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Gammanpila to sue Ranjan for defamation

Dec 10 (DM) MP Udaya Gammanpila said that he would send a letter of demand to Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake demanding Rs. 500 million as compensation for allegedly making defamatory remarks against him. Mr. Gammanpila said that he was not admitted to the Prison Hospital during the time he was in remand, as claimed by the deputy minister. “According to Deputy Minister Ramanayake, I had faked to be sick and been admitted to prison hospital to enjoy privileges. more..

State Minister distributes Virusara Privilege Cards in Ganemulla

Dec 10 (MoD) State Minister Ruwan Wijewardene was the Chief Guest at the Virusara privilege card distribution held at the Commando Regimental Center in Ganemulla today (9). Secretary to Ministry of Defence Karunasena Hettiarachchi and Secretary to State Ministry of Defence APG Kithsiri were also present at the occasion. Minister said that, Virusara card project was launched as a service and to offer tribute more..

President presents Gold Cup Volleyball Championship awards

Dec 10 (PSL) The awards ceremony of the President’s Gold Cup Volleyball Championship – 2016 was held yesterday (7) at the stadium of the National Youth Center in Maharagama, under the patronage of President Sirisena. Celebrating the centaury of introducing the volleyball to SL, book Sri Lanka Volleybolayata Siyawask, written by Susil Ranasinghe, former Secretary to the SL Volleyball Association was presented to the President at this occasion. more..

A country free of corruption: An urgent need

Dec 10 (Island) UN has declared Dec 9 as the Anti-corruption Day. It says corruption is a serious crime that can undermine social and economic development in all societies. This year it has focused its campaign on how corruption affects education, health, justice, democracy, prosperity and development. Corruption is found in all countries in the world, both rich and poor. It’s a serious crime that can undermine social and economic development in all societies, while hurting more..

Medical emergency? call 1990

Dec 10 (NS) The Ministry of Health recently announced an emergency number to call an ambulance in case of an emergency. The public is requested to call 1990 during a medical emergency. This is a toll-free number that offers 24-hour service. This service is a concept of Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Harsha de Silva. He said that the initial idea was triggered due to a personal experience at the time he served in the opposition. more..

Prophet Muhammed preached peace and harmony: PM

Dec 10 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has, in a message to mark the birth of Holy Prophet Muhammed (Sal), which Muslims worldwide would celebrate on Monday, said" "Prophet Muhammed recognized as the last Prophet of Islam, promoted peace and encouraged his adherents to do the same. "Followers of Islam believe that until he was called to serve God at the age of 40, he lived a life of piety and dignity. "He brought peace and unity to Medina, torn apart by tribal warfare and more..

Govt allocates Rs. 45 b to import pharmaceutical drugs

Dec 10 (FT) Govt has allocated Rs. 45 billion to import necessary pharmaceutical drugs for the next year, according to Minister Rajitha Senaratne. Last year the allocation for this purpose was Rs. 35 billion. He disclosed this at an event this week to introduce to the market five new domestically-produced medicines by the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation (SPC). Medicines, which were produced at SPC’s Ratmalana facility, included Paracetamol, antibiotics, and medicine for diabetes. more..

LSSP rejects Patali’s comments

Dec 10 (DN) The LSSP vehemently rejects the comments by Minister Champika Ranawaka in connection with the need of strongly suppressing people's protests in the future, LSSP Secretary Prof. Tissa Vitharana said. He said under the democratic system, the people have the sole right to protest and express their objection towards issue. The sovereignty is with the people. They appointed this govt and they can express more..

Foreign currency dearth

Dec 10 (NS) A shortage of foreign currency notes especially United States Dollars has inconvenienced  many outbound travellers who plan to travel particularly during this holiday season. Institutions that are authorized to issue foreign currency such as banks are constrained by their constant inability to cater to the demands of their customers. Even though, international travellers are encouraged to use credit and debit cards and depend on internet banking, most of them more..

Proposed center periphery relations

Dec 10 (Island) Of the six Sub-committee reports the report on Center Periphery Relations is the main plank of the devolution package and one of the three main planks of Constitutional reform, the other two being: Electoral Reform and the Structure of the State – whether Parliamentary or Presidential systems or as a combination of the two systems. The thrust of the recommendations in the Center Periphery report is to strengthen the periphery and weaken the centre. more..

