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Saudi to fund US $50 Mn for fully equipped medical faculty at Sabaragamuwa Uni

Sep 18 (AD) Saudi Fund for Development SFD has agreed to provide a concessional loan amounting to Saudi Riyal 187.5 Million (USD 50 million) to establish a Medical Faculty in the Uni of Sabaragamuwa. The balance USD 20.46 million will be borne by the GOSL. Accordingly, Loan Agreement was signed today, 18th September at the Ministry of Finance by Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunge, Secretary more..

Sri Lanka Industry activity continues growth in July

Sep 18 (EN) Activity in Sri Lanka’s industry sector grew 2.1% in July 2019 from a year earlier, with a growth in manufacture of paper and paper products, the state statistics office said. Index of Industrial Production of the Census and Statistics Department grew to 108.4 points in July 2019 from 106.1 points a year earlier. Industrial activity had also grown 1.1% in July from a month earlier. An index value over 100 means industrial activity grew compared to the base year of 2015. more..

SLFP-backed candidate will have Northern vote: Angajan

Sep 18 (RN) Accusing the Govt of betraying the Tamil community, UPFA Jaffna district national list MP Angajan Ramanathan said any candidate who has the backing of the SLFP will secure the Northern vote. Speaking to reporters in Colombo today at the SLFP headquarters, Ramanathan said Tamil people are frustrated by the ruling UNP and the opposition TNA. The MP accused PM Ranil Wickremesinghe of lying to the people in the North about solving their problems while enjoying TNA support. more..

Chinese FM to inspect major Chinese projects

Sep 18 (CT) Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, who is on a sudden visit to Sri Lanka, will inspect the Colombo International Container Terminal and the Colombo Port City (The Sales Gallery Office). He was expected to visit the Lotus Tower at 9 a.m. today but it is alleged that he has cancelled the visit as it has become a controversial issue after Prez Sirisena said that Rs 2 billion in Lotus Tower funds have gone missing, more..

More than just her good karma

Sep 19 (DM) Sandya Salgado’s Not Just My Good Karma is partly an autobiography and partly an account of a very different era in advertising in the country. Which of these I should be reviewing in this space, I don’t know. I haven’t met Sandya, I have only heard of her, but her prose affirms much of what others have said of her. Tempestuous, brash, frequently assertive, never really hostile, she has, to put it diplomatically, experience. If she says what she thinks and thinks what she says, more..

Origins, rise & irrelevance of SLMC

Sep 19 (CT) Andreas Johansson’s Pragmatic Muslim Politics: The Case of Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, Switzerland: Springer, 2019, is the latest piece of academic research on SLMC, based on Parliamentary Hansards, official party documents and information received from interviews with members of SLMC hierarchy. Because earlier researches did not adequately deal with the role of Muslim politics of the party, in the sense of how its representatives discursively used the pool of more..

Performing the pain away: An alternative form of therapy in Sri Lanka

Sep 19 (Roar) The use of the arts as a medium for healing is a practice embedded in SL culture, although you may not have been aware of it. Ancient ritualistic practices, such as the shanthikarma, thovil and kolam, could be interpreted as forms of therapy seeking to rid people of evils, trauma and other negative energy. For this reason, actor and drama therapist Tehani Chitty (38) doesn’t believe that what she does is all that new. more..

Questions about Speaker’s candidacy for the Presidency?

Sep 19 (CT) It is rather unfortunate that Mr. Karu Jayasuirya has issued a statement (17 Sept), as the Speaker, ‘that he is willing and ready to contest the prez election, on the request of some organizations and individuals, including Maha Sangha, however on certain conditions and objectives.’ The conditions and objectives are obviously political. The statement is on the Speaker’s parliamentary letterhead and he has signed as the Speaker! It is not that he cannot legally contest the prez election as more..

Transport corridors and elephant corridors

Sep 19 (ST) I was in the audience, participating at a public seminar on Evaluating Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact grant to SL, organised by the Pathfinder Foundation. A few participants from the audience expressed their concern, commenting on the MCC Compact grant. One of the participants gave his reasons to oppose: “Proposed Colombo–Trinco transport corridor is going to cut across our elephant corridors, disturbing the country’s wildlife”. There was laughter in more..

Health Minister, GMOA at loggerheads again

Sep 19 (CT) Tussle between doctors of the GMOA and Minister Rajitha Senaratne took a turn for the worse with the union recently demanding that his civic-rights be revoked. They accused the Minister of being responsible for the drug shortage and being involved in malpractices with regard to drug purchasing. The union has left no stone unturned to prove their case during the past few months starting with alleged drug shortages more..

