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Central expressway project on track

Dec 29 (SO) Despite stiff opposition from residents, claiming higher compensation for land acquisition, and delays in tender processes, officials at RDA said that quarrying and civil engineering works on the second phase of the proposed Central Expressway will begin on Jan 16. Project Director of Section 2 of the Central Expressway said, contracts were awarded on Nov 17 for civil engineering and consultancy work. more..

An attempted Rajapaksa return

Dec 29 (DN) The soft launch of a new political party nominal headed by former Minister G.L. Peiris, but substantively the Rajapaksa political vehicle, styled the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) has created a new buzz in political circles about the Rajapaksa comeback project. A project that really began, in the small hours of the morning of 9th January last year, when it became apparent that the people had rejected Mahinda Rajapaksa for an unprecedented third term. more..

Navigating through troubled waters

Dec 29 (DN) Former President J.R Jayewardene, the man who introduced sweeping political and economic reforms under his leadership, initiated a major development drive under his govt to change the politico-economic trajectory of the country, in 1977. Before Jayewardene’s ascension to power, Sri Lanka went through a tough phase in terms of economy, as the United Front govt, led by former PM Sirimavo Bandaranaike, adopted strong protectionist measures in a bid to strengthen more..

'Masses will take to streets'

Dec 29 (CT) This week in midweek meet up, Ceylon Today interviewed a vehement critic of the Budget 2017, Wasantha Samarasinghe, JVP North Central Provincial Councillor and the President of the Inter Company Employees' Union (ICEU). He emphasized that there is no progress in the setting up a pension for private sector employees. He stressed that amalgamating the EPF and ETF and creating a fund is not the way to more..

Trinity Kollo and Kello - I

Dec 29 (Island) I wouldn't know where to start or end this story of the Trinity Memories Re-Visited programme and the tour organised by a dedicated group of younger looking older boys of Trinity College Kandy led ably by the bald headed and super efficient Anil Goonetillake of Central Finance fame. He was ably supported by Lalin Sourjah (US), Horace Jacob, Narendra Dambawinne, Gihan Nanayakkara, Lalith Wickremanayaka, Alex de Vass, Pradeep Liynamana, Lalin Ratwatte, more..

Ben Ali there – Ben Ali here

Dec 29 (CT) There are strikes everywhere. These strikes have succeeded to some extent at least to drag the country into a net of chaos and to upset the minds of the people to benumb the lives of people. When you consider these facts, it is obvious that the purposes of the sinful shadows behind these cruel strikes have been achieved at least to some extent. The govt did not face up at all properly to the strike that made people suffer, which was launched by so-called road killers requesting permission to more..

Face the nation

JR to Premadasa to Chandrika: Days that changed a nation’s profile

Dec 29 (CT) Last days of the SLFP-led ’70 – ’77 coalition govt showed sure signs of socio-political degeneration of a mythical charisma. That mythical charisma was Sirimao Bandaranaike. Such a statement might be a way too harsh on the personalities that dominated the ’70 – ’77 govt. Nevertheless, when history reads its periods of change, it surely stamps down its conclusive judgments on consequential changes to society in general & certain personalities, in particular. more..

From Api wenuwen api to Aba Saranai: Snapshots of ten years

Dec 29 (GV) When Sanjana came up with an offer too tempting to pass, I accepted with the knowledge that rolling out the significant junctures of the past decade and reflecting them upon the future was going to be a daunting task because in my short life span lived so far; it definitely was the most significant decade in too many diverse ways. Looking back at the past ten years my memory is vibrantly stuck on one key incident which took place in 2006 and I think it’s most appropriate to more..

Hans hoists Sri Lankan flag high globally leading Dialog with success

Dec 29 (FT) Having built and spearheaded the country’s biggest telco and a flagship for the rest of South Asia, Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya remains unassuming. Celebrating 20 years as CEO of Dialog Axiata, Sri Lanka’s biggest foreign investor, Hans credits the entirety of the company’s success and its multiple pivotal milestones to team work. A Chartered Engineer by profession and one of the three pioneering more..

Cook's stellar year: A dip in average for Amla

Dec 29 (CI) 1929: The previous instance when the same opening pair shared a 100-plus partnership for South Africa in both innings of a Test. Stephen Cook and Dean Elgar added 104 in the first innings and 116 in the second in Port Elizabeth. Bob Catteral and Bruce Mitchell added 119 and 171 respectively against England at Birmingham in 1929. Overall, eight other opening pairs have shared century stands in both innings of a Test. 2012: Last instance of a century stand for opening wicket more..

