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The politics of purchasing combat aircraft

Dec 15 (CT) For the last few months the media has reported that Sri Lanka Air Force is to purchase a number of new multirole light fighters/combat aircraft, from either Pakistan (PAC JF-17 Thunder) or India (HAL Tejas). Speculations that Sri Lanka has already purchased a number of JF-17s, at a Paris air show, has already sparked the ire of India. Both are a lightweight, single-engine, multi-role combat aircraft, which has not yet more..

Sri Lanka thrashes India 102/10 in Asian Youth Netball opener

Dec 12 (DN) Sri Lanka that is participating at the Asian Youth Netball Championship in Hong Kong made a fine start by thrashing a strong Indian team 102/10 yesterday. Twelve nations are battling it out for the championship which began yesterday and will conclude on December 20 to qualify for the World Youth Netball Cup which is to be held in Botswana in 2017. Sri Lanka has the services of experienced Gayani Dissanayaka as captain. She is also the vice captain of the national team. more..

Sri Lanka looks to advance public transportation to minimize private vehicles

Dec 12 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan govt said that it is looking to advance its public transportation system as the capital battles to deal with heavy traffic congestion. Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne said that currently over 500,000 vehicles enter the city on a daily basis which was neither eco-friendly nor an efficient way of getting to work. He said that it was necessary for the govt to explore investing in metro systems, which allows for speedy journeys for those living in the outstations. more..

‘Former top minister got commissions from school uniform programme’

Dec 12 (DN) A powerful minister in the previous regime had received commissions from the school uniforms programme too. Good Governance govt has cried halt to the era of ministers earning commissions, Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said. He was addressing the gathering at a felicitation ceremony organised in his honour by Beruwala Good Governance Forum for receiving an Int'l Award for Tobacco Control from WHO. more..

LECS organizes a mega exhibition and consumer fair in Jaffna

Dec 12 (Island) The northern region of Sri Lanka will welcome once again for the 7th consecutive year, the Jaffna International Trade Fair (JITF 2016). Considered by the people in the north as the largest exhibition and consumer fair, the event takes place from the 29th – 31st of January 2016 in Jaffna. The exhibition which has grown to a must attend event by the citizens, businessman, traders and entrepreneurs of the North will be held at the Municipal Grounds in Jaffna. more..

Is North turning Kool?

Dec 12 (NS) Northern peninsula which blew hot due to mounting tension within the TNA following verbal clashes between the Northern Province Chief Minister, C.V. Wigneswaran and TNA MP, M.A. Sumanthiran, interested parties have stepped in to ease the situation. A group of TNA well wishers have made the initiative to act as mediators between the two camps in a bid to prevent party from cracking. Sumanthiran had recently called for Wigneswaran‘s expulsion from the party more..

Joint Opposition to protest on Friday

Dec 12 (FT) The Joint Opposition stressed it would take to the street with union leaders to voice its opposition of Budget 2016 on Friday. MP Gamini Lokuge said all representatives of the Public Service Trade Union Federation and all MPs of the Joint Opposition would protest in front of the Fort railway station on 18 December. He asserted the federation or the Joint Opposition would not join hands with the trade unions that called off more..

Female M-E returnee says she was gang raped

Dec 12 (DN) A 33-year old female who returned to the country after working as a domestic worker in Saudi Arabia has lodged a complaint with the Police claiming she was gang raped by her Saudi employer and several others. Woman, a mother of three has been admitted to the Nawalapitiya hospital for a medical exam, following her complaint. Woman who had returned to the country, late November had first informed about her ordeal to an employment agency in Maradana, which recruited her for the job. more..

Video: Sri Lankan refugee now calls York County home

Dec 12 (FOX) As many Americans debate whether Syrian refugees should be allowed in the U.S., a Sri Lankan man, who escaped civil war in his country at 14-years old, is living in York County. He's thankful to be able to live here and raise his family. When the grill sizzles at Round the Clock Diner in Manchester Township, York County, it's a normal day for Thavarajah Thiruneelakavdan. The 41-year old is a cook at restaurant. He works 50-hours a week and loves every minute of it. more..

