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Vishwakarma awards for artisans

Dec 20 (SO) The National Crafts Council has come up with yet another creative idea of honouring hundred artisans throughout Sri Lanka, who have rendered yeoman service to handicraft by awarding them with the Vishwakarma award. Conferences will be held annually to encourage and enable more artisans to join who are interested in handicraft. The ceremony was held recently at the National Handicraft Council more..

In defense of Solangaarachchi and others

Dec 20 (CT) President Rajapaksa recently said “My hands are not tainted with blood or dirt.” He further said that, “On the day my hands are got tainted, I would cut them off.” From the gesture he made while saying this, anybody would think that he was going to cut his hands off below the elbow if they got tainted. This was a serious statement. Why? It is because the word “blood” mentioned in his comments refers to “killing of human beings” and the word “dirt” must be referring to “corruptions.” more..

Bodu Bala Sena handlers unroll Plan B

Dec 20 (CT) The BBS has unrolled its plan B by merging with the ultra-nationalist break away group of the JHU led by Udaya Gammanpila after attempts were made to form a Sinhala Buddhist alliance under the leadership of Venerable Ellawala Medananda Thera, the former head of the JHU failed. The formation of a Sinhala Buddhist party as declared by Gammanpila with the support of the BBS and the Ravana Balaya comes as no surprise after the BBS failed to gather even a few more..

Maithripala launches his election manifesto

Dec 19 (CG) Common opposition Presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena has proposed in his manifesto which was released today, to dissolve Parliament on or after April 23rd and appoint a transitional govt under which a Parliament election will be held. Sirisena’s manifesto, which was released at the Viharamaha Devi Park today, details in point form his 100 day plan if he wins the Jan 8 Presidential election. more..

MR has set world record: JVP

Dec 19 (Island) President Rajapaksa would set a world record for abusing public resources in his re-election campaign in violation of election laws, JVP claimed. JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva alleged that heads of govt institutions such as Road Development Authority, the Urban Development Authority, the Sri Lanka Transport Board, the Sri Lanka Ports Authority and the National Youth Services Council had been ordered to work for the UPFA campaign or face the consequences. more..

Full text: Maithripala's election manifesto

Dec 19 (AM) Despite interruptions and sudden power-cuts, Common Candidate Maithripala Sirisena launched his much awaited election manifesto at the Viharamahadevi Open Air Theatre this morning. Due to non-availability of electricity, sound system became dysfunctional from time to time, but Common Candidate proceeded with the launch saying he would not be deterred by such interruptions and intimidations. “They may try to obstruct our journey by flouting election laws more..

Video: MR assures East brighter future

Dec 19 (CG) President Mahinda Rajapaksa today assured the people of the east a better future and urged them not to be misled by false propaganda. Speaking at an election rally in Batticaloa, the President said that Sri Lanka will not face another dark era like it did during the war. He said that the public in the eastern province had voted for him at the last election and that confidence they had in him did not go in vain. more..

Sri Lanka opposition promises sweeping handouts to win votes

Dec 19 (EN) Sri Lanka's opposition coalition has promised sweeping handouts to win the favour of different sections of voters in the run-up to next month's presidential poll, according to its manifesto released Friday. The subsidies in a 100 day program include a 3,500-rupee interim allowance for pensioners until salary their anomalies are corrected and a 5,000 rupees in February as part of a 10,000-rupee increment to state workers. Fuel retail prices will be reduced by reducing taxes which more..

Sri Lanka petroleum sleuths reveal rich Mannar basin potential

Dec 19 (EN) Two years of studying seismic and test well data and modelling has revealed Sri Lanka's offshore Mannar Basin has sedimentary deposits that are thick and old enough to yield high quality oil and gas. "The good news is that it's quite thick. The Mannar Basin has 10-12 km sedimentary thickness. And it's quite old," declared Saliya Wickramasuriya, Director General of the Petroleum Resources Development Secretariat. "That combination of thickness and age indicates potential for more..

