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Sri Lanka aims to raise public income to 16.5% of GDP by 2020

July 5 (EN) Sri Lanka has begun preparations for the 2018 budget on a performance-based framework according to the govt’s medium-term strategy that aims to raise public income to 16.5% of Gross Domestic Product by 2020. Cabinet of Ministers this week approved a proposal by Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera to prepare the 2018 budget and to determine budget limits for line ministries, cabinet spokesman Gayantha Karunathilleka, said. more..

Govt agrees to seven GMOA proposals: MP

July 5 (DN) UNP MP Prof. Ashu Marasinghe said Govt is ready to face the strike action of members of GMOA. “During the Govt Group Meeting, all MPs have unanimously agreed to dilute the unfair and unethical trade union action of GMOA” he said. GMOA is going to hold a continuous strike demanding to Govt to close down SAITM. MP said that GMOA has forwarded eight proposals to Govt for its consideration but there is no proposal to shut down the SAITM medical faculty from them. more..

Video: Most Dengue cases in children among those wearing shorts: Akila

July 5 (AD) Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam stated that a majority of the Dengue cases among children have been reported among those wearing shorts as part of their school uniform. Students in areas affected the most by the dengue epidemic will be required to dress in appropriate clothing, which includes long trousers for boys and clothing that will help cover up for girls. The statements were brought out during a ceremony organized to hand out sanitary facilities and clean water.  more..

Govt will go ahead with new constitution: Rajitha

July 5 (AD) Co-cabinet Spokesman Rajitha Senaratne says that a new constitution is being formulated to be implemented and not to keep looking at it. He stated that the incumbent govt has a mandate given by 6.2 million people and that the govt is acting according to that mandate. He was responding to a question raised by journalists, during cabinet press briefing held today, regarding the decision reached by the Maha Nayaka Theros of the three major Nikayas. more..

EU honours winners

July 5 (CT) Seven students from Universities of Peradeniya, Moratuwa and Ruhuna as well as the Open University have been awarded scholarships under the Erasmus+ Joint Master Degree Programme (JMDP). This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Erasmus programme now known as Erasmus+. Launched in 1987, the Erasmus programme targeted higher education entrants, but has since expanded its focus to vocational education and training; school and adult education; youth; and sport. more..

Govt for tendering system to purchase renewable energy

July 5 (DN) The govt has decided to move on with a tendering system to purchase renewable energy sources particularly solar and wind power while canceling the existing licensing system, Deputy Minister Ajith P Perera said. “We have identified that there is an opportunity for competitive tendering in renewable energy, earlier, there was an understanding it was not possible. As we have introduced fair tendering process, there has been good response from the private sector more..

JVP calls for a national institute to tackle dengue

July 5 (NR) JVP says a national institute should be established in order to tackle the dengue epidemic. JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake said the lack of an institute has led to the increase in the spread of dengue. He added a national dengue prevention programme with the assistance of health officials and other voluntary organisations is required. MP said it is clear that the first thing that must be addressed is the lack of a national institution to control infectious diseases in the country. more..

Importation of sheep for developing sheep farming: Minister

July 5 (DM) Govt decided to import sheep for the sheep farming in Sri Lanka, Cabinet Co-Spokesman Gayantha Karunathilaka said today. He said, sheep farming had been done at farms of National Livestock Development Board (NLDB) and private farms in the Northern and North-Western Provinces. “But no improved categories had been developed since 1980,” he said. Accordingly, the proposal was made by Rural Economic Affairs Minister P. Harrison, Minister Karunathilaka said. more..

CPC Governor gets tough

July 5 (Island) A special investigation had been launched on the orders of the Central Province Governor into how 380 students had been admitted to ten schools in Kandy for Grade one during the midyear. Governor Niluka Ekanayake said that she had given specific instructions verbaly as well as in writing to the CPC to inform her prior to taking such decisions. They schools are St.Sylvesters, Vidyartha, Swarnamali Balika, Sarasavi Uyana, Sithadevi Balika, Vihara Maha Devi Balika, more..

Sri Lanka press council law hinders RTI implementation: report

July 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s Press Council Law, which is not consistent with the Right to Information (RTI) Act, can hinder the media from publishing information obtained through RTI, a research report said. The report, a collaboration between Verité Research and Democracy Reporting International, highlights for instance that obtaining information pertaining to cabinet decisions is permissible under the RTI Act. Section 16 of the Press Council Law, however, more..

