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FICA-ICC dicsuss Lanka player salaries

Dec 3 (BBC) The International Cricket Council (ICC) has admitted it is in discussion with the international cricket players union to find a solution to the non-payment of Sri Lanka player salaries. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) told BBC Sinhala service in October that the players have not been paid for months as a result of financial crisis it is facing since hosting the World Cup. In addition, SLC workers have not been paid for the last few months, more..

Fishermen strike enters fourth day

Dec 3 (Hindu) Fishermen in Rameswaram did not put out to sea for the fourth consecutive day, on Friday demanding immediate release of five fishermen who were arrested by Sri Lankan navy. Five fishermen hailing from Rameswaram were detained by Sri Lankan navy on Monday last on the charges of smuggling drugs to Lanka. They are lodged in Jaffna prison. The mechanised boat fishermen began an indefinite strike since then demanding their immediate release and dropping of more..

Wijeya launches first ever 24/7 breaking news apps

Dec 3 (DM) Wijeya Newspapers broke new ground in Sri Lanka yesterday as they launched the first ever Breaking News Application (Apps). Wijeya Newspapers, Sri Lanka’s largest newspaper circulation group launched News Apps for two of their top publications - the Daily Mirror and Daily Lankadeepa, whilst also launching Web 2.0. e-Papers for the Sunday Times and Sunday Lankadeepa. Staying on top of digital trends the launch of the Breaking News apps and e-papers by more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Sri Lanka to develop Colombo Fort into tourist attraction

Dec 3 (LBR) Sri Lanka’s tourism authorities together with the UDA have laid plans to develop the Fort area in the heart of the island’s commercial capital Colombo into a tourist attraction, capitalizing on the colonial architectural. ‘The colonial buildings built during the colonial times give us an amazing opportunity ideal for tourists to walk around,’ said Nalaka Godahewa, chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority. In two to three year’s time this area will be a more..

Lankans open with 3-0 thrashing of Bhutan in SAFF Championship

Dec 3 (PTI) Nipuna Dewinda Bandara struck twice as Sri Lanka thrashed Bhutan 3-0 to kick off their campaign in the SAFF Football Championship on a winning note on Saturday. Bandara found the target in the 35th and 65th minutes after Mi Mohammad Zain opened the scoring 29 minutes into the first half at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium. The match was as good as over in the first half itself as Sri Lanka never gave the Bhutanese an inch in the Group A match, more..

Cardinal 'to boycott' Govt functions

Dec 3 (BBC) The head of the Catholic Church says he will boycott all govt functions in protest against the arrest of a nun over child trafficking allegations. Colombo Archbishop, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith said that he strongly objects to the arrest of Sister Mary Eliza, an Indian nun worked for a Mother Theresa Missionary in Moratuwa. “I would say that I will not attend any state ceremony or function from now on until Christmas as a sing of my protest,” more..

Editorial: Transport Minister should go ahead with his plans

Dec 4 (SO) The Govt has taken a praiseworthy step to develop the public transport sector, which has a big impact on the day-to-day life of the masses. President Mahinda Rajapaksa has allocated a colossal sum of money to develop the transport sector in the 2012 Budget. Simultaneously, Transport Minister Kumara Welgama has spared no pains to improve the standard of the state-owned transport sector. The Transport Minister has planned to add 2,000 buses to more..

Editorial: The 62 Ratnapura ballots: acid test of the Rajapaksa regime’s credibility

Dec 4 (SL) The astounding declaration made by a former Examiner of Questioned Documents P.H.Manatunga that the 62 ballot papers found after the presidential election of 2010 near the Ratnapura Technical College ‘were originals printed on security paper’ calls for immediate investigation by authoritative independent persons. A letter from Manatunga to this effect was tabled in parliament on Thursday by Deputy Leader of the UNP Karu Jayasuriya. more..

Divine songster K.J. Yesudas: Singing in films for fifty years

Dec 4 (DBS) Reputed Indian singer Kattassery Joseph Yesudas known to the world as KJ Yesudas celebrated his golden jubilee in singing for films on November 14th this year. It was on Nov 14th 1961 that Yesudas recorded his first film song for a Malayalee film at a Chennai studio. Thereafter in fifty –years of singing for films Yesudas has sung over 50,000 songs in 17 Languages. He has won numerous awards and is regarded as a more..

