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Sri Lanka plans to strengthen quarantine law

Dec 2 (Xinhua) Minister Rajitha Senaratne said he sought Cabinet approval to strengthen the country's quarantine and disease prevention laws in keeping with international standards. The Quarantine and Prevention of Disease Ordinance is in practice at the moment. However, the minister said Sri Lanka had accelerated work for becoming an aviation naval energy, knowledge and commercial hub. more..

Unnamed minister imports Rs.40M car

Dec 2 (DM) Social media are busy these days inquiring who the minister is who has allegedly imported a Mercedes Benz S300 costing Rs.40.1 million -- which is now parked at a ministerial car park in Battaramulla. Social media have also posted several photographs of the motor car. When this matter was brought up at a meeting held to reveal Cabinet decisions, Minister Rajitha Senaratne had said he was unaware of it. more..

Kumar Gunaratnam released

Dec 2 (NR) Politburo member of the FSP Noel Mudalige also known as Kumar Gunaratnam has been released from the Anuradhapura Prison after completing his prison sentence. The Party said Gunaratnam’s papers for Sri Lankan citizenship were sent to the Department Of Immigration and Emigration yesterday. Gunaratnam was issued Visa in order for him to reside in the country till the completion of paper work. more..

Few practical suggestions for Police reforms

Nov 2 (CT) A History of Ceylon Police by late A.C. Depp, former IGP, is a book consisting of three volumes that gives a good insight into the manner in which the police system came about in Sri Lanka. Reading these pages removes any surprise about the rather pathetic condition into which this institution has evolved. The unfortunate thing is it need not have been this way. There was a short period of experiment into the development of the Sri Lankan police in line with more..

Drastic cut in health allocation

Dec 2 (CT) Among many criticisms regarding the Budget 2017, one of the major ones was the reduction of the allocations to the Health Ministry. According to the Draft Budget estimates 2017, the allocations for the Health Ministry were reduced from Rs 175 billion in 2016 to Rs 160 billion. A more concerning factor is that the capital expenditure had reduced from Rs 60 billion to Rs 40 billion reflecting less development in the health sector in 2017. When the Budget Speech 2017 and more..

දේශපාලකයින් පොත් කියවනවද? පොත් පෙරළනවද?

Shares end at 2-wk high; banks lead

Dec 2 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares rose for a second straight session on Friday to close at a two-week high as investors sought bargains in large-cap shares after the benchmark index hit a near-eight-month low earlier in the week. The Colombo stock index gained 0.26% to 6,325.57, its highest close since Nov. 18. The bourse gained 1.17% for the week, recording its first weekly gain in four. Turnover stood at 947.9 million rupees, more than this year's daily average of 697.9 million rupees. more..

Jaliya Wickramasuriya further remanded

Dec 2 (AD) Former SL Ambassador to the US, Jaliya Wickramasuriya, who as arrested on charges of misusing state funds, has been further remanded till Dec 16.  Wickramasuriya was arrested by the FCID at the Katunayake airport on Nov 17 when he was preparing to travel overseas.   He has been charged with allegedly accepting a commission of US$ 332,000 following a contract awarded to refurbish SL Embassy in Washington DC while serving as the Ambassador to the US, more..

Rs. 100 billion loss at 55 State Bodies

Dec 2 (NR) The govt today revealed that 55 state bodies that come under the purview of the Ministry of Public Enterprise Development have incurred a loss of 100 billion rupees during a 10 year period. Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne said, out of the 250 state bodies, 55 establishments recorded a loss of 636 billion rupees during the period between 2006 and 2010. He said the state bodies in question only generated 530 billion rupees in past decade. more..

Nimal budges on fine for overtaking from left

Dec 2 (Island) Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva yesterday undertook to amend one of the proposals to revise the fine of Rs. 25,000 for overtaking from the left. Private bus and three wheeler associations announced a strike from midnight yesterday against the increase in the fines for seven road traffic offences including driving without valid driving licence, driving without an insurance certificate, overtaking on the left hand side, high speed driving, driving under the influence of alcohol, more..

