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HNB arranges Rs 5.4B to fund new multi-storey ODEL Mall

Jun 5 (CT) HNB announced a breakthrough partnership with popular retail department store, Odel to lead the syndication of a Rs 5.4 billion loan to fuel the expansion of its flagship store at Alexandra Place, Colombo 7, a press release stated. The syndicated loan, which will cover a majority of the total cost of construction of the New Odel Mall amounting to Rs 9 billion, was arranged by HNB in partnership with Sampath Bank & Bank of Ceylon with each party participating equally in loan. more..

Shirantha Peries explains why NSSF decided to opt out

Jun 5 (ST) Days after deciding to pull out from the upcoming 18th Asian Games 2018 to be held in Indonesia, Shirantha Peries, the President of National Shooting Sports Federation of Sri Lanka (NSSF) explained further on matters pertaining to that subject. While the prime cause of their pullout was mainly based on the decision made by the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka (NOC) to allow only one official, manager or coach, more..

Four Lankan players for Canadian T20

Jun 5 (CT) SL speedster Lasith Malinga has been named as Marquee Player for the Canadian Global T20, which is scheduled to begin at the end of June. Malinga was picked up by the Montreal Tigers in the first round of the auction. The Tigers also picked three other SL players - Thisara Perera, Isuru Udana and Dasun Shanaka. SL born Canadian Internationals Ruvindu Gunasekara and Srimantha Wijeratne, who were involved in the recently concluded SLC domestic tournament, more..

SL Women record second win in Asia Cup

Jun 5 (Island) Sri Lanka Women overcame hosts Malaysia by 90 runs to record their second win in the ongoing Asia Cup tournament in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. The Sri Lankan side had defeated Bangladesh in their opening game of the competition on Sunday. Put into bat, Sri Lanka posted 136 runs for three wickets in their 20 overs and restricted Malaysia for 46 for seven in 20 overs. Openers Yasoda Mendis & Nipuni Hansika added 59 runs for the first wicket in 58 ball to give a solid start. more..

Prez calls on the people to fulfill their duties towards the environmental conservation

Jun 5 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena called on the people of the historic town of Kegalle to fulfill their respective duties towards the environmental conservation with a continuous programme, not limiting to that responsibility to a one day. President further said that it is not a duty of one party, but all the citizens, including the politicians, public servants and school children must be united in this regard. more..

Robbing a monk's slippers lost him what he had

Jun 5 (DM) A man, who had visited the Gampaha District Secretariat to get his father's gun license transferred to his name, had taken away a pair of slippers belonging to a Buddhist monk who was delivering a sermon (bana) at the District Secretariat premises at the time, after getting irritated as he was forced to wait till the sermon concluded to get his work done. The man had hidden the pair of slippers under his clothing and gone away in anger. After the conclusion of the sermon, more..

SriLankan Airlines continues to propel Ironman Mithun Liyanage

Jun 5 (Island) SriLankan Airlines continues to support Ironman Mithun Liyanage, who has qualified for the prestigious 2018 Ironman 70.3 World Championships in South Africa in September 2018 with an impressive performance at Ironman 70.3 Vietnam held on 13th May. Captain Suren Ratwatte, CEO of SriLankan Airlines, said: "Mithun is demonstrating his true potential as a world class triathlete and has now been rewarded by being selected to participate in this global event. more..

Study projects smoking up 16% in 2018, calls for more effective policy

Jun 5 (FT) SL’s smuggled cigarette market is projected to grow 21% this year, with around 520 million sticks reaching consumers, as overall cigarette consumption in the country grows 2% to 3.7 billion sticks, finds an industry study conducted recently. Study is based on a primary survey conducted islandwide during the first three months of the year, and comparing it to secondary data from a Household Income & Expenditure Survey, more..

Labrooy re-appointed Chairman of selectors

Jun 5 (CT) SLC named a new selectors panel for the national cricket team Monday after gambling allegations against the sport’s National Board President prompted govt intervention. Sports Ministry stepped in to manage the SLC Board last week, after an Appeals Court suspended elections for the presidency to consider whether incumbent Thilanga Sumathipala should be allowed to contest for the presidency. Sumathipala has been accused of alleged links to gambling in breach of ICC more..

