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'Jealous India must rethink opposition to Chinese investment in Sri Lanka'

Jan 16 (PTI) India should rethink its opposition to Chinese investments in SL and join the port development in the island nation instead of feeling jealous, China’s state media said. “It is understandable that the cooperation has left some Asian countries vigilant as media reports suggest that an 80% share of the port, which sits on an important trade route, and land for an industrial zone will be leased to China for the next 99 years,” more..

Not enough elephants for this year’s perahera: Basnayake Nilame

Jan 16 (AD) We have found it difficult to find enough elephants for this year’s devala perahera, Basnayake Nilame of Kataragama Maha Devalaya D.P Kumarage says. Kumarage pointed out this came after the Department of Wildlife’s move to transfer the domesticated elephants to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage recently. Kumarage made the observation during a press conference held with the participation of the members of Domesticated Elephant Owners’ Association. more..

No elections before May: EC

Jan 16 (NR) Elections Commission says the impending Local Govt polls cannot be conducted before the 30th of April even if the final report formulated by the National Delimitation Committee is submitted tomorrow. Chairman of the Elections Commission Mahinda Deshapriya said the commission requires a minimum of 75 days to hold the election. Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya noted that preparatory work for the conduct of the Local Government Election is currently underway. more..

Video: I will retire soon: Nimal Siripala

Jan 16 (DM) Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva said that he would soon retire from politics as he didn’t have an intention of hanging on to power like many other politicians. Speaking at a rally, he said that there was a need of new political culture without family political agendas. Emphasizing the need of youth participation in politics, he said that the country was desperately in need of young generation’s participation in politics. more..

Oshin here next month

Jan 16 (DN) Ayako Kobayashi, who played the role of Oshin in the tele drama Oshin the most famous Japanese TV show in history, will be in Colombo early next month, to open the first ever Japan Expo Premier Sri Lanka 2017, which will be held at the BMICH. Oshin is a household name in Sri Lanka. Oshin dubbed in Sinhala has been relaying in local TV stations for over two decades. Kobayashi played the much loved childhood character of Oshin. Japan Expo SL 2017 will be held from Feb 3 to 5. more..

Hospitals geared to handle AH1N1 cases

Jan 16 (DN) All major hospitals have a comprehensive pandemic response plan and are fully prepared to handle any local cases of AH1N1 influenza that requires hospitalisation, authorities said. Authorities however said patients with flu like symptoms should seek professional help without resorting to home remedies. Health officials said although 2 people died following AH1N1 influenza in Kandy, both were patients whose immune system had got weak due to their illnesses. more..

MR refused to pawn SL to regain GSP+: GL

Jan 16 (DM) Former president Rajapaksa had an opportunity of regaining the GSP+ facility during his tenure if he had agreed to the conditions laid down by the European Union (EU) at the risk of compromising the country’s sovereignty, SLPP Chairman G.L. Peiris claimed today. He said that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe was only speaking a lot about GSP+ but not about the conditions laid down by the EU to grant more..

SC postpones contempt case against Namal

Jan 16 (NR) The case filed by the CIABOC against MP Namal Rajapaksa was taken up for hearing at Supreme Court today. The case was taken up before a three-bench supreme court panel headed by Chief Justice K Sri Pawan. The charge sheets against MP Rajapaksa were explained in detail during the hearing today. CIABOC filed the petition citing MP Rajapaksa failed to adhere to instructions issued by the Commission pertaining to investigations over misappropriation of funds more..

Aluthgamage predicts new faces at Nugegoda rally

Jan 16 (AD) Some people who conspired to topple the previous govt are overwhelmed with fear after realising that people are still with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, MP Keheliya Rambukwella says. He made the observation while speaking to reporters at a press conference held in Colombo on Monday. “And they thought Mahinda would just stay in his home after the election defeat, but the opposite happened,” he said. Rambukwella also underlined that the Yahapalana govt assured more..

Changes cannot be made without referendum: TNA

Jan 16 (DN) TNA reiterated its position that it would not settle for any Constitutional Amendment that does not require a referendum, but for a new Constitution which ushers in fundamental changes including the abolition of executive Presidency. TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran, reminding that the mandate President Sirisena received from the people was to make significant changes to the Constitution, pointed out more..

Unidentified fly spreading across Ratmalana

Jan 16 (DM) Residents of Ratmalana are worried about an unidentified species of fly spreading fast in home gardens, in the beach and even in houses. Chief Medical Officer, Dehiwala Mount Lavinia Municipal Council said the swarms of flies posed a threat to public health. PHIs pointed out that the flies were found even under the grass in the beach and stung individuals walking along the beach. They said the unidentified creature was found on the walls, windows and furniture in houses. more..

