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Shipping containers to be cleaned and disinfected

Dec 27 (DM) Russia agreed to lift the restriction on tea trade with SL on condition that all shipping containers were thoroughly cleaned and disinfected under the supervision of National Plant Quarantine Service, prior to loading to ensure they did not contain plant matter or pest species, SL's Ambassador in Russia Saman Weerasinghe said. During negotiations, SL side had said that certain conditions as confirmed with the Russian authorities would be fulfilled to facilitate future trade. more..

Subject minister in the dark about SriLankan Board’s decision to resign

Dec 27 (FT) Minister Kabir Hashim is unaware of the decision taken by members of the Board of Directors of national carrier SriLankan Airlines to tender their resignation to clear the way for the restructuring of the organisation, despite the expectation of new appointments being made early next year. A letter communicating the offers of six of the seven members of the board to resign along with the minutes of the board meeting where more..

Japanese technical support to manage Lankan natural disasters

Dec 27 (FT) Japan has agreed to provide technological know-how to Sri Lanka on handling natural disasters, Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa revealed. Minister Yapa recently held discussions with Japanese Minister Keiichi Ishii, who is visiting SL, on tackling natural disasters. A cooperation program is in progress between the two countries to cope with natural disasters and the Japanese Minister has arrived in the island to have further discussions about the program. more..

Immigration and Emigration officers agitate to win demands

Dec 27 (Island) Immigration and Emigration Officers’ Association plans to launch trade union campaign in the new year to win three longstanding demands. President of the union K.A.A.S. Kanugala said that they had no option but to resort to countrywide trade union action to push the govt on three key demands, namely a proper service minute for SL Immigration and Emigration Service, accommodating Immigration Officers in diplomatic missions overseas and re-establishing more..

Sri Lanka made remarkable progress in ensuring tourists’ safety: Sagala

Dec 27 (DN) With a strengthened Police force and developed infrastructure, Sri Lanka has achieved remarkable progress in ensuring safety of tourists visiting the country, Minister Sagala Ratnayaka said. He was speaking to the media after SL Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) handed over 20 motorcycles and four Beach Rovers to the Tourist Police Division. “Safety of tourists plays a pivotal role in determining more..

Rajitha says he hasn’t benefited from ministerial portfolios

Dec 27 (Island) Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne has said that there were two groups of people who wanted to enter politics in Sri Lanka. The sole intention of one group was to secure plum positions and earn money while the other group sought office to serve the country and the masses, the Minister said. He said so at the distribution of books at Moronthuduwa market recently. Minister Senaratne alleged that the first lot spent a limited time for politics and robbed the people whereas more..

Several Kelaniya UNP members join SLFP

Dec 27 (AD) A group of prominent UNP activists in the Kelaniya electorate met President Maithripala Sirisena at the President’s Official Residence and joined the SLFP. They assured their fullest support for the programme carried out by the President for the betterment of the country. The former members of Kelaniya local govt Kanishka Samarasinghe, Norbert Perera and a former member of the Peliyagoda UC Lakshman Perera were among the group of activists who joined the SLFP today. more..

Doctors threaten strike on Jan. 10

Dec 27 (Island) The GMOA said would launch a countrywide strike on Jan 10 against the govt’s failure to pay their due allowances. GMOA Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge said it would cost the govt around Rs. 300 million per month to pay the allowances for doctors’ additional duties, but it spent the same amount of funds to maintain the SAITM. Dr. Aluthge said other govt institutions paid overtime to their staff and their overtime rates more..

Sri Lanka's Central Bank should sell own securities in new credit cycle

Dec 27 (EN) Sri Lanka's credit is now slowing (compared to total deposits raised), allowing the central bank to easily purchase dollars and mop the rupees created in the process (sterilized forex purchase) by selling its Treasury bill stock down, and built up forex reserves. The more Treasury bills are sold down, more credit (compared to total deposits and inflows) creating a virtuous cycle. The more Treasury bills are sold down, the more credit will be restricted (compared to total deposits more..

President observes two-minute silence to commemorate Tsunami victims

Dec 27 (PMD) President Sirisena observed a 2 minute silence today (26) at the Presidential Secretariat to commemorate the victims of the Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004. Before joining this event, President said that it is important to join the entire nation together to commemorate and invoke merits on tens of thousands of lives lost due to the Tsunami calamity, and President joining with all Sri Lankans who still suffer due to the lost of their loved ones wished such a tragedy do not occur more..

