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CCTHA unites to promote sustainable tourism in Sri Lanka

Nov 21 (FT) Colombo City Tourist Hotels Association (CCTHA) announced its pledge to eliminate the use of single-use plastic to preserve Sri Lanka’s appeal as a top tourist destination. The CCTHA which consists of 37 hotels has reached an agreement to identify key items within their hotel operations that can be substituted by sustainable products, for a unified approach to resolve the need for single-use plastic. The CCTHA’s sustainability committee has formulated a short and long term plan more..

16th annual National Olympic Academy from Nov 22

Nov 21 (DN) National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka (NOCSL) will conducts its 16th National Olympic Academy Session in Bandarawala from 22-25 Nov. NOCSL has been involved in many academic programmes for the past three decades educating the Sri Lankans especially the youth on the Olympic Values of Excellence, Friendship and Respect through different educational programs. With the ideal of promoting Olympism among the youth – The Future Adults. more..

SLPP to continue FCID and bond scam investigations

Nov 21 (FT) The FCID will not be dissolved by a Govt headed by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, SLPP said, insisting that it would take forward ongoing probes on the bond scam as well as investigations into other corruption allegations that surfaced over the past four years. SLPP MPs speaking at the first press briefing to be held after the appointment of Prez Rajapaksa, said the party would continue with the FCID as they believe more..

Michelin star rated Crystal Jade restaurant opens at One Galle Face Mall

Nov 21 (Island) Personifying truly classic and authentic Chinese cuisine, designed to ensure guests enjoy the finest sensory and culinary experience, Sri Lanka’s very first internationally reputed, Crystal Jade Hong Kong Kitchen restaurant was ceremonially unveiled at Shangri-La’s One Galle Face Mall. Gracing the grand occasion on the opening of this international chain of restaurants in Sri Lanka was Ashok Pathirage, chairman and Managing Director, Softlogic Holdings PLC more..

THASL seeks new President’s support to rebuild tourism sector

Nov 21 (DM) The Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) yesterday congratulated President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on his successful election as the seventh Executive President of Sri Lanka and sought his fullest support to revive the crisis-hit industry. “Since the end of Sri Lanka’s civil war in 2009, the tourism industry has helped the economic revival of our country. Tourism has helped generate billions of dollars in investment and has created over 500,000 jobs throughout the country. more..

Media hails Indian invite to Gotabaya

Nov 21 (Island) India’s quick initiative to invite new SL President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to visit New Delhi on Nov 29 has been generally welcomed by the Indian media. "It was wise of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to pay a visit to Colombo and reach out to the new president on Tuesday," the Hindustan Times said in an editorial. However, it added: "But India must draw clear redlines on two issues. The first is China. more..

Crescat Boulevard gets a facelift

Nov 21 (ST) The Crescat Boulevard, adjacent to Colombo’s Cinnamon Grand hotel, will be revamped in a few months. A property belonging to the John Keells Group, the shopping mall and food court at Crescat will be shut down for a major re-haul by next February, a John Keells Holdings top official told the Business Times. He said that last year’s Easter Sunday attack had impacted the profitability of the mall and had pressed them to explore more options for this property at the heart of Colombo. more..

U-19 Junior Asian Rugby Championship: Matt Lee set to be appointed Head Coach

Nov 21 (CT) Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) is planning to appoint the current national XV's and sevens coach, New Zealander Matt Lee, as the Head Coach of the junior team for the U-19 Asian Rugby Championship to be held next month from 11 to 14 in China. Lee's appointment may deprive a local schools' rugby coach waiting in the wings of an opportunity to coach a team for an international tournament. Earlier, SLR had a policy of giving this chance to a junior rugby coach who has performed well more..

Sampanthan urges President to respect verdict of the Tamil people

Nov 21 (Island) Leader of the TNA R. Sampanthan while congratulating President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on his election victory urged the latter to "respect the very substantial democratic verdict of the Tamil people of the North and East." Sampanthan said, "It is my belief that he will do so. It is only then that we can bring about a sense of oneness and the feeling that we are all equal citizens of one country and more..

