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'There is nothing we cannot do for Sri Lanka'

July 14 (PSL) ’Bangladesh will not hesitate to provide whatever the possible assistance or help to Sri Lanka  as we have an extremely  cordial relationship’, said  the Bangladesh Foreign Minister Mahmood Ali when he met with President Maithripala Sirisena. President Maithripala Sirisena who is on a three-day State Visit to Bangladesh met with Bangladesh Foreign Minister at the Hotel Sonargaon, today (13). more..

SriLankan Airlines enhances services for Chinese travelers

July 14 (EN) SriLankan Airlines said it enhanced its services for customers in China, one of the fastest growing travel markets into the island, with the launch of a local direct-dial number for the airline’s customers throughout China. This will connect customers directly with Mandarin-speaking customer service staff at the airline’s Global Contact Centre. “China is one of the most rapidly growing travel markets into Sri Lanka, which is currently witnessing a boom in visitor arrivals,” more..

National Export Strategy to be implemented with budget 2018: Advisor

July 14 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s proposed National Export Strategy will be implemented with the budget of 2018, a senior official at the International Trade Center said. Int'l Trade Ministry and Export Development Board, together with the help of the International Trade Center, is currently conducting the second round of consultations to chart a national export strategy for Sri Lanka. Trade Strategy and Competitiveness Advisor of the Int'l Trade Center Charles Roberge told more..

South Asia must cooperate to eradicate drug menace: President

July 14 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena called on South Asian leaders to cooperate in collective programmes to eradicate drug menace. He said that the spread of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances is the most dangerous threat to the youths in the region and it requires constant attention and utmost vigilance to prevent smuggling and distribution of drugs. Speaking to the delegates attending 8th Meeting of SAARC more..

Sri Lanka’s tea industry is in celebratory mode, while India’s struggles

July 14 (Hindu) Sri Lanka has unfurled a series of events to mark the sesquicentennial of its tea industry. Starting with the installation of a bust of James Taylor, the man reputed to have launched commercial cultivation of tea in 1867, the island nation has lined up many programmes throughout the year to commemorate the occasion. These include: release of a coin, outreach programmes in its seven tea-growing regions, a charity auction, an international Colombo Tea Convention, more..

Cremer backs Zimbabwe to counter Herath

July 14 (CI) When last these teams met, Rangana Herath practically gobbled the opposition up, and took nearly half the Zimbabwe wickets on offer in the series. Herath had not previously played Zimbabwe, and as such, it was the only team against whom he did not have a five-wicket haul. He claimed only six wickets in the first Test, but was irresistible in the next, taking five wickets in the first innings and eight in the second. All up, his 19 wickets came at 15.10 apiece. more..

Sri Lanka’s difficulty with Truth

July 14 (HRW) War is messy, leaving in its wake, not just death, injuries and destruction, but persistent distrust. To heal, there needs to be communication, understanding, and above all a sense of righting wrongs. In this, Sri Lanka’s Govt is faltering, despite promises to its own people, as well as to the international community. SL’s three-decade war with the separatist LTTE killed an estimated 100,000 civilians, more..

Healing The Sea

July 14 (IE) SL Parliament’s unanimous amendment of its Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Act last week to ban trawling is a bold step from both political and ecological perspectives. It will have an impact on the conflict between Indian Tamil fishermen and the fishermen of Northern SL who fish in the Palk Bay, a highly productive but spatially limited marine ecosystem. During the ethnic conflict in SL’s northern districts, Colombo had prohibited all coastal fishing in a bid to curb LTTE’s naval prowess. more..

Wadey seller robbed by two men in 3-wheeler

July 14 (DN) A woman selling wadey on the roadside for a living in the Ibbagamuwa area was robbed of her daily wage when two men in a three-wheeler snatched the tin in which she put her daily collection to. The victim of the incident happened to 57-year-old H. M. Hemathilaka, a resident of Gokarella, Godgama. She made a living through the selling of wadey in a makeshift hut on the Kurunegala-Dambulla main road, on the outskirts of Ibbagamuwa town. more..

