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Sri Lanka to review financial zone, laws, proposed for CHEC Port City

Dec 12 (EN) Sri Lanka’s new administration has appointed a committee of experts to review an investment zone and laws proposed on a financial city to be built on land reclaimed by a Chinese company in Colombo, cabinet spokesman Minister Ramesh Pathirana said. CHEC Port City Colombo (Pvt) Ltd, a unit of China Communications Construction group has reclaimed 269 hectares of land, in which the last administration proposed to set up a financial city with special laws. more..

Govt decides to increase number of national schools to 1,000

Dec 12 (AD) Cabinet of Ministers has approved the proposal to increase the number of national schools to 1,000, says Cabinet Spokesperson Minister Dullas Alahapperuma. He mentioned this addressing the press briefing held today to announce the decisions taken by the Cabinet of Ministers during its recent meeting. Minister Alahapperuma had tabled the proposal in the Cabinet. Accordingly, Education Ministry has decided to develop selected three schools in every divisional secretariat and more..

China grips Sri Lanka with artificial island off Colombo

Dec 12 (Nikkei) China, no stranger to building islands, has finished one off the coast of Colombo that gives Sri Lanka, a strategically located South Asian nation, the potential of erecting a futuristic business hub. Billed as Port City Colombo, the 269 hectares of land reclaimed off the coast of Sri Lanka's largest city was officially declared part of the country last weekend. The night sky above Colombo's coast lit up with fireworks to mark more..

Uber responds: Is it safe to use in Sri Lanka?

Dec 12 (RM) It’s a question that doesn’t have a pretty answer. Since its inception, Uber has been a company that has surrounded itself in controversy. While much of it has been closer to its home in the US, even here in Sri Lanka the global unicorn has had its fair share of issues. But with a string of incidents involving drivers and a lack of response from the company, one can’t help but wonder whether if the next Uber ride they take will be their last. On the 24th of Nov 2019, more..

‘Tamil community has confidence in Prez’

Dec 12 (DN) The Tamil community in the North which did not support Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the Prez Election are now satisfied with the performance of the President and his govt, Minister Douglas Devananda has said. He said that the Tamils in great numbers were now confident that the present govt was acting in a forthright manner without deceiving the people in the North as was done in the past by the Yahapalana regime. Devananda said the present govt was facing more..

CEA working on prohibiting single use plastic

Dec 12 (DM) TCentral Environmental Authority (CEA) is considering imposing a ban on the usage of single-use plastic or disposable plastics like drinking straws, CEA Director of Investigation N.F. Gamage said. He said disposable plastics had become a threat to the existence of the environment and added it was pivotal to take prompt measures to curb the usage of single-use plastics. “Single-use plastics, or disposable plastics, more..

Excise Dept. to inspect licensed liquor outlets

Dec 12 (NR) Excise Department has launched a programme to inspect licensed liquor outlets and alcohol distributors across the island. The programme is initiated with focus on the 2019 festive season. Excise Department has issued directives to Excise Officers in Charge to mitigate crimes related to liquor outlets, narcotics and tobacco. Around 900 Excise Officers will be dispatched to these areas. The responsibility of supervising the implementation of this programme more..

Malaysian court to hear bail applications by trio detained for LTTE links

Dec 12 (Bernama) The Sessions Court here today set Monday (Dec 16) to hear the applications for bail filed by two assemblymen and the chief executive officer of a corporation who were charged with supporting the LTTE terrorist group in November last year. Judge Elesabet Paya Wan made the decision to allow the prosecution to file counter-affidavit tomorrow against the three notices submitted by the defence. Earlier, counsels Damian Yeo Shen Li who is representing G. Saminathan, 34; more..

'Claiming to help Apeksha Hospital: Swindlers playing out people'

Dec 12 (CT) Director of the Apeksha Hospital, Maharagama, Dr. Wasantha Dissanayake, claimed money was being collected by people belonging to a certain organisation, under the guise of assisting the Hospital, which treats patients with cancer. Close to Rs 140 million has been collected from members of the public and well-wishers, under the pretext of purchasing high technology equipment for the Hospital, more..

Future of the UNP

Dec 13 (CT) Each time Ranil Wickremesinghe is faced with a threat to his leadership, he comes up with a bandaid solution, which either postpones his day of reckoning, and/or worsens the situation for the Party, creating internal chaos and bringing it down in the eyes of the people. The latest attempt to solve the power struggle within the UNP, is to divide the leadership into two compartments: 1. The Leader of the Opposition, whose role is confined to the limited area of the Parliament, and more..

