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US investor community hears strong case for Sri Lanka in New York

Posted on 19 October 2017 by admin

  • Macroeconomic stabilisation of economy broadly on track
  • Better, more facilitative capital market regulation across the board
  • CSE ready to play its part in national growth agenda
  • Foreign speakers offer a compelling endorsement of Sri Lanka

 

 

The ‘Invest Sri Lanka Investor Forum’ organised by the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC), in association with CSE member firms and listed companies, and supported by Asia Securities (Event Sponsor) and the Oxford Business Group (Exclusive Publication Partner), drew strong interest among the investor community in New York.

A Sri Lankan delegation which included senior representatives of the CSE, SEC, stockbroker firms and listed companies attended the forum to make a collective case for the Sri Lankan capital market as an investment destination. Remarks made by policymakers and capital market leaders on the economic outlook of the country and investment opportunities surrounding progressive reforms were well received by participants, who expressed confidence in the way forward for Sri Lanka. 

US…

One-on-one and group discussions between investors, who included representatives of the largest frontier and emerging market funds, and Sri Lankan listed companies, were well attended and featured John Keells Holdings Plc, Commercial Bank Plc, Sampath Bank Plc, Tokyo Cement (Lanka) Plc, Teejay Lanka Plc, Dialog Axiata Plc, People’s Leasing and Finance Plc, MTD Walkers Plc and Sunshine Holdings Plc. 

Addressing the forum as the keynote speaker, against the backdrop of the IMF reaching a staff-level agreement on the third review of Sri Lanka’s Extended Fund Facility, Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy stated that the macroeconomic stabilisation of the economy was broadly on track and that the structural reforms implemented over the past two years were showing signs of gaining traction. 

The Governor added that the Central Bank was well advanced in putting in place a flexible inflation targeting regime and added: “The narrative is that the macroeconomics are improving. You have a tremendous location, you have a shift to a growth model which is capable of giving you more sustainable growth and the policies are being put in place to support that growth model. The growth framework is being strengthened through action in terms of the investment climate, investment promotion, trade facilitation and trade policy complemented by a pipeline of very ambitious projects. Sri Lanka has raised its ambition because it is now getting support from all corners of the world.” 

 

CSE ready to play its part in national growth agenda 

 

Commenting on the capital market’s role in contributing to the national agenda, CSE Chairman Ray Abeywardena stated that the CSE was fully geared to creating capital raising opportunities for both the public and private sector, which is set to make a vital contribution to the Government’s Vision 2025 and empowerment of private investment-based growth. He added that providing a platform for State-owned enterprise reform through the stock market, facilitating the growth of SMEs through the introduction of an SME Board and providing other equity and debt capital raising opportunities to spur growth among Sri Lankan corporate entities remained a key priority at the CSE. 

A development drive focused on all investor segments, product diversification, improvements to governance and market infrastructure and further improvements to risk management was presented by Abeywardena as key facets of the way forward for the Sri Lankan stock market. 

Presenting the opportunities in the Sri Lankan capital market, CSE CEO Rajeeva Bandaranaike pitched investment in the CSE as a sound diversification opportunity with attractive valuations and returns backed by strong market fundamentals for equities. 

The presentation offered a broad perspective on the unique opportunity offered through the Sri Lankan stock market for foreign investors to take part in a transformative economy through an exchange that on average performed better than most global indices in recent years. Further inducement offered in the form of relaxed repatriation of returns and regulations on capital gains also drew the interest of investors present at the event. 

 

Better, more facilitative capital market regulation across the board

 

Discussing the salient features of the new SEC Act, SEC Commission member Dilshani Wijayawardana stated that the new securities law is set to usher in an era of stability, transparency and efficacy to the capital market, adding: “The new securities law will be a pillar of strength in making the capital market of Sri Lanka attractive to both international and local investors.”

SEC Director General Vajira Wijegunerwardane, speaking on the reformist agenda of the capital market, expressed the SEC’s continued commitment to better, more facilitative regulation across the board. 

“The SEC Strategy 2020, which consists of a set of regulatory and developmental initiatives, maps an integrative growth plan for the capital market to create a robust regulatory framework which in turn facilitates sustainable development,” he stated. 

