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Sri Lanka to replace text books with tablets

Nov 27 (ST) Sri Lanka plans to move away gradually from the traditional text book education system towards digital technology based education with the first step being the provision of tabs to GCE A/L students, officials said. As the technological world continues to advance rapidly, Education Ministry will take measures to integrate technology within the classroom with the aim of enhancing the efficiency and efficacy of student learning, more..

On those heart-stopping finishes

Nov 27 (Island) Sri Lanka may have found a solid death overs bowler in Nuwan Pradeep after he showed nerves of steel during their one-wicket win over West Indies on Wednesday that saw them qualifying for today’s finals of the tri-nation series in Zimbabwe. It was indeed a heart-stopping encounter as Pradeep defended ten runs in the final over. The 30-year-old’s ability to bowl yorkers with pin-point accuracy was key as Sri Lanka triumphed with a wafer-thin margin. more..

Pakistan, Sri Lanka face off in battle of perennial bridesmaids

Nov 27 (CB) Pakistan and Sri Lanka have so far only ended as bridesmaids to five-time champions India in the ACC Women's Asia Cup tournament. On the eve of the opening day of the 2016 edition, the management of either side engaged in friendly banter on how to snap India's successful run and ensure that their teams instead reach the final this year so that the contest gets a different winner. While it could be too early to predict the final line-up just yet, the clash between Pakistan and SL more..

Pardon for remand prisoners held without trial

Nov 27 (SO) The committee appointed by President Maitripala Sirisena to look into the problem of prison congestion is considering a pardon for remand prisoners being held without trial for long period to reduce congestion in prisons, Minister Lakshman Kiriella told parliament yesterday. “We have to give a pardon to deserving prisoners who are in remand custody”, he said. Minister Kiriella said President has appointed more..

Yogananda Wijesundera National Athletic coach sans Vacancy Ad

Nov 27 (ST) Executive Committee (ExCo) of the Athletics Association of Sri Lanka (AASL) has decided to appoint Yogananda Wijesundera as the new National Athletics coach, which post had been vacant for nearly one year. Former National coach Derwin Perera stepped down after the 2016 South Asian Games (SAG) in India. One of his reasons for stepping down was that his salary was not paid for several months. Now, he is physically not well. Yogananda Wijesundera has been more..

Signature campaign among MPs against COPE

Nov 27 (SL) A signature campaign had been launched among members of Parliament seeking support to abolish the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE). Parliamentarian Chathura Senaratne said that the signature campaign was launched by a Deputy Minister. He said that several young Parliamentarians had been coerced to sign the petition against COPE. The attempt being made was to push for Parliament to directly make inquiries into any issues instead of COPE. more..

Bankrupting Sri Lanka: Govt to import 28 new cars for ministers

Nov 27 (CT) A Supplementary Estimate seeking Parliament's approval to import 28 cars to be given to 25 Ministers, Deputy Minister, State Minister and the Leader of Opposition, R. Sampanthan, was submitted to Parliament yesterday. Leader of House, Lakshman Kiriella, presented the estimate comprising 22 proposals to cover the cost of purchasing 28 cars at an aggregate cost of Rs 791 million. Approval had also been sought more..

LTTE chief’s birth anniversary celebrated in Chennai

Nov 27 (PTI) This year, there was a renewed enthusiasm in celebrating the birth anniversary of LTTE founder V Prabhakaran. Tamil eveningers carried full and half page advertisements on his glory while Tamil organisations celebrated elaborately. Seeman organised blood donation camp at his residence and in the evening, addressed a public meeting at NTK office at Porur. Vaiko, known for his association with Prabhakaran, took part in a function by PDK in which more..

Dulanjan and Yasodha open the Gold rush

Nov 27 (ST) Dulanjan Fernando of Royal College and Angel Swimming and Diving Academy’s Yasodha de Silva won two gold medals in the three metre Springboard event for both Open Men and Women on the opening day of SL National Aquatic Championships worked off at Sugathadasa Aquatic Complex yesterday. Fernando, who became eighth out of 12 in the recent Asian Aquatic Championship after defeating Iraq and Iran held in Japan last week, clinched the gold medal for his outstanding more..