Mangala to visit Sweden

Jan 16 (Island) Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera will visit Sweden on the invitation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, Margot Wallström, from 17 to 18 January 2017. Minister Samaraweera’s  discussions with his Swedish counterpart are expected to focus on the progress of bilateral activities initiated during Minister Wallström’s visit to Sri Lanka in April 2016 and  cooperation on shared interests at the United Nations and other international fora. more..

'Don't imprison soldiers for GSP+'

Jan 16 (DM) Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera said that security forces personnel should not be imprisoned in connection with war crimes for the sake of regaining the GSP+ facility from the EU. After remaining politically silent for some time he told a media briefing that the govt had mentioned about a hybrid court as one of the conditions to regain this trade concession. “Do we have to imprison military personnel who defeated more..

Video: MP Weerakumara at FCID

Jan 16 (DM) Deputy Leader of the NFF, MP Weerakumara Dissanayake was summoned to the FCID this morning. He was called to record a statement with regard to investigations being carried out in connection with the misuse of vehicles belonging to the Presidential Secretariat during the previous regime. A spokesman for the FCID said that MP is being questioned at this time. MP Wimal Weerawansa was arrested by the FCID last week in connection with the same allegation. more..

JKH files patent on energy storage nanomaterial

Jan 16 (LBO) John Keells Holdings filed its first patent jointly with Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) India, in the area of energy storage materials. Patent application filed at an Indian patent office in Dec 2016 is related to a composite nanomaterial which could be used in energy storage. Composite nanomaterial can be synthesized with raw materials found in Sri Lanka and has biocompatibility and low cost per unit of power stored as major advantages more..

Travel ban imposed on Maj Gen. Fernando, Senadipathi

Jan 16 (AD) A travel ban has been imposed on Maj Gen. Palitha Fernando and Nissanka Senadipathi over the Avant Garde case. The decision was made when the case was taken up for hearing before Colombo Chief Magistrate Lal Bandara on Monday. The Court has also ordered to surrender the passports of the suspects. The CIABOC has filed action against former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and 7 others more..

'Constitution outdated; needs to be changed'

Jan 16 (DM) UNP has not changed its stance on changing the current Constitution, UNP MP Nalin Bandara said. “The party believes that this Constitution is outdated and it should be changed in keeping with today’s needs. It is interesting to see those who opposed the 1978 constitution now attempting to cling to the Constitution,” he said. It was too immature to talk about the next presidential election because no decision has been taken on abolishing presidency or on new Constitution. more..

Navy Commander gets Mervyn-type relief

Jan 16 (CT) Navy Commander Vice Admiral Ravi Wijegunaratne is set to get relief of the kind that former minister Mervin Silva got after engaging in acts of thuggery when the victim of the verbal and physical abuse perpetrated by Wijegunaratne pleaded that investigations be stopped. Ranga Kalansooriya, Director General, Department of Govt Information said that Roshan Gunasekera, the victim, had intimated to officials of the department who had sought to record more..

'Take action regarding loss of Rs.15 billion from EPF or we take action'

Jan 16 (LT) President of Inter-Company Employees Union and the Member of the Central Committee of the JVP Wasantha Samarasinghe said members of more than 200 trade unions will storm the Central Bank over the alleged loss of a sum of Rs. 15 billion from the EPF through the Central Bank bond scam. He said this action was agreed by the representatives of trade unions who met in Colombo on Sunday. more..

Release of amended list of Royal College admissions demanded

Jan 16 (Island) Ceylon Teachers’ Union has demanded that the names of students admitted to Royal College, Colombo in place of 31 children fraudulently removed from the original list of admissions be released to the media. General Secretary of union Joseph Stalin said that amended list should be released to ensure transparency in the process. Stalin said Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam should release the original list of admission and the amended version thereof. more..

Coca-Cola mulls production hub in Sri Lanka: Finance Ministry

Jan 16 (EN) Coca-Cola, a US-based beverage firm has met Sri Lanka's finance minister to sound out the possibility of setting up a regional production hub catering to South Asia. President of Coca-Cola Asia Pacific, John Murphy and Executive Vice President Irial Finan had met minister Ravi Karunanayake and discussed the opportunity of producing some of the group's brands in Sri Lanka for export to India. However they had been concerned about the stability of taxation of investments. more..

රට කොයිබටද?: අශෝක අබේගුණවර්ධන

Devastating drought

Jan 16 (CT) The present drought conditions throughout the country have threatened agriculture, the drinking water supply as well as the generation of hydropower. President Maithripala Sirisena has issued a directive to create a special task force to deal with the consequences of the prevailing drought conditions in the country. The latest reports indicate that catchment areas as well as the agricultural areas have been severely affected in more than thirteen districts in the country. more..

Govt needs to take on the challenge of the consultation Task Force Report 

Jan 16 (CT) The disquiet about the govt’s commitment to deliver on its promises is now extending itself to those sections of the international community that gave their support to the govt on the basis of its commitment to human rights and reconciliation. The sense of disenchantment amongst the general population is also getting more pronounced.  The common factor is the failure of the govt to deliver on its promises.  With regard to the general population it is the continuing failure more..

