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CICT adjudged Best Container Terminal in Asia for second successive year

May 22 (FT) The CMPort managed Colombo International Container Terminal (CICT) was adjudged the Best Container Terminal in Asia in the Under 4 million TEUs category at the respected Asian Freight, Logistics and Supply Chain (AFLAS) Awards, bringing pride to SL’s Ports sector. This is the second consecutive year that CICT has won this coveted award from Asia Cargo News, a leading industry publication in the region. more..

Mangala challenges MR to a public debate

May 22 (NR) Minister Mangala Samaraweera has challenged Former President MP Mahinda Rajapaksa to a public debate on national debt stock and debt servicing as the former Finance Minister. Speaking at a media briefing today, Minister Samaraweera assured Former President Rajapaksa that he will not bring up any other issues during the debate. The Finance Minister said a public debate should be held without reading statement written by various individuals. more..

Public asked to disregard Influenza rumours

May 22 (NR) Ministry of Health has requested the public to refrain from being misled by rumours on social media over the spread of influenza in the Southern Province. Doctors have stressed that the relevant causative agent is being diagnosed and treated accordingly. A special media briefing was also held at the Govt Information Department pertaining to the influenza virus. Dr. Samitha Ginige said all units of the health sector are taking all possible measures to control the disease. more..

Tea Board steps up protection for Pure Ceylon Tea quality

May 22 (FT) Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB) confirmed that it will introduce a new foolproof method to ensure the quality of Ceylon Tea for the world market which includes a baseline and a validation of the test to detect sugar adulteration in made tea from next month. “Tea industry will get a transparent and a scientifically accepted method to detect sugar adulteration in made tea, particularly in black tea from mid-June, which will enable more..

Water plants shut down; power cuts in flood-hit areas

May 22 (GDI) Several water purification plants have been shut down due to the adverse weather, said Rauf Hakeem, Minister of City Planning and Water Supply. He also points out that the power supply too has been suspended at certain purification plants.However, they will do their best to provide the public with clean water, said the minister. Meanwhile, the CEB has decided to cut off power in certain areas in Ratnapura district due to the current flood situation. more..

Mayor of Colombo meets ex-Maldivian President

May 22 (Raajje) Maldivian Opposition leader, former President Mohamed Nasheed met with Rosy Senanayake- the mayor of neighboring Sri Lanka’s capital city, Colombo- on Tuesday. The former president tweeted a photo with the first female mayor of Colombo on Tuesday afternoon, revealing that a meeting had taken place. “Discussed long standing historical, commercial and cultural ties between the Maldives and Sri Lanka and the merits of a low carbon development strategy,” more..

Mullivaikkal Remembrance Day: NUTA unhappy about Jaffna u'grads involvement

May 22 (DM) National University Teachers' Association (NUTA) registered their protest with the Jaffna university authorities over the involvement of undergraduates in the so-called Mullivaikkal Remembrance Day observances. NUTA Secretary Prof. Channa Jayasumana asked Jaffna University VC Ratnam Vigneswaran not to allow racist politicians to exploit the university students for their ends. “While the general population of more..

What are we borrowing for?

May 23 (CT) In the current tussle for political credibility, borrowing money for development is equated with success. All politicians laud development without any idea of what it means. The question what is development was asked as early as Feb 1978, but our leaders, from that time onwards never had a answer and are still stuck in the same old rut of blind consumerism, enriching themselves and their cronies while getting the population deeper and deeper into debt. more..

This is not a third force initiative

May 23 (CT) The recent attention paid to an event designed to promote the Presidential candidacy of the man constantly accused of orchestrating the violence of Rajapaksa Regime is fascinating, to say the least. An extensive description of the event titled The Shindig at the Shangri-La by the much-respected journalist Sarath de Alwis has appeared both in the print and electronic media to wide acclamation and hardly needs embellishment here, being an excellent piece of commentary. more..

Rekindling the Govt Film Unit

May 23 (DN) Beginning on June 3, Sri Lankan state television, along with the Govt Film Unit (GFU), will launch a series of documentaries on issues of human rights and democracy in Sri Lanka. The 30-minute episodes will feature stories about topics like the Right to Information and enforced disappearances. Director General of Govt Information Sudarshana Gunawardhana sat down last week to discuss the upcoming series. more..

