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Dialog consolidates performance with strong 1st quarter results

May 12 (Island) Dialog Axiata PLC announced, May 11 , its consolidated financial results for the three months ended March 31. Financial results included those of Dialog Axiata PLC and of the Dialog Axiata Group. Dialog Group continued its growth momentum across all key business segments including Mobile, Tele-infrastructure, Digital Pay Television and Fixed Line to record a consolidated revenue of Rs. 26.1Bn for Q1 2018, demonstrating a growth of 5% Quarter-on-Quarter and more..

SLTDA assures better visitor management at Yala

May 12 (DN) Holding a stakeholders meeting on protection and development of the Yala national park, SL Tourism Development Authority Chairman Kavan Ratnayaka assured that his organization would push for stronger reforms to ensure better visitor management at Sri Lanka’s most-visited wildlife park. He said overcrowding had been identified as a key issue concerning the Yala national park and added that the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority would closely work more..

Central bank concerned about motor vehicle imports: Governor

May 12 (EN) Central bank is concerned about growing motor vehicle imports, Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said indicating the monetary authority's pre-occupation with the trade deficit. "We are concerned about it and focussing upon it," he said. "You know there are macro-prudential measures one can take if that spike in demand persists." Motor vehicles imports rose 117% from a year ago to US$ 121.5 million in Feb 2018, more..

Cabinet green light for new legislation to crackdown on transnational crime

May 12 (FT) Cabinet nod has been given to amend the Mutual Assistance of Criminal Matters Act No. 25 of 2002 in an effort by the Govt to crackdown on transnational organised crime by bringing in more stringent legislation. The proposal submitted by Minister Thalatha Athukorale, stressed the importance of strengthening existing laws to better tackle int'l organised crime. The new legislation will further assist in addressing, investigating & preventing transnational crime. more..

What do they mean by integrity of sport?

May 12 (ST) Is it a dilemma or, is it a situation we have designed on our own with bad intentions. There was a time when Sri Lanka’s sports were meandering or rather, perambulating at a leisurely pace. Yet, we became wide awake from that slumber in the 1990s, especially, through cricket and, in 1996, we reached the peak when we won the ICC Cricket World Cup – by far the biggest sporting achievement in our sports history. Yet, since then, our performances have been sporadic, more..

SL exports 5.5% in Feb, imports strengthen

May 12 (EN) SL's exports grew 5.5% from a year earlier to US$ 915.7 million in Feb 2018, while imports grew 22.8% to US$ 1.97 billion, pointing to an economic recovery. Sri Lanka has more imports than exports because, people in the country earn dollars from remittances and tourism which tends to widen the trade deficit, without putting pressure on the currency. Meanwhile foreign direct investment, foreign investments in more..

'Sports Ministry employees can’t hold posts in National sports bodies'

May 12 (DN) Minister of Sports Faiszer Mustapha said that there is no room for anyone working at his ministry to hold a position in National sports bodies. He made his remarks at a meeting with members of the Professional Sports Journalist Association yesterday. “I’m not aware of our paid staffers holding positions at national sports federations. But if it is true I will take necessary action regarding that in the coming weeks. They will have to choose one job, ministry or sports association”, more..

Top cops who took money from Avant Garde under probe

May 12 (Island) The CID has launched investigations into an allegation that over 300 police top brass had obtained money from the Avant Garde Maritime Services Chairman Maj. Nissanka Senadhipathi. Senadhipathi had handed over to the CID lists of names of police officers who had obtained money from him to the CID and other police units. Sources confirmed that some of the most senior officers in the police were among those who had been named as having obtained more..

Video: 'Rupee depreciation led to fuel hike'

May 12 (DM) Several causes including the depreciation of rupee to satisfy the IMF had resulted in the increase of fuel prices, former minister Ravi Karunanayake said. He said the increase of fuel prices in the int'l market may have also played a role in increased prices. “If we reduced taxes on fuel, there is no need to increase fuel prices. We don’t have to execute all IMF proposals. We should only take what’s good for us. more..

Buddhist rage against Muslims in Sri Lanka

May 12 (ET) Identity politics exerts significant influence within the heterogeneous countries of South Asia. Most South Asian countries have had a tough time managing their multiethnic, multilingual and multi-religious diversity. The case of Sri Lanka is no exception. While Hindu Tamils faced the brunt of persecution by the Sinhalese-dominated state for decades, it now looks like the Muslims in Sri Lanka are also coming under increasing threat. A majority of the Sri Lankan population is Sinhalese and more..

