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PCs and Constitution making

Jan 6 (CT) With Constitution making now on the cards and PM and President being on the same wave length on this score (other than going for a twenty first Amendment (21A) to remedy any shortcomings in the present Constitution if any),a new Constitution may not only have to once more address the question of power-sharing, where all the noises made are seemingly in regard to such, but it may also have to address the question of cost rationalization in relation to power-sharing. more..

Over 300 flight attendants to storm in flight services due corruption at crew scheduling

Jan 6 (CT) A group of 300 plus Flight Attendants of SriLankan Airlines are scheduled to congregate at the premises of their In Flight Services office in Katunayake today, in protest of their flight schedule rosters being manipulated, plus to put an end to the notorious corruption enforced by the airline’s Crew Scheduling Department. Members of the Flight Attendants Union, especially all Flight Attendants more..

Nigerian national in court for allegedly cheating woman

Jan 6 (DN) A Nigerian national arrested by the Kollupitiya Police and produced before Fort Magistrate and Additional District Judge Lanka Jayaratne for cheating Rs 350,000 from a woman, was remanded yesterday till January 19. According to the Police, he had cheated the woman depicting that he was to arrange a Christmas gift parcel worth Sterling Pounds 3,500 from England. The suspect Shioho Iqboyic, who had been over staying his visa to the country, was hiding in Nugegoda. more..

Enjoining order against SLT union

Jan 6 (Island) Colombo District Judge issued an enjoining order restraining, till Jan 19, All Ceylon Telecommunication Employees Union, from causing damage to moveable and immovable property of Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) Limited. The Enjoining Order, also, restrained the trade unionists from exerting undue influence on non-strikers. SLT had filed an application for Interim Injunction, requesting the Court to restrain the Trade Unionists Unionists from causing undue influence on more..

Port workers protest over H'tota Port deal

Jan 6 (DM) A JVP-affiliated trade union attached to the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) had demonstrated against the plan to hand over a 80 per cent stake of the Hambantota Port to a Chinese company to operate. The Ceylon Ports General Employees Union (CPGEU) had staged their demonstration opposite the SLPA in Colombo, urging govt to reverse the decision taken in this regard. more..

US funded project: Parliament responds

Jan 6 (Island) Apropos main news item "USD 13 mn project in collaboration with Parliament- Private US company chosen for public sector reform here published on Jan 2, 2017 edition, Dhammika Dasanayake, Secretary General of Parliament has sent us the following statement in respect of the agreement signed by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya with Peter Roskam, Chairman of the House Democracy Partnership of the US House of Representatives on 14th Sept, 2016 in Washington DC: more..

Wele Suda’s mother arrested with heroin

Jan 6 (DM) 60-year-old mother of Samantha Kumara alias Wele Suda, who was sentenced to death for possessing heroin, was arrested by the Excise Department Officers on charges of possessing 10 grams of heroin in Wellawatte. They also arrested a 28-year-old male suspect said to be a son of a relative of the 60-year-old woman, who was identified as Rajagalgodage Malani. A packet of 10 grams of heroin was found in possession of the male suspect as well, they said. more..

JHU lashes out at Minister Faizer’s behaviour

Jan 6 (Island) The JHU claimed that the UNP was planning to hold the local govt elections under the old system due to the delay in getting a signature on the delimitation committee report. WPC member Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said that all members representing SLFP, TNA and JVP had signed the report, but the UNP nominee had still not placed his signature. JHU also condemned the behaviour of Minister Faizer Muthapha when more..

Court bans holding protests in Hambantota

Jan 6 (NR) Hambantota Magistrate’s Court has issued a restraining order against 27 parties from protesting adjacent to the Hambantota Port tomorrow. The restraining order has banned protests, demonstrations and meetings for the next 14 days. Police informed the Hambantota Magistrate’s Court that protests and unruly behaviour which will disrupt the peace surrounding the Hambantota court have been organized. Subsequently, an order to ban protests and more..

Fine motorists driving under the influence of drugs

Jan 6 (NR) Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association says a fine should be introduced against motorists travelling while under the influence of narcotics. Chairman of the Association Gemunu Wijeratne said a fine should be implemented that is equal or greater than the fine imposed on drunk drivers. Gemunu Wijeratne added a written request will be submitted to the Secretary of the Ministry of Transport calling for the inclusion of a regulation in this regard in the Motor Traffic Act. more..

