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Bigger is not always better

Jan 20 (CT) With mega cities and mega economic zones, the current crop of politicians seem to follow the bigger is better philosophy of consumerist economics. They are the Wannabe’s of Sri Lanka, those who want SL to be like Singapore or Dubai or New York. They wanna-be anything but Sri Lankan. They would change our culture, our values, and our environment and compromise our nationhood, just to become more like some other country that has attracted their personal attention. more..

සිංහල සිනමාවේ සවර්ණ සලකුණක් වූ ස්වර්ණා

Sri Lanka launches back-up plan to seek partner for state airline

Jan 20 (EN) Sri Lanka has appointed a three-member ministerial committee to seek a partner for state-run SriLankan Airlines if the three shortlisted contenders are not found suitable, a senior minister said. Minister Kabir Hashim said he will chair the committee, which will include ministers Sarath Amunugama and Malik Samarawickrema. The financial advisors to the current restructuring process have already submitted a report to PM Ranil Wickremasinghe, Hashim said. more..

Executive Presidency: Forty years of deception ET TU?

Jan 20 (DM) Central Committee of the SLFP headed by President Maithripala Sirisena had last week decided to continue with the Executive Presidential system of governance in future and nominate President Sirisena, the very person who promised to abolish that very system during the last Presidential Election as its candidate at the next Presidential Election. This is a clear indication that how simply, openly and arrogantly politicians tend to deceive people who had voted them to office. more..

RPCs and smallholders need to evolve fast to survive: Navin

Jan 20 (FT) As the sector kicks off its 150 year celebrations Plantation Industries Minister Navin Dissanayake warned Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) and tea smallholders that they would have to evolve faster to tackle challenges, including drought-hit production, but pledged support with the commencement of a $ 50 million global marketing campaign. “We have to continue to develop & strengthen industry. more..

'Switch off bill-board lighting during drought'

Jan 20 (DM) Presiden today requested private business establishments to switch off the lights used for promotion and beautification purposes in a bid to save electricity. He said it was everyone’s responsibility to conserve electricity ahead of a likely energy crisis resulting from the prolonged drought. President said a considerable amount of electricity were wasted to light up bill boards and other decorative units at night and requested them to switch them off till the drought ended. more..

Guinness Record certification still to come

Jan 20 (CT) The tallest Christmas tree in the world, constructed by Ministry of Ports and Shipping at Galle Face in Colombo, in December, has still not received the Guinness Records certification. This Christmas tree which was on display for a week for 25 Dec was 238 feet in height. No member of the Guinness Records Committee arrived in this country to obtain information on the Christmas tree and the Ministry of Ports and Shipping had provided the necessary information via the internet only. more..

Sobitha Thera’s vehicle missing?

Jan 20 (DM) complaint has been lodged with the Mirihana Police that the luxury vehicle used by late Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera, the former Chief Incumbent of Sri Naga Viharaya in Kotte, had gone missing. The complainants had said in the complaint that they received information that the missing vehicle was being used as a wedding car at a hotel in Beruwala on Tuesday but they could not locate it at the hotel. more..

'SL’s Human Rights situation is favourable'

Jan 20 (NR) UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Prince Zeid Al Hussein says Sri Lanka’s human rights situation is now more favourable. He made the statement when he called on PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on the sidelines of the 2017 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Zeid Al Hussein said the objective of the UN High Commission for Human Rights is to carry forward a program which will affirm and protect all human rights of citizens. more..

First Sri Lankan to sing in mainstream Tamil cinema

Jan 20 (LR) Canada’s Luksimi Sivaneswaralingam is a child prodigy. As a three-year-old she began her journey as a Carnatic vocal student performing and participating in vocal competitions and, at seven took part in a song competition subsequently making her debut as a playback singer at a tender age in Tamil film Appa, made in Canada. She also took up lessons in Bhrathantayam, learnt to play veena and piano and western classical vocals and held her Bhratnatyam Arangetram in 2013. more..

