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Uthayan in Jaffna: All the news that’s fit to print, and then some

Dec 2 (GV) JAFFNA. “Even though the war is over and the guns are silent…it doesn’t change a thing. We still face threats. We are still feeling the fear,” said 35 year old Thevanayagam Premananth, the editor of Uthayan newspapers. We talked in his office, part of the compound that had once been the torture chambers of the Tamil Tigers. A mug with “Happy birthday to the best editor in the world” printed on it rested on top of some old more..

The way ahead may be tortuous

Dec 2 (CT) The President has called for an election two years before the end of his term. His rival was unexpected and is a person from his own party- the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. The Common Opposition candidate talks about the violation of democracy and points out that with the passing of the 18th Amendment an elected dictatorship has been established and that the prospect of a free and fair election are remote judging by the conduct of other recent elections. more..

Presidential insecurities

Dec 2 (CT) Nearly two months back the Liberal Party wrote to the President urging that he should not hold elections in haste, and indicating that he should proceed first with the various reforms he had pledged. We got an acknowledgment, but not a response, though I suspect a call from a close relation urging that I support the President was a consequence of the letter. The refusal to consider issues seriously, while simply providing assurances that things will improve, more..

Anandasangaree blasts TNA and govt

Dec 2 (CT) Leader of the TULF, Veerasingham Anandasangaree, speaking to Ceylon Today, on military and land powers, said, the curse of the people will never allow the government to raise its head. When the people have built beautiful houses on their lands and one stupid govt asks for those lands, where will the people go? Q: How do you view the administration in the North after the TNA secured the NPC? more..

Editorial: When children draw fire

Dec 2 (Island) A US Congressman’s communication officer is reported to be in a pickle over some snide remarks she recently posted on Facebook about President Obama’s two teenage daughters who attended Thanksgiving Day turkey pardoning event. No, there were no white vans from the White House looking for her. She drew a great deal of flak from the public. Deleted post addressed to the two girls has said among other things, ‘You're a part of the First Family, try showing a little class. more..

Restraining divisiveness of forthcoming polls

Dec 2 (Island) The continuing defection of govt members away from President Rajapaksa's election campaign is an indicator of the formidable nature of the challenge faced by the govt. President has a reputation for being able to take on any challenge. However, what he is seeking to do is unprecedented. No President in the past had the opportunity to contest the elections a third time. SL voter has had an earlier tradition of not returning an incumbent govt to power at elections. more..

Sports 1st: Mobitel Platinum Awards

Dec 2 (CT) The Sports 1st - Mobitel Platinum Awards 2014 is a powerful initiative that aims to highlight the four pillars on which sports stars built their foundation to reach the zenith of success – Dedication, Devotion, Discipline and Determination. The prestigious awards ceremony for sports personalities, the Sports 1st Mobitel Platinum Awards Night, got underway with much magnificence at the Stein Studios more..

England in fresh start in the jungle

Dec 2 (CI) England have discovered that ODI cricket is becoming a jungle where only the sharpest, most ruthless and tactically astute survive, so their venture into Sri Lanka's deep south for the third match of the series at Hambantota seems symbolic. Here, the verdant landscape conceals various exotic species; we will have to wait until Wednesday to see if that includes 11 winning Englishmen. Alastair Cook has already led his men deep into the undergrowth as he attempts to uncover more..

Big demand for Sri Lankan Coconut Water

Dec 2 (GDI) There is a big demand for Sri Lankan coconut water in the international market and coconut water is exported in the form of an energetic drink. A large number of investors have come forward to invest in this sector, the Ministry of Coconut Development and Janatha Estates Development revealed. Coconut water is becoming popular in the world beverage trade as it is pure and refreshing and highly nutritious compared to manufactured beverages. more..

Fiona Munasinghe wins international Brand Leadership Award

Dec 2 (FT) Dynamic marketing professional Fiona Juriansz Munasinghe of Hemas Manufacturing Ltd has been awarded the coveted ‘Brand Leadership Award’ by the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council. This prestigious accolade was presented at the 2014 Global Marketing Excellence Awards of the World Marketing Congress at Taj Land’s End, Mumbai recently. Munasinghe was the only Sri Lankan to win an award in more..