 

Strong endorsement for Sri Lanka’s economic direction and capital market 

 

Outlining that May 2009 was a turning point for the country and for foreign investors, Senior Portfolio Manager at TimesSquare Capital Management and investor in Sri Lankan equities for over 10 years, Caglar Somek stated that the country was now on a sustainable growth path after going through a significant transition, adding that present growth and future estimates could further improve if the Government continued its reform process beyond the IMF program and attracted additional foreign direct investors. 

“The investment case for Sri Lanka is getting stronger with the support of the IMF. Sri Lanka has domestic avenues for growth. According to third party estimates such as the Economic Intelligence Unit, over 70% of long-term sustainable growth will likely come from the consumption and investment side of the economy, which is encouraging,” he noted. 

Commenting on the key attractions of Sri Lanka as a frontier market, he asserted that Sri Lanka offers a more diversified economy compared to other oil and commodity heavy frontier markets.  

A fully functioning democracy, an improving balance of payments situation, independent institutions, the rule of law, promising social aspects, the absence of capital controls and Sri Lanka’s strategic location and external growth opportunities surrounding it were identified as key factors that could persuade foreign investors to consider Sri Lanka going forward. 

Adding to the positive sentiments expressed, NASDAQ Vice Chairman Meyer ‘Sandy’ Frucher said: “We believe in the Sri Lanka story, which is why we are represented here at this forum. I have viewed and watched Sri Lanka for a long time and I think that the record and story is getting out there.” 

The Invest SL event in New York was hosted on the back of a considerable level of foreign activity in the stock market in 2017 where foreign purchases during the first half of 2017 established a record for the highest foreign purchases recorded in the first half of a calendar year. Investors from the US have consistently been the leading contributors to foreign turnover in the Sri Lankan stock market, and have contributed to 40% of the total foreign turnover since 2013. 

The ‘Invest Sri Lanka Investor Forum’ organised by the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC), in association with CSE member firms and listed companies, and supported by Asia Securities (Event Sponsor) and the Oxford Business Group (Exclusive Publication Partner), drew strong interest among the investor community in New York.

A Sri Lankan delegation which included senior representatives of the CSE, SEC, stockbroker firms and listed companies attended the forum to make a collective case for the Sri Lankan capital market as an investment destination. Remarks made by policymakers and capital market leaders on the economic outlook of the country and investment opportunities surrounding progressive reforms were well received by participants, who expressed confidence in the way forward for Sri Lanka. 

One-on-one and group discussions between investors, who included representatives of the largest frontier and emerging market funds, and Sri Lankan listed companies, were well attended and featured John Keells Holdings Plc, Commercial Bank Plc, Sampath Bank Plc, Tokyo Cement (Lanka) Plc, Teejay Lanka Plc, Dialog Axiata Plc, People’s Leasing and Finance Plc, MTD Walkers Plc and Sunshine Holdings Plc. 

Addressing the forum as the keynote speaker, against the backdrop of the IMF reaching a staff-level agreement on the third review of Sri Lanka’s Extended Fund Facility, Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy stated that the macroeconomic stabilisation of the economy was broadly on track and that the structural reforms implemented over the past two years were showing signs of gaining traction. 

The Governor added that the Central Bank was well advanced in putting in place a flexible inflation targeting regime and added: “The narrative is that the macroeconomics are improving. You have a tremendous location, you have a shift to a growth model which is capable of giving you more sustainable growth and the policies are being put in place to support that growth model. The growth framework is being strengthened through action in terms of the investment climate, investment promotion, trade facilitation and trade policy complemented by a pipeline of very ambitious projects. Sri Lanka has raised its ambition because it is now getting support from all corners of the world.” 

CSE ready to play its part in national growth agenda 

Commenting on the capital market’s role in contributing to the national agenda, CSE Chairman Ray Abeywardena stated that the CSE was fully geared to creating capital raising opportunities for both the public and private sector, which is set to make a vital contribution to the Government’s Vision 2025 and empowerment of private investment-based growth. He added that providing a platform for State-owned enterprise reform through the stock market, facilitating the growth of SMEs through the introduction of an SME Board and providing other equity and debt capital raising opportunities to spur growth among Sri Lankan corporate entities remained a key priority at the CSE. 

