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Weerakumara Dissanayake and Piyasiri Wijenayake crossover to SLFP

Dec 11 (AD) The Deputy Leader of the National Freedom Front (NFF) Weerakumara Dissanayake and former National Organizer of the NFF Piyasiri Wijenayake have obtained SLFP membership from President Maithripala Sirisena. Weerakumara Dissanayake, Piyasiri Wijenayake and North-Central Provincial Councillor P.B.Kumara obtained membership with the SLFP after meeting with President Sirisena more..

HC calls for original case recording regarding case against Wimal

Dec 11 (DN) The Colombo High Court issued an order directing the registrar of Gangodawila Magistrate's Court that the original case record pertaining to magisterial inquiry against former Minister and NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa to be handed over to the Colombo High Court, today. High Court Judge Vikum Kaluarachchi made this order regarding an indictment filed against Weerawansa for the alleged unlawful acquisition of money and assets, estimated at Rs.75 million within more..

Retired railway employees requested to report for duty

Dec 11 (AD) SL Railways today announced that all retired engine drivers, railway guards, station masters and controllers willing to return to duty have been requested to report to the Railway Headquarters. This is due to the railway employees refusing to end their strike actions despise repeated talks held with authorities. General Manager of Railways (Operations) Wijaya Samarasinghe stated that as railway services have been declared as an essential service, all stations masters, more..

Works of Parliament Mafia

302 complaints against RTI officials

Dec 11 (NR) Right to Information (RTI) Commission says 302 complaints have been lodged regarding state officials disregarding requests for information through Right to Information Act. Chairman of Commission, Piyatissa Ranasinghe said 302 complaints appeals had been made over the issue. He added investigations would commence immediately into the 302 complaints. Chairman said RTI petitions are tabled to public authorities while around 3,200-3,500 govt offices and more..

PC Amendment Act: Bathiudeen unhappy

Dec 11 (CT) Minister Rishard Bathiudeen complains that the newly passed Provincial Council Amendment Act has many issues that further marginalize the minority communities and need to be resolved. Introducing the new alliance - UPFA - between ACMC and the former General Secretary of SLMC Hasen Ali yesterday, the minister complained that the new electoral system, despite its essential requirement, is not needed for the country. He noted that the new electoral system, more..

Sri Lanka should renegotiate unfair private power deals

Dec 11 (EN) SL should renegotiate better terms for private power purchase (PPPs) agreements done at a time the ethnic war had increased risks for investors in the country, an official said. “Some PPPs could have been done better,” Thilan Wijesinghe, chairman of National Agency for PPP in Ministry of Finance & Mass Media said. “Country had a war risk premium then,” he said in response to a question on fairness more..

NLB top management gets Rs.50 million as allowances

Dec 11 (DM) The Finance Ministry sources revealed that within 10 months of this year a sum of R. 50 milliion had been obtained by the chairman of the Lotteries Board, directors and other managers as a special allowance during the process of selecting the winners. This allowance had been paid for the top management for taking part in the telecast of the lottery draw. From January to October in this year the Chairman of the lottery board and six directors had obtained about Rs. 8 million. more..

Railways Dept. seeks help of retired workers

Dec 11 (DM) Retired employees of the Railways Department had been called in following the declaration of railway services as Essential Service by the President. President Maithripala Sirisena on Saturday declared railway services as an Essential Service, following the strike launched by railway employees on Wednesday. Railways Department’s Additional General Manager Wijeya Samarasinghe said all engine drivers, railway guards, station masters and controllers, who had retired and more..

I have no deal with Ranil: Mahinda

Dec 11 (AD) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says that the strength of the Joint Opposition will not decrease due to certain individuals leaving the coalition. He stated that the reason certain members are leaving is because they are unable to share electorates. “It is the same when (we are) in power and the same when in the opposition. Anyone is free to leave and anyone is free to come (join),” he said. more..

Rajitha call for unity to eradicate malaria

Dec 11 (CT) Southern and East Asian countries must conduct a joint initiative to eradicate malaria, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said, addressing a gathering of Health Ministers of the southern and East Asian countries in New Delhi. He added that although Sri Lanka was able to halt the local transmission of Malaria in 2012, due to the untiring efforts of the Anti-Malaria Campaign and received the Malaria Free certification from the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2016, more..

