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Mahanayake Theras call for peaceful election campaign

Dec 29 (DN) The various political parties and candidates are responsible in assisting Elections Commission to hold a peaceful election devoid of violence, Mahanayake of the Asgiriya Chapter, Ven. Warakagoda Gnanarathana Mahanayake Thera said. “candidates should also conduct a campaign which respects election laws and does not pollute the environment,” he said. Thera was speaking when former Kandy Mayor Raja Pushpakumara visited Asgiriya & Malwatte Chapters. more..

Election Commission at a loss to work out modalities at polling centres

Dec 29 (DM) Election Commission is at a loss to work out modalities for providing security to vote counting at the polling stations at the local govt polls, it is learnt. Commission had a meeting with the representatives of the political parties in this regard. The present law, governing LG elections, provide for vote counting at polling centres. Commission’s Chairman Mahinda Desapriya is reported to have said that he is yet to determine how best security could be ensured. more..

Outstation students carry away top honours at A/L

Dec 29 (Island) Outstation students have emerged the best performers at the GCE A/L exam 2017, according to the results released by Examinations Department. A Buddhist monk has come fist in the Arts stream. Dilini Palihakkara of Sujatha Balika Vidyalaya, Matara, had obtained the best results in the Bio Science Stream while Sridaran Duwarakan of Hartley College Jaffna had secured top position in Mathematics stream. more..

Fertilizer shortage: Govt should compensate farmers: Wimal

Dec 29 (DM) The govt should provide compensation to the farmers, who were affected following the prevailing shortage of fertilizer, leader of NFF, Wimal Weerawansa said. He said the govt should be held responsible for the prevailing fertilizer crisis and added instant actions should be sought to provide compensation to the farmers who were at a serious risk owing to the shortage. “According to the information gathered, we noticed that the tenders had been issued in an illicit manner more..

Kiriella responds to MR’s SAITM statement

Dec 29 (NR) Minister Lakshman Kiriella says the statement issued by former President Rajapaksa pertaining to the operation of the SAITM includes fabricated information. He said the present govt has already provided adequate solutions for the issues pertaining to SAITM. He said,” I would like to inform the former President that we have already provided solutions for the issues even though he is not aware of it. A Presidential Commission was appointed by President Sirisena. more..

2017 delivers mixed bag: CB

Dec 29 (FT) After weathering a rocky year, the Central Bank was cautiously optimistic of Sri Lanka’s prospects yesterday, insisting economic stability had been reached with investor confidence increasing but acknowledging that fiscal consolidation needed to continue for growth, which is expected to be less than 4% in 2017, and investment to improve. CB Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy was circumspect while more..

The year at large

Dec 30 (CT) Maithripala Sirisena. Ranil Wickremesinghe. Mahinda Rajapaksa. Commissions and commissions. Interparty rivalries. Intraparty rivalries. Floods. Droughts. Cyclones. Donald Trump. Jerusalem. Russia. What will 2017 be most remembered for in Sri Lanka? Not too difficult to answer, but that’s only if you have your preferences towards what you deem to be more newsworthy than everything else. For me, hence, it was none of the above. more..

To be or not to be?

Dec 30 (CT) According to the ancient Greeks, there are four human personalities: Sanguine, melancholic, phlegmatic, and choleric; our humors, the four bodily fluids—blood, black bile, phlegm, and yellow bile—control our personalities. Each humor is paired with one of the four basic elements: air, earth, fire, and water. The phlegmatic type (peaceful and relaxed) is a result of pairing phlegm and water—the cold, moist element. Having blood as predominating bodily humor makes you sanguine more..

A high tech method to control dengue mosquitoes

Dec 30 (SO) In mid 2017, seeing a rise in dengue cases, exceeding 10,000 patients and nearing an epidemic situation, it is imperative to ensure that steps are taken continuously to ensure that the virus doesn’t blow out of proportion. Two approaches to ensure this is, prevention and adopting new ways and methods to eradicate mosquito breeding. During this year, 180,939 suspected Dengue cases have been reported more..

How political interference has made SriLankan wobble

Dec 30 (DM) In the search for a private stakeholder for the Airline, the UNP-SLFP Govt altruistically contributed to the National carrier’s accumulated losses bringing it to a staggering 200 billion rupees as at end of 2017. The news says, While expressing hope that the national carrier SriLankan would not be liquidated, Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardana said govt had successfully negotiated a long-term credit package worth US$ 150 million and a short-term loan facility of US$ 50 mil more..

