Daily Archives: September 4, 2015

Sri Lanka Central Bank receives $1.1 bn from RBI

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Sri Lanka Central Bank received 1.1 billion dollars from the Reserve Bank of India, under the currency swap agreement between the two reserve banks.

Consequent to the signing of a special currency swap agreement for USD 1.1 billion by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) with the Reserve Bank of India on 17 July 2015, the CBSL has received USD 1.1 billion, a statement said.

This is in addition to the USD 400 million received in April 2015, the bank added.

With the enhanced level of official reserves, the CBSL expects that the exchange rate would stabilise in line with sound macro economic fundamentals and movements of other currencies of major trading partners.

In a related development, the central bank has allowed the rupee to float from today, by not quoting a specific rate in the market. The rupee exchange rate had eased to 134.75 rupees to the US dollar yesterday.

The central bank will allow the market to decide the exchange rate by not guiding with a specific rate. The bank will intervene, if the levels are too high.

Analysts say the rupee had fallen 2.7 per cent so far this year, due to increased imports.

PTI

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The following MPs were sworn in as cabinet ministers

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Cabinet Ministers

1. Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe – Minister of National Policy & Economic Affairs
2. John Amaratunga – Minister of Tourism Development & Christian Affairs
3. Gamini Jayawickrama Perera – Minister of Sustainable Development & Wildlife
4. Nimal Siripala de Silva – Minister of Transport
5. S.B. Dissanayake – Minister of Social Empowerment & Welfare
6. W.D.J. Seneviratne – Minister of Labour and Trade Union Relations
7. Lakshman Kiriella – Minister of University Education & Highways
8. Anura Priyadharshana Yapa – Minister of Disaster Management
9. Susil Premajayantha – Technology, Technical Education & Employment
10. Thilak Janaka Marapana – Minister of Law and Order & Prison Reforms
11. Dr Rajitha Senaratne – Health, Nutrition & Indigenous Medicine
12. Ravi Karunanayake – Minister of Finance
13. Mahinda Samarasinghe – Minister of Skills Development & Vocational Training
14. Vajira Abeywardena – Minister of Home Affairs
15. S.B. Nawinne – Minister of Internal Affairs, Wayamba Development & Cultural Affairs
16. Patali Champika Ranawaka – Minister of Megapolice & Western Development
17. Mahinda Amaraweera – Minister of Fisheries & Water Resources
18. Naveen Dissanayake – Minister of Plantation Industries
19. Ranjith Siyambalapitiya – Minister of Power & Renewable Energy
20. Duminda Dissanayake – Minister of Agriculture
21. Wijedasa Rajapaksa – Minister of Buddha Sasana
22. P. Harrison – Minister of Rural Economic Affairs
23. Ranjith Maddumabandara – Minister of Public Administration & Management
24. Gayantha Karunathilake – Minister of Parliamentary Reforms & Media
25. Sajith Premadasa – Minister of Housing & Construction
26. Arjuna Ranatunga – Minister of Ports & Shipping
27. M. K. A. D. S. Gunawardana – Minister of Lands
28. P. Digambaram – Minister of Upcountry New Villages, Estate Infrastructure& Community Development
29. Chandrani Bandara – Minister of Women and Children’s Affairs
30. Thalatha Athukorala – Minister of Foreign Employment
31. Akila Viraj Kariyawasam – Minister of Education
32. D.M. Swaminathan – Minister of Resettlement & Hindu Affairs
33. Chandima Weerakkody – Petroleum & Petroleum Gas
34. Dayasiri Jayasekara – Minister of Sports
35. Sagala Ratnayake – Minister of Southern Development
36. Harin Fernando – Telecommunication & Digital Infrastructure
37. Mano Ganesan – Minister of National Dialog
38. Daya Gamage – Minister of Primary Industries
39. Rauff Hakeem – Minister of Urban Development & Water Supply
40. Rishad Bathiudeen – Minister of Industries & Commerce
41. Kabeer Hashim – Public Enterprise Development
42. Mohamed Hashim Abdul Haleem – Minister of Postal Service & Muslim Affairs

එසේ දිවුරුම් දුන් කැබිනට් අමාත්‍යවරු මෙසේය.

රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහ – ජාතික ප්‍රතිපත්ති හා ආර්ථික කටයුතු අමාත්‍ය
ජෝන් අමරතුංග – සංචාරක හා ක්‍රිස්තියානි කටයුතු අමාත්‍ය
ගාමිණී ජයවික්‍රම පෙරේරා – තිරසාර සංවර්ධන හා වන ජීවී අමාත්‍ය
නිමල් සිරිපාල – ප්‍රවාහන අමාත්‍ය
එස්.බී. දිසානායක – සමාජ සවිබල ගැන්වීම් හා සුභ සාධක අමාත්‍ය
එබ්ලිව්.ඩී.ජේ. සෙනවිරත්න – කම්කරු හා වෘත්තීය සමිති සබඳතා අමාත්‍ය
ලක්ෂමන් සෙනවිරත්න – විශ්ව විද්‍යාල අධ්‍යාපන හා මහා මාර්ග අමාත්‍ය
අනුර ප්‍රියදර්ශන යාපා – ආපාදා කළමනාකරන අමාත්‍ය
සුසිල් ප්‍රේමජයන්ත – තාක්ෂණ, තාක්ෂණ අධ්‍යාපන හා රැකියා අමාත්‍ය
තිලක් මාරපණ – නීතිය හා සාමය, බන්ධනාගාර ප්‍රතිසංස්කරණ අමාත්‍ය
රාජිත සේනාරත්න – සෞඛ්‍ය, පෝෂණ හා දේශීය වෛද්‍ය අමාත්‍ය
රවී කරුණානායක – මුදල් අමාත්‍ය
මහින්ද සමරසිංහ – නිපුණතා සංවර්ධන හා වෘත්තීය පුහුණු අමාත්‍ය
වජිර අබේවර්ධන – ස්වදේශ කටයුතු අමාත්‍ය
එස්.බී නාවින්න – අභ්‍යන්තර කටයුතු වයඹ සංවර්ධන හා සංස්කෘතික කටයුතු අමාත්‍ය
පාඨලි චම්පික රණවක – මහනගර හා බස්නාහිර සංවර්ධන අමාත්‍ය
මහින්ද අමරවීර – ධීවර හා ජලජ සම්පත් අමාත්‍ය
නවීන් දිසානායක – වැවිලි කර්මාන්ත අමාත්‍ය
රංජිත් සියඹලාපිටිය – විදුලිබල හා පුනර්ජනනීය බලශක්ති අමාත්‍ය
දුමින්ද දිසානායක – කෘෂිකර්ම අමාත්‍ය
විජයදාස රාජපක්ෂ – බුද්ධශාසන අමාත්‍ය
පී. හැරිසන් – ග්‍රාමීය ආර්ථික කටයුතු අමාත්‍ය
රංජිත් මද්දුම බණ්ඩාර – රාජ්‍ය පරිපාලන හා කළමනාකරණ අමාත්‍ය
ගයන්ත කරුණාතිලක – පාර්ලිමේන්තු ප්‍රතිසංස්කරණ හා ජනමාධ්‍ය අමාත්‍ය
සජිත් පේ‍්‍රමදාස – නිවාස හා ඉදිරිකිරීම්
අර්ජුන රණතුංග – වරාය හා නාවික කටයුතු අමාත්‍ය
එම්.කේ.ඒ.ඩී.එස් ගුණවර්ධන – ඉඩම් අමාත්‍ය
පලනි දිගම්බරම් – කඳුරට නව ගම්මාන, වතුයටිතල පහසුකම් හා ප්‍රජාසංවර්ධන අමාත්‍ය
චන්ද්‍රානි බණ්ඩාර – කාන්තා හා ළමා කටයුතු අමාත්‍ය
තලතා අතුකෝරාළ – විදේශ රැකියා අමාත්‍ය
අකිල විරාජ් කාරියවසම් – අධ්‍යාපන අමාත්‍ය
ඩී.එම් ස්වාමිනාදන් – නැවත පදිංචි කිරීම් හා හින්දු කටයුතු අමාත්‍ය
දයාසිරි ජයසේකර – ක්‍රීඩා අමාත්‍ය
චන්දිම විරක්කොඩි – කණිජ තෙල් හා පෙට්‍රෝලියම් වායු
සාගල රත්නායක – දක්ෂිණ සංවර්ධන අමාත්‍ය
හරීන් ප්‍රනාන්දු – විදුලි සංදේශ හා ඩිජිටල් යටිතල පහසුකම් අමාත්‍ය
මනෝ ගනේෂන් – ජාතික සංවාද අමාත්‍ය
දයා ගමගේ – ප්‍රාථමික කර්මාන්න අමාත්‍ය
රාවුෆ් හකීම් – නගර සංවර්ධන හා ජල සැපයුම් අමාත්‍ය –  (දිවුරුම් දීමට පැමිණියේ නැත)
රිෂාඩ් බදුර්දීන් – කර්මාන්ත හා වාණිජ අමාත්‍ය
කබීර් හෂීම් – රාජ්‍ය ව්‍යවසාය සංවර්ධන අමාත්‍ය
අබ්දුල් හලීම් – තැපැල්, තැපැල් සේවා සහ මුස්ලිම් කටයුතු අමාත්‍ය 

