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Damro opens Rs. 12.5 b Marino Mall and Beach Hotel

Jul 31 (FT) Family-held Damro Group made its biggest and bold move yesterday, by opening a mega Marino Mall and Beach Hotel in Colombo 3, a venture involving a staggering Rs. 12.5 billion investment. Accessible from both Galle Road and Marine Drive, Marino Mall consists of 150,000 square feet of shopping complex and food court, among other facilities, offering a unique experience to customers and visitors. The facility includes the plush, five-star Marino Beach Colombo, more..

State Minister hands over historical Freudenberg book to AHK Sri Lanka

Jul 31 (FT) State Minister Wasantha Senanayake officially handed over the historical Freudenberg book to the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Sri Lanka (AHK SL) as a symbol of the long-lasting partnership between the two countries last week. The historical document, dating back to the 19th Century, contains all German-SL business relations with the example of the Consul of the German Empire in Ceylon to represent German interests in Colombo Philip Freudenberg, more..

UNP calls for a new culture in trade union action

Jul 31 (FT) UNP called for a new culture in trade union action to make Govts accountable without holding public to ransom as the GMOA readies to launch an all-island strike action on 3 Aug. Bringing in the example of the Japanese bus drivers’ strike which caught world attention in May, Minister Harin Fernando said SL trade unions should follow the example, without inconveniencing the public when they take trade union action. more..

U-19: Comfortable six-wicket win for India

Jul 31 (DN) Anuj Rawat hit a solid half-century to guide India to a six-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the first Under 19 ODI played at the P Sara Oval yesterday. Chasing 144 for victory, the visitors rode on a 62-run fourth wicket partnership between Rawat (50) and Sameer Choudhary (12) which gave them the victory in 37.1 overs to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series. SL off spinner Lakshitha Manasinghe took two wickets for 32 runs and Avishka Lakshan & Sandun Mendis claimed more..

NDB continues robust growth in H1 2018

Jul 31 (DN) National Development Bank PLC [NDB] recorded impressive results for the six months ended June 30, 2018, continuing the strong growth it recorded last year. The Bank recorded an operating profit before tax on financial services of Rs 4.81 billion, a 26% year-on-year [YoY] growth. Operating profits from core banking activities excluding equity income increased significantly by 53% YoY to Rs 4.25 billion, compared to Rs 2.79 billion in the comparative period. more..

Customs unions end strike, will receive proper uniform and equipment

Jul 31 (FT) Customs officials yesterday ended their strike action carried out in protest of the assault on Customs officers by a Kuwaiti couple, following an agreement reached with the Director General of Customs regarding several demands made by the Customs Union. Customs Director General P S M Charles said that she had held a discussion with the Customs Officers Union & reached an agreement, ending the protest. more..

Sri Lanka Auto Parts Expo 2018 from August 2 at SLECC

Jul 31 (DN) The first ever Colombo Bike Show 2018 and Sri Lanka Auto Parts Expo 2018, organized by CEMS-Global USA and CEMS Lanka will be held from August 2 to 5 at the Sri Lanka Exhibition and Convention Centre (SLECC). This event will promote the Sri Lankan Motorbike and auto-component industry thus revealing the country’s rapid developments in this industry and will also be a launching platform for many new Bikes as well as new technology components. more..


Jul 31 (CT) Ceylon Today offers an unreserved apology to Kumar Sangakkara for the news item carried in our Sunday edition, headlined Sanga Non-Committal. Sangakkara did have a friendly conversation with one of our reporters, Ravi Ladduwahetty, and when asked whether he would comment on speculation that he would be entering politics, the former cricketer’s response was “I don’t want to comment on rumours,” explicitly requesting that conversation should not be published. more..

More SriLankan woes unravel before PCoI

Jul 31 (Island) SriLankan had not been aware of new European Union regulations on air cargo carriers for almost 3 years after their introduction, Titus Kannangara, Senior Manager- Security Operations at the airline said before the PCoI. The EU required other states to have air cargo carriers, operating from a third country airport, to have ACC3 designation for them to fly cargo into or through the European Union. more..

