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Farmers versus millers: Rice price fight brewing again

Mar 1 (ST) Once again, this harvest season, paddy farmers are at the mercy of private millers who have begun descending on the districts and as usual the Paddy Marketing Board, which is under the Minister P Harrison, is unable to buy the entire produce of the country. Farmers also complain that the PMB is not yet prepared to make purchases and notices of purchasing prices have not been made available. more..

President directs heads of state banks: Hundred loan schemes for SMEs

Mar 1 (DN) President Sirisena has given instructions to the Finance Ministry, Central Bank and to heads of state banks to implement a comprehensive programme of 100 types of joint loan schemes, within the next few months. This is to provide assistance for local small and medium-sized entrepreneurs and businessmen to uplift their businesses. President gave these instructions during a meeting held with the heads of state banks more..

‘Construction sector, a major contributor to our economy’

Mar 1 (DN) The construction sector is making a major contribution towards the country's economic progress. According to statistics, the construction sector has achieved the second position in the industrial sector in the third quarter of 2017, Minister Sajith Premadasa said. "The construction sector has been making vast strides in projects such as the Colombo Int'l Financial City, Southern Expressway extension, more..

Rajitha denies govt. co-sponsored Geneva Resolution against Sri Lanka

Mar 1 (Island) Cabinet spokesman Dr. Rajitha Senaratne stressed that the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe govt hadn’t co-sponsored Geneva Resolution 30/1, which calls for a hybrid war crimes tribunal. Dr. Senaratne blamed President Mahinda Rajapaksa for accepting UN call for investigation soon after the conclusion of the war in May 2009. Dr. Senaratne said so when The Island sought a clarification as to the identity of party/parties more..

SLPP threatens legal action against Thalatha

Mar 1 (DM) SLPP Chairman G.L. Peiris said they would take legal action against former Foreign Employment Minister Thalatha Atukorale for allegedly transferring 30 employees who celebrated the victory of the SLPP at the LG elections. He said the employees who celebrated the SLPP victory by displaying a banner and eating milk rice had been transferred to rural areas such as Jaffna, Vavuniya, Mullaitivu and Batticaloa. more..

Wele Suda acquitted in drug trafficking case

Mar 1 (DN) The Colombo High Court yesterday acquitted and released Gampola Vidanage Samantha Kumara alias Wele Suda in a drug trafficking case, after perusing inconsistencies in the prosecution’s evidence. High Court Judge Vikum Kaluarachchi made this order taking into consideration the discrepancies that arose during the prosecution’s evidence regarding the quantity of heroin seized by police. more..

Field Marshal as law and order minister: UNP confident consensus possible with prez

Mar 1 (Island) The UNP intended to convince President Sirisena of the need to appoint Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka the law and order minister, post-Cabinet media briefing yesterday. Minister Rajitha Senaratne stressed that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had accepted the portfolio last Sunday until the former Army Chief returned from an overseas visit. Dr. Senaratne was flanked by Minister Gayantha Karunatilleke and more..

Sri Lanka appoints missing persons commissioners

Mar 1 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena confirmed the appointments of the seven members to the Office of the Missing Persons (OMP) which was established in Sept 2017. At a meeting held at the Presidential Secretariat, the President appointed President’s Counsel Saliya Peiris as Chairman of the Office with six others also being appointed as members to work with him. The members are: Jayatheepa Punniyamoorthy, more..

Wanda Pethi my foot!

Mar 2 (CT) How many of the Sinhalese people can be fooled? I have to deliberately mention Sinhalese because the fictional victims are the Sinhalese people. Victims of what? The victims of wanda pethi. Victimised by whom? By the Muslims who are targeting the Sinhalese by mixing Wanda Pethi (tablets to make a woman barren) in the food that they eat. The alleged objective is to reduce the Sinhala population while increasing the Muslim population so that Sharia law more..

The hard take down: How the Govt may end

Mar 2 (CT) It must be clear to all except a delusional handful at the top, the less discerning ambassadors, some officials in western capitals, and several NGO/INGOs, that the defeat of this Govt at the next elections culminating in the Presidential and parliamentary, is a foregone conclusion. This Govt ends late next year. With the visible disintegration of the UNP, the SLFP and the coalition, and effect on the morale of the UNP and SLFP activists and supporters at the grassroots, more..