Pakistan re-launched its Computer Centre at YMMA Headquarters

July 5 (PHC) To augment younger generation’s skills building with better educational opportunities, Govt of Pakistan through its High Commission, has donated 17 computers and relevant equipment to re-launch and up-grade Pakistan Computer Centre at All Ceylon Young Mens’ Muslim Association Conference (YMMA), at their Headquarters in Maradana, today. The Acting High Commissioner of Pakistan Dr. Sarfraz Ahmed Khan Sipra, was the chief guest at an impressive re-launching ceremony. more..

Pitch, crosswind challenges for teams in Hambantota

July 5 (CI) One comfortable pursuit of 317 for Zimbabwe, one crushing home victory set up by SL's spinners - not much about this series has been predictable, and the teams are now about to venture into more uncertainty. In the past two years, the ground at Hambantota has probably hosted more elephants than cricket matches, and no one is quite sure how the pitch will play after such a long hiatus. Will it tend to be on the faster, bouncier side, as it had been between 2011 and 2015? more..

Stay order may worsen crisis: Ranil

July 5 (DM) Stay orders issued on disposal of garbage will worsen the crisis with regard to the collection and disposal of waste, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament today. He said this when responding to JVP MP BImal Ratnayake who informed him about the stay order issued by the Supreme Court on disposing of garbage at Muturajawela. "Stay orders will create more issues especially at a time when diseases such as dengue are spreading," the PM said more..

A realistic approach to the SAITM deadlock

July 6 (CT) SAITM dispute has become a Pandora’s Box. When one disputant agrees to a certain position, another party contests it. One day it appears as if the matter is getting solved at last, only to hear the next day that the controversy has returned to square one. This problem is best solved by going into first principles and firmly deciding who had the last say on the points in dispute. The main point involved is the right to free education. It was granted by the Legislature. more..

This govt stole our franchise

July 6 (CT) This was meant to be a happy day for me. I am no stranger to Batticaloa. This is a place where my great grandfather Richard Aiyathurai Hoole served faithfully as Secretary of the District Court Batticaloa and was by proclamation of the Governor allowed to keep, upon retirement, his title Mudaliyar for life. A photograph on the occasion taken with the entire parish in front of St. Andrew’s Church across the field by our venue is a treasured family possession. more..

Climate change: Life and Death challenge

July 6 (CT) Former SL Ambassador and Permanent Representative to UN Dr. Palitha Kohona said that climate change was a global phenomenon involving complex changes in planetary biophysical systems. Now mainstream scientific opinion agrees that climate change is caused primarily by anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Fossil fuel combustion is undoubtedly the primary cause of green house gas emissions more..

In defence of the Tuks

July 6 (DN) Tuk tuks, or trishaws as they’re sometimes called, are ubiquitous across South Asia. SL specifically is home to over 1.2 million of the three-wheeler vehicles, that’s more than one tuk for every twenty people on the island. But lately, on the streets of Colombo, they’ve been given a bad name. The reason? “An increase in incidents involving tuk tuk drivers in the Colombo area inappropriately touching female passengers.” At least that is the opinion of the U.S. Embassy in Colombo, more..

Striking a deal with private practice

July 6 (DN) As this article is being penned, the GMOA, the trade union of the govt service doctors, have given notice of their decision to launch an indefinite strike from 5th July 2017 onwards, until their demand that the SAITM be taken over by the state. Following calls by religious and society leaders, GMOA claims that it has postponed it strike by one week. GMOA’s ostensible reason for striking, is because they believe, based on a report of the SL Medical Council, that the SAITM, more..

'I am fed up with politics'

July 6 (SL) Deputy Minister Palitha Thewarapperuma said he is only working for the welfare of the people of this country but he is fed up with politics. He said the post of Deputy Minister should be given to the Minister’s wife and the people cannot be served in this manner. However, he said he will serve the people one way or the other despite  the pressures he faces. Thewarapperuma spoke further on the current state of politics more..