That cannot be cricket!

May 23 (CT) Whether or not veteran cricketer Kumar Sangakkara ends up becoming the UNP’s presidential candidate in the 2020 election, current media reports in this regard have the potential to take away the seriousness of the party’s campaign for the nation’s highest elected constitutional authority. If he is actually offered the post and he accepts the same, electoral rivals could well shout, That’s not cricket, from every rooftop. Otherwise, they would say either the party or more..

A retrograde University Grants Commission

May 23 (CT) Having been away for over three weeks, it was sad if not entirely surprising to find that nothing had changed. The much touted Cabinet reshuffle was not scientific and gives little hope of progress. Prez’s policy statement turned out to be the usual wish list, with no trace of a plan to ensure he can achieve even a modicum of the national reforms to which he is pledged. UNP continues to hold out hopes of internal reforms with no trace that its leadership is either capable of or more..

'I have done no wrong'

May 23 (CT) UPFA, Kandy District MP, Dilum Amunugama says when conflict was raging, in Teldeniya, he was from the very beginning trying to bring some calm to resolve the issue, when the Sinhala youth were assaulted. Q: You have been called by the Police, investigating unit, as a suspect in the Kandy riots. What do you have to say? A: All those who have been called up to now were taken into custody. I went to Teldeniya more..

Child abuse and neglect, preventable

May 23 (DN) The recent reports of National Child Protection Authority indicate that it has received 3,785 complaints for the past year and the majority of them had been violence inflicted upon children. Considering the stigma and attitudes of SL public, most cases of child abuse goes unreported. Hence, the statistical overview presented above could be just the tip of the iceberg. Int'l experience suggests that reported cases are likely to represent only 10% of total cases perpetrated. more..

Wanted pro-poor policies

May 23 (DN) Last week the private passenger service omnibus owners had a windfall. They received more than they wished for. One owner Union asked only a 10% increase in fares. Another asked for 20%. Ultimately they received 12%. Now it is customary for unions to demand a higher percentage than they require under the circumstances for they are leaving some room for hard bargaining. It is a case of aiming at the moon to hit the church spire. more..

Dayasiri Jayasekera

Editorial: The tooth, the whole tooth and nothing ...

May 23 (Island) Adolf Hitler may not have expected to be remembered for so long, albeit for the wrong reason. He was a puzzle while he was alive, and he continues to puzzle the world posthumously. It has been officially confirmed that he committed suicide to avoid humiliation and judicial execution in captivity. But, conspiracy theories abound anent the fate that befell him, the main being that he made good his escape while the Russians were closing in on Berlin. more..

Ra Ra Ra Bombiye: Cultural adaptation and indigenous resistance

May 23 (Island) During the Sinhala-Tamil New Year celebrations in Adelaide (Australia) this year, there was a dance performance based on Sunil Edirisinghe’s Ra Ra Ra Bombiye. Similar performances have been held elsewhere this year and before where Sri Lankans live, and some are in the YouTube. This reminded me of what I knew about a song as a child in the early 1950s, probably popular since early 20th century. It had a strong regular rhythm like the present. more..

Massive drive to increase local fresh milk production

May 23 (SO) Ministry of Fisheries & Aquatic Resources Development and Rural Economic Affairs has, together with Milco (Pvt) Limited, National Livestock Development Board (NLDB) and Dept of Animal Production and Health, intensified a drive to raise local milk productivity. The aim is to gradually reduce the staggering amount of Rs.4 billion drained out of the country every year on the import of powdered milk. more..

Pushparaj wins silver at Austrian International Championship

May 23 (Island) SL bodybuilding champion Lucion Pushparaj won a silver medal at the Austrian International Bodybuilding Championship held in Vienna, Austria, on 19 May. Pushparaj beat current European Champion Armin Gangl to third place in winning the silver medal in his weight category, and dedicated his achievement to Sri Lanka. A large number of Sri Lankans, including SL’s Ambassador to Austria Priyanee Wijesekera and Second Secretary of the Embassy of SL Namal more..

