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Lanka’s LHI completes 2nd coastal protection consultancy in France

May 22 (ST) SL engineering consultancy company, Lanka Hydraulic Institute Ltd (LHI) recently completed a coastal rehabilitation project in Bormes les Memosas, Southern France. LHI has been serving international markets for over three decades and its work saw Corinthe Ingenierie, a renowned French engineering consultancy company, commission LHI for the rehabilitation work. This project comes soon after the completion of a commercial fishery harbour in Algeira. more..

Govt's net borrowings equal to foreign reserves: Cabraal

May 22 (DM) Former CB Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal charged that the net borrowings by the present govt almost equal the country’s current foreign reserve stock and hence, hinted that the pressure on the rupee is not unwarranted as the Central Bank says. According to Cabraal, net borrowings of the govt since 2015—which include the sovereign bonds sold totalling US $ 7.1 billion since 2015, recent US $ 1 billion term loan more..

PM chairs special meeting to discuss relief

May 22 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday held a special meeting at Temple Trees to discuss immediate steps to provide necessary relief to the people affected by the prevailing unfavourable weather. During the discussion attended by the relevant stakeholders, the Premier instructed the authorities to keep the Tri-Forces on standby for relief and rescue operations. He also urged Local Govt representatives to work with the Govt Agents and Divisional Secretaries more..

Temples will be protected: PM

May 22 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said the govt would never let rural and urban temples to go to ruin. He was speaking at the main ceremony organised by the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) to provide financial assistance to religious places in the Colombo city held at Temple Trees yesterday. CMC organised the programme annually to donate Rs. 50,000 each to all religious places within the city limits to facilitate religious celebrations to ensure harmony among people. more..

Attempts to smuggle out US$ 208,000: Finance Ministry keeps file

May 22 (ST) Finance Ministry has retained the Customs file containing evidence on the November arrest of Jaya Sudhir Jayaram, a Malaysian businessman, who was attempting to smuggle foreign currency out of the country, sources said. US dollar notes amounting to US$ 50,000 were found in the hand luggage of Mr. Jayaram. Two others also had US$ 50,000 each in their possession while fourth carried US$ 58,000. more..

Dr. Lester’s medal theft Suspects remanded till June 4

May 22 (DN) The six suspects arrested for stealing the Golden Peacock medal awarded to the late Dr. Lester James Peries at the International Film Festival of India in 1965 were yesterday remanded till June 4 by Colombo Additional Magistrate Priyantha Liyanage. Bambalapitiya Police informed Court that the bus driver and conductor who noticed the medal on the overhead rack of their bus and brought it to police, identified the first suspect at the identification parade held yesterday. more..

Economic sentiment at post-war low: Survey

May 22 (FT) The latest LMD-Nielsen Business Confidence Index (BCI) survey suggests that the downward trend in economic optimism has continued to reach a post-war low in April. Of the corporate executives polled, only 5% expect an improvement in economic conditions over the next 12 months compared to 11% in the previous month. Meanwhile, a greater number (47% versus 44% in March) of respondents expect conditions to worsen over the same period. more..

Lord Naseby meets Sri Lankan Diaspora

May 22 (LBO) Last week, the UK Parliament paid tribute to the Sri Lankan community living in the UK with the first-ever meeting pertaining to Sri Lanka, one of the most auspicious days in the British calendar last week. For the first time in history, the Sri Lankan community event was held on 16th of May 2018 in the House, of Lords, Palace of Westminster. Mr Ranjiv Goonawardena, organised, chaired & facilitated the meeting, more..

Jeremy Corbyn labours for minority vote by flogging Tamil cause

May 22 (ST) Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn and big beasts of the party threw their weight behind the Tamil community saying that crimes against the Tamils is still going on in Sri Lanka. At a meeting held in the House of Commons, to commemorate a series of events connected with crimes against the Tamils, Corbyn promised to make human rights and international justice the centre piece of foreign policy in any future Labour govt, that would help further the Tamil cause. more..

Immigration officers threaten work-to-rule repeat if demands unresolved

May 22 (ST) Immigration officers warned they are prepared to resume their work-to-rule campaign next week, if the Govt fails to follow through on its guarantee to address their grievances by Tuesday (22). Sri Lanka Immigration & Emigration Officers’ Association (SLIEOA) President Aruna Kanugala told the Sunday Times, they called off their work-to-rule campaign on Friday (18), following talks with the subject Minister of Internal Affairs & Wayamba Development S.B. Nawinne. more..

