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SLC: Employee harassment begins

Jan 15 (CT) The unnecessary harassment meted out by the newly elected Executive Committee headed by its president and Deputy Speaker Thilanga Sumathipala, will see the resignation of the appointed Under 19 World Cup Cricket Manager Shane Fernando today with hours to go on the tour to Bangladesh. This is the first of such resignations that is scheduled to follow, especially from the existing employees of SLC who had any more..

World Bank rolls out project for small business in Vanni

Jan 15 (Island) International Finance Corporation of the World Bank that focuses on the private sector has recently rolled out a programme to promote improved corporate and ethical business practices for small businesses in the Mannar and Vauvniya districts. The initiative is part of the European Union Support to District Development Programme (EU-SDDP), funded by EU and implemented by five UN agencies and IFC. It is being undertaken with the Sri Lanka Institute of Directors (SLID). more..

Several Tamil parties condemn black flag protest against Maithri and Ranil

Jan 15 (Island) Several Tamil Political parties strongly condemned the NPC member M. K. Sivajilingam for staging a Black Flag campaign in Jaffna in protest against President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe visiting Jaffna to take part in the National Thai Pongal celebrations today. Although they said the protest was an utter flop, Sivajilingam said the protest had been a huge success with several prominent personalities taking part in it. more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Ex-UNP minister backs TNA’s call for MR’s role in constitution making

Jan 15 (Island) Former UNP Minister A.R.M. Munsoor urged govt as well as former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to heed TNA leader R. Sampanthan’s call for the former SLFP leader to join the constitution making process. The success of the process would largely depend on the participation of all political parties and groups represented in parliament, Munsoor said, adding that the required consensus could never be achieved unless former President threw his weight behind the project. more..

Abandoned Embilipitiya Paper Mill workers compensated

Jan 15 (Island) Funds received in 2011 by way of foreign direct investment (FDI) amounting to Rs. 400 mn in the Embilipitiya Paper Mill project which was abandoned the following year had been expended to compensate the workers, National Paper Company Limited (NPCL) Chairman S. B Niyangoda said. Niyangoda told The Island that the government had nothing to do with the NPCL or the abandoned project, but a local bank which had obtained a leasing facility was currently handling matter. more..

Herath, Kusal give statements to FCID; Angelo also summoned

Jan 15 (PTI) Sri Lankan players Kusal Perera and Rangana Herath have been questioned by the FCID over an alleged match-fixing scandal, a police source said. Opening batsman Perera had alerted the officials about an approach made by bookies to him and left-arm spinner Herath to underperform during the Test against West Indies at Galle in October. SLC sources also revealed that captain Angelo Mathews and team manager more..

Nandy assures SL continued support of UN

Jan 15 (CG) Outgoing UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Sri Lanka Subinay Nandy reaffirmed the commitment of the UN to the Government of Sri Lanka in continuing to progressively work together for the benefit of the Sri Lankan people. In February, Nandy, will take up his new post as Head of Asia-Pacific Division of the Department of Political Affairs in UN New York Headquarters. Nandy, concluded his assignment in Sri Lanka after a 4 year and 8 month term more..

Four Habeas Corpus petitions withdrawn

Jan 15 (DN) The four Habeas Corpus petitions filed by wives of four Army intelligence officers arrested and detained in connection with the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda were withdrawn by the petitioners citing that they have no necessity to proceed with them. Senior Counsel Ranil Samarasuriya with Didula Rajapaksha and Sudantha Bandara appearing for the petitioners informed Court of Appeal that their clients were currently in the judicial custody and more..

UN supervised referendum for Eelam Tamils sought

Jan 15 (CG) A group of diaspora organisations are to seek a UN supervised referendum for Eelam Tamils to express their political aspirations. The Transnational Govt of Tamil Eelam, the International Council of Eelam Tamils and the International Tamil Youth Organisation have in a joint statement noted that Tamils the world over continue to breathe the thoughts and dreams of a free Tamil Eelam. more..

Geographical boundaries to be rationalized, contradictions removed

Jan 15 (Island) A proposal by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to rationalise the country’s geographical boundaries and remove the contradictions has been approved by the Cabinet. According to PM's proposal existing contradictions would be removed by every administrative unit being determined on the basis of Grama Niladhari Divisions, jointly by Ministry’s of Home Affairs and National Policies and Economic Affairs, with participation of all relevant parties. more..

