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Video: Local Govt election on February 10

Dec 18 (AD) Chairman of the Elections Commission Mahinda Deshapriya announced that LG elections will be held on Feb 10, 2018. He said that Feb 8, 10, 12 and 17 were the dates that were extensively discussed and that finally the commission unanimously decided on Feb 10. However, this will be made official through a gazette notification only on Dec 26 as this date cannot be gazetted until then, he said. more..

Malaysia and SL to enhance cooperation

Dec 18 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena and the visiting PM of Malaysia Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak agreed to expand existing close cooperation in many fields including trade and investment, agriculture, science and technology including nano and bio technology, e-commerce, e-courts, international forums, military training, diplomatic training and intelligence exchange to curb drugs & human smuggling. more..

Coomaraswamy Chinthana

Dec 18 (FT) Economic policies have always been mysteries to laymen. They have become mysteries because top economists often present them in a language not comprehendible by ordinary people. Policymakers design policies after much labour and thought. Yet, they fail to explain their rationale to people, leaving them in a state of confusion. This leads to the creation of a trust deficit between the policymakers, on one side, and those who are to benefit from policies in long run, on the other. more..

Polythene free Polls

Dec 18 (CT) Central Environmental Authority (CEA) Chairman, Professor Lal Dharmasiri has issued a timely warning that the CEA would take action against those who use polythene for decorations during the forthcoming LG election period. The warning issued by Prof. Lal Dharmasiri could also be considered as creating awareness among the public on protecting the environment instead of being carried away by the whims and fancies of polls organizers during the forthcoming LG polls. more..

ලොවක් මවිත කළ අපේ වාරි තාක්ෂණයට මොකද වුණේ

Sri Lanka advised to go for open source software in schools

Dec 18 (EN) The Asian Development Bank has advised Sri Lanka to go for open source software as opposed to branded software in using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in education. “Software is a prime concern in learning. Therefore, open source is recommended for a developing country like Sri Lanka to achieve international quality standards of ICT education,” the ADB said in a recent study. “Free and open source software provides a greatly flexible environment more..

Lalith Weeratunga grilled at Police SIU

Dec 18 (AD) Former Secretary to President Lalith Weeratunga today arrived at the Police Special Investigations Unit (SIU) to record a statement. He was reportedly summoned to give a statement regarding a complaint alleging financial irregularities during the purchase of vehicles for the Presidential Secretariat, during his time in office. Police said that investigations are being carried out with regard to the purchasing of 7 vehicles valued at Rs 4 million at a cost of Rs 8.3 million and more..

Sri Lanka’s megalithic burial grounds

Dec 18 (Roar) In September last year, people walking along the gravel road leading to Devalapola Ananda Vidyalaya in Minuwangoda noticed a line of brick-like clay emerge gradually from the soil. Curious, they discovered that it continued for a few feet, and that it was something which was in place before the road came to be. They contacted the Archeological Department, which was how Dr. Mangala Katugampola, more..

'Send team of experts to resolve ban on tea'

Dec 18 (DM) Joint opposition MP Bandula Gunawardana said today a team of experts with a knowledge of diplomatic relations should be sent to Russia to discuss the temporary restriction imposed by it on the import of Sri Lankan Tea. He said it was more important to send such an expert team rather than a ministerial team to make a positive impact. The MP told a news conference that Russia was the biggest importer of our tea and as such this matter must be solved as soon as possible. more..

Wigneswaran requests to meet Malaysian PM

Dec 18 (AD) Chief Minister of Northern Provincial Council C.V. Wigneswaran had requested for a meeting with visiting Malaysian PM Najib Razak, from the Malaysian Foreign Affairs Ministry. In his request, the CM had pointed out that if the Malaysian PM pays a visit to the North, he will be able to witness the true status faced by the Northern civilians. Chief Minister Wigneswaran is hoping for a positive response from the Malaysian Foreign Ministry, the CM’s Office reported. more..

SL inflation seen remaining high in 2018

Dec 18 (EN) Inflation in Sri Lanka is expected to remain high next year as anticipated fuel price hikes push up other prices, the Asian Development Bank has said. The island’s inflation had already been pushed up beyond anticipated levels owing to higher food prices, the bank said in its latest update to the Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2017, which forecast firmer growth for Asia. In South Asia, inflation below expectations in more..

