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Preventing kerosene being pumped to vehicles: Govt mechanism mooted

Jun 14 (CT) The Ministry of Petroleum Resources Development has been instructed to create a mechanism to prevent kerosene fuel being pumped into public and private vehicles. The Cabinet of Ministers meeting on 12 June taking up the matters with regard to kerosene fuel prices had noted that with the reduction in prices, petrol stations islandwide will recommence the malpractice of pumping kerosene fuel into vehicles which more..

Plantation Ministry mulls special fund to assist tea industry

Jun 14 (FT) In a bid to face any downturn in the tea sector, Plantation Industries Minister Navin Dissanayake said the setting up of a special fund of Rs. 5 billion within the next three months is under consideration. “I want to have a special fund set up for the tea industry, where it will assist the stakeholders in the replanting process as well as to meet any emergencies. I’m thinking that in about another two to three months we’d be able to set up this fund,” he said. more..

Ranjan gives a Kaala punch

Jun 14 (DM) Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake had commented on the Indian film Kaalaa where he had criticized Indian director Pa. Ranjit and his movie Kaalaa which features Superstar Rajinikanth. “Please don’t ruin your career by acting in Ranjit’s films, I am telling you this as a fan of yours. I also have the right to comment as a fan,” Ramanayake said. The story of the movie is about a politician, who promises to clean up India and grabs lands belonging to people once he came to power. more..

'Probe coal scams from 2009 to 2016'

Jun 14 (DM) Minister Champika Ranawaka urged President Maithripala Sirisena to appoint a Presidential Commission with extraordinary powers to investigate the alleged coal scams that took place from 2009 to 2016. He said the scam which was bigger than the CB’s Treasury bond scam benefited by many while two million of country’s population still suffering due to high electricity tariffs. more..

Prediction about his political future

Jun 14 (DM) The former strongman chaired a party meeting the other day. The meeting over, a few faithfuls remained with their boss for a chit-chat. During the small talk that ensued, the former strongman confided in his loyalists a prediction made about his political future by a prominent astrologer in South Asia. “He told me that I would go out of power in 2015, but would make a comeback after 2018.” The first to react to this revelation was a stocky one who made it to Diyawanna from more..

9th Trinco Blu Sailing Regatta on June 30

Jun 14 (ST) The 9th Trinco Blu Sailing Regatta hosted Royal Colombo Yacht Club (RCYC) Regatta 2018 is scheduled to be held on June 30 in Trincomalee with a record number of 50 boats in action, the largest fleet to compete at this annual event. This year’s regatta will be worked off with three classes of boat races – 20 Optimists for sailors up to 15 years of age, 23 Laser class boats, both in the single handed category and seven Enterprise class boats and one GP14 in the crewed more..

President instructs to submit a swift plan to the Cabinet to develop Kalpitiya Islands

Jun 14 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena has given instructions to swiftly present the plan on development of 13 Islands of Kalpitiya to the Cabinet. President further instructed the Chief Minister of the Province Dharmasiri Dasanayaka and the Minister S.B. Nawinna when presenting that plan to pay proper attention to the development issues of the people in the respective areas and identify the priorities. more..

UNICEF warns Sri Lankan children at risk when entering adulthood

Jun 14 (SL) Children in Sri Lanka are at risk of entering adulthood at a disadvantage to their peers, because they have not benefited from the good nutrition, stimulation and protection – known as eat, play and love – that enable a brain to grow to its full capacity by the age of 5 years, the UN Children’s agency UNICEF warned today. Advances in neuroscience have proved that during the early years of life a child’s brain grows at an astounding rate which is never again repeated. more..

Heroes’ welcome for junior champs

Jun 14 (CT) The Sri Lanka Junior athletics team, witch won nine medals (three Gold, four Silver and two Bronze) at the Asian Junior Athletics Championship in Gifu Japan, was warmly welcomed at the BIA Colombo. The victory had many fathers as the occasion was graced by their parents, coaches, officials from Athletics Association, Sports Ministry including the Sports Minister and well wishers along with few others who wanted to score some points on the athletes’ account. more..