Torture at universities: How the mentally disturbed carryout ragging

Dec 30 (DM) On the first day at the hostel we were requested to come to a room wearing sarongs. The second year students who entered the room thereafter asked us to remove our sarongs. The sarongs were kept aside and in order to drown the noise made by the students blaring music was played. The above quote is not an excerpt from a novel, but the beginning of a story of an undergraduate from a university in Sri Lanka. This is a topic which many shun to narrate. more..

'Legally impossible to accept nominations for six new Pradeshiya Sabhas'

Dec 30 (DM) Senior lawyer Kalyananda Tiranagama, challenged the creation of six new local authorities in Nuwara Eliya. Q: There is legal wrangling about the creation of new local bodies in the upcountry. What is the legality involved in this case? A: Election Commission called for nominations for 6 new Pradesiya Sabhas to be created by Govt Gazette dated Nov 2, 2017 published by Minister Faiszer Musthapha. more..

A New Year of political discovery

Dec 30 (DN) The fast approaching New Year will bring the most rivalrous political contest in the country since the campaign from November 2014 and the Presidential Election in January 2015. The present national leaders and the country’s leader in the immediate past are contestants in a campaign of national importance for the control of local government bodies in the country, which would lead to the larger scope of national politics in the coming years. more..

On a forgotten Memorandum

Dec 30 (DN) There is a popular belief that Sri Lankans have short memories. We were reminded of it when in perusing some past documentation our attention was drawn by chance to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which rightfully claimed to be of historic significance. Judging by the contents of the MoU we observed that some of those who were bound by it have forgotten what it prescribed. Let us take some examples. According to the MoU signed on August 21, 2015 more..


Sri Lanka’s relations with Japan set to acquire a strategic dimension

Dec 30 (FT) The visit of the Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono to Sri Lanka on 5 January is going to be short – just a day. But it is of enormous significance for both Japan and Sri Lanka. That Japan decided to send a Foreign Minister after a 15-year gap indicates a new awakening, and a new thrust, in Japan’s foreign policy vis-à-vis Sri Lanka and the Indian Ocean Region in general. Facing an economic and strategic challenge from an emergent China in East, South East and South Asia, more..

Editorial: Catch 22

Dec 30 (Island) Blood is said to be thicker than water. That may be so, but there are some exceptions. Blood doesn’t seem so thick where Sri Lankan politics is concerned. We have had some political families whose feuds even led to legal wrangles. This should come as no surprise in a country which has a history replete with instances of even patricide and fratricide committed by kings, usurpers and aspirants to the throne. It is said that two dogs at the same bone seldom agree, more..

Hathurusingha bans music at training

Dec 30 (Island) New cricket coach Chandika Hathurusingha pledged to get tough with the under-performing national team — including banning music in training — while demanding full control over selection. With the 1996 World Cup winners coming to the end of their worst year in international cricket, Hathurusingha said he would impose strict discipline to make sure they are ready for the 2019 World Cup. more..

India offers training programs for Sri Lankan govt officials

Dec 30 (IHC) More than 40 training courses, spread over a multitude of sectors, in various institutions in India are available for Govt of Sri Lanka officials (45 years of age and below) under the Indian Technical & Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Programme of Ministry of External Affairs, Govt of India from 15 January to 31 March 2018. The courses are fully funded by Govt of India and cover airfare, accommodation, study tours, course fee, living allowance, book allowance etc. more..

SriLankan Airlines: Flight attendants to get billions in EPF back payments since 1979

Dec 30 (CT) Labour Commissioner has ruled that all SriLankan Airlines Flight Attendants who traveled overseas whilst on duty ever since the airline was established in 1979, must be paid EPF contributions for all meal allowances received apart from their paid basic salaries. Last week the Dept of Labour wrote to SriLankan Airlines management asking them to provide all individual details such as names, EPF numbers and paid meal allowances of all affected employees within 14 days of more..