Exercise Your Aging Brain With Technology: How Facebook, Smartphones Can Keep The Mind Young

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While it may seem that spending hours on Facebook is killing your brain cells rather than making you smarter, new research suggests that being connected with technology as you get older might actually be protecting your cognitive abilities — and keeping you young, in a way.

Different hypotheses exist on whether our technology-driven world is making us smarter or not. Some believe that the constant chaos attributed to fleeting memes, tweets, and blogposts reduces our attention span and ability to delve into deep focus — the kind you need when you’re reading a long book. But the researchers of the new study are looking at technology from a different viewpoint, arguing instead that it forces us to use our minds more than ever before.

“Life has become cognitively more demanding, with increasing use of communication and information technology also by older people, and people working longer in intellectually demanding jobs,” Dr. Nadia Steiber, an author of the study, said in the press release. “At the same time, we are seeing a decline in physical activity and rising levels of obesity.”

The study, conducted at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysisat in Austria, examined population surveys in Germany in both 2006 and 2012, comparing participants’ brain processing speed, physical fitness, and mental health as they aged. The researchers found that today, test scores among older people over the age of 50 are much better than people eight years younger than them, who were tested six years ago. What this means, the authors argue, is that older people are getting progressively smarter as technology evolves.

“On average, test scores of people aged 50 plus today correspond to test scores from people four to eight years younger and tested six years earlier,” Valeria Bordone, another author of the study, said in the press release. “We show for the first time that although compositional changes of the older population in terms of education partly explain the Flynn effect, the increasing use of modern technology such as computers and mobile phones in the first decade of the 2000s also contributes considerably to its explanation.”

The Flynn effect is the gradual improvement of both crystallized and fluid intelligence over the years — in short, people’s IQs have been getting higher the more modern our society is. Some underlying reasons might include better nutrition, modern medicine, improved education, and perhaps most recently, the shift from a manufacturing age to one of information.

But can we contribute the Flynn effect to social media, smartphones, and iPads? The researchers will need to further investigate this link to come to stronger conclusions, but we can at least rest assured that technology isn’t necessarily doing us any harm, as many naysayers have warned. One recent editorial published in BMJ and written by researchers at the University College London and the University of Oxford argued that social media, instead of severing IRL (in real life) relationships like many have feared, “has been found to enhance existing friendships and the quality of relationships, although some individuals benefit more than others.”

If you want to protect your cognitive function, however, sitting on your computer all day simply isn’t going to do the trick. In fact, complementing brain exercises with physical activity and a healthy diet will work wonders for your brain health — especially if you start earlier in life. Moderation is key — being plugged into the Internet’s stimulating world can keep you sharp, but disconnecting and reading a good book can also exercise the deeper concentration of your mind.

Source: Bordone V, Scherbov S, Steiber N. Smarter every day: The deceleration of population ageing in terms of cognition. Intelligence. 2015.

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