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Will reduction of policy interest rates spur economic growth?

Sep 24 (ST) Central Bank’s policy interest rate reduction is intended to give an impetus to investment and economic growth. Although the interest rate reduction would assist business, it alone will not spur investment. A host of conditions, including political stability and economic certainty, are necessary to create an investment climate conducive to economic growth. CB’s Monetary Board decided to reduce the Standing Deposit Facility Rate (SDFR) and more..

'GMOF not counter to GMOA Welfare of doctors, our aim'

Sep 24 (CT) It may not be appropriate to refer to the Govt Medical Officers' Forum (GMOF) as a counter to the Govt Medical officers' Association (GMOA) which has a large membership of at least over 20,000. However, to close followers, who keep a watch on the goings on of the two unions, it is apparent that the aim of the GMOF is to counter-attack or disrupt any move made by the GMOA. In this backdrop, Ceylon Today met more..

Ranil’s recalcitrance and liberal license

Sep 24 (GV) The term Colombo liberal is one that’s almost always used as a pejorative. Elitist, out of touch, NGO-kaarayas and foreign agents are among the many accusations frequently levelled at this group who are typically native English speakers, middle-class, educated, civic minded, and readers of this platform. Often these accusations are baseless. The criticisms are often levelled by the emerging power elite who are yet to break out of a colonial hangover which leads to deep insecurities more..

Editorial: Phone-gate scandal

Sep 24 (Island) The leaked telephone conversation between Solicitor General Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe and Avant Garde Chairman Nissanka Senadipathi could not have come at a worse time for the govt and the CIABOC, which has embarked on a much-advertised campaign to raise public awareness of its five-year anti-corruption plan. The leaked call refers to Dilrukshi’s action against Avant Garde, involved in the floating armoury controversy, while she was the Dir. Gen. more..

ජාතික ජලසම්පාදන හා ජලාපවාහන මණ්ඩලය

Making transition easier through change with continuity

Sep 24 (CT) The prez election fixed by the Election Commission for November 16 has the potential to bring about far reaching change to the country both in terms of political parties and the leadership at their helms. It is therefore a double transition that the Sri Lanka faces at the current juncture. Change is generally resisted. Ironically, the last minute attempt to abolish the executive prez system, which is a radical change, can also be seen as a manifestation of resistance to change. more..

National inflation rises to 3.4% in August

Sep 24 (EN) SL’s nationwide inflation hit a three-month high of 3.4% in Aug 2019. National Consumer Price Index compiled by Census and Statistics Dept had risen 2.2% in July 2019, and 2.1% in June, the lowest in five months, down from 3.5% in May. The rise in the National Consumer Price Index in August was owing to the monthly increases of prices of items in both food and non-food categories. In August 2019, year-on-year Food inflation was 0.6% and Non-food inflation was 5.6%. more..

Rubber Master Plan begins with 10 projects

Sep 24 (TM) The Ministry of Plantation Industries began developing 10 selected rubber projects at a cost of over Rs. 12 billion, out of the 25 overall projects under the 9-year Rubber Industry Master Plan to improve SL’s rubber industry. Ministry Secretary J.A. Ranjith said that feasibility studies are being conducted at the moment for the implementation of these projects. A MoU to implement the Rubber Industry Master Plan more..

Why did Ranil and Maithri try to wreck the chessboard?

Sep 24 (Island) A mother of four, two boys and two girls, related a hilarious story about her two sons playing chess. They are 14 and 6 years of age. The younger, it so happens, is by far the better player. They don’t play much, but when they do, Malli tends to get the better of the exchanges. Aiya, apparently is a sore loser and is not averse to using seniority to save face. Here’s what she said. ‘When Aiya feels he’s losing he simply wrecks the board with a sweep of his hand. more..

Prez election 2019: A revolutionary, visionary, reform agenda

Sep 24 (Island) Sammuthiye Malimawa is a set of politico-social reform proposals prepared by a Commission set up by the Academic Bhikku Forum (Vidwath Bhikshu Sansadaya) along with several nationalist organisations which seek to replicate the Dasa Panatha of 1956 that had a major influence on the ideological trajectory of the political revolution of 1956. Dr. Sarath Amunugama, speaking at the launch of a book on Prof. G. P. Malalasekera a couple of years ago, said that back in 1955, more..

