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Rs. 500 m boost for Ceylon Tea promotion

Jul 26 (FT) Govt this week decided to extend the brand promotion scheme available for SL-owned tea brands selling under the Pure Ceylon Tea label for 2018/2019, allocating Rs. 500 million. Extension of the scheme was approved by the Cabinet this week with a few amendments. Under the scheme, eligible brands will have 50% of the promotional spend of their marketing campaign granted by Tea Board, with a cap of Rs 50 m more..

South Africa's slide in Asia, from 7-3 to 0-5

Jul 26 (CI) South Africa's resistance in the last innings of their SL tour salvaged some pride, but it still left them with a 2-0 series defeat, and some uncomfortable questions regarding their batting in Asia. There used to be a time when SA were by far the best touring side to Asia: between Oct 2007 and Oct 2015, they had a 7-3 win-loss record in 17 Tests, and played eight series without losing any, winning three and drawing five. Since then, it has all gone a bit pear-shaped for them: more..

Kaushal Silva keen to regain Test spot

Jul 26 (DN) Kaushal Silva is keen to use the four-day two-match series between the Emerging teams of Sri Lanka and South Africa starting at Chilaw Marians grounds, Katunayake today to regain his Test spot. “This is a great platform for players to perform well and get back in the national squad. I don’t see myself playing for the Emerging team as strange. It doesn’t matter what team I play for if I get those runs against my name, eventually I’ll be back in the national squad,” more..

Sumeda controversially dropped from Asian Games

Jul 26 (Island) In what athletic analysts consider a controversial decision, National Olympic Committee has dropped Rio Olympic participant Sumeda Ranasinghe from the team for the forthcoming Asian Games to be held in Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang from August 18. Athletics Association of SL retained the national javelin record holder in the Asian Games team when they pruned their long list to 25 more..

Thirimanne is on top of the world in confidence: Avishka

Jul 26 (DN) The importance of ‘A’ team tours was emphasized with SL’s tour to Bangladesh serving its purpose in more ways than one. From a national team’s perspective tour enabled Dimuth Karunaratne and Lakshan Sandakan to prepare themselves for the recently concluded Test series against South Africa. “In every ‘A’ tour there are a few objectives that we look at before we go, one was getting Dimuth back in form and getting Sandakan’s rhythm back. more..

U-19: Shah’s double ton takes India to 613

Jul 26 (DN) India’s Under-19 batsman Pawan Shah yesterday got his name etched in the record books as he registered the second-highest individual score in Youth Tests. Shah, who stands second in the list of highest scorers in Youth Tests, scored 282 off 332 balls, including 33 fours and one six, against Sri Lanka Under-19 on the second day of India’s U-19 final four-day game at Sooriyawewa, Hambantota. Australian Clinton Peake holds the record for the highest score, an unbeaten 304, more..

SC concludes hearing Duminda’s appeal

Jul 26 (CT) The Attorney General’s Department yesterday, once more accepted that Gamini, the security officer of former MP Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra, had fired two gun shots at the head of former MP Duminda Silva. This was revealed to the Supreme Court by President’s Counsel (PC) Anuja Premaratne, during the hearing of the special appeal petition, filed by death row inmates Silva and three others more..

Shamrath lured me into Match Commissioning: Ana

Jul 26 (CT) SL’s World Rugby Match Commissioner Ana Wijeratne paid a glowing tribute to former Sri Lanka ‘A’ Division Club Rugby Referee, Royal College Stubbs Shield Boxing Coloursman and Peterson’s Hooker, Shamrath Fernando for luring him into global Rugby Match Commissioning. “It was in 2004 that Shamrath told me that I had all the ingredients for Match Commissioning due to my vast knowledge on technicalities of the game. It was former Sri Lanka Rugby CEO and more..

Indian scholarship program for diaspora children

Jul 26 (IHC) Govt of India is implementing a scheme called Scholarship Programme for Diaspora Children [SPDC] since 2006-07. Under this scheme, assistance is provided to the Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) and Non-Resident Indian (NRIs) for pursuing Undergraduate courses in Indian Universities/Institutes. Under this scheme many scholarships are granted and financial assistance for specific undergraduate courses in Professional and Non-Professional courses more..

