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Archives

Public sector strikes: TNA endorses govt action

July 28 (Island) The TNA called on workers to exercise their right to trade union action in a very responsible and constructive manner. TNA MP MA Sumanthiran, participating in a debate in parliament on the govt’s decision to declare petroleum sector an essential service under the provisions of the Public Security Ordinance, said that resorting to strike action at the drop of a hat devalued the most potent weapon at the disposal of the working class. more..

Commercial Bank introduces Sri Lanka’s first chip and PIN debit card

July 28 (LBO) Commercial Bank has introduced Mastercard debit cards with chip and PIN technology for the first time to the country. “These cards replace the existing Maestro debit cards with magnetic strips. The new Chip and PIN debit card will minimise the possibility of fraudulent transactions at Point-of-Sale (POS) due to PIN requirement,” Bank said. “This technology renders the new Mastercard debit cards smart and significantly increases the security level of the card more..

A temporary salve: Implications of an oil bear market on the SL economy

July 28 (IPS)  Sri Lanka’s fuel bill has been spiraling as of late. According to a recent Central Bank press releaseon external sector performance, petroleum purchases for the first four months of 2017 were estimated at US$ 1.2 billion. This represents a colossal 75% increase in the value of such imports, when compared to tabulated estimates for the corresponding period last year. This development is of great concern. Given Sri Lanka’s dependency on imported fuel for domestic consumption, more..

More trade unions to join agitations against goon attacks on CPC workers

July 28 (Island)  Political parties and civil organisations opposed to the handover of the Hambantota and Trinco oil tank farms to China and India respectively are organising a series of agitations shortly. Ceylon Teachers’ Union (CTU), Free Trade Zones and General Services Employees Union (FTZGSU) and several other associations are currently discussing action to be taken against the suppression of workers’ rights. CTU Chief Secretary Joseph Stalin condemned more..

‘Politicians never hit by strikes’

July 28 (Island)  Very critical institutions, such as those in the health and petroleum sectors, must resort to strike action once other settlement mechanisms are exhausted. If not  the people have to suffer and not the politicians, Director, Economics, Verite Research Dr. Nishan de Mel told The Island Financial Review. He said that all workers of such institutions should strike a balance between rights and responsibilities. This has to be considered by every worker.     more..

Qatar Airways boosts Colombo service to 4 daily non-stop

July 28 (FT)  Qatar Airways yesterday announced that it would introduce a fourth daily non-stop service from Doha to Colombo from 1 August. In addition, two of the four daily flights will be serviced by the B777-300ER aircraft to accommodate the increased travel demand to and from Sri Lanka. The increased frequency and aircraft upgauge will boost overall capacity to and from Colombo by 3,136 seats weekly, a 20% increase from current weekly capacity.  more..

Provincial Councils Amendment Bill In August

July 28 (CT) Parliament is set to debate amendments to the Provincial Councils Act next month bringing the date for the much anticipated Provincial Councils poll closer. Leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella told Parliament that a date would be fixed for the poll immediately after the amendments are passed. Govt's announcement comes as PAFFREL, citing the repeated postponements of LG elections, has said that there was an unwillingness on the part of the Govt to hold elections. more..

Samantha Rajapaksa appointed to BOC Board

July 28 (FT) Minister Kabir Hashim has appointed Samantha Rajapaksa to the Board of Bank of Ceylon as a Non-Executive Director with effect from 25 July. Rajapaksa is a Fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of SL, Chartered Institute of Management Accountants of UK and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing of UK. He also holds an MBA from the University of Sri J'pura. He is the Group Managing Director of Associated Motorways Ltd., more..

JKH kicks off FY18 on a strong note

July 28 (FT) Premier blue chip John Keells Holdings (JKH) has begun the 2017/18 financial year on a strong note with double-digit growth in the top line and bottom line. The company announced that the group’s profit before tax (PBT) at Rs. 4.09 billion in the first quarter of the financial year 2017/18 was an increase of 14% over a year earlier. The profit attributable to equity holders grew by 19% to Rs. 2.83 billion. Revenue was up 18% to Rs. 26.82 billion in the first quarter. more..

