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Manufacturing and services sector expands

June 16 (FT) The country’s manufacturing and services sectors grew in May as per the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) compiled by the Central Bank. It said the Manufacturing Sector PMI recorded 57.9 in May which is an increase of 16.1 index points compared to April 2017 whilst the Services Sector PMI recorded 55.3 index points in May from 54.2 index points in April 2017. The gain in Manufacturing MPI indicates that the manufacturing activities recovered in May 2017, more..

Sri Lanka urged to repeal laws against lesbians, gays

June 16 (Island) European Union has stepped up its controversial campaign to pressure Sri Lanka to do away with Penal Code Sections (365 and 365A) which provide for prosecuting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons. The EU sponsored business roundtable on the challenges and benefits of the diversity in the workplace at the Taj Samudra yesterday with leading local LGBT organization more..

Radhakrishnan complains of stepmotherly treatment

June 16 (Island) State Minister of Education and leader of the Kandurata Janatha Peramuna V. Radhakrishnan says that no single party would be able to form a government without the support of minority and minor parties in this country again. "This is the reality the main parties have to accept whether they like it or not. If anyone dreams of forming a single party govt in this country he or she is daydreaming," Minister said addressing a recent press conference at the Ministry. more..

Auditor General says not aware of PM’s statement in Parliament

June 16 (DN) Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe said that he had no knowledge of a statement made by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in Parliament. The PM’s statement is to the effect that issuing Treasury bonds will be done through auctions instead of direct placement as the latter has been found to lack transparency. Following this comment, Attorney-at-law Chanaka de Silva presented a copy of the Hansard containing the Premier’s statement in Parliament for the AG’s perusal. more..

AG explains how he calculated losses caused by alleged bond scams

June 16 (Island) Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe said that the report he submitted to the COPE on losses incurred by the govt on the questionable treasury bond issues had never been declared as a false one by the COPE. Nor had it ever said the basis on which the conclusions were arrived at were questionable. Cross examined by former CB Chairman Arjuna Mahendran’s Counsel Chanaka Perera, Wijesinghe said that more..

Kongahage new SL Foundation Chairman

June 16 (Island) Senior lawyer Sarath Kongahage, who was SL’s ambassador to Germany, Switzerland and HC to South Africa and President’s Media Advisor, has been appointed Chairman of the Sri Lanka Foundation. He assumed his duties on the new post recently. Kongahage received his BA with honours in Mass Communication from Kelaniya University. He served as the Chairman of SL Rupavahini Corporation, acting Chairman of Lake House, the CEO of SLBC and more..

One-hour Dengue prevention program begins

June 16 (DN) Presidential Task Force on Prevention of Dengue and the Ministry of Health has declared an hour every week for cleaning of houses, public institutions, and private company premises. On Fridays, from 9.30 a.m. to 10. 30 a.m. the entire country should clean homes, schools, offices and all the other state and private institutions, Acting Director General of Health Services Dr. Jayasundara Bandara said. A total of 61,844 dengue patients and around 160 dengue deaths had been more..

Yahapalana move to clear Colombo garbage with military help treated with scorn

June 16 (Island) The JO MP Udaya Gammanpila said that the govt should be ashamed of seeking military assistance to remove garbage in Colombo and its suburbs. He said that the military shouldn’t be tasked to clear garbage under any circumstances. MP was responding to Minister Ravi Karunanayake’s declaration that the armed forces would be deployed to clear garbage within four days in case those responsible more..

Missing persons’ family members attempt to wade through deep waters

June 16 (DM) A group of family members of missing persons including Sandya Eknaligoda, wife of missing journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda, had reportedly attempted to wade towards the deep sea off Trinco in protest to govt’s alleged failure to look into the investigations of the missing persons. However, the attempt was prevented by the villagers. Group staged a protest outside Trinco Governor’s office by displaying the pictures of the disappeared prior to wading into deep waters. more..

Misuse of Divi Neguma funds Basil, Kithsiri to face trial

June 16 (CT) Colombo High Court (CHC) Judge Gihan Kulathunga yesterday committed the case, against former Minister Basil Rajapaksa and former Director General of the Divi Neguma project Kithsiri Ranawaka, to trial commencing 13 Nov. Rajapaksa and Ranawaka have been charged, by the Attorney General, with having printed 5 million calendars, with the photo of former President Rajapaksa, during the run up to the 2015 Presidential Election and hence causing a hefty financial loss to the State, more..