Sri Lanka eyes lucrative charismatic species to save lesser-known ones

Sep 24 (MB) Wildlife conservation managers have long known that to protect a species, it helps if the animal is what’s known as charismatic: rare, endangered, beautiful, impressive, dangerous, or a combination of these traits. This focus on charismatic species continues to drive conservation efforts and how they’re funded (think of Africa’s Big Five: elephant, lion, leopard, rhino and buffalo). more..

Big opportunity for young Sadeera in Pakistan

Sep 24 (Island) Gloss may have been taken off from the highly anticipated return of cricket in Pakistan following the withdrawal of ten leading SL players but it provides opportunities for several young players who have been knocking on the doors. The spotlight during the two week long tour where Sri Lanka will play three ODIs and three T-20 Internationals will be on young Sadeera Samarawickrama and Oshada Fernando, two promising batsman. more..

Thilini, Kavidi win badminton silver in Maldives

Sep 24 (DN) SL number one pair Thilini Hendahewa and Kavidi Sirimannage once again took the limelight when they won a silver medal at the Maldives International Future Series Badminton tournament concluded in Male yesterday. Thilini and Kavindi had a tough battle against Chinese Taipei pair Kuo Yu Wen and Lin Wang Ching in the women’s double final and finally lost 21/19, 21/18 in 35 minutes. Earlier the SL pair defeated Malaysia’s Lim Pay Zhean and Lim Velnis in straight sets more..

Polls hamper investigations: Key witness seeks protection

Sep 24 (TM) With elections around the corner, investigations into high-profile cases are likely to take a hit with at least one witness seeking protection fearing threats. The CID said that it sought protection for Lt Commander Krishan Welagedara, who is the chief witness in a habeas corpus application filed in respect of 11 young Sinhala, Tamil, and Muslim men who are missing since 2008. CID has sought a court order more..

Mobitel joins hands with Peradeniya Uni to conduct research on Kandy air pollution

Sep 24 (Island) Air pollution is becoming an eminent threat to humanity and long-term health effects from air pollution include heart disease, lung cancer, and respiratory diseases such as asthma. Air pollution can also cause long-term damage to people’s nerves, brain, kidneys, liver, and other organs. Understanding the impact of air pollution in congested cities, Mobitel has joined hands with the Uni of Peradeniya to conduct research on air pollution in Kandy, for which Mobitel will be more..

President's Cup Carrom Championship: Hilmy, Roshita singles champs

Sep 24 (CT) Shaheed Hilmy (Royal Collage) defeated Nishantha Fernando (Navy) 2/0 (25/02,25/12) in the Men's final, whilst Joseph Roshita (Navy) defeated Chalani Lakmali Liyanage (Air Force) 2/1 (25/24, 11/25, 25/12) in the Women's final at the 19th President's Cup Carrom C'ship conducted by Carrom Federation of SL. Joseph Roshita scored a significant double by also winning the Women's doubles event partnering Chalani Lakmali. Seven slams were registered more..

Only female presidential candidate promises debt-free country

Sep 24 (FT) Environmentalist and scientist Dr. Ajantha Perera, who is the only female prez candidate contesting the 2019 polls, said that under her potential govt SL would be freed from debt through negotiation under a new foreign policy. “I will save SL from debt traps and will not obtain excessive loans that create a debt-ridden country. I have well-established foreign connections around the world from India to Germany, UK and US more..

Parliament orders inquiry into vehicle import racket

Sep 24 (RN) An alleged racket where Specialized vehicles that are being imported at lower taxes are being modified and registered at higher value vehicles was revealed at a sitting of the COPA yesterday. This sting which has resulted in a loss of Rs 243 million in taxes to the govt has been going on since 2010, Auditor General had found, COPA heard. Committee Chaired by MP Lasantha Algiyawanna directed Secretary to the Ministry of Finance to inquire and report to Parliament more..

'Western Province economic growth could be accelerated by 10% with MCC grant'

Sep 24 (DM) The economic growth of the Western Province could be accelerated by 10% per annum with the implementation of the advanced traffic management system proposed under the US$ 480 million Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) grant to SL, according to a top RDA official. Under the proposed MCC Compact, US$160 million is allocated for Advanced Traffic Management System Activity, which seeks to decrease travel time by reducing traffic delays, improving road safety more..

Ex-Agriculture Ministry Secretary tells PCoI that he was coerced into signing...

Sep 24 (Island) Former Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture B. Wijeratne told the PCoI that former minister of agriculture, Duminda Dissanayake had applied pressure on him to sign the lease agreement between the Agriculture Ministry and D.P. Jayasinghe Company to relocate the Ministry there. Wijeratne also said that the Ministry had no desire to shift from the building. more..

