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This new beachfront jungle lodge in Sri Lanka is our latest glamping crush

Apr 19 (CL) Think of a creature you might see on a beach vacation. Do elephants, sloth bears, and leopards come to mind? Probably not. But they should! Because that’s what you can expect to see if you vacation at the new Wild Coast Tented Lodge—a spot that’s quickly earned a place on our travel bucket list. Latest creation from SL resort group Resplendent Ceylon, which operates a handful of luxury resorts across the country, lodge is ideally located where Indian Ocean meets more..

Citi-CCC facilitates loans to over 100 rural entrepreneurs through HNB

Apr 19 (Island) Citi-CCC Rural Economic Empowerment Programme was initiated in June 2015 with the financial assistance of Citi Foundation with the main objective of empowering rural entrepreneurs through financial inclusion by providing training on financial literacy and business management skills as well as providing micro financing through facilitating linkages with banks. During the first phase of the project from June 2015 to Dec, 2016, Programme supported over more..

NOC chief says athletes should be honed on overseas contests

Apr 19 (DN) Upbeat National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Sri Lanka chief Suresh Subramaniam has called for athletes to get involved in more overseas competition following Sri Lanka’s record- breaking performance at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. Sri Lanka’s 80-strong athletes’ squad returned with its biggest haul of medals at the Commonwealth Games – one silver medal and five bronze medals – more..

Cargills gets ok for banking counters at all supermarkets

Apr 19 (EN) Cargills Bank, owned by the Cargills group, has got regulatory approval to operate banking counters at all its Food City supermarkets islandwide, helping it keep costs low. The bank’s chairman Louis Page said a key competitive advantage of Cargills Bank centred on the retail network of over 350 Cargills Food City outlets spread across the length and breadth of the country. “The Cargills outlets offer banking customers convenience with low overhead for the bank,” more..

Letter to Zuckerberg from Sri Lanka: No to religious hatred and misogyny on Facebook

Apr 19 (AN) Twelve SL civil society organisations sent an open letter on 10 April to Facebook chairman Mark Zuckerberg, asking him to take action against religious hate speech and posts that foster violence against women on his social networking service. “We are very pleased that Facebook recognises that there is no place for hate speech, incitement to violence, and other content that violates Community Standards”, said the Centre for Policy Alternatives, one of the groups more..

Scrapping Presidency insane: Wijeyadasa

Apr 19 (DM) Former Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said only a person with an insane mind could propose to abolish the Executive Presidency at a juncture like this when the country was hit by anarchy. He said that former President the late J.R. Jayewardene introduced the Executive Presidential system, coupled with the current electoral system in 1978, as it was befitting to the country. Constitution was modelled on the French Constitution more..

Gearing for new trade laws in Sri Lanka

Apr 19 (ST) Everyone was on the same page when it was agreed that the new laws on trade remedy which would protect the local industry were both tedious and technical. It surely is, if a seminar to enlighten local businesses held at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in Colombo last week was held up as an example. Even one of the two key speakers, Ms. Gothami Silva, a director at the Department of Commerce, was apologetic after her near hour-long address to the audience more..

Anusha to call it a day after Asian Games

Apr 19 (CT) Boxer Anusha Kodithuwakku who broke the hoodoo to produce SL’s first boxing medal in 68 years and maiden women’s boxing medal in the recent Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia said she will retire from the 17 year professional sports career after the Asian Games later this year. Kodithuwakku who produced a bronze medal in the 46-49kg weight category lasted all three rounds against India’s five time world champion Mary Kom in the semi-final: more..

‘Set up low-cost power plant or face disaster’

Apr 19 (Island) CEB was expected to incur a loss of Rs 50 billion this year, and the situation would continue for the next 6-7 years unless a major low cost (coal-fired) power plant was set up, CEB Engineers’ Union President Saumya Kumarawadu said. Kumarawadu said his union would launch a work-to-rule campaign from 08 May as it had failed in its efforts to educate the govt officials on the situation and convince them of more..

'Udawalawa dam safe, no need to panic'

Apr 19 (Island) Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, said that there was no danger of the Udawalawe dam bursting and what had been detected was a minor crack, which could be fixed. Following an inspection tour of Udawalawa, he said: "There is absolutely no need for panic. Engineering experts have studied the problem and informed us that there is nothing to fear. There is only a simple crack and such things are common. "It is after three years that all the sluice gates of the Udawalawe dam more..

