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Hong Kong U-20 thrashes Sri Lanka 37-8

Dec 11 (DN) Hong Kong under 19 national rugby team dished out a superb brand of open rugby where they dominated from the start to thrash hapless Sri Lankan national under 20 team 37 points (7 tries, 1 conversion) to 8 (1 try, 1 penalty) in their Junior Rugby Asiad first leg match at Race Course grounds in Reid Avenue yesterday. The winners were leading 22-3 at half time. Hong Kong drew first blood in the 7th minute of play when their winger Markus Ramage scored a try off a more..

SLC to shift spots for six months

Dec 11 (ST) Winds of change are sweeping across the length and breadth of cricket administration with several key positions in Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) set to change at next month’s Special General Meeting (SGM). Country’s premier sports body has attracted much criticism over their handling of cricket matters, governance and the dropping standard of the national team. It is hoped the changes will help put the house in order. more..

State Minister for Foreign Affairs attends Bali Democracy Forum in Jakarta

Dec 11 (MFA) State Minister for Foreign Affairs Vasantha Senanayake attended the 10th Bali Democracy Forum (BDF-X) in Jakarta on 7th December 2017. Speaking at the Ministerial Panel of BDF-X, the State Minister observed that the Forum is significant to Sri Lanka as the current national unity government is taking a number of measures to reinforce democracy by addressing diversity, security, equality and social justice of the people under the theme of good governance. more..

Lankan Synchro swimmers excel at 12th Singapore Nationals

Dec 11 (ST) Sri Lankan synchronized swimming contingent returned with medal winning performances at the 12th Singapore National Synchronized Swimming Championships held recently. The swimmers won a total of three silver medals and four bronze medals in the 16-18 years and Open age groups in the international category of the three-day competition held from 24th to 26th Nov at the OCBC Aquatic Centre in Singapore. Medals were won by Bulani Perera (Silver) and more..

Sri Lanka rout India to end victory drought

Dec 11 (CI) Lesser-skilled teams' best chances of competing are in conditions that skew the balance towards the bowlers - spin or seam. In 26 ODIs in 2017, most of which were played on flat surfaces, Sri Lanka managed to win just four. But in Dharamsala, Sri Lanka's seamers, led by Suranga Lakmal, used swinging and seaming conditions to rip through a tentative India batting line-up for 112, setting up a seven-wicket rout more..

Inaugural Best SL Brands Awards tonight

Dec 11 (FT) The country’s first ever global standards-applied Best Sri Lankan Brands Awards will be held tonight at 7 p.m. at a by-invitation-only event at Hilton Colombo under the patronage of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. The pioneering initiative is spearheaded by Interbrand, the world’s largest and most influential brand consultancy, in partnership with the Daily FT. The Best Sri Lankan Brands is an extension of Intebrand’s world-renowned Best Brands list and will significantly more..

Is the Test series the making for Sri Lanka?

Dec 11 (DN) Having suffered an ignominious 3-0 whitewash at home against India, Sri Lanka somewhat improved on that record to hold the number one ranked Test side to a 1-0 margin when the two sides met for the second time in three months in back to back series. The timing of the series so quickly did not seem a good advertisement for cricket in India and it was expressed in no uncertain terms by their captain Virat Kohli who called for the Board of Control for Cricket more..

TNA split: EPRLF in new alliance with TULF

Dec 11 (Island) The 4-party TNA has split again ahead of the forthcoming LG polls. EPRLF has quit the coalition to form a new alliance with the TULF. In the run-up to 2004 parliamentary polls, the LTTE forced the TULF out of the TNA over TULF Chief V. Anandasangaree’s refusal to toe its line. Anandasangaree said that candidates would be fielded under the TULF symbol, Rising Sun. The main constituent of the TNA, the ITAK has more..

Colombo City Centre powered by SLT's ultra-high speed Fibre connectivity

Dec 11 (Island) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) recently signed an agreement to provide Fiber To The Home (FTTH) infrastructure network facility, which is the world’s most reliable connectivity option for the Colombo City Centre (CCC) property. This agreement will facilitate unprecedented download speeds of up to 1Gbps via Fibre Optics for the CCC. SLT will also provide state of the art technology and maintenance of the systems, ensuring high quality and superior service at all times. more..

