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Army troops ready for UN Mission in Mali

Dec 2 (SLA) Sri Lanka Army, now recognized globally as a UN troop contributing country (TCC) will have one more feather in its cap since a new contingent of 200-strong Combat Convoy Company (CCC) of the Sri Lanka Army for another UN Peace Keeping Mission is set to leave for Mali, a landlocked West African country, marred by ethnic tensions. In conformity with traditions, the formal military parade of the Mali bound CCC more..

The sarong pilot of SL: Paulis Appuhamy

Dec 2 (Roar) It was in 1912 that the first plane took off into Sri Lankan airspace when two Frenchmen, Georges Verminck and Marc Poupre, flew two Bleriot monoplanes, christened La Curieuse and Rajah, from Race Course Grounds in Colombo. They became the first men to successfully complete a safe, powered, and controlled flight in Ceylonís skies. Since then, Sri Lanka has had a very interesting history in terms of aviation. more..

Another killer storm brewing

Dec 2 (Island) In the wake of cyclone OCKHI moving away from the country after claiming 11 lives and affecting over 20,000 people in the Southern, Western, Uva and Central Provinces, Meteorology Department predicted that another cyclone is likely to hit the Northern part of the country after Dec 05. Another cyclone was forming near Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal and the effects of the cyclone more..

Global SL Forum team meets Lord Naseby

Dec 2 (Island) Global Sri Lanka Forum (GSLF) has been assured by Lord Naseby of his continued support for its efforts to counter unsubstantiated war crimes allegations against the armed forces as well as the previous political leadership. The assurance was given when a GSLF delegation met Lord Naseby at the British Parliament on Thursday to appreciate his support rendered for SLís efforts over the years. more..

Protecting The Poor

Dec 2 (CT) Climate change is here to stay. This is pronounced as experienced by the recent prolonged drought which affected both the recent Yala and Maha seasons, driving people to poverty, only to be followed by the prevailing rains and stormy weather. The drought, now passed, had its beginnings in Feb 2016, was, however interspersed with flash floods, especially in Colombo and its environs by the Kelani River, in May of this year as well as in the last, causing death and destruction, more..

Review the code of best practice on corporate governance

Dec 2 (CT) I understand that the Code of Best Practice on Corporate Governance 2013, issued jointly by the Institute of Chartered Accountants and the Securities Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka in 2013, is due to be revised and re-issued soon. I was rather surprised on hearing the above informally communicated information. I nor business, professional and civil society colleagues, with whom I am acquainted, had no prior knowledge of the purported revision and publication, more..

Life after Bond-gate: Chandra Jayaratne

Adverse weather: Govt should immediately provide relief to those affected-Wimal

Dec 2 (DM) With most of the country still reeling from the effects of the inclement weather condition, it is the responsibility of the govt to look into the needs of those who were affected and provide them relief without delay, NFF Leader MP Wimal Weerawansa said. In a media release put out by the party, MP Weerawansa said more than 20,000 people from 11 districts had been affected by the adverse weather while 7 deaths had also been reported while 23 persons reported missing. more..

PM directs swift compensation payment

Dec 2 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has issued directives to the relevant officials to immediately start paying compensation to families whose houses and properties were damaged due to inclement weather conditions in the country from Dec 4. Assessment reports of damaged houses and properties in the Southern coastal belt, Western and Uva Provinces prepared by the respective Divisional Secretaries are to be submitted to PMís office, Disaster Management Ministry and more..

Kohli blasts ton as India reach 371-4

Dec 2 (CI) In deference to the Indian team management's wishes, there was grass on the Feroz Shah Kotla pitch, but Virat Kohli, at the toss, wished there could have been more. It certainly wasn't enough to turn New Delhi into Newlands, and India, instead of fighting for survival against snarling South African fast bowlers, settled into a typically subcontinental bat-first, bat-big pattern against a limited SL attack, facing more spin (59 overs) more..

Police dogs sent on retirement, new Dutch dogs coming soon

Dec 2 (ST) SL Police will be importing dogs from the Netherlands for its units at a cost of Rs.1 million each after a decision was taken to retire the dogs which have served for more than 10 years. Superintendent Lal Seneviratne, Director of the Police Kennels Division in Kandy, said the decision to send the dogs on compulsory retirement was taken on the recommendation of Police Veterinary Surgeon. ďAt present, we have 250 trained dogs and they have been assigned to 55 divisions,Ē more..

