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Softlogic Restaurants soon to launch its fourth international franchise

Sep 17 (Island) There is no love sincerer than the love of food, and the Chinese have understood this principle better than most. Infused with centuries-old culture and heritage, Chinese cuisine is a way of life - an authentic experience that lingers long after the fact. Softlogic Restaurants (Pvt) Ltd, a fully owned subsidiary of Softlogic Holdings PLC, once again takes pride in sharing with Sri Lankan food connoisseurs yet another delectable gastronomic experience, celebrated across the globe more..

Sri Lanka banks vulnerable to property market downturn: Fitch

Sep 17 (EN) Sri Lankan banks are vulnerable to a property market downturn given increased lending to the sector and a weak ability to absorb losses, Fitch Ratings has said in a new report. Fitch Ratings said it sees Australia and New Zealand as most exposed to property stress, while Sri Lanka, Mongolia and Vietnam face elevated risk due to low loss-absorption buffers. “Accommodative monetary and economic policies should support the sector, but can also aggravate leverage,” more..

Lotus Tower: Appoint commission to probe Rs.2 bn loss: Bandula

Sep 17 (DM) Responding to allegations made by Prez Sirisena on the Lotus Tower project, Opposition MP Bandula Gunawardana today asked the Prez to appoint an independent commission to investigate the matter. He said the President could direct the commission to submit a report within two weeks and take appropriate action based on the report. “If a Rs.2 billion has been misappropriated by a Chinese company as more..

State institutes become colonies of the Minister: Anura

Sep 17 (AD) National People’s Power presidential candidate Anura Kumara Dissanayake says that state institutes cannot be converted into profitable institutes without liberating them from politicization. He pointed out that a suitable team of professionals must be utilized to convert state institutions into profit-making organizations. Instead, the state institutes have become places that offer employment opportunities for those who help Ministers’ election campaigns, he said. more..

Baddegama PS Chairman arrested over assaulting two men

Sep 17 (DM) Baddegama Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman (SLPP) Anura Narangoda was arrested today for allegedly assaulting two men on Sept 12, police said. They said the chairman was arrested after he surrendered to the Wanduramba police. A group of men including the PS Chairman who were returning from a wedding had allegedly assaulted the two victims following a heated argument. The injured men were admitted to the Karapitiya Hospital. more..

SL risks higher fuel costs from Saudi attack

Sep 17 (EN) Sri Lanka could face higher oil import costs if elevated prices from a drone attack on a Saudi oil facility persists, though the country does not directly import crude from Saudi Arabia, Petroleum Minister Kabir Hashim said. “We buy our petroleum requirements from the Singapore spot market and term contracts we have with various suppliers mostly coming from the Emirates,” Hashim said. more..

Lankan lawyer among world women peace builders

Sep 17 (Island) Jeevanee Kariyawasam, lawyer and independent consultant is among world women peace builders. Jeevanee Kariyawasam, who is active in the field of peace building and reconciliation as a trainer and consultant, is being featured among Stories of Exceptional Women Building Peace around the World by UN Secretary-General’s Peace building initiative. She was instrumental in developing a pioneering model of Multi-Party Dialogues. more..

Video: Fire breaks out in Dematagoda apartment complex

Sep 17 (AD) A fire has broken out inside an apartment complex at Aramaya Road, Dematagoda, according to the Police. The fire had broken out at around 3 pm this afternoon (17). Firemen of the Colombo fire brigade extinguished the fire along with the Dematagoda Police officers and residents of the area. Dematagoda Police had launched investigations based on information received that a fire had broken out on the 5th floor of the flat. No casualties have been reported in the fire. more..

PM faces party challenge in prez battle

Sep 17 (AFP) SL's ruling coalition became embroiled in a power struggle Tuesday as two challengers came forward to oppose PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to be candidate for a looming prez election. Wickremesinghe had been the clear frontrunner to be the UNP candidate until parliament speaker Karu Jayasuriya and deputy party leader Sajith Premadasa threw their hats into the ring. more..

Kanjipani Imran further remanded for threatening cop

Sep 17 (AD) Notorious drug trafficker Mohamed Najim Mohamed Imran alias Kanjipani Imran has been further remanded. The order was passed by the Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne when the case was taken up today (17). Based on a request by the police, the magistrate ordered prison officials to produce suspect Kanjipan Imran to the Govt Analyst’s Department to record voice samples. Subsequently, the magistrate postponed the case to the 20th of September. more..

