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Modern grocery retail sector in Sri Lanka to expand: Fitch

Nov 7 (DN) Fitch Ratings expects the modern grocery retail sector in Sri Lanka to expand in the mid-teens in the medium term, supported by aggressive expansion and growth in same-store sales. Increasing per capita income and rising urbanisation should make modern grocery retail more affordable and accessible to a larger portion of the population. SL’s supermarket penetration is still around 15% compared to 30% for regional peers with similar social & economic characteristics, more..

Sri Lanka policy rates unchanged; inflation up, credit easing

Nov 7 (EN) Sri Lanka said it is holding policy rates unchanged to help an economic recovery despite rising inflation but credit growth easing. "In the monetary sector, the growth of credit to the private sector from commercial banks continued to moderate in Sept 2017 as envisaged," CB said. CB was also selling down its Treasury bill stock, withdrawing excess liquidity and allowing foreign exchange to be bought from markets. more..

Aitken Spence ups 2Q PBT by 15% t Rs. 1.1 b

Nov 7 (FT) Aitken Spence Plc said it has posted Rs. 1.12 billion as Profit Before Tax in the three months ended 30 Sept, an increase of 15.4% year-on-year.  Profits attributable to equity holders of the company increased by 8% to Rs. 584 million while revenue rose by 24.5% to Rs. 12.26 billion in the quarter from last year. Earnings per share for the quarter amounted to Rs. 1.44, an increase of 2.3% over the corresponding period. Revenue of Rs. 23.9 billion for the six months ended 30 Sept 2017, more..

Transitional justice relevant to Sri Lanka?

Nov 7 (Island) UN Special Rapporteur, Pablo de Greiff, at a media briefing following his 14-day visit to SL stated: Sri Lanka continues to deprive itself of the benefits of Transitional Justice. Before addressing the benefits of Transitional Justice, certain fundamentals need to be clarified. Some of these fundamentals are, for instance: What is Transitional Justice? Is it relevant to Sri Lanka? From what to what is SL supposed to transition? Is Justice to be restorative or retributive? more..

SAITM asks for representation on new committee

Nov 7 (Island) Chairman of the SAITM Dr. Neville Fernando has requested President Maithripala Sirisena to include a SAITM representative in the Harsha De Silva Committee appointed to implement proposals pertaining to the resolution of the SAITM dispute. Full Text: "We note with concern, the media release on the above, which has been issued today (6). We have noted that in the newly formed committee to implement more..

Shangri-La, Colombo set to transform Colombo’s skyline

Nov 7 (Island) They called it Sneak Peak. Well before its opening scheduled for Nov 17, Vice President and General Manager, Timothy Wright talking to the press recently said the Shangri-La Colombo, would be the 101st hotel in the Shangri- La chain of hotels worldwide. Its origins were in Singapore. The press tour that evening was to areas of the hotel representing a complete atmosphere of readiness which was an apt indicator of its décor, rooms, suites, cuisine and more..

New format for schools rugby league

Nov 7 (CT) SL Schools Rugby Football Association (SLSRFA) is once again set to implement a new format for the 2018 inter-school league tournament. According to the new format 48 schools will compete in Division 'A' in three groups. Only 13 schools featured in the 2017 league top tier tournament, but three additional schools - Kingswood, Lumbini and Vidyartha - are expected to be included next year. The 16 teams will now be divided into four groups. The first round will be on league basis more..

'No guarantee of next fuel shipment’s quality'

Nov 7 (Island) Petroleum trade unions yesterday said that there was no way of guaranteeing the quality of the next fuel shipment due to arrive on Wednesday (08) until it was tested at the laboratories here. Thousands of motorists queued for fuel on Monday for the fourth-day after the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) restricted supplies following a delay in a fuel shipment and a rejection of another due to its failure to meet specifications. more..

Sapugaskanda needs urgent repair

Nov 7 (CT) CPC trade unions yesterday reiterated the urgent need for the Sapugaskanda oil refinery to be renovated. In the wake of the ongoing fuel shortage, with long queues being seen at pumping stations island-wide, with vehicle owners staying in line for hours on end, in certain cases, to pump petrol, which as of today has become virtually non-existent at stations, the Petroleum General Employees Union noted that the Sapugaskanda refinery is in a dilapidated state, more..