Outbreak of influenza: Some primary schools to close

May 22 (CT) Southern Province Ministry of Education yesterday, said it had decided to close primary schools and primary sections in six education zones of the province for two days, due to an outbreak of influenza. Ministry Secretary’s Office added that all preschools in the province would be closed for a week till the situation was brought under control. Decision had been taken as children had been identified as more..

Mattala airport sees 35,000 passengers in 2017

May 22 (EN) Mattala int'l airport built by China has handled 30,051 passenger using it in 2017, sharply from 5,750 passengers a year earlier, after the main airport in Colombo was closed for runway repairs earlier in the year. Aircraft movements to Mattala had increased 6.9% to 978 in 2017, data showed. UAE based Fly Dubai makes scheduled flights to the airport built by China with a loan from the country. SL has tried to attract an investor to run the airport and later said it will given to India to operator. more..

JVP’s 20A to Parliament today?

May 22 (CT) The JVP yesterday said, it would present the proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution, which seeks the abolition of the Executive Presidency to the Parliament, today or tomorrow. JVP MP Nalinda Jayatissa added that they would, upon the submission of the proposal, move the Speaker to call for a debate on the Bill and announce the dates for it. Bill is to be initially handed over to the Secretary General of Parliament, after which it will be tabled in the House. more..

Rain havoc claims more lives

May 22 (DN) Unrelenting rains continue to wreak havoc in 12 districts around the country, leaving 1,024 persons displaced, over 22,000 persons affected and six dead. Ratnapura, Galle, Matara, Kegalle, Kalutara, A'pura, Mullaitivu, Trincomalee, Badulla, Nuwara Eliya and Matale districts were affected by the South-Western monsoonal rains. Met Dept issuing a report yesterday stated, more..

Editorial: Trump’s moment of truth

May 22 (Island) The US and North Korea may be poles apart, but their incumbent leaders, Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, respectively, seem to have more in common than their sartorial elegance, tonsorial oddity, quirks and quiddities. Most of all, they are of an aggressive disposition. They carry themselves aplomb like the swashbuckling heroes in Hollywood flicks. Some people have changed the course of world history single-handedly––either for the better or the worse. more..

War heroes and cheap political mileage

May 22 (DM) Army Commander Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake has called on all concerned not to use war heroes for political propaganda, which of course is a timely advice as almost all parties, especially the two main -- UNP and SLPP unofficially led by former President Rajapaksa -- use the soldiers who sacrificed their lives to gain political mileage. This is a unique country where political leaders and their cohorts, whose lives had been threatened with death for over three decades more..

The temple of a thousand pillars and more: One day in Trinco

May 22 (Roar) While Colombo is in the midst of creating a new port city (under the auspices of the Sri Lankan Ports Authority and China), Trincomalee is way ahead by centuries. At about a seven hour ride from Colombo, Trinco is widely recognised as one of the world’s best natural harbours—the Ports Authority claims it to be the second best in the world. The town is popular for its clear seas, remote beaches, more..

Sri Lanka mulls change to PAYE tax charging formula

May 22 (EN) Sri Lanka is discussing a change to the advance income tax deduction from salaries, after a new tax law increased Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax by including allowances, a minister has said. "We got complaints on new #SriLanka PAYE tax that some employees will see pay cut due to bringing in allowances in to tax calculation," State Minister Harsha de Silva said. "We listened and revised the calculation to a most equitable manner. more..

Prez reviews the progress of Gramashakthi

May 22 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena urged all stakeholders to support the Gramashakthi People’s Movement without any political difference to achieve the goal of eradicating poverty. He made this appeal at the Provincial Steering Committee Meeting on the Gramashakthi programme in Badulla yesterday (21). President will be directly progress review meetings of the Gramashakthi People’s Movement, which more..

Navy rescues 172 marooned flood victims

May 22 (GDI) At least 172 people including nine pregnant women, marooned by the flood waters, were rescued by the Navy. Navy Spokesman said 130 flood victims in Walalawita, 21 in Nikawaratiya, nine pregnant women in Kalawana, nine people at Serathkuliya in Anamaduwa and three in Giriulla were among those rescued. 38 naval teams were deployed in eight districts to assist in the rescue and relief operations. more..

