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Sachithra Senanayake retested in Chennai

Nov 24 (CI) Banned offspinner Sachithra Senanayake underwent an official retest of his action in Chennai on Sunday, with the results expected within the next two weeks, Sri Lanka Cricket has said. The retest is the culmination of months of remedial work, which Senanayake has carried out under the supervision of both human movement specialist Daryl Foster, as well as with local coaches. more..

Air Chief Marshal D C Perera passes away

Nov 24 (Island) Former commander of the SLAF, Air Chief Marshal D.C. Perera VSV, ndc, psc, expired yesterday. Dick Cuthbert Perera, another member of the pioneering First intake of locally trained officer cadets to join the Royal Ceylon Air Force (RCyAF), became the Commander of the Air Force on 1st of May 1980 – the sixth officer in a distinguished line up. A product of St Benedict’s College Colombo, he joined the Air Force on 21st Sept 1951. He received his wings from PM D.S. Senanayake more..

Sri Lanka condemns Afghanistan attack

Nov 24 (CG) Govt today unreservedly condemned the suicide terrorist attack on a volleyball tournament in Yahyakhil district, Afghanistan yesterday, killing at least 45 people and wounding over 60 others. External Affairs Ministry said that the people of Sri Lanka, who had suffered immensely under the scourge of terrorism for almost three decades, share the pain and anguish of the people of Afghanistan over this brazen terror attack targeting innocent civilians at a sporting event. more..

Indians disappointed after new arrest

Nov 24 (CG) Fishermen leaders expressed disappointment as the Sri Lankan Navy arrested 14 Tamil Nadu fishermen when their trawlers developed snags and drifted into Lankan waters on Sunday. The Lankan navy arrested the fishermen – four from Rameswaram, 10 from Jagadapattinam – and confiscated three trawlers when the fishermen were drawing strategies to refrain from crossing the IMBL as advised by External Affairs Minister more..

Ensure Maithri’s victory to form UNP govt before Sinhala New Year -Ranil

Nov 24 (Island) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has urged UNPers to ensure Opposition presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena’s victory at the forthcoming presidential election so as to form a UNP govt before Sinhala New Year next year. Wickremesinghe called for the abolition of the executive presidency to save the country from what he called the dictatorial Rajapaksa regime. UNP leader was addressing Galigamuwa UNP Balamandalaya in support of Sirisena. more..

Range Bandara and Thevarapperuma confirm they won't join the govt

Nov 24 (AM) UNP MPs Palitha Range Bandara and Palitha Thevarappeuma have assured that they won’t cross over to the govt. Making a special statement in Parliament, Range Bandara refuted claims that he was going to crossover. MPs said the rumours were spread by media and there was no truth in them. Thevarapperuma too will make a special speech in Parliament saying he would not leave UNP. Range Bandara and Thevarapperuma had told their close associates more..

'Maithripala is a clean and respectable politician'

Nov 24 (AM) SLFP Western Provincial Councilor Hirunika Premachandra has indicated that she is willing to shift allegiance ahead of the presidential election. She dubbed former SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena as a “clean politician” in a context where seniors of her party are lashing out at him for becoming the common candidate of the opposition. It is learnt that Hirunika has been approached by more..

SLMC postpones decision on Presidential Election

Nov 24 (AM) SLMC has decided to take a decision on which candidate to support in the forthcoming presidential elections after considering the election manifestos of the two main candidates. The MPs and provincial council members of the party took this decision at a meeting presided by SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem yesterday, the General Secretary Hassan Ali said. However, the SLMC is a constituent party in the govt and its leader Hakeem is the Minister of Justice. more..

Expect heavy rains in NCP Sluice gates open

Nov 24 (CT) Most of the sluice gates of reservoirs in the North Central Province, were opened following the recent heavy rains, Directress of Water Management Unit, Janaki Meegastenna said. She said that two sluice gates of the Kala Oya and Rajangana tank were opened, and expected sluice gates of other reservoirs also to be opened, soon. The levels of water in reservoirs had reached around 45% of capacity and with more rain expected, water levels will climb further, she said. more..

Appeal to release Jaffna fishermen

Nov 24 (CT) Families of the three Jaffna fishermen who were sentenced to death along with five Indian fishermen in Colombo have appealed to President Rajapaksa to grant the amnesty to the Jaffna fishermen as well in the manner he had granted the amnesty to the Indian fishermen and allowed them to return home. Out of the eight fishermen who were sentenced to death for drug trafficking in the Northern waters in 2011 more..

