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Cost Of Living

Dec 8 (CT) No doubt many Sri Lankans will want to know what PM Ranil Wickremesinghe will have to say about the rising cost of living when he makes a special statement in Parliament on this subject today. Among them will be members of the low income group as well as the ever-shrinking Middle Class which is dependent on fixed incomes or dividends from their savings.This is because essential items are getting dearer by the day. Officially inflation, which measures more..

CASA: Colonial cousins in SL shipping

Dec 8 (FT) Ceylon Association of Shipping Agents (CASA) in its website informs us that it is the leading voice of shipping industry in SL. Committee stage proceedings on Ports Ministry demonstrated that it is indeed an indisputable claim. CASA in SL shipping is as powerful as American Rifle Association in US Senate. CASA is as dogmatic on its exclusive preserve as the Mahanayake Theros on the unitary state. CASA wants to put asunder what geography has put together. more..

Bond Scam: Looters as Rulers

Schools closed for scrutiny of O/L answer scripts

Dec 8 (DM) 55 schools would be closed completely and another 26 closed partially from Jan 2 to Feb 3 next year for scrutiny of GCE (O/L) answer scripts, Examinations Commissioner Sanath Pujitha said. Schools that were partially closed would open for the third term on Jan 2 and schools that would be closed completely would reopen on Jan 15. Scrutiny of GCE (O/L) answer scripts would be done in two phases. The first phase of the scrutinizing would be held from Jan 2, 2008 to Jan 13 more..

Govt to set up Programmatic Project Preparation Facility

Dec 8 (DN) The govt will set up a Programmatic Project Preparation Facility (PPPF) to ensure the smooth implementation of public investment projects. A cabinet paper put forward by the PM this week noted that in the 2017 Country Portfolio Programme Performance Review (CPPR), “the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs and the World Bank were of the view that lengthy project preparations and inception processes have an adverse impact in achieving more..

Gulf work trap that brought tragedy to an entire family

Dec 8 (TG) Holed up in an apartment on the seventh floor of a tower block in Sharjah, the family of five desperate Sri Lankans were racking up debts and disquiet at an alarming rate. Unable to pay fines that had been mounting daily since their visas expired four years earlier, they felt trapped. Father’s passport had been withheld by an employer, which meant the 55-year-old could neither find work in the UAE nor leave the wealthy more..

Police deployed to railway stations

Dec 8 (NR) Special police security has been deployed to all railway stations to ensure the operations of trains. Police Headquarters said the measure was resorted to, to ensure the safety of commuters. The IGP Pujith Jayasundara has issued the directives to all Senior Deputy IGP and DIGs. Security was beefed up in the event of obstructions to the operation of trains by those protesting. The strike was launched by Railway Station Masters, Controllers and guards in opposition to more..

SC gives AG two weeks to file objections

Dec 8 (Island) The Supreme Court yesterday gave the Attorney General two weeks to file limited objections to a petition filed by Gunadasa Amerasekera, Ven. Muruththetuwe Ananda Thera, Attorney-at-Law Kapila Gamage, Dharshani Morawaka and two others, requesting the court to cancel the agreement signed between the government of Sri Lanka and Chinese authorities to lease, for 99 years, the Hambantota Port and 1,500 acres of land in the Hambantota District. more..

Heated argument ensues between Judge and Defence Counse

Dec 8 (DM) A heated argument ensued between Counsel Maithri Gunaratne and High Court Judge A.A.R. Heiyantuduwa after court ordered to adjourn the consideration of the revision bail applications filed on behalf of former Navy spokesman Commander D.K.P. Dasanayake and five others, who are currently in remand custody over the alleged disappearances of 11 youths in 2008. The revision bail applications were more..

South Korea gives Sri Lanka zero interest loan for garbage collection

Dec 8 (EN) Export-Import Bank of South Korea has approved a zero interest loan of US$14 million for supply of garbage collection compactors to SL to improve solid waste collection. There is a serious shortage of waste collection equipment in SL where only 11.6% of solid waste is collected by compactors. “The main objective of this project is to improve the solid waste management system through reduction in travel time and maintenance cost of collection vehicles and increase more..

