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Under-19 Asia Cup kicks off today

Sep 5 (CT) The U-19 Asia Cup will commence today at CCC Colombo and will continue till 14 Sept featuring 8-member teams of the Asian Cricket Council. The previous edition of the U-19 Asia Cup 2018 was won by India when they defeated Sri Lanka by 144 runs. It was their sixth U-19 Asian title. This year the Sri Lankan team is captained by talented Nipun Dhananjaya while Kamil Mishra will be his deputy. The teams will be split into two groups of four teams each. more..

Tourist arrivals shortfall narrows in August

Sep 5 (FT) The shortfall of tourist arrivals feared after the Easter Sunday attacks is fast narrowing, a top official said, as year-on-year numbers continue to reduce with August arrivals seeing a contraction of 28.3% when compared with 2018 and the first 8 months of the year tagging a deficit of 19.9% when compared to the same period last year. In Aug 143,587 tourist arrivals were registered, down by 28.3% compared to more..

Online technologies in banking and financial sector encouraged

Sep 5 (DN) Sri Lanka annually spends around 1.5% of GDP to print, transport, distribute and maintain currency notes. Therefore the country’s entire financial system should moved into a techno-based platform, said Amarasri Kumaratunge Director Payments and settlements Central Bank on Wednesday at the LankaClear, annual Technnovation Awards launch. He said over 60% of transaction especially in the retail sector is still done using hard cash and this is now becoming more..

Cargills Bank & Janashakthi Life strengthen partnership

Sep 5 (Island) Strengthening the partnership between two of SL's leading local corporates, Cargills Bank and Janashakthi Insurance announced the launch of their new co-branded credit card, which is dedicated to provide superior value to Janashakthi Life insurance customers. This co-branded credit card will be made available to existing or new Janashakthi Life customers with a monthly premium value of Rs. 10,000 or above, and can avail a credit limit up to Rs. 500,000. more..

Philippine, Sri Lanka to develop bilateral military training, diplomacy vs. insurgency

Sep 5 (MB) The Philippines and Sri Lanka are set to enhance military cooperation through the development of bilateral training and diplomacy to fight the threats of insurgency. This, as the Philippine Army (PA) hosted the academic visit of the Defense Services Command and Staff College of Sri Lanka led by Group Captain Varuna Sirimanne at the PA headquarters in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City on Wednesday. more..

Sri Lanka to tighten controls on private higher education

Sep 5 (EN) Sri Lanka is drawing up laws to tighten controls on private higher education, the state information office said. Sri Lanka’s cabinet of minister had given the nod to bring in changes to a 1978 law on universities. An expert committee has drawn up a concept paper to draw up a strong legal framework to regulated private higher education. In Sri Lanka graduates of some state universities with tax payer funded free education are given welfare jobs as state workers with lifetime pensions more..

A different airport

Sep 5 (ST) How can an airport be different, when every airport is built for the same purpose? There are planes landing in and taking off. There are air-travel passengers going out and coming in. There are offices, customs, shops, and amenities to meet the regulatory requirements and passenger needs. However, we are not looking at the differences that exist in terms of efficiency and effectiveness of all these common features. Shim Jungwook is from South Korea, & is serving in a Japanese Uni more..

CB holds off talks with PayPal and Stripe

Sep 5 (CT) Central Bank (CB) has decided to abandon discussions with online payment providers PayPal and Stripe, at least for the time being. "Sri Lanka's online market might be too small for them to operate; therefore, they were not keen to provide their full services to SL at this point in time," he said. However, the official said that Stripe is willing to commence operations directly in Sri Lanka without any local partnership more..

Govt at last gets Customs to review its FTA with Singapore

Sep 5 (Island) Govt would shortly remove provisions detrimental to the country from SL-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (FTA), govt official said. Customs Media Spokesman Sunil Jayarathna said that a committee was reviewing the SL -Singapore FTA. He said that the review was taking place, especially after some 263 hazardous waste containers had been found dumped here. Jayarathna, however, maintained that there had been no waste imports from Singapore under the agreement. more..

Were Sri Lanka robbed? Images reveal truth behind controversial Black Caps finish

Sep 5 (NZH) Nearly two months on from that fateful game - the Black Caps were involved in yet another bizarre finish to a cricket match. The umpires from that heartbreaking World Cup loss admitted they got it wrong when it came to the Ben Stokes fiasco. This time, the Black Caps were on the right side of history when the Sri Lankan fielder Shehan Jayasuriya took a catch on the boundary, only to collide with a fellow teammate Kusal Mendis and go tumbling over the rope. more..

