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Sri Lanka's rice crop in 2017 Yala season could also be hit

Dec 30 (EN) With SL's ongoing main Maha cultivation season already badly hit by drought, Yala minor cultivation season could be hit in 2017 even if rains return next year, officials said. In the Maha cultivation season only about 30 percent of the land usually cultivated by rice had been sown up to Dec 2016, and paddy production could half. SL produced around 2.9 million tonnes in the last 2015/2016 cultivation season. more..

What did Vijayakala Maheswaran really mean by praising Prabhakaran ?

Dec 30 (AM) State Minister Vijayakala Maheswaran raised some eyebrows with her recent speech where she admired the slain LTTE leader V Prabhakaran as an exemplary figure. She praised him as someone of a higher calibre than leaders in world politics. Some Sinhalese politicians dismissed this as an immature statement of a person who was making attempt to retain some popularity by a controversial statement on a terrorist leader. However, Maheswaran's mistake of glorifying more..

Sri Lanka’s racist politics cost $200 billion, death & destruction

Dec 30 (CT) Racist politics cost $200 billion, death and destruction: Yet monster of racism begins to raise its ugly head and the country, many fear, is heading towards yet another disaster. Two hundred billion US Dollar is a colossal sum of money especially for a tiny country like Sri Lanka though blessed with the best of natural wealth and a literate population. Converted even at the rate of Rs 145 it would be around 29,000 billion rupees. Had this national wealth been utilised to develop more..

Ada Cartoon

UNP closer to victory at LG polls: Kabir

Dec 30 (NR) General Secretary of the UNP, Minister Kabir Hashim said the party members are eager to face an election and elect more members to local govt bodies. Minister Hashim said UNP members were oppressed for over twenty years therefore will vote in numbers to the party during upcoming elections. However MP Mahinda Rajapakshe said, UNP members have lost faith in the present administration and therefore will not exercise their franchise at future elections. more..

SB says MR cannot topple the govt

Dec 30 (NR) Minister SB Dissanayake says the present govt cannot be toppled until fresh elections are called probably in 2020. Minister responded to a statement made by former President Mahinda Rajapakshe yesterday. MP Rajapakshe claimed that he will work towards toppling the present govt in 2017. However Minister SB Dissanayake said his attempts will be futile claiming following the 19th constitutional amendment, a fresh election cannot be called for 4 and half years. more..

'මගේ හැකියාව මගේ නොහැකියාවට වඩා ප්රබලයි'

Funds to be allocated for Don Bosco Technical Training Institute

Dec 30 (DN) Skills Development and Vocational Training Ministry will provide funds and manpower by way of qualified teachers to the Don Bosco Technical Training Institute at Eththukale, Negombo from next month. Speaking at the Annual Prize Giving Day and Certificate Awarding ceremony at the Institute recently, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe assured that in response to a request by Executive Director Rev.Fr. Anthony Pinto, his ministry would provide funds to maintain more..

Price of Surgical equipment to be reduced

Dec 30 (GDI) Minister Rajitha Senarathne has decided to reduce the price of surgical equipment parallel to the recent price reduction of essential drug items. Accordingly, under the first phase, it has planned to reduce the price of the eye lenses. Minster points out that there are many complaints from the patients regarding the prices of eye lenses. Currently, with the intervention of Health Minister, hundred thousand eye lenses have been given to patients, who are coming to more..

Minister rejects Jayasuriya’s resignation

Dec 30 (DM) Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera intervened to defuse growing tension between National Cricket Selectors and the Cricket Board after Chairman of Selectors Sanath Jayasuriya tendered his resignation citing interference. Jayasuriya who had reportedly forwarded his resignation to the Minister of Sports on Wednesday (21) met the Minister of Sports last morning to air his grievances before more..

Jaffna Shooting: 5 Policemen remanded

Dec 30 (NR) The five policemen arrested on suspicion of the death of the two students of the University of Jaffna have been further remanded. The suspects were remanded till the 13th of January by the Jaffna District Court Judge S Sadeeswaran when the case was taken up for hearing today. Charge Sheets were filed against the suspects in court today and the Court also ordered a report on the weapons possessed by the five arrested policemen, to be submitted at the earliest. more..

