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Wishful thinking for a happy new year

Feb 5 (SL) This is the season of wishful thinking. We can be optimistic somewhat in wishing those near and dear, friends and relations and the like a happy and prosperous New Year, etc. but those who confidently express their heartfelt wishes for a Happy and Prosperous 2017 for the country, its people, etc. loud and clear are conmen trying to bamboozle the gullible public to make a comeback or sincere fools living in cuckoo land. We have said very bad things about Comrade Vasu more..


2017 a challenging year; global uncertainty, higher oil prices, drought and energy crunch

Feb 5 (ST) The new year that has just dawned will be a challenging one. Global economic conditions are uncertain, world economic growth sluggish, oil prices expected to increase and drought and power cuts are expected. Tea prices, workers’ remittances and tourist earnings are expected to increase. While the trade deficit is likely to be high owing to import expenditure increasing more than increases in export earnings. Nevertheless earnings from services are expected to offset more..

Two Key Safeguards that the New Constitution will not have

Jan 5 (Island) The contents of the proposed new Constitution are yet to be finalised by Parliament. Nevertheless, many key safeguards will not be included in it because our politicians, barring a few exceptions, would find such provisions inimical to their all-consuming self-interest. It would take up too much space to go into the many desirable ingredients that are likely to be missing from the draft Constitution that is expected to emerge from Parliament sometime in 2017. more..

In Sri Lanka, Leopards cling to survival among old landmines

Jan 5 (WB) Wilpattu, Sri Lanka’s oldest and largest national park, was once a war zone. The fighting between SL state and militant LTTE that began in the 1980s had spilled over into these wild lands. Wildlife researchers Anjali Watson and Andrew Kittle said they remember hearing stories from soldiers stationed in these forests. They recalled nights when they would be jolted awake by sound of landmines exploding in the pitch darkness, more..

Sri Lanka has made progress but faces formidable challenges in 2017

Jan 5 (LSE) Two years after the defeat of the incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa, and the emergence of a coalition govt consisting of the two major political alliances, SL has made some progress but faces major challenges in 2017. Current govt led by President Maitripala Sirisena, leader of SLFP, and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe leader of UNP has an overwhelming majority in Parliament. Although they lead groups which had long standing political rivalries, more..

Centara Ceysands Resort & Spa scores hat trick at South Asian Travel Awards 2016

Jan 5 (ITCM) Centara Ceysands Resort and Spa in Bentota, Sri Lanka was announced winners of this year’s prestigious South Asian Travel Awards, where the resort has received three recognitions for best Leading Beach Resort Sri Lanka, Leading All Inclusive Resort Sri Lanka and Leading Wellness & Spa Brand. Apart from these tremendous achievements, Centara Hotels and Resorts received two more accolades for its five-star property in Maldives – Centara Grand Island Resort and more..

Sri Lankan tourists' quest for victory, and relevance, keeps waning

Jan 5 (CI) For the first time in the Test, it feels like Sri Lanka have batsmen at the crease, instead of Colombo traffic policemen redirecting oncoming balls towards the slips. The most experienced men in the batting order are in the middle. Dinesh Chandimal leaps back and across to crack Vernon Philander through the covers. Angelo Mathews whip-sweeps Keshav Maharaj through backward square leg next over. more..

Sri Lanka to be transformed into clean energy rich country: Ravi K

Jan 5 (FT) The inaugural ceremony of a National Program to transform all State-sector buildings into renewable energy centres will be officially held under the patronage of Minister Ravi Karunanayake at the Ministry of Finance on next Monday (9) at 10 am. This program will be promoted island-wide under President Maithripala Sirisena’s Sustainable Development Initiative and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s Economic Policy Statement. SL has also taken initiatives to find solutions to more..

Thieves that create false bogeymen

Jan 5 (CT) On 8 January 2015 the people won a non-violent political revolution. Violence, political dictatorship, injustice, lawlessness and fear gripped our country then. A collective of certain people's forces which did not heed the fire powers, weapon powers which are conscionable engaged in a number of non-violent procedures and ignoring their personal privacy worked on behalf of the country, while focused on the same objective and as a result it was possible to achieve victory more..