Aruna: New poster boy of SL athletics

Jun 14 (CT) SL athletics was running on reminisces of glory for too long. Of course there had been medals from many talented athletes at Asian level, but at international level none of them could match the world’s top performers. Winning Gold after Gold and breaking Asian records was something the likes of Sugath Thilakarathne, Susanthika Jayasinghe, Damayanthi Darsha and Sriyani Kulawansha used to do years ago. more..

Editorial: Casting pearls before swine

Jun 14 (Island) It looks as if Chairman of the National Election Commission (NEC) Mahinda Deshapriya had taken to public speaking full-time. He cannot be faulted because there is nothing else for him to keep himself occupied with. The government, afflicted with polls phobia, keeps postponing elections. The NEC and the Election Department personnel must be longing for something to relieve tedium. The NEC chief, who has made a name for himself as a gifted more..

Ambeon Group debuts in Sri Lanka Inc.

Jun 14 (FT) In a strategic move to reposition the entity to represent the Group’s business vision, and take on the dynamic, techno-centric business world of tomorrow, Taprobane Group yesterday announced the transformation of the Group, including the name change to Ambeon. Taprobane Holdings PLC will be repositioned as Ambeon Capital PLC, while Lanka Century Investments PLC will be Ambeon Holdings PLC, with immediate effect. more..

Abhimansala 2: Caring for our disabled war heroes

Jun 14 (DN) Sergeant Major B. Sugadhadhasa (55) can neither walk nor talk properly. He was one of the victims of the attack on the Army Hq on April 25, 2006. His head was badly injured during the attack, resulting in his losing his memory. Today, he lives under the care of the Army rehabilitation centre, Abhimansala 2, in Kamburupitiya. There are few people Sugadhadhasa recognises; one of them is more..

Who else should you offer flowers to, if not the Security Forces? - Brigadier Mushtaq

Jun 14 (Island) The Pakistani Media Development Foundation should be commended along with the Pakistani Army for taking us to Miranshah in North Waziristan, where the Army had destroyed terrorist groups in the area. It is no easy task to fight terrorists in tough terrain and the Pakistani Army had succeeded in doing it. We flew in two Pakistani Army helicopters (A Pakistani Major told me that in Pakistan the Army has more helicopters than the Pakistani Air Force). more..

Sampath Bank to launch SL’s first-ever blockchain-based banking product

Jun 14 (DM) Sri Lanka’s third largest private lender by assets, Sampath Bank PLC, which was recently included in the MSCI Frontier Market 100 Index, says the bank is ready to launch the first-ever blockchain-based product in Sri Lanka, this year. Speaking to the reporters, Sampath Bank Managing Director Nanda Fernando said, “We have lined up new products in the blockchain platform and blockchain will be used to deliver our products very soon. We have already laid the foundation.” more..

Sujeewa Senasinghe

Counting votes before they are cast

Jun 14 (CT) Reports based on assumptions that a three-cornered contest among incumbent Maithripala Sirisena, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and one or the other of the Rajapaksa clan in the next Presidential Elections needs greater examination. To assume that Sirisena would be able to cut into the Rajapaksa votes from Elections-2015 or the minorities to help Wickremesinghe win the same way their pre-poll combination did for the former in Elections-2015. more..

Ghostly shrieks from Welikada

Jun 14 (DN) 35 years ago on July 23, around 11.30 pm at Thinnaveli in Jaffna, a bomb was detonated targeting an army jeep. The soldiers who followed in a truck arrived to help the injured; they were ambushed by LTTE cadres who hurled grenades. The 13 killed on the spot was the highest number of fatalities sustained by the forces in a single event up to the time. The bodies were flown to Kanatta the next day for last rights when anti-Tamil pogroms commenced in city & spread to other areas. more..