Sri Lanka is to receive GSP+ concession next week: President

Jan 6 (PSL) President Sirisena says he has received information that Sri Lanka will receive the GSP + trade concession next week, marking a significant turning point in the industry and export fields of the country. He made these remarks participating in a ceremony to open the newly built bridge in Halloluwa, Dodanwala, Kandy, today. President further said that during the last two years the present govt was able to build friendship more..

Laugfs buys third LPG carrier vessel

Jan 6 (LBO) Laugfs Maritime Services has purchased its third Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) carrier vessel for US$ 2.875 million. The company said in a stock exchange filing that the vessel earlier named as Lady Martine will be renamed as Gas Courage under the SL flag. Laugfs Maritime Services is a fully owned subsidiary and the maritime arm of the Laugfs Gas PLC, which operates with BoI approval to carry out a business of sea cargo operation services. more..

51 TN fishermen released from SL prisons

Jan 6 (PTI) As many as 51 Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu, who were languishing in Sri Lankan prisons, were released today as per a decision taken at a high-level meeting between the two countries earlier this week. While 39 of the fishermen were produced before a court in Jaffna, the remaining 12 were produced before a court in Vavuniya, before being released. They were later handed over to the Indian Deputy High Commission at Jaffna, Rameswaram Fishermen's Association more..

Sri Lanka tourism hits record $3.5 bn in 2016

Jan 6 (AFP) Sri Lanka earned a record $3.5 billion from tourism in 2016, seven years after the end of a devastating civil war. But sources in the industry warned that the post-war boom could be short-lived as planned airport closures forced the cancellation of international flights. Tourism on the Indian Ocean island suffered heavily during a decades-long civil war that ended in 2009, but has been recovering in recent years. more..

Thalatha confident govt won’t fall

Jan 6 (Island) Minister Thalatha Athukorale said that the incumbent administration couldn’t be defeated till 2020 though certain elements dreamt of the fall of the unity govt. Addressing a political meeting in Nivithigala, Ratnapura, Minister said whether the unity govt contested the election scheduled for 2020 as a single party or as a coalition would be decided at that particular time. "This govt will never sell assets of the country contrary to claims being made by some parties." more..

President chairs the meeting on establishing Pandit Amaradewa Music Center

Jan 6 (PSL) As a response to the request made by Pandit Amaradewa before his demise, to establish music center for the future generation, President Maithripala Sirisena headed a discussion on the preliminary activities on that regard today (5) at the President’s Official Residence. President directed officials to work on the preliminary activities for the establishment of this music center before Pandit Amaradewa’s three months alms giving, as honor to him. They discussed about the possibility more..

Sasikala urges Centre, Sri Lanka to release fishermen, boats

Jan 6 (TOI) AIADMK general secretary V K Sasikala urged the Sri Lankan govt to release fishermen from Tamil Nadu languishing in prisons as a goodwill gesture in the Pongal festival season. She appealed to the NDA govt at the Centre to work towards this. A total of 61 fishermen and 116 boats remain in Lankan custody till date. AIADMK leader alleged that attacks on fishermen, a majority of them being poor, were a cruel act. more..

Man lights cigarette with twenty rupee note

Jan 6 (DM) A story is circulating in Kataragama about a devotee who had used a twenty rupee note to light his cigarette. According to Kataragama sales agent of Wijeya Newspapers, K.M Ariyasena, he had seen a person who had (after lunching on Jan 3rd at a nearby restaurant) come to his stall and bought a cigarette. He had then taken out a twenty rupee note from his pocket and lit it from a gas cooker nearby and then used it to light his cigarette. Then he had thrown away the burnt note. more..

Australian couple summoned to testify

Jan 6 (DN) Australian businessman Brian Shaddick and his wife were yesterday noticed to appear in Court by the Colombo High Court to testify in Court in connection with an indictment filed against PHU leader MP Udaya Gammanpila for allegedly misappropriating Rs. 20 million following his alleged fraudulent share transaction that took place in 2000. When the case came up before High Court Judge J.Gurusinghe, the case was fixed for and two witnesses Brian Shaddick and his wife more..