7 complaints lodged over election violations

Dec 18 (NR) Police say seven complaints have been lodged thus far pertaining to the upcoming LG Election. The complaints include two reports of intimidation, two reports of damaging posters and cut-outs and the theft of the stolen nomination list. Complaints have been reported over an assault incident and submitting a nomination paper for the election with a forged signature. Meanwhile Police added they have identified the suspects involved in the theft of the nomination list of more..

‘900,000 Sinhala, Tamil, women sterilised in last ten years’

Dec 18 (Island) General Secretary of BBS Ven. Galagodatte Gnansara Thera said more than 900,000 Sinhala and Tamil women had been surgically sterilised during the last ten years. Thera said that he had documentary proof to confirm the fact that out of those 900,000 women, nearly 75% were Sinhala. Two NGOs encouraged women to undergo LRT surgery. Some govt agencies, too, had supported that campaign, he said. Some NGOs had imported birth control pills. more..

Christmas is an important occasion to strengthen reconciliation: President

Dec 18 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says the Christmas which deliver the message of peace and love to the world, is a most important occasion to strengthen reconciliation and harmony among different communities. He made these remarks addressing the State Christmas Festival 2017 held at the Hindu Cultural Center in Trincomalee on Dec 16. With the aim of sharing the genuine meaning of the Christmas as more..

LG election: SLFP Nomination file robbed in Horana

Dec 18 (DM) SLFP nomination file for a Local Govt body has been robbed by a man after assaulting the list bearer at Pokunuwita in Horana yesterday. Police said the suspect who had robbed the nomination file have been identified as a SLFP member. The suspect is reported to have assaulted the bearer of the file as his name was not included in the nomination list. Horana police are investigating into the incident. At least seven election violation complaints had been received by more..

Tea break: Govt expects response from Russia today

Dec 18 (DM) In its effort to secure a lift of the restriction on tea trade, the Sri Lanka embassy in Moscow initiated communication with the Russian authorities and await a response, an official here said yesterday. Russia said it would impose a temporary restriction on imports of all agricultural products from Sri Lanka, including tea, from December 18 after the detection of an insect known as the Khapra beetle in a consignment of tea from Sri Lanka. more..

JVP accuses main parties of fielding bad eggs

Dec 18 (Island) JVP alleged that although the UNP and both factions of the SLFP contested the LG polls under different symbols they fielded corrupt candidates, sold state resources and robbed public wealth. Therefore, the only option for the voter was to vote for the JVP. Addressing the national convention of the party LG election candidates at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium, JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said nomination lists of more..

Lakshana Kumarage on building a career after moving from Sri Lanka

Dec 18 (G&M) Lakshana Kumarage, 53, is the owner of HNL Greenhouse Growers and a co-owner of Four Mile Creek Farms in Ontario's Niagara region. My nickname comes from people not pronouncing my name; a man in my first office job in Canada in 2001 gave it to me. I worked in computer technology and management in Sri Lanka, in many companies like Coca-Cola. I thought I could build my future here, my scope [of opportunities] is good. SL is a Third World country; there's no scope. more..

Around Sri Lanka on one tank, Mercedes-Benz VITO beats the odds

Dec 18 (DM) Achieving a truly outstanding milestone in mileage, Mercedes-Benz announced the successful completion of its unprecedented Around Sri Lanka in One Tank with VITO Challenge. Organized by DIMO PLC, the ambitious adventure was designed to definitively prove the Benz VITO van’s unmatched fuel economy, resulting in arecord three-day journey spanning over 1,324 kilometers of Sri Lanka’s stunning coastal belt, all on just a single 70 litre tank of fuel. more..

Malaysia, Sri Lanka to resolve Dialog Axiata's licensing issue

Dec 18 (TS) A US$300mil investment by Malaysian-owned Dialog Axiata Plc in Sri Lanka which has been delayed due to a licensing issue will be settled soon. Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said a mechanism to resolve the issue has been suggested by Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena over the renewal of Dialog Axiata’s licence. “He (Sirisena) has suggested that we create a mechanism whereby Sri Lanka will appoint more..

