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Central Bank profits to bailout Golden Key

June 30 (EN) Sri Lanka is planning to use central bank profits expected to be earned in 2015 to fund an 8.5 billion rupee bailout of Golden Key Credit Card Company, an unregistered Ponzi-scam style firm that collapsed after promising high interest rates. A total of 8,545 million rupees are needed to bailout investors, according to a proposal made to cabinet. Of that 544 million rupees will go to investors who are owed less than 2 million, more..

UN to close down OCHA in Sri Lanka

June 30 (DM) The Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sri Lanka would be closed by the end of the year and in Papua New Guinea this month, while radically downsizing in Indonesia, the UN said. Oliver Lacey-Hall, the outgoing head of OCHA's Asia-Pacific office in Bangkok has said the UN was downsising its humanitarian staff in some Asian countries where govts have stepped up with funds and more..

IOC cries out for relief

June 30 (Island) Indian Oil Company (IOC) Sri Lanka has once again requested the govt to either increase fuel prices or give them a tax reduction. They had separate meetings with Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake and Power and Energy Minister Champika Ranawaka. Both ministers asked for more time, while appreciating IOC’s role here. Ministry officials said that govt wouldn’t be in a position to take a decision till more..

Sri Lanka North calls for private investments

June 30 (LBO) Northern Province calls for private investments in water disposal, recycling, construction, health care, hospitality, trade and vocational targeting at increasing household income of the people. “Some of the fundamental problems faced by the people of the North and the East are their socio-economic problems, the post conflict trauma, livelihood needs, human rights and issues affecting vulnerable groups,” more..

Heart surgeries at Karapitiya hospital recommence

June 30 (DN) Heart surgeries at the Karapitiya hospital in Galle has re-commenced today after a lapse of five months. It has been possible to resolve the dispute due to the commencement of talks with the hospital administration, through the mediation of Minister Dr. Rajitha Senarathne, Health and Indigenous Medicine Ministry said. Operations of patients on the waiting list will be performed as soon as possible. more..

Health Ministry takes first step to combat excess use of sugar by people

June 30 (Island) The Health Ministry is in the process of introducing a Traffic Light labelling System (Colour coding) initially on a limited range of packaged food items to indicate their sugar levels. As a preliminary step the Ministry would introduce the programme to indicate the amount of sugar included in ready to serve beverages such as colas, soft drinks and liquid milk. Ready to serve drinks containing more than 11 grammes of more..

JVP urges govt to postpone polls

June 30 (DM) The JVP urged the govt to postpone the general elections to the first week of September so that it won't affect students sitting the GCE A/L exam. JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake told a rally in Malabe that the date had been fixed for the polls is the earliest possible day in accordance with election laws. He therefore urged the govt to consider re-scheduling the election to early September. more..

Towards a better public transport system

June 30 (SL) The Sri Lanka’s public transport system has gravely failed to provide people with an efficient service. Inefficiency and irregularities of the public transport system have become an accepted norm among people and they continue to suffer due to the lack of will of the transport authorities to improve the system. The majority of the people in the country continue to travel by overcrowded buses and trains in more..

Heart Panel: The heart disease detector

June 30 (ST) It is the wonder organ around the size of a fist that keeps us alive and even though sometimes we feel it thudding, its functioning is mostly taken for granted. Amazing heart beats about 75 times a minute and moves around 5.5 litres of blood at a given moment around the body. This ultra-efficient pump, working in tandem with the lungs, has the onerous double-task of sending blood through circulatory system more..

Sarath and Chandrika show

June 30 (DM) Click onto the TV in search of News: out pops segments of a local version of a bygone serial The Punch & Judy Show, currently in the vernacular, slotted on distinct channels; with smart editing, could be released as the Sarath & Chandrika Show. It is at comedy central as two septuagenarians’ perform antics to provide entertainment for an evening of melancholy mirth with their foggy notions on current affairs more..

Stand united again when electing new MPs

June 30 (DM) Sri Lankan voters placed immense trust and elected President Maithripala Sirisena for the top job on January 8. The President, thereafter, had the necessary courage to get the 19th Amendment approved in Parliament. The Parliament now stands dissolved. It is unfortunate that the President could not get the 20th Amendment passed by Parliament although it had been duly considered and approved by the Cabinet of Ministers too. Preferential voting which was to be scrapped more..

Clean politics needs clean candidacy

June 30 (DM) The campaign for the clean candidacy for the forthcoming Parliamentary election is gaining momentum now that the Parliamentary elections have been announced by the Elections Commissioner on June 26. The oldest local election Watchdog, the PAFFREL in collaboration with several other civil society organizations has launched this campaign, under the name of March 12 Movement. The movement has laid down eight fundamental criteria for candidates aspiring more..

SLFP nominations for Mahinda: Talks inconclusive

June 30 (DN) Talks between President Sirisena and SLFP stalwarts over accommodating former President Rajapaksa in the SLFP nomination list at the next election ended without a conclusion last night. During the meeting however, UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha and SLFP General Secretary Anura Priyadarshana Yapa had insisted that former President Rajapaksa should be nominated more..

