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LNG power plant: Proposal to award contract to foreign bidder withheld

Jun 20 (CT) Cabinet yesterday put off the ratification of the tender, regarding the controversial 300 mw liquefied natural gas (LNG) combined cycle power plant at Kerawalapitiya, due to the non-availability of observations from the Ministry of Finance. Standing Cabinet Appointed Procurement Committee (SCAPC) has already recommended that tender should be handed over to GCL China Wind Powers & Renew Gen. more..

'Ex- Navy Commander harboured suspect'

Jun 20 (CT) The CID yesterday informed Colombo Fort Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne that investigations conducted in the case, where 11 children were alleged to have been abducted, have revealed that Former Navy Commander and Incumbent Chief of Defence Staff Ravindra Wijegoonawardene had provided residential facilities to the missing chief suspect in the case Lieutenant Commander of the Navy Prasad Hettiarachchi. CID submitted a progress report on the case more..

SAITM students disappointed with President

Jun 20 (CT) Students of the SAITM are unhappy over the delay by the President to respond to their request for a meeting. Secretary of the Students Action Committee of SAITM, Chatushka Rambukwella said that they had not been aware about the details of the proposed solution to recruit SAITM students to the Kotelawala Defence University (KDU) and neither had Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe nor Prez Sirisena given them an opportunity to meet them to obtain more..

Final tranche for Hambantota port: CM port to pay US $ 585 million this week

Jun 20 (CT) China Merchant Port Holdings Ltd will pay the final tranche of US$ 585 Million for the Hambantota Port this week. Chairman of the SL Ports Authority, Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake while confirming that the final tranche of US $ 585 Million would be paid by China Merchant Port Holdings Ltd this week, also debunked news stories both in the local and foreign Media that China Merchant Port Holdings Ltd more..

Norwegian Foreign Affairs State Minister here today

Jun 20 (FT) Norwegian Foreign Affairs State Minister Jens Frølich Holte will arrive in SL today. State Minister’s visit, which will end on 23 June, coincides with the arrival of the Norwegian research vessel Dr. Fridtjof Nansen to SL. Research vessel will arrive in Colombo on 21 June followed by a 26-day research journey around the island. The research vessel will assist SL in mapping its marine resources. State Minister will also meet senior politicians, ministers, members of civil society more..

Kusal reaches career best 12th spot, Chandimal moves to 9th

Jun 20 (DN) Windies fast bowler Shannon Gabriel has made a huge jump to take a career-best 12th position in the MRF Tyres ICC Test Player Rankings after his player of the match effort in the drawn second Test against SL in St Lucia, which ended on Monday. The 30-year-old has gained 11 places after finishing the match with 13 for 121, the third best match haul ever by a Windies bowler. Gabriel has reached 754 rating points while his previous best was 636 points and an 18th place in Aug more..

'SLFP, UNP in dire straits after LG polls debacle'

Jun 20 (Island) Minister Champika Ranawaka says the SLFP and the UNP haven’t taken steps to shore up the yahapalana administration even four months after the debilitating local govt polls setback. JHU stalwart has said that both the SLFP and the UNP haven’t initiated proper restructuring process to enable them to face future electoral challenges. Ranawaka said that the JHU, too, was not happy about its performance at LG polls. more..

Corruption High Court opens on July 15

Jun 20 (DN) Sri Lanka’s first special high court to try high-profile bribery and corruption cases will open on July 15, Deputy Minister Ajith Mannapperuma said. He said that the long delays in the resolution of court cases is a main obstacle for the present govt to ensure good governance. This special court will hear cases involving money laundering, bribery and large financial crimes, dishonest misappropriation of property, and criminal breach of trust by public servants daily. more..

Decision on PC polls tomorrow?

Jun 20 (Island) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya announced yesterday that party leaders would, tomorrow, decide when to hold the next Provincial Council Election. Jayasuriya said Minister Faiszer Musthapha had been asked to be present at this meeting. "The Subject Minister has to give a clear answer on holding the PC elections at the Party Leaders’ Meeting on Thursday after consulting the President and PM. Otherwise, I will have to question him on that matter." more..