New Bishop for Kurunegala

Dec 18 (DN) Rev. Devapriya Keerthisiri Fernando has been selected for the episcopal ordination and enthronement as the sixth Bishop of Kurunegala on Jan 6, 2018. He was born on May 5, 1961, to David Fernando and his wife, Neeta Perera, in Moratuwa. His alma mater was Prince of Wales College, Moratuwa. His school gave him a sound educational and spiritual background and nurtured him into a good Christian youth who proved his capacity through school and Sunday school activities, more..

Govt has no foreign policy: Namal

Dec 18 (CT) UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa, with reference to the Russian embargo on tea, stated that Govt has adopted a skewed foreign policy contrary to its claim that it would adopt a non-aligned foreign policy. He added: "We do not have a clear foreign policy. If you look at the last 3 years, we have had three Foreign Ministers. Three of them have different views on foreign policy. We have always believed that we have a non-aligned foreign policy; however we have been following more..

We distribute principles & ideals to develop village: JVP

Dec 18 (LT) “All the other parties distribute bags of cement, roofing sheets, boxes of matches etc. The only article they have not distributed as bribes to get votes are coffins. We, of the JVP, do not distribute goods. We distribute ideas to make the people knowledgeable. The distributed goods get defunct after some time. However, the ideas we distribute remain in the hearts of the masses forever. People should be rallied to build the society more..

Colombo streets to be lit up for festive season from tomorrow

Dec 18 (AM) Ministry of Tourism Development and Christian Affairs and SL Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) have launched an initiative to light up Colombo's streets for the festive season. Under this initiative, Janadhipathi Mawatha, Galle Road (up to Bambalapitiya), Baudhaloka Mawatha, Duplication Road (up to Bambalapitiya), Reed Avenue, Thummulla junction, Union Place, Pittala Junction, Ibbanwela Junction, Liberty, Galle Face and Lake House roundabouts will be lit up, more..

Technical experts to probe Russia’s tea restriction

Dec 18 (NR) Minister of Plantation Industries Navin Dissanayake says a special team of technical experts will be sent to Russia in an effort to remove the temporary ban imposed on Sri Lankan agricultural imports. The ban was imposed by Russia after an insect was found in one tea consignment. The Minister said the temporary ban has not yet affected the local tea auction market. Minister Dissanayake said he believes the price of tea will not be affected due to the ban. more..

Sri Lanka’s fiscal reforms critical for better credit profile: Moody’s

Dec 18 (EN) Sri Lanka should continue with its fiscal reforms to improve govt finances if its credit profile is to be improved, Moody’s rating agency said in a new report, noting that further reforms will be challenging. Moody's Investors Service said that high general government debt levels in Sri Lanka, rated B1 negative, very low debt affordability, and fragile external payments position continue to present the sovereign more..

Improving balance of payments imperative to meet debt repayments

Dec 19 (ST) The balance of payments must be strengthened to cope with the impending high debt repayments in 2019 and beyond. Building up foreign exchange reserves to meet the large debt repayments with earned foreign exchange is imperative. To the extent that reserves are built up with earned foreign exchange, the country would need to borrow less in international capital markets for debt repayment. Strengthening of the balance of payments is vital to ensure that the country more..

A Shell shocked world: More cuts on the private sphere

Dec 19 (CT) The private sphere of this country and of most other postcolonial societies, even India, did not open up fully to the Westernised paradigm of modernity and progress that it was supposed to open up to. What we got instead was a fatal contradiction, since that sphere, in whatever form and sector (even education) uprooted itself from cultural sensibilities and at the same time followed the worst elements of a patriarchal, quasi-feudalistic world. more..

'No escape if anyone committed a fraud'

Dec 19 (CT) Minister Vajira Abeywardena says the delimitation system brought in by the last Govt caused a lot of confusion. "They had prepared the delimitation for their benefit". Q: You have been closely associating with party leaders from the past. Isn't that so? A: I went to see J.R. Jayewardene who was at Ward Place, as a student. I was lucky enough to see him without an appointment. Sometimes, when he didn't give more..

LG Elections: Will Sri Lankans be any wiser?

