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Tess Agro struggles despite EU GSP+

Jun 9 (EN) SL's Tess Agro which exports fish to Europe is struggling to make use of the reinstatement of GSP Plus trading concessions with losses expanding 10.4% from a year earlier to 13.2 million rupees in the March 2018 quarter, interim accounts showed. The company reported a 4% loss per share in the quarter. The share last traded at 70 cents on the Colombo Stock Exchange. The loss per share was 10 cents for the year to end March 2018 with revenue declining 33% more..

Veteran scriptwriter and journalist Somaweera Senanayake passes away

Jun 9 (AD) Veteran teledrama, film script writer, novelist and journalist, Somaweera Senanayake has passed away at the age of 74, today. He has been receiving treatment at a private hospital in Colombo when he passed away, according to the relatives. Born in Avissawella, he stated his career as a journalist in the Lake House, after graduating from the Vidyodaya University. He has authored many books including collections of short stories and children’s books since 1969. more..

Influenza virus in Southern Province : No need to close schools

Jun 9 (DN) Among the influenza virus infected children reported throughout the Southern Province, there is only a very few school children. Hence, there is no need for the closure of schools and other educational institutions of the province, Southern Province Health Services Director G. Wijesooriya said. “The children who have so far succumbed to the viral flu are children under two years of age. Moreover over 85% of paediatric deaths were due to more..

Security Chiefs refuse meetings: TNA

Jun 9 (DM) TNA MP Charles Nirmalanathan yesterday alleged that Chiefs of Security Forces in the North and East were refusing to meet them and said they had no one to discuss issues of their people. The MP told Parliament that he made several requests to meet a Navy Officer in the North but he had refused to give him an appointment without an approval of the Defence Ministry. "I made several requests to meet a Navy Commander in the North to discuss an issue related to the fishing community there. more..

Ambassador of Finland Harri Kämäräinen calls on PM

Jun 9 (AD) Finland’s Ambassador for SL, Harri Kämäräinen met with PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to discuss about bilateral ties between the two countries. Ambassador stated that groups of delegates from leading private-sector companies such a Nokia and Fortum will visit Sri Lanka on Sunday (10) for a business forum. The delegations are expected to exchange views with companies in SL. Additionally, several MoU, on development in the fields of digitization, health and education of the two countries, more..

Two leading underworld gang members killed

Jun 9 (NR) Two leading underworld gang members have been killed in a shootout with the Police Special Task Force in Madawala, Wattegama. One individual killed has been identified as 30 year old Iresh Madushanaka also known as Baila. The individual has been identified as a key ally of two major underworld kingpins Makandure Madush and Angoda Lokka. The individual was engaged in a heroin racket and extorted money in Athurugiriya and Ranala. more..

Kandy MC obtains one billion loan to build nine storey shopping mall/car park

Jun 9 (Island) Kandy MC has obtained a loan of Rs 1,000 mn from Local Loans Development Fund to construct a shopping mall and nine storey car park at Katukele. The signing of the agreement took place on Friday in the presence of Minister Faiszer Musthapha and State Minister Shriani Wijeywickrema. The agreement was signed by Chairman of Local Loans Development Fund Kamal Pathmasiri, who is the Secretary of the Ministry of Provincial Councils Local Govt and Sports and the Mayor of Kandy Kesara Senanayake. more..

Kandy’s Halloluwa tunnel to be extended, says Kandy Mayor

Jun 9 (ST) The Halloluwa tunnel in Kandy will be extended further with assistance from the Megapolis Ministry, Kandy Mayor Kesera Senanayake said. The tunnel was reopened for vehicular traffic last Sunday after it was closed due to earthslips and rocks falling at the Anniewatte end of the tunnel. Over the years, during the rainy season, there have been many earthslips at both ends of the tunnel. The Mayor said the extension would be done at the Anniewatte end of the tunnel. more..

President hosts special Ifthar Celebration for Islamic devotees

Jun 9 (PMD) A special Ifthar Celebration for Islamic devotees was held under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena at the President’s house today (7). A large number of Islamic leaders as well as Islamic devotees were present at this event while blessings were invoked for peace, and national reconciliation. Prez, addressing the audience stated that this is a milestone on the programme to develop reconciliation and well being between ethnic communities. more..