Wimal insists people want govt out

Mar 2 (CT) Leader of the NFF and UPFA MP Wimal Weerawansa says the 19th Amendment is something that came with wrappings of democracy at a time when a Govt had been toppled. Even our MPs did not have time to study the 19th Amendment. That was a big mistake we made on our part. Q: Following the results of the LG elections, the country became unstable for about two weeks. This was the first time SL became unstable, more..

Triumph of democracy

Mar 2 (DN) Never a dull moment, is a characteristic feature of SL politics. Though the atmosphere is lively, there are certain disturbing trends visible in the horizon - trends trivial, apparently trivial and not so trivial. Let us glance at some of them. In the aftermath of LG elections many politicians including the former Prez Rajapaksa and certain ministers of the Govt have cast doubts about the feasibility of the new electoral system (though it was a product of consensus by all parties) more..

Editorial: Wimps and heroes

Mar 2 (Island) Political leaders, troubled by the so-called wimp factor, tend to do their damnedest to make themselves out to be macho. That is said to be a psychological condition. They don’t even hesitate to resort to mindless violence in a bid to overcome their inferiority complex. It is believed that President George H. W. Bush, who was affected by the wimp factor, went so far as to wage war on Iraq to prove his manliness besides promoting the interests of the American oil Mafia. more..

Portuguese-SL surnames and their meanings

Mar 2 (Roar) Portuguese arrived in Ceylon, or Ceilăo, as they called it, by chance. In 1505, a fleet commanded by Lourenço de Almeida—the son of Francisco de Almeida, the first viceroy of Portuguese India—was blown into Galle by adverse winds. It was thirteen years later, in 1518, that the Portuguese established formal contact with the Kingdom of Kotte, ruled by Vira Parakrama Bahu, and were permitted to build more..

Sampanthan attacked by Sinhala chauvinists and Tamil nationalists

Mar 2 (CT) Rajavarothayam Sampanthan has been attacked from two extremes. Firstly, by the Sinhala chauvinists who warn him as Prabhakaran in disguise; secondly by Tamil nationalists who claim that Sampanthan is stabilizing an impotent Sinhala regime. However, the Leader of the Opposition describes their campaign, 'I want to put on record that my Party at this Election, in our manifesto, talked of a political solution within the framework of an undivided, indivisible, single country. more..

The consumer and Gas prices in Sri Lanka

Mar 2 (CT) The consumer in Sri Lanka is not organized as in other parts of the world in protecting and enhancing their due rights under the legal system. They accept whatever is given by the trader, manufacture, industrialist, and the State regulator – that is the Consumer Affairs Authority – in the absence of a vigilant and a powerful consumer movement. In the UK the consumer movement and media (with the magazine WHICH, the powerful consumer magazine) are in the forefront more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Cumaratunga Munidasa’s 74th death anniversary falls today

Mar 2 (DN) The origin of the Lak Mini Pahana, premier Sinhala newspaper goes back to 156 years, and to be exact, its first appearance was on Sept 11, 1862. Its editor was pundit Koggala Dharmathike. During the next 42 years, its editorship changed from hand to hand including pundit M. Dharmaratne, during whose stewardship it was developed into a more advanced newspaper. After a lapse of a few years, it was Cumaratunga Munidasa who revived the defunct Lak Mini Pahana in 1934, more..

SLASU Two-Mile Sea Swim at Mount Lavinia

Mar 2 (DN) Sri Lanka Aquatic Sports Union (SLASU) will conduct its Annual Two-Mile Sea Swim in association with the Mount Lavinia Hotel for the 81st occasion at the seas off Mount Lavinia on March 3 and 4. Mobitel will be the main sponsor of this year’s edition of this prestigious event. This is one of the oldest open water swimming competitions in Asia initiated in 1938 and the iconic two-mile sea swim has a close collaboration with the Mount Lavinia Hotel and its location, more..

Trickery, treachery and trajectory

Mar 2 (CT) An air of melancholy shrouds the paradise isle in the anticlimactic aftermath of the LG polls. The euphoria surrounding the SLPP camp has diminished now that it has become clear the Govt is unwilling to yield. Yet, in spite of a demoralizing defeat, and in the wake of an impending spate of elections, the incumbent Govt has chosen to continue with petty political skulduggery. Of all things come and gone, more..

