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Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Free education, the constitution and the fate of the country

Dec 9 (Island) Free education was born in our country after a broad consultation of the opinion of the people and making the proposals accordingly. The majority of the governing body of those days opposed it. Then a group led by Dr E.W. Adikaram went around the country creating in the people an awareness of the situation. The awakened people in hundreds of thousands signed a petition and sent it to the speaker. People began to send telegrams to the members of the State Council demanding more..

Editorial: FM holding a lamppost

Dec 9 (Island) FM Ravi Karunanayake is using statistics as a drunkard uses a lamppost—for support rather than illumination—as we recently pointed out in this space. He has used accident related statistics, provided by the police and the health authorities for the last two weeks, to claim that the benefits of unconscionable increases in fines for some traffic offences are already kicking in. He tells us there has been a discernible decrease in road mishaps since announcement of fine more..

Public servants not political servants

Dec 9 (FT) The Agriculture Ministry has been at the centre of controversy for several months due to a Cabinet decision to lease out a new building in Rajagiriya at the exorbitant cost of Rs. 26 million a month despite there being far better use for tax funds. The lease has received much censure from the JVP and other officials preventing the ministry from making use of the building and it has remained empty for more than half a year. more..

SLC explains new rotation policy for support staff

Dec 9 (DN) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) clarified their new rotation policy that has been put in place with regard to the support staff accompanying the national cricket team on tours. “It is not that we have terminated the services of Charith Senanayake as manager of the team as some media institutions speculated but we have replaced him with Ranjith Fernando for the South African tour which is part of a new rotation policy which Sri Lanka Cricket has put in place,” said SLC CEO Ashley de Silva. more..

Cataract surgeries and distribution of spectacles

Dec 9 (CT) World Sight Day 2016 was successfully concluded with this year's commemoration which began with a walkathon from Viharamahadevi Park to Independence Square. Ministry of Health in collaboration with So Others May See (SOMS), College of Ophthalmologists of SL and Etisalat Lanka initiated the event to promote SL's Vision 2020 goal to eliminate avoidable blindness. Simultaneously, a series of eye care clinics were conducted for visual disabilities and to screen more..

PRECIFAC concludes two probes into abuse of State funds at CTB and UDA

Dec 9 (FT) PRECIFAC is paring two final reports into misuse of public funds of Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) and the Upcountry Development Authority (UDA). PRECIFAC has concluded its probe into ad hoc appointments given by SLTB chairmen who served during 2010 to 2012 and also misappropriation of State funds by the former chairman of the UDA.  SLTB former Chairmen D. Bandusena and Dilum Welgama more..

Fielding freak Ranjit at the helm of national team

Dec 9 (Island) NCC stalwart and former wicket-keeper batsman Ranjit Fernando has been appointed as the Manager of the national cricket team for the upcoming tours of South Africa and Australia. Fernando represented SL in the inaugural World Cup in 1975 in England and has had several stints as Manager of the national cricket team. He is the mentor of several star players to emerge from NCC like Madugalle, Aravinda, Hashan and the Ratnayakes – Rumesh and Ravi. more..

Even I’m sad about Asela’s omission: Chairman of selectors

Dec 9 (CT) With just two days for the departure of the national team on their South African tour, SLC finally announced the team in a hastily arranged press conference. Team features rooky pace man Vikum Sanjaya, 24 from BRC who will fill in as fifth pace man. Sanjaya hailing from Lumbini College is said to be bowling around 135 Kmph and claims he can swing both ways. Among the five specialist quicks in the squad, also, is 19-year-old Lahiru Kumara, who made his Test debut at Zim, more..

Thai firm buys 30% stake in Commercial Credit for Rs. 10.56 b

Dec 9 (FT) In what has been described as a historic financial transaction, Group Lease Public Company Ltd (GLPCL), a Thailand-based digital finance company listed on its Stock Exchange, yesterday bought near 30% stake in Commercial Credit & Finance (CCF) for USD 70 million on the CSE. Transaction valued at over Rs. 10.56 Billion is one of the highest recorded on the CSE. In the same exercise, more..

'Intensive programme to unearth fast-bowlers'

Dec 9 (WI) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has embarked on an intensive programme under fast bowling coach Chaminda Vaas to produce a surplus of fast bowlers to the national team. Speaking at a press conference held to announce the appointment of former SL cricketers Hashan Thilakaratne and Upul Chandana as batting and fielding coaches, Simon Wills, the SLC’s High Performance Manager said that there was a great shortage of fast bowlers. “We identified the shortage of fast bowlers and more..

