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'Pitting female candidates in losing battles'

Jan 11 (CT) Political parties have placed their female candidates for the 10 Feb LG election in wards where powerful, often male, candidates contest from another political party and such can in turn lead to a distorted election result, Executive Director of the CaFFE, Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon said. He made this statement during a programme to train female candidates for the coming LG Elections at Madurankuliya, Puttalam. more..

'Govt to reduce public debt by 70% of GDP'

Jan 11 (CT) Govt plans to reduce public debt to 70% as a percentage of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2020, Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka said. Briefing the media about the decisions taken in the weekly Cabinet meeting, Karunathilaka further stated that the proposals on the matter had been presented by several parties including Governor of the CB, Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy. "To achieve our goal by 2020, we plan to gradually increase public income as a percentage of the GDP. more..

SC concludes deliberation of Prez’s term

Jan 11 (NR) A five member Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Priyasath Dep today deliberated and considered the interpretation pertaining to Article 32 of the Constitution, on the Executive President’s term. Bench that comprised of judges Eva Wanasundera, KT Chitrasiri, Buwaneka Aluwihare and Sisira De Abrew and the Chief Justice is due to submit their interpretation to the President. In a letter, Registrar of the Supreme Court MM Jayasekara directed more..

SLR in shady move over new RMS/TTOIS

Jan 11 (CT) Despite there being a computer based Railway Management System (RMS), which has been rendered dysfunctional owing to neglect, the Sri Lanka Railways (SLR) intends to undertake a separate Rs 8 million quoted feasibility study this month, with the hopes of creating a new computer based RMS. Train Traffic Optimisation System (TTOS), developed by former Research & Development Officer of SLR, more..

In praise of Mother Earth

Jan 12 (DN) The original is in Tamil – a very brief beautiful short story written in an innovative style by Mullaithivyan, a youngster from Mullaitivu. It is professionally translated into Sinhala by Ananda Ruhunuhewa, into English by Gerard Robuchon and Patricia Melander and into French again by Gerard Robuchon. Translations have different titles as understood by the respective perception of the translators. For instance, the writer in Tamil calls his story-Thai (Mother) Nilam (Land). more..

Life, friends and cemeteries

Jan 12 (Island) I went to a beautiful place in Mallawapitiya, Kurunegala, where a friend’s mother was cremated. It was by a paddy field surrounded by so many trees. It was a cool and windy day too. I felt at peace. I asked lawyer and my brother’s friend, S.T. Jayanaga, who took me there for the funeral. How come I never knew about this beautiful resting place? He said it had been donated by a generous man for the benefit of the people of Kurunegala. I thought to myself what a peaceful way to end more..

Museums: times stand still

Jan 12 (SO) The heritage of Sri Lanka stretches over many millennia with huge collections of artefacts dating back to the Pre-historic period (Stone Age). According to scholarly research, the chronology of the Palaeolithic (early phase of the Stone Age) and Mesolithic (middle phase of the Stone Age) periods of SL could be identified as the cultural sequence from about ca. 130,000 to 1,800 BC. more..

Elements loyal to Prez tarnish Ranil’s image

Jan 12 (CT) When the accusation of corruption in the issuance of CB Bonds under the Yahapalana Govt was made, many believed it to be a ploy of the Mahinda group. There was the belief that Ranil Wickremesinghe is free of corruption and any money drawn from Govt coffers will be used for a valid political purpose. Even if there was an illicit manipulation it could be explained in term of political needs. Many had voted for the new leaders led by Ranil, because they promised to be more..

Pursuing scientific pursuits

Jan 12 (DN) The physicist Hans Bethe once said, “There are two types of genius. Ordinary geniuses do great things, but they leave you room to believe that you could do the same if only you worked hard enough. Then there are magicians, and you can have no idea how they do it.” visionaries, magicians in the words of Bethe, who dare to perceive the world in ways no one else has before. Darshana Weerawarne is one of them. The 31 year old youth is the first Sri Lankan student more..

Can Mahinda be ejected from SLFP?

Jan 12 (CT) There is nothing new in seeing dirty politics at play. The tactical ploys of those in power are somewhat a musical comedy to some and a rather frustrating melodrama to others, yet it continues. The latest saga once again concerns Mahinda Rajapaksa, deposed President of SL, who continues to be the face of the SLFP, no matter which party he contests from. Ever since Rajapaksa was defeated three years ago, more..

