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The real reasons behind China's big investments in Sri Lanka

Mar 27 (Forbes) What’s China doing in Sri Lanka? Officially, it’s building the country’s infrastructure. Like the ports of Colombo and Hambantota, which have left the country heavily indebted. Unofficially, China is setting up outposts in the Indian Ocean as part of Beijing’s broader strategy to secure the passage of Middle East oil through the Strait of Malacca and counter American naval hegemony in the region. China has increasingly come to rely on the Middle East for its oil needs, more..

Video: 'Making a controversy over Rajinikanth's visit does not make sense'

Mar 27 (TN) Actor R Madhavan spoke on the recent political debate that broke out over superstar Rajinikanth’s proposed visit to SL and stated that it does not make sense to create a controversy at this point of time and that Rajinikanth, though he has taken a decision to avoid controversy, has made his stand very clear by asking people not to politicise his visit. “We must understand that we are very vulnerable as actors. It is unfair that social issues get linked to us before the release of a film. more..

Sri Lanka wants to reduce China’s stake in strategic port deal

Mar 27 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's govt wants a Chinese company to agree to cut its stake in a strategic port project by up to a quarter, as part of a renegotiation aimed at blunting public and political opposition to the deal. After signing an agreement in Dec, state-run China Merchants Port Holdings had been expected to pay $1.12 billion for a 99-year lease on an 80% stake in Hambantota port - part of Beijing's ambitious plans to create more..

Dickwella out of series with hairline fracture

Mar 27 (CI) Niroshan Dickwella has been ruled out of the ongoing ODI series against Bangladesh after suffering a hairline fracture in his left hand. Dickwella had sustained the injury on Sunday, at training. Though it was originally thought to be a minor injury, he had had trouble gripping his bat on Monday. Subsequent X-rays then confirmed the fracture. Team manager Asanka Gurusinha said that while the injury was minor it may take a couple of weeks to fully heal, which also puts more..

Tigers circle wounded prey

Mar 27 (CI) A win in a landmark Test, post-match calls from the prime minister, outstanding performances from debutants, seniors producing their best work - this hastily arranged tour was only supposed to be the postscript to Bangladesh's high-profile visits to NZ and India, but now has the makings of a dream tour. Consider how dominant SL have been against Bangladesh in the past. Muralitharan's record is sometimes attacked for containing too many Bangladesh wickets. more..

European Investment Bank team looks for Sri Lanka investment opportunities

Mar 27 (EN) The European Investment Bank (EIB) will send a high-level delegation to Sri Lanka to explore new opportunities for future investment on a three day visit later this week at the start of a South Asia tour. A high-level delegation from the European Investment Bank, the world’s largest international public bank, will make a three day official visit to Sri Lanka later this week at the start of a South Asia regional tour. more..

Protests in Jaffna against cancellation of Rajinikanth's trip

Mar 27 (PTI) Hundreds of people today rallied in Jaffna to protest against TN politicians under whose pressure superstar Rajinikanth cancelled his visit to the island nation where he was scheduled to hand over houses to displaced ethnic Tamils. Protestors belonging to different parties, including the TNA, gathered near Jaffna's iconic Nallur Kovil. They held placards with slogans against the TN politicians. The 66-year-old actor was scheduled to hand over the houses built by Gnanam Foundation more..

JVPer claims paddy sold to distillery at Rs 28

Mar 27 (CT) The proposed distillery at Kalkudah had been provided with 4,000 Metric tons of paddy from the Mattala warehouse, Samastha Lanka Govijana Sammelanaya organizer and JVP PC member Namal Karunaratne claimed. He added that the distillery being set up by Arjun Aloysius in affiliation with the Mendis liquor Company, was provided with the paddy at Rs 28 per kilo. Suspicions have arisen over this distillery being set up in the centre of Amparai, Devahuwa & Polonnaruwa Districts, more..

Video: I'm going to form a new party: Mervyn

Mar 27 (DM) Former minister Mervyn Silva said he hoped to launch a new political party which would be open for politicians who had faced injustice because of the actions of their political parties or leaders. “If someone has had to face injustice like what happened to me, I invite them to join us. I thought of forming the party not for me but for those who faced injustices for political reasons. I will not be the leader of party. I will be the chairman. more..

