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LG elections: When and on what basis will it happen?

Dec 1 (DM) Provincial Councils and Local Govt Minister Faizer Mustapha PC, had a chat with Daily Mirror. Q: On 31 Oct, 2015 all local govt bodies numbering 335 that included municipal councils, urban councils and pradeshiya sabhas fell vacant after their term of office expired. How do you see this situation? A: President Sirisena has taken a policy decision to postpone local govt elections until the govt sorts out issues pertaining to more..

Budget 2016: Heading in the right direction

Dec 1 (SL) The first reading of the Budget 2016 came to a conclusion with the new govt announcing a further reduction in prices of food items, amidst much debate and speculation. Many parties, both from the govt and the opposition commended the new govt’s maiden Budget, while other parties, mainly from the Mahinda Rajapaksa camp, raised several issues concerning the Budget 2016. On the other hand, many parties from more..

Justice Abrew files FR

Dec 1 (DN) Supreme Court Judge Sarath de Abrew has filed a Fundamental Rights case against seven police officers and the Attorney General. Justice Abrew in his petition is complaining that indicting him in the High Courts is a violation of his fundamental rights. The petition will be supported in Supreme Court today. Attorney General earlier filed an indictment in Colombo High Court against Abrew for allegedly committing more..

GMOA gives ultimatum to govt

Dec 1 (DN) The GMOA will launch a countrywide strike at a time of its choosing along with 16 other trade unions representing various professions if there is no response from the govt on a range of demands. Govt still has time to halt the strike, GMOA Secretary Dr. Nalinda Herath said. He said letters have already been sent to the Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine Minister, Finance Minister and the President in connection with more..

CID to check tax reports of Udayanthi

Dec 1 (DM) Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya permitted the CID to examine income tax reports of 20 persons including tele drama actress Udayanthi Kulatunga, who had been allegedly paid by drug kingpin Samantha Kumara alias Wele Suda. The case had been filed by the CID in the Colombo Magistrate’s Court under the Money Laundering Act, on the instructions of the IGP. more..

Developed countries need very deep cuts in global emissions: President

Dec 1 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena emphasized the need to have deep cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions by the developed countries considering the historical responsibility. He said that we need to embrace the principle of common but different responsibilities and respective capabilities in order to keep the temperature increase below two degrees Celsius in this century. Addressing UN Conference on more..

SriLankan Airlines mulls joint venture with foreign airline

Dec 1 (EN) SriLankan Airlines aims to enter into a joint venture with a foreign airline, possibly Middle Eastern, on a revenue sharing basis in order to survive in the highly competitive market, its chief executive said. The three top Middle Eastern airlines – Emirates, Qatar and Etihad, had expanded fast and aggressively and were offering SriLankan Airlines stiff competition, said Suren Ratwatte, CEO of SriLankan & Mihin Lanka. more..

Some light on the Rithu Akarsha mishap

Dec 1 (DM) Rithu Akarsha the tele actress who shot to fame in a short time, also hit news headlines recently. Akarsha had a nasty experience the other day, when she was returning home in Kelaniya after an exhausting filming session. Vehicle she had been driving had crashed onto a barrier at a check point at the entrance of the road leading to the parliamentary complex. Although the vehicle was damaged she escaped injuries and more..

Is there a need for crossovers?

Dec 1 (CT) Parliamentary democracy and political party unity was destroyed by regular crossovers in Parliament over the past quarter century plunging the country into turmoil. People began to hate politics as the representatives they elected crossed over for political gains under the guise of serving the people by getting ministerial portfolios. Crossovers was another reason for jumbo sized Cabinets as all former Presidents in a bid to stabilize their authority offered Cabinet portfolios to such crossovers. more..

The tragic death of Chenthuran is a warning for all of us

Dec 1 (CT) Tragic news of an A/L student of Kokuvil Hindu College named Rajeswaran Chenthuran committing suicide by jumping in front of an express train from Colombo, came as a rude shock to Tamils all over the world. Everyone in Jaffna and many others around the country shared the grief with the bereaved family. On the 27th, day of cremation all schools in the peninsula remained closed as a mark of respect and to enable thousands of students from many other schools to participate in funeral. more..

