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'If the Rajapaksas were in power the people would be eating grass'

Dec 13 (DM) Minister Gamini Jayawickrama Perera aired his views on the present political developments in the country and the death of tusker Dalapoottuwa. Q: Despite the fact that the Govt believes in Yahaplanaya, the green light to hold LG elections was obtained after a severe battle. Your comments please. A: There should be a fight for everything, otherwise victory isn’t possible. more..

'All information security issues are not cyber crimes'

Dec 13 (CT) Claims pertaining to revenge porn targeting minors, on cyber platforms, are greatly exaggerated, said Roshan Chandragupta, spokesperson for the Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Readiness Team (SLCERT). He stressed that there were no substantial cases of online revenge porn reported and that no victims have come forward with complaints seeking redress. He reiterated that SLCERT has not partnered with any NGO, more..

'SLFP will only consider clean politicians for crossovers'

Dec 13 (FT) Only clean politicians who seek to establish a SLFP Govt in 2020 can cross over to the SLFP, UPFA General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera asserted. He said the SLFP would only accept politicians who wanted an SLFP Govt in 2020 and had maintained a clean sheet in the face of the law. “We will establish an SLFP Govt by 2020. Anyone who wants to work to achieve this goal can join us but they must be clean. more..

'Largest number of elephants, tuskers killed during this govt'

Dec 13 (DN) The largest number of elephants and tuskers were killed after the Yahapalanaya govt came to office and after appointment of Gamini Jayawickrama Perera as the Wildlife Minister, the convener of the national movement to protect tamed elephants, Magalkande Sudaththa Thera said. Thera said, another four more tuskers had been killed after killing the iconic Galagamuwe Dala Puttuwa recently. more..

UN urged to visit SLN officers held at Welikada

Dec 13 (Island) Former Navy Chief of Staff Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera said that a three-member UN delegation now on a visit here should visit military personnel, including Commodore D. K. P. Dassanayake and Commander Sumith Ranasinghe remanded at the maximum security Welikada Prison over their alleged involvement in wartime abductions. Weerasekera said so after having visited Dassanayake more..

Committee slams laws’ delays as serious & shameful, proposes sweeping reforms

Dec 13 (ST) The average length of time between the date of occurrence of a serious criminal offence and the conclusion of prosecution in a high court takes an average of 10 years, a Parliamentary Committee has concluded. The ten-year average period has been broken down into three time frames: On an average, the time taken to file indictment in a high court from the date of commission of the offence is 4.7 years; more..

177,423 dengue cases so far this year

Dec 13 (Island) Director General Health Services, Dr. Anil Jasinghe disclosed that the total number of dengue cases recorded from January to Dec 12 this year had reached a colossal 177,423 while the dengue death toll for the whole year was 420. From Jan to Dec last year the number of dengue patients was 55,150 and the death toll 83. The highest number of dengue cases (41,121) was recorded in July this year. more..

'Won’t sever regional ties for economic gain'

Dec 13 (NIE) With Colombo’s increasing ties with China giving rise to apprehensions, Sri Lanka’s Minister Faiszer Musthapha, on Tuesday assured that India will always remain his country’s closest neighbour and friend. “You must understand the economic dynamics and we need economic support from all nations to move forward. However, Sri Lanka will not sacrifice regional interests for economic gains,” more..

'Govt to control milk powder importation'

Dec 13 (DM) The govt is to take steps to control the importation of milk powder and ban the importation of substandard milk powder from abroad in order to encourage the local dairy farmers and promote the dairy farming in Sri Lanka, Minister P. Harrison said. He stated that several incidents were being reported that the local dairy farmers had experienced losses owing to the importation of milk powder from abroad. more..

Video: Railway strike called off

Dec 13 (AD) Railway trade unions have decided to end their strike action after talks held today with the ministerial committee chaired by Minister Sarath Amunugama. Committee and trade unions commenced talks at 9 am today and it lasted for over two hours. Trade unions decided to call of the strike, which had lasted nearly a week, as they had received solutions to their issues in writing. Prez Sirisena appointed 4-member committee more..