Video: Sriyani was compelled to leave: PHU

Dec 11 (AD) The PHU referring to the cross over of JO MP Sriyani Wijewickrama to the group led by President Maithripala Sirisena, said she did not do so voluntarily, but was driven to do so. It said Ms. Wijewickrama had no issue with the joint opposition on matters of principle until the committees handling the nominations were convened. “She is the JO's only female MP, who spoke at the very first JO rally held at Nugegoda soon after the 2015 election. She is a great asset to the JO. more..

Malwatte Chief Prelate praises govt for reducing essential drug prices

Dec 11 (DN) Steps taken by the govt to reduce the prices of several essential drugs by breaking the back of the drug mafia is highly commendable, Most Ven. Thibbotuwawe Sri Siddartha Sumangala Mahanayake Thera of the Malwatte Chapter said. “The measures taken on the initiative of the Health Minister has helped innocent patients save a lot of money when purchasing essential drugs,” Thera said. more..

'Don't agree with Wijeyadasa's views'

Dec 11 (DM) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said he had informed MP Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe that he did not agree with the matters raised by the MP on the constitutionality of the Constitutional Assembly. The MP who was removed from his portfolio a couple of months ago, had written to the Speaker requesting him to abolish the Constitutional Assembly and take steps to rectify the error he claims to have been made by Parliament to postpone the provincial council elections regardless of SC ruling. more..

China donates another 1,000 tons of rice to Sri Lankan drought victims

Dec 11 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka received the second consignment of 1,000 tons of rice from China, to be distributed to the drought struck victims in the island country. At the request of SL govt, China has agreed to donate 2,752 tons of rice for humanitarian emergency relief. The first consignment of 1,000 tons of rice arrived in SL in November while the second consignment arrived on Monday. Third and final consignment with the remaining 752 tone would reach Colombo before the end of December. more..

Sri Lanka cricket team stuck in Dharamsala due to inclement weather

Dec 11 (HT) Sri Lankan team has been forced to extend its stay in Dharmashala by a day as the chartered plane which was supposed to take them to Mohali, venue of their next match, failed to take off due to inclement weather on Monday. While the Indian team reached Mohali on time, through a small window provided by the weather, incessant rains and weather left Sri Lanka stranded at the airport for close to four hours. more..

Betrayal of a Bodhisattva

Dec 12 (CT) Koley Iragena Angey Halaganta epa. Londery Hathakinn Suddda Karanta Behe is the advice in pithy Sinhala idiom, the President offered to his critics and opponents in a recent homily delivered at Nikaweratiya. His analogy was inch perfect in accuracy and savagery. His reference was to the compulsory gravy bag that comes with the koththu roti one takes home – the universal social leveler in our urban life. Mishandle the delicate knot and seven laundries will not remove more..

Giving us lessons, British style

Dec 12 (ST) With PM Wickremesinghe’s ire on fire as he pitched into some of the local media at a UNESCO- sponsored conference in Colombo it seemed an appropriate subject to comment on. But then our former colonial masters intervened to remind the ignorant Sri Lankans a lesson or two on how parliamentary democracy functions and also teach us a few other things. It might well be that the high commission response was intended for a local newspaper that posed a couple of questions. more..

N-E youth push for employment opportunities

Dec 12 (SO) Unemployment of educated youth, especially graduates, in the Northern and Eastern Provinces is comparatively higher than in the other Provinces, and the effect too is more acute, as the two Provinces have been lagging behind in economic and development spheres due to the direct impact of 3-decade long conflict. Associations of Unemployed Tamil Graduates of the North and East have more..

BOP concerns; trade deficit, lower remittances & tourist earnings

Dec 12 (ST) The increasing trade deficit this year, together with lower remittances and slow growth in earnings from tourism are serious concerns for the balance of payments. If these trends continue, the current account of the balance of payments would have only a small surplus or be even in deficit. This unfavourable balance of payments outcome is especially unfortunate when the strengthening of the country’s foreign exchange reserves are important to meet the huge debt repayments in 2019. more..