Unidentified person travelled in Thajudeen’s car: DSG

Jan 6 (DM) Deputy Solicitor General today told court today that investigations had revealed that an unidentified person had travelled in the back seat of Wasim Thajudeen's vehicle on the day he was found dead. Investigations are continuing to identify the fellow passenger. Colombo Additional Magistrate further remanded ex-DIG Anura Senanayake and ex-crimes OIC Sumith Perera till Jan 19. more..

Colombo-Kandy Highway to be named Sri Dalada Highway

Jan 6 (NR) Govt says Colombo–Kandy Highway will be named the Sri Dalada Highway. Minister Lakshman Kiriella said the good governance govt is the first govt to issue a local contractor the green light to construct a Highway. He said Initial work has commenced from Kadawatha to Mirigama. Further state Roads are being constricted specifically for the transportation of goods adding that the construction from Meerigama to Kurunegala has been handed over to local contractors. more..

Hambantota port sale beginning of govt privatisation drive

Jan 6 (Island) Dr. Lalithasiri Gunaruwan on Wednesday said the sale of the Hambantota Port to the Chinese was a forerunner to the divestiture of other strategic assets of the country and there had been no transparency at all in the particular deal though the govt had come to power promising good governance. The university don and former General Manager Railways said the govt had opted for 80-20 deal though another Chinese company had offered 65-35. more..

Trinco port to India followed by Hambantota to China: JVP

Jan 6 (LBO) JVP says the island nation will have to let India control the Trinco harbour as a result of giving Hambantota Port to China. Party leader Anura Dissanayake told a public gathering that Hambantota port deal is a part of the Chinese maritime silk road which ultimately deals with geopolitics. “Issue of Hambantota port is not merely its profit or loss,” he said, addressing a protest against Hambantota land acquisition. more..

Two Years After

Jan 7 (CT) Two years after the Jan 2015 General Elections – which I and some others hailed as a Revolution -there is widespread disillusionment about the present Govt. Apparently corruption continues at an unacceptable level, and things in general are more or less the same though with some improvements. Differences are of degree, not of kind, and it would seem therefore that it was over-sanguine to have talked of a Revolution. In my response I would focus on govt’s positive more..

Is regime-change alone the answer?

Jan 7 (CT) Soon we will celebrate the 2nd anniversary of our Peoples Revolution of 8th Jan 2015, one which this writer himself described as our third independence in its immediate aftermath; having played at least some minor role in overthrowing a manifestly despotic, fearfully oppressive and overtly nepotistic regime that was said to be insuperable at the time. Therefore it is prudent and our duty to look-back and critically evaluate what we have (or have not) secured more..

Court them or Lynch them?

Jan 7 (NS) They were like sitting ducks, two Indian university girls in a third class compartment of a night train running from Colombo to Batticaloa at around midnight. Neither the family nor the lone older man who occupied the compartment stepped forward to help the girls who were harassed by the eight hooligans at knife point. Luckily they were volunteer workers who knew someone who knew someone else who more..

SL foreign policy: Diaspora and lobbying

Jan 7 (FT) 7 December 2016 marked the 75th anniversary of the Pearl Harbour attack – a reminder of a history of imperialism and fascism, and how the world order moved toward bipolarity with the onset of the Cold War. Now, China and many other countries, some with nuclear weapons capabilities, are emerging as the new powers in a multipolar world.  According to Professor Amitav Acharya of the School of International Service, American University, “a multi-polar world includes more..

CTFRM’s final report and Mullaitivu Judge’s order

Jan 7 (CT) Mullaitivu District Judge M.S.M. Samsudeen has ordered the Sri Lanka Army to submit the complete list of names of the LTTE cadres who surrendered at the end of civil war in 2009 in Vanni. The Mullaitivu District Judge delivered the order on Wednesday to Major General S. Gunawardene who was present at Court when the habeas corpus cases filed by the family members of the surrendered LTTE cadres were taken up for hearing. more..

'Attempts to transform PCs into Provincial Govts'

Jan 7 (CT) Governor of the Southern Province Hemakumara Nanayakkara says people voted for the govt to protect the territorial integrity of the country and not to break it up. "People sacrificed their lives on behalf of the territorial integrity of the country. A group including the Chief Minister and the Opposition Leader of the Northern Province are trying to break up this unity". Q: Can you explain briefly responsibilities of Governor of a PC? more..

