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Mushrooming local crack houses

Jul 12 (Island) Abandoned buildings maybe more than just an eyesore. They are ideal breading grounds for drug-related crimes and prostitution. The Island recently reported how residents of Ragama have complained that the police and security officers have turned a blind eye to the nefarious activities conducted by thugs and drug addicts in the guise of beggars, under the flyover on Cardinal Cooray Mawatha at night. Approx. 25 addicts have now taken permanent residence under the flyover. more..

Scientific rigging

Jul 12 (CT) Election Commission (EC) Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya and his two fellow-members need to be commended for being persistent with their efforts to have the much-delayed Provincial Council (PC) polls conducted at least before the year is out. But no one is really convinced that the EC can pull out a rabbit from the hat, this time at least. “It is the supremacy of Parliament. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has agreed to give us a roadmap outlining how the elections could be more..

Ensuring a safe journey to school

Jul 12 (CT) Child safety has become a crucial factor in today’s society, especially after reports of increasing cases of child abuse and killings, recently. Authorities over the years have formulated and implemented various strategies and policies that have dealt with child safety both inside and outside homes. However, child abuse continues to be prevalent despite meticulous planning and implementation of well-thought out strategies. more..

Missing Link in Development Banking

Jul 12 (CT) In a tropical forest where people make a living through slash and burn there are several major inputs out of which human resources make a difference because it is that energy that turns everything into a productive process. All the rest are contributions from nature. Clearing the forest and setting fire to prepare land for tilling cannot happen if people did not know the right place and time. As inputs are not measured by monetary value, it looks vague. more..

Will the group of 70 ever see the light of day?

Jul 12 (DN) The three major political parties likely to be in the running for the next national elections- UNP, SLFP and SLPP- were seen grappling with contentious issues last week, as the jostling continues for pole position in the country’s political stakes. The party faced with the most daunting challenge last week was the UNP. That was after Vijayakala Maheswaran, then the State Minister, attending a public event in Jaffna made a statement that law and order in the region had declined more..

Susil Premajayantha

University academics condemn the Incendiary statements against HRCSL

Jul 12 (GV) As members of the academic community in SL, we are appalled by the increasing belligerence with which certain individuals appear to be making statements directed at public officials and academics of the country. It has been many months now since a certain group of individuals, led by ex-military personnel, had proclaimed before the media that individuals who are supportive of a new Constitution ought to be considered as traitors acting against the sovereignty & territorial integrity more..

Edtorial: Hang that move

Jul 12 (Island) Prez Sirisena has had a sudden urge to hang drug dealers on death row. He seems unable to resist his impulses, which are legion. It was only the other day that he caused fuel price hikes to be put on hold. Then, the Cabinet implemented the price increases and he acquiesced, trotting out some excuses. He seems to think only after leaping. He announced a ban on glyphosate and asbestos and then made a volte-face. Another example of his fickle behaviour was his more..

Performance-Based Budgeting system for 2019

Jul 12 (FT) The Cabinet this week gave approval to prepare the 2019 National Budget under the medium term fiscal frame work (MTFF) by adopting a Performance-Based Budgeting (PBB) approach, with aims of increasing the Govt revenue to 17% of GDP by 2021. The proposal, made by Minister Mangala Samaraweera, told the Cabinet that major economic assumptions for the fiscal year 2019 will include real GDP growth of 5.5%, more..

Swapping political aspirations!

Jul 12 (DM) A long-standing loyalist of the former Madam, this Diyawanna politico at state level from Gampaha is widely considered a Blue party stalwart in the district. Now that the general polls are around the corner, the politico held a meeting of the party’s electorate level organization to meet the party’s rank and file to feel their pulse. A good number of party activists and supporters had turned up at this meeting, but what most of them told him gave the politico a jolt: more..

Aruna books semi-final place in style

Jul 12 (Island) Emerging athletics sensation Aruna Dharshana cleared the first hurdle on his way to a probable history-making podium finish when he won his 400 metres heat on day two of the IAAF World U-20 Championship in Tampere, Finland on Wednesday. Competing in lane eight, the Weera Keppetipola MV, sprinter returned a time of 46.81 seconds to win his heat (3rd heat) in comprehensive ease. The Asian Athletics Championship record holder in the 400 metres, more..

