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British twists in an annus rather horribilis

Jan 2 (ST) And so it came to pass that the annus was running into trouble from the early days. Two years after an outsider donned the kingly crown and the previous one forced to abdicate but still not abandoning his ambitions, it appeared that SL was about to turn into Miracle of Asia. Only a miracle could do that anyway. It might not have turned out to be such a peaceful transfer of power if Minister Samaraweera’s story of a coup in the making at Temple Trees by old regime was believed. more..

HIV cases increase in Vavuniya

Jan 2 (CT) Case studies have revealed that an increase in prostitution in the Vavuniya District is the main factor in the rise in HIV cases in the region, Dr. Kumaragurunathan Chandrakumar, Medical Officer in Charge, STD-AIDS Control Programme, Vavuniya said. Recently, it was detected that female sex workers in Vavuniya are only concerned about their income and had avoided protected sex. more..

Tea vs. asbestos

Jan 2 (FT) If proof was ever needed, the asbestos for tea trade-off with Russia has shown us the humbleness of our situation in the most humiliating manner. Tea was introduced to this country by the British, not because they perceived it as the mainstay of an export-oriented economy of an independent Ceylon (as we were known then). For the policymakers of imperial Whitehall it was imperative that their far-flung colonies should not be a charge on the British Exchequer; instead, more..

Foreign policy needs careful handling

Jan 2 (CT) The startling revelation by the media that Foreign Office officials have taken arbitrary decisions about serious foreign policy issues, without even consulting the Minister of Foreign Affairs, leave alone the President and the Prime Minister, has sent shockwaves across the corridors of power. Infuriated, PM Wickremesinghe called for explanations from the Foreign Secretary and a female upstart in the Foreign Ministry, who was responsible for arbitrary decisions. more..

Face the Nation

Lankan experts study flood mitigation systems in the Netherlands

Jan 2 (ST) A team of Sri Lankan experts has gone to the Netherlands to study flood mitigation systems there and acquire the Dutch expertise in flood management. During the visit, facilitated by the Netherlands embassy in Colombo, the Sri Lankan experts made some crucial comparisons between the flash flood prevention and management in Sri Lanka and the Netherlands. The Netherlands has mastered the art of flood management, as one third of the country lies below the sea level more..

Opposition to Jaffna funeral shows need to promote plural ethos

Jan 2 (Island) The recent divergence of opinion over the public funeral of a Buddhist monk who had been the chief incumbent of the Buddhist temple in Jaffna is an unfortunate example of the need for greater sensitivity, consultation and dialogue in situations of ethnic contestation. Ven Meegahajandure Gnanaratana had been the chief incumbent of the Buddhist temple in Jaffna since 1991. He was also the chief monk for Northern Province. Naga Vihara temple in Jaffna is an important religious site. more..

Making-maths difficult policy: Teachers, students give zero marks to Exam Dept

Jan 2 (ST) Examinations Dept will have a review on the marking of GCE (O/L) Maths paper amidst complaints that the paper was difficult for most students. Commissioner General of Examinations Sanath Poojitha said after the Exam is concluded they have a programmme known as controlled marking for each paper where samples from answer papers will be taken into consideration and the marking scheme will be adjusted. more..

Ticket vending machine at Maligawa

Jan 2 (ST) The Dalada Maligawa has introduced ticket vending machines for the convenience of foreign visitors to the historic temple. Diyawdana Nilame Pradeep Nilanga Dela said the machine was user-friendly. Visitors from SAARC nations and Buddhist majority Thailand and Myanmar could buy a ticket by inserting currency notes — of one hundred rupee denomination or above — to the value of Rs. 1000. Visitors from other countries are charged Rs. 1,500. more..

Editorial: Kicks, punches and knocks

Jan 2 (Island) The yahapalana govt would have us believe that the recent US decision to let its GSP for 128 countries including Sri Lanka, lapse, hasn’t hurt it, at all. A minister has even claimed that the US action can be considered a blessing in disguise; he argues that Sri Lanka, which is entitled to the European Union (EU) GSP+, unlike many other countries hit by the loss of US preferential duty scheme, is at an advantage in international trade! He sounds just like a person who, more..