Education is not a commodity: But it is and it should be negotiable

Mar 28 (CT) Education is not a commodity has been a popular view almost universally held by Sri Lanka’s student community in higher learning institutions. For them, it is non-negotiable. Even some university academics at the country’s state universities have been ardent proponents of this view. This view held by them is now a public commodity found everywhere. It could be found on the placards which students wave at people when they stage streets demonstrations. more..

Why we can’t attract more foreign investments

Mar 28 (ST) The insufficient and decreasing inflow of foreign direct investments (FDIs) is most disappointing. FDIs have been declining from US$ 1070 million in 2014 to US$ 970 million in 2015 and it was only US$ 445 million in the first nine months of last year. Furthermore, most FDIs have been in property development and the hospitality industry rather than into export manufacturing. Sustained economic growth of 8% or more that would double per capita incomes in about ten more..

Thirsting nation Cries for Water

Mar 28 (NS) Many Sri Lankans attribute the vagaries of the climate to the caprices of the weather gods.  It seems that the time has come again to appease those incensed deities. The nation is experiencing its worst drought in five years which has pushed 900,000 of its citizens into acute food insecurity. Worst-affected by the drought have been farmers and those relying on agriculture for income. The World Food Programme (WFP) says more..

The tragedy of the common class

Mar 28 (CT) Last week I sketched out the political content of the Professional Nationalist class (or ProNats). I can’t vouch for their sincerity, but I think I can vouch for the disjuncture between their aims and their social conditioning, a disjuncture that has historically felled other similar political cliques in the past, both here and abroad. This week’s column is a sweep (or rather an attempt at a sweep) of a more common class, also political in nature but more discernible in the context of our country, more..

Speaker speaks out against unruly behaviour by some MPs

Mar 28 (ST) It’s three months since Parliament adopted a Code of Conduct for MPs, but that hasn’t made things easier for Speaker Karu Jayasuriya. This week, once again, and for the umpteenth time, the Speaker had to remind the country’s MPs on the need to behave in a manner befitting the high office they hold, and desist from behaving in a manner which does little to improve their image in the eyes of the public. The latest words of advice from the Speaker came on Friday when, more..

Rewarded for sensitizing the rights of the disabled

Mar 28 (CT) Last week, young Sri Lankan, Krystle Reid won the Commonwealth Young Person of the Year Award for 2017. Reid, who is the co founder of the Enable Lanka Foundation (ELF), shared some thoughts on the award, on winning, and her views on enabling youth of the country. Q: Describe this Commonwealth Award you have won and its significance? A: Since 2012 the Commonwealth has been recognizing more..

Editorial: When sailors buoy coffers

Mar 28 (Island) The govt, caught in a mega debt crisis, is desperate for funds and apparently doesn’t care where they come from. Time was when the traffic police considered it their bounden duty to make roads safe by preventing accidents. They did everything in their power to discourage reckless driving and jaywalking. But, today, they seem to think their raison d’etre is to raise funds for the state coffers by way of fines instead of preventing road mishaps. more..

Fake Prophets and Prophesies

Mar 28 (SL) The Biblical adage of Prophets not being recognised in their own country, today can be well appreciated in Sri Lanka. Their prophesies have gone wrong. By prophets, we mean the political kind, not our traditional prophets, the astrologers, who are  given the formidable task of predicting our whole lives, results of wars, cricket matches, matching couples horoscopes and of course elections. We are referring to exclusive political prophets: those who call themselves more..

Face the Nation

CA Sri Lanka launches first ever financial reporting quiz

Mar 28 (LBO) For the first time in the country’s history, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) will launch a financial reporting quiz with the aim of enhancing the knowledge of aspiring accountants from across the country to ensure the students will have the necessary knowledge on the topic, when they commence their career as professional accountants. CA Quiz and Effective Communication Contest which will be held later this year also aims more..

Ranil’s reckless radicalism

Mar 28 (Island) Mao Zedong once famously chided a group of young loyalists, saying, You say you want to make a revolution, but you don’t know where the bourgeoisie is! The bourgeoisie is in the party!  Similarly, I have long wanted to see an anti-systemic movement and struggle (to use my old professor, the iconic Immanuel Wallerstein’s concept) but have not known where the most anti-systemic element is, in this country. That is until now. But I have changed. I have had an epiphany. more..

