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Ceylon Tea or Sri Lanka Tourism the stronger category brand?

Mar 21 (FT) Central Bank officially reported last week that Sri Lanka exports have grown to $ 11.9 billion, recording a growth of 4.7%, which means that the country has not performed up to expectation in 2018. The export volume index has grown by 0.5% in 2018 whilst the export unit value index increased by 4.1% which is way below the South Asian region performance. The report went on to state that the overall 4.7% export growth has been driven by higher prices rather than volume, more..

Woman arrested for aiding double-murder suspect

Mar 21 (AD) The special investigation unit of Mirihana Police has arrested a woman for aiding and abetting the main suspect of the double murder in Moratumulla, Piliyandala to hide. The woman, who had been in hiding, was taken into custody in Weligama area yesterday. The 34-year-old suspect will be produced before the Moratuwa Magistrate’s Court today. On 14th March, two gunmen on a motorcycle had opened fire at three persons in front of a house and fled the scene afterwards. more..

Bringing up Wilpattu is a conspiracy to stir racism: Rishad

Mar 21 (AD) Minister Rishad Bathiudeen says that there is a conspiracy to stir racism by creating a social dialogue on Wilpattu deforestation to suppress the waste management issue in Aruwakkalu, Puttalam. He stated this at an event of the Al-Hikma College, Colombo, yesterday. Speaking on the Aruwakkalu waste management issue, he says they will take the side of the innocent public just as they took the right side during the period of more..

Navy apprehends two persons with 912.46 kg of Beedi leaves

Mar 21 (SLN) A group of Naval personnel attached to the North Central Naval Command apprehended two persons with 27 sacks of Beedi leaves, during a patrol carried out in the seas 5 nautical miles off Talaimannar lighthouse, yesterday night. Accordingly, by further search, 912.46 kg of Beedi leaves were recovered by the Navy and this consignment is suspected to have been transferred by a dinghy from India. The suspects, who are in the ages of 32 and 38, are residents of Mannar. more..

AIADMK election manifesto includes pushing for justice in Sri Lanka

Mar 21 (Island) India’s AIADMK election manifesto has included ensuring justice for the Tamils in Sri Lanka. On the SL Tamils issue, AIADMK said it would press the Centre to take up the issue of massacre of civilian Tamils in the island republic during the peak of hostilities, with the ICC at the Hague. The ruling AIADMK in TN promised a slew of measures in its election manifesto, including a national poverty eradication initiative that will be named after late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. more..

Video: Presidency: Navin calls Gota, Gota deems Karu budding candidates

Mar 21 (DM) Minister Navin Dissanayake called former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa a future presidential candidate while Mr. Rajapaksa in his subsequent speech referred to Minister Dissanayake’s father-in-law Speaker Karu Jayasuriya as a promising candidate for presidency. The duo expressed these views at an event held on Wednesday at Sri Gautama Viharaya in Narahenpita. more..

SLPP destroyed SLFP the most: Dayasiri

Mar 21 (AD) SLPP has caused the severest damage to SLFP, says SLFP General Secretary MP Dayasiri Jayasekara. He stated this addressing a public meeting held in Kegalle. SLPP has destroyed the SLFP while it has also helped the victory and the revival of the party, he stated. MP Jayasekara emphasized what Sri Lanka should have done it to withdraw itself from the UNHRC, just like the US. However, our country has sought another two-year extension on implementing UN resolution, more..

'Wind Power in islands around the country'

Mar 21 (DM) Stand-alone Wind Energy Systems would be established on Islands and Islets around the coast of Sri Lanka following the successful pilot project at the Delft Island, Power and Energy Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. While conducting an inspection tour in the Delft Island, Minister said the Ministry had planned to increase the electricity implementing the Wind Energy Systems in the surrounding islands. “That would help to reduce the electricity generating cost in the country,” more..

No intention to join UNP: Duminda D.

Mar 21 (DM) SLFP National Organiser and MP Duminda Dissanayake said that he was not intend to join the UNP unilaterally. MP, who was speaking to journalists after a function at Nochchiyagama said the relationship he has with the UNP is not a personal one, but was built around by the SLFP after the two parties decided to work together in 2015. “I got on to the UNP stage together with President Sirisena more..

Remembrance day of police heroes

Mar 21 (Island) Today is a day of great significance as it marks the remembrance of fallen Police Heroes who have courageously sacrificed their lives throughout a period of 155 years to protect the lives and property of Sri Lankan citizens. Sri Lanka Police is the establishment entrusted with the great responsibility of ensuring the safety of the general public of our motherland from the moment of their conception, birth and existence as social beings until their demise. more..