Chandimal, Hathurusingha out of SA Tests

Jul 12 (CI) SL captain Dinesh Chandimal, coach Chandika Hathurusingha and manager Asanka Gurusinha have accepted they will not participate in the Test series against South Africa, after the ICC concluded its hearing on the trio, who had pleaded guilty to a level three spirit of cricket offence. ICC tweeted ten hours before the start of the first Test that the judicial commissioner would announce his decision in due course. more..

Can SL end SA’s unblemished record?

Jul 12 (Island) South Africa have not lost a Test series to Sri Lanka since 2006. In fact, the Proteas have lost only two series away from home in the last ten years going down to England and India since 2008. That is an excellent away record and it remains to be seen whether the Sri Lankans are able to beat several odds and overcome the tourists. The first Test starts today here in Galle. The Sri Lankans face the prospect of playing the two-Test series without their captain, coach & manager more..

Roshen Silva banking on Caribbean experience to tackle SA pacers

Jul 12 (CB) Roshen Silva believes the tour of West Indies has helped them prepare for the challenge of facing the South African pacers at home in the two-Test series. While spin is still likely to dominate the series, the Sri Lankan batsmen will also have to tackle the pace challenge that Kagiso Rabada, Vernon Philander, Lungi Nigidi and Dale Steyn will create. Sri Lanka lost the opening Test in Trinidad but went on to dominate the remaining two Tests and levelled the series 1-1. more..

Private sector film industry cries foul over NFC distribution move

Jul 12 (FT) Disgruntled private sector film industry stakeholders yesterday claimed that the recent decision to take over the distribution of films to the National Film Corporation (NFC) was unfair, insisting it was contrary to the market liberalisation policy of the Govt. It was pointed that the decision was taken without considering the recommendations of the committee appointed by the President to uplift the local cinema industry. more..

Driving licence on computers from tomorrow at Werahera

Jul 12 (DM) The computer-based test for obtaining driving licences would be held from tomorrow at the Werahera Branch, the Department of Motor Traffic (DMT) said. Department said all preparations had been made to introduce the computer-based examination. “143 computer terminals had been installed at the DMT Werahera Branch for this purpose,” an official said. “The computer-based driving licence examination centre will be declared open by Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva,” more..

Series will be won or lost in the batting department: Du Plessis

Jul 12 (DN) There was a time when there was an air of invincibility about the Sri Lanka cricket team when they played Test matches at home. They were virtually unbeatable on home soil for since winning the World Cup in 1996 till 2014 they lost only six Test series at home out of 37. But since 2014 that form has dipped to the extent that Sri Lanka has been struggling to beat opposing sides even under home conditions and dry turning pitches. They have lost series to South Africa, Pakistan, India more..

ETI Finance to be purchased at US $ 75 million

Jul 12 (Island) Singapore-registered Blue Summit Capital Management Ltd and SL’s Ben Holdings Ltd. have made a joint investment to purchase the crisis-hit finance company ETI Finance Limited, CB Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy said, "The total investment for ETI Finance is US$ 75 million. Some local depositors will be paid initially, he said. He stated that the investment is coming in two tranches with the first tranche more..

Everything you need to know about the empty airport India is buying in Sri Lanka

Jul 12 (CNBC) India is planning to operate Sri Lanka's loss-making Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport in Hambantota, the govt said. The Sri Lankan govt in 2017 invited investors to turn the airport into a profit-sharing joint venture. However no proposals were received to operate, manage and maintain the airport. Here are some interesting facts about Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA): MRIA is located in the town of Mattala, 18 km north of Hambantota. more..

India’s Pidilite Industries opens adhesive factory in Sri Lanka

Jul 12 (EN) Pidilite Industries Limited, an Indian adhesive and construction chemical company, has commissioned an adhesive manufacturing plant in Sri Lanka in a joint venture. The new plant is on four acres of land in Polgahawela in SL’s North Western Province, said Bharat Puri, Managing Director of Pidilite Industries. “This investment is a testament to our commitment to Sri Lanka market,” he said. “This zero-discharge plant will initially manufacture adhesives, more..

Loss from handing over tender to China will be Rs. 40-80 bn: Counsel

Jul 12 (Island) President’s Counsel Ali Sabri informed the Supreme Court that if the Power and Energy Ministry Tender Board had adhered to the provisions of the SL Electricity Act, the tender for the construction of an LNG power plant in Kerawalapitiya would not have been given to a Chinese Company overlooking the local bidder Lakdhanavi. The proposed plant is expected to generate 300MW. more..

