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Rs 300 million Indian grant to construct 3000 rain water harvesting systems

Jan 13 (HCI) India and SL today signed an MoU to construct 3000 rain water harvesting systems at a cost of SLR 300 million in Jaffna District. MoU was signed by Arindam Bagchi, Acting High Commissioner of India and V. Sivagnanasothy, Secretary, Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation in the presence of Minister A.H.M. Fowzie. Project envisages construction of 3000 rainwater harvesting systems for 3000 households in selected divisions of Jaffna District. more..

Sun Sea voyage was a humanitarian service to Tamil migrants: defence

Jan 13 (G&M) Defence lawyers made their final pitch to the jury at a human-smuggling trial Thursday, arguing their clients provided humanitarian assistance to SL Tamils fleeing persecution in a country ravaged by civil war, challenging the Crown’s view that the accused illegally organized the MV Sun Sea’s arrival in Canada. Kunarobinson Christhurajah, Lesly Emmanuel, Nadarajah Mahendran and more..

Lottery sellers to protest again

Jan 13 (CT) The All Ceylon Lottery Marketing Representatives Association said that, according to the agreements reached at the discussion with President Sirisena on 2 January, regarding the problems faced by Lottery Marketing Representatives and Vendors, if no solution is forthcoming, all Lottery representatives and vendors will boycott selling of lottery tickets from 18 January. The General Secretary of the Association, B.H.S. Madarasinghe, said that more..

Thai Pongal Message from Leader of Opp.

Jan 13 (DN) Opposition Leader and TNA MP R. Sampanthan, in his message for Thai Pongal that falls tomorrow said he wished a reasonable, lasting political solution to the unresolved national question through the new constitution. The full message is reproduced below: ‘I extend Thai Pongal wishes to the Tamil people living in Sri Lanka and Overseas. Thai Pongal Day, which is known as the harvest festival of the farmers, is celebrated by the Tamils all over the world with much gratitude to more..

Video: 'UNP tactfully delaying LG polls'

Jan 13 (DM) CaFFE Executive Director Keerthi Tennakoon said today the UNP was purposely delaying the Local Govt elections by its representative not signing the delimitation committee report. He said the UNP was adopting this strategy either because it was scared of facing the elections or was not confident enough to do so. Mr. Tennakoon said the LG elections had been delayed by more than one and half years for the first time in SL. more..

Meters mandatory for three-wheelers

Jan 13 (AD) A Gazette notification has been issued with several new regulations concerning three-wheelers including mandatory taxi meters for three-wheelers transporting passengers and issuance of a receipt to clients. Regulations made by the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation under Section 237 of the Motor Traffic Act, cited as the Motor Traffic Regulations, No. 01 of 2017: “Every owner of a motor tricycle who uses such motor tricycle for the purpose of transportation of persons or goods more..

Ranil replies to Mahinda on GSP+

Jan 13 (DM) Contradicting former president Rajapaksa who said that SL would have been better without GSP+ facility, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said that it would help the country to capture a market with a population of 500 million. He said SL had earned US$ 2,500 million from the export of apparel in 2003. "SL lost GSP Plus in 2015 and it had earned US$ 4,800 million in 2015. However, Bangladesh, which enjoyed GSP+ all along, had earned US$ 26,000 million in the same year. more..

'SL meets IMF budget deficit target for 2017'

Jan 13 (EN) Sri Lanka has met the key budget deficit target for 2016 under an agreement with IMF with revenues also slightly higher than targeted, Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. Provisional budget data show that the overall deficit is also better than numbers originally presented to parliament in a budget for 2016. SL has posted a primary deficit of Rs84 billion by Dec 2016, better than Rs97 billion listed in an IMF programme. more..

Highland farmers advised to light bonfires

Jan 13 (EN) Sri Lanka's highland farmers have been advised to light small bonfires in vegetable fields to reduce frost damage to crops, which have been experiencing exceptionally cold weather and frost. Sri Lanka's mountainous Nuwara Eliya district is an important centre for vegetable cultivation. Sri Lanka's Department of Agriculture, in a weather update, said farmers should engage in evening irrigation to make the soil wet, especially on days that are cloud free. more..

Drunken cop knocks down Mother and son

Jan 13 (CT) A 63-year-old woman lost her life and her 21-year-old son was seriously injured yesterday (11) when a drunken Policeman drove a three-wheeler into them, in the vicinity of the Sri Sanarama Temple at Ellagama. Initial investigations revealed that the Policeman had attended a party where he had consumed liquor. He was arrested by the Kiriella Police and as he too had sustained injuries, he was warded at the Kiriella Hospital, under Police guard. The injured youth had been admitted more..