Super Group ahead in race for SriLankan

Nov 27 (ST) Super Group Partners Company Ltd–a joint venture between Trans Maldivian Airways and the Singaporean ground-handling firm SATS–has scored highest among ten bidders vying for a management stake in cash-strapped SriLankan Airlines. Following at a close second is Peace Air, a company owned by businessman Gamini Wettasinghe. The proposals were evaluated by National Savings Bank, more..

ACPBOF suspends its secretary

Nov 27 (CT) Secretary and Media Spokesman of the All Ceylon Private Bus Owners' Federation (ACPBOF) Anjana Priyanjith had been temporarily suspended, according to the Federation's President Stanley Fernando. The ACPBOF President said the decision to suspend Priyanjith was taken at the executive committee meeting held on 24 Nov. Fernando stated that Priyanjith had been temporarily suspended due to having made irresponsible public statements and for not having notified more..

Full COPE report distributed to MPs

Nov 27 (DN) Copies of the full Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) report on the CB Treasury Bonds investigation were distributed to all MPS yesterday. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya at the commencement of sittings yesterday announced that the full report containing 13 volumes has been kept at the tables of all 225 members. The Speaker also thanked the officers of the Govt Printing Department for their commitment to complete the printing of report after many sleepless nights. more..

EPF, BoC, Central Bank proxies for Perpetual’s alleged Bond scam: COPE

Nov 27 (ST) EPF purchased Treasury Bonds (TB) from the Secondary Market at a cost of over Rs. 2.36 billion from the controversial Primary Dealer, Perpetual Treasuries, the face value of which was Rs 2 billion, according to documents contained in the detailed report of the Parliamentary oversight body, the COPE. EPF purchased the TBs on 11.06.2015, just four months after the TB issue of Feb 27, 2015, which subsequently, became more..

Sri Lanka to ask Trump to drop human rights accountability charges

Nov 27 (PTI) President Maithripala Sirisena hopes US President-elect Donald Trump would grant Sri Lanka redress by not pursuing the human rights accountability charges against the country. "I will write to President (Donald) Trump to ask him to free us from these accusations", Sirisena said while addressing a membership drive of SLFP in Galle. "I was able to save the former President Rajapaksa and our valiant soldiers by giving the UNHRC necessary messages," he said. more..

RAW alerts intelligence on ISIS recruits

Nov 27 (SL) India’s intelligence agency, RAW, has informed intelligence officials in Sri Lanka of ISIS recruits moving between Sri Lanka and other countries. Intelligence officials in Sri Lanka said that they are monitoring movements of people, especially from India, to nab anyone who may be an ISIS recruit or potential recruit. Last week Indian media reported that Televangelist Zakir Naik has been accused of funding a visit to Sri Lanka by Islamic State (IS) members. more..

Govt considers measures to discipline media

Nov 27 (ST) It seemed ironic that it should come in the wake of the jolt the mainstream media in the US received after Republican Donald Trump won the November presidential elections. Both the electronic and the print media, almost altogether, spoke of a victory for rival Hillary Clinton. Most were very supportive of her. They have come in for a lot of flak now and their shares have dipped in the stock markets. more..

Mad rush on mega projects: Colombo-Kandy Expressway runs into road bumps

Nov 27 (Island) True, expressways are meant for speeding without interference. But you cannot speed up the building of expressways without careful planning, comprehensive environmental assessment, complete design, bill of quantities and cost estimates. Otherwise, you end up running expressways into road bumps. Not a metaphorical mix-up, but a real engineering mess-up. That seems to be the story of the Colombo-Kandy Expressway according a news story in Sunday Observer. more..

Sri Lanka’s Conflict, Peace, and the American Myth

Nov 27 (Island) 1983-2009 saw Sri Lanka in the midst of a civil war, an era encapsulated by daily fear, loss, and bloodshed. Since peace was restored following the SLA’s 2009 victory over the LTTE much has been commented upon in the press about the war. One commonly proponed discourse in this country asserts that the conflict should be condensed into a struggle of good vs evil; a simplistic approach that wholly neglects a comprehensive vision. more..

Arrest of former STF commandant: President questions IGP

Nov 27 (ST) President Sirisena has expressed his displeasure to Police Chief Pujith Jayasundera over the arrest and subsequent remanding of the former Commandant of STF, K.L.N. Sarathchandra. Mr. Sarathchandra, a retired DIG, was arrested and produced before Colombo’s Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya. He was remanded till Dec 6 for allegedly misusing an STF vehicle. Reported loss to the state over this alleged more..

