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Cabinet to approve all proposals by small entrepreneurs

Dec 22 (NR) Cabinet has unanimously decided to approve all proposals forwarded by small entrepreneurs. Minister Chandima Weerakkody said the decision was arrived at with the motive of encouraging the country’s entrepreneurs. He added that a key program of the govt next year is to encourage small scale entrepreneurs. Minister said funds have been allocated for this purpose from the 2017 Budget adding that the govt is prepared to provide two Rs. 1 million loans to every city. more..

Rangana named in ICC Test team of the year

Dec 22 (DM) Spin-wizard Rangana Herath was named in the ICC Test team of the year 2016 captained by Englishman Alastair Cook. He is the only Sri Lankan to be named in either Test or ODI team announced by the International Cricket Council today as no other Sri Lanka had impressed the selection panel. Former Test stalwarts Rahul Dravid, Gary Kirsten and Kumar Sangakkara selected the sides based on players’ performances in the period from 14 Sept 2015 to 20 Sept 2016. more..

Def. Secretary hits back at Prof. Wijesuriya

Dec 22 (CT) Karunasena Hettiarachchi, Secretary to the Ministry of Defence has sent a letter of demand claiming a sum of Rs 100 million from the Convener of the National Movement for a Just Society (NMJS) Prof. Sarath Wijesuriya for having tarnished his public image. Prof. Wijesuriya stated that he had received a letter of demand last Friday from Hettiarachchi. Defence Secretary Hettiarachchi when contacted said in the recent past more..

New entrance open to Yala National Park

Dec 22 (DM) A new entrance to the Yala National Park was open for the public at Maw-aara through the Lunugamvehera National Park, Wildlife Department said. Visitors travelling along the Kataragama- Buttala Road could use the new entrance. spokesperson Hasini Sarathchandra said visitors travelling along Kataragama- Buttala Road could use the new entrance. “This would reduce the congestion at Block one, for the main entrance to the national park. Visitors can also enter more..

Dinesh sidesteps query on crossovers

Dec 22 (Island) JO leader Dinesh Gunawardena sidestepped a query whether his outfit would seek a ban on crossovers in Parliament. He said members had a right to express their opinions freely. He did not answer the question. The Island posed the question to MP Gunawardena twice but in vain. An explanation was sought in the wake of the JO declaring 14 non-negotiable conditions in respect of constitutional making process. Asked whether the JO could comment on a leaked tape of more..

Govt committed to build a better country for future generations: President

Dec 22 (PSL) “The highest responsibility of us is to safeguard the future of the nation and to build the future generation as a strong one. The current govt is committed to act on this regard”, says President Sirisena. He was speaking at the Literary and Cultural festival of Samurdhi Children Societies, held at BMICH. This festival has been organized by the Samurdhi Kekulu Children Societies to enhance the creative skills more..

High-level meeting held on combating dengue

Dec 22 (CT) A high-level meeting to combat the outbreak of Dengue in Kalmunai, Sainthamaruthu and Nintavur, where the disease is supposed to have rapidly spread, was convened by Deputy Minister of Health Faizal Cassim at the Kalmunai Regional Director of Health Services Office on Tuesday (20). The meeting was presided over by the Deputy Minister Cassim, with the pariciption of Deputy Director General of Health Services Dr. Sarath Amunugama, National Dengue more..

New members appointed to Right to Information Commission

Dec 22 (AD) Justice A.W.A. Salaam and Dr Selvy Thiruchandran have been appointed as members to the Right to Information Commission. They received their respective letters of appointment from President Sirisena. Meanwhile Supreme Court Judge Priyasad Dep has been appointed as the Acting Chief Justice. RTI Act, which will go into effect in Feb, will allow journalists in the country to rely on verified, authenticated information from the govt rather than on hearsay. more..

Video: Customs seize offensive Buddha aprons

Dec 22 (DM) A stock of 5,424 sets of kitchen apparels with printed images of the Buddha was seized today by the Customs in a container in transshipment, Customs Spokesman Dharmasena Kahandawa said. He said the kitchen apparel sets were found during the Customs checking on several other goods from India. “Each set included an apron, two oven gloves and a table serviette in 904 cartons,” he said. more..

