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Sri Lanka's shrinking forests

Golden Key on progress of repayments to depositors

Jan 3 (Island) Golden Key, which is in the process of releasing cheques in the Rs. 3 to 4 million range, have already submitted them to the auditors for clearance, the company’s CEO Dinesh Perera said in a statement last week. Mailing these cheques will be completed no sooner the green light is received from the auditors, he said. Under the ongoing second phase, around 95% of the total depositors would receive 41% of their holdings in terms of the repayment plan, the statement noted. more..

Kavinda awarded Lakshman Kadirgamar Journalism schol

Jan 3 (Island) Kavinda Thomas, who came first in the 2014-2015 batch of the Sri Lanka College of Journalism, has been awarded the Lakshman Kadirgamar Journalism scholarship this year. He will be attending the advanced media studies course at the prestigious MASCOM Academy in Kottayam, India, which is managed by the Malayala Manorama Group of Newspapers. Thomas, 21, will be under the supervision of Professor Thomas Oommen, the well-known journalism academic, who more..

Mahela and Sangakkara to assist cricket administration after Sumathipala's Victory

Jan 3 (AM) Sangakkara and Mahela are likely to assist SL cricket administration as a direct outcome of Thilanga Sumathipala's victory at the SLC election. Sources close to the Sumathipala plan said they had a comprehensive plan to include the two star players in SLC's affairs in the coming years. "Mahela will probably take up a role in cricket development, an area for which he has a penchant. more..

Overhauling of Sri Lanka’s Credit Information Management system on the cards

Jan 3 (Island) The proposed revamping of Sri Lanka’s Credit Information Management system will also facilitate the inclusion of utilities, which will open the door for rural people, who have no collateral, to seek credit facilities from the banking sector, a top official said. This transformation will be a significant milestone as it will give the opportunity to even a simple villager to qualify for a small loan on the basis of timely payment of utilities such as insurance, water, electricity and telephone" more..

Rathupaswala set to ignite again

Jan 3 (SL) Rathupaswala is set to ignite once again with the residents and unions warning they will take to the streets if their concerns are not addressed. The All Ceylon Teachers’ Union General Secretary Joseph Stalin said that the water issue has not yet been resolved nor have the victims of the Rathupaswala clash been compensated. He said that if there is no solution to the issue by the third week of this month, trade unions and residents of Rathupaswala will stage a mass protest. more..

Sampur EIA report approved by CEA

Jan 3 (CT) The Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report submitted by Trincomalee Power Company (TPCL) pertaining to the 500 MW coal power project in Sampur has been approved by the Central Environment Authority (CEA). Tender will be call for construction of the coal power plant would kick start in April 2016. Director General of CEA K. H. Muthukudaarachchi informed, that the conditional EIA report would be released to more..

300 factory workers hospitalised after food poisoning

Jan 3 (ST) Around 300 factory workers were taken ill after suspected food poisoning following a New Year dinner hosted by their employer at a factory in Balangoda yesterday. The victims fell ill after consuming a diner of rice and curry which had been supplied by a private caterer. While around 100 were discharged from the hospital another 200 are undergoing medical treatment. They said that regional health officials have visited the caterer and removed food samples for more..

Army acts on photo focus expose on croc-infested waters

Jan 3 (ST) It was a rare occasion…the provincial journalist who reported on a faulty public utility that caused inconvenience to the public was honoured. Sunday Times reporter Sarath Siriwardane, in June 2014 revealed in these columns how the small bridge in Kadolana Duwa, Moragolla, had collapsed. Mr. Siriwardane’s photos depicted the plight of the hamlet’s residents who did not have a safe bridge to cross the river. Among the images he captured was one of villagers crossing more..

Tamils satisfied with Sri Lanka's move toward constitutional reform

Jan 3 (ENS) Sri Lankan Tamils as well as Tamils of Indian Origin are satisfied with the progress towards constitutional reform and ethnic reconciliation, as the island nation enters a New Year with many promises to fulfill and international obligations to meet. “Very meaningful first steps have been taken by the govt with intent. On January 26, Lankan parliament will have its first sitting as a Constitutional Assembly to draft a new constitution,” said TNA MP more..