EU provides Rs. 810 mn in technical assistance to modernise agricultural sector

May 12 (Island) The European Union has launched a Rs. 810 million project to support the modernization of Sri Lanka’s agriculture sector, according to a statement issued by the EU on Thursday (10). The project Support to the modernisation of the agriculture sector in Sri Lanka will be implemented by Ecorys. The technical assistance team will assist the Govt in making the agriculture sector more productive, diversified, climate-resilient, market-oriented and more..

BIA to get new temporary terminal to ease congestion

May 12 (CT) Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said, a temporary terminal would be constructed at the BIA to prevent congestion due to passenger traffic. Minister made this observation during the second reading of the Civil Aviation (Amendment) Bill. Bill was passed on the same day without any amendment. Minister said that the number of passengers who pass through the BIA have been increasing during the past few years. more..

UPFA to write to IPU, CPU about injustice

May 12 (Island) UPFA MPs, in the opposition, say they will write to the Inter Parliamentary Union and Commonwealth Parliament Union, seeking its involvement to secure the post of Opposition Leader. Out of 93 MPs elected from the UPFA ticket, 70 were now with the opposition, a senior MP of the group said, adding that they had formed the biggest group in the Opposition and, therefore, they deserved the post of Opposition leader. "We all will sign the letters to the IPU and the CPU more..

Twelve deacons to be ordained priests today

May 12 (Island) Twelve deacons will be ordained priests at a special service to be held at St. Lucia’s Cathedral, Kotahena presided over by Archbishop of Colombo Malcom Cardinal Ranjith, today, at 9.00 a.m. Deacons to be ordained are Rev. Bro. Niranjan Peiris of Dungalpitiya, Rev. Bro. Prasad Perera of Weliveriya, Rev. Bro. Pethum Perera of Uswetakeyawa, Rev. Bro. Rajith Edirisinghe of Weliwita, Rev. Bro. Sahan Senadheera of Ragama, Rev. Bro. Yohan Fernando of Negombo, more..

Geting ready for Bond Scam ii?: Samurdhi Bank to be made state rural bank?

May 12 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe will look to develop the Samurdhi Bank further into a state rural bank for the benefit of the public. At a discussion held at Temple Trees yesterday, PM directed his Ministry Secretary to compile a special report with recommendations to improve the Samurdhi bank and the Samurdhi programme. A committee headed by Secretary K.D.S. Ruwanchandra had been appointed more..

A plum post for another defeated UPFA candidate

May 12 (Island) Shantha Bandara, who unsuccessfully contested the 2015 general election on the UPFA ticket, from the Kurunegala District, was appointed Chairman of the State Timber Corporation (STC). Bandara succeeded Anuruddha Polgampola, a former JVP MP, who held the post for a week, before being removed due to protests. President Sirisena removed Polgampola, as the media highlighted the latter’s alleged involvement in human smuggling. more..

'No plan to take over Samurdhi Bank'

May 12 (DN) There has been no decision to take over the Samurdhi Bank under the Central Bank, Central Bank Governor, Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy said. He said the Central Bank would only play a monitoring role in the bank but would not take action to take it under their wing. Governor was answering questions posed by journalists on the Samurdhi Bank at the briefing organised to explain the latest Monetary Board policy, at the Central Bank headquarters yesterday. more..

Govt postpones presenting new KDU Bill

May 12 (CT) Govt yesterday, postponed presenting the John Kotelawala National Defence University Bill to Parliament. The Bill was listed in the Order Paper yesterday. It was mentioned in the Order Paper that the PM would present the said Bill to the House. However, when the time came, Minister Gayantha Karunatileka said that the Govt was postponing the presenting of the Bill. He did not mention an exact date but more..

Mother’s Day, the Bottle vs the Breast

May 12 (DM) Tomorrow is Mother’s Day and the aim is to pay tribute both to the miracle of birth and to the special woman who performed that miracle: Our mother. According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), new analysis shows that 99% of Sri Lanka’s children are breastfed at some point in their young lives. Babies in South Asia including Sri Lanka are more likely to be breastfed than those in any other region in the world and are breastfed for longer. more..