Sri Lanka inflation slows to 1.6% in April, lowest since Feb 2016

May 22 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s headline inflation measured by National Consumer Price Index (NCPI) has decreased to 1.6% in April, lowest since Feb 2016, from 2.8% in March 2018. The decline in the year-on-year inflation in April 2018 was mainly driven by the higher base resulted by the increase in prices of the items in the Food category during April 2017. The change in the NCPI measured on an annual average basis more..

Megapolis Ministry dumps WB loan for Puttalam garbage project

May 22 (ST) The World Bank (WB) and the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development this week split hairs over the ministry’s decision not to take WB funding for a sanitary landfill at Aruwakkalu in Puttalam. Issues regarding the project procurement process were first highlighted by the Sunday Times in January this year. China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd (CHEC) won the US$ 100.9 million (LKR 15.64 billion) contract more..

Dharmadasa enters cricket elections

May 22 (Island) Two-time President of Sri Lanka Cricket Jayantha Dharmadasa has entered the cricket elections and will contest against incumbent President Thilanga Sumathipala. Once bitter-rivals having contested the cricket elections on several occasions, Dharmadasa and Sumathipala two years ago formed a common front to contest Nishantha Ranatunga in the 2016 elections setting aside differences. more..

12.5% bus fare hike from midnight

May 22 (DM) The Cabinet has approved a 12.5% bus fare hike with the fare Rs.12 for the first segment of the journey with effect from midnight, Deputy Minister of Transport Ashoka Abeysinghe said. He said that the approval was granted on the condition that there would be no bus fare increases for the next two years. Inter-Provincial Private Bus Association (IPPBA) President Sarath Vijitha Kumara said approved fare increment more..

Tri forces relief teams reach out to assist flood victims

May 22 (MoD) More than 500 Army and Navy personnel have been deployed for rescue and relief operation in the wake of the wide spread flooding that has affected many parts of the country. As of today more than 360 Army personnel have been deployed for flood relief operations in Colombo, Matara, Galle, Kalutara, Ratnapura and Kegalle areas while more than 150 Navy personnel are deployed in more..

Johann Peries second Sri Lankan to summit Mt. Everest

May 22 (SL) Sri Lanka’s Johann Peries successfully summited Mount Everest at 5.55 am Nepal time today Tue 22 May 2018. This was his second attempt. Peries now becomes the second Sri Lankan to summit Mount Everest Everest after Jayanthi Kuru Utumpala in 2016. Peries’ earlier attempt in 2016 was unsuccessful when his oxygen tank failed 400 metres before the summit. Peries has now begun his descent which more..

Proper policies needed to accelerate future journey

May 22 (DM) Should we continue to tolerate empty speeches by political leaders who are incapable of delivering and have led this country and the society into chaos and deterioration? In this backdrop The need for an actionable vision for Sri Lanka has been re-emphasized with a new vision for an intellectually inspired Sri Lanka placed before the people. Viyath Maga gathered an impressive number of Professionals to the Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo to figure out the importance, more..

Jim Bagnola shares mantra for transformative leadership

May 22 (FT) Sri Lanka’s first integrated entrepreneurship platform, Venture Frontier Lanka, in association with the Daily FT and Ovibees Ventures, recently held a CEO’s Breakfast Forum on Transforming Sri Lanka with private sector leadership and entrepreneurship. The event, held at Jetwing Seven and powered by Cargills Ceylon Plc, brought together leaders of the top companies in the country for thought-provoking session. Leadership Group International President Jim Bagnola, more..

සිංගප්පූරු වෙළෙඳ ගිවිසුමෙන් ලංකාවට අවාසි

Chinese Weddings Fiasco

May 22 (CT) In response to two articles published by Colombo Telegraph on alleged acts of corruption involving Felix Rodrigo, a Senior Advisor to Minister John Amaratunga, Green Leaves Leisure – the company at the centre of the Chinese weddings fiasco – has sent the following statement. “Green Leaves Leisure is a legally established, registered travel & tourism company that has independently developed the concept of The Royal Wedding in Sri Lanka for 100 Chinese couples. more..

