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Attempts made to buy over JO members: Gammanpila

Dec 14 (NR) MP Udaya Gammanpila says attempts are underway to buy over members of the Joint Opposition. He said weak members of the Joint Opposition will join other political parties with the intention of gaining financial benefits. MP added if members of the JO could be deceived they wouldn’t have continued the fight for the past three years adding a few weaklings could falter. He also commented on the symbols under which the group will be contesting the LG Election more..

Social media destroying society, says former Facebook exec Chamath Palihapitiya

Dec 14 (ST) A former Facebook executive is making waves after he spoke out about his tremendous guilt over growing the social network, which he feels has eroded the core foundations of how people behave by and between each other. Chamath Palihapitiya began working for Facebook in 2007 and left in 2011 as its vice president for user growth. When he started, he said, there was not much thought given to the long-term negative more..

Children of the children: Culture of envy

Dec 15 (CT) It’s convenient now and then to root our collective, national incapacity for something, anything, in our (real or imagined) feelings of cultural inferiority. Not just convenient, but also justifiable, given our harrowing trysts with colonialism. But what is convenient and justifiable emotionally and in terms of rhetoric isn’t always what is true and what should be true. That is why we have to move on, though not at the cost of forgetting what decades and centuries of black-and-white exploitation left us with: more..

AG Jayantha J. charged with corruption

Dec 15 (CT) Activist Nagananda Kodituwakku today charged Attorney General Jayantha Jayasuriya before the Supreme Court for abuse of office of the AG to confer a favour to the PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to suspend the Provincial Elections completely disregarding the SC determination on the 20th Amendment to the Constitution where the Court has ruled that the suspension of elections was illegal and cannot be done without obtaining a mandate from the people, more..

The Beira Lake and its colonial history

Dec 15 (Roar) The man-made lakes—or tanks—constructed in SL were built with one purpose in mind: to hold the rainwater which would help with agricultural activities throughout the year. There are several stories related to the history of such tanks, many of which were made by the kings. Beira Lake, however, located in the city of Colombo, was built for a completely different reason—and not by one of our ancient kings either. more..

On media freedom in Sri Lanka

Dec 15 (GV) Under the Presidency of Mahinda Rajapaksa between 2005 and 2015, govt brutality and censorship towards the media in Sri Lanka reached new levels. This was to the extent that in the Reporters Without Borders’ Index of Press Freedom it was ranked 165 out of 170 countries in 2015 (up from 115 in 2005) of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist. Furthermore, in 2014 the island was declared the fourth most dangerous country in Committee to Protect Journalists’ more..

Editorial: A replay of history?

Dec 15 (Island) The US continues to draw heavy flak for President Donald Trump’s decision to shift the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The White House may have thought the President’s trumpeting, coupled with shouting in Tel Aviv would help bring down the UN bulwark protecting the interests of Palestine like the Wall of Jericho. But, the signs are that their efforts haven’t had the desired impact. Strangely, the meddlesome powerful nations which float like butterflies and more..

Crossover Season has begun

Dec 15 (CT) The Sri Lankan political arena has plunged into utter disarray, and there has been no form of discipline even in the party ranks. Political parties have become mere taxi rides for politicians to travel to their intended destinations. If one party does not work, then another should suffice as long as it carries him or her on their political journey. The flaw in the system has given way for many a turncoat to prevail. more..

Govt’s accession to Optional Protocol of Convention against Torture

Dec 15 (Island) The decision to accede to the Optional Protocol of the International Convention against Torture, and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment was taken by the yahapalana Cabinet on 14 Nov 2017. The decision was implemented soon afterward on 5 December and it will come into force from 4 Jan 2018. Despite the gross inefficiency that this govt has demonstrated in the day-to-day running of this country, they have demonstrated incredible more..

Albert Moses: End of A thousand apologies…

Dec 15 (SO) Albert Moses, SL born actor, who went on to achieve international stardom, gained popularity over his acting in the ITV comedy television series, Mind Your Language, where he was cast as Ranjeet Singh, a Sikh from Punjab, India. Indeed he was better known among the populace as Ranjeet Singh, rather than as Albert Moses. Born on Dec 9, 1937 in Gampola, Albert Moses passed away on Sept 15, 2017 in London, and was put to rest at St. Andrew's Church more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

National Prosperity Development Planning and Budgets

Dec 15 (CT) National Prosperity is not a condition that appears automatically as it is the ultimate result of overall inputs of national efforts made in a well-planned and coordinated manner as a combination of remedial measures that would bring in the most ideal solutions. It may be only in heaven or a paradise that prosperity need not be pursued as it is there already. In Sri Lanka, it is a very commonly misused term and therefore, has none of the mentioned features as more..