COPE probing corruption at SLC

Sep 5 (RN) The COPE has ordered a detailed audit of Sri Lanka Cricket’s (SLC) accounts after incidents of alleged corruption and gross irregularities were revealed during yesterday’s hearings. These investigations are to be overseen by Auditor General, COPE ruled. COPE Chairman Sunil Handunetti observed that the “mindset of the SLC officials is that this is money we earned for the organisation and we can do anything with it.” more..

Sooriyawewa Stadium costs queried

Sep 5 (FT) The Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) has ordered Sri Lanka Cricket to submit a report on the construction of the Sooriyawewa Cricket stadium within a month after a disparity of three billion rupees was found between the value of the property and the cost incurred to build it. The committee was informed yesterday 3 Sept that the Sri Lanka Ports Authority and China Harbour Ltd, had carried out work worth Rs 5 billion on the showpiece stadium in Hambantota. more..

Cabinet shows green light to CEB

Sep 5 (DM) Cabinet granted approved for a letter of comfort for the cash-strapped Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) to get further credit facilities from the state banks and Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC). A letter of comfort is a legal guarantee given to a bank by a third party or the govt in this instance. CEB has already obtained Rs.96 billion from the state banks including Samurdhi Bank. Besides, it owes Rs. 80 billion to the CPC and Rs.25 billion to independent power producers (IPP). more..

Govt will present VoA: Govt

Sep 5 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe confirmed to Parliament the Govt will not follow the traditional Budget program but will present a Vote on Account (VoA) that will cover expenses in 2020. PM held instead of the three month-long traditional Budget program, a VoA will be used to cover the expenses of 2020. “Cabinet has decided not to move Budget 2020 this year. It was a tradition that a Budget will not be held in the months of more..

Court restrains Puttalam protestors from attacks on trucks

Sep 5 (DN) Puttalam District Judge and Magistrate Anura Buddhadasa yesterday issued an interim order restraining persons from protesting against or damaging trucks transporting Colombo’s garbage to the Aruwakkalu Garbage Recycling Plant. District Judge issued the restraining order following Puttalam Police HQI IP Nihal Kulathunga plea before court to prevent protestors from obstructing the smooth daily transfer of urban waste. The Inspector told court that four persons namely more..

Decision to dissolve Parliament after Presidential Election rests with House: PM

Sep 5 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday said any decision to dissolve Parliament after the Prez Elections expected at the end of the year should be taken by the House membership as that power has been removed from the Executive by the 19th Amendment. PM, responding to a question for oral answer raised by JVP MP Bimal Rathnayake in Parliament, said: “Today the power to dissolve Parliament remains with the Parliament unlike in the past where the power was vested with Prez. more..

Sajith denies Central Cultural Fund misused

Sep 5 (FT) Minister Sajith Premadasa denied Opposition allegations on misappropriation of money regarding the Central Cultural Fund in Parliament. He explained the funds were used for development of the country but not for the benefit of individuals or companies in particular held that Rs. 1,598 million was withdrawn from the deposits to face the damages of Easter Sunday attacks. “Easter attacks reduced income. more..

'Thuna Paha restaurants to go worldwide'

Sep 5 (DM) Minister Champika Ranawaka said that his Ministry would promote 1000 recipes of SL cuisine abroad by setting up Thuna Paha restaurants in different capitals. He said that SL cuisine should go global like Thai and Chinese cuisines. He said around 1000 traditional SL recipes had been identified to be promoted globally through Water’s Edge hotel. “In this hotel, we have Thuna Paha restaurant. Water’s Edge will put up similar restaurants in different world capital cities. more..

JO calls for special PSC probe on alleged Rs. 3.6 bn CCF fund misuse

Sep 5 (DM) JO MP T.B. Ekanayake called for appointing a special parliamentary select committee to look into the alleged misuse of Rs 3.6 billion from the Central Cultural Fund (CCF). MP who moved an adjournment debate on the issue in parliament said a sum of Rs 3,6 billion has been released from CCF without the approval of the board which is administering the fund. He said PM is the chairman of this fund. “If the funds were used for any purpose, details pertaining to it should be made public. more..