Dinesh: Unitary State, place of Buddhism omitted in new proposals

Jan 3 (DM) Govt had omitted certain significant contents of the 1978 Constitution, including upholding the Unitary State and giving the foremost place to Buddhism in the new Constitution's proposals, MEP MP Dinesh Gunawardane charged. He said the people were not informed about the omitting of two contents, which mainly affect the country. He charged that govt’s intention was to obtain approval of the people through referendum only for two famous proposals- to abolish more..

Swire here next week to extend UK support

Jan 3 (CG) UK Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Hugo Swire is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka next week. Swire is scheduled to have talks with the Govt and the opposition during the visit. Following the August Parliamentary elections, the British Govt had said it looks forward to continue working with Sri Lanka. While congratulating Minister Mangala Samaraweera on his reappointment to the post in August, Hugo Swire had said he looks forward to more..

US ousts China as SL's largest investor

Jan 3 (CT) The United States will soon oust China as Sri Lanka's single largest investor when it spearheads a US$ 2.5 billion investment into a petroleum refinery in the South, making the US$ 1.4 billion Chinese Port City pale into insignificance. This will happen shortly with the world's largest oil refinery contractors, operators and managers – Fluor Corporation of USA spearheading a US$ 2.5 billion investment, more..

SL worker remittances growth stagnant

Jan 3 (EN) Growth inworker remittances, which has helped shore up the balance of payments, was virtually stagnant last year, raising concerns since much of it comes from the troubled Middle East. Workers’ remittances grew by just 0.8% to US$ 6,361.8 million in the Jan-Nov 2015 period from a year ago, the central bank said in its report on latest economic developments. In 2014, worker remittances grew by 9.5% to US$ 7,017.8 million from the previous year. more..

Tags need to be improved: Vet

Jan 3 (ST) The dead elephant who was tagged with a GPS collar was referred to a veterinary surgeon when the beast came in search of food at a garbage site in Wellawaya. Udawalawe Veterinary Surgeon Vijitha Perera says the method of tagging elephants with GPS collars has its advantages as well as disadvantages, as the tag could harm the beast if not removed within a prescribed period. While roaming in the forests, the tag on the elephant could get entangled and disort the messages. more..

Prices of imported food items soar, shortages possible

Jan 3 (ST) The prices of a variety of imported food items shot up from Jan 1, after three levies announced in the budget became effective. The items include chick peas, dhal and canned fish products with traders warning that the new levies would have a spiralling effect on the prices. Food outlet owners said they had been forced to raise prices, even of the packet of rice bought by tens of thousands of working people. more..

Environmentalists oppose bridge over Kandy Lake

Jan 3 (DM) Environmentalists in Kandy have opposed the proposal of the Minister Lakshman Kiriella to build a bridge over the Kandy Lake citing Kandy Lake is sacred and should not be touched. Attorney Shantha Ratnayake - Chairman of the Lawyers of Environmentalists Forum said that if a bridge is built over the Kandy Lake the entire landscape would be obliterated and the vision of an aesthetic King who beautified Kandy with the Lake and Pathiruppuwa would be lost. more..

Maldives says Sri Lanka didn't blacklist top diplomat, MP

Jan 3 (HO) Maldives govt denied reports that authorities of Sri Lanka had confiscated passports of two high ranking Maldivian officials after they were blacklisted by mistake. Haveeru reported that the passports of foreign minister Dhunya Maumoon and her brother Faris Maumoon, who is a MP, were confiscated after they travelled to Sri Lanka on an unofficial visit. They were reportedly held at the airport for more than an hour before being told that they had been blacklisted by mistake. more..

3,500 tons of imported rice worth Rs. 210 Mn found rotting in warehouse

Jan 3 (Island) In another shocking incident of criminal waste of state resources, the top anti-corruption Presidential Commission last week sealed a Lanka Sathosa warehouse, where 3,500 metric tons of rice deemed unfit for human consumption, was discovered. 198 container loads worth Rs. 210 million had arrived at the Colombo Port from India during previous govt, and after clearance, stored in a warehouse more..

Video: It was a mere request to Army to repair drains: Wigneswaran

Jan 3 (DM) Allaying misgivings about a request he had made to the army, Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran said, he had merely requested the army to look into the possibility of repairing the drainage system in Jaffna, as it was the army that had filled the drains with earth during the war to prevent the LTTE from planting claymore mines in them. He regretted that some people had twisted his request. more..