Sri Lanka saves Rs. 12bn on  proposed Central Expressway project

Nov 27 (Island) SL made a huge saving of Rs. 12 billion on the proposed Central Expressway project due to the new competition introduced by the Japanese Embassy. Third Phase of the proposed project is funded by the Japanese Govt. Japanese Embassy shortlisted and nominated three strong Japanese Companies five months ago and requested the RDA to select the best company, which is commercially most competitive. more..

CEB trade union threatens to protest

Nov 27 (SL) CEB Engineers Union (CEBEU) has warned Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya that if a competitive bidding process is not carried out on non-competitive solar power, they would resort to trade union action. “We had informed him about the impact on electricity consumers due to non-competitive Solar Power. We understand that the govt is in the process of establishing Solar PV power plants through the private sector more..

Doubts linger on Moragahakanda

Nov 27 (CT) The many species of birds are no longer visible in the area as tree after tree is being mowed down and the local populace has moved out leaving their empty homes behind to make way for a gigantic reservoir – described by some as the single largest irrigation project in the country. During this period the up country town of Matale experiences wet weather where peacocks are known to frolic in their large numbers in more..

UN maintains status quo on war probe

Nov 27 (SL) The United Nations is maintaining its status quo on Sri Lanka with regard to the investigations on incidents related to the war. The govt had said recently there was no pressure on Sri Lanka with regard to the accountability process. There is also a feeling that the policy on Sri Lanka may change with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stepping down next year. Farhan Haq, the Deputy Spokesman more..

Investigators helpless over Alles’ deal

Nov 27 (SL) Nine years after the then Consultant Editor of The Sunday Leader newspaper Sonali Samarasinghe exclusively reported that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s scandalous deal with the LTTE under the headline,  President’s Tiger Deal Exposed as to how millions of public money were given to LTTE through Reconstruction and Development Agency (RADA), law enforcement authorities who are more..

Rs. 95.5m ad blitz to promote drug policy

Nov 27 (ST) Govt has launched a costly, 95.65 million-rupee media publicity blitz to promote its new drug pricing policy saying the people may still be unaware of the benefits of the move. The first stage of the campaign through newspapers and electronic media has been completed with the second phase yet to start. Teleview (Pvt) Ltd has been assigned the task of handling this campaign to influence and mould public opinion on more..

Multimillion-rupee fines on poaching vessels

Nov 27 (ST) In a fresh attempt to protect Sri Lanka’s fisheries resources, govt is to impose thumping fines upto Rs. 175 million for foreign vessels poaching in SL waters. Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said the fines would be imposed on vessels intruding into SL’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and those entering the country’s territorial waters. The minimum fine for poaching in the EEZ would be Rs. 3 million, more..

Proposed salary hike for MPs: Belt-tightening only for the public?

Nov 27 (CT) Last week, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe made several remarks on the salaries and wages of MPs. The Premier noted how monthly salaries of MPs are not enough for them to fulfil their duties to the people. Hence, he called for a revision of the current salary and wages. Joining the Third Reading debate on Budget proposals for 2017, the PM stressed the necessity of increasing the salaries of MPs to strengthen parliamentary system. more..

Sirisena to wrte to Trump seeking relief for SL from human rights allegations

Nov 27 (ENS) President Maithripala Sirisena has said that he will write to the US President-elect Donald Trump, seeking his help to get Sri Lanka freed from allegations of human rights violations during Eelam War IV.  “I will write to President (Donald) Trump to ask him to free us from these accusations,” Sirisena said. Siginificantly, President announced this on a day when Tamil minority in Northern Province more..

Stories from afar

Nov 27 (Island) In what was an unusual week by way of travel; I visited Jaffna, Hambantota and Kandy on work. Amongst other things, each journey and destination brought into sharp focus just how far removed a Colombo, and a Western Province centric news agenda is from the lives, livelihoods, opportunities and challenges faced by communities in these areas. It is one thing to occasionally read about these parts, and then too in the context of a politician’s high-profile visit, more..

