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Voices from the margins of the North

Dec 2 (FT) Interviews with some of Sri Lanka’s most vulnerable war-affected persons in the north show that a meaningful post war reconciliation process to them includes action towards human development, based on a comprehensive and consistent post conflict development policy that is focused on knowledge and understanding of grass root scenarios. There is no consistent and meaningful more..

Presidential prowess

Dec 2 (DN) Among the more ambitious plans of stalwarts in the present govt, when they were campaigning to oust former President Rajapaksa from power was to introduce a new Constitution to the country. The driving force behind that objective was the realisation that the present Constitution grants sweeping powers to the Executive President, although some of those powers have now been diluted with the introduction of the 19th Amendment by Maithripala Sirisena govt in April last year. more..

Editorial: A welcome gavel blow

Dec 2 (Island) Mervyn Silva may not have thought he would, one day, have to pay for the sins he committed as a powerful minister of the Rajapaksa govt. A law unto himself, he ran a separate state of sorts in Kelaniya and carried out attacks in other areas as well. But, thankfully, a judicial gavel blow sent him reeling on Wednesday. Supreme Court ordered him to pay a petitioner Rs. 400,000 as compensation for demolishing a boundary wall and two toilets on the pretext of widening a road. more..

Bandula Gunawardhana

Combatting non-communicable diseases: Home-grown remedy for ill-health

Dec 2 (DN) Sports and physical exercises enhance muscle tone, promote bone development, improve digestion and absorption of food, and ensure sound physiological sleep. All these benefits immensely contribute to overall sound physical, mental, spiritual and social well-being of a child. This is the main reason why the private sector employers prefer to recruit school leavers who have excelled in sports at their respective schools as management trainees and junior executives. more..

Not so Chicken Sausage of Qatar to The Hague

Dec 2 (Island) My final destination was Amsterdam and I had to wait in transit in Doha first. It was a Qatar Airways flight I took to the blue skies. I had a pleasant surprise when I met Hussain Galely, let me say Captain Hussain Galely and his Rumanian wife Simone, who was flying back to Doha after attending his father Shabir’s birthday. I have known Hussain since he was and he gave Uncle Bandula a bear hug. Wonderful young lad who has achieved his dreams to comb the skies—a very good son more..

Sri Lankan auto-parts maker rides global demand wave

Dec 2 (Nikkei) Across a brightly-lit factory floor in a free trade zone in Biyagama, a commercial town on the eastern fringes of the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, workers in white baseball caps are hunched over long tables, methodically threading wires into matchbox-sized containers. The factory, which makes impact sensors for seat belts and vehicle airbags, enjoys the automobile industry's much-sought-after 1PPM (parts-per-million) more..

SL veteran athletes excel at NVAM in India

Dec 2 (DN) Sri Lankan Veteran Mercantile athletic team came up with a creditable performance to clinch 98 medals in the first National Veterans Athletic Meet (NVAM)held at Mangalore, India on November 26 and 27. Forty-seven competitors from Sri Lanka took part and they won 45 gold, 26 silver and 27 bronze medals. In the women’s events Udula Peiris of Lake House won a silver medal and a bronze while Sanjeevi Jayasuriya (Lake House) won a silver medal. more..

Carlsen wins third World Chess C'ship

Dec 2 (AFP) Norwegian Magnus Carlsen extended his dominance over the chess world by winning the World Chess Championship for the third consecutive time, beating his Russian challenger Sergei Karjakin in a tiebreaker. The win puts Carlsen closer to the status of chess legends such as Garry Kasparov, who dominated the game for 15 years. Although Karjakin foiled predictions by tying Carlsen in 12 regular rounds, the Norwegian champion beat him in the final phase of four quick-fire extra games. more..

Mathews, Chandimal declare fitness for South Africa tour

Dec 2 (CI) Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews and vice-captain Dinesh Chandimal have declared they are fit to go on the tour of South Africa that begins in mid-December. They made the announcements during SLC's Dialog Cricketer of the Year award ceremony held in Colombo on Wednesday night. Both Mathews and Chandimal missed Sri Lanka's recent tour of Zimbabwe, where Rangana Herath and Upul Tharanga led more..

