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Sri Lanka tourism promoted in US

Oct 6 (EN) Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau and thirteen leisure firms from Sri Lanka participated in a promotional event in Washington DC, as part of road show covering the United States. Gamini Keerawella, Charge de Affaires of the Embassy of SL in Washington D.C said the US could be an important market for Sri Lanka as it had a large annual outbound volumes. Analysts say the US is an important market for East Asian nations where travel companies offer multi-country packages, more..

Audit report on Central Expressway, SriLankan Airlines to Parliament this month

Oct 6 (DN) The special audit reports on the Central Expressway and SriLankan Airlines will be presented to Parliament this month, Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe said. AG said that his Department is currently working on these audit reports as per the instructions of the COPE. The two reports will be handed over to the Speaker and the COPE Secretariat.  Report on Central Expressway deals with the procurement procedure more..

Sri Lanka’s ICTA clarifies on National Payment Platform (NPP)

Oct 6 (LBO) In todays’ digital world, the public perform a variety of tasks using their smart phones, tablets, and computers. Digital commerce is becoming more and more engaging globally, as it provides the convenience to services delivery. Traditionally a person would need to go to the location where the service is to be provided or obtained. In order to make an appointment or reserve a resource or to place an order you would have to visit the physical location. more..

VIDYA-2017 exhibition of Kelaniya University re-opened

Oct 6 (AD) The VIDYA 2017 Exhibition which temporarily concluded due to a tense situation which arose at University of Kelaniya will re-open tomorrow (07). Accordingly VIDYA 2017 will be held on October 7, 8, 9, from 9 am to 5 pm at the Science Faculty premises, University of Kelaniya. However the restriction which was issued by the University Administration yesterday preventing internal students entering the university premises will remain. more..

Video: Police use tear gas at protest near Indian Consulate in H’tota

Oct 6 (AD) Police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse protesters opposite the Indian Consulate Office in Hambantota. The protest was organized by members of the Joint Opposition including MP Namal Rajapaksa, against the agreement to handover operations of the Hambantota port and Mattala airport to two foreign companies. The protest was scheduled to be held near the Mattala Airport today, however more..

Farewell to my dear brother Dr Narendran

Oct 7 (CT) Yes, animals have feelings, and they can also experience joy and sorrow, just like us. I start with my salutation to Simba, the German Rottweiler- a good-natured and obedient dog, genial in its faith to his master – my late brother Dr. Rajasingham Narendran and his family members. It took a while for me -the visiting brother- to befriend Simba. I had to take the vigilant step to bribe him with mutton curry pieces and bones from my plate despite vigorous protests from more..

People’s sovereignty blatantly betrayed

Oct 7 (CT) It is sad but true that Sri Lanka could be the only country where the politicos simply disregard the rule of law and the Constitution with a scant respect to their obligations to the people. And the way things happening in this island nation, suggests that the general public is either unconcerned or their minds are preoccupied with other stuff.  In this opportunistic backdrop the corrupt politicos makes a field day exploiting everything possible within their reach. more..

Hard facts: A look at suicide in Sri Lanka

Oct 7 (CT) Currently, Sri Lanka is in fourth place amongst countries with the highest rates of suicides in the world. According to World Health Organization (WHO) statistics, Sri Lanka has a Suicide Mortality Ratio (SMR) of 35.3 (per 100,000 people). It is the highest SMR in the entire South-East Asia region. In 1996 and 1997, Sri Lanka topped the list of countries with highest SMR in the whole world. WHO statistics also reveal that more..

Commemorating an eminent educator

Oct 7 (CT) The 85th birth anniversary of RIT Alles, founder of Gateway College was commemorated at Gateway College, Rajagiriya, Tuesday (10). Former cricket star Aravinda de Silva, wife Anushaka de Silva and Asela Iddamalgoda were the guests of honour at the event. RIT Alles, Founder of Gateway Group and D.S. Senanayake College is a renowned educationalist with over five decades of service in education. "Parents are children's first and most lasting carers. more..

Editorial:  Defeating extremism

Oct 7 (Island) An association consisting of ex-military personnel, War Heroes for Motherland, has called for banning extremist outfits responsible for incidents of ethno-religious violence. No person in his or her proper senses will condone such barbaric acts and those who abhor violence may be sold on the idea of banning fanatical groups. But, the question is whether bans will help neutralise them effectively however politically correct such action may be. more..

