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Foreign debt & external financial vulnerability

Oct 1 (ST) SL’s foreign debt increased to US$ 54.2 billion in the first quarter of this year from US$ 52.3 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018. This is over 60 percent of the country’s GDP. If the foreign debt is not brought down to a manageable level in the next few years, country’s external financial vulnerability would be unsustainable. The country could be extricated from this debt trap only by a reduction of the trade deficit, improvement in the balance of payments and prudent foreign borrowing. more..

All are UNP candidates!

Oct 1 (CT) There are two UNP candidates at this prez election. One is an endorsed, blessed, supported and unanimously and fully protected and petted candidate of the UNP called Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The second is the whining, crawling, ladder climbing, plank balancing, snotty nosed, wailing, ranting and raving pet lap dog of Kili Maharaja, aka, Sajith Premadasa. Sajith is the last minute token candidate of the UNP launched via United National Front (UNF). more..

Fighting flames: Is Sri Lanka doing enough to prevent wildfires?

Oct 1 (Roar) Deep in the forests of the Amazon, wildfires burn fiercely. The magnitude of the damage is yet unknown, but so widespread over northwest Brazil, that the fire was visible from space. The massive forest has burned for over seven weeks continually now, sparking a global conversation on heightened carbon dioxide emissions affecting the climate. As one of the world’s largest carbon dioxide sinksmore..

Civil society can play decisive role in forthcoming election

Oct 1 (CT) Just as in the prez election of 2015 which led to the unexpected defeat of incumbent president Mahinda Rajapaksa, this prez election of 2019 is witnessing the rise of civil society into the position of key influencer. The role of civil society becomes more influential when political change emerges as a possibility. At the 2015 presidential election a coalition of civil society organisations and public spirited individuals led by the Venerable Maduluwave Sobitha Thero took more..

Impossible possibilities

Oct 1 (ST) One day a journalist raised an interesting point in a conversation with me over the phone: “It has taken 72 years from Independence for Sri Lanka to reach $4,000 per capita income level. How many more years would we need to become a rich country?” When I began to ponder the point he raised, it became even more interesting. I remembered that 72 years from 1948-2019 means almost three generations! The time has been long enough for a person who was born in 1948 more..

Political hand at the root of strike wave?

Oct 1 (SO) A wave of strikes has hit the streets seriously affecting the general public and paralyzing the State machinery. Transport workers, health services, teachers and principals, administrative service workers and nonacademic staff were the main actors in these strikes which commenced earlier this month. A Cabinet meeting that was called by the President on Friday, Sept 27 night to address the problem, more..

Is 19A a toothless Tiger?

Oct 1 (CT) It came up after the surprise change of Govt on 26.10.2018 when Maithripala Sirisena tried to get rid of Ranil Wickremesinghe; it popped up again after the Easter Sunday Massacres. And here it is once again as we face a Prez Election. It is none other than the 19th Amendment, which is perhaps the most controversial piece of legislation that SL has ever passed. Ironically it was brought to nullify the 18th Amendment, which threw away the bar on the term limits one may serve as the Prez more..

Cracked mirror; Buddhism & Politics in SL

Oct 1 (CT) The public opinion is that politicians in general, have almost sucked the life out of this country. In doing so, among other things, some of them have not spared even harnessing the noble Buddha Sasana to achieve their selfish ends. This country is reeling in misinterpretation, misinformation, convoluted facts, rigged narratives on anything and everything these days. Rarely do we see politicians who are sincere in expressing their opinions. more..

බොරැල්ල ආයුර්වේද වෛද්ය ආයතනය - කෝප්

The Column soars, while sores bleed the economy

Oct 1 (Island) On the 16th of Sept 2019, Prez Sirisena, opened in Colombo the 19th tallest Column in the world. From what he spoke at the ceremony, it was evident that the structure had many uses. He also revealed that the loan agreements had been signed in 2012, when Mahinda Rajapaksa was President and Sirisena was an enthusiastic minister thereof. The idea for the project and the first rough designs must have been available at that time, which Sirisena was privy to. more..

Editorial: Curiouser and curiouser!

Oct 1 (Island) The govt has urged the public to ensure its presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa’s victory, in November, to enact a new Constitution, among other things. One is puzzled. It had a two-thirds majority in Parliament, besides having the Executive President on its side, from Jan 2015 to Oct 2018, but failed to fulfil its pledge to introduce a new Constitution. There was a national govt in power, but the UNP, which promised constitutional reforms, did not make a serious effort to grab more..

