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Professional Dialogue organized to mark 40th anniversary of UDA

Oct 3 (PMD) The inaugural event of the Professional Dialogue, which was organized to mark the 40th anniversary of the Urban Development Authority (UDA), was held under the patronage of President Sirisena in Colombo, yesterday. UDA’s mission is to promote and to regulate the urban development process in order to facilitate the growth of the economy, protecting the natural and built heritage more..

TNA reiterates Sinhalese allocated 700 acres in M’tivu

Oct 3 (Island) Jaffna District MP and TNA spokesman M. A. Sumanthiran said, yesterday, that a letter would be handed over to the North-East Development Committee today against what he called continuing colonisation of the Mullaitivu administrative District. While denying allegations as regards new settlements, the govt was going ahead with the project in an area covered by Mahaweli L sector, the TNA MP said. The TNA spokesman made the announcement in Jaffna. more..

5 spill gates of Kotmale reservoir opened

Oct 3 (NR) The Disaster Management Centre says five spill gates of the Kotmale reservoir have been opened following heavy rains in catchment areas. Deputy Director of the DMC Pradeep Kodippili requested the public residing in low lying areas along the Kelani river to be vigilant of rising water levels. Meanwhile, the National Building Research Organisation has issued landslide warnings for residents of six divisional secretariat divisions in the Ratnapura district. more..

Is Angelo Mathews actually a terrible runner?

Oct 3 (CI) Angelo Mathews' recent fall in limited-overs cricket was dramatic. Following SL's embarrassing Asia Cup exit, Mathews was first stripped of the captaincy, then dropped from the one-day team altogether, only 10 months after the same coach and selectors had requested him to lead the team. Chandika Hathurusingha and chief selector Graeme Labrooy have since attempted to publicly explain the decision to axe him, more..

Second Permanent High Court at Bar judges appointed

Oct 3 (DN) Chief Justice Priyasath Dep PC has appointed three High Court judges to the Second Permanent High Court at Bar to hear high profile financial frauds and corruption cases, informed sources told the Daily News yesterday. The second special Trial at Bar will comprise High Court judges Rathnapriya Gurusinghe (President), Amal Ranaraja and Sashi Mahendran. Rathnapriya Gurusinghe is presently serving as Commercial High Court judge while Amal Ranaraja & Shashi Mahendran more..

Doha Bank signs agreement with Bank of Ceylon for remittance

Oct 3 (GT) Doha Bank has entered into an agreement with Bank of Ceylon, the largest bank in Sri Lanka, for the remittance of funds from Qatar to Sri Lanka. The signing ceremony was held during an event titled Qatar-Sri Lanka Bilateral Opportunities between Doha Bank CEO Dr R Seetharaman and Bank of Ceylon deputy general manager – Treasury & International D P K Gunasekara. Chairman Ronald C Perera and CEO Senarath Bandara were present during the occasion. more..

'Ministers go abroad at public expense'

Oct 3 (CT) MPs were going abroad at the expense of the public, alleged Leader of the JVP, Anura Kumara Dissanayake said. He noted that the number of people who accompanied President Sirisena on his recent trip to New York was far in excess of the required number. “According to reports, there were more than 63 people in the President’s entourage. His family, staff and an excessive amount of Media personnel accompanied him”, more..

A university for police officers

Oct 3 (AD) The Cabinet has granted its approval to establish a national-level university for Sri Lankan police officers to provide them with the opportunity for higher education. Minister Gayantha Karunatileka announced this today at the Cabinet press briefing held in Colombo. A concept paper, containing the recommendations of a committee, with the expertise in the relevant field, has been prepared with regard to the establishment of this national university for police officers. more..

A radical change in the political scene in the offing?

Oct 3 (DM) The political sibling -aka Master Brain behind Pohottuwa-who had just begun a three-month holiday in the land of Uncle Sam had taken the party men by surprise when he suddenly returned home last Tuesday. Party stalwarts and pals, who knew well that the far-sighted sibling would not have cut short his vacation on a whim, had made immediate inquiries direct and indirect to ascertain the reason for it, but a firm ‘mum’ had been the response from all sources. more..

Secretary of Defence of Pakistan meets Secretary Defence

Oct 3 (MoD) The Secretary of Defence of Pakistan, Lieutenant General (Retired) Ikram Ul Haq met the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Mr. Kapila Waidyaratne PC at the Ministry, today. A cordial discussion was held between the two Defence Secretaries on matters of bilateral importance and mutual relevance during the meeting. High Commissioner of Pakistan in Sri Lanka, Dr. Shahid Ahmad Hashmat and more..