Demand up by 6% as against last year

Mar 21 (CT) The efficient use of electricity by the public is very important and is highly appreciated in situations such as under the prevailing weather conditions, said Spokesmen of the Ministry of Power and Energy, Sulakshana Jayawardene. The demand for the use of electricity has risen by 6% Giga Watt Hours as opposed to last year and in order to meet such demands, a supply of 2,300 Mega Watts (MW) during the day and 2,600 MW during the night is necessary, he said, more..

No agreement with Oman Oil and Gas for refinery says BOI

Mar 21 (EN) SL's Board of Investment said there was no agreement with Oman's Ministry of Oil and Gas to invest up to 30% of equity in a refinery in the island following a news report which carried a denial from the oil rich state. Sri Lankan officials originally said a Singapore registered company Silver Park International Private Ltd, will invest US$ 3.85 billion in a refinery with the Oil and Gas Company of Oman taking a 30% stake. more..

Transparent, competitive procurement proposed in Sri Lanka natural gas policy

Mar 21 (EN) A new policy drafted on SL plans to introduce natural gas has proposed the govt will adopt transparent and competitive procurement procedures in all sourcing transactions where public sector agencies and state-owned enterprises are involved. It said the govt will adopt a transparent process of procurement of liquefied natural gas (LNG) enabling the country to acquire LNG at the most competitive prices. “Sourcing will be conducted taking into consideration key factors more..

England women clean sweep Sri Lanka

Mar 21 (CI) Amy Jones scored her third half-century in as many ODI innings to lead England to a comfortable eight-wicket win and 3-0 series sweep against Sri Lanka. After winning the toss and electing to bat first, SL, led by Harshitha Madavi's 42, were dismissed for 174 as the England bowlers shared the wickets around. Kate Cross, Anya Shrubsole, and Alex Hartley claimed two wickets apiece with wicketkeeper Jones running out Inoshi Priyadharshani on the last ball of the innings. more..

Cardinal to lead mass protests on drugs

Mar 21 (GDI) Religious Leaders led by Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith is to stage mass protests against drugs in Colombo North on Sunday (March 31).Cardinal Ranjith told a media conference yesterday that the protests will begin in all Catholic churches after the Sunday services. “We have asked all parish priests to walk down to the road with their congregations after the Sunday service and more..

Deforestation at Wilpattu still ongoing?

Mar 21 (AD) Protect Wilpattu Organization says that they will launch a massive protest campaign against the alleged deforestation of Wilpattu. Chairman of the organization Ven. Ananda Sagara Thero states that recent satellite images of the area reveal the latest information of the continuous destruction of the forest. Thero points out that it is unfortunate that authorities who are informed of this act are maintaining silence. A spokesman of the Department of Wildlife stated that more..

National inflation picks up to 2.4% in Feb

Mar 21 (EN) Sri Lanka's nation-wide inflation picked up to 2.4% in the 12 months to Feb 2019 from 1.2% in Jan 2018, the highest in six months, the Department of Census and Statistics said. The increase was driven by increase of prices of items in the non-food category while prices of food fell, a statement said. Non-food inflation increased to 6.7% in February 2019 from 6.5% in Jan 2019. Year-on-year food inflation decreased to 2.9%, having fallen 4.8% in Jan 2019. more..

UNHRC: Countries urge SL to implement its commitments

Mar 21 (DM) Many countries, who co-sponsored the resolutions 30/1 and 34/1 on Sri Lanka yesterday called on the Sri Lankan govt to take steps to deliver fully on its commitments in resolutions 30/1 and 34/1 and to develop a comprehensive and time-bound implementation strategy. Speaking at the 40th session of the UNHRC, in Geneva, where the UNHR Chief presented her report on Sri Lanka, more..

China not narrow minded to oppose Indian investments in Sri Lanka: Official

Mar 21 (PTI) China said it is not narrow-minded to oppose the Indian investments in Sri Lanka, as it reacted guardedly to reports of $3.85 billion joint venture between India's Accord Group and Oman's oil ministry to build a refinery in the island nation. SL's Deputy Minister of Development strategies and International Trade Nalin Bandara was quoted as saying by the local media that the Oman Oil Ministry and a Singapore investment vehicle owned by India's Accord Group have agreed to more..