GSP+ guide for Sri Lankan exporters

Dec 8 (EN) A guide for exporters to the European Union’s GSP+ trade deal giving duty free access has been published and can be downloaded free of charge, Ministry of Industry and Commerce said. The guide explains relevant rules of origin applicable to apparel under GSP+ , relevant institutions in EU and additional resources such as web portals where Sri Lankan exporters can obtain more information. It also lists requirements for Lankan apparel exporters to secure GSP+ such as more..

Sri Lanka police faces major internal revolt

Dec 8 (EN) Simmering tensions within the top leadership of Sri Lanka’s police came to a head at a meeting called by Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayaka this week with senior officers demanding action against the IGP. A dozen Senior Deputy Inspectors of General (SDIGs) were summoned by Ratnayaka to his ministry to discuss the grievances they had raised earlier with the Police Commission. more..

Six gang members arrested over sword attacks in Jaffna

Dec 8 (AD) Six main suspects of the criminal gang allegedly responsible for the recent sword attacks on two individuals at Meesalai, Jaffna have been arrested by police. The suspects were arrested in a special operation carried out last night, acting on a tip-off, while the group were hiding out in Vaddukoddai area. Several swords and sharp weapons found in the possession of the suspects were also taken into custody. Police said that the arrested suspects are wanted in connection more..

Sri Lanka gifts a plot of land for a new Chancery Building for the State of Palestine

Dec 8 (MFA) Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tilak Marapana, today handed over the deed for a plot of land – No. 4, Hewa Avenue, Colombo 7 – to the Ambassador for the State of Palestine to SL, Zuhair M.H. Zaid. The plot of land is a gift from Sri Lanka to the State of Palestine to build its new Chancery in Colombo. Minister of Foreign Affairs was joined on this occasion by the President of the SL-Palestine Parliamentary Friendship Association Minister Rajitha Senaratne, more..

Hathurusingha named SL head coach

Dec 8 (CB) Chandika Hathurusingha has been named as Sri Lanka's new head coach, SLC confirmed on Friday (8). SLC said that the 49-year-old will take over the role from December 20. Hathurusingha's first assignment with Sri Lanka will be the upcoming tour of Bangladesh in January. Incidentally, he quit as Bangladesh head coach in October this year. Highly regarded as one of the finest brains in the sport, more..

Speeding bus leaves conductor behind

Dec 8 (DM) A driver of a private bus, spotting a considerable number of passengers at a bus halt, overtook the bus that was ahead of him to pick them up and in his hurry left his conductor behind. This ultimately caused a delay of twenty minutes to the passengers of the bus in question. The story is told of a private bus plying on a main road in Uva Province. As there were several bends on this road the driver was careful to drive slowly when manoeuvring the bus through these bends. more..

Talks with officials fail, strike to continue

Dec 8 (NR) Railway trade unions say the strike action launched yesterday will continue after talks with officials failed. Secretary of the Locomotive Engine Drivers Union Indika Dodangoda said solutions were not provided to certain demands discussed during the meeting with the Secretary to the President, officials of the Ministry of Transport and officials of the Department of Railways this morning. Dodangoda said solutions were provided to the matter related to the employment of more..

China leads in Sri Lanka’s FDI in 2017

Dec 8 (EN) China accounted for 35% of foreign direct investments into Sri Lanka up to September this year with FDI for the full year expected to total US$ 1.36 billion, Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade said. It said in a statement that there was a strong uptick in exports and FDI this year, according to the latest 2017 data from the Export Development Board and Board of Investment. “Data from the BoI indicates more..

Will his head roll?

Dec 8 (DM) The Blue bigwigs in yahapalanaya who had taken umbrage at the Bond-book author’s attack on their leader, had reportedly asked the Green leader to take the initiative to bring down the fire-breathing member from his Deputy pedestal. However, the Green leader had firmly refused to comply with this request, they say. Number One was getting ready to leave for South Korea at the time the Blues received the negative response from the Green party leader, and he had told his party more..

JO has no ethical right to join SLFP: Kabir

Dec 8 (NR) Minister Kabir Hashim says the JO has no ethical right to join the SLFP. He said those now part of the JO were those rejected by the people during the General Election. Minister said the UNP do not maintain a policy of dividing parties adding if any party is willing to unite the UNP hope the attempts to be a success. Minister added the UNP’s only hope is to strengthen and develop the Party. He further said the UNP will not hinder attempts of two parties to unite. more..

