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Sri Lanka to stage protest against Trump’s decision on Jerusalem

Dec 20 (SL) Sri Lanka is to stage a mass protest this week against US President Donald Trump’s decision on Jerusalem. Several political parties and civil society are expected to attend the protest and rally to be staged on Friday at 3.30 pm at New Town Hall Colombo. Minister Rajitha Senaratne will be among those attending the rally. The rally will be staged to oppose Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Rally and protest is being organised by Palestinian Solidarity Movement more..

Election gimmick?: Govt spreads Christmas cheer with SOE bonuses

Dec 20 (FT) Finance Ministry announced bonuses for all State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) allocating allowances between Rs. 15,000 and Rs. 3,000 in four categories for all public employees. Treasury released the relevant circular on 11 Dec after Cabinet approval. State-owned corporations that had made profits in 2017 were allocated Rs. 15,000 as festive allocations while entities that were unable to convert their losses into profits more..

Dead man’s face gnawed by animal

Dec 20 (DM) In a shocking incident relatives of a dead man had found the face of the deceased gnawed by polecats, when they received the body from the mortuary of the Chilaw District Hospital. A father (65) of two of Madurankuliya had died on Saturday (16) while receiving medical treatment at the hospital after few days sickness. Relatives after receiving the body had handed it over to the undertakers and later they found face and one ear of the body had been gnawed by some more..

Parakrma Basnayake SLCF president

Dec 20 (DN) Parakrama Basnayake, a Director of Sri Lanka Customs was elected president while Daya Vidanagama of Sri Lanka Police was appointed as the Secretary of the Sri Lanka Carrom Federation (SLCF) during the recently held SLCF AGM. Basnayake obtained 59 votes contesting for the first time at SLCF election while the secretary Vidanagama who collected 66 votes is a seasoned campaigner who has served in the carrom national governing body since 1990. more..

Cabinet lifts asbestos ban

Dec 20 (FT) In a bid to create a conducive environment for negotiations to overturn the ban imposed by Russia on SL tea exports, Cabinet yesterday decided to defer the asbestos ban until further review. The surprise ban slapped on all agricultural product exports from SL, including Ceylon Tea, following the detection of a single Khapra Beetle in a tea container was widely seen as a direct response to SL’s decision to more..

New shipping service with Yangon, Chennai

Dec 20 (EN) A dedicated feeder shipping service connecting Sri Lanka’s Colombo port with Yangon in Myanmar and Chennai, in south India, has commenced. The first vessel under the new service, MV Sea Pearl, made her maiden call at SL Ports Authority controlled Jaya Container Terminal (JCT) on Monday. “Our main goal is to promote the Port of Colombo as the transshipment hub with the increased exports from Yangon to Europe, Middle East and Africa,” more..

‘SriLankan Airlines has had a tough year’

Dec 20 (Island) We started the year with a challenge that the airline had never faced before – the closure of the only runway at Colombo’s BIA for much needed resurfacing. The 8-hour daily closure over 90 days, meant that the airport had to accommodate 24 hours of operations in 16 hours. Greatest challenge of this was for SriLankan as it meant that we had to cancel a large number of flights - over 600 in the 3-month period, in order to fit into the reduced operational period. more..

Google Loon not dead yet: ICTA

Dec 20 (CT) Hope still seems to be high at the Ministry of Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure and ICTA for the successful implementation of the failed Google Loon project, though the agency was slipping away from introducing some main initiatives. Acting CEO, Dr. Ajith Madurapperuma said Govt and the Agency was optimistic on the successful launch of the once failed Google Loon project. more..

Cardinal in the dark

Dec 20 (Island) Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith said no one had informed him that the giant Christmas tree, constructed at the Galle Face Green last year, had got into the Guinness Book of World Records. The Prelate said: "Another huge Christmas tree has been built at Ja-Ela this year, but it has cost only about Rs. 500,000. I don’t know how much was spent on the Christmas tree at the Galle Face Green and I don’t want to know how much it cost." more..

2017: Dismal year for Sri Lanka ODI cricket

Dec 20 (DN) Five wins and 23 defeats from 29 ODI matches just about sums up what a dreadful year it has been for SL cricket. To find a parallel to such a disastrous international cricket season one has to roll back the years to 1987 when SL played a total of 10 ODIs and lost all of them. That was the year they failed to win a single match in a Cricket World Cup. Sri Lanka went through six matches against Pakistan, West Indies and England meeting each country twice in the group stages more..