PM to intervene on North housing tender dispute

Jul 26 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is expected to discuss the housing projects for the North with both Indian and Chinese representatives in Sri Lanka to iron out the issues raised on awarding the latest construction project to a Chinese construction company. The decision to discuss the matter with both parties was taken at the Cabinet meeting this week when the issue was raised by Minister D. M. Swaminathan, more..

Cabinet approval for SLPA to discuss $146 m infusion to Hambantota port

Jul 26 (FT) Cabinet approval has been given for the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) to begin negotiations on behalf of the Govt with China Merchants Port Holdings (CM Port), on how the latter could invest $146 million in the Hambantota Port, Shipping Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said. He said that the $146 million was part of the $1.12 billion agreed to by CM Port when the Hambantota Port was handed over to the Chinese company in a joint venture by the SL Govt last year. more..

Sanmenxio Jinqu Group to invest US $ 30 mn in jewellery hub

Jul 26 (DN) A Chinese gold mining giant announced that it is ready to set up an international standard, modern gold, gem and jewellery hub in Sri Lanka. The Chinese firm, Sanmenxio Jinqu Group, is backed by the world’s largest physical gold exchange, the Shanghai Gold Exchange. “This is the first ever such foreign facility proposed to be set up in Colombo, and it shall also be an extension of China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) plans on Sri Lanka,” said Xu Yujin, Chairman of more..

President hopes to make Sri Lanka top corrupt-free nation

Jul 26 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena says his expectation is to place Sri Lanka in the number one position among the countries in the world fighting against the corruption, during his tenure. He made these remarks attending the Global Expert Group Meeting on the Jakarta Principles held in Colombo, today (25). Jakarta Principles are a set of principles adopted by experts and practitioners to strengthen more..

PM to launch Sri Lanka’s first Tourist-friendly Tuk programme

Jul 26 (Island) SL Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) will launch SL's first ever tourist-friendly Tuk Tuk service on July 30 at Galle Face Green under the patronage of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. Tourist-Friendly logo is a pride mark to distinguish high-quality tourism related service providers in Sri Lanka. The initial rollout of this pride mark will be for Tuk Tuks in the Colombo district. Subsequently, it will also cover the rest of the island, including other major tourist cities. more..

President felicitates Archbishop Emeritus Dr. Oswald Gomis

Jul 26 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena says if a person is to be acknowledged and respected in the society, his philosophy and characteristics should run in the same path. President made these remarks participating in the celebration of the Golden Jubilee of the consecration of Archbishop Emeritus Rt. Rev. Dr. Oswald Gomis held at the BMICH, yesterday (22). Prez pointed out that Emeritus Archbishop Rev. Oswald Gomis was highly respected in the society since his vision and characteristics more..

Tourism promotion campaign postponed indefinitely

Jul 26 (CT) The much-anticipated Mega Tourism Promotion Campaign, which was expected to get Cabinet approval this month, seems to have been postponed indefinitely due to procurement issues. SL Tourism Promotion Bureau last year announced that the agency would carry out a 3-month Digital Marketing Campaign, which would be followed by a two-year Comprehensive Destination Promotion Programme. more..

Monopoly in distribution: DC extends Enjoining Order against Film Corporation

Jul 26 (FT) The Colombo District Court yesterday extended the Enjoining Order till 6 August against the decision of the National Film Corporation to allow it to distribute films. The Plaint filed by the private film distributors E.A.P. Films and Theatres Ltd., Movie Producers and Importers Ltd., Lanka Film Distributors Company Ltd. and Cinema Entertainment Ltd. citing the National Film Corporation as Defendant yesterday came up before District Judge R.P.D.P.P. Ratnayake. more..

Dons who fail to return: Sureties to face legal action

Jul 26 (DN) A decision has been taken to prosecute University lecturers who fail to return after completing their post graduate degrees, Higher Education and Cultural Affairs Ministry Secretary J.J. Rathnasiri said. The decision has been reached at a Vice Chancellors’ meeting held recently. Ministry Secretary said they will prosecute the sureties of the bond that the university lecturers entered into with the UGC provided that the whereabouts of the lecturers could not be traced. more..

Audit shows CEB engineers get unauthorized perks

Jul 26 (CT) Following an audit conducted by the Auditor General’s Department, it has been revealed that unprecedented allowances and benefits are being given to CEB engineers, having ignored rules, regulations and circulars. This audit has further revealed that one of the core reasons behind the CEB incurring massive losses has been these huge benefits that have been given to its top officials. more..

