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S.B. tells girls to maintain beauty

Dec 4 (CG) Higher Education Minister S B Dissanayake has advised girls to maintain their beauty but at the same time also focus on physical fitness and higher education. Speaking at a function at the Kandy Badurdeen Muslim College, he said that if girls fail to maintain their beauty they may face issues both before and after marriage. Parents must ensure their daughters are brought up well from young age by ensuring they are physically fit even as they look to maintain their outer beauty. more..

UGC denies receiving query from polls chief

Dec 4 (CT) Elections monitoring bodies said that it was interesting to note that the UGC had not received the letter from the Elections Commissioner with regard to academics and non-academics being invited to Temple Trees on 1 Dec. The CaFFE said that UGC Chairperson, Prof. Kshanika Hirimburegama had said that she had not received such a letter asking for explanations on the basis that lecturers had attended the function, more..

Indian fishermen threatened, sent back by Lanka navy personnel

Dec 4 (PTI) About 3,000 fishermen, who put out to sea from this coastal town on Thursday, were allegedly threatened at gunpoint by Sri Lankan naval personnel and nets of 15 boats were damaged, P Sesuraja, president of Fishermen's Association said. The fishermen had set sail after a five-day gap in 650 boats but had to return empty handed as the naval personnel blocked their passage and and sent them back at gunpoint in the Palk Straits, he told reporters. more..

CJ commends the man who urged the court to appoint him as executive president

Dec 4 (AM) Chief Justice Mohan Peiris commended the efforts of Rathna Bandara, Leader of the National Sinhalese Buddhist People’s Party, who urged the court to appoint him as the President of Sri Lanka, with immediate effect. The matter was taken up before the CJ today when he filed a motion with the Supreme Court – pertaining to the 18th amendment and the presidency of Sri Lanka. He previously filed a writ petition in Court of Appeal urging the court to declare more..

'Public officials harassed for not backing MR'

Dec 4 (Island) Some senior govt and police officials had been summoned to Temple Trees by President Rajapaksa recently and scolded in filth for not doing enough to promote his candidature at the forthcoming Presidential Election, former President Chandrika Kumaratunga alleged. She lashed out at President Rajapaksa for denigrating public servants and treating them like dirt. SL’s police service had once been considered more..

Cook handed one-match suspension

Dec 4 (CI) Alastair Cook will miss the 4th ODI against Sri Lanka after being handed a one-match suspension for England's slow over-rate in Hambantota. Eoin Morgan will lead in Cook's absence. It was the team's second over-rate offence in ODIs within a 12-month period, following the Cardiff match against India, which means Cook's penalty was automatic once the ruling was handed down by match referee David Boon. Cook, who was also fined 20% of his match fee, more..

Solid waste pollution causing big stink near Knuckles forest

Dec 4 (Island) A massive solid waste dump in the central hills area known as Morahela located in Panwila PS is causing a big stink, eyesore, inconvenience and a health hazard to the residents and people passing through the area. This waste dump overlooks the UNESCO certified Knuckles World Heritage Forest Reserve as well as the beautiful Hunnasgiriya mountains. According to the villagers, garbage from Panwila town are dumped there the tractors belonging to Panwila PS. more..

Sri Lankan Catholics urge Pope Francis to put off visit

Dec 4 (NYT) A number of prominent Roman Catholic priests and laypeople in Sri Lanka are appealing to Pope Francis to put off a scheduled visit, saying the govt is using the occasion as propaganda to imply the pope’s support for President Rajapaksa, who is seeking an unprecedented third term in office. Pope is expected to arrive in SL, on Jan 13, five days after an early presidential election declared by Mr. Rajapaksa. more..

Rosmah arrives in Colombo, to address autism symposium

Dec 4 (NST) Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor arrived here today, for a two-day visit to attend an autism symposium tomorrow. The aircraft carrying the Malaysian prime minister’s wife touched down at the Bandaranaike International Airport at 11.15am local time. Rosmah, who is Patron of the Permata Programme for Early Childhood Education, is scheduled to deliver a speech at the Symposium on Minimising the Gaps of Service Delivery for Autism in Sri Lanka’ tomorrow. more..

'Ex govt politicos made sacrificial lambs by unholy Alliance'

Dec 4 (DN) UNP-LTTE-NGO Coalition are using certain former Govt politicians as sacrificial lambs to realise their hidden ulterior motives, Minister Dilan Perera charged. "It is unfortunate to note that Maithripala Sirisena too has become such a sacrificail lamb," he added. Making a scathing attack on certain former govt politicians who according to Minister Perera have become victims of the UNP-LTTE-NGO nexus he said; "although these people claim that they are supporting more..