Mangala’s backdoor appointments exposed and halted by COPE

Sep 5 (Island) A probe conducted by the Parliamentary watchdog committee, COPE, found that 1,707 persons had been recruited as Staff Assistants and Office Assistants of National Savings Bank on the basis of lists sent to the bank by the Private Secretary of Minister of Finance. It was revealed that 104 persons had been recruited in 2017, 36 in 2018 and 250 in 2019. They had been given letters of appointment, COPE was informed. more..

Accountability, a step towards the healing process

Sep 5 (DM) While the World marked the Int'l Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances on Aug 30, the kith and kin of those who had disappeared, during the near 30-year armed conflict between the security forces and the LTTE, took to the streets at Omantai in the North and Kalmunai in the East to draw the attention of the govt to the fate of their missing family members. Protesters were not in search of pity but a closure to the mental agony and torment that has been haunting them for yrs. more..

UNP lawmaker turns 50 on Monday Can Navin relate a success story?

Sep 5 (DM) Greatly inspired by the work of his late father, Gamini, lawmaker Navin has much to look forward to in the field of politics as he gets set to celebrate his 50th birthday on Sept 9 (Monday). Fifty years in one’s life is a milestone and calls for reflection. There are those who opine that young Navin must set his sight on becoming SL’s president one day. But he seems to be in no hurry for that. And there are those who opine that if Navin wishes to be president of Sri Lanka more..

Soil supply rivalry with Angoda Lokka trigger for double murder

Sep 5 (ST) Police are on the lookout for the two gunmen who shot dead a businessman and his driver in Hanwella this week on a reported contract killing over a business rivalry. A senior police officer said three suspects already in custody had claimed that the killing was a contract job given by underworld figure Angoda Lokka, now reportedly hiding in India. Officer said the suspects in custody had claimed they had no role in the killings more..

Is president harbouring prime ministerial ambitions now?

Sep 5 (DM) Prez Sirisena, in his speech delivered at the 68th convention of his SLFP on Tuesday, laid emphasis on the post of PM. He said it is all powerful under the 19th Amendment which was incorporated into the Constitution in 2015. The prez powers have been pruned to a great extent under it, for sure. Future Presidents would be even more wing-clipped since they, no longer, would be able to hold additional ministerial posts. more..

'We’ll contest elections under a new symbol'

Sep 5 (DM) Leader of the JVP Anura Kumara Dissanayake, who is the nominee for presidential candidacy of the National People’s Power (NPP), a movement led by his party, spoke about current politics and his policies to be implemented if elected to office. Q: During the last three occasions, the JVP did not contest prez elections. Instead, it supported candidates from different parties directly or indirectly. more..

The right qualities make the President: MR

Sep 5 (FT) The Executive Presidency is still a powerful position despite the 19th Amendment, Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa said insisting they have picked the candidate who can make the most of that power to deliver effective leadership to develop the country. Addressing the SLPP meeting with smallholder exporters at SL Exhibition and Convention Centre (SLECC), Rajapaksa said an individual more..

SC to deliver verdict on IGP’s affidavit today

Sep 5 (AD) The Supreme Court will today deliver the verdict of the affidavit submitted by the IGP Pujith Jayasundara, who is named as a respondent of the 12 Fundamental Rights petitions filed over the failure to prevent Easter Sunday terror attacks even after receiving adequate intelligence information. The FR petitions were filed against IGP Jayasundara & former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando by 12 parties including BASL. more..

PCoI probes NHDA recruitments

Sep 5 (Island) A large number of graduates and non-graduates had been recruited to the National Housing Development Authority (NHDA) on a contractual basis at the beginning of this year without a cadre requirement or training, the PCoI was informed, on Tuesday (3). The PCoI is investigating the alleged appointment of 2,300 persons, exceeding the approved cadre requirement, to the NHDA. more..

Sri Lanka and Australia to strengthen cooperation to counter people smuggling

Sep 5 (MFA) SL and Australia have re-dedicated themselves to counter people smuggling and discussed in detail avenues for strengthening cooperation to address the recent escalation of the number of people-smuggling ventures from SL to Australia since May, 2019. Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha expressed Sri Lanka’s fullest support to Australia in curtailing human-smuggling operations originating from SL shores, more..