SL named top tourist destination for 2016

Jan 15 (DM) Sri Lanka has been named as a top under-the radar destination for 2016 by the Fox News, a post on the FoxNews website said. “This tropical Island in the Indian Ocean offers sweeping landscapes of lush green countryside, towering waterfalls and golden sand beaches. Sri Lanka has several national parks and eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Temple of the Tooth, which is said to hold Buddha’s tooth relic. It’s also known for its tea plantations,” website said. more..

Video: PTA is now an expired act: PM

Jan 15 (AD) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe says that his British counterpart David Cameron visited Sri Lanka during a dark period and that the govt is inviting him to return now that the sun is shining on the country. “British PM David Cameron visited Sri Lanka during a dark period. We are now publicly inviting him to come to Sri Lanka now that the sun is shining,” he said addressing the National Thaipongal Festival in Jaffna today. more..

Time for action on Sri Lanka war crimes

Jan 15 (TD) On Oct 31, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and International Committee of Red Cross President Peter Maurer jointly warned the international community about the impact of current conflicts on civilians, and appealed for urgent and concrete actions, including unhindered access and protection for humanitarian personnel, facilities and supplies, internally displaced people and refugees, and the end of the use of heavy weapons in populated areas. more..

Bread prices back to Rs. 54

Jan 15 (DM) In the wake of the govt’s decision not to implement the amendments proposed to the VAT and NBT in the 2016 Budget, All Island Bakery Owners Association has decided to reduce the price of bread, which was earlier increased by one rupee. Few days ago, Association’s Chairman N.K. Jayawardana said the price of a 450 gm loaf of bread was increased from Rs.54 to Rs.55. “We are glad to hear that Finance Ministry has decided not to implement some of the budgetary proposals. more..

Video: We need to jettison inherited prejudices and wrong notions: Wigneswaran

Jan 15 (AD) Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran says that an inclusive society cannot be built upon counter-terrorism mindset and state security perspectives and that a heavy military presence in the province lays the foundation for violence. Addressing the National Thaipongal Festival in Jaffna today, he said that the 16th goal of the UN’s 2013 agenda for sustainable development calls for promotion of peaceful more..

Forum thanks Sri Lankan govt for releasing Indian fishermen

Jan 15 (PTI) National Fish Workers Forum thanked the Sri Lanka govt for its goodwill gesture ahead of Pongal festival to release all 104 Indian fishermen arrested by SL Navy. Chairman of NFWF M Ilango said the Sri Lankan govt's announcement yesterday to set free all fishermen from TN and Puducherry incarcerated there for allegedly poaching in their territorial waters has come as a happy development. "The NFF thanks the SL president and the other authorities in the country for the gesture," more..

Monks cry foul over new bill presented to Parliament

Jan 15 (CG) Buddhist monks have raised concerns on the new bill presented to Parliament which they claim is an attempt to have control over the monks. National Bhikku Front said that the bill has been submitted without having proper consultations with the Buddhist clergy. National Bhikku Front claimed the the bill is being used to divert attention from key issues faced by the Govt which took office last year. Theravadi Bhikkhu Kathikawath bill, which provides for every monk to act in compliance more..

Police spokesman removed from brutality case

Jan 15 (EN) Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera was Friday removed from the proceedings of the inquest into the death of a man allegedly killed by Embilipitiya police. Gunasekera is accused of trying to block reporters from covering inquest proceedings into the death of Prasanna Jayawardena, 29, who died after police smashed a party in Embilipitiya on Jan 4. Gunasekera was not immediately available for comment, more..

Good governance is not the rule of the wild asses!

Jan 16 (CT) Medical education in Sri Lanka commenced in 1870 with the establishment of the Ceylon Medical College. It became the Faculty of Medicine in 1942 with the establishment of the University of Ceylon. Sri Lanka produced well-recognized doctors who practice around the world with the quality education they received in our medical colleges. Post graduate studies in medicine for MRCP, FRCS, FFARCS, MRCOG, FRCR, MRCPath, MRCPsych, FDSRCS were not more..