France eases visa procedures to bonafide Lankan travellers

Jan 20 (Island) French Ambassador to SL Jean-Marin Schuh inviting more bonafide visitors from Sri Lanka to France said that the visa procedures had been eased and one could obtain a visa within 48-hours. Ambassador addressing journalists at Alliance Francaise de Kotte said last year that 10,000 Sri Lankans had visited France and expected more to visit the country this year. He said France with a population of 66 million people more..

IMF commends govt for financial discipline

Jan 20 (NR) Managing Director of IMF Christine Lagarde has commended the program followed by the present govt over taking the economy to the correct path and creating a country that practices with financial discipline. Christine Lagarde met PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and the Sri Lankan delegation on the sidelines of the 2017 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The IMF Chief praised the commitment shown by the present administration to develop the country. more..

Gulf Air takes off for Colombo, Sri Lanka

Jan 20 (BTN) Gulf Air has commenced its direct operations to BIA, with five flights per week. Gulf Air CEO, Maher Salman Al Musallam, commented at a ribbon-cutting ceremony held at Bahrain International Airport: “We are delighted to strengthen our Asia network with the launch of direct flights to the Colombo. “We expect our newest destination to further enhance Gulf Air’s network, in line with our business strategy to provide strong business and tourism links to Bahrain more..

Protest in Sri Lanka against Donald Trump

Jan 20 (BD) A small, but vociferous group staged a protest outside the U.S. Embassy in SL on the inauguration of Donald Trump as U.S. President. Carrying placards and chanting slogans, protestors denounced Trump’s comments on various issues including the environment, war and immigrants and claimed they could have an impact on SL. “We are showing our solidarity with all the people throughout the world who are more..

Two ministries to seek Cabinet approval

Jan 20 (CT) Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, along with the Ministry of Ports, would be drafting a joint Cabinet Paper seeking the approval for the Oruvil Port development project. The decision to submit a joint Cabinet Paper for the Oruvil Port Development project came soon after a meeting between Ministers Mahinda Amaraweera and Arjuna Ranatunga. The secretaries to the two Ministries would be responsible for the drafting of the joint Cabinet Paper. more..

Fonterra welcomes fresh trade and investment discussions between NZ and SL

Jan 20 (NFM) Fonterra has welcomed the announcement that New Zealand and Sri Lanka will progress discussions on new trade and investment opportunities, including the possibility of a FTA down the track. The announcement came today after a meeting between NZ Trade Minister Todd McClay and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Managing Director of Fonterra Brands SL Sunil Sethi said; “SL is one of Fonterra’s most important markets. more..

Anura Senanayake records statement over Rathupaswala

Jan 20 (NR) CID today informed Court that a statement was recorded from Former Senior DIG Anura Senanayake over who ordered the Army to intervene in the protest staged by residents in Rathupaswala demanding clean drinking water. The case was taken up before the Gampaha Magistrates Court this morning. The CID also informed Court that 40 T56 firearms that were seized by the police following the incident more..

Underworld rivalry leads to killing

Jan 20 (CT) A 34-year-old man, who was returning after a case at the Homagama Magistrate's Court, was shot dead, by two unidentified gunmen, who had arrived on a motorbike, at Pitipana in Homagama Wednesday morning. Police said the victim, identified as Gaminipura Chandima, had also been arrested by the Police in Homagama and Athurugiriya, in connection with murder and ganja smuggling. The victim had been shot at Station Road in Pitipana. more..

7 uni students remanded over protest

Jan 20 (NR) The seven university students arrested yesterday during the protest staged against the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine or SAITM in Malabe have been remanded. The group of seven were remanded till the 26th of January. The seven students including four Buddhist monks were remanded after they were produced before the Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne this afternoon. The students were arrested following a protest carried out in Colpetty yesterday. more..

Video: SLFP Chief Ministers set to hold talks with MR

Jan 20 (AD) Provincial Chief Ministers representing the SLFP are slated to meet former President Rajapaksa for a special discussions. Chief Minister of the Western Province Isura Devapriya said that the meeting will take place on Sunday and that the former President had agreed to meet them following a request made by him and several other CMs. He said that the purpose of the discussion was to more..