Video: I will not keep clinging like an octopus: Sajith

Sep 17 (DM) Minister Sajith Premadasa today said that if the public made a request that he is not suitable for politics and should retire he would not keep clinging to things like an octopus. “If the public tell me to go home today. I will go home tomorrow. I will not cease to exist without politics. This is not something I cannot do without. But I must clearly say and believe that I am on top of the programme to do a dedicated, people-friendly and progressive work for the people. more..

Highest number of houses Champika Ranawaka bluffing: PHU

Sep 17 (CT) MP Udaya Gammanpila alleged that the statement made by the Minister Champika Ranawaka that the highest number of houses in the history of Sri Lanka had been given to the people by him is a complete lie. He further claimed that he could state with great responsibility that Ranawaka had not initiated any housing project. Gammanpila also said that during the period of eight years from 2011 to 2019, more..

Moderate Karu: Best choice for the UNP & SL

Sep 18 (CT) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, the most respected senior statesman in the UNP, announced this afternoon that he was ready to run for the presidency, with the expressed intention of abolishing the Executive Presidency within a limited period. The abolition of the Executive Presidency has been one of the most notable campaign promises in SL since 1998. Most ironically, every candidate that has promised to abolish the Executive Presidency has emerged winner at more..

Orphaned 19A; Cut-throat duumvirate

Sep 18 (CT) Nobody now admits full paternity of 19th Amendment; everybody says “Well I may have had a bit of a hand but others mucked it up”; “Me? Who me?” and so on. Constitutional lawyers disagree about what it adds up to. Some declare the next (second) president will be powerless, ceremonial in all but name. He can have no ministries assigned to him, not even defence. His powers of appointment to key positions, even service chiefs will be circumscribed. more..

'I have a plan to uplift the country'

Sep 18 (CT) Minister and UNP National Organiser Daya Gamage, says at the time when everyone was saying we could not set up a govt, the only person who said it could be done was Daya Gamage. "I have a plan to uplift the country," he said. Q: What is your readiness for the Prez Election? A: I believe that we need no special preparation for the Prez Election. This govt has carried out a large amount of work already. more..

Sajith faces reaction, yet decision persists...

Sep 18 (CT) It is held that political correctness does not legalise tolerance. It only organises and legislates, hatred. It challenges one's timidity. It can hamper good breeding, good intentions and even mask up brooding dangers to others. It's often defined as seeking to minimise offence to gender, racial, cultural, disabled, aged, or other identity groups. But on the other hand, it could be doing the very opposite. Obviously then, what's missing is that vital piece of sincerity, truthfulness. more..

Efficient municipalities

Sep 18 (ST) Pedris Appo (short for Appuhamy), a retired agriculture expert who does farming, was amused on Thursday morning. “I say, did you see that advertisement in the Sunday Times last week on a Municipal Council offering repair services for a payment?” he asked during a morning call. “No, really,” I replied, adding: “Let me check and call you back.” Rummaging through the newspaper pile, I found the Sunday Times and turning the pages came across an advertisement on Page 17 more..

'Politicians don’t need special skills'

Sep 18 (TM) Social Entrepreneur and Ambassador for Democracy Earth Eranda Ginige asserted that there should not be any career politicians. Q: Should an elected head of state have to be a career politician? A: Of course not. As per the Constitution, any citizen can apply. So I think to answer your question, we have to decide what a career politician is. Personally, I think, considering politics, managing the affairs of the state as more..

World surfs in Sri Lanka

Sep 18 (DN) The upcoming So Sri Lanka Pro professional surfing event set for Arugam Bay, popular for its magnificent surf, has been extremely well received by professional surfers from all over the world. The international professional surfing competition is to be held in Arugam Bay from Sept 23 to 29. With entries still coming in, already around 120 surfers from 24 countries such as Australia, Indonesia, France, Venezuela, Israel, the USA, Portugal, NZ, Mexico, Spain, Great Britain, more..

Editorial: Karu dips toe in

Sep 18 (Island) Prez aspirant, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, has apparently dipped his toe in, before throwing his hat into the ring. He has reportedly expressed his willingness to run for president for the sole purpose of abolishing the executive presidency! Now that UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa has launched his prez election campaign prematurely and is cranking up pressure on the party leadership to name him as UNP’s prez candidate, why Jayasuriya is treading so cautiously is more..