Export prices of Ceylon spices to soar

Oct 1 (TM) Following sustained lobbying by spice manufacturers the Govt is expected to obtain geographical indications (GI) within the European Union which could increase the prices of Ceylon spices in the global market at least by five times. Department of Export Agriculture said that four cultivations were selected to obtain the GI requirement, out of which, laboratory works on cinnamon was already sent to the EU. more..

Australia's fielding excellence sets up series win

Oct 1 (CI) Australia women produced a dominant display in the field as Sri Lanka Women were overwhelmed in the second T20I at North Sydney Oval. The captain, Chamari Atapattu, could not match her heroics of the previous night as SL managed just 8 for 85 which Australia knocked off with more than 10 overs to spare. On a chilly evening under lights, Sri Lanka were never in the contest after electing to bat. Tayla Vlaeminck struck in a wicket-maiden opening over and more..

The Friends become first local cycling club to be sponsored

Oct 1 (ST) The Friends Cycling Club became the first, and only, one of a kind in local cycling to receive a sponsorship from a reputed corporate giant, when they received the backing from Ceylon Agro Industries Limited or Prima Group. The brand Prima Stella Yoghurt will be incorporated with The Friends Cycling Club in their future endeavours, beginning from this month at national cycling events to be held in SL. The partnership was announced at a press briefing held at Kelaniya, more..

Pakistan beat Sri Lanka in historic ODI

Oct 1 (CI) Babar Azam struck an imperious first century on home soil to lead Pakistan to an imposing total, before Usman Shinwari and company had Sri Lanka five down inside 11 overs, to essentially seal a comfortable victory. Sri Lanka fought in patches, most notably through the record sixth-wicket stand worth 177 between Shehan Jayasuriya and Dasun Shanaka. But they lost too much ground in the rest of the match more..

Fearless Michael never minced his words

Oct 1 (DN) Michael de Zoysa who passed away on Sunday, a day before his 73rd birthday was a man of many parts connected to cricket. The son of former Sri Lanka cricketer and cricket commentator Lucien de Zoysa, Michael, a former Thomian was not only a pillar of SSC cricket but also contributed towards the development of the country’s cricket in a big way in the capacity of holding many positions in the executive committees of Sri Lanka Cricket and as manager of the Sri Lanka team. more..

Sierra Leone says energy, agriculture projects welcome by SL firms

Oct 1 (ST) Improving the business setting and wooing foreign investors are top priorities for Sierra Leone as it endeavours to rid itself of over-dependency on an import-led economy. Investing in the country’s future in order to assure the country’s large youth population that a better future lies ahead, with better schools and improved economic opportunities, the new govt, led by President Julius Maada Bio, has taken a series of initiatives to facilitate private and foreign investment. more..

Kumar Sangakkara assumes office as MCC president

Oct 1 (DN) Today is a red-letter day for Sri Lanka and especially those connected to sports largely cricket when a son of our own soil Kumar Sangakkara assumes the position as the first non-British president of the historic Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC). He will hold this exalted post for one year till Sept 30, 2020. MCC’s outgoing president, Anthony Wreford in nominating Sangakkara as the next president, said: more..

First-ever Ceylon Tea global campaign in Russia a success

Oct 1 (FT) Sri Lanka Tea Board yesterday said the first-ever Ceylon Tea global promotional campaign, which kicked off in Russia last week, was a massive success. It was the first time in the 150 years of Ceylon Tea that the Govt has conducted an international marketing blitz of this magnitude. The Sri Lanka Tea Board launched its global campaign in Moscow at the 28th WorldFood Moscow exhibition on 24 Sept, one of the largest exhibitions serving the global food and drinks industry and more..

Cooray century enables SL ‘A’ make powerful reply

Oct 1 (DN) Opener Sangeeth Cooray hit a superb century and shared a second wicket stand of 165 with Kamindu Mendis as Sri Lanka A made a powerful reply to Bangladesh A’s first innings of 360 on the second day of the first 4-day unofficial test played at Hambantota yesterday. Cooray hit 15 fours in his 151-ball innings of 104 and Mendis finished unbeaten on 79 off 141 balls (8 fours) as SL A ended the day on 204 for two wickets, to trail by 156 runs going into the third day today. more..

