• Business

    Lanka records lowest child mortality rate among low-income countries

    Sri Lanka is first among 52 low-income countries in the world with regard to infant mortality rates, according to the UNICEF publication “Every Child Alive – The urgent need to end newborn deaths.”A Health Ministry spokesman said Sri Lanka’s infant mortality rate is reported as 5.3 deaths per, 1,000 live births. The publication stated that Ukraine comes second with 5.4 deaths per 1,000 live births. Georgia is in the third place with a rate of 7.1. Pakistan recorded the highest infant mortality rate which is 45.6 per 1,000 live births. India has come to the 12th place with a rate of 25.4, the spokesman said. Another report published by the…

  • Life

    Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa to grow more Spices

    Steps are being taken to grow pepper, cinnamon and arecanuts in Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and other areas, Spices and Allied Producers’ and Traders’ Association(SAPTA) issuing a statement said. This is while establishing extension office of the Export Agriculture Department (tasked with the production of these commodities) to overlook the threefold program, new cultivation, women’s home farming and Gam Udawa cultivation project. Issuing a statement, SAPTA noted that under the export agriculture crop program in Anuradhapura district, over 2,000 housewives in Padaviya Thambuttegama and other areas have contributed to the export agriculture crops cultivation. Under the establishing of 100,000 Dhana Saviya Women’s Home Gardens in 2017, around 1,123 such export crops growing…

  • Life

    The global environmental challenge

    The sixth edition of the Global Environment Outlook (GEO-6) from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) provides a detailed analysis of regional environmental challenges as well as key findings and policy messages for each of the six UNEP regions ~ Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, North America, West Asia and the Pan European region. These are important for policy-makers working in the regions to provide solid evidence and policy options, which will help tackle environmental issues that the regions, including India, have to countenance. he GEO-6 regional assessment recognises Africa’s rich natural capital, notably the diversity of soil, geology, biodiversity, water, landscape and habitats, which…

  • Business

    US GSP for Sri Lanka effective from Saturday

    The re-authorized US generalized scheme of preferences (GSP) will become active for Sri Lankan exporters from April 22, according to Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen. US President Donald Trump re-authorized US GSP facility for 120 beneficiary countries (which was not renewed in December 2017) when he signed the US Omnibus Spending Bill on 23 March. The re-authorization opens opportunities for around 5000 products to be imported to US without tariff from 120 developing countries. The US has been the leading buyer of Lankan exports over the years and it continued its lead even last year. Sri Lanka’s total exports to US last year was almost notching $3 Bn…

  • Business

    Public Awareness on Virtual Currencies in Sri Lanka

    The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) is aware of the growing interest in virtual currencies (VCs), both domestically and internationally.The term “virtual currencies” is commonly used to refer to digitally created representations of value that are issued by private developers and denominated in their own unit of account. Common examples of virtual currencies are cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum. Virtual currencies are not central bank issued currency. Virtual currencies such as cryptocurrencies use decentralised peer-to-peer digital networks to authorize transactions. Due to the absence of a centralized authority such as a Central Bank to guarantee the value of the currency and regulate transactions, there is no recourse…

  • Life

    Pre- and primary schools in South closed due to viral flu

    The Southern Province Education Ministry says, as a precaution to a viral fever spreading in the Southern Province, Primary Schools and the primary section of secondary schools in six Education Zones will be closed today and tomorrow. Accordingly, Grades 1 to 5 of all schools in the Galle, Matara, Mulatiyana, Akuressa, Tangalle, and Walasmulla Education Zones will be closed on May 22 and 23 to prevent the spread of fever.However, Grades 6 to 11 of the schools will remain open. In addition, all pre-schools in the Southern Province will also be closed throughout this week. A viral flu epidemic is spreading across the Southern Province mostly affecting infants and children.…

  • Life

    National Single Window initiative Implements by end July

    The implementation plan of the National Single Window (NSW) blueprint initiative will be presented to the Government by the end of July, 2018, said World Bank, Consultant Dinesha Samaranayake. Samaranayake disclosed this speaking at the Third Public Private Consultation on Sri Lanka National Single Window, organized by the International Trade Centre (ITC), in collaboration with Sri Lanka’s National Trade Facilitation Committee, in Colombo yesterday.In addition to the implementation plan, change management, communications and capacity building plan of the NSW blueprint project will be delivered by the end of this month. Discussing operational models and current progress of the NSW blueprint project in Sri Lanka, Samaranayake added that the project is…

  • Business

    Inflation decreases in September

    Headline Inflation, as measured by the change in the National Consumer Price Index(NCPI, 2013=100), which is compiled by the Department of Census and Statistics (DCS) decreased to 0.9 per cent in September 2018, the lowest since January 2016, from 2.5 per cent inAugust 2018 on year-on-year basis. The deceleration in year-on-year inflation in September wasdriven by both the base effect and the monthly decline in Food prices. The change in the NCPI measured on an annual average basis decreased from 4.7 per cent in August 2018 to 4.0 per cent in September 2018. When the monthly change is considered, the NCPI decreased from 125.4 index points in August 2018 to…

  • Life

    Conserving wetlands in Sri Lanka

    Interest in the development of the Muthurajawela Marsh was a major activity which led to a comprehensive study of the marsh and the preparation of an ecological profile and a management plan.This was the first-ever attempt to develop any wetland on the basis of ‘wise use’ criteria In the past, wetlands were considered wastelands that could be reclaimed or changed for use by mankind. Development initiatives have regarded these areas suited only for such purposes and as a consequence, many wetlands have been drained or used as dump sites for refuse and urban waste. With increasing knowledge, however, we have understood that wetlands are amongst the world’s most valuable and…

  • Life

    Cancer and genetic risks

    Cancer is a disease where some of the cells in our body begin to divide uncontrollably and spread into surrounding tissues. In the human body, there are trillions of cells. Cancer can arise in almost any cell in the human body. Normally, human cells grow and divide to form new cells when it is necessary. In the human body, there are several mechanisms to regulate and monitor cell growth. When a cell grows older or becomes damaged, there is an auto-regulated mechanism called apoptosis that instructs the cell to self-regulated programmed cell death. Then a new cell will take that place. When cancer develops the apoptosis process of removing damaged…