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Sri Lanka captain Angelo respects Sangakkara's selection criticism

Dec 17 (Stuff) Captain Angelo Mathews didn't exactly back his selectors when asked about criticism from legend Kumar Sangakkara. Mathews will lead his side into battle at Hamilton's Seddon Park on Friday morning, looking to tie up the two-match test series at 1-1. With legendary players such as Sangakkara and Mahela recently retiring from international cricket, a void has been left in the side. While the young charges have showed plenty of talent and ability, Sangakkara was more..

Sri Lanka to resume all suspended projects by early next year

Dec 17 (Xinhua) Govt said it will resume all the suspended projects in the island nation by early next year as it looks to attract more foreign investments. Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said that all the suspended projects would be given the go-ahead as agreements with the investors had already been signed. "We cannot stop it halfways and the PM had never said he will stop it. Projects had to be reviewed which is more..

Canadian HC promises a job centre for Jaffna

Dec 17 (CT) Canadian High Commissioner Shelley Whiting assured that her govt will support the establishment of a job centre for the youth in the Jaffna District, Jaffna District Secretary Nagalingam Vethanaygan said. "Canadian Govt is looking forward to carry out work plans in collaboration with SL Govt as Sri Lanka is currently implementing many development plans. Discussions were also held regarding future development projects that will be implemented in the district more..

Coach hopeful of a better performance

Dec 17 (DN) Left-hander Udara Jayasundara, the latest batsman being tried out in the Sri Lankan batting order at number three to fill the massive boots of Kumar Sangakkara will be retained for the second Test against New Zealand starting at Hamilton on Friday, head coach Jerome Jayaratne said. Jayasundara who made his Test debut at Dunedin had two double failures batting in that position, being dismissed for 1 and 3 to the Watling-Wagner combination in both innings. more..

Video: Farmers protest in loincloth

Dec 17 (DM) Farmers from throughout the country held a protest demonstration in Colombo today against some of the govt’s Budget proposals. The farmers, some of them wearing the traditional loincloth, marched from Town Hall to Temple Trees. Some of the representatives from farmers’ organizations were eventually allowed to meet officials from PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s office to discuss their demands. more..

'NPC not used a cent for development'

Dec 17 (DM) NPC had become a meaningless institution as it had not used a single cent out of the funds allocated for it by the Central Govt, Opposition MP Douglas Devananda told Parliamen. Mr. Devananda who is an MP representing the Northern District of Jaffna said the funds allocated for the provincial council even in 2013 and 2014 had not been utilized. He questioned as to whether Central govt would take any steps to reclaim the unutilized funds from provincial council. more..

We are ready to sell Mihin to Mahinda for one rupee: Eran

Dec 17 (Island) Expressing his views during the Select Committee stage of the 2016 budget, Deputy Minister of Public Enterprise Development Eran Wickramaratne said that if required by former President and now Kurunegala District MP Mahinda Rajapaksa, the incumbent government would sell Mihin Air to him for one rupee. He made the observation while lambasting what he called Rajapaksa regime’s lavish expenditure in the guise of developing the public sector. more..

Sri Lanka declared eligible for assistance under the Millennium Challenge Account

Dec 17 (ST) Sri Lanka was selected as an eligible country for assistance from fiscal year 2016 at a meeting of the Board of Directors of the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) held in Washington DC on Dec 16, Sri Lankan embassy in Washington said. This decision of the Board was conveyed by telephone on the same evening, 16 Dec, to PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, by the Chief Executive Officer of the MCC, Dana J. Hyde. more..

Bait Batters Batticaloa

Dec 18 (NS) Batticaloa has changed. Terror free from 2009, this township has dramatically transformed itself from a battlefield to a famed tourist hotspot over the last six years. New concrete roads have replaced the battered gravel paths and scooters have outdone bicycles as the mode of transport on new roads, especially by the womenfolk of the city. The needs and wants of the people have become complex when glancing back to a decade back. The highlight of the city is no longer more..

Justice delayed denied

Dec 18 (NS) Delays in the Criminal Justice System of Sri Lanka, is by no means of recent origin. Nor is it a problem confined to Sri Lanka. Delays in the disposal of cases is a problem almost all developing countries are grappling with. President Mandela, referring to the South African legal system had said, “God’s Mill grinds slow they say, the pace of the South African Legal System puts even the God’s Mill to shame.” His reference had been to the legal system in South Africa during colonial era. more..

