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Sri Lanka’s new map to get off the ground

Mar 21 (CT) Internationally Sri Lanka is branded as a spot that enhances the true beauty of nature and embellishes the historic essence of Buddhism. Within an area of 65,610 square kilometres it encompasses the natural beauty of tropical beaches, ancient monuments, verdant vegetation, wildlife, waterfalls and a thousand more astonishing spots to please the varied tastes of travellers. The palm fringed beaches more..

Thai Govt's generosity

Mar 21 (Island) Royal Thai Embassy, in SL, has always been supportive of projects that benefit the masses. The needs of children, especially, are looked into by the Royal Thai Embassy and the Royal Thai Govt. Since coming into the scene, in 2017, Ambassador of Thailand to SL, Mrs. Chulamanee Chartsuwsn, has been very active, supporting various ventures. On Ma 11th, 2019, Mrs. Chartsuwan, attended the opening ceremony of a computer laboratory at Vajira Sri Children’s more..

Saving children from menace of smoking

Mar 21 (Island) Conventional wisdom is that old dogs cannot learn new tricks. So Mr Editor, let me begin with a habitual phrase of mine. Reading your editorial titled Holier-than-thou sinners on Saturday (16) really warmed the cockles of my 86-year-old failing heart. I attribute the chronic state of failure of my heart partly to the fact that during the early years of my life, I unwittingly inhaled day-in and day-out, second-hand tobacco smoke released by my chain-smoking father. more..

Factories don’t brew tea anymore

Mar 21 (ST) Tea factory owners are facing bankruptcy in the wake of low yields and poor quality produce with some of them forced to close shop as well. The govt is now trying to find ways to assist them to overcome their financial difficulties. Minister Navin Dissanayake met SL Factory Owners Association (SLFOA) members for a discussion at the ministry on Thursday where concerns were raised regarding factories facing bankruptcy more..

Is Football the wealthy orphan of SL sports?

Mar 21 (ST) No news is good news, it is said. Sri Lanka Football is in limbo as never before! Football enthusiasts have all but given up what it can expect from a sport that thrives on doing nothing for its fans. The Dialog Champions League has come and gone and the story that the National Teams have been in training, was cloaked in secrecy. Finally, the newspapers just a few days ago, broke the story that the Women’s Team is participating in the SAFF Tournament in Nepal while more..

Softlogic wins big at DELL Partner Awards FY19

Mar 21 (Island) Softlogic Information Technologies (Pvt) Ltd, a subsidiary of Softlogic Holdings PLC, won prestigious awards in the recently held Dell Power Awards at Anantara Kalutara. The event was graced by regional representatives from Dell including Anothai Wettayakorn - Vice President of Asia Emerging Markets and South Asia Consumer and Small Business, Chee Wei Chue - Channel Leader Dell EMC/Channels Asia Emerging Market. Softlogic Information Technologies was more..

Time-bound implementation plan needed to hold Sri Lanka to its commitments: HRW

Mar 21 (HRW) When the Human Rights Council adopted resolution 30/1 by consensus in Oct 2015, Sri Lanka, through its co-sponsorship, committed to 25 key undertakings across a range of human rights issues. A core commitment was to set up four transitional justice mechanisms to promote reconciliation, accountability and human rights in the country. These included an accountability mechanism involving more..

Diplomats show way forward for Sri Lanka

Mar 21 (FT) Nine diplomats on Tuesday shared their frank views on a wide range of topics as to what they think is the best way forward for Sri Lanka at the packed Fireside Chat 2019. Envoys of UK James Dauris, China Hu Wei, EU Thorsten Bargfrede, Switzerland Hanspeter Mock, Canada David McKinnon, Netherlands Joanne Doornewaard, Malaysia Tan Yang Thai, Bangladesh Riaz Hamidullah and Indonesia Gusti Ardiyasa listed out some of SL’s key challenges and more..

Torrington Death Trap

Mar 21 (CT) Torrington Indoor Stadium which is used daily by National Wrestling, Karate and Gymnastic athletes for training has become a death trap, as old and rusted equipment in the premises has turned it into a dangerous zone for them. Most of the equipment are not in useable condition as they are old, rusted and worn out, but despite being National athletes they are forced to use the Indoor Stadium due to lack of alternate facilities. National pool of the sports highlighted consist of more..

