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Face the Nation

Grama Shakthi: Poverty alleviation in a new light

Oct 25 (DN) Poverty alleviation has occupied a prime slot in the universal agenda over the decades for the mere fact that it is a phenomenon that inhibits the progression of nations across the globe. Hence, emphasising the gravity of the issue, countries have arrived at a consensus to combat poverty by prioritizing No Poverty as the first sustainable development goal (SDG) of the United Nations development agenda. As a demographically and geographically small nation, more..

Dialog with Uni Ruhuna/Moratuwa spearhead next-gen solutions for smallholder farmers

Oct 25 (Island) In a combined effort to provide SL smallholder farmers with an affordable solution for protecting crop yields from adverse weather and other negative conditions, Dialog Axiata, has partnered with the Uni of Ruhuna and the Uni of Moratuwa to develop and take to market a localised, automated protected house agriculture automation system. Though agriculture employs 33% of the workforce in Sri Lanka, the sector contributes to only 9% of Sri Lankan GDP more..

Human negligence causes death by elephants, says expert

Oct 25 (DN) “In most instances it’s not the elephants that kill humans, it’s the humans that get themselves killed by the elephants due to their stupidity and negligence,” said Dr Sumith Pilapitiya, former Director General of the Wildlife Department, delivering the monthly lecture of the Wildlife and Nature Protection Society (WNPS) at the BMICH on Oct 18. Speaking on human–elephant conflict management, he said 70% of human deaths more..

SLEME dominates with two SL records

Oct 25 (CT) Two Sri Lanka records were shattered at the Army Relay Carnival 2018 held on Tuesday at the Sugathadasa Stadium, which SL Electronic and Mechanical Engineering (SLEME) Regiment dominated by winning all the relays. Kalinga Kumarage anchored the 4x200m team which clocked 1 minute 24.03 seconds to set a new Sri Lanka record. The other SL record was set by the 4x800m team, which featured 800m SL record holder Indunil Herath, with a time of 7m27.2s. more..

SB and attempted caretaker Govt

Oct 25 (Island) S B Dissanayake, currently a MP from the National List, is easily the most active of the political movers and shakers in the SLFP group of sixteen in opposition. He has since resigning from the Govt, following the failed no-confidence motion against the PM, been fairly active in seeking to make things happen, rather than allow events to run their course. With the term of office of the President ending in Jan 2020, we should be in full blown prez election mode, this time next year. more..

Private sector pins hope on a progressive Budget

Oct 25 (SO) Sri Lanka’s business community last week expressed optimism that the Budget 2019 to be presented in Parliament on Nov 5, would bear the key elements of practicality, progressivity and policy consistency with a view to unlock the island’s growth potential. Underscoring key expectations, Deputy President of the National Chamber of Commerce of SL (NCCSL), Nandika Buddhipala said the NCCSL advocates more..

SL-Swiss Parliamentary Friendship Association visit to Switzerland

Oct 25 (FT) A delegation of MPs representing the SL-Swiss Parliamentary Friendship Association (SLSPFA) visited Geneva on 18 October, continuing with a week-long program of visit to Switzerland from 14 to 20 October. The multi-party delegation, led by Deputy Speaker Ananda Kumarasiri, comprised SLSPFA President Jayampathy Wickramaratne, as well as Seenithamby Yoheswaran, J.C. Alawathuwala, Edward Gunasekara, Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle, more..

Union Assurance partners Union Bank to expand Bancassurance

Oct 25 (DN) Union Assurance (UA) recently partnered with Union bank for a preferred partnership in Bancassurance operations with the objective of strategically strengthening its Bancassurance channel and to provide life insurance solutions to the extensive customer network of the Bank. Signing of the formal agreement was held at the Hilton Residencies in Colombo on October 19, 2018 amidst a large gathering from both organizations. more..

Sri Lankan refiner tests Algerian crude oil to diversify supply

Oct 25 (EN) State petroleum company is testing a crude oil from Algeria to widen supply sources for its refinery which is optimised for Iranian crude that is now subject to American sanctions, officials said. Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation was no longer importing Iranian crude oil. It was looking for alternative crude blends to diversify its sources of supply, he said. more..

