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Neighbours: Good, the bad, the indifferent

Dec 5 (Island) That’s the poet William Blake writing about A Poison Tree, to be taken metaphorically. But I have comprehended the poem literally and am disappointed that my foe is as healthy as ever and walking in and out of his flat after uprooting my beautiful red, yellow and orange cannas and breaking branches off my jasmine plants that gave flowers to my household and three wayfarers who come daily to take their pick. He’s done this before but not in such a rampageous manner. more..

Sport for every child to build a healthy nation

Dec 5 (ST) The increase in the number of overweight children in our society, may be a direct result of us not paying attention to their daily diet and to their physical activity. TV and computer games have replaced children’s playtime. Today, they play Football in the computer, rather than on the grounds. If we choose to ignore these facts and let this trend continue, we would surely be end up with an unhealthy nation, soon. more..

Foreign players barred from FA Cup: FFSL

Dec 5 (ST) Foreign players will not permitted to play in this year’s Cargills Food City FA Cup Tournament which commenced last Saturday. Football Federation of SL made this decision as local players were unable to make an impact due to foreign-player dominance. This year’s Cargills Food City FA Cup Tournament champions will receive a cash award of Rs 1 million. Cargills Food City is throwing its weight behind the FA Cup Championship for the 4th consecutive year in line more..

Veteran banker joins Cargills Bank

Dec 5 (FT) Cargills Bank has announced the appointment of Rajendra Theagarajah as the Joint Deputy Chairman, further bolstering the organisation which has achieved two key milestones recently. Theagarajah is a veteran banker with a wealth of experience in the banking and financial services sector and counts over 30 years of experience in banking both locally and internationally. Theagarajah served as CEO of NDB from Aug 2013 till 30 Nov 2016. more..

Sand divers risk health for lucrative job

Dec 5 (MS) Dilantha Silva learned how to dive for sand in the river near his house when he was 13 years old. At 36, he is still diving for sand in that same river, Maha Oya, which flows past his hometown of Kochchikade. But the father of three, who works without any special diving equipment, says he has only a few more years of the work in him. "I dive because I want to live, but I come to surface because otherwise I will die," more..

Addressing old ladies

Dec 5 (ST) A coach from Singapore visited SL to give advice on the technical aspects of the game. Singapore coach was shocked to see that she had to address a set of old ladies. She had stated that she was in Sri Lanka to address the youth of the country on the sport. It has now been revealed that this sports body had wanted to honour some of their old and trusted followers and had invited them to attend this seminar. Many sports journalists are not aware that there is an association for them. more..

Leading biz woman appointed Brand Ambassador in Japan to boost SL Tourism

Dec 5 (FT) Popular businesswoman Satoko Yahata was appointed Brand Ambassador to promote Sri Lanka Tourism in Japan by Tourism Development Minister John Amaratunga. Satoko Yahata is the President of Core S Ltd., a Tokyo-based consulting firm that specialises in planning international business in art, food, culture, fashion and travel, as well as a media producer. Yahata was recommended by Tourism Advisory Board Chairman Harry Jayawardena. more..

Eran says govt follows a pragmatic approach in restructuring State enterprises

Dec 5 (FT) Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne told Parliament that the Govt follows a pragmatic approach to restructure State enterprises. He claimed that the govt is not outdate in their economic and political approach to restructuring, and has a practical approach. “It is not dogmatism but it is pragmatism that drives our programs. We don’t believe that change in ownership will bring benefits; the situation in more..

Maga signs MoU with Vocational Training Authority

Dec 5 (CT) Since the ending of the civil war in year 2009, the increase in local and foreign investments in infrastructure development projects has created an increase in the demand for skilled workers in the construction industry. There have been various initiatives to develop this skilled workforce by Ministry of Skills Development and Vocational Training. Vocational Training Authority (VTA), which functions under the above Ministry was established in 1995. more..

Online freelancing provides more jobs, income for SL youth

Dec 5 (ST) Online freelancing is growing rapidly and gaining popularity within the younger generation in Sri Lanka as it provides avenues to make extra income with one’s skills and knowledge while being at home, according to a research study conducted by LIRNEasia. Based on a  nationally representative survey, LIRNEasia estimates, there could be 17,000 to 22,000 freelancers in Sri Lanka registered with multiple platforms and selling their skills all around the world. more..