'Still waiting to know why I'm being rested'

Dec 30 (CI) After finding himself out of the national team setup, fast bowler Lasith Malinga was the only player, outside of the preliminary 23-man squad to tour Bangladesh next month, present at a special training session - first under new coach Chandika Hathurusingha - in Colombo on Thursday. It was revealed subsequently that Malinga attended as a net bowler. "I came because, when I started playing cricket more..

TNA MPs meet top rehabilitated LTTE cadres

Dec 30 (Island) TNA MPs Sritharan and Charles Nirmalanathan had held a meeting on Wednesday with senior rehabilitated LTTE cadres. The meeting took place in Puthukudiyiruppu-Mullaitivu area. The ex-LTTE personnel were senior operatives representing five districts. TNA MPs have said that the meeting was productive in the wake of recent rumors aimed at causing confusion among Tamil people. It was discussed how the ex-militants could work with TNA on social welfare projects. more..

Pakistan to send 40,000 MT of fertiliser

Dec 30 (DN) Pakistan has agreed to send 40,000 metric tonnes of fertilizer to Sri Lanka immediately, President Maithripala Sirisena said. He said that he immediately contacted Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, following concerns raised on the scarcity of fertiliser in the country and requested assistance to find an immediate solution to the matter. “I have now received information that the Pakistani govt has responded positively to my request. more..

Mano Ganesan provided with STF security

Dec 30 (DM) TPA leader Minister Mano Ganesan had been provided with STF security with a backup vehicle with five STF personnel. Meanwhile, the Minister said in a statement that he faced serious security issues and sought the intervention of President, PM and had also written to the IGP in September. “Certain politicos in Colombo are behind these threats. I have discussed with President Sirisena. more..

Pakistan HC celebrates Quaid’s Day

Dec 30 (PHC) High Commission of Pakistan in SL held a distinguished ceremony to pay homage to the Founding Father of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah in connection with his 141st birthday anniversary celebrations at the High Commission premises. The ceremony was held under the theme Hamara Quaid and Main Hon Quaid ka Pakistan. The High Commissioner of Pakistan in Sri Lanka Dr. Shahid Ahmad Hashmat, in his address, paid a rich tribute to Quaid more..

Sri Lanka plans sovereign bond in early 2018

Dec 30 (EN) Sri Lanka would like to go to international market with a sovereign bond in early 2018 before the US Federal Reserve does more rake hikes, Central Bank Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said. The exact date of the bond sale will depend on market conditions but he felt that going to the market on May or June was too late. He said the US Fed was expected to make three 25 basis point hikes next year, and it was best t go to market as early as possible. more..

Growing outcry against engineering of crossovers with incentives

Dec 30 (Island) There is an increasing chorus against the engineering of defections in the run up to the local govt polls as it is to the disadvantage of those unable to provide incentives for such crossovers. UNP MP Mujibur Rahman said that ongoing wave of defections in the run up to Feb 10 LG polls was severely undermining much repeated National Election Commission (NEC) promise to ensure a level playing field. more..

Bone marrow transplants successfully performed at Apeksha hospital

Dec 30 (Island) Consultant Oncologist attached to Apeksha Hospital (former Cancer Institute), Dr. Prasad Abeysinghe appealed for more resources to meet the growing demand for bone marrow transplants performed at the hospital. He was speaking at a ceremony at Razavi Medical Complex of the hospital, to mark the first anniversary of Bone Marrow Transplants (BMT) programme. Project would need more assistance once it commenced performing BMTs with donor cells. more..

Release of Keppapilavu lands: Protests to continue

Dec 30 (CT) Although 133 acres of private lands were released in Keppapilavu by the Security Forces officially, villagers say that they will continue to protest until all the lands are returned to the owners. "We will not stop our struggle until we regain all our lands," they added. Villagers of Keppapilavu have been protesting for the past 302 days urging the release of their lands. On 1 Feb around 138 families began protesting for the release of around 482 acres of their private lands more..

Minister Bathiudeen plays down impact from loss of US GSP

Dec 30 (Island) The expiration of US Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) for Sri Lanka on Dec 31 would have only a marginal impact on the country’s exports to US, Minister Rishad Bathiudeen said adding that SL’s trade with US showed a positive trend in 2017 compared to 2015 and ‘16. "What is important to understand is that this non-renewal of GSP does not affect our US trade in a significant way" the Minister said. more..

