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Plea of remanded Navy officer’s daughter to meet UN members turned down

Dec 16 (DM) Former Navy Spokesperson Commander D.K.P Dassanayake’s daughter told the media that her request to meet and lodge a complaint about her father’s detention by the SL law enforcement authority, to the visiting three-member UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, had been turned down, claiming it was not a case about the LTTE. She said she tried to explain the matter to the visiting UN member more..

SriLankan Chairman says union claims contradictory

Dec 16 (DM) SriLankan Airlines Chairman Ajith Dias said acommuniqué forwarded by the Alliance of Unions – SriLankan Airlines, was contradictory and not at all consistent with the assurances or the spirit of co-operation given at the awareness meeting, held between the airline and union representatives on Dec 6. In a letter to the 5 unions, he said that “…at the meeting your confirmation and assurance to make it a success more..

Renowned Lankan-born Buddhist monk Ven. Galagedera Pannananda passes away

Dec 16 (ST) The last surviving Sri Lankan- born Buddhist monk, who administered the pancha seela to Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, independent India’s first Law Minister and architect of the country’s Constitution, at a mass rally at Lucknow on October 14, 1954, the Most Venerable Galagedera Pannananda Thera has passed away in Lucknow. His funeral will take place next Sunday (17) with full State honours conferred by the Central Govt of India and the State Government of Uttar Pradesh in recognition more..

Media freedom: The other side of democratic midnight

Dec 16 (FT) Last week I challenged the powers that be to walk the talk on media freedom. Because it had become increasingly obvious that only murder and mayhem separated the present dispensation from the previous regime. Once in power all politicians feel the sharp thorn of the Fourth Estate’s disrespect. It is the same independence of spirit they encouraged and endorsed when they were in opposition. There is only the signal difference that where once the military jackboot of a govt more..

Almost 3 years of good governance..

Sri Lanka moves up 14 places to No 67 in good country index

Dec 16 (CT) Sri Lanka has been ranked 67th in the Good Country Index, an improvement of 14 places from the 81st place the country had last time. The top three are the Netherlands, Switzerland and Denmark, on the index created using 35 separate indicators to rank the countries that contribute most to the greater good of humanity rather than for their own citizens. On SL’s rank dropped slightly from 26th last time to 24th on Int'l Peace & Security, Science & Technology (from 113th to 117th), more..

Turn Words To Deeds

Dec 16 (CT) Ceylon Today in its editorials of Tuesday and Thursday, highlighted the immediate need of the Govt to arrest the rising cost of living (CoL). This was in response to the statement made by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in Parliament last Friday (8) saying that the CoL will be treated next month and in February. Nonetheless, in response to our proddings, realization dawned on the Premier in regard to the urgency of the situation with the PM's Office, in a press release issued on more..

Sri Lanka's shot at first series win in India

Dec 16 (CI) Sri Lanka have won just five out of 27 completed ODIs this year. But if there's a way to turn around a disappointing year, it can't get better than ending it with their first-ever series win in India. Their bowlers skittled India for a little over 100 in Dharamsala. Then, in Mohali, they wilted as Rohit Sharma walloped a sensational third double-ton to take the series into a decider. For SL to stand a chance, they'll need their players more..

Siemens, Ceylex win electricity grid contracts

Dec 16 (EN) Siemens and Ceylex Engineering have won contracts from CEB to set up four grid substations to connect small hydro power plants to the main grid. Siemens won a contract for Rs297.2 million while Ceylex Engineering, earlier known as LTL Projects, has won a contract for Rs122.9 million. The proposal by Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya to award the contracts was approved by the Cabinet of ministers this week, Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka, said. more..

Rejection of nomination lists: How can main parties manage local councils

Dec 16 (Island) The JVP asked yesterday how the main parties which had failed to propose their nominations lists properly could be expected to manage local govt instructions officials. JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said that the preparing the nomination lists was the most important part of the election process, but both two factions of the SLFP had failed to do so and eight of their lists had been rejected by the Elections Commission due to errors. Time allocated for submitting nominations for more..

