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The Human - Elephant conflict

Symbolic actions alone are insufficient for long term change to occur

Oct 2 (CT) There is a likelihood that constitutional reform will be on the political table again. Enactment of a new constitution in which a permanent solution to the ethnic conflict would be found is one of the unmet promises of the govt. At its inception in 2015, there was much optimism on this score because the govt held both a 2/3 majority in parliament and was also composed of the two main political parties that had hitherto opposed each other whenever one of them had sought a solution to the problem. more..

Inaugural Commandant’s Cup Sailing Regatta held in Trincomalee

Oct 2 (SLN) The inauguration of Commandant’s Cup Sailing Regatta, organized by the Naval and Maritime Academy (NMA), was held in the alluring waters off Sandy Bay in the port city of Trincomalee žfrom 27th to 29th Sept. The opening ceremony was held at the Shanthi Bahar memorial Sailing Club under the auspices of Commandant NMA, Commodore Kalana Jinadasa and Mr. Sarath Kuragama of the Yachting Association of Sri Lanka. This novelty of experience made way for more..

'Parties that were together at 2015 Presidential Polls should forge ahead'

Oct 2 (DM) Jaffna district TNA MP M. A. Sumanthiran, speaks about the current status of the Constitution-making process and future politics. Q: How do you look at the current status of politics? A: Well, there was a change in 2015. There were a lot of expectations. Initially, though the 100-day programme did not finish in 100 days, there were significant achievements - the enactment of the 19th Amendment and the Right to Information Act. more..

Is Colombo becoming an unsustainable city?

Oct 2 (DM) If taken either literally or metaphorically King’s quote has a lesson for all. Here in Colombo as the skyline changes every passing day with bare tall buildings dwarfing the shorter, old ones the pertinent questions one would ask are where is the replenishment for the trees felled?. Where are the green lanes and space for ecological balance? Have the govt, local bodies and the private sector forgotten the green factor? Similar building booms with scant regard for ecology and essential more..

UDA invests Rs. 25 billion

Oct 2 (FT) Minister Champika Ranawaka revealed that UDA has invested over Rs. 25 billion this year, and rolled out a program envisaging a Rs. 200 billion investment to provide housing for shanty dwellers. He made these remarks addressing a ceremony organised to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the UDA, held at the Sethsiripaya in Battaramulla. Ranawaka said apart from the banks, no other State institution has invested in such a feat despite capacity. more..

Some slots missing in the SL cricket jigsaw

Oct 2 (ST) Cricket in Sri Lanka is in crisis. The signs of decline are omnipresent. They are alarming. On the field, SL, who reached 5 World Cup finals from 2007 to 2014 while also winning one, were eliminated from this month’s Asia Cup even before India started their campaign. The defeats to Bangladesh and Afghanistan by skipper Mathews’ own admission are embarrassing–not because of whom we lost to, but how we lost. more..

Lankan football has gained visibly

Oct 2 (ST) “Sri Lanka gained a fine start at the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Cup Tournament 2018,” said Rummy Paceer Ali, National Football Coach told the Sunday Times. “We have now made arrangements to take it forward step by step. We hope to end it at the SAFF Championships in 2020 in Pakistan. “Prior to that in 2019 (March 9 to 18) is the South Asian Games where there is an under 23 football tournament. We will start training for the competition from October 1 itself. more..

PM promises 500 sports centers islandwide

Oct 2 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said that 500 sports centers will be setup in schools islandwide within the next three years representing all the districts to develop sports. The PM made these remarks at the opening ceremony of the All Island School Games at the Sugathadasa Stadium yesterday. Speaking further the Prime Minister said: “Our main intention is to develop extra circular activities through the schools that is why we have introduced the School Games. more..

Tourism earnings up 12.5% Jan-Aug

Oct 2 (CT) Tourism earnings during the first eight months as well as during the month of August this year reflected the same trend as arrivals to the country. Tourism earnings in August increased 4.9%, while overall earnings during the first eight months increased 12.5%. Tourism earnings during the month of August this year increased 4.9% to US$ 371.6 million from US$ 354.1 million in the same month last year, more..

Track and Field at Sugathadasa Stadium from October 1-5

Oct 2 (ST) The Track and Field events of the 34th All-Island Schools Sports Festival will be held at the Sugathadasa Stadium from Oct 1-5. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe who, as Minister of Education in 1984, inaugurated the Schools Sports Festival, will be the Chief Guest at the opening ceremony, while Prez Sirisena will be the Chief Guest for the closing ceremony. This was revealed at a press conference presided over by Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam at Olympic House on Wed (26). more..

