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Sajith manifesto: Is it better than Gota’s?

Nov 6 (FT) The election manifesto of Sajith Premadasa was released last week and it is interesting to analyse it with the same criteria that was used by me to evaluate the manifesto of Gotabaya Rajapaksa last week. The most eye-catching aspect of the manifesto could be the concessions offered to small enterprises. The clearest of the measures were the VAT exemption for companies with revenue less than Rs. 4 million a month. more..

FDIs & Exports

Nov 6 (CT) Yesterday, the lead story of this newspaper, quoting Central Bank of SL (CBSL) data said that foreign direct investments (FDIs) year-on-year (YoY) fell by 61.3% to US$ 553.2 million in the first half (1H) of this year. This is in respect of the $ 1,427.9 million worth of FDIs received in the corresponding period last year. However, this $ 1,427.9 million; also includes receipts of $ 681.4 million received from the Chinese in respect of the 99-year lease agreement signed between more..

Ariyawansa Dissanayake

US$35mn five-star hotel to be built in Tangalle under BOI agreement

Nov 6 (AD) Board of Investment of SL has signed an Agreement with LA’ MORE Hotel (Pvt) Limited to set up, conduct and operate a 176 key 5-Star hotel project in Tangalle. The project represents an investment of US$ 35 million and will employ a staff of 355 members at the property. The Agreement was signed by Mangala Yapa – Chairman of the BoI and S Ganeshanadan – Chairman of Amagi Group. Also present was Shrikant Dash – President of Business Development of Atmosphere Hotels and more..

Pujith and Hemasiri further remanded

Nov 6 (NR) Former Secretary of Defence Hemasiri Fernando and Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundara who was sent on compulsory leave, have been further remanded until the 19th of Nov. The order was issued by Colombo Fort Additional Magistrate Priyantha Liyanage. The case which was being heard before Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne, has now been moved to being heard at the Colombo Fort Number 2 Additional Magistrates Court. The order which was issued by more..

Eye Donation Society International Award

Nov 6 (RN) E.M.H.B. Moragaswewa and Wijitha Manamperi representatives of the Sri Lanka Eye Donation Society received the Rehabilitation International (RI) award for Outstanding Achievements in Moscow last week. the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release. SL Eye Donation Society is a non-governmental organization founded by the inaugural president of the society Dr. Hudson Silva. more..

Swiss Singapore Overseas gets long-term coal supply deal

Nov 6 (EN) Swiss Singapore Overseas Enterprises Pte. Ltd., a commodity trader, has won a SL govt long-term contract to supply coal to the island’s Lakvijaya power plant at 60.71 US dollars a tonne. The state information office said the Cabinet of ministers this week approved the deal to award Swiss Singapore Overseas Enterprises the contract to supply half of the power plant’s 2.25 million metric tonne coal requirement. The coal is to be supplied to the 900MW power plant in Puttalam, more..

PM’s Office asks Kashyapa Thero to propose amendments to MCC deal

Nov 6 (AD) Senior Advisor to the PM Charitha Ratwatte has forwarded a copy of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Agreement to Ven. Ududumbara Kashyapa Thero. In a letter attached to the copy, Ratwatte has requested the Thero to submit a proposal of necessary amendments to be made to the Agreement, should the Thero deem the content in the Agreement may harm the country. Further, the letter had corrected the name of the Agreement which was mentioned on more..

Sri Lanka dazzles as Premier Partner at World Travel Market

Nov 6 (AD) The world’s leading travel and trade show opened in London, UK on 4th Nov, on a grand scale. This year SL Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) collaborated with WTM to be the Premier Partner of the event. In line with the premier partnership, the WTM main show was declared opened by Minister John Amaratunga along with Head of WTM, Simon Press. Other dignitaries at the inauguration were more..

Cabinet nod to provide reliefs to persecuted journalists

Nov 6 (AD) The Cabinet of Ministers has approved the implementation of the Committee recommendations to provide reliefs to media persons who were subjected to harassment and persecution from 2005 to 2015. The proposal was presented by President Maithripala Sirisena upon the request of Non-Cabinet Minister of Mass Media Ruwan Wijewardene. Accordingly, 78 journalists, who were subjected to harassment during the aforesaid time period, will be compensated. more..