Guessing game for AG’s post

Jan 3 (SO) The legal fraternity in Colombo is buzzing with the news of a new Attorney General assuming duties in January. The Attorney General Yuvanjana Wijayatilake PC, is scheduled to retire on January 10, on completion of his term. According to legal sources, there had been a few names thrown about for the top position, including those of Nalin Ladduwahetti, Solicitor General Suhada Gamalath, and Senior Addl. Solicitors General Jayantha Jayasuriya, and Kapila Waidyaratne. more..

Thilanga elected new cricket board President

Jan 3 (CG) Deputy Speaker Thilanga Sumathipala was today elected as the new President of the Sri Lanka Cricket Board. The election was held at the Sports Ministry and local cricket clubs and associations voted to elect the new President. Sumathipala said that the election was free and fair. He insisted that there was no political influence from President Maithripala Sirisena or anyone else in the election. more..

Pakistan PM in Sri Lanka from 4-6 Jan

Jan 3 (TN) At the invitation of the president of Sri Lanka, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is set to pay a three-day official visit to the host country starting Monday. During the visit, the Prime Minister will meet SL president Maithripala Sirisena, who will host a state banquet in the honour of his visiting guest. The PM will hold official talks with the president of Sri Lanka. A number of MoUs /agreements of cooperation in various fields would be signed after the talks. more..

Sinhale word written on walls of some Muslim houses in Nugegoda

Jan 3 (AM) Sinhale, a campaign initiated by an ultra - nationalist Sinhala Buddhist group reached a new height today with an unknown group writing the same word on the walls of some houses belonging to Muslims in the Nugegoda area. People from the area said it could be a well - orchestrated move to provoke the Muslims in the Nugegoda area and push them into a clash of some sort. "The word has been written on the walls and gates of Muslim houses last night. more..

President pledges land for 100,000 war victims

Jan 3 (AFP) Up to 100,000 people still living in camps six years after the end of Sri Lanka's brutal ethnic war will be given land to build homes within six months, President Maithripala Sirisena told AFP Sunday. "It is an ambitious target, but I will see that all the internally displaced people are given land to build homes," the president said in an interview. "I am setting up a mechanism to complete this process within six months." president said. more..

Reconciliation is a personal-narrative

Jan 4 (CT) Reconciliation is a part of my intimate-personal narrative. It is a journey dictated by love; an effort to love society in its wholeness, beginning with learning to love myself in my completeness. As I walk back into the ancestral clutches of an Island past-on to me. I see the Island’s society as it may perceive me and my blood; worthy or unworthy of their honour. I seek to reconcile this disharmony. There are parts of me that I can pipe with pride. My mother, child of a high-caste Kandyan more..

The song & dance about Enrique Iglesias

Jan 4 (CT) Recall of the dark days of repression has become the routine response of the administration to its critics. True. The internet is freely accessible. Public protest is permissible. The deep state is dismantled. We write and speak with no fear of physical harm. It happened when the people refused a third term to the redeemer and elected a reformer who promised to change the system. How did it happen? It happened because of an aggregate enterprise of a citizenry, mobilized by more..

'Anyone found guilty in the govt will be dealt with'

Jan 4 (SL) UNP Colombo District MP Mujibur Rahman feels the country has passed through a barbaric phase under Rajapaksa regime and have finally paved the way to form a democratic and peaceful country under President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe. Now there is an air of freedom in the community and they can move freely in all parts of the island without being harassed by racists simply because of their religion. more..

Hopes lifted with success of Dilshan and Danushka

Jan 4 (CT) Sri Lankan blushes were just about saved when the 3rd ODI resulted in a thumping win for the visitors. One has to give credit to Angelo Mathews and his men for not just winning the game but for coming back after being more or less humiliated. It's never easy to register such a convincing win when the first two games suggested that the Lankan unit were almost on their knees. That was so if one was to take a look at the batting in the first two games, it was a total mess more..