Contempt of Court action against Kataragama Devalaya Basnayake Nilame

Dec 22 (DN) A Contempt of Court application was filed in Supreme Court today against Basnayake Nilame of Ruhunu Kataragama Maha Devalaya for allegedly not complying with a Supreme Court order. Three-Judge-bench comprising Chief Justice K. Sripavan made this order sequent to a fundament rights petition filed by the Mahabethme Secretary of Ruhunu Kataragama Maha Devalaya. SC on Sept 28, 2016 vacated an interim order issued restraining Basnayake Nilame of Kataragama Devalaya more..

COPE urges Parliament debate on CB bond scam at earliest

Dec 22 (DN) Chairman of the COPE MP Sunil Handunetti has urged the Speaker to hold a special debate on the Central Bank bond issue during the first session of Parliament next year. In a letter addressed to the Speaker, MP Sunil Handunetti drew attention to the fact that the COPE report on CB bond issue had been presented to Parliament on Oct 28 and asked that due process be followed. ‘It is now the responsibility of the Parliament to ensure that due process if followed’, more..

'Luxury transport service next year'

Dec 22 (NR) Deputy Minister Ashoka Abeysinghe says the govt hopes to initiate a luxury bus service together with the private sector. He said the service is initiated to target those travelling to Colombo using their own private vehicles. Ministry looking forward to working together with the private sector next year and jointly forming a luxury bus service adding that it hope to build stations where people who use the main roads to come to more..

National War Heroes’ Unity meets President

Dec 22 (PSL) National War Heroes’ Unity headed by Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara met President Maithripala Sirisena today (21) at the Presidential Secretariat. During this meeting, the President’s attention was paid on the problems faced by war heroes. He stated that the govt is committed for the welfare of the war heroes, and will take every possible action to provide facilities for them. President who emphasized that no damage, whatsoever would be occurred to more..

Nine UPC members reject Dev. (Special Prov.) Bill

Dec 22 (DM) The controversial Development (Special Provisions) Bill, was rejected by a majority of members in the Uva Provincial Council today. UPC Chairman A.M. Buddhadasa had informed the members that Uva Province Governor had sent the Development (Special Provisions) Bill to the Council to seek their opinion. Council’s Opposition Leader R.M. Ratnayake, Udara Soyza (UPFA), R.M. Jayawardane (JVP) Samantha Widyaratne (JVP), Upali Samaraweera (Agriculture Minister), more..

Decision on unity govt’s future to be taken next year: Dilan

Dec 22 (NR) Media Spokesman of SLFP Dilan Perera says a decision will be taken in Sept 2017 pertaining to the future of the unity govt. He said the Central Committee of the SLFP will decide on the matter in Sept 2017. He said PM shows qualities of a true politician in his capacity as the chairman of the Public Representations Committee on Constitutional Reforms adding that usually there is a great amount of obstacles in preparing more..

Sri Lanka tea sees good demand in Nov

Dec 22 (LBO) Tea production for the month of November totaled 27.3M/kgs, a gain of 2M/kgs against 25.29M/kgs of Nov 2015, Forbes & Walker Tea Brokers said in a report. “There was good demand all around,” report said. ‘Ex-Estate offerings totalled a 0.9M/kgs vis-ŕ-vis 0.7M/kgs the previous week. Overall quality of Western’s were irregular whilst Nuwara Eliya’s together with Uva/Udapussellawa’s showed no change.” When analyzing the respective elevations, more..

SL among highest-ranked in Global YDI

Dec 22 (NR) Sri Lanka has been ranked among the ten highest-ranked Commonwealth countries in the Global Youth Development Index. Issuing its Global Youth Development Index and Report for the year 2016, The Commonwealth ranked Sri Lanka 31st in the Index with a 22% proportion of 15-29 year olds. The other countries include Australia, UK, New Zealand, Canada, Malta, Barbados, Brunei, Malaysia and Cyprus rounding up the highest ranked Commonwealth countries. more..

Experts calls for combination of toughness and innovativeness  to curb poaching

Dec 22 (ENS) Sri Lankan and Indian experts in fishing say that a combination of toughness and innovativeness on the part of the Indian govt will help curb poaching by Tamil Nadu fishermen in Sri Lankan waters significantly. Speaking to Express on condition of anonymity, the experts said that if the govts of India and Sri Lanka continue to be lenient towards the poachers, as they are now, poaching can never be stopped. more..

Shipping minister touts opportunities in maritime sector

Dec 22 (EN) High income jobs are available in the maritime industry for which Sri Lankan youth should train, Minister of Ports and Shipping Arjuna Ranatunga said. “The maritime industry offers high-income earning employment opportunities,” he said. “One of the world’s busiest shipping routes goes around our island because of our fortunate geo-strategic position. “Therefore, it is important to gain more knowledge about the maritime industry,” he told the Colombo Maritime conference more..

