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Collaborative robots to boost productivity, expand SL female employment: officials

May 25 (EN) Deploying collaborative robots that work with humans in the workplace can boost productivity, create new jobs and help expand employment opportunities of female workers in SL, officials said. Collaborative robot (cobot) arms can lift heavy weights, do repetitive work, expand the reach of a worker and make precise placements of items on a production line. "A cobot is a third hand or a helping hand that improves the quality of life, the ergonomics and productivity of workers," more..

Congratulations with a sting

May 25 (Island) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya congratulated Minister Mangala Samaraweera and all new ministers on their new appointments. When Speaker congratulated Minister on his new appointment, both the Govt and Opposition members joined in congratulating him during the course of the debate.  MP Dullas Alahapperuma raised a question from the Finance Minister and congratulated the latter saying that the appointment was victory for people from Matara. more..

GDP growth up last year: Kabir

May 25 (DN) Although the economic growth rate had slowed down to 4.4% in 2016 from 5% in 2014, growth in terms of GDP has actually increased last year amounting to Rs. 11,839 billion from Rs. 1,0361 billion in 2014, Minister Kabir Hashim said. In this context it is not correct to say that the economy is failing, simply going by the economic growth rate. He said a Professor from a leading University has commented that more..

Case over Antonov aircraft crash in 2000 to be heard today

May 25 (NR) The case pertaining to the murder of 35 individuals by firing a missile at an Antonov aircraft from Wilpattu in the year 2000, will once again be taken up for hearing today. The case will be heard at the Anuradhapura Special High Court. Two LTTE cadres who were arrested and remanded over the case will also be presented in Court today. The Aircraft carrying 32 army personnel crashed as a result of the missile attack. A leader of the LTTE Missile Unit testified in Court, more..

Only a professional to head Sri Lanka Ports Authority, new minister says

May 25 (EN) New Minister of Ports and Shipping Mahinda Samarasinghe has said only a professional will be appointed as chairman of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), which operates the island’s ports and provides navigation services. No political influence will be entertained in appointing the new chairman of the SLPA, a Ministry of Ports and Shipping statement quoted Samarasinghe as saying at a meeting with port labour unions soon after he took over his new job. more..

Govt failed to curb communal violence: JVP

May 25 (CT) The JVP charged in Parliament that the Govt was dragging its feet on curbing and controlling the escalating number of instances of racial and communal violence around the country. JVP leader, Anura Kumara Dissanayake said, "The govt should have acted fast and nipped this trend in the bud. Instead, it is displaying a very impotent and ineffectual attitude to this very dangerous issue which has potential more..

Heavy rains likely

May 25 (CT) South-West monsoon conditions are likely to develop over the country during the next few days, the Department of Meteorology informs. Hence, showery and windy conditions are expected to increase over the South-Western part of the country. Showers or thundershowers are likely to occur in the Western, Sabaragamuwa, Southern, Central and North-Western Provinces. Showers or thundershowers may also occur in other regions during the afternoon, it said. more..

New security system from 1 June at BIA

May 25 (CT) It has been decided to implement a new security system from 1 June with the objective of providing protection to airlines at the BIA. According to the new security system, the quantity of liquids, sprays and gels that can be taken in hand luggage of an Airline passenger, has been restricted further. Manager of the Bandaranaike Airport and Air services company H. S. Hettiarachchi made this statement at a press briefing held at the BIA yesterday. more..

Prez discusses asylum seekers in Australia

May 25 (AP) President Maithripala Sirisena met with Australian PM with fighting people-smuggling high on the agenda. President is making the first visit by a SL head of state to Australia. His visit to Canberra and Sydney marks the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the countries. After meeting with PM Malcolm Turnbull, he was also scheduled to speak with Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton. more..

GMOA strike: Find compromise

May 25 (DM) Once again on Monday, the GMOA launched another 24-hour countrywide strike in public hospitals, causing agony to tens of thousands of poor patients. Claiming to be one of the most powerful trade unions in Asia and using if not abusing that power, during the past few months, the GMOA has been launching strikes in a recklessly regular manner.  In the old world order of socialism and capitalism, the right to form trade unions was considered part of the democratic process. more..