Opposition to KDU Act amendments

Apr 19 (CT) State Medical Students` Parents` Union (SMSPU) and the GMOA claim that they oppose the proposed new Act, for the Kotelawala Defence University (KDU), which seeks to make significant amendments with respect to the prevailing Act. The proposed General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University Act (drafted in 2017) which is scheduled to be brought to Parliament soon by the Ministry of Defence, would increase the probability of establishing new private medical faculties, more..

CPC Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery undergoes major overhaul

Apr 19 (CT) Ceylon Petroleum Corporation’s (CPC) Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery successfully completed a colossal 35-day overhaul and renovation programme recently, aimed to boost efficiency, reliability and productivity of the refinery, a press release stated. 50-year-old facility, which is the only oil refinery in SL, refines imported crude oil to supply 30% of national energy demand. The scheduled renovation in 2018 is a procedure more..

TAFL says exports of parent chicks up, weak domestic demand

Apr 19 (EN) Three Acre Farms, a breeder farm and poultry processing firm said exports of parent stocks rose in 2017, while domestic demand fell as inflation and taxes rose after a currency collapse killing demand for eggs and meat amid a drought. SL being a country without avian flu had helped exports of parent stock chicks, the firm said. Its breeder farms unit had earned revenues of 1.84 billion rupees. "…[G]rowth was upheld by exports of broiler Parent Stock Day Old Chicks (PS DOCs) to more..

FCID nabs Chinese nationals

Apr 19 (DN) FCID conducting investigations against three Chinese over their suspicious financial transactions in Sri Lanka, informed court that the Chinese nationals have deposited Rs. 950 million at a private bank in Sri Lanka. FCID informed Colombo Fort Magistrate that the documents submitted by the suspects to obtain visas were also false. President’s Council Jayantha Weerasinghe appearing for the suspects requested bail. Colombo Fort Magistrate granted permission to the defence to more..

Only President can win 2020: Duminda

Apr 19 (DM) General Secretary of SLFP Duminda Dissanayake said that he did not like to respond to the remarks made by SLFP MP Dilan Perera on him and UPFA General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera. “Here is a man who lives on lies and contradictions. It was this same Perera who once said he was to take poison if he could not achieve his political objectives. No one takes him seriously and you also must treat him that way,” more..

Diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka & Dominica established

Apr 19 (ST) Govt of SL and Govt of Dominica decided to establish Diplomatic Relations between the two countries with effect from April 17 following the signing of Agreement by Dr. Amrith Perera, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of SL to the UN and Mrs. Loreen Ruth Bannis-Roberts, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Dominica to the UN. The establishment of diplomatic ties between SL and Dominica would enhance the existing friendly relations and more..

15 hurt in Swiss road accident involving Sri Lanka tourists

Apr 19 (CNA) Fifteen people were injured on Wednesday (18) when a coach carrying tourists from Sri Lanka crashed with two trucks on a Swiss highway. A tourist coach carrying 40 passengers collided with two trucks near the Winterthur-Wulflingen exit on a motorway not far from the northern city of Zurich, at 3.15pm, regional police said. "Fifteen people were injured, one of them seriously," Zurich's cantonal police said, adding that the cause of the accident remained unclear. more..

Rupee plunges to new historic low after liquidity injections

Apr 19 (EN) Rupee hit a low of 156.50 to the US dollar in intra-day trading Wednesday down from 155.70/80 last week, after the central bank cut rates and printed tens of billions of rupees below its ceiling policy rate to keep rates down as cash demand went up during a New Year holiday season in April. The rupee fell to 156.00/20 against the greenback on Monday, 156.30/50 on Tuesday. On Wednesday it closed around 156.30/40. more..

Shooting at SAITM CEO: Municipal Councilor arrested

Apr 19 (DN) Former Kaduwela Pradeshiya Sabha member Aruna Lakmal Kushantha has been arrested by the CID yesterday in connection with the attempted shooting of the SAITM CEO Sameera Senaratne on Feb 6, 2017. The 43-year-old PS member was arrested early last morning at his home at Rohana Wilathgamuwa Road, Weliwita, Kaduwela. He was produced before the Magistrate and the CID obtained a 48 hour detention order to hold him for questioning. more..

