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Mangala wants wider job opportunities for university left outs

Jul 30 (DN) Since only a minute 25,000 students out of nearly 222,500 students passing the GCE A/L Exam qualify for university admission, wider opportunities should be made available to the balance 200,000 or so to obtain employment in the technology field, Minister Mangala Samaraweera said. Accordingly, plans have been already formulated to set up four technological and vocational training schools more..

Deaths due to drowning

Jul 30 (CT) Police statistics has indicated that deaths due to drowning are on the increase. SL being an Island nation is surrounded by beautiful beaches; country’s inland even is blessed with rivers, waterfalls, lakes, reservoirs and lagoons. It is not only the SL holidaymakers even the foreigners are attracted to SL’s beaches and the inland water spots. Police often release statistics on road accidents. However, latest statistics on the increase in deaths due to drowning remain shocking. more..

Part I: National Export Strategy 2018-22

Jul 30 (FT) SL’s Export Development Board, better known as EDB, released the country’s National Export Strategy, dubbed as NES, last week after conducting a series of national consultations for over a year with main stakeholders. It is a late product, coming out after three-and-a-half years since the present good governance Govt came to power in January 2015. It is also late by two-and-a-half years, since PM Ranil Wickremesinghe outlined his export strategy in 1st Economic Policy Statement more..

ගාල්ල ක්රීඩාංගණයේ ඇත්ත තත්ත්වය

Intruder at MP’s residence arrested

Jul 30 (DN) Police had arrested a person who had attempted to enter the residence of MP Arundika Fernando at the Madiwela MP quarters complex. According to the Police, based on information received by the Mirihana Police 119 Hot Line, around 3.15 am yesterday, the police had arrested the suspect. It is also said that the suspect had been intoxicated at the time of arrest. The police said that the 42 year-old arrested suspect is the driver of State Minister V. Radakrishnan. more..

SriLankan Airlines gets sixth Airbus A321neo aircraft

Jul 30 (EN) Sri Lanka’s loss-making national carrier said it took delivery Sunday of an Airbus A321neo aircraft, a more fuel-efficient version of the Airbus company's best-selling airliner. A statement said it was the sixth and final addition to the Airbus A321neo fleet. The aircraft arrived from Hamburg via Abu Dhabi on 29 July 2018. SriLankan Airlines now has six Airbus Neo (for New Engine Option) aircraft and 27 aircraft in total in its fleet with the newest acquisition. more..

OIC and 3 Ingiriya Police Officers suspended over assault incident

Jul 30 (AD) Three police officers of Ingiriya police involved in assaulting the youths have been suspended by the Inspector General of Police. The OIC of Ingiriya Police has also been suspended on the directive of the Police Commission. Reportedly, three police officers who were on duty at the roadblock near Poruwadanda Junction in Ingiriya on the 28th July, had assaulted two youths who were unable to establish their identity. more..

48 hour railway strike called off

Jul 30 (NR) Railway trade unions say the 48 hour strike that was due to get underway at midnight today has been temporarily called off. Secretary of the Locomotive Engineering Operators’ Union Indika Dodangoda said the decision was reached following discussions. He said discussions were held with Ministers Rajitha Senaratne and Sarath Amunugama adding an agreement was reached to table a proposal pertaining to salary anomalies before the Cabinet of Ministers tomorrow. more..

Kuwaiti couple banned from leaving country

Jul 30 (DM) Negombo Magistrate Sajindra Jayasuriya today banned the Kuwaiti couple, who allegedly assaulted Customs officials at the BIA on Friday, from leaving the country. Magistrate also ordered the couple to appear in the Court on Aug 10. Five officials of the Customs Department, including a woman, were allegedly assaulted by the couple at the BIA, when they were requested to quarantine their pet dog. They were later arrested and produced before Negombo Magistrate more..

Embattled SriLankan gets new CFO credited with reviving Angola's carrier

Jul 30 (EN) Sri Lanka has appointed Vipula Gunatilleka Group Chief Operating and Finance Officer of SriLankan Airlines as a PCoI investigates irregularities at the national carrier. "The leadership provided by Vipula in restructuring the national carrier of Angola resulted in the airline achieving break even status and a strong cash flow position in a short period of time," SriLankan Airlines said. He was the CFO at SriLankan Airlines more..