Ranil revs up private sector

Mar 21 (FT) Delivering a vote of confidence, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on Tuesday backed the private sector insisting that as the engine of growth they have what it takes to deliver a stronger economy for Sri Lanka and pledged to provide support for companies to find new paths of advancement. Speaking at a packed Fireside Chat, PM acknowledged that the business environment has been challenging over the past few years more..

Udesh & Chalani emerge Carrom champions

Mar 21 (CT) Udesh Chandima (Air Force) beat defending National champion Shaheed Hilmy (Royal College) by 2 frames to 1 (25/07, 15/25, 25/23) in the Men’s Division at the Grand Slam Carrom championship 2019 held at the Carrom Federation, from 16-18 March. A significant feature was Udesh beating World Champion Nishantha Fernando in the quarter-final by 2 frames to 1 (25/00, 04/25, 25/06). Chalani Lakmali (Air Force) beat six times National champ Joseph Roshita (Navy) more..

Alleviating poverty in Sri Lanka: Take a broader look at poverty measures!

Mar 21 (IPS) Sri Lanka has managed to bring down its poverty from 26.1% in 1990/91 to just 4.1% by 2016. However, it is not enough to consider only income poverty when monitoring poverty, as many are faced with multiple dimensions of poverty. It is important to note that many Sri Lankans live just above and very close to the National Poverty Line (NPL). For example, more than 400,000 persons fall within 10% above the NPL and around one million persons live within 20% above the NPL. more..

Oman denies it has agreed to invest in Sri Lanka oil refinery project

Mar 21 (Reuters) Oman’s oil ministry on Wednesday denied being part of a $3.85 billion plan to build an oil refinery in Sri Lanka, a day after the govt in Colombo announced the Arab country’s participation. SL officials told a news conference on Tuesday that a joint venture between the Oman oil ministry and a Singapore investment vehicle owned by India’s Accord Group had agreed to build the 200,000 barrel per day refinery near H'tota port. more..

SLNS Sagara leaves for Malaysia to participate in LIMA-2019

Mar 21 (SLN) SL Navy’s Offshore Patrol Vessel SLNS Sagara left Trincomalee harbour today (19) for Malaysia to participate in the International Maritime & Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA)-2019 which is scheduled to be held on Langkawi Island. The ship bade farewell in accordance with naval traditions prior to her departure from the port of Trincomalee and the occasion was attended by the Commander Eastern Naval Area, Rear Admiral Sumith Weerasinghe, Flag Officer more..

Bhu Abhimani, Haritha Harasara Pranama Ulela under Prez’s patronage

Mar 21 (PSL) The Bhu Abhimani, Haritha Harasara Pranama Ulela organized by the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GSMB) with the aim of creating eco-friendly country was held under the patronage of President Sirisena at the Nelum Pokuna Theatre, yesterday (18). During this event, the Prez presented felicitation awards to the officers in recognition of their great contribution for the protection of the environment. President also unveiled the flag which was created to more..

Video: Drastic decrease in kidney disease cases: Prez

Mar 21 (AD) Due to the broad programmes launched within the past four years in preventing the kidney disease, there is a reduction in the spread of kidney disease, President Maithripala Sirisena has said. President further stated that the public services have been stronger in the last four years, regardless of criticisms. He also said that those services will be expanded for the benefit of innocent people. more..

Leaving no one behind: IESL Forum today to celebrate World Water Day 2019

Mar 21 (FT) The Water Forum, water arm of the Institution of Engineers SL (IESL) was established for spreading awareness amongst population and all concerned, particularly among engineers working in the water sector about efficient water management by adopting best practices. The mission of Water Forum is to promote and propagate the concept of Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) and facilitate the innovation, technology development for conservation and more..

China's Port in Sri Lanka could get boost from proposed refinery

Mar 21 (BN) A proposed oil refinery in Sri Lanka could boost a barely used Chinese-operated port that has piled on debt for the country and fueled criticism of President Xi Jinping’s signature Belt and Road infrastructure-building initiative. The $3.9 billion refinery project will be located near the southern Sri Lankan port of Hambantota, which was built with funding from Beijing and eventually handed over on a 99-year lease to a state-owned Chinese company in a debt-to-equity swap. more..

Govt uses UK diplomatic dispatches to dispute death toll claimed by UN

Mar 21 (Island) Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana, yesterday, challenged the UN claim that 40,000 civilians were killed on the Vanni east front in the final phase of the war between January and May 2009. Marapana used the disclosure made by Lord Naseby in the House of Lords, on Oct 12, 2017 to dispute the UN claim. One-time Attorney General Marapana, also, strongly defended both retired and serving officers accused of war crimes. more..