Conservation land released for development projects, RTI response shows

Jun 9 (ST) Large extents of public conservation land in the North Central and Eastern Provinces have been released to public and private sector developers, despite concerns over threats to endangered fauna and flora, documents obtained under the Right to Information Act reveal. The Environmental Impact Assessment report, one of the documents obtained from the Mahaweli Authority by invoking the Right to Information Act, points out that the conservation of the Nelugala forest reserve, more..

Health Ministry sounds red alert on rat fever

Jun 9 (ST) Health authorities are warning of a high risk of the spread of leptospirosis (rat fever) in the aftermath of the recent heavy rains. While many diseases tend to spread with the onset of the rainy season, rat fever poses a particular threat, Health Promotion Bureau of Ministry of Heath said. The Ministry asked those in high risk groups, particularly, those working in paddy fields or, in places where there is stagnant water, to obtain the medicine given to prevent the onset of rat fever. more..

Want to tire Sri Lanka out on the field: Kieran Powell

Jun 9 (CI) West Indies last won a Test at Queen's Park Oval in 2008, against a Sri Lankan side that had Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Thilan Samaraweera, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Chaminda Vaas and Muttiah Muralitharan. Ten years later, they're at it again, albeit against a Sri Lankan side which doesn't the same kind of experience. West Indies are missing some stalwarts too. In 2008, they had Chris Gayle, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Ramnaresh Sarwan, more..

Justice must prevail, even above the law

Jun 10 (SO) A two-judge bench has recommended to the Chief Justice that the Supreme Court should proceed with a case against Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake, accused of the crime of Contempt of Court over an alleged statement he made at a press conference. When the matter was taken up on June 4, the Attorney General’s Department told Court that at a glance, there was a prima facie case against Minister Ramanayake. The Court will consider the matter on June 18. more..

Yahapalana again passes GSP+ Exam

Jun 10 (CT) To the credit of the Yahapalana Govt, it has passed the European Union (EU) review of Tuesday’s, by its continuous compliance for its GSP+ duty free eligibility, regained in the country’s exports to the main markets in the Continent and to the UK last May, led by its respect for human rights. The EU, including the UK, is Sri Lanka’s largest merchandise export market. This region is also the island’s biggest tourism market, its third largest debt free foreign exchange (FX) earner, more..

Master Plan for Hambantota in the works

Jun 10 (SO) Govt last week took an important step towards building economic activity around the island’s Southern region which in the longer term is likely to alter the prospects of the two current major white-elephants in the region, the Hambantota Port and the Mattala Airport. Amidst plans already announced to establish a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Hambantota, Cabinet gave approval, to hire Singaporean state-owned consultancy firm, more..

Who’s backing Old King Coal?

Jun 10 (ST) This Govt’s flip-flopping on energy policy–particularly when it comes to coal power–is nothing short of legendary. While the rest of the world embraces clean electricity, the administration is now backing CEB-led efforts to introduce more coal power plants, despite the bitter experience of the high-polluting Lakvijaya at Norochcholai. This reversal on coal is mindboggling. One year after assuming power, Govt cancelled long-overdue plans for a coal power plant in Sampur. more..

Cleanse sitting Parliament? DEW whistling in the dark

Jun 10 (Island) Former Minister DEW Gunasekera, made a fervent appeal published in yesterday’s issue of The Island for cleansing of the country’s incumbent parliament to restore public confidence in it. Few will disagree that our Parliament where rowdy behavior is not uncommon, and some of whose members have been less than desirable, is a squeaky clean place. Last week we devoted this space to the can of worms that the Perpetual business has become; more..

Why Champika withdrew cases against Mawbima?

Jun 10 (CT) Minister Champika Ranawaka last Thursday voluntarily withdrew the two cases he had filed against Ceylon Newspapers Ltd., publishers of Mawbima and Ceylon Today, claiming a sum of Rs 1.5 billion in damages. The cases had been filed in the District Court of Colombo and the presiding Judge then dismissed the cases without costs. The cases attracted wide public attention as this was more..

Swinging times

Jun 10 (ST) My dear Dayasiri, I thought I must write to you because somehow you seem to find a way to be in the news. When you resigned from the Cabinet recently, giving up looking after sports and became just another MP in the opposition, we thought we wouldn’t hear from you for some time but you have proved us wrong. However, I was taken by surprise when I heard you say that you had accepted a million rupee donation from those who were supposedly responsible for the bond scam more..

It’s now or never

Jun 10 (ST) From O sole Mio to doing away with plastics, it was a soul-searching week, not forgetting Kussi Amma Sera’s shenanigans. It began with Kussi Amma Sera’s ranting on the unbearable cost of living, a delightful evening of opera music and ended on a serious discourse on plastic waste that is ruining the air we breathe. Many patrons at the opera concert organised by the Italian Embassy on Wednesday would have left the Nelum Pokuna humming the tune O Sole Mio or more..


