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Sri Lanka apparel exports fall in April

Jun 28 (EN) Sri Lanka’s apparel exports for April 2018 fell 4.2% from a year earlier, amid a fall in exports to the US, industry data shows. Exports to the US fell 9.8%, to US$ 138 million, data from the Joint Apparel Association Forum, while shipments to the European Union, rose 2.1% to 701 million rupees. In the first four months of the year exports to the US was still up 1.85% to US$ 1,592 million. Sales to the EU, to which Sri Lanka has duty free access was up 4.52%. more..

Sifting Wheat from Chaff

Jun 28 (CT) IMF’s SL Mission Head Manuela Goretti speaking to journalists in Colombo via a video conferencing facility from Washington, DC last Wednesday said that a flexible exchange rate (ER) is the first line of defence against inflation. She also said the country’s foreign reserves were fragile, while expecting an automatic pricing formula (APF) for electricity. However, Central Bank of SL's ER policy pursued immediately after that briefing has been contrary to Goretti’s advice. more..

පේරාදෙණිය විශ්වවිද්යාලයයේ, ද ලොජ්

Prerequisite for economic prosperity: Tame this behemoth or get consumed by it

Jun 28 (FT) It was only a few weeks back that I wrote about (i) how the oil we consume will make us more and more debt-ridden and (ii) a probable solution to get over this debacle. Then I find the Chairman of CPC giving an interview to Daily FT to explain what he plans for the corporation. It is not every day that we see corporation chairmen explaining how they plan to take their organisations forward. And I was very happy about the vision he has demonstrated for the corporation. more..

Forty two forged Rs 500 currency notes, heroin found in vehicles parked at garage

Jun 28 (Island) The Tambuttegama police on Monday afternoon found 42 dud currency notes in the denominaton of Rs. 500. Police said that the forged notes were in a bag which was found hanging from a lorry parked at a garage in the area. The official said that Tambuttegala police had dispatched a team to the garage following a tip off. "We were told that some of those vehicles parked there carried heroin. So, a raid was ordered soon after receiving information," the official said. more..

Bellana seeks to bleed NBTS through tender to sell excess Plasma

Jun 28 (CT) Dr Rukshan Bellana, quasi administrator of the National Blood Transfusion Services (NBTS), known as a frontman for the brother of Minister Rajitha Senaratne has been accused of a tender fraud in the form of influencing, manipulating and delaying a tender for the benefit of a drug company from which he is allegedly receiving monies as bribes. It is revealed that although the Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) more..

Renounce US citizenship: Akila challenges Gota

Jun 28 (DM) Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam challenged former Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa to renounce the US citizenship irrespective of his decision to contest the forthcoming prez election. He said if Gotabaya had so much of fervent passion to SL, he should prove it by relinquishing the US citizenship and embracing SL citizenship. “This is a drama that Gotabaya is performing in order to get the attention of the people by showing a fake patriotism. more..

Film circuits get enjoining order against NFC move

Jun 28 (DM) The Colombo District Court today issued an enjoining order until July 12, preventing the National Film Corporation from taking over the task of local film distribution which is currently being handled by four private film circuits since 2001. The EAP, CEL, MPI and LFD film circuits filed action in courts today, following a decision taken by the National Film Corporation recently to take over local film distribution with immediate effect. The decision to offer film distribution to the private sector more..

Central Bank chief defends deputy

Jun 28 (EN) Central Bank Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy has strongly defended Deputy Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe, after a debate about recent gross domestic product numbers, which are not compiled by the monetary authority. “As the Governor of CBSL, I want to formally place on record that Dr. Weerasinghe is an outstanding economist who has made a stellar contribution to the work of the Bank during more..

Peshala to pay Rs.250,000 compensation fee

Jun 28 (NR) Supreme Court ordered the former Chief Minister of the North Central Province Peshala Jayaratne to pay a compensation fee of 250,000 rupees to a principal of a school in Anuradhapura. SC determined that the principal was issued a transfer without a justifiable reason thereby violating his fundamental rights. The then Chief Minister had issued the transfer claiming the principal had not kept parents and students prepared for Peshala Jayaratne's arrival for a function on the 9th of more..

