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High Courts to hear cases daily

Dec 21 (DN) Cabinet has decided to make it compulsory to hear all cases in the High Courts on a daily basis. Justice Minister, Thalatha Athukorala has proposed that amending Section 263 (1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure Act No 15 of 1979 to make this provision mandatory, would be the best method to resolve the massive backlog of cases in the High Courts. At present, the section only states that cases with a jury or without a jury be held every day as far as practical. more..

November national inflation eases to 8.4%

Dec 21 (EN) SL's national consumer price inflation in November fell for the first time in 6 months to 8.4% from a year earlier, down from a more than two-year high of 8.8% the previous month. Consumer prices rose 1.3% in Nov, up from a 1.2% rise in Oct. NCPI increased from 124.8 index points in Oct 2017 to 126.4 index points in Nov 2017. “This monthly increase was mainly due to the increase in prices of the items in more..

The Khapra beetle & Russian credit line!

Dec 22 (CT) SL’s tea industry had been hit hard in recent times from several quarters. The drought brought trouble for tea, and even more trouble for the paddy farmer. The knee-jerk ban of the herbicide glyphosate falsely claiming it to cause kidney miles away from the tea plantations, in the Rajarata, was another set back. Then the Russians discover a Khapra Beetle in the tea, an insect that feeds on grain and not on tea. It is a native Indian Kallathoni that spread to other countries more..

MMDA reforms: A Muslim’s view

Dec 22 (CT) The unique feature of Islam is the justice, fair play, equity and equality to all irrespective of gender, status, class and ethnicity of a person. The theologians or Ulamas are too not exempted from this basic fact. That is why it is said there is no Priesthood in Islam. No one has any special privilege or favor other than through his/her deeds and actions. No one is above the law and everyone is subject to criticism and question. Nowadays, print and social media write more..

Breathing Poison

Dec 22 (SO) Air pollution, got a lot of attention in Sri Lanka after the country’s cricketers had to face its effects during the 3rd test match against the Indian team at New Delhi recently. Cricketers and spectators inhaled the grey smoggy air and suffered the consequences. Air is the most vital element of life. Though life can sustain without water and food for a few days, having no air brings immediate death. more..

Gender overlay in gender equality laws

Dec 22 (CT) The feminists have been at it again, constantly nudging the innocent bystanders, asking them to look their direction, to reason with them, and to endorse what they wish to say. True enough, on more occasions than not, there is a method to the madness, but more often than not, the innocent bystanders only seem to be looking in one direction. The recent debate on marital rape has gained momentum over the years, and it appears that efforts are underway to crystallize it into law more..

National Prosperity: How development oriented are we?

Dec 22 (CT) No nation can be self-sufficient in every resource and that applies to all Super Economic Powers too. It goes without saying that smaller nations like ours shall never be able to produce all the national requirements and that too is a very natural situation. As no nation can stay isolated in a fast developing world, the need to ensure a decent living standard for its people is compulsory. The only way out is through sensible foreign relations which provide the opportunity to more..

Eighteen masks: Dance exorcisms of the low country

Dec 22 (Roar) Long before the advent of western medicine, Sri Lanka had its own indigenous system of medicine and ritualistic healing. In the ancient times, people in SL believed they fell ill because various dark spirits—or demons—invaded their bodies. Because of this belief, various healing rituals with the purpose of expelling these demons were conducted. Commonly known as thovil in Sinhalese, best known of all Shanthikarma more..

Selections before elections

Dec 22 (DN) The much awaited official announcement regarding local govt elections finally came this week with Elections Commission (EC) Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya announcing that polls will be conducted on February 10, allowing for a little over seven weeks of campaigning from now on. As the number of eligible voters in the country increases, this will be the election at which the most voters will be participating: an estimated 15,760,809 voters will be eligible to elect 8,293 members more..

On devolving police powers

Dec 22 (DN) Taking into consideration and reckoning with the recommendations made by the Steering Committee of the Constituent Assembly, we the members of the Association of Chiefs of Police Rtd of Sri Lanka (ACP) at their Annual General Meeting held on Nov 25 at the Senior Police Officers Mess, Keppetipola Mawatha, Colombo 5, unanimously resolve as follows: The Interim Report of the Steering Committee of the Constituent Assembly which was debated in Parliament more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Champion body builder Pushparaj determined to fight against the odds

Dec 22 (DN) Professional body builder Lucion Pushparaj, better known as the Black Lion of Asia said at a press conference that his chances of representing Sri Lanka in the future is inevitable because his identity reflects his nationality as being a Lankan citizen. Pushparaj made this statement at a press conference where he said that the SL Body Building Federation has not officially imposed any official ban against him till this day. When asked his opinion regarding a statement made by more..

