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Hoteliers want more control over promotion funds

Nov 7 (ST) The hoteliers have proposed for reforms at SL Tourism Promotion Bureau and a transfer of control of promotions fund to the Tourism Joint Council as part of a public private partnership. Sri Lanka Tourist Hotels Association President Sanath Ukwatte at 54th anniversary of the association stated, “We propose to reform the Promotions Bureau and to transfer the control of the promotions fund to the Tourism Joint Council in a bold, new and ambitious public-private partnership”. more..

UNP slams SLPP comments on hygiene products

Nov 7 (FT) The UNP severely criticised the SLPP for ridiculing NDF prez aspirant Sajith Premadasa’s pledges to provide free sanitary hygiene products for women who cannot afford them. SLPP politicians, including female representatives, have downplayed Premadasa’s pledges to provide sanitary hygiene products free of charge as topics that should not be discussed at political rallies. more..

Roshan Mahanama supports Sajith’s women’s hygiene policy

Nov 7 (DN) “As a father to 3 daughters, I firmly believe that us men have an important role to play in ensuring our societies and our leaders remain committed to bringing about gender equality in Sri Lanka” senior retired Cricketer Roshan Mahanama said in a post on his Facebook yesterday with reference to the remarks on Padman at election stages. Gender equality should not be limited to social media activism or corporate culture. Gender equality means providing women and girls more..

Mobitel’s sales champions win big at SLIM NASCO 2019

Nov 7 (Island) Mobitel affirmed its position as the leading mobile service provider in the country at the SLIM NASCO 2019 Awards, held on 15th Oct at the BMICH, with Mobitel’s sales professionals taking centre-stage by winning a haul of prestigious sales awards across many categories. Driven by its commitment to offer customers world-class service, Mobitel’s sales staff has been at the forefront of ensuring people from all walks of life can access its mobile services in a convenient manner. more..

SriLankan to operate flights to Jaffna

Nov 7 (DN) SriLankan Airlines will operate flights to the newly opened Jaffna int'l airport soon, said Group CEO, SriLankan, Vipula Gunatilleka. Speaking to Daily News, he said SriLankan plans to lease smaller aircraft for this operation. "The airline will include Jaffna as a stopover destination when operating flights to some of the Indian destinations thus establishing good connectivity between Colombo (BIA) and Jaffna as well." more..

Expert stresses need on ethics in AI

Nov 7 (DN) For any organization, to realize the full potential of Artificial intelligence (AI), it must address all dimensions of responsibility. In today’s increasing transparent, fast moving competitive marketplace, responsible AI is not merely a nice- to- have, but a prerequisite for success, said Dr. Inga Strumke, Manager - AI and Machine Learning at PwC Norway. Speaking on responsible use of AI at the SLASSCOM AI Asia Summit 2019, held in Colombo yesterday, she said more..

Fine opportunity for second string players

Nov 7 (Island) A 15-member Sri Lanka squad was named a couple of weeks back for the Emerging teams Asia Cup 2019 to be held in Bangladesh from the 14th to the 23rd of Nov. The promising left handed batsman Charith Asalanka has been handed duties of leading a talented bunch of young cricketers from the island nation with seven other countries to join Sri Lanka for the tournament. The Test playing nations including SL, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan are set to field more..

Tourist arrivals dip 22.5% in Oct

Nov 7 (FT) Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka were down 22.5% in October and 20.7% over the past 10 months, confirming a continuing downturn following the Easter Sunday terror attacks. According to data released by the SLTDA yesterday, October arrivals were 118,743 as against 153,123 a year ago while the cumulative January to October haul was almost 1.5 million as against 1.8 million in the corresponding period of 2018. more..

Young Sri Lanka spinners mentored by spin great Warne in Brisbane

Nov 7 (IC) Sri Lankan spinners on tour in Australia recently had the opportunity to speak with Shane Warne and had received useful tips from the bowling great, Sri Lanka’s chief selector and team manager Ashantha de Mel said. Warne was a part of the TV commentary team for the T20I series between Sri Lanka and Australia, which the visitors were whitewashed 3-0 in. “We got Shane Warne to speak to our spinners in Brisbane,” de Mel told Sri Lanka’s Daily News newspaper. more..

Eran complains of tweet on orchestrated bombing

Nov 7 (DM) State Minister Eran Wickramaratne yesterday lodged a complaint with the Elections Commission (EC) and the IGP with regard to a twitter message warning of a bomb attack, planned with the knowledge of a leading political party. In a tweet, Minister Wsaid he wrote to the EC Chairman, the opposition and the IGP on the message he received. This message had indicated that a bomb blast had been planned by a certain group with the knowledge of SLPP. more..

