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LPBOA unable to reduce bus fares for want of price formula

Dec 11 (Island) The Lanka Private Bus Owners Association (LPBOA) yesterday said that it would consider reducing bus fares if the fuel prices reduced further in the near future. LPBOA, President Gemunu Wijeratne told The Island that the private bus operators could not reduce the bus fares as the National Transport Commission (NTC) and the Private Transport Ministry had failed to provide price formula for the current year in keeping with the National Bus Fare Policy. more..

Reckless lorry driver kills infant, 50-year-old, and injures 11 others

Dec 11 (Island) One and A half-year-old toddler and a 50-year-old man were killed on the spot and 11 others injured in a van-lorry head-on collision in Nittambuwa in the early hours of yesterday. SSP Ajith Rohana said that the fatal accident had occurred around 1.40 a.m. on the Kandy-Colombo main road at Radawaduna and there had been about 13 persons inside the van that was travelling from Kandy. The lorry had travelled from Colombo and its driver had been arrested with his lorry, more..

President's son, Rohitha Rajapaksa with official Sri Lankan delegation in Kathmandu

Dec 11 (CT) Some pictures say it all. Rohitha Rajapaksa is President Rajapaksa’s youngest son. He is not a MP, a provincial councillor or even a PS member. He is not a public official, an academic or any other professional. So what is he doing in the official Lankan delegation which met Indian PM Modi during the Kathmandu SAARC summit? India at this meeting was represented by her PM and other heavyweights such as more..

Wimal says brother of a Presidential candidate was '2013 best casino player'

Dec 11 (CT) Terming the common Opposition alliance a union of hypocrites, Minister Wimal Weerawansa said that if anyone could find out who won last year's grand prize of best casino player, people will realize what their true policies are. He said that since this is a time of examinations, he too thought of posing a question to voters. Saying that he would give a clue for the answer, the Minister said that the winner is a brother of a Presidential candidate." more..

'Do more for Lanka's rising aged population'

Dec 11 (CT) Not enough was being done in Sri Lanka to assist the elderly, Professor Siri Hettiage said, when he appealed to the voluntarily organizations, involved in the service, to do more and coordinate their activities. Prof. Hettiage made his observations when sixteen senior citizens were feted at the NGO Forum on Ageing (NFOA) held at the BMICH recently. "The number of aged people in our country is large, thus, there was a necessity for the expansion and improvement of more..

Mathews bemoans ineffective spinners

Dec 11 (CI) was a pitch that would have been any spinner's dry dream, but it did not quite get the warm response it deserved from Sri Lanka's spin attack. England chased down 240 with five wickets and five balls remaining, though batting had become even more difficult than it had been on Wednesday, with Moeen Ali and James Tredwell in operation. Sri Lanka's spinners have been a menace in Colombo, but have faltered more..

Sri Lankan banks finance Lakdhanavi power plant in B’desh

Dec 11 (Island) Lakdhanavi Ltd, a subsidiary of Lanka Transformers Limited (LTL) Holdings completed the construction of its USD 50 million fourth power plant in Comilla, Bangladesh, earlier this week. The 52.2 MW plant was funded by Sri Lankan banks, National Development Bank and Commercial Bank on a long term syndicated loan. A senior engineer said that abundance of natural gas reserves in Bangladesh played a greater role in the success of the plant, more..

Gammanpila's tryst with Ranil and true reasons behind his exit

Dec 11 (AM) Multiple sources of the govt and the opposition confirmed that WPC member Hirunika Premachandra’s move to cross over to the common opposition ‘quickened’ Udaya Gammanpila decision to break ranks with JHU. While it is widely believed that a businessman-MP who is officially representing the opposition acted as the “broker” of the crossover, Hirunika Premeachandra’s presence in the common opposition has also been a major reason for Gammanpila’s exit. more..

Mahinda ready for a referendum

Dec 11 (CG) President Rajapaksa says he is ready to hold a referendum to seek public opinion on constitutional changes after Presidential elections. Speaking in Anuradhapura today at the first election rally of UPFA as part of President’s election campaign, President said that he can make the constitutional changes sought by the people. “I will make the constitutional changes but it will be what the people want through a referendum,” more..

Sri Lankan stocks slip from 1-wk high

Dec 11 (Reuters) Sri Lankan stocks ended weaker on Thursday from a one-week high hit in the previous session, led lower by financial shares as investors remained cautious ahead of the Jan. 8 presidential poll next month. The main stock index ended 0.15 percent, or 10.94 points lower at 7,243.34, edging down from its highest close since Dec. 3, hit on Wednesday. Foreign investors were net buyers for the first time in three sessions on Thursday. more..