Several programs in Polonnaruwa under President’s patronage

Dec 8 (PSL) President Sirisena opened the newly built commercial complex, Tourist Information Centre and the Tourist Police Station in Polonnaruwa today (6). President vested the commercial complex in Polonnaruwa, tourist information center and the tourism police, built at a cost of Rs. 242mn, with public. These establishments were set up in newly constructed premises with the aim of improving comfort more..

SL participates in Annual Winternational Embassy Showcase in Washington D.C.

Dec 8 (SLE) Embassy of Sri Lanka in Washington D.C. took part in the Annual Winternational Embassy Showcase held on December 6 at the International Trade Center in Washington D.C. Now in its sixth year, the Annual Winternational Embassy Showcase has proven to be a vibrant and successful platform for countries represented in the U.S. capital to project and promote their cultural and culinary traditions among the public. The participating diplomatic missions in this year’s showcase more..

20-30 Children become orphans daily

Dec 8 (CT) Department of Probation and Child Care Services of the Western Province, claims that daily between 20 and 30 children become orphans and arrive at the Department and are in turn sent to voluntarily-run children's homes. Commissioner of the Department, Chandima Dissanayake said that currently, there were 14,000 children who were registered as orphans in the country, with 5,000 in the Western Province alone. She added that there were 120 orphanages and childcare centres, more..

ITAK expresses confidence in TNA unity

Dec 8 (CT) ITAK Leader Mavai S. Senathirajah is confident that the TNA will continue to remain strong and that the ITAK has reached a compromise with the TELO over the allocation of seats for the LG polls, for the constituent Parties in the TNA. Senathirajah said, that there had been some misunderstandings, before, over the allocation of seats for the forthcoming LG polls. "TELO had rushed into deciding on not to contest along more..

Changing Political Horizons in Sri Lanka?

Dec 9 (NS) The circumstances were right in 1933 for James Hilton to craft the image of Shangri-La in his novel Lost Horizon. It appeared as food for thought to many thinkers in the west who were disillusioned with the direction of world events and keen to entertain notions of a fantastical Oriental utopia. The effects of the First World War prevailed at the time, and against the backdrop of economic insecurity, many sought a Shangri-La such as that in the picture painted by Hilton. more..

Appreciating Soil

Dec 9 (Island) The int'l day of soil came and went hardly anyone took notice. Soil, is one of the most important components of any land, yet its value has been overlooked by most modern approaches to land development, agriculture and forestry. To most of us, soil is the stuff that holds trees up. We see it as a solid surface for us to walk, ride or construct upon. Our perception of its usefulness in our daily lives does not exceed much beyond providing a medium to grow our crops. more..

An AIDS-free future

Dec 9 (SO) An AIDS-free future a possibility or a dream? In Sri Lanka it seems a possibility; at least when it comes to infants born to HIV positive mothers. 400 per day. 160,000 per year (2016). Those are the global statistics of the children under 14 years, born with or newly infected with HIV/AIDS. Comparatively though numbers may seem low in Sri Lanka saving even one child’s life is worth the effort, more..

Sri Lanka at the crossroads

Dec 9 (CT) The writer is a SL Tamil who is a lover of the Sinhalese people, whose closest friends are Sinhalese and who speaks Sinhala better than Tamil. This article is therefore not anti-Sinhala. It is, however, against the Mahavamsa’s mistaken equation of Sinhala=Buddhism=Sri Lanka. This equation is being resurrected again today to sound the death-knell for SL national unity and for minority rights in the country. This article is also against the current constitutional system, more..

Blocked: RTI requests reveal process behind blocking of websites in Sri Lanka

Dec 9 (GV) On Nov 8, 2017 news began to spread that website Lankaenews had been blocked across all Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Sri Lanka. The website itself has continually been mired in controversy – in 2016, a lawyer filed 14 contempt of court charges against its editor, for making defamatory statements towards judges. Yet the blocking of the site is also chillingly reminiscent of 2010, when the site was blocked before the release of the results of the Presidential election. more..

Sights we shouldn’t miss on the climb up Adam’s peak

Dec 9 (Roar) Adam’s Peak, or Sri Pada, is undoubtedly one of the most famous mountains in Sri Lanka. Through the ages, it has commanded the respect and devotion of people of different faiths and racial groups. It is the belief among the four major religions in the country that the famed footprint at the peak of the mountain is that of Lord Buddha, Lord Shiva, and the first man Adam. more..

