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Govt bullish on investment

Dec 10 (FT) The Govt yesterday said they were open for business, calling on foreign investors to be confident in the support from the present administration and use existing Sri Lanka trade deals to do business and expand exports to the region. State Minister of International Cooperation Susil Premajayantha yesterday witnessing the signing of a MoU between the Confederation of Micro, Small and Medium Industries (COSMI) more..

Slow death for Galle CC

Dec 10 (Island) One of the premier cricket clubs in the country - Galle CC is crying out for help unable to keep the house fire burning having been given the cold shoulder by the parent body SLC. Galle CC is accusing SLC of cutting off all funds due to the club and as a result the club is unable to meet day today expenses and soon will be forced to the cricketing wilderness. President of Galle CC Kumar Samarasinghe said that the board is on a witch-hunt after the club voted against the incumbent more..

Percy releases autobiography

Dec 10 (CT) The autobiography of noted SL cricket follower and one-man cheer squad Percy Abeysekera titled I am Percy Cricket Crazy was recently put out and its first copy was presented to 1996 World-Cup winning captain UNF MP Arjuna Ranatunga. The event to inaugurate the book was held at the Auditorium of Chance Sports in Borella. It has been over 60 years since Percy Abeysekera first emerged as SL's one-man cheer squad to support national team both here and overseas. more..

Battle for gold in blame game at SAG takes new turn

Dec 10 (ST) Tug-o-war of passing the blame on the other between Dhammika Muthugala, the Director General (DG) of Department of Sports Development of the Ministry of Sports, and the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka (NOC) has taken a new twist after the calamities faced by the local athletes here in Kathmandu and Pokhara in Nepal. Even as the 13th South Asian Games (SAG) has reached its eighth day, more..

Sri Lanka won’t host next SAG without Pakistan’s mission: NOC president

Dec 10 (DN) The president of National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka (NOCSL) Suresh Subramanian said they will not accept to host the next edition of the South Asian Games without permission from Pakistan. “We are just seven nations and it is Pakistan’s turn to host the next SAG but due to some issues with the country’s situation, the majority of member nations are planning to request us to host it. But without Pakistan’s permission we won’t accept it,” he said. more..

Shuttlers return home with rich haul of medals

Dec 10 (Island) SL shuttlers on Sunday returned home after a successful show at the 13th South Asian Games in Pokhara, Nepal with nine medals. The 23-member team, coached by Indonesian Tony Wahyudi and Duminda Jayakodi, clinched one gold, five silver and three bronze medals to be placed second in badminton competitions among seven nations at the biennial regional multi-sport event. The highlight on tour was the gold medal won by Thilini Hendahewa and Kavindi Sirimannage more..

Abeysinghe dominates swimming with seven golds

Dec 10 (DN) Olympian Matthew Abeysinghe dominated swimming winning a further three more gold medals on the ninth day of 13th South Asian Games held in Kathmandu Nepal yesterday to take his tally to seven gold medals. SAG will be officially concluded today with a grand closing ceremony. India becomes the champions of the SAG with 138 gold medals and they only participated in only 17 sports events. more..

Gold winners and unsung heroes

Dec 10 (Island) There was no shortage of flag-waving officials when the track and field team went on a gold spree at the 13th South Asian Games in Kathmandu. Most conspicuous among them was a former internationally acclaimed athlete who had travelled on Sports Ministry funds. They were beaming from ear to ear they were kissing and hugging the gold winners in front of cameras as if the gold winner were their own sons and daughters. National Olympic Committee and more..

'Dilshi has potential to reach greater heights'

Dec 10 (Island) Former Ratnayake Central, Walala athlete Dilshi Kumarasinghe who won three gold medals at the ongoing 13th South Asian Games in Kathmandu has the potential to reach greater heights, opines her coach Susantha Fernando. "She has the potential to reach higher international standards if she is looked after well," said Fernando veteran middle and long distance coach on Saturday. Fernando was not part of the coaching team that toured Nepal. more..

Sri Lanka improves ranking in Human Development Index 2019

Dec 10 (DN) Sri Lanka has been ranked 71 out of 189 countries according to the Human Development Index (HDI) 2019 released by the UNDP yesterday. Compared to 2018, this is an improvement by 5 ranks. SL, with a value of ‘0.780’ in a scale ranging between 0-1, falls under the category of countries with High Human Development. Key dimensions considered in the HDI rankings were “having a long and healthy life, more..