Sri Lanka receives first tranche of H’tota port lease proceeds

Dec 27 (FT) Central Bank confirmed the receipt of the first payment from China Merchant Port Holdings (CMPort) in connection with the public-private partnership (PPP) with Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) over the management of the Hambantota Port. “Subsequent to the agreement signed between the SLPA and the CMPort, $ 292.1 million has been credited to the US dollar account of Govt of SL maintained at the Central Bank,” more..

Sri Lanka to convert garbage dumps into urban parks next year

Dec 27 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka will convert two large garbage dumps in capital Colombo into urban parks next year as part of a city beautification program, Minister Champika Ranawaka said. Addressing the Colombo City Beautification Awards Ceremony in Colombo, he said that garbage could no longer be dumped at the Meethotamulla or Bloemendhal garbage mountains and plans were afoot to construct a large scale national landfill site in Aruwakkaluwa in Puttalam, to address more..

Tamils in N&E remember tsunami victims

Dec 27 (TG) Tamils in the North-East held memorials for the 35,000 people that perished during the catastrophic tsunami that hit the coasts of the North-East and South of the island of Sri Lanka, thirteen years ago. The UNHCR said five days after the disaster that almost two thirds of those killed across the island were in the Tamil homeland of the North-East. Families of the victims gathered at the public memorial in Uduththurai, Jaffna on Monday to mourn their loved ones. more..

Cabinet approves US$ 175M for SriLankan

Dec 27 (CT) Cabinet has approved US$ 175 million to be obtained from Credit Suisse to give a much-needed lifeline to the cash-strapped, ailing national carrier SriLankan Airlines, State Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said. He noted that the US$ 50 million of that amount was a short-term loan. Responding to a question raised by a journalist about the crisis at SriLankan Airlines, said a new Board of Directors will be appointed soon. more..

Uncle Nihal went to Nuwara Eliya

Dec 28 (CT) Alcoholism in SL is a real issue affecting the lives of thousands. Drunk on alcohol and arrogance many in road treat others with contempt and sheer disregard. Uncle Nihal who accompanied his family to Nuwara Eliya is such reckless individual. I parked my car in a narrow car park which had minimum space in a small restaurant in Nuwara Eliya – then entered uncle Nihal with his two watti ammas. How dare you park near our vehicle – get it out, he screamed with more..

Clean Coal: There is no such animal!

Dec 28 (Island) The above is the title of the article published in The Island a year ago. I have added the last few words to bring it up to date. What prompted the first article was the murmurs of the interested parties in the wake of the decision not to proceed with the proposed Sampur coal plant by the Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy, a decision driven by the concerted efforts by several concerned organizations and individuals, to create due general awareness of the immense environmental, more..

'I will not tolerate infighting'

Dec 28 (CT) Minister Sagala Ratnayake, spoke about reforms the govt is planning on bringing into the Police Department. He also said that he will hold the IGP and senior DIGs responsible for the 22 million people of the country, and therefore he would not encourage infighting. Q: What are the priorities your Ministry has in mind to be implemented in 2018 when it comes to the Sri Lanka Police? more..

When they are gone, we will miss them

Dec 28 (DM) A magnificent tusker, Dala Poottuwa to the villagers, has been callously brought down for possessing two magnificiant tusks. Its killers hacked the tusks off, possibly while the tusker was still alive, breathing its last. A few days later, another tusker, which had only one tusk, a genetic abnormality, was killed. A nation was appalled but, other than uttering pious homilies, a concrete holistic plan has still not appeared to prevent the occurrence of similar incidents. more..

LG election dynamics in the North & East

Dec 28 (GV) Despite the year end holiday season, the political focus is on the upcoming local govt elections scheduled for February 10th next year. With nominations closing by end December, January will witness the campaigning by the candidates and the political parties for the sovereign Sri Lankan people’s vote. The election has clear ramifications beyond the local bodies, as nationally there is a redrawing of political lines as the govt and opposition factions of the SLFP, more..