Simmering mistrust in Tamil-Muslim politics

Jan 12 (CT) Since the first parliamentary elections in 1947 Tamil-Muslim political relations in Sri Lanka has been dominated by mutual mistrust. Even though the Chelvanakam’s Federal Party and Ponnampalam’s Ceylon Tamil Congress included the Muslims under the rubric Tamil-speaking people whenever they addressed public rallies, and similarly, even though Muslim political leaders talked tirelessly of the Tamil language and the proverbial pittu and coconut to underline more..

Editorial: Whither yahapalanaya?

Jan 12 (Island) A 5-member bench of the Supreme Court (SC), in response to a question posed by President Maithripala Sirisena, is deliberating whether he can serve a six-year term. The 19th Amendment has reduced the presidential term to five years. We refrain from commenting on it out of deference to the apex court. Co-Cabinet Spokesman Rajitha Senaratne has told the media the President is right in having consulted the SC to clear some doubts about the duration of his term. more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

For heaven’s sake, Mr Speaker, tighten the rules of the House

Jan 12 (CT) You and I are very familiar with dogs’ fighting and biting each other. What happened in Parliament yesterday (10) was a similar mindless and juvenile militancy. I am scared to look at Al Jazeera tonight as they are bound to give clips of our Parliamentarians’ performance. When these things go global, Sri Lanka and Sri Lankans will be looked down upon everywhere they go. There is a fellow jogger belonging to the Albanian community here in Melbourne. more..

Link between Supermarket chain Cargills and Petroleum giant BP

Jan 12 (Roar) One of the top ten petroleum companies in the world, B.P., (formerly British Petroleum) receives a revenue of about US$ 200 billion every year, about 2˝ times SL’s GDP. B.P.’s local agents, Associated Motorways, have their headquarters at Colombo’s Union Place. Just 180 metres away, down Staples Street, on the site of a former forage mill, one may find a supermarket belonging to Cargills, SL’s largest modern retail operation & one of SL’s leading blue chips. more..

I will make better politicians out of new LG members: President

Jan 12 (PMD) President said that the people are aware who the real thieves are even though two groups in the present parliament divided into two and blame each other as a thief who snatches a wallet and scream, thief, thief. President said as stated, yesterday (10) at the rally organized at Salgadu ground, Anuradhapura. The first rally organized for the forthcoming provincial election by SLFP led UPFA under the theme, more..

Pakistan Food Festival opens in Colombo

Jan 12 (PHC) With the aim to build around an idea of creating common platform for people who love food, the colorful Pakistan Food Festival opened in Galadari Hotel on 10th Jan for the third consecutive year after huge success in 2016 & 2017. The Food Festival was formally opened by the Minister John Amaratunga along with the High Commissioner of Pakistan in SL Dr. Shahid Hashmat by cutting the ribbon in an impressive ceremony. The Food Festival will remain open from Jan 10 to 14. more..

Place you haven't been to, that you should

Jan 12 (Stuff) Endless beaches, timeless ruins, welcoming people, oodles of elephants, rolling surf, cheap prices, fun trains, famous tea and flavourful food make SL irresistible. You might say SL has been hiding in plain sight. Countless scores of travellers have passed overhead on their way to someplace else, but years of uncertainty kept SL off many itineraries. Now, however, all that has changed. Country is moving forward quickly as more and more people discover its myriad charms. more..

'Highway network of Colombo to begin soon'

Jan 12 (DM) Construction work on a highway network designed to ease the traffic congestion in the Colombo City will begin soon, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. He revealed this at a UNP Bala Mandala meeting held at Havelock City last evening. “Construction work on an elevated highway from Kelaniya to Fort will begin soon with a highway coming from Battaramulla Junction getting connected to it. more..

Sisira Kumara wins Pin Fernando GP

Jan 12 (DN) Fired up Sisira Kumara with a 5 under 66 left others in the shade to make a fitting finale and cruise to victory in the final event of 2017. Sisira with a 4 round total of 278 at 6 under for the tournament made his statement as the current Sri Lankan amateur golfer in the best form. He was a comfortable 6 shots clear of 2nd placed J.M.D. Indika with a total score of 284 leaving Chalitha Pushpika trailing in third place with a total of 289, whilst current top ranked player Sanjeewa more..