Editorial: Volkswagen and Hoaxwagen

Jan 7 (Island) People’s resentment towards govts in power finds expression in creative cynicism for want of a better alternative. Irate public coined a pithy slogan to vent their frustration under Rajapaksa regime— unta Lamborghini apita badagini (Lamborghinis for the ruling clan and pangs of hunger for us). They once described the situation under previous govt thus: manthrilata kaar, golayanta baar, janathavata soor (cars for MPs, liquor bars for their henchmen & intoxication more..

Will good governance deliver in 2017?

Jan 7 (SL) The public are of the opinion that the govt must strongly focus on the good governance policy in 2017. Speaking to The Sunday Leader, civil society members noted that road safety, and escalating food prices are also some of the areas the govt should strongly look at. They also pointed out that there is a low level of trust between certain elements of civil society and govt sectors. Sections of Sri Lanka’s civil society were closely associated with the political changes that happened more..


Sri Lanka arrive in Johannesburg to avoid whitewash

Jan 7 (Island) National cricket team will take wing to Johannesburg today (Saturday), morning to prepare for the third and final Test against South Africa at the Wanderers. The second Test here in Cape Town finished with a day to spare and the Sri Lankans will have six days to prepare for the challenge in the final game. The tourists are facing the prospect of a 3-0 whitewash, having suffered heavy defeats in the first two Tests. Sri Lanka’s batsmen have been so poor in the series that more..

More time for constitution, a sensible move

Jan 7 (NS) Parliamentary debate of the proposed constitution scheduled for this month has been postponed while more time is to be allocated for public consultations. Public Representations Committee on Constitutional Reforms is meeting student groups and more consultations are to be held with the civil society later. This appears to be a sensible move especially with the Joint Opposition’s threat to defeat the proposed constitution on grounds of alleged federalist tendencies. more..

The Day of the Pollswagen

Jan 7 (Island) Did I hear you mention about the Volkswagen Era? No, no, it is not Volkswagen – it is Pollswagen. I’ve never heard of that. Where is Pollswagen made? Here in Sri Lanka, beginning at Wayamba – you may even call it the Wayambawagen. Now tell me, is this a wholly new vehicle you are talking about? There is nothing new about it, it is part of the political wagon we are used to, but it has the special qualities of what is more..

Sri Lanka provokes

Jan 7 (TS) Needless provocation by SL ministers and their Indian counterparts' failure to rebut their misguided statements, quoting facts and figures, made the normally mild TN Chief Minister, O Panneerselvam, shoot off an angry letter to PM Narendra Modi urging the govt of India to register its disapproval in the strongest possible terms at the appropriate level. His outburst came on a day SL’s minister Mahinda Amaraweera, led his country’s delegation at the ministerial-level talks more..

The major challenges of 2017

Jan 7 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe found good cause in keeping with their New Year resolutions of service to the country with the launch of the Sustainable Era for Sri Lanka 2030 earlier this week. The President made this the occasion to a call for all to come together to work towards developing the country, stressing that among the immediate priorities, in addition to social and economic development was reconciliation. PM Wickremesinghe’s related message was more..

Average of 30 deaths per month: Lights and bells for unprotected level crossings

Jan 7 (SO) Installing bells and signal lights at 200 unprotected level crossings will commence this month according to contracts that have been signed. Railway Department has also called tenders to install gates for another 200 unprotected level crossings, and it has been forwarded to the tender board for approval. "Currently there are 670 unprotected level crossings across the country. Though we call it unprotected we have put more..

Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts arrives in Colombo

Jan 7 (FT) Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts President and CEO Olivier Chavy is in Sri Lanka to attend the inauguration ceremony of Mövenpick Hotel Colombo, which marks the entrance of the international hotel company in the country. The hotel will be officially inaugurated today by President Maithripala Sirisena. It will be the city’s first new international five-star property in 25 years – a milestone that reflects the country’s new-found energy and optimism. more..

Avishka Fernando leads U-19 team to SA

Jan 7 (CT) St. Sebastian's College captain and Colts SC batsman Avishka Fernando and Kamindu Mendis (Vice-Captain) of Richmond College have been named Sri Lanka U-19 captain and vice captain for the forthcoming tour of South Africa. 16-member squad is due to leave the island on 8 January for a month long tour. Avishka Fernando made his ODI debut for the senior team last year against Australia in Dambulla and played 'A' team cricket against West Indies 'A' afterwards. more..