Cargills Bank appoints Ranjit Page as chairman

Sep 24 (Island) Cargills Bank Ltd. announced the appointment of Ranjit Page as the chairman of the Bank with effect from 19th Sept 2019. Louis Page, founder Chairman of the Bank, retires on reaching 70 years of age in line with CBSL regulations. Incoming Chairman, Ranjit Page played a pivotal role in the Cargills, CT Holdings foray into financial services sector and served as Deputy Chairman of the Bank since inception and was intricately involved in the strategy formulation of the Bank. more..

Never waste a crisis, CNN’s Richard Quest tells Sri Lanka

Sep 24 (TM) World famous CNN journalist Richard Quest advised Sri Lanka not to waste a crisis, referring to the opportunities presented by the tragic events of Easter Sunday. Never waste a crisis, he said, quoting former UK PM Sir Winston Churchill. He was speaking as the Guest of Honour at the Cinnamon Future of Tourism 2019 summit being held today at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel Colombo. Quest is CNN Business Editor at Large and anchors Quest Means Business and several other more..

Recruitment to NHDA was not illegal: Sajith tells PCoI

Sep 24 (DM) Minister Sajith Premadasa informed the PCoI that he does not believe that appointing 2,300 employees to National Housing Development Authority (NHDA) was illegal. He said that NHDA had followed the proper guidelines when appointing these employees and the recruitment had been conducted through NHDA chairman. Earlier it was informed to the Commission that appointing 2,300 employees to NHDA more..

Seventh annual Cyber Security Summit kicks off today: CEO Forum tomorrow

Sep 24 (FT) The seventh annual Cyber Security Summit organised by the Daily FT and CICRA Consultancies will be held today at the Cinnamon Grand followed by the unique Night Hack in the evening shedding key insights to latest threats and solutions from global and local experts under the theme into prevention is better than investigation. The Summit features four keynote speakers, four guest speakers and 10 panellists with dedicated sessions focusing on digital intelligence for more..

Northern lawyers boycott Court today

Sep 24 (CT) Lawyers in the Northern Province have decided to boycott Court proceedings today (24) in protest over the defying of a Court Order, delivered by the Mullaitivu Magistrate, in connection with the last rites of Ven. Kolampe Medhalankara Thera and the attack on Mullaitivu lawyer Sukash yesterday (23). Informed sources said that Mullaitivu Magistrate Lenin Kumar ordered that the Buddhist monk's remains not be cremated at the disputed Neeravi Pillaiyar Temple premises but more..

SLPP wants Dilrukshi removed forthwith

Sep 24 (DM) While stating that the controversial tele-conversation of Solicitor General Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe was only part of a bigger picture, SLPP called for her immediate removal pending an investigation. SLPP Chairman G.L. Peiris said the Solicitor General was not the entirety of the problem, but only a small part. “The telephone conversation shows the country’s legal system – which the AG’s Dept and others more..

South Asian epidemiologists meet in Colombo

Sep 24 (DN) The International Epidemiological Association (IEA) held its first South Asia regional group meeting in SL, parallel to the 24th annual academic sessions of the College of Community Physicians of SL (CCPSL). The event was held from Sept 19 to 21, at Cinnamon Grand Hotel, Colombo. These sessions were attended by local and international health professionals and this can be considered a victory of SL and a demonstration of the development of the SL health sector. more..

Sri Lanka Navy becomes a finalist in The Maritime Standard Awards 2019

Sep 24 (SLN) Sri Lanka Navy has been selected as a Corporate Social Responsibility Award Finalists in The Maritime Standard Awards (TMS) – 2019. This year’s Maritime Standard Awards ceremony is scheduled to be held on 21st Oct at the Atlantis, the Palm, Dubai, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum President, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and CEO, Emirates Airline and Group. The event in which a host of high profile and well known int'l personalities more..

PM backs decisive private sector role in future of tourism

Sep 24 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday backed a greater role and say by the private sector in destination marketing and development if the country were to properly harness its tourism potential. A private-public partnership in global destination marketing, private sector-managed national and avoidance of overregulation of the tourism industry on the part of the Govt were some of the measures more..

Interim Order preventing transportation of waste containers further extended

Sep 24 (DN) The Court of Appeal yesterday further extended its Interim Order directing the authorities to prevent any transportation or movement of imported consignments of waste materials inside the country, until Oct 21. However, this Interim Order would not prevent the transportation of concerned consignments of waste materials for the purposes of re-exportation. Court of Appeal (President) Yasantha Kodagoda PC and Justice Arjuna Obeysekara made this order regarding a Writ Petition more..