South Africa close in on series victory

Jan 5 (CI) South Africa made inevitable progress towards the victory in Cape Town that would bring them a Test series win against a Sri Lanka side whose batting naivety has become more apparent as the series progresses. Four down at stumps, with their victory target merely a dot on the horizon, Sri Lanka can be expected to lose heavily on the fourth day and go to Johannesburg 2-0 down with one to play. more..

US’ Carlson Rezidor Group enters Sri Lanka

Jan 5 (FT) US-based hospitality chain Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group will be entering tourism-booming Sri Lanka, partnering with the Gnanam family for a 216-room hotel in Colombo 3. The world-renowned hospitality chain has signed a management agreement with Sofia Hospitality Ltd, a new venture of the late iconic entrepreneur A.Y.S. Gnanam family for a hotel under the Park Inn by Radisson at No. 295, Galle Road, Colombo 3. Sofia Hospitality will be investing Rs. 2.5 billion more..

Woods to coach SL Sevens team?

Jan 5 (CT) Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) is hunting for a National Sevens coach ahead of the World Sevens Series qualifier scheduled to be held in the first week of April in Hong Kong. They have already shortlisted a coach from New Zealand (Peter Woods) and have started negotiations before finalizing the selection. Sri Lanka will be making their maiden appearance in a World Sevens Series qualifier after finishing overall runner-up behind champions Hong Kong in last year's Asian Sevens Series. more..

Senaratne leaps to Bathiudeen’s defence

Jan 5 (Island) Minister Rajitha Senaratne defended Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen over the destruction of the forest cover in the Wilpattu National Park buffer zone. He said no houses had been built inside the park. Responding to a query by a journalist at the post-Cabinet media briefing yesterday, Dr. Senaratne said the areas cleared for resettlement were private lands owned by certain people before the separatist war had erupted. more..

Norwegian arrested for rape of a 12-year-old

Jan 5 (NT) A 28 years old Norwegian has been arrested in Sri Lanka and accused of assaulting a twelve years old girl. The man said to come from Sri Lanka, but has Norwegian citizenship. Police in northern Sri Lanka arrested the man on Wednesday and the rape case he is charged with should have happened three or four days ago. The man stayed in the municipality of Vavuniya when he was arrested, and police believe that the assault took place in the same area. more..

Female patient falls off ambulance

Jan 5 (DM) A female patient who was being transported to the Karapitiya Hospital is reported to have fallen off the ambulance on the Southern Expressway this morning after its back door was suddenly opened, police said. Police said the incident occurred near the Godagama entrance on the Southern Expressway soon after it started its journey to Karapitiya Hospital carrying five patients. They suspect that the back door of the ambulance must have opened suddenly when more..

Govt says no to international judges

Jan 5 (NR) Minister Rajitha Senaratne says the govt refutes the recommendation by the Consultations Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms to include at least one international judge on every bench hearing alleged war crimes charges. He said even the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights consented to the govt’s decision that all benches will comprise local judges. Minister said govt is of a clear stance more..

Troubles engulf Sri lanka’s ruling coalition

Jan 5 (ENS) Both President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe are in denial in the face of a growing perception that their SLFP-UNP coalition is losing support due to inconsistent policies, internal contradictions and drastic actions taken by a coterie without due consultations. Following the recent resignation of Minister Piyankara Jayaratne and a claim by the Opposition led by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa that ten more will quit, Sirisena assured more..

Sirikotha is empowered with Solar Power

Jan 5 (ITN) Solar power was supplied to Sirikotha, the United National Party Head Office today. The supply of solar power took place under the patronage of PM Ranil Wickremasinghe. The introduction of solar power to the Sirikotha Head Office took place under the govt’s new programme of introducing alternative energy sources. Among those who joined in the occasion was a group including UNP General Secretary Kabir Hashim and Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera. more..

Trinco Oil Tank Saga: Fiasco or Tussle ?

Jan 5 (CT) India is allegedly intervening to block implementation of the Cabinet's approval for the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) to take physical possession and management of over 16 tanks in the 99-Oil Tank Farm in China Bay, Trincomalee, a ministry source said. The source added that a top level discussion was held last Friday at the Ministry of Petroleum attended by officials of Indian High Commission in SL. more..

