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President to commence water filling to Kalu Ganga reservoir on 23rd

Jul 9 (GDI) President Maithripala Sirisena will inaugurate filling water to the Kalu Ganga reservoir that is being built in parallel to the Moragahakanda reservoir under the Moragahakanda-Kalu Ganga multi-purpose irrigation project and the construction of the canal taking water from the Kalu Ganga reservoir to Moragahakanda reservoir on July 23. Unveiling of the new granite Buddha Statue which was built opposite the Moragahakanda Reservoir and renaming Moragahakanda Reservoir as more..

Gold smugglers help jewellers keep heads above water

Jul 9 (ST) In the wake of the imposition of a 15% tax, Sri Lanka‘s gold industry now depends on smuggled gold to secure enough stocks for its production and selling at a reasonable price by keeping a very thin margin to satisfy customers, Colombo Sea Street jewellers said. Importers have to bear the costs like Nation Building Tax and customs duties in addition to 15% tax. Smuggled gold now represents almost more..

Bridging the skills gap in tourism: Short term measures introduced to meet demand

Jul 9 (SO) Urgent action has been proposed to address the persisting skills gap in the tourism sector with the introduction of short term measures to meet demand. The private sector Tourism Skills Committee (TSC) was set up with the launch of the Tourism Workforce Competitiveness Roadmap, an initiative directed towards the call to action to bridge the gap in the sector by producing talented youth to drive the industry forward. “We have already prioritized a list of entry level courses more..

St. Joseph’s College lift Sevens title

Jul 9 (Island) St. Joseph’s College, Colombo won the Singer U19 Schools Rugby Sevens Championship beating Royal College by 21-12 in the Cup Final worked out at Royal College Sports Complex, yesterday. Josephians remained unbeaten throughout the weekend to topple the strong 15s league champions in an exciting game which saw three yellow cards and one red card been shown by the Referee. Imesh Dissanayake scored twice for the winners while Keshan Kavinda more..

CB downgrades 2018 growth rate

Jul 9 (FT) Moderate first quarter performance has prompted the Central Bank to revise down the growth target for 2018 to 4%-4.5% from an initial forecast of 4.5%-5% with its Chief Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy cautioning against reducing interest rates to spur growth as it could lead to a balance of payments crisis. SL grew 3.2% in the first quarter of 2018, slowing marginally from the 3.5% expansion seen in the fourth quarter of 2017 more..

SL attempts holding GCE O/L exam overseas

Jul 9 (GDI) Department of Examinations has considered providing opportunity for the children of expatriate Sri Lankans to take the GCE (O/L) Exam overseas, Permanent Mission of SL to the UN in Geneva announced. It is learnt that a considerable number of expatriates are working abroad, especially in Middle East countries. The children of these expatriates may be studying at international schools and appearing for foreign exams, while some students may wish to take O/L Exam more..

Ampara boat capsize: 3 bodies found

Jul 9 (NR) The bodies of three of the four persons reported missing after drowning following a boat capsize in the Ekgaloya tank in Damana, Ampara have been found. Police said accordingly the bodies of the principal, a teacher and a student of a school in Badulla were found. A team of Navy divers commenced a search operation for the group this afternoon. Police said search operations are continuing to locate the other individual reported missing in the incident. more..

Breakthrough for Cooperatives with inclusion into NEC by President Sirisena

Jul 9 (FT) The century-old Sri Lankan cooperative sector received the biggest boost in its history when President Sirisena invited it to sit in the future sessions of the National Economic Council (NEC) on 7 July. Many new relief measures for cooperatives were also announced. Chief among them was exempting cooperatives from income tax payments so that the sector would be revived to play a key role in SL's economic reforms. more..

‘Fiscal position under stress from doubled car and gold imports this year’

Jul 9 (Island) Gold and car imports have doubled this year compared to last year, creating tremendous pressure on the fiscal position and on the whole economy, CB Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy said. "Sri Lanka could have balance of payments trouble if rates are cut when imports are expanding and the current account is widening, Therefore, we could control gold imports with a tax on gold while currency deprecation and other fiscal measures could help control vehicle imports, more..

Video: Seven students hospitalized as roof of tuition center caves in

Jul 9 (AD) Seven students have been hospitalized as the roof falls in at the tuition class they were learning at, stated Beliatta Police. The tuition class been conducted in the upper floor of a 4-storied building situated in front of the Beliatta Police. The roof had caved in due to the rain occurred at the area and strong winds and around 750 student s have been learning at the tuition centre when the roof collapsed. Hospitalized students are of the ages 15-16 and one student has been admitted more..