Rescue of 16-yr-old Sapna: Joy, after 8 mo.s

Dec 15 (SO) For eight long months, the parents of 16-year-old Sapna suffered and lived in anguish not knowing what had become of their daughter. She went missing on March 29. On a seemingly normal day, her father had dropped her off at an educational institute only to find his daughter gone on his return to pick her up, taken away by an individual close to the family. The parents were left helpless, unable to trace the whereabouts of their child despite complaining to the Police. more..

Politics flare up at ecomonic forum

Dec 15 (DM) Emotions ran high at the seminar on Sri Lankan Economy: Future Policy Direction, with those of differing political economic leanings finding it difficult to find common ground. Signs of trouble were in the air when Natures Beauty Creations Managing Director Samantha Kumarasinghe declared at the start of his speech: “Does the govt listen to the private sector? From 2005 to 2014 yes, to some extent. more..

Mathews’ form, a huge relief for Sri Lanka

Dec 15 (Island) Amidst the rubbles of Sri Lanka’s heavy 141-run defeat in Mohali on Wednesday, former captain Angelo Mathews stood tall with his second hundred on the tour. Sri Lanka desperately need their leading batsman to fire and on this tour, he has come up with some remarkable efforts. In the second ODI in Mohali, after being set an improbable target of 393, he was fighting a lone battle and remained unbeaten on 111. It was his first ODI hundred in three years. more..

Vinod storms into Boys’ Gold Div. lead

Dec 15 (DN) The Sri Lanka Junior Golf Championship, the fitting finale to the junior calendar 2017 entered the second round of the Junior National Championship. Vinod Weerasinghe opened the championship with an amazing round of six birdies, eight bogeys to end the 1st round on 2 over par 73. However, Vinod shot a bogey free round studded with three birdies on the 7th, 9th and 12th to return a well composed 3 under par 68 to extend his lead to 10 strokes in the Boys’ Gold Division more..

MR fires damaging first salvo against UNP, SLFP, JVP in run-up to LG polls

Dec 15 (Island) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa fired a broadside at the UNP, SLFP and JVP for working hand in glove to promote all anti-democratic and anti-national causes. Full Text: Nominations have now been accepted for the local govt elections which had been delayed by nearly 3 years due to the govt’s fear of the voting public. Even though a LG election is not an election at which political power changes hands, more..

Celebrating Partnerships showcases EU’s support to district development in Sri Lanka

Dec 15 (FT) Celebrating Partnerships, an exhibition on the European Union’s support to district development in Sri Lanka, was jointly inaugurated in Colombo on 12 Dec by Chief Guest Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva, Ambassador of the Delegation of the European Union to SL Tung-Lai Margue, and UN Resident Coordinator Una McCauley. Speaking at the ceremony, Ambassador Margue said, “Over the past five years, the European Union Support to District Development Programme (EU-SDDP) more..

Fed interest rate hikes likely to benefit frontier markets like Sri Lanka: analysts

Dec 15 (Island) Overall performance of the Colombo Stock Exchange turned out to be favorable yesterday as U.S. Federal Reserve raised short term interest rates for a third time this year and predicted more increases to follow in 2018. Backed by this sentiment, the market performance went up by 0.8 points with all sectors performing well including the plantation sector which hadn't been so in the recent past. With the US interest rate hikes, it is likely that foreign investors will invest more..

JVP press conference

Bangladesh to host Zim, SL for tri-series

Dec 15 (CB) Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe will play a tri-nation One-Day International series in Bangladesh in January 2018, it was announced on Thursday (12). The series will be followed by Sri Lanka playing two Test matches and two Twenty20 Internationals against the hosts. Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will play a total of six games before the final on January 27. The series will start on January 15 with Bangladesh taking on Zimbabwe in the opener. more..