Polythene Ban: Should we celebrate just yet?

July 14 (Roar) This week’s announcement by the Govt of a ban on polythene lunch sheets, rigifoam boxes, and shopping bags starting September 1 has been met with tumultuous applause, as expected. However, questions remain as to the practicality of enforcing such a blanket ban and whether or not it would instead prove counterproductive. In 2006, then Environment Minister Maithripala Sirisena prohibited more..

Waters Edge Triumphs at Bocuse d’Or SL

July 14 (DN) Paying tribute to its world-class culinary prowess the team from Waters Edge once again triumphed at the Bocuse d’Or Sri Lanka Selection Competition that was held recently. Team comprising of multiple award-winning Executive Sous Chef Chamaka Perera and W Dinesh, diced, minced, stirred and plated their way to victory and the opportunity to compete in the Bocuse d’ Or Asia 2018. Speaking at the awards ceremony Waters Edge, General Manager culinary guru more..

A peace dividend of no enforced disappearances

July 14 (Island) Recent weeks have witnessed a political debate over the presentation by the govt of the enabling legislation for the enactment of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances. Much of the criticisms of the proposed Act seems to stem from misinformation and a misconception about what the proposed Act is all about and what it seeks to achieve. The first point which must be noted with regard to the enabling legislation more..


Editorial: Yahapalanaya unmasked

July 14 (Island) Many organisations that rallied behind Sirisena-Wickremesinghe coalition, enabling it to dislodge the Rajapaksa govt more than two years ago, expected the new dispensation to bring about a radical change. But, what they have got by way of yahapalanaya or good governance is like the curate’s egg. They are in the same predicament as Mr. Jones in the famous Punch cartoon. They are reluctant to tell the truth; instead they claim that part of yahapalanaya is excellent! more..

Tuk-Tuk-Tuk Talk: Safe or Not?

July 14 (NS) US Embassy in Colombo recently issued a warning to US tourists to avoid travelling alone in three-wheelers, after a spate of sexual harassment complaints. In the security message posted on its website, US Embassy in Colombo further said that it has been made aware of an increase in incidents involving tuk-tuk drivers in the Colombo area inappropriately touching female passengers. Females should avoid travelling in tuk-tuks alone in Colombo, the message warned. more..

The man and his vision

July 14 (CT) As we approach the half-way point of the term with unity govt, it is clear beyond any doubt that the administration has failed in all aspects including the foremost touted political and ethnic reconciliation process. A rotten capital market, uncontrollable inflation, and absolutely pathetic fiscal/economic policy, corrupt politicians and legislators, inefficient bloated ministries, civil/union unrests have been the highlights of more..

Constitutional impasse !

July 14 (DN) Among the main priorities of President Maithripala Sirisena, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and their National Unity govt was the task of enacting a new Constitution to replace the nearly forty-year-old Constitution introduced by former President J.R. Jayewardene which ushered in an executive presidential system of govt in the country. Although the 3 Presidents from the UNP who held office, Jayewardene, R. Premadasa and D.B. Wijetunge did nothing to diminish powers of Presidency, more..

Doctor of Art

July 14 (NS) He started painting at the tender age of five. He had no inkling what it was that he was doing, which was doodling something akin to ancient cave paintings. His muse was the buffalos and cows of his ancestral home in Thalahena. It was meant to be a record of all the animals that he encountered while on his solitary excursions in the village. I couldn’t write, so this was a means of record-keeping, reminisced Shanaka Kulathunge, a medical doctor by day and painter by night, more..

'New Constitution will compromise soldiers'

July 14 (CT) JO MP Prasanna Ranatunga says that they have clearly set forth their stand that the Unitary State and the prominence accorded to Buddhism in the Constitution cannot be compromised in the new Constitution. Q: Why are you getting ready for a snap election? A: We are ready for elections at any moment but the govt is afraid of them. Q: Why did you launch your campaign in Trinco? A: It's only one of our planned rallies. more..