Agriculture ministry will be shifted to Govijana Mandiraya: Minister

Jun 20 (DM) Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said today he would, within three months shift the Agriculture Ministry to a State-owned building from the high profile DPJ towers at Battaramulla and that a six-member committee had been appointed to make recommendations. The committee chaired by Nihal Fernando PC comprises Senior Attorneys Jagath Wickramanayake and Asoka Weerasuriya, former Assistant AG more..

SL to give innovation top priority to make economy more competitive: Malik tells Dutta

Jun 20 (Island) Sri Lanka is placing new focus on driving innovation to improve enterprise competitiveness and create better jobs, emphasized Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade during a meeting with global innovation expert Professor Soumitra Dutta recently. They met alongside the visit of Prof. Dutta for the SLASSCOM Innovation Summit and Awards 2018. During the discussion, Minister Samarawickrama invited Dutta to provide input to the more..

‘Increasing savings and investment essential’

Jun 20 (DN) The rate of investment and domestic savings supplemented with foreign direct investment will be the most pertinent determinants to achieve desired 6% economic growth in Sri Lanka, said Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe, Senior Deputy Governor, CB. Emphasising that savings and investment gap to be financed through portfolio investment, increased foreign direct investment and loan and grant inflows to the govt, Dr. Nandalal said that in Sri Lanka, investment as a percentage of GDP more..

Chandimal suspended for one Test; could miss four more

Jun 20 (CI) SL captain Dinesh Chandimal has been suspended for the third and final Test of the series against West Indies after he was found guilty of changing the condition of the ball during the second Test. What's worse for SL, Chandimal, coach Chandika Hathurusinghe and manager Asanka Gurusinha, could miss between two to four further Tests, after being charged with conduct contrary to the spirit of the game more..

Culinary Art 2018 puts Sri Lanka in the upper rung for delectable cuisine

Jun 20 (Island) The local hotel industry and its connected interest areas were complementary to the tourist trade in general and were instrumental in increasing the number of tourists who visited Sri Lanka. Culinary Art 2018, now in its 18th year, was a factor that spurred tourist arrivals, ensuring Sri Lanka was now firmly in the must visit grouping of countries, Minister of Tourism and Christian Religious Affairs John Amaratunga said. He was Chief Guest at Culinary Art 2018 exhibition more..

Is Sri Lanka missing out on Asia’s digital economy boom?

Jun 20 (LSE) Asia’s digital economy is booming. By market capitalisation, about one-third of the largest 135 multinational corporations in the digital economy are based in Asia—major regional players include the China-based Alibaba and the Japan-based Rakuten. Southeast Asia’s digital economy alone is expected to amount to $200 billion by 2025, and Asia is likely to be several times that figure. Mobile subscriptions per 100 people in Asia rose from 71.1 to 100.7 between 2010 and 2016. more..

Mangala revises health sector tax

Jun 20 (FT) Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera yesterday announced broad revisions of health sector taxes including the removal of 15% Value Added Tax (VAT) on doctors’ consultation fees, channeling fees and professional charges, which will be implemented from 1 July. Cabinet approval was given after Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne presented a Cabinet paper on the instruction of President and PM. more..

Oh! Post-match pressers!

Jun 20 (Island) The St. Lucia Test looked lacklustre in the end not heading for a climax, with the visitors fighting tooth and nail for a series-levelling win, but in a drab draw in gloom and drizzle, before an almost empty stadium. Organisational staffs outnumbering the spectators is a global trend nowadays, one of my colleagues was heard saying. No proper post-match media sessions that could be held on Monday, the last day of the Test. Rain could have been an obstruction. more..

Who denied Sri Lanka victory?