The shaken Tax Raj

Dec 13 (ST) A few months ago, I came to know that one of our local companies had shifted part of its business to Vietnam. In fact, many local companies have been expanding their businesses into other countries in the region. But this is a different story. In a globalised world, it is no surprise about capital outflows largely from rich countries to developing countries. Wow! Sri Lanka must be rich too! On the contrary, however, Sri Lanka has never been a capital-receiving country, more..

Swirling waves of graffiti: From senseless vandalism to vibrant urban art

Dec 13 (SO) A trend in swirling waves of graffiti has invaded the country manically for the past few days. Enthusiastic groups of youth are a common sight in almost every town, carrying paint brushes and buckets of paint. Their sketches radically overrun on parapet walls, highway bridges, abandoned buildings and any paintable spaces. These graffiti are mainly based on culture, environment, heritage and history, more..

Intimidating judges, prosecutors and lawyers takes off under Gotabaya Rajapaksa

Dec 13 (CT) Ajith Prasanna a vocal supporter of Prez Gotabaya Rajapaka in a press conference attacked several magistrates, prosecutors claiming that they have been acting under political influence in executing their duties and functions in their respective roles. Colombo Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne, Fort Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake, Udesh Ranathunga and the Mt Lavinia magistrate Lochana Abeywickrema were specifically named by him, to have been politically influenced. more..

Open letter to Daily FT editor on selective exposé of bank & other wrongdoing

Dec 13 (CT) It is hugely disappointing that SL’s only stand–alone finance and business journal Daily FT is selective in its exposé of alleged corporate and professional misdemeanor. The focus of this article will be on some glaring examples related to commercial banks and CBSL Bank Supervision. Given below is the link to the article “Exposé: Hatton National Bank Robs Customers And Auctions Their Properties” published in the Colombo Telegraph on 10 Dec 2019 for your necessary attention: more..

Dogged in saving lives of its kind: Sri Lanka’s first doggie blood camp

Dec 13 (SO) Bruno is a regular visitor to the Rover Veterinary Hospital in Battaramulla and comes there for his vaccinations and other medical needs. Thanks to the great care given by its owner, today, Bruno stands as one of the happiest and healthiest dogs who got selected for a greater cause. The One and half-year-old beagle visited his usual hospital on Nov 30 to donate blood. Yes! You heard it correct. more..

The twin tower trends of today’s politics

Dec 13 (FT) I live in two worlds. In one, everything is clear, sharp, light. The new Prez has lots of potential to boost SL into the developmental stratosphere. He has spoken out strongly on national sovereignty and set a personal and professional example of simplicity and austerity. This sends powerful signals to State, bureaucracy and legislative chamber that he means business – and they had better buck up too. Or else. That feeling of apathy at the paltry state of poor governance has gone. more..

Sri Lankan youth, wall paintings and tourism

Dec 13 (FT) At the moment, we can witness some unique developments happening in Sri Lanka. More importantly, we have many challenges to overcome as well. Refer to the statement by Winston S. Churchill, a former British Prime Minister who is considered a hero to many and his speeches some of the most famous in history: “A love for tradition has never weakened a nation, indeed it has strengthened nations in their hour of peril.” The young people in the country can be seen more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Learning – something to be proud of

Dec 13 (Island) The govt has reportedly decided to lower the educational qualifications for janitors to be recruited to the state sector. One will no longer have to pass the GCE O/L examination to be a janitor, we are told. It looks as if the SLPP and its allies were planning a hiring spree to keep their party supporters happy! At present, janitors in the state sector possess better education qualifications than about 100 MPs, who have failed the GCE O/L examination. more..

SLC says Galle CC has been paid the due funds

Dec 13 (DN) SLC secretary Mohan de Silva said that they have released the advance payments to all the clubs and that Galle CC will also get their payments. A letter too has been released to all the clubs to that effect. “We actually decided to make the usual payments to Galle CC except the membership grant which has been held back until the disciplinary inquiry is over,” said De Silva. “We pay about Rs. 11 million to the Tier B clubs out of that we are holding back Rs. 2.5 million more..

