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The New Year will bring in revolutionary changes in agriculture

Jan 2 (PSL) President Sirisena says the New Year commenced from today, will be a year of which will make revolutionary changes in the field of agriculture of this country.  President made these remarks during a meeting between him and the leaders of the Polonnaruwa farmer organizations held in Polonnaruwa, today (01). President pointed out the national programme titled The dawn of three years in sustainability which will be inaugurated tomorrow, will make many changes more..

India promises to phase out bottom-trawling, points to new initiatives

Jan 2 (Hindu) India assured Sri Lanka that it would phase out bottom trawling in a graded, time-bound manner, pointing to upcoming initiatives to train Indian fishermen in alternative fishing methods. According to a joint press communique released following ministerial-level talks on fisheries held in Colombo, Indian fishermen would participate in a capacity building progamme in Chennai and Kochi, beginning on Jan 3, that seeks to train them in other, less harmful fishing practices. more..

Colombo Port volumes grow, CICT surpasses 2mln TEUs

Jan 2 (LBO) Colombo International Container Terminals (CICT) has reported a throughput of two million TEUs  for the 12 months ending 31 Dec 2016, a year-on-year growth of 28% in volume, enabling the Port of Colombo to register overall incremental growth during three consecutive years. CICT said ULCCs (Ultra Large Container Carriers) and VLCCs (Very large Container Carriers), many of a size that more..

And now you are telling us

Jan 3 (ST) Well what do you know! Politicians do, now and then, tell the truth. Sometimes it is varnished, sometimes not. But at least the truth does out, wittingly or unintentionally, however embarrassing it might be to those who ply the trade. The other day the Minister of Labour and Trade Union Relations W.D.J. Seneviratne is reported to have told a gathering at some certificate-awarding ceremony that politics is the only job for which no qualifications are necessary. more..

Where is it all going to end?

Jan 3 (Island) You are going to be reading this in 2017 and I hope it isn’t going to come across as yet another of those joy to the world, all is well kinds of pieces. Neither is it meant to be a prophecy of doom and gloom. In reviewing the year past it has been, typically, where there have been a few gains and a large number of missed opportunities. The gains? The major one has proven to be that the pall of overwhelming corruption and the violence attendant upon it continues to lift more..

Colds, fever, coughs are currently the commonest complaint islandwide

Jan 3 (SO) The death of a young 20 year old mother of one, reported to have died of AHINI flu has set off panic waves among the public spiked by myths, confusion and conflicting reports on the nature of her death. A headlined report appearing on the first page of a leading daily newspaper on Dec 26, allegedly quoting the Hospital Director Dr Indika Sampath Kumara saying the death was from the AHINI flu which more..

Reflections on governance, politics of the bourgeoisie & Role of progressives in 2007

Jan 3 (CT) Kumar David’s recent article reflecting on events in 2016 points to some of the global challenges facing us in 2017 and the need for the left to unite if we are to avoid returning to the ghosts of the past. This is a message – though not unfamiliar in the annals of SL’s political history – which we need to take seriously in 2017. Constitutional discussions and any moves made by the govt to devolve further powers to the provinces (justifying claims of nationalist political forces) more..

Unity in diversity

Jan 3 (DN) This writer believes in plural societies where there is respect for diversity which does not cause internal upheavals and wars, hence the call for secularism. What does it mean to say that we live in a secular age? Secularism inhabits twin strands—one simply strives to control religion; another, more composite view, allows plural views on faith to coexist. One understanding of secularity then is in terms of public spaces. as we function within various spheres of activity — more..

Rajitha points accusing finger at a clique

Jan 3 (CT) Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne discussed the current political developments, plans for the health sector in 2017 and rumours of his appointment as the next PM. Q: Development Special Provisions Draft Bill has been rejected by eight Provincial Councils, and the bill is to be discussed in the Eastern PC. It should have been obvious that such a bill, which limits the powers of the Provincial Councils, would be rejected. more..

Beyond serendipity

Jan 3 (GV) What do our new generation of parents, friends and neighbours, colleagues at work and future leaders think about cultural supremacy? 64% of Sri Lankans aged 15 to 29 believe their culture is superior compared to other cultures, according to the National Youth Survey. If this figure is representative, it is a startling statistic.  How and whether equality and respect are compatible with this belief is not clear. What is clear, though, is that continuing to tackle cultural supremacy more..