Ranil & John meet during Wattala ralley

Dec 11 (AM) UNP National Leader attended the meeting of the Common Opposition in Wattala, which was organized by UNP MP and Chief Opposition Whip John Amaratunga. Multiple media reports stated that Amaratunga, one of the senior-most UNP politicians, was preparing for a crossover ahead of the presidential election. However, several spokespersons of the UNP denied the rumour, saying Amaratunga was the one who initiated the opposition’s meeting in Wattala. more..

UNP tells elections chief to act

Dec 11 (CG) The UNP today urged Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya to discharge his duties with diligence and impartiality and also disqualify candidates who fail to abide by election laws. In a statement issued today, UNP said that the people are crying out for a free and fair election, but the signs of such a clean, democratic battle are already fading. “Mr. Commissioner, the ball is very much in your court. more..

Gunasinghepura Housing Scheme given a new birth

Dec 11(GDI) Gunasinghepura Housing Scheme has been given a new birth. The money then utilized for the war has now been put into repairing of houses. Ranil Wickremasinghe held the reins of govt for one and half years from 2001. No money was ever given for reconstruction of these houses. Our leader who ended the war has now taken action to repair these houses. We did not go into the politics of the residents, whether they were of the UNP, SLFP or they belonged to other parties. more..

Sri Lanka navy detains 27 TN fishermen, releases them after warning

Dec 11 (PTI) Sri Lankan navy detained 27 fishermen from Tamil Nadu on Wednesday night, accusing them of poaching in the island nation's waters, and released them on Thursday morning with a warning. While 13 fishermen from Jagadapattinam in Thanjavur district were detained along with three boats, 14 fishermen from here were held with their three boats when they were fishing in the mid-sea late on Wednesday. The Lankan navy personnel also damaged their fishing nets, more..

Root century leads England to fine victory

Dec 11 (CI) Joe Root's third ODI century of the year helped England to a five-wicket victory in Pallekele and maintained their hopes of winning the series against Sri Lanka. Root came to the crease after the loss of two early wickets and with his side facing a familiar nemesis: a trial by spin on a dry pitch. But he exuded calm and skill, provided deft touches and powerful blows, and ran like a whippet between the wickets. more..

Senanayake flaunts his elbows

Dec 11 (CI) Sachithra Senanayake 1.0 had been shy about showing his arms, but now having been reconfigured, partly in a lab, he has embraced his inner exhibitionist. His nude elbows were on brazen display on his return to international cricket, and the crowd drank in the details of his arm's angles and flex. The elbow jiggled a bit in his run up, and though it had a slight kink during the delivery swing, did not seem to straighten. Senanayake took two wickets in his first spell, assured that the assets more..

Sri Lanka Air Force flies spares to repair Male water plant

Dec 11 (EN) Sri Lanka Air Force Thursday flew spares and other parts urgently needed to repair the desalination facility in the Maldivian capital Male whose breakdown caused a drinking water shortage on the atoll. An SLAF C-130 Hercules transport aircraft flew the equipment from Singapore to Maldives following a request from the Government of Maldives. "Due to the size and dimensions of the cargo, it was not feasible to dispatch the equipment on a commercial flight." more..

Video: My life is in danger: Solangarachchi

Dec 11 (DM) State sponsored goons had been unleashed on him and his that his life was at risk, Prasanna Solangarachchi, who teamed up with common opposition candidate Maitripala Sirisena, said today. He is the Chairman of the Kotikawatte-Mulleriyawa PS. He said persons, appeared to be from the STF, were following him in Defender vehicles after he left the govt and decided to support Mr. Sirisena. more..

Namal Rajapaksha to challenge Mahinda Rajapaksa

Dec 11 (EN) 19 candidates, including President Rajapaksa, have paid deposits for contesting the January 8 elections, but an unexpected Namal Rajapaksha too entered the fray at the last minute, the elections commission said. However, the Namal Rajapaksha taking the president head on is not the Hambantota district MP and eldest son of President Rajapaksa, but a human rights lawyer. The Elections Secretariat will accept nominations for the presidential polls Monday morning. more..