Civil Security personnel presented Appointment Letters

Jul 30 (GDI) A large batch of Civil Security Department personnel were awarded with Permanent Appointment Letters during a ceremony held recently. Nearly 39000 CSD personnel were thus presented with Permanent Appointment Letters ending their probationary period. The newly appointed Director General of the CSD, Major General Nirmal Coswatte symbolically presented the Appointment Letters to a group of CSD personnel attached to the Headquarters and more..

Singer and Sony appoint Bathiya/Santhush brand ambassadors for Sony audio products

Jul 30 (FT) Singer (Sri Lanka) Plc, the country’s premier consumer durables retailer, together with Sony International, has appointed Sri Lanka’s leading musical duo Bathiya and Santhush (BNS) as brand ambassadors for Sony audio products in the country. The official MoU was signed between Marketing Director Kumar Samarasinghe, COO Mahesh Wijewardene, Singer Sri Lanka Plc Senior Marketing Manager Piyum Jayatilaka and the two pop stars Bathiya Jayakody & Santhush more..

Military propagandists targeting the HRCSL and RTIC

Jul 30 (CT) Well targeted attacks aimed at the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission Chairperson Dr Deepika Udagama by a group of ex-military men appear to be part of a larger strategy aimed at destabilizing Sri Lanka’s independent Commissions, particularly the HRCSL and the Right to Information Commission (RTIC), both of which have been praised locally and int'lly for their progressive interventions. more..

AG submits draft of rule against Ramanayake

Jul 30 (AD) Attorney General has submitted the draft of rule document to Supreme Court, today, to show cause on Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake over the contempt of Court charges against him. The SS had directed the Attorney General to draft a rule document to show cause why Dy Minister should not be held in contempt. Accordingly, the Attorney General has submitted a draft of document today and the SC stated that the course of action regarding it would be notified on 8th of Aug. more..

Brandix sets up employee training facility

Jul 30 (EN) Brandix, one of SL’s top apparel exporters and the biggest employer in the industry, has set up a training facility with the Colombo International Nautical and Engineering College (CINEC) to overcome a skilled worker shortage. A statement said the Brandix – CINEC Centre of Excellence (BCCE), will facilitate joint training programmes and research for the apparel sector. The Brandix Group, which employs 60,000 people globally, has also signed agreements with more..

Colombo's Outer Circular Highway expected to be opened in July 2019

Jul 30 (GDI) Construction work on the last stage of the Outer Circular Highway (OCH), the expressway around SL capital that connects the Southern Expressway to the Colombo-Katunayake Expressway, is about 65% complete, according to the RDA. The 29.5-km OCH starts from Kerawalapitiya along the Colombo - Katunayake Expressway to link Southern Expressway crossing A-4 highway at Kottawa and more..

'MR's name not removed from establishments'

Jul 30 (NR) State Minister Ajith P Perera has denied statements that Former President Rajapaksa’s name was removed from establishments. He said the govt prioritises the development of structures and establishments over naming such entities. State Minister Perera stressed former Prez Rajapaksa named several stadiums, a port and an airport after him. State Minister meanwhile noted the govt's policy is to name development projects and constructions after non politicians more..

MR and Sajith silent over Rilagalayaya: Thera

Jul 30 (CT) Former Prez Rajapksa and UNP deputy leader Sajith Premadasa were both silent over the destruction of Rilagalayaya, the second highest mountain range in the Hambantota District, the Viharadhipathy of the Getamanna Raja Maha Viharaya, Hakuruwela Pagngnasekara Thera, said. “Despite the fact both major leaders of Hambantota district were informed regarding the ongoing massive environmental destruction occurring from stone crusher plants at that sensitive more..

Video: 'Jammers in exam halls not practical'

Jul 30 (DM) Installing mobile phone signal jamming equipment at examination centres during the GCE A/L examinations was not practical, Minister Harin Fernando said. Department of Examinations had announced that it would install jammers in view of disabling mobile phone signals within the examination centres during the GCE A/L exam. The DoE decided to launch a pilot project to disable mobile phone signals more..

'Govt wants to retain MRIA ownership'

Jul 30 (DM) The Govt was looking for ways to retain the ownership of the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) while handing over operations to a third party, Minister Champika Ranawaka said yesterday. “The MRIA makes about Rs 1.2 mn a month, however, we need about Rs. 250 mn to maintain it,” he said. “The entire income generated by the Katunayake Airport goes to maintain the Mattala Airport,” he said. He said that each citizen had borne Rs. 800 to build the airport. more..

