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Navam Perahera: A pageant that commemorates Buddha’s first sermon

Jan 31 (DM) Navam Perahera which was originally known as Colamba Perahera is conducted annually during Navam (Feb) at Hunupitiya Gangaramaya Viharaya. The arrangements for the pageant are made by Gangaramaya Temple. The organizing is handled by young people associated with the temple under the direction of the chief incumbent of the temple, Ven. Galaboda Gnanissara Thera. Originally Kolamba Perahera was conducted in August, immediately after Esala Perahera in Kandy. more..

The University of Kelaniya ties-up with Airtel’s Industry Partnership Programme

Jan 31 (Island) Industry Partnership Program is a joint academic cum industry work exposure programme that helps undergraduates understand the essence of business at large. Airtel has now opened its doors to the undergraduates of the Dept of Marketing Management, Faculty of Commerce and Management Studies, Uni of Kelaniya under the Airtel Industry Partnership Programme. Programme offers undergraduates of the Uni of Kelaniya a cohesive working experiencezhe said. more..

Video: SAITM struggle will continue with or without GMOA: IUSF

Jan 31 (DM) Although the GMOA appeared to have settled their differences with the Health Minister on the SAITM issue, the IUSF said it would continue the SAITM struggle regardless of the GMOA backing out. IUSF Convener Lahiru Weerasekara said the GMOA can have its own opinion over the SAITM struggle irrespective of the IUSF’s opinion. “We will appreciate it if the GMOA continued to stay with us, but more..

More rains expected today, tomorrow due to as low level atmospheric disturbance

Jan 31 (DM) Heavy showers with thunder will experience today and tomorrow in most parts of the country as a result of the low level atmospheric disturbance over vicinity of Sri Lanka which is in its peak, Meteorology Department Director General K.H.M.S. Premalal said. He said starting tomorrow the weather condition will improve. However he said the country will have impact of North-East Monsoon until Feb 5. The period Jan-Feb will be free of storms in the bay of Bengal and more..

Where have all the workers gone?

Jan 31 (IPS) The first Labour Demand Survey (LDS) in Sri Lanka, conducted by the Department of Census and Statistics (DCS), recorded nearly half a million vacancies in the private sector. A large portion of these vacancies are found to be in routine and non-routine manual jobs. However, most of Sri Lanka’s job-seekers are educated youth, who instead, search for white-collar jobs. This situation has given rise to a sectoral mismatch between the demand and supply of labour in Sri Lanka. more..

U-19 WC selections based on favouritism?

Jan 31 (CT) In a somewhat hilarious comment regarding dropping of Under 19 star opener Hasitha Boyagoda during the U-19 World Cup matches, National Selector Graham Labrooy said they dropped Boyagoda to include an extra paceman and this is why Santhush Gunathilaka was selected. Boyagoda who scored a half century against Australia in the warm-up game was dropped after he failed against Ireland, more..

Udaya retains men’s TT crown for fourth consecutive time

Jan 31 (DN) Seasoned campaigner, Vidyarthian TT star Udaya Ranasinghe continued his dominance in the local table tennis arena when he clinched the men's singles national crown for the fifth consecutive year and became the men's Most Outstanding Player in the 71st National Table Tennis Championship 2017 concluded at the S. Thomas' Indoor Stadium, Mount Lavenia recently. Ishara Madurangi of SLPA who went on to partner two titles (Women's Open doubles/ Mixed doubles) more..

Sri Lanka’s budget related reporting seen as falling short of world standards

Jan 31 (Island) Fiscal Management (Responsibility) Act, which governs budget related reporting in Sri Lanka, is falling short of international standards when considering its quality and scope of reporting, Executive Director, Verite Research Dr. Nishan de Mel said. "Although Sri Lanka does adhere to the law, or in other words we are in keeping with the letter of the law, we do not adhere to the spirit of the law. But the country could do a lot in that direction, de Mel said at a seminar yesterday more..

Sri Lanka banking on wily old fox Herath

Jan 31 (AFP) Sri Lanka will bank on the guile of record-breaking left-arm spinner Rangana Herath as they try to extend their recent winning streak to the two-Test series against Bangladesh, captain Dinesh Chandimal said Tuesday. After a dismal last few months, Sri Lanka appeared to have turned the tide by winning the recent tri-nation tournament with an emphatic 79-run victory against Bangladesh in final ODI. more..

