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Cinnamon Life to host exclusive forum with legendary investor Dr. Mark Mobius

Dec 3 (FT) Colombo’s upcoming major mixed development Cinnamon Life announced the visit of legendary emerging markets investment pioneer Dr. Mark Mobius for an exclusive breakfast forum hosted by the premier lifestyle brand. The latest in a series of high-profile engagements by Cinnamon Life, the interactive forum is set to take place on 10 Dec, during which Dr. Mobius will share his thoughts on Sri Lanka’s growth potential, share key insights from his experience in emerging markets more..

Tourism minister to prioritise global campaign

Dec 3 (TM) New minister of Tourism and Aviation Prasanna Ranatunga is expected to prioritise and expedite the long-delayed global tourism promotional campaign, the then Ministry Secretary S. Hettiarachchi said. Accordingly, the Cabinet approval for the promotional campaign is most likely to be obtained within two weeks and the campaign will be partially implemented subsequently. “Nothing is hindering the implementation. Even the funds are all cleared,” he added. more..

Liquor sticker by June 2020?

Dec 3 (TM) An Excise Notification was issued recently, making the implementation of the widely opposed foolproof sticker requirement for local liquor products compulsory from 1 June 2020. The notification was issued on 1 Nov by MP Mangala Samaraweera in his capacity as the Minister of Finance at the time. However, it is still unclear whether newly appointed Premier Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is now Minister of Finance, more..

The Prez Election 2019 in retrospect

Dec 3 (Island) As the dust settles on one of the stormy Prez elections in Sri Lanka which was marked by an unprecedented amount of promises by both the main candidates, it is opportune to seriously evaluate certain aspects of the race in retrospect. There are both positive and negative points of which we the Sri Lankan citizenry need to take serious note of. First of all, it is one of the violence-free elections ever, in recent times in our country. more..

Industry leaders comment on SME Board of the Colombo Stock Exchange

Dec 3 (Island) Empower SME Board of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) is a crucial medium when it comes to helping smaller companies attract investment and also for investors looking to invest in companies that are in their earlier stages. CSE CEO Rajeeva Bandaranaike and industry experts Jeevan Gnanam, Talal Rafi and Anushka Wijesinha shared their views on how the SME Empower Board helps. Jeevan Gnanam: "An SME board that enables entrepreneurs to IPO at a market cap of more..

New Monetary Law Act unlikely before election

Dec 3 (TM) The Central Bank Act, which would replace the 70-year old Monetary Law Act and strengthen the independence of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL), is highly unlikely to be enacted before the 2020 general election. The Bill is currently with Parliament, according to CBSL Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy. This was disclosed by Dr. Coomaraswamy during his seventh and final Monetary Policy Review of 2019 more..

SL, Vietnam ink MoU for IT cooperation

Dec 3 (DN) Federation of Information Technology Industry SL (FITIS), apex body for ICT industry in Sri Lanka and Vietnam Software and IT Services (VINASA) signed an MoU at the opening ceremony of APICTA Awards 2019 in Vietnam where 19 member countries in the ASEAN region witnessed the landmark initiative of promoting IT cooperation between Sri Lanka and Vietnam. FITIS was set up in 1996 with the purpose of giving a much-needed focal point for the ICT industry in Sri Lanka. more..

Dialog to exit e-commerce business

Dec 3 (CT) Dialog Axiata and Daraz SL have entered into a strategic partnership to collaborate on digital commerce, according to Nushad Perera, CEO of Dialog subsidiary, Commenting on the partnership, Nushad Perera, who is also Chief Digital Services Officer of Dialog Axiata, stated, "Both our organisations are strongly committed to building our country's digital infrastructure and this partnership will further enhance access to affordable digital commerce for every Sri Lankan." more..

Huge expectations on Vinoj, Himasha, Hiruni

Dec 3 (Island) SL’s track and field team will commence action at the 13th South Asian Games in Kathmandu today knowing that they will have to compete against tough opponents and also win a psychological warfare after their own National Olympic Committee secretary Maxwell de Silva had mocked at the potential of the team to win medals. Maxwell de Silva, is reported to have mocked at the potential of country’s track and field athletes more..

Poverty line jumps Rs 7

Dec 3 (CT) The minimum expenditure per person per month to fulfill basic needs in October this year increased by Rs 7 to Rs 4,897, compared to Rs 4,890 recorded during the previous month. The Dept of Census and Statistics highlighted that 60% of districts remained in poverty for the 46th consecutive month as of October this year, while 40% were above. 15 Districts recorded a minimum expenditure per person per month to fulfill the basic needs below Rs 4,897, while 10 were above this level. more..