Lord Naseby’s Number Game

Dec 14 (CT) On 12 Oct. 2017, in the course of a debate on Sri Lanka in the House of Lords, Lord Naseby (a.k.a., Michael Morris) had urged the British govt, inter alia, – To get the UN and the UNHRC in Geneva to accept a civilian casualty level of 7,000 to 8,000, not 40,000. in the SL ethnic war, and – To acknowledge that no one in the SL Govt ever wanted to kill Tamil civilians. While trashing the (Darusman Report) figures of 40,000 civilian casualties as best-guess based, more..

The humanities under attack!

Dec 14 (CT) The academic departments and programmes in SL universities with a humanities focus have constantly been criticized, over the past four decades, for their alleged failure to be productive spaces that are relevant to society. The charges levelled against those departments and programmes are primarily based on the (mis)conception that they fail to be scientific in their outlook. They are often seen as spaces that produce individuals who are misfits and who fail to more..

Arthur of Serendip

Dec 14 (SO) Forty years ago to this very day, in 1977, I set out from Colombo with Swami Siva Kalki (Mike Wilson) on a journey to Kandy where we hoped to write a significant science fiction screenplay in the seclusion of Udawattakele. I was driving an antiquated, almost brakeless, Volkswagen Beetle, which had been loaned to us by the instigator of the project, Manik Sandrasagra. more..

Getting ready for the ballot box

Dec 14 (DN) If Sri Lankans watched the drama that preceded the local govt elections with much amusement with major political parties jousting with each other to gain political advantage for the poll, they will be in for more of the same as the nation prepares for its first countrywide test of public opinion since this govt came in to office almost three years ago. The SLFP is still coming to terms with its internal divisions, UNP is saddled with the burdens of incumbency and mistakes more..

The human-elephant conflict: Moving towards solutions

Dec 14 (GV) Recently the famous tusker, Dala Puttuwa of Galgamuwa was killed by poachers, renewing the public discussion around the ongoing human -elephant conflict in SL. Investigators found that Dala Puttuwa was killed to sell its tusks and for coveted elephant pearls as they are known. Adding to the controversy, a Buddhist monk has been connected with this killing, revealing the widespread nature of this phenomenon. Human elephant conflict dates back centuries, as historical records by more..

'If Bond scammers are not prosecuted…President will lose his credibility'

Dec 14 (CT) JO MP Bandula Gunawardena said that the President would lose his credibility if those who are responsible for the Central Bank Bond scam are not brought to justice. Q: Will the LG election be held with the current situation? A: Joint Opposition (JO) is the political organization that fought for a long time for the holding of the Local Govt election that would enable expressing the anti-govt public opinion. more..

Have strong roots, always be yourself

Dec 14 (DN) Christina Peiris single-handedly gave Sri Lanka a reason to cheer when she was placed among the top 16 contestants in the semi-finals at the Miss Universe 2017 pageant held in Las Vegas, Nevada. The last time a Sri Lankan beauty queen made a significant impact in a beauty pageant of such caliber was Maureen Neliya Hingert when she became the runner up at Miss Universe 1955. A model and fashion designer Christina is the owner of X.TINA, a humanitarian clothing brand more..

Politics is a game played by corrupt elements

Dec 14 (CT) We hear the noise from all sides that politicians are corrupt and all are bandits of one kind or the other. The explanation is that is the nature of the game. Politics is a game played by corrupt elements. It is as simple as that. Telling line is this: Power consists of making others play your version of their reality. Accordingly all politicians are automatically in a trap. One is not free to break out of this; hence they all become corrupt – that is the end of history. more..

Anura Priyadharshana Yapa

How a celebrated officer ended up at Welikada

Dec 14 (Island) SL Navy celebrated its 67th anniversary last Friday with Vice Admiral Sirimevan Ranasinghe at the helm. Ranasinghe succeeded Vice Admiral Travis Sinniah last October amidst simmering controversy over SL’s decision to acquire a frigate from Russia, nine years after the successful conclusion of the war. Govt defended the acquisition, both in and outside parliament, with Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena likening acquisition of expensive vessel to more..

Editorial: Chinese Kung Fu

Dec 14 (Island) Twenty five Chinese Kung Fu monks of the Shaolin Temple fame are in town to entertain Sri Lankans on account of the 60th anniversary of Sino-Lanka diplomatic ties, we are told. Their final show is scheduled to be held next Monday at the Nelum Pokuna Theatre. Shaolin monks are capable of astonishing feats. Some of them even bend solid steel bars with their heads. There is a video of one of them throwing a needle through a pane of glass. This comment, however, is not about more..