National Athletes embarrassed at airport

Jan 31 (CT) A hideous mistake by Far Travels and Tours (Pvt) Ltd. resulted in National Athletes having to embarrassingly return from the airport, as they found out the travel company hasn't properly reserved their air tickets to Iran even though they issued tickets. SL National team of five athletes and coach for the Asian Indoor Athletics Championship were taken by surprise when they were told that their seats haven't been confirmed when they tried to check in at the airport on Monday night. more..

UNP Deputy General Secy. asserts no loss in State revenue

Jan 31 (FT) UNP Deputy General Secretary and Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam yesterday asserted that claims made by President Sirisena and various parties concerning the loss of revenue to the State were merely political speeches targeting the upcoming elections and had no factual value. “At a time when Sri Lanka has a current account surplus of Rs. 22 billion, it is obvious that any statement about loss of revenue to the State is one that is said targeting the elections,” he said. more..

UNP urges public to strengthen given mandate

Jan 31 (FT) Outlining govt’s achievements during its 3 years in office, UNP Genenal Secretary Kabir Hashim appealed to the public to further strengthen the party to continue developing the country. “Road to development is now open to the Govt through PM’s vision and the foundation has been laid. We now need your assistance to build the walls on the foundation. This can be done only if UNP is further more..

Marapana report recommends barring Ravi from attending UNP events

Jan 31 (FT) The committee appointed by the UNP to analyse the report submitted by the Bond Commission recommends barring former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake from participating in any national event of the party in addition to removing him from the post of Assistant Leader, highly-placed UNP sources said. “Cabinet Ministers yesterday had a meeting at Temple Trees and discussed the report in detail. We have decided that we will fully implement recommendations,” more..

UNP gave Rajarata farmers water to irrigate their lands: Ranil

Jan 31 (Island) It was the UNP which provided Rajarata farmers with water to irrigate their lands, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said in Anuradhapura. Addressing a public meeting in support of UNP candidates contesting LG Elections, he noted that modern day development of Rajarata was undertaken by UNP leaders such as D.S. Senanayake, Dudley Senanayake and J.R. Jayawardena. PM said that it was the accelerated Mahaweli Ganga Scheme under UNP rule, more..

PM single-handedly dragging SL down: PM's cronies to continue at SriLankan Airlines

Jan 31 (FT) Beleaguered SriLankan CEO Suren Ratwatte is likely to continue in his post until after the LG elections following a decision made by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to suspend all changes at the ailing carrier until the polls are over. Govt has frozen any changes to the board of directors of SriLankan including the appointment of a new CEO until LG elections are over, with plans to change the entire Board afterwards. more..

PRECIFAC report: Powerful Minister in current regime implicated

Jan 31 (CT) Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said, a powerful Minister in the current regime has been implicated in the report compiled by the PRECIFAC, which probed 34 instances of large scale fraud and corruption that had been committed during the previous regime. He said that President Maithripala Sirisena will not think twice before taking legal action against the Minister concerned irrespective of the latter's political affiliation. He said that although the Prez had invited all MPs of the JO to join him more..

Uva Chief Minister to be grilled by HRCSL

Jan 31 (Island) Uva CM, Chamara Sampath Dassanayake, will appear before the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) tomorrow, He is the first Chief Minister to be summoned for an investigation by the HRCSL, CaFFE says in a media statement. The HRCSL is conducting this investigation after the General Secretary of the Ceylon Teacher Services Union, Joseph Stalin and CaFFE Executive Director, Keerthi Tennakoon lodged complaints against Sampath alleging more..

Bond debate: EC prevails; PM relents

Jan 31 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe consented to have a parliamentary debate on Feb 6 on two reports from the bond commission and the PRECIFAC. PM initially decided to have the debate on Feb. 8. But, Chairman of the EC Mahinda Deshapriya raised concerns about his decision as all election propaganda activities had to end at midnight on Feb 7. He pointed out that the parties in parliament would make use of more..

Compromise and consensus good for Democracy

Jan 31 (DM) Through consultation, compromise and consensus – key factors for democracy and public accountability – Speaker Karu Jayasuriya announced yesterday that a special session of Parliament would be held on Feb 6 to hold the widely-awaited debate on two bombshell reports. These reports had been handed over to President Sirisena by the Commission which probed the CB’s alleged bond scams from Feb 2015 to Mar 2016 and the Commission which probed allegations of more..