Sri Lanka Earth Tripping

Korean rice transplanting machines to save labour in Sri Lanka

Dec 1 (EN) Korean agriculture experts have trained Sri Lankan farmers in using rice transplanting machines which are expected to help save on use of labour in the island’s agriculture sector. Trials of Korean rice transplanting machines were done at the rice model farm village in Rajanganaya, Anuradhapura, in north-central Sri Lanka under the direction of Byoung Choon Jang, Director of the Korea Program on International Agriculture (KOPIA). “Farmers have began using the Korean more..

Indian MP seeks release of Tamil fishermen detained by Sri Lanka

Dec 1 (PTI) Members in Lok Sabha today expressed concern over Sri Lanka detaining fishermen from TN and China building dams on the Brahmaputra river on their side which could hamper water availability in the North East. AIADMK member V Elumalai demanded immediate release of fishermen from TN who have been detained by SL authorities as well as steps to take back Katchatheevu island. Katchatheevu is an islet in the Palk Strait and its control was given to Sri Lanka by India more..

PM awaits proposals from Central Bank and EPF on EPF, ETF merger

Dec 1 (LBO) PM Ranil Wickramasinghe told Parliament that they have decided to obtain proposals from Central Bank governor and superintendent of EPF with regard to the management of EPF. “During the discussions, unions said it is appropriate to maintain these two funds separately. They also said the EPF should be further managed under the Central Bank,” he said. “We only decided to obtain proposals from CB Governor and more..

Stay Order against full-face helmet ban extended

Dec 1 (AD) The Court of Appeal today extended the stay order issued against the police circular imposing a ban on full-face helmets in the country. The stay order was extended till February 11, 2016 by the court when two cases filed against the decision was taken up for hearing this morning. The state counsel informed the court that the government is currently in the process of introducing a high quality motorcycle helmet and therefore requested for sufficient time. more..

Sri Lankan shares fall to 8-month closing low

Dec 1 (Reuters) Shares fell for a fifth straight session on Tuesday to their eight-month closing low, led by diversified and telecom stocks on worries earnings of financial firms would fall after the new budget proposals announced were implemented. Main stock index ended 0.2%, or 13.96 points, weaker at 6,895.19, its lowest close since March 31. The index closed just above its oversold territory with the 14-day Relative Strength Index at 30.676 versus Monday's 32.095, data showed. more..

Sri Lanka plans to shift key govt offices

Dec 1 (EN) Sri Lanka plans to shift key govt offices including that of the president and prime minister from Colombo to the administrative capital of Sri J'pura, Minister Champika Ranawaka said. “We will take out of Colombo city all govt institutions,” he told a public forum on the govt’s Western Region Megapolis Planning Project which intends to make the western province, generating almost half the island’s economic output, more liveable. more..

Ravi K justifies cash withdrawal tax

Dec 1 (DM) Minister Ravi Karunanayake said today the budget proposal to impose a levy on cash withdrawals was meant to encourage the use of bank drafts and cheques for the transferring of cash. The govt in its 2016 Budget proposed that a levy be imposed on cash withdrawals of Rs.1 million and above. According to the proposal, a 2% levy would be imposed on cash withdrawals between Rs.1 million and Rs.10 million while 3% would be levied on cash withdrawals exceeding Rs.10 million. more..

Vasu slammed for un-parliamentary language

Dec 1 (CG) UPFA MP Vasudeva Nanayakara was today accused of using un-parliamentary language. Nanayakara had used un-parliamentary language on some ruling party Parliamentarians today when they interrupted a privilege issue he raised with the Speaker. During Parliament sittings today, he said that a weekend newspaper had indicated that he was among the former Govt members who had not returned his official residence. Nanayakara rejected the allegations and demanded that the matter more..

Audio: Private bus operators want transport minister removed

Dec 1 (DM) A countrywide private bus strike will be launch form Dec 14 midnight over several demands including that of the removal of Transport and Civil Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, All Ceylon Private Bus Association (ACPBA) Secretary Anjana Priyanjith said. The private bus operators would give a 7-day grace period for the minister to discuss this matter with ACPBA and to provide a favorable reply. more..

Two deputy ministers lodge complaint with bribery commission against Welgama

Dec 1 (AM) Two deputy ministers today lodged a complaint with the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption against former Transport Minister Kumara Welgama. Ranjan Ramanayake and Ashok Abeysinghe filed this complaint alleging that a massive financial fraud amounting to Rs 2.86 billion took place during the importation of 2200 buses to SLTB. Alleged incident took place in 2013. Ramanayake said that the buses were purchased at US$ 30,000 each and more..

