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ETCA will support Sri Lanka’s holistic economic interests: Indian think tank

June 29 (DN) An independent panel of Indian experts on international relations strongly urged Sri Lanka to proceed with the Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) with India while noting that it will be supportive of the country’s holistic economic interests. Addressing a media delegation from Sri Lanka in New Delhi, they said it was a misconception that the country would be flooded with Indian workers and claims of more..

Interview: Dilanthe Withanage on Sinhala-Buddhist nationalism

June 29 (TD) Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), a hardline Sinhala-Buddhist nationalist group in Sri Lanka, has come under fire in recent years. Opponents have labelled it extremist and accused the group of inciting religious hatred, particularly against Muslims. BBS was most notably accused of stoking anti-Muslim riots in Aluthgama in 2014, charges the group has denied. Dilanthe Withanage, the CEO and a founding member of BBS, more..

Destroying breeding grounds vital to curb dengue: Study

June 29 (ST) As the number of men, women and children hit by dengue sky-rocket, the urgent need is to keep re-visiting the potential mosquito breeding grounds and destroying them in a concerted campaign to prevent this viral disease. This is the strong plea from the National Coordinator for the Dengue Control Programme, Dr. Hasitha Tissera who has conducted the first-ever study describing dengue-mosquito habitats in SL. more..

New Central Bank governor will be appointed within hours

June 29 (EN) President will appoint a Central Bank Governor for one year, Minster Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene said. "It will be an experienced person," he said. He declined to say who it was or whether existing Governor will be re-appointed. Civil society organizations which played a key role has been asking for current CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran to be sacked over bond auction rigging and insider dealing allegations more..

Tension in the air with proposed wind plant

June 29 (DM) CEB top management fears that not only will they have to give up planned coal-fired power plants in the country but proposed wind power plants as well with leading environmentalists opposing the upcoming 100MW of the planned 375MW wind power plant complex in Mannar Island. When contacted, CEB Chairman Anura Wijayapala said that when something is to be done there is opposition from various more..

Vehicle permits big bonanza for politicians

June 29 (DM) Yahapalanaya, trademark of the present govt has eventually become a misinterpretation with certain policy decisions which were taken lately. While the so-called national unity govt is presently at a quagmire with unlimited debt burdens to be paid, the ministers seem to have benefitted this time as well. The also learned that politicians buy high end vehicles such as BMW, Mercedes Benz, Volvo and Audi from these permits. more..

I am not a paratrooper: Arjuna Mahendran

June 29 (DM) Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran has become a controversial figure in the recent past. Many Opposition parties made several allegations against him and demanded that he should be replaced. Q: Who are you, a paratrooper to the country? A: I am not a paratrooper. My father is Charley Mahendran, who served in the Sri Lanka Foreign Service from 1957 to 1998. I was born in1959 when more..

President Sirisena calls for the abolition of the Executive Presidency

June 29 (DM) Sunday Times reports that President Sirisena has called for the complete abolition of the Executive Presidency and having a ceremonial President as head of state; this Sri Sangabo act is somewhat surprising, as we would have expected him to support the removal of some powers of the Presidency only, for he knows better than most of us that had we not had the Executive Presidency we would never have been able to defeat the LTTE. Yes President must retain executive control over more..

Dengue mosquito wreaking havoc again

June 29 (DM) The Health Ministry on Sunday said in a statement that the number of dengue cases reported for the past six months of this year had exceeded 20,000 while claiming 31 lives. If we are to put the numbers exactly the cases reported had been 20,731 of which 4,761 cases had been reported from the densely populated Western Province. Also the Health Entomology Science Officers Association had said that the density of mosquito larvae had increased drastically more..

Video: 'Brexit negatively affect SL economy'

June 29 (DM) British exit from the EU would negatively affect Sri Lankan economy as fluctuation in the share markets in Europe and Asia had begun to occur in the wake of the Brexit, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva said. Dr. He said the instability of the British economy and devaluation of the sterling pound would negatively affect our exports as 35% of the Sri Lankan export to Europe was going to Britain. more..