Endemic but endangered: 5 butterflies of SL

Mar 28 (Roar) There are approximately 20,000 species of butterflies in total across the world, and they are distributed across all continents except Antarctica. Sri Lanka alone is home to 245 different species of butterflies ‒ out of which 26 species are endemic, while the rest of them are migratory butterflies who travel to the island throughout the year. A majority of these butterflies can be found in the foothills up to more..

Flip-flopping on accountability: A timeline

Mar 28 (GV) Sri Lanka recently co-sponsored a resolution at the 34th session of the UNHRC, allowing Sri Lanka two more years to implement the recommendations made in Resolution 30/1 of 2015. One of the most controversial topics has been the level of international participation in a judicial mechanism. Several bodies have called for SL to include foreign judges in its accountability process. UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Al Hussein flagged SL’s slow progress more..

Gura promises to lift fielding standards

Mar 28 (Island) Manager Asanka Gurusinha has promised to transform the national cricket team to a very good fielding unit once again after the team hit new lows in recent times. Fielding woes were the main reason for SL to lose the second Test against Bangladesh and in the massive 90 run defeat in the first ODI on Saturday, there were many lapses in fielding. Stung by the criticism for sloppy fielding, SL’s cricketers were involved in fielding drills for over an hour yesterday ahead of 2nd ODI. more..

'Tamils lived in N/E before Buddhistic era'

Mar 28 (CT) NP Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran responded to Dr. Sooriya Gunasekara, Chairman of a registered political party called Sinhaladipa Jathika Peramuna who called the CM for a debate, on his interview that appeared in Ceylon Today. Dr. Gunasekara, a retired civil servant, requested the CM to come for a debate on the topic, and the CM responded, "I am always available for talks. In fact I like to talk to more..

Out with old; in with young: Teachers’ union

Mar 28 (NS) Ceylon Teachers Union while highlighting the dismal state of education in the estates and plantation sectors noted that there were over 600 unemployed graduates in the said sectors. Recently, there had been a spate of protests by unemployed Tamil graduates in the Northern Province including Jaffna and Ampara demanding employment. General Secretary of the Union, Joseph Stalin said that they opposed the proposed move to rehire and reinstate retired teachers more..

Damro enters plantations with Rs. 5 b deals on Pussellawa and Agalawatte

Mar 28 (FT) Popular furniture brand and South Asia’s largest retailer Damro is entering the plantation industry with strategic investments in Agalawatte and the managing company of Pussellawa. In two separate yet connected deals yesterday, the Damro group of companies acquired 45.1% stake in Pussellawa Plantations PLC’s managing agents FLMC Plantations Ltd. for Rs. 4.7 billion and a controlling 61.1% stake in Agalawatte Plantations Plc for Rs. 275 million. more..

'Doval’s China obsession made India go for Sri Lanka regime change'

Mar 28 (ENS) India’s National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval’s obsession with China led to India’s working for a regime in Sri Lanka in 2014, former Defense Secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, told the Foreign Correspondents’ Association here on Monday. He said that the Congress-led govt had been very supportive of Sri Lanka as revealed in Choices, former NSA Shiv Shankar Menon’s very good book. more..

Hathuru without Hathuro will be the one to watch

Mar 28 (DN) Our recent failure against Bangladesh will still leave a bad taste in our mouths, it may even look spineless to the experienced reader, but for those who have played the game even at school level should understand the appalling pressures a fairly rookie side like us had to face. Armchair critics will go to town and paint it with rainbow colours. Therefore one can go to the extent and say “only by complete non participation do we have any chance of retaining our self-respect.” more..

Govt very slow in approving viable solar power projects

Mar 28 (ST) As govt looks to boost solar power units to meet the growing power demand in the country, investors are not too keen to invest in mega solar power plants anymore. Why? Because of a lethargic attitude and delays in decision-making by the Govt in approving projects. Currently, the govt seems to focus more on LNG and coal based power plants although it has launched a battle for solar energy that aims to add 220 megawatts of clean power to the country’s energy grid by 2020, more..

First Smart Bus Halt in Town Hall

Mar 28 (DN) The national mobile service provider Mobitel launched a state-of-the-art Smart Bus Halt at Town Hall, Colombo as a step toward transforming Colombo into a Smart City. It was opened by Minister Harin Fernando and SLT Chairman Kumarasinghe Sirisena. Smart Bus Halt is equipped with 4G LTE and Wi-Fi as well as a Smart Vending Machine to dispense beverages with a touch of the mobile for cashless payments. more..

