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Tea, Rubber prices fall linked to global trend

May 5 (CT) The drastic fall in local tea and rubber prices – which has led to major losses for Regional Plantation Companies – is part of a broader global trend of decline in commodity prices, which is not expected to reverse in the near future, Planters' Association of Ceylon points out. Association – which represents 22 Regional Plantation Companies collectively employing nearly 200,000 workers – explaining that prices are more..

Gratiaen 2014 shortlist and panel of judges

May 5 (Island) Gratiaen Trust in affiliation with Standard Chartered Bank announce Shortlist Event and Panel of Judges for the 2014 Gratiaen Prize and the H A I Goonetileke Prize for Translation. The much anticipated shortlist announcement for the 2014 Gratiaen Prize will take place on Monday 11 May 2015 at the British Council premises, Alfred House Gardens, Colombo 3. The event is open to the public and all are welcome. Founded in 1993 by the Booker-Prize-Winner Michael Ondaatje, more..

Sri Lanka inflation stable in April

May 5 (DN) Inflation, as measured by the change in the Colombo Consumers Price Index (CCPI) (2006/07=100), remained unchanged at 0.1% as recorded in the previous month, on an year-on-year basis, in April 2015. Annual average inflation declined from 2.5% in March 2015 to 2.1%. CCPI increased by 0.2% from March to April 2015. The increase in prices of items in the Non-food category during the month contributed mainly towards this increase. more..

SLT supports building Emergency Trauma Unit at Batticaloa Hospital

May 5 (DN) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), the Super Platinum Sponsor of the Batticaloa Emergency and Accident Project (BEAP), re-affirmed its commitment towards the next phase of the project's development by handing over the company's contribution towards the project at a special ceremony held at the company's premises recently. The mock cheque was handed over to Dr. David Young, President of the Foundation more..

Expo 2015 launched: Sri Lanka to connect stronger to the West

May 5 (Island) Most celebrated event in the world next to the Olympic Games that happens every five years since the inception in 1931, was launched amid a distinctive world gathering by the Italian PM Matteo Renzi on May 1 at the open air stage at World Expo site in Milano Italy. This years event which is expected to attract over a twenty million people into the beautiful city of Milano will be on show until Oct 31, under the theme ‘Feed the world, given the challenges the world is up against’. more..

‘Sri Lanka keen on tie-up up with Ashram’

May 5 (Hindu) Sri Lanka will like to work with the Santhigiri Ashram in areas such as agriculture, medicine manufacture, and social and cultural sectors, Sri Lankan Food Minister Gamini Jayavikrama Perreira has said. He was inaugurating Sukrutham-2015, a meeting organised by the Santhigiri Ashram in connection with the Navaoli Jyothir Dinam ceremonies to mark the 16th death anniversary of its founder Karunakara Guru, here on Monday. Mr. Perreira said there were a lot of more..

SL parts ways with National football coach

May 5 (DM) Kavazovic who took over as Sri Lanka’s Head Coach in June last year suffered a major setback when Sri Lanka lost their home and away World Cup football qualifiers against minnows Bhutan in March. However it is not clear whether Kavazovic was sacked following the recent poor performances or whether he has resigned from his post considering his family commitments. The Serbian will leave the island today.

Inflation: who's fooling whom?

May 5 (CT) Growth in inflation as measured by the Colombo Consumers' Price Index (CCPI) as computed by State controlled Census and Statistics Department (CSD) remained unchanged at 0.1% on a year on year basis last month, when compared with this figure the previous month as well, ie in March. However, two key ingredients which were originally included in the inflation measurement basket, ie cigarettes and liquor, are now not included in CSD's inflation measurement basket. more..

HNB Board gets new members

May 5 (FT) Renowned legal luminary Rienzie Arsecularatne has been appointed as the new Chairman of Hatton National Bank (HNB), joining several other top personalities who were presented with places on its Board of Directors. Among the new faces on the HNB Board are President Maithripala Sirisena’s private secretary Palitha Pelpola, senior banker at HNB and former Union Bank COO A.N. de Silva and First Capital COO D. Soosaipillai. more..