One thousand bakeries closed due to gas shortage

Nov 6 (DM) Chairman of the All Ceylon Bakery Owners' Association N.K. Jayawardene said that 750 to 1000 bakeries had found it difficult to continue their operations due to the present gas shortage. These bakeries which turn out bread using gas had not been able to produce other bakery products as well. With 90% of the new bakeries making use of gas for making bread and in the face of the cost of ingredients used in the production of bread being on the high side, more..

Gota will suspend agreements signed during campaign: SLPP

Nov 6 (RN) SLPP today said that if the present Govt signs any agreement including the controversial Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) during the election time period, once SLPP presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa comes into power he will suspend all of those agreements. Addressing a press conference, Joint-opposition MP Bandula Gunawardana said that if a Govt led by the UNP comes into power, more..

Man offloaded from flight for inconveniencing co-passengers

Nov 6 (PTI) A seemingly mentally unstable air passenger was on Wednesday offloaded from a Colombo-bound carrier after he caused inconvenience’ to others by performing yoga and exercise onboard, the police said. Police said that the passenger had in his possession both Sri Lanka and US passports. The crew's repeated requests to the passenger against doing so paid no heed. They said that he had come from Varanasi to the city to proceed to Colombo. more..

Pathfinder National Security Strategy 2020 released

Nov 6 (CT) Pathfinder Foundation (PF) released its study on National Security Strategy 2020 for Sri Lanka for public information. A copy of the study handed over to SLPP Prez candidate, Gotabaya Rajapaksa by Senior Resource Fellow at PF, Dr. Sisira Pinnawala along with PF Chairman, Professor Bernard Goonetilleke and PF Executive Director Luxman Siriwardena. Work on the study commenced in early part of 2019 following a series of consultations. more..

Mali-bound next CCC salutes Army Chief

Nov 6 (SLA) The new contingent of 243 Army personnel of the Combat Convoy Company (CCC) of the Sri Lanka Army, set to leave for Mali to serve in the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission (MINUSMA) this morning presented a formal military salute to the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva at the Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment (VIR) Headquarters at Boyagane. more..

We didn’t rescind the MCC deal: Daya G.

Nov 6 (AD) Minister Daya Gamage says that the govt did not rescind the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Agreement with the United States. Speaking to media personnel near the Aluth Kade court complex today (06) Minister commented on inking the MCC Agreement. He says that although the Agreement may be signed, it should be approved by the parliament. “We hope to implement the Agreement only after obtaining the approval of the parliament”, he said. more..

Will enable braille voting facility: Gota

Nov 6 (DM) SLPP Prez Candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa today said he would enable the visually handicapped people to vote using the braille facility under a govt of his. Mr. Rajapaksa expressed these views at an event held at his office in Mirihana where the SLPP signed a MoU with the Sri Lanka Sahakampana Organisation and the Joint Front of the Organisations of the Differently-abled. SLPP Secretary Sagara Kariyawasam, Joint Front of the Organisations of Differently-abled President more..

GMOA files FR against MCC, ACSA, SOFA

Nov 6 (DN) The GMOA has filed a Fundamental Rights petition in the Supreme Court seeking an interim order staying all approvals and decisions issued by anyone in respect of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) compact, Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) and, Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreement (ACSA). The petitioners sought a declaration that the petitioners Fundamental Rights guaranteed under more..

Over 1,000 buses to be deployed to transport ballot boxes

Nov 6 (AD) Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) has been requested to deploy nearly 1,100 buses for the transportation of ballot boxes of the Presidential Election 2019. Deputy General Manager of the SLTB T.H.R.T. Chandrasiri stated this. He stated this request was made under the instructions of the chairman of the Election Commission. Separate buses will be arranged to provide transportation services for the officers engaged in election activities, Mr. Chandrasiri said further. more..

Draft data protection and privacy laws should not distort markets, innovation: IPS

Nov 6 (EN) Sri Lanka’s draft privacy and data protection law should not place unnecessary burdens on businesses and stifle innovation, competition and trade, Colombo-based think tank IPS said. Research Assistant Nuwanthi Senaratne, writing in the IPS flagship publication State of the Economy, said that the two public interests of privacy and efficient markets have to be balance in the draft law. “Although data protection and privacy are vital in an increasingly digitizing more..