Thalatha: JO will lose more MPs

Dec 16 (Island) Predicting that there would be several more crossovers from the Joint Opposition (JO) in coming weeks, Minister Thalatha Athukorala yesterday said that it was getting isolated as it was working hard to promote a single family. The Deputy Leader of the NFF Weerakumara Dissanayake, Digamadulla District MP Sriyani Wijewickreme, former National Organizer of the NFF Piyasiri Wijenayake and more..

Two Bangladesh Coast Guard ships arrive

Dec 16 (SLN) Blangladesh Coast Guard ships Mansoor Ali and Kamaruzzaman arrived at the port of Colombo on a goodwill visit today. They were warmly welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy in accordance with naval traditions on their arrival. The officials from the Bangladesh High Commission in Sri Lanka, were also present on the occasion. Both ships are 85m in length and 10.5m in width and bear displacement capacity of 1300 tons. A crew of 89 Naval personnel are onboard the ships. more..

Vavuniya Campus temporarily closed

Dec 16 (AD) Vavuniya Campus affiliated to Jaffna University had been closed from yesterday due to an ongoing reconstruction, Rector of Vanuya Campus Dr. T. Mangaleswaran said. The faculties of the University of Jaffna, which were recently closed as a result of the class boycott carried out by students over Tamil political prisoners, were reopened on Nov 13. Academic activities at t Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Science and Faculty of Management Studies of the University of Jaffna more..

They are marine eels, not sea snakes

Dec 16 (ST) Reports that swarms of what were initially mistakenly identified as venomous sea snakes had got caught in fishing nets in the east coast, had many puzzled and others worried with rumours spreading of an impending tsunami. But scientists have categorically said they are not sea snakes but a species of marine eel. These creatures had got caught in areas including Batticaloa, Kalladi and Nawalady. more..

Police to burn 300 kg of cocaine

Dec 16 (Island) Police have decided to destroy 300 kilos of cocaine with a street value of over Rs.30 million taken into custody by the Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB). The consignment of cocaine was taken into custody from a vessel sailing to Europe via SL from Brazil. The PNB was unable to trace those responsible for smuggling the narcotic to SL. A senior officer of the PNB said the consignment of cocaine would be destroyed in the presence of a group of media personnel. more..

Tsunami: A faded memory

Dec 16 (ST) In the aftermath of the tsunami which devastated the island’s coast in 2004, the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) commenced putting up signboards in coastal areas marking evacuation routes and safe sites in the event a disaster strikes again. Over 5,000 signboards were put up in all three languages along the country’s entire coastline. Each signboard cost Rs. 15,000/-. Designed as a means of saving lives, these signboards today have become just another board. more..

Musthapha condemns racist attitude of two ministers

Dec 16 (DM) Minister Faizer Musthapha yesterday castigated two Muslim ministers for what he described as their racist attitude by not being present at the voting on the local govt electoral amendments. He said the two Muslim party leaders and ministers kept away because they did not have a guts to support or oppose the amendments. “They may tell their people that they did not vote for LG electoral amendments more..

SLMC unauthorized to act against fake doctors

Dec 16 (NR) Sri Lanka Medical Council says the Council does not have the power to take action against individuals who portray themselves as doctors when complaints are lodged. Member of SLMC Dr. Upul Gunasekara said even though the previous govt directed their concerns towards identifying such individuals, it failed to enact the law against them. He added those who portray themselves as doctors are not registered under the Medical Council and do not possess a degree more..

Three Sri Lankan fishing trawlers released from Indian custody

Dec 16 (SLN) Three SL fishing trawlers arrested by the Indian Coast Guard for trespassing into the Indian territorial waters, were released form Indian custody yesterday (14). Signifying the goodwill between the two countries the trawlers were repatriated to SL, with the assistance of SL Coast Guard. The repatriation of trawlers took place at the IMBL north of Kankesanthurei. An Offshore Patrol Vessel of SL Coast Guard and Indian Coast Guard Ship Ameeya were deployed for this mission. more..

Acceptance of nominations for 248 LG institutions commences

Dec 16 (AD) The acceptance of nominations for 248 Local Govt institutions, under the second stage will commence on Dec 18. Nominations will be accepted from 8.30 am until 4.30 pm and the acceptance of nomination will conclude on Dec 21, the Election Commission announced. The acceptance of nominations for 93 local govt bodies came to an end at 12 noon Dec 14. Accepting nominations for those LG more..