Central Bank clarifies employment numbers

Nov 7 (CT) Central Bank has issued a statement clarifying media reports which highlighted the employment numbers referred to in the CBSL Annual Reports of 2014, 2015 and 2016. We reproduce below the statement in full: Subsequent to the Census of Population and Housing 2012 conducted by the Dept of Census and Statistics covering the entire island, Registrar General's Dept introduced changes to Mid-Year Population Estimates and published a revised series. more..

Finance City development in countries like Sri Lanka

Nov 7 (DN) As cities become the driver of economic growth and the main beneficiaries of economies of scale, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday asked the Mayor’s Dialogue, City Net Congress to consider the question of financing such development in countries such as Sri Lanka. Financial resources for growth as well as having development work within the framework of sustainable development were challenges more..

SL origin Malaysian diplomat Dr Kumaraseri present his latest book to President

Nov 7 (PMD) SL origin Malaysia’s top diplomat, Ambassador Ananda Kumaraseri presented the first copy of his latest book, Symbols & Symbolism: Embrace Multiculturalism to President Sirisena at the Presidents House. Book was presented during the reception hosted by the President to the foreign delegates attending the 7th Buddhist Summit in Colombo. SL origin, Kumaraseri joined Malaysian foreign service 30 years ago and served as ambassador to several countries. more..

President’s Awards for Scientific Publication under President’s patronage

Nov 7 (PMD) President’s Awards for Scientific Publication  held under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena at the Taj Samudra, today (6). President’s Awards for Scientific Publication were started in 2001 to recognize SL scientists with a Sri Lankan institutional affiliation whose work reached international standards, and to provide an incentive to increase national scientific productivity. This Awards ceremony was organized by the National Research Council. more..

US pledges support despite delay in Sri Lanka reconciliation efforts

Nov 7 (FT) Despite delays in Sri Lanka’s reconciliation process the US will stand by Sri Lanka to bring enduring and sustainable peace, a top official said yesterday, insisting America was ready to engage on wide-ranging issues including regional security. US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon, who is the highest ranked official from the Trump administration to visit Sri Lanka, told reporters that more..

GMOA avoids strike option but will support death fast by parents

Nov 7 (Island) GMOA said they would support the fast unto death campaign by the parents of the state medical faculty students demanding the abolition of the SAITM Medical College. GMOA Secretary Dr Haritha Aluthge said the union had held an emergency general committee meeting yesterday morning and decided to back the protesting parents. However it was also decided by the union’s General Committee to leave its Ex-co to use its discretion regarding the form of support which more..

Ex-President’s Chief of Staff Gamini Senarath required to make statement, AG tells SC

Nov 7 (FT) The Attorney General yesterday informed the Supreme Court that the Petitioner Gamini Senarath, the former President’s Chief of Staff, cooperated with the investigation into the alleged siphoning off of funds to the Hambantota Hotel projectand the investigation was completed but he was now required to give statement. Counsel for the Petitioner told Court that the Petitioner undertakes to be present in Fort Magistrate’s Court and give a statement. more..

Furore over fuel farce

Nov 7 (FT) The continuing fuel shortage added more misery to the public yesterday causing a furore countrywide over the mismanagement and blame game. An apologetic Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said that he had faced pressure from various parties, including through political avenues, to accept the substandard fuel consignment of the LIOC. While apologising to the public for the issues that had arisen due to more..

Co-op outlets sell food at warehouse prices

Nov 7 (Island) The govt recently closed international tenders for 200,000 MT rice tranche to be distributed through its cooperative network as part of its strategy to bring down the cost of living. "Our international tender to import 200,000 MT rice closed on 31 October and the rice samples submitted with tender bids are being forwarded to ITI for lab tests. The 200,000 MT total consists of 90000 MT Parboiled Nadu rice, 60000 MT Samba (Parboiled) rice & 50000 MT White Raw rice" more..

Fish rain falls on Nallur, Jaffna

Nov 7 (TS) Villagers in Jaffna, were treated to fish rain after a downpour brought small fish along with it. The region has been hit by heavy rain and thunderstorms during the ongoing monsoon season, with neighbouring Indian states experiencing floods. The small town of Nallur in the north of SL, however, received fresh seafood along with their downpour. People in the area who gathered to watch the spectacle said the phenomenon has been happening for the past three years. more..