‘Father forgive them… for they know not what they do’

Jan 16 (CT) "Father forgive them, for they don't know what they are doing", this was the cry of Jesus Christ from the cross as He approached his last breath on earth. This understanding and forgiveness was underscored in the most humane manner when President Maithripala Sirisena pardoned Sivaraja Jenivan, a 36-year-old ex-LTTE cadre who had attempted to assassinate President Sirisena in 2006 by detonating a Claymore mine under his vehicle. The President was then a minister. more..

Changing the democratic landscape

Jan 16 (SO) A rare breed of a gentleman politician with an impeccable track record, untainted by either violence or corruption President Maithripala Sirisena changed the political landscape at the Jan 8, 2015 Presidential Election and became the 6th Executive President of Sri Lanka after a silent revolution. During his short span of one year, President Sirisena as a political leader with a genuine national interest, has introduced more..

Unite to build a new future for our country

Jan 16 (CT) This country has had three Constitutions thus far. The first has been the Soulbury Constitution enacted by our colonial rulers. We had the first Republican Constitution in 1972, which brought about several radical changes to the Soulbury Constitution. I will not go into the details of those changes. It would be sufficient for me to state that the main flaw in the 1972 Constitution was that it removed the safeguards provided to minority peoples in the Soulbury Constitution and more..

Cricket, Poor Sri Lankan Cricket…

Jan 16 (SL) The topic last week was supposed to be cricket but it was more politics than cricket. It took our minds to those happy days of cricket in the 1950s and a calypso that went with it. Cricket lovely cricket, It was at Lord’s that I saw it……. The mighty Windies were on tour of England led by Jeff Stollmeyer and Norman Yardley was England’s captain. As schoolboys we gathered round family’s 5-valve Echo radio and tuned into the hardly discernible BBC commentary wafting to us more..

Farmers made destitute

Jan 16 (CT) Placards saying we want our land and we need our land were held by the protesters. People carried out the protest at their land boundary; and handed over the petition to the Mullaitivu District Secretary, Rupavathy Ketheeswaran. From 2011 Keppapulavu villagers have been living in a so-called model village developed by Ministry for Resettlement, because according to the ministry they could not be more..

Some wonder of Asia

Jan 16 (SL) I have, from time to time, referred to the camp followers of the Rajapaksa Regime (MR1) who made their wallets bigger and were involved in destruction and death upon those who were seen as enemies of their patrons. Those references have, generally, been in passing. Also, given a grossly over-burdened judicial system in this country, it is understandable if the main aim was to net the big sharks first and deal (or not deal) with the acolyte remoras that survived (very well!) more..

Constitution in a hurry

Jan 16 (NS) Debate on constitution is in public domain again. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has presented a resolution in parliament to set up a Constitutional Assembly of all members for enacting a new constitution for Sri Lanka. Constitution is the supreme law of a country from which all other laws derive their authority. Therefore drafting of such a document has to be done with utmost care and patience as it needs the tacit approval of all the people. more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Put aside narrow political agendas for personal gain

Jan 16 (DM) Sri Lanka’s first post-independence PM Don Stephen Senanayake (DS) laid a strong foundation for the country and its people to rise above communal and religious rivalry. His untimely death left a vacuum that was hard to fill. DS envisioned his country as a pluralistic and a multi-ethnic secular state, in which minorities would be able to participate fully in govt affairs. His vision for the country soon faltered and communal rivalry and confrontation came to the fore. more..

Govt to step up monitoring of private plantations firms

Jan 16 (EN) Govt will strengthen monitoring of state plantations under private management using cess funds collected from exports to improve productivity and quality levels in the industry. The cabinet of ministers approved a proposal by the Ministry of Plantations Industries to strengthen its Plantations Management Monitoring Division (PMMD). PMMD will monitor the performance of 23 regional plantations companies (RPCs) which manage 465 large estates owned by more..

'Acclimatizing to conditions biggest challenge'

Jan 16 (CT) SL Under-19 Captain Charith Asalanka said that acclimatizing to the conditions in Bangladesh will be the biggest challenge for the team. This year's tournament will see a total of 16 teams participating and 48 matches been worked off from 27 Jan to 4 Feb. Asalanka further noted that the recent international expose which the team received while playing against Bangladesh and Pakistan during the home series and more..

