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Met. Dept. says more rain likely

Dec 5 (DM) Showers or thundershowers will occur at times in the Northern, North-Central, Eastern and Uva Provinces and at several places elsewhere after 2 p.m today, because the low pressure area in the South-East Bay of Bengal is located some 800 km away from the country, the Meteorology Department said. Met Dept Director General K.H.M.S. Premalal said it was likely to develop into a depression by tomorrow but would not create a large impact on the land area. more..

Kusal Perera back in Sri Lanka ODI squad

Dec 5 (CI) Kusal Perera, who has not played international cricket since injuring himself in the Champions Trophy, is back in the Sri Lanka ODI squad for the three-match series against India starting Dec 10. Test captain Dinesh Chandimal does not find a place in the 50-overs side. Kusal Mendis, who was rested for the Test series, was not among the 16 men picked by the selection committee either. more..

'Resettle Sinhalese and Muslims in North before polls'

Dec 5 (AD) Former Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara says that the Sinhalese and Muslim people who lived in the North need to be resettled in those areas before any elections are held. He also claimed that the TNA is the only opposition party in the world that supports the budget of the govt. If they somehow move for a separate state, then the incumbent govt will also approve it, he charged, speaking during a press conference of the Eliya Organisation in Colombo today (5). more..

Writ petition filed seeking legal action against KP dismissed

Dec 5 (DN) A writ petition filed by JVP MP Vijitha Herath seeking an order to institute legal proceedings against LTTE's former Leader of International Wing Shanmugam Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP was dismissed by Court of Appeal. While refusing to issue notices on the respondents, Court of Appeal (President) L.T.B. Dehideniya and Justice Shiran Gunaratne decided to dismiss the writ petition citing that there is no legal basis to proceed with the petition. more..

Video: 'SLFP can win election without MR'

Dec 5 (DM) There was no need of the former President Rajapaksa to make the SLFP to win at the upcoming LG elections, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said. He said the JO had no right even to say that they would not support SLFP at the elections. “We will definitely win the upcoming LG elections even without the former President Rajapaksa. More people are gathering with the President Sirisena than ever before,” more..

MR blames Prez for breakdown of unity talks

Dec 5 (PTI) Former SL leader Mahinda Rajapaksa, who leads a rival faction of the ruling SLFP, has blamed his successor President Maithripala Sirisena for the breakdown of unity talks between the two sides. The two factions of the SLFP have held talks to try and unite to face local council elections, now likely to be held in mid-February. "The efforts failed because they (the Sirisena faction) did not want to leave the govt. We cannot agree to any alliance with the UNP," Rajapaksa said yesterday, more..

No approval granted to use rice to produce alcohol: Finance Ministry

Dec 5 (DM) Finance Ministry today claimed that there was no truth in the allegation made by JO MP Bandula Gunawardena to the effect that this govt has given approval to use rice as raw material for the production of alcohol. The Ministry said it was in fact the approval to use rice for the production of alcohol was given by the previous govt in 2006. “This govt has not given any approval to produce spirits making use of rice as a raw material to any distilleries. more..

Sri Lanka's struggles with Delhi air may be genuine: Dhawan

Dec 5 (CI) It began with India's bowling coach B Arun questioning SL fast bowlers' fitness on day two when they doubled over and vomited as they struggled to cope with the Delhi pollution. Mohammed Shami was more understanding on day three in saying that Indians' being used to pollution is not necessarily a good thing but at the same time said the situation was not as bad as was being depicted. more..

Can Sri Lanka survive endemic corruption?

Dec 6 (CT) My heart bleeds for SL. 70 years of Independence has but reduced this thrice blessed nation to wallow in it’s own spittle, unable to extricate itself. The rainbow revolution has faded, not extinguished fully but well on the way to self destruction. The cause is clear but politicians are unwilling to trod the path set out for them by the people in 2015. This govt was given an open cheque to change the course of history. What better platform than to have the two main protagonists more..

Movement unlikely before LG elections

Dec 6 (CT) The release of another 29 acres of land under military control in Jaffna to civilian owners is a signal that the govt remains committed to the reconciliation process it embarked upon in January 2015 when it came to power. The high point of the govt’s commitment came nine months later in October of that year when it went beyond expectations in co-signing the UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka. Its predecessor in govt had considered previous UN resolutions on the subject to more..

