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TULF Leader hitches his wagon to CM

Dec 7 (Island) General Secretary of the TULF, Veerasingham Anandasangaree is of the view that Northern Chief Minister C.V. Wigneshwaran is the only leader capable of solving the issues of the Tamils in the North and East. The TULF leader said yesterday that he could even consider changing the name of his party if CM Vigneshwaran made a request to that effect. "For unity’s sake, I will accommodate any political request of this straight-talking, honest personality," more..

Budget 2016 bypasses PCs; CMs up in arms

Dec 7 (Island) The tabling of the budgets for the coming year has become a problem for the Chief Ministers of the Provincial Councils due to the non-allocation of funds for them from the national Budget 2016. This was disclosed by the Chief Ministers of eight provincial councils at a meeting in Kandy on Friday. Chief Minister of the NPC was not present at the meeting in Kandy. Spokesman Peshal Jayaratne, the Chief Minister of the North Central Provincial Council said that more..

Collusion between GMOA and Avant Garde backers? - Champika

Dec 7 (DM) The govt should investigate whether there was a connection between the island-wide strike launched last week by the GMOA and some other professional groups, and the Avant Garde issue, said Minister Champika Ranawaka, yesterday. He suggested that the govt ascertain whether there was an attempt of embarrass Minister Rajitha Senaratne for commenting on the Avant Garde issue. more..

No decision or discussions on reopening Maligawa road for vehicles

Dec 7 (Island) There had been no discussion or decision on re-opening the road by the Sri Dalada Maligawa for vehicular traffic, said Minister Champika Ranawaka. He said so in answer to a query while he was attending the launch of a project to pave the entrance to the Mahamaluwa in front of the Sri Dalada Maligawa. All development projects in the sacred city of Kandy were centred around the Dalada Maligawa. All Cultural activities were also centred around the scared shrine. more..

Insurance seen replacing subsidies in SL

Dec 7 (EN) New insurance products could replace unsustainable subsidies in Sri Lanka which have failed to adequately support recipients, ranging from farmers to exporters, Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne said. Sri Lanka’s insurance market badly needs new products to protect farmers against crop failures and workers against unemployment, he told the opening of the International Cooperative & Mutual Insurance Federation’s three-day symposium in Colombo today. more..

Govt insists Mahinda’s security not cut

Dec 7 (CG) Govt today insisted that the security of former President Rajapaksa has not been reduced. Minister Lakshman Kiriella told Parliament that the security of the former President is important to the Govt. He said that the threat level to the former President is always assessed and security provided accordingly. He was responding to concerns raised by MP Dinesh Gunawardena over media reports that army security provided more..

Grero finds fault with previous govt

Dec 7 (Island) State Minister of Higher Education Mohan Lal Grero says a proposal for awarding 40 marks out of 100 for listening and speaking when students were tested for their English language proficiency was rejected by the Cabinet of the previous govt. "When I was the Deputy Education Minister of the previous govt, our ministry proposed to award at least 40 marks out of 100 for listening and speaking at examination from Grade 6 upwards and at GCE O/L. more..

Body of Chennai taxi driver washed ashore

Dec 7 (ENS) The body of a Chennai taxi driver has been washed ashore at Nilveli near Trincomalee. The body, discovered by local fishermen on Sunday, had an Identity Card of N. Poomi Durai, member of the Chennai Central Call Taxi Association (registration number: 161/2003). His address is given as No: 13/15 N.G.O. Colony, Kamaraj Nagar, Chooli Madu, Chennai: 96. ID No: 25, DL No: 9418, Badge No: 96731. The Trincomnalee Harbor police had taken charge of the body, and sent it more..

Voucher programme: Action against principals, teachers who sabotage

Dec 7 (DM) Education Ministry will consider taking disciplinary action against principals or teachers who refuse to support the cash-voucher-distributing system which has been nationally approved, Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said. “We are glad to say that 95% of the cash-voucher programme has been completed. A majority of principals and teachers have supported the programme, but very few of them who more..

Sajith: Former President has no right to claim govt is ill-treating security forces

Dec 7 (Island) Minister Sajith Premadasa said that former President Rajapaksa had no right to claim that the incumbent govt was ill-treating and ridiculing the security forces; it was the Rajapaksa govt which insulted Field Marshal (then General) Sarath Fonseka and other war heroes. Premadasa said, "Rajapaksas threw war hero, Sarath Fonseka, who was instrumental in defeating terrorism behind bars." "FM Fonseka provided military leadership to the country’s war against the LTTE and more..