SL – Singapore FTA: Why the Colombo elite should be worried

Jun 10 (Island) In the middle of the never ending political crises in this country, we have seen intermittent agitation against the SL - Singapore FTA (SLSFTA) that was signed recently. Many people have not really taken a look at this FTA and its implications. The preamble to the SLSFTA says that its intention is to create a new enabling climate for the development of trade and investment between the two countries so as to raise living standards, promote economic growth and stability, more..

Anti-corruption parliamentary caucus imperative to arrest spread of corruption

Jun 10 (ST) For several decades now, the spread of corruption to all layers of Governance has been a worrying phenomenon. Corruption has spread like a cancer and has eaten into the vital organs of Govt. The debilitating effect of corruption has not only retarded national economic development, but has greatly contributed to the suffering of the poorest of the poor, which has made the life of the poor that much more difficult. If corruption is minimised, State resources diverted into pockets of the greedy, more..

CID under pressure to not reveal politicians involved in Bonds scam

Jun 10 (CT) Arbitrary decision by the authorities to confiscated equipment belonging to the Polgahawela radio transmission centre of the Teleshan Network (Private) Limited (TNL) claiming that it had not renewed the licence for transmission created quite a spark in the country. A Spokesperson for the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) said the CID had conducted the raid and had taken the equipment into custody. more..

Under-19 Inter-Provincial Cricket: Ten regional teams in the fray

Jun 10 (ST) Ten teams will be action in the Under-19 Inter-Provincial cricket tournament scheduled to get underway on June 12 in five venues around the metropolis — NCC, Thurstan, Colts, FTZ Katunayake and CCC. The ten teams with the exception of Sabaragamuwa Province are divided into two groups comprising of five in each with Western Province fielding three teams. The teams that will be in the fray are Western Province North, Northern Province, Central Province, more..

Sri Lankan cricket hits new low as women lose to Thailand

Jun 10 (Island) Sri Lankan cricket hit new lows yesterday after the country’s women’s cricket team suffered an embarrassing defeat at the hands of lowly Thailand in the ongoing Asia Cup tournament in Malaysia. The Sri Lankans had to win their final group game with an impressive Net Run Rate and hope that hosts Malaysia had knocked off Bangladesh to qualify for the finals. However, they put up a sorry display yesterday to go down to Thailand by four wickets. more..

Duleep’s grit and courage: Need of the hour

Jun 10 (Island) It was on a day like this, 43 years ago, Sri Lankan cricket made its biggest impact in the world stage. The six full members of the ICC were automatic choices for the 1975 World Cup and in a bid to make up the numbers, SL and a team comprising cricketers from East Africa were invited to play the inaugural event. The quality of SL cricket was displayed on this day at The Oval against an Australian side more..

Seven new records established on Day 4

Jun 10 (ST) Seven more new records were established at the end of the fourth days proceedings of the 45th Sri Lanka Schools Swimming Championship held at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium swimming pool yesterday. Four new records were established in the morning session and three in the evening and this brings the tally of records tumbled to 31 at the end of the fourth day. Two swimmers Nabhashi Perera of Sirimavo Bandaranayake Vidyalaya and more..

'Sports administrators are like kindergarten children carrying tales'

Jun 10 (SO) Sports Minister Faizer Mustapha branded national sports bodies in SL as places that house Montessori kids not able to shoulder professional responsibility to develop sports in the future. “National sports associations are like kids in a Montessori. They blame one another every day and are not concerned on developing their respective sports”, he said. He did not name any particular sports association. “Some of the sports associations in Sri Lanka have two groups more..

Kusal Mendis keeps Sri Lanka fighting in improbable chase

Jun 10 (CI) Setting Sri Lanka a monumental 453 to chase before removing three top-order wickets, West Indies continued to stride towards victory in Trinidad. The man who stood in their way on day four was Kusal Mendis. He sruvived two nicks behind the wicket to move to 94 not out by stumps. He forged 50-plus stands with Angelo Mathews and Roshen Silva, but neither of those batsmen appeared as comfortable at more..