SL forces release 700 acres more in North

June 29 (Hindu) SL security forces have released 700 more acres and the Kankesanthurai railway station, a few days before the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Al Hussein, is to give an update to the UNHRC in Geneva on the status of implementation of Oct 2015 resolution. About 200 acres, coming under the limits of the Telipalai Divisional Secretariat of the Jaffna district and adjoining the Palaly army cantonment, were handed over to legitimate owners of the land, more..

Magistrate warns Pavithra

June 29 (CT) Colombo Additional Magistrate warned MP Pavithra Wanniarachchi that as a lawyer, she should know how to instruct her lawyer without disturbing the Court. Magistrate warned Pavithra when she was instructing a lawyer, who appeared for her in case, where she was the complainant. When the MP instructed her lawyer, in a manner that disturbed the Court, Magistrate told her, "Normally lawyers are instructed outside the Court, but not in a manner which is disturbing. more..

Prez reneges on his responsibility: JVP

June 29 (CT) JVP charged that instead of taking swift action to remove current Governor of CB Arjuna Mahendran who is mired in controversy, President Sirisena has reneged on his responsibility by handing over the matter to be handled by the COPE Committee. JVP said that the President had told PM Wickremasinghe last August that extending the term of office for Mahendran once it expires will be a black mark more..

PM to kick off Sri Lanka Human Capital Summit in August

June 29 (FT) Sri Lanka Human Capital Summit themed Towards a Future-Ready Workforce will be on held on 11 and 12 August, with PM Ranil Wickremesinghe delivering the keynote. A public-private initiative between the National Human Resource Development Council of Sri Lanka (NHRDC), Employers Federation of Ceylon and the Association of HR Practitioners (AHRP) supported by the ILO, ADB and the World Bank, the summit aims to develop a national agenda to discuss more..

Govt allocates Rs. 13.3 b for rural development

June 29 (FT) Govt has introduced immediate development projects to uplift the infrastructure facilities in rural areas, based on the mid-term economic policy presented by the PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on 5 Nov. In par with this program themed Development to the Village, the govt has planned to develop the infrastructure facilities in 13,305 rural areas with the allocation of Rs.13,300 million. The development activities in 10,600 villages are underway following the instructions of more..

US Congressmen warn Sri Lanka

June 29 (CT) Twenty four US Congressmen have written US Secretary of State John F. Kerry telling him to make it clear to the Sri Lankan Govt that additional US funding, trade and military-to-military incentives would depend on substantial and sustained implementation of the specifics in the joint US-SL resolution before the UNHRC. Letter from Congressmen to Kerry adds that continued assistance in these areas more..

ADB, Sumitomo Mitsui back port expansion

June 29 (Nikkei) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Japan's Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. (SMBC) are advising the Sri Lankan govt on a $500- million port expansion project in Colombo. The half-billion-dollar contract covers expansion of the East Container Terminal in Colombo Port to a 1,200-meter berth from the existing 440 meters. In February, the Sri Lanka Port Authority appointed ADB as its transaction adviser, and ADB then picked SMBC as its co-advisor. more..

Passport officers cripple work at BIA for over an hour

June 29 (Island) A strike launched by Sri Lanka Immigration and Emigration Officers Union (SLIAEOU) at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) yesterday from 11.46 a.m. had been called off at 1.00 p.m. following a written assurance given by Airport Manager H. S. Hettiarachchi that the installation of the third CCTV camera system would be suspended until the matter was sorted out with the Defence Secretary, SLIAEOU secretary W.A.S.D. Yapa told The Island yesterday. more..

Eran dismisses reports on being appointed as the CB governor

June 29 (DM) Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne dismissed reports cited that he would be appointed as the next Governor of the Central Bank. Some reports said that the govt was likely to appoint Eran Wickramaratne as the next Governor of the Central Bank. Commenting on the reports, deputy minister who gave up his highly paid profession in private sector to join politics said, he was not aware of such decision and so far, more..