'If regional agendas come to the fore: JO’s targets will not be achieved'

Jun 14 (CT) DLF Leader, Ratnapura District MP, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, says “The JO won’t be able to reach its targets by carrying out various agendas of various people with regional and district problems.” Q: Has the JO broken into two? A: The JO is a group of Parties holding different views; from the beginning. It’s a collection of a number of political Parties. So, there can be divergent views within the JO. more..

On compensation | Kandy: The damage and the distrust

Jun 14 (GV) Mr. Jazeel (captured in featured image) walks around his shop, located on the bend near the Akurana bridge, 12 km from the bustling Kandy city. It looks the same as it did on the night of March 7, when a mob set fire to the shop premises and his workshop behind it. Petrol bombs were thrown into his showroom, and the ensuing damage has left the building unsafe for renovation. It needs to be torn down and built again. ‘We received 100,000 rupees from the govt in the immediate aftermath, more..

Iftar & Infitah: Essence of Muslim politics and economy

Jun 14 (CT) Before JR’s open economy (JR’s version of Anwar Sadat’s infitah or open door policy in Egypt) was ushered in, two issues preoccupied the attention of Muslim Ministers in the country: availability of dates for iftar, a solemn occasion for breaking the fast during Ramadhan, and availability of foreign exchange to travel to Mecca for the annual pilgrimage. Because these two issues consumed the country’s precious foreign reserves, govts of that time had to be economical. more..

Connect with start-up investors to accelerate your fintech ideas

Jun 14 (Roar) The hottest buzzword in the startup industry lately has been FinTech. The marriage of Finance and Technology isn’t new. We’ve all used credit cards, e-banking and other similar technologies. But this new age of connectivity and mobile computing are opening up new opportunities for smart and savvy tech entrepreneurs to make their mark on the world. FinTech has been called the intersection more..

Choose your poison, ladies and gentlemen

Jun 14 (CT) There’s a term that has consistently defined electoral politics in Sri Lanka: default option. We’ve heard it before. We vote people and parties out. Naturally other people and parties get voted in. It’s a pay-back option for a people whose franchise is mostly about reflecting for a few moments before a ballot box before deciding to pick from a group of people or parties patently unsuited to hold office or rule the country. Punishment is salve, obviously. It’s also the easier option, more..

Chandrika’s shifts

Jun 14 (CT) Many years ago, when I was working as a Consultant at the Ministry of Education to develop English medium in govt schools, I was quite positive about Chandrika Kumaratunga, who was Minister at the time. She had contributed to rescuing English medium when Ranil was trying to destroy it, and then she had courageously stopped his administration in its tracks when it tried to gazette regulations through the Ministry of Defence which seemed to threaten security of the country. more..

MR-Keshap meeting: US Embassy non-committal

Jun 13 (DM) In response to the news report published on a Tamil daily newspaper in Jaffna regarding a content of a meeting held between former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and outgoing US Ambassador Atul Keshap, US Embassy today remained non-committal. When inquired about the meeting, the Embassy said that the Ambassador met political leaders as a routine. “The Ambassador meets routinely with political leaders, more..

Sri Lanka needs permanent secretaries, SOE directors on merit: Report

Jun 13 (EN) A top professional organization has called for the institution of permanent secretaries to be restored and directors of state enterprises to be vetted for qualification and past record to cut corruption and boost governance. "Secretaries to Ministries should be appointed after applications are called by the Public Service Commission from the public including senior management groups of public sector and Private Sector," a revised summary of a report by committee of the OPA said. more..

Integrity Idol 2018 launched amidst treasury bond scams

Jun 13 (Island) Amidst calls for punitive action against those involved in the Treasury bond scams, the Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL), local chapter of the global movement against corruption, has embarked on a new endeavour to recognise honesty and integrity in public service, through Integrity Idol 2018 which was launched yesterday at the SLFI. Through a nationwide media campaign, citizens are invited to nominate public officials that have demonstrated integrity in more..