Lankaputhra Bank license cancelled after merger with RDB: CB

Dec 3 (FT) The Central Bank said it had cancelled the licence issued to Lankaputhra Development Bank Ltd. effective from 1 April 2019 after it completed its merger with the Regional Development Bank (RDB) as proposed in Budget 2016. Monetary Board of the Central Bank has granted approval in terms of section 76F read with section 9(9) of the Banking Act No. 30 of 1988 (as amended), to cancel the licence issued to the Lankaputhra Development Bank Ltd. more..

President empowers all agencies for bad weather impact

Dec 3 (DN) President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday beefed up disaster readiness islandwide with a directive to all relevant govt agencies and officers to go on to a high alert even as adverse weather conditions signalled a steadily growing impact on population and infrastructure. Presidential directive aimed at both empowering as well coordinating the various disaster response agencies in their handling of the stormy weather more..

Rs. 4,279 million foreign inflow from Govt Securities in a week

Dec 3 (AD) The latest data of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) points out that the govt securities held by foreign investors in Sri Lanka (Treasury Bills and Treasury Bonds) had gradually increased recording an inflow of Rs.4, 279 million in a week, during the period from 20 November 2019 to 27 November 2019. The value of Govt Securities held by foreigners grew from Rs. 116,528 million to Rs. 120,807 million during the period. However, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka noted, more..

Union demands permanent principals for 247 national schools

Dec 3 (Island) The new govt should take steps to appoint principals to all 247 national schools which currently had acting principals, Ceylon Teachers Union (CTU), General Secretary, Joseph Stalin said. Stalin said that Minister of Education Dullas Alahapperuma had promised to fill 50% of those vacancies. "However this is not enough. This issue has been there since 2010. We met Alahapperuma last week and we informed him that steps should be taken to fill all 247 vacancies." more..

UNP says ready to compromise on 19A

Dec 3 (FT) The UNP yesterday stated they were ready to compromise on the 19th Amendment (19A), claiming that they are ready to discuss changes to it with the Govt, and support any changes provided party approval is given. UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella said that they were ready to discuss the 19th Amendment with the SLPP leadership and were amenable to changing it provided that the UNP approved of the changes. more..

Dr. Radhika Coomaraswamy to exit JKH

Dec 3 (CT) John Keells (JKH) Holdings announced that Dr. Radhika Coomaraswamy had tendered her resignation from the Board of Directors of the Company, citing personal reasons and commitment issues arising from her busy schedule. She will cease to be a Director of JKH, effective 1 Jan 2020. She was appointed as a board member of JKH in Oct 2018. Dr. Coomaraswamy was a former UN Undersecretary-General and a former Nobel Peace Prize Nominee. more..

Ajith Prasanna calls off protest fast

Dec 3 (AD) Major (Retired) Ajith Prasanna has called off his protest fast he commenced before the Embassy of Switzerland in Colombo today (2). This was on the requests of MP Athuraliye Rathana Thero and Rear Admiral (Retired) Sarath Weerasekara. Major (Retired) Ajith Prasanna, this morning, launched a protest fast demanding that the Swiss Embassy staff member involved in the alleged abduction incident be produced to make a statement to the police. more..

Budget deficit to reach 7% of GDP in 2019

Dec 3 (EN) SL's budget deficit could reach 7% of gross domestic product in 2019, finance ministry said, with revenues falling after the latest collapse of the island’s highly unstable soft-pegged exchange rate regime. “The expected fiscal deficit for 2019 will be more than the estimated and could settle around 7% of GDP, due to both a significant dip in revenue than expected mainly due to slow growth and increase in election spending” more..

New rules for lunch sheet manufacturers

Dec 3 (Island) Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) has taken steps to introduce new rules for food wrappers (lunch sheets) manufacturers. The new law is to be implemented with effect from June 1, 2020, according to an extraordinary gazette notification issued by the CAA. Accordingly, CAA directed all manufacturers and traders of food wrappers that on each and every packet or bundle of such food wrappers, a liable containing following information in all 3 languages shall be included. more..

