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President says shake up in two weeks

Apr 20 (EN) President Maithripala Sirisena announced he will carry out sweeping changes in the govt, but stopped short of announcing a cabinet reshuffle. President said the economy was on a stronger footing compared to when he assumed office in January 2015 and said economic management was carried out well. However, he said there would be sweeping changes in individuals holding key positions within two weeks. more..

The politics of elephants in the room

Apr 20 (Nikkei) I grew up in a corner of Colombo, the Sri Lankan capital, where a domesticated elephant was a regular presence in daily life. Our elephant belonged to the Buddhist temple near our home. On some mornings, it would lumber past our front gate, the chains tied to its legs producing a rhythmic rattle. Vehicles that clogged the road during the morning rush had to give way. It is a slice of life that many Sri Lankans can relate to more..

President announces speedy solutions to SAITM and Meetotamulla issues

Apr 20 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena said that the controversial private medical college, SAITM issue would be solved by broad-basing its management, which is now a single ownership and open it to the stock market by listing it with the Securities Exchange Commission. He said the medical college will be governed by a council of professional administrators. Addressing the editors and media heads at the President’s House more..

Karadiyana bound garbage tractors turned back by angry crowds

Apr 20 (DN) Garbage trucks entering the Karadiyana Waste Management Facility were stopped by protesters yesterday who asked that garbage from Colombo not be taken to the Facility. The protesters obstructed the movement of all garbage trucks from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. despit scores of tractors filled to the brim with garbage from Colombo on their way to the Karadiyana Waste Management Facility were turned back by angry protesters at more..

Cey-Nor manufactures large scale vessel after 12 years

Apr 20 (GDI) After 12 years, Cey-Nor launched its first large-scale fishing vessel larger than 60 ft in length. Approximately 1,480 multiday fishing vessels are engaged in deep sea fishing on international waters. However, 40% of the harvested fish remain unfit for consumption due to the inadequacy of facilities in these fishing vessels. Fish exports to the international market require high-quality fish and SL is able to satisfy only 30% more..

NCPA works to uplift mental conditions of Meetotamulla disaster affected children

Apr 20 (Island) The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) would be conducting programmes to resettle and uplift the mentality of children affected by the Meetotamulla garbage dump disaster, spokesman for NCPA said. About a dozen officers of the authority have been employed in the process of collecting data on the children who have lost parents or family members in the disaster that took place on Sinhala & Tamil New Year day. more..

Long-term solution to Palk Bay conflict elusive: Sri Lankan fishermen

Apr 20 (Hindu) Although New Delhi and Colombo have expressed satisfaction over recent bilateral talks on the Palk Bay fishing conflict, northern Sri Lankan fishermen say a much-needed long-term solution remains elusive. Following resistance from the fisherfolk and some efforts taken by the two govts, the number of Indian trawlers coming into Sri Lankan waters has reduced, observe fishermen. more..

Court rejects request to transfer Sri Lankan envoy’s assault case

Apr 20 (FMT) The High Court today dismissed the govt’s application to transfer a criminal trial involving a Sri Lankan envoy from the Sepang court to Kuala Lumpur on security grounds. Justice Nordin Hassan said the grounds raised in the application pertained to law and order. “The applicant and the witness could complain to the trial judge and law enforcement agency if they are unhappy about a crowd outside the Sepang court,” he said. more..

Sleep-deprived bus drivers complain of risky trips

Apr 20 (ST) Drivers who cause fatal road traffic accidents when they fall asleep at the wheel are continuing to wreck the lives of thousands in the country. Just last week, 52 people were injured after a bus driver fell asleep in Nawalapititya in Gonewalapathana area at about 12.55 pm, police reported. The driver was also among the wounded. Several similar accidents have been reported over the past three months. more..

Dialog Telecom, customers pay Rs. 317 billion to State

Apr 20 (EN) Dialog Telecom paid income taxes and levies of 31.7 billion rupees to the state, on net revenues of 86.7 billion rupees, data published by the firm said. The firm itself paid 10.7 billion rupees in fees and levies to the govt. Dialog pays income taxes at a 2% of revenue under a long term deal with the BoI concession, which can be a high rate of taxation in a low margin business or a low rate in a high margin business. more..