Student-centred learning promoted at universities

Dec 2 (DN) The Higher Education Ministry has taken all measures to introduce and implement student - centred learning methods at universities from 2015. A paradigm shift from teacher - centred teaching to student - centred teaching is expected through this strategy, said Peradeniya University Librarian Dr. Pradeepa Wijetunga. She was addressing the gathering as the guest speaker at the seminar on the Importance of Information Literacy and E-journal packages in Implementing Student Centred more..

Karaveddy in dengue grip Fines for mossie breeders

Dec 2 (CT) The heavy rainfall in the North has worsened the dengue epidemic, prevalent in the Jaffna District, while the Health Ministry has warned residents to take immediate and corrective measures. The dengue epidemic has been on the rise in low lying areas such as Karaveddy and Udupiddy. The heavy downpours have resulted in more water puddles in the low lands of Jaffna, thereby lending to the increased breeding of mosquitoes. Heavy rainfall in the North has more..

UK-based firm dispels local gem traders’ fear of invading local mining

Dec 2 (ST) Local gem traders have expressed concern over the entry of a British company in gem trading and exploration in Sri Lanka. UK-based Gemfields Plc, one of the world’s largest coloured gem producers, is to launch its Sri Lankan unit in a joint venture with East West Gem Investments (EWGI), a local firm, saying it is abiding by state regulations in exploration work. Several local gem traders warned that the present more..

NVC Lighting China’s No 1 Launched in SL

Dec 2 (DM) NVC lighting, China’s largest lighting manufacturer launched its innovative product line in Sri Lanka last week. NVC is exclusively distributed by Realty Management Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of Overseas Realty (Ceylon), the largest listed Property Company and the owner, developer and manager of the World Trade Center, Colombo. NVC Lighting comprise of a broad product portfolio ranging from indoor, outdoor and decorative lighting coupled with a vast range of LED lighting more..

Vehicle imports up 34%, registrations up 10%

Dec 2 (CT) Despite a vehicle import growth of 34% during the first nine months of this year, new registrations rose 10% according to Department of Customs and the Department of Motor Traffic. During the first three quarters of this year 314,635 vehicles were imported to Sri Lanka, up 34% compared to 234,548 imported in the same period last year. During the period there were 269,550 new vehicle registrations, up 10% compared to 244,361 registered in the same period in 2013. more..

Advertising/ PR agent for promoting Ceylon Tea globally

Dec 2 (CT) The much awaited announcement of the winning bidder among four top frontline Sri Lankan corporates for advertising and promoting Ceylon Tea on a global basis, will go before the Cabinet of Ministers on Thursday. The Memorandum for the Cabinet of Ministers is already prepared and will be presented to Cabinet on Thursday, but Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe will have a final meeting with all the stakeholders more..

World Cup warm-up matches: Sri Lanka to play Proteas and Zimbabwe

Dec 2 (Island) ICC announced the line-up of warm-up matches ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 in New Zealand and Australia. Accordingly, Sri Lanka will play South Africa and Zimbabwe prior to the tournament. Sri Lanka will take on Proteas on Feb 8th at Hagley Oval in Christchurch while the match against Zimbabwe will be played on the 11th at Sutcliffe Oval also in Christchurch. Sri Lanka will play the curtain raiser of the World Cup 2015 against hosts NZ at Hagley Oval on 14th Feb. more..

Torrential rains cause severe floods in Jaffna

Dec 2 (CT) Torrential rains, experienced in Jaffna last week, caused severe floods, which affected houses and paddy lands in low lying areas. Schools, as well as other places, have been taken over to provide temporary shelter for those affected. Funds and relief items are being provided by NPC and political groups for those have been displaced. Torrential rains, experienced in Jaffna last week, caused severe floods, which affected houses and paddy lands in low lying areas. more..

'Don’t waste your vote on traitors'

Dec 2 (DN) Many have betrayed the country in the past. President Premadasa supplied weapons to the LTTE. Opposition leader Ranil Wikremesinghe’s UNP regime too played into the hands of the LTTE terrorists, because these leaders did not show any concern for public well being, MP Sajin Vas Gunawardena said. He requested the public to vote for President Rajapaksa who introduced homegrown solutions more..

GMOF wants long standing top Health Ministry vacancies filled

Dec 2 (Island) Govt Medical Officers’ Forum (GMOF) urged Acting Health Minister, Lalith Dissanayake, to appoint the Additional Secretaries (Medical and Public Health) without delay. GMOF President, Dr. Rukshan Bellana said that the two key positions had fallen vacant since 2012. The last person to hold the position of Additional Secretary, (Medical Services) was Dr. Palitha Maheepala, who was promoted as Director General Health Services in 2012, while the Additional Secretary more..

