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SLR disturbed by Schools’ status quo

Jun 15 (ST) Handling of the Singer Schools’ Rugby league is under scrutiny. The issue had been cooking on low flame for some time, but with the recent eruption of crowd violence and a series of other controversies that preceded it, it is out there now and is up for serious debate. The Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Football Association (SLSRFA) hasn’t had the best of relationships with the sport’s governing body, Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR). This split is of concern because, more..

NCPA urges standards for Reality Shows

Jun 15 (CT) The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) is preparing to introduce a set of standards to be applied when conducting Reality Shows involving children. Chairman of the NCPA, H.M. Abayarathna told Ceylon Today, they were expecting to prepare a new set of standards for children’s Reality Shows. He added, the NCPA believed that the conducting of certain Reality Shows which used children as actors or participants caused psychological harm to the children. more..

Chandimal 119* saves Sri Lanka opening-day blushes

Jun 15 (CI) Shannon Gabriel delivered a brutal spell with the new ball, then later came back to blast out the middle order to take 5 for 59. Dinesh Chandimal hit a terrific 119 not out off 185 balls, but had little support from the rest of the batting order. The result: another day dominated by West Indies, who shot the opposition out for 253, before their openers survived the two overs before stumps unscathed. more..

Fairfield Holdings acquires controlling interest of Alethea Group

Jun 15 (Island) One of the country’s oldest private educational institutions, Alethea Group divested controlling interest of its equity to Fairfield Holdings at end May 2018. The transaction was arranged and supervised by M Power Capital which was responsible for the overall transaction as well as sell-side advisory for Alethea, while PWC was the Adviser on the buy-side for Fairfield Holdings. The acquisition, the first investment for Fairfield Holdings in Sri Lanka, was conceptualised and more..

Mega Chinese Cultural Exhibition enters SL

Jun 15 (Xinhua) A mega Chinese cultural exhibition titled Silk Road Memory - NICE Choice Exhibition of Chinese Creative Cultural Products kicked off in Colombo on Tuesday, displaying China's popular culture such as Kung Fu. The exhibition was jointly organized by China Cultural Center in SL and the Network of International Culturalink Entities of China. China's Ambassador to SL, Cheng Xueyuan, said at the launch of the event that such exhibitions would provide an opportunity for more..

President tells NEC to protect local biz

Jun 15 (FT) Responding to concerns from local companies President Maithripala Sirisena has instructed the National Economic Council (NEC) to protect local industrialists when making Govt policy decisions including tax changes, access to credit facilities and transport. President Maithripala Sirisena made these remarks presiding over the 12th meeting of the NEC at the Presidential Secretariat on Tuesday, according to PMD. more..

Lankan held trying to traffic three Bhutan women to Iraq

Jun 15 (TOI) A SL travel agent was arrested for allegedly trying to fly to SL with three Bhutanese women. The women told cops that the accused had promised them high paying jobs in a men’s spa in Iraq. Cops suspect he may have intended to force the women into the sex trade. Sahar police caught Mohiuddin Fayaz (41) from the international airport after immigration officials got suspicious and checked his papers to find that he was trafficking the women using fake Indian passports. more..

Trinco port, a regional hub for bunkering operations: LIOC

Jun 15 (DN) Lanka Indian Oil Company (LIOC), a subsidiary of Indian Oil Corporation will intensify their bunkering operations in Sri Lanka focusing on the Trincomalee Port. Senior Vice President, (Finance) LIOC, Anuj Jain said the company plans to make Trincomalee a hub for bunkering operations for the entire the region. Trinco port which is known as the world’s 5th best natural harbour provides an excellent opportunity to provide bunkering facilities for the vessels operating on more..

National Civilian Bravery Awards 2018 honours 16 for bravery

Jun 15 (FT) The country’s youth made a special mark at yesterday’s National Civilian Bravery Awards 2018, with Speaker Karu Jayasuriya commending them for giving Sri Lanka hope for a brighter future. Addressing the event held at the BMICH, Speaker Jayasuriya said that those who had won awards had shown what it meant to be human and symbolic of the innate kindness Sri Lankans have towards others. more..