Admisssion to grade one: New method irks police, armed forces

Dec 7 (DM) Members of the police and armed forces disapprove of changes made by the Education Department regarding the admission of children to grade one of popular schools. The former practice was to reserve seven places, for children of police and armed forces personnel, in grade one of each school. There were three places for children of army personnel, two for the children of police personnel and one each for children of navy and air force personnel. more..

Farmers’ contribution to economy unparalleled: President

Dec 7 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena emphasized that it is incorrect to ignore the farmers’ knowledge, experiences and their expertise regarding the agricultural field when dealing with them, as some ancient farmers have knowledge equivalent to irrigation engineers of today. President made these remarks at ceremony to award certificates to Engineering Assistants of Irrigation Training Institute at Galgamuwa, more..

Narahenpita Crime OIC released on bail

Dec 7 (DM) Crime OIC of Narahenpita Police, Thissasiri Sugathapala, who was in remand custody for allegedly soliciting a bribe of Rs. 25,000 was released on Rs. 15,000 cash bail with two sureties of Rs. 1 million each by Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya today. The OIC was banned from traveling abroad. Meanwhile, former Narahenpita Police OIC Upul Dammika Gunathilaka, who was also in remand custody in connection with the incident, was further remanded till Dec 11. more..

Dayasiri & Akila had ironed out differences

Dec 7 (DM) Ministers Dayasiri Jayasekera and Akila Viraj Kariyawasam who were at loggerheads with each other since the days they were in the UNP had ironed out their differences. According to sources, the duo had made up with each other following a request made by President Sirisena. Both were seen attending a ceremony at Maliyadewa MV together with President Sirisena on Friday. President had remarked at this ceremony that he had decided to bring the two Ministers together stating more..

Video: Nalaka Godahewa arrested by FCID

Dec 7 (DM) Dr. Nalaka Godahewa, former Chairman of Securities and Exchange Commission was arrested by the FCID, a short while ago on Monday morning. Godahewa had been ordered to appear before the FCID to record a statement on an alleged financial fraud, Spokesperson Ruwan Gunasekara said. Nalaka Godahewa was chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for nearly two years under former president more..

Video: VIP family behind killing of Thajudeen

Dec 7 (HN) Minister Rajitha Senaratne said CCTV evidence is available to prove that members of VIP families were involved in the assault and the killing of Wasim Thajudeen. “There is CCTV footage which shows Mr. Thajudeen leaving a club after having meals, he is then seen being stopped, assaulted and killed. The video shows members of some VIP families engaged in these activities,” he said. The real culprits would be identified once the footage is produced in court by the CID. more..

'Saving of forex through assembly of vehicles, but others say its a racket'

Dec 7 (Island) Sri Lanka’s automobile assembly industry has the potential to save valuable foreign exchange currently spent on vehicle imports, says Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen. "I am pleased to say that my Ministry has already enabled two companies to actively engage in all types of vehicle assembly in Sri Lanka," said Minister Bathiudeen, speaking at Colombo Motor Show’s Eighth (8th) Gala Awards Night held on 03 December at JAIC Hilton. more..

Kusal Perera tests positive for banned substance, out of NZ tour

Dec 7 (CI) Sri Lanka wicketkeeper-batsman Kusal Perera has tested positive for a banned substance and has been recalled from the New Zealand tour, Sri Lanka Cricket said in a release on Monday. Perera's sample was provided for a random test by the ICC in the recent home series against Pakistan. Kaushal Silva will replace Perera in the squad for the New Zealand tour. The first Test starts on December 10. more..

The great November revolution

Dec 8 (CT) Young bloods are always misunderstood and unappreciated by the societies they live in. That is because they talk and do things outside the frame set for them by their elders. Yet, it is these young bloods that change societies by questioning the validity of the accepted views. Be it politics, art, religion or culture, revolutionary changes in all these areas have been instigated by young people who think differently. World history is replete with examples that support this generalisation. more..

Afraid of…remembrance?

