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EDB mulls export expansion in US market

Feb 12 (DN) Sri Lanka needs to make greater efforts to get into the US market using the United States GSP scheme as a tool while ensuring that buyers are aware of GSP, said Dr. Fredrik Leuhusen from the School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles. Stressing the need to identify ways to provide necessary assistance to buyers through this process, Dr. Leuhusen said, “it is essential to identify ways SL can produce more GSP eligible products that USA market wants.” more..

'SL only country joined by destiny is India'

Feb 12 (FT) In an apparent message to China and pro-Sino lobbies, Indian High Commissioner Taranjit Singh Sandhu highlighted how supportive his country has been to SL and urged the nation to benefit from the giant neighbour’s success story by virtue of destiny. Speaking at the a reception to commemorate the 70th Republic Day of India and 71st Independence Day of SL on Sunday at the Taj Samudra, Taranjit was emphatic that SL is special for India. more..

Lasith Malinga on a sticky wicket

Feb 12 (Island) SL’s white ball skipper Lasith Malinga’s future as the captain has come under the scanner after being accused of serious misconduct by fellow senior players. During a meeting called up by Minister Harin Fernando last week, Malinga had been accused of being a disruptive element in the team creating disharmony and friction. All 3 former captains – Angelo, Thisara and Chandimal more..

Strong sectoral contributions drive Hayleys third quarter PBT

Feb 12 (Island) Hayleys PLC, recorded a strong all-round performance in the third quarter of 2018 (3Q18), as the Group turnover rose by 20% Year-on-Year (YoY) to Rs. 59.7 bn, resulting in a sharp 80% YoY increase in Group’s Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) toRs. 9 bn for the quarter. The Group’s nine months performance was equally impressive with Turnover reaching an enviable Rs.163 bn and the EBITDA reaching Rs 15.1 bn. more..

We're going to try dominate whichever team comes here: Maharaj

Feb 12 (CI) Sri Lanka crushed South Africa 2-0 last July, and now, at the tail end of an excellent home summer, it's South Africa's turn to return the favour. So said left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj, who knows better than most that these two teams have been trading whitewashes over the past few years. The last time SL were in the country, in 2016-17, Maharaj had been part of the South Africa team that had walloped the opposition 3-0. With South Africa having also thumped Pakistan 3-0 more..

SLC elections: Mohan, Ravin seek legal redress

Feb 12 (CT) Mohan de Silva and Ravin Wickremaratne have decided to seek legal redress with regard to their disqualification in the run up to the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) elections to be held on the 21st of this month. After perusing the objections and the counter objections, reports were submitted to the Sports Minister by the 3-member panel, which sought legal advice from the Attorney General and subsequently disqualified both more..

$ 16 million remainder of $ 70 million on ETI Finance assets sale due in February

Feb 12 (FT) The Central Bank is expecting the remaining $ 16 million of the total $ 70 million on the sale of select assets of ETI Finance Ltd., (ETIF) this month. “Currently, $ 54 million of the total $ 75 million has been received to ETIF, which was primarily utilised to repay 20% of the deposits of the company. A further $ 16 million which was delayed due to various reasons is expected to be received by the company within the month of February 2019, as informed by the buyer,” Central Bank said. more..

Lanka Women lose to SA Women by 7 runs

Feb 12 (CI) South Africa captain Dane van Niekerk continued her good run of form with the bat, scoring her maiden one-day international hundred to set up a seven-run win over Sri Lanka in the first of three ODIs in Potchefstroom. In a match reduced to 48 overs per side by morning rain, van Niekerk put on 117 with Andrie Steyn as South Africa reached 225 for 7. The hosts then held their nerve to overcome a Sri Lankan side who stumbled in the closing moments of a tight chase. more..