Behind the walls of 'super’markets

Sep 19 (DN) On the other hand, the story of a young girl who works at a supermarket does not make anyone happy. If I put it in her own words, “Miss, we do many more shifts than are assigned to us. We are always short of staff. We have to beg to take a day’s leave. Usually, our superiors do not let us take leave. We work 6 days a week. We hardly have time for ourselves or our families. But we do not earn an adequate salary.” If this is their story, how can we expect them to work with enthusiasm? more..

Editorial: Corruption and awareness

Sep 19 (Island) The CIABOC has launched a countrywide campaign to raise public awareness of its five-year anti-corruption plan and hotline (1954). The CIABOC seems to be labouring under the delusion that one of the main obstacles, in its path, is lack of public awareness of bribery and corruption. The CIABOC is preaching to the choir, so to speak. The ordinary people are sufficiently aware of the heavy toll bribery and corruption have taken on society. more..

Anura Kumara Dissanayaka

Rethinking Land and State with Hasbullah and Geiser

Sep 19 (DM) Why hasn’t there been a powerful peasant movement in SL? Are the rural people governed by an ethnicised Sinhala state? Is political patronage the reason for changes in land use in the countryside? What kind of research is necessary to understand rural people’s economic, social and political challenges? These are some of the questions addressed in ‘Negotiating access to land in eastern SL: Social mobilisation of livelihood concerns and everyday encounters with more..

Should all govt buildings reflect the cultural base of the country? Yes, they should

Sep 19 (Island) The cultural traditions and values of a country are precious and should be protected. It is evidence of how the different countries and its people responded to the individual vicissitudes of climate, the belief systems and the aspirations of its people. These eventually evolved as a symbolic and cultural value that is unique to that particular country. Sri Lanka being at the centre of the trade route between China and the Mediterranean regions was subjected to many influences more..

German brands positive on Sri Lanka economic outlook

Sep 19 (FT) Nearly 150 German brands were represented at the sixth edition of the Top German Brands in SL organised by Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Sri Lanka (AHK SL) with the support of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany yesterday. The event saw 147 German Brands being recognised for their valuable contribution which was held under the patronage of Minister Malik Samarawickrama, more..

Ruhunu Economic Development Corporation Bill gets shot down by SC

Sep 19 (FT) Supreme Court has determined that proper procedure was not followed when placing the Ruhunu Economic Development Corporation of SL Bill in the Order Paper of Parliament. “In terms of Article 121 and Article 123 of the Constitution, that seeks the provisions of Clause 16 and Clause 17 of the Bill are in respect are matters set out in the Provincial Council list and the Bill has not been referred by the President to every Provincial Council for the expression of their views more..

Brainless NSF scheduling leaves top athletes in a quandary

Sep 19 (CT) Despite blundering in the scheduling of track and field finals of the country's premier multisports event the National Sports Festival, Sports Ministry is unwilling to change the dates and have dismissed the request made by the Southern Province to reschedule the event. Scheduling of the NSF finals from 24-27 September raised many an eye brow as it directly clashes with the World Military Games to be held on the same days in Wuhan, China. more..

Sri Lanka to have running squad of 40 for senior and ‘A’ tours

Sep 19 (DN) Sri Lanka are looking at naming a 40-member squad from which the senior national teams and the ‘A’ teams will be picked for future series and tours. In this aspect the Sri Lanka ‘A’ team series against Bangladesh ‘A’ will be of great importance to the players picked to play in the two-match 4-day unofficial test series and three-match unofficial ODI series. The series begins on Sept 23 with the first 4-day unofficial test more..

Race the Pearl 24-hour Cycle race to peddle SL into world recognition

Sep 19 (ST) Race the Pearl, a 24-hour, ultra-endurance Cycling challenge was conducted for the second time in Sri Lanka on Sept 13, when Cyclists, individually or in teams ride from Dondra Point to Point Pedro in 24 hours. The aim of Race the Pearl was threefold: To put Sri Lanka on the world map of ultra-endurance Cycling events among the likes of Race Across America, as a world-class Cycling event in the Indian Ocean region; to encourage Lankans, from south to north, to engage with more..