Wedaarachchi accuses JO of political sabotage

Jan 20 (Island) State Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Dilip Wedaarachchi yesterday lashed out at the Joint Opposition (JO) for the continuation of its what he termed political sabotage and plans to topple the govt. He said that the JO’s attempt to topple the govt was only a dream and they would have to wait till the end of the present govt’s term in 2020 or till President Maithripala Sirisena dissolved the parliament and declared an election. more..

Sri Lanka: The Rajapaksas rise again

Jan 20 (TD) Politics is shaped by leaders’ ability to deliver. It is all about doing and achieving, doing what you say what you say you are going to do, to paraphrase Dr. Harsha de Silva, Sri Lanka’s current deputy minister of foreign affairs. It is not about good intentions; it is about getting results. It is not about pleasing outsiders; ultimately it is about keeping your own people happy, satisfying their aspirations, reassuring them, protecting them, and advancing their interests. more..

Work from home mooted by WPC

Jan 20 (DM) Western Provincial Council (WPC) is to introduce a work-from-home-system or teleworking as a measure to ease traffic congestion and fuel emission in the Colombo City, WPC Chief Minister Isuru Deshapriya said. A discussion with govt institutions on this concept which is to be introduced in collaboration with the Western Province Waste Management Authority (WMA) was held under the CM’s guidance at his office. more..

Editorial: A laudable crusade

Jan 21 (Island) Tiger terrorism has long ceased to trouble us. People are no longer blown to bits in buses and trains or chopped to death elsewhere. Let all deities be thanked for that! But, worryingly, there has emerged a different kind of terror which is difficult to neutralise. All efforts by successive govts to eradicate this winged Tiger menace have come a cropper. Catholic Church has decided to go flat out to contain it. A campaign is scheduled to begin against the Asian Tiger mosquitoes more..

Ethnic shoving match over Wilpattu

Jan 21 (CT) The issue of establishing new settlements on forest areas adjoining Wilpattu National Park has moved beyond from being an environmental issue to a tribal shoving match, by tribes I meant the Sinhalese and Muslims. While it could come to this was never a surprise to me, in fact I expected as much when I started reporting on the new settlements around 2010 and tried my best to prevent that from happening, which was the attitude of almost all environmental journalists more..

'A new constitution a must'

Jan 21 (CT) JVP leader, Anura Kumara Dissanayake says that JVP doesn't reject Constitutional Reforms, and went on to say "We need these reforms to maintain democracy, fundamental rights and rights of all communities." Q: New Constitution is being keenly discussed throughout the country these days, do you think we need a new Constitution at this time? A: We do. As a party, we have criticized 1978 Constitution from the beginning. more..

Myths in the guise of reality

Jan 21 (DN) Anyone having even a prima facie glance at the present political situation would not fail to observe a plethora of myths and fallacies traded as fact and truth by interested parties. They prevent the observer from going beyond a superficial understanding and penetrating to the essence of phenomena. Our endeavour here is to examine some of them. One such fallacy propagated for some time and taken up in earnest now is that the country needs a strong leader to preserve more..

Plusses of GSP Plus

Jan 21 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena announced the Era of Sustainability together with a programme for poverty alleviation at the commencement of the third year of his govt. To attain success in these objectives, the country needs to increase production, increase exports and solve the issue of unemployment. Furthermore, all these will have to be done while facing the issues such as the uncertainty in weather patterns, meeting external debt interests and service charges. more..

Ensnared in the poverty trap

Jan 21 (CT) Sri Lanka has been bogged down in poverty for the whole of last year, data showed. Of SL's 25 districts, 14 of those, or 56 per cent of the island's total districts were mired in poverty at the beginning of the year, i.e. in January, with no change to this status quo by the year end. In January, those 14 districts were the hill capital Kandy; the three southern districts of Galle, Matara and Hambantota respectively; more..

Fact checking politicians and pundits

Jan 21 (FT) The ascendance of the master of truthful hyperbole to the US presidency has focused attention on the need for fact checking. The practice of persons in authority uttering falsehoods in public is nothing new to Sri Lanka. As recently as last month, our former President was reported in Sinhala newspapers as saying that the Hambantota Port and Mattala Airport made profits under his Govt. These lies went unchallenged other than in social media. The widely-publicised on-camera refutation more..

