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Is the govt becalmed?

June 28 (FT) Almost two years into its term, it is difficult to explain away the current Govt’s lack of achievements on the economic front. I count the term of the Govt from August 2015, rather than January 2015, because the focus in the extended first 100 days of the presidential term was on constitutional reform. The Foreign Ministry was responsible for the principal economic achievement, the restoration of duty-free access to the European Union under GSP Plus. more..

Namal and two others granted bail over money laundering case

June 28 (DN) MP Namal Rajapaksa and two others were granted bail today by the Colombo High Court for their alleged involvement in laundering money amounting to Rs.30 million through Gowers Corporate Services between 2013 and 2014. The three accused, Namal Rajapaksa, Nithya Samaranayake and Sujani Bogollagama who functioned as the directors of Gowers Corporation were ordered to be released on a surety bail more..

JVP says allocation of protesting spaces a FR violation

June 28 (NR) Ministry of LG & PCs says steps are underway to identify three places in Colombo in order to hold protests. JVP says the conduct of protests is on the rise due to govt’s inability to provide solutions to the grievances of the public. JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake said protests along main roads are not only conducted in SL but in European countries as well. MP said in the past organisations held large protests in US, in town halls, parks, along roads, buildings and banks. more..

Dumith Fernando on Sri Lanka stock exchange Board

June 28 (EN) Investment banker and head of Asia Securities Dumith Fernando has been elected as a director of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) board at its Annual General Meeting on 26th May 2017. Fernando, an experienced international investment banker with over two decades in the industry in the US & Asia, replaces Vajira Kulatilaka who stepped down from CSE Board. Fernando led the acquisition of Asia Securities in 2015 and is its chairman & controlling shareholder. more..

Hartal demanding authorities to fix Uma Oya leak

June 28 (DM) Bandarawela town came to standstill this morning due to a hartal campaign launched to push authorities to repair a leak in a tunnel of Uma Oya Project. US$ 529 million project which was constructed in 2009 carries water to Handapanagala and Lunugamwehera Reservoirs which in turn are redistributed for drinking, irrigation and industrial purposes.  A crowd of more than 30,000 individuals led by religious leaders more..

Shortage of doctors in the future: Sagala

June 28 (AD) Minister Sagala Ratnayaka stated certain individuals who are not able to act in a democratic manner have caused tension to arise within the youth of the country, jeopardizing their education,  while promoting violence.  Protests that were carried out in front of the Health Ministry, which further lead to the destruction of property, did not require student participation, and that certain politicians had been behind the supposed attacks- fuelling a burning fire.  more..

'Do not play games with youth of the nation'

June 28 (AD) MP C.B. Ratnayake states that the Government must search for solutions to the SAITM issue without delay, and that discussions must be held for this purpose at state level. C. B. Ratnayake said that no one has the right to fracture skulls of the future generation and that no one must attempt to exterminate them either. He added that university students maintained relationships with certain political parties that followed socialist courses of action. more..

SL banks lead in March quarter profits

June 28 (EN) Sri Lanka’s banking sector remained the largest contributor to earnings of firms listed on the Colombo stock exchange in the March 2017 quarter, helped by interest rates spreads. Earnings were up by 7.1% in the quarter to Rs 65.5 billion from a year ago and 0.2% from the previous quarter, for 278 companies analysed by the brokerage, excluding a large one-off gain made by the LOLC group. more..

President visits Negombo Hospital

June 28 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena made an urgent observation tour to Negombo District Hospital today. He inspected the activities of the hospital and held a special discussion with the specialist doctor who is in charge of the special dengue treatment unit. President, who witnessed the congestion in the dengue ward complex, directed the officials to take quick actions to expand required facilities. He also inspected the other development activities in the hospital more..

Tamils displaced by Sampur Vidura Navy Camp meet HRCSL

June 28 (TG) Displaced people of Sampur told SL Human Rights Commission that SL Navy’s Vidura camp should be removed so that they can be resettled in their own lands. A team from the commission led by Ambika Satkunananthan visited Trinco on 15-16 June, holding discussions with civil society and political representatives and visiting the occupied lands in Sampur. According to villagers, having displaced the people of Neenakeni in 2006, Navy built camp on 176 acres of civilian land. more..

