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Yahapaalanaya Lapses: Is Mahinda the option for Muslims?

Jan 20 (GV) Former Minister, Speaker and National List nominee MP A H M Azwer along with a few other Mahinda loyalists claim that Yahapaalanaya under President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has betrayed minorities, especially the Muslim community. I have no reason to disagree and fully subscribe to their opinion, but I also totally disagree with their proposal that the former President Rajapaksa is the better option for the Muslims. more..

Why China is invested in Sri Lanka

Jan 20 (Strafor) Despite its small size, Sri Lanka holds substantial strategic value by virtue of its geographic position: It is at the center of Asia's busiest maritime routes and has a wealth of natural deep harbors. Over the years, the country has attracted the interest of nearby India, which intervened periodically in Sri Lanka's civil war, brokering a peace deal in 1987 and dispatching troops to enforce it. But the civil war also afforded India's regional competitor, China, more..

SL Tamils call for restoration of Jallikattu

Jan 20 (ENS) Though there is no Jallikattu tradition in SL Tamil villages, Tamils of the island nation have enthusiastically joined the Jallikattu restoration movement now going on in Tamil Nadu by organizing demonstrations in support of it. On Wednesday, a demonstration was held by Junior Rotarians opposite Nallur temple in Jaffna. A call has been given to attend a similar demonstration in Chavakachcheri on Saturday. more..

High posts committee to examine A.S.P Liyanage’s nomination

Jan 20 (DM) The high posts committee in Parliament has decided to examine the nomination of businessman A.S.P. Liyanage as the Sri Lankan Ambassador to Qatar, committee notified. Committee will also examine the nominations of Mahinda Madihehewa as Chairman of ETF, Indrani Sugathadasa as the Chairperson of Insurance Board and the nomination of Y.L.S. Hameed as Chairman of Lanka Leyland. Representations on the nominations will be entertained till Feb 1. more..

Yahapalana govt needs to campaign harder for reconciliation

Jan 20 (Island) There is growing skepticism both locally and internationally about the govt’s commitment to deliver on the promises regarding the reconciliation process that it made during the last elections.  These concerns have surfaced with the initial governmental response to the report of the Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms appointed by the PM.  Some govt members have publicly criticized the report. Task Force report is one that is victim-centered more..

SLC top brass back Angelo

Jan 20 (Island) Sri Lanka Cricket President Thilanga Sumathipala and Chairman of Selectors Sanath Jayasuriya said that they are backing national captain Angelo Mathews to the hilt squashing rumours that the 29-year-old was facing the axe after the national cricket team was whitewashed 3-0 by South Africa. SLC’s hierarchy – Sumathipala, Jayasuriya and Cricket Committee Chief Aravinda de Silva – had more..

FCID goes to Medamulana once again

Jan 20 (DM) FCID officers today visited the premises in Medamulana Weeraketiya and conducted investigations at the D.A. Rajapaksa museum located in between the tombs of late D.A. Rajapaksa and his wife. Investigations were being conducted on the allegations of misappropriation of public money for the construction of the D.A. Rajapaksa Museum. Southern Provincial valuations officers were called to the site to investigate and prepare the final valuation report. more..

Will continue to support govt: Rathana Thera

Jan 20 (DM) Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera said he would continue to support the govt even though he decided to function as an independent MP. The Thera said he would engage in programmes including drug prevention and creating a toxin-free country while making constructive criticism on some matters. “I will support and work for the govt. I will only make constructive criticism on some matters,” Thera said. Thera recently declared that he would function independently in Parliament. more..

PeaceAirways at war over SriLankan deal

Jan 20 (FT) In an unprecedented move, PeaceAirways, one of the bidders shortlisted for a 49% stake in SriLankan Airlines, went public with its proposal, alleging moves within the Govt to hide the bid. In a bizarre media briefing where he claimed that he had a bad feeling about the bidding process which prompted him to go public, PeaceAirways Chairman Gamini Wethasinghe also stated that bidding process had not allowed more..

'We picked the best squad for the Test series'

Jan 20 (DN) Chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya said that it was not a surprise that the Sri Lankan team lost to South Africa playing on their fast pitches. “We had included a bunch of young cricketers to South Africa, thinking about the future of the national team. They need time to mould. So we have to accept the loss. We have just begun,” said Jayasuriya during a press briefing at the SLC yesterday. “As the Sri Lanka team is full of young blood, it is not a surprise that they faced a setback in South Africa. more..