'Drought expected: Use power and water carefully'

Jan 13 (DN) There will be a lack of rain fall leading to a severe a drought during the coming 3 months and the public is asked to use water and electricity carefully, Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said. He said the country had not received rainfall expected last year and the heavy rains in May and November were not enough to fill the total water requirement of the year - A 3-month rainless season can be expected more..

Sampanthan gets Ratnasiri’s official residence

Jan 13 (CT) One-and-a-half-years after being appointed the Leader of the Opposition, R. Sampanthan will receive his official residence. The official residence that had been occupied by former PM Ratnasiri Wickremanayake will be handed over to Sampanthan in the next two days, according to Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara. He said that this house is being provided to the Opposition Leader by the Ministry of Public Administration, on the instructions of President, PM & Speaker. more..

Fiji appoints former Sri Lankan judge as Resident Magistrate

Jan 13 (FT) Former Sri Lankan district judge Geethani Wijesinghe Widanelage was sworn in today as Fiji's new Resident Magistrate by President Jioji Konrote. Magistrate Widanelage took her oath at the State House in the presence of Chief Justice Anthony Gates and Chief Magistrate Usaia Ratuvili. A Govt statement issued this afternoon stated Ms Widanelage started her career as a Junior Attorney-at-Law at Corporate Chambers of Mr Kalinga Indatissa in 1999. more..

Supreme Court will decide fate of China-funded Hambantota port

Jan 13 (ENS) A Supreme Court case filed by Joint Opposition MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara, challenging the way in which the govt decided to give 80% stake in Hambantata port to a Chinese company for 99 years, will decide the fate of the controversial and politically explosive deal with geopolitical implications. The case is coming for hearing on Friday.  Explaining his objections to the deal, veteran leftist leader said that more..

Thirupathi comes to Colombo

Jan 14 (CT) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu was the guest of honour at the celebration to mark the completion of the National Unity Govt's second year in office in Colombo last week. It was a week before the arrival of Naidu in Colombo PM Ranil Wickremesinghe visited one of the foremost Hindu shrines Thirupathi in India which is located in the State of Andhra Pradesh. Hindu God Krishna is worshipped in another name as Venkateshvara more..

Delhi’s apathy stalls Tamil settlement in SL

Jan 14 (DN) The regime change in SL exactly two years ago – ouster of incumbent President Rajapaksa and his replacement by Maithripala Sirisena (as president) and Ranil Wickremesinghe (as PM) – was cause celebre for Delhi, dripping with triumphalism that a pro-Chinese govt was overthrown through democratic methods. But as Sirisena celebrates two years in power, Delhi cannot but feel embarrassed. ETCA couldn’t be negotiated by end-2016 as expected. more..

Constitutional reforms: TPA posits second chamber in Parliament

Jan 14 (DN) As the drafting of the new Constitution remains a priority of the govt in 2017, Minister Mano Ganesan said four parties: TPA, SLMC, ACMC & EPDP too have come with their own draft proposals to be discussed. He has insisted that the currently proposed mixed system be done away with and replaced with a fairer system for minor parties. They are trying to take away one-man dictatorship and replace it with a 2 party dictatorship" more..

Conceptualize, strategize & rationalize ministerial portfolios

Jan 14 (CT) Another cabinet reshuffle is in the offing, so said a news item in one of the dailies. Like always many portfolios will be up for grabs. A good portion predictably would go to placate coalition partners. Few to comrades connected via respect and reciprocity. For sure there will be a portion reserved for that inimitable bunch of vocal protagonists ever ready to brandish their rapiers to preserve and protect the coalition. Amongst them deal makers and those that lost the election more..

Bitter truth of crossovers

Jan 14 (CT) LSSP has its own history. Its political history surpasses all the other political parties in the country. There was the CNC led by Sir Baron Jayatilaka and later when the White rulers packed him off to India as High Commissioner, he was followed by D.S. Senanayake who later became the first PM of Ceylon. The CNC later became the UNP. The only opposition party from the State Council days was the LSSP. The party had two members representing Avissawella and Ruwanwella. more..