Banning asbestos to save lives

Dec 18 (SO) President Sirisena recently gave an assurance that he would discuss with the Cabinet of Ministers and arrive at a decision to ban the importation of asbestos roofing sheets into the country by the year 2018. This is a step in the right direction. Many countries, including the major producers of asbestos such as Canada, South Africa, UK, Australia, NZ, Japan, Italy, Singapore, South Korea, EU, Turkey and 50 more..

Arjuna Mahendran: CB's 65th anniversary

Dec 18 (BIS) Today is a very important day for all of us. 65 years is not a small period in the life of an institution and first and foremost I must thank all of you who have kept the torch of central banking alive and well in SL over the last 65 years. I know most of you haven't been here for that length of time but certainly those traditions have been passed on to you and you are I think preserving them very well and making sure that they are moving on into the next generations' hands in good condition. more..

Renewed US-Sri Lanka Relations: A Slobbering Love Affair

Dec 18 (TD) There was another high-level US visit to Sri Lanka this week. State Department Counselor Thomas Shannon visited the island nation from Dec 14-16. The highlight of his trip seems to have been the formal announcement that first US-SL Partnership Dialogue will be held in Washington this February. The dialogue will focus on four broad areas: governance, development cooperation, and people-to-people ties; both economic and security cooperation; and global and regional affairs. more..

'Cutting welfare makes people more risk averse'

Dec 18 (CT) Trade unions temporarily suspended their proposed token strike on 15 Dec. JVP politburo member and trade union leader, K.D. Lal Kantha explains why the unions took a step back and their future plans to create a broader coalition against the UUNFGG's economic policies. Q: The trade unions who were planning an islandwide strike on Tuesday, decided to temporarily suspend the union action after more..

Editorial: Majorities and dissent

Dec 18 (Island) Govt is all out to put paid to an Opposition effort to move a motion of no-confidence against Minister Ravi Karunanayake over budgetary allocations for education. Various arguments have been put forth for and against the attempts being made to block the motion. There have been numerous no-faith motions against politicians of the two main parties over the last several decades. They have all been slanging matches. Opposition hurls abuse at the govt ranks and get paid back more..

Slain media persons and comensation

Dec 18 (Island) Speaking during the committee stage debate on the budgetary allocation for the Ministry of Mass Media and Parliamentary Affairs, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said that a compensation plan would be implemented for 44 media persons who were killed due to political reasons under the former regime. He said that President Sirisena had also supported the move to pay compensation to these murdered journalists. When he speaks of 44 media personnel having been killed during more..

Brothers orphaned by Tsunami return to help rebuild Sri Lanka

Dec 18 (SCMP) The days leading up to Christmas are usually times of joy, yet for a few years, it was anything but for Paul Forkan and his five siblings. British family lost their parents, Kevin and Sandra, to the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami during a holiday in Sri Lanka. But four years ago, Paul and his elder brother Rob decided to overcome the tragedy and make Christmas a happy time again. They came up with the idea of more..

‘No major impact locally from US Fed Reserve’s increased interest rates’

Dec 18 (Island) US Federal Reserve's increased interest rates, fashioned as an unconventional monetary stimulus termed Quantitative Easing (QE), will have an impact on commercial borrowings, especially for emerging economies/markets, Deputy Governor- Central Bank Dr Nandalal Weerasinghe said. "I don’t see any major impact towards the Sri Lanka economy but the global interest rates will increase substantially, which would have some kind of impact towards global emerging markets, more..

Celebrating 80th Anniversary of LSSP

Dec 18 (Island) To mark the 80th Anniversary of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party — on the 18th of December 2015 — the Leader of the LSSP, Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy Tissa Vitharana, former Professor in the Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri J'pura, offers a prescriptive publication to save Sri Lanka. The publication – pamphlet rather than book — embodying the lifesaving formula is deceptively slight in appearance. more..

Sense and sensibility in the Kusal paradox

Dec 18 (ST) The sense of anxiety and disbelief was labelled on every cricket enthusiast’s face with news of mercurial left hander Kusal Janith Perera who is also called déjà vu Jayasuriya being recalled from the tour of New Zealand after he was tested positive by the ICC for a banned substance. SLC media manager Rajith Fernando fired across a short note stating, “SLC has been advised that a sample provided by Kusal Janith Perera for more..