Organic approach to SL Silicon Valley: ICTA

Jul 26 (CT) There are no Govt directives to create a Silicon Valley in Sri Lanka; however, what the Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) hopes to do is create the right platform for such to emerge organically, ICTA Chairman, Prof. Rohan Samarajiva said. Samarajiva speaking on the sidelines of the launch of the Disrupt Asia 2018 - startup conference and innovation festival, said, “The Sri Lankan Government has no plans or directives to create a tech-hub like more..

Carry eco certificate always: Police

Jul 26 (DM) The carrying of Vehicle Emission Test (VET-eco test) certificate had been made compulsory due to complaints about the existence of fake certificates, the Police said. Director of Traffic Administration and Road Safety SP Indika Hapugoda said several rackets had been operating to create forged VET Certificates. Accordingly, the failure to carry VET Certificate would lead to a spot fine of Rs. 500 following the Extraordinary Gazette Notification that was issued on January 15. more..

'Prez won’t give in to Geneva dictates; no decision yet on executive presidency'

Jul 26 (Island) The SLFP declared that it was yet to decide on its position on the executive presidency though President Sirisena had earlier volunteered to divest himself of some of his powers through the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, enacted in April 2015. SLFP Vice President Mahinda Samarasinghe, said that the Central Committee of the party was still examining the prospect of abolishing the executive presidency, more..

Atchuvely Industrial Estate second phase with Rs. 100 mn investment

Jul 26 (DN) The second phase of Atchuvely Industrial Estate Development Project in Jaffna is now being implemented. Minister Rishad Bathiudeen said the Ministry would invest Rs. 100 million for this project through 2018 budget allocations. “This would be the second industrial zone for the North East,” he said during a visit to Jaffna recently. This development project would be a new lease of life for the northern entrepreneurs to start new business ventures. The zone will be a fully-pledged more..

New Constitution: Mahindananda makes serious allegations

Jul 26 (CT) UPFA Kandy District MP, Mahindananda Aluthgamage told a Media briefing, that the new Constitution proposes to vest the power to remove the President, if he/she is suffering from mental illness, with the PM, the Speaker and Opposition Leader. Aluthgamage alleged that a group from Temple Trees was directly involved in the formulation of the new Constitution and the controversial clause. He said the clause had been included in Article 93.C of new Constitution. more..

‘PM, Hashim got Srilankan CEO confirmed without performance appraisal’

Jul 26 (DM) Suren Ratwatte had been appointed as the CEO of the SriLankan Airlines without a Board Decision, Airlines Company Secretary Dalarene Thirikumar told the PCoI. “There is Board Paper and the appointment was made without a board decision,” she said. She informed PCoI that another Board Paper mentioned that SriLankan Airlines Board of Directors had shortlisted 14 potential candidates for the CEO’s position more..

Grade 5 Scholarship Exam; are we to continue?

Jul 26 (DM) A ten-year old child finishes school at 1.30 pm. Then he/she takes a bite from his/her lunch and gets ready for the after school class slated for Grade 5 students. That class goes on till 3.30 pm. Afterwards the mother picks him/her and takes to a tuition class that starts at 4.30 pm. There’s no time to go home and change his/her uniform. So in his/her uniform the bleary-eyed, exhausted, stressed up child studies till 9.00 pm in the class. Picked up by a tired father who has returned home more..

Are they playing Good Cop, Bad Cop?

Jul 26 (DM) Prez Sirisena has declared war against the media and has done this in a subtle manner. Prez cautioned the media about negative reporting and attempts made by them to attack, weaken and destroy the Government. This accusation was made when he launched the Moragahakanda Reservoir, on Monday. President wants the media to only highlight the good things that the Govt does. But what he fails to understand is that what is news to the Govt doesn’t help to sell newspapers. more..

'Govt cannot deny Federalism to Tamil people'

Jul 26 (DM) All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC) leader Gajan Ponnambalam, shares his views on the political developments of the north. Mr Ponnambalam, whose party made significant gains at the local govt elections, speaks about Federalism. Q: As the leader of ACTC, how do you assess the current political situation? A: When you consider the last elections in 2015, we see the way the people more..

