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Bond scammers continue to make important policy decisions about our economy

Dec 27 (FT) In an attempt to coerce the Govt to take action on the controversial bond issue, JVP MPs called on Govt to hold a Parliamentary debate to decide on the course of action to be taken to address the issue. MP Sunil Handunetti, who chairs the COPE claimed that Parliament has not yet scheduled a debate on the COPE report tabled last October. “However what we see is that the Parliament is taking steps to more..

Mangroves planted in Jaffna to meet future tsunamis

Dec 27 (Island) Mangroves were planted in some selected locations in the Jaffna District as bioshields against any future tsunamis. The mangrove planting campaign was held to mark the 12th anniversary of tsunami that hit the country’s coastal belt on Dec 26, 2004. Thousands of Sri Lankans prayed for their loved ones at mass graves and religious places yesterday. Some 30,957 lives were lost in SL following a 9.1-magnitude quake which occurred off the coast of Indonesia triggering a tsunami. more..

Prez invites Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister for second anniversary of Unity govt

Dec 27 (Hindu) President Maithripala Sirisena has invited Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu as guest of honour at the second anniversary celebrations of National Unity govt. In a recent letter to Mr. Naidu from President Sirisena’s secretary, it was conveyed that Sri Lanka would launch a poverty alleviation programme in 2017, prioritising science, technology and innovation in leapfrogging development. Commending Mr. Naidu for his own efforts more..

Hambantotatota port deal: JHU levels US$ 100 mn bribery allegation

Dec 27 (Island) The JHU yesterday vowed to do everything possible to torpedo the Hambantota Port deal as there were reports of govt politicians taking a 100-million-US-dollar bribe from a Chinese firm. JHU strongman Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said that his party would complain to CIABOC etc against those responsible for finalising the deal as there were reports of them taking US$ 100 million in kickbacks. more..

Police and the RTI Act

Dec 27 (DM) The Right to Information that has been much hyped by the leaders of the Yahapalanaya govt in the recent past seems to be one of the main issues not or less understood by the same leaders and the officials under them. Some bigwigs arrogantly scorn at and ridicule the media men in public when the latter question them about important matters involving public interest. They justify the recent assault on a journalist by the Navy Commander citing ethical and legal grounds. more..

How miserable are the leaders?

Dec 27 (DM) Police enforce the law to the letter. Could politicians lift our country to Australian standards, based on the way the present regime had started off? PM, Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is experienced, sharp and incredibly designing, in an interview with the Hindu, had said that having created a National govt, they had stabilized and prepared a new policy framework. PM had also said “We have sort of created the stability and the way. (For the benefit of MPs?) more..

From farce to fierce

Dec 27 (CI) We've all laughed at SL's transition this year, so to begin with, let's get a few gags out of the way. In the first half of 2016, SL's transition was into more transition. In the first half of 2016, SL transitioned from being a competitive side into a crap one. They meandered, they squandered winning positions - some players regressed. If that Sri Lanka team had been in charge of our evolution from apes, we would all by now be sea slugs. more..

Huge fuel bill mars President’s Iran visit

Dec 27 (ST) Ahead of a proposed visit to Iran by President Sirisena, Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has been told to pay a fuel import bill of more than Rs. 37 billion it owes to that country. CPC officials were called to the Foreign Ministry on Thursday and were told to pay the long overdue bill as Iranian officials were due in SL soon to discuss plans for President’s visit. They are also expected to discuss modalities of payments. more..

Vasu predicts year of turmoil

Dec 27 (Island) DLF leader Vasudeva Nanayakkara said the govt would face a debilitating defeat at the upcoming local govt polls next year. He warned that the 2017 would be a decisive year for the govt as it would decide whether it would continue to be in power or not. The veteran leftist stressed that the level of social tension and number of protests against the govt would increase in the new year due to unbearable cost of living. more..

Another dubious act exposed at CAASL

Dec 27 (SL) Astonishing revelations have now emerged as to how the Director General/ Chief Executive Officer, Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka (CAASL) has got special technical allowances into staggering amounts for expired/ invalid industry related licenses for his close confidants misleading the Department of Management Services of the General Treasury. The Director General of CAASL H.M.S. Nimalsiri, has allegedly more..

