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LG polls soon after amendments: Faiszer

June 7 (CT) All political parties must begin preparations for LG elections as Parliament is likely to approve the Bill to amend the Local Authorities Elections (Amendment) Act No. 22 of 2012, Local Govt and Provincial Councils Minister said. "A lot of people have been criticizing the Ministry of Local Govt and Provincial Councils for the delay in holding local govt elections. There were over 50 amendments to be included in Draft Amendments Bill and we have done the needful. more..

Video: 'I'm fully fit to play as a batsman'

June 7 (Papare) Skipper Angelo Mathews speaks about his fitness and ability to play in the Indian game and about Sri Lanka’s slow over rate that saw the stand-in skipper Upul Tharanga miss out on two of the ICC Champions Trophy games. Mathews who missed their opening game against South Africa due to a calf injury has been declared fit to play the India match on 8th June. Mathews passed the fitness test prior to SL training more..

SL Women’s Team on high intensity training

June 7 (CT) SL Women's National Team will follow in the footsteps of their male counterparts when they travelled to Kandy yesterday for a 5-day high intensity and conditioning training camp at the SLC Centre of Excellence – Kandy. Women's National team, led by Inoka Ranaweera, have been engaged in an intensive training programme under Head Coach Hemantha Devapriya over the past 30 days. The pre-tournament work shop has included several practice games that has assisted more..

Can Sangakkara emulate Dr CH Gunasekara?

June 7 (DN) Many Sri Lankans have over the years since 1919 when Dr CH Gunasekara became the first Sri Lankan to play for an English county have gone onto play county cricket in England, but no one has played in a champion county side other than Dr Gunasekara. That rare honour - to be a member of the winning team Dr Gunasekara got while representing Middlesex in 1920 under the leadership of Sir Pelham Warner. Dr Gunasekara represented Middlesex from 1919 to 1922 more..

UN assists storm victims, seeks to contain diseases spiralling out of control

June 7 (UN) In the aftermath of a devastating tropical storm in Sri Lanka, UN agencies are working to provide shelters and other emergency kits while seeking to contain a mosquito-borne disease that is starting to spiral out of control. Heavy flooding, landslides and flash floods caused by Cyclone Mora in Myanmar & Bangladesh, and torrential monsoon rains have affected some 684,000 people in south and central SL. more..

Saudi Fund for Development to provide credit for Sri Lankan importers

June 7 (LBO) Saudi Fund for Development is looking to provide credit facilities for Sri Lankan firms to import raw materials from Saudi Arabia. Lankan Importers importing fertilizer, plastic raw materials, cables and electrical wires from Saudi Arabia will be eligible to obtain credit, which would be given under the Foreign Buyer Credit Assistance by the Saudi Fund for Development. Recently, a meeting was conducted by Saudi Fund for Development at the CCC to brief about the program. more..

'UPFA govt stood against western pressure'

June 7 (NR) Leader of PHU MP Udaya Gammanpila says the former UPFA led govt stood their ground against pressure from the West. MP Gammanpila said even though the country is somewhat isolated in comparison to the wealth and military strength of world powers, the country gathered what friends it could and stood for the sovereignty of the country. The MP said the former govt stood up for the soldiers who laid their lives down for the country on international platforms adding that more..

Sri Lankan Foreign Minister meets Modi

June 7 (IANS) SL Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake called on PM Narendra Modi and thanked him for quick Indian assistance in the aftermath of the floods and landslides in his country. During the meeting, Modi recalled his productive and memorable visit to Sri Lanka on occasion of the International Vesak Day last month. He congratulated Karunanayake on taking over his new responsibility as Foreign Minister. more..

China’s One Belt One Road initiative big opportunity for SL: Standard Chartered Bank

June 7 (FT) Sri Lanka is already benefitting from China’s major One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative and given its strategic location the country has great potential to gain much more, Standard Chartered Bank, a leading international bank with an extensive global footprint, declared yesterday. “Historically SL has been part of the old silk route hence it has enjoyed a longstanding relationship with China. However, this has strengthened and accelerated in a very visible way especially more..