Kerala family awaiting son's mortal remains from Saudi Arabia receives SL woman's body

Mar 21 (PTI) An unfortunate mix-up aggravated the miseries of a couple grieving the death of their son in Saudi Arabia when they found that the mortal remains brought from the Gulf nation were that of a Sri Lankan woman. Rafeeq (29), who worked in a firm in Saudi Arabia, died of a heart attack on February 28. Razak, the father of the deceased, said when they opened the coffin just before the burial, they found that it was of a woman and immediately informed police. more..

Govt’s poor economic management revealed: Cabraal

Mar 21 (CT) Interest rates paid by the Govt, for the issuance of Sovereign Bonds, have gradually increased, reflecting the poor economic management of this country, former Governor of the CB Ajith Nivard Cabraal claimed. He further claimed that this was not the case during the previous regime. “Govt is boasting about the recent achievement of receiving USD 2.4 billion but I can illustrate its downsides. more..

I’m a victim of Sinhala medium education

Mar 22 (CT) The departing point of the article is the statement made by Rathana Thero Teaching Students From Grades 1-5 In English Should Stop. He bases this argument on the (ill)logic, ‘If a child is given a primary education in a language other than their mother tongue, that child would not be a citizen of that country’. This argument holds illogical, and I do not see a way to even build an argument over this statement. With all due respect, as per Rathana Thero, the citizenship of the child more..

Geneva: Fragile handle with care!

Mar 22 (DN) It is almost ten years since the Eelam war ended with the defeat of the LTTE, but opinion continues to be divided on how its final outcome was achieved with Sri Lanka maintaining that it did not systematically engage in war crimes but the Eelamist lobby claiming otherwise and demanding international inquiries. Matters usually come to a head once a year when the sessions of the UNHRC gets underway in Geneva. For several years US was in the forefront of passing resolutions more..

'Some black sheep in the UNP tried to alienate me'

Mar 22 (CT) Minister Ravi Karunanayake says that some officials at the Central Bank tried to manipulate politicians. Q: Now, you have become a silent political figure, haven’t you? A: Only your newspaper does not give me the opportunity. Every other newspaper provides me ample opportunity. You are trying to silence us. Q: Whatever you say, now, do you not accept the fact that you were alienated from the Party, more..

Grunting about the disgruntled Tamil Diaspora: Response to Sharmini Serasinghe

Mar 22 (CT) According to legend, on March 19th each year, St. Joseph’s Day, swallows migrate some six thousand miles from Argentina to San Juan Capistrano in Southern California and people from all over the world come to see this returning of the swallows, a tradition celebrated from the early 1900’s. Like the returning swallows of San Juan Capistrano, this March we have a gathering of columnists and commentators, analysts and academics, bloggers & blowhards, politicians more..

Electronic payments: Being aware of pain of paying

Mar 22 (CT) Among numerous methods, credit card is one of the most-popular electronic payment methods in the world. According to the Wikipedia Edward Bellamy has introduced the concept of the credit card in his novel Looking Backward in 1887. Today, it has become an indispensable item in the wallet of most of us. There are approximately 2 billion credit cards in use across the globe and 1.1 million in Sri Lanka at present. Apart from card payment methods online transactions through more..

Reviving the economy a challenge to be faced: Gotabaya

Mar 22 (CT) “The collapse of the economy has become an issue for everyone today. Hence, the challenge facing us is how to revive it,” said former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. He was speaking at a seminar organised by Eliya in Badulla. He said, “In the past we were able to face challenges and overcome them. Mahinda Rajapaksa took over govt having to face a number of challenges on several fronts. more..

Mullivaikkal genocide, mass repression

Mar 22 (CT) Some Tamil leaders plead the UN members to not help Lanka to perpetuate a lie. They say Canada and the Core Group on Sri Lanka must stand with victims and lead the call for an international judicial accountability mechanism. However, they forget that these UN States were the main supporters of Sri Lanka in the war against LTTE -led liberation war. On the other hand, it is the world democratic mass movement that pressed, particularly western powers, more..

A nature loving president’s battle at home

Mar 22 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena knows where to score points as a statesman. His efforts to preserve the environment back at home came in handy during his recent visit to Kenya where he was an invitee at the UN Environmental Assembly. Kenyan President Uhara Kenyatta commended Sirisena’s speech made at the assembly and also admired the initiatives taken by the SL president as a leader who loves the environment. Sirisena has a nice programme on paper with regards to more..