Candidate decision at tomorrow’s WC meeting: Ajith Perera

Sep 24 (DN) UNP MP and non-Cabinet Minister Ajith P. Perera told the Daily News that the UNP Working committee is scheduled to meet tomorrow morning, when a crucial decision regarding the party’s presidential candidacy would be taken. “We are to meet on Wednesday morning, after which by 3p.m. that afternoon, our Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa will hold a massive rally in Mathugama,” he told the Daily News. “He may make an announcement regarding his candidacy at the rally.” more..

Stormy weather islandwide: 1,400 families affected

Sep 24 (DN) Even as several parts of the North, especially Jaffna, experienced an end to the months-long drought with some early monsoonal showers, minor flooding was reported in several parts of the South, at Panadugama in the Nilwala Ganga valley and, the Irrigation Department said yesterday that water levels of the Kalu Ganga and Gin Ganga were reported as rising due to heavy rains. DMC predicted that prevailing showery more..

Monkeys in the Capital

Sep 24 (DM) For years people who live in the lower end of Sri Nanda Jotikarama Road, Thalawathugoda, just 2 km South-East of parliament have got used to a relatively unique wake up call. The call made by waking up monkeys who have for long made the little forested areas down the road their habitat. Their call that is usually heard between 5.30 a.m. to 6.15 a.m. brings a smile to the residents in the neighbourhood. After all not everyone in the administrative capital of the country is more..

Parallels of Road to 2005 and 2019

Sep 24 (DM) It was Karl Marx who said, History repeats itself, first as Tragedy second as Farce- Kumarathunga-Rajapaksa confrontation in 2005 was very much similar to today’s crisis in UNP’s Wickremesinghe—Premadasa Clash. Kumarathunga preceded Sirisena in seeking a SC ruling on ending of term; and the third, Mangala’s acrobatics. They say, some senior lawyers burned mid night oil at Darley Rd, the day before Election Commission made its surprise more..

CNN’s Quest warns of three challenges to future of tourism

Sep 24 (FT) World-famous CNN correspondent Richard Quest yesterday warned the travel industry of three challenges to its future, one of which was overtourism. Speaking at the Cinnamon Future of Tourism Summit in Colombo, Quest listed the other two challenges as the issue of security with reference to the wider use of biometrics and climate change. Although urging the industry to reflect on the beauty of tourism itself, more..

Emerging from crisis requires humanity not strategy

Sep 24 (FT) UNWTO Special Advisor to the Secretary General and CNN International Consultant Anita Mendiratta, who was speaking in Colombo yesterday, pointed out that what was needed to completely emerge from a crisis “stronger, faster and smarter” was not strategy but humanity. “What happened in Sri Lanka is what happened to you. It’s not who you are. When crisis hits, we are all humans & we are hurt. more..

The Return of Burka

Sep 24 (DM) Last week, the Police officially announced that the ban on the full-face veil which was imposed under the emergency regulations in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday attacks is no longer valid as a result of the expiration of the emergency regulations. That might end the confusion over the legal context of Burka and Niqab. But, this will be the beginning of a very toxic situation. Just before the lifting of emergency more..

Postal voting for prez poll on Oct. 30 & 31

Sep 24 (AD) The Election Commission (EC) has announced the dates for the postal voting of the Prez Election 2019. Accordingly, the postal voting election will be held on the 30th and 31st of Oct. EC further stated that the postal voting of the employees of the Police and Elections Departments will take place on the 1st of Nov. EC is currently in process of accepting the postal voting applications for the Prez Election 2019 and more..

Polls monitors’ plans cover social media, campaign expenditure

Sep 24 (ST) Election monitors are to pay special attention to social media in the run-up to the Nov 16 prez election. Monitoring groups say they have drawn up plans to cover not only the campaign period, but also the election day events and post-election day happenings. CMEV Coordinator Manjula Gajanayake said they would deploy 5,000 observers on polling day, while another 160 observers would be assigned to every more..

Patients used as guinea pigs: Health Minister too orders investigation

Sep 24 (Island) Minister Rajitha Senaratne ordered Ayurveda Commissioner KDCS Kumaratunga to conduct a thorough investigation into the expose by the COPE that patients, who sought treatment from Ayurveda hospital at Rajagiriya had been used as guinea pigs to test a cough syrup issued to market without clinical approval. The COPE ordered the Ministry of Higher Education to conduct an investigation into more..