First phase of Lakhiru Sevana Housing Complex vested with the public

June 28 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena vested the first phase of the Lakhiru Sevana Housing Complex in Maligawatta, with the public, today. Govt launched this project with the aim of relocating of households presently located in undeserved settlements in the city of Colombo. This housing scheme was constructed under the Urban Regeneration Programme by Urban Development Authority with the guidance of more..

Jewel of Indian Ocean: How to invest in SL

June 28 (FN) This sun kissed island just below India is a minnow compared to its giant northern neighbours, but its emergence from civil war and political crisis has put it on the map for brave investors. While the SL economy has seen decent GDP growth in the last few years, currently it stands at 4.1% growth y-o-y, not impressive, but things could be much worse. The govt debt to GDP ratio has risen to 76%, which is uncomfortably high for a small frontier market. more..

President will intervene in Uma Oya project

June 28 (DN) President Sirisena will meet the protestors of the Uma Oya Multipurpose Project on Friday, Minister Harin Fernando said. He said President has decided to intervene to resolve the problems faced by the people affected by the above project. He said ten persons representing the protesting mass have been invited by the President for a discussion tomorrow. A Norwegian company has been requested to look into the shortfalls of the Uma Oya project and propose solutions. more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

South Korea to consider increase of job quota to Sri Lanka

June 28 (PSL) President of South Korean Human Resources Development Service of Korea, Prof. Park Young-bum said his country would consider increasing the employment quota for SL workers. He said this when President Sirisena asked about the possibility of increasing the employment quota for SL agricultural workers, when Prof Park called on him at Presidential Secretariat. President thanked Govt of South Korea for providing employment to workers in fisheries & agriculture sectors. more..

4 new envoys present credentials to Prez

June 28 (PSL) Three Ambassadors and a  High Commissioner  presented credentials to President Maithripala Sirisena at the President’s House. President, referring to close bilateral relations with Sri Lanka and the countries represented by the new envoys expressed confidence that they would strive to further strengthen bilateral friendship and cooperation in many areas including trade, investment and tourism. While the HC of Seychelles will be based in Colombo, more..

'Crucial decision on constitution next week'

June 28 (DM) Constitution Assembly Steering Committee will meet next week to decide on the procedure to be adopted when enacting the new constitution, PM Ranil Wickremeisnghe said today. He said this when addressing a conference on the new constitution, pointed out that the Steering Committee at its meeting next week would decide whether to include all provisions of the constitution in the interim report or to include only more..

SL eyes first choice for foreign companies

June 28 (Xinhua) Govt said that it will look to promote the country as the first choice for international companies. Minister Ravi Karunanayake told a seminar that SL must pursue a "hub diplomacy," which relentlessly promotes Sri Lanka as the first-choice location for the regional headquarters of international companies, from established multinationals to expanding start-ups. "Just as Singapore established itself as a successful hub between India & China, so too can SL, more..

BBS condemns questioning of journalists

June 28 (DM) Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) Organisation strongly condemned questioning of journalists who covered the press briefings by the Organised Crimes Prevention Division (OCPD), BBS CEO Dilantha Withanage said. He said questioning of journalists did not take place during other Police investigations and it was clear that Police were purposely targeting the BBS. Meanwhile, he said as an organisation BBS would fight for the rights of journalists if they had to face any issue. more..

Sri Lanka players told to get fit - or get out!

June 28 (AFP) Govt warned the national cricket team to get fit in three months or get booted out. Ultimatum came after the squad was found to be unfit for the series against Zimbabwe which starts on Friday. "No one has a satisfactory level of fitness, but I have made an exception this time," minister Dayasiri Jayasekera said. Players are selected by an independent panel for the national team, but sports minister more..

GMOA to take final decision tomorrow

June 28 (DM) GMOA said they will take a decisive decision tomorrow during its Central Committee meeting if the govt would not address their demands with regard to SAITM. GMOA Assistant Secretary Dr. Naveen De Soyza said that the coming couple of hours would be crucial and added that their final decision may be a token strike or a certain step beyond it. “Earlier, we called off the strike believing President’s words. We respected his word and had hoped he would mete out justice. more..

