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Arjuna rejects nepotism charge on SLPA

Oct 10 (NS) Minister Arjuna Ranatunga stated if his brother had enough qualifications to be Chairman of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), then family connections should not be a barrier to him being appointed to the post. Ranatunga was speaking in response to a query on reports that his elder brother Dammika was on the list of names that he had submitted to President Sirisena regarding the appointment. more..

MS reply on CC is humorous: Gammanpila

Oct 10 (FT) PHU Leader and MP Udaya Gammanpila said that the reply letter sent by President Sirisena regarding the Constitutional Council (CC) appointments was amusing. Gammanpila had sent a letter to President Sirisena on Monday asking for his reasons behind the appointment of the JVP Propaganda Secretary and MP Vijitha Herath for the CC as the representative of other parties. Issuing a reply letter President Sirisena has said that Herath was nominated more..

Too much TV interviews results in disqualification

Oct 10 (CT) Too much TV Interviews has resulted in disqualification of promising sprinter Pramod Piyumika of Kirillawala Central School after he established a new meet record of 23.27 seconds in the under 15 boys 200M of the ongoing All Island School Games. Piyumika was interviewed by two state-run and one leading private TV channel just a few minutes before his semi-finals. Piyumika seemed to have enjoyed too much attention and had not been able to focus on the event. more..

Video: Ekneligoda case: Four police officers re-noticed

Oct 10 (DM) Court of Appeal directed four police officers to show cause as to why they were not present in court despite being noticed on Sept 28. Justice Vijith Malalgoda (President) directed that notice be re-issued on the four police officers returnable on Oct 16 in respect of the Habeas Corpus applications filed on behalf of four army personnel who were arrested and detained in connection with disappearance more..

Brandix supports national initiative in occupational safety and health

Oct 10 (FT) Sri Lanka’s efforts to promote occupational safety and health at workplaces across the island are to be supported by the country’s single largest apparel exporter Brandix as principal sponsor of the 2015 National Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) week. Organised by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) of the Ministry of Labour, this year’s National Occupational Safety and Health week is scheduled to be held from 12 to 16 Oct, more..

Spotlight on Sri Lanka: 10th annual Seattle South Asian film festival

Oct 10 (NWAW) The 10th Annual Seattle South Asian Film Festival (SSAFF), opening on October 15th, showcases Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon), an island country near southeast India. The Tasveer organization, parent organization of the SSAFF, chose Sri Lanka to showcase for several reasons, according to Dr. Alka Kurian, co-director of the Festival. The Festival wanted to “acknowledge the strides that the country’s film industry has made over the years.” more..

Plain packaging for cigarettes

Oct 10 (NS) After having successfully implemented the anti-tobacco legislation of mandatory 80% pictorial warning on cigarette packets, the Ministry of Health’s next objective is to remove all branding from tobacco products, and to enforce plain packaging of cigarettes. Dr. Thilak Siriwardana said that such legislation would allow only a small space for the brand name to be visible on tobacco packaging. more..

Veteran coach Lionel Mendis passes away

Oct 10 (DN) Veteran cricket coach Lionel Mendis passed away at the age of 80 yesterday. He is considered as one of the most illustrious coaches in the country with a long list of students learning to play quality cricket under him, including the World Cup winning former skipper Arjuna Ranatunga. Mendis had his formative education at Dharmashoka College, Ambalangoda and represented the school at all levels in cricket before joining Richmond College, Galle. more..

Berendina receives award from SL-UN friendship organization

Oct 10 (FT) Berendina Development Services (BDS) received an Institutional Excellence Service award from Sri Lanka United Nations Friendship Organization (SUNFO) recently. This award was presented to Berendina at a Special Workshop and Prize Giving ceremony organized by SUNFO to concur with Global Goals for Sustainable Development Action day which fell on 24 Sept. SUNFO selected five institutions from five provinces that has partnered with them in educating more..