'MR to be de facto President if Pohottuwa wins next Presidential Election'

Jul 31 (FT) The SLPP yesterday asserted that if it won the next Presidential election, their candidate would ensure that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa ruled the country. “If our candidate wins at the next Presidential election, he will make sure that the former President is the one who is running the country,” SLPP General Secretary Sagara Kariyawasam said. He said that the SLPP was working on that basis, and that it was prepared to face any upcoming election. more..

Examining poverty trends in SA countries: where is SL among its SA counterparts?

Jul 31 (LSE) South Asia has been accommodating a significantly large share of global income and multidimensional poor compared to other regions. The multidimensional poor refers to individuals who are deprived of more than one dimension such as health, education and living standards. During the last decade, the share of income poor in South Asia has increased, despite the share of multidimensionally poor showing only a marginal decline. more..

Video: SLPP to take legal action against Election Commission

Jul 31 (DM) SLPP Chairman G.L. Peiris said they would constitute action in the Supreme Court (SC) asking for a writ against the Election Commission (EC) over its failure to hold elections for the dissolved Provincial Councils (PC). He said the writ would be sought against the EC to compel it to discharge its constitutional duty and to hold the PC elections without further delay. “The current session of the SC will come to an end more..

Dy Minister Nanayakkara vows to combat human trafficking

Jul 31 (Island) SL govt would not permit systematic human trafficking operations to take place, Deputy Minister Manusha Nanayakkara said yesterday after attending an event to mark the World Day against Trafficking in Persons. "In the past there was a lot of human trafficking involving in SL. But recent US State Department reports show that things have improved greatly. Today, we are attempting to tell the world about the activities that we have carried out to combat human trafficking," he said. more..

Former Asia Pacific guides and scouts to meet in Sri Lanka in Sept

Jul 31 (FT) The Sri Lanka Scout and Guide Fellowship (SLSGF) will host the 15th Asia Pacific (AsPac) Gathering of International Scouts and Guides Fellowship (ISGF) in Colombo from 5-8 September. ISGF is a worldwide organisation founded in 1953 for adults in support of scouting and guiding and aims to strengthen the dialogue between communities through community-oriented projects worldwide. Most of the members are former girl guides and scouts. more..

Sri Lankan visa scam revealed: New Zealand immigration office

Jul 31 (RNZ) The New Zealand immigration office in Mumbai that handles Sri Lankan applications received a tip off at the start of the year. Inquiries led officials to conclude a Sri Lankan based company was fraudulently creating documentation to help students meet the criteria of having money in the bank. Official briefings to Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway show investigations are under way into more..

The world's loneliest airport has India, Sri Lanka in a tough spot

Jul 31 (N18) Sri Lanka and India seem to be on the opposite sides of the table on a crucial issue of bilateral ties. Earlier this month, SL civil aviation minister Nimal Siripala de Silva had told the Parliament that the govt had asked the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to submit its business plan to operate the loss-making Mattala Rajapaksa Int'l Airport. However, India’s minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha told Parliament that there was no proposal under consideration more..

Tourism to become SL’s second-largest forex earner to oust apparels by next year

Jul 31 (CT) SL Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) is planning to make tourism SL’s 2nd-largest foreign exchange earner by next year, ousting apparel from its current position. Addressing a recent forum Minister John Amaratunga pointed out the ambition of SLTDA to make the industry the country’s second-largest foreign exchange earner. According to him, plans were under way for the tourism industry to oust apparel exports from its current position by next year. more..

SOE debt Rs 1.4 Trillion: IMF

Jul 31 (CT) The outstanding debt of State-owned Enterprises (SOEs) last year stood at 10.8% of the gross domestic product (GDP), the IMF said. This is equivalent to Rs 1,435 billion. Biggest chunk of this belonged to the CPC (2.9%) of the GDP, followed closely by the SriLankan Airlines (2.8%), CEB (2.3%) & RDA (1.2%) of the GDP. Outstanding debt of these four SOEs alone stood at 9.2% of the GDP. more..

'The right person will get his due place'

Jul 31 (Island) ‘I will not hesitate to give the due place and position to the right person,’ said Highways and Road Development Minister Kabir Hashim when he addressed the AGM of the Engineers’ Association of the Road development Authority (RDA) held at Suhurupaya, Battaramulla while emphasizing, the Engineers’ association is the nucleus and strength of the ministry. He recalled, the gigantic projects such as Galoya and Mahaweli were the handiwork of the RDA engineers. more..