India, China step up the wooing but Rajapaksa in no hurry to align Sri Lanka

Dec 13 (ANN) The conversation in regional capitals after the emphatic win of Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa in SL elections last month centres around a central question: Will he manage to pull a Sheikh Hasina on India and China? The reference, of course, is to the Bangladesh PM who many believe has managed to successfully push her country’s interests by balancing the competing strategic ambitions of China & India in SA. more..

Reconciliation in divided societies

Dec 13 (Island) The prompt and sharp response by SL’s Foreign Relations Ministry together with its High Commissioner in U.K. to the statement in the Conservative Party Manifesto that stated: "we will continue to support international initiatives to achieve reconciliation, stability and justice across the world, and in current and former conflict zones such as Cyprus, SL and the Middle East, where we maintain our support for a two-state solution", caused the Conservative Party to explain that more..

LOLC Life signs-up with Bank of Ceylon

Dec 13 (Island) LOLC Life Assurance, recently entered into a strategic Bancassurance partnership with Bank of Ceylon (BOC) to strengthen its Bancassurance portfolio and to offer its array of insurance products to a wider customer base. As a result of this strategic tie-up, the clientele of Bank of Ceylon can experience the exceptional range of products and services offered by LOLC Life Assurance Limited. The MoU between the two organisations was signed at more..

D-Day for domestic cricket as Galle CC confronts SLC on payments

Dec 13 (DN) SLC could find their domestic cricket suspended if Galle Cricket Club goes ahead with an injunction against them for not paying the funds that is due to the club prior to the start of the season. The main domestic season is scheduled to commence on Sunday (15) with the Premier limited-over tournament and Galle CC are one of the participants. However because SLC has withheld the funds due to them Galle CC more..

Construction of fully-integrated tyre plant nears completion

Dec 13 (ST) One of the largest fully-integrated tyre manufacturing plants in the Southeast Asian region is nearing completion in the developing township of Horana. It underlines the aim of Rigid Tyres Corporation Pvt Ltd in strengthening the company’s position in the Sri Lankan automotive market as well as its overall plans for global expansion. The state-of-the-art Rigid Tyre manufacturing plant is set to open in 2020 with commercial tyre production to follow thereafter. more..

Foreign Minister calls for concrete action on SAARC intra-regional trade

Dec 13 (MFA) Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena requested the SAARC Member Countries to take concrete action to improve intra-trade in the region without compromising security concerns. He made this remark at an event to commemorate the 35th SAARC Charter Day at the Taj Samudra Hotel on 10 Dec, organised by the SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in collaboration with the SL Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry. more..

CB predicts better economic prospects for 2020

Dec 13 (FT) Delivering the keynote address at the Asia Securities 3rd Annual SL Investment Conference titled 2020: A big innings on a tricky wicket? CB Senior Deputy Governor Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe said that the upturn next year would lead to 6.5% GDP growth by 2025, provided that the Govt was determined to efficiently implement policies outlined by Prez Rajapaksa. He highlighted tourism, exports of diversified more..

Daya Ratnayake appointed SLPA Chairman

Dec 13 (FT) Former Army Commander Daya Ratnayake has been appointed as the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA). He was the 20th commander of SL Army. He was educated at Maliyadeva College, Kurunegala. Upon commissioning, he followed the Commando Officers Course, Infantry Young Officers Course, Battalion Support Weapon Course, Junior Command and Senior Command Courses in India, Governance and Management of Defence Course at more..

CC approves Prez’s appeals court nominee

Dec 13 (DM) Constitutional Council (CC) today unanimously approved the nomination made by Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa to appoint High Court Judge M.D.S. Abeyratne as the Court of Appeal judge. The vacancy was created after the retirement of Court of Appeal Judge Deepali Wijesundara. The CC meeting chaired by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya for the first time after the new govt came to office at the parliament complex attended by TNA Leader R. Sampanthan, Mahinda Samarasinghe and more..

Dengue virus spreading rapidly: GMOA urges Govt to act fast

Dec 13 (CT) GMOA urged the Govt to take immediate measures to combat the spread of the dengue virus throughout the country, as more than 10 districts have so far been affected by it. The dengue virus, which has now reached epidemic proportions, has so far hit some 90,000 patients and have further warned that in 10 districts, the virus has reached a critical stage. According to the GMOA, the majority of patients had been reported from more..

