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Challenge is Digitization

Jul 4 (CT) A World Bank (WB) report released on Wednesday (27) warned that historical evidence suggests that trade reforms embarked by the Govt of SL will be subject to a loss of momentum during any period leading up to elections as the political directorate becomes preoccupied with re-election campaigns. The phrase political directorate refers to the incumbent Govt, though such a phrase is generally identified with the intelligence apparatus launched by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, more..

ONUR sign MoUs with 22 civil society org

Jul 4 (NR) Office for National Unity & Reconciliation and 22 selected civil society Organizations have signed MoU to expand the reach of grassroots level national unity and reconciliation related projects across the island. The initiative has been commended by several stakeholders as a govt institution has partnered with multiple civil society organizations. The programmes due to be implemented will focus on capacity building and community empowerment at divisional and more..

The state of political stability

DSG highlights evidence of five important witnesses

Jul 4 (Island) Two groups of people, one led by the late Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra and the other led by the accused appellant Duminda Silva, had confronted, on the day of the local government polls in 2011 in the Kolonnawa area. Duminda Silva had assaulted Bharatha Lakshman. Firing had followed the assault. Later on Bhartha was seen in a pool of blood on the road. Duminda had received injuries near the eye, according to witnesses. Deputy Solicitor General, more..

Defence top brass questions motive behind controversial statement of State Minister

Jul 4 (Island) Chief of Defence Staff and former Navy Commander Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne, yesterday, said it was unbecoming of anyone to make a public statement that the now defunct LTTE should be revived. Wijegunaratne said there were serious doubts about the motive of the person who said so. The Chief of Defence Staff said the statement at issue warranted an inquiry. Deputy Minister Vijayakala Maheswaran told a ceremony at the Weerasingham Hall in Jaffna, on Monday, more..

Independent inquiry into blundering Bellana’s Conduct?

Jul 4 (CT) United Medical Officers of the National Blood Transfusion Services (NBTS) has appealed to President Maithripala Sirisena via a letter written to Austin Fernando, President’s Secretary and the lead officer of the Sri Lanka Administrative Service to order and impartial inquiry in the corruption, coercion, violation of the common law, intimidation and threatening of officers of the govt committed by Dr Rukshan Bellana, more..

Cabinet approval granted for 4 new faculties at state universities

Jul 4 (AD) Cabinet has approved a proposal to establish a faculty of engineering at Sri J'pura University and 3 faculties of technology at Kelaniya, Rajarata and Sabaragamuwa universities. This proposal was brought by the PM, as the Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs. Govt has decided to pay more attention to science and technology education, in order to meet the increasing demand for human resources with technological/innovative knowledge & skills. more..

Development of SMEs in Sri Lanka: Are we serious about SME classification?

Jul 4 (FT) It is widely-accepted that the role played by SMEs towards economic development of any country is of paramount importance. Contribution of SMEs towards economy is considered to be a major force behind developed and fast developing economies and helps countries to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth. SME sector plays a pivotal role, being breeding grounds and nurseries for small enterprises to become big corporates by gradual creation of entrepreneurial skills more..

Video: Legal action not to suppress media, but to correct them: Mahinda

Jul 4 (AD) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says that the campaign to sling mud at him has begun and that even foreign countries are now being used to tarnish his reputation. “Now the campaign to sling mud at us has commenced. They are catching me for everything,” he said, adding that someone had even claimed that he was behind State Minister Vijayakala Maheswara’s statement. “Now they are not slinging mud from SL, more..

Vallibel to cut costs, harness hi-tec to ride out economic cycles: Dhammika Perera

Jul 4 (EN) Vallibel One Plc, which has interests in manufacturing, construction material, finance and power is cutting costs, harnessing hi tech tools to keep ahead of economic cycles, Chairman Dhammika Perera said. Vallibel is the top producer of tiles in the country. In a 5-year strategy was being rolled out where the group aims to absorb cost increases in the next five years without increasing retail prices, he said. The cost reduction strategy started last year. more..

