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Illegal ivory trade calls for tighter laws and more vigilance

Dec 9 (DM) Elephants have begun to walk their path to extinction. Once a majestic being of the wild that every human feared could be shot dead in seconds today. With the recent killing of the Galgamuwa Dala Poottuwa and another tusker in Karuwalagaswewa, the greed for prestige and a few million bucks has clearly surfaced. According to legend, the first interaction of a man and an elephant in SL dates back to the First Century BC more..

Sri Lanka to grow milk fish as bait for long line fishery

Dec 9 (EN) Sri Lanka has initiated a project to raise milk fish (ChanosChanos) for use as bait by long line fishing vessels under a private public partnership, with around 4,000 tonnes of bait being imported a year. The cabinet of minister had approved a proposal by the Minister of Fisheries & Aquatic Recourses Development Mahinda Amaraweera to lease an 12.14 hectare area owned by Sri Lanka Aquaculture Development Authority in Bangadeniya, the state information office said. more..

Lack of education faculties means poor quality teachers

Dec 9 (ST) Lack of Faculties of Education (FoE) in State Universities for Degree level training of Teachers has resulted in poor quality Teachers recruited into State schools, reveals a study by the IPS. The study titled School level bottlenecks in improving GCE O/L performance rates in Sri Lanka, by researchers Ashani Abayasekara and Nishu Arunatilake, states that in Sri Lanka only two of the 17 State Universities have FoEs, while three have Depts of Education. more..

Sri Lanka's best chance to challenge Kohli-less India

Dec 9 (CI) Sri Lanka can breathe easy. And not just because they are out of Delhi. Virat Kohli will not be breaking any more records on the rest of their tour. That's where the good news ends, though. The last time Sri Lanka played ODIs in India, India's new captain Rohit Sharma scored 264. Also the most successful IPL captain, Rohit, now gets to lead India in limited-overs cricket as Kohli rests, but the onus is on Sri Lanka to make more..

CC submits names of seven nominees for OMP to President

Dec 9 (DM) The Constitutional Council (CC) has selected the seven members to be appointed to the Office for Missing Persons (OMP) by President Maithripala Sirisena in keeping with the law. However, CC member and JVP MP Vijitha Herath has reportedly registered his protest over the nomination of Women's rights activist Nimalka Fernando as a member of the OMP, a body mandated to investigate cases related to those who disappeared during the war. more..

Rail employees who miss work to be considered resigned

Dec 9 (NR) Ministry of Transport has decided to consider all railway employees who do not report to work as having vacated their posts. Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva said the govt has also arrived at the same decision over the issue. Meanwhile, a special Gazette notification declaring railways as an essential service was signed by President Sirisena last night. However railway trade unions said they will continue to engage in the strike citing they did not receive the gazette notification. more..

2018 Budget passed with a 2/3rd majority

Dec 9 (NR) Third reading of the 2018 Budget, Blue Green Enterprise Sri Lanka was passed in Parliament with a two thirds majority. The 2018 Budget was passed with a majority 99 votes with 155 voting in favour and 56 voting against. Third Budget of the govt was presented in Parliament by Minister Mangala Samaraweera on the 9th of Nov. Vote on the second reading of the Budget was passed with 151 voting in favour more..

Sri Lanka Navy celebrates 67th Anniversary

Dec 9 (MoD) Sri Lanka Navy celebrates its 67th Anniversary today. Anniversary celebrations were kicked off with a series of religious programmes commencing from a flag blessing ceremony at the Sri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura. The Hindu religious ceremony was conducted at the Ponnambalamwaneshwarar kovil in Colombo while the Islamic ceremony was held at the Fort Jummah Masjidh and the Christian Service was conducted at the St. Lucia's Cathedral. more..

SriLankan celebrates 70th anniversary of commercial aviation

Dec 9 (DM) Exactly 70 years ago, on December 10th 1947, a Douglas DC-3 aircraft named Sita Devi took off from Ratmalana airport for Palalay Jaffna and Madras. With this historic flight, Air Ceylon, the national carrier of Sri Lanka was born. From the classic DC-3, the beloved Dakota, to SriLankan Airline’s current state-of-the-art fleet of Airbus 320s and 330s, the warmth and hospitality that is the characteristic of our nation has been proudly carried all over the world. more..

