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'Unplanned development Projects of Rajapaksa'

Dec 22 (DM) Following discussion with Minister Malik Samarawickrama centred around the present political situation of the country. Q: Let us first discuss about the country’s economy. A: During the last two years we laid the foundation and effected the plans for the economic development, and it is now gathering momentum. The inflows of foreign investments are increasing annually. The export sector is also now on the correct path. more..

Doctors in Jaffna perform a successful heart surgery

Dec 22 (ITN) Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine claims that the heart surgery performed by a team of doctors at the Jaffna Teaching Hospital is another victory of the Sri Lanka Health Service. The heart surgery was performed on 27-year-old S. Rajasekaran a resident of Vavuniya. The surgery was carried out by a team of doctors of the Jaffna Teaching Hospital including heart specialist M.S. Mugandan and more..

Elegy for Lankan guitars

Dec 22 (ST) H. A. Dharmasena began making guitars when he was a teenager. Now eighty, he’s still making them. Guitar making definitely runs in the family. His son Kithsiri dropped the idea of becoming a doctor and joined his father to make guitars. And now, 23-year-old grandson Bhagya Madhushan too, is in the spacious workshop at home, making guitars. From their modest home in Kolonnawa, these 3-generation guitar-making more..

Armed services, STF to protect elephants

Dec 22 (ST) With Sri Lanka’s majestic jungle king, the elephant, being regularly slaughtered and facing extinction, the military may be called in to join in the mission to save them. The Wildlife Ministry is to submit a cabinet paper to seek military assistance to protect the elephants, an official said. During the past three weeks, five elephants, including tuskers, were killed and a baby jumbo went missing. more..

An urgent wake up call to civil society on corruption

Dec 22 (FT) The shocking information revealed before the Bond Commission, the shocked conscience of the Supreme Court on the coal tender, the recent revelations on highways, petroleum and fertiliser tenders and other numerous high profile investigations of the present and past regime, reflects how badly independence, integrity and capability have been impacted by key executives in decision making; thus violating more..

2018 FIFA World Cup Trophy historic journey begins from Sri Lanka

Dec 22 (PMD) 2018 FIFA World Cup Trophy is scheduled to visit more than 54 countries around the globe giving an opportunity to see the trophy in person for the football fans and Sri Lanka has been selected as the first country where this historic journey begins. The officials of the Football Federation of Sri Lanka and representatives of the institutions providing sponsorships informed the President officially in this regard more..

Sri Lankan Tamil pilgrims can travel to Chidambaram on ferry

Dec 22 (HT) India has accepted a demand from Sri Lankan Tamils to be allowed to travel to the Chidambaram temple in Tamil Nadu for pilgrimage on a ferry. After Colombo agreed to the demand to open the sea route for SL Hindus, India said it was also decided to allow the pilgrims to reach the coastal state on a ferry, which works out cheaper than air fare. “The govt was approached on behalf of Lord Shiva devotees more..

Beer crisis: Presidential task force cites research to prove Finance Ministry wrong

Dec 22 (ST) The Presidential Drug Prevention Task Force has drawn the Finance Ministry’s attention to the task force’s 3-years of research in a bid to persuade the ministry to review its alcohol taxation proposal. “Both the President and those of us at the Task Force are deeply disappointed with the Finance Ministry’s conduct on this matter,” Dr Samantha Kithalawaarachchi, Director of Prez Task Force on Drug Prevention said, more..

Now CBSL can only bark, not bite: Official

Dec 22 (CT) A senior Central Banker said that the role of the finance sector watchdog has changed from that of regulator to a mere facilitator with the new Foreign Exchange (Management) Act, allowing it to bark, but not bite. Noting that the decision-making power on foreign exchange had been passed down to banks to avoid unnecessary delays and dilemma, Dept of Foreign Exchange Director, Udeni Alawattege said. more..

Sri Lanka reselected for MCC grant

Dec 22 (ST) The Board of Directors of the US Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) reselected Sri Lanka for its grant programme at its meeting on December 19. This will enable MCC to continue developing its compact programme with the govt of SL for which Sri Lanka was selected a year ago, in Dec 2016. MCC compact programmes are large, five-year grants for selected countries that meet MCC’s eligibility criteria of good governance, more..