Issue of passports resolved by next week

Jun 28 (AD) The issue regarding passports will be resolved by next week, stated the Department of Immigration and Emigration. Recently, there was a shortage of passports issued for all countries. There was a delay in getting down the passports for all countries, as there was a plan for issuing passports in a new style with the use of new technology. However, the cabinet paper to bring the passports has been approved and by next week, passports for all countries will be available, more..

Thewarapperuma lock horns with STF

Jun 28 (DM) A tense situation erupted on Tuesday between Deputy Minister Palitha Thewarapperuma and STF personnel at the Andarawewa Forest Reserve in Suriyawewa when the STF attempted to thwart an alleged illegal sand transportation. The deputy minister criticized the STF officers’ behaviour and outlook and said the officers had violated many rules and regulations of the country. more..

Sri Lanka to exempt from tax interest income of foreign lenders

Jun 28 (EN) Finance Ministry is planning to exempt interest income of foreign lenders from taxation by the end June 2018. Under the Inland Revenue Act No. 24 of 2017 which came into effect in April 2018, any non-resident who earns income in SL is liable for taxation, which for the first time included foreign lenders earning interest. Treasury Dy Secretary S.R. Attygalle however said that collecting taxes on interest income from foreign financial institutions has proved to be challenging. more..

Remove false Buddhist monks: Omalpe Sobitha

Jun 28 (NR) Dakshina Lanka Chief Sangha Leader venerable Omalpe Sobitha thera has requested the govt to introduce a religious Court to eradicate those who pretend to Buddhist monks and work against the Buddha Sasanaya. Thera said the first step should be to remove those pretending to be Buddhist monks in order to gain various benefits and also engage in various crimes. Sobitha thera said the main step should be to protect the Buddha Sasana and in this regard those who pretend more..

Govt in violation of CITES: Ajita Kadirgamar

Jun 28 (CT) Govt is clearly violating the Convention on Int'l Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and supporting the illicit trade of elephants, alleged conservationist Ajita Kadirgamar. She condemned the Govt over its hypocritical attitude in relation to the matter and failing to demonstrate a commitment to the principles of the CITES. A group of local conservationists and animal welfare activists, including Kadirgamar, more..

‘Remove encroachers, not jumbos’

Jun 28 (Island) Community and Nature Protection Society President T.S. Kumara said that there had been lions in Sinharaja in the past and that’s how it has got its name Sinharaja. Now there was a move by the Wildlife Minister to relocate the two elephants who had been inhabiting Sinharaja for a long time, he said. Sinharaja had been recognised a world heritage site, but if there were no animals in the only rain forest in the country, it would soon lose its heritage status, he said. more..

LNG power plant: Country to lose Rs. 2 bn annually if lowest bidder is overlooked

Jun 28 (Island) The country will lose as much as Rs. 2,000 million annually for two decades if the govt awards a tender to a Chinese company at the expense of a local bidder (Lakdanavi) to construct the proposed Kerawalapitiya 300 MW natural gas power plant, says the Chairman of the National Movement for the Protection of Consumer Rights, Ranjith Withanage. The battle between the local bidder and a Chinese company over the construction of the power plant has made more..

Video: China funding MR’s campaign: Ranjan complains to FCID

Jun 28 (DM) Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake today lodged a complaint with the FCID against former president Mahinda Rajapaksa over the recent allegations revealed by the New York Times. The New York Times in an article published on Monday exposed that at least $7.6 million was dispensed from China Harbor’s account at Standard Chartered Bank to affiliates of Mr. Rajapaksa’s campaign, according to more..

Waste of public funds: Rs 456 mn more to be paid for Rajagiriya building

Jun 28 (Island) The Agriculture Ministry would have to pay of Rs. 960 million for the building at Rajagiriya, which it rented at Rs.23.5 million a month, a Ministry spokesman said. The Ministry had entered into a lease agreement with the owner DPJ Tower in Rajagiriya for five years. The Ministry has already paid Rs. 504 million as the rent for the past three years. The Ministry cannot abrogate the agreement as it is without any other place to move to, the spokesman said. more..

Former SAITM CEO further remanded over staged shooting incident

Jun 28 (SL) Former CEO of the SAITM university, Dr Sameera Senaratne was further remanded over a staged shooting incident targeting his vehicle in Feb 2017. He was ordered to be further remanded till July 12th. Gunmen on a motorbike opened fire on the vehicle of Dr. Sameera Senaratne in Malabe on 2017 February 6. Senaratne escaped unhurt but the car was damaged in the shooting incident. Investigations later revealed the shooting incident was staged. more..