Open warrant re-issued on Jaliya Wickramasuriya

Oct 3 (DM) Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne today re-issued the open warrant on former Sri Lankan Ambassador to the United States Jaliya Wickramasuriya over alleged misappropriation of USD 132,000 of State funds in the process of purchasing a building for the Sri Lankan Embassy in Washington DC, USA. The arrest warrant had been issued on him on Nov 17 last year. Since he failed to appear in the court when the case was taken up for hearing the warrant was re-issued. more..

Demand growth and urbanisation fuel Sri Lanka’s retail sector: OBG

Oct 3 (LBO) Rising demand and an accelerating population shift to major urban centres is driving activity in Sri Lanka’s retail sector, however, recent pressures on domestic spending power could curb sales in the shorter term, Oxford Business Group said. Releasing their latest Sri Lanka economic update, Oxford Business Group said despite these short-term concerns, both sentiment and spending power are likely to increase in 2019 and beyond. The full statement is reproduced below. more..

Avaa on the run from the Police

Oct 3 (CT) Police operations conducted in the North have successfully removed 35 members of Avaa that have been actively terrorizing the public, to date, the Police reported. A raid conducted by the Chunnakam Police, on 27 Sept, resulted in the arrest of two suspects, and three swords and six axes have been taken into custody. The two suspects have been imprisoned till 8 October. Again on 30 Sept, more..

NPC like an elders’ home: Wijeyadasa

Oct 3 (DM) Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said he was doubtful if the National Police Commission (NPC), which was established under the 19th Amendment, was turning into an elders’ home. He said at an event in Walasmulla Divisional Secretariat that even though the Govt expected much from the NPC, it did not deliver what was expected from it. “We hope to reform the NPC in the future,” he said. Minister said activities of the underworld were beyond control due to the influence of more..

President inaugurates National Information Technology Conference 2018

Oct 3 (PMD) The Inaugural Ceremony of National Information Technology Conference 2018 organized by the Sri Lanka Computer Society was held under the patronage of President Sirisena at Colombo yesterday. SL Computer Society organizes this conference for the 36th time with the objectives advancing the knowledge of the IT professionals and sharing the latest knowledge in the field. It is also an opportunity to promote linkages between local and foreign experts and firms in the IT sector. more..

Alleged assassination plot: CID questions police top brass

Oct 3 (DM) CID had recorded statements from several senior police officers including STF Commandant M.R.F. Latheef and Senior DIG in Charge of the Western Province Nandana Munasinghe, in connection with the ongoing investigation into the alleged plot to assassinate the President and Former Defence Secretary. Police spokesman said the CID recorded statement from several senior police officers as their names more..

Fear of Rupee depreciation

Oct 4 (DN) The steady depreciation of the SL rupee appears to be the latest obstacle confronting the govt, as it seeks to exert a semblance of control over rising prices with the prospect of national elections looming in less than two years. At beginning of this week, the US dollar stood at 167 rupees with no indications that the rupee will appreciate in the foreseeable future. This provides a fertile ground for the opposition to berate the govt and, as public discontent with more..

Leadership change: Imperative for Muslims

Oct 4 (CT) Wealth and piety had been the historical legitimisers of Muslim leadership in SL. Wealth was accumulated either through inheritance or from trade and commerce. Of the two, trade has a special relationship with the religion of Islam. It remains the most representative of Islam’s professions. For example, the Prophet himself was a trader, his first wife Khadija was one of the wealthiest trading magnates in Mecca, and so were a few of the Prophet’s closest friends and followers. more..

Witness Protection Authority Key to integrity of criminal justice system

Oct 4 (SO) The National Authority for the Protection of Victims of Crimes and Witnesses (NAPVCW) established two years ago by an act of Parliament, claims its work is gaining momentum, but financial resources and staffing continue to hamper its efficiency. Board Member of the Authority, President’s Counsel and Additional Solicitor General, Yasantha Kodagoda says that the law has granted rights to a segment that more..

A grave mistake by The Jaffna International Cinema Festival

Oct 4 (CT) The Jaffna International Cinema Festival (JICF) begins today. The festival is taking place for the 4th consecutive year and many prestigious local and international films are being screened. Local short- film directors are also provided opportunities to showcase their talent. But this year, even before the festival kicked off, it caused quite a stir due to the Festival Committee being accused of threatening Freedom of Expression. This accusation is made by Jude Ratnam, director of the more..

