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Wasps attack Russian tourists in Sri Lanka

Nov 27 (TASS) A group of Russian tourists was attacked by wasps in Sri Lanka, manager of the NKAR Travels & Tours Company Alevtina Yurkovskaya told TASS on Sunday. "It was a group of 14 Russian tourists," she said on the telephone from Colombo. "The incident happened yesterday, eight Russians were attacked, four of them were taken to hospital, where they received necessary assistance." "Among the attacked were also tourists from China," she added. more..

Kind hearts and a bedraggled crow

Nov 27 (ST) As Colombo received torrential rain this week, humans, animals and birds managed to rush to some sort of shelter, be it under a roof or in the thick foliage of a tree – all except a particular crow. Residents of Thalawathugoda spotted the crow soaked in the rain, unable to fly. They went up close but it didn’t move. Even though the unfortunate crow is not the most attractive of birds the people of this household had it in their hearts to feel for its  discomfort. more..

SLFP against any inclusion of federalism in new constitution

Nov 27 (NR) SLFP says it will not compromise on its stance on three issues concerning the new constitution. Speaking to reporters in Kandy after a meeting with SLFP organisers Minister said SLFP remains adamant that the new constitution should preserve the prominence of Buddhism and the unitary state principal and should not include any federalism. He said the new constitution is not being compiled in secret. more..

Rakiyabhishekaya 2016 inaugurated under patronage of President 

Nov 27 (PMD) The Rakiyabhishekaya 2016, the national education and career-guide programme inaugurated under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena at the Nelum Pokuna, today (25).  National Youth Development Bureau and the ITN jointly organized this event with the aim of providing education and higher education information and  job opportunities for our young generation. The Programme will be held on 25th, 26th and 27th Nov at the Nelum Pokuna. more..

Penal Code Amendments to keep kids out of punishment

Nov 27 (DM) No action would be considered an offence punishable under the Penal Code if it was committed by a child younger than 12-years old according a new amendment in the Penal Code tabled in Parliament last week. However, the court still can decide to proceed with action under the Penal Code basing on the child’s maturity, according to the amendment. Bill identifies how legal proceedings would be initiated and maintained in compliance with international standards as more..

Prevention, control: Show of red palms and more to drive home AIDS message

Nov 27 (ST) Colourful but very important will be the activities surrounding the commemoration of World AIDS Day next Thursday (1), sending a strong message on prevention as well as control of this disease. While the Road-map to End AIDS by 2025 will be the crucial action-plan which will be launched amidst a large crowd at Campbell Park in Colombo on Thursday, among the other documents to be made public will be more..

Castro struggled for freedom: PM

Nov 27 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said today that though the UNP followed a line of policies that was different from the one that followed by Fidel Castro, his policies were hailed world over. The former President of Cuba passed away on Friday at the age of 90. Issuing a condolence message the PM stated the former Cuban leader was in the forefront among personalities prominent during the 20th century. He observed that Sri Lanka had a lot to learn from his revolutionary planning more..

MR asserts China visit not to topple govt

Nov 27 (SL) Former President Rajapaksa said that his visit to China was not to gather support to topple the govt. Rajapaksa said that he will not work with the international community to remove the govt. Instead, he says he will gather public support and push for a change in the country. Rajapaksa is on an official visit to China where he had talks with the Chinese govt and other officials. The former President said that he was in China on an invitation extended by the Chinese govt. more..

Farmers aghast at drop in prices

Nov 27 (ST) A glut of seasonal vegetables at the Dambulla Economic Centre has brought down the prices of tomatoes and chillies, placing farmers in a dilemma. Farmers claimed the price of chillies, more than Rs.1000 a kg last week, had dropped to a meager Rs.120-140 and tomatoes to Rs.8 a kilo and that they might have to abandon farming. They lamented they were even unable to get back the money invested for cultivation. more..

Tamils mark Maaveerar Naal 2016 worldwide

Nov 27 (TG) Tamils this week hold events around the world to mark Maaveerar Naal (Tamil national remembrance day), which is officially commemorated each year on Nov 27. The day, which remembers those who sacrificed their lives in the Tamil struggle for freedom, is marked on Nov 27 in memory of the first death of a LTTE cadre in fighting. Lt. Shankar died in combat on Nov 27, 1982. In addition to public events this year, Maaveerar Naal continued to be marked more..

