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Anaemia rises among 15-49-yr -old females

May 30 (CT) Sri Lanka appears to be suffering from mixed results in providing adequate health coverage to its population, particularly to mothers and children. The Global Nutrition Report (GNR) 2017, a WHO publication said that Anaemia among women of reproductive age had risen to 33% or 1,738,000 as at 2016, when compared to lower figures of 25.7% and 1,401,000 as at 2011 an increase of 24% or 337,000. WHO and the Food & Agriculture Org. define females of reproductive age more..

Lankan currency notes traced back to a Lankan

May 30 (DM) The recent news story that a huge amount of money in our country’s currency was among the valuables found in the treasure trove unearthed from a private residence of the ousted Malay high political authority raised many eyebrows in our country. The authorities in that country and those in ours who made investigations as to how the ousted high political authority had come to have a large bundle of our country’s currency notes in his possession, have traced origin of the money more..

Sri Lanka signs offshore gas exploration deal with Schlumberger unit

May 30 (EN) Sri Lanka has signed an agreement with a subsidiary of U.S. oilfield services firm Schlumberger for offshore seismic studies to assess prospects for oil and gas resources. The deal will enable Total to go ahead with physical exploration work of the JS5 & JS6 blocks off the east coast, said Vajira Dassanayake, director general at Petroleum Resources Development Secretariat (PRDS). more..

How long can SL govt hoodwink the UN & The Int'l community?

May 31 (CT) The SL State runs on Sinhala Buddhist chauvinism, the Maha Sanga and the Buddhist Clergy. The SL State has to obtain the blessings of these people to enact any laws regarding devolution of powers to the Tamils in the North and East of Sri Lanka and the participation of foreign judges to investigate the war crimes committed by the SL armed forces. President of SL has openly said on several occasions that he will not allow anyone to punish any soldier who participated in war. more..

Open letter to HNB: Infringement of fundamental rights of Tamils and ...

May 31 (CT) We are dismayed to learn that your bank had punished two employees of Kilinochchi Branch for commemorating the deaths of their relatives and beloved ones. Anniversary commemoration of the dead has been an important part of the culture of the Tamils and Sinhalese for several centuries. In fact one of the oldest Tamil moral text Thirukural dated 3000 years back in stanzas 42 and 43 stated the importance of humans to perform their duty towards manes. more..

Schools brace to fight Dengue

May 31 (SO) “Dengue infects mostly in active blood and that is why children become the worst victims when it comes to dengue fever,” says Principal, Brevet Major. D.A.D. Wanaguru of Sri Jayawardenepura Maha Vidyalaya, Kotte. Dengue fever affects children differently as compared to adults because the symptoms are usually milder in children. Symptoms in children look more like a common cold, with low-grade more..

The Multiculturalism of Sinhala Song

May 31 (GV) Multiculturalism in Sri Lanka is often understood as the co-existence of distinct ethnic communities, whose individual histories have unfolded independently during different eras, in different parts of the country. Conventional historical narratives usually emphasize the pre-colonial origins of cultures, equating antiquity with legitimacy, and it is commonly assumed that the cultural artifacts and genetic makeup of ethnic groups are the same now as they were then. more..

Editorial: Cardboard Mahathirs

May 31 (Island) Minister Duminda Dissanayake has reportedly lamented the failure on the part of the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe govt to act the way the newly elected Mahathir Mohamad administration has done in dealing with the corrupt politicians and officials of the previous regime. Dissanayake has praised PM Mohamad for taking prompt action against the big guns of the Najib regime immediately after the change of govt. Raids being conducted, at the behest of the new Malaysian govt, more..

Who is running the economy?

May 31 (CT) According to a Credit Suisse Report released in Nov 2017, the wealthiest 1% of the world’s population now owns more than half of the world’s wealth. Whisperings abound of the Rothschild conspiracy, accusing them of funding every known war since the Napoleonic wars, including both World Wars, Iraq and Afghan wars in order to gain the economic benefits and controlling the Central Banks of every country except for more..

Reclaiming good citizenship

May 31 (DN) The declaration of the winner of the 2015 Presidential election was a moment when the decision of the democratic citizens became a glowing beacon that shone brightly in SL. The decisive mandate was very crucial to the lives of citizens who rejected the previous regime that became a tyrannical threat to ordinary citizens in their day-to-day living uncertain and miserable. There was the despotic rule instead of the rule of law; what prevailed was an environment more..