3 professionals appointed to Insurance Regulatory Commission

May 23 (FT) Three senior professionals have been appointed to the Insurance Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (IRCSL) by Minister Mangala Samaraweera, making up the seven-member Commission headed by Mano Tittawella. Joining the Commission recently are Yudhishtran (Yudy) Kanagasabai, Errol Perera and Upul Deshapriya. Kanagasabai serves as the Chairman of the Board Audit Committees of Union Bank PLC and Ceylon Tobacco Company, and as a Non-Executive more..

Ravin W. denies match-fixing allegations

May 23 (Island) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Assistant Secretary Ravin Wickramaratne denied match-fixing allegations involving a domestic match at a special press briefing. The game in question took place on January 23,24 and 25 last year at Maggona between Panadura Sports Club and Kalutara Physical and Culture Club in the SLC ‘Tier B’ Tournament. On the final day of the match, Panadura SC progressed to 399 for 5 before more..

Rural Development an urgent need

May 23 (Island) Sri Lanka is a land of villages and there are around 14,000 of them. A majority of the population, nearly 80 percent, live in villages, and most of them are faced with severe problems. Hence it is essential that appropriate strategies are implemented which will address the problems of the rural communities. Almost daily we hear about deaths of many people, in the rural areas, caused by wild elephants. They destroy crops and houses in these areas. more..

Elementary my dear Cabraal, Dr. Indrajit tells ex-CB Chief

May 23 (FT) Akin to Sherlock Holmes saying, Elementary my dear Watson, Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy rebutted former CB Chief Nivard Cabraal over the latter’s claim on Monday that foreign reserves at the end of Rajapaksa regime had been squandered by the Yahapalana Govt. Though not directly referring to Cabraal’s statement, Central Bank said a misleading news item had been disseminated in relation to SL’s foreign reserves and external debt servicing. more..

දහම් බේබිගේ පුංචි පැල්පත

SriLankan Airlines strengthens its moves against species smuggling

May 23 (Island) SriLankan Airlines, long in the forefront of global conservation efforts, launched a new ‘corporate policy on the carriage of fauna and flora on board SriLankan aircraft', to strengthen its numerous initiatives on species smuggling. Captain Suren Ratwatte, CEO of SriLankan, said: "We believe that the launch of this policy will send a strong message to species smugglers that we will not tolerate any activities that are unethical or endanger the survival of any species. more..

Aitken Spence ups FY18 pre-tax profit by 22% to record Rs. 6.4 b

May 23 (FT) Aitken Spence Plc recorded a steady financial performance for the 12 months ending 31 March 2018 with a 22% year-on-year growth in profit-before-tax from Rs. 5.2 billion to Rs. 6.4 billion, its highest ever. The leading conglomerate recorded an increase in its annual revenue by 14.9% from Rs. 45.9 billion to Rs. 52.7 billion. The company also reported the highest ever profit-after-tax of Rs. 5.1 billion, which was an increase of 27.3% from the previous year. more..

Lankans ready for WI pace challenge

May 23 (DN) The challenge for Sri Lanka is to win their maiden Test series in the Caribbean. They came quite close to doing so on their last tour there a decade ago when Mahela Jayawardene’s side won the first test to record Sri Lanka’s maiden Test win in the Caribbean but lost the second Test to draw the two-Test series one-all. Dinesh Chandimal’s team can take a leaf out of the SL A team’s tour of the WI in Oct last year more..

Rolf Blaser, new CEO at Baurs

May 23 (DM) Baur & Co. (Pvt.) Ltd has announced the appointment of Rolf Blaser as the company’s CEO with effect from Oct 1, 2018. “This well-planned change in the top cadre at Baurs will ensure the successful continuation of the company founded in 1897 with its Swiss heritage and core values in trust, reliability, quality and innovation,” a press communiqué said. Blaser has spent more than a decade working and living in Asian markets and brings a rich plethora of experience with him. more..

Exports and FDI poised for growth: OBG

May 23 (DN) Sri Lanka’s plans to transition into a high-income, knowledge-based economy through ambitious fiscal reforms, new trade deals and added-value exports are explored in a new report from the global research and consultancy firm Oxford Business Group (OBG). The Report: Sri Lanka 2018 tracks growth in the tradable sector as the country targets $20bn in export earnings by 2020, boosted by the reinstatement of EU GSP+ status which helped to improve performances more..

