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Many SL pharma firms now moving into local manufacture of drugs

Aug 11 (ST) Ministry of Health (MOH) and SL Chamber of Pharmaceutical Industry (SLCPI) have a common objective in ensuring the delivery of effective, high quality safe and affordable pharmaceutical products to satisfy the varying needs of patients. “It is our strong belief that if the MOH, other regulatory bodies and the Chamber work together, we would be able to jointly improve the quality of service we provide to the most important person in the value chain – the patient,” more..

Fishermen's arrest: Jayalalithaa writes to PM

Aug 11 (PTI) TN chief minister Jayalalithaa has written to PM Narendra Modi, seeking his personal intervention for release of four Indian fishermen arrested by SL navy, besides release of 103 boats. In the latest incident, four fishermen in a mechanised fishing boat, who had set sail from Jegathapattinam fishing base in Pudukkottai district, had been arrested by SL Navy on Monday, Chief Minister said in her letter dated Aug 9, more..

Karunaratne gears up for tough challenge

Aug 11 (DN) The badminton competition of the XXX1st Olympic Games will get under way here on Thursday with Sri Lanka’s undisputed national champion Niluka Karunaratne making his second successive appearance in the Olympics. Karunaratne, who competed at the last 2012 Olympic Games, has been drawn in group ‘P’ in the men’s singles first round. Besides Karunaratne, the other shuttlers drawn in Group ‘P’ are Long Chen of China, Kevin Cordon of Guatemala and more..

HNB Group profit tops Rs 10 bn in first half

Aug 11 (DN) HNB Group continued its outstanding performance with Group Profit Before Tax (PBT) improving to Rs10 bn in the first half of 2016. The Bank’s PBT for the period improved to Rs 9.1 bn by 50% while the Bank’s PAT grew to Rs 6.4 bn by 48.6% yoy. HNB MD and CEO Jonathan Alles said they are delighted with the remarkable first half performance which was driven by robust growth in core banking. “Our continuous investments in developing world class talent, adopting more..

Govt assures export thrust

Aug 11 (FT) Govt reiterated its commitment to boost exports and Foreign Direct Investment, noting the twin strategy was key for SL’s future success. Minister Malik Samarawickrama reaffirmed his stance to assist exporters, assuring that his Govt would leave no stone unturned in supporting foreign exchange earners. Addressing 20th Presidential Export Awards, he said Sri Lanka was currently at more..

81 monks in custody since 2015

Aug 11 (Island) Eighty one Bhikkhus had been remanded from January 8, 2015 to March 31, 2016, Justice and Buddhasasana Minister Dr Wijayadasa Rajapakshe told Parliament yesterday. Responding to a question by MP Jayantha Samaraweera, the minister said those monks had been remanded due to various allegations including sexual abuse, artefact theft, financial fraud, child abuse, rape, property theft and the violation of immigration and emigration laws. more..

Hayleys Q1 revenues up, PBT above Rs. 1 b

Aug 11 (Island) Hayleys PLC, posted Rs.1.03 billion in Profits Before Tax (PBT) for the first quarter of the 2016/17 financial year. Revenue reached Rs. 24.13 billion, continuing the topline growth momentum from the last financial year. The Agriculture, Purification Products, Construction Material, Eco Solutions, and Power & Energy Sectors saw appreciable profit growth over the same period in the previous year. All sectors made positive contributions to the bottomline except for more..

Cabinet green lights new laws for Financial City

Aug 11 (FT) Sri Lanka’s ambitious plans to build an International Financial Centre (IFC) are growing apace, with Cabinet approving the drafting of new laws to establish and operate a Financial City, likely to be opened at the World Trade Centre before being moved to the Port City. IFC or Financial City, as it is termed in Cabinet paper submitted by PM, aims to create 15,000 jobs and build investment of 10% of GDP more..

Indian Commerce Minister to come soon to talk ETCA: Ranil

Aug 11 (DM) Commerce Minister of India will arrive in the country soon to hold talks on the Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA), PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said in Parliament today. He said the Govt had already initiated negotiations on drafting the ETCA and similar deals would be struck with China, Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia to find markets for the country’s produce. He was responding to a question by Joint Opposition MP Jayantha Samaraweera regarding ETCA. more..