Global Peace Index: Lanka climbs up while world peace continues to decline

Jun 28 (Island) Sri Lanka had shown a significant improvement in the 2018 Global Peace Index (GPI) jumping 13 notches to rank 67th out of 163 countries with a global score of 1.954, Director General of Govt Information Sudarshana Gunawardena said in a press release. He said that Sri Lanka had been recognized as the second most peaceful nation in South Asia, and the second largest riser in the region last year. more..

Dy. Minister obstructed duties of officers: STF Commandant

Jun 28 (AD) Referring to the Suriyawewa incident, STF Commandant, Senior DIG M. R. Latheef said Deputy Minister Palitha Thewarapperuma had interfered with the duties of the officers who were on a special raid. SDIG Latheef told the Daily Mirror that it had also made a log note on the incident. “I looked in to the matter immediately when i was informed by the deputy minister. I informed him that the officers had conducted their duties according to the practice within the law. more..

Bangladesh A fighting equally with SL A

Jun 28 (UNB) Hosts Bangladesh A team were fighting equally with touring Sri Lanka A team scoring 360 for 4 in 112 overs after the 3rd of the four-day first unofficial Test at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium here on Thursday, featuring two centuries by Mosaddek Hossain and Sabbir Rahman. Replying to SL’s mammoth first innings total of 449 for 8 declared, the 2nd string Bangladesh team resumed the first innings in the morning with their overnight 44 for 2 and more..

'Suranga Lakmal led from the front'

Jun 28 (ICC) Sri Lanka’s bowling in the Windies’ second innings, with stand-in captain Suranga Lakmal leading from the front, won them a tense third Test to draw level in the series, coach Chandika Hathurusingha has said. The visitors conceded 204 in the Windies’ first innings, before replying with 154 of their own and coming back to scuttle Jason Holder’s men for 93 in their second hit. more..

Verdict at large

Jun 29 (CT) I have been hopefully waiting for approximately 2 years for a verdict on a Fundamental Rights Petition, hearing of which was concluded in June 2016. As a layman, I am now, compelled to bring to light the details of my case to enable the public in general and the litigants in particular (existing and would be) to understand the Judicial System prevailing in Srilanka and be prepared for the worst. Various articles and news items have been published in the press more..

Oil palm to replace rubber?

Jun 29 (DN) During the past few weeks, there were reports in the local press that some of the rubber estates under the management of plantation companies are being converted to oil palm plantations. In my personal opinion as the longest served former Director of the Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka, when scientific factors affecting the environment and the best performing rubber end products manufacturing industry in the country are considered, this is a dangerous more..

Are siren songs fading into legend?

Jun 29 (SO) Speaking at a recent lecture held on dugongs, Marine Biologist and Fishery Expert, Dr Steve Creech said the focal point of conservation of local populations of dugongs should be to stop illegal trawl net fishing in the Puttalam District, which mainly happens in the protected coastal areas of Wilpattu National Park. He said this while declaring measures listed under Convention on Natural Resource more..

Ceylon Parsis on the road to extinction!

Jun 29 (CT) SL is home to people belonging to different ethnic groups, who have lived on this island for several centuries. These ethnic groups and their distinct cultures are interwoven into SL cultural tapestry & have each made significant contributions to SL’s unique cultural diversity. Howbeit, many ethnic minorities live today in ever dwindling numbers, struggling to ward off extinction. Parsi community is one such endogamous ethnic minority whose extinction is virtually inevitable. more..

Politics of a different ideology

Jun 29 (DN) The shadow of former Defence Secretary and Rajapaksa sibling Gotabhaya Rajapaksa looms large these days over the SL political firmament. Not yet officially nominated as a candidate for the 2020 presidential elections, he appears to have assumed that role by default. Still, Rajapaksa found out last week that the publicity he generated made not be the type that furthers his cause. The controversy began at an alms-giving conducted to mark Rajapaksa’s 69th b'day. more..