Five dead after train hits car at Pothupitiya

Nov 27 (AD) Five persons were killed after a train collided with a car at a railway crossing in Pothupitiya, Wadduwa. Police said that a train traveling from Galle to Colombo Fort had hit the car at around 3.30pm today in Molligoda area. The incident had reportedly taken place at an unprotected railway crossing. The deceased are all males aged 60, 49, 53, 45 and 43 while they were traveling in the car.  The remain have been placed at the mortuary of the Panadura Hospital while more..

Mendis, Tharanga steer Sri Lanka to title

Nov 27 (CI) There are two ways of looking at Zimbabwe's slump to 160 all out after opting to bat on a decent Bulawayo track in the tri-series final. One is that they had to contend with a good all-round bowling effort from SL and an unhelpful rain interruption early on. Another is that they let themselves down once again with a series of soft dismissals and dubious decisions. It might sound harsh, but the latter analysis is more apt. more..

It’s back to drawing-board for globalisation

Nov 28 (CT) Ranil Wickremesinghe is right to say growth in Lanka depends on international linkages. Local investors are effete; overseas ones have to be enticed. Western capital is risk averse and investors shy due to the prolonged low key depression, aggravated by Brexit, Trump and ascendance of the far-right in France, Holland, Denmark and Austria. Therefore trade and investment cooperation with China and India assume importance. We must not let self-serving professionals more..

Election-Related Violence – Part II

Nov 28 (CT) When the 1970 election came along, I was sufficiently disenchanted with our sitting Member of Parliament and his conduct, not to want to participate. However, I was reminded by a friend of what would be the consequences of a Dudley Senanayake defeat in 1970 and decided to work for Ottupaal Banda again, if not with the same vigour as five years before. Part way through the election, I had some of my village contacts complaining that thuggery had extended to boulders and logs more..

Accidents at railway crossings : Reckless driving tops the list

Nov 28 (SO) Fines for seven traffic law violations will be increased to Rs. 25,000 following the decision made by the Transport and Civil Aviation Ministry, on Nov 21. Violating railway crossing rules is among the listed seven traffic rule violations. The other violations for which a minimum of Rs. 25,000 fine will be imposed are: driving under the influence of alcohol, driving without a valid driver’s licence, allowing a person who more..

Highly inflammatory; approach with maximum care

Nov 28 (ST) For far too long following the change of power last year, many have responded to the policy and practice of the Unity Govt with the plea to tread softly in case the Rajapaksas return. The logic (if that is the appropriate word) in this thinking was asinine at its core. In other words, if citizens remain selectively silent when the Govt goes grievously wrong, condescending presumption was that somehow, the problem would disappear and the unwashed multitudes will not get agitated. more..

World’s an oyster for Sri Lanka’s MPs

Nov 28 (ST) Money seems to be the only motivator to kick start Lanka’s MPs to do an honest day’s work. Perhaps it is after taking cognisance of this ignoble truth and identifying it as the ignominious cause of their conditioned inertia that moved the PM last week to raise their pathetic financial plight and prompted him to offer them even more from the public purse to coax them into doing some activity for the public weal and welfare. Last Saturday in Parliament the PM said that more..

'Move to privatise state institutions'

Nov 28 (SL) The Voice Against Corruption movement says the govt has no plan to rebuild the economy. JVP member Wasantha Samarasinghe says govt is only interested in filling their pockets and privatising all state institutions. He says now is the time for change in the country and the country needs an alternative. “All intellectuals and honest politicians should now join hands and work together to bring more..

Journalists, activist journalists & politicians

Nov 28 (SL) The consensus down the years entertained by the Tribe of Scribes (including women) about ourselves is that we are the salt of the earth, knights in shining armour exposing and hounding the corrupt, driving out dictators, strong men, rogues and their governments, installing the good and virtuous to rulers and deservedly thumping ourselves vigorously on our backs on the good work done. This as we said is the consensus among the tribe and this narcissistic view is not held by more..

Stop this Coup Talk nonsense!

Nov 28 (SL) It’s sad that ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa has ignored former Minister Dinesh Gunawardena’s out-of-turn parliamentary rambling on an imminent military coup facing the nation. It’s so with his then Defence Secretary and brother, Gota R. Both of them have often been talking out of turn in recent weeks and months. Better or worse still, both of whom have been in the news even after losing office, for all wrong reasons – possibly. Man who kicked off the coup row is none other more..