SLC branded sporting accessories

Oct 25 (Island) Sri Lanka Cricket on Tuesday launched a merchandise arm which will sell Sri Lanka Cricket branded sporting accessories, apparels and other related sport merchandise items. The merchandise arm of the SLC has a twofold strategy, both offline and online. The offline strategy will focus on in-ground selling of merchandise items during matches, while the online platform; which will be launched very soon; will focus on selling to the fan base spread across the globe. more..

SE University closed indefinitely

Oct 25 (DM) The Administration of the South Eastern University had decided to close the University indefinitely from this evening, Registrar H. Abdul Saththar said. He said the decision was taken by the University Administration after a group of Technology Faculty students lay siege on the administrative building since Oct 12. “17 students have gathered at the Administration premises demanding the authorities to reinstate four students who were dismissed over ragging,” he said. more..

SL arrests navy officer over wartime murders

Oct 25 (EN) SL’s police on Wednesday arrested a senior navy officer for the abduction and murder of two Tamil businessmen underscoring the crimes committed under the cover of the island’s ethnic conflict. Lieutenant Commander K. A. Dayananda was taken before a magistrate and remanded in custody till Thursday over the double murder, which investigators believe took place in Jan 2009. more..

Spinners bowl SL U-19 into strong position

Oct 25 (DN) Spinners Ashian Daniel and Rohan Sanjaya captured all ten wickets between them to bowl Sri Lanka into a strong position at the end of the day two of the second 4-day under 19 cricket test against Bangladesh at Katunayake yesterday. Off-spinner Daniel took 5 for 37 and left-arm spinner Sanjaya 5 for 17 as Bangladesh were dismissed for 109 in reply to Sri Lanka’s first innings of 219. By the close Sri Lanka enjoying a first innings lead of 110 had extended it to 212 by scoring 102-3. more..

More assurance from Sri Lanka to make fielding a priority

Oct 25 (Island) National cricket team made a hue and cry last year when awful fielding threw them out of the Champions Trophy. There were two highly publicized slogans coming out of Maitland Place. One was fielding is non-negotiable and the other being that the team desperately wanted three dimensional players. The truth is that they did precious little to address the appalling fielding standards. Players dictated terms to Fielding Coach on both the quality & quantity of fielding drills. more..

Excise busts booze racket to English fans at Premadasa stadium

Oct 25 (DM) A major racket of selling foreign liquor to the UK fans at the fifth ODI cricket encounter between SL and England, despite strict laws at R. Premadasa Stadium, was busted by the Colombo Excise officials on Tuesday afternoon when the match was in progress. A group of Colombo Excise Officers in plain clothes raided an air-conditioned private spectator box at the Grandstand Pavilion of Premadasa Stadium more..

Tamil reporter harassed by Sri Lanka’s anti-terrorism police

Oct 25 (RSF) Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the SL authorities to end the harassment to which the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) is subjecting an independent Tamil journalist, Uthayarasa Shalin, on entirely spurious grounds. Based in the northern city of Jaffna, where he reports for the English-language Tamil Guardian and Tamil-language newspaper Valampuri, Uthayarasa Shalin has been the target of harassment and intimidation for the past two months, more..

China, Sri Lanka trade ties have flourished since 1952: Speaker

Oct 25 (DN) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said SL was the first country in South Asia to begin economic relationships with China, with the signing of the historic China, SL rubber-rice pact in 1952. Speaker participating at the fifth anniversary of unveiling the Belt and Road Initiative, said China is the second largest economy in the world - second in terms of nominal GDP and this has obviously added much vigour to the dynamics of fast unfolding economic development narrative of 21st century Asia. more..

Hambantotaota Wind Farm to be removed

Oct 25 (DN) The Hambantota Wind Farm, the only CEB-owned wind power plant, which was commissioned in 1999, is being disassembled to be removed owing to the high amount of rent the CEB has to pay for the land and also due to its less efficiency, the CEB said. The CEB said that it did not have any concrete decision as of yet on relocating the towers at a separate land. The CEB had to pay a colossal amount of more..

UNP’s first CEO explains task at hand

Oct 25 (EN) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the UNP, Shamal Senarath said that his task was to gather the Members at all levels in the Party, especially those went away from the Party in the previous decades due to various reasons. Senarath, the first CEO of the UNP who started his work four days ago claimed on 23 October at a Media briefing that he would work hard to enhance the harmony of the Party while gathering the Party Leaders and Members who had left or drifted away. more..