Rakna Lanka case to be taken up

Dec 30 (NR) The case pertaining to the liquidation of the Rakna Arakshaka Lanka Limited will be taken up before the Colombo District Court today. The petition was filed against the decision of the govt to dissolve the Rakna Lanka Limited, by a group affiliated to the company, calling the court to issue an injunction order. Accordingly the District Court issued an injunction order against the decision taken by the govt to liquidate the Rakna Arakshaka Lanka Limited. more..

'Terrible shots led to our downfall'

Dec 30 (CI) Angelo Mathews has blamed shot selection in both innings for SL's 206-run defeat in Port Elizabeth. Both South Africa's totals were higher than SL's, and only two of the visiting batsmen mustered half-centuries. Both of those also came in improved batting conditions in the second innings. Three of the top four were out playing attacking strokes in the first innings, while three of the top six were out to expansive more..

Investment roadblocks

Dec 30 (CT) Development (Special Provisions) Bill seeks to address the impotence caused to the Board of Investment (BoI) by the Thirteenth Amendment (13A) to the Constitution which has vested powers over land and other key areas such as approvals, especially in relation to investment work, to the Provincial Councils (PCs). Another institution that has disabled the BoI to a 'great' extent is the Central Environment Authority (CEA) set-up by an Act of Parliament in 1981. more..

Sri Lankan refugee who lost family in house fire remains in a critical condition

Dec 30 (NZH) The Auckland man who lost his wife, son and mother-in-law in a house fire three days before Christmas remains in a medically-induced coma at Middlemore Hospital. Kaileshan Thanabalasingham, 47, suffered burns to 40% of his body in the pre-dawn fire on Dec 22 at a house on Plantation Avenue in Flat Bush. Despite having opened his eyes a few times, lawyer and close friend Deborah Manning said Thanabalasingham remained heavily sedated. more..

Du Plessis praises groundsman for quelling Herath's threat

Dec 30 (CI) As much as South Africa succeeded in scoring the runs and taking the wickets they needed to beat Sri Lanka, they also managed to make use of home advantage by blunting the opposition's biggest threat. Unusually, the most spinner-friendly surface in the country offered little turn and barely deteriorated despite a severe dry spell in the lead-up to the match but that was all part of the South African plan to more..

SL keeps rates unchanged in December

Dec 30 (EN) Central bank said it is keeping policy rates unchanged in December with inflation rising 4.1% during the year. Credit from commercial banks to private business had grown by 22% in October, slowing from 25.6% in October, with 79 billion rupees in new credit being given in the months. Borrowings by the state from commercial banks had increased modestly in October central bank said. Broad money growth has slowed to 17.8% in October from 18.4% in September. more..

Sri Lankan shares fall about 10% in 2016

Dec 30 (Reuters) Shares fell on Friday, posting a yearly decline of about 10%, in thin trade due to year-end holidays, while investors waited for directions from the central bank on the rupee and interest rates. The central bank is most likely to keep its key interest rates steady at a monetary policy meeting later in the day, even as some economists expect further tightening to ease pressure on the rupee following a rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve earlier this month, more..

President instructs expansion of land area of Wilpaththu national park

Dec 30 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena has given instructions to the relevant authorities to issue a gazette notification declaring a larger Wildlife Reserve, including the surrounding forest area which is not under the purview of the Department of Wildlife, further expanding the forest area belongs to the Wilpaththu National Park. Furthermore, President instructed to the expeditious implementation of a programme to more..

Permanent solution to the national question: Opposition Leader’s New Year wish

Dec 30 (DN) Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan, in a message issued for the New Year, said his expectation for the New Year was that Sri Lanka would find a permanent and lasting solution to the national question. He called on political parties, religious leaders, civil society to work together to build a prosperous and peaceful country, forewarning that Sri Lanka should not miss, this golden opportunity. The full text of the message is reproduced below: more..

Row over Sri Lanka’s constitution

Dec 30 (ENS) The Sirisena-Wickremesinghe govt’s efforts to give Sri Lanka a new constitution to address the vexed ethnic issue and strengthen democracy has hit a rough patch. While there were broad-based and transparent public consultations and sub-committees have submitted their reports to the Steering Committee presided over by PM Ranil Wickremsinghe, yet there is no clarity regarding the issues which have plagued the country since independence. more..