SLC to hold elections under prevailing law

Jul 4 (DN) Secretary to the Ministry of Sports informed Court of Appeal through the Attorney General that arrangements have been made to conduct the election under the prevailing laws to elect office bearers to Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC). Senior Deputy Solicitor General Sumathi Dharmawardena appearing for the Secretary to the Ministry of Sports further stated that the election will be held after appointing new election committee. At a previous occasion, the Court of Appeal more..

JO hints Mangala behind NYT report

Jul 4 (DM) Joint Opposition today hinted at the direct involvement of Minister Mangala Samaraweera behind the controversial New York Times Report, which alleged that a Chinese company had funded the campaign of Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa in January 2015. JO member MP Shehan Semasinghe said that Minister Samaraweera’s anxiety had revealed that he was behind the New York Times report, more..

Won't take action against NYT: MR

Jul 4 (NR) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says he will not resort to any legal action against The New York Times. Speaking at a function in Colombo today MP Rajapaksa said he will however take legal action against a local newspaper that published a misinterpretation of the report published by the New York Times. The report published by the New York Times newspaper accused former Prez Rajapaksa of obtaining a sum of $7.6 million from the Chinese company in charge of more..

The NYT should ask what US has done for SL

Jul 4 (GT) Sri Lanka handover of its strategic Hambantota Port to China on a 99-year lease in December of last year triggered concerns worldwide. The worry, which lasts till today, was conspicuously portrayed by a New York Times report published last week. The article accuses China of using a debt trap for vulnerable countries, which therefore fuels corruption and autocratic behavior in these struggling democracies. Yet the report has drawn rebuttal from Sri Lankan politicians. more..

Sri Lanka seeks joint venture with India to salvage Mattala airport

Jul 4 (EN) Sri Lanka is seeking a joint venture with India to salvage the white-elephant Mattala int'l airport, a month after the last remaining airline pulled out of the jinxed facility. Deputy Asoka Abeysinghe said that the govt was in talks with India to create a joint venture to manage the Chinese-funded airport built and named after former prez Rajapaksa. "We are holding discussions this week on forming a joint venture between 2 govts" more..

New policies needed to develop Southern Province: SP Governor

Jul 4 (DN) New approaches and policies should be formulated and implemented covering all economic, industrial and social sectors of the province to enhance gross domestic production, Southern Province Governor Marshal Perera said. He was presenting the Seventh Sourthern Province Council Policy Statement at the inauguration of the session yesterday at the Council at Kalegana, Galle. The inauguration was held under the patronage of the Governor. more..

Respondents in Nishantha's petition asked to file objections

Jul 4 (NR) Court of Appeal today informed respondents cited in the petition by the Former Secretary of Sri Lanka Cricket Nishantha Ranatunga regarding the SLC elections to file their objections if any. The Court of Appeal issued an interim injunction to postpone the Sri Lanka Cricket election on the 30th of May. The order was issued after taking into consideration a petition filed by a Former Secretary of SLC Nishantha Ranatunga. The petition was filed against the candidacy of more..

Video: Tense situation due to educational sector trade union actions

Jul 4 (AD) A protest organized by several trade unions in the field of educational services has led to a tense situation in front of the Education Ministry in Isurupaya. Several trade unions representing school teachers, principals and administration officers launched a trade union action today against the appointments given in the field of educational services to alleged victims of political revenge. more..

Bangladesh blames Sri Lanka for slow progress in proposed FTA

Jul 4 (DM) Bangladeshi govt blamed Sri Lanka’s unstable political situation for the slow progress in the proposed Sri Lanka-Bangladesh Free Trade Agreement (SLBFTA). Bangladesh Commerce and Industries Minister Tofail Ahmed was recently quoted in the Bangladesh-based The Daily Star newspaper as saying “We set Sept 31 as a deadline to ink an FTA with the Lankan govt. But unfortunately, Sri Lanka is moving very slowly.” However, speaking to Mirror Business, more..

A booklet to slander the Master Brain

Jul 4 (DM) A certain group with ties to the JO has produced a booklet in Sinhala titled Maha Molakaru (The Master Brain) about a bigwig in Pohottuwa, they say. While arrangements were underway to bring out the booklet in print, a copy of its manuscript had found its way into the hands of the Maha Molakaru himself. This incident had led to a big battle behind the scene, they say. By the way, the Maha Molakaru had made a searing attack on a Doctor who is said to have written more..