CEAT Kelani to invest Rs. 3 b in country’s tyre industry over next two years

Jan 12 (FT) CEAT Kelani Holdings yesterday said they had finalised an infusion of Rs. 3 billion in new investments over the next two years for the enhancement of manufacturing capacity, new product development and the growth of exports, in a significant vote of confidence of the prospects for the India-Sri Lanka joint venture tyre manufacturing operation. The investments, 30% of which will be made up of internal funds while 70% will comprise borrowings, will see the establishment of more..

Visa regulations relaxed to facilitate long-term stay for BOI investors, employees

Jan 12 (FT) Govt this week gave approval for the line ministry of the Board of Investments to develop its own criterion to grant a residence visa to foreign investors and their foreign employees. A proposal made by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Wayamba Development and Cultural Affairs to allow a five-year residence visa to be granted to employees of the BOI, based on the recommendation of the ministry secretary more..

President opens Water Treatment Plants in Anuradhapura district

Jan 12 (PMD) A ceremony was held under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena at the Mahabulankulama Thibbotuwawa Sri Vijaya Viharaya, yesterday (10) to open Water Treatment Plants installed at several places in Anuradhapura district, with the aim of minimizing the spread of chronic kidney disease in the district. The President who arrived at the Viharaya opened the Water Treatment Plant installed at the temple amid the chanting of Seth Pirith and later opened more..

Women and labour force participation in the North of Sri Lanka

Jan 12 (Island) The civil war in Sri Lanka, which came to an end in 2009, has had a large impact on women's livelihood engagement by exacerbating existing barriers while also introducing new opportunities for women. This is especially true for female heads of households who the International Labour Organization defines as women who are responsible for "households where no adult males are present, owing to divorce, separation, migration, non-marriage, or widowhood, or where men, more..

Reduced drug prices won’t stand still for 100 years: Health Minister

Jan 12 (Island) It is useful to remind ourselves that regulating the prices of pharmaceutical drugs is a policy decision made to bring relief to the masses. It is not a deterrent on drug manufacturers and importers to undermine the availability of drugs in the market. So, the drug price framework needs flexibility to accommodate changes in circumstances such as exchange rate fluctuation, Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said on Monday. more..

Minister’s remarks about the final phase of civil war in SL angers DMK

Jan 12 (Hindu) A remark by Fisheries Minister D. Jayakumar in the Legislative Assembly on Thursday on the final phase of the civil war in Sri Lanka evoked strong reactions from the DMK. After Leader of the Opposition M.K. Stalin listed a number of projects that his party, while sharing power at the Centre, had secured for the benefit of the State, Mr. Jayakumar said the Opposition party could also mention the death of a large number of people in the last phase of the civil war as its achievement. more..

Port City reclamation to be completed by 1Q - 2019

Jan 12 (DN) Close to 63% of the 269 hectares of land that would constitute the Port City Colombo, currently under construction has already been reclaimed from the ocean, and reclamation of the total area is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2019. “We are on schedule. 269 hectares is divided into residential, office, hotels, and theme parks and in addition to that there is a proposed international school, hospital and a convention center planned within Port City. more..

Central Bank to initiate forensic audits on issuance of T-bonds

Jan 12 (AD) The Governor of the Central Bank has been handed a copy of the report of the Bond Commission, entrusting the task of considering giving effect to the recommendations contained in the Report. Secretary to the President has handed over a copy of the report of the Commission of Inquiry on the Issuance of Treasury Bonds (PCoI) during the period from 1 st Feb 2015 to 31st March 2016 to Governor on 10, Jan. more..

CPA wants Supreme Court advisory opinion to be made public

Jan 12 (FT) The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) has called on the Supreme Court to make its advisory opinion on the question of the duration of President Sirisena’s term public, to ensure transparency. Issuing a statement, CPA said it appreciated that the Chief Justice and the other judges of the Supreme Court facilitated and permitted interventions from members of the public to make representations in this instance. “CPA notes that there have been previous occasions more..

Sri Lanka tourism awards cyber Security contract to Sri Lanka CERT|CC

Jan 12 (Island) Sri Lanka CERT, national computer emergency readiness team, has been entrusted with the task of providing a wide range of cyber security services for the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA). SLTDA Chairman Kavan Ratnayaka awarded a contract in this regard to Lal Dias, the CEO of CERT, at a brief event held at the SLTDA premises, in Colombo, recently. The cyber security measures are aimed at strengthening the ICT arm of Sri Lanka Tourism which is more..