Mutual assistance in criminal matters: Eliya criticizes amendments in Act

Jun 13 (CT) The Eliya organization backed by Former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa criticized the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters (Amendment) Bill gazetted in May, alleging that the Govt is trying to grant powers to any country or organization which deals in addressing crime and related activity, to interfere in Sri Lanka’s internal affairs. Eliya Representative, Attorney-at-Law Thushara Dissanayake, stressed that more..

MR denies being told US will block Gota from being President

Jun 13 (SL) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa today denied reports that he was told by the outgoing US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Atul Keshap that the US will not allow former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to contest and become the President of Sri Lanka. Rajapaksa said that while he did meet Atul Keshap there was no discussion about preventing Gotabhaya Rajapaksa from contesting the next Presidential election. “The US cannot dictate terms to us,” Rajapaksa said. more..

Building coal power plants violative of international environmental obligations

Jun 13 (Island) Building new coal power plants would be a violation of environmental obligations SL has undertaken to uphold in the past, Hemantha Withanage, Executive Director, Centre for Environmental Justice said. He said, "For example in 2016 we submitted an Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) to the UN saying that we will reduce 4% of carbon emission in the power sector by 2030. To achieve emission reduction targets the contribution from more..

Spread of Infuenza A controlled: Rajitha

Jun 13 (NR) Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne says the Influenza A virus which was spreading in the Southern Province has been controlled up to around 95%. He refuted reports that the virus is spreading to other districts. The Minister noted Influenza A is a type of fever adding it is normal for Influenza to spread during the rainy seasons. Minister said Influenza could not be contained this year as it led to an epidemic in certain areas. more..

Industrial index slows by 0.7% in April

Jun 13 (FT) The Index of Industrial Production (IIP), which measures the volume of industrial production, has decreased slightly by 0.7% in April compared to the same month in 2017, Census and Statistics Department said. The department attributed the change to the reduced number of working days in April 2018 compared to the same month in 2017 as both Vesak and the Sinhala Tamil New Year was celebrated in April. IIP reported for the month of April 2018 & 2017 were 97.7 & 98.3 respectively. more..

Misappropriating funds: Summons issued on N’Eliya ex-Mayor

Jun 13 (CT) Summons was issued on the former mayor of the Nuwara Eliya Municipal Council, to appear in Court on 7 August, by Colombo Fort Chief Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake yesterday, in connection with the crediting of funds received from certain institutions for the Vasantha Udanaya 2013 to the Mayor’s account instead of the account of the Municipal Council. The accused in this case is Dodampe Gamage Mahinda, residing at 4, Garden Hill Road, Nuwara Eliya. more..

Video: Current govt was born in the fire and will burn to death in fire: Dullas

Jun 13 (AD) The country is in a mess because of the 19th Constitutional Amendment and the current govt should take responsibility for it, says JO MP Dinesh Gunewardena. He stated that the units which protect law and order of the government have been unable to perform their duties properly. MP Dullas Alahapperuma, said that the shooting of the Kiriwehera Chief Incumbent didn’t happen on the territory of God more..

Rumble in the Jungle: Rider missing; race suspended

Jun 13 (DM) An adventure themed Off-Road Bicycle Race Rumble in the Jungle organised by the SriLankan Airlines had been suspended today following a contestant went missing after falling into the Mahaweli River in Mahiyanganaya, Organising Committee said in a statement. “One rider, a foreign participant, whose team was leading the race, is currently unaccounted for. Search and Rescue teams aided by the SL Police are working round the clock to locate the missing rider,” it said. more..

Get ready to leave at the end of the term says Godahewa to President Sirisena

Jun 13 (LBO) With the Prez election close to 18 months away, potential candidates are positioning themselves ahead of the poll. Former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, candidate recently attracting much attention, is trying to stake his claim though experiencing many complications. Foremost among these issues is his American citizenship which he will have to renounce in time for the poll. Persons with information on the process indicate that it can often take much more time more..