Winning battle of the Fifth Domain

May 31 (DN) While the nation commemorated the 9th anniversary of the eradication of terrorism from our soil, news reports revealed that an entity calling itself as the Tamil Eelam Cyber Force commemorated the occasion by hacking numerous Govt and corporate web portals on May 18. Notable targets included the Embassy of SL in China, Ministry of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs, and Batticaloa Municipal Council. In a nutshell, the message referred to SL govt more..

S. B. Dissanayake

Invisible barriers: The struggle to combat violence, online and off

May 31 (GV) Rights activists have been abducted, detained and assaulted in the pursuit of their work in SL, both during and after the war. Even under the present govt, the crackdown on the freedom of expression continues, with activists subjected to surveillance, threats and outright violence over the past year. Additionally, women activists face other invisible barriers. Women have played a key role in activism throughout history. Movements such as Kulangana Samithi and Mahila Samithi more..

US in bridge-strengthening effort in South Asia

May 31 (Island) A statement by outgoing US ambassador to SL Atul Keshap on the US’ relations with this country comes, may be, as a God-send to the present SL govt which is buffeted on numerous fronts by issues it, apparently, cannot easily cope with. From the govt’s viewpoint the statement ought to be most welcome and relieving. The statement says, among other things, – ‘As you look at the UN process, as you look at the American partnership, we want to walk with Sri Lanka hand-in-hand, more..

The Sri Lankan film songs that used melodies from Hindi films

May 31 (Roar) SL’s popular cinema and pop music are closely related, and in their earliest days they both were very closely connected to Indian Hindi cinema. The reason for this is that the earliest Sinhala language films were all made with the services of Indian artistes. For example, according to Ranee Savarimutthu’s On the Development of Sinhala Cinema, South Indian producer S.M. Nayagam, more..

Sri Lanka down Singapore 72/70

May 31 (CT) Sri Lanka registered a close two points (72-70) victory over mighty Singapore in the final of the International Invitation Netball Tournament held yesterday at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium. Sri Lanka drew first blood and scored the first point early. At the end of the fast paced first set, which was a neck-to- neck affair, Sri Lanka led Singapore by 22 points to 18. Tharjini Sivalingam, their goal shooter did most of the scoring, while the Singaporean GS also stood tall for her team, more..

Uber INTERCITY goes live in Sri Lanka today

May 31 (DN) Uber Sri Lanka will make more investments and also introduce several new products to the country said, General Manger South India and SL, Christian Freeze. He said that they hope to introduce a three wheel sergeant, merchandise and food delivery services as well. “We are very excited about Sri Lanka and will also make more investments on increasing HR in our team in Sri Lanka as well”. He also said that they launched Uber three years ago in Sri Lanka and more..

Why SLC needs a new Constitution

May 31 (ST) Annual general meetings are a dime a dozen, especially in the sports scene. At the same time, AGMs differ according to circumstances. There are some organisations which are forced to seek political patronage — especially assistance from the ruling party politician, if not, the said sport will have no means of existence. They exist through the meagre handouts that the ruling-party politician in the governing body could more..

Conflict within Rajapaksa camp: Bahu

May 31 (FT) Leader of the Nava Sama Samaja Party, Wickramabahu Karunaratne, yesterday alleged that there was conflict within the Rajapaksa camp regarding former Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa being their next Presidential candidate. According to Karunaratne, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and several of his close confidantes were against the former Defense Secretary contesting, as it would undermine the former Prez’s chances of regaining power. more..

Lankan banks sit on Rs.19bn capital hole as sector braces for BASEL III

May 31 (DM) The Sri Lankan banks satisfy many of the key matrices such as growth, profits, efficiency and asset quality against most regional peers but the sector is in deep thirst for fresh capital as the banks brace for full implementation of BASEL III as early as in few months. Fitch Ratings estimates the large SL banks to have a Rs.19 billion capital shortfall against the higher capital requirements under BASEL III, out of which, the state banks accounting for 72% of the shortfall. more..