Singaporean investors keen to enter services and manufacturing sectors

Jul 12 (DN) Subsequent to the signing of the Singapore-SL Free Trade Agreement (FTA) there is already interest among Singaporean investors to invest in services and manufacturing in Sri Lanka and this FTA can catalyze more, Minister Malik Samarawickrama said. He was speaking at the Outreach Seminar on Tuesday in Singapore. “There is also much potential for diversification of exports through the trade-investment nexus that this agreement encourages, as well as new JV more..

Susanthika showers praise on Sports Minister

Jul 12 (DN) Olympic medalist, Sports Ministry consultant and Director of the Sugathadasa Sports Complex, Susanthika Jayasinghe whilst thanking Sports Minister Faiszer Mustapha to make use of yesteryear champion athlete’s knowledge and experience for the betterment of the future of Lankan athletics, showered praise on another former Sports Minister late VA Sugathadasa. “Today is a special day as we celebrate the birth of V.A. Sugathadasa which fell on July 10. more..

Traffic fine increase, will increase Govt. revenue

Jul 12 (DM) Private Bus Operators and taxi operators voiced their displeasure over the fuel price hike that came into effect midnight and the new increased fines for traffic offences. All Ceylon Private Bus Association (ACPBA) said it had decided to hoist black flags on buses to express its opposition to the recent fuel price hike and implementation of new traffic fines from Sunday. more..

Lakdhanavi responds to Daily FT article over Kerawalapitiya LNG deal

Jul 12 (FT) With reference to the Daily FT article on Tuesday titled More bidders cry foul over tender process for second Kerawalapitiya LNG power plant, Lakdhanavi Ltd. has sent the following statement: The above article that appeared on the front page of Daily FT of Tuesday 10 July may require certain clarification for the reader to understand the facts clearly. We have provided below our explanation highlighting misrepresented facts along with the corrections. more..

Fixed CESS rate of Rs. 10 per kg for tea

Jul 12 (FT) Cabinet this week approved to impose a fixed CESS rate of Rs. 10 per kg of tea exported, Cabinet co-spokesperson Gayantha Karunathilaka told the Cabinet. At present, tea exporters pay either Rs. 20 per kg, considered highest in the market, Plantation Minister Navin Dissanayake told the Cabinet, proposing the revision. Pointing out a number of reasons which makes the current system of collecting CESS, which is done on a monthly basis, problematic, Minister informed more..

Third Intl. airport for SL in Trinco Master Plan

Jul 12 (FT) The proposed Trincomalee Master Plan project includes a third international airport for Sri Lanka as well as an international cricket stadium. The Master Plan envisions a massive development drive for the Trincomalee District and adjacent regions to make it the Eastern Gateway of SL. The project proposal was handed over to PM Ranil Wickremesinghe by Singaporean Consultancy group Surbana Jurong more..

Domestic fuel prices will depend on global trend: Rajitha

Jul 12 (DM) The govt would decide on fuel prices in the domestic market on the 10th of every month after taking into account the fluctuation of fuel prices in the global market, Cabinet Spokesman, Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said. However, private bus operators will not be permitted to increase bus fares accordingly because a hike in bus fares took place recently which was for a period of two years, he said while addressing the weekly Cabinet news briefing yesterday. more..

Mihin liquidator ordered to submit documents by July 25: PCoI on SriLankan

Jul 12 (DM) Chairman of the PCol on irregularities at SriLankan Airlines, SriLankan Catering and Mihin Lanka, former SC Justice, Anil Gunaratne ordered Mihin Lanka Liquidator, Sudath Kumara to submit the relevant documents to the Commission on July 25. SriLankan Airlines Company Secretary, Dalrene Thirukumar told the Commission that at times the overtime payments to former SriLankan Airlines Chairman Nishantha Wickremasinghe’s drivers had been over Rs.50,000. more..

BLOOD BANK DIRECTOR transferred out

Jul 12 (CT) Acting Deputy Director of the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS), Dr. Rukshan Bellana has been removed from his post, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. He asserted that there was no crisis at the service, also known as the National Blood Bank, including no strike on the part of the GMOA which had been demanding that Dr. Bellana should be removed over certain allegations, including those pertaining to the purchase of more..