Mathews ready to leave captaincy

Jan 20 (CT) Along with the growing speculations with SLC considering splitting the captaincy for all three formats, Angelo Mathews said he is ready to step down from the captaincy if SLC asked him to do so but won't leave the captaincy from the losing pressure when the team needed him most. "Captaincy is not permanent, what matters is I give my 100% for the team as player both in batting and bowling. "Titles are temporary, If SLC feels I should step down I will and contribute to the team more..

Unhealthy foreign policy deprived former govt of GSP+: Minister

Jan 20 (DN) The previous govt could not obtain international support due to its unhealthy foreign policy, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said. He said that it was deprived of the GSP plus facility in 2010 due to the same reason and this govt could obtain it as the govt has been able to convince the international community that the country has a political willingness for reconciliation. He also said that reluctance of previous leader to listen to more..

For these Sri Lankan refugees hope still remains a mirage

Jan 20 (TOI) A jail moves with a refugee wherever he goes. Even though a lot has been talked about the Tamils who started migrating to India after the genocide in Sri Lanka since the 1980s, nothing has been changed. For them, hope still remains a mirage. Identified as illegal immigrants in govt gazettes, at least a lakh still live in various refugee camps in TN without basic needs. Vetrivel Chandrasekar's Idukkan (suffering), a 15-minute documentary, highlights pathetic conditions more..

Plans to set up natural gas hub in Trinco

Jan 20 (DM) Cabinet approval has been sought to establish a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Hub terminal and Storage at the Trincomalee Port for export by Energy World International Ltd, a leading company headquartered in Hong Kong, it is learnt. It is also seeking approval to hand over a 30 acre land on lease for 30 years to the company. This global company submitted a business proposal first way back in 2012 to seek approval. However, the AG observed that the scope of the project more..

Eluga Tamil rally in Batti postponed

Jan 20 (FT) Second Eluga Tamil rally expected to be held in Batticaloa tomorrow has been postponed after Northern Province CM C.V. Wigneswaran was undecided about attendance and provincial education authorities decreed that Sat 21 Jan would be a school day, organisers said.  Organisers announced that the rally had been tentatively postponed for 28 Jan after a massive Pongal festival organised by the TNA in Batticaloa also more..

Construction Expo 2017 promotes green construction in Sri Lanka

Jan 20 (DN) Sri Lanka's premier exhibition in the construction sector Construction Expo 2017, featuring all aspects related to the construction and building industry will be held on June 2, 3 and 4 at the BMICH. “This event showcases products and services that help the participants to interact with all the stakeholders and key service providers within the building and construction industry,” The Ceylon Institute of Builders (CIOB) Chairman, Dr. Rohan Karunaratne said. more..

Bahrain extends support to increase employment for Lankans

Jan 20 (DN) Bahrain's Labour and Social Development Minister Jameel Humaidan has been invited by the Foreign Employment Minister of SL to participate at the Ministerial Consultation of the Abu Dhabi Dialogue. Ali Humaidan expressed his satisfaction and appreciation of the expatriate community of Sri Lanka, working and domiciled in Bahrain, for their contribution in progressing and advancing the economy of Bahrain. Minister also added that most of the employers, more..

GSP+ relief is fine if employers don’t grab lion’s share: TU leaders

Jan 20 (Island) We maintain the position that people in Sri Lanka deserve to receive the benefit of GSP+ scheme of the European Union, but this time we are endeavouring to ensure that a fair share of this monetary benefit will be received by the factory workers on the production floor instead of employers grabbing the lion's share of it, five major trade unions leaders vowed. Leaders of the SL Nidahas Sevaka Sangamaya, more..

Blue Mountain kicks off Rs. 30 b 7 star Achilleion

Jan 20 (FT) Blue Mountain Apartments yesterday broke ground on its most iconic development project and one of the biggest such projects to date, Achilleion, Colombo’s first seven star luxury apartment complex. Scheduled for completion in 2020, mega project is valued at Rs. 30 billion and will usher in unmatched levels of innovation and opulence to the heart of Colombo. Commenting on the successful groundbreaking ceremony of Achilleon, more..