Galle Test nets Rs 2.8m

Aug 11 (CT) The recently concluded Galle Test match between Sri Lanka and Australia has helped Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) collect the highest amount from the sale of tickets in the recent past from a Test match where the two and half days collection was Rs 2.8 million. The ticket income in the Pallekele Test between two countries was Rs 18 million. Comparatively the next best income from the sale of tickets in a Test match was the Pakistan Test last year which collected a sum of Rs 323,300. more..

Need to develop grass root levels: Aravinda

Aug 11 (Island) One of the finest thinkers of the game of cricket, former great Aravinda de Silva’s thoughts are much sought after although a decade and half has passed since he retired from the sport. SLC has used Aravinda’s expertise extensively, but he remains reluctant to take up a role on a full time basis due to his business interests. Aravinda is the Chairman of SLC’s Cricket Committee, wing that advises the board on more..

JVP demands guaranteed purchasing price for paddy

Aug 11 (FT) A group of farmers from 12 districts including Hambantota, Polonnaruwa and Kurunegala, led by the JVP, met officers of the Paddy Marketing Board and demanded their harvest be purchased for a guaranteed price. JVP North Western Provincial Council Member Namal Karunaratne claimed Govt purchasing price of one kilo of paddy, which should be between Rs.38 to Rs.41, has not been implemented, with prices dropping to about Rs.27 in those districts. more..

Development of smart cities: Ranawake to sign two MOUs with Singapore

Aug 11 (DN) Minister Champika Ranawake will sign an MOU with the International Enterprise Singapore, which is under the Ministry of Trade and Industries of Singapore to share their experiences under the Colombo Megalopolis plan. He has obtained Cabinet approval to exchange experiences of Singapore for the development of smart cities in SL under the Western Megalopolis plan. This is in obtaining the cooperation of the International Enterprise Singapore to implement more..

Rajitha blasts S.B. for defending Basil

Aug 11 (Island) Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that it was wrong for Minister S.B. Dissanayake to defend former Minister Basil Rajapaksa, who had allegedly bribed heads of Local Councils with GI pipes purchased using Divineguma funds prior to the last presidential election. Dissanayake claimed that there was nothing unlawful about Basil having used state funds to distribute GI pipes among local govt authorities in run-up to 2015 prez election. more..

Chinese Ambassador calls on Speaker

Aug 11 (FT) On 8 August, Chinese Ambassador Yi Xianliang visited Speaker Karu Jayasuriya who has just recovered from illness. He wished the Speaker good health in the future and invited him to visit China at an early date convenient to both sides. Two sides exchanged views on China-SL relations. Ambassador Yi said China-SL relations had a long history. During the past more than one year period after the change of SL govt, bilateral cooperation has gradually overcome the difficulties more..

Show proof of Basil's innocence: Keerthi

Aug 11 (DN) Keerthi Tennakoon, of the Anti-Corruption Front (ACF) said it was disgraceful that Minister S. B. Dissanayake was defending former Minister Basil Rajapaksa. Social Empowerment Minister said, he believed the former Economic Development Minister – who is currently under investigation by the FCID for misappropriation of funds - had done no wrong. Basil Rajapaksa is accused of using funds belonging to Divi Neguma Department to support his brother, more..

Sri Lanka to face scrutiny next Monday

Aug 11 (CT) Sri Lanka's record of tackling racial discrimination will be scrutinized by the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), on 15 and 16 August in Geneva. Issues such as the ongoing process of reconciliation and work to ensure non-recurrence of civil war and protection of ethno-religious minorities and their places of worship from discriminatory acts and attacks will be among many other topics set for discussion. more..

PRECIFAC to grill ex-SLPA Chairman

Aug 11 (FT) The former Chairman of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) Dr. Priyath Bandu Wickrama and the then Board of Directors of the SLPA will testify at the public hearing of the anti-corruption commission at the BMICH on Friday. They will be questioned before the five-member panel of the PRECIFAC over misusing public money at the water filling ceremony and opening of the Magampura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port (MMRP) in Hambantota in 2010. more..

SL & Tanzania to expand business relations

Aug 11 (DM) Sri Lanka and Tanzania opened a new chapter in business and investment promotion between the two countries with the launch of the Sri Lanka Tanzania Investment Chamber in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania last week. The business chamber was officially inaugurated by the chief guest at the occasion, Minister John Amaratunga. In his keynote address at the launch Amaratunga noted that the business and investment chamber was launched at the right time. more..