84th Battle of the Saints

Mar 2 (DN) The 84th Battle of the Saints between St. Peter’s College and St. Joseph’s College will unfold with usual comradeship at P.Sara Oval today and tomorrow. Two days of exciting cricket can be expected from these two Catholic schools, even though St. Joseph’s College has a slight edge due to their recent purple-patch leading up to the Big Match. Meanwhile St. Peter’s will try hard to turn tables on the Joes and bring a victory to the Bambalapitiya school. more..

89th Battle of the Maroons

Mar 2 (DN) Nalanda College who’s had a mixed bag of results this season will be hoping to break a long standing hoodoo that has been haunting them for the past 64 years by beating traditional rivals Ananda College in the 89th Battle of the Maroons cricket encounter that will be played for the Dr. N.M. Perera Memorial Challenge Trophy at the SSC grounds on March 3 and 4. The last victory for Nalanda in the Maroons Battle was recorded in 1953 under W. Wimalaratne Silva’s captaincy. more..

Handagama, Vithanage and Jayasundara on making of Thundenek

Mar 2 (Island) When a film is funded by an organization headed by a leading political figure it is difficult to believe that it does not promote that individual’s political agenda. But Asoka Handagama, Vimukthi Jayasundara and Prasanna Vithanage, the directors of the omnibus film Thundenek, under the English title Her. Him. The Other maintain that film does not adavance a personal political agenda and is a genuine more..

Why govt’s Geneva process is virtually stalled

Mar 2 (Island) Far from being able to handle itself in a responsible manner to represent SL at the UN and engage robustly with the international community when SL is under severe scrutiny, this Unity govt failed to send a delegate (usually at Head of State or Ministerial Level) to participate at the High Level Segment of the ongoing session of the UNHRC. It is clear that the Unity govt is in serious crisis. Ministers of the UNP were huddled in numerous corners in efforts to save their PM from more..

SLT Group ups operating profit by 5.4%

Mar 2 (FT) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) said this week its Operating Profit Before Depreciation and Amortisation improved by 5.4% to Rs. 21.2 b as a result of revenue growth and minimum escalation of operational costs. In 2017 the Group reported Rs.75.7 b revenue with year on year 2.6% growth contributed by all segments, despite the challenges on mobile revenue due to indirect taxes levied on mobile usages. As a result of several initiatives, operational costs were reported at Rs. 54.5 b more..

Triathletes of iron will

Mar 2 (Island) When he was taking a dip in the village tank or running through surrounding forests of Kandeganwala, Dambana, little did he know that this would be his training for a triathlon. Vedda community member Thalavarige Punchi Banda took part in the Ironman 70.3 qualifying event held in Colombo recently and successfully completed the triathlon. "Julian Bolling saw me on TV about six months ago. more..

Govt green-lights tripartite JV for Kerawalapitiya LNG plant

Mar 2 (FT) Govt this week gave approval to sign a MoU with companies representing India and Japan to build a Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) terminal and floating natural gas terminal in Kerawalapitiya. Indian Govt has nominated Petronet LNG Ltd. as their partner while Japan nominated Sojitz Corporation and Mitsubishi as their partner. Cabinet Committee on Economic Management has approved Sri Lanka Gas Terminal Company Limited to represented Sri Lanka. more..

Stakeholder consultations held to finalise innovation and entrepreneurship strategy

Mar 2 (Island) A series of stakeholder consultations for a new innovation and entrepreneurship strategy for Sri Lanka were concluded this week, ahead of its submission to Cabinet next month. A cross-section of stakeholders from private sector and govt have provided extensive feedback to finalise this strategy, that aims to boost export competitiveness through innovation, build an ecosystem for growth-oriented startups, and modernize and re-align the R&D sector. more..

UK won’t take further action until GoSL completes its inquiry

Mar 2 (Island) British High Commission yesterday said that the UK wouldn’t take further action regarding an incident outside the SL High Commission in London on Feb. 4, leading to Sri Lanka recalling its defence attache Brig. Priyanka Fernando until Colombo completed its own inquiry. Asked whether the UK had decided on UK headquartered Global Tamil Forum (GTF) request to order Brig. Fernando’s family out, more..

Sri Lanka’s printing industry moves into new era of globalisation

Mar 2 (ST) SL’s printing industry has been moving into a new era with many local printers acquiring combined offset/digital facilities to go global. Industry is now opening its doors to transform the country as a global printing hub that would create more business avenues and much needed foreign revenue, a frontline office bearer of the Sri Lanka Association of Printers (SLAP) disclosed. Print marketing and novel advertising methods are becoming popular as a preferred approach more..