Climate change funds available to businesses

Oct 2 (DN) There are many international funding sources that businesses can tap to build resilience to the impacts of climate change but which are not adequately made use of, according to Attorney-at-Law Lalanath de Silva, a public interest litigator in the area of environment. The impacts of climate change are already being felt with regular cycles of floods and drought that are increasing in frequency and intensity, he said. The highest losses will be from floods, followed by more..

Tea export volumes, earnings fall in August

Oct 2 (EN) Sri Lanka’s tea export volumes and earnings fell in August 2018 from a year ago, largely owing to lower prices and reduced demand in key West Asian markets, particularly Iran, brokers said. Tea export shipments fell 3.8% to 23.9 million kilos in August 2018 from a year ago with earnings down 1.5 billion rupees or 7.5% to 18.6 billion rupees. The FOB (free on board) value per kilo fell over 30 rupees to 780.19 rupees more..

Valuable timber turn into Ipil-ipil & Gliricidia!

Oct 2 (DM) Two illicit loggers who happened to be buddies of an influential politico were recently caught red-handed transporting timber of two kinds of protected trees from a reserved forest in the Kandiya area in Digamadulla. The two loggers managed to contact the powerful politico soon and the latter went into action to help his buddies. Later, the law enforcing agents who arrested the two illicit loggers and the truck loaded with valuable timber found it difficult to hush up the case but more..

Fitch Ratings maintains negative outlook for Sri Lanka banks

Oct 2 (EN) Fitch Ratings said it was maintaining a negative outlook for the banking sector on rising non-performing loans amidst challenging macroeconomic conditions. "Operating conditions continue to be difficult against a challenging macroeconomic backdrop, which we expect to continue to pressure bank performance in the short to medium term," Fitch Ratings said in a rating update of nine Sri Lankan banks Monday. Non-performing loans are rising and banks are more..

Suwa Seriya Service expanded in to the North Central Province

Oct 2 (GDI) Suwa Seriya pre hospital care ambulance services provided to the people free of charge has been expanded in to the North Central Province. State Minister Harsha de Silva said, Suwa Seriya Ambulance Service has helped 100,370 patients. Free emergency ambulance service implemented in the Western and Southern provinces with 88 ambulances in the first stage will be expanded in other 7 provinces more..

SLASSCOM hosts multiple events in Norway, Sweden coinciding with PM’s visits

Oct 2 (FT) The SL Association for Software and Services Companies (SLASSCOM) will host multiple events in Norway and Sweden with the participation of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is visiting Oslo from 3 to 5 Oct accompanied by the Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development and Rural Economic Affairs Wijith Wijayamuni Zoysa. ICT Investment Roundtable is planned for 5 Oct and is organised by IKT Norge (ICT Norway), SLASSCOM & SL Embassy in Oslo. more..

Monitoring key to successful implementation of National Audit Act: TISL

Oct 2 (FT) Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) reiterated the significance of implementing National Audit Act from the early stages to ensure that the stated objectives of the law are met. It said the passage of the National Audit Act in July marked a significant watershed for the public service in SL, introducing a legal framework to promote fiscal accountability amongst those serving in the public sector. “TISL wishes to reiterate that as with Right to Information (RTI) Act which preceded it, more..

Economic crisis: Mangala mum when warned by experts: GMOA

Oct 2 (DM) The GMOA said Minister Mangala Samaraweera was silent when economic experts had predicted well in advance about a rupee depreciation and the economic crisis. Its Secretary Haritha Aluthge said the MPs had requested people to tighten their belts while they continued to enjoy luxury lifestyles. “Amid an economic crisis, the provincial councils are enacting dramas with unnecessary expenses. more..

Youth athletes leave to Argentina with hopes and dreams

Oct 2 (CT) A 23-member team left the country early today to Argentina, to compete in the Youth Olympic Games to be held from 6 to 18 Oct. The team includes four track and field athletes who were selected based on their performance at the Asian qualification trials, an Archer, 3x3 basketball team, a gymnast, a shooter, a shuttler and a swimmer. Parami Wasanthi Marisstella will be the prime medal hope in the 2000m steeplechase event, as she won the Asian Junior Championship Gold medal. more..

