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Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources: A nation rich in biomes

Nov 2 (FT) This series is based on business leader Dhammika Perera’s recently revealed Economic Growth Strategy and Action Plan to increase GDP Per Capita from $ 4,000 to $ 12,000. The document outlines goals and action plans for 23 ministries and today’s column focuses on the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources. Goals: Ensure a clean, safe and a healthy environment for present and future generations. Conserve the vitality and diversity of nature. more..

Making the most of DRS

Nov 2 (Island) "The game seems determined to charter new courses in a variety of directions – not necessarily for the better. To decide the winners of a World Cup final – after it was twice tied – by counting the number of boundaries scored by each side, was pure farce. In principle, this places a slogged, vulgar boundary hit in higher esteem than a well judged, safely achieved single. How much better would it have been had the organisers ruled that a tie was a tie, neither side won or lost more..

Stop the Age of Broken Promises!

Nov 2 (Island) The manifestos of the three front runners are now out with hardly any serious discussion on the substance of these electoral junk papers. Public meetings are held by the two lead players at locations that obstruct traffic, and show the cheering crowds, with purple or green flags in flutter, and the Swan and Pohottuva symbols paraded for cheers. The third man with his compass symbol must surely take readings from it as to where more..

Election promises: An insult to people’s intellect

Nov 2 (DM) An utterly-frustrating situation has arisen with the two main contenders of the Nov 16 prez election vying on each others platforms, freely throwing promises at the people which are very clear to be unrealistic. In fact, most of the promises regurgitated by the duo are an insult to the intellect of the common man, as they seem to deem people to believe anything they utter. If these promises were made by JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, who is contesting under National People’s more..

World’s first carbon -sensitive environmentally friendly election campaign

Nov 2 (FT) Launching the world’s first carbon-sensitive environmental friendly election campaign, SLPP has set up a system to measure carbon emission released from vehicles and electricity that is used during its political campaigns, to compensate for Carbon Dioxide (CO2) pollution by planting trees in each district. Under this program, the total carbon released to the atmosphere from all vehicles bringing politicians, security officials, and supporters to rallies will be diligently recorded, more..

All-Island School Games 2019: Bolt like Sithum shines with Four Golds

Nov 2 (CT) Sithum Jayasundara from Sir John Kothalawela MV Kurunegala once again showcased his mesmerising sprinting ability with record breaking runs and finished the day with four gold medals in the All-Island School Games 2019, at the Sugathadasa Stadium yesterday. 15-year-old who trains under Sunethra Kodithuwakku, had already bagged the gold medals for the 100m and 400m with new meet records of 48.73s in the 400m more..

JICA, Ministry of Megapolis sign MoU for LRT project

Nov 2 (DN) Japan Int'l Cooperation Agency (JICA) recently, signed a MoU with Ministry of Megapolis & Western Development to provide technical assistance for the Light Rail Transit (LRT) project with the objective of empowering women in the public transportation sector and making it the first time woman-friendly public transport system in SL. Finance, Senior Project Specialist, JICA, Namal Ralapanawe said that women participation in the labour force in SL is only half of that of men more..

Janashakthi rings the bell at CSE to celebrate 25th anniversary

Nov 2 (Island) Marking its milestone 25th year, Janashakthi Insurance PLC rang the ceremonial bell to commence trading at the Colombo Stock Exchange, Friday in the presence of the Janashakthi Insurance Chairman, Prakash Schaffter, CEO, Jude Fernando, Board of Directors and leadership team of Janashakthi Insurance, as well as dignitaries from the CSE. Inaugurated in 1994, Janashakthi was the first-ever specialised Life Insurer in SL. Since then, company has been changing the status quo more..

Good Bad Ugly

SLPP requests EC to block Govt opening projects

Nov 2 (FT) The SLPP yesterday commended the Election Commission (EC) for taking action against election violations and creating an environment where a free and fair prez poll could be held and requested that the Commission prevent the Govt from holding opening ceremonies of development projects before 16 Nov. MP Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said the EC had acted impartially to prevent election violations that could have influenced people ahead of prez elections. more..

