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Goodness of Good Market

Sep 29 (Island) We sit under a Nuga tree and watch people enter the Good Market at the Race Course in Colombo. They are the lucky ones as the fresh organic vegetables and fruit stalls get empty long before others come to the Good Market. It is good for the early risers of Colombo. Navodya and I speak to the king coconut seller. He says, "I watch your programme [Pethikada] daily". There is also a memorandum of understanding between News 1st Gammedda and Good Market to empower more..

32nd National Rowing concludes

Sep 29 (Island) 32nd National Rowing Championship, organised by Amateur Rowing Association of SL, ended on a successful note on Sept 23. More than 350 athletes vied for honours at the coveted 32nd National Rowing on the resplendent waters of the Diyawanna Course. The rowers competed in over 72 events, held 21-23rd of Sept, at Diyawanna Rowing Centre – a purpose-built facility supported by the Ministry of Sports, to propagate the sport of rowing. more..

Video: Kumar Sangakkara: Sri Lanka great says farewell to first-class cricket

Sep 29 (BBC) Ex-SL captain Kumar Sangakkara says he will miss cricket terribly but believes he is retiring from the first-class game at the right time. Sangakkara, 39, made 35 not out in his final first-class innings for Surrey against Lancashire on Wednesday. He is fifth on the list of all-time run scorers in Test cricket, with 12,400 runs in 134 appearances. "Sometimes you hold on a bit too long and I always think it's better to let go more..

Darin takes Gold at Commonwealth Power Lifting championships

Sep 29 (DN) SL powerlifting champion Darin Weerasinghe took gold at commonwealth powerlifting championships held in South Africa. Darin who was a member of a team of nine that represented SL had stiff competition from countries such as New Zealand, UK, India, Pakistan and South Africa. Darin took part in the over 120kg open class and this has the strongest and largest lifters in the class with some of the British and South African athletes weighting well over 140kg. more..

Injunction stalls activities of Badminton

Sep 29 (CT) The current office bearers of Sri Lanka Badminton Association (SLBA) cannot continue to function any further due to an injunction issued by a court order after a petition was filed by four affiliates of the Association. The four affiliates who took the SLBA to courts are, Nationalised Services, Western Province BA, Southern Province BA and the Government Services BA alleged they have been unjustly treated. Representatives of these four affiliates stated that more..

July exports up 14%, passes $ 1 billion

Sep 29 (FT) Exports grew almost 14% to pass $ 1 billion in July from a year ago, the second time this year they exceeded the billion-dollar target as exports grew for a fifth consecutive month. Since March 2017 SL’s exports have performed well. Earnings from exports grew to $ 1,016 million in July 2017, registering a y-o-y growth of 13.9%. Growth in exports was mainly driven by industrial exports followed by agricultural exports. more..

Asian Card User body picks Sri Lanka for 25th Annual Conference

Sep 29 (FT) Wordline Asia Pacific, along with several dozen banks, has joined together in Sri Lanka to share knowledge and experiences on the latest financial trends and techniques in Asia. The 25th session of the Asian Card User Conference commenced at Heritance Negombo yesterday in a bid to create a platform for bankers from different Asian countries to meet with each other and to be updated on the latest innovative payment techniques in Asia. more..

Central Bank clarifies misleading news reports of Governor’s comment

Sep 29 (Island) Central Bank has observed media reports highlighting adjustments to the VAT as the reason for increased inflation in 2017. CBSL wishes to clarify the Governor’s response to a query from the media on rising inflation in 2017 at the press conference held on the Monetary Policy Review No. 6 of 2017. In his response, Governor stated that in addition to the adjustments made to the govt tax structure, the adverse impact of weather related supply side disruptions, more..

Much discussed anti-dumping law cleared for Parliament

Sep 29 (FT) Sri Lankan industries have been assured that proposed Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) will not affect them adversely or result in an imports dump as the Government is working to introduce anti-dumping legislation, the Trade and Commerce Ministry said in a statement yesterday. In fact, the much sought after anti-dumping legislation has been cleared by the Attorney General and is ready to head to the legislature, it added. more..