'Present JVPers ashamed to talk about brave fight they led against Indo-Lanka accord'

Nov 7 (Island) General Secretary of the PNM Dr. Wasantha Bandara, alleged that the current JVP leadership was frightened even to examine the significant role the party had played against two treacherous pacts- the Indo-Lanka accord in July 1987 and the Oslo arranged Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) in Feb 2002. The one-time JVPer said that the party should recollect its past against the backdrop of the current dispensation deciding to finalise MCC more..

Gotabaya explains the need for a simpler tax system

Nov 7 (AD) Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prez Candidate of SLPP, says he will take steps to remove the unnecessary taxes imposed on the people and introduce a simpler tax system. He says that the complexity of the current tax system has created a situation where people are not paying their taxes. As a result, govt revenue has decreased and corruption has increased, he pointed out. It is an issue for govt officials as well to manage the complex tax system and therefore, the existing tax system more..

Fireside Chat with prez candidates today

Nov 7 (FT) Third in the series of the popular Fireside Chat series will be hosted by the Int'l Chamber of Commerce SL (ICC SL) together with Daily FT today. The session is titled What Lies Ahead: With the Leading Prez Candidates will be held today at the Galle Face Hotel. The leading presidential candidates – Sajith Premadasa, Anura Kumara Dissanayake, Dr. Rohan Pallewatte, Gen. Mahesh Senanayake and Dr. Ajantha Perera – will participate and there will be a special video broadcast more..

MCC signing after polls: Mangala

Nov 7 (FT) Minister Mangala Samaraweera yesterday said the signing of the $ 480 million Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) agreement would be postponed until after the Prez Election, and pledged to present the agreement to Parliament shortly after 16 Nov. Speaking to reporters, he explained that the MCC agreement would be presented to Parliament to be debated & voted on after the Prez Elections. more..

Colombo Dockyard begins construction of Ports Authority vessel

Nov 7 (DN) Colombo Dockyard PLC laid the keel to commence shipbuilding work on the third boat for the SL Ports Authority. The ceremony marked the commencement of the hull construction work of the 19 Meter Fast Pilot Boat. Minister Sagala Ratnayaka was the chief guest at the event. The boat is expected on Aug 13, 2020. President of Onomichi Dockyard Ltd of Japan (parent company of Colombo Dockyard), T. Nakabe, and Chairman DOCK H. Tanaka were present at the event. more..

False: UNP MP says he aspires to sing national anthem in Arabic!

Nov 7 (AFP) A video has been viewed tens of thousands of times in multiple Facebook posts which claim it shows a UNP MP calling for his party’s candidate to be elected as president because then the national anthem would be sung in Arabic. The claim is false; a closer analysis of the video found the MP did not use the Sinhalese word for Arabic in his speech; the MP also denied he used the word in the speech. The 17-second video was published in this Facebook post on Oct 21, 2019. more..

GR, Sabry make strong case for Muslim support

Nov 7 (FT) SLPP prez aspirant Gotabaya Rajapaksa, and his ally Ali Sabry PC, made a very strong and seemingly compelling case for the Muslim community to back the former last week at the packed National Muslim Collective Forum at the Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo, with a key highlight being the continuous applause for various statements made by both Rajapaksa and Sabry. “Under my leadership, I will leave no room for more..

Appeal filed by Hemasiri and Pujith over their detention; CA issues notice on AG

Nov 7 (Island) The Court of Appeal yesterday issued notice on the Attorney General, returnable on November 26. This notice is in respect of an Appeal Application filed by suspended IGP Pujith Jayasundara and the former Secretary Defence Hemasiri Fernando, remanded by a High Court order. Earlier, the Colombo Magistrate granted them bail. The Attorney General filed a revision in the High Court and had the suspects remanded. They have appealed to the Court of Appeal. more..

SB Dissanayake’s security opens fire in Ginigathhena; 2 injured

Nov 7 (AD) The officers in charge of security for MP S. B. Dissanayake have opened fire at a group of individuals in Ginigathhena at around 7.30 pm this evening (6), stated the Police. The shooting incident had occurred when a group in individuals at the Polpitiya area in Ginigathhena had allegedly obstructed the convoy of the parliamentarian. The security officers had then opened fire at the persons causing the obstruction. 2 persons have been injured in the shooting. more..