Meteorologists’ forecasts ignored

July 6 (CT) While the entire country was tangled in a crisis, it was possible to see persons with overflowing humanity. At the same time the disease of delaying making decisions and judgments was also apparent in some places. Not only during the disaster of the floods but during all events due to the severely punishing decisions of nature (except for the Salawa explosion) it was the tri-forces which protected the govt and saved face for them. It was the same, this time too. more..

Editorial: Thus spake prelates

July 6 (Island) Govt’s constitutional reform project has suffered a heavy setback with the Mahanayake Theras of three Nikayas (sects) demanding an end to it. They are of the view that there is no need for a new Constitution. Besides, they have called for a lasting solution to the SAITM issue and a radical rethink of the move to abolish the Prevention of Terrorism Act. One may call into question the political strength of the Maha Sangha and their ability to rally public support for more..

Akila Viraj Kariyawasam

Water sources of hill country going waste day by day

July 6 (SL) Masses of Bandarawela and surrounding villages organized a harthal last Wednesday in opposition to the ongoing Uma Oya Project. Interestingly, unlike in the previous dozens of protests, the latest protest has reached the highest office in the country. Environmentalists expressed confidence that President Sirisena would come out with the positive suggestion for the betterment of the country and affected people, especially in Bandarawella. more..

Poor pedestrians, concrete jungle and garbage

July 6 (Island) I have started walking to work from Kollupitiya, Colombo 3 to Dawson Street /Braybrooke Place in Colombo 2. Isn't it time to change the names of these streets? Maybe, we could learn from India and rename some streets and places after respected world leaders. I propose we name Dawson Street after Mahatma Gandhi Mawatha and Braybrooke Place after Nelson Mandela. City Fathers, Step Fathers, Mothers and Step Mothers, do you hear me? more..

Shashikala’s stirring tale of blood, sweat and tears

July 6 (ICC) Shashikala Siriwardene is one of many cricketers who have played or will play their 100th ODI during the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017. She will be the first Sri Lankan to reach the milestone, on July 15, if she features in all seven group games. The travails she had to endure to be ready for the World Cup offers a fascinating insight into the fickleness that is a part of every athlete’s life. more..

Hoping to create a DNA for Khulna: Mahela

July 6 (CI) The build-up to this season's Bangladesh Premier League for Khulna Titans will be similar to his stint with Mumbai Indians earlier this year, said Mahela Jayawardene, who was officially introduced as the franchise's head coach in Dhaka. He said that his initial challenge will be to form a culture in the dressing room that is acceptable for both local and foreign players. "I think Mumbai [Indians] was pretty much the same," Jayawardene said. "A lot of the international players arrived 4-5 days before more..

Womens WC: India beat Sri Lanka by 16 runs

July 6 (CI) If four top-order half-centuries had powered Sri Lanka's 138-run shock knockout blow to India in the 2013 World Cup in Mumbai, this time around their middle and lower order made a spirited attempt to bring India's winning streak to an end in Derby. But that was not to be as Deepti Sharma set up a 16-run victory - India's fourth successive one in the tournament - courtesy a 78-run knock and 10 crucial overs that returned 1 for 46. After India opted to bat on a fresh pitch more..

100 emergency shelters covering all districts

July 6 (CT) Cabinet has decided to build 100 emergency shelters, covering all districts, between 2018 and 2020, to house those affected by emergency situations including natural disasters. "Currently, we use religious establishments and schools to house those affected by emergency situations, including natural disasters, however, these establishments do not have the necessary facilities for disaster victims. more..

Stop harassing Chandimal says Arjuna

July 6 (Island) Arjuna Ranatunga has urged SLC to stop harassing Dinesh Chandimal. The 27-year-old was surprisingly snubbed for the first two games of the five match series and although the selectors had promised to draft him into the squad, he was overlooked for the third ODI as well. "Dinesh Chandimal is a naturally gifted player and you don’t find talents like him in the country. He is a rare talent and I am pretty certain he is the future. He is going to win you lot of matches. more..

Roadmap to a better business environment

July 6 (Island) Text of speech made by Minister Malik Samarawickrama at the Sri Lanka means business event. Over the past several months, my team has worked relentlessly with relevant public and private sector stakeholders with technical assistance from the World Bank Group to identify a well-defined program of reforms to address a wide range of shortcomings across all areas of business regulations in order to enhance the investment climate in Sri Lanka. more..

