Export earnings down in 2016, imports up amidst rupee losing value-Central Bank

On the positive side, earnings from tourism rose to $3.6 billion in 2016 from $3 billion the previous year while workers’ rose to $7.2 billion against $7 billion during 2015. The increase in expenditure on fuel imports by 51.8 per cent largely contributed to the growth in imports. This included a 113.8 per cent growth in refined petroleum imports and a 10.4 per cent growth in coal imports due to higher thermal and coal power generation as a result of the prevailing drought conditions in the country. Expenditure on personal vehicles, fuel and fertiliser imports declined in 2016 from the level observed in 2015. China, India, the UAE, Singapore and Japan were the main import origins in 2016, accounting for about 57 per cent of total imports.

March 27, 2017 12:32 UTC

Navy earns Rs 3 billion from Galle OBST Operations

NewsThe Sri Lanka Navy, having taken over the duty of facilitating On-board Security Teams (OBST) sixteen months ago, earned Rs 3 billion from the Galle operations centre to the government to-date, a statement said,The duty undertaken was an extension of maritime security operations in which the Navy got actively involved in keeping our waters safe and secure for maritime commons and freedom of navigation. At the existing currency exchange rate, the earnings amount to a whopping Rs 3 billion, accumulated through Galle OBST operations from mid November 2015. The earnings had come across from over 8,181 ship movements only through Galle operations centre. Sri Lanka Navy is responsible of receiving, storing and issuing of weapons, ammunition and equipment registered with foreign and local On-board Security Teams (OBST) who operate for merchant shipping companies. 3,111,250,178.60, billion to the Government coffers by 8,797ship movements, through all the operations centres, since the day they undertook the duty of facilitating On-board Security Teams (OBST).

March 27, 2017 09:00 UTC

Documents missing from Balapitiya courts

NewsSeveral key documents belong to archive unit of Balapitiya High Court were stolen following a break in incident by a group last night through a window, police said. According to Ambalangoda police, documents which were stolen were over some pending cases in the courts. Police said further investigations are underway to arrest the culprits and determine the reason for theft incident.

March 27, 2017 08:48 UTC

Former Second Honorary Consul for Sri Lanka in Hawaii receives Public Service award

FeaturesIn today's News Bird strike delays SriLankan flightFormer Second Honorary Consul for Sri Lanka in Hawaii, USA, Kusuma Cooray, recently received a Distinguished Public Service Award from Gen. Harris, Commander of the US Pacific Command. The citation presented to her states that Ms. Cooray was recognized for her support of the US Pacific Commander's mission of enhancing the US-Sri Lanka Partnership. Pictures show Mrs. Cooray at the presentation ceremony in Honolulu. Captions : From left - former Sri Lanka Honorary Consul in Hawaii Mrs. Kusuma Cooray and Admiral Harry Harris, Commander of the US Pacific Command ( US PACOM).

March 27, 2017 08:26 UTC

16 kg gold smuggled to TN via sea from Sri Lanka

NewsThe Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) of Tamil Nadu has seized 16.32 kg of gold in Ramanathapuram on late Sunday night, The Hindu reported. The DRI teams from Thoothukudi and Coimbatore have intercepted a courier van at the coastal Devipattinam, near Ramnad on Sunday night, and seized smuggled gold bars. They have detained the van driver and taken him to Madurai after overnight stay at the customs office in Ramnathapuram. The gold bars were believed to have been smuggled from Sri Lanka via sea and landed in Thondi coast on Sunday. Further details are awaited.

March 27, 2017 08:15 UTC

Indian hydro-graphic survey ship INS ‘Darshak’ in Colombo port

NewsIn today's News Bird strike delays SriLankan flightThe hydrographic- survey ship, INS ‘Darshak’ of the Indian Navy arrived at the Port of Colombo today on a training visit. The ship was ceremonially welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy in compliance with naval traditions on her arrival, Navy said. The Commanding Officer of ‘Darshak’ Captain Peush Pawsey paid a courtesy call on the Commander Western Naval Area, Rear Admiral Niraja Attygalle at the Western Naval Command Headquarters and they held cordial discussions. During her stay in Sri Lanka, the ship’s crew is scheduled to take part in a number of programmes organized by the Sri Lanka Navy. On completion of its stay in the country, INS ‘Darshak’ will depart from the Colombo harbour on 30th of this month.

March 27, 2017 08:15 UTC

12 Indian fishermen held for poaching

NewsIn today's News Bird strike delays SriLankan flightTweleve Indian fishermen who engaged in poaching in Srilankan waters of North-west of Delft Island were arrested yesterday by naval personnel of the Northern Naval Command together with the assistance of Sri Lanka Coast Guard, Navy said. Two of their fishing trawlers were also seized. The arrested fishermen are to be handed over to the Jaffna Assistant Director of Fisheries for onward legal action.

March 27, 2017 08:15 UTC

Wimal in Prisons hospital

The hydrographic- survey ship, INS ‘Darshak’ of the Indian Navy arrived at the Port of Colombo today on a training visit. The ship was ... Features & AnalysisK. B. Herath’s plays remembered this weekAn evening of theatre appreciation will be held onTuesday, March 28, at 4. 30 p.m at the Namel Malini Punchi Theatre ...'Palette of Colours' of colours on this weekend"Palette of Colours" a joint exhibition of paintings by renowned artist and art instructor R. K...Malaysia 'to show uncut version' of Beauty and the BeastBeauty and the Beast will be released in Malaysia without any cuts, Disney says, days after it rejected censors' ...Australian musician Keith Potger performs at 'A Night On The Green'Australian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Bryce Hutchesson recently hosted "A Night on the Green" at the Au...