Jun 20 (Island) Intermittent rain, wet grounds and protest marches – these were what hindered a possible result in the 2nd Test here. The match was held in St. Lucia, the kingdom of World Cup winner Darren Sammy, in whose name the stadium has been named. Ian Bishop, former West Indies pace legend who does commentaries here, said the stadium would have been packed if this was a T20 match. Test cricket is an old hit even in the Caribbean, at least in St. Lucia, more..

Tourism told to plug talent shortage

Jun 20 (FT) As professional bodies call on the Govt to limit worker migration, tourism industry’s regulator yesterday warned it is facing increasing pressure to issue additional work visas for hospitality experts to work at international hotel chains and called for more professionals to be trained. After signing the SL-Singapore FTA and commencing negotiations with India on ETCA, more..

Post Numbercaste, Yudhanjaya dreams up more worlds

Jun 20 (ST) Yudhanjaya Wijeratne is the kind of person who greets life with a huge bear hug and jovial punch. Genial with an engaging smile, he is lucid and comfortable whether the conversation steers towards history, literature, or technology. Former tech journalist, blogger and currently data scientist, Yudhanjaya’s deepest passion has been the stimulating speculation, unending invention, and the steely spires of science fiction. Numbercaste, his last novel, left a memorable trail with more..

Anatomy of a Corporate Misadventure

Jun 20 (Island) If one visits SL hotelier, Jetwing’s official website, amongst what can be set aside as ordinary promotions of local tourism, one specific experience stands out for all the wrong reasons. Touted as local living in the highlands, this package is marketed specifically as Meena Amma’s Line Room Experience. Line rooms are of course the horrendous living quarters initially constructed by the British for the laborers they had mass-transported from southern India more..

Sweet v sandpaper: Why Chandimal's tampering is different

Jun 20 (CI) Only two months ago, three Australia cricketers were slapped with long suspensions for their role in the ball tampering scandal in Cape Town. Dinesh Chandimal, however, is unlikely to face punishments beyond the one-Test suspension the ICC has dealt out for the tampering itself (the spirit of cricket charge is a separate one). Here is why the two incidents will be treated differently. more..

Wiring with 13 ampere sockets would not cost more

Jun 20 (Island) The govt decided in 2016, through a Cabinet decision, that Sri Lanka would move to a single standard for plugs and sockets. In common usage, these are called plug tops and plug bases. Sri Lankans are at present compelled use ten different types of plug tops and three types of plug bases, simply because there was no single national standard. The decision in 2016 was to use the 13 ampere plug top and the matching plug base, as the single standard. more..

Tomato processing in Sri Lanka: Is it a viable remedy to manage surplus?

Jun 20 (DN) Tomato is an important and seasonal cash crop for Sri Lankan farmers. Due to seasonality, there is a considerable surplus of production over consumer demand during the season. At the same time, a wide variety of processed products is also derived from tomato. These include canned tomatoes, paste, sauce, puree, juice and ketch-up. Therefore, policymakers, the media, farmers and even the general public question as to why there are no initiatives to more..

Champika Ranawaka

Editorial: AG’s bombshell

Jun 20 (Island) Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe has dropped a bombshell. He has gone on record as saying, at a recent workshop, conducted by the Committee on Public Accounts, that more than one half of the public officials would have faced the same fate as the top bureaucrats, convicted of misusing public funds on sil redi (white cloth) if they had been probed. The public service is a shambles and causes massive losses to the public purse. All efforts to bring order out of chaos more..

Shattering precedents of public service

Jun 20 (DN) “One quality I admire about the Sri Lankans is their capacity to accept or let us say reconcile with all the wrongs happening in their lives. Things that we in the West get het-up about, fazes them not. They take them as things to be endured, not challenged; yet another impediment to an endless cycle of life and death. Somebody from the Works Department will come and dig up in front of their house, blocking access. They write to a govt agency, there is no response. more..

Trust, honesty and dedication can reconcile people: Lt. Col. Bandu

Jun 20 (FT) If someone needs to change someone, be a child or an adult, it is the love, kindness, respect and trust that make the magic to bring the change. “Despite their race and ethnicity, I gave them love, kindness and respect as a soldier of the SL Army,” former commanding officer of the Civil Defence Force (CDF) in Mulaithivu, Kilinochchi and Jaffna Lt. Col. Rathnapriya Bandu said. Just a few days ago, extraordinary farewell given to him more..