Heroin worth Rs.1,248 mn seized: One of the largest drug busts ever

Jul 9 (DN) Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) seized 103.9 kilogrammes of heroin worth Rs.1,248 million on Saturday night in one of the department’s biggest drug busts ever. The Police were also able to arrest two suspects with the drugs. Acting on a tip off, PNB officers found 33.3 kilogrammes of heroin concealed in a jeep at Prathibimbarama Lane in Kalubowila. The heroin was packed inside 30 parcels and more..

Govt gets USD 50Mn loan from OPEC fund for international development

Jul 9 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s govt signed a loan agreement for obtaining financial assistance of US 50 million dollars from OPEC fund for International Development (OFID) for implementation of technological education development programme Under current portfolio, OFID provides financing for road and irrigation sectors. The lines and working pattern of our workforce is bound to change with both emerging technologies and changing demand for skills. more..

Chief Negotiator reassures public regarding FTA negotiations

Jul 9 (FT) Ministry of Development Strategies and Int'l Trade’s Chief Negotiator of the National Negotiation Committee K. J. Weerasinghe has reiterated that the Govt will ensure Sri Lanka’s national interest when pursuing Free Trade Agreements. “As Chairman of the negotiating team, I wish to inform that FTA negotiations are conducted with partner countries in a cordial atmosphere with constructive engagement. I would also wish to add that we have not been bullied by any country more..

Direct recruitment of 20 ASPs irks IPs

Jul 9 (Island) Sri Lanka Police Inspectors’ Association has successfully moved Supreme Court against a controversial move to recruit 20 graduates as Assistant Superintendents of Police (ASPs). The Inspectors’ Association has alleged that such direct enlistment will deprive its members of equal opportunity and their legitimate right to secure promotions. SC has suspended the move pending further hearing in response to FR application more..

Songstress Priyani hacked to death

Jul 9 (DM) Songstress Priyani Jayasinghe (51) was hacked to death at her residence in Alubomulla, Panadura today (8), Police said. She succumbed to her injuries on admission to the Panadura Base Hospital. A police team attached to the Panadura South Police had recovered her body around 8.45 pm after receiving a call on the 119 emergency hot line number. Police said that the victim had been severely beaten and then stabbed with a scissor following a domestic dispute. more..

Mendis issues 2,487 cheques for Rs. 1.134 mn in eight months

Jul 9 (Island) A team of experts who probed the accounts of WM Mendis Company, owned by Perpetual Treasuries, has found that it has issued 2,487 cheques from one of its current accounts between Jan 30, 2015 and Sept 30, 2016. Findings have been reported to the court by CID, which says that the issuance of such a large number of cheques is unusual and the total sum for which cheques had been issued during the period under investigation amounted to more than Rs. 1,134 million. more..

Blood bank to malfunction today as Doctors demand to remove its Director

Jul 9 (DM) A dispute between the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) Director and its medical officers has lead to a malfunction of the blood bank for the first time in the history, it is learnt. Medical officers attached to the NBTS at Narahenpita to resort into work stoppage from today urging the health authorities to remove NBTS Director Dr. Rukshan Bellana from his portfolio. The strike is to be backed by the GMOA with more..

WC soccer in Russia and Novichok in Britain

Jul 9 (DM) By tonight, July 9, the FIFA World Cup tournament being held in Russia will have entered its semi final stage. Since the tournament was awarded to Russia, over the British bid to host the prestigious event, Britain’s tabloid press had been at pains to question Russia’s ability to host the mega event. Frivolous allegations of unfair and corrupt practice to buy votes needed to host the event were also made, without a shred of evidence being provided. more..

Coal power plants are ecological disasters

Jul 9 (DM) Coal is the dirtiest source of fossil fuel. When burned it produces emissions that cause global warming, create acid rain and pollute water and farm land. Coal burning produces many pollutants. These are sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter (PM), heavy metals and radioisotopes. Pollution from coal – fired power plants lead to numerous respiratory, cardiovascular, and cerebrovascular effects. Coal dust released during coal transport can cause more..

