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Progressive Rhetoric to Justify Nationalism

Dec 12 (Island) Recently, an event was put on at the University of Colombo by the Virodhaya Collective on Nov 16th, titled The Meaning of Mahinda. The discussion centred on the question of the Left’s approach to the former regime of Mahinda Rajapaksa and its current position. Based on the outcome of the conversation, it is worth addressing the persistent belief among some that the Mahinda Rajapaksa-led section of the SLFP is the progressive alternative to the UNP. more..

'Tax rates will be reduced in the future'

Dec 12 (FT) Minister Sarath Amunugama says that although this year a certain tax burden was imposed on the people, in the coming years no further taxes will be imposed and that action will be taken to reduce the rate of taxation. Participating in the establishment of the Galagedara SLFP Bala Mandala at Hatharaliyadda, he said that due to the heavy debt burden inherited from previous regime, govt was compelled to impose taxes more..

A report on hospital to treat snake bites

Dec 12 (ITN) You will be surprised to hear about a group of people who try to save lives of others without any benefits to themselves. Although humans cannot harm another one’s life with poison in their mind, it is an easy task for serpents. Venom treatment hospital in Kelaniya has been established to save lives if a fatal poison enters the body of an individual. The hospital which is under Sri Lanka Ayurveda Venomous Medical Association is also equipped with a medical college. more..

SC affirms death sentence of Ukrainian

Dec 12 (DN) Supreme Court affirmed the conviction and the death sentence imposed against a Ukrainian husband for committing the murder of an 8-year-old Chinese child and the baby sitter at Nawala on Feb 23, 2010. However, SC acquitted the Ukrainian wife of all charges levelled against her including the murder of two individuals. On June 16, 2014, Mazur Yevgen and his wife Yana Berezhna were found guilty of murdering an 8-year-old Chinese child and baby sitter by High Court Trial-at-Bar Bench. more..

'I don’t think I get injured because I bowl'

Dec 12 (DN) A hamstring injury and a calf strain he suffered during the year is not stopping Angelo Mathews from continuing to bowl. The general consensus is that Mathews often gets injured when he over strains himself by bowling and thereby suffers an injury which is detrimental to the team as he is not only the captain but also one of their most experienced batters with a batting average of 47 in Tests, 40 in ODIs and 28 in T20Is. more..

Great challenge and tight schedule ahead

Dec 12 (CT) Sri Lanka Cricket team left the country on Saturday following a religious ceremony for their two months long tour of South Africa, where Sri Lanka will play three Tests, three T20s and five ODIs. Even though Sri Lanka is in good nick with a whitewash against Australia and series win against Zimbabwe, South Africa is considered a greater challenge because of the pace and bounce of the wicket, where many Sri Lankan batsmen failed to adjust most of the time. more..

President’s Milad-un-Nabi message

Dec 12 (GDI) I am pleased to send this message of greetings on the occasion of Milad-un-Nabi, the historical moment of the birth of Prophet Mohammad. This is an occasion for the people to draw attention to the teachings of the Prophet that lays emphasis on peace and harmony, which is the foundation for national unity and coexistence that reflects highly among multi-cultural, multi-religious and multi-ethnic societies herein SL. Prophet’s own treatment with his bitterest enemies more..

Timber racket rampant in North

Dec 12 (NS) The Forest Department last week said that they lacked officers in terms of numbers and those proficient in Tamil in areas such as Kilinochchi, Mukkampan and Arasapuram. Divisional Forest Officer – Kilinochchi, Dhammika Tissa acknowledged that the destruction and clearance of forests did take place in several areas including Mukkampan. “There was a racket involving the trade of timber in the area too,” he added. more..

Health Ministry warns of Dengue epidemic

Dec 12 (ITN) The Ministry of Health has announced that the Dengue epidemic situation has arisen in the country. Therefore the Ministry has cancelled leave of health workers in 30 MOH divisions. 47 thousand Dengue patients have been reported so far and 77 of them have died due to the disease. The Health Ministry said that Dengue epidemic situation has been reported in Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara, Galle, Jaffna, Kurunegala and Ratnapura Districts. Minister Rajitha Senaratna has instructed more..