South Africa seals 206-run win over SL

Dec 30 (CI) South Africa made full use of the second new ball to rip through SL's last five wickets and complete a 206-run win in Port Elizabeth, an hour and 10 minutes into day five. Once Kyle Abbott broke through early to dismiss Angelo Mathews and Dhananjaya de Silva, there was little SL's lower order could do. Mrgin of SL's defeat belied how comfortable their top-order batsmen had looked on day four, more..

Over 6,000 deserters officially resign

Dec 30 (NR) Over 6000 Tri Force deserters, considered as Absent without Official Leave, have reported to their respective services to receive legal discharge during the General Amnesty period announced by the Ministry of Defence. Ministry announced a one month amnesty period for deserters from the 1st of December. Nine officers and 6,502 soldiers of the Army presented themselves and of those 4 officers and 5667 soldiers have obtained legal discharge. more..

Amnesty to register vehicles ends today

Dec 30 (NR) The amnesty period announced for owners of unregistered vehicles to register their vehicles concludes today. A special cabinet paper was submitted earlier this month to the Cabinet of Ministers seeking an extension to the grace period provided to register unregistered vehicles. However speaking to NewsRadio, Commissioner General of the Department of Motor Traffic, Jagath Chandrasiri said the govt will not extend the amnesty period. Govt announced a grace period from more..

SL inflation accelerates to 4.1% in 2016

Dec 30 (EN) Sri Lanka's inflation rose to 4.1% in the 12-months to Dec 2016, accelerating from 3.4% in Nov with prices rising 1% in during the month. In Dec the food sub-index spiked 1.7%, while non-foods rose 0.4%. In the full year food prices rose 3.8% and non-foods rose 4.4%. Global inflation has been muted over the past two years with the US Fed gradually tightening monetary policy and sending the US dollar higher. more..

Samurdhi beneficiaries may lose Rs.17,000 m

Dec 30 (DN) Samurdhi (Divi Neguma) beneficiaries may stand to lose the Rs. 17,000 million deposits held in Divi Neguma banks to their credit due to the amalgamation of the 1,074 Divi Neguma banks with the Co-operative Rural Banks, a spokesman for the Samurdhi Bank Protection organisation said. Addressing a press conference, he said this amalgamation at a time when the Co-operative Banks system had proved a failure was tantamount to flouting the provisions of Divi Neguma Act. more..

Outgoing Indian, Chinese officials have talks with Army chief

Dec 30 (CG) The outgoing Defence Attachés of the High Commission of India for Sri Lanka and People’s Republic of China for Sri Lanka this afternoon made courtesy calls separately on the Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Crishanthe De Silva at the Army Headquarters. Captain Prakash Gopalan, Defence Attaché of the High Commission of India at first called on the Commander and bade farewell after tenure of 3 years of diplomatic service in Sri Lanka. more..

Third round of talks on ETCA to be held on Jan 4 and 5

Dec 30 (ENS) The third round of talks between India and Sri Lanka on an Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) will be held here on Jan 4 an 5, an official said.  Negotiations on ETCA have become tougher and tougher over the past year as both sides are now keen on clinching a good deal without unrealistic compromises. India’s stand on trade negotiations with Sri Lanka has toughened since more..

Last king of Jaffna was a Sinhala-Buddhist

Dec 31 (CT) Part of the crisis we are facing today was caused by either deliberately hiding the realities of history, or by political activists distorting it to suit expedient politics and partisan ideologies. Distorted history indeed played a central role in dividing the Sinhala-Tamil communities on ethnic lines. One of the main thrusts of peninsular politics was to distort Sri Lankan history and polarise the two communities to keep them apart on ethnic lines. It began with G.G. Ponnambalam who launched his more..

Muslim women’s Lib & Liberal Islam – Part III

Dec 31 (CT) A point to be noted and emphasized is that the hadiths came to be questioned not only after the four schools of law – those of Abu Hanifa, Shafi, Malik, and ibn Hanbal – were adopted as integral parts of orthodox Islam. They were questioned by one of the four legists whose systems were given canonical status. Abu Hanifa, whose school of law is the most widely prevalent in the Islamic world, did not use the hadiths at all as one of the bases of his system, because he regarded only more..

