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Iran, Sri Lanka meet in August for trade talks

Jun 12 (EN) Sri Lanka will look to diversify exports to Iran after Tehran proposed to host the island to a round of trade negotiations this August, Ministry of Industry and Commerce said. Iran's envoy to Colombo Mohammad Zaerl Amirani on Tuesday said Tehran was keen to host the 12th Sessions of the Joint-Commission for Economic Cooperation (JCEC) between the two countries by early as Aug 2018, more..

Range Bandara’s son further remanded

Jun 12 (AD) State Minister Palitha Range Bandara’s son Yasodha Range Bandara, who was arrested in connection with a traffic accident, has been further remanded until June 14 by Chilaw Magistrate’s Court. He was arrested by officers of the Arachchikattuwa Police on June 8, on charges of drunk driving and misuse of public property, while receiving treatment at the Sri J'pura Hospital. Yasodha Range Bandara, 25, and the Chairman of the Puttalam Pradeshiya Sabha were injured more..

Ranjan makes complaint against 50 MPs

Jun 12 (DM) Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake said he had made a written complaint against 50 MPs who had allegedly obtained cheques from Perpetual Treasuries Chief Arjun Aloysius. He that he submitted a letter to the Bribery Commission naming 50 MPs from the govt and the opposition as respondents for taking bribes from Aloysius. “On Sunday I spoke to Bribery Commissioner Chief Neville Guruge who requested me to send an official complaint in writing and accordingly I made more..

A home for innovation and collaboration

Jun 12 (Roar) A co-working space or a nest space is quite a new concept to the SL community. However, it is the kind of working space that is now sought by many. With the vision, nurturing celestial possibilities Orion Tower is Orion City’s latest venture towards building a co-working environment in Sri Lanka. Before embracing this contemporary working culture, it is important to understand what a co-working space is. more..

Kleptocracy to Kakistocracy

Jun 13 (CT) President’s Secretary Austin Fernando has thrown in the towel. It appears that even the most experienced, patient, persevering and shrewdest of strategists cannot take it anymore. Fernando, one of the last living Humphrey Applebys in SL civil service has lifelong training at keeping his marbles together under extreme circumstances. Even he seems to have lost it. He is no political celebrity and if at all, an outcaste in the equation of modern ethno-religious politics. more..

What Inflamed Bigotry?

Jun 13 (CT) I refer to the above titled article in the Daily Mirror of 1stJune, by Uditha Devapriya (UD) and respond to some of the views expressed therein. The main thrust of this article is that, racial/religious bigotry is the result of the mundane economic reason than the racial/religious feelings of a community. This is an over-simplification of a deep-seated emotional element, which is the fundamental reason for arousing religious/racial bigotry. more..

'After nepotism led to defeat in 2015'

Jun 13 (SO) SLFP strongman Duminda Dissanayake, who was divested of his title as General Secretary of the party last week, has come in for strong criticism from sections of the pro-Rajapaksa JO and the 16 SLFP Ministers who recently quit the Unity Govt. Dissanayake, a MP from A'pura and current Minister for Irrigation, Water Resources and Disaster Management was one of five top members of former Prez Rajapaksa’s Govt more..

Kandy: The damage and the distrust

Jun 13 (GV) In Akurana, bunting with the words ‘Ramadan Mubarak’ hangs inside a quiet home. In Digana, newly built shops hurry to restock for weeks of festive shopping. In Pallekele, kanji is being cooked over a wood fire, inside the room of a burned mosque. Preparations for Eid are underway in these small towns, no more than 12 kilometres away from the busy city of Kandy. The district itself is home to a population of 1,369,899 people, of which 72.92% are Buddhist and 10.46% are Muslim. more..

Economy shows signs of recovery but chaotic political environment a spoiler

Jun 13 (ST) Indications are that the economy would recover to achieve about a 5% growth this year. However, the present political uncertainty will impact on longer-term economic growth and development even more owing to the government’s inability to undertake reforms so essential for sustained economic development. Despite the inhospitable political climate, the economy may achieve a near 5% growth owing to the recovery in agriculture, growth in construction, higher exports of more..

'Next Presidential election: Sanga hasn’t agreed to contest'

Jun 13 (CT) Dy Minister Ashok Abeysinghe says UNP’s voter percentage had fluctuated at each election: “We have to find out the reason for it and devise remedies. If we don’t think about that and act differently we won’t be able to win any of the future elections”. Q: Although it is said that reforms were implemented in the UNP, it is only crises that are seen in the Party. Party has been fragmented into pieces. more..