'Interests of thousands of exporters greater than those of 5 shipping agencies'

Dec 11 (FT) In a swipe at anti-liberalisation sentiment within the shipping industry, Minister Mangala Samaraweera questioned whether the interests of five agencies which control SL shipping market outweighed those of thousands of exporters. In his speech winding up the Third Reading of 2018 Budget, which was passed in Parliament by a 2/3 majority, he revealed that at present “five SL companies control agencies of shipping lines that account for 74% of global shipping market. more..

Fiscal Liability Act in Parliament in January

Dec 11 (CT) SL debt strapped govt might have an authority to raise up to Rs 800 billion (out of the statutory Budget borrowing limits) additional borrowings in next year under the provisions of the proposed new Fiscal Liability Management Act, senior Treasury official said. "We were planning to get parliamentary nod for the proposed Act as early as next January and we will present the Bill to Parliament during 2nd week of January", more..

FCID refers 93 completed probes to AG

Dec 11 (FT) The FCID has completed 93 investigations, which have been referred to the Attorney General’s Department for advice on legal action. The status quo of FCID investigations and other measures by the Govt to tackle corruption was revealed by Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayaka on Saturday in conjunction with Int'l Anti-Corruption Day. He said to date the FCID has received 370 cases of which 73 have been forwarded to other bodies for investigations. more..

Won’t object if SAITM students transferred to KDU: GMOA

Dec 11 (DM) GMOA said that it would not oppose the move to enroll SAITM students in the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University (KDU) Medical Faculty. GMOA Assistant Secretary Naveen de Zoysa said it would be better to send them to KDU rather than setting up a separate institution in place of SAITM. He said the repeatedly upheld the position that the SAITM issue would be resolved without causing any injustice to students studying there and added that GMOA Executive more..

MP Sriyani to back President: Quits JO due to neglect

Dec 11 (CT) JO MP Sriyani Wijewickrama met President Maithripala Sirisena and pledged her support to him. After the meeting, held at the official residence of the President, she has said that she would support the SLFP. She also said that she has decided to support the path taken by the President. Wijewickrama was elected to Parliament from Digamadulla District. A number of JO figures have joined the SLFP more..

Hasen Ali quits SLMC for UPA

Dec 11 (CT) Former General Secretary of SLMC Hasen Ali defected to the new alliance, formed by Minister Rishard Bathiudeen, to contest the forthcoming LG Elections. Announcing the formation of the new alliance - the UPFA - Minister Bathiudeen of the ACMC, recommended Hasen Ali as the Chairperson of it. Ali, a long running member of the SLMC, its initial general secretary and national list candidate, joined the Bathiudeen bandwagon, yesterday with several others from the SLMC. more..

Dilshan Wirasekara elected to CSE Board

Dec 11 (CT) The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) appointed Dilshan Wirasekara as a Director of the CSE Board with effect from 21 November 2017. Wirasekara is an investment banker and Director/CEO of First Capital Holdings PLC. He is an experienced professional with a career spanning over 22 years, comprising diversified expertise in financial services including, treasury and investment management, capital market strategy and corporate finance advisory, a press release stated. more..

'Foreign experts to fight bribes, corruption'

Dec 11 (DM) The Govt was mulling obtaining the assistance of external experts to carry out investigations on corruption, Minister Sagala Ratnayake said. He said that the assistance of external experts might be needed to carry out investigations on corruption. “There are areas where our investigators lack expertise, and they have to seek the assistance of outside parties – sometimes foreign experts,” he said. more..

GMOA to intervene in railway strike

Dec 11 (DM) In a turn of events, the GMOA said that it could intervene in the issue between the Railways Department and the striking trade unions in the event the actions taken by the authorities turn out to be a threat to the labour Rights of the employees. GMOA Secretary Dr. Naveen de Zoysa said with the Gazette notification issued by President Maithripala Sirisena declaring railways as Essential Service, there was a threat to the employment of TU members. more..

Elephant killing spree continues

Dec 11 (Island) The Moragoda police recently arrested a farmer who is allegedly responsible for the death of a 40-year-old wild elephant at Aalagollewa, Tirappane. The 33-year-old farmer was produced before the Kekirawa Magistrate and remanded till Dec. 15. According to police, the farmer had laid an exposed electrical wire across his field with the motive of killing the marauding elephant. In another incident, two tuskers had been shot dead in Puttalam and Navagattegama. more..