Petition against Maharagama UC election

Jul 12 (DN) An election petition had been filed in the Colombo High Court seeking a declaration that the election of 23 candidates who contested for the Maharagama Urban Council under an independent group (motorcycle symbol) is invalid and that they are disqualified. The petition had been filed by 21 candidates nominated by the UNP at the Local Authorities election held on Feb 10, for the election of the Maharagama Urban Council. Colombo High Court Judge Gihan Kulatunga fixed more..

Declining ethics, morals blamed for businesses going behind politicos

Jul 12 (DM) The decline of ethics and morals in SL’s business community has led businesses to heavily depend on excessive lobbying to politicians to gain favour and unfair advantage over the competitors, a leading shipping and logistics industry figure lamented. SL Shippers’ Council Chairman, Chrisso de Mel, highlighted that due to the decline and demise of ethics and morals such as integrity and honesty, business leaders have lost the right spirit in which businesses should be carried on. more..

CIABOC determination: MPs can sell their duty free vehicles

Jul 12 (Island) The CIABOC has cleared the way for lawmakers to sell super luxury vehicles imported under special duty free scheme available for MPs since the 1970s. Secretary to the CIABOC Shanthi Jayasekera has asserted that the transfer of vehicles imported by lawmakers wasn’t contrary to the Bribery and Corruption law. Jayasekera was responding to attorney-at-law Nagananda Kodituwakku, who, at the onset of more..

Sushma Swaraj’s gumption and India’s abiding arrogance

Jul 12 (DM) The Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, addressing top diplomats posted in neighbouring countries (July 3, 2018), opined that India should not focus on competing with China on resources. That’s sensible considering resource-mismatch. She also said that India must closely watch all Chinese activities. That’s sensible too, considering India’s economic and strategic interests in the region. This (and what follows) has been reported in the HT of July 8, 2018. more..

Shall we make swimming a mandatory skill?

Jul 12 (DM) The nail biting episode of Thai caves got the whole world glued to the television sets for a week. While the rescue operation was midway, a school principal and three others here in Sri Lanka died due to drowning in Ek Gal Oya in Ampara after their boat capsized. Even otherwise we hear about drowning incidents at regular intervals either in the sea, rivers and streams or tanks occasionally with tourists too becoming victims. An island surrounded by the mighty & unpredictable Indian Ocean more..

Fuel price hike: President kept in the dark by treasury officials

Jul 12 (DM) Prez Sirisena was outraged at Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting for keeping him in the dark about the move for the upward revision of fuel prices last week. First, the decision was taken at a meeting attended by the Prez last Thursday to revise the prices in conformity with the pricing formula adopted for the purpose. Accordingly, the prices were to be increased effective from last Friday. more..

Bank’s security inadequate, police warnings went unheeded

Jul 12 (ST) Lapses in security arrangements at a State bank in Thalawa are being probed, as the search for the robbers who got away with Rs 160 million in cash and jewellery, continues. Initial investigations revealed the gang had broken into the bank from the rear, close to a scrub jungle. A senior Police officer in the area said the OIC of Thalawa Police station, on a visit to the bank late last year, warned the management that more..

Concerns over move to Reinstate Controversial CMC Commissioner

Jul 12 (DM) The attempt to bring the former Colombo Municipal Commissioner back to office by a group of UNP Municipal Councilors has raised eyebrows in the council. Former Colombo Municipal Commissioner V.K.A. Anura was removed from office early this year on the recommendation of the Presidential Commission. This was after the commission probed into the collapse of the Meetotamulla garbage dump and found that more..

Estate workers’ daily wage: Digambaram won’t allow his portfolios hinder agreement

Jul 12 (Island) Minister Palani Digambaram says he is ready to give up his portfolios to pave the way for a collective agreement between estate management and workers. Digambaram, leader of Workers’ National Front says he wouldn’t mind if his move could facilitate a collective agreement, advantageous to workers. Digambaram said that he was ready to make a personal sacrifice in case interested parties felt his ministerial more..

JVP organises countrywide protests against fuel price hike

Jul 12 (Island) The JVP will conduct a two-day countrywide protest campaign next Monday and Tuesday against fuel prices hikes, which it calls unfair. JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva, said that the govt had jacked up fuel prices on May 10 and at a time the people were burdened with increases in the prices of essentials and bus and trishaw fares. "This back-to-back fuel price hikes are unbearable. more..