IUSF challenges Minister to prove source of funds for the protests

Jul 31 (DM) IUSF Convener Lahiru Weerasekara yesterday challenged Higher Education Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe to prove from where the University students gained funds for organizing their protest marches. Minister Rajapakshe said yesterday that the university protests carried out by the university students were politically funded. Addressing a news briefing, IUSF Convener said none of the political groups had funded them in organizing their protest marches. more..

Uni. protests are politically funded, motivated: Wijeyadasa

Jul 31 (DM) The university protests carried out by the university students were politically funded, Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said. He said it had become an issue to maintain the discipline at the university education due to the intervention of the political groups whose aspiration was to create political turmoil. “There are groups who fund in millions for these university students to organize their protest march. more..

Strikes, protests should not deprive common man’s rights

Jul 31 (DM) Yesterday’s Daily Mirror reported that the Joint Opposition is to postpone Janabalaya Colombata (Peoples’ power to Colombo), the continual mass protest they have organized in September so that it would not coincide with the GCE A/L exam. The story says that the decision had been taken after former Prez Rajapaksa had instructed them to do so. Given the frustration felt by the ordinary people who are suffering due to so many protests by trade unions of various more..

Role of Science, Scientific Literacy in Democracy and Development

Jul 31 (DM) When many developing countries had very low levels of literacy, international institutions like UNESCO articulated the need to improve literacy levels in these countries. In more recent years, most developing countries have achieved high rates of literacy. On the other hand, persisting challenges of social and economic development coupled with rapid scientific and technological advancements in the world, many countries have recognised the need for their general more..

'Unrealistic to have higher ratio for direct taxation'

Jul 31 (DM) JO MP Bandula Gunawardane, speaks on the economic situation and the impact of recent tax reforms. Q: Govt has introduced a new tax policy. It is to increase the percentage of direct tax revenue for the State coffers. How do you view it? A: It is an unfair strategy to raise revenue. According to my knowledge, Minister Mangala Samaraweera lacks theoretical knowledge on direct & indirect taxation. more..

Govt. doctors demand massive allowances, schools for children

Jul 31 (ST) Non-emergency surgeries will not be done, clinics will not be held, and out patient departments will not function from next Friday, when govt doctors halt work to demand million rupee annual allowances, school privileges for their children, and solutions to nine other gripes, including the approval of Singapore FTA. GMOA says discussions have been sought with the govt. Group says govt is now even taxing sick people. more..

Proposal to have military search inmates: Prisoners’ rights group condemns move

Jul 31 (CT) Committee for Protecting the Rights of Prisoners, vehemently condemned any proposed Govt move to have prisoners searched by the Police, STF or military personnel. Committee emphasized that only Prisons Departmental staff, trained (and knowledgeable also in aspects pertaining to psychology (dealing with anxiety, pressure, stress, and tension) and hygiene, among other aspects concerning medical health more..

National Policy on Natural Gas: Initial draft ready

Jul 31 (DN) The Petroleum Resources Development Secretariat (PRDS) has prepared an initial draft of the National Policy on Natural Gas as the Govt moves to commercialize already discovered gas deposits in the Mannar basin through International Competitive Bidding. This was indicated in the Petroleum Resources Development Ministry Performance Report for the year 2017 tabled in Parliament on July 19. more..

Environmentalists urge Prez intervention: Halt proposed Gampaha development project

Jul 31 (DN) The Centre for Monitoring the Environment and Ecosystem (CMEE), appealed to Prez to help save the paddy lands and their surrounding environment situated close to the Gampaha Town from being destroyed through a so-called development project under the purview of Deputy Minister Ajith Mannapperuma. Ven. Wekandawela Rahula Thera claimed that the proposed project would destroy 60 acres of more..

CTU smells a rat in reinsurance of Suraksha with Indian firm

Jul 31 (Island) The Ceylon Teachers Union (CTU) had asked President Maithripala Sirisena to order an investigation to find out whether there have been irregularities during the reinsurance process involving 90% of the Rs. 2700 million Suraksha Insurance scheme funds, CTU General Secretary, Joseph Stalin said. "Minister of Education has allocated Rs. 2,700 million for the Suraksha Insurance scheme. more..