Video: 'I fulfilled an obligation to Sarath Fonseka': Ketagoda

Dec 19 (AD) Former Deputy Leader of the Democratic Party (DP) MP Jayantha Ketagoda, who recently joined the UPFA and pledged support to President Rajapaksa, says that he did not think about himself when he crossed over to the govt. “I didn’t think about myself and leave. If I thought about myself I should have stayed there because I was the Deputy Leader,” he told reporters. Ketagoda, who took over parliamentary seat more..

'Sirisena reneged on vow made on casket of Buddha’s relics'

Dec 19 (Island) Opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena was not trustworthy and should be shunned by all Buddhists for he had reneged a promise he had made by placing his hands on a casket containing the sacred relics of the Buddha, Chief Sanghanayake of the US, Dr. Walpola Piyananda Thera said. Thera said Sirisena had sworn by the casket of relics of the Buddha in the presence of JHU’s Ven. Ellawela Medhananda that he would never desert the President or the SLFP. more..

Nepal-Lanka air links set to resume by Feb

Dec 19 (EK) Direct air links between Nepal and Sri Lanka are set to resume after a break of two and a half decades with Colombo-based carrier Mihin Lanka planning to begin services by February, Tourism Ministry officials said. The low-cost airline, which is owned by the Sri Lankan govt, has officially applied for operating authorization to conduct daily flights between Kathmandu and Colombo. “We have received a diplomatic note from the Sri Lankan govt seeking operating authorisation and more..

Sri Lankan opposition pledges domestic war crime inquiry

Dec 19 (AP) Sri Lanka's opposition presidential candidate said that the country cannot be charged with war crimes in the International Criminal Court, but he will launch a domestic inquiry if he wins a January election. Maithripala Sirisena said in a policy statement that Sri Lanka has not ratified the statute establishing the international court and therefore is not subject to it. He said he would instead institute an investigation more..

Bajaj bags order from SL govt for bikes

Dec 19 (PTI) Bajaj Auto today has bagged an order for 1.25 lakh units of Discover-125M motorcycles from Sri Lankan govt. The company through its distributor David Pieris Motor Company in Sri Lanka had secured, after a detailed evaluation process by the Government of Sri Lanka, an order from them for supply of around 50,000 units of Discover-125M motorcycles. Company has already supplied 48,000 units successfully against this order, Bajaj Auto Ltd said in a filing to the BSE. more..

Life in words: on a quest for the unknown

Dec 19 (Hindu) It’s a week before Christmas and I’m not at my cheeriest best. I’ve stuck a tiny pine tree with shiny baubles on my office desk, watched my share of Christmas plays and heard my quota of the season’s carollers. But as the journey of this year crawls to a close, my wellspring of positivity feels parched; a certain weariness has set in. I found resonance of this emotion in T.S. Eliot’s poem The Journey of the Magi, an imaginative retelling of the Christmas story’s wise men’s travels. more..

SL opposition to stop JKH, Packer casinos

Dec 19 (EN) Opposition presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena has threatened to cancel two casino licences given to John Keells Holdings and Australian casino king James Packer. "I will not allow the two casino licences given to Water Front and Lake Leisure projects contrary to certain decisions of Parliament and the Cabinet of Ministers and despite the opposition of the Chief Prelates of all three Buddhist Sects," more..

Army has increased its strength

Dec 19 (CG) Army Commander Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake says the army strength has increased in a significant manner in the past three decades. Commander said that the prime responsibility of the Army is national security and several attempts to destabilize the country had been successfully thwarted by the Army. “The Army and its strength has increased in a significant manner in the past three decades and the organization has proved itself to be an integral and more..