Ten Years: The rise of the average SL Netizen

Jan 3 (GV) As Groundviews turns 10, there appears to be a global sense of disillusionment in the values of equality, liberty and human freedom. The results of the US Presidential election came just months after the people of Britain voted to leave the European Union and the Colombian people rejected a hardly worked out peace deal bringing a decade long conflict to an end. There is widespread radicalization of young people in the Middle East and the world over while here in Sri Lanka, more..

Jayampathy Wickramaratne

‘Govt not ready at all to put debt burden on people’

Jan 3 (Island) An era has dawned for all to work in unison in order to push the country toward victory instead performing political solo dramas, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. He pointed out that the aim of the govt is to act with transparency while maintaining disciplines. The minister expressed these views during a ceremony held at the ministry premises on Jan 2, to inaugurate duty for 2017. The minister said that Sri Lanka has reported several achievements as well as more..

Editorial: White Man’s Burden

Jan 3 (Island) Much as Rudyard Kipling has been reviled for a racist streak in his poem, The White Man’s Burden’, where he, apparently in good faith, urges imperialists to send their best men to dark, uncivilized parts of the world to look after their captives, successive Sri Lankan govts have justified his call; they have demonstrated that the assistance of the west, especially its largesse, is a prerequisite for their very existence. Our political leaders, given to loquacity and hypocrisy, celebrate more..

Kumara's youthful energy turns heads

Jan 3 (CI) Most SL fast bowlers are lovers, not fighters. Sadly this is by process of elimination. Look, quicks don't have to be angry. Chaminda Vaas rarely was. But many of the best, at least outside Sri Lanka, reserve the right to a stage persona. Andre Nel had a mountain man he called Gunther. Dale Steyn has a vein on his forehead that seems to be made of concentrated fury. Vernon Philander will bowl a 125kph more..

A Dev. Bill running into a messy situation

Jan 3 (CT) Unity Govt managed to have its Budget 2017 passed in Parliament by a two third majority. From the public pronouncements which the top leaders had made, one could infer that it had boosted their sense of security in power to an unbelievably high level. Yet, it cannot expect the same Parliamentary success for its proposed Development (Special Provisions) Bill now before the public. Eight out of the nine Provincial Councils have already rejected the Bill. more..

Elgar tames South Africa's monster

Jan 3 (CI) With old body parts, animal and human, Victor Frankenstein created life from death. With new grass, green and growing, Evan Flint, the Newlands groundsman, on the home team's instructions, made life from dirt. Luckily Flint's creation did not turn out to be as monstrous as Frankenstein's but South Africa had Dean Elgar to thank for that, for there were moments when it looked as though it would. A moment in the first over, when Lakmal teased Stephen Cook more..

Elgar's ton anchors South Africa's recovery

Jan 3 (CI) The serious demeanour of Dean Elgar, a batsman not given to fripperies, dominated the opening day of the second Test at Newlands as Sri Lanka failed to gain lasting benefit from a good bowling day. A new year had dawned, but it was very much the old Elgar, recognisably sure of stroke and restricted in ambition, who guided South Africa forward as he progressed conscientiously to a sixth Test century. At 169 for 5, with 30 overs more..

Persons with difficulties in SL labour market

Jan 3 (IPS) Chitra is a language teacher at the high school near her home. She is well loved by her students. But, her class room is different – it is brightly lit, all the time. Chitra is only able to see in bright light. Despite this seeing difficulty she has studied well and obtained a degree. The principal in the school she is now teaching was able to recognize her talents and was willing to provide a brightly lit class room for her, so she will be able to overcome her difficulty. more..

Govt reiterates no sale of pvt banks’ stakes

Jan 3 (ST) Having learnt a bitter lesson in the Bank of Ceylon (BOC)-Seylan Bank drama, the govt is to issue clear and immediate guidelines on stakes in private banks coming under the purview of the Ministry of Public Enterprises. Minister Kabir Hashim said that his ministry will issue a fresh circular to all state-owned-enterprises (SOEs) under his purview almost immediately making clear the govt’s stance on private bank stakes held by these SOEs. “The new circular will clearly say that more..

