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President orders study to reduce imports

Oct 17 (PMD) Considering the challenges that Sri Lanka is currently faced with due to global uncertainty, President instructs the Ministry of Finance to study the current imports and submit a report on goods of which the imports can be temporarily restricted. President made these remarks at the 20th session of the National Economic Council, which was held at the Presidential Secretariat this morning (16). more..

Airbus deal deserves special attention: TISL

Oct 17 (FT) Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) has alerted the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into Allegations of Large Scale Fraud and Malpractice in SriLankan Airlines to alleged corruption surrounding the controversial procurement of Airbus A350 aircraft by the national carrier. The German publication Der Spiegel has on repeated occasions flagged the allegations of bribery and corruption in the procurement of Airbus aircraft. In a letter to CoI in August this year, more..

Can Sri Lanka get out of their rut?

Oct 17 (CI) The rain in Dambulla could not prevent a result this time, and it could not rescue SL from yet another defeat in ODIs (a record that now reads 31 of their last 41 completed matches). Dhananjaya de Silva and Thisara Perera did at least threaten to give England a Duckworth-Lewis-Stern headache - though in truth, the early damage at 31 for 4 and 74 for 5 was too great - while Lasith Malinga shook out his curls in a vintage display of death bowling, but England held the edge more..

Budget 2018 mired on implementation

Oct 17 (FT) Budget 2018 has failed to deliver on transparency and implementation with only 8% of 38 major proposals worth Rs. 149 billion on target, with 33% categorised as either broken, neglected or undisclosed, think tank Verité Research said yesterday. Releasing the latest Budget Promises: Beyond Parliament update, Verité Research tracked 38 proposals, which were allocated above Rs. 1 billion in Budget 2018, more..

Major Chinese wholesale association wants SL produce

Oct 17 (FT) A top Chinese delegation plans to increase SL agriculture exports to China giving the sector a chance to tap into the massive Chinese sector. “The visit of the China National Agriculture Wholesale Market Association (CAWA) delegation to Sri Lanka opens a huge export opportunity for the SL agriculture and fresh produce sector. We also warmly invite member associations of CAWA to invest as joint ventures in Sri Lanka, transfer the latest technology & partner our SL suppliers” more..

1st Youth Test: Bangladesh reach 209 for three before bad light

Oct 17 (Island) Bangladesh Under-19s deciding to bat first posted 209 for three wickets before bad light forced an early end to first day’s play of the first Youth Test against SL Under-19s at the NCC grounds on Tuesday. Nalanda’s Chamindu Wijesinghe, Richmond’s Sandun Mendis and St. Joseph’s spinner Ashen Daniel took one wicket each before the match was halted before tea. Tawhidhridoy scored an unbeaten half century and put on an unbroken fourth wicket stand of 70 more..

Sri Lanka’s wobbly batting suffers a setback - injured Kusal Perera ruled out

Oct 17 (DN) SL who are trying to sort out their batting woes that has contributed largely to their spate of losses in one-day internationals suffered a setback when one of their top order batters Kusal Perera was ruled out of today’s third ODI against England at the Pallekele Int'l Stadium here. Team manager Charith Senanayake said that Perera suffered a quadriceps injury to his right thigh during 2nd ODI at Dambulla on Saturday more..

Joint naval forces detected US$ 1.8 bn worth narcotics

Oct 17 (DN) Narcotics worth US$ 1.8 billion had been taken into custody by joint naval forces from January to June this year from the Indian Ocean, Navy Chief of Staff Rear Admiral Piyal De Silva said. Silva said the countries in the Indian Ocean region had jointly conducted the raids to detect narcotics transportation and other illegal acts in the Indian Ocean. He said in the future these raids will be further intensified and talks were underway in this regard. more..