Editorial: Accountability: laughable and legitimate

Dec 4 (NS) Accountability is an issue that’s talked about a lot with respect to Sri Lanka’s efforts to eliminate the terrorist menace. There’s been a lot of self-righteousness in the demands. A lot of double-tongue too. The entire discourse of accusation, sadly, has been marked by the word ‘allegation’, which in turn appears, again sadly, to have been constructed from claims made by the most dubious of sources. It is in this context that one has to consider the Canadian more..

Editorial: they paly, you play

Dec 4 (LB) This must be the only country that officially bails out entities which are awash in an ocean of corruption. The official line may be that the government is stepping in — as it did last week — with some Rs50,000,000 to kickstart Sri Lanka cricket which is sputtering and in death throes, and cannot now pay the basic salaries of Sri Lankan cricketers (most who did proud their country by coming into the finals of the World Cricket Cup.) But anything that the govt bails out, more..

‘Mother Teresa’s Sisters absolutely not involved in child – trafficking’

Dec 4 (TC) Attorney-at-Law Neville Abeyratne presenting his submissions on behalf of Rev. Sr. Mary Eliza and ” Prem Nivasa”, of the Sisters of the Missionaries of Charity, informed the Court, said that the ” ‘Prem Nivasa’ or the Sisters of Mother Teresa absolutely not involved in taking any money when the children are given for adoption. “Prem Nivasa” is registered under the Probation Department which is under the Social Ministry of the govt. more..

Editorial: Spotlight on stock market

Dec 4 (Island) Unsurprisingly, the Colombo stock market attracted quite a bit of national attention last week climaxed by the resignation of the respected chairperson of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mrs. Indrani Sugathadasa. This had been widely expected since SEC Director General Malik Cader was moved out from his position of CEO with some market participants and brokers who have been making big bucks on share trading pushing for his removal. more..

Editorial: Give those with disabilities dignity

Dec 4 (ST) In the United Nations calendar of special days designated to focus attention on particular groups and issues, yesterday, December 3, marked one of particular significance. Formerly known as the International Day of Disabled Persons, and observed as such from 1992, it was in 2007 changed to the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. This was indicative of the growing shift to make the larger population aware of disability issues and focus on the need for more..

'All websites should register with Govt'

Dec 4 (SO) Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said the salient feature of the 2012 Budget is that it has looked into less important areas as well. He said public expenditure is around Rs.500 billion which is the highest amount allocated. One hundred and ten proposals are included in the Budget. Money has been allocated for all areas and encouragement has been given to certain sectors, while safeguarding important segments like education and agriculture so more..

Grero’s exit and alarm bells

Dec 4 (NS) Mohan Lal Grero is a tiny speck in the ocean that is Sri Lanka’s national politics. Being only an opposition backbencher, he is not being perceived as national leader; not yet, anyway. However, the tuition master turned businessman turned politician made national headlines this week. That is because he announced during the Budget debate in Parliament that he would be supporting the government and crossed over to the government side of the chamber thereafter. more..

TNA calls for proposals before Dec. 31

Dec 4 (NS) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has not so far forgiven the Matara district MP Buddhika Pathirana who has made serious charges against him. This became quite clear when the UNP leader ordered Buddhika to leave the UNP Parliamentary group meeting held at the opposition leader’s office lat Thursday. The UNP Parliamentary group for years had been meeting either at Sirikotha or at a committee room at the parliamentary complex. But since of late Ranil Wickremesinghe has more..

'Cannot condone continued imprisonment of Sarath Fonseka'

Dec 4 (LB) The chief incumbent of the Naga Vihara in Kotte, the Ven. Maduluwave Sobitha Thera says that former army commander Sarath Fonseka is ‘being politically victimized and imprisoned’ due to several cases filed by the current UPFA administration. Ven. Sobitha Thera said that as a Buddhist monk, he accepts any verdict given by a court of law in the country but he cannot condone the continued imprisonment of the ex-army chief turned war hero, more..

RW: One step forward, two steps back

Dec 4 (Island) One thing that most people could not help but notice was that the opposition was showing some signs of life last week with a protest organized by the JVP in Colombo Fort against the budget and another protest by the UNP which was well attended and successful. As we pointed out last week, neither the JVP nor the UNP had anything of substance to say about the budget and the JVP protest was largely senseless – but then it’s the senseless protests that are usually successful. more..

They don’t oppose where it hurts...