Corroborate testimony before 16th: Mangala challenges Gota

Nov 7 (DM) Minister Mangala Samaraweera openly challenged SLPP prez candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa to produce the certificate of loss of nationality or renunciation of his US citizenship prior to the prez poll. He said that, in the unlikely event of Gotabaya Rajapaksa emerging victorious at the forthcoming election, we would have an American citizen as Prez and the dubious honour of having the only other more..

Being a strong voice for weak & oppressed

Nov 7 (DM) It is at a time when impunity, human rights, freedom of expression, freedom to dissent, poverty alleviation and reconciliation are being repeatedly highlighted on the campaign trail that we turn the spotlight today on the life and legacy of El Salvador’s Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero and what led to his brutal murder on Mar 24, 1980 at the age of 62 by an unknown assassin in his cathedral at El Salvador. The first anniversary of his canonisation as a saint by Pope Francis more..

Danger: TMCC Compact is down, but not out

Nov 7 (DM) There’s an agreement on the table which could thrust Sri Lanka into an inextricable bind where knot could be tightened at will by another country through multiple means. The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact. The US Govt has been working tirelessly to get it off the ground. Few if any are purchasing the rhetoric about it being a Sri Lankan draft, made by Sri Lankans with Sri Lankan interests at heart. The drafters were operating from Temple Trees. more..

Sri Lanka election pledges threaten fiscal targets under IMF

Nov 7 (Reuters) SL's two top prez candidates are offering election giveaways, from free housing to sanitary pads for women as well as big tax cuts that officials and a credit rating agency are warning would push the country deeper into debt. Former wartime defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and housing minister Sajith Premadasa are in a tight race for the Nov 16 election at a time when the economy is growing at its slowest more..

Youth disillusioned, but determined to ensure their vote counts

Nov 7 (ST) With nearly 1 million new voters set to vote for the first time at a prez election, the enthusiasm among youth voters is high, with a range of aspirations in mind. A cross-section of young voters interviewed by the Sunday Times shared their views on the candidates, their policies and the promises made during their respective election campaigns. Mahin De Silva from Malabe – 1st Year, Faculty of Law, Uni of Colombo: more..

Parties never really recovered from political killings in 80s and 90s

Nov 7 (Island) General Secretary of the Communist Party Dew Gunasekera on Tuesday (5), said that the elimination of those who had been in parliament as well as lower levels of power as a result of conflict in the north-east and south had caused irreparable loss to the country. Whatever the differences, the CP had with Lalith Athulathmudali and Gamini Dissanayake at that time, they received the respect of the electorate and more..

Prez candidate Dr. Ajantha says she saw UK garbage being taken to Aruwakkalu

Nov 7 (Island) The first coal-fired power plant in Norochcholai would cause further environmental hazards in the future, warned Social Democratic Party, President emeritus Prof. Krishan Deheragoda. Speaking at a national dialogue on the environmental policy of the 2019 Presidential Candidates, on Tuesday, he alleged that the useless plant would not have been accepted by any other country. more..

Implied or actual threat Ali Sabry’s address to Muslim community

Nov 7 (DM) As canvassing heightens, party supporters are doing the rounds convincing possible target audiences to cast their votes in favour of their candidates and manifestos. Recently one such canvassing video went viral on social media sparking debate among viewers as to whether its contents were an implied or actual threat. The video featured President’s Counsel (PC) Ali Sabry on the campaign trail supporting more..

Seven including Lt. Colonels indicted over Eknaligoda abduction case

Nov 7 (AD) Attorney General has indicted seven defendants including two Lt Colonels over the abduction of journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda, says the AG’s Coordinating Officer. Accordingly, Lt Colonels Shammi Karunaratne and Prabodha Siriwardena are among the defendants who were indicted by the Attorney General. Eknaligoda, who was a cartoonist, political analyst and journalist, was reported missing on Jan 24, 2010, more..

Video: Two cops of SB’s security detail arrested over Ginigathhena shooting

Nov 7 (AD) The two Police Constables who had opened fire at a group of individuals at the Polpitiya area in Ginigathhena for allegedly obstructing the convoy of MP S.B. Dissanayake have been arrested. Pistols that were used to open gunfire were seized during the arrest, along with three empty rounds of ammunition. Two police constables will be produced before the Hatton MC today for an identity parade. more..

GR inks MoU to uphold rights of differently-abled people

Nov 7 (FT) SLPP prez aspirant Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday signed a MoU with the Sri Lanka Sahakampana Organisation and Joint Front for differently-abled people and pledged, if elected, to uphold their right to equality and inclusion. MoU was signed at Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s office in Mirihana. Following the MoU signing, Rajapaksa launched the manifesto in Braille and as a recording. more..