Editorial: Rejections and rejects

Dec 22 (Island) There has been much brouhaha, for the past few days, over the rejection of some LG polls nominations lists. This is a common occurrence prior to every election. Politicians never learn and elections officials don’t relent. Therefore, the problem remains with no effort being made to solve it once and for all. In fact, it has become part of the electoral process in this country. The newly formed Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), consisting of SLFP/UPFA dissidents, more..

From owning a home to feeling at home

Dec 22 (Hindu) S. Indira Gandhi owns a brand-new house now. She is one of the first few from Sri Lanka’s hill country Tamil community – that has a two century-history in the island – who can call this home, and the piece of land beneath it, her own. A full-time worker in a tea estate, the 33-year-old, along with her husband, is busy giving finishing touches to her cement-walled home in Dayagama, in Nuwara Eliya district more..

Priorities of the Elections Commission

Dec 22 (Island) It was with interest that I read Prof. Ratnajeevan Hoole’s recent article in The Island, Duties of Election Commission: A proactive or bureaucratic stand? Prof. Hoole is one of the three members of the Elections Commission. Indeed this would be a question on many people’s minds at this moment given the rejection of many nomination lists filed by political parties for the forthcoming LG election. With regard to the rejection of the Maharagama nomination list of more..


Dec 22 (Island) I have a theory (totally un-researched except by me) that frustration is the first emotional human experiences. Think about it. That first wail of protest from a new born is one of frustration at having been ejected from a warm, comfortable womb into an area of noise, an intrusive bustle of checking, cleaning up and wiping off before, finally, being transferred to a soft blanket and made comfortable. And I am not talking of the millions of births where there is no such more..

Religious ceremonies in memory of Dr. Amunugama in Germany

Dec 22 (IL) Former SL Ambassador to Germany and the Secretary to the Foreign Ministry and former secretary to the BoI in Sri Lanka, Dr. Karunatilaka Amunugama passed away suddenly on Dec 13, at the age of 63. The newly appointed Ambassador to Germany Karunasena Hettiarachchi, along with the entire staff of the embassy organised the 7-day alms giving on Wednesday (20) in tradition of Buddhist funeral services. more..

Cricketers of CCC School of Cricket to make 21st foreign tour

Dec 22 (Island) The popular, cricket coaching school, CCC Cricket School, under the guidance of veteran coach, Nelson Mendis, will make their 21st tour abroad, when they fly to Hyderabad, India, Dec 24. CCC Cricket School which started in 1998, has been in the forefront of junior cricket in SL, producing the nucleus for junior school cricket teams in and around Colombo. Some of them have graduated to represent National Junior Teams, whilst 7 of them gained national honours. more..

Why was Sadeera and Danushka ignored?

Dec 22 (DN) Is there a paucity of batsmen in this country or is it that the present national team has not grasped the fact what T20 cricket is all about? That was the impression given by the composition of the Sri Lanka side for the first T20I against India at Cuttack on Wednesday and the pathetic batting display they put up. The cold stats was that India invited to bat first scored 180-3 in their 20 overs and Sri Lanka in reply were shot out for a dismal 87 in 16 overs to hand to hosts their biggest T20 win more..

Batting form a huge concern: Tharanga

Dec 22 (Island) Former captain Upul Tharanga has conceded that Sri Lanka’s batting is a huge concern after the tourists suffered a heavy 93 run loss in the opening T-20I of the three match series against India in Cuttack on Wednesday. Sri Lanka were expected to arrive in Indore Thursday evening ahead of the next game. The city in the state of Madhya Pradesh will host the second T-20 International on Friday. more..

SL to promote organic food production and open an export market for the products

Dec 22 (LBO) Govt has given the nod for the promotion of organic food production and opening of export market for such products, a statement said. Several programmes to improve food production and income of farmers related to above programme were decided to be implemented including providing training on organic agriculture to 15,000 selected farmers was approved by the cabinet of ministers, yesterday. The programme also will provide training for 2500 young farmers on more..

