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Editorial: If wishes were Tigers ...

Dec 31 (Island) UNP MP Vijayakala Maheswaran has stirred up a hornets’ nest by saying at a recent public meeting that if LTTE leader V Prabhakaran had been alive he would have been fit to be the PM. If wishes were Tigers some politicians like Vijayakala would ride them! Robert Knox famously said the Sinhala farmer was fit enough to be the king after mud was washed off him. Opinion is divided on what Knox really meant. This saying is popularly thought to be a glowing tribute he paid to more..

Angelo to become a dad soon

Dec 31 (Island) Skipper Angelo Mathews’ wife Heshani is expected to give birth to the couple’s first child shortly. The 29-year-old Mathews told ‘The Island’ that the couple are expecting a baby boy in March. With the international cricket calendar full of fixtures until April, there’s very little time for Mathews to take time off. Sri Lanka finish their assignments in South Africa on the 10th of February and will straight head to Australia where they will play three T-20 Internationalss. more..

Inordinate delay in launch of Rs. 12 bn. project blamed on Health Ministry

Dec 31 (Island) Multi-billion rupee tender for the construction of a special nurses' training facility hasn't been awarded in 2016 in spite of the yahapalana govt allocating Rs 2 and half bn for the project. Govt Nursing Officers' Association (GNOA) President Saman Ratnapriya has blamed the Health Ministry for the inordinate delay in finalizing the tender process. Ratnapriya alleged that those who had been handling the project more..

Melstacorp looks to equalize non-alcohol revenue sources with its beverage earnings

Dec 31 (Island) Amitha Gooneratne, Managing Director- Melstacorp Limited said on the trading floor of Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) that the Company's objective in the coming years is to generate an equal revenue from its non-alcohol investment portfolio as from its alcoholic beverage business. Gooneratne made this comment at a special market opening ceremony held at the CSE which had been organized to mark the introductory listing of the shares of Melsacorp Ltd. more..

Status of UNP-SLFP govt: PM to make a special statement

Dec 31 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is set to make a special statement on the current status of the UNP-SLFP unity Govt and its future policies on 5 Jan, sources said. PM is set to focus specifically on tasks achieved during the 16-month period of the current regime, while also touching on issues which the govt is determined to resolve during its remaining four years in office. PM is also scheduled to express his views on the recent public statement made by former President Rajapaksa more..

SL tourism has potential to grow further if it invests in marketing: Shangri La GM

Dec 31 (FT) Sri Lanka can achieve higher numbers of tourist arrivals if it puts in place a robust and strategic marketing plan to promote the island as a world class tourist destination, a leading hotelier said. Vice President and General Manager of Shangri La Hotels Lanka Timothy Wright, said that Sri Lanka needed to invest more into its marketing plans for the Govt to achieve its target of 4 million tourists by 2020. more..

Protect pets from fire cracker explosions

Dec 31 (CT) Sagarica Rajakarunanayake of Sathva Mithra said in a comunique yesterday that It is time again to remind everyone to protect their pets from the dangers of exploding firecrackers and other similar objects which are used profusely at this time of the year to herald the new year. Communiqué said: "Dogs and cats and other small animals kept as pets In homes are terrified by these explosions and need to be calmed down and kept close to their owners or caregivers. more..

Code of conduct for SLFP aspirants

Dec 31 (CT) SLFP General Secretary and Minister Duminda Dissanayake said the party's Central Committee (CC) has decided to introduce a code of conduct for all those contesting the upcoming LG polls on the party ticket. He said this decision was taken to further sustain the quality and standard of the SLFP as it forges ahead to the future. He added that due to shady characters being given nominations, on the party ticket, in the recent past, the SLFP had suffered immense damage. more..

Family doctor for every family from 2017

Dec 31 (DN) Introducing a Family Doctor for each and every family is among the many health development programmes planned by the Health Ministry for 2017. Ministry intends to reorganise and strengthen primary care level of hospitals (state hospitals without specialists) to provide people with a family doctor closer to home. Many developed countries have Family Doctors for families. They have data of each and every family member more..

Sampanthan to meet TNA MPs

Dec 31 (CT) Leader of the Opposition in Parliament R. Sampanthan has convened a special meeting of his party MPs on 8 January to discuss the current impasse regarding the formulation of a new Constitution. The meeting had been fixed before Parliament convenes for the first time on 9 Jan 2017. Parliament on that day is to be turned into a Constitutional Assembly before debating the reports submitted by the Parliament sub-committees on the enactment of a new Constitution. more..

Ruhunu University to add faculty for Tech. Stream in January

Dec 31 (DM) Another faculty of the Technology Stream will be opened at Ruhunu University on January 2, it's Vice Chancellor Prof. Gamini Senanayake said. The govt introduced the subject to cater to students who sat for the subject at the A/L Examination in 2013. The first batch passed out from the university last year. Prof. Senanayake said that the university could accommodate 125 students in the first intake for the new faculty. “It is a fully equipped faculty. more..

Volkswagen assembly plant opening next week

Dec 31 (FT) UNP MP Nalin Bandara has said work on the Volkswagen vehicle assembly plant to be established in the Kuliyapitiya area will commence on 3 January under the patronage of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. The MP said MAS Holdings will also open a manufacturing plant in Mattegama, Kurunegala on the same day. In addition, a large manufacturing plant will be opened in Horana with the collaboration of local and Italian investors. more..