Warning Sri Lanka stands to lose pros

Dec 5 (NS) Assistant Secretary of GMOA Dr. Chandana Dharmaratne, Secretary of GMOA, Dr. Naveen Soysa, Editor of the GMOA, Dr. Nalinda Herath, Assistant Secretary of GMOA, Dr. Haritha Aluthge, Executive Committee Member, Dr. Shenal Fernando and General Committee Member and Branch Secretary of the GMOA, Dr. R. Thanigaivasan regarding their concerns about proposals in the budget which they deemed more..

Tea industry lost in new budget proposal

Dec 5 (ST) The tea industry is facing uncertain times in the wake of the new budget proposal to limit the estates to 5000 acres per company that caught the sector by surprise. Issues like the fact that the Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) have entered into a 55-year lease agreement with the govt and how this could be re-done with this kind of budget proposal to limit the acreage on the estates, are confronting plantations with no proper response from the authorities. more..

Sri Lanka’s entitlement culture

Dec 5 (ST) CB Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy, last week hit the nail on the head and made, what one would call in rugby parlance, a blinder of a tackle. Speaking at a glittering ceremony to mark its Best Corporate Citizen awards in Colombo, Indrajit – a dashing rugby wing forward who went on to captain Sri Lanka in 1974 – said the country has a deeply entrenched entitlement culture that along with populist politics has for decades stalled SL’s march to progress. more..

Global support sought for PPP success

Dec 5 (FT) Minister Ravi Karunanayake has called on development partners and technocrats to bridge financial gaps to encourage public-private partnerships (PPPs) in view of the urgent need to accelerate sustainable economic growth through private sector investments on infrastructure. “I invite all development partners such as ADB, JICA & USAID to fill the financing gap of the govt in private sector led investments more..

Lankan Journalist harassed in India

Dec 5 (CT) Mirudhula Thambiah, a Journalist attached to Ceylon Today, was recently forced to undergo a serious security check, at the Indian Immigration Authority, based at Bengaluru Airport, where she was continuously questioned. It was not a routine or normal security check, but an extraordinary case of harassment. She said, "I was harassed by the security personnel at the Airport, as I landed on 27 Nov. I was invited to participate at the 'Countering Online radicalization of Youth more..

PM suggests separate place for protesters

Dec 5 (DN)  PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on Saturday suggested that there should be a separate place for protesters and also demarcate a High Security Zone (HSZ) around Parliament. He made this suggestion in Parliament referring to those who staged protests around the Parliament complex in Sri J'pura, Kotte in the past week and the obstruction of the movement of MPs to and from Parliament by these protests. PM said that any person had the right  to come to Parliament and meet their representatives but more..

Pride of Pacific trains new SL marine corps

Dec 5 (MCT) Camp Pendleton Marines wrapped up the first joint training mission with the newly created Sri Lankan marine corps last week, the latest sign of the U.S. military stepping up engagement in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. Sri Lanka stood up its new naval infantry in September with a core force of seven officers and 150 sailors and modeled it on the U.S. Marine Corps. More than 300 U.S. Marines and sailors with more..

Distorted SL flags raised by BBS led mob

Dec 5 (CG) Distorted Sri Lanka flags were raised by a mob led by the Bodu Bala Sena which was on its way to Batticaloa yesterday. The flags did not have the two green and orange colour stripes that represent the minorities in Sri Lanka. A large number of people had attempted to enter Batticaloa but were prevented from doing so by the Police on a court order. The mob which called itself the Shasanarakshka Sabha included members of the Sihala Ravaya. more..

One dead in CM’s jeep crash

Dec 5 (DN) A 67-year-old person died when the three wheeler he was travelling collided with a jeep in which North Central Province Chief Minister Peshala Jayaratne was travelling at Sigiriyamulla in Sigiriya around 5.45 p.m. on Saturday. The three wheeler driver injured in the accident is warded at the Dambulla Hospital. The deceased was identified as A.N. Somaratne of Melsiripura. He had been returning in the three wheeler after visiting his son in Sigiriya when the tragedy occurred. more..

SLMC gets ultimatum

Dec 5 (DM) Elections Commission has issued a deadline on SLMC to settle its internal dispute with regard to the post of Party Secretary who would deal with matters concerning elections with the Commission. Chairman of EC Mahinda Deshapriya in a letter to SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem and Secretary A.C.A.M. Mansoor with a copy to Secretary General Hassan Ali had stated that unless the party settled this dispute before Dec 15, more..