Monitors want polls under new system by 2017

Dec 12 (NS) Elections monitoring bodies suggested that the Local Govt election be held under the mixed member proportional representation system within the first quarter of next year. Meanwhile, Leader of JVP, Anura Kumara Dissanayake stated in Parliament that his Party would only be contesting the LG election if it was held in accordance with the proportional representation system. Govt’s stance on the matter is to be revealed following a party leaders meeting. more..

H'tota assault: Journo violates basic media ethics: Govt

Dec 12 (GDI) Govt Information Department Director General Ranga Kalansooriya said that the journalist, who was allegedly assaulted during an incident in Hambantota, had violated basic ethical practices when covering sensitive conflict situations. He said that govt has initiated an inquiry into the alleged assault on a journalist during the protest at Hambantota Port. "It is expected that journalists adhere to more..

Govt defending Navy action: Gota

Dec 12 (DM) Former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa commenting on the incident which took place at Hambantota harbour said the govt was defending the Navy's unlawful action. A tense situation prevailed at Hambantota Port when the navy tried to release the two ships seized by workers staging a protest. Navy personnel fired warning shots to disperse the protesters. Navy Commander is also alleged to have threatened a journalist who was present at the scene. more..

Water main burst inundates vast area

Dec 12 (Island) A lorry met with an unforeseen mishap causing the bursting of a water main conveying water from Labugama-Kalatuwawa reservoir to Colombo at Hewagama in Kaduwela in the early hour of yesterday inundating the area. Several houses, shops and business places near the Expressway at Hewagama were affected by the gush of water from the damaged main. Roads and low lying places in the area went under water. The lorry transporting vegetables from Ampara to more..

Budget 2017 over-estimates tax revenue

Dec 12 (ST) 2017 Budget has over-estimated the tax revenue making the task of tax collection authorities challenging and in this context the govt should consider additional measures if planned revenue didn’t come in, Parliamentary Committee on Public Finance (COPF) has warned. Committee has evaluated and analysed the 2017 budget revenue and expenditure proposals and submitted its report with observations to the parliament recently. more..

MP Chathura blames thieves, refuses to vote

Dec 12 (Island) UNP MP Chatura Senaratne did not join his govt colleagues when the vote taken on the expenditure heads of the Finance Ministry at the third reading of budget debate in parliament on Saturday. At the end of the committee stage debate MEP leader Dinesh Gunawardena called for a division. While govt MPs stood up row by row in support of the expenditure heads MP Senaratne remained seated. When the results were announced there were 164 votes for and 55 against. more..

AkzoNobel sends top local talent to World Architecture Festival

Dec 12 (CT) A leading architect and two young architecture students from Sri Lanka attended this year's World Architecture Festival in Berlin. They were selected by AkzoNobel Paints Lanka to attend the festival's programmes and meet the world's top architects; all amidst the rich architectural heritage of Berlin. Three participants were chosen by AkzoNobel Paints based on promise cemented via accreditation in the field. Damith Premathilaka was recognized as Best Young Architect of 2016 more..

Attack on Fishermen: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister seeks PM Modi's intervention

Dec 12 (PTI) Eight Indian fishermen from TN where injured when they were attacked allegedly by SL Navy while fishing off Neduntheevu, prompting the state govt to seek PM Narendra Modi's intervention to curb such violent actions. "Eight fishermen from Pudukottai district were fishing off Neduntheevu last evening when SL naval personnel attacked them using iron rods and wires before chasing them away," more..

Ex-soldier doused with hot water dies; Wife flees area

Dec 12 (Island) The disabled retired solider who was doused with boiling water while he was sleeping in a trishaw outside succumbed to injuries at the Peradeniya Teaching Hospital after a week on Saturday night. The deceased a resident of Uduwala in Katugastota used to quarrel with his wife, and after the latest row was sleeping in the trishaw parked near the residence of his brother-in-law, when the incident occurred. The wife of the ex-solider has disappeared since the incident. more..

Pera University Proctor removed for harsh punishment

Dec 12 (Island) Proctor of the University of Peradeniya, Dr. Asoka Dangolla, has been removed from his post following an alleged incident of heavy punishment to a group of senior undergraduates of the Faculty of Veterinary Science over alleged ragging. Dr. Dandolla of the Faculty of Veterinary Science has been replaced with Dr Gamini Hitinayaka of the Faculty of Agriculture. Following a complaint of severe punishment meted out to a group of seniors a committee chaired by more..

