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Decisions taken by the Cabinet

Dec 6 (GDI) The International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch-keeping (STWC) 1978 has made it mandatory for a seafarer holding maritime certificates issued to him by the maritime administration of his country to obtain a similar Certificate of Recognition from the country concerned to serve on ships flying its flag. The Merchant Shipping Act, No.52 of 1971 also highlights the compliance with this requirement. SL has already entered into agreements with 28 more..

Moratuwa University breaks with tradition, launches Business Faculty with IFS

Dec 6 (Island) Recently, a phenomenal change took place in the local higher education sphere. IFS, a foreign organization, already in operation here, was a catalyst initiator, introducing Enterprise Resource Planning and allied subjects to the University of Moratuwa's IT curriculum; for effective training of graduates who could be absorbed into the corporate sector. Vice Chancellor, University of Moratuwa, Professor Ananda more..

UPFA MMC member joins Maithripala onstage

Dec 6 (CT) UPFA Matara Municipal Council (MMC) Member Raj Chandralal has extended his support for common Opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena. at the forthcoming presidential elections. The Councillor joined Sirisena at a rally held in Matara yesterday (4). Chandralal, who was onstage at the election rally yesterday pledged that he would commit himself to ensure the victory of Sirisena at the coming election. Maithripala Sirisena, Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, more..

Sacred relics excavated at Neelagiri Seya on public display

Dec 6 (Island) The Department of Archeology yesterday commenced at Rattapala Purana Raja Maha Vihara in Diviyagaha in the Matara District a public display of the sacred relics unearthed during the excavations of Neelagiri Seya in Lahugala. Among the relics displayed were of the Buddha’s and Arahat monks, Director General of Archaeology Dr Senarath Dissanayake said, adding that ashes of King Dutugemunu found during the Dakkhina Stupa excavations by Dr. Senarat Paranavitana more..

Hidden agenda behind CID inquiry on Navin’s statement: UNP

Dec 6 (FT) UNP has alleged that there was a hidden motive behind launching a CID investigation into the claim by former Minister Navin Dissanayake, that he was offered Rs. 100 million to remain with the Govt. “It is clear the Govt has got very agitated about this statement by MP Dissanayake,” UNP said. UNP said that President Rajapaksa was engaging in play acting to show the public he was acting against corruption. more..

Tamil Nadu wants Katchatheevu

Dec 6 (CG) Tamil Nadu Assembly, in a resolution moved by Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, called for the Katchatheevu island to be retrieved from Sri Lanka. It also lauded the PM Narendra Modi led govt for taking steps to secure the release of five fishermen sentenced to death in Sri Lanka. Fishermen were arrested on Nov 28, 2011 for alleged drug trafficking by Sri Lanka. They were sentenced to death by a court there on Oct 30 this year and released on Nov 19 and more..

SL shines at World Chess Meet in Brazil

Dec 6 (DN) Harshana Tillekaratne of Maliyadeva College (Boys) Kurunegala won a Gold Medal at the World's School Chess championship which concluded in Brazil yesterday. Harshana won the medal in the under 11 age group while Ehsha Pallie of St. Paul's Girls School, Milagiriya won the bronze medal in the under seven category. I.M.T.S Gunawardena of Maliyadeva Girls School, Kurunegala was placed fourth in the under 7 girls category, Piyumantha Nipun of Dharmasoka more..

Mahinda confident

Dec 6 (FT) Declaring he was happy to go before the people, President Rajapaksa yesterday expressed confidence of winning the office for the third term, dismissing any real threat from his main opponent. “I like to go before the people as I have always done,” President told Editors during his regular breakfast meeting, probably the last for 2014. This was in response to a question that, given various accusations, whether he regretted more..

Communist party backs President

Dec 6 (CG) The Communist party led by Minister D E W Gunasekera says it has decided to support President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the next Presidential elections based on three main points. The party had met the President today and formally offered support to him at the January election. Among the three main points is the international pressure, the Communist party claims, the govt is facing today and the economic policies of the Rajapaksa administration. more..

TRC to impose ban on use of contraband phones next year

Dec 6 (ST) The TRC, with effect from next year, will ban the use of all phones smuggled into the country. The move will ensure that only phones with the proper standards will be used by the public in future, TRC Chairman, Anusha Pelpita said. “This will also help avoid Health issues and be useful even in fighting crime,” he said. He said that all phone importers need to register with the TRC, and if the phones are found to be fakes, permission will not be granted to register them. more..