Sanofi responds to Rajitha on dengue vaccine efficacy

July 28 (FT) With reference to a Daily FT article which appeared yesterday titled Rajitha says dengue vaccine not effective enough, a Sanofi Pasteur spokesperson issued the following clarification. The article states (as quoted):  “The effectiveness of the vaccine is only 52% so we cannot just give the medicine to the people telling them that the vaccine will prevent them from contracting the disease,” Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said more..

Expect unexpected power cuts: CEB

July 28 (DM) CEB said that unexpected power failures could be experienced across the country due to several reasons including a decrease of hydro-power generation. CEB media spokesman said power failures could occur whenever there is a high electricity demand in a given area. However, he said the power cuts would not affect areas where there are hospitals. Commenting on the reasons behind power failures, he said a 300 MW phase at the Norochcholai power plant is yet to be repaired. more..

You can’t tolerate poor batting: Vaas

July 28 (DN) SL’s fast bowling coach Chaminda Vaas came down hard on the Sri Lanka batsmen for not putting up a decent batting performance on the second day of the first Test against India at the Galle Stadium yesterday. “If any side gets 600 there is pressure on the opposition team’s batsmen. But even so, we didn’t bat well. Some batsmen got out early. That’s something that a team can’t tolerate – but that’s the nature of the game,” said Vaas at the end of the second day. more..

Video: All Govt, Provincial and Semi govt. schools closed today

July 28 (DM) Over 10,300 schools, including National, Provincial and Semi-Govt schools across the country would be closed for educational activities today as a part of extensive three-day dengue prevention campaign, Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said. Minister said he had instructed the officials that all schools should be closed for educational activities today. He said two circulars have been issued in this regard. more..

Over 4000 netball players expected to compete in finals

July 28 (Island) The final phase of the Sri Lanka Schools Netball Championship sponsored by Nestle Lanka will be held from August 3 to 5 at the Vincent Dias Ground, Badulla. The three-day championship will be held under new age categories, namely the Under-13, 15, 17 and 19. Previously it was held in the age categories of Under-12, 14, 16 and 18. Teams in the Under-15, 17 and 19 age categories will compete in two Divisions. Schools with a student population of over 1000 will compete in Division ‘A’, more..

Fleet-footed India outdo Sri Lanka in the Galle maze

July 28 (CI) India like to be ruthless when ahead, in that they don't like to leave the door open in order to make a statement. Even the ever-present threat of rain in Galle is not likely to make them enforce a follow-on on a 10-man Sri Lanka, even if they bowl them out in the first hour on the third morning. Prospects of a three-day finish might not be tempting enough for this team, which has seen the pitch drying out quickly, and which knows from first-hand experience that chasing anything more..

He served beyond the call of duty

July 28 (DN) The village of Kumarakatuwa in Chilaw lies almost 20km away from a main city. It is over 300km from Jaffna. But it is in Jaffna, that Sub Inspector (SI) Sarath Hemachandra (51) of Kumarakattuwa spent most of his time during the last two years. For the last 15 years, he worked as the Security Officer of Jaffna High Court Judge, Illancheliyan Manikavasagar (54). Saturday (22), SI Hemachandra was killed by Selvarasa Jayandan (39), more..

Govt’s new strong-arm approach

July 28 (Island) Last Wednesday, for the first time in living memory, the military was deployed to distribute fuel in the wake of the CPC strike. My generation has seen many things in our lifetimes, civil war, terrorism, suicide bombings, World War II scale military debacles, piles of dead bodies – the whole works, and we thought we had seen it all and that in the interval between now and our death, we would not see anything that we had not seen earlier and that life would be at the very worst, more..

Editorial: Arrest those goons!