Toys for Leaders; Commissions for Crooks; Debt for People: President wants fighter jets

Aug 11 (ENS) Cabinet has approved a proposal by President Maithripala Sirisena to purchase new multirole fighter aircraft and associated weapons for SLAF, minister Rajitha Senaratne announced. India and Pakistan are likely to bid for the supply with India offering its indigenously madee Tejas Light Combat Aircraft, and Pakistan offering the JF-17 Thunder fighter which it is making in collaboration with China. more..

Speaker to make controversial announcement soon

Aug 11 (CT) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya is set to deliver a landmark ruling next sitting week, on the determination given by the Supreme Court with regard to VAT (Amendment) Bill. Sources said Speaker Jayasuriya was studying a ruling given by former Speaker Anura Bandaranaike, overruling a judgement given by former CJ Sarath N. Silva in 2001, using the powers and privileges of Parliament. Before making the special statement, Speaker would meet all party leaders in Parliament, more..

Welivita denies knowledge of source

Aug 11 (CT) Director of CSN, Rohan Welivita denied any knowledge of the Rs 157.5 million which allegedly belonged to his company. On a request made by the FCID, the Kaduwela Magistrate approved the transfer of the illegally procured Rs 157.5 million to the Central Bank. Welivita, who was also the media secretary to former President Rajapaksa, claimed that CSN was not informed of this transfer and that he was ignorant as to where this money, connected to CSN, came from. more..

'Public Finance Committee can summon MR'

Aug 11 (DN) Committee on Public Finance chaired by TNA MP M. A. Sumanthiran can summon former President Rajapaksa to inquire about the large amount of loans obtained during the previous regime, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. He was responding to a question during PM’s Question Round in Parliament. PM, observing that former President Rajapaksa was the finance minister during the previous govt, more..

Easing not just hunger but anger and social tension

Aug 11 (DM) With Sri Lanka still plagued by an inequitable distribution of wealth and resources including food and with malnutrition or undernourishment reported to be much higher than official figures for immediate relief we could take a lesson from what some social justice groups are doing in India and other countries. According to a report in the Guardian The Robin Hood Army (RHA) is an Indian organization which collects food from restaurants, weddings, more..

Social fatigue in the era of perpetual civic action

Aug 11 (DM) There is almost no need for me to say that we are living in an era of social and political uncertainty, and even turmoil, no matter which part of the world we live in. Modern communication channels keep us updated on what is happening around the world and the information we are constantly exposed to reveals it all. Even people living in the highly developed Western Europe no longer feel safe and secure. In an interconnected world, people who suffer due to poverty more..

'If a soldier has done wrong, punishment should be from prevailing law'

Aug 11 (DM) dailymirror spoke to Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara on the issues related to war heroes, missing persons and the mechanism to probe war crimes. He was the Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Navy and the first Director General of the Civil Defence Force. He was one of the five heads of security forces felicitated by the nation for winning the war. On retiring from military service, he entered politics and was more..

Sahasara: A cost-free solution to the national transport problem

Aug 11 (DM) The transport problem has become a burning issue for the people of the country and a substantial percentage of the productive time of the workforce has been lost on choked streets as a result of chronic vehicular congestion. The situation is further exacerbated by workers arriving at their work places already tired out, preventing them from being able to execute their tasks efficiently. more..

Fraction of funds siphoned off by CSN found: Govt

Aug 11 (Island) Only a fraction of the funds siphoned out of the country by Carlton Sports Network (CSN) had been tracked down and would be handed over to Central Bank. Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that Rs.157.5 million which CSN had illegally transferred to a Singapore Company had been returned to LOLC, which in turn had deposited the money with Pan Asia Bank in the name of Amtrad, allegedly linked to Namal Rajapaksa. more..

'PB influenced Mahinda, not astrologer'

Aug 11 (Island) Justice Minister Dr Wijeyadasa Rajapakse, PC, claimed that the then President Mahinda Rajapaksa had called for early presidential polls on the advice of Secretary to the Treasury Dr P.B. Jayasundera. He said that as Dr. Jayasundera had been seriously concerned about the rapidly deteriorating economic situation, President Rajapaksa was told to face the electorate nearly two years before scheduled date. more..

