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Tea is our pride

Dec 23 (CT) Tea is our pride, for which we can be proud of for the reason that it is the best tea in the world. It is the duty of every Sri Lankan - especially the Diplomatic Missions worldwide to defend and promote our inheritance as much as the beauty of the country which is no match to any other. Sri Lankan Tea is unique in flavour, colour and character and cannot be found elsewhere. The humidity, cool temperature, sunshine, and rainfall (2 monsoons) in central & southern highlands more..

No sex please, we’re Sri Lankan

Dec 23 (FT) There is no gainsaying my assertion that Sri Lankans are prudes when it comes to sex, especially sex outside of marriage. Whether on Galle Face Green or in Peradeniya Gardens, local constabulary make it their business to go around harassing youngsters making out beneath the minimum of privacy an umbrella offers. Private refuges for those wanting to get some action are few: the back row of a cinema, a room by the hour in decrepit hotel, deserted classroom after more..


Do we consider corruption family values in Sri Lanka?

Dec 23 (FT) I just watched a recent video published by the World Bank Group (WBG) titled Confronting corruption: commitment, innovation, impact. It was screened at an event to mark International Anticorruption Day (9 Dec) which was attended by WBG President Jim Yong Kim and former WBG President James D. Wolfensohn (two terms of office; 1995-2005). Wolfensohn can be regarded as the father of the anticorruption movement launched by WBG more than 20 years ago. more..

Editorial: Beetle caught in crossfire

Dec 23 (Island) Many insects suffer cruelty at the hands of humans for no fault of theirs in this country. Sri Lankans don’t keep the environment clean and let disease-causing mozzies breed. When dengue outbreaks occur they resort to chemical spraying which kills all insects including poor dragonflies which feed on mosquito larvae. It was only the other day that beetles, of all critters, found themselves in the crosshairs for allegedly causing an enormous economic loss to this country. more..

WTO’s role crucial for Sri Lanka: Rishad

Dec 23 (FT) For small economies like Sri Lanka, the role of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has become ever more crucial, Minister Rishad Bathiudeen said. He had made these statement in his message to 11th WTO Ministerial Conference held from 10-13 Dec in Argentina. “The role of rules based multilateral trading system led by WTO has become more crucial in paving a level playing field for its members, more..

Village notables in colonial Ceylon

Dec 23 (Island) I write today of forgotten people whose voices have not echoed through time and whose deeds have been hidden from history. These are those officials who once lorded it over little villages in late Colonial Ceylon. These are vignettes retrieved from memory and oral history. My career in govt service began just five years after Ceylon extricated itself from British rule. I had the good fortune to work in District Kachcheries, far from big cities, and staffed by old stagers more..


Dec 23 (Island) Rivers of words have been written about Education and yet it is on a downslide I regret to say. There is really no Free Education. The tuition fiasco is far more expensive than a fee paying system would have been. Syllabuses are regularly altered, changed, added to, subtracted from, and sometimes totally newly organized. New requirements are added and each successive Minister of Education thinks he has the answer to all ills. He doesn’t. more..

Power-lifter Jayatilleke laments his omission at awards ceremony

Dec 23 (ST) Despite winning three gold medals and reaching seventh in world ranking for the 120kg weight class in power-lifting, the Sri Lanka Power-lifting Association (SLPA) shunned the doors at its annual Awards Ceremony Night on Ransilu Jayathilake, according to the dejected athlete. The awards presentation was held at High Octane Gymnasium premises in Kohuwala, where Jayathilake is also a member. more..

Tourism and business exchanges moving to higher plane between Sri Lanka and Nepal

Dec 23 (Island) Nepalese ambassador to SL Professor Bishwambher Pyakuryal, addressing a representative gathering of tour promoters and business corporate persons from Nepal and SL said it was opportune for both countries to foster and promote visitor exchanges. Sustainable development goals common to both countries were of such a nature that tourism promotion should take priority listing for economic progress. Both SL and Nepal with similar topography & landscapes more..

Korean Cricket looking forward to player-coach exchange with Sri Lanka

Dec 23 (Island) A Korean cricket official stated that his Association was looking forward to build good relationships with Sri Lanka Cricket in a bid to improve standards of the game in their country. "We wish to build up good relationship with Sri Lanka Cricket. We discussed with officials to make some player-coach exchange programmes between the two countries. Korea will invite coaches from Sri Lanka and players from Korea will join some local clubs in Sri Lanka to play domestic league," more..