A development drive focused on all investor segments, product diversification, improvements to governance and market infrastructure and further improvements to risk management was presented by Abeywardena as key facets of the way forward for the Sri Lankan stock market. 

Presenting the opportunities in the Sri Lankan capital market, CSE CEO Rajeeva Bandaranaike pitched investment in the CSE as a sound diversification opportunity with attractive valuations and returns backed by strong market fundamentals for equities. 

The presentation offered a broad perspective on the unique opportunity offered through the Sri Lankan stock market for foreign investors to take part in a transformative economy through an exchange that on average performed better than most global indices in recent years. Further inducement offered in the form of relaxed repatriation of returns and regulations on capital gains also drew the interest of investors present at the event. 

Better, more facilitative capital market regulation across the board

Discussing the salient features of the new SEC Act, SEC Commission member Dilshani Wijayawardana stated that the new securities law is set to usher in an era of stability, transparency and efficacy to the capital market, adding: “The new securities law will be a pillar of strength in making the capital market of Sri Lanka attractive to both international and local investors.”

SEC Director General Vajira Wijegunerwardane, speaking on the reformist agenda of the capital market, expressed the SEC’s continued commitment to better, more facilitative regulation across the board. 

“The SEC Strategy 2020, which consists of a set of regulatory and developmental initiatives, maps an integrative growth plan for the capital market to create a robust regulatory framework which in turn facilitates sustainable development,” he stated. 

Strong endorsement for Sri Lanka’s economic direction and capital market 

Outlining that May 2009 was a turning point for the country and for foreign investors, Senior Portfolio Manager at TimesSquare Capital Management and investor in Sri Lankan equities for over 10 years, Caglar Somek stated that the country was now on a sustainable growth path after going through a significant transition, adding that present growth and future estimates could further improve if the Government continued its reform process beyond the IMF program and attracted additional foreign direct investors. 

“The investment case for Sri Lanka is getting stronger with the support of the IMF. Sri Lanka has domestic avenues for growth. According to third party estimates such as the Economic Intelligence Unit, over 70% of long-term sustainable growth will likely come from the consumption and investment side of the economy, which is encouraging,” he noted. 

Commenting on the key attractions of Sri Lanka as a frontier market, he asserted that Sri Lanka offers a more diversified economy compared to other oil and commodity heavy frontier markets.  

A fully functioning democracy, an improving balance of payments situation, independent institutions, the rule of law, promising social aspects, the absence of capital controls and Sri Lanka’s strategic location and external growth opportunities surrounding it were identified as key factors that could persuade foreign investors to consider Sri Lanka going forward. 

Adding to the positive sentiments expressed, NASDAQ Vice Chairman Meyer ‘Sandy’ Frucher said: “We believe in the Sri Lanka story, which is why we are represented here at this forum. I have viewed and watched Sri Lanka for a long time and I think that the record and story is getting out there.” 

The Invest SL event in New York was hosted on the back of a considerable level of foreign activity in the stock market in 2017 where foreign purchases during the first half of 2017 established a record for the highest foreign purchases recorded in the first half of a calendar year. Investors from the US have consistently been the leading contributors to foreign turnover in the Sri Lankan stock market, and have contributed to 40% of the total foreign turnover since 2013. 

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Swiss police say knife-wielding asylum seeker killed by officer

Posted on 08 October 2017 by admin

 

Saturday 7 October 2017.

REUTERS.

Despite first aid, the man died at the scene, the police said.(REUTERS)

A 38-year-old refugee from Sri Lanka was shot and killed by Swiss police on Saturday after he charged at two other asylum seekers with knives, law enforcement officials said.

Police in the town of Brissago in Switzerland's Italian-speaking canton of Ticino said they were called to a refugee centre after a report of an altercation after midnight.

Officers say they escorted two asylum seekers into the building, where they were rushed by a man brandishing two knives.

"To guarantee the safety of all those present, a cantonal police officer fired his gun and seriously injured the aggressor," Ticino police said in a statement.

Despite first aid, the man died at the scene, the police said.

