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Parliament Mafia coming up with various projects just to rob people's money

Dec 6 (Island) Govt yesterday submitted a supplementary estimate seeking the approval of parliament to meet, among other expenses, the rent and local taxes of the Ministry of Agriculture to the tune of Rs. 66,040,000. The estimate sought the approval of parliament for Rs. 11,007,475,445 for covering additional expenses incurred by various departments and ministries from Oct 1 to Oct 31, this year. more..

Oil procurement through long-term tenders by March 2018

Dec 6 (FT) Govt will take all measures to ensure that oil will be procured according to a long-term tender procedure by March 2018, Parliament was told. Minister Arjuna Ranatunga, gave his assurance to the House in response to several allegations by MPs that the spot tender procedure was incurring unwarranted losses for the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation. He made these remarks while taking part in committee stage debate on expenditure heads coming under the his ministry. more..

Minister questions absence of several media heads, editors at UNESCO seminar

Dec 6 (DN) Minister Mangala Samaraweera said that several Heads of media organisations and their Editors had refrained from attending the UNESCO funded seminar calling for an end to the impunity for attacks against journalists though they had received invitations. Minister was delivering a speech under the theme of Politics in Media at the official launch of the SL Working Journalists Association website held at SL Press Institute yesterday. “PM also questioned why they failed to attend the seminar. more..

Weerakumara, fourth NFF leader to challenge Wimal

Dec 6 (DM) A fourth prominent member of NFF is challenging the party leader Wimal Weerawansa. Deputy Leader of NFF and MP Weerakumara Dissanayake said that he was oppose to the view held by NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa that the SLFP should be divided. "If we allow that to happen UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe would emerge as the executive President in 2020" he said. Earlier the National Organizer of the NFF more..

No presidential cheers for beer

Dec 6 (DM) We congratulate President Sirisena for saying he has no cheers and would stop the 2018 Budget proposal to give big tax incentive to beer manufacturers, though Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera has justified it by saying his aim is to reduce hard liquor or Kasippu consumption which has reached record levels last year. Addressing Parliament, President said he could not agree with the granting of tax concessions to manufacturers of beer or any other liquor because more..

Who is the Liberal? Dudley, SWRD, CBK or GD?

Dec 6 (DM) A person open to new behaviour or opinions and willing to discard traditional values, that is the dictionary definition of a Liberal. A Liberal in the context of that definition would always find opposition and vehement resistance from those who are called conservatives. A conservative, a person who is averse to change and holds to traditional values and attitudes, typically in relation to politics, at all times resists change; he is not only averse to change, he is not only averse to change, more..

Prison bars no barrier for true love

Dec 6 (ST) Shamila Bueque is getting ready for her wedding fixed for Thursday (7). She plans to drape a white sari in Kandyan style along with a necklace of agate stones. Like any bride to be she is excited and anxious about the day but in her case, there is a lot more anxiety than what most others in her shoes would experience. For her wedding will not take place in a star class hotel, a wedding reception hall or even at her house more..

SL's Computer Literacy Rate is 27.6%

Dec 6 (DM) Computer Literacy Rate (CLR) in SL averages 27.6% and according to the latest survey conducted by Census and Statistics Dept reveals that SL’s CLR among males is 30.7 % while the highest computer literacy rate of 71.2% is reported among the GCE (A/L) or above. Survey conducted this year also reveals that the computer literacy is very high (71.1%) among those who are literate in English language. more..

Lotus Tower shows cultural ties between Sri Lanka, China

Dec 6 (CO) Patrick Mendis, a professor at the Harvard University, told an international audience of scholars that his birthplace of Polonnaruwa had enjoyed a long history of Buddhist, diplomatic and commercial relations between the Sri Lankan kingdoms and successive Chinese Dynasties from Xi'an to Nanjing and beyond. According to the Harvard professor, throughout the dynasties of King Parakramabahu the Great more..

Tender Scam?: Burning issues on GAS tenders

Dec 6 (DM) Questions have been raised as to why the Ministry of Public Enterprise Development is silent over Litro Gas Lanka’s alleged failure to follow govt procurement guidelines in the Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) purchase. The Technical Evaluation Committee [TEC] appointed by the Department of Public Finance and Treasury to evaluate the LPG purchase is now being questioned on how vital requirements seeking from more..

