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‘There is no better friend one could ever have than Krishantha Cooray’



It is my privilege to send my fondest wishes to Krishantha Prasad Cooray on this occasion of celebrating his birthday.

To those who are unfamiliar with the background of one of my oldest and dearest friends, Krishantha is the kind of business leader and political visionary that even a very fortunate country will only see once in a generation.

Through the many years I have known him, I have found Krishantha to be, to borrow the words of 19th century journalist Carl Schurz, “one of those spirits who sometimes will go ahead of public opinion instead of tamely following in its footprints.”

“Throughout his career, Krishantha has built new businesses from the ground, and has taken existing great companies to new heights of prosperity and stability.”

As an independent non-executive director of DFCC, Krishantha applied his unique expertise in mass communications to the banking sector.

As Chairman of the Colombo Hilton, he kept Sri Lanka’s oldest five-star hotel profitable against the odds even through renovations and the collapse of tourism following the dreadful attacks of April 21st, 2019.

He was the founding CEO of The Nation and Rivira newspapers, both of which quickly grew a strong base of dedicated readers in Sri Lanka and around the world, both in print and on the internet. As Chairman of Lake House, he started the Resa newspaper, which saw similar success.

Conscious of the precarious state of the Print media industry, Krishantha helped Lake House to leverage its real estate assets into profitable lease agreements, keeping the company financially sound for years to come.

It is a sad truth that working in journalism in Sri Lanka is not without danger.

“Whenever Krishantha’s colleagues have been in peril, he has never hesitated to put his own life in harm’s way to ensure their safety, from the 2008 abduction of Keith Noyahr to the 2009 assault on Upali Tennakoon.”

As many past Presidents, Prime Ministers, senior civil servants and other officials can attest, there has been no crisis faced by our democracy in the past decade that Krishantha was not instrumental in resolving, with his unique combination of ingenuity, passion, associations and sheer force of determination.

At different times, both Krishantha and I have found our lives imperiled by standing up for what we believed in.

It was my privilege to stand by him whenever he was in danger, just as he has done for me in my darkest hours. When I was overcome by dread, by the cruelty of a pain and loss that is beyond comprehension, Krishantha dropped everything and flew across oceans to be by my side.

As I learned in my darkest hour, there is no better friend one could ever have than Krishantha Cooray.

Karu Jayasuriya Former Speaker


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SL gets Rs 452 mn for saving ill-fated tanker: Rs. 3.4 bn asked for



By Ifham Nizam and Rathindra Kuruwita

The Marine Enviro-nment Protection Authority (MEPA) yesterday received Rs. 452 million from London for having saved MT New Diamond, a super oil tanker that caught fire in the Sri Lanka’s territorial waters last year.

MEPA General Manager, Dr. P. B. Terney Pradeep Kumara told The Island that Rs. 442 million had come for the services rendered by the Sri Lanka Navy, MEPA and Rs. 10 million by way of a fine imposed on the Ship’s Captain.

However, Sri Lanka has to receive a much larger amount for the damage caused to the marine environment, Dr. Kumara said. Following the incident, Sri Lankan authorities filed charges against the Captain of the ill-fated vessel and made a claim for $2.4 million from the ship’s owners for the firefighting and pollution prevention efforts.

Twenty experts from the Universities of Moratuwa, Ruhuna and Sri Jayewardenepura submitted their recommendations as regards the damage to the environment, to the Attorney General. Based on the report, the Attorney General’s Department had asked for Rs. 3.4 billion (around USD 19 million) as compensation for environmental damage, the Coordinating Officer for the Attorney General, state counsel Nishara Jayaratne said.

Soon they would have discussions with the lawyers of the shipping agent concerned on compensation for environmental damage caused, she said.

Dr. Kumara, who is the former Head of the Department of Oceanography/Marine Geology of the Ruhuna University, said that the incident had caused deaths among marine species due to spillage of some toxic fuel from the vessel.

The MT New Diamond crude oil tanker was transporting 270,000 MT oil from the port of Meena Al Ahmadi in Kuwait to the Port of Paradip in India when a fire broke out in its engine room as the vessel was passing the eastern seas of Sri Lanka on September 3, 2020.

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PSC on gender equality meets for the first time



State Minister, Fernandopulle flanked by two other PSC members

Special attention on microfinance

The Parliamentary Select Committee appointed to further gender equality, to investigate instances of discrimination against women and to present recommendations to Parliament, focused on microfinance loans that are currently affecting a large number of women in Sri Lanka, when they met for the first time in Parliament recently.

The meeting was chaired by the State Minister of Primary Health Care, Epidemics and COVID-19 Disease Control Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle.

It was also revealed that the Cabinet had approved the re-establishment of an institution to regulate Microfinance loans in Sri Lanka.

The MPs also discussed the role of the Select Committee. They decided that the primary role of the Committee should be to investigate women’s grievances and all forms of discrimination based on gender, including workplace violence.

Another task before this committee is to examine and review laws that can be used to enhance gender equality, encourage relevant ministries and authorities to formulate plans to further gender equality and to allocate financial resources.

The Committee will also try to encourage greater women’s representation in decision-making bodies at the national and provincial levels as well as in government, civil society and the private sector.

MPs Rohini Kaviratne, (Dr.) Harini Amarasuriya, M. Udayakumar, S. Sritharan, Rohana Bandara and the Secretary to the Committee, Deputy Secretary General and Chief of Staff of the Parliament Kushani Rohanadheera were also present at the meeting.



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A/L Examination from October 04 to 30



The 2021 GCE Advanced Level examination would be held from October 4 to 30, Education Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris said yesterday addressing the media at his Ministry.

Minister Peiris said the examination was earlier scheduled to be held in August.

The Grade 5 scholarship examination would be held on October 03 and the 2021 GCE Ordinary Level (O/L) examination in the last week of January 2022, the Minister said.

“Usually, schools are open for academic activities for around 200 days a year. But in 2020, schools were open for about 150 days. It was around 130 days in the Western Province. We were not able to fill this gap with online classes due to lack of internet facilities in many parts of the country,” he said.

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