BOI’s SWIFT to fast track investment approvals

May 31 (FT) Board of Investment (BOI) launched a web portal to streamline and fast track the investment approval process by interconnecting the first six line agencies under a single window virtual platform. BOI, apex Govt agency for promoting and facilitating foreign/local direct investment in priority sectors, entered into 4 MoUs to setup a Single Window Investment Facilitation Taskforce (SWIFT) more..

Imported Glyphosate in August: TRI Director

May 31 (CT) The post implementation of the reinstatement of the Glyphosate weedicide for the plantation sector will take time till around July or August. There is a series of processes which have to be implemented and that will take time till around July or August and the Regional Plantation Companies will have the imported Glyphosate in August by the time the season starts, Director of the Tea Research Institute Dr. Sarath Abeysinghe said yesterday. more..

Five reasons why SL needs to attract FDIs

May 31 (WB) To facilitate Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), Sri Lanka is launching this week an innovative online one-stop shop to help investors obtain all official approvals. To mark the occasion, this blog series explores different aspects of FDI in Sri Lanka. Part 2 will explore how the country can attract more FDI. Part 3 will relate how the World Bank is helping to create an enabling environment for FDI in SL. You may have heard that SL is intent on drumming up more FDIs up to $5 billion by 2020. more..

Fuel price revision on July 5: DST

May 31 (CT) Govt will not slash fuel prices despite the current slump in international fuel prices and will wait till July 5 to make revisions if necessary. This follows an AFP report titled, Oil drops as Saudis signal likely supply boost which stated “Global oil prices fell Friday after top producer Saudi Arabia signalled a likely boost in supply as soon as the third quarter, and world stock markets were mixed over sudden US move to cancel more..

SL’s tourism campaign on CNN goes live

May 31 (FT) The much awaited and crucial multi-platform CNN global promotion campaign for Sri Lanka tourism went live yesterday. This was following the agreement for three-month CNN global campaign being signed on 24 May. A spokesman for SL Tourism said three three-minute videos depicting the Great Big Story portraying Sri Lanka as Asia’s diverse, authentic and compact destination will be exclusively promoted through social media on You Tube, Facebook and Twitter. more..

Group of 16 MPs meet Opposition Leader

May 31 (FT) Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan hailed the move by 16 MPs to leave the Govt as a great window of opportunity expressing confidence in the group to help move the country forward. “They are our old friends, and many of them are very senior MPs and persons who command respect in this country. We will work together in the interest of the country,” he said, following a meeting with a selection of the decedent group, who now refer to themselves as the Group of 16. more..

National Grid in danger of collapse: CEBEU

May 31 (CT) CEB Engineers Union (CEBEU) has convened a special general meeting, tomorrow, over the issues it has with the Public Utilities Commission of SL (PUCSL) regarding the Power Generation Plan. CEBEU has warned that there is a possibility the country’s entire National Grid collapsing. If Grid Sub-Stations were to breakdown due to natural causes, country’s power sector could collapse too, they said, stressing that under more..

Unfair taxation on entrepreneurs versus large companies

May 31 (ST) The new Inland Revenue Act (IRA) could badly affect individual Sri Lankans or rather those involved in business like in agriculture for instance. While they are taxed at 24% for running a business, the same business performed by a company is taxed at only 14%, a tax expert noted. Kapila Athukorala, Partner/Head of Tax and Advisory, Kreston MNS & Co (Chartered Accountants), SL mentioned this on the sidelines of a recent tax seminar more..

Selling fly ash a problem for Norochcholai due to its high carbon content

May 31 (Island) A cement company that used to buy about 600 tonnes of fly ash, out of 1000 tonnes generated per day at Lakvijaya Coal Power Plant, Norochcholai, has raised concerns about purchasing the product due to issues regarding quality, Centre for Human Rights Executive Director, Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon said. "The reason is that after combustion 9% of carbon is left in the fly ash. What is optimal for cement production is a carbon percentage below 4%. more..

Striking Rail Unions say no sabotage

May 31 (DN) The Railway Department had lodged a complaint with the CID yesterday, alleging that railway workers on strike had caused damages to train engines and compartments, Additional General Manager (Operations) Vijaya Samarasinghe said. Railway Technical Services Trade Union Committee (RTSTUC) refuted allegations that they had sabotaged the railway operations. “We are the ones who identify more..