Face the Nation

Removal of the Vice Chancellor of Uni of Jaffna and politicization of higher Education

Sep 18 (SO) When the decision to sack Professor Ratnam Vigneswaran from the post of Vice Chancellor of the University of Jaffna surfaced in the public domain in May this year, many academics and well-wishers of the University were shocked by this unprecedented development. Prior to the announcement, the former Vice Chancellor was not even called for an inquiry by the University Grants Commission or any of the authorities responsible for higher education in the country. more..

A tale of two Central Bank Governors

Sep 18 (Island) With lime light shed on the Central Bank (CB) over the recent years because of the allegations against its former Governor Arjuna Mahendran (AM) with regard to the Treasury Bond Scam (TBS), the writer out of curiosity wanted to find out the origin of the CB. During his search, he also came across interesting information about its first SL Governor, N.U. Jayawardena (NUJ). It is a black mark in the history of the CB that NUJ, who helped establish the CB was interdicted for no fault more..

SL projects 0.5mn tonne rice surplus in 2019

Sep 18 (EN) Sri Lanka is projecting a 535,000 metric tonne rice surplus for 2019, after two seasons of good harvests, though the island’s paddy cultivators do not produce standard export grades of the grain unlike tea, rubber, coconut and spice farmers. 3.07 million metric tonnes of paddy was produced in the main Maha season, which can be milled into 1.94 million metric tonnes of rice. In the Yala minor cultivation season, more..

No need for a secret ballot: UNP MP

Sep 18 (RN) UNP MP Chandima Gamage said UNP would not need to resort to a secret ballot to select its presidential candidate. The MP was responding to a question about a letter UNP presidential hopeful Sajith Premadasa had written to the party leadership seeking a secret ballot in the event there is no consensus on his candidacy. Speaking to the media at Temple Trees today, Gamage said it wouldn’t come to that as, even as recently as yesterday, no one has opposed Premadasa’s nomination. more..

Selection of UNP 2019 prez candidate: Civil society intervention underscores turmoil

Sep 18 (Island) National Movement of Social Justice (NMSJ)-led civil society grouping is of the view that UNP leader and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe should pave the way for Speaker Karu Jayasuriya to contest the 2019 presidential election. Having backed Maithripala Sirisena’s candidature at the January 2015 prez election, the civil society grouping threw its weight behind Speaker Jayasuriya. The move should be examined against the backdrop of Speaker’s role in thwarting more..

Tough CB rules for dealers in post bond-scam era

Sep 18 (ST) Central Bank (CB) has issued a set of strict guidelines to dealers in treasury operations of commercial banks and specialised banks in the post bond-scam era that cover ethical transactions and includes whistle blowing provisions. The guidelines issued on Aug 29 to the market, according to bank dealers, contain new and old provisions made in the immediate aftermath of the bond scam which called for ethics, more..

Only Hiruni for World Championships despite several occupying top rankings

Sep 18 (Island) Sri Lanka’s participation at next week’s IAAF World Championship will be limited to one athlete despite several local athletes occupying relatively higher positions than in the past in the IAAF World Rankings. The US based marathoner Hiruni Wijeratne is the only Sri Lankan to have qualified for the biennial event which will commence in Doha, Qatar next week. Saman Kumara, the Athletics Association of SL statistician said that the number of participants at this year’s edition more..

IWF World Weightlifting C'ship 2019: Gomes, Lakmal and Isuru in action today

Sep 18 (CT) Three weightlifters, including Commonwealth Games Bronze medallists Hansani Gomes and Chathuranga Lakmal, will be in action today at the IWF World Weightlifting Championship 2019 in Pattaya, Thailand. Gomes, who became country's first female weightlifter to win a Commonwealth Games medal, will compete in the 49kg weight category, while Lakmal, who won Sri Lanka's first medal in 2018 Commonwealth Games, will compete in 61kg weight category. more..

Thirimanne injury scare as Sri Lanka prepare for Pakistan

Sep 18 (DN) Sri Lanka suffered an injury scare when its one-day captain Lahiru Thirimanne suffered a pain in his back while training ahead of the tour to Pakistan and his condition is currently being monitored by the physio. “There was a slight concern about Thirimanne, he had some pain on one of his discs, that’s what the physio said,” said team manager Ashantha de Mel. “But so far they have said that it is nothing serious more..