Human Rights Day: I observe the alarming silence of decent people

Dec 12 (CT) All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. The above quotation is from Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Declaration was adopted by the UN General Assembly on Dec 10, 1948. It has gone on to become the most respected secular document in the world, translated into more than 500 languages and dialects. Constitutions, including our own, have adopted parts of it, it is often cited in courts of law, parliaments and invoked by more..

The Memons: From simple merchants to business captains

Dec 12 (Roar) How could a people who arrived on our shores three generations ago as ordinary merchants have established themselves as captains of business and industry today? Strange but true. This is exactly what the Memons, relatively recent migrants from India, achieved since gaining domicile here in the closing years of colonial rule. Their grandfathers settled down here to set up shop and sell more..

Editorial: Of that runaway train strike

Dec 12 (Island) The runaway train strike entered the sixth day yesterday. Talks having failed, the govt declared railway an essential service the other day. The strikers have decided to continue with their trade union action in defiance of a govt decree that those who don’t report back to work immediately will be deemed to have vacated their posts. Not everyone will approve of the draconian measures the govt has adopted in a bid to end the crippling railway strike. more..

From stifling the freedom of expression

Dec 12 (CT) At one time or another, they are all guilty of killing the messenger! That is a common element shared by Sri Lanka's political parties, political actors, govts and militant groups. Over the last 35 years or so journalists have been killed, abducted, forcibly disappeared and assaulted. Presses have been burnt, blown up with plastic explosives; TV studios shot at and set on fire as those in power or those aspiring to be in power show a rabid intolerance to a public message more..

Face the Nation

Dilemma of the voter: People get the leaders they deserve

Dec 12 (CT) Radical extreme left politician Lal Kantha, of the JVP, said the voters foolishly elect the corrupt politicians again and again. He blamed the people for not learning lessons. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake too lamented that the voters praise the policies of the JVP but never vote for the party. It is apparent that the JVP has not understood the psyche of the voter. A vast majority of Sri Lankan voters believe in democracy and when one democratic govt becomes autocratic or more..

Colombo sees no slowdown of Apartments coming up: Report

Dec 12 (LBO) There has been an increase in the number of apartment projects in Colombo and Greater Colombo areas, according to data compiled by a property website. Based on the certifications issued for Condominiums, Semi Condominiums and Provisional Condominiums by the Condominium Management Authority (CMA), the number of certificates issued has increased specially within Colombo city during last three years and by first nine months of 2017. more..

'I never really saw myself as a beauty queen and I still don’t'

Dec 12 (ST) Christina Peiris was all smiles as she gracefully glided down the stage to join the top 16 semifinalists at the 66th Miss Universe pageant held in Las Vegas (USA) on Nov 26. Crowned Miss Universe Sri Lanka earlier in October, Christina spoke to the Sunday Times on her way back from Las Vegas, elated by her success – one of the few Sri Lankan contestants to make it this far on the Miss Universe stage since more..

The SLFP’s crisis

Dec 12 (Island) The SLFP’s crisis is a crisis of ideological identity. It is also an existential crisis. SLFP is divided into two tendencies, a Minority (Menshevik) faction with 44 seats in Parliament, led by President Sirisena, not all of them elected, and a Majority (Bolshevik) faction with over 50 seats, led by former President Rajapaksa. The official SLFP (Minority) is a junior partner of its traditional foe the UNP, and therefore has an ideological vacuum within it. more..

When experience is a disadvantage

Dec 12 (Island) If one was recruiting a cook, a driver or a clerk, one would look for relevant experience and will not consider anyone without it. Operative word is relevant and therefore suited for the job intended. A barber would not be selected to stitch a suit nor a thief to serve as a cashier. In this respect, politicians are seriously handicapped. Let me explain. In our situation, at least two duties are expected of the elected – to serve the needs of their constituents and to engage in the business of more..

Compete to deliver: PM

Dec 12 (FT) An exuberant PM Ranil Wickremesinghe last night struck an optimistic note throwing his support behind the private sector insisting local companies had the capacity to compete and win globally, and calling on them to embrace competition as it was the deliverance of SL’s growth challenges. Speaking at the inaugural Best SL Brands Awards ceremony as its Chief Guest, PM was effusive in his praise for top 20 brands more..