Minister warns Sports Associations

Jan 3 (CT) Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara warned National Sports Associations (NSAs) to keep pace with the work done by the ministry rather than lag behind when he met with officials of NSAs to discuss the future plans for the year and to launch the sports calendar for the year 2017. He said that only ten out of 60 NSAs had done their work to amend their constitutions in line with new sports regulations, more..

Imported rice unfit for human consumption is circulating in the market

Jan 3 (DM) All Island Canteen Owners’ Association (AICOA) along with the Lanka Self Employees’ Association said that imported rice which was unfit for human consumption that was sold for the purpose of animal food has been circulating in the market. I'ts President Asela Sampath stressed that there is a rice shortage and a rice mafia can seen in the market. “Canteen owners were forced to use this rice which is unfit to human use to protect their trade as they were less in price” he said. more..

Industry and Commerce positions for President’s 2030 initiative

Jan 3 (FT) Industry and Commerce Ministry threw its full weight behind the latest national initiative on poverty and sustainable resources on 2 January. “President Sirisena, in his Vision for Sri Lanka 2030, has declared moving on UN’s 2030 Agenda,” said Minister Rishad Bathiudeen on yesterday in Colombo. He was addressing the special 2017 first working day event of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce held at the ministry premises. more..

Taxes hit: CTC announces 20% layoff of employees

Jan 3 (FT) In the backdrop of the sharp decline in sales volumes, Ceylon Tobacco Company (CTC) said it has been compelled to change its manufacturing operation in Colombo from three shifts to two. This latest move by the company comes in the wake of the 45% reduction in sales during the last quarter of the year as a result of the excise hike on 4 Oct, and the imposition of 15% VAT on 1 Nov. Reduction in the number of shifts means that CTC will face more..

Secretary to President speaks of special responsibility vested with public officials

Jan 3 (FT) Secretary to the President, P.B. Abeykoon, said the special responsibility of serving the public through the decisions of the political authority lies with public officials. Abeykoon made these remarks while addressing the staff of the Presidential Secretariat commencing work for the New Year. He also conveyed his appreciation to state officers for their contribution in programs carried out by Prez Sirisena for the development of the country during the past two years. more..

No hiding that the grass is greener for SA

Jan 3 (CI) Dean Elgar has defended South Africa's use of home advantage, as they look to minimise the influence Rangana Herath could have on the series by preparing pitches that take longer to deteriorate. Both Port Elizabeth and Cape Town are known for their suitability for spin, something Russell Domingo pointed out as a concern in the lead up to the series, so South Africa have ordered grassier surfaces and Elgar believes that is a fair ploy. "We've been bitten in the past going to places like India, more..

Govt’s vision for Sustainable Era launched

Jan 3 (PSL) President Sirisena says today everyone needs to work unitedly with the spirit of brotherhood as well as with discipline to build the country, but not for those who are in power to aim to retain it and those who are out of power to regain it. He made these remarks participating at the national ceremony to launch the programme of building of a sustainable Sri Lanka, where everybody will share its dividends, more..

Dimantha Seneviratne new CEO of NDB

Jan 3 (Island) National Development Bank PLC (NDB) commenced its business operations for the year 2017 with religious blessings and welcoming the leadership of Dimantha Seneviratne who took over office as Director/CEO of NDB. Commenting on the new appointment, Ananda Atukorala - Chairman of NDB said "It is my pleasure to welcome Dimantha Seneviratne on board. With his wide experience within the industry he is poised to drive the growth of the NDB Group and more..

Grade 1 admissions: Ministry to inquire

Jan 3 (DM) The Education Ministry has decided to launch a special investigation into the admission of the students to Grade 1 of popular schools in 2017, after receiving complaints that irregularities had taken place in the admissions. The ministry said an investigation would be launched into the procedure of the school admissions to Grade 1 in 2017, in randomly selected popular schools around the country. Inquiring officers would visit the schools and examine the records relating to more..

BBS threatens legal action against Mahinda

Jan 3 (FT) In a strange falling out, Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) has threatened to take legal action against former President Rajapaksa for his statements to the Colombo-based foreign media last week alleging that the hardline group was created by the Opposition and Western Govts to ensure his defeat. The hardline group has demanded that the former President or his proxies back up the statements with facts and said more..

What will NOT happen in 2017!