Gotabaya sees good governance

Dec 4 (CG) Govt says the electronic National Identity Card (e-NIC) is a vital step to thwart illegitimate practices and is also a sign of the existence of good governance in the country. Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa said that the elimination of terrorism and introduction of sustainable methodologies to perform institutional duties has augmented good governance in the country. He said this at a function at more..

JHU member to cross over to govt

Dec 4 (CT) JHU Central Committee Member and Chairman of Embilipitiya Urban Council, Ven. Wewelduwe Gnanaprabha Thera, has decided to join the UPFA Govt. He said, he is scheduled to inform the Central Committee of the JHU about his decision soon. Thera noted that he opposed the JHU's decision to support common candidate Maithripala Sirisena. "President Rajapaksa helped me when I was the Chairman of the Embilipitiya UC, a position to which I was elected in 2011 more..

Professor Tissa Kariyawasam no more

Dec 4 (AM) Media Veteran Professor Tissa Kariyawasam passed away this morning following a brief illness. Professor Kariyawasam was 72 by the time of his demise. Tissa Kariyawasam graduated with honours from the University of Ceylon, Peradeniya at age 22 in 1964 and joined the university staff soon after. His biography has been a significant part of the history of our university system in the second half of the 20th century. Professor Kariyawasam has been a prolific writer. more..

TNA’s Sivajilingham goes berserk

Dec 4 (CG) TNA Northern Provincial Council (NPC) member M.K. Sivajilingham threw a tantrum at the council session today after the chairman of the council refused to conduct a vote on a resolution presented by him. NPC member had thrown the mace of the council and refused to allow sittings to be suspended until his resolution was taken for a vote. However the chairman of the council said that CM more..

Over 2,000 rape cases per year, but only seven convictions

Dec 4 (CT) Although over 2,000 cases of rape are reported from around the country each year, only 7 persons have been convicted by Court. This was revealed by Senior Researcher at International Centre for Ethnic Studies (ICES), Chulani Kodikara. She also stated according to their statistics, the number of rape cases had increased over the years, compared to the low number of the convictions. SSP Ajith Rohana said, police have already taken action on nearly 99% of the rape cases, but more..

Susil avoids answering query on abolition of Presidency

Dec 4 (CT) Minister Susil Premajayantha evaded answering the question on whether the govt will abolish the Executive Presidency if President Mahinda Rajapaksa wins the coming election. "The govt is considering constitutional reforms," he said in reply to the question posed at a press conference on Tuesday. The minister then asked a question, "Is the JVP changing their slogan from "Executive Presidency is illegal" to 'defeat President Mahinda Rajapaksa'?" more..

Media Minister slams the media

Dec 4 (CG) Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella slammed the private media saying some of them are operating with hidden political agendas. Responding to an incident where Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamaga had accused a television station over a caller during a debate on the channel, Rambukwella said that some electronic media use their own people to make the call in order to carry out their political agenda. more..

Minister denies corruption claim

Dec 4 (CG) Minister Mahinda Amaraweera has denied reports that he had accused the Govt of being corrupt and acquiring assets illegally. The Minister was earlier quoted in the media as saying the Govt has made enough money and if the UNP wins the Presidential elections they will attempt to make more money. Amaraweera however told reporters at a media briefing today that he was misquoted in the media and insisted that neither he nor any member of the Govt is corrupt. more..

LTTE's Prabakaran still lords over Tamil Nadu politics

Dec 4 (IT) On Nov 26, as PM Narendra Modi called for stronger ties with SAARC countries at its summit in Nepal and thanked Sri Lankan president Rajapaksa for releasing five Indian fishermen detained in Lanka, MDMK chief Vaiko launched a citywide celebration of slain LTTE chief V Prabakaran's 60th birthday in Chennai, complete with public meetings, cake cutting at the party office and organised prayers at places of religious worship at different venues in the city. more..

Minister Mahindananda complains to police about defamatory call

Dec 4 (AM) Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage has lodged a complaint against the caller who allegedly insulted him during the Waada Pitiya political talk show on Derana TV, yesterday. SSP Ajith Rohana said that the complaint was lodged by Minister with the Mirihana Police station at around 12 midnight yesterday. During the political talk show, an unknown caller alleged that Minister Aluthgamage has one of the largest ‘files’ and more..