Mankulam filling station robbed at knifepoint

May 22 (Island) Two unidentified persons robbed a fuel filling station at Maankulam yesterday early morning and made off with Rs. 186,000. The two persons came in a van around 3.30 am and held an employee of the fuel station at knifepoint, demanding the money. The robbers had not yet been identified, police said adding that they were scrutinising the video footage obtained from the CCTV cameras at the filling station to ascertain the details of the vehicle and the suspects. more..

Undergrads did it their way: Unique joint New Year celebrations in Jaffna

May 22 (FT) After doing hard work for nearly three months, 70 Rotaractors from the Faculty of Science of the University of Colombo gathered at the Colombo Fort Railway Station on 7 April at 5 a.m. to take the early morning intercity express train to Jaffna. Apart from their personal belongings, the students were carrying several Goodwill Trees, especially made traditional Sinhala Avurudu refreshments as well as more..

Navy assists to apprehend 41 persons for engaging in illegal activities

May 22 (SLN) Sri Lanka Navy assisted to apprehend 41 persons engaged in illegal acts at various locations in the island during the past few days. These suspects were held for engaging in illegal fishing. Accordingly, the crew of an Inshore Patrol Craft attached to the Eastern Naval Command with the assistance of Sri Lanka Coast Guard personnel apprehended 15 persons who engaged in illegal fishing around the sea area of Round Island, on 15th May. Two dinghies, 2 banned nets and more..

IP Neomal Rangajeewa and Prisons Commissioner further remanded

May 22 (AD) Inspector of Police (IP) Neomal Rangajeewa and Prisons Commissioner Emil Ranjan Lamahewa, who were arrested over the Welikada Prison clashes in 2012, has been further remanded until June 05. The case was taken up for hearing today, before the Colombo Additional Magistrate Chamari Weerasuriya. The CID informed the court that further investigations are being carried out regarding the incident. Attorneys appearing on behalf of the aggrieved party pointed out that, more..

Oman willing to supply gas at competitive prices

May 22 (Island) Oman was willing to supply gas at competitive prices to Sri Lanka, its Ambassador in Colombo, Jummah Hamdan Hassan Al- Shehhi said. He said that bilateral economic ties could be strengthened by creating more channels of communication between Sri Lankan and Omani businessmen, through seminars and conferences, to explore investment opportunities and exhibitions, aimed at identifying goods more..

'SL approves US$ 1.348bn FDI up to April'

May 22 (EN) SL has approved US$ 1,348 million of foreign investment projects up to April 2018, Minister Malik Samarawickreme told parliament. By June about US$ 2.75 billion of projects including two LNG plants will be approved, he said. Approved investments usually come into the country over several years as the projects are constructed. He said SL was planning to get US$ 2.5 billion of investments in 2018, up from US$ 1.9 b last year, which was the highest in the country's history. more..

Politicians earn through SDPs: JVP

May 22 (NR) JVP MP Sunil Handunneththi says politicians in the country earned the highest amount of commissions from strategic development projects. Speaking in Parliament today, MP Handunneththi said those in the previous tenure of the UPFA and members of the present govt have earned significant amounts through commissions from strategic development projects. Joining the debate, State Minister Niroshan Perera said the objective of signing Free Trade Agreement with S'pore more..

Sri Lankan players to receive pay hike

May 22 (CI) Having cut salaries last year, a now-financially stable SLC will return player payments to just above their previous levels. Some national players had had their earnings trimmed by as much as 30%, when SLC moved to a performance-based model of remuneration in 2017. But the board has now announced a raise of 34%, after posting profits of about USD 13.5 million last year. Match fees would also be increased for more..

Gota's economic policy same as ours: Malik

May 22 (DM) Minister Malik Samarawickrama congratulated former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa for the comments he made on SL’s economic policy. “Mr. Rajapaksa in his recent statement said India and China are emerging as global economic giants and SL also should take this into consideration and work on its economic policy. Mr. Rajapaksa also said SL should be made a hub in Asia. Our govt also has such an economic policy. Therefore I congratulate him for accepting more..

Finance Ministry Ad on Crude Oil: JO to refer matter to COPA

May 22 (DM) The JO said today it was hoping to request the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) to summon the Finance Ministry Secretary in connection with the recent newspaper advertisement comparing crude oil prices during the previous govt and today. JO MP and COPA member Bandula Gunawardena said the contents of the advertisement published by the Finance Ministry using public funds was false. “During the previous govt, the price of a barrel of crude oil more..