Case against Basil fixed for trial on Aug 9

Jun 5 (DN) A case filed against former Minister Basil Rajapaksa and former Director General of Divi Neguma Department Kithsiri Ranawaka for allegedly misappropriating Rs.36.5 million of funds belonging to Divi Neguma Dept was yesterday fixed for trial by Colombo High Court. Accordingly, the case was fixed for trial on Aug 9 by Colombo High Court Judge A.A.R. Heiyanthuduwa. Attorney General had filed indictments against former Minister and former Director General of Divi Neguma Dept more..

Parliament Mafia: Coordinating MPs demand vehicles: Secretaries fear FCID probes

Jun 5 (Island) UNP Co-ordinating MPs are demanding vehicles and the secretaries to ministries they are assigned to, are in a dilemma, unable to grant their demand. Cabinet has not directed the ministry secretaries to allocate vehicles to the co-ordinating MPs. A letter issued by the govt only asks that the MPs be provided with office space and other facilities. It says vehicles may be provided at the discretion of the secretaries concerned. more..

Optimistic Siam City cements its way in Sri Lanka despite concern

Jun 5 (FT) Thailand-based Southeast Asian giant Siam City Cement is investing further in Sri Lanka with long term optimism, though it is bit unnerved by medium term concerns. Having bought Swiss giant Lafarge Holcim’s Sri Lankan operations for $374 million two years ago, Siam Cement continues to remain bullish on future prospects, though the first quarter’s 7% dip in industry sales has perplexed the company. Nevertheless, Siam City Cement Board Chairman Paul Heinz Hugentobler told more..

SDB to call EOI for Dedduwa next week

Jun 5 (DN) The Southern Development Board (SDB) will be calling for Expressions of Interest (EOI) next week to develop the proposed Dedduwa tourism zone. A highly placed official told the Daily News, SDB is working on the process at present and the EIA and financial feasibility study will also be completed within the next few months. Located to the east of Bentota, Dedduwa is an area rich in water bodies, marshy lands and paddy fields and a dream of biodiversity enthusiasts. more..

Secret ballot to elect deputy speaker today

Jun 5 (DN) A secret vote will be taken up in Parliament today to elect a Deputy Speaker, Parliament Serjeant-at-Arms Anil Parakrama Samarasekara said. Ballot boxes and other arrangements necessary for a secret vote will be facilitated today. The SLFP has proposed the name of National List MP Angajan Ramanathan, while the UNP has decided to field Monaragala District MP Ananda Kumarasiri for Deputy Speaker post. more..

Arjun Aloysius is not on my friend list: Yapa

Jun 5 (FT) “I only accept assistance for my election campaigns from close friends and associates, and Arjun Aloysius is not on my friend list,” said former Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena on being asked if his name was in the list of 118 MPs whose election campaigns were supported by the wealthy businessman who is embroiled in the CB Bond issue. “It is best that those in the know disclose who these 118 MPs are as soon as possible and clear remaining 107 MPs as it is a heavy burden more..

Split among postal strikers

Jun 5 (Island) Secretary of the Postal Trade Unions Alliance, H.K. Kariyawasam claimed their 48-hour strike had crippled the postal department. The dispatch of parcels and letters to and from the Central Mail Exchange had come to a standstill, Kariyawasam said, adding that the strike would continue till midnight today and if the govt failed to respond to their demands, the association would go for an indefinite strike. Convener of the Alliance Chinthaka Bandara, however, said more..

Present govt transformed country into a mature democracy: Mangala

Jun 5 (DN) The present govt deserves 100% credit from the people for establishing a mature democracy in the country within the last 3 years, Minister Mangala Samaraweera said. He also said that despite many persons criticizing the govt for being weak, the same traits they identify as weaknesses are the characteristics of a mature democracy. “I don’t believe even in the 1950s there was a democracy as what we have now. more..

Veteran marketer Dehan Seneviratne appointed new Tourism Promotion Chairman

Jun 5 (FT) The Ministry of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs announced the appointment of Dehan Seneviratne as Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Chairman with effect from 4 June. A veteran in the marketing field, Seneviratne takes over as Chairman of SLTPB at a crucial juncture with the long awaited global promotion campaign about to get off the ground. Seneviratne was officially welcomed by Minister John Amaratunga at his office last morning. more..

Rajaratnam fails to cut U.S. insider trading conviction, sentence

Jun 5 (Reuters) A federal appeals court on Friday rejected a bid by Raj Rajaratnam, the highest-profile hedge fund manager convicted in a sweeping U.S. crackdown on insider trading, to void much of his 2011 conviction and shorten his 11-year prison term. By a 3-0 vote, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan said the Galleon Group founder waived his claim that his trades did not qualify as insider trading by not raising it in an earlier appeal, citing society’s strong interest in more..