JHU to announce its decision on 27 Nov

Nov 24 (AD) JHU today launched an awareness program to announce the general public on its recommendations to the govt. Champika Ranawaka MP said “the country strongly needs a constitutional and political reconstruction today. These recommendations will apply to rebuild country’s economic, political, and social aspects.” He added that the JHU will announce its decision on whom to support at the forthcoming Presidential election at an event which is scheduled to host at more..

Wimal claims CBK was earlier choice

Nov 24 (CG) Minister and NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa claims former President Chandrika Kumarathunga (CBK) was the initial choice for common opposition candidate. Speaking in Parliament, he claimed that a foreign diplomat had proposed to the former President to contest the polls. However her family did not back her and so she eventually persuaded former SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Srisena to come forward as opposition candidate, Weerawansa claimed. more..

Joint military exercise between Sri Lanka and India armies concludes

Nov 24 (SLA) Elevating existing relations to new heights and marking the start of a new era of neighbourly understanding and close cooperation between both organizations, the contingent of 42 Indian Army Special Force troops, successfully, completed the training Exercise - Mithra Shakthi on Sunday, together with a corresponding Sri Lankan contingent of 300 Special Forces and Commandos, and a few Navy and Air Force personnel more..

Enhancing parenting skills with mobile phones in Sri Lanka

Nov 24 (SOS) SOS Children’s Village Sri Lanka is empowering women through mobile technology. Mobile for Development is a pilot project that uses SMS Quicklearns, a mobile messaging service, to enhance parenting skills. The project began last November with 150 mothers in two areas of Sri Lanka – Peraliya and Gandhara – that were devastated by the Indian Ocean Tsunami. The project aims to empower women in child rights, health and hygiene & financial management more..

Rural Women's S & M Entrepreneur clinic

Nov 24 (CT) An awareness programme on Business and Management Capacity Development of Rural Women Entrepreneurs of Sri Lanka was held at the Auditorium of the Faculty of Islamic Studies and Arabic Language at the South Eastern University of Sri Lanka recently. It was organized by Career Guidance Unit of the South Eastern University of Sri Lanka in collaboration with Centre for Entrepreneurs Developments with the funding assistance of the Asia Foundation. more..

Video: Why not take action on the files: JVP

Nov 24 (DM) JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake questioned why President Rajapaksa was not taking any action if he had files on the illegal activities of govt members. President Rajapaksa, on Sunday said he had files on all who left SLFP recently to join the main opposition but said he was not going to open them. “Soon after the terrorism was defeated, President said he would tackle and defeat corruption and bribery more..

Duminda Dissanayake hands over official vehicle and residence

Nov 24 (AM) Former Minister Duminda Dissanayake yesterday handed over his official vehicle and his official residence to the govt. The former Education Services Minister handed over the official vehicle to the Secretary of the Education Services Ministry, Kanthi Perera. Dissanayake is supposed to handover the official residence today. Dissanayake was among the UPFA stalwarts who crossed over to the common opposition led by the common candidate Maithripala Sirisena. more..

President lashes out at Telecommunication boss after Sirasa-Satana controversy

Nov 24 (AM) President Rajapaksa had lashed out at a certain ‘telecommunications boss’ following the incident where two satellite TV service providers blocked Sirasa and its affiliated channels during a political talk show that was attended by common candidate Maithripala Sirisena and members of the common opposition. After the incident, President had telephoned the “telecommunications boss” to know whether someone had any hidden hand behind the outage. more..

Budget passed with a majority of 95

Nov 24 (AM) Third reading of the Budget 2015 passed in Parliament with a majority of 95 votes. Of the 225 MPs in the house, 152 members voted for the Budget while 57 voted against. Fifteen MPs, including the govt MPs supporting Maithripala Sirisena, were absent today. With the vote on the third reading, the debate on the budget which took place for over 24 days came to an end. Minister Sumedha Jayasena was absent in more..

Medical drugs of low quality: Too many suppliers registered

Nov 24 (CT) Maintaining the standard of drugs had become a serious concern due to the large number of drug suppliers registered, GMOA President Dr. Anurudda Padeniya said. Dr. Padeniya told Ceylon Today that in developed countries only three or four drug suppliers provide a particular drug, but a large number of drug suppliers provide same drug in Sri Lanka. He noted that a large number of drug suppliers compete to import one drug, hence regulating it becomes very difficult. more..

