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Sri Lanka goes to polls amid economic troubles and Coronavirus measures

Aug 5 (EN) SL is going to the polls to elect a new parliament with Coronavirus health rules with the authorities saying the epidemic is largely contained but the economy under a trade lockdown after an unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus de-stabilized a currency peg. Prez Rajapaksa’s SLPP is highlighting the success so far in containing the spread of the Coronavirus in the country which began in January 2020 more..

ANFREL deploys election monitors for five districts

Aug 5 (DN) Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) has deployed six assessment team members to the Kurunegala, Polonnaruwa, Jaffna, Trinco & Nuwara Eliya Districts to monitor polling and counting. ANFREL will be conducting an assessment of the Elections through an innovative methodology. The assessment report to be released at August end will cover SL’s experience in holding a General Election amidst a pandemic, and identify lessons to be learned from it. more..

Cost of electing one MP rises to Rs. 77 million: CMEV

Aug 5 (Island) The National Coordinator of the CMEV Manjula Gajanayake said that the cost of electing a single MP amounted to approximately Rs 77 million. Gajanayake said that while the govt spent Rs 85 billion on the election, the estimated campaign expenditure incurred by political parties and contestants was over Rs. 1.59 billion. “The cost incurred by the government per voter in 2004 was only Rs. 67 and it has escalated to Rs. 523 per voter today,” he added. more..

Loss of tourism & remittances receipts this yr: SL’s current account to take a hit of 4.3%

Aug 5 (CT) The loss of tourism and remittances receipts is expected to shave off between 3.8% and 4.3% of GDP in SL’s current account in the balance of payments (BoP) this year because of COVID-19, data on an IMF report showed. Hardest hit would be tourism where its impact on the current account in the BoP is envisaged to be between 2% to 2.5%, while that of remittances are expected to hit the current account in the BoP more..

Havelock City commemorates the topping out of 50 storey Mireka Tower

Aug 5 (Island) Havelock City mixed-use development marked the completion up to the roof slab of its highly anticipated 50 storey office tower at a topping out ceremony held onsite. The LEED Gold certified office tower was designed by the Singapore based Palmer & Turner Group and construction work was done by the globally renowned China Harbour Engineering Company. Ever since pre-leasing of the office tower was announced in 2019, there has been keen interest in the property. more..

Global software company centred on Sri Lankan talent and expertise WSO2 turns 15

Aug 5 (FT) WSO2, a software company that began in Sri Lanka in 2005, marks 15 years of business operations today. Starting with just 10 employees, WSO2 now has over 650 employees spread across offices in SL, USA, UK, Germany, Brazil, and Australia. Headquartered in Sri Lanka, nearly 90% of WSO2’s employees are based here. WSO2 sells technology that enterprises use to digitally transform themselves. WSO2 has products for integration, API management & digital identity management. more..

Poetry for reflection on SL’s Election Day

Aug 5 (FT) Sri Lanka or Ceylon as it was known earlier has faced many challenges and problems since Independence from Britain in 1948. We have had military coup attempts, communal riots, pogroms, armed revolts, external military intervention, assassinations of heads of State, terrorist violence and above all a long secessionist war that threatened to tear apart the country. What SL can be proud of as Asia’s oldest more..

National beach volleyball tourney in Dec

Aug 5 (DN) The Sri Lanka Volleyball Federation (SLVB) is hoping to conduct the National Beach Volleyball Championship in December with the aim of preparing for the Asian Beach Games next year. Asian Beach Games was scheduled to be held from 28th November to 6th December in Sanya, China. They decided to postpone it to next year due to Coronavirus pandemic. The Olympic Council of Asia and Chinese Olympic Committee took this decision due to the present situation. more..

COVID-19 relief impact Dialog revenues but cost control sustains profitability in Q2

Aug 5 (FT) Dialog Axiata PLC said yesterday that COVID-19 concessions had an extended impact on its revenue in the first half of 2020, but cost control measures helped to sustain profitability. The Company said the concluded June quarter faced the brunt of the COVID-19 outbreak, which began unfolding from mid-March 2020. It said the estimated revenue impact stemming from concessions offered to customers and other COVID-19 associated challenges was Rs. 2.9 billion for 1H 2020. more..

EPF’s investment growth retards in prevailing market conditions

Aug 5 (ST) Sri Lanka’s largest social security scheme, the EPF's listed equity investments are not generating expected growth due to prevailing market conditions, financial analysts say. Market values of investments made by the fund are not increasing proportionate to purchased cost of shares in listed equities and it will affect the rate of return of its member balances for the current fiscal year, they warned. more..

Viber very strong in Sri Lanka

Aug 5 (ST) Viber, the messaging app with 1 billion users in 190 countries, is continuously growing in Sri Lanka with an increase of 118 per cent in community views and 39 per cent higher in daily activations, officials say. “In terms of messages sent in 1:1 conversations, it has risen to 37% higher while messages sent to groups have drastically increased by 91%. We intend to further strengthen our presence and contribute to the tech industry through our diverse partnerships with more..