Rohit's record ton blindsides Sri Lanka, secures series for India

Dec 23 (CI) Rohit Sharma headlined a match that saw 31 sixes and a slew of records being broken, battering a 35-ball century, the joint-fastest in T20Is, in a ground whose short boundaries were purportedly the reason why Thisara Perera had decided to put India in for the second game in a row. While SL did manage to score at nearly 10 an over, they failed to last 20 overs again, this time in a steeper chase of 260, eventually losing by more..

Fazil to defend snooker title against Boteju

Dec 23 (DN) Mohamed Fazil (The Cue) will defend his national snooker crown when he meets 18-time champion Susantha Boteju (Sea Endless) in the final of the 65th Snooker Nationals today at the Moors SC tables, Braybrooke Place commencing 3 pm. In the semi-finals worked off yesterday Fazil who became the youngest to win the national snooker title at 19 defeated M Mubeen (SL Army) in a repeat of last year’s final. Fazil who beat Mubeen to win the title last year was given a tough fight more..

Rohit hits the joint-fastest T20I century

Dec 23 (CI) 35: Number of balls taken by Rohit Sharma to score his century, which is the joint-fastest in T20Is. He equalled David Miller's record - he had done the same against Bangladesh in October. The previous fastest T20I century among India batsmen was 46 balls by KL Rahul, against West Indies in Lauderhill last year. 2: Number of faster centuries in all T20 cricket, than the one by Rohit in this game. The fastest came off 30 balls by Chris Gayle in IPL 2013. more..

Fernando vows to bring back order into Olympic governance

Dec 23 (ST) The breakdown of the organisational structure of National Olympic Committee (NOCSL) and its administrative functions has led to the chaos at this all important organisation, according Amateur Rowing Association chief Rohan Fernando who is carrying out a campaign to highlight what he calls irregularities. “I am open to take up the challenge if the team of sports associations is willing to back me,” more..

SriLankan Airlines triumphs at World Travel Awards Grand Final

Dec 23 (Island) SriLankan Airlines, member of the oneworld alliance, proving its consolidated presence in the Indian Sub-Continent yet again, was awarded the World’s Leading Airline to the Indian Ocean title at the World Travel Awards World Ceremony, in Vietnam. Congratulating SriLankan Airlines, World Travel Awards Founder and President Graham E Cooke said, "A well-deserved congratulations to SriLankan Airlines on their success at the World Travel Awards' Grand Final." more..

Higher salaries and allowances in the judicial sector from Jan 1

Dec 23 (FT) Minister Thalatha Athukorala says steps will be taken to increase the salaries of all judges and officials of the AG’s Department and the Legal Draftsman’s Department from 1 Jan, 2018. Govt has taken this measure after taking into consideration a recommendation made by the Sectorial Oversight Committee on Legal Affairs (anti-corruption) and Media. Govt had decided to present a proposal to the Parliament to amend the salaries and allowances for judges, legal officers more..

Ahead of the LG Polls: Identifying 500,000 untagged Lankans!

Dec 23 (CT) This may sound like a Ripley's believe it or not! Over 500,000 Sri Lankans are believed to be without their National Identity Cards. Believe it or not, of them, over 300,000 are confirmed in the Local Govt Registry, who are billed to vote at the forthcoming LG polls but, who also do not have their National Identity Cards, says the Commissioner General of Department for Registration of Persons, more..

Revisiting a beetle-in-the-tea crisis of the 70s

Dec 23 (Island) History Repeats. This is how well known former civil servant and ex chairman of the now-defunct Consolexpo organization Wilfrid Jayasuriya chose to express it. 'The current beetle-in-the-tea episode centring on Russian tea imports from Sri Lanka is nothing new. A similar sensational happening occurred in the late-seventies immediately after the coming to power of the JR-led UNP govt. On that occasion SL's tea exports to Libya were in the eye of the storm' he said. more..

Why we need professional voters

Dec 23 (DN) The green signal has been given to the Local Govt Elections by the Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya by announcing the date. All the political parties are busy with nominating the right candidates to contest in their respective parties. Once the selection is over, the politicians will begin their election propaganda by generously throwing broken promises in a way to convince the prospective voters. It is an acceptable custom in our country that more..

