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Lively literary chat brightens up a rainy Kandy evening

Oct 27 (ST) Alliance Française de Kandy held their 3rd annual Lire en Fête (Literary Festival) from Oct 12-14 with a series of events to celebrate both Francophone and Sri Lankan literature, ranging from creative writing and comic strip workshops to a Literary Brunch. The Literary Chat with authors Ashok Ferrey and Yudhanjaya Wijeratne was keenly awaited, and the typically rainy Kandy evening on Saturday meant that the small number of keen literati that braved the gloom to visit the AFK more..

In Love with Annasi and Kadalagotu

Oct 27 (Island) I was born into an Annasi and Kadalagotu world. As a child, being taken out to the Galle Face Green was a treat. Annasi and Kadalagotu were perks. Being taken for a movie was a treat. The Elephant House Icy Choc which would melt and make my hands sticky, was a perk. Those were magical, wonderful perks. So was the Annasi and Kadalagotu Literary Festival which was held a few days ago. The previous years I was not around and envied those who were fortunate enough more..

Colombo awaits winner-takes-all contest

Oct 27 (CB) Imagine for a moment you are Chris Jordan. He's travelled all the way to Sri Lanka, some five thousand miles from Sussex, for the one-off Twenty20 Int'l (T20I) in Colombo on Saturday and he will likely have just four overs to restate his international credentials after missing the ODI matches. Rather than playing a multi-game series, as England did against India this summer, the one game rubber against Sri Lanka is more..

Sampanthan reflects on the great mistake of the Tamil people

Oct 27 (ST) Preoccupied as the country is, with the daily unfolding sensationalism that takes centre stage in our media, one of the most significant pronouncements made by a politician in recent times, has escaped attention. Leader of the Opposition and TNA Leader R. Sampanthan speaking in Parliament on Oct 12, during the adjournment debate to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary, reflected on the Mahatma’s nonviolent approach to resolve more..

Three new meet records set up at National Youth Games

Oct 27 (DN) Three new meet records were established at the 30th National Youth Games held in Kotavila National Stadium Matara yesterday. Tharindu Lakshan from Galle set up a record in the U20 High Jump with a leap of 2.12 metres and broke the previous record set by R.A.T.O. Karinarathna (Urban Youth) who had a leap of 2.11 metres in 2013. P.S.T. Fernando of Puttalam district ended up in second place with a jump of 1.95m while D.M.D.P. Kaushalya from Monaragala finished third more..

A victim of circumstances or conspiracy!!

Oct 27 (ST) The concluded 44th National Sports Festival (NSF) 2018 would likely be the final appearance of thrower Charith Kapukotuwa, who has been unknowingly pushed into a cold war by a selected sector of the local athletics field. Kapukotuwa, probably Sri Lanka’s most celebrated and successful throwers of recent times, has been the latest subject of victimisation lately. The force is such that he is contemplating on giving up more..

SL U-19 win by 74 runs to level series

Oct 27 (DN) Sri Lanka beat Bangladesh by 74 runs in the second Youth Test and leveled the series 1-1 yesterday at Marians Grounds, Katunayake. Chasing a target of 351 to win, Bangladesh were bowled out for 276 in 83.1 overs in their second innings. Middle order right hand batsman Akbar Ali scored 90 runs in 113 balls with 11 boundaries and 3 sixes. Akbar Ali and Mahamudul Hasan Joy put on a partnership of 66 runs for the 8th wicket. Left arm leg-spinner Rohan Sanjaya took 5/96 and more..

SLT bill now comes to your FriMi

Oct 27 (Island) FriMi, SL’s first ever Digital Bank, Mobile Wallet and Payment System all wrapped up in one single App powered by Nations Trust Bank has joined hands with Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) to bring to you yet another first of its kind – the SLT Bill Presentment option. Gone are the days when you patiently waited for your SLT bill to hit your doorstep or your mailbox at the end of the month, or lost it somewhere down the line. FriMi’s latest Bill Presentment feature gives more..

Parliament passes Liability Management Act

Oct 27 (FT) Parliament yesterday passed legislation to allow the Govt to borrow Rs. 310 billion to assist in debt management and currency management under the Active Liability Management Act of 2018 (ALMA). According to Minister Mangala Samaraweera, the present Govt has shouldered the debts of the Rajapaksa regime, where more than 70% of the debt servicing scheduled for the next six years from 2019-2025 is what was borrowed more..