Digital forensic lab for Govt Analyst’s Dept

Dec 27 (DN) The opening ceremony of the Digital Forensic Laboratory and conferring of the upgraded DNA Laboratory to the Government Analyst’s Department was held on December 19 at the department premises. The US$ 3.2 million financial provision was allocated under the Capacity building project for Sri Lanka Forensic Science Agencies and officials from Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). more..

Former PM Ratnasiri Wickremanayake passes away

Dec 27 (AD) Former PM, Ratnasiri Wickremanayake, has passed away at the age of 83. Wickramanayake is a senior member of the SLFP and was serving as a senior advisor to President Sirisena. He was appointed Prime Minister by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa on 21st Nov 2005. He had earlier held the position of PM from Aug 2000 - Dec 2001, succeeding PM Sirimavo Bandaranaike who resigned at the age of 84.  more..

MPs’ vehicles to have photo identity stickers to make identification easier

Dec 27 (CT) A large, colour photograph of a MP is to be pasted on the vehicle he or she will be travelling in, in order to facilitate identifying the MP. This photograph will be printed on a special paper, of the type Aculin, so that it will be visible clearly during the night as well. On a proposal presented by Deputy Speaker Thilanga Sumathipala, it has been planned to put into operation, from the New Year, more..

Unemployment spikes in 2Q but non-farm jobs up

Dec 27 (EN) Sri Lanka's unemployment rate spiked to 4.6% in the third quarter of 2016 from 4.2% a quarter earlier, amid falling agricultural workers, despite the creation of new non-farm jobs, official data showed. The unemployment rate was not much changed from the second quarter of 2015, when it was 4.5%. Census of Department said the rate was not significant when considering the margin for sampling error. more..

Southern & Sabaragamuwa PCs defeat controversial bill of development

Dec 27 (LBO) Southern Provincial Council and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council today morning defeated the Development Special Provisions Draft Bill. 33 PC members voted against the bill while only 14 voted in favor in Southern PC, while 20 voted against and 13 voted in favor in Sabaragamuwa PC. Earlier in the month, Development Draft Bill was defeated at the Uva PC with 9 votes in favor and 13 against. more..

Udaya asks govt to reveal its promises TNA

Dec 27 (Island) The govt should immediately reveal the promises it gave the TNA before the 2015 presidential election, UPFA Colombo District MP Udaya Gammanpila says. Addressing the media at PHU head office at Pita Kotte, Gammanpila said that speaking in Parliament on the final day of the budget debate, TNA MP M. A. Sumanthiran had asked the govt to immediately fulfil the promises it has made to the TNA. more..

From Phonegate to Media Ban

Dec 27 (CT) Last week, we wrote about public servants who become malignant personalities after being intoxicated by the noxious fumes of power and authority. We wrote about the importance of individuals who do not take power to their head, when he or she has a responsibility to use that granted power responsibly. We also told you how public servants who do not adhere to this common discipline, and stray seeking thrills most definitely ends up being ridiculed by many. more..

Economy 2017: The alarming signs should not be ignored

Dec 27 (CT) The year 2017 dawns with two anniversaries. One is the sixth anniversary of this series analysing economic and related issues. The other is the second anniversary of the good governance govt that came to power in 2015 in a silent revolution. The first anniversary is to be celebrated by looking at some of the economic analyses done during the past six-year period. However, with respect to the second anniversary, a grand celebration is being planned by more..

පාපන්දුවට පයින් ගහන්නේ කවුද?

Video: 3 killed in head on collision in Vavuniya

Dec 27 (AD) Three persons were killed and one injured following an accident between a container and a cab in Vavuniya on Tuesday. The accident occurred in the wee hours of this morning near the Boo Oya bridge in Irattaperiyakulam on A-9 road. The injured person who is a 30-year-old from Dehiwala has been admitted to the Vavuniya hospital for treatments. Remains of the deseased are also kept at the same hospital pending autopsy. Driver of the container was arrested more..

Moves to limit vehicular traffic to Colombo

Dec 27 (DN) Western Provincial Council (WPC) will cut down the number of vehicles entering Colombo daily by 50,000. About 300,000 and 350,000 vehicles enter the city daily, Western Province Chief Minister Isura Devapriya said. He said the support of state institutions is required to implement the programme. The programme will be implemented next year. CM said the WPC will provide shoes for 125,000 schoolchildren on Dec 28-29. Housing programme will commence next year. more..