Jan 3 (ST) Optimistic, pessimistic, no a REALISTIC 2017! Taking a cue from my Kussi Amma Sera’s …Aney Mahatthayo, mokade wenne; ape dannawa need, who has often been proved right than wrong, we take a look at what will happen (or not happen) this year. In Sri Lanka, whatever people may say and believe….you don’t need a soothsayer, an astrologer or a Sumanadasa Abeygunawardena (former President’s Mahinda Rajapaksa’s fortune-teller) to gaze into the future. more..

Make Lankan fishing pact a success

Jan 3 (DC) Newly appointed Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Paneerselvam has requested PM Narendra Modi to “intervene in the sensitive livelihood issue of our fishermen and use diplomatic channels to curb the violent actions of the Sri Lankan Navy on innocent fishermen from Tamil Nadu,” in a letter last month. Considering the coastlines between the two countries are around 16 km and 45 km at minimum and maximum distances, respectively in the Palk Bay region, more..

Volkswagen breaks ground for plant today

Jan 3 (NR) The ground breaking ceremony for an international vehicle assembly plant in Kuliyapitiya will be held this afternoon under the patronage of PM Wickremesinghe. Much anticipated project was one of the election promises given by the UNP during the period leading up to the 2015 General Election. UNP in its 2015 election manifesto promised to build a new country in 60 months. UNP pledged to create 1 million jobs for the youth. more..

Govt cannot be toppled: Health Minister

Jan 3 (GDI) Minister Rajitha Senarathne emphasized that the statements saying the good governance government will be toppled are only dreams and no one can topple the govt. He was addressing the opening ceremony of the Rs. 1.3 million worth new RO Plant established by the SL Navy at the Katugahahena Divisional Hospital in Mathugama. He said those statements are only dreams and the govt will go ahead. President and the PM are working with a vision. more..

Case against Welgama fixed for March 3

Jan 3 (DN) Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court fixed for March 3, the corruption case filed against former Transport Minister Kumara Welgama. Welgama is alleged to have caused unlawful loss to the govt after appointing an individual as a Deputy Chairman of Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) in contrary to the Transport Act. When the case came up before Colombo Additional Magistrate Aruni Artigala, the Court was informed that Kumara Welgama had filed a revision application in the High Court more..

Now, Mustapha refuses to accept delimitation report

Jan 3 (Island) Minister Faizer Mustapha has refused to accept the final report of the delimitation review committee. His action has fuelled speculation that the local govt elections will be delayed further. Committee Chairman Ashoka Peiris tried to present the report to Minister yesterday in the presence of the media, but the latter declined to accept it. Delay in the submission of the report has led to postponement of LG polls. more..

GL says they will not be fooled by SLFP double game

Jan 3 (Island) Chairman of the newly formed Sri Lanka People’s Front (SLPF) Prof. G. L. Peiris said that his outfit would not be fooled by the machinations of the SLFPers being manipulated by the UNP. Addressing the media at former President Rajapaksa’s political office at Battaramulla, Prof. Peiris said that the SLFP was trying to piggy back on the new party and garner votes while supporting the UNP. "At the next election we will defeat all those destructive forces," he said. more..

Demarcation draft to Party leaders next week

Jan 3 (NR) A draft of the report compiled by the National Delimitation Committee will be handed over to political party leaders next week. A spokesperson of Ministry of Local Govts and Provincial Council said the report will be handed over to the party leaders on the 9th of January. However, earlier today (2) Minister Faizer Mustapha refused to accept the report compiled by the National Delimitation Committee headed by Asoka Peiris on demarcations of wards for local govt bodies. more..

FCID Director transferred to Monaragala

Jan 3 (DM) The sudden and unexpected transfer, based on promotion, of the director of the FCID, with immediate effect, to Monaragala District last week had raised eyebrows in many political circles, Daily Mirror learns. FCID director, SSP Anura Premashantha who was promoted to the rank of DIG in mid Dec 2016 had been transferred to Monaragala District with immediate effect on Dec 23, 2016, Police Hq sources revealed. more..

Vital year for Sri Lanka’s economy

Jan 3 (DM) Calling on parties and people to rise beyond petty party politics or the desire for personal gain, President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday launched a vital mission for sustainable, eco-friendly and all inclusive development. A confident President, addressing a gathering to mark the occasion, said Unity govt for the past year had worked out countrywide mega development projects and 2017 would be the year of accelerated implementation. more..