Voting on Nov 16: Recent overseas returnees should also show passport

Nov 2 (DN) The Election Commission said that electors who returned from abroad need to bring the passport in addition to the National Identity Card when they come to cast their vote. The Commission in a press release stated that this measure was to establish the electors’ identity with a view to preventing vote rigging. “The polling cards of electors who have gone abroad have been posted to the addresses of their normal residence mentioned in the Electoral Register 2018. more..

EC stalls Police over ex-FCID Chief inquiry

Nov 2 (FT) The Election Commission (EC) yesterday wrote to Acting IGP Senior DIG C.D. Wickramaratne requesting him to consider postponing an inquiry against the spouse and son of former FCID head Ravi Waidyalankara scheduled for next week after they sought EC intervention to get the case delayed on grounds that it could influence the Prez Elections. Asela Waidyalankara, son of the former FCID head, wrote to the EC on more..

SLT Digitastic launched at Infotel

Nov 2 (DM) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), successfully launched the first ever SLT Digitastic Digital Lifestyle Expo at Infotel 2019. SLT Digitastic will be held in parallel to Infotel between Nov 1st to 3rd the BMICH. The expo was ceremonially opened by Minister Ajith Perera and SLT Chairman P.G. Kumarasinghe Sirisena in the presence of SLT CEO Kiththi Perera, COO Priyantha Fernandez, Chief Marketing Officer Prabhath Dahanayake and several other SLT officers. more..

Muslims are with Gotabaya today: Ali Sabry

Nov 2 (DM) ‘The Rajapaksas are the most closest to the Muslims among the present lot of political leaders in the country and Muslims are equally with Gotabaya Rajapaksa today, Ali Sabry PC said. Speaking at the event The Turning Point organised by the National Muslim Collective in Colombo on Thursday, he said the UNP or the West would never look after Muslims and that the SL Muslims expected stability, national security, communal harmony, progress and prosperity in the country. more..

'Port City now fully Sri Lankan owned'

Nov 2 (DN) The UDA on behalf of the Govt would shortly call for tenders from investors to construct an international school, hospital and an International Conference Hall at the Colombo Port City premises, Minister Champika Ranawaka announced yesterday. He said the future development work of the Colombo Port City would be carried out according to the tri-partite agreement. He said the govt has been able to develop more..

SLTC launches School of Computing and IT

Nov 2 (Island) Sri Lanka Technological Campus (SLTC) recently launched the School of Computing and IT, at an event held at the Mobitel Innovation Center, Trace Expert City, Colombo 10. The School of Computing and IT will set the standard of computing and information technology education with high industry engagement in learning to craft experts in cutting edge technologies who will innovate with meaning and purpose. The official ceremony was attended by guests of honour, more..

Conspiracy to split Muslim votes: Bathiudeen

Nov 2 (CT) Addressing a New Democratic Front rally in Vavuniya on 30 October, Minister Rishad Bathiudeen said Sri Lanka needs a leader who can eradicate poverty. "Today, a group in the South is destroying mosques, kovils, churches and shops in the name of Buddhist leaders. No one can prevent our victory when Premadasa gets 90% of minority votes. There is a conspiracy to boycott Premadasa and get the Muslim vote. Another group says that we should vote for an alternative in this Election. more..

Video: No room for extremism and terrorism under my rule: Gotabaya

Nov 2 (AD) SLPP prez candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa says that he believes the people want to change the political culture of this country. Speaking during a conference organised by National Muslim Collective, he said that towards the latter stage of the previous govt a certain fear was created within the Muslim people in SL. “It is no secret that the Muslims decided to remove that govt then due to that suspicion,” more..

Sri Lankan Search and Rescue Team meets counterpart in Indonesia

Nov 2 (FT) A 3-member SL delegation visited Jakarta on 15 Oct to formulate an Action Plan on Search and Rescue cooperation, and met with high-ranking officials of the National Search and Rescue Agency of Indonesia (BASARNAS). The delegation was headed by SL Coast Guard Deputy Director General Commodore YMGB Jayathilaka and included SL Navy Director (Naval Operations) Commodore PDS Dias, Embassy of SL Minister Counsellor (Defence) Commodore more..