SL & India are 2 sides of the same coin: PM

Feb 12 (FT) Reinforcing the importance of stronger ties, especially economic PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on Sunday described Sri Lanka and India as two sides of the same coin. Speaking at the a reception to commemorate the 70th Republic Day of India and 71st Independence Day of Sri Lanka on Sunday at Taj Samudra, Wickremesinghe recalled that it was trade between the two countries which led to more..

Durban offers faint hope for beleaguered SL

Feb 12 (CT) The odds appear to be stacked against SL in a 2-Test series against South Africa, which starts at Kingsmead on Wednesday, but the tourists can take heart from their previous record in Durban. The away team head into the series following heavy defeats in New Zealand and Australia, and having unceremoniously dumped captain Dinesh Chandimal. SL have lost 11 of 13 Test matches in SA. The exceptions occurred at Kingsmead in the only two Tests SL have played at the ground. more..

NDB records exceptional performance

Feb 12 (FT) National Development Bank PLC said yesterday it has concluded the financial year 2018 on a high note, with exceptional results reported on all fronts. Financial performance for the year reached a new high in the Bank’s history with impressive profitability and strong balance sheet growth. Increase in business volumes as well as enhanced operational efficiencies led to these sound results. The year also marked the Bank and its Group companies being externally endorsed more..

NSSF set up makeshift shooting range, after waiting in vain

Feb 12 (ST) National Shooting Sports Federation of Sri Lanka (NSSF), after eagerly, desperately and fruitlessly waiting for state support to build up a permanent national shooting range, has put up a makeshift air rifle range, aiming to support its national shooters which include upcoming School children who will be the future medalists in the sport of shooting now numbering over 5000. more..

Public Diplomacy: New Foreign Ministry initiative

Feb 12 (Island) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Press Institute, recently conducted a two-week intensive training course in Public Diplomacy and Media Relations for the 2018 intake of Foreign Service officers (SLOS) and some others who had joined in recent years. The program included interactive sessions with both local and foreign media experts and covered key areas in Public Diplomacy of writing news releases, conducting press conferences, more..

Pluralist ethos is more relevant to national identity

Feb 12 (CT) One of the fallouts of the political crisis that occurred towards the end of last year in October was the mobilization of civil society groups that engaged in discussion and debate about the constitutional propriety of the president’s decision to sack the prime minister and dissolve parliament. As the new prime minister and his govt took swift action to take control and oust their rivals from all official positions, the president’s decision seemed irreversible in political terms, more..

යාපනේ ද්රවිඩ තරුණයෙක් කළ හෙළිදරව්ව

Edtorial: A sober voice

Feb 12 (Island) It is heartening that not all govt MPs are intoxicated with power and impervious to reason. Some of them are responsive to public opinion and have the courage to express views that are at variance with their leaders’ on some key issues. They are the real strength of the ruling coalition. Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva has said that the sole purpose of forming a national govt should not be increasing the number of ministers. If there are MPs who are willing to join the govt more..

Fine-tuning the UN programme

Feb 12 (DN) Article 3 of our Constitution declares our sovereignty: “In the Republic of Sri Lanka sovereignty is in the People and is inalienable. Sovereignty includes the powers of govt, fundamental rights and the franchise.” It provides in article 103(2) for an independent EC to oversee the exercise of our franchise: “The object of the Commission shall be to conduct free and fair elections and referenda.” It adds in article 104B(2) that “It shall be the duty of the Commission to more..

Sri Lanka produces its own Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher

Feb 12 (CT) Sri Lankan First Indigenous Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher (MBRL) with a 122mm Ten-Barrel Rocket Launching System was designed and developed by Centre for Research and Development (CRD), under Ministry of Defence (MOD), said Director General of the CRD Brigadier Dr. Thiran de Silva. Brigadier de Silva stated that there was a huge requirement to develop our own weapons system more..

With govt backing, Muslim men are taking over MMDA reforms once again

Feb 12 (CT) One year after the report of the 2009 MMDA Committee appointed to suggest amendments to the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA) was submitted to the Ministry of Justice, there appears to be some discussion at the ministerial level about next steps for MMDA reform. However, these discussions have been heading in the wrong direction. On Feb 7th, a meeting was called between Muslim MP’s and members of the 2009 Committee, instead it came to light more..