Pakistan awards scholarships to Medicine and Dentistry students

Dec 2 (GDI) Govt of Pakistan has awarded fully funded higher education scholarships to six Sri Lankan students, five in the field of Medicine and one in Dentistry. High Commissioner of Pakistan in Sri Lanka Maj Gen Qasim Qureshi met the selected students at the High Commission of Pakistan and congratulated them on their selection for higher education in Pakistan. In addition to higher education scholarships, every year Govt of Pakistan awards Jinnah Educational Scholarships to more..

Now revenue licence online; payment via credit card, mobile phone

Dec 2 (FT) Facility for Vehicle Revenue licence fee payment using credit card or mobile phones for vehicles registered in the Southern Province will be launched today. Parallel to this, the introduction of the facility for obtaining vehicle revenue licence online for vehicles registered in the Southern Province will also take place today. Currently, revenue licence for vehicles registered in the Southern Province can be obtained from more..

Sandalwood tree planted by JRJ damaged by thieves

Dec 2 (Island) A white sandalwood tree planted by late President J.R. Jayewardene at the Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens has been damaged recently due to an attempt to cut it down with a saw, environmentalists said. Officials at the Gardens however said that the tree could be conserved for the benefit of the posterity. Meanwhile, three suspects arrested for felling two white sandalwood trees in the Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens were produced before courts and remanded. more..

ACMC to decide tomorrow

Dec 2 (CT) All Ceylon Muslim Congress (ACMC) is to take a final decision, tomorrow, on whether or not to crossover to the Opposition, after the party was offered the national list seat left vacant by A.H.M. Azwer. However, following previous discussions, ACMC Eastern Provincial Councillor, Ameer Ali, declined to fill Azwer's vacancy in Parliament. But ACMC Leader and Minister Rishad Bathiudeen said that ACMC would hold further discussions and take a decision on whether or not to support more..

NSA meets Sri Lankan Opposition leader

Dec 2 (Hindu) Former PM Ranil Wickramasinghe, Leader of Sri Lanka’s main Opposition, on Monday met National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and discussed the current political situation in Sri Lanka. The meeting was held Monday evening, where the NSA had a one-on-one interaction with Mr. Wickramasinghe for about ten minutes, followed by a short meeting with senior members of the party, according to a key source in Colombo. more..

'West wants dummies brought into power'

Dec 2 (DM) While claiming that with an unstable government, a country cannot be developed, President Rajapaksa said that nowadays western countries want to bring dummies into power and they are trying to do the same in Sri Lanka as well. “We should not allow dancing to the tune of western powers. See the situation in the Middle East. In such a situation, a country will plunge further and you can’t expect a development in such countries,” the President said at Temple Trees addressing more..

UK cautions visitors to Sri Lanka

Dec 2 (CG) The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has warned visitors to Sri Lanka to avoid any political gatherings or rallies adding that political rallies and election campaigns in Sri Lanka have occasionally turned violent. In an updated travel advice on Sri Lanka issued today as a result of the upcoming Presidential elections, British citizens visiting Sri Lanka have been told by FCO to be vigilant. “Political rallies and election campaigns in SL have occasionally turned violent. more..

'Stable govt essential to carry out development work'

Dec 2 (PRIU) President Rajapaksa said that programs for the benefit of the country could be conducted only under a stable Govt. He emphasized that practices of good governance and law and order in the country has been safeguarded during the rule of the present Govt as not witnessed before. He pointed out that he was able to eradicate terrorism and develop the country due to the ability to rise up as a nation more..

Sri Lanka among Forbes top 10 coolest places to visit in 2015

Dec 2 (FT) Sri Lanka has been listed among the top 10 coolest countries in the world to visit in 2015, by the Forbes magazine. Sri Lanka is placed in the 10th position in ‘The Ten Coolest Places to Visit in 2015’ in the magazine’s latest edition contributed by scribe Ann Abel. “Sri Lanka offers tremendous value but is still often overlooked. The Aman Resorts here are as pampering as those elsewhere, but for a fraction of the cost. Absolute also arranges insider experiences such as a tour of the secret gardens of more..