Prez Sirisena’s $ 195 m Russian roulette!

Dec 23 (CT) The last time when warnings of icebergs ahead went unheeded, the iconic Titanic ran aground with 2/3 of its passengers in chilly waters off the Atlantic Ocean. And more than a century later, the Captain of the Sri Lankan Ship seems to be wanting to navigate in similar conditions in the Indian Ocean…, and that which could have far more serious consequences with all of its passengers sinking a lot deeper. more..

When Tamil Union bid farewell to Hathu

Dec 23 (DN) With Chandika Hathurusingha being appointed as head coach of SL Cricket it would be imperative to reflect back seven years ago when things were not so rosy for him and circumstances led him to migrate with his family to Australia. On that occasion Tamil Union of which Hathurusingha was a member bade farewell to him at a function held at the club premises at the P Sara Oval on Dec 6, 2010 where S Skandakumar, a former president of Tamil Union paid a glowing tribute to him. more..

Duminda to sack Mahinda if ...

Dec 23 (Island) Former President Rajapaksa is still an SLFP member and, therefore, his services should be rendered to the SLFP to win the forthcoming local govt elections, SLFP General Secretary Duminda Dissanayake said. "If former Prez campaigns for the SLPP against SLFP, he would be sacked," he said. If any SLFP member supports the SLPP, their SLFP membership would be suspended and disciplinary action would be taken against them for violating the party’s constitution, more..

AG confirms Wilpattu destruction

Dec 23 (CT) Environmentalists claimed that the Auditor General (AG) Gamini Wijesinghe who investigated their allegations of deforestation and illegal encroachment into forest reserves in Wilpattu, has confirmed their worst fears in his report on the issue. Amal Lanka, spokesman for environmental groups which raised the concerns, said AG had found that the encroachment into the Vilathikulam area is unlawful more..

Rotten apples, oranges destroyed

Dec 23 (Island) Public Health Department of Colombo Municipal Council said it had destroyed over 2,000 apples and close to a 1,000 oranges not fit for human consumption, taken into custody from the Fort and Pettah areas during a raid carried out on Wednesday in view of the festive season. Acting Chief Food Inspector M.B. Lal Kumara said they had also ordered that 400 kilos of potatoes and 200 kilos of big onions unfit for human consumption, found in the same area be destroyed. more..

Soon, boats to bring Lankan pilgrims

Dec 23 (Hindu) The Union govt has decided to permit pilgrims from the northern parts of Sri Lanka to take a ferry to Chennai and from there travel to Chidambaram and visit the Nataraja temple. The services will be operated between Kankesanthurai (near Jaffna) and Chennai, according to a release issued by the Ministry of External Affairs. SL pilgrims have expressed a desire to come to Chidambaram, about 235 km from here, in connection with the Aarudhraa Darshana festival, more..

JVP slams President on defections

Dec 23 (FT) A disgruntled JVP lashed out at President Maithripala Sirisena for recruiting a number of their former party members who they termed as rejects to the SLFP. JVP MP Vijitha Herath charged that the so called defectors of the JVP, that were recently recruited to the SLFP, were in fact rejects of the party and were not party members anymore. He also referred to the President as a bothal paththara karaya or more..

SL starts building new fuel storage tanks

Dec 23 (EN) State-owned petroleum refiner Ceylon Petroleum Corporation Friday began building new fuel storage tanks with the aim of eventually doubling storage capacity. Ministry of Petroleum said 10 new tanks with a total capacity of 11,200 metric ones would be built at a cost of Rs. 412 million with priority given to building petrol storage capacity. New storage capacity would help avoid situations like the recent fuel crisis when there was a shortage of fuel in many parts of the island, more..

JVP slams move to relocate beggars

Dec 23 (CT) JVP is opposed to Govt's move to relocate beggars. MP Vijitha Herath pointed out "Govt, though it had named 2017 as the Year for Eradicating Poverty, had in fact failed to do so, adding further that all projects undertaken by the Govt were unsuccessful. "Thus, in order to cover up their inability, they are planning to dump Colombo City beggars somewhere else," he said. "This will not solve poverty. Without addressing the causes which result in people taking to begging, more..