K Line mulls avoiding H’tota port in protest

Dec 12 (Island) Following an incident where the Hambanota port workers forcibly held giant Japanese car carrier Hyperion Highway and its crew for five days, vessel’s owner Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha popularly known as K Line has warned that the company may not use the port unless its security concerns can be addressed convincingly. The vessel is the world’s third largest vehicle carrier. Port workers launched a strike more..

President says LG Elections in March

Dec 12 (CT) At a special discussion held with political bureau members of the Communist Party in SL, last week, President Maithripala Sirisena had mentioned that the LG Elections will be held in March next year. Communist Party met the President on an invitation to old political parties of the left, including the Sama Samaja Party and Communist Party, for a meeting to discuss the amendments to the Constitution. Communist Party had told the President, on this occasion, more..

Basil flies to USA: Be back with SLPJP after medical treatment

Dec 12 (CT) Former Minister Basil Rajapaksa has left the Island to receive medical attention in the US, Media Spokesperson for Sri Lanka Podu Jana Peramuna (SLPJP), Sanjeewa Edirimanne said. A travel ban on Rajapaksa was recently lifted when he was granted permission last week to travel overseas for medical reasons. A travel ban was imposed due to ongoing cases that were filed against him and the former Secretary to the Ministry of Economic Development Dr. Nihal Jayatilleke, more..

Navy chief's assault on journalist: Defence Secretary calls for full report

Dec 12 (CT) Defence Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi has called for a full report from the Navy Commander Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne, regarding the controversial incident that took place on Saturday at the Hambantota Magampura Harbour. Hettiarachchi noted that the Navy Commander is expected to submit a full report on the Navy's intervention during the protest carried out by a section of the employees of more..

The enigma that was Jayalalithaa

Dec 12 (DM) Jayalalithaa Jayaram -- the iron lady of Tamil Nadu (TN), film star-turned politician, acolyte of the then TN supremo M.G. Ramachandran and four-time Chief Minister, who ruled the South Indian State -- died of cardiac arrest on Monday, Dec 5.  To thousands of her supporters she was fondly known as Amma and enjoyed the status akin to that of a deity, many of them literally worshiped the ground she walked on. Famous for her welfare policies, including programmes to distribute more..

President to unveil new Bronze statue of Dudley Senanayake in Borella

Dec 12 (DM) Those who have known or met the second PM of then Ceylon are but a few among the living now, albeit few relatives. Those who are living but yet remember to give the information are even less in number.   Some of us were fortunate, to have had memorable encounters, with the much loved figure and to have been brought up in households where it is ensured that fond memories of a great man are passed on to the next generation-to inform that there did live such great leaders. more..

Muhammad: An example for all people of all times

Dec 12 (DM) They say that reading biographies is perhaps the best way to learn real life lessons. That is because a biography is a record of practice. Of what worked and what didn’t. The life of Muhammad is perhaps one of the most well documented in human history. Having said that one may ask why his life and all the detail are important at all? I am not speaking from the perspective of a Muslim for whom to study life of Muhammad more..

'Only 5.2 % of private lands belonging to Tamils have been returned'

Dec 12 (ENS) The Chief Minister of Northern Province, C.V.Wigneswaran, has said that out of the 67,000 acres of private lands of the Tamils seized by the Sri Lankan armed forces during the war, only 3,500 acres have been returned so far.  Since the war ended in May 2009, only 5.2 % of the lands seized has been given back to their rightful owners. Speaking on Human Rights Day in Jaffna on Saturday, the Chief Minister said that if more..

Thalatha says her hands are clean

Dec 12 (Island) Minister of Foreign Employment Thalatha Atukorale has denied allegations levelled against her by the Joint Opposition (JO) last week in its complaint to the CIAOBOC. JO accused Minister Athukorale of misappropriating Rs 1,500 million by introducing an insurance scheme for SL workers overseas. JO also complained to the CID. Minister said she was ready to face any inquiry in that regard. more..

Time to question PM in draft Standing Orders

Dec 12 (ST) Keeping with British Parliamentary practice, a new section called Questions to be asked from the Prime Minister, which provides for time allocated on Wednesday, in the first week of sittings every month for half-an-hour, when questions can be asked from the PM, has been included in the draft Standing Orders (SO) of Parliament tabled by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya yesterday. more..