Prez obtains Cabinet nod for more funds to combat kidney disease

Dec 22 (Island) A day after beoming the first Head of State to be honoured by Int'l Society of Nephrologists (ISN) for his exceptional contribution towards Prevention of Chronic Kidney Diseases of Uncertain Etiology (CKDu), President Sirisena has obtained Cabinet approval for more funds to combat the deadly disorder. Memorandum entitled National Programme on Prevention of Chronic Kidney Disease for the period 2016 to 2018 had been unanimously approved by the Cabinet. more..

Video: Govt must reveal MoU on H'tota with Chinese firm: JHU

Dec 22 (DM) JHU said govt should reveal MoU signed with a Chinese Company to lease the Hambantota port and claimed that govt was bound to do as it was appointed to uphold good governance not only in political sector but in the economic sector as well. JHU national organizer Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said govt should ensure transparency when entering into agreements and MoUs if not it would lead to more..

Good Governance: Needing Teeth for Policies and Respect for the Law

Dec 23 (DN) It is not enough for the President to announce sound policies. He must follow through with mechanisms to underwrite those policies by giving them teeth. He must insist that his appointee as UGC Chairman is competent and law abiding, and believes in the govt’s policies of inter-communal reconciliation. The Attorney General must support the lawful directives of the President. Are these not what the promise of Good Governance is all about? President during the health ministry budget more..

Fascistic chauvinism and humanistic nationalism

Dec 23 (CT) Last week, protestors holding banners and chanting slogans against the attack, demanded the government to take legal action against the Navy Commander, Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne for brutally assaulting a provincial photo journalist while covering the workers' strike at the Hambantota Port. In that incident a freelance provincial journalist, Roshan Dilip Kumara, was among nine people injured when the Navy team attacked the workers. Apparently the Navy Unit was more..

Tallest Christmas tree, brings joy and fame

Dec 23 (SO) For Mahinda Nanayakkara, the five days he spent not working on the proposed record-breaking 114-metre tall Christmas tree, felt like five long aching years, he says. The teary eyed 34 year-old who spent four years visualising an image of the world’s tallest Christmas tree, says, it is more than just a grand feat. “Every bit of it is an act of charity,” he says standing at the Galle Face esplanade where 60-foot tree more..

Battle worth fighting for

Dec 23 (DN) While the Health Ministry and several research universities have invested many resources to improve kidney transplant and dialysis services, experts argued that the most important aspect of fighting CKDu is not treatment, but prevention and early detection. “We have, over the past two decades, improved the services for helping those with impaired kidney function. But we have not done enough for or invested enough resources in prevention and early detection. more..

Let us protect the cat!

Dec 23 (CT) When we saw Namal Rajapaksa expressing his opinion on television, criticizing the assault of a journalist by the Navy Commander at the Hambantota Harbour, we could not help but smile. When Namal Rajapaksa was speaking with compassion about journalists, what came to mind was the speech that Sports Minister of the Kerala State in India E.P. Jayaranjan delivered on the day that boxing champion Mohammed Ali died, on Thiruvanthapuram TV Service in Kerala, more..

A spin with the spin master

Dec 23 (DN) Modest yet amazing, and humble yet incredible. A man of very few words but mighty deeds. Outstanding Personalities features spin bowler Muttiah Muralitharan who is regarded as the greatest bowler in the history of test cricket. Muralitharan holds the world record for the most number of wickets in both test and one-day cricket. Q: Murali, you are the greatest bowler in test cricket and one day internationals claiming more..

A voice from the past

Dec 23 (FT) While the republic reels under the regime-normalising deceptiveness of realpolitik, voices from the past speak to their former readership from beyond the grave and their present polity in funereal tones. Be that as it may, Good Governance need not be gulled into abandoning it pledges to pursue and prosecute those guilty of egregious crimes against media freedom, if it is to prove its credentials to the stakeholders in Sri Lanka who are not as gullible as they look… more..