Carrom boss resigns

Jan 21 (ST) It is understood that Prasad Samarasinghe, incumbent President of the SL Carrom Federation had tendered his letter of resignation to be effected from the end of Nov 2016. Samarasinghe was elected uncontested at the last Annual General Meeting of the Federation and his two year tenure is to be completed on March 31st 2017. Sunday Times contacted President Samarasinghe and he informed that he submitted his letter of resignation to Minister through more..


The background of road accidents in the post-Mullivaikkal scenario

Jan 21 (CT) It has become customary for the Tamils to pay a hefty price to comprehend certain truth. The recent gruesome murder of two students of the University of Jaffna by the police force of the genocidal govt of Sri Lanka has to be seen in that light. When we exposed the dirty hands of the government in all the road accidents that took place post Mullivaikkaal diligently, with an eye to justice for the past seven years, none headed our findings. On the contrary it was viewed with ridicule more..

CKDu, Glyphosate and Hoodwinking People

Jan 21 (Island) I cannot help but marvel at Dr Kamal Wickremasinghe’s (DR KW) exhaustive expedition into the CKDu –glyphosate wilderness (The Island 28th Dec 2016), but missing the wood for the trees again and returning with some poor quality picked cherries about which he is harping a lot! My task of dealing with issues he has raised has been made easy by a lucid and balanced analysis of the subject by Mr Bodhi Danapala which appeared in The Island of the 28th Dec 2016. more..

Athletics in disarray

Jan 21 (ST) Yes, we keep talking about SL’s achievements in Sports and especially in athletics, but, ironically in this entire island there is not a single international class track for athletics. What has brought forth this parlous situation.  It is a fact in spite of this being a small island nation, we have reached many feats that we could even unselfishly boast about and most of them have come long before many another Asian nation more..

Shea Wickramasingha unwraps the biscuit and confectionery market

Jan 21 (LMD) Sri Lanka’s biscuit market has been growing apace – and along with the expansion in the sector, many new categories of biscuits have entered the market. And whenever there’s a deceleration of sector growth, a switch to lower price point products is the norm. Some 25 years ago, Marie biscuits dominated the market with over 40 percent of volume coming from this one category alone. Over the years, Marie has lost ground to new categories although along with more..

Lionel Samarajeeva to run at IAAF World Cross Country in Uganda

Jan 21 (ST) With his cross country performance at Cross Country race held in Nuwara Eliya last week  Lionel Samarajeeva of Central Province is hopeful to represent Sri Lanka at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships to be held in Uganda on March 26. Gayanthika Abeyrathne (Southern) who won the women’s race in Nuwara Eliya has indicated that she personally does not like to race in Uganda. She has said that her main target is the Asian Games. Her events are 800m & 1500m. more..

Miller powers SA to victory in 10-over thrash

Jan 21 (CI) There is no substitute for experience in international cricket and South Africa showed that as they claimed the T20 series lead in a shortened 10-over match at SuperSport Park. David Miller and Farhaan Behardien shared in a fourth-wicket stand of 51 off 27 balls to help set a target of 127 before Imran Tahir took two wickets in his second over to put South Africa on course for victory, but not without SL's most serious more..

The coalition govt is strong: Navin

Jan 21 (FT) Appreciates the freedom to hold different views within govt Says having two power centres helps put checks and balances in place Dismissing speculations of a widening rift between President and PM, UNP Minister Navin Dissanayake claimed that there were no disagreements that cannot be negotiated. He insisted that there was no rift between the two political parties, although there are pressures from party supporters that have been promised benefits. more..

Amunugama welcomes private education initiatives

Jan 21 (FT) Participating as Chief Guest at the inauguration of the new Head Office of the private educational institution E Wings at Sambuddhthva Jayanthi Mandiraya, Colombo on 19 January, Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama said that although Sri Lanka has set a record in providing education free from kindergarten to the university it is increasingly becoming difficult for the State alone to shoulder the entire burden especially in regard to tertiary education. more..