Video: Mangala gives black marks for campaigning officials

Dec 11 (DM) The common opposition today announced its decision to open a ‘Big Black book’ where the names of all govt officers who are involved in election campaign would be written while all these names and their details would be handed over to foreign missions in Sri Lanka. Mr. Samaraweera said they had already found out the names of some high ranking officers of the security forces including few major generals from the army, admirals from the navy, DIGs, more..

Monitors call for peaceful polls

Dec 11 (CG) Local election monitors, in a joint statement today, called for a free, fair and violence free Presidential election and raised concerns over the prevailing conditions in the country. The PAFFREL, CMEV, TISL, CaFFE, MFFE, MDL and NPOC said that it is a right of the people to be able to choose a candidate of their choice within the framework of a free and fair contest. “Sri Lanka is presently in the midst of more..

Capital punishment to Sarpaya

Dec 11 (AD) The Ratnapura High Court today sentenced to death a Provincial Council member of the UNP in connection with a double murder case which took place in 2001. PC member Hasitha Muhandiram alias ‘Sarpaya’ was accused of killing two persons by running over them with a vehicle in Kalawana area in Ratnapura. Muhandiram who was the chief organizer for Kalawana was elected to the Sabaragamu Provincial Council with highest preferential votes from the Ratnapura District more..

Opposition takes power of Nuwara Eliya PS

Dec 11 (NS) The opposition has taken control of the Nuwara Eliya Pradeshiya Sabha. The change of power occurred after Palani Digambaram and P Radhakrishnan, two former Deputy Ministers from Nuwara Eliya District, joined the opposition yesterday. Digambaram was from National Workers' Union while Radhakrishnan was from Up-country People's Front.Along with them 4 Provincial Council Members and 34 members of local government bodies joined the opposition. more..

Udaya resigns, joins govt

Dec 11 (CG) JHU deputy general secretary Udaya Gammanpilla today joined the govt after resigning from his party and pledged support to President Rajapaksa. Gammanpilla said that he had communicated his decision to resign from the JHU to JHU General Secretary Champika Ranawaka. Explaining the reasons for his decision to leave the JHU and opposition alliance backing Maithripala Sirisena for President, more..

Sir, Madam and the political culture of SL

Dec 12 (CT) This is election time. Seeing what is happening, hearing what is being said, recognizing who comes to the fore, it is inevitable that our attention is drawn to the concept of South Asian political culture. Some highlights may shed light on the direction this article is taking. The other day someone took about ten minutes to remove the garlands from around the neck of Maithripala. Maithripala claimed that he will continue to call Chandrika, a Madam and Ranil, a Sir. more..

Mahinda and Maithripala compare headaches

Dec 12 (NS) Everyone talks about the candidates. The candidates themselves talk about each other. In a parallel universe they actually talk WITH each other. And so we ‘heart’ Mahinda Rajapaksa comparing notes with Maithripala Sirisena. It was almost as though each was discussing an election that the other was contesting. ‘How are things going, Maithri?’ Mahinda opened with a question. ‘You know how it is, Janadhipathithumani…’ Maithri began but was cut short. more..

Welfare programs continue for landslide areas

Dec 12 (SO) One month after the Meeriyabedda landslide tragedy the plight of the affected people can be heard only occasionally. Immediately after the incident this poverty-hit community in the estate sector captured the world's attention as the incident made global media headlines and generous donors and kindhearted people came to support them. There are 1,213 displaced people belonging to 342 families in welfare camps. more..

An absolutely useless politician: Tissa Attanayake

Dec 12 (CT) When I was small my father Mr Richard de Silva, a veteran English journalist, had many close friendships with the political advocates of Sri Lanka at that time. He used to take me to the parliament gallery as I was keen to hear good speeches and political debates in the parliament and he used to mingle with the all politician’s in JRJ era. That is the time I remember. Then media minister, late Mr Ananda Tissa De Alwis was a very close friend of my father. more..

The Cleansing

Dec 12 (NS) The battle is over. A certain defeat was saved by a serendipitous puddle of bodily secretions. The Man from the South has been inaugurated for a third term as president of the Resplendent Isle like no other. Barnacle Wicky has been in an induced-political coma since the saliva and mucous debacle. Uncles and nephews like nieces have demanded an explanation from Barnacle, why he was not wearing slip-proof boots during the sluggery at the Hila. more..

Mullaitivu lands under threat

Dec 12 (CT) The clearing up of forest land and distributing it among powerful businessmen and political henchmen has been increasing since the end of the war in 2009 as large swathes of land which were unusable in the past became available for farming and development. While development is essential, especially in the war affected areas, unplanned activities, ignoring all environmental laws would bring about more..

