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Sri Lankan glass manufacturer looks overseas as local sales fall

Jul 13 (EN) SL glass bottle manufacturer, Piramal Glass Ceylon Plc, is turning to overseas markets as local sales fall due to increased taxes on alcohol. “The management has tried its best to channel the extra capacity towards the export market to bridge the gap due to the loss of domestic volumes,” Piramal Glass Ceylon (PGC) Chairman Vijay Shah said. While local sales of glass bottles fell, export revenue of PGC has increased 77% to 2.1 billion rupees in 2017/18, Shah said. more..

President's former Chief of Staff re-remanded

Jul 13 (NR) The former Chief of Staff of the Prez IK Mahanama and the former Chairman of the State Timber Corporation Piyasena Dissanayake, arrested and remanded on charges of soliciting a 20 million rupee bribe, have been further remanded until the 24th of July. The order was issued by Colombo Chief Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake. The duo was arrested on the 3rd of May while attempting to obtain 20 million rupees from an Indian investor. The suspects had solicited a bribe of 560 million more..

SL far ahead after spinners hurt South Africa

Jul 13 (CI) Sri Lanka took control of the first Test on a 13-wicket day in Galle, where spinners dominated. After South Africa were shot out for 126 - their lowest total in SL - with seven wickets falling to the spin trio of Rangana Herath, Dilruwan Perera and Lakshan Sandakan, Sri Lanka lost their first three wickets to Keshav Maharaj, but remain in a position to push for victory over the next 3 days, after taking a first innings lead of 161 runs. more..

India offers Ayush Scholarships to Sri Lankan students

Jul 13 (HCI) High Commission of India Colombo announces scholarships to SL nationals under the Ayush Scholarship Scheme for UG/PG/PhD courses in Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy for the academic year 2018-19. The govt of India selects meritorious SL nationals for award of these scholarships in consultation with the Ministry of Higher Education, Govt of SL. These scholarships cover full tuition fees and a monthly sustenance allowance for entire duration of the course. more..

Sri Lanka Police in the process of recruiting Tamil-speaking youth: IGP

Jul 13 (AD) The police department is currently in the process of recruiting Tamil-speaking youngsters as Police Constables (PCs), Women Constables (WPCs) and Sub-Inspectors (SIs) to serve in the 53 police stations in the country’s Northern Province, Police Chief said. IGP Pujith Jayasundara made these comments while speaking to reporters after a meeting with the Chief Minister of the Northern Province C.V. Vigneswaran. He had accompanied Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara. more..

'Thousands of state institutions are without land deeds'

Jul 13 (AD) Nearly 12,000 govt institutes, including schools, have submitted applications requesting for land deeds confirming ownership of the lands where they are situated at, says the Minister Gayantha Karunathilake. These institutions do not possess land deeds for the lands in which they are located, he said. He stated this at an awareness programme held in Gankanda Central College in Pelmadulla, regarding the grant of more..

Court allows police to obtain translations of Vijayakala's speech

Jul 13 (DM) Colombo Chief Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake today directed the Commissioner of the Department of Official Languages to provide verbatim reports of the Sinhala and Tamil video recordings relating to the speech of former state minister Vijayakala Maheswaren to the Organised Crime Prevention Division (OCPD). The two video recordings were provided by two media institutions to the OCPD consequent to the Chief Magistrate’s directives to all media organisations. more..

SLN Hydrographic Service generates income to the country

Jul 13 (Island) Chief Hydrographer of the Navy Rear Admiral Sisira Jayakody handed over a cheque worth of Rs. 1.69 million to the Commander of the SL Navy Vice Admiral Sirimevan Ranasinghe at the Naval Headquarters yesterday. SL Navy Hydrographic Service (SLNHS) has generated this income through its commercial ventures by providing professional consultancy services and bathymetric surveys for private sector institutes. SL Navy having re-established its Hydrographic Wing in 2012 more..

Video: Ask me before giving out information to Army: Vigneswaran

Jul 13 (AD) North Province Chief Minister C. V. Vigneswaran requests the officials in North to notify him before providing information to Army officials. He requests to notify him if the Army asks for information from hospitals or officials in the North. Do not intervene; and if they do ask for information, tell them that the Chief Minister asked not to give out any information without his knowledge, stated the CM. more..

