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Using disabled soldiers with ulterior motives Shame!

Nov 12 (CT) Protest gatherings or marches are a dime a dozen these days. They are actually an epidemic and a nasty one at that. Why so? Because the protesters have latched on to a new gimmick – to protest on highways, the more important and vital the trunk road, the better. And thus the daily news item on television channels of the soldier, sailor, candlestick maker; the fisherman, farmer and of course the white collar worker protesting all over the country. more..

'Unconditional SLFP support for the budget'

Nov 12 (NR) Senior Vice President of SLFP, Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva says the SLFP will fully support the Finance Minister to impalement 2017 Budget proposals. 2017 Budget was tabled in parliament by Minister Ravi Karunanayake. Joining the second reading of the Budget, Minister De Silva said that the govt has provided several concessions through the 2017 Budget. He said several recommendations of SLFP have also been included in Budget proposal. more..

Odel: Behind Sri Lanka’s best-known store

Nov 12 (Hindu) About 10 minutes into the interview, Otara Gunawardene says: There’s one under your table. I look and find Rusty, a fawn and white dog, lying there calmly. When I entered the room earlier, I had noticed only Browny, Gunawardene’s other equally-poised dog. Gunawardene is the founder of Odel, that famous store in Colombo that has been drawing Indian tourists for decades. more..

Budget shows the way to create 1 mil jobs

Nov 13 (SL) Presenting a national budget for a country in these times is an unenviable task for any Finance Minister of any country. To those of developed nations it is an unusually difficult task. To those of Third World countries it is a back-breaking, heart rending difficult exercise. Considering the debt ridden, near bankrupted economy that his govt inherited, Minister Ravi Karunanayake has done an extraordinary job in meeting the prime requirements expected of his govt: more..

More on the budget

Nov 13 (Island) The first straw in the budget wind is already aloft. Mr. Gemunu Wijeratne, president of the Lanka Private Bus Operators’ Association has threatened a general strike of his membership if the proposal to enhance the minimum fine for traffic offences to Rs. 2,500 is not amended and/or removed. He is certainly not going to mobilize public opinion around his cause. Bus drivers, and mainly those driving private buses, are not top of the pops among road users. more..

'Relationship between President, PM strong'

Nov 13 (SL) UNP MP Hector Appuhamy says the UNP has proved itself to be a party which works for the betterment of the country despite the allegations raised against it by the opposition. MP said the UNP did not attempt to singlehandedly correct the wrongs committed by the previous regime and instead wanted to correct these issues collectively as a parliament. He, however, says the UNP never expected certain parties to try more..

Conspiracy theory: Getting credible

Nov 13 (CT) The emergence of a gang in Northern Peninsula, so far armed only with swords and machetes, according to reports in sections of the media, instilled apparently serious security fears in Northern CM C.V. Wigneswaran. This reportedly is because among the suspected gang members arrested by a special force sent to the North on the specific orders of President Sirisena to nip AAVA in the bud, has been a member of Wigneswaran's own Tamil People's Council (TPC). more..

Budget 2017: Can Business take up the challenge?

Nov 13 (SO) When Minister Ravi Karunanayaka entered Parliament last Thursday to present his second Budget, television showed him brandishing his new black Budget briefcase as if there was little inside it. As the nation heard out his Budget speech, the usual mixed bag of higher taxes in some sectors, lower taxes in others and, slightly lower prices of some basic food items were only half the story. Even if there will be some grumbling at popular level that more was not done to reduce living costs, more..

Budget 2017: Pros and cons: In the eyes of the public

Nov 13 (SO) With the conclusion of the much awaited second reading of the Appropriation Bill for 2017, the general public and stakeholders have had much to say regarding the various proposals made by the Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake, during his three hour long speech on Thursday. Whether on social media or among each other, people have shown a keen interest in the budget speech with opinions varying, more..

Trump trumps: Will he dump liberal America?

Nov 13 (ST) And so, the American voters have picked the unknown devil (instead of the known devil) to lead them for the next four years. In their somewhat skewed election process, the defeated candidate got more popular votes than the winner who to the much over-rated most powerful job in the world – President of the United States. They were unable to break the glass ceiling in electing their first woman leader, throwing her and her baggage of 30 years in public life out of the window. more..