BBS claims Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero’s life is in danger

June 7 (FT) BBS yesterday claimed that they have reason to believe that the life of their leader Galagoda Aththe Gnasasara Thero is at risk. Thero has been in hiding since Police deployed four teams to arrest the controversial monk two weeks ago.  BBS CEO Dilantha Withanage claimed that their leader has not come forward to give a statement to the Police as instructed on 20 May as they believed there are groups similar to ISIS in Sri Lanka with plans to kill the monk.   more..

Bond scams: CIABOC awaits AG’s decision

June 7 (Island) CIABOC will not act on its own findings in respect of Treasury bond scams in Feb 2015 and March 2016 until the Attorney General makes known his decision on the presidential probe report. The CIABOC initiated inquiries into bond scams in early 2015 during Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe’s tenure as the Director General of CIABOC. Last year Sarath Jayamanne succeeded Wickramasinghe more..

Pak NGO on humanitarian mission in SL

June 7 (AAP) A delegation of Al Khidmat Foundation, a reputed welfare NGO in Pakistan, led by Dr Mushtaq along with members of Serendib Foundation for Relief and Development (SFRD), met with the Acting High Commissioner of Pakistan in SL, Dr Sarfraz Sipra at the High Commission of Pakistan on Tuesday. Al Khidmat Foundation delegation is visiting Sri Lanka from 3-6 June 2017 to provide relief to the tune of US$25,000 in partnership with SFRD to the victims more..

OIC expresses solidarity with Muslims in SL

June 7 (AT) The Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen stressed the OIC’s full solidarity with and support for the Muslim community of Sri Lanka against the apparent rising trend of violence instigated by extremists which is spreading fear and mistrust among the population. The Secretary General expressed that the reports of attacks on homes, businesses and mosques are of great concern and deeply regrettable. more..

Sri Lanka will support UN achieve SDGs: PM

June 7 (DN) Sri Lanka will offer its unstinted support towards plans drawn up by the Food and Agriculture Organisation to combat illegal and unregulated fishing activities PM Ranil Wickremsinghe said. Sri Lanka will also support UN in achieving Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well. He said President Maithripala Sirisena has already signed the Paris Accord on climate change, in his address to more..

Mosquitoes breeding at Health DG’s home

June 7 (CT) Director General of Health Services Dr. J.M.W. Jayasundera said, a place where mosquitoes were breeding was discovered at his house during an inspection by Health Inspectors. He made this comment at a media discussion held at the Health Education Bureau yesterday. If the general public is not conscientious about identifying places where mosquitoes breed, it would be possible to miss such premises, the Director General of Health Services said. more..

SC rules Registration of Electors Bill in order

June 7 (DN) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya announced in Parliament that the Supreme Court has ruled that the Registration of Electors (Special Provisions) Bill is consistent with the Constitution. Speaker however said the SC has informed to amend the definition of Internally Displaced Person (IDP) as per the court determination. The Govt presented the Registration of Electors (Special Provisions) Bill for the first reading on May 3 to provide for IDPs to be registered as voters more..

No immediate impact on Lankans in Qatar

June 7 (DM) Foreign Affairs Ministry said there was no immediate impact on Sri Lankans in Qatar in the wake of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt breaking ties with that country but that it was monitoring the situation closely. Ministry Spokesperson Mahishini Colonne said Sri Lankans could contact our embassy in Qatar in case they needed help. She said however, Sri Lankans employed by companies based in countries more..

University entrance cut-off marks released

June 7 (CT) The z score for university entrance declared by UGC can be accessed through Students who sat GCE AL exam in 2016 can determine which courses they are eligible for, by accessing this website. Z score can also be received by calling 1919. Some 29,696 students have gained access to State Universities, which is an increase of 2,093 compared with last year. 1,290 have qualified to enter medical faculties, 1,681 have qualified to enter engineering faculties, more..

Govt seeks assistance from development partners to rebuild after floods

June 7 (FT) Govt yesterday met with representatives of all development partners of Sri Lanka to seek medium- and long-term assistance to carry out a comprehensive rebuilding program in the districts affected by recent floods and landslides. Deputy Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs Dr. Harsha de Silva and Minister of Development Assignments Tilak Marapana met with a host funding agencies and diplomats yesterday to request assistance for rebuilding activities. more..