'Two deal-makers destroying the UNP'

Jun 29 (CT) UNP MP Heshan Withanage says if the UNP is unable to win the Provincial Council elections, there would be major divisions within the party. Q: Why did you not accept the post of Monitoring MP? A: The PM had proposed to grant back-benchers in Parliament posts as Monitoring MPs. Accordingly we were informed that we had been appointed to each Ministry, as Monitoring MPs. more..

UNHRC Or UNSC? Govt intransigence feeds ITAK’s militancy & foolishness

Jun 29 (CT) The war with the LTTE came to an end in May 2009 with 40,000 casualties according to the UN Expert Panel. Although Lord Naseby has recently contested this figure, we know from the analysis by “The Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice” that the documents Lord Naseby relied on were untruthful and made it appear that the then Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s statements are from the British Military Attaché Colonel Anton Gash. more..

India’s growth beneficial for small island states like Sri Lanka

Jun 29 (FT) India, the largest economy in the South Asian region, is predicted to grow at 7.3% GDP as per the World Bank Group and the current economic policies adopted by Prime Minister Modi is having a positive impact not only on India but also on its neighbouring country, Sri Lanka. In the past four years, the bilateral trade between the two countries has increased to about $ 4.38 billion and this has had a direct impact on the domestic market of Sri Lanka. more..

චීනෙට ලාබෙට රට විකුණා දැමු ඔබේ මහින්ද රජතුමා

FDI: Is it mandatory for sustainable economic development in Sri Lanka?

Jun 29 (Island) I thought of writing this article after reading a news item which appeared in The Island daily titled World Bank suggests Sri Lanka six ways to improve FDI. Didn’t we talk about FDIs in Sri Lanka for almost 70 years now and produced policy documents one after the other and canvassed overseas govts/entrepreneurs personally and formally at the highest level, conducted investment promotion seminars, workshops, provided maximum tax concessions and other benefits more..

Edtorial: Captain Cool's dream

Jun 29 (Island) Former World Cup winning skipper Arjuna Ranatunga has a dream. When he was asked the other day who, he thought, should be the next presidential candidate, presumably, representing his camp, he told the media that the ideal candidate should be a person who was not involved in party politics and loved the country passionately. How can anyone disagree with Captain Cool on this score? Dirty politics has been the bane of this country and we have not had more..

Crushed by the weight of anxiety

Jun 29 (DM) Colombo’s skyline is rapidly changing with various high rise buildings being constructed in every nook and corner of the city. While almost all of them compete to get the best view of the Indian Ocean and the city, it is rather questionable as to how certain logistical matters could be sorted out. As a country where a good part of the population comprises senior citizens and differently-abled persons, vertical living may not more..

Kimiko Rahim fails to qualify

Jun 29 (CT) Five male and one female swimmers have been included in the Sri Lanka swimming squad that is slated to contest at the Asian Games, from 18 Aug to 2 Sept, in Indonesia. However, in order to select swimmers for the national squad, 15 male and 15 female swimmers had competed in the trials held at the Sugathadasa Pool recently. During the trials, country’s number one ranked female swimmer Kimiko Rahim failed to qualify. An official from the National Swimming and Aquatic more..

Troubled tour ends with a win

Jun 29 (DN) Sri Lanka’s troubled tour of the Caribbean ended with a win in the third and final Test that enabled the tourists to share the three-Test series one-all with one drawn. The result meant that Sri Lanka will have another long wait for their next visit to the West Indies to try and achieve a series win in the Caribbean. On their last tour too in 2008 they drew the Test series one-all. This was the first time that Sri Lanka played a three-Test series in the West Indies. more..

Anusha wins Mongolian Bronze

Jun 29 (CT) Queen of the local boxing ring Anusha Kodithuwakku proved she is fit and ready for a tilt at glory at the Asian Games in August, by winning a bronze medal in the women’s flyweight category at the Ulaanbaatar Cup in Mongolia recently. At 39, Kodithuwakku is at the tail end of an illustrious career, which includes winning a Bronze medal at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April this year. more..

Dealing with shenanigans of Football

Jun 29 (ST) Minister of Sports was recently reported to have dropped a bombshell. His kindergarten lament resonated in many arenas, but one can conclude that it was perhaps a fair comment for a man who is more comfortable in the more cloistered courts of our land than on the playing fields of paradise. But the generalisation is worth a greater discourse, with cricket’s star performers respectfully rejecting to be drawn in to advisory roles that simulate usual charade we've been privy to! more..