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Uncertainty about Gotabaya puts Gintota on the back burner

Dec 2 (CT) Talk of the town is about the possible arrest of Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa former Defence Secretary for alleged misappropriation of State property. This news has been blowing hot and cold the past few weeks. The allegations as reported in the media pertains to the construction of the D.A. Rajapaksa Museum and Memorial in Medamulana. According to Police investigation the museum and memorial was built allegedly using funds amounting to Rs. 90 million from the SLLRDC. more..

Gintota violence: A prequel to a greater scheme

Dec 2 (CT) Local Govt Elections are approaching and it appears that the hidden extremist elements have once again re-emerged. Fascist politics during election time is an age old tactic, but racism has recently proven to be a more resourceful tool. Especially when a preconceived bias has been conditioned into the minds of people, it is a flaw of democracy that is exploited by those who stand to gain. When the attack on Dambulla Mosque more..

Editorial: Nuts, grains & polls

Dec 2 (Island) National Election Commission (NEC) has said it is confident of holding the much-delayed local govt elections, at last, on a single day early next year. This announcement couldn't have come at a worse time for the govt, which did its damnedest to postpone the mini polls further, but in vain. Public resentment is palpable due to economic woes. There is apparently no end in sight to the continuous rise in the general price level. Official inflation rates can be deceptive as is public knowledge; more..

Labour Companies & National Prosperity

Dec 2 (CT) The beginning and end of national prosperity depends on how far the planned and sensible utilization of human resources has been effective. National Prosperity is the material well-being of people. When society becomes affluent, the benefits are naturally distributed among members. The problem we have now is the uneven distribution of bare minimum comforts. It has generated a society of aimless and hopeless people. The desperation has turned people to more..


Efficacy of Presidential Commissions of Inquiry

Dec 2 (CT) The inquiry constantly is what will please, not what will benefit the people. In such a government there can be nothing but temporary expedient, fickleness, and folly. – Alexander Hamilton, A Founding Father of the US The law provides that a Presidential Commission of Inquiry is a major ad-hoc formal public inquiry into a defined issue ordered by the President of Sri Lanka to report findings, give advice and make recommendations. Such inquiries can be either more..

Meelad Un Nabi Celebrations

Dec 2 (Island) The Holy Quran and the Teachings of the Prophet very clearly says that every Muslim should remember and follow the ways of life of the Holy Prophet Muhammad PBUH, the final Messenger of ALLAH SWT. Specially during this month (Rabi-ul-Awwal) Muslims worldwide celebrate, Meelad Un Nabi the birth Anniversary of the beloved Prophet PBUH.This years occasion is scheduled to take place today, with several religious programmes been planned to commomorate more..

Bondage of crooked politics

Dec 2 (Island) * we come. There is nothing as good as Bondage…which seems to be the new thinking of the UNP. PM wants to have a special probe into the Treasury Bond sales from 2008 to 2014 – that involves many billions of rupees. Looks like the party that was not at all pleased with the Bond Commission that completed it hearings with the PM’s clarifications, is now in an elephantine mood to go on with bond probes more..

Perumal’s entry into TNA

Dec 2 (CT) Leader of the Tamil Socialist Democratic Party Annamalai Varatharaja Perumal has come forward to join the TNA and has pointed out that it was the need of the hour for all Tamil political parties to come together and fulfil the political aspirations of people in the North and the East. ITAK which is popularly known as the Federal Party being the premier political organ in the TNA, Varatharaja Perumal was enthusiastically involved in the political activities of the ITAK when he was young. more..

Sri Lanka’s Trade Imperative: Analysis

Dec 2 (ER) Optimism in Sri Lanka following the end of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s presidency in 2015 saw civil and political freedoms liberalised, ethnic relations improved, and foreign relations with China and India rebalanced. However, the government’s scorecard in managing the economy has been disappointing, with analysts pointing to large excesses in fiscal and monetary policymaking. This has arguably contributed to a slowing economy and mounting debt. more..

'Need to score 350 in the first innings'

Dec 2 (CI) This has been a tough year for Sri Lanka, and numbers will not hide that. The seven Tests they have lost this year is the joint-most they have lost in any year. Given how the contests between these two sides have gone over the rest of the year, they are odds-on favourites to hold the ignominy exclusively. To make it worse, they are doing so in a tour where the opposition has spoken less about them than its next opponents. more..