Media Minister condemns attacks on journalists contributed to NYT report

Jul 4 (LBO) Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera condemned recent attacks on two Sri Lankan journalists who contributed to the New York Times report on massive financial misappropriation linked to the former regime. Minister said he was alarmed by recent attacks because the govt came into power with the promise of media freedom and to break away from the violent tendencies of the previous govt. more..

Reports of insufficient officers at BIA immigration counter rejected

Jul 4 (AD) The false reports made in social media, alleging an insufficient number of officers at the immigration counters at BIA, were discarded by the Deputy Controller of the Department of Immigration and Emigration, Chaminda Hettiarachchi. He emphasized that the officers of his department, under no circumstances, would cause any inconvenience to the passengers. He made these comments in response to the queries made by the Govt Information Department with regards to more..

Five civil suits against PTL claiming Rs. 8.5 billion: ASG Kodagoda

Jul 4 (DM) During the submissions made by Additional Solicitor General Yasantha Kodagoda over the revision bail application filed by Arjun Aloysius and Kasun Palisena, it was revealed that the Attorney General had so far filed five civil cases in the District Court on behalf of five state institutes against Perpetual Treasuries Ltd (PTL). These civil cases were on behalf of EPF, ETF, National Savings Bank, Insurance Corporation of SL and the Pension Fund of the UGC. more..

SriLankan Airlines, state refinery reach deal on fuel payments

Jul 4 (EN) SriLankan Airlines has struck a deal with state-owned fuel refiner Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) to settle fuel payment arrears, enabling uninterrupted supplies that allow the national carrier to continue flights. Petroleum ministry quoted CPC Managing Director Neil Jayasekara as saying the deal was reached after talks between the two state firms under which payments would be made in instalments. more..

Aluvihares, Lulu & a Sri Land night in Kandy

Jul 5 (Island) It is sad that the authorities and the Buddhist monks holding high positions in Kandy do not understand what ordinary people, motorists and even tourists go through due to the closure of the road near the Dalada Maligawa. Buddha’s teaching says not to harass anyone and not to make things difficult for others. Sadly, today, no one is practising what Buddha preached. It sure is a mess in Kandy. I did the full circle and went looking for Sri Land Residence of my classmate Sisira Aluvihare more..

Rewarding Innovation

Jul 5 (SO) The State sector is often thought of as having men and women who are inefficient, lethargic and absolutely non-innovative. While this generalisation may indeed paint a wrong picture about the service, we have come across occasions where the public has every right to feel this way. However, there are many men and women who serve selflessly in the public service – they will go out of the way to resolve a problem faced by a member of the public. more..

Caught in a debt trap

Jul 5 (CT) Anandhi (name changed) and Dilhani are two women living in two different parts of the country. The former resides in the interiors of Kilinochchi while the latter is from Dingiriya, Chilaw, a few hundred kilometres south from Anandhi. They do not know each other or of their existence. But, both are victims of a common scheme that have placed both in helpless situations. They are in debt and are struggling to pay off more..

Private side of a public profile

Jul 5 (CT) I was taken to task by a few of my associates; (colleagues would be the more appropriate word), when they accused me of not updating my profile. This was more than enough for me to panic since it concerned my profession. I had learned throughout that our profiles and bio data had to be updated and now mine was outdated. So I made it a point to update my CV the very evening when I returned home, only to realize that I needn’t update my CV. It was already up to-date. more..

National prosperity: Ornamental national education

Jul 5 (CT) Education is meant to be the most organized way a person’s inbuilt capacity can be put to good use, by increasing the potential to become more effective in creating value. It is accepted that an educated person shall be more effective as the knowledge gained through education would make a person more complete. In other words, an educated person would be in a better position to do anything better than an uneducated person. It is knowledge that makes a difference. more..

Lack of training, modern equipment takes toll on Police

Jul 5 (SO) On June 22, it was business as usual at the Nileka Jewellery Store in Matara. But around 10 am when an armed group wearing full face helmets entered its premises, a call to 119 hotline by a member of the public alerted the Police to the robbery that was underway at one of the popular jewellery stores in the town. The ensuing encounter between the policemen responding to the call and 10 armed robbers, later identified as more..