July 28 (Island) We thought the practice of deploying goons to operate alongside the riot police to crush public protests would end with the 2015 regime change. The present-day leaders, in the run-up to the last presidential election, promised a clean break from the past and a new political culture. But, two-and-a-half years on, we see pro-govt thugs operate openly in full view of the police, assaulting as they do protesters, with absolute impunity. They were first sighted in Hambantota, more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Still wanted: Pragmatic leaders!

July 28 (DN) Independence in 1948 saw Sri Lanka’s ship of state glide smoothly on still waters as it were, when oceans of rising waves, turbulence and even storms were seen elsewhere. Though on hindsight, the leaders at the time are not seen as great visionaries, they yet managed the ship of state prudently. They were dedicated patriots. They sacrificed their wealth and did not swindle the country. They did not ask for super luxury Benz cars, they used their own. more..

Questions of credibility impunity

July 28 (DN) Last week the news of the attempted abduction of Ryan Jayalath, Convener of the Medical Students’ Action Committee in the city in broad daylight was received with shock and disbelief by the civil society. Even sections of the establishment were stunned. Media Minister soon issued a statement condemning the incident and promising an inquiry. The police hastened to say that the van was not a police vehicle but it belonged to the Finance Ministry. more..

Sri Lanka, world's coveted black Tea source'

July 28 (CT) Chairman of the SL Tea Board Rohan Pethiyagoda said that Sri Lanka was the most coveted black tea source in the world. "Of course, we need to do more to get our message out there. Competing with the big international brands isn't easy. They have more leverage when it comes to shelf space in supermarkets", he said. However, we're carving out a niche for ourselves and our challenge is to grow that niche, not so much in terms of volume but in terms of value, he said. more..

'He gifted me a ring on Valentine’s Day'

July 28 (NS) There is a common saying that behind every successful man there is a woman. But often we don’t talk much about these heroines behind the man. This time we allocated some space for these unsung women behind the success of outstanding cricketers in Sri Lanka. In this column the present writer focused on the romantic times and interesting incidents in their married life. Yoshini Mendis, the wife of talented spin wizard of cricket Ajantha Mendis, joins in this discussion. more..

Veteran Litigator Malliha Wilson of SL origin: From Tellippalai to the Supreme Court

July 28 (NS) This is the last thing you might expect to hear from Malliha Wilson, Ontario’s Assistant Deputy Attorney General from 2008 to 2016, a litigator with an impressive career who has been serving the Ontario Government for three decades. But say you didn’t know about her leadership roles, which as of late 2016 took the form of Special Counsel for the Investment Management Corporation of Ontario. And say you just happened to come across her name when you learned about more..

A Gem of a story

July 28 (SO) Abandoned houses and neglected tea bushes dot the landscape of Paradise Estate. The houses stand ghost-like, uninhabited, except for a few tools and spare clothes of the workers hung to dry on a line inside. The residents are long gone. They left when gems were found and many exchanged tea, for a shot at finding a gem. Today, if you want to find gems, more often than not, it is likely you would end up in Paradise. more..

Only class action can bring justice to Uma Oya project victims

July 28 (CT) I was in Sri Lanka a couple of weeks ago and had the opportunity to travel through Bandarawela, a unique destination for eco-tourists. Even during the colonial period Bandarawela with its semi-temperate climate was the main holiday destination for the foreign masters. Its reputation as a relaxing holiday resort in beautiful Sri Lanka still remains undiminished. What a paradise? However, I was shocked to see the irreparable damage caused to the town’s water supply more..

Against a culture of ambivalence

July 28 (CT) For obvious reasons, the govt wants to convince us that its enemies and friends are also the people’s. Obvious, because in equalising the one with the other we are on firm ground. Obvious, because if my enemy is your enemy, the world is easier to simplify, and the decision by an official body is easier to rationalise. Obvious, because if you kill your enemy and he or she happens to be my enemy as well, everything becomes a whole lot easier to sweep under the carpet. more..