Net Closes In

Dec 22 (CT) Early this month (4-6 Dec), the inaugural Global Forum on Asset Recovery (GFAR) was held in Washington DC, hosted by the UK and the USA, with support from the Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (StAR), an initiative of the World Bank (WB) and the UN Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC), StAR on its website recently said. This meeting focused on assistance to four countries: Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Tunisia and Ukraine.It was the place for partnership and collective action, more..

A Clarke orbit not swung round in

Dec 22 (FT) In his 1930 poem W. H. Auden issued this challenge: Let us honour if we can / the vertical man / though we value none / but the horizontal one/. He meant that humanity worships powerful living fellow creatures and forgets the dull dead. But we Sri Lankans are one better than Homo erectus superior of the Western civilisation our poet critiqued: for we honour our ancestors among other ghosts of the past. This is neither good nor bad; but thinking makes it so. more..

වැවක්වත් හදාගන්න බැරි දේශපාලකයින්ට ....

Sri Lanka looks to Australia for safe import of coconut

Dec 22 (EN) Sri Lanka is looking to Australia to find ways to safely import raw coconuts, as a drought has sharply reduced the crop and the central bank's currency depreciation policy keeps pushing the price of all traded goods up. Sri Lanka has already decided to import coconut kernels, and the cabinet had decided to transfer the responsibility to the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs to speed up the process, the state information office said. more..

Shalila Moonesinghe’s request to travel overseas denied

Dec 22 (AD) Request made by former Litro Gas chairman Shalila Moonesinghe to travel overseas for medical treatment was denied by the Fort Magistrate’s Court earlier today. CID arrested N.M.S. Moonesinghe in connection with the transfer of 1.1 million USD from the far Eastern Bank of Taiwan to a SL bank account in October. Ministry of Public Enterprise Development directed Chairman of SL Insurance Corporation to remove Mr Moonesinghe from the post of Chairman of Litro Gas Lanka following his arrest. more..

One person linked to Makandure Madush detained with seven others

Dec 22 (AD) One suspect allegedly directly involved with the underworld leader known as Makandure Madush and seven others were detained with weapons at Negombo by officers of the Organised Crimes Prevention Division (OCPD). The arrests were made by a team of personnel from the Sri J'pura STF camp and the OCPD upon intelligence received last night. The police confiscated a large consignment of narcotics, firearms and hand grenades from the safe house that more..

Police to act on election law violators

Dec 22 (DN) Police Department will take legal action against those who organised processions supporting candidates vying for the upcoming elections in several parts of the country including Kegalle, Puttalam and Anuradhapura districts. SP Ruwan Gunasekera said the respective Police stations and Divisional heads have been issued specific instructions to deal with election law violators. “A separate unit has been established at the Police Media Division to monitor news and more..

Rs. 25 mn worth narcotic pills seized at Kiribathgoda

Dec 22 (DM) Nearly 7,800 narcotic pills worth some Rs.25 million were seized and two suspects aged 24 and 25 arrested at Kiribathgoda yesterday, Police Spokesman said. He said the raid was carried out on a tip off received by the Western Province Police Intelligence Unit. Police said the narcotic pills were identified as Ya Ba or crazy pills, which contain a mixture of methamphetamine and caffeine and a single Ya Ba pill was known to be sold in the local market for Rs.3,000. more..

SLPP files petition against Maharagama UC election

Dec 22 (NR) The newly formed SLPP today filed a writ petition before the SC calling for an order to prevent the conduct election for the Maharagama UC. Chairman of the Elections Commission Mahinda Deshapriya, Colombo District Returning Officer and three others have been named as respondents in the case. The petition cites that the Elections Commission has rejected the nomination list filed by the party for the Maharagama UC on a baseless procedural clause. more..

An echo of failed talks down the corridor

Dec 22 (DM) A rumour that went viral in the recent past said that the political scion from Giruwapattu and the JO stalwart from the Gampaha political and willow wielding family were responsible for scuttling the efforts to unify the two factions of the Blue party. The Wayamba sporty one who was among those eagerly looking forward to the success of peace talks began blaming in public the young man from Giruwapattu and his senior colleague from Gampaha for being villains of the peace. more..