Cabinet re-shuffle: Cards that keep floating to the top

May 25 (DM) President Sirisena was hopeful. He said the Cabinet reshuffle would provide a new impetus to SL’s development. Prof G.L. Peiris was generous. He said it was unfair to blame Ravi Karunanayake for the economic failures and fiscal shortcomings of the government because he had operated with clipped wings considering that the Treasury was under the PM and the the banking sector under Kabir Hashim. Dullas was cute. He wondered why govt shifted Karunanayake, more..

'Plantation Tamils need Administrative power first; political power next'

May 25 (DM) Nuwara-Eliya District TPA MP Mylvaganam Tilakaraj highlights issues confronting plantation-based Tamil minority and their aspirations. Q: As a politician from upcountry, how do you see the current political situation of the country? A: Visibly, people are not satisfied. Ordinary people expect physical appearance of development in terms of bridges, roads etc. There is a lack of development. more..

Sri Lanka’s drug busters gaining ground in battle against heroin smugglers

May 25 (ST) Last week’s ambush of officers from the Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) came as authorities were making significant strides in their battle against local and foreign drug traffickers, authorities claim. The smuggling of heroin is of primary concern for authorities given its status as a hard drug. From Jan 1 to May 18 this year, the police alone had seized 259 kilograms (kg) of heroin. more..

The multi collapse

May 25 (NS) The Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka (IESL) informed that they would conduct an inquiry into the structural engineer behind the construction of a building in Wellawatte. The extension of a wedding hall, complete with a five storey multi level vehicle park under construction, collapsed last week, resulting in the death of one and the hospitalization of many with injuries. The IESL will be writing to director in charge of more..

Rathupaswala: Weapons examined

May 25 (SL) Investigations related to the Rathupaswala incident are forging ahead and the weapons that were used for the shooting are being examined. Accordingly, the area in which the victim Ravishan Perera was shot, during a protest demanding clean drinking water, is being searched for any trace of bullet casings. The CID conducted a four-hour special search operation on May 18 to find any empty bullet casings that might still be more..

Sri Lanka’s foreign reserves: Ground reality

May 25 (CT) In the very recent past, Sri Lanka's foreign reserves have been subject to great scrutiny by various stakeholders in the political and economic eco-system of Sri Lanka. The initiation of scrutiny began in earnest following a statement made by the President at a recent event, followed by the annual report published by the Central Bank. The statement made by President Maithripala Sirisena was as follows: more..

Video: Don't rotate players too often: Upul T

May 25 (DM) In an assault of incomparable  ferocity, Upul Tharanga and Sanath Jayasuriya piled up 286 runs in 32 overs in a record opening stand to hand England their worst-ever (5-0) defeat in a bilateral series back in 2006.  Jayasuriya plundered 152 off 99 balls  but it was then 21-year-old Tharanga who stole the limelight. The boy from Balapitiya smashed 109 off 102 balls as he and Jayasuriya took the hapless more..

Sri Lanka to build over 1,000MW of solar, wind power plants in north

May 25 (CT) Sri Lanka plans to build a hybrid energy park of 240 MM of wind power and 800 MW of solar power plants at Pooneryn in the island’s north as it seeks to increase its share of renewable energy. The proposal made by the Minister of Power and Renewable Energy to implement the project in three stages was approved by the Cabinet. “The appropriate investor to develop this energy park will be selected through more..

Health Minister highlights SL's health achievements at 70th World Health Assembly

May 25 (IL) Minister of Health, Dr. Rajitha Senaratne addressing the 70th World Health Assembly (WHA) meeting in Geneva on Tuesday (23) said that “Sri Lanka has achieved much progress in health care delivery due to cost-efficient use of resources and the coordinated use of its well ingrained primary, secondary and tertiary health care facilities”. Minister who is leading SL delegation to the ongoing 70th World Health Assembly more..

Buddhist monks find Pakistan different from what international media projects

May 25 (APP) Delegation of Buddhist monks from Sri Lanka said they found Pakistani people peace-loving, hospitable and generous which is different from what int'l media projects. Speaking at the concluding ceremony of Vesak Mela celebrations arranged by National History and Literary Heritage Division, Buddhist monks said, “The hospitality, love and respect shown by Pakistani people won our hearts”. more..