Tortoise feathers and incredulity

Dec 23 (Island) Hats off (by those who still wear them), in applause to TULF leader, Mr. V. Anandasangaree (VA) for his forthright condemnation of the recent hikes in salaries, perks and allowances of MPs. He expresses so cogently "It is not morally right for MPs to shower such benefits on themselves while the people are suffering." He sounds a salutary warning that "This kind of extravagance and disregard for the public, mark the beginning of the end of govt." more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

NicNac adjudged best Sri Lankan impact oriented startup at SLUSH

Dec 22 (FT) NicNac, which offers a unique delivery service to Sri Lankans, was adjudged the country’s best impact oriented startup at the SLUSH Global impact accelerator 2016 Sri Lankan competition held recently.  The competition, organised by PwC Sri Lanka and the SL Association for Software and Services Companies (SLASSCOM), was a unique opportunity to help empower the country’s startups, and also give such startups the rare opportunity to take part in the internationally-renowned more..

A testimony to Dutch legacy

Dec 22 (SO) The Dutch Period Museum seen in early hours of the morning. Although I frequent remote places in the interior of the country, it doesn’t mean that I dislike Colombo and its environs. It was in that spirit that I visited one of the busiest marketplaces in Colombo, Pettah - the biggest urban retail and wholesale market in Sri Lanka. I am not a stranger to Pettah - after all, five days a week for more than 20 years, I used to walk along dusty streets of Pettah, more..

'No political hope left for MR'

Dec 22 (CT) Chairman of the National Trade Union Centre K.D. Lalkantha said that UNPers have undoubtedly shattered their aspirations for a better economy. Q: How do you read the current political developments in the country? A: People were disgusted with the Rajapaksa administration so they formed a new govt under leadership of President Sirisena. Rajapaksa regime had come to a natural death more..

Editorial: The dragon laughs

Dec 23 (Island) Time was when Sri Lankans thought they were blessed with more grey matter than their Chinese counterparts. Their superiority complex is evident in a popular local expression which they still habitually use on being told a tall tale: konde bendapu cheennunta kiyapango tell it to the Chinese with chignons. But, today, the Chinese sans chignons, smartly dressed in western attire, have turned the tables on Sri Lankans who think no end of themselves and have underestimated more..

SA coach pleased with team's progress

Dec 23 (CI) South Africa's coach Russell Domingo wanted his newer Test players to cement their places during the upcoming series against Sri Lanka. With only two additions to the squad that toured Australia - in reserve batsman Theunis de Bruyn and left-arm seamer Wayne Parnell - changes to South Africa's XI from the Adelaide Test were unlikely. "We've only decided to pick 13 for this series. It gives us a few less selection problems and gives the incumbents a sense of security and more..

India favourites but Sri Lanka can upset

Dec 23 (DN) Defending champs India with their superior all round strength in batting, bowling and fielding go out favourites to win the Youth Asia Cup final against host Sri Lanka under lights at the R Premadasa Stadium today. In the lead up to the final, India has maintained an unbeaten record winning all their group matches as well as the semi-final against Afghanistan rather comprehensively. India’s group victories more..

ISIS recruit was in SL on missionary work

Dec 23 (CG) An ISIS recruit arrested in India had visited Sri Lanka allegedly on missionary work, the Times of India reported. Abid Khan, a 23-year-old Abid Khan resident of Bengaluru, lived in a church in Banjar town in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh for the last six months before he was arrested in a joint operation of the NIA and Kullu Police. Khan was planning to reach Syria via Indonesia and had recently visited Sri Lanka. Khan told his investigators that he was to visit Indonesia to more..

Social media has critical role to play: GL

Dec 23 (DM) SL Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), at the launch of its Facebook page, stressed that the media including social media had a critical role to play in educating the masses today. Addressing the function to mark the event, party chairman Prof. G.L. Peiris said his party would fight both politically and legally against the planned move by the govt to muzzle the web media. He said such a move would contravene the right to freedom of expression guaranteed in Constitution under Article 14. more..

Priority for new light railway system

Dec 23 (DN) Priority has been given by Budget 2017 to ease road traffic congestion in Colombo, Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. One of the main concerns of the plan is to identify entry entry points to the city and start a light railway system from each point.This new light railway system will cover the main suburbs including Borella, Kottawa, Battaramulla, Kaduwela, Maradana, Mattakkuliya, Peliyagoda, Dematagoda, Kadawatha, more..

Colombo property demand remains high

Dec 23 (CT) According to one of the leading property portals in the world, the property market in Sri Lanka has grown immensely since the dawn of peace and demand for property in Colombo remains very high. According to Lamudi, Colombo, has become the most exciting city to live in the South Asian region. The country's real-estate development sector has attracted the attention of both local and foreign investors alike for projects and investors are picking up the pace in the hope of more..