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Bimal duels with Kiriella on private univ.

Dec 1 (Island) Minister Lakshman Kiriella told parliament that if private medical colleges were given due recognition scholars who had left the country would return to draw better salaries, In answer to a question by JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake, Kiriella said many scholars working abroad had told him that they were ready to return if they were paid enough. Ratnayake said there was not a single foreign lecturer in SL private universities more..

State witness in Raviraj murder trial denies connection with Karuna faction

Dec 1 (DN) The state witness for the prosecution in the trial in connection with the murder of former TNA MP Nadaraja Raviraj informed the Colombo High Court that he did not divulge any information to his high-ranking officers on the fact that he closely associated with Karuna faction, an LTTE breakaway faction. Sanjaya Preethi Viraj, 39, a former PSD constable, who was made a state witness, for the Raviraj murder trial more..

Video: Gota rejects Mangala’s allegation on his son

Dec 1 (AD) Former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa rejected Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s allegation that a house in Angeles had been rented as the official residence of the SL Consul General in 2013 and it has used by the son of the former Defence Secretary. While posting a Tweeter message Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa said making such allegations is a cheap tactic to discredit him Mangala Samaraweera yesterday more..

It’s scorpion season – but don’t scream and squash them

Dec 1 (ST) Another rainy season has begun, bringing that unwelcome visitor, the scorpion. Known for the venomous sting at the tip of its tail, scorpions cause panic and the immediate reaction is to squash and kill them – but wait, say researchers at the University of Peradeniya – “The scorpion you kill can be a species that is rare and threatened”. Researcher Sanjeewa Jayaratne said a small scorpion found in his home last year was more..

Video: Improvement of utilities and infrastructure a must: Gayantha

Dec 1 (DM) A series of improvements to the road system had been approved by Cabinet recently to be implemented in line with the Western Province Megapolis Project. Minister Gayantha Karunathilake said, govt had expected that there would be a need for additional utility services such as transport, electricity, water, drainage and waste disposal with the implementation of the main potion of the Megapolis Project in Western Region. more..

President praises the services rendered by the Catholic Church for social upliftment

Dec 1 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena commended the immense contribution made by the Catholic Church for social development and help given to the poor and underprivileged. Speaking to the delegates attending the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conference yesterday at the President’s House in Colombo, he said Sri Lanka is a nation of different religions and diverse cultures and has a traditions going back to several centuries. more..

Moody’s maintains stable outlook on Sri Lankan banking sector

Dec 1 (LBO) Moody’s Investors Service has maintained its stable outlook on Sri Lanka’s banking system, as moderate economic growth and reduced external volatility should keep operating conditions for the country’s banks stable. “Continued strong loan growth may put downward pressure on asset quality and liquidity conditions, but nonperforming loan (NPL) ratios will remain at low levels,” said Srikanth Vadlamani, more..

Parliament to debate Disaster Management Min expenditure heads

Dec 1 (NR) 11th day of the Committee Stage Debate of 2017 Budget proposal commences today. The expenditure heads of the Ministry of Disaster Management, Ministry National Dialogue and the Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation will be taken up for debate. Speaking at the Committee Stage Debate yesterday, MP Udaya Gammanpila said a significant reduction has been witnessed pertaining to individuals more..

GMOA accuses govt of Indianising kidney treatment here

Dec 18 (Island) GMOA accused the govt of attempting to Indianise Sri Lanka. GMOA Assistant Secretary Dr Haritha Aluthge said govt’s latest agreement with India and a company named Deep Chand Dialysis Centre with Indian connections was to introduce 45 dialysis units with 900 machines to provide renal care to patients with kidney disease. However the SL-India partnership would be a strain on govt coffers as it would have to pay USD 71 per day for each machine. more..

Carlson Rezidor firms up two Radisson hotels in Sri Lanka, plans more

Dec 18 (EN) US-based Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group has firmed up deals to manage two hotels in Sri Lanka, reaching nearly 400 rooms and plans to go up to 5 hotels over the next four years, an official said. CEO South Asia Carlson Rezidor Hotel group, Raj Rana told EconomyNext that the hotel in Sri Lanka's capital Colombo would be under the Park Inn by Radisson brand and the one in Kandy would be a Radisson. Both hotels would be in the 190 to 200 room range. more..