මහ උළු ගෙදර: සිරගත වූවන්ගේ ජීවත

Decentralizing governance through Grama-Rajya

Nov 28 (Island) At a time when the mechanism for decentralization is foremost in one’s mind, it was heartening to read that President Sirisena made a reference to it in a call to his Ministers to come up with proposals for its introduction. A political stability can only be realized if there is a solid platform accepted by all and evolved over time. The Grama Rajya system can be one which can meet this prerequisite as the entire country will have a level playing field, without being haunted by more..

Editorial: Castro: The last of the Mohicans

Nov 28 (Island) Another great leader has left the world stage. Fidel Castro’s demise has diminished right thinking people the world over though some Cuban immigrants who are trying to be more American than Americans themselves are reported to have celebrated his death in the US. These events have received undue publicity from the western propaganda hit men who failed to destroy Castro’s iconic image for five decades. Castro was perhaps the last of the Mohicans more..

'Younger guys have shown maturity'

Nov 28 (CI) Sri Lanka legspinner Jeffrey Vandersay picked up three wickets to help to set up Sri Lanka's six-wicket win over Zimbabwe in the tri-series final, and his dismissals of Craig Ervine and debutant Tarisai Musakanda proved to be the turning point in the match. Vandersay, who last played an ODI series for Sri Lanka in January, said that his side's ability to pick wickets in clusters made the difference against Zimbabwe. more..

Of Sean Williams and fielding

Nov 28 (CI) Zimbabwe's pain while batting was mostly self-inflicted, but there was one wicket that was down to a moment of athletic brilliance in the field. Graeme Cremer had begun to settle into his role of providing support to the set Sean Williams. He had accumulated nine runs when he drove one in the air through the covers. Or, rather, it would have gone through the covers had Kusal Mendis not leaped up at short cover and snatched the ball from over his head in the blink of an eye. more..

JFA makes surprise visit to Lanka

Nov 28 (ST) A delegation representing the Japanese Football Association (JFA) has paid a sudden visit to Sri Lanka earlier this week to make observations on the intended Under-16 Int'l Championship, which is due to be played here in March, 2017. Delegation has visited the proposed venues and had held talks with Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL) officials before leaving the island on Wednesday. This was disclosed by Ranjith Rodrigo, Head of Media & Financial Committees of FFSL. more..

Questions still ahead as Sri Lanka prepares for EU scrutiny for GSP+ resumption

Nov 28 (ST) Marriages are made in heaven they say, but even this as a basis of child rights among a host of other issues from torture of detainees to tackling hate speech and equality of minorities in Sri Lanka are hot topics in Brussels where the European Union (EU) is currently drafting the recommendation likely to allow Colombo to regain its concessions to the bloc. EU has had discussions with SL’s new administration more..

We're still trying to find the right combinations: Cremer

Nov 28 (CI) There was a kind of symmetry to this tri-series, which started and ended with a capitulation by Zimbabwe's batsmen. The difference, for captain Graeme Cremer, was that this time around his team made SL work much harder for their win. Defending 160, Zimbabwe took a wicket with the first legitimate delivery bowled and SL toiled for 38 overs for their 6-wicket victory. "When we went out there, we said even if they get our score one wicket down, we'll make it as hard as we can for them," more..

Sri Lanka lose Women’s Asia Cup opener to Pakistan

Nov 28 (DN) Javeria Khan’s third Twenty20 International (T20I) fifty helped Pakistan Women consolidate their second spot in the points table with a convincing eight-wicket win over Sri Lanka in their 2016 ACC Women’s Asia Cup T20 clash at the AIT Cricket Ground on the outskirts of Bangkok on Sunday. Set to chase 113 for their second successive win, Pakistan overhauled the target with 10 balls to spare courtesy Javeria’s unbeaten 56 off 51 deliveries. In the supporting role was more..

Govt, ADB sign $ 250 m boost for capital markets

Nov 28 (FT) Govt on Friday entered into a loan agreement with Asian Development Bank to obtain a loan of $ 250 m from the Ordinary Capital Resources Fund of the Asian Development Bank to implement the Capital Market Development Program in Sri Lanka. The main objective of the CMDP is to ensure that the capital markets in Sri Lanka are more effective in mobilising resources for the economy’s financing requirements more..