View from the top: Election stunts in fertiliser, digital transformation of health

Jun 15 (ST) In a cursory glance of the numerous 2017/18 financial year annual reports of listed companies being released to shareholders this week, the Business Times (BT) takes a look at companies which are involved in plantations, hotels, hospitals, finance and fertilisers. These companies were selected at random based on reports released this week and the BT highlights, briefly, the key challenges in those sectors: Nawaloka Hospitals: Revenue: Rs. 8 billion (2018/17) vs more..

Epic deploys Sri Lanka’s only fully- fledged E-Card Management System

Jun 15 (ST) The Epic Technology group, synonymous for innovative FinTech Solutions in SL, will be implementing a new strategy towards diversification in digital innovations for the benefit of the public and private sectors in the country, two top officials who led the company towards reaching new heights, said. The company’s latest achievement was the deployment of Sri Lanka’s only fully-fledged Card Management System including comprehensive issuing, acquiring, more..

Complaints against war crimes probe: Civil society seeks explanation from UN Colombo

Jun 15 (Island) A delegation led by retired Navy Chief of Staff Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera yesterday sought an explanation from the UN mission in Colombo as to the status of a petition filed by three organizations on behalf of Sri Lanka in March this year as well as rebuttal handed over in the run-up to March 2017 Geneva sessions. Having had handed over copies of those reports to Colombo based Juan Fernandez, more..

IPS highlights the need for an IP Policy

Jun 15 (Island) Protection for Intellectual Property (IP) is vital to support growth and stimulate innovation in developing countries, provided that they are implemented at the right time – and Sri Lanka is at the right stage in development to formulate and implement such a policy, highlighted Executive Director of the Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka (IPS), Dushni Weerakoon. Dr. Weerakoon also noted that a strong IP policy was especially important as SL is transitioning more..

Mixed 4x400m relay gives new medal hopes

Jun 15 (CT) Asian Games 2018 athletic competition will see the introduction of a 4x400m mixed relay event in Jakarta later this year. The step has been taken after the highly successful 4x400m mixed relay event at the IAAF world relays regional competition, which will be adopted at all future international championships. Even the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo will see a 4x400m mixed relay event, which will be named medley relay in the competition. more..

Over 100,000 new job openings in hospitality sector, says Tourism Minister

Jun 15 (DM) New investments in the hotel sector amounting to US $ 2.8 billion will require thousands of newly trained workers in the next couple of years. This was revealed by Minister of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs, John Amaratunga at the 39th Graduation Ceremony of the SL Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management (SLITHM) which was held at the BMICH this week. more..

Musthapha’s golden opportunity to save our cricket

Jun 15 (ST) Sports Minister Faiszer Musthapha made an unusual move and did a trip to the Mecca of Cricket in Dubai to feel the real pulse of the cricket situation of the country and to learn for himself how the ICC works and how it works. Along with him, SLC Competent Authority Kamal Pathmasiri, ICC CEO Dave Richardson and SLC CEO Ashley de Silva, were also present at the meeting. Among the things that he learned was that there were no discussions or appeals more..

Sudarshini flays Health Ministry for failure to tackle viral flu

Jun 15 (Island) UPFA MP Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle flayed the health ministry for its failure to control influenza A in spite of the growing danger of it spreading to other areas. MP alleged that the health ministry had caused irreparable damage by not appointing an expert as head of the Epidemiology Unit. Accusing the ministry of jeopardizing lives, Dr. Fernandopulle cited recent newspaper reports to question the availability of quality drugs to treat those affected. more..

CERT receives 1,100 fb complaints, 10 businessmen’s emails hacked

Jun 15 (DM) Computer Emergency Readiness Team/Co-ordination Centre (CERT|CC) had received 1,100 complaints regarding social media issues and ten complaints on fraudsters attempting to hack email accounts of businessmen and lure them into making remittances since January this year, Principal Information Security Engineer Roshan Chandragupta said. "Facebook users must take extra care to more..

20,943 grey market motor vehicle imports 1st 4 months

Jun 15 (CT) Sri Lanka imported 20,943 units of grey market motor vehicles (used and reconditioned vehicles) in the 1st four months of this year, against 4,058 units of brand new vehicles imported in the same period sources close to the vehicle industry said. Motor vehicle traders say grey market operations are paving the way to money laundering and the Government’s tax system based on engine capacity has curtailed the outflow of funds from the country. more..