Celebrating our national days together

Jan 20 (Stuff) A troupe of Sri Lankan dancers is ramping up  rehearsals ahead of a Waitangi Weekend performance.  Students at the Sri Lankan Dance Academy  will perform a piece celebrating New Zealand and Sri Lanka culture. Celebrations is being held  at the Little Theatre at the Dowse on Feb 4 which is also  the Sri Lankan independence day.  "We can celebrate together," artistic director Mohan Sudusinghe said. About 50 Sri Lankan dancers from around Wellington more..

New Zealand and Sri Lanka to consider FTA

Jan 20 (Reuters) New Zealand and Sri Lanka will open diplomatic posts in each other's nations and are considering a free trade agreement, the Pacific country's trade minister said on Friday. New Zealand trade minister Todd McClay and SL PM Ranil Wickremesinghe instructed officials to consider a framework to boost economic ties, which could result in a free trade deal, McClay said after the two met this week at WEF in Davos. more..

Sri Lanka lure India for Independence Cup

Jan 20 (Island) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is in for a huge financial bonanza after the govt’s intervention through diplomatic channels to bring down the Indian cricket team to celebrate the nation’s 70th Independence next February (2018). A quadrangular tournament involving the hosts, South Africa, India and Pakistan has been mooted and the presence of India for such an event will bring much revenue to SLC. An ODI involving the Indian team fetches around US$ 2 million in terms of more..

Sarath Kumara Gunaratne before court today

Jan 20 (NR) Former Deputy Minister Sarath Kumara Gunaratne arrested and remanded on charges of financial discrepancies is due to be produced before court once again today. He will be produced before the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court. The Former Deputy Minister was arrested over alleged financial discrepancies amounting to 12 million rupees reported during the Negombo Lagoon Development Project during his tenure as Deputy Minister under the previous tenure of the UPFA led govt. more..

Civil society divided over constitutional reforms

Jan 20 (Island) A civil society grouping that supported successful yahapalana campaign to oust the previous administration is sharply divided over constitutional reforms proposed in accordance with US-led Geneva Resolution co sponsored by the govt in Oct 2015. Civil society activist Chameera Perera flayed those who had thrown their weight behind the ongoing high profile UNP project to bring in a brand new Constitution. more..

Health Ministry rules out Japanese encephalitis epidemic

Jan 20 (Island) Health Ministry reassured the public that there was no need to fear an epidemic situation on Japanese encephalitis (JE-brain fever) epidemic situation. Ministry Spokesman said that despite the considerable number of suspected patients with JE reported from the Ratnapura General Hospital during the past three weeks, there had been only four who had tested positive for the mosquito borne disease. There were over ten suspected cases of JE reported at the hospital. more..

Dengue strikes UK envoy

Jan 20 (CT) UK's High Commissioner to SL James Dauris is down with dengue. This was revealed the Mission's Political Head, Daniel Painter, at a function in Colombo yesterday. This disaster may be a bad advertisement for Sri Lanka Tourism, with tourism, since the end of Sri Lanka's terrorist war in 2009, rapidly rising from the ninth position in total foreign exchange (FX) earnings to the number three slot last year. UK is also Sri Lanka's third largest tourism market, behind India and China, respectively. more..

Union demands CB probe on bond scam

Jan 20 (FT) Trade unions stepped up the battle for accountability yesterday with hundreds of members staging a demonstration at Fort calling on the CB Governor to initiate an internal investigation into the alleged bond scam under his predecessor Arjuna Mahendran.  The employees representing the JVP-backed Inter Company Employees’ Union (ICEU) and belonging to 200 private sector companies defied police to more..

GSP Plus: Don’t add to the minus points

Jan 20 (DM) While the top level Sri Lankan delegation is working out economic and foreign investment agreements with business tycoons at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, critics are pointing out various discrepancies in the processes.   Unfortunately this has been the pattern since independence in 1948. The major Opposition party has often opposed Government plans or policies apparently on the basis of party interest and not the common good or national interest. more..

Two kidney patients ties the knot

Jan 20 (Island) Two families of Dehiattakandiya and Kandy enjoyed the wedding yesterday of two of their youth, who had both undergone kidney transplants. The both the bride and the bridegroom have undergone kidney transplants at the Kandy General Hospital. Bride Nimali Neranjala from Dehiattakandiya has had a kidney transplanted on December 10, 2009. Bridegroom Chamara Lakmal of Ketawala Leula near Kandy had his transplantation on July 27, 2005. more..