Video: Removal of illegal buildings: Patali vows no political interference

June 28 (AD) There will be no political interference in the effort to demolish illegally built buildings in Colombo, a top govt minister vowed. Minister Champika Ranawaka said illegally built houses and offices have been demolished despite the fact to whom it belonged to and the process will continue. Minister also told reporters in Colombo that the recognized illegal construction sites which hinder drainage of rain water in Peliyagoda, Kelaniya and Kolonnawa would be removed. more..

President shows no mercy to striking doctors: minister

June 28 (EN) Striking govt doctors called off their trade union action despite failing to extract any concessions from President Maithripala Sirisena, but may have feared mounting public anger, the health minister said Wednesday. The cabinet of ministers discussed the GMOA trade union action last week and the President noted that he had made no concessions whatsoever to the strikers, minister Rajitha Senaratne told reporters. more..

Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe gone mad!

June 29 (CT) No mad man admits that he is mad. When you ask a patient at the mental hospital in Angoda if he is mad, he will without hesitating point towards the outside world and say all the mad men are out there. That is exactly what Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, the Minister of Justice and Buddha Sasana (believed to be allegedly hiding the fugitive extremist Buddhist monk Gnanasara) said in the Balaya TV show. He also claimed that everyone who signed a petition in support of Lakshan Dias, more..

Not Our cup of tea!

June 29 (DN) Glyphosate is poison. There are hundreds of cases of visible damage caused by it. In such a situation, the prior proof is not necessary. The proof should be sought after the ban. Take one point promoted in favour of glyphosate: it does not affect humans because of the absence of the shikimic acid metabolic pathway in the human body. Shikimic acid pathway exists in plants and some microorganisms. Glyphosate destroys it. The claim mentioned above may be a truth in regard more..

'Successive govts neglected investments in road transport'

June 29 (CT) Moratuwa University Senior Professor of Transport and Logistics Prof. Amal Kumarage believes that successive govts have neglected investments into the road transport sector, which has led to the morass that the sector and the country are now in. Prof. Kumarage, who was also one time Chairman of National Transport Commission, and also Chairman of the Transport Cluster of National Commission for Economic Development more..

Access to experts at Business Angel Forum for Sri Lankan entrepreneurs

June 29 (EN) Sri Lankan entrepreneurs will gain access to investment, expertise, and direct mentorship from some of Asia’s most prominent investors when the island hosts the Asian Business Angel Forum (ABAF) later this year. It will be held along with Venture Engine, Sri Lanka’s platform for accelerating and expanding promising entrepreneurial concepts which has brought together investors with seed capital of over Rs. 2 billion for 25 local start-ups. more..

A solid answer to current garbage crisis

June 29 (DN) Following the Meethotamulla garbage dump tragedy which claimed 40 lives, the need for a substantial waste management policy was much spoken of. The Aruwakkalu Sanitary Land Fill in Puttalam would become a solid answer to the current waste management crisis that SL is now at, Minister Champika Ranawaka believes. The project would be carried out under the directions of President and PM, by Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development. more..

'I don’t want to be a hero for the gallery'

June 29 (NS) Weedicide banned by govt, Glyphosate has become a much talked about issue recently. Govt partner, MP Athuraliye Rathana further pointed out its ill effects and clarified that Govt should continue the ban imposed on it. Minister Navin Dissanayake however stated that it had yet to be confirmed as to whether Glyphosate impacted the kidney disease. He made a request that the ban on Glyphosate be lifted solely for tea crop. more..

What happened to my old Colpetty?

June 29 (Island) I have become a Colpetty or a Kollupitiya person again, maybe for the fourth time. When I first started work it was in Colpetty at Bartleets at Nadaraja building, opposite the railway station road where Methodist College is. Yes. The old Cornel supermarket is gone. It was wonderful to see those Metho girls and many of us liked the way they wore the school tie. I have some wonderful memories of a beautiful Methodist College beautiful ballerina I met under an umbrella in the rain more..