Metered parking machines step in

Dec 28 (SO) While parking on the streets in Colombo, one is often greeted with a familiar knock on the window as a parking warden in a brightly coloured jacket materializes from nowhere to remind you to pay your parking fee. Whereas some motorists are obliging, words are often exchanged between those less cooperative and the wardens, over the fees. Wardens are also often pulled up for issues such as, overcharging, not issuing more..

Russian tea ban: The need to play nice with big powers

Dec 28 (DM) Two weeks ago, Russia slapped a ban on tea from Sri Lanka, ostensibly due to a solitary beetle allegedly found in a tea consignment. Govt in Colombo bent backwards and, suspecting that the Russians were on a tit for tat, promptly revoked the ban on asbestos, which had earlier been imposed disregarding the Russian concerns. Russia is the main exporter of Chrysotile fibre used for the production of roofing materials, worth around $ 148 million last year. more..

Editorial: Stem rising tide of transgressions

Dec 28 (Island) Elections are synonymous with transgressions and pollution in this country. Tons of polythene and other such non-biodegradable material, used as decorations, find their way into wayside drains, rivers and the ocean. Besides, bridges, culverts and even vital road signs are not spared. Every conceivable space is defaced in the name of electioneering. A senior DIG has reportedly ordered police to take swift action to remove all unauthorised posters and decorations. more..

Jaffna Fishermen

Is it too much for ask for emotionally intelligent mindful leaders for 21st Century?

Dec 28 (GV) Dwight D. Eisenhower said I think that people want peace so much that one of these days govt had better get out of their way and let them have it. Many politicians stand in the way of peace for their own vested interests, or from a sheer lack of self-awareness, care and emotional control. This makes them blind to the impact their words and action have on millions of people. In an interconnected, transparent world, our political leaders are under scrutiny unlike any other more..

Suspicious death of Sri Lankan in Maldives

Dec 28 (DM) Negombo City Coroner Dr. Siri Wickremaratne who held the preliminary inquiry into the death of a young man who died during a trip to Maldives, ordered police to produce before him the woman who had accompanied him on the journey. He decided that the circumstance that led to the death had not been established during the inquiry and that the statement of the woman concerned should be recorded. Deceased Dasun Tharanga (33) was a resident of Battaramulla. more..

Angelo Mathews: Playing on his own terms

Dec 28 (DM) Angelo Mathews is the kind of player almost any team would like to have in its ranks. He can hit a Angelo Mathews is the kind of player almost any team would like to have in its ranks. He can hit a long ball, he can block it all day. His medium-pace was once brisk and fizzy and is now evolved and canny, when his body allows him to do the job. He has a safe pair of hands in the slip cordon & a strong arm that can rocket the ball more..

CPC refinery manager promoted as MD

Dec 28 (EN) Petroleum ministry said Neil Jayasekara, a long serving career officer of Ceylon Petroleum Corporation has been appointed the managing director. Jayasekara had been Manager (Refinery) position for 7 years. He was appointed as an engineer (A division) of the CPC on 03rd August, 1981, and joined the corporation after graduating from Peradeniya University. Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said that a process of internal promotion was followed after he became minister, more..

UN urges Sri Lanka not to criminalise poverty

Dec 28 (EN) Poverty appears to be a key factor in people being arrested in Sri Lanka, a UN human rights team has said, urging the govt to find alternatives to detention, instead of criminalising poverty. Those who could afford quality legal representation were likely to receive a better outcome in their cases, including individuals charged with terrorist or criminal offences, according to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. These were some of the preliminary findings more..

The SAITM medical degree issue should be resolved without further delay

Dec 28 (CT) Two years of continuous protests and agitation by the student unions and the GMOA against the medical degree course offered by the SAITM ended last November due to the undertaking given by the govt that this medical course will be abolished. Now however, GMOA and the student unions have expressed concern that the govt is preparing to renege on their pledge. more..

French Republic provides Euro 13.9 Mn soft Loan for dairy development

Dec 28 (GDI) Marking the over 45 years old development cooperation between the Sri Lanka and France, Govt of French Republic agreed to extend its assistance to SL, by providing a Euro 13.9 million (SLR 2,514 million) concessional loan for the implementation of Development of Six Mini Dairies Project. The proposed project will include complete modernization of the pre-selected six mini dairy cooperative societies and organizations by establishing state of the art equipment chains more..