Ravi says use of non-strategic SoE sale proceeds for debt servicing is myth

Dec 2 (DM) Claims that the US$ 1 billion revenue expected to be realized from the sale of non-strategic State-owned Enterprises (SoEs) will be utilized for the country’s debt servicing are a myth perpetuated by the opposition, Finance Minister said this week, retracting his own budget proposals announced last month. “That has a wrong connotation. This is not for revenue gain. Non-strategic investments are what are basically commercialized. more..

President appeals to Rajapaksa not to thwart constitution making process

Dec 2 (ENS) President Sirisena appealed to the Joint Opposition led by former President Rajapaksa, not to thwart the constitution-making and ethnic reconciliation processes by indulging false propaganda because if the current chance to solve the national problem is missed due to narrow minded jockeying for power, country will only return to conflict and bloodshed. In a powerful speech in parliament, Sirisena said that more..

Suspend strike, then discussions: President

Dec 2 (NR) President Sirisena says discussions with bus associations will be held only if the bus strike is suspended. Deputy Minister Asoka Abeysinghe said bus associations agreed to send five representatives to discuss the on-going strike. He said the associations initially opposed to send a maximum of five representatives which was demanded by the Ministry. Accordingly, Deputy Minister said bus associations proposed to send 20 representatives for discussions yesterday. more..

Protesters will not be intimidated: Hashim

Dec 2 (NR) Minister Kabir Hashim says govt will not intimidate public protests against the govt. Responding to a statement made by MP Bandula Gunawardene, minister said the general public has the right to voice their opposition against govt. MP Gunawardene said that people are taking revenge against the current govt, adding that three wheelers and buses are protesting not because the opposition has asked them to. MP added that doctors didn’t protest because opposition asked them to. more..

Social media outcry over IGP’s phonegate scandal

Dec 2 (CT) A huge social media outcry is demanding the immediate resignation of the IGP Pujith Jayasundara after he himself publicly made a mockery of the Yahapalanaya govt’s formulated independent Police Commission that has been created to stop acts as displayed by him. Violating the rules and regulations of the very purpose of the creation of the independent Police Commission, IGP was caught red handed more..

Report on four deaths at cardiology unit still not ready

Dec 2 (Island) Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne was yet to receive the report on the four deaths that occurred at the National Hospital following angiogram tests done last Sunday. Deputy Director NHSL, Dr Cyril De Silva said the report on the dye used for the angiograms had been sent for testing at the NDQL. The process would take a few days, he said, noting that the ministry investigation would have to be based on general information it received. He said however that he couldn’t comment on more..

JVP wants some name changes in line with history

Dec 2 (Island) The JVP told Parliament that names of some cities and towns in Sri Lanka such as Kandy and Point Pedro needed to be changed in keeping with their historical significance, which needed to be highlighted. JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake, participating in the third reading debate on the 2017 Budget under the expenditure heads of the Ministry of National Dialogue, said that the names of certain cities given during colonial rule should be changed. "The British, during their occupation, more..

President leads in tributes to great Cuban revolutionary icon, Fidel Castro

Dec 2 (PSL) President Sirisena described Fidel Castro as a great revolutionary leader who set an unparalleled example for true commitment and leadership to the world. “There are no Castros, Marx or Lenins in the world and there are only Batistas and Tzars. Hence, the people themselves will have to fight for their aspirations and rights,” he said. President made this statement at Remembrance Meeting held to pay tribute more..

Access to Parliament blocked by protesters MPs’ privileges violated: PM

Dec 2 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe called on the Chair to inform the Court and the Police, through the Speaker, that a large number of people found access to Parliament blocked yesterday, due to a protest organized by the Labour officers. He said in Parliament, while the govt uphold the right to protests, the rights of the MPs too should be protected. It is a privilege of MPs to come to Parliament and this right has been ensured by the Privileges Act, he noted. more..

Pride at stake as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh hunt consolation win

Dec 2 (CB) Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will look to bow out on a high when the two teams face off in their 2016 ACC Women's Asia Cup T20 encounter at the AIT Cricket Ground on the outskirts of Bangkok on Saturday (3). The final international game of the tourney has already been rendered inconsequential with unbeaten India storming into the final on Friday. While Bangladesh stand eliminated irrespective of the result on Saturday, Sri Lanka though, mathematically speaking, more..