Storms cause mayhem, deluge

Dec 6 (SO) Cyclone Ochki which hit Sri Lanka this week left at least 13 people dead while leaving another 1 missing and over 100,000 people affected. The cyclone lashed the country with heavy rains and strong winds on Wednesday uprooting massive trees and causing islandwide power failures. The severe weather conditions also wrecked havoc disrupting the everyday lives of the public, as schools were declared closed more..

Human rights for a divided society

Dec 6 (GV) To understand the process of indirect colonisation of the non-white countries in Asia and Africa is to work through the splitting of society in two. When overwhelming power came externally to crush the natives and their identity, the stage was set for an unequal race by which a local elite would acquire the trappings of Western culture. Colonies were selectively developed and the coloniser took what he needed and neglected the rest. The rural countryside was largely untouched by more..

Yuvraj Singh launches UNICEF-ICC’s adolescent campaign

Dec 6 (PTI) Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh will be promoting a UNICEF sports initiative for youngsters in South Asia, which will also have the ICC’s backing. Yuvraj launched the Power of Sports to Shape the Future of Adolescents campaign in South Asia here. Yuvraj was joined by under-19 players from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan and SL who will compete in the ICC under-19 World Cup in New Zealand in January next year. A panel discussion was followed by a friendly match between more..

'We are moving forward whilst clashing with each other'

Dec 6 (CT) Minister S. B. Dissanayaka says that no one in this Govt received a complete mandate to bring in a new constitution. Q: Don't you feel that the speed you progressed in politics was too fast? A: I do not think that the speed was too much. Due to my being emotional I made some wrong political decisions. Q: Wasn't your setting up a Govt in 1994 and then becoming a Cabinet Minister an increase in the burden of responsibilities? more..

Path to better governance

Dec 6 (DN) The Colombo School of Business and Management (CSBM) organised the Second International Conference on Social Entrepreneurship: Innovations in Social Enterprise for Development (ICSE 2017) at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute recently. The Conference Partners were the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Bangkok and the Colombo Plan. The Indian High Commissioner Taranjit Singh Sandhu was the Chief Guest at ICSE 2017. more..

Nuwara-Eliya, A lost horizon

Dec 6 (DN) Nuwara-Eliya is a pretense. Holding out as a little England or a miniature Switzerland, the place is a groundless boast, a show long way from getting on the road. What immediately hit the visitor to the township in the hills are the dissimilarities with old blighty; the noisy, the confusion and the inescapable dereliction of the place contradict the claim emphatically. There is nothing English about the place, only irregular remnants of a planting era on which the page has permanently turned; more..

Mahinda Deshapriya

Bhagya Wijayawardane to receive Queen’s young leaders award

Dec 6 (LR) The Queen’s Young Leaders programme announced that Bhagya Wijayawardane from Sri Lanka has been chosen as one of the final ever Queen’s Young Leaders Award winners in recognition of the lead she is taking in her community to change lives. The prestigious Awards programme, now in its fourth and final year, celebrates exceptional young people aged 18 to 29 from across the Commonwealth and the work they are undertaking to improve lives across more..

Editorial: Walala Mares

Dec 6 (Island) Time was when the present-day leaders talked a blue streak about a golden horse, allegedly owned by the former ruling family. After grabbing power they have not only lost interest in that stallion but also chosen to ignore a stable of young mares worth their weight in gold. Amidst doom and gloom in the aftermath of a killer cyclone with another storm brewing, glad tidings came from Hong Kong on Monday. A team of talented athletes from the Ratnayake Central College, Walala, more..

CEB irks Sangakkara and lights up twitter

Dec 6 (EN) Cricket legend Kumar Sangakkara publicly grouching about the CEB not answering his calls has sparked a social media storm with both helpful tips and barbs thrown at him. Five days after complaining that the CEB was not taking his calls, Sangakkara thanked CEB in a tweet. His initial tweet triggered 106 comments, 121 re-tweets and 1,700 likes. "Has anyone in Colombo been able to get through to the CEB offices? more..

Sri Lanka’s liberal globalist unintelligentsia

Dec 6 (Island) Anyone wants to know what’s really happening to, in and with our country? Anyone wants to know what’s going to happen to us? Anyone wants to know what the really important issues are? Then please read what a top global think-tank, the Lowy Institute, has to say: "A key element in any overseas naval base, and even a logistics facility, is easy access by air for people and supplies. A naval base also requires maritime air surveillance capabilities. more..

