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England hope to stave off chaos

Dec 3 (CI) Whichever way you look at it, Sri Lanka have enjoyed the best of the series to date. It is not just that they have taken a 2-0 lead, but that they have been able to progress their World Cup plans. Kusal Perera has suggested that he could be the man to fill the hole at the top of the order and Thisara Perera has looked sharper than any of the England seamers; Steven Finn included. And, while Ajantha Mendis might not find other World Cup opponents quite so amenable, more..

Kandamby set for Sri Lanka comeback

Dec 3 (CI) If the mastery of spin and the flags in the stands had not made it clear Sri Lanka are enjoying home conditions, then the teams' training schedules over the past week has laid this truth out. As day-long northeast monsoon rains break up and recede into the sunset hours by late November, SL have been wise to switch their training times to the morning. They had been scheduled to train under lights, but for the second time in a week more..

RPCs mull transition to 'livelihood guarantee' model

Dec 3 (CT) The plantation industry must move from the present unsustainable wage system to a win-win system of 'guaranteed livelihoods' which has already yielded successful results at several plantations for the industry to survive, a veteran planter points out. Calling for the support of all stakeholders for this paradigm shift, Dr. Dan Seevaratnam, a top plantation industry stalwart with over 40 years of experience, reasons that the present-day 'employment guarantee' model more..

The Sirisena Campaign needs to pick up from Uva

Dec 3 (Island) Kicking off his election campaign in his native Polonaruwa, with his first election rally, Maithripala Sirisena, common opposition campaign is gaining momentum. Increasing the exodus from the UPFA was Minister and Nuwara Eliya District MP Navin Dissanayake, who resigned from the govt and pledged his support to Maithripala Sirisena. He was preceded late last week by Hunais Farook, MP from the Vanni, who also crossed over to the opposition. more..

Sri Lanka: We deserve a ratings upgrade

Dec 3 (FA) Q: There have been some big improvements in the Sri Lankan economy since the civil war ended in 2009. How was that achieved? A: Many countries squander their peace dividend but not Sri Lanka. Macro-economic fundamentals are now benign and there's a huge infrastructure drive. We've had to take some tough measures though. Inflation had to be tamed and it took at least three years before people began to realise it would more..

Dodge the buffalo & you can have some fun

Dec 3 (CI) Hambantota: Sri Lanka's city of the future. Where wild elephants block off traffic until tolls of bananas or wood-apples are exacted. Where palatial council buildings and immense cricket stadiums rise up from the paddy fields and thick scrub. And where, if you're lucky, you might just get to observe politicians from a range of parties, undisturbed in their natural habitat, resplendent in their impunity. In the four years the Hambantota stadium has been active, more..

Security industry urged to uplift to global standards

Dec 3 (Island) ‘Private security industry leaders should be able to elevate their industry to international standards by enhancing the quality of services provided to their clients, Damayanthi Jayaratne, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Defence and Urban Development said in Colombo on Sunday when the 10th Annual General Meeting of SLASSPA was held at the Hilton Hotel, Colombo. Defence Secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa who attended the event for a short while made it a point to more..

CSE launches new depository system, chimes in ‘bell ringing’

Dec 3 (Island) The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) yesterday launched a state-of-the-art, new generation Depository System to upgrade its Automated Trading System (ATS). New Central Depository System (CDS) lays the platform for future enhancements relating to post-trade Clearing and Settlement services and moving to a Delivery Verses Payment (DVP), a system of settlement & a Central Counter Party (CCP) more..

Monk injured in attack dies

Dec 3 (Island) Ven Konkaduwe Nandasiri Thera of Vivekasenanasana in Kanangama who was undergoing treatment at ICU in the National Hospital, Colombo after being assaulted by a group of thugs succumbed to his injuries yesterday. The Thera was attacked by a group of thugs at his temple recently. Three persons had been taken into custody at Atulugama in Kanangama on suspicion and they had been released on bail after being produced before courts, police said. more..

Police issue guidelines to Sri Pada pilgrims

Dec 3 (DN) The Police have advised pilgrims to Sri Pada to refrain from taking alcohol, narcotics, musical instruments, polythene and plastic to the peak. They also advised the public not to bathe in streams and rivers in the area, as several deaths have been reported during the last Sri Pada season. The Sri Pada season 2014/2015 will commence on December 6 with the dawn of Unduwap Full Moon Poya Day and end on Vesak Full Moon Poya in May 2015. more..