Govt construction firms get first Megapolis contracts

Jan 16 (EN) Govt construction firms will get the first contracts for selected projects under the new Megapolis plan covering the Colombo metropolitan region but through competitive bids. Minister Rajitha Senaratne said the Megapolis town development program will address major issues like traffic congestion, parking and road safety that arose owing to haphazard development. Initial projects for developing important towns in the Western Province, where Colombo is located, more..

PM to steer the way in struggle for new Constitution

Jan 16 (DN) Jan 9 has a new significance in Sri Lanka's political process, being the day the Parliamentary process was initiated to form a Constitutional Assembly of the entire House to draft a new Constitution for this country. The opinions expressed by political parties, since the resolution for Constitutional Assembly was moved by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on Jan 9, and the delays in adoption of the resolution, with amendments, shows it is smooth sailing in the context of more..

Colombo comes alive with Kala Pola 2016

Jan 16 (FT) Sri Lanka’s internationally-acclaimed open-air art fair, Kala Pola, will take place on 31 Jan along Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha, Colombo. Kala Pola is presented by George Keyt Foundation in association with the John Keells Group and this is to be the 23rd art exhibition, since its inception in 1993. The one day, un-curated exhibition will open at 8am and will continue until 9pm the same night. more..

Craving Giving Birth to Inhumanity

Jan 16 (DM) Every child has a dream. But not every child is lucky enough to see his/her dreams come true. Many children are blessed with all luxuries in the world, while so many others find life is an uphill task. Street children are no exception. Rain or sun; hot or cold; day and night they would spend hours on the dusty and muddy streets, trying to make a living, find some food and cater to their petty needs. The Sarvodaya Rehabilitation Programme for Street Children and Women in Borella more..

National Para Athletics C'ships from 21

Jan 16 (CT) Road to Rio 2016, the selection trail for the final athletic squad will take place at the National Para Athletics Championships from the 21 – 23 January at the Mahinda Rajapaksa Stadium, Diyagama. Sri Lanka's most prolific sponsor of Paralympic sports, Dialog Axiata first sponsored the Sri Lanka Paralympics team in the year 2000 and will power the National Para Athletics Championships, National Paralympics committee, Sri Lanka Army Para Games committee more..

'SL needs to leverage Embassy network'

Jan 16 (NS) Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Harsha De Silva, says that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) is bracing up for a major restructure with a motive of leveraging Sri Lanka’s worldwide Embassy network. He said that a workshop scheduled to be held in March this year would comprehensively discuss the strategies the country would adopt pertaining to each foreign mission while Ministry would specify targets more..

Three Sri Lankan match officials for U19 Cricket World Cup

Jan 16 (DN) Three match officials from Sri Lanka have been picked by the ICC to officiate at the forthcoming Under 19 Cricket World Cup in Bangladesh from 27 Jan to 14 Feb. Former SL fast bowler Graeme Labrooy from the ICC Regional Referees Panel will form the three-member Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees for the tournament with Andy Pycroft (Zimbabwe) and Devdas Govindjee (India). SL umpires Ruchira Palliyaguruge and Raveendra Wimalasiri are among more..

Cycle journey around Sri Lanka to change lives of children with cerebral palsy

Jan 16 (EN) Local and international riders will cycle 1,400 kilometres around Sri Lanka in April in an initiative branded Around the Pearl to raise funds and give wheel chairs to thousands of children suffering from cerebral palsy (CP), organizers said. There are an estimated 40,000 children around the country suffering from CP who have varying difficulties moving around founders of the initiative say. Around the Pearl is conducted in collaboration with Cerebral Palsy Lanka Foundation, more..

SLC strangled between Sumathipala and Ranatunga

Jan 16 (NS) Govts may come and govts may go, and Sri Lankans are able to get rid Presidents when they are becoming autocratic, but the comedy of errors at Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) continues. A few days ago, elections at SLC saw the re-appointment of Thilanga Sumathipala as President. Running against him were the Ranatungas, brothers Arjuna & Nishantha, world cup winning captain and former secretary of SLC. more..