AVIC Astoria unveils first tower

Jan 5 (DN) AVIC International Hotels Lanka Limited, a subsidiary of the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) and a Global 500 company recently launched AVIC Astoria’s Tower 1 to the public at an event which took place on Dec 21. Chief Representative of CATIC Sri Lanka, Zhuang Lizhou commented about the status quo about the real estate sector in Sri Lanka and said, “I encourage clients and prospective home owners to grab this opportunity and own a prestigious property more..

Megapolis Ministry’s turning points in 2017 for a sustainable future

Jan 5 (FT) Megapolis and Western Development Ministry has to face several challenges as it was a new experience for the country. Identifying the perfect development projects and completing them their feasibility studies are the main challenges that have been faced by the ministry. A number of those projects are now already going on and it takes a few years to complete the feasibility studies as instant projects will never gain sustainable results for the country or the people. more..

Video: Two corrupt leaders fighting for survival while country is going to the dogs

Jan 5 (DM) Former president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, said that he was not a backstabber and would only topple the govt when PM Ranil Wickremesinghe was in the country and not when he was abroad. In response to the PM’s remark that Mr. Rajapaksa could do whatever he wanted to after he left for Switzerland on Jan 17, the former president said Mr. Wickremesinghe had nothing to fear from him. more..

Business confidence slumps to 41-mo low

Jan 5 (FT) January edition of leading business magazine LMD reports that business confidence slumped in December, whereby the one-of-a-kind LMD-Nielsen Business Confidence Index (BCI) plummeted to 117 and is now at its lowest level since July 2013. “The survey results this month [December] are a reflection of a possible reaction to the Value Added Tax (VAT) rate increase starting 1 Nov 2016 and the Budget proposals,” says Nielsen’s Managing Director Sharang Pant, in LMD. more..

NIC says he’s 169 years old

Jan 5 (CT) This is a story about a 169-year-old man who had gone to a bank in Deltota in Galaha to withdraw money and the chaos that ensued. Nelson Silva, from Deltota, at Wetakepotha, has been a small time trader for decades. Though he had applied for a National Identity Card (NIC) he had not received and hence got the special 'elders' NIC instead on 30 Dec last. This NIC had given his date of birth as 30.9.1847 when in fact he had been born on 30.09.1946. But NIC says 169 yrs old! more..

Previous govt robbed people's money by Building, this one robs by Selling

Jan 5 (FT) Facing a barrage of criticism over its decision to lease the Port and 15,000 acres for proposed industrial zone in Hambantota to a Chinese company, Govt defended the deal saying it would help to turn around white elephant projects in the former President Rajapaksa’s hometown. Minister Rajitha Senaratne told reporters that the joint venture between China Merchants Port Holdings Company Ltd and more..

SLCA launches fund to support past cricketers

Jan 5 (DN) Sri Lankan Cricketers Association (SLCA) has decided to assist former players who brought glory to the nation with the launching of a special Benevolent Fund at the SSC pavilion yesterday. The fund totalling Rs. 3.6 million raised through initiatives by SLCA together with the 1996 Cricket World Cup winning team will assist past cricketers financially in times of a medical emergency or any other urgent need. The appointed trustees include three nominated members of more..

GRI lays foundation for $ 40 m next-generation tyre factory in Badalgama

Jan 5 (FT) Global Rubber Industries (GRI) yesterday laid the foundation for the construction of its latest specialised tire factory in Badalgama with an investment of over $ 40 million. This factory will be focused on producing pneumatic tires for agriculture, industrial, off the road and construction vehicles. All the products are destined for the export market. “I am proud to lay the foundation for the next phase of growth for GRI in specialty tires. This factory will be designed and equipped with more..

CTF recommends hybrid court, swift appointment of Special Prosecutor

Jan 5 (FT) A special task force set up by the Ggvt to solicit public views on reconciliation and justice have recommended a hybrid court comprising local and foreign judges to prosecute war crimes, and urged the Govt to appoint a special prosecutor to commence investigations into the controversial cases without delay. An islandwide consultation process on proposed govt mechanisms to bring about more..

Ongoing drought; Sacred duty to save water

Jan 5 (DM) Rice has been Sri Lanka’s staple diet for thousands of years and our country was once known as the rice bowl of the region. But the Agriculture Department has warned that due to the lack of rain Sri Lanka may face a rice crisis by June this year and we may have to import our buth patha. Agriculture Director General Rohan Wijekoon has said the lack of water for paddy cultivation is expected to drastically reduce rice production by June this year. more..