Kalu Ganga project to be vested with the people tomorrow

Nov 6 (PMD) SL will mark the completion of Kalu Ganga Reservoir project with Prez Sirisena opening the sluice gates of the reservoir tomorrow. The Kalu Ganga Reservoir Project comes under the mega Moragahakanda – Kalu Ganga Multi-Purpose Development Project, considered to be the irrigation marvel of the 21st Century. Prez will also hand over newly constructed line institutes in Ambana new town to the residents. more..

Navy foils illegal migration attempt to la Réunion: 11 suspects held

Nov 6 (SLN) Navy this morning held 11 SL nationals attempting to illegally migrate to the la Réunion Island by sea route. Accordingly, the Navy and Chilaw Police, during a search carried out at the estuary of Chilaw, have spotted a group of suspected persons. 11 suspects were believed to be on an attempt to illegally migrate to the la Réunion Island, France. Accordingly, the suspects who arrived at the location by a small truck were taken into custody, as they were getting ready to more..

SEC charges Laugfs Gas directors, broker over stock manipulation

Nov 6 (EN) Securities and Exchange Commission said it had taken three persons to court on charges of manipulating stock of Laugfs Gas Plc, a company listed in Colombo Stock Exchange. The SEC said it had filed action in the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court against W.K.H. Wegapitiya, Thilak De Silva, who are chairman and managing director of Laugfs Gas and Thakshila Hulangamuwa an investment advisor at a stock broking firm. They have been charged over market manipulation, more..

Colombo may have got affected by Delhi air pollution: NBRO

Nov 6 (DM) NBRO Senior Scientist Sarath Premasiri said that air quality deterioration in Colombo could have been a result of the pollution in New Delhi which is categorised as hazardous. DMC Spokesman Pradeep Kodippili said that the Central Environment Authority (CEA) had informed them that the content of particulates had increased of today. DMC, CEA and NBRO, Environment police and other organisations held discussions today more..

Winning elections in an ethnically & religiously polarised polity

Nov 7 (CT) Election campaign of Sajith Premadasa received a boost with the endorsement he received from the TNA. There was a possibility of the TNA opting to remain publicly neutral and giving the Tamil people the advice that they could either vote for any candidate or abstain, as advocated by some Tamil politicians. There is anger within the Tamil community about the lack of progress in finding missing persons, returning civilian land and in moving towards a political solution to more..

The potential for the final disappearance of democracy in Sri Lanka

Nov 7 (CT) While surveying the current political landscape of Sri Lanka one cannot but have a sense of déjà vu relative to what occurred with the advent of Rajapaksa control of everything in this country. At the outset of its ascent to power, the Rajapaksa juggernaut made Chandrika Bandaranaike’s less-than-democratic actions pale into insignificance. The campaign leading up to Mahinda’s ascent to the throne was a no-holds-barred one. With the UNP lot throwing Sarath Fonseka, more..

Sajith says no corrupt individuals in his govt

Nov 7 (CT) Former General Secretary of UNP Tissa Attanayake was of the opinion that the reason the UNP collapsed after four and a half years in Govt was because he was not with it. Q: What is the party you represent now? A: I represent the UNP. But in the past four and a half years I was just another citizen who watched the party deteriorate from the outside. This is a crucial moment and I think working for Sajith's victory is a national duty and more..

I will help the poor: Gotabaya

Nov 7 (CT) SLPP Prez Candidate, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, says the development work that had been initiated by him as the Secretary of the Ministry of Urban Development, will be resuscitated under a future SLPP Administration headed by him and former Prez Rajapaksa. He said during his stint as the Secretary to the Ministry of Urban Development, he had obtained the then Govt's support to uplift the lives of small income groups in the metropolis, and that such work will be recommenced under more..

NPP will open new doors for youth: Anura K.

Nov 7 (CT) NPP Prez candidate, Anura Kumara Dissanayaka, says the only political force that can open new doors for the country's youth lie with the NPP movement. He said under a future NPP regime, they will do away with the political culture of past Prezs' and past Ministers' or present Ministers' family members being given prominence to engage in party politics. He said the present-day youth must understand that rulers of the past and that those governing currently had completely destroyed more..