Providing equal opportunities to rob peoples' money: Ranil to make all Govt MPs Monitors

Jun 5 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is planning to appoint all Govt MPs as Monitoring MPs to Ministries. The additional duties for the MPs will come with an allowance of Rs 75,000 per month, vehicles and an office which is a package worth about Rs. 300,000. This will be in addition to what the MPs get presently, which is salary, fuel-allowance, staff salaries, phone and mail allowances a total close to Rs 400,000. more..

Start doing green deeds today to beat plastic pollution

Jun 5 (DM) In socio-economic, religious or other dimensions, today marks one of the world’s most important days -World Environment Day, because the battle against global warming or climate change, is a matter of life or death for billions of people. Whether we realize it or not, what we do or do not do, what happens in the coming years and decades, will either be the end of the whole universe or a new creation. For instance, scientists say that by 2050, our oceans will be 50% polluted by more..

How resourceful Sri Lanka became a teardrop

Jun 5 (DM) This country is known as Serendib and Taprobane and sometimes by pet names such as Teardrop of The Indian Ocean, Pearl of The Indian Ocean and Paradise. The name for this island was registered by The British as Ceylon under its Empire. Foreign rulers converted this island from a rise growing farmer country to one that grows export potential crops such as spices, tea, rubber and coconut, which is still a lifeline for the country. At the time of Independence Ceylon was one of more..

'PM is the best bet as UNP’s Presidential Candidate'

Jun 5 (DM) Minister John Amaratunga during an interview with the spoke about the political situation of the country and the reforms of the UNP which he represents. Q: What is your analysis of the current status of the Govt? A: There is no difference. The national Unity Govt will continue. The Ministers representing SLFP in the Govt are also doing their normal work. In fact, new subjects have been assigned to the ministers now. more..

Purchase of Edirisinghe Group: Investors in a labyrinth of multiple companies

Jun 5 (ST) A director of the consortium investing in the troubled Edirisinghe Group is a close business partner of R.M. Manivannan, Chairman of SupremeSAT, which claimed to have launched Sri Lanka’s first communications satellite in 2012. Mr Manivannan is also a long-time business partner of Jaya Sudhir Jayaram, the Malaysian businessman who till recently was negotiating on behalf of more..

NCPA cries foul over political interference

Jun 5 (DM) It was revealed in a recent investigative newspaper article that the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) is facing a crisis. Up to now a Director Board hasn’t been appointed and this boils down to the fact that this institute is affected by corrupt practices of politicians. And all pointers indicate that the issue extends beyond an administrative crisis. In short this investigation is connected with a political hand in submitting more..

'Sri Lanka among worst polluted countries'

Jun 5 (CT) On World Environment Day, which falls today, an Environmentalist claimed that Sri Lanka is one of the world`s most polluted countries due to polythene and plastics. Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Centre for Environmental Justice (CEJ) Hemantha Vithanage, speaking on this year’s theme - Beat plastic pollution said, “In our country, around 15 million lunch sheets are used per day, and also more..

Dairy industry wants price formula for milk powder

Jun 5 (EN) Sri Lanka’s dairy industry has called for a price formula to replace govt price control of milk powder, saying it was required to ensure sustainability in the face of rising input costs and tax. Local dairy supply has increased to 327 million litres in 2017 from 196 million litres in 2010, yet still meets only 40% of Sri Lanka’s growing demand, revealing a productivity and supply gap, the All Island Dairy Association (AIDA) said. more..

No documents available for registering SriLankan Catering shares: Official

Jun 5 (Island) SriLankan Catering officials had not prepared necessary documents to register the issuance of 10 million preference shares of the SriLankan Catering (Private) Limited, to SriLankan Airlines in 2010, with the Department of Registrar of Companies, the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI), on irregularities at the SriLankan Airlines, the SriLankan Catering and Mihin Lanka, was told yesterday. more..

Rajapaksa promises 20% tax cut if ...

Jun 5 (Island) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said a new govt, under his leadership, would lower taxes by 20%. "People are suffering due to extremely high taxes. They can’t even eat properly or save any money because of the staggering taxes. When we form a govt we will reduce taxes by 20%." Rajapaksa also condemned the decision taken by the govt to privatise the railway system in the Hambantota District. more..

