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Sri Lanka unveils Ceylon Spice master brand

Sep 26 (FT) The Ceylon Spice master brand was officially launched yesterday, as Sri Lanka’s latest national branding attempt for the spice sector, with Govt aiming to achieve an export target of $ 880 million from the Spices and Concentrates sector by 2022. The brand was officially unveiled by Minister Malik Samarawickrama, in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB). more..

Amb Saroja Sirisena presents credentials

Sep 26 (FT) Ambassador of SL in Austria Saroja Sirisena presented Letters of Credence to UN Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) Director General Li Yong on 17 Sept, accrediting her as the Permanent Representative of SL to UNIDO. During the discussion, Permanent Representative highlighted important work such as promoting industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive development, and environment sustainability carried out by UNIDO more..

Sri Lanka replace Zimbabwe for India T20s

Sep 26 (HT) The BCCI named Sri Lanka as Zimbabwe’s replacement for a short three-match T20 Int'l series to be held in January next year. The BCCI has roped in SL for the short series in place of Zimbabwe, which has been suspended by the ICC. As planned earlier, the first T20 will take place in Guwahati on Jan 5, followed by matches in Indore on Jan 7 and Pune on Jan 10. “In the wake of Zimbabwe’s suspension by ICC, the BCCI invited Sri Lanka to participate in the 3-match series. more..

Ex-Chief Justice on LTTE-TNA nexus ...

Sep 26 (Island) Former Chief Justice Sarath N Silva yesterday explained to the media, the action taken by the Supreme Court during his tenure as the CJ to prevent the LTTE-TNA combine from manipulating the northern electorate at the Nov 2005 presidential poll. Supreme Court took tangible measures to thwart the LTTE-TNA operation in response to a case argued by Udaya Gammanpila, former CJ Silva said, more..


Sep 26 (CT) SL Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT) announced that it hosted ROBOFEST 2019, the annual robotics battle organised by SLIIT's Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, for the 10th consecutive year. Held since 2010, the objective of SLIIT ROBOFEST is to inspire and provide future minds the opportunity to design, build and adapt to new technologies, especially in the field of robotics, thereby enhancing their theoretical and practical knowledge. more..

SL’s progress in the limelight at Vienna

Sep 26 (FT) The reform process undertaken by the govt of SL to restructure the national anti-corruption strategy has been brought to the attention of UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) at Vienna, Sept this year. National Action Plan launched in March 2019, was highlighted with its foundation of four pillars: prevention measures; enhancing value based education and community engagement; institutional strengthening of CIABOC and other law enforcement agencies; law & policy reforms. more..

Foreign investments record net inflow of US$ 44 mn in July

Sep 26 (DN) Worker remittances grew by 1%, year-on-year, to US$ 626 mil in July 2019. On a cumulative basis, worker remittances declined by 8.2% to US$ 3,895 mil during the first 7 months of 2019 in comparison to the corresponding period of 2018. Foreign investments in the CSE, including primary and secondary market transactions, recorded a net inflow of US$ 44 mil during the month of July 2019. more..

India opens free, large-scale market support to Lankan SMEs

Sep 26 (DN) One of world’s most dynamic SME and MSME collectives has come forward to support SL MSMEs to go global. The offer, made to Lankan SMEs for the first time also includes free marketing and tech know-how assistance for Lankan SMEs. “Our PM Narendra Modi wants to increase Indian MSME’s contribution to GDP in a big way. If we support Lankan SMEs, Lankan sector in turn will supply us and support us too. But we are not talking of support to SL SMEs for entering only more..

'If Sajith comes, power will remain with Ranil'

Sep 26 (FT) The SLPP yesterday said PM Ranil Wickremesinghe will hold on to power of the UNP and the Govt even if Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa becomes the Executive President. Speaking to media, MP Susil Premajayantha said the governance framework would not be changed under a presidency of Sajith Premadasa. Quoting newspaper reports, he said any UNP attempt to abolish the executive presidency will not be supported by the SLPP at this stage. more..

'Api Wenuwen Api Fund monies missing'

Sep 26 (DN) The funds of the much-touted Api Wenuwen Api security forces fund to assist war heroes set up during the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime cannot be traced, Minister Mangala Samaraweera said. He was addressing a news briefing to explain more details of the war heroes pension scheme finalised by the Govt earlier this week. Speaking on the Api Wenuwen Api fund formed under last regime, Minister said that more..