Arjuna took arbitrary decisions, says CBSL Monetary Board member

June 7 (Island) Member of the Monetary Board of Central Bank Manohari Ramanathan, said former Governor of the CB and a key suspect under investigation in the bond scam, Arjuna Mahendran, had acted arbitrarily. Ramanathan told the Commission that Mahendran had never consulted others before taking decisions. Ramanathan, who retired as the Senior Deputy Legal Draftsman in 2006, more..

Monsoonal rains may signal an increase in dengue patients

June 7 (DM) The record number of dengue patients and deaths recorded up to May this year may increase with the onset of the monsoonal rains. According to a report last month, Dr. Prachila Samaraweera of the Dengue Control Unit of Colombo, has said some 44,000 dengue patients had been reported countrywide with 115 deaths. The number is massive compared to the previous year’s figure where some 55,000 dengue patients were reported with 97 deaths for the entire 2016. more..

Why Muslim leaders shouldn’t overplay an anti-Muslim threat

June 7 (DM) Last week, I argued why a fringe ethno-religious extremism articulated by the Bodu Bala Sena should be tackled forthwith with intensity and pro-actively. Now the lead monk of the BBS, Galabodaatte Gnanasara thera, who has been absconding has admitted himself to a hospital, his lawyers informed Court.   The BBS is a malign force. However though its rhetoric is disturbing and repugnant, its involvement in actual violence is marginal. more..

Hams step in where all else fails

June 7 (ST) Kalawana was helplessly incommunicado not because the people wanted to be but because the terrible winds, floods and landslides that ravaged the area had cut off all communications, leaving them isolated and marooned amidst the sorrow and tragedy.  There was no electricity and neither mobiles nor land-phones worked. Suddenly, a few days into the disaster, someone remembered ham or more..

Sooka continues her war on Sri Lanka

June 7 (SL) A former member of a UN panel appointed to make inquiries on Sri Lanka, is continuing her campaign to push for justice for the victims of the brutal war. In a new report made public last week Yasmin Sooka‘s International Truth and Justice Project says President Maithripala  Sirisena should start prosecuting alleged war criminals and not promote them. ITJP’s document implicates the former Chief of Army Staff, more..

'Disaster was man-made'

June 7 (DM) In a discussion with Dr. Nishan Sakalasooriya, Senior Lecturer in Geography and Development Studies attached to the Department of Geography, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Kelaniya, special emphasis was made to assess the situation caused by the recent weather calamity, its causes and the disaster management that was undertaken by the authorities. Q: Several weeks ago, we experienced severe drought more..

Duty free vehicle regulations amended

June 7 (DM) Vehicles which had the CIF value of more than US $ 25,000 imported or purchased locally, should not be transferred to any other party before the completion of five years from the date of registration, a circular issued by the Finance Ministry said. While issuing the amended of the Trade Agreement Policy Circular No. 01/2016 dated on July 14, 2016 the Finance Ministry said the Trade Agreement Policy governs more..

Basel III raises capital pressure for Sri Lankan banks: Fitch

June 7 (EN) Sri Lankan banks are likely to come under increased capital pressure from Basel III-related requirements that take full effect at the start of 2019, Fitch Ratings said. “We expect most banks will have to raise capital to meet the higher requirements, particularly if they are pursuing rapid growth,” agency said. The sector's capital needs could be exacerbated by deteriorating asset quality following aggressive lending in 2015/2016 more..

UNHRC resolution co-sponsored by SL debated in Parliament

June 7 (NR) The resolution co-sponsored by Sri Lanka at the UNHRC was taken up for debate during today’s Parliament session. Minister Mangala Samaraweera said the resolution was co-sponsored for the betterment of the country and its future. Minister said certain factions claim he signed an agreement adding that he signed no such agreement. The Minister said however on behalf of the people of this country, more..

Sri Lanka continues hunt for controversial Buddhist monk

June 7 (Xinhua) SL govt said that the police were continuing search operations to hunt for a controversial Buddhist monk wanted for making alleged hate speeches and attacks against the minorities in the island country. Cabinet spokesperson Rajitha Senaratne said according to information, the General Secretary of the BBS, Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thero, was in the country but was still in hiding. more..