March 27, 2017 07:52 UTC

Ports Ministry outlines negative features of Hambantota project

Premier Wickremesinghe told a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Matters (CCEM) that many Chinese investors were interested in the Hambantota Port and industrial parks. In the same month, the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) submitted details of debts and obligation. The SLPA had also floated Request for Proposals (RFP) for various ventures at the Hambantota Port including bunkering facility. The RFP process “was kept on hold as per decision taken at the CCEM meeting in July last year. At a CCEM meeting in December last year, approval was granted by them for the Framework Agreement.

March 27, 2017 06:45 UTC

Pakistan to participate in special UN Vesak Celebrations in Colombo

NewsIn today's News Bird strike delays SriLankan flightPakistan will participate in a three-day festival of the first United Nations Vesak celebrations in Colombo, starting from May 12 to 14 this year, the Pakistan Observer reported. The arrangements for Pakistan’s participation in the festival were discussed in a meeting held between Federal Secretary for National History and Literary Heritage Division, Engineer Aamir Hasan and Counsellor and Head of Chancery High Commission of Sri Lanka, Mr. N.M.M Anas, the publication reported. It was decided in the meeting that a delegation from Pakistan will participate in the festival and display Buddhist and Gandhara Heritage relics through a stall to represent country’s rich historical and cultural heritage. Aamir Hasan informed the counsellor that following the previous tradition, this year also Pakistan will invite a Sri Lankan delegation to participate in the Vesak festival to be held in Pakistan in the last week of May. The festival will be held at a special UN Vesak Zone around the Sri Lankan Parliament building.

March 27, 2017 06:45 UTC

Namal Rajapaksa hits out at TN politicians

On Sunday, Namal alleged that TN politicians have done little for Tamils there except for politicizing the issue every election. He took to this official Twitter handle to express his views saying :"True nature of Tamil Nadu politicians is revealed again. Following that, in an interview to Times Now channel, he said, "What have the TN politicians done for Sri Lankan Tamils? Lyca Productions, owned by Subashkaran Allirajah, is producing the actor's latest sci-fi movie "2.0", a sequel to his earlier "Enthiran". The actor said although he "could not wholeheartedly accept what they said", he will not attend the event.

March 27, 2017 05:26 UTC

Cricket: Sri Lanka Test player questioned by ICC anti-corruption unit

SportAt least one Sri Lanka national cricketer was subjected to intense questioning by the ICC's Anti-Corruption officials in the aftermath of Sri Lanka's defeat to Bangladesh in the second Test at the P. Sara Oval last Sunday (19). When inquired from Lakshman de Silva who is the ICC official handling anti-corruption matters in Sri Lanka, he said; “Yes, we did call up the player and questioned him about a telephone call that he had received from the United States. The player promptly brought this to the notice of the authorities and ICC anti-corruption officials who were also present at that time interviewed the player as soon as the Test match was over. The biggest scandal that rocked Sri Lanka cricket happened in 2010 when Sri Lanka off-spinner Suraj Randiv purposely delivered a no-ball to deprive Indian opener Virender Sehwag from scoring a certain century. Nevertheless Sri Lanka Cricket administration quickly intervened and doused the fire by imposing a one-match ban on Randiv and a heavy fine to senior player T.M.

March 27, 2017 03:22 UTC

Horseracing: RTC expect to host an unforgettable April season

SportIn today's News Bird strike delays SriLankan flightThe Royal Turf Club (RTC) has planned an exciting Holiday Horse Racing Season with 3 races lined up in April. The April Horse Racing season will kick off with the inaugural 'Selvaratnam Challenge Trophy' Raceday next Sunday (2), with 7 races on the cards. According to Keerthinanda, the Selvaratnam Challenge Trophy is to be an annual race sponsored by the Selvaratnam family, now domiciled in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). On April 2, the Selvaratnams- Gopi, Dhruba, Karthi and Chavez- are expected to grace the racecourse in Nuwara Eliya to present the Challenge Trophy. Over the years, Dhruba has worked with many famous horse racing legends including the likes of Lester Piggot, Bret Doyle, Jonny Murtagh and Willie Supple.

March 27, 2017 03:22 UTC

Cricket: Ashroff Ghany reelected SLCUA President

SportCricket administrator and enthusiast Ashroff Ghany was re-elected President of the Sri Lanka Cricket Umpires' Association (SLCUA) at its Annual General Meeting held at the Global Towers in Colombo on March 22. "It's really overwhelming to see the State Services Cricket Association fully endorsing the SLCUA by assigning our umpires for the matches. Pathirana, a former international umpire, was elected the Senior Vice President and E.K.S. Boteju and young Colombaarachchi along with Pathirana are presently doing a yeoman service for the SLCUA according to Ghany. Anura (Commissioner, Colombo Municipal Council)Vice Patron: Jayantha Pathirana (Attorney-at-law)President: Ashroff GhanySenior Vice President: D.N.

March 26, 2017 15:22 UTC

Take a walk in the wetlands of Thalawathugoda

Take a walk in the wetlands of Thalawathugoda View(s):The Wildlife and Nature Protection Society of Sri Lanka (WNPS) will set out on a ‘Wetland Walk’ on Sunday, April 2 from 7.30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Biodiversity Study Park, Thalawathugoda, especially designed for children between 4 – 12 years. Children and their parents will be taken on a guided nature walk, in small groups at this urban wetland. Children and parents ‘exploring’ together is expected to generate interest among parents to continue the learning experience even at home. The first ‘Wetland Walk’ was in December 2016, with some 120 children and their parents. The discussion on the field tour focuses on both flora and fauna found in the wetlands, along with why wetlands are important for the city and the country.

March 25, 2017 20:26 UTC

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