Celebrating your win

Nov 13 (ST) My dear Donald Trump, I am writing to you to congratulate you on your election as the next President of the United States. Your win at the election, over your more fancied opponent Hillary Clinton, surprised many people who expected that lady to become the first female President of America. In our little paradise island however, we were not so surprised at your victory, Donald. In fact, we think that we may have something to do with your victory because your opponent Hillary more..

Aluth parlimanthuwa

Why Western civilization needed Donald Trump

Nov 13 (Island) Donald Trump’s victory is being described as one of the biggest upsets in the history of elections. The whole establishment had ganged up against him just as they did in the UK over the Brexit referendum. The corporate bosses of America, the American and international media, the entire establishment of the democratic party as well as a good part of the Republican party establishment and even Trump’s own big mouth seemed to be working against more..

Hefty win clinches England Women's World Cup spot

Nov 13 (CI) England secured their qualification for next year's Women's World Cup with a comprehensive 122-run victory over Sri Lanka in Colombo. Lauren Winfield, Heather Knight and Nat Sciver all scored half-centuries as England amassed 295 before SL were dismissed well short of their target in the 49th over. It was England's second win in four days but, unlike the first ODI, this match formed part of ICC Women's C'ship. England, currently 2nd in the table behind Australia, more..

Outcome of Maithri-CBK Horagolla talks expected soon

Nov 13 (CT) Prior to the Budget being presented, govt came under severe criticism by opponents as well as those who openly supported the consensus govt alike for allegedly assaulting disabled war veterans, who were agitating for pension entitlements with tear gas & water cannons. Though, presence of elements with vested political interests behind this provoked agitations, many viewed Police action as ill-timed. more..

The Ernest Poruthota story

Nov 13 (Island) I am by nature an agnostic, though that doesn’t prevent me from indulging in nostalgia, the past, and the cultural histories of whatever work of art I delve into. Once in a while, moreover, I love to meet priests and members of the clergy, whatever the denomination and in particular if they went beyond the pulpit and contributed to our cultural, social, and political firmament. Few, it must be said, did that, but while they are rare their contribution is so vast that words can’t sum it up. more..

Need to remain in top half of ICC Rankings

Nov 13 (Island) A depleted Sri Lankan side will be keen for a good show in the tri-series in Zimbabwe that also involves West Indies and gets underway tomorrow (Monday). Sri Lanka have already secured the Test series 2-0 and all their focus now will be on the tri-series under stand-in captain Upul Tharanga. Currently, Sri Lanka are at number six in ICC ODI Rankings and they will be keen to widen the gap between them and seventh ranked Zimbabwe. Even a clean sweep in the series more..

'Confident team will perform well in SA'

Nov 13 (SO) Captaining the Sri Lanka cricket team for the first time in his distinguished career at the age of 38 was a challenge and a new experience to Rangana Herath, one of the greatest left-arm spinners in the game. “I enjoyed every single moment of it and I did really enjoy the captaincy,” Herath said after arriving from Zimbabwe yesterday. Herath took over the captaincy for the two Tests from Angelo Mathews more..

Donald comes up Trumps over Hillary

Nov 13 (SO) Republican Party candidate Donald J Trump’s victory at the US Presidential election throws the world politics into an era of uncertainty. In his run up to the election, Trump, a successful businessman and a reality show host who has no experience in politics, delivered almost unimaginable promises, including draconian policies on Muslims and immigrants. The core of his campaign was to strengthen country’s national economy and national interests, while making America great again more..

Charith’s moment in cloud-nine

Nov 13 (ST) Richmond College and SL Under-19s skipper Charith Asalanka, who is rated as one of the promising allrounders for the SL national team, won the 37th Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year 2016 at a glamorous awards ceremony held at the BMICH on Friday. In 1979 it was Royalist Ranjan Madugalle who in as the first recipient of the Bata Schoolboy Cricketer of the year content. 36 contests hence, it was the turn of Charith Asalanka who crowned the event, 2nd time in-a-row cutting a new niche. more..

'There is no place for politics in sports'

Nov 13 (ST) For the chief guest at the awards ceremony on Friday, it was like coming back home to his long lost abode that he dwelt in some time ago. Yes, Roshan Mahanama – the former member of the World Cup winning combination, national captain and match referee, the BMICH is also familiar terrain. He was the recipient of the Schoolboy Cricketer on two consecutive occasions in 1982 and 1983 just like the young Charith more..