No faith crisis erupts in NCP: Game’s up for Wiggy?

June 16 (CT) Northern Province Governor Reginold Cooray challenged Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran to prove his majority support in the Northern Provincial Council before the No Confidence motion against him is passed. A deadlock emerged Wednesday night when ITAK – main Constituent Party of the TNA led by C.V.K Sivagnanam submitted the No Confidence Motion signed by 21 Councillors, more..

RTI Commission takes up Questions of Public Accountability

June 16 (DM) It is encouraging to see that despite being severely cash-strapped due to the absence of an independent allocation in the 2017 National Budget, the RTI Commission of Sri Lanka has begun hearing appeals and concluded several hearings under the globally acclaimed RTI Act No:12 of 2016. This is no doubt due to the perseverance of Commission members despite the Commission operating out of temporary premises and with skeletal staff.  It was reported that more..

Social networking lands teacher in trouble

June 16 (DM) Social networking outlets such as Facebook are used by people to express their personal opinions and views about issues they are interested in. Recently, a male teacher of Kuliyapitiya Central College faced repercussions from the Education Ministry allegedly for posting critical poems, which the Ministry had apparently not approved, on his Facebook page and it resulted in his being transferred to the Narammala Mayurapada Central College. more..

Heavy rains: But no lion’s share for catchment areas

June 16 (SL) Heavy rains, which caused havoc in most parts of the country recently, isn’t a blessing this time to the CEB catchments or for the much needed hydro intake. When contacted, Ceylon Electricity Board Engineers’ Union (CEBEU) President Athula Wanniarachchi said that heavy rains were mostly on low levels. However, due to rains later on there was slight improvement, yet it is lesser than 45% of the storage capacity. more..

CMA proposes mental health assessment for police officers

June 16 (DM) Police officers who lose their temper while on duty should undergo a mental health assessment on a regular basis to prevent unnecessary assaults on motorcyclists, the Ceylon Motorcyclists' Association (CMA) said yesterday. They submitted a video clip to IGP Pujith Jayasundara that went viral on social media showing a traffic police officer attacking a motorcyclist. CMA Secretary Chirantha Amarasinghe said more..

Govt ignored issues triggered by SAITM: FUTA

June 16 (DM) The FUTA charged that the govt ignored issues triggered by the SAITM in the state medical education sector. It charged that the govt let it to develop into a crisis situation in medical education at state universities. Once the crisis was developed, it, said the govt was trying to capitalize on it for setting up private medical colleges. The govt had attempted to weaken state universities while creating a market to more..

National Buddhist Think Tank meets under patronage of President

June 16 (PSL) The National Buddhist Think Tank held a meeting under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat, yesterday. The Maha Sangha who represents the National Buddhist Think Tank, including Ven. Prof. Kotapola Rahula Anu Nayake Thero, Ven. Professor Gallalle Sumanasiri Thero, Ven. Dr. Akuratiye Nanda Thero, participated at this meeting. more..

CEB’s low cost generation plan comes under fire

June 16 (LBO) The Least Cost Long Term Generation Expansion Plan (LCLTGP) 2018-2037 proposed by the CEB is not in line with the policy of the government, the Strategic Enterprise Management Authority (SEMA) said. “According to the CEB’s plan only 35% of the islands energy demand will be met by renewables by 2030 and further reduced to 31% by 2037,” said Ashoka Abeygunawardana, chairman of SEMA. more..

SL ranks 90th on Global Innovation Index

June 16 (AD) Sri Lanka has moved up one place to 90th among 130 nations on Global Innovation Index (GII) 2017, slowly emerging as one of the top-ranked economies in Central and South Asia in the lower-middle income group. SL has a score of 29.9 out of 100, according to the latest report while the country was ranked 91st in 2016.  Sri Lanka has a very low score of 18.6 for Human Capital & Research while as well as more..