I've developed a thick skin: Cook

Dec 29 (CI) Stephen Cook has had bigger innings under more pressure than he did at St George's Park on Wednesday but there may not be a knock more significant in the context of his career. After a century in Adelaide in South Africa's previous Test and a fifty in the first innings, Cook wanted to show consistency, especially as an answer to the questions over who will face the chop when AB de Villiers returns. "Shutting out the noise is the challenge of a cricketer, more..

Sri Lankan fielders drag feet during declaration dance

Dec 29 (CI) Fielders loiter on the boundary prodding the turf with their boots, and, when the ball comes their way, almost fall over in surprise. Bowlers traipse in with a hodgepodge, hedging-your-bets field, no clear plan about where the ball should go, no visible intent, no zip off the pitch, or movement, or bounce and barely a whimper at the misfields let alone an angry grunt. The infielders watch balls scorch past, then fail to back up more..

‘30% market share for SFML’s hygienically pure products’

Dec 29 (Island) The automated milling process at Serendib Flour Mills (SFML) ensures zero human contact. CEO, Serendib Flour Mills Kevin O’Leary said at a press briefing at the factory site. Advanced technology makes needless, manual contact from silo to the finished product. Off-loading of wheat from shipping bunkered alongside the factory site in the harbor is also mechanized. Hi–tech innovation ensures purity and, as he said, the finished product was classed as 7 Star wheat flour. more..

MR’s VIP security allowance slashed

Dec 29 (CT) VIP Security Allowance, being provided to former President Rajapaksa's VIP Security Unit, was slashed from last April. A contingent of 206 Police Officers had been deployed to provide security to Mahinda Rajapaksa. Officers of this Security Unit said that none of those officers were being paid the allowance of 33% of their basic salary for providing VIP Security. Even though a sum of Rs 2,400 is included in the salary of every officer deployed for VIP security, more..

Cook century drives SA's dominance

Dec 29 (CI) Stephen Cook's third Test hundred moved South Africa into a dominant position on a third day of rain delays and rapid scoring in Port Elizabeth. Sri Lanka caused a brief flutter with four wickets for 56 runs, but that only came after South Africa had moved to 221 for 1. At stumps, South Africa were 351 for 5, their lead 432 with two days remaining. For most of the day, the only force that seemed capable of halting more..

'Sri Lanka can cut losses and benefit from Chinese investment in Hambantota'

Dec 29 (EN) Sri Lanka can reap benefits from Chinese investments in Hambantota which is now a dead weight with cost million in loan repayments and interest each year with little benefits, an economist and infrastructure specialist has said. Rohan Samarajiva, head of LirneAsia, a regional policy think tank said Hambantota was built with debt for which Sri Lanka's tax payers are now responsible, but its economic value is limited, except for the Chinese. more..

Dr. Patrick Dixon, Europe’s leading futurist upbeat on Lanka’s future

Dec 29 (DN) Dr. Patrick Dixon, a globally acclaimed futurist and a growth strategist says he is very upbeat about Sri Lanka’s future and our culture of innovation. Dr. Dixon, the Chairman of Global Change Limited and the co-founder of Global Innovators made this observation, when he addressed CEOs of the Sri Lankan firms at the CCC recently. “Plans for establishing a Colombo International Financial City is a symbol of confidence and of future economic growth. more..

Idyllic Shangri-La at Hambantota eyes the Indian marriage market

Dec 29 (ENS) The idyllic Shangri-La Resort and Spa at Hambantota in the southern tip of Sri Lanka is eager to tap the top drawer Indian marriage market as part of its ambitious goal of becoming a miniature Serendib which in the past had attracted romantics from far and near in both fable and fact. “We are striving hard to be the preferred venue of high profile Indian weddings. And for this and other benefits, we will be partnering with Taj Hotels more..

1st Schools National Fencing C'ship: Royal, Visakha S’gaskanda champs

Dec 29 (ST) Royal College Colombo and Visakha College Sapugaskanda emerged champions in the boys and girls categories of the inaugural School National Fencing Championship which was conducted at the MAS Royal Arena auditorium, Reid Avenue. In the boy’s category Royal came out top when they bagged 15 medals comprising of four gold medals, two silver medals and nine bronze medals while Mahawatte MV Kandy took the second spot with six medals that included four gold more..

