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Hambantota port deal worst alternative: MR

Jan 10 (EN) Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa says a decision to sell 80% of Hambantota Port for 99 years to China Merchant Port Holdings was the worst among three options that had been available to the country. Sri Lanka is planning to sell an 80% stake of the entire port and related facilities to China Merchant Holdings for 99 years. Ex-President says no other royalties or throughput charges would be given to SL. more..

Kidnapping case: Hirunika no show

Jan 10 (AM) MP Hirunika Premachandra was absent for the hearing on the alleged abduction of a youth in Dematagoda in Dec 2015. Her lawyer produced a medical certificate saying that she was in hospital for vestibular gastritis. Incident occurred on Dec 21 when the youth was abducted by Premachandra's supporters. Youth was later released. He told police that Premachandra threatened him after his abduction. Nine people including Premachandra have been indicted over the incident. more..

President orders immediate steps to prevent abuse îf intellectual property rights

Jan 10 (PSL) President Sirisena has instructed the relevant officials to take immediate steps to correctly implement the existing laws to prevent thå abuse îf intellectual property rights as well as to implement new rules and regulations if the existing laws are not adequate. President gave these instructions at a discussion held today (9) at the Presidential Secretariat with a group of artistes and relevant officials. During the meeting, attention was drawn towards proper payment of royalty more..

Sri Lanka mulls airline, business class check in to ease airport congestion

Jan 10 (EN) SL is considering introducing a separate business class check-in and allowing passenger check-in at airline offices in Colombo to ease congestion caused by the partial closure of its int'l airport for repairs. “We are also looking at the possibility of reducing the 5-hour check-in time. I’m confident this can be reduced in the near future,” Minister John Amaratunga said. Initial congestion caused as a result of partial more..

National Integration and Reconciliation Week marked in Washington

Jan 10 (SLE) Based on a concept of President Maithripala Sirisena, for the first time, the week from January 8 -14 was declared the National Integration and Reconciliation Week by the Govt of Sri Lanka. To mark this initiative in Washington D.C., the staff of the Embassy of Sri Lanka commenced the workday on Monday taking a pledge to work towards national integration and reconciliation. After hoisting the National Flag and singing the National Anthem in both Sinhala and Tamil, more..

Sri Lankan actor Parakrama Niriella will open Bahuroopi on January 13

Jan 10 (TOI) Parakrama Niriella, senior theatre-person from Sri Lanka, will inaugurate Bahuroopi int'l theatre festival which will start on January 13. Earlier, veteran actor Om Puri was to inaugurate the six-day festival. His demise prompted Rangayana authorities to make the change. K A Dayananda, Kannada and culture department director and in-charge director of Rangayana, on Monday said 18 plays will be staged as part of Bahuroopi. Troupes from Poland, Bangladesh, UK & Sri Lanka more..

Video: ACPBA wants closure of SLTB

Jan 10 (DM) All Ceylon Private Bus Association (ACPBA) Secretary Anjana Priyanjith today requested the govt to terminate the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) service due to the colossal waste of tax money of the people per year. He said they have the ability to operate private bus service better than the SLTB by providing more facilities to commuters. “After closing the SLTB, the govt should take steps to acquire private buses to SLTB. more..

Behardien to lead in T20 as SA ring changes

Jan 10 (CI) Farhaan Behardien will captain a new-look South African T20 outfit in their series against Sri Lanka, which includes six new caps. The 13-man squad for the first two matches has only four members - Behardien, David Miller, Imran Tahir, Aaron Phangiso - who were part of South Africa's last T20 matches at the World T20 in March 2016. Kyle Abbott, Rilee Rossouw and David Wiese were not considered because both have recently signed Kolpak deals to play in county cricket more..

National project to convert State building into solar power generating hubs

Jan 10 (GDI) The inaugural ceremony of the national project to convert all State sector buildings into solar power generating centers within 2 years was held with the patronage of Minister Ravi Karunanayake at the Ministry of Finance yesterday (9). Project was launched following a proposal of Budget 2017.  Project will be implemented under the initiative of President’s Beginning of 3rd Year of a Sustainable Era, and PM’s concept to build a powerful SL under his Economic Policy Statement. more..

Video: Wilpattu deforestation allegations are outright lies: Rishad

Jan 10 (AD) Minister Rishad Bathiudeen says that the allegations leveled against him regarding deforestation in the Wilpattu National Park are outright lies. He said that when those areas were gazette as traditional lands of protected areas in 2012, these people were staying in IDP camps in Puttalam area and that when they back after 22 years, govt had already taken over those lands. Therefore the takeover of these lands more..

