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Sangakkara's Kandyan dance

Dec 11 (CI) All through the middle overs, England's offspinners tried to get Kumar Sangakkara out of his castle in the crease. So slow, and well-flighted were their deliveries, the ball was almost pleading with each revolution: "Come out of your ground, Sanga." "Dance down to me, Sanga." He would dance. But it wouldn't be to England's tune. Eyes on every puff of dust, brain whirring as the ball bounced and gripped, more..

JKH clinches Gold for overall excellence at CA Sri Lanka annual report awards

Dec 11 (FT) John Keells Holdings Plc clinched the Cyril Gardiner Memorial Trophy Gold Award for Overall Excellence in Annual Financial Reporting at the golden jubilee of the Annual Report Awards. The Silver and Bronze awards were won by People’s Leasing Finance and Sampath Bank respectively. Organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka, the iconic award ceremony each year witnesses a gathering of top corporates and high-level Govt officials. more..

'Rave Party' by foreigners near turtle sanctuary

Dec 11 (CT) The Federation of Environmental Organizations (FEO) of Sri Lanka has disclosed that a large scale international 'rave festival' will happen along a stretch of beach within the Rekawa Marine Turtle Sanctuary, according to Rainforest Protectors, an environmental group, which has already launched an online petition against this event. A total of 229 signatures against the event have so far been collected online. Known as The Atman Festival, it is a 5-day 'psychedelic rave' that more..

SL seeks Malaysian expertise to build integrated multimodal transportation system

Dec 11 (FT) The Ministry of Transport yesterday entered in to a joint collaboration with Maju Group of Malaysia to transform the country’s public transportation infrastructure. The formal documents were signed and exchanged between Ministry of Transport Secretary Dhammika Perera and Maju TMAS Managing Director Roslan Dato’ Sharrif at a press conference held in Colombo. Bearing witness to the event were Malaysia’s more..

Duty-free shopping: Sri Lanka set to upstage S’pore, Dubai

Dec 11 (Island) Sri Lankans and Asians need not visit Singapore or Dubai for world standard duty free shopping soon, said Maju Holdings Director and renowned Malaysian developer Datuk Patrick Lim. Lim, speaking at the launch of the ‘New City Apartments’ residential project by Quest Ventures in Hambantota on Tuesday said with the implementation of the duty free shopping complex by the end of next year, the country would be better placed for high end markets in Asia. more..

Deheragoda of Ezy Racing is 2nd in Asia

Dec 11 (Island) Sri Lanka’s Dinesh Deheragoda, who represented team EZY Racing, placed Sri Lanka on the world map bringing unparalleled glory by being ranked number two in Asia at the prestigious Asia Cup Rally in this year’s prestigious Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) conducted by FIA (Federation Internationale de L’Automobile), the world motor racing governing body. This was, remarkably, Deheragoda’s first-ever complete season in a FIA Championship. more..

Big draw for capital market forum in Jaffna

Dec 11 (FT) There has been a big draw for the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC) in collaboration with the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) organised Investor Forum in Jaffna last week at the Tilko City Hotel. Aimed at educating the general public on the investment opportunities available in the capital market, the forum saw over 250 participants including eminent professionals, academics more..

JVP starts campaign for 2015 Presidential Election

Dec 11 (FT) The JVP yesterday started its own campaign for 2015 Presidential Election to bring change to the country. The campaign under the main theme “Prepare and line up for Democracy in Sri Lanka” started from Colombo Fort Railway Station with distributing leaflets to public. The party will continue the campaign countrywide. “Current president Mahinda Rajapaksa is violating Sri Lankan Constitution and breaking all the traditional political practice of call at this election. more..

War victory film screening near O’Level examination centre?

Dec 11 (Island) People at Abana junction, Naula had yesterday protested against some UPFA supporters, who attempted to screen a war victory film there, supporting President Rajapaksa in close proximity to the Kubiyangaha Ela school, where GCE O/L exam was being held at the time and then the angry villagers had chased them away, CaFFE said. There had been policemen guarding the large screen mounted on a lorry belonging to Naula Pradeshiya Sabha (PS) bearing the registration more..

