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PM optimistic more SL experts will return

Sept 23 (DM) A number of Sri Lankan experts, including academics and professionals, who left the country had returned recently and more experts would hopefully follow them in the near future, said PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. Addressing a ceremony held to launch the construction of Techno City at Mahahena in Homagama, PM said he had invited Sri Lankan experts to return, not alone, but with their colleagues. more..

'Techno City will spearhead huge increase in GDP'

Sept 23 (DM) Innovative technology was the only way to increase GDP, and the Techno City, which was to be built soon at a cost of nearly Rs. 20 billion, would play a major role in achieving this goal, Minister Champika Ranawaka emphasized. “Usually, we need to invest 4.5% of GDP to achieve a 1% increase in GDP. But if we invest that amount in innovations, we can increase the GDP in a much more effective manner. more..

SLC reverse controversial clause after COPE probe

Sept 23 (DM) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) decided to reverse a controversial clause in the Articles of Association of Cricket Aid (Guarantee) Ltd giving its signatories life-membership of this newly-formed charity arm of SLC. The matter came to light when the Parliamentary Watchdog COPE questioned it, leading to an order from the Sports Minister to reverse section 6.1. more..

Akila, GMOA battle continues

Sept 23 (Island) The GMOA warned it would resort to any form of trade union action against the baseless probe by sections of the govt against its President Dr Anuruddha Padeniya and Ex Co members. GMOA Secretary, Dr Naveen de Zoysa said two salient decisions had been taken during a General Committee meeting held yesterday. There were several moves by certain sections of the govt to intimidate the union following more..

Malaria: The hard-won battle must not be lost

Sept 23 (ST) What felled the mighty ancient kingdom of Anuradhapura? Was it foreign invasions or did the ancients and their kings abandon their homes and palaces because they could not face the onslaught of swarms of tiny mosquitoes, bearing with them deadly malaria? Or were they both? The answer lies buried in the sands of time, but more than 2,000 years later, Sri Lanka has been able to battle and defeat these mosquitoes, more..

Rs. 1,800 b revenue expected from next budget proposals

Sept 23 (DN) Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama said that it has been estimated to gain a revenue Rs. 1,800 billion from the next budget proposal. “The next budget will be based on the theme of alleviating poverty,” he said. He added that special attention has been drawn on reducing the budget deficit to 5.5 - 5.6 range. He was addressing a media conference yesterday along with a few other senior politicians of the SLFP. more..

‘CBK, pro-LTTE Diaspora taking common stand’

Sept 23 (Island) Outgoing UNSG Ban Ki-moon’s call at the 71st Sessions of the UNGA for a ‘new union’ in post-war Sri Lanka has seriously disturbed the SLFP-led Joint Opposition. Top JO spokesman and Matara District MP Dallas Alahapperuma asserted that that there couldn’t be any justification in comparing Sri Lanka with Myanmar. MP Alahapperuma was addressing the media on Wednesday. more..

Corruption claims hover over Lankaputhra appointment

Sept 23 (SL) The credibility of the Good Governance administration that pledged to act on those who are involved in bribery or corruption is now fast diminishing as the govt has failed to take action against those who are involved in corrupt activities. It is now understood that the corrupt are well protected by the govt and are even in the process of securing high posts in govt despite having concrete evidence against them more..

'Govt to set up five technology universities this year'

Sept 23 (DN) The govt would set up five Technology Universities this year, said Leader of the House and Higher Education and Highways Minister Lakshman Kiriella, adding that 1,800 students are to be recruited to the five universities. He made these observations yesterday, in response to a query made by MEP MP Sisira Jayakody, during his speech joining the Second Reading debate on the Universities (Amendment) Bill. more..

Driving smoothly with corruption

Sept 23 (DM) Department of Motor Traffic in Werahera, popularly known as RMV, has been one of the main destinations visited by many individuals with a dream of obtaining a driver’s licence. But lately, there have been rumours about bribing activities that have been going on within and outside the premises. In an attempt to shed light on this issue, Dailymirror herewith exposes certain observations made during an attempt to more..