I will quit politics: Sarath Amunugama

Dec 3 (DM) Former Vice-President of the SLFP MP Sarath Amunugama today said that he would not contest the upcoming general elections. Speaking to the media in Kandy, the former minister said that senior ministers should quit politics after a certain period to give opportunities to youngsters. Amunugama said he had signed an agreement with the party, and though not divulging the specifics of the deal added that he would stand down from politics in keeping with that agreement. more..

Parliament prorogued: New session on Jan 3

Dec 3 (Island) Parliament has been prorogued on the instructions of Prez Rajapaksa. Gazette notification announcing the prorogation was issued, last night. The new session of Parliament will be held on Jan 3, 2020. A prorogation which is a temporary recess of Parliament, should not extend beyond more than two months, However, such date for summoning Parliament may be advanced by another presidential proclamation provided more..

Govt shouldn't misuse mandate: Rajitha

Dec 3 (CT) UNF MP Rajitha Senaratne said President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's programme also has certain matters that can be appreciated, but the Govt should not misuse the mandate given by the people. He added that it would be greatly appreciated if Rajapaksa's effort was to correct the shortcomings and create a truly good administration. He added that the former Govt was working to establish democracy after it came to power in 2015. He noted that various programmes had been more..

South Asian Games: Sri Lanka wins two gold medals in taekwondo

Dec 3 (DN) Sri Lanka were placed third in the medals tally with two gold, four silver and nine bronze medals on the second day of the 13th South Asian Games held at Kathmandu yesterday. In the Taekwondo event, Sri Lanka won a total of eight medals. Ranuka Prabhath won the first gold in the Male Individual Poomsae 17 years above to Under 23 years age category and second gold in the Pair Poomsae 17 years above to Under 23 years by pair Isuri Suhara Mendis and Ranuka Prabhath. more..

Video: President removes pandal with his portrait in Katunayake

Dec 3 (AD) A pandal set up to celebrate the victory of the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was removed on the orders of the Prez, earlier today (2). A pandal, with a portrait of President Rajapaksa, had been erected at the entry road to the BIA, in Katunayake. However, upon his return from the India tour, President had ordered for the immediate removal of the said pandal. Accordingly, the pandal was removed this afternoon more..

Swiss quiz: Govt should act quickly

Dec 3 (DM) Unfortunately, the new govt led by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had to face a diplomatic crisis even before a fortnight of its election into power is over. Swiss Embassy in Colombo has lodged an official complaint with the Foreign Ministry about an alleged abduction and questioning of one of its local employees by an unidentified group. Prior to this incident a senior official of the CID, Nishantha de Silva, who had been in charge of the investigations into more..

Gotabaya Rajapaksa Foreign Policy: Opportunities and challenges

Dec 3 (DM) Gotabaya Rajapaksa, SL’s seventh executive Prez has the best of both worlds, so to speak, in terms of foreign relations. At least for now. He just concluded a successful official visit to India, scored a few PR victories with the Indian media and returned home with a US $ 400 million soft loans. All of that, homaging, friendly reception and even a rosy press, would have been customary in the bilateral relations. But, the Rajapaksas during their previous reign had strained their relations with India, more..

Gotabaya, Modi lay foundation for sustainable Indo-Lanka ties

Dec 3 (DM) SL President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Indian PM Narendra Modi have, with consummate skill, drawn upon their strong personalities, innate creativity and robust pragmatism to lay a firm foundation for long-lasting Indo-Lankan ties. The initiative taken by India to send its Foreign Minister and old Sri Lanka hand, Dr. S. Jaishankar, post haste to Colombo after the election result to congratulate and pledge more..

'Due to sedentary lifestyle: Most children vulnerable to diabetes'

Dec 3 (CT) Consultant Eye Surgeon at the National Eye Hospital (NEH), Dr. Deepanee Wewalwala, warned that a majority of children were vulnerable to diabetes and its complications, owing to their sedentary lifestyle and food habits. Dr. Wewalwala cautioned that children whose parents and siblings were diabetic should have regular eye tests, if they too were diagnosed with the noncommunicable disease (NCD). more..

Peeking into Pamunuwa

Dec 3 (CT) Pamunuwa in Maharagama, synonymous with clothes and shopping, is a place like no other - choc-a-block with vehicles on the one side, stalls of clothing on the other, and jostling crowds sandwiched in between, trying to make quick purchases. Pamunuwa is a tapestry of varied hues - from pinks to blues to greens to whatever colour blend, you can find the clothes to match - either hanging in front of many stalls more..