PA seeks novel wage model based on productivity, share of revenue

Oct 2 (FT) With the current collective agreement on wages for the plantation workers lapsing this month, the Planters’ Association of Ceylon (PA) insisted that the existing model cannot be sustained long-term, adding that time has come to look at a different model based on productivity and a share of revenue. “We are glad that the unions agreed for a productivity-based wage structure at the last revision and also to look into a revenue share model, which needs to be aggressively pursued for more..

As Chinese influence grows, Japanese warship visits Sri Lanka

Oct 2 (Reuters) Japan’s largest warship, the Kaga helicopter carrier, sailed into Colombo harbour this weekend, marking Tokyo's highest profile salvo in a diplomatic battle with China for influence along the region's vital commercial sea lanes. Japan has long provided low-interest loans and aid to SL, helping it transform Colombo into a major trans-shipment port tapping artery of global trade just south of the island more..

FR petition by Gamini Senarath: SC defers for mention to 21 January

Oct 2 (FT) Supreme Court yesterday deferred for mention to 21 January the Fundamental Rights petitions filed by Gamini Senarath, the former President’s Chief of Staff and two others, former Managing Director of the SL Insurance Corporation Piyadasa Kudabalage and former Commissioner of Samurdhi Neil Hapuwinna. The Bench comprised Justices Eva Wanasundera, Nalin Perera and L.T.B. Dehideniya. Petitioners had sought an order from the SC to prevent FCID from arresting them more..

Proposal on Palaly airport development to Cabinet today

Oct 2 (FT) A proposal to develop Palaly Airport through a joint venture with the Air Force and the Civil Aviation Authority will be presented to Cabinet today. The proposal to develop the Palaly Airport as a regional airport at a cost of nearly Rs. 2 billion will be jointly presented by the Ministries of Transport and Civil Aviation, Tourism and Policy Planning and Economic Development, Transport Ministry. The proposal looks at developing the airport as a regional hub, utilising funds from both more..

'Only 30% of Mannar mass grave excavated'

Oct 2 (CT) Professor Raj Somadeva, who is in charge of the Mannar mass grave excavation, said that thus far only 30% of the excavation has been carried out and that he and his team would be working on the site for another month or so. Looking at the edges of the pit, he speculated that there were more skeletal remains. “There are more skeletons buried,” he noted. As of now, team has unearthed 148 human skeletons out of which 17 were more..

CB suprises; keeps rates unchanged

Oct 2 (EN) Sri Lanka's central bank has kept rates unchanged at its October monetary policy meeting, while injecting cash to sterilize interventions at below 8.5% amid pressure on the currency triggered by earlier unsterilized liquidity. However compared to August policy has tightened as overnight liquidity is now negative and new money is injected at slightly higher rates and market rate are about 100 basis higher than when the currency panic was triggered with excess liquidity. more..

SLPP to officially appoint MR as leader on 2nd anniversary

Oct 2 (FT) The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) will officially invite former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to lead the Party on it second anniversary, Chairman of the Party Prof. G. L. Peiris said. “We celebrate the second anniversary of the Party in November. Within 16 months, we were able to win the majority of local Govt. None of the other political parties were able to achieve a win like we did. We couldn’t do that without the help and guidance of Basil Rajapaksa,” he said. more..

Premier lauds progress achieved by Police in crime control

Oct 2 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said Police Service has achieved a great degree of development and progress today and this has enabled it to control crime to a great extent. “Incidence of crime has reduced by leaps and bounds although this factor did not gain much media publicity. Similarly, the tendency for resolving crime has also greatly improved. Police service is performing several duties to maintain law more..

Sailing between Scylla and Charybdis

Oct 2 (Island) Whoever would have thought, a few decades ago, that the UNP would resort to import controls, one day. J.R. Jayewardene campaigned against the United Front govt’ import restrictions and the attendant public woes to make a comeback with a five-sixth majority in Parliament, in 1977. Unbridled economic liberalisation under the JRJ regime caused the country to be flooded with imports, mostly non-essential commodities, and sounded the death knell for most local industries. more..

A parrot speaks

Oct 2 (Island) You see, I am a parrot and descended of long and high distinction. Our ancestors lived in hollows in trees in Vijayaba Pirivena in Totagamuva not far from the sea. The sea did not matter to us as we were and continue to be vegetarian avoiding taking life. So we were honoured in verse: isivara lesa niti panivayen duruva, nisipala resa vinda satosindava saruva. Unlike you humans who walk on two legs, we parrots roam the skies with no contraptions that fill air with dreadful poison, more..