Moeen Ali ready to rush his bowling, but not his thinking, as more rain looms in third ODI

Oct 17 (CI) The northeast monsoon is in operation, more rain is on the way, and with further interruptions likely, spinners may again be asked to rush through the overs so that enough have been completed to constitute a game. This was what transpired in the second ODI in Dambulla. England's quicks had reduced Sri Lanka to 35 for 4 at the end of nine overs, and in doing so had got their team miles in front of the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern par score. more..

Time at premium as Shanaka looks to settle in at No. 5

Oct 17 (CB) Angelo Mathews's loss is Dasun Shanaka's gain. With the No. 5 spot in the ODI line-up open, SL have recalled the services of Dasun Shanaka, who has not got a consistent run since making his debut in June 2016. The all-rounder, in the last two years, had featured in only 13 ODIs before this series. However, the selectors are now turning their attention on him as a specialist batsman as they prepare their best team more..

World food day celebration under Presidents patronage

Oct 17 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena said that it is important to implement a state policy regarding the production, security, quality and standards of food. He stated this addressing the world food day ceremony held at BMICH today (16). The World Food Day is celebrated on 16th of October every year. This is to celebrate the establishment of the world food and agriculure organization by the UN. It is celebrated under the theme our actions-our future 2030. more..

Munich betrayal, Moscow pact and Geneva sell-out

Oct 17 (Island) German Ambassador to SL Jorn Rohde recently contradicted his Russian counterpart in Colombo Juri Matery’s widely published statement in the local English print media that dealt with dismemberment of Czechoslovakia, close on the heels of the Munich Agreement, finalized on Sept 30, 1938. There had never been a previous instance of a Colombo-based diplomat, of a European power, sharply contradicting his counterpart, representing another great power. more..

A conversation with five visually impaired Sri Lankans

Oct 17 (Roar) Grey skies. Green grass. Street signs, letters on a page, a traffic light turning red. All simple, everyday concepts we do not give a second thought to. We live in a world driven by visuals, with 80% of our perceptions formed by sight. Yet, about one million Sri Lankans are compelled to steer through life without their most dominant sense, living in a world of partial or complete darkness. more..

Fifth standard examination receives third degree treatment

Oct 17 (Island) Many, including the President, the Minister of Education and others, are seemingly out on a mission to rubbish this examination. The President claimed that not all who scored high in that examination did well in life. Obviously, the President has in mind his colleagues in Parliament. The Minister of Education told us over television that the standard scholarship examination is a test of memory. What is the hard evidence that the President has to tell us so? more..

Demons in Paradise: Capturing the Conversation

Oct 17 (GV) On Oct 2, Director of the documentary film Demons in Paradise Jude Ratnam issued a press release, noting that his documentary had been pulled from the programme of the Jaffna Int'l Cinema Festival. Ratnam wrote to the Festival Director requesting an explanation, having heard that the movie was removed upon request from the community. Demons in Paradise begins with the director’s personal memory of leaving Colombo by train in July 1983. Ratnam was 5. more..

Basil Rajapaksa

Edtorial: Of that mega stench

Oct 17 (Island) Megapolis and Western Development Minister Champika Ranawaka has torn into some politicians, without naming names, for hampering govt efforts to implement the Arawakkalu waste dump project in Puttalam. His desperation is understandable. The govt has painted itself into a corner in trying to tackle the garbage issue. It has now been left with no place to dump Colombo’s waste. Resistance to the Puttalam waste project stems mostly from within the govt ranks. more..

Rajapaksas all the way!

Oct 17 (CT) There used to be times in the history of a Nation and a people that historians describe a given condition of theirs as being in the crossroads. It is often related to cultural and civilisation-related aspects on the one hand, and economic policy and reforms on the other. Occasionally, situations appear where a Nation changes from the old to the new from a past to the present, on the way to a brighter future, on the political and/or politico-constitutional fronts. more..

Reginald Cooray bares myths of the North

Oct 17 (DN) Northern Province Governor Reginald Cooray has focussed on developing the North on par with the rest of the country and resolving the social issues that plague the region. Recently, he visited London to meet the Sri Lankan community and convince them to invest in the region. He believes that there are a lot of opportunities for investment in the fields of solar power, wind power, fishing, salt more..