Dec 4 (LB) The opposition made a valiant attempt this week to subsume some of the searing intra-party differences and put on a united front, and judging by numbers, its effort for once seemed to have succeeded. At Hyde Park and then at Lipton Circus, UNP led efforts to mount a protest campaign for the release of Sarath Fonseka drew some crowds, and were devoid of the notorious acrimony that has been the hallmark of the UNP. But even here, the opposition try as it might, could not get more..

Used car industry to become history?

Dec 4 (ST) Sri Lanka’s used car industry is likely to be phased out eventually following govt plans to allow for only year-old vehicles to be imported in the future. This industry has over time captured a sizeable market share gaining much popularity among the consumers over the brand new vehicle dealers. However, the currency fluctuations, imposition of increased duty on cars and the reduction of the age of imported vehicles have had their toll on the industry. more..

5th column : The issue is not one tie but the many knots

Dec 4 (ST) My Dear Green Man, I thought of writing to you soon after writing to Mahinda maama last week because, no matter what criticism is made against you, no one can blame you for not being in the news, as you so cleverly demonstrated this week. There you were in Parliament managing to create a rumpus by the mere act of removing your tie! That was in protest against not being able to talk about the General and his many jail sentences. Pardon me, Green Man, but more..

Failed LG candidates yet to declare assets

Dec 4 (NS) Fifty per cent of local government election candidates who lost the election have failed to declare their assets and the Elections Department is in a quandary how to address the issue, Elections Commissioner, Mahinda Deshapriya told ‘The Nation.’ All are from the final Phase-III local government elections. This included two candidates from the UNP and SLMC namely Nadee Dushantha Malagoda of the UNP and Aamir Abdul Taheem who would be fined Rs. 1000 each. more..

Stock market facing Bangladesh-style crash, analysts warn

Dec 4 (ST) Sri Lanka’s top regulator quit over issues in the Colombo stock market, controlled by a few powerful interests while a credit bubble is waiting to burst, analysts said.“The credit squeeze, which a few powerful brokers are complaining about, came at a time (over six months back) when the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) discovered that over Rs 1 billion had been given on credit to investors, and feared a Bangladesh-type collapse,” more..

Nobel laureate Prof. Yunus in Sri Lanka

Dec 4 (ST) Bangladeshi Nobel Peace Prize laureate Muhammed Yunus father of the Grameen Bunk concept will visit Sri Lanka this week to talk on his recent initiative for social business which is based on identifying the basic needs of the poor and helping to address them through non-governmental agencies and the corporate sector. The visit of Professor Yunus has been organized by the South Asian Policy and Research Institute (SAPRI) which is headed by former President Chandrika more..

Embilipitiya paper mill resumes operations

Dec 4 (SO) The Embilipitiya Paper mill resumed operations last week under the National Industrial Re-awakening Program of the Government, said State Resources and Enterprise Development Ministry Secretary Dr. W.W. Gamage. He said that Perth Engineering and Maintenance (WA) (Pvt).Ltd of Australia which offered the highest capital investment and the best technology at the international bidding in February 2011 has been granted the management contract of the paper mill. more..

Ranil’s condition turns critical

Dec 4 (NS) The UNP’s crisis that has plunged to low ebb in recent months has dramatically taken a turn for the worse, with a group of its vociferous MPs deciding to go independent in Parliament ignoring the directives of the party leadership. Puttalam district MP Range Bandara, Matale district MP Wasantha Aluwihare, Kalutara district MP Palitha Thewarapperuma and Hambantota district MP Dilip Wedaarachchi have decided to form a new independent group that more..

JVP drifting away from ideology says rebel member

Dec 4 (NS) JVP is drifting away from the prime ideology of its founder Rohana Wijeweera, lamented JVP rebel member and MP Ajith Kumara. The Galle district young MP in an exclusive interview with The Nation said the intention of the rebel group was to reform the party back to the right track and to ensure that the JVP stuck to the ideology of its founders. He charged that the current leadership had totally drifted away from the original principles of the JVP. more..

Rent-a-car operator nabbed for selling hired cars on forged papers

Dec 4 (ST) A fraudulent operation by a rent-a-car operator, who sold hired vehicles on forged papers, after reporting to the police, the vehicles had been stolen, has been busted by the police, with the help of a businessman. The breakthrough came after a businessman from Nugegoda felt suspicious on inspecting a car, advertised in a newspaper, for sale for Rs. two million, whereas its market price was Rs. four million. The businessman in turn had got in touch with the Mirihana police. more..