Presidential poll: TNA to reveal position in third week of Dec.

Dec 6 (Island) TNA would announce its stand on presidential election during the third week of December, Jaffna District TNA MP, Mavai Senathirajah said. Asked whether the five-party alliance was likely to indicate its position ahead of nominations scheduled for Dec 8, MP Senathiraja told The Island: "We are in the process of consulting our representatives at different levels pending a meeting possibly on Dec 20 to finalize the decision." more..

Let’s go beyond politics to select Sri Lanka’s heroes

Dec 6 (DM) Today is the UN international volunteer day for economic and social development. The SL media -- instead of giving so much publicity to dishonest and crafty rogue politicians -- should spotlight everyday people who are making extraordinary efforts to change the community, the country or even the world. An inspiring example of this is the Heroes of the Year contest conducted by the popular worldwide television channel Cable and News Network better known as CNN. more..

Failure of Marxist social engineering

Dec 6 (CT) Minister Tissa Vitharna blames the increase in corruption on Capitalism. So, Marxists assume that if they abolish the right to private property, which is the distinguishing feature of Capitalism, then there will be no corruption. But we saw what happened in the former Soviet Union, which abolished the right to private property and the running of business by private entrepreneurs. The corruption manifested within Communist Party itself where party hacks and bureaucrats enjoyed more..

The last laugh on File Politics

Dec 6 (Island) Just file it away is very common parlance in bureaucracy. It often refers to something that is put aside never to be looked at again. Keeping a file is something most people are used to, especially those keen to keep a good record of events, achievements, and even some disappointments. There are often files that can cause some worry to people, such as income tax files, land assessment files, valuation files more..

'I am against arbitrary presidential Powers'

Dec 6 (DM) Hailing from a family which produced two Prime Ministers to the country and also who were the founders of the UNP, young MP Vasantha Senanayake who represented SLFP crossed over a few weeks ago to support the common candidate, Maithripala Sirisena. He was the first to crossover from the Govt to the Opposition after the announcement of the candidacy of Maithripala Sirisena. more..

Wide smooth roads at tremendous cost

Dec 6 (ST) The first thing you notice about Hambantota is those roads. They are wide, smooth and mostly empty. They also do not come cheap. The cost of the main expressways (completed as well as proposed) and the two flyovers are published with this article. Three projects alone have cost nearly Rs. 59 billion: The Siribopura flyover, at Rs. 2.6 billion; the Mattala airport road flyover, at Rs. 3 billion; and more..

Prez poll 2015: Wijeyedasa believes corruption should be a major topic

Dec 6 (Island) UNP MP Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, PC, wants Sri Lanka to follow what he calls the exemplary Indian example of banning those found guilty of corruption from contesting elections for a period of 10 years. The Colombo District MP said corruption should be a major topic at the forthcoming presidential election, though at the moment the focus was primarily on doing away of dictatorial features of executive presidency. more..

AWOL soldier found dead near the home of a girl he was coveting

Dec 6 (Island) A body of a 19-year-old soldier attached to an army camp in Mulaitivu was found yesterday morning in a land at Awulegama in close proximity to the home of a girl. The soldier, who is alleged to have committed suicide, had deserted the army three days before. The soldier P.M.B.R. Senadeera of Ambagama, Awulegama in the Wariyapola police area had decamped from his base, while he was on duty, on the night of more..

Ex-CJ Shirani B to back Maitri

Dec 6 (DM) Impeached Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake will back common opposition candidate Maitripala Sirisena, particularly on her stand that the executive presidency should be scrapped, political sources said. Mr. Sirisena, who has the support of several opposition political parties, has promised to abolish the executive presidency if he were elected to the presidency at the January 8th presidential poll. more..

UNP convention backs Maithri

Dec 6 (CG) The UNP, at its annual convention held at Sirikotha today, unanimously agreed to back Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential election. Party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, deputy leader Sajith Premadasa and other senior members of the UNP were present at the convention which was also attended by a large number of UNP members. A proposal to support Sirisena and what the main focus of the party at Presidential election more..