Hate talk continues

July 14 (CT) The argument from the top of the SL govt that war crimes against Tamil civilians need not be prosecuted puts our govt’s pronouncements in the same category as Gnanasara Thero’s. While Gnanasara’s rowdy tirades are against Muslims, the PM’s and President’s dehumanize Tamil civilians murdered in Mullivaikal. In this backdrop, it is refreshing that our new Army Commander Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, says that he rejects the war crime allegations against more..

Violence is the new nonviolence

July 14 (CT) A Group of GMOA members and the medical faculty undergraduates were on their way to pelt stones on SAITM building in Malabe. On the way, they saw Lord Buddha meditating under a ‘Bo’ tree. They all went to him and told ‘Oh, Most Venerable! We are on our way to pelt stones at SAITM in order to protect the standard of the medical education of our beloved motherland. Please bless us’. Lord Buddha opened his eyes and said calmly. more..

Sri Lanka opens landmark inquiry into 2012 jail massacre

July 13 (AFP) Sri Lanka announced a long-awaited investigation into the massacre of 27 prisoners that became a symbol of the rights abuses allegedly perpetrated by the war-era regime. IGP ordered the investigation into the 2012 bloodshed, when security forces allegedly gunned down inmates in cold blood. Trouble erupted inside the maximum security Welikada prison when police conducted a sweep for drugs and allegedly more..

SLFP, Mahanayakas want only reforms to Constitution: Dilan

July 13 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and the joint opposition are agitating for a new constitution and the abolition of the executive presidency while the SLFP and Mahanayakas of three Nikayas want to retain the executive presidency and introduce reforms to the existing Constitution, Minister and SLFP spokesman Dilan Perera said. Minister Perera said he wondered whether there was a hidden agenda between the UNP and the JO to weaken President Sirisena's stature more..

Can confident Zimbabwe topple Chandimal's Sri Lanka?

July 13 (CI) When last these teams met, Zimbabwe almost survived in the first game, but were rolled over in the second, taking Sri Lanka's Test-match winning streak to five. The world has changed dramatically since. Heading into this match at Khettarama, the hosts have a new captain, and new-ish head coach, and a startling dearth of confidence. As was the case with the ODI series, this spells opportunity for Zimbabwe. Opportunity, because Sri Lanka will have only 3 days to recover from more..

UN special rapporteur visits Sri Lanka's Tamil political detainees

July 13 (PTI) For the first time, a special UN rapporteur today visited the Tamil political prisoners arrested under Sri Lanka's anti-terrorism laws in the Northern Province to get a first-hand information on their human rights situation. Ben Emmerson, the special rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism, is visiting the island nation since July 10 on a five-day trip following an invitation by the Sri Lankan govt. more..

SL navy arrests 7 TN fishermen

July 13 (PTI) Seven Tamil Nadu fishermen were arrested today by Sri Lankan navy, prompting Chief Minister K Palaniswami to dub the recurring mid-sea apprehensions a deliberate bid to derail India's efforts to permanently resolve the vexed issue of fishing rights. The fishermen from nearby Mandapam were fishing at Neduntheevu, close to Sri Lankan coast when they were arrested and taken to Kangesanthurai port there, Assistant Director of Fisheries Gopinath said. more..

Taco Bell opens its doors in Sri Lanka

July 13 (DM) Hold your breath, Sri Lanka! Taco Bell, the world’s largest Mexican-inspired quick service restaurant chain, will unleash an electrifying experience when it opens its doors in Sri Lanka on 17 July at No. 36, Horton Place, Colombo 7. The popular global quick service restaurant chain infuses the local restaurant scene with its own dash of piquant taste to tantalize the taste buds and bring a new dimension in dining out. Taco Bell is brought to Sri Lanka by Gamma Pizzakraft Lanka, more..