Video: It is unethical for MPs to accept Rs.100,000 allowance: Ranjan

Dec 27 (AD) I am of the view that it is unethical for the MPs to accept Rs.100,000 allowance, Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake says. He said that he has also refused to accept the additional allowance granted to all MPs. The proposal to increase allowance for MPs to Rs.100,000 was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers on Nov 29. Proposal was submitted for a review by Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka. more..

CID allowed to obtain statement from Thajudeen’s brother

Dec 27 (CT) Colombo Additional Magistrate yesterday (26) granted permission to the CID to obtain a statement from Wasim Thajudeen's brother, in connection with the special investigation that is being carried out into the murder of Wasim Thajudeen. When the case was taken up for hearing, CID reported to Court that, during the period the murder took place, a former OIC of the Narahenpita Police had tried to influence a brother of Thajudeen and that they were carrying out more..

Protests halt surveying of lands to be alienated to Chinese Co.

Dec 27 (Island) Surveying of lands to be leased out to a Chinese firm in the Hambantota, Moneragala and Ratnapura districts had been stopped owing to public protests, Surveyor General P.M.P. Udayakantha said. The process of surveying 1,500 acres of land to be given to the Chinese company to set up an industrial zone had been launched, but people had opposed it at various forums, Udayakantha said. Basic surveying and mapping of 1,500 acres had been commenced more..

Free insurance cover for national level athletes: Dayasiri

Dec 27 (DN) Ministry of Sports will be taking out insurance cover for all national level athletes next year said Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera addressing athletes and guests at the colours awards ceremony organized by the Matara District Athletics Association (MDAA). We have been unable to win a medal at the Olympic games after Susanthika Jayasinghe achieved this feat fifteen years ago. Countries like China & Japan start their more..

Two dead after three-wheeler and car collide in Maharagama

Dec 27 (AD) Two persons were killed following an accident involving a car and a three-wheeler in Maharagama. Police said that the accident had occurred at around 9.55pm last night near the Dharmasoka Vidyalaya in Maharagama. The three-wheeler was traveling from Maharagama to Kottawa when its driver lost control and collided with a car traveling on the opposite direction. The three-wheeler driver and passenger were admitted to the Kalubowila Hospital in critical condition, more..

Cops shot at Katana: Police all out to nab two assailants

Dec 27 (Island) Police Headquarters said three special teams had been deployed to arrest two suspects for shooting two policemen at Katana on Sunday. Incident occurred when the policemen on night patrol stopped the suspects on suspicion. On being confronted one of the suspects grabbed a revolver from one of the policemen and opened fire. Policemen were injured in the attack and the assailants fled the scene. A screwdriver and a chisel had been found in a bag carried by more..

'Our aim is to reverse govt’s harmful projects'

Dec 27 (LT) We reproduce here a translation of the interview the Leader of the JVP Anura Dissanayaka had with weekend newspaper. Q: This could be the last time we meet for 2016. Do we next meet in the country heated up by the JVP? A: This is a moment Maithri – Ranil administration has begun several projects that have not been brought to the surface but are very harmful to the economy and existence of the country. more..

Vehicle speed in Colombo city down to 6 kmph by 2020

Dec 27 (CT) Vehicle speeds within the city of Colombo will fall to 6 kmph by 2020, according to Ministry of Finance. Currently, speed within Colombo city is 8 kmph. In 1980 the speed was between 40 to 60 kmph. The drop in speed is due to the increase in the number of vehicles on the roads. Overall number of vehicles in 2008 stood at 3,390,993 but by last year it had risen to 6,302,141. About 250,000 vehicles enter city of Colombo daily and this would increase by 25,000 annually. more..

More deserters report during the General Amnesty

Dec 27 (MoD) A large number of tri forces personnel who are considered as Absent Without Official Leave (AWOL) have reported to their respective services to get their legal discharge during this month. A one month long General Amnesty period was announced by the Ministry of Defence beginning from 1st of this month (Dec) for tri forces deserters to get their legal discharge. So far (As of 26th) seven officers and 4658 other ranks of the army have made themselves present to more..