NPC to hold special meeting: Establishing special NPC unit to probe torture

Dec 22 (CT) National Police Commission is scheduled to hold a special meeting today to discuss the proposed establishment of a special unit, within the Commission, to receive, record, investigate, institute disciplinary action and put forward for prosecution, complaints regarding cases of torture. Article 155G(2) of the Constitution allows for the Commission to establish such a procedure to entertain and investigate any complaint made by a member of the public including more..

Parliament Mafia

My Kind of Place: Colombo

Dec 22 (TN) Why Colombo? This dynamic port city, which stretches along Sri Lanka’s Indian Ocean coast, has been ruled by the Portuguese, Dutch and British, and has emerged from a traumatic civil war, blossoming into an attractive base with colonial architecture, a cosmopolitan population and considerable charm. Colombo is a mix of cultures and religions – its streets are lined with churches, Buddhist temples and mosques. It has a rich art scene with many galleries and markets, more..

Why Is Sri Lanka Defying the United Nations?

Dec 22 (TD) Lately, Colombo has intensified its defiance of UN resolutions calling for investigations into war crimes committed during the latter stages of the civil war. In late November, SL President Maithripala Sirisena declared that “There won’t be electric chairs, international tribunals or foreign judges. That book is closed.” Earlier, in October, Colombo sought and obtained the help of British MP Lord Naseby to downplay a report by UN Secretary General’s Panel of Experts, more..

Country’s vote not against any UN member state: SL

Dec 22 (DM) The SL Govt today said the country’s vote in favour of the UN resolution on Jerusalem was not a vote against any member State of the United Nations. Foreign Affairs Ministry said Sri Lanka voted in favour of the resolution titled Status of Jerusalem submitted by Yemen and Turkey at the tenth emergency special session of the UN General Assembly on Dec 21. “The vote in favour of the resolution was on the basis of Sri Lanka’s long held traditional more..

Two killed in train-car collision in Negombo

Dec 22 (Xinhua) Two people were killed in a collision accident by a train and a car at a level crossing in Negombo on Friday. The two people in the car were hit by a train and died upon admission to a local hospital. The train was heading for Colombo from the town called Chilaw. Chairman of National Council for Road Safety in Sisira Kodagoda said that there were as many as 24 fatalities reported during the first half of this year in accidents involving trains, more..

SLFP confirms Azath Salley as Colombo Mayoral candidate

Dec 22 (AD) Azath Salley will be the Colombo Mayoral candidate of the SLFP at the upcoming election, Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva confirmed today (22). He said that Salley is not an ‘imported’ candidate as alleged by certain individuals. The upcoming LG polls will be an election where racism is eradicated and reconciliation is established, the Minister added. The Minister made this statement while addressing an SLFP media briefing held in Colombo today (6). more..

UN condemns Australia's forced return of asylum seeker to Sri Lanka

Dec 22 (TG) UN refugee agency has condemned Australia’s forced return of an asylum seeker to SL without any assessment of his claim for protection, saying the man is at serious risk of persecution in his homeland. UNHCR had sought assurances from the Australian govt the man would not be removed from the country and would be allowed to apply for protection. But on Wednesday, the man was forcibly removed, in handcuffs, from Villawood detention centre and flown back to SL. more..

Jaffna Magistrate rejects petition filed against the Cremation Ceremony of Northern Chief Sangha Nayaka

Dec 22 (AD) The petition filed against holding of the Cremation Ceremony of Venerable Meegahadure Gnanarathana Thero at the public ground-Jaffna Fort, was rejected by Jaffna Magistrate today (22). The Chief Sangha Nayaka of the Northern Province and Chief Incumbent of the Jaffna Sri Naga Vihara Venerable Meegahadure Gnanarathana Thera passed away on Tuesday. A number of civil organizations placed their opposition against the holding of the cremation ceremony telling that more..

Former Navy spokesman D.K.P Dassanayake further remanded

Dec 22 (AD) Former Navy Media Spokesman Commodore D.K.P Dassanayake and five others were today ordered to be further remanded till January 02 by Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne today. The former Spokesman was arrested on the charge of aiding and abetting the abduction and disappearance of 11 Tamil youths in 2008 and 2009. He was arrested by the CID on July 12, in connection with the case. Dassanayake was named as a suspect in the investigation being conducted by the CID. more..