If drought hits during March and April: CEB engineers warn of power cuts

Jan 12 (CT) CEB engineers have decided not to participate in the technical evaluation process of 100MW emergency power tender, which is to be purchased by the Govt, as a solution to face up to the drought conditions which may occur during the months of March and April this year. Due to this decision taken by the CEB engineers, there could be a strong possibility of power cuts coming into effect during March and April, more..

John says nothing personal in seeking Udaya’s resignation

Jan 12 (FT) Tourism Minister John Amaratunga issued a clarification on the Daily FT article titled Industry up in arms over John’s move to oust Tourism Board Chief published yesterday. I would like to set the record straight that the Chairman, SL Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB), Mr. Udaya Nanayakkara, was asked to resign from his post by 10 Jan 2018 in order for me as the Minister in charge of the subject of tourism to facilitate the immediate restructuring of the bureau more..

25 District Reconciliation Committees meet

Jan 12 (FT) The concept of District Reconciliation Committee (DRC) is a brainchild of Prez Sirisena as Minister of National Integration and Reconciliation and was approved by the Cabinet to resolve ethnic and religious tensions. The 25 DRCs with over 200 inter-religious leaders, District Secretary focal points including retired Magistrates and retired school principals met on Jan 11, 2018 at the BMICH to discuss reconciliation strategies, interventions and addressing the ethnic and religious tensions more..

Enterprise Sri Lanka to be launched in March

Jan 12 (FT) One of the main proposals made in the Budget to create entrepreneurs will be launched in March, Minister Mangala Samaraweera said, with the possibility of awardees being given an interest subsidy up to 75% of the effective interest rate. The Govt expects to disburse Rs. 60,000 million through state and private banks to would-be entrepreneurs and another Rs. 5,000 million has been set aside by Treasury more..

Prez has only 695 days left in office: CaFFE

Jan 12 (FT) CaFFE yesterday made interventions in the Supreme Court during public submissions on a thorny constitutional question, charging that Prez Sirisena could only function for a period of five years, with his term ending on 8 Dec 2019, 695 days from today. Executive Director of CaFFE, Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon, said that attorney-at-law Krishmal Warnasuriya, appearing for CaFFE had made submissions arguing that according to the section 30.1 of the 19th amendment, more..

Prez clarifies reason for seeking SC opinion

Jan 12 (PMD) Two different views have been expressed in legal, civil and political circles about the duration of the term of Presidency after the enactment of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. In order to dispel this confusion, the President has sought the opinion of the Supreme Court regarding the actual term of office. According to the powers vested on the President under the Constitution, the President has the right to seek the opinion of the Supreme Court. more..

COPE to summon CB Governor, top officials again over bond scams

Jan 12 (Island) The parliamentary watchdog committee, COPE has decided to re-summon the Central Bank Governor, top officials and officials of the Finance Ministry before the it again to question them on the Treasury Bond scam, a senior COPE member said. COPE member said that they would be summoned after the report of PCoI that investigated the bond scam was debated in Parliament. more..

India provides Rs. 6.9 bn to upgrade KKS Harbour

Jan 12 (DN) India provides US $ 45.27 million (LKR 6.9 b) to upgrade Kankesanthurai (KKS) Harbour and the agreement in this regard was signed on Jan 10 in New Delhi by Export-Import Bank of India Managing Director David Rasquinha and the Secretary to Treasury of SL. The project would make KKS Harbour a full-fledged commercial port further strengthening Sri Lanka’s efforts to become a regional maritime hub. It would assist in reconstruction efforts in northern SL as well. more..

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) not cleared of corruption allegations: ICC

Jan 12 (Island) ICC denied claims that it had cleared Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) of corruption allegations on match fixing. "The investigations are ongoing and the ICC don’t comment on live investigations," an ICC spokesman said from Dubai. Early this week there were claims that the int'l governing body, which began an investigation last September into allegations made by two former national players, had found no evidence of wrongdoing thus clearing the national body of such allegations. more..

Six-year term for President Sirisena: AG tells Supreme Court

Jan 12 (FT) Attorney General Jayantha Jayasuriya yesterday contended that President Maithripala Sirisena could continue his term of office as President for six years, even as a five-judge bench of the country’s highest court heard interventions on a knotty and politically charged question put before them by the incumbent President himself. Making submissions in a packed courtroom, Attorney General, appearing with more..