Tangalle murder case fixed for January 1

Dec 2 (DN) Tangalle High Court Judge Sujatha Alahapperuma postponed the murder case of six members of the same family in Tangalle to Jan 1, 2018. Twenty three suspects were charged for the murder and three suspects had died. They were indicted for killing a mother, four sons and a daughter of the same family on Dec 18, 1998. Mahanthegamage Sumanawathie, the mother and the four sons, Palitha Samarasinha, Ajith Kumara Samarasinha, Suranga Samarasinha, more..

Another tusker shot dead at Karuwalagaswewa

Dec 2 (DM) Not many days after the killing of the well-known tusker, the Dala Poottuwa and the arrest of five suspects in this connection; five more suspects were arrested on charges of having shot dead another tusker in Karuwalagaswewa. Its body was found near the Thabbowa reservoir in Karuwalagaswewa on Wednesday morning. Puttalam Wildlife Conservation Department Assistant Director W.M.K.S. Chandraratne more..

First-ever Human Heart Valve and Tissue Bank opened at LRH

Dec 2 (ST) The first-ever Human Heart Valve and Tissue Bank was opened at the Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children last afternoon. Pointing out that this project epitomised how people not only in Sri Lanka but across the world can work together to make a significant change, Consultant Paediatric Cardiologist Dr. Duminda Samarasinghe said the Heart Valve and Tissue Bank will help bring about a better outcome for children who undergo certain heart operations. more..

Sadeera Samarawickrama hit on head during India vs SL 3rd Test

Dec 2 (HT) SL opening batsman Sadeera Samarawickrama was under observation after being struck on his head while fielding at forward shortleg on Day 1 of the third Test against India at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground on Saturday. The young batsman received a sweep by India opener Murali Vijay flush on the crown of his helmet and appeared to be a touch dizzy after moving to a deeper fielding position the next over. Umpire Nigel Llong observed his discomfort and signalled for support staff more..

EU & SL hold 4th dialogue on economic ties

Dec 2 (TG) The European Union and Sri Lanka held the fourth dialogue on strengthening investment and trade. The EU's delegation, led by Ambassador of the European Union to Sri Lanka Tung-Lai Margue, included representatives from the UK, Germany, France and the Netherlands. Ambassador Margue said the EU was studying SL's latest budget, adding that some of the World Bank and IMF objectives had been included. more..

LG elections at last!

Dec 3 (CT) Sri Lankans will vote-in their Local Govt representatives next month, after a long and challenging two and half year wait. The attempt to further delay the poll, after a date was announced, by a petition filed by six citizens before the Supreme Court has been averted following a meeting leaders of political parties had with the petitioners. They have since withdrawn the petition, and the Elections Commission now has the all-clear to hold the poll on the appointed date. T more..

After the storm

Dec 3 (Island) Bad weather, such as what Sri Lanka and the region have been experiencing recently, is undoubtedly a so-called Act of God. There is very little that mankind can do about it other that be prepared for weather-related disasters. In his regular column this week, commentator Sanjana Hattotuwa has severely faulted the Meteorology Department and its head for being backward in its forecasting and being dismissive of foreign expertise on this subject. more..

'Unity within TNA is essential'

Dec 3 (CT) Annamalai Varatharaja perumal, the first and only Chief Minister of the now demerged North-Eastern Province, in an interview with Ceylon Today said that unity among Tamil political parties is the utmost need of the hour. Varatharaja perumal, who was one of the co-founders of the EPRLF, also said that EPRLF Leader Suresh K. Premachandran's exit from the TNA is not going to affect the Alliance. more..

Bad faith or bad weather?

Dec 3 (Island) At the time of writing this column, 11 have died because of a storm that hit SL. Five are missing. Over 61,000 people across the island are affected by the disaster. Images of the devastation are all over the news, including over updates on social media pushed out from the SL Red Cross. In this context, worth recalling in some detail a news report published in the mainstream media in English quoting Met Department Director and Forecaster Anusha Warnasooriya. more..