CID begins probe into rape incidents dating back 20 years

Oct 2 (CT) The CID has commenced an investigation into a series of rapes allegedly carried out by three Lankans in South Korea 20 years ago. The Police Media said that one of the three suspects is alleged to have raped an 18-year-old South Korean in 1998 and sexually abused another minor in 2010, together with two other Sri Lankan individuals engaged in work in that country. One of the suspects who was found guilty by Korean more..

Vigneswaran likely to contest NPC elections from new front

Oct 2 (ST) Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Vigneswaran declared that he would contest the next provincial council elections from a new political front, if the TNA was not happy with him. “I know some people in the TNA are not happy about my performance and I have been repeatedly criticsed by a MP,” Vigneswaran said. He said he did not want to lead a confrontational political career & was in contact with the new political front. more..

England arrive for 2 month tour of Sri Lanka

Oct 2 (Island) Inbound tours by India maybe commercially more profitable for Sri Lanka Cricket, but when England come, it benefits the country as a whole because more people are set to gain besides SLC. Test cricket is the staple diet of Barmy Army, England’s adoring fans, who travel world over with the team and last time they played Tests here in 2012, some 5000 fans travelled alongside the team. more..

New child’s rights charter in the pipeline?

Oct 2 (CT) The Women for Rights (WfR) organization said that they were currently obtaining the views of children and parents, via public representations for the purpose of submitting a message in the form of a charter to the President and the Ministers of Women and Child Affairs and Foreign Affairs, seeking urgent intervention concerning several issues. Co-Chairperson of the WfR organization, Samanmalee Gunasinghe, more..

'EPF invested in unlisted Companies'

Oct 2 (CT) A representative of the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) was prevented from being part of the SriLankan Airlines Limited (SLA) Board of Directors, despite a Rs 500 million investment made by the EPF in SLA in 2010, owing to the subsequent dilution of the shareholding to 0.36 per cent, Superintendent of the EPF Department at Central Bank, Malkanthi Bandara said. more..

Rupee crisis mainly due to internal problems

Oct 2 (Island) General Secretary of the CP Dew Gunasekara at a Seminar on the Economic Crisis in SL held at the Sujeewa Hall in Matara last weekend flayed the govt for trying to shirk the responsibility for the current economic crisis. He said the country was facing an unprecedented crisis in the post-war neo-liberal era. Even though the PM sought to make light of the crisis as an adverse effect of Donald Trump’s more..

Govt action to meet economic crisis inadequate: Prof. Vitarana

Oct 2 (Island) Calling the govt’s belated action to arrest the deteriorating financial situation as inadequate, veteran leftist and Leader of the LSSP Prof. Tissa Vitarana yesterday called for the raising of import tax on 19 luxury goods by 10% as done in India to have a lasting impact rather than taxing the already hard pressed poor with more indirect taxes. He has also called for the increasing of income tax on the richest bracket to the European level. more..

Over 75% ministers’ secretaries are family members: Union

Oct 2 (DM) More than 75% of Central Govt Ministers and Provincial Council Ministers had appointed their family members as their Secretaries, Ministers’ Secretaries Union said. Union General Secretary Ajith Jayasundera said that as a result there was no one there to instruct most of the Ministers, Deputy Ministers, State Ministers and Provincial Council Ministers to develop the country with new thoughts. more..

Sri Lanka may introduce laws banning Facebook for minors: Minister

Oct 2 (DM) Sri Lanka may have to introduce laws to ban minors using Facebook in the wake of several countries having done so, Children’s and Women’s Affairs Minister Chandrani Bandara said. She said this at a ceremony held at Temple Trees yesterday to mark World’s Children’s Day. “Several countries have introduced laws banning minors using Facebook. SL will have to do the same considering the present circumstances. more..

Govt restricts only two official vehicles for ministers

Oct 2 (DM) Cabinet Ministers, State Ministers and Deputy Ministers will strictly be restricted to use only two official vehicles, the govt has decided. If a Minister uses more than two vehicles, the Secretary or the Chief Accountant of the relevant Ministry must take the responsibility of expenses for providing more than two official vehicles. Aftermath of the restriction on vehicle imports, the govt has decided to put an end to the use of official more..