Namal tells court he was ill, hence no show

Jul 13 (DN) Filing a motion before Colombo Chief Magistrate’s court, MP Namal Rajapaksa yesterday informed that he was unable to appear before the FCID on June 24 as per a bail condition into a magisterial inquiry, since he was suffering from an illness. FCID had filed a B report in Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court (No.3) against five suspects, including MP Namal Rajapaksa for their alleged involvement in money laundering amounting to Rs.15 million in a company owned by more..

Sexual harassment: Two PCs arrested

Jul 13 (CT) Two Police Constables attached to the Narahenpita Police were arrested yesterday, over allegedly sexually harassing a woman. The two PCs were arrested following a complaint lodged on 11 July. The complainant had reported that the two officers had attempted to obtain a bribe from a man and a woman, who were talking inside a vehicle in the Narahenpita area. The two officers, who were off-duty, had threatened to take action against the couple for inappropriate behaviour and more..

Karunaratne proved Galle surface not unplayable: Amla

Jul 13 (CI) Get your defense in order, but when the ball is there to hit, make sure you score. That's Hashim Amla's advice to himself and his teammates after an abysmal second day, in which they found themselves 6 for 51 at one stage, before eventually crashing to 126 not out. As is often the case in Galle, the spinners have ruled, and the ball is pouncing off the dusty surface. The conditions are difficult, but as Dimuth Karunaratne has more..

British MPs launch motion on ending arms sales to Sri Lanka

Jul 13 (Island) British MPs have launched an Early Day Motion on the UK’s weapons sales to SL, calling for the immediate end of all arms exports to Colombo. The motion, brought forward by Liberal Democrat MP Edward Davey, "notes that SL remains on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s list of countries with serious human rights concerns and that an estimated 200,000 military, police and intelligence personnel remain in NE region resulting in a repressive militarised environment". more..

email scams targeting exporters US$3 M lost to econ in 2017: SLCERT

Jul 13 (CT) Over US$ 3 million was lost to the economy in 2017 due to various electronic mail scams that target local exporters, SL Computer Emergency Responsive Team (SLCERT) reported. Director of Operations at the SLCERT, Rohan Palliyaguru speaking at a seminar on Transnational Organized Crimes in SL, at the Bandaranaike Centre for Int'l Studies (BCIS), noted that with the country’s rapid expansion towards being a central hub in the Indian Ocean, SL will continue to more..

President considers reducing 15% levy on gold imports

Jul 13 (PSL) A meeting was held between President Maithripala Sirisena and the representatives of the Gem & Jewellery industry at the Presidential Secretariat, yesterday. During this meeting it was discussed in detail regarding the issues prevailed in the industry, which is playing a pivotal role in the national economy by bringing foreign revenue, and regarding the steps that should be taken to develop the industry. more..

'Existing electoral system for PC elections'

Jul 13 (NR) The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) says the impending provincial council elections should be held under the existing electoral system. Leader of the SLMC, Minister Rauff Hakeem claims the demarcation report submitted on provincial councils will further complicate the electoral process and delay the conduct of polls. He said Minister of Local Govt and Provincial Councils should be held responsible for the continuous delay to conduct elections for three councils. more..

Court orders release of 16 TN fishermen

Jul 13 (PTI) A court in Sri Lanka today ordered the release of 16 Tamil Nadu fishermen arrested by the island nation's navy recently for crossing its territorial waters, a fishermen association leader said here. According to State fishermen association president, N Devadoss, the judge imposed certain conditions including one that if the released fishermen were found and caught by the SL navy in their territory again within five years they would be detained in prison for one to two years. more..

Sri Lanka and India discuss progress on projects, fishermen issue

Jul 13 (SL) Sri Lanka and India today had talks on the progress on Indian funded projects as well as on the fishermen issue. PM Ranil Wickremsinghe met Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Keshav Gokhale today and had wide ranging discussions. Wickremsinghe assured India that several Indian funded projects will get off the ground this year. Both sides also discussed matters related to the proposed ETCA. more..

1000 Tanks - 1000 Villages development program commenced

Jul 13 (GDI) The Ministry of Agriculture has decided to develop all tanks that have been abandoned without being utilized under the program Thousand Tanks - Thousands Villages program. The massive program to redevelop 1000 tanks commenced yesterday at the Galkadawala tank bund at Maha Giriulla in Nikaweratiya under the patronage of the Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Amaraweera and Deputy Minister Indika Bandaranayake. The 1000 Tank 1000 Village program is operative more..