Kiriella assails JO hypocrisy

Dec 10 (DN) It was the hypocrisy of the Joint Opposition (JO) to urge people to protest at the Hambantota Port at a time when the President and the PM have come to a decision with the Chinese govt to setup a massive Industrial Zone in Hambantota, Minister Lakshman Kiriella said. He made this observation in response to a query made by MEP leader Dinesh Gunawardena on the protest at the Hambantota Port. more..

73-year-old sits for ICT O/L paper

Dec 10 (DN) N.S. Karunawathi, 73, sat for the GCE O/L Information and Communication Technology paper yesterday. Karunawathi, a retired employee at the CWE and a resident of Nadugala, said she applied to sit for the paper to test her knowledge on ICT which was a subject introduced to the curriculum recently. At 73, Karunawathi is the oldest candidate to sit for the 2016 GCE O/L exam at the Ilma College Exam Centre and possibly the whole island. “I hope to sit for the Electronics and more..

SL Navy celebrates its 66th anniversary

Dec 10 (SLN) The 66th anniversary of the Sri Lanka Navy which claims for an unblemished and illustrious history falls today, on 9th Dec 2016. While performing its noble service and being the golden fence around the nation, the SL Navy celebrates its 66th Navy Day giving prominence to religious activities, social welfare activities and time-honoured naval customs and traditions. All these Navy Day programmes were initiated under the expert guidance and directives of more..

South African challenge exciting, says fit again Angelo

Dec 10 (Island) The national cricket team will take wing to South Africa tonight, on a tour that will last exactly two months. Sri Lanka play their final game of the tour on the 10th of February at Centurion. Captain Angelo Mathews, who missed the Zimbabwe tour due to a calf injury, has recovered and looks fitter and slimmer. "It has been a great few months to be honest. Very refreshing. I worked extremely hard on my fitness," more..

Debt-burdened Colombo’s military decision—made under duress?

Dec 10 (AT) SL’s plans to purchase military transport planes are likely to see it opt for the China-manufactured Xian Y-20 heavy-lift aircraft. Its PM, Ranil Wickremesinghe, indicated his preference for Chinese transport aircraft in a recently. “I have traveled around in some of the Chinese transport planes we have,” he said. Going on to describe them as good workhorses Wickremesinghe said he would always underwrite Chinese military transport planes. We will buy two more, he added. more..

Tissa scoffs at rumours

Dec 10 (CT) Former General Secretary of the UNP Tissa Attanayake yesterday denied rumours that he was seeking an official position in the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) and is on the verge of joining it. He said that he has been receiving invitations to join various political parties and organizations, but had not yet made a definite decision. Attanayake added that his life is tied up in politics and even though there was the need to take a political decision in the future, more..

Rate hike looms in 2017: IMF

Dec 10 (FT) IMF yesterday termed Sri Lanka’s performance under its Extended Fund Facility (EFF) broadly satisfactory and praised the Govt for exceeding targets in revenue collection but warned increasing external vulnerabilities could affect growth targets and warrant fresh tightening of rates in 2017.  On 18 Nov 2016, the Executive Board of the IMF completed the first review of SL’s economic performance under more..

‘Govt must allow use of weedisides in tea sector’

Dec 10 (DN) SL Tea Trader’s Association Chairman, Anslem Perera reiterated the sentiments expressed by Minister Navin Dissanayake on the use of weedisides for the tea plantations. He said that unlike some of the other agriculture crops, the tea industry does not use weedisides in big volumes. “The reason is that if you use too much of weedisides it weakens the tea bush.” Perera explained that if weedisides were not used, manual labour (using mammoties) has to be used more..

Authorities should brief leaders on why FTA failed: Expert

Dec 10 (DM) Against the backdrop of high authorities speaking in favour of the Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA), an international trade practitioner said that the relevant authorities should brief the country’s leadership on the reason for the current and past market access issues, and the trade imbalance under the FTA already in operation. Former director general of commerce, P.D. Fernando said that the Department of Commerce should do it. more..