1,100 complaints lodged in 2017: Police Commission

Dec 16 (NR) The National Police Commission says around 1,100 complaints have been lodged over the past year. The Secretary of the Commission, Ariyadasa Cooray said a majority of complaints were filed on the misconduct of Police Officers. The Commission said it received numerous complaints of biasness and misuse of power on the part of policemen. Ariyadasa Cooray stated the Commission was able to look into a majority of the complaints which were filed. more..

Distribution of uniform vouchers: Action against errant principals

Dec 16 (DM) Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam directed the officials to take stern disciplinary action against school principals who were having commercial motives in the process of distributing school uniform vouchers, without offering them to the students. Education Ministry Media Secretary Kalpa Gunaratne said that Minister had directed that action be taken against school principals who were intervening in this process, including giving school uniforms instead of vouchers. more..

FTA direction among issues to be discussed by Najib in Sri Lanka

Dec 16 (Bernama) The framework for the Malaysia-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is one of the main issues to be discussed in PM Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's three-day official visit to the country, beginning tomorrow. The charge d'affaires at the Malaysian High Commission in Sri Lanka, Zainal Izran Zahar said the P< would hold further discussions on the FTA in a meeting with SL President Maithripala Sirisena here. more..

Dept of Buddhist Affairs to submit report on Kataragama temple incident

Dec 16 (AD) Department of Buddhist Affairs stated that the documentation of statements from both parties involved in the altercation that occurred at the Kataragama temple in August has been completed. Officials from Department of Buddhist Affairs stated that the report complied on the incident will be submitted to Minister Gamini Wijayawickrama within the next two weeks. It was reported that the morning religious rites at the Kataragama Devalaya had been delayed on more..

MEP condemns Sriyani's decision to join Govt

Dec 16 (DM) Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP) denounced the decision taken by its MP Sriyani Wijewickrama in joining the anti-people govt led by the UNP. “Ms. Wijewickrama's decision to join the Unity Govt, which is in the process of plunging the sovereignty, freedom, democracy and economy of the country into a huge abyss can only be condemned," MEP said. It said her decision was prompted by the arbitrary and arrogant action of Digamdulla District MP Wimalaweera more..

How a mother from Sri Lanka is helping Tamil-Canadians cope with disabilities

Dec 16 (CBC) When Vijitha Tharmalingam brought her family to Canada from Sri Lanka in 1992, she found herself in the same predicament as many immigrants — encountering problems with accessing resources and services in her mother tongue. But because her daughter Meera had disabilities, she found settling in this country even harder. Inspired by her own difficulties, and the experience of other people in Tamil more..

National security with human rights

Dec 17 (SO) Can a society wield tough powers to forcefully control and manage human misbehaviour and social disruption but prevent the innocent from falling victim to those powers? And how can those wielding such power be constrained from abusing coercive laws and mechanisms to unduly exploit their position of authority or undemocratically prolong their hold on power? Last week, Sri Lanka received both, accolades as well as some criticism for the state of human rights in the country more..

Mandate Fumigation

Dec 17 (SO) Not only is Sri Lanka's multibillion US dollar agro and plantation export industry being threatened by the Khapra beetle, but its domestic food industry as well. The country had three consecutive crop failures, with the last being Yala 2017, forcing the island to import rice. Let not the Khapra beetle be the last straw that broke the camel's back. Khapra is in the news after Friday's revelation that Russia, Sri Lanka's second largest tea market, from tomorrow, restricting more..

'UNP will win by a landslide'

Dec 17 (SO) UNP Deputy General Secretary and Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam says, being the largest single political party in the country the UNP is ready to face any challenge in the political arena. When the SLFP led UPFA coalition jointly contested the last General Elections, UNP contested alone and secured a majority of the seats. Whether the two SLFP factions contest jointly or separately, wouldn’t be an issue for the UNP. more..

The beer tax

Dec 17 (Island) The passage of the 2018 budget with a two thirds majority on Dec 9 implies that the majority of the proposals made by Finance and Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera in his budget speech stands. This includes his proposals regarding taxation of beer which raised a great deal of dust, with no less than the president expressing his disapproval. But all govt MPs, whatever party they belonged to, closed ranks and ensured that the budget was passed. more..