Talks failed, railway strike to continue

Dec 11 (CT) The railway strike will continue despite talks with the Minister of Education in relation to facilitating students who will be facing the GCE O/L Exam today, the Secretary of the Railway Locomotive Engine Drivers' Union, Indika Dodangoda, said. He said that the Union had spoken to Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam and had explained that unless the grievances of the railway operators were addressed, more..

From Balfour to Trump... a changing game plan in the Middle East

Dec 11 (DM) If the Balfour Declaration of Nov 1917 permitting the setting up of a Jewish State of Israel on Palestinian lands turned the Middle East on its head; US president Trump’s declaration on 6 December, recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on Palestinian lands illegally annexed, and the shifting of the US embassy there, sent the Palestinian people’s cause and hopes for an early settlement to the century-old problem into a tailspin. Results were immediate and not unexpected. more..

Sri Lanka’s Present Predicament: Where do we go from here?

Dec 11 (DM) The change of regime on Jan 8, 2015 raised public expectations regarding good governance and socio-economic development. Yet, after nearly three years, most of these expectations have been dashed. Moreover, the developments in the recent months seem to have created a conducive environment for the rise of undemocratic and oppressive forces again in the near future. In other words, there is a real danger of the State falling into the hands of oppressive more..

Tourist-friendly tuks in Sri Lanka

Dec 11 (Roar) Three-wheelers are the preferred mode of travel in the cities of South Asia, but as many a traveler will tell you, there are instances they’ve been scammed. In Sri Lanka too, we hear the gamut of excuses from meter broken to give me any amount,—only to be harangued at the end of the ride for more than what the ride would actually cost. This sort of behaviour is not particular to the locals—foreigners too have more..

'BRT system could solve transport issues'

Dec 11 (CT) The Govt is not giving priority to the implementation of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system as it might become a problem for Megapolis light railway plans, Dr. Lalithasiri Gunaruwan, Senior Lecturer of Economics and Secretary, Ministry of Transport, said. "It must be questioned whether the Govt has thrown the proposal for a BRT system into the dustbin. If so, that is pathetic because we could have implemented BRT system at a low cost more..

GCE O/L begins tomorrow

Dec 11 (Island) GCE O/L Exam will commence tomorrow at 5,116 centres countrywide and go on till Dec. 21. A total of 688,573 candidates including 259,080 private applicants will sit the examination. Commissioner General of Examinations B. Sanath Pujitha said the candidates were required to carry their admission cards and national identity cards or passports. "No other identification document would be accepted," more..

Dayasiri blasts Janayugaya

Dec 11 (CT) For Janayugaya newspaper, which is funded by profits obtained from the controversial Treasury Bonds deal, acting according to the law is enacting a comedy, Sports Minister and lawyer Dayasiri Jayasekara had stated in Parliament. "I have said before that a newspaper is being published by those behind the controversial Treasury Bonds deal. That newspaper is called Janayugaya," Dayasiri said more..

Recognizing Jerusalem as Israeli capital: SPPFA criticizes Trump

Dec 11 (CT) SL-Palestine Parliamentary Friendship Association (SPPFA) strongly condemned the decision of US President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. They have communicated their sentiments in writing to the US Embassy in SL, the Secretary of the SPPFA, Bimal Rathnayake, said. "We had a discussion among the members of SPPFA more..

‘FCID phobia paralyses some top govt officials’

Dec 11 (Island) Central Provincial Council Member M. Uvais (UPFA) joining the Provincial Council’s Budget debate said that some public servants in high positions hesitated to take decisions for fear of being summoned before the FCID. This is not a healthy situation, the provincial council member said at the meeting presided by Chairman L. D. Nimalasiri. Uvais said Chief Minister Sarath Ekanayake could proceed easily with more..

Termination letters of railway employees to be withheld

Dec 11 (NR) The govt has decided to temporarily suspend issuing letters to railway employees who did not report to work, claiming them to be considered to have vacated their posts. Deputy Minister of Transport Ashok Abeysinghe said the govt has taken all possible steps to provide solutions to their grievances. He said the govt had requested two weeks to provide a solution to salary issues as the Cabinet requested to postpone more..