'Sajith Premadasa has been deceived'

Nov 7 (CT) PHU Leader, Udaya Gammanpila, says Sajith Premadasa violated the promise he gave, saying he would not agree to any deal which will be harmful to the sovereignty of the motherland, even before the Prez Election was held. "He is mum on the MCC Agreement," he said. Q: Your faction revealed the UNP had planned a massive conspiracy against Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Is this true? A: The UNP, in the face of defeat, more..

Amidst twists and turns

Nov 7 (DN) 2019 prez election is now less than ten days away and the battle lines between the two major parties, NDF and SLPP are becoming more clearly defined while the controversies surrounding the campaign continue. Generating widespread interest was a comment by Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa at the launch of SLPP candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s manifesto. The former Prez stated that a victory for Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the prez election will be more..

Trapped by debt for what purpose?

Nov 7 (DN) In the recent months various articles have been seen in the newspapers to justify the Chinese loans and its projects and their viability. In the interest of the public it is important to understand the fact of, why countries should get loans and it is per say not a bad thing for a developing nation when it is slow in attracting needed FDI and has problems of raising capital for projects needed for development. Let’s compare the accelerated Mahaweli multiple projects, mainly funded by more..

Wimal Weerawansha

Blitzkrieg! Equals a rapid outpouring of many things at once

Nov 7 (Island) We, in this island home of ours, are completely removed from war and warfare. Yet the German word used to describe the tactics successfully used in the Nazi invasion of Belgium, the Netherlands and France in the 1940s keeps reverberating in Cassandra’s mind as she reposes in her sofa and reads and watches news. Yes, there has been an intense campaign, certainly not military, though there are two ex-military VIPs in the hustings and a VVIP already named by the NDF more..

Will Sri Lankan politcians continue to kill Cancer paitents?

Nov 7 (Island) Thousands of Sri Lankans must be dying of cancer. Why do they die of cancer like this? Because they don’t have enough money for treatment and the Ministers and the Bureaucrats don't care as much as they care about their luxury vehicles and wealth. Most cancer patients in Sri Lanka and their families have to sell everything. Many don’t know even if its cancer at times. They undergo immense hardships, not only battling cancer, but battling the system. more..

Prez candidates asked to guarantee editorial independence

Nov 7 (RSF) Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on Sri Lanka’s presidential candidates to give firm pledges to respect press freedom after a media owner threatened and then fired a radio news editor for refusing to broadcast fabricated and biased information, in an incident that speaks volumes about intimidation of journalists in Sri Lanka. “He shouted at me, threatened me and even nearly assaulted me,” former Capital FM more..

Editorial: Coughing up land?

Nov 7 (Island) The govt has, at long last, realised that the cart should not be put before the horse. It says the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) grant agreement will be presented to Parliament for review and ratification before being inked. Its plan to sign the pact before submitting it to Parliament as a fait accompli has gone awry owing to stiff resistance from professional associations, trade unions, the Opposition and the concerned public. The govt was determined to sign the MCC agreement more..

JVP objects to Prez Counsels’ appointment

Nov 7 (FT) JVP wrote to the Election Commission objecting to a move by the President’s Office to appoint new President’s Counsels prior to the end of the term of the current President, requesting the Commission to intervene and suspend the process until the upcoming Prez Election had ended. JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake, in his letter, said that less than two weeks after new guidelines were issued for the appointment of PCs, the Prez’s Office had called for applications to be submitted by more..

SEC sues LAUGFS Chairman Wegapitiya for stock market manipulation

Nov 7 (TM) Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) filed action in the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court against Laugfs Gas PLC Chairman W.K.H. Wegapitiya, Laugfs Gas Managing Director Thilak De Silva and stockbroker Thakshila Hulangamuwa. The stock market regulator announced in a press communique that the action has been filed for the commission of the offence of market manipulation, conspiracy to commit more..

A tribute on the eve of his retirement from international competition

Nov 7 (ST) Manjula competed internationally until he was 34 years old, a great achievement and an example to our athletes. I stopped competing in Sri Lanka in 1962 when I was 28 because the Sri Lanka athletics hierarchy and the general population assumed that I was over the hill. It was general thinking in those days that 30 is too old for an athlete, even though Duncan White was 31 when he won Silver at the 1948 Olympics and 33 when he won Gold at the Empire Games. more..