Sri Lanka cuts fuel price ahead of elections

Dec 6 (Reuters) Sri Lanka slashed fuel prices by up to nearly 6% on Saturday to reflect falling global oil prices and said it would forgo subsidies and allow market forces to determine prices at the pumps from now on. The fuel price reduction comes ahead of snap presidential elections in January and two months after it cut energy prices across the board. "Don't link this to the election in any way. more..

‘US Ambassador offered me a bribe’

Dec 6 (FT) Govt Minister has claimed that he was offered a ‘bribe’ by outgoing US Ambassador Michele Sison. Resettlement Minister Guneratne Weerakoon has said that he had recordings of the discussion, to which Secretary to his Ministry was also privy. “She came to meet me and said I was a skilled Minister. She said I had done a good job with resettlement,” Minister said. The envoy had asked him to remove military camps in the north. more..

US rejects Minister’s allegations

Dec 6 (CG) The United States has denied allegations raised by a Govt Minister who had said that Former US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Michele J. Sison had offered him a bribe. US Embassy in Colombo said that the allegations on Sison, who left Sri Lanka yesterday to take up a post at the UN, were “baseless”. Minister Guneratne Weerakoon had told a political meeting in Aranwela that he had recordings of the discussion more..

The four segments of the SL Left movement

Dec 6 (CT) The scenario of what is left of the Left Movement in SL can be broken down into four categories: Those who have gone to bed with the Right, those who have gone to bed with the Right but who are pretending otherwise, the ambiguous Left and the start-over- again Left. The start-over again Left is the new Frontline Socialist Party (FSP). These passionate young people and their not- so young mentors start off with the premise that SL has not yet seen a “proper Left movement.” more..

'My file comment has been misinterpreted'

Dec 6 (CT) Adding to the extremely absurd comments made by the members of the incumbent regime, President Rajapaksa has said that his ‘file’ comment has been misinterpreted by media. Speaking at a breakfast meeting held this morning at Temple Trees for Editors of national newspapers, President Rajapaksa had stated that he was not referring to any ‘files’ containing information on corruption but was only referring to the files that various Ministers forward to him. more..

Budding SL bowler keen on greens scene

Dec 6 (Stuff) Given Susil Ramanayake's home bowling lawn is the corner of a cricket pitch in Sri Lanka it's no wonder he wants to pick the brains of Christchurch greens gurus. Sri Lanka's sole representative borrowed a set of bowls from the Fendalton club to compete at the world champion of champion singles tournament which ended on Sunday. Ramanayake didn't get a win from any of his matches but it's clear he's more..

Could the Presidential System be abolished in 100 days?

Dec 6 (CT) UPFA General Secretary, Susil Premajayantha, has stated that the forthcoming manifesto of Mahinda Rajapaksa or Mahinda Chinthana 2015 would outline constitutional reforms along the previous manifestos of 2005 and 2010. This is hilarious. If the government, and this means the President, wanted to reform the constitution it should have been done already. Even before breaking away from the UPFA, the JHU made a request with a draft in hand to curtail the more..

Tilan Wijeyesekera awarded Marketing Professional of the Year

Dec 6 (FT) Past President of the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM) the National Body of Marketing in Sri Lanka and Deputy General Manager responsible for Liability Product Management, Digital Alternative Channels, Housing Loan Product Management and Marketing at Seylan Bank, Tilan Wijeyesekera was recently awarded top honours at the prestigious Global Marketing Excellence Awards 2014 when he was bestowed with the award for Marketing Professional of the Year more..

EDB to host international delegation at SLDF

Dec 6 (FT) Lanka Design Festival (SLDF) 2014, which is backed by local industries and the Govt, is scheduled to kick off over the next few days. The main objective of the festival is to promote design driven exports as a major economic sector for the country. For this reason, SLDF is supported by Sri Lanka’s apex institute for driving exports, the Export Development Board (EDB). Together with the EDB, SLDF’s fashion edition is held under more..

Kumar Sangakkara set to sign with Surrey

Dec 6 (MO) Kevin Pietersen's chances of play for Surrey next summer have reduced significantly amid reports Kumar Sangakkara is set to sign on as the Oval's next overseas star. Having already been dropped by England across all formats, Pietersen has been de-registered by Surrey but had hopes of agreeing to a new deal by the start of next season. However, The Sun reports Sri Lankan keeper-batsman Sangakkara could sign with the London-based country side within days. more..