Ginger injured in accident

Dec 30 (DM) Following the vehicle of popular singer Ginger plunging into a 60-foot deep precipice, at about 12 midnight on 27 Dec, four occupants in the vehicle sustained injuries and were admitted to Deniyaya base hospital. However as the condition of the singer was serious she had to be transferred to Matara general hospital. This unfortunate accident occurred when the singer was on her way to perform at the final night of the musical show rhythms of nature in Deniyaya more..

Decision on Unity Govt after poll: SLFP

Dec 30 (DM) The SLFP said it would decide whether to extend the MoU signed with the UNP on the Unity Govt after the LG elections. SLFP General Secretary and Minister, Duminda Dissanayake said their focus at the moment was to face the elections like the other political parties. “We will convene the SLFP Central Committee (CC) no sooner the LG poll is over to make a decision on extending the MoU as we have done previously. We will have talks with the UNP once the poll is over,” he said. more..

Video: Mano accuses Deepti of behaving like wife of a colonial Governor

Dec 30 (SL) Minister Mano Ganesan accused Eastern Province Governor Rohitha Bogollagama’s wife Deepti Bogollagama of behaving like the wife of a colonial Governor. Ganesan made the comment after Deepti Bogollagama was shown on a video verbally abusing some Tamil devotees in Trincomalee last week. Ganesan said that the manner in which she behaved was harmful to national coexistence. more..

Three arrested for allegedly attempting to sell a pair of tusks

Dec 30 (AD) Three persons were arrested with a pair of ivory in a special police operation carried out in Thanthirimale-A'pura. The suspects have allegedly attempted to sell the pair of ivory at a price of Rs. 5 million. Initially a resident of Mannar was arrested by police following a tip-off received by Superintendent of Police in A'pura Division. The other two suspects engaged in the deal were arrested based on the information provided by the first suspect, upon interrogation. more..

Code of ethics for web journalists presents to President

Dec 30 (PSL) A code of ethics for web journalists to create a more responsible and ethical web journalism, was presented to President Maithripala Sirisena, during a ceremony held in Colombo today (29). The event was organized by the Professional Web Journalists’ Association. The President, expressing his views said that the launch of code of ethics for web journalists is a great effort for the development of this field. President Sirisena further said that this effort more..

Next party leader will be an educated, intelligent youth: President

Dec 30 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena said he would hand over the leadership of the SLFP not to a member of his family but to an educated and intelligent youth who engaged in clean, decent and corruption-free politics. He said nepotism, corruption, thuggery and misrule had harmed the country and the party and therefore he was determined to build a new political culture and nurture a new breed of politicians untainted more..

Eastern Governor’s wife interferes in temple issue

Dec 30 (CT) A Hindu temple, located in Muttur, Trinco is at the centre of a controversy and Police have ordered devotees living in the villages of the area to refrain from carrying out any reconstruction work until Dept of Archaeology investigates to see whether an ancient Buddhist temple had existed on the site. This follows rival claims were made by Buddhists as well as Hindus to this site in Sampur, which in turn led to a shouting match between local worshippers & outsiders, more..

32 candidates with criminal links: Name list handed over to Police Chief

Dec 30 (CT) The names of 32 candidates contesting the forthcoming Local Govt polls, who have been involved in sleaze and are allegedly packing criminal records, was handed over to IGP Pujith Jayasundera by an independent elections monitoring group yesterday (29). The group of candidates is alleged to have been involved in rape, murder, theft, financial fraud and other forms of corruption, a spokesman for the People's Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAAFREL) said. more..

US GSP: Govt says no significant impact

Dec 30 (DM) The discontinuing of the GSP programme by the US from next year to 120 countries including Sri Lanka would not make a significant impact on the exports to the US, the Govt said. Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha De Silva said people seemed to be confused with the US GSP and GSP+ given by the European Union (EU). “The US GSP applies to 120 countries and there is nothing special or significant to Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka ends 2017 year with 7.1% inflation

Dec 30 (EN) SL's ended the year generating 7.1% inflation in 2017 as the effects of a currency collapse over two years pushed up the price structure of the economy despite tight monetary policy and slowing credit. In the month of December the Colombo Consumer Price Index grew 0.6% to 122.9 points. CB overshot its target of mid-single digit inflation in 2017. CB Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said that the central bank expects inflation to reach to mid-single digits by the first quarter of 2018. more..