'Lanka Salt Company now makes profits'

Dec 31 (DN) Lanka Salt Company Chairman Ayub Khan said the company, which ran at a loss of Rs. 330 million during the previous regime, was transformed into a profit-making entity within two years. Company had made Rs. 990 million net profit after repaying the debts obtained by the previous govt amounting to over Rs. 330 million. Company income in the past two years had topped Rs. 2000 million. Ayub said his company produced and sold 6000 MT of salt in the past two years more..

Rajagiriya accident victim still cannot walk

Dec 31 (Island) Sandeep Gunawardena, who was injured when his motorcycle collided with an SUV allegedly driven by a minister early this year in Rajagiriya was still unable to walk, his father Dayananda said. "Though my son underwent physiotherapy at the Rehabilitation Hospital at Ragama there was little improvement as he was discharged a few months ago," Sandeep’s father said. Right now Sandeep is seeking native treatment which also cost a lot of money, he said. more..

'Take appropriate action or we’ll raid ministry & minister’s residence'

Dec 31 (LT) The residence and the office of Minister P. Harrison would be surrounded if issuing paddy from govt stores is not temporarily stopped and immediate and intensive action regarding serious frauds and irregularities are not taken says the National Organizer of All Ceylon Farmers’ Federation Namal Karunaratna. He said the revelations made by his Federation and small & medium scale rice mill owners that frauds more..

Gamini, Namal call on Minister Senewiratne to discuss labour issues

Dec 31 (DN) Joint Opposition (JO) MPs Gamini Lokuge and Namal Rajapaksa yesterday called on Labour Minister W.D.J. Senewiratne to discuss the Hambantota port labour dispute. The MPs told the minister that govt and semi-govt employees are facing many labour issues. They said the employees at the Magampura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port, Mihin Lanka Airlines, Health Department, Sri Lanka Tea Research Institute, and Rubber Research Institute among others were facing many issues. more..

NPC bans transport of bottled toddy from South

Dec 31 (DN) Northern Provincial Council (NPC) adopted a resolution banning the transport of bottled toddy to the Northern Province from the South. Provincial Agriculture Minister P. Ainakaraneshan submitted the proposal to ban the transport of bottled toddy to the Northern Province from the South. Provincial Minister while submitting the proposals to the Northern Provincial Council said that the palmyrah toddy tapping industry in the province will be affected, more..

Reports of LIOC, CPC discord, just a simple misunderstanding: Minister

Dec 31 (DN) Despite recent reports of discord between Lanka Indian Oil Company (LIOC) and Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) officials in the Trincomalee China Harbour, Minister Chandima Weerakkody yesterday insisted that the issue was just a simple misunderstanding. CPC Deputy Manager (Operations) Menaka Jeevasiri complained that he had been barred by LIOC authorities from conducting repairs on more..

CFHC starts sea-sand dune removal at Oluvil

Dec 31 (DN) Ceylon Fishery Harbours Corporation (CFHC) inaugurated the sea-sand dune removal programe at Oluvil Fisheries Harbour and the Commercial Harbour area by SAYARU grab hopper dredger ship recently. A sum of Rs 40 million has been allocated for this by the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Ministry. Ministers Arjuna Ranatunga and Mahinda Amaraweera took action on this matter at the request of Minister Rauff Hakeem and Deputy Minister H.M.M. Harees. more..

Angelo weighs in options for number three

Dec 31 (Island) After the 206-run defeat in the first Test against South Africa here at St. George’s Park, Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews was asked on Kusal Janith Perera’s (KJP) choice at number three. Number three is perhaps the most vital position in the batting line-up and KJP lacked the temperament required there while his technique was also found wanting. KJP managed scores of seven and six in the first Test and was the talking point during Sri Lanka’s innings. more..

Local Govt State Minister resigns

Dec 31 (Island) Local Govt and Provincial Council Acting Minister Piyankara Jayaratne resigned from his post. Jayaratne had handed over his resignation letter to President Sirisena yesterday. Jayaratne has, in his letter of resignation, said that local govt members in his district (Puttalam) and his supporters had been pressuring him to give up the ministerial post over the inordinate delay in conducting mini polls more..

Two novel paddy varieties

Dec 31 (DN) The Batalagoda Paddy Research Station invented two fresh strains of paddy. According to paddy research officials attached to the Batalagoda Paddy Research Station, the two novel varieties of paddy are named as BG 369 and BG 3R. BG369 is a white rice variety. A harvest of 100 to 125 bushels of paddy could be yielded through the cultivation of this variety in an acre. It is resistant to pests and insect diseases. BG 3R is a red samba strain. These grains of rice are small. more..

Ten SLFPers to quit govt ?

Dec 31 (CT) A group of SLFP MPs are planning to leave the Govt after 8 January 2017, informed sources said, adding that among them are 10 State and Deputy Ministers. These State and Deputy Ministers are said to be representatives of the Galle, Puttalam, Kurunegala, Gampaha, Moneragala, Ratnapura, Matale and Badulla Districts. The resignation of the State and Deputy Ministers was being engineered by two powerful Ministers who have also had secret talks with the JO. more..

New Year messages

Dec 31 (DN) The year 2017 dawns with new hopes of prosperity, coexistence and reconciliation in our hearts. The twenty two million people of Sri Lanka look forward to an era of sustainability with a determination to alleviate poverty in all its forms, states President Maithripala Sirisena in his New Year message. Message adds: ”It is imperative that we overcome the challenges ahead of us. The progress of the human race was pioneered more..