GSP Plus concessions by UK to Sri Lanka seen as being hit with EU exit

June 29 (Island) "Some of the GSP-Plus concessions will no longer be on offer by the UK to Sri Lanka when the UK is out of EU, Executive Director of the Institute of Policy Studies Dr. Saman Kelegama said. "It is said that 35% of Sri Lankan exports to the EU goes to the UK market and 40% of Sri Lankan textile and apparel exports to the EU goes to the UK market. They will not qualify for GSP-Plus preferences if and when we get such preferences, Dr Kelegama said. more..

Lanka Sathosa under flak for sugar sale restrictions

June 29 (DM) Lanka Sathosa the largest state owned consumer goods retail network seems to be taking Sri Lanka back to the 1971 era with restrictions being imposed on the sale of sugar. Several customers have complained that Lanka Sathosa outlets insist that when purchasing two kilos of sugar it could be only done if the total bill is more than Rs.1,000. Some Lanka Sathosa outlets insist that the minimum bill should be Rs. 2,000 if a person wants to purchase two kilos of sugar. more..

En masse expulsion of Muslims from North was blessing in disguise

June 29 (ENS) At least the Muslims of Ichchirapuram in Mullaitivu, consider the en masse expulsion of Muslims from the Northern Province by the LTTE in Oct 1990, as a blessing in disguise. Abdul Gafoor, a 64 year old farmer, who had to flee with his family carrying nothing but the clothes they were wearing, said: “We lost all our possessions and property but because we quit the area as early as 1990, we did not experience bombings, more..

Bangsa Jayah, Keith Bernard appointed Joint Managing Directors of Sri Lanka Insurance

June 29 (Island) Keith Bernard is appointed as the Joint Managing Director of SL Insurance Corporation, alongside Bangsa Jayah who is re-appointed as the joint Managing Director of SL Insurance Corporation. Hemeka Amarasuriya remains in the top position as the chairman while the rest of the board comprise of Professor Lal Chandrasena, Priyanga Algama, Sanjaya Padmaperuma and Pradeep Liyanamana. The newly appointed Jt. Managing Director more..

U.S. Embassy hosts Iftar in Sri Lanka

June 29 (USE) U.S. Ambassador Atul Keshap hosted leaders from the Sri Lankan Muslim community, govt officials, civil society activists, and media representatives for an Iftar last night in Colombo. This is one of three U.S. Embassy-hosted Iftars in Sri Lanka during the month of Ramadan this year, including one in Jaffna and another for girls at the Fathima Welfare Center in Colombo. “As we reflect on these core values of Ramadan, we also look to the future of the country more..

Fishing in troubled waters

June 29 (Hindu) The issue of poaching by Indian trawlers in Sri Lankan waters has over the years become an increasingly contentious one, seriously threatening the livelihood of Sri Lanka’s fishing community. Fishers being among the poorest communities in both Sri Lanka and India, it is an issue of national concern to both countries. Indian fishermen practise bottom trawling, which entails scraping the seabed. more..

Dominant England seek series knockout

June 29 (CI) So now it's official. Break out the Brexit gags and wallow in whatever the Icelandic is for schadenfreude. England really, really, really doesn't want to be involved with Europe in any way, shape or form. What a time to be alive. Happily, for those of an escapist bent, the nation's cricketers have rarely had much need to engage with the continent - save for their biennial ICC-tournament humiliations at the hands of the Netherlands and Ireland, of course. But, when it comes to being upstaged by more..

SL targetting US$ 3.6 bn from tourism in 2016

June 29 (DN) Sri Lanka is targeting a revenue in excess of US$ 3.6 billion from tourism this year, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority Director General, Malraj Kirielle said. The arrivals target for 2016 is 2.4 million visitors. Nearly 1.8 million tourists arrived in Sri Lanka last year contributing US$ 2.98 billion of earnings to govt revenues in 2015 compared to US$ 2.43 billion recorded during 2014. He said in addition Sri Lanka Tourism will also target of US$ 10 billion by 2020. more..