MAGIS Cup gets bigger and better

Nov 21 (Island) The Jesuits in Sri Lanka have provided the young basketball players of the island a fine opportunity by conducting an annual basketball tournament called MAGIS Cup. While the lowest age category Sri Lanka Schools Basketball Association caters to is under-15 age level, children who play the game at a younger age have little opportunities to showcase their skills. In that context the Under-14 tournament the Jesuits are conducting is a godsend for young basketball players. more..

TNA to meet President soon

Nov 21 (Island) A group of TNA representatives would meet President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in the coming days, TNA MP Selvam Adaikalanathan said. Adaikalanathan, who leads the TELO, welcomed President Rajapaksa’s remarks that he would treat all communities equally and resolve the problems of the people. He said that the representatives of all parties, constituting the TNA, will meet the President seeking to resolve the problems of the Tamil community. more..

Video: PM Modi has open-minded approach towards foreign policy: Namal

Nov 21 (NDTV) Relations between Sri Lanka, India and China were once misinterpreted and PM Narendra Modi has a progressive approach towards foreign policy, Namal Rajapaksa, son of SL PM Mahinda Rajapaksa, said. Mahinda Rajapaksa, who led the island nation between 2005 and 2015, is perceived to have a tilt towards China and there were concerns about its effect on New Delhi's ties with Colombo. more..

UNICEF rings market Opening Bell to celebrate 30 years of UNCRC

Nov 21 (FT) UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) yesterday rang the Opening Bell to commence trading at the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and to mark World Children’s Day. The UNCRC, known as the international law on childhood, came into existence on 20 Nov 1989, and has since become the most widely and rapidly ratified human rights treaty in history, signed by 194 countries more..

Kariyawasam denies stinting support for Premadasa

Nov 21 (FT) UNP General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam denied that the party had stinted in its support of DNF prez candidate Sajith Premadasa and sidestepped allegations of the misuse of campaign funds. Issuing a statement in response to remarks made by Deputy Minister Nalin Bandara, he said: “The main operations of Premadasa’s campaign were handed over to the operations office on Vauxhall Street and Tissa Attanayake was appointed the Head of Operations.” more..

Tax, duty relief package planned to kick start investments in Sri Lanka

Nov 21 (EN) A package of investment relief to identified sectors which will also encourage the inflow of funds held abroad is being planned to kick start investments, officials of Prez Rajapaksa’s party said. “There is a tax phobia (badu beethikawa) in this country, which is holding back investments,” former trade minister Bandula Gunewardene said. “We want to free people fro that phobia that and encourage investments. more..

SLFP to sack CBK

Nov 21 (CT) Senior Vice President of SLFP, Professor Rohana Lakshman Piyadasa said that the task of appointing new electoral organisers to the Party has been entrusted to him by the Chairman of the Party, former Prez Sirisena. He added that former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, who had famously organised a SLFP protection rally at the Sugathadasa Stadium, in the run-up to the Prez Poll, while flouting the Party constitution, and several other party organisers, more..

Case against Basil postponed

Nov 21 (CT) Gampaha HC Judge Nimal Ranaweera, on 19 Nov, fixed further hearing of the State finance misappropriation case against former Minister Basil Rajapaksa and Thirukumaran Nadesan, for 20 March next year. AG has indicted Rajapaksa and Nadesan with having purchased a 16-acre land from Mapitigama, Malwana, in Dompe adjacent to the Kelani River, where they had built palatial house with a swimming pool and a farmyard thereby contravening provisions contained in more..

Muslims urged to give up religion-based politics, align with major parties

Nov 21 (Island) Western Province Governor A.J.M. Muzammil said that Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s overwhelming victory at the prez election should compel the Muslim electorate to review its stand ahead of the forthcoming parliamentary election. Declaring that an influential section of the Muslim community backed the Gotabaya Rajapaksa campaign, Muzammil said that he was deeply disappointed over the response received more..

CBK resigns as Chair of the Office for Reconciliation

Nov 21 (TM) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga resigned from her post of Chairperson of the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR). ONUR was set up with the commitment to achieve national unity and reconciliation. This was a key feature of January 2015 Presidential campaign. To give effect to this commitment, the Govt of Sri Lanka established the ONUR. The resolution was moved by the PM; approved by the Cabinet and established under President. more..