$100 million loan scheme to modernize tea factories

Sep 29 (DN) Addressing the 27th AGM of the SL Tea Factory Owners Association, Minister Navin Dissanayake announced that the ministry is expecting to launch the loan scheme worth of $100 million received from Japan including Japanese govt in December or early January next year. He said that the loan scheme is aimed at modernizing the country’ tea factories. Tea factory owners will be able to access the loan scheme through the People’s Bank at a low interest rate of 4-5%. more..

Zimbabwe captain gives clean chit to Sri Lankan players

Sep 29 (PO) Graeme Cremer, the captain of the Zimbabwe team is not ready to believe that the players of the Sri Lanka team were involved in the match-fixing. There have been rumours in Sri Lanka about the nature of play in a particular international match / series for several weeks, and there have been talks on how the team lost the five match ODI series 2-3 (to a low-ranked Zimbabwe team) but no evidence of any sort has been produced, or even pointed to. more..

Boost trade in Sri Lanka through reforms and access to information: WB

Sep 29 (WB) From an office on Galle Road, Chamil Perera manages his company’s imports. It’s a small firm with a roster of 40 products, and every import necessitates a wrestling match with Sri Lanka’s customs. Chamil’s company is trying to turn a profit in Sri Lanka, one of the most challenging countries in the world for importers and exporters. According to Department of Commerce, trade-related regulations more..

PPP Chairman Thilan runs shy of the Press

Sep 29 (DN) Chairman and acting CEO of the Public Private Partnership Unit of the Finance Ministry of Sri Lanka Thilan Wijesinghe, ran shy of the Press and wanted the media personnel to depart when he was to address the Sri Lanka Italy Business Council breakfast meeting at Hilton Residencies, last morning. The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce had invited a section of media to cover the event held under the theme The Role of the National Agency for Public Private Partnership. more..

Sri Lanka gets UK funds for tobacco control

Sep 29 (EN) The British govt’s Department of Health is committing £15 million ($20 million) to bolster international support for a tobacco control project in Sri Lanka, which is believed to have the world’s highest rate of oral cancer among men. The new project will promote accelerated implementation of the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in low- and middle-income countries, with Sri Lanka one of just 15 priority countries. more..

Govt service under intense scrutiny after RTI

Sep 29 (DN) As the govt celebrated its second Right to Information (RTI) day this year, Minister Mangala Samaraweera believes that a more watchful public will lead the way to an efficient govt service. “Experience around the world has shown that when the people have information and they are watching, the public service is forced to perform,” he said. Addressing a workshop organised by the Department of Govt Information yesterday, more..

Tourism earnings pass US$ 2 billion in 2017

Sep 29 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka has earned over US$ 2 billion from tourism this year with steady growth in numbers. Earnings from tourism increased to 2,086 million dollars during the first seven months of the year, compared to 2,013.5 million dollars during the same period in 2016, latest data showed. Sri Lanka's govt this week said it aims to double the number of tourists to 5 million by 2020 as part of a new tourist strategy to boost revenue to the south Asian island. more..

To be viable Hammbantota Port needs Rs 90.6 billion investments

Sep 29 (CT) The Rs 193 billion (US$ 1.4 b) Hambantota Port Project requires a further US$ 600 million (Rs 90,612 mil)* to make it viable, SLPA Chairman Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake said. He said that the current annual loan repayment of Rs 9.1 billion on the Rs 193 billion Hambantota loan would double to Rs 18 billion in another three years' time. Dissanayake said, that since its commissioning at the end 2011, till last year end, the Hambantota Port had made a Rs 46.7 billion loss. more..

Centre for Environmental Justice says EIA process, law need to be restructured

Sep 29 (CT) Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process and the law have to be completely restructured in order to mitigate the impact of development projects on the environment, the Centre for Environmental Justice said. "Due to the shortcomings in the current EIA process, many controversial projects were approved without considering all the impacts. These projects include H'tota Harbour, Uma Oya, Mattala Airport, more..

Rohingya refugees will not be settled in the country: Govt

Sep 29 (NR) The Ministry of Law and Order today announced that the Rohingya refugees from Myanmar will not be settled in the country. The Ministry in a statement said certain factions are conspiring to promote racial hatred, by using issues surrounding refugees from Myanmar. The Law and Order Ministry said an organised group is also promoting rumours via social media. The Ministry states such incidents have threatened the racial harmony in the country. more..