NAM and sham: Whither Non-alignment?

Sept 23 (DM) The message from Venezuela’s Margarita Island is that the Non-aligned Movement is all but dead. 120-member organisation appeared like a bed-ridden elderly person thinking of beating Usain Bolt in a 100-metre sprint. Like the proverbial rats deserting the sinking ship, over the years many heads of state or govt skipped the summit. When the 17th summit was held in Venezuela last week, only ten heads of state attended it. Among them were Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, more..

Glyphosate: Don’t allow TNCs to run the govt

Sept 23 (DM) Powerful transnational corporations especially those involved in pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals and food are known to be pushing hard to sell their products here in what social justice analysts see as economic neo-colonialism which is more dangerous than the old military colonialism. We wish to spotlight today one such key area. In June this year, President Sirisena, resisting pressure from TNCs and their highly paid lobbies, banned the import of the weedicide glyphosate more..

Office rental scam: Yahapalana Minister robbing people's money

Sept 23 (Island) COPA has, in its latest report, faulted Agriculture Ministry for renting pvt building for Rs. 958,000,000 without following proper procedures. Watchdog committee has pointed out that Ministry had not taken action to construct a new building complex in spite of having a block of land of its own. Instead, it had rented building at taxpayers’ expense. Committee has emphasized that it wouldn't approve of the transaction. more..

JVP bombshell: Avant Garde received Rs. 255 mn tax rebate from Yahapalana govt

Sept 23 (Island) Parliament was told that the ruling UNP-led coalition had given major tax rebates to Avant Garde Maritime Services (AGMS) under investigation by different agencies, including the CIABOC. The revelation was made by JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake. Minister Ruwan Wijewardene assured that govt would look into the matter and inform Parliament of its findings. The govt launched investigations into AGMS immediately after January 2015 presidential polls. more..

Govt. loses Rs.1bn a day due to high-handed attitude: JO

Sept 23 (DM) Govt's high-handed attitude had triggered trade union action crippling the activities of three main revenue-collection institutions causing a loss of one billion rupees a day, the joint opposition said today. MP Dinesh Gunawardane told a news conference that the employees of the Sri Lanka Inland Revenue Department, the Sri Lanka Customs and the Excise Department had resorted to trade union action over what they described as undemocratic action of the Govt. more..

With retiring officers re-joining service: Tensions rise between Ravi, Customs unions

Sept 23 (DN) Tension between Minister Ravi Karunanayake and Customs unions heightened as Director General of Customs invited retired Customs officers to re-join the service on a one-year contract basis. “We are simply trying to ensure that development goes on, and we will not be distracted by the self-serving activities of a few individuals,” minister said. He was speaking in response to the decision to get retired more..

COPE orders AG to submit detailed report

Sept 23 (CT) The COPE ordered AG's Department to promptly submit a detailed report on the controversial digitization project of the People's Bank. COPE also requested the PB Board of Directors to hand over to the AG's Department all the documents related to the case. PB Board appeared before COPE yesterday and was questioned at length about the entire digitization process. COPE sources said the Committee had not been convinced with the replies given by more..

'Drought won’t interrupt supply of electricity'

Sept 23 (CT) Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said his Ministry is prepared to maintain the supply of electricity uninterrupted under proper management even in the face of the severe drought that has affected the island since last month. He said prevailing dry weather conditions had caused a drop in power generation compelling the use of alternative sources to meet the shortfall. He gave this assurance at talks on Wednesday with Minister of Petroleum and Petroleum Gas more..

Sports Minister tells Ranatunga to mind his own business

Sept 23 (DN) Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera has told Minister and former World Cup winning cricket captain Arjuna Ranatunga to concentrate on attending to matters concerning his Ministry rather than criticize on sports at every turn. “Everyday Ranatunga is blabbering something about sport but there is no contribution from him to develop it,” said Minister Jayasekera at the media conference held in connection with National Sports Festival. more..