Sri Lanka to build floating solar power farm on Parliament lake

Dec 9 (EN) SL will set up a 1.5 MW floating solar power farm on the lake around the Parliament of the country, Deputy Minister Ajith Perera said. Environmental clearance for the project has already been received. The floating solar farm will power the parliament, he said. Perera said following the first solar farm it was expected that floating solar farms would be set up in reservoirs elsewhere. Renewable industry had already lobbied President on floating solar plants on rice growing regions more..

Fitch Ratings lowers Sri Lanka banking sector outlook to negative

Dec 9 (EN) Fitch Ratings said it has lowered its sector outlook for Sri Lankan banks to negative from stable, saying operating conditions have become more challenging, with bad loans expected to rise and profitability to fall slightly. Fitch expects rising macroeconomic pressure to strain banks' credit metrics, in particular asset quality, Fitch said in its 2017 Outlook for Asia-Pacific banks. “Fitch expects downside pressure on growth in 2017, more..

Armed robbers escape with Rs. 40,000 from two filling stations

Dec 9 (DN) Two men wielding a fire arm and a manna knife stormed two petrol filling stations at Weweldeniya and Naiwala on the Colombo-Kandy road during the wee hours on Dec 8 and robbed the day’s collection of nearly Rs.40,000 from the three filling station attendants before escaping, according to two complaints received by the Mirigama and Veyangoda Police stations. According to the complaint made to Mirigama Police, two men who arrived at the Weweldeniya filling station more..

World-Renowned Battery Dance Tours SL

Dec 9 (AT) The world-renowned Battery Dance will conclude its tour of Sri Lanka with a gala “Drums and Dance” performance in collaboration with Chandana Wickramasinghe’s Dancer’s Guild and Asoka Wickramaratne’s Naadro at Bishop’s College on the evening of December 12. This public show completes Battery Dance’s nearly two weeks of programs featuring exchanges with top Sri Lankan dance companies, honorary shows, and training workshops with local students. more..

Comedy at SLC

Dec 9 (CT) It was a comedy show yesterday at SLC when they failed to provide a legitimate answer for removing Team Manager Charith Senanayake and appointing 72 year old ex-cricketer and commentator Ranjith Fernando as the team manager. According to SLC secretary Mohan de Silva and CEO Ashley de Silva, Senanayake had not been terminated from his employment with SLC as his contract only lapses next Sept. more..

Central Bank Governor wins LMD’s Sri Lankan Of The Year award

Dec 9 (FT) Pioneering business magazine LMD has announced that its Sri Lankan Of The Year for 2016 is the Governor of the Central Bank Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy. LMD pays tribute to the career economist whom it says epitomises the calibre of public servants that Sri Lanka so desperately needs to take the country forward. Coomaraswamy’s appointment as 14th Governor of the CB earlier this year, the magazine notes, “led to a collective sigh of relief in media circles, and more..

Apparel sector to further flourish despite political changes in US

Dec 9 (DN) Sri Lanka’s apparel sector is unlikely to change too much due to the political changes in the United States and the west, Capital Alliance Chief Strategy Officer Purasisi Jinadasa said. The US buys 44% of the clothing manufactured in Sri Lanka and looking at the recent political changes that took place in the West and the election of Donald Trump wouldn’t have any impact on Sri Lanka, he said. “President elect Donald Trump will mainly focus on maintaining jobs in the USA more..

Govt losing battle to quell extremist groups, warns JVP

Dec 9 (FT) JVP slammed the govt for failing to protect the religious rights of Sri Lankans and accused it of providing validation for extremist organisations that are still working to whip up ethnic disharmony while calling for an investigation into how these organisations are funded. JVP MP Vijitha Herath made an impassioned speech in Parliament calling on the govt to probe alleged links between the former govt & organisations such as BBS. more..

Chaos at GCE O/L exam Copter lands at exam centre

Dec 9 (CT) Residents said that students who were answering GCE O/L exam question papers at the Pesalai Central College were completely thrown off their concentration with the sudden noisome landing of a helicopter carrying the Speaker, Opposition Leader and several ministers in the school premises. The Speaker, Opposition Leader, ministers and representatives of the TNA had arrived in the helicopter to attend the funeral of the father of Selvam Adaikkalanathan, more..