Lacille De Silva says Ranil is not reliable

Oct 7 (CT) Former Secretary of the PRECIFAC and Attorney-at-Law Lacille De Silva says Ministers Hakeem and Ravi Karunanayake had clearly been subject to accusations. They influenced the President, directly, to remove me from the PRECIFAC, he noted. Q: On 8 January there was a political transformation in this country, how do you view the period that followed? A: A: Promises were made, to combat corruption, make Govt more..

New Constitution and some confusions

Oct 7 (NS) Almost all politicians are more or less focused on the Constitutional reforms, with the focus slowly shifting towards the upcoming budget proposals that are to be presented to Parliament next month. Constitutional reforms form a key step in Sri Lankan politics and have the potential to solve the longstanding ethnic problem which had plagued the country for over 30 years. Even the process is underway and the Steering Committee had released its interim report, more..

Is TNA selling out the Tamil people?

Oct 7 (NS) SL’s govt since 2015 was elected on a promise of a new constitution that would find a solution to the country’s national problems. On Sept 21, 2017, the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly presented its report on the new constitution to Parliament proposing the devolution of power within a unitary state. This proposal is far short of what the Tamils have asked for. The question is: will the proposals be a step towards resolving the national question, more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Making Mattala Airport viable Lessons from RGIA, Hyderabad

Oct 7 (CT) India's largest airport developer and operator GMR Group is willing to convert Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) into a profitable venture, if a request comes from the SL Govt. It was reported in the local media in August that an Indian company has made a proposal to the Civil Aviation Minister to take over MRIA, indicating that it would pump US$ 205 million into the airport for a 70 per cent share for 40 years. The proposal was approved by the Cabinet. more..

AM – PM – RK

Oct 7 (Island) Why did the Central Bank move from direct placements to public auctions for Treasury bonds? Because the Prime Minister - PM, who else, wanted it that way. We have the word of guess who, Arjuna Mahendran, on that. He is the AM guy. So did it help to expand the local –T-bond market, boost investor confidence, and drive down government borrowing costs, as they said it would? Come one, you don’t have to talk bond shit, about all that has happened. more..

Rangana Herath and his 4th-innings mastery

Oct 7 (CI) A wearing pitch, a fourth-innings target, and Rangana Herath, make for a deadly combination, and Pakistan found that out yet again in the Abu Dhabi Test. Not only did Herath reach the 400-wicket milestone and complete a century of Test wickets against Pakistan with his 6 for 43, he also became just the fourth bowler to take 100 fourth-innings wickets in Test history, joining Shane Warne (138), Muralitharan (106) more..

Rise of the Sinhala fundamentalist new right

Oct 7 (Island) Philosophy, said Kautilya (Chanakya) in the Arthashathra, deals primarily with the right and wrong use of force. At least from that time, it was recognized that there is a right way and a wrong way of doing even what is necessary or unavoidable. This was of course the very premise of the Just War doctrine of Christian theologians St Ambrose, St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas. A war had to be for the right cause and the right cause was not self-evident or merely self-referential and more..

Basil takes a bold step

Oct 7 (CT) The famous slogan put forward by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa during his Presidential campaign trail in the North was known devil is better than unknown angel. However, the Northerners and the Easterners preferred the unknown angel for the known devil by helping to overthrow the Rajapaksa regime with their verdict whatever devil is a devil at the Presidential poll in 2015. A few days after the landmark verdict given on school girl Vithya Sivaloganathan murder more..

Karunaratne ton helps SL build steadily

Oct 7 (CI) Dimuth Karunaratne's unbeaten 133 - an innings defined by its smoothness and control - ensured Sri Lanka's first brush with day-night Test cricket was a success. They moved to 254 for 3 by stumps, after debutant Sadeera Samarawickrama contributed a delectable 38, and Dinesh Chandimal progressed to the verge of another cautious half-century. Earlier in the day, Kaushal Silva had hung around for 27 more..