Sri Lanka embraces India's Sagarmala, to use para diplomacy to link Southern states: PM

Sept 23 (EN) Sri Lanka will support India's Sagaramala program of building ports around the country, and will use para diplomacy to build stronger links with the key Southern Indian state, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. "Joining the Sagarmala is an advantage for us, not a disadvantage," he told Colombo International Maritime Conference. SL was also planning to engage in para diplomacy directly with Southern states in India to closely integrate with their economies, he said. more..

Thilan Samaraweera: 15 facts about the crisis man of Sri Lankan cricket

Sept 23 (CC) Born Sept 22, 1976, Thilan Thusara Samaraweera is a former SL cricketer who represented their national team in 81 Tests and 53 limited-overs matches during a career spanning a decade and a half. A solid middle-order batsman, Samaraweera was a vital cog in the Sri Lankan batting line-up that had illustrious names such as Mahela and Sangakkara for almost entire part of the first decade of 21st century. A fighter both on and off the field, he took a bullet on his body during more..

Govt frowns on media organisations collecting, distributing disaster relief

Sept 23 (Island) Director General of Govt Information Department Dr. Ranga Kalansooriya said that the collection as well as distribution of donations was not the responsibility of the media organisations; instead they should provide accurate information to the public and also make govt institutions aware of their weaknesses. Addressing a workshop on Media Sensitivity in Emergency Responses & Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) more..

12 employees file Writ Petition

Sept 23 (CT) Twelve employees of the SL Ayurvedic Drugs Corporation filed a Writ Petition in the Court of Appeal seeking a Writ of Certiorari quashing the decision and direction of the Minister of Health and Indigenous Medicine to close down the factory and premises. Petitioners have cited the Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, Ministry of Health, Chairman of SL State Pharmaceuticals Corporation, Managing Director and two members of the Board of Directors of the Corporation, more..

Bird smugglers nabbed

Sept 23 (CT) For the first time in Sri Lanka's history, Customs confiscated a shipment of birds that were to be smuggled out of the country through the Colombo Port. Two Maldivians were arrested on Tuesday by Customs while trying to smuggle out 11 parrots, six love birds and 10 red-vented Bulbul, concealed in a box. Unfortunately, 10 parrots and four love birds had died in the box. The suspects, were fined Rs 200,000 and the birds were confiscated. more..

Wigneswaran urges Tamils to join mass protest in Jaffna tomorrow

Sept 23 (FT) Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran has urged Tamil people to participate in a demonstration scheduled in Jaffna tomorrow, to oppose the systematic settlement of Sinhalese people in the Tamil dominated region and the erection of Buddhist statues in an area devoid of Buddhist devotees. “Tamil speaking brothers and sisters, I urge you to participate in the Ezhuga Tamil demonstration,” a letter by CM Wigneswaran more..

‘Pain and agony of one community shifts to another community’

Sept 23 (ST) Garbage in many countries has been transformed into a productive and environmentally-friendly exercise. However in Sri Lanka dumping of garbage is still a major issue. The big land mudalalis cash in by offering marshes they own particularly at Muthurajawela from Wattala to Negombo to reclaim the land by dumping garbage after which workplaces and factories are built on. It is also known that these millionaire mud-sellers have powerful political connections with one example at more..

Sri Lanka's Fleeing Tamils

Sept 23 (WP) In early June of this year, a boat with a failed engine carrying five children, 22 women, and 13 men was found in the water by fishermen off the coast of Aceh, Indonesia. One of the women on board was pregnant and one of the children was an infant. Those on board were all ethnic Tamils who had recently fled from their native Sri Lanka and were now seeking asylum. At the same time, human rights observers documented evidence of increased persecution & horrific torture against Tamils more..