Sri Lanka luring firms leaving China

Aug 5 (ST) Amongst all the things the pandemic has done to make this world crazy, it showed that nations are over-reliant on China for everything from coriander to Chrysler. While US firms are said to be re-thinking their dependence on the country with some having already left China, the Japanese govt is jumping on the bandwagon of a mass exodus from China. Japan gave US $ 2.3 billion to reform supply chains — including money – to aid firms in bringing production back to Japan or moving more..

Why does SL's parliamentary election matter?

Ex-golfer Niloo wages battle to raise voice of women in sports

Aug 5 (ST) The National Olympic Committee (NOC) of SL in conjunction with the Ministry of Sports has launched an initiative to ensure women have a bigger voice in sports administration. The two authorities are in agreement that women should play a greater role when it comes to making decisions in sports and discussions are ongoing to introduce legislation to this effect early next year. “We have a sustainable development programme. Aligning with the NOC, we were also thinking as more..

14-year-old chess champ Susal dreams of becoming a Grand Master

Aug 5 (ST) Susal de Silva of Nalanda College took a giant leap towards achieving his dream of becoming Chess Grand Master when he emerged champion at the 7th SL Men’s Chess Grand Prix 2020 at the Chess Federation Hq in Nugegoda last Sunday. His journey began when he received a chess board as a birthday gift and the 14-year-old seems destined for greatness in the world of chess as he secured the crown convincingly scoring nine points out of possible 11 games and drew the final game more..

Undue credit: Should we be indebted to politicians for just doing their jobs?

Aug 5 (CT) Imagine watching this scene unfold: a heavily pregnant woman sips a glass of milk alone at night, during a raging thunderstorm. Suddenly, she feels the pangs of labour, and grabs a phone to dial a hotline number, prompting an ambulance to rush to her residence. Immediately afterwards, you see a candidate’s name and number appear, reminding you of the politician that claimed to have founded and implemented the service. more..

Editorial: Vote for democracy

Aug 5 (Island) Sri Lanka goes to the polls, today, to elect a new Parliament. It is for the first time in the country’s electoral history that an election is held amidst a national health emergency. All polling and counting centres will be free from coronavirus, the Election Commission (EC) Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya has said. Director General of Health Services (DGHS) Dr. Anil Jasinghe has also given a similar assurance. The EC has, with the help of the health authorities, taken necessary precautions, more..

Sports coaches seek redress

Aug 5 (DN) With the outbreak of the Covid-19 several coaches involved in various sports had to run to from pillar to post to find solutions for their issues mainly for their monthly wages in the last four months, where neither their respective clubs nor the schools came into their rescue, until the Ministry of Education (MOE) had to intervene to rescue them with a circular issued to their 24th June to all stakeholders to grant their salaries without any reduction. more..

Sachini wins as Niklesha, Ashvini warm up for FIDE world online Chess Olympiad

Aug 5 (Island) Four time national champion Sachini Ranasinghe won the women’s title at the Inaugural SL Women’s Chess Grand Prix 2020 as school chess players Tharushi Niklesha and Ashvini Pavalchandran warmed up for the forthcoming FIDE World Online Chess Olympiad at the event concluded on Sunday. WIM Sachini Ranasinghe (Nf3 Chess Club) was crowned the champion as she accumulated 9 ½ points more..

Ambassador of the UAE to Sri Lanka paid his farewell call on Foreign Minister

Aug 5 (MFA) Today 04), Ambassador Ahmed Ali Al Mualla of the UAE paid his farewell call on Minister of Foreign Relations Dinesh Gunawardena. Minister Gunawardena highly appreciated the services rendered by Ambassador Al Mualla in strengthening the long-standing friendly relations between Sri Lanka and the UAE. The outgoing Ambassador conveyed UAE’s strong commitment for furthering of existing co-operation in the fields of investment, economy and trade with Sri Lanka. more..

Lankem appoints Suren Goonewardene as MD

Aug 5 (FT) Lankem Ceylon PLC announced the appointment of Suren Goonewardene as Managing Director for its operations. The appointment is a strategic move to build in agility, create a robust governance structure, transform and steer the Company into the next tier of growth. Lankem is a well-diversified conglomerate reputed for its market dominance in the areas of agriculture, consumer products, hotels, industrial chemicals, industrial flooring, food and feed ingredients, more..

Travel Girl: Habarana

Exercise your political franchise today with the future generation in mind

Aug 5 (FT) First JVP insurrection was in April 1971 under a leftist-leaned Govt. The second insurrection was in 1988. With the killing of its leader Rohana Wijeweera, the members were brought in to mainstream politics through pardons and amnesties. After 50 long years and in spite of very good ideas, well-articulated by its Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, mustering the support of many at political rallies and May Day rallies, why is it that they have not been able to dislodge the corrupt more..

The Vote is our paint brush on the national political canvas!

Aug 5 (DM) The General Election 2020 to elect representatives of the people to the Parliament was delayed due to the onset of the COVID 19 pandemic. But finally, the people have the opportunity to send to the legislature their representatives, to make policies that will ultimately have an impact on their lives. From the model of direct democracy of the Greeks where each and every citizen took part in the law making, representative democracy has come more..

