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Junior Rugby: Hong Kong thrash SL 61-0

Dec 16 (CT) Sri Lanka junior rugby team suffered a humiliating 0–61 (8-tries, 6 conversions, 3-penalties) defeat at the hands of Hong Kong during their second match of the Under-19 Asia Rugby Championship which was worked off at Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. The pre-tournament favourites raced to a stunning 27-0 lead at half time, which took the game away from the Sri Lankan side led by prop forward Nikhila Gunadheera. Flanker Oliver Overman and full back Mathew Worley more..

Jet Air returns

Dec 16 (CT) Jet Airways yesterday announced its return to Sri Lanka with a daily direct flight to Bengaluru on 5 Jan 2017. Jet Airways Country Manager Sri Lanka John Victor said the time was opportune to resume direct flights from Bengaluru to Colombo as the sector is showing enormous growth. "At present we only fly through Mumbai, which is on the West Coast, four times a week. With Bangalore, in the central south, now opening up, it becomes a vital hub for all travellers. more..

As rains fail, maneuvering for water grows in southern Sri Lanka

Dec 16 (TRF) Tucked inside a large forest near the drying Andaraweva irrigation reservoir, a well-tended plantation of young banana trees is growing strongly despite dry weather. The plantation, of at least 10 acres, is unauthorized but has been growing for two years, say wildlife rangers policing the forest. “They just come in, clear the jungle and plant whatever they want. There is absolutely nothing that anybody can do,” more..

UNICEF commemorates 70 years of tireless work for the world’s most vulnerable children

Dec 16 (FT) On the 70th anniversary of its founding, UNICEF celebrates the immense progress made for the world’s children – and renews the urgent call to reach millions of children whose lives and futures are endangered by conflict, crisis, poverty, inequality and discrimination. “UNICEF was founded after World War II to bring help and hope to all children at risk or in need – no matter which country they lived in or what role that country played in the war.  Our mission is no less urgent & universal today” more..

Investor in Sri Lanka charged with money laundering by the US

Dec 16 (EN) Rienzie Edwards, an individual based in Sri Lanka had been charged by US authorities with running an investment scam and laundering the proceeds through bank accounts and shell companies the island. Rienzie Edwards, Michael Jacobs, Ruby Hanlder-Jacobs, F K Ho, Lawrence Lester and Rachel Gendreau were involved in a scam where 50 million dollars had been defrauded from investors, the US attorney's office for the Southern District of New York said. more..

ICC chief Dave Richardson impressed with progress made by SLC

Dec 16 (DN) ICC Chief Dave Richardson paid a huge compliment to SLC and said that they deserved a place on the big table and they should be part of discussions that take place whenever they happen. “What we are asking from SLC is to see the ICC as an ally as opposed to an enemy because they as the governing body of sport should work together with our members not in competition with or in authority,” more..

Navy’s second AOP vessel launched in India

Dec 16 (SLN) SL Navy’s second Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessel (AOPV) which is being built at the Goa Shipyards Ltd was launched to the water today (15) by SL High Commissioner in India, Chitranganee Wagiswara who is the daughter of Late Captain (S) VTD Amarathunga, a former Director Naval Supply and Secretariat held office from March 1976 Until April 1981.  State of the art ship which measures 105.7 m in length and 13.6 m in width, features a helipad capable of landing a helicopter. more..

We’re not underestimating SL: du Plessis

Dec 16 (Island) Faf du Plessis has already succeeded in one of Test captaincies’ toughest tasks and led South Africa to a series win in Australia, but his proper job begins now. Confirmed as SA’s permanent Test captain ahead of a 3-match home series against SL, du Plessis spoke about the resources at his disposal for this assignment. Expectation is that this will be a much lower-profile series than Australia. How will you get the team up for their only home matches this summer? more..

Video: 90% of detected drugs back in the market: Eran

Dec 16 (EN) Nearly 90% of the drugs recovered are known to find their way back to the market, Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne said. He said they should be burnt publicly as done in several countries worldwide. When asked whether the recently recovered haul of cocaine had been released into the market, the deputy minister said as far as he was aware it had not happened but such things had taken place in the past. more..