SLANA improves awareness of handling dangerous containers

Jun 15 (CT) SLANA (Sri Lanka Association of NVOCC Agents), which has taken a lead role in educating the industry in specialized areas of Sea Freight handling, conducted a seminar on 24 May 2018 at the NDB Auditorium on Handling of Dangerous Goods, a press release stated. With the increased number of accidents on ships and at ports due to the lack of awareness in handling of dangerous goods, it was a most opportune time to conduct such a programme. more..

India’s deal for Mattala at crossroads

Jun 15 (FT) Mattala Airport joint venture with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) is at a crossroads, with the Indian Govt stalling discussions on developing a comprehensive business plan to reboot the venture. Responding to a request from their SL counterparts in January for a more detailed venture following the evaluation given by the Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC), the AAI proposed to develop the business plan together as more..

Import of milk cows to be stopped in future

Jun 15 (CT) Trade union action by dairy farmers and union leaders were temporarily suspended when Minister of Rural Economic Development Vijith Wijayamuni Zoysa pledged to provide speedy solutions to several of their demands including putting a stop to importing cows. The Minister had observed that putting a stop to the import of dairy cows would have to be done only after scientific research and that he alone could not take that decision. more..

Gotabhaya responds to media reports on Keshap comments

Jun 15 (Island) Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, told the media that if US Ambassador Atul Keshap had actually made the controversial comments he was reported have made, he was not fit to be the US ambassador. Ambassador Keshap is reported to have told former President Mahinda Rajapaksa at a recent meeting not to field Gotabhaya at the next presidential poll. US embassy declined to either confirm or deny reports. Commenting on the attack on more..

SLFP Group-16 admits failure to make President quit govt

Jun 15 (Island) Dissident SLFP group aka Group of 16 yesterday acknowledged that its efforts to convince President Maithripala Sirisena to quit the Unity Govt had been futile so far. SLFP Vice President Dilan Perera said that their group had officially requested the party to quit the govt without further delay.The National List MP was flanked by Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena (National List) and MP Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle. more..

Northern fishermen shouldn’t be neglected

Jun 15 (DM) Desperate cries of Jaffna’s fishermen demanding solutions to issues connected to their industry continue to echo despite the Govt reducing the price of kerosene to Rs 70 per letre. The price reduction in kerosene came as the result of lengthy protests by these fishermen who have time and again complained that there is intrusion into their profession by outsiders, especially Indian fishermen. Given that this is a country where people have to stage protests to obtain even some of their more..

Political Ifthars and Rajapaksa hunt for Muslim vote

Jun 15 (DM) The Rajapaksas, who ruled the roost in the country some three years ago are seen now luring the Muslims, especially by appearing at Ifthar events, the events organised by various Muslim and non-Muslim groups for the Muslims to break their Ramadan fast. Large gatherings of Ifthar, which should be meant for helping the poor to break their fast, are becoming frequent events with increasing political colouring. However, going by this year’s Ifthar events attended by more..

Waiting for Development

Jun 15 (DM) “We have initiated as a Govt an impartial development programme this country needs. As we have already initiated Gramashakthi National Movement, in a few weeks we would initiate the Gamperaliya Development Programme, that would include all Grama Niladhari Divisions,” said Prez Sirisena in an advertisement aired a few days ago in the Sinhala Channel of Rupavahini Corporation. more..

A case of the jitters at crumbling, facility-less court in Hulftsdorp

Jun 15 (ST) Up-to-date judicial infrastructure is essential for the efficient, effective, and fair delivery of court services to a community. But in the heart of the capital Colombo, lies the dilapidated Court No 9 in the District Court in Hulftsdorp. Boldly, a notice warns of the dangers from the crumbling court, which comes under the Ministry of Justice. While more than Rs 2 billion has been allocated in 2017 to build and renovate court complexes, more..

Choose a right school bag for your child

Jun 15 (DM) Various models of school bags are available in the market entice students to use different types without worrying about muscular and physical problems they may cause. Backpacks, front packs, double packs, front backpacks, low back packs, shoulder bags, hand bags and wheeled bags are some of their types. Daily carrying of these bags cause heavy impact on spinal cords of young students and is the main reason for more..

Efforts to privatise postal service?

Jun 15 (NR) Joint Postal Trade Union Collective has questioned alleged efforts to privatise the postal service. Co-Convenor of the Collective Chinthaka Bandara said doubts have arisen over govt's lack of attention towards the on-going trade union action. Bandara stressed the Union doubts whether the Cabinet paper relating to the recruitment process was disregarded when tabling this administrational panel proposal. more..