Suresh appointed Vice President of ATF

Dec 2 (Island) Veteran tennis administrator Suresh Subramaniam, who was the uncontested Secretary General of the Asian Tennis Federation (ATF) since 2005, was appointed Vice President of the ATF in Jakarta, Indonesia last week. He is the first Sri Lankan to hold this prestigious position. He served the ATF board from 2002. He was the uncontested past President of the Sri Lanka Tennis Association from 2002 to 2007. As Secretary General of ATF, Suresh was responsible for starting more..

‘Sri Lanka, Korea trade growing by 7%’

Dec 2 (DN) The National Budget 2018 has some of the strongest announcements of liberalization seen in years, including the removing of para-tariffs on 1,200 imported items, said Minister Malik Samarawickrama. Speaking in the Republic of Korea, he said that the budget also announced very progressive steps towards UN sustainability goals by declaring that all government vehicles will be either hybrid or electric by 2025, and dramatically reducing taxes on electric cars. more..

Video: NFF member joins SLFP

Dec 2 (DM) Former member of NFF & JVP, Jayantha Wijesekara joined the SLFP. JVP MP for Trinco from 2004 till 2010, he joined the NFF in 2012. He told a news briefing that he had decided to resign from the NFF following party secretary Priyanjan Vitharana’s resignation. “Mr. Vitharana did a lot for the party during the past eight months. I decided to quit the NFF following his resignation. more..

Local hotel personnel seen as working harder abroad than in Sri Lanka

Dec 2 (Island) We have witnessed that Sri Lankan hotel personnel work harder when they go abroad and work in hotels overseas than they ever work here, Somanathan Ganeshanathan, chairman, Amagi Hotels said. Meanwhile, Minister Sarath Amunugama speaking on behalf of Prez Sirisena at the Hoteliers Association of SL Annual Awards said some foreign hotel owners have told him that SL hotel staff are very efficient in delivering their services to their global clientele. more..

Veteran beauticians recognised at glittering awards ceremony

Dec 2 (Island) A number of renowned and talented beauticians in Sri Lanka were recognised and rewarded at a gala ceremony held under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena at Waters Edge in Battaramulla recently. In the country's beauty industry which goes back many decades, this was the first time the beauticians were recognised at national level. Sixty veteran beauticians who served the industry for more than 25 years were feted during the ceremony. more..

Beautician killed for revenge

Dec 2 (Island) Two hooded underworld gunmen who entered the Rukmale home of a beautician on Thursday night shot her dead in the presence of her seven-year-old son and five-year-old daughter before fleeing on a motorcycle. Investigations have revealed that two members of notorious underworld figure Angoda Lokka’ s gang were responsible for the killing. The deceased was Manjula Abeyratne (42). more..

Dhananjaya de Silva ready for the challenge

Dec 2 (DN) Dhananjaya de Silva said that he was ready for the challenge to take up the number three position or to open the batting for his country after being named as replacement to Lahiru Thirimanne for the third and final Test against India starting at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium here on Saturday. “I have opened in international matches in T20s and ODIs. In Tests I have not opened so far. First time it could happen in a Test,” said De Silva. “I played as an opener for Sri Lanka Under-19 and more..

Bipeds to play where quadrupeds once died

Dec 2 (Island) A 3-storeyed sports complex with a majestic look stands on the block of land, where the Kandy slaughter house stood for over 100 years. The colonial rulers managing the Kandy Municipal Council purchased the block of land for siting slaughter houses in 1868 after paying one hundred pounds to two British nationals, Henry Byrd and John Grant. How the two Englishmen came to own the block of land is unknown. The land bordering the Kandy-Colombo main railway line and more..

5 remanded over the killing of Dala Puttuwa

Dec 2 (AD) Police officials detained five suspects in nikaweratiya over the killing of a tusker known as Dala Puttuwa earlier today (1). Minister Sagala Ratnayaka has directed Acting IGP C.D. Wickremaratne to place the investigations into the killings of Dala Puttuwa and other tuskers under the CID, yesterday. The move comes in the wake of the killing of Dala Puttuwa, the famous tusker in Galgamuwa. more..