Sri Lanka hands over debt-laden port to Chinese owner

Dec 9 (APP) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Saturday that Sri Lanka had joined China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) Initiative with the launch of operations at the Hambantota Port through a joint venture between China and Sri Lanka. The port was handed over to the China Merchant Ports Holdings (CMPH) on a 99-year lease agreement at a ceremony, and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority together with CMPH more..

Chaos in the Tamil political scene

Dec 9 (CT) I would rather obey a fine lion, much stronger than two hundred rats of my own species Voltaire Turbulent weather prevailed in the N&E Provinces in the past two weeks with Department of Meteorology alerting the people in the two Provinces of a stormy atmosphere. Special meetings were also held by the Govt officials to discuss on the precautionary measures to be taken to deal with cyclone Ockhi which had passed through areas covering the Southern part of South India more..

Rapid economic growth in N&E: ADB

Dec 9 (CT) The results of the Asian Development Bank's (ADB) work, in the Northern and Eastern Provinces was the rapid increase in economic activity, with these Provinces growing at twice the rate of other Provinces, the ADB states in a recent report. 'This is due in part to the two phases of the North-East Community Restoration and Development Project, which has helped build and rehabilitate basic infrastructure and services needed for a fresh start,' the Bank said. more..

Dehiwala orphanage child abuse case: Police lethargy alleged

Dec 9 (CT) Gangodawila Magistrate's Court on 7 Dec ordered the Police to speed up their investigations into the alleged sexual assault cum abuse of children at the Darun Nusra orphanage in Dehiwala and refer their findings to AG's Department. The 3rd day of the Court proceedings was accompanied by a silent protest in front of the Court. It was organized by a collective of various humanitarian org, activists & volunteers. more..

There is rice in the country until next April – importing coconut is illegal

Dec 9 (LT) With the harvest gathered during the last Maha & Yala seasons the country has enough rice until next April and importing coconut is illegal and the govt should take the responsibility of this act says National Organizer of all Ceylon Farmers’ Federation Namal Karunaratna. He pointed out the mite infestation of coconut trees has brought down coconut harvest and has destroyed many plantations. He complained that the mite infection had been brought to the country from abroad. more..

Seven arrested in India for kidnapping child of Sri Lankan mother

Dec 9 (Hindu) Seven persons including four women have been arrested in Karur on the charge of kidnapping a minor girl and forcing her into prostitution last month. 13-year-old girl who was studying eighth standard had dropped out of school. One of the accused A. Saranya alias Kalaiselvi (27) was known to the girl’s mother residing at Vengamedu. The girl’s mother has her roots in SL and the minor’s grandmother resides in the SL Tamil refugee camp at Rayanur in Karur district. more..

Tourism Fest to dazzle Colombo during Christmas holidays

Dec 9 (AM) With the festive season just around the corner elaborate plans are being made to transform the city of Colombo in to a Tourism Wonderland from 20th to 22nd of Dec. SL Tourism under the guidance of the Ministry of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs is planning the third edition of Christmas Fest which took the city by storm last December. The idea behind this unique event is to portray more..

After the Bond Scam Commission

Dec 10 (Island) No credible explanation of why enormous sums of money belonging to members of the EPF had been invested in Treasury Bonds purchased in the secondary market when the EPF, which is an authorized dealer could have bought them cheaper in the primary market, has yet been forthcoming. The fact that this has been happening for some time and that one particular dealer had been making super profits running into the billion emerged during the proceedings of more..

Let’s roundly condemn US move

Dec 10 (CT) Donald Trump's troubled presidency had vowed to bring a settlement to the Middle East. His Jewish son-in-law Jared Kushner was tasked with actually conducting the negotiations among the Middle East's hostile countries. But in what commentators are calling a profound misunderstanding of the complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian imbroglio, Trump White House has insisted that it will honour an election pledge to move US Emb from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. more..

'If leaders do not listen to my views, I have to disclose it to the people'

Dec 10 (SO) Categorically opposing the view held by the NFF and certain sections in the JO that the two SLFP factions should separately contest the upcoming LG polls, NFF Deputy Leader and UPFA Anuradhapura District MP Weerakumara Dissanayaka said if the SLFP is divided it would create chaos in the country and pave the way for the UNP to come to power in 2020. NFF front liner said, he had already presented his views to more..