COPE spotlight fiddles by Sri Lanka Cricket

Dec 4 (Island) In the wake the Supreme Court setting the stage for the long awaited elections for the cash-strapped SLC board, parliamentary anti-corruption watchdog, COPE has revealed shocking waste of funds leading to bankruptcy of an institution once categorized one of the most profitable in the country. The 31-member COPE headed by Senior Minister Dew Gunasekera, blamed the financial crisis on interim committees appointed by the incumbent Rajapaksa administration. more..

Boon or bane southern expressway here to stay

Dec 4 (ST) The E-1 or the southern expressway, in its first week of operation, netted over Rs 8.5 million, with a traffic flow of over 36,000 vehicles. Road Development Authority (RDA) Chairman R.W. R. Premasiri said on an average 5,000 vehicles were plying the expressway daily. But, the road also experienced problems, with the biggest of them being dogs, rabbits, tortoises, porcupines and peacocks straying on to the road, with many dogs, rabbits being killed. more..

Sanga and Mahela in new restaurant project

Dec 4 (Island) Two Sri Lankan cricketers, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena, have teamed up with well known restaurateur, Dharshan Munidasa, to open a new restaurant called "Ministry of Crab" at the Old Dutch Hospital in Colombo Fort. The restaurant will focus on serving the country’s best sea food including export quality crabs which a spokesman said was not usually available in the country. Sangakkara said that he was interested in food for a long time and more..

Dual citizenship for 500 applicants

Dec 4 (ST) The Govt has decided to grant dual citizenship to more than 500 people, whose applications were pending for more than a year, Immigrations and Emigrations Chief Chulananda Perera said yesterday. This would be the first time dual citizenship has been granted after the govt put the scheme on hold last year pending a review.He said the 500 applicants included both Sri Lankans and foreigners and they were selected from about 1,000 applications. more..

Met says ‘CAN’T DO’

Dec 4 (LB) Officials at the Department of Meteorology say that they are unable to predict any looming disaster or even changing weather patterns due to the lack of qualified manpower in addition to the lack of the latest technology that would enable them make accurate forecasts. “Weather patterns keep changing due to many reasons and the department’s Call Line System’s dimension does not have the capacity to forecast tornados or adverse weather conditions,” said an official. more..

Soaring costs pose big challenge to reducing post-harvest waste

Dec 4 (Island) The govt’s effort to popularize suitable packaging methods for the transport of fruits and vegetables to minimize the post harvest waste have become a major challenge due to the cost of packaging materials/plastic crates and laid back attitudes by the suppliers for new packaging methods, a top official said. The govt’s recent regulation for local suppliers/distributors to utilize plastic crates or other safety packaging material for fruits, more..

LLRC report: President to outline action this month

Dec 4 (ST) President Mahinda Rajapaksa will make a special address to Parliament after he personally tables the findings of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission this month. The address will set out the steps the govt would take on the recommendations of the LLRC’s final report. He will also focus on concerns expressed by the international community over alleged violations of human rights and international law. Two matters connected to this address, more..

New born baby pulled out of squatting pan at Sri Jayewardenepura Hospital

Dec 4 (Island) A new born baby had to be pulled out of a squatting pan by a nursing sister at the Sri Jayewardenepura General Hospital (SJGH) last week after a mother gave birth inside a toilet in a shocking incident which health sources blamed on "medical negligence". The patient had been admitted in advance for her confinement, as medically advised, but despite complaints of severe pain and discomfort, the consultant obstetrician/gynaecologist had failed to visit more..

Dollar pinching, holidayers pick Sri Lanka over London

Dec 4 (ET) Despite dollar touching a record high and becoming expensive, Indian tourists are not cancelling their trips abroad but are making compromises to make up for the 15% rise in travel expenses. Tour operators say a devalued rupee has forced many to shrink their budgets and choose less expensive locations closer to India. According to the tour operators, passengers will have to pay 15% more on hotels, shopping and sightseeing at places like the more..

Mahinda ready to meet Gen. Fonseka’s family over pardon

Dec 4 (Island) Presidential spokesman, Bandula Jayasekera quoted President Rajapaksa as having said that Mrs. Anoma Fonseka could appeal to him directly without calling for international interference. The President was responding to a recent statement attributed to Ms. Apsara Fonseka, one of the General’s daughters, that the Fonsekas would sought the intervention of US President Barak Obama to secure General Fonseka’s release. more..