Pharmacists' strike hampers drug distribution

June 30 (DN) The issuance of drugs at certain state hospitals was affected yesterday due to the strike by the Govt Pharmacists' Association. The drug issuing process at the Colombo General Hospital and Teaching Hospitals at Ragama, Anuradhapura etc had not been affected due to the strike. They said small hospitals such as the one at Bentota had been affected due to the strike. Arrangements were being made to plan and implement a substitute system to issue drugs to the patients, more..

SL eying billion dollar funding: CB Governor

June 30 (CT) The newly formed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which was opened in China yesterday will boost our infrastructure projects with low cost funding, Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran exclusively revealed to Ceylon FT. I'm sure we would be one of the first beneficiaries of this bank. We wish to apply for at least US $ one billion project funding for our infrastructure projects, he said in an telephone interview from China. We hope to get those loans at around 2-3% rate, more..

GL, Mahendran trade fire over bond scam

June 30 (Island) Opposition alleged that the Governor of the CB Arjuna Mahendran had received instructions from PM Ranil Wickremesinghe as regards change of established procedures in the run-up to the controversial bond issue and such interventions were contrary to existing regulations. Prof. Peiris said that CB Governor himself had admitted premier’s intervention when he appeared before the special parliamentary committee more..

'All Ministry portfolios will remain in force'

June 30 (DM) Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe today said all Cabinet and State Ministers along with Deputy Ministers would continue to function until a new set of ministers was appointed in a new parliament following the general elections. However, according to the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, only Cabinet Ministers could function in a caretaker government during a general election. “The 19A will be applied once this general election is over. more..

JVP leader slams Maithri for meeting MR

June 30 (CG) JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake slammed President Maithripala Sirisena for having talks with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Dissanayake said that while Sirisena and Rajapaksa had denied that the meeting took place at the Speaker’s official residence, the meeting did take place last week at another location. “Both Rajapaksa and Sirisena issued statements saying they did not meet. They met at President Maithripala Sirisena’s house,” he said. more..

JHU in limbo after dissolution

June 30 (DN) JHU is now in a dilemma on how it should contest Parliamentary election. Although the party had a plan to align itself with the SLFP after the passage of 20th Amendment, dissolution of Parliament has plunged the party into a fresh problem. With the warring factions within SLFP negotiating to arrive at an agreement to contest together, JHU, a minor stakeholder of the govt, has now been left out of equation. more..

Sri Lanka challenges: Poll, LTTE network

June 30 (DNA) The upcoming election to the Sri Lankan Parliament, slated for August 17, is yet another high-stakes gamble for not only President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe but also former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Sirisena’s dissolution of Parliament, which he had promised on April 23 after 100 days in office, comes 10 months before the term of the 225-member House was to end. In the normal course, elections were due only in April 2016. more..

Sri Lanka showcased at Asia Pacific Yachting Conference

June 30 (AT) The 2-day Asia Pacific Yachting Conference, which coincided with the Singapore Yacht Show, was attended by a delegation from the Sri Lanka Govt. A prominent speaker at the conference, and at the Asia Boating Forum that followed, was Simon Arrol, Managing Director of Marina Lanka (Pvt) Limited. Theme of the conference was how to develop yachting and nautical tourism across the region. Although SL is at the extreme west of Asia Pacific Region, more..

Better defeat than contest with Mahinda: Pro-Maithri SLFP group tells President

June 30 (FT) In the backdrop of frantic negotiations to unite warring factions of the SLFP, 36 MPs loyal to the incumbent President have strongly urged him to refrain from joining forces with his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa at the forthcoming parliamentary poll. The group, many of whom hold ministerial portfolios in the now caretaker Govt established after the presidential election, met President last Friday to put their case across. more..

Ceylon Chamber curtails powers of Chairman

June 30 (DN) The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, too has introduced an amendment to their constitution similar to SL’s constitution. This too is to limit the number of times the Chamber President can hold office. Chamber’s former Chairman, Suresh Shah, said they have decided to restrict the term of its Chairman. “We want to give more autonomy to our secretariat,” he said. Traditionally the outgoing Chairperson was also offered a post, but this clause has been taken off. more..

Actor stabbed to death

June 30 (Island) An actor was stabbed to death during a brawl at a restaurant in Maharagama during the wee hours of yesterday. Deceased Indika Ratnayake (44) of Ranawana Road in Pannipitiya had acted in several teledramas and movies. He was a father of two. He had been stabbed in the mouth and chest, police said. The actor visited the restaurant in Maharagama around 4.15 am with two of his friends who got involved in an argument with a woman who had come there. more..

Economy expands by 6.4%, inflation low

June 30 (DN) Sri Lankan economy expanded by 6.4% in the first quarter of 2015, with positive contributions from all three key sectors of the economy. The Services sector and the Industry sector grew by 7.5% and 6.5%, respectively, while the Agriculture sector displayed strong signs of recovery. Going forward, the prospects of improved performance in advanced economies along with low inflation and more..