Assaults of tourists dealt with fast unlike the past

May 12 (DM) It was most welcome that the incident of a Dutch tourist assaulted by 16 people on the beach in Mirissa was dealt with fast with all culprits arrested. When an incident of rape and murder happened during the past regime, nothing was done till it was brought up in Britain and then dealt with. The perpetrator of this most horrendous crime, was a supporter of the then ruler and protected till there was pressure from Britain. Minister Sagala Ratnayake, Minister John Amaratunga, more..

Hospitals to ban tobacco-chewing

May 12 (ST) The increasing prevalence of oral cancer due to smokeless tobacco use among Sri Lankans, mostly the poor and disadvantaged, has pushed the Govt to take more measures to control the habit of betel-chewing in hospital premises. A Health Ministry directive to all regional and base hospitals and Medical Health Offices has announced a ban on chewing and selling of betel quid, tobacco and arecanut products. more..

Gold tax shocks jewellers as sales plummet

May 12 (ST) Jewellers have been hit with a drastic drop in sales due to the govt’s decision to impose a heavy tax on gold and are being forced to lay off workers. There were fewer customers seen browsing through the jewellery shops in Sea Street, Pettah and goldsmiths appeared to be idle when we visited the area on Friday. Sales have dropped by more than 70%, those in the trade said. more..

FEO condemns rampant abuse of captive elephants and wildlife

May 12 (ST) The Federation of Environmental Organisations (FEO) has asked govt authorities to enforce laws to prevent the abuse of captive elephants and protect wildlife. The FEO said it was calling on the relevant authorities – the Ministry of Sustainable Development & Wildlife, the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC), the Ministry of Tourism, the Attorney General’s Office, the Police, and others – to enforce the laws. more..

Local Horse-racing making great strides to establish itself

May 12 (ST) After the revival of horse-racing in Sri Lanka in 1981, the equestrian sport has had its ups and downs. Though horse-racing is not listed as a sport in Sri Lanka, it is accepted as an equestrian sport worldwide and a booming industry wherever in the world it is found. Time and again Sri Lanka has had ups and downs since it hosted the inaugural race in 1875 in Nuwara Eliya, followed with a ban in 1956 by the then govt. more..

Will never worship politicians: Fonseka

May 12 (NR) Minister Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka says he will never bow down to or worship politicians. Speaking at a rally in Polonnaruwa the Minister yesterday responded to various statements pertaining to his speech regarding the President at the May Day rally of the United National Party. The Minister said he is an individual who speaks with responsibility and will never apologise for a statement he has made. more..

Sri Lanka's richest 10% consume 31% of fuel

May 12 (EN) SL's richest 10% of households consume 31% of the fuel used in the country, based on the latest household income data, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said. He said the govt would pay a subsidy to poor households in the Samurdhi income support scheme who used kerosene for lighting. SL hiked petrol by 17% to 137 rupees a litre and diesel by 14.7% to 109 rupees a litre as global prices rose and more..

Checking revenue licence via SMS: Police dismiss FB claims

May 12 (DM) Dismissing a claim spread through a Facebook post, Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera said that vehicle registration details obtained via SMS cannot be accepted when the drivers are not in possession of revenue licences or the driving licence. SP Gunasekara said that the drivers should be able to produce the revenue and driving licences. A Facebook post was circulating claiming that more..

Statements recorded on Digana & Teldeniya unrest

May 12 (NR) The Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission says around 100 persons have recorded witness statements before the Commission pertaining to the unrest in Digana and Teldeniya in March. Speaking at a media breifing in Kandy the Chairperson of the Commission Dr. Deepika Udagama said CCTV footage has been also requested in order to deliberate its findings. more..

OMP to commence regional-level discussions with relatives of missing ...

May 12 (AD) The Office on Missing Persons (OMP) is launching a series of regional-level discussions with the relatives of the missing persons from today onwards. The discussions will commence from Mannar district, the Chairman of the OMP Attorney Saliya Peiris said. from today onwards. The discussions will commence from Mannar district, the Chairman of the OMP Attorney Saliya Peiris said. more..

Video: President emphasizes war heroes should not be used to gain political mileage

May 12 (AD) President Maithripala Sirisena says if certain political party uses war heroes to gain their own political agenda, it is not an ethical in any way. He made these remarks unveiling the Wayamba Rana Abhiman War Heroes’ Monument in Kurunegala, yesterday. The new monument has been established to replace the displacement of war heroes’ monument due to the Kurunegala- Dambulla main road development project. more..