Fetishist caught stealing underwear

Mar 28 (DM) Two shopkeepers in a certain town had shops opposite each other on the main road of the town. They could see each other while conducting their business. One of them was residing with his family in a house adjoining his shop, while the other's family was living elsewhere. The first shopkeeper's family included a young woman bathed in the evening and hung out her clothes on a line in the garden. The other shopkeeper had observed this, and at dusk he had more..

In Sri Lanka’s deep waters marine conservation goes hi-tech

Mar 28 (EAR) As the midday sun rises higher over Gulf of Mannar, a drone hovers over the blue mass of sea water. Below, a motley crowd of fishermen gathers, straining their eyes at a drone. A few metres from the crowd, conservationist Prasanna Weerakkody operating the drone raises it to 500 metres, before moving it slowly in different directions, allowing the device to film a large swathe of water. One day, he believes, the roving camera of this drone will send images of one of the more..

Imports soar; exports rebound in December but dip overall in 2016

Mar 28 (FT) Sri Lanka’s exports bounced back in December but ended 2016 on a negative note whilst soaring imports saw the country’s trade deficit widen by 8.4% to $ 90.09 billion. Central Bank said that the country’s performance was mixed in Dec 2016.  Trade deficit expanded as a result of the considerable increase in import expenditure, which more than offset the growth in export earnings during Dec 2016. more..

Check on cocaine blocks Rs. 3 b worth of sugar in Colombo Port

Mar 28 (FT) The recent detection of cocaine has left a bitter taste for sugar importers with over 1,200 containers worth Rs. 3 billion held up at the Colombo Port, forcing the trade to call for relief from the Govt. The containers have been held up at the Colombo Port since November last year as Customs declared Brazil a high-risk country and consequently enforced one full-scale inspection on a bag-by-bag basis. “This delay in clearing containers is no fault of the importers as the cocaine was detected more..

CSE seen as one of the most attractive capital markets in South Asian region

Mar 28 (Island) Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) is poised to become one of the most attractive capital markets in the region and given that situation the CSE is now in the process of organizing a series of road shows in other countries, CSE's Head of Research & New Products Nishantha Hewavithana said. "At present CSE net foreign flow from the beginning of this year to last Friday recorded Rs 2.3 billion, which was just Rs. 2.3 billion for 2016 and also showed negative growth in 2015, more..

2016 GCE O/L exam best results

Mar 28 (NR) A Chamathka of Visakha Vidyalaya, Colombo has topped the island rankings at GCE O/L Exam in 2016. SM Munasinghe of Mahamaya Girls’ College, Kandy has achieved second place in the island. S Ravindu of Ananda College, Colombo and Dimuth Oshadi of Rahula College, Matara have reached joint third in the island rankings. The results of GCE O/L Exam were released this morning. more..

Big match season: 22 vehicles in custody

Mar 28 (CT) Borella and Cinnamon Gardens Police, on 25 March, took into custody 22 vehicles, which had been driven by revellers in a dangerous manner, during the school big match cricket season. Arrangements have been made to file legal action against the drivers of those vehicles, which had been driven in a reckless manner hindering pedestrians and other vehicles. Following an incident, where a group of students from Mahanama College forcibly entered Yasodhara Balika more..

Notre Dame University & NARA sign MoU

Mar 28 (CT) University of Notre Dame, of US, had launched a special programme, together with the National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA), to carry out a scientific study within the ocean regions, in and around the Bay of Bengal, during the past five years. Under this programme, Upwelling Zones (zones where cold ocean water from the bottom of deep seas come to the surface) around the Bay of Bengal, places where low-pressure centres are more..

Gotabaya hints at an entry into politics

Mar 28 (Hindu) Denying the corruption and war-crime allegations against him, former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa hinted at a possible entry into active politics in future. “I have not decided yet,” he said, without ruling out the option. A few of his supporters have been floating the idea of his presidential candidacy in 2020. “If I can do something for the country, I will do that. I have that capability & I have proved it more..

Tablet computers for fishermen

Mar 28 (CT) The govt is expected to grant E-log books, in the form of tablet computers, to 1,490 fishermen to record various data while out at sea as well as to monitor each vessel, Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources said. Accordingly, the ministry has allocated a sum of Rs 149 million for the project. This initiative was taken by the govt in accordance with demands made by the European Union (EU) as one of the criteria set out by them to lift the fisheries ban on Sri Lanka. more..