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NARA launches survey on impact of Port City on aquatic resources

June 15 (Island) National Institute of Aquatic Resources (NARA) said that it had launched a survey to ascertain whether the Colombo Port City Project would affect the aquatic resources in the Western Province. The company handling the Colombo Port City project had paid Rs. 63 million to NARA to conduct the survey. The NARA specialists would conduct the survey in the sea area covering 10 km to the north of the Colombo Port City and 10 km to the south. more..

SL commercial space being snapped up: JLL

June 15 (EN) Sri Lanka's commercial space developers in the capital Colombo, are finding that new buildings coming to the market are being occupied quickly despite higher rents, indicating growing demand, James Lang LaSalle, a property consultancy said. Sri Lanka's had Grade A office space of about a million square feet was about 95 percent occupied, Sunil Subramaniam, Head of Transactions at JLL in Colombo said. "That means there is not enough supply," he said. more..

Sathosa Basmati consumable says ITI report

June 15 (DM) The controversial consignment of Basmati rice that made a panic among the public was consumable and did not contain plastic rice, the Industrial Technology Institute (ITI) said in it’s quality report. However, the ITI said the samples had been collected by the CAA and the ITI can only take responsibility for what they tested. The sample of the controversial consignment of Basmati rice was sent by the CAA more..

Emirates expresses interest in Sri Lankan Airlines

June 15 (DM) Tuesday's Cabinet meeting revealed that Emirates, an airline based in Dubai, has shown interest in partnering with Sri Lankan Airlines (SLA) with a view to its development. Govt’s initial plan to restructure SLA with another foreign company was not successful after which it decided to look towards another investor for this purpose. However, no arrangements have been finalised as yet, with regard to this decision. In 2010, Emirates had sold its stake in SLA, leaving more..

2 remanded over hurling petrol bomb at a mosque

June 15 (NR) Two suspects who hurled a petrol bomb at a mosque in Mallawapitiya, Kurunegala have been remanded till Monday. The order was issued by the Kurunegala Magistrate’s Court. The petrol bomb attack was reported on the 21st of May. Two persons were arrested over suspicion for questioning while the Police Headquarters said investigations revealed the two were activists of the Bodu Bala Sena organisation. Police said four more persons are yet to be arrested in this regard. more..

High-level Sri Lanka-Bangladesh meet in Dhaka next month

June 15 (GDI) As the latest data showed a three-fold total trade jump with Bangladesh (including a three-fold rise in exports) Sri Lanka’s high-level talks with Bangladesh for even bigger trade and investments are now slated for next month in Dhaka. “Bilateral trade between the two countries tripled since 2010 but there are unexplored potentials” said Minister Rishad Bathiudeen on 12th June. He was addressing HC of B'desh more..

International Day of Yoga 2017 to be celebrated in Colombo

June 15 (Island) To celebrate the 3rd International Day of Yoga, a mega event will be held on Saturday, 17th June 2017 at the Independence Square Park in Colombo. On 11 December 2014, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution piloted by India declaring June 21 each year as the International Day of Yoga. The resolution was supported by more than 170 countries, with Sri Lanka being one of the first co-sponsors of the Resolution. more..

Planning to rule from his own palace?

June 15 (DM) A leading furniture manufacturer in the country has decided not to accept new orders for the next three months as they have got their hands full with an order placed with them by a billionaire politician who is putting up a palatial residence in the metropolis. Mansion this politico is putting up is estimated to cost a whopping Rs.300 million, they say.  A high flyer in yahapalanaya, this worthy hailing from the Colombo district goes about nattily dressed in tie and coat. more..

Colombo City Centre to open in December

June 15 (DN) The first stage of the Colombo City Centre (CCC), in Colombo 2, is scheduled to be opened in December and it would become SL’s first hypermall. A joint venture between Abans Group and Silver Needle Hospitality, CCC would also offer SL’s first and largest six-screen multiplex cinema bringing retail and entertainment of world standards. Rusi Pestonjee, Abans Group Director, said that 2nd stage of the project more..

Nanu-Oya OIC transferred temporarily after tense situ

June 15 (DM) OIC of the Nanu-Oya Police Station was temporarily transferred following a tense situation prevailed in Nanu-Oya after a lorry ran over a school girl at a pedestrian crossing this morning. The lorry was torched by people following the incident. Nuwara Eliya Division DIG Rohan Dias said the Police were conducting three separate investigations into the incident and that the OIC of the Nanu-Oya Police Station would be reinstated in his post, when situation was under control. more..