Susanthika’s condition improves

Dec 29 (CT) Susanthika Jayasinghe, who made the dream of an Olympic medal for Sri Lanka a reality and was known as the Black Mare of Asia, was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of the Base Hospital in Diyatalawa with dengue. It is said that her condition is improving. However, Medical Superintendent Ranjith Amarakone said that she will have to remain in the ICU for another five days or so, since there is no possibility of transferring her to a general ward. more..

CaFFE to sue Delimitation Committee

Dec 29 (CT) The Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) is mulling legal action against members of the Appeals Committee on Demarcation of Boundaries and the Ministry of Local Govt and Provincial Councils for deliberately delaying the local council elections. "The Appeals Committee on Demarcation of Boundaries and the Ministry of Local Govt and Provincial Councils has united to deliberately delay LG elections. more..

100,000 MT of rice to be imported

Dec 29 (DN) Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said that 100,000 MT of rice will be imported to the country by Jan 16, 17 as a remedy to the scarcity of rice and to bring down the price of rice. He added that the process of registering rice importers will be completed by January 4. After that suitable parties for rice importation will be selected. Then the selected parties can import rice under the direct supervision of the govt. Decision on rice imports is jointly taken by a committee of Trade Ministry more..

Romania-SL cooperation at UN strengthens

Dec 29 (Island) Romanian Ambassador Dr.Victor Chiujdea with Minister Sagala Ratnayake at a cermony to mark Romania's National Day held in Colombo. Bilateral relations between Romania and SL has strengthened with cooperation extending beyond borders to the UN and other international organisations, says the Romanian Ambassador in Colombo, Dr.Victor Chiujdea. "Bilaterally and in the international arena, we have adopted a a sustained consultative approach within UN framework, more..

Parliament bids farewell to Ratnasiri

Dec 29 (CT) Ministerial colleagues, old and new MPs from both sides of the political divide, gathered round his bier in Parliament to bid farewell to the former PM Ratnasiri Wickremanayake as his remains Lay-in-State in the House yesterday. The remains of Ratnasiri Wickremanayake, who twice held the PM portfolio, and was a Senior Adviser to President Sirisena at the time of his demise, was brought to Parliamentary Complex more..

Narendra Modi mourns former PM's death

Dec 29 (IBNS) Indian PM Narendra Modi on Wednesday mourned the death of former PM Ratnasiri Wickremanayake. PMO India tweeted: "Deepest condolences on demise of veteran politician and former Sri Lankan PM Ratnasiri Wickremanayake: PM @narendramodi." As per the Official News Portal of Sri Lanka, the former PM  had been admitted to the ICU of a leading private hospital on Dec 21. He passed away on Tuesday. He was 83. more..

No houses, no museum, only an unused cultural centre

Dec 29 (ST) A man who survived the 2004 tsunami still regrets his decision to donate a plot of land to the state to build houses for the displaced. Ariyaratne Manawaduge said that instead of putting up houses in the land the government first planned to put up a tsunami museum, but instead built a cultural centre which is not being put to use now. He said the Govt even laid the foundation stone for the museum in 2005. “I then said I would give some personal items of some victims to be more..

‘Pharma Companies will compensate pharmacies for losses’

Dec 29 (DN) SL Chamber of Pharmaceutical Industry (SLCPI) announces that despite the negative economic impact consequent to the implementation of the price ceiling on 48 essential molecules, SLCPI members have made every effort possible, to ensure continuity of the supply of medicines to market. SLCPI is happy to announce that its membership has already compensated or are in the process of compensating more..

SLFP Youth Front to set up district level balamandalas from January 15

Dec 29 (DN) SLFP Youth Front (SLFPYF) is ready to set up the Youth Front Balamandala at the district level from Jan 15 to mark the two-year anniversary of the President Sirisena's appointment to the SLFP leadership, SLFPYF president Shantha Bandara said. He made this observation yesterday during a press conference at the SLFP headquarters. He also said that already 100 SLFPYF Balamandalas were set up at electorate level and Balamandals in 60 electorates have to be set up. more..