Prashan new President of Stock Brokers Association

Dec 22 (FT) Prashan Fernando, CEO of Acuity Stockbrokers, was unanimously elected as the President of the Colombo Stock Brokers Association at its 22nd Annual General Meeting held on 20 Dec. He succeeds Ravi Abeysuriya, who stepped down as President upon the conclusion of his tenure as President.Fernando counts over 26 years’ experience in capital markets and is one of the most senior stockbrokers in the industry, having joined Forbes & Walker in 1991. more..

Do more to attract investors: British HC

Dec 22 (DM) Govt should take more steps, similar to the ones it took in the budget, to make SL an easier place investors to do business and win their confidence, British High Commissioner said. In his Christmas and New Year message to Sri Lankans, HC James Dauris also said he was encouraged that there would be LG elections in February, next year. “Lots more women than before are going to be standing more..

Hambantota harbour workers protest

Dec 22 (SL) Hambantota harbour workerson Thursday staged a protest in Colombo against the deal between the Govt and China. The deal gives a Chinese company majority shares in the port. Hambantota port was formally handed over to a China-led company earlier this month and Sri Lanka received its initial payment for the lease. Following the signing of an agreement, the port operations was handed over to Hambantota Int'l Port Group (HIPG) & Hambantota Int'l Port Services (HIPS). more..

UPFA confident of victory: Salley

Dec 22 (DN) UPFA Mayoral candidate for Colombo MC, Azath Salley said he was confident of winning, being a person with a proven track record. Salley having chosen his slogan to be clean administration also promised a credible team to support him in the Council. “People are confident that Azath Salley as a Mayor will definitely deliver,” he said. He added “As a Deputy Mayor in 2001, I worked for the people regardless of their party, race or religion, Colombo is not a new place for me,” more..

Video: Emission Tests useless: Dilantha

Dec 22 (DM) There is no standard on tests performed on vehicle emission for motor vehicles when obtaining the certification for the annual renewal of vehicle revenue licence, SL racing driver Dilantha Malagamuwa said. He said that Govt should relax the tax on electric vehicles so as to reduce pollution instead of focusing on emission tests. Due to huge traffic congestion billions of litres of fuel is burnt by idling engines. more..

Japanese investor buys Nimal’s Mercantile Produce Brokers for Rs. 1 b

Dec 22 (FT) NP Capital Ltd, controlled by Nimal Perera, yesterday sold its entire stake of 97% of Mercantile Produce Brokers Ltd. to Japanese-owned investment company Tad Lanka Holdings Ltd. for Rs. 1 billion. Nimal had concluded the deal with Tad Lanka Chairman Toshiaki Tanaka, who will join the Board of Mercantile Produce Brokers Ltd., one of the pioneer companies in the tea broking industry. Nimal’s NP Capital in Dec 2014 bought Mercantile Produce Brokers for Rs. 250 million more..

Miss Intercontinental of Netherlands enthralled by Sri Lanka

Dec 22 (Island) Miss Intercontinental of Netherlands 2017, Ms. Cathelijne Heppenhuis who was on a special two-week visit to Sri Lanka organized by Aitken Spence Travels, expressed her enchantment with the island, saying "I loved the hospitality of the SL people where they would always smile and say hi….This has made me feel as if this is one big family. This is also an opportunity for people from Netherlands to learn from Sri Lankans where the Sri Lankans are very rich in their hearts". more..

Sri Lanka votes for UN resolution condemning US stand on Jerusalem

Dec 22 (SL) Sri Lanka voted at the UN to condemn US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel despite threats from the US to pull funding from the world body. Member States in the UNGA on Thursday demanded that all countries comply with Security Council resolutions regarding the status of Jerusalem, following an earlier decision by US to recognize Holy City as capital of Israel. more..

Two Sri Lankan projects win UN funds to promote peace-building

Dec 22 (DM) Two SL projects made with the intention to increase gender-responsive and youth-inclusive peace-building, had won UN funds worth $ 2,454,148 on Thursday, the UN Peace-building Fund said. Accordingly, $ 2,000,000 was released by the UN Peace building Fund’s (PBF) Gender and Youth Promotion Initiative (GYPI) to the ILO and the WFP to implement the project title EMPOWER: Building peace through the economic empowerment of women in Northern Sri Lanka. more..