Reaching semi-final a big step forward for team: Hathurusingha

June 15 (CI) Victory over England in the World Cup was a big turning point for the Bangladesh team, according to their coach, Chandika Hathurusingha. Bangladesh qualified for the 2015 World Cup quarter-final after a memorable 15-run victory over England in Adelaide. And such was the confidence the team took from beating a well-known team in foreign conditions, it propelled them to the most consistent run of results they have enjoyed in their international history. more..

Economy grew 3.8% in first quarter of 2017

June 15 (LBO) Statistics office says economic growth rate for the first quarter of 2017 has been estimated as 3.8%. The GDP for the first quarter of 2017 was 2,161,770 million rupees against 2,082,544 million rupees reported for the same period last year. “Severe drought condition prevailed mainly in four provinces: Northern, Eastern, North-Central and North-Western from 2016 had an unfavorable impact, more..

New hotline to report elderly grievances

June 15 (AD) The Minister of Social Empowerment, Welfare & Kandyan Heritage, S. B. Dissanayake stated that a 24 hour hotline had been introduced for the elderly, enabling them to report any hardships and problems to the National Secretariat for Elders. The awareness programme for the new venture was initiated with the leadership of Minister of Social Empowerment, Welfare and Kandyan Heritage, S. B. Dissanayake, at the Colombo-Central bus stand today (15). more..

Women’s group calls for justice for 3 abused school girls

June 15 (SLB) On May 28, 2017, three school girls from the same family, ages seven and eight, were sexually abused by an unknown person at a nearby construction site on their way home from tuition class, in Peruveli, Mallikaitheevu, Trincomalee. Family members reported the incident to the Muttur police. Meanwhile, villagers assaulted three construction workers on suspicion of committing the crime; the three were later arrested by the police. The case has taken a communal angle as more..

Govt to hold conference to formulate a mechanism to face disasters

June 15 (NR) The govt has decided to hold an international conference to help prepare a mechanism to face possible disaster situations in future. Minister Sarath Amunugama said a three member committee comprising Ministers has been appointed by the President to plan the conference. He said cabinet approval was granted to hold an international donor conference adding that the govt receives donations from countries and more..

Updating the law for release & peace

June 16 (CT) It is reported that the President has drawn public attention at an annual session of a Prison Reforms Activists’ Group, to the problem of over-crowding of prisons due to the presence there of prisoners who were hanging on in them, consequent to their inability to pay up petty fines, imposed on them. The solution proposed is the appointment of an advisory committee on the issue. Despite my disappointment with the productivity of such committees, I wish to place more..

Colombo Pride: The History

June 16 (GV) On June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich, New York, a group of queer patrons decided to fight back during a police raid. The Stonewall riots were a reaction to systematic police harassment and stigmatisation of the community. The stand off lasted three to four days, swelling to great numbers. Following this, the first Pride Parade was held in New York city, to commemorate the Stonewall riots. These took place across the US and eventually, more..

'Govt sends 40 students to Russia onscholarships'

June 16 (CT) Sri Lanka and the Federation of Russia relish six decades of bilateral relationship, which commenced in 1956 and the two countries celebrated the 60 years of cordiality recently. Over the past 60 years, the two countries have bolstered the relationship and the Federation of Russia, which was formerly the Soviet Union, has extended its support for the development of Sri Lanka in numerous ways and stood up for SL more..

Sinhalese & Muslim civil societies join hands to deal with growing hate crimes

June 16 (CT) Leading Sinhala and Muslim civil society organizations have got together to educate mainstream Sinhalese of the threat posed to the country by the ongoing racist attacks on Mosques and Muslim owned business establishments. This is the only way to save the country from further disasters and to take   concrete measure to stop the rising tide of racist attacks on Muslims. The initiatives towards this end were taken by Puravasi Balavegaya, founded by late Ven Sobitha more..

Enhancing employability of our graduates

June 16 (Island) A large number of students graduate every year from our 15 state universities and many other degree-awarding institutes in SL and, therefore, the employability of graduates has become a critical issue. In the year 2015 alone the state university system produced nearly 35,000 graduates (internal degrees – 17,000, external degrees - 13,000 and Open Univ degrees - 5000), and the majority of them (67%) were females. During the same year universities granted more..