External influence in Presidential Elections

Dec 5 (CT) Unlike in the past powerful external forces are bound to play significant roles in influencing the forthcoming 8 January 2015 presidential elections marked by dramatic changes unfolding almost on a daily basis. This trend was triggered off ever since Health Minister and SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena shocked the nation by crossing over to the opposition to become the opposition common candidate for the forthcoming presidential elections. more..

The need for post election consensus

Dec 5 (SL) Govt’s presidential election campaign has yet to take on a positive tone. It seems to be focusing attention on international conspiracies and plots to divide the country, which are not new anymore. It is the opposition that is setting the pace in the early stage of the presidential election campaign. They have promised to abolish the presidential system and the 18th Amendment both of which lead to an overconcentration of power. They have pledged a new constitutional more..

Bold efforts bring confused pachyderm under control

Dec 5 (SO) The teenager elephant was lost in an unknown land. He ran amok in search of a trace of familiarity. But the plump little giant, neither a kid nor an adult, was fighting being confusion. The smell, sounds and the visions were all too strange for him. He had wondered too far from his territory the previous night. "It was not an easy operation," Dr. Chandana Jayasinghe, the Veterinary doctor attached to North Western more..

On attempted misappropriation of confiscated African Ivory

Dec 5 (CT) The entire civilized world is up in arms against the poaching of the helpless African elephant considered an endangered species. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is one of the progressive steps taken towards arresting of this serious crime. Under the CITES regulations trading of ivory is internationally banned and condemned. Tens of thousands of African elephants are being killed annually by poachers because of more..

Where from here, opposition campaign?

Dec 5 (SL) If someone thought that the announcement of Maithripala Sirisena as the common Opposition candidate for the presidential elections of 8 Jan 2015 would get their campaign going, it’s not to be. Or, so it seems. If someone thought that the Bodu Bala Sena’s (BBS) support for President Rajapaksa in the elections is again going to get the minorities to launch an even more vociferous campaign against the incumbent than in 2010, again it need not be. Or, so it seems. more..

'SL Cricket team must forgive Pakistan'

Dec 5 (CT) Majyd Aziz, a prominent Industrialist of Pakistan, Founding Chairman of Pakistan-Sri Lanka Business Forum (PSLBF), Former President of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Director of Zarai Taraqiati Bank of Province of Sindh appointed by PM Nawaz, said that Pakistan and Sri Lanka have always supported each other at various international fora. "This is another reflection of the deep-rooted friendship more..

CB Governor's eight-pronged strategy for reaching Vision 2020

Dec 5 (CT) Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal, last week outlined an eight pronged strategy for reaching Vision 2020 while delivering the Annual Bank Directors' Symposium. This year's symposium was themed 'Vision 2020: Aligning the Banking Sector to the real economy' which held for the seventh consecutive time at the Galadari Hotel. The eight points presented by the Governor were: Look at financial inclusion very keenly, Fund base product source. more..

Embracing hemorrhoids to overcome hemorrhaging

Dec 5 (NS) The presidential game of politics is on in Sri Lanka. The day of the battle is known and so are the two main players. The game has just begun and to use cricketing terminology, with many overs left, many runs to be scored, and many wickets to be taken. Both sides are in with a chance. This will be all about depth of the team, the ability to marshal one’s forces in the death stage, bowling toe crusher after toe crusher, batsmen improvising with scoops, dips and glides and the captains trying more..

Battle of two Ms

Dec 5 (NS) Maithripala Sirisena is now the much sought-after ‘common candidate’ from the opposition to challenge President Rajapaksa at the presidential election. In choosing to relinquish his ministerial position and leave the UPFA govt, Sirisena gained ‘rock-star’ status from the Opposition and was described as ‘Judas’ by the govt. At the time this article is being written, not even a week has passed since Sirisena was more..

India, Sri Lanka Red Lines

Dec 5 (CT) For two months from 13 December 2013, the Chinese submarines moved freely in the North Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean from the east coast of Africa to Indonesia. The Foreign Affairs Office of the Ministry of Defence said the Indian military attaché in Beijing was informed of the submarine's sojourn 'out of respect for India.' No such advance 'intimation' was provided when Chinese submarines visited Colombo during October-November this year. more..