'When freedom of press ensured it is responsibility of journalists to write the truth'

Oct 10 (PMD) When the new Govt work with the media ending the era of disappearances, white vans abductions and interferences of any kind, the responsibility of the media is to not to isolate the Govt politically, said President Maithripala Sirisena. He made these observations participating at the 60th Anniversary of the Sri Lanka Press Association held at BMICH today (9). When the Govt ensures the freedom of the press more..

SL Schools Karate Do Team third in Iran

Oct 10 (Island) The Sri Lanka Schools Karate Do team emerged third at the 2015 Euro-Asian Open Karate Championship Persian Gold Cup Tournament that was organised by the Iran Karate Do Federation. This was held in Teheran, Iran on Sep. 17th and 18th. Iran came first and Azerbaijan second respectively. Twenty boys and eight girls representing 17 schools participated in the Sri Lanka team. They also won three gold medals, 12 silver medals and 26 bronze medals. more..

Hashan wants to be SL batting coach

Oct 10 (CT) Former Test Captain, Hashan Thilakaratne said he applied for the post of batting coach with Sri Lanka Cricket. He feels they could use his experience and knowledge for the benefit of Sri Lankan cricket. Speaking to Ceylon Today, Hashan further said "I thought of applying for this coaching stint because I see it as a duty. I played for a long time and benefited from the game, and I think I can help take Sri Lanka cricket forward, I have a duty to do that." more..

Fiscal program for 2016 under zero-based budgeting

Oct 10 (Island) Sri Lanka’s 2016 fiscal program will be presented under the more effective zero-based budgeting system. It will be presented to parliament on Nov 20 by Minister Ravi Karunanayake, Finance Ministry sources said. "The new method and its benefits, along with the ills of previous practices, came under discussion at a Cabinet meeting, where preparations for the 2016 budget were approved, sources said. more..

Sri Lanka Tourism launches Community Aid Tourism with Olympic Gold medallion

Oct 10 (DM) Tourism is one of the most important industries for a country not because one in eleven people are employed or because 1.8 billion people have travelled the to some part of the world. Why it is important is because Tourism is about new ideas, new themes and new dreams. This brings hope to a country and it's people. This is where Tourism becomes centre stage in today's Sri Lankan Economy said Dr Rohantha Athukorala Chairman of the SL Tourism Promotion Bureau when more..

Jaffna holds second A-PAD SL symposium

Oct 10 (FT) The international symposium Public-Private Partnership Towards Disaster Resilience and Sustainable Development, organised by the Asia Pacific Alliance for Disaster Management (A-PAD) was held in Jaffna on 5 Oct. Over 150 delegates participating from Korea, Japan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Philippines alongside participants from Sri Lanka’s private sector. Chief Guest at the event was Jaffna’s District Secretary V. Vethanyagam and more..

SL v WI: Low ranked Test series sans Stars

Oct 10 (NS) A Test series between two teams Sri Lanka and West Indies devoid of superstars and both teams nearly at rock bottom in the ICC Test rankings will commence at the Galle International Stadium on Wednesday for the Sobers-Tissera trophy. The two teams have a lot in common going into the two-Test series. They find themselves in a transitional stage with two young captains at the helm – Angelo Mathews for SL aged 28 more..

Is Sri Lanka ready for Digital Health?

Oct 10 (ST) My column last month on how Google Loons and a Cloud Based Health Record System can transform healthcare in Sri Lanka attracted much attention. I received emails from across the world, all positive. It was even posted on a LinkedIn group Healthcare Board with the caption “Is Sri Lanka ready for Digital Health?” My answer to that is, “Yes we are, but we need the political commitment to make it happen, it is too important to leave it in the hands of a few enthusiastic more..

Rerturning Lakmal impresses on rain-hit day

Oct 10 (CI) The West Indians had slipped to 127 for 6 by stumps on a weather-curtailed first day at the SSC. Both seamers and spinners had substantial aid from the surface, and overcast conditions aided them further. Suranga Lakmal marked his return to competitive cricket after an injury layoff, with two wickets for 10 runs from his 11 disciplined overs. Suraj Randiv, however, was even more impressive, extracting very sharp turn to claim 3 for 33 from his 13 overs. more..