Begging in Colombo city prohibited from Jan.1st: Champika

Dec 20 (DM) Begging will be prohibited along the roads or in public transport within Colombo city limits with effective from Jan 1, 2018, Minister Champika Ranawaka said. According to a survey around 600 beggars operate within Colombo city limits. Minister said considering inconvenience caused to the public and as a measure of Colombo city beautification, it has been decided to prohibit begging in and around Colombo from Jan 1. more..

First ship to Hambantota harbour since its handover

Dec 20 (DN) The first ship which laid anchor at the Hambantota Magampura International Port since it was handed over to the China Merchant Port Holdings Company under a 99 year lease agreement recently, was the Positivi Pioneer which arrived from Panama carrying a consignment of 400 vehicles. The off loading operation of the consignment is handled by the Colombo Logistics Company. Since there were no workers to handle the port operations, a batch of new recruits more..

CEB TUs call off strike: Director Board accede to demands

Dec 20 (CT) The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) Unions yesterday (19) called off their proposed strike action, following the Board of Directors granting their demands. The Board, at its meeting on 18 December, decided to reimburse all the shortcomings in relation to bonuses and also the money which had been deducted from the salaries for no pay leave during strikes, Secretary of the CEB Employees Union Malaka Wickremasinghe told the Ceylon Today last (19) night. more..

Shifting Army HQ from Fort: President blasts MR govt decision

Dec 20 (DM) President Maithripla Sirisena has in a special statement to the Cabinet today blasted the ad-hoc, un-advisable and arbitrary decision by the Rajapaksa regime to move the Army Headquarters from Baladaksha Mawatha in Fort and sell the land to Shangri-La Hotel chain. Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said that the President had highlighted the fact that this move had placed the country at large and the Colombo City more..

Voter apathy at elections

Dec 20 (DM) The Tamil media has recently quoted Deputy Elections Commissioner M.M. Mohamed as saying that the voters who do not use their franchise should be fined as in some other countries. Justifying his suggestion Mr. Mohamed has stated that the State spends through the Election Commission a huge amount of money at elections on the premise that all eligible voters would vote and that a part of it is wasted as many voters do not vote. No doubt, it would be an utter waste if more..

LG elections 1956 and the last Jedi

Dec 20 (DM) It is all very simple really. This election is about you. If you vote for the UNP, you think that the country is better off under Ranil, is doing better and will do better under him as PM than it did when Mahinda Rajapaksa was in charge. If you voted for regime change in 2015 it is because you thought that a govt with Ranil and Chandrika driving it would or could do better than one under MR. If you vote for PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s UNP this time, you are saying the CB Bond Scam was OK, more..

How Rajapaksaism destroyed the SLFP

Dec 20 (DM) There was no Machiavellian nuanced statecraft. There was no Dudley Senanayakian transparency and honesty. There was no Jayewardenesque stoicism. There was not even lofty but empty rhetoric of the likes of SWRD Bandaranaike. There was no veiled brilliance of a shrewd leader; only undisguised greed for power and unremarkable exercise of it was visible and this unkind spectacle was being more..

Pocket dynamo in the field of rugby: Japana

Dec 20 (DM) On October 15, 2017 Brig. Japana (Jaupana) Jayawardena was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award from SL Rugby in recognition of his loyalty and dedication towards the game of rugby in SL. A product of Trinity College, Kandy where sports is part and parcel of the Trinity lifestyle, rugby in particular runs through the veins of almost all who walk through the annals of this well known & loved school in the hills. more..

Sri Lanka pitches for Pakistani investment

Dec 20 (PT) Sri Lanka is keen to further enhance bilateral trade and economic relations with Pakistan as both countries have good potential to do trade in many areas, said Consul General of Sri Lanka based in Karachi G L Gnanatheva during his visit to the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI). He said that many Pakistani products including pharmaceuticals, rice, fruits and vegetables, steel, cement, garments and more..