Najib falls in love with Lankan crabs, wants Ministry of Crab to open shop in KL

Dec 22 (FT) Visiting Malaysian PM Najib Razak has fallen in love with Sri Lankan crab and wants the Ministry of Crab to open up shop in Kuala Lumpur. After arriving on Sunday for his three-day State visit, Razak realised he was free for dinner and had suggested he liked to try the world-famous Sri Lankan delicacy of crabs. SL’s High Commission in Malaysia A.J.M. Muzammil had swiftly suggested the Ministry of Crab, to which Najib had responded with surprise over it being a ministry. more..

Did SL govt allow one of most wanted Russian cybercriminals to escape?

Dec 22 (LG) This is a shocking and chilling development on national security and the art of diplomacy, where the negligence of order within the internal administrative system is causing strength of the serious political influence by the external parties to manifest outcomes that seriously damage the ethical values that the Nation as a whole has invested in. The incident is much bigger than we may think; consequences of more..

Ranil thwarts attempt to field gangster’s son

Dec 22 (CT) An attempt to include the son of a notorious underworld kingpin and drug dealer in the UNP's nominations list to contest the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) elections, was apparently thwarted by UNP Leader and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in the wee hours of yesterday. PM had received information about this attempt by a powerful UNP politician in the Colombo District. "The direction to remove the name from the list came at 3 a.m. yesterday. more..

Will do justice to O/L Math paper: Akila

Dec 22 (DM) In a response to the claim by MP Bandula Gunawardane that the Mathematics paper of the GCE O/L Examination was too difficult for students, Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said that he would inform the Examination Department and do justice for the students if there was a common issue. He said they were not hesitant to solve any issues in the Govt examinations. “Exam papers are not made to answer with ease. more..

LG polls Nominations end: 16 lists rejected

Dec 22 (CT) Nominations for the forthcoming LG elections concluded yesterday. 16 of the nomination lists had been rejected. In Colombo District, nominations were accepted for 10 LG bodies, including the Colombo MC, Moratuwa MC, Kotte MC, Kaduwela MC, Kolonnawa Urban Council (UC), Seethawakapura UC, Kesbewa UC, Homagama Pradeshiya Sabha (PS), Kotikawatte -Mulleriyawa PS & Seethawaka PS, more..

'O/L Math paper too difficult for students'

Dec 22 (DM) Mathematics paper of GCE O/L Exam was extraordinarily difficult for the students, JO MP Bandula Gunawardane claimed. He said the students were psychologically affected after facing the paper & claimed that one student had committed suicide. “It is a huge injustice to the students who sat for the exam. Moreover, the allocated time for some questions was not sufficient. Even some teachers have admitted that some questions were not strictly according to syllabus. more..

AG’s Dept. won’t comment on status of FCID, CID probes

Dec 22 (Island) Attorney General’s Department said that it couldn’t discuss ongoing investigations with the media. Senior State Counsel Sudarshana Silva said he could not share information pertaining to investigations when The Island sought the AG Department’s response to Minister Sagala Ratnayake recent declaration that CID and FCID had sought AG’s instructions in respect of 110 investigations. FCID and CID have sought AG’s instructions in respect of 93 & 17 cases, more..

Search for stolen funds: Govt in overdrive with US assistance

Dec 22 (Island) A US official is in Colombo to coordinate high profile ongoing asset recovery operations undertaken by the govt. Director General of CIABOC Sarath Jayamanne said the US official coordinated training programmes involving his outfit and related work. He said so when inquired from him about the recent US State Dept announcement that Sri Lanka would receive US assistance in this regard. more..

Democracy is best practised when elections are held on schedule

Dec 22 (DM) Nominations closed yesterday for one of SL’s biggest ever elections to 341 Municipal, Urban Council & PCs. Under new electoral system and the latest gazette notification on the polls the number of candidates to be elected will virtually double from 4,486 to 8,356. 60% of them will be elected on a ward basis while 40 percent will be on the old proportional representation system. This mix is widely acclaimed as a good balance and practised in many democratic countries. more..

Punishing voters for electing rogues

Dec 22 (DM) The television channels showed on Monday a man weeping after his name allegedly had been struck off from a nomination paper despite a promise to include him in the list by the SLPP led by former President Rajapaksa. In another incident a woman was seen taken to the Police station by the Police personnel to record a statement, while she was launching a Satyagraha after she too was not given a chance to contest at the forthcoming LG elections scheduled to be held on Feb 10. more..