Rumeshika stamps her class, hurdlers produce thrillers

Oct 10 (Island) Fierce competition in the Under-19 girls’ and boys’ hurdles finals and the record breaking solo sprint of Rumeshika Ratnayake topped second day’s performances of the All Island Schools Games Athletic Championships at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium on Friday. St. Joseph’s Balika, Kegalle sprinter Rumeshika was a cut above her rivals as she finished metres ahead of others to win gold more..

Asian Seven Series: 3rd leg kicks off today Tuskers go for jugular

Oct 10 (CT) Sri Lanka will look to exploit the home advantage when the big boys from Asia scrum down for regional supremacy in the third leg of the Asian Seven Series which kicks off at the Race Course Rugby Stadium in Colombo today. Sri Lanka finished fourth in the two previous legs held in China and Thailand respectively. In fact they defeated one of the tournament favourites, China in the second leg. SL Sevens captain, Fazil Marija said win against China gives his team a lot of confidence. more..

Biorobotics projects at Uni of Moratuwa

Oct 10 (ST) Robots, Robotics, Robotic Technology are well known terms to the modern society, but what is Biorobotics? In short it is the development of biologically inspired robots. In the world-wide context it has become a hot topic over the last decade among reseachers and engineers. As a country where do we stand in this technological saga? This column discusses about biorobotic related projects currently being conducted at University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka. more..

Pimping and tribal issues shake Parliament

Oct 10 (Island) Whatever its record in legislative practice, our Parliament is certainly building a big reputation about the use or not of parliamentary language. It is interesting to see that the PM is at the centre of these controversies, which lead to major disturbances, chaos and even walkouts from the August Assembly. Another matter of interest is that it is P words – letters beginning with the letter, which is the initial letter of Parliament, too, more..

Clarifications on Geneva 2015

Oct 10 (Island) It seems to me that there are certain essentials on which we should focus in the aftermath of the recent UNHRC Resolution at Geneva. One, as I argued in my last article, is an incontrovertible fact about which there should be no argument at all: every civilized society has sanctions against crime, and in so far as we fail to apply them we have to be regarded as to that extent a quasi savage society. That fact is not altered one jot by the fact that there may be a hundred and one infirmities more..

Editorial: Haka vs Sipi Tau

Oct 10 (Island) A protest threw Parliament into turmoil on Thursday again with the government big guns and the UPFA rebels locking horns over a statement former Minister Dinesh Gunawardena sought to make on the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. The protesters took exception to two terms, pimps and gypsies, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe used to describe some Opposition MPs. Interestingly, the ruckus occurred on the very day a live telecast of parliamentary proceedings began. more..

Where have we gone wrong?

Oct 10 (CT) Rape, murder, abuse and neglect have become such a normal part of human society, that we see it almost every day, everywhere. The entire country knows and sometimes even religiously follows cases like Seya Sadewmi's or Vithya's rape, mutilation and murders because they received the required amount of media coverage. Rape, murder, abuse and neglect have become such a normal part of human society, more..

Tame our politicians

Oct 10 (NS) Whatever the form of govt, a monopoly of power in State would be the end of all civilised politics, whether it be the presidential executive or parliamentary executive. Constant experience has shown us that every man/woman invested with power is apt to abuse it to carry his/her authority as far as it will go. The more politicians want power, less it is about principles. As such the existence of a constitution does not mean automatically that there also exists a democratic system to go along more..

Geneva 2015 was not inevitable

Oct 10 (NS) As the UK Permanent Representative explicitly stated when addressing the UNHRC on Oct 1, the US-UK resolution is firmly founded upon Zeid al Hussein’s report. As Zeid al Hussein made amply clear in his video statement to the Council a day earlier, Sept 30, his report contains at its core, the conclusion that war crimes, system crimes, of such magnitude and extent, were committed during our war that our judicial mechanism does not have the capacity to deal with them! more..