Getting rich from the Bond Scam

Dec 6 (DM) Certain bits and pieces of evidence coming to light following the major exposes relating to the Treasury Bond affair, mostly involving some footnote clique members have begun sending shock waves through the political circles, they say. For example, it has transpired that one of the Diyawanna members who vociferously defended the Bond culprits is a beneficiary of a Mercedes Benz and a mansion. more..

Face expulsion if support Pohottuwa

Dec 6 (DN) SLFP Members of Parliament or Provincial Councils supporting SL Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) at the upcoming LG elections will be expelled, following disciplinary action, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said. “We hear that certain SLFP MPs and PC members, are going to support the SLPP at the forthcoming LG elections. No SLFP member can stand for the victory of any other political party more..

About 19,500 kidney patients undergoing dialysis in NCP

Dec 6 (Island) Health Ministry disclosed that there were 13,000 kidney patients in A'pura District, besides 6,500 in the Polonnaruwa, District receiving dialysis treatment. It had resulted in congestion in hospitals and shortage of facilities for patients. As a solution to the issue a Renal Care Hospital with a bed strength of 200 and another 100 beds with facilities for dialysis would be set up in the Polonnaruwa District, more..

Stay Order issued on FCID over Gotabhaya trial extended till Dec 15

Dec 6 (AD) The Stay Order issued by the Court of Appeal on the FCID preventing any action against former Secretary of Defence Gotabhaya Rajapaksa over the misappropriation of public funds was extended till Dec 15. The Court of Appeal issued a stay order on the FCID preventing any action against former Secretary of Defence Gotabhaya Rajapaksa over public properties following court proceedings on Nov 29. more..

Met Dept assures cyclone will not hit SL

Dec 6 (Island) Dismissing rumours that a cyclone could hit Sri Lanka in the coming days, Department of Meteorology assured that there were no signs of the low pressure area over the Southeast Bay of Bengal adjoining South Andaman sea with associated cyclonic conditions heading towards the country. The low pressure area in the South-east Bay of Bengal was now located 950km away from Sri Lanka and more..

Naseby’s call doesn’t reflect UK’s stand: HC

Dec 6 (Island) The British High Commission has declared that Lord Naseby’s recent statement in the House of Lords pertaining to accountability issues in Sri Lanka doesn’t reflect UK’s stand. The British HC said so in response to The Island query whether the BHC had discussions with the Foreign Ministry here or the TNA as regards Lord Naseby’s call for reviewing Geneva Resolution 30/1. more..

Govt should have gathered low hanging fruits

Oct 6 (CT) Minister of Law and Order, Sagala Ratnayake revealed on Monday that the CID and the Attorney General's Department are debating whether the journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda disappearance case should proceed as a murder or abduction. Ceylon Today reported that he made this revelation during a discussion on violence against journalists in Sri Lanka, at a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization-sponsored conference in Colombo. more..

Yala: Is over-visitation the problem or overcrowding?

Oct 6 (FT) Much has been said and debated about the Yala National Park issue, ad nauseam. Many experts have cropped up, a dime-a-dozen, giving advice of what needs to be done to solve the problems that prevail. Solutions abound, confusion reigns, with no cohesive action on ground and life goes on, a la Sri Lankan style. Hence I thought maybe there would be no harm in me also joining the bandwagon, to add my two cents worth to the melee. more..

Former Maldives President Mohamed Naseem

Sri Lanka to set up College of Business with University of California

Dec 6 (EN) Sri Lanka is to set up an internationally recognized College of Business in collaboration with the University of California, Berkeley in the United States, a govt spokesman said. The college is to be established in the Gampaha District, north of Colombo. University of California, Berkeley has agreed to establish the college in Sri Lanka as a non-profit organization which also provides opportunities to students with economic difficulties, spokesman said. more..

SL doesn’t need more American bear hugs

Dec 6 (TD) The U.S. and Sri Lanka recently held their second Partnership Dialogue. The first took place in Washington, D.C. last year. This one was held in Colombo. The meeting didn’t seem to feature any big surprises – which means that it was a missed opportunity for U.S. foreign policy. The predictable joint statement deals with trade, aid, economics and maritime security, among other topics. It’s about emphasizing how robust U.S.-SL ties are at this point and ignoring more..