C’wealth Secretary-General to arrive in SL

Jul 30 (DM) The Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland would arrive in Sri Lanka on Wednesday for a four-day official visit, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said on Monday. In a statement, the ministry said this would be Dame Scotland’s first visit to Sri Lanka since she assumed the Office of Secretary-General in April 2016. “On August 1, the Secretary-General will call on PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and meet Foreign Affairs Minister Tilak Marapana. more..

Actual number of CKDu cases far more than revealed: Academic

Jul 30 (CT) The actual number of patients suffering from the Chronic Kidney Disease of unknown Aetiology (CKDu) in the country is around 250,000, despite official statistics, which set it as 45,000, with around three million more facing the risk of developing the condition currently, a US-based medical researcher, who is currently on a visit to Sri Lanka, said. The Academic, attached to the Uni of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey, more..

Australian of Sri Lankan origin to head Macquarie Group

Jul 30 (Reuters) Australian investment bank Macquarie Group appointed its first female CEO on Thursday, promoting the 10-year head of its funds unit Shemara Wikramanayake to the most senior investment banking position currently held by a woman globally. Her elevation also marks a new phase for a financial conglomerate known for its strong record of beating profit expectations and the large pay packages of its fiercely competitive staff. Wikramanayake’s predecessors, Allan Moss, more..

15-year-old arrested over stoning of train

Jul 30 (Island) A 15-year-old student arrested for pelting stones at a train in Mannar was released on bail. The suspect was arrested for damaging a train compartment by throwing stones at a train traveling from Talaimannar to Colombo on Saturday (28). A train driver, too, was injured and several glass shutters of the train were damaged, according to the police. The attack took place near the Mannar station. The railway authorities lodged a complaint with the Mannar police. more..

Malaysia calls for Sri Lanka FTA

Jul 30 (AD) Malaysia has expressed its strong interest on moving forward on the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Sri Lanka that was initially mulled in 2013. “I welcome your interest on an FTA with Sri Lanka about which we agreed in principle. Such an agreement will boost Lanka-Malaysia trade in a great way” said Minister Rishad Bathudeen on 25 July in Kuala Lumpur. Minister Bathiudeen was in discussions with the Malaysian Minister of more..

Economic crime & The P118 of Sri Lanka

Jul 31 (CT) There is a plague in the streets of Sri Lanka. If this plague has not entered your door steps, your family will still pay an indirect price. Most of us were aware of what ruffled the normal tenor of our lives but had no idea how to fight the plague. The plague is known as Corruption, and it might be inimical to the stability and integrity of the economy, which now threatens the entire nation. Prez Sirisena explained that he is not in a position to open the newly built hospital in Hambantota, more..

Elections & Future of democracy in Pakistan

Jul 31 (CT) Pakistanis have voted Imran Khan and his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party to power in the general elections held on 25 July 2018. This was a remarkable departure from the tradition of voting for Pakistan Muslim League and the Pakistan People’s Party. This is also sent a clear message to the politicians who dominated Pakistani politics ignoring the burning issues of the country. Former PM Nawaz Sheriff, disqualified as he was found guilty of financial corruption, is now serving more..

A daunting journey home for SL refugees

Jul 31 (SO) Mr. Balendran fled to India by boat in 1990 with one bag, a little money and barely any documentation. He returned in Feb 2018 with one bag, a little money, barely any documentation and three children to start his life not as a refugee, but a returnee. Earlier this month, the TN Govt in India said more than 3000 SL refugees had returned to the island since 2015. The year 2017 marked largest number of returnees, more..

Hanging the media before drug peddlers

Jul 31 (ST) They are back at the same old crap game. This revivalist tendency when the media is hung out to dry or beaten with President Maithripala Sirisena’s favourite instrument of torture- the madu walge (stingray tail)- has happened several times since Sirisena and Wickremesinghe joined hands to practise yahapalana governance. Admittedly Sirisena’s threat to resort to his own version of a one-man Spanish Inquisition is, of course, all metaphorical. more..