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Speaker Karu Jayasuriya meets with Speaker of the U.S. House Paul Ryan

Posted on 28 September 2017 by admin

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya is currently leading a multiparty  parliamentary delegation on an official visit to Washington D.C. This morning (September 28) they met with the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Paul Ryan at the U.S. Capitol.
 
The visiting multiparty delegation includes Minister of Transport & Civil Aviation Nimal Siripala de Silva, State Minister of Irrigation & Water Resources Management Palitha Range Bandara, Members of Parliament Vijitha Herath, Kumara Welgama and M.A. Sumanthiran, and Deputy Secretary General of Parliament Neil Iddawala. Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Prasad Kariyawasam and U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Atul Keshap are also in the pictures.

 

Embassy of Sri Lanka
Washington  D.C.

 

September 28, 2017

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The Grand Receptions ‘Night Of Nights’ for Alston Koch

Posted on 19 September 2017 by admin

 

 

The Grand Receptions & it's chairman Jude de Silva put on display an amazing variety spectacle
with a well produced and well organised dinner show for ALSTON KOCH'S 50 years in the Professional Music Industry.

Performing on stage for their friend ALSTON KOCH' were International stars of the calibre of Frank Ifield with more than six No 1 hit songs world wide, 24 'Hit singles and recognised by the Guinness Book Of Records.
John St. Peeters another Australian legend & hitmaker and TV host , TV legend Donnie Sutherland OAM, The Princess Of Bollywood Jacqui Fernandez. 
International guests included International Film Director Chandran Rutnam Hollywood's celebrity coach MUNNI IRONE. SRI LANKAN AIRLINES Chairman Ajith Dias and his team of Executives and a host of other Sri Lankan talent present made this a night to remember.

Special mention must be made of Frederick James Koch's thrilling debut performance as a singer demanding a repeat command performance by the VIP guests making this an atmosphere seldom seen in functions in Australia.

The Grand on Prince's turned out a 'LAS VEGAS' style production with their newly installed mega LED screen 
and a decor '& cuisine second to none.

Frank Ifield who sold out 6 concerts in arenas across the World before arriving for this show thrilled the intimate audience with his rendition of 'I'll Remember You'
John St Peeters excelled & his duet with Tommy Emmanuel via satellite had to be seen to be believed.

Speeches by Jacqui Fernandez, Frank Ifield, Chandran Rutnam, Munni Irone and the Chairman of Sri Lankan Airlines were well recieved. Joining the evening of entertainment were Loretta Koch, Esric & Sandra Jackson & Dallas Achilles who made the night complete.

Special felicitations by Nirj Deva M.P (European Union) other politicians and stars from Asia, North & South America were presented to the audience on the night.

And then there was the evergreen ALSTON KOCH who at the end of his performance brought to the stage a nostalgic and emotional moment with his VIP guests all storming the stage
and letting their hair down beside him on stage. There was something special about this moment.

Elroy Fernandez (Jacqui's Dad) created another 'moment to remember' when Jacqui and her family joined him on stage while he was singing a few 'Jim Reeves' favourites
creating the 'WOW' factor of the night. 

A unique part of the evening was the 'Planting Of a Tree' for the protection of the environment at the Grand On Prince's premises by Munni Irone, Ajith Dias, Alston Koch & 
Jude de Silva.

The show was produced by Alston Koch with Executive producer Count Ricardo Pietrapaolli.

Official Coverage By: Johann Jayasinha #SNNI Media Network Australia 

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Suicide by Sharjah based Sri Lankan family leaves 3 dead

Posted on 06 September 2017 by admin

 

 

Husband, wife and son die while 2 female relatives survive group suicide in hotel apartment.

  • The man jumped to his death from the 7th floor of the building at 2.30am on August 29.Image Credit: PHOTO Aghaddir Ali

  • The building where the family lived.Image Credit: Aghaddir Ali

  • The unit where the family livedImage Credit: Aghaddir Ali

Published Courtesy: Gulf News

 

Sharjah: Sharjah Police confirmed to Gulf News that the deaths of three people in a hotel apartment in Sharjah on August 29 was the result of suicide.

The incident, described by the police as a group suicide attempt, involved a man, a woman and a youth along with two female relatives, in which the latter two survived.