Multimodal transport hub to be established in Battaramulla

Dec 9 (FT) A proposal to establish a multimodal transport hub to deal with increasing traffic congestion in the Battaramulla area was approved by Cabinet. In proposing the project, Minister Champika Ranawaka informed Cabinet that with the relocation of all govt administrative bodies to the area, vehicular traffic in the road network had increased and needed to be addressed. To mitigate the issue, a multimodal transport hub with bus, light rail transits, elevated highways more..

'Debate on Treasury Bond issue after Budget Third Reading'

Dec 9 (DN) The main business of Parliament when it commences its next session is to take action on CB Bond issue, Minister Laksman Yapa Abeywardena said. “Under these moves, there should be a debate on the Treasury Bond issue in Parliament once the Third Reading of the budget proposal 2017 is completed. Parliamentary debate will be followed by legal action,” he said. All SLFP MPs are dissatisfied with Bond issue and more..

Wijesooriya flays govt. for broken promises

Dec 9 (Island) Head of the National Movement for Social Justice Pro. Sarath Wijesuriya said that the unity govt which had come to power, promising good governance had failed to fulfil its promises. Addressing a news conference organised by the NMSJ, Prof. Wijesuriya lamented that the govt had failed to establish special courts to deal with suspects of fraud and corruption; it was a proposal made by him to the President for which Cabinet approval had been granted. more..

Strike at Hambantota Port continues

Dec 9 (DN) A tense situation prevailed at the Hambantota International Sea Port yesterday as the strike launched by a group of employees at the port continued. The employees also staged a satyagraha campaign on Thursday afternoon. Deputy Minister Nishantha Mutuhettigama said that the strike was continuing unabated. However, he denied rumours that the protesters had seized or obstructed a ship which had arrived at the port. Ports Minister Arjuna Ranatunga who arrived at the port yesterday, more..

President cancels colonial-era order amid falling popularity

Dec 9 (Reuters) President Sirisena rescinded a colonial-era British order naming 19 nationals as traitors for leading a rebellion nearly 200 years ago, his office said, as he strives to shore up his fading popularity. He hailed ethnic Sinhalese men whole led insurrection against island's British rulers as national heroes, a move some critics were swift to denounce as a political gimmick to bolster his support among Sinhalese majority. more..

7,000 public servants grilled in corruption probes

Dec 9 (CT) Some 7,000 public servants have been already questioned in corruption probes while the actions of certain institutions set up to combat graft and serious financial crime is causing concern for the govt, it was said. "FCID and other such institutions were established to investigate instances of serious financial crimes and corruption. Instead they are targeting junior State officials and other politicians who are accused of crimes where local Police or in-house auditors can deal with," more..

80% Chinese stake in H’tota Port Arjuna shunned the deal: Wimal

Dec 9 (CT) NFF Leader Wimal Weerawansa lashed out at the govt saying the Hambanthota Port is to be sold to China Merchant Port Holdings Ltd without the approval of Minister Arjuna Ranatunga. Weerawansa, stressed that according to the information he has received it is not only the Minister but the Chairman and the Board of the Ports Authority also that did not agree with the govt's decision to sell an 80% stake in Hambantota Port to wholly Chinese State-owned company. more..

Bitter woes for sugar importers after cocaine detections

Dec 9 (FT) Recent detections of cocaine by sugar importers have given a bitter edge to the industry with companies suspending imports from Brazil and seeking Govt assistance to check each sack of sugar for drugs, which is threatening to drive up costs. SL Sugar Importers Association vehemently denied allegations of being complicit in drug smuggling and insisted they were equally startled by the recent discovery of cocaine more..

Anti corruption day; politicians, the people are watching

Dec 9 (DM) With anti-corruption measures being a key issue in Sri Lanka, International Anti Corruption Day today will be of special significance to our country. According to the United Nation the 2016 theme is united against corruption for development, peace and security.  Figures show that every year about US$ 1 trillion is paid in bribes while an estimated US$ 2.6 trillion is stolen annually through corruption – a sum equivalent to more than 5% of the global GDP. more..

Who succeeds: Mahinda Rajapaksa or the fate of SLPP?

Dec 9 (DM) SL Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) has displayed its public face in presenting Basil Rajapaksa and Chairman G.L. Peiris (budding buddies of the bud party)– after hectoring by MR, hibernating in the background as its ultimate leader. Make no mistake it is his party. It will be conceived and buried by him if he succeeds to the SLFP. All roads lead to leaders residence.  Founders claim to fame is the proximity to the chieftain; find them both ideal foils while in political wilderness. more..