SL improves on its brand value in 2014

Dec 11 (FT) Sri Lanka has improved its ranking on The Brand Finance Nation Brands report, which was recently released, with a significant increase from last year. Sri Lanka has improved its ranking to 58th position on the Nation Brands Table from amongst 100 countries with a brand value of $ 61 billion. Last year, Sri Lanka was in the 65th position with a brand value of $ 45 billion. This increase is the third best performance from more..

MDMK to show black flag to Modi

Dec 11 (Hindu) “If PM Narendra Modi could accord a red carpet welcome to SL President Rajapaksa, we will show black flag to him whenever he visits TN," said Vaiko, MDMK general secretary. He said Tamils were massacred in the island nation by some Sinhalese groups led by Mr. Rajapaksa, and such a person was given State honour and accorded ‘royal’ welcome at Tirumala. This was not the first time that Tamils were betrayed by the BJP and this had prompted the MDMK to quit the NDA, more..

Yunfu City, China, holds promise for SL investors: Chinese mayor

Dec 11 (Island) Yunfu City in Guangdong province, China, is an ideal hub for profit making ventures where an Italian company has already set up business and Sri Lankan investors too can make use of current trade reforms to come and invest in the manufacturing of cement, granite, stainless steel and chemicals, among other commodities, Zhou Zhiqiang , mayor of Yunfu City, Guangdong province, China, said in Colombo. The Yunfu City mayor said so while speaking at the more..

Hirunika’s crossover: MR moves to stabilise WPC

Dec 11 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa intervened yesterday to thwart an Opposition attempt to engineer further crossovers in the wake of WPC member, Hirunika Premachandra switching her allegiance to Opposition presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena. Premachandra announced her move soon after President Rajapaksa and his chief rival Sirisena handed over their nominations for Jan. 8, 2015 election. more..

'Detractors forget value addition of highways'

Dec 11 (CT) Those who complain about the high cost of building a kilometre of a highway, do not take into account the value addition it accrues to the economy, said UDA Deputy Director General, Weerasena Adikari. Addressing the media yesterday, he was responding to the allegation of bribery and corruption in the building of roads and highways in the country. Adikari said, a highway increased the value of property in its vicinity and promoted business opportunities. more..

Rise in underage rape cases

Dec 11 (CT) Underage or statutory rape cases are on the rise in Jaffna. Nearly 18 cases were reported by the Jaffna Teaching Hospital for this year, with most of the cases being recorded during June and July. PHI Gunaraja Nakkeeran said 24 rape cases were reported this year, and of them, 18 were underage rape cases and seven were teenage pregnancy cases. "Underage rape cases have hit the Jaffna District like never before, and it is mostly due to less awareness on sex education. more..

Aussie MP slams pro-LTTE views

Dec 11 (CG) An Australian MP has expressed outrage over a statement made in parliament by Senator Lee Rhiannon of the Greens on 26 Nov 2014 which, he says, demonstrates that one of the senators of parliament commemorated the brutal terrorist leader Prabhakaran, who not only killed innocent civilians but killed democratically elected politicians in Sri Lanka. Don Randall noted that SL fought more..

Football Federation CEO assaulted

Dec 11 (DM) Anura de Silva, CEO, Football Federation of Sri Lanka suffered severe head injuries when an unidentified man attacked him on the back of his head with a hockey stick at the FFFSL headquarters at around 7 p.m today. He was rushed to the Colombo National Hospital with heavy bleedings. He is currently receiving treatment at the Accident Ward of the Colombo National Hospital. The incident occurred when Silva was trying to leave office after a special meeting with FFSL more..

'Abolishing executive presidency is only a myth'

Dec 11 (CT) Minister Susil Premajayantha indicated that President Rajapaksa's election manifesto will largely concentrate on bringing reforms to the current Constitution and the state sector. However, he insisted that the much spoken topic of abolishing executive presidency is nothing but a myth. Referring to a pledge made by common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena to give complete makeover to existing system, UPFA General Secretary said the executive presidential more..

If presidency not abolished in his lifetime Vasu to Commit suicide

Dec 11 (CT) Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara yesterday stated that he will take his own life, if the executive presidential system was not abolished during his lifetime. He said the abolishment of the executive presidential system was essential and the executive powers should be bestowed upon the Parliament as a whole, since that was where the democratically elected representatives were in action. more..