Range Bandara in Vehicle Fraud cases

Dec 12 (CT) The Attorney General (AG) filed two cases yesterday in the High Court of Colombo, under the Penal Code, against State Minister Palitha Range Bandara based on charges of frauds regarding vehicles. AG filed case No. HC 8120/15 against Bandara and Lalinda Liyanage. The AG has filed the case against the accused under the Penal Code based on charges of fraud or giving authority to commit the fraud. more..

Economy expected to be hit hard by strike

Dec 12 (Island) Trade unions have requested the govt to look in a more balance manner at the 2016 budget. Since discussions between PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and trade union leaders ended without an agreement, a strike was to be launched at midnight on Monday. It would feature trade unions of the govt sector, semi-govt and private sectors and was expected to affect the country’s economy. Free Trade Zone and General Services Employees Union Joint Secretary Anton Marcus said that more..

Now, remit cash from UAE to SL in a minute

Dec 12 (KT) Emirates NBD has announced the launch of its 60 second DirectRemit service to Sri Lanka, in partnership with Hatton National Bank. DirectRemit allows customers to remit money home instantly online and with no remittance fees. The service will enable Emirates NBD customers to perform remittances to Hatton National Bank (HNB) accounts in Sri Lanka in less than 60 seconds, and transfers to other Sri Lankan banks within one working day. more..

First US-Lanka Partnership Dialogue in Feb

Dec 12 (CG) The first meeting of the US-SL Partnership Dialogue will take place in Feb 2016 in Washington, a top US official visiting Sri Lanka said. US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (Designate) Thomas Shannon, said that the annual meeting will provide an opportunity to discuss all aspects of the relationship and ways in which the US may be able to engage directly with the people of Sri Lanka and the Govt. more..

FR filed by Sujeewa fixed for argument

Dec 12 (DN) Supreme Court fixed for argument, a Fundamental Rights petition filed by State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe against a Police officer over an incident that took place in Athurugiya during his election campaign. The petition will be taken up for argument on February 16. Court had earlier granted leave to proceed with this Fundamental Rights petition. Minister filed a FR petition in court seeking an order directing the Police to take disciplinary action against the sergeant who more..

80 stranded workers return

Dec 12 (CT) 80 Sri Lankans who were stranded in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, embarked at the BIA in Katunayake yesterday morning, the Foreign Employment Ministry said. All 44, who arrived on flight UL 266 from Saudi Arabia, were males. Of the 36 migrant workers, who returned from Kuwait, there was only one female. These migrant workers were taking refuge in the Sri Lankan Embassies of the respective countries due to certain problems encountered pertaining to their employment more..

Sri Lanka warned early on 2015 budget fallout by IMF

Dec 12 (EN) Sri Lanka was warned early on about the negative fallout on economic stability from a revised budget in January 2015, an IMF report which had been released after being suppressed for months, showed. "The fiscal situation constitutes Sri Lanka’s single biggest macro-financial vulnerability and should be addressed expeditiously," the IMF has warned in a March/April 2015 report, which was suppressed for more..

Two Lankans featured Foreign Policy magazine's list 100 Leading Global Thinkers

Dec 12 (DN) Two Sri Lankans are featured in Foreign Policy magazine's list of 100 Leading Global Thinkers who have generated ideas that could promise humankind a better future. Radhika Coomaraswamy, a human rights lawyer, has figured in list for demanding justice for UN peacekeepers crimes while Rajan Anandan is included For lobbying on behalf of the unconnected. Anandan "has used his stewardship of Google in India to greatly improve tech access for the poor more..

Jeewan Kumaranatunga quizzed by FCID

Dec 12 (DM) Former minister Jeewan Kumaranatunga was quizzed by the FCID, over the misuse of state funds for the construction of the Mahinda Rajapaksa Stadium in Diyagama, Homagama. Kumaranatunga who reported to the FCID office in Fort at 2.30 pm today (11), left at around 4 pm, after giving a statement. FCID was probing the misuse of state funds to put up the stadium and the sports complex that was opened by former president Rajapaksa in Jan 2010. more..

Ranil alters Budget

Dec 15 (CT) Laws to increase private sector salaries by Rs 2,500 Lease valuation fee reduced to Rs 5,000 Rs 2,000 of the Rs 10,000 allowance paid to public sector employees added to basic salaries Emission test fee reduced to Rs 1,500. Announcing that he was ready to relinquish the Premiership if he cannot use it to build the nation, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said in Parliament that Rs 2,000 of the Rs 10,000 allowance more..