SLBFE delegation in Bahrain to secure employment avenues

Dec 16 (DN) A high level delegation from the Foreign Employment Ministry and the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) visited Bahrain to discuss existing issues and predicaments of Sri Lankan expatriate workers to secure employment opportunities in the sphere of semi-skilled, skilled and highly skilled for Sri Lankans in the Kingdom. The delegation from Sri Lanka was led by Ambassador of SL to Bahrain, Dr Saj Mendis, along with Ministry Additional Secretary more..

PPPs great way to drive Sri Lanka - Tajikistan biz forward

Dec 16 (FT) Public-Private-Partnership model is a key mechanism slated to drive future Sri Lanka-Tajikistan economic relations. “Identified areas of bilateral cooperation could be strengthened through public private partnership,” said Minister Rishad Bathiudeen on 14 Dec, addressing the Tajikistan Business Meeting with the participation of Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon at the Cinnamon Grand. Sri Lanka’s trade with Tajikistan is small, but it also shows the huge unexploited trade more..

Govt instructs Navy to set up camp near H’tota Port

Dec 16 (FT) Dock workers at the Hambantota Port ended a nine-day strike yesterday, shortly before a deadline issued by the Govt for employees of the port management company to return to work elapsed but PM assured that steps would be taken to increase security at the facility ahead of its lease to a Chinese company.  Some 400 workers attached to the Magampura Port Management Company which manages more..

Constituent changes to S&P SL 20 Index

Dec 16 (FT) The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) yesterday announced several changes in S&P Sri Lanka 20 index constituents made by S&P Dow Jones Indices at the 2016 annual index rebalance. As announced by S&P Dow Jones Indices, effective from 19 December (after market close of 16 December), Ceylinco Insurance PLC will be removed from the S&P Sri Lanka 20 index as it no longer qualifies for index inclusion. The replacement will be Teejay Lanka PLC. more..

SL has one of the highest debt to GDP ratios

Dec 16 (CT) Argentina, Brazil, Mauritius, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka had the highest ratio of central govt debt to GDP among low and middle income countries, according to World Bank's International Debt Statistics 2017 (IDS 2017) released yesterday. Last year Sri Lanka's total external debt stocks were US$ 43,920M and long-term external debt value was US$ 35,092M. The report said that the market risk was mitigated by increasing the domestic currency borrowing of the Central Govt, more..

We are opposed to giving land to China: JVP

Dec 16 (DM) The JVP said yesterday it was totally opposed to the sale of some 15,000 acres of land in Hambantota to a Chinese company and warned it would not allow the government to go ahead with this sale. “The govt claims that the lands have been sold to set up an economic zone. Only 2,000 acres have been allocated for the 17 economic zones in the country and most of the lands allocated have not been used. more..

Has banks played its part? Minister Hashim

Dec 16 (DN) Has banks played its part in the last few years in helping the country towards the part it wants to go? questioned Minister Kabir Hashim at the unveiling ceremony of new corporate logo of People’s Bank. In 2014 the average deposit rate of the six large domestic banks was something like 4.9% and the lending rate 12.4% which was a huge spread. Six of the largest banks made a profit of Rs 108 billion in 2014. “In terms of profit it looks great. But did they achieve their objective?” more..

Arrest order for KP: Court to consider

Dec 16 (CT) The Court of Appeal yesterday stated that it would consider issuing an arrest order on a key LTTE leader, Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP. JVP MP Vijitha Herath filed a petition requesting the Court to direct the IGP, Army Commander, Defence Secretary and several others to arrest KP and take legal action against his criminal activities while LTTE waged a war against the security forces and the people. When this matter was taken up before the President of Court of Appeal, more..

Video: FM gives Hambantota deals new twist

Dec 16 (DM) Saga on future Chinese ownership of Hambantota Port and the surrounding area took another turn, when Minister Ravi Karunanayake said that no land would be given to China, and that the proceeds from the transfer of Hambantota Port would be used as the govt sees fit. He said that he has no idea about a deal to provide China with 15,000 acres of land near the Hambantota Port for an industrial zone, more..

Migrants: Each of them has a name & a story

Dec 16 (DM) To mark International Migrants Day on Dec 18, International Organization for Migration (IOM) is calling on the world community to come together and remember the refugees and migrants who have lost their lives or have disappeared while trying to reach safe harbour after arduous journeys across seas and deserts.  IOM has invited people all over the world to hold the first global candlelight vigil on Dec 18 to commemorate migrants whose lives have been lost this year. more..