My time is up: Mahinda Deshapriya

Aug 5 (DM) With just hours to go before the 2020 Parliamentary Election, Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya spoke to the Daily Mirror online on the preparations for the polls, concerns and his future plans. Q: Take us through the preparations made for the Parliamentary Election. A: We have assigned the health sector staff for each polling booth. There will be at least one officer for each polling booth. more..

Elect The Best 225

Aug 5 (CT) Over 16 million Sri Lankans are scheduled to cast their vote today (5), to form a 225-member Parliament for a 5-year term, amid concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic. SL’s national election body, the Election Commission, earlier said that it had estimated that General Election 2020 being held today would cost a staggering sum of around Rs 10 billion. Over 7,000 candidates are contesting the Election representing major and small political parties as well as more..

Polls today: Democracy will rise superior to money power

Aug 5 (DM) The US’ legendary president Abraham Lincoln is admired worldwide as the godfather of democracy. From his wisdom, working knowledge and experience he has said “Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.” With the present US president Donald Trump—widely described by political analysts as being dangerously unpredictable and a pathological liar—threatening to plunge more..

Sri Lanka’s children fast becoming victims of adult industry

Aug 5 (DM) SL has become an unsafe place for children. Even with a National Child Protection Authority (NCPA), Women’s & Children’s Affairs Ministry and a Child Protection Unit at the AG’s Dept the number of child abuse cases reported for 2020 has exceeded 5000. Statistically speaking 142 incidents of rape, 42 incidents of serious sexual abuse and 54 cases of child abuse were reported during the first 15 days of 2020. more..

Female representation in parliament: The wait for a gender balance

Aug 5 (CT) Women constitute over 50% of the total population in Sri Lanka. However, when it comes to political representation, the number of female politicians in the country remains alarmingly low. Although we boast about electing the world’s first female PM who served three terms in that capacity and subsequently had a female President who served for two consecutive terms, we have not seen any notable progress in women’s representation in politics. more..

No prosperity and splendour without equity & justice

Aug 5 (CT) There is no ruler without an army; And there is no army without revenue; And there are no revenues without cultivation; And there is no cultivation without equity and good governance. These lines are a shorthand rendering from a medieval Arabic text on the concept of Circle of Equity or Circle of Justice, written by the Ottoman writer, Kinalizade, which encapsulates the critical interrelationship between the ruler and ruled via security, revenue, prosperity, equity and more..

Video: General Election 2020: results before Thursday midnight

Aug 4 (AD) The results of the General Election 2020 will be issued before midnight on Aug 6, says Chairman of the EC Mahinda Deshapriya. It is expected to issue the results of the preferential votes before Friday (7) as well, he added. Deshapriya expressed these views to the media following a visit to Gampaha district inspect preparations for the election. He further said that all gazette notifications pertaining to more..

Video: Thirteen PNB officers further remanded

Aug 4 (AD) The thirteen officers of the Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) who were arrested for their alleged links with drug dealers have been further remanded. The Colombo Chief Magistrate ordered them to be remanded until August 18, when the suspects were produced before courts today. The Magistrate has also rejected a bail application filed on behalf of the suspects. Meanwhile, the suspects had not been produced before the court during the proceedings today. more..

SEC introduces framework for Real Estate Investment Trusts

Aug 4 (FT) Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) last week introduced a framework for Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), a long-recommended key investment opportunity that can be a catalyst for multiple benefits for the economy and the public. In SL, owing to spiralling property prices, it is a challenge for average citizens to finance real estate investments. Therefore, a significant proportion of the population of SL is unable to benefit from the value appreciation more..

Probe on to find if assets were accrued illegally

Aug 4 (CT) Investigations have commenced to find out whether the four suspects, including former Superintendent of the Negombo Prison, Anuruddha Sampayo, arrested for providing special facilities to some prisoners in the Negombo Prison, had connections with drug racketeers and earned assets illegally, Police Media Spokesperson said. These investigations are being conducted according to instructions given by more..

Defence adviser to Indian HC calls on Defence Secy. and commanders of...

Aug 4 (Island) New Defence Adviser to the High Commission of India Captain (Indian Navy) Vikas Sood has had interactions with the leadership of SL’s Ministry of Defence and armed forces in the past week, the Indian High Commission says. India HC has said in a media statement: “Captain Sood paid courtesy calls on SL’s Defence Secretary Maj. Gen. (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne on 28 July 2020, Acting Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the SL Army Lt Gen. Shavendra Silva on 27 July more..

Don’t fear, polling stations are safe: Health authorities

Aug 4 (DM) Health authorities today asked voters not to be frightened about coming to the polling stations and said the applying of ink on the fingers would be carried out in a safe manner. Epidemiology Unit Chief Epidemiologist Dr Sudath Samaraweera said indelible ink would be applied on voters fingers without any touching and the voters were free to bring their own tissue papers on which they could keep their finger for inking. “There is no way of contracting the coronavirus infection at more..