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Do not privatize container operations: JVP

Nov 28 (NR) JVP today urged the govt to terminate all plans of privatising container operations at Sri Lankans ports. Speaking during the Committee Stage Debate of the Budget, MP Sunil Handunnetti said govt should focus on maximising the operations at Air Ports and at Harbours in the country. He said port operations are pivotal to Sri Lankan economy. MP charged that the govt is attempting to privatise container operations further. more..

Police seek public assistance in finding three suspects in killing of SI

Nov 28 (ITN) Police have released to media the details related to the other suspects who are linked to the shooting and killing of a Police Sub Inspector on 15th Nov in the Kurunagala. Police Department said that informants would be given special cash rewards. A Police Sub Inspector was killed and another two Police Officers were injured in the shooting in Kurunagala, Masspotha. One suspect arrested on the same day and Police are seeking public assistance to nab the other suspects. more..

Lanka e-news website editor says warrant against him is illegal

Nov 28 (DN) Lanka e-news website editor Sandaruwan Senadeera has told the BBS Sandeshaya that the warrant issued against him by Gampaha Magistrate Courts was illegal. He had said that several allegations have been levelled through his website against Gampaha Magistrate, who issued the warrant. At that juncture, taking such a decision was unethical and illegal. He pointed out that in accordance with the law of the country, only CID could could obtain an int'l warrant. more..

Lankans throng Pakistan gala show

Nov 28 (TN) A three-day Pakistan Food, Culture and Shopping Festival kicked off in Colombo, yesterday. The event was jointly inaugurated by SL Health Minister Dr Rajitha Sena Rethna and Pakistani High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Maj Gen (r) Syed Shakeel Hussain at Waters Edge Hotel. The festival, first of its kind in this vibrant city of the island, has been arranged by the Punjab govt in collaboration with LCCI, Punjab Board of more..

ACC Women's Asia Cup: Nepal lose to SL

Nov 28 (KP) Nepali women cricket team lost their second game against Sri Lanka in the ACC Women's Asia Cup held at Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok, Thailand on Monday. After losing the toss and being called to bat first, Nepali batting lineup continued with their bad form and scored 24 runs in 16.2 overs. Sri Lanka easily reached the meager target in 4.2 overs losing two wickets with skipper Hasini Parera scoring 16 not out. Nepal's Karuna Bhandari took the wicket more..

Umpire Kumar Dharmasena and his DRS nightmares

Nov 28 (DC) Former SL cricketer-turned umpire Kumar Dharmasena is on the ICC’s Elite panel of umpires. While he has enjoyed success as both a cricketer and an umpire, Dharmasena has had some difficult times while officiating during games. However, the 45-year-old has been having a difficult time on the pitch, in the recent matches. Dharmasena was one of the two on-field umpires during the Chittagong Test between Bangladesh and England. While he had to take 16 decisions more..

US Pacific Fleet worried about ISIS activities in the Indo-Pacific region

Nov 28 (ENS) The increasing activity of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the Indo-Pacific region is worrying the US, said Adm. Harry Harris, Commander of US Pacific Fleet, at the Galle Naval Dialogue 2016 here on Monday. Adm. Harris went on to make a strong case for Maritime Domain Awareness and sharing of information among the countries of Indo-Pacific Region. He stressed importance of maritime cooperation more..

Deal with problems before they escalate 

Nov 29 (CT) There are indications of political maneuvering behind efforts to disturb the peace in the country and to bring ethno-religious nationalism to the fore. The rising number of incidents of hate speech and local level acts of violence that appear to have communal undertones has prompted former President Chandrika Kumaratunga to issue a strong statement that received national coverage. In her statement she noted the rise of hate speech in Sri Lanka in the recent past, more..

The significance of Maaveerar Naal

Nov 29 (CT) I look at Maaveerar Naal with an immense sense of sadness for the thousands of lives that were needlessly killed and sacrificed, all for an unattainable and counterproductive goal of a separate state. If only the Sri Lankan people had listened to the peaceful voices of dissent, throughout SL’s independent history, calling for pluralistic unity—we as a people would undoubtedly be in a better place today. There was a peaceful voice of dissent coming from a man named Senator more..