When opportunity knocked 20 years ago

Oct 4 (DN) In Oct 1998, exactly 20 years ago, trade chambers and SL’s top corporate sector leaders in a unique move jointly requested the then govt of Chandrika Kumaratunga and the opposition led by Ranil Wickremasinghe to rise above party divisions to formulate an economic policy and a feasible solution to ethnic crisis to boost the country’s economy. The business leaders felt that SL had not achieved the preferred level of economic progress even after economy was opened 2 decades more..

'Our horse is ready for the Presidential Race'

Oct 4 (CT) MP Gamini Lokuge says 20th Amendment was brought by the JVP, to support the UNP, “What the PM wants to do through the 20th Amendment, is to make a weakling out of the President by taking over power”. Q: Aren’t the members of the JO fighting among themselves these days? A: No, there is nothing like that. What has happened is that the govt has nothing else to do but talk about us. more..

Edtorial: Crisis, confusion and moral right

Oct 4 (Island) Desperate measures the govt has adopted in a bid to tackle the current economic crisis have irked its yahapalana ally, the JVP, beyond measure. The latter has said the former has no moral right to restrict imports and ask the people to tighten belts. Here, we have an outfit which considers itself Marxist flaying a capitalist party for opting for statist policies, albeit temporarily, by way of crisis management! Ironically, this confused situation has come about under a UNP-led more..

Whither Civic-Consciousness

Oct 4 (CT) The recent example of spectators cleaning up the Pallekele stadium in Kandy after the third and fourth one-day internationals between Sri Lanka and South Africa offered a breath of fresh air. The clean-up appears to have been a concerted effort by students from the South Eastern University in Oluvil. At a time when university students are associated mainly with protest and ragging activities, such a demonstration of civic-mindedness almost restores one’s faith in this generation. more..

Ranjith Madduma Bandara

GSMB ready to tap our soil’s rich source of rare elements

Oct 4 (CT) Unbeknownst to many, the Sri Lankan soil is rich with various rare elements that may hold vital economic and commercial value as well as holding the potential to unlock a number of questions regarding the universe itself. However, most of these chemical elements are radiological and will not have any commercial value until they are reproduced and put through a strenuous process. For that to happen, the relevant authorities should take an interest in finding the material more..

Human-Elephant conflict: Common sense solution

Oct 4 (Island) Prez Sirisena, at the inauguration Ceremony of Sustainable Development Initiative Aimed at Year 2030 at BMICH on Aug 06, 2018, appealed for a solution to the elephant and monkey problems. The writer responded, but his response has gone unacknowledged. The elephant can even topple huge trees and is capable of giving a good chase to a car. But because of its height resulting in a higher centre of gravity, the elephant is unable to maintain this speed at a bend. more..

Roles reversed as focussed England keep eyes on World Cup prize

Oct 4 (CI) Question marks over the limited-overs captaincy ahead of a World Cup year? Check. A team low on confidence following a prolonged period of underperformance in 50-over affairs? Check. A young but talented squad that frequently falls short as they come to terms with the demands of a new, high intensity style of cricket? Check. Four years apart and the narrative surrounding England's tour of SL remains unchanged, apart from more..

A pitch to develop Baseball in Sri Lanka

Oct 4 (DN) Sri Lanka Baseball is joining hands with Horizon Campus, Colombo, to improve the game of Baseball in our country. Although it is not as widely acclaimed as cricket, rugby and basketball, Baseball is a sport that is rapidly gaining popularity. Currently SL is ranked 40th out of the 120 registered countries worldwide and ranked No.7 in Asia. Our team has proved its proves by winning the West Asia Cup in 2017 and bagging a Bronze Medal at the Asia Baseball Cup held in Indonesia in 2015. more..

Brutal attack by debt collectors

Oct 4 (ST) The BT story Sept 9 headlined CB clamps down on debt collectors harassing customers which revealed a more than cursory interest by the Central Bank to stop finance companies from harassing clients who had taken loans, drew interest from some readers who spoke of harassment from debt collectors. This is one such story by a foreign national married to a Sri Lankan. “The entire incident of harassment was recorded from the CCTV of a school near where more..