'Striking private buses govt should take over OR cancel permits'

Dec 12 (CT) Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that all private buses should be taken over by the government or the route permits cancelled if the bus operators involve in strikes for unjustifiable demands. Senaratne said the fine which had been increased to Rs 25,000 for certain traffic offences must be implemented in order to ensure road safety as the cost of human lives, which were taken away by accidents, more..

Electronic voting system in Parliament fails first test

Dec 12 (Island) Results of the test running of electronic voting system in Parliament on Saturday soon after Budget 2017 vote proved that the system was not 100% fool proof. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya requested all MPs present to participate in the test voting after the conclusion of the budget debate so that the count could be compared with the results of the normal voting that took place few minutes earlier for the budget 2017. more..

Navy chief goes berserk at Hambantota Port

Dec 12 (Island) As a Sathyagraha launched by the Hambantota port workers entered the fourth consecutive day yesterday without any sign of an early solution, media and civil organisations, labour unions and political parties condemned Navy Commander Vice Admiral Ravi Wijayagunaratne for manhandling The Island/Divaina Suriyawewa correspondent Roshan Gunasekera. more..

Cocaine smugllers: SL & India join hands

Dec 12 (CT) Following the biggest ever drug bust in Colombo on Friday, Anti- narcotics agencies of India and Sri Lanka have joined hands to launch an operation to search for and seize containers suspected to be carrying large hauls of cocaine. Police Narcotics Bureau, on a tip-off, had seized a stock of 800kg's of cocaine, with a street value of Rs 13 Billion, secretly concealed in a container and under a stock of teak wood. more..

Powerful Minister for Development

Dec 12 (CT) A Gazette published on development (Special Provisions), on the instructions of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, has proposed establishing a post of Powerful Minister for Development. Ten public institutions including the Board of Investment (BOI) are to be taken under this new Ministry. At present, the responsibilities of national development have been distributed among a number of ministries. more..

'No privatization or sell off of public assets'

Dec 12 (LBO) The govt will not privatize or sell off any of the public asset and there were no provisions made under the Budget-2017 to this effect, the Finance Minister said. “The Budget-2017 has made provision to convert the country into a manufacturing economy by converting the foreign debt into equity thereby reducing the debt burden of the people of this country,” said Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake. more..

Preparing the ground for constitutional reform 

Dec 13 (CT) There seems to be a rethinking on the part of the govt regarding the nature and extent of constitutional reform. The SLFP is of the stance that the Constitution should be amended without going in for a referendum. SLFP media spokesman Minister Dilan Perera said “We have spoken with the President and taken a clear decision on this. Electoral reforms must take place and a new system introduced and we believe in maximum devolution of power within a unitary state. more..

Are hate speech laws in Sri Lanka adequate to make arrests

Dec 13 (CT) Sri Lanka has had a long history of De Facto and De Jure racism, but having come off a three decade long war and struggling to find assistance internationally for the attainment of transitional justice, one ought to wonder why extremists still lurk in our midst. At present we have had racism and extremism brewing from every part of the country, and from every community. Only recently, Dan Priyasad, was arrested for inciting religious hatred. more..

The tough ascent to a welcome peace

Dec 13 (SO) There is perhaps no other peak so often and regularly ascended by humans, as the Sri Pada. This year as the Sri Pada season begins on Dec 13, with the Unduvap poya, for some it is an annual pilgrimage that must be undertaken, while to many it is a trip that one must complete at least once in a lifetime. Every year, starting from Unduvap poya till Vesak, pilgrims of all faiths undertake gruelling trek to its summit, more..

Parking slots reach saturation point

Dec 13 (NS) With the increasing influx of vehicles into the Western Province, especially to Colombo, govt has planned to utilise lands belonging to UDA in Colombo and Horana to be used as vehicle parking locations in order to address the acute shortage of space in Colombo and the suburbs. The influx of vehicles is expected to increase dramatically during the festive season. However, authorities pointed out that the shortage of parking spaces had resulted in increase in traffic more..

Who is Jayalalithaa for Sri Lanka?

Dec 13 (NS) Who is Jayalalithaa Jayaram? For millions in TN, she’s an inspiration. For women, she is one who broke all the stereotypes and fought her way through to become a Chief Minister of TN, not once, but thrice. She was revered, loved and respected by many, and feared and hated equally. But who was Jayalalithaa for Sri Lanka? How was she perceived by the people here? Jayalalithaa the actress, had thousands of fans in SL. Jayalalithaa the politician, unfortunately, did not. more..