More deaths at protected railway crossings

Dec 5 (ST) Far more railway crossing accidents occur at protected rather than unprotected crossings. There were 62 accidents resulting in nine deaths on protected level crossings this year compared to 15 on unprotected ones with no fatalities. Last Sunday alone, five people lost their lives at a crossing in at Poddaramulla, in Pothupitiya, Wadduwa. The victims, aged from 45-60 years, had been drunk and disregarded the railway gate-keeper’s warning, police said. more..

SL ranked 103rd for in Enabling Trade Index

Dec 5 (NR) Sri Lanka was ranked 103rd out of 136 counties in the Global Enabling Trade Index compiled by the World Economic Forum. Index ranks economies on the extent to which they have in place institutions, policies, infrastructures and services facilitating the free flow of goods over borders and to their destination. India was ranked one place above Sri Lanka at 102. Rankings were part of Enabling Trade Report 2016. Report ranked SL poorly for access to foreign markets. more..

State Water Supply SOE heading for financial crisis, losses understated

Dec 5 (EN) National Water Supply and Drainage Board is heading for a financial crisis due to the inability to service loans taken for new projects, minister in charge Rauf Hakeem said. In the last few years the NSWDB had implemented water projects in areas including Homagama, Avissawella, Kosgama borrowing 54 billion rupees from domestic banks. In the past few year more water supply projects had been built with loans more..

FCID probes into 4,012 mn Nilwala River Diversion Project

Dec 5 (DM) FCID had sought a court order to obtain a detailed report from a State Bank on release of Rs.4, 012 million for the Nilwala River Diversion Project. FCID said they needed this information to conduct an investigation under Money Laundering Act to ascertain any misappropriation of public money by not commencing the work on the project. FCID also said that the project was also an unsolicited project, despite the total cost amounting Rs. 4,012 million had been paid 2 years ago. more..

Gemunu wants rioters punished

Dec 5 (DN)  Lanka Private Bus Owner’s Association President Gemunu Wijerathne said firm action should be taken against those who damaged public property while severely injuring a soldier in the protest organised by several private bus trade unions against the Rs. 25, 000 and Rs. 2,500 traffic fine. “We have already come to an agreement with President Maithripala Sirisena  to form a committee on the revision of these fines when some private bus unions decided on a strike on Friday. more..

Friday’s mayhem: Over 20 arrested

Dec 5 (DN) Police arrested over 20 persons who pelted stones at buses, blocked roads and obstructed the free flow of traffic during Friday’s private bus strike. 19 persons, arrested on charges of unlawful assembly in Negombo, were remanded until Dec 9 by Negombo Magistrate. Police on Friday had to remove containers placed across the Negombo - Colombo main road by the protesters. more..

Where is politics heading

Dec 5 (DM) Sri Lanka has been fortunate to maintain a high literacy rate and a satisfactory life expectancy level over the years. There had been significant achievements in health, education and other sectors together with a prospering plantation economy at the time of independence. In 1948, the British pound against the rupee had been Rs.1/50. Now it is Rs. 185/=.   In the early 1940s, in the then State Council, there had been demands for Dominion Status. more..

The hypocrisy that is Aleppo

Dec 5 (DM) Aleppo was once Syria’s second largest city, with 2 million inhabitants. Aleppo, or Halab in Arabic, is one of the world’s oldest continually inhabited cities, being mentioned in Egyptian texts from the 20th century BC. However, after nearly five years of civil war, it is estimated around 300,000 inhabitants remain in the rebel-held area of the city   Syria’s brutal civil war, has raged for over five long years and has pitted Russia, Iran and Hezbollah -backers of Syria’s president Assad more..

Maaveerar Naal, is an LTTE event, not a Tamil National Day of mourning

Dec 5 (DM) Nov 27, 1989, was the day on which the LTTE first observed its annual Maaveerar Naal or Great Heroes Day. 27 years have passed since then and the 27th anniversary of the event fell on Nov 27, 2016. The event continues to be observed on a large scale by sections of the Global Tamil Diaspora despite the military debacle suffered by the LTTE in May 2009. The event has lost much of its lustre after the demise of more..

Indian academic’s proposal for joint fishing rejected by Mannar fishers

Dec 5 (ST) A proposal by an Indian academic for joint fishing by SL and Indian fishermen in the Palk Strait, without engaging in bottom trawling, was rejected by Mannar fishermen. At least 37 fishermen from Mannar representing Pallimunai, Pesalai, and Talaimannar fishing villages were invited for a discussion with Prof. V. Suryanarayan, a leading specialist in South & Southeast Asian studies at Naval Command in Talaimannar. more..