Police said that three people, a man, his wife and their son, died while two female relatives — the sister and niece of the woman — failed at the suicide attempt.

All of them are Sri Lankans.

The bodies of the 55-year-old man identified J.K. and his 54-year-old wife, B.S., and their 19-year-old son, J.N., were moved to Al Kuwaiti hospital and then to forensic laboratory for autopsy.

The two women who survived, identified as D.I, 17, and P.I, 27, received treatment at Al Kuwaiti hospital and were transferred to Obaidallah Hospital in Ras Al Khaimah for psychological assessment.

The incident came to light on August 29 at 2.30am when the man jumped to his death from the 7th floor of the building and a witness in a neighbouring building immediately reported the incident to the police operations room.

Police and forensic experts rushed to the scene of the incident.

Upon checking the identity of the man, police found that he had been residing in the same building from which he jumped to his death.

The police immediately visited his seventh floor apartment and found it doubled locked from the inside upon which they obtained permission from public prosecution and broke the apartment’s front door and entered the house.

Inside, they found an older woman and two young women in a pool of blood with their wrists slashed while a young boy’s body lay on the ground covered with a white sheet.

On a table, police found different kinds of medicines and cups containing red liquid and small white balls.

Initial indications suggested that the boy died first and followed by suicide attempts by the three women, and finally, the man who jumped to his death.

Police said that it was a planned suicide.

The hotel apartment management’s spokesperson told Gulf News that the family had been living in the building for more than a year and had paid a monthly rent of Dh6,250. He described them as a friendly family.

He added that recently, the woman recently approached the owner of the hotel apartment and requested him to reduce the rent as her husband, who worked as gold designer in Dubai, was facing financial problems and that he had not received his salary for three months.

She also informed the owner that a foreigner had conned her husband.

Consequently, the owner reduced the rent to Dh5,750 per month.

Police said that as they were carrying the bodies of the victims out of the room, one of the young women who survived the suicide attempt began to cry, saying, ‘Why am I still alive’.

Investigations into the incident are continuing.

 

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Serena Williams gives birth to baby girl on Friday, September 1

Posted on 02 September 2017 by admin

Leave it to Serena Williams to deliver during the U.S. Open. 

The 23-time Grand Slam champion gave birth to her first child on Friday, Us Weekly reports. Williams and her fiancee, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, reportedly welcomed a baby girl at a hospital in Florida. 

At noon on Friday, Sept. 1, the six-time US Open women's singles champion delivered a 6-pound, 13-ounce daughter at St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Fla. 

Three hours, 48 minutes later, Aunt Venus took the court for her third-round match in Arthur Ashe Stadium. By then, Venus had clearly heard the good news. She told ESPN in a pre-match interview, "Obviously, Im super-excited. Words can't describe."

Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian

Venus won in straight sets but, in the post-match news conference, revealed nothing more. "I"m definitely available to answer questions about tennis," she announced in a faint voice. "That's all right now."

Asked whether it was hard to concentrate during the match, she said, "You know, I'm a real professional because I've been doing this a long time." 

Asked whether it was strange to play without her sister and mother in her box, she dodged again. "I've been spoiled my whole career of having my family around me. I'm more than blessed… There's times when they don't come. More often than not, they do come."

She did say that she spoke to Serena before Friday's match. But only said that Serena had never played her opponent, Maria Sakkari of Greece, so she didn't have any technical advice to offer. "It was more about motivation," she said.

 

yonce, the pop star and close friend of Ms Williams, posted a picture on Instagram and wrote: "Congratulations, Serena!"

Rafael Nadal, the Spanish tennis star, also tweeted: "Congrats Serena!!! So much joy for you!!!"

Chris Evert, the former tennis star, said during the commentary of the game, which Venus Williams went on to win in straight sets: “I’m so thrilled for her, what a role model she’s going to be for that daughter.

"I told Serena this, it’s a love you’ve never felt before and I know she’s probably experiencing that right now.”

Ms Williams had checked into the hospital on Wednesday, with reports claiming that an entire floor of the building had been cordoned off to ensure her privacy was protected.

She announced the pregnancy on social media in April. Ms Williams had first learnt she was pregnant just days before the Australian Open – a tournament she would go on to win, defeating her sister in the final.