Journey in search of conscience

Jun 13 (DN) The first to be named as having taken ill-gotten money from Perpetual Treasuries that is accused of being the principal actor in the Treasury bond scam was Dayasiri Jayasekera MP, one of the Sweet 16 that sits on a two-legged stool. Not content to be alone who revealed that there are 118 MPs in all who are similarly involved. It led to a frantic search involving appeals to the President’s Secretary, the Speaker of Parliament, Director of the Govt Archives etc. which ultimately drew more..

Rights, Justice and Development

Jun 13 (DN) UN Declaration on the Right to Development, adopted on Dec 4, 1986, defines development as ‘an inalienable human right by virtue of which every human person and all peoples are entitled to participate in, contribute to, and enjoy economic, social, cultural and political development, in which all human rights and fundamental freedoms can be fully realized’. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were born at the UN Conference on Sustainable Dev. in Rio de Janeiro in 2012. more..

Prof. Rohana Lakshman Piyadasa

The SLFP rebels walk a tightrope and pursue an independent agenda

Jun 13 (Island) The SLFP headed by President Maithripala Sirisena has been in the news recently due to a flurry of party activities, including appointing new office bearers. The contours of the party changed after its third-place finish at February’s local govt elections and the consequent defeat of the no confidence motion against PM Wickramasinghe. The sixteen SLFP MPs who supported the motion now sit in the Opposition but pledge their political loyalty to President Sirisena. more..

The Troika and the importance of individuals

Jun 13 (Island) I have read with interest the accounts by Lalith Weeratunge and Dayan Jayatilleke of the way in which a Troika managed relations between India and Sri Lanka during the war period. Lalith’s account is most illuminating, in explaining how our three representatives, Lalith himself and Gotabhaya and Basil Rajapaksa, ensured the confidence of the Indians, even though the latter were nervous about possible reactions in Tamil Nadu. more..

Mosque of many faiths

Jun 13 (ST) Standing tall amidst the hustle and bustle of Lipton’s Circus in the very heart of Cinnamon Gardens, the beautiful white and gold minarets of the Dewatagaha shrine and mosque gently rise towards the sky. Blending in well with its neighbour, the majestic Town Hall, the muezzin’s call to prayer reverberates five times a day. There is speculation that the British may have built the Town Hall to reflect the dome of this more..

Sri Lankan youngsters arrive in Moscow for the Football for Friendship Programme

Jun 13 (Island) The final events of the sixth season of the Gazprom International Children’s social programme Football for Friendship started in Moscow. 1500 children and adults arrived in the capital of Russia to participate in the global project. This year Football for Friendship united 211 countries and regions of the world. The programme is supported by FIFA, UEFA, the UN, heads of the national football federations, as well as by the representatives of the govt institutions. more..

Keshap recalls checking into Colombo very much caught in the teeth of war

Jun 13 (Island) US career Foreign Service Officer, Ambassador Atul Keshap, who oversaw a high-profile project to secure Sri Lanka’s consent to a resolution seen by many here as anti-Sri Lankan on Promoting Reconciliation, Accountability and Human Rights in Sri Lanka within two months after 2015 August parliamentary election is leaving Colombo, with the operation in the balance. The whole exercise is in jeopardy due to treasury bond scams involving tainted primary dealer more..

Appointment of Competent Authority for SLC is illegal: Keerthinanda

Jun 13 (ST) The Attorney General’s (AG) Department will ask the Court of Appeal’s permission to allow a Competent Authority (CA) overseeing Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) to constitute an Elections Committee and hold overdue polls, amidst impassioned arguments from other lawyers that the very appointment of a CA is illegal. After the Court of Appeal made an interim order staying the SLC’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on more..

Do we need gender quotas? Problem or solution?

Jun 13 (FT) In Sri Lanka we take pride in our women. Girls are educated on par with boys. Women are welcome in most careers and the pathway up in terms of promotions and achievements is open. Women dominate our professions, academia, and the Judiciary. Over the years the SL Institute of Directors (SLID) has initiated many discussions to try and understand why, despite the potential benefits, there has been a remarkable lack of progress in the number of more..

Editorial: Hope springs from a pleasure isle

Jun 13 (Island) The world, troubled by the prospect of a nuclear war, heaved a sigh of relief, yesterday. US President Donald Trump and his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong-un embarked on a mission to end seven decades of hostility between their countries and preventing a nuclear confrontation. A few moons ago, the two men boasted of having nuclear buttons on their desks. Their confrontational approach, war games and nuke testing did not hold out much hope for an early rapprochement. more..