Global giant Minor renews commitment to Sri Lanka tourism

May 5 (FT) Global leisure giant Minor Hotel Group (MHG) last week renewed its commitment to further develop Sri Lanka’s tourism with two luxury resorts with an investment of $ 100 million set to open in July this year and January next year in partnership with Hemas Holdings Plc. The growing confidence in Sri Lanka was reiterated by Minor Chairman and CEO William E. Heinecke, who arrived here in his private jet last week. more..

School rugby: High priced tickets and cricket scores

May 5 (ST) I read a comment on a website attributed to Russell Baptist a former Havelock’s and Air Force player. He was talking on the need to identify being a commentator and being a critic which are two different things. I have at most times wondered in similar lines when I have had to listen to a broadcast. This was more pronounced in my mind during the last two weeks as I have watched all matches live or post on streaming. The thinking at times is narrow and at times partial with more..

Italy-based Boer Group’s landslide solution technologies to be tried out in Sri Lanka

May 5 (Island) Representatives, including siblings Elena and Mauro Boer, from the third generation management of Italy’s Boer Group were present in Sri Lanka recently to conduct discussions with the local authorities on introducing new Landslide Solution technologies to areas that are prone to this natural disaster in Sri Lanka. During their stay in Sri Lanka, the delegation met up with Minister A.H.M. Fowzie who had then insisted on initiating a pilot project here in Sri Lanka to more..

Documentary on pro-Tamil Sri Lankan journalist screened in Chennai

May 5 (ENS) Taraki, a documentary on the travails of a pro-Tamil Sri Lankan journalist who was abducted and later found dead a decade ago, was screened at the Chennai Press Club on Sunday to mark World Press Freedom Day. Reminiscing about the protagonist of the movie Taraki Sivaram, the filmmaker S Someetharan explained how documentary tried to depict larger issue of curbs on freedom of expression more..

SL must have a new Constitution: expert

May 5 (Hindu) Jayampathy Wickramaratne, the leader of a three-member team that prepared the 19th Constitutional Amendment in Sri Lanka, called for a new Constitution which will include a fresh Bill of Rights and address the issues of devolution of powers to provincial councils and power sharing at the Centre. Pointing out that the 19th Amendment did not cover the issues of devolution and power sharing, the expert said that “ideally speaking, we should have a brand new Constitution. more..

Prospects of new relationship with the US

May 5 (Island) US Secretary of State John Kerry's visit to Sri Lanka coincided with the conclusion of the govt's 100 Day programme which had just ended on a high note. The virtually unanimous passage the 19th Amendment was a triumph to the govt. The vote in favour was 212 to 1. The reform of the executive presidency, which formed the core of the 19th Amendment, was a promise that had eluded successive govts for over two decades. During the latter half of the 100 day period more..

Underpaid cricketers and good old wine

May 5 (ST) Old wine in a new-fangled package, but with an old label, was put out by Sri Lanka Cricket on Tuesday. Though our explanation reads a bit tongue-in-cheek, but, seriously the new committee sees cricket in its right perspective and is trying to address some of the issues that should have been served on the table, long before. Anyone who is genuinely into the game of cricket in SL is aware that the gap between more..

It's still a wide open tournament: Mathews

May 5 (PTI) Delhi daredevils are enduring an inconsistent campaign but their key all rounder Angelo Mathews is confident that the side can turn it around and make the play-offs of the IPL cricket tournament. "We played pretty well against Mumbai (Indians at Delhi on April 23). We have another chance to play in Mumbai (at the Wankhede Stadium tomorrow after the loss to Royals at the Brabourne Stadium) and against Mumbai. We need to win and keep in contention. more..

Different messenger, same message

May 5 (Island) A good diplomat is said to be capable of telling you to go to hell in such a way that you really look forward to the trip. US Secretary of State John Kerry was at his diplomatic best on Saturday, when he delivered a strong message in Colombo. Kerry made it clear that the US wanted the Sri Lankan military prevented from carrying out constabulary duties and confined to tasks such as protecting sea lanes, UN peacekeeping operations etc. He said: "None of us wants to live in more..