Politics of Caretaker Govt

Oct 17 (DN) The internal conflicts between the two main partners of the current Yahapalana govt e.g. the UNP and the SLFP seem to be exacerbating day by day. As reported in the media, the ongoing overt discussions between the incumbent President Maithripala Sirisena and the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa about establishing a Caretaker Govt by expelling the present govt headed by Ranil Wickremesinghe shows the seriousness of the rift between two main coalition partners. more..

Absence of productive strategies

Oct 17 (CT) When J.R. Jayewardene opened up the economy in 1977, a bright future was predicted for Sri Lanka. After the hostility evinced towards Mrs. Bandaranaike’s Govt, hostility which continued even after the LSSP had been thrust out and the Finance portfolio given to a right wing minister, we became with the UNP victory the darlings of the West. 38 years later, we once more became their darlings after yet another SLFP leader hated by the West was voted out of office. more..

Burden of the GCE O/L will reduce

Oct 17 (SO) The govt has taken a decision to lower the number of subjects that students have to offer at the GCE O/L Exam to six, for purposes of qualifying for the GCE A/L, while 4 other subjects are to be optional (these will not be required for qualifying). Currently the O/L candidates are required to sit for nine subjects. Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam says that the six core subjects are Religion & Value Edu, First Language, more..

Eelam war IV & Aftermath: Western complicity, deceit & revenge

Oct 17 (CT) This is a provocative piece on the last stages of Eelam War IV in 2008/09 and on its aftermath of Reports and You Tube cut-and-thrust. It makes specific claims in assertive style. These assertions are founded on lengthier articles with their supporting evidence. So, it is by assertion that I proceed. The essay is not a survey of the factors that enabled Sri Lanka to defeat the LTTE. The focus is on the pursuits of the US Secretary of State’s Department more..

What the appointment of a new Chief Justice means for the country

Oct 17 (CT) The appointment of the new Chief Justice Nalin Perera, a career judge who has served in the judiciary for over 30 years, provides a snapshot of the dynamics within SL’s major political powers. It offers a glimpse into President Maithripala Sirisena’s thought process, amid vigorous calls by his allies to form a Caretaker Govt, replacing the current PM with former President Rajapaksa. The 64-year-old new Chief Justice has maintained a relatively low profile thus far. more..

President drops assassination bombshell, accuses India

Oct 16 (EN) President Maithripala Sirisena shocked his cabinet Tuesday by accusing neighbouring India of plotting to assassinate him on the eve of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s visit to New Delhi, a ministerial source said. A visibly upset Sirisena accused his senior coalition partner, UNP, of not taking an alleged conspiracy to kill him as well as former secretary to the ministry of defence, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, seriously. more..

Ageing population makes Sri Lanka’s welfare programs unaffordable: World Bank

Oct 16 (EN) An ageing population could soon make Sri Lanka’s generous social programs unaffordable, a new World Bank report said. Sri Lanka is the only ageing society in South Asia, the World Bank said in its South Asia ‘Economic Focus’ report. “With older populations come higher health care costs and larger spending on public pensions,” it said. “Population ageing could make the country’s generous social programs unaffordable in a not-so-distant future.” more..

Demonetize Rs.5000 notes: Prof. Wijesuriya

Oct 16 (DM) The convener of the Movement for a Just Society, Prof Sarath Wijesuriya said he would urge the govt to remove the Rs.5,000 notes from circulation as a remedy to the present Economic Crisis faced by Sri Lanka. He said this at a Media Briefing held at the head office of the Movement for a Just Society in Rajagiriya and instead of cutting down on imports, it was better to stop functions being held to boost the image of politicians by spending colossal sums of money. more..