Govt to recalibrate for growth

Dec 3 (FT) Finance Ministry said the fiscal deficit could be as high as 7% of GDP in 2019 due to plummeting revenue caused by slow growth and the Easter Sunday attacks but assured that the Govt would recalibrate operations to strengthen fiscal discipline and reduce the deficit to 4% in the medium term. The ministry said many measures were in the pipeline to ensure that strong fiscal discipline was maintained within more..

UNF’s never- implemented criteria to be used for new govt appointments

Dec 3 (ST) A six-member committee to screen appointments of Chairpersons and Board Members to state enterprises is using a set of criteria drafted under the previous administration but never implemented. The committee under the chairmanship of former Secretary to the Cabinet Sumith Abeysinghe also comprises Susantha Ratnayake, Dr Nalaka Godahewa, Dian Gomes, Dr Prasanna more..

Video: President meets PCoI probing Easter Sunday attacks

Dec 3 (AD) President Gotabaya Rajapaksa met with members of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) appointed to investigate and inquire into the Easter Sunday terror attacks and exchanged views at the Presidential Secretariat last evening (02). Chairman of the five-member Commission Court of Appeal Judge Janaka de Silva who explained the scope and the composition of the Commission briefed the Prez on the progress more..

Will contest independently if UNP refuses nominations: Ranjan

Dec 3 (RN) UNP MP Ranjan Ramanayake will contest next year’s general elections as an independent candidate if the party decides not to give him nominations, the MP said. It is up to the people to vote for him and send him to Parliament, said Ramanayake, adding that if the people decide he’s no longer wanted, he will go home and continue his acting career. Referring to speculation that the UNP might not give him more..

Rebel UNP MPs give one week to resolve leadership crisis

Dec 3 (RN) Presenting an ultimatum to the party leadership today, a group of rebel UNP MPs demanded a speedy resolution to the party’s ongoing leadership crisis, failing which they would be compelled to take drastic measures. MP Nalin Bandara said that if a solution to the issues pertaining to the positions of Opposition Leader and party leader are not resolved by the end of this week, the reformist MPs of the party may be more..

Video: COPE decides to keep forensic audit report on CBSL bond scam classified

Dec 3 (AD) Former COPE Chairman and MP Sunil Handunnetti have instructed to keep the forensic audit reports of the CBSL Scam at the COPE Secretariat as a confidential report until the next COPE Committee is established. COPE stated that the relevant forensic audit focuses on the CBSL transactions between 2002 and Febr 28, 2015, and the Parliament COPE Committee had received five reports on Forensic Accounts. more..

Video: Temporary travel ban imposed on Swiss Embassy staffer

Dec 3 (AD) The local employee of the Embassy of Switzerland in Colombo, who was purportedly abducted and threatened recently, has been barred from travelling overseas until the 9th of Dec. The Colombo Chief Magistrate delivered the order today, imposing the travel ban on the said staffer until she records a statement with the CID. Senior State Counsel Janaka Bandara, speaking on behalf of the CID, said the Ambassador of more..

In the name of God, Go!

Dec 3 (CT) "You have sat here too long for any good you are doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!" - Oliver Cromwell's speech to the Long Parliament in 1653 after it backtracked upon its agreement to dissolve itself. Nearly 300 years later, Leo Amery MP, quoted Cromwell's same words at a House of Commons debate to British PM Neville Chamberlain after Nazi Germany defeated Britain at war in Norway in May 1940. That speech led to Chamberlain's more..

Tourism an export industry: Fourth chance?

Dec 3 (FT) It took a lot of thought before I decided to put pen to paper. Whilst the key industry stakeholders like THASL and SLAITO have raised the red flag on the industry with almost 70 hotels up for sale, in my view we have got the fourth chance to make Sri Lanka tourism a world-beater given that export status declared by the seventh President of Sri Lanka. Incidentally this has been a proposal by the industry for so many years but had fallen on deaf ears. more..

Army Commander Lt Gen Shavendra Silva

Sri Lanka studying MCC deal, reviewing others: Minister

Dec 3 (EN) SL’s new administration is studying a draft agreement with America’s Millennium Challenge Corporation for grant funding and is also reviewing all other agreements signed by the last few years, State Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said. “We are studying the MCC agreement now,” he said. “When we look at the facts in it we believe that some of the facts are unacceptable.” Under the MCC deal Sri Lanka is getting grant funding to modernize the country’s land registry, more..