Euro 4 standard fuel from July: CPC

Jun 13 (DM) Euro 4 emissions standard Diesel and Petrol will replace the existing Super Diesel and Petrol stocks in the market commencing July, Petroleum Ministry Secretary Upali Marasinghe said. The first shipment of Euro 4 emissions standard Diesel and Petrol stock would arrive within next 2 or 3 weeks and the first order had already been placed. “New stocks will be introduced to the same price as the super Diesel & Petrol. more..

Luxury Resort-wear: Focus of next Fashion Week

Jun 13 (FT) The next edition of Fashion Week Colombo from 4 to 7 July at Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo. The growing segment of Luxury Resort-wear will be in focus at the next edition of Fashion Week, hosted at Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo. This segment includes Swimwear and Resort-wear under a Responsible Fashion theme. Fashion Week Colombo Swim and Resort Edition, in its 4th edition, is presented by OLU Tropical Water. Fashion Week Colombo’s ambitious vision is to create more..

Allianz Group upbeat on creating a world-class insurance company in Sri Lanka

Jun 13 (FT) Global financial services leader Allianz’s Asia Pacific Regional CEO George Sartorel recently paid a brief visit to engage with its employees to map out the way forward in creating a world-class insurance company here in Sri Lanka. Allianz acquired a 100% stake of Janashakthi General Insurance Ltd. in February, making Allianz Insurance Lanka one of Sri Lanka’s largest general insurers, with a market share of 20%. Sartorel, who is responsible for the core growth region of more..

Sugath commends SL Junior Asian team

Jun 13 (Island) Olympian and Sri Lanka record holder in the men’s 400 metres, Sugath Thilakaratne credited country’s not so popular school coaches for the remarkable performances of the junior team at the 18th Asian Junior Athletics Championship and opined that the priority should be given to look after the medal winning athletes. Country’s junior team, led from front by Weera Keppetipola MV, Akuramboda athlete more..

Cabinet endorses reparation bill

Jun 13 (DM) As part of implementing the resolutions by the UNHRC, the Cabinet endorsed a Bill to be enacted by Parliament for the payment of reparation in respect of war-affected and missing persons. However, there was resistance within the Cabinet for the reparation formula which includes benefits to families of former LTTE combatants. The formula has been worked out by Minister D.M. Swaminathan. Some ministers including Champika Ranawaka opposed benefits being provided more..

Danushka, Ireshani take wing to Korea

Jun 13 (CT) Hurdler Ireshani Rajasinghe and long jumper Danushka Sandaruwan will take wing today to South Korea to participate in the Korean Open Athletics Championship. The championship will take place at the Yecheon Public Stadium in Yecheon, Gyeongsangbukdo on 16 and 17 June. Both athletes excelled at the recently concluded national trials, which has now given them an opportunity to showcase their talent internationally. Former National Champion Hurdler Ireshani more..

Presidency: 'Easier for UNP if Gota contests'

Jun 13 (DM) It will be easier for the UNP if former defense secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa contested the 2020 presidential election, UNP Propaganda Unit Chief and Minister, Harin Fernando said. He said the UNP would welcome Mr. Rajapaksa’s candidacy because there were many things to talk about. “We have many things to tell the people about former the defense secretary and we will do so at the right time,” minister said. more..

Sri Lankan community in Bahrain unveils pinnacle of the first ever stupa/pagoda

Jun 13 (Island) The first ever Buddhist temple in the Kingdom of Bahrain was established in 2008 in the city of Riffa by the Sri Lankan Community under the stewardship and leadership of Sumith Gunasekara. This humble Buddhist temple was probably one of the first ever temples to be established in the region of Middle East & North Africa (MENA). With the unstinting assistance, cooperation and patronage of the Sri Lankan expatriate community, primarily Buddhists as well as all other faiths and more..

Minister Sajith Premadasa meets COYLE Business Leaders

Jun 13 (DN) Minister of Housing and Construction Sajith Premadasa, together with State Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs Dr. Harsha De Silva met several of the country’s key business leaders of the Chamber of Young Lankan Entrepreneurs (COYLE), at the Hilton Colombo recently. Both parties discussed major orientations to enhance political trust and implement practical measures to boost cooperation in investment, trade and ease of doing business. more..