Malaria elimination: Unsung heroes honoured

Dec 2 (GDI) The certificate issued by the World Health Organization declaring Sri Lanka a Malaria-free country was officially handed over to the Minister of Health, Rajitha Senarathne yesterday in Colombo. The certificate was hander over to the Minister by Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, the WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia. During the event it also hounored the valiant efforts of thousands of health workers towards the country's success in achieving malaria elimination. more..

BOI rebuts Cargo Boat charges of delay; says Renuka Lands at fault

Dec 2 (FT) With reference to the Daily FT article titled Cargo Boat blames BOI for delay, abandons Rs. 2 b Baybrooke Commercial Complex published on 15 Nov, the Board of Investment has sent the following statement. Daily FT story was based on a filing to the Colombo Stock Exchange by Cargo Boat Development Company: We refer to the above article in which the company Cargo Boat Development Company had blamed BOI by alleging that “Due to prolonged time taken by BOI more..

JVP Press Conference

Bus operators lament new stipulations, SC stays tender for permanent route permits

Dec 2 (FT) SC issued an interim order staying the notice calling for tenders for the issuance of permanent passenger service permits for inter-provincial passenger transport in the down south expressway. Bench CJ K. Sripavan, Justices Eva Wanasundera and Priyantha Jayawardane also issued another interim order restraining National Transport Commission from taking steps pursuant to the notice calling for tenders for the above mentioned passenger service permits. more..

Colombo Art Biennale Conceiving Space opens in Sri Lanka

Dec 2 (AD) The Colombo Art Biennale is the largest and most significant contemporary art manifestation in Sri Lanka. Established in 2009, CAB showcases contemporary art with an emphasis on Sri Lanka and the South Asian region. The theme for CAB 2016, curated by Alnoor Mitha, is Conceiving Space, seeks to open up a paradigm of seeing, providing possibilities for creative production that engage with explorations of diverse senses of space. Biennale will bring together 45 artists more..

Sri Lanka is Heaven on Earth: Wasim Akram

~Dec 2 (Island) Pakistan hero in their 1992 World Cup triumph, Wasim Akram, recalled fond memories of touring Sri Lanka as a Test cricketer and claimed the future is bright for country’s cricket during a media briefing at SLC headquarters at Maitland Place, Colombo yesterday. Former great Aravinda de Silva, who heads SLC’s Cricket Committee, had requested Akram’s services to conduct a workshop for the national team, more..

US Vice President-elect telephones Sirisena

Dec 2 (CG) US Vice President-elect Mike Pence telephoned President Maithripala Sirisena today and discussed future US-Sri Lanka relations. Pence and President Maithripala Sirisena had reportedly discussed further strengthening US-Sri Lanka relations under President Donald Trump. Trump will take office next year and President Maithripala Sirisena had said this week that he will urge Trump to put an end to the human rights allegations on Sri Lanka. more..

Chandra J writes to President on weakening the ring of corruption

Dec 2 (FT) Dear Mr. President, During your presentation at the Ravaya Anniversary event, you were realistic to acknowledge that the ring of corruption that strangled Sri Lanka before 8 Jan 2015 was yet not fully dismantled. You regretfully accepted that a ring of influential persons were holding back the good governance commitments of Govt, under your leadership, from being effectively implemented. Yet, you were farsighted and confident to commit, that over time, more..

SL couple with well-founded fear granted refugee status after family members slain

Dec 2 (NZH) A Sri Lankan couple fearing harm after their family members were shot and killed by underworld criminal have been granted refugee status. The husband and wife told the Immigration and Protection Tribunal they feared for their lives because of familial connection to the husband's late father and uncle, who had both been allegedly assassinated. The uncle was shot and killed allegedly by underworld criminal after more..

Malaysian HC now at new venue

Dec 2 (Bernama) Malaysian High Commission in Sri Lanka started operations Thursday at its new location in Colombo 7, after having been at Colombo 3 for 15 years. The Raja Muda of Perlis, Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra Jamalullail, officially opened the new office at No 8, Rosmead Place, Colombo 7, at a brief ceremony. A delegation from Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP), which is on a six-day fact-finding mission, also attended the event. Previous office had been at No 33, Bagatalle Road, more..