Making public transport safe for women

Jul 9 (CT) A majority of women in SL have endured sexual harassment on public transport, and incidences of harassment continue to increase daily despite continuous efforts to combat sexual violence, US Population Fund (UNFPA) and National Council for Road Safety, SL, claimed recently. Research released in 2015 by UNFPA, offers a view into women’s vulnerability to violence and discrimination, issues that are poorly more..

SOE borrowings surge in April and May

Jul 9 (EN) Sri Lanka's credit to state enterprises soared expanded 46 billion rupees in April and 27 billion rupees in May 2018, which may have contributed a recent balance of payments pressure while, private credit moderated in April, official data show. In March private credit suddenly surged to 122 billion rupees from 58 billion rupees a month earlier, while credit to govt also rose by Rs. 32 billion, generating a spike in short term rates. more..

Church on Internet abuse: Adults far worse than youth and children

Jul 9 (Island) Parish priest of St. Annes Kurana church Rev Father Cyril Gamini Fernando, in his Sunday sermon, flayed the community, particularly the adults for wrongful use of the internet and a range of applications available today. Rev. Fernando warned of dire consequences unless the community took remedial measures, promptly, to ensure the internet didn’t ruin their lives. Former spokesperson for the Catholic church more..

Sri Lanka needs to simplify export registration process: Verité Research

Jul 9 (EN) Sri Lanka’s govt has been urged to simplify the process for registering exporters to make it more effective, as the present system is seen as too cumbersome and time-consuming, and open to abuse. Although the current registration process was introduced with the intention of identifying and supporting new exporters, its execution severely impedes the achievement of this goal, a new study by Verité Research, a think-tank, has found. more..

Controversial promotions: Teachers threaten boycott of examination duties

Jul 9 (Island) The Mahinda Rajapaksa administration had distributed sil redi (white cloth) to win votes and the present administration was creating jobs in the education sector to win the next election, General Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers Union (CTU), Joseph Stalin said, commenting on a move to promote over 1,000 UNP supporters who claimed to have been politically victimised. "Most of them have not been victimized in anyway. more..

Diplomatic privileges for US Peace Corps volunteers

Jul 9 (ST) US Peace Corps members will be among those entitled to benefits in terms of new directives issued by Minister Tilak Marapana. This is in keeping with the agreement signed between SL Govt and US govt in February this year concerning the programme of the Peace Corps in SL. Diplomatic Privileges Act provisions have been invoked to accord equitable treatment to the Volunteers and persons performing functions more..

Dual citizens as heads of diplomatic missions: House seeks clarification from FM

Jul 9 (Island) JO Leader Dinesh Gunawardena, MP, said that in the wake of enactment of 19th Amendment to the Constitution the govet should review its policy on appointing dual citizens as heads of SL overseas missions. He that the contentious issue of dual citizens given top diplomatic posts had been discussed at the last meeting of the parliamentary High Posts Committee chaired by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya more..

PM calls for increased Forex earnings to overcome debt trap

Jul 9 (DN) An export economy should be established in other parts of the country as well by taking a cue from Biyagama. The country desperately needs to increase foreign exchange earnings in order to overcome the present debt trap, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. PM was addressing a meeting after opening the new three storeyed building of the Biyagama Divisional Secretariat at Makola, Sapugaskanda on July 6. more..

India allocates USD 56 mn to discourage poaching in Sri Lanka

Jul 9 (DM) As a part of efforts to keep Tamil Nadu fishermen from poaching in Sri Lanka’s territorial waters, the Indian govt has allocated US $ 56 million to dismantle bottom trawling boats and replacing them with new deep sea liners, it is learnt. This has been done consequent to talks with the Sri Lankan govt on the need to discourage Tamil Nadu fishermen from unlawfully engaging in fishing in the Palk Strait. more..

UK, US should tell UN to withdraw motion on Sri Lanka: Naseby

Jul 9 (DM) British Baron Lord Naseby said both the UK and the US were guilty of atrocities and that the two countries should inform the UNHRC to withdraw the resolution against Sri Lanka. Lord Naseby, President of the All Party British SL Parliamentary Group, said this after reading the UK Parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee report published on June 28. In a statement, Lord Naseby said he was shocked more..

Minister Amunugama proposes alliance of Buddhist countries in the region

Jul 9 (Island) Minister Sarath Amunugama said in Kandy, last Friday, that he would initiate the formation of an alliance of the Buddhist countries in the region. Addressing a meeting of heads of Pirivenas in the Kandy District, he said that in the past Sri Lanka had had close ties with Buddhist countries such as Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Burma and relations should be revived. Such an alliance in the region would help build a stronger ties among the Buddhist countries, more..