Drawing a comparison: President Sirisena and Dr. Mahathir

Jun 20 (CT) Much is being made now in Sri Lanka about Malaysia’s new PM, Mahathir Mohamad ordering massive raids on predecessor Najib Razak, his wife and aides, and barring the couple from travelling abroad. The question is also being asked in the same vein and tone as to why Prez Sirisena and his Govt have not done enough to bring to book all culprits from the previous regime for all alleged wrong-doings that they had committed through the near-15 years they were in power. more..

Rajitha Senaratne’s contortions

Jun 20 (CT) In discussing Chandrika Kumaratunga’s transitions in the last few years, I looked last week also at the contortions Rajitha Senaratne had gone through in relation to Chandrika. But even more interesting have been his comments about Ranil, after he switched over to Mahinda Rajapaksa and became a Minister early in 2007. One of his more dramatic interventions occurred toward the end of 2009 when early Presidential Elections were being mooted. more..

Judgement day for Gnanasara Thera

Jun 20 (SO) Controversial BBS General Secretary Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera, the firebrand monk who has been the face of fear-mongering and hate speech against minority communities living in Sri Lanka over the past six years, strolled into the Homagama Magistrate’s Court with dozens of young Buddhist monks in tow, crowing that he would continue to serve the country. He was at the suburban courtroom to be more..

Anti-Muslim hate: Tamil media joins in! Media ethics thrown to the winds!

Jun 20 (CT) The Tamil mainstream newspapers have since of late joined the anti-Muslim hate bandwagon too. On 16th June , the popular Tamil newspaper Virakesari splashed a sensational news front page headline which read: Gnanasara Thero’s arrest – a Ramazan Eid Bonanza (for the Muslims) indirectly connecting his jail sentence to the rogue Thero’s anti Muslim hate campaign. In actual fact, this headline was further from the truth and this imputation smacked of promoting renewed more..

Gnanasara Thero’s imprisonment: A gift for Ramadhan: Virakesari

Jun 20 (CT) The above front page headline equivalent in Tamil in the mainstream Tamil language daily Virakesari of 16th June 2018 gave a shock to the Muslims for at least two main reasons. Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thero was convicted for openly threatening the missing person Prageeth Ekneligoda’s wife within the Homagama Magistrate Court. Police filed action under relevant Penal code and the Court found him guilty on two counts and sentenced him for 6 months rigorous more..

Rs. 120 Million spent on 60-member delegation to UN

Jun 19 (DM) It was revealed in Parliament today that more than Rs.120 million had been spent for the 60-member delegation which accompanied the President for the UN General Assembly sessions in 2016. This was revealed in response to a question asked by MP Udaya Gammanpila on the cost incurred by the govt. State Minister Niroshan Perera said the 60-member delegation included several ministers, media personnel & prez's staff. more..

Aluwihare claims Knuckles Range safe from politician

Jun 19 (Island) Deputy Minister Ranjith Aluwihare, responding to media queries, on Sunday, denied any environmental damage being caused to the Knuckles Range. Rumours that the Knuckles range was under threat were aimed at slinging mud at Minister Lakshman Kiriella, Aluwihare said after paying a courtesy call on the prelate of Asgiriya. The plantations sector workers would be given seven perches of land each from the estates to build houses. more..

Police now after ex-Mahasen Devale kapuwa’s mistress

Jun 19 (Island) The Police have deployed two teams to arrest a woman alleged to have been involved in the attempted murder of the chief incumbent of the Kiriwehera Rajamaha Viharaya last week. The woman, named Deepika, is said to be the mistress of main suspect who previously worked as the kapurala at Mahasen Devale at the temple. She is alleged to have assisted him in planning the assassination. She had left her residence in Kataragama to evade arrest, the police said. more..

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