Winds of political populism is sweeoing across Sri Lanka

Jan 5 (DM) Is Sri Lanka ready to cash in on the trends created by the populist political tsunamis sweeping around the world? Tectonic shifts in voting patterns began to dominate democracies with the arrival of Le Penn in France (she sacked her father, the founder of the party for being too fanatical) is on the threshold of winning the next Presidential election. Triumph of Trump and the emergence of Brexit in Britain added a new dimension  to populism. more..

Put the act together: Lionel

Jan 5 (DM) The  discussed the oft said allegation that today’s public service was inefficient, lethargic and under-productive with the former top public official Lionel Fernando, who has served as a Govt Agent, Ministry Secretary, Governor of the North, and Ambassador of Sri Lanka in France and UNESO. Excerpts from the interview: Q: As a senior, veteran former public servant, how do you view what is stated by some that more..

PM picks holes in Delimitation Review Committee Report

Jan 5 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said that there were shortcomings in the Delimitation Review Report prepared by the Committee headed by Asoka Peiris. Asked why the UNP member of the Delimitation Review Committee had not signed the Report, when those representing the UPFA, TNA and JVP had endorsed it, the PM said that Asoka Peiris had told him that there were defects in the report. more..

Ukrainian Controversial Co selected again to supply army equipment

Jan 5 (SL) Despite of the ongoing investigations by the FCID against the MiG 27 aircraft deal, questions have been raised as to why Lanka Logistics and Technologies Limited had selected the same Ukrainian Company that was involved in the controversial deal to supply armoured personnel carriers, spare parts to overhaul existing armoured vehicles and demining and explosive disposal equipment to the Sri Lanka Army. more..

'Delimitation Committee Report: Ministry wanted it delayed'

Jan 5 (DM) Currently, the most crucial discussions centre around the topic of the report of the Delimitation Committee. The Chairman of the Committee Ashoka Peiris expresses his views. Q: Could you explain to us the present status of the delimitation committee report?  A: Committee had taken a decision to hand over Delimitation Committee report on Dec 27, 2016. Though it was not a constitutional requirement, more..

Purchase of new fighter aircrafts: SLAF still in finalizing requirements

Jan 5 (DM) The Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) is still in the process of finalizing its fleet requirements to purchase new multi-role combat aircraft to replace MiG and Kfir fleet. Earlier, govt had announced that it intends to purchase eight to 12 new multi-role combat aircraft for the SLAF. President and the Cabinet have officially granted the Ministry of Defence permission to solicit offers from foreign aircraft manufacturers more..

Investigations into Bangladesh CB hacking: CID yet to receive analytical report

Jan 5 (DN) The CID conducting investigations over money laundering investigations following the theft of $81 million from the Bangladesh Central Bank yesterday informed the Colombo Chief Magistrate that they were yet to receive an analytical report from Moratuwa university pertaining to a CPU of computer and two mobile pones alleged to have been used by a director of Shalika Foundation. more..

China refuses SriLankan alternative arrival slots in Beijing, Shanghai

Jan 5 (ST) The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has refused SriLankan Airlines alternative arrival slots in Beijing and Shanghai to correspond with the runway closure at BIA between January and May. The national carrier had sought an earlier arrival by four hours, four times a week, at both destinations, but had been turned down by the Chinese. Industry sources alleged the decision was politically motivated. more..

Hambantota Port deal with China to be penned in 2 weeks

Jan 5 (NR) Minister Malik Samarawickrama says all agreements with the Chinese firm taking over Hambantota Port will be penned in two weeks. He said discussions pertaining to the agreements are still underway. The Cabinet appointed a Cabinet Sub Committee comprising Ministers Dr. Sarath Amunugama, Ravi Karunanayake, Arjuna Ranatunga, Sagala Ratnayake and Nimal Siripala de Silva. more..

Stand firm against injustice by UNP members: President

Jan 5 (DM) President Maitripala Sirisena is reported to have instructed the State Ministers and the Deputy Ministers representing his SLFP to stand firm against injustice by the UNP in running the govt. Ministers met at the residence of Minister Mahinda Amaraweera for dinner and discussed the matters. President also attended it for a while. It took place in the context of MP Piyankara Jayaratne resigning from his minister's post more..