Another drama by Ranjan

Jun 5 (DM) Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake yesterday played another drama by getting his uncle Prof. Carlo Fonseka to mention that the latter had given him money for his election campaign. “Ranjan is my sister’s grandson. Therefore I always come for his help whenever he falls in trouble or whenever he is facing a court case. He belongs to a political party and I belong to another political party. more..

'Govt has understated bond scam loss by big margin'

Jun 5 (Island) The total loss incurred by the state due to the bond scam was over Rs 33 billion, CaFFE Executive Director Keerthi Tennakoon said, addressing a press conference. "Our experts have gone through the transactions and found that the loss to be around Rs. 33 billion. The govt insists that it has not incurred any loss because the frozen PTL assets amounts to Rs. 12 billion while the total loss was Rs 11 billion. more..

Unreleased sections of Bond Commission report handed over to Speaker

Jun 5 (AD) The sections C 350 to C 360 of the report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry on the Central Bank bond scam, which had not been released previously, have been handed over to the Speaker of Parliament. Officials of the Presidential Secretariat handed over these documents to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya at the Parliament this morning (5), the Speaker’s Media Unit said. more..

Will some legal eagle clear the air?

Jun 5 (FT) Constitutional matters are in general beyond the perception of laymen. Very often clarifications are sought on many related issues. Sometimes what is presumed to be the true position is far from being so. Because legal interpretations indicate different significations. Certain issues arising out of the 19th Amendment of the Constitution of SL, focused recently, could be cited as a case in point. In this instance the intervention of Supreme Court had to be sought to obtain more..

Not holding or delaying polls worst option

Jun 5 (CT) It was with relief that the country as well as the Elections Commission received the news that the Govt was planning to hold elections to the Provincial Councils before the end of the year. President Maithripala Sirisena made the announcement after supervising a change in the Office Bearers of his party, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party on Sunday (3). Speaking to the newly appointed Partymen, Sirisena exhorted them to get the SLFP ready to face the polls. more..

යහපාලනය කුණුහරපයක් බවට පත් කරපු ආණ්ඩුවක්

Sri Lanka ready to share expertise with ILO on preventing child labour

Jun 5 (SL) Sri Lanka says it is ready to share its expertise with the International Labour Organization (ILO) on preventing child labour. Minister of Labour and Trade Union Relations Ravindra Samaraweera told the Director General of the ILO Guy Ryder in Geneva that Sri Lanka was interest to be at the forefront of the ILO’s global and regional efforts, along with other relevant stakeholders, in striving towards eliminating child labour and forced labour. In this connection, he assured more..

IFC invests US$2.5mn in Sri Lanka's PickMe

Jun 5 (EN) International Finance Corporation said it is making a 2.5 million US dollar venture capital investment in PickMe, a Sri Lanka-based tech-started that started a ride-hailing business. PickMe, which started in 2015, helps customers call anything from an auto rikshaw to a luxury car using its smartphone app. “We at PickMe have a strong expansion program in place as we enter new cities and diversify our operations to reach more customers, and serve them better,” more..

Ananda Kumarasiri new Deputy Speaker

Jun 5 (NR) Monaragala District MP Ananda Kumarasiri has been elected as the new Deputy Speaker of House in a secret ballot conducted this afternoon. MP Kumarasiri received 97 votes while MP Dr. Sudarshani Fernandopulle received 53 votes during the ballot. The new Deputy Speaker Ananda Kumarasiri taking to the floor expressed his gratitude to those who cast their vote for him. Speaker called for a secret ballot to be held more..

Woman given death penalty for a murder committed in 1995

Jun 5 (AD) A woman, who had been found guilty of a murder committed in 1995 and been avoiding arrest, was sentenced to death by the order of the Colombo High Court Judge A.A.R. Heiyanthuduwa, today. The convicted woman is a resident of Kirulapone named Muththusami Saraswathie. AG had filed charges against her for stabbing a person named Amarasinghe to death on 16th May 1995. After a lengthy trial, Colombo High Court decided, in the year 2013, to convict the accused. more..

SriLankan Airlines get more letters of comfort for state bank loans

Jun 5 (EN) Loss-making state-run carrier SriLankan Airlines had got letters of comfort from the Treasury to allow it to borrow an addition US$ 50 million from state banks. Up to 2016 SriLankan and Mihin Air had been given Treasury guarantees of US$ 160 million to borrow covering US$ 80 million of borrowings from state-run Bank of Ceylon and People's Bank. In 2017 additional letters of comfort has been given to cover US$ 25 million of loans each from Bank of Ceylon & People's Bank, more..