Wake up Ranil

May 12 (CT) Govt of Sri Lanka (GoSL) increased fuel prices yesterday, purportedly based on an automatic pricing formula (AMF) revolving round variables like the world market prices for oil and the ‘spot’ value of the US dollar. With this move, Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) will now be in line to receive the fifth tranche of US$ 246.7 million of its extended fund facility (EFF) with the IMF, when its Board meets in Washington, DC to discuss the Sri Lanka situation next month. more..

Speaker turns down Marikkar’s request

May 12 (DM) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya yesterday turned down a request by UNP MP S.M. Marikkar for an investigation against former deputy speaker Thilanga Sumathipala alleging that he had used Parliament property for political work. “There is an allegation that Mr. Sumathipala had used his official vehicles for political work, during his tenure Deputy Speaker," Speaker said and added that however, Mr. Sumathipala had handed over the vehicles and other properties he used when he was more..

Gomin Dayasri

Website editor hits Apsari for a six: Exposes her as inside informant

May 12 (CT) Apsari Singhabahu Tillakaratne the current Convener of Women’s Cricket at Sri Lanka Cricket has been exposed as the mole who leaks inside information to the media. The editor of social media website Cricket Age Pushpendra Albe in a Facebook altercation with Apsari’s son Ravindu Tillakaratne wrote “I still respect ur mother, as she supported me, called me dozens of times and gave insides, so don’t ruin it”. Despite operating out of India, Cricket Age also recently published more..

Travails of the UNP: Why press the leader to select a successor?

May 12 (FT) “….to ask Ranil Wickremesinghe to name a successor is absurd. This is not the prerogative of a democratic leader, since successors must inevitably be named by the party men and women. For this to happen, the aspirant must prove himself and forge his way up as a true leader of men and resources. He must have the ticker for that. The situation must also be ripe for him and this is a most variable factor.” Isn’t this a ridiculous suggestion made by UNP back benchers – or whoever more..

Cabinet must decide on any bus fare hike: NTC

May 12 (DM) The decision to increase the bus fare has to be taken by the Cabinet, National Transport Commission (NTC) said. NTC Chairman M.A.P. Hemachandra said, the NTC will not dance to the tune of any bus organization as it was a national matter. Responding to claims made by Lanka Private Bus Owners' Association (LPBOA) President Gemunu Wijeratne, Mr. Hemachandra said he was not informed of any 10% more..

Ukraine and SL to establish a joint commission on trade

May 12 (NR) Ukraine & SL will sign an agreement on the establishment of a joint intergovernmental commission on trade and economic cooperation. The corresponding decision was made at a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine in Kyiv last week. The Kyiv Post reported the draft agreement establishes the procedure for the establishment and functioning of such a commission, its authorities, the frequency of meetings and the legal status of the decisions it takes. more..

CB's Annual Report disclosed to media prior to Parliament: Bandula

May 12 (DM) JO MP Bandula Gunawardane yesterday alleged that the Finance Minister had disclosed the Central Bank's annual report to the media a week ago even before submitting it in parliament. He said according to the Financial Laws Act, the report should be first submitted in Parliament, before disclosing it to any other institution. "Although the report should have been presented in Parliament after it was submitted to the Finance Minister, it was only tabled in more..

In the heart of the city: Colombo’s Town Hall

May 12 (Roar) Within the city of Colombo, surrounded by the daily hustle and bustle on the streets, stands the Town Hall, the headquarters of the Colombo Municipal Council and the office of the Mayor of Colombo. It is one of the few colonial buildings built during the British era that still functions in its original role. Facing the main entrance of the Viharamahadevi Park, this stately, whitewashed building with its structured more..

Another migrant worker arrives in coffin

May 12 (CT) SL Foreign Employment Bureau (SLFEB) stated that it had brought down the body of a female Sri Lankan worker, who had died while being employed in Riyadh, with the coordination of the Sri Lankan Embassy there on 10 May. The SLFEB said that upon the body being brought down to Colombo through its Sahana Piyasa concept, a sum of Rs 30,000 had been handed over to the relatives of the deceased woman. The deceased woman has been identified as more..