Deadly Thani Dalaya escapes from Horowpathana Park

Dec 22 (CT) An elephant that had caused damage to hundreds of houses and thereby a loss of millions of rupees, which was caught and held in captivity in the Horowpathana elephant park, had broken the shackles and escaped in the early hours of 20 Dec. The Galgamuwe 'Thani Dalaya (elephant with a single tusk)' and the Hambegamuwe Niyapoththa (fingernail) which were held captive in the Horowpathana elephant park, were engaged in a massive struggle, for several days, more..

Sampanthan hospitalized

Dec 22 (DM) Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan was admitted to a private hospital last evening after a sudden illness, a family member said today. “Mr Sampanthan arrived from Trincomalle after a lengthy discussions with the TNA members on nominations for the local govt election and then fell ill on Thursday evening. The main symptom was said to be tiredness. He has had long discussions with the party machinery in Trincomalle and this may have led to being tired,” he said. more..

Commemorative stamp & first day cover to mark 50th anniversary of Ministry of Sports

Dec 22 (PSL) A ceremony was held under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena to issue a Commemorative Stamp and a First Day Cover to mark the 50th anniversary of the Ministry of Sports, at the President’s Official Residence, yesterday (21). The Secretary to the Ministry of Sports, Mr. Jayantha Wijerathne presented the commemorative stamp and first day cover to the President in the event. During this event, President Sirisena presented cheques worth Rs. 1 million and more..

Priority should be given to uplift economic standard of low-income families: Prez

Dec 22 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says in the year 2018, priority should be given for the projects which focused on uplifting of the economic status of underprivileged people while developing their livelihoods. He made these remarks participating at the progress review meeting of the “Pibidemu Polonnaruwa (Awakening of Polonnaruwa)” District Development Programme held at the Polonnaruwa District Secretariat, today (22). more..

Women: New, Unfair Challenges

Dec 23 (CT) Yesterday (21), Election Commission finished the second phase of accepting nominations for Local Govt Authorities. It has been a great stride forward for women. Women now have 25% of places in local govt reserved for them. Parliament (of which I have been critical), must be strongly congratulated for uplifting this badly put down 53% of our population. However, it does not mean women are fine now. We do not understand yet that the system is rigged against women, and more..

Sri Lanka’s vote at UN

Dec 23 (Island) On the 21st of Dec, UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly against the unilateral position on Jerusalem adopted by the world’s sole superpower, the USA. UNGA resolution expressed deep regret over decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem and that Jerusalem "is a final status issue to be resolved through negotiations in line with relevant UN resolutions." SL voted in favour of UNGA Resolution, joining a total of 128 countries, with 35 abstaining and 9 against. more..

The festive pulse of the people

Dec 23 (SO) The annual festive frenzy is once again engulfing Pettah, with remarkable sales and bargains. Pettah area has been the arena where you can locate almost anything: if you patiently look for it. The word Pettah is derived from the Anglo-Indian word Pettai which denotes a suburb outside a fort. To find this year’s shopping delights I set out with a colleague on Friday. The sun was quite intense. more..

A national poll of major political rivalry

Dec 23 (DN) With the nominations for elections to all local bodies concluding earlier this week, stage is set for the LG elections throughout the county on Feb 10, 2018 under the new electoral system, making it an effective National Poll of deep political significance. The week also saw a major development on anti-Rajapaksa Regime corruption drive, with many ministers calling for a Presidential Commission to probe the removal of the Army Hq from Galle Face by the Rajapaksa Govt, more..

Self-promotion at others’ expense

Dec 23 (DN) Former President Rajapaksa, Leader of the Podu Jana Peramuna or the Pohottuwa clan has alleged that various goods are being distributed throughout Hambantota area by Govt party candidates contesting the LG polls. Whether this particular allegation is true or not, the fact remains that such distributions are taking place not only in Hambantota but elsewhere too. The former President should be well aware that this practice was widespread during his period of rule and more..

'Laws cannot be bent to anyone’s will'

Dec 23 (CT) Minister Thalatha Athukorala, said that after 8 January the independence of the judiciary was well protected. "We had a problem only with regard to the number of cases filed." Q: You assumed duties as Sri Lanka's first female Minister of Justice. How do you feel? A: That is nothing new. But the responsibilities in this field are large. Prior to 8 Jan 2015 there were a number of issues affecting the Justice system. more..