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Power sector development in Sri Lanka: Shifting to reverse gear

May 18 (Island) The Cabinet of Ministers at its meeting held on 09.05.2018 has taken two important decisions on the development of the power sector in the country. One is on the establishment of three power plants operating on natural gas sponsored by the govts of India, Japan and China. The other is with regard to the recommended fuel mix for generating electricity. The cabinet decision for the above has been posted in the website of the Cabinet Office under the heading more..

Digitizing Sri Lanka’s heritage for tomorrow’s generations

May 18 (Roar) Sri Lanka’s history spans over 2,500 years and its archaeological ruins, historic buildings, ancient artefacts, documents and inscriptions all bear testament to it. But throughout this long period of time, these places and objects have borne the risk of being damaged and even destroyed due to the civil war, pollution, decay and other factors. Bearing this in mind, a few initiatives have been taken by both the public more..

Galle and Colombo enter final

May 18 (CT) The two teams that finished on top of the points table, Galle and Colombo will clash in the final of the SLC Super Provincial One Day cricket tournament. The final will be played at the R. Premadasa Cricket Stadium on Sunday 20. Rain forced no decisions in the two matches that were played yesterday. The game between Galle and Colombo played at the R. Premadasa Stadium saw Galle scoring a healthy 155 for two wickets when rain halted play. more..

Truth about defaced currency notes

May 18 (ST) Central Bank recently adopted a clean note policy which has caused some anxiety among the public. Originally it was to come into effect on Dec 31, 2017 but then it was postponed indefinitely. With an effective campaign which had CB adverts at every cash counter, the public have been made to understand that any ink on the currency note is not acceptable. I was once held up in a supermarket queue with the customer arguing with the counter clerk about a Rs. 5000 note with ink. more..

How imprudent to omit girls relay team from Asian Juniors

May 18 (CT) The decision taken by Athletic Association of Sri Lanka (AASL) to omit South Asian Gold medal winning SL junior girls’ 4x100m relay team from the Asian Junior Athletic championship has raised several questions on the selections process once again, especially with the junior sprinters clocking even faster times during the recently concluded National selection trials. AASL had decided to omit the girls’ 4x100m relay more..

Sports Minister mediates to conduct SLHF election

May 18 (DN) Sports Minister Faiszer Mustapha has directed the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of SL to conduct SL Hockey Federation (SLHF) election which was not held for nearly 3 years. According to the mediation made among the rival parties in the Appeal Court case no 286/2015, an Election Committee comprising Sports Development Dept Director General as the head along with three NOC members and two Sports Development Dept officials has to conduct the election. more..

Hathurusingha’s mantra to make Sri Lankan cricket great again

May 18 (Island) If budding cricket coaches need to get an idea on what is meaningful training, they only have to go and take a look at how Chandika Hathurusingha prepares his players for the challenges ahead. It is this meticulous planning that has been Hathurusingha’s mantra for success whether it was with Sri Lanka ‘A’, Sydney Thunder, New South Wales or Bangladesh. He may not have a magic wand at his hand but he knows the nucleus that form successful cricket teams. more..

Rs. 2 b SL-US dairy project to double milk production

May 18 (FT) A Rs. 2 billion initiative to double Sri Lanka’s dairy production kicked off with PM Ranil Wickremesinghe outlining ambitious plans to use the project to improve quality and strengthen the rural economy. The new project is a joint venture between the SL Govt and US Dept of Agriculture. Titled the Market Oriented Dairy Project, it aims to expand the country’s dairy industry by increasing productivity and more..

Don’t use war heroes for personal agendas: Army Chief

May 18 (DM) War heroes must not be manipulated to serve narrow objectives and personal agendas, nor should they be incited to resort to emotional and anti-social acts, Army Commander Mahesh Senanayake said. Lieutenant General Senanayake said nine years have passed since the eradication of terrorism from the country and he firmly believed the freedom thus gained should be shared not by exaggerated glorification or through mere rhetoric and hyperbole but by showing our sentiments more..

Harin confident of turnaround at ICTA with new management

May 18 (FT) With a fresh management team at the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA), Minister Harin Fernando expressed confidence in making a remarkable turnaround in the entity to bolster the country’s digital transformation. He said all the financial liabilities the ICTA have right now will be settled by the Ministry in the immediate future. “The Treasury has released Rs. 1,48 billion to the Ministry to settle the overdue bills of ICTA,” he said. more..