Video: Sajith can’t talk about catching thieves when they are on his stage: Anura

Nov 2 (AD) Prez candidate of the NPP Anura Kumara Dissanayake says that NDF prez candidate Sajith Premadasa cannot talk about catching thieves when the whole team is on his stage. He stated that if SL is to be developed an administration devoid of stealing and wastage is required and that only they can provide such a governance. Dissanayake said that they have individuals who will be better finance ministers than any of the individuals who have held that position so far in the country. more..

Video: Sajith reveals qualification required to join his govt

Nov 2 (AD) NDF prez candidate Sajith Premadasa says that the politicians’ time of luxury and comfort will come to an end after he wins the election on Nov 16. He said that politicians traveling abroad on official state visits have to return back to the country with resources. “Those foreign tours must have results,” he said, adding that in the future politicians can engage in foreign visits on taxpayers’ money only if those visits have results. more..

I’ll initiate Earth Science University: Sajith

Nov 2 (DM) NDF prez candidate Sajith Premadasa said he would initiate an earth science university under his govt to teach subjects related to the environment, wildlife conservation and climate change. He said this at an event held at the Taj Samudra hotel to sign the Environmental Charter with environmentalists and NGOs to focus on the moves to be taken to protect the environment in his future govt. Mr. Premadasa pledged to launch the university following a request made by more..

Search operations in TN for IS sympathizers

Nov 2 (DN) National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday (31) carried out search operations at six locations in Tamil Nadu in connection with the alleged plot by an ISIS-inspired group to murder leaders of Hindu organizations in the ISIS Coimbatore module case and also for the links of the terror group’s suspects with the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka in April this year. An NIA spokesperson in New Delhi said that the probe agency carried out searches at the houses of the associates of more..

EC urged to suspend Prez House, MCC deal pending Nov 16 poll

Nov 2 (Island) Election Commission acknowledged that a complaint regarding recent cabinet decisions to allow Prez Sirisena to retain the President’s House at Paget Road after his retirement and to sign an agreement with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) to obtain USD 480 mn in funding had been received. Assistant Election Commissioner Suranga Ranasinghe in response to a query by The Island said that more..

Centre for Environmental Justice says MCC is a Trojan horse

Nov 2 (Island) The agreement with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) will most likely lead to a massive takeover of lands from local communities, Executive Director for Centre for Environmental Justice, Hemantha Withanage told a Seminar on Land issues titled Ten Years of People’s Land Struggles on Thursday. He said that MCC had signed a number of agreements with African nations and small farmers in all those countries had seen their livelihoods devastated. more..

GMOA showing fake anti-MCC letter by Cardinal: Cardinal’s office

Nov 2 (DN) Archdiocese of Colombo confirmed that the letter being circulated in social media bearing the signature of his Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith and dated Oct 31 was fake. GMOA, an organisation that has been known to oppose the MCC agreement, shared this fake letter on its official Facebook page. Meanwhile, Minister Mangala Samaraweera, reacting on Twitter to the GMOA’s post bearing the fake letter, stated that “the sinister campaign by SLPP Prez candidate Gotabaya more..

IMF completes review on Sri Lanka program, warns on budgets

Nov 2 (EN) The IMF has completed a review on a program with Sri Lanka despite missing a revenue target, saying fiscal discipline critical as the island heads for presidential elections with candidates promising subsidies and tax cuts. “Sustaining fiscal policy discipline remains critical to strengthen resilience and support growth, as important downside risks remain, amid heightened external and domestic uncertainty,” more..

When journalists are targeted, society pays a price

Nov 2 (DM) Today the United Nations marks the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists and Secretary-General António Guterres in a message says, when journalists are targeted, societies as a whole pay a price. Without the ability to protect journalists, our ability to remain informed and contribute to decision-making is severely hampered. Without journalists able to do their jobs in safety, we face the prospect of a world of confusion and disinformation. more..

Robespierre, Racism and the PSC Report

Nov 2 (CT) Maximilien Robespierre hoped he'd be the man who would see the end of the rule of an excessively destroying King of France, and use any method that toyed with his mind to not only get rid of the King, but of multiple thousands of his followers, as the guillotines went up all around France and his supporters in thousands took swords into houses, all aimed at getting rid of the evil within. The bloodletting never ended for the simple reason that at a lower level today the extremist social more..