Video: Best solution for minorities to overcome current situation is me: Gotabaya

Mar 21 (AD) Former Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa says that he is the best solution for the minorities to overcome the current situation that they are in. He said he is confident that he be well received by the minorities in the country. The former Defense Secretary made these comments speaking to the media following an event held in Narahenpitiya last evening (20). People beseech him as a leader as they have seen his capability to work, he further said. more..

Gotabaya will help UNF candidate get minority votes: Rajitha

Mar 21 (Island) Fielding Gotabaya Rajapaksa as the SLPP candidate at the next prez election will stand UNF candidate in good stead in that the latter will get the minority votes, Minister Rajitha Senaratne says. He said: "Gotabaya Rajapaksa can pretend that he gained the confidence of minorities by producing videos and pictures of him dining with minority community members, but he will not get their votes. If he thinks that minorities have forgotten how they were treated when Gotabaya was more..

Power cut rumour a hoax: Ministry

Mar 21 (CT) The Ministry of Power and Energy yesterday, confirmed that a rumour spreading across multiple social media platforms yesterday, that a power cut is scheduled to commence from today (21), is a hoax. It added that since the second phase of the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant was repaired and connected to the national grid on 19 March night there won’t be any power curtailment in any area. more..

STF nets two more underworld figures

Mar 21 (Island) Acting on a tip-off, the Special Task Force, on Tuesday night, arrested notorious criminal and drug dealer Chaminda Chathuranga alias Kaduwela Babee, a member of underworld gang leader Angoda Lokka’s team, in a raid conducted at Gnanawimala Mawatha, Hewagama, Kaduwela. The STF took into custody 650 gm of heroin, one kilo Kerala ganja and two weighing scales used in drug dealing, from the hideout of Kaduwela Babee. Acting on information elicited from Kaduwela Babee more..

E-health program saves govt Rs 7 b annually

Mar 21 (DN) SL govt is saving over Rs 7 billion annually due to the E- health program where over 200 govt hospitals have come on- line, said Minister Rajitha Senaratne. He was speaking at the National Chamber of Commerce (NCCSL) organized int'l Healthcare exhibition 2019 which will be held from July 12 to 14 at BMICH. He said that all health reports, prescribed medicine of patients seeking treatment at govt hospitals are now computerized and people don’t have to carry reports when more..

Bachelet proposes HCHR office in SL

Mar 21 (CT) SL Govt told the UNHRC that a Hybrid Court to probe alleged war crimes will not be possible without an Amendment to the Constitution approved by two-thirds of the MPs and also approved by the people at a Referendum. At the yesterday’s session, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (HCHR) Michelle Bachelet also proposed establishing an Office of the HCHR in Sri Lanka and called for more..

Students are not a bargaining chip

Mar 21 (DM) This editorial was influenced by the statements made by Ceylon Teachers Union (CTU) General Secretary Joseph Stalin, Ceylon Teachers Services Union (CTSU) General Secretary Mahinda Jayasinghe and Principals’ Services Union President Sunil Premathileke that the 24-hour strike or work stoppage launched by some 15,000 School Principals and 241,000 Teachers affecting 10,162 schools countrywide was a resounding success, with all State schools coming to standstill. more..

Reconcile this, baby!

Mar 21 (DM) There are words and terms that lose all meaning simply due to overuse. Sometimes, in fact, the words/terms take on meanings diametrically opposed to their original meaning. Language, friends, as we all know and often forget, is political. Words are given meanings other than those agreed upon by convention or usage. Take the word ‘peace’ for example. In the early years of the millennium when the federalist camp was strong, any proposal this side of the f-thing was vilified as more..

Mangala calls for systemic change

Mar 21 (DM) Minister Mangala Samaraweera, who recently celebrated 30 years in politics and presented a budget, which many experts praise as forward-looking, says he strongly believes in free enterprise and wants SL’s present political system completely overhauled. Q: How difficult was the budget-making process this time given the tight fiscal situation and the upcoming elections? A: Well, in the run-up to the budget there was more..

‘Speaker handled political crisis wisely’

Mar 21 (DN) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya succeeded in establishing democracy and the rule of law amidst a tumultuous situation in Parliament, overcoming difficulties and challenges,” said Anunayake Thera of the Asgiri Chapter, Most Ven. Anamaduwe Dhammadassi Thera. The Anunayake Thera was speaking at a ceremony to felicitate Speaker Jayasuriya with the honorary title of Sasana Keerthi Sri more..