Literary Galle

Jan 14 (DN) The enigmatic and mysterious writer and white tea producer Malinga Herman Gunaratne, hailing from the South, has been a huge fan of the festival since its inception by Festival Founder Geoffrey Dobbs in 2007. He has from his childhood been a lover of books, poetry and theatre and, like anyone with a passion for knowledge and intrigue, he will be attending the Island’s most exciting festival today and more..

All the problems with this govt

Jan 14 (DM) Parliament commenced this year after vacation with a bill presented by PM Wickremesinghe to centralise developments sustainably.  Titled Sri Lanka Sustainable Development bill, it provides for the establishment of a Sustainable Development Council (SDC). As reported, it provides for the formulation of A national policy and strategy on sustainable development that would be valid for a period of 15 years. Bill also requires SDC to “have a legal framework more..

Foreign judges: Sri Lanka’s dilemma

Jan 14 (DM) The question about the involvement of foreign judges in the mechanism to investigate the allegations of Human Rights violations during the last phase of the war between the security forces and the LTTE has come to the fore again.   After a few stories about the comments by politicians in the media, the issue made headlines when the Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms handed over its report to former President and the Chairperson of more..


Two years of good governance: Dilemmas and disillusion

Jan 14 (CT) President and PM and the nation celebrated the second anniversary of the establishment of the change that was popularly known as Yahapalana regime on Jan 8th. It is now in the cross roads with disappointments and mounting criticisms. The once vocal supporters and the opponents (obviously with vested interests) allege; Lack of leadership and direction, Mixed and confusing signals emanating from the members of the unity govt, Lack or stalled process of more..

Four cornered battle for top post at FFSL

Jan 14 (CT) There will be four cornered battle for the top post of Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL) as present president Anura de Silva, secretary general Balendra Antony, past president Ranjith Rodrigo and a new face from North Western Province set to contest for the election to be held on May 31st 2017 Ceylon Today reliably learns. When inquired about the development by Ceylon Today, president Anura de Silva said that this time it will be open for anyone to contest the elections. more..

Yahapalanaya in 2017: To be or not to be?

Jan 14 (FT) Every year on 8 January, a quiet gathering takes place at a grave inside the Borella cemetery. Words are spoken softly about a life lived in glorious irreverence, a man remembered for his courage and capacity to inspire. Flower tributes are paid at his tombstone inside the tree-lined cemetery; memory sketches are drawn of an irrepressible spirit, ringing laughter and sheer cheek. For eight years, since his murder in 2009, more..

Editorial: Lucky crooks!

Jan 14 (Island) Some prominent members of Rajapaksa Cabinet, blamed for the theft of public funds and various crooked deals, are currently ministers of yahapalana govt. Their corruption and ill-gotten wealth have not been probed. They have got the best of both worlds. Lucky crooks! CID, FCID and the anti-graft commission are pursuing only those who have banded themselves as the Joint Opposition (JO). Yahapalana ministers also hear cases against JO members at media more..

Bavuma, the mouse who needs to roar

Jan 14 (CI) Never mind the elephant in the room, there is a mouse in this one. Let's call him Temba Bavuma. SA's smallest player has managed to accumulate the least number of runs among the specialist batsmen and the lower-order allrounders in this series and so we have to have this discussion. Will he be the one to make way when AB de Villiers returns to fitness after elbow surgery? Let's look at the numbers side of it. You won't be surprised to hear they don't support Bavuma. more..

Thai Pongal celebrated as the foretoken of Good Luck and Prosperity

Jan 14 (DM) Thai Pongal is a thanksgiving ceremony celebrated by farmers in particular to thank the nature spirit, the sun and farm animals for bringing prosperity in agriculture with plentiful harvests. They venerate and thank the sun god and offer the first part of the produce in the form of cooked rice. The recipients of this thanksgiving are farm animals, including the cow, ox and the buffalo. Meanwhile, rice eaters are more..

Coconut: Past controversies health fears and future prospects

Jan 14 (Island) Having read the two interesting pieces on coconut by two medical specialists, one by Dr Asoka Dissanayake (Dr AD) a former Professor of Physiology and the other by Dr Upul Wijayawardana (Dr UW), a renowned cardiologist in The Island of 18th and 24th Dec 2016 respectively, I could not help but get into the fray! Like Dr AD I have been meddling in coconuts both as a farmer and as Chairman of the Coconut Research Board, in the latter post for some 10 years from 1994. more..