PM plots growth trajectory

July 6 (FT) Delivering a wide-ranging assessment of the economy, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe hailed prudent fiscal management for tackling debt interest payments and outlined the way ahead for key investments and growth.   He said the banking sector was an integral part of Sri Lanka’s backbone of macroeconomic management as it represents all related sectors of the financial system including banks & financial markets. more..

Eight Sri Lankans in action today

July 6 (CT) Eight Sri Lankans will be in action today with javelin thrower Dilhani Lekamge the only one who will be competing in a final at the 22nd Asian Athletics Championship starting at Bhubaneswar, India today. Rookie 400m runner Nirmali Madushika, competing in her first senior international competition, will be the first to open the SL campaign when she competes in round one scheduled at 9.35 a.m. and will proceed to the semi-final in the afternoon if she qualifies. more..

More records break on day-2

July 6 (DN) Shanika Lakshani of Holy Cross College, Gampaha, Yamani Dulanjalee of Ambagamuwa Central College and Akalanka Wijesuriya of St. Peter’s College, Colombo established new meet records at the second day of 87th Sir John Tarbat Athletic Championship at Mahinda Rajapaksa Stadium, Diyagama yesterday. Shanika set a new record in the under 16 girls 800m event by clocking 2:17.93 minutes while H.T. Basnayaka of Galgamuwa MV, more..

GMOA seeks SC permission to intervene in SAITM appeal

July 6 (DN) The GMOA yesterday sought the Supreme Court’s permission to intervene into the Appeal filed by the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) challenging the judgment of Court of Appeal to register a student of the SAITM in Malabe provisionally as a medical practitioner in terms of Section 29(2) of the Medical Ordinance. When the appeal was taken up before a three-judge-bench comprising Justices more..

Sri Lanka fielding on focus as cricket returns to Suriyawewa

July 6 (Island) The locals here at Hambantota will be excited as cricket returns to their village after a lapse of two years when Sri Lanka take on Zimbabwe in the third ODI of the series today. The remaining two games of the five match series also will take place here. There’s been little cricket of any form at Suriyawewa since President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s surprise defeat at the 2015 elections. Yesterday, SL were forced to bring in Nuwan Kulasekara and Lahiru Kumara as cover after more..

TNA dismayed at Maha Sangha Veto

July 6 (CT) The TNA has urged the three main Buddhist Sectsin the country to reconsider their assertion that there was no need for a new Constitution for the country. TNA MP MA Sumanthiran stated that when all political parties represented in the legislature had contributed towards the drafting of a new Constitution, the main Buddhist Sects affirming that there was no need for such a framework was both shocking and ridiculous. He pointed out that the whole objective in more..

Draconian proposals threaten free media

July 6 (CT) Draft Bill to establish the Independent Council for News Media Standards that has been drafted in consultation with international experts, supposedly in accordance with established global standards of media freedom, appears to be otherwise. To the contrary, it appears the proposed new Act will completely take control of existing media freedoms with appalling terms and legal applications. more..

Sri Lanka’s global Ceylon Tea Party kicks off

July 6 (LBO) Sri Lanka and Ceylon Tea are hosting what is popularly known as The Global Ceylon Tea Party at Sri Lankan diplomatic missions in 37 countries, with partner tea companies, cafes, and homes across the globe hosting similar parties from the 6th of July onwards Locations in up to 50 countries are targeted to celebrate this unprecedented event that will set a record for the largest and longest global tea party, the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said in a statement. more..

Lahiru & 4 others further remanded

July 6 (NR) Convener of IUSF Lahiru Weerasekera and 4 others arrested for damaging public property have been further remanded till the 19th of July. The order was issued by the Maligakanda Chief Magistrate Dulani S Weeratunga. The bail applications submitted on behalf of the suspects was also rejected by the Chief Magistrate. The suspects are charged with forcible entry into the premises of the Ministry of Health on the 21st of June during a protest against the SAITM. more..

Sri Lanka warned to speed up reforms before investors look elsewhere

July 6 (EN) Sri Lanka should make use of the window of opportunity it now has to improve the investment climate before it closes and investors look elsewhere, a senior World Bank official said. Reforms are difficult and challenging, even for those who stand to gain the most from them, Idah Pswarayi-Riddihough, World Bank Country Director, SL said. “I believe that the package of reforms is sound and overall will be beneficial; but more..