LG polls and making a Healthier Colombo

Dec 6 (Island) Local govt polls round the corner, will give the citizens an opportunity to elect members who would hopefully stop the fast deteriorating environmental health and the sanitary situation in the city. During the former regime, Colombo became somewhat clean and beautiful overnight, after years of seeing piles of garbage, even in the central areas, of the city. The triangular area between Fort, Bambalapitiya and Gregory’s Road, underwent a massive re-construction & beautification more..

Pothas mulls fading light coincidence

Dec 6 (CI) As Sri Lanka faced the uphill task of batting out close to four sessions for a draw against India, they also became victims of a practice in Test cricket that has drawn the ire of many an observer. Natural light at Feroz Shah Kotla had been dodgy all day, with floodlights coming on even before the start of play. But in the dying minutes of the day, they lost a wicket to a fast bowler minutes before it was deemed too more..

Sri Lanka Insurance reports Rs. 9.5 b 3Q PAT

Dec 6 (FT) Sri Lanka Insurance has reported a profit after tax of Rs. 9,482 million for the third quarter of 2017 on strong overall performance. Announcing its excellent third quarter performance for 2017, The company recorded a profit before tax of Rs. 10.6 billion and a profit after tax of Rs. 9.5 billion for the period. The latter figure was before transferring to the Life Fund while Rs. 2.1 billion was recorded as profit after tax attributable to shareholders. Both Life and General Insurance contributed to more..

Sri Lanka doubles insurance payout for CIFL depositors

Dec 6 (EN) SL’s central bank has doubled the compensation payable to depositors of Central Investments and Finance PLC (CIFL), which failed owing to fraud, with no investor being found yet to pump in Rs. 3 billion to revive the finance company. The central bank’s Department of Supervision of Non-Bank Financial Institutions said every effort will be made to take legal actions against those responsible for frauds and misuse of depositors’ funds of failed finance companies. more..

Sri Lanka should tackle sexuality, gender identity bias

Dec 6 (HRW) In November 2015, I sat in a small circle of plastic chairs outside a rustic hotel in SL’s coastal town of Ambalangoda. Against a backdrop of fruit trees and waves lapping the shore I listened to horrific stories from six gay, bisexual, and transgender people whom a Sri Lankan gay activist had convened to meet with Human Rights Watch. Abeeth (all names are changed for privacy and security), more..

Future of digital conversations in Sri Lanka

Dec 6 (GV) Even before the end of the war in 2009, but certainly after it, conversations on society, politics, culture, religion and other vital matters are moving online to digital spaces, or are increasingly influenced by perspectives and content on the web. There is a demographic dividend at play – first, second and even third time voters in SL are those who are also the most active on social media platforms. The metrics of all this are obvious – number of individuals on and using social more..

India’s bugbear: Delhi air pollution

Dec 6 (DN) An incident unprecedented in the annals of international cricket took place on Sunday at the famous Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi, the second oldest international cricket stadium still functional in India after Eden Gardens, Kolkata where players were forced to wear masks to protect themselves from air pollution during the second day of the third and final cricket Test between SL and India. It certainly was not a good advertisement for the richest cricket board in the world more..

Fresh capital access for biz growth: PM

Dec 6 (FT) SL’s best companies were called on by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday to invest, create jobs and deliver high shareholder dividends that will be supported by the Govt with legal and regulatory reforms and through a new Development Bank which will disburse funds worth as much as Rs. 35 billion for expansion in 2018. Addressing the 53rd CA SL Annual Report Awards, he encouraged the private sector more..

Jetwing Symphony announces IPO

Dec 6 (FT) Jetwing Symphony Ltd. announced its Initial Public Offering (IPO) yesterday to raise between Rs. 753 million and Rs. 904 million to invest in several new properties in Sri Lanka and expand overall operations. Jetwing Symphony Ltd. (JSL) intends to offer 50,2I8,856 ordinary voting shares to the public from 14 December, which is a 10% stake, at a price range of Rs. 15, Rs. 16, Rs. 17 and Rs. 18 per share. Capital Alliance Partners Ltd. (CAL) is the Manager to the issue. more..