China’s Hainan Group to set up rubber zone in Kegalle next year

Sep 18 (DM) The first specialised free trade zone for rubber-based value-added exports of China Hainan Rubber Industry Group Co. Ltd will be set up in Kegalle next year. “We are negotiating with China’s Hainan Group to set up rubber zones in Sri Lanka. I am very keen that we set it up in Kegalle. Hainan Group held extensive discussions with Sri Lanka’s private sector. They are planning to invest between US $ 50-100 million per venture,” Plantation Industries Minister Navin Dissanayake said. more..

Giving school cricketers their due recognition: ANCL leads the way

Sep 18 (DN) School cricket is the bedrock of cricket in Sri Lanka. It is from these very foundations that the country has produced world class cricketers who have rubbed shoulders with the rest of the world and won accolades and world titles and made us a proud nation. For years Sri Lanka’s school system has been the envy of all other nations and if at any point we have faltered it is the poor domestic club system that is in place and one which keeps on changing like the proverbial Lankan weather more..

Reconciliation is an absolute necessity for economic development: Mangala

Sep 18 (AD) Minister Mangala Samaraweera stressed the importance of economic development and stated that national reconciliation is an absolute necessity in this regard. “Reconciliation is an absolute necessity for economic development. There is no way of harnessing our potential as a modern, stable, prosperous nation, except to celebrate the diversity of our country as a multi-ethnic, more..

NDB Bank eyes private placement to boost capital

Sep 18 (EN) NDB Bank Plc is planning a private placement of shares among foreign and domestic investors to raise capital as the lender is on track to become a systemically important bank. “We have a capital raising plan which we are currently working on most likely through placement arrangements,” CEO Dimantha Seneviratne said. NDB is adequately capitalized with Tier I capital of 9.02% of risk weighted assets at bank level against a requirement of 8.5%, and 10.21% at group level. more..

New Monetary Law Act viewed as a must before elections

Sep 18 (Island) New Monetary Law Act in the works should be passed before elections in order to have a more rules based approach in monetary policy, Dr. Razeen Sally, keynote speaker at the 69th anniversary of the Central Bank said last week. Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy also addressing the same forum said the Monetary Law established in 1950s has served its purpose extremely well, but time has come to modernise the Monetary Law. more..

Minister Jayawickrama Perera confesses to being a dummy

Sep 18 (Island) Minister Gamini Jayawickrama Perera said that the then Chief Justice and Head of the Mahapola Education Trust Fund (METF), Justice K. Sripavan had not objected to the agreement between the Mahapola Education Trust Fund (METF) and SL Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT), to institute an independent body, in 2015. Perera said that at no occasion had Sripavan opposed the agreement. more..

Army Commander commends soldiers who rescued drowning family

Sep 18 (SLA) Presence of mind, bravery and considerateness for others showcased audaciously by two Kilinochchi-based soldiers of the 5 (V) Mechanized Infantry Regiment (MIR), having rescued a drowning mother and her two children were feted awarding special Commendation Plaques and Commendation Certificates by none other than the Commander of the Army himself after inviting them to the Army Hq. Lance Corporal D.G.S Amarasiri and T.G.J.P Ariyarathne more..

Sri Lanka to call for expressions of interest to revive The Finance Company

Sep 18 (EN) Central Bank has decided to call for expressions of interest to find potential investors to revive the failed The Finance Company after repeated efforts till now failed. A statement said The Finance Company (TFC) was severely impacted by the failure of a number of financial institutions within the Ceylinco Group in 2008. “Since then the financial status of the company deteriorated gradually and it currently operates with severe liquidity issues, which need to be addressed immediately,” it said. more..

Cabinet approves Bill to deal with ISIS terror

Sep 18 (DM) The Cabinet is reported to have endorsed a new Anti-terrorism Bill to deal with the latest threat of terrorism in the wake of the Easter Sunday attacks by terror groups linked to ISIS. The new Bill has taken into consideration the recommendations made by a Cabinet Committee headed by Foreign Affairs Minister Tilak Marapana and also comprising of Ministers Talatha Atukorale and Champika Ranawaka. more..

FR filed to stay Elpitiya PS election

Sep 18 (DN) Three voters eligible to vote at the Elpitiya Pradeshiya Sabha election yesterday filed a Fundamental Rights petition in the Supreme Court seeking an interim order suspending the operation of the gazette notification to hold the election for the Elpitiya Pradeshiya Sabha on October 11. The petitioners sought an order restraining the respondents from holding an election for the Elpitiya Pradeshiya Sabha based on the nomination called for in 2017. more..