NewsThe Health Ministry says it would test chillies imported from India to determine whether they contain Aflatoxin chemicals, a process it said would require five days. Issuing a statement, the ministry noted that Aflatoxin chemicals are produced in chillies due to fungus, making chillies unsuitable for consumption. At present, tests are being carried out for atleast 10 days, before releasing them to the market. Meanwhile, the ministry noted that onions could be imported from India beginning in December, after it lifts the ban on exporting onions. (Reporting by Damith Wickramasekara)
November 06, 2019 06:33 UTC
NewsCabinet approval has been obtained to construct a nine-storeyed building at the Elpitiya Base Hospital at a cost of Rs 6.1 billion. The building would see the construction of a new Intensive Care Unit, hospital wards, an accident ward, a Radiology Department office, and also a laboratory. In addition, Rs 6.2 billion is to be spent on constructing a 10-storeyed building at the Balapitiya Base Hospital, the cabinet paper submitted by the Health Ministry stated. This building would comprise an Out-Patient Department (OPD), Accident Ward, Operation Theatres, Laboratories and, will provide other related services.
November 06, 2019 06:22 UTC
NewsTwo Singaporean companies, this week, won bids to supply coal to Sri Lanka’s Lakvijiaya Power Station in Puttalam. Adani Global Pte. Ltd had won a spot tender to supply 240,000 metric tonnes of coal at a cost of USD 16.1 million (Rs 2.9 billion), a cabinet paper submitted by the Power and Energy ministry said. In addition, Swiss Singapore Overseas Enterprises Pte Ltd, won a long-term tender to supply 1.1 metric tonnes of coal at a cost of USD 66.7 million (Rs 12.9 billion)The proposal observed that this amount would be half of what is required by the power plant to produce electricity from November 2019 to April 2021.
November 06, 2019 06:22 UTC
NewsVen Udumbara Kashyapa Thera's fast-unto-death campaign against the proposed Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) agreement was called off yesterday (Nov 5). This was after considering two letters sent by presidential candidates Sajith Premadasa and Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. He had said that the matter would be debated in Parliament, prior to signing it, after the November 16 vote. Premadasa had also noted that he would consult the Maha Sangha including Kashyapa Thero to obtain their advice concerning the agreement. The hunger strike was staged at the Independence Square in Colombo.
November 06, 2019 02:47 UTC
NewsThe Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) has decided to appoint Acting Party organisers to replace those who attended the Api Sri Lanka party convention led by SLFP patron Chandrika Kumaratunga yesterday (Nov 5). This decision had been made when the party's Central Committee had convened under Acting SLFP Chairman Professor Rohana Lakshman Piyadasa last night. SLFP leader President Maithripala Sirisena too had attended the meeting. Former President Kumaratunga, who leads the Api Sri Lanka party, will back presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa at the upcoming polls. Accordingly, the SLFP had also decided to initiate disciplinary action against Kumaratunga after the presidential election, SLFP General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekara said.
November 06, 2019 02:37 UTC
NewsA Sri Lankan Army contingent of 243 military personnel will leave for Mali next Tuesday (Nov 12) for UN peacekeeping operations. They will engage in peacekeeping operations in Mali for a period of one year starting from November 13. Incidentally, this is the first peacekeeping contingent to be sent from Sri Lanka after the UN said it would reduce future deployments, citing concern over the appointment of the country's Army Commander Lt. Gen. Silva. Military Spokesman Major General Sumith Atapattu told Times Online, that the UN had not objected towards the current deployment. He noted that about 450 Sri Lankan troops are currently engaged in UN peacekeeping operations.
November 05, 2019 16:30 UTC
NewsThe strike expected to be carried out by teachers and principals, on Nov 8, has been suspended, following a request made by the Election Commission (EC). Last month, unions urged the National Salaries Commission to issue a circular, instructing the payment of an interim wage in addition to their salary, as approved by cabinet, until their salary issues are resolved. However, the EC during a meeting with the unions today, had requested to call off the strike in view of the presidential election which is just over a week away, a statement released by the unions read. Polls officials had pointed out that such actions could affect the votes of a particular presidential candidate, the statement added. EC Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya had said that they would inform the Salaries Commission and the Education Ministry to address their demands in due course, unions said.
November 05, 2019 12:22 UTC
NewsClean-up campaigns are to take place weekly and monthly in Jaffna, after the district topped the list of dengue cases so far this month. The Northern Governor's Secretary had issued instructions to this effect, during a meeting with health officials, on curbing the spread of the disease in the area, the Governor's Office said in a statement. Statistics released by the Epidemiology Unit of the Health Ministry, show that 265 dengue cases have been reported in Jaffna, the highest among any district, so far this month. Northern Provincial Health Services Director Dr. A. Ketheswaran, during the meeting, had observed that most affected patients in the district were from the Nallur and Kopay areas. Accordingly, the Governor's Secretary had instructed to carry out weekly dengue eradication activities in divisional secretariat levels, and monthly campaigns in district levels.