Colombo City Centre construction begins with $ 150 m investment

Dec 3 (FT) Secretary Defence, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, laid the foundation stone for the Colombo City Centre (CCC) yesterday at Lester James Pieris Mawatha, Colombo 02, officially marking the commencement of construction. A joint venture between the Abans Group and Silver Needle Hospitality of Singapore, Colombo City Centre Partners Ltd. will engage internationally-renowned partners to complete this landmark more..

Paid politicians and their cohorts in the state dedicated to only enriching themselves

Dec 3 (ST) Poverty, unemployment, youth disillusionment, social and Institutional degradation and disintegration, and environmental despoliation continue relentlessly to haunt the world and our country. All this takes place in the back drop of widening gaps between the super-rich and rich, rich and the middle class, and, the middle class and the desperately poor, neglected, lower class. Let’s not be ambiguous and blinkered; we do not live in a world that is economically and more..

NSC backs Maithri

Dec 3 (CT) Disillusioned over the acts of government and President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the National Sangha Council (NSC) will work actively, ensuring the victory of common candidate, Maithripala Sirisena, it said. NSC also wants the abolition of the Executive Presidency. NSC General Secretary, Ven. Pahiyangala Anandasagara Thera said that they had presented a 15-point proposal to Sirisena, which was discussed yesterday and he had agreed with the proposals. more..

Karunanidhi backs Vaiko’s anti-Modi remarks

Dec 3 (Hindu) Urging the BJP leaders in Tamil Nadu to behave and be “truly supportive” of the cause of Sri Lankan Tamils, DMK president M. Karunanidhi pulled off another surprise, backing MDMK general secretary Vaiko on the issue. He condemned BJP leader H. Raja’s remarks against Mr. Vaiko for criticising PM Narendra Modi wishing Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa well in the presidential elections. more..

JMA conducting HIV-AIDS awareness campaigns

Dec 3 (CT) The Jaffna Medical Association (JMA) has started an awareness campaign, in a bid to halt the alarming increase in the number of HIV-AIDS cases in the Northern Province. It was announced last week that 13 HIV-AIDS cases had been reported from the Jaffna District and that three had already died from the disease. However, the Special Unit for Sexually Transmitted Diseases at the Jaffna Teaching Hospital lacks facilities to cope with the rising number of HIV-AIDS cases, more..

Golden Key property: SC calls for comprehensive report

Dec 3 (Island) A five judge bench of the Supreme Court yesterday ordered the Monetary Board of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, to submit a report regarding the properties of the Golden Key Credit Card Company Private Limited, falling under the categories of undisputed properties belonging the Golden Key Company, improperly acquired properties of Golden Key, the properties belonging to the Directors and to third parties. The report is to be submitted within one month. more..

FIFA boss Sepp Blatter hopes to kick cricket in Sri Lanka

Dec 3 (AFP) FIFA boss Sepp Blatter has vowed to make soccer Sri Lanka's most popular game by overtaking cricket in line with an emerging trend in the giant neighbour India. The visiting world football chief told reporters that he saw no reason why football could not be the number one game in Sri Lanka, where the national cricket players are treated as demigods. "Football is a more inclusive sport, relatively cheaper to play, and more..

Import duty on big onions up by Rs. 15 per kilo

Dec 3 (Island) Import duty on a kilo of big onion had been increased by Rs. 15 from yesterday to protect the local farmers, Minister Johnston Fernando said. He said that the decision was taken after discussion with Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera on the direction of President Rajapaksa. The import duty on a kilo of big onions stood at Rs. 35 and with yesterday’s increase it went up to Rs. 50. "We are buying big onions at Rs. 90 per kilo at present and we will maintain the market price at Rs. 100 more..

28 years RI for Julampitiye Amare

Dec 3 (DM) Geeganage Amarasiri alias Julampitiye Amare, who was found guilty of the charges of unlawful assembly, criminal assault and causing damage to property, was on Monday sentenced to 28 years and six months rigorous imprisonment and fined Rs.20,000. Monaragala High Court Judge Gihan Kulatunga also ordered him to pay Rs.2.4 million as compensation to the aggrieved party. Julampitiye Amare and K.G. Lal Wasantha were accused of having had on April 8, 2011 more..