Tax cuts can boost demand, but create instability later: ICRA Lanka

Dec 10 (EN) A series of tax cuts may boost demand in the short term but could generate instability later, unless revenues were boosted to avoid monetary financing leads to currency weakness, ICRA Lanka, a rating agency has said. “Whilst acknowledging the potential boost to the aggregate demand and corporate profitability from the fiscal stimulus in the short-run, ICRA Lanka believes SL should broaden the tax base and continue fiscal consolidation to avoid macroeconomic instability to benefit more..

Tamil Union elects Ramesh Schaffter as new president, inaugurates indoor nets

Dec 10 (DN) For over 120 years, the Tamil Union Cricket and Athletic Club has played a strategic role in defining Sri Lanka’s cricket landscape. From being the prestigious venue for the first ever Test match played in the country to being recognized as the only Asian venue which witnessed the masterful batmanship of Sir Donald Bradman, Tamil Union has enjoyed an unparalleled heritage, resplendent with some of the finest moments of cricketing history in Sri Lanka. more..

Naseby predicts disaster for Sri Lanka if Labour wins

Dec 10 (Island) Lord Naseby PC, President of the All Party British SL Parliamentary Group in the UK Parliament, has stated, in a statement, that if Jeremy Corbyn of the Labour Party becomes UK PM it will be disastrous for SL as Labour will threaten the country’s sovereignty as an independent nation. Lord Naseby makes it clear that Conservatives offer the best opportunity to develop a balanced relationship more..

Mrs. World 2020 Caroline Jurie arrives in Sri Lanka

Dec 10 (AD) Caroline Jurie, who bagged the Mrs. World 2020 crown at the World Pageant held in Las Vegas, USA has arrived in Sri Lanka this morning. Jurie arrived at the BIA at around 2.45 a.m. today. Reportedly, she left the airport premises at 7 a.m. She was accorded a warm welcome by her relatives and many others who were at the BIA, and she set off for Colombo in a special convoy. Caroline Jurie from Sri Lanka was chosen as the winner out of 51 entrants who took part in the Mrs. World 2020 more..

MV Norwegian Jade makes maiden call at Colombo Port

Dec 10 (CT) Super-luxury passenger vessel, MV Norwegian Jade, made her maiden call at the East Container Terminal (ECT) of the Port of Colombo on 8 Dec. To mark her maiden call at the Port of Colombo, a plaque exchange was held aboard the vessel between the SLPA Additional MD, Upali De Zoysa and the Master of the Vessel, Capt. Ingar Kjllin. SLPA Harbour Master, Capt. Nirmal Silva, vessel's local agent, Prudential Shipping'GM, Saman Andarawewa and GM, Anton Rodrigo more..

Govt to call for fresh bids to manage Mattala Airport

Dec 10 (DM) The govt hopes to call for fresh bids from foreign investors to manage Mattala Rajapaksa Int'l Airport (MRIA), as the airport will be used mostly to transport air freight for the Free Trade Zone which will be set up in close proximity, Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said. He said while the govt would have total ownership of the airport, they will open bids for a foreign company to manage it. more..

Milk powder price cut: Dr. Harsha takes ownership for introducing pricing formula

Dec 10 (DM) CAA yesterday announced that the price of imported milk powder has been reduced with effect from yesterday. Accordingly the price of a 1 kilogram packet of imported milk powder has been reduced by Rs. 40, while the price of a 400 grams packet has been reduced by Rs. 15. MP Dr. Harsha de Silva, who was instrumental in introducing in a pricing formula for imported milk powder, which was highly politicised, tweeted that the reduction of the imported milk powder was a result of that more..

UNP discussion put off

Dec 10 (DM) Discussion of the UNP seniors which was to be held yesterday was postponed indefinitely, party sources said yesterday. Party sources, however, declined to give a reason for the postponement but only said it was put off due to unavoidable circumstance. Party seniors were to meet yesterday to decide on future political strategies. It was reported earlier that there is a proposal to have an interim arrangement for the party under which a leadership council will more..

32 State Ministry Secretaries appointed

Dec 10 (AD) New Secretaries have been appointed to thirty-two State Ministries, the govt announced today (9). The new State Ministry Secretaries were handed their letters of appointment by Presidential Secretary P.B. Jayasundara. New Secretaries to State Ministries: S.H. Harischandra - State Ministry of Water Supply Facilities; Prof. Ranjith Dissanayake - State Ministry of Urban Development; S. Senanayake - more..