Critical advertising blitz to boost tourism kicks off in Feb

Jan 2 (FT) The long-delayed critical digital promotional campaign of Sri Lanka Tourism will take off next month followed by a global advertising drive in May, to boost sagging arrival numbers. SLTPB Chairman Udaya Nanayakkara told the Daily FT that they were in the process of kicking off 6-month digital promotional campaign covering five of Sri Lanka’s prime markets of India, China, UK, Germany & France next month. more..

David Pieris Racing to host Sri Lanka’s first international Go-karting event

Jan 2 (DM) David Pieris Motor Company (DPMC) has come out with an innovative idea to offer discerning motorsport enthusiasts, both local and foreign, the chance to witness and partake in an event that would otherwise be difficult for most to attend, as it takes place in other countries. Extending its arms into the leisure/tourism sector, DPMC birthed its newest extension in the immensely diversified group, David Pieris Racing and Leisure (DPRL). more..

Theagarajah assumes duties as Cargills Bank MD/CEO

Jan 2 (DM) Theagarajah is not a stranger to Cargills Bank having joined and served as its Non-Executive Joint Deputy Chairman since Dec 2016. With this appointment, he will play a pivotal role in executing strategy and delivering the bank’s business plan, which includes a road map for a listing at a future point in time. His predecessor Prabhu Mathavan, who successfully completed his tenure as MD/CEO will continue to be a member of the board as an Exec Director supporting the business units more..

PM and his cronies bankrupting SL

SLC EGM in Jeopardy?

Jan 2 (CT) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) face a challenge if they conduct their extraordinary general meeting (EGM) scheduled for 7 Jan as three clubs eye taking legal action against it. Three clubs, namely – Peterson SC, Kollupitiya SC and Nomads SC have not received the notification from SLC even by last Friday and they are exploring the possibility of taking legal action. Three clubs were earlier submitted with suspension of funding by SLC citing that they have not submitted audited financial reports more..

‘Motor industry yet to see Budget tax impact’

Jan 2 (DN) The effects of the tax changes announced in Budget 2018 for the motor industry are yet to take effect, said J.B. Securities in their monthly review of the industry. It says that the registrations in November were lackluster except for a pickup in small hybrid cars. Motor cars segment recorded 2,439 units in Nov up from 1,961 units in Oct but significantly down from 3,574 units 12 months ago. In the brand-new segment volumes slumped to a 24-month low of 473 units more..

Violation of Sports law by NOC officials: No action by Minister or DG

Jan 2 (CT) Office bearers of National Olympic Committee (NOC) and their close allies have taken some moves, which violates the Sports law and regulations in their run up for the upcoming NOC elections surprisingly with the blessing of Director General of Sports Saman Bandara. NOC President Hemasiri Fernando, General Secretary Maxwell de Silva and Treasurer Gamini Jayasinghe who were in the more..

Army Chief wants data on candidates contesting polls

Jan 2 (FT) Army Commander Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake says the Army must have information on the candidates contesting the Local Govt (LG) elections. Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake said that gathering information on candidates and other key members of society does not mean they are being monitored. However, he says if a situation arises where those candidates or others need military protection then the Army needs to have background information on them. more..

Meethotamulla garbage dump fire doused

Jan 2 (NR) Efforts to douse the fire which broke out at the Meethotamulla garbage dump in Kolonnawa this morning have ended. Army and STF were deployed to assist in bringing the blaze under control. Colombo Fire Brigade said three engines had been dispatched to douse the fire. The fire had broken out around 11 this morning. Meethotamulla garbage mound collapsed in April last year killing 31 people and leading to much controversy over the disposal of garbage in the area. more..

Central Bank sets record straight on CIFL

Jan 2 (DM) Central Bank defended itself against the accusations of misconduct made by the stakeholders of the troubled financial institution, Central Investment & Finance (CIFL), saying that the banking and finance sector regulator has acted according to the regulations in this particular case. A member of a CIFL subsidiary board had called for a forensic audit, saying that it would reveal the irregular and possibly illegal actions taken by more..