Conflict of interest in the monetary board exposed

Dec 5 (SL) Following the alleged bond scam controversy, it has now been revealed that a member of the Monetary Board of the Central Bank who was appointed after the new govt came into power, is working hand in glove with a primary dealer. Monetary Board is vested with all the authority, functions and duties in terms of the Monetary Law Act. As the governing body, the Monetary Board is responsible for making more..

Friday’s private bus strike: The day Gemunu lost control

Dec 5 (CT) The countrywide bus strike, launched by the All Island Private Bus Owners' Federation (AIPBOF) with the support of many private bus operators' associations, came to an end early Saturday morning after the discussions with President Maithripala Sirisena. According to the President of the AIPBOF, Stanley Fernando, President Sirisena had agreed to resolve the concerns of bus operators over the proposed more..

Drop in road accidents after fine announcement

Dec 5 (DN) Motor traffic accidents dropped by 10% during the last two weeks after the govt announced heavy traffic fines on motorists, Police said. Accidents dropped by about 10% during the last two weeks. The number of accidents reported daily is around 100-125 whereas it has now decreased to 90 to 100 incidents. The daily statistics on victims hospitalised due to road accidents to the Colombo National Hospital Accident Ward more..

Video: High Court grants bail to Tissa A.

Dec 5 (AD) The Colombo High Court today granted bail to former General Secretary of the UNP Tissa Attanayake in the case against him for allegedly preparing fraudulent documents. The former Health Minister had been remanded until Dec 05, after he appeared before the Court on 04 November. Tissa Attanayake was released on a personal bail of Rs.25,000 and four personal bails of Rs.500,000 each. more..

Dy Speaker tells JO MPs to act responsibly

Dec 5 (Island) It would be difficult to conduct parliamentary affairs if all political parties brought their supporters to Parliament roundabout to show their strength, Deputy Speaker Thilanga Sumathipala said on Saturday. He called on the MPs of the Joint Opposition to think seriously of the smooth functioning of parliament rather than flexing their muscles on various issues for public consumption. more..

Religious freedom has been ensured in Sri Lanka: President

Dec 5 (PSL) “Freedom of following any religion has been ensured in SL, as religious philosophies help people live more virtuous and disciplined lives” said President today (4) at the bicentennial celebration of the Methodist Church of Thempola, Raddolugama. He stated further that, although physical development such as construction of roads and buildings has increased, spiritual development lagged behind. more..

Envoy insists Udayanga not involved in Noel’s death

Dec 5 (CG) Russia’s Ambassador to SL Alexander Karchava insisted that SL’s former Ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga, is not involved in the murder of a Sri Lankan employee at SL embassy in Russia. Karchava said that a Russian National was arrested over the crime and he is now serving a jail term. Noel Ranaweera was killed in 2014 while serving at SL Embassy in Russia. Body of Noel Ranaweera, was exhumed last year more..

Hambantota development project: Govt, China should stick to original plan: MR

Dec 5 (Island) Former President Rajapaksa has suggested to China that it stick to original Hambantota development project to avert possible protests by the local community. He pointed out that it would be better for the Chinese to initially utilise 750 acres as originally planned. The former leader was responding to recent declarations that Hambantota project had been expanded following talks between incumbent govt and Chinese. more..

Expenditure of Provincial Councils Ministry passed by a majority of 47 votes

Dec 5 (Island) The vote on the expenditure heads of the Ministry of Provincial Councils and Local govt at the end of the committee stage budget debate in Parliament was passed with a majority of 47 votes on Saturday. It received 83 votes in favour and 36 against. TNA voted with the govt while only the members of JO voted against it. The JVP MPs were not present in the chamber when the vote was taken. Expenditure heads of the Ministries of Provincial Councils and Local Govt, more..

Full Text: National & public security, public order and police sub-committee report

Dec 5 (CT) Report of the sub-committee on Law and Order, Public Security, Emergency has been submitted to the Constitutional Assembly for its consideration with the other five sub-committees reports. According to the Prime Minister’s office sources, six sub-committees were appointed by the Constitutional Assembly to make recommendations on the areas of Fundamental Rights, Judiciary, Finance, Law & Order, Public Service and Centre-Periphery Relations. more..