'Lenient marking for O/L Math paper'

Dec 28 (DM) The GCE O/L Examination Mathematics paper was not extraordinarily difficult as claimed but steps had been taken to make amendments to the marking scheme to provide justice to the students as there were certain sections of questions deemed difficult, Commissioner General of Examinations Sanath Pujitha said today. Mr. Pujitha said in a statement that the Department of Examinations had reached this decision following a study conducted on the issue. more..

'SL had supported CIA in several abductions'

Dec 28 (DM) PHU said that Sri Lanka had allegedly supported the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in several abductions. PHU General Secretary MP Udaya Gammanpila said that these facts were revealed in a book written by former Indian PM Manmohan Singh’s daughter Attorney Amrith Singh. He said America was searching for a Russian computer hacker Manokin Raufowich for stealing confidential information. more..

Japanese Foreign Minister Kono to visit SL

Dec 28 (Island) Japanese, Foreign Minister Taro Kono will visit Sri Lanka from Jan 4th to 6th, 2018. This is the first time in 15 years that a Japanese Foreign Minister will visit the country, Embassy of Japan in Colombo said. It said the visit is aimed at further consolidating the Comprehensive Partnership between Japan and Sri Lanka based on previous visits, by Sri Lankan leaders; President Maithripala Sirisena in May 2016, and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in April 2017. more..

A/L results will be released today

Dec 28 (GDI) Ministry of Education announced that the result of G.C.E. (A/L) exam 2017 will be released today. Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam says that this is a result of the step taken by the government to issue the examination result in due date by the Examination Department. Accordingly, the results of all examinations will be released on due dates i.e. grade five scholarships examination on 5th Oct, G.C.E. (O/L) exam on 28th March, and G.C.E. (A/L) exam on 28th Dec. more..

SL begin training under new coach today

Dec 28 (Island) Chandika Hathurusingha, who was installed as the national cricket team’s new Head Coach last week will conduct his first training session today at R. Premadasa Stadium. The highly rated 49-year-old former Test opener conducted a session with some players before Christmas, but today’s training will be his first official assignment as SL’s Head Coach. Selectors have announced a preliminary pool more..

Fish exports to EU up by over 45%

Dec 28 (Island) Fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera says the exports of fish products to the European Union (EU) has increased by 45.9% compared to the previous year while export earnings grew by 47.7%. "Since the lifting of the ban the export of fish products to the EU has grown remarkably by the end of 2017. In the first nine months of 2017 from January to September, Sri Lanka has exported 18,262 MT of fish worth Rs. 28.685 billion to the EU," he said. more..

30 years of IPKF: From finding rebel camps in TN to checking on friends in Colombo

Dec 28 (TP) Covering a most brutal fratricidal war for a decade, I had never imagined returning to a serendipitous Sri Lanka as a tourist without fear. This series, which I began in 2013, should have begun with a thank-you note to Shoojit Sircar, one of our new breed of young and thinking filmmakers. His landmark Madras Café marked a new beginning in Hindi cinema. Unlike Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, it did not claim to be a biopic. And, unlike Milkha, it stayed much closer to the real story which, more..

'National action plan to combat Bribery & Corruption'

Dec 28 (DN) A National Action Plan on anti-corruption will get off the ground early next year which envisages a collective effort among stakeholder agencies to tackle bribery and corruption, Director General of CIABOC Sarath Jayamanne said. “In the absence of a strong framework to combat bribery and corruption, National Action Plan will become a road map in the coming years outlining guidelines in the fight against bribery more..

A special committee to look into professional issues of regional correspondents

Dec 28 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena has given instructions to appoint a special committee to look into the professional issues of the regional news correspondents of media institutions and to submit recommendations regarding the solutions for those issues. This committee will comprise of the Director General of the Govt Information Department, an Additional Secretary to the Ministry of Mass Media and Commissioner General of Labour, the President said that adding that more..

Media barred from announcing unofficial election results

Dec 28 (DN) The media will be barred from announcing unconfirmed and unofficial election results at the forthcoming Local Govt election, Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya stated. Addressing the media, he said that this will be strictly implemented and the media will only be allowed to carry results sanctioned by his office. Deshapriya also said, there will be no separate announcement of postal vote result for each and every local authority. more..