Lankan women lured into the Maldives: Sex trafficking on the rise in Sri Lanka

Nov 29 (SO) Officers of the special investigation unit of the Foreign Employment Bureau recently, uncovered a prostitution ring operating out of Sri Lanka to the Maldives which revealed that around 100 Sri Lankan women have been sent overseas as sex workers. While the news sent shock waves among people, it being perhaps the first of its kind, in a sting operation worthy of a Hollywood film script, investigating officers more..

Budget 2017: Critical assessments, plaudits and ideological prejudices

Nov 29 (ST) The wide range of comments, criticisms and appraisals of the 2017 budget have been mostly motivated by political agendas, ideological biases and based on economic ignorance. The budget has been viewed mostly from the point of view of one’s own self interest and benefits it confers rather than the nation’s long term economic interest. In this plethora of misguided criticisms one bright spot of constructive comment was from Mr. D.E.W. Gunasekera’s who characterised more..

Trying to stop the buck with even more bucks

Nov 29 (ST) Making a case for enhanced salaries and perks for the representatives of the people enjoying short stays at Diyawanna Oya, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is reported to have said that this could help reduce corruption and attract better talent to parliament. One hopes his thoughts have been conveyed correctly lest one is accused of distortion which is increasingly becoming the defense mechanism of politicians and their brigades of pliant officials who suffer now and then from more..

'Proposed Constitution: A pretext to divide the country'

Nov 29 (CT) Leader of NFF MP Wimal Weerawansa stated that Tamils are one step away from claiming self determination in the Northern Province. Q: Govt had criticized your earlier comments on the proposed Constitution by stating that you were unacquainted on the subject, thus you are merely trying to create bogies over the matter. However six parliamentary subcommittees have presented their reports to steering committee more..

'HRCSL needs more teeth'

Nov 29 (SL) Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) has been found wanting as some of its recommendations are not taken seriously. Sri Lanka is in dire need of creating a culture where human rights are respected, honoured and guarded to ensure the hard-won peace in the country is maintained. Being the guardian of the human rights violation of citizens in SL, the commission should make an effort to get its recommendations implemented to ensure human rights in SL more..

Editorial: The identikit circus

Nov 29 (Island) Police have released to the media another sketch of a suspect allegedly responsible for killing The Sunday Leader editor Lasantha Wickrematunga in January 2008. There seems to be no end in sight to the process of identikits being publicised and public assistance sought to apprehend the killers of Lasantha. There is reason to believe that the govt and the police are not so keen to go all out to solve the crime. For, they have stopped short of doing what must be done to more..


Battle for higher wages continues in plantation sector

Nov 29 (SL) The battle for higher wages is continuing in the plantation sector as some plantation companies have failed to comply with a recent agreement. CWC leader Arumugam Thondaman said that some plantation companies have not paid the productivity incentive of Rs. 140. Plantation workers last month reached an agreement on their daily wage following protests which lasted several days. An agreement was signed between plantation unions and more..

Devolution of Land Powers: A Comment

Nov 29 (Island) Among the writings published in the wake of release of the report submitted to Parliament by the Constitutional Reform Sub-Committee on Centre-Periphery Relations are those that appeared in recent issues of The Island –C. A. Chandraprema’s Analysis of the report, and a more general piece titled Constitutional reform and devolution of power by Harim Peiris. The former, needless to say, is an incisive critique written at a level of expertise which the Panel of Experts more..

Racism, much talked about topic again!

Nov 29 (SL) Racism has once again become one of the much talked about topic in the society. It’s most recent Act was unveiled with the aggressive conduct of several Buddhist monks that went viral in several media reports. Racism is not a new concept in Sri Lanka. Throughout our recent history, we have been suffering from the consequences of such racist outbursts. We may not wish to recall such incidents in the past more..

Is ICC at a crossroad?

Nov 29 (Island) There was a raging debate on the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the so-called electric chair in Sri Lanka not so long ago. This seems to have died down for now. Who knows whether it would re-emerge on election platforms in the future? Electric chair or not, the ICC itself is at a cross-road now, following the withdrawal of South Africa, Burundi and Gambia from its membership. South Africa, a founder member of the ICC leaving the ICC is a body blow, more..