Moody’s affirms long-term ratings of 3 banks

Dec 15 (DN) Moody’s Investors Service has affirmed the long-term ratings of three banks, Bank of Ceylon, Hatton National Bank and Sampath Bank, B1 negative. Rating actions follow the affirmation of Sri Lanka’s B1 sovereign rating. The baseline credit assessments (BCAs) and Adjusted BCAs of the three banks were affirmed at b1. The counter party risk assessments (CRAs) of the three banks were affirmed at Ba3 (cr)/NP (cr). Outlook on the ratings of the three banks, where applicable, more..

SAITM students call on Govt to provide permanent fix

Dec 15 (FT) Graduates and students of the SAITM yesterday called on the Govt to provide a permanent solution to the issues faced by them due to the Govt’s decision to abolish the controversial institution. They also held the Govt responsible for the poor mental state of the institution’s students who have had their education curtailed. SAITM Medical Graduates Association (SMGA) Co-Convener Dilshan Fernando, more..

Police, Central Bank sign MoU to cooperate on financial crime investigations

Dec 15 (FT) SL Police and Central Bank have signed a MoU to cooperate on financial crime investigations. The agreement was signed between the Financial Intelligence Unit of Central Bank and SL Police for the purpose of exchanging information related to the investigations conducted based on the Acts of the Prevention of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorist Activities. IGP Pujith Jayasundara and the Director of Financial Intelligence Unit of the CB, H. Amaratunga, more..

Sri Lanka drops 14 places: WEF GCI report

Dec 15 (DM) From the first email sent in 1971 to the celebration of 10 years of the iPhone, today we all live in the fourth industrial revolution. Many nations need to compete with different sets of strengths and sophistication. There are impressive developments in many fields such as artificial intelligence, synthetic biology, big data and on-demand technologies. Nations with higher economic competitiveness will be more productive and will provide the most social benefits whilst more..

Marital rape to be a punishable offence

Dec 15 (DM) Amendments will be introduced to the Penal Code shortly to make marital rape a crime and a punishable offence and cabinet approval has been granted to a proposal made in this respect by Minister Talatha Atukorale. Marital rape is the act of sexual intercourse with one's wife without her consent. It is a form of domestic violence and sexual abuse. Although, historically, sexual intercourse within marriage was regarded as more..

Sri Lanka public sector grapples with computer upgrades

Dec 15 (ST) Amidst the lack of public sector IT experts and severe budgetary constraints, Sri Lanka is seeking foreign agency technical and financial assistance to upgrade its ailing computer systems, software solutions and apps which were installed several years ago, and introduce new systems in state institutions. Upgrading IT systems or procuring new software solutions for crucial state institutions has become a major issue at present owing to the shortage of IT professionals more..

Good market conduct is mainly driven by good corporate behaviour: SEC chairman

Dec 15 (Island) "Corporate Governance Codes and frameworks were triggered as a result of corporate scandals that adversely affected capital markets across the globe. The first Corporate Governance Code was published in UK in 1992 by Sir Adrian Cadbury, a distinguished member of the famous Cadbury family of chocolate fame, a British Olympic rower and Chairman of Cadbury and Cadbury Schweppes for 24 years, as the Chairman of Committee on the Financial Aspects of more..

Sri Lanka joins global landmine ban

Dec 15 (HRW) Sri Lanka joined the international treaty banning antipersonnel landmines on Dec 13, 2017, Human Rights Watch said. The action is especially significant because Sri Lanka used antipersonnel mines in the past and has since undertaken an extensive, ongoing mine clearance effort. “SL’s accession should spur other nations that haven’t joined the landmine treaty to take another look at why they want to be associated with more..

Samantha Rajapaksa gives up all AMW posts

Dec 15 (CT) AMW Group Managing Director Samantha Rajapaksa has resigned from all his AMW Group positions after a mutual understanding with AMW's parent company, Dubai-based Al-Futtaim Automotives. "He has resigned due to corporate governance issues within the company. However, he will soon join another reputed company," a close associate of his confirmed. However, Group's listed leasing subsidiary AMW Capital Leasing & Finance is yet to announce more..