CSE lifts suspension ban on Adam Investments

Oct 27 (FT) Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) announced that Adam Investments Plc has resolved the matters giving rise to the Qualified Opinion in the Independent Auditors Report on the Audited Financial Statements for the year ended 31 March 2017, in terms of Rule 7.5 (d) (I) (9) of the CSE Listing Rules (Enforcement Rules). Accordingly, the Trading Suspension of the securities of the company (AINV.N0000) will not be effective from 29 Oct, the CSE said, issuing a statement more..

Sri Lanka banks in perfect storm, buying opportunity: report

Oct 27 (EN) SL's banking sector is caught in a perfect storm with margins expected to tighten due to weak credit growth, rising non-performing loans, increasing regulatory costs and higher taxes, an equities research report said. "On one hand, weak economic growth and austerity measures enforced by the govt have led to a moderation of credit growth, while opex headwinds and rising impairment cost due to elevated non-performing loans will bear down on industry profitability," more..

Mangala defends IRD Head appointment

Oct 27 (FT) In the absence of a suitable candidate coming forward to accept the challenge of becoming the next Commissioner General of the Inland Revenue Department (IRD), Minister Mangala Samaraweera told Parliament that he would not hesitate to bring a suitable person from the moon if necessary. Approving the appointment of CB Dy Governor C.J.P. Siriwardena to the post with effect from 1 Nov, more..

Siri Ranasinghe heads Editors’ Guild

Oct 27 (ST) Editorial Director of Wijeya Newspapers Ltd and Chief Editor, Lankadeepa, Siri Ranasinghe, was elected President of the Editors’ Guild of SL, at the AGM of The Guild recently. Meanwhile, founding members Manik De Silva (The Sunday Island) and Sinha Ratnatunge (Sunday Times) were appointed to the Apex Body of the Guild. Sisira Paranatantri (Mawbima) was elected Secretary and R. Prabagan (Virakesari) was elected Treasurer. Kanchana Dasanayake (Ada) was appointed more..

Follow constitution, refrain from violence: US urges SL parties

Oct 27 (PTI) The US urged political parties in SL on Friday to abide by the Constitution and refrain from violence, as the island nation faces a constitutional crisis after its president replaced the PM. Controversial strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa staged a dramatic political comeback on Friday, becoming the new prime minister after President Sirisena sacked PM Ranil Wickremesinghe who termed the move as unconstitutional and vowed to prove his majority in Parliament. more..

Ranil orders Deepavali Festival Allowance of Rs 10,000

Oct 27 (CT) Former PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has ordered all the 22 plantation companies to pay a festival allowance of Rs 10,000 to its plantation workers as Deepavali is around the corner. UNP MP and General Secretary of Jaathika Estate Workers Union, Vadivel Suresh said that Wickremesinghe had already notified all the relevant parties regarding this and had urged the workers not accept a rupee less from more..

Sri Lanka rupee slightly undervalued, REER index below 100: CB Governor

Oct 27 (EN) Sri Lanka's rupee is now below 100 on a real effective exchange rate index after recent depreciation, Central Bank Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said. "The REER is now a shade under 100," Governor Coomaraswamy said earlier this week. "It helps exporters, and helps import substitution industries." A falling currency mainly helps exporters by cutting real wages as salaries take time to catch up, providing a subsidy at the expense of the working class, more..

Pakistani couple with heroin in their stomachs arrested at BIA

Oct 27 (FT) Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) at the BIA in Katunayake has arrested a Pakistani couple trying to smuggle heroin capsules in their stomachs. The 67-year-old woman and 44-year-old man had arrived in the country yesterday from Lahore via Dubai on an Emirates flight. They had reportedly flown from Lahore, Pakistan to Dubai and then taken an Emirates flight to Colombo in an attempt to avoid the heavy security checks at the Colombo airport on passengers & goods arriving from Pakistan. more..