Colombo, Galle teams in quest of the plum

Jun 10 (ST) The curtains of the Super Four Inter-Provincial Limited Over Tournament will come down today with the repeat clash between defending champions – Team Colombo and runners-up Team Galle at the R. Premadasa Stadium from 9.45am onwards. The final was delayed for nearly a month due to the prevailing fickle weather and hopefully the weather gods will be merciful today. On paper Team Galle, led by Upul Tharanga holds the edge against Team Colombo led by Thisara Perera. more..

Dollar seen continuing at Rs. 160 next week

Jun 10 (ST) Colombo’s money markets this week literally weathered the storm as several private banks were in the market seeking US dollars in the process, pushing up the buying price, dealers said. While there were reports that the dollar had hit a record Rs. 160 this week, dealers said that while this was the buying price most trades went at around Rs. 158.90 and Rs. 159 on Thursday/Friday. “It (demand for the US currency) has been going up by around 10 cents a day, more..

Wasanthi shines with another Gold for SL

Jun 10 (CT) Young distance runner from Kuliyapitiya, Wasanthi Marisstella, who is just 17 years old produced the second Gold medal for SL while Dilshi Kumarasinghe clinched the 800m Bronze medal at the Asian Junior Athletic Championship 2018 continued at Gifu in Japan yesterday. Along with this performance Sri Lanka has now won six medals (2 Golds, three Silvers and a Bronze) to equal its best haul in history with more..

SOBE profits down 37% in 2017

Jun 10 (CT) Due to prevailing lack of good governance, clear accountability, policy and weak supervision, the total net profit recorded by the 55 State Owned Business Enterprises (SOBE) declined more than 37% in 2017 to Rs 48.2 billion from Rs 76.9 billion a year ago. Ministry of Finance highlighted that the 55 SOBEs recorded a total turnover of Rs 1755.55 billion in 2017, up nearly 14% from Rs 1,541 billion a year ago. 33 SOBEs out of the 55 under the Department of more..

Weightlifter Dissanayake rises to 11th in world ranking

Jun 10 (SO) Commonwealth silver medalist Indika Dissanayake recorded another milestone when he was placed 11th in the World Rankings (69 weight category) according to the International Weightlifting Federation. It marks the first time Sri Lanka has a weightlifter in the top 15. Dissanayake was earlier placed 25th and his rise is attributed to his showing at the recent Commonwealth Game in Gold Cos, Australia where he won a silver medal in the 69 kg category by lifting a total of 297 kgs. more..

Professionals, MPs urge Govt. to revise PAYE rates

Jun 10 (ST) The increase in PAYE (tax) rates imposed on large, take-home pay earners is to be revised on the directions of the President as pressure is mounting against the govt from private sector professionals and MPs. A large portion of professionals’ take-home pay is being taxed at 24% from April, up from 16% earlier prompting them to find greener pastures in foreign countries, a recent CEO’s forum in Colombo revealed. more..

Coconut producers seek increased subsidies

Jun 10 (ST) Sri Lankan coconut growers want the govt to stick to an earlier promise of giving them low interest on loans and increase the subsidy provided for irrigation of lands. Coconut Growers Association President Jayantha Samarakoon said that the govt promise to provide loans for the agriculture sector at the rate of 5-6% interest didn’t materialise. He noted that the necessary circular in this regard was not issued to the commercial banks by the Treasury as a result of which more..

Sri Lanka’s superman wants to be a beacon

Jun 10 (SO) Johann Peries reached the summit of Mt. Everest on the morning May 22 becoming the first SL man to ascend to the pinnacle of the world’s tallest mountain. The adventurer proudly unfurled the SL flag at the summit while dedicating his successful expedition to all Sri Lankans who supported him in this arduous endeavour. The Climb Everest with Johann campaign carried out online gave all well-wishers an opportunity to sponsor each of more than 80,000 steps that took him to more..

Northern education system gets bad report

Jun 10 (CT) Ceylon Teachers Union (CTU) led by Joseph Stalin early this week alleged that the Northern Education System is highly politicized and there is large-scale misuse of power. The Union has now taken up the issue with Northern Governor Reginold Cooray who had promised to call up Provincial Education Ministry officials on 26 June for an explanation regarding the allegations. Ministerial level representatives as well as more..

Limited glyphosate for tea, rubber thro’ CPC

Jun 10 (ST) SL’s tea industry has been given a new lease of life after state authorities lifted the ban on glyphosate last month. It would however be made available only through the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) from next month. The delivery of the glyphosate weedicide would be made available only for the tea and rubbery from the CPC which has been authorised to import the stocks required. Glyphosate will still be banned for other users including in paddy cultivation. more..