A home of their own

Jan 20 (SL) People in North have been suffering for past 30 years with war right at their doorstep and their sole wish has been to live in peace under their own roof on their land. Sadly, even after a decade since end of war, authorities have failed to make their dreams a reality. Political tug-o-war between public representatives that continuously occurs without providing these unfortunate victims of the war is utterly unfair. more..

Colombo guilty of 40% water waste

Jan 20 (DN) Close to 30% of water supplied to households in the country is wasted with Colombo guilty of wasting almost 40% of the water supplied, City Planning and Water Supply Ministry Secretary Nimal Hettiarachchi said. Old plumbing, together with inefficient and wasteful use of water by the people were blamed for the staggering numbers. The world average for water waste stood at 18-20%. Hettiarachchi who is more..

Beware: 45% of private bus drivers are using drugs

Jan 20 (ST) Drivers who use cannabis or ganja up to three hours before driving are more dangerous than those under the influence of alcohol — and the shocking revelation is that 25% of private bus drivers are often under the influence of cannabis and 20% take heroin, officials disclosed. Teenage drivers are less experienced and are more likely than older drivers to underestimate or not recognize dangerous situations, they say. more..

Dubai-based investor’s Horana plant not halted by President

Jan 20 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena has denied putting on hold USD 75 mn Radial Tyre plant project at Wagawatte, Horana until the return of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe from Switzerland where he is attending the World Economic Forum. Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe stressed that President Sirisena hadn’t intervened and the media could raise the issue with the Board of Investment (BoI). more..

Cabinet approval sought to legalize abortions

Jan 20 (DM) Cabinet approval has been sought to legalize abortions in the instances of rape and incest, underage pregnancies (pregnancy occurring in a girl below 16) and serious foetal impairment, it is learnt. For this purpose, the government is seeking to draft separate legislations as amendments to the Penal Code and to the Code of Criminal Procedure Act to provide for it. Justice Ministry has initiated action in this regard more..

Activists not so gay

Jan 20 (AD) A number of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) and human rights activists were critical of the Cabinet of ministers’ refusal to decriminalize homosexuality. One of the leading LGBTQ rights activists and Executive Director of the Equal Ground, Rosanna Flamer-Caldera said the decision was absurd. “This move only portrays that the govt would rather continue to discriminate a community based more..

CCTV footage of suspicious vehicle to come under further probe

Jan 20 (DM) Colombo Additional Magistrate allowed the prosecution to send CCTV footage relating to the suspicious vehicle that chased Thajudeen's vehicle on the day he was found dead, to Colombo Uni for further examination. Deputy Solicitor General informed court the prosecution was in need of getting more clarified details about the unidentified vehicle that had chased Wasim Thajudeen's vehicle. more..

Kabir says hands are tied, wants action on Srilankan mafia

Jan 20 (CG) Minister Kabir Hashim called for strict action to be taken against a mafia at Srilankan Airlines. He also said that his hands are tied in some aspects and so he is unable to do what he wants to do. Kabir Hashim said that action must be taken against some former and current Srilankan Airlines officials based on the J.C. Weliamuna Report on the National airline. He said that while the airline was operating at a huge loss when more..

CP Leader calls for intellectual debate in parliament on bond scam report

Jan 20 (Island) Communist Party of SL asked all parties to ensure an intellectual debate on the COPE recommendations on the Central Bank bond scams without turning it into a political mud slinging campaign when it is taken up in Parliament. Party leader and former COPE Chairman D.E.W. Gunasekera said he had initiated the inquiry against the Central Bank bond scams much earlier, but Parliament was dissolved more..

Video: Talking with India to develop Trinco as main harbor in Bay of Bengal: PM

Jan 20 (AD) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe says that India is welcome to come and invest in the facilities around the Hambantota port, for which the govt is setting aside 15,000 acres of land to be made available for investors. In an interview with NDTV on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, he also clarifies that Sri Lanka has not given this land away only to the Chinese. “There was no 15,000 acres. more..

New look at Tea

Jan 20 (CT) Minister Navin Dissanayake speaking at a function in Colombo said that Govt will launch a US$ 50 million global tea promotion campaign, this year. The occasion was to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the introduction of tea to Sri Lanka, by James Taylor, a Scotchman. He started a plantation in Loolecondera estate in Kandy on 19 acres of land in 1867, according to Wikipedia. This was on a then coffee plantation, said Sri Lanka Tea Board Chairman Rohan Pethiyagoda. more..