In danger of being displaced

Oct 10 (SO) With rain and thunderstorms forecast to continue and the DMC contines to warn of landslide threats in Nuwara Eliya and Badulla regions. The safety of the people in the hill country, specially the plantation community is at grave risk. They are victims of two disastrous landslides in the recent past and as inhabitants of the treacherous hills, with no proper shelter, exposure to the inclement weather and more..

A breakout nation that broke down

Oct 10 (CT) In 2013, Governor of Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal invited Ruchir Sharma, head of Emerging Market Equities and Global Macro at Morgan Stanley Investments to deliver Central Banks 63rd Anniversary Lecture. Title of his lecture was Prospects of SL as a breakout nation. Lecture was attended by Senior Staff of the Bank, Academics and invited elite of commerce and industry. A few months earlier he had authored Breakout Nations: In search of Next more..

To set out in the direction of redemption

Oct 10 (CT) If the Sri Lankan nation is to go forward, the polity needs to take the Tamils into confidence. They have to move together. The Tamils in turn need to act in a manner to inspire hope and reliance among the communities. With neither party taking the initiative, there is not even a glimmer for either. So too for other minorities. This writer has asserted this position consistently since the end of hostilities. Sheet anchor for unification is economic parity – of opportunity and reward. more..

'China ready to provide every support to SL'

Oct 9 (PMD) A Chinese delegation headed by Chinese Vice Foreign Minister called on President Maithripala Sirisena today (8) at the Presidential Secretariat. President, recalling the long term friendship between China and Sri Lanka expressed his satisfaction over the fullest support extended to him, by the Chinese President and the government, during his visit to China. President commended the Chinese support given to SL more..

eNICs for all within two years

Oct 9 (CT) Cabinet has approved the decision to resolve the many issues related to the introduction of the electronic National Identity Card (eNIC) and issue them for all eligible citizens within a period of two years. Although the Cabinet approval was granted to establish the National Register of Persons and to issue eNICs, the process has been delayed due to various technical difficulties, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. The proposal to issue an eNIC with the authority vested with more..

Sri Lanka to revive Sathosa with help from Singapore

Oct 9 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s state owned retail chain Lanka Sathosa aims to get support to revive from Singapore as the retail chain is making continues losses. Lanka Sathosa owned more than 310 outlets around the island. “We are restructuring LAKSATHOSA and are still experiencing monthly losses,” Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, has said. In 2014, Singapore became the fourth in exporting products and services to Sri Lanka representing 6.6% of Sri Lanka’s total imports. more..

Sri Lanka opposition demands joint Indo-Lanka naval patrols

Oct 9 (PTI) India and Sri Lanka should hold joint naval patrols to prevent fishermen from poaching in each others' waters, Sri Lanka's main opposition leader said today. Speaking during a debate on alleged poaching by Indian fishermen in northern Sri Lanka, opposition leader R Sampanthan said the incursions had also raised tensions between the two countries and should be resolved amicably. more..

Members named for four independent commissions

Oct 9 (AM) Constitutional Council (CC) decided on appointments to four Independent Commissions a short while ago. Accordingly, the members of the Public Services Commission, Independent Police Commission, Human Rights Commission and Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption were named. Their names will be forwarded to the President for approval. CC met for a meeting today to discuss the appointments to nine Independent Commissions. more..

ICC launches Women’s Team Rankings – Sri Lanka placed eighth

Oct 9 (NS) The International Cricket Council (ICC) today launched the official ICC Women’s Team Rankings, which incorporate results in all three formats of the game into one rankings system. Not surprisingly, Australia is ranked number one following its success in the ICC Women’s World Cup 2013 in India and the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 2014 in Bangladesh. It also leads the ICC Women’s Championship, which is the qualifying tournament for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017. more..