Sri Lanka’s policy decisions must seek to balance competing actors and interests

Jan 14 (LSE) Sri Lanka, though a small island state, lies at the tip of South Asian subcontinent and at the center of the Indian Ocean. In a vastly interconnected world, the sweeping effects of globalisation; China’s economic downturn; growing discontent and destabilisation in the West; and India’s enhanced involvement in the region as an emerging power, have all been major thrusts of global politics in 2016. SL remains at the centre of it all, enjoying great geostrategic importance, more..

Pradeep turns from subdued substitute to stern headmaster

Jan 14 (CI) If Nuwan Pradeep has ever had a word with a batsman, it is possible his voice did not carry to the other end of the pitch. Chances are, it has never happened anyway. Not only is Pradeep perhaps the most withdrawn man in int'l cricket (he has played 23 Tests, but how many times have you heard him speak?), he is also a sporadic presence in this XI, and so, rarely capable of building himself up to some professional confidence. more..

Time to blow whistles and cheer referees!

Jan 14 (NS) Referees in SL have received the proper recognition with the Society for Rugby Football Referees (SRFR) deciding to felicitate its members at a gala ceremony in Colombo. The rugby referees would have enjoyed coming under the spotlight at their first ever Colours Night by the time this article is read. Weekend Nation thought it would be appropriate to have a chit chat with SRFR President Nizam Jamaldeen about how this sports body has functioned during a 64-year period. more..

Beyond the beach

Jan 14 (G&M) The sun had not set so much as been swallowed by grey storm clouds one November evening in Galle Fort, along the southern coast of Sri Lanka. The packs of teens with selfie sticks, giddy newlyweds walking with intertwined fingers and dads with gigantic DSLR cameras had all been promised a spectacular sunset, and so they’d stationed themselves along the 16th-century wall, hoping the cloud cover would pass and they’d see the sky turn the colour of cotton candy and more..

SA make inroads after posting 426

Jan 14 (CI) At least one Sri Lankan enjoyed himself at the Wanderers. The third Test followed a largely predictable path as South Africa went about trying to secure a 3-0 series whitewash by following up a first-innings score of 426 with four top-order wickets before the close of the second day but Nuwan Pradeep's ferocious 4-wicket burst at least gave Sri Lanka something for their tour diary as the Wanderers lived up to its billing as more..

Football drifts into uncertain times again

Jan 14 (ST) Local football once again has entered tentative times with a plethora of ideas streaming in as the panacea for the present ills for this popular sport. Some veterans of the game has urged the Minister of Sports to replace the present administration of the Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL) and appoint an Interim Committee (IC) to take football out of its misery. FFSL’s Ranjith Rodrigo claimed that it’s not easy to walk the talk as some may claim. more..

Canned fish imports down by 16.2% in 2016

Jan 14 (CT) The import of canned fish to Sri Lanka has decreased by 16.2% in 2016. Import of canned fish to Sri Lanka in 2015 was 49,016 metric tons and in 2016 it was only 29,994 metric tons. Largest proportion of canned fish (84.2%) has been imported from China and the rest is from Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, Yemen, Seychelles, India and Maldives. In 2015, 1kg of the imported canned fish was priced at Rs 102 and the Special Commodity Levy was reduced by Rs 50 in January, more..

TNA, GTF endorse CTFRM recommendations

Jan 14 (Island) TNA and Global Tamil Forum (GTF) have called for full implementation of Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms (CTFRM) proposals made in accordance with Geneva Resolution 30/1, unanimously accepted in Oct 2015. Next Geneva sessions are scheduled for March, 2017. Both TNA andGTF pointed out that the 11-member CTFRM had been appointed by govt in Jan 2016 more..

Suhuru City Project to provide housing

Jan 14 (NR) Minister Champika Ranawaka says a Suhuru City Project will be launched to provide housing facilities to government employees and professionals. He said the project will be launched in the near future. The Minister said a programme is being carried out by the National Housing Development Authority to provide housing facilities to the poor. He said the govt hopes to introduce Suhuru Cities for professionals and employees attached to the govt. more..

BOC to divest Grand Oriental Hotel

Jan 14 (ST) Bank of Ceylon (BOC) is gearing to divest the Grand Oriental Hotel (GOH) in a move to augment its capital base. Sources said that BOC has completed an appraisal of the GOH building, which also comes under a heritage conservation project. “The next step is to take permission from the Ministry of Public Enterprises and then find a buyer,” a source said. These developments come on the back of BOC selling its stake in Mireka Capital Land Ltd which owns Havelock City more..