Hahn Air opens the 300 partner airline gateway for local travel agents

Nov 28 (ST) Worldwide ticketing expert Hahn Air has connected with a new e-ticketing functionality to the global distribution systems of Amadeus and Galileo, making the company, a preferred overseas travel partner. This link up will enable travel agents in Sri Lanka to issue e-tickets on bookings made with any of Hahn Air’s 300 partner airlines and transport providers, Hahn Air’s Director Global Account Management, Bharat Kapoor said on the sidelines of an event organised in Colombo more..

'CBSL released US$ 3 bn in foreign reserves to defend rupee'

Nov 28 (Island) Central Bank artificially suppressed market forces to defend the rupee against the appreciation of the dollar. To control this situation, CB has released more than US $ 3 billion in foreign reserves, CB Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said. "We are trying our level best to improve the economy and prevent the rupee from depreciating against the dollar in order to achieve long term sustainable economic growth", he said at the Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Awards more..

Trouble once again in paradise

Nov 28 (ENS) Fluid political situation in SL, and the erosion of popular support for Sirisena - Wickremesinghe combine, have together created in the minds of the minority Tamils, doubts about the regime’s ability to draft a Tamil-friendly constitution and face the political storm that will certainly follow. Sensing a drift towards abandonment of the constitution- making exercise and its substitution by a few amendments more..

Mother of all battles

Nov 28 (ST) Answer this question: Where is the mother of all battles? In Iraq? No. Kashmir? No. Aleppo? No. South Sudan? Or is it closer home where pitched battles in Parliament may qualify? No. Then is it the cost of living?? Still No … then where? Simple. It’s the daily battle of wits in the capital Colombo for every pedestrian, motorist or public transport user to get to their workplace and back home. In the past six months traffic has virtually ground to a halt in the city with every road, more..

Increasing tuk-tuks eating into labour market: Finance Minister

Nov 28 (Island) Govt decided to discourage the use of three wheels based on several economic and social issues including its tendency to eat onto the vital labour market of the country, Minister Ravi Karunanayake said during a special meeting with All Ceylon Three Wheel Drivers and Owners, on Saturday. "Three wheel transport service was introduced as a mode of self-employment but the number of new comers taking into this trade has been increased tremendously. more..

Harin kicks off nationwide contest to find Sri Lanka’s Most Secure Coder

Nov 28 (FT) Supporting country’s target of earning $ 5 billion through software exports and related services, Minister Harin Fernando on Friday launched a nationwide hunt to find Sri Lanka’s Most Secure Programmer. Titled CodeCraft, the hunt is through a nationwide competition for university students, professionals, colleges and corporates engaged in software development. It is organised by CICRA – cyber security training more..

Global Rubber Industries buys two US tyre retail and service firms

Nov 28 (FT) GRI (Global Rubber Industries) has acquired Leffler Industrial Tire & Rubber Track and Kentucky Industrial Tire, two privately held companies that retail and service industrial tires in the United States. Leffler Industrial Tire is an Indianapolis based company that specialises in industrial forklift tires for the material handling industry. It currently offers product and services in Illinois and Indiana. Kentucky Industrial Tire based in Louisville and Lexington offers more..

President kicks off top Asia Hotel and Tourism Investment Conference in Colombo

Nov 28 (FT) The top level three-day Asia Hotel and Tourism Investment Conference kicked off yesterday at Hilton Colombo with President Maithripala Sirisena as the Chief Guest. President met the World Travel and Tourism Council Chairman Gerald Lawless and other international and local industry leaders at the Networking Reception.  Titled True Colours: Showcasing hotel and tourism investment in Asia the event has brought together international speakers to share key insights. more..

Docs to lunch hour protest today

Nov 28 (CT) Doctors are to engage in a countrywide strike within next week if the govt fails to revise certain proposals that adversely affects the professionals in the health sector, GMOA warned. GMOA General Secretary Dr. Naveen de Zoysa said, as the initial step of the trade union action doctors in the Uva Province will stay away from private practice including channeling services today and further trade union action will be taken more..

A glass half full in Sri Lanka

Nov 28 (Dawn) Back in Sri Lanka after seven months, I find little has changed on our beach. A boutique hotel chain has bought some neighbouring property, but the sandy bay that stretches for a mile outside our home remains as lovely and peaceful as ever, apart from the constant pounding of the surf. Despite the sense of unchanging serenity, there is a growing frustration among the people I have spoken to. The euphoria of the change in govt following the presidential election of 2014 has dissipated. more..