“How am I going to play the Australian Open?“ she recalled thinking at the time. “I had planned on winning Wimbledon this year.”

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Health & Lifestyle: Your mindset determines your health

Posted on 01 September 2017 by admin

 

article_image

Not only your level of physical activity but also your perception of your own physical activity are linked to your health or precisely your longevity. That’s exactly what two Stanford scholars Octavia Zahrt and Alia Crum have found in a recent research. Their study involving over 60,000 persons was published as in the prestigious journal, "Health Psychology". This throws light on another aspect i.e. our mind and body are tightly interconnected. So is the need to talk about our "physical health" and "mental health" as one and the same chunk, and vice versa.

The Stanford study was carried out over two decades. The researchers reviewed the surveys from over 60,000 U.S. adults two decades ago that asked about their physical activity, health, personal background, and other measures.

The salient question that drew the attention of the researchers was, "Would you say that you are physically more active, less active, or about as active as other persons your age?". Then, the researchers followed up 21 years down the line by looking at death records of the participants.

What they discovered was intriguing. Individuals who reported that they were "less active" had a death rate 71% higher than those who reported they were "more active," having controlled for physical activity, age, body mass index, chronic illness etc. In other words, individuals who believed they were "less physically active," even when they did the same amount of physical activity like the others, reported higher rates of mortality.

This is an interesting example of how our mindset can influence our health.

"Our findings fall in line with a growing body of research suggesting that our mindset – in this case, our beliefs about how much exercise we are getting relative to others – can play a crucial role in our health," said the researchers.

Much of the study’s inspiration came from Zahrt, who was Crum’s student at Stanford. She, a German national had stayed in shape by biking and making occasional trips to the gym while in her home country. But at Stanford she thought her colleagues were much more active than she was and felt unhealthy about herself. A negative mindset crept into her.

While taking a health psychology class taught by Crum, Zahrt learnt more about the effects of mindset on health outcomes.  For example, Crum’s prior research showed that the health benefits people get out of everyday activities depend in part on their mindset – that is, whether or not they believe that they are getting good exercise.

In a study done by her in 2007, (which was published in Psychological Science), Crum made a group of hotel room attendants aware that the activity they got at work met recommended levels of physical activity. Through this shift in mindset, the workers, many of whom had previously perceived themselves as inactive, experienced reductions in weight, body fat and blood pressure, among other positive outcomes.

But how did this happen? Why does the belief that we are healthy (or unhealthy) have a significant influence over our actual health?

Why your mindset about your health matters?

While it’s well-known that our mindset can influence our health in a variety of ways, it’s still unclear the exact reason why this happens or how it happens. Zahrt and Crum offer possible explanations for mindsets having such powerful effects on health.

Here are common theories as to how our mindset about our health can make a real world difference:

Your identity influences your actions – If you identify yourself as a healthy person, that in turn can influence you to do other healthy activities. For example, when a friend asks you to go hiking with them, you’ll think "Of course I’ll go! I’m a healthy person who loves hiking." instead of thinking, "I’m not sure, I need to get more fit first before I can do something like that."

  • According to the researchers, perceptions can affect motivation, both positively and negatively. "Those who are made aware of their healthy activity levels – like the hotel room attendants (in Crum’s 2007 study) – can build on them and exercise more. Those who deem themselves unfit are more likely to remain inactive, fueling feelings of fear, stress or depression that negatively affect their health", opined Crum and Zahrt.
  • Negative self-judgment creates unnecessary stress – If you don’t exercise and you begin saying things to yourself like, "I’m a lazy, unhealthy slob" then that negative judgment is only going to increase your stress levels and affect your overall health. In general, stress is a huge factor that contributes to worse health outcomes and makes you more likely to get physically ill, so anything that adds unnecessary stress is likely bad for your physical health as well.
  • The placebo effect and the power of suggestion – Our beliefs may also have a power to activate biological processes that our body is capable of doing on its own. For example, most placebo effects can be considered a type of "self-healing" that comes from within. Learning how to create your own "placebo effect" can be an interesting way to boost your mental and physical health.

All of these are common theories as to how our minds can influence our bodies. It’s likely that all 3 of these mechanisms mentioned above play some role in our overall health.