'Mahendran played key role in singing FTA'

May 23 (DM) SLFP MP Dayasiri Jayasekara alleged that former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran, who was in Singapore, had played the key role in signing the Free Trade Agreement between SL & Singapore. "Mr. Mahendran has been assigned the duties to function as the SL representative in Singapore in matters regarding the SL-Singapore FTA while he was wanted by the courts over the CB Bond scam," he said. more..

SLFP nominates MP Angajan Ramanathan as next Deputy Speaker

May 23 (FT) The SLFP has requested the permission of President Maithripala Sirisena, in his capacity as its leader, to appoint SLFP national list MP Angajan Ramanathan to the post of Deputy Speaker, it was revealed at yesterday’s party leaders meeting. UPFA General Secretary, Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, told the party leaders meeting that his party had nominated Ramanathan to President Sirisena to be appointed as the Deputy Speaker of Parliament. more..

Survival of Test cricket: Sri Lanka and Windies have a role to play

May 23 (DN) After much rumblings about the tour being in danger of getting cancelled and the threat of the itinerary being pruned down to less than three Tests, SL’s tour to the Caribbean after a lapse of ten years has somewhat survived the storm and thankfully will definitely go ahead as scheduled with no alterations to the itinerary. Thus for the first time since the two teams began playing Test cricket in 1993 Sri Lanka will be involved in a three-Test series in the Caribbean. more..

Milestone marks from Mangala

May 23 (FT) Marking his first year, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera assured that the macroeconomic stabilisation efforts of the Govt had been successful, and assured additional efforts were underway to put the country on a stronger growth footing. Addressing a special media briefing, he pointed out that within the past year the Govt had not only reduced the prices of essential goods but had now established more..

Speaker signs four bills into law

May 23 (Island) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya yesterday announced in Parliament that he had signed the Judicature (Amendment) Bill, the Penal Code (Amendment) Bill and The Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) bill which were passed by the House on May 09. The Civil Aviation (Amendment) Bill which was passed on May 11 was also signed by the Speaker on the same day. Jayasuriya said that he had signed the Bills on May 15. The Judicature (Amendment) Act gives more..

SMSPU to meet all religious leaders

May 23 (DN) The State Medical Students’ Parents Union (SMSPU) met several leading Buddhist Bhikkus and scheduled to meet all religious leaders. But President Maithripala Sirisena, the Higher Education Minister and some other politicians have not given an opportunity for the union to meet them, SMSPU Media Spokesman Wasantha Alwis said. He said the union informed Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda Thera and Ven. Bengamuwe Nalaka Thera about the danger posed to free education more..

JO request for debate on floods turned down

May 23 (Island) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, yesterday, turned down a request made by the Opposition for a debate on prevailing disaster situation in the country and fuel price hikes instead of the scheduled one an Order to provide for a condominium in Kollupitiya. Speaker Jayasuriya said that it had been decided at the last party leaders’ meeting to debate the Order under the Strategic Development Project Act No 2 made by more..

'Govt has failed to contain invasive species'

May 23 (CT) Biodiversity experts allege that the Ministry of Environment has failed to control the spread of invasive plant and animal species that have endangered the country’s unique biosphere. The sentiments were voiced by Prof. Sarath Kotagama, when he delivered a special lecture at the National Bio Diversity Summit. "Ministry has launched many mega projects to eradicate and control invasive species. But they have been totally unsuccessful in their efforts. more..

Weather affects over 38,000

May 23 (DN) The Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said a total of 68,000 persons belonging to 18,079 families have been affected across 19 districts due to the adverse weather prevailing in the country. DMC Deputy Director and Media Spokesman Pradeep Kodippili said more than 6,710 people have been displaced and currently staying in 168 safer locations in nine districts. Eight deaths have been reported so far and six out of those deaths were due to lightning incidents. more..

Treasury bond scams: CBSL whistle-blower to be considered for top award

May 23 (Island) Deepa Seneviratne, one-time head of Public Debt Dept of the Central Bank would be considered for Top 50 Professional and Career Women Awards 2018 the media was told yesterday. Dr. Rohantha Athukorala, Chairman, Panel of Judges explained the process of selection of winners with the focus on Seneviratne eligibility. Asked whether the senior CBSL official who had exposed the illegal directive issued by more..