'Tamil Diaspora can help SL's economy'

Nov 7 (CT) Northern Province Governor Dr. Suren Raghavan stated that the Tamil Diaspora must be given a chance to contribute to Sri Lanka's economy. Raghavan noted that during his visit to the UK he met leaders of the Tamil Diaspora who said that they wish to return to Sri Lanka and requested the Government to give them a chance to live in a united country under democratic rule. more..

TNA pledges support to Sajith

Nov 7 (AD) The TNA today officially announced that all political parties in their coalition have pledged support to NDF prez candidate Minister Sajith Premadasa in the upcoming Prez Election. Issuing a release with regard to the Prez Election 2019, the TNA said the Prez Election, which is contested by a record number of candidates including Minister Sajith Premadasa from NDF, ex-Defence Secretary from SLPP, more..

Dialog Axiata Sept profits down on higher operating costs

Nov 7 (EN) Net profits at SL telco Dialog Axiata fell 14.3% to 1.47 billion rupees in the September quarter due to higher operating costs. Dialog Axiata posted 18 cents in earnings per share for the September quarter, and 1.03 rupees in earnings per share for the nine months ending in September. Dialog Axiata closed trading at 12.50 rupees a share on Wednesday. Revenue for the September quarter grew at a slower 4% from a year earlier to 29.1 billion rupees due to rising competition and more..

Six nabbed over illegal migration attempt to Reunion Island remanded

Nov 7 (AD) 6 SL nationals, whose illegal immigration attempt was foiled by the Navy, have been remanded till the 19th of Nov. The Navy and Chilaw Police last morning held 11 SL nationals attempting to illegally migrate to Reunion Island by sea route. During a search carried out at the estuary of Chilaw, Navy and Chilaw Police had spotted a group of suspected persons. Initial raid had busted 6 persons while the second raid carried out near the sea area in Chilaw had arrested 5 other persons. more..

Vidura Wickremanayake

Angunakolapelessa prison guard nabbed with heroin, cannabis, ecstasy pills

Nov 7 (DM) A prison guard attached to the Angunakolapelessa Prison had been arrested with heroin, cannabis and ecstasy pills by the Police Special Task Force officers yesterday, the police said. They said the contraband was detected while conducting a search operation of persons who entered the prison facility. During the search, more than 10 grammes of heroin, more than 14 grammes of cannabis and 27 ecstasy pills were found in suspect's possession. more..

Of Sajith, Terrorism and Reconciliation

Nov 7 (CT) One tends to be disposed to the idea of agreeing with Sajith Premadasa that his apparently longdrawn-out hesitation in placing proposals for a settlement of the Tamil national issues on the tables of the ITAK and other Tamils as well as a section of the Eastern Province Muslims, has been a result of a long-drawn-out issue over the boards with UNP leaders in collaboration with the concerned Tamil leaders. His non-answer has been the hidden answer couched in his campaign statement more..

'Mahinda applied for MCC grant in 2014'

Nov 7 (DN) UNP MP S.M. Marikkar challenged SLPP candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa to reveal whether he would sign the Millennium Challenge Co-operation (MCC) agreement if becomes President since during the last regime of Mahinda Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka had applied for the MCC in 2014. Addressing media yesterday at the NDF election operating centre in Colombo, Marikkar said MCC agreement is a boon to the country more..

Costa Cruises begins Indian Ocean fortnightly cruises to Sri Lanka

Nov 7 (EN) Italy-based Costa Cruises has kicked of the first of a series of fortnightly cruises to Western India, Maldives and Colombo with the first cruise ship sailing to Colombo carrying 1,739 passengers, agents Aitken Spence said. “Aitken Spence Maritime has been aggressively promoting cruise calls to Colombo and are expecting several cruise operators in the following weeks,” Iqram Cuttilan, Managing Director of the Aitken Spence Maritime sector said in a statement. more..

Thajudeen murder: Case against ex-Senior DIG postponed

Nov 7 (AD) Hearing of the case former DIG Anura Senanayake for concealing evidence on the murder of Sri Lankan rugby player Waseem Thajudeen, has been postponed until Dec 3. The case was taken up before Colombo High Court Judge Wikum Kaluarachchi today. It is reported that the defendant has not appeared before the court for today’s hearing. Attorney-at-law representing Senanayake has told the court that his client has taken sick and currently receiving treatment at a hospital. more..