Dec 8 (CT) The title of a news article that circulated the other day read Govt issues stern warning against heroes’ day remembrance. The stern warning in question was intended at Tamils, living in Sri Lanka, especially in the north’s ex-battle ground. The heroes in question were a range of Sri Lankan citizens, who, for a multitude of reasons, fought against the Sri Lankan state in the ranks of the now defunct LTTE. In the latter’s heyday, the heroes day was primarily and near-exclusively more..


Dec 8 (SO) The govt has ensured the payment of a minimum monthly wage of US$ 300 to unskilled and semi-skilled migrant workers, through a new budget proposal. But for Sri Lanka with a massive migrant labour force of unskilled women working mostly in the Middle East as domestic workers, there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel. A case in point is the SL woman to be stoned to death in Saudi Arabia. more..

Who are war heroes?

Dec 8 (GV) We daily read and often hear of war heroes, and of our duty from protect them from any charges of misconduct. This is one of the few issues on which there is virtual consensus among Sinhalese political leaders. Even non-Sinhalese political leaders seem to be reluctant to directly challenge this position. However, there is much debate on related issues such as terrorism, war crimes, human rights violations and transitional justice. more..

Withering of Yahapalanaya as nepotism returns

Dec 8 (ST) When people voted for Maithripala Sirisena on Jan 8, they believed in his campaign promises. They had faith that Sirisena would indeed install clean govt and rid the country of the existing corruption and nepotism he condemned from platforms. Mahinda Rajapaksa, with a military triumph behind him, was made to believe that whatever he and his inner circle did and do a grateful public would remain eternally loyal and forgiving. It was a modern version of emperor more..

'Budget attempts to weaken the public service'

Dec 8 (CT) Budget 2016 raised numerous concerns and many professional organizations raised concerns about the injustice faced by professionals due to Budget proposals. One such major organization was the GMOA; doctors involved in the countrywide strike demanded an increase in the basic salary and for vehicle permits. Ceylon Today interviewed GMOA Media Spokesman, Dr. Naveen de Zoysa, more..

Constitutional reforms are on the way

Dec 8 (FT) Members of civil society gathered in Colombo recently under the guidance of Center for Policy Alternatives and formed a movement named Citizens Initiative for Constitutional Reform in order to spearhead the process of gathering suggestions from the General Public for constitutional reforms. There would not be a Constituent Assembly as in 1972 and instead there would be a whole-house Parliamentary method where the entire Parliament sits as members of a Constitutional Assembly more..

Change we must

Dec 8 (SL) There is a striking dissimilarity between the much hailed UN sponsored Conference on Climate Change and the sound and fury emanating over the Diyawanna Lake on the Sri Lanka budget debate. In Paris leaders of over 150 nations and their representatives numbering around 25,000 appear to have finally agreed that unless humanity adapts themselves to global climatic change, the end of their life on planet earth is drawing to a close and that change is absolutely essential. more..

UNDP: Paths to Progress

Lanka Hospitals pioneers Day 5 Embryo Transfer

Dec 8 (Island) With over 830 successful deliveries and 142 ongoing pregnancies-the highest in Sri Lanka, Lanka Hospitals' Fertility Centre announces the first pregnancy of Blastocyst Culture (Day 5) embryo transfer. Dr Wimal Karandagoda, hospital's Director Medical Services, said the advancement in technology and the fertility clinic's commitment in ensuring that each patient receives fullest attention made this milestone a reality. While the prevalent procedure can culture embryos up to 3 days, more..

SF makes uproar: Enter Stewart Bell

Dec 8 (Island) One morning the then Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga called and asked me, "What have you done? President, Gotabahya and Sarath Fonseka are very angry. What has the journalist you helped visit Sri Lanka written. He has written what General Fonseka didn't say?" I requested Lalith to calm down and explained to him that Stewart Bell was a respected Canadian journalist from the National Post who always wrote against terror and was considered a balanced more..

Poisoned by your favourite food

Dec 8 (CT) Food for all living beings is produced by nature. The rapid growth of the human population however has caused a crisis in food, not only affecting humans but animals as well. Over time, the dietary habits and food patterns of man have changed. This has resulted in the evolving of the food industry, as a solution for the high demand for food, as well as instantaneous requirement of food, due to busy lifestyles. more..