ආණ්ඩුවට එරෙහි විරෝධතා පිටුපස සිටින්නේ කවුද?

Trumpism, Geneva & exports

Dec 1 (CT) In a globalized world, operating in the aftermath of the Cold War, three central themes dominate. Those are terrorism, economics and China (the world's second largest economy after the USA), perhaps, not necessarily in that order. Sri Lanka won its war against Tamil terrorism 7½ years ago, after waging war for 26 long years. Therefore, it's free from terrorism at least at this juncture. But, not so, as far as the rest of the world is concerned, particularly with the rise of Islamist terrorism, more..

The shared practices of democracies

Dec 1 (CT) Hon. Karu Jayasuriya our Chief Guest, Distinguished Guests: A warm welcome to you all on behalf of the Election Commission. We are here to celebrate 85 years of our Donoughmore Heritage. It is indeed a great achievement. It is natural to celebrate such sturdy accomplishments; to be proud of them. I have just returned after attending two international meetings. Our participation endorses and affirms our continued commitment to our democratic traditions. more..

Police, Ind. Commissions flayed over continuing HR abuses

Dec 18 (Island) One-time member of the Human Rights Commission attorney-at-law Dr. Javed Yousuf alleged on Tuesday that those in power lacked political will to genuinely address grievances of victims. Acknowledging that human rights issue couldn’t be addressed overnight, Yousuf emphasized that even those who had committed crimes and violated laws couldn’t be deprived of a fair hearing. more..

Sri Lanka approves two wind power plants in Chunnakam

Dec 1 (LBO) Cabinet has given the approval to award tenders establish two wind power plants of 10 megawatts each in Chunnakam. “Govt has paid its attention on generating a larger portion of electricity requirement by renewable energy sources and it is proposed to establish solar and wind power plants,” latest statement said. Proposal was brought by minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, to award tenders to establish two wind power plants of 10 Mw each in Chunnakam, as recommended by more..

Shares end 1% higher on foreign buying

Dec 1 (Reuters) Shares jumped more than 1% on Thursday as investors sought bargains in blue-chips and on buying by foreign investors. The CSE ended up 1.09% at 6,309.04, its highest close since Nov. 18. The index hit a near-eight-month low on Tuesday on concerns that the proposed hike in various taxes and fees would reduce disposable income and challenge consumption-led growth. Foreign investors bought a net 45.4 million rupees worth of shares on Thursday, but more..

Court lifts travel ban on Gota and 7 others

Dec 1 (AD) Colombo Magistrate’s Court today lifted the overseas travel ban on former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and 7 others over the Avant Garde case, with conditions. When the case filed against them, for unlawfully authorizing the establishing of a floating armoury, was taken up at court today the attorney representing the defendants caught court approval for them to travel overseas. more..

JVP accuses govt of abandoning NAM

Dec 1 (Island) The JVP in Parliament yesterday accused the govt of abandoning the Non Aligned Movement (NAM). Participating in the committee stage debate on budget 2017 under the expenditure heads of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake said the failure to participate in the Non Aligned Movement by the country’s President, PM and Foreign Affairs Minister showed the govt’s callous disregard for the NAM. "The govt has followed this approach despite Sri Lanka more..

Officials to check on Rs.27 Mn LA residence

Dec 1 (DM) Officials from SL Embassy in Washington will be sent to California to investigate the alleged spending of Rs 27 million on a residence for the Consul General in Los Angeles at the time the post fell vacant in 2013, sources said. This comes in the wake of Minister Mangala Samaraweera disclosing in Parliament that Rs.27 million had been spent for the utility bills of this residence even though there was no consul general occupying the residence. more..

Citizenship for Kumar Gunaratnam?

Dec 1 (NR) Govt today revealed that Politburo member of FSP Kumar Gunaratnam will not be deported from the country if a formal request is made. Minister SB Navinna said if a formal request is filed by Kumar Gunaratnam the govt will consider granting him citizenship in Sri Lanka. He made this revelation in response to a statement made by MP Dinesh Gunawardene. Minister Lakshman Kiriella said more..

SriLankan Airlines begins flights to Maldives

Dec 1 (Xinhua) SriLankan Airlines on Thursday began direct flights to Gan Island in Maldives, becoming the only airline to operate international flights to the Gan Int'l Airport. The state-run airlines said the route would be operated with four weekly flights. "Accordingly, Gan Island operations will facilitate visitors' travel to any destination in the world via SriLankan Airlines' global route network with 102 destinations in 47 countries and 1,000 destinations under the oneworld alliance," more..