US assistance for combatting corruption

Dec 6 (DM) US State Department on Tuesday announced its continued assistance to Sri Lanka and three other countries to prevent and combat corruption in these countries. State Department said the US govt has provided foreign assistance for anti-corruption efforts in Sri Lanka since 2016 to improve the functioning of the country’s legal system and civil society and to enhance good governance. more..

Chairman of the Oman State Council meets President & PM

Dec 6 (TNS) President Maithripala Sirisena received on Tuesday Dr. Yahya Al Mantheri, Chairman of the Oman State Council and his accompanying delegation in Colombo. Dr. Al Mantheri conveyed the greetings and wishes of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said to the president and his country’s people further progress and prosperity. In his turn, president Sirisena asked Dr. Al Mantheri to convey his greetings of good health and happiness to His Majesty the Sultan and more..

Ukraine and Sri Lanka are to ratify on Criminal Matters and Sentence persons

Dec 6 (GDI) Ambassador for Ukraine to SL, resident in New Delhi, Igor Polika, and Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of SL Prasad Kariyawasam exchanged Instruments of Ratification of the Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters and the Treaty on Transfer of Sentenced Persons this morning at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Colombo. These two treaties that will strengthen legal and judicial cooperation in criminal matters and transfer of more..

Dhananjaya, Roshen deny India 2-0

Dec 6 (CI) If their two most experienced batsmen led Sri Lanka's first-innings fight, their fifth-day heroes were two newer faces. Dhananjaya de Silva scored his third hundred in only his 11th Test, and Roshen Silva made an unbeaten 74 on debut, their efforts leading Sri Lanka to a fighting draw at the Feroz Shah Kotla. It was a heartening result, given that Sri Lanka came here right after suffering their worst-ever defeat more..

Their request drew no positive response

Dec 6 (DM) Three leading civil society activists who played a prominent role in the people’s movement for social justice largely responsible for ushering in yahapalanaya called on Number One the other day. The trio explaining their mission appealed to Number One not to take a drastic step following the unveiling of the report of the Treasury Bond Commission which, they pointed out, could lead to the fall of the yahapalanaya govt. “Despite all shortcomings bedeviling yahapalanaya, more..

AG to table progress report of Welikada unrest

Dec 6 (NR) The Court of Appeal today ordered the Attorney General to inform Court of the progress of investigations pertaining to the unrest at the Welikada Prison that resulted in the death of 27 inmates on the 13th of December 2012. The order was issued by Chairman of the Appeals Court LTB Dehideniya. The officers representing the CID said investigations are being conducted stringently. Accordingly the Court of Appeal ordered a report on the progress next Wednesday. more..

Govt takes short term measures to reduce cost of living

Dec 6 (AD) The Cabinet of Ministers has decided to import rice and coconut to supply local consumers at reasonable prices, in order to prevent price increase of essential food items and maintain the fair level of cost of living. The prices of essential food items have been increased due to bad weather prevailed in the country and it was decided to take several measures to provide ample supply of essential food items to market. more..

NARA to investigate sea snake phenomenon

Dec 6 (DN) Minister Mahinda Amaraweera has instructed the NARA to perform laboratory tests on sea snakes caught in fishing nets in Batticaloa on Monday morning and submit a full report in this regard. Considering the spreading rumours that this phenomenon is a warning sign of a tsunami, Minister instructed the NARA scientists to investigate and clarify the reasons behind it. Minister said a large number of sea snakes had been caught in the wake of the tsunami in 2004. more..

Rs. 32.1 million road project launched

Dec 6 (DN) A road construction project to develop a 3 km road in the Ratnapura district at a cost of Rs. 32.1 million was launched by Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne recently. Project will be carried out in two phases. National Policies and Economic Affairs Ministry will fund the project. Addressing the gathering after launching the project, Minister stated that a lot of efforts had been made in the past to construct the road but it did not become a reality due to various reasons. more..