'New laws for mandatory school education'

June 16 (CT) Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said the govt will soon bring in new legislation which makes it mandatory for all children to attend school. He was responding to a question from this newspaper as to what the govt solution to what was another burning issue in the education sector where some 400,000 children were not going to school due to various political and social reasons. The govt has also given to students more..

Drama Queens!

June 16 (DN) Being creative and learning to make creative choices helps students to be better at thinking up new ideas. It allows them to view the world around them in new ways. Confidence gained from learning performing arts skills applies to school, career, and life. This is one of the main intentions behind the International Convention on Students’ Quality Circles (ICSQC). The event was held for the first time in 1997 and was initiated by the City Montessori School in Lucknow, India, more..

New Constitution: A path to heaven or hell

June 16 (CT) The latest wave of interest in the welfare of Tamil citizens in Sri Lanka is definitely the unavoidable result of the desperation of the fanatically extremist elements of the Tamil Diaspora who are after their pound of flesh. It is a case of nothing to lose and everything to gain for the diehard extremist elements to have a separate state carved out of Sri Lanka. Prabhakaran was the cat's paw for 30 odd years without ever knowing that he was dispensable and more..

Adaraneeya Sri Lanka: Colombo

Master stroke for emerging apolitical national consensus

June 16 (CT) President Sirisena should be congratulated on a personal career milestone. He becomes the first and only Head of State in post independent SL to create an effective apolitical mechanism for combating natural disasters. Even Parliament debated this all important matter for a record uninterrupted 12 hours beginning 8 a.m. and ending at 8 p.m. The debate was commenced by JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti & usually pugnacious JO MP Dinesh Gunawardena prevailed. more..

Editorial: Dealing with hate-mongers

June 16 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has promised tough action against hate speech and ethno-religious violence. He told the media on Wednesday that new laws would be brought in, if necessary, to deal with such offences and the government would do everything in its power to build a tolerant Sri Lanka. This, we believe, is long overdue and the government should get cracking. One cannot but agree with the PM on the need to adopt tough measures to tackle the more..

The life and times of Balangoda Man

June 16 (Roar) Sri Lankans are not really known for their stature—the average local male is 5 feet 4½ inches, or 163.6 cm tall. But tens of thousands of years ago, a group of people existed on this island who, if they were to stand side by side next to an average Lankan family today, would tower over them (more or less). Known as the Balangoda Man, this ancient hominid stood at roughly 174 cm in height (females 166 cm), more..

JL Morison to invest $13.5 mn on a new plant

June 16 (DN) J L Morison Son & Jones (Ceylon), will invest US$ 13.5 million on a new Research and Manufacturing facility located within the SLINTEC (Sri Lanka Institute of Nano Technology) Park in Pitipana, Homagama. Foundation stone laying ceremony was held on June 15 in the presence of top management officials. The plant will be the first European Union Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) compliant facility in the country. State-of-the-art facility is expected to be in operation by more..

Powerful India set up Pakistan final

June 16 (CI) The best team at ICC events since 2010 marched into its fourth final in seven tournaments to set up a summit clash against Pakistan, pitting the tournament's best bowling sides against each other. Like they did in the 2015 World Cup quarter-final, first time semi-finalists Bangladesh went toe to toe with India for about 30 overs - even inched ahead perhaps - but came apart against the non-turning, part-time, extremely slow offspin of Kedar Jadhav. more..

Sri Lanka need to get their act together, start competing consistently: Mahanama

June 16 (CT) Former batsman and ICC match referee Roshan Mahanama believes Sri Lanka needs to reflect on their performance at the Champions Trophy and come with a concrete plan to be successful in international cricket. "I think they need to go back, sit, reflect and come up with a concrete plan. Yes, we are in a phase where we are rebuilding after [retirement of] Mahela and Sangakkara. more..

'Need access to markets, not handouts from expatriates'

June 16 (LR) Partner with us in Sri Lanka, not to build a social welfare state, but to build an entrepreneurially focused new Sri Lanka, was the message of Rajendra Theagarajah, Vice Chairman of Cargills Bank who was the guest of honour at the Canadian Tamils’ Chamber of Commerce gala and awards ceremony in Toronto. No handouts, why not engage? he said. He urged innovative Sri Lankan Tamil entrepreneurs in Canada to utilize hundreds of graduates each year produced by more..

