount Lavinia residents up-in-arms

July 20 (SL) Residents in Mount Lavinia are continuing a battle against illegal contructions in the area. The Mount Lavinia Residents Association said their campaign to save Mount Lavinia is not against the construction of apartment buildings in the area but against the failure to follow proper procedure. “We are for sustainable development where the old world charm of Mount Lavinia is protected and also the living environment is more..

Wijeyadasa’s criticism on UN Rapporteur: Ministers harbour different views

July 20 (DM) The govt, which received many a laurel in for the mode of its engagement with the UNHRC, got a brickbat for the first time after the fact- finding mission of Special UN Rapporteur Ben Emmerson.  Mr. Emmerson charged that Sri Lanka continued to use torture against people detained on national security grounds, and its progress on human rights, reforms and justice remained woefully slow. more..

Sri Lanka regulator approves power plan without coal

July 20 (EN) SL power regulator has approved a long term generation plan for 2018-2037 has been approved without coal plants, with mostly diesel with liquefied natural gas plants and renewables. PUCSL said CEB's recommended base plan with some coal was disallowed, and an optional plan with liquefied natural gas and a renewable plan was estimated to be cheaper without counting externalities but with updated fuel costs. more..

'Inland Revenue Bill in Parliament next month'

July 20 (FT) Minister Mangala Samaraweera yesterday presented major reformshe Govt aims to implement, including continued fiscal consolidation and encouraging investment to shape Sri Lanka’s economy. Addressing the Sri Lanka: The Next Asian Economic Miracle? – Resetting Economic Development Priorities, he outlined three major reform areas coveringfiscal consolidation and revenue mobilisation, more..

Bilateral defence ties with Sri Lanka improved: US report

July 20 (NR) A US report on international terrorism released yesterday says despite Sri Lanka’s counter-terrorism cooperation and training with the United States in 2016 being limited, bilateral security and defence ties between the two countries has continued to grow. The annual Country Report on Terrorism released by the Bureau of Counter-terrorism of US Department of State said SL’s law enforcement capacity was robust more..

189 acres of Mullaittivu lands released to civilians

July 20 (SLA) Responding positively to the concerns of the public, MPs and local politicians in the Mullaittivu District, Security Force Headquarters - Mullaittivu (SFHQ-MLT) released another land patch of 189 acres situated in the SFHQ-MLT Army Cantonment premises on Wednesday. Under this programme, families who were living with their next of kin are able to return to their original places of residence in Keppapilaw. more..

Cocaine weighing 160 kilos seized in Ratmalana: Estimated value over Rs. 2 b

July 20 (DN) The Police Narcotics Bureau and Mount Lavinia Police seized 160 kilograms of suspected cocaine in a container at Ratmalana Dedicated Economic Center, yesterday. The estimated street value of the drugs is over Rs. 2 billion, police said. The drugs were found hidden in a sugar container. Mount Lavinia Police said they have launched investigations following the seizure of a suspected cocaine load at Ratmalana. more..

Aloysius requested me to conceal vital info : witness

July 20 (DM) Pan Asia Bank Deputy General Manager R.A.B. Dias said that the owner of Perpetual Treasuries, Arjun Aloysius, had asked him to conceal vital information when testifying before the Presidential Commission. The revelation was made when the witness was questioned by Deputy Solicitor General regarding the previous testimony he gave about Mr. Aloysius’ request prior to him giving evidence before PCoI. more..

New wiki site to unmask dealings of tobacco industry in Sri Lanka

July 20 (Phys) A major new online project, TobaccoUnmasked, designed to reveal the activities and influences of the tobacco industry on public health policy, has been launched in Sri Lanka on the back of the success of TobaccoTactics – an initiative first established by the University's Tobacco Control Research Group. Launched at an event in Colombo by President Maithripala Sirisena, the new TobaccoUnmasked wiki will be part of the new Centre for Combatting Tobacco website. more..

We think we cannot, therefore we cannot! Our power of self-doubt!

July 20 (FT) With sincere apologies to Virgil who stated quite simply and yet with much depth that they can because they think they can, I really must present the quote quoted differently! The title is also meant to reflect the frustration that one gets when trying to realise some meaningful progress perhaps in an unorthodox manner. We are quite ready to fail by sticking to same old routines when common sense may indicate that there is no hope at all in going down such routes.  more..

මහ සයුරේ ගසා ගිය සද්දන්තයා

7 arrested over Rs. 3.2 bn cocaine haul

July 20 (AD) Seven individuals have been arrested in connection with yesterday’s discovery of a cocaine haul estimated to be worth around Rs. 3.2 billion,. Ministry of Industry and Commerce said that the cocaine haul was detected by employees of Lanka Sathosa, whilst the supplies were being loaded off the truck. “A tender bid for sugar supplies, was called on July 18 by CWE (Sathosa) and a private sector sugar supplier called Ranjitha Traders was selected on the same day due to more..

Halt Sugar imports from Brazil: Importers

July 20 (NR) Sri Lanka Sugar Importers Association has called for an immediate halt of sugar imports from Brazil. Media Secretary of the Association Hemaka Fernando said the import of sugar from Brazil must be brought to a halt mainly as drug racketeers were using the route for drug peddling. He said President has issued clear directives to customs officers to inspect every shipment of sugar that arrives from Brazil adding that secondly he would like to state on behalf of importers, more..

Sarana G. pleads guilty: Fined Rs. 2,000

July 20 (DN) Former Deputy Minister Sarana Gunawardena who pleaded guilty to two corruption cases filed against him by the Bribery Commission was today ordered to pay a fine of Rs. 2,000 by Colombo Chief Magistrate. This is the second instance that a SL politician was convicted over an offence that comes under the Declaration of Assets and Liabilities Law. CIABOC filed two corruption cases against former Deputy more..

Public relations office set up at PM’s Office

July 20 (NR) The public relations office of the Prime Minister’s Office was declared open today under the patronage of the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff Rosy Senanayake. Rosy Senanayake detailed the service that will be offered by the public relations office. She said in 2016 alone the office received 48,815 public complaints, nearly 8,000 a month. Senanayake added the complaints mostly revolve around public grievances, their needs, and intention to contact the Prime Minister. more..

One day, one hour, every week

July 20 (CT) We are a country that won a war against one of the most deadly terrorist organizations. In a world which was still in its early stages of facing the true horror of terrorism, armed insurgents and violent non-State actors, Sri Lanka was at the forefront leading the War on Terror. This was, of course, not accomplished overnight. Wars are won on two things: Superior military power and indisputable community mobilization. While a Nation State should develop and upgrade their more..

New Inland Revenue Act to please IMF: JVP

July 20 (DM) JVP charged that govt had presented a new Inland Revenue Act in parliament for approval to please the IMF as a condition laid down by it to grant the third installment of the IMF loan. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said no responsible authorities such as Inland Revenue Department officials, Trade Unions, tax payers and auditing firms had been consulted before formulating the Act. more..

Video: New NCPC chairman's election undemocratic: JO

July 20 (DM) Claiming it was unlawful to present a no-confidence motion against North Central Provincial Council (NCPC) Chairman T.M.R. Siripala, JO MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage said yesterday said the procedure adopted to elect the new chairman was undemocratic. He said they were utterly disgusted with the tense situation that prevailed in the NCPC and have no hesitation to go to court against those who misbehaved and violated the agenda of the council's constitution. more..