I don’t believe Ministers have links with RAW: MR

Oct 25 (DM) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa today said that he didn’t believe that the Cabinet Ministers would have any links with the RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) of India. Responding to journalists after visiting the Henakaduwa Temple at Tangalle, Mr Rajapaksa, however, said the act of one of the Ministers working for the RAW would amount to treason. “The Govt always creates a mess. It is hard to say that there are Ministers with affiliations to the RAW. more..

Extradition of Mahendran: Singapore yet to respond to Lanka’s petition

Oct 25 (Island) The Foreign Ministry, on Tuesday (23), declined to disclose information pertaining to ongoing efforts to extradite the former Governor of the CB Arjuna Mahendran and former Ambassador in Moscow Udayanga Weeratunga, a non-career diplomat now in the custody of UAE. Senior Director General (Legal) C.A. H.M. Wijeratne, in his capacity as the Information Officer of the Ministry, said that they weren’t in a position to more..

MINUSMA sector East Commander extends wishes to Sri Lankan CCC

Oct 25 (SLA) UN Contingent Sector East Commander in Mali (MINUSMA), Brigadier General A.T.M Anisuzzaman (Bangladesh Army) recently paid a visit to the SL Combat Convoy Company (CCC), stationed in Mali prior to relinquishment of his office in Mali. CCC troops greeted him to a Guard Turnout at the entrance and warmly welcomed him. Later, he addressed the troops and stated that he felt extremely honoured and privileged to command such a professional outfit more..

Assassination plot: CID seeks Huawei help to recover phone evidence

Oct 25 (DM) Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court had granted permission to the CID to ask Chinese phone manufacturer Huawei to help recover data which had been deleted from a phone used by Namal Kumara who revealed a plot to kill President Sirisena, Reuters reported. Namal Kumara last month said he had discussed the plot by phone with DIG Nalaka de Silva. He said former defense secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa was also a target of Kumara has since been questioned but not more..

Hemasiri Fernando appointed BOI Chair

Oct 25 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena appointed former Chairman of the People’s Bank, Hemasiri Fernando as Chairman of the Board of Investment (BOI), with immediate effect. Fernando, responding to an inquiry made, said the President had requested him to take over the post as Chairman of BOI. He also said he received the appointment letter yesterday, and that he will be taking over duties at the BOI from 29 Oct. more..

Two sluice gates of Victoria reservoir opened

Oct 25 (AD) Two sluice gates of the Victoria reservoir have been opened automatically due to rising water levels in the prevailing weather. Disaster Management Center (DMC) urges residents downstream to be vigilant of potential risks. Meanwhile, 04 spill gates of the Rajanganaya reservoir, 01 spill gate of the Angamuwa reservoir, 04 spill gates of the Deduru Oya reservoir and 01 spill gate of the Kukuleganga reservoir were opened earlier today (24). more..

Aava gang leader arrested in Jaffna

Oct 25 (Island) Police commandos, on Tuesday (23), arrested a member of the Jaffna-based Aava gang. Jaffna-based sources said that the man wanted in connection with an attack on a shop situated at Udupiddy junction, Kondavil, on the night of Oct 21, had been taken into custody and handed over to the Kopay police. Eight persons had come on motorcycles, attacked the shop and inflicted cut injuries on its owner before fleeing. They had damaged a 3-wheeler parked near the shop. more..

Wiggie to form party, contest PC poll

Oct 25 (DN) Former Northern Province Chief Minister (CM) C.V. Wigneswaran said he will contest at the upcoming PC election under his newly formed party Thamizh Makkal Kootani (TMK). Speaking of his future political aspirations in Jaffna yesterday, Wigneswaran thanked all who supported his political journey in the past five years and said the party was formed to ensure the protection of rights and lives of Tamil people. more..

Where have all the tourists gone? Or rather stayed?

Oct 25 (DM) Even during the height of the war, they brought in tourists to the country and pumped in the much-needed foreign exchange to the reeling economy. When Tsunami wrecked havoc in southern and eastern coasts of SL, they were able to rise from wreckage within a very short time, showing their resilience. Yes, we are talking about SL’s hospitality industry, which is the third largest foreign exchange earner for the country that accounts for about 11% of the GDP. more..