'Investing climate conducive to investors'

May 18 (CT) Asian investors would find Sri Lanka a compelling destination for business with an abundance of untapped opportunities available, said Minister Malik Samarawickrama. He was speaking at a meeting of diplomats from Asian countries and the SL corporate sector, organized by Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. SL’s friendly ties with all Asian countries and the openness to partner with all of them without preference; more..

Pandu Bandaranayake joins SLPP

May 18 (DN) Former Minister and SLFP stalwart Pandu Bandaranayake said he joined the SLPP in order to be a part of the progressive political journey of former prez Rajapaksa. He said as the only Bandaranayake in active politics today, he took great pain to leave the SLFP. “I condemn moves to give political powers and privileges to those who joined the SLFP recently who are unable to win even a ward of an urban council. They are only using them for their own benefit. more..

Srilankan Airlines begins revitalization efforts

May 18 (CT) SL’s national carrier, SriLankan Airlines has begun a number of effective initiatives for the development of the airline, taking into account the responses given by the airline’s section heads on the 10 proposals submitted by world-renowned Nyras Aviation Consultants, according to SriLankan Airlines Chairman Ranjith Fernando. Accordingly, actions are being taken to make changes in some flight routes to prevent massive losses the airline is incurring, the Chairman said. more..

Austin appointed Mahanama on committee recommendation

May 18 (Island) Secretary to the President Austin Fernando admitted that it was he who had appointed former Secretary to the Ministry of Land Reforms Dr. I.H.K Mahanama as President Sirisena’s Chief of Staff. Fernando said that he had endorsed Dr. Mahanama’s appointment as the appointment committee of the secretariat had recommended that he (Mahanama) was eligible to hold the post of Chief of Staff. more..

Dilum A. complains of hatchet job by website

May 18 (Island) A news website associated with a UNP deputy minister is spreading false information about alleged findings by the TID against him, Joint Opposition MP, Dilum Amunugama told a media briefing. "I was one of the few people who got on the streets of Digana when the communal violence broke out. Ministers Rauff Hakeem and Rishad Bathiudeen called me when they heard that the TID had called me for questioning and told me to tell the TID that they vouch for me." more..

Allianz bullish on SL’s insurance landscape

May 18 (FT) Given the strong growth potential, global financial services leader Allianz is bullish on SL’s insurance landscape and outlined its plans to make the firm a significant player to drive stronger engagement with its 18 million customers in the Asian region. Allianz’s optimism was revealed by its Asia Pacific Regional CEO George Sartorel during his recent visit. “Sri Lanka is a growth engine. We are building the core general insurance platform for all of Asia here in Sri Lanka. more..

Release lists of the forcibly disappeared: AI

May 18 (AI) On the ninth anniversary of the end of the war, Amnesty International calls on the govt of SL to provide information to the families of the disappeared, with detailed lists and information of persons who surrendered to the armed forces in the final phase of the war. President Maithripala Sirisena, acknowledging the grievances presented by family members in June 2017, promised that he would instruct the National more..

PSOC to bring MMDA reforms as a Bill

May 18 (CT) Parliamentary Sectoral Oversight Committee (PSOC), on Women and Gender, said that they would attempt to present the reforms proposed to the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA) to the Parliament as a Bill. Chairperson of the Committee and the Parliamentary Caucus for Children, MP Dr. Thusitha Wijemanne said, she had informed, the founder Member of the Women’s Action Network, Shreen Abdul Saroor, on 16 May night, to submit a report on the present state more..

British MPs release messages to commemorate Mullivaikkal genocide

May 18 (TG) Several British MPs and other politicians have released messages of solidarity as the Tamil nation around the world marks Tamil Genocide Remembrance day today. See some of their messages of support below. Robert Halfon, MP for Harlow said, “On this very important day of remembrance, we should give our thanks to every member of the Tamil community who keep the flame of the Tamils alive. And we remember all the tragic victims of the genocide of the Tamils. more..