New Police structure and Emergency Laws

Nov 29 (Island) Police powers were among the most contentious topics in the whole devolution debate and the provisions of the 13th Amendment in this connection were never implemented by any govt over the past three decades, because it would have rendered the country ungovernable. Now however, the Police Law and Order Subcommittee proposes to actually carry out what no previous govt even contemplated. This Subcommittee of the Constitutional Assembly has proposed that more..

Policy tweaks to propel tourism

Nov 29 (FT) Stepping up as a premier travel destination requires leadership, int'l promotions and equitable tax policies, expert said, calling on govt to re-examine its visa charges as the country maps its way to becoming a major tourist destination over the next 5 years.  World Travel & Tourism Council Chairman Gerald Lawless called on Govt to reconsider its visa fee noting that it was relatively high for SL in attracting tourists. more..

SLC removes restrictions in domestic cricket

Nov 29 (CT) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) announced yesterday that any player who have participated in the National Tournaments during the current season will be eligible to play in higher tier tournaments during the same season, subject to the club represented at a lower tier not participating at the higher tier. The decision was made in consideration of circumstances whereby talented young players are forced to miss the tournaments due to employment obligations and the like, more..

Killer Whale Aquatics, Sirimavo Bandaranaike BV lead the field

Nov 29 (DN) Killer Whale Aquatics was the dominant team amongst the men’s with 316 points on the third day of the National and Junior National Aquatic Championship continued at Sugathadasa Aquatics Complex yesterday. In the women’s section Sirimavo Balika Vidyalaya led the field with 173 points going into the final day today. Ananda College and Visakha Vidyalaya were the emerging teams in the boys and girls junior categories with 123.5 and 124 points respectively. more..

Tablet computer-based survey data collection system debuts

Nov 29 (FT) Department of Census and Statistics is entrusted with the responsibility of conducting censuses and surveys and preparing official statistics on the demographic, social and economic conditions of the country. SL Labour Force survey is one of the main surveys conducted by the Department with an annual sample of 25,000 households. The main objective of the survey is to the estimate the current employment, more..

Rejected tender holders scream favouritsm

Nov 29 (DN) Rejected tender holders questioned the suitability of the contractor who was awarded the tender to re-lay the artificial running track of the Sugathadasa International Stadium. They have lodged a complaint with the Sports Ministry secretary, pledging their objection in this matter. The five disappointed applicants blame that the Sports Ministry tender board favoured the chose a contractor who has not fulfilled the tender requirements. Tender was called on Oct 12, more..

Uva CM’s Italian dream on the mat!

Nov 29 (LT) All staff officers of Uva Provincial Council have begun a token strike against the arbitrary decision of the Chief Minister of Uva PC Chamara Sampath Dasanayaka to sack the financial secretary of the Council who opposed his illegal financial moves. There has been a deceitful attempt to collect money from all the contractors serving the Provincial Council for a tour to Italy undertaken by UNP Members except three of them and all members of the SLFP in the council. more..

Top brewer says Lankans now consume more hard liquor and toddy

Nov 29 (DM) The rashness demonstrated by the new regime in making tax policies has not only made the business of brewing tougher than ever but also pushed the people towards hard liquor, which is arguably more detrimental to health. According to country’s top brewer, Lion Brewery Ceylon (LION), alcohol industry has now been made liable for not just the higher excise duty, which was raised back in more..

Sri Lankan – founded Kashmi launches digital banking platform for East Asia

Nov 29 (ST) Kashmi, a group of Sri Lankan technology entrepreneurs that ventured into the Singaporean market nearly 12 months ago, has transformed the way millennials transact. Now the largest person-to-person mobile payment system in Singapore, it caters to approximately 15,000 account holders and processes around in Singapore $1.5 million in transactions per month. Kashmi’s growth trajectory is due for another boost in the coming months with its aggressive expansion into more..

NOC conducts Olympic education programme

Nov 29 (ST) National Olympic Committee (NOC) of SL embarked on an important Olympic Education Programme of imparting knowledge on Olympism and managing and administering sport and physical education to physical education teachers at a workshop held at Uva National College of Education, Bandarawela. Course was the brainchild of NOC President Hemasiri Fernando. Over 240 teachers participated in batches during the last segment of the programme. more..