PM urges action to minimize negative effects on tea industry

June 16 (DM) Highlighting that the recent adverse weather conditions could affect the low grown tea industry, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe requested state officials to take immediate action to minimize such negative effects. Speaking to state officials at the Baduraliya Divisional Secretariat, PM requested them to clear the roads leading to tea estates and factories in the area which were blocked as a result of landslides. “Livelihood of the people in these areas seemed to be affected. more..

Sri Lankan food imports not tested for quality or subject to health safety standards

June 16 (ST) That Sri Lankans are vulnerable to sub-standard food items as there is no mechanism to check the quality of food sold, especially in loose form compared to the branded packaged form, specially items like rice, sugar, etc. These revelations came up during the media briefing by T.M.K.B. Tennekoon, Chairman, Lanka Sathosa held to explain the course of action they are going to take against a Facebook account that more..

SL debates its antiquated Muslim family laws

June 16 (Economist) To avoid being married at 17 to a stranger, the Muslim schoolgirl from Sri Lanka’s north-west tried to commit suicide by swallowing a bottle of her mother’s diabetes pills. While she was recovering in hospital, her parents went ahead and registered the marriage. The union took place under the version of Sri Lanka’s family law that applies only to Muslims. It does not require the bride’s consent and does not specify a minimum age for marriage. more..

Commercial Bank leads SME financing

June 16 (LBO) SME sector has been injected with 719 billion rupees by both state and private sector banks in 2016, with Commercial Bank of Ceylon leading such lending with 273 billion rupees. In 2015, 604 billion rupees was granted by both state and private sector commercial and development banks to fulfill the funding needs of SMEs. In 2016, out of the total loans granted by both state and private sector banks, nine percent was to the agriculture sector, 22% to the service sector, more..

Huge stakes at the proposed Nuwara Eliya Training centre

June 16 (ST) Govt is to sign a financial contract with a French company to construct a multibillion rupee high altitude training center at the Nuwara Eliya Racecourse. But the project still awaits clearance from environmental authorities after concerns in the past over possible impacts on one of the country’s prime tourist destinations. The project includes indoor and outdoor training facilities at an altitude of 1868m (5708 feet). more..

President calls for a broad programme to apprise public on waste categorization

June 16 (PSL) President Sirisena has given instructions to the relevant  officials to implement a broad programme on categorization of waste to apprise the public on this topic. He gave these instructions participating in a discussion on streamlining the waste management held at the Presidential Secretariat, yesterday (13). During this meeting  the President inquired about the progress  of the programmes being implemented islandwide to waste management. more..

Tourism, worker remittances top forex in 2010/16

June 16 (ST) Not unexpected, tourism and worker remittances made the biggest foreign exchange gains between 2010 and 2016, a new report from the Ministry of Finance shows. In its 2016 annual report released last week, Ministry statistics show that while export earnings rose to US$10 billion in 2016 against $8.6 billion in 2010, tourism revenue soared to $3.5 billion last year against $576 million in 2010 while worker remittances was up at $7.2 billion against $4.1 billion in 2010. more..

Video: Govt has messed up the Cabinet reshuffle: Dinesh

June 16 (DM) The joint opposition said the recent Cabinet reshuffle and the allocation of ministry subjects have not been carried out on a scientific basis despite the govt’s assurance to do so. Joint opposition leader and MP, Dinesh Gunawardena told a news conference that the govt had attempted to carry out the Cabinet reshuffle for past several months. The Finance Minister and the Foreign Affairs Minster exchanged portfolios,” more..

Gentle Giant of Yala national park is no more

June 16 (Island) Wildlife enthusiast, Srilal Miththapala, pays tribute to Tilak, iconic and oldest tusker of the Yala National Park. On Wednesday afternoon telephone lines of elephant enthusiasts were busy as the sad news of the sudden death of Tilak, the iconic, senior tusker of Yala spread. Initial reports indicated that the elephant had succumbed to its injuries sustained in a fight with another tusker. Unlike his erstwhile, and notorious young friend Gemunu, Tilak never hogged the limelight. more..