73.4% of children between 1 and 14 subjected to corporal punishment in SL

Jun 15 (DM) About 73.4% per cent of children aged one to fourteen experience corporal punishment at home by parents in Sri Lanka, the UNICEF Sri Lanka said yesterday. Issuing a statement, it said only 48.7% of three to five-year old’s in Sri Lanka attend pre-school, which when of good quality helps to foster cognitive and language development, social competency and emotional development. more..

Indian President rejects Tamil Nadu’s plea to release Rajiv Gandhi killing case convicts

Jun 15 (Hindu) President Ram Nath Kovind has rejected the Tamil Nadu govt’s request to release the seven prisoners convicted for the assassination of former PM Rajiv Gandhi on May 21, 1991. Mr. Kovind conveyed to the govt that the Centre doesn’t concur with its view to release the prisoners. The President is bound by the advice of his Council of Ministers in such matters. In the last four years, State govt has written more..

Massive loss making recruitment at SriLankan

Jun 15 (Island) SriLankan Airlines staff had increased by around 500 between 2014 and 2017 and the airline paid them around Rs. 6 billion from 2014 to 2017 as salaries, President of the Airline Pilots’ Guild of Sri Lanka (AAPGSL), Captain Ruwan Vithanage told the PCoI on irregularities at SriLankan Airlines, SriLankan Catering and Mihin Lanka, yesterday. The cost increased by Rs. 2.5 billion between 2014-2015 by Rs. 2.3 billion more..

Influenza claimed lives of 20 infants, now under control: Rajitha

Jun 15 (DM) Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne claiming that the influenza had claimed lives of nearly 20 infants in the south and elsewhere, was now being brought under control, added that the influenza virus changed rapidly and therefore the same vaccine could not be used to control the disease all the time. Therefore, the reluctance of doctors to inject anti – influenza vaccine on patients is understandable, Dr. Senaratne said. more..

Gnanasara Thero verdict a victory for human rights defenders - AI

Jun 15 (AI) The conviction of a Buddhist monk who had threatened the well-known campaigner against enforced disappearances, Sandhya Eknaligoda, is a victory for human rights defenders in Sri Lanka, Amnesty International said today. A magistrate’s court in Homagama handed down a six months’ sentence and a heavy fine to Galagodatte Gnanasara Thero for threatening Sandhya Eknaligoda in court, when more..

SriLankan suffers huge losses for want of vital certification: Pilot

Jun 15 (Island) Six newly leased twin engine aircraft of SriLankan Airlines lacked ETOPS or Extended Twin Operations certification resulting in the loss of a great deal of money, President of the Airline Pilots’ Guild of Sri Lanka (AAPGSL) Captain Ruwan Vithanage, told the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) probing irregularities at SriLankan Airlines, SriLankan Catering and Mihin Lanka, yesterday. more..

Political, not Policy Uncertainty

Jun 15 (CT) Like an ostrich burying its head in the sand, a World Bank (WB) economist postulated six ways Sri Lanka can attract foreign direct investments (FDIs), but ignored the most important need, political stability. Ms Tatiana Nenova, on a blog filed on the WB website recently, the closest she got to referring to political stability was her oblique reference to the July 1983 riots, the forerunner to SL’s 26-year Northern Insurgency, which scuttled an otherwise burgeoning FDI industry, then. more..

Refuse and recuse in Cloud-Cuckoo-Land

Jun 15 (FT) J’ACCUSE! In an incendiary editorial, a writer once accused the govt of his republic of a cover-up as regards the career of an army general staff officer in a scandal that smacked of crimes against state and humanity. While neither such a case nor a time have come – yet, perhaps it behoves democratic-republicans to ask why so many magistrates of late have been recusing themselves in the face of a plea and a process to establish justice with peace? more..

Ramadan special with Azath & Faraz

Claims about the gash despatches exposed

Jun 15 (CT) At the end of last year, the Sri Lanka Campaign published a critique of an intervention in the House of Lords by Lord Naseby. In that intervention, Lord Naseby sought to discredit prevailing UN accounts about the nature and extent of atrocities committed during the final stages of the civil war in Sri Lanka, and urged members of the international community to row back pressure on bringing perpetrators to justice. These arguments were based on what he referred to as more..