Central bankers trigger crises, don’t admit or learn from mistakes: Economist

Dec 13 (EN) Central bankers around the world adopt poor policies which are leading to political crises, theft of income and the rise of zombie companies, but fail to admit their own mistakes, an economist said. Jim Walker, founder and chief economist at Asianomics Group, said across most of the world, central bankers are keeping interest rates low to induce inflation, which is refusing to rise. “…[Y]ou would have theoretically expected a boom,” he said, speaking at a forum organized by more..

CBSL holds its 12th International Research Conference

Dec 13 (AD) The Central Bank of Sri Lanka held its annual flagship event, the 12th International Research Conference at the John Exter International Conference Hall of the Central Bank on 09 December 2019. The Conference was aimed at stimulating theoretical and empirical research on various contemporary macroeconomic policy issues and provided researchers from diverse backgrounds a platform to discuss their views, findings and experiences from varied perspectives. more..

Magistrate says no to record statement at Swiss Envoy’s residence

Dec 13 (DM) Declining the request made by President’s Counsel Upali Kumarapperuma appearing for the Swiss Embassy local staffer to record the remainder of her statement at the Swiss Ambassador’s residence, Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayarathne yesterday directed the Court that the Embassy and Ambassador’s resident comes under Swiss govt’s law. When the case was taken up in the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court, more..

U-19 Triangular series: SL beat England

Dec 13 (CT) Sri Lanka beat England by 27 runs according to the D/L method and recorded their second win in the first round in the triangular series at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium Antigua on Wednesday (11). England won the toss and elected to bat. The match was shortened to 45 overs due to rain. England scored 149/4 in their 45 overs. Joey Evison was the top scorer with 43 runs. Kavindu Nadeeshan was once again the chief wicket taker with 2/30. more..

PCB Chairman applauds Sri Lanka

Dec 13 (CT) Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Eshan Mani applauded Shammi Silva, SLC President, his team of officials and Govt of SL for their magnanimous gesture of sending the National Cricket team to Pakistan. In a discussion with the Lankan Media who were present to cover the match, Mani thanked them too for coming to Pakistan. "We at PCB are really grateful to Shammi Silva the SLC President and his team along with the SL Govt for placing confidence in us more..

23 proxies among 35 prez candidates cost Rs 7.5 bn

Dec 13 (Island) Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya has found fault with political parties for unnecessary high number of candidates at the 2019 prez poll. Deshapriya says those struggling to make ends meet had to bear the burden of the heavy expenditure caused by nearly three dozen contesting the Nov 16 national poll. The outspoken official said so at a meeting organised by more..

One Transworks Square tower to be 6th tallest in South Asia

Dec 13 (DN) The constriction of SL’s tallest building, the 92 story commercial and Residential Tower of The One Transworks Square (Pvt) Ltd will commence next year and would be completed in three years, said CEO of The One Transworks Square, Janaki Siriwardhana. When completed it would be among the top 6 tallest buildings in South Asia. She also said that The One Transworks Square also was placed among Asia’s finest real estate players at PropertyGuru Asia more..

Vehicle prices up with new Luxury Tax

Dec 13 (DN) Since the newly imposed luxury tax is in effect from November 1, 2019 prices of common vehicle models such as Toyota CHR, Audi Q2, Honda CR-V etc will go up Vehicle Importers Association President Ranjan Peiris said. However the handful of vehicles left in showrooms will still be sold at previous prices due to this festive season, he said. All currencies such as the USD, GBP and the JPY are at an upwards trend hence all imports done now are bound to go up. more..

Cabinet decides to review CIFC scope

Dec 13 (FT) Cabinet has decided to review the scope of the Colombo International Financial City (CIFC), which was earlier planned to be established on the part of the $1.4 billion Port City project owned by the State, to ensure that it is in line with current political, social, and environmental needs. Cabinet had approved a proposal presented by PM Mahinda Rajapaksa in his capacity as Finance, Economic Affairs and more..

International Tea Day with Emirates & Dilmah

Dec 13 (FT) A Masterclass in the appreciation of Ceylon Tea took place at 40,000 feet when Emirates and Dilmah celebrated a 27-year partnership on board an Emirates A380 flight from Dubai to London this week. Held at the iconic A380 On-board Lounge by Dilmah Tea CEO Dilhan Fernando and the founder of Dilmah Merrill J. Fernando, ahead of International Tea Day on 15 December, the Masterclass was the first of its kind held in the skies. Emirates and Dilmah have enjoyed more..