Rohit's rampaging double-ton levels series

Dec 14 (CI) Rohit Sharma's template in ODIs isn't complicated: watchful in the first 10 overs, accumulation in the next 30 overs, and a belligerent assault in the last 10. Sri Lanka knew all about it, having conceded 264 to him in Kolkata three years ago, but he reminded them again in terrific batting conditions in Mohali. He razed his way to his third double-century in ODIs to launch India to 392 for 4, helping India level the series with more..

Malaysian PM in town on Sunday

Dec 14 (FT) Malaysian PM Najib Razak will pay a two-day official visit to Sri Lanka starting from 17 Dec, Malaysian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Foreign Ministry Wisma Putra said in a planned movement the Malaysian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Wan Zaidi Wan Abdullah was reassigned and given a new assignment prior to the PM’s visit. Wan Abdullah is due to take up an important assignment related to Malaysia’s chairmanship of the CHOGM in April 2020. more..

Nimal Perera back to buying mode

Dec 14 (FT) Business leader Nimal Perera appears back in the business of acquisitions as he has invested Rs. 250 million to buy 50% stake in Arimac Lanka Ltd, a specialist in digital disruption. The acquisition by Perera is via his private company NP Capital, and the entry of Perera and the investment comes with the motive of taking Arimac to the next level. The deal is a sign of the ongoing trend of consolidation in startup businesses, where founders seek solid partnering with potential investors. more..

SLC looking to relaunch showpiece T20 league

Dec 14 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket hopes to revive the Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) - or a similar showpiece T20 tournament - by the end of 2019. The board has not begun planning the event yet, but according to the latest version of the FTP, it has taken the preliminary step of blocking out a three-week slot in Aug and Sept 2019. This will give SLC the option of hosting such a tournament, should an array of other factors - more..

Our plan to bowl wide yorkers backfired: Samaraweera

Dec 14 (Island) Sri Lanka’s Batting Coach Tilan Samaraweera speaking to journalists after his team’s 141 run defeat in the second ODI against India here in Mohali admitted that the plan of fast bowlers of sending down wide yorkers backfired. Sri Lanka had done well to keep India’s total to 277 for one with seven overs remaining in the innings, but then stand-in captain Rohit Sharma went berserk posting his third double hundred. India scored 115 runs in the last seven overs. more..

Rohit rewarded for sticking to set template

Dec 14 (CI) It was for long the insurmountable peak for ODI batting, but one man might now have a template to score ODI double-centuries again and again. In Bengaluru, against Australia in 2013, Rohit Sharma reached 20 off 35th ball, 50 off the 71st, and the hundred in the 38th over of the innings. In Kolkata, against Sri Lanka in 2014, he was nearly caught for 4 off the 17th ball he faced, reached his 20th run off the 35th ball, but accelerated slightly earlier to bring up his century more..

Govt OKs PPP for Port City tunnel link

Dec 14 (FT) The Govt has green-lighted a proposal by the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development to enter into a public-private partnership (PPP) with Port City developer CHEC Port City Colombo Ltd. to build a tunnel linking the road network of the mainland and an artificial island. A proposal presented by Minister Champika Ranwaka seeking approval to enter into a PPP to carry out underground Marine Drive more..

Indictments filed against Mahindananda

Dec 14 (DN) The indictments filed against former Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage for allegedly purchasing a house worth Rs.27 million at Kynsey Road, Colombo 7 over a complaint that he had allegedly purchased properties through illegally acquired money were yesterday read out to Aluthgamage by the Colombo High Court. However, MP Aluthgamage through his lawyer informed High Court Judge Gihan Kulatunga that his client was not pleading guilty to the charges. more..

Namal's Gowers case trial date extended

Dec 14 (DN) The case filed against Hambantota district MP Namal Rajapaksa and five others for their alleged involvement in laundering money was fixed for today, by the Colombo High Court. The case involves laundering Rs.30 million, through Gowers Corporate Services. The Court is to fix new trial dates instead of February 16, the earlier trial date. High Court Judge Sampath Abeykoon also permitted MP Namal Rajapaksa to travel to Dubai between Dec 20 and Dec 31. more..