Rajapaksa presidential stakes in deep waters

Jul 5 (DN) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa- though unable to run for President in 2020- found himself at the centre of an evolving controversy last week as the respected American newspaper the New York Times implied in an article that China has inveigled Sri Lanka into a debt trap during Rajapaksa’s Presidency.The article in question was titled How China got SL to cough up a port and was written by Maria Abi-Habib, newspaper’s South Asia correspondent based in New Delhi. more..

Edtorial: Teachers’ sickout

Jul 5 (Island) A student who chucks a sickie, so to speak, runs the risk of being chided or even caned, as has been our experience. But adults swing the lead and get away with it. Teachers can also pretend to be sick without getting a rap over the knuckles. How unfair! Yesterday, we saw hundreds of teachers who had suddenly gone sick marching in the scorching heat of the canicular July, near the Education Ministry, in Battaramulla. The main reason for the sick-note campaign, more..

Face the Nation

Vijayakala’s suicide bombing, Northern Nazism, Tamil Hitler & North-South politics

Jul 5 (CT) Though that may change, this island has so far produced only one movement which qualifies as Fascist by int'l standards. When the LTTE was decisively defeated in May 2009, the prestigious journal The Economist (London) described it as almost classically fascist. This was not a journalistic flourish. In his 1999 book The New Terrorism, Emeritus Professor Walter Laqueur wrote that in terms of its ruthlessness and fanaticism the only parallels for the Tamil Tigers more..

CIABOC chief in quest to rout culture around corruption

Jul 5 (DN) When SL gained independence in 1948, country inherited a host of British criminal laws, and their legacy lives on today. Years later, some of the laws, including those that pertain to bribery and corruption, have not been updated for the 21st century. According to Sarath Jayamanne, Director General of the CIABOC, he and his team have received Cabinet approval to move forward with amending outdated laws as a part of a full-fledged effort to rout the culture around corruption more..

Behind some of Sri Lanka’s nicest hotels is a bleak situation for workers

Jul 5 (DN) Ruwan Gunaratne* has worked behind the bars of luxury hotels for nearly three decades. He started learning his trade in five-star hotels in Colombo, and then spent a few years in the Maldives before moving back home to his family. Now, he is a shift captain at a seaside hotel just outside Colombo, mixing tropical cocktails and managing a small bar staff. In all those years of work, Gunaratne has mastered English, and more..

JVP queries Govt policy on asbestos

Jul 5 (FT) The JVP in Parliament demanded to know from the Govt what its policy was towards the importation of asbestos, and to take measures to prevent the local tile industry from collapsing. JVP MP Vijitha Herath pointing out that the country had benefited only once from scrapping tax on asbestos import. “Soon after the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami, Govt implemented a tax concession on asbestos imports to help and expedite the rebuilding process. more..

Former SLC Presidents meet Sports Minister

Jul 5 (Island) Four former Presidents of SLC had a meeting with Minister of Sports Faizer Mustapaha at the Sports Ministry yesterday. World Cup winning former captain Arjuna Ranatunga, Sidath Wettimuny, Ana Punchihewa and Jayantha Dharmadasa discussed the current state of the sport. "We lost confidence that we could change the system in the past. But we came here with fresh hopes that things could be changed. We have to change the Sports Law & Constitution of SLC more..

Sri Lanka to send record number of athletes to Asian Games

Jul 5 (DN) Sri Lanka will send its largest ever contingent to the 18th Asian Games with 185 athletes participating in 28 sports for the multi-sport extravaganza in Jakarta and Palembang from August 18-September 2. “We want to give everyone the opportunity to showcase their talent. In the past there have been many instances where athletes, or sports, have tried to use influence to go to an international event. more..

Lankan migrant worker gets lifetime trip to watch 2018 World Cup football

Jul 5 (DN) A SL migrant worker helping to build the 2022 World Cup had the trip of a lifetime when he was taken to the opening match of the current tournament in Russia. Najeem Hasan, 27, was among eight workers invited to accompany the former Barcelona star, Xavi Hernandez, on a five-day visit to Moscow. Xavi is global ambassador for the tournament Qatar will host in four years’ time and head of the Generation Amazing programme, tasked with helping build football at more..