Sri Lankan group wants Citizenship Bill to include Tamil Hindus

Dec 10 (HT) A group of Tamil Hindus on Monday criticised the govt for what it called the overlooking of Hindus from Sri Lanka from the list of persecuted minorities who will be able to seek citizenship in India. On Monday, home minister Amit Shah introduced the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), 2019, in the Lok Sabha. Late in the night, it passed the Lower House. Maravanpulavu K Sachitananthan, leader of the SL Shiva Senai, a group of Hindus in the island nation, more..

Sri Lanka elected Chair of Biological Weapons Convention meet

Dec 10 (AD) Meeting of States Parties (MSP) to the Convention on Biological Weapons, which concluded its four-day session in Geneva today unanimously endorsed Sri Lanka as the Chair of the Meeting of States Parties to be held in 2020. Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez takes over the Chairmanship of the 2020 States Parties’ Meeting from Ambassador Yann Hwang of France, the outgoing Chair. more..

Govt introduces new bacteria to control dengue

Dec 10 (RW) The Ministry of Health has taken steps to introduce a bacteria called Wolbachia to control the dengue mosquitoes. Using Wolbachia bacteria to eradicate dengue mosquitoes has successfully being utilized in Australia. The bacteria was introduced after years of laboratory testing and field testing. According to the Ministry of Health, it has been decided to release the Wolbachia bacteria to the environment from next February. more..

Growing administrative paralysis in north without a Governor: TNA

Dec 10 (Island) The inability of the govt to appoint a Governor for the Northern Province had made it impossible for the provincial officials to make important decisions, leader of the TNA R. Sampanthan said. On several occasions the govt had been informed of the need to appoint a Governor as soon as possible, he said. Unfortunately, the govt was not keen to appoint a Governor to the North, he said. "They appointed Governors to other provinces in a hurry but more..

Ministers, MPs using BIA VIP lounge have to pay USD 1,000

Dec 10 (Island) Ministers and MPs would have to pay USD 1,000 if they wanted to use the VIP terminal of the BIA, MP Dilan Perera said. He said that the relevant circular had already been issued and it was a common practice in other countries. Perera said that it was a part of the change in political culture ushered in by Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa. "He has reduced his staff to 250 and he only uses five backup vehicles," he said. Prez himself didn’t use the VIP terminal and more..

Survey finds paying bribes acceptable to a quarter of Lankans

Dec 10 (Island) Transparency International SL (TISL) yesterday launched the 2019 Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) report for SL. Global Corruption Barometer is the world’s largest public opinion survey on views and experiences of corruption. As a poll of the general public it provides an indicator as to how corruption is affecting individuals on a national level and how efforts to curb corruption are viewed on the ground. more..

Youth standing up for Human Rights: Let them be the decision-makers

Dec 10 (DM) Though Sri Lanka is again having problems with the international community over alleged human rights violations, none could deny it is a vital right. That is why some 200 countries will today hold various ceremonies to mark International Human Rights Day (IHRD). The UN marks different issues such as International Anti-Corruption Day yesterday, but analysts say the most important days are the International Human Rights Day and the International Women’s Day on March 8. more..

When microfinance amounts to a bagful of myths

Dec 10 (DM) Hardly a day has passed during the past few years without the media referring to microfinance negatively. The issue has now reached such heights where politicians of all different parties seem to have made election promises to relieve the recipients of microfinance credit from their burdens. Would writing off the loans of the poor really relieve them of the burden in the long term? Political solutions generally tend to be short-term while offering the politicians political mileage. more..

Abduction saga of Swiss embassy employee

Dec 10 (DM) The story line of the alleged abduction of a local staffer of the Swiss embassy in Colombo is fast degenerating into a tragicomedy with a bad plot. Everyone, even the Swiss who went to town with the high profile abduction claim, agrees some facts do not add. Those who have a bit more nuanced understanding of the local context could well have spotted red flags long before. more..

Death toll from flooding rises

Dec 10 (RN) The death toll from the current heavy rains has risen to eight and 9 others are injured the DMC said. According to the DMC’s situation report today, 4 deaths occurred due to increased flooding in areas such as Moneragala, Ampara and Trincomalee Districts. Earlier, 3 people died due to a landslide in Nuwara Eliya District and one person died accidentally when he was hit by a falling tree in Killinochchi District. more..