Video: Leave of SLTB employees cancelled

Sep 26 (AD) Leave of all employees of the SL Transport Board (SLTB) have been cancelled owing to the planned trade union action by railway trade unions. Accordingly the leave of all SLTB staff including drivers, conductors, and technical staff have been temporarily cancelled. Railway trade unions have announced that they will launch a strike based on salary disparities, from midnight today (25). Trade unions stated that night mail trains would also halt their services from midnight today. more..

Expressway accident: 2 killed, 3 injured

Sep 26 (DM) Two women were killed and three others were injured after a jeep they were travelling in crashed into the rear of a lorry in between Dodangoda and Gelanigama exit in Southern Expressway (E01) last night. Accident had occurred around 11.30 p.m at 31.7-R point on the Expressway while they were travelling to Colombo from Matara. At the time of the accident, there were five people including four women in the jeep. The driver of the jeep and an injured woman were admitted to more..

Southern politicians stirring communal politics in North: Governor

Sep 26 (DN) Northern Province Governor Dr. Suren Raghavan yesterday insisted that politicians should not create communal and religious tensions ahead of the prez election, targeting the Northern voters and hindering their democratic rights. “As the Northern Province governor, I urge politicians not to use the Northern peoples’ rights according to their whims and fancies. At the moment southern politicians are in the North in order to stir up more..

Rajitha continues massive improvement of infrastructure at Nagodoa hospital

Sep 26 (Island) The newly constructed administration building and the first stage of the new wards complex at Nagoda Hospital will be declared open by Minister Rajitha Senaratne on Oct 1 at 11 am. The administration building, which has five storeys and the first stage of the eight storey wards complex will be thus declared open. The government invested Rs. 180 million for the construction of the administration building and the estimated cost of the wards complex is Rs. 2817 million. more..

80,000 people displaced by floods and landslips

Sep 26 (Island) Some 80,000 people belonging to 21,000 families were displaced due to natural disasters, particularly floods and landslips that wreaked havoc in most parts of the country. DMC said that a number of areas particularly in the southern part of the country were inundated while more than 14,000 people had been evacuated to safer locations. Galle, Matara, Hambantota, Kalutara, Colombo, Gampaha, Kandy and Kegalle districts were experiencing continued rains. more..

U.N. suspends Sri Lankan troops from peacekeeping over army chief appointment

Sep 26 (Reuters) United Nations suspended SL Army deployments in the world body’s peacekeeping operations after SL appointed a war veteran who has been accused of serious human rights violations. SL’s president in August appointed war veteran Shavendra Silva as its army chief, drawing sharp criticism from US and UN over the appointment of an officer who has been accused of serious human rights violations. more..

Doctors, why hold poor patients to ransom

Sep 26 (DM) The doctors were at it again last Wednesday when the members of the GMOA launched yet another 24-hour token strike, which according to media reports, had crippled the healthcare services in hospitals countrywide. Once again these doctors held to ransom the patients, mainly comprising the low-income groups and those even worst off, to secure personal benefits from the Govt. The poor are the ones who mainly come to govt hospitals seeking healthcare services more..

It’s the season of bluffoonery

Sep 26 (DM) There’s a game I came across when I was checking if there was a word called bluffoonery. I’ll get back to the game in a moment. The reason for the search was simple; there’s been an overload of bluffing in the politics related to the presidential election of late. Secondly, I was also thinking of buffoons which refers to ridiculous but amusing persons. Clowns. That’s how I got to the game Bluffoons. I will leave it to the reader to check out the details of the game, more..

Why the educated voter will be feared

Sep 26 (DM) We are at the tail-end of the Wickremesinghe led regime. Even of some can’t afford the luxuries they enjoyed 5 years ago they can be happy that they are able to enjoy so much freedom as citizens of a democratic country. Now a prez election is approaching and the echoing voices are calling for a change. People are flocking behind two candidates: Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Sajith Premadasa. more..

2019 prez poll: Ex-CJ alleges govt, civil society bid to derail GR’s prez poll campaign

Sep 26 (Island) Former Chief Justice Sarath Nanda Silva, PC, yesterday, alleged that an attempt was being made to undermine SLPP prez candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa. President’s Counsel Silva said that the govt, sections of the law enforcement apparatus and some in the judiciary were all out to hinder Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s polls campaign. The former CJ said so at a media briefing at the Viyath Maga Office in Ethul Kotte. more..