ATMs are becoming expensive for banks to maintain

Sep 19 (ST) While banks encourage the usage of ATMs to its customers instead of depositing or withdrawing cash over the counter, times have changed today where the ATMs have become expensive for a bank to maintain and service them. Moving into online transactions is less expensive than maintaining an ATM machine, says Channa De Silva, CEO of LankaClear (Pvt) Ltd. Mr. Silva made this remark during a media briefing to announce the third LankaPay Technnovation Awards more..

SriLankan Airlines: Govt draws plan for profits in 4 years

Sep 19 (ST) The debt-ridden SriLankan Airlines, aiming to be profitable in 4 years following a restructuring plan, is said to have terminated leased aircrafts from Airbus without prior Cabinet approval. These were revealed at the recent COPE committee meetings. Ministers Kabir Hashim and Ravi Karunanayake had submitted in 2017 a Cabinet paper requesting to obtain approval for the terminal of lease agreement to purchase more..

Sri Lanka seek green signal from defence ministry for Pakistan tour

Sep 19 (AFP) Sri Lanka’s cricket board remains hopeful of going ahead with their tour of Pakistan but will await the final all-clear from the defence ministry, an official said on Wednesday. SLC Secretary Mohan de Silva said he was satisfied with the security arrangements of their hosts, but reports last week of a possible terror attack had been referred to the defence ministry for investigation. The SL team was the target of an attack during a Test match in Pakistan’s Lahore in March 2009. more..

UNWTO renews commitment to sustainable, ethical and accessible tourism

Sep 19 (DN) The 23rd Session of the General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization concluded on Sept 13 in St Petersburg, Russia after three days of debate and discussion which saw 117 countries reaffirms their commitment to making global tourism more sustainable, more inclusive and more ethical. More than 1,300 registered participants from around the world took part in the most important high-level meeting for the global tourism sector. As the first General Assembly more..

Leadership key to drive change, says presidential candidates’ reps

Sep 19 (FT) Leadership is crucial to provide answers to many of SL’s governance and growth issues, noted representatives of three presidential candidates yesterday who acknowledged the role political will would have to play in reforming State Owned Enterprises (SOEs), improve anti-corruption measures and continue with the fiscal consolidation program. Speaking at the final session of the Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2019, more..

Japan provides USD 2 mn grant aid for women, peace and security

Sep 19 (Island) The govt of Japan has provided a grant aid worth 218 million Japanese Yen (approx USD 2 mil) through UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) for the project of Implementation of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in Sri Lanka to accelerate positive change on gender equality, empowerment of women and girls and respect for their human rights to achieve and sustain peace in SL. Exchange of Notes for the project was signed on Sept 18, more..

ILO backed national co-op policy, a reality

Sep 19 (DN) After a decade’s efforts involving multiple stakeholders, the first ever national policy for SL’s historic cooperative sector is a reality thanks to the backing of Int'l Labour Organization (ILO). The final policy document, called the National Policy on Cooperatives, was presented to Simrin Singh, ILO Country Director for SL & Maldives by Minister Rishad Bathiudeen on Sept 9. “The work and process on formulating the national cooperatives policy began in 2012, and involved more..

Sri Lanka GDP growth 1.6% in 2nd quarter

Sep 19 (EN) Sri Lanka’s GDP expanded 1.6% in the second quarter, of 2019 from a year earlier, in the wake of a currency collapse in 2018 and Easter Sunday attacks, data from the state statistics office showed. In the first half of 2019 GDP was estimated to have grown 2.6%. The agriculture sector grew 1% in real terms, amid falling prices. Industry grew 1.4% and services 1.6% after adjusting for inflation. more..

Asela Gunaratne returns

Sep 19 (CT) All rounder Asela Gunaratne, who was out of international cricket for nearly eight months due to injury, has been selected for the Sri Lanka 'A' ODI squad to play against the visiting Bangladesh 'A' team. Bangladesh 'A' team arrived in Sri Lanka yesterday to play two Four Day Games and three ODI games. Gunaratne, last played international cricket in January of this year against New Zealand in two ODIs, and was sidelined after that for eight months due to an injury he sustained in 2018. more..

Export wind energy to India: Ex Indian Min.

Sep 19 (TM) A prominent former Indian Minister has urged Sri Lanka to earn major revenue by exporting wind energy to the massive Indian market. Shri Suresh Prabhu, the Minister of Commerce & Industry during PM Narendra Modi’s first term and Minister of Power under PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, made these comments addressing the opening session of SL Economic Summit 2019. Prabhu said that there is potential for such a trade deal as India lacks the wind strength seen in Sri Lanka. more..