Human Rights: Ginthota, Errant MPs, Engine Drivers

Dec 10 (SO) The victims of the latest ethnic pogrom, in Ginthota, await expectantly for redress, citizens at large wonder confusedly how their elected MPs get away with just a Rs. 1,000 penalty fine for violating basic Parliamentary regulations on declaration of assets and, Railways engine drivers and other employees flex their trade union muscles over what seems to be a minor technical hitch in their career prospects. All this happens as, today, World Human Rights Day, heralds the seventieth year more..

One more HR day and one more HR mission

Dec 10 (ST) As yet another International Human Rights Day is marked today on the annual calendar, yet another group of international observers is visiting Sri Lanka, apparently for the purposes of assessing the situation regarding the deprivation of liberty. This time it is a three-member delegation from the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. The group is due to visit prisons, police stations and institutions for juveniles, migrants and so on. more..

'Delimitation process: Public response low'

Dec 10 (CT) Separating the communities strictly along caste, race and religious lines, as was done in the previous delimitation process, will only ensure that the entire country is divided, Chairman of the Delimitation Committee Dr. K. Thavalingam said. In an interview, he explained that the recently enacted Provincial Councils Elections (Amendment) Act, No. 17 of 2017 indicates that race and religion must be considered. more..

Sorting out the team

Dec 10 (ST) My dear Dayasiri, I thought I must write to you when I heard that you had intervened to recall our one day cricket team from their tour to neighbouring India. I heard that you had literally ordered them off the plane while they were settling in putting their seat belts on. Ah, what courage to take such decisive action! In fact, if you ordered them to stay at home without going to India at all, it would have made sense. It was only a few weeks ago that we were beaten by India more..

SL banks embrace digital transformation

Dec 10 (WF) Banking is experiencing a major transformation, with institutions adapting their structures to keep up to date with new demands and requirements from the public. Sri Lanka is no exception: the country’s banking sector is now working hard not only to meet clients’ expectations, but also to be one step ahead in offering innovative products and services. In 2016 alone, internet and mobile banking grew by 75% in SL, indicating that people & businesses are adopting new tools more..


Fence mending prospects between SLFP factions before nominations receding

Dec 10 (Island) With nominations set to open on Monday for the first 93 local govt institutions, frantic last minute moves are being made to form an alliance between the Joint Opposition and the SLFP faction in the govt. The initiative in these moves is from the latter rather than the former. Several public figures like Ven. Elle Gunawansa thera have been involved in these negotiations on the assumption that the Sirisena faction of the SLFP is more progressive than the UNP and therefore, more..

The great GSP+ bonanza for Sri Lanka

Dec 10 (Island) Department of Commerce has published on their website the procedure for exporters to apply for duty free status for their exports to the EU under the restored GSP+. EU does not automatically provide duty free status for anything exported from Sri Lanka under GSP+. Exporters have to comply with strict rules of origin criteria in order to qualify for the trade concession. The goods exported to the EU will have to be either wholly sourced from within Sri Lanka with more..

A troika of Buddhist monks to bring Maithri and Mahinda together

Dec 10 (CT) Meteorological Department earlier last week predicted that a low pressure area in the South-East Bay of Bengal will turn into a depression with Sri Lanka witnessing side effects in the form of strong winds and showers. Though there were no adverse weather conditions experienced by citizens as per the warnings, the political atmosphere experienced gale force winds, when by Thursday afternoon it sent panic attacks more..

Being prepared

Dec 10 (ST) Sitting down to write about public holidays in 2018, I am halted midway when Kussi Amma Sera brings in the morning tea and engages in a conversation. Annoying as it can be, I engage, since trying to shoo….….shoo her away creates a bigger ruckus (cooking angrily in a noisy kitchen), as I have bitterly learnt from a previous experience. As I take a long sip of Pure Ceylon Tea and imbibe the aroma (how long will it be Pure Ceylon Tea or transform to Partially Pure Ceylon Tea more..

Thisara wants something special from SL

Dec 10 (SO) A 9-0 clean sweep by a familiar rival at home is a record that will hurt anyone for a long time. Same with Sri Lanka, who were defeated in Tests, ODIs and T20s by India in August-Sept. Two months down the line, the story hasn’t changed much. India beat Sri Lanka 1-0 in Tests at home and now starts the three-ODI series, beginning on Sunday, as favourites. The visitors have appointed Thisara Perera as the new captain in a side that sees the return of several senior players. more..