Lake House taken over; ITN, Rupavahini under attack

Oct 27 (FT) State-owned Lake House newspapers Daily News, Dinamina and Silumina Editorials were taken over by SLPP unions last night. A source linked to Lake House said that page one of today’s Daily News had been changed by Rajapaksa loyalists. No violence had been reported during what was termed as the unofficial takeover of Lake House. Select members of ITN staff came under attack yesterday more..

Sri Lanka could throw ambidextrous Kamindu Mendis as surprise package

Oct 27 (DN) 20-year-old ambidextrous cricketer Kamindu Mendis could be the surprise package that Sri Lanka might throw at England in the one-off Twenty20 international at the R Premadasa Stadium today. Sri Lanka T20 skipper Thisara Perera although not committing himself fully gave enough evidence that they were keen to hand Mendis his maiden international cap. “Kamindu played alongside with me for Colombo District. We know what he is capable of. more..

PA denies 100% wage increment

Oct 27 (CT) The Planters’ Association of Ceylon (PA) says it cannot increase the basic wage for estate workers from Rs 500 to Rs 1000, owing to declining world prices for tea, the high cost of production and continuing losses made by the Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs). This was announced to reporters yesterday, in the backdrop of 5,000 estate sector youth and representatives protesting at Galle Face to express their strong discontentment over the Govt’s noncommittal more..

Ranil insists he is still PM

Oct 27 (Island) Ranil Wickremesinghe insisted last night that he was still the PM even as Mahinda Rajapaksa was sworn in as PM by Prez Sirisena. Addresssing the media at Temple Trees, he said that in terms of 40 (2) of the Constitution, he was still the PM and would function in that position, until he was removed by Parliament. "The No-Confidence Motion brought against me on April 4, this year was defeated convincingly. more..

PRECIFAC Report - English, Tamil translations tabled in House

Oct 27 (DM) English and Tamil translations of the report submitted by the PRECIFAC was tabled in parliament yesterday. Both govt and opposition members have asked in parliament why the debate on the PCoI and PRECIFAC reports were being delayed. The debates on these reports were to be taken up in Parliament on February 20 but postponed indefinitely because of the non-availability of the English and Tamil translations of the PRECIFAC report. more..

Thonda threatens to resign if wages not increased

Oct 27 (DN) CWC Leader and MP Arumugam Thondaman said that he will resign from Parliament next Tuesday unless the basic wages of estate workers are not increased to Rs.1,000 each by estate companies. “I will resign from Parliament, if the estate companies are not ready to pay the Rs. 1,000 basic wage demanded by estate workers by Tuesday,” Thondaman said. Estate workers especially in the tea plantation sector have been resorting to trade union action demanding more..

Sri Lanka unity govt. falls, Rajapaksa sworn in as PM

Oct 27 (Hindu) In a sudden move, Prez Sirisena on Friday pulled his faction out of SL’s ruling coalition and within hours appointed former President Rajapaksa as PM. The startling developments led to the collapse of the country’s first national unity govt, with Mr. Sirisena joining hands once again with the leader he ousted in 2015. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s UNP, however, maintained Mr. Rajapaksa’s appointment was illegal and more..

UK ask SL to follow due political process; updates travel advisory

Oct 27 (DM) All parties and competent authorities in Sri Lanka should respect the Constitution and follow due political process, British State Minister for Asia and Pacific Mark Field said. He said the UK was following the latest developments in SL closely and with concern. Meanwhile, the Govt of UK updated its travel advisory on SL yesterday. It said there are reports of rapid political developments in SL. “You should exercise vigilance and avoid all demonstrations or large political gatherings. more..

Gazettes published removing Ranil and appointing Mahinda as PM

Oct 27 (AD) UPFA MP Thilanga Sumathipala says that two special Gazettes have been published appointing Mahinda Rajapaksa as PM and removing Ranil Wickremesinghe from the Premiership. Both Extraordinary Gazettes have been published by the Secretary to the President Udaya Seneviratne on Friday. The govt notification states that the President in the exercise of powers conferred upon him under the Constitution of SL, has removed Ranil Wickremasinghe, who was appointed by more..

I am the Prime Minister: Ranil

Mental ill-health the latest NCD

Oct 27 (DM) The WHO marked World Mental Health Day this month with the theme being young people and mental health in a changing world. The aim is to raise global awareness of mental health issues and to stimulate advocacy. According to the WHO, this theme is of vital concern because about 1 in 5 adolescents experience mental and behavioural problems in any given year. Moreover, half of all mental health problems in adulthood have their onset during or before adolescence. more..