Mahinda, Ranil, Sampanthan discuss constitutional reforms

Dec 10 (Island) A special meeting attended by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, former President Rajapaksa, Opposition leader R.Sampanthan and JO members was held at the PM’s Office at Parliament yesterday to discuss the proposed constitutional reforms. Former President Rajapaksa and Joint Opposition members said that the govt should first reveal what its proposals. They asked how they could comment on anything more..

Dayasiri still baffled over IGP’s Sir Dilan hints the person is a Nilame

Dec 10 (CT) Minister of Sports Dayasiri Jayasekera said he is still baffled on the word 'Sir' used by Police Chief, Pujitha Jayasundera during a telephone conversation at a public ceremony recently. "It was not the President or the Prime Minister at the other end of the line. Then who was this 'Sir' trying to influence a Police criminal investigation? That is the question I have", Minister Jayasekera asked during a media briefing on Thursday. more..

Treasury Bonds scam AG recommends criminal, civil action

Dec 10 (CT) The PM's Office said, the Attorney General (AG) has recommended that legal action could be instituted against former Governor of the CM Arjun Mahendran and the firm Perpetual Treasuries as criminal as well as civil cases related to the CB Bond scam. AG Jayanthi Jayasuriya had submitted the aforementioned recommendations after PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had forwarded COPE and the AG's reports on the CB Bond scam to him for his perusal and recommendations. more..

Protest at H'tota port takes ugly turn: Japanese vehicle carrier, crew held

Dec 10 (Island) Hambantota port workers held a Japanese vehicle carrier Hyperion Highway and its crew for four days in protest against the proposed agreement between the govt and state owned China Merchants Port Holdings Company to operate the port as a public-private partnership. Hyperion Highway is one of the largest vehicle carriers in the world. Ship’s owner Kawasaki Kisen Kiasha has sought immediate intervention of more..

Let’s stand up for someone’s rights today

Dec 10 (DM) ith isolationism, divisiveness and extreme right-wing populism appearing to be going global, the world marks Human Rights Day today amid growing uncertainty, fears and unpredictability.    After World War II the US, as the world’s leading superpower assumed political, moral and economic leadership of the free world. But with the stunning victory of super billionaire Donald Trump in the US presidential election on Nov 8th and the surprising Brexit vote for Britain to leave the EU, more..

Constitution-making and the North-South political cycle

Dec 10 (DM) The current UNP has none of these factors going for it and is a throwback to the three one-term wonders: 1952-1956, 1965-1970 and 2001-2004. Such UNP administrations usually have a profile which triggers two types of backlash—nationalist and populist—which then converge with devastating political results for the incumbent. By sticking to its neo-liberal guns, it is going against the global ideological tide of nationalist populism, just as it did in 1955-’56. more..

Rethink your rep in parliament

Dec 10 (DM) MPs are usually invited to weddings in their constituencies. They attend funerals as well. The proposed allowance is to be used for giving wedding gifts and making donations for funerals, PM told Parliament on 28 November proposing an allowance of Rs.100,000 per month for Parliamentarians. He stressed that this allowance was not an increase on their take home pay. But this would help the people in their constituencies. more..

The right to strike

Dec 10 (NS) The govt confirmed that it would along with the involvement of the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development construct several places for protests replete with areas for speakers in the city where protests are commonly conducted. The right to protest is guaranteed by jurisprudence in cases such as the Supreme Court case of Gunawardena vs. Perera and Others. “It is a question of how one uses this right without more..

'Rice imports, if any artificial shortage'

Dec 10 (DN) If traders try to create an artificial rice shortage during the upcoming Christmas and Sinhala Tamil New Year festive seasons, rice will be imported to control the prices, Minister P. Harrison said. Agriculture Department has informed that the rice stocks available in the country as of today would be sufficient until April next year. “However, there is a possibility that intermediates create an artificial rice shortage in the market. more..

Attempts to revive a White Elephant

Dec 10 (SL) With just 295 ships arriving at the Hambantota Port since January 2015 and 239 ships arriving till October 2016, the Ministry of Ports and Shipping had to undergo a huge loss paying the debts and interests from almost a zero income. Moreover, according to the SL Ports Authority, these ships are not regular and there is no assurance that these ships will be arriving at the port in the coming months. more..