Salary scales Govt should increase min and max ratio: GMOA

Sep 26 (CT) GMOA, said the Govt should gradually increase the minimum and maximum ratio between salary scales, to introduce optimal amendments to the National Wage Policy. GMOA Secretary, Dr. Haritha Aluthge, proposing the means of giving long-term and short-term solutions to salary issues in the public sector, said measures should be taken to retain professionals within the country. One way of doing so was to gradually increase more..

Audit report raises concern over large downturn in foreign jobs

Sep 26 (ST) SL’s Foreign employment figures are on the decline for a range of reasons, including offers from other countries to send their workers for lesser wages than what is offered to Lankan male migrant workers, an audit report has revealed. The report points out that a large downturn is observed throughout the past period, including job orders and job placements for Lankans. “SL has lost more than 55% employment opportunities in all sectors,” more..

Alleged informant faces wrath of other inmates: Prison inmate beaten to death

Sep 26 (CT) An inmate was beaten to death inside the Magazine Remand Prison by other prisoners yesterday, after he is alleged to have provided information to law enforcement agencies on the illicit narcotic trade inside the complex, officials said. They said, the 45-year-old victim identified only as Soma was a resident of down-town Dehiwala and had entered the Remand Prison the previous day. more..

Rajitha caught telling a terminological inexactitude

Sep 26 (Island) Minister Rajitha Senaratne has claimed that he obtained Cabinet for his proposal to acquire the assets of Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital (NFTH). However, senior Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet Office Jude Nilukshan told PCoI that the cabinet had not approved the proposal. On Tuesday giving evidence before the same Commission, Dr. Senaratne claimed that the Cabinet had approved more..

CEB debt to skyrocket to Rs 200 billion soon

Sep 26 (Island) The outstanding debt of the CEB would exceed Rs. 200 billion soon, a senior electrical engineer said. He said that CEB owed Rs. 100 billion to a state bank. He alleged that the CEB was not tapping the full potential of the hydro reservoirs to generate electricity. He welcomed Cabinet approval to construct a 300 MW new coal power plant as a part of the expansion plans of the Norochcholai coal power complex. more..

Govt to discuss UN peacekeeping issue

Sep 26 (DM) The govt is scheduled to discuss the decision taken by the UN Peacekeeping Department to ban the deployment of non-essential Sri Lankan Army troops in UN peacekeeping missions. Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the Sri Lankan delegation attending the 74th General Assembly Session is scheduled to discuss this matter with the Under Secretary General of the UN Department of Peace Operations. more..

Video: Viral video of Ruhuna University ragging is real: Vice Chancellor

Sep 26 (AD) The viral video on an incident of ragging several female students at Uni of Ruhuna is real, states the Vice-Chancellor Prof. Sujeewa Amarasena said. According to the VC, the incident on the video had occurred on either March 13 or March 14 this year. He says that he had been appointed as the VC of the Uni when the incident took place and therefore, he too bears some responsibility on the turn of events. more..

Sajith’s presidential candidacy confirmed; decision unanimous and unconditional

Sep 26 (AD) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe will propose Minister Sajith Premadasa’s name for prez candidacy during the crucial meeting of the UNP’s Working Committee that is to be held this afternoon, says Minister Navin Dissanayake. He stated this speaking to the media following a meeting of the senior UNP members held at the Temple Trees this morning. Working Committee meeting of UNP will take place more..

Editorial: Curry leaves

Sep 26 (Island) Solicitor General (SG) and former Director General of the CIABOC Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe has been interdicted. An investigation has got underway into her telephone conversation with Nissanka Senadhipathi, Chairman of Avant Garde Company, involved in the floating armoury controversy, we are told. It is being claimed, in some quarters, that what was wrong on the SG’s part was to have a telephone conversation with one of the accused in the Avant Garde case. more..

MCC Compact and US foreign policy aims

Sep 26 (Island) The single most important reason for Sri Lanka being seen as suitable for the grant is its commitment to the open economy, read economic freedom, and this has been true of every SL govt since the mid-seventies. Needless to say, economic and business penetration is prized by the US and those countries that meet this condition will enjoy its largesse, as the proposed compact establishes. Sections in SL have been hotly debating US Millennium Challenge Corporation's more..