Oct 25 (DM) This column has carried all of the contradictions that are being carried today, but with a purpose!!! For the past three years, we hardly heard of our President making strides in the international arenas while remaining completely oblivious to what was happening at home!!! Both the President and the PM concur that they are concerned about the economic problem but, not to the extent that they cease their jaunts out of the country!!! Ranil is touring the world and more..

Alternatives examined after landslide sweeps away road section

Oct 25 (ST) Geologists are considering either building a bridge or a diversionary road in Norwood area after a landslide swept away a part of the road between Hatton and Maskeliya, along with some homes. The National Building Research Organisation, geologist, Samantha Bogahapitiya said that the investigation is still in its initial stages and borehole testing has to be done following which a report will be sent to RDA. more..

Sri Lanka constitutional council averts judicial crisis

Oct 25 (EN) SL’s Constitutional Council Thursday averted a major crisis in the judiciary by avoiding controversy and instead recognising integrity and honesty in filling top slots in superior courts. The Council applied high standards of probity and rectitude in considering the nominees for the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal sent in by President Maithripala Sirisena. Prez last week nominated a single candidate more..

Sri Lanka to create special economic zone law, financial court, for Port City

Oct 25 (EN) Sri Lanka is wrapping up laws to create ring fenced special economic zone in a reclaimed Port City with a cutting edge legal system, a financial court, and where expropriation is prohibited and experts from any part of the global can be hired, a minister said. The 269 sea reclamation next to Colombo Port will be overseen by a Colombo International Financial City Commission which will be monitored by more..

President emphasizes on an Agriculture-based economy

Oct 25 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena said that the proper time has arrived to get transformed in to a new Agri based economy, as the drought condition is being eradicated and proper pattern of rainfall is being continued. President Sirisena also said that we should approach a self–sufficient economy limiting import of the food that can be cultivated in our country. The President said this at the religious ceremony for opening more..

Land prices in Colombo district up 16% in first half

Oct 25 (EN) Land prices in Colombo district, where the capital is, rose over 16% in the first half of 2018 from a year ago, led by commercial properties and appear to be picking up again. The Central Bank said its Land Price Index (LPI), compiled biannually covering the Colombo District, rose 16.3% in the half-year ending June 2018, faster than in the previous six months. The rebased Land Price Index for the Colombo more..

Aluthgama incidents sealed fate of Rajapaksa govt: Hakeem

Oct 25 (Island) Having launched a major water supply project for the benefit of the peole of Aluthgama, Matugama and Agalawatte areas, on Tuesday (23), Minister and SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem said that he hoped the National Unity Govt would survive until the project could be fully implemented within the next two years. Addressing a gathering, Hakeem said that the project could be implemented in 2020. more..

Public still waiting for Bond Commission report debate

Oct 25 (Island) JO MP Bandula Gunawardena said the UNP and its allies in parliament had succeeded in preventing a debate on the PCoI report on treasury bond scams perpetrated in 2015 Feb and 2016 March. Gunawardena said that the debate wouldn’t take place this year as the budget was scheduled to be presented on Nov 5. Thereafter, the debate on the budget would continue till end of this year. more..

UK court opens inquest into two ruggerites’ deaths in Sri Lanka

Oct 25 (AD) Thomas Howard, 25, and Thomas Baty, 26, both from Durham, died in Colombo while on tour with Clems Pirates, a charity team which is part of Durham City Rugby Club. Crook Coroner's Court heard an investigation by Sri Lankan authorities found that both men had died as a result of the use of opiates. At the opening hearing, which took place yesterday, the court heard the pair were discovered in their hotel room more..

SL recalls UN peacekeeping commander

Oct 25 (AD) SL Army has decided to recall Lieutenant Colonel Kalana Amunupura who is the Commander of the SL contingent participating in the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali. This was in response to a request made by the United Nations (UN). The UN had asked the govt of SL to immediately repatriate the commander of its 200-strong contingent assigned to the U.N. peacekeeping force in Mali following a review more..

Former DIG Nalaka de Silva arrested by CID

Oct 25 (AD) Former DIG Nalaka de Silva has been arrested by the CID a short while ago. This morning, former DIG Nalaka de Silva arrived at the CID for the 5th day to record a statement on VIP assassination allegations. DIG Nalaka de Silva, former Director of Terrorism Investigation Division (TID), is currently under investigation in connection with an alleged conspiracy to assassinate Prez & former Def. Secretary. more..