Mahinda becomes PM for the 3rd time today

Nov 21 (RN) Mahinda Rajapaksa will be sworn in as PM to head an interim govt by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at 1:00 pm at the Presidential Secretariat, his Media Secretary Rohan Welivita said. This is the first time in Sri Lanka’s history that the President and the PM are siblings. The new Prime Minister will assume office at the Flower Road Prime Minister’s Secretariat around 3:20 pm. This is the third time in his life that Mahinda will become Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. more..

RW out, MR in today

Nov 21 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe will resign from his post this morning, paving the way for Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa to be sworn in as the new Premier later in the day. Wickremesinghe will officially inform President Gotabaya Rajapaksa of his decision this morning. While UNF, headed by Wickremesinghe, commands the majority in Parliament, the decision to step down was taken as more..

New Prez assures a SL for all Sri Lankans

Nov 21 (DM) Today’s column joins millions of fellow Sri Lankans in congratulating and conveying our good wishes to SLPP candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa on his unprecedented election victory obtaining 52.25% or 6,924,255 of the total votes polled. A non-politician elected Prez for the first time in SL’s history; he took oaths before Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya as the 7th Executive President of Sri Lanka at a ceremony held in the vicinity of the historic Ruwanweli Maha Seya on Monday. more..

Racism the loud claimsand small print

Nov 21 (DM) Scratch a Sinhalese and you find a racist, I’ve heard my Tamil friends say. In jest of course. Scratch a Tamil and you find an Eelamist, I’ve heard my Sinhalese friends say. In jest of course. Scratch a Muslim and you find a Jihadists, I’ve heard people say. In jest of course. Perhaps it is not a laughing matter. Rivers have sources, trees have roots and perceptions have histories or rather are produced by a healthy complement of history, myth and legend. more..

India, China and Pakistan woo new SL Govt

Nov 21 (DM) SL’s President elect Gotabaya Rajapaksa is now planning to undertake his first official visit abroad to India at the end of this month. Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa, in his address to the nation after being sworn in on Monday, articulated that his foreign policy would be neutral, and Sri Lanka would not get entangled in any super power rivalry in the region. He addressed the audience in Sinhala, but referred to more..

Katuwapitiya 7 months since Easter attacks

Nov 21 (DM) Sri Lanka entered the 21st century amid a devastating civil war which took thirty years to end. But just a decade later, Sri Lankans were exposed to another terror attack on April 21 which shattered the country’s emerging peace. Post-war, Sri Lanka showed resilience and harmony. But how would Sri Lanka cope after the Easter attacks? To find out, Dailymirror visited Katuwapitiya. This was one of the worst-hit places more..

Reconciliation efforts in tense Digana

Nov 21 (RN) The multi-ethnic and multi-religious region of Digana, Pallekelle and Balagolla in the Kandy district is a tinder-box with simmering ethnic tensions ready to explode into racial riots, a RepublicNext team found when we visited there some weeks ago. But in this fractured community, there are many who are working towards healing. The tension in this largely peaceful and prosperous region rose in February last year. more..

Video: New Cabinet to be sworn in tomorrow

Nov 21 (AD) SLPP spokesman MP Dullas Alahapperuma says that the Cabinet of Ministers of the new govt will be sworn in tomorrow. He revealed this while speaking to reporters after participating in the party leaders’ meeting held at the Parliament complex today. It was initially reported that the new Cabinet would be sworn in today after Mahinda Rajapaksa takes oath as the new PM, however it has now been moved to tomorrow. more..

Central Bank objects to Fitch analysis, says loose

Nov 21 (EN) SL’s central bank has objected to a statement by Fitch Ratings which warned that budgets may be hit by stimulus spending and tax cuts saying assumptions were loose. The central bank said the rupee has strengthened, stock have risen and foreign investors have been buying rupee bonds. “There is a high likelihood that the aforesaid positive market sentiments could strengthen further in the period ahead, more..

Defence Secretary instructs Police to act on persons disrupting peace

Nov 21 (AD) New Defence Secretary Major General (Retired) Kamal Gunaratne says there should not be any undue fear among the people of the country of any political revenge, abduction or disturbances can be caused by the political changes that have taken place in the country following the recent Prez Election. The new Defence Secretary stated that the Acting IGP has been instructed to work with extra vigilance more..