De Silva defends woeful show at Malaysia

Nov 13 (ST) President of the Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL) Anura de Silva told Sunday Times yesterday said that he will not blame the coach or the team which failed to win a single match at the AFC Solidarity Cup Football Tournament held in Malaysia. “We did not have enough match experience. The players were inexperienced and most of the players were very young” he said. He also said that the national team had not played an international game for nearly one year. more..

Those captains with enviable records

Nov 13 (Island) Earlier this week, Rangana Herath achieved what even cricket's finest captains like Mike Brearley and Sir Frank Worrell couldn't: to finish his captaincy stint with an enviable record. The stop gap Sri Lankan captain won both Tests against Zimbabwe and finished with a winning percentage of 100%. Captaincy came Herath's way under extraordinary circumstances as both the regular captain and vice-captain were injured and at the age of 38, he is unlikely to get another stint, more..

Budget 2017: Analysis

Nov 13 (ST) Sri Lanka is moving towards greater fiscal consolidation with the budget deficit set to be reduced to 4.6% this year. Minister Ravi Karunanayake speaking at post budget discussion, said that they were looking at fiscal consolidation and that the budget deficit reduction would be at 4.6%. He noted that they had received 2700 proposals and pointed out that everybody must pay their due share towards nation building. more..

5 SL artistes honoured with Bunka Awards

Nov 13 (Island) 23rd Bunka (Cultural) Awards ceremony, organized by Japan SL Friendship Cultural Fund, was held on Nov 6. Bunka Awards are presented annually, on the initiative of Japanese Solidarity Association and Japanese Commerce & Industry Association in SL. This year's recipient were: Ms. Ruwanthie de Chickera (Theatre), Mrs. Sulochna Dissanayake (Puppetry), Ms. Kishani Jayasinghe (Music), Vimukthi Jayasundara (Cinema) & S. Jayasankar (Theatre). more..

RPCs yet to fathom budget jolt

Nov 13 (Island) Stakeholders of Sri Lanka’s major Regional Plantations Companies (RPCs) on Friday expressed shock, disappointment and confusion over a new Budget proposal that requires the creation of several new plantation firms for large publicly-listed plantation companies. Presenting the Budget 2017 proposals in Parliament, Minister Ravi Karunanayake said the maximum acreage that can be held by any stand-alone company without being allowed to consolidate, more..

India may patrol palk strait jointly with SL

Nov 13 (ENS) For the first time in the history of Indo-SL negotiations on the fishing issue troubling the two countries, India has agreed to consider SL’s proposal for jointly patrolling the Palk Strait by their navies. Terms of Reference for Joint Working Group on Fisheries (JWGF) includes ascertaining possibilities for cooperation on joint patrolling by the navies. The other new commitment by India is to expedite the transition towards more..

BOI roundtable conference for officials and entrepreneurs from China

Nov 13 (GDI) A delegation from China led by Sui Zhong Cheng, Vice Governor of Jilin Province consisting of 33 officials and entrepreneurs from that province visited the BOI with the purpose of exploring avenues for trade and investment. The delegation was welcomed by Upul Jayasuriya BOI Chairman and Duminda Ariyasinghe Director General Indira Malwatte, Chairperson of the Export Development Board was also present.  BOI had organized a roundtable conference more..

Sri Lanka & Indonesia police discuss ways to combat transnational crimes

Nov 13 (NR) Top police officials of Sri Lanka and Indonesia have held discussions on ways to combat transnational crimes across national borders and mechanisms to effectively exchange intelligence between state agencies. IGP Pujith Jayasundara held bilateral talks with senior police officials of Indonesia on the sidelines of 85th International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) General Assembly, held in Bali, Indonesia. Two sides discussed ways of improving the exchange of more..

Authorities alert on emerging cocaine network

Nov 13 (SO) Govt agencies engaged in combatting drug trafficking are now on high alert about the emerging network in Indian Ocean region to transport cocaine from South American region to Europe. Authorities investigating into the cocaine consignment detected in sugar containers from Brazil believe that the recent detection of cocaine consignments in SL are also a part of this emerging network of trafficking cocaine. more..