Chamini triumphs as Ratnayake Central make clean sweep in Hong Kong

Dec 6 (Island) Ratnayake Central made a clean sweep at the Asian Schools Cross Country Championship as the lasses from the athletics stronghold of Walala won the first four places in the Under-17 girls’ championship of the bi-anneal event held in Hong Kong on Monday. Chamini Herath clocked 24 minutes and 24.02 seconds to win the Under-17 girls’ championship just ahead of schoolmates Jayanthi Kanagarathna (24:24.19 secs), Prasanthi Rathnayaka (24:36 mins) more..

Lawyers and activists urge Sri Lanka to ban genital cutting

Dec 6 (Reuters) Lawyers and activists representing a group of SL women who were subjected to female genital cutting as children will meet the justice minister on Wednesday to urge a ban on the ritual. The minister called for a meeting after the women spoke out against the tradition which is practiced by some Muslim groups in the country and has long been shrouded in secrecy. Wednesday’s meeting comes amid a heated more..

TIP & NSW blueprint to be ready in mid-2018

Dec 6 (FT) In a major boost to streamline trade, Sri Lanka expects to complete the proposed Trade Information Portal (TIP) and the blueprint of the National Single Window (NSW) by the middle of next year, a top official confirmed yesterday. Speaking at the introductory workshop organised by the National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC) to explore the roles and responsibilities of participating agencies in this project, Department of Commerce Director General and NTFC Co-Chairperson more..

Govt takes measures to reduce CoL

Dec 6 (DM) In an effort to contain the rising cost of living (CoL) especially the rising price of coconuts, Cabinet decided to permit the import of coconut kernel to lower prices. The soaring prices of coconut had impacted on 33% of the cost of living while the price on rice had a 27% impact. The number of coconuts released to the retail market for household consumption had dwindled in recent years because of the surge in demand by industries manufacturing value added products such as cooking oil. more..

State institutions owe Rs. 67 b to CPC

Dec 6 (FT) It was revealed in Parliament that a total of Rs. 67.8 billion has to be paid by state institutions to Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC). Deputy Minister Anoma Gamage said that the CEB owed the CPC Rs. 41 billion. Rs. 6 billion was owed to the CPC by independent power producers while the RDA of the Western Province has an outstanding Rs. 417 million to be paid to the CPC. “RDA has to pay Rs. 248 million and more..

Ambagamuwa PS will administer Sri Pada

Dec 6 (DM) Sri Pada will continue to remain within the Ratnapura District and under no circumstances would it be administered by the Nuwara Eliya District despite the carving out of three new pradeshiya sabhas from the Ambagamuwa PS, Minister Faizer Musthapha said. He said under the new delimitation process, there was an unfounded belief that Sri Pada would come under the Nuwara-Eliya PS and thus a voter had filed a petition in the Court of Appeal on this matter. more..

Sri Lanka’s first annual Sports Awards for sporting excellence

Dec 6 (DN) The annual SLT SILK Sports Awards 2017 organized by SPORTSINFO, Sri Lanka’s premier sports promotion network and sponsored by SLT was held recently at the BMICH. Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara was the chief guest while Minister Arjuna Ranatunga and Prof. Carlo Fonseka participated as the guests of honour. The event is organized for the third consecutive year with the objective of appreciating those who contributed to sports in the past years more..

Local business folk defrauded of US$ 100,000 Via hacked/compromised emails

Dec 6 (CT) Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Readiness Team (SLCERT) has, over the past three months, received over 10 cases of local business folk being defrauded of a combined sum of approximately USD 100,000 following their email accounts being compromised by hackers. Senior Engineer at SLCERT, Roshan Chandraguptha said that those affected were exporters and importers, more..

SL bewildered by visit from DDCA doctor

Dec 6 (CI) The Delhi & District Cricket Association (DDCA) sent its doctor on call to the Sri Lanka dressing room for a medical check-up during the lunch on the fourth day, but the purpose of the test and its methodology was lost on the Sri Lanka camp. Apart from the wicketkeeper and the bowler at that time, all nine Sri Lanka fielders wore masks, and Suranga Lakmal vomited on the field. This came after Sri Lanka were left with only 10 healthy mean to take the field on Sunday as more..

Udayanga’s petition fixed for support

Dec 6 (FT) Supreme Court fixed for support on 2 April 2018 the Fundamental Rights petition filed by former SL Ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga seeking to recall the international arrest warrant issued against him by the SL authorities. Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court on 20 Oct 2016 allowed the FCID of the Police to issue the international warrant through the Interpol to arrest Weeratunga in connection with the investigation into the alleged financial irregularities more..