Chemical residue tests for Sri Lanka tea exports in German, Taiwan markets

Nov 21 (EN) Sri Lankan tea exporters are facing new hurdles in the form of tough tests for chemical residues in markets like Germany and Taiwan after overcoming similar problems in the Japanese market, a top exporter has said. Rohan Fernando, chairman of HVA Foods which markets tea under its Heladiv brand, said exporters were forced to take precautions by having their teas tested by foreign laboratories. more..

Tussle over appointment of Opposition Leader

Nov 21 (DM) More than 40 MPs have handed over a document to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya requesting him to appoint NDF candidate Sajith Premadasa as leader of the Opposition, MP Ajith P. Perera said today. “We handed over a letter to Speaker Jayasuriya requesting him to appoint Mr. Premadasa as Leader of the Opposition and this was in addition to the letter handed over by UNP General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam more..

Massive crowd to meet Sajith at Vauxhall Street

Nov 21 (RN) Thousands of people from every corner of the island, from all walks of life, were gathered today at the NDF election office in Vauxhall Street, Colombo, to affirm their support to defeated prez candidate Sajith Premadasa. Despite the humidity and generally uncomfortable atmosphere, people were seen eagerly and enthusiastically waiting in queues to meet Premadasa as he greeted supporters more..

Video: Mahinda Rajapaksa sworn in as new PM

Nov 21 (AD) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has been sworn-in as the new PM of Sri Lanka, before newly elected President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The event, graced by many other distinguished guests, is taking place at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo. New PM Mahinda Rajapaksa will shortly assume duties in his new post. Former President Maithripala Sirisena and former PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, more..

Air India over Colombo

Nov 21 (FT) Amidst the busy politicking in November an unexpected appearance of quite a number of packets of air over the country and in particularly over Colombo caused some distractions and elicited few warnings of a different type. This is about the smog-laden air shed in Delhi hitting our Capital through spreading – that is the reasoning so far – and the resultant awakening to a new reality. Global air circulation is nothing new as that is a norm not an exception. more..

Wooing Gotabaya

Nov 21 (CT) From threats to wooing, the different dimensions of India's foreign policy towards Sri Lanka. It was 32 years ago on 4 June 1987, Premier Rajiv Gandhi's Indian Air Force (IAF) invaded SL air space in a show of strength, virtually forcing President J.R. Jayewardene to stop his successful blitzkrieg of destroying Tamil terror in his military operation codenamed Operation Liberation launched nine days earlier on 26 May 1987. That also resulted in Jayewardene despatching his Mahaweli more..

Tharaka Balasuriya

The Geopolitical consequences of the Sri Lankan election

Nov 21 (CFR) Sri Lankans went to the polls Nov 16 to elect a president, and former Secretary of Defense Gotabaya Rajapaksa was declared the winner on Nov 17. SL faces significant national security challenges, and has become a focus of geopolitical competition. Ambassador Teresita Schaffer, a retired career member of the U.S. Foreign Service, was U.S. ambassador to SL (1992-1995), U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for South Asia, the first woman director of more..

HIP and NAITA partner to skill up Hambantota yout

Nov 21 (Island) The Hambantota International Port (HIP) entered into a partnership with the National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority (NAITA), to provide training programmes for youth in areas adjacent to the port. The program has been developed with a view to ready trainees for possible employment in port and allied industries. NAITA is no stranger to the HIP as their global partner CMPort has worked with them since 2012 for their Colombo operation CICT. more..

Who’s going to be Leader of the Opposition, Ranil or Sajith?

Nov 21 (RN) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya is facing an unprecedented situation in the Parliament. There are two contenders for the position of the Leader of the Opposition, former PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and failed prez candidate Sajith Premadasa. In a brief note released to the Media this evening the Speaker said that he had received two letters with regards to the selection of the Leader of the Opposition. more..

Sri Lanka Telecom to build cricket ground

Nov 21 (EN) Sri Lanka Telecom and Sri Lanka cricket will build a cricket playground in a 36 acre land belonging to the telco in a suburb of the country’s capital. The playground will be build in Malabe. It will be used to play provincial and first class matches and visiting emerging int'l teams, SLC said. Under an agreement between SLT and SLC, the telco will prepare the ground. SLC will build cricketing facilities. There will be five centre pitches, side wickets for training, modern stadium more..