Small scale wind generation possibilities

Dec 20 (Island) Sri Lanka, struggling to meet the growing need for electricity, can explore the possibility of securing small wind turbines as part of an overall scheme to address the problem. Mahinsara Narayana, senior lecturer, Department of Chemical and Process Engineering has recently explained how 2.4 kw and 10 kw wind turbines could be integrated to national grid or operated off-grid. Narayana said that Sri Lanka discussed how more..

Untested shampoos, creams & make-up kits flooding SL; NMRA regulates cosmetics

Dec 20 (ST) National Medicinal Regulatory Authority (NMRA) is to be empowered to regulate local and imported cosmetics also. Health Ministry Secretary Janaka Sugathadasa said regulations had been drafted to make the NMRA the sole regulatory body for cosmetics. At present, the Ministry of Health appointed the NMRA as a de facto body to regulate the local and imported cosmetics flooding the market. more..

Brutal ragging at P’deniya University under investigation

Dec 20 (NR) Police have launched investigations into the alleged brutal ragging of a first year student of the Arts Faculty attached to Uni of Peradeniya. Student who was subject to the torment is currently receiving in-patient treatment at Peradeniya Hospital. It was reported that the first year student was forcefully kidnapped by 3 senior students of the uni at the Galaha Junction whilst returning to the uni from his residence. more..

Voters can’t choose candidates under new laws: PAFFREL

Dec 20 (Island) New local govt elections law had deprived voters of the opportunity to vote for candidates of their choice, Rohana Hettiarachchi, executive director, PAFFREL said yesterday. "It’s an unfortunate situation, particularly against the backdrop of the number of representatives being doubled." Hettiarachchi said so at a discussion with a group of journalists representing the print and the electronic media at Hotel Renuka City. more..

Prez reiterates stance on foreign judges: 'There are local judges with knowledge'

Dec 20 (FT) President Maithripala Sirisena, reiterating his stance that foreign judges should not be involved in the country’s internal affairs, said the country’s Judiciary must be trusted to mete out justice as the background required to make decisions independently and issue verdicts without any political influence has been set up. The President made these remarks while addressing the Annual Conference for Judicial Officers more..

English compulsory for Lankan workers going abroad for employment

Dec 20 (Island) Knowledge of English would be made compulsory for all Sri Lankan migrant workers seeking foreign employment in the future, Minister Thalatha Atukorale said recently. Atukorale said that even though Sri Lankan migrant workers continued to leave the country in search of foreign employment, their number had decreased during the current year, compared to 2014, but the income earned by them had increased due to more..

Harsha’s Committee decides to handover SAITM to SLIIT: GMOA

Dec 20 (DM) Presidential Committee reviewing the SAITM issue has unanimously decided to hand over SAITM to the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT), GMOA said. General Secretary Haritha Aluthge said the GMOA took part in the third committee meeting held on Monday as an observer and the committee members unanimously voted in favour of the decision. Dr. Aluthge said Minister Rajitha more..

Cramming for exams must end

Dec 20 (CT) In this day and age where almost every letter is sent by email, interviews are done through online video chats, we still depend on the pen and paper for our school examinations. Not that there's anything wrong with using the pen and paper as a whole, but it is nonetheless a waste of energy, time and resources available to everyone. Whatever resources are available and introduced, it is hard to reform the procedures that are followed during a national examination. more..

Sri Lanka to expand city airport at Ratmalana

Dec 20 (EN) The govt is to expand the airport at Ratmalana, in a southern suburb and closest to the capital city, by acquiring land occupied by an air force base. Minister Rajitha Senaratna said the Ratmalana airport has potential to make a bigger contribution to civil aviation but is constrained by lack of space. It has a main runway that is 1.8 km long and 45 metres wide. Ratmalana airport, opened in 1938, was SL’s first int'l airport and handled all domestic and international flights more..

බැඳුම්කරය පිළිබඳ අද විශේෂ සාකච්ඡාව

Proposal to provide 50,000 new places for students who are not admitted to university

Dec 20 (FT) Today there is a lot of frustration among the youth due to many students passing the GCE A/L exams and eligible to enter universities unable to gain admission to universities due to limited number of places in universities. Out of the app. 150,000 eligible A/L students 25,000 will enter universities. There will be another 125,000 left behind. This would mean that out of those passing only 17% enter universities while 83% are left behind. more..