PC Polls: Mercury Rising: Govt to face increased pressure to have PC Polls

Jul 26 (DM) The Govt is bound to grapple with increased pressure to conduct the elections to the Provincial Councils this year. It is likely to happen particularly after the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) stands dissolved in October, this year. Already, the elections are overdue for three councils-North-Central, Sabaragamuwa and Eastern Provincial Councils. The elections cannot be conducted to them more..

'Education system should be techno-based'

Jul 26 (CT) The National Human Resources Development Council (NHRDC) observed that the education system should develop Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education to meet the future demand. NHRDC Director, Dr. Chandra Ambuldeniya addressing the Media at the Nipunathapiyasa of the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs spelt out the budget proposals for 2019/2020. more..

5-Star hotel rooms increase by 733

Jul 26 (CT) With SL Tourism Development Authority’s (SLTDA’s) new classification of tourist hotels in force, the number of classified tourist hotels’ (1-5 star) room numbers fell to 12,822 rooms by end 30 June; down by six (0.05%), compared to 12,828 as at end March, data showed. Colombo & Galle Districts recorded the highest number of rooms (over 7,000 and over rooms), unchanged over end March numbers. more..

US Commander praises SL Army’s reconciliation efforts

Jul 26 (MoD) The four-star Commanding General of the United States Army Pacific Command (USARPAC), General Robert B. Brown, turning a new chapter in regional understanding, military cooperation, mutual friendship and solidarity was here in Sri Lanka on a four-day long goodwill visit at the invitation of Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, Commander of the Army. more..

With security forces at the helm SL finally on a holistic approach to tackle drowning

Jul 26 (ST) SL is to finally introduce a national policy for drowning prevention, the second most common cause of accidental death after traffic incidents. The effort is being led by the Office of the Chief of Defence Staff on the instructions of Prez. It has been tasked with coordinating all institutions involved in drowning prevention–and currently working in isolation–towards a holistic, national approach to the problem. more..

UNP WC to decide on action against Vijayakala next month

Jul 26 (DM) The UNP Working Committee (WC) is to make the final decision on former State Minister Vijayakala Maheswaran when it meets next month, UNP Chairman Kabir Hashim said yesterday. Mr Hashim said the WC was informed that Ms Maheswaran would be summoned for questioning by the party soon. “Action will be taken thereafter,” he said. Former State Minister Vijayakala Maheswaran was at the centre of more..

Video: Thewarapperuma stranded outside Yala National Park

Jul 26 (DM) Wildlife Deputy Minister Palitha Thewarapperuma was left stranded outside the main entrance of Yala National Park on Tuesday, after he sent back to the ministry the crew cab in which he arrived. Deputy Minister said he sought the ministry’s permission to get the crew cab released so he could explore the park in search of an injured sloth bear. Speaking to journalists outside the national park, the Deputy Minister said more..

Big hike in education spending proposed

Jul 26 (EN) The National Human Resources Development Council is proposing a 43% increase in central govt spending on education to 405 billion rupees by 2020, nearly doubling allocations for higher education to 133.5 billion rupees, officials said. "We need to double the intake of students to state universities and create higher education and vocational training opportunities with the private sector for those who don't make it to uni," more..

Dammaloka Thera disembarked from flight

Jul 26 (NR) Venerable Uduwe Dammaloka Thera has been disembarked from a flight travelling to London. Dammaloka Thera arrived at the BIA this morning to travel to London through Muscat Oman. Thera said he was disembarked from the flight and sent back. Thera stressed he will resort to legal action over the incident. Thera noted the intention of the trip was to attend a religious ceremony that is scheduled to take place over the weekend. more..

Today’s Dystopia

Jul 26 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe dreams of creating the mega-sprawl of the South Asian region, the focal point and attraction of the Indian Ocean through the development of the mega-polis metropolis of Colombo and the landfill that will be the chef d'oeuvre of it all. He dreams of urban corridors that connects the mega-polis with the rest of the country, the urban with the rural, that guarantees the flow of the workforce and trickling down of economical benefits; more..

Hitler in Sri Lanka!

Jul 26 (FT) Usually the subject matter of a sermon, particularly if delivered at a domestic setting, is unlikely to catch the interest of the larger public. These are practices of the faith, private functions for the householder, his family and invitees. It is the custom, particularly among the well-to-do Buddhists, to mark a personal milestone, like a birthday, with an almsgiving for the clergy followed by a sermon. After the departure of the monks, the gathering will be served a meal. more..

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