All Ministers should participate in district development committee meetings: President

Sep 29 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena said from next January all Ministers should participate in the district development committee meetings, held in every district. They should educate divisional political leaders as well as govt officers about the development programs carried out by their ministries within the districts. President was speaking at the second meeting of the National Economic Council, headed by him today (28) at the Presidential Secretariat. more..

JO flays Karu over crisis in parliament

Sep 29 (Island) The Joint Opposition revealed that the English version of the recently ratified Local Authorities Elections (Amendment) Act differed from the Sinhala text. JO MP Dinesh Gunawardena said that Speaker Karu Jayasuriya had endorsed it without verification. Speaker’s failure to detect the mistake had resulted in the Govt Printer issuing the relevant gazette notification with it. more..

Osari Pota issue: 8 parents meet Governor

Sep 29 (CT) A group of parents, in a letter to the Central Province Governor have stated that they had given permission to their children to participate in the controversial wedding which was aimed at setting a Guinness World Record. During a meeting with the Governor Niluka Ekanayake yesterday, the parents said, that the children did not suffer during the event as some media alleged. However, the Governor said that it was only eight parents who had submitted their approval and therefore, more..

Committee for delimitation of new electorates

Sep 29 (DM) In the aftermath of the enactment of legislation to change the electoral system for Provincial Council elections, govt will appoint a committee on Monday to work on the delimitation of new electorates for the purpose. Minister Faizer Mustapha held a top level meeting with the officials of the Elections Commission on Wednesday to work out modalities for this purpose. A five-member committee would be appointed to work in the creation of new electorates for the purpose. more..

Vidya murder suspects won’t be hanged

Sep 29 (Island) Sri Lanka’s longstanding commitment to the UN as well as the EU not to implement the death penalty will save those who had been sentenced to death on Wednesday for gang rape and murder of 18-year-old student Vidya. The Trial-at bar, which heard the Vidya murder case in Jaffna sentenced seven of the accused to death. The bench comprised High Court Judges Shashi Mahendran (President), Ravi Shankar and more..

President on the way to Nobel Peace Prize

Sep 29 (DM) Whatever the JO or extremist critics may say President Sirisena from Jan 8, 2015 has lead SL to a new chapter in its history with the two major parties working together in a National Govt mainly to bring about dialogue and reconciliation among the different communities in SL. Other major goal, in the plan, outlined in Vision 2025, is sustainable economic development that will be eco-friendly and all inclusive with the aim of building a just, peaceful and an all inclusive society. more..

Splitting hairs in an island

Sep 29 (DM) The description of the nature of the Sri Lankan State that had been proposed in the interim report of the Steering Committee set up under the Constitutional Assembly is interesting. The report presented in Parliament on Sept 21 by PM who is also the Chairman of the Constitutional Assembly suggests “Sri Lanka (Ceylon) is a free, sovereign and independent Republic which is an aekiya rajyaya/orumiththa nadu, consisting of the institutions of the Centre and of the Provinces more..

'Governor rule in PCs not something new'

Sep 29 (DM) Eastern Province Governor Rohitha Bogollagama, speaks about his post under the current circumstances. Provincial Council will come fully under his control from today onwards in terms of the new Act for an interim period. Q: The new Act, introduced by the Govt, will provide for keeping provincial councils under the purview of Governors. How do you look at it in terms of the concept of power devolution? more..

'SL has access to whopping 4.5 b market'

Sep 29 (CT) State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe said that SL would have access to a gargantuan 4.5 billion market with the GSP Concessions and the Free Trade Agreements that are in operation and the future ones as well. He also said that Thai multinationals would set up a 20,000-acre Industrial Zone and Japanese multinationals, Toyota and Honda, have also made inquires to set up plants here to export to India under Indo-SL FTA. more..

Army Officers & soldiers educated on constitutional reforms

Sep 29 (SLA) Directorate of Legal of the Army Headquarters in coordination with the office of the Co-ordinator, Public Outreach Programme on Constitutional Reforms and Constitution Making organized an awareness programme at the Army Hospital auditorium in Colombo Thursday morning (28) in order to educate Army personnel on the subject. In response to a request made by the office of Co-ordinator, more..