Dewasiri mum on 6 %

Dec 1 (CT) Certain members of the university community, such as Prof. Nirmal Dewasiri, who were a catalyst for the govt change earlier this year, have not yet spoken of the 6 per cent of GDP which is not yet allocated for education, said MP Udaya Gammanpila. He said, "However these individuals got other appointments as vice chairman and heads of certain bodies. They didn't get the 6% for education. The smallest budgetary allocation for education was for 2016. more..

Dambulla match fixing; mystery deepens

Dec 1 (DM) Daily Mirror has obtained an exclusive copy of a letter which was written by Sri Lanka Cricket’s then security consultant Major General Lawrence Fernando to the manager of the visiting Indian cricket team in 2010 which claims that not only had one player entertained a female guest for an entire night in his room, but another player had also entertained a male guest in his room for a night while staying at a hotel more..

Putin expects ties with Sri Lanka to develop

Dec 1 (CG) Russian President Vladimir Putin said that recently Russia had managed to reinforce the legal foundation of relations with Sri Lanka, which will lay the groundwork for developing comprehensively Russia’s bilateral cooperation with Sri Lanka. He also noted that Russia’s traditional contacts with Sri Lanka in the fields of fishing and agriculture were expanding. Russian President expressed these views when he accepted the Credentials of SL’s new Ambassador more..

Sri Lanka develops E-agriculture Strategy

Dec 1 (NS) Department of Agriculture (DoA) together with the Ministry of Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure, the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) is developing the E-agriculture Strategy for Sri Lanka, based on the framework developed by the FAO and ITU. A week-long-validation workshop began in Kandy on Nov 29, and will go till Dec 4. The importance of the programme in Sri Lanka has already made efforts on it while more..

President returns after participating in CHOGM & UN Climate Summit

Dec 1 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena arrived in Sri Lanka today after participating in the CHOGM – 2015 held in Malta and the UN Conference on Climate Change – 2015 held in France. At the CHOGM, he handed over the position of Chair in Office of Commonwealth to Maltese PM Joseph Muscat on Nov 27. Secretary General of Commonwealth Secretariat Dr. Kamlesh Sharma, commending President Sirisena’s more..

Gear up for LG elections: PM notifies UNP members

Dec 1 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has asked all UNP Members and Ministers to prepare for the upcoming Local Govt Elections. PM informed them thus at a UNP Front meeting held at Bentota. He had also informed them that several political parties which had been rejected by the people were trying to propagate various rumours with regard to the concessions provided through the Budget and thus he said it was the responsibility of all Members to ensure that an accurate picture of the Budget more..

Kotadeniyawa OIC, 4 others guilty of illegal detention

Dec 1 (DM) A special team comprising high ranking police officers has found that five police officers including the Kotadeniyawa OIC and the Crimes OIC were responsible for the alleged illegal detention of a teenage student and a father of one over the killing of five-year old Seya sadevmi. The special police investigating team which included Gampaha SSP Padmasiri Munasinghe and ASP K.A.J. Kodituwakku under the instructions of Western Province Senior DIG Pujith Jayasundara and more..

Lankan apparel sector links with nine top global retailers

Dec 1 (DN) Powered by the country's apex exports facilitator EDB, Lankan apparel sector snatched a new virgin market and some premium global buyers of three other new markets on Nov 27. A visiting high powered multinational buyer team finally linked with the EDB reps and Lankan apparel giants on Nov 27 at Mount Lavinia Hotel after a three-year long resolute quest since 2012 by EDB to link with nine top global retailers. more..

Ex German envoy now Consul to Sri Lanka

Dec 1 (CG) Former German Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Juergen Weerth has assumed responsibilities as the new Honorary Consul of Sri Lanka to North Rhine – Westphalia in Germany with consular jurisdiction covering the regions of Bergisches Land, Cologne Lowland, Lower Rhine, Münsterland, North Eifel, Ruhr, Sauerland – Siegerland and Teutoburg Forest. On behalf of Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, Ambassador Karunatilaka Amunugama more..