Rathana Thero to act as an independent MP

Jan 16 (AD) MP Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thero says he will act as an independent MP hereafter without affiliations to any political party. The observation was made during a press conference held in Colombo on Monday. However, Rathana Thero also apprised reporters that he has no intention of joining the opposition. “I would form a broader national moment that could make an impact in a case of national crisis,” Thero added. more..

GSP: No promises given to the EU, says Ajith

Jan 16 (DM) Sri Lanka had not agreed to any condition that would be unfavorable to people to gain GSP Plus, a Deputy Minister said. “ We have not agreed to grant federalism or to take away the status given to Buddhism in the Constitution and such things have not been presented as conditions,” he said at a media briefing while highlighting that the conditions that had been put out by EU were minor ones pertaining to more..

Lawyers to have access to suspects in police custody

Jan 16 (ST) The Govt will propose an amendment to the Code of Criminal Procedure (Special Provisions) Act giving statutory recognition to the right of an attorney-at-law to have access to a police station in which a client is being held. It will equally recognise the entitlement of such attorney to meet the OIC of the police station and to ascertain from him the reasons for arrest, when and where the client is to be produced before a magistrate. more..

JO flays govt for offering croton and jak leaves to hungry people

Jan 16 (Island) Top Joint Opposition Spokesman Prof. G.L. Peiris said that recent government declaration Sri Lankans should get accustomed to living on croton, jak leaves (kos kola) as well as yam was in accordance with the foolish agricultural policy of the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration. Those who had been boasting of the yahapalana rule should be ashamed of the govt they elected in Jan. 2015, Prof. Peiris said. more..

Three-wheeler drivers flay new proposals 

Jan 16 (CT) The National Joint Three-Wheeler Drivers' Association has requested the Transport Minister to amend some points issued in a Gazette Notification regarding three-wheel operators. The President of the Association K. D. Alwis said they agree as an association with the proposals presented overall but hinted that there should be some changes. "We have cited some amendments. One is the fact that more..

'Sri Lanka prepared for power crisis in 2017'

Jan 16 (LBO) Power minister says that steps have been taken to face the hydro power generation loss due to the record drought in 2016. Nevertheless, consumers are advised to conserve electricity. “We have only 36% capacity in our Randenigala, Victoria, Samanala reservoirs because of the drought and this dry spell is expected to continue on for another 3-4 even 5 months according to our meteorological officials,” more..

Video: Archaic Parliamentary Standing Orders should be updated: Thilanga

Jan 16 (DM) Deputy Speaker Thilanga Sumathipala said that Parliamentary Standing Orders introduced over 30 years ago need to to be amended to keep up with the times. He emphasised that a significant improvement could be seen in the conduct of our MPs after the introduction of several changes that had already taken place. He made these remarks to the media after receiving the blessings from more..

Lasantha admits obtaining vehicles, denies wrongdoing

Jan 16 (Island) Deputy Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanne, said that he had intervened to obtain vehicles for three persons assigned the task of supervising State Engineering Corporation (SEC) implemented projects in the Gampaha District during the then president Rajapaksa’s second term. At that time, MP Alagiyawanne was the deputy to NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa, who held the construction, engineering service, housing more..

A Royal fraud for Grade-1 admissions

Jan 16 (SL) Ministry of Education has decided to suspend grade one admissions to Royal College Colombo for the new academic year in response to complaints received by the Education Ministry in  November, 2016 with regard to alleged irregularities that took place during the selection process of students for grade one. The grade one admissions were scheduled to take place on January 11. more..

'Climate change: Preparedness of Sri Lanka is absolute zero'

Jan 16 (DM) Leading academic on climatology Prof. Senevi Epitawatte, in an interview, speaks about the effects of global warming or climatic changes on Sri Lanka in the decades to come. Asserting that Sri Lanka would face severe effects of it in another 25-30 years, he called for action to stand up to the situation in terms of adaptation and mitigation. He recently published two volumes on  geomorphology. more..

Where is democracy in Sri Lanka heading to?

Jan 16 (DM) It is now time that we discuss some key factors relating to democracy, given that the name of our country is the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. But, unfortunately, ours is still far from being a true democratic state. Democracy, which refers to the idea that people should rule themselves, was first established in Greece in the 5th century B.C. Henceforth, many countries, using different methods, have experimented to govern their societies and it is today more..

The system strikes back

Jan 16 (DM) On Nov 8, 2016, Donald Trump won the US presidential elections. The unthinkable had happened and the effect is somewhat like the Boxing Day tsunami which hit the Asia region in Dec 2004.   If he sticks to his campaign pledges, many of which were shocking, the victory of the president elect will see a complete overhaul of decades-old US practices and policies. The run-up to the election itself saw a seismic rupture with past presidential elections, with candidates attacking more..

 Sri Lanka in South Africa