SE uni students take over admin building

Oct 16 (AD) Students of the Faculty of Technology of the Southeastern University of Sri Lanka (SEUSL) have completely taken over the administration building of the university and are currently engaged in a protest action. Recently, the studentship of four undergraduates was suspended while 21 students were imposed a suspension of classes. Accordingly, the parents of these students met with the vice chancellor on Oct 13, more..

Rupee will hit 200 if S'pore FTA is on: JO

Oct 16 (DM) The JO said today the SL rupee would hit 200 against the US Dollar by the end of this year if the Singapore FTA, which had enabled thousands of items to be imported without taxes, was still operative. JO MP Bandula Gunawardana said that a gazette recently issued in relation to the Singapore FTA had allowed the import of close to 4,000 items without Customs duty. “President appointed an experts committee to look into the Singapore FTA but the committee is still to release its report. more..

GMOA writes to President

Oct 16 (CT) Doctors yesterday urged President Maithripala Sirisena to take necessary action against Minister of Health, Rajitha Senaratne to safeguard the Sri Lankan health service from being allegedly destroyed by him. The President and Secretary of the GMOA Doctors Anuruddha Padeniya and Haritha Aluthge in a letter to the President alleged that Dr. Senaratne was being influenced by local or international non-governmental organizations to destroy the health service. more..

President calls to expand Nixon shock as rupee falls

Oct 16 (EN) Prez Sirisena has called for more trade controls and import substitution as the rupee fell amid policy errors in operating a soft-peg with the US dollar. Prez has asked a National Economic Commission to prepare a list of non-essential goods that can be stopped and had it over the Finance Ministry in a week. The goods will be temporarily controlled and attention will be focused on producing import substitution products more..

Principal in hot water over allegations of molestation of pupils

Oct 16 (Island) Children’s and Women’s Bureau of Kalutara Police Division are probing a complaint that a principal has molested two 14-year-old male students of his school. The victims have been admitted to the Nagoda hospital for medical examinations. The police had commenced investigations following a complaint lodged there by the parents of the two students, OIC of the Bureau IP Malka Thushari said. The principal summoned the two students to his office during lunch hour more..

Khuram Shaik killing appeals and prosecution on March 1

Oct 16 (Island) Court of Appeal, yesterday, fixed for argument on March 1, 2019, the appeal application filed by former Chairman of the Tangalle PS Sampath Vidanapathirana, who was convicted by the High Court of homicide and rape and imposed a sentence of twenty years rigorous imprisonment. Vidanapathirana was found guilty of the killing of British national Khuram Shaik Zaman and the molestation of his Russian girlfriend Victoria Alexandrovna at Nature’s Hotel, Tangalle more..

Buddhist Philosophy to strengthen the Sri Lanka international relations: President

Oct 16 (PSL) President Sirisena says he will dedicate himself to deliver the values of the Theravada Buddhism to the world while protecting this noble philosophy, joining hands with all the countries in the region. He made these remarks addressing a ceremony held at the Sri Chandananda Buddhist Vidyalaya, Asgiriya, today to felicitate the Venerable Dr. Godagama Mangala Nayaka Thera for being honoured with more..

STF to be deployed outside prisons

Oct 16 (DM) A special unit of the STF will be deployed outside Sri Lanka's four main prisons from October 20, in a move to prevent drugs and other devices from reaching prison inmates, the Ministry of Justice and Prisons Reforms said yesterday. Its Senior Assistant Secretary Bandula Jayasinghe said some 300 STF personnel would be deployed for such duties at the Colombo Remand Prison, Magazine Prison, Welikada Prison and the Angunukolapelessa prison. more..

Name boards in Jaffna causing confusion

Oct 16 (DM) People in Jaffna have complained that name boards on roads and several state departments in the district had been wrongly translated into Sinhala and urged the authorities to rectify them immediately. They said the name boards had been changed based on a decision taken by NPC. Northern CM C.V. Wigneswaran is reported to have instructed the authorities to change the names of villages and other places giving priority to Tamil with Sinhala & English given lesser more..