The researchers also note, "Of course this doesn’t mean that your mind always triumphs over your body. If you spend all day sitting on your butt, eating junk food, and consuming alcohol or smoking cigarettes, then there’s no amount of "mental power" that is going to save you from bad habits when it comes to your health and fitness".

Pay attention to Mind as much as to Body

However, it’s still important to realize that our mindset does make a big difference. And if we want to maximize our physical health, or begin embarking on a healthier lifestyle, then we have to pay just as much attention to our minds as we do to our bodies.

Even the best of professional athletes understand the importance of mindset to change their bodies and reach peak performance, which is a big reason why sports psychology has become such a fast-growing field of study.

Overall, your mindset matters a lot when it comes to a lot of different areas of your life, including your physical health. So don’t underestimate the importance of getting your mind right and cultivating a healthy attitude and perspective.

Taking mindsets seriously

So much effort, notably in public health campaigns, is geared toward motivating people to change their behavior: eat healthier, exercise more and stress less. The researchers believe that "But an important variable is being left out of the equation: people’s mindsets about those healthy behaviors".

A growing volume of research from Crum (and others) shows that perceptions and mindset predict health and longevity, for example, in the domains of stress, diet and obesity.

That our mindsets could have such potent effects on our physiology may seem provocative and unlikely at first glance, but Crum reminds us that we shouldn’t be surprised by these results considering the "everyday experiences where our beliefs or a simple thought have very palpable and physiological effects".

"In the case of stress, a thought about something going wrong can make us sweat or [become] shaky or increase our heart rate," Crum continued. "With sexual arousal, a simple thought or idea can have immediate physical effects. We experience these things regularly, and yet we’re not cataloguing them as something that matters For whatever reason – dualism or a prioritization of the material – we tend to ignore the fact that our thoughts, mindsets and expectations are shaping our everyday physiology".

How can people use this finding? Many people think that vigorous exercise in a gym is the only way to attain a proper activity level. But being mindful of and feeling good about activities you do every day – like taking the stairs, walking or biking to work, or cleaning the house – could be an easy first step for everyone to benefit their health.

It’s time that we start taking the role of mindset in health more seriously. In the pursuit of health and longevity, it is important to adopt not only healthy behaviors, but also healthy thoughts.

 

 …………………………………………………………..

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Denis Shapovalov announces himself with stunning US Open win v Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Posted on 31 August 2017 by admin

Canada's Denis Shapovalov r

Denis Shapovalou………….remember that name. Only 18 now, he might one day be a super star in the tennis world.

It might be too soon to say he can win this US Open but after his utterly brilliant dismantling of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and considering his placement in a weak bottom half of the draw, the quarter-finals look a very real possibility and from there, who knows?

Light on his feet, with a booming serve, frighteningly unpredictable and dangerous off both wings, Shapovalov is the real deal. 

If back-to-back wins over Juan Martin del Potro and Rafael Nadal in Montreal didn’t provide a big enough warning to the ATP Tour, this comprehensive 6-4 6-4 7-6 (7-3) defeat of the eighth seed surely will – the left-hander has everything to reach the top of the sport.

Currenty ranked at 69th in the world, the 18-year-old had only played three Tour-level matches – including an impressive win over Nick Kyrgios as a wildcard in Toronto – ahead of this year and his meeting with Tsonga was only his third Grand Slam main draw match.

And Tsonga suffered a similar fate as those who had gone before him as young Denis Shapovalov made sure his name will be the talk of the town in New York. 

Denis Shapovalov may only be 18 but boy oh boy he is a serious player.

 

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Love triangle reason for Toronto man’s murder in the U.K.

Posted on 25 August 2017 by admin

British newspapers have splashed a murder of a Toronto man killed in a British town. 

A jealous husband whose wife was planning to divorce him murdered the new man in her life, a jury heard.

Luton Crown Court was told Sri Lankan Gnanachandran Balachandran, 38, kept Suren Sivananthan captive for 12 hours before beating him to death.

He snatched his "rival" from a Milton Keynes shopping centre, it was heard.

Mr Balachandran is in court with two men and a teenager he is said to have enlisted to help him. All four deny murder.