Ignoring all the domestic counsel and going for foreign advisors

Dec 17 (ST) The inability of successive Govts to implement a plethora of reports on financial matters has now resulted in the advent of a permanent foreign anti-corruption adviser to the Cabinet of Ministers, on offer by a foreign Govt that has put Sri Lanka in the basket of most corrupt countries in the world. Despite nearly 70 years of Independence, Govt after Govt, though quick to appoint Commissions of Inquiry and have mechanisms in place, continued to show scant respect for more..

'Maithri should not sit in a Cabinet sans SLFPers'

Dec 17 (CT) Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, feels it is unfair to open the shipping industry to foreigners without proving their bona fides by way of investment in Sri Lanka, in order to achieve a hypothetical target of making Sri Lanka a maritime hub, by throwing local player out of a business they shed blood, sweat and tears over the years. Q: Hambantota Port was officially handed over to China recently. more..

Local govt polls policed by greens

Dec 17 (ST) My dear Long John, I thought I must write to you because you are in the news these days, simply because you told a green election rally that they need not worry about the local govt elections as the police now belonged to the Greens. Honestly, John, I can’t understand what this fuss is all about. We tend to always criticise our politicians and accuse them of being dishonest. And yet, every once in a while when we come across an honest politician like you who tells us the truth, more..

Podujana Party off to a wobbly start

Dec 17 (Island) It would not be incorrect to say that that this LG election is all about the SLPP and very little else. Everyone is waiting to see how the SLPP performs as that will define the future of SL politics. One may say that that the party that had the most difficult time in finalizing nominations was also the SLPP because of its numerous partners. UNP would have had an even more difficult time but they seem to have managed to avoid that by dropping some potential partners. more..


UNP starts election campaign strongly: SLFP upbeat about last minute crossovers

Dec 17 (SO) The stage is now set for the Local Govt election battle 2018 with political parties depositing money and submitting nomination papers for LG bodies across the island. The election will be held under a new electoral system and it will certainly be a new experience not only for the voters but also for political parties as Sri Lanka has not experienced the first past the post system in three and a half decades. The highly competitive Proportional Representation system, introduced in 1978, more..

NSSF National Shooting Championship 2017: Youngsters impress

Dec 17 (SO) Young and aspiring shooters from schools impressed at the NSSF National Shooting Championship 2017 held at the Naval Shooting Range in Welisara. While renowned shooters Suranga Fernando and Ruwini Abeymanne pocketed three top categories, young school-goers proved their might by claiming 15 positions in the top three including wins under four categories. Olympian shooter Abeymanne, representing Cambrian Shooting Club, won Women’s 10M Air Pistol more..

Season of national pole vaults begin with handsome prizes offered to jumpers

Dec 17 (CT) Old habits die hard and Minister John Amaratunga will attest to that. With heat of elections taking charge of the atmosphere, the senior minister of this Yahapalana govt of Prez Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe appeared to have forgotten that they came into power with a vow to establish good governance when he openly told a UNP rally in Ja-Ela recently that no one should be afraid of anyone, because the govt and more..

A must win game

Dec 17 (ST) Last Wednesday’s Lankan centurion Angelo Mathews has been declared fit for the decisive third and final ODI to be played at Visakhapatnam today — which would be a day-night affair. Mathews suffered cramps during his unbeaten 111 in the second ODI in Mohali. On the back of Rohit Sharma’s third ODI double century, India thrashed SL by 141 runs to level the series with one-match to go after visitors posted a surprise 7-wicket win under seaming conditions in Dharamsala. more..

Fear of the Unknown, or what!

Dec 17 (SL) Independent of what one may think of the UNP and SLFP partners in Govt, or their politico-electoral challenge in the Rajapaksas-centric SLPP-JO, one thing is becoming increasingly clear. None of them wants to create a new and untested political space for a new and faceless common opponent to emerge and render one, two or all of them electorally irrelevant, in the short, medium and/or long terms. With that also goes their considered concern, limited or otherwise, for the nation, more..