Kavindi, Dulen, Rusiru shatter 400m barriers

Oct 4 (Island) With power-packed sprint performances youngsters kept the upward progress of the 400 metres in several age category finals as Kavindi Sanjana, Dulen Kularatne and Rusiru Malshan established new meet records in that distance on day three of the All Island Schools Games Athletics Championship at the Sugathadasa Stadium on Wednesday. Asian Junior Athletics C'ship record holder Aruna Dharshana more..

Lanka Realty Investments debuts

Oct 4 (FT) Lanka Realty Investments (formerly known as Ascot Holdings) is making a fresh foray with the core vision of becoming the foremost listed real estate investment and development company in Sri Lanka, attracting overseas investors merged with the local retail investors. The Board of Directors of Lanka Realty Investments (LRI) said it is encouraged by the growth prospects present in the real estate sector and pleased with the recent development in the regulatory environment. more..

LAUGFS Gas, Hambantota Port strike deal to light up energy hub

Oct 4 (FT) LAUGFS Gas, a pioneer in SL’s power and energy sector, is currently working towards making SL an energy hub, and Hambantota Port is its launch pad for this ambitious plan. LAUGFS Gas is of the view that the port being strategically placed in one of the world’s unique locations works to its advantage. The company believes that it is well placed to become a big competitor to Singapore and Sri Lanka bringing in a strong strategic partner like CMPort as a port operator, more..

New import rules hurt Sri Lanka’s consumer durable retailers

Oct 4 (LBO) SL’s consumer durable retailers’ operating cash flow is likely to weaken following new govt regulations that impose a 100% cash margin on the import of most types of consumer durables, Fitch Ratings says. The credit profiles of rated retailers, such as Singer (SL) (A-(lka)/Stable) and Abans (BBB+(lka)/Stable), may come under pressure from lower sales volume and higher working capital needs, particularly if more..

I used my permit, says SF

Oct 4 (DM) Minister Sarath Fonseka recently said that he had disapproved the moves of some MPs, who were engaging in scams by selling their vehicle permits. He said it was a well-known fact that some MPs engaged in scams by selling their vehicle permits. “MPs have already received their vehicles permits by this time. I have purchased a vehicle using the permit that I have obtained,” he said. “The country would face many issues during the next two years because of the debt burden. more..

Co-cabinet spokesmen contradict each other

Oct 4 (Island) The two co-cabinet spokesmen ministers contradicted each other at the weekly post cabinet press conference yesterday over the question of parliamentarians obtaining duty free vehicles. Co-cabinet Spokesman Minister Gayantha Karunathilake said that all MPs had obtained their duty free car permits. However, his colleague Co-Cabinet Spokesman Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that the PM, the Speaker and several other MPs had not availed themselves of the facility. more..

BIA interim terminal deal worth $ 18 m goes to Chinese firm

Oct 4 (FT) The Cabinet yesterday gave approval to Airport and Aviation Services to commission the construction of the interim terminal building at BIA to China State Construction Engineering Corporation, after the Appeals Board overturned the Standing Cabinet Appointed Procurement Committee (SCAPC) selection. The temporary terminal is to be built at a total cost of $17,946,792.58, the Minister told Cabinet more..

Planters push for outgrower model as wage deadline looms

Oct 4 (EN) Regional Plantation Companies are pushing for a new outgrower model, as a deadline on wage negotiations for a collective agreement with trade unions looms, the Planters' Association chief said. The current collective agreement on wages is set to expire in October, Chairman Sunil Poholiyadde said. "We are in the process of negotiating with the trade unions the revision of wages for the fresh collective agreement," he said. "In my view the current model cannot be more..

Hambantota LNG plant gets Cabinet nod

Oct 4 (FT) Cabinet this week granted approval to sign a MoU between China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) and CEB to set up the much-awaited 400MW liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in Hambantota, with an equity ratio of 70/30. Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya also obtained Cabinet approval to work with Hambantota Power Ltd. (HPPL), a fully owned subsidiary of CMEC which has been nominated by the Chinese Embassy as the joint venture partner for the LNG project. more..

Sri Lanka paves first road with plastic waste

Oct 4 (EN) Sri Lanka has surfaced the first road with asphalt mixed with non-recyclable plastic waste, in a suburb of the capital using an internationally accepted practice, a Colombo-based engineering firm said. Asset group, which has interests in engineering and real estate said a 500 metre road from Ratmalana to Borupana, South of Colombo had been paved with an asphalt mixture containing shredded and molten plastic more..