Editorial: Bonds and bondage

June 29 (Island) Second anniversary of Sirisena-Wickremesinghe govt is drawing near and speculation is rife in political circles that the SLFP will opt for continuing its co-habitation with the UNP. Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said it was up to the SLFP Central Committee to decide whether SLFP-UNP political marriage should end or continue. Time was when it was said that Russia did as the Communist Party said; the party did as its Central Committee said and more..

Wijayadasa Rajapaksha

The march of folly: Uses and instruments of disinformation

June 29 (CT) I was sent recently a link to a bizarre article headlined Retired MI5 agent confesses on deathbed: I Killed Princess Diana. It appeared on a site called and was supposed to be written by someone called Baxter Dmitry – about whom there seems to be some controversy, in that there are claims that he is the same person who writes under other names too. The article itself is not very plausible, though it is accompanied by a splendid photograph of an old man more..

Former ISI chief pledges support to MR

June 29 (CT) There is no secret about President Maithripala Sirisena looking up to Indian PM Narendra Modi in many instances, be it doing yoga to mark International Yoga Day or following his dress-code during pre-election campaign. This time it was about ministers using mobile phones during Cabinet meetings. Last October, in a move to prevent leakage of sensitive information on important policy matters and decisions, PM Modi issued a directive to his ministers not to more..

SAITM saga at a standstill?

June 29 (Roar) The seemingly endless SAITM saga is now at a crossroads with the Govt and the GMOA locked in an apparent stalemate, unable to agree on what the next move ought to be. Yesterday (27), UNP and SLFP, two constituent parties of govt, set aside their growing political differences for a moment to put up a united front in the face of rising public resentment and strong trade union action from GMOA more..

SL Women up against Australia today

June 29 (DN) Australia launched its title defense with a convincing win over the West Indies in Taunton on Monday and captain Meg Lanning is keen to build on that against Sri Lanka in Bristol on Thursday. Australia batter Nicole Bolton was the star of the show with a fluent unbeaten 107, helping her side to an eight-wicket victory. Ellyse Perry also took three wickets as West Indies was bowled out for 204 and Australia will hope to replicate that near-perfect performance when more..

Sri Lanka eye redemption against Zimbabwe

June 29 (Island) Sri Lanka are looking to pick themselves up as the series against Zimbabwe begins this week in Galle after a string of poor performances prompted their coach to quit. Angelo Mathews leads the Sri Lankans who take on Zimbabwe in the first of five one-day internationals on Friday as they look to get over their first-round exit in the Champions Trophy. South African Graham Ford quit as coach last week with assistant Nic Pothas taking over in an interim capacity more..

Sri Lanka’s Central Bank: Then and now

June 29 (ST) Lajjai, Lajjai, Lajjai. Wili Lajjai. Yes, as a person who had been in close association with Central Bank (CB), I am ashamed. I am truly ashamed of the scandalous situations that the CB had plunged into willingly or otherwise during the last decade or so. CB that I joined in the year 1960, as told by its Secretary Jansz, was a unique institution. It was administered by the best of the best in the country, adorned at the top by more..

End of an innings for Dr. Upali Mahanama

June 29 (DN) Dr. Upali Mahanama, former president of the Association of Cricket Umpires SL and father of former SL cricket captain and ICC Match Referee Roshan Mahanama passed away at his residence at Nugegoda yesterday four days before his 77th birthday. Upali has been ailing for some time fighting the dreaded disease of prostate cancer for the past five years. He breathed his last in the early hours of yesterday with his family – wife Swarna and sons Devaka and Roshan by his side. more..

Sangakkara first to 1,000 first-class runs

June 29 (CT) Kumar Sangakkara became the first batsman to reach 1,000 runs in the Specsavers County Championship this season, as his sixth hundred propelled Surrey to 516 for seven declared during a heavily rain affected day two at Headingley. Retiring Sangakkara advanced from 82 overnight to his ton in double quick time as the visitors advanced from 374 for six. He ended with a stunning 180 not out off 183 balls before Yorkshire replied with 27 for one from 10.5 overs. more..