Majority of Nat schools sans principals: CTU

May 31 (CT) Ceylon Teachers Union (CTU) claimed that the majority of national schools are currently being run without principals. CTU General Secretary Joseph Stalin said that 260 national schools out of 353 were without principals. He alleged that the Ministry of Education had been silent over the issue for years and the many acting principals were political appointees. “Many schools don’t have principals and acting principals control the schools. Many are political loyalists of ruling parties. more..

Govt hyping up next prez poll to divert attention away from urgent problems: MR

May 31 (DM) The govt was trying to generate hype on the Presidential Election in 2020 in a bid to divert public attention away from pressing day to day issues, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said. "There are 18 months to any major election. But everyone is talking about the next Presidential Election and wherever I go people ask me who the next JO candidate is. This is ridiculous and the more I think, the more I feel that this is a diversionary tactic of the govt," he said. more..

'Sobitha Thera didn’t ask common candidate to break banks'

May 31 (DM) Prez Sirisena said the late Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera, who came forward to set up a Govt through a common candidate, never asked that common candidate to loot the Central bank. Prez expressed these views at the 76th commemoration of the late Ven. Sobitha Thera held at SLFI in Colombo. Prez Sirisena, who paid a surprise visit to the event, said he had not received an official invitation to attend the event. more..

President loses his cool

May 31 (CT) Prez Maithripala Sirisena said, the late Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera never intended to choose a common candidate, for the Prez Election, with the aim of stealing from the Central Bank. Prez was speaking at a discussion held to mark the 76th birth anniversary of the late monk, at the SLFI. He added that whilst there were some who questioned his Chairmanship of the SLFP, due to the presence of SLFP Ministers, country was safeguarded from many dangers. more..

Lankans protest against Thoothukudi killings

May 31 (Hindu) SL trade unionists and human rights activists on Wednesday protested outside the Indian High Commission here, demanding justice for victims of the recent police firing in Thoothukudi. They held posters with solidarity messages, some likening the Thoothukudi incident to a similar shooting incident in SL in 2013, when the Army opened fire at the residents of Rathupaswala, as they protested against drinking water contamination caused by a nearby factory. more..

Looters as Rulers: Field Marshal receives Rs 100,000 from Aloysius

May 31 (Island) Minister Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka yesterday said that he, too, received about Rs100,000 from tainted businessman Arjun Aloysius at the last parliamentary polls. Claiming that he didn’t spend money on his campaign, Fonseka said that the money was given to supporters of some other political party. Fonseka contested last general election on DP ticket. more..

Govt may remove newly-appointed SEC member

May 31 (CT) Govt has decided to reconsider the appointment of one of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) members due to complaints made against him by the general public, a top Ministry of Finance official said. “There were several complaints against him. We will examine the issue shortly,” the official said. Senior ex-SEC officials also confirmed that he had a serious unit trust fund-related front-running case during his tenure as a CEO of an asset management company more..

Austin tells Dayasiri PcoI bond scam report in archives

May 31 (Island) Prez’s Secretary Austin Fernando yesterday informed SLFP MP, Dayasiri Jayasekera that he has sent all the documents related to the PCoI on the bond scam to the National Archives. "I met him to ask whether my name is mentioned in the documents that have not been released to the public and he told me that my name is not mentioned in any of the documents. He also said that he has sent all reports of the PCoI to the archives and now we are trying to get the more..

Fresh political crisis: Prez lambastes UNP, warns of further revelations

May 31 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena lambasted the top UNP leadership alleging that he thwarted a despicable attempt to transfer funds from state banks to private banks. Had that move succeeded entire state banking sector would have collapsed, Prez said, recalling how he managed to halt the move after a three month long battle. Prez said so at a commemorative event to mark the birth anniversary of more..

Family’s role in building a caring society

May 31 (DM) June begins tomorrow and for whatever reason it is traditionally regarded as the month of brides. Indian philosopher Rabindranath Tagore has lamented that for the past few centuries in India, marriage has become a form of glorified prostitution. He points out that the parents themselves put their daughters on sale -- something like Rs.1 million for an accountant, two million for a lawyer and four for a medical doctor. This crisis prevails in SL also and especially during more..