Namal Rajapaksa

Cassandra cry with beady eyes fixed on this island home of ours!

Mar 22 (Island) The Head of this island Home of ours – HE the President – is fighting on three fronts. Brave Leader! He has but two weapons – the madu walige and a kaduwa; not the Uni students version of it but a real sword, Sri Lankan-ized Excaliber, which he claimed he had at a function when he was annoyed. (He seems to be getting more annoyed with greater ferocity and frequency at functions of late). The fronts he is battling are in the arenas of narcotics, bribery and corruption. more..

Edtorial: Thus spake Marapana

Mar 22 (Island) Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana waxed eloquent in Geneva, the other day, defending as he did SL to the hilt. It was a compelling brief, but the problem is that the architects of the UNHRC resolution on SL have already made up their minds and do not want to be confused with facts. Marapana’s presentation contained nothing new, though. The facts he marshalled cleverly had been in the public domain for the last several years. They should have been made use of much earlier. more..

Storming a male bastion

Mar 22 (SO) It is a remarkable story. They have earned exceptional life experience to narrate of their precedential journey at a young age. “Why don’t we go up and talk? Noise in the surrounding areas will not then disturb us and you can see where we work. Are you afraid? It is just a few hundred feet above the ground,” one of the operators suggested. Her energetic and confident voice showed her enthusiasm for her work. more..

Accountability: Addressing alleged human rights violations

Mar 22 (Island) Despite the repeated and continuing references to war crimes and crimes against humanity alleged to have been committed during Sri Lanka’s armed conflict, the actual wording in Paragraph 6 of UNHRC Resolution 30/1 is as follows:" …a judicial mechanism with a special counsel to investigate allegations of violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law". Therefore, the first order of business for any judicial mechanism more..

Sri Lanka Defence Services completes forty five years in World Military Sports

Mar 22 (Island) Founded on the 18th of February 1948 in Nice in France, the International Military Sports Council (CISM) is one of the largest multidisciplinary organizations in the world. CISM organize various sporting events for the armed forces of its 136 member countries and is one of the global sports organizations in which the largest number of disciplines are represented. Soldiers, who may previously have faced each other on the battlefield, now meet in friendship on more..

Female athlete’s harassment at airport NOC wants inquiry

Mar 22 (DN) The National Olympic Committee (NOC) has written to Sports Minister Harin Fernando to initiate an inquiry into a female athlete who is alleged to have been harassed at the airport immigration before her departure to the USA for a one month training course targeting the Asian Athletics Championships. The athlete a former SL Army personnel Rumeshika Rathnayaka who had performed creditably for her country more..

AASL attends Routes Asia Forum in Philippines

Mar 22 (DN) Top Representatives from Airprot and Aviation Services (AASL) participated for the Routes Forumisa Asia Forum 2019 from March 10 to 12 at Cebu, Philippines. The Routes events have been at the forefront of international air route development for over 24 years, firmly establishing Routes as the world’s market leader, attracting over 300 airlines for forums. This gives the opportunity to meet more than 200 airlines, 30 Tourism Authorities, 200 airports’ senior decision makers, more..

36th Battle of the Rocks from today

Mar 22 (DN) The 36th Battle of the Rocks annual cricket encounter between two leading schools in Kurunegala St. Anne’s College and Maliyadeva College will be played at the Welagedara Stadium in Kurunegala today and tomorrow. The 24th limited-over cricket encounter between the two schools will be played on Sunday (24) at same venue. All-rounder Kaveen Bandara leads Maliyadeva with Supun Sumanaratna as his deputy and fourth year player Kavindu Ranasinghe will captain more..

Solar under shade

Mar 22 (FT) Years of Govt delays in implementing solar power projects has increased the danger of power supply shortages, the Solar Industries Association (SIA) said, calling for approvals for nearly 600 applications and Govt-planned renewable projects to be fast-tracked to increase generation. SIA said that over the last four years, about 590 applications for solar power plants, which would have added an estimated more..

Final trial to select team today

Mar 22 (CT) The final selection trial for the Asian Athletics Championship 2019 will be held today at the Sugathadasa Stadium, Colombo. It will be worked off as a one day trial and limited to selected athletes. A few athletes have already achieved qualification standards for the Asian Championship, and the others will now have a chance to achieve it during the trials. Himasha Eashan set a new SL record clocking 10.22 seconds, while Greshan Dhananjaya leapt 16.71m setting a new SL more..