SLMA urges students to return to lectures

Nov 7 (Island) Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) called upon state medical faculty students to return to their academic activities immediately following the govt’s decision on Oct 29, to abolish the SAITM and establish a nonprofit institution under the Ministry of Higher Education. SLMA President, Prof. Chandrika Wijayaratne expressed the association’s concern regarding the prevalent situation in respect of the dilemma more..

Why anti-SAITM campaign was never about free education?

Nov 7 (DM) Last week, govt announced that the private medical school at the centre of a bitter dispute, SAITM would be converted into a non-governmental and not-for-profit entity. That should have laid to rest a protest campaign that had regularly paralyzed health services and medical faculties in state universities and clogged streets in Colombo with protestors. However, it does not appear to be the case. Medical Faculty Students’ Parents’ Association rejected govt’s solution. more..

All roads lead to Rome

Nov 7 (DM) That is a loose translation of what the 12th Century French theologian Alain de Lille said about the Eternal City. We in current Sri Lanka too have a similar sentiment, but one hundred and eighty degrees removed from what De Lille quoted.  All roads lead to Rome was about medieval times.  All Woes lead to Diyawanna-Oya, is strictly our own.   Now let me add some meat to the matter, some spice too, just to make it more palatable to the reader who like me, more..

‘SL is too small to have a Federal state’

Nov 7 (DM) Former Principal of Sri Lanka Law College Dr. Jayatissa de Costa, argued that Federalism, under any garb, wasn’t acceptable for a small country like Sri Lanka. Dr. de Costa, a President’s Counsel, says the entire constitution making process was unconstitutional. Q: President Sirisena has called for an All Party Conference (APC) to initiate a dialogue on the constitution making process. What is your view? more..

‘President must be elected by Parliament’

Nov 7 (DM) Govt MP Jayampathi Wickramaratne, who is playing a pivotal role in constitution making, shares his thoughts on the current status of the process and plans for the future. Q: You are involved in constitution making through the Steering Committee. Now, President Maithripala Sirisena has proposed to call for an All Party Conference (APC). How do you view this? A: It’s very important that more..

What Jayanthi did next…

Nov 7 (Roar) In the 18 months since Jayanthi Kuru-Utumpala returned from Mount Everest, she has completed close to 50 interviews at home and abroad. Not wanting to join the ranks as just another number, Roar Media promised Jayanthi a conversation only about the future, without a single mention of Everest. Well, maybe just one… I never thought I’d be in an advert! Jaythani starred in a TV commercial for NZ milk producer, Anchor. more..

Land dispute takes on communal turn

Nov 7 (CT) There is a tense corner of SL just south of Trincomalee in the Eastern Province where a land dispute has taken on a dangerously communal turn. This must be an example that may be repeated in many other parts of the country where the war displaced locals and they returned to find their land occupied by others. The clash is over a hundred acre stretch of lush paddy land in the Muttur Divisional Secretariat more..

Korean capitol Seoul to link with a sister city in Sri Lanka

Nov 7 (PSL) Mayor of South Korean capitol Seoul, Park Wonsoon paid a courtesy call on President Maithripala Sirisena today. He thanked the President for the support extended to South Korea at international forums and expressed that Seoul wishes to establish a link with a sister city in Sri Lanka. President said that such a link between cities would help to learn from each others’ urban development strategies. more..

Sri Lanka to lead creating Indian Ocean’s rules-based order: Harsha

Nov 7 (DM) Sri Lanka is attempting to host a conference next year in an attempt to become the leader in creating a rules-based order in the Indian Ocean, according to National Policies and Economic Affairs Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva. “We have an initiative and this is the first time I’m talking about it publicly. We are attempting to have a conference by the end of next year and we are in the process of bringing things together. more..

Ex-cadres to challenge Tamil politicos: Major convention in Kilinochchi scheduled

Nov 7 (CT) To mark the Maveerar Day, the rehabilitated LTTE cadres are organizing a convention in Kilinochchi, prior to 21 Nov, to focus on burning political and social issues they face in the post rehabilitation period. Leader of the Rehabilitated Liberation Tamil Tigers (RLTT), Kandaswamy Inbarasa said the exact date of the convention would be decided soon and it would be scheduled between 10 and 21 November in Kilinochchi. more..

RTI reveals disappearance of Commission report on Ashraff’s death

Nov 7 (ST) The unexplained disappearance of a Commission of Inquiry (CoI) Report relating to the death of SLMC founder leader M.H.M. Ashraff, has surfaced in a recent appeal hearing before the Right to Information (RTI) Commission. The disappearance came after it had been kept in a file at the Presidential Secretariat and sent to the National Archives 10 years ago, during former President Rajapaksa’s regime. more..