Former U.S. envoy Blake clarifies stance on Tamil Tigers, beach rescue plan

July 13 (IB) Former U.S. Ambassador to SL Robert Blake has said it is a myth that he orchestrated a rescue of tens of thousands of Tamil refugees from a northern Sri Lankan beach to help V. Prabhakaran, the leader of LTTE, escape the SL armed forces who ultimately killed him in 2009. Blake, who also served as assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia during first term of the Obama administration, said more..

Video: If Sangakkara wants an investigation, so be it: Arjuna

July 13 (AD) Former Test cricket captain, Minister Arjuna Ranatunga stated that he was also in agreement that an investigation should be launched into the terror attack against the Sri Lanka cricket team in Lahore, Pakistan, back in 2009. Minister also requested to uncover what truly happened at the final match of the ICC World Cup in 2011. Minister Ranatunga made the request upon meeting a group of newspaper journalists at the Ministry of Petroleum Resource Development. more..

JO opposes new supplementary estimate to purchase luxuries for ministers

July 13 (Island) The Joint Opposition (JO) said it was opposed to the supplementary estimate which was tabled in parliament last Friday seeking financial allocations to purchase new vehicles for ministers and to renovate their official residences. JO MP Dinesh Gunawardena said parliamentary members should spend a simple lifestyle at a time the country was facing many difficulties and the people themselves were troubled by high cost of living and the dengue epidemic. more..

Grand welcome for President at Dhaka International Airport

July 13 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena, who arrived at the Dhaka Int'l Airport, today on a 3-day State Visit to Bangladesh at the invitation of Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina received a grand welcome at the Airport. This is the first State Visit to Bangladesh by the President after he assumed office. Govt of Bangladesh had prepared all the arrangements to accord him a grand welcome. President was warmly received by President more..

Sri Lanka named Asia’s leading destination at World Travel Awards

July 13 (LBO) Sri Lanka Tourism clinched two prestigious awards at the World Travel Awards Ceremony held in the Maldives last week. Competing among 47 countries in Asia, Sri Lanka bagged the awards for Asia’s Leading Destination and Asia’s Leading Adventure Tourism Destination. The awards were received by Managing Director, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB), Sutheash Balasubramanium and Director Marketing, SLTPB, Madhubani Perera. more..

‘Govt has robbed more in 2 years than MR’s 10 years’

July 13 (AD) President of the Pevidi Handa Organization, Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda Thero said that the present govt had committed more corrupt acts in just two years than Mahinda Rajapaksa did across a period of ten years. Even though former President Rajapaksa committed acts of corruption, he still rendered a service to the country, Ven. Ananda Thero pointed out. Thero stated this upon attending a media briefing of the Pevidi Handa today. more..

Crucial discussion between GMOA and PM last night

July 13 (DM) GMOA said they had met PM last night where they had discussed 5 proposals put forward by them against the SAITM including the proposal to nationalize it. GMOA Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge said the meeting held at Temple Trees was attended by GMOA representatives, PM & Minister Senaratne. “During this meeting, PM has studied the 5 proposals and said that he does not see anything wrong with these proposals” more..

Prof. Colvin Gunaratne among three nominated to head SLMC

July 13 (Island) Health MinisterRajitha Senaratne said that names of three specialist doctors had been proposed for the Sri Lanka Medical Council chairman post that fell vacant following the expiry of term of former Chairman Prof Carlo Fonseka. Among those nominated was Prof Colvin Gunaratne, Dr Senaratne said. The best of the three nominations would be selected for the post of Chairman of SLMC, he said, adding that he would make the appointment in the coming days. more..

Ban manpower agencies: ICEU

July 13 (DN) The Inter Company Employees Union (ICEU) today urged the govt to take necessary measures to ban the recruitment of workers through manpower agencies. Addressing the media today at the Centre for Society and Religion (CSR), Maradana General Secretary of the ICEU Janaka Adikari said that the Inter Company Employees Union will not hesitate to take stern trade union action and use the full power to solve this issue if the Govt does not solve it soon.  more..