In line with EU directive Tabs offered to fishermen

Dec 2 (Island) In line with European Union directive, the govt intends to provide tabs free of charge to those who operated trawlers. The project is to get underway next year. Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that govt had allocated Rs. 183 mn for the purpose. EU had banned fish exports from Sri Lanka in Jan 2015 over illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing. EU ban came into operation a week after Jan 8, 2015 presidential polls. more..

Court of Appeal issues notice on Defence Secretary

Dec 2 (Island) Commissioner General of Agrarian Services, the Central Environmental Authority, the UDA and the Attorney General, returnable on January 11, 2017 ordering them to be present in court on this date or be represented by a counsel. This order is pertaining to a writ application filed by the residents of Pothuarawa, Malabe that around two acres of low lying land in the area is being filled without any heed for the environmental feasibility factor. more..

Ravi defends 50 cent compensation

Dec 2 (CT) Minister Ravi Karunanayake informed Parliament that UNP MP Buddhika Pathirana was entitled to only 50 cents as compensation for a land acquired for the Southern Expressway extension project as the latter only owned 0.0013 perches of the relevant land. Minister noted that stamp fees would not be applicable for payments less than Rs 25,000 and that if the MP had been requested to come with stamps to obtain 50 cents it was due to a mistake made by Thihagoda PS. more..

Indian car exports to SL may hit a bump

Dec 2 (ET) Car exports to Sri Lanka -the fifth largest and fastest growing market for India-made passenger vehicles -is likely to hit a speed bump as the island nation has increased the import duty to 175% from 150%. Martuti Suzuki is the market leader in Sri Lanka, and all the vehicles it sells are imported from India. French carmaker Renault uses its facility near Chennai to supply to the SL market. India's automobile exports to more..

'China opposes external interference in SL'

Dec 2 (DM) Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi was reported to have told former president Mahinda Rajapaksa and his entourage that China was opposed to any external intervention in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka and the use of human rights as a political tool. Former minister G.L. Peiris, who was one of those who accompanied Mr. Rajapaksa on a visit to China last week, said Mr. Jiechi was the principal officer of Chinese President Xi Jinping on foreign affairs. more..

Island-wide bus strike a success: IPPBA

Dec 2 (DM) Inter Provincial Private Bus Association (IPPBA) President Sarath Vijitha Kumara today said the ongoing island-wide bus strike was successful. All inter-provincial and Colombo based buses which were operated from Gunasinghapura and Bastian Mawatha bus terminals came to a standstill and no buses were operated in and outside of Colombo. “We visited most of the bus terminals in Colombo, including Gunasinghapura and Bastian Mawatha. All bus terminals are deserted. more..

Korea Eximbank to develop traffic master plan for Kandy city

Dec 2 (EN) Export-Import Bank of Korea (Korea Eximbank) will support Sri Lanka to develop a master plan to improve traffic network connectivity in the central hill city of Kandy, island’s second largest city. “Through successful application of an efficient road network model in Kandy, it is anticipated to improve not only the accessibility and live-ability but also the investment attractiveness of city” Korean embassy said. more..

Maldivian Foreign Minister calls on Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera

Dec 2 (MFA) Minister Mangala Samaraweera, held discussions with Dr. Mohamed Asim, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Maldives today at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Two Ministers discussed ways and means of strengthening bilateral relations, including economic and trade links. Discussions were also held on enhancing cooperation in the areas of education, health, investment and security. They agreed to hold the next Joint Commission meeting between the two countries early next year. more..

Police fire tear gas at three-wheeler drivers blocking road

Dec 2 (AD) Police used tear gas to disperse a group of three-wheeler drivers blocking railway crossing at Galkanda on the Colombo-Negombo main road. Three-wheeler drivers were protesting against the govt’s decision to increase the fine on traffic law violations. Heavy traffic congestion has been reported from the adjoining areas throughout the day, due to the blockage by the protestors. Police later obtained a court order to remove any protesters blocking the Colombo-Chilaw main road. more..