LIOC refutes all allegations

Nov 7 (DM) While rejecting allegations that LIOC was responsible for causing the petrol shortage in the country, the company said that delay of a CPC petrol shipment had led to the shortages of petrol across the country, particularly given that CPC catered to 84% of the Sri Lankan market. “It may be noted that LIOC caters to only 16% of the Sri Lankan market, while the remaining 84% relies on CPC supplies. more..

Fuel to be pumped only to vehicles

Nov 7 (NR) Ministry of Petroleum Resources Development says a circular has been issued preventing fuel from being filled to bottles or cans instead of vehicles. The 2017/01 circular was issued containing the signature of Secretary to the Ministry Upali Marasinghe. Information was revealed that long queues were witnessed at filling stations as fuel was being distributed to bottles and cans instead of vehicles. more..

Catch up with the rest of the world

Nov 7 (CT) For the second time around this year, Sri Lanka is plunged into a fuel crisis. With no prior warning or notice, this time the fuel shortage has continued for over five days now, dragging the nation to a near standstill. The problem started with the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) making an emergency purchase in the spot market as the country was crippled without fuel and rationing introduced until the situation was normalized. The matter turned sour quicker than vinegar more..

Sri Lanka’s macroeconomic dilemma: Which way to turn now?

Nov 7 (FT) Interest rates remain high, but under control. Thanks to tightened monetary policy stance of the Central Bank. From a business point of view, they are too high: Investment financed through bank credit borrowed at floating rates has become penalised, while financing new investment through bank credit is difficult to afford.  From a macroeconomic point of view, there has been unwarranted increase in aggregate demand in terms of both public and private spending more..

මහජනතාව මහ පාරට ඇද දැමූ තෙල් අර්බුදය

Couple in Jaffna arrested with counterfeit currency notes

Nov 7 (AD) The Jaffna Anti-Vice Squad arrested a couple with counterfeit currency notes worth Rs. 2, 168, 000 in Ariyalai –Jaffna, today (7). The arrest was made following a tip off received by Jaffna Police Station. The police also seized a colour printer, scanner, storage drive, two mobile phones and other items used to print fake currency notes. 568  fake notes of denomination Rs 5000 (400), Rs 1000 (168) were seized by the Police along with the suspects. more..

Dialog Axiata Sept net profit up 31%

Nov 7 (EN) Dialog Axiata said September 2017 quarter net profit grew 31.3% to Rs3.7 billion from a year ago. Sales rose 11.4% to Rs24.2 billion. Earnings per share for the quarter were 46 cents. Dialog shares were trading at Rs13.30 Tuesday morning. EPS was 93 cents in the nine months to 30 Sept 2017 with net profit at Rs7.7 billion, down 2% from a year ago owing to an increase in depreciation, net finance cost and non-cash translational forex losses, the company said. more..

Water Wars: Farmer-NWSDB Conflict

Nov 7 (CT) The stage is set for the battle between the protagonists for water for irrigation and water for drinking. Who will win the war? The battle is all about claims to surface water, water found naturally at ground level, such as in rivers, or water diverted to tanks for irrigation from rivers, like the water from the Mahaweli River which feeds tanks in the dry zone of the North Central Province in particular, ipso facto for irrigation purposes. more..

RTLHRC, NPC canvass CSO’s support for constitutional reforms

Nov 7 (DN) “Every Sri Lankan should be given the right to live in peace and harmony, irrespective of their ethnicity or religious belief,” said Executive Director of Right to Life Human Rights Center, Phillip Dissanayaike, explaining the need to make changes to the existing Constitution. “One of the main pre-election promises given by the present govt was to abolish the Executive Presidency and it is our duty to compel the govt to fulfil their promises,” he added. “We look forward to three major changes more..

Cabinet sub-committee appointed to look into fuel issue

Nov 7 (AD) A Cabinet Sub-Committee has been appointed to look into the current fuel shortage issue and recommend solutions, Minister Duminda Dissanayake said. The sub-committee was appointed by President Sirisena following a request made by Minister Arjuna Ranatunga at the cabinet meeting held today. The three-member committee is chaired by Minister Dr Sarath Amunugama and also includes Ministers Champika Ranawaka & Anura Priyadarshana Yapa. more..