Reconciliation: A mandate by the People for the People

Jan 31 (DM) The events of 2015 set out a path of reform to strengthen our democracy and institutions, entrench respect for human rights and the rule of law. We saw pledges made to take the essential steps needed to learn from our past such that we could ensure that future generations of Sri Lankans of all backgrounds are free from conflict, violence and would enjoy their rights as equal citizens of our country. While certain interest groups have questioned the legitimacy & need for reform, more..

'Economy parlous'

Jan 31 (DM) Minister John Seneviratne, stresses that the economy of the country is in ruins and President should intervene to resurrect it. Q: As a senior Minister of the SLFP, how realistic is Prez Sirisena’s assertion that he would take over the supervision of the economy? A: The way the economy is handled is attributed to the parlous economic situation of the country. When you go to the villages, people take up their objections more..

Mominul 175*, Mushfiqur 92 flatten Sri Lanka

Jan 31 (CI) Mominul Haque, focused, fluent and scintillating, hoisted Bangladesh to an authoritative position in the Chittagong Test. Having put on a 236-run third-wicket stand with Mushfiqur Rahim, Mominul has not quite batted SL out of the game, but the visitors will find it difficult to win from here. Though they struck twice with the second new ball, there is plenty of batting to come from Bangladesh yet, not least from more..

Bond Scam Report: President’s trump card against UNP? But did he act prematurely?

Jan 31 (DM) The Bond-scam Report is the trump card any politician would like to have against his opponents. In a wildly chaotic political scenario, Bond-scam Report was released by its authors, not to the public or Parliament, but to President Sirisena. In rushing to make political capital out of a financial scam of severe consequence to his own govt, Sirisena may have committed a political blunder that might entail more..

Regional Consular Office in Jaffna marks first anniversary

Jan 31 (Island) The Jaffna Regional Consular Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs marked its first anniversary last week, Foreign Ministry said. "In keeping with the aim to improve and enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of consular related service delivery to the general public, particularly those in the Northern Province, Ministry of Foreign Affairs opened a Regional Consular Office in Jaffna on 26 Jan 2017. more..

Tank 91: Story of the Trincomalee oil tank destroyed in world war 2

Jan 31 (Roar) Hidden in midst of a jungle in the western section of Trinco, is the oil tank farm which was initially built by the British during WW2. The main purpose of the oil tank farm was to fuel the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force (RAF), which were used during the East Indian defense against the Japanese aggression. After Singapore was captured by the Japanese, Trinco became the main refueling base in the region. more..

Jaffna district farmers seek guaranteed price not subsidy

Jan 31 (ST) The main plea from the northern farmers is to provide them a guaranteed price for their products, says Govt Agent for Jaffna district N. Vethanayahan. He says employment was still an issue with the lack of major industries which existed before the conflict, but the agriculture sector could be improved with facilities for farmers. “Farmers say they do not want grants or subsides, and if a reasonable price is given more..

Earl and Countess of Wessex arrive in SL

Jan 31 (DM) Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and the Countess of Wessex arrived in Sri Lanka today on a five-day official visit. Royal couple will attend the 70th anniversary celebration of Sri Lanka’s independence representing Queen Elizabeth II. British High Commission said their five day visit will focus on the long-standing UK and Sri Lanka relationship, the Commonwealth, education & young people. more..

Special High Courts to function by Aug: PM

Jan 31 (DM) The special high courts investigations on serious frauds will start functioning by August this year, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. "Cabinet paper submitted by Minister of Justice Talatha Atthukorala was approved by the Cabinet today and it will be presented to Parliament soon. UNP's stand on the issue is that the new courts should initially hear the cases on corruption which has taken place during the present regime", more..

30 local bodies go hi-tech to contain corruption

Jan 31 (Island) The inauguration ceremony to launch the e-local Govt Network initiative was held last Monday at the BMICH with the participation of Ministers Faiszer Musthapha, and Harin Fernando as Chief Guests. Speaking at the event Minister Faiszer Musthapha said it was a step towards eliminating corruption and malpractices within Local Authorities, with the system being introduced to 30 local bodies countrywide. more..