Dump, dumber, dumbest

Apr 20 (DM) The collapsing of the over 90 meter high, 25 million tonne waste dump in Meethotamulla, Kolonnawa, marks the darkest Sinhala-Hindu New Year in Post-Independent Sri Lanka, which had left around 145 slum dwellings in the vicinity damaged, over 600 people including children displaced and 26 people reported killed. This tragedy has been in the making for over eight years now due to the callous and irresponsible attitudes of both the political leadership and the bureaucracy.  more..

Non-white lives do matter Mr. Trump

Apr 20 (DM) On Thursday April 6, US President Trump ordered US warships in the Persian Gulf to launch a unilateral and totally unexpected cruise missile strike on a Syrian airbase in Idlib in retaliation for Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons in the rebel-held province. The attack was undertaken without consulting Russia – a major player in the Syrian civil war.   Daily Mirror in its editorial on April 10, said, The attack on Syria did not make the world a safer place… more..

Modi to discuss Trinco oil tank farm

Apr 20 (DM) Indian PM Narendra Modi is to have bilateral discussions with the Lankan leaders on the sidelines of UN Vesak Day celebrations here, on matters of mutual interests and concern, including the proposal for joint development of the oil tank farm in Trincomalee.  Mr. Modi will arrive in the country on May 12 on a two-day visit in view of the UN Vesak Day Celebrations in the country. This is his second visit to SL during his tenure. more..

Champika, Isura continue blame game: JO

Apr 20 (DM) The Joint Opposition (JO) said Western Province Chief Minister Isura Devapriya and Minister Champika Ranawaka kept dragging in finding solutions to the Meethotamulla garbage issue by always disagreeing with each other and even today they are continuing the blame game. MP Gamini Lokuge said they too attended some of the meetings held to discuss the issue but the meetings always ended without any outcome as the CM and the Minister couldn’t come to an agreement. more..

Video: Lankan woman in US wins a car by kissing it for 50 hours

Apr 20 (Fox) A 30-year-old Austin woman won a new car Wednesday by keeping her lips locked on it for 50 hours. Dilini Jayasuriya got the keys to a 2017 Kia Optima LX after winning a drawing that included the six other people who had finished the Kiss a Kia contest held by 96.7 KISS FM radio at Southwest Kia in Round Rock. Jayasuriya, who is married and works in a state health lab, is a native of Sri Lanka. She said she and her husband were sharing one car since since she had to give up more..

Protesting CPC’s loss of oil monopoly: All CPC TUs threaten major strike

Apr 20 (CT) All trade unions of CPC have decided to walk out on a massive strike next week, in protest against the joint venture to be signed between the govt and India on 27 April, concerning 74 oil tanks of the China Bay Oil Tank Farm in Trincomalee. "We warn PM that our strike will cause much public inconvenience and the govt will be highly inconvenienced as well. Therefore, please don't enter into this agreement. more..

Speaker not informed to summon Parliament

Apr 20 (DN) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya was not informed by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to summon Parliament to discuss the Meethotamulla garbage issue. The Speaker said that Parliament can only be summoned at the request of the Prime Minister. JO MP Dinesh Gunawardena has written to the Prime Minister on behalf of the Joint Opposition requesting to summon Parliament for a special session to discuss the prevailing issues pertaining to the Meethotamulla garbage dump. more..

TN court releases 7 Sri Lankan fishermen

Apr 20 (Hindu) Chief Judicial Magistrate Court here has ordered the release of seven Sri Lankan fishermen who were arrested on April 6 by Thoothukudi Marine Police on a charge of poaching in Indian waters after the State govt agreed to withdraw the case against them. After the govt ordered to take steps to release and repatriate the seven fishermen with their vessel Kavisha Putha 03 and the prosecution told the court that it was not interested in proceeding with the case, more..