Inept engineers, local councils and builders laying base for disasters

Sep 29 (ST) This week in Ahangama a recreational hall and a hotel building under construction collapsed under its own weight injuring six workers. In four months, three buildings have crumbled. Sri Lanka’s construction industry is notorious also for building site deaths of workers and accidents. Local authorities have been accused of not monitoring and not having mechanisms to check construction projects. more..

Pettah and Fort: A safe haven for notorious activities

Sep 29 (SL) Drug dealing, illegal trade and fraud are just some of the activities said to be taking place in the Pettah and Fort area. Sunday Leader visited the Pettah and Fort areas last week and we were briefed by the Police on some of the activities they have uncovered. Among the issues faced by Colombo Fort is the issue of homeless people. Police said that the streets in the area have become a temporary home for the homeless. more..

Fort, Galle Face to be made into major shopping destination

Sep 29 (DN) The Govt is strongly considering converting the Colombo Fort and Galle Face areas to a shoping destination as the first step of making Sri Lanka a popular shopping destination in the region, Minister John Amaratunga said. He made this observation at the launching ceremony of the official Website and Logo of the first Colombo International Shopping Festival scheduled to be held across the country from Oct 1-15. more..

Scam: Dizzing bends in expressway projects

Sep 29 (DM) Having an expressway in the past seemed like mission impossible for Sri Lankans, but it was achieved when the E01 Southern Expressway was opened to the public in 2011 under the previous Govt.  The present Govt, after assuming power, was critical of the development projects of the past regime and claimed that they (the projects) had burdened the country with huge debts. more..

World Bank loan for safer roads project

Sep 29 (EN) The World Bank will give Sri Lanka a $125 million loan for a new project that will deliver better and safer roads in which contractors are paid based on performance. “The RDA will monitor the contractor and make payment based on the delivery of safe roads free of pot holes, water logging, with shoulders, drainage, and lighting that are well maintained and comfortable for the road users,” said Amali Rajapaksa, more..

Presidential council do decide what people will eat

Sep 29 (EN) In a potentially far reaching slashing of peoples' everyday freedoms, a council of state officials appointed by President Sirisena is to decide what food is essential for people, and ban imports of foods that does not match their opinion. According to a statement from the President's office a National Economic Council "expects to take immediate steps to stop importing of all non-essential food items more..

Maha Nayaka, Buddhist organization express reservations

Sep 29 (DM) Maha Nayaka of Amarapura Maha Nikaya Venerable Kotugoda Dhammawasa Thera and the Buddha Sasana Karya Sadaaka Mandalaya, a leading Buddhist organization, has opposed certain sections of the Interim Report on the new Constitution that was presented by the steering committee of the Constitutional Assembly recently. A statement issued by the organization said the report has suggested the inclusion of more..

Alms giving to 1,000 monks at Temple Trees

Sep 29 (DN) An alms-giving for 1,000 Bikkhus who arrived from all corners of the country was held at Temple Trees on Wednesday to invoke blessings on the country, President, PM and Govt. Delivering an Anushasana, the Mahanayake Thera of Kotte Sri Kalayani Samagri Dharma Maha Sangha Sabha, Most Ven. Dr. Ittapana Dhammalankara Thera said laymen cannot give orders to monks asking them not to participate in any event and only Maha Nayake Theras have the authority to do that. more..

The Rohingya refugees

Sep 29 (FT) It was most distressing to watch the news item on 26 September of the so-called protest by some unruly monks and coarse looking men in front of the supposed refuge of Rohingya asylum seekers. This place I believe is in the bustling Colombo suburb of Mt. Lavinia. The protest was held on a busy weekday, causing much inconvenience to the general public. From what we can gather, these refugees, having escaped from harrowing events in their native Myanmar, more..

Expressway Tender Scams

In Vithya’s name let there be justice to all child victims

Sep 29 (CT) Yesterday on the remote island of Pungudutivu, the residents celebrated, they lit crackers and cooked milk rice. For the past two years however they had been anguished and fearful as one of their favourite daughters had been brutally gang-raped and murdered in one of the most gruesome crimes ever committed in this country. And all seven men who were sentenced to death for that crime are from this little island. 18-year-old Sivaloganathan Vithya was one of the more..