GMOA opposes proposed contribution-based pension scheme

Nov 29 (FT) Objecting to a number of proposals in the Budget 2017, including the contribution-based pension scheme for all Govt recruits from 2016, GMOA staged a protest in 18 general hospitals in each province during the lunch hour yesterday. GMOA Secretary Dr. Navin de Soysa said that govt is yet to announce the percentage of govt contribution to the proposed pension fund. “Govt has to announce their contribution to more..

MAS obtains high tech patent from SLINTEC

Nov 29 (FT) MAS opened a fresh chapter in its history by officially acquiring intellectual property which was researched and created by a Sri Lankan institute yesterday. The technology is a result of one and a half years of research and development conducted by SLINTEC, and was conceptualised to create superior drying rates for sportswear fabric through a high tech functional coating.  This research project undertaken by SLINTEC, funded by MAS, has resulted in an outstanding solution more..

Exchange rate sinks to lowest level

Nov 29 (CT) The exchange rate (ER), in the real economy, sank to its lowest ever value at yesterday's trading due to the continued flight of foreign capital from SL's financial markets, made worse by its cascading effects of causing importer panic, thereby making the local rupee depreciate further. As a result, the ER sank sharply by 25 cents to Rs 150.59 vis-à-vis its average selling rate of the dollar for telegraphic transfer among commercial banks in Colombo at 9.30 a.m. yesterday, more..

2016 cocaine detections: over 630 kilos in separate raids

Nov 29 (Island) Ongoing investigations into recent detection of cocaine have taken a dramatic turn with police headquarters revealing that nearly 333 kilos of cocaine were seized from warehouses at Peliyagoda and Biyagama in July and Nov 2016, after the sugar containers in which they were hidden had been released. Police headquarters said that the containers carrying the consignments of cocaine had been cleared more..

Malaysian Buddhist monk empowers education of Muslim children

Nov 29 (IDN) A grand Chinese temple on the hills of central Kuala Lumpur overlooking the Malaysian capital was the site of a unique event on November 27 where a Sri Lankan born Buddhist monk’s vision to empower the education of poor Malaysian children, most of them Muslims, was taking place without the glare of any television cameras or the national media. Venerable Sri Saranankara is a Sri Lankan born Buddhist monk who had made Malaysia his home since 1984 and has set up more..

Udayanga’s Bank accounts: Court allows FCID to obtain details

Nov 29 (CT) Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratna yesterday granted approval to the FCID to obtain details of five bank accounts maintained by former SL envoy to Russia Udayanga Weerathunga. Already an Interpol arrest warrant has been issued on the suspect in a case where he is charged with committing a fraud in the purchase of MIG aircrafts for the SL Air Force during the previous regime. FCID making submissions to Court yesterday stated that the suspect has already been charged more..

Video: Attack on media: Dangerous trend by govt: JVP

Nov 29 (DM) The present govt has set in motion a dangerous trend by threatening and attacking the media, JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake told Parliament. He said President and PM had resorted to such threats. MP said the recent statement by President Sirisena that front pages of newspapers were destroying the country was on such example. “The rulers are the ones who are destroying the country," he said adding that more..

SL hopes to regain maritime glory: Ruwan

Nov 29 (DM) Minister Ruwan Wijewardene said that SL's strategic location in the Indian Ocean had been a connecting point of the East and West and the country is looking at the future with great expectations to regain our maritime glory in the Indian Ocean by mainly promoting trade and tourism. Speaking at the Galle Dialogue 2016, he, said that the importance of fostering stronger partnerships among the maritime community holds a great deal of significance than ever before. more..

Taxes, a disaster for tourism sector FDIs

Nov 29 (DN) Some of the budget proposals if ratified and implemented will have serious negative sentiments for tourism and also for foreign direct investments, Calamander Unavatuna Beach Chairman Roman Scott said. Speaking at the first Asia Hotel and Tourism Investment Conference (AHTIC) at the Colombo Hilton yesterday Scott said that some of the new taxations that are to be introduced will be a disaster for investments to the country. He said that unlike SL, India can more..

Govt considers Cabinet reshuffle

Nov 29 (DN) The first reshuffle in the Cabinet of the national unity govt is in the offing for early next year, political sources said. They said the reshuffle was likely to be made based on the performance of ministers over the last twenty months. “The reshuffle would be made after deliberations between President and PM. It would be done in a manner that will strengthen the unity of the govt. UNP & SLFP, two main parties in govt more..