Construction begins for Asia’s biggest kidney hospital

Dec 6 (PMD) Maithripala Sirisena today laid the foundation stone for the National Nephrology Specialized Hospital in Polonnaruwa, gifted by China to be constructed at a cost of Rs.12,000 million. The hospital which fulfills the President’s long term dream to serve the people who suffer from kidney diseases is the Asia’s biggest kidney hospital. This will be built at 28th Post, closed to Polonnaruwa General Hospital. more..

Corruption case against former SLPA Chairman fixed for further trial

Dec 6 (DN) A corruption case filed against former Sri Lanka Port Authority (SLPA) Chairman Priyath Bandu Wickrama and two others for allegedly causing a Rs.65 million unlawful loss to the govt by employing 319 employees of the SLPA for election work during the 2015-January Presidential Election was yesterday fixed for further trial by Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court. When the matter came up before Magistrate Aruni Atygala, third accused was not present in court more..

Ensure free and fair poll: President

Dec 6 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday said that all parties should be committed to ensure a free and fair election without resorting to character assassinations and violence. He also stressed the importance of the UPFA fielding candidates with a clean record of conduct and those who have a correct political vision to contest the upcoming election. President added that victory at the election depends on the candidates and they should have a clean record. more..

Tax on foreign commercials increased

Dec 6 (DM) Cabinet on Tuesday sharply increased the tax on films, tele-dramas and TV commercials produced in a foreign country and telecast by local TV stations. Accordingly, a tele-drama or a film dubbed in Sinhala or Tamil will have to pay Rs. 150,000 per first 4 slots with 30 minutes duration or less per day. This is an increase of Rs. 160,000 per slot from earlier tax of Rs. 90,000 per slot. more..

Cabinet approves signing of share ownership agreement on Hambantota Port

Dec 6 (AD) Sri Lanka’s Cabinet of Ministers have approved the signing of an agreement of share ownership before commencing operations in the Hambanthota Port. On July 29, the amended agreement to expand and develop the Hambantota Port under a public-private partnership was signed between the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) and China Merchant Port Holdings (SM Port), Hambantota Int'l Port Group (HIPG) and Hambantota Int'l Port Services (HIPS). more..

Securities Exchange Bill presented to Parliament

Dec 6 (AD) Bill to establish the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and to repeal the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka Act, No. 36 of 1987, was presented to the Parliament today. The Bill was presented by Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka. SEC will regulate market institutions, public offers of securities, market intermediaries; to deal with market misconduct; and to meet the challenges encountered by securities markets in an effective and efficient manner. more..

Video: Padeniya’s request for acquittal rejected

Dec 6 (AD) Court of Appeal rejected GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya’s request to free him from contempt of court charges. The decision was made by a judge bench comprising Chairman of the Appeal Court L.T.B. Dehideniya and Judge Shiran Gunaratne. The case was filed by civil society activists Prof. Sarath Wijesuriya and Gamini Viyangoda accusing the Dr. Padeniya of contempt of court for criticizing more..

Azath Salley to be SLFP’s Colombo mayoral candidate?

Dec 6 (AD) Leader of the National Unity Alliance (NUA) Azath Salley is reportedly being considered as the SLFP’s mayoral candidate for the Colombo Municipal Council. When inquired by Ada Derana regarding these reports, Salley confirmed that the President had made a request from him regarding the matter, however revealed that the SLFP is yet to take a decision. He stated that the central committee of the SLFP is likely to reach a decision at its next meeting. more..

Delimitation Process: Public response poor

Dec 6 (CT) The public response to the delimitation process is very poor, claims Chairman of Presidential Committee for Delimitation K. Thavalingam. He added that the committee was requested by the Minister for Provincial Councils and Local Govt to extend the closing date, for submission of proposals. He added that the closing date for submissions was 2 November. Prior to the closing date the committee received only about 250 submissions. more..

'Challenge for me now is to earn ODI recall'

Dec 6 (CB) On Monday, skipper Dinesh Chandimal produced a master class becoming the quickest Sri Lankan to score ten Test hundreds. On Tuesday, he produced his career-best score - an outstanding 164 that was eight minutes short of an eight-hour battle. On Wednesday, he will have to raise his game again in trying to save the Delhi Test against world's number one ranked team. Chandimal has been SL's best batsman more..