LG Polls: DIGs asked to show cause

Dec 23 (DN) Senior DIG C.D. Wickramaratne has asked the relevant DIGs to show cause as to why the law was not implemented in relation to seven political processions that were held against the law on Thursday. Senior DIG took this measure following media revelations about such processions. Police have also been instructed to take action against those people responsible for organising such processions. more..

Sanctity of justice, harmony, peace

Dec 24 (SO) As we celebrate Christmas and look forward to the New Year, the improvement of governance in the country, is one achievement that all citizens would hope for, along with other social goals as well as our personal goals. Christmas is the moment when Christians celebrate the beginnings of their faith community, the divine inspiration that leads them and, their vision of a humanity of love, charity, and justice. As with other faiths, Christianity, too, recognizes that more..


Dec 24 (CT) Tomorrow, Christians world over celebrate Christmas, commemorating the birth of Jesus, whom they believe is the Saviour of the world, from sin. He was born in Bethlehem, a suburb of Jerusalem, territories which were now and then under the State of Israel. Coinciding with the Christmas season, three days ago, the UN, by an overwhelming majority, which also included the vote of Sri Lanka's, declared the recent US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital city, illegal, more..

The season for a shopping spree

Dec 24 (SO) It is Christmas, the season of giving, sharing, joy and of feasting. In the contemporary world, for the masses out there, it is also the season of shopping. When December dawns, the tell tale signs of the approaching holiday season can be seen in the city of Colombo. Vendors selling bright coloured Christmas decorations appear randomly in the odd corner of the roads. Shopping complexes and supermarkets have set up more..

Tit for tat?

Dec 24 (Island) Plantations Minister Navin Dissanayake went on record last week saying that Russia’s temporary ban on the import of Ceylon tea was probably due to our decision to ban the import of white asbestos here with effect from next month. Russia is a major exporter of asbestos products and it has been suggested that the tea import ban was a tit-for-tat strategy. The possibility that asbestos user industries provoked a harsh response also cannot be ruled out. more..

Crisis with Russia: A James Bond thriller

Dec 24 (ST) Britain’s war-time PM had some memorable words to describe Russia – a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma he called it. However, there is a key. The key is Russia’s national interest, he added. The latest tea vs. asbestos fiasco between Sri Lanka and Russia epitomises this Churchillian quote. Cabinet of Ministers earlier this week, in what seemed a knee-jerk reaction to a Russian blanket ban on all Lankan agricultural products due to a solitary beetle more..

Mangers made with love

Dec 24 (ST) While many are out celebrating the Christmas season, he has been working till 10 or 11 every night, adding finishing touches to the face of a statue of baby Jesus or one of the Wise Men, ensuring that every feature is painted perfectly so that the figures in each nativity set he makes instil a sense of wonder in believers. “I’m Catholic and I don’t want to make figures of Jesus in a careless manner,” says Ravindralal, more..

SLPP woes mount, proposed Army HQ land deal investigation

Dec 24 (Island) SL Podujana Peramuna’s woes with the nomination lists continued in the second round as well though at a lesser level than during the first round. Biggest blow to the fledgling political party during the second round was the rejection of the SLPP list for the Tirappane PS in A'pura district which many in that party consider a sure win. In addition to Tirappane, SLPP nomination lists for the Jaffna MC, Valikamam North, Valikamam East, and Delft PS were rejected in the second round. more..

PM accelerates development drive unity govt completes three years in office

Dec 24 (SO) In a surprising turn of events, what eclipsed the initial stage of the LG elections 2018 was the nomination blunders by SL Podujana Party (SLPP) backing former President Rajapaksa. One should not forget that the SLPP’s chairman is none less than Prof G.L. Peiris, former Vice Chancellor of the Uni of Colombo and the former Minister of External Affairs. Its General Secretary is Sagara Kariyawasam, a lawyer by profession and a man who has held senior positions in state sector. more..


Can punch-drunk Sri Lanka find some festive cheer?

Dec 24 (CI) Sri Lanka keep offering gifts this festive season, and India keep lapping it up. Their bowlers regularly send down half-volleys and half-trackers, wrapped up in ribbons. Their batting line-up continues to suffer rapid collapses. And their fielders keep missing chances. The only gift Sri Lanka have received in return was a spring-loaded boxing glove from an under-strength Indian side. Can Thisara Perera and his men end the tour with something to cheer? more..