Murder accused convicted after 14 years

Dec 20 (Island) Chilaw High Court Judge Ravindra Amal Ranaraja recently sentenced to death Ambage Srimal Jayajeewa Fernando, who was convicted of the murder of Philipneri Tissera on October 26, 2003 or on a date closer to that at Oruwella Road, Katuneriya. The accused had pleaded not guilty to the charge and a trial-at-bar commenced. Forensic evidence proved beyond doubt that the accused had caused fatal injuries to the victim by stabbing him with a sharp object several times. more..

'Suspicious Jet A1 fuel conforms to specs'

Dec 20 (DM) The Indian Oil Company’s imported stock of suspicious Jet A1 Aviation fuel which failed the first quality check has met standards set by the CPC during the second fuel sample testing. Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) conducted the second quality test with the participation of independent observers on Sunday where they confirmed the samples were in line with CPC specifications. more..

SLPP supporters assault 4 doctors in Mahiyanganaya

Dec 20 (AD) Four doctors attached to the Mahiyanganaya Base Hospital have allegedly been assaulted by a group of supporters of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP). The doctors in question had visited an eatery located at Mahiyanganaya Bridge Junction after work last night when they were involved in an argument with a group of supporters of the political party, who were pasting posters for the upcoming election. The SLPP supporters had then proceeded to assault more..

North-East monsoonal rains over many parts of the country

Dec 20 (DM) North East Monsoon over the island will bring rains over several parts of the island, the Department of Meteorology said and added that rains were expected to continue in the Northern, North-Central, Eastern and Uva Province. “Rains will occur in the Northern, North-Central, Eastern and Uva provinces and Matale and Hambantota districts and thunderstorms are expected in several places after 2.00 pm,” it said. Heavy rains of more than 75mm were expected in N&E provinces more..

Asbestos ban may have played a hand in tea export ban: Navin

Dec 20 (AD) Minister of Plantation Industries Navin Dissanayake says that according to unofficial sources there is a connection between Russia’s temporary restrictions on imports of tea from Sri Lanka and the lifting of the ban on the use of asbestos which was to come into effect from January 1. Russia has suspended Sri Lankan tea imports from December 18 when they found a larva of a khapra beetle (Trogoderma granarium) more..

TPA to contest selected LG bodies independently

Dec 20 (NR) Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA) says it will contest selected Local Govt bodies including the Colombo Municipal Council as a standalone party. Minister Mano Ganesan said the Alliance decided to contest four Local Govt bodies of the Nuwara-Eliya District under the symbol of the United National Front. He added the symbol of the independent party will be the ladder. He said the TPA has changed its name as the United Progressive Alliance for LG Election. more..

Will form Govt under MR in 2020: Basil

Dec 20 (CT) Although it is being announced that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa cannot contest a Presidential Election again, a Govt under the leadership of incumbent MP Mahinda Rajapaksa will be definitely set up in 2020, said former Minister Basil Rajapaksa. It was said that Russian President Vladimir Putin could not contest again, yet, because the Russian people wanted him as the leader, a system was evolved and the people vested him with leadership power, he recalled. more..

Polythene ban in full force from Jan 1

Dec 20 (DN) The law banning the use and production of polythene less than 20 microns will be strictly implemented from Jan 1, 2018. Central Environment Authority Chairman Prof. Lal Mervin Dharmasiri said offenders will be subject to a fine of not more than Rs 10,000 and or a jail sentence of not more than two years. He said that the ban on polythene was officially announced on Sept 1. But considering repeated requests more..

Two armed robbers beaten up in Makola; customer gets shot

Dec 20 (AD) A person was injured following a shooting carried during an armed robbery gone wrong at a shop in the Makola North area in Sapugaskanda. Two suspects had arrived on a motorcycle with the intention of robbing the shop last night (19). A certain customer who was at the shop at the time of the robbery was also wounded when one of the suspects had opened fire. He has been admitted to the Ragama Hospital. In a sudden turn of events, several bystanders and residents more..

Bribery Commission launches new website and hotline

Dec 20 (AD) The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) today launched a new website and hotline for the public to submit complaints pertaining to bribery, corruption and non-declaration of assets. Online complaints can now be made via the website while the new hotline 1954 has also been introduced by the commission. However, the website warns that that false complaining shall be an offence subject to 10 years imprisonment. more..