Railway strike continues

Oct 1 (DM) The railway trade unions yesterday decided to continue their strike action as the discussions held with the subcommittee failed, the Railway Professional Trade Union Alliance Convener Janaka Fernando said today. He said the decision was taken following the meeting held with the subcommittee appointed to look into salary anomalies issue last evening. Cabinet sub-committee had decided to present demands more..

Dr. Harsha Cabral joins HNB Board

Oct 1 (FT) Top lawyer Dr. Harsha Cabral PC has been appointed as a Non- Executive Independent Director at Hatton National Bank PLC. Dr. Cabral is a President’s Counsel in SL with 31 years’ experience in the field o f Company Law, Intellectual Property Law, Commercial Law, Securities Laws, International Trade Law and Commercial Arbitration. He has been a President’s Counsel for 14 years and commands an extensive practice in the Commercial High Courts and the Supreme Court of SL. more..

‘Sri Lanka executes Rs. one trillion construction work annually’

Oct 1 (DN) Sri Lanka has executed Rs. one trillion worth of construction work annually during the past three years, said Minister Champika Ranawake. He was speaking at the Chamber of Construction Industry SL organized Build SL Housing and Construction Int'l Expo 2020 launch, scheduled for next May. “Half of SL’s growth should be attributed to the contributions made from the construction industry.” Ranawake said that most of the construction activities were seen in more..

PM has no right to summon govt officials to Temple Trees: GL

Oct 1 (RN) Accusing PM Ranil Wickremesinghe of illegal overreach, the SLPP charged today that the higher echelons of the Yahapalana govt had placed undue pressure on law enforcement. In response to a controversial interview given by former Solicitor General Suhada Gamlath to a Sunday newspaper on the Avant Garde floating armoury case yesterday, SLPP Chairman Prof. G.L. Pieris said that more..

Young political guns to speak up on Thurs

Oct 1 (FT) Youth leaders of leading political parties will converge together for the first time to have their say on future of Sri Lanka at a unique forum organised by the Colombo Uni MBA Alumni Association and the Daily FT. Ahead of the hotel contested Presidential Elections the forum titled Future of SL: View of political NextGen on 3 Oct at 6.30 p.m. at The Kingsbury will feature five young political leaders. They are Eranga Gunasekera from JVP, Janagan Vinayagamoorthy from DPF, more..

Customs seize Ecstasy pills worth Rs.10mn

Oct 1 (DM) A parcel containing nearly 2,000 ecstasy pills (methamphetamine or ice) tablets worth over Rs. 10 million was seized by Customs officers at the Central Mail Exchange (CME). 1,961 pills were found in a parcel addressed to a 24-year-old male at Modera as a gift from Belgium. The suspect who received it at the CME with the parcel collection receipt had been arrested at the time of receiving the parcel. The suspect said he was unaware that the parcel contained ecstasy pills more..

Ven Rathana Thera presents Bill Seeks to amend MRO, MMDA and KMDA

Oct 1 (CT) MP Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera has presented a private Member Bill to Parliament to amend the Marriage Registration Ordinance (MRO), No. 19 of 1907, the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA), No. 13 of 1951 and the Kandyan Marriage and Divorce Act (KMDA), No. 44 of 1952. He said, citizens of all ethnicities should live under one law, adding that many problems were created due to various more..

Meeting organised to discuss elephant deaths

Oct 1 (NR) State Minister of Wildlife Ranjith Aluvihare says a meeting will be held to discuss the unnatural deaths of 7 elephants in Hiriwadunna, Habarana this evening. The discussion will get underway under the participation of President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Minister of Wildlife John Amaratunga. The talks will focus on ongoing investigations into the deaths of the elephants and rumours circulating over the untimely deaths. more..

Sri Lanka among priority countries to receive World Bank’s Early Years Fellowship

Oct 1 (FT) Sri Lanka is among 28 priority countries whose professionals are invited to apply for the Early Years Fellowship provided by the World Bank under its Early Learning Partnership (ELP) program. Govts are increasingly seeking advice and support from the World Bank to increase investments in the early years and improve the quality of early childhood services. Early Learning Partnership launched the Early Years Fellowship in 2017 to support govts and World Bank teams to more..