Nursing faculty to commence at Sri J'pura nurses’ school

Dec 29 (DN) Lectures of the proposed new nursing faculty will commence next year at the nurses’ school at Sri J'pura General Hospital, Health Ministry sources said. The details were reveled at a recent discussion at the Health Ministry attended by Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, Acting Health Services Director General Dr. Jayasundara Bandara and Nurses’ Union President Saman Rathnapriya. A new building complex will be built for the faculty with 17 floors next year. more..

'We will support UNP to form a govt'

Dec 29 (DN) Minister Mano Ganesan said that his party will extend support to the UNP to form a govt if the SLFP is going to form a govt as claimed by Minister Dilan Perera. Ganesan while refuting allegations that the UNP had a secret deal with former Minister Basil Rajapaksa said that the UNP has had no deal with anyone but the people of this country. He said key national issues can be addressed only through national govt. more..

SriLankan Airlines: No decision yet

Dec 29 (ST) Five-member committee appointed to evaluate bids for SriLankan Airlines has held a series of meetings with the shortlisted parties but has not reached a decision on who should be recommended for the deal, an authoritative source said. The parties are Super Group Partners, Peace Air and Texas Pacific Group or TPG. Super Group is a consortium comprising predominantly of Asian investors. The third, TPG, is an American company and one of the largest private equity more..

Ground broken for USD 166 mn Havelock City project

Dec 29 (DN) The ground breaking ceremony to commence the construction for USD 166 million Havelock City Commercial Development project got off the ground yesterday under the auspices of Overseas Realty Ceylon Chairman S.P Tao. Havelock City commercial development project will boast an iconic 46 storeyed 600,000 sqft grade A premium office building and a 200,000 sqft shopping mall upon completion in 2020. Havelock City is the largest integrated mixed- use development more..

Rice controversy: Yapa silent on Dudley-Harrison clash

Dec 29 (Island) Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena declined to comment on Araliya Rice proprietor Dudley Sirisena’s allegation that Minister P. Harrison was responsible for the severe shortage of rice particularly Nadu in the market these days. Abeywardena said he could not respond to Dudley’s statement, but the govt had decided to immediately import a rice consignment as there was a shortage of the staple in the country. more..

Little acts of kindness will make a mighty ocean

Dec 29 (DM) As we come to the end of 2016, it would be important to reflect on the little good deeds we have done for others, little acts of kindness and mercy in a spirit of selflessness and sincerity without expecting something in return. Millions of such little acts of kindness and mercy will make a mighty ocean of such virtues at a time when a vice-ridden world is seeing so much of wicked brutality. Filling our days with acts of kindness and selfless service for the common good of all, more..

Sri Lanka: Blurring of a Vision?

Dec 29 (DM) I have written several articles in this column pointing out the precarious nature of the country’s economy and the disorderly state of society and polity in recent times. While the economy is unsustainably distorted, both structurally and functionally, many long standing social issues remain entrenched. The political machinery is not functioning optimally and appears to be incapable of making significant reforms to accommodate any rational and reasonable demands on more..

'UNP-SLFP diatribe a drama'

Dec 29 (DM) The Joint Opposition MP for A'pura District Shehan Semasinghe, says it is thoroughly unacceptable to delay the local govt elections. He says the country is going through a turbulent period. How do you see the current political situation? It is really a disaster. There was a change of govt in Jan 2015. People’s expectations were raised at that election. They were promised a better standard of living. more..

'Next year crucial in terms of delivery'

Dec 29 (DM) Minister Harin Fernando, says the govt will start execution of projects next year, and people will feel the benefits by the end of the year or at the beginning of 2018. Q:  How do you see the current political situation?  A: The next year will be a crucial one. For the last couple of years, attention was paid the consolidation of the govt and getting the necessary mechanism in place. We have levelled the ground to have more..

'Prabha could have been PM if he were alive'

Dec 29 (DM) If LTTE leader Prabhakaran had been living today he could have become the PM of the country, said State Minister Vijayakala Maheswaran. She said so during a ceremony at the Kilinochchi DS to grant compensation to the Kilinochchi General Market stall holders whose stalls were gutted in Sept. “Vadamarachchi area was renowned for Education. LTTE leader Prabhakaran, was from Valvettithurai. more..

CMEC sees attempt to disrupt project

Dec 29 (SL) The proposed Industrial Park in Hambantota would give immense benefits to the country, however, certain political moves are on the cards to disturb this massive investment project despite the blessings of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, said a senior official of a top Chinese establishment which works closely with the Chinese govt. A senior official of the Chinese Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) more..