Welikada prison riots report in limbo: NMSJ

Jan 10 (CT) National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ) demanded that the govt release the last inquiry report on the alleged murder of convicts at the Welikada Prison during a prison riot that took place in 2012. Members of NMSJ called to all stakeholders in the Government, especially Minister of Justice Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, to release the 2015 report on the controversial Welikada prison riot. Member of the NMSJ, Saman Ratnapriya said that it has been long overdue since more..

14 districts stuck in poverty

Jan 10 (CT) Govt's anti-poverty war appears to be in vain, with 14 of the island's 25 districts (56%) stuck in poverty, at least in the last four months to Dec 2016, recent data showed. The poverty cut-off point was at Rs 4,130 per mensem last month, up from the Rs 4,089 per mensem in Nov 2016 and from Oct's (Rs 4,064) and Sept's (Rs 4,038) respectively, due to inflation. The Southern Districts of Galle (Rs 3,992), Matara (Rs 3,967), and Hambantota (Rs 3,804) continued to be mired in poverty, more..

Set up industries in H’tota, shift 15,000 acre park to Polonnaruwa: Namal

Jan 10 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday said in parliament that he was being blamed for attempting to serve not the people in Colombo who had voted for him, but the people at Hambantota who had never voted for him. PM said so responding to opposition MPs’ allegations that the govt had ordered attacks on protesters including Buddhist monks who agitated against what they termed the sale of the Mamgapura Port and more..

Drone journalism in Sri Lanka: Ethics, regulations and guidelines

Jan 10 (GDI) The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) more commonly referred to as drones for commercial and private use has grown exponentially recently, and especially as restrictions around airspace have been relaxed after the end of the war. Ministry is aware of footage taken by drones, by citizens as well as tourists visiting Sri Lanka, widely available across social media as online video platforms. We recognise that many events today in their promotional material or live coverage more..

Reconciliation hampered due to school seggregation: CBK

Jan 10 (NR) Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike says children being segregated in schools, is a hindrance to reconciliation in the country. She made these comments during the introduction of a project titled National unity and Reconciliation through Higher Education today. Issuing a statement, the office for National Unity and Reconciliation said issues related to reconciliation and social harmony still prevails in the country adding that more..

Fishermen issue: Indo-Lanka coast guards to set up hotline

Jan 10 (PTI) Aiming to address effectively the vexed issue of Tamil Nadu fishermen being arrested by Sri Lanka, Coast Guards of the two countries will set up a hotline for better coordination between the two martime security forces. The hotline will be both at the local and the headquarter level, sources said. Sri Lanka will be the second country after Pakistan to have hotline with the Indian Coast Guard. more..

Sirisena’s order to extend Wilpattu National Park: Is it to please racists?

Jan 11 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena’s order on 30 Dec 2016 to issue a gazette notification extending the land area coming under the Wilpattu National Park has shocked the Muslims who were trying to get back to their own lands to rebuild their shattered lives. They fear that this announcement include nearby villages such as Marichichukaddy, Karadikuli and Palaikkuli where Muslims lived for generations in their own lands with valid title deeds but were kicked out by LTTE . more..

Is the Bar responsible for perpetuating laws delays?

Jan 11 (CT) When I was invited by the OPA to deliver a lecture on Laws Delays, emphasizing on the Criminal Law, I reluctantly agreed as I felt that the seminars of symposiums have no effect in Sri Lanka except to make some noise and eat some refreshments and if it is a five star hotel, participate at the cocktails. Laws Delays and remedies if any, are forgotten or thrown into the dustbin. This happens in every sphere where seminars and symposiums are held for edification of more..

Political wisdom or hypocrisy that worked well within the last 2 years of the govt

Jan 11 (FT) At the time the Govt was about to celebrate its completion of the two years in office announcing the conversion of the loss making Hambantota Port into a joint venture project that would bring an equity of $ 1.1 billion with an additional $ 600 million for it be made operational with required equipment for the Port handling and an economic zone covering over 10,000 acres of land the opposition was making hue & cry saying more..