Customs officers released on bail

Dec 1 (AD) Three customs officers including a superintendent who were arrested and remanded for allegedly soliciting a bribe of Rs 125 million have been released on bail by the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court. When the case was taken up today, the bribery commission informed court that investigations regarding the arrested individuals have been completed and that the investigation into the incident is still ongoing. However, bribery commission stated that it has no objection more..

Sri Lanka to launch special court to probe war crimes

Dec 1 (AFP) Sri Lanka will launch a special war crimes court early next year to investigate major atrocities during the bloody finale to its decades-long ethnic war, a top official said Tuesday. Former president Chandrika Kumaratunga, who heads the office of national unity and reconciliation, said her work cannot be done without justice for victims of the 37-year conflict that ended in May 2009. more..

IUSF lodges complain against unregistered doctors

Dec 1 (DN) Inter University Students' Federation (IUSF) lodged a complaint to the IGP in connection with the mysterious death of Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera, IUSF Convener Lahiru Weerasekara said. According to Weerasekara, the copies of the complaint handed over to the Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine Ministry and the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC). The main reason for lodging this complaint is the issues of some of the doctors who treated late Thera. more..

Malaysia's Malindo Air introduces daily services to Colombo & Ho Chi Minh

Dec 1 (MMO) Malindo Air officially announced that all bookings are now open for its new services, Kuala Lumpur-Colombo-Kuala Lumpur and Kuala Lumpur-Ho Chi Minh-Kuala Lumpur. Daily flight to Colombo will commence on 18 Dec 2015, whereas daily services to Ho Chi Minh will start on 29 Jan 2016. The daily services to Sri Lanka and Vietnam mark the airline’s ninth and tenth countries respectively in its expanding international network. Promotional fares for the new routes are more..

Standby arrangements with IMF in case of ME crisis: Ranil

Dec 1 (DM) Sri Lanka is to enter into a standby arrangement with the IMF in case of a crisis situation in the Middle East as a result of the machinations of ISIS terrorists next year, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe informed Parliament today. “It is better for Sri Lanka to be prepared for a crisis situation in Middle East if the conflict caused by the ISIS worsens in 2016," PM said while highlighting the fact that Sri Lanka would be more..

Say No to the Alugosuwa!

Dec 2 (CT) There has been an organised move to bring back the hangman and implement the death penalty in Sri Lanka. Several weeks ago, MP Hirunika Premachandra presented in Parliament an adjournment motion for the revival of capital punishment in Sri Lanka. She said that once the motion went through Parliament she would request President Maithripala Sirisena and the govt to consider bringing back capital punishment. The motion seems to have been grounded in more..

University education and the way forward

Dec 2 (DM) University education is a subject much talked-about by all Govts that have been in power since independence. The number of students qualifying for university entrance is always greater than the allocation available at present. It is impossible for the govt to provide University Education to all who qualify. Most students, who have been graduated from State universities expect job opportunities from the State sector. It hasn’t been possible either, other than for medical more..

Legal action against a mini hydro power project in the Sinharaja

Dec 2 (SO) The construction of a mini-hydro dam blocking the Kosgulana River bordering the Sinharaja Forest has the Forest Department in a quagmire over the project's viability and the destruction it causes to the environment. "Though the said company claimed there would be minimum damage to the surrounding environment, forest patches are being cleared while trees within the forest reserve are being felled," more..

Mahinda clings onto Eelam Flag for political survival

Dec 2 (CT) Common people in society at times make valid and timely statements. A three-wheeler driver recently quipped, " Mahinda Rajapaksa sees Eelam Flags everywhere he goes and he suffered from that mania last year on 18 and 19 May". It's exactly true. Last year when the war victory was celebrated on those two days, Mahinda went from temple to temple screaming that the Eelam Flag was to be hoisted in the North and that Prabhakaran's poster was to be put up in the peninsula. more..

Mega corruption everywhere – Real action nowhere ?

Dec 2 (CT) Commencing from as far back as 1970 with the Kyoto Declaration, the process for the formulation of the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) commenced in Dec 2000, with the UN General Assembly resolving to establish a Committee for negotiating and formulating the UNCAC. With several subsequent Meetings, UNCAC was formulated and adopted by the UNGA in Oct 2003, and 9th Dec was designated as International Anti-Corruption day. more..