Diminishing differences

Dec 9 (DM) Minister Lakshman Kiriella was again in the limelight last week when he defended IGP Pujith Jayasundere, who was caught apparently submitting to political pressure by answering a telephone call while speaking at a public meeting.  IGP was submissively answering the caller addressing him as sir and giving an assurance to him that a Nilame would not be arrested. Kiriella replying to a question on more..

'Opportunity to examine yahapalana failures'

Dec 9 (Island) CaFFE (Campaign for Free and Fair Elections) spokesperson Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon lambasted the ruling coalition for failing in its much touted anti-corruption drive Alleging that none of those involved in mega corrupt deals during the Rajapaksa administration had been successfully prosecuted so far, he pointed out that yahapalana rulers themselves were under fire for waste, corruption & various irregularities. more..

Malaysian Opposition objects Prez’s visit

Dec 9 (MK) The DAP has been always in the forefront of championing the interests of those who have suffered human rights violations. In Sept 2016 the party condemned the visit of the former SL president, Mahinda Rajapakse. Hardly three months have passed, the BN govt has again issued another invitation for the visit of Maithripala Sirisena, current President of SL and former defence minister in Rajapakse govt. more..

Stink rises as plastic waste clogs recycling centre

Dec 9 (ST) A garbage and compost recycling facility operated by the Ja-Ela Pradeshiya Sabha has become the rubbish dump for the entire Ja Ela area, angry residents say. Six years ago, the residents of a housing scheme at Ekala allowed the Pradeshiya Sabha to set up a local recycling centre but the site has become a huge garbage tip. Some of the owners of the 400 houses in the scheme have been forced to sell their homes due to more..

Contamination of Kelani River threatens drinking water

Dec 9 (SL) The Kelani River plays a vital role in providing drinking water to the Colombo city. However due to continuous pollution of the river there are fears it would soon not be considered as a source for obtaining water. If the water of the Kelani River is no longer obtainable, it is going to cause a serious issue for the public, especially in the Colombo city. Speaking about the matter, the Deputy General Manager of the laboratory more..

Sri Lanka to sell 80% stake in strategically placed harbor to Chinese

Dec 9 (WSJ) Sri Lanka’s heavily indebted govt signed an agreement in principle on Thursday to sell an 80% stake in a deep-water port on the nation’s southern coast, close to one of the world’s busiest sea lanes, to a Chinese state-owned company, senior officials said. Under the deal, a copy of which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, China Merchants Port Holdings Co. would pay about $1.1 billion for its share of the port more..

Interpol declines Red notice for Lanka E news editor

Dec 9 (NR) The International Criminal Police Organization has declined a request made by the CID to issue an international arrest warrant or a red notice to the Chief Editor of the Lanka E news web page Sandaruwan Senadhira. CID today informed the Gampaha Magistrates court that the Interpol has rejected a request claiming it lacked plausible cause for the issuance of an arrest warrant. CID stated that no charges were levelled against more..

Amnesty wants Sri Lanka to act on UN torture report

Dec 9 (PTI) SL must act decisively to stop torture and investigate complaints and hold perpetrators accountable, Amnesty International said today after a UN watchdog expressed alarm over the country's failure to prevent ill-treatment of people by security forces. "If the SL authorities are serious about breaking with the harrowing legacy of country's decades-long conflict, it must end impunity for torture & other acts of ill-treatment" more..

With civil war and a tsunami behind it, Sri Lanka’s east coast is opening up to tourism

Dec 9 (WP) Beside the temple on Swami Rock, amid the heady swirl of colorful deities and burning camphor, one object caught my eye. It seemed that a special reverence had been reserved for a statue of a holy cow. Centuries ago, a placard beside it explained, this Chola-era figurine had been buried by concerned priests as the Portuguese colonists sailed into harbor. There it had remained interred, through centuries of colonial more..

Sri Lanka's unity regime faces renewed strife

Dec 9 (EN) Intellectuals who propelled President Maithripala Sirisena to power has stepped up a campaign against his unity govt accusing it of going back on good governance pledges two years ago. Professor Sarath Wijesuriya, a key figure behind Sirisena's success at the January 2015 election, issued a charge sheet against his govt and accused it of protecting corrupt politicians of the former regime. more..