Why deterrent conventions fail

Dec 15 (DM) Last week, Sri Lanka signed the International Convention on Enforced Disappearances on International Human Rights Day, which fell on Dec 10. Minister Mangala Samaraweera, announced this at a function to mark the International Human Rights Day at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the same day. Govt took this measure in response to a clause in the UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka adopted in September this year which read more..

Dilemma of The BASL

Dec 15 (DM) The Bar Association is the most powerful professional body in Sri Lanka established in 1974, amalgamating the traditional Law Society and the Bar Council creating Attorneys- at -Law in place of Proctors and Advocates, and Solicitors and Barristers-at Law in the UK. Amongst ambitious objects, maintenance of the honour and independence of the Judiciary, consideration of matters relating to Rule of Law and administration of justice, promotion of honourable practice of more..

'Budget 2016 is a pain to the working class'

Dec 15 (DM) Would the maiden budget of the govt be instrumental in fulfilling promises made to the nation together with assurances of lifting economic burdens shouldered by the people is a question that is receiving mixed responses from politicos and the public alike. Convener for Voice against Corruption, Wasantha Samarasinghe said that govt should consider amending the budget proposals with a people friendly approach. more..

Referendum to determine new constitution

Dec 15 (SL) A referendum will be held to decide on the final proposals to the new Constitution, Minister Mano Ganesan said. Minister, who is part of a steering committee tasked with drafting a new constitution, said that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had proposed that the public be allowed to decide on the way forward. A Cabinet sub-committee headed by PM was recently formed to draft new Constitution. more..

Maids in misery: From destitution to death

Dec 15 (ST) In a hall filled with soon-to-be migrant workers, an instructor runs a multimedia programme on Sharia law. The picture on the screen changes from a hanging to a decapitation, an amputation to a gruesome public stoning. “These are the laws of the countries where you will be working,” M.H.M Azwer, the instructor, says. He explained what each punishment was meted out for. He shows short films depicting various more..

Swaminathan: 8,000 acres of private lands still under military

Dec 15 (Island) Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs Minister D. M. Swaminanthan yesterday told Parliament that about 8,000 acres of private lands were still under the control of the security forces and they would be gradually released for resettlement. He said that the govt was in the process of releasing land to ensure the resettlement of IDPs and returnees where they had lived previously. more..

More out of 100,000 Lankan refugees in Tamil Nadu to return

Dec 15 (Island) 23 more out of over a 100,000 Sri Lankan Tamil regfugees in Tamil Nadu, India are scheduled to return today. UNHCR would be facilitating the voluntary repatriation programme under which the 23 refugees were due. Five families comprising 12 persons from Trichy would be ariving by Sri Lankan Airlines UL 132 and another eleven persons from three families from Madurai have been booked on Mihin Lanka more..

Ex-LTTE supporter accused in Rajiv murder seeks early release

Dec 15 (PTI) Nalini Sriharan, undergoing life imprisonment in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, again moved the Madras High Court on Monday seeking a direction to TN govt to consider her representation for premature release. Nalini, now confined in the Special Prison for women in Vellore, submitted that she has undergone imprisonment for more than 24 years. She was first awarded death sentence, which was more..

Parliament to be made Constitutional Assembly

Dec 15 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena is to present a motion to convert the Parliament into a Constitutional Assembly on Jan 9, 2016, informed sources said yesterday. This date was fixed at a party leaders meeting held yesterday with Speaker Karu Jayasuriya. The party leaders have decided to hold sessions on Jan 9, they said. Also the motion to set up 18 oversight committees will also be presented on that day. more..

Celebrations in New York to mark the 60th anniversary of SL-UN relations

Dec 15 (IL) The Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka in New York celebrated today (14), the 60th anniversary of the admission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations with an archival photographic exhibition, which was followed by a breakfast reception. Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) was admitted to the United Nations on 14th December 1955 along with Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Laos, Libya, Nepal, more..

Tax on electric cars: Suspicion proved beyond doubt (Yahapalana Deal)

Dec 15 (Island) I brought to the notice of your readers that I have a nagging suspicion that increasing the taxes on electric vehicles could be an act of corruption committed by big time car importers and certain ministers of the Yahapalanaya govt. My suspicion was proven beyond doubt that when the Minister of Finance came on the TV and mentioned that the taxes wouldn’t be reduced under any circumstance. more..