November 05, 2019 10:41 UTC
NewsThe Election Commission (EC) has called upon the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) to help identify individuals who published photographs of their postal voting ballot papers recently. A source at the EC told Times Online that the investigations of the case had been handed over to the CID after the polls body were unable to identify those involved in committing the offence. Some public servants who cast their postal vote on October 31, had published such photographs, an offence EC Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya, said could result in an imprisonment term of three years. Postal voting for public servants in view of the presidential election took place on Oct 31, Nov 1 and 4, 5, and will also take place on Nov 7 and 9. Related storyEC to track down public officers who shared photos of marked ballot paper
November 05, 2019 09:45 UTC
NewsGas companies have decided to increase gas supply to the market owing to its current shortage, the Finance Ministry said in a statement today. Litro Gas Lanka Ltd which operates under the Finance Ministry, has decided to increase its supply of gas cylinders to the market, from 75,000 to 100,000, the statement read. The company's Sales Director Janaka Pathira, was quoted as saying, in the statement, that a 15,000 metric tonne gas tanker is nearing Sri Lankan shores. Meanwhile, LAUGFS Gas PLC - a leading gas supplier in the country, has also decided to increase the supply of gas in the market upto 35 percent. LAUGFS Chief Executive Officer Chaminda Ediriwickrama, was quoted as stating that 27,000 metric tonnes of gas would be stocked, to prevent a future gas shortage.
November 05, 2019 09:22 UTC
NewsThe Korean government today (Nov 5), agreed to provide a concessional loan of USD 30 million (Rs 5.4 billion) to uplift the IT sector in Sri Lanka. An agreement to this effect was signed today (Nov 5). The loan would be used to set-up the National Centre of e-Content Development for Computer-Assisted Teaching, the statement added. The aim of the project, which would be implemented by the Education Ministry, is to uplift IT education for students across the country, and enhance the knowledge of teachers in the subject. Among other projects expected to be implemented, are the establishment of a National Contents Development Centre (NCDC) in the North-Western Province, and two Provincial ICT Education Centres (PICTEC) in the Eastern and Southern Provinces.
November 05, 2019 07:30 UTC
NewsThe Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) has said that the Finance Ministry has no authority to sign the USD 400 million grant agreement with US-based Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). Issuing a statement, BASL explained that the agreement deals with clauses concerning land and jurisdiction which are outside the purview of the Finance Ministry. BASL President, Kalinga Indatissa, observed that the agreement “contains many more matters other than a simple agreement to borrow money from the lender”. BASL urged the President to inform MCC and the US government that the agreement, would be "rescinded with immediate effect", if it is signed without being put forward for a debate in Parliament. The BASL said that it had issued this statement, upon being "reliably informed" that the "Finance Ministry is in the process of making arrangements to sign the MCC today".
November 05, 2019 06:44 UTC
News‘Shaping your Promise’ will explore the role of Channels and Supply Management, and will be the topic for session 1 at this year’s Sri Lanka Retail Forum 2019 to be held on November 26 and 27 at the Cinnamon Grand, Colombo. The forum organised by Sri Lanka Retailers’ Association, will feature four thematic sessions, with local resource persons, and foreign experts in the global retail ecosystem. Retail supply chain management is how you enhance those processes to maximise both speed and efficiency. Jagath Pathirana, Director / CEO - Expolanka Freight; Dayan Jayasuriya Engagement Manager - McKinsey and Ms. Kamaya Perera, Principal - KPMG as the panel moderator. Sri Lanka Retail Forum provides a valuable opportunity for networking and collaboration in the retail industry.
November 05, 2019 06:33 UTC
NewsCabinet approval has been sought to recruit 20 rehabilitated graduate youth into an employment scheme, to provide them with jobs. A cabinet paper indicated that these youths had undergone rehabilitation conducted by the Commissioner General of Rehabilitation, and have sought employment under the new scheme. The proposal has been prepared by the Resettlement and Rehabilitation Ministry which comes under the purview of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. In the paper, the ministry pointed out that despite being rehabilitated and undergoing higher education, these individuals have been unable to find employment due to the "non-acceptance of their status by civil societies" the Cabinet paper claimed. (Reporting by Damith Wickramasekara)
November 05, 2019 05:37 UTC
BusinessThe 5th edition of the highly successful Intex South Asia textile trade show in Sri Lanka will take place at the BMICH, Colombo next week - on November 13-15. “This year Intex South Asia brings to Colombo for the first time, Cotton Council International (CCI), also known as Cotton US, which is the export promotion arm of the National Cotton Council of America (NCC). Joint Apparel Association Forum Sri Lanka Chairman, Sharad Amalean said, “Sri Lanka is proud to host Intex. He said that, “The Intex South Asia provides a robust platform for untapped South Asian intra-regional trade, by delivering access to industry developments, networking opportunities and strategic initiatives with other global suppliers from across South Asia and the world to help expand industry and business, in one location, under one roof. We are confident that the exclusive networking platform provided by Intex South Asia 2019 will be extremely useful for importers, wholesalers and agents.” TEXPROCIL would be forming Indian Textiles Pavilion for the third time in a row.
November 05, 2019 03:33 UTC