Can Thisara’s men halt the purge of losses

Dec 10 (ST) After two successive 5-0 whitewashes, SL will eye for a change of fortunes when the 3-match ODI series against India kicks off at India’s most scenic and clean venue—Dharamsala in the backdrop of the pristine Dhauladhar Range in India. Sri Lanka has endured a tough time in ODI cricket, having conceded 12 matches on the trot and a special effort is needed from the islanders to avoid further humiliation more..

Jeewan Mendis back in contention

Dec 10 (ST) Spinning all-rounder Jeewan Mendis has been named in the 20-man squad selected for the 3-match T20 series against India. The series will be played after the ODI series which begins today. SL has named a full strength squad, having sent a depleted side to Pakistan after several first choice SL cricketers refused to tour Lahore for the final T20. Mendis, 34, last played a T20I in 2013 but it’s not sure whether the former Thomian cricketer would make it to the final squad of 15. more..

Hambantota Port PPP will generate FDI, create exports and jobs: Mangala

Dec 10 (Island) Hon. Chairman, I am delighted to begin my speech with the good news that today we received US$ 292 million as the first tranche of the Hambantota Port PPP joint venture. This is but the first step in realizing the true commercial value of the Port after 7 long years. The joint venture PPP partnership with China Merchant Port Holdings (CMPH), a member of China Merchant Group which owns a network of 49 ports across Asia, Africa, Europe and the Mediterranean, will enable more..

Trimble Inc land survey contract: Surveyors cry foul, but accused of inefficiency

Dec 10 (CT) Govt has decided to assign, via an unsolicited proposal, surveying of 3.6 million parcels of State-owned land to an American company, Trimble Inc. Survey Department has launched trade union action objecting to this project. Another fact that has been revealed through this trade union action is the inefficiency of the Survey Department when it comes to surveying State-owned land. However, an official of more..

On Kohli’s batting future, a big bet by Sanga

Dec 10 (SO) India cricket captain Virat Kohli notched up 2818 runs across all formats in international cricket in 2017 - the third-highest total ever registered in a calendar year. Former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara (2868 in 2014) and former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting (2833 in 2005) occupy the number one and two positions respectively on that list. With Kohli rested from SL ODIs and T20Is, 3rd Test against Chandimal's side was his last outing of the year. more..

Slimline BC, Unichela BC retain Clifford Cup

Dec 10 (ST) Slimline BC and Unichela BC two clusters of MAS Holdings who are also the defending champions retained the Clifford Cup for yet another year when they emerged champions at the 91st Men and Women Clifford Cup Boxing Championship which concluded at the Royal MAS Arena boxing ring in Reid Avenue yesterday. In the men’s category Slimline BC secured six gold medals with W.A.C.I. Perera, U.N.K. Amarawansa, R.M.A.B. Gunatilleke, P.V.D.D. Saparamadu, more..

Sri Lankan shipwrecks, new tourist attraction

Dec 10 (ST) SL Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) will propose to the govt to encourage shipwreck exploration as a new tourism offering. “We are proposing to the govt to have through Public Private Partnership (PPP) unit to study this sport for the exploration for tourists,” SLTPB Chairman Udaya Nanayakkara said. He explained that this would be an additional tourism offering and one of the new products more..

Tea, rubber, spice exports to Korea soon

Dec 10 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena on Friday announced that Sri Lanka and South Korea were setting up a programme to commence exporting tea, rubber and spices to South Korea. Participating at the National Tea Awards Ceremony 2017 as Chief Guest, the President lamented that despite South Korea being one of the leading countries in terms of tea consumption and despite having close relations with Sri Lanka, SL Diplomats, exporters and past govts hadn't made any more..

Kumar Sangakkara Signed as the Brand Ambassador for Renault

Dec 10 (Island) After the successful launch of the Renault brand in Sri Lanka led by the Attractive, Innovative and Affordable Renault KWID, in partnership with Associated Motorways Private Limited (AMW), there is another important milestone that will excite both automotive and cricket enthusiasts – the signing of the global cricketing superstar, Kumar Sangakkara as the brand ambassador in Sri Lanka. The association marks the union of two iconic brands that are more..

Poor improvement in HR record: Hardly any change from previous two years

Dec 10 (CT) Statistics on complaints against human rights violations registered at Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, stand at 4,121 in the first two quarters of 2017 and indicate a similar status quo or poor improvement in the HR record compared to the previous two years. In 2015 and 2016, total number of registered human rights violation cases stood at 8,946 and 9,171 respectively. more..