Researchers call for tax increases to make fags less affordable

Dec 10 (Island) Sri Lanka needs to implement policies that regularly increase tax rates to adjust for inflation and income effects in order to make cigarettes less affordable for both potential and current users, IPS researchers Nisha Arunatilake and Chamini Thilanka say in an article titled, The Role of Taxes in Tobacco Control: Has Sri Lanka Got it Right? They maintain that the recent hike in cigarette excise taxes to compensate for more..

Ministries, state institutions directed to report back on vehicles and office space

Dec 10 (ST) The Govt has directed ministries, departments and state institutions to prepare a report on their vehicle fleet and office space in a move to draw up a new scheme regarding vehicles and office space. Finance Ministry has conveyed the directive to ministries and state institutions following a directive from Prez Secretary P.B. Jayasundara. The ministries are expected to report back in two weeks’ on the availability of vehicles, more..

UNP Leader pledges new faces at Genenal Elections

Dec 10 (FT) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe pledged new faces would get nominations at the upcoming General Elections as the second tier leadership of the party gets more authority while parliamentary affairs will be handled by Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa. Wickremesinghe made the comments addressing the UNP Youth Wing members at Sirikotha. “I have handed over the task of handling more..

SLPP wants to contest General Election under flower bud

Dec 10 (FT) SLPP said their coalition, which also includes the SLFP, should contest the General Election under the flower bud party symbol, as the public have shown a clear preference for it at the Prez Poll. Administrative Secretary Renuka Perera said contesting future elections under flower bud symbol would be more suitable. He argued coalition political parties would not be opposed to contesting under SLPP symbol. more..

Millers, not farmers benefiting from hikes: Soaring prices due to hoarding: Agri Dept

Dec 10 (CT) Just three weeks after the Prez Poll, rice prices have soared. CB data depicted an increase in prices ranging from 10 to 16 %. 'However, soaring rice prices in the market are not due to a shortage, but due to hoarding', an Agriculture Dept source said. Further owing to the Maha 2018/2019 harvests and the recently harvested Yala 2019 harvest, the local rice supply is more than sufficient to last till March (2020). more..

Implementation of procurement guidelines to face further delay

Dec 10 (FT) Fresh set of guidelines for the procurement of goods & services, work, consultancy services, and information systems by Govt institutions, which were to come into effect from next year, will be delayed, official sources said. The guidelines were approved by Cabinet in September and sent to Parliament, and were expected to be approved by the Legislature this month, but with the change in Govt as well as the prorogation more..

Swiss embassy staffer leaves CID after recording 4-hour long statement

Dec 10 (AD) The Swiss embassy worker, who is involved in the alleged abduction incident, has been produced before the Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) of Colombo a short while ago. The local Swiss embassy staffer, who was allegedly abducted and threatened by an unknown group of persons, has left the CID after giving a four-hour-long statement. She arrived at the CID premises earlier today for the third day more..

Higher Edu Ministry to have discussions with former EP Governor

Dec 10 (DM) The Higher Education Ministry is to initiate a dialogue with former Eastern Province Governor M.L.A.M. Hizbullah on the future of the controversial Batticaloa campus started by him as an investment project, Daily Mirror learns. Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa instructed the higher education authorities to discuss what should be done regarding this university. Accordingly, Ministry will hold talks with Mr. Hizbullah in the future. more..

President Gotabaya and Govt

Dec 10 (CT) Call it chauvinism or whatever. The academics are still out on the issue of defining the nitty-gritty of factors, from home and abroad, which ultimately presented Gotabaya Rajapaksa the challengingly stunning prez election victory in SL. Whether influenced or not by players in India, SL Tamils and Muslims as a larger whole shunned Prez Gotabaya with a greater measure than that which he admittedly later conceded. That rejection was more than adequately chided in terms of more..

Taxes, budgets and greasy fingers

Dec 10 (FT) There is no doubt that to the average citizen, the recent reductions in various taxes were indeed good tidings. For those earning a fixed income, the tax burden had become intolerable. The new Govt’s tax reductions are aimed at relieving the burden on the middle-classes, ranging from the junior executives, the professionals to the retired. These are social groups whose lifestyles and expectations expose them to high cost utilities. Although relative to the salary structure here, more..

Discussion on 69th anniversary of SL Navy