Shot in the arm for Sri Lanka’s economy

Apr 20 (DN) Sri Lanka’s economy will receive a shot in the arm following its programme with IMF and will perform well this year with good results, IMF Economic Counsellor and Director of the Research Department Maurice Obstfeld said at the launch of the Global Economic Outlook on April 18 in Washington. Global Economic Outlook is the flagship presentation of the Fund on the global economic forecast released twice a year more..

Muslim saint’s tomb vandalised in Galle

Apr 20 (Island) The tomb of a Muslim Yam (saint) Sheik Salih Waliullah buried in the Galle Fort had been vandalised by unidentified persons two days ago, said former UPFA Minister A.H.M. Azwer. Azwer said the Fort was a World Heritage Site and came under the supervision of the army and still the culprits had not been identified. The veteran politician said the saint had been buried over 300 years ago. The UPFA politician said he would take up the matter with the President. more..

‘Maternity leave must be extended to keep women in work’

Apr 20 (DN) Sri Lanka must soon look at offering more maternity leave for female office workers to encourage them to stay in their job, Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne said. Speaking at the Women in Management organised Int'l Leadership Conference titled Thinking Out of the Gender Box Forum, he said that today the women labour force is very low in Sri Lanka. He said this is also seen in the Free Trade Zones where there are over 50,000 jobs that are yet to be filled by women. more..

Govt denies any attempt to register another  cigarette manufacturer

Apr 20 (Island) Department of Excise contradicting the GMOA denied any attempts being made to register another cigarette company in Sri Lanka. A spokesman for the Department responding to claims by the GMOA of an attempt by certain parties to register a cigarette company said that his Department had not received any applications for registration. There should be a formal application if such a company was to function legally. more..

Japan promises country’s support through solid waste master plan

Apr 20 (FT) Japanese Ambassador Kenichi Suganuma pledged his country’s support to develop a master plan to manage solid waste in the Greater Colombo Area. Ambassador and JICA SL Chief Representative F. Tanaka yesterday handed over emergency relief items to Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa as part of the immediate assistance given to the Government in the face of the Meethotamulla disaster. The items donated to the country include tents, sleeping pads, more..

JO demands timeframe for providing compensation to Meethotamulla victims

Apr 20 (FT) Criticising Govt for not paying compensation on time to victims of the Meethotamulla garbage dump collapse, Joint Opposition demanded that Govt declare a specific timeframe for compensation for damage property. JO Leader MP Dinesh Gunawardena stressed that Govt must announce the exact compensation rates for the lives lost and the damage to houses and other buildings. “Govt is still wasting time without stating a date to provide compensation to more..

Sri Lanka battles labour shortage amid massive building boom

Apr 20 (AFP) Cheap SL labour has built skyscrapers and condos across the Gulf for decades but now contractors at home are desperate for workers as Sri Lanka experiences an unprecedented construction boom. The labour shortage has seen builders offer lavish incentives ranging from cash to vehicles to keep workers from heading overseas, and in some cases, illegally employ foreign tradesmen to man projects. more..

National Cooperatives Policy to help achieve sustainable development goals

Apr 20 (Island) Minister Rishad Bathiudeen addresses the International Cooperative Ministers’ Conference 2017 in Hanoi, Vietnam, yesterday. Sri Lanka says it’s enlisting its massive cooperative sector for a speedier realisation of it 2030 national Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) plan. "I stress that we can achieve our national Sustainable Development Goals easily if the govt and the cooperative movement work together. Sri Lanka’s cooperatives are active many sectors, more..

Sri Lanka among top 4 in real estate sector

Apr 20 (DN) Sri Lanka is fast gaining recognition as one of the top four destinations for investments in the real estate sector for both Chinese and Japanese investors, Horton Square project CEO Paul Kelly said. He said the foreign investors know this trend and are investing in large condominium projects in Sri Lanka. “However I am not sure if Sri Lankans know about this plus factor.” Kelly said that for Chinese and Japanese their best investment destinations are Australia, USA & Singapore. more..