Sri Lanka call to prioritise climate change in domestic politics

Dec 2 (EN) Sri Lanka has called for making climate change a top priority in domestic politics given the importance of international co-operation in tackling the issue which has cross-border implications. Defence Ministry Secretary Kapila Waidyaratne spoke of how countries need to be more proactive in their response to climate change at an international forum on climate change and resources security in South Asia. In his keynote address, Waidyaratne emphasized the fact that progress in more..

President returns after successful visit to Republic of Korea

Dec 2 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena returned to the island yesterday (30) after completing a successful three-day State visit to Republic of Korea on an invitation extended by the Korean President Moon Jae-in, strengthening the foreign relations and bringing many developmental benefits to the country. The visit took place in conjunction with the 40th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and the Republic of Korea. more..

IOM commends Sri Lanka for leadership in migration issues

Dec 2 (SL) Director-General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Ambassador William Lacy Swing, addressing the 108th Session of the IOM Council in Geneva, commended Govt of Sri Lanka for its leadership in migration issues. Referring to Sri Lanka’s role in regional consultative processes – as until recently Chair of the Colombo Process and presently as Chair of Abu Dhabi Dialogue more..

State hospitals connected to e-Health program

Dec 2 (DN) 300 state hospitals will be connected to the e-Health program next year, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. He was addressing the gathering after connecting the National Dental Teaching Hospital in Colombo to the program. The Minister said 300 state hospitals were connected to the e-Health program this year. The program commenced in 2015 from the Horana Base hospital. 50 hospitals were connected in 2016. Program aims at computerizing details of patients, more..

Must-win scenario beckons battle-weary SL

Dec 2 (CI) There will be - at least physically - two teams taking the field in Delhi for the deciding match of a Test series. But their minds are busy peering into the future. India are obsessed with events that will take place in January while Sri Lanka are looking further ahead, willing the mists to clear and reveal a time in which they aren't being bullied. An innings and 239 runs isn't so much a margin of defeat as a brand across their faces. Fire, though, is where iron can be forged and more..

Developing SL while robbing Central Bank

Dec 2 (DM) The funds received from China Merchant Company in connection with the Hambantota Port Project and those received from the Indian company in connection with the Mattala Airport will be credited to a special account thus boosting the country's foreign reserves, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday. He said this at the opening of the new bus stand and economic centre in Ampara yesterday. more..

New low-pressure area spotted

Dec 2 (DM) Meteorology Department said today (1) it was tracking a low-pressure area developing over Andaman Island, situated in the east of SL which was likely to turn into a tropical depression affecting the Eastern and Northern regions of the country next week. Duty Meteorologist said strong winds of up to 60 kmph may be experienced though there was the possibility of less rains over SL. The Met. Department said the atmospheric disturbances which develop into a low pressure area may l more..

Pakistan HC calls on Army Commander

Dec 2 (DN) Newly-appointed High Commissioner of Islamic Republic of Pakistan to SL Dr. Shahid Hashmat paid a courtesy call on Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake on Nov 29 at the Army Headquarters.The Pakistan’s High Commissioner conveyed his best wishes to the Army Commander and expressed his readiness to strengthen bilateral and Army-to-Army relations with Sri Lanka. Major General Piyal Wickramaratne, General Staff Director General at more..

Sri Lanka under cavalcade of UN scrutiny

Dec 2 (Island) Close on the heels of UN expert on transitional justice Pablo de Greiff warning govt of dire consequences unless the administration addressed accountability issues in accordance with Geneva Resolution 30/1, another top level UN delegation is due to arrive in Colombo on Dec. 4. De Greiff delivered his warning at the UN compound in Colombo on Oct 23 with UN Resident Coordinator Una McCauley by his side. more..

Mahinda to lead alliance at LG polls

Dec 2 (CT) Joint Opposition (JO) along with SL Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) has decided to form a broad political alliance, known as the Joint Podujana Peramuna (JPP), along with 20 other political parties aimed at contesting the 2018 LG polls, sources said. They said, that the JPP will contest the forthcoming polls throughout the country including in the North and the East under the flower bud symbol. Agreements had already been signed with all the political parties that have agreed to join JPP. more..