Veteran coachís sudden demise leaves huge vacuum to fill

Dec 3 (Island) Built to suite the individual needs of throwers, the makeshift gym at the late A.J. Rodrigoís (Jr.) residence at Polgasowita bears witness to the struggle the veteran coach underwent to produce athletes of high calibre at a time when throwing disciplines were considered a backyard event of track and field sports. With improvised strength-training equipment occupying the asbestos-roofed hut, it hardly looks a modern-day gymnasium. But, it has all what it takes to nurture more..

Sri Lanka of old and its relationships with the outside world

Dec 3 (Roar) Going back more than 2,000 years, some historical records and ancient works of literature make note of SLís flair for initiating and maintaining trade, cultural, & political relationships with other countries. While SLís strategic geographical location and the abundance of gems and spices were notable factors that put it on the map of the ancient world, it was the political and diplomatic abilities of our rulers which more..

A matter of commissions and omissions

Dec 3 (ST) The Budget vote for independent commissions in Parliament earlier this month has led to SLís new Right to Information (RTI) Commission finally getting its own fund to the relief of the anxious people who have been ceaselessly bombarding the Commission with information requests. RTI Act required the Fund to be in place at the outset. But that was not to be. Commission faced a difficult year of being crippled by bureaucrats in accessing basic allocations needed for its operationalisation. more..

Cupidís one elusive guy

Dec 3 (ST) My dear Maithri, I thought I must write to you because you seem to be a bit upset these days, judging from your public remarks, lashing out at people who have been critical of you. We know you are doing a difficult job, balancing loyalties between the Blues and the Greens, but then, that is what you asked for, isnít it? We heard that you were in South Korea recently, talking to the big boss there. I am sure you two would have discussed the problems you have and you must have felt that more..


PM-led committee to take several quick decisions

Dec 3 (CT) The Govt has appointed two separate ministerial level and officer-level committees to oversee the restructuring possibilities of the country's ailing national carrier, Sri Lankan Airlines, which will take certain quick decisions on the matter, said a high-ranking Government official on Friday. The five-member ministerial committee is headed by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and the Officer-Level Committee is headed by Treasury Secretary Dr. R. H. S. Samarathunga. more..

Warm-hearted Sri Lankans

Dec 3 (ST) Scene 1: As a visiting tourist goes through the aero bridge outside the flight gate into the Bandaranaike International Airport lobby, walking past airport officials and smartly-clad SriLankan Airlinesí ground staff, the mood is anything but welcoming. They are greeted by glum or stern faces. As the visitor approaches the immigration counter, the officer looks at you warily as if to say, Why are you here? Do you have a proper visa? No smiles, no warm welcome. more..

Sri Lanka select out of hope not expectation

Dec 3 (CI) When you are getting hammered all over and missing a talismanic bowler who has been both your stock bowler and your spearhead, there are no easy decisions. Sri Lanka had a big one to make coming into the Delhi Test: do they pick an extra batsman and give a debut to Roshen Silva or play an extra bowler in Vishwa Fernando? In the first two Tests, they had picked the extra seam-bowling allrounder, but more..

Today is Unduvap Full Moon Poya

Dec 3 (CT) The arrival of Sanghamitta Therini in Lanka, with the Bo sapling from the sacred Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi in India, is the main incident that took place on Unduvap Full Moon Poya Day. The day also marked the establishment of the Bhikkhuni Sasana with the blessings of Sanghamitta Therini. Sanghamitta Therini along with her brother, Arahant Mahinda, who was sent by her father, Emperor Dharmashoka, to officially introduce Buddhism to Lanka in 247 BC, more..

UNP wins first round against Sirisena

Dec 3 (Island) With Minister Faizer Mustapha being forced to engineer the withdrawal of the six petitions against the delimitation gazette, the obstacle to holding elections to all the local govt institutions vanished and now the long awaited election is to be held in early February. It was the Elections Commission that forced the hand of the govt by declaring elections to 93 LG institutions where there was no dispute with regard to the delimitation of wards and fixing dates for nominations. more..