Auditor General says SL Debt to GDP Ratio for 2017 is 81.0% and not 77.6%

Jun 13 (Island) The Debt to GDP ratio is one of the most important macro-economic indicators in assessing a country’s economy. While it sets out the level of indebtedness of a country in proportion to its Gross Domestic Product, it also provides a measure of its re-payment capacity. Further, a Time-series of Debt to GDP ratios indicates the trend as to whether indebtedness is rising or falling. more..

Cambridge Schools Conference in Sri Lanka in November

Jun 13 (Island) Cambridge International announced that it will be holding a Cambridge Schools Conference in Sri Lanka this year on 27-28 Nov 2018. The event will attract educators from across South Asia with the objective of sharing knowledge and fostering professional development among education professionals. The Cambridge Schools Conference serves as a great opportunity for Cambridge schools to share best practices in terms of leadership, classroom practice and tools to more..

Sri Lanka’s worker remittances pick up steam as April figure up 11%

Jun 13 (DM) Worker remittances to Sri Lanka appear to have stabilized lately as the income from the SL migrant worker community grew for the second month in a row in April. SL has received US $ 541 million from the Sri Lankans working abroad, mainly in the Gulf region as domestic aides and semi-skilled workers, an increase of 11% from the same month a year ago, taking the first four months’ remittance income to US $ 2.5 billion, up 5% over the same period in 2017. more..

Lasantha Wickramatunge killing: Fmr IGP Wickramaratne to be arrested

Jun 13 (CT) Former IGP Jayantha Wickramaratne will be arrested over the alleged involvement in the murder of senior journalist Lasantha Wickramatunge, if sufficient evidence is collected, Senior State Counsel (SSC) Janaka Bandara revealed to the Mount Lavinia Magistrate yesterday. Bandara made this statement in response to the appeal submission made by suspect DIG Prasanna Nanayakkara, more..

Mathews returns home

Jun 13 (CT) Angelo Mathews is scheduled to return to Sri Lanka due to an unexpected family requirement and will not be available to take any further part in the tour of the West Indies. His absence will make him a non-starter in the 2nd Test starting 14 June. Mathews, who has already given his reasons and withdrawn from the Test squad, will be travelling back today or tomorrow. Mathews’ place is expected to be taken by Dasun Chanaka, who is likely to fly to the Caribbean. more..

Kiriwehera Chief Incumbent shot last night

Jun 13 (DM) Kiriwehera Temple Chief Incumbent Venerable Kobawaka Damminda Thera and another monk were injured when they were shot by unidentified gunmen this evening, police said. They said the shooting incident occurred at 11 p.m at the temple. The monks were admitted to the Kataragama District Hospital but were later transferred to the Hambantota Base Hospital, police said. The motive behind the shooting was unknown. The police are conducting investigations. more..

Rajagiriya flyover declared safe by expert panel

Jun 13 (CT) RDA, revealed that they currently lack skilled employees who possessed the knowledge to maintain the metal flyovers, which have been built in the country. This was revealed by Director General (DG) of RDA, Rohitha Swarna. “In concrete bridges, the maintenance is a lot less. But metal bridges are not like that. They start to rust. They get dirty. And there are also issues where water is retained. more..

I didn't refuse to give statement to CID: Dayasiri

Jun 13 (DM) UPFA MP Dayasiri Jayasekara rejected allegations that he failed to report to the CID when first asked to do so. CID on Monday recorded a statement from the MP with regard to the allegation that he accepted money from a subsidiary of Perpetual Treasuries Limited (PTL) owned by Arjun Aloysius. CID also questioned him about his statement on the list of 118 members whom he alleged had received money from PTL. “CID Director Shani Abeysekara requested me more..

I will leave the country, If Gota becomes Prez: Mervyn

Jun 13 (DM) Former Minister Mervyn Silva said he would leave the country if former defense secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa becomes the President in 2020. He said that it was Mr. Rajapaksa, who introduced white van culture during the Rajapaksa regime. He said Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and former minister Basil Rajapaksa ruled the country during the Rajapaksa regime. “Gotabhaya was the founder of the . People were abducted and killed during that time. more..

Gotabhaya very unpopular, outgoing US Amb tells MR

Jun 13 (Island) Outgoing US Ambassador Atul Keshap has told former President Mahinda Rajapaksa that his brother, Gotabhaya was very unpopular. Indian American Keshap has based his assessment on information received by him, a spokesperson for the former President’s Office said. Career diplomat Keshap succeeded Michele J. Sison in March 2015. He took over the mission in late August 2015. more..