Govt aims for hi-tech with Techno City

Sept 23 (FT) A confident PM Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday sounded determined to lead Sri Lanka to achieving knowledge-based innovative economic growth, as the country is ready to explore new frontiers in science and technology. Addressing the launch of first phase of the Techno City in Maha Henawaththa, Pitipana, Homagama, which is estimated by the Megapolis Ministry to be worth around Rs. 2 billion under more..

Finance Minister Ravi K’s novel idea of bottom-up approach for budget making

Sept 23 (FT) Efficient budget management in any economy depends upon information flowing strongly both top-down, imposing macroeconomic constraints and broad national policies and priorities, and bottom up, with information on the costs and benefits and performance of present and potential future expenditures. Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake has come up with a novel idea of bringing in more of our intelligentsia for bottom up approach budget preparations. more..

Sri Lanka plans for 35mn TEU capacity with north port

Sept 23 (ET) Sri Lanka's state-run ports agency has plans to expand Colombo to handle 35 million containers a year by 2040, with a North Port being built inside a new breakwater, a top official said. A base case scenario for capacity developed in 2004 had proved to be remarkably accurate. The Colombo Port now has a capacity of 7.1 million twenty foot equivalent unit (TEUs). An expansion of the exiting Jaya Container Terminal will take Colombo to 7.7 million TEUs. more..

Govt spends Rs. 14 b for Grama Niladari level development

Sept 23 (FT) As Local Govt elections inch closer, Govt has already spent approximately Rs. 14 billion on all Grama Niladari divisions to complete pending development projects that were started by the previous administration, Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said. He said the Govt had allocated Rs. 1 million to each Grama Niladari Division to continue the development of roads and other infrastructure facilities. more..

Two centurions on first day of Murali Harmony Cup

Sept 23 (Island) In an exciting start to this year’s Murali Harmony Cup, R. P. C. Milan from Seenigama Combined Schools and R. Kelly from St. Joseph’s College both scored centuries for their teams. Seenigama Combined Schools scored 231 runs in their 120-run win over Up Country Combined Schools for the loss of just two wickets. St. Josephs College who are participating for the first time in the tournament won their match against Jaffna Central College by 32 runs. more..

15-year-old brewing Goda

Sept 23 (CT) Three persons including a 15-year-old boy were taken into custody Wednesday after they were discovered brewing Goda in Periyamkulam, Kattakaadu in Kilinochchi. Acting on a tip-off, Dharmapuram Police raided the illicit brewery in which there were 12 barrels of Goda and 20 bottles of alcoholic spirits. Teenage boy had dropped out of school to take to manufacturing kasippu. The hooch manufactured by the suspects had been marketed in Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi. more..

Colombo Int’l Maritime Conference begins

Sept 23 (DN) Second annual Colombo International Maritime Conference (CIMC) began last Wednesday with over 400 international invitees. PM Ranil Wickramaisnghe was the Chief Guest yesterday. Theme of the event is Maritime Education and Training. Over 17,000 acres have been allocated for a new industrial zone in the South with mega development activities in the region coming under the purview of a newly more..

Senaka Bibile:The God of small things

Sept 23 (Island) On 29 Sept, the country will commemorate the 39th death anniversary of Prof. Senaka Bibile. One of the most erudite scholars ever produced by Sri Lanka, pharmacologist Bibile was world famous for his untiring efforts for making good quality medicinal drugs accessible and affordable to the world masses. What Prof. Bibile aspired for were not technology intensive, expensive big things, but small things like prescribing drugs in generic names and inculcating rational drug prescription more..

Book Review: The Lion’s Roar

Sept 23 (Island) "When I was about eight years old, my father took me to a carnival in Kandy around the time of the Esala festival. He bought me a ticket for a lantern show that was drawing large crowds. When my turn came, I peeped through the lens and saw a series of coloured slides of Budhagaya, the Mulaghandhakuti in Saranath, some famous Buddhist sites in India and finally a slide of a handsome middle aged man in a yellow dress. That was Angarika Dharmapala." more..

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