Away from the world, for the sake of world

Dec 31 (ST) As men, women and children in Sri Lanka as well as the far corners of the world gather around the lowly crib of Baby Jesus today to celebrate the birth of this humble king, by His side are His beloved mother, Mary, and foster father, Joseph. Iconic is Mary and considered the world’s most powerful woman. The qualities inherent in the Mother of Christ which are evident when looking deeply at her life, are unquestioning more..

Who killed Cock Robin?

Dec 31 (CT) Christmas Midnight Mass assassination of TNA MP Joseph Pararajasingham eleven years ago on 24 Dec 2005 in Batticaloa underscored the trigger happy barbarism which had slaughtered politicians and journalists who had expressed their views against injustices. Joseph Pararajasingham was a devout Catholic and being an ardent follower of late ITAK Leader S.J.V. Chelvanayagam, vociferously expressed his views in defence of the political aspirations of Tamils of the EP. more..

New hope for Sri Lanka in 2017

Dec 31 (CT) Tomorrow, the New Year 2017 will dawn. The festivities of the Christmas season are over. As we look forward to the New Year, this article attempts to look at what Sri Lanka could achieve by learning lessons from the bitter experiences of the past. As Einstein stated and quoted above, one should learn from the past and hope for tomorrow. According to India's former National Security Adviser and Foreign Secretary, Shivshankar Menon, Sri Lanka's internal war more..

Jayasekera not too satisfied

Dec 31 (CT) As the country gears up to usher in another New Year, it has now been 15 months since Dayasiri Jayasekera was appointed as the country's 14th Minister of Sports. In this scenario Ceylon Today caught up with Minister Jayasekera to review the overall state of the sports arena in this country under his stewardship thus far. Q: Now it has been over 15 months since you assumed duties as the Minister of Sports. more..

Grinch that stole Good govt’s Christmas gift

Dec 31 (FT) We all have selective hearing. For example, a wife may tell her husband: “Go to the supermarket. Lay down the shopping on the kitchen table. Clean and sweep the house. Get the kids after school today. Do something productive instead of just sitting around. Maybe you could finish the rest of the dishes.” But the husband hears only what he wants to hear… “Go … lay down … and … get … some … rest!” We choose the better bits and pieces that suit our worldview, and ignore context more..

Year 2017 for SL; Reading outside Astrology

Dec 31 (DM) Year 2017 dawns with all arrangements including a week for reconciliation put in place to celebrate two years of Sirisena presidency and Wickremesinghe govt. More precisely, it would be two years celebrated for ousting the Rajapaksas. The UNP on its own was conceded as no strong contender to floor Rajapaksa. Mr. Wickremesinghe thus agreed on Sirisena as the Common Candidate to defeat Rajapaksa. Ousting Rajapaksa was all that more..


CB bond scam report: Hand it over to probe units – JVP

Dec 31 (CT) JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake says that once the COPE Committee report on the Central Bank (CB) bond scam is debated in Parliament next year, it should also be submitted to the respective investigation units by the Speaker. He said the immediate progress of such investigations should also be notified to Parliament as well. The JVP MP added that what needs to be done on the report is to institute legal action against those found guilty of alleged CB Bond scam. more..

Restoring our Forest Cover

Dec 31 (Island) In his articles entitled Preparing for the Future by looking back (The Island of 15 and 29 December, 2016), Dr Ranil Senanayake deals with the many benefits resulting from a good forest cover, in the context of the reality of a dwindling extent. My observations here will be largely limited to suggesting possible paths to enhance the direct productive value of planned forests through the means of securing greater public involvement. I begin with the premise that more..

A train journey in paradise

Dec 31 (CT) Former Ceylon Govt Railways (CGR) or the present Sri Lanka Railways (SLR) is a loss-making govt venture struggling for survival. Despite claims of extending the railway to Kataragama, trains still chug only up to Matara. In spite of constant delays, cancellations and other attendant discomforts, Sri Lankans still prefer to travel by train rather than taking a bus ride. Despite occasional strikes & work-to-rule campaigns, more..