Missing school principal returns home

Nov 24 (AD) The principal of the Hewavitharana Vidyalaya in Rajagiriya, who was reported missing for the past five days, has returned to his home last night, police said. A brother of the principal in question notified police that he had returned to his home at around 9.00pm yesterday. However, he has now been admitted to a hospital for treatment, he said. A statement will be recorded from the principal after he receives treatment and that further investigations would be carried out more..

Some ministers say they won’t quit the Govt

Nov 24 (DM) Some ministers said today they were in favour of abolishing the executive presidency or to at least prune its powers and would continue the struggle to bring these about. At a media conference, the ministers -- many of whom were mentioned in the media as possible crossovers to the opposition when asked by a journalist about the President’s statement that he held the files of several ministers to be used if more..

To Daily News pâla on With friends like Wijesinha, President didn’t need enemies

Nov 25 (CT) The Editor, Daily News. Dear Sir; My attention has been drawn to a news item in your columns today under the heading ‘Al Jazeera program: With friends like Wijesinha, President didn’t need enemies’. The writer, whilst obviously upset that I am not supporting the President in the forthcoming election, asserts that ‘What Wijesinha means of course is that our foreign policy should be more agreeable to the Tamil Tiger terrorist sympathizers such as Surendiran’. more..

Gotabaya’s ploy to suspend the constitution & impose martial law

Nov 25 (CT) When I wrote about a possible Coup d’état in Sri Lanka to the Colombo Telegraph few months back, I was actually referring to a possible scenario where an ambitious and a rare military officer takes matters in to his own hands. But little did I expect loathed and dreaded characters to take a cue from it. Having come to know of the mobilization of para-military forces by the Secretary to the Ministry of Defense Gotabaya Rajapaksa to unleash violence against any and all forms of more..

Royal College Past Teachers' Association sets shining example

Nov 25 (SO) Teachers render yeoman service to educate the country's future generation. Almost all teachers are dedicated to their profession and monitory gains don't enter the picture. But in most cases, teachers are a forgotten lot after retirement. Not all former students come to their assistance when they are old and feeble. There are only a few associations with the support of former students which bring retired teachers under more..

UNP cheer home and home match as Ranil outsources victory

Nov 25 (ST) Struggling to hold back the insistent tear, Mr. Maithripala Sirisena on Friday came out of the UPFA closet to declare himself as the UNP led joint opposition parties’ choice to challenge President Rajapaksa for the presidency of Lanka. “My wife Jayanthi, my children Charuni, Dahranie and Dhaham, they all came to me and said thaththe, we are prepared to even die, thaththe you take any decision. We have seen the immense strains you have been under as the secretary of the party more..

Going beyond political game-playing

Nov 25 (ST) Four short years ago, it would have seemed quite unbelievable that esoteric concepts such as ‘an independent judiciary,’ ‘the Rule of Law, ‘the 17th Amendment’ and ‘abolition of the Executive Presidency’ would be tripping off the tongues of Sri Lanka’s citizenry, from a humble tea kiosk owner in an obscure corner off Pilimatalawa to a rural school principal in Mahiyangana. At that time, the Rajapaksa Presidency’s 18th Amendment enthroning an already powerful Executive more..

India & the issue of independent Tamil Eelam

Nov 25 (CT) Colonel R. Hariharan, in an interview with Dr. Parasaran Rangarajan, editor-in-chief of the International Law Journal of London says New Delhi came under tremendous political pressure from TN after the 1983 pogrom to intervene in Sri Lanka to ensure equitable treatment of the Tamil minority. Q: It is well known that the official position of the govt of India never advocated for the separation of Sri Lanka with Tamil Eelam but more..

Oscar nominee Bombay Jayashri travels to Jaffna by Yal Devi

Nov 25 (CT) Tamil Nadu celebrated the release of five fishermen from Rameswaram, who were granted amnesty a few days ago by Lankan President Rajapaksa, from the death sentence passed on them by a Colombo court for engaging in drug trafficking in 2011. All five Indian fishermen, who escaped the gallows in Sri Lanka, were given a warm welcome by representatives of almost all the key political parties, including the ruling BJP's Deputy Minister from TN, Pon Rathakrishnan, more..

Charting a new course for Sri Lanka tourism: Key lessons from Singapore

Nov 25 (FT) The iconic city State Singapore’s success in tourism is well-documented and widely-used as a benchmark. Many Sri Lankans have personally experienced brand Singapore or have transited via its huge airport Changi. Singapore last year attracted over 15 million tourists and earned Singapore $ 24 billion (Rs. 2.4 trillion) from tourism and related activities. The figures for a tiny country are staggering. It is targeting S$ 30 billion by 2015, a higher value from a relatively lower more..