Modern Commercial Complex at Pundaluoya

Dec 19 (GDI) Work on the new commercial complex in Pundaluoya town began on Thursday. Secretary Defence Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa commenced the project during a ceremony held at the Pundaluoya town last evening. The existing old shopping complex which was destroyed in fire accident will be rebuilt into a modern commercial complex at a cost of Rs. 100 million. Once completed the new commercial facility will have 24 shops. The project will be handled by the UDA and more..

SL Opposition to forge closer ties with India

Dec 19 (PTI) Sri Lanka's main opposition today pledged to have closer ties with India that would be neither "anti-Indian nor dependent" if they win the presidential polls against incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa. Opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena in a policy document promised to establish equal ties with India, China, Pakistan and Japan, while improving friendly relations with emerging Asian nations such as Thailand, more..

FSP complains of denial of visa to their leader to return

Dec 19 (Island) JVP splinter group, Frontline Socialist Party’s top leaders alleged that the govt was dragging its feet on an online visa application submitted by their leader Kumar Mahattaya alias Premakumar Gunaratnam currently in Australia. FSP Propaganda Secretary Pubudu Jagoda said their Leader who now uses the name, Noel Mudalige, had applied for visa from Sydney Australia to enter Sri Lanka at on Dec 16 and promptly received a computer generated more..

Ehaliyagoda PS chairman joins common candidate

Dec 19 (AM) Eheliyagoda PS Chairmn Sarath Sandanayaka joined the Common Opposition, a short while ago, at a special press conference that was held at the Common Candidate’s office in Cololmbo. Sandanayake announced that he would support Common Candidate Maithripala Sirisena at the forthcoming presidential election. Addressing media, Sandanayake said there was an erosion in the grasstoots level vote base of the United People’s Freedom Alliance. more..

Video: Show any factory promised in the Mahinda Chinthanaya: UNP

Dec 19 (DM) UNP MP and National Youth Front President Ruwan Wijewardene said today the upcoming presidential election would be a crucial one that changes the next decade and would be decisive particularly for the youth because they had been neglected by the present government. “We have seen how the present govt treated the youth especially in Rathupaswala and Katunayake when they came forward to win their rights,” more..

Sri Lanka’s proposal to establish a World Youth Skills Day adopted by the UN

Dec 19 (GDI) Yesterday, the UN General Assembly adopted by consensus, a resolution, spearheaded by Sri Lanka, declaring 15th July as the World Youth Skills Day. Sri Lanka initiated this resolution, with the assistance of the G77 & China, to highlight at a global level, the importance of youth skills development. The goal is to achieve better socio-economic conditions for today’s youth, including as a means of addressing the challenges of unemployment and under employment. more..

Muthuhettigama tries to take away arson suspects

Dec 19 (DM) Deputy Minister Nishantha Muthuhettigama had reportedly attempted to forcibly take away the suspects, arrested in connection with the arson attack on the stage put up for the opposition’s propaganda rally at Wanduramba, when they were being brought to Court under police custody this monring. The Police had however intervened and prevented the deputy minister from taking away the three suspects who were arrested yesterday. The suspects were remanded more..

Minister under fire for advocating crude violence on women

Dec 19 (EN) Sri Lanka's higher education minister is facing calls for resignation from a citizens group after he allegedly said a former woman president should to be stripped naked and forced to run along public roads. The Friday Forum, a Sri Lankan citizen’s group said the higher education minister S B Dissanayake made the remarks about former president Chandrika Kumaratunga on Dec 12 on Sirasa TV. more..

Hirunika expelled from SLFP

Dec 19 (AM) Hirunika Premachandra has been expelled from the SLFP with immediate effect. She has already received a letter from the party with regard to the suspension and it is signed by party leader. Letter states that Hirunika Premachandra’ has been removed from the SLFP as her actions tarnished the reputation of the party and that under the 15th clause of the SLFP’s constitution, the party leadership is allowed to suspend the membership of any one violates its code of conduct. more..