Labour and environmental concerns in Hambantota investment plan

Dec 16 (DM) The episode in the Hambantota Port where the Navy was deployed to disperse unarmed port workers engaged in a satyagraha demanding assurances regarding job security, has graphically demonstrated aspects of yahapalana govt’s approach to development, and its vision for the country’s future. The assault of a journalist who was covering these events, by Navy Commander attired in civvies and surrounded by armed naval personnel, got wide exposure in the media more..

PUCSL warns of power shortages in Q1 2017

Dec 16 (LBO) Public Utilities Commission of SL (PUCSL), the regulator of state-run CEB, issued a warning after observing the risks in December that included only two of three generators at Lakvijaya coal power plant being in working condition and possibility of inadequate rainfall. “Only two units of Lakvijaya Plant are available. Even with full availability of thermal power plants, about 500 MW of Hydro power contribution is essential more..

Mangala says protesters were not Lankan Tamils, but those of Indian origin

Dec 16 (Island) Tamils who protested in Malaysia against alleged war crimes were not Sri Lankans, Minister Mangala Samaraweera said in Kuala Lumpur. He said Tamils of Indian origin had organised demonstrations against Sri Lanka without knowing the new govt’s commitment to reconciliation. Ruling out Lankan Tamil diaspora carrying out protests against Sri Lanka in Malaysia, Samaraweera asked them more..

Prison’s Department bombarded with allegations

Dec 16 (SL) The country’s prison system has been bombarded with criticism in recent times due to reports of various irregularities and corrupted activities that are taking place. The recent accusation against the Prison’s Department is that 15 prisons officers were allegedly involved in destroying the election offices of common candidate Maithripala Sirisena at the last Presidential Election. It has also been revealed that more..

Regular cocaine detections make Sri Lanka an unpopular transit point

Dec 16 (ST) Regular raids leading to detection of large cocaine hauls is expected to slow down the use of Sri Lanka as a transit point for drug trafficking, said a senior Police official involved in Narcotics detection. He said that, though large stocks of cocaine were detected in recent months, the contraband was Europe bound, according to investigations. The vessel Fabiola which had sailed from Ecuador on Oct 2, and called at more..

Video: Deputy Media Minister condemns attack on journalist

Dec 16 (DM) While condemning the conduct of the Navy Commander who attacked a journalist covering a protest at the Hambantota Port last Saturday, Deputy Mass Media Minister Karunarathna Paranavithana said that the navy commander should have kept in mind the people’s mandate given to the govt. “We cannot approve of the conduct of and the language used by the SL Navy Commander. more..

Ranil, Sampanthan reach out to Mahinda

Dec 16 (Hindu) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and leader of Opposition and TNA R. Sampanthan have sought former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s support for the ongoing constitutional reform efforts. In the first instance of reaching out to the former President, ousted in the presidential and parliamentary elections of 2015, the leaders asked Mr. Rajapaksa, as a senior and respected leader, to back more..

'ICC approval not required for Cricket Aid'

Dec 16 (DM) Contradicting a statement made by SLC President Thilanga Sumathipala in Parliament recently, ICC Chief Dave Richardson said that ICC approval was not necessary for SLC to establish and recognise Cricket Aid as its official charity arm. Sumathipala had earlier come under severe questioning during a Parliamentary session, on the legality and the operations of Cricket Aid, and dodged the issue by saying more..

Malaysia, Sri Lanka affirm stance against terrorism in all forms, manisfestation

Dec 16 (NST) Malaysia and Sri Lanka today have called on all nations to reject terrorism. PM Datuk Seri Najib Razak and SL President Maithripala Sirisena were unanimous in their rejection of violent extremism. They also expressed strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestation. "Both sides agreed to continue sharing information and best practices with a view to address the challenges posed by terrorism more..

Video: Was the Navy called in to tarnish its image?: MR

Dec 16 (DM) Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, asked whether the SL Navy was asked to intervene in the recent protest at the Hambantota Harbour in order to tarnish the reputation of the Navy. Referring to the Navy Commander's alleged assault on a journalist who was there to cover the event, Mr. Rajapaksa said Navy Commander was a skilful officer during the wartime and added that it was the first time more..