Drop in Lankans seeking jobs in West Asia

June 16 (ST) The number of Sri Lankans seeking jobs in West Asian countries is showing a gradual decline due to low salaries and poor labour rights, officials said, but job agencies put the blame on a minimum wage condition set by the SLBFE. The number of Sri Lankans going to Saudi Arabia for work dropped to 63,389 last year from 74,894 in 2015. Some 59,527 Sri Lankan job seekers left for Qatar and 32,415 for Kuwait more..

Under new Constitution: 'Caste based reservations sought in Jaffna'

June 16 (DM) Caste based reservations in governing bodies and educational institutions have been sought by some political parties, organizations and individuals in Jaffna in their submissions to the Pubic Representation Committee on Constitutional Reforms, officials said. Committee Chairman Lal Wijenayake said that the north was the sole area where this problem was openly discussed when deliberating general public more..

SriLankan Airlines says 1250 staff left and were replaced

June 16 (EN) State-run SriLankan Airlines says 1,250 appointments reportedly made by its current Board were to replace staff who left and only 126 new positions have been created, despite the fleet expanding from 19 to 25. The airline said the net increase to its current cadre bringing the total to 7,029 from Jan 31 to May 2017 was only 126 and many were taken into comply with regulatory requirements. more..

Errant garbage dumpers to be arrested in Colombo

June 16 (DM) The Colombo Municipality together with the Army and environmental police will police the city after dark in a bid to arrest errant individuals dumping garbage within the Colombo city limits. Programme which was launched last night was a knee-jerk reaction to individuals dumping large bags of garbage inside the city during the night. CMC Commissioner V.K.A. Anura said the garbage was not segregated more..

Banned Glyphosate detected at BIA while being smuggled in

June 16 (Island) About sixty kilos of the banned pesticide Glyphosate were detected yesterday morning at the BIA. The smuggler from Kalpitiya had been apprehended by the customs with the contraband worth Rs 2.4 million packed in three bags, Deputy Director of Customs Parakrama Basnayake said. He was fined Rs 200,000 and the consignment of Glyphosate confiscated by the Customs. The inquiry was conducted on the instructions of Customs Director more..

Is whistleblowing considered an offence by the banking sector?

June 16 (FT) We are aware that whistleblowing has been a source of information that has helped to bring out many wrongdoings open to the public, thereby enabling appropriate action against the perpetrators and sometimes to prevent something bad happening. We are also aware of instances where whistleblowing has been brought under internal procedures and regulations, thereby attributing a degree of authenticity to treat whistleblowing as an accepted policy. more..

හොරු අල්ලනවා කියපු ආණ්ඩුවේ හොර වැඩ

CEB Generation Plan, Polls

June 16 (CT) A harangue over renewable energy versus coal erupted at the public hearing of CEB's Long Term Low Cost Energy Generation Plan (LTLCEGP) that took place at the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies at the BMICH. Strategic Enterprise Management Agency (SEMA) Chairman Asoka Abeygunawardana said the LTLCEGP covering a 20-year horizon to 2037 was a selloff to the oil mafia and targeting 2020, the year elections are to be held, that would be more..

Sri Lanka to release 42 Indian fishing boats

June 16 (PTI) Sri Lanka today said it will release 42 Indian fishing boats held in its custody since 2015 on condition that they will never re-enter the country's territorial waters. Fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that the Indian govt has been informed about this decision. "They should never return to violate our IMBL," Amaraweera said. He said that Lanka's earlier decision not to release the boats and equipment while releasing the fishermen had its desirous effect. more..

Sri Lanka keen to learn from Malaysia's expertise in Halal certification

June 16 (Bernama) Sri Lanka is keen to learn from Malaysia's expertise in halal certification in order to explore more opportunities and expand the country's economic growth, its High Commissioner to Malaysia, A.J.M Muzammil, said. He said that the halal industry was an area that SL needed to further tap into and that it could take the lead from Malaysia as its halal certification was highly regarded by international community. more..

Harsha in Dubai for talks on international financial centre in Sri Lanka

June 16 (EN) Deputy Minister Harsha De Silva is in Dubai for talks on taking forward a planned Colombo International Financial Centre (CIFC) initiative. De Silva said in a post that he was having meeting with officials in Dubai who helped built the Dubai International Finance Centre and similar initiatives elsewhere. Sri Lanka is planning to set up financial centre within the proposed Port City where PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said special financial laws will apply. more..