SL issues landslide warning after heavy rains

Oct 7 (EN) SL authorities issued a landslide warning after heavy rains, saying people on hillsides should be alert in the Rathnapura District which had suffered from bad weather previously leading to heavy insurance claims. National Building Research Organisation said it issued a level 1 Watch warning particularly in the district’s Eheliyagoda divisional secretariat division and surrounding areas. A statement said the rainfall within the past 24 hours has exceeded 75mm. more..

Film Fare mag selects Sri Lanka for November cover shoot

Oct 7 (FT) Sri Lanka once again proved that it was becoming a favourite hotspot to provide picturesque locations for the Bollywood film industry as Film Fare Magazine selected the island nation as a cover shoot location for its November issue with Deepika Padukone. One of Bollywood’s most successful actresses that has also stolen the limelight of the Hollywood film industry, Padukone was in Sri Lanka between 5-7 with her 12-member Film Fare crew for the shoot. more..

ලංකා ඉතිහාසයේ දුෂිතම ඇමතිවරයා රවී??

Ports have to be demand driven: SLPA Chief

Oct 7 (DN) “Production is taking in place Asia only because there was consumption demand in the US and the West. Therefore, the production was outsourced to Asia. This model is changing and has changed, to near-shoring and re-shoring which is placing a huge challenge to the carriage of goods by sea, out of Asia,” said Chairman SLPA, Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake. He also stated that the outsourcing model into Asia had been challenged due to increase in cost in Asia, more..

Villagers demand stringent fines & jail terms

Oct 7 (NS) The Presidential Task Force on Drug Prevention informed that members of communities involved in implementing community based drug eradication programmes at the grass root level requested judges to impose on offenders the maximum fines and lengthy periods of remand custody. The village level drug eradication programmes took another step this week with the establishment of divisional drug eradication committees in 694 grama niladhari divisions more..

Airbus representatives to visit Sri Lanka to negotiate termination of A350-900

Oct 7 (FT) SriLankan Airlines expects representatives of Airbus to visit the country to negotiate the termination of four A350-900 Airbus aircraft – the second part of the $2.5 billion re-fleeting program initiated under former President Rajapaksa for the national carrier. Cabinet Committee on Economic Management (CCEM) has yesterday approved the SriLankan board’s selection of a law firm to negotiate the exit terms. more..

Errant OICs given marching orders pending conclusion of probes: IGP

Oct 7 (Island) IGP Pujith Jayasundera yesterday said errant OICs engaged in illegal activities and had incurred the wrath of the public had been transferred with immediate effect. Police Chief said disciplinary action would be instituted against the errant cops once the investigations were completed. He said they had been reported to the National Police Commission as well. "There were several complaints from the public against OICs engaging in illegal activities and following more..

Visa to launch QR payment system to Sri Lanka soon

Oct 7 (DN) Govts of India and SL are encouraging digitization and this would result in a huge growth in cashless payments in the future, said Shivakumar Sriraman, Chief Risk Officer, Visa India and South Asia. Nearly 20-25 billion devices across the planet will be connected by smart devices by 2020 in some form of fashion and this too would help to promote digitization, he said. "If digitization was to increase in India by 10%, then the estimated cost of cash would be 1.5% of GDP. more..

Bond scam probe: Political interference and public-private sector complicity frightening

Oct 7 (Island) One-time Chairman of CoPE Dew Gunasekera declined to comment on state banks, Bank of Ceylon, People’s Bank and the National Savings Bank receiving instructions twice in 2016 to make bids at the treasury bond auctions at lower interest (yield) rates as that particular matter hadn’t been investigated by his committee. He said so when The Island asked him how his committee had failed to unravel state banks receiving more..

Dr. Sunil Nawaratna returns to lead Samurdhi

Oct 7 (FT) Dr. Sunil Jayantha Nawaratna has been appointed as the new Director General of the Samurdhi Development Department, the biggest institution under the Minister S.B. Dissanayake. Prof. Nawartna assumed duties yesterday. He was also the DG of the Samurdhi Authority. Previously he has served as the Secretary of the same Ministry, as well as Secretary of Higher Education and Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, Director General of National Youth Services Council, Chairman, more..

Uma Oya victims to the streets again

Oct 7 (LT) The govt has failed to provide even a daily quota of water for a family which is 500 liters for the people who have lost their livelihoods, abodes, assets and cultivations due to the Uma – Oya multi destructive project despite many requests have been made to the government to pay compensation says the convener of People’s Front Against Uma – Oya multi destructive project JVP Member of Uva PC Samantha Viddyarathna. The time given for the govt to provide relief more..