President Sirisena and PM Turnbull agree to enhance cooperation

May 25 (PSL) Visiting President Maithripala Sirisena and Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull agreed to expand cooperation between the two countries in several areas.  This agreement was reached during their discussions held at the Australian Parliament in Canberra today,ý (25). The two leaders, after concluding a one-on-one round of talks, held bilateral discussions, in which ministers and officials from both sides participated. more..

Speeches without action

May 25 (CT) In light of the surge of religious disputes in recent times, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe stressed that racism and religious disputes will not be allowed to raise their ugly heads again and the Police who have been tasked with this responsibility will take necessary action against such issues. Addressing participants at an event involving the National Youth Services Council that was held at Temple Trees on 23 May the Premier noted, certain groups are attempting to more..

Tea shipments down in April, earnings up

May 25 (EN) Sri Lankan’s tea exports fell 9% to 20.1 million kilos in April 2017 from a year ago but earnings grew as prices were higher, Forbes & Walker Tea Brokers said. “All main categories, tea bags, packeted and bulk teas have shown a decrease compared to the corresponding month of 2016,” they said. But total tea export revenue grew 23% or Rs.3.1 billion to Rs. 16.5 billion in April 2017 compared with the same month last year and average tea export prices were up 36%. more..

සුනිල් ශාන්ත සිය පුතුන්ට සංගීතය තහනම් කළේ ඇයි?

How to deal with sexual harassment, glass ceiling & bullying at workplace?

May 25 (CT) Most women become silent victims of harassment in workplace. Particularly, the women who may not have the backing of a family, any male or other political backing are seen, easy targets. In Sri Lanka, the importance given to diversity and law is very less compared to that of a developed nation. The purpose of my article is to help vulnerable females in identifying characteristics of glass ceiling and to guide them on how to handle it. Most women become silent victims of men who more..

Sri Lanka goes from drought to flood, landslide warnings

May 25 (EN) Heavy monsoon rains have begun to drench SL, ending a near year-long drought which deprived over a million people of drinking water, sparking warnings from authorities of floods and landslides. People living near major rivers and on the slopes of hills hit by monsoon rains should be alert to the possibility of earth-slips and rising flood waters. It disseminated warnings from NBRO asking residents to evacuate if they detect signs of earth-slips like toppling trees or cracks in ground. more..

Having only PM's crony friends as UNP Ministers: Reshuffle should have brought Harsha & Eran in

May 25 (FT) Sirisena-Wickremesinghe-CBK Govt has, from the time the Govt was formed in August 2016, been struggling to take proper collective decisions. This is understandable given that 50% of those running the Govt supported the Rajapaksa campaign and the other half supported Sirisena. President however since of late in order to take control of the SLFP and to keep Rajapaksa at bay has begun to follow more..

Novel way of highlighting an injustice

May 25 (Island) When someone is faced with an injustice it is towards the aid of the law that one firstly turns to seek justice. If justice is delayed or completely absent the victim inevitably keeps his faith and belief in gods and carry out various religious practices. But if none of those forces listen to him and no justice is received, the man becomes hopeless and at a loss. A man from Ingiriya who had not received the ear of either of these powers has recently done a novel act in this manner. more..

Muralitharan to mentor TNPL team

May 25 (PTI) Muttiah Muralitharan has been named the mentor of the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) franchise VB Thiruvallur Veerans for the second edition of the event, to be held in July. "Muralitharan will be the mentor for Thiruvallur Veerans. It is something we never dreamt of, nor was it planned," Veerans' owner V B Chandrasekhar said. "Team required someone experienced to guide the boys and we felt Murali, with his vast knowledge of the game, could fill that role," more..

'Don’t delay new Constitution'

May 25 (CT) Civil organizations which ensured that this Govt came to power, are warning the Govt against continuously postponing the preparation of a new Constitution, which was the main slogan used when the Govt of Good Governance when it came to power. They said that it has been said that the SLFP was unwilling to totally abolish the executive presidency but while remaining in ministerial posts in the govt, more..