Heavy Fines for Traffic Violations

Nov 27 (Island) Most Sri Lankan drivers are conscious of the dangers and hassles of careless driving and generally endeavour to be law-abiding, especially considering the now greatly increased traffic density and police proactivity. There is great incentive for them to try to drive in such a way as to obviate costly encounters with lawless road users or the guardians of the law. Consequently, offences they are likely commit would be mostly of a technical nature, viz. ones that are easy to detect more..

Ceylon Today Cartoon

Sri Lanka to broaden political relations with Ethiopia

Nov 27 (CG) With a view to broadening political, trade and economic relations with Ethiopia and also forge closer relations with the African Union (AU) that is headquartered in Addis Ababa, the Government of Sri Lanka has established a resident mission in Ethiopia, the Foreign Ministry said. Sri Lanka’s Ambassador-designate to Ethiopia Sumith Dassanayake, who assumed office, awaits the presentation of his official credentials to President Mulatu Teshome. more..

The highway rape of Htota’s grazing land

Nov 27 (ST) Dairy farming and dairy farmers in Hambantota are facing an uncertain future as their grazing lands are allegedly being destroyed as a result of the construction activities connected to the Hambantota – Mattala section of the Southern Expressway. Racketeers are clearing large swathes of grazing land claiming they have been authorized to remove earth needed for development work on the expressway. Dairy farmers allege, many of these so-called developers are either more..

Indian Navy Chief on 5 day visit to Sri Lanka

Nov 27 (NNN) Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), is on a five-day bilateral visit from today to Sri Lanka aimed at consolidating and enhancing the bilateral maritime relations between the two countries. During his visit, Admiral Lanba will hold bilateral discussions with Sri Lanka President, PM and various other dignitaries, including the Chief of Defence Staff and the three Service Chiefs. more..

80 Club seeks to hike admission & other charges

Nov 27 (Island) The 80 Club of Colombo, founded in 1941 and occupying spacious premises on a sprawling leased location at Independence Avenue, Colombo-7, is seeking to amend its Constitution to substantially increases its admission fees, membership subscription and charges like bar deposits and has summoned a Special General Meeting on Dec. 1 for this purpose. Several senior members are opposed to the proposed charges saying that standards at the club have more..

Musical extravaganza Ridee Rayak goes live on stage in December

Nov 27 (Island) The stars of today and yesteryear from the Silver Screen will converge once again on stage for the 14th edition of Ridee Reyak, a musical extravaganza sponsored by Sri Lanka’s premier telecommunications services provider, Dialog Axiata, for the second consecutive year. Ridee Rayak will come alive with glamour, music and dance on stage from 7 pm at the Nelum Pokuna Theater on Dec 18. Over the years, the show has grown in repute as one of the more..

Public asked to help identify Lasantha Wickrematunge murder suspect

Nov 27 (NR) The police have requested the help of the general public in identifying a suspect involved in the murder of veteran journalist Lasantha Wikrematunge. A police illustration of the suspect has been released following new evidence revealed in investigations launched by the Colombo crimes division. Police have requested the general public to spread the suspect’s picture throughout all forms of media and more..

Lohan Ratwatte’s wife, daughter injured in accident

Nov 27 (DM) Three women, including the wife, and a daughter of MP Lohan Ratwatte, had been admitted to the Karapitiya Hospital, when two vehicles collided head-on at Yakgaha near the Pinnaduwa point of entry on E01 last night, the Police said. The Police said five women, including Ratwatte’s wife, and the daughter were on their way to reach the Pinnaduwa entrance, to travel to Colombo from Galle. The vehicle had collided with another car travelling in the opposite direction. more..

Controversy surrounds the draining of Gregory’s Lake

Nov 27 (ST) The fourth stage of the Gregory’s Lake development project in Nuwara Eliya is currently ongoing. Authorities say 50% of the project has already been completed. The Rs. 105 million project is being conducted in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Tourist Board, the Central Province Department of Tourism and the Nuwara Eliya Municipal Council. SL Navy is currently engaged in assisting the project and 132 navy personnel are currently working on the project’s 4th stage. more..

Govt introduces incentives to ensure victory in Battle for Solar Energy

Nov 27 (ST) Nearly 3 months after the govt’s ambitious community-based solar power generation programme was initiated, authorities are upbeat about the response for it. Subscribers to the project have so far accounted for about 15 MW of solar power. If the trend continues, they claim the target of adding 200MW to the national grid by 2020 is within reach. Next target is to increase this to 1000MW by 2025. more..