The country became one electorate

Dec 5 (NS) Contrary to common belief, executive presidency was not introduced to Sri Lanka by the 1978 Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. Constitution came to force on Aug 31, 1978. But executive presidency was introduced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of Sri Lanka, or the 1972 Constitution. Amendment was passed by Parliament on Oct 4, 1977 and then PM J.R. Jayawardene became the first Executive President on Feb 4, 1978. more..

'No media freedom under Rajapaksa govt'

Dec 5 (Island) Saman Wagaarachchi is the Convenor of the newly formed Action Committee for Media Freedom which is an umbrella organisation of almost all the media activists’ organisations in the country. The only Media activist organisation outside this grouping is the Free Media Movement. Wagaarachchi has at various times served as the editor of the Irida Peramuna, Dinamina and most recently the Lakbima. more..

Editorial: Fighting corruption, Sri Lankan way

Dec 5 (Island) Transparency International has released its latest Global Corruption Perceptions Index (GCPI). Sri Lanka’s position has improved marginally compared to its previous ranking (91st). It now shares the 85th place with India among 175 countries. GCPI could not have come at a more appropriate time for Sri Lanka, which is going to the polls in a few weeks. Opposition is sure to use it as a bludgeon against the govt and the ruling party politicians may claim that more..

Sirisena comes to town

Dec 5 (Island) It was a sunny Thursday morning in Havelock Town, as my wife and I opened the front gates of my property to take our vehicle out to go on some errands. Before us were a line of vehicles blocking the private road. Maithripala Sirisena had come to town—Havelock Town! I explained to a gentleman who was about to park yet another vehicle that this was a private road, and if he was to park, I would regard it as trespass and will have to let out the air of his tyres. more..

'Sirisena failed as SLFP General Secretary'

Dec 5 (FT) Newly-appointed General Secretary of SLFP Anura Priyadarshana Yapa says the party should focus on the victory of President Rajapaksa without fighting with each other. Denying accusations about Rajapaksa family rule, he stresses they have never experienced any of the President’s brothers interfering with others’ work. Yapa also claims that Maithripala Sirisena has failed to fulfill his duties as the General Secretary more..

All eyes on Doval-Maithri meet

Dec 5 (CT) When former army Commander Sarath Fonseka flew to Mumbai, India during the 2010 presidential election, it was kept as a secret from the then govt. Fonseka kept the govt guessing. Many said Fonseka flew to meet officials of the South Block. Incumbent Indian Defence Secretary, Ajith Doval has chosen to fly to Colombo even before candidates hand over nominations for the upcoming presidential election. He is expected to meet common candidate Maithripala Sirisena. more..

Mövenpick ready for operations by Nov 2015

Dec 5 (CT) Leading Swiss hospitality brand, Mövenpick will be ready for operations by Nov 2015. Swiss based hotel and resort chain Mövenpick inked the deal with Sofltlogic Group to build a city hotel in Colombo in 2010. This marked Softlogic Groups entrance into the country's booming tourism industry. Softlogic PLC Group Chairman Ashok Pathirage said that they were quite confident that the Mövenpick five-star hotel in Colombo would be ready for operations by Nov 2015. more..

Biz confidence climbs to 20-month high

Dec 5 (FT) Business magazine LMD’s December edition notes that business confidence has risen dramatically to reach a 20-month high, saying: “The LMD-Nielsen Business Confidence Index (BCI) makes a double-digit leap, rising by 15 basis points (to 143), in November.” “Not only does this reflect a reversal of the negative sentiment we’ve seen over the past three months; it also marks a 20-month high, more..

Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka strengthens Habitat Youth BUILD initiative

Dec 5 (Island) Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka takes on Habitat Youth BUILD, a youth-led campaign to tackle the global challenge of substandard housing, for the first time this year. Now in its fourth iteration, Habitat Youth BUILD has grown each year, with Sri Lanka, Fiji, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam joining other Asia-Pacific countries for the first time. Designed along the theme ‘Play a part, Act today, Share with friends,’ Habitat Youth Build engages young people to take action together more..

The rise of Agarwood from mystery to a money-maker!

Dec 5 (CT) Sadaharitha Plantations, Sri Lanka's leading commercial forestry company and reputed for its sustainable management of plantations has warned of dire consequences to the country's natural habitats due to indiscriminate felling of trees and degradation of forests in search of highly valued Agarwood. Native to Asia, the resinous Agarwood extracted from Aquilaria trees has a unique fragrance and is widely used as an ingredient in traditional medicine, world-class perfume, more..