SL family seeking asylum flown out of WA

Dec 6 (PW) Dramatic scenes unfolded at a Perth detention centre yesterday as police dragged away protesters trying to stop a young Sri Lankan family from being flown out of WA. Eight protesters linked arms and sat in the driveway of the Immigration Department’s det­ention centre in Redcliffe to try to stop a van leaving for the airport at 7am. Inside was a young Tamil couple from Sri Lanka and their six-month-old baby girl who were later flown to Darwin on their way to Nauru detention centre. more..

TNA awaits proposal to issues

Dec 6 (CG) TNA says it is awaiting proposals from the candidates contesting the Presidential election on how they will resolve the main issues faced by the Tamils in order for the TNA to decide who it will support at the election. TNA MP Suresh Premachandran said that the TNA has taken note of comments made by the common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena that he will not support a Federal system or assist a UN-led more..

'Mahinda Chintana should be handbook of every public officer'

Dec 6 (DN) Every public officer should have the Mahinda Chintana text as a table top manuscript, for it contains vision and strategy on every aspect of the nation building, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga said. He was addressing state officials and people's representatives at the launch of SPC's citizen centric e-venture to issue vehicle revenue licences and to provide the public with the facility to make remittances related to motor traffic affairs through the internet at Labuduwa, Galle. more..

Maithripala to retain executive powers on Provincial Councils

Dec 6 (AD) Common Opposition Candidate Maithripala Sirisena says that, if elected as the President of Sri Lanka, he will do away with all executive powers vested with the President except those regarding the Provincial Councils. He stated that the executive powers on provincial councils vested with the President under the 13th Amendment to the Constitution will remain because if those powers are abolished they will be transferred to the provincial councils. more..

Malaysian First Lady attends Carlton Pre-School annual concert

Dec 6 (Bernama) Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, wife of the Malaysian Prime Minister, was an honourable guest at a pre-school concert staged at the Nelum Pokuna Mahinda Rajapaksa Theatre here on Friday night. The Carlton Pre-School Annual Concert 2014 was also attended by Sri Lanka President Rajapaksa and First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa, who is also the founder, director and principal of the school. more..

Secretary Defence met venders of Diyatha Uyana and Bellanvila

Dec 6 (MoD) Secretary Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa met with venders of Diyatha Uyana and Bellanvila in a gathering held at Waters Edge today (5). Speaking at the event he said initially the floral outlets of Diyatha Uyana were begun with a view of assisting the previous owners of such outlets at Vihara Maha Devi Park whom were sent out due to the reconstruction work and now this has entices many people to the venue and also contributes to boost the turnover of the ventures drastically. more..

Western forces attempting to destroy hard won peace - SB

Dec 6 (DN) Western forces are attempting to destroy the hard won peace, Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake said. Speaking at the annual prize giving of Badiudeen Mahamud Girls School, he said unlike in the past, the Muslim community was now educating their children. "As a middle level income country, we are happy to say that Sri Lanka is showing their capability to win over the world by competing with other strong nations. Over 94% of Sri Lankans are literate. more..

'Are you the Matara - Sunil who called Mahindananda?'

Dec 6 (AM) UNP MP Ranjan Ramanayake said that it was up to the CID to prove who the controversial Matara Sunil was - the man who gave a telephone call to Minister Mahindananda Aluthagamage during a political show on Derana TV. A caller named Sunil from Matara gave a telephone call to Minister and leveled serious allegations against him saying Minister’s wife was aware of all his alleged “malpractices”. more..

Indian fishermen to avoid Sri Lanka

Dec 6 (CG) Fishermen of six districts in Tamil Nadu have decided to avoid entering Sri Lankan waters beyond the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL). A decision was taken at the end of the discussion held by the fishermen of Ramanathapuram, Tiruvarur, Thanjavur, Nagapattinam and Karaikal. They felt that all the steps should be taken to ensure smooth fishing operations. N. Kuttiyandi, president of the Mechanised Boat owners’ Welfare more..

Jaffna DIG transferred

Dec 6 (AD) The Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) in charge of Jaffna, Rohan Dias, has been transferred to serve as the DIG in charge Ratnapura and Kegalle, the police spokesman said. Meanwhile it has been reported that DIG Ravi Vidyalankara of Police Headquarters has been appointed as the new DIG in charge of Jaffna. However, under existing election laws recruitments, transfers and promotions of govt servants including police officers are prohibited during the election period. more..