TNA lays down conditions for backing Premadasa

Oct 1 (Island) The TNA, yesterday, asked the UNP to reveal what its prez candidate, Sajith Premadasa, would do to fulfil what it called the aspirations of Tamils in the N&E and his plans to introduce a new Constitution, with more devolution, if it was to back him. TNA had put forth this demand when its representatives R Sampanthan & M.A. Sumanthiran met PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and Ministers Premadasa, Malik Samarawickrama more..

Govt revenue slumps 4.8% Jan-July

Oct 1 (CT) Govt revenue and grants during the first seven months of this year declined 4.8%, according to data released by the Central Bank, while State expenditure rose 11%. CB pointed out that during the period Jan-July 2019, Govt had received revenue and grants worth Rs 1.03 trillion, down 4.8% compared to Rs 1.08 trillion received during the same period of last year. However, State expenditure during the period under review widened 11% to Rs 1.72 T from Rs 1.54 T a year ago. more..

Power generation plans in disarray

Oct 1 (CT) Govt's plan for electricity generation, namely the Long-Term Generation Expansion Plan 2020-2039, is poorly constructed and even contradicts itself, pointed out ICTA Chairman, Prof. Rohan Samarajiva. He noted that despite the document defining Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as the solution for long-term power generation, it also included plans using coal, whereas the proposed Sampur coal power plant was discontinued due to environmental concerns. more..

Gota candidacy on knife’s edge ahead of nominations day

Oct 1 (FT) A 3-judge bench of the Court of Appeal (CA) will commence hearings on a writ challenging the SL citizenship of former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa running for president, just three days ahead of the nominations deadline for the 16 Nov poll. A Divisional Bench of the Court of Appeal headed by its President Justice Yasantha Kodagoda will hear the case tomorrow and on Thursday. more..

Dr. Rohan Pallewatta makes deposit for presidential poll

Oct 1 (AD) Businessman Dr. Rohan Pallewatta from Abiman Lanka Alliance has also placed his cash deposit for the Prez Election 2019. He will be contesting from the National Development Front (NDF). The General Secretary of the party and several others joined Dr. Pallewatta on this occasion. Apart from Dr. Pallewatta, eight other prez contenders, namely Ven Aparekke Punnananda Thera, Jayantha Ketagoda, Siripala Amarasinghe, Dr. Ajantha Wijesinghe of Socialist Party more..

SLFP CC meeting ends without consensus over symbol

Oct 1 (DM) The SLFP working committee meeting, which was held this evening, ended with no agreement on the symbol that will be used if they were to support the SLPP prez candidate, SLFP Spokesperson MP Weerakumara Dissanayake said. The Executive Committee and the National Working Committee of the SLFP chaired by President Maithripala Sirisena, convened today to make a final decision on the common symbol if they were to back the SLPP candidate. more..

Video: Gotabaya responds to allegations against his citizenship

Oct 1 (AD) The Prez aspirant of SLPP, former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa emphasizes that the certificate pertaining to his dual citizenship, the passport and the NIC were obtained legally. He stated this responding to the allegations laid against his SL citizenship while addressing a special convention organized by the Desha Vimukthi Janatha Pakshaya. The event was held under the patronage of more..

Commander Conundrum and Peacekeeping

Oct 1 (DM) UN Department of Peace Operations has suspended SL Army contingents serving peacekeeping operations in some countries in response to the appointment of Lt Gen Shavendra Silva to the position of Commander of the SL Army. There were two versions of the UN position on the matter. On Sept 25, the UN Spokesman Farhan Haq said in New York that “In light of this appointment, the UN Department of Peace Operations is, therefore, suspending future SL Army more..

Sajith should shun vagueness in his policies

Oct 1 (DM) Last week, UNP Working Committee nominated Sajith Premadasa as the prez candidate of the Grand Old Party, and effectively, of the UNP led alliance. Mr Premadasa’s candidature may not impress those who wanted a more forthright choice with a degree of policy substance. But, alas, there was no such in the competition. One who could have somewhat made a difference, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya pulled out, ostensibly, after Mr Premadasa assured him of Prime more..

Bandula Jayasekara appeals for help

Oct 1 (Island) Senior journalist Bandula Jayasekera, diagnosed with Myelodyplastic Syndrome, a type of blood cancer in July this year appeals for assistance to undergo a lifesaving medical procedure in Singapore. Here Bandula himself explains his plight: "Doctors say the cure is a bone marrow transplant in Singapore because the transplant for this blood cancer (MDS) is considered a very high risk procedure more..