Tormented commuters tell govt to stand firm against strikers

Dec 10 (ST) Ruchira Rumesh Hemamal, 24, from Kiribathgoda was on his way for his first job interview in Borella on Friday. He had spent nearly four hours waiting for a bus.“I left at 7.30 in the morning to go for the interview but when I reached Kiribathgoda to take a bus I was told that only state-run buses were operating,” he said. “I waited more than four hours to get a bus to Borella, Now I am not sure about the interview more..

Supreme Court raps Mervyn and police goons for wall-breaking

Dec 10 (ST) The Supreme Court this week held that former Minister Mervyn Silva, when he was Deputy Minister of Highways and Road Development had led a team of persons to destroying a citizen’s parapet wall and toilets while the Police in the area of Kiribathgoda provided security for the illegal operation. The then Deputy Minister had personally arrived at the scene with a backhoe and heavy equipment from the Kelaniya PS more..

LTTE political adviser Balasingham knew the world was going to clobber the Tigers

Dec 10 (DBS) Ten years ago in the third week of Nov 2006 I received a telephone call from London. It was from Anton Balasingham the political adviser and strategist of the LTTE. I was surprised as we were not on speaking terms for nearly three years due to sharp political differences. I was however happy to talk to Bala Annai (Elder brother Bala) as many of us called him because I had heard earlier that he was terminally ill and that more..

Health Ministry too warns of action against road cowboys

Dec 10 (Island) The Health Ministry yesterday warned that the govt would take stringent action against traffic offenders from next year. Launching the policy on Accidents and emergency treatment for victims at the BMICH Health Minister, Dr Rajitha Senaratne said stringent action would be taken against those who violated road rules. The fines proposed in Budget 2017 would be implemented, he said. more..

Continuing operations to release vessels Hambantota Port: Navy

Dec 10 (NR) The Navy says it will continue to operations to release several vessels being held by protestors at the Hambantota Port. Navy Media Spokesman Captain Akram Alavi said that the situation has become complex at the Port due to the violent behaviour of some of the protestors. Captain Alavi said the Navy along with relevant authorities are attempting to calm the situation through discussions. more..

Salary hike on MPs will further burden Treasury: President

Dec 10 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena said though the MPs were not satisfied with their salaries, increasing their salaries would create a problem given the unfavourable situation in the Treasury.  He also said that his salary was also lesser than that of a MP. Bribery and Corruption is a major stumbling block when preparing feasibility reports, environment impact assessment reports, technical assessment reports, more..

Creating problems is not the way to go

Dec 10 (CT) We have already seen in the history of ruling govts in SL how politicians gained power to do as they please with matters concerning the people. In the absence of a real majority they either bought over or gave sound positions to get support of politicians from the Opposition. There are two things that arise from these situations in running a govt, one is to make certain to keep a strong majority over the Opposition, two, on the back of that, to do what you like in the absence of the Opposition. more..

LGBTQI rights in Sri Lanka: Long way ahead

Dec 10 (CT) The 2016 world conference (#ILGA2016BKK) of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Association (ILGA) was held in Bangkok last week. ILGA carries out a great deal of work regionally (Europe, North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, Oceania, Pan Africa and Asia), and the world conference brings together all the regional bodies. The 2016 conference included some 700 delegates from 98 countries. more..

Code of Conduct Bill for MPs tabled

Dec 10 (NR) Speaker Karu Jayalsuriya today tabled before the house the final draft of the bill outlining a code of conduct for MPs. Tabling the draft bill the Speaker said it was written with contributions from senior MPs. He said the final draft was amended with recommendations from MPs who were given the initial draft three months ago and said the bill also draws from standing orders from legislative councils from other countries in the world. more..

See the robbers passing by, passing by, .....

Anti-corruption event fetes man charged with corruption

Dec 10 (CT) The man who bribed and attempted to bribe media has been invited as the chief guest of today’s Abiman Pranama Award of Apparition by the Anti-corruption Front. As Colombo Telegraph had exposed, in the context of searching for a common Candidate against 2015 Presidential Elections, on Oct 23rd 2014, current Speaker and then the UNP Gampaha District Parliamentarian and Chairman of the UNP’s Leadership Council, Karu Jayasuriya, telephoned Colombo Telegraph editor more..