Indian fishermen being charged under Sri Lanka's new fishing law want to be pardoned

Jul 13 (IT) In the last one week, 12 fishermen have been taken into custody by the SL Navy. The 12 fishermen were produced before the court and the judge who had earlier said that the fishermen will be tried under the Sri Lanka's new fishing act postponed the case for tomorrow stating that there were four more fishermen whose case needs to be heard. Hence, Judge Judeson postponed the hearing for tomorrow. Indian fishermen who have been taken into SL custody are now pleading more..

Video: Mass grave with 38 skeletons discovered in Mannar

Jul 13 (AD) A mass grave with 38 skeletons has been discovered in Sri Lanka’s former war zone, officials said today. Skeletal remains of around 38 people have been found during the ground digging to build a new construction at the old cooperative store site in the northeastern town of Mannar. Following the discovery in late March, the site was kept under the supervision of Mannar magistrate M Prabhakaran for further digging. more..

Reds, Greens & The Seasonality of colors

Jul 14 (CT) Prof Michael Dear, Professor Emeritus in the College of Environmental Design at UC Berkeley, once taught a class on postmodernism in the Geography Department, University of Southern California. At the end of the semester, he asked people where they believe they are now located ideologically. Most said postmodernism. Kanishka Goonewardena, then doing fieldwork for his PhD dissertation and was auditing that class, said Marxist. more..

SL must not reintroduce the death penalty

Jul 14 (CT) On June 15th 1999, Dr. Neelan Tiruchelvam gave a speech in Parliament condemning the proposal by the Kumaratunga govt to reintroduce the death penalty. In light of the recent announcement on the part of the Maithripala Sirisena govt to reintroduce the death penalty, “with plans to execute 19 death row prisoners convicted of drug-related offences,” Neelan’s words, in condemnation of the death penalty, seem more relevant now than ever before. more..

Davena Vihagun (Burning Birds)

~Jul 14 (FT) Filmmaker Sanjeewa Pushpakumara is a bright star in the cinematic firmament of Sri Lanka. His second feature film Davena Vihagun (Burning Birds) is currently being screened in SL. Film completed in 2016 has been shown at several international film festivals over the past two years. Just like Pushpakumara’s first film Igillenna Maaluwo (Flying Fish), his second feature film too has earned much kudos internationally. more..

Muslim political leadership

Jul 14 (SO) Historically speaking, wealth & piety had been the two legitimisers of Muslim leadership in this country. Wealth came from two sources, inheritance and trade. Of the two, trade is closely linked with the origin of Islam. For instance, the Prophet himself was a trader, his first wife Khadija was one of the wealthiest trading magnates in Mecca, and so were a few of the Prophet’s closest friends and followers. Quran itself uses commercial terminologies as metaphors to impart its messages. more..

Call for the hangman in the politics of today

Jul 14 (DN) Is the hangman’s noose a new image for popularity by the govt? Prez Sirisena is very keen on its revival, and the Cabinet, which he heads, has given the approval to hang prisoners convicted of drug offences who carry out such business from prison. Is this a message that would draw public support? Minister Rajitha Senaratne said the govt would consider activating the death sentence on convicts of extremely cruel and heinous crimes such as rape and murder, after carrying it out on more..

Beach beauty turning into a beast

~Jul 14 (CT) Sri Lanka’s beautiful shoreline is as long as 1,700 kilometres with Exclusive Economic Zones, eight times larger than the total area of its land (65,610 km), but the beauty is turning out to be beastly with plastic litter dumped on the beaches and into the sea. In Negombo, some 3 to 4 feet of solid garbage is dumped in the shallow waters and that is the pathetic state in many parts of the country. more..

Rice, banana leaves and lamprais

Jul 14 (CT) The response to one of my articles titled Burgher Community in Sri Lanka, some time, ago has been appreciated by many of my Burgher friends both abroad in Australia and in Sri Lanka. My good friend, Egerton, decided to comment on it, in typical old school Sri Lankan English as he put it by saying thus: “My friends join me in saying a big thank you to you for your ever interesting, highly informative, authentic, brazenly outspoken and lucidity of style of your column, more..

Edtorial: A Perpetual Problem

Jul 14 (Island) A revelation that Perpetual Treasuries Ltd. (PTL) sponsored an event conducted by the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) has made the legal fraternity squirm. We reported yesterday that the PTL was among the companies which sponsored the three-day Law Asia 2016 Golden Jubilee Conference in August, 2016. The second bond scam had been committed by that time and the PTL was already under a cloud. Besides, the media had given wide publicity to its illegal operations. more..