Economic development in a confused political environment

Feb 12 (ST) The President’s speech at the independence commemoration ceremony last Monday clearly demonstrated the divisive nature of our political leadership and the incapacity to forge a united effort to achieve economic stability and development. Apart from the inappropriateness of such criticism in an Independence Day Speech to the nation, it is incongruous as Mr. Sirisena was in the cabinets of Mr. Rajapakse and held several key cabinet positions in his govt. more..

Committing to the ink: How Sri Lanka's tattoo artists learn their art

Feb 12 (Roar) “It’s the uniqueness of every piece you create,” Kyle Sampath-Valentine said, about why he chose to become a tattoo artist. “You’re constantly learning new things, and even if you get the same design, it’s never going to be the same tattoo.” Tattoos are a popular form of expression, and there is an ever-increasing demand for tattooists, but little standardised infrastructure to train them. more..

Regulating Pvt sector health service charges

Feb 12 (DN) The private hospitals will be regulated soon and the relevant gazette notification is now being prepared. The final draft of the regulation process was presented in mid-January, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. According him, a case has been filed in courts by private hospitals against regulation, but all private hospitals would be regulated as planned in order to provide a better health service to the public. Accordingly, charges on various surgeries, laboratory investigations more..

It’s not all’s well that ends well

Feb 12 (SO) The letters ‘SLC’ spells trouble, or so it seems. This week, the poster boy of one SLC, Sri Lanka Cricket, test captain Dinesh Chandimal was sacked and the mantle was bestowed on Dimuth Karunaratne. In what is an entirely different ball game, the head of another SLC, Sri Lanka Customs, Ms. P.S.M. Charles was re-instated as Director General of Customs after attempts to remove her led to a prolonged strike by customs officers. We shall not dwell on the ills that plague more..

‘Sri Lanka wants Tamil refugees to return’

Feb 11 (Hindu) At 76, Austin Fernando, a veteran of the Sri Lankan bureaucracy, is perhaps the oldest to hold the post of High Commissioner to India. During his visit to Chennai to obtain first-hand knowledge of the situation pertaining to Tamil refugees, he said that Sri Lanka needs them. We want them to return. Q: What has brought you to Chennai? A: We had a team of officials come here from Colombo, including Sumith Nakandala, more..

Sumanthiran next TNA leader?

Feb 11 (CT) It is highly likely that MP M.A. Sumanthiran will be the next Leader of TNA, since its present Leader, R. Sampanthan, is not physically fit to carry out responsibilities, reliable sources said. Meanwhile, Jaffna District TNA MP E. Sarawanapavan confirmed that the initiatives required to make Sumanthiran the next leader of the Party will be made at the next politburo meeting. However, according to the seniority, the next leader of TNA should be Mawai Senathirajah. more..

Norwegian envoy briefed on challenges in the North

Feb 11 (CG) The Ambassador of Norway to Sri Lanka and Maldives, Thorbjørn Gaustadsæther, has been briefed on the challenges faced in the North when he visited the area last week, the Norwegian Embassy in Colombo said today. Ambassador Gaustadsæther visited Jaffna to attend the International Conference on Advanced Materials for Clean Energy and Health Applications (AMCEHA), jointly organized by Western Norway University of Applied Sciences and University of Jaffna. more..

Sale of EAP Companies: Lycamobile made purchases under disguise: Weerawansa

Feb 11 (CT) Governor of the CB, Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy, is responsible for facilitating the purchase of the companies belonging to the EAP Edirisinghe Group at a very low rate, by an internationally blacklisted company named Lycamobile, alleged NFF Leader Wimal Weerawansa. Founder of Lycamobile, which is disgracefully known as the world’s largest cheap telephone call provider, is Subaskaran more..