‘Country suffered due to weak foreign policy’

Jan 2 (NR) Minister Tilak Marapana charges the country was forced to face various challenges during the tenure of the previous UPFA led govt due to weak foreign policies. Speaking at a rally in Hiniduma, he stressed in order for any country to develop, close ties must be maintained with the international community. Minster noted as a result of failing to maintain and develop international ties, Sri Lanka was compelled to obtain large scale loans to conduct the country’s day to day affairs. more..

Police remove MR cutouts at A'pura

Jan 2 (DM) Police have removed the cutouts and posters bearing the image of former president Rajapaksa from a SLPP office in Medawachchiya on the basis that it was unlawful to keep such items with the image of someone not belonging to the party. SLPP organizer has lodged a complaint to the Elections Commissioner about this incident. "Police personnel came to the office on Sunday and forcibly took away leaflets with Mr. Rajapaksa’s pictures saying it is unlawful to keep them. more..

Delay in prosecution: State to pay compensation

Jan 2 (DN) Supreme Court has recently held that the Fundamental Rights of three petitioners’ guaranteed under Article 12 (1) of the Constitution had been violated by police for their inaction which resulted in the long delay in prosecuting the suspect who is said to have killed the petitioners’ close relative in 2010. Accordingly, Supreme Court three-judge-Bench made an order directing the state to pay Rs.150,000 as more..

SB claims JO leaders want to keep UNP in power till 2025

Jan 2 (Island) Minister of Social Empowerment, Welfare S.B. Dissanayake claims that a plot is being hatched to keep the UNP in power till 2025 and the Joint Opposition (JO) leaders are party to it. Addressing a UPFA meeting at Uduwela Pallegama on Sunday (31) in support of UPFA candidates contesting the local govt polls, the Minister said: "When the SLFP is divided the UNP will be the main beneficiary. A group of our members broke away to form the JO and conspired with the UNP. more..

290,000 affected by drought in North: DMC

Jan 2 (NR) Disaster Management Centre says that as many as 293,764 people remained affected by the prevailing drought, in five northern districts in the island. The five districts worst affected by drought included Puttalam, Kurunegala, Vavuniya, A'pura and Mannar. Sri Lanka experienced both severe droughts and floods last year. Inclement weather conditions such as floods, landslides and high speed winds claimed the lives of more than 200 persons and also disrupted essential services more..

Suwa Seriya second phase begins

Jan 2 (DN) The second phase of the Suwa Seriya ambulance service set up with the assistance of India will begin today with a ceremony at Temple Trees. Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva said that under the second stage, 209 ambulances will be provided plus a grant of US $15 million. The monies would be used to expand the service, train manpower, expand the capacity of the Suwa Seriya main coordination centre more..

TRC raids illegal FM radio station at Deraniyagala

Jan 2 (DM) An illegal FM radio station broadcasting from Deraniyagala was raided Sunday by Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) personnel. TRC spokesman aid the illegal broadcasting station was raided with the assistance of the after it was detected by modern searching devices. “The main equipment which is need for radio broadcasting and several other supporting equipment were also seized. It is illegal to broadcast without a valid license issued by the TRC,” more..

Sagala on MR: A man like him would never think twice about betraying country

Jan 2 (FT) Hitting out strongly against former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his allies, Minister Sagala Ratnayaka said Rajapaksa was a man who had no qualms about betraying the country to serve his family. Minister said his sole intention behind betraying the SLFP and forming the flower bud party was to find a way to bring his son, Namal Rajapaksa, to power. “Such a man will not be reluctant to betray the country for his own benefit,” he said, addressing a meeting in Morawaka, more..

PCoI on Bonds: JVP in bid to obtain reports

Jan 2 (DM) JVP said it would request the Presidential Secretariat for a copy of the PCoI report on CB bond scam under the Right to Information Act (RTI). JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanyake said that the report was not only for the President but also meant for the people to know who was responsible for the bond scam. “Report was handed over to the President on Dec 30. It is his responsibility to present it to the people more..

New Year violence decreases

Jan 2 (DN) A significant decrease in violence was reported at the dawn of the new year when compared to the number of violent incidents reported last year, National Hospital of Sri Lanka sources said. Only 42 victims of violence were reported this year, a decrease of 12% when compared to the last year’s. Number of victims of fire crackers have also shows a 29% decrease (12 victims). Road traffic accidents increased by 3% (117) and 161 falls were reported. more..