Bus strike to continue for a second day tomorrow

Dec 2 (NR) The bus strike that was launched this morning, that inconvenienced the public, will enter its second day tomorrow. Bus trade unions have demanded an opportunity for discussions with relevant authorities while the strike is ongoing. Chairman of the Inter Provincial Bus Association Sarath Vijitha Kumara said the govt failed to provide an amicable solution to their demands. He said they have not held more..

Anti-Muslim campaign again – why?

Dec 3 (CT) To fully understand the revival of the BBS’ anti-Muslim campaign of recent weeks, I believe that we must contextualize it globally. We must view it in the context of the strength and the spread of what has come to be known as identity politics or ethno-politics. To illustrate its strength I will cite some details about the Palestine problem. Former US President Carter has just made a public request to President Obama to recognize the Palestine state, just as more..

A constitution which assures the right to live

Dec 3 (SL) The process to draft a new Constitution saw considerable progress being made last weekend with the presentation of six reports to Parliament. The reports by six sub-committees appointed to deliberate on the areas of Fundamental Rights, Judiciary, Law and Order, Public Finance, Public Service, and Centre-Periphery Relations were presented to Parliament by the PM. Sub-committee on Fundamental Rights headed by Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe has emphasised more..

'Ending AIDS does not mean ending HIV'

Dec 3 (SO) As another World AIDS Day approaches and we mull on the grim outcomes this contagious epidemic has unleashed on humanity in the past, dramatic declines in new cases of HIV/AIDs and deaths in recent years hold out the promise of a better future for victims of the dreaded disease. How this near impossible achievement was made possible in our own country with its limited resources is a story worth more..

Kingmakers are on same wavelength!

Dec 3 (CT) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Leader of the Opposition R. Sampanthan addressing two separate meetings in Trinco and Batticaloa last week expressed optimism on strengthening peace and reconciliation in the country. Leader of the Opposition R. Sampanthan who is also the Leader of the TTNA addressing a distinguished gathering of Tamil civil society leaders at his residence in Trincomalee last Monday, said regime change in Jan 2015 was significant more..

Enough is enough! Gnanasara should be arrested!

Dec 3 (CT) Ven Galagoda Atte Gnanasara was a Post War creation who according to MR himself was a product of a Western conspiracy. This demagogue brought a new phase to militant Buddhism, which has been continuously sabotaging the concept of a united multi ethnic Sri Lanka since Independence. This person in robes made it ordinary to use awful un-Buddhist filthy and uncivilized language when making references to other religions specially Islam and Muslims. more..

'ISIS threat to SL: Rajapakshe’s comments based on unfounded claims of communalists'

Dec 3 (CT) UNP MP Mujibur Rahman, asserted, that there is no concrete evidence with regard to an ISIS presence in Sri Lanka. In response to certain comments made by Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe regarding an ISIS threat to the country, he reiterated, that there is no substantial evidence according to his knowledge, as no one was even arrested. He added that these were claims put forward by an organization which attempts to more..

Reforms, protests and the future

Dec 3 (NS) Reforms are vital to any country or society. It’s because everything has to change with times. As a country grows and population multiplies priorities have to change. It is through reforms that we adjust ourselves to face tomorrow’s problems. As much as they are vital the reforms are often resisted by the people concerned irrespective of whether they are necessary for wellbeing of the people at large or not. Today we see in our country a wave of protests over a wide spectrum of issues more..

Extremist fringes and ethnic discord

Dec 3 (NS) Sri Lanka may have successfully defeated terrorism some seven years ago, but that does not mean there is reason to be complacent – and recent events should cause increased concern among authorities. Although there has been no flare up of ethnic tensions on a major scale just yet, there is ample evidence that there is plenty of racial discord simmering just beneath the surface of the social fabric of present day SL. That past few weeks has seen a spate of minor skirmishes: more..


Trade is not just for big businesses: Role of Sri Lankan SMEs in trade

Dec 3 (IPS) Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) play an important role in economies in terms of their contribution to national output, employment and share of firms operating in countries. In Sri Lanka, they form the backbone of the economy and can be found in all sectors of the economy. The SME sector in Sri Lanka accounts for 52% of the GDP, and 45% of the total employment, whilst making up more than 75% of the total number of enterprises in the country. more..