Cricket dons outline Lankan cricket future

Dec 3 (ST) A cricket advisory committee set up by the Ministry of Sports has proposed radical restructuring of the countryís domestic cricket structure by strengthening the provincial cricket tournament over the clubs tournament. This was cited at a presentation made by the committee members to the Minister of Sports Dayasiri Jayasekera and all stakeholders including members of Sri Lanka Cricket on Thursday more..

Japanese loan of $150M for tea factories

Dec 3 (CT) SL finalized a US$ 150 million low-interest loan from Japan to modernize 500 tea factories belonging to RPCs and small tea holders in the country, Ministry of Plantation Industries announced. Minister Navin Dissanayake, and other Govt officials, including the Treasury,National Planning Division, Secretary to the Ministry of Plantation Industries and the Tea Small Holdings Development Authority (TSHDA), finalized the loan with the representatives of Japan Bank more..

Chandimal out of the ODIs once again

Dec 3 (ST) Test skipper Dinesh Chandimal has been left out of SLís squad for the 3-match ODI series against India. Chandimalís exclusion from the ODI squad is no surprise, given his recent form in the shorter format but he is currently SLís top scorer in the Test series in India, having scored two half centuries in the Nagpur Test. Chandimal had an excellent 2016 in ODIs, hitting six fifties and two hundreds in 13 innings but his form took a huge beating in 2017 following a finger injury, more..

Govt mulls introducing privacy laws

Dec 3 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena left for the Republic of Korea on Monday (27) commencing a three-day State visit on the invitation of the Korean President, Moon Jae-in. The visit fell simultaneously with the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and Republic of Korea. After arriving in Incheon International Airport in Seoul on Tuesday (28) President left to pay homage at more..

Eshan Pieris: Among top 10 karters in Asia

Dec 3 (Island) A known name. The name Richard Pieris was known to Sri Lanka. So is Davis Pieris. Yet young Eshan Pieris is too known. But for a different reason. Karting is his forte, not entrepreneurship, his fatherís inheritance. The following are his views, on the sport of karting, its situation in Sri Lanka, and his future ambitions. Inherited from his father David, karting came to the life of Eshan from the very young age. His career began at Speedrome, Battaramulla, more..

Sri Lanka moving towards debt sustainability

Dec 3 (ST) The Govt will raise money through the issuance of sovereign bonds in the offshore capital market next year to beef up funds for bunched-up debt repayments amounting to a staggering US$13.8 billion before its maturity period from 2019 to 2022, a senior Finance Ministry official said. There are no repayments for international sovereign bonds in 2018; he said adding that the debt servicing will be maintained without any hindrance as scheduled. more..

Water released for Moragahakanda electricity generation testing

Dec 3 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena released water for research purpose for the electricity generation of Moragahakanda today (2) at auspicious time. The Moragahakanda reservoir reached the required sea level 178m for the electricity generation due to the high rainfall. Speaking at the occasion, Prez said this was one of his dreams which became a reality. ďI was waiting for this moment for a long timeĒ, he said. more..

Japan grants Rs. 2.2 billion for agriculture faculty at University of Jaffna

Dec 3 (Island) The ground breaking ceremony for Japan-funded Research and Training Complex at the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Jaffna, took place recently. The govt of Japan decided to extend this grant assistance worth 1.6 billion Japanese Yen (2.2 billion LKR) through JICA. The new facilities to be constructed through this project include a building complex with laboratories and lecture rooms, crop and animal farms for field training, farm machinery and laboratory equipment. more..

Strategic plan to increase shipping sector revenue

Dec 3 (ST) Sri Lanka is drawing up a strategic plan to make the shipping sector a billion dollar industry taking advantage of opening it to global shipping lines. The plan aims at increasing the cash flow in this sector from a current level of around US$50 million, a senior ministry official said. At present global shipping lines are represented as agents by Sri Lankan companies who retain 60% of the profit while 40% is repatriated to the shipping line. Currently vessel owners remit around $800 m more..

Aggrieved depositors cry foul over Central Bank liquidation move

Dec 3 (ST) Depositors of failed finance companies are weeping in despair, accusing the heartless brute Ė Central Bank (CB) Ė in deciding to liquidate some of these failed finance companies, despite the repeated promises and assurances of even Prez Sirisena and some Ministers. Report 3 ailing finance companies to be liquidated in last Sundayís BT sent shock waves through these disgruntled depositors. more..