Video: There will be no change in govt after LG elections: PM

Jan 2 (AD) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe stated that there will be no change in govt after the Local Govt election and that it is only a platform to select representatives for all Local Govt institutions. He stated that all the allies of the UNP are prepared to join forces yet again to elect LG representatives in the same manner that a new President centered around the UNP was elected in 2015. He further stated that the govt took steps to increase the number of LG institutions for Nuwara Eliya more..

Video: President to make a special statement on bond scandal

Jan 2 (AD) President Maithripala Sirisena will make a special statement to the media on the report on the CB bond issue and the recommendations made by the PCoI at a special briefing that will be held on Jan 3. Report on CB treasury bond issuance was handed over to President by members of the PCoI. “Report on the Treasury Bond Inquiry by the PCoI was officially handed over to me, a short while ago,” President tweeted. more..

Politics in the New Year

Jan 2 (DM) Three years ago in January 2015, democratic change with the overthrow of the authoritarian Rajapaksa regime was a great moment of hope. For social institutions and movements – the effective guardians of democracy – that moment provided the space to again organise without fear. In some regions such as the post-war North and East, the democratic opening was a change like night and day. People who were afraid to speak during the decades of war and the post-war years, more..

Positives and Negatives of 2017

Jan 2 (DM) In our last editorial for 2017, Daily Mirror analyses the positives and the negatives of what happened this year in the socio-political, economic and other areas. It is good to begin with ourselves and speak about media freedom. With the election of President Maithripala Sirisena on Jan 8, 2015 and the formation of the National Unity Govt in August that year, media freedom was restored. On the political front, one of the major events was the decision to change the system of elections more..

Food Security: Sri Lanka ranked first in South Asia

Jan 2 (Island) Sri Lanka has been ranked the first in South Asian region on the recently published Global Food Security Index 2017. Bangladesh’s neighbours, Nepal and Myanmar, have been ranked at 81st and 80th positions respectively in the index. While Pakistan is at 77th rank, India secured the 74th position. Global Food Security Index, published by UN ranks countries around the world on the basis of food security. more..

Christmas in Ceylon in the ’50’s: Swing bands and grand galas

Jan 2 (Roar) History records social transformation. It is through the lens of historical narrative that we see the ages and eras of the past and learn of the people, places, and events that made an impact. Documented history throws a light on the customs and rituals of people as they wend their way through time, leaving their mark on a particular epoch.In the 1950’s, Ceylon has just gained independence from the British Raj, more..

British national found dead under suspicious circumstances in Maligawatta

Jan 2 (Mirror) A British man has been found dead under suspicious circumstances in a suburb of Colombo. The 37-year-old, whose name has not been released, was discovered with a wound to his face this morning. His body was found at a ground in the Araliya Uyana area of Colombo. SP Ruwan Gunasekara said that the British national arrived in Sri Lanka on Nov 25 and was due to leave the country on New Year's Day. more..

Controversy over D.A. Rajapaksa memorial museum

Jan 2 (DM) With the Appeal Court issuing an interim order not to file charges under Public Property Act for his role in alleged misappropriation of Govt funds worth over Rs. 60 million rupees to build a monument for his parents, former Defence Sec Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has contested authenticity of his signature on official documents & claimed that a verbal contract existed in connection with his family foundation & govt. more..

PM says election laws will be protected

Jan 2 (NR) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe says the govt is committed to protecting election laws and regulations. Speaking at the function to sign the media guidelines proposed by the Elections Commission, Premier said he hopes all individuals will contribute to ensuring the same. He said the present govt started 2018 by signing the media guidelines proposed by the Elections Commission to be followed by more..

Petroleum pipeline gets delayed again

Jan 2 (ST) Officials this week passed the buck over the near year-long delay in awarding a tender to complete the final phase of a crucial fuel pipeline from Colombo Port to the Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminals Limited (CPSTL) facility at Kolonnawa. Petroleum Corporation trade unions warn that failure to complete the pipeline could plunge the country into another fuel shortage should the single, dilapidated channel more..