Ensure the welfare of the plantation worker

Dec 19 (CT) Ceylon Tea has made a name for itself in the global markets, and it being the world's most popular drink, is relished by tea drinkers all over the world. According to statistics it makes an export earning of over US$ 1.4 billion for the country. That is, when the workers in the plantations who number approximately around 5% of the country's population, languish in dilapidated line-rooms in the estates in squalid conditions without the basic facilities. more..

Ada Cartoon

Sri Lankan stocks end up in a week of foreign selling

Dec 19 (EN) Stocks closed mixed Friday with the benchmark index up in a week of subdued trading that saw foreign investors on the selling side, brokers said. All Share Price Index closed up 22.08 points (0.3%) to reach 7,252.60 while the S&P SL20 index, fell 6.30 points (0.6%) to end at 4,062.79. Turnover fell to a low 661 million rupees. "Seasonal blues at the Colombo bourse resulted in subdued activity for most part of the week, albeit picking up in the last two days of trading," more..

Too much China connection

Dec 19 (CT) Excessive reliance on another is not good for a person or a country. This is exactly what is happening today in Sri Lanka. The repercussions of such a policy will be disastrous for democracy and also the economy. Already the consequences are visible in both spheres. ‘Like getting chillies by giving ginger’ (inguru dila miris gaththa wagai) is a common saying in the country. Origins of the proverb goes back to early 17th century when King Rajasinghe II invited the Dutch to defeat more..

Rangana Herath to miss first Test

Dec 19 (CI) Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath has been ruled out of Sri Lanka's first Test against New Zealand by the hamstring tear he suffered last week, team manager Michael de Zoysa has confirmed. Herath had damaged his upper, inner left thigh while training ahead of the fifth ODI against England, and though team management had initially been hopeful for a quick recovery, he will now likely be out for more..

Lone plane crash survivor dies

Dec 19 (CG) The sole survivor of the Air Force plane crash last Friday at Athurugiriya has succumbed to his injuries at the Colombo National hospital, the hospital director said. The survivor had suffered severe burn injuries to his body and was in the intensive care unit of the Colombo hospital when he succumbed to his injuries last night. The plane with five people on board was on its way to Ratmalana when it crashed more..

'Church cannot withdraw invitation to Pope'

Dec 19 (DM) The Catholic Church in Sri Lanka is not in a position to ask Pope Francis to cancel his visit to Sri Lanka next month, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith said yesterday. “The church cannot just ask the Pope not to come visit Sri Lanka after inviting him in the first place,” the Cardinal told a media briefing yesterday. He emphasised that organizing such an event as a papal visit to any country is a difficult task and therefore more..

Sri Lanka 89th in Forbes’ Best Countries for Business

Dec 19 (DM) Sri Lanka is placed 89th out of 146 nations in the Forbes’ Best Countries for Business 2014 ranking. The best country for business this year is Denmark, which ranked No. 1 three straight years between 2008 and 2010. The top10 includes also Hong Kong, New Zealand, Ireland, Sweden, Canada, Norway, Singapore and Switzerland. India has been placed 93rd, behind countries like Mexico, Kazakhstan. more..

Danuna Thilakaratne surrenders to court; released on bail

Dec 19 (AD) Danuna Thilakaratne, son-in-law of former Army Chief Sarath Fonseka, has been released on bail after he surrendered to the Colombo High Court over the Hicorp fraud case. He was released on a cash bail of Rs 400,000 and two personal bails of Rs 500,000 after being produced before High Court Judge Irangani Perera. However, he has been prohibited from leaving the country for the duration of the court case more..

'Canvassing at state institutions forbidden'

Dec 19 (DM) It is forbidden, at any of the offices owned by the state or the provincial councils, govt schools, local authorities or any institution owned by any state corporation or board, to canvass for presidential candidates in any manner – such as by the distribution of handbills or leaflets or conducting meetings, Elections Chief Mahinda Deshapriya announced. “Therefore, all the politicians and their political activists are more..