India is with us

May 5 (CT) Leader of TELO MP Selvam Adaikalanathan denied that the armed struggle destroyed Tamils. If people were actually affected by the armed struggle, they would have definitely betrayed the organizations. People in the North and East supported the armed struggle until it was fully destroyed in 2009. Q: Some TNA parliamentarians including you refused to vote for the 19th Amendment but later voted in favour. more..

Is Mangala getting Aligned at the expense of the Non-Aligned?

May 6 (ST) With the flying visit to Colombo by US Secretary of State John Kerry, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s priorities in foreign policy become increasingly clear. He declared in a recent interview that his ambition is “somehow to get US president Barack Obama to visit Sri Lanka at one point or another.” This is while President Maithripala Sirisena has consistently maintained that his govt’s foreign policy is Non-Aligned. President repeatedly made this assertion during his foreign trips. more..

World Press Freedom day 2015 and Freedom of Expression in Sri Lanka

May 6 (GV) Amidst killings, disappearances, assaults, threats, intimidations, harassments and restrictions on journalists, widespread self-censorship and exile of journalists critical of the government, surveillance and blocking of websites, and absolute impunity, there was very little to celebrate World Press Freedom day in Sri Lanka last few years. Perhaps the only thing to celebrate was the resilience of few who dared to express their views at grave risk to themselves, more..

'19A: A stirring Saga of integrity over evil'

May 6 (CT) "There was a faction of the opposition, part SLFP and UPFA, around 40-50, we don't know the exact numbers, that tried to disrupt the whole thing until the last moment. That group also had people like G.L Peiris. We faced serious obstacles due to them, what they agreed to today, they would be against tomorrow. The honourble members of the SLFP were in a difficult spot. The President, PM and I kept speaking to all more..

Defeating the saboteurs: 19th amendment

May 6 (GV) The 19A Bill was gazetted in March, after having obtained the approval of Cabinet. The Gazetted version did not go as far as the previous changes envisaged, due to disagreement from some quarters. Subsequently, post-gazetting, Cabinet agreed to the inclusion of the further clauses. The usual way of doing this, would have been to include those clauses as Committee Stage Amendments. However, in an unprecedented move – and a move in keeping with the govt’s promise of more..

Our best days are yet to come

May 6 (CT) Honorable John F. Kerry, Secretary of State of the United States of America, Assistant Secretary Nisha Biswal, Distintinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, America is known all over the world as the land of opportunity. I am certain this aspiration resonates deeply with many of you in the audience, as Sri Lanka herself has recently embarked on a journey of opportunity and hope. The values of American democracy are enshrined in her history by the collective American experience more..

Four possible areas; Our offer to Sri Lanka

May 6 (CT) Mangala, thank you very, very much. Thank you for a wonderful introduction, notwithstanding that you reminded me that I disappointed you in 2004. (Laughter.) I disappointed myself and a few other people. I am really happy to be here (inaudible) and I’m very happy to welcome all of you here. No, you are welcoming me – it’s a mutual welcome, admiration, effort. And I can’t thank Mangala & Sri Lanka more..

Sirisena should not miss this historical opportunity

May 6 (CT) The passage of 19th Amendment marks a course correction in the political direction of the country’s history. The executive presidential system of govt in place since 1978 has been changed though not fully. According to many analysts the powers of the executive president has been reduced by half, if not more. The Supreme Court rightly determined certain provisions of the draft 19th Amendment required a referendum among the people to make them legally valid. more..

Remittances, tourism and ICT services growing strengths in balance of payments

May 6 (ST) Increased remittances from abroad, earnings from tourism and receipts from other services have contributed substantially to offset large trade deficits of recent years. Consequently, there were balance of payments surpluses in four of the last five years (2010 to 2014). In 2014, workers’ remittance, tourist earnings and earnings from other services amounting to US$ 11.67 billion contributed towards offsetting the large trade deficit of US$ 8.3 billion to achieve more..