UNP to change polls plans

Dec 11 (CT) While acknowledging that the departure of their General Secretary was a 'minor' setback, the UNP said it will take action, from today, to rectify the election plans that need to be changed. Newly appointed UNP General Secretary, Kabir Hashim said, "When a person leaves at such a moment, people feel a bit disappointed. However, I think the setback suffered by Attanayake's departure is minimal and I will start meeting our electoral organizers from today." more..

Bus fare reduction in the offing

Dec 11 (CT) Since the price of diesel has been reduced, the Private Transport Ministry has decided to reduce bus fares by 2 -3% soon, ministry sources said yesterday. Highly placed sources said that despite the reduction in bus fares the minimum bus fare of Rs 9 will not be changed. "Although diesel prices were reduced by approximately 9% it is only factor considered in deciding the bus fare change. There are 12 factors including the prices of spare parts, tyres and other maintenance costs more..

No jilmaat at last presidential poll: Sirisena

Dec 11 (Island) Opposition Presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena said that no computer jilmaart (fraud) had taken place at the 2010 presidential election and there was no room for a fraud at future elections as well. Sirisena said that no irregularity had happened in the presidential election where former Army Commander Gen. Sarath Fonseka lost to incumbent President Rajapaksa. more..

Siyambalapitiya scoffs at crossover rumours

Dec 11 (CT) Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, scoffing at rumours that he would be crossing over to support common candidate Maithripala Sirisena, said those who spread such rumours should make a public apology for misleading the people. He said these rumours have proven that the saying 'there is no smoke without fire', is a complete lie. "I was with President Rajapaksa in the morning and with Minister Basil Rajapaksa in the evening attending to some errands. more..

Wimal takes a dig at Maithri's new attire

Dec 11 (CT) Minister Wimal Weerawansa took a dig at the attire of common presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena. Noting the forthcoming presidential election is witnessing unprecedented campaign tactics, he said no presidential candidate in the past went as low as to imitate someone else's dressing style without even bothering to think twice whether it suits Sri Lanka. He said that he saw politicians like J.R. Jayewardene, R. Premadasa, Chandrika Kumaratunga and more..

No pact with TNA: Sirisena

Dec 11 (Island) Opposition Presidential Candidate Maithripala Sirisena assured that he would not enter into any pact with the TNA or any other party to get their support for the Jan. 8 election. Addressing the heads of print and electronic media at the Solis Hotel, Pitakotte, Sirisena said that they had met some members of the TNA to discuss the presidential election, but hadn’t entered into any agreement with them. more..

Human slavery, Disgrace to the country

Dec 11 (DM) Yesterday was the UN Human Rights Day and the theme this year was ‘Human rights 365’ stressing the message that every day is human rights day. The UN General Assembly proclaimed Dec 10 as Human Rights Day in 1950, to bring to the attention of the people of the world the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations. It celebrates the fundamental proposition in the Universal Declaration that each one of us, more..

The curse of crossovers

Dec 11 (CT) Political at the expense of voters seem to be the order of politicians elected by the people to serve. Come election time, crossovers are rampant for political gains. Allegations are being levelled that these people's representatives cross over for monetary gains and other rewards. Those who offer such bribes and those who accept them only know the truth. Before and after the proclamation calling a Presidential Election was announced up to yesterday 16 have crossed from ruling party more..

Dambulla At Crossroads

Dec 11 (DM) Dambulla farmers need good prices for their crops, and to achieve that we need leaders who feels the pulse of the farmers say businessmen in the area. Businessmen in Dambulla say that their businesses thrive only when the farmer community get good price for their crop and added the so called nonidina nagaraya (town that does not goes to sleep) has now become a town that goes to sleep early. more..

Top rung politicians on political somersaults

Dec 11 (DM) After the nominations were tendered for the presidential election, ruling UPFA candidate President Rajapaksa approached the common opposition candidate Maitripala Sirisena at the Election Secretariat. Mr. Sirisena, the main challenger of the President in the race for the presidency, was flanked by his Election Agent, UNP MP Wijedasa Rajapakse at the time. “I have learnt that your General Secretary is missing. more..

‘Govt likely to lose 2/3 majority tomorrow’

Dec 11 (AM) UNP said that tomorrow will be the last day of the govt’s 2/3 majority in parliament. Senior MP of the UNP said four ruling party MPs are expected to cross over to the opposition tomorrow. Parliament will conduct its last session for the year 2014 tomorrow. Since the announcement of the Presidential Election 13 ruling party MPs have crossed over to the opposition. In return govt has managed to get 2 UNP MPs, more..