Singer exceeds Rs. 1 bn in Huawei smartphone sales in December

Jan 11 (Island) Huawei announced that Singer SL, exclusive national distributor for Huawei smartphones, has successfully surpassed Rs. 1 bn Huawei smartphone sales generated solely in the month of Dec 2016. As a trusted, state-of-the-art brand amongst the general public, Huawei together with Singer enhanced their sales through the introduction of a number of brand new, innovative smartphones and tablet devices supported by several aggressive marketing initiatives. more..

The Curse of the Obstinate Patriarch

Jan 11 (GV) Today marks the second anniversary of the victory of Maithripala Sirisena as the President of Sri Lanka at the 8th January 2015 SL Presidential Election.  And the second anniversary of the 17th August 2015 Parliamentary Election is merely seven months away.  In the shadow of these two anniversaries, I thought of reflecting on what they mean to me in the context of what has happened, and more importantly what has not happened in the interceding two years.   more..

Meting out step motherly treatment

JanJan 11 (CT) Bishop of Batticaloa Rt. Rev. Dr. Joseph Ponniah said Batticaloa District and Eastern Province is given step-motherly treatment compared to Northern Province. "Diaspora community is concentrating more towards the North and their assistance is more to the people of the North, and there is no assistance to the people of the East. Most of the kith and kin of Diaspora community are from the North, more..

Remembering Lasantha, eight years on

Jan 11 (GV) Way back in 2007, when I was assigned one of the biggest investigative stories I were to ever undertake, our editor Lasantha Wickrematunge sent me a text message with a smiley: Make your MIG story bigger than Hiroshima, it read.  Hiroshima it was, as a story, explosive in ways unimagined. It is a privilege to share my perspectives with you today, on Lasantha the editor (who effortlessly groomed his diverse team), Lasantha’s true legacy as I see it, more..

Washington’s LTTE dilemma

Jan 11 (DN) United States was disappointed by its failure to salvage the leadership of Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger secessionist movement to relocate elsewhere as a foreign policy strategy and to use it as a pressure group to influence changes in Sri Lanka because of its total annihilation by the military. Tamil Tigers’ Debt to America, an insider account authored by Daya Gamage who served at the US Department of State, documents the similarities of Tamil Tiger objectives and postwar trajectory of diaspora more..

Anura Disanayake

Foreign participation in war crimes probe reiterated

Jan 11 (Island) Having repeatedly assured the country that the change of govt, in Jan, 2015, had ended the likelihood of foreign participation in proposed war crimes inquiry, the yahapalana govt struggled to cope up with a report released by its own outfit, headed by attorney-at-law, Mrs Manouri Muttetuwegama. Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms (CTFRM) called for full participation of foreign judges, and other personnel, including defence lawyers, more..

Editorial: Food for thought

Jan 11 (Island) Even those who did not adore the late TN Chief Minister Jayaram Jayalalithaa may agree that some of her political programmes stood the poor in good stead. She set up 657 eateries to serve decent food at nominal prices, according to a report we published yesterday. She may not have wanted to give away food owing to social stigma associated with free victuals. These eating places popularly known as Amma canteens are said to be fully functional even after her death. more..

De Silva sees opportunity in face of adversity

Jan 11 (CI) There is something quietly magnetic about Dhananjaya de Silva, and here I am not referring to those velvet legside flicks, or the sleepy six to get his first Test runs, though all of that help. There is an understated confidence about him - the way he slouches at the crease, the lateness of his strokes against even screaming pace, the simplicity of his defence. This is not a man easily ruffled, you think. more..

PickMe revolutionizing transportation in SL

Jan 11 (DM) There was always the tuks and then came the metered taxis, which made life a lot easier for those depending on them for transport as it finally meant a standard fee was charged. Then we were hit with PickMe, a service we cannot seem to live without, much due to the level of convenience it offers. Before PickMe came to being, the concept of getting a taxi to your doorstep was available and all it took was a call and an approximate 30 minutes of waiting time. more..

Isuru Udana returns to Sri Lanka T20 Squad

Jan 11 (CI) Nine players will take flight to South Africa to play in the upcoming three T20s which will feature medium pace bowler Isuru Udana, who will return to the team after a lapse of one year. As revealed by Ceylon Today yesterday, uncapped player Thikshila de Silva will be a surprise inclusion in the team, which will also feature Asela Gunarathne, Seekkuge Prasanna, Sachith Pathirana, Lakshan Sandakan, Niroshan Dickwella, Danushka Gunathilaka & Nuwan Kulasekara. more..