PIM report on special education needs launched

Dec 1 (Island) Education Ministry Secretary Sunil Hettiarachchi has commended the Postgraduate Institute of Management (PIM) for producing the First Ever Special Industry Survey Report on Identification of Special Education Needs (SEN) of primary school children in Sri Lanka. The PIM had acted as a responsible management education body and produced a valuable report at a crucial time, Hettiarachchi said. The Ministry Secretary pointed out that the educational reforms in SL during more..

Audio: President seeks explanation on IGP's phone call

Dec 1 (DM) President Sirisena told Parliament that he had called for an explanation from IGP Pujith Jayasundara regarding a video in which he had been reportedly speaking with reference to an arrest by the FCID while answering a phone call. President was responding to a JO MP who raised a question. IGP answering a call allegedly said he had informed the FCID not to arrest anyone without his permission, more..

Widening of FTA: India, Sri Lanka officials to meet this month

Dec 1 (PTI) Senior officials of India and Sri Lanka will meet this month in the island nation to discuss broadening of the existing trade deal by including services and investments. Officials are expected to meet by the middle of this month in SL. India and SL have a free trade agreement (FTA) only in goods. It was implemented in March 2000. In Oct, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had said that FTA will be broadened further beyond goods to cover services, investments and technology cooperation. more..

New Ambassador of Cuba presents credentials to President

Dec 1 (PSL) The newly-appointed Ambassador of Cuba to Sri Lanka, Ms. Juana Rodriguez presented credentials to President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat. President expressed his condolences over the demise of Mr. Fidel Castro Ruz, former President of the Republic of Cuba, to the Ambassador and recalled the past memories of Fidel Castro, the iconic revolutionary of the twentieth century. SL and Cuba have longstanding friendship and Prez expressed his gratitude to Cuba more..

Legal action against hate speech: Govt

Dec 1 (NR) The govt today said legal action against hate speech should be made more stringent. Speaking in parliament during the 11th day of the committee stage debate of the 2017 Budget, Deputy Minister Karunarathna Paranawithana expressed views on the activities on social media. He said the general public is still not ready to use social media adding that the govt needs to work to build a well molded more..

Tropical Cyclone Nada to bring heavy rains

Dec 1 (Xinhua) Tropical cyclone Nada in the south-west of the Bay of Bengal is expected to bring strong winds and heavy rains in many parts of Sri Lanka in the coming two days, the Meteorology Department said here on Thursday. The Department said that Nada is now located around 200 km to the north-east of Kankasanturai coast, in the north, and it is expected to move north-westward. It is likely to cross the Northern Tamil Nadu coast, in south India, later on Thursday. more..

Shashi Welgama prevented from overseas travel

Dec 1 (NR) Court today issued a restraining order preventing Former Chairman of the SL Transport Board Shashi Welgama and two others from travelling overseas. The order was issued by the Colombo Magistrate’s Court, after taking into consideration a request made by the CID. The order was issued when facts produced by the CID pertaining to a case to financial discrepancies amounting to 125 million rupees during the purchase of spare parts for the SLTB in the year 2010 more..

President orders IGP to identify VIP security vehicles

Dec 1 (PSL) President Sirisena says he has directed IGP to hand over a weekly report to him about the VIP vehicles breaking road rules. He made these remarks at the Parissamin Gihin Enna (travel safely) National Road Safety Program, held today at the Independence Square. We discussed at the cabinet meeting about the vehicles of the powerful persons which are driven on roads in a reckless manner, and with escorts, more..

Indian women post 52-run win over Sri Lanka

Dec 1 (CB) Riding on the back of a fine half-century from Mithali Raj and Ekta Bisht's three-for, India stormed into the 2016 ACC Women's Asia Cup T20 final with a crushing 52-run victory over Sri Lanka at the AIT Cricket Ground on Thursday (1). Raj's rich vein of form continued as she slammed the ninth fifty of her Twenty20 International career to propel India to a challenging 121 for 4, after Harmanpreet Kaur elected to bat in their first afternoon game. SL's innings was crippled by some tight bowling more..