Plans, expert solutions, suggestions gather dust...

Oct 27 (DM) There are much deliberations at high places by many experts to find a solution to the carnage that is taking place on the rail tracks, while wild elephants succumb to gruesome deaths at an alarmingly rapid rate. In typical Sri Lankan style there are committees appointed to study and report on the issues, (when the facts are too well known) and then when the report is submitted it will gather dust on some shelf somewhere. When there is a serious issue at hand, more..

How Sampanthan made Wigneswaran the TNA chief candidate In 2013

Oct 27 (DM) C.V. Wigneswaran has announced the launch of a new political formation known as the Thamizh Makkal Koottani meaning Tamil People’s Alliance (TPA). The retired Supreme Court judge who was until a few days ago the Northern Province Chief Minister has split from the Thamizh Thesiya Koottamaippu or the TNA and declared his intent to form the TPA which is expected to electorally-target the TNA. more..

Agricultural company allegedly encroaches on forest lands

Oct 27 (DM) The Director General of Forest Conservation S.A. Hathurusinghe alleges that Dole Lanka (Pvt) Ltd a subsidiary of the reputed American Company Dole International and Nelna Private Company together had unlawfully acquired 800 Hectares of Forest Land in the Moneragala District belonging to the Department of Forest Conservation. Dole Lanka and Nelna Companies continually rejected this position more..

Local orange growers complain over lack of markets

Oct 27 (ST) Maha Andarawewa in the Navagaththegama Divisional Secretariat, of the Puttalam District is home to 100 orange orchard owning families, with over a hundred acres of land presently under orange cultivation. Dingiri Banda an orange cultivator and seller says conditions in the village are ideal for orange cultivation and the harvest is bountiful. Unfortunately, he lamented, buyers are few. more..

SLASA Batticaloa branch urges legal action against Thera

Oct 27 (DN) The SL Administrative Service Association (SLASA) Batticaloa branch held a demonstration on Thursday urging legal action against Ven. Ampitiye Sumanarathana Thera of the Mangalaramaya Temple in Batticaloa for allegedly trying to assault Eravurpattu Divisional Secretary N.Vilvaratnam. SLASA Batticaloa branch officer Al Ameen said it also made a written request to Eastern Province Senior DIG more..

Ranil-led Delimitation Review Committe's time up

Oct 27 (CT) Polls monitors claimed that the two months afforded to the Committee led by former PM to review the Provincial Councils (PCs) Delimitation Report expires today (27). They reiterated that the Parliament would have to enact a law to expand the Committee’s mandate as no legal provisions existed to further extend the review period. The polls monitors pointed out that the whole purpose of having a two-month time-frame more..

Victims and Witnesses Authority carries out duties in spite of hurdles

Oct 27 (ST) Sri Lanka’s victim and witness protection mechanism has granted safety to six persons since 2016 but lacks a functioning protection directorate, cannot hire investigation or protection officers for want of space and needs more monies for a fund it created to pay compensation to victims. The UN Development Programme (UNDP) has granted the National Authority for the Protection of Victims of Crimes & Witnesses Rs 40mn. more..

Political battle fought for parl. majority

Oct 27 (EN) A political battle is being fought in SL's capital Colombo with newly appointed PM Mahinda Rajapaksa and UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe who is disputing his sacking by the President attempts consolidate a parliamentary majority of 113. A decision is awaited from speaker Karu Jayasuriya on the constitutionality of the move. Wickremsinghe had said his sacking is illegal and said majority can be decided in parliament. more..

Parliament suspended amid political crisis

Oct 27 (EN) Prez Sirisena has suspended parliament amid a developing political crisis where ex-President Rajapaksa was appointed PM. A political battle is being fought in Colombo as Rajapaksa and UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe who is disputing his sacking by the President overnight, attempts consolidate a parliamentary majority of 113. Wickremesinghe flanked by leaders of his UNF told reporters he had a majority more..

Parliamentary majority still with me: Ranil

'I was appointed PM to safeguard democracy'