Anura Kumara Dissanayake

Disabled soldier on fast-unto-death hospitalized

Sep 26 (AD) A disabled soldier who been engaged in a fast-unto-death in front of the Fort Railway Station has been admitted to the Colombo National Hospital. Reportedly, another soldier had replaced him and joined the fast-unto-death. Disabled war heroes and the families of the fallen launched the protest on the 11th of Sept demanding the authorities provide their pension benefits even after they reach 55 years of age. On Sept 24th, the Cabinet approval was granted to provide all more..

4 suspects arrested over Rs.50mn Gold thef

Sep 26 (NR) Four suspects have been arrested over the theft of 10kg of Gold valued at Rs. 50 million, which was stolen from a ‘Kali Amman’ Devalaya in Galthenna, Kandy last morning. Police stated the stolen haul of Gold was found when the suspects were apprehended. Around 6 suspects had reportedly broken into the Devalaya at around 3.45 early last morning, bound several people inside the building including the priest and absconded with the 10kg haul of Gold and Rs. 400,000 in cash. more..

SriLankan continues nosedive

Sep 26 (TM) SriLankan Airlines continues to suffer financial losses and proposals to restructure the airline are yet to take off. The total operational loss reported so far by SriLankan Airlines is Rs. 116 billion and the latest crisis to face the airline is a threat by the CPC to suspend fuel over the non-payment of dues. The CPC warned that it would suspend fuel supply to the airline from 1 Oct, owing to non-payment of dues, more..

Seven candidates place cash deposits for prez poll

Sep 26 (AD) Seven candidates have made their cash deposits for the Prez Election so far, says the Elections Commission. Four political parties and three independent candidates have accordingly placed their cash deposits for the election. Venerable Aparekke Punnananda Thera, Jayantha Ketagoda, Siripala Amarasinghe, Dr. Ajantha Wijesinghe of SPSL, Samantha Perera, Gotabaya Rajapaksa from SLPP and Ariyawansa Dissanayake of DUNF have paid the deposits. more..

South Asia think tanks in integration push at Sri Lanka meet amid political lethargy

Sep 26 (EN) South Asian academics and think tanks develop policies and strategies to integrate the region, despite political lethargy and a moribund South Asia Association Regional Co-operation which started a decade ago with high hopes. In 2008 the SAARC organization started with a preferential trade agreement, which was expected to lead to a free trade deal, customs union and by 2020, European style integrated area. But the SAARC had ground to a halt, Dushni Weerakoon, head of IPS said, more..

'Gota’s foreign policy will be strictly non-aligned'

Sep 26 (RN) SLPP prez candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa, if elected, will maintain relations with all superpowers of the world, in a strictly non-aligned foreign policy, a spokesman said. Speaking to journalists, Rajapaksa’s official media spokesman MP Keheliya Rambukwella said, under an SLPP govt, agreements will not be entered into with any foreign govts unless said agreements were deemed mutually beneficial. more..

60th Bandaranaike commemoration held under the patronage of President

Sep 26 (PMD) 60th commemoration of late PM S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike was held today at the Bandaranaike Samadhiya in Horagolla under the patronage of Prez Sirisena. Late Premier Bandaranaike transformed the political history with the support of Sanga, Weda, Guru, Govi and Kamkaru movement. Later PM Sirimavo Bandaranaike and former Speaker Anura Bandaranaike were also commemorated at this event. Former Prez Chandrika Kumaratunge more..

Video: SLFP will enter into agreement with SLPP: Nishantha

Sep 26 (AD) The SLFP will discuss with all parties and enter into an agreement with the SLPP in the near future, says MP Nishantha Muthuhettigamage. UPFA MP mentioned this addressing a public meeting held in Galle. “Ranil, Sajith, Karu, no matter who comes from UNP, the candidate who can face them all is Gotabaya,” he said. “We told him that he cannot win without the support of the SLFP. With the full support of the SLFP, we have made arrangements for the victory of Gotabaya. more..

Prez emphasized the importance of role of science and tech in building the nation

Sep 26 (PMD) Our undergraduates have to struggle find suitable employment opportunities due to our education system which lacks science and technology, Prez Sirisena said. Hence, it is imperative to make amendments to the national educational policies while introducing and implementing advanced educational methodologies what are in practice in the developed world, Prez said during the inauguration of the 2nd phase more..