President, PM lead Meethotamulla makeover

Apr 20 (FT) President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday joined the relief effort initiated in the aftermath of the collapse of the Meethotamulla garbage dump. The two jointly chaired a top-level meeting at the Disaster Management Ministry to assess the disaster’s impact and make urgent decisions. It was the PM’s first hands-on move as he cut short his official visit to Vietnam more..

JAT signs Rangana Herath as Brand Ambassador

Apr 20 (CT) JAT Holdings recently signed on Rangana Herath as its Brand Ambassador. The 39-year-old, left arm, spin bowling all-rounder will henceforth be the 'face' of JAT Holdings thereby enhancing JAT's image as a dedicated patron of the game. "Rangana Herath has proved his mettle as a sportsman and is a cricketing great in his own right. His track record enriches itself with every match he plays; making him a formidable force to reckon with in contemporary Sri Lankan cricket. more..

Prevailing drought and impact on coconut production, exports and prices

Apr 20 (ST) The prevailing drought is reported to be the worst experienced during the last four decades. Around two thirds of the coconut is grown in the two districts of Wayamba (Kurunegala and Puttalam) and Gampaha districts. These three districts are characterised by a rainfall pattern, which is bimodal. Around two thirds of the annual rainfall occur during the inter monsoon months when the rainfall magnitude is high. The intensity and the distribution of the rainfall and more..

GSP+ hangs in balance as govt treads slow on sensitive issues

Apr 20 (DM) European Union (EU) is still concerned about the progress SL has made in its human rights commitments with less than 4 weeks to go till the culmination of SL’s GSP+ application process to gain reduced duty access to EU markets. “Deadline finishes on the 15th of May, so there’s even less than 4 weeks for SL to make its case. There are still some areas on which (EU) MPs have already signalled their concern,” more..

Excited Establishment turns to Sri Lanka for decade-long growth

Apr 20 (CW) Asia-focused Establishment (ET) is backing Sri Lanka, which it says is home to high quality, low valuation listed companies. A trip to the island country of SL, has surprised Establishment manager Henry Thornton of Blackfriars Asset Management. He said that despite the country’s tough ride, including civil war and a tsunami, country is not only making strides in implementing economic reform but is set to be boosted by increased tourism & Chinese investment. more..

Indra Silva sells 3.5% COMBank stake for Rs. 4.3 b; foreigners buy

Apr 20 (FT) High networth investor and Indra Traders Chairman Indra Silva sold 3.5% stake in Commercial Bank, the largest non-state entity, for Rs. 4.3 billion, with several institutional foreign investors collecting quantities. Deals on 29.7 million shares of COMBank worth Rs. 4.3 billion were done at the Colombo stock market yesterday, boosting its turnover to Rs. 5.17 billion, the highest since 8 December and more than three times this year’s daily average of Rs. 863.7 million.  more..

Important five days for players to showcase their form

Apr 20 (DN) Sri Lanka Cricket’s Super provincial limited-over tournament which is being used as a pre-cursor to selections for the ICC Champions Trophy in England in June will resume after an eight-day break for the Sinhala and Tamil New Year with Kandy taking on Colombo at the NCC grounds and Galle meeting Dambulla at the Dambulla Stadium today. The matches from today followed by ones scheduled for April 22 & 24 more..

Air ticket money not disbursed as yet

Apr 20 (CT) The parents of swimmers that represented Sri Lanka at the 8th Asian Age Groups Swimming Championships held in Thailand in 2015 are set to make a complaint to the Minister, against the Aquatic Sports Association (SLASA) for not refunding half of the cost of Air Tickets. It is reliably learnt that a sum of approximately Rs 1 million provided by the Ministry of Sports for air tickets have not been disbursed to the swimmers by the SLASA as yet. more..

Schools Cricket season comes to a close

Apr 20 (ST) Singer Schools Under-19 Limited Overs Tournament came to a close last week with all segments — the Division I, II and III. Richmond College Galle triumphed over Thurstan College Colombo by 8 wickets to capture the Division I championship as the school from down south became the best team from the rest where a total of 16 teams qualified to play in the knockout tournament beginning from the pre-quarter-final stage. more..

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