GL, Sajin failed to take things forward

Dec 12 (CT) GL and Sajin meanwhile failed to take things forward in the other area which had been entrusted to them, in that they brought nothing from the negotiations to the PSC. It became such a joke that even representatives of the hardline parties asserted this and said it should be wound up. This made sense for nothing of what we had discussed, the unexceptionable measures which the TNA had accepted in principle, and which could have been fleshed out by the PSC, a Second Chamber more..

Uranium in fertilizer

Dec 12 (CT) Radioactive uranium is definitely found in the fertilizer bought into the country and there is no testing taking place, Senior Professor of Geology, C.B. Dissanayake said. The academic attached to the Department of Geology of the Faculty of Science at the Peradeniya University, added that although the scientific community had brought the matter to the notice of the relevant State authorities on many an occasion, counteracting forces with commercial interests had intervened. more..

The Piper and his broken charm!

Dec 12 (FT) The 8 Jan 2015 presidential election is a feeding frenzy for international conspirators and the LTTE rump. The candidacy of Maithripala Sirisena is not part of the democratic attempt to effect change through a multi-party, pluralistic electoral process. He is Washington’s pawn in the grand geopolitical struggle for influence between the US and China. The Sirisena candidacy project is the brainchild of more..

Editorial: Horses and donkeys

Dec 12 (Island) The upcoming presidential poll is bound to go down in history as the electoral contest that caused the highest number of crossovers. Its aftermath is also likely to see many more defections as well as the return of some turncoats. Some more crossovers are expected during the next few days and both the government and the Opposition are determined to outdo each other in the defection circus as it were. Common presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena has assured his more..

Mobitel, mobile communications partner for Papal visit to Sri Lanka

Dec 12 (Island) Mobitel today announced that the Catholic Church of Sri Lanka has chosen the National Mobile Service Provider as the Exclusive Mobile Communications Partner for the forthcoming Papal visit scheduled for next month. His Holiness Pope Francis is expected to arrive in Sri Lanka on the 13th of Jan. During his 3 day visit, his holiness will celebrate a mass for the Catholic’s of Sri Lanka at Galle Face Green, where thousands of faithful devotees are expected to participate more..

'SLFP will rally around Sirisena in case of his victory'

Dec 12 (Island) University don turned MP Rajiva Wijesinghe was in the news recently for having crossed over from the govt to the opposition and for having appeared on Al Jazeera with the head of the GTF Suren Surenthiran where he made some utterances that have been given various interpretations. In this interview, he speaks to C.A. Chandraprema about his Al Jazeera interview, and his support for Maithreepala Sirisena. more..

John Keells 2Q revenue Rs 291 M, Profits Rs 88 M

Dec 12 (CT) John Keells PLC – a member company of the JKH Group, subsidiary – has released its financial results for the quarter ending 30 Sept with a 45% quarterly revenue increase to Rs 291 million and profit for the period of Rs 88 million, up 641% from the 16 million group loss of the corresponding 2013 quarter. In 2013 there was a loss from discontinued operations of Rs 46 million in the 30 Sept quarter. For six months to 30 Sept, income statement shows a profit of Rs 156 million. more..

MAS and Brandix express confidence on future of apparel industry

Dec 12 (FT) Two of Sri Lanka’s prominent apparel leaders on Saturday expressed confidence in the future of the industry though global challenges remain. At the South Asia Apparel Leadership Forum 2014, MAS Holdings Chairman Mahesh Amalean and Brandix CEO Ashroff Omar shed some insights on the future outlook for Sri Lanka apparel. At the session moderated by Favourite Group Managing Director Kumar Mirchandani, the duo was questioned on how they were more..

'Sri Lanka performing well with our grants'

Dec 12 (CT) The Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) said yesterday, that Sri Lanka has been performing well with JICA grants, showing its cordial support towards achieving its goals, which is the wish of JICA too. JICA's Director-General of the South Asia Department of Arai Toru said that JICA has extended its technical cooperation in 10 fields and has offered 17 loans and 15 grants from 2009 onwards since more..

'H'tota: Next centre of excellence in Asia'

Dec 12 (CT) Aiming to make Hambantota the centre of excellence in the Asian region, govt has invested heavily to develop facilities in keeping with modern standards, to act as a catalyst for the govt to realize its vision of becoming a regional hub. Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said that Hambantota was SL's first modern and planned city with an international standard port, airport, export processing zones, world class sport facilities, international convention centre & many more. more..