Editorial: MR’s security

Dec 8 (Island) Former President Rajapaksa is faced with serious threats due to the curtailment of his security and the release of hardcore Tigers, his office has said. Govt has sought to deny this claim. The despicable practice of govts reducing their opponents’ security in a bid to tame the latter is not of recent origin. The Rajapaksa govt stripped the war winning Army Commander Gen. Sarath Fonseka of special security after he had fallen from grace and challenged more..

Sri Lanka Port City traffic warning

Dec 8 (EN) A proposed port city next to Colombo will generate so much traffic that present traffic jams will seem benign, a transport expert said. “The port city will create so much activity that the port city will survive but what is outside may not,” warned Amal Kumarage, Senior Professor of Moratuwa University’s Department Transport & Logistics Management. “We will have a mobility issue.” The new govt suspended the port city project, being funded and built by the Chinese, more..

'Sri Lanka seeks to bridge India and China'

Dec 8 (Nikkei) The newly elected Sri Lankan govt is seeking to be a bridge between its giant Asian neighbors -- India and China -- in the Indian Ocean, a region where they are generally viewed as competitors, the island nation's finance minister Ravi Karunanayake has said. He said Sri Lanka followed a non-aligned, neutral policy for both countries and referred to his country as a genuine friend of India and China. more..

'SL’s economy may dip similar to Greece'

Dec 8 (SO) Tax experts and economic analysts cautioned that the country’s economy may take a dip similar to Greece which needed bail outs to avoid defaults on foreign borrowings. Sri Lanka’s foreign borrowing on high interest rates by the former regime have gone into colossal amounts which would be passed on to the people who will have to pay through their nose by way of taxes. Sri Lanka recorded a Government Debt to GDP of 75.50 percent of the country’s GDP in 2014. more..

Llong moved off third umpire duty

Dec 8 (CI) Nigel Llong has apparently been moved off third umpire duty for the second Test between New Zealand and Sri Lanka. Llong, who was at the centre of an umpiring controversy during New Zealand's series in Australia, was initially listed by the ICC as third umpire in Hamilton but will now be one of the on-field officials in both matches. Llong was in the news last week for his controversial decision, as a third umpire, to rule Nathan Lyon not out on review during during Adelaide Test more..

No NOC recognition for Shooting

Dec 8 (DN) National Olympic Committee of SL said that it does not recognize National Shooting Sports Federation (NSSF) since it had failed to follow the correct procedure and abandoned the usual practice of accommodating the three Services and Police to spearhead the administration of the national governing body for shooting. President of NOC, Hemasiri Fernando said they would recognize the NSSF only after more..

Aksha Sudari allowed traveling abroad

Dec 8 (DM) Actress Aksha Sudari, who was on bail for allegedly defrauding an Indian businessman to the tune of some Rs. 160 mn, was today allowed to travel abroad subject to two additional sureties of five million rupees each by Colombo additional Magistrate. Considering a request made by the suspect’s Counsel earlier, the Magistrate cancelled the ban on traveling abroad until January 25. Earlier, the suspect was banned from travelling abroad by the Magistrate over the incident. more..

SEC reopens ERI case

Dec 8 (CT) Sri Lanka's Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has started a fresh investigation against former Environmental Resources Investments PLC (ERI) Directors for alleged stock market manipulation, SEC sources told Ceylon FT. They also said that SEC has also reopened cases against the directors of two other companies also on the same charges. When contacted, SEC chairman Thilak Karunaratne, on the ERI case said, "I neither accept nor reject the reopening of ERI case. more..

Clarion call to end corruption

Dec 8 (FT) It’s time for the private sector to step up and stop paying bribes to improve the business environment and join a special committee to draw up proposals, a top official said, as the Bribery and Corruption Commission plans setting up new legislation to punish corporate bribe givers. Delivering a tough message to the private sector at a breakfast forum, Commission to Investigate allegations of Bribery/Corruption more..

SL urged to focus on niche market exports

Dec 8 (Island) Sri Lanka should concentrate more on niche markets where exports are concerned in order to compete with huge exporting countries like China and India, president National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka Saradak de Silva said. "During the last several years Sri Lankan exports have dropped by 15% of the GDP and it is high time to boost exports by increasing the number export oriented items in the export basket and those items should be niche products as well, more..