I was warned not to talk of corruption: Maithri

Dec 3 (DM) Stating that he fought against corruption while being in the present govt, the common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena today revealed that he was warned by state hierarchy for taking up such a struggle. Mr. Sirisena said he once cautioned the government on the corruption charges it faced with regard to road construction but the state top brass warned him saying he should not talk about corruption in the govt. more..

Scarborough Health Clinic gets a Tamil name

Dec 3 (LR) A naming contest was recently held for Nurse Practitioner Health Clinic in Scarborough with consultation with the local Tamil speaking community. The clinic announced a name change to Suka Valvu Maruthuva Nilayam. “A naming contest was conducted in collaboration with Tamil speaking population of Scarborough in order to allow this population to identify with the clinic. Several community members attended the contest to vote on a name that is reflective of the clinic’s vision more..

First green university to open next year

Dec 3 (DN) The first green university complex in the South Asian region built under a concept of President Rajapaksa to open avenues for children to obtain a degree from a foreign university, will be open in Homagama next year, said Minister Dullas Alahapperuma. He made these observations having visited the National School of Business Management (NSBM) which is the only green university constructed in the South Asian region. The NSBM is being built on 26 acres. more..

'Peace & stability in the country are vital to ensure the well being of all'

Dec 3 (GDI) Peace and stability in the country are vital if sustainable development is to take root and flourish, President Rajapaksa said. “While stability and peace are essential components which promote sustainable development and ensure the well being of all, instability and violence remain the greatest obstacles to achieving such gains,” he added. President was speaking at the National Mediation Felicitation Ceremony-2014 more..

New laws to tackle election pollution of environment

Dec 3 (Island) Deputy Solicitor General, Arjuna Obeysekera gave the undertaking to the Court of Appeal that the Legal Draftsman will shortly complete the new regulations, to prevent the pollution of the environment by the display of billboards, posters and hoardings, during election times. DSG appeared for the Attorney General made a respondent in a Writ Application, filed by the Centre for Environmental Justice, who had complained that the display of posters etc. more..

Rattled by Chinese submarines, India joins other nations in rebuilding fleet

Dec 3 (Reuters) India is speeding up a navy modernisation programme and leaning on its neighbours to curb Chinese submarine activity in the Indian Ocean, as nations in the region become increasingly jittery over Beijing's growing undersea prowess. Just months after a stand-off along the disputed border dividing India and China in the Himalayas, Chinese submarines have shown up in Sri Lanka, the island nation off India's southern coast. China has also strengthened ties with more..

Maithripala will not step into President’s House ‘after victory’

Dec 3 (Island) Joint Opposition’s Presidential candidate Maithripala Srisena said that he would win the Presidential Election but would not step into the President’s House since he was committed to abolishing the Executive Presidency within 100 days. Addressing a campaign meeting at Hyde Park, Srisena, said that he was on a mission to rescue the country from the abyss it had fallen into in the post conflict era with chaos more..

Sri Lankan voter has grown up

Dec 3 (DM) The political developments in the run-up to the presidential polls on January 8 is getting ever more interesting every moment. Talks of crossovers from the government to the common opposition front and vice versa is speculated at offices, bus halts, tea boutiques, Colombo 07 coffee shops and so on. But is the hype just limited to urban areas? Are the people in the villages, where the majority of voters are, content with status quo? Common opposition led by Maithripala Sirisena promises more..

It’s the Opposition’s election to lose…

Dec 3 (DM) Maithripala Sirisena’s landmark crossover to the Opposition just weeks before the nomination day of the Presidential Elections captured the imagination of the country. However, Maithree’s crossover does not stand alone in the realm of political crossovers in the last fifty years. But it clearly signifies a real problem Mahinda Rajapaksa has. That is, those who fall out with the President are not in just ‘also-ran’ category or second-tier or third-tier personalities. more..

'President took right decisions at right times'

Dec 3 (DM) Minister Tissa Karalliyadda said having been in the SLFP for 20 years, said he will never desert the Party and will extend his support to the President. Govt has done so much in order to uplift the lives of women. Minister said that out of the voters in the country majority are women who would vote the President the most. He reiterates that President took the right decisions at the right time for the betterment of country. more..

'Our policies concern all citizens'

Dec 3 (DM) JHU is to announce their stance on whether they would support the common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena at the presidential elections today (2). Former minister Champika Ranawaka explained the grounds for their decision. Q: Has the JHU decided on whether to support the common candidate Maithripala Sirisena? A: We will announce our decision on Tuesday. As a Party, we need to make our principles clear. more..