SL auction & secondary bond yields diverge

June 30 (EN) Yields at a Sri Lanka auction 5, 6 and 8-year bond diverged sharply from the secondary market, data from the state debt office showed, as foreign selling and deficit spending put pressure on bond and forex trading. The debt office said it sold 3,700 million rupees of 4-year 11-month bonds maturing on 01.06.2020 to yield 8.16%, compared to a 01.05.2020 bond sold at auction on June 09 at 8.11%. But in the secondary market 01.05.2020 bonds were quoted at 8.20/35%. more..

Adam Carbons reignites Bieco Link Kilns in Giriulla

June 30 (DM) Bieco Link’s activated carbon factory, renamed Adam Carbons (Pvt) Ltd. after Adam Investments bought out previous owners PCHH, commenced production after a brief period of inactivity, the company announced at a media conference recently. The opening and re-commissioning of its activated carbon factory was graced by Minister Ravi Karunanayake. The factory, once SL’s second biggest exporter of activated carbon has seen its fortunes revive since more..

Sri Lanka's war is long over, but reconciliation remains elusive

June 30 (NPR) Sri Lanka, a palm-fringed island in the Indian Ocean, is in the sixth year of peace. But as the country prepares for elections in August, the legacy of its long civil war still casts a shadow. The intervening years have been especially painful for the families of the thousands who disappeared in three decades of conflict and remain unaccounted for. The trauma endures in the fishing village of Mannar in the Northern Province, more..

Sampath Bank goes to Myanmar

June 30 (CT) Sampath Bank, Sri Lanka's third–biggest privately owned lender by assets, is looking to invest and lend in Southeast Asia's developing economies like Myanmar, CEO Aravinda Perera revealed. "We wish to start our Myanmar operations with a representative office. Sampath is the first Sri Lankan bank applied for the Myanmar banking licence. We wish, we will get it soon," he said. Myanmar is a virgin market. Firstly, we have to study the situation, he said. more..

GK depositor suffers heart attack in court

June 30 (ST) An unhappy Golden Key (GK) depositor suffered a heart attack soon after the hearing in the case in the Supreme Court on Thursday. After hearing the state submissions in the case which further delays the payment plan, President of the G.K. Depositors Society Wasanatha Gunathilaka had collapsed in the court premises and was admitted to a private hospital for treatment of a sudden heart attack, Dushanathi Hapugoda, President, GK Depositors’ Association said. more..

Peradeniya University opens vet skills lab

June 30 (Island) Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science (FVMAS) at the University of Peradeniya opened its newly established Veterinary skills laboratory for the utility of students on June 23. With this opening, the university now owns a first-of-its-kind lab in the South Asian region. The purpose of this lab is to offer novice veterinary undergraduates the opportunity to master day-one clinical skills in more..

'Sensible import of Knowledge Workers okay'

June 30 (Island) Dr. Saman Kelegama, Executive Director of the Institute of Policy Studies making a strong case for sensible liberalization of professional services recently said import of high quality Knowledge Workers is an option available for Sri Lanka, to deal with its current skills gap and to readily supply the talent pool today’s businesses need. Kelegama made this remark addressing leading professional figures from diverse sectors who come together to share more..

Polls Ahoy! as Parliament shuts down

June 30 (ST) The proposed 20th Amendment was not the first box on the people’s tick list that demanded the nation’s foremost attention. Given the increasing instability of this govt as it depended on the whim and fancy of an incongruous majority opposition for day to day survival, the pressing need for an immediate general election outranked all else. Thankfully the 20th Amendment Waiting for Godot is at long last over. Friday night’s announcement that Parliament stood dissolved must be more..

Nimali completes a hat trick

June 30 (CT) Wonderful middle distance runner from Sooriyawewa, Nimali Liyanarachchi completed a hat trick as she won the 800m, while Sri Lanka sealed 7 podium finishes at the third leg of the Asian Grand Prix held at Chanthaburi, Thailand yesterday. After two wins in the earlier two editions, Nimali was favourite to complete a hat trick, which she did with a 2 minutes 06.73 seconds performance. more..

To groom future Stars

June 30 (ST) An interim member of a leading sports body has told close associates that a considerable sum of money is being spent on two players and that money could be utilised to groom future players. “The money spent on these two players is colossal. What’s more these two players will not be in this particular sports scene for long as they are on the verge of retiring. So why not channel the money spent on these two be spent on several youngsters in order to groom future stars,” more..

Toronto Cricketers here on a 12-day tour

June 30 (DN) A combined schools cricket team from the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) schools will start a 12-day cricket tour in Sri Lanka today. The tour marks the first official visit of a schools cricket team from Canada - a country beyond cricket's traditional boundaries. The Sri Lanka cricket tour is part of a larger Toronto youth initiative titled Cricket Across the Pond (CAP) aimed at introducing cricket as a vehicle to reach out to youth and enhance social cohesion & interaction among young people. more..

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