COPE stumps SLC

Sep 19 (Island) Officials of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) of which activities scrutinized by the forensic audits have revealed a number of financial irregularities and massive corruption apologized before the parliamentary watchdog committee – COPE yesterday. The top brass of SLC, its Chairman Shammi Silva, Ravin Wickramaratne, Lalith Rambukwella and Arnua de Silva apologized for absconding/evading the COPE probe on more..

'Disabled soldiers’ issue will be solved'

Sep 19 (DN) The govt will solve the issue of the disabled war heroes who are staging a sathyagraha in front of the Fort Railway station, Minister Lakshman Kiriella told Parliament. He said that the matter was discussed at the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday. Finance Minister had said he would study the matter and will come up with a solution next week. Kiriella agreed that the govt had to assist war heroes who were rendered disabled in the operations against the LTTE to protect more..

President’s takeover of Rupavahini challenged in SC

Sep 19 (Island) Senior Lecturer of Sri J'pura Ven. Dambara Amila Thera and Prof. Chandra Gupta Thenuwara of Etul Kotte have, on behalf of the civil society, complained to the Supreme Court that the Prez cannot take over the SL Rupavahini Corporation, as already three other Ministries are under his control. These three Ministries are Defence Mahaweli Development and Environment. Prez cannot exercise the powers and functions gazetted on Sep 9, 2019 and more..

North Sea Ltd. swallows Rs 13 mn as admin. cost from livelihood programme

Sep 19 (Island) Rs. 13 million out of Rs. 300 million, given to state-owned fishing net manufacturer North Sea Ltd. by the External Resources Department for the livelihood assistant programme, had been used to cover administrative cost, PCoI was informed. Management Assistant of North Sea Company Abhirami Shanmugalingam told the PCoI that fishing nets had not been supplied to fishermen since July 31, 2019. more..

CID tracking down digital footprint of ISIS

Sep 19 (DM) The CID informed court yesterday that it was probing several plans devised by ISIS based on information received from Interpol and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on communication techniques of the terrorist outfit. It further informed Colombo Fort Magistrate Ranga Dassanayake that investigations into several plans masterminded by ISIS were ongoing and that information was being obtained from Interpol and FBI on social media platforms, more..

CoPE to probe Lotus Tower transactions

Sep 19 (FT) The CoPE yesterday decided to launch a full-scale investigation on Lotus Tower based on the revelations made by Prez Sirisena recently at the inauguration of the tower highlighting questionable transactions that had taken place under the Rajapaksa regime. CoPE Chairman Sunil Handunnetti said during yesterday’s CoPE meeting that all institutions including the Telecom Regulatory Commission of SL (TRCSL) would be summoned for an investigation on the questionable deals more..

Qatar Police interrogate main suspect: CID informs court

Sep 19 (DM) The CID informed the Colombo Fort Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake through a B-report that Qatari police is interrogating the main suspect of the terrorist network in SL which had maintained direct relations with ISIS. CID informed the court that another suspect who was arrested by the Qatari police two days after the Easter Sunday attack had been extradited to Sri Lanka after being interrogated in detention for over 3 months. more..

Three youth cricketers suspended on disciplinary grounds

Sep 19 (CT) Three top Sri Lanka Under-19 cricketers have been provisionally suspended due to alleged misbehaviour during the Under-19 Asia Cup which concluded last week. St Joseph's all-rounder, Ashain Daniel together with two Royalists, Kamil Mishara and Ahan Wickramasinghe, have been suspended pending inquiry. The incident had taken place last Thursday, following the abandonment of the semi-final match against India. There had been several complaints against them, including more..

President invites SL expatriates: Serve the country at least for a short period

Sep 19 (DN) Prez Sirisena said that the country needs a method to stop the intellectuals and scholars leaving the country and to bring the professionals living abroad, back to Sri Lanka. Prez further added that he expects seniors and professionals to come up with suggestions in order to achieve this task. Speaking at a function conducted by the SL Engineering Council at the Irrigation Dept Auditorium on Tuesday, Prez said that engineers and medical officers along with more..

Govt asks for six more months to answer query on PM’s foreign trips!

Sep 19 (Island) The govt refused for a third time to respond to a query from the Opposition on PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s foreign tours. The question on the foreign tours and costs incurred by the PM’s Office during those visits, asked by JVP MP Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa, was listed in the Order Paper for a third time, yesterday. Dr. Jayatissa asked the PM to inform the House of the latter’s foreign tours from 09.01.2015 to 30.06.2018; more..