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Tourism industry to host road show in Doha

Oct 17 (TP) Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau is set to launch a promotional road show that will see a delegation of SL Tourism officials, as well as Sri Lanka’s leading hotels and tourism stakeholders, to visit Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman, as part of an ongoing effort to develop the number of tourists visiting the emerald island from the four GCC cities. This Tourism promotion kicked off last night in Kuwait and will continue to other GCC cities until Oct 18, 2017 and more..

Pakistan beat Sri Lanka to take 2-0 lead

Oct 17 (CI) Babar Azam's seventh ODI hundred combined with a sublime all-round performance from Shadab Khan saw a listless SL slump to their ninth consecutive ODI defeat. They lost by 32 runs, but the margin would have been much greater but for a fighting hundred by SL captain Upul Tharanga; no one else scored more than 22. Sri Lanka were on top in the first quarter of the match, having reduced Pakistan to 101 for 6, more..

Kusal Perera tipped to captain T20 team

Oct 17 (DN) Kusal Perera who has not played international cricket since the Champions trophy match against India in June is tipped to lead Sri Lanka in the third T20 against Pakistan at Lahore on October 29. Perera’s appointment is subject to him passing an MRI scan today on his hamstring injury that has prevented him from playing for the past four months. It is learnt that the left-handed opener cum wicket-keeper is being asked to lead the side as regular T20 skipper Upul Tharanga is more..

Dialog launches South Asia’s First NB-IoT service

Oct 17 (LBO) Dialog Axiata PLC, has launched on it’s 4G network the Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) enabling seamless connectivity amongst devices using Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) technology. With the introduction of NB-IoT – the LTE based network support layer will facilitate uninterrupted connectivity for multiple Smartlife services. Through a simple Smartphone App and Website, Smartlife consumers can create sequences of conditional statements called more..

'Sri Lanka trying to rope in some top players for Lahore'

Oct 17 (CB) SL's Cricket Manager Asanka Gurusinha says the board is trying to rope in as many top players as possible for the team's scheduled Twenty20 International in Lahore later this month. The ongoing bilateral series against Pakistan ends with a T20I in Lahore as Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is trying to bring international cricket back to the country. Their efforts took a massive hit when 40 contracted players handed SLC a letter more..

Royal chess team make a clean sweep

Oct 17 (DN) Royal College, Colombo swept aside arch rivals S. Thomas’ College, Mt. Lavinia at the 2nd annual Royal-Thomian Chess Encounter, time for the Aturupane-Parakrama Challenge Trophy, held at the Royal College Union Skills Centre. The main event of the trophy Royalists won Under 20 age group while the two schools also competed in the Under 17, Under 15, Under 13 and Under 11 age groups. Royal also won all the junior matches. Royal College hosted the event more..

2-day dengue prevention program in Jaffna

Oct 17 (GDI) A two-day dengue prevention program will be held today (16th) and tomorrow (17th) in the Public Health Inspector areas of Jaffna. Over 25 groups comprising of army and police officers, and other government authorities will join the program, where they will visit the premises and take necessary remedial and legal action against offenders. Regional Epidemiologist, Jaffna Dr. G. Rajeev said that today they would inform the public using public address systems. more..

SriLankan, a hopeless case even with a management change: Eran

Oct 17 (DM) Finance State Minister Eran Wickramaratne lashed out at the national carrier, SriLankan Airlines, at a recent forum, saying that the airline has no business proposition even with a change in the management.  His comments come at a time the govt’s attempt to find a foreign partner to run the airline has failed. “It doesn’t matter who is in charge. It doesn’t matter what the management team is. more..

Removal of minimum room rate will boost competitiveness: Fitch

Oct 17 (DN) Fitch Ratings expects Sri Lanka’s hotels sector to face price competition from the growing informal sector and alternative accommodation models. Fitch says that EBITDA margins (measures the extent to which cash operating expenses use up revenue) could also be squeezed by the expanding marketing budgets of hotel operators. The margins of listed hotel operators considered in our analysis have softened by around 100bp over the last two years, to 28%, more..

Yeti Isotonic creates waves in lankan beverage market

Oct 17 (DM) Yeti Isotonic which was recently launched in Sri Lanka looks to shake-up the sports drink market by offering the most advanced electrolyte drink. The drink is targeted at athletes and those with a fitness-inspired lifestyle. While isotonic drinks are wildly popular with sportsmen and fitness buffs world-wide, the concept has gained traction in SL only recently. An isotonic drink has the same concentration as blood plasma and thus delivers fluid to the body faster. more..