Govt accused of trying to sell Pulmuddai mineral sand site to foreigners

Mar 21 (Island) The govt is preparing plans to sell the Pulmuddai mineral sand deposit to a foreign company for a song while ministers and President Maithripala Sirisena are mum, alleges the Front Line Socialist Party. Politburo member of the FLSP Pubudu Jagoda said that his party had received information that some ministers were making preparations to sell the mineral sand deposit to an Arabian company. more..

President forced govt to bring up Lord Naseby’s figures at UNHRC: Dinesh

Mar 21 (AD) MP Dinesh Gunawardena says the SL govt’s first step at the ongoing UNHRC session in Geneva should have been to reject the roll-over resolution, which the govt is expected to co-sponsor in the coming days as it seeks an extension of the timeline of resolution 30/1 of 2015. MEP leader said that the original signatories of the motion against Sri Lanka are no more and that it is a new motion that has come up. more..

Suburban Lankans spend 6 years in traffic

Mar 21 (EN) An average Sri Lankan living in the outer suburbs of the capital Colombo will spend around six years of their life on the road due to traffic congestion, an official who has been working on urban planning and housing said. "The major gripe everyone has with Colombo is the traffic," John Keells Holdings Property Sector Head Nayana Mawilmada said, who has a background in urban planning. more..

UK urges SL to prioritise required steps

Mar 21 (DM) The UK urged Sri Lanka to prioritise the steps required to deliver fully on its commitments in resolutions 30/1 and 34/1 and to develop a comprehensive and time-bound implementation strategy. During the debate at the UNHRC UK said, “our view remains that resolution 30/1 contains key elements toward achieving lasting peace and reconciliation and that with a concerted effort from all parties this is attainable. more..

80% of construction workers in Colombo addicted to drugs

Mar 21 (DM) Almost 80% of workers at construction sites in Colombo are addicted to drugs, Director Prez Task Force on Prevention of Drugs Dr. Samantha Kitalagama said. “There are 10,000 persons working in various construction sites in Colombo, and there are 1000 foreign workers among them. Almost 80% of them are addicted to drugs,” he said. This was revealed in recent research carried out by the intelligence units. more..

Adopt a time-bound implementation strategy: EU to Sri Lanka

Mar 21 (DM) The European Union urged Sri Lana to take immediate and sustained action to implement its commitments and institute a durable reconciliation process and also to adopt a time-bound implementation strategy. Speaking at the UNHRC in Geneva today, the EU delegation welcomed the re-commitments made to the people of Sri Lanka and to the international community by the Govt of Sri Lanka during the session. more..

Bathiudeen given additional portfolio of vocational training and skills development

Mar 21 (DM) Vocational Training and Skills Development subject, which was under the purview of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has been assigned to Minister Rishad Bathiudeen with effect from March 18, a gazette notification stated. They were reported to have resigned from their previous portfolios and sworn-in before the President in the new portfolios on Monday (18). Accordingly, PM will function as Minister of more..

Govt seeks Prez’s approval to increase cabinet

Mar 21 (DM) The govt decided to make fresh engagement with President Maithripala Sirisena seeking his approval to increase the size of the Cabinet exceeding 30, it is learnt. The leaders of the political parties, aligned with the govt, met on Tuesday evening and discussed this matter. The UNP, as the main party of the govt, believes that the President has softened his stand, and therefore it will be possible to secure his consent. more..

Govt’s wish

Mar 21 (CT) A team from the AD’s Department who went to China to learn about what offshore legal system should be in place in the operation of the Colombo Port City, returned, recently, Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Tuesday. “They are looking at changes,” he said. The occasion was an economic summit held at a leading Colombo hotel. It was organised by CIMA and the Int'l Chamber of Commerce. The session also included a time for the audience to ask questions from PM. more..

Sri Lanka: Time to set-up a TRC?

Mar 21 (Island) Researcher and consultant Mark Salter dealt with post-war Sri Lanka in the run-up to the Geneva UNHRC sessions in International Policy Digest. Is Sri Lanka on the path to establishing its own Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) The answer, at least if PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is to be believed, is yes. Speaking at a recent meeting in Kilinochchi, the wartime capital of territory ruled by the LTTE during its 23 year-long conflict with govt forces, Wickremesinghe suggested that more..

Rev. Elamaldeniye Sarananda & Mr. Bandula Nanayakkarawasam