Pothas, Rohit disagree on Bumrah no ball

Dec 12 (Island) The confidence of Sri Lanka’s batting unit is in such low ebb that even when they were set a target of 113 to win the first ODI in Dharamsala and take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series, there were a few concerns. Opener Danushka Gunathilaka (1) and number three Lahiru Thirimanne (0) were dismissed cheaply and there was more trouble when Upul Tharanga (11) was caught at gully by Dinesh Karthik off the bowling of Jasprit Bumrah in the 6th over of the innings. more..

Over 200 golfers for Inter-Schools golf tourney

Dec 12 (CT) Over 200 golfers from 20 schools, including four girls' schools, will take part in the Inter-Schools Golf Championship organized by Dons Golf Club for the fifth consecutive year. All these players are old boys and girls from these schools who come forward to compete once a year since 2013 that will be played in a big match atmosphere at the RCGC golf course on 16 Dec. Teams will play for a handsome trophy awarded by DONS Golf, plus attractive prizes to the value of Rs 1 mil. more..

CBSL to cancel two defunct finance companies’ licences

Dec 12 (CT) The Monetary Board of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) is considering the issue of a notice of cancellation of the licence issued to at least two other defunct finance companies to maintain activities under the Finance Business Act No. 42 of 2011, a CBSL official said. Two unlisted defunct finance companies, namely City Finance and Standard Credit Finance, were top among the CBSL's licence cancellation list. more..

Singer inks partnership with Pan Asia Bank

Dec 12 (Island) Singer (Sri Lanka) has joined hands with Pan Asia Bank to offer their customers added convenience. Users of Pan Asia Bank credit cards are now able to pay their credit card bills at all Singer outlets. This adds to the convenience of over 500 Singer Plus, Singer Mega, Singer Homes, Sisil World outlets, Singer Finance branches & Service Centre’s island wide, in which to make payments to the existing over 80 Pan Asia Bank branches across the country. more..

Afghanistan to make Test debut against India

Dec 12 (CI) Initially, Zimbabwe were scheduled to play Afghanistan in the UAE before travelling to Bangladesh early next year. However, Zimbabwe Cricket informed the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) that it wanted to focus on the World Cup Qualfiers in March and therefore not increase its players' workload. This October the ACB, led by its chairman Atif Mashal and CEO Shafiqullah Stanikzai, met Johri in Mumbai, requesting India to consider playing against Afghanistan. more..

Lord Naseby responds to BHC, Colombo; sends wartime dispatches to UN

Dec 12 (Island) Lord Naseby has expressed disappointment over the British High Commission, in Colombo, callously dismissing wartime dispatches from its own Defence Attache, Colonel Anton Gash. Apropos a response from the British HC in Colombo to a query raised by the The Island, in its Dec 5,issue, headlined Naseby’s call doesn’t reflect UK’s stand – HC, Lord Naseby said he had forwarded a full set of papers more..

Women make up 90% of local craftspeople

Dec 12 (DN) For the first time, chic, urban craft trends enigmatically nurtured by an unusual group of Lankan seniors have entered the domestic marketplace. “We congratulate your innovative approach and wish you success in our crafts market,” said Minister Rishad Bathiudeen speaking at the launch event of Shilpa Saviya crafts entrepreneur exhibition by National Crafts Council at Jaguar Land Rover showroom. The national exhibition, along with traditional crafts, more..

Sri Lanka expects over 10 medals at Asian Youth Para Games

Dec 12 (ST) Third Asian Youth Para Games will commence today (10) and will end on Dec 14 in Dubai, UAE. Over 600 athletes from over 40 countries will take part in the event. The event is being conducted by the Asian Paralympic Committee (APC). Eight Sri Lankan athletes and four officials are currently in Dubai for the event. Priyantha Peiris, Vice President, SL Paralympic Committee said that a strong team is currently in Dubai for the championships and more..

GMOA cautions govt against using draconian measures

Dec 12 (Island) GMOA urged the govt to adhere to the National Wage Policy introduced in 2016 when resolving the demands of the railway unions for the rectification of their salary anomalies. GMOA Secretary Dr Haritha Aluthge said they did not agree with the method which the govt was adopting to resolve the issue. "One cannot make it an Essential Service, or take stringent action against those who don’t obey govt orders. more..