Dec 19 (CT) With another election round the corner, posters in various colours and hues with those smiley faces promising milk and honey times for the local electorates are appearing all over, even on social media sites. A rather humorous story appeared in a Sinhala newspaper. A foreign couple visiting Sri Lanka, inquisitively glancing at the election posters in every corner, has asked their Sri Lankan guide whether they were Police wanted list posters. more..

Duties of Election Commission: A proactive or bureaucratic stand?

Dec 19 (Island) We have a new Election Commission. Appointed in Nov. 2015, it will go on until Nov. 2020. It is the Commission’s immense responsibility to establish strong norms of governance as precedents for future Commissions. It is legitimate in matters of national importance in a democracy to seek input from the public to engender a national debate. I raise two issues: 1) How we deal with big shots who violate election laws, and 2) Accepting unlawful nominations; more..

New land draft Bill: Political wrangling hinders ironing out complex land issues

Dec 19 (CT) The effort made by the Govt to simplify complex land related rules and regulations that has been the bane over the years, so as to enable people the ease of tackling these issues has been opposed by the country's ground reality. It becomes clear that society has been unable to absorb new concepts in connection with land ownership which exist in SL regarding many other matters, when inquiring into the objections targeting this more..

Bawa: Thinker who broke the mould?

Dec 19 (Island) The golden afternoon seeps across the tiles, glimmering along the squares of black and white. Lighting up the corridor of the Galle Face Hotel, it settles on a woman with striking silvered hair, standing by a door. She is locked in impassioned debate with a foreigner. The words colonial, imperialistic and orientalist hang like daggers in the air. A SL living in England, she spoke with heightened consciousness and abrasive fervour that expatriates sometimes bring home. more..

Media battered with Ranil’s big stick

Dec 19 (ST) How times have changed! Three years ago in December the Common Candidate contesting the presidential election and political leaders of various hues who had gathered round him were making myriad promises which would turn our nation into a paradise flowing with milk and money. One such promise was to restore media freedom. Those determined to effect regime change promised not only a free press but also to safeguard the rights of journalists unlike govt they were struggling more..

Face the Nation

TGTE using lawyers to challenge Sri Lanka’s 6th amendment

Dec 19 (CT) Transnational Govt of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) has filed a complaint with the UNHRC that the 6th Amendment to the SL Constitution is a violation of freedom of speech and conscience, and the right to self-determination guaranteed in Articles 18, 19, and 1 of the Int'l Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Complaint also cited the terminology of one undivided and indivisible country aekiya raajyaya and orumiththa nadu and the safeguards against secession more..

Editorial: South-South human rights initiative

Dec 19 (Island) Beijing Declaration on Human Rights, adopted by the South-South Human Rights Forum in China, last week, has been met with a mixed reaction. Some commentators have dismissed it contemptuously; they consider it the brainchild of some human rights violators in the Global South, striving to avoid the implementation of their commitments to international human rights laws and covenants. International human rights NGOs were not represented at the Beijing event, more..

Where do missing tuskers go?

Dec 19 (SO) The sight of a tusker is a thing of beauty. It is a rare treat and a precious memory to treasure forever. However, with the killing of Galgamuwa crossed tusker, Dala Poottuwa, certain questions were asked and certain conversations have begun, on the plight of tuskers in the land. It is agreed that without immediate action and more conservation efforts, the tuskers in this land would face extinction. Within a short span of time, more..

Speaker lauds 1952 rubber-rice pact

Dec 19 (FT) Sino-Lanka rubber-rice pact was one of the most useful and successful trade agreements in the world, Speaker of Parliament Karu Jayasuriya said. Addressing an event to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the historical Rubber-Rice pact of 1952 at the BMICH, Speaker Jayasuriya said that the 30-year-long agreement was a great example of a successful trade agreement. Speaker noted that the agreement was signed during a time when Sri Lanka was facing a severe economic and more..

Soccer legend P D Sirisena dies

Dec 19 (DN) P.D. Sirisena MASTER, former national player and coach is no more. He passed away on Monday morning after a brief illness and his funeral arrangements have not been finalised. He was also one time Director, Technical of the Football Federation of Sri Lanka He was one of the most outstanding footballers that Sri Lanka has produced. late President R Premadasa named a ground in his honour- P. D. Sirisena playground in Maligawatte. He was a bright star in the game in 1960-1972. more..