Sri Lanka-Singapore FTA : President to hold special discussion

May 18 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena will hold a special discussion on the freshly-signed Sri Lanka-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (FTA) next Tuesday (22), Secretary to the President Austin Fernando said. Responding to a question by a journalist at a press conference yesterday, Secretary said the GMOA has also been invited to this meeting scheduled at 12.30 pm at the Presidential Secretariat. more..

SLFP to decide on timeline to cross over to Opposition

May 18 (FT) President Sirisena during yesterday’s SLFP Central Committee meeting had noted that continuing in the Govt was damaging the image of the Party and requested the Committee for a timeline on when remaining SLFPers would sit in the Opposition. SLFP MP Lakshman Yapa Abeywardana said that President Sirisena, in his capacity as the Chairman of the SLFP, had called on the Central Committee to propose when they would cross over to the Opposition in Parliament. more..

Johann Peries close to reaching summit of Mount Everest

May 18 (SL) Johann Peries, SL’s famed mountain climber and adventurer, is set to make his ascent to the peak of Mount Everest in a few days. If the weather clears, Johann hopes to leave Base Camp on Saturday 19th May, climbing up to Camp 3 by 21st May and on to Camp 4 by the next day, before making his bid for the summit on 23rd May. Johann has been in the Himalayas since April, when he began his Everest expedition as part of a larger team led by International Mountain Guides, more..

Tamils to remember the dead in Mullivaikkal

May 18 (Hindu) Northern Province CM C.V. Wigneswaran has called upon Tamils to set aside their differences and participate in the Remembrance Day event, remembering those who were killed in SL’s civil war, to be held in Mullivaikkal on Friday. Located on the eastern tip of Mullaitivu district in Northern Province, this tiny village bears the scar of the brutal finish to the island’s 3-decade-long-civil war that left scores of Tamil more..

Lord Buddha’s holy relics back to Pakistan

May 18 (CT) The most sacred relics of Lord Buddha from Taxila were taken back to Pakistan today (17) after conclusion of a three-week long exposition at various locations in Sri Lanka. Minister Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, high govt officials and diplomats from Pakistan High Commission were present at the BIA to see-off the Relics. The sanctified Relics were sent by the Govt of Pakistan on a special request of Sri Lanka in connection with the Annual Buddha Rashmi National Vesak Festival. more..

CEB still paying workers’ PAYE

May 18 (CT) The total PAYE tax burden put on the consumers by the CEB, is Rs 3.4 billion, Executive Director of the Centre for Human Rights and Research Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon claimed. The compulsory Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax, which should have been originally borne by the CEB employees, in the executive category and the engineers, has so far been paid by the CEB management. He said that in the annual report of the CEB, compiled in 2015, a sum of more..

Spread of influenza will be contained

May 18 (CT) Health Dept of the Southern Province said, that action was being taken to bring the present influenza crisis under control. Southern Province Director of Health Services, Dr. G. Wijesuriya, said that his Department was in the process of obtaining statistics of the number of patients who had been affected by the influenza. He also said that his health officials and the respective hospitals in Matara, Galle and Hambantota more..

Positive use of AI for all

May 18 (DM) In this era when information and communication technology is playing a vital role in shaping a new world, the United Nations yesterday celebrated the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day. According to the UN, the World Telecommunication Day has been celebrated annually on May 17 since 1969, marking the founding of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention in 1865. more..

Mullivaikkal: The tricky side

May 18 (DM) The commemoration of those killed in the north during the war has by now been a matter generally accepted, formalized with all northern Tamil political parties except the EPDP and the Northern Provincial Council organizing commemorative events. The main events are to be held today at Mullivaikkal in Mullaithivu District, where the final battle between the Govt forces and the LTTE was fought. In the first few years after the end of the war, the commemoration of more..

Reconciliation called Godot and Mullivaikkal Week

May 18 (DM) The first public consultation by the Members of the Office on Missing Persons was held in Mannar a week ago, 01 year and 09 months after the law was passed in Parliament. The mood of the participants, the affected mothers, fathers, family members and civil society representatives weren’t in line with the placards that read Welcome OMP in Tamil, held outside, for the media. Though there wasn’t much hype over the event, more..

Is it Flu or is it an allergy? How to tell the difference

May 18 (Roar) If traditional media and gossip is to be believed, Sri Lanka is in the perpetual throes of an influenza epidemic affecting many thousands. Although official epidemiology unit reports do not seem to be available for the last two years, 2015’s report provides a less dramatic assessment. Accordingly, ”by the third week of May 2015, the Medical Research Institute has tested 220 samples positive for influenza”, more..