Alleged TT coup attempt: Minister says police awaiting AG’s advice

Dec 15 (Island) Police investigations into the alleged coup attempt at Temple Tress in the morning on Jan 09, 2015 had been completed, Minister Sagala Ratnayake told Parliament. The report of the police investigations had been sent to Attorney General for further instructions and the future course of action would be decided on the basis of AG’s advice, he said, adding that the House would be kept informed of all details more..

Sri Lanka rupee not overvalued by econometrics: IMF

Dec 15 (EN) Sri Lanka's rupee is not overvalued by when analysed with several techniques, with some methods showing undervaluation, the IMF had said. In a March country report that has just been made public, the IMF said based on an External Balance Assessment (EBA) method the rupee was overvalued by 5%. There were mixed results from other approaches. "..The macro balance and external sustainability approaches pointing to an undervaluation of 2–4%, while more..

Man kills unfaithful wife Could not bear my pain anymore

Dec 15 (CT) A man who attempted to flee after shooting his wife was taken into police custody at dawn on 4 Dec in Ihalakatuneriya. The man had shot his wife on the night of 2 Dec. He had also attacked her with a sharp weapon after the shooting. The 29-year-old woman, Thakshila Fernando, was killed by her husband due to an alleged extramarital affair she had with another married man. The man, 34-year-old Lalith Prasanna had two sons aged 7 and 2 years by his wife, Thaksila. more..

Thilanga Sumathipala

Will Yahapalanaya roll back racism ?

Dec 15 (CT) Canada’s celebrated Sikh soldier Harjit Sajjan is among the many Sikhs appointed to Justin Treaudeau’s new cabinet. His outstanding performance in the Canadian military has been duly recognized with his appointment as Canada’s Minister of Defence. Sajjan’s military brilliance was displayed in combat operations in Bosnia and Afghanistan. What message does this convey to those that run and those that ran the affairs of state over here in SL for over half a century? more..

Religion to address fanaticism

Dec 15 (CT) His Holiness Pope Francis gave audience to President Maithripala Sirisena at Vatican yesterday. This is the second meeting between the two – one, a spiritual leader of the Catholic masses spread in five continents as well as indubitably the most loved person in the world. And the second, a leader of a small island nation in the Indian Ocean. This meeting is taking place at a crucial point of the course of humanity's history. In one part of the world, a dangerous and more..

Sri Lanka's GDP grows 4.8% in 3Q, 2015

Dec 15 (EN) Sri Lanka's gross domestic product grew 4.8% in the third quarter of 2015 from a year earlier, statistics department said. The GDP for Sri Lanka for the third quarter of 2015 (July-Sept) reached 2,158,327 million rupees. The economic growth rate of the country for the first three quarters has been estimated as 5.2%. The services sector, which contributed 57.1% of GDP had the slowest growth during the 3rd quarter more..

NCDs at epidemic proportions: DG Health

Dec 15 (Island) Director General Health Services Dr. Palitha Mahipala called on the public to help fight non communicable diseases (NCDs) which had reached epidemic proportions in the country. He said that the issue should be tackled by one and all and that task should not be left entirely to the Health Ministry. Dr Mahipala said in preventing and controlling the NCDs which were key causes of premature mortality levels ways and means had to be found to address present disease burden. more..

JVP stages march demanding abolition of private medical college

Dec 15 (Island) JVP-led health sector trade unions and student unions yesterday protested opposite Health Ministry after staging a protest march demanding the abolition of Malabe Private Medical College (SAITM). Protest march which started from the Colombo Medical Faculty ended opposite the Health Ministry on the Deans Road creating a heavy traffic jam in the Maradana and Town Hall areas. All Ceylon Medical Officers’ Association (ACMOA), All Ceylon Health Services Union (ACHSU) more..

Colombo Port City won’t cause environmental disruption, says EIA

Dec 15 (LBO) The proposed Colombo Port City has a minimal environmental impact on the reclamation site and the coastal zone around the area, a supplementary environmental impact assessment, now available for public consultation, states. Because of the impact of sand dredging north of the port city site, an income support program will be implemented for communities engaged in fishing, report adds. more..