Former Army Commander summoned before Presidential Commission

June 7 (Island) PRECIFAC has decided to question former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and former senior army officers on dismantling machines at the former Cement Factory at Kankesanthurai and selling them as scrap. Former Army Commander Lt Gen Daya Ratnayake is scheduled to be questioned by the Commission of Inquiry today. The dismantling of the factory which is located in a High Security Zone, more..

Video: Southern Expressway wasn't cause for flooding: PHU

June 7 (DM) If the Southern Expressway (E01) has caused any impact on the environment as claimed by Minister Champika Ranawaka, its responsibility should be taken by the minister himself along with President Sirisena and Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa who headed the Ministry of Environment respectively when the highway was built, PHU charged. It said it was the responsibility of the Environment Minister to more..

Ministers selling their duty-fee vehicles to make millions of rupees ok, but Athletes selling their medals not ok

June 7 (DM) The govt intends to introduce a law preventing athletes from auctioning or selling medals which have been won at int'l events, Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara said. Govt had to bear a big cost for each player or athletic to win a medal at an international level. “It is unfair to sell their medal for their own needs as govt was also involved in their achievement,” he said. more..

'No Mahapola scholarship for protesters'

June 7 (NR) The govt says the Mahapola Scholarship will not be given to medical students engaged in protests until they report back to their studies. The statement was made by Minister of Higher Education Lakshman Kiriella following a question raised by UPFA MP Dinesh Gunawardene in Parliament today. MP Dinesh Gunawardene also questioned if measures will be taken to grant the Mahapola Scholarship to medical students who are currently deprived of the facility. more..

The Evil of Cutting Growth

June 7 (CT) An amazing thing about the IMF and WB tutored paradigms for budgetary policy and direction in Sri Lanka seems to be the achievement of pegging down deficits to an ever increasingly lower percentage of GDP. This is supposed to be based on the postulations of some economists and top bankers that lower deficits mean lower inflation and its spin off effects in all areas of the economy, with positive social benefits. Early this year, we were told that the govt will more..

Gomin Dayasiri

Oceans and Sri Lanka’s future: Towards a blue economy

June 7 (FT) All nations around the globe are celebrating World Oceans Day on 8 June under the theme of Our Oceans, Our Future. While the action focus of this year’s Ocean Day is the prevention of plastic ocean pollution through events organised in several countries, it is more opportune in the Sri Lankan context to take a broad look at the overall theme in light of the growing interest in the Blue Economy as a prospective agenda for exploring our future opportunities in oceans.  more..

Elephant shot in Habarana: Wildlife Dept. launches investigations

June 7 (DM) Department of Wildlife Conservation is investigating the shooting of a she elephant by a policeman at Galgamuwa in Habarana last week. The mother was guarding her baby, which had been run over by the Colombo- Trincomalee bus at Galwanguwa on the Habarana-Trincomalee Main Road on May 28. Some police officers and Wild Life Department officials who had arrived at the scene attempted to chase the mother. Minneriya Park Warden said the elephant had tried to attack more..

Govt to inject Rs 5bn in fresh capital to People’s Bank

June 7 (EN) People’s Bank, second largest bank in the island with one-third of loans going to state-owned enterprises, is to raise Rs5 billion in fresh capital from the govt to meet new international Basel III standards. State-owned People's Bank's current regulatory capital shortfall to meet the new requirements are in excess Rs 20 billion over the next three years, according to the Public Enterprise Development Ministry. more..

SL floods seen in before-and-after NASA animated image

June 7 (TWC) Before and after images captured from space show the severity of flooding that plagued SL in late May after rains that triggered hundreds of mudslides and killed more than 200 people.  MultiSpectral Instrument (MSI) on the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-2 satellite captured a false-color image of the flood on May 28, according to NASA. An earlier image taken on Jan. 29 by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 shows same area before the waters rose. more..

'Lankans are more generous & humanitarian because of Buddhist philosophy'

June 7 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says Sri Lankans have become more generous and humanitarian than many others in the world because of the lifestyle nourished with the Buddhist philosophy. The President further said that the people joined together with love, compassion and generosity to assist the affected people by the recently occurred calamity because the hearts of the Sri Lankan people are rich with the noble teachings of the Buddha. more..