Officers should totally commit themselves to environmental conservation

June 29 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena stressed that it is the responsibility of all the officers to fulfill their responsibilities and duties appropriately while taking part in Govt’s initiatives to protect the environment for the future generations. He made these remarks addressing the 17th Annual Conference of the Regional Environment Officers Association of Central Environmental Authority at Auditorium of Association in Battaramulla, more..

NPC calls for wider public participation in post-war national reconciliation process

June 29 (Island) The National Peace Council (NPC) yesterday said that the govt needed wide public support to implement post-war national reconciliation process. The NPC issued the following statement before the release of the latest UNHRC statement on Sri Lanka. Full text of the statement issued by Dr. Jehan Perera on behalf of the NPC: "Sri Lanka is on the agenda for discussion at the ongoing 32nd session of UNHRC. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights will be submitting a report more..

Central Bank time bomb to explode

June 29 (CT) When Sir John Kotelawala was the PM, he arranged a banquet for the British Bank Governor at the Temple Trees for which the Central Bank Governor at that time N.U. Jayawardena was also invited. While the dinner was in progress, Sir John suddenly flew into a rage at N.U. Jayawardena, and said, "I say, I am informed that you are earning a lot from the Central Bank monies". This made NU's face to turn red. "You'd better understand I can probe your foreign assets more..

Tharanga happy to play the spare part

June 29 (CI) When Upul Tharanga first toured England a decade ago, he opened the batting with such devastating élan that he amassed 347 runs at 69.40 in Sri Lanka's 5-0 whitewash. Five years later, he scored an unbeaten century against the same opponents to complete a ruthless 10-wicket victory in the World Cup quarter-final. This time around, however, rather than furrowing his brow to face down the new ball, more..

Sri Lanka - analysing the China mirage!

June 29 (Island) This writer cannot do better than quote extensively thewords of the chief global strategist of a premier U.S. investment firm Ruchir Sharma, a globally recognized expert on emerging markets, who writes in plain unvarnished English, free from IMF-speak: "Four key forces have been shaping the rise and fall of nations since the 2006 global financial crisis, and none of them bode well for China. Debts have risen dangerously fast in the emerging world, especially in China. more..

Ankeny residents monkey around in SL

June 29 (DR) When we signed up for a group tour of Sri Lanka, we figured India-light. Sri Lanka, the large island 30 minutes off the southern tip of India, seemed in the brochure to be “like” India without the crowds. When we met inside the Colombo airport lounge, our native tour guide ironically said “If you came expecting India-light you are in for a great surprise.” Religious differences might explain the contrast in cultures as Sri Lanka is 71% Buddhist while India is 85% Hindu. more..

Mahendran continues to mess up CB as he replaces top officials with his catchers

June 29 (CT) Arjuna Mahendran continued to take arbitrary decision in his final days as Governor of Central Bank, by transferring the Bank’s Director of Human Resources, among several other top officials for not heeding his orders. Mahendran had instructed the Director of Human Resources to come up with a scheme so retired employees of the Central Bank can be absorbed back to work at the bank, however more..

Brexit worsens external economic environment for Sri Lanka

June 29 (Island) UK’s withdrawal from the EU following the referendum of Brexit –abbreviation of British exit – last Friday has created ripples in global markets. The British pound fell to its lowest level since 1985. In the circumstances, investors flee risky assets and take refuge in the dollar and the yen. Brexit is a blow to emerging market economies such as SL which are already hit by the global financial turmoil and the economic setback in the aftermath of the US rate hike in last December. more..

Sooka’s latest report to UNHRC: Glaring omissions

June 29 (Island) An expensive survey carried out by the ITJP, affiliated to the Foundation of Human Rights in South Africa, recently released Forgotten Sri Lanka’s exiled victims. The release of the report coincided with the commencement of the on-going 32 sessions UNHRC. The report inadvertently revealed the existence of clandestine networks, facilitating Sri Lankans of Tamil origin, including former members of the LTTE, reaching Europe, through illegal means. more..

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