Good governance in practical terms

Dec 9 (DN) On Jan 8, 2015 people voted for change. The quintessence of their aspiration was expressed in a single term - yahapalanaya or good governance. Now almost three years later, people still wonder whether yahapalanaya is in place or not. It is not that they do not acknowledge the few positive developments such as the reduction of the powers of the executive presidency, the appointment of some independent commissions, the abolition of the fear psychosis and the disappearance more..

Murali: The smiling assassin who ruffled hair

Dec 9 (DN) If a popularity poll is held, not only in Sri Lanka but all over the cricket world to select the best ever off spin bowler in the history of the game, it will be a one horse race with Sri Lanka’s MUTTIAH MURALITHARAN winning that contest with no votes for a second best. MURALITHARAN from the time he began to spin a ball at St. Anthony’s College, Kandy in junior cricket showed magic even at that level. All former Antonian greats who watched him, juggle the ball like a magician, more..


Vijay Nagaraj: Contributions to public discourse in many guises

Dec 9 (GV) Vijay Nagaraj, who passed away in a tragic car accident in August, was someone I interacted with for around six years. We didn’t meet regularly, yet when we did, we carried on talking as if little or no time had passed since our last encounter. We communicated more over email than in person. Vijay was a strong critic of Groundviews. Perhaps the strongest and best the site’s ever had. We argued about editorial bias, content, the photography accompanying some articles more..

Editorial: IGP vs Minister

Dec 9 (Island) Never do govt politicians who find themselves up the creek without a paddle scruple to scapegoat the police to save their own skin. They defend only their khaki-clad, blue-eyed boys who get into trouble by carrying out their illegal orders. Stooges in uniform stick their necks out boldly because they know their political masters will leap to their defence if they get into hot water. It may be recalled that the late President J.R. Jayewardene rewarded a servile police officer, more..

Stop Asset Declarations Farce

Dec 9 (Island) Are we discovering the humour of the law? Why do you ask that? Because of the judgments on Assets and Liabilities – Sajin Vass Gunawardena fined Rs. 1000/- and before that Dy Minister Sarana Gunawardena fined Rs. 2,000. Don’t you see them as funny? Come on, it is not the humour of the judiciary … You mean Humour in the Courts? No. No. It is the Humour of the Law. This is the Comedy of the Legislature. more..

TNA split: The failure of a minority

Dec 9 (NS) The TELO dropped a bpmbshell on the TNA last week when the party’s hierarchy decided to quit the alliance. The move comes in at a time when the LG elections are expected to be held early next year. The TNA has been drawing a lot of flak from some of its constituent party members who accused the party leadership of sympathizing with the govt and neglecting the demands of the Tamil people. Ever since the new govt was formed in 2015, the TNA had been treading a middle path. more..

Journeying at leisure mixed with pleasure!

Dec 9 (DM) The Diyawanna members who never go short of anecdotes at their regular lobby gossip session, the other day, shared how a Blue party senior had made it a practice to add pleasure to his long regular trip to his political base. The Blue senior who usually leaves his city residence for the hill country destination in the evening would make his first stop at a roadside eatery close to the gem city. Leaving his security detail behind, the purohita would enter the eatery alone. more..

Rajitha opposed Mahendran’s appointment as CBSL Governor

Dec 9 (Island) The only black mark for the govt is the treasury bond scams of 2015 and 2016, Minister Rajitha Senaratne says. He said he had opposed the appointment of former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran to the position at the time. "I warned that it would tarnish govt’s image," he said. Senaratne said the govt had proved its commitment to good governance by ordering probes into wrongdoings on its watch. more..

My explanation to the Devanampiya Tissa controversy

Dec 9 (CT) I find controversies have arisen due to my identifying Devanainampiya Theesan (Devanampiya Tissa) as a Tamil King. Let me briefly give my reasons for my conclusion. I use Devanampiya Tissa for easy understanding by the readers. 1. Sinhala as a language came into being after 6 Century AD. (Refer to Sigiriya graffiti). Devanampiya Tissa lived from 307 BC to 267 BC. His father was Mootha Sivan. Devanampiya Tissa lived about 800 years before the birth of more..