EU notes need for improvements: Reviews GSP Plus facility

Sep 5 (TL) A delegation of the European Union (EU) last week reviewed Sri Lanka’s progress on matters related to human rights during the fourth meeting of the Working Group on Governance, Rule of Law, and Human Rights under the EU-SL Joint Commission in Colombo. The Foreign Ministry has stated that the meeting took place in the context of regular bilateral exchanges between the EU and Sri Lanka, more..

Sajin Vass indicted on money laundering charge; granted bail

Sep 5 (AD) Former UPFA MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena has been granted bail by the Colombo High Court after being served indictment over money laundering charges. He has been indicted by the AG on the charge of money laundering amounting to over Rs 306.26 million, under Section 3 [1] [a] of Money Laundering Act No 05 of 2006 as amended by Act No 40 of 2011. When the case was taken up more..

Singapore to consider Mahendran’s extradition

Sep 5 (ST) Sri Lanka will request the extradition from Singapore of a former central bank chief in relation to a US$74 million insider trading scam, the attorney-general has said. Arjuna Mahendran, a Singapore national of SL origin, was accused in 2015 of passing sensitive information to his bond-dealer son-in-law to make millions in undue profits. "Documents amounting to 21,000 pages were submitted to Ministry of Foreign Affairs more..

Will Singapore Hand Back Mahendran?

Sep 5 (CT) CB Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy said that two reputed int'l institutions are conducting five separate audits on the Forensic Audit Reports of the CB Bonds Scam and that the ulterior report would in all probability be made available to the public by the end of October this year. His admission comes in the wake of a series of calls from public spirited men who have been pursuing with demands for this very probe to be made not only evident but also more satisfyingly evident. more..

'Didn’t receive disciplinary action letter yet'

Sep 5 (AD) MP A.H.M. Fowzie says that disciplinary action must be sought not against him, but against the party members who ruined the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP). Speaking to Ada Derana, MP Fowzie added that he has not yet received any disciplinary action letter for show cause. However, UPFA General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera told Ada Derana that the SLFP will definitely seek disciplinary action against the National List Members of Parliament who left the party. more..

Tilvin Silva at the NPP press conference

Change of heart and mind could upset presidential race apple cart

Sep 5 (FT) I AM BY NO MEANS SANGUINE about politics as the practice of the possible. We have invested too much over the years in this art of the attainable to let it go to rack and ruin now. But time and again the men, the machines, and movements we have trusted in have let us down as predictably as national selectors for sporting sides have. They have given us only the end of a silver string, asking us to wind it into a golden ball, but found that we’re left holding a dead rope… more..

Bank employees stealing can only be minimized: NSB Chairman

Sep 5 (Island) Chairman of the National Savings Bank H.N.J. Chandrasekera told parliamentary watchdog committee – COPE that bank employees and clients stealing from banks could never be completely prevented but only minimized. "I have been in the banking sector for over 40 years and as per my experience and the experience of international bankers it is a fact that we cannot fully eradicate the problem of employees and clients stealing from the bank," Chandrasekera said. more..

Minister Perera defends govt against allegation of selective justice

Sep 5 (Island) The govt would take swift action to digitalise the court system in the country, Non-Cabinet Minister Ajith P. Perera told parliament, on Tuesday. Minister said so, taking part in the debate on regulations proposed under the Judicature Act, made by the Minister of Justice and Prison Reforms, as published in the gazette Extraordinary No. 2116/28 on March 26, 2019. Perera observed that only a Rs. 3 billion more..

Harry J. calls for milk imports curbs

Sep 5 (EN) SL should restrict imports of milk powder and dairy products as the island was cable of meeting most of its needs domestically, Harry Jayawardena, chairman of Stassen group, who also heads several other firms, has said. “We spent millions of dollars to import milk powder and dairy products,” he said. “And ultimately we went to buy cows but all those cows were sick. We are wasting so much money on these things and we should stop this. “We can produce these products in SL more..

Sri Devi to KKS starts service today

Sep 5 (DM) A new train service titled Sri Devi was commissioned from Colombo Fort to Kankesanthurai (KKS) this morning. The train will be in service daily from today. The train leaves Colombo Fort Railway Station at 3.55 p.m and scheduled to reach KKS at 11.14 p.m. The same train will depart from KKS at 3.45 p.m and reach Colombo Fort at 10.24 p.m. An official of the Control Room said that the train, which was originally operated up to Vavuniya, had been extended to KKS and Christened Sri Devi. more..