Bond scam miscreants using Ravi as scapegoat: CaFFE

Jan 31 (DM) Referring to PM Ranil Wickremesinghe's statement that it was only proper for MP Ravi Karunanayake to step down from his post as the UNP's assistant leader, CaFFE Executive Director Keerthi Tennakoon said the major bond scam miscreants had used Mr. Karunanayake as a scapegoat. Mr. Tennakoon said the Tilak Marapana-committee which was appointed to look into whether any UNPer more..

CMEV urges trade unions to refrain from strikes

Jan 31 (NR) Election Monitoring Body, the Center for Monitoring Election Violence has urged trade unions to refrain from sabotaging the election process. National Coordinator of CMEV Manjula Gajanayaka said trade union actions during a democratic election period cannot be justified and therefore requested unions against such measures. Coordinator of CMEV Manjula Gajanayaka noted that several unions have threatened to work-to-rule campaigns and indefinite strikes. more..

How to crash an airline: Slaughter and slaying of SriLankan

Jan 31 (FT) "Ladies and gentlemen, this is your Captain speaking. We have a major issue at hand. We’ve lost power in both of our engines and are on free fall. Keep your seat-belt fastened and brace for impact.” It’s not just SriLankan Airlines that’s in the red requiring immediate resuscitation but the nation’s economy as well. It should have reached the stars after the battle was won in 2009. It seems God did not confer such great blessings on Mother Lanka. Or were the citizens just cheated, more..

What are the human organs we can donate

PRECIFAC findings have silenced many politicians: President

Jan 31 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena says some politicians who made a big noise, demanding an early parliamentary debate on the PRECIFAC, released its findings recently. The PRECIFAC Report contained some serious accusations against certain vociferous politicians, who having obviously got to know about it, had gone into a shell, the President told a Local Govt Elections Campaign meeting in Ratnapura recently. "They are now unusually silent." more..

Keep election propaganda at a decent level

Jan 31 (CT) Election laws are put in place, sanctioned and enforced by the Elections Commission for a reason: to keep propaganda from disturbing the people's day-to-day lives, to prevent certain politically inclined events from swaying public attitude and to save public and private property from posters. However, if candidates are carrying out propaganda, such material is removed by authorities. Yet, it remains a fact that this forthcoming February Polls has been one of more..

Sinhala Newspaper industry in turmoil

Jan 31 (CT) The closing down of the second newspaper in a month on the heels of several other closures, an editorial coup and a stop-start-stop-again of another newspaper has thrown the Sinhala newspaper industry into turmoil. The Janayugaya was shut down prompting the staff to take the matter up in the Labour Tribunal. The newspaper, owned by Arjun Aloysius, man at the centre of CB bond scam and more..

PAFFREL records 706 violations

Jan 31 (Island) Election watchdog PAFFREL says it has received 615 complaints of 706 electoral and general law violations by yesterday afternoon. Of them 98 are related to incidents of violence and 115 incidents of other forms of violations of the law. As per the PAFFREL statistical report of election law violations which covers the pre-election period, 19 persons have been hospitalized due to election related violence. So far 16 grievous assaults were among 98 acts of violence. more..

Mominul Haque breaks the shackles

Jan 31 (CI) It was only when he stepped out of the crease twice in the nineties did the usually restrained Mominul Haque allow us a glimpse of his emotions. He didn't time the first one well, a straight bunt off Lakshan Sandakan that went past mid-on for four, but the next whistled through wide of mid-off. It was an excellent shot, but before you could marvel at it, there was something else demanding attention. The scowl on Mominul's face. Usually, his celebrating a hundred involves taking off more..

At long last, children of Sri Lankan refugees get birth certificates

Jan 31 (Hindu) Rokshini, a 30-year-old SL Tamil refugee residing in the Thoppukollai camp in Pudukottai district with her two children, finds it difficult to describe her feeling. Her nearly year-long struggle came to fruition on Tuesday morning, when she received consular birth certificates for her two children, both of whom are less than 10 years of age. “It was quite hard for me and my husband to gather all the documents more..

Commemorative Rs. 1000 note printed to mark 70th Independence Day

Jan 31 (DN) A commemorative Rs. 1000 currency note has been printed to mark the country’s 70th anniversary of independence. It was handed over by CB Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy to Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera yesterday. The new note, which is dated Feb 4th, Independence Day, contains 3 key differences from the current Rs. 1000 note. First, the butterfly in the bottom left-hand corner of the current note is replaced with a graphic of four children and the tagline, more..