Harsha emphasises need for a wise foreign policy in region

Jan 11 (AD) Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva stated that Sri Lanka supports the One Belt-One Road economic initiative in line with its historical role played in the Maritime Silk Route, which will consolidate the country’s position to become the Hub of the Indian Ocean while further integrating it with the Asian markets. He was addressing the Public Forum The Indian Ocean organised by National Uni of Singapore. more..

Inoka to lead Sri Lanka Women’s team in world cup qualifying tournament

Jan 11 (DN) Inoka Ranaweera has been picked to lead the Sri Lanka Women’s team which will take part in the women’s world cup qualifying tournament to be held in SL next month. SL Women’s squad of 14 players was picked by the selection committee headed by Vinodhan John. The tournament which starts on Feb 7 in Colombo is the first to be held in SL. Ten countries including SL are taking part with the first four countries qualifying for the women’s world cup to be held in England in June 2017. more..

SLBA to pay players

Jan 11 (CT) Sri Lanka Badminton Association (SLBA) has decided to repay part of the tour expenses of the players who represented the country at the World Junior Badminton Championships concluded on 12 November at Bilbao in Spain. Rs. 150,000 from the balance of approximately Rs. 400,000 will be handed over to the players today at SLBA Headquarters Reid Avenue. The 19 players (ten boys and nine girls) will share this amount, and SLBA will hand over more..

Rubber can raise US$ 5 bn soon: Minister

Jan 11 (DN) Rubber and rubber value addition will result in foreign exchange earnings of about US$ 5 billion in the short run said Minister Navin Dissanayake. However, such influences being unavoidable, he indicated that Rubber and rubber value addition will result in foreign exchange earnings of about US$ 5b in the short run. Expert feedback has indicated that oil prices will continue dominance of rubber price structures. more..

EU & FAO build tank ecosystem in Podiwewa

Jan 11 (FT) The environs of the Podiwewa, a minor irrigation tank in Monaragala, was a hive of activity recently as the villagers from Thimbirigas-ara in Buttala came together with a single intention in mind. The villagers, both young and old joined the Monaragala District Secretary D.S. Pathmakulasooriya and officials from Department of Agrarian Development to plant saplings around the Podiwewa in a bid to develop the tank ecosystem.  Podiwewa is intertwined with the lives of more..

Former NOC president Roy de Silva dead

Jan 11 (CT) Roy de Silva, a household name in Hockey and the National Olympic Council, passed away on Monday and his funeral will take place today at 6.30 p.m. at the Mahayana General Cemetery over here in Kandy. He served the NOC for 14 long years from 1983 to 1997. He made the country proud by being the acting President of the Olympic Council of Asia when the then President of the Council, Sheikh Al Fahd Al Abah, was killed on the first day of the Kuwaiti invasion. more..

Wife of slain MP Raviraj appeals

Jan 11 (FT) Wife of slain MP Nadarajah Raviraj filed a case in the Court of Appeal against the ruling of Colombo High Court in her husband’s murder case. Appellant Sasikala Raviraj seeks Court of Appeal to set aside HC’s acquittal of the accused. She filed her appeal on the questions of law lamenting that High Court judge has directed that the trial be by a special jury including in respect of charges relating to PTA and the Judge’s charge to the jury. more..

Afghanistan seek full membership from ICC

Jan 11 (PTI) Afghanistan Cricket Board is keen to get Full Member status from ICC in February. Afghanistan officials are preparing a comprehensive report to satisfy the criteria. ICC’s guideline criteria for Full Membership states: “A country must play regular first-class cricket (domestic 3-4 day competition) before playing Test cricket. Number of teams and players - sufficiently large pool of players to draw from capable of performing at the highest level of the game.” more..

Expressway development will lead to large-scale economic growth

Jan 11 (DN) Nihal Sooriyarachchi has been Chairman of the RDA for 13 months, and he is overseeing the ongoing Central Expressway project. While some claim that the project is taking too long and becoming too expensive, he argued that the highway is progressing on schedule in a cost-effective manner. He is also confident that continued expressway development will lead to large-scale economic growth for Sri Lanka while also relieving traffic in major metropolitan areas. more..

Country must be protected from new forms of colonisation: President

Jan 11 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena vowed to protect the country in the face of modern avatars of foreign colonisation as the country commemorated 199 years since the Uva-Wellassa Freedom Struggle yesterday. The Uva Wellassa battle was termed as a rebellion with those taking part in it termed as traitors by the British. On Jan 10, 1818, Keppetipola Disawe & 18 others were declared traitors of the struggle. more..