GMOA accuses Health Ministry of meddling with appointment list

Oct 7 (Island) The GMOA yesterday alleged that the Health Minister’s staff and the Health Ministry’s Director Medical Services were bent on preventing the publication of an amended post internship appointment list. In a letter addressed to Health Secretary Janaka Sugathadasa, GMOA Secretary Dr Haritha Aluthge has alleged that some ministry officials are all out to sabotage the appointment list. more..

Two Leo Burnett Sri Lanka professionals compete at Young Spikes Competition

Oct 7 (DM) Two young professionals from Leo Burnett Sri Lanka will represent the country at the upcoming Young Spikes Media Competition, which is set to take place in Singapore. Leo Burnett Sri Lanka’s Sarah Hassanally and Dilendri Wettewe recently named joint winners of the Young Spikes media competition conducted in Sri Lanka. They responded to a brief on the topic of ‘LBGT-Q’. The teams had to respond to this brief by identifying communication ideas to attract youth to be more..

Lankans working on visitor visas in the UAE face trouble

Oct 7 (NS) The Sri Lankan Welfare Association (Sahana), based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), highlighted that they encountered numerous cases involving fellow countrymen stranded in the Middle East, in particular the UAE, sans food, shelter and money. President of the Sahana, Upul Gamage said that in certain cases, those migrating from Sri Lanka had been cheated by fellow Lankans and also those in the UAE. He added that other issues faced by Sri Lankans heading to the UAE more..

UNP Ministers seek Ravi’s removal Group to make request from PM

Oct 7 (CT) A group of senior UNP Ministers have decided to make an official request to PM Ranil Wickremesinghe that former Minister Ravi Karunanayake should be removed from his current party portfolio as Deputy Leader forthwith, informed sources said. They stated that these Ministers are set to point out to the PM that Karunanayake's name being linked to CB Bonds scam would be harmful not only to the UNP, more..

UK reiterates support to unity govt

Oct 7 (MFA) The Under Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Minister for Asia and Pacific of the UK, Mark Field, on his first official visit to Sri Lanka since assuming the portfolio, met with Foreign Affairs Minister Tilak Marapana yesterday (5) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Acknowledging the progress made by Sri Lanka, despite a difficult and painful past, Minister Field pledged UK govt’s more..

ITE urges stop to Panama evictions

Oct 7 (DN) The International Tribunal on Evictions has urged authorities to stop evictions in Panama village and to return land to displaced people immediately. They also called for the military to get out and cease commercial activities. The Jury of the 6th Session of the International Tribunal on Evictions (ITE), held in Venice, Italy, from Sept 28 to 30, listened for two days to the testimonies, reports and recommendations of inhabitants and communities from 5 continents who are affected by more..

Rajitha to meet Bill Gates in Abu Dhabi

Oct 7 (DN) A special meeting between Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne and the Microsoft Company Technical Advisor Bill Gates will be held on November 15 in Abu Dhabi. The main objective of the meeting is to study the steps taken by the Sri Lankan Govt to control Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and admire those steps. Bill Gates has informed Minister that he wishes to study the steps taken by Sri Lanka to control NCDs and allocated one hour for the task. more..

'No minister can order CBSL'

Oct 7 (Island) Senior State Counsel Shahida Bari told former Governor of the CB Arjuna Mahendran, who was testifying before the PCoI, that there was no provision in the Monetary Law Act, empowering the line minister to give orders to the Central Bank. Mahendran said that he was not in a position to comment on that. On an earlier occasion, Mahenran said that it was PM Ranil Wickremesinghe who had instructed him to stop direct placement system and adopt the auction method. more..

28 arrested for unruly behaviour near H’tota Indian Consulate

Oct 7 (DN) The Police yesterday, arrested 28 protesters for unruly behaviour during a protest held at the Indian Consulate in Hambantota. The group led by the Joint Opposition had earlier planned to hold their protest outside the Mattala Airport but plans changed as the Police obtained a court order to prevent them from engaging in any protests outside the airport. At the Indian Consulate, a tense situation led to clashes between the Police and protesters, leading to their arrest more..