PUCSL-CEB confrontation: No signs of let-up

May 18 (Island) The tug-of-war between the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) and the CEB continues with the latter having turned down a request by the former to formulate a new Least Cost Long Term Generation Expansion Plan. Earlier this week, the PUCSL wrote to the CEB General Manager, asking him to submit a Least Cost Long Term Generation Expansion Plan in line with the policy guidelines on more..

On the trail of tramadol abuse

May 18 (ST) A disturbing trend among youth is generating red signals across the country, spurring a strong, coordinated crackdown by many govt agencies to cut off the smuggling trail over sea and land. Five brands of tramadol (an opioid painkiller) which are unregistered in SL are being smuggled into the country from India. Ferried from India to such areas as Kalpitiya by boat, these large stocks of tramadol are then transported more..

Sri Lanka, Nine years after the war

May 18 (HRC) The images are vivid. Soldiers standing over the body of the brutal leader of the LTTE separatist insurgency, who was for so long considered invincible. Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was president at that time, kissing the ground in gratitude for the end of a 27-year-long war that resulted in hundreds of thousands killed, injured, or displaced. On May 19, 2009, there was general elation in SL that fighting was over. more..

Slight rise in drinking among 15-24-yr-olds

May 18 (CT) The Alcohol and Drug Information Centre (ADIC) has observed, in a recent annual Trend Survey, that there was a marginal increase in alcohol consumption in the 15 to 24 age group and attributed the increase to promotions being carried out by breweries and distilleries. However, they had noted that alcohol consumption in the 25-39 age group and 40 and above age group had seen a decline. more..

Ministry orders inquiry over abandoned jumbo with gunshot injuries

May 18 (DM) The Wildlife Ministry ordered for an investigation into the incident where an elephant was found with gunshot injuries in Gomarankadawala, Trincomalee had been left without treatment by Wildlife Conservation Department officials claiming the injury was incurable. Deputy Minister Palitha Thewarapperuma said that this elephant was found with gunshot injuries in January, 2018 and more..

Mayor suspends fines charged from parking meters

May 18 (DM) Colombo Mayor Rosy Senanayake has instructed the Commissioner of the Colombo Municipality to suspend all fines charged through parking meters. In a tweet, the Mayor said, “With regard to the recent complaints on parking meter fines. Pending council approval I have given instructions to the commissioner to suspend all fines charged relating to parking meters,” It was reported that a man who failed to pay more..

Questions over Sri Lanka's risky bank borrowings to repay long bonds

May 18 (EN) Sri Lanka has used risky bank borrowings to repay maturing long bonds it has been revealed, raising questions on the role played by the move in an April shock to the monetary system from tens of billions of newly created money that hit the credibility of a dollar peg and sent the rupee crashing down. The rupee which was 155.50/80 on March 28, had collapsed to 158.80 levels in the spot market by May after large volumes of money more..

IMF commends automatic fuel pricing mechanism

May 18 (NR) The International Monetary Fund has commended the automatic fuel pricing mechanism introduced by the govt recently. Speaking at a media breifing a member of the IMF Communications Department Gerry Rice said the automatic fuel pricing mechanism marks a major step towards completing the energy pricing reforms underway in SL. Rice said the price formula also minimizes the fiscal risks. more..

All love their war dead

May 18 (CT) Come May and Sri Lanka is once again divided on the commemoration of the war memories. While the South celebrates, the North remembers those who lost their lives unable to flee the final phase of the war. There also are the families of the cadres who mourn for their children. Children were lost from both sides. The emotions are the same for all, regardless of race, religion, and geographical location. These emotions should be respected and given the space that they deserve. more..

Train a hero not a zero

May 18 (FT) No man is a hero to his wife or cat. Maybe canines pass muster with men because the former idolise the latter. As much as feral strongmen politicos who once cried Havoc! and let slip the dogs of war are adored by the rabid masses. And then there are the once adulated rescuers of our imperilled democratic-republican project, who would (it seemed then) deliver us from our saviours. They – like the self-proclaimed political messiahs whom they replaced – have gone the way of all more..