Shadows of Black July

Jul 31 (FT) The July 1983 anti-Tamil riots is a watershed in the recent history of this country, and 35 years later, with a three-decade war over and thousands killed, we are still left asking Quo Vadis Lanka? This writer was 7 years old when Colombo went up in flames on a seemingly ordinary July day. As a child, I did not know that 13 members of the govt military had been killed in an ambush by the then fledging rebel outfit, the LTTE. more..

No mercy for raggers

Jul 31 (GDI) All Police Stations have been informed to take legal action against uni students involved in ragging new entrants under the Prohibition of Ragging and Other Forms of Violence in Educational Institutions Act No. 20 of 1998, Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said. Law is firm against those who engage in ragging in universities and even the bailing out of a ragging suspect does not come within jurisdiction of a Magistrate. more..

Irregularities in X-ray and security equipment purchased by SriLankan: Official

Jul 31 (FT) SriLankan Airlines technical staff did overseas equipment evaluations without proper authorisation or procedure, SriLankan Airlines Security and investigations Manager Titus Kannangara told the PCoI, with concerns raised that the airline may have overpaid for X-ray and other machines purchased from 2011 to 2016. Kannangara, testifying before the PCoI, provided documents on tender proceedings more..

Sri Lanka ranks first out of 76 countries in early initiation of breastfeeding: UNICEF

Jul 31 (LBO) Sri Lanka has been ranked number one out of 76 countries in the UNICEF’s latest ranking of early initiation of breastfeeding. The report titled Capture the Moment released today shows that 90.3% of SL’s newborn babies are subjected to early initiation of breastfeeding. Nearly 9 in 10 babies born in Burundi, SL, and Vanuatu are breastfed within the first hour. Breastfeeding rates within the first hour after birth are highest in more..

Much more needs to be done to tackle CKDu

Jul 31 (CT) Our provocative lead story yesterday prompts more questions than providing answers. Ceylon Today reported that the actual number of patients suffering from Chronic Kidney Disease of unknown Etiology (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. This claim was made by University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey, Prof. Sunil Wimalawansa, more..

Culture and good governance

Jul 31 (FT) Sunil Wijesinha, a well-known business leader and well-recognised administrator, one who pioneered the quality and productivity movement in the country, whom I am privileged to consider to be a distinguished friend, has given a very important message to the country in a contribution to the Opinion page of Daily FT on 24 July. His message titled Japanese Football team demonstrates to the world draws attention to the Japanese culture “of respecting others and more..

ජනතාවට පයින් ගහන දේශපාලුවෝ

Sri Lanka vehicle population grew by 7% in 2017; import expenditure up 5%

Jul 31 (LBO) SL’s motor vehicle population grew by 7% to 7.2 million in last year with import expenditure on motor vehicles also showing 5 percent growth, the annual report on the country’s motor vehicle market published by the Ceylon Chamber showed. The year 2017 saw a rise in import expenditure despite a fall in import volume by 11% with yearly new registrations also declining by 9%. The report prepared by the Economic Intelligence Unit of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce provides more..

Mangala’s Chief-of-staff Thusitha Halloluwa ducks Police

Jul 31 (CT) Thusitha Halloluwa, close aide of Minister Mangala Samaraweera and Chief-of-Staff at his ministry, has ignored summons from the Kadawatha Police over a complaint that he threatened a journalist, Colombo Telegraph learns. Halloluwa, as Colombo Telegraph reported earlier, was recored making a scathing attack on a journalist who exposed financial irregularity in a state institution running into millions of rupees. His tirade was first reported by SL Vlog, more..

This is the most spineless Cabinet I’ve been part of: Mangala

Jul 31 (CT) Minister Mangala Samaraweera in the course of a heated argument with Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that the current cabinet is the weakest he has ever been a part of. The argument took place during the cabinet meeting this morning when Senaratne sought Cabinet to approve a salary hike for railway workers. Senaratne, who had along with Minister Sarath Amunugama, met with striking railway more..

Iranian Foreign Minister to arrive in Sri Lanka

Jul 31 (DM) Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has left Tehran for Sri Lanka on Tuesday to discuss bilateral relations with senior Sri Lankan officials, Iran Front Page News reported today. After Sri Lanka, Zarif will visit Singapore to sign documents on Iran’s accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. While in Singapore, he will also attend a ministerial meeting of the ASEAN. “Consensus among South-east Asian more..