Brandix & IUCN to monitor Kelani River water

Dec 2 (CT) A project by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to monitor the water quality in the Kelani River basin as a prelude to a larger initiative for the basin's management and conservation, has received funding support from Brandix, Sri Lanka's top-ranked exporter. Brandix will finance the project and collaborate with the IUCN to set up a mechanism for online monitoring of discharge into the river at the investment promotion zones at Seethawaka and Biyagama, more..

President sounds clarion call for consensus on Constitution

Dec 2 (FT) President Maithripala Sirisena made a passionate appeal for consensus on the proposed new Constitution in Parliament yesterday, urging lawmakers to support his Govt’s efforts to end decades of ethnic strife and achieve lasting peace. In a 25-minute speech delivered during the budget debate on the Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation last afternoon, President said everyone engaged in the process more..

Sri Lanka to lead biggest-ever delegation for Asia Pacific ICT Awards 2016

Dec 2 (CT) The apex body for the ICT Industry, the Federation of IT Industry Sri Lanka (FITIS) Software Chapter (Formerly known as SLASI) and BCS the Chartered Institute for IT Sri Lanka Section is leading a 70-member delegation to the prestigious Asia Pacific ICT Awards (APICTA) 2016 scheduled to be held in Taiwan during 2-5 December 2016. This will be the biggest-ever delegation from Sri Lanka to be taken to APICTA during the premier organization's history. more..

Too many banks in Sri Lanka; some consolidation needed says CBSL Governor

Dec 2 (Island) Some consolidation in the local banking sector is needed to have a strong banking sector in Sri Lanka, Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy said. "I think some consolidation is needed for the banking sector because my belief is that Sri Lanka has too many banks, Governor said at the monthly review meeting of CBSL. He said bank consolidation should be introduced to the country, which process needs to be carefully studied before implementing. more..

JVP to launch campaign against proposed sale of Eastern Terminal

~Dec 2 (DN) Govt’s move to sell the Eastern Terminal of the Colombo Port is not merely an isolated issue concerning the port employees, but an issue of every patriotic individual in the country, JVP PM Sunil Handunnetti said. Eastern Terminal of the Colombo Port is to be sold to India by the govt without considering the agitations of harbour employees and the patriotic people. Not only the harbour employees, but also every patriot more..

Sri Lanka-Belgium to boost trade

Dec 2 (FT) In an effort to scale up bilateral trade and investments, a 22-member high-powered business delegation from Belgium is currently on a visit to Sri Lanka, seeking partnerships mutually advantageous for economic relations between the two countries. Speaking at the Sri Lanka-Belgium Business Forum organised by the Embassy of Belgium in India in association with the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and the Sri Lanka-Benelux Business Council, Ambassador of Belgium Jan Luykx more..

Sugar, Salt, Fat taxes soon

Dec 2 (DN) Arrangements will be made to increase taxes on sugar, salt and fat in the future, Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said. According to Minister, he proposed in 2015 to increase taxes on sugar, salt and fat but all including the media said that the objective was increasing taxes. But this has already been done in the UK. He was addressing the gathering after opening the new ward complexes at Pimbura Base hospital, built at a cost of Rs. 45 million. more..

IPPBA threatens non-strikers

Dec 2 (DM) Inter Provincial Private Bus Association (IPPBA) which began a countrywide strike today threatened action against Lanka Private Bus Owners' Association (LPBOA) led by Gemunu Wijeratna if they tried to operate buses despite the strike. Responding to the decision taken by LPBOA not to strike today, IPPBA president Sarath Kumara warned of action if others tried to operate buses. “We will see what will happen if Gemunu more..

Must be informed of caller’s identity: JVP

Dec 2 (Island) Parliament should be informed of the person the IGP had been talking over the phone during a police commemorative event at Ratnapura, Chief Opposition Whip and JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake demanded.  He made this comment participating in the committee stage budget debate in Parliament yesterday. "Whom did the IGP address as ‘Sir’? Shouldn’t Parliament know the identity of the person trying shield rogues. Isn’t this political interference? more..

Railway, private bus strike called off

Dec 2 (DN) The Railway trade unions and the Private Bus Operators Association yesterday, decided to call off their scheduled strike today following a discussion with President Maithripala Sirisena. Railway Trade Union Collective Convenor Janaka Fernando told the Daily News that they decided to call off their trade union action following a discussion with the President. Over 60 Railway Department trade unions had decided to launch a strike over four demands. more..