Jaffna Stadium testament to National Reconciliation

Dec 2 (CT) Sri Lanka's first ever purpose built football training facility will be declared open in Ariyalai Jaffna today by visiting FIFA Head, Sepp Blatter. The president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, president of the Qatar Football Federation, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, and several other member association presidents from Japan, Korea, Thailand, Pakistan, Bangladesh, UAE and Saudi Arabia, will be in attendance more..

Catholic Church asks Sri Lanka not to mix pope and politics

Dec 2 (AFP) The Catholic Church Monday asked Sri Lankan authorities immediately to remove presidential election posters bearing the image of Pope Francis, who is scheduled to visit the island next month. The church also denied claims by an opposition lawmaker that the pontiff had cancelled his January 13-15 visit because a presidential election was being held just days earlier. more..

Common opposition candidate takes govt unawares

Dec 2 (DM) The initial reaction of the UPFA to the Opposition’s move to field one of the ruling coalition’s bigwigs as the Opposition’s common presidential candidate was not unexpected, though ludicrous. On the very next day after Maithripala Sirisena announced he would take on his former boss Mahinda Rajapaksa at the presidential election, a group of minsters convened a news conference to say that Sirisena’s candidacy was the result of a Western conspiracy. more..

The price of ‘Medical Negligence’

Dec 2 (DM) Doctors are the final resort of many as they are the saviours who offer a ray of hope to the poor souls who look upon them with the pure intention of receiving cure for all their medical maladies. Unfortunately, what is witnessed today with regard to the conduct of medical practice is sad because medical professionals who act with responsibly are getting fewer than before. Medical negligence is considered as a professional negligence caused due to an act or omission more..

‘We have no issues with Ranil becoming the PM’

Dec 2 (DM) JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake predicts the upcoming polls will be the most violent Presidential elections ever to be held in the history of Sri Lanka. Despite admitting it would be a tight battle for power, the JVP has refused to pledge their support to any of the factions that have formed around the candidates due to run for Presidency. Their message to the voters however is clear – topple Rajapaksa regime more..

Muzammil decries comparing MR with disgraced Liberian, Yugoslav leaders

Dec 2 (Island) NFF spokesman Mohammed Muzammil said that those who had been trying to haul up President Rajapaksa before an international war crimes tribunal were now trying to compare the situation here during eelam war IV (Aug 2006-May 2009) with that of Sierra Leone (1991-2002). Muzammil said that the got should strongly counter lies propagated by sections of Tamil Diaspora wanting to avenge the more..

'All must support President who saved country from LTTE'

Dec 2 (DN) It is the duty of all in the Ampara District to extend their fullest support to President Mahinda Rajapaksa as he wiped out terrorism and paved the way for us to lead a peaceful and comfortable life without fear or tension, Senior Minister P. Dayaratna said. “We should always keep that in mind that the sufferings and atrocities we faced for over three decades and the panicky situation we underwent,” he said. more..

Validity of minor health staff appointments under probe

Dec 2 (ST) Health Ministry is currently carrying out investigations into the validity of the 584 minor health staff appointments made just two days prior to former Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena announcing he was quitting the Govt. Acting Health Minister Lalith Dissanayake said that the appointments have been stayed pending the inquiry, adding they would be re-employed if their appointments were found to be more..

Election violence and violations

Dec 2 (SL) Election monitors predict an escalation in election related violence after the nominations day - December 8. Campaign for Free and Fair Election (CaFFE) and Peoples Action for Free and Fair Election (PAFFREL) are of the view that unless police acts impartially and take quick action against those who break election laws, people would not trust the police and shootings, assaults and intimidation will rise to its maximum in the more..

India’s National Security Advisor calls on President Rajapaksa

Dec 2 (GDI) India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval paid a courtesy call on President Rajapaksa today at the President’s House. Doval, who is in Sri Lanka to attend the Galle Dialog 2014, congratulated Sri Lanka on hosting the conference and for the international recognition it has garnered since it started only four years ago. Inaugural Galle Dialogue in 2010 was held with the participation of about a dozen countries. more..

Pavithra’s decision to absorb ‘manpower’ workers under fire

Dec 2 (Island) Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi’s decision to absorb 5,000 manpower company workers to the CEB with effect from yesterday came under fire as many groups including some senior engineers opposed the move. More than 5,000 workers are to be absorbed into the CEB within two months according to an earlier plan. CEB Engineers Union (CEBEU) members too had expressed concern about the move and more..