Shake up in Law and Order ministry

Dec 14 (EN) President Maithripala Sirisena removed the top civil servant at the Law and Order ministry as rift within the top police leadership came to a head. Law and Order Secretary Jagath Jayaweera was demoted to the Fisheries ministry while Justice Ministry's Padmasiri Jayamanne was made the new secretary of Law and Order responsible for the police department. Under Jayaweera's watch, senior DIG complained to more..

Branding to take on the world

Dec 14 (FT) Top brands are synonymous with successful companies and Sri Lanka’s private sector showed its mettle at the inaugural Best Sri Lankan Brands Awards by showing it had the potential to become a global contender. The pioneering initiative spearheaded by Interbrand, the world’s largest and most influential brand consultancy, in partnership with the Daily FT, was a resounding success with top companies vying for their share of laurels from all sectors. more..

Cabinet nod to launch Electronic Govt Procurement

Dec 14 (FT) Cabinet this week gave approval for the Finance Ministry to roll out the much discussed Electronic Govt Procurement (e-GP) in the Public Procurement System. Approval was given by the Cabinet of Ministers this week to implement 10 recommendations outlined by the Working Group appointed by the Finance Ministry. To monitor the establishment of an e-GP System under a special project monitoring committee, an e-GP Secretariat will be set up comprising members more..

Debate on six subcommittees to be followed by final report to CA

Dec 14 (Island) Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly would prepare its final report, containing constitutional proposals following a debate on recommendations made by six sub committees that dealt with fundamental rights, judiciary, law and order, public finance, public service and centre-periphery relations, Steering Committee member and MP Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne said. more..

Crop insurance approved by govt: Some farmers haven’t even heard of it

Dec 14 (Island) The third reading of Budget 2018 was passed by the House last week approving, among other things, a crop insurance coverage for farmers amounting to Rs. 3 billion. This measure is meant to provide insurance to farmers on damage to their crops in the event of extreme weather conditions. However, some farmers The Island Financial Review (IFR) met recently in Norochcholai, Kilinochchi and Kankasanthurai haven't even heard of it. more..

Opposition is in a bankrupt effort to postpone local government elections: CaFFE

Dec 14 (FT) The CaFFE says that a strong opposition group of field officers is in a bankrupt attempt to postpone the local govt polls. CaFFE believes that three petitions filed by the group in the Supreme Court stating that Samurdhi Officers and Field Officers cannot contest the election while they are in the service is an attempt to get the elections postponed. The election monitor says that one of the petitioners, who has filed a Fundamental Rights petition claiming that more..

SriLankan unions demands sacking of board ahead of restructuring

Dec 14 (EN) Sri Lankan employees have unanimously voiced concern about mismanagement at the national carrier and asked the authorities to sack the entire board and their CEO to save the debt-ridden carrier. In an unusually blunt letter to their Chairman Ajith Dias, six unions said he had failed to revive the airline and worse still he was presiding over its rapid decline. Unions were responding to a recent letter Dias more..

Former Foreign Secretary Karunatilaka Amunugama passes away

Dec 14 (SL) Former Foreign Secretary and Ambassador Karunatilaka Amunugama has died. Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it was deeply saddened by the passing of former Foreign Secretary and Ambassador, Karunatilaka Amunugama (SL Foreign Service – 1985 batch), who served the country with dedication. Amunugama served as SL’s Ambassador to China and Germany and was a well respected diplomat. Remains lay at Jayaratne Funeral Parlour more..

CEB unions threaten strike over demands

Dec 14 (DM) Following a discussion with officials of the Power and Renewable Energy Ministry today, the CEB Joint Trade Union Alliance said it would take action if its demands were not met by tomorrow. Joint Trade Union Alliance General Secretary Ranjan Jayalal said the Ministry Secretary accepted its demands. "Ministry Secretary accepted our demands and said the final decision will be taken after the matter was discussed with the minister tomorrow. more..

Medical education minimum standards set

Dec 14 (DN) Minister Rajitha Senaratne received Cabinet approval to gazette Minimum Standards on Medical Education under Medical Ordinance. Under the new standards, it will be compulsory for students to have sat for Biology, Chemistry & Physics for their A/L exams and scored a minimum grade of two Credits and a Simple Pass in one sitting. SLMC, UGC, AG & Legal Draftsman have agreed to these standards. more..