Railway trade unions call off proposed strike

Dec 1 (NR) The island-wide token strike planned by several railway trade unions against the 2017 Budget has been called off following discussions with President. Railway Graded Trade Union Collective announced, it will launch a 24 hour token strike tomorrow against several proposals introduced through the Budget. Convener Janaka Fernando said Trade Union Collective expressed strong opposition to several proposals including the proposal to remove the state pension scheme more..

Country does not need political heroes: Prez

Dec 1 (NR) President Maithripala Sirisena says the present need in the island is not for political heroes but individuals who can solve the country’s issues in a just manner. The Head of State today made a special statement in Parliament during the debate of the expenditure heads of Ministry of Disaster Management. President said patriotism, humanism, creating a healthy society, freedom, democracy, must contribute to a just society. more..

Avaa – Giyaa quips Jaffna District DIG

Dec 1 (DM) An event to honour and felicitate the Police Officers who had excelled in their assigned duties was held at the Jaffna Police Station yesterday. When DIG Sanjeeva Dharmaratna who presided over the event was questioned by the media personnel present there about the activities of the Avaa group, he modestly said Avaa – Giyaa, meaning the group was non-existent now. The word Avaa in Sinhala denoted the meaning came while the word Giyaa meant left. more..

Video: MR has the ability to rescue SL: Basil

Dec 1 (DM) Former president Rajapaksa has the ability to rescue Sri Lanka from the downfall which would be faced by the country in the near future, Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) claimed today. SLPP front-liner Basil Rajapaksa said the county was heading towards a dark era unlike in the governing period of former president Rajapaksa. “It is not former president Rajapaksa who is in need to govern this country again, but it is the country which need the guidance of him to bring back more..

Video: Perks to MPs, but people suffer: JVP

Dec 1 (DM) JVP charged that the govt was offering perks and privileges to MPs to secure its power while suppressing the people. JVP MP Vijitha Herath said it was unreasonable to offer perks and privileges to MPs when people who fought for their rights were attacked with teargas and water cannon. “PM Ranil Wickremesinghe claimed that the MPs had difficulty in meeting expenses and approved increase of their allowances while more..

The Ampitiye Sumana Saga and the Political Economy of Temples

Dec 2 (GV) Among the Buddhist monks to rise to fame (or infamy) in Sri Lanka in recent times, the 47-year-old Venerable Ampitiye Sumanarathana Thero from the Batticaloa District is surely the star of the moment; admired and perhaps even envied, by many. A viral video of the Ven. Sumana’s barrage of choice expletives directed at a Tamil civil servant has made him a social media sensation. Previously the Ven. Sumana starred in videos where he attempted to assault a Policewoman and more..

Digital currencies pose the biggest challenge to banks

Dec 2 (CT) This is part II of a revised version of the paper published in the annual publication of the Association of Professional Bankers or APB under the title Thriving in a Digital World in conjunction with its 28th anniversary convention held in Colombo in Nov 2016. In part I, the onset of the digital age in the financial services industry and its implications were discussed. It was pointed out that embracing digital systems by financial services institutions has helped financial firms to deliver and more..

'Mahinda has covert dealings with Ranil'

Dec 2 (CT) JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said in an interview that the Joint Opposition is a gang of thieves who have got together with Rajapaksa. Q: It seems as if revealing fraud and corruption is only of promotional advantage to the JVP? A: The role of the JVP is to reveal frauds and corruption of the govt and citizens. We did not stop at massive criticism and just lodging complaints. We have fought towards taking maximum action more..

Thank you, belatedly

Dec 2 (CT) How does one compose epitaphs for the dead? What is there in one obituary that is not there in another, particularly when it comes to those who won us while they were alive? Penning down words is easy, trying to attaining some sense of meaning, order, and sincerity is not. So it is with those who gave something back to our so-called cultural industries, including the cinema. As always therefore, there are no tributes, only attempts at them. This is one such attempt. more..

The JVP and The Cuban revolution

Dec 2 (GV) In the 1950s, Cuban revolutionaries launched their July 26 Movement (Movement) to get rid of foreign domination and economic injustice. In 1952, Fulgencio Batista launched a coup d’etat, which made the Cuban people lose their democratic rights. They had become indignant and resented the dictatorial regime. For the United States, the Batista dictatorship provided full protection for their business interest in Cuba. So naturally the US regime provided strong political and military backing more..