'I will revamp the Nation's security apparatus'

Nov 2 (CT) SLPP Prez Candidate, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, says the present regime, which is short-sighted and incompetent, had damaged the stability of this country. He stated, the country can only be stabilised, and its security could only be ensured, under a Govt led by him. He made these remarks, addressing a SLPP rally in Kantale. Speaking further, he said: "The people who live in these areas had lived in fear and anxiety more..

'If you can't debate alone, bring your family'

Nov 2 (CT) "If you are afraid to come alone for a debate, come with your family. If that is also not possible, come with the 40 thieves. I'm ready to face them," said NDF Prez Candidate, Sajith Premadasa. He said this while attending a rally in Embilipitiya. Sajith Premadasa added: "Embilipitiya Kolonne is a historic area. My father launched the plan to provide lunch and uniforms to schoolchildren from Embilipitiya. more..

Public transport must be revamped: Anura K.

Nov 2 (CT) NPP Prez Candidate, Anura Kumara Dissanayake, said in Kalutara on 18 Oct, "Certain vehicles which are not seen in some European countries are seen in the capital of our country. A vehicle produced this year can be seen in the city of Colombo within a month's time. At the same time, a large crowd of people in our country, climb onto the lorry chassis and the bus body and travel. I am not saying that these luxury more..

'SL must prepare better for T20 World Cup'

Nov 2 (CI) Interim coach Rumesh Ratnayake believes Sri Lanka must have better preparation on fast pitches prior to next year's T20 World Cup in Australia if they are to be competitive in the tournament. Sri Lanka were beaten out of sight by Australia in the three-match T20I series that concluded on Friday after coming to Australia with high hopes following a series whitewash of the world No.1 team Pakistan last month. more..

Prez race: Ordinary people expect better economic prospects and national security

Nov 2 (DM) This writer devoted several hours in the past fortnight to communicate with a cross-section of Sinhala media personnel in the Southern, Central, Sabaragamuwa, North Western and North Central Provinces of Sri Lanka. A few journalist colleagues in Colombo helped to put me in touch with them. Our discussions were focused on the upcoming presidential election and about how chief prez candidates were likely to fare. more..

Corruption, wastage within state sector continues unabated: COPE

Nov 2 (ST) Severe corruption and wastage within the State sector have been revealed by the COPE, Report submitted to Parliament this week. The Report contains details of COPE investigations into 23 State institutions from March 1-Oct 26, 2018. Among the institutions investigated are the RDA, CPC, CEB, People’s Bank, NWSDB, SLPA, State Pharmaceuticals Corporation, State Engineering Corporation and the SL Tea Board. more..

Video: Govt imposed new tax on luxury vehicles, importers’ association says

Nov 2 (AD) The govt has imposed a new tax on luxury vehicles, says Vehicle Importers Association of SL (VIASL). Chairman of the Association, Indika Merenchige said the got is spreading a false statement that the luxury tax levied on motor vehicles is not subject to small cars. On Oct 29th, Finance Ministry announced that, as proposed in Budget 2019 by Minister Mangala Samaraweera, in amendment to Finance Act, more..

Mangala challenges MR: Show any clause detrimental to country in MCC

Nov 2 (DM) Referring to the statement made by opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa over his concerns regarding the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera challenged the opposition leader to show whether the content of the MCC was detrimental to the country. Minister said the opposition leader was making an effort to level allegations against the govt that the signing more..

Video: Rejected Tamil extremists’ proposals for the sake of country’s sovereignty: Gota

Nov 2 (AD) SLPP’s frontrunner for the upcoming prez election, Gotabaya Rajapaksa assures that any form of extremist terrorism will not be allowed in Sri Lanka. Speaking at a public meeting held in Pannala, Rajapaksa also emphasized that he will not let anyone attempting to segregate this sovereign country. “This is the reason we had to reject the proposals made by the extremist Tamil political parties,” he said. more..

DNF coalition to ensure Sajith's victory

Nov 2 (CT) The New Democratic Front (DNF), led by the UNP and the Organisation to Protect the SLFP, led by former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, joined 30 political parties and over 28 civil society organisations to form the DNF coalition, in a bid to ensure the victory of the DNF Prez candidate, Minister Sajith Premadasa. The Coalition includes the SLMC, Democratic People's Front, Tamil Progressive Alliance, Jathika Hela Urumaya, National Unity Front, more..