Why they oppose the new constitution

Aug 11 (SL) Shouting coarse expressions in protest against the govt seems to be the main task of the joint opposition led by former President, MP Mahinda Rajapaksa. A new constitution for the country was among the key promises of the Yahapalana govt during election years and its impact was so powerful that even those who are least interested in the actions of the ruling circle are curious of its nature. more..

Salawa residents want more money due to blast vibrations

Aug 11 (ST) Disheartened Salawa residents whose properties were damaged in the massive explosion in the army armoury in town on June 6 are questioning the valuation method used to pay compensation, claiming there is continuing cracking in walls and floors and other structural damage. They are also displeased that the cost of the roofs renovated by the army is being deducted from the recently issued govt compensation estimates more..

All SLFP JO members to be invited to party’s 65th anniversary celebrations

Aug 11 (Island) All SLFP members in the Joint Opposition (JO), including former President Mahinda Rajapaksa would be invited to the national ceremony of the SLFP’s 65th anniversary scheduled to be held in Kurunegala on Sept 4, Minister Susil Premajayantha said. He told the media that out of 54 members of the JO, 41 members were SLFP members and, therefore, they would be definitely invited to the party anniversary celebrations. more..

President Chief Guest at UNP’s 70th anniversary celebrations

Aug 11 (DN) SLFP Leader and President Maithripala Sirisena will be the chief guest at UNP 70th year anniversary celebrations. Deputy Minister Niroshan Perera said this was a symbol of a new political culture which the govt had ushered in. 70th anniversary celebrations in September will take place parallel to two other significant events; the long awaited release of the govt’s economic plan and the release of a new UNP Constitution. more..

IUSF, ACF condemn statements by SB and Kiriella on SAITM

Aug 11 (DN) Anti Corruption Front (ACF) and IUSF vehemently condemned the statements made by Minister S.B. Dissanayake and Lakshman Kiriella on August 09, in support of SAITM. “We strongly condemn the statement made by S.B. Dissanayake as the former Minister of Higher Education, regarding the state universities while comparing them with the so called medical college SAITM,” said Convener of IUSF more..

US report says BBS continued to promote supremacy of Buddhists

Aug 11 (CG) BBS continued to promote the supremacy of the country’s Sinhalese Buddhist population and propagated views hostile toward members of religious and ethnic minorities last year, US State Department said in a new report. US State Department’s Int'l Religious Freedom Report for 2015 noted that BBS General Secretary Ven. Galagodaththe Gnanasara Thero regularly made inflammatory statements more..

Tamils, Muslims and the issue of North & East merger

Aug 11 (CT) The issue of merging the Northern and Eastern provinces into one larger Tamil dominant unit is continuing to create tension between the Muslim and Tamil communities at a time when constitutional reforms are under consideration. From the majority Sinhalese point of view such a merger is feared as a stepping stone for the ultimate division of the country. There are historical antecedents to support this fear and tension respectively. While a combination of factors such as more..

Divineguma EPF monies: Settlement reached before SC

Aug 11 (Island) The petitioner members of the Divinaguma Employees Consolidated Union and the respondents the Divinaguma Development Department, the Commissioner of Labour, the Minister, the Secretary of the Housing and Samurdhi Development Ministry, came to a settlement before the Supreme Court that the EPF monies of the Divinaguma employees, would be returned to their EPF accounts, held in the custody of the Central Bank, and only what was necessary more..

පාලිත උඩුරාවණ

Declining prisoner numbers

Aug 11 (CT) According to government statistics on the internet, the total number of convicted prisoners as at 2014 was 27,588, a decline of 14.3% from the year 2010 figure of 32,128, which was the peak figure in the review period. Similarly, the total number of un-convicted prisoners in the review period declined from 100,191 to 90,251, a decrease of 9.92%. In that five-year review period, the total number of un-convicted prisoners peaked in 2012 with a figure of 107,760. more..

Warner falls back into attacking ways

Aug 11 (CI) Little more than two weeks ago, David Warner was all about patience and batting for long periods of time in Asia. "You've got to be patient enough," he said before the first Test against Sri Lanka. "You've got to rotate the strike. Your patience comes with hitting your four-balls, your boundary balls. They're the ones you've got to really wait on. That's what we're talking about with patience in this game, especially over here. You've got to bite the bullet." more..