Kumar to be freed today

Dec 2 (Island) Leader of the FSP Premkumar Gunaratnam is expected to be freed at 12 noon today from the Kegalle Prison, where he served a sentence of one year for violating immigration regulations. He would not be deported to Australia as speculated by political circles, govt told Parliament. "Gunaratnam has asked for visa extension and we hope it will be granted," Pubudu Jagoda Propaganda Secretary of FSP said. more..

Tale of the tallest tree and taller stories

Dec 2 (DM) With the festive season beginning yesterday, questions are being raised about the commercialisation of Christmas and the waste of money while millions of people suffer in different degrees of degradation, deprivation and destitution. National Christian Council’s (NCC) General Secretary Rev. Ebenezer Joseph, in a message signals a red alert for a plan to construct the tallest Christmas tree and compares it to the disaster of the tower of Babel.  more..

South should accept Wiggie’s invitation

Dec 2 (DM) The man in the North often used as a punching bag by Sinhala hardliners and for sensational headlines and soundbites for the Colombo media, on Tuesday (22) came to their doorstep to invite them for an open dialogue on Northern and Eastern issues.   “We are trying to get in contact and talk to our Sinhala brethren, because this has not been done earlier. We could sit together and discuss. Now that young brother of mine asked all sorts of questions and he was worked up. more..

Constitution making process slows down

Dec 2 (DM) When the six sub-committees submitted their reports with proposals for constitution-making on different subjects, it was thought that the process would progress. Yet, it has proven otherwise, as the process has hit a snag due to the fundamental differences arising among the major stakeholders, about the contours of the proposed constitution. Steering Committee, entrusted with the task of drafting a report for consideration more..

Bus Strike: Public dismayed at the govt and bus unions

Dec 2 (NR) An island-wide strike launched from midnight by several trade unions including the All Island Private Bus Owners Federation, the Inter Provincial Bus Association and several three-wheeler unions has resulted in inconveniences to the public and heavy traffic congestion along roads. The unions are protesting the proposal to increase the minimum fine for traffic offences through the 2017 Budget. more..

Don blows whistle on major parties kowtowing to powerful external interests

Dec 2 (Island) Dr. Tudor Weerasinghe of Sripali Campus, Colombo University has alleged that major political parties are manipulated by powerful external forces with vested interests. Weerasinghe castigated political parties represented in Parliament for collaborating with such elements. Deputy Minister Karunaratne Paranavitha (JHU), MP Bandula Gunawardena (UPFA), MP Vijitha Herath (JVP) and former Media Secretary more..

Sri Lanka mulls stiff fines for boats trespassing into its waters

Dec 2 (Hindu) Sri Lanka is considering imposing huge fines on foreign vessels trespassing into its territorial waters. Owners of Indian trawlers, often accused of fishing illegally in SL waters, may have to pay penalties up to Rs. 7 crore, if the revised legislation to regulate foreign fishing boats is passed by SL parliament. The development comes a month after India and Sri Lanka held high-level talks in New Delhi with the objective of more..

Sri Lanka plans stronger investment guarantees amid Venezuela-style land move

Dec 2 (EN) Sri Lanka planned to place stronger constitutional guarantees to protect property rights, a top official said, while a budget for 2017 planned a break up large farms in a Venezuela-style move undermining property rights of the people. Planned changes to Sri Lanka's constitution will contain strong investment guarantees that will protect investors, Upul Jayasuriya, Chairman of BoI said. more..

'Looking to get Herath to play for two more years'

Dec 2 (TOI) He changed the grammar of the game when he played it, but Sanath Jayasuriya is facing a different challenge these days. The 47-year-old, who stroked 6973 runs in 110 Tests and 13430 runs in 445 ODIs, is now presiding over a tough period in Sri Lankan cricket as its chief selector. The exit of quite a few greats from the scene has left the team short of star power and certain match-winners. Apart from left-arm spinner Rangana Herath, more..

American and Sri Lankan experts gather to unleash Sri Lanka’s trade potential

Dec 2 (USE) From Nov 29-Dec 1, U.S. Department of State, in cooperation with U.S. Department of Commerce and the SL Department of Commerce held three seminars on trade policy with more than 70 key decision makers and technical experts from various SL ministries, agencies, research institutes, trade policy think tanks, and Chambers of Commerce. “SL can count on the US as a partner to help unleash more..