'What Maithripala is promising is a hodgepodge'

Dec 11 (DM) In an interview with the Dailymirror Minister of External Affairs, G.L. Peiris, spelled out the reasons why the country needs an executive presidential system and responded to the allegations and criticisms leveled against his ministry. Q: What are your reasons for maintaining that the country needs an executive presidential system? A: The need of the hour is a strong and effective govt. more..

Maithripala promises to write off motorcycle loans

Dec 11 (Island) Opposition presidential Candidate Maithripala Sirisena addressing his maiden campaign rally in Kandy pledged to form a just and fair govt if he was elected President. Addressing a meeting at the Kandy Central Market ground on Tuesday, Maithripala Sirisena said he was giving an assurance from the city of Dalada that he would abolish executive presidential system within 3 months of being elected. more..

President launches election campaign from the opposition's bastion

Dec 11 (AM) President Rajapaksa’s first political rally for the Presidential Election 2015 will be held in Anuradhapura, this afternoon. Political analysts said that the President was making a fresh move by holding his first election rally in the sacred city of Anuradhapura – which is also considered as a bastion of the common opposition. Common Candidate of the opposition Maithripala Sirisena hails from Polonnaruwa, more..

Schools slide under ministry’s corruption radar with ‘donations’

Dec 11 (ST) Grade one school admissions for next year have been finalised, and education unions claim most of the students admitted to leading schools had been made to pay “donations” to secure their entry despite a ban on such payments. Education Ministry Secretary Mr Anura Dissanayake conceded that the practice was taking place despite regular circulars and awareness programmes. more..

UNP MP Buddhika Pathirana dismisses cross over rumors

Dec 11 (AM) UNP MP Buddhika Pathirana said he was not born to the dog-breed and therefore would not cross over to the govt, at any cost. Making a special media statement on crossover claims, the MP strictly denied rumours that he was going to cross over to the govt. He also added he was never even approached by the opposition and the rumours were completely false and baseless. “I do not eat from my posterior. more..

Tissa Attanayake swears in as the minister of health

Dec 11 (AM) Former UNP General Secretary Tissa Atttanayake took oaths as the Ministry of Health before President Rajapaksa a short while ago. The swearing in ceremony took place at the President’s Residence in Kandy, which is also the hometown of Attanayake. The position was previously held by Maithripala Sirisena who crossed over to the common opposition to be its presidential candidate at the presidential election. more..

'No LTTE gold in Sanadahiru Seya'

Dec 11 (MoD) Golden casket and ornaments make by the army with public donations and not by any other means. It is unfortunate to note that some sections with vested interest have accused the army of using gold confiscated from the LTTE in making these valuable artifacts, said Army Spokesperson Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya. Sanadahiru Seya stupa being built in the sacred city of Anuradhapura as a tribute to noble service more..

Why not a MoU with the TNA?

Dec 11 (CT) Nominations for the premature presidential elections closed three days back and less than a month is left for the decisive decision on 8 January 2015. The competition is polarized between two candidates and the result will be crucial for the future of the country. This is perhaps the most significant election ever held in this island nation since the introduction of adult universal franchise in 1931. To put it mildly, the result will decide whether the country would more..

Indian fishermen begin protest

Dec 11 (CG) Fishermen of Nagapattinam, Karaikal and Pudukottai districts in TN began an indefinite strike from yesterday, demanding the release of the arrested fishermen and seized boats by the Sri Lankan Navy. Decision was taken at a meeting held in Nagapattinam. It was attended by fishermen of the coastal areas. Meeting comes a day after 43 fishermen of Nagapattinam and Karaikal districts were arrested by the SL Navy on Tuesday on the charge of poaching off Jaffna coast. more..

Sri Lanka set to gain from IT value arbitrage

Dec 11 (EN) Sri Lanka is well placed to ride the next wave of IT outsourcing which will come from value arbitrage, given its competitiveness in software engineering and high-end financial services. Madu Ratnayaka, Vice President of Virtusa, a software firm, said several multinationals were already doing product development in the island or providing outsourced services, two niche markets in which SL is more..