'Prez changed tracks for country’s sake'

Feb 11 (AD) A govt jointly formed by Prez Sirisena and Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa would be established in the future, says SLFP General Secretary MP Dayasiri Jayasekara. The MP stated this addressing a public meeting held in Katugampola, Kurunegala. Stating that the GDP growth rate of the country for the past five years had been 3.1%, MP Jayasekara questioned if the govt can function with the UNP at a situation as such. Prez formed a govt with Mahinda Rajapaksa, more..

Foreign reserves hit 21-month low

Feb 11 (CT) The country’s foreign reserves fell to a 21-month low last month, scarred by the dual ill effects of the political uncertainty three months ago that led to foreign exits from the financial markets, coupled with having to honour a US$ one billion maturing sovereign bond taken during the Rajapaksa era. As a result, the country’s foreign reserves, last month over December fell by US$ 777.57 million (11.24%) to $ 6,141.65 million. Meanwhile, the dubious distinction of more..

National Govt proposal likely to be dropped

Feb 11 (CT) Due to opposition by various parties, the proposal to form a National Govt is unlikely to be presented to Parliament, informed sources said. The proposal was scheduled to be submitted to Parliament at the next sitting. It is also reported that the President has informed several senior UNP members that he would not support a National Govt which is illegal and will never increase the number of Ministers above 30. more..

Govt to issue permits for chainsaws

Feb 11 (NR) Prez Sirisena says a new circular will be issued in the near future making it mandatory to obtain permits for chainsaws used for felling. He said accordingly those who own chainsaws should take necessary methods to obtain permits from the 15th of Feb to the 1st of March by visiting the nearest Police Station. Meanwhile all Police Stations will be required to maintain a register of those who own chainsaws. Prez noted those who fail to obtain permit to use such machines will be arrested. more..

Date of producing Madush before court uncertain: Udul

Feb 11 (DM) The date to produce in courts the suspects including Makadure Madush, who were arrested in Dubai, was uncertain, Attorney-at-law Udul Premaratne, who went to Dubai to appear on behalf of Amal Perera and Nadimal Perera, said. He said the suspects were still under police custody and that they were yet to be produced in court. “False news is being reported that they were produced in court. I got the opportunity to speak to Amal Perera and his son,” Premaratne said. more..

Behind every underworld leader, there’s a politician: Gammanpila

Feb 11 (DM) Similar to the saying there is a strong woman behind every successful man, there is a political leader behind every underworld leader, MP Udaya Gammanpila said. He said regardless of the status or the political party they belonged to, politicians must be brought to books if they back underworld figures or activities. “No underworld can sustain without the backing and support of politician and the protection of the police. more..

Drug shortage will be ended by next month

Feb 11 (GDI) The drug shortage will be ended by March end, Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said. According to Minister Senaratne, the drug shortage commenced with the 53 days of political crisis and all possible steps were taken to address the issue. The Govt Medical Officers Association is also responsible for the drug shortage because they had close connections with then Health Minister and they were always moved here and there inside the Health Ministry during that time. more..

Govt to introduce a high quality helmet?

Feb 11 (NR) Minister Arjuna Ranatunga says the importation of helmets of poor quality will be halted in future. He said the number of motorbike accidents have increased as a result of the recklessness of riders and in turn results in critical injuries due to substandard helmets. Minister Ranatunga accordingly noted the Ministry will introduce helmets of acceptable quality manufactured according to technically sound standards to the market in the near future. more..

Will lodge bribery complain against Buddhika as soon as I return: ASP

Feb 11 (DM) A.S.P. Liyanage who resigned as the SL Ambassador to Qatar said today he would lodge a complaint against Deputy Minister Buddhika Pathirana with the Bribery Commission as soon as he returned to the country after completing his diplomatic duties in Qatar. Mr. Liyanage said a complaint would be lodged with the Bribery Commission against Dy Minister Pathirana for allegedly obtaining benefits from more..