The court heard Mr Sivananthan was staying with Mr Balachandran's wife in Milton Keynes while on a visit from Canada.

The jury heard that when she called Mr Sivananthan's phone, her husband answered and said: "Why are you asking where he is? You can't live with your husband and so you take someone else. You are a bad person.

"You will see what I do to him."

Mr Sivananthan, 32, who lived in Canada, was beaten to death by a parade of shops in Great Linford, the court heard.

He was found by police at about 04:00 GMT on 21 January.

The jury heard he had 39 separate injuries to his head and neck, plus bruises on his arms, legs, back and chest.

A post mortem showed he died from sustained blunt force trauma to the head, which resulted in a brain injury.

 

'We still don't know what really happened to him,' says sister of Suren Sivananthan, 32.

 

Suren Sivananthan was found dead in the parking lot of a supermarket in Milton Keynes, about 85 kilometres northwest of London, England. 

Officers responded to a call shortly after 4 a.m. local time on Jan. 21 and discovered the body, according to a news release.

It is not clear how the 32-year-old Toronto man died but Thames Valley Police have charged three men and a 17-year-old boy with murder. The accused appeared in court Thursday.

Police said "there is no danger to the wider public."

CBC Toronto contacted Thames Valley Police but the force declined to provide further details "due to the active legal proceedings," a spokesperson said in an email.

'Wonderful brother'

Suresh said her family is distraught, and that British authorities have provided little information.

"He came all the way from Canada to there, not to die," she told CBC Toronto. "We still don't know what really happened to him." 

"We saw the news. They found a body. But what really happened to him?"

He was set to return to Toronto early next week. (Facebook)

According to Suresh, Sivananthan travelled to Germany to visit their younger sister, who recently had a baby. He left for the trip on Dec. 30 along with their parents, she said.

He later travelled to London, England to visit friends, and was due back in Germany before returning to Toronto with his parents early next week, she said.

'I never thought in my life I would plan my brother's funeral.'– Sinthuja Suresh, victim's sister

"He was supposed to come back with them but he's not coming back," Suresh said.

"He was a wonderful brother. He was a wonderful uncle. He would never hurt a fly."

Suresh is struggling to tell her young children what happened.

"My son is asking: 'Where's my uncle? What happened to him? Why are you putting his picture like this, mommy?'"

"I still didn't tell my kids what happened to him; that they'll never see their uncle again."

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The Latest: Elvis fans mark 40th anniversary of his death

Posted on 18 August 2017 by admin

 

  • By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS.

The Latest on the candlelight vigil at Graceland commemorating the death of Elvis Presley (all times local):

8:45 p.m.

Elvis Presley fans in a long line are making the slow, solemn walk up the driveway of Graceland to pay their respects to the late singer on the 40th anniversary of his death.

Thousands of devotees of the rock 'n' roll icon lined up for hours to save their places in the procession Tuesday night. They held candles and walked along the graves of Presley and his relatives at the Meditation Garden at Graceland, his former home-turned-museum in Memphis, Tennessee.

Priscilla Presley, the performers' former wife, and Lisa Marie Presley, their daughter, thanked the crowd for their love and dedication.

Fans from around the world come to Graceland each year on the anniversary of Presley's death to honor his life and career. He died in Memphis on Aug. 16, 1977.

For the first time in nearly four decades, fans had to pay a fee to participate in the candlelight vigil, which runs into Wednesday. Fans were able to watch the vigil from the street in front of Graceland, free of charge.

———

4:24 p.m.

For the first time in nearly four decades, Elvis Presley fans who visit Graceland this week to commemorate the anniversary of his death will have to pay $28.75 to walk past his grave.

Many fans are not happy.

Graceland told the Associated Press in a written statement that visitors who attend the vigil beginning Tuesday night and running into Wednesday must have an Elvis Week Property Pass wristband. The $28.75 wristband also provides access to a new $45 million entertainment complex.

Graceland, operated by Elvis Presley Enterprises, says it anticipates large crowds and it has updated its security measures for Elvis Week, the annual celebration of Presley's life and career. Presley died on Aug. 16, 1977, in Memphis.

Some fans are saying they won't attend another vigil.

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