PC accidentally shot in Kegalle

May 25 (DM) A Police Constable was injured when the weapon of a Sub-Inspector misfired during an altercation with a suspect last evening. Police said the SI together with the Constable was in the process of arresting two suspects wanted for murder when the incident occurred. The SI’s weapon had accidently fired when he was engaged in a scuffle with one suspect. The constable was admitted to Hospital for treatment.  One suspect had fled the scene while the other was arrested. more..

UPFA Gen Secy promises stern action against those fanning racial flames

May 25 (Island) Stern legal action would be taken against the propagators of racism in the country, Minister Mahinda Amaraweera warned. He said there was an alarming increase in forming of organisations based on religion and race and the racist comments were made by different people in public. The issue of racism had been discussed by the Cabinet and it had decided to instruct Police to take strict action against the propagators of racism according to the law, he said. more..

Sri Lanka hunts Buddhist monk over anti-Muslim hate crimes

May 25 (AFP) Sri Lanka's police launched a major manhunt Thursday for a controversial Buddhist monk wanted in connection with a spate of attacks against mosques and Muslim-owned business. Police said they were working to track down and arrest Galagodaatte Gnanasara, head of BBS, after he went into hiding. His party is accused of instigating a recent wave of hate attacks against Muslim minority. more..

Aluthgamage released on bail

May 25 (DM) Former Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage was released on bail by the Colombo High Court today in connection with the case filed against him on charges of failing to declare his assets utilized to purchase a house in Kynsey Road, Borella. The former minister had allegedly purchased the house for Rs.27 million during his tenure under the former government. Indictments were also submitted at the Colombo High Court today when the case was taken up. more..

'Supremacy of law needed for development'

May 25 (NR) UPFA MP Chandrasiri Gajadeera says threats faced by institutions enacting the law cannot be prevented in a country where the Executive Presidency is in force. The statement was made by the MP in Parliament yesterday. Responding Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne joining the debate said the supremacy of the law is a must when engaged in development initiatives. Joining the debate the Deputy Minister said unity is also of paramount importance. more..

Shashi’s passport and NIC missing

May 25 (DN) Attorney General informed Court that the general passport and the National Identity Card (NIC) belonging to Shashi Weerawansa, the wife of NFF Leader Wimal Weerawansa has gone missing while being kept under court custody as production items in the case. The CID filed two separate cases against Shashi Weerawansa over an incident where she fraudulently obtained two passports more..

'Pace of reforms have slowed considerably'

May 25 (DM) European Union (EU) noted that the pace of reforms in Sri Lanka had slowed significantly with straightforward deliverables such as the operationalisation of the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) yet to materialise. Ambassador of the EU to Sri Lanka, Tung-Laď Margue said that more needed to be done quickly to hasten reconciliation efforts. He expressed these views when he met National Integration and Reconciliation State Minister A.H.M. Fowzie at his ministry last week. more..

India should either come up with a better plan for Sri Lanka

May 25 (Forbes) When it comes to Sri Lanka, China has an ambitious agenda. It wants to turn the island nation into a trading and military outpost in the Indian Ocean.  And it has a good plan in advancing that agenda, including the shoring up of Sri Lanka’s major ports. That’s something Sri Lanka and other Indian Ocean countries desperately need, as trade flowing throughout the region has multiplied in recent years. And it is also a development closely followed by international investors, more..

Rathupaswala shooting: Army Brigadier remanded

May 25 (DM) CID today arrested Brigadier Anura Gunawardena who was alleged to have led an army contingent to Rathupaswala to quell a protest by residents pleading for safe drinking. Three people were shot dead and 33 protesters injured on August 1, 2013. Police said a 14-year-old student was among those killed in the shooting. Earlier, CID had arrested three army personnel, a staff sergeant and two corporals more..

India rightly recalibrates Sri Lanka policy

May 25 (GN) The recent back-to-back visit of SL PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to New Delhi and Indian PM Narendra Modi to Colombo reinforces the two neighbouring countries’ commitment to strengthen a long-standing partnership that seeks to enhance all-round prosperity and development. By embarking on his second visit to the island nation since assuming office in 2014, Modi seems to have given a clear message that New Delhi is determined to reverse prolonged neglect of a special relationship, more..