Don't proceed with Hambantota lease: Handunnetti tells MS

Dec 27 (DM) JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti requested President Sirisena not to go ahead with the signing of the lease agreement to hand over of the Hambantota Port to a Chinese Company. He requested him to at least present the agreement in Parliament so that the people would know its contents. In a letter to the President, Mr. Handunnetti said Govt is morally bound to reveal the conditions stipulated in the agreement when more..

Politics is one job that one can be done without any qualifications

Dec 27 (Island) The only employment which one could do in Sri Lanka without any qualifications was politics, Minister of Labour and Trade Union Relations W.D.J. Seneviratne said. The minister observed that there was not even a minimum qualification to enter politics in Sri Lanka. Minister was speaking at a ceremony after handing over certificates to those who had completed diploma courses at the National Institute of Labour Studies (NILS) at the BMICH recently. more..

Sri Lanka sells Rs55bn in bonds below secondary yields

Dec 27 (EN) SL sold 55.58 billion rupees of 4, 7 and 10-year bonds after calling offers for 57 billion rupees, at yields below the secondary market prices earlier in the day. The debt office, which is a unit of Central Bank sold 18.58 billion rupees of 4-year bonds maturing on 01 March 2021 to yield an average of 11.94%. Same 4-year bonds were quoted at 11.95/05% before the auction. 18.6 billion rupees of 7-year bonds maturing on 01 Aug 2024 were sold to yield an average of 11.98%. more..

Tamil politicians squabble over damaged Gandhi statue in Mullaitivu

Dec 27 (ENS) Two leading Tamil politicians of North Sri Lanka, both belonging to the TNA, are squabbling over a controversial statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Mullaitivu town which was found destroyed on Monday.   TNA MP Dr. Sivamohan had installed the statue recently, with the money given to him by the govt for carrying out social and development works in Wanni electoral district, his constituency. more..

Mininster Amaraweera says Indian fisherman in custody will be released

Dec 27 (NF) Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Development has made a recommendation to the Attorney General’s Department for the release of 20 Indian fishermen, who are currently in Sri Lankan custody. Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that although the Indian fishermen will be released, their fishing vessels will not be. Minister said that the Indian govt has made a request for the release of its fishermen who are in Sri Lankan custody. more..

Energy regulator urges urgent action to prevent power crisis in 2017

Dec 27 (EN) Sri Lanka’s energy regulator has asked the state power utility to urgently buy new power plants, make full use of available plants by postponing repairs, encourage self-generation by captive generators and increase solar rooftop generation to ward off looming power cuts. The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka said successive failures of monsoons have led to very low storage in hydro power reservoirs – less than 500 GWh. more..

Release of delimitation committee report further delayed

Dec 27 (CG) The release of the report by the delimitation committee reviewing the demarcation of electoral boundaries in local govt wards, has been further delayed. Ministry of Local Govt and Provincial Councils said the release of the report has been delayed owing to some administrative issues. He said the report was to be released today by the chairman of the committee Asoka Peiris. However the delimitation committee has said more..

Police nab robbers using GPS technology

Dec 27 (CT) Officers of the CID of Kadawatha Police have succeeded in taking into custody within an hour of the robbery, a vehicle carrying Rs 2.6 million worth of cash and cigarettes, which was taken at gun point at about 1 p.m. on Saturday. The robbers had used a locally manufactured Galkatas type of firearm and carried out the hijacking at Bathiya Mawatha, Makola, Kiribathgoda. Robbers had arrived when the vehicle belonging to a cigarette agency located in Kadawatha more..

A/L results out before Jan 8

Dec 27 (Island) Results of the GCE (A/L) Exam will be released before January 8, Commissioner General of Examinations said. He said his department had finalised all results except in the Technology stream, which was introduced for the first time this year. Exam was held in August 2016 and 315,652 candidates sat it at 2,204 centres throughout the country. Around 30,000 candidates had sat the examination from the technology stream which had a practical component as well. more..

Carol mix-up: Organizers apologize for error in hymn sheets

Dec 27 (DM) Those responsible for the error in the carol service hymnal have apologized to Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith and the Catholic Church, a spokesman for the Colombo Archdiocese said. “We consider the matter closed on the basis that those responsible for the error have apologized," spokesperson said. Organizers had mistakenly printed the lyrics of gangster rapper Tupac's song, Hail Mary on its hymn sheets. more..