Jaffna Dutch Fort restoration 95% complete

Dec 3 (Island) 95% of the conservation work at the Jaffna Fort carried out by the experts of Department of Archaeology had been completed, Director General of Archaeology, Dr Senarath Dissanayake said. He said that the fort was attracting ever increasing number of local and foreign tourists as it was one of the two Dutch Forts in the world where the settlements had been constructed outside the fort in the world more..

Corruption ‘steals’ Rs. 10 billion annually

Dec 3 (SL) Following last week’s expose on rampant frauds that takes place at the Registrar of Motor Vehicles (RMV), we are in receipt of more information how the country is losing billions of rupees in the form of taxes as a result of illegal vehicle registrations at the RMV. Commissioner General RMV has come under severe criticism by a section of his own staff for ignoring AG Department’s investigations more..

GCE O/L exam expected to be affected by polls activity monitors, unions warn

Dec 3 (ST) Candidates sitting the G.C.E O/L Exam scheduled to be held on Dec 9 are expected to encounter problems due to the propaganda activities leading up to the upcoming Presidential election, polls monitors warned. With the exam due to commence in eight days, the Examination authorities are still in the process of carrying out discussions to come up with a feasible solution to the problem. more..

Sumanthiran skips CPM rally

Dec 3 (CT) TNA MP, M. A. Sumanthiran did not participate at the Citizens' Power Movement rally yesterday, stating it would be inappropriate as the party was yet to decide whether or not to support the common candidate. Members in the common Opposition took part in the rally held at Hyde Park. He said, "An attempt is being made to portray my participation in this event as TNA's endorsement of Maithripala's candidacy. more..

'We printed posters for MR on credit in 2005'

Dec 3 (CT) JVP Leader, Anura Kumara Dissanayake said the heights of plundering carried out by the Rajapaksas have been made evident by the heaps of cutouts and posters featuring the President that have been put on display all over Colombo. MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake addressing their supporters at the party’s inaugural rally for the upcoming Presidential elections said it should be probed as to how more..

Chinese vessels flying Lankan flag failed to provide agreed fish quota

Dec 3 (DN) The eight Chinese vessels fishing in international waters during the last nine months under the Sri Lankan flag failed to provide a certain fish quota to Sri Lanka as agreed, Acting Minister Sarath Kumara Gunaratne said. These Chinese ships engaged in fishing in international waters under the Sri Lankan flag had promised to provide 10% of the catch of each ships to Sri Lanka through an agreement signed more..

Airport staff prepared for disaster relief logistics

Dec 3 (eTN) Deutsche Post DHL, and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), in partnership with the Ministry of Disaster Management and Ministry of Civil Aviation, today kicked off a disaster preparedness initiative "Get Airports Ready for Disaster" (GARD) workshop in Colombo. The four-day workshop will be held from December 2-5, and will provide training to 34 Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) personnel to more..

Sri Lanka improves on corruption index front

Dec 3 (TI) Sri Lanka has improved its ranking on the Transparency International's annual global Corruption Perception Index (CPI) released today scoring marginally better than last year. Sri Lanka improved six notches in the CPI and ranked at the 85th place among 175 countries with a score of 38 points. Last year with a score of 37 points the island nation in South Asia ranked at the 91st place among 177 countries. more..

Dengue will follow rains

Dec 3 (CT) The country is experiencing heavy rains these days. Drains in many cities are flooded with water, which is stagnated for days, due to the incompetency of local authorities to clear those drains. In addition, domestic gardens are not kept clean and water is collected in empty tins thrown all over. With the election fever rising, authorities seem to be blind to the epidemic that may rise when the New Year dawns. Statistics in the health sector indicate that dengue fever infected patients more..

MoU with the JHU: Maithripala must a be a Deng Hsiao Peng, not a Mikhail Gorbachev

Dec 3 (CT) Those who criticize my continued ‘nonaligned’ approach to the Presidential election and the candidates, as well as my refusal to convert unthinkingly to the cause of the joint opposition, make the cardinal error of confusing governance, govt and the State. That is not an error a political scientist is permitted; still less one of Marxian and Leninist provenance such as I am. I agree with all the criticisms made by the Opposition of the present regime and even go beyond them in some more..