Police have enough powers to curb hate crimes: MR

June 16 (AD) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says that the Sri Lanka Police has sufficient powers to curb religious intolerance in the country and that there is no need to introduce new laws. “The govt can put a stop to this if it wants to,” he said, responding to a question from journalists regarding the PM’s recent statement regarding the rise in hate crimes targeting the Muslim community.   However, he stated that if such laws need approval of the Parliament, they will allow it more..

A brilliant future for China-SL cooperation under the Belt and Road initiative

June 16 (FT) On 14 and 15 of May, The Belt and Road Forum (BRF) for International Cooperation was successfully held in Beijing. This international gathering brought together 29 heads of state and govt, and 1,500 representatives from over 130 countries and 70 international organisations.  The participation of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and his delegation fully showcased Sri Lankan govt’s commitment more..

Request to cancel ex- Blood Bank director's arrest warrant, rejected

June 16 (DM) The Colombo Chief Magistrate today rejected a request made by counsel, appearing for the National Blood Bank’s former director Dr. Mangalika Bindusara, calling for the cancellation of the arrest warrant issued on June 7. The counsel told Court that Dr. Bindusara was undergoing medical treatment in Australia. Colombo Chief Magistrate Lal Bandara directed the defendant to surrender after completing her treatment in Australia. Dr. Bindusara has been charged more..

Main suspect in Piliyandala shooting arrested

June 16 (AD) The main suspect involved in the Piliyandala shooting incident has been arrested. Shooting occurred during a drug raid carried out by the Police, on the 9 of May where a Police officer and child were shot to death. The suspect was arrested in the Madigiriya area yesterday, by the personnel of Mirihana Special Crimes Division. At the time of the arrest, police stated that the individual had 10g of a variety of drugs. Individual, who is a 27-year-old more..

John Amaratunga sorry for using explicit words

June 16 (NR) Minister John Amaratunga says certain groups are attempting to seek political mileage through a recent incident where the Minister was seen exchanging heated words with media. He said relevant journalist had attempted to rouse area residents by attempting to discuss the garbage issue that had already been settled through the means of discussions. He apologised for his selection of words more..

Central Bank to stop making payments to defaced notes

June 16 (LBO) Central Bank said it will not make payments to mutilated, altered or defaced currency notes after the end of this year. CB advises thebpublic to refrain from such practices and also requests the public to exchange such currency notes through banks. If not, holders of these currency notes will have to suffer the loss of face value of such notes. Mutilation, alteration or defacement of currency notes is an offence under Monetary Law Act and is punishable by imprisonment or more..

There should be no shortage of rice in the market – President emphasizes

June 16 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena emphasized that under any circumstance, there should not be a shortage of rice in the market. The President held a special discussion regarding maintaining rice stocks at warehouses and to look into the demand for rice in the coming months at the Presidential Secretariat, today (16). President Sirisena summoned this discussion as he received information that there is a shortage of rice in the market. more..

Reconciliatory efforts in line with Govt priorities: CBK

June 16 (NR) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga says reconciliatory efforts are in line with the priorities of the present govt. Commenting on the launch of a photography exhibition organised in partnership with the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation or ONUR and the Delegation of the European Union to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, titled Hope, former President and Chair of the ONUR said it is working with more..

Case against Gammanpila fixed for trial

June 16 (DN) The case filed against PHU leader MP Udaya Gammanpila and another accused for allegedly misappropriating Rs. 21 million following their alleged fraudulent share transaction that took place in 2000 was today fixed for trial by Colombo High Court. Judge A.A.R. Heiyanthuduwa fixed the case for trial on Oct 3. The Counsel who appeared on behalf of the aggrieved party undertook to produce two witnesses Brian Shaddick and his wife in Court on the next date.  more..

Kelaniya University closed due to viral fever

June 16 (NR) All faculties of the University of Kelaniya excluding the science faculty have been closed from noon today till the 27th of June. When inquired by NewsRadio the media unit of the University attributed the closure to the spread of a viral fever and nausea. The University Administration has requested students to evacuate the hostel premises by noon today. Those residing in hostels are requested to report back to dormitories by 5pm on the 26th. more..