Sri Lanka makes financial contribution to Commonwealth project

Apr 19 (DN) To help small states get access to global markets, Sri Lanka pledged financial contribution to setup the Small States Trade Financial Facility yesterday at the Commonwealth Heads of Govt Meeting (CHOGM) in the UK. Minister Mangala Samaraweera signed this agreement on behalf of Sri Lanka. It is expected that Commonwealth Small States will have access to US $ 300m of incremental trade finance over a three year period from this programme. more..

Social media ban: Undue pressure from diplomats: President

Apr 19 (DM) When the SL Govt took action to impose the curfew, banning the social media and declaring the State of Emergency to control the Sinhala-Muslim unrest in the Kandy District in March, there were undue pressures from certain diplomats on the Govt, President Sirisena said in London. “Certain diplomats spoke against the Govt moves to take necessary action-including banning access to social media sites. more..

Politicians, don’t play the fool in school

Apr 19 (DM) Legendary South African President Nelson Mandela has said education is the most powerful weapon which could be used to change the world. Another moral and spiritual giant Mahatma Gandhi acclaimed by India as the Father of the Nation has said, Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. One of America’s most popular 20th Century poets Robert Frost has said Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or more..

Inequality and the Political Crisis

Apr 19 (DM) The fallout of the LG elections continues as a political crisis. The anti-Muslim violence, the no-confidence motion and its defeat are the latest manifestations of a govt that is finding it hard to govern. Amid the manoeuvring of political forces and the blame game within the Govt, there is also a slow recognition of the economic problems that led to the anti-govt vote in February. In the North, a similar anti-incumbent vote against the TNA, has fractured the Tamil electorate, more..

What’s National in this National Govt?

Apr 19 (DM) Just the other day, this Govt appointed four new Provincial Governors. Almost immediately one of them, who used to be a Governor in a different province, was removed and reappointed to his earlier post. What is it with this Govt and Governors? Not too long ago, the Govt appointed a man with a less than glorious track record as the Governor of the Central Bank. When he came under a cloud, PM defended him. more..

'Stop repaying illegitimate debt'

Apr 19 (DM) Dr. Éric Toussaint is the spokesperson of the Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debts (CADTM International), formerly called the Committee for the Cancellation of Third World Debt. He is a historian and a political scientist who completed his Ph.D. at the University of Paris VIII and the University of Ličge, Belgium. He has authored and co-authored many books such as Bankocracy, more..

UNP Politburo set up for internecine war between Sajith, Navin?

Apr 19 (DM) From a realpolitik perspective although the defeat of the no confidence motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is not electorally significant, it has the potential to turn things around for the beleaguered UNP, its leader and the country if there is genuine course correction to implement what was promised in the run-up to the 8 Jan 2015 prez election. Whether due to strategy unleashed by Mahinda Rajapaksa led SLPP more..

More Questions for SriLankan

Apr 19 (DM) Criticism is now being levelled against a few officials at the PM’s office for attempting to obtain cabinet approval for an unorthodox proposal submitted by the CEO of the national carrier. The previous Board of Directors turned down the proposal submitted by the CEO of Sri Lankan Airlines, Capt. Suren Ratwatte to wet lease three aircraft to Turkish Airlines which it is alleged would incur further losses for the debt-ridden airline. more..

Dispute over NCPA top post: Ousted head and new administration trade allegations

Apr 19 (ST) Controversy surrounds the alleged removal of the Head of the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) and the elevation of her deputy to sit in that seat. “I was attending an event at the remote Niyagama Primary School in the Galle district on Saturday (7) when I was informed by a subordinate through a text message that someone had been appointed to my post,” NCPA’s former chairperson Marini de Livera said, more..

Govt mulls increase Customs Duty for petrol and diesel

Apr 19 (CT) The Govt plans to increase a more than double Customs Duty on petrol and diesel while the long- awaited price formula will be introduced after 24 April, sources said. Customs Duty on Petrol-92 and Petrol-95 will increase from Rs 12 to Rs 35 while the Duty on Lanka Auto Diesel (LAD) and Lanka Super Diesel (LSD) will increase from Rs 4 to Rs 15. Meanwhile, Govt decided to reduce Customs Duty to more..