Hotels face tough time: Drop in tourist arrivals predicted

Oct 17 (CT) SL's Hotel Industry will face a number of challenges in the next four years as tourist arrivals to the country slows down, according to a prediction made by the internationally well-known ratings agency, Fitch Ratings. In a comprehensive report on the industry, Fitch Ratings said, Sri Lanka will lag behind most developed tourism destinations. "Indian traffic, which accounted for around 17% of tourist inflow during 2016, more..

Manufacturing picks up in Sept. services lags

Oct 17 (FT) The country’s manufacturing sector picked up in September whilst the services counterpart lagged as per the Central Bank computed Purchasing Managers Index (PMI). The Bank said Tthe Manufacturing Sector PMI recorded 59.0 in September which is an increase of 4.6 index points compared to August 2017. This indicates that the Manufacturing activities continued to expand in September 2017 at a higher rate compared to August 2017.  more..

Sarana further remanded till Oct 30

Oct 17 (DN) Former Deputy Minister and former Chairman of Development Lotteries Board (DLB) Sarana Gunawardena was further remanded till Oct 30 by Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne. This is for the alleged misuse of a state vehicle valued over Rs.8 million, while he was serving as the Chairman of DLB during the previous regime. Former Deputy Minister was arrested by Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) over offences he is alleged to have committed under Public Property Act. more..

'TNA seeks fiscal powers in new Constitution'

Oct 17 (CT) The TNA on Sunday stressed that Provincial Councils (PCs) should be given fiscal powers through the new Constitution. At the same time, the TNA has said that devolution of power to Provincial Councils must be done in a manner where the Northern and Eastern Pcs could be integrated in a way so that the authority devolved to PCs cannot be taken over by the Govt. This was stated by TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran, more..

Navy renders assistance for elimination of drugs

Oct 17 (SLN) The Navy renders its fullest assistance to the joint national effort for elimination of drugs launched under the direction of His Excellency the President Sirisena to create a country free of drugs. The Navy has taken swift action against a number of cases involving the possession and sale of drugs in violation of the Excise Ordinance. Accordingly, it has apprehended a large quantity of drugs smuggled into the country via sea and arrested a large number of drug dealers and handed them over to more..

Veteran TULF politician Soosaithasan’s funeral today

Oct 17 (CT) Veteran Tamil politician and former TULF MP for Mannar, P. S. Soosaithasan who died at the age of 83 will be laid to rest at St. Anne's Church cemetery at Vankalai in Mannar today. Former MP Soosaithasan who was a chartered accountant by profession, passed away after a brief illness last Friday. Popularly known as Soosai, he was a devout Catholic and was highly respected by his constituents. He was the first Tamil MP from the Northern Province to be an accountant more..

Former CB Governor Cabraal gave top appointments in banks to his relatives

Oct 17 (DN) It was revealed yesterday before the PCoI that former Governor of the CB Ajith Nivard Cabraal, while holding office, had several of his close relatives appointed to top posts in banks coming under the purview of the Central Bank. This information transpired after a member of the Monetary Board Nihal Fonseka, who also happened to be a first cousin of Cabraal testified before the Commission and from whom expert opinions more..

Rs. 4.1 billion financial fraud: Arrest warrant on former Ministry Secretary

Oct 17 (DN) The Colombo Fort Magistrate yesterday issued a warrant for the arrest of former Secretary to the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Management Ivan de Silva over a Rs.4.1 billion financial fraud alleged to have taken place in the Gin-Nilwala Diversion Project. Magistrate Ms. Lanka Jayaratne made this order persuant to a request made by the FCID. The warrant written in English and Sinhala was issued on the former Ministry Secretary since he is abroad (New Zealand). more..

Daredevil chopper pilot drives animals and everyone crazy in National Park

Oct 17 (Island) Polonnaruwa Range Wildlife Assistant Director W. D. M.J. Wickremasinghe said an investigation had been launched to establish the identity of the owner of a helicopter that had flown very low, scaring a herd of wild elephants in Kaudulla National Park last Friday to please the reveling elephant watchers from above. The helicopter carrying a group of holiday makers flew just above the canopy of the forest and a few feet above the ground in the grassland areas  more..