Maithri’s Yahapalana at stake over Hirunika’s kangaroo court

Jan 4 (ST) When a slip of a girl is suddenly elevated to the ranks of parliament and, with pride swelled crest and power bloated head, holds court in her political office and dispenses the Bharatha Lakshman brand of summary street justice to one kidnapped by her goons and forcibly brought to her feet, it is time President Sirisena took serious note and asked himself whether his vision of creating a just society, governed by the much vaunted principles of yahapalanaya, is now perilously more..

Sri Lanka’s ageing fireworks industry gives little cheer during festive season

Jan 4 (ST) Sri Lanka’s ageing fireworks industry has little to cheer about this festive season, with sharply rising raw material costs, labour shortages and bad weather conditions frustrating production and sales, manufacturers said. This year’s festive period was the worst season for fireworks as sales came down by 80%. Production of fireworks was also hampered due to bad weather conditions that prevailed in Negombo and more..

On great expectations and greater losses

Jan 4 (ST) It is fittingly ironic that end-of-year debates in regard to Sri Lanka’s future reform agenda on accountability and the Rule of Law have been eclipsed by President Sirisena’s ill-judged outburst regarding the conduct of one or two frenzied fans at the Enrique Iglesias concert recently. President’s agony was carried worldwide by leading international news agencies, probably tickled pink to see the bespectacled face of SL’s rainbow revolution whipping himself up into more..

In a Nutshell

Jan 4 (SL) Ma-hinder made his way to invoke blessings of the deity in the deep south, Lord Kataragama for the new year. Together with his better half, Ma-hinder made his way to the devalaya to participate in the pooja at midnight on the 31st. After making his way into the devala, Ma-hinder was none too pleased to see the secretary of the blue types, Do-minder standing ahead of him at the pooja. Do-minder, who continuously earned the wrath of the former Royal family during more..

Ridee Reyak - 31st December 2016

Maithri to commemorate beginning of his Brapaalanaya

Jan 4 (CT) NOTE: This is a mere parody of events and not for the likes of the faint of heart. If you have a tendency of getting butt-hurt, we suggest you do not read this. President Sirisena, who will be celebrating his first year anniversary of coming into power as the country's President, is expected to commemorate the initiation of his yahapaalanaya system by changing it to brapaalanaya. The sudden decision to transform the country's governing principles from good governance to lingerie more..

Sirisena takes on flying bras & govi amudes

Jan 4 (SL) President Maithripala Sirisena displayed some of his hidden talents as the old year drew to a close. He showed that he could handle flying bras on the CR&FC green and Goviamudes (span cloths) in Colombo Fort with dexterity. When Colombo’s chattering class went into high gear about randy Colombo girls flinging their brassieres at the crooner Enrique Iglesias after paying stupendous amounts to hear him on the CR&FC green, Sirisena who had nothing to do with flying bras or more..

The Vaas saga

Jan 4 (ST) It was two decades ago in March, 1995: Lankan cricket was still in the wilderness. Yes, we did possess a talented side with a pocketful of seniors, but, none of their opponents took them seriously enough. At that time, we only won an odd match at home, starting off the one against the star-studded Indians led by Kapil Dev in 1985. Following their defeat, a dejected Indian captain, Dev, made a public statement more..

Govt must perform or its stability can dissipate

Jan 4 (CT) The Yahapalana Government elected after the landmark Presidential Election has accomplished a number of achievements when it comes to constitutional and electoral reforms. The govt has passed a number of Bills ensuring greater power to Parliament, limiting the powers of the Executive President and ending the preferential voting system. All these are promises President Sirisena, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and other leaders promised. more..

'Tender procedure will be revised to eliminate corruption'

Jan 4 (DN) The tender procedure of drugs and medical equipment will be revised this year to eliminate corruption, malpractices and irregularities, Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said. He made this observation recently at a function at the Colombo National Hospital to distribute medical equipment worth Rs. 3.8 million for the Orthopedic Surgical Unit of the hospital. The minister also said that immediate measures will be taken to end the medical equipment shortage. more..

Video: 'New harbours to be Green Harbours'

Jan 4 (DM) Fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that all the new harbours in the country will be built on the concept of Green Habour. Addressing the media after the opening ceremony of second stage of Hambantota Fisheries habour, he said all harbours currently operating in the country will be reconstructed and new habours across the country will be built inlcuidng in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. more..