Lotus Tower to open soon

Mar 2 (DN) The much awaited and long overdue Lotus Tower (Nelum Kuluna) is scheduled to open in May/June this year adding another icon to the island nation. Over 96% of construction has now been completed. Built with an investment of US$ 104.3 million and funded by Chinese EXIM bank, the tower would firstly offer facilities to enhance the digital infrastructure of Sri Lanka. Standing at over 350 meters tall making it the world’s 19th tallest tower it would also serve as a major tourist attraction. more..

NEC decides to lift ban on glyphosate

Mar 2 (FT) National Economic Council (NEC) has decided to lift the arbitrary ban imposed on glyphosate, a widely-used weedicide, in light of overwhelming scientific consensus that the substance is not harmful to human health. “The 10-member council unanimously approved that the ban imposed on glyphosate should be lifted as it has now been scientifically proven that the substance is not harmful to human health, while more..

Indian Chamber of Commerce delegation hosted by BOI

Mar 2 (DN) Board of Investment of SL recently hosted a 14 strong delegation from the IMC (Chamber of Commerce and Industry). The IMC has around 2700 direct members and includes diverse section of public and private limited companies and over 220 trade and industry associations. It is one of India’s leading Chamber of Commerce and Industry with a 110 year history and it reaches around 200,000 businesses in India, covering a wide range of Industries including apparel/textiles/fashion more..

Rosy calls for increased female participation in workforce

Mar 2 (FT) In a hard-hitting evaluation of female participation in the economy, Colombo Mayor-elect Rosy Senanayake criticised the attitude of people who always undermine the capacity of women and called for a mindset change to increase female representation in the workforce of Sri Lanka. Senanayake, who has become the first female Mayor of Colombo, pulled no punches while delivering the keynote address at the first-ever Women’s Day Celebration organised by more..

LG elects want more time

Mar 2 (DM) The political parties and independent groups that contested the Local Authorities Elections had sought more time for the nomination of their woman representatives, Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said. He said that the Commission would decide whether to grant the extension or not at its meeting scheduled for today. According to the new law governing the Local Authorities, more..

US offers SL open, fair & reciprocal trade

Mar 2 (USE) Stephen Renna, Director of the Advocacy Center at the U.S. Department of Commerce, recently met with govt leaders and U.S. companies in Colombo to discuss opportunities to increase U.S. exports to Sri Lanka. The United States is eager to expand open, fair and reciprocal trade, stated Stephen Renna during his visit. American companies are some of the most dependable business partners anywhere in the world. Ambassador Keshap emphasized, more..

Ranjan to make a disclosure on Arjun Aloysius soon

Mar 2 (DM) Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake yesterday said he would make a disclosure with regard to the Perpetual Treasuries Chief Arjun Aloysius soon. Mr Ramanayake also said that he would disclose the names of politicians, religious leaders and media personnel, who had obtained funds from the Perpetual Treasuries Chief Arjun Aloysius in a few days. He said there were MPs who had obtained money from Aloysius from both the Govt and the Opposition. more..

Video: Senior UNPers signing No-Faith Motion against PM: JO

Mar 2 (DM) The JO said several stalwarts of UNP had started signing for the No-Confidence Motion, which was to be brought against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. JO member MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage told a news conference that they would support for the No-Confidence Motion against PM Wickremesinghe and it would be presented in Parliament in the coming days. “Earlier we have planned to bring a more..

Govt should review PC delimitation: SLMC

Mar 2 (DM) SLMC said the Govt should review delimitation done in view of the Provincial Councils as otherwise, it would reduce the number of members to be returned from the minority councils. SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem said that the Govt decided to introduce a mix of the First Past the Post and the Proportion Representation to the Provincial Councils as at the LG Elections. Along with that, a committee was appointed to carry out delimitation of electorates in the nine Provinces. more..

Prince Mired Bin Ra’ad to visit Sri Lanka

Mar 2 (GDI) Prince Mired Raad Zeid Al-Hussein, Special Envoy on the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention will undertake an official visit to Sri Lanka from 4th to 7th March. The visit takes place in the wake of Sri Lanka becoming the 163rd State Party to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, having deposited the Instrument of Accession in Dec 2017. Sri Lanka's accession to the Convention has been hailed by the int'l community as a very positive development, & it has immensely contributed more..