RDA grants extension to local builder under a cloud

Dec 11 (ST) Road Development Authority (RDA) is granting an extension to a local builder despite protracted delay in implementing a Kuwait-funded bridge project, to avoid disruption to nine other large contracts awarded to the same company. The decision is being called into question by other RDA officials, including union members, who point out that there were contractual provisions to impose penalties on companies more..

Sri Lanka sets sight on Iranian oil derivatives

Dec 11 (FT) Sri Lanka is willing to source its demand for oil derivatives from Iran, SL ambassador in Tehran said. "There is a lucrative market for oil products in Sri Lanka and the National Iranian Oil Company can play an active role in marketing and selling such commodities," Sharif Anis said. Pointing to other business opportunities in the country, Anis said, "Private and state enterprises can invest in plans to upgrade SL's sole oil refinery more..

Basil says President contacted him

Dec 11 (DM) Former Minister Basil Rajapaksa said that he had a brief telephone conversation with President Sirisena for the first time after years, and discussed the matters related to current political developments. However, Mr. Rajapaksa declined to elaborate on what was discussed. He said the telephone conversation took place with the mediation of Ven. Medagoda Abhayatissa Thera more..

Sad state of Human Rights situation

Dec 11 (CT) The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) has made a startling revelation that the human rights situation in the country has hardly improved from previous two years. The HRCSL has pointed out that the statistics on complaints against human rights violations registered at the HRCSL stand at 4,121 in the first two quarters of 2017 and indicate a similar status quo of poor improvement in the HR record compared to the previous two years (2015 and 2016). more..

BOI plans online investment approvals

Dec 11 (EN) Board of Investment (BOI) is planning to set up a system for online approvals of investment proposals, its chief said. “We are in the process of setting up effective virtual one-stop shop for investment approvals for which we are getting World Bank support,” BOI chairman Dumindra Ratnayaka said. “It’s going to be totally web-based and virtual,” he told a forum on new initiatives by the BOI held by the investment promotion agency and Council for Business with Britain. more..

Parliament Mafia bankrupting Sri Lanka

Lloyd Yapa’s treatise on export competitiveness

Dec 11 (FT) A pressing economic problem faced by the present Govt, and any govt that would come to power in the future, is the dwindling export earnings. They have been falling in relation to both the size of the economy, known as the Gross Domestic Product or GDP, and the total world exports. Exports as a percentage of GDP stood at about a third of GDP at the turn of the new millennium. This ratio has now fallen to a level of a little over 12% by 2017. As a percent of global exports, more..

Journalist attacked in Mullaitivu

Dec 11 (Island) A journalist was attacked in Mullaitivu on Friday night. Three people on a motorcycle attempted to block the journalist, Subramaniam Baskaran, while he was riding his motorcycle in the Pandiankulam area of Mankulam in Mullaitivu. Although Baskaran attempted to swerve and escape, the assailants continued to chase after him on their motorcycle, which he noted did not have a registration plate. Baskaran sustained injuries to his head and arm. more..

Low interest housing loans for Middle Class

Dec 11 (DN) Slum dwellers will be given 20,000 new houses in the Colombo Municipal area under the first stage of the housing development programme, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. Middle class people will be granted housing loans at low interest rates for a five year period to build houses of their own. National Savings Bank has allocated Rs.7,500 million to grant these loans, PM said. He was addressing a meeting more..

Protesters must consider O/L students: JVP

Dec 11 (NR) JVP has requested railway employees on strike to take into consideration inconveniences that students sitting the 2017 GCE O/L Exam will face when travelling for exams. JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake speaking in Parliament today expressed his views on the gazette notification issued declaring railways an essential service. MP said requests made by trade unions, whether it is unjust, could affect an entire process reiterating a union’s first step is not to resort to conducting protests. more..

Aging to impact SL productivity growth

Dec 11 (EN) The rapid aging of Sri Lanka’s population and fall in the share of working people will affect the country’s long-term productivity growth, a new study has said. The economy’s progress may be impacted by an aging population that will put pressure on pensions and social expenditures, according to the joint study by Asian Development Bank and International Labour Organization. “The decline in the working population as a share of the total will have a tremendous more..