Sri Lanka mulls mandatory separation of chairman, CEO roles

Dec 15 (EN) Sri Lanka’s capital markets regulator is considering absorbing voluntary governance requirements in to mandatory listing rules and mandating that the roles of chairman and chief executive officer be performed by two people. Thilak Karunaratne, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), said corporate governance codes and frameworks were triggered as a result of corporate scandals that adversely affected capital markets across the globe. more..

India expects Sri Lanka to keep its security concerns in mind, says MEA

Dec 15 (PTI) India expects Sri Lanka to be mindful of its security concerns and sensitivities, external affairs ministry said while reacting to the Sri Lankan govt handing over the Hambantota port to China on a 99-year lease last week. Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar also made it clear that India's relation with Sri Lanka "stand on its own and is not dependent on our relations with any third country". more..

The shared heritage of Buddhism

Dec 15 (Hindu) It was a festival with a difference. Celebrating Buddhist heritage of BIMSTEC countries, the recently held two-day Bodhi Parv at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, through a melange of art, dance, music, film, art, chanting, cinema, food and technology showcased the universal Buddhist message of peace and tolerance. It marked the 20th anniversary of BIMSTEC consisting of India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, SL, Nepal & Bhutan. more..

Telecom Group CEO quits

Dec 15 (CT) Group CEO of Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) Dileepa Wijesundera has tendered his resignation with effect from 12 Dec. He confirmed his resignation from the SLT. However, when contacted Secretary to the Ministry of Telecom and Digital Infrastructure, Wasantha Deshapriya, said he was yet to be officially informed by Wijesundera of his resignation. He, however, agreed that there had been several issues in the recent past due to which many trade unions had been up in arms over more..

Six SLPP nominations rejected: JO to file writ application

Dec 15 (CT) Six Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) nomination lists, for the upcoming Local Government elections, have been rejected by Election officials. A spokesperson for the Election Commission said that the SLPP lists for the Agalawatta PS, Badulla UC, Mahiyanganaya PS, Panadura UC, Maharagama UC and Weligama UC had been rejected. SLPP list for the Maharagama UC was rejected due to the lack of more..

University trade unions to strike over broken promises

Dec 15 (Island) Inter-University Trade Unions Joint Committee has decided to resort to trade union action as the authorities had failed to meet their demands. A spokesman for the Committee said last year Minister Lakshman Kiriella had reneged on a promise to pay the non-academic staff an enhanced allowance. He said that when allowances were increased the UGC had said they would be granted to both academic and non-academic staff, but that pledge had not been honoured. more..

Suspicious aviation fuel: It didn’t conform with specifications, says CPC Chairman

Dec 15 (DM) While responding to the trade union claims of IOC’s alleged importation of a stock of 14,000 metric tonnes of substandard aviation fuel into the country, CPC Chairman Dammika Ranatunga said the stock received did not conform with the specification at the first quality test. He said the suspicious Jet A1 Aviation fuel which failed to meet the standards in the first quality check was an extra stock and could have been contaminated during the transportation. more..

Russia restricts tea supplies from Sri Lanka after finding beetle

Dec 15 (Reuters) Russia will place temporary restrictions on imports of all agricultural products from Sri Lanka, including tea, from Dec 18, Russian agricultural safety watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor said. Watchdog said it had taken the decision to impose restrictions after it found an insect, known as Khapra beetle, in the packaging of one consignment of tea from SL. Tea from SL accounts for 23% of Russia’s tea market, more..

Whoever wins, let the polls be free and fair

Dec 15 (DM) Nominations were closed at noon yesterday for the long delayed elections to 92 local councils. For the 248 other councils, nominations will be received from Dec 18 to 21. This biggest ever local council election with more than 8000 candidates contesting, will be significant in many ways. Foremost, the elections will be a test of the popularity of four major parties -- UNP, SLFP and UPFA led by President Sirisena, JO’s SLPP led by former President Rajapaksa and JVP. more..

Sole eyewitness recounts 1974 aircraft crash

Dec 15 (DM) R.M. Ranaweera who saw with his naked eyes the crash of the Indonesian owned Maritinnair aircraft on 4th Dec 1974 over the Seven Virgins Mountain range related the sequence of events during an interview with Lankadeepa. Ranaweera, a resident of Gonapola, Mohottigoda, was 16 years old at the time of the crash. He had been employed at a bakery situated at the Hapugastenne Estate. From his work place one could see clearly the Seven Virgins Mountain more..