Housing remains critical for Indian origin Tamil plantation workers

May 4 (ENS) Housing remains a critical issue for Sri Lanka’s Indian Origin Tamil (IOT) plantation workers, though there has been some improvement in the last ten years due to the vigorous efforts of IOT political leaders and the liberalism of Lankan Presidents Chandrika Kumaratunga and Maithripala Sirisena. R.Yogarajan, MP and a leader of the IOT, said that in 1996, a Presidential Committee which more..

Central Bank to open a regional office in Kilinochchi

May 4 (LBO) The Central Bank of Sri Lanka will be opening its regional office in in Ariviyal Nagar, Kilinochchi on 06th of May, a statement said. The bank will declared open by Minister of Resettlement, Reconstruction and Hindu Affairs D M Swaminathan and Deputy Minister of Policy Planning, Economic Affairs, Child, Youth & Cultural Affairs Harsha De Silva, on the invitation of the Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and the Monetary Board. more..

LG Polls on electoral system

May 4 (GDI) Local Councils will be dissolved on the 15th of May and for the first time the polls will be held under the electoral system, Minister of Health Rajitha Senarahna said at the opening of a Community Hall and the Seva Piyasa at Ambepitiya in Beruwala. The Minister addressing the event said that Local bodies will be dissolved on May 15. Thereafter nominations will be entertained. It should be noted that the polls will be held for the first time on electoral basis thus paving the way to more..

'Sri Lanka developing new investment policy'

May 4 (EN) Sri Lanka's investment promotion office is developing a new policy framework with the help of, economic, environmental and legal experts, an official said. A panel made up of Indrajith Coomaraswamy, Saman Kelegama, Avanthi Jayatillke and Arittha Wickramanayake was advising the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka, its Chairman Upul Jayasuriya said. more..

Betting goes on during Vesak

May 4 (CT) Despite govt orders to close liquor shops and betting centres in view of Buddha's birth, enlightenment and death being celebrated on Vesak on 3 and 4, May, incidents of betting were reported. Based on a bookie statement dated Saturday, published by Sporting Times, bets have been called on an IPL cricket match (Kings XI Punjab and Mumbai Indians at 4:00 p.m.) played in India yesterday (03) till 1.52 p.m. and till 6.20 p.m. for a horse race in England. more..

Pakistani nabbed with 40 packets of heroin

May 4 (CT) The Pakistani national who was recently arrested at the Katunayake Airport after he tried to pass through Customs having swallowed 40 packets of heroin worth Rs 5.1 million is connected to the international narcotics ring, the Police said. The 40 packets of heroin were taken out after the suspect was detained at the Negombo Hospital for two days. Each packet contained 10 grams of heroin and the total weight of the 40 packets amounted to 340 grams, the Police noted. more..

Sri Lankan human rights activists targeted in May Day rallies

May 4 (IFJ) The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the Free Media Movement (FMM) in highlighting an attack on two Sri Lankan human rights activists on May Day activities in Colombo. The IFJ and FMM said while quick support and protection of the victims by police was welcome, an full investigation was needed to determine appropriate action against the perpetrators. more..

President attends Bak Poya Program at Deeghavapi Raja Maha Vihara

May 4 (GDI) The Bak Poya Dhamma Sermon, third in the series of "Sadaham Yatra" Dhamma Sermons Programme that will be held every Poya Day, under the auspices of President Maithripala Sirisena, was held today (03) at the historical Dheegavapi Raja Maha Vihara in Ampara. The Dhamma Sermon was delivered by Venerable Dr. Kotapola Amarakiththi Nayaka Thero. The President first visited the historical Dheegavapi Raja Maha Viharaya and attended to religious observances and more..

Relatives of the slain to meet Ranil

May 4 (CT) Parents, family members and relatives of the 27 prisoners slain during the 2012 Welikada Magazine Prison riot will hand over a letter to PM Ranil Wickremesinghe after 15 May, demanding that those responsible for the massacre be brought to book. Inmate at the Magazine Prison during the riot and sole eyewitness willing to testify about the massacre Sudesh Nandimal said that though he had given evidence before the committee appointed to investigate into State sponsored slaughter, more..

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