A powerless Parliament and all powerful PCs

Jul 31 (Island) We pointed out last week that in terms of the Govt’s proposed draft constitution, prepared by a panel of experts for the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly, the executive presidency is to be abolished and the PM is to be the head of the govt and the Cabinet. President will be obliged to carry out his duties on the advice of the PM except in instances where discretion is expressly vested in the President. One of the instances when discretion is vested in more..

Lanka’s Cosa Nostra

Jul 31 (CT) These days the Police and other State law enforcement agencies are focused on tackling organized crime gangs that have increased in numbers, mainly in the Western and Southern Provinces. Although sections of the Media prefer to label these gangsters as members of the underworld, the Police for their part however, insist that they belong to organized crime units that operate on a more sophisticated level than more..

Democratic decay: Examining Sri Lanka under the Rajapaksa govt

Jul 31 (GV) The phenomenon of democratic decay has gained attention around the world by various different academics, especially in light of countries such as Poland, Hungary and the US. Scholars such as Tom Daly, have understood democratic decay as an overarching umbrella term for the general decline in the quality of democracy of younger and long-established democracies, which do not qualify as full democratic breakdowns. I believe that this framework is an important way to analyse more..

Expert Group Meeting helps anti-corruption crusade

Jul 31 (CT) The rise to prominence over the last few decades of corruption-related problems and of the good governance agenda as the principal means to tackle them has led to the development of a plethora of national and international policy proposals, international agreements and anti-corruption programmes and initiatives. National governments, international organizations, and NGOs all now claim to take very seriously the need to tackle issues of corruption. more..

Face The Nation

The vicious cycle of borrowing to repay foreign debt

Jul 31 (ST) Debt servicing costs are onerous next year and beyond. Next year’s debt servicing cost (interest payments and debt repayment) is expected to be as much as US$ 4.2 billion. Debt servicing costs are estimated to be US$ 12 billion in the next three years. Last Sunday’s column pointed out that indebtedness caused by the massive borrowing during the previous regime and the further increase of foreign debt in the last three and a half years have created a huge debt servicing burden. more..

Editorial: No Jobs, no Cash, no Hope

Jul 31 (Island) Minister Champika Ranawaka has, at a recent book launch, urged the youth to emulate Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg instead of following Karl Marx and Ernesto Che Guevara. He spoke at length about a new world, which, he said, belonged to the Z-generation, as we reported yesterday. He was spot on when he pointed out the young generation’s ability to influence and even engineer markets and the immense power of FAANG (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google). more..

#ngage 12.0: Making great digital content

Jul 31 (Roar) The 12th edition of Dialog’s tech and social media meetup, #ngage, happened on Wednesday the 27th and featured an exciting panel of speakers and a packed auditorium full of content creators, techies, and industry enthusiasts. The speakers for #ngage 12.0 were: Mustafa Kassim, Founder and CEO of Roar Media who spoke on New Age Vernacular Content, Milinda Tillekeratne, Senior Manager - Online, Dialog more..

Conditions for first ODI were similar to back home: Shamsi

Jul 31 (CB) Tabraiz Shamsi blended control with variations to snare a four-wicket haul as South Africa put behind their disappointing show in Tests with a comfortable five-wicket win versus SL in the first ODI of the five-match series in Dambulla. Shamsi, who recorded his best figures (4/33) in ODIs, noted that it wasn't tough to adjust to the conditions in Dambulla as the wicket was similar to some of the tracks back home. "To be honest, I felt like it was a bit more of a South Africa type of wicket," Shamsi said. more..

Sri Lanka lament batting woes

Jul 31 (Island) After a comprehensive win in the two match Test series against South Africa, Sri Lanka were back to square one as they continued with their struggles in shorter format of the game, a trend that has been ongoing. The hosts suffered a five wicket defeat with 19 overs to spare in the first ODI at Dambulla on Sunday and need to square the series in the second ODI on Wednesday before the teams travel to Kandy for the remainder of the series. Last year, SL hit new lows in ODI cricket more..

Govt to split tender for BIA Terminal 2 to reduce cost

Jul 31 (FT) After negotiations with bidders to match the Engineer Estimate for the extension of BIA failed, the Transport and Aviation Ministry is now seeking approval to split the tender, with aims to bring down value. The first round of bidding failed as out of the two tenderers -both Japanese companies, as per funding conditions -which responded to the original call for bids for the expansion project, the lowest bid was 45% more..