IMF reaches fresh deal with Sri Lanka

Oct 17 (FT) The IMF and the Govt yesterday reached a fresh deal to further the cooperation between the two in enhancing prudent macroeconomic management. IMF said it had constructive discussions with the authorities in Colombo and during the Annual Meetings in Washington D.C. In a statement, IMF said the 2018 Budget should continue with fiscal consolidation supported by the new Inland Revenue Act. more..

Strike cost Railway Dept Rs 12 Million

Oct 17 (CT) Department of Railways suffered a loss of Rs 12 million due to the recent train strike, a senior official said. He said that income was lost on ticket sales, and seat reservations during this period. The strike, launched on 11 Oct, resulted in the cancellation of nearly 370 scheduled trips. According to the official, it also inconvenienced passengers who had purchased tickets and made reservations. Strike, which was scheduled for midnight on 12 Oct, however, took place at 5 pm previous day, more..

President chairs a meeting on the future activities of official term expired PCs

Oct 17 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena has given instructions to the Divisional Secretaries to continue the services rendered by the provincial councils to the public without any hindrance, even though the official term of the provincial council has ended. The President gave these instructions at a meeting held at the Presidential Secretariat today (16) under his patronage, to discuss the future activities of term expired provincial councils. President discussed with the officials about more..

Fonseka’s insights to AG’s Dept. on Bond probe

Oct 17 (FT) Central Bank Monetary Board Member Nihal Fonseka appeared before the PCoI yesterday, where his views were sought as a senior banking expert on a number of matters pertaining to the case. Responding to questions, Fonseka said using direct placements over a prolonged period of time to artificially suppress interest rates could be dangerous as it’s not a sustainable practice. more..

Kicking footwear makers in the teeth

Oct 17 (Island) The news of an Indian leather product manufacturing giant entering the local market as a BOI venture has caused the local footwear manufactures to shake in their shoes, as we reported yesterday. It is feared that, with a capacity to churn out as many as 200,000 pairs of shoes etc a day in India, the company will gobble up the entire Sri Lankan footwear market in next to no time. There are more than 350,000 families dependent on footwear industry in Sri Lanka more..

Bravo Mr. PM: Ball is now in court of PCoI

Oct 17 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe must be applauded for volunteering to appear before the PCoI into the alleged CB Bond scam to clarify any matters with regard to the references made to him at the sittings.   Whatever the reasons the PCoI had for not summoning him in the first place, it now has a golden opportunity to seek clarification from the PM if indeed he appears before the PCoI.  It must be said that the references made to him at the sittings were relatively marginal. more..

'Economy heading for major crisis'

Oct 17 (DM) Joint Opposition’s Parliamentary Group Leader Dinesh Gunawardane, in an interview with, spoke about the current status related to the constitution making process and how his side braces for the LG Elections, expected to be declared soon. Q: When you called on the Chief prelate of the Malwatte Chapter Most Ven. Thibbatuwave Siddartha Sri Sumangala Thera to brief him on constitution making process, more..

Threefold increase in dengue incidence

Oct 17 (Island) National Dengue Control Unit (NDCU) said there had been over 158,000 suspected dengue cases reported from the beginning of the year till end of last week and the figure represents a threefold increase in the incidence of the disease. Number of dengue deaths recorded during the same period was 390. However, last year a total of 55,150 dengue cases were reported with approx. 100 deaths from the disease. more..

Will strengthen all environment laws: Prez

Oct 17 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena said the govt intends to strengthen all environmental protection laws and if needed more laws would be formulated in future. President made the observation yesterday at the inauguration ceremony of Sri Lanka NEXT - A Blue Green Era, conference and exhibition at the BMICH, organized by the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment. more..

Teacher transfers plunge Ananda into chaos

Oct 17 (Island) Police rushed to Ananda College, Col 10, yesterday to prevent any untoward incidents as students of senior classes staged a protest within the school premises, lighting as they did firecrackers against Education Ministry’s move to transfer 40 teachers. Police stood outside the school premises to face any emergency as students demonstrated, demanding the immediate cancellation of the transfers. more..