Murder of Nadarajah Raviraj: Court issues arrest warrant for SL Navy Officer

July 27 (AD) Court of Appeal has issued a warrant for the arrest of Prasad Hettiarachchi, an officer of SL Navy. Prasad Hettiarachchi has been named as a respondent of the petition submitted by Nadarajah Raviraj’s wife, through which she requested that the murder case of her husband be taken up for hearing again. When the relevant petition was taken up for consideration today, the counsel representing petitioner’s side stated more..

Far-right group's ship held in Cyprus, Sri Lankans on board ask for asylum

July 27 (Reuters) A ship an anti-migrant group planned to use as part of its campaign to protect Europe's shores from mass migration has been detained in Cyprus while the status of a group of Sri Lankans on board is being investigated. Members of the Identarian movement, which says it wants to protect Europe's identity from mass immigration, last week said they had chartered the C-Star which would set sail towards the Libyan coast to monitor humanitarian operations there. more..

Coca-Cola returns to partner with SLC

July 27 (DM) Coca-Cola has entered into a 3-year partnership with Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) as the Official Carbonated Beverage Partner from 2017 – 2020. The partnership covers all inbound tours and matches in Sri Lanka until early 2020. Speaking on the partnership, Thilanga Sumathipala, MP – President, Sri Lanka Cricket said “We are delighted to welcome Coca-Cola as the Official Carbonated Beverage Partner for national cricket. Sri Lanka Cricket is poised at an important juncture more..

Sri Lankan among Magsaysay award winners

July 27 (AP) Yoshiaki Ishizawa, a Japanese historian who helped Cambodians preserve the Angkor temples, and Gethsie Shanmugam, a Sri Lankan teacher who counseled war widows and orphans to overcome their nightmares, are among the six winners of this year’s Ramon Magsaysay Awards, regarded as Asia’s version of the Nobel Prize. The other recipients named Thursday are Abdon Nababan, more..

Former SLAF commander receives final notice to appear in Court

July 27 (NR) Colombo Additional Magistrates Court issued summons for the final time for former Air Force Commander Harsha Abeywickrama to appear before Court. The order was issued by Magistrate Buddhika Sri Ragala when the case was taken up for hearing this morning. A case has been filed against former Air Force Commander over charges of a phone call he received from an individual who claimed he was MP Namal Rajapaksa requesting cancellation of a transfer of an SLAF officer. more..

Ravi's fate after he appears before CoI on Aug. 2: SB

July 27 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe may take a decision on Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayaka after he gives evidence before the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) on bond scam on August 2, Minister S.B. Dissanayaka said today. Minister Dissanayaka admitted that certain information revealed during the CoI proceedings the other day involving Minister Karunanayaka were extremely damaging to the govt and to minister Karunanayaka himself. more..

India run through top order after amassing 600

July 27 (CI) Swing, seam, pace and bounce. Dip, drift, turn and bounce. Ingredients that seemed largely absent when India piled on 600, their second-highest total in Sri Lanka, haunted the home side in their reply, as they ended the second day of the Galle Test five down with the follow-on mark still 247 runs away. Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami took the top order apart, even as Upul Tharanga hurtled along with a profusion of more..

Govt cannot be toppled by disrupting essential services: Sampanthan

July 27 (DN) The govt cannot be toppled by disrupting the essential services, Opposition Leader and TNA leader R. Sampanthan said in Parliament today. He also said that disrupting the essential services is an act against democracy. He added that the Joint Opposition is attempting to topple the govt by interrupting the essential services. “But everybody should realize the govt has received the people’s mandate,” Opposition leader said. Provision of fuel to the people is essential. more..

'Fiasco has had a negative impact on Govt'

July 27 (CT) The Govt said it was betting all its chips on Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake clearing the negative image created by his alleged involvement in the controversial Treasury Bonds scam. Minister Rajitha Senaratne said, while it was undeniable that the entire fiasco has had a major negative impact on the Govt, the Cabinet expects Minister Karunanayake to appear before the Presidential Commission on Treasury Bonds issue. "We cannot make one-sided judgments. more..

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