Attanayake says yahapalana marriage of convenience on the rocks

Dec 2 (Island) The UNP and the SLFP (Maithri Faction) in the unity govt had no plans to develop the country and their sole aim was to keep Mahinda Rajapaksa at bay and now they were fighting, said former General Secretary of the UNP Tissa Attanayake yesterday. Former General Secretary of the UNP and one-time Minister Attanayake (50) said so in answer to questions from the media after calling on the Mahanayake of Asgiriya Most Ven. Warakagoda Sri Gnanaratana Thera. more..

Monsoon to rage into next fortnight: 61,125 in 14 Districts affected

Dec 2 (CT) As the death toll from floods, landslides and earth slips continues to climb, Department of Meteorology has warned that the current inter-monsoonal rains would prevail across the country until the second half of the month. The heavy rains that hit the island due to the cyclonic storm Ockhi are easing as the storm moves into the Arabian Sea and approaches the Western seaboard of India. more..

Rajapaksa bond scams were like pyramid scams: PM

Dec 2 (DM) If the CB bond issue and the disclosures of names at the PCoI, had seriously damaged the image of the UNP, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s widely publicized statement in parliament went a long way towards clarifying the situation. PM said treasury bond issuances from 2008 to 2014 would be investigated at the conclusion of the on-going probe by the presidential commission. He said the method followed in the treasury bond issuances till 2015 was like a pyramid scam. more..

Lady with the Tattoo and other stories

Dec 2 (DM) When Naomi Coleman says that she was overwhelmed by the Supreme Court Decision vindicating her rights and compensating her to the tune of Rs.800,000, one is hardly surprised. When foreigners, specially Brits visit Sri Lanka, they do not expect a religious police a la Saudi Arabian Mutaween, to pounce on them at the Airport. To make things worse and quite shameful, one hardly expects a Magistrate, a judicial officer, to remand her and then issue a deportation order, more..

Tamil secessionism and the Dravida State demand in India

Dec 2 (DM) Tamil secessionism in Sri Lanka came to an effective end in May 2009, when the LTTE was militarily defeated by the Armed forces of the Govt of Sri Lanka. Interestingly enough our big neighbour India, which has a Tamil speaking population of over 60 million people too faced a Tamil separatist challenge several decades ago. Although secessionism flourished at one time in India’s southern State of Tamil Nadu - more..

Arjuna says Hambantota port workers must not be sacked

Dec 2 (SL) Minister Arjuna Ranatunga says securing the employment of the workers in the Hambantota Port is a responsibility of the Govt. He made this statement when he called on the Mahanayaka Theros of Malwatta and Asgiriya temples and visited the Dalada Maligawa on Friday. Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) informed employees of the Magampura Port Management Company that more..

Army chief tells troops not to get involved in politics

Dec 2 (SL) Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake has told his troops in the North not to get involved in politics. Addressing troops in the North, the Commander underlined the importance of discipline at all levels as Army personnel, dedicated to the national security of the country. He also pointed out the need to maintain excellent relations with civilians in respective areas and launch projects more..

Key GMOA members to contest SLMC election

Dec 2 (Island) Key GMOA members in a bid to prevent the setting up of more private medical colleges with questionable standards and safeguard the dignity of the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) would contest the SLMC elections to be held next month, GMOA Assistant Secretary Dr Naveen D. Zoysa yesterday. He said he would join GMOA President Dr Anuruddha Padeniya, former Secretary Dr Nalinda Herath andand more..

Court rejects JVP petition calling for the arrest of KP

Dec 2 (LT) Court of Appeal has taken measures to reject the petition filed by Information Secretary of the JVP MP Vijitha Herath and Attorney at Law Sunil Watagala on behalf of the JVP against Kumaran Pathmanathan (KP) questioning what happened during Rajapaksa administration to 7 ships, foreign assets, gold and foreign accounts that he was said to have possessed and quoting 193 offences committed by him. more..

British High Commissioner extols strategic direction of tourism in Sri Lanka

Dec 2 (AD) British High Commissioner to SL James Dauris lauded the efforts rendered by the govt of SL to develop the island nation as a travel hub in Asia during his address at the dinner held by the Institute of Hospitality on Wednesday. In his address High Commissioner Darius stated that the tourism sector has bolstered the community within Sri Lanka by providing ample employment an int'l exposure. more..