TUs to hold joint May Day rally on May 1: JTU

Apr 19 (DM) Trade unions will hold their joint May Day rally as usual on May 1, the Joint Trade Union (JTU) said condemning the govt’s decision to reschedule the rally to May 7. In a statement, JTU Joint Secretary Anton Marcus said the govt had not even discussed postponing the May Day with the National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC) prior to arriving at the decision. “It was back in 1956 that the May Day was declared more..

Tourism earnings surge 17.2%

Apr 19 (CT) Tourism earnings during the first three months of this year, as well as in the month of March this year, reflected almost the same growth trend as arrivals to the country. Total earnings during the first three months stood at US$ 1.31 billion, up 17.2% compared to US$ 1.12 billion a year ago. According to data, tourism earnings in March this year increased 24.9% to US$ 432.8 million, from US$ 348.8 million a year ago. more..

Five dead in ammonia tank accident at Horana rubber factory

Apr 19 (AD) The death toll following the accident at a rubber factory in Horana, caused by an employee falling into an ammonia tank, has climbed to five. The factory employee who fell into the ammonia tank and four villagers who attempted to rescue him have died. Several other persons who were unconscious have been admitted to the Horana Hospital. It was previously reported that one person died after falling into an ammonia tank more..

Abolition of exec presidency: Mahinda’s camp divided

Apr 19 (Island) Former UPFA Deputy Minister retired Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera urged the JO not to be deceived by the JVP’s proposal to abolish the executive presidency. He said that the JO had foolishly offered its support for the proposed 20th Amendment on the condition that it should contain a clause to the effect that the enactment of the Amendment would automatically result in the dissolution of parliament. more..

The glyphosate story: CKDu, food security and national economy

Apr 19 (FT) We in SL have a history to be proud of. According to our historical record, the golden age of SL agriculture production centres around Polonnaruwa during reign of King Parakramabahu the Great (1153-1186 AD). At that time, SL was known as the Granary of the East and the nation’s prosperity expanded substantially during this era – mainly owing to the epic scale of rice cultivation and reported exports. This flourishing peasant agricultural sector was later destroyed more..

Updating Financial Crime regulations commendable

Apr 19 (FT) Sri Lanka’s need to update Financial Crime regulations has been discussed before and now it is heartening to note that the Govt has taken serious note of the matter. On the sidelines of the CHOGM, Minister Mangala Samaraweera outlined the Govt’s plan to update Financial Regulations to deal with crime. Minister pointed out that SL has long identified the risk of financial crime as a priority area because of its lengthy battle with a highly sophisticated terrorist organization more..

Chrishmal Warnasuriya

eChannelling offers video medical consultations, drug delivery

Apr 19 (EN) eChannelling, an online medical appointment business that was SL's first listed dotcom, has extended its value added services to offer local video consultations and provide drug delivery. Company, controlled by mobile phone firm Mobitel, a unit of SLC, has also added more hospitals to its online service. “Plans are underway to offer our customers local video consultations (oDOC) and enhance the company’s service offering by providing drug delivery services,” more..

Excise Dept. nabs 3,213 with hooch, illegal fags, drugs

Apr 19 (Island) Excise Department officials nabbed 3,213 persons for transporting and selling illicit liquor, tobacco and narcotics during the Sinhala and Tamil New Year period, Excise Department spokesman Kapila Kumarasinghe said. He said that the banned items taken into custody during the 3,555 raids were worth more than Rs 10 million. The 3,213 suspects had been given excise bail and would be produced before courts in their respective areas by the Department officials, he said. more..

Charge Gota! says Nambuwasam CoI On Welikada Massacre

Apr 19 (CT) The prosecution of six high ranking officials previously attached to the Ministry of Defence, the State Intelligence Service, the Prisons Department and the Sixth Gajaba Regiment of the Army in relation to the Welikada Prisons incident of Nov 2012, has been recommended by a Committee of Inquiry which probed into the matter. Committee of Inquiry into the Prison Incident Welikada – 2012 (CIPI) has recommended more..

Minister announces crackdown on tuition

Apr 19 (CT) Minister of Education Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, urged the public to call the Ministry hotline 1988 if there are complaints regarding incidents in which schoolteachers are found harassing students who do not attend tuition classes conducted by them. During a meeting with Education Officials, Minister gave instructions to take strict disciplinary actions against such teachers who force students to attend tuition classes conducted by them directly or indirectly. more..