Who is Maithripala?

Nov 25 (CT) The SLFP went to Rajarata from Horagolla before it went to Medamulana. After the death of PM S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, PM W. Dahanayaka contested the 1960 March election from a separate party. The SLFP was led by C.P. de Silva, an MP from Rajarata. Sirima Bandaranaike who took reins of the SLFP in the July 1960 election wanted C.P. de Silva to take the lead. Therefore, C.P. de Silva appeared more..

Tamil Elephant in the Green (Blue?) Room

Nov 25 (GV) Kalana Senaratne’s characteristically perceptive article on the implications of Maithripala Sirisena’s common candidacy for the upcoming Presidential election flags the Tamil question: what role do Tamils and issues of concern to them play in the politics of the election? Kalana deems the Tamils the ‘forgotten other’ of the upcoming campaign, noting that the contest is one between two versions of Sinhala Buddhist nationalism. Kalana is partially right. more..

Good governance includes of devolution of power

Nov 25 (Island) The selection of the ruling party’s General Secretary to be the opposition’s common candidate was unexpected. It also poses a serious challenge to the govt. For the past decade the opposition has been unable to loosen the government’s grip over the Sinhalese rural heartland. In selecting Maithripala Sirisena to be their common candidate the opposition has brought a seasoned politician from the area of their greatest weakness to the fore. more..

Cabinet identifies Tata Project as SDP 16-year tax break as goodwill gesture

Nov 25 (CT) Cabinet has identified the US$ 430 million mixed development project in Slave Island by India's Tata Housing, as a Strategic Development Project in a new gazette notification granting the company a 16 year tax break for the US$ 130 million foreign direct investment. Tata housing obtained five acres of land free of charge from the UDA, as a goodwill gesture for agreeing to build 562 housing units on 3 acres of land adjoining location, more..

Govt. on track to achieve high degree of fiscal consolidation – CB

Nov 25 (CT) As a result of the IMF's vigilant observations on off-budget guarantees, the govt is now taking necessary steps to achieve a high degree of fiscal consolidation, a senior official said. Central Bank Governor, Ajith Nivard Cabraal said, he was pleased with the discipline that had been exerted by the govt on its finances, which has been improving consistently. "We are pleased that the govt is taking the essential steps to achieve a high degree of fiscal consolidation," more..

Water: Droughts, deluge and carelessness of Sri Lankans

Nov 25 (ST) “Not even a drop of water that comes from the rain must flow into the ocean without being made useful to man” – (King Parakramabahu, the Great -12th Century). “Sea water will be desalinated and be made useful to man” – (President Mahinda Rajapaksa-21st Century) These are two statements made by two heads of the country during two different eras regarding water. Modern science, technology, engineering and IT were not available in the 12th Century. more..

We can forget India - Atapattu

Nov 25 (CI) Sri Lanka head coach Marvan Atapattu is confident his team will be able to put aside the 5-0 defeat they suffered in India and bounce back in the seven-match ODI series against England. The whitewash in India was just Sri Lanka's third loss in their last ten series and Atapattu insisted the trip was not as bad as the scoreline suggests. "The best thing that happened to us in the three weeks in India is that although more..

Editorial: Solheim’s hands

Nov 25 (Island) Prabhakaran is long dead, but his friends who helped him from a safe distance continue to be in the news. Former Norwegian minister Erik Solheim, who was in and out of the Vanni while his striped friends were going great guns, has recently drawn heavy flak from the Sri Lankan govt for having funded terrorism here. His backing for the LTTE is something he will never be able to live down. Sponsoring terrorism is fraught with danger. more..

Sri Lanka debuts in Global Entrepreneurship Index at # 71

Nov 25 (FT) Perhaps reflecting the post-war opportunity and improved country profile, Sri Lanka has debuted in the influential Global Entrepreneurship Index (GEI) 2015, ranking at 71 out of 130 nations surveyed and 11th within the Asia Pacific region. Released last week by the US-based Global Entrepreneurship and Development Institute (GEDI Institute) to mark the global week to celebrate entrepreneurship, the Index sheds light on the efficiency of national startup ecosystems more..

Travel bloggers conference brings huge dividends to Sri Lanka

Nov 25 (ST) Some 250 people including 45 travel bloggers from across the world, met in Sri Lanka last week for the Asia’s First Ever Travel Bloggers Conference – TBCasia 2014 organised by Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts in partnership with SriLankan Airlines. The participants include Allison Busaca, Global Editor of BBC Travel, who in a keynote address spoke on the huge strides made by travel bloggers more..