Pursuing Peace Rehabilitation without Reintegration

Jul 14 (CT) There was another area in which we did much vital work in the period before the war ended, but that too in the end fell prey to rival ministerial ambitions. This was the question of Rehabilitation of former combatants, for which we formulated a policy with the assistance of the Int'l Labour Organization. When it became clear that plans needed to be formulated without waiting for the war to end, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe took the lead in setting up the Consultancy. more..

The Coal Power Lobby

Jul 14 (Island) A recent article in The Island on coal demonstrates that scum, like cream, rises and the important thing is to be able to differentiate between the two. There is no doubt that we have some of the best electrical engineers in the world, and they should be recognised as the cream of our engineering talent; the problem lies in those who use them to justify what is essentially not an engineering problem. One could term such people pseudo engineers, those who use populist slogans to more..

Isn’t it time to hang politicians, too?

Jul 14 (Island) There are new employment opportunities opening in the country – for hangmen. The prison authorities are already calling for applications for two hangmen. Why stop at two? There are so many persons involved in drug trafficking in our prisons, engaged in a fruitful business from within those walls. Why not many more hangmen, (and even hangwomen), to make it gender equal? It will give a big boost to more..

The DEHIWELA where I grew up

Jul 14 (Island) We used to hang on the half-wall which bordered the premises and watch, until our parents came and dragged us away, by our ears. To make matters even more interesting, the owners expanded their business activities and introduced hostesses who lived on the premises. In the evenings, these employees would cycle up and down the lane in various revealing attire. To say we came of age and became very worldly, long before we should have been, is an understatement! more..

Proteas don’t play off-spin well: Dilruwan

Jul 14 (Island) Off-spinner Dilruwan Perera took 16 wickets in a two match series the last time the Proteas were in Sri Lanka in 2014 and he continued to torment the tourists claiming four wickets in their first innings of the first Test here in Galle. The tourists were bowled out for their lowest total against Sri Lanka – a paltry 126 - eclipsing their previous lowest total of 168 in Durban in 2011. Speaking to journalists after the day’s play, Perera felt that the South Africans don’t play off-spin too well. more..

Thoughts from a fictitious SA batsman: This isn't how it was supposed to be in SL

Jul 14 (CI) Wait, hang on. This is not how it went when we played these strokes last time. Remember that game in Johannesburg? Ah, what a Test. Our quicks were so good then, and these Sri Lankan batsmen so fearful, they were practically racing each other back to the dressing room. Three days, that's all we needed to win the match. And we did it looking so strong, and athletic, and manly, almost like we were the jocks in one of those more..

The beggar’s wound and the poultice to cure it for good

Jul 14 (ST) Have you ever heard of the beggar’s wound? As the saying goes, the wound never heals. May be, for the beggar, it’s a means to earn a living, but for others, it’s a discomforting sight, where you would rather cross the road and use the opposite pavement, just to get away from that gruesome sight. This similitude may sound harsh but, it’s the stark truth. For the ICC, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is its beggar’s wound. Nearly a quarter-century ago in 1996, Sri Lanka pulled a rabbit out of more..

Janabalaya Kolambata on August 17: Namal

Jul 14 (DM) Janabalaya Kolambata, a massive anti-govt protest campaign organised by the joint opposition, will be held on August 17 in Colombo, MP Namal Rajapaksa said. He said the joint opposition, the SLPP and the Podujana Youth Front would gather a large crowd and bring them to Colombo on August 17. “The protest will be held against the govt’s arbitrary actions, selling of national assets and weak fiscal policies which have resulted in the collapse of the economy. more..

Ayurveda Expo 2018 opens

Jul 14 (FT) The three-day Ayurveda Expo 2018 opened yesterday at the BMICH creating a platform for the indigenous sector. The seventh edition of the show is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and concludes on Sunday. The exhibition contains several stalls with the medicine and other related equipment on treatment on how to prevent or cure non-communicable diseases like diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases and even cancer which more..

Visulmina Samanga SL’s sole Canoeist

Jul 14 (ST) Visulmina Samanga of SL Army will represent Sri Lanka at the Int'l Canoe Federation (ICF) Junior and Under-23 Canoe Sprint World Championship 2018 to be held in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, from July 16-30. Sumanga is scheduled to undergo a ICF training camp in Bulgaria, prior to the tournament. Samanga, the sole Sri Lanka representative was an automatic choice as he has won Gold at the National championships, and Silver in the Open Category in U-23 C1 1000m, more..