Resolving the paradox of rice-poverty amidst plenty

Jul 9 (FT) Sri Lankans are great rice eaters. On average, they eat 108 kg of rice per person per year as against the world average of just 54 kg per head. A plate of rice eaten by an average Sri Lankan is usually equated to Adam’s Peak or Samanala Kanda. The local saying is that if someone is to jump over it, it is so elevated in height that he has to make a lot of prior preparation and training. Otherwise, instead of jumping over it, he would just land in the middle of the plate. more..

Cricket lovely cricket: Gomin Dayasri & Faraz

Vasu wants action on defrauding govt monies complaints lodged almost 2 yrs ago

Jul 9 (CT) Vasudeva Nanayakkara, MP, has written to IGP Pujith Jayasundara and other relevant senior Police officers requesting action on complaints made by him regarding the defrauding of govt monies. Nanayakkara has brought to the attention of the Police a letter dated 28.6.2017 addressed by the Secretary, Ministry of Law and Order, Jagath P Wijeweera to the Senior DIG Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) which refers to his (Nanayakkara’s complaint dated 11.10.2016) more..

Case against Gotabhaya over Avant Garde allegations postponed

Jul 9 (AD) The case filed by the Bribery Commission against Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and eight others has been postponed until October 30th, as ordered by the Colombo Chief Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake. The attorney representing the Bribery Commission informed the Magistrate’s Court that an interim order has been issued by the Court of Appeal to suspend the hearing. Accordingly, the Chief Magistrate postponed the hearing until October 30th. Bribery Commission had filed this case against more..

Delays to increase DAT allowance: GMOA to launch strike

Jul 9 (DM) The GMOA would resort to strike action after July 17 without pre-notice over several demands including delays to increase the Disturbance, Availability and Transport (DAT) allowance paid to medical officers. GMOA Secretary Dr Haritha Aluthge said the recommendations to update the allowance had been already made by the National Salaries and Cadre Commission and the Health Ministry. more..

Husband arrested in Priyani's murder

Jul 9 (NR) The husband of singer Priyani Jayasinghe, who was found hacked to death at her residence in Panadura last night, has been arrested. The Police Media Unit said the suspect was arrested adjacent to the Panadura beach. Police said Priyani Jayasinghe, 51 years of age, was found hacked to death with a scissor around 8:45 last night. Police suspect the husband to have committed the murder. Investigations are being conducted by the Panadura South Police. more..

Squeezed by Regional Superpowers

Jul 9 (CT) Three decades of war made Sri Lanka to depend on the militarily advanced countries to enhance its arsenals. Purchasing of military hardware to deal with the war in the North and the East had led even to an arms race in the Island nation. With the country’s economy in dire straits, allocations were made on a mega scale for defence expenditure, neglecting the development of the country. However, despite bringing an end to the war, Sri Lanka has now squeezed into more..

Video: Two buses collide in Melsiripura; nearly 60 hospitalized

Jul 9 (AD) Nearly 60 people have been injured and hospitalized following a collision between two private buses in Gokarella, Melsiripura. A collision between a bus travelling from Jaffna to Embilipitiya and a bus travelling from Embilipitiya to Jaffna has caused this accident. Reportedly, among the injured are a monk, a Buddhist nun, and the 2 drivers of the buses. The injured has been admitted to Galewala, more..

Gibson urges South Africa to play positive cricket to counter spin challenge

Jul 9 (CB) Pleased with the performance of the South African players in their practice game against Sri Lanka Board President's XI, coach Ottis Gibson urged the batsmen to play a positive brand of cricket to counter the spin challenge that Sri Lanka are likely to throw at them during the three-match Test series which starts on July 12 in Galle. "If we are going to win in these conditions, we have to be positive and we have to try in most situations to take the positive option. more..

SLASSCOM elects new chairman, board, and general council for 2018/2019

Jul 9 (LBO) SLASSCOM, a representative body that represents growth of the Sri Lankan IT and BPM Industry elected Jeevan Gnanam, chief executive officer/director, Orion City as the organizations Chairman during its Annual General Meeting recently. The members also elected the office bearers for the term 2018/19. Addressing the gathering, Jeevan shared a five-point plan on developing local capacity for data science and artificial intelligence, driving an Innovation more..