'Govt targets $ 3 billion FDI in 2017'

Dec 16 (FT) The Govt has targeted attracting an ambitious $ 3 billion in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) commitments with most to arrive in the first quarter of 2017, Minister Ravi Karunanayake said, insisting that the time had come to take flight.  “We are expecting around $ 3-$ 4 billion in investments in the areas of dairy, petroleum, energy and fisheries,” he said.  Minister reiterated his criticism of the previous Govt more..

Hands behind H’tota Port strike

Dec 16 (CT) The Hambantota Port strike, allegedly over plans to hand it over to the Chinese, ended yesterday, according to reports. Considering that Hambantota is the political seat of former President Rajapaksa, who's making political moves to destabilize the lawfully elected Govt of SL (GoSL) and who's also known for his strong ties with Beijing, one may but conjecture, what could have happened if the GoSL planned to hand over the port to any other country other than China, more..

Conspiracy to deny due process rights to Sri Lankan citizens

Dec 16 (CT) In last week’s article, we discussed the recommendations of the UN’s Committee against Torture. The Committee has recommended the state party establish an independent body tasked with the investigation of complaints against law enforcement officers, one that is independent of police hierarchy. In this week’s article, we will discuss a few more recommendations of the Committee, in particular those relating to improving the due process rights of detained persons, more..

No more Bond Scams; now selling SL assets

Govt scotches rumours of demonetisation

Dec 16 (Island) The govt scotched rumours of a move to demonetise. Minister Ravi Karunanayake said that his comments made during the budget debate had been misinterpreted by some journalists to claim the govt contemplating demonetisation. He said that since the govt had accused the group of Opposition MPs led by former President Rajapaksa of paying Rs. 5,000 to each of the persons who they brought to participate in protests and strikes organised them, some media had assumed more..

Wimal before the FCID on the 28th & 29th

Dec. 16 (NR) Colombo Magistrates’ Court ordered UPFA MP Wimal Weerawansa appear before the FCID on the 28th and 29th of Dec to record a statement. Order was issued by Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne. A case was filed against a group of individuals including against MP Wimal Weerawansa pertaining to the misuse of state vehicles during the tenure of UPFA led govt. FCID today informed court that MP is deliberately avoiding the FCID and has not recorded a statement. more..

ෆිදෙල් කැස්ත්රෝ සහ ශ්රී ලංකාව

Journalists protest against Navy brutality on provincial correspondent

Dec 16 (CT) Journalists and right activists gathered in front of the Fort Railway Station in Colombo on Thursday to condemn the attack of the provincial correspondent by the Commander of the SL Navy. Navy Commander Vice Admiral Ravi Wijegunaratne assaulted Roshan Gunasekera, a local correspondent for The Island and Divaina dailies, while the journalist was reporting navy action to open the port blocked by protesting port workers. Video footage recorded by other journalists more..

Court rejects Tissa’s request to travel overseas

Dec 16 (AD) Colombo High Court today rejected the application filed by former UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake seeking permission to travel overseas.  He had requested permission to leave the country in order to visit his daughter, who is pursuing higher education in Australia. Former Health Minister, who was arrested and remanded for allegedly preparing fraudulent documents, was granted bail on Dec 5, 2016. He is accused of forging the signatures of PM Ranil more..

'Govt loosening its grip on arresting frauds and corruption'

Dec 16 (DM) Explaining his stance on the opposition to govt the JVP Politbureau member K.D. Lalkantha opined as follows during a discussion held recently.  Q: How forceful is the opposition of the JVP towards the govt at present?  A: The protests that surfaced basing on the VAT bill and the budget which followed, there is a considerable agitation mounting up against the govt. If we take into consideration the private bus strike, more..

Sri Lanka fears possible economic impact of U.S. rate hike

Dec 16 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan rupee was bound to depreciate further next year because of the decision by the United States to increase its interest rate, an official said on Thursday. Minister of Megapolis and Western Region Development Champika Ranawaka, who was addressing a function in Colombo, said the U.S. Federal Reserve increased its interest rates in the similar fashion in December last year, and as result 2,400 million U.S. dollars invested here was withdrawn. more..