Transparency, accountability guidelines in govt procurements to be gazetted this year

Oct 17 (ST) The procurement guidelines compiled by the National Procurement Commission (NPC) to ensure transparency and accountability in the procurement process of Govt institutions, will be gazetted before year end, said NPC Chairman Nihal Wickramasuriya. “The final version of the guidelines were prepared following consultations with all stakeholders and includes input from them as well,” he said. more..

Put off polls till new Pradeshiya Sabhas are set up: TPA

Oct 17 (DM) The TPA Leader and Minister, Mano Ganesan said the local govt election would have to be postponed by a few days to grant his party’s demand to increase the number of Pradeshiya Sabhas in the Nuwara Eliya District. He said the local govt election would be definitely held in January next year. “The elections will have to be postponed only by few days not weeks or months because of our demand could be held before more..

Vidya rape and murder convicts split and sent to separate prisons

Oct 17 (Island) Prison authorities transferred four of the 7 convicts sentenced to death for raping and murdering Jaffna schoolgirl Vidya Sivaloganthan from the Pallete Bogambara prison due to security concerns. Two of the convicts had been transferred to the Welikada prison and the other two to the Mahara Prison. The other three convicts would be further held at the Pallekele prison. more..

Police investigate disappearance of three girls from Kolonnawa

Oct 17 (AD) The Police have commenced investigations into the disappearance of a young mother and two female children who are residents of Kolonnawa. The three missing persons have been identified as 19-year old Malithi Wathsala who is the mother of an infant, 15-year old Yasanthi Madushani the sister in law of Malithi and a 14-year old from the neighborhood named Charithri Chandrasekaram more..

PTL’s inter-group transactions concealed ultimate destination of funds

Oct 17 (DM) Testifying before the PCoI, current Monetary Board member and senior banker Nihal Fonseka said the routine adopted by Perpetual Treasuries Ltd to transfer funds through its related group companies was to conceal the ultimate destination of the payments. At the onset of yesterday’s proceedings, Mr. Fonseka testified before the PCoI. DSG Milinda Gunatilleke led the evidence producing several bank statements more..

Anika Wijesuriya has fled country due to threats by Ravi’s relative: AG’s Dept

Oct 17 (AD) Anika Wijesuriya, a key witness who had testified before the PCoI, has fled the country due to receiving threats to her life.  This was revealed to the commission today by ASG Yasantha Kodagoda, during the hearing held today. Wijesuriya, a director of East-West Properties, had given evidence to PCoI that the lease of the penthouse apartment used by former Minister Ravi Karunanayake more..

What is more important: Fixing the Constitution or fixing the economy?

Oct 17 (FT) Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly has produced an Interim Report on six key issues after 73 sessions between April 2016 and Sept 2017, without basic consensus among the key partners of political party representatives in the Committee. There were six sub-committee reports submitted before, in November and Dec 2016, and some of them were more controversial than the present report.  Report perhaps has tried its best to incorporate alternative views more..

Constitutional Conversation

Oct 17 (DM) I am not an expert like Dr. Dayan Jayatillaka (DJ) with Doctorates in International Politics. I am an old salt, who was in active service from the beginning to the end of the war. While reading DJ’s article which appeared in the  issue of October 11 and listening to his speeches on above, I thought of responding as a service officer who has committed his whole life (4 decades) to protect the territorial integrity of the motherland. For, I sincerely believe, that the proposed more..

දුම්බර මිටියාවතට සහ බතික් කර්මන්තයට ....

India bans registration of bottom trawlers to stop poaching in Sri Lanka

Oct 17 (EN) India has banned fresh registration of bottom trawlers in the Palk Bay area as part of measures to prevent its fishermen poaching in SL waters. The decision was conveyed to Sri Lanka during talks between officials of both countries in New Delhi over the weekend. “In addition, alternative livelihood opportunities for the fishing communities in Palk Bay area are being offered through open sea cage farming, seaweed farming and other allied coastal fisheries activities,” more..

New entry period for US Diversity Visa

Oct 17 (DM) The registration period for the US diversity visa (DV-2019) has been revised due to technical issues, the US Embassy said today. In a statement, it said the new entry period would be open for electronic entries on Oct 18 from 11 am to Nov 22 until 11 am. Due to the new entry period, all entries made prior to Oct 18, 2017 should be resubmitted for the entrant to be considered, it said. The technical issue was the failure to properly account for country of eligibility more..