Action taken to tackle increased abuse of aphrodisiac medicines: Health Minister

Nov 13 (Island) There is a proliferation of aphrodisiacs in the country as these drugs are being sold over the counter without prescription, Parliament was told. Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that raids conducted by NMRA officials had found that such medicines were stored excessively. He assured that measures have been taken to stop the increased abuse of aphrodisiac medicines with increased raids on places they were stored excessively or sold without prescription. more..

School garbage management pilot project

Nov 13 (GDI) Royal College Colombo 7 will start a school garbage management program as a pilot project said Minister Faizer Musthafa. He made these comments at a meeting held at Royal College where he is an old boy. In addition Ministry Secretary Kamal Padmasiri, ministry officials, Principal of Royal College B.A. Abeyratna as well as teachers participated in the discussion. Under the pilot project initially they plan to reduce the polythene which is brought to school. more..

Airlines challenge border security deal

Nov 13 (ST) The Board of Airline Representatives in Sri Lanka (BAR) is opposing a Govt proposal to award a ten-year contract to the multinational information technology company SITA for enhancing border security — a deal which industry sources say will earn far more revenue for the company than for the State. Each passenger flying into and out of Sri Lanka will be taxed US$ 5 on their two-way tickets for these services — more..

Massive shramadana to clear Gregory’s Lake

Nov 13 (ST) Hundreds of plastic and glass bottles, used food canisters and loads of plastic bags were drawn out of the picturesque 140-year-old Gregory’s lake in Nuwara Eliya under a major shramadana campaign yesterday. More than 350 volunteers including workers from the municipality, hoteliers, tourist guides, soldiers, members of the business community and members of the public participated in shramadana. Former Mayor for Nuwara Eliya, Mahinda Dodampegama organised more..

Govt to call for solar power tenders

Nov 13 (SO) Govt will be calling for tenders for the construction of two photovoltaic power stations of 10 megawatts each in the next two weeks. “Govt has shifted its focus on solar power and will call for tenders for a 10 mw plant in Valachchennai and another 10 mw in Polannuruwa,” said Secretary to Ministry of Power and Energy, Dr. Suren Batagoda. Govt intends to set up 100 MW solar power station in Siyambalanduwa as well. It will be another 3 months before tenders are called for plant. more..

Colombo DIG faulted for clash with disabled troops

Nov 13 (Island) An investigation into the police clash with disabled soldiers outside the Presidential Secretariat has pointed to errors of judgement by the DIG for Colombo and several other serious lapses. The three-member panel appointed by the Law and Order ministry handed in its report at the weekend noting that protestors should have been stopped long before they reached the Secretariat. more..

Udayanga’s website identical to Sri Lanka embassy web

Nov 13 (ST) That a Sri Lankan court has issued a warrant for the arrest of former Ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga is well known. However not known, and only pointed out last week by a Sri Lankan national in Qatar, is that the former on-the-run-ambassador for whom an Interpol warrant has also been issued has an identical Sri Lankan embassy in Russia website. It is titled Previous website of Embassy of Sri Lanka and carries the Sri Lankan govt logo. more..

SL rejects Indian request to release boats

Nov 13 (SL) Govt has turned down a request from India to release around 120 boats belonging to Indian fishermen, which were seized for poaching in SL waters. Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that India has made a request to release the boats. Minister however said that the boats will not be released since they were seized for entering SL waters illegally. India’s Union Minister, Pon Radhakrishnan had said Indian Centre would secure the release of 115 boats of TN fishermen. more..

UNP-SLFP relations on a political see-saw

Nov 13 (ST) Like a see-saw, relations between the two partners of the Govt – UNP and SLFP – seem to shift between moments of harmony and disharmony. In the past many weeks this has become a public manifestation casting serious doubts over their once inseparable bond — a marked contrast from the weeks and months that followed the Jan 8, 2015 presidential election. There were no divisive trends then. more..

President Donald Trump: What was unthinkable is now explainable

Nov 13 (Island) It was unthinkable that faced with choosing between the most qualified candidate and the most unqualified candidate in their history, the American voters would elect the unqualified candidate as their new president for the next four years. It was unthinkable too that having come so close to making history by electing its first female president, America would go off track to make a different history by electing a male charlatan and a political clown as president more..