President sings but is it from one song-sheet

Dec 18 (ST) So President Sirisena had attended a felicitation event for legendary musician, Pandit W.D. Amaradeva. Not only did President Sirisena quite rightly praise Pandit Amaradeva for his undoubted contribution to the world of music but joined him in singing some songs composed by Amaradeva. Not having heard President sing though I have heard him on political platforms and in personal conversations with him, I have no knowledge of president’s vocal capabilities more..

SL concede 4-wicket defeat to India U-19s

Dec 18 (CI) Virat Singh and Washington Sundar struck fifties as India Under-19s took their fourth successive win in the tri-nation tournament, against Sri Lanka Under-19s in Colombo. Chasing 222, India lost their openers early but Sundar and Anmolpreet Singh put their side back on track with a 55-run partnership. Even as Anmolpreet was run out for 25 in the 19th over, Sundar carried onto make 61, before he fell in a similar manner. Virat, aided by Mahipal Lomror, then accumulated, more..

Sri Lanka to re-impose export tax on spices, denying farmers freedom

Dec 18 (EN) Sri Lanka will re-impose a tax on exports of raw spices, removing a significant trade freedom proposed in the budget and denying farmers the chance for an international price for their output. Since an individual govt cannot push up the international price of a competitively traded commodity through its coercive power by a tax, farm gate price of an agricultural product will necessarily be reduced by the amount of the tax. more..

Ensuring the rights of our children: What more can we do?

Dec 18 (IPS) On 14th Dec 1954, UN General Assembly recommended that all countries institute a Universal Children’s Day, to be observed as a day of worldwide fraternity and understanding between children. The date 20th Nov marks the day on which the Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959 while the Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted in 1989. In Sri Lanka, the World Children’s Day was celebrated on the 1st Oct, 2015. more..

Arjuna says Director General of Sports action is a disgrace

Dec 18 (DN) Ports and Shipping Minister and a top candidate for the SLC vice-president's post Arjuna Ranatunga has described the Director General of Sports K.D.S. Ruwanchandra's action as a disgrace and blamed him for applying double standard of rules to different candidates contesting the forthcoming SLC election. "There are many critics who are waiting to blame the Sports Minister, but those fingers must be pointed at these officials," said Ranatunga participating at the more..

Sri Lanka requests India to extend USD 1.5bn swap facility by one year

Dec 18 (LBO) Finance Ministry has requested India to extend the existing US$ 1.5 billion swap facility by one year, finance minister Ravi Karunanayake told Parliament. “I spoke to Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and requested to extend the USD 1.5 bn facility by another year,” he said. “Because India is doing a devaluation. But With yesterday’s FED rate hike the uncertainty will be cleared,” he said. more..

Commonwealth TT C'ship: SL beats NZ

Dec 18 (DN) Former national champ Nirmala Jayasinghe came up with a brilliant display to help Sri Lanka beat fancied New Zealand 3-2 in their opening match of the team events at the 20th Commonwealth Table Tennis Championship held in Surat, Gujarat. Jayasinghe who was the second player in the team won the first match 3-1 against Yi-Sien Lin, the number 1 of New Zealand to give his team a great morale boost. Rohan Sirisena, captain of men's team however lost 2-3 to Matthew more..

National Sports Festival begins today

Dec 18 (CT) 41st National Sports Festival will start today and go on until 20 Dec at the Mahinda Rajapaksa Stadium, Diyagama. Ministry of Sports stated that the Games' Torch will be lit by the Western Province veteran athlete B.B. Nayanananda and Jayamini Illeperuma while the athletes and referees' pledge will be taken by C.D. Aloka and Lal Chandrakumara this year. Over 800 athletes are to take part in the event, while as many as 350 officials will be on duty. more..

Galle Magistrate orders release of Mahanuwara vessel

Dec 18 (DN) Galle Magistrate ordered the Galle Harbour Master to release the vessel Mahanuwara anchored at Galle Harbour to the ship owner firm Ceylon shipping Lines. It was on board the widely spoken Avant Garde Maritime Service, floating armoury was operated until the process of floating armoury was undertaken by SL Navy recently. Magistrate gave the order when the shipping company through a motion alleged more..

Life ban for competitors who refuse doping tests: Sports Minister

Dec 18 (DN) A life ban awaits any competitor who refuses to face a doping test, Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara told Parliament. Commenting on the controversial incident that took place last Sunday at the 2015 Mr Sri Lanka contest organized by the Sri Lanka Bodybuilding Federation the Minister said: "When the Director of Sri Lanka Anti-Doping Agency Dr. Seevali Jayawickreme went to perform tests on several of the contestants they had strongly objected to it. more..

159 Indians arrested in SL for visa abuse in 2015: minister

Dec 18 (PTI) Sri Lanka said that around 159 Indians were among 402 people arrested in the country for alleged abuse of entry visa during 2015. "They have been arrested for various illegal acts including illegal employment and illegal religious propaganda work," Minister SB Nawinna told parliament. Three foreigners were arrested for begging. Some of those arrested persons had overstayed or given false information on their stay in the country. At least 83 of them had found employment illegally, more..

Wijeyadasa lashes out at GMOA for calling for SAITM nationalisation

Dec 18 (DN) Condemning the request by GMOA to nationalise the SAITM medical campus, Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe told Parliament that he was keen to know the attitude of these medical officers with regard to the country's education. As a developing country, Sri Lanka has failed to provide higher education opportunities for all the students who qualified for university entrance due to financial issues. more..

Tug o' war between CB, new Shareholder

Dec 18 (CT) The minority group of depositors, who held deposits with the former Industrial Finance Ltd (now City Finance) on Wednesday urged the Central Bank (CB) to intervene in the company's restructuring process by appointing a fully functional independent board of directors and to make the company once more functional. The minority group of depositors who met at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute by the invitation of majority shareholder (72%), former FM Rohitha Bogollagama's son more..

We are not dictated by IMF policy: FM

Dec 18 (LBO) Minister Ravi Karunanayake told Parliament that the country has a strong balance of payments environment and rejected reports of a gloomy outlook for 2016. “There is no issue with the balance of payments. Our problem is with the trade balance. Our exports have decreased and imports increased,” he said. “But the imports are for capital nature. So it is not such a dangerous thing. The balance of payments is strong. As of this moment we are not dictated by IMF policy,” more..

Body to coordinate reconciliation in SL

Dec 18 (Hindu) SL govt has decided to establish a secretariat to coordinate activities of various players engaged in reconciliation. The proposed secretariat will develop a plan on institutions such as the Office on Missing Persons and the Truth, Reconciliation and Prevention of Conflicts Commission. It will follow up the progress of implementation of recommendations made by various panels, including LLRC & OHCHR, more..

Brandix wins 8 Presidential Export Awards

Dec 18 (DM) Brandix group’s contribution to the country’s export economy was recognised at the highest level this week when Sri Lanka’s single largest apparel exporter was presented with eight Presidential Export Awards at a ceremony presided over by the country’s head of state. Brandix was recognised as the SL Exporter of the Year in respect of 2012 and 2013, was adjudged the Best Exporter in the Apparel Sector in those two years and was honoured with four Special Awards for more..

Mass Media mislead consumers: SEMA

Dec 18 (DN) Mass media known as the fourth state are the main tool that mislead the consumer by way of advertisements, Strategic Enterprise Management Agency (SEMA) Chairman Ashoka Abeygunawardena. He was addressing the first of a series of workshops organised to form a forum between govt service providers and consumers in Matara. "Global warming due to the excessive use of fossil fuel has resulted in an increse in global emission of Carbon Dioxide by 50% in more..

Canada supports SL's peace-building efforts

Dec 18 (TRF) Canadian Govt is providing CAD850,000 in 2015-2016 to NGO, Mines Advisory Group (MAG) to keep thousands of men, women and children safe from the mines and unexploded bombs that continue to litter the land six years after the end of the country's long conflict. High Commissioner of Canada, Shelley Whiting said: "The demining activities that we had the honour of seeing today underscored for me the more..

One suspect arrested in Kandy gang rape

Dec 18 (CT) One suspect has been arrested with regard to the gang rape which took place last Saturday in Kandy. Woman, 37, a secretary attached to the Kandy District Secretariat was abducted in a three-wheeler; whilst waiting for her friend, last Saturday, near the Thennekumbura Bridge. The woman had been waiting for her friend who had got late. Several youth who had arrived in a three wheeler had observed this woman standing alone. They had alighted from three-wheeler more..

Laws must be equal, says Hirunika

Dec 18 (CT) MP Hirunika Premachandra said that laws must be equally applicable to all communities, particularly when it comes to laws prohibiting sexual violence against women. Pointing out that the country has several legal systems such as General, Muslim, Thesawalamai and Kandyan, she pointed out that there is a contradiction in terms of age of consent and rape between the provisions of common law and Muslim law. These differences should be ironed out, she said. more..