opinionWhatsApp is currently testing a beta version of its payment app, which it has rolled out for some Indian users. The move has worried Paytm, the country's largest mobile payment company. "Currently, the digital payment market penetration is only 5 to 10% percent, so entry of a new player is a big positive," said Bipin Preet Singh, the founder of Mobikwik, which is another Indian mobile payment system. What does WhatsApp payment offer? Paytm's strength lies in its ubiquitous presence in India's mobile payment market - its services are extensively used by citizens and business vendors, including auto rickshaw drivers and tea sellers.
March 14, 2018 09:33 UTC
WorldMANILA (Reuters) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will withdraw from the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) Rome Statute, officials said on Wednesday, due to what he said were attacks by U.N. officials and violations of due process by the ICC. The ICC on Feb. 8 started a preliminary examination of a complaint filed by a Philippine lawyer accusing Duterte and top officials of crimes against humanity committed during a war on drugs that has killed thousands of people. Presidential spokesman Harry Roque confirmed in a text message to reporters that the Philippines was withdrawing, as stated in a 15-page statement dated March 13 seen by reporters, which said the withdrawal was “effective immediately”. The statement had not been signed by Duterte, but presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo confirmed it was authentic. It said the withdrawal from the Rome Statue was due to the “baseless, unprecedented and outrageous attacks on my person as well as against my administration” by U.N. officials, and what he said was an attempt by the ICC prosecutor to seek jurisdiction over him “in violation of due process and presumption of innocence”.
March 14, 2018 07:52 UTC
NewsTwenty-three Indian nationals have been arrested for violating immigration laws. The Department of Immigration and Emigration has stated that those arrested had entered the country on tourist visas but had engaged in trade and employment in violation of their visa conditions. Nine of the arrested had been engaged in cloth business while another nine had been working as fortune tellers. The other seven persons had been working as carpenters. The suspects are due to be repatriated after investigations.
March 14, 2018 07:29 UTC
Restrictions imposed on social media messaging platform WhatsApp will be removed at midnight today (14) President's Secretary Austin Fernando ... Features & Analysis“Around the Pearl” annual cycling challenge is back“Around the Pearl” is an annual cycling challenge happening over 10 days covering 1400km around the ...HSBC Colombo Fashion Week, building the next generation of Sri Lankan designersHSBC Colombo Fashion Week has witnessed an increasing number of designers who approach it annually with the intent of... Photographer Chris Burgess joins Selyn handlooms to celebrate women through 'STHRI' photo exhibitionInternational photographer, Chris Burgess associated with many leading hollywood blockbuster movies includi...'Pyramus & Thisby' by CentreStage Productions to be performed at Theatre Olympics in IndiaJehan Aloysius’ hilarious adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in &...
March 14, 2018 06:33 UTC
NewsA Sri Lankan asylum seeker family taken from a small Queensland town were pulled from a plane overnight just minutes before they were due to be deported, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. Border force officials removed Tamils Nadesalingam, Priya and their two Australian-born daughters from Biloela last week and put them in a Melbourne detention centre. It's understood the couple came to Australia separately by boat in 2012 and 2013, following Sri Lanka's civil war. The removal of the family from the small Queensland town shocked the community so much so they decided to take action to bring them back. Biloela residents will hold a vigil at 5.30pm on Wednesday, while a petition to return them to their home has reached almost 60,000 signatures.
March 14, 2018 06:11 UTC
NewsThe social messaging platform Viber is now back online after the government lifted restrictions placed on it. The restrictions were lifted from midnight yesterday. Viber was among several messaging platforms and social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp which were blocked by the government last week following communal unrest in the Kandy district. While Viber is back online, other social media sites, including Facebook, remain blocked for the seventh day today.
March 14, 2018 05:48 UTC
News‘The temporary ban on Facebook following the incidents which occurred in Kandy and Ampara will be lifted within the next few days’, President Maithripala Sirisena was quoted as saying during a meeting with the Sri Lankan community in Japan at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, yesterday. President Sirisena was warmly welcomed by professionals, businessmen, and student union members and individuals working in many fields in Japan. The President also appreciated the accomplishments of Sri Lankan citizens living in Japan, enhancing the reputation of the country as well. He was apprised by the Sri Lankan community about certain problems they encountered while working in their fields and the President mentioned that he would take every step to solve those issues. Ministers Nimal Siripala de Silva, Tilak Marapana, Malik Samarawickarama and Member of Parliament Ashu Marasighe were also present at this meeting, the news portal reported.
March 14, 2018 05:37 UTC
World(Reuters) - Stephen Hawking, who sought to explain some of the most complicated questions of life while himself working under the shadow of a likely premature death, has died at 76. The UK’s Press Association reported his death, citing a spokesman for the family. His work ranged from the origins of the universe itself, through the tantalizing prospect of time travel to the mysteries of space’s all-consuming black holes. Hawking was confined for most of his life to a wheelchair. As his condition worsened, he had to resort to speaking through a voice synthesizer and communicating by moving his eyebrows
March 14, 2018 04:18 UTC
SportThe 101st Battle of the Blues of Hill Capital between Trinity College and St. Anthony's College, which was postponed from last weekend, has been rescheduled to be played for this weekend (March 16 and 17) at the Asgiriya Stadium in Kandy. The match was originally scheduled to be played on March 9 and 10 but due to security reasons the organisers postponed the match without a confirmed date, along with two other Big Matches scheduled during the same dates.
March 13, 2018 19:30 UTC
SportThe Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL) organised grand official opening of Sri Lanka’s first artificial football turf last Saturday (10). "This artificial turf was funded by FIFA and shall be used for Sri Lanka National team preparations for international games. Complying with International standards, this turf provides an opportunity to train national teams in any weather conditions," an official media release issued by the FFSL stated. "It is great pleasure to have this facility for FFSL which is most vital part in preparing our national teams for international games. The Beddegana artificial football pitch and the training centre can provide residential training facilities for 40 players and 15 officials at any given time.
March 13, 2018 16:07 UTC
UncategorizedRestrictions imposed on the messaging platform Viber will be lifted from midnight today (13), the Government Information Department stated. Viber was among several social media and messaging platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp which were blocked by the government last week following communal unrest that occurred in parts of the Kandy district. The government stated that the sites and messaging platforms were being used to spread hate speech and incitement to violence during the unrest. While restrictions on Viber will be lifted, other social media sites including Facebook and messaging platform WhatsApp will continue to be blocked. Minister of Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure Harin Fernando said today that he expected the ban on Facebook and other social media sites to be lifted by Friday (16), noting that representatives of Facebook are due in the country on Thursday for talks with government officials.
March 13, 2018 13:41 UTC
SportThe Inter-International Schools Under-16 and Under-20 Badminton Tournament will be held at the Mercantile Badminton Association Courts in Colombo on Friday (16) and Saturday (17). The organisers, OKI International School, revealed that already 13 schools have confirmed their participation. The confirmed schools are OKI International, Lyceum Internationals of Wattala, Nugegoda, Panadura and Ratnapura, Royal Institute, Stafford International, Leeds International, Gateway, Colombo and Kandy, Colombo International, Althea International and British School in Colombo.
March 13, 2018 12:22 UTC
NewsAt least 280 persons were arrested for inciting communal violence and causing damage to private property are currently in custody, Police Media Spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said. Among the arrested is the head of Mahason Balakaya, Amith Weerasinghe whose headquarters is been searched. He said that the two computers and seven petrol bombs which were found at Mahson Balakaya headquarters at digana. Mr Gunasekara explained thousands of leaflets and banners inciting racial hatred and religious extremism have also been found at the location. “Special police inquires are being held to gather data in the two computers and the mobile phones of the suspects.
March 13, 2018 12:11 UTC
NewsThe Professional Web Journalists Association (PWJA) said that the blocking of Facebook and other social media sites by the Government was a bad decision and it didn’t address the real issue of racism. “The real racists are not hiding on Facebook, they are out in the open,” one of the members said. They stressed the importance of Facebook and Social Media for many people including online businesses. “How can these people carry out their operations now?”“The Government doesn’t understand how much the country earns from the operation of social media,” one of them added. Emphasis was laid on how social media, WhatsApp and Viber in particular, had contributed to reducing telephone expenses for the people.
March 13, 2018 11:26 UTC
NewsTelecommunication and Digital Infrastructure Minister Harin Fernando said today that the ongoing blockade on several social media sites will be lifted by Friday (16). Social media sites including Facebook, WhatsApp and Viber have been blocked by the government since March 7 on the grounds